Smallville: Apocalypse

Lois: "Luthor's not suicidal. Why would he want to hit Earth's delete key?"

Nearly every genre series eventually does its own version of It's a Wonderful Life, and it is rarely wonderful. But this one was. In fact, I thought it was terrific. I love alternate universe stuff, and this episode was pretty nearly perfect. It just wasn't long enough.

There was still a Clark Kent; it was inevitable that parents as good as Jonathan and Martha would eventually adopt someone. (I wish we'd seen Jonathan and Martha.) And there was still a meteor shower; Kara essentially took Clark's place as the Traveler and was raised as Lex's foster sister, with Lionel as the Jonathan in her life who died to protect her secret. Funny how Chloe and Lana were just fine and had terrific love lives with Clark out of the picture, but the entire world was about to go boom. I guess that's Clark in a nutshell. He's great at saving the world, but he can be rough on the women in his life.

Apparently, we have to be in an alternate universe to get Lois and Clark sparkage. Clark looked very happy and not the least bit upset that Lana was happily married to someone else... and a moment later, Lois literally fell into his arms. She reacted to Clark like I've always wanted her to react to Clark. She leered at him, put a suit and glasses on him (a total woo-hoo moment), and she even asked him out. Later, the real Lois asked Clark out for a brew, too. I'd be all full of hope that we have FINALLY shifted from Lana to Lois, but I've been down this road too many times before only to have my hopes cruelly dashed. I wanted all the Planet stuff to be permanent, and I knew I wasn't going to get it. It was fun and frustrating at the same time.

Inevitably, Lex became the president in the white suit who brought about Armageddon. The surprise was that Lex was Brainiac's puppet. Brainiac, as before, planned to recreate Krypton on Earth and make Lex Zod's vessel, with Kara as Zod's bride instead of Lana, which even made sense. I think Lex really did believe he was saving the world, in a twisted kind of way. Very twisted.

The Krypton segment was jammed in at the end and was over too quickly. They didn't show us how Clark got there, or how he and Kara got back, and that felt jarring. They showed Clark putting himself into the spaceship. Where were Jor-El and Lara? I was sort of hoping to see Tom Welling as both Jor-El and Clark, which would have been fun.

And they left us with a cliffhanger. Did Kara inadvertently bring back a piece of Brainiac? If it joins with Lana's bit of Brainiac, will there be enough to resurrect the guy? Brainiac never dies, and that's a good thing. Please keep bringing James Marsters back. And give him more to do.

Bits and pieces:

— Lots of Lois for a change, and no Lana at all, which was great. (I had expected Lana to be the first lady, but no.) I even liked Kara in this one. Her butch professional adult look really became her. And I liked that they managed to get her comic book alias (Linda Danvers) in there.

— Lex isn't legally old enough to be president, but I'm going to just coast over that one. But why was Lex wearing one black glove? Did Michael Jackson stay cool in that reality? And why would the American public accept a president that looked as weird as Lex did? I know things are changing and all, but come on.

— Clark and his baby self exchanged a long, meaningful look. That was fun.

— Of all the dead characters they could have brought back, why Sheriff Adams? Was it just availability? I wish it had been Jonathan.

— Alternate reality Lois won a Pulitzer Prize. Just like Superman Returns but without the baby.

— The blue planet orbiting the red sun was a really great visual, and it was even in Smallville colors.

— The Ace of Clubs, ah, club was back from last week. Guess that made it easier; they could just use the same set.

— Chloe's fiance was wearing a Metropolis police department tee shirt. Nice touch.

— This episode was directed by Tom Welling, and he did a great job. And he had a lot of screen time, too. That must be like chewing gum and rubbing your stomach at the same time. Tom, if that acting thing doesn't work out for you...

Quotes:

Jimmy: "C-Span much?"

Lois: "Even if you white-tornado your way in there, you're still going to stick out like a red and blue thumb."

Kara: "If we just find the right point in time, we can fix everything."
Clark: "But how do we know we won't make it worse?"
Come on, Clark. What could be worse than the entire planet exploding?

Lois: "This is a new side to Clark Kent: mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper."

Lois: "Hey, mi desktop es su desktop."

I think this was the best episode so far this season. Four out of four stars. And the reader poll agreed with me,

Billie
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Billie Doux had a love-hate relationship with Smallville, which is why some of her reviews are briefer than they should be.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think alternate universe Clark was adopted; I assumed he was the baby Martha lost at the end of season 2. Our Clark was inadvertently responsible for that loss, so with him not being there in this reality, the Kents successfully had their own baby Clark.

That also ties in with another point you raised, one that bothered me at first, too: our Lex isn't old enough to legally become president. But then I realized, the story is actually supposed to take place years in the future of current "Smallville" reality. That's why the Kents' season 2 son is already a teenager; it's why Lois has already won a Pulitzer; it's why Lana already has two kids; and it's why Lex is at least the Constitutionally mandated 35 years old to be president. The episode didn't do enough to make all that clear, however, including doing nothing to try to make the characters look a decade or more older.

Anonymous said...

P sure he was adopted, since Martha was only able to get pregnant because of the ship