Episode 10.01 “Lazarus” Airdate: 9.24.10
Incredible episode, amIright? The art direction, performances, pacing, editing and writing were all top-notch. A ton of thrilling new story-lines were introduced without any sacrifice of development. I’ve watched it twice now and eagerly look forward to a third viewing!
Allison Mack’s voice tells us,”Previously, on Smallville“: this. and also 9 seasons of awesomeness.
Tom Welling’s voice tells us, “And now: the final season of Smallville.” Marla bursts into tears.
We open where the season finale left us, as Clark falls all martyriffic from the crow’s nest, the blue Krytonite dagger in his chest. He crashes to the ground as Lois runs up to him, still chasing him after his identity-revealing kiss in the finale. As Lois attempts to wake him, Clark drifts into a dreamlike state of pretty deathiness.
He’s in a cornfield–THE cornfield, to be precise, from the pilot. He sees the scarecrow cross and his own grave, as Jor-El‘s voice tells him about a great evil facing the planet and chides Clark for sacrificing his life when the people of Earth still need him. Clark asks Jor-El to send him back to earth and Jor-El hems and haws about it. A bald man in a white suit, backlit by the sun, appears. Who could that ever be?! Not Michael Rosenbaum, that’s for sure.
Lois manages to yank the dagger from Clark’s chest and throws it away, freeing him from the Kryptonite just as the sun rises. Clark begins to rouse and she scampers away to hide as Clark rises majestically, healed by the sun. He whooshes away, Lois smiles beautifully and…NEW CREDITS! Some great new images, including fewer trashy pics of Erica Durance and Justin Hartley. Nobody’s shirtless in these credits! It’s classy up in here! I’m also highly pleased to note that Allison Mack is still listed in the full credits rather than getting a “guest starring” tag for her 5 eps this season.
At Watchtower (holla!), Chloe tortures herself by watching the footage of Oliver’s abduction. (squee: “I love you, Chloe!”) A man (Suicide Squad member Rick Flag, played by Ted Whittall in a few eps last season) enters the footage and growls that “we” are coming to collect the rest of the Justice League. Clark whooshes in and Chloe’s rather surprised (and evidently displeased, by the lack of hugging) that Clark’s still alive and well on planet Earth. Clark briskly explains and asks after the rest of the team. She tells him everyone’s fine, omitting Ollie’s disappearance. He tells her about Jor-El’s warning of the great evil and theorizes that Jor-El is referring to Lex. Chloe says she’s been keeping tabs on all of Lex’s previous diabolical schemes (and a pic of S4’s Wes, played by Tahmoh Penikett, pops up on her computer screen!) but Clark might get more info from the Planet.
Daily Planet. Lois scans old Smallville High Torch articles, reeling at all of Clark’s many saves. Pete and Lana get shout-outs! She’s also clued into the fact that she’s totally the last one to know about her superhero boyfriend. Clark arrives and they hug; Lois tells him she’s indefinitely postponing the Africa assignment handed down by Perry White. She coyly tells him it’s because of a SMOKIN’ HOT kiss from The Blur, and Clark preens a bit. It’s frankly adorbs. Lois realizes he’s there to find something and she doesn’t want to inconvenience him, so she pretends to look for a dropped pen for an inordinate amount of time while he whooshes around to grab more Lex files. Lois is so cute, knowing Clark’s secret and sneakily helping him out! I loved this storyline between Clark and Chloe in S4; it works great here, too. Lois makes a date with Clark for a barn talk later.
Clark calls Chloe asking for info on Cadmus Labs (so many S1 references here!), but Chloe says she’s not at Watchtower. No…she’s at the JSA headquarters, as stately as ever! Chloe vaguely apologizes to Clark, saying she knew he’d try to stop her, as she reaches for Dr. Fate’s helmet, and Clark hears voices, including the word “Nabu” before Chloe hangs up. As I’ve been predicting since “Absolute Justice,” Chloe takes a walk on the Fatey side and asks the helmet to help her find Oliver. The Helm of Nabu asks, “Would you sacrifice your sanity to save the Archer?” Chloe acquiesces and Marla cries some more. The helmet wraps around her pretty head, and it’s absolutely thrilling. Chloe collapses to the floor as Clark whooshes in.
Oliver’s naked, which is awesome. Less awesome? He’s being tortured in some basement by Rick Flag who wants to know more about The Blur’s connection to the symbols the Kandorians tagged all over Earth’s most important monuments in the finale. Oliver’s his usual smart-ass self, despite the whole naked, blindfolded and tortured thing.
Tess! She wakes up in Cadmus Labs, discovering that her face is healed (and she’s shockingly alive) after Zod eye-burned her in the finale. She pokes around a bit and finds a whole bunch of busted Lex clones, including an adorable little Alexander clone who tells her that Lex Classic created them to mine for organs should he ever need them. Presumably, he was ‘sploded seven ways from Sunday so the clones aren’t helping him out much, although I am not convinced. Tess accidentally frees the “bad” Lex clone, an older version played eerily well by Mackenzie Gray, who has the Michael Rosenbaum inflection down so hard. I couldn’t find a pic of him in the episode anywhere, but this is what he looks like.
(He was also in the S5 episode “Cyborg” as the doctor who operated on Victor Stone under the real Lex’s supervision.)
Bad(der) Lex tells Tess he has all of Lex Classic’s memories and emotions, so he unsurprisingly creeps all over her, because Lex Classic is a big old creepy creep who creeps. Tess tells little A(Lex)ander to run as she fights Bad(der) Lex, who decides to torch the lab because “There can only be ONE Lex Luthor.” duh duh DUUUUUN!
Dr. Emil (yay!) is tending to Chloe at Watchtower as an anxious Clark looks on. Emil explains that the helmet hurt Chloe’s pretty brainbox with all the knowledge and whatnot, and Clark urges Chloe to wake up. She does just that, looking quite fabulous without a trace of helmet hair! Chloe tells Clark she had to find Oliver because she just can’t lose him. Swoooon. SHE’D BETTER NOT, WRITERS. She tells Clark that she saw the future, and Oliver will be fine, and that she saw Clark too. “You were the world’s hero, and you weren’t in black.” Chills, people! She sends Clark to Cadmus, telling him she saw the lab in flames, and as he whooshes off, she whispers with sad finality, “Goodbye, Clark.” SOB! Noooooooo!
Kent barn. Lois is a Nosy Parker as per yuuzh, poking around as she waits for Clark, and discovers the suit Mama Kent sent Clark in the finale. It’s gorgeous! It’s Brandon Routh’s suit from Superman Returns, and Lois is very excited: “So much better in technicolor.” I happen to agree with you, Lo! Just as she’s closing the box, Bad(der) Lex knocks her unconscious. Concussed! (drink.)
Clark finds Tess handcuffed at Cadmus Labs and expresses surprise at her being alive and one-faced. Clark frees Tess as she tells him about Lex’s clones and that Bad(der) Lex melted them all. She says he left her alive to give Clark this message: it’s time for them to have a FACE-OFF! In Lawson’s field!
FULLY RAD!!! Lois is scarecrowed, a la the pilot! Bad(der) Lex tells Lois this is the exact spot where Lex Classic first saved Clark ten years ago. (Woah. 10 years, homies.) He tells her that her death will break Clark and thus sets the field on fire; Lois starts to whimper because this shit is scary, yo.
Clark whooshes further into the field and discovers Bad(der) Lex, and they suit up for some serious palavering. Bad(der) Lex tells Clark that “the creator died two years ago,” but I’m still not convinced, for the record. He mocks Clark for his pride and the self-righteous symbol on his chest. He taunts him about the darkness lurking inside Clark, like Lex himself, and says, “Just like me, you are your own worst enemy.” He tells Clark that he could never stop Lex Classic “because deep inside you know you brought death and destruction [to Earth]. The only reason anyone ever calls you a hero is because you clean up the disasters you unleash.” I love you, Clark, but you know, he’s not wrong. Clark is understandably displeased at the comparison, and starts choking the shizz out of Bad(der) Lex. His murderous rage subsides as Bad(der) Lex starts bleeding from the mouth, but Bad(der) Lex tells him he was already dying from the accelerated cloning process. He then offers a perfect specimen of the hero’s dilemma: a time bomb has just gone off, unhinging the giant rooftop Daily Planet globe which is now hurtling towards a crowd of smashable civilians. Also, Lois is all crucified and about to get burned up. “Even you aren’t fast enough to save all of them.” We’ll see about that! Clark whooshes and Bad(der) Lex dies, which is too bad because I’m really digging Mackenzie Gray’s performance.
Clark whooshes to Lois, uses his superspeed to blow away all the flames, unties Lois and gently sets her down before whooshing away to Metropolis. Lois awakes, realizes she’s been saved and whispers, “Go get ’em.” Clark HAULS ASS to the Planet, literally leaps a tall building in a single bound, catches the globe and returns it to the rooftop as the crowd cheers. He stands atop the building looking awful Atlas-y.
Kent Barn. Clark reaches for the Superman suit as the key (I totally have one of those!) activates and transports him and the suit to the Fortress of Solitude. Jor-El is disappointed in Clark for almost killing Bad(der) Lex and blah blah blah I AM SO SICK OF HIM. He scolds Clark for vanity and pride and says the evil he was warning Clark about is from Clark himself, as a dark force is coming who will exploit Clark’s weakness. “Once this darkness consumes you, you will be Earth’s greatest enemy.” He tells Clark that it was not his choice to spare his life at the beginning of the episode. Clark maintains that he’s become the hero Jor-El trained him to be; Jor-El states that he doesn’t think Clark will ever be Earth’s savior. Clark is gutted; Jor-El’s the worst dad ever. Besides Lionel, obvs.
More Oliver nudity. Sweet! Rick Flag releases Oliver, telling him that he’ll be watching him: “Green Arrow.” Oliver threatens to find him; Rick Flag reminds Ollie that he doesn’t even know who he is. Uhm, point to Rick.
Luthor mansion. Tess is playing with cute little A(Lex)ander in front of the fire, smiling maternally at him. (Remember, she told Clark that Bad(der) Lex had killed all the clones; she omitted A(Lex)ander’s survival). The scene is very sweet until the camera pans back into the fire, revealing one of A(lex)ander’s toys in the flames. Which means…what? The sociopath doesn’t fall far from the tree?
On a dark, rainy street, Chloe trades herself to be Suicide Squad’s hostage for Oliver’s freedom. Oliver never sees her; Chloe looks solemnly into the distance. Marla sobs, because this is certainly the last we’re seeing of her for a while.
Lois is looking at a picture of herself and Clark; the camera pulls back and reveals a gorgeous shot of African sand dunes. Guess that trip didn’t get postponed! Has she left because she realizes being a superhero’s girlfriend is dangerous, or for another reason?
Kent Farm. Clark reads a rather abrupt Dear John letter from Lois, saying she’s decided to go to Africa after all. Clark drops the letter and glances up as the scene morphs into another dreamlike state of pretty deathiness. And there, repairing the fence as if he never left, is the lovely Jonathan Kent (guest star John Schneider, back for the first time since S5!). Jonathan gives Clark a whole other kind of fatherly talk, telling him how proud he is of Clark, how he knows that Clark is destined to be Earth’s greatest hero, and that he should disregard Jor-El’s shitty reverse pep talk. “Since when did you start listening to Jor-El anyway, huh?” Clark has obviously been watching the same show I have, because he says, “I feel like every time I do something right, I do something wrong!” Jonathan reminds Clark that no one is perfect, but maintains that how Clark chooses to respond to his trials will make him the savior he’s destined to be. Clark mutters that Jor-El doesn’t think so, and Jonathan says, “Well then do what you do best! Prove him wrong!” He does concur with Jor-El that something really, super bad is coming, though.
Crow’s nest. DARKSEID! All misty and swirly and shooting off into the sky!
Fortress of Solitude. Mean Daddy doesn’t like Nice Daddy’s pep talk, and he’s got the suit all locked up in crystal until Clark earns his stripes! duh duh DUUUUUUUN!
So! “Lazarus” was certainly an apt title, as no fewer than FOUR characters returned from the dead this week: Clark, Tess, Jonathan and Lex! It certainly seems that the themes for this final season will be Clark battling his pride, vanity and inner darkness in order to embrace the hero within. As Jor-El tells him in the Fortress, “You can’t be a beacon of hope when you have darkness in your heart.” They certainly hammered home that lesson between Jor-El and Bad(der) Lex this week.
So what’s going to happen to Chloe? How will Oliver react when he realizes Chloe sacrificed herself to save him? When will Lois return from Africa? Is the original Lex alive? Or will Tess’s little A(Lex)ander grow rapidly into the man for whom she cares obsessively? (Meaning: Will Michael Rosenbaum return for one last hurrah?)
And can we just give a huge shout-out to Tom Welling here? That was some serious ACTING!