Smallville

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Uncle Sam Wants You... to Die!

A.C. super-paddles his way across the ocean to his next destination. There's a loud clang while he's under water. Suddenly, he stops swimming. Did he hit his head on something again?

In a secret government facility of his own, Oliver undergoes a battery of physical evaluations. He runs on a treadmill, punches a heavy bag and rides a stationary bike while a cool blue spotlight beams down on him in an otherwise dark room. Rockin' music plays. His sweaty, naked torso is highlighted in a series of quick cuts that make the whole thing look like a fitness infomercial. He jogs and sweats some more on the treadmill while Slade and the Army lady watch him from an observation room. "Almost done, Mr. Queen," she says politely. Slade compliments Oliver's strength, agility, and coordination. And his sweat smells like daisies! Oliver, sensing where the discussion is going, assures Slade that he's human. Slade invites Oliver to join him, help bring in the other vigilantes. Oliver declines and makes a very nice, inspirational speech about heroes. Slade is impressed, but decides to try a different angle, like taking him to a room where A.C. has been chained up and roasted under heat lamps. While Oliver gapes in horror, Slade lightly punches Oliver in the back of the head. That must have been a helluva exhausting workout, because Oliver thuds to the ground without a fight.

Back in Florida, Mera is swimming around the dolphin pool instead of, say, doing something useful. Lois is waiting at the edge of the pool when Mera climbs out. Mera recognizes her, then peels right out of her wet suit. A dolphin laughs in the background. Lois averts her eyes for a about a second, but Mera just keeps standing around naked. "I am Mera," she says. "Wife of Orin, future king of the seven seas." When Lois looks confused, Mera explains that's Arthur's real name. Mera leisurely turns around so Lois can see her dorsal side. It must be jellyfish, because jam don't shake like that. She goes on to tell Lois about how Orin is leading his people. She puts on an itty bitty green bikini so that the camera doesn't have to keep finding ways not to show her boobs, then leads Lois into the aquarium. Lois has more pressing matters. "I need to find Clark," she says. Mera scoffs: "Certainly you are not a partner in his endeavors?" I... don't entirely understand what she's trying to say. Lois takes it as a jab at her relationship, which leads Mera to call her "someone who can be satisfied by a man of her own kind." The swimming, the nudity, the satisfaction talk... I feel like on another channel, this would be leading to soft-focus porn. "You desire those that are extraordinary," Mera says. "First Orin, then Oliver... now Clark." They all had super hot bodies! Who wouldn't go for that if given a chance? Lois points out that she only dated A.C. for, like, a day. Mera gets her bitch on, wondering why men would choose "someone of lesser ability." Lois is getting pissed. "Listen, squid lips, you don't know anything about me, or Clark." "I know you came here looking for Clark," Mera says. Possibly because Lois just told her that. She talks some shit about Lois being left out, then invites her to see what the guys have been up to.

Mera points Lois to the lab. She walks in, gazing at all the sundry tech things in wonder. Clark zips in, surprised to see her. In turn, Lois is surprised that Clark is already working on rescuing Oliver. She's even more surprised when Tess pops up on a monitor with information from Watchtower. There's a slightly funny moment of awkwardness as the two see each other. Lois is upset that she can't get hold of Clark, but Tess apparently can. She starts to wade into a relationship talk, but Tess blessedly cuts in: "Sorry to interrupt the 'Real Housewives of Metropolis,' but there's something you need to know about this alloy that we tested." Wait... what? What alloy? There must have been a scene cut out somewhere. Anyway, it's something the government's been developing and it can change properties. Tess calls it "multi-functional weaponry." It's made of titanium and plot holes. Mera starts to worry that her husband isn't back yet. Lucky for them, Lois shows them the handy blueprint she photographed in Slade's office. Even luckier, it's the only operational facility, which narrows down their search a lot. Clark looks proud of his girlfriend.

Columbia Glacier, Alaska. The facility is not out at sea like the others, but nestled in snow-capped mountains. Oliver's been rigged up to something like looks like part carnival dunk tank, part waterboarding torture device. Slade presses a button and he's dipped backwards into water. Justin Hartley's naked torso has been so thoroughly oiled that it's surprising a slick doesn't form in the tank. Oliver's brought back up out of the water. "Please tell me you're not the rescue party," he says to A.C., who's still chained up under the heater. A.C. chides himself for not being stealthier. Nah, it wasn't your lack of stealth. It was your crappy planning. Slade walks in to gloat over his victory. "Little heat and ya dry right up, don't ya?" Oliver assumes that the White House doesn't know about Slade's "glacial Gitmo." "Don't ask, don't tell," Slade says with a shrug. Slade plans to bring in many more vigilantes, with Oliver and A.C.'s help. "You're gonna need a bigger cage," A.C. tells him. Uh, he has seven the size of oil rigs. Slade's not worried. He has them all figured out. He starts to psychoanalyze Oliver, calling him lonely and powerless, but the therapy session is interrupted by a blaring alarm. Slade dumps Oliver in the tank and runs away. Mera jogs in and sees her beefcake hubby turning into jerky. She holds up her hand and the sides of Oliver's tank burst, splashing A.C. with water. Thus moistened, he has the power to break free of his chains. Slade activates the facility's self-destruct mechanism. Seems like kind of an overreaction, but whatever. Bars come down around Mera, emitting heat that instantly begins to dry her out. Oliver chucks a piece of glass from his tank at the control panel, freeing Mera. "We gotta go now," Miss Obvious says. "How long can you hold your breath?" A.C. asks Oliver. On another channel, this, too would lead to porn.

Out in the facility's corridor, Slade runs into Clark. A recorded voice reminds them that the whole place is going to self-destruct in 90 seconds. So don't dawdle or anything. "I'm not going to let you continue to destroy people's faith in justice," Clark says. Slade asks if Clark is man or steel, but instead of waiting for an answer he pulls out a gun and shoots Clark a few times. The bullets ricochet off his chest. One of them hits Slade in the arm. "So it is you," Slade says, just now realizing who he's dealing with, despite the fact that Clark is wearing his red Blur jacket. Slade presses a conveniently located button that drops a kryptonite cage around Clark. Clark instantly feels barfy, but his main concern is getting Slade out of there before the place blows. "This whooole place... was built... with the express purpose... of containing your kind," Slade says slowly, like he's got all the time in the world. He says it wasn't easy finding out the Blur's weakness, although how he found out is a mystery. Clark tries to reason with him. They can work together. "Let me save you," he pleads. Alas, Slade thinks it's worth dying if he can take the Blur down with him, such is his threat to democracy and understated leatherwear. The recorded voice begins to count down the last ten seconds. Clark, for some mysterious reason, decides to X-ray Slade and sees an omega symbol etched into his skull. Clark thinks for a second, then answers Slade's earlier question: "I am man and steel." Okie dokie, then. Kaboom!

Kent Farm. Clark is moving bales of hay from one stack to another stack about six feet away. A.C. walks in, glad to see Clark alive and well. Clark thanks him for uncovering the secret facilities, but... "Part of me wishes I could have kept on believing in... everything I was raised to believe in," he finishes weakly. A.C. tells him to stay optimistic. Not everyone's a zealot like Slade. He's come to the realization himself that his being as extreme as Slade wasn't the answer, either. They worry that they let the VRA make them distrust each other, stop talking to each other. A.C. agrees to try things Clark's way, which is "lead by example, not by resistance." Then A.C. brings up Clark's other "battle," meaning his relationship with Lois, because we haven't had enough of that this episode. Clark admits he thought telling Lois his secret would make everything else fall into place. A.C. tells him that Lois can handle it, then asks if Clark can handle Lois being a part of the team. Clark makes his confused Labrador puppy face.

Lois and Mera are having a little girl talk in the kitchen. For some reason, all of Mera's interaction with Lois is super slinky. She always looks like she's posing for a swimsuit calendar and Lois is the camera to which the photographer instructs her to make love. She admits she judged Lois too harshly. "You're not like us, not like Clark," she says, "but you are what he needs." She says that it took Orin time to accept her, too. That seems to make Lois feel a little better. The guys join them. "Hate to break up the party," A.C. says. "We need to catch the current." Ah, yes. The

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