Season 10 Episode 11


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Dec 10, 2010 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
422 votes

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Episode Summary

In the wake of the VRA's passage into law and the spread of the Omega Tattoo, civilians begin rioting against vigilantes, including Green Arrow. Meanwhile, Slade kidnaps Lois and Clark turns to his allies Hawkman and Stargirl for help.

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  • Painful.

    I've loved "Smallville" since its appearance, and so it is with great reluctance that I have to write this review of "Icarus." There were still some great moments where this episode drew on the depth of the DC legends and brought them wonderfully to life, but despite such moments, "Smallville" season 10 seems in danger of concluding a favourite series with a decline into weak schlock rather than delivering the sci-fi seriousness of its best seasons. The writers have generally succeeded throughout this series by respecting the source material and adapting it to our decade with creativity and enthusiasm. This year is suddenly quite different, it seems to me. It's as though "Smallville" suddenly began employing writers who thought you had to write these stories as "comic-booky," with the lightly-veiled contempt for the source material that has killed too many television and film adaptations of comic book properties. "Smallville" has been feeling a lot more like the television adaptation of "Birds of Prey" this year, and that's no compliment. This year, the writers' sudden insistence on trumpeting such weak political stereotypes as Cat Grant, and pseudo-Nazi-uniformed VRA soldiers pompously enforcing every unconstitutional whim they want to, is seriously undermining what could have been a much more believable and edgy story arc. Is there any liberal *or* conservative in America who would settle for the rampages of the VRA? Or any eighth grader who couldn't muster fatal constitutional arguments against it? If you have to riff on this sort of theme of political persecution so characteristic of the "X-Men" film franchise, at least they could do us the courtesy of imagining it seriously. Instead, the former political "neutrality" of the show that let a more conservative Lois Lane openly complain about the liberal leanings of Oliver Queen – and let both of them be "the good guys" – is being smothered by these distracting and preaching clichés. The figure of Sam Lane was robbed of all the potential character we saw in his earlier appearance, and the horrid hatchet job that is this incarnation of Cat Grant – with her reprehensible conservative vices of loving domesticity, of listening to Amy Grant CDs, and of believing every word that comes from talk radio – is just painful to see in a television show that previously had been so generous as to imagine that the greatest hero of the age could be a product of middle America and of the domesticity found in the Kent family. The wooden dialogue characterizing these subtle political lessons intended for the viewers tragically bled over into the proposal scene in "Icarus," where ten years' growth as an actor couldn't save Tom Welling's delivery. He and Erica Durance were faced with such uneven dialogue that it's little wonder the result seemed so phoned in, leaving the grand gesture of the rose petals to be the strongest aspect of the scene, and robbing a ten-year climax of anything like the passion showed in just about any random high school scene between Clark and Lana.

    Like I said, I've long loved "Smallville," so I'm not writing as the sort of person who likes delivering flaming reviews on the internet. If anything, it's a desperate plea in hopes that such reactions could make it to the writers' room in one form or another. The overall story arc for the concluding season could be a great climax to the series: but lessening the standards of the writing by disrespecting the source material, and deciding to caricature "conservative" America (which might make up half the viewers) ad nauseam, are both just features of a series that sometimes seems determined to coast to a conclusion. Please don't let it!moreless
  • 1011

    The last episode of 2010 was lacking in a lot of ways. Clark & Lois' engagement took up about 1/3 of the episode, and the rest was the league trying to take down Slade. Other than the death of Carter Hall and the very odd cliffhanger, there really wasn't much to write home about.

    To be honest, it was quite boring at times, and it just wasn't mid-season finale material considering after this episode, we wouldn't be getting another episode for a month. The Chloe flashback was a highlight, I liked how they used unused footage from the premiere, that was clever.

    The last scene before everyone falls to the floor was quite sad, and I it was just a good scene. The league carrying the casket. I didn't know what the final cliffhanger was all about, but I just expected more. Obviously nothing serious is going to come of that. Interested to see what it is, but not enough to hold me over for a whole month. This season has been great with a few exceptions, but this episode kind of fell short unfortunately.moreless
  • Clark finally pops the question to Lois in his own unique Superman way. She says yes. There is a big party with other Justice League members. As he leaves, Oliver saves a girl from a mugger, but the citizens think he's the attacker and beat him up.moreless

    As I watch this Anti-Hero storyline unfold, I find it very similar to the X-Men Anti-Mutant storyline. You've got people like Slade aka Deathstroke drumming up hatred and distrust of anyone calling themselves a hero. The heroes want to help people, but the people are turning on them. The highlight of the episode was the proposal. As a long time Superman fan, I've seen it done many times, but I always enjoy when Clark and Lois get together. It's a romance that as I write this has lasted over 70 years. Tom and Erica have such amazing chemistry together. I've been waiting for this moment since she first set foot on camera in Smallville. It was neat to see them get most of the League together to congratulate them. Then we have to move on to the not-so-nice stuff. The army wants to find the heroes, and decide to question any possible known contacts including Lois, Tess, and Emil. I still am interested about Tess being part of the group. Did she really have a change of heart, or is she setting them up to turn on them later? Lois and her clash with Slade was awesome. It was so real, that I relaly wanted to see Clark come to the rescue, but surprisingly it's Hawkman first on the scene. Slade kills him, but not before Hawkman jumps out the window and saves a falling Lois. That visual effect must've cost the CW a good chunk of change. The funeral for Hawkman was very touching. I can't wait to find out what caused the flash that left them all laying. I know Chloe is supposed to be coming back. Those that have read my past posts know that she is my least favorite character on the show. I actually don't mind her coming back, I just hope they don't shift the focus, and make the show all about her again. I've really enjoyed this season thus far, and would like to continue to do so.moreless
  • A proposal. A villain take down. A Superhero Funeral. A weird white hero coma inducing pyramid.

    The episode was a little subdued for a mid-season finale, especially considering that last year we got the Absolute Justice two-parter. And while I love Clark and Lois together, it's still feeling a little rushed to me. Especially getting to the proposal, although I guess they want to give fans as much payoff in the final season as they can.

    I didn't need the outright comparison of the Icarus moment that Carter had when he went after Lois with wings ablaze. But I suppose Smallville never really leaves their overt symbolism to chance, they want you to know even if they have to tell you themselves. I suppose not everyone might be familiar with mythology, though if they're watching a show as deeply (in some ways, not all) based on the Superman mythology they should have a better understanding of mythology as a whole.

    I have to say that my favorite part of the episode was the whole team coming together for the Superhero Funeral. I wish we could see more of the whole team, but I understand that it isn't possible for budgeting reasons. I'm hoping that when the series really starts to wind down they've saved up to do a few episodes with all the team members, although I also hear that Canary will be on quite a bit more. Anyway, I really like that the entire team comes together to honor their fallen member. Even though there's 4 who are obviously played by random extras and their faces were kept hidden. Aquaman, Cyborg, and Impulse were very obviously 3 of the four 'hidden' heroes, but the fourth one gave me a little bit of trouble. Long curly black hair, black coat, black heeled boots. I would have instantly pegged her as Lois, but she was up front and center. It wasn't until the very end when they're all lying on the ground (knocked out) that I noticed the fishnets and a little bit of white peeking out of the bottom of her jacket. Zatanna. I wasn't aware that Zatanna had completely joined the hero squad, but it makes sense. She's meta-human, not just meteor infected. Has actual powers. I'm not familiar with Superman mythology other than Smallville (my mythology source was my dad and he died 6 years ago, so I can't ask), so I don't know if she's a character from the comics or not, but I enjoy her and always thought that she should join up with the crew.

    I hear that the weird-white-here-coma-inducing pyramid might get a link back to Chloe and bring Allison Mack back for her handful of episodes that she's slated for this season. It was a bit odd of a cliff-hanger and chances are we won't see everyone wake up or what happens, just the aftermath, but the fact that Chloe might be back makes it better. I've missed Chloe this year. It's been a pretty good season, with Clark finally moving passed those issues that have always made him kind of annoying, but Chloe's absence is definitely felt. I wish Allison Mack had stayed for the final year. I just hope that after her several episode arc they plan on bringing her back for the finale. I've heard something about her becoming a hero called 'Oracle', I don't know exactly what that is, but I look forward to it.moreless
  • The government keeps trying to track heroes for the VRA.

    Well where to start. I knew the proposal was coming soon although according to Kryptonsite we might not get to see the wedding. Everything with the wedding plans and things at the beginning was good but a little slow paced because not much action at all. I did wonder however if Lois knows Chloe is alive because that is what I thought when I saw the card she read. Once the action of the show started it went by quick. I enjoyed it a lot. Oliver being set up and justice society stepping in to help, nice. I liked that Clark impriosoned that military leader with one eye that was good. I also think the leader had a speacial power but who knows. The interrogation in the daily planet was a little strange but it worked and Kat finally did something worthwhile instead of being a nuisance. Hawkman's final fight, that was cool and I liked that he had a good fight, a lot of the heroes don't get that. Him dying was interesting, but I think he would come back to life again eventually, because he can't really die. The part at the very end was definitley intresting. What was it that knocked them out and how did it effect Clark. Guess we have to wait and see. Anyway good episode, looking forward to next weeks.moreless
Erica Durance

Erica Durance

Lois Lane

Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Cassidy Freeman

Cassidy Freeman

Tess Mercer

Justin Hartley

Justin Hartley

Oliver Queen/Green Arrow

Alaina Huffman

Alaina Huffman

Black Canary

Guest Star

Britt Irvin

Britt Irvin


Guest Star

Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks

Carter Hall

Guest Star

Alessandro Juliani

Alessandro Juliani

Dr. Emil Hamilton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Oliver accesses the Planet cameras, Lois and Tess' files have photographs of them. For some reason, Emil's only has a silhouette, despite the fact his identity is public and he's shown on the video feed.

    • Lois says that the VRA isn't publicizing the faces of the vigilantes, and Trotter agrees with her. However, earlier, Lois was looking at a Most Wanted poster of the vigilantes, that was publicizing their faces.

    • Although Victor Stone's identity is no less public knowledge than many of the other vigilantes, Cyborg isn't on the VRA Most Wanted poster with the others.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Clark: You don't make it easy to ask a simple question. But that's what makes you... you. The woman I want to spend my life with. The woman... that I love. Lois Lane, will you marry me?
      Lois: Yes

    • Cat: Oh, my God! Lois Lane--are you expecting?
      Lois: Spread that rumor, and you can expect my fist in your face.

    • Oliver: So, I think anyone who commits himself to a lifetime of Lois deserves all the moral support they can get.

    • Carter: All I can say is, when it comes to planning the wedding, just nod. A lot.
      Oliver: Well, you would know, right? I mean, you married Shayera, what, a hundred times now?
      Emil: Well, I've heard of relationships that withstand the test of time, but that's remarkable. Oh, or not, I suppose. For you.

    • Carter: Even though I married Shayera a hundred times, I had to lose her as well. Now, I know I don't usually get all warm and fuzzy, but, uh, I am sorry. About Chloe.
      (long pause)
      Oliver: You're not going to hug me now, are you?
      Carter: No.
      Oliver: Okay.
      Carter: Just saying, I understand that it's time like these, you miss them most.
      Oliver: Well, let's hope they never have to feel that kind of loss.
      Carter: No relationship can avoid that possibility. If I've learned anything in the last, oh, 3,000 years, it's that fear should never decide love.
      Oliver: Well said.

    • Clark: Why didn't you call me?
      Oliver: It's my fault. I figured you could use some time alone with Lois.
      Carter: I told the human speedbag you'd want to know when he got his bell rung.

    • Trotter: What a beautiful ring. Congratulations.
      Lois: Military's not big on accessories, huh?
      Trotter: Only if they're medals.

    • Carter: Besides, I've adopted a rule over the centuries. Don't go underground until you're dead.

    • Oliver: Listen, I was thinking about Slade and that Mega-Mart Darkness thing...
      Carter: "Omega."
      Oliver: Well, whatever.

    • Carter: I've seen this level of hatred before. Humanity's darkest hours. Spanish Inquisition. The Third Reich.
      Clark: You're saying the Darkness has been here before?
      Carter: Several times. And every time it looked like the world would be consumed by hatred and darkness, another force arose. A much brighter one. To send the Darkness back.

    • Oliver: (seeing Carter mishandle a computer) Really?
      Carter: I miss my typewriter.
      Oliver: You miss the telegraph. Just get away, eight-track.

    • Slade Wilson: I was wondering how long you'd hide and let your friends take the fall.
      Clark: I heard the explosion. You were in it, how did you...?
      Slade Wilson: Survive? Let's just say the Reaper can swing his sickle at me, but I'm beyond Death's stroke now.

    • Lois: I'll get you help, okay?
      Carter: No. It's too late. Hey, I'm a pro at dying, remember?

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Airdates:
      Sweden: June 3, 2011 on TV6
      UK: August 16, 2011 on E4/E4 HD
      Norway: October 15, 2011 on Max
      Turkey: December 4, 2011 on CNBC-e

    • At Carter's funeral, extras fill in for Cyborg, Zatanna, Impulse, and Aquaman, so that the original actors don't have to be paid for appearing. The scene is filmed so that none of their faces are visible.

    • Allison Mack appears in unused footage from "Lazarus," recycled here as Lois' flashback.


    • Lois: G.I. Joe, when are you going to accept that you can't beat the real American heroes?
      Referencing the cartoon government super military group G.I. Joe. featured in the TV series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1982-1994, later 1997). The series, loosely based on the toy action figures, chronicled the battles of the Joes primarily vs. the Cobra terrorist organization.