Season 10 Episode 10


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Dec 03, 2010 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
402 votes

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Episode Summary

After unintentionally activating a Kryptonian box that Lionel Luthor once possessed, Clark is sent to an alternate universe where he was raised by Lionel. Meanwhile, the murderous Clark Luthor goes to Clark's universe with the intent to take Clark's place.

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  • New season, old plots. (I wonder if in my alternate reality does my alt-self watch an alt-Smallville that's actually, ya know, inventive.)

    Not quite the corker I was expecting, but this was still a decent Smallville episode. We can add yet another villain to the increasingly large roster of Big Bads this year. Having said that, I'd much prefer a familiar, reliably sinister face than a complicated, underdeveloped, incorporeal one. (Sorry, Darkseid.)

    Tess inherits a Kryptonian relic that sends Clark to a parallel universe (referenced in a throw-away line as Earth-Two) where his doppelganger, raised by Lionel instead of Martha and Jonathan, is sent to Clark's world in exchange. Our Clark must figure out how to get back to his own world, all the while experiencing the repercussions of the road not taken, as Clark Luthor. Out of character hijinks ensues.

    While fun, I was left underwhelmed by most of the events that occur in this episode. We've had so many Red Krypntonite storylines at this stage in the game, that Clark's doppelganger, Ultraman, pales in comparison to Clark's previous trips to the Dark Side. Tom Welling has a blast, as always, playing a Clark with a bit more oomph, but Clark-Two barely features, leaving a lot to be desired. I really wanted to watch Ultraman reek havoc in Clark's place; the snippets we do get are really, really exciting (Clark gatecrashing Watchtower was hella cool! I really wished they could have shown us the apparent epic battle Clark-Two has with Tess, Ollie and Lois that brings him to his knees, beaten and bloodied), but we're stuck with our extremely naive Clark, acting as though he's never been whisked away to another time-line before. As with red-k, this show has had its fair share of alternate reality episodes, so once again, everything feels recycled, now more than ever with John Glover back on the scene.

    Glover is amazing though and slots effortlessly back into his role as the ever pompous, verbose, and very evil Lionel Luthor. Spitting out his lines like venom, my personal favourite has to be his harsh retort to Tess-Two's childish outburst: ''I have worked too long and too hard to let you, a little half-bred tramp with a Magdalene complex, ruin everything.'' He chews up the scenery with every chance and reignites the show with a true sense of menace. And I really do miss his extravagant use of the English language, and his constant literary references.

    Visually, there's quite a few impressive money-shots to behold, and stripping Earth-Two of Smallville's glaring overuse of colour, gave the show a striking edge; the series hasn't looked quite so good in a long while.

    But this was all very safe. Too safe. With alternate reality episodes there's generally a rule of thumb where you can just say, ya know what, feck it, and completely deface the show, let go of everything familiar and turn the series on its head. I always reference one of my favourite alt-reality episodes, ''The Wish'' (03. 09), from Buffy, and, to a lesser extent, ''It's a Bad, Bad, Bad World'' (06.21/22) from Charmed. Both of these shows demolished any and all sense of the familiar and just had fun with the premise. With Smallville, and in this instance especially, the focus is on the return of John Glover, and the whole Earth-Two scenario is used as a convenient plot-device rather than the writers trying to tell a real story within this second universe. Aside from a few hairstyle changes, Lois, Tess and Oliver are pretty much the same characters. Such a missed opportunity altogether.

    It was inevitable that Lionel-Two would slip through the cracks along with Clark. I just hope the writers put him to good (er, evil, oh ya know what I mean!) use. The idea of an alternate Lionel teaming up with a cloned version of Lex is just too good to be true. If the writers can pull it off, the show will certainly go out with all kinds of fireworks!moreless
  • LUTHOR Lessons Learned*SPOILERS WITHIN**

    Lesson 1- Luthor blood is poison, Lutessa.

    Lesson 2- Big, dumb Kryptonians should never activate an unfamiliar device without knowing precisely what it's purpose is.

    Lesson 3- It's quite alright to make out with your brother as long as he's adopted and really hot!

    Lesson 4- Coffee must ALWAYS come before Karma. Sorry, Baristas. Tip ya next time around.;)

    Lesson 5- Lois learned right from left. (well,maybe)

    Lesson 6- Lois Lane is universally consistent.

    Kesson 7- Lionel Luthor is universally consistent.

    Lesson 8- Spare the rod? Spoil your child! Well, they are billionaires, so spoiled is a given. Or you could just beat your kids with a metal belt buckle while breaking down the concept of True Luthor Family Values (ooh, that could be a spin-off). Now, that's Luthor love!

    The final, and most important lesson is that Luthor blood isn't poison. Adopted or by blood, having a father like Lionel raise you would be more like cancer. Gotta die of something. Poison is much quicker. Because no true Luthor would have let him live this long. Lex demonstrated his true Luthorness in an episode, appropriately titled, Descent when he threw dear old dad outta his office window straight to his death. The bad news is that the MB Luthor mysteriously made it back to the real 'Ville with CK, which'll make life a living hell for our gang. The good news is that the MB Luthor is back, baby! Spicin things up, wreakin a little havoc, quoting kings and emperors..It's the Luthor way.moreless
  • Alternate reality episodes are always fun, but this late in the game are they really necessary?

    This week's episode of Smallville sees Clark yet again sucked into an alternate reality. The moment I read the synopsis I knew that this episode would be good to watch but ultimately pointless.

    In this reality he is once again confronted with a realization of what life would have been like for him had one thing changed in his past, in this case it was Lionel Luther finding him rather than the Kents.

    As normal with Clark in these situations he was utterly clueless how to act in another reality. He knows from the off that this world will be different yet he applies his own personal normal to an alien world. He still calls out to Jonathan and Martha Kent as mum and dad, he still applies the qualities of the characters in his world to the characters in this alternate one. His scene with alternate Lois is the prime example of this. Everything he told her might not have been true for this Lois and the only reason why she would have been able to tell if he was lying or not as he said she could would have only been if she knew him as well as she did on his world.

    Seeing Lionel again was completely awesome and it became quickly apparent just what had been missing from the show these last years. The absence of Lex and Lionel from the show since season 7 has left a void that Tess just couldn't quite fill. On screen those two had the charisma to pull off the hugely intelligent evil master mind and of all the humans who have stood up to Clark in some way or another over the years, only Lionel and Lex have truly been believable as opponents worthy to rise to the challenge.

    The other high of the episode was getting to see what Clark was like evil. Seeing him on Red Kryptonite, the rebooted Kryptonian we saw in the first episode of season 4 or an alternate evil version of himself has always been thrilling to watch as it is only in these episodes we see the kind of potential Clark could rise to. He is always so timid to use his abilities as himself and the writers are always so reluctant to show us how awesome Superman really is, so we often forget just how powerful Clark can be. But when he is in alternate Clark mode we know we are in for a visual treat, in this episode I am referring to the awesome moment when he crashed through the roof of watchtower.

    The problem here is that I became more interested in the evil Clark story than the good Clark and so was ultimately disappointed to rejoin that story at just the moment when three lowly humans had brought him to his knees with... that's right you guessed it... Kryptonite!

    Truth be told I enjoyed this outing of Smallville but 10 episodes into the final season and one episode away from the Christmas break I was expecting something incredibly important to the progression of this season and the development of the ending of this decade of great TV.

    It seemed that this episode's only real contribution came in the last few moments of air time when we realize that a fully grown and possibly more evil and intelligent version of Lex is once again roaming the streets of Metropolis and so too is Lionel Luthor.

    This episode has left me with a great hope but also a great fear. I hope with all my being that Lex returns to this show as what is Superman with out his bald foe to battle him through the years. But my great fear for this season is that they cast someone other than Michael Rosenbaum to play him. No one else can pull of Lex in the Smallville universe, already proved once this season. If they can't get him back, then please don't bring him back!

    Overall decent episode, but should have been better.moreless
  • Clark Luthor!

    When it comes to altenate universes, I think that Smallville did one of its best jobs ever with Luthor. In my opinion, it's hard to top Labyrinth, but this is a close second. It was amazing to see how different the world was with someone like Lionel pulling all the strings. It was also interesting to realize how different Lionel turns out when Clark isn't there as a force of good. From seasons 5 to 7 we saw how Clark's presence helped Lionel try to redeem himself. Here, he was more ruthless than we've ever seen him.

    The other fun part of this episode was how they explored the Clark/Tess relationship. As a fan of both characters, it's something that I wanted to see for a while. And the show didn't disappoint. The scenes between the earth 1 and earth 2 members were kind of creepy due to the sibling romance undertones, but it was further proof of how morally corrupt Lionel's world was. Not that I didn't enjoy the kisses mind you! Anyway, it was great to see Clark and Tess develop an understanding. Tess has been put in some unenviable situations this season and it was nice to see Clark realize that and extend his hand in friendship. It's what makes him Superman.

    Finally, it was a thrill to see John Glover back on Smallville. One of the best actors to ever grace this show. His Lionel was a tribute to the MB we saw int he early seasons of Smallville, but he also had new elements that made him even more evil. And I feel that the final scene of the episode couldn't have been better. Kelly Souders who made her directing debut had idea to have Lionel address the viewer and it worked out very well. First time I've seen that on Smallville.

    All in all, this was one of the best episodes of Season 10. Roll on Icarus.moreless
  • Great episode!

    What an enjoyable episode! Bryan Q Miller did a great job with the script. I felt that he really did great work with the dialogue and it was a well crafted episode.

    Tom Welling was amazing!! man, he can play bad so well. It was kind of weird for me to watch him play such an awful character yet I couldn't take my eyes of him! To see him play such a sociopath, it just gave me the creeps. Kudos to Tom! Wonderful acting and way too believable. When he was back in RW with Lois all I saw was bad Clark. Only complaint was there was not enough Clois time in the ending scene. I guess I just wanted Clark to be more affectionate towards Lois. Loved John Glover!! This episode made me think how much I miss him. Great episode and all around great acting. Kudos to Kelly Souders, great directing!moreless
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

Linda Ko

Linda Ko


Guest Star

Lini Evans

Lini Evans


Guest Star

Ilan Srulovicz

Ilan Srulovicz


Guest Star

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Clark tells alt-Oliver that the alt-Clark will appear in Watchtower. However, there's no way he can know that, or any reason he should assume that. Earlier, when they switched places, Clark was beneath Metropolis at Cadmus, while alt-Clark was at Luthor Manor in his bedroom.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Newspaper Vendor: Uh, don't I know you from somewhere?
      Lionel: I don't think so. I'm from out of town. Unexpected visit. But I guess I'm back in the nick of time. Wouldn't want to miss how it all turns out.

    • Tess: (answering telephone) Clark, calling another woman at this hour. What will the industrious Lois Lane think?

    • Tess: But you're assuming that he's a threat just because he's a Luthor. Whatever happened to everyone deserving a second chance?
      Clark: Luthor blood is Luthor blood. It's poison.

    • Lionel: Ah, now is the time for an apposite quote from one of my favorites, Marcus Aurelius. "When you arise in the morning, think what a privilege it is to be alive. To breathe, to enjoy, to love, to think."
      Clark: Lionel?
      Lionel: Dress yourself. We Luthor men must seize our day. You only live once... Son.

    • Lionel: The heart... it'll blind you, Son. You want to be your own man. That's natural. But remember, Clark, I am your father, and I alone raised you in my own image to become the man that you are today.

    • Tess: Lionel Luthor has been dead for years. Lex killed him.
      Clark-L: I guess Lex did something right in this place. Gotta tell you, Sis, this alternate Earth, it's a blast. Doesn't feel right, though. Not having blood on my hands before lunch.
      Tess: Well, that's the great thing about us being on our own, now. So you can have lunch whenever you want.
      Clark-L: And what if I was hungry now?

    • alt-Tess: I love him. Like you never will.
      Lionel: Of course you love him. It's no mystery. Clark is a god among men. Though how he could love you, a consummate disappointment, is beyond me. You're nothing but trouble, Tess. You're corrupting him.
      alt-Tess: You take a good long look in the mirror at the person who's responsible for corrupting Clark.
      Lionel: I have worked too long and too hard to let you, a little half-bred tramp with a Magdalene complex, ruin everything. (Tess slaps him) You just made this a lot easier.

    • alt-Tess: Why couldn't you ever love me the way that you loved Clark?
      Lionel: Simply put, sweetheart, you're just not special enough.

    • Lionel: Do you remember Lear, son? Shakespeare, King Lear. Wanted to abdicate, retire. Lear had three children. He tells them he will divide his kingdom between them, giving the largest portion to the one who loves him most. Two of the children declare their lavish devotion. The youngest, his favorite, is blunt and plainspoken... stop me if you know where this is going.
      Clark: He disowned the child who loved him all along.
      Lionel: Big mistake. So, it's just you and your sister now. There's certainly no getting Lex back. You saw to that.
      Clark: I killed Lex.

    • Clark: Lois. Where I'm from, Lois Lane, you and I, we're allies. You always have my back. How else would I know that you're brave and loyal, and a force of nature.
      alt-Lois: Anybody could have told you that about me.
      Clark: Lois. Look, you misspell words. Simple words, at an alarmingly frequent basis. And you can never admit when I'm right, even when I call you on it.
      alt-Lois: Why would I?
      Clark: Lois. And you can always tell when I'm lying. You can see right through me, straight to my soul. To my heart. Lois, there's got to be a part of you that knows that I'm telling the truth.
      alt-Lois: Who are you?
      Clark: Lois. My name is Clark Kent, and I promise, Lois, I will never let this happen to us. I can't live in a world where you don't love me.

    • alt-Oliver: So Clark Luthor is the mysterious Ultra-Man of Metropolis. That name sucks, by the way. Did it look good on paper?

    • Lionel: We are long, long overdue for a father-son talk.
      Clark: I'm not your son.
      Lionel: Well, you never were, were you? I made your destiny. Your future, our future, my whole preoccupation. For god's sake, Clark, I let you kill Lex. Your own brother. My son.
      Clark: Wasn't me.
      Lionel: I've been afraid of you, Clark. Of your power. You know, you may want to use that box and escape from here. But the truth is that I'm the one who has been a prisoner all this time.
      Clark: Let me use the mirror box, I'll go away. You'll never have to worry about me again.
      Lionel: Not worry about you? That's all I've ever done. Worry about you! I have sacrificed everything for your sake. I failed you, Clark, because no true son of mine, no true Luthor would have let me live this long.

    • Lois: I swear, the number of times I've signed one of those. Lucky for us, the Planet's got great coverage. Lucky for me, anyway. I bet your deductible's through the roof.
      Clark: Something like that.
      Lois: What are these for?
      Clark: Nothing says "Sorry, my doppelganger from a parallel Earth tried to kill you" like flowers.
      Lois: Think there's a card for that now.
      Clark: Store was out.

  • NOTES (5)

    • International Airdates:
      Sweden: May 27, 2011 on TV6
      UK: August 9, 2011 on E4/E4 HD
      Norway: October 8, 2011 on Max
      Turkey: November 27, 2011 on CNBC-e

    • Clark Luthor mentions gold kryptonite when explaining his L-shaped scar to Tess. This is the first mention of gold kryptonite on Smallville. In the comics, gold kryptonite originally could steal a Kryptonian's powers permanently, forever leaving them like a human. Recently, gold K has been shown to have only a temporary effect, much like blue kryptonite on Smallville.

    • John Glover is billed as Special Guest Star.

    • Injoke: Lois's comment about an "Earth-Two Lois" refers to the concept of parallel universes, first referenced in Flash #123 (1961). Earth-Two was a parallel universe where the Golden Age DC heroes of the Justice Society had their World War II adventures, and mostly survived to the present day as elder superheroes. Later, the parallel universes were eliminated from existence, and Earth was nicknamed "Earth-Two" by the heroic Lex Luthor of the anti-matter universe (see below). Later, when the multiverse was split into 52 separate parallel universes, Earth-Two was recreated.

    • Injoke: In the comics, Ultraman is the anti-matter version of Superman, an astronaut who was transformed by aliens. He has the powers of Superman, and either gains additional powers from exposure to kryptonite, or uses kryptonite to recharge his powers in later years. Ultraman is a member of the Crime Syndicate of Amerika, a group of other "alternate" evil versions of the well-known superheroes.