Smallville

Season 1 Episode 20

Obscura

4
Aired Friday 8:00 PM May 14, 2002 on The CW
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

9.2
out of 10
Average
737 votes
  • A gas explosion injures Lana in a blast of meteor fragments, enabling her to have remote viewing experiences of Chloe being kidnapped. Lex learns more about a spacecraft sighting during the meteor shower, and finds an incredible artifact.

    8.0
    Kristin Kreuk and Eric Johnson both are accomplished horse riders, no stunt people here, as we see them riding across the green fields of Kansas. Just as Whitney invites her to the Spring formal, an explosion and smoke erupts in the distance. Utility crews and police are on the scene in seconds, but no one even tries to establish a safety perimeter, so Lana and Whitney walk right up and finally notice the pipeline is vibrating. Lana is the only one left standing around, so she's blown away and lands in a shower of meteor rock. That's the setup; what kind of power or mutant effect will she have?

    Into the hospital she goes again, with Whitney by her side. Chloe shows up, dropping the news to us that she's scheduled for an internship interview at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, but wants to support Lana. But Clark urges her to go, and she does. Outside, an assailant uses chloroform to abduct Chloe, and we see Lana's new power - remote viewing of the attack - as Lana rises right out of her concussion.

    Later at the farm, no one knows of Chloe's plight, and Martha is prodding Clark to get a date for the formal, so she can play chaperone...Chloe is suggested. Martha states that it's probably over for Lana, but Clark does not want to be seen by her with another date. Lex drops in to explain a previous chemical spill which damaged livestock and land, and offers compensation to Jonathan and Martha - a substantial sum, based on their reaction. All squared away, Kents and Luthors are on good terms, at least for the next couple scenes.

    Clark is filling in for Chloe at the Torch, when Lana drops by to report her dream of Chloe's abduction, with enough concern for Clark to take her seriously.

    At the mansion, Inquisitor editor Roger Nixon drops in to see Lex, with a bit of hostility showing between the two over Lex's feature article in the Business section of a rival paper, while Lex was supposed to be feeding articles to Nixon. He's onto a meteor shower story, and a witness to something falling out of the sky. More material for Lex to misuse.

    Out at the farm, Clark can't get the old Massey-Ferguson tractor started, but Jonathan is deferring on the check from Lex, so the old tractor may have to stay. And Clark continues to worry about Chloe. One would ask why Clark didn't call the DP to see if Chloe showed for the interview, and when. As Lana passes by, she's struck by another vision of Chloe, bound and gagged in a bad-looking building, and Lana sees through the eyes of the abductor. Chloe is indeed trapped, and her disguised abductor uses a really big syringe on her, so she's about to be a lab experiment. Mr. Sullivan brings the police in, but they pooh-pooh Lana's visions, until they hear that Chloe's car has been found abandoned in the woods. Out there somewhere, Lex is driving a new silver Jaguar XK convertible, plate no. "Lex 1," taking Nixon to a funky farmhouse and home of an ex-cropduster. Long ago grounded for medical reasons - too big a mouth - the pilot tells Lex what he saw 12 years earlier during the meteor shower - a ship that swerved before striking the ground. Two hours later, he found nothing at the crash site. Lex is skeptical, or at least tries to appear so.

    That evening, Clark is in the barn, while an impossible celestial event occurs outside - the rising full moon is moving from right to left at the horizon. Ok, so they just reversed footage of a moonset, but still, that scene can only happen in the southern hemisphere. Smallville still needs a resident astronomical advisor - the film editors and graphics crew just can't do anything correct with the moon.

    Lana and Clark worry about Chloe - search party to be formed in the morning. Background - Chloe transferred in to Smallville in 8th grade, from Metropolis, and was the subject of Clark's first kiss. Another vision overwhelms Lana; she sees a grave being dug near a windmill, and Chloe buried. There must be hundreds of windmills out in the farm country, but Clark speeds to just the right one, x-ray vision coming in handy to spot Chloe in the ground. Nice save. But someone watches.

    Another hospital scene, with Chloe recovering after giving up on the internship interview. She remembers little of the abduction, she tells Clark and Lana. It's visiting hour, where's dad? What about a police report? But as Lana leaves, she has a vision of the kidnapper, and he's watching her. Creepy little scene.

    Back at the farm, it's a sunny blue-sky day, but when we cut to Jonathan and Clark, there's a solid overcast. Got to watch that stock footage in the post-production phase. After they load feed in the ol' bleu GMC pickup, we see that a Viewer is observing them. They stop at a nearby field, finding a hazmat team on site with Lex, who claims to be considering a land purchase, and doing an environmental review. Aha, It's the field where Clark's trip from Krypton ended. After Clark and Jonathan leave, with the check from Lex returned by a testy Jonathan, Lex gets an artifact from Dr. Hamilton (Joe Morton), which may be significant.

    Lex drops in on Clark, who tries to explain Jonathan's hostility. Lex tells him about something - a ship - landing that day years ago. His explanation for continuing on this quest seems perfectly reasonable - while Clark weakly attempts to deflect him. Chloe and Clark see Whitney at the Torch; Clark believes Lana's visions were caused by meteor rocks. They suspect someone became psychically connected to Lana during the explosion - a deputy.

    Sure enough, one of the deputies stops at the Talon to ask Lana more questions, and we suspect him, but we're wrong - someone in Lana's vision nails him - the disguised assailant. Lana awakens at the amusement park - that was a quick abduction. Disgruntled deputy Watts set up Chloe's abduction in order to be seen as her heroic rescuer. Now, he threatens, he'll solve Lana' murder, right after he commits it. Clark arrives as the bullet flies, deflecting that problem, and running down Deputy Watts - why does Clark allow himself to be shot him several times? (So we can see how invulnerable he is.) But the police arrive and Watts gets himself killed in a gun battle, so no need to worry about stories of Clark stopping bullets. The Viewer is here, too - it turns out to be Nixon - still digging for dirt.

    Chloe brings Clark the good news of her internship, offered not through interview, but based on her article on the kidnapping in the Smallville Ledger. More good news for her - Clark invites her to the formal, so everyone has some happiness.

    Hamilton reports to Lex on the recovered fragment...it's an octagonal disc, made of an alloy, and Hamilton asserts it's like nothing on the earth. As Lex stares at the disc, we see a nice transition to a matching slot on the spaceship in the Kent's barn. Lex has the key, he just does not know it yet. Much can be made of this discovery in future episodes, and we should hope they're as well-written and directed as this one. Pretty straight script, good transitions, no one overacting, and no overblown set decoration or lighting. Just solid Smallville, and likable enough to be seen several times. Re-run rating B.
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