Smallville: Escape

Chloe: "Murder, misogyny, and mayhem. I can see why you left that out of the brochure."

I have a simple question. When it comes to the most recent Smallville episode – why wasn't it horrible? I mean, really. Why wasn't it absurdly bad? The villain was a joke, the plot was just a step removed from a French farce, so why did it work? To be honest, I have no definitive answer. But I have a few ideas.

There is no doubt that this is a standalone episode that has no real lasting effect on the series as a whole. The villain (Silver Banshee) is yet another classic Superman foe thrown in for the fans (like Metallo, Bizarro, Brainiac, Doomsday, and on and on), and is a much more welcome threat than the meteor freaks of the first few seasons. They even made her kinda cool at first, through a possession plot device, allowing for some comic elements to be combined with some marginal threat.

There was no way Clark could destroy the enemy since she was possessing one of his female friends. This is a Smallville tradition that is far beyond overused. Still I might have preferred the possession angle, because unfortunately the actual manifestation of the Silver Banshee, although relatively faithful to her appearance, was kinda silly. But the main reason this wasn't a bad episode had nothing to do with the villain sub-plot.

This was about three couples: Clark and Lois, Chloe and Oliver, and Tess and Zod. Each had private scenes that pushed their respective relationships a fraction of an inch forward. This let me feel, at least on a character level, like something actually occurred. Yet nothing really did. Except that Zod and Tess had sex.

Zod having fun with his new powers was interesting. But the dull exchange of ultimatums and forced platitudes with Tess, culminating with them in the sack, was definitely the worst part of the episode. And I understand that there is a limited budget, but why on earth would Tess and Zod meet in Clark's barn? It made absolutely no sense, even with the one line explanation thrown in by Tess.

The highlights were a great scene between Clark and Oliver and their attempt at making small talk, and the absurd shower scene between Chloe and Clark. I do believe that nearly every character has now officially seen each other naked. Personally, my favorite scene in the episode was more of a MST3K moment. Picture this: Chloe walking alone through the dark and stormy woods, holding only a lantern for light, is suddenly startled by a flash of lightening and a boom of thunder. Off in the distant shadowy woods a set of silvery luminescent eyes can be seen staring at her. She pauses the briefest of moments, and then determinedly walks straight for the creepy eyes that are so obviously attached to some kind of monster. Oh, silly me. She isn't supposed to be a brilliant super hero sidekick or anything.

Bits

John Jones (Martian Manhunter) is on patrol while Clark is gone. It is nice that he is at least mentioned. Bart (Impulse) is also mentioned to be in town and Clark made a suggestion that Chloe should ask him out. I wonder if this is a set up for the character to make an appearance later this season.

Chloe and Oliver sign in at the bed and breakfast as Mr. and Mrs. Green, and they ask for a Queen size bed.

Zod had a massive Tattoo on his back. Has this been seen before?

Yet again, on a romantic getaway, Lois and Clark are prevented from sleeping with each other.

I know it was something that needed to be addressed for continuity sake. But the incredibly awkward revelation that Clark's father taught him how to control his powers so that he could have sex with Lois came off as majorly creepy. Even though it wasn't framed exactly like that, it was sort of implied.

& Pieces

Lois: "Mr. Green, in the bedroom, with my cousin."

Chloe: "Oh c'mon, Ollie. Throw up the white flag, it's Lois! She makes Susan B. Anthony look like a quitter."

A silly villain and farcical plot are strangely appropriate in this non-arc episode. So I think this deserves:

3 out of 4 Silly Spoon Souvenirs.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

1 comment:

ChrisB said...

I agree that this episode is beyond silly, but it makes me laugh out loud.

The difference between the girl talk and the boy talk just amuses me to no end -- not sure why, but I just laugh and laugh through it.

I hadn't picked up on the fact that Jor-El had actually "taught" Clark. I just assumed it was a pleasant side effect from all his training at the beginning of the season. You're absolutely right that it raises the ick factor exponentially.