I watched "Beast" following days of strong anticipation and for the most part my expectations were met. There were great moments of intensity, and the opening scene should go down in history as one of Smallville's best. And congratulations to Allison Mack and Sam Witwer for a well done job of generating much needed sexual heat that is too often missing from Smallville. The scene depicting Jimmy Olsen's and Oliver Queen's desperate moment in the basement with the "Beast" was also brilliantly played. And I am immediately willing to acknowledge the subtle way in which Jimmy takes it upon himself to save Oliver's life by doing a great job of provoking the "Beast" to take his own life – since, one must be taken. This is why it is very understandable that Oliver offers drug-addicted Jimmy a job with his company. Oliver Queen recognized the "man" Jimmy has become, and this leads me to my frustration with how Clark was portrayed and why I rate this episode as mediocre.
Producers! It is time to let Clark be Superman! Clark should no longer be presented as the confused little boy growing up on the farm. When Chloe showed up in the Fortress of Solitude and completely emasculated Clark, I was stunned and disappointed by such a weak plot development. While I have completely understood that Chloe's actions are motivated by her unrequited love for Clark, I don't understand why Clark has to stand by seemingly powerless while mankind's greatest threat is allowed to completely enslave his best girlfriend.
Honestly, could Clark have appeared more like a chump then when Chloe popped in and snatched the "Beast" away from Clark just when he was about to send him to hell where he belongs? I was so desperate to make sense of all this that I watched this episode twice to find some reason why Clark should be left standing like an idiot why Chloe began her cross-country, "Bonnie & Clyde," trek. Chloe's line about Clark not being able to live with himself after sending the "Beast" into the Phantom Zone just doesn't work. Clark has sent others to the Phantom Zone – and he and Lois have even escaped from the Phantom Zone.
What Smallville needs now is a dose of reality (aka "realness") to its mix of fantasy and wonder. Praise the Saints for the smart writing that is handed over to Oliver's character, and I completely agree that Oliver Queen is what Clark Kent needs to be – a man driven to protect all others, no matter the cost. I think the writers are overplaying this idea of Clark not being one to ever "take a life." Puhleeeze. Again, Clark just appears stupid and weak whenever he is presented as having so much empathy for the EVIL that plagues his world.
By the way, where's Lana? You know I'm not lying when I tell you that Homegirl would swoop in and kick that "Beast's" a** into the middle of next week for even looking at her sideways. Lana is Fierce. Oliver is Fierce. Chloe is Fierce. Jimmy is Fierce. Lois is Fierce. How long do we have to wait for Clark Kent to become Fierce? Sounds to me like a dose of Red Kryptonite is long overdue.