Following “Homecoming,” this week’s (or last week’s, by the time you read this) “Isis” episode had a lot to live up to. While there is some filler here, Smallville almost always manages to make it seem important by the end of the episode – and, sometimes, end of the season – and “Isis” is no exception. It’s worth watching, though, especially the final scene.
We start off with one of my favorite Tess lines ever (“Oliver, you’re better than Christmas”). There isn’t really much more to say about this scene, except that it introduces the catalyst that sets the episode plot in motion (the Isis artifact is missing). Tess will come into play again later on.
Next, we see Lois performing practice speeches on how to tell Clark that she knows he’s The Blur. There are some sweet sentiments here, and a wonderful tilt shot to reveal the Isis artifact in Lois’ bag, but this scene sure makes me wonder how the artifact came to be in Lois’ possession in the first place. She obviously didn’t know it was there. Did it follow her when she came back from Egypt? Can it do that? I guess we’ll never know (that or I just don’t know a key part of the Isis mythology). The transition scene after this has Clark saying to Oliver, “I’m telling Lois my secret,” before we get to the moment of truth at the Daily Planet: Both Lois and Clark dance around the idea of bringing up the truth, but it seems neither one can manage it. Both are awkward, and of course, Cat’s reintro adds to this, as her desk crunches up next to the desks of our dynamic duo. Buzzkill.
Lois is instantly bitchy, and I love it. Her jealousy is showing through, but is she jealous of Cat because of Clark or because Cat is her competition at the Planet? Or a mixture of both? Or perhaps she’s not jealous at all. Whatever it is, it’s pure Lois Lane, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Clark and Lois plan to meet on the roof of the Planet to talk in private. Before Clark gets up there, though, Lois triggers the artifact, summoning the Greek goddess Isis into her body. What I love most about this scene is Erica Durance’s voice, which reminds me of a similar feeling I had when watching the 4th season Charmed episode “A Paige fromt the Past,” in which I was blown away by newcomer Rose McGowan’s performance. And it was mostly to do with the way she projected her voice. Fantastic stuff! Anyway, Durance does the same thing here: she finds a way to make her voice different. It’s deeper, slightly menacing, and very confident. Isis is powerful and knows it, unlike Lois, who can fake it with the best of them (on the outside) but is still self-conscious underneath. Isis is on a mission to bring back her husband Osiris so they can be reunited, and judging by the streak of golden light as she flies across the sky, away from Clark, she won’t be taking any prisoners.
Well…except she does. Later, when Clark shows up to stop her from bringing her lover back from hell, Isis manages to bind him down with some kind of magical rope, and she begins the sacrifice ritual: she is going to kill Clark in order to bring forth Osiris and, in the process, “literally unleash hell on Earth.” This being Smallville, we of course get an ethics speech from Clark about the selfishness involved in doing such a thing. The lives of many for the happiness of two? It’s not fair. Even though Clark loves Lois, he would never make such a sacrifice, and he knows that she wouldn’t let him. When Oliver shows up as Green Arrow to help Clark defeat Isis, Clark’s heat vision power serves a pretty nifty purpose, acting as a ray of sunlight passing through the artifact (a necklace with a gem), which is the only thing that can send Isis packing.
Meanwhile, Cat Grant is lurking in the shadows in this episode – both literally and figuratively – erroneously trying to expose Lois (with her newfound powers) as The Blur. And she is gutsy in this episode, just like the last one. Cat will do (almost?) anything for a story, even stare down the face of her accused. In this episode, Cat follows Lois/Isis to a warehouse, where she uses her phone as a camera; gets super-sped away by Clark when she is about to take a picture; gets thrown into a coffin by Green Arrow at one point; and finally, when it’s all said and done, claims to have video proof of Lois the Blur, performing some sick ritual. She informs Tess that Lois is The Blur (and Tess’ reaction – a loud, joyful laugh – is fantastic in every aspect), and then later goes to Clark and Lois to make her accusations directly, once she has proof. Lois and Clark insist that Lois is not The Blur; she was just possessed by a goddess, which gave her superpowers. Again, great reactions, especially Lois’ line about this being Metropolis, where “weird things happen all the time.”
As for Tess, when she’s not trading witty Christmas banter with Oliver or laughing hysterically at Cat’s detective work, she’s actually helping out. I love that Tess is part of the team in this episode, protecting Clark as well as the world. Where she has tried to help Clark out before and actually done quite a bit of good, she has been cast as a pseudovillian since her introduction to the show in season 8. This time, however, I really do feel like she’s part of the team, so what a great surprise when Clark and Oliver later offer Tess the position of Watchtower. This is such a nice moment. “Welcome to the team.” :-)
Tess’ final scene in “Isis” has her reading a book to Alexander. Peter Pan, which she had mentioned earlier because she thought someone (perhaps Oliver) needed “Peter Pan and chicken soup” to cheer him/her up. Anyway, this is such a sweet moment for Tess – and Alexander, for that matter – as it is not only a throwback to an earlier point in the episode but also a terrific parallel to the situation with Alexander, who is growing older every day, and not just in the normal way. He has grown several inches in just 5 weeks. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it agan: Cassidy Freeman can act. She has become one of my favorite actors, with Tess being one of my favorite characters, in her 2.23 seasons on the show so far. Her reading of Peter Pan, while holding Alexander, nearly brings me to tears. “All children, except one, grow up,” Tess says. And all children, except Alexander, grow at a normal rate. The implication here is quite profound and is one of my favorite uses of literature in all of Smallville, and we know there have been a lot of those in the show, with the well-educated, well-moneyed Luthors around. The line that really gets me, though, is Alexander’s “I love you, Tess.” And I think it touches Tess as well, and we can tell because Freeman is such a wonderful actor.
Finally, we get one of the scenes we have all been waiting for: Clark finally reveals to Lois that he’s The Blur, and she jumps in his arms. Really, literally. That’s what happens. Actually, maybe I should rephrase: she doesn’t so much jump into his arms as pounce on him and knock him to the floor, but whatever. Semantics. The point is that it’s done in such a way that, now, I can’t imagine anything different. It’s not really cheesy. It’s sweet, it’s romantic, it’s iconic, and it’s one of the key moments in the span of any Superman story. It’s quintessential and inevitable. “What took you so long?” Lois says, as she has known for about 5 weeks, at this point – and really, probably, definitely should have known for even longer, but TV isn’t good without long, dramatic secrets. So, we end the episode with a beautiful shot of the newly “completely” honest coupling kissing.
And we know that more greatness is yet to come in this final season of Smallville.
Speaking of “yet to come,” don’t miss the latest new episode, this Friday, October 29, 2010, at 8 p.m. on The CW. It’s called “Harvest,” and I’m hearing it’s got some amazing stuff in it.
You can find a list of the other TwitTV Smallville reviews here: www.rogermarket.com/twittv-smallville-10×01-lazarus-10thfinal-season-premier.