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Smallville: Aqua

Clark: "Am I the only one who thinks there's something fishy about this guy?"

What terrific casting. Arthur Curry, a.k.a. A.C., a.k.a. Aquaman, looked a lot like a 1950s movie star, a Tab or a Rock, with extreme muscles and a chiseled jaw line that also made him look very cartoony. Yes, he was a one-note character here, but hey, Aquaman is a one-note character. Very appropriate.

Lex torturing A.C. with thirst? Okay, Lex finally crossed the line. He's a villain now, at last. And it's a tribute to the writing on this show that even after years of being Clark's friend, Lex as villain really works. "The days of you barging into my house to give me sage advice are over." Yeah, they really are.

Was Clark finally showing some interest in Lois? He had to be jealous. Why else would he take an immediate dislike to A.C.? (Well, there's the "he can swim faster than I can" thing, but Clark isn't the petty type.) I enjoyed the constant Clark/Lois animosity. It would be way boring if they were mooning over each other, the way Clark always has with Lana. In the end, we got Lois wondering when she'll ever meet another superhero type again. Gee, how ironic.

Along with Aquaman, this episode introduced Milton Fine, history professor, played by my favorite vampire, James Marsters... who sounded very American and actually looked his age for a change. Professor Fine's first lines were a pointed clue to his real identity: "Do you know where the greatest supercomputer in the world resides?" He pointed at his own head, and said, "Right here." The way he focused on Clark and recruited him to research LuthorCorp made me think Fine knew exactly who Clark really is. We shall see.

Bits and pieces:

— In the beach scene, Clark was wearing a bullet-hole-covering band-aid. I wonder what he told Lana about his inconvenient resurrection.

— Clark pointed out that, like Flash, Aquaman isn't a meteor freak.

— A.C. is (or was) a sophomore at the University of Miami, majoring in marine biology, was on the swim team, and saved a bunch of dolphins, which makes him a good guy in my book.

— The underwater fight was somewhat cartoon-like, but what else could it be?

— A.C. called Clark "Superboy."


Chloe: "Wow. Where did Bobby Baywatch come from?"

Lois: "Looks like Flipper threw up." Yes, they're the traditional Aquaman colors. Hideous, but again, appropriate.

Lex: "One day of college, and he's already an activist."

Lois: "You don't even know me."
A.C.: "What's to know? You're abrasive, sarcastic, you never shut up..."
Lois: "Yeah, and those are my good qualities."

Professor Fine: "German philosophy's easy. Comedy's hard." This was a take-off of one of my favorite quotes, often attributed to John Barrymore on his deathbed: "Dying's easy. Comedy is hard."

A.C.: "Maybe we should start up a Junior Lifeguard Association or something."
Clark: "I'm not sure I'm ready for the JLA just yet."
Last season, Flash mentioned something about starting up a club or a league, too. What fun.

This episode closed with a lovely Annette O'Toole spot for the Christopher Reeve Foundation. Bravo.

Three out of four stars,

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


  1. Interesting but faithful twist to Arthur's story, but the tops for me was always Lois in the red bikini. Such a defining moment for the series in later openings the shot of her climbing onto the floating dock, would be used when introduced.

  2. Fun episode, and the conservation biologist in me really liked AC

  3. Great stuff with Lex finally being a villain (his smile after "Well you didn't tell him about my pitchfork did you?" was so charming I'm almost sorry Clark wiped it off by telling him he backed him up, actually) but the writers made me a little sad about turning Lois into another female character who uncharacteristically shoots down a direct warning from Clark. Man, all I could think of was the previous season episode with the plastic surgery scene where she saves Clark. That was so special and proactive, and now look at her. I blame it on her becoming a main character.


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