Season 8 Episode 2


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Sep 25, 2008 on The CW

Episode Fan Reviews (29)

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out of 10
602 votes
  • Clark intervenes in an explosion, leading to his first encounter with Tess Mercer, who has succeeded Lex as DP editor. A young woman with powers becomes a lethal challenge to Chloe and Clark.

    Day One at the Daily Planet - and Clark is the new junior reporter, as fate (and decades of comic book lore) would have it, he's sitting across from Lois, who sees him as a novice and a project for her.

    When an explosion shakes the building, Clark is on the street in seconds, finding a scene of a damaged bus and wounded riders everywhere. It's a major coincidence that he first rescues Tess Mercer, whom he does not know. As a plot device to demonstrate his strength, he rips through the bus sheet metal to rescue others. While such feats are consistent with the production requirement that Clark does something dramatic in every episode, going in through windows and avoiding questions about how the sheet metal was pulled open would make more sense.

    Lois tries to get the story, but has less success than Clark when she tries to get into the crime scene. Clark ends up getting an obituary assignment, and even that is red-lined to pieces by Lois - how did she get to be his mentor? Whatever the situation, it's always fun to watch these two snipe at each other, while we imagine some other feelings might be developing, however slowly.

    Tess Mercer takes over as acting editor of the DP, calling in Clark to thank him for the rescue, and telling him that Lex told her all about him - no elaboration on just how much he revealed. How did she happen to be on the bus? She's "going green." Wow, a three-hour commute from the Smallville mansion - or is she staying in Metropolis? No explanation here, and someone may raise a question about where Clark now lives. Will we ever see his Metropolis apartment? Will he ever have Lois over for a home-cooked meal? What are his tastes in decor, now that he doesn't live in a barn?

    The new character is Bette, a street vagabond with powers, making me wonder if the scripts are returning to the meteor-afflicted adversary-of-the-week. Chloe runs into a friendly EMT, and they both end up trying to help Bette with her problems, but she kills a young man in the presence of Clark, who fails to notice how that happened. As usual, he offers her his help, but that ends up being a trip to Belle Reve - hard to understand how a lethal ability like hers could be treated at a mental hospital. But in a nice twist, Tess heads off that confinement, and offers to harbor Bette and turn her into a hero. Here, the writers and director give a good start on showing how Tess will become a dangerous adversary for Clark - she'll have her own illicit force of mutants, carrying on the Lex legacy. It's an effective, dark scene, and helps define the Tess character much faster than I expected after the slow start last week.

    Continuing character David Bloome (Sam Witwer) as the Metropolis paramedic seems attracted to Chloe, but she heads that off a bit by advertising her engagement ring. Still, it's a little uncomfortable to see Chloe even slightly friendly to another man, right after saying "yes" to Jimmy. As a lead-in to future episodes, the final scene involves Chloe calling him about her plan to run the ISIS foundation, but he's outside in the alley, seemingly wounded and/or mutating. So he's not all human and he'll be another challenge for Clark - ok, I know he's Doomsday, but I'm not really looking forward to another intergalactic threat to world peace. I'd settle for some fun Lois-Clark collaboration on bringing down ordinary thugs or corporate conspirators. A good episode, no big gaffes or plot holes, and seeing it twice is better than once. Re-run rating B.
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