Now that is the type of Smallville we need this late in the game. Last night’s awesome session, Scion, was essentially the Luthor show, a satisfying throwback to a time when Lex and Lionel dominated the narrative with their back and forth chess play. Sure, Lex has yet to officially return, but sister Tess proved she’s an ample descendant of the Luthor lineage that can hold her own against the alternate reality version of her father, Lionel.
Speaking of Lionel, it should be pretty apparent by now his presence alone (or whatever bizarro incarnation of him) catapults an episode into the realm of the awesome. That said, after a wacky diversion last week, Smallville got back on track in emphatic fashion, giving us an above average episode that entertained from start to finish and dropped a cherry on top with its jaw-dropping Darkseid ending.
Props are in order for Lucas Grabeel, who, despite reminding me of Syndrome from The Incredibles, played Superboy with impeccable fervor. What’s that? Superboy? Let’s back up. If you’re not up on all of the comic references, Alexander is the “genetic love-child” (Lois’ words, not mine) of both Clark and Lex. We find out he was created with the DNA of both which, by comics lore, makes him Conner Kent (aka Con-El, aka Superboy). Half savior, half nefarious villain, his innocent curiosity is offset by an underlying sinister nature. But at the start of things, he’s had a memory-wiping due to his metamorphosis, which leaves him unaware of his former time as Alexander. Now a clean slate with the powers of a Kryptonian, the young lad is just looking for some answers on where he comes from.
Possessing Clark’s powers, but a lack of maturity to properly handle them, Conner presented Clark with an opportunity to be a mentor of sorts, a job he initially shied away from (and a job he totally botched the first time cousin Kara came around in Season 7). This was an important step for Clark in his own personal journey, proving his leadership ability.
But with every good, there’s a bad. Whereas Clark sees Conner as a little brother, Lionel sees him as a corruptible tool of destruction, one that he can control on his quest to conquer the world. With a little prodding along (aka an introduction to Red Kryptonite), he unleashes Conner’s bad side. And since the little guy has become infatuated with Lois (who isn’t), he kidnaps her, forcing a battle royal with Clark. Grabeel was exceptional playing the character, doing double duty as both precocious, good-hearted trainee and evil Luthor protege.
It was Tess, however, that gave tonight’s most heroic performance by standing up to bizarro-Lionel and ultimately outsmarting him. With some diligent research, she made Lionel relinquish control of LuthorCorp since the fingerprints left on her birth certificate prove he is a fake. Lionel, of course, didn’t go without his trademark barbs. He ended their tête-à-tête with: “Deep down, you’ll always be a Luthor.”
And how about that ending? Lionel, finally accepting that Lex is dead, is somber at his gravesite. “Together, we could have ruled this world, I would give anything, my son, just to have you by my side.” For a second there, I expected to see Lex’s silhouette to appear out of the shadows. That’s exactly when the a dark smoke billows and Darkseid creeps up beside him. Cue the credits. We’re all left to wonder just how much carnage the two most evil beings can reap together.
There were some other notable things to point out from Scion:
- Conner’s eye blast when he sees Lois was a great reference to Season 2
- Conner has no skills with the ladies. His way of getting Lois to like him is to continue throwing her across the room. Apparently, this is Kryptonian foreplay.
- Clark, again, was not wearing his glasses
- We got to see the memorable black “S” shirt that Superboy is known to wear
Smallville won’t be back until April 15, but Scion offered something to keep us excited over the hiatus. As awesome as that its ending was, it’s yet another tease in this tenth season of Smallville. Will we get the payoff in the final run?The Conner Kent and alternate reality Lionel storylines are moving along nicely, but we hope that they’re more than tangents. Weaving this all together and then culminating the two with Lex’s return may just be enough to cap the series in stunning fashion.