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September 3, 2015

'Smallville' Season 10, Episode 9 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Nov 20th 2010 11:30AM
smallville patriot hogan['Smallville' – 'Patriot']

Clark Kent learned another hard lesson on this week's episode of 'Smallville': Sometimes fighting for truth, justice and the American way means battling corrupt baddies working for the United States government.

Michael Hogan (Saul Tigh from 'Battlestar Galactica') guest starred as General Slade Wilson, a mean and merciless military man bent on destroying any threat to democracy – including superheroes, aka unregistered vigilantes.

A.C./Aquaman (Alan Ritchson) and his scantily clad new wife, Mera (Elena Satine), seemingly confirmed Slade's fears that superheroes are terrorists by blowing up an off-shore oil rig at the start of the episode. But the rig was really a front for a high-tech holding cell meant to imprison our super hero squad -- a "glacial Gitmo," as Ollver dubbed it, reminding us that 'Smallville' is taking a stab at thinly-veiled political commentary this season with its vigilante registration act plot.

Slade compared the superhero menace to Hitler and Saddam Hussein, and Lois called the registration act "a steaming pile of Spanish inquisition served up with a side of fear and loathing." The fantasy world of 'Smallville' is mirroring the real life politically charged landscape with a major issue is dividing the people of Metropolis.

Godfrey's (Michael Daingerfield) propaganda and fear mongering is infecting the world, and the vigilante registration act is giving paranoid bullies like Slade a license to trap and torture superhumans without cause. But even with the show taking inspiration from the front page and CNN, it rarely strays too far from its source material – the colorful pages of DC comic books.

Star Tom Welling directed this episode, which offered plenty of fun, whiz-bang comic book action and intrigue. Welling kept the pace swift as the plot followed our heroes from Smallville to Metropolis to Florida and, finally, underwater.

I've never been a fan of 'Smallville''s drab version of Aquaman, but I applaud this episode, written by John Chisholm, for attempting to flesh out the character a little more by alluding to his back story and giving him a bit of a dark side. Still, despite Aquadude's massive amount of screen time, it was Hogan's scenery-chewing turn as Slade that stole the show.

Slade's dark nature and evil intent were revealed shortly after Oliver signed the registration act and was subjected to water-boarding, or "tank-boarding." Of course, Oliver opted to be the guinea pig after Clark, always the optimistic idealist, volunteered.

It wouldn't be 'Smallville' without a little Lois and Clark drama. Lois felt jilted after learning that Clark decided to give himself up to the government without consulting her first. Makes sense. He already bought a ring for her, so shouldn't she be involved in decisions that could potentially affect their life together? Superman can be pretty short-sighted sometimes when it comes to matters of the heart.

But Lois soon made her point clear by tracking Clark down and proving that she could stand with him and not just beside him. It was great to see the romantic drama resolved by the end of the ep, with Lois and Clark having a mature conversation about her role in the relationship and how she fits in to the superhero puzzle. Clark even made Lois an official part of the team by taking her to Watchtower, and Tess offered her hand in friendship by saying, "From now on, mi com set es su com set."

The ep ended with Clark explaining that the "darkness" that took over Godfrey earlier in the season was spreading all over the world. It's seeping into everyone who has a dark side and influencing their choices and actions, and they might not even be aware of what's happening to them.

The idea of the good guys battling something they can't even see is a little ... troubling. Still, the final scene of the night put to rest some of my concerns about how the "darkness" would manifest and give them something to fight. Slade, who had the Omega symbol branded on his skull, gave in to the darkness completely and transformed into Deathstroke, the one-eyed supervillain from DC Comics lore. That's right, nerds – Saul Tigh is the Terminator! Have I mentioned how much I love this season of 'Smallville?'

Other thoughts:

- Erica Durance is an ace. She just might be the best Lois Lane to ever hit the screen – big or small.

- Here's hoping we get a fun showdown between Dr. Emil (Alessandro Juliani) and Slade later this season -- only because it would be fun to see Tigh and Gaeta meet again.

- Sadly, we didn't' see Tess dealing with the fallout from last week's reveal. Hopefully some of that will play out in next week's ep, "Luthor," featuring the return of John Glover as Lionel Luthor.

'Smallville' airs Fridays at 8PM ET on The CW.

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I commented early in the episode that Michael Hogan must be happy getting to perform without an eyepatch, but the joke was on me when the episode ended with him being one-eyed again.

November 22 2010 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The strength of ED is that she's continually looking to improve. Her acting from season four to Identity (if you haven't watched that scene at the barn do yourself a favor and do so) to now just keeps getting better. Deservedly so of the title "best Lois Lane ever" and I really love Margot Kidder.

Preaching to the choir about season 10. Lots to love.

Although I have to correct your "Ginny" lol. I think that's supposed to be guinea as in experimental guinea pigs.

November 22 2010 at 4:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jem's comment

Ugh, I meant Infamous, not Identity.

December 05 2010 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to agree with you about Erica Durance. I didn't like the her at first, but Durance has made Lois Lane her own and is easily the best actress to portray her since Margot Kidder.

November 21 2010 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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