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Smallville’s UPGRADE: Oh, the Irony!

April 18, 2010

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Season 9 Episode 18

Review by Holli

HD Screencaps available HERE.

Written by Andrew Landis & Julia Swift (PANDORA).  Directed by Michael Rohl.

Brian Austen Green returns as Metallo.

Zod quoted Kierkegaard in this episode (it’s underlined):

“Irony is a disciplinarian feared only by those who do not know it, but cherished by those who do. He who does not understand irony and has no ear for its whispering lacks of what might be called the absolute beginning of the personal life. He lacks what, at moments, is indispensable for the personal life, lacks both the regeneration and rejuvenation, the cleaning baptism of irony that redeems the soul from having its life in finitude though living boldly and energetically in finitude. “

Could these writers see Clark going through Kierkegaard’s Silentio’s three levels of individual existence?  This is pretty heavy stuff, people.  First stage:  A princess and a man, who is madly in love with her.  Circumstances are that the man will never be able to realize this love in this world ever and would give up on their love. (blahna)  Second stage:  The man would not give up on this love, but would be resigned to the fact that they will never be together in this world.  (Silver Age)  And the last stage, which Smallville’s Modern Age Clark is probably in or approaching, The Knight of Faith:  This man believes that in this world; in this life, they will be together and is willing to believe that they will be together through divine possibility.

This episode is probably the middle one of a three episode arc.  We saw the heroes and Clark’s relationship with them and their fragility in CHECKMATE.  Tonight we see his Kryptonian alliances and how they pan out.

Blondie and Zod were our betrayers in this episode.  Steven Dietz said, “Betrayal is the willful slaughter of hope.”  Since Clark is the hope of the world, they are literally putting the world at risk.  Clark needs to trust his gut.  Waking Lois Lane in bed was the best decision about a relationship he could ever make.

Isn’t it ironic that a man who has abilities far beyond those of mortal men doesn’t even know where his girlfriend is at any given moment?  (Not only can Smallville Clark not fly, but he doesn’t recognize Lois’ heartbeat either.)  She was AWOL for a week?  He can’t hear her phone calls with the fake Blur?  If he is respecting her privacy, then why have the blonde lo-jack her cousin’s keychain on his behalf?

This is about as batshit crazy as when he left Lois bleeding in a street of Metropolis while he was patrolling and he didn’t know she was hurt until he got a phone call from blondie the next morning in DISCIPLE!

Either Clark Kent is extremely lazy about his romance with Lois Lane or we’re getting shoddy plot speed bumps in their relationship which should by this time be more powerful than a locomotive.  These kinds of ruses damage Clark’s character and minimize his powers.  I can understand it being difficult to write for a character that can blow out a star, but this is just a simple romance we are talking about.  Use his uniqueness to its full capacity and stop giving blondie something to do.  And please don’t justify the blonde’s hubris by tossing Clark in the same mud puddle.

I realize that this is a way for OUR COUPLE to set the foundation for full disclosure.  A cornerstone of their relationship.  But Clarkie is tight lipped about his secret.  He’s never really told anyone.  The rest have figured it out one way or another.  Lois is one of the few that supposedly doesn’t know.  Much to our eye rolling agony.  Here’s hoping he comes to the decision that it is Lois and Lois alone who he can trust always and forever.

At this point, ‘Lois is the key’ begs the question – who or what is the damn lock?  Shouldn’t Clark keep a tighter focus on her since he’s been told this by Dr. Fate, no less.

Thanks for the Clark and Lois snuggling after she saved Corben’s butt (by causing a distraction) in the teaser.  Clark has something to be grateful to him for.  But neither men know it.  How ironic – his enemy in the second episode became his savior in this one.   But there was no other scene with our iconic love couple in the episode.  Very sad.

Here’s the irony:  Lois is not telling Clark she is helping the Blur.  Clark hasn’t told her he is the Blur.  What they both don’t know is . . . Zod is impersonating the Blur.  If this were strictly a comedy . . . hilarity ensues.  But it isn’t.  This is the dramatic tension between our couple.  And apparently Clark is not using his yellow sun abilities to keep an eye on his girl.  If he did, the writers would have to find another way to put off their deep connection.

Irony! The couple in true love don’t get to kiss . . . again.  (That’s not irony, it’s suckitude.)

Irony! The guy with the big bad secret tells his girlfriend that he wants nothing between them.  Well, start talking, Clarkie.

Irony! That RedKClark finds out his BFF, who was shown his secret by the meteor freak girlfriend who swore she wouldn’t tell anyone, has stockpiled kryptonite weapons AROUND THE WORLD that could kill him.  Yet she pleads she’s trying to save the world despite the fact that she has spied and interfered in his ‘public’ and private life all season long.

Irony! Lois Lane discovers a mutilated, weak John Corben and immediately decides to help him and save him.  She is not bothered by his difference, but admires the man within.  Her alien boyfriend says he trusts her, but . . . he’s not using his differences to find out about his ‘concerns.’

Irony! While Clark has blondie spying on Lois for him, Lois Lane confesses to John Corben that she is with someone and HE IS THE ONE!  Lois is honest & loyal & brave.  Corben hopes her guy knows who she really is.  (Guess her bolt reflex is totally gone now.)

Irony! Kal-El saves Major Zod’s life by giving him a drop of his blood, which gives the Kandorian commander superpowers and he now is creating a super army of trusted soldiers to destroy the Earth.

Irony! Ollie’s present squeeze and ex-honey have teamed up to make sure the Kryptonian frat boys stop their hazing of the world.  Steel irony especially since Crazypants got killed by blondie in Lois’ possible future – and she knows it.

Irony! Lois Lane was knocked out three times and survived to be the hero of the episode.  Once by explosion, once by injection and once by being chloroformed by her cousin.  (Clark is under the influence and raises havoc thinking of no one but himself.)

Irony! Clark thinks that blondie and Lois have a sisterly relationship.  (See above)

Irony! RedKClark uninhibitedly (apparently) joins forces with Zod cause he wants a brother.  When Metallo appears in the FOS, he is the one to save Clark by putting green K on him.  Zod zips away to leave his ‘brother’ to die.  Ever hear of Cain and Abel, Clark?

Irony! RedKClark gave Seattle snow when he could just as easily helped out Vancouver during the Winter Olympics.

Irony! RedKClark probably flew because his ego is too big to allow Zod to fly and him to remain grounded.  Of course, we didn’t get to see it.  Isn’t irony fun!

Irony! Clark doesn’t think he has much family left, but his mother is just a phone call or superspeed jog away.   Big Daddy J is in the FOS, but let’s be reasonable, you can’t bring in the Destroyer of Krypton and expect BDJ to serve Kryptonian grog and say let bygones be bygones.  Clark was on redK, right?  Or was this the stupid version?

Irony! The power that Clark possesses that Zod covets but can never have . . . is Clark’s humanity and the world’s love for him.

Irony! Tess creates Metallo to be her bodyguard against Zod/Kandorians.  His programming must have been set on stun setting.

Irony! Lois was going to hook up Corben with Dr. Vale on the recommendation of General Lane.  Vale was the original creator of Metallo in the comics.  (see below)

Irony! When Lois tells Corben ‘maybe in another lifetime,’ she may have been referencing Geoff John’s Superman Secret Origins #5.  General Lane thinks Sergeant John Corben would make the perfect son-in-law.   Lois doesn’t.  Highly recommend that issue!

Irony! Lois gives John Corben the red kryptonite cybertronic self sustaining heart.  Guaranteeing him life.  He could be back next season.

Irony! Clark can’t be human and he can’t be fully Kryptonian.  He will become both.  He will be on the side of truth and justice and lead the heroes against the evil.  Give him another episode or two.

Lots of freeze breath tonight.  FOS scene with Clark, Zod and Corben was great.  Clark waking up a sleeping Lois Lane was pure gold.  Lois going after Clark after blowing off the fake Blur’s phone call is another great step in their relationship.

Lois was the hero in this one along with Corben.  Clark’s utilizing blondie’s spy tactics is over the line and out of character.  The guy can hear a dog barking ten miles away and see through stuff and is faster than a speeding bullet.  You do the math.

What is the commitment between Tess and Zod?  I wonder if Tess finding out what red K can do, she’ll use that later on.  If she lives.

Zod has his super army now.  Clark better get off the fence.

Clark doesn’t think he has much family, but when he finally confesses his love for her and/or reveals his secret to Lois Lane.  She will always be his family and he will always be hers.  (see, this is why the blond has to go.)   One of the reasons Clark and Lois are together is that they are both loners in this world.  Together they are a solid unit, the great iconic couple. Isn’t that ironic?

RATING: Because Clark didn’t save the world or Lois Lane, I’m going to have to give this a 7 out of 10.  But because of Brian Austen Green as Corben, which is always a treat and allowing Lois to be a hero, we’ll up it to an 8 out of 10. Still numbers.  I’d really like to get back to using the super words.  This second half has not had the tight, solid scripts that we experienced in the first half.  We don’t have to rush this season.


I’d like to say a few words regarding the lack of promotion for this nearly 10 year veteran.   The trailer (below) did not appear after the episode but was inserted in the RERUN of America’s Next Top Model.   Also, weekly promotions for Smallville are shown only on Thursday nights.  This show has had great ratings for the CW despite the fact that it was gulag’d to Friday nights.  With no promotion to speak of, it has begun to lose ratings, especially with pre-emptions.  Does someone need to call Peter Roth, President of Warner Brothers television, in order for this show to get the credence it is due?

TRAILER (next 2 episodes)  Charade (with Lois) & Sacrifice (Loisless):

Phones rings.  Lois answers Hello.

“Our relationship puts you at risk.  Goodbye, Lois.”  — Clark as the Blur


Green Arrow aiming at Zod in the Luthor mansion.

“Please give Clark a message next time you see him,” says Zod as Oliver is thrown against a wall.


The Kandorians at the FOS.

Tess falls to the floor as Zod watches.

“I will burn this planet to the ground.” – Zod

Six bodies lying prone on a machine in a star formation.

Blondie with a cardiac needle acting like Vincent Vega with Tess’s body in the morgue.  Tess gasps air.

Clark watching bunny Lois come out of a cake.  She clocks him with a great right hook.

Someone watching a screen where the Blur is touching Lois’ shoulder from behind as sparks fly in the background.

A goon grabs Lois from behind on the street.  She’s wearing her bunny costume & trench.

Clark turns over Ollie’s body.  His chest is bloody with a Z?

Blondie smacks Tess who has a gun in the Watchtower.

Clark in a parking lot punches Zod in front of Tess.  Zod flies into the side of a building.  Inside there are bodies with blood on the walls as Zod walks in.


Maxwell Lord (Gil Bellows) AKA Black Knight of Checkmate appears along with ex-District Attorney Raymond Sacks.  Both are trying to learn the identity of the Blur.  Directed by Executive Brian Peterson and written by Don Whitehead & Holly Henderson.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Chasw permalink
    April 22, 2010 3:56 am

    Thx holli, I always enjoy ur humorous review, it always make my day. and ITA with everything u said.

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