TwitTV: Smallville, 10×06, “Harvest”

Right off the bat, we actually hear Clark say that he is an alien. I love this because it’s not often that we think of Superman or Clark as an alien, per se. He’s just a superhero. Of course, Clark isn’t Superman yet, but he will be soon! And for Lois, even now, she thinks that being with Clark is “like dating a god or…Bono.” I love their interactions in the opening scene, with Lois questioning Clark about the things she’s seen, situations they’ve been in: was this Kryptonian? Was that Kryptonian? My favorite is the reference to the Phantom Zone. Ah, that was a great premier!

Outside of dialogue, one of the first things I notice while watching this episode is the car. A few minutes into the episode, I realize that Clark has never had a car – let alone a convertible – forgetting that it is probably Lois’. I guess I just don’t see it often enough to recognize it.

Anyway, when the tire blows and Clark goes off for help, he comes back to find that Lois has vanished. Almost immediately, we find out that his powers are gone, as he gets a cut when he is trying to put the tire back into the trunk (at least I think that’s what he’s doing). We don’t know it yet, but this is because of the police officer who has spotted Clark stranded on the side of the road and come up to help him. Later on, we learn the cause of Clark’s sudden power fade: blue Kryptonite in the local drinking water has infected/blessed everyone, including this cop.

For some reason, as I watch this episode, it strikes me yet again that Smallville‘s inventiveness is on overdrive this season. While some aspects of the most recent episodes are old hat (e.g., infected land/water yields meteor “freaks”), I feel like the show is handling them more adeptly, more creatively, and more maturely this season. “Harvest” in particular is a very dark episode, rife with political and religious commentary (“This was your last supper.”), and it is quite organic to the story of a vigilante superhero on the rise. The episode’s use of Kryptonite is so very Smallville, but what the writers do with the Kryptonite takes the episode, and the show, to a whole new level. Lois as a human sacrifice for good crops and a healthy village – well, this is downright creepy and does a good job of questioning the idea of faith and how people perceive it. The blue fire is haunting, as it rains down on Clark, scarring his back, and reminds me of a time not so long ago, when society was performing despicable acts on black Americans, Jews, witches, etc., and this is all still relevant today, to an extent, especially in the GLBT and modern pagan communities. The subtle parallel between Kryptonians and Jews is very interesting: now that Lois knows Clark’s secret, and it’s all out in the open, the first thing she does is learn Kryptonian guilt.

Beautiful writing.

On a lighter note, Alexander’s story is progressing much quicker in this episode, which mirrors his rapid aging process. One thing, though: how did he manage to get so many friends, considering that he’s been locked up with Tess all these weeks? Not to mention his rapid aging, which no regular child/friend would be able to understand. What happens next week, when Alexander is 20 years old? When his friends come over to play, will Tess just have to say, “I’m sorry. Alexander doesn’t live here anymore”? This is such an interesting storyline, and the final moment of it for this episode, which also happens to be the final scene of the episode, is eerie and gives us a throwback to the first season of Smallville: bald Lex. Thus, it’s seem like this season, we’re getting back to the roots of Smallville itself, while also digging into the roots of Superman’s real beginnings. Lex Luthor is coming back, even if Michael Rosenbaum can’t/won’t. I love the idea of an ever-present Lex in this season, even without Rosenbaum, because it really does work for this character, because we all know about Lex’s cloning research.

Also, accelerated mitosis? Really? That’s how they choose to explain it? I’m no science expert, but this is one instance where I feel like the writers are dropping the ball. Of course there is cell division involved in what’s happening, but there’s so much more to it than that! The writers are simplifying the biology of what’s happening to Alexander/Lex by saying that it is “accelerated mitosis.” But, this being a TV show, I guess that’s all I should realistically be able to expect. It irks me a bit, but I can’t really say that I know what they should be calling it, so maybe I should just let it go.

Back to Lois and Clark: in the second half of this episode, in which Lois and Clark are getting closer than ever before, they share an important truth when she reveals to him that she is the one who pulled the blue dagger out of him after he fell from the rooftop. “You saved me,” he says. This is such a great scene. I can just feel the love! On that note, Erica Durance’s reactions as Lois, when she has to watch Clark “die,” are phenomenal. Her speech to the villagers is quite moving, showing her love for Clark, her belief in America, and her open recognition of reasonable faiths. When she first ends up in the village, she sees it as quaint and a viable way of life that perhaps just isn’t for her. But when she is tied up, forced to watch her boyfriend be murdered (or so she thinks), and then almost sacrificed under a rain of liquid blue fire – well, the villagers are no longer reasonable, now are they? “I have faith,” Lois says, countering the leader’s accusations. Just not your kind of faith. ;-)

Finally, I just want to comment quickly on the last scene of the episode, when Lois and Clark are back home, safe and sound (well, I’ve already mentioned the very last scene, which is just Alexander shaving his head to look more like the Lex he is becoming). Anyway, it was one of the best, most beautiful, most moving love scenes I’ve ever encountered. The situation (having just returned from several near-death experiences in a creepy cult village), the lighting, the atmosphere of where they are, and, of course, the actors themselves: all of these combine to make this a fantastic sex scene. And that’s exactly how it should have been for their first time. Each episode brings Lois and Clark closer than ever, and I think this was the right time for them to make love. I can’t wait to see the rest of the season!

Notable Quotes:

“These holy rollers from hell want to make me a human sacrifice so they can grow bigger tomatoes.” ~ Lois

“What do ya say you…speed us away from these Children of the Corn…honey?” ~ Lois

“He’s not just a clone. He is Lex Luthor.” ~ Tess

“I want you to know me completely with no secrets, because you’re the one. Always will be.” ~ Clark, giving her the journal he got from Dr. Virgil Swann (R.I.P. Christopher Reeve)


You can find a list of the other TwitTV Smallville reviews here:×01-lazarus-10thfinal-season-premier.

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