Smallville

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Tippi Blevins: B+ | Grade It Now!
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There Is No Spoon
g behind him. "Don't you leave me here, Clark!" Oliver shouts, shoving his shoulder against the window. One of the overhead lights begins to fizz and pop. Oliver looks up just in time to see all the lights blow out in sparks of electricity. The brick wall begins to warp and bubble. As Oliver watches, a human shape begins to emerge from the brick. The shape is vague at first, then suddenly Chloe is standing there in a smart white suit. "Hello, Oliver," she says with a Mona Lisa smile.

He gapes and blinks for a while, thinking that he's seeing some drug-induced vision. "You're not hallucinating," she tells him. "That's kind of hard to believe, considering you just materialized out of a wall," he says. She takes a step towards him. He takes a step away from her. She says she's there to save him, but he doesn't believe her. He brings up the lab where he saw her. "You were messing with our heads," he says. "You tortured us." She's hurt that he would believe that. He paces around her, keeping his distance, wary. So she explains that the government captured them at Carter's funeral then stuck them all inside the Matrix. She doesn't use those exact words, but that's the gist of it. (Also, there's really neat, subtle background music here. It's nice to know that the show can do understated once in a while.) He looks at her for a long time, wanting to believe her, but he can't quite buy the virtual reality thing. She tells him that he and the others are still lying in that lab, trapped in something like a giant video game. "You're not real?" he asks. "I'm pretty much Chloe in the sky with diamonds," she says. She broke into the lab and created an avatar of herself to interact with them. Yet she couldn't get them to wear loincloths? Things are starting to make more sense to Oliver, except for the flashbacks. She explains that she had tried to disconnect them but they flat-lined, so she had to reconnect them. He thinks that over for a while, but time's a-wasting. "Look, Oliver, I gotta get you out of here," she says, heading for the door. He points out his current predicament, what with the cell and the straitjacket and all. She reminds him they're in a virtual world. "Because I believe that everything I see is fake, I'm not limited by it," she says. "I have power." She touches the door and it swings open. He concentrates for a bit and the straitjacket vanishes. He stares at his arms in amazement. "How'd you do that?" She grins. "I didn't; you did."

She leads him through the virtual Met Gen, which looks just like the real Met Gen, so kudos to those VRA computer programmers. She tells him she's taking him to the trapdoor that she's programmed. Where is it? 800 feet above a busy street. He makes some snarky rumblings about that and she's like, "Hey, it was more dramatic that way!" Actually, she says she had no control over where the door showed up. Chloe stops him when she sees two black-clad men carrying guns. She explains they're part of the computer's automated security system that runs every six minutes. If the virtual cops find them, they'll kill them. Like, kill kill, not just video-game kill. She offers Oliver this analogy: "If a skydiver's parachute doesn't open, the cause of death is not high impact; it's the heart attack you have because you know you're gonna die." But if you know it's all fake, why would you expect to die? There had to have been a better way to inject some urgency in this episode. Like, if they find you in the virtual world, a box of deadly blue-ringed octopuses will be automatically emptied into your real-world boxer shorts! They dart down another hallway only to find more virtual cops heading for them. Chloe pulls Oliver around a corner. He gallantly offers to hold them off while she runs, but she says she can handle them. "I just need to know one thing," she says. "Do you trust me?" "With my life," he answers. She gets a sly little smile, then pulls two guns out of nowhere. She coolly shoots one guard in the chest and kneecaps the other one. Oliver's face goes "buh?" for a second. "Let's go," Chloe says.

Daily Planet. Clark and Lois sift through computer files, trying to find the facility where they were being held. So far, nothing looks familiar. "What if Dinah was right?" Clark asks. "What if Chloe is responsible?" Lois reminds Clark of Dinah's past as a right-wing radio personality. She calls her audience "tub-thumping, love-it-or-leave-it morons." Cue Dinah's entry into the scene. "How does it feel to be on the run from the war hawks you rallied behind?" Lois asks sweetly. Dinah gives her a look, but ignores her. Instead, she says to Clark that Oliver has escaped from Met Gen. She pulls up security footage on the computer to show them Oliver leaving with Chloe. Clark thinks Chloe must have a good reason for not contacting the rest of them, although he's starting to sound a little doubtful. Dinah reminds him Chloe experimented on them. "Chloe would never hurt Oliver," Lois says. "Not unless he got in her way," Dinah says, pulling up footage of Chloe shooting the (virtual) cops. Clark and Lois look aghast. Hey, the guy pulled a gun on her first. Anything that happened after that was all about self-defense and looking cool in slow motion. Lois stands up for her cousin, but Dinah blathers on about how Chloe took those men out in "cold blood." Dude. They pulled guns first. Did they take her brains along with her Canary Cry? Lois and Dinah bicker with each other. Clark wisely stays out of it. He gets a text on his cell from Chloe, telling him to meet her on the roof. At this point in the bicker fest, Dinah is saying, "Violent criminals deserve to fry. If your cousin is one of them, then that's a campfire I'm not ashamed to sing around." Y'all are all kinda violent, don't you think? Lois asks Clark for his opinion, but he's gone.

He's just stepping out onto the rooftop where Chloe and Oliver are waiting. Clark can hardly believe it's her. She runs into his arms for a big hug. She says she doesn't have long, but he wants an explanation for the two guards and the flashbacks. Oliver and Chloe explain about the whole Matrix situation they're in. The government wants to figure out how to turn Clark's powers (and Oliver's skills) off and on, which is why he doesn't have abilities here. If they choose to work with the government, they get to keep their powers. Clark's still confused about the flashbacks, so Chloe explains how she was trying to disconnect them but things went badly. Oy! So much of this show is people explaining stuff to other people who weren't in previous scenes where stuff was already explained. Group scenes! Look into it! Guards are advancing up the steps toward the roof. Clark's still kind of unsure. "Look, Clark," Chloe says, "I can get you out of this world of weird, but only if you truly believe it's fake." She's talking too fast for his brain to process. The guards pound on the door, but Oliver's blocked it with a 2X4. Chloe urges Clark to follow her to the roof's ledge. "We have to jump," she tells him. "It's the only way you can get through the portal and into the real world." Clark still has questions. She asks him to trust her. A helicopter circles overhead, scanning the roof with a searchlight. Chloe offers Clark her hand. He reaches out, but hesitates. "I can't," he whispers, pulling away. "I'm sorry." With an apologetic look, Chloe and Oliver leap from the roof and plummet through a midair flash of light.

In the real-world lab, Oliver wakes up. The cover on his chamber slides open. He yanks the wires off his head and stumbles to his feet. Chloe's standing there, waiting for him. He looks at her like he's afraid to believe. "Are we dead?" he asks shakily. "This might help you decide," she says, and pulls him into a kiss. I hope someone's been brushing his teeth for the last few weeks. As the camera pulls back from the reunited couple, the rest of the lab comes i

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