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

Watchtower. Tess is still trying to restore communication with Clark while Lois paces around behind her. Lois notices that Tess keeps checking her watch. Tess explains she's just checking to see how long Clark and Oliver have been gone, but she's so nervous that it comes off sounding pretty weak. Tess says something about how "cool heads will prevail" but she seems anything but cool at the moment. Lois grows increasingly antsy. Having been to the Phantom Zone herself, she knows what Clark and Oliver are facing. "We have to get them out," she says. "I'm trying," Tess says, turning back to her computer. Lois grabs her arm and says she's not trying hard enough. She tells Tess to check the "crystal laser thingy." As soon as Tess steps away from the computer, Lois takes over. A timer pops up on the monitor along with some text that includes the words "incinerate crystal." Lois realizes with dawning horror that Tess means to destroy the gate.

Phantom Zone. Two more fighters take to the arena as Clark is shoved into the cage next to Oliver's. Just a note to any aspiring supervillains out there: If you have two or more enemies in your custody and they happen to be friends with each other, don't stick them next to each other in prison so they can plot your demise. Oliver tells Clark he'd rather take his chances out in the desert with the Phantoms than in Zod's arena. Clark says Zod has the key they need to get home. Also, he and Tess set the crystal to self-destruct if he didn't make it back. "How does Lois feel about that?" Oliver asks. "Lois doesn't know," Clark says. "I'd hoped to get us out of here before we had to worry about that." Jerk. I hope Lois gives you a kryptonite knee to the crotch when you get home. Oliver panics just a wee bit, because it's not like Clark has any powers in here. What's he supposed to do to get them out? I bet he could flirt his way to freedom; he's looking really pretty. Clark says he knows everything Jor-El wrote about the Phantom Zone. Also, he knows how Zod thinks. As they watch through the bars of their cages, a beefy, shirtless gladiator triumphs over his opponent with an axe to the head. "I hope all your studying paid off," Oliver says. "Because it's test time."

Watchtower. Tess realizes that Lois has figured out the plan. "Destroying the crystal was a last resort," she explains. "I didn't want to worry you." That just pisses her off even more. Tess tries to explain that Clark knew the risks but Lois accuses her of betraying the team. Tess tells her she's acting on Clark's orders. Lois looks stunned for a few moments, then gathers herself up and announces she thinks it's a terrible plan. As far as Smallville plans go, it's actually not bad. "There's no way he'd be OK with it," Lois says, although she clearly realizes that's not true. Tess reminds Lois of the last time the Phantoms got out. Clark doesn't want them to hurt anyone else. Lois turns away, takes some deep breaths. Her eyes fill with tears. Tess tries to sympathize with her, but Lois grabs a gun from Tess's desk and aims it at her. Dramatic! Tess looks more resigned than afraid. She says she doesn't want to give up on them, but: "We have a responsibility to not put the world at risk for selfish reasons, which is what you're doing by wanting to see him again." Tess says being with a hero means accepting that hero's sacrifices. Lois disagrees. "Being a hero's wife means never accepting defeat." Tess makes a mental note to find a better hiding place for her gun.

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