SMALLVILLE 8.15 - "Infamous" - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Title: Smallville
  • Episode Title: Infamous
  • Season: 8
  • Starring: Tom Welling, Erica Durance, Allison Mack, Sam Witwer, Dario Delacio, and Tori Spelling
  • Written by: Caroline Dries
  • Directed by: Glen Winter
  • Network: The CW
  • Series: Smallville

SMALLVILLE 8.15 - "Infamous"

"And Your Plan Is to Blackmail This Person? Good Luck..."

By Rob Vaux     March 15, 2009
Source: Mania


Review: SMALLVILLE 8.15 - "Infamous"
© Mania

Lois (Erica Durance) returns to Metropolis in a pouring rain and is awfully irked that Clark (Tom Welling) didn't pick her up at the airport. As she stomps away, Linda Lake (Tori Spelling) flows up out of the local sewage drain (subtle, kids) with a Faustian bargain for him. Let her cover all of his exploits and she won't expose his secret. Otherwise, the whole "powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men" thing ends up on page 1. Clark pow-wows with Chloe (Allison Mack) about it and decides to go public himself before Lake can expose him.

He tags Lois for help in shaping the story: revealing his identity to her as the Red-Blue Blur and filling her in on his whole history. The next morning, the story hits the streets, instantly turning Clark into a household name. All the media attention causes problems at the hospital where Jimmy Olsen (Aaron Ashmore) is recovering. Chloe arrives and grumbles at a passing nurse about it, only to run into Davis Bloome (Sam Witwer), who's been raiding the hospital pharmacy for anti-psychotic medication in a not-at-all ominous twist. Chloe's "just friends" routine won't work for him, he tells her, and Clark's front-page revelation goes down even less well.

Would that he were the only problem. Furious at being thwarted, Lake calls a press conference and claims that Clark is actually the advance scout for an alien invasion. The real hero, in her words, is Lex Luthor, who fought so hard to keep the "menace" at bay. The publicity worm quickly turns and the feds show up to have a word with Clark. He answers their questions, but when they insist on running tests, he refuses. They pull guns on him--because that always works with this guy--and he splits after letting them empty their clips onto his invulnerable chest. The authorities quickly launch an all-out manhunt for him.

On the run from the law, Clark and Chloe hit upon a solution: the ring that the Legion of Superheroes gave him several episodes ago can turn back time. He takes a second to rescue Lois from the feds and speeds her to the barn, where they hash out the moral vagaries of his plan. They're interrupted by Lake, who overheard Clark and Chloe talking and replaced the Legion ring with a chunk of kryptonite.

Tom Welling as Clark Kent and Tori Spelling as Linda Lake in SMALLVILLE, on The CW Network. Photo: Michael Courtney

While Clark lies writhing on the floor, Chloe heads back to her office to start shredding documents. Davis breaks in on her and reveals his secret, telling her to warn Clark just before pulling a Lon Cheney and tearing her VW to shreds. She leaves a message for Lois just before she dies, but Lois is too busy getting rid of the kryptonite and kicking Lake's skanky butt to pick up. When she finally hears Chloe's message, she tries to tell Clark about Davis/Doomsday, but Clark has already reclaimed the Legion ring and gone back in time.

Arriving several days earlier, he quickly pens an article fingering Lake for all the murders she's committed, then stops her from instigating her blackmail scheme. When she tries to turn into water and escape, he zaps her with a jolt from the nearby power box, knocking her unconscious. Armed with knowledge of future events, he meets a now-clueless Lois at the airport on time and fills Chloe in on the fate he averted. She suggests creating an "alternate identity" for him to use when he's being heroic. He tells her that Lois must never know the truth about who he is and that he's destroyed the Legion ring so that it never falls into the wrong hands. He still doesn't know about Davis's alter-ego.

Erica Durance as Lois Lane and Tom Welling as Clark Kent in SMALLVILLE, on The CW Network. Photo: Michael Courtney

This time, when Davis arrives to steal happy pills from the hospital, he runs into an imprisoned Lake, who tries to goad him into becoming Doomsday and freeing her. He smothers her with a pillow before she succeeds.

 

The Good

It's great having Durance back--she and Welling just click together--and show handles the whole "how the hell does Lois not realize who Clark really is?" thing with deftness and grace. The alternate timeline is awfully creaky at points, but it also justifies Clark's need for a secret identity and other key parts of the mythos fairly convincingly. The Doomsday build-up was solid as well, enhanced by Witwer's eerie resemblance to James Franco and promising one hell of a rumble somewhere down the line.

 

ori Spelling as Linda Lake in SMALLVILLE, on The CW Network. Photo: Michael Courtney

The Bad

Bless Spelling's heart, she ain't exactly Meryl Streep, and while Lake's bitchiness can only truly be realized by a 90210 alum, there isn't a whole lot else in her little bag of tricks. Needless to say, we've seen Clark going back in time to fix everything before, and this version doesn't compare well to the one from three decades ago. The episode also smacks too overtly of the "it was all a dream" cliché, and time constraints push it along a little quickly for comfort. (That federal SWAT team pulls its guns awfully fast for one thing.)

 

The Prognosis

I'm perfectly happy keeping the name Smallville, but isn't it time we stopped being coy and put Welling in the cape and tights? Eight years of foreplay is enough.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 7 of 7
1 
ponyboy76 3/15/2009 1:53:38 PM

I`m sorry but you gave TCC a C- and this a B? Come on!! Come on!! I like Smallville, I do, but there was nothing in this episode that I hadn't seen in other eps during these passed 8 seasons. You are right about Durance and Welling. There Lois and Clark routine is great and I am hoping that since the writers have strayed so far away from the mythos they may as well get those two together. I`m thinking though that if the CW hadn't renewed them for another season, that ending might have been a little different.
I think the one thing about this episode that grinds my gears the most is the fact that Clark uses the stupid ring and instead of puting in the Fortress or hiding it somewhere he destroys it. He destroys anything and everything he feels might be too dangerous or that he uses once. I mean come on. In the comics that what the fortress is for. It is full of shit that he doesn`t want falling into the wrong hands.

Oh and Tori Spelling was horrible. I`m glad Doomsday took her out. They need to bring back Maxima. She was hot.

NotAFan 3/15/2009 2:51:11 PM

I never watched this show and never will watch this show. Once I read all those years ago, what they had planned to make this show where he nevers actually becomes Superboy or even Superman. Without that he is essentially is just another guy with Super powers. Great he is wearing a red jacket and blue shirt. NOT-THE-SAME-THING! Screw this Buffy The Vampire Slayer rip-off crap! I heard it took like 15 seasons for Lex Luthor to turn evil (utterly ridiculous) and that was mostly because he was leaving the cast anyway.  They might as well throw in a giant spider into the mix while they're at it. They can call it a Thanagarian Star Beast! I spit on this show! *Patooie*

PAGE 3/15/2009 3:47:41 PM

If you are "NotAFan" of this show, why even take the time to comment about it? Why even click on the link to go into this article? You should be passing it up?

This show is far from a Buffy The Vampire Slayer rip off. There are no comparison's between this show and Buffy. They may be both considered fantasy, but that's where the comparison's end. Besides, while I am a fan of both Smallville and Buffy, Buffy was a much better series because the writing was way better. Although, kudos to the head writers this season for making this season of Smallville one of the best overall. The only arc I have been disappointed with this season was during Lana's return. To me, this episode picked up right where Legion left off and all that crap with Lana in between never happened.

AS far as the two deaths that are gonna happen at season's end? My bets are on Tess, and unfortunately, perhaps fortunately, Chloe. I think her character has run her course on Smallville. Once she dies, then Clark will take the necessary steps in Season 9, the final season, to work on his Superman identity and end the series on a high note. He should start flying by the end of this season, but looks like that may not happen. When it does, I'm willing to bet the name of that episode will be "Flight".

lordheinrich 3/15/2009 6:06:58 PM

I'm thinking the 2 deaths in the finale will be Clark and Doomsday, with them finding a way to bring back Clark for Season 9.

jedi4sshield 3/15/2009 10:26:02 PM

What can I tell you? Clark doesnt wear glasses. He isnt really playing the Metropolis Kent that we all grew up with. So when the time comes to be Superman. "Hey everybody Superman looks awefully alot like, hmmm Clark Kent. Hahahahah thought you could fool us huh Kent? Yeah its sad that people didnt know Kent from Superman even with a small thing as a pair of glasses but hey atleast he had them. This Kent doesnt even have that. Remember that alternate universe where Kent, for one breif moment had glasses? that was okay in my book. Why that didnt stick, who knows?

Slap on the fact that he still doesnt know how to fly! I would have to agree with what Lightning Lad had said. This wasnt the Superman he knew, despites Cosmic Boys covering for Clarks aaa..... handicap. Sigh.

As for stopping Linda Lake It's too bad that Clark isnt all that aggressive cause he could have vaporized that chick into steam very little effort. hahahahahaha.....Sigh. Oh well nothing new here! Just when you think they might be making progress in the series sometimes its just easier to turn back the clock. In this episode I guess they kinda had to do that. Kinda weird though how quickly Clark was implied with Lex's death, over the head on that one. Ah well I'll keep watching till Doomsday comes, see how that turns out. Maybe by then he could fly but I wont be holding my breath.

JBBUC 3/16/2009 11:38:05 AM

I hate to be negative in a third straight review comment, but I can't help but express my frustration with this ep. I said in a comment on the preview article for this ep that I couldn't wait to see what giant magic-rub eraser they break-out to undo all this. For all the implications of how this could help the development of the character, to me, it all just seemed predictable. Clark has undergone countless life changing events that should be pushing his dullard butt forward. Yet he is basically the same naive, thick-headed, burst-through-the-door-hurling-uninformed-accusations, mildly charming douche-bag that he's been from the beginning.


He's not a likable character. We like him because we know who he is supposed to be and we WANT to like him.


Anyway, back to this ep. Most of the drama in this one felt forced and the solution, to me, wasn't even really necessary. The heavy handed, overplayed melodrama of the Government reaction to Linda Lake’s press conference was implausible at best. There were a dozen ways to keep the cat out of the bag and still get the feds off of his back and hot on the heels of Liquid Chick. She was, after all, a killer and a mutant. How was undoing everything “The only way”? It was THE ONLY WAY for the writers to keep the story from moving forward, if you ask me.


Anyone who reads my posts on this site probably would get the feeling that I am not really a SciFi fan. My feelings have not been very positive lately. Maybe I need to lower my standards. Maybe I would, if there wasn’t those shows like BSG, Lost, Heroes, Buffy, and yes even some occasional episodes of Smallville that show me what this genre is capable of when everyone puts in a good effort and has a clear vision of what they want to do. I know that it’s possible for these shows to be great if they would just set some priorities and move forward with purpose.


But if they haven’t done that by the 8th season, there is little chance they ever will.
 

SgtTechCom 3/17/2009 6:40:35 AM

Smallville and TTSCC two best shows on tv right now period. Sorry if you feel differently. Just my opinion. Why? Cause i love the stories. I don't need to watch something that has already been shown on the big screen. I like something a lil different but that keeps with the whole myth.

These two shows both do it.   Clark Will Fly... How else is he going to get out of that plane with Tess next episode? haha

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