Smallville

Season 5 Episode 5

Thirst

2
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 27, 2005 on The CW
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (93)

8.1
out of 10
Average
1,204 votes
  • It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a farce! Sorority stereotypes are tiresome. Vampire stories are tiresome. "Thirst" is fun for some, a disappointment for others. The ratings span the full scale - is it a "1" or a "10?"

    6.5
    Carrie Fisher guest stars in "Thirst," offering hope of a nice cameo and some notable acting. Alas, it is not to be. She has to play a caustic nightmare of an editor of the DP, Pauline Kahn. All she does is ridicule Chloe who's applying for an internship, and Fisher has to fling out a couple vulgarities to show what a tough old gal she is. Finally abusing Chloe enough, she offers hope if Chloe will bring her a story. In an unusual twist, Chloe narrates the episode as she writes her story.

    A plot summary mentioning vampires lowers expectations right off, and it's even worse since the setting is a college. Sorority girls are depicted as promiscuous hedonists, ready to bed complete strangers at a moment's notice. But when they sink their canines into the hapless pizza delivery guy, who's a sap for anyone wearing a bikini, we get the vampire theme. Already, this is beyond "over-the-top."

    At the Talon, Clark finds Lana packing for college, accepted at Met. U., to his surprise. She's going to try a sorority for housing due to her late registration. Clark weakly suggests Central Kansas A&M, but she intends to study astronomy. Nothing will change in their relationship, she assures him.

    Professor Fine lectures Clark's class on the decline of the Roman empire, when, speak of the devil, Lex drops in at that moment. Why? Fine publicly criticizes him as an "unstable megalomaniac," which is practically slander, but the University apparently has no policy on that and won't do anything. Lex accuses Fine of revealing non-public classified information about Luthorcorp projects. Lex plays the college funding card; Fine is not intimidated.

    We have to endure another petulant-snob glamour-girl sorority airhead scene, but that's the way the producers want you to react. Lana is ready to join up, but the initiation involves turning her into a vampire. No wonder they overact. They all have such nice white vampire fangs, too, they must have really great vampire dentists.

    Fine comes to the mansion bringing documents of his personal history, including research funding that Lex has been illicitly funneling. Never start a game you can't win, he tells Lex. Maybe Lex has met his match in the game of blackmail.

    As Lana recovers from the sorority bite-fest, Clark drops in, but Lana remembers nothing of the previous night. Despite the dumb plot, Ms. Kreuk still gives it her best, and that's pretty good. She's now uninhibited, but thinks Clark's needy and insecure, terms we don't usually associate with the Man of Steel.

    Fine gets into Lex's warehouse where the spaceship is hidden, but is found by the Luthorcorp security guy; Fine kills him on the spot by morphing a sword arm. This seems senseless since Fine does nothing we might expect, such as entering the spaceship for a recharge, or whatever androids do for fun.

    The bloodsucking sorority sisters smack Lana around, and the stunt double has to take a big fall. Is Lana paralyzed? No, she recovers from major body distortion quickly. Well, gee, she's immortal, and now sports the requisite canines.

    Chloe calls Clark about Lana's bizarre behavior, but she's found that the new sorority president, Buffy, has a telling history. A costume party is coming up, so Chloe and Clark decide to crash it to learn more about the group, even though Clark quips, "I hate costumes." He goes as Zorro. Chloe spots vampire Lana before Clark does, but she gets little cooperation from her.

    Chloe is going to do a story on this? Clark finds Lana in mid-chomp on Chloe's neck. Lana disappears into the night, while Chloe winds up in the hospital, recovering from a rabies-like virus. Clark oversees this, when Fine, too, appears at her room. Why and how is he there? Bitten by what, everyone wonders, but Chloe's seriously ill, and Fine tells Clark to look into 1138, a Luthorcorp project. One scene, Fine is a murdering alien, next scene he's saving Clark's friends.

    When Clark asks Lex about 1138 (I missed the THX 1138 allusion here) and the disease threat to Chloe and Lana, Lex relents, and recites a number of lines which explains the whole vampire thing. Sorority girl Sanders was trapped outside caves where stalactites were affected by meteor rocks, which in turn affected the vampire bats in the caves, which in turn infected Sanders. This is one of the most far-fetched explanations of a meteor phenomenon in the entire series. Of course, Lex was involved, and has a handy serum for the disease in his handy case, which also has some meteor rock to threaten Clark, but he manages to grab one of the syringes before falling to the floor.

    In another overblown scene, Lana crashes down through the ceiling glass and flies down - Clark is too weak to resist her. Apparently in this state his flesh is vulnerable, so Lana sucks some of his blood, and now she, too, exhibits heat vision. She somehow brings him back to the sorority, where she wants to convert him into a fellow vampire, but, darn, no boys allowed, Sanders says. In a brief fight, Lana simply destroys her with a heat vision blast. With his last effort, Clark manages to inject her with the serum.

    Lana is now a murderer, but she wasn't herself, and there's no corpse, so you can get away with that on Smallville. "What do you remember?" Clark asks her, the usual question to someone who may have discovered too much about his secrets. She replies, "Love and overwhelming strength." So she is even more bonded to him than ever, but conveniently remembers little.

    All is back to normal, as Clark expresses his gratitude to Lex. Of course, Lex wants to know how Clark learned about Project 1138, correctly guessing that it was Professor Fine. Lex tells Clark that Fine is not the friend Clark thinks he is. And this statement is as compelling as the dialog gets in this episode, which is to say, not at all.

    Chloe brings her vampire tale to Pauline Kahn, who says the article would be fine, if the DP "printed tabloid nonsense," which, coincidentally, is an apt description of this episode! At least Chloe maintains her dignity in all of this by explaining that she wasn't writing about "real" vampires, but about students infected by a dangerous virus in a Luthorcorp experiment gone bad. That could have been an interesting story - too bad the producers and writers made it a farce instead, and it infected the rest of the cast, too. I want my fantasies to be more realistic, so I just wasn't willing to give up hoping for serious drama and go along for the ride on a bit of silly fluff.

    So Chloe gets the job. At the bottom, but that's ok with Chloe, excited to be in the SP basement. Strange episode, strange narration, unconventional ending. Is there anything vital in this episode making it worth seeing? Any shred of a continuing, compelling story that can't be missed? Not really, but I backed off ridiculing "Thirst" after reading some of the reviews, especially by "Daronil," who pointed out it IS a farce for Halloween, and a paen to BTVS. Chloe did have several clever quips, and that was good writing, and she's now starting with the Daily Planet. But that would be obvious from watching future episodes, so "Thirst" really didn't make the grade with most viewers. Re-run rating C-.
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