Smallville – Episode 10-4 Review

Wow, what a great episode of Smallville.  I’ll admit, I was a little nervous when I saw the preview, as I was worried that we would see Clark constantly reminiscing about Lana.  This fear was strengthened when his memories were spurred upon entering the school.  However, I was pleased that those feelings quickly took a backseat to his anguish over Chloe’s absence.  And aside from a few passing references, the Lana stuff was kept to a minimum.  On the contrary, the episode focused almost solely on the amazing impact Lois has on his life.  And by the end of this episode, Clark was reminded of how much he loves her, not how much he misses Lana.

In fact, present and future, all of his scenes with Lois were spot-on-awesome (I LOVED her constant signal for Clark to put on his glasses).  The expression on Clark’s face when Lois quickly showed him the date in which he finally trusts her with his secret, but threw it down before he actually got a good look at it was just priceless.  If there’s one thing that annoyed me about this scene, though, it’s that Lois clearly knows his secret and the freaky stuff that goes along with it, yet he didn’t just outwardly say, “I’m from 2010, I was at our high school reunion and got sent here when I grabbed hold of the Legion ring.”  One of those annoying TV moments where a situation can be solved rather easily by just opening your mouth and clearly explaining the situation.  Oh, and while I really enjoyed the floating scene at the end (again, showing that she’s the motivation behind his eventual heroism), I’m not counting that as flying.

I do have two questions regarding the future portion of the episode, though.  Is this the first time in the entire series that we’ve heard an explicit reference to Superman?  I’m not talking about the play on words (like Lana asking if Clark is “man or super man”), I mean a straight-out referral to Superman the superhero.  Secondly, did we see what year they were in?  When Clark looked at the paper, all I saw was “20″ with the last two letters cut off.  At first I figured it was a clever way of leaving the actual timeline open to interpretation and individual imagination.  But then I also realized that I’m not watching in HD, so maybe it was just cut off on my TV, while the HD viewers might see the full date.  And as a side note, I loved seeing “future” Clark, with the slicked hair, glasses, and suit.  Tom Welling really has grown into that role quite magnificently.

Regarding the actual reunion, I thought the final scene, with Lois and one of the kids Clark saved, was great.  It actually reminded me of an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, just before their high school graduation, where the graduating class thanks Buffy for protecting them.  They didn’t understand her powers or what she was doing, but they recognized that she was doing something to protect them.  It was the same thing here, with Clark’s former classmate realizing that Clark is special, even if he has no real comprehension of his abilities.

I will say, though, that the scene with Lois and the girl at the punch bowl was a tad bit ridiculous.  I mean, first off, who says that sort of thing?  Secondly, who in their right mind would ever make such broad and harsh judgments about a guy you haven’t seen in 5 years and a girl you don’t even remember?  I understand that it was merely a vehicle to make Lois feel doubt and insecure, but it was a weak mechanism.

And this is just nitpicking, but did anybody find that newscaster’s condemnation of Oliver a bit unrealistic?  Due to journalistic integrity, and a newscaster would NEVER express such a biased viewpoint (remember, I’m talking about a newscaster, not a panelist).  And that interviewer at the end (who was likely a “hard news” correspondent, so the bias isn’t unexpected or outlandish) was just plain nasty.  Even the notoriously tough interviewers begin with pleasantries.

Last but not least, I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention the brilliant return of Brainiac.  Except this time, he was fighting for the side of good, not bad.  His turn, assisting Clark in forgiving himself for the grievances of his past, while giving him hope of what is to come in the future, was quite touching and powerful.  It was actually quite nice seeing Brainiac as a good guy.

By the way, before I forget, I want to thank Wally Kovics for his comment in last week’s review.  Here’s what he had to say:

With the Davis Bloom situation… they seem to be going in a different direction with Darkseid possessing people, but the characters are basically reflections of various characters from Apokalips. So far we’ve seen Granny Goodness (just as a cameo at the end of last season), Glorious Godfrey (well, his human alter ego), and they have referenced Dessaad as well.

I’m guessing they are taking some cues from the Seven Soldiers/Final Crisis concept of the “reborn on earth” equivalents of the baddies just to avoid having too many rubber suit monster moments. Most of Darkseid’s minions don’t need to be monsters. You have some manipulators, torturers, assassins, etc. They should have some people in costumes for some at least (especially the Furies, which is basically just bondage gear). If they break out the Parademons and Kalibak, and the eventual fight with Darkseid himself, then they should have some actual makeup and effects, etc.

I have to admit that my knowledge of Darkseid is pretty elementary, so a lot of those sly references got lost on me.  If that’s the case, I commend the writers for this method.  Having said that, I do hope we don’t have to wait too long to see the actual monstrous Darkseid, and when we do see him, I hope the appearance isn’t fleeting (as it was with Doomsday).  To once again reference Buffy, I don’t want this to echo the series’ final season, where viewers and characters were told time and time again “from beneath us, it devours,” yet in the end we just saw a spirit dressed as 5’3″ Buffy Summers, and a skinny priest with a Southern accent.