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Smallville Season 9 Episode 4: Echo

SMALLVILLEIt’s Halloween so it must be Saw!  No, actually, it must mean an episode of Smallville featuring the Toyman.  It sure looks like the latest installment of Saw, however, with a group of people bound and gagged in a warehouse with a life-size marionette eyeing up the captives. Clark-as-The-Blur comes to the rescue, releasing the hostages and absorbing the blast from the sticks of dynamite wired to the doll. 

Just as Clark is changing in a nearby telephone booth, Lois Lane pulls up to the scene of the crime in search of a scoop. Apparently, as a result of the explosion, Clark can now hear everyone’s thoughts.  Particularly Lois’s libidinous lustings aimed in Clark’s general direction. Back at the Daily Planet, Clark is still hearing Lois’s thoughts, which lean towards the “I should have worn panties” variety before the two step into the elevator.  (I was half expecting a cheap, “going down” joke to crop up here, but Smallville kept it relatively classy. I was impressed.)

After confiding in Chloe about his newly acquired superpower, Clark visits the Fortress of Solitude to ask Big Daddy Jor-El what’s going on.  As it turns out, Clark’s new ability to hear the innermost thoughts of others was something Jor-El had planted within him to be triggered at a time when Clark would most need it. Although it’s only temporary, Jor-El expounds that this new power will help Clark to focus on what he has to and to help him overcome his recent string of errors in judgment.

Jor-El’s noble safeguard comes in extra-handy when pumping the hospitalized hostages for info along with Lois and attempting to get some leads on the story.  Even better, Clark realizes that his newfound powers are better than roofies for scoring a date!  In turn, Clark reads Lois’s mind and asks her out on a “like a date” to the Monster Truck Rally. 

Meanwhile, on another continent, Ollie stumbles into what we’re led to believe is a Meican bar, throwing tons of pesos and dollar bills at the barkeep while macking on two foreign hotties. Things go south of the border in a hurry when Hottie Numero Dos’ mobster hubby walks in and points out Ollie’s been cozying up to his Señora. 

Just as Ollie almost gets his death wish (or severe ass whoop wish), in the standard, Smallville act of deus ex machina, Tess Mercer shows up sporting a leather vest and a Lara Croft outfit and fires a semi-automatic at the ceiling, scaring off the mobsters.  Having a heart to heart with her former flame and current business partner, Oliver questions her motives.  Tess tells him she’s here to Dog: Bounty Hunter his sad, drunken carcass back to the States with her to a black tie gala to address the shareholders of Luther Corp..  She also assures him he can pass out in the gutter like a common stewbum after it’s all over.

Back at their apartment, Lois is getting ready for her big “like a date” with Clark.  Which brings us to the “Let’s Twist the Knife in Chloe’s Heart” portion of the show! Lois spouts off about how she never dreamed she would ever feel this way about Clark and her fantasies of a “Clark and Lois against the world.”  You can almost hear the bile rising in Chloe’s throat and the sound of a potential supervillainess being created. 

Heading over to the Daily Planet to meet up with Clark, Chloe calls him on his mental roofie-ing and takes a righteous stance that he has no right reading her cousin’s mind and will not allow him to break her heart.  Clark appeals to Chloe’s latent inner-reporter and tells her about the tip he overheard at the hospital that it’s Toyman behind the hostages and explosion. 

With Chloe shut up in the Watchtower, Clark merrily skips to the Luther Corp. black tie gala, with special merger guest, Oliver Queen. (thanks to the super-fast Luther Corp jet, bringing back stray millionaires for over a decade!) Scanning the mind of the doorman, Clark attempts to figure out an alias on the list to get inside when he’s interrupted by a large, Monster Truck.  Lois steps out, gussied up in a cocktail dress having managed to get the driver to deliver her to the gala.  Because Monster Truck drivers are totally in the habit of giving hot, female reporters a random lift outside of the rally. 

Lois has a mental swoon over Clark before snapping out of it, telling him she’s on to him trying to scoop her on the story.  Of course, Clark has the benefit of hearing all of this.  She relents and drapes herself on Clark’s arm, the two gaining entry to the gala and having their “like a date” after all.

As the guests and shareholders at the gala fret about their earnings, Tess Mercer introduces Oliver Queen.  Once onstage, Ollie begins to read his speech from the teleprompter, which tells him to put in his earpiece.  You know this can’t be good.

Toyman is on the other end of the earpiece and is slightly P.O.-ed that Ollie framed him for the “murder” of Lex Luthor.  He wants Ollie to play a little game with him called “Toyman Says” and Toyman says that Oliver is standing on a landmine.  He makes Ollie read an embarrassing speech that people only wish could have come from the mouths of AIG or Bank of America execs,  Toyman also makes Ollie admit he’s a thief and a murderer. 

Juiced with his new powers, Clark hears this and realizes what’s going on.  Chloe, on Watchtower watch, attempts to disable the bomb and rig the building’s systems so that the guests can leave.  Meanwhile, Clark tackles the Toyman, which is actually a robot. After the last person leaves the building and knowing Clark will not die in the blast, Oliver steps off of the landmine, hoping to fulfill his death wish.  Good thing Chloe and he madd Watchtower skills disabled the bomb and managed to dispatch the police to arrest the real Toyman.

Clark talks to his suicidal pal Ollie and cops to the comments he made to him last week, admitting that he had been detached from his friends lately, and that he should have been there for Ollie. Voicing his inner monologue loud and clear, Clark lets his friend know that he’s not running away from who he is, but he’s running away from what he thinks he’s becoming.  A grateful, somber Ollie hears sirens in the background and good naturedly tells Clark to go off and be a hero as The Blur.  As Clark leaves, Ollie sees a shadowy image of Imitation Lex reflected in the mirror and throws the clichéd glass of hooch at it.

At “Strikers” Prison, Toyman bellows for his lawyer and instead gets Tess.  I guess since getting chomped on by zombies last week and noting Stately Luthor Manor’s lack of security, Tess has started taking a gun everywhere with her and blows a hole in Toyman’s kneecap.  Having made a deal with the guards, she presents the supervillain with his new toy, a meteor rock-powered heart just like the one Brian Austin Green/Metallo had a coupleweeks back.  She gives it to Toyman under the condition that she wants know how it works.  Dun-dun-DUN!

Back at the Daily Planet, Clark makes an apology for standing Lois up on their “like a date” by handing her his story on last night’s gala with both his and her names on the by-line.  Lois marks up the story with red pen, as any good reporter/editor is wont to do, and accepts Clark’s apology.  Looks like it’s going to be “Clark and Lois against the world” sooner than you think.

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