SMALLVILLE 8.16 - "Turbulence" (Mania.com)

By:Rob Vaux
Review Date: Friday, March 20, 2009
Source: Mania

Davis Bloome (Sam Witwer) has apparently been slaking his bloodlust by murdering drug dealers on the street, while Clark (Tom Welling) has embraced the notion of a dual identity in order to inspire the world. Still no cape and tights, though. Just the Red-Blue Blur, hurtling through Metropolis and righting various wrongs.

Jimmy (Aaron Ashmore) is overdosing on his meds at Metropolis General--still having flashbacks about the Doomsday attack, although Chloe (Allison Mack) assures him that all is well. He almost believes her until he wakes up in the middle of the night to witness Bloome strangling a man in the elevator. He tells the police, but they don't have enough to hold Bloome for more than a few hours. Bloome reassures Chloe that Jimmy is probably just responding poorly to his meds. The two embrace, not knowing that Jimmy is watching them through the window to his room

Tess (Cassidy Freeman) arrives at the Daily Planet and orders Clark to fly to LA with her on the corporate jet: she's making a major announcement and needs "a friendly reporter to lob softballs." During the flight, they discuss Lex's obsession with Clark and the bioware he installed in Tess, which she apparently removed courtesy of a Swiss plastic surgeon. After a few bottles of champagne, Tess reveals the particulars of her abusive childhood and the contents of Lex's files on Clark, which include pictures of various powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. She pushes him to reveal more, but he's not talking. A sudden mid-air emergency interrupts their chit-chat: a hole has been blown open in the cockpit and the pilot has vanished. Clark tells Tess to put on an oxygen mask, then cuts off the air supply until she passes out. His identity thus secured, he takes her in his arms and flies them both to safety.

Jimmy sneaks out of the hospital disguised as an EMT and finds a corpse in a body bag hidden in Bloome's ambulance. Bloome interrupts him and injects him with drugs before he can tell anyone, however. Jimmy wakes up in his bed, suffering from hallucinations and raving about Doomsday killing Chloe. Needless to say, no one believes him. He soon sneaks out of the hospital again and follows Bloome through the streets, then bonks him over the head and handcuffs him to a steam pipe. Jimmy then reveals what he knows about Bloome and Chloe. Bloome tries to warn him off as the Hulk rage swells within him, but Jimmy refuses to budge until Bloome confesses. Bloome responds by busting free the cuffs, and is presumably about to savage Jimmy for good when Chloe intervenes. She tasers her husband unconscious (?!) and her touch calms Bloome down before he can transform into Doomsday.

Clark arrives at Lex's estate to check on Tess: the official story is that he found a parachute on the plane. She's skeptical, as is he when she expresses ignorance about the fate of the pilot. He promises not to reveal anything she told him on the plane, however, which seems to seal a bond of trust between them. Back on the farm, Clark tells Chloe that Tess may suspect his true identity. Chloe leaves him to pick up Jimmy, who's being released from the hospital. Still loopy from the drugs, he tells her how much he resents her lack of trust and that marrying her was the biggest mistake of his life. He then heads straight for the Planet with a file on Bloome for Tess. In Lex's mansion, Tess pays off the airplane pilot, who's apparently alive and well.

 

The Good

Is it wrong to cackle gleefully at the sight of Jimmy Olsen hopped up on goofballs, screaming at his wife, and basically behaving like a misanthropic jackass to everyone he meets? Okay, sure, Chloe is getting cozy with an admitted serial killer who may or may not be destined to kill Clark Kent, but still. It's so cathartic watching such a squeaky-clean nice guy get all strung out and paranoid… especially after his wife hits him with a stun gun (one of Dr. Phil's Ten Signs Your Marriage May Be Dying A Slow And Hideous Death). Tess provides the episode's other high point: her exchanges with Clark strike the right balance between sincerity and duplicity.

 

The Bad

Though there was nothing truly dreadful about it, tonight's episode featured a lot of marking time. Clark's worried about his identity, Bloome wrestles with his dark side, Chloe and Clark get together for a late-inning bout of plot exposition… yawn. The identity issue was old when George Reeves wore the tights, and Smallville has enough good material to keep from harping on that old chestnut the way they do. The Red-Blue Blur thing has just about run its course as well, though that's not a huge complaint, since I'm betting they'll jettison it in favor of something else (either the costume or some as-yet unseen twist) before too much longer.

 

The Prognosis

Presumably, the big showdown with Doomsday is coming at the end of the season. The question is, what shape will it take--will Tess and LutherCorp be involved somehow?--and whether the confrontation will "kill" Clark as per canon. In the meantime, there's more DC guest stars next week, including Green Arrow and Zatanna… which almost lets me forgive the fact that they're giving us a body swap episode.



Mania Grade: C+
Title: Smallville
Episode Title: Turbulence
Season: 8
Starring: Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Sam Witwer, Aaron Ashmore, and Cassidy Freeman
Written by: Turi Meyer and Al Septien
Directed by: Kevin Fair
Network: The CW
Series: Smallville