Of all the VRA-themed episodes to date, this was the most entertaining and action-packed yet, but "Icarus" still fell just a little bit shy of what it could have been.
In a move that should either stifle the screams of shippers everywhere or just fuel them even more, (who knows?) Clark proposed to Lois, and she without hesitation accepted.
Despite the engagement bash Tess and the heroes threw at Watchtower, their celebration was cut short by the government's escalated enforcement of the VRA.
For my taste, there was too little time spent with the actual heroes themselves.
The first half of the episode trotted along at nearly a snail's pace. Sure, the interrogation scenes were probably necessary to add credence to the real threat against the heroes, and their supporters, but I sure do wish Stargirl had been given something to do besides a single crack of her staff, and more than just a speechless cameo from Black Canary.
Nearly every time other heroes show up, anymore, it's a ultimately a let down because they don't seem to be used much.
I'll give them this, though, the Hawkman scenes. Blew. My. Mind.The image of him high in the heavens swooping down through the crashing glass to rescue Lois was extremely gratifying to this fanboy. I'd been waiting so long to see him really hurl that mace, and he did so in spades battling Slade.
Having him dive head first, wings ablaze, to save Lois as she plummeted through the window was simply stunning, and would have seemed all the more ironic had Slade not made the irony so explicit with his explanation of Icarus to Clark.
Even still, it was a brilliant visual.
I'm disappointed they killed Carter off, but I suppose that was inevitable since they'd already hinted earlier in the season that Carter believed he'd soon be reunited with Shayera. I rather think a faint vision of him reuniting with Shayera, both in full Hawkman/Hawkgirl garb, would have been a nice touch, but beggars can't be choosers I suppose.
I was confused by Carter's reference to "the darkness" having been here before during the Spanish Inquisition and rise of the Third Reich. Hasn't the notion been so far this season that this would be the greatest darkness the world has ever faced?
Maybe I'm just being nitpicky, but for me that negates, or at least reduces the threat of, the current wave the heroes are facing. If the darkness has been here before, and been successfully conquered, then what's the real worry? So they'll beat it again, big deal?
I still hold to my stance that Lois is the most heroic of this bunch, if just by a hair. Even when she's the victim, she never plays the cowering damsel in distress. She's on the attack with everything she's got, and is determined to win or die trying.
Even though I love how strong a character as she is, I still find the charm in her more vulnerable moments, such as when she asked Chloe, in flashback, about Clark's relationship with Lana.
I don't think I've ever been as enamored with Lois or Erica Durance than I am in this season. She's going for broke in her performances, and I'm lapping it up.
Kat was back and still annoying, but at least Lois was able to convince her who the heroes really are. I can't help but think if they'd just told her the Blur saved her life before, which wouldn't have revealed Clark's identity, a lot of what they just went through may not have ever happened. Something to think about.
The brief Chloe scene was a nice touch, and I guess that means she's still dealing with the effects of her exposure to Doctor Fate's helmet, given that she knew of the engagement before Lois had a chance to tell her. As for Tess, there was far too little of her, but as always she's a force to be reckoned with. It's great to see her still playing for our team, where she fits in quite nicely.
I can't recall if we've seen that little device Clark used to trap Slade/Deathstroke before or not, but that is a handy little trinket. My first thought was either it sent him to the Phantom Zone or to the Fortress, but now I think he's just trapped inside it. Whatever it is, they should use it a little more often - or can it ever only hold one person?
Nice little allusion to Deathstroke's name, by the way.
Not my favorite episode of the season, but a very solid effort. As much as I love Lois and Clark, I really hope the second half of this final season plays up Clark's rise to Superman and focuses less on the lovey-dovey aspects. We can argue all day long that this is a multi-faceted show that appeals in different ways, but be honest - we are all far beyond ready to see him take to the skies in the red and blue.
What did you think of this week's Smallville? Discuss!
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.