Let’s make a deal, shall we? Don’t let Lois miss another episode of Smallville and never, ever allow Lana to return. How about we never even MENTION Lana again? Don’t get me wrong. The way they concluded the Clark/Lana saga was atrocious. But since they clearly don’t know how to do it appropriately, I just don’t feel like they deserve another chance. I can (eventually) get over how they ended it, but at this point I just want us to move on and continue with the phenomenal Clark/Lois build up. Mmkay?
I’m sure everybody was thinking the same thing I was throughout the entire episode, which was that something just HAD to happen that would undo everything. Was it a dream? Massive sweep of amnesia (on Smallville? Nooooo)? Time travel? What would they go with?
I typically criticize Smallville for their overuse of having somebody find out Clark’s ability, only to reneg on it with one of the above methods. But truth be told, I actually didn’t really have a problem with this instance, as it didn’t feel like a cheap cop out. It seemed like a legitimate plot device to propel a number of the central storylines. And hell, doing a “what if?” episode every now and then can be fun if they don’t overdo it.
I liked the “realistic” approach to Clark revealing his abilities. At first people were in awe and celebrated his heroism. That’s a pretty natural reaction. People are constantly looking to make larger than life personalities into heroes, and vice versa. Then those same people vilified him the second his image was challenged. Again, this is natural human behavior. People make these personalities into heroes, and then feel betrayed once their expectations aren’t met.
To me, the best parts involved Clark and Lois. I appreciated the fact that, when he decided to open up, he chose to do so with Lois. Sure, it was because she’s a reporter, but it still showed a great degree of trust and fondness. And all of Lois’ reactions were spot-on. First she was amazed, and then touched that he had picked her as the one he would tell. Then she was tossed from her ivory tower when he revealed that Chloe and – worse yet – Lana have already known for years. Perhaps what I most appreciated about the scene was that she didn’t start liking him because of his powers. In fact, she was almost disheartened by it. And throughout the rest of the episode, everything she did was to protect him. He wasn’t her first class seat to becoming a super journalist, like with Lake. He was just somebody she cares about.
I think the true highlight of the episode, however, was their discussion when Clark made the decision to go back in time. Both Lois and Clark did a phenomenal job of expressing such a diverse range of emotions. I especially loved it when Lois painfully realized that, when given a second chance, he wouldn’t tell her his secret. He then admitted that was the case. Her response was a hurt, “why did I think I would be special?” Clark then sweetly clarified that he couldn’t tell her BECAUSE she’s special. I thought that was a great, understated line. She’s the one person in his life that he doesn’t have to burden with his secret. Along with that, she’s the one person who can look at him and see the kind hearted farm boy, and not the heroic superhero. She cares for him in his simplest form. And it’s understandable that Clark would want to hold onto that, especially after becoming a bona fide celebrity after coming out.
All of that being said, I absolutely, positively wanted to slap him in the face for standing her up. How many times does this guy have to go through this “I can’t be with her” routine? And with how many girls?
I also appreciated how Clark going back in time and changing events indirectly resulted in Davis’ advanced transformation into Doomsday.
Overall it was a solid return. And while I typically detest these long hiatuses, I think this was a necessary evil after the atrocities that occurred during LanaGate.
Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, Heroes, Prison Break, and Smallville. You can visit his blog at A Case of the Blog.