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How Could You Be So Heartless?
ose days are long gone. Clark thanks her and says he'll be more careful next time. "Dressed like that?" Chloe asks. Clark just looks at her. "What if I was Lois?" She thinks Lois would take one look at him and realize Clark is the Blur. I think Lois would think Clark was dressed up for Halloween. Clark lies about how there's no more Clark Kent and Chloe calls him on it: "Coming back to feed the dog is about as human as it gets." Clark doesn't have a response to that. Chloe asks him if he's still reaching out to Lois as the Blur. "She told you?" Clark asks, visibly surprised. In other shocking news, grass is green, the sky is blue, and Krispy Kreme was invented by the devil. Chloe reminds him that he's supposed to be training with Jor-El. Does he know that Clark is talking to Lois? Clark says daddy doesn't need to know, sounding like he's twelve and he's been sneaking out to the naughty movies. Chloe gets pissed off about Clark only leaving behind his human attachments when it suits him. Clark, having apparently never argued with a woman before, tells her she's taking it too personally. Oh, man. Cover your alien 'nads, Clark. He brings up her anger over Jimmy. Chloe, in a rare show of piss and vinegar, practically spits at him: "We both sacrificed a lot so that you could become the hero you're meant to be." She tells him to quit back-peddling and commit to what he started before someone else gets hurt. She glares at him before storming out. He watches after her blandly. Maybe he's supposed to be deep in thought, but it's so deep that it hasn't reached his face yet.

We move now to the emergency room at Metropolis General. John is being wheeled in on a gurney, begging for someone to "please get it out of me." He's grunting and panting and groaning huskily but the shrill, panicky music keeps it from sounding too porny. A white-coated Emil is there and promptly takes over the situation because, I guess, he's suddenly also an ER doc. He wants a trauma panel and a bunch of other medical technobabble that I won't transcribe. Emil introduces himself, "I'm Dr. Hamilton. And you are?" John grits out that he's in a nightmare. Emil pulls back the sheet that's been covering John's torso and reveals the gross machinery that's been implanted in his chest. It looks like it's comprised of one part old-fangled submarine, one part crustacean, and one part lime Jell-O shooter. Ten curved metal pipes dig into John's flesh. Emil frowns and there's a nice shot of the green glow of John's krypto-heart reflected in his glasses. John, still frantic, asks, "What is all this?" Emil calmly diagnoses that someone's "surgically implanted a bionic matrix" in him and it's powered by "meteor rock." John wants to know if it can be taken out. Emil says it can't, because John's heart has been removed and the "apparatus" is the only thing keeping him alive. John doesn't take the news well. He starts to get up, all panicky grunting and gasping for breath. An orderly tries to hold him down but John's new bionic arm tosses him into a nearby glass partition. Emil tries to sedate him and is thrown into a supply cart for his troubles. John seems surprised and disturbed by his own strength. He gets the hell out of there.

Down Luthor mansion way, Tess is in Lex's old office, beating a heavy bag with a long stick in a martial arts workout kind of way. Lois walks in and snarks, "What is it with you and the physical violence?" Tess turns to face Lois, all glowing and sweaty and practically purrs at her: "The last time we saw each other, things did get a little... physical. Didn't they?" That... was a weird way to say things. Tess is referring to their fight in the finale, but she makes it sound like they went at it like horny mountain goats. She even wiggles her shoulders suggestively for emphasis. Lois wants to know what happened after the fight, because she thinks Tess knocked her out and held her somewhere. Tess keeps it up with the innuendo: "'Held' you? That's wishful thinking, Lane." I don't think she meant that kind of holding, Tess. Tess says when she woke up, Lois was already gone. "We never did get to finish what we started. Little rematch?" Tess asks, and eyes Lois like a side of barbecue brisket in heels. Lois turns her down. "I just came to tell you I'm not leaving the Daily Planet." Tess points out she wasn't leaving -- she was fired. Lois conversationally blackmails Tess into giving her her job back. She has friends at the Inquisitor who would love to run a story about Tess's plans for a "hostile alien takeover." Tess chuckles because no one would believe Lois. Lois agrees that's a possibility, but thinks Tess wouldn't want the attention anyway. Only if it's coming from you, Lois. Tess doesn't say anything. Lois: "I'll see you at the office." Tess watches her go with a smile. Those two are totally going to pick out china patterns together before the end of the season.

On her way out, Lois passes a youngish guy with a computer pad, and snarks, "Shouldn't you be in school?" OK, he's not that young, girl. He remarks to Tess that Lois has a "little fire" in her. It's an ember, tops. Tess calls him "Stuart" and asks what he has for her. He seems to suddenly remember why he's there: "It's about your missing Kryptonians." He shows her the pad with a red indicator atop a grid layout of Metropolis; he thinks he knows where they are. Tess looks even happier than if Lois had accepted her invitation to a sweaty tussle.

Back at the all-too familiar Metropolis General ER, Emil is parting ways with a uniformed cop. He goes to a darkened office. A whoosh closes the door, startling him. He turns around to see Clark. "I understand it took Chloe years to get used to your... 'entrances'." Why does everything in this episode sound so dirty? Is it me? Clark gets down to business. He heard about what happened on the police scanner. "Was it a meteor freak?" They prefer to be called Meteor-Mutated Americans, Clark. Emil says it's a cyborg, which he thinks is something more disturbing. He was built against his will. Clark remembers Lex working on projects like this before. "Not like this," Emil says, slapping an X-ray of John's chest onto the lighted display. Ominous music plays. Emil explains for Clark what the rest of us already saw in the episode, adding that the new meteorite power source is boosting the cyborg's adrenaline levels and thus intensifying his emotions. Emil is afraid that the longer the "rock" stays in his body, the more it will poison his mind. Yeah, Whitney Houston can tell you all about the evils of messing with rock for too long. Emil thinks the cyborg could turn homicidal. Clark starts to leave to go track down this mystery cyborg, but Emil calls him back to give him the only clue he has: a globe keychain. "He must have dropped it out of his pocket," Emil says. Convenient! Clark recognizes it as the keychain all Daily Planet employees are given. "He must work at the paper." Emil thinks he'll be easy to find, because "a green glow is hard to miss." Clark looks like he's just now remembers that kryptonite is bad for him. "Emil, I need a favor."

Out on the windy streets of Metropolis, John is stumbling along barefooted and clutching an oversized coat around his body. He's all, "Aaah!" and "Unngh!" and panting so you know he's struggling with the pain and horror of it all. He passes the makeshift fence cage from earlier in the episode. His earlier conversation with Lois about the Blur echoes through his thoughts. He sees the pretty brunette's picture lying in the street where he'd lost it the night before. "Becca," he says. He falls to the ground to pick it up and the wipe water and debris from it. He looks up and sees the S burned into the phonebooth. He looks like he's about to cry.

Some time later, he stumbles into what I thought at first was the same grungy warehouse of his horrific surgery. This place seems slightly less grungy, though, and there's a furnace burnin

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