EPISODE REVIEW: Smallville: "Ambush" (Season 10, Episode 7)

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Tonight, we get an adversary that Clark may not be able to defeat: a challenge that many men never overcome. The Potential Father-In-Law. And when that Potential Father-In-Law is General Sam Lane (played by Michael Freakin' Ironside), we might genuinely fear for Clark.

At least more than than we did last week.

Complete recap below- and as usual, spoilers abound!

Recap

A military unit is observing a target headed for Smallville, while Lois and Clark are busy getting busy in the kitchen. Fortunately, they don't make it to their goal of swinging the porch swing when the 'Target' shows up- it's General Lane and Lois' sister Lucy Lane.

Lois is now a wreck. Apparently General Lane is not fond of Lois' boyfriends and very not fond of superheroes. The third degree begins nearly immediately. General Lane believes firmly in the Vigilante Registration Act, to bring all the superheroes under control of the Government.

Ollie bursts into the Watchtower in his Green Arrow togs, needing some first aid. Tess has rearranged things. In treating him, Tess discovers the Suicide Squad tracking tattoo, and they immediately figure out that Rick Flag is a) not dead and b)running the suicide squad.

A refinery fire breaks out, and Lois and Clark are a bit obvious about dispatching 'the Blur' to the scene. The General gets suspicious and it doesn't help that Clark gets a call from Ollie after arriving back at the farm.

Ollie talks to Clark in the loft, where they discover Clark's suicide squad tat. Lucy comes up, and Ollie jumps out of the hay loft like a character from "Dawson's Creek". Lucy traps Clark in a lip-lock right in front of Lois. Lois sees through this transparent ruse and takes Lucy to the woodshed. Or in her case, the ice house.

While Lucy is fetching ice, Colonel Flag tells Lucy that Clark is a vigilante sympathizer and uses her to plant a tracker on General Lane.

Meanwhile, Tess and Oliver are trying to figure out who Flagg's target in Smallville is. Ollie is being rather abrasive because he misses Chloe and, honestly, doesn't trust Tess.

General Lane confronts Clark with photos of Clark and his cousin Kara, and is very bothered by his associations and by his lack of a record. He declares an end to his and Lois' relationship and drags her out of the Kent farm and out of Clark's life.

Somewhere else, Rick Flagg is plotting the General's murder with a missile that even Clark isn't going to be able to save him from.

The proto Justice League figures out that Flag is after General Lane, but Lane is not where they think he is and the missile is headed for the Talon, where Lois has just booted her family in favor of staying with Clark. (My, that was a tortured sentence!) Anyway, Flag has some cheezoid dialog and launches the missile at Lois. The Blur rescues her and makes it pretty darn obvious to General Lane. The General is visibly thrilled that Lois isn't dead… and that she was rescued by the Blur.

Clark and Ollie toss Flag's mobile command center, literally. They get to the bottom of the plan. Flag wants Lane dead because he leads the anti-superhero movement, and that if the registration act passes, superheroes will die. Flag believes that superheroes are the country's only hope. He then disappears with the help of his pet metahuman.

Lois and Lucy have a moment. It was all sisters-of-the-travelling-Lane, and I dozed off.

Oliver and Tess have a moment which may or may not be foreshadowing. Oliver is facing some decision.

Clark is working in the barn when the General comes in and apologizes for the third degree. Turns out that it wasn't a test of Clark so much as it was of Lois- when she stood up for Clark, Sam Lane knew his daughter was truly in love.

The Lanes and Clark sit down to a family Thanksgiving; but while they eat, we learn that the Vigilante Registration Act has passed, and a wave of anti-Blur sentiment is sweeping through the country.

Observations

There's a lot of setup in this week's episode. Even though it seemingly is about the Lois/Clark relationship in light of her family, it was very revealing on what Darkseid's plan may be. Discredit heroes, register heroes… make them targets.

Rick Flag believes himself the true patriot, but General Lane's position has quite a bit to recommend it. Soldiers, Sailors, Firemen, Policemen… they all have background checks and a lot of training before they are allowed to be the heroes that they are. And honestly, Oliver's dojo is not up to that task. However, as General Lane finds out, having great power means you get powerful enemies and that it could be very, very dangerous to be around vigilantes if you didn't have powers yourself, and were out in the open.

Michael Ironside provides appropriate gravitas as General Lane, and both the increasingly impressive Ms. Durance and Mr. Welling were able to raise their game to Mr. Ironside's level. The acting has really come a long way on this show, but I imagine that exercising one's 'act like Clark Kent' muscles for ten years would be pretty darn effective training.

Next week, we get another couple of Darkseid's minions: Mad Harriet and Granny Goodness- and we also get Teri Hatcher as Lois' dead mother.

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