"We can rebuild her. We have the Kryptonian technology."
Well, that’s not exactly what Clark said at the end of tonight’s Smallville episode, "Lara," but it’s close. The episode, named after Clark’s birth mother, shed a bit of light on the past, but didn’t do a lot to illuminate the present. Taking a break from the action from "Cure" and "Action," this week’s episode sought to illuminate the Kryptonian ties that bind, and the Kryptonian technology that ensues when one’s uncle sneaks into your mom’s room in the middle of the night and snips off part of her golden locks in order to create a clone that will love him.
I might still be confused as to how Kara can hack into the mainframes of the national security mainframes of America using a desktop from the Daily Planet, but at least this week’s episode cleared up the strange way in which she’s easily adapted to life on Earth so quickly: she’s been there before. 1986, to be exact, a year that brought us the classic ballad "That’s What Friends Are For," and Kara’s first trip to Earth. Turns out she was scoping out the Kent Farm when who should appear but Lara, played by former Supergirl herself Helen Slater.
I was also confused as to why Kara defended her ostensibly evil father, Zor-El, and this episode gave us the reason for that as well: Zor-El liked to emulate the Haitian from Heroes and mindwipe his daughter whenever she saw something uncouth. In this case, she watched Zor-El mack on the Jor-El’s baby mama in a scene that seemed like an outtake from the hit Krypton soap-opera, Desperate Kandorians. At one point, this exchange actually took place:
Zor-El: Jor-El’s blood runs too cold to be a father.
Lara: You tried to kill him, what does that make you?
All of this information was disseminated thanks to this week’s Exposition Device: a machine that somehow makes the user live out a memory when questioned. If that makes no sense, remember you’re watching a show in which Lana Lang is a criminal mastermind and just stop asking questions altogether, OK? Agent Carter cobbled this device together, ostensibly when not concocting plots about how aliens want to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids. While a patently ridiculous trope (the machine works using a Kryptonite IV drip, after all), it did serve to end the "he said/she said" between Kara and Martian Manhunter once and for all. And it gave Helen Slater screen time, and that’s never a bad thing in my book.
Kara ended up in Dr. Phil’s Kryptonian Konfrontation Kouch after following a lead from her super-hacking skills, which led her to a company called LX Dynamics. Jimmy Olson helpfully informed her that the company was a Luthor-owned defense contractor, but I think we all know that "LX Dynamics" is the named of the boy-band Lex once formed to challenge the supremacy of New Kids on the Block. Lex took a back seat in this episode. Pretty much every time we saw him, he was either getting spied on by his ex, shot in the chest by Agent Clark, or verbally destroyed by his father. All in all, Lex has had better days. Although, come to think of it, he successfully avoided a concussion, so maybe this was his best day all month.
Clark’s day was slightly better, as he finally got to see his mother (awww), patched things up with his cousin (awww), and learned a new power: Super CPR! Seriously, was I the only one laughing at loud when he pulled that move on Kara to revive her? Absolutely hysterical. More telling, however, is that he did that move in the split second that Lionel Luthor wasn’t watching. Clearly, Clark is reticent to tell Lionel about Kara’s true nature, which shows a cleverness I didn’t suspect Clark possessed. While he seems grateful for what Lionel’s done in the recent past, he’s wise to keep that man at arm’s length.
Jimmy’s day? Pretty freakin’ great, by the end, what will an intergalactic hottie all up in his business. I would still advise Kara to take a look around at other guys first before settling, you know, hit up a few bars, get set up on some blind dates, maybe set up an account on K-Date (Kryptonians need dating sites as much as the rest of us, people)…but she seems pretty happy with Jimmy. And Jimmy, God bless him, is thinking, "Chloe…Kara…upgrade!" Which leads us, then, to Chloe’s day, and this week’s installment of "Chloe Gets Kicked in the Face."
I actually thought we would go two weeks without this installment. When Kara asked Jimmy out on a date in the Daily Planet, I actually typed out, "Whew, least Chloe wasn’t there." And literally, the moment I stopped typing it, in walks Chloe with a big "Kick Me" sign written across her forehead. She sees Jimmy with a look I sometimes get when the vending machine spits out an extra bag of Doritos that I didn’t even pay for: complete and utter bliss. She quickly figures out this bliss is of the Kara variety, at which point she turns into that annoying "I know we’re not dating but I want to have a say in who you’re seeing" person that even I don’t like, and when Smallville makes me hate Chloe, even for a nanosecond, an angel loses its wings.
The one salvation in her character’s arc this season: it looks like she might be the one to expose Lana Lang for the psycho, money-grubbing, I-talk-sweetly-but-my-voice-makes-doves-fall-from-the-sky person she truly is. I liked the reveal of the neon sign sitting face down the first time we saw Lana enter her new office space: turns out she’s started the Isis Foundation, a place for those with meteor-related maladies to have a place to come and listen to Lana talk about her dead parents for the four hundred millionth time. (I swear, I think the Foundation’s true goal is to ensure No Child Gets to Avoid Hearing That Story.)
When Lana "kindly" asks Chloe not to tell Clark about the foundation, Chloe’s Spidey Sense goes off, and she’s thinking, "Nobody messes with my Clarky-Poo!" only she’s thinking it in less third-grade terms than that. The surest way to earn Chloe as an enemy is to lead her to believe you’re trying to pull one over on Clark Kent. Hopefully this leads to a smackdown during Sweeps during which Chloe kicks the ever-loving snot out of Lana. I know, unlikely, but this is America, and I’m allowed to dream.
Before that fight comes, however, we’ll have to deal with the stupidity of Clark telling Lana that he is in possession of his mom’s DNA. It’s kind of like telling someone you’re in possession of your mother’s ashes, only I’m pretty sure the unleashing of those ashes won’t lend the nearest person powers akin to a Kryptonian. Get ready for the inevitable, people: Lana’s going to get super powers. And when that happens, every puppy on earth will die.
So make your peace with lil’ Scraps while you can, because you’ve only got a week to do so.
Did you like Lana/Lara’s backstory? How long before Chloe break’s Lana’s cover? And when will Jimmy’s "I Date Intergalactic Babes…And You Can Too" seminar tour begin?
For more TV reviews and analysis, check out Ryan at Boob Tube Dude.