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Smallville “Dominion”

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

When I was a kid, there was only one part of Superman: The Movie that scared the crap out of me. Towards the beginning of the film we see three Kryptonian villains getting banished inside of a glass prism screaming to be released. Of course these villains were being trapped inside of the Phantom Zone, Krypton’s version of Guantanamo Bay that floated around the galaxy and for a young kid it can be scary stuff…it can also be scary stuff if your name is Oliver Queen and Clark Kent. In Friday’s episode, “Dominion,” Clark finds out that Deathstroke had been found on a street corner having escaped from the Phantom Zone. Clark realizes there must be a leak that is letting people escape and decides to go in to the Phantom Zone and close it himself. Little does he know that Oliver plans to join in…oh yeah, and General Zod is now in charge of the Phantom Zone. Pretty bad, right? It gets worse. Clark has no powers inside of the Phantom Zone and as soon as he gets there he is captured, and his only way back to Earth is in the hands of General Zod. Meanwhile, Tess and Lois are left back home to try and figure out a way to bring them back, which leads Tess to reveal to Lois that Clark is taking some huge risks with his plans that Lois doesn’t even know about.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

The one thing I’ve always liked about Smallville’s interpretation of the Phantom Zone is that it makes it a tangible place. For people who grew up with the Richard Donner movies they might only remember it as that glass prism of doom, but Smallville has shown us the nightmare of a planet that is inside. There aren’t only bad people in the Phantom Zone, but some bad creatures too, none more powerful than Zod. It was interesting that they chose to have Zod be a combination of the phantom Zod (last seen possessing Lex Luthor in the Season 5 finale and Season 6 premiere) and the Zod we remember from last season (played by the always marvelous Callum Blue) to form a super Zod hybrid. After Michael Rosenbaum’s departure from the show the writers seemed to struggle in finding another credible season-long villain for Clark (*shudders*…Doomsday…) and Callum’s Zod really turned that around, so it was great to see him one last time before the show’s end.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

It was also great to see Justin Hartley/Oliver back this week after a lengthy absence (he also directed the episode). They really played up his storyline of being marked by Darkseid and the darkness inside of him that a lot of fans have been clamoring for since we first saw the mark on him. When he made the deal with Zod to fight Clark to the death I thought “this has to be some sort of trick orchestrated by Clark and Oliver” (yes, I use words like orchestrated in my inner-dialogue) but when he stabbed Clark I was legitimately surprised. The whole Gladiator aspect to this episode was bizarre, but oddly appropriate.

There’s only one aspect of the episode that kind of bothered me, but I think it was supposed to. Clark comes back home to Lois from the Phantom Zone and she tells him that he’s actually been gone for three weeks and she honestly didn’t know if he would ever come back. My heart just broke for Lois and I was actually angry at Clark for his selfishness and not telling Lois what his plan was. I realize that my empathy towards Lois was probably the desired reaction that the writers had intended, but it left me feeling a little pissed at Clark (especially because you know I love me some Lois) for hurting her so badly. I think Lois forgave Clark faster than I did!

Overall, it was an interesting little episode with some great performances. Judging by the preview of next week, we should see more development with Oliver trying to rid himself of the darkness and even a return from Kara! Only two episodes left!

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