Smallville

Season 6 Episode 16

Promise

1
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Mar 15, 2007 on The CW
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (122)

9.3
out of 10
Average
1,142 votes
  • The end of things, the beginning of things. The end of Clark and Lana, the beginning of Lex and Lana. Inventive and progressive flash-backs and flash-forwards add to the suspense.

    9.5
    As the church is being decorated for their wedding, Lana and Lex and Dr. Langston are at the physician's office, watching a sonogram of their baby. It's the end of things, and the beginning of things. No words are spoken in these scenes, only wistful music for what might have been, as Clark gazes at a photo of him and Lana, then flings it into the night from the barn.

    Another celestial gaffe is seen briefly; the Kent farm, seen from the southwest, now has the crescent moon in the northern sky - that never happens in the northern hemisphere, at least not on this planet. Still need an astronomical advisor for the show.

    Suddenly, at the chuch altar, at the wedding, Lex is murdered by the hand of Clark; Lana grabs the stiletto and stabs herself. Clark awakens from his nightmare.

    Chloe calls Clark from the Luthor mansion, locked in the wine cellar. Never too busy to help Chloe, he's there in a moment, and yanks the door right off the hinges, then has to heat-weld it back on. Chloe steps out of her usual role and berates Clark for not stepping in and saving Lana from marrying a monster and trapping herself in a loveless marriage. Letting go of Lana was the hardest thing he ever had to do, he tells her. Are we going to re-think this whole Clark-Lana thing again? It's getting pretty late in the game.

    Time is passing...Martha returns home and Clark's first question is how she knew Jonathan was the One, but she says "nothing was that simple." He's rethinking his protection of Lana and all his doubts. Her experience argues in favor of Clark intervening in the wedding. Should he do it?

    He appears at the mansion, surprising Lana, "I can't let you go through with this." He intends to tell her his secret, but she quashes that, tells Clark she's not marrying Lex and promising to meet him at the barn later. In the most bizarre scene of the episode, Lex is in a home theatre, watching a sonogram of the baby on a huge screen - it turns....into a monster - Lex awakes from this nightmare, back to wedding morning. Whatever you do Lex, the truth will be shown to you in your dreams. But he supresses all this, and greets Lana as if everythig is as planned. She leaves to tie up loose ends with Chloe, "See you at the church."

    "Busy day at the office?" Lionel asks Lex, who has come to Luthorcorp on that day. Lex wonders if Lana wiil some day see him for what he is? He's wondering what he will do if Lana skips out on the wedding...and Lionel begins to see that Lex might become unmanageable if he's jilted. Lex will do ANYTHING to keep Lana - Lionel promises him that she will be there, and overhears Lex get a call about some emergency.

    Wedding afternoon, 4:43 pm. At the church, Lex meets Dr. Langston in the cellar, with set decoration looking like a 14th-century gothic cathedral, and a crypt including unnecessary fog drifting on the floor. Langston mentions "the truth, about her condition," meaning the pregnancy. It's a threat, he demands$2 million or he'll tell Lana. Lex won't give in to blackmail and beats Dr. Langston senseless, then strikes his head, falling dead on the floor. Lex hides the body in a crypt.

    Chloe comes to him soon after, concern on her face, reporting that Lana is not at the church, and no one knows where she is. Flashing back to the morning, Lana, too, is having dreams, of one of Clark's many rescues of her - in the tornado, in her car. She arises to look at news clippings of that rescue (rather poorly written and not in real news style). And the morning scene with Lex is repeated. But this time we see she has made a decision. Then Aunt Nell comes, and seeing something is wrong, questions Lana. Lana wonders "Is it really wrong to bend the rules (to get the truth) just once?" Nell advises not going to the altar with anything unresolved. Wedding day 10:55 am. Lana is distracted, not even noticing Chloes "naked male jello wrestling" phrase, testing Lana's attention. Something is wrong, but deflecting that, Lana sends Chloe to the wine cellar for a gift she's hidden. As this scene is repeated, Chloe finds it, but now we see Lana closing the door and locking it - it's a trap - for whom? And now come the calls, but Lana won't answer, as she hides in the cellar, so Chloe calls Clark as we saw earlier. Now we see the scene from another angle, and Lana sees Clark rip the door off, and re-weld it...Lana knows! And she overhears the entire conversation between Chloe and Clark, man of steel, and sees his super-speed departure.

    We return to the scene where Lana writes the goodbye note to Lex, and her confession of love to Clark. The editors use flashback repeats very effectively, each one revealing more about how things came to be. And this time, just as Clark leaves, Lionel enters, spotting her note, "Dear Lex, I'm so sorry, but I can't go through with this..." "This will destroy Lex," he says. And he guesses that Lana has learned Clark's secret - but here the writers should have shown Lana even more shocked to realize that Lionel knew also. Lionel tells her that Clark has a weakness, he knows what it is, and tells her if she does not honor the promise she made to Lex, "I will kill Clark Kent." Lionel seems the epitome of evil, but wait - he knows what Lex could loose on the world if Lana rejected him, and that Clark would survive her loss without such a threat to humanity. It's a tradeoff - Lionel would never harm Clark. He leaves, and Lana must re-think her life and the fate of Lex and Clark once again. She is horribly trapped.

    Lex and Chloe enter the church, marvelously decorated, all the extras well-dressed, dramatic lighting and floral arrangements. The pastor reassures Lex about Lana's lateness.

    Clark is practicing a marriage proposal to Lana, but Bud the dog is confused. He awaits Lana at the barn. Lex awaits Lana at the altar. What is her decision? She enters the church, a beautiful bride, in a scene of superb photography. Clark realizes something is wrong - he speeds to the church. As Lex and Lana exchange vows, Clark, at the back of the sanctuary, seeing his life changing, crushed by the loss of his first love. Lana sees Clark, a tear falls from her eye, as she says, "I do." This is her ultimate act of protecting Clark. And this is done by one fine acting and directing crew.

    Lex is happy, but not quite sensitive enough to see that Lana is in distress, trying to disguise her agony and regrets. Clark comes, hoping for understanding, as she forces out the words, "I want to be with Lex." He doesn't accept her words, he offers to tell her his secret, but she leaves with the words, "I love Lex."

    Lionel sees Lex at the church, surprising us and Lex with a vicous slap to his face - berating him for forcing Lionel to come to his rescue on his wedding day, "You are pathetic." Lionel has discovered the body of Dr. Langston (how?), telling Lex that his death might result in someone learning the truth about Lana's pregnancy. Lex gives in, offering Lionel anything he wants, as Lana enters. They all have huge secrets from each other, yet they continue going through the motions of their lives, trapped in deception and protection of others.

    As Lana and Lex leave the church in a black Bentley, license "LL," Lana turns for one last look at Clark, and the perfectly-timed refrain of "Heavenly Day," ends, as does this day.

    Re-run rating A.
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