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:

As Clark and Oliver continue to look for Davis and Chloe, they get word that someone else has also been hunting for Doomsday.  But when Chloe suddenly reappears, she tells Clark that he needs to kill Davis because he can no longer control himself and everyone on the plant is in danger.  It turns out that the others who are looking for Doomsday are the team that’s been assembled by Tess, including Plastique (Jessica Parker Kennedy).  And all pretensions are dropped between Clark and Tess as she tries to convince him that he has a destiny to fulfill. 

The Lowdown:

After a couple weeks of downright awful episodes, this one gets somewhat back on track.  However, it’s an example of prior missed opportunities for good villains for Clark to have faced.  And the Clark / Oliver dynamic over their contrasting ideologies about the steps that need to be taken to solve the Doomsday problem are rehashed ad nauseum yet again.  There are some interesting reveals though, so this episode is more a balancing act of disappointment and hope for what’s to come, even beyond this season.

The premise of this episode is that Tess’ team, consisting of Plastique, Livewire, Parasite, Neutron and another meteor freak have been hunting Doomsday offscreen on Tess’ orders.  Her plan was for them to find Doomsday and then inform her so she could tell Clark where to find him.  Like the Luthors, Tess knows Clark’s secret, but whereas Lex wanted to destroy or control Clark, Tess is trying to steer him toward his destiny, which she sees as facing and defeating Davis.  She doesn’t tell the team that Clark is the Traveler, but she does inform them that it will be the Traveler who will defeat Doomsday, or the Beast as they know him.

But how the team is handled is a perfect example of how the show has missed out on opportunities for interesting villains for Clark to have faced.  OF the five team members, only Plastique has been seen before.  And three of the members, Livewire, Parasite and another member, could have been good adversaries for Clark in prior episodes, even if they were just more meteor freaks.  But Livewire (Anna May Routledge) is only briefly seen before being depowered by Parasite (Brendan Fletcher) and then killed by Tess.  And Parasite is only introduced here.  Another member, Neutron is killed offscreen, and there’s another team member, Eva Greer (Anna Williams), a shapeshifter, spends the entire episode as Chloe in order to work intel for Tess.  Three good villains utterly wasted in the span of an episode.  Plus we saw none of Doomsday wail-fest on them before making his escape.

The Clark / Oliver merry-go-round keeps on spinning this episode as well.  It’s just more of Oliver’s “You have to kill Doomsday” / Clark’s “I can’t kill somebody” that we’ve received for the last couple of weeks, which was very tired even a couple of weeks ago.  But there are new developments on that front.  Oliver finally comes clean about his having been the one that killed Lex.  And Clark also finds out that Oliver has Lex’s kryptonite ring, which he uses to take down Parasite after he drains Clark’s powers. 

We also see the return of the African-American kryptonite from Season 4, which Clark plans to use to split Doomsday and Davis, which will allow him to send the former to the Phantom Zone.  There’s also a critical reveal at the end of the episode about some people affiliated with Krypton with whom Tess has been communicating that is probably setting up the major arc for Season 9.  Good to also finally see the dropping of pretensions between Clark and Tess, which had reached levels even more absurd than Clark dancing around with Lex about his secret.  Tess has known about him for months, Clark has known that she knows, yet they still did their plausible deniability dance. 

So the good elements of the episode include the red herring with the Eva Greer Chloe impostor, the truths being revealed between Clark and Oliver and Clark and Tess, the return of black kryptonite as a plot device and the interesting reveal of new players in the last scene with Tess.  The bad elements clock in at the wasting of villains and lack of action with so many heroes and villains running around.  I liked Fletcher, who gave a sort of scumbag creepiness as Parasite; I just regret that we couldn’t have seen him before.  Season finale is next week and I’m looking for all-out carnage, including a major death. 

6.3 out of 10