Episode Title: "Prophecy"
Writers: Bryan Q. Miller & Anne Cofell Saunders
Director: Mike Rohl
Previously on "Smallville":
Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) told Clark Kent (Tom Welling) that there had been a breach in the Phantom Zone that allowed Slade Wilson (Michael Hogan) to escape to Earth. Unwilling to risk more of his enemies getting out, Clark journeyed to the Phantom Zone, with Oliver Queen (Justin Hartley) as his unexpected partner for the mission. Back on Earth, Lois Lane (Erica Durance) was angered to learn that Clark left without telling her… and that his apparent plan was to have Tess destroy the portal if Clark didn't return from the Zone in two hours. But unfortunately, Clark and Olivier were quickly captured by Major Zod (Callum Blue), who forced them into gladiatorial games.
Zod couldn't resist gloating that he made a deal with Darkseid to trap Clark with him in the Phantom Zone. Zod also sensed Oliver's corruption by Darkseid and offered to share power with him as brothers if he killed Clark in combat. Oliver seemed to fatally wound Clark, but he used the distraction to steal Zod's crystal and return it to Clark so they could escape. Back on Earth, Clark discovered that they had been gone for three weeks, which meant that his wedding was in two days. Meanwhile, Oliver decided to find the Bow of Orion in order to escape Darkseid's influence.
Clark meets up with Lois at her new office in The Daily Planet, where she is obsessing over a company called Marionette Ventures; which has been buying up properties around town at an alarming pace. But Clark insists that he take her to the Fortress to formally introduce her to his father, Jor-El (Terence Stamp) as his intended bride. Jor-El seems about as welcoming as he's ever been and then proceeds to transfer Clark's powers to Lois for a day to teach them a lesson before their marriage. On the Celtic coast, Oliver encounters Kara (Laura Vandervoort) caught in a trap as he searches a tomb for the Bow of Orion.
Once freed, Kara and Oliver realize that they're on the same mission and team up to find the Bow. They get past several traps, but Kara is called away by Jor-El, leaving Oliver to finish it. Back in Metropolis, Clark and Lois stakeout a clothing store that resisted a Marionette Ventures buy out. Lois uses her superhearing to learn that the owner is under attack. But to her surprise, the masked intruder is Stargirl (Britt Irvin), who was somehow controlled by the star on her neck. At the Fortress, Kara argues with Jor-El about helping Clark fight Darkseid, but he insists that it is Clark's battle and that Kara belongs in another time.
After freeing Stargirl from her mental control, Clark, Lois and Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) learn that Marionette Ventures is run by Metallo, Dark Archer, [Black] Manta, Solomon Grundy (!), Roulette and controlled by Winslow Schott (Chris Gauthier), the Toyman despite his current stint behind bars. Lois uses her powers to break into the prison and confront Toyman. But he quickly turns the tables on her by threatening Clark, who he knows is the Blur. Lois then meekly accepts a mind control device to spar Clark's life. And naturally, Toyman instantly sends her to kill Clark for him. Half a world away, Oliver finally gets his hands on the Bow of Orion, only to see Granny Goodness (Christine Willes) snatch it away from him.
Granny taunts Oliver as she destroys the Bow and makes him forget what she did. Then she sends him out to find Gold Kryptonite to neutralize Clark's powers. Meanwhile, Lois arrives to kill Clark, but he's able to stall her long enough for his powers to return. Clark then confronts Toyman in his cell and destroys his phone. After intimidating him, Clark goes to the Fortress where he tells Jor-El that his trials are over as he deactivates the construct that carried Jor-El's mind. Later, Clark meets with Lois, who is despondent at how easily Toyman used her love for Clark against her. Listening outside, Kara says a quiet goodbye to her cousin before using a Legion ring to travel to the future.
In her anguish, Lois declares that she is Clark's biggest weakness and that every moment he spends with her is a moment he's not saving someone else. So she tells him that she can't marry him.
Up until the end, I thought this was going to be one of the best episodes of the season. But the writers felt the need to add one last emotional cliffhanger when Lois calls off the wedding. To say the least, that was… not very convincing. Erica Durance is usually able to make even the worst Lois Lane scenes bearable, but even she couldn't pull off that moment. It just felt like a cheap way to raise the tension for the finale and it fell flat on its face.
Super-Lois was really fun for most of her time as a superheroine. I would have liked to have seen Durance actually wear the Super-Lois outfit from "All-Star Superman" and basically outshine Clark as a superhero for a day. And if she could fly, it would have been a nice reminder that Clark's overdue for a flight himself.
But what we got wasn't too bad. The scene where Lois realizes that Clark has to constantly ignore cries for help in order to focus on those in immediate danger was actually an effective way to convey Superman's powers. It also reflected Clark's ongoing dilemma of whether he should be Superman full time if it means saving more lives.
I loved the proto-Legion of Doom that showed up, even though we barely saw the villains. Not to mention that Metallo and Roulette were actually quasi-heroic the last time that we saw them. I doubt that the finale will follow up on the plot thread of the LOD hunting down the Justice League, but I'd be all for that.
One thing I don't understand is why Toyman keeps coming back as a villain on this show. He's the lamest of all of the Superman villains, except for The Prankster. Chris Gauthier doesn't give Toyman any real presence or make him seem like a legitimate threat. Which was why I was incredulous when Lois submitted to his mind control so easily. Basically it made her look weak and it didn't make Toyman look any better because of the sloppy writing in that scene.
It was good to see Kara (Supergirl) back one more time, but the way she was written out also defied logic. How much sense does it make to send Kara on a quest for the Bow and then recall her just as she's about to reach it? Or to send her on a quest against Darkseid, but prevent her from even warning Clark? At the very least, we should have gotten one more scene between Clark and Kara before she jetted off to the future.
Unfortunately, it looks like the corrupted Green Arrow story is going to continue into the finale. And from the looks of it, Oliver is going to "permanently" depower Clark with the Gold Kryptonite before Clark finds some way to regain his powers just in time to fight Darkseid and possibly convince Lex Luthor that he's not Superman. I really hope the finale's not that predictable.
I've been a fan of "Smallville" since the beginning, but it does sometimes disappoint me. I'm cautiously optimistic about the return of Michael Rosenbaum's Lex Luthor and seeing Clark finally become Superman.
Just don't let me down, "Smallville." I really want to "believe."
Crave Online Rating: 7.5 out of 10.