Welcome back from the break, my Smallville Kryptopeeps. Barring incident, we should be making a straight beeline to the end of the season with this run of episodes. Will it be a freight locomotive to hell or a speeding bullet to a genuinely good finale? Place your bets at the window. Side bet: whether I'll completely lose it sometime before then when the show makes a stupid move.
We get a rare set of previouslies. They cover very recent episodes, except the bits about Chloe's mother, whom we last glimpsed (as a blonde) when Chloe went to visit her in the asylum. More on that later.
A title card on black: "March 29, 1995." So...this episode was supposed to air on a Thursday in March? Cars are driving through what appears to be a very lovely upscale middle-class neighborhood. Inside one of those houses, where dark secrets always dwell, a woman is rubbing a chain she holds in her hands. The woman is Lynda Carter, whom every guy my age probably had a crush on when he was growing up. She was Wonder Woman. She had a lasso and an invisible freakin' jet. What are you gonna do? Lynda's not looking too bad, except that she's puffy in the face from crying and her cheeks are extra rosy. She wears a stylin' purple suit jacket. That's how we rolled in the mid-90s. "Mom! Mom!" a girl calls as she enters through the front door, alone. She's holding an elementary school newspaper. The girl, a redhead who looks nothing like the girl we know as Chloe Sullivan, tells Lynda Carter that her story about the Loch Ness Monster was published and that the teacher said it was her best story yet. I must have gone to a crap elementary school; we never had a school newspaper. I wonder what they're teaching these eight-year-olds about libel law. The girl struggles to say that this story was better than the one she did about alien abductions. Stretching. So hard. To try to make this connect.
Lynda Carter is crying, but not in a blubbery way. Her eyes shine with tears as she stares at her daughter. This is what they call making the scene work. Tim Gunn would be proud. The young girl, who is Chloe in name only, guesses that those aren't happy tears. She asks what's wrong. Lynda Carter says she's proud of the girl. She puts a hand on her face. "My little cub reporter," she tells her. Wow, Lynda Carter's got large hands. And I love her for that. As she hugs her daughter, Lynda says she's so, so sorry. She's still holding the necklace chain in her hand. Two men in white mental-ward gear enter the room. One of them is holding a clipboard, and that just can't be good. When they show up with a clipboard, you run. Li'l Chloe asks why she's sorry since she obviously didn't do anything. "It's time, Mrs. Sullivan," one of the men in white tells her. Where's Gabe Sullivan in all this? I know bringing back guest actors is expensive, but geez. Throw the guy a frickin' bone, huh? Li'l Chloe asks about the men in the room and where her mother is going. To a community theater production of A Streetcar Named Desire? Lynda Carter says she's going on a little vacation. "By yourself?" Li'l Chloe asks. Lynda says that Li'l Chloe's daddy will take good care of her. Would that he ever showed up. Where the fuck are you, Gabe? Are you hiding in the kitchen? Holed up in the bathroom? How many hours does it take to brush your hair? Nobody believes you, you know. Who brushes their hair for two hours with the door locked, and has to take a stack of magazines with them to do it? You are tearing this family apart, Gabriel Sullivan! Li'l Chloe, woefully miscast, says that nobody goes on a vacation by themselves. Very, very lonely men do, honey, and they do terrible things in very poor countries. Li'l Chloe asks when she's coming back. Lynda Carter cries some more and they hug. The girl hasn't honed her journalistic skills yet. She doesn't press for an answer. Weird close-up on the chain as it dangles. Scary music is played. To little effect.