Smallville: Vessel

Clark: "You're not yourself."
Lex: "Or maybe I finally am."

Wow. Cliffhanger-paloosa.

The world in a state of chaos. Clark trapped in the Phantom Zone. Martha and Lois suffocating in a jet piloted by Milton Fine. Lionel and Chloe caught in the middle of a riot. Lex supposedly dead, and Lana in Zod's arms. Could it be worse? Well, I suppose they could have dug up and desecrated Jonathan's body, burned down the farmhouse, and left Krypto in the pound facing certain death.

Zod finally arrived, preceded by the world's strangest crop circle. Okay, so it was a crop square. Since Zod said Lex was dead, I'm going to mention the obvious: could the future villainous Lex actually be Zod in Lex's body? No, I just don't believe it. Clark was originally supposed to be Zod's vessel. I think this implies that Lex's human body won't be able to handle hosting Zod on a long-term basis, even with the super vaccine keeping him healthy and invulnerable.

And I think they gave us a similar clue on how they're going to get Clark out of the Phantom Zone. Jor-El said that Zod no longer had a physical body, that it was destroyed so Zod wouldn't be able to escape from the Phantom Zone. Clark does still have a physical body, so maybe he'll find a way. Maybe not. Maybe someone will have to rescue Clark so he can save the world. My money is on Chloe and Lionel.

Or... Lana said in "Oracle" that Lionel, in a trance, told her how to defeat Zod. Maybe that was why Fine was trying to kill Lionel. Maybe it's Lana's turn to save the world. The writers have finally made Lana interesting, something I didn't think would ever, ever happen. Her complete devotion to Lex makes sense, since Lana has convinced herself that Lex is telling her everything and not keeping secrets from her the way Clark did. Lana isn't a complete idiot. She is eventually going to notice that it's not Lex. Isn't she?

I have just loved what they've done with Lionel this season. It's almost like Lionel is replacing Jonathan with both Clark and Martha. Lionel and Martha had some seriously sexy vibes going on in this episode. (Jonathan is barely cold in his grave. Tut, tut, Martha Kent.) I kept waiting for Lionel to go ballistic with worry over Lex, but it never happened. I'm not sure if that means Lionel was resigned to Lex's eventual demise and/or leap into super-evil, or if there just wasn't time for another dramatic scene.

Bits and pieces:

— Awhile back, Milton Fine split into four Milton Fines. There is only one left.

— How about that Chloe/Clark liplock? (A Chloe/Clark climactic clinch?) I was sort of expecting Clark to finally move in Lois' direction, but noooo.

— Loved Clark stopping the car that came through the wall of the Daily Planet.

— Interesting parallel. Last week, "Jonathan" was telling Clark to kill Lionel. This week, Jor-El was telling Clark to kill Lex.

— It was Lionel's turn to get thrown across the room. Except this time, he got thrown across a field and into a car windshield. I thought for a moment they'd killed him off. How could a human being survive that?

— Since he was piloting the jet, I am assuming James Marsters will be back next season, if only to be immediately foiled in the season opener.

Quotes:

Chloe: "This is the same Zod whose hobbies include mass destruction and world domination?"

Zod: "You have your father's eyes."
Clark has Jor-El's eyes. That's just interesting.

Chloe: "The entire city is shutting down. It's like Y2K on acid."

Very big and comic book-y, heavy on the orchestra and the special effects. I'm not sure this was a great episode, but it certainly kept my attention.

Four stars,

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.

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