Season 10 Episode 9


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 19, 2010 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
349 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Oliver signs up for the Vigilante Registration Act to learn what's really involved, and discovers that it's a ruse so that a team lead by Colonel Slade can trap and test persons with superpowers. Meanwhile, Arthur "A.C." Curry returns to fight back against the VRA and Clark confronts his extreme activism.moreless

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  • Something fishy is going on...arf.

    While the Vigilante Registration Act arc hasn't quite made its stamp on the series just yet, ''Patriot'' goes along way to bring it to the forefront of the season, as well as reminding us that Darkseid still looms in the background (way, way back). It's a full roster in terms of the Smallville cast this week, which adds some nice sparring and much needed momentum to the hour, and the writers continue to integrate Lois into the superhero fold by bringing her into the loop with Watchtower.

    It's also a Battlestar Galactica reunion of sorts this week as Michael Hogan makes his first appearance on the show as General Slade (Deathstroke to you and me), and we have Alessandro Juliani reprising his role as Dr. Emil Hamilton. They don't share any screentime but I certainly got a frakkin' kick out of it. And by the gods, if they'd managed to nab Katee Sackhoff for a stunt role I'd probably have fallen into a geek coma.

    Hogan is certainly the highlight of the episode, he commands the screen like a true general and I really, REALLY hope we get to see him in a costume similar to his comic counterpart down the line. But talk about type-casting, eh? After just one episode he's smacked with an eye-patch and his character also has an affinity for the ole whiskey, too. They practically ripped Col. Saul Tighe from BSG and plopped him into Smallville. Nowt wrong with that, I suppose. If it means more solid acting then I'm all for it.

    Ya hear that, ''Squid-lips''? Ya hear that ''half-dolphin''? Solid acting. With this show I often tend to ignore the dodgy acting. I can't help it, I'm a geek. And this show is about as geeky as it gets. It may not be consistently great, but it's painfully geeky in all of the right places. But, really, no matter how much I tried with this one, I just could not get passed the horrendous acting from our fishy guest-stars this week. They're both very hot and both very naked for the majority of the episode and I still had issues with them both.

    Now, before you mount that high horse of yours and call me shallow, it's a prerequisite for any CW show to have hot guest-stars. So why is it out of Supernatural, Nikita and The Vampire Diaries, this show usually gets the shortest straw when it comes to acting ability? Both Alan Ritchson (Orin) and Elena Satine (Mera) simply do not have the acting chops to convey the imperial authority required of the future king and queen of Atlantis. Like I said, I'm a geek, so I appreciate little references to Odin and the civilization down under, it certainly broadens to scope of the show even further, but it would have been nice to contract actors who have enough diversity to push their guerrilla warfare agenda with a little more panache and believability.

    For all of my frustrations with this episode (there's not even one throw-away line referencing Tess' shocking and lame discovery that she's a Luthor) there are a lot of great character moments to soak up, especially towards the end of the episode where (Lu)Tess(a), Lois, Ollie and Clark all realise that there's a bigger threat afoot than the VRA: Darkseid. The writers seem to be on the right track by infusing the VRA with Darkseid's ultimate plan to destroy the world. It'll make future storylines more coherent and hopefully allow proper follow through in terms of the season's structure. I cannot tell you how annoying it is as a viewer to watch a show where striking revelations are uncovered one week only to be completely ignored the next. You would think after ten years I'd have gotten used to it -- expected it, even -- but we were told before the season started that this year would be different. Old habits...well, ya know the rest.

    As for the finale... what happened there? Clark is trapped in a Kryptonite cage and then the ship explodes (with Slade on it too); we're suddenly whisked to the next scene where Clark and Orin are having a goodbye chat at the Kent barn and it ends with Slade wearing a computerized eye-patch. Rushed much?

    There's too much going on here and not enough time to explore both sides of the VRA storyline. Perhaps A.C and his Mrs would have been best suited for a different episode altogether. And Slade's sinister actions towards our heroes felt awfully diluted and unnecessarily excessive. Why throw Ollie into a tank filled with water to begin with? So Mera could use her powers and help her hubbie, of course! Sigh.

    If there's anything to take away from this's the preview for the next episode! It looks so bloody good! Here's hoping, cos the final season of Smallville needs another corker pronto!moreless
  • A couple terrible guest cast members and silly character conflicts get in the way

    This episode takes the fight against the Vigilante Registration Act to a completely different level, and raises the question of how Clark and his allies should deal with the threat that the government program entails. Exploring this ground means that characters are forced into positions that don't necessarily make sense, especially when they are all supposed to be on the same team.

    AC and his nubile bride Mera feel that the best solution is a counter-offensive, destroying the torture and detainment facilities that are being built for the enforcement of the VRA. Frankly, while the actions were later mitigated by the knowledge that the secret VRA sites were going to be used for nefarious purposes, Clark's point is the most glaring and obvious one: staging a pre-emptive strike is the easiest way to validate your critics. (It also doesn't help that both AC and Mera were portrayed as wooden as it gets, often undermining every scene they were in.)

    Oliver's position is a bit easier to understand. As the one "out" superhero, his resistance to the VRA casts suspicion not only on him, but on all of the other heroes that refuse to reveal their identities. Yet beyond a massive public relations campaign to counter the movement behind the VRA (not a viable situation as presented), there's really no other option.

    Clark's role with AC was mostly to give that character an excuse to show off his hot wife and his strident approach. The conflict within the nascent Justice League felt just a bit overdone. While I've been told that this is reflective of tensions that the DC Comics version of Aquaman has had with his allies, it doesn't really seem to fit with the information we've had on "Smallville".

    Far more interesting was Clark conflict with Lois, which led to his surprising decision to bring her into Watchtower. Or rather, I should say that the result of the conflict was far more interesting. It was rather clear that Clark wasn't purposefully keeping Lois out of the loop in favor of others, and this level of communication breakdown just didn't seem likely at this stage of the game.

    Michael Hogan did a great job as the primary villain of the episode. I take it that he is a servant of Darkseid, given that a lot of the buzz seems to point to Hogan becoming a character named Deathstrike. This seems to set the stage for that, while also making it abundantly clear that the VRA is nothing more than a means to an end for Darkseid.

    In the end, this is not the best of episodes, considering that the writers seemed to force the characters to serve the interests of the plot more than anything else. While Michael Hogan was good as Slade, other guest performers were simply terrible. Yet it was still entertaining, and continued the process of building this final season towards a potentially great climax.moreless
  • All that I can say is wow

    So much was packed into this episode. I'm glad that I saw Author Curry again. He was so good. Nice to finally see Clark as the leader. Charged and proud. This darkness story is really getting heated. The vigilante act was just a scheme to trap superheroes, but i am glad that storyline is over with because it really wasn't going anywhere. Time to focus on the darksied stuff, granny goodness and the luthor storyline. Next week looks like it's going to be really epic. We will find out more about Tess and her ties with lionel luthor. Season 10 is on fire.moreless
  • 1009

    A great episode of Smallville tonight. Man, Smallville has for the most part impressed me this season which is definitely a good thing considering this is the final season. Smallville doesn't look like it's pulling any punches this season, and it looks like Smallville is building for something big, and you can just tell with this episode.

    It was nice to see AC back, I always enjoyed his character, and it was great development to have him married this time around. Although I didn't really enjoy Mira, it was still good that he got married. I wish they would have at least mentioned Chloe. It seemed like Tess was taking all the credit for Watchtower in the end there. Is anyone worried for Chloe? Like at all? Usually Lois would be on a plane to god-knows-where to find here.

    A nice team feeling between AC, Tess, Oliver & Lois in the end. I've never seen Lois as part of Watchtower, but she fit in quite nicely here, not to mention she brought some genuinely humorous moments between Tess, Clark & her. Overall, pivotal episode, great introduction of Slade.moreless
  • Attack of the one-eyed battlestar.

    Overall this episode wasn't that bad. We see the return of Aquman and his new wife (which I would've liked to have seen over a few episodes, however I get that water-based heroics can only take you so far).

    Oliver being inducted into Hero-testing wasnt a bad idea, and while I think the reasons behind the government wanting them to register aren't bad (that they want a plan B incase a hero goes rogue and decides to threaten the nation), turning the government into the enemy is a risky way to go, even if they tried to make it out like the 'darkness' was the cause of it all.

    The real highlight, and perhaps mis-step in this ep was the use of guest star Michael Hogan. He commands every scene, and delivers his comic-book lines well, however I couldn't help but laught at the very end when they reveal that he had only one eye! (First of all to believe that he made it out of that explosion at all is ridiculous) I guess the writers thought that because he put up with an eye patch for 1.5 seasons of Battlestar that they'd slap it right back on him! In any case, he makes a good villain, and a worthy vessel for the darkness to be represented as.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

Elena Satine

Elena Satine


Guest Star

Michael Hogan

Michael Hogan

General Slade Wilson

Guest Star

Lori Ann Triolo

Lori Ann Triolo


Guest Star

Alessandro Juliani

Alessandro Juliani

Dr. Emil Hamilton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Clark: I thought if I told Lois my secret, everything would fall into place. I guess I've kept her on the outside.
      Arthur: The away games don't matter unless you win the ones at home, too, which you definitely can't do if you refuse to have a co-captain. All I'm saying is, if anyone can handle you and what you do, it's Lois. But you can't bring her on the team and keep her benched. The question is, can you handle that?

    • Slade: Gentlemen, every person under our protection lies in wait for that leader that will rescue them from poverty. From violence. Even from Satanism. They will hail him as their new hero. Heroes like Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein. In the hearts of their countrymen, these men rose as saviors. Only turning into tyrants once they had secured the trust of their nations.

    • Slade: It's time we took these heroes under our control, and prove who is really fighting for truth, justice, and the American Way.

    • Lois: I have serious concerns about the legitimacy of this mystery hero. Who would be stupid enough to stand up and register?
      Oliver: Me.
      Lois: Are you out of your mind? The VRA is a steaming pile of Spanish Inquisition served up with a side of fear and loathing.
      Oliver: Gee, Lois, why don't you go just ahead and say what you really feel about this whole thing. We have to find out what happens when someone registers.
      Lois: I get it. Somebody needs to be a hero, and you're the only one who...
      Oliver: You stick your foot any further in your mouth, and you might end up losing a shoe.

    • Slade: I see you're not just a Lane in name, but attitude as well.
      Lois: My dad always said I was made of more brass than his medals.

    • Clark: I'm not going to let you continue destroying people's faith in justice.
      Slade: Made of steel, or just a man? You can't be both.

    • Clark: Shut it down. Let me help you.
      Slade: I'd rather die for my country, than be saved by an abomination by you.

    • Clark: You asked me a question. I guess you'll get your answer. I am man... and steel.

    • Arthur: Don't let an overzealous warhawk shake your faith in people, Clark. Your endless optimism is the one thing I actually like about you.
      Clark: You learn that vocabulary from Mera?

    • Mera: You do carry a lot of baggage.
      Lois: Seriously, don't make me take my hair dryer out and shrivel you.

    • Mera: You make a good partner for him, Lois. In your own way.
      Lois: If he lets me.
      Mera: It took months, and more than just a few water blasts to the head, to get Orin to let me stand with him. Not just beside him.

    • Clark: Lois, how am I supposed to protect people, protect you, if I can't even protect myself from the darkness?
      Lois: By not trying to do it alone. We're in this together now. All of us. And the team needs to know the bigger war we're fighting.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Colonel Slade Wilson

      In DC Comics, Slade Wilson (first appearance New Teen Titans (vol. 1) #12 (December 1980) is better known as Deathstroke the Terminator, a super villain bestowed with superhuman strength, agility, stamina and reflexes, he is also said to be able to heal himself to some extent and can use up to 90% of his brain power. Slade gains his abilities while in the army (which he joined at 16) through a secret government experiment attempting to create meta-humans. After being discharged from the Army, he becomes a mercenary and assassin, a profession he keeps secret from his family, however, when a terrorist kidnaps his younger son Slade must choose whether to relinquish the information demanded or save his son's life. Confident in his abilities he gambles his son's life and almost loses, allowing the boy's throat to be slit and leaving him permanently mute. Furious, his wife shoots him in his right eye (Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (1984)). Years later his elder son follows in his footsteps as a mercenary and accepts a contract to kill the Teen Titans, however, he fails and upon his death Slade swears to fulfill the contract and to destroy the Teen Titans himself.

    • International Airdates:
      UK: August 2, 2011 on E4/E4 HD
      Norway: October 1, 2011 on Max
      Turkey: November 20, 2011 on CNBC-e


    • Mera: Look who skipped out of the forest. Doe-eyed Bambi searching.
      Referencing the 1942 Disney movie based on the 1923 novel Bambi, A Life in the Wood. Bambi is a white-tailed deer (in the movie) who loses his mother to hunters, grows to adulthood, and has two children.

    • Lois: Little Mermaid. Your prince and I dated for like a day.
      Referencing the 1837 story by Hans Christian Anderson of a mermaid who yearns to be with the prince that she's fallen in love with. She ultimately sacrifices herself rather than kill him, but ascends to Heaven as an air spirit. The story has been adapted in a number of mediums, including a Disney animated film and subsequent TV spinoff.

    • Tess: Sorry to interrupt The Real Housewives of Metropolis...
      Referencing the BravoTV reality TV series, starting with The Real Housewives of Orange County. Each series is a spinoff set in a different city, and features a group of housewives whose daily lives and adventures are chronicled, as well as those of their families.

    • Arthur: You're gonna need a bigger cage.
      Referencing the 1975 Jaws, when Chief Bordy sees the Great White Shark for the first time and declares, "You're gonna need a bigger boat." The American Film Institute rated the line the the 35th top movie quote in film history.