EPISODE REVIEW: SMALLVILLE: Echo (Season 9, Episode 4)

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Clark (as the Blur), takes care of a rather large hostage situation set up by the Toyman (rather obvious, due to the 'previously on Smallville' scenes), but gets blowed up really good in the process. As a result of having his ears rung, he develops the ability to hear thoughts.

Well, hilarity ensues, as expected. Jor-El says that this ability manifests due to an error in Clark's judgement, but Clark is almost enjoying being able to understand Lois for a change.

Ollie shows up in a bar in Mexico. Dos Cervazas, por favor. Oh, Tres. Some local toughs start something, and Tess (surprise?) finishes it with a machine pistol. Is it my imagination, or did he call her 'Mercy'? She convinces him to come back for the Queen shareholder's meeting...

Clark's mindreading talent reveals that a) the Toyman was at large (we knew that from the spoilerific 'previous scenes' already) and b)he's after Oliver Queen (who else would he be after?)

Clark accidentally on purpose stands Lois up for a monster truck rally, to protect her from whatever the Toyman has in store for Ollie. This doesn't work. At all. The Toyman springs his trap… and it's time for a commercial.

The Toyman forces Ollie to confess to a whole litany of crimes. Clark saves the day, only to find that Oliver has a bit of a death wish. Clark apologizes for being an intolerant boob, and Oliver levels with him. The friendship is being rebuilt. And then, Oliver sees a ghost.

Tess and Schott come to a really unholy alliance regarding Metallo's heart.

And Clark finally makes it up to Lois.

Observations

Mind reading is NOT one of Superman's traditional powers- however having Jor-El grant it to him temporarily was an adequate work around. It does help develop and deepen the Lois and Clark relationship. It also enabled Clark to see what a jerk he'd been to Oliver.

Speaking of the Lois and Clark relationship, it started feeling like Lois and Clark. Who'd've thought that the '90's Superman series would be the gold standard for the relationship between the eventual Mr. and Mrs. Superman?

Although this was not an arc heavy episode, it moved Oliver's subplot forward quite a bit and did not feel like filler at all. I'm rather pleasantly surprised by this season so far, and I'm VERY surprised by how well the relationships are portrayed. The only interaction that didn't really work for me was the Tess-Oliver talk in the bar, but the episode recovered nicely.

Next Week: More Oliver!

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