EPISODE REVIEW:Smallville: "Shield" (Season 10, Episode 2)

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Lois Lane arrives in North Africa, and she's not really happy there. Or maybe she is, she's complaining a lot. She wanders into a tent and encounters Carter "Hawkman" Hall.

Clark keeps calling for Chloe and getting no response. He heads to his desk at the Planet, and finds his new partner, Cat Grant. She's perky and enthusiastic, and anti-hero. She turns on a radio show featuring 'Godfrey', an anti superhero bombastic host. Clark is visibly annoyed at this turn of events, but at least he gets to turn off the radio…

Ollie is trying to hunt down Chloe, and enlists the help of Tess to try to track her down. Chloe has been erased, completely. No records, no nothin'. There's a "Dear Ollie" letter, but that's it. Tess tells Oliver to trust Chloe.

Back in Egypt, Carter and Lois chat a bit about Isis (I think that's foreshadowing) and the other Egyptian Gods. She takes a rational tack to his slightly mystic bent, and then she goes rambling off the deep end. Carter gives Lois strong drink to make her shut up.

Cat and Clark get into her ridiculously cute car, which is promptly blown up by this week's villain, Deadshot. Clark rescues them (but probably regrets it).

Clark is convinced that someone besides him wants to kill Cat. She goes on an anti-superhero rant. He takes her to Smallville, to the Talon… not much of a safehouse, but it'll have to do.

At the Talon, Oliver encounters Cat, who tries to use pepper spray, a taser and an airhorn against him (as Green Arrow). He easily and humorously disarms her before leaving.

Clark realizes that Cat isn't who she says she is- and Tess agrees. They figure out that it's an assassin for hire- Deadshot- who is after Cat Grant… and as we look in on him in his hideout, he has a bullet with Clark Kent's name on it.

Clark drops in on Cat at the Talon, where he confronts her on her name change. She explains that hid her past to protect her son, Adam, from her ex. Clark notes that her tactics to protect her son are similar to those that the masked vigilantes use to protect their loved ones.

Lois and Carter talk about Clark. She is trying to protect him by making herself less of a target. Clark had sent Carter to look over her. He recaps his origin yet again.. the "Egyptian Groundhog Day" story, as Lois puts it. He gets lost in his story, and tries to kiss Lois. She slugs him.

After some reconstruction, Tess discovers that the first bullet was marked for Clark, not Cat. Cat, like most people on this show, refuses to stay where she's put, and has taken the bus back to Metropolis. In the parking lot (Insert Sergio Leone music here), Deadshot is there for a showdown.

Deadshot is a talky one, isn't he? He maneuevers Cat into a deathtrap. Clark (eventually) arrives, punches Deadshot and saves Cat, making it appear that her bulletproof vest took the shot.

Ollie encounters the military guy who tortured him last week, who offers him a job and then they try to kill each other. Ollie finds out that Chloe exchanged herself for him, and then downed a cyanide pill. He believes this, and is really broken up about it.

In the course of the last few minutes… the bullet that hit Clark, a basin that Carter uses and the bullet that hits Ollie all seem to be putting some foreign substance into their systems. Poison, tracer, I don't know.

Oliver does some more digging, and finds that Chloe, after much planning, faked her death in order to leave. Clark tells Ollie to trust her. She had to know what she was doing…

Ollie's personal nemesis breaks Deadshot out of stir, along with Plastique (remember her?). He calls them the Suicide Squad (!!!). We find out that the foreign substance was a tagging system, and the Suicide Squad is after our favorite group of capes.

Lois and Carter talk some more about fate and destiny and love… true love… that will follow them for eternity.

Clark goes to the top of the Planet building, but no longer in the black trenchcoat and t-shirt. He now has a Green Arrow-ish styled red leather jacket with the Superman 'S" embossed on the front.


Although I make a bit of fun of the Carter- Lois conversations, they are actually rather revealing. Carter knows he is to die soon, because his cycle of reincarnation is due. He hopes to be reunited with Shayera, but this curse has been going on for so long… Lois doesn't believe she's part of Clark's destiny, but Carter knows better. They also talk about Nietche's Ubermensch, and Lois gets ideas...

Cat's anti-hero stance is a fairly new take in the Smallville universe. It's fueled by a radio host named Godfrey- given this season's Big Bad (Darkseid), it's a given that this is Great Godfrey, Darkseid's propaganda minister. It is in Darkseid's interest to put the emerging heroes back in the shadows, so Godfrey is part of that plan.

The (re)introduction of Cat Grant on the show as an anti-vigilante activist is an amusing development. In the comics, she's become a thorn in Supergirl's side- with the return of Kara next week, I wonder if Cat and Kara will throw down on Smallville?

The portrayal of Deadshot as a cowboy type was interesting, but I don't know if I like it that much. We'll see him again, it may grow on me. Interesting trivia- Michael Rosenbaum, who played Lex Luthor on Smallville, was also the voice of Deadshot in the DCAU.

It's a Smallville world, after all… it's a Smallville world, after all

(sorry. I just had visions of tiny, multiethnic superheroes in a boat ride at Disney…)

Predictions- I stand by my theory that Chloe will become Dr. Fate, and I'm going to add to my prognostication: I think she'll do a global mind-wipe so that everybody who's seen Clark will forget that he has a startling resemblance to this new Superman.

What do you think?