Smallville Review: "Collateral"

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I'm going to bypass the obvious Matrix comparisons, and get right to the good stuff. Although in a nod to 'The One,' I am going to refer to Cyber Chloe as "Chleo."

"Collateral" was a fascinating episode, as we examined the trail of tears Chloe left behind after her abrupt and silent departure, and the impact it had on those in her wake.

Each had their own unique response, completely in line with their character and personalities. Dinah was immediately suspicious of Chleo, ready to vindictively shank her at the first opportunity. Lois, true to form, was her most loyal supporter and had no qualms about trusting Chleo, full on.  

Collateral Scene

Oliver and Clark both took Chloe's departure the hardest.  Oliver, for obvious reasons, was heartbroken. It was evident, here, that he was still harboring feelings of pain with a tinge of resentment, but was able to ultimately move past them and trust Chleo enough to take that leap of faith.  

Clark on the other hand, had the hardest time believing in Chleo. Lois was right, as she usually is, when she said that Clark knew her better than anyone else, and was the most pained by her leaving without so much as a goodbye.  Her reasoning, too, was not only spot on, but also perhaps indicate, at least partly, why Chleo turned first to Oliver, instead of Clark, during her rescue effort.

Clark couldn't trust Chleo, because, simply put, he still struggles with trusting himself. Hardly news, because that's practically been the theme of the series up to this point. How many times have we heard people tell Clark to trust himself - his parents, Chloe, Lana, Jor-El, Lois - they've all at one point or another had such a conversation with him.  

Clark, though, has only ever been able to fully trust that which he is able to control. When he is in control of the situation, he doesn't have to worry about the unexpected and the chain of events that follow his actions; what could go wrong if he fails to make the right choice. 

Clark chooses to think with his head, rather than his heart, because in the past when he's relied on his heart, it's often come at a devastating price. His unwitting trade of his father's life for Lana's comes to mind. Even though, as we learned this season, that was a choice that Jonathan made, and not Clark's fault, things like that still haunt Clark and are not easy for him to move past.

What he has failed to fully realize to this point is that he really has grown, and the perceived mistakes of his past do not define him, but only serve to strengthen his character and hone his judgment. Chloe made a good point, during their post-cybernetic conversation, that real trust means not having to ask for an explanation. Yet that is what Clark constantly demands of himself.  His inner monologue is always active, over-analyzing every situation, trying to avoid making that fatal mistake. He needs the details, and cannot function effectively without them because, after all he his been through, he still lacks the confidence and the ability to trust his heart.  

As Lois accurately explained to him, though, Clark's heart is usually right - it certainly was in the case of bringing Lois into his confidence - and it was as if an epiphanic light went off in Clark's head as he took her into his arms he leapt to the skies, "even if it was only in cyberspace."

I am believing more and more that, at least within the confines of the Smallville universe, the love Clark and Lois share is tightly entwined with Clark's destiny. Without her, I don't know that he would ever have become the man we know he will be soon. I'm really enjoying watching Lois help Clark take the final defining steps in this journey.

Elsewhere in the episode, it was great to see Black Canary able to flap her wings a bit, with the all-to-brief return of her Canary Cry, even if it wasn't exactly critical to the story. Her fight sequence with Chloe was great fun! I also found Chloe's explanation of her absence intriguing, as she now appears to be heading up the Suicide Squad.

It will be interesting to see how that piece plays out, especially since as Chloe indicated to Oliver, she'll be sticking around for a while.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (52 Votes)

Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


I was extremely disappointed with this episode's first half. Perhaps they fell back on the Matrix theme to devote more creative energy to later episodes, but it felt like I was watching Smallville characters play out an unoriginal plot. Perhaps the most annoying aspect were moments the writers were pulling from outside movies/tv shows to force quotable moments. The latter half of the episode was awesome; seeing Clark fly was great and watching him and Chloe commiserate about having to keep secrets from people they loved was super touching. Even so, considering this is the final season it would have been nice to have seen Chloe's return played out in a more original way.


Clark flies after Lois says she believes in him... it doesn't get any better than that...


I love smallville, but this episode was just really bad. Maybe it's just me, but after 10 seasons of hearing that same-old hero talk it gets kind of old. Also there is something i don't get, just how did they knock all of them out to bring them to that facility? I can see them nocking the weaker ones, but Bart\Clark? 1. Bart should be able to see what ever it was coming and got out of there.
2. The only 2 things we know that can effect clark is Kryptonite and magic, and it didn't look like either. Then there was the matrix shit, don't get me wrong i love the matrix, but that shit is so last decade and shouldn't be brought back at-all. But the biggest thing that pisses me off about the series' turn lately is they don't bring bart back on, i mean he's only been on the show 3 times in 6 years, and he is by far one of my favorite characters in the entire show.


I felt cheated that Clark was only able to fly in cyberspace. But I guess they're just saving that for the finale. Good episode though.


chloe and oliver is such a perfect match! damn
but theres always a corner for chloe and clark inthe corner of my heart! i just wish that chloe stick around! by the way i havent been watching smallville eversince chloe is gone am happy to watch it again with her on it:)


I missed the second half opener last week...but this week was awesome! I think though that they could have done better the first half of the season, all there was was mostly drivle! However last night was a pick-me-up, and I was glad to se Chloe come back, and also I think Canary and ollie will end up as it should be. The Clark-Lois thing is still lame, but last night was a bit better.


oh, and Great episode by the way!!! Happy to see Chloé again. I didn't miss her that much but it is nice to have her back!


Loïs & Clark are the best couple EVER!!!! Everytime time I think about the best couple, I think of them, and it's been years I do so! (Ok, I admit, since Loïs & Clark: the new adventures of Superman, then the movies and then on paper!)
They are so so so awesome together! And I must admit that the years I have been waiting to see them together on Smallville may be the reason of my joy everytime I see them on screen!! I can't wait to see Loïs help him becoming Superman!!


[quote]I wish Dinah and Ollie wouldve gotten together like the comics[/quote] Me too, i find chloe and oli so boring !


I wish Dinah and Ollie wouldve gotten together like the comics, but eh Chollie would have to do...

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Smallville Season 10 Episode 12 Quotes

Any idea why they released you all? Aside from your fiancee going all Erin Brockovich on them?


I don't even know how to get huffy, ok? I do happy. I do sad. I do stop giving me the runaround bitch or I will come for you.