Sacred-After Clark receives a message from the recently-deceased Dr. Swann, he and Lana follow Jason and Lex to China in search of one of the kryptonian crystals. Lana is tortured, causing Isabelle to emerge and wreak havoc in her search for the crystal.
Okay, at this point, the whole stone search storyline has only been hinted on and never fully developed. This storyline came out of no where at the beginning of the series and was never really hinted on in the previous seasons. But whatever the case, the stones themselves and the power they hold make for an intriguing premise and "Sacred" kicks up the whole stone storyline to another level. While "Sacred" has it's plot hole and lackluster moments, it's overall a great ride from start to finish. The episode begins with a touching tribute to Christopher Reeves (the actor died in late 2004 I believe) as Dr. Swann is found dead and Swann has sent the octagon key back to him. Clark goes to the caves and uses the key to talk to Jor-El, who tells him he must find all 3 stones before they get into the wrong hands and cause destruction.
It's a refreshing change for the series as they writers take most of the cast to China. This could have either been a huge mistake or a success, and luckily, the new setting works well for the episode. The scenes of Jason and Lex running through the streets of Shanghai are undeniablly entertiaing as well as watching them get tortured by the Shanghai police. It was a nice little twist with Lex working with them at the beginning only for them to turn on him in the end. I loved Lionel througout the episode, giving Lana hints about the truth about Jason and his affairs. The character has been pretty quite since his release from prison and I'm glad the writers are having him manipulate the characters' decisions, like how Lana choses to go to Shanghai. Of course, it's quite far-fetched how Clark and Lana could get away with going on a jet to China with their parents just letting them go, but at this point that's only a minor plot hole. Also, I wonder how the ancient armor of a Chinese warrior could be covered with kryptonite? It's never explained why in this episode and most fans speculate about it. Then there, when Lana gets tortured by the Shanghai police, Kristin Kruek acts as if she's getting a shot from a doctor and not tortured to death!
But despite those faws, the episode progresses the main arc of the season well and Isabelle's return isn't that much suckfest as it was in "Spell". While Kruek still plays the character over-the-top, at least Isabelle moves the story along. the discovery of the map being painting all along is a good twist and I love the shot of the map becoming the area where the stone is hidden. There are also some great special effects with the energy throwing from Isabelle and Clark superspeeding about. The rather poorly choreographed fight sequence between Clark and Isabelle can be overlooked as we don't get that many fight scenes like this one Smallville. But yet, how the hell did Isabelle know how to fight? Anyway, I was a bit of a shock that Jason got the stone afterwards, at least the writers are making him smarter. Minus it's share of plot holes and inconsistent storytelling, "Sacred" is a great episode the moves the stone search arc forward with a wonderful setting and entertaining special effects.