Smallville s10e10 review
|REVIEWS - TV|
Smallville has been known to take the road not taken, and head straight into Elseworlds territory (For those not up on comic lingo, Elseworlds are DC one-shot comics that take known characters and place them in a new setting, much like Marvel’s What if… titles). This week, they also take a cue from the Crisis stories, introducing an alternate Earth, with a dark version of the gang we’ve come to love. Tonight’s episode is definitely the best episode so far this season, and it’s only the start of what appears to be a four-episode story arc. I only hope the rest of the arc is as good as this episode was.
Tess receives an enigmatic gift, a locked case with an artifact inside. The only instructions the courier has is that the case was to be delivered to the last known relation of Lionel Luthor. But Tess isn’t given much time to investigate her new acquisition, because she gets a call from Clark, who has discovered that something is going on at Cadmus Labs. He informs Tess that one of the bodies of the Lex clones was never accounted for, and that supplies had been coming into the supposedly abandoned labs. Tess is curious as to why Clark is so gung ho on finding the clone, and Clark harshly replies that “Luthor blood is poison”. She tries to stop him and explain, but Clark has found a lead-lined room, and finds evidence of someone having been living there, as well as a book with a note addressed to Tess from Alexander. Clark turns on Tess, giving her no time to explain her actions, and then discovers what she has: A Kryptonian artifact. As she explains that she just received it, and that she was going to tell him about it, he activates it, and is sent to a parallel Earth, where he wakes up in bed with two women. He gets up to get dressed, and puts on a t-shirt with an upside-down shield and the letter “U”. And to his surprise, Lionel Luthor walks in, calling him “son”.
As it turns out, in this reality, Clark was found not by the Kents, but by Lionel, who raised him as his own son. He’s ruthless, hated by his friends, and has an alter ego known only as the mysterious “Ultraman”. Clark is stunned to find that Lois despises him, she and Oliver are engaged, and that he has been in a “relationship” with his “sister”, Tess. He is also horrified when he stops a robbery, only to find that the criminal is scared to death of him. When he inquires as to why the man is so afraid, the criminal responds that “No one sees ‘Ultraman’s’ face and lives”. And to top things off, Clark killed Lex in this world.
In our world, Clark Luthor is out to remake Metropolis in his own image. He has no desire to go back to Lionel’s world, and wants the box from Tess so that he can destroy it. She tries to stall him, and gets Lois to Watchtower to explain everything. Unfortunately, Clark has found out, and is willing to kill to find the box.
Our Clark finds out from Lionel that Oliver has the box, and he goes to negotiate. Oliver doesn’t believe him, and uses some Green K to subdue him, only to have Lionel knock him out. Lionel has long realized that Clark and Tess were out to overthrow him and take over his little empire, and he finally has Clark where he wants him. But Oliver has heard the conversation, and shuts off the Kryptonite, allowing for Clark to get the box activated and back to his own world. Before he goes, he tells Oliver to make sure to turn the Kryptonite back on as soon as he’s gone. Oliver asks why he wants to help, and Clark replies that in his world, they do work together to make it a better place. And Clark gets back just in the nick of time, it seems, as he finds Watchtower trashed and his friends bruised and battered. Clark has seen what could have been if just one little change had been made in his life, and he realizes that he was wrong to jump to conclusions about Tess.
He goes to the mansion that night to apologize to Tess, and she explains about Alexander, that she wasn’t hiding him for sinister purposes, but that he was the closest thing she had to family. He sees it isn’t the DNA, because his alternate self was just as evil, if not more so, than Lex or Lionel ever were. Good feelings all around.
But wait! Who’s that buying a newspaper, reading a headline about “The Blur”? Why, it’s none other than Lionel Luthor, who has also been pulled into our world. What horrors await the super friends with an evil this sinister running amok through Metropolis?
I have to say, it was great to see John Glover back on Smallville. He’s a fantastic actor, and Lionel was an interesting character on the show, having gone through so many changes throughout his tenure. Now that he’s back and more evil than before, it should make for some great story lines. Not a whole lot of Lois or Ollie in this episode, but they were very effective when they were onscreen. And Cassidy Freeman is definitely coming into her own with Tess. As to whether or not she’ll regress back to her bad self has yet to be seen, but for now, she’s a complex character who is a wonderful addition to the mix. It does make me all the more sullen that this is the last season. Although, knowing that next week’s episode is titled “Icarus” makes me curious and excited.
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