From the snowy tundra, a woman emerges to take over for the dearly departed (but not confirmed dead) Lex Luthor. She's sexy, ruthless and doesn't have nearly the qualifications to take over the lead job. No, it's not Sarah Palin. Her name is Tess Mercer, and she will stop at nothing to find Lex... which may be a problem, because the Fortress of Solitude, where we last saw him, has completely disappeared. Also, as Tess and Lex's Number Two has set up camp in the snow, Oliver and his Super Friends attack and act totally gay for each other. But they do find Clark's jacket.
Meanwhile, Chloe is being held, supposedly by the Department of Domestic Security, at a compound in Montana. What's more, Chloe suddenly has super-intelligence, and is using her powers to help decrypt terrorist messages to find phone numbers in lieu of going to prison. Unfortunately, it turns out that she was never arrested at all and the DDS compound was just another LuthorCorp joint looking to exploit Chloe's new power. And the targets she revealed were actually buddies of Oliver's. Oops.
Meanwhile, if you're wondering what's happened to Lois, she's darkened her hair and softened her makeup, all the better to dress up in a tiny French maid outfit and sneak into the Luthor mansion looking for clues to Chloe's whereabouts. The French maid outfit makes it feel like Al and Miles never left. Lois somehow ends up in Montana and ends up being part of the Chloe rescue effort.
Which brings us to Clark, who wakes up as Peter Petrelli from the beginning of Season Two of Heroes. He's in a foreign country surrounded by awful accents and made to work against his will. Clark has lost his powers and gets his ass kicked on a daily basis, probably because he tries to escape frequently. Luckily for him, Oliver shows up and buys Clark (along with a ton of caviar), but not before they roll around on the floor pretending to beat each other up. Clark and Oliver try to rescue Chloe, only to run into Lois.
Lex's Number Two has developed a mind control potion with some fluids extracted from Chloe's mother's spine (foresight!) and they force Chloe to give them one last terrorist phone number. It belongs to Oliver, who is then also mind-controlled into helping Lex's people try to find the missing Luthor. Clark gets in the way, and Oliver shoots him twice with arrows, one of which pierces his heart. Clark has a lame flashback featuring lots of gauzy shots of Lana (and, in second place, his parents), but is saved by the Martian Manhunter. The Manhunter flies Clark out of there and into space. Next thing Clark knows, he's awake in the barn with his powers restored. Sadly, Martian Manhunter had to lose his own powers to save Clark's. Totally not fair. Clark uses the moment to decide that he's sick of farm living and should start a new life elsewhere. Metropolis, maybe?
Tess sets up camp in the Luthor mansion and recovers a suitcase containing a big, blue Kryptonian crystal, the one that formed the Fortress of Solitude. Chloe reunites with Jimmy and brings up the whole wedding ring thing. Jimmy tries to take back his offer, but Chloe says she wants to marry the big dork. Oliver and his crew meet up with Clark and they decide they should split up and try to find Lex before he exposes Clark's secret. And finally, Clark visits The Daily Planet and reveals to Lois that not only did he keep the job application she gave him last season, but he already scored a job as a reporter sitting right across from her. Rest assured I will count the ways this is bullshit in the full recap.
Discuss this episode in our forums, then read Omar's interview with Smallville executive producer Brian Peterson to find out fun facts about the upcoming season! Wondering who all these costumed types are? Check out our comic geek's guide to the Superheroes of Smallville!
And we're back!
So much happened over the summer: the presidential election heated up to unbearable levels that make the skin burn and chafe; my kid started walking and watching the Noggin Channel 24/7, severely limiting my intake of life-giving DVDs of The Wire and life-taking reality television. And on this show, the two head honchos rode off into the Hollywood sunset, leaving four executive producers to take over in their stead. Four people in charge!? Why, that must mean the show will be twice as good, right? We shall see.
We open on the snowy side of a mountain as a helicopter flies nearby. The title says, "Arctic Tundra: Four Weeks Later." Arctic Tundra is a movie I would really like to see, preferably with Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as Kirk Lazarus. It seems as if a small base has been set up out in the arctic: four identical barracks have been cut-and-pasted onto the landscape as the helicopter continues to fly by. Inside one of the barracks, somebody hasn't bothered to shovel the snow from the interior of the entrance. We see a pair of boots crushing the snow beneath. The camera pivots around the boots until we get a rear view of a woman's heinie. "Who's Regan?" the woman asks. The little girl from The Exorcist? She's Linda Blair! Regan, who is actually Lex's stony Number Two from last season, answers the call. We see the woman from the front and she's been eaten by Kenny's hooded coat from South Park. She's wearing sunglasses and her parka is so furry around her face it might be a giant Muppet's asshole. The woman asks Number Two what he's been doing all this time... building a snowman? That snowman is top secret! Whoops. I mean... that snowman is classified. Dammit! There is no snowman and I did not just reveal that it exists.
Squinting at the woman, Number Two asks who she thinks she is and tells her this site is off limits. Because out here in the middle of nowhere, people just wander in like it's a damn Vancouver TV show set. She removes her furry hood and sunglasses and shows off her red hair and freshly applied makeup. "Tess Mercer. My access is unrestricted." But is your booty unrestricted? Because, damn, Tess Mercer. You just made me forget all about Lex... uh... whatever his last name was. Lex Lupus? Lincoln? Lucifer? Number Two continues squinting. Perhaps he is snowblind. Tess reveals that upon written orders from Lex, she's now the acting CEO of LuthorCorp and all its subsidiaries. Yes, even the struggling CW Network, though no one would blame LuthorCorp if they dumped it. Number Two looks like he got punched in the gut and has to go Number Two. He calls her an obscure regional VP and asks if she thinks she's qualified. All right, we have an arctic setting, a hot MILFy lady and questions about her qualifications to be in charge of a large organization. Is there any doubt this is supposed to be a Sarah Palin gag? I just wonder how they snuck that in on such short notice. How fun would it be if the show suddenly became a giant political satire? "Lex believes it. That's all that matters," Tess says. That's why Lex has never mentioned her on the show in seven seasons. His faith was so unshakeable as to be completely silent.