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MASQUERADE: Hiding in Plain Sight

February 27, 2011

Season 10 Episode 14
Review & Recap
by Holli

HD Episode Screencaps

Written by Bryan Q. Miller and directed by Tim Scanlan.

There was a previously on Smallville by Erica Durance. The Blur reveal, the proposal, Ollie and his darkness, the darkness taking over the world, the Omega symbol and DeSaad.

Metropolis skyline. Daily Planet. Lois Lane has a miniature mockup of a church on Clark Kent’s desk and is placing the bride and groom figures inside. “Look, Clark, I want to plan this wedding as much as I want to jump off a building.” She’s talking to him through her bluetooth headset. Sexy man says, “You know I’d catch you.” She grins. “You’re sweet.” She tells him to stop trying to dodge the bullet. “Speedypants. We’ve got a serious problem here. Tiny Lois has 37 possible guests on her side. Do you know how many Tiny Clark has on his?” “Just Tiny Martha?” This is great snappy dialogue and addresses a secret identity problem. Lois has to plan her own wedding (she has experience, BRIDE) because of the nature of her fiance’s vocation. Apparently Tiny Martha is a sign of a much larger problem. “Sandwiching you super friends into the same place as my Dad’s battlion, is a recipe for disaster. All it takes is one wrong person recognizing the right face and BAM!” She has little standups of Green Arrow (the best man), Aquaman and Impulse which she is using in ‘public’ view. Ever hopeful Clark answers, “We’ll find a way to make it work.” And that’s what this couple does in so many facets of their not-so-simple lives.

Curious Lois decides to find out where he’s calling from. British emergency sirens are sounding as we see Clark is standing atop of Big Ben in London. She asks where he is and he says he’s running some errands. When she asks him about his English location, he wonders why she would say that. “Oh, y’know, cause I’m kinda staring at your face online.” Did Clarkie forget that the Brits are some of the most watched people in the world. They have cameras everywhere! Clark looks around and lowers the phone from his ear before zipping off. Not sure if he’s running or flying or even swimming back to Metropolis. Nice globe shot! But we do see him adjusting his journo coat as he descends the stairs of the Daily Planet. He runs a hand through his hair as he makes his way to the bullpen to an awaiting Lois. She folds her arms and he gives her the once over. “That better be some damn good milk, Smallville.” Clark licks his lips while staring at Lois. “Smallville,” he says almost in a whisper. “I must be in trouble. How bad is it?” as he goes to her monitor. He knows Lois looks out for him and using his pet name with emphasis means he’s probably blown his cover. We see the Blur atop a building and there is some really archaic Brit dialogue. Chap? “I didn’t realize you were ready for your closeup?” says Lois as Clark scrutinizes the video. “And that is just the beginning,” she says walking to a larger monitor showing news broadcasts from around the world. “My Turkish is a little rusty, but someone managed to pull off a supersave there and now Ankara is wondering who America’s blue hero is.” While Clark gulps, Lois informs him Buenas Aires is offering a national commendation to the red and blue savior if he’d just stand still long enough to receive it. “And I won’t even bother with the Chinese because I would just sound racist.”

Clark blames his enthusiasm for the VRA act being shut down while Lois rummages in a file cabinet. “Lois, the important thing is I made the save and I didn’t get caught. At least not really,” he says looking around the bullpen for potential eavesdroppers and Looky Lous. Lois tells him they were lucky this time. She shows him a story that was supposed to go out two days ago. “Why do you still have this?” She realized them missed something before she sent it up. “I spell checked it twice,” says Clark looking like there should be no concern. “You really don’t see this,” says Lois realizing he doesn’t. She gives him a visual aide. He likes those. His smiling face is below the word HEROES. “The whole world is starting to wonder who the Blur is. And you are so close to the story you might find yourself might wind up smack dab in the middle of it.” She has his back, always and forever. He still looks confused. “I think it’s high time we got you a new disguise.” He’s wrestling with it. Credits.

The Ace of Clubs. Since blondie came back, the writers have been parodying films. COLLATERAL had the Matrix and this episode has Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Date Night. Not really pertinent to Clark’s story but it took up a lot of screen time. Maybe it was about Ollie’s darkness.

The Kent farm at night. Clark and Lois are in the loft. “Drink it in, handsome. Let it roll around in your mouth for a minute and tell me how you feel.” Lois knows he works out of his heart first. She just gets him and no they are not making with the love at the moment. He’s wearing the Holy Red Jacket with a red hoodie and large shades. Looking like the cover of Superman Earth One. Body language reveals not exactly receptive. His arms are crossed. “I feel like I can’t believe you did this to my jacket,” he says. “Keep in mind, it’s a prototype, okay? And it’s not any worse than machine gun fire.” He definitely has formulated some fast opinions. “That’s debatable. The hood’s not going to stay up during superspeed. And at night I won’t be able to see anything through these glasses.” She looks up at him. “Well, just use a bobby pin for the hood when you’re superspeeding and . . . x-ray vision for the shades.” He’s laughing because you can see the huge Kent smile. She zips up his jacket as she turns him towards the mirror. “Now stop giving me excuses. And humor me,” she says with her chin on his shoulder giving him the pouty lip. So cute. “I don’t want to wear a mask,” he says as he goes for the shades and she grabs his arm twisting him back to the mirror. “You are going global now which is . . . awesome frankly.” Big smile and thumbs up on that point. “But you have spent more time in the shadows than you ever have in the spotlight. You are sticking your neck out farther than you have before.” Clark takes off the glasses and the hoodie. “I’m not going to stop saving people,” he says as he takes her hand and places the glasses in it. After giving her hand a little clutch, he walks away and unzips the jacket. “I can’t believe you think I would want that. You know I know how important what you do is.” He takes off the jacket while Lois reminds him. “Not just to you, but to the whole world.” He rips the hoodie off. She reminds him that Oliver didn’t wear a mask. “Oliver made his own choice,” says Clark as he stuffs the HRJ into a bag. “And whether you like it or not, you’ve made one, too. What is going to happen if people start thinking that shirt and tie Clark has what it takes to save the day? Sooner or later someone is going to put two and two together.” They’re face to face, discussing it rationally as two people who care deeply for one another. “I appreciate your concern,” he says. “And I don’t understand why you’re not more concerned,” she says. “Oliver went from having two identities to one . . to none.” Clark blinks in thought. “And I will stand by you no matter what, okay?” He grins at her words. He knows this to be true. She’s the one. “But is that really the life you want for yourself?” Great question and Clark looks uncomfortable with an answer right now. “I really should get to work,” he says trying to get past her on the stairs. She steps in front of him with her hand up. “No! You do not get to whoosh your way out of this one.” He stares at her as if wondering how she knows him better then he does. “Why don’t I just save you the trouble and just superspeed off all on my own, okay?” Lois turns and heads down the stairs with him staring after her. She’s frustrated. With big hands, she makes a semi circle. “Whoosh!” Classic Lois. Hysterical! Clark opens his mouth to say something but then realizes she’s right.

The scene is ripe with age old story of male/female communication. Clark is the feeler. He mulls things over. Lois is the thinker. Her analysis is rapid fire with solutions. But Lois knows Clark has to make his own decision. It’s his life. Leaving him to mull it over is a good thing. It shows she knows how he ticks. He knows she’s probably right. She usually is. Something she has said about him often.

Ace of Clubs. While the blondes enjoy a dinner under a false name, DeSaad tortures people because they can’t be infected by the darkness. Lots of dead bodies

The blondes are kidnapped for their hubris. Impersonating FBI is a crime.

The coroner’s team are fishing bodies out of the sewer system. Crime photographers, police and Clark Kent are on the scene. Clark goes to show his ID to a cop and is told not to worry about it. The cop knows him on sight. Another officer walks by and tips his hat at him greeting him with ‘Mr. Kent.’ “Clark Kent!” says the over zealous shutterbug. No, not Jimmy. Burt. He reminds Clark that he was at a robbery homicide scene the day before. Clark inquires how so many bodies didn’t get detected soon. Burt tells him a DWP worker found the bodies beneath probably only dead a few hours. “Does forensics have any leads?” Clark is not facing him this whole time. Burt tells him the coroner has to take a closer look. “Have you seen that viral clip of the Blur from London?” Clark appears shocked. “Because it was fuzzy but it looks so much like you.” Clark tells him he doesn’t pay much attention to what happens half way round the world. “Thanks, Burt,” he says trying to make an exit. Burt follows. “So what do YOU think?” Clark says it looks like a serial killer. Burt chuckles after mimicking Clark. “That is so you! You talk like a cop. You walk like a fireman. Heck, you beat us to most of our own crime scenes. You might as well put an S on your chest.” Poor Burt wasn’t looking where he was going so he falls into one of the manholes. Clark grabs his wrist, looks around and in front of God and everybody lifts him one handed out of the hole. “How did you save my life?” Clark stammers giving adrenaline as a plausible explanation. “I’m a little bit bigger than you and . . . it probably has to do with center of gravity.” Clark would love to fall into a bottomless pit right about now. Burt with love and gratitude tells Clark, “ Don’t be modest. You, Sir, are a hero.” Clark grabs his back. “I’m sure I won’t feel like one in the morning.” He limps away realizing that Lois may have a point.

Met Gen. The morgue. Clark enters telling the coroner’s forsenics sent him to follow up on the Masquerade story. Don’t know why it’s called that. He is faced with a bloody glove to shake. The assistant apologizes. They shake hands and make introductions. “Sorry about that. I’ve been working faster than usual.” It’s DeSaad whom Clark hasn’t seen before. Kent looks at a skull x-ray and there is no Omega symbol. He asks about a cause of death. System wide hemorrhage starting with the heart. DeSaad said he thought it might be natural causes. Clark states someone did something to these people. “Makes you wonder what kind of person could do such a thing.” DeSaad guesses someone who has given in to their darkest urges. “Probably who really enjoys it, too.” Clark stares at the body as his pupils dialate changing from green to blue. He notices some dots in the skin. DeSaad comes over immediately and examines it. He gives the excuse he had a leaky pen while examining the body. Clark thanks him and leaves. Investigating Clark!

The blondes are in a car trunk.

The blondes go Mr. and Mrs. Smith against FBI backup. Oops. They find skull x-rays of the Darkness. They go to DeSaad’s Sex Club. Ollie climbs a wall like Spiderman to keep blondie out of danger. The agent they’ve been impersonating captures her for impeding a federal investigation. Gee, someone who makes her pay for her crimes. He starts bleeding from the eyes and collapses. “DeSaad.” Villain tosses her around a bit. Knocks her out.

Daily Planet. Lois and Jeff go through a door while Lois is talking to a caterer about eats for her wedding. Jeff hands her a file from Burt in Forensics. “He says you’re lucky to be engaged to such a super guy.” Jeff ‘pleads’ with her to let him see to her needs. She gives him an errand. It’s for a bakery. She wants a good rate on vanilla bean frosting. She sends him on his way with a “Pretty, Please,” and a wink. He tears off like a rocket and bumps into Clark who deflects him. “Mr. Kent, I’m sorry.”

Clarks goes to sit at his desk talking the whole time. “From the look on your face, I guess you heard about what happened at the crime scene. So if there’s anything you have to say . . .” he sits in his chair. Lois with a smile on her face. “Not me. Nope. I’m a positive, supportive, independent woman and I just want to know what happened at the morgue.” Clark informs her the coroner couldn’t make a connection between the bodies. “It’s a dead end.” Lois appears puzzled as she examines Burt’s pictures. There are markings on every single one of them. “Dead end. Seriously?” “What else do you call it when you have zero leads?” he says. “A lie,” she says as she walks over to his desk. She hands him the pictures. “There’s a stamp on each of the victims hands and I only saw a few dots.” Clark says it matched the pattern he saw. Lois examines the photos. “That’s only a fraction of a centimeter. How would you be able to see that?” Clark nods. “Microvision.” Lois is puzzled. “Micro . .vision?” Clark gulps. “Well, it’s my power. I can call it anything I want.” The Cartman attitude. He rises from his seat to speak to her face to face. “The coroner wasn’t examining those bodies, Lois. He was covering his tracks.”

Watchtower. Clark is researching the symbols they found while on the phone. “It’s another dead end, Lois.” No one recognized the guy at the morgue’s false name and the stamp was made from an anonymous private buyer. Ollie bursts through the doors screaming for blondie. “Lois, let me call you back. Oliver, what happened?” Oliver sees the symbol on the monitor. “That’s what happened.” Clark walks over to him. “Lois and I are trying to find a serial killer who uses that stamp.” Nanabooboo we’re better investigators than you. Ollie hands Clark a folder with a picture of DeSaad. Clark recognizes him as the man at the morgue. “He’s an agent of Darkness. Just like Godfrey. There were no Omega symbols on the bodies at the morgue. He must be killing the people he can’t convert.” And now he has blondie. They know she’s damned or dead. Clark sees the address for DeSaad. He stops Ollie from going. “You’re upset and in no condition to go up against the Darkness.” Ollie tries to argue with him. “Right now I don’t have a choice. Now stay put,” Clark says handing Ollie the folder as he zips off. Does Ollie listen . .. when has he ever?

Gargoyle head. Blondie hanging from chains in an abandoned church with water dripping.

Damsel in distress blondie. Sees Clark in his hero suit. He helps her down and takes her into his arms for a hug. “I thought I lost you,” he whispers. Okay, who is this? “I thought I lost me, too,” she says. He said that to Lois in PANDORA, but she admits something true about herself. Being a Mary Sue she’s never had a true sense of self. “I can’t go through that again,” says Clark. “Chloe, y’know when something happens and suddenly you’re afraid you can never go back? Where you get these flashes going through your mind. Flashes you never expected. Flashes of you and I.” She looks puzzle and he gets closer. “What if we missed our chance?” Really? She asks him what he’s talking about. “One kiss. C’mon, you don’t have to tell anyone. After all those years, don’t you want to know?” This again. Sigh. She almost gives in then says no. He zips off. More flashes then Oliver calls out to her. He’s not wearing hero garb. She tells him something’s wrong with Clark. It’s always about Clark. “Yea, I know that’s why we have to get out of here. Let me run away with you this time. No more disguises. No more darkness.” She says she would never ask him to do that. Even though she did exactly that with Doomsday. “It’s okay. We don’t have to try so hard to be heroes. We’re just human and there’s plenty enough people here to fight the good fight without us. C’mon,” he says reaching out a hand to her. “We can be together. Just take my hand.” She takes steps towards him smiling then asks who he is. She shakes her head. “What is this? This isn’t happening.” Ollie disappears in flashes and then there’s . . . Lois.

Lois Lane circles her. “You’re not real either,” says blondie. “Real enough to wonder if you’ll ever feel the happiness Clark and I do. You envy what we have.” blondie lies and says she’s only been happy for Lois and Clark. She wasn’t much of a Clark and Lois pimp and she hated the idea of Lois knowing Clark’s secret. Blondie figures out, Lois is envy, Ollie would be sloth, and Clark is lust. “You’re trying to tempt me.” Lois smiles at her acknowledgment. “But knowing that doesn’t change how you feel. You just have to admit it. You gave up everything that I have and you want it back.” Blondie says never. “Get out of my head!”

DeSaad is beside her while she’s still hanging there. “It’s the heart actually. The window to the soul.” The eyes are actually the window to the soul, but I digress. “Both mankind’s greatest asset and his weakness.” DeSaad will put her through the seven deadly and a knife too. “Sin is a liability that I exploit. You are more vulnerable than you think.” He wants her to kill him. “Your friends will all die if you don’t.” She wiggles out of wrath, but her avatar greets her. “What if we’re doing it to save our own souls when we could be saving the world?” Blondie won’t kill. Her avatar is pleased. “Feels good doesn’t it. To be better than all those who fell before him?” Pride. “It’s our hubris. Our fatal flaw. Our control issues. Our grossly disproportionate sense of independence. Too proud to ask for help. That’s why we vanished without a trace. Too proud to face the fact that the world moved on without us.” blondie doesn’t like hearing it. “All that effort you spent freeing yourself from your old identity. To suddenly give everything over for something lesser. For a relationship.” Blondie throws down the knife and tells DeSaad to go to hell. “Nah. It’ll be here soon enough. Sadly you’ve grown just as useless as that knife. Tell me, Chloe, when’s the last time you had a nice hard cry?” Yes, this scene took an eternity, but blondie needed to purge.

The real Clark zips in and removes her. “I was wondering when we would meet again,” says DeSaad as he turns to face Clark. “What exactly are you, DeSaad?” He’s a prophet, a servant to a far greater power. “The Darkness.” He corrects Clark. “To Darkseid. When I last laid eyes upon you, you wore your sin openly. You’re much more self assured now. More love in your heart than when you faced Godfrey.” Uh, that would be Lois’ doing. YAY! “Stronger than when you faced Granny as well. Sadly, incorruptible.” Cause he’s been hooking up with his pure of heart woman. Lois! “They much like I have been preparing for something amazing.” Clark walks towards him. “And that’s why the three of you have been burning your Omega symbols into innocent people.” DeSaad chastises him. “You act as though the marks weren’t there to begin with. But I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise.” His eyes go black as he tosses the darkness at Clark which suspends him in the air near a window. Clark struggles but it does not embrace him.

DeSaad goes to his car. Green arrow shoots out a tire. Ollie, not in GA gear, starts beating the crap out of DeSaad. That’s probably a wrong move. He wants to know where blondie is. “She screamed for you as she died.” Playing into the evil one’s hands, Ollie starts pounding on him. “It took me a while to figure out Chloe’s weakness, but not you. No, your sin is ripe for the picking.” He grins as Ollie starts beating him again. Dumb Ollie. Clark manages to break free and lands in his iconic kneeling position. He speeds off to grab Oliver. “Chloe’s alive. I saved her. She’s safe.” DeSaad smiles as Ollie walks away.

Daily Planet. Clark rises from his desk grabbing a bag as Lois brings out a headline story. Sex Club Serial Killer Caught with her byline. She wonders why Clark is not taking credit for the story. “I asked that my name be taken off,” he says as he takes her by the arm and leads her into the copy room. “You’re right, Lois. I’ve been drawing too much attention to myself. I’ve been doing this all wrong.” She apologizes. “I should have known the pressure you were under and not made things more difficult for you.” He shuts the door so they can have some privacy. “And I should be wearing a mask.” Lois looks at him quizzically. “Unfortunately, I’ve lived my entire life up unto this point without needing one. That’s why I’ve been so reluctant. This is the face of the man my parents raised. This is the face of the man that you love. I don’t want to deny who I am when I’m out there doing what I was born to do.” Lois asks him, “Then why bother with the jacket, Clark. The symbols.” He walks around here sounding very much in command. More self assured than ever before. “When I’m out there in the red and blue and I’m saving people that’s who I really am.” He says putting down the bag. “And I know this is going to sound weird, but it’s not what I’m called that should define who I am. It’s who I am that should define what I’m called. Clark Kent, it’s just a name. It’s just a word. I am the Blur and I always have been.” She grins and nods at him. “That is a pretty amazing breakthrough. And I’m really happy to hear it, but . . if you want to keep doing things like, I don’t know . . .working here and marrying moi. I don’t see how we’re going to make this work.” He takes her by the arm. “By doing exactly what we talked about and the answer has been literally staring me right in the face.” He goes to open the bag. Lois stops him. “Clark, the Blur can’t just whip out a new costume at work.” Clark turns to her. “The Blur is not the disguise, Lois.” He shows her black frame glasses. YAY!!! “Clark Kent will be the mask.” Lois stares at the glasses and grins. “O-kay! Okay, but the only way that the glasses are ever going to work . . .” He picks up on her thought. “if I adjust my behavior when I use them? I know. The world needs to believe that Clark Kent is way too normal to ever be . . “ “Super,” she finishes. “And even though we’ve silenced Godfrey, we’ve shutdown Granny’s orphanages and buried DeSaad under Belle Reeve, it’s not the last time that we’ve seen Darkseid.” Lois nods in agreement. Clark looks at the glasses and as he puts them on, says. “I’ll be ready hiding in plain sight.” Lois questions him. “So you’re willing to dial back the hometown hero and crank up the average Joe?” Clark speaks plainly. “If that’s what it takes to be the hero the people need. . . .” He pushes his glasses up his nose with his middle finger. “Yes, Ms. Lane. I am.” JUMP HIM LOIS! She grins broadly. “Did you know average fiances let their ladies take them to cake tastings?” She smiles up at him. He looks out into the office as she walks around him. “You just have to act like you’re miserable though.” He smirks, “That shouldn’t be a problem.”

Clark Kent always wanted to be normal and now he is more than normal. He is the average mild mannered Joe with his glasses on. No one would ever suspect he’s extraordinary.

As they walk through the doors of the copy room, Jeff bumps into Clark, again. Papers fly. He bends down to pick up the papers without seeing who he’s bumped into. “You really need to watch were you’re going, Buddy.” Lois gives him the reprimand voice. “Jeff!” Clark sends Mad Dog Lane out to do frontline reconnaissance. No one would suspect Superman of allowing a woman to defend him. [wink] She squints at him as her worshipper realizes to whom he has spoken. Repentant, Jeff apologizes. “I am so sorry, Mr. Kent.” Clark nervously licks his lips. “Y’know, Jeff, um, it’s my fault,” he says while pushing up his glasses. “I’ll try to be more careful next time.” Jeff gets on his high horse a bit. “You, uh. . . you probably should.” Clark watches him walk away as Lois smirks. He closes his eyes and chuckles. First test passed with flying colors. Lois gives him a well deserved peck on the cheek. He wasn’t expecting that. She gives him a nod of approval. “Good job, Mr. Kent.” They look at one another and you know they want to kiss. No PDAs here though. DRAT!

Watchtower. Chloe does not have the Omega symbol according to her skull x-rays and she’s reminiscing through old pictures and mementos. She’s not supposed to exist but she’s looking at her high school year book. Ollie wonders if she’s feeling lost. “I have been so many things over the years.” You can say that again!!! “I’ve always wound up defining myself by some group or cause or other person.” She hasn’t felt herself since the Torch. “And I erased it all. I gave it all away.” She’s been struggling to define herself against Ollie. He assures her he knows who she is. Love mention.

While Clark is hiding in normalcy. Ollie wants to come out to embrace his extraordinary life and he’s not alone because he has nonexistent blondie. She’s willing to be called girlfriend. While she goes to leave, he volunteers to turn off equipment. We see he is marked with the Omega symbol. He is branded by Darkseid. Another villain reveal.

Don’t worry about it! You’re supposed to completely forget it for the next episode, FORTUNE.

RATING: Solid episode with 10+ for Clark, Lois and the glasses. Clark has gone global. The blondes took up way too much time in this episode. All the stuff blondie learned in this one – she forgets in the next which is her last episode. Yes, I am rolling my eyes. Ollie, what have they done to you?

I thought they handled the Clark Kent/Superman identities well, encompassing all the ages of comics. Smallville has always represented the third identity – the one we all have experienced with this Clark Kent. The man. The mild mannered journalist and superhero are for the public, but the third personality is for Lois, family and his closest friends.

Not sure why they are using parodies of films for blondie’s arc of episodes. Very easy to separate the mythic from the bottle.

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