Throughout the first half of this episode I was ready to write it off as filler, but this actually ended up being a really enjoyable, surprisingly significant episode. Although I do find it somewhat amusing – and odd – that the writers have said in the past that they hate doing holiday themed episodes, and it seems like they’re doing them now more than ever (of course, Lex-mas will always be the bar in which all other holiday episodes are measured against).
As I noted above, I fully expected this to be your clichéd Valentine’s Day episode, chock full of love spells and powers of influence. And for at least the first half of the episode, they seemed pretty committed to that path (and I will admit to only paying partial attention during this portion). You had Lois acting like a doting Stepford wife, Chloe as the devoted protector, and Emil as the brilliant scientist turned slacker. By the way, I’m guessing that Lois’ housewife look is a reference to some early incarnation of the comic book Lois Lane? Any validity to that guess?
But then when Zod was introduced into the episode, everything shifted dramatically. We learned, to my surprise, that he didn’t kill Jor-El. In fact, he had nothing to do with his death at all (he mistakenly thought Tess was responsible). And while Clark wasn’t willing to murder somebody to avenge his father’s death, Zod did make him realize that he has to make some difficult decisions in order to achieve the greater good. And Clark was willing to take that step when he destroyed the tower in a rather cool effect.
For that matter, I actually enjoyed Clark’s scene with Tess as well. If you remember, I was pretty critical of Tess’ character when she was first introduced (for the record, I still find it disturbing that she lives in Lex’s house), saying that she lacked all of the complexities that made Lex so great. Well I’m certainly eating my words now. I still don’t quite know what to make of her character, although she’s beginning to remind me of Lionel near the end of his tenure on the series. She’s on the side of Clark – or so it seems – but she’s still willing to do unsavory things in order to achieve what she perceives as the “greater good.” She’s also not entirely willing to play nice with all of Clark’s little friends. And I am very, very intrigued by this whole Suicide Squad thing.
I’m actually going to cut things off at this point. Since the incredible two part Absolute Justice special, Smallville has been on the backburner for a couple of weeks. I have a feeling the show is about to pick up some steam again. Catch you next week!
Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, 24, Heroes, and Smallville. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.