Episode Review: Smallville: Pandora

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In the fast moving teaser, Lois is comatose from the Clark kiss, kidnapped by Tess and strapped into a convenient but oh-so-implausible memory viewer machine. We see her memories of the future- a desolate Metropolis, a large black Kryptonian with powers and a Red Sun…

And Clark's 'S' shield T-Shirt, hanging from a flagpole… tattered and waving in the breeze…

Gee, that was good and dense. How 'bout the rest of the episode?
After the jump....

Play by Play

Tess plugs into Lois' flashforward, and we find ourselves in an interment camp for humans (repurposed from the Kent Farm). Clark comes to her rescue in a small way, but he is powerless under the red sun. Clark explains that the Kryptonians took over, that he tried to fight Zod and company, but made all the wrong decisions. They figure out that the Legion ring brought her to the future; however before Clark can use it, Lois is called before Zod. He wants to know how she suddenly ended up in a restricted zone. Tess shows up, and they tell Lois that the only reason that Clark is still alive is to possibly bridge the gap between Earthlings and Kryptonians. Zod finds the Legion ring that Lois is hiding, and summarily decides to execute Clark and Lois. Tess kneels before Zod and gets a set of dogtags. Clark kneels before Zod and nearly gets a katana through the neck. Ollie and Chloe burst through the ceiling and save Clark and Lois with a variety of Kryptonite laced hand weapons. In the melee, Tess is killed.
There's apparently bad blood between Clark and Chloe and Oliver. They put their differences aside and come up with a plan to bring the yellow sun back, giving Clark a shot at taking the Kryptonians out. Somehow they are still trying to keep Clark's secret from Lois. Lois and Clark knock boots in the blood red moonlight.
The next day, the hero squad take the Watchtower out of mothballs, and plot to get Lois the ring back. One by one, Chloe, Lois and Clark fall bringing the yellow sun back. Clark manages to recover the Legion Time ring from Zod, and puts it on Lois' finger… the Kandorian assassin from the first episode of the season quickly hitches a ride on the time ring, and …. we're brought to the opening sequence in the first episode this season.

In the present, Clark confronts Chloe, who tells him that Lois' trip to the future gave her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Tess has her hacker wonderboy put her in Lois' head. She witnesses her own death, and orders Hackerdewd to wipe Lois' memories- they're too dangerous. Hackerdewd refuses and gets a bullet to the back of his head for independent thought. Clark shows up, and suddenly I noticed that the whole lab is glowing green. Clark stumblefoots about a bit and gets one of the brain probes imbedded in his hand (ah! Plot device kryptonite!) He is locked into Lois' memories now. He eventually comes to, to find Emil and Chloe in the lab. Lois will (conveeeeeniently!) not remember anything. Back at the Planet, Clark and Lois try to figure out where their relationship is going. They agree that it's going somewhere.
Clark decides that what was wrong in the future was that Zod needed saving. Chloe believes that a hug will probably be insufficient to bring Zod to repentance, but Clark crashes Zod's Kandorian enclave, and Zod causes all his followers to kneel…..

Kneel before Kal-El.

Observations

A LOT happens in this episode, even though it doesn't happen, per se. We have death clouds of angry Kandorians decending upon a lone Green Arrow. We have attempted executions, Hot ninja chick Kandorian killing Chloe with a Katana. Glowy-green arrows, daggers, swords and other stuff. Hot Lois on Clark action.

The future is a dreadful place, filled with death, destruction and humanity enslaved, not to mention convieniently redressed sets. It's a dark place for Smallville, but well played.

Too bad there's a built in reset button.

The Lois as time-traveller plot has resolved fairly quickly, though. In the past, the writers would stretch this out waaaay too long. The new producers seem to have a much better grip on how to time out a season this year than last (and MUCH better than the previous team did).

There were some interesting shots in the scenes from the next half of the season- we see Doctor Fate (looking like Doctor Fate), a wall portrait of the Justice Society of America and a hand with a Green Lantern Ring….

(Aside: I've been watching the casting reports on the Smallville movie of the week featuring the Justice Society and there is no report of anyone playing Alan (Green Lantern) Scott. That said… I saw an Alan Scott styled ring with green flame shooting out of it. Really.)

I'm looking forward to the second half of the season.

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