Let me get this right out of the way, because it really doesn’t mean much, other than the fact that I’ve been a Superman geek for as long as I can recall. Ultraman doesn’t exist on Earth Two, he and the rest of the Crime Syndicate of America are Earth Three residents. Yeah, I understand completely why writer Bryan Q. Miller (who certainly knows better) decided to take liberties with the comic book mythos, but that bit of misplaced comic book lore stuck in my craw, and I needed to vent. That said, it certainly did not ruin the episode for me. It was just the geek inside me felt the need to point it out, AND I know there are a good number of you reading this right now who felt the same thing. Don’t try to deny it.
First of all, I need to say how welcome it was to have an actor of John Glover’s caliber return to grace us with his presence on this show. Glover is capable of delivering the type of dialogue that has tripped up other more than capable thespians. (recent case in point, Michael Hogan.) Earth Two, it was explained, is an alternate universe where history is similar, but different enough, and most importantly, the world itself is a darker, more disturbing place. Glover’s Earth Two Lionel Luther was every bit as threatening and insincere as his Earth One counterpart, and this one was decidedly more lethal.
Tom Welling came off nicely (or not so nicely as the case may be) as The Blur’s evil doppelganger, Ultraman, and I even preferred Earth Two Lois. Erica Durance’s variant Lois seemed more womanly, more sophisticated and more mature to me. Maybe it was the dress, maybe it was the hair, maybe it was the monochromatic film choice, but something about Earth Two Lois made me sit up and notice. Durance is a hottie, and there’s no bigger fan of Lois’ cosplay fetish than yours truly here, but it doesn’t matter what earth she’s on, what costume she’s in or who’s writing her scenes, she still seems to get stuck with some of the cheesiest unbelievable dialogue in the history of prime time.
Example: Earth One Clark kidnaps Earth Two Lois and the two exchange this bit of rooftop discourse.
Clark: … How else could I know that you’re brave and loyal, and a force of nature?
Lois: Anybody could have told you that about me.
Grooooooooannnnn!!!!! I admit, they rebounded after that, but really, that’s how you try to convince your alternate universe soulmate that you’re not going to kill her? Don’t you really have to explain the reality of alternate universes first? I’ll say this about Earth Two, I didn’t see hide nor hair of Chloe there, so it can’t be that bad a place.
Okay, let’s get back to what was good, and there was plenty. Cassidy Freeman has been exceptional all season long, and last night was no exception. Poor Lutessa (I hate that name so much I love it) can’t find happiness on either world. Freeman has played the tortured soul with dark secrets very well, and now that her confidential information has been discovered by Clark, I’m going to miss Tess’ internal struggles. I’m guessing Freeman will continue to impress regardless which way her character turns. My hunch, before all is over, Tess will sacrifice her own life for the sake of good because of the guilt she feels for allowing Lil Lex to speed-grow into what we all assume/believe/hope will be the return of Michael Rosenbaum’s return as ol’ Double L.
But one glorious return at a time, as we all learned from last night’s episode, good Clark claimed to have destroyed the mirror box, so how then did Glover’s Luthor manage to hitch a ride over to Earth One? While I enjoyed the ominous newsstand scene at the end, and didn’t feel a need for an explanation right there and then, I would like to get one, and a viable one at that, before the series is over. I confess I do worry how the writers over at Smallville will manage to make such a thing seem plausible. I’ve never had much confidence in that team, and this is a pretty big assignment they’ve been charged with - ending a successful (if not critical, than at least by its core base of fans) series, and doing it in a way becoming of the character Superman. In other words, this finale should be big.
As for this latest episode, overall a nice job, but as the show count starts to dwindle, I have to say I’m growing concerned they may be juggling too many balls for a show that has trouble just holding a single ball. We’ve yet to find out what ever became of Chloe, (and while I’m more than cool with that, you think Oliver might show a little emotion about it after the first week she was gone) the JSA/JLA team needs to get formed, we’ve barely met Darkseid’s minions, and it’s a safe bet the Lord of Apocalypse will play a big role in the end of this series, I’d like to find out a little more about Ma Kent, aka the Red Queen. She was (awkwardly) introduced as this clandestine ass-kicker, but there’s been little or no mention of her since, and of course there’s the little matter of Lex’s clone growing up to be a very sinister dude. All that, plus they’ve just re-introduced Lionel Luthor. Granted there’s still a dozen shows, but it seems they are cutting things awful close, and I’m afraid the word “awful” may very well be sadly appropriate. I hope I’m wrong.
Oh yeah, and I know I was bitching about Ultraman not really hailing from Earth Two in traditional Superman lore, so since they were stretching things, I would have loved to see Tom Welling in a goatee. Now that’s an homage I would have embraced.
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