Season 9 Episode 4


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 16, 2009 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
477 votes

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Episode Summary

The Toyman seeks revenge on Oliver. Clark is gifted the power to hear people's thoughts as part of his training by his father.

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  • It looks as though Smallville is on the creepy role of Science Fiction streamed episodes.

    The 'Toy Man' made a recurrence from the 'Previously on Smallville' gave away. I know the 'Previously' usually gives the viewer a chance to be updated, especially if they only began watching Season 9, but it also gives away the exact characters that are going to be starring and the way the plot is unraveled.

    For instance, we already know the Toy Man was the mastermind behind the stunning opening with hostages and his revenge plot towards Oliver after the frame up. Nothing was really left up for suspense. The only part that was probably intriguing in the Toy Man-Oliver plot was probably Tess' attempt to portray a hint of romantic feelings for Oliver when he was at his lowest.

    Tess' motives does strike up a question mark. Why go through the trouble of getting Oliver to attend an event, she could have easily paid a look-a-like to pose as the real Oliver, or she surely could have worked up some excuse; with the amount of time Tess doesn't have to spare, why was this event so important? The Toy Man does pull the pieces together in the end, since Tess wanted him to utilize Metallo's heart as some kind of Toy. It all suggests everything was a hoax surrounding Tess' true goal.

    This whacky world of Smallville is really turning into a merry-go-round. Of course the writers take on the task of bringing Lois and Clark together, but I really don't appreciate them making Lois get stood up all the time and having her act as though she is the only one showing romantic interests in Clark and constantly getting hurt. I know Smallville takes it's own spin to the Superman series, but the next time Lois is stood up I would not only resent Clark for it, but it may even limit my admiration towards her character.

    Lois needs to be bold and adamant, showing up at Oliver's event to be Clark's plus one in a monster-truck, really comes off as desperate and unlike the Lois I know in Smallville. I need to see more fist action. I did appreciate her input via thought about Clark's handsome bod, but I would first think about ringing his neck as opposed to what he was wearing, maybe that might come after wards.

    How strange was it for Clark to read minds. It's strange how he depends on Chloe to do the dangerous tasks for him especially since she's so busy. Busy doing what? What does Chloe do all day or even for a living to make ends meet? It's strange how she always has the answers.

    We are definitely going to see more of Toy Man, or even hear more since Tess took him up on a mission. Even though Green Arrow got rid of his wardrobe, it doesn't mean he's gone for good, he could also get new clothes, or find a Tailor. The writers mentioned something about Green Arrow getting a partner soon, and Zod's absence doesn't really compromise his threat. I expect nothing but the best from Smallville, just two words 'Come Big' and all would be fine, also I want the bossy Lois back.

    Lexa Reviews


    Three and a Half Stars

    Grade B-

  • 904

    Finally, a decent episode of Smallville. The best yet of the season. I hope there will be better ones to come, but so far this season has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride. With "Metallo" and "Echo" being the decent episodes, and "Rabid" and "Savior" being the downright awful episodes

    This episode still had it's same season 9 flaws though. Toy Man being bionic? How in any way is that possible? I know this is science fiction, but nothing has ever been as unrealistic was here. Clark & Lois' back and forth banter is not enjoyable considering they have no chemistry whatsoever. The worst part is their banter took about half the episode.

    Just watch something from the earlier seasons. Even Lex & Clark have more chemistry than this dull couple. Enough with the negatives. As for what made this episode great: Oliver. An Oliver-centric episode, and I think at this point he just became three-dimensional. Cassidy Freeman is easily the best actress on this show, and it shows here.

    I know people have trouble warming up to Tess Mercer's character, but honestly, she was in the most enjoyable scenes of the episode. The plot was great and we actually got a suspenseful scene that was executed well with the pressure plate. So this episode was a great episode of Smallville.

    Lets hope this show can keep it up.moreless
  • Doesn't hang together

    I thought this was a badly designed episode. The Toyman/Oliver plot was good, and it was interesting to see Tess try to help somebody for a change. But the telepathy idea is unoriginal (BUFFY did it years ago) and went nowhere -- just a botched date with Lois. He didn't use it to solve the crime, or help Oliver, or thrash things out with Chloe, and he certainly didn't use it to study humanity as Jor-El told him to. BUFFY had a hilarious scene where everyone starts thinking stupid thoughts and hastily put distance between themselves and the mind-reading BUFFY; nothing comparable here. What a waste.moreless
  • "What Women Want": Smallville Style -- Clark temporarily gains the ability to hear others' thoughts, and inadvertantly uses it to get a date with Lois. Meanwhile, The Toyman returns, seeking vengeance against Oliver. (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD)moreless

    Some may call ECHO a filler, but I declare it Pure Clois Fluff. Not that you'll necessarily hear me complaining, what with me being an avid Clois 'shipper and all. Anyways, other than the Clois moments, I *loved* Clark's new ability, even if it was only temporary. I mean, as he proved in this episode, being able to overhear peoples' thoughts could come in pretty handy. Plus, when the elevator opened to reveal Lois messing with her thong, the look on Clark's face was just priceless! For those that haven't seen the episode, I'd describe Clark's look as part deer-in-headlights, part wanna-burst-out-laughing. In fact, Clark even tries to smother a smile as Lois gets in the elevator. Again, priceless! :D Also, I loved how, after Clark no longer had his "training wheels," he actually seemed to use his brain for once, rather than relying completely on Chloe. As for Oliver, watching him being depressed was getting kinda old, and the scenes in Mexico (or wherever he was supposed to be) felt a little unnecessary, but I gotta admit, the attempted suicide scene really got my attention while driving home just how low he had sunk. So, kudos to the writers and Justin Hartley. Now, since the only thing I really hated from this episode (other than Oliver's depression, as I've said) is when Tess handed over Metallo's kryptonite heart to The Toyman, I would rate ECHO nine-and-a-half monster trucks out of ten. ;)

    Highlights -- Clark catching Lois and "overhearing" her "Hello, sailor!" remark; Clark bombarded with Lois's thoughts in the elevator (including the bit about her wearing a thong); Clark swiping Intern Jeff's doughnut to keep Lois from punching someone; Clark asking Lois out; Lois gushing to Chloe about her date with Clark; Chloe berating Clark for using his newfound ability to get a date with Lois; Lois berating Clark for standing her up; Tess shooting Toyman for trying to kill Oliver; Clark apologizing for standing Lois up and asking for a second chance; and Lois and Clark silhouetted against the Daily Planet logo.moreless
  • Clark's short-lived power to hear the thoughts of others spurs him to a closer relationship with Lois. Oliver continues his self-destructive ways, but Tess is the surprise rescuer of the episode.moreless

    A couple days after watching "Echo," I tried to recall the strongest impressions of the story and characters. It was Tess and Oliver, and their intense confrontation in the cantina. We'll suspend disbelief that Tess could get away with entering with an automatic pistol, shoot up the place as an attention-getter, and wait around for a tete-a-tete with Oliver. But it was still the most impressive and lasting scene - meaning good action and acting. Tess won't let Oliver continue his self-punishment. Is it over the murder of Lex (which never happened) or the death of Jimmy? It might seem a bit contrived, but for two facts - Mr. Hartley plays this part so well, and we must have conflict in order to have resolution.

    I'll dispense with the Toymaker by simply noting that he's not a very threatening character - just too much from the comics and unfortunately tending toward some of the goofier bad guys from several Batman movies and tv series. Can't take them very seriously. This appears to be a short interlude before we return to a truly menacing adversary - Zod.

    Clark's power to hear thoughts didn't last long, but was amusing for awhile as he heard some revealing feelings from Lois. But this gimmick perpetuates the commonly-used film fiction that people think in complete, coherent sentences. Really? Most of us are largely visual - with thoughts coming in images, recollections, sudden insights, slow planning - a jumble of impressions. Moviemakers will continue using it as a plot device - but it's all fictitious.

    Chloe continues her support of Clark, and Allison Mack does another fine job telegraphing her hurt feelings as Clark turns more and more to Lois for friendship and collaboration - at least on the news desk job. It's a bit of a diminished role for Chloe in the series - I'm starting to look for an episode in which she is featured more prominently.

    Product placement rears it's ugly head as a brand name computer is practically shoved at us while Lois and Clark work at their desks, and the donut shop plug is brief but all too obvious. We know what they're doing, and contrary to the advertisers' dreams, they're actually creating ill will by demanding scenes written around their merchandise - and that can't help but compromise the story line more and more. No one seems to be driving this year, so the vehicles are of no interest. Some product placement I don't mind - I miss the Lex days with the Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and even Porsches and MBs.

    Ms. Durance needs to slow down her speech rate - a couple of her "thoughts" heard by Clark were recited so rapidly we could not understand them, even after several repeats with higher volume.

    The shareholders' meeting at the A of C was the best scene in the episode - with Lois arriving via monster truck, and blowing Clark aside with the sharpest jab of the hour - accusing him of putting "prose before hos." Thanks to the screenwriter who came up with that one. Justin Hartley plays his self-destructive Oliver well, especially here, where we see him willing to let the bomb blow up at his feet. Later, Tess fires a round into the captive Toymaker's leg, a nice shock of a scene, showing Tess, once again, equal to Lex in her willingness to exploit anyone who can give her the upper hand in gaining more power.

    The Clark and Lois relationship takes one step forward, and one step back. Clark manages some form of apology for a broken date, and Lois seems willing to accept it, and things are resolved for the better. But for overall effect, this episode was less than coherent, and not a very satisfying story. The amusing scenes with Clark and Lois were enough to make it fun to watch, and we can hope for more tension between Tess and Oliver - that shows some promise. But "Echo" didn't push forward on the Smallville legend very much. Re-run rating B.moreless
Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Erica Durance

Erica Durance

Lois Lane

Cassidy Freeman

Cassidy Freeman

Tess Mercer

Justin Hartley

Justin Hartley

Oliver Queen/Green Arrow

Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Ayron Howey

Ayron Howey

Lex Luthor

Guest Star

Kurt Max Runte

Kurt Max Runte

Police Officer

Guest Star

Timothy Paul Perez

Timothy Paul Perez

Man in Bar #1

Guest Star

Terence Stamp

Terence Stamp

Voice of Jor-El

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Lois took a bite of the donut that Clark gave her, it seems that it has smaller bite mark than when Clark just gave it to her.

    • When Clark uses his x-ray vision on the podium you can see the word "Murderer" written backwards on the speech prompt. But since its x-ray vision he should only have been able to see static on screen, or else shouldn't have been able to see it at all.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Chloe: So the question is, how do we know that this isn't just your superhearing on the fritz?
      Clark: As loud as Lois is, even she can't speak with her mouth closed.
      Chloe: Good point.

    • Clark: What are you doing here? (reads her thoughts)
      Lois: Standing in the shadow of six and a half foot of handsome. No, Lois, he doesn't get off that easy. Kick his ass!

    • Oliver: Speak your mind, Clark.
      Clark: I haven't been paying enough attention to everything. There's been danger all around me that I haven't seen... warning signs I haven't noticed... and people in need that I've neglected. I didn't realize how bad things are. I haven't been here for you. I'm sorry.
      Oliver: Well, with all due respect, Clark, I'm not sure I'm worth your concern. You know, when I was reading that speech in there, when I decided to, uh... that speech wasn't just a laundry list of all my sins. It was... it was a fact sheet. Ever tell you how old I was when my parents died? Five. I never really knew them very well. Everything about my life is not really mine. It's theirs. I didn't earn it... and it's all a lie. You of all people know what it's like to wear a mask, right? That's all this is--the Queen name. Green Arrow. Masks. And I just realized there's nothing underneath them.
      Clark: There is something behind those masks. You're just afraid to face it. You're not running away from who you are. You're running away from who you think you're becoming. But you don't have to face it alone. Just because you've given up on Oliver Queen doesn't mean I have.
      Oliver: Thank you.

  • NOTES (5)

    • International Airdates:
      United Kingdom: June 15, 2010 on E4/E4 HD
      Sweden: June 25, 2010 on TV6
      Turkey: February 13, 2011 on CNBC-e
      Norway: February 27, 2011 on Max
      Czech Republic: September 29, 2011 on TV Nova

    • Injoke: In scene where Clark and Lois are interviewing the male victim in the hospital. He says that he culprit, Toyman, was "short and fat; but also tall and thin like a twig." This is an allusion for the two animated versions. The "short and fat" is a description for the Toyman from the 90s cartoons, and the "tall and thin" is from the Superfriends cartoon from the 1970s.

    • The doll's mask that Toyman has his bombing decoy wear at the beginning of the episode resembles the mask worn by Toyman himself in the 90s animated Superman series.

    • Callum Blue is credited but doesn't appear.

    • Terence Stamp is billed as Special Guest Star.