Stewart here, and be wary of spoilers within…
Last season brought us some big events, like Clark, Chloe, and Lana going to their final year of high school, but it wasn’t all working on college applications (and dealing with Chloe’s cousin, Lois Lane). One of the big extracurricular things for the Smallville class of ’05 was the search for several Kryptonian artifacts that could be dangerous depending on who assembled them. This lead to many twists and turns, like the ghosts of ancestors possessing people, international travel, international torture, and to finish off all this, another meteor shower. And like most season finales, everyone is left in a sense of danger: Lana near a newly crashed spaceship, John and Martha trapped in their meteor-hit home, and Clark, thanks to the assembled artifacts, is dropped into the middle of the arctic. What happens next?
Almost immediately after the season finale, Clark uses the assembled artifact that has dumped him in the arctic to make an ice fortress. Jor-El wants him to get some knowledge in, but there’s still some problems to contend with. One is helping Chloe, who got zapped to the Arctic with him, and reveals she knows about his superpowers (just not the alien part). Two is that alien ship that crashed into Smallville, which contains two evil superpowered Kryptonian passengers looking for him. And for some reason, his punishment from Jor-El for not returning back to the ice fortress in an allotted time is…he loses his super abilities? That seems more like a plus than a minus, except there’s that final reveal of another stowaway on that alien ship: a black ooze that turns into James Marsters. Huh.
–New opening credits! Same theme song, but still, new opening credits!
–Before we forget about everyone else, here’s the highlights you should know: John and Martha survive the meteor that hit their farm (Jason didn’t, though); Lex gets interested in Clark and Chloe, especially since in the span of a day, she went from Smallville to the arctic; and Lois got choked out by one of the evil kryptonians.
–I know I’ve ragged on Lana in the past (and probably will in the future), but good lord, she has had an unbelievably craptastic two days. She murdered someone while possessed, survived a helicopter crash, and then got thrown like a ragdoll around Lex’s house by those kryptonians. Forget hospitalization, because after all that, she should probably be in traction indefinitely. At least she’s had those likely murder charges cleared up by Lex to read about while she’s recovering.
–The portable phantom zone prison. Really, that’s all that needs to be said.
–Oh yeah, and that kryptonian woman’s tramp stamp? Looks like a “Z”, doesn’t it? Kind of like the “Z” white eyed Lionel is scratching into the floor of the Luthor mansion? “Disciples of Zod”, you say, Lionel?
–Depowered Clark wants to be honest with Lana now. Oh, that’s going to not end well.
–I’m a sucker for a closing montage set to Depeche Mode, even if it is late era Depeche Mode.
–“I know you run faster than a speeding bullet, Clark. Take me along for the ride.” You go, Chloe. And that response to Clark speeding out of her hospital room? Priceless.
There’s a lot of upsides to Clark being human now, among them being able to finally have a relationship with Lana. The downside of it comes out here, when his family is taken hostage by some superpowered escapees from Belle Reve, and he has to save them using his brains absent any super brawn. Also, Clark and Lana finally have sex. And unlike that hypothetical sex problem presented in Kevin Smith’s Mallrats, Lana’s chest doesn’t explode from Clark’s super climax afterwards.
–Hey, zombified Lionel’s got a cell in Belle Reve that looks like the one Lex had back in season three. How things come around.
–I recognized the lead guy in the escapees as Lemonhead from the far less escapist and far more gritty The Shield. Oh, poor Lem. I keep thinking about how bad he turned out.
–Oh, Lex, it probably was good for you that Clark was underpowered when he clocked you for that whole “letting those patients he experimented on from Belle Reve escape to test Clark” thing.
–Chloe got a flashbang grenade from Lois for graduation. Considering what happens on this show, Lois probably should have sprung for a grenade launcher for her cousin.
–Chloe’s version of Clark envy: “Pete got to see your spaceship?”
Everything was going great for the depowered Clark, until an unstable computer genius decides to solve the whole meteor freak problem of Smallville…by nuking the town out of existence. What can a human Clark do to stop it, let alone when he gets fatally shot? Well, the answer to saving Clark so he can save Smallville comes from…Lionel Luthor? And unfortunately for Clark, that solution comes with a massive price tag of someone else’s life being taken later on in the season.
–Let’s just deal with the elephant in the room regarding this episode: the actor who plays Gabriel, and also later played Half-Sack on Sons of Anarchy, was involved in a horrible self-destructive turn of events that also claimed his life last year. Kind of puts a creepy shroud over this episode.
–Lana’s really forgiving of the fact that the next time she sees Clark after he “died” is when he arrives at the Kent farm after destroying the missile, looking like he walked out of a forest fire.
–Chloe’s graduated to self-defense shooting someone dead now. Not that shooting Gabriel helps to stop the missile from being launched.
–So, Lionel has no clue what happened to him over the last few weeks, especially the whole thing about being possessed by Jor-El and scratching kryptonian symbols into the wall of his padded cell. I’m sure Lex is just happy having his father back. Eh, probably not.
–There’s never a non-awkward sex talk with the parents, even if it involves Clark Kent and Lana Lang.
Lois Lane takes a bad fall into a lake, and gets rescued by a beefy blonde guy called Arthur who can really get around in the water. Lois really digs him, but he’s busy trying to sabotage a secret LuthorCorp project that affects his aquatic home. And Clark gets involved in all of this, thanks to his suspicions about AC not being really human proving to be correct (plus, Arthur really needs water like some people need insulin to live). Also, we get to meet Clark’s new history professor, Dr. Milton Fine, who looks like that black oil guy from the spaceship.
–Here’s some twisty history of Aquaman revolving around Smallville: Justin Hartley played Aquaman for a failed spinoff pilot (which also starred Adrienne Palicki, past Smallville guest star and somewhat future Wonder Woman), and after that pilot didn’t get picked up, Hartley got a recurring role starting in season six of Smallville as another hero who wears green.
–It can’t be a coincidence that whole “Lois in a bikini coming out of the water” shot in the cold open becomes part of the opening credits after this season, right? Hey, I’m a guy, so I have to notice that, shouldn’t I?
–Gotta side with Clark on his suspicions of Arthur: always be wary of any guy who says “brah”. Plus, he goes by his initials for a name? He’s only a stone stroke away from full-on Poochie here.
–Boy, Dr. Fine sure has an interest in Lex Luthor, and enough to want Clark to be his research assistant on a project investigating him.
–Lois’ opinion of Arthur’s wardrobe: “That orange and green clothing? It looks like Flipper threw up.”
NEXT TIME: Lana becomes a new pledge in a sorority of vampires in “Thirst”, Lois goes undercover to find a killer in “Exposed”, Clark gets exposed to some new kryptonite that leaves him a bit paranoid in “Splinter”, and Clark tries to save Martha from what may be the machinations of Jor-El in “Solitude”.