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Smallville “Luthor” 

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

The big, bad, evil Luthor is back!  No, no, not Lex…LIONEL!  This week brought us the return of the always wonderful John Glover as the father from hell in an alternate reality episode of Smallville.  This week saw some incredible acting performances, a solid storyline, and a few surprises that shocked and thrilled this Smallville fanboy.

As the only living heir to Lionel Luthor, Tess receives a Kryptonian box that Clark isn’t too happy about and when he uses it the box sends him to Earth 2, an alternate universe (a nice nod to the comics and all the “Crisis” storylines) where Clark is actually Clark Luthor, the son of Lionel.  Clark Luthor is apparently a pretty bad dude who adopts the name Ultraman and kills at will.  He’s in a mad love affair with his half-sister Tess and he plans on destroying Lionel and taking over.  The only problem is Clark Luthor is simultaneously transported to Earth 1, switching places with Clark Kent and he intends on taking over a Lionel-free Metropolis.  Oliver, Tess, and Lois have to stop Clark Luthor while Clark Kent has to convince Alternate Lois and Alternate Oliver to help send him back to his world. Phew…did you follow all of that?

It can get pretty confusing jumping back and forth between two alternate universes, but the show pulled it off well.  We had the slick, well-lit, colorful Metropolis that we’re all used to for everything taking place in Earth 1 (the universe we all know and love) and a very drab, almost black and white color palette for Earth 2 that used a Bourne Identity kind of shaky cam.  My only criticism is that they didn’t spend enough time on Earth 1 with evil Clark.  At the end of the episode when good Clark is transported back to Earth 1 he ends up tied to a chair with a bloodied Tess, Oliver, and Lois pointing kryptonite-fueled arrows at Clark with the room looking like a bomb had gone off.  It was disappointing that clearly a lot of action happened off camera, but this isn’t a new thing on Smallville and I suppose we should be used to it by now.  Still, evil Clark was the best which brings me to my next point…

TOM WELLING PLAYS EVIL AMAZINGLY!  Usually it takes a little bit of red kryptonite to get to see Tom play a little edgier but in this episode all bets were off and the end result was amazing.  He was down right chilling in every scene where he played Clark Luthor to the point where I was almost shocked that it was Tom Welling on the screen.  I’m no Hollywood agent, but if I were Tom I would grow a beard and get a haircut as soon as Smallville is over and start auditioning for bad guy roles because let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, Tom Welling has the chops to pull off some outstanding antagonistic characters.  You heard it here on TV Goodness first.

Let’s not forget about the big daddy of evil, Lionel Luthor.  John Glover is just an amazing actor all around and he brings such a sense of credibility to the show that no other guest actor does.  It was such a treat seeing Glover slip back into the role and he didn’t miss a beat.  I was beyond shocked and ecstatic when it was revealed at the end that Lionel Luthor from Earth 2 had made it back to Earth 1 before the box was destroyed.  That means we get some Lionel Luthor goodness for at least a few more episodes and I for one couldn’t be happier.

And once again, Cassidy Freeman tops herself and delivers another stunning performance.  This season is definitely the season of Tess and Cassidy is bringing her A game every episode.  There was a moment where Earth 2 Tess is all over Earth 1 Clark thinking that he’s the Clark she knows and Cassidy had this sex appeal vibe that I’ve never seen from her before but it made me stop and think to myself “wow…she’s kind of a babe!”  I actually really like the friendship she’s developed with Clark.  At the end of the episode she had a really touching moment with him where he apologized for saying all Luthors are scum and she opened up to him about why she kept Lex’s clone a secret.  It was such a genuine heartfelt moment and you could feel this very real friendship between the two of them.  I always welcome more scenes of Cassidy and Tom together and I hope we get some more before all is said and done.

Just a couple of random thoughts on the episode:

-          Earth 2 Lois looked like a hot mess.  I think Erica Durance is one of the, if not THE sexiest woman in the world, but she just looked like a tired soccer mom in the alternate universe.

-          Would Clark technically be cheating if he hooked up with alternate Lois?  If the real Lois found out could she even get mad about it?

-          Oliver wasn’t well liked by the citizens of Metropolis on Earth 2 because…um…wait, you don’t know either?  OK, good, I thought it was just me.  Apparently Oliver is self-loathing no matter what universe he’s in.

-          Lionel Luthor transforms the Fortress of Solitude into an icy bat cave.  Why hasn’t the real Clark done this?  I see nothing evil here.  It’s actually pretty practical.

-          Lionel and Clark touch the box and go back to the real world.  Clark ends up in the same position as his evil doppelganger and Lionel ends up…um…I don’t really know.  Shouldn’t he have at least showed up in the same room?  Granted that would ruin the surprise ending, but something to think about none the less.

Overall, “Luthor” was an incredible episode and may have earned itself a spot as one of my favorites.  We’re getting close to the end and the writers are going for broke, bringing in new characters and bringing back old ones, and I was worried Lionel’s return would be handled in a silly way and I’m so unbelievably happy with the outcome.  Next week we see the return of Slade Wilson and Hawkman!  It’s going to be one hell of a ride to the finish line…

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