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Smallville Season 9 Episode 14: Persuasion



Smallville seems to be undergoing an (pardon the DC Universe pun), identity crisis.  The show seems to be spinning its wheels and trying to figure out what it wants to be: superhero action drama, romantic comedy, or straight-up soap opera.  In this Valentine’s Day-themed episode, Lois and Clark are up to their cartoonish hijinx in pursuit of a story, with Lois trying to sneak a peak at a RAO industries, corporate party with Lois standing on Clark’s shoulders. Seeing nothing, they carry on their merry way with Clark attempting to steer Lois in a much more romantic direction following a patented Lois Lane anti-Valentine’s Day tirade.

Along the way, they run into a perky chick dressed as a fairy, blowing (what we later discover is quarried Smallville meteor rock, AKA – The Smallville Writing Team’s Favorite Plot Device) fairy dust and peddling chocolates to the sorta happy couple.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t the Continuity Fairy that sprinkled dust, but a fairy that somehow brought the powers of near-magical persuasion to Clark.  When he tries to quell Lois’s Valentine rage and tells her that he wishes that they could have a more traditional relationship, the signifying glowing blue/green eyes on Lois and Clark’s part indicate that something goofy will happen as a result of this suggestion.

Said goofy thing really kicks into high gear the next day when Lois quits her job at the Daily Planet, saying that a woman’s place is in the home and her place is to support Clark’s journalistic career with a hot, homemade potroast.

While Lois is busy making with the June Cleaver back at the Kent Farmhouse, Clark is at the Watchtower, telling Chloe that he will be handing off fake passports and papers to everyone’s favorite female Kandorian, Alia the Assassin. Chloe is none too pleased with this, telling him that the solar tower will be completed in two days and that the Kandorians are likely responsible for killing Jor-El.  And that Alia was responsible for killing her in an alternate future.  Chloe tells Clark she thinks he’s making a major mistake by embracing the Kandorians and Zod and wishes they could send the whole crew of them to the Phantom Zone. 

Clark gets all sorts of emo about this and then angrily tells her that he wants her to focus on watching his back and to leave saving the planet to him.  Cue the magic pixie dust and glowing blue/green eyes again and Chloe becomes even more fiercely loyal to Clark.

Clark hands off the papers to Alia and another Kryptonian woman. In exchange for their gratitude, Clark attempts to find out who killed his father, Jor-El. Unfortunately, the magic pixie dust doesn’t work on them.  Alia is merely cryptic when she tells him to be careful if he intends on stepping up to Zod because he has a legion of followers.

After a hard day of helping illegal aliens (in the most far-out sense of the word) get their paper, Clark comes home to the Kent farm to find Lois looking like a refugee from “Mad Men” and “Leave it To Beaver,” complete with a string of pearls and chignon, cooking a pot roast and talking about engagement.  And even more crippling than green Kryptonite, she’s got on blue eyeshadow to match her dress.  Clark rushes out of there after hearing the “e-word” under the premise that he needs to work on a story.  Lois just stands there beaming with a Stepford smile on her face watching her honey hustle out the door. Clark realizes something big is up and tries to figure out what.  He runs into the fairy chick and asks her if there was something in the chocolates she gave to Lois.  Nothing there, but she tells him that her fairy dust prop was just some quarried meteor rock.  Great.

Meanwhile, back at Stately Luthor Mansion, Zod is peeping on Tess in a bubble bath wherehe’s sipping champagne.  They discuss The Book of Rao and that Clark is peddling fake I.D.s to the Kandorians.  Tess then tells an incensed Zod that the Kandorians look to Clark as their new hope, even though the Kandorians will prove to be a new hope to save Earth and show the planet mercy from all of the ecological damage humans have wreaked.  Zod tells her that when the satellites are up and running and he regains his powers, Tess will be the one who needs mercy. Oh, and he has her fingerprints from her champagne glass and will use them to access the codes.

While that’s only a minor disaster in the works, Lois and Chloe have their own disastrous confrontation.  Lois is moving into the Kent Farmhouse and Chloe tells her that this is a bad idea in both Lois’s interest and in Clark’s.  With both cousins under the influence of meteor rock, Lois goes for the gutter blow and tells Chloe that she’s still pining after Clark and that the only way she can get close to him is to play mother hen to him.  Harsh.  After a minor scuffle, Chloe breaks a framed picture of Lois and Clark together before stomping off.  (Uh, what happened to Chloe possibly shagging Oliver Queen?  She’s suddenly been back to being relegated as Super Spinster once again?!)

Lois then texts Clark with a 911 message to get him to come a-runnin’ home and he finds her in the attic having a homemaker meltdown.  He calms her down telling her how wonderful she is, which Lois immediately deems as a marriage proposal.  As soon as Clark leaves, she calls Ma Kent in Washington and asks her if she can wear her wedding dress (which is curiously modern for someone who got married as long ago as Ma Kent).  Lois then proceeds to do a goofy, embarrassingly Spider Man 3-level dance around the house while calling everyone possible, wearing said Mrs. Kent’s wedding dress.

Back at the Watchtower, Emil is running around like a madman because Chloe has shut him out of Watchtower’s systems.  Clark tells him to calm down and once again, there’s the glowing blue eyes and Emil really does chill out, to the point of being “Harold and Kumar” calm. 

Clark then decides that Zod must be behind all of these hijinx and goes off to find him.  Zod tells him that he didn’t kill Jor-El and that he never would since he was like a brother to him.  Although he admits that sure, he tortured Jor-El, he never would have killed him — just to make that clear.  He tells Clark that it was Tess who killed him when she kept him prisoner in her basement.  He also tells Clark that, as Jor-El’s firstborn, it’s the Kryptonian way as avenge his death and gank Tess.  Somehow, the persuasion power works itself on Clark and he convinces himself uncharacteristically to go seek revenge on Tess for dealing the death blow to dear ol’ Dad.

Speaking of Tess, Chloe breaks into Tess’s stronghold and threatens to wipe out her firewalls and destroy the solar tower.  Tess makes Chloe an offer to side with her and Chloe refuses with a supercharged chick-fight ensuing.  Clark shows up just as Chloe’s about to be punched into next Tuesday and tells Tess that the tower will make his powers disappear and he can’t let her bring it about.  He insists that he will save the planet, not the Kandorians or Zod.  (There goes that messiah complex again, Clark.) He then tells her that he has to punch her ticket because she killed his father.  Just as Clark attempts to terminate Tess for what he believes was her hand in Jor-El’s death, Chloe produces some green meteor rock and stops Clark in his tracks.

Which is fortunate, because Jor-El’s real killer, Assassin Alia, tells Zod that she killed Jor-El in the name of Rao because he thought that the cloned Kandorians were abominations.  She hands the gun to Zod and assumes the position to get taken out Kandorian gangsta-style.  Zod, no stranger to offing any of his soldiers, caps Alia even though he’s none to thrilled with having to kill one of his greatest warriors. 

Afterwards, with the meteor rock influence gone, Clark and Lois have a discussion about taking their relationship at a more even pace as Zod plans a traditional Kandorian funeral for Alia.  For some reason, Clark is there as Alia is laid out in a beautiful gleaming white ensemble with the Kandorian symbol burned into her forehead before she’s lit ablaze on her funeral pyre.

Chloe realizes that Alia can’t slay Chloe in the future because she’s dead now and that means this whole crazy future thing a few episodes back might not actually happen.  Woo-hoo!  Clark says there’s one way for sure that they can make sure the future she saw never happens — and that’s by scorching the solar towers with his heat vision to the tune of generic metal guitar riffs just as Zod gives a press conference.  As CEO Zod talks about how when the towers go live tomorrow, it will usher in an age of great power and possibilities, he looks upward and has a total FML moment as he sees them burning thanks to Kal-El.  Curses.  Foiled again.

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