Smallville

Season 6 Episode 12

Labyrinth

2
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 25, 2007 on The CW
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
1,045 votes
121

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Clark is in his barn one moment... and the next finds himself in a psychiatric hospital where he discovers he's been suffering from delusions that he came from another planet and has super-powers.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Twilight Zoner

    9.7
    Labyrinth-Clark is in his barn one moment... and the next finds himself in a psychiatric hospital where he discovers he's been suffering from delusions that he came from another planet and has super-powers.



    A dark, gripping episode that sees the writers finally putting the escaped Phantom Zoners storyline to good use. While the "hero trapped in an inasne asylum in an alternate reality where he or she is considered insane and their real life not real" has been done to death on many sci-fi series. The most recent are from Buffy and Charmed, which both turned out to be some of the best episodes of the series. Well, the same can be said for Smallville as "Labyrinth" uses the cliche storyline and puts some depth into the characters.



    Tom Welling gives a stunning performance throughout as Clark first starts out paranoid believing his been set up by Lex, only to come to the conclusion that he is truly insane. The rest of the cast also does an exceptional job in their alternate roles. Lana is Clark's girlfriend waiting on him to get better, Martha is living in the Luthor mansion as Lionel..uhh..close friend, and Chloe is a nutcase out to get the Luthors. But the standout performance of the bunch is without a doubt Micheal Rosenbaum, who has virtually one scene yet steals the show. You truly feel bad for Lex in this reality as his lost his legs and Micheal's delievery of the line, "Open your eyes you sick son of a b!%&#!" sent chills down my spine! Also, I loved the return of Martian Manhunter as he assist Clark to get out of his mental allusion the lastest Phantom has created. Phil Morris as Jon J'ozz was flawless casting by the writers and I hope to see more of hims throughout the series. Matthew Walker was also wonderful as Dr. Hudson aka the Phantom in disguise. It's nice to have a villian who is actually smart and uses Clark's mind as a way to defeat him, unlike past Phantoms before who would just show up and get defeated in less than 10 seconds.



    The alternate reality itself has this subtle and errie the twilight zone feel. I love how Clark started realizing he was crazy when he saw and heard all past 6 years were just objects and people around him (Jor-El lotion, Raya the nurse, Phantom Zone magazine etc.) The direction was also breath-taking, especially the scene of Clark running through the snow escaping from Lex's mansion. The only real downside is Clark realizing his still in love with Lana at the end. It was such a great development when last episode Clark turned down the chance to be with her after he found out she was pregnant. But at the same time, it was nice that Clark acknowledged Chloe's importance in his life. Chloe's death scene was tragic and is good to know it made Clark realize how Chloe is becoming essential to his journey as a hero. All and All, "Labyrinth" is well written, well acted, and well directed episode which has to be the finest Phantom Zoner storyline so far!moreless
  • This is one of my favourite episodes.

    10
    When I watched the very first minutes of this episode, I just got excited about it. I understand that the episodes should include action because it is the story of superman but When there are good actors and actresses who we like for years and a good story, why do not they try new things? I really like this episode, details were brilliant. As clark is in a mental hospital, he thinks he is from another planet and have extraordinary powers. According to his doctor, Clark just used objects around him to create a new life. Because the employee of the month in the hospital is called Oliver Queen, there is a magazine called Phantom Zone and a soap called Jorel. When Clark saw all of these, he started believing what his doctor said, especially because of Lana. ALso In this new life, Only person who believes Clark is Chloe and we see that Clark is still in love with Lana and ready to give up everything. It was a brilliant episode and one of my favourite episodes of Smallville.moreless
  • Tom Welling has a much broader range of acting to do in this episode, when his entire reality disappears and he's in a mental hospital, devoid of powers and caught in paranoid delusions about his life as Kal-El.moreless

    9.0
    Shelby the dog alerts Clark at the barn, and an unseen force knocks him to the floor. He awakens in a mental hospital, his own personal "One Flew Over..." episode. Is this an illusion? Which is reality? It's another dreadful mental hospital where all the patients seem to know his name and history as a kryptonian, which they mock. Psychiatrist Dr. Hudson is leading the group of patients. Here, Clark has no powers, so the guards restrain him, and he's confined to a dark cell.



    The doctor refers to his "psychotic break" and paranoid schizophrenia, telling him he created a make-believe world as Kal-El, but offering a new treatment. He's in the Fairview Psychiatric Hospital and his previous life was a delusion. Clark is still convinced it's an elaborate conspiracy, with the exception of the loss of his powers. He has no choice but to comply with the hospital routine. His Kryptonian friend is there too, saying he believes Clark, but he's deluded too, saying he's from Mars.



    The entire episode features an ominous monotone, which is very effective in creating a sinister atmosphere. Clark overpowers a guard and escapes. Even in an alternate reality, how did he get back home so fast? He's greeted by a warm embrace from Lana, who has redecorated the loft - it's now her home since she and Nell bought the farm from Martha. Clark has been gone a long time, she says. All these story elements are entirely consistent with the delusion he has - just as it would be if had never been Kal-El. He denies having had treatment, he tells Lana, and was not released, but escaped. He blames Lex, and does indeed start acting paranoid.



    He finds Martha at the Luthor mansion; she and Lionel are married. On and on goes the alternate reality. Clark demands she come with him; she sets the alarm and the guards try to stop him but it's a fair fight - Clark has no powers. This is an unusually violent scene for Mr. Welling, showing acting ability not often evident in his more limited role as Clark and Kal-El. Out into the snow he goes in a foot chase with Lex's security guards, when Clhoe shows up in her blue Yaris, and they get away.



    Away to the Talon...and he doesn't ask her how she found him until they arrive. Next he's in Lex's office, accusing him of causing the confinment, but Lex refers to the car accident on the bridge five years earlier, and in a stunning scene, Lex is seen to be in a wheel chair, a double amputee, because Clark caused the accident, he didn't save Lex. All this seems quite plausible if Clark was indeed imagining his whole life.



    Clark heads back to the Talon, but it's instead the original abandoned movie theatre, and Lana finds him there, offering to help. She has a toy ring he gave her when they were 10; Clark does not remember. He finds Chloe; she's armed and dangerous, but Lana says Chloe was in Fairview too, having a family history of mental illness. Clark starts to doubt, Chloe stalks out, Clark follows. But one of the guards shoots Chloe, and her dying words are, "I'm not crazy!"



    Next he's back in Fairview in a strait jacket with Dr. Hudson; Clark refuses treatment. All the touchstones of his real life are but names on common objects - "Jor-El" is the name of a soap product, "The Phantom Zone" is the title of a magazine. He hears a P.A. call to Dr. Fine. Everything seems to support the delusion story. All his friend's names are simply those of hospital employees. Meteor rock has no effect on him. Clark sags to the floor.



    Later he hears a voice calling him Kal-El and telling him to resist - he's infected by a being from the Phantom Zone. If he undergoes the treatment the entity will take full control of him. "Purge the parasite, kill Dr. Hudson," who's a phantom. Trust yourself, he says. Shackled, Clark is lead to the Nazi-esque treatment room, all metal and stone. Lana is there, tempting him with the promise of a life with her if he will stop fighting. But when she says his destiny is to be with her, he pauses. Dr. Hudson begins the final treatment; can Clark overcome his inhibitions and kill the Doctor? He breaks free, overpowering the guards; Dr. Hudson turns into a monstrous wraith, Clark reappears in the barn and the phantom entity is stripped from him by his Kryptonian rescuer, who soars into the night sky.



    By the fireside, he tells Chloe the story, that he almost gave up everything he cared about for Lana. This brings to his understanding the fact that he has not truly given up on her yet. "The truth is, I still love her." But he can't tell Chloe how she appeared in his illusion as a mental patient; this is one of Chloe's basic fears. With insight into the true meaning of friendship and kindness, the writers have Clark tell her that she was the only one who believed in him.



    Does this put Lana in a new perspective? Will he recognize that he has put too much at risk by continuing to long for her? At the Talon he feels restored - things are the same, and Lana is there. He tells her only that he had a dream about her - the gumball ring, and their youthful engagement. But then he woke up. Lex steps in and greets Lana, and Lex appreciates the civility from Clark. It's easy to be magnanimous when you got the girl. They're off to see the wedding planner, as Lana gives Clark one last long look.



    Coming shortly after several superhero episodes, full of explosions and heroics, this episode is a pleasant surprise - not advancing the real continuing Smallville storylines - but displaying Tom Welling's impressive acting talent, far beyond the usual range of the Clark character. All the supporting characters in Clark's delusion are precisely what we would expect to have happened if the alternate reality had played out with Clark as a "normal." Fine job by the screenwriters and director - this episode will stand as one of the best of the season, and maybe in the top 10 of the series. Re-run rating B+.moreless
  • Is Clark losing his mind?

    10
    i can't believe a phantom was going to mind wipe Clark and make him under his control. Now we know who that hero was that saved Clark back in Static. Good thing he made his way in Clark's mind to stop the phantom from doing permanent damage. Even though Lana is engaged and having Lex's baby, Clark is still in love with her and can't let her go. Looks like Kryptonite is not Clark's only weakness. Lana still loves Clark. When she was walking away, she looked back and smiled at Clark. That alone proves that maybe by the end of this season or very early next season Lana and Clark will be a Clana again.moreless
  • The music was brilliant!

    8.0
    Writing music for a television show or movie is a definite art, and Mark Snow (this episode's composer) has proven himself very very good at it over many years. Other reviewers have complained about the long droning note (an E-flat by the way), but as a professional musician, music teacher and composer I'd like to offer a different perspective.



    Background music is there to give you an emotional feeling which supports the visuals, sound effects, acting, special effects, etc. The most common examples are the feeling of tension or foreshadowing music often brings to a scene, or the triumphant moment when a hero saves the day accompanied by trumpets.



    Mark Snow took a big risk, and it paid off. Those of you who complain actually make the point for me. You were uncomfortable with this extremely long droning note, and you were supposed to be. The fact that the note didn't move supported the fact that Clark himself hadn't moved. He was lying on his back in the barn. The more uncomfortable you felt, the more successful the music was. Fantastic!



    My final point: The unchanging note is an extreme example of something called a "pedal tone" in music. For another great (though much shorter) example, check out the themes to all the Star Trek television series. All of them are on ships which move about the galaxy except one, Deep Space Nine which takes place on an unmoving space station. DS9 is also the only theme song to feature a pedal tone. Hmmm, a space station that doesn't move, and a note that doesn't move... no coincidence there!



    From me, a big thank you to all television composers. Keep up the good work.

    Flippr_NFmoreless
Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Toole

Martha Clark Kent

Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk

Lana Lang

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Alexander ('Lex') Joseph Luthor

Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Matthew Walker

Matthew Walker

Dr. Hudson

Guest Star

Graeme Duffy

Graeme Duffy

Patient

Guest Star

Dwayne Bryshun

Dwayne Bryshun

 

Guest Star

Phil Morris

Phil Morris

John Jones

Recurring Role

Bud the Dog

Bud the Dog

Shelby

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Clark: Oh, I... I had a dream about you last night.
      Lana: Well, I hope that it wasn't a nightmare.
      Clark: No. We were 10 years old and I gave you a plastic ring from a gumball ring at Quinn's Market?
      Lana: That's sweet. What was the occasion?
      Clark: It was an engagement ring.
      Lana: What happened next?
      Clark: I woke up.

    • Lana: Okay. Let's say that I am a hallucination... and that your world really does exist. I'm about to marry your greatest enemy... and you're an alien from another planet who's responsible for so much tragedy. Do you really wanna live in that reality?
      Clark: I don't know what to believe anymore.
      Lana: Wouldn't you just want to take this treatment and be with me?
      Clark: Of course I want to be with you. More than you could ever imagine.
      Lana: Then stop fighting. Please. You've lived like this for so long, carried this burden of being a hero. It's time to just let go and live a normal life.
      Clark: I've never been normal.
      Lana: Your destiny isn't to save the world, Clark. It's to be with me for the rest of our lives.

    • Clark: You told me not to trust anyone. Why should I trust you?
      John: You know who you are, Kal-El. Trust yourself.

    • Clark: I know who I am!
      Dr. Hudson: I'm not sure you do. Your name is Clark Kent, not Kal-El. And Jor-El isn't your father.
      (show him a bottle of anti-bacterial soap named "Jorel")

    • John: You're not crazy, Kal-El. We don't have much time, so listen to me closely. I believe you're from another planet.
      Clark: What makes you say that?
      John: Because like you, I'm not from here. I come from Mars. You can't trust anyone.

    • Clark: Chloe, how'd you find me?
      Chloe: Are you kidding me? I've been in GPS mode ever since my contact IM'd me about the breakout this morning.

    • Lex: You really think you saved me. Well, then, let me refresh your memory.
      (Lex pulls away from his desk and shows Clark he's in a wheel chair)
      Lex: I have to spend the rest of my life in this chair because of you.
      Clark: This is impossible. I was there.
      Lex: And you caused the accident. Oh, you claimed you saw my car swerving out on control so you jumped in front of it to save me with your superpowers. But when I jerked the wheel, my Porsche flipped end over end and wrapped around the guardrail.
      Clark: That's not what happened.
      Lex: If it was up to me, you'd be rotting in jail. But my father insisted you go to that mental hospital instead. Anything to impress Martha Kent with his kindness.
      Clark: This is a trick. It's a trick!
      Lex: Really? Open your eyes, you crazy son of a bitch! Does this look like a trick to you?!? If there's one thing I regret in my life...it's that I didn't just run you over.

    • Chloe: So who was I in your alternate universe? Editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet or a Pulitzer Prize winner maybe?
      Clark: Something like that. The important part is... you were the one person who believed in me. I don't know what I'd do without you, Chloe.
      Chloe: Oh, is this when I'm supposed to cue the Barry Manilow music?
      Clark: No seriously, you mean a lot more to me than you know.

    • Clark: It's good to see you out and about, Lex.
      Lex: You know, you actually sounded convincing when you said that. I appreciate the civility.

  • NOTES (7)

    • In-joke: The top row of the stained glass windows in Lex Luthor's mansion spell out the letters "THX" - a reference to George Lucas' movie THX-1138. This movie was also referenced in the episode "Thirst."

    • Injoke: Clark supposedly manufacturing an alternate reality from objects around him strongly mirrors the movie The Usual Suspects starring Kevin Spacey, where his character Keyser Soze does exactly that to fool the police.

    • Deleted Scene: John Jones explains (while demonstrating his telepathy) to Clark that he kept watch over him since the first meteor shower occurred. He came to Earth due to the escape of the Phantom Zone criminals.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: May 13, 2007 on TVNorge
      Belgium: December 22, 2007 on KanaalTwee
      Australia: January 10, 2008 on Ten
      Czech Republic: May 19, 2008 on TV Nova
      New Zealand: July 11, 2008 on TV2
      Slovakia: August 9, 2009 on Markiza

    • Music: "Yesterday" by Hefshill ("Give it Time")

    • In-joke: The Martian Manhunter's blue robe in the hospital and his blue leather coat are both references to the blue cape traditionally worn by the character in the comics. His weakness when a guard flicks a lighter at him references the character's vulnerability to fire in the comics as well.

    • John Glover and Erica Durance are credited but do not appear.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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