Smallville Official Site

The Time:
Thursdays, 8:00 PM, The CW

The Show:

grown up in Smallville under the protective eye of Jonathan and Martha
Kent, Clark Kent, the future Superman, is finally setting out into the
world to pursue his destiny.  Ever wary of protecting his
secret, Clark nonetheless secretly uses his Kryptonian superpowers to
help people and save lives.  He’s now colleagues with Lois
Lane at the Daily Planet and still friends with Chloe Sullivan, his
childhood pal who knows his secret.  Lex Luthor has
mysteriously vanished after destroying the Fortress and learning his
secret.  Lex’s hand-picked successor, Tess Mercer, is
nevertheless a dangerous individual who is obsessed with learning Lex’s
fate and the secret he was pursuing.  And a dangerous enemy,
in the form of paramedic Davis Bloom is growing ever a bigger threat.

The Stars:

•  Tom Welling – Clark Kent
•  Allison Mack – Chloe Sullivan
•  Erica Durance – Lois Lane
•  Aaron Ashmore – Jimmy Olsen
•  Justin Hartley – Oliver Queen / Green Arrow
•  Cassidy Freeman – Tess Mercer
•  Sam Witwer – Davis Bloom

The Episode:

On her birthday, Chloe is stood up by Clark, who is busy saving the world as usual.  Although Oliver stopped by to deliver Clark’s present, he too is soon called away.  In a moment alone with a mysterious woman named Zatanna (Serinda Swan), Chloe is granted her wish to live the simple life in her dream job like Lois does and wakes up the next morning to find that her wish has been granted and she’s become Lois.  She and Clark track down Zatanna, who has plans to retrieve a book of spells belonging to her dead father so that she can resurrect him.  But when confronting her, Clark is granted his own wish.

The Lowdown:

This episode had a lot of potential on several fronts and managed to squander them all quite nicely.  First of all, at least the show is doing something good by expanding the Smallville universe by introducing Zatanna (the delectable Serinda Swan).  For the most part, the meteor freaks are history and new challenges have been presented, which is excellent.  This year has brought us Doomsday, Maxima, the Persuader (although all too briefly) and the Legion of Superheroes.  But a story with Zatanna could have had much more potential than what they came up with for this episode.  Rather than a cool superhero team up, we get a limp wish-granting episode with no real teeth to it.

The main story is that Chloe ends up as Lois when Zatanna, who was seemingly at Chloe’s birthday party for no reason other than possibly following Oliver, grants her a wish.  Was Zatanna the party’s entertainment?  Not sure, but she looked like she was a cigarette girl for the club.  Anyway, she’s in full magic get-up and speaks with Chloe and grants her heart’s desire for no other reason than that’s what she does.  Zatanna doesn’t even know what the wish will be, she just grants it carte blanche.  Okay, fine.  She then drops in on Oliver and asks him to retrieve a book of spells that belonged to her father, the world’s greatest magician, that the Luthors bought at auction.  Her father taught Zatanna – by her own words, only “parlor tricks”…that and the ability to alter reality for other people by granting any wish.  If Oliver does that for her, she’ll grant him a wish, allowing him to possibly alter a past mistake, which in Oliver’s case would be not having killed Lex.

As Chloe and Clark investigate and track down Zatanna, she grants Clark a wish, to just be a normal reporter, without the burden of his other life.  Zatanna also tells them that their wishes will wear off when they no longer want them.  So you have Chloe running around as Lois and Clark running around with no knowledge of being a Kryptonian.  Meanwhile, Oliver snatches the book of spells as Green Arrow, but has it taken away by Zatanna.  The price for resurrecting her father is the sacrifice of her own life: a soul for a soul.  Eventually, Chloe convinces Clark who he really is and Clark gets Zatanna to cancel the spell.  The groundwork is also laid for Oliver to get back in contact with Zatanna and Chloe accepts her mission as the Watch Tower coordinator for Oliver at the Isis Foundation.

This episode seems like they shoe-horned three ideas into one, with no real relevance for any of them.  Conceivably, an entire episode could have been done about Chloe being Lois, or Clark forgetting who he is and having to relearn, or better yet, a potential superhero team up between Clark, Oliver and Zatanna, like they did with Black Canary against Lex when she was introduced.  Clark being Joe Reporter had its humorous moments, but not enough of them and wasn’t followed through anywhere to what it could have been.  Instead, we get a watered-down amalgam of ideas that essentially leads us nowhere.  Can we please just get to the Clark / Doomsday death match already?

5.5 out of 10