While I was watching this episode of Smallville, it struck me that I’m not mourning the loss of Lex or Lana at all in the episodes I’ve watched this series.
Having said that, Tess Mercer is so totally from the Luthor school of throat-cutting, that I’d say she’s possibly part-clone. Stranger things have happened in Smallville. Anyway, she’s probably the least convincing evil corporate boss thus far in the show.
But enough said, this episode will be best remembered for the most comical maniac in its history – a wronged husband who devises a special relationship test for young couples about to get married: he hooks them up to a lie detector and a generator and asks them questions about their relationship. Tell a lie, and your partner gets fried a little bit. (I will refer to this as the Love Machine from this point forward)
And so, said maniac abducts Chloe and Jimmy after their engagement party and takes them into his dungeon-o-terror, shackling them up to the aforementioned Love Machine. Of course, we (and Jimmy) are waiting for the inevitable "Are you in love with anyone else?" question to Chloe. And it arrives, and Chloe says no, I only have eyes for this freckly copyboy. And Jimmy doesn’t get fried by the machine, shockingly. So, suddenly all of Olsen’s Clarke-envy disappears. Awwww….
And what episode of Smallville would be complete without young Kent solving mysteries like a superpowered Hardy Boy? He and Lois go off on the hunt for their missing friends, discover that they’ve been kidnapped by a psycho targetting couples. Hmmmm, what to do? I know! Let’s pose as a couple!
And so Lois and Clarke trot off masquerading as a hot woman and reluctant soon-to-be groom. Of course, they don’t count on Oliver Queen walking into the jewellers and having to lie to him – the look on his face, brilliant!
Anyway, the psycho finally catches up with Lois, just as Clarke catches up with a recently freed Chloe and Jimmy. From what they tell him, he works out that the jeweller dunnit, and heads off in search of Lane. He takes the not-so-subtle approach of busting through the doors and trying to break Lois free. But wouldn’t ya know it? The damned kidnapper has a Kryptonite bracelet, which is useful if you want to wrestle a Kryptonian into your Love Machine.
Clarke and Lois’s host then takes his opportunity to quiz them about their relationship. A first faux pas by Lois proves that Clarke can indeed be hurt by the Love Machine’s electric current.The maniac, all giddy with excitement, decides to ask the killer question of Lois: "Do you love him?" And here’s where it got really good, Lois procastrinates for a minute and then admits it – yes, I love this primary-colour wearing farmboy. Clarke winces, waiting to get hit by 10,000 volts of electricity. But it doesn’t happen. Awkward!
The next logical step in this little game is for Clarke to answer the same question. But, so desperate is he to avoid answering that he snaps off the Kryptonite bracelet and chucks it down a suspiciously convenient drain, then uses his heat vision to burst a pipe, filling the room with steam before knocking out the kidnapper and freeing Lois. In my humble opinion, he was risking being seen by Lois in this one.
Of course, Lois – in the tradition of the great journalist she’ll one day become – issues a retraction as soon as the incident’s over, but leaves Clarke grappling with what he’s have answered if he’d had to tell the truth. Does he love her? You betcha.
You could easily skirt around the rest of the episode – the non-event that was Oliver Queen sleeping with Tess Mercer, only to be told she had an itch and he scratched it. Remember folks, scratching other people’s itches with your genitalia can be considered rude in some cultures.