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Smallville Reviews

Lois and Oliver in "Rage"

"Rage" By Chad

It was bound to happen; an episode that was mostly a dud reared its ugly head tonight. It really wasn’t the worst episode of the series, but it didn’t quite meet the writing standard that they have set up this season. One positive thing about it though, is that out of seven episodes, only having one clunker is awesome on the writer’s part. I know that we would prefer no bad episodes, but it is inevitable; especially when they do twenty-two to twenty-four episodes a season.

But let us go ahead and talk about the episode in more detail, but before we do, I feel that I must warn you about the inevitable spoilers contained within this review.

“Just say no to Drugs”

The episode starts us off with a heavy petting session between Oliver and Lois. Lois leaves the room to get a surprise for Oliver. While Lois is gone, Oliver hears the sounds of someone in trouble outside. This next part made me laugh. Oliver rushes to the Green Arrow closet; then spends a bit of time in there suiting up and picking out his weaponry. That just seemed silly to me, because in the time it took him to fancy up, the person outside could have been dead already.

That does not happen though, and Green Arrow saves the day. In one particularly cool scene, he shoots an arrow into the steering wheel, causing the criminal lose control of the car. But his victory is short lived, for when he turns around one of the crooks shoots him in the chest; then leaves him for dead.

Of course we find out soon that all is well with Ollie, in fact the bullet hole is gone! How can that be!?! It seems our Oliver Queen is into creating and using a new super drug because he is jealous of Clark being indestructible. It sounds like a good plan. Make it less likely to get yourself killed while fighting the good fight. But like with most drugs, there are side effects. In Ollie’s case it makes him quite a bit unhinged.

Now, there is good and bad that came with this story. First, seeing the distrust and rivalry heat up between Lex and Ollie was pure gold. They both wanted this experimental serum. Unfortunately though, due to the effect the drug had on Ollie, the doctor helming the experiment decides she will not make anymore of it. Later on, Clark finds the doctor dead, and an arrow sticking out of the wall. Finding some of the doctor’s files, Clark finds out that the doctor had been working for Lex behind Oliver’s back.

Now this leads to a great western standoff scene. Oliver confronts Lex about the death of Dr. Clark, accusing Lex of being behind it. He tries to force Lex to sign away half of his fortune to charity, but Lex does his thing and grabs one of his many hidden firearms. They end up shooting each other at the same time, but fortunately for Oliver, he has some of this serum to heal himself. Lex on the other hand is now dieing from the arrow wound in his chest. Clark takes some of Ollie’s serum and injects it into Lex, and when Oliver tries to stop him, Clark throws him across the room. This really shows the hero that Clark has become. He can’t let someone die; it is just not in his personality. He and Lex have not been on real friendly speaking terms since early fourth season, but that does not stop him from saving a life. All of this was great stuff.

Now we get to the parts that made me think angry thoughts. This story has been done over and over and over…you get the point. The hero or character gets possessed, or takes a drug, or gets infected with something and suddenly acts all out of sorts and not like themselves. I can’t tell you how many times they have done this story. It’s old, we need some new material.

It’s up there with the whole Lex getting kidnapped and shot story. Why must we continue to be subjected to recycled plots like these two? At least Justin Hartley’s acting partly saved this episode, but only by a very slight margin.

“The Discovery”

To be completely honest, I don’t know how I feel about the other major part of the episode. It was hinted at during the last episode when they mentioned Lana having cravings. Have you guessed what the big reveal was yet? It is a story point that is usually introduced in a show when the writers run out of ideas. That’s right; we find out that Lana is now pregnant with Lex’s baby!

Weeks ago Tom Welling let slip during an interview that there would be a bambino on the way in the show. He left it ambiguous; not wanting to spoil such a major thing, but it turns out most people automatically assumed (correctly) that Lana was going to end up being the bearer of the “Bambino.” The fact that Lex and Lana were now intimately involved just helped that argument. To be fair though, it could have been someone else on the show, so it wasn’t really spoiled completely. It just seems that it’s Lana that gets all the unusual and crazy stories as an excuse to keep her important to the show.

I don’t know how I feel about the pregnancy, though. I don’t think Lana will actually have the baby, since I foresee a tragedy happening. Do I think this will ultimately enhance Lana’s character? I think it has the possibility to.

Here is my take on it. If she loses the baby, I think it will be because of something Lex does. If she keeps the baby, I don’t think it will be any better. People usually gain their parenting abilities from how their parents raised them, thus the old proverb about the apple not falling far from the tree. This is not always the case, but it happens in many of the cases. If she has the baby while living with Lex, who’s to say he won’t treat her and their child the same way Lionel treated Lex and Lillian? Either way it goes, I think Lana is headed for a bad situation that will hurt her in the end. This will show her that all Clark was trying to do all this time is protect her from something he knew would happen.

I’m not sure how this story will unfold, so I won’t condemn it yet. It could lead to some great character growth from Lana.

On a side note, for someone who cries shenanigans whenever someone is being less than honest with her, Lana sure does her share of lying and keeping secrets from others.

“The Other Luthor Romance”

Something else I have to mention that is quite disturbing to me is the blooming romance between Lionel and Martha. I don’t like it. I mean, I can see Lionel pursuing Martha now that Jonathan is out of the way, it’s within his character and he has had feelings for her since the second season. But do I see her really being interested in him?

In a word: no.

Let us recap Lionel’s past, all of which Martha is aware of. He treated his own family like garbage, murdered his own parents, switched bodies with Clark, tried to seduce Martha, attempted to kill Clark, Chloe, Lex, and Jonathan on numerous occasions, kept a vault full of files on the Kent family, blackmailed the Kents with Clark’s adoption, cloned a dead girl, genetically tested on numerous others. Every single one of these things is common knowledge to most of the characters, especially to Martha.

Jonathan on the other hand was honest, caring, loved his family, protected them with everything he had, was the moral compass of his family, gained a bum heart to find and protect his son, died for his family. See the difference? How can Martha seriously consider Lionel a good choice, especially when compared to the man she had been married to?

So far they have kept their relationship to just friends, even though I think that is a stretch for Martha’s character. Martha has even let Lionel know on a couple of occasions that friends are all they will ever be. Unfortunately it seems that they are going back on that. Heck, they almost kissed this episode, and Martha made it known she wanted Lionel around on Thanksgiving. With this relationship, they are spitting on the memory of Jonathan. That’s sad to see.

I just hope they don’t see this through, or it will be very sad indeed.

“In Conclusion”

This episode was mostly garbage with some slight good in it. Oliver coming to grips with his mistake at the end was great character work. The standoff was awesome to see, and it’s always fun to see Lex edging closer to the dark side. Plus I always enjoy Clark showing others how a real hero is supposed to act.

But other than that, the episode was full of mischaracterization, overdone plots, and a silly OMG I’m pregnant revelation. It was just a blah episode, with some cool thrown in. That is really all I can say about it, so I give “Rage” a 1.5 out of 5.

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Updated 1/1/07  


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