Smallville

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Tippi Blevins: B | Grade It Now!
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Game of Zones

As they wander through the Fortress's opposite, they see that the place has been festively decorated with hundreds of human skulls. Some sit atop pikes, others dangle from garlands. All are marked with Omegas. "It's a warning from the Zoners," Clark explains. "Consider it a not-so-friendly 'keep out' sign." Is there such a thing as a friendly "keep out" sign? It's all relative, I guess. Also, the trip has done absolutely fantastic things for Clark's hair. It's all curly and tousled and... not dorky. He looks years younger. They realize Darkseid has been there and may have been responsible for sending Slade back to Earth. Oliver's a bit unimpressed. "When you said Jor-El built a prison, I pictured something a little more confined than a national park." What kind of national parks are you going to? Clark explains that "Krypton's worst criminals could have some kind of life" there. "Seems like a real sweetheart," Oliver says under his breath. They make their way to the gateway, which is also bedecked with an assortment of skulls. Clark buzzes his little watch thing to let Watchtower know what's going on. Before they can get to the portal, they hear an eerie shriek in the distance. "Phantoms," Clark says. "They're the most dangerous prisoners here; we need to hurry." They reach the console, which is made of the same black crystal as the rest of the place and stamped with a big S-shield. The middle of the shield has a conspicuous empty spot. "Someone took the crystal," Clark says. Oliver's not quite grasping the urgency of the situation, so Clark explains that the crystal itself is the gate. "Whoever sent Slade back must have taken it with them." Maybe before they came all this way, they should have checked Slade to see if he had it. He doesn't, of course, but they didn't know that. Clark and Oliver ready themselves for battle. A phantom swoops in, black and ragged like a Hefty bag full of leaves that's been left outside too long, and devours the screen whole.

Watchtower. Tess listens to the staticky, garbled sounds of the fight. Lois walks in through the doors and Tess mutes the sound. "They aren't back yet?" Lois asks, incredulous. It's not like they went to the corner store for gum, you know. Tess is strangely jittery as she tries to convince Lois she has the situation under control. That must be her way of telling Lois to skedaddle, because Lois argues back that she's not leaving until she knows Clark is safe. The computer pipes up with an announcement: "Crystal transmission interrupted." Tess is wearing thick-framed glasses; how did Lois even recognize her? Tess glances at her watch, fiddles with the computer. She can't get a signal. "Maybe the problem's on our end," Lois suggests. "No, either the signal's been blocked or the communicator's been destroyed," Tess says, not realizing how bad that sounds until the words are already out of her mouth. Lois tries to keep calm and optimistic, but Tess is less so. "Clark and Oliver are on their own now," she says.

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Smallville

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