EPISODE REVIEW: Smallville: "Masquerade" (Season 10, Episode 14)

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Disguise is the order of the day today.  Clark finds he needs to hide his identity, Ollie is hiding his again-- and some very dark people are 

Recap

Lois is planning their wedding while Clark gets busy saving the day all over the world, narrowly missing getting photographed in half a dozen countries.  It's time for a new disguise.

Chloe and Oliver rendezvous at a club.  Ollie is in disguise, as everybody knows his identity.  He's not bearing up too well without his company or a modicum of privacy, but Chloe puts a good face on it.

Lois tries to alter Clark's costume to hide his identity… epic fail.  He needs something, but he doesn't want to wear a mask; it's not his style.

Ollie gets a call from a woman (whose table he and Chloe appropriated at the restaurant) who has found herself in a dank dungeon of horrors and saran wrap.  She dies on the phone, leaving Ollie and Chloe in the midst of a mystery.  They manage to get themselves kidnapped really quickly.

Clark, investigating the bodies found (including the woman).  They all have whole body hemorrhages. Very dark(seid).  He also is very close to being recognized as the Blur by a CSI tech.

Ollie and Chloe go Mr. and Mrs. Smith on their captors and beat the crap out of them- Unfortunately they're FBI.  While trying to figure out what's going on, Chloe manages to encounter DeSaad,  who telekinetically tosses her about.

Eventually Clark, Lois and Ollie put two and two together and pursue DeSaad. Clark finds Chloe and professes his love for her… oh, I get it.  It's the last temptation of Chloe.  DeSaad tries to tempt her with a good chunk of the seven deadly sins.  

Clark swoops in and rescues her prior to her entertainment value expiration date.  He confronts DeSaad, who proceeds to trap Clark in some sort of … something.  Oliver, hot on his heels, beats the tar out of DeSaad, who goads him on.   Clark escapes and stops Ollie from succumbing to his own sin.

Back at the Planet,  Clark finally realizes that he needs a mask… and whips out the glasses and the mild mannered facade.

Ollie and Chloe talk about identity and truth.  Chloe, in erasing her past, fears that she's sacrificed too much.  Ollie realizes that he can't disguise who he is.  And as he turns out the lights, we see the Omega- the sign of Darkseid- on Ollie's forehead.

Observations

After ten years, Clark finally realizes that he is what he does, and so 'Clark Kent' must be the mask.   This is a central question that lies at the heart of the whole superhero genre- the question of identity.   

Are we who we are or are we what we do?  And which one of these aspects wears the mask? In choosing to make Clark the mask and the Blur (and eventually Superman) the 'True Self', Clark makes a very different decision than Oliver did in the beginning.    

Smallville seems to adopt the philosophy that heroes aren't heroes until they actually DO something.  This is kind of refreshing.  It's not about what they feel, or what they think; being a hero is about action.

Will Conservatives Like This Episode?

Yes. The questions of identity that this episode raises are among the conservative's philosophical favorites, and this show comes up with our favorite answer. 

 

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