Smallville

Season 8 Episode 12

Bulletproof

1
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 22, 2009 on The CW
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
518 votes
28

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Using the name Joe Fordman, Clark goes undercover to discover why Detective John Jones was shot. Meanwhile, Lana confronts Tess and reveals the truth about her involvement with Lex.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Lana fight tess

    9.5
    "Bulletproof" is an episode of Smallville where Clark goes undercover to find out why Detective John Jones was shot. I like both Clark and Oliver go there separately ways in the investigation because it shows how Clark is not as dark as Oliver.

    Lana reveals her involvement with Lex and how Lex cannot be trusted to Tess. This is Lana's second last appearance in Smallville. Later, Tess visits Lana and accuses her of stealing information and the two get into a cat fight. This is probably the best part of the episode seeing Lana have a fist fight for the first time against Tess.moreless
  • the Isis Foundation fight

    10
    the fight between Lana and Tess at the Isis Foundation was fantastic. great to see Lana back on the show even if its a few episodes. its also great to see her come into her own. the episodes are getting better and better every week and i cant wait to see the season finale and the final season to find out how it ends. i love smallville and have done from the start. clark being set up just proves he has a lot to learn before he becomes the man of steel. but the fight scene made the episode. loved the ep. thomoreless
  • Clark goes undercover as a cop to find out who shot Martian Manhunter and Lana reveals Lex's true character to Tess.

    9.0
    I wasn't sure how much I would liked this episode, considering it was the major start of the Lana arc (and Lana always seemes to bring unecessary drama at this point in the series).



    Although the last 10 minutes of the show (in which Clark decided to regress to a 14 year old and kissed Lana) followed the path I was afraid it would and tried their best to destroy this epsiode, I actually enjoyed it a great deal.



    Seeing Clark going undercover was really great, especially since I could see that Clark becoming Superman one day. I also liked seeing Lana show Tess the truth. Tess' response was just heartbreakingly awesome.moreless
  • Clark and Oliver take different approaches to public protection after John Jones is shot in Metropolis. Lana battles Tess to show how Lex has been betraying her.

    8.5
    "Bulletproof" is a new storyline because so many threads were wrapped up in "Legion" last week - it sets up detective John Jones pursuing an ordinary criminal. I'm surprised he's doing routine police work, and after finishing one arrest, he's shot by someone wearing a badge. This led me to believe the episode would be mostly about him, but it's not. Many fans would like to see him featured and given much more screen time, but we'll have to wait.



    Lana and Clark meet at the hospital where Clark's on a routine Daily Planet assignment; he assures her he's still searching for Doomsday, although they don't use that name. Lana seems more detached from him than he is from her, telling him he's become the man she always thought he would be - that is, a hero to mankind. When Jones is brought in, near death, Oliver shows up too. The agree to separate their investigation, Oliver saying teamwork has not always been their strong suit. And that's not what the fans want to see either - the close cooperation between the two has been popular, and a schism, I hope, is only temporary.



    Lana arrives to see Tess, ostensibly to thank her for the lack of coverage in the Planet about Lana's return. Why she even thinks that newsworthy, we don't know. Lana has another purpose - she knows about Tess siphoning money for the "Prometheus" project, asserting that Lex is alive and that Tess knows where he is - Tess denies all that. It amounts to a warning for Tess from Lana, who is shown carrying an electronic device without the knowledge of Tess. It's not simply a voice recorder.



    Clark stops by at ISIS to see Chloe, who's back at her hacking habit, looking for info on Jones and the investigations he was conducting. She does miss her Brainiac enhancements, she says, as she is back to normal human database sleuthing. Chloe has spotted his interest in Lois, so it's interesting to see how Clark sees the situation, but he's noncommittal. Clark thinks Jones was shot by a cop. The 44th Precinct was under investigation by Jones - and Chloe concludes that Clark will need more than a press pass to learn more. Sounds good, Clark going undercover as a police transfer.



    So there he is, playing an officer from Coast City, his new partner Danny suspecting nothing, as they cruise the streets in a Dodge Charger. The crime rate seems high - and Danny grumbles about the Green Arrow and the red-blue blur interfering in their enforcement. Their first call is a theft, but Danny leaves Clark behind as the thief flees, demonstrating bad police practice in pursuing an armed perp with no backup. Of course, Clark makes another save before the thief shoots Danny in the back, earning Clark some needed gratitude.



    The next scene is so atypical for Smallville, it warrants comment. It's Danny's home, a single family house, with his pleasant wife and a young son. What other family, other than the Kents, has ever been depicted in Smallville as intact, or "normal?" Every continuing character - Whitney, Lana, Jason, Lex, Oliver, Chloe, Lois, Jimmy - all lost one or both parents, or had an aberration for a parent. Clark appears wistful for such a family life, a desire which will affect his decisions later in the episode.



    Danny's wife meets Clark, letting him know that Danny's partner recently was killed on duty. Danny thought he was "bulletproof," she says, providing the episode title reference. The other squad members present at the home all act slightly sinister, so hit me over the head with suspicion - they're in some kind of conspiracy. Clark asks about Jones, but they're all close-mouthed. A call interrupts them - the squad leaves.



    In a brief cut, Lana is at ISIS sending or receiving data from an unknown source. Soon, Tess comes in, accusing her of stealing sensitive information from Luthorcorp., and calling her devious. Lana's claims Lex chose her because she was his equal, someone he could not control, implying that Tess is neither. Suddenly she pulls a gun, but why? If you aim a gun, you intend to use it, so standing around talking is foolish, giving your quarry more time to formulate a plan, and that's just what Tess does - talk.



    Luthorcorp has lost everything, she says, and "Prometheus" was the one chance of survival for Lex. Lana slaps the gun aside, and now begins an impressive hand-to-hand combat scene, with stunt players apparent only in a couple cuts. No kidding, Ms. Cassidy and Ms. Kreuk are good at simulating aikido and more. Lana finally retrieves the gun.



    The three officers and Clark make their way to a dark warehouse, where they are holding the man they believe killed Danny's partner. The others egg Danny on, urging him to kill the perp. Enter Oliver, stopping the torture with arrows into everyone, including Clark. This looked like a good way for Clark to show he was legit, but he ignores this chance, allowing Danny to spot Clark helping the Green Arrow.



    Back at ISIS, the fight is over, Tess telling Lana how Lex saved her life. Now comes the slickest scene in the episode - Lana reveals to Tess that she has been bugged with a nanotransmitter implanted into her eyes - allowing Lex to see everything that Tess has seen, for how long? A chilling thought, the ultimate invasion of privacy. This is illustrated by displaying the visual field of Tess on a monitor, a well-done effect, and very original. I can't remember ever seeing such a technique on any other film or tv program. Lana warns Tess, "He saved you but he never trusted you." This effect merits a special name - Nanoeyes? Sightransmit? Eyespy? Retina-recon? Ok, I quit.



    Clark returns to the hospital to see Jones, who is still in serious condition. Danny's there, too, and he saw Clark with the Green Arrow, and thinks Clark is a collaborator. But Clark now knows that Danny's squad includes the shooter of Jones. Danny can't answer his accusations - Clark urges him to see that his methods do not lead to justice. This development of Clark has been underway for several episodes, and is becoming a well-established principle - Clark seeks redemption for anyone who has fallen to error or crime, while the Green Arrow's approach is to punish and enforce.



    This difference comes out in the next debate at the Kent farm, where Clark moralizes on his approach to justice, insisting they must help. But Oliver points out that the man Jones arrested in scene #1 has been murdered, and he wants more direct action. Clark wants to find the truth and help those involved return to the side of right.



    The squad members believe they have a spy or IAB mole in their company, so they set a trap. Clark x-rays a rifle in the trunk of a car and pulls it out, giving the squad a basis for arresting him. Promising Clark that he'll be the man who kills the Green Arrow, the squad uses the thief as bait to get Oliver, setting them both up for termination. As they beat the thief, Oliver intervenes, only to be stopped at gunpoint in their trap. Now the others call on Danny to shoot Oliver, who begins to sound like Clark, challenging Danny by reminding him how Clark believed in him. "Pull the trigger and prove Clark (Joe) wrong," he says, willing to take the shot. Danny lowers his gun, realizing what he has done to jeopardize his family, but the other officer aims his laser sight at Danny - Oliver shoves him to cover when the shot is fired.



    About to be booked, Clark hears Danny's call for backup, and speeds to the scene, where the sniper shoots Clark, who this time lets the ricochet hit the officer. "Always wear a vest," he says, needing no explanation for his survival.



    Jones recovers, still shorn of his powers, ruing some of his actions. He had such power, the ability to change fate, but his pride got in the way. Oliver admits that going solo has caught up with them; Clark offers that brotherhood is better. So this lesson may lead to a closer partnership in future episodes, if the writers remember this scene! Finally, Tess uses her eye-cam to speak to Lex, who gave her a reason to continue living. "I trusted you" she says, "Not any more." Threatening to take his bank accounts, swearing to destroy everything. "Goodbye, Lex," she says, with tears in her eyes, finally jamming the nanotransmitter signal. "I loved you, you S.O.B," she says to no one. Oliver walks in at that moment - calling her "Mercy." She'd like to discuss a merger with Queen Industries - that's a shock, and there's the thread for the next episode or two.



    The Planet headline reads, "Lex Luthor Declared Dead." It includes a photo of Michael Rosebaum. The producers seem to be working hard to entice him back to the cast, if, indeed, he has not already signed a contract for a guest appearance or two. They could practically guarantee him season-high ratings. Back at Danny's house, Clark admits he was a reporter, and Danny regrets his own actions, but still faces an inquest. Danny says you can't lose sight of the people you're trying to protect, to keep them safe - a lesson and another perspective for Clark to consider. He ask Clark if he has someone who makes it all worth it? Clark smiles. Who is it, we wonder? Lois? Lana? He returns to the Talon to see Lana. Initially, they seem a bit detached from one another, so you might think It's Still Over. But since he came there right after the chat with Danny, we have a clue to Clark's feelings.



    "Why are you staying," he asks, implying that he wants to hear something affectionate from her. "I don't know how long I'll be here." Clark sounds a bit rebellious against his destiny again - "What if the world didn't have to come first?" he wonders. "The world needs you, Clark," she says. This leads to another kiss - no doubt creating howls of protest from those fans who don't want this relationship continuing. Me, I don't mind so much - we all know Ms. Kreuk is back in the cast for only a few episodes, and I have no concern that this interlude will last much longer. The producers had lots of choices on this ending - Clark could have been shown considering his life again - what if he was shown picking up the phone to say - "Hi, it's Clark - can I see you?" - leaving us hanging on who he called. That would be suspense. Now we have a slight re-wind on the Lois-Clark relationship, and how they show Clark coming to a greater realization that Lois is The One will no doubt be interesting. I hope it comes about with more to it than simply having Lana leave for the last time.



    The final credits are accompanied by a new musical score - I enjoyed it - a more superman-like theme. "Bulletproof" is a pretty good episode; the undercover role was interesting, and more in line with Clark's life as a reporter. The Lana-Tess interaction was impressive, but I don't believe for a minute that a serious split between Tess and Lex will last long. In the Smallville universe, Lex will always be a factor, while Tess can come or go as the producers wish. For now, it's fun. But can we have more daylight scenes? Sure, it's cheaper to film at night without the need for extras and getting streets in Vancouver closed. But it's too dark all the time - bright colors on Clark look better. Re-run rating B-.moreless
  • Clark Kent prentends he's a cop in order to put an end to some very Bad cops who shot his Martian Friend, the Detective. Clark and Lana once again hook up.moreless

    8.5
    If one accepts that the world in which these all too familiar characters inhabit is the comic world of Metropolis - then this episode makes for perfect entertainment. I especially loved the "cat fight" between Lana and Tess and it really brought home the fact that Lana is indeed a Force in her own right. I still suspect that Lana has secretly given birth to Clark's baby - which would explain why she is willing to give another go at a relationship with Clark - and also make for a great end of season climax. By the way, why is Oliver so bitter? But I do love the ALMOST homo-erotic interactions between him and Clark! I'm just sayin'.......moreless
Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Cassidy Freeman

Cassidy Freeman

Tess Mercer

Justin Hartley

Justin Hartley

Oliver Queen/Green Arrow

Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

David Paetkau

David Paetkau

Danny Turpin

Guest Star

Byron Lawson

Byron Lawson

Terrence

Guest Star

Jim Thorburn

Jim Thorburn

Joe Simmons

Guest Star

Phil Morris

Phil Morris

John Jones

Recurring Role

Alessandro Juliani

Alessandro Juliani

Dr. Emil Hamilton

Recurring Role

Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk

Lana Lang

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Trivia: Clark uses the name Joe Fordman. Joe Fordman was Whitney Fordman's dad in Season 1.

    • Oliver tells Clark not to worry about the doctor tending to Jones, since he works for Oliver and will keep Jones' secret. But that doesn't explain how the doctor was able to treat a Martian body to begin with. And since Jones has lost his powers, it seems unlikely that he could heal himself.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Chloe: Clark, things always get messy when you start throwing around the Clark-Lana triangle, and I'm speaking from experience when I say the third point always hurts.

    • Tess: I'd like to discuss a merger.
      Oliver: A merger? What kind of merger?
      Tess: Any kind you want. Don't keep me waiting.

    • Clark: If I squint just right, it's like we're 14 again.
      Lana: You say that like it's a good thing. What's up?
      Clark: I couldn't sleep.
      Lana: So you came to a coffee shop? Not your best plan, Mr. Kent.

  • NOTES (8)

    • International Airdates:
      Norway: Saturday, March 21, 2009 on TVNorge
      Sweden: Friday, August 7, 2009 on TV6
      New Zealand: Friday, September 4, 2009 on TV2
      Czech Republic: March 30, 2010 on TV Nova
      Turkey: May 23, 2010 on CNBC-e
      Slovakia: June 6, 2012 on Markiza

    • Injoke: There was an article shown about a "Red-Blue Blur" in Metropolis. The article is written by Ron Troupe, a reporter in the Daily Planet who is also friends with Clark in his comic book counterpart

    • Injoke: Ollie mentions a Doctor Emil, as in Emil Hamilton. A professor who is an ally of Superman in the comics. Not to be confused with Professor Steve Hamilton from early seasons.

    • Injoke: The crooked cop "Danny Turpin" is named after Dan Turpin, from the Superman comics. But in the comics, Turpin is an honest, albeit rough, cop who works within the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit.

    • Injoke: The files Lana steals from Tess seem to show schematics of Lex wearing the type of high-tech battle armor he wears from time to time in the comics.

    • Injoke: Danny mentions Coast City. In DC Comics, Coast City is home to Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern.

    • Kristin Kreuk is billed as Special Guest Star.

    • Erica Durance, Sam Witwer, and Aaron Ashmore are credited but don't appear.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Chloe: Our favorite Martian.
      Referencing the 1963 sitcom My Favorite Martian, starring Ray Walston as a human-looking Martian stranded on Earth, who used his natural telepathic powers to comedic effect.

    • Clark: Great Pumpkin.
      Referencing It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown which originally aired in 1966, and is the Charlie Brown Halloween special. While the rest of the Peanuts gang celebrate Halloween, Linus waits in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin to appear.

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