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October 9, 2015

'Smallville' Season 10, Episode 10 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Dec 4th 2010 12:00PM
smallville luthor recap['Smallville' – 'Luthor']

John Glover returned to chew the scenery as the villainous Lionel Luthor this week on 'Smallville.' And judging by this episode's cheeky final scene, it looks like he plans to stick around for a while to see "how it all turns out" as the show comes to a close this season.

And that's just fine by me. Glover's big-haired baddie was always a force to be reckoned with on 'Smallville,' and now he's back with a vengeance. Stripped of the white hat that he wore during his last few seasons on the show, he's bound to cause more pain and havoc for Clark Kent and friends than Rick Flag and Darkseid combined. Did you see what he did to Jor-El? This guy means business.

Glover didn't miss a beat. He was clearly having a blast playing the manipulative, conniving and just plain evil Luthor patriarch again, and I had a blast watching him cut down Clark and Tess in some of the season's darkest scenes yet. (Seeing him beat Clark with a belt was intense and a little disturbing.)

But Glover wasn't the only one who delivered a memorable performance here. Cassidy Freeman's portrayal of Tess Mercer is getting better and better as her character moves closer to redemption. It's a shame that her dear little Alexander, who's a "big boy" now, is probably gonna kill her before the season ends. Tess has become one of my favorite characters on the show, and Freeman did some of her best work of the series in this ep, playing two vulnerable versions of Tess.

This was an alternate reality episode that allowed the show's major players to portray darker-edged versions of their characters. In Earth-Two, up was down, down was up, and ... Clark and Tess, stepbrother and stepsister, were a heavy-petting couple! Disturbing? Check. Kinda hot? Check (for some of us anyway!).

In a fun and surprising turn, star Tom Welling showed a little range playing the murderous Clark Luthor from Earth-Two. For the first time in a long while, Welling looked like he was having fun on screen -- taking a cue from Glover and just going for it, making evil look good.

Two essential 'Smallville' truths were at the heart of this episode. Number One: Lionel Luthor the man, not Luthor blood, can corrupt even the noblest spirit. Exhibit A: He turned Clark into a monster. Number Two: Clark and Lois are meant for each other. Our favorite super-powered farm boy charmed even Earth-Two Lois, who was engaged to Oliver and had grown to hate Clark Luthor.

'Luthor' was a bit of a diversion from the season's major storyline. No one even mentioned Darkseid, Rick Flag or the Vigilante Registration Act. Still, this was one of the most entertaining episodes of the season. Lionel essentially breaking down the fourth wall at the end was a great nod to the fans (especially the ones who gave up on the show years ago and have returned for the final season), and it reminded me of how 'Smallville' has finally come to fully embrace its comic book roots.

This ep was also loaded with important character beats, especially between Tess and Clark. In a tender scene, Clark offered Tess support and took back his earlier remark about the "poisonous" Luthor blood. She admitted that even though Lionel was a sick and twisted villain, she was still hurting because he abandoned her when she was a child. Hmmm ... will Tess' daddy issues make it easier for Earth-Two Lionel to manipulate and eventually corrupt her? Time will tell.

Quotables and Other Thoughts:

- Did anyone else have a good laugh when Clark was zapped back to Earth-One and surrounded by the bruised and beating trio of Oliver, Tess and Lois pointing kryptonite arrows at his face? I hope the Watchtower has maid service.

- Lionel to Clark: The Man of Tomorrow -- Clark Luthor!

- Oliver to Clark: So Clark Luthor is the mysterious Ultraman of Metropolis. That name sucks by the way. Did it look good on paper?

- Lionel to Clark: There's certainly not getting Lex back. You saw to that.

- Clark to Lois: Nothing says "Sorry My Doppelganger From A Parallel Earth Tried To Kill You" like flowers.

- Lionel Luthor: I'm from out of town. Unexpected visit. But I guess I'm back in the nick of time. Wouldn't want to miss how it all turns out.

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The cinematography for the alternate Earth was superb to look at.Cassidy Freeman is a pretty lady & a talented actress.

December 06 2010 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mcculloughjezz smith

I like this episode and don't miss it and its really amazing show and its character so cool and good actor.

December 05 2010 at 12:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lionel Luthor breaking the fourth wall sealed the deal!

December 04 2010 at 11:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Edward's comment

What does that mean , "the fourth wall?"

And yes, I love Lionel last line....for sure my favourite season.

December 05 2010 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Please Hammer don\'t hurt \'em

This was a really fun ep. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did crack up in the scene where Clark was surrounded by the trio. Very funny.

December 04 2010 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great Episode and an even Greater Season! They soooo need to follow this up with a grown up Clark/Tom. As has been speculated and commented on before. I have to admit, Tess is growing on me as well. One tiny "nerd like" critique, why didn't Clark just show Lionel he didn't have a scar on his arm. I think Lionel would have wanted Clark Luthor back as well. Lastly... Erica Durance was Born to play Lois Lane!!!

December 04 2010 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Patrick's comment

This really was a great, non-Darkseid episode. I have to agree, when Lionel took off his belt my first thought was, "Oh, hell no." and then he did it. That was a powerful scene and reminded us what a sick bastard Lionel Luthor could be. With Glover back I can only hope Michael Rosenbaum has gotten over himself and will show up as "big boy" Alexander by the end of this season.

December 04 2010 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jimmy_MO's comment

Second that hope that MR returns as the best Lex Luthor ever!

December 04 2010 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul McCall

I would have liked an explanation as to why Clark was able to be cut by the sword and scarred. From the lighting I assumed something had changed the sun's radiance so his powers weren't all they should have been. Also, if Lionel had gotten him before the Kents then there would have been no reason to name him Clark, as that was Martha's family name. Lionel seems to like L names or names that can be shortened to L names.

December 04 2010 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Paul McCall's comment

Paul, if you were playing close attention (harder to do with the washed-out color pallet on Earth-2) you would've noticed that the swords were either made of BlueK or tipped in BlueK, either way, stripping Clark of his powers (which in pre-Crisis was actually the job of GoldK, which got a shout-out as well this episode for what Lex used to brand Clark with the Luthor Shield, BlueK was to Bizzaro what GreenK was to Superman... but again, that's pre-Crisis).

December 04 2010 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ultra-Man is a real character from an alternate earth.

December 04 2010 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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