Stewart here, with fair warning of spoilers within…
Last season, things ended in a surprisingly worse way for everyone in Smallville than in the end of season two. Oh let’s just go down the list, shall we? Chloe gets blown up (or the house she’s in anyway), Lex is poisoned, Jonathan gets put in a coma, Lionel loses his hair (although that’s his choice), Pete’s left town, and the only one who seems to have it well is Lana, who’s flown off to Paris. Clark isn’t aware of any of this, though, since Jor-El’s taken him away in some energy field to…somewhere. And so cut to…
Its three months later, and Chloe’s cousin Lois Lane (Erica Durance) comes to Smallville looking for Chloe’s killer. What she finds is an amnesiac and naked Clark Kent, who we discover is in full-on Kal-El mode, on some mysterious quest. Martha doesn’t want to lose Clark again (and she has enough trouble with taking care of the comatose Jonathan), and its with the help of one of Swann’s associates that she gets something to help her bring back her son. Also, Lex is still alive and searching for kryptonian relics after his poisoning, Lana finds a boyfriend in Paris (along with an unwanted tattoo), and…Chloe may not be dead! Bump-bump-bump! So we got a pretty exciting and eventful opener this season, helped by some of the humor brought by Lois becoming a player in the show.
–Let’s mention the big surprise here: Kal-El can fly! Clark, not so much.
–Not his fault, but I keep waiting for Jason Teague (Jensen Ackles) to get in an Impala and go looking for his brother to hunt down monsters. Wrong show, I know.
–Black kryptonite seems to make you able to kill your alter-ego, or something. I’m not sure how that works either. And hey, Margot Kidder, a former Lois Lane herself, appears as Swann’s associate.
–Lionel claims ignorance on the “murder” of Chloe, but Lois’ conversation with him does make him wonder why would someone kill the one witness who could put him in jail?
–Favorite Lois moment this episode? The whole reaction to naked Clark in a cornfield. And yes, she looked down there.
–“You talk a lot.”
Clark and Chloe try to find out what happened to Chloe, which gets them in trouble with Lois’ father, General Sam Lane, and reveals a conspiracy with Lex as to Chloe’s fate. Then there’s the other problem, being Lionel’s hitman, who can manipulate metal like the T-1000 or something. It’s a solid follow-up from last episode, even if the whole explanation and setup of Chloe being hidden away is a bit much to swallow. But Chloe’s alive, and Lana heads home to Smallville to find out more about that mystery tattoo, with her boyfriend Jason following behind her.
–We don’t get to see more Lex getting his blood purified. In the commentary for the season opener, the producers admit they dropped that element pretty fast after the one time we saw it.
–Lionel got shivved in a prison shower, probably by Lex’s doing. Maybe for the best he’s laid out in a hospital bed when he’s found guilty.
–Lois already nicknamed Clark “Smallville”, Clark’s little man “Clark, Jr.”. By the way, where did Lois get that super gun to kill Lionel’s hitman, Trent?
–Michael Ironside as Sam Lane. Let’s just say that knocks this episode up a point.
–“Please tell me you did not crash that helicopter.” Not many parents you’ll hear chide their kid for that.
Senior year’s starting at Smallville High, and things are a bit different, like Lois being put in as a student, Jason becoming the assistant football coach, Clark going out for the football team, Lana trying to get rid of that tattoo, and one of the school’s more unfortunate girls getting an unnaturally amazing summer makeover. By “unnaturally amazing”, I mean given a radical kryptonite treatment that causes weird behavior in people she comes in contact with. Lois investigates and needs Clark’s help when she’s put in danger.
–Whitney appears in that season one era set flashback, which beats it being season two era Whitney, which is blown up.
–Abigail Fine of the Fine family? Like the Dr. Fine we meet next season?
–A bit convenient that Lois is missing enough high school credits that she gets sent to Smallville High instead of college. But it is telling she missed a whole semester of school for some reason. Also, Lois hates reporting and has typo problems. That’ll change soon enough. Well, the typo part won’t, but…
–Its Lana’s first appearance in the hospital this season! Great welcome back present to Smallville for her. Too bad she can’t get that tattoo removed there, as its burned into her skin.
–Oh yeah, Chloe: good idea to let Lois work for you at the Torch, probably not to think Lois is now competition for Clark. Last time you did that, well, you ended up making a deal with Lionel Luthor and having to fake your own death. Just saying.
In the war of sports drinks, a new one has made its way to Smallville High: one laced with kryptonite and one that drives users completely crazy with love. Obviously once said drink drives a football player to try to kill Jason with a shotgun, Clark and Lois look into it and find the cheerleaders know a lot more about it than they’re letting on. But thanks to bad luck as to who has that drink, Clark has to deal with Jason trying to hurt him over Lana and Chloe gets obsessed with him to point of trying to rid the competition, which is…Lois? Plus Lex is trying to make up for the whole sabotaging his friendship with Clark thing. He got a long way to go besides crushing that wrecked car that brought them together.
–Chloe in a cheerleader uniform and in Clark’s football jersey? Hmmm, no, nothing weird there.
–Good to see Clark can repair his relationship with Lex long enough to get Lois back into college. Hey, she’s a “guest star” on this show right now, remember?
–Clark gets a valuable lesson in seducing women: offer to cook dinner. Don’t cheap out by taking them somewhere for a meal, unless you can’t cook.
–This episode was dedicated to Christopher Reeve, who died just as the fourth season started to air.
–Probably a good idea that Jason and Lana are keeping their relationship secret, even though they’re both failing miserably at hiding it well.
–“In the future, let’s restrict our conversations to ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’.”
–“Superhero and journalist. What’re the odds?”
NEXT TIME: Clark runs into a young super-speedster in “Run”, Lionel and Clark have their own twisted version of Freaky Friday in “Transference”, a bookie with powers looks to sabotage Clark’s football career in “Jinx”, and the girls of Smallville get possessed by witches in “Spell”.