Smallville Review: "Masquerade"

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What at first seemed like some acid-flash hybrid of the movies "Date Night" and "Seven," in the end actually served up some interesting insights into our heroes as "Masquerade" brought them face to face with their long struggles with identity.

When Chloe admitted that she doesn't know who she is anymore, because she's always defined herself by whatever role she was playing or by the expectations of others, my heart broke for her. She's been through so much in the last ten years that it's not tough to imagine her living without a daily swirling of schizophrenia.

Chloe and Clark Photo

Seemingly a lost soul, it wouldn't have surprised me if she had given in to Desaad's attempts to plant the Omega symbol on her brain, but the bond she shares with Oliver gave her a tether, a connection that helps her keep in touch with the Chloe that had become some just a photo in an old yearbook - and that is what gave her the strength to resist Desaad's temptations to give in to the darkness.

Oliver, sadly, wasn't as fortunate. He, too, seemed well on his way to rediscovering himself and assuming his place in the grand scheme again, but he's always been a hothead with a twinge of thirst for vengeance. Clark was right that he was in no position to go after Chloe. Oliver was already raw with emotion when Desaad sent him over the edge by making him think he'd killed Chloe. Oliver let his guard down completely and opened the passage for the darkness to enter, as evidenced by the haunting final image of the Omega symbol on his brain.

It's the final season, so I am not even going to bother to nitpick the fact that it's a little backwards for Clark to assume his four-eyed persona so late in the game, after everyone at the Planet and elsewhere knows his face. That ship sailed a long time ago. I'm just going to relish the fact that he's finally taking the steps to recognize which identity is true.

Clark has always had a difficulty with his duality, and tonight it finally dawned on him why…he's been pulling in favor of the wrong side. He's tried for so long to hold on to Clark Kent that it has actually hampered his ability to be the hero the world needs him to be. His discussion with Lois at the end about being defined by who he is, not what he's called, actually put a bit of a lump in my throat. It was exhilarating to see him recognize that The Blur is his true self and Clark needs to be just his cover, and I think his gradual realization of this fact is all thanks to Lois.  

Desaad recognized how much stronger and incorruptible Clark has been since he first encountered Godfrey, and that was early on in this season. Think of all that's happened since then, with his secret, the engagement, etc., and all evidence points to Lois as the catalyst of his change.

I have never been more in awe of her than I have been over these last few episodes. She is the one character who doesn't have a crisis of identity.  She knows exactly who she is and wears that confidence like a brand on her chest. Clark may be the hero the world is waiting for, but it's Lois who is making him rise to the occasion, and possibly could have something to do with such a late-in-the-game discovery of a new non-flight ability: welcome to the party Microvision! 

One of only a few eye-roller moments for me was when Clark raced from Britain back to Metropolis.  Am I to assume he ran across the top of the entire Atlantic Ocean to get there? I mean, seriously, do the writers think it will  somehow water down the impact of the finale to allow him the ability to fly now? Just do it already.

I also find it incredible that a hat and sunglasses would persuade anyone from recognizing Oliver's extremely notable chin dimple. It's a dead giveaway. He should have grown Oliver's classic goatee to cover that thing up by now.

And speaking of disguises, I also felt rather icky watching Chloe and Oliver role play. That doesn't really suit them as a couple, and I think they should just leave that sort of thing in much more palatable, if incapable, hands, such as Modern Family's Clive and Juliana.

Overall I found "Masquerade" to be a solid episode, playing well into the overall saga, especially in bringing the Darkseid arc back into focus. How do you think it measured up?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (46 Votes)

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


Chloe is the best character ever!! I love Chloe-centric episodes!!


Great episode, maybe Oliver will start growing that goatee now that he's evil.


I refused to watch it live and boy am I glad I didn't. Only about 10 minutes of it was watchable, everything else bored the crap out of me. Way too much Chloe and Oliver. Thank God for the FF button!


I will agree the writers do tend to clunk around a little bit with the storylines, leading to a rather disjointed season. But as I said before, we're so close to the end, I'm not gonna nitpick. As long as we get solid resolution to the Darkseid saga, Clark flies, and Lex shows up formidably in the end - two out of three we can reasonably expect at this point - I'm fine with it. I'll say this though: if next week's epsiode turns out to be the 90210-ish nightmare it looks to be from the preview, I'll have plenty to say.


SV has always been about Clark running away from destiny. SV has always been about destiny. Clark is the mask. SV is not L&C. That show was about Superman being the mask. Superman has always been the most important thing on this show. Clark Kent just didn't want to accept that fact. SM still has not gone public, and no one is checking for him to be working at the DP. I liked Chloe and Oliver tonight, and I'm not even a huge fan of the pair. I loved the way Clark was written last night! I give that an A+. There is a television film called "Seven Deadly Sins" it's based on a book series. Coutless films, books and television shows are based on it. The film "Se7ven" never crossed my mind. It's been done a hundred times. The darkness taking over Oliver makes sense. The Clois scene in the loft was priceless! Lois thinks Clark should dress like the Flash? lol Desaad was creepy. Sexy too! Wait a minute. Desaad, sexy?! Only on the CW. I'm okay with Darkseid staying the Darkness for now. Pun Intended : ) When he does show up. I hope it's epic! I love Lois, but I don't give her all the credit. Clark decided to go out on his true mission in S8. I enjoyed this episode very much.


Who Con-El and as far as I see the stroyline flow has been great now if these was a Marvel show I would agree but its not


I have been enjoying the past season of Smallville... somewhat.. The fact that they have waiting so long to put the glasses on Clark was a huge mistake. Since the CW counts so heavily on the the Women 19-49 demographic, I guess the producers didn't want to cover Mr. Welling's face with a pair of cheap plastic glasses. It is a least a year over due tho. I am glad that they have been delving into the rest of the DCU, it is the main reason I have been turning in this year. Whether it be a visit from a Leaguer, or even a JSA'er, or an attempt at a Classic Superman villian, I am curious to see how they turn out. They can't all be winners, but they do ok. The upcoming Booster is an ep I am definitely excited about. But there are some things that make me cringe - ChlOllie being the biggest, and tonight's ep was a great example of it. I am not even going to go into the fact that Ollie should be with Dinah, or how Smallville really ruined the character of Black Canary (Live action, this character has received very little respect.) Look, I understand the series writers aren't beholden to the comic continuity. But don't totally disregard it either. Superman comics have been running for 75 years, uninterrupted. So they must be doing somethings right. Some of the series best episodes are built on what came before.


Okay, for the first time in a long time we really have a different opinion of a Smallville episode. I agree with your points on Lois, Clark crossing the Atlantic and all the disguise points. I even like that they have brought back the Darseid storyline but at this point why? I mean they did a great job last week of setting up Con-El and the Luthor's for the final episode. There has to be a little more Lex story then he just shows up at the end. I want to know why Clark couldn't see the Omega sign on Oliver's brain? Or why he didnt assume that? knowing that emptions is the trigger and Oliver was way out of control when he caught up with him. I thought it was an avaerage episode. It really didnt help to move the story along. It seems they are cramming a lot of villans into these last few episodes and that isnt neccessary. At this rate a Braniac, Zod, Luthor, Darkseid, Doomsday finale seems like it could be a possibility. Okay that was for dramatic effect but the point is, you wont get all the answers in the time we have left. We know Lex is going to be in the finale so build toward that storyline. I have a pet pieve in all superhero movies / shows when "secret identities" are revealed by the hero or easily discovered by a nobody. Case in point that idiot tonight knew Clark's identity. It reminded me of the entire season Jimmy Olson worked toward Clark's identity, but this guy figured it out from a blurry photo (no blur pun intended). Come on! I know it led to the secret identity thing but youre right, to little to late. Okay im just ranting now, blowing off steam. Smallville is a quality show. I invested 10 years in it, so I am in til the end. I just think this year has been a pattern of a great episode followed by a sub par episode. That worries me as we head toward the finale. Speaking of finale, i hope the WB does the right thing and makes iy a two hour special. This show deserves that level of respect.

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Smallville Season 10 Episode 14 Quotes

I'll be ready, hiding in plain sight.


Oliver: I made this bed. It's time that I sleep in it.
Chloe: You don't have to do it alone.