Smallville Review: "Isis"
If not for that final scene, I would think "Isis" was an episode better left entombed inside the dank nether regions of the Warner Bros. archives, wedged somewhere between the Aquaman pilot and the unsold cases of Birds of Prey DVDs.
Oliver, an even bigger celebrity now that he's gone hood-free, was slightly less mopey over Chloe this week, and he did share some rather nice scenes with Tess, so there was at least that. For Tess, it turned out to be her lucky day since she essentially became both a mother (to the rapidly aging Alexander) and a semi-trusted member of Oliver and his band of merry vigilantes. It was actually kind of nice to see the emotion overshadow the menace coming from Tess for a change.
The Nancy Drew-meets-Dora The Explorer nuisance that is Kat Grant reappeared and continued her assault on my senses like nails on a chalkboard, but thankfully for her was not the most exasperating part of the episode. No, that honor stands reserved especially for the A-plot.
It incenses me that after such a super kickstart to the final season, especially the gem we had last week with "Homecoming," Smallville decided to go and suffer an identity crisis, apparently confusing itself with the occult-themed show it precedes - and not for the first time, either. Let's take a look back, shall we?
In the season four episode "Spell," Lois was "possessed" by a 17th Century witch. Later that same year, in "Spirit," Lois gets overtaken by the spirit of a girl who died in a car accident. She was also inhabited by the Kryptonian wraith, Faora, in season eight's "Bloodline," and of course who can forget the Silver Banshee occupying Lois's body in season nine's "Escape." And now Isis uses Lois as a vessel to try and rekindle a centuries old romance?
Lois has had her body inhabited so many times, she might consider changing her name to Marriott.
This doesn't even include the number of times that Chloe, Lana, Lex and other characters have been the target of a similar type of supernatural acquisition. Just because you've been on TV for 10 years doesn't give you a license to keep pumping a stale old well you've visited already too many times before.
Maybe I'm dense, but I also don't get how the story of Isis and her ill-fated lover relates to Clark's relationship with Lois, but it sure felt like there was some attempt at a parallel being made there. It didn't register with me, but perhaps because I was distracted by the umpteenth rehash of such a mortifyingly overused plot device.
Whatever the intent, Lois and her near fatal turn as the Egyptian goddess was used as some sort of springboard to Clark revealing to her his identity as The Blur, which he already seemed primed to do before Lois started walking like an Egyptian. (I'm sorry, I just couldn't help it.)
The scene between Lois and Clark at the end seemed completely out of tune with the rest of the episode, but in a wonderfully welcome way. It was sweet, romantic and poetic, and I'd almost swear that Erica Durance was holding her breath through Clark's entire speech. It was a stupendous, monumental exchange that was, quite simply, perfect. Having Lois so characteristically tackle Clark into the boxes of files while paper fluttered around them and ask him "What took you so long?" was like icing on a cake.
What a shame, though, that such a climactic moment had to take place within an ultimately trite and otherwise forgettable episode.
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.