EPISODE REVIEW:SMALLVILLE:"Salvation" (Season 9, Episode 21)

sysadmin 2.0
sysadmin 2.0's picture

It's the final showdown for Clark and Zod... this has been brewing for a year. Who comes out on top?

And was it worth watching?

Recap

We open on the Daily Planet, Lois Lane is smartly dressed, striding out of Perry White (Editor in Chief)'s office. She is juggling a dozen things in fine Margot Kidder style. Suddenly, an alert comes in, a plane is in trouble. She turns around, see's Clark's desk, with a pair of glasses on it as the desk chair spins. A red and blue flying blur rescues the plane... and Clark wakes up at the Kent farm. There's a large black box on the table, with a note. Martha's note reads that he may need this if he decides to stay. He opens the box, and we see the reflection of the traditional red and blue Superman shield in his eyes....

Now THAT's a teaser.

Lois heads to the roof to meet the Blur... well, Fake Blur. It's Zod, and Lois is immediately suspicious. Zod tells her that Clark is after him; Lois believes him even less, Clark wouldn't hurt a fly. Zod says "Investigate him. Find out for yourself"... so she sets off. Along the way, she gets plane tix from Perry White. He wants her to join him in Africa.

Chloe has Watchtower up and running, thanks to Green Arrow. They have deployed the Justice League to the four corners of the Earth, armed with Kryptonite weapons to track down the Kandorians.

Zod goes to the increasingly misnamed Fortress of Solitude to destroy the Jor-El console (That's what I call the teaching thing that mysteriously conjures Terrance Stamp instead of Marlon Brando). Tess steps out from behind a crystal pillar. She wants a shot at redemption, and she gets it with a set of Kryptonite Knuckles™ . She makes hamburger of Zod's face and then makes the classic mistake of talking. While she's yammering about redemption, Zod turns his heat vision on her and toasts her. Only slightly slowed down, he destroys the Jor-El console. Clark shows up, finds Zod, exchanges taunts and then he finds Crispy Tess.

She's alive, so he runs her from the Arctic to Metropolis General (The boy really needs to start flying). She explains that she's trying to atone for her sins... and she has made a second Kryptonian console from the ruins of the Rao towers (remember them? Giant red herring). This means that Clark can use the Book of Rao to exile all the Kandorians.

Meanwhile, the Great Wall of China is in flames, the Parthenon is burning, the Great Pyramid at Giza has a giant burning Zod-symbol engraved in the side. Zod's army of Kandorians are carving up the landscape.

In the Watchtower, Chloe and Ollie are trying to coordinate the Justice League by webcam. Hawkman, Stargirl, Black Canary, Cyborg, Martian Manhunter are all trying to come up with a battle plan. Clark walks in, and tells them that he is going to use the Book of Rao to transport all Kryptonians, including him, off planet. He has decided to leave. He gives the League a rousing speech, and cameo time is over. Ollie suggests that he needs to say goodbye to Lois as well. Clark is conflicted over this... naturally, but he zips off to the Kent farm anyhow.

The Kandorians have cut off all Watchtower communications, but Ollie has his own satellite that he's giving to Chloe. What a softie. He has to go flip some switches in the ductwork of the groundstation (Who designs these places? Critical satellite controls in an air duct? Yeesh). Ollie crawls through the ducts, flips the switches and yay! The ductwork gets a little claustrophobic, and suddenly a bunch of unseen enemies (we think) are punching the crap out of the ductwork. They grab Ollie, who tells Chloe that he loves her and that the attackers are not Kandorian...(static hiss)

At the farm, Lois finds Dr. Swann (remember him? Played by Christopher Reeve back about six seasons ago)'s journal of Kryptonian Things. She finds a drawing of the Book of Rao (I should be calling it the disc of Rao. It doesn't look like a book or even a Kindle). and matches it to one that Perry gave her. Clark shows up to declare his never ending love for Lois. She tells him that they should have no secrets anymore-- he puts on 'Clark Kent Face' and claims that he has no idea of what she could POSSIBLY mean by that. She's figured out most of it, and she now believes that Zod could be right about Clark. She tells Clark about the job offer in Africa, but that she'd give it all up for Clark. Clark tells her to go, and leaves.

Tess is code blue-ing, along with HOUSE style convulsions. They call her time of death at 3:33 pm. A woman in the hall (Amanda Waller?) goes into her hospital room....

Lois has picked Clark's pocket for the Book of Rao.... but she sees through Zod's deception. He throws her towards a phone booth.... but Clark zips in at super-speed, punches Zod into low Earth orbit and rescues Lois. He stands in the alley while she recovers- she spots him, and gives him the Book of Rao. He takes her into the dark alley and kisses her passionately without a word. Lois realizes that the Blur is Clark, but he's already gone.

He arrives on the roof and activates Tess's Kryptonian Console. The Kandorians arrive, and Clark and Zod call each other traitors until Zod slips up and reveals that he killed his mate. The Kandorians say that they'll deal with Zod on New Krypton. Clark activates the console and the Kryptonians begin to ascend, except for Zod and Clark. Zod has a dagger made of blue Kryptonite, which has depowered them and made them immune to the Book of Rao. They fight in the rain on the roof, each one dealing damage, even without powers. Finally, Clark is stabbed, deeply. He falls off the top of the building. When removed from the vicinity of the blue Kryptonite, Zod is transported to the new world full of angry Kandorians. Clark falls, arms spread in the rainy night...

To Be Continued

Analysis

Wow.
Just Wow.
Action, character development, pacing that was quick without feeling rushed... this was an excellent finale. Not really crazy about the whole 'Wait four months to see how it turns out', but Man! they left a giant gun on the mantlepiece. The Suit. We now have the suit.

The theme of redemption cut through this episode. Clark wants no one to perish- there's always a second chance. Zod has no desire for repentance. He wants Earth to bow to him (Go figure). Tess has seen the error of her ways (yes, she actually SAYS that..) and helps Clark with a critical piece of the puzzle at a critical time.

Clark and Lois' love is also explored. She has a tremendous amount of faith in him, and her heartbreak when she thinks he's betrayed 'The Blur' is palpable. Tom Welling's acting was very convincing, his face showed all that was needed- as did Ms. Durance's. I'm actually looking forward to another season of this relationship. It's grown organically, and although the actors are much more comfortable with each other... the relationship that they portray feels very real... while avoiding most of the whole Superman-Lois-Clark triangle cliche's.

My predictions?
Well, Clark will either spontaneously learn to fly with a blue K dagger sticking out of him, or Hawkman will save him.

Whatever Ollie encountered in the airducts will be the big bad for next year.

Chloe will become Dr. Fate, and cast a spell that protects Clark's identity.

Clark will finally fly and wear the Suit.

Tags: