So, let’s get a few things out of the way here first.
I wasn’t expecting this season of Smallville to be all that great. I was actually expecting to be a little frustrated by this season. I really felt like Season six wasn’t all it could be for several reasons. I guess some of it had to do with adjusting to new people in the writer’s room, a smaller budget, and some network changes. So far this season, it seems like things are running pretty smoothly again, so color me pleasantly surprised.
Secondly, when I heard that Dean Cain was going to be on the show I was excited. When I heard he was going to be a villian, I was saddened a bit. It meant a one time appearance, with no real impact in Clark’s life. After last night’s episode, both of those things remain to be seen. Let’s get into it.
The episode was written by Al Septien and Turi Meyer. This is the team that brought us Labyrinth and Combat last season. Those were two very decent episodes. These are also the guys that brought us the Spider-Man 3 video game (as far as the writing goes), and I’ve never played that.
The episode was directed by Rick Rosenthal who has been directing Smallville episodes since Pete and Chloe picked up a parasite in the caves way back in season 2.
The show is Chloe-centric from the start as it opens in the Talon with Jimmy and Chloe. Jimmy reveals that he has two tickets. Apparently, they’re very good tickets. I never caught what they were for, just that they were tickets. Chloe seems excited then someone catches her eye. It’s Sasha Woodman the queen bee girl from season 1. Chloe calls Belle Reve to alert them to the escaped patient, only to find herself face to face with Sasha. Sasha explains to Chloe that she’s been cured. She went and saw Curtis Knox and he did some brain surgery, and POW! She’s all better. Except that she doesn’t remember the last six years of her life. She apologizes to Chloe for hurting her or her friends and leaves.
As she’s getting in her vehicle, she is met by Dr. Knox (Dean Cain) and he knocks her out with a little chloroform soaked hanky and drags her away….
SOMEBODY SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVE MEEEEEEEEE!!!!!
At the farm, Lana is making blueberry pancakes. Clark runs out for syrup, the credits show guest star Phil Morris. (Listen to the podcast for my comments on that, I can’t express in writing my surprise.) The Martian Manhunter shows up and grabs Kara by the throat. She goes to punch him and Clark stops what could have been an awesome fight. Lana takes it all in stride though. One of the funnier moments of the show happen here when Clark explains that J’onn is from Mars. Lana’s reaction? Oh…it’s nice to meet you.
J’onn tells Clark that he can’t trust Kara and that he must find her crystal before she does. Kara overhears J’onn tell Clark all of this and sets out on her own to find her crystal.
In Lex’s library, he and Knox have one of those classic veiled threat conversations that Lex is so good at. Apparently Dr. Knox isn’t too bad himself.
We are then treated to Dr. Knox in his home/lab surrounded by all things antique (record player, bed, surgery tools, you know…the usual.). Sasha is strapped to a table and struggling. Knox tells her she’s going to serve a greater good and proceeds to cut. This scene was edited from the director’s cut that CW offered up on their website. In the directors cut we got to see a look of joy on Knox’s face as he bagan to be smattered with blood and then it cut to him dropping the organ removed into a kryptonite-juice filled container.
At the Planet, Chloe has Dr. Knox’s prfile on her computer and she bails on her date with Jimmy under the guise of going after a story. Clark comes in to seek her help in finding Kara’s crystal and Chloe refuses to help fairly abruptly and takes off for her appointment with Dr. Knox.
Back on the farm, Lana is instant messaging with someone online and says that the location is perfect and she is wiring the money. Clark shows up and shares…to an extent…his concerns about Chloe. Lana mentions that she knows who Dr. Knox is and now Clark is really onto what is going on with Chloe.
In this scene, Kristin Kreuk shows how far she’s come in her ability to deliver exposition. Early in the series, Lana was given several monologues in the form of stories about her past that, while helping us get know the young Miss Lang, fell flat in her delivery. Here, as she is telling Clark about Curtis Knox’s methods for treating the meteor infected, she does a good job of holding the audiences attention and not falling flat at all.
Jimmy scalps the tickets and gets a funny “ring that bell” moment.
Kara shows up to ask Jimmy to help him try to salvage anything he can from Lois’ camera that got fried when she went looking for the ship.
Then one of the best scenes in the whole show takes place. Clark goes to Chloe to try to talk her out of going through with the surgery. There is a lot of emotion and very little preaching put into this scene. When, normally, a situation like this would contain a bunch of preaching and raised voices, the two almost break down to tears when Clark shares his fear that Chloe will forget him. It’s a great scene handled so well by Tom Welling and Allison Mack.
Knox is disposing of Sasha’s body at a fertilizer plant when Lex confronts him about his killing ways. During the confrontation, Lex shoots Knox six times and begins to walk away when, with a great explitive, Knox gets up. He then tells Lex he’s survived Mayan spears, Mongul arrows, and Crusader’s swords. Then he pistol whips Lex right before Clark tackles him into a power box. Knox can now add electrocution to the ways he hasn’t died.
Chloe walks in on Jimmy and Kara working at the Planet and leaves without giving Jimmy the note she wrote him in case she lost her memory in the procedure.
At the hospital, Lex tells Clark that Knox is immortal and that he kills his patients. This sends Clark on the hunt for Knox. He also reveals that Lana stole 10 million dollars from him.
Chloe shows up at Knox’s for the surgery. He tells her that the meteor concentration in her heart is impressive. This comment makes Chloe FINALLY begin to be suspicious. As Knox breaks out the hanky and the chloroform, Chloe tries to make her escape. He catches her though and knocks her out.
When Clark comes looking for Chloe, all Jimmy has is the cryptic note she left him. This lets Clark know that Chloe is in trouble.
At Knox’s office, Clark finds his watch…which has stopped. Lex shows Clark pictures of Knox dating all the way back to the 1600’s. The picture from the 1600’s isn’t a photograph by the way. An inscription on the watch causes Lex to recall the inscription on a building that Knox called home in the 1920’s. Clark surmises he’s still there and it’s off to the races.
This is where things heat up. Knox actually monologues to Chloe in a way, revealing that he has been harvesting body parts that have the most concentration of meteor rock to place in his beloved Sofia so that they can be together forever.
Clark arrives just as the cutting begins and a struggle ensues as Clark is weakened by the kryptonite.
In the end, Clark saves Chloe who saves Clark by getting the Kryptonite out of the way, Knox is thrown on his antique coma-inducing medical equipment which wakes Sofia up just to die, Martian Manhunter tells Clark don’t ask, Kara tells Clark trust her family not a Martian Manhunter, Lana tells Clark that Lex is just trying to come between them, then she goes to Metropolis to a mini-batcave complete with monitors run throughout the Luthor mansion, and Jimmy and Chloe break up.
This episode surprised me yet again. While I’m not gonna hang best first four episodes in a season on the four we’ve seen, my faith is being restored in the fact that Smallville may have a good year left in the show.
Allison Mack cranked her acting up in this episode from exposition deliverer extrordinaire to playing a wonderful range of emotions. My television crush on her caused me to really feel for Chloe when Jimmy ended things. It hurt, and Allison did a great job of looking hurt, yet understanding that it has to be over.
Lana’s deception brings back the drama. The one thing that has been true of Lana since around Season 4 is her obsession with things, be it sacred stones, spaceships, Level 33.1, or now bringing Lex down. I think it will be nice to see for once that it’s not Clark’s fault the relationship is over.
The angle with Kara and the Martian Manhunter is interesting. The truth is that Kara probably has no clue just how evil her father was. So it is only natural that she look at J’onn as the bad guy.
Kara herself is a character rich with naivete’, as she is the only person on the show who has taken Jimmy seriously when he introduces himself as James…and the comment about Martians communicating with infra-red signals, teen angst, confusion as to her place on this new world, and sadness over the loss of everything she knew. Laura Vandervoort has done a great job of playing all of these aspects with innocence, rebelliousness, and not taking any of it too far in her performance.
Then there’s special guest star Dean Cain. I like him better as a psychopathic immortal that I do as Clark Kent. And I liked his Clark Kent. Not his Superman. But his Clark. Anywho, he played the role with such an air of I’m above everyone here because I’ll be around when everyone is not mingled with the desparation of not wanting to be alone. I also like the fact that we can see him again. He has reason to hate Clark now. So coming after him for no other reason than vengeance is good enough for me. However, it would have been nice if they held his cue cards a bit higher when he was filming his spot for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Come on Dean, if you’re gonna read, at least look like your thinking or pausing for effect…not like your actually reading.
Overall, I really liked this episode. I like all the reversals that are being thrown in this season to make old territory feel new again. I give it a strong 4 out of 5. I deduct one point because they still have given us no clue as to what’s up with Lionel…but I have a theory…listen to the podcast to see what it is.
I’m really excited for next week because of all the foreshadowing references we will most likely get thanks to Warrior Angel being in town. Also, all of the promo pics are Clark getting his cape…or a cape. You understand my excitement.