Sorry for the lateness of this review. I was displaced from my home for the week, due to having our floors redone, and I’ve been a little behind on my television shows. But better late than never!
So this episode was reminiscent of the early seasons of Smallville, featuring the freaks of the week. I think that formula got tired and I think the long-term villains that are developed throughout the season is a far better model, but this works fine enough when used sporadically. And to be honest, I don’t think this episode was even meant to be about the villain – it was about Lois’ understanding of Clark’s abilities, Clark understanding his responsibilities, Oliver’s quest to rescue Chloe, and the reintroduction of the Suicide Squad. The villain just filled in the gaps and acted as a means to those ends.
As I’ve mentioned numerous times in my reviews of The Vampire Diaries, sometimes episodes really work when you take the characters out of their comfort zones and allow them to interact almost exclusively with characters they rarely work with or don’t even know. Such was the case this episode, where Clark and Lois were kept separated the entire time. Lois shared some very fun scenes with Hawkman, while Clark spent the majority of the episode alongside Cat. In the latter’s case, things went from annoying to borderline hostile to suspicious and finally to tender. And it was nice. We’ve seen Clark save his friends and we’ve briefly seen him save strangers, but we’ve never really had an episode that was devoted to him helping somebody he doesn’t even know. It was a nice departure and showed that these “strangers” aren’t nameless, faceless people to him.
I will say this: I’m glad Clark ditched the black Blur costume. It was really cool looking, but it felt a lot more like Batman than Superman. And the motif didn’t fit the positive aura of the Man of Steel. I also like that he’s styling and gelling his hair when he’s playing the Blur role, as that’s consistent with the Superman look as well. Having said that, I’m REALLY not sold on the flaming red leather jacket with the “S” shield on the front. It’s just a bit…..over the top, and not the least bit intimidating. Honestly, I think a regular red trench coat would have served him better, with a blue t-shirt that sported the classic Superman logo. Just one man’s opinion. But I do recognize that this is one step closer to having him don the iconic costume. Oh, and was I the only one who thought he might actually fly when they showed him at the top of the building?
The highlight of the episode for me might have been Lois’ scenes with Hawkman. I loved the moment that Hawkman pieced together that she knows Clark’s secret, leading him to whip out some liquor and shot glasses, and cutting her off her line of questioning with “Why don’t you just ask Clark?” It was a great moment that really rattled the typically collected Lois. I have to commend the writers of Smallville for doing such a great job – beginning last season – of showing us how Lois is the one who makes it possible for Clark to become Superman. In her absence, he retreated from humanity and became a dark vigilante clad in black. With her love, he becomes a genuine hero and symbol of hope and humanity. I think Hawkman pointing out this important distinction will lead to her return to Smallville. Oh, and I loved her stream of consciousness questioning relating to Clark’s abilities, like whether he even sleeps.
While I thought Oliver’s quest to find Chloe was sweet, I had trouble swallowing that Chloe loves him more than anybody else in her entire life. I mean, between her, like, five year obsession with Clark and her, ya’ know, MARRIAGE to Jimmy, it just felt a little empty and forced. But I did enjoy the reveal that she had essentially faked her death. And I love the prospect of Tess easing into her role within the team. Especially with Clark and Oliver having to reluctantly trust her.
Not surprised that the abductors were revealed to be the remains of the Suicide Squad. Again, I don’t know much about the comic-version of this unit, so I’m not going to outwardly say whether this is a good or bad revelation. Having said that, I did enjoy their arc last season (although I could have done without Red Queen Martha Kent), and there’s something about that actress who plays Plastique that I just love. Can’t put my finger on it.
Anyway, I think things are REALLY going to pick up next week when Supergirl makes her return. I suspect that’ll really kick off the Darkseid story arc, which will take us into the series finale. And it’ll be great seeing Laura Vandervoort on Smallville again!