Smallville

Season 4 Episode 3

Façade

1
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 06, 2004 on The CW
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
738 votes
24

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Abigail, an ugly high school girl, gets plastic surgery from her surgeon-mother to boost her popularity. However, her beauty hides a dark secret - when she kisses someone they're inflicted with life-threatening hallucinations. When Lana sees Abigail with one of her victims, she becomes the next target.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Kryp/tuck

    1.2
    The first dose of Smallville-lite and it's a torturous hour! Scabby-Abby is hilariously overdone in the pre-title sequence to the point of parody and the whole episode nose-dives from there. In fact, it rings true - this all feels like it should have been done in season one, not its fourth. It's cringe-worthy watching Clark want to live the high school dream and the entire plot is just...sh**! We have Lois in her nips, some really corny high school antics and to end it all we have Avril Lavigne on the bloody soundtrack. The producers wanted a lighter touch to the season, but this stuff makes Charmed seem dramatic by comparison - no amount of teenage flesh can save this turkey!moreless
  • this was a good ep

    9.0
    in this ep of the show smallville there is a high school girl who recieved plastice sugrey from her mother and things start to go ok but then she realizes when she kisses people they start to see illsinations and things go wrong for them and she has lana set in her sight and clark and the others must stop it from happening this was a good ep and clark gets caught up by the mother who is doing the sugrey and so do others. this was a good ep and that is why i gave it a 9 .0 instead of anything lowermoreless
  • A Smallville coed gets a full makeover after suffering years of unkind treatment by her classmates, but contact with her causes dangerous illusions. Clark tries out for football. Lois tries investigative reporting. Lana tries tattoo removal.moreless

    6.5
    After last week's disappointing episode, we have to hope for some improvement. Chloe is back from the dead, Lana is back from Paris and so is her new squeeze Jason, Clark has thwarted Lionel's murder attempt, and Lionel's in a big cellblock. Do we follow up on these storylines? Nah.



    In a freshman year flashback, the stereotyped bullies on the SHS football team ridicule a homely freshman girl named Abby who's stuck with playing the school mascot, but Clark stands around passively and lets her take it. Some hero. Three years later, her plastic-surgeon mother, Dr. Elaine Fine, has her strapped down for makeover surgery. In a full-body machine of needles and other probes, she's going to become outrageously beautiful, we suppose, the key to all success in life.



    Lois shows up at the farm as Clark is indulging his football fantasies; she's driving a nice red Mustang convertible, vintage 1972 or so. "An arm like that is a get-out-of-geek pass," she quips, giving us some hope for a good script. Tough-guy General Lane drops by too, again misusing a military Hummer and driver for personal business. Bad news, he says, she won't get into Met. U, not enough credits, so she's going back to SHS. Oh swell, she and Clark will be able to ride the bus together.



    She need five credits; Chloe offers some reporting opportunities for the Torch, but Lois says, "The last thing I want to be is a reporter." Sounds like a setup for a change of heart real soon. Abby has had her makeover, drawing stares and dropped jaws in the hallways, including Clark's. I guess now he'd come to her rescue if needed. Apparently she had a personality transplant, too. High school, Lois says, is all a "Facade," and the social commentary dialog between her and Chloe comes so fast you have to replay the scene several times to catch all of it.



    Jason is on the coaching staff now, but it would look bad to have a staffer romancing a student, so he and Lana have to meet furtively in various school rooms, but that doesn't stop Clark. He has that oft-used Smallville line, "Lana, what are you doing here?" as he meets "Coach" Teague for the first time. We learn that Jason played football at Met. U. before he went to Paris and met Lana, now he's in Central Kansas A&M. Clark has decided to try out for football again.



    Another minor development has Martha lined up to manage the Talon for Lex; Jonathan and his god-awful pride stand in the way, but the farm finances are in a crisis, and he relents. Jason has some pretty good mature advice for Clark and his football ambition, and Clark slips right into form as a quarterback, and Abby enjoys her new-found desirability.



    Football bully Brett apologizes to Abby for his abuse and tries some moves on her; she's weak and seems to think the fruits of beauty and popularity are nothing more than a quickie with a BMOC. But in the boy's locker room? When she kisses Brett, he suddenly sees himself in the mirror as an abhorrent monster. But we don't see him that way, so it's some sort of illusion caused by his contact with Abby. He runs outside, only to be run over by hapless Lois, who will suffer no penalty for this collision. Her curiosity takes over - she decides to investigate how Brett came to be running out there, and barges into the locker room to interview the athletes about Brett. Clark finds Abby's necklace, evidence that she was in the locker area with someone.



    At the Talon, Lana is found by Lex to be studying up on ancient languages - one book includes the symbol that appeared on her back in Paris. She goes to Dr. Fine about removing it, but learns it's not ink, it's under her skin, and removal would require a skin graft. Abby returns, but her mother admits she had the surgical procedure before it was under control, and the treatment must continue or Abby will revert to her former looks. Mom has a plan, but Lana knew Brett was with Abby, so she's a threat to Dr. Fine.



    Jason has a surprise for Lana for her birthday, but while she waits alone and blindfolded, Abby enters and kisses Lana to pass on the "ugly" illusion, and Lana sees her own face becoming distorted and diseased. Hysterical, she's injured by a falling mirror, and she's back in the hospital again. Jason's visit there is interrupted by Lex - who knows Jason father's firm. These factoids must mean something for the future - there is no wasted dialog in Smallville. Clark and Chloe are in the hospital, too, and Chloe has amazing insight into the Ugly Abby problem. The instant makover technique sends the patient's seratonin levels into overdrive. Dr. Fine has something called seryethro medication to stop the reaction. Lois looks into Dr. Fine's Beechwood Medical Center, so our potential investigative journalist is already showing her skills, and makes an appointment for herself. Dr. Fine schedules Lois for the machine, but discovers Lois is taping their conversation for an expose. Naive Lois is stopped in her tracks by a quick syringe, and is soon strapped down for a reverse transformation treatment. Clark bursts in, but green gas is inconveniently there, and he's disabled, so Lois has to finish saving herself and Clark by administering some quick kicks to Dr. Fine.



    Lana admits to Jason that she wore a "facade" herself in her early years on the cheerleading squad, and wonders about Jason's real affection for her. Jason is understanding and builds her confidence - he loves her for herself, not just her beauty, and their dialog is mature and witty. Some really good screenwriting is going on for these two. Clark is driving the red Dodge pickup to and from school, but apparently not carpooling with Lois. He arrives home to tell Jonathan he is staying on the team. And it's a nice reconciliation scene as Clark goes deep for a pass from Jonathan, who finally admits that Clark is going to be making more decisions for himself.



    To wrap up all the loose ends, the writers give Chloe the task of reciting a few lines about the disposition of Dr. Fine, who has been sent to a mental institution, and Abby will be back soon. Trivial antagonist, trivial resolution. And that's the main problem with this episode - only Ms. Kreuk and Mr. Ackles have any compelling dialog and an opportunity to have some fun with their characters. The rest is cartoonish and forgettable. Strange to think that - given good photography, a brash Lois to enjoy, and some good snappy lines from Ms. Mack. Those all add up to an average episode, but just barely. Re-run rating C.moreless
  • It kinda sucked.

    5.0
    Abigail the ugly girl on campus gets a makeover. She's changed from Ugly Betty into Denise Richards and all the guys want her. Brett a boy who used to give her mean nicknames back when she was ugly even made a move and got somewhere but he didn't know that he was going to get hit by a car after Abigail releases more than saliva into his mouth making him look at himself in a very different way. Brett freak out and get hit by a car leading Lois to investigate into this plastic surgery stuff thats going on. Further into the episode Lana is kissed by Abigail and has a mirror fall on her and Lois is captured by Abigail's mother who wants to make Lois ugly using her kryptonite plastic surgery. Clark arrives just in time to save the day. The whole motto of this episode is " Beauty comes from within, " Cheesy but true. As a watcher I loved this episode but as a critic I have to say it was silly and boring and did not show this show developing into anything different. First, Clark not being to control his powers and wanting to join the football team. There was three seasons before this season. Couldn't they have covered the Clark controlling his powers issue before ?! Second, I find it odd that Lana's boyfriend found a job this soon in Smallville. Third, why did they have to make Abigail's ugliness so stereotype, zits, messed up hair and those other feautures are so overused in today's media. Couldn't they have done something like an oversized nose or a unibrow ? Something to really help the writers make Abigail look hideous. Also we get how much Lana and her new boyfriend love each other we don't need a romantic speech by her boyfriend every single episode. I thought this episode was unoriginal but thankgod the last five minutes were interesting but only because we see some sparks flying off Clark and Lois.moreless
  • Nip/Suck

    4.9
    Facade-Abigail, an ugly high school girl, gets plastic surgery from her surgeon-mother to boost her popularity. However, her beauty hides a dark secret - when she kisses someone they're inflicted with life-threatening hallucinations. When Lana sees Abigail with one of her victims, she becomes the next target.



    As a shameful attempt by the writers to capitalize on "Nip/Tuck" growing popularity, "Facade" is a cheap knock-off with some kryptonite thrown in and a horrible meteor freak of the week. While the opening teaser is pretty cool flashback of Clark, Lana and even Whitney 3 years ago, the episode just goes downhill from there. Abigail's story doesn't really standout from other meteor freaks, and her power is by far one of the lamest. She causes a person's serotonin level to increase so much that they hallucinate after she kisses them. Its beyond ridiculous watching characters run around screaming and get themselves hurt in the most ludcrious ways just to make Abiagal seem like such a threat.



    Lana and Jason's relationship is already stale at this point and it's rather unbelieveable Jason could get a job at the local high school as an assistant couch so quickly after coming to Smallville. In more interesting news, Lois going back to high school with Chloe and Clark is amusing as well as her opinions on the persona of high school. My only problem the writers are already making her out to be another damsel in distress with Clark saving her from Abigail's psychotic mom. Atleast she got a good kick in in return! I also like that the writers are bringing up Clark's love for football. Only hinted in the first season, it's nice the writers are giving Clark a storyline that will help to build his character as well as having some fun with it. All and All, "Facade" takes face plant on screen and is pretty much a forgettable hour.moreless
Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk

Lana Lang

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Alexander ('Lex') Joseph Luthor

Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Jensen Ackles

Jensen Ackles

Jason Teague

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Toole

Martha Clark Kent

Michael Ironside

Michael Ironside

General Sam Lane

Guest Star

Lee Rumohr

Lee Rumohr

Brett Anderson

Guest Star

Rob Freeman

Rob Freeman

Coach Quigley

Guest Star

Erica Durance

Erica Durance

Lois Lane

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (15)

    • The images, of Abby looking and running away after Lois hits Abby's first victim with her car, are flopped (mirrored along vertical axes). This can be concluded because an onlooker is holding a book of which the title (Greek Mythology) can be seen mirrored.

    • Trivia: In the ending scene where Lois is about to dunk Clark in the water, we see her throw the ball left-handed.

    • Martha tells Jonathan that she doesn't have a full resume but she was Lionel's Personal Assistant last season.

    • When the mirror falls on Lana and shatters on her, you can clearly see that there are bleeding cuts on the left side of her face. However, for the rest of the episode, there are no cuts on the left side of the face (where they should be) but there are cuts on the right side of her face.

    • Clark says he's never been on a team before and has never played a position on the team. Apparently he forgot about his stint on the team during season 1's "Hothead." Alternately, why would he lie about it? Is he hoping no one will mention it to Jason?

    • At the end, the crowd chants, "Dunk" to Lois. The captioning says that they are saying, "Kent."

    • Chloe called her unnamed cousin (at the time) in college, three years ago. Here we find out it couldn't be Lois, since she never made it to college.

    • Why does Chloe now assume she's safe from Lionel just because he's been convicted? She doesn't think he's the vengeful type? And yet she's pretty much going ahead and living a normal life.

    • Since Dr. Fine isn't conveniently dead or anything, shouldn't she know Clark has some weird power? She had to see him coming zooming in through a glass door without a scratch.

    • A college wouldn't accept someone without checking out their high school records prior to a point where they would be short five credits. It's also unlikely they'd reject them if somehow they managed to accept them without finding out the deficiency. Lois would have gone to remedial college classes to make up the grades, not have to go through high school again.

    • On the field Clark throws the ball in an arc but when it hits the receiver he shoots straight backwards.

    • Once again Clark seems to be weakened by Lana's kryptonite necklace, but only when he notices it despite the fact she's been the same distance from him for the last several minutes.

    • Who the heck gets their girlfriend alone in a private room, blindfolds her, and then just wanders off for at least a couple of minutes to get her something that he planned to give her as a surprise? He planned the whole thing, set up the mirrors, lit up the disco ball, but didn't put her present or whatever within 10-30 seconds walking distance?

    • Chloe refers to Lois' written newsarticle as "slander." Slander is verbal - the term she's looking for is "libel."

    • Jonathan seems a bit hypocritical, telling Clark that adults in the family don't do things without discussing it. Who did Jonathan discuss his little deal with Jor-El with last year before he made it?

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Clark: Wow. You kind of let the inner slob out, huh?
      Chloe: Yeah, and her name is Lois.

    • Chloe: (referring to the new, improved Abby) Whoa. Either she spent an entire summer at a silicon farm, or I am shopping at the wrong makeup counter.
      Lois: How old is she, 17? That's like messing with the batter before the cookies are even baked.

    • Chloe: Five credits in one semester? Lois, the only way you're gonna do that is if you add an extracurricular to your class list. Like, say, maybe... writing for the Torch.
      Lois: Uh, no hard feelings here, cuz, but unlike you, the last thing I want to be is a reporter.
      Chloe: Yeah, God. What could be worse than, you know, uncovering the truth and protecting the public?
      Lois: And sticking your nose in other people's business.
      Chloe: Like I said. You'd be perfect.

    • Chloe: You know, socially divisive cliques and hall passes aside, this place really isn't all that bad.
      Lois: It's the varsity version of Dante's seventh ring.

    • Lois: Call me crazy, but I've always been a firm believer that beauty... it's on the inside.
      Dr. Fine: The people that say that are the ones who already have it on the outside.

    • Clark: (after he sees Lois enter the boys locker room) Lois, last time I checked, you were missing a few prerequisites to be in here.
      Lois: So you have been checking me out.

    • (throwing a football)
      Clark: I'm not on the team
      Lois: Why not? An arm like that is a "get out of geek free" pass.

    • Lana: I can't figure out a way to say this without sounding really stuck up.
      Jason: Actually I already know you're stuck up--in fact I have been meaning to talk to you about that.

    • Lana: I think of all the times that you told me I am beautiful but I just can't help but wonder how much of me you really see.
      Jason: Lana, I tell you you're beautiful because of who you are - not because of what I see. You're the girl I flew halfway around the world to be with, the girl who kicks my butt at XBox and thinks it's hysterical. I mean, I've seen you with stomach flu - your eyes were all puffy and your nose was running...
      Lana: Okay, okay.
      Jason: The reasons I tell you you're beautiful can't be seen in the mirror...that's good. I'm going to write that one down and use it later.

    • Chloe: Now I'm off to see Clark Kent in a wet T-shirt. Care to join me?
      Lois: Like I haven't seen that before.

    • Lex: What's with this fascination with ancient writings?
      Lana: School project.
      Lex: Must be the same project Clark's always working on.

    • Lex: I guess the polite thing to do is cough and let you know I'm standing here, but that always seems so forced, doesn't it?

    • Jason: It was strange. (Clark) kind of opened up to me today.
      Lana: You have no idea how strange that really is.

    • General Lane: Not to worry, Lo – I'm sure Clark will be happy to show you around.
      Clark and Lois: Around where?

  • NOTES (6)

    • In the original draft of the script Dr. Finn was male and not related to Abby. Also, Abby kissed the doctor to say thank you for the surgery and the doctor notices his face go weird.

    • Eric Johnson reprises his role as Whitney Fordman in flashback.

    • John Glover doesn't appear in this episode.

    • Coincidentally, the night this episode premiered was also the first time ABC Family showed a rerun of the season 1 episode "Hothead," which also featured Clark joining the football team.

    • The WB advertised this episode as "Kryp/Tuck"

    • Music: "Devils And Angels" (Little Things) by Toby Lightman, "My Happy Ending" (Under My Skin) by Avril Lavigne, "Eight Half Letters" by Stereoblis, "What do you do in the Summer" (When it's raining) by Beu Sisters, "F**k N'Spend" by High Speed Scene and "Ghetto" by John Gold, The East Side Shake

  • ALLUSIONS (5)

    • Lois: It's the varsity version of Dante's seventh ring.
      Referencing Inferno, the first part of Dante Alighieri's poem Divine Comedy, in which Hell is divided into nine circles, each progressively increasing the level of suffering for its inhabitants. The seventh circle houses the violent.

    • Chloe: So I followed up on the Abby storyline, and it looks like Mother Makeover is gonna be playing "mirror, mirror" on the psych ward wall from now on.
      "Mirror, Mirror" is a reference to the classic Snow White tale where the Queen often asks her magic mirror, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?"

    • Lois: That girl just nipped-and-tucked her face...
      Referencing the show Nip/Tuck, which is about plastic surgeons.

    • Lois: Uh, no hard feelings here, cuz, but unlike you, the last thing I want to be is a reporter.
      Lois Lane is a reporter in the Superman mythos.

    • Chloe: Trying to be beauty--but turns up being like the beast.
      Referencing the classic tale of a man cursed to become a beast, falling in love with an attractive woman.

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