How not to do an episode of Smallville that has to do with illegal immigration: have all the laborious field work immigrants do in Kansas taking place in the dead of December. Hire an actor for the sympathetic lead role as a kid just off the coyote truck, looking for his mom, who sounds like he was born and raised in Ohio and whose Spanish is worse than when Professor SoFine or Lex have spoken the language. The kid, Javier (who claims he learned English watching American TV, presumably for about fifty years), is part of a group of laborers at a Smallville farm who are being exploited because of their undocumented status. Javier runs away, and his friend is eaten by some sort of giant Tremors creature, it seems, as they try to escape. Javier takes refuge at the Kent Farm, and Clark, who considers himself to be the illegal immigrant, tries to help. MamaKent balks at the idea, but eventually wants to help. Long episode short, the owner of the slave labor farm is a moleman (yes, a man who is like a mole) who can dig through the Earth, saving lots of money on tractors. With the help of Token Hispanic Immigration Officer who is on a bloodthirsty hunt for one undocumented immigrant (only 11,999,999 to go!), Clark figures out the crime and puts a stop to Farmer Moleman's reign of terror. Sadly, no one is available to stop the reign of terror inflicted by the script. In other plots, Lex still doesn't have an answer to his marriage proposal, but he flies Lana to Amsterdam to check out an art exhibit. She's wowed by the perks of livin' large, and decides that she and Lex could do a lot of good in the world. She decides to help the undocumented immigrants. She visits with Clark, who sort of calls her Lex's puppet, and she is suitably angry. Jimmy tells Clark that, with regard to Chloe, he's a "bro, not a foe," which veers dangerously close to Michael Richards territory. Lex walks through what looks like a bad music video as he puts Farmer Moleman into Level 33.1. Stay tuned for a full recap, where I'll rip this one a new dirt hole. Señor.
This is what you got me for Christmas, Smallville? Was the coal lump factory store closed? Was an anal rape option not available? Seriously, guys. This was terrible. Why, Smallville, why?
We open on a vast field, which is useful for farming. A cropduster flies overhead, and we pan across to look at an irrigation ditch. A tractor rolls by and a helicopter flies off into the distance as, nearby, about a dozen workers are toiling in the field. This scene looks expensive. ["No, no. You keep costs down by hiring illegal immigrants, Omar. I thought you were from Texas!" -- Wing Chun] A boy in a cream shirt and jeans is digging, while his friend, to the left, is just standing there, shovel next to him, watching. The darker boy warns "Javier," in a slight accent, not to let the boss catch him resting. The fairer boy, Javier, says, "He's gonna do what? Fire me? Francisco, the guy doesn't even pay us. I didn't come to America to be a slave." Are you sure you came to America, Javier? Because you sure sound pretty American. In fact, with your bushy hair, non-existent Latin accent, and young-actor-on-The-WB looks, I'd say you might hail from Hollywoodland, California. Javier says that he came here to be with his mom. Also, if they run fast enough, they can escape. Francisco -- who's sweating from the work and looks slightly annoyed -- says that everyone who's tried to run disappeared. That's because they didn't come back, did you think about that? Everyone's dressing pretty light, and the heat seems pretty heavy. Isn't this supposed to take place after Thanksgiving? Francisco gives Javier a look like, "Well go be with your mom, then. Baby." In that grating middle American accent, Javier says that Francisco has known him his whole life (yet they sound completely different), and asks if he's ever let Francisco down: "Just gotta trust me." Bueno.
Javier and Francisco plant their shovels; it's obvious that Javier barely knows which side goes into the dirt. A worker falls behind them. It's almost like those shots in a comedy where the characters are talking in the foreground and something funny happens in the background, only this isn't funny and the background action isn't done well enough to draw your eye. Brooding music with light-FM Spanish guitar plays. Mark Snow is getting mucho ethnic, compadres. Javier and Francisco jog over to help, while all the other workers just keep croppin'. Javier asks (in English) if the man is all right, and then says, in awful Spanish, "¿Está bien? ¿Necesita ayuda?" Owwww! My Latino ears hurt! The bearded man, who is lying on his back, croaks. "Somebody call a doctor!" Javier yells. In English. The other workers can't understand him, but they're all thinking, "Did somebody yell, 'I am an awful actor'?" A shadow falls on the boys as they try to look concerned while everyone else works. "What's happening here?" asks a man in a straw hat and blue overalls. The farmer whistles as he artfully blocks the bright sun. He tells someone to give the man some water. The man we'll come to know as Farmer Hans Moleman tells the two boys to get back to work. All that bad acting ain't just gonna perform itself. Francisco and Javier go back to their beloved shovels. They are named Christy and Melanie. Farmer Moleman whistles again, at no one in particular. Maybe a purty lady walked by just out of frame. Javier tells Francisco that if he stays there, he's going to end up like the guy on the ground. Francisco thinks he'd look pretty cool with that beard. Javier blinks his pretty eyelashes, and then tells Francisco, "Let's go find my mom." The friend nods. It will be his doom.