Season 10 has been a bumpy right for the Blur and friends, and Isis is no exception – it provides some of the best moments of the season to date but is marred by a weathered plot using ingredients that were stale back when the show tried its hand at them ages ago. Spoiler Vampire vants to suck joor blaahhd, so beware!
At long last, some big things introduced in the season opener were finally brought to light this week. The first was the clone of Lex Luthor that Tess Mercer has been harboring – who we haven’t seen until now, not to mention the fact that Tess has been very close to absent lately, as well. We find out that the clone is (of course) rapidly aging, and that his nature as a biological experiment makes him inherently unstable, which is a rather convenient device to use when he presumably goes bad and assumes the role of the villain we’re familiar with. This is all assuming, of course, that the path Smallville has set up for itself is what it will actually end up following. In either case, it’s nice to see that they are, in fact, still keeping big picture things in mind. Do you know one way to ignore those big picture questions? Introduce a contrived plot device that you already used (maybe even twice?).
In classic Smallville form the laughably awful “Ancient Egyptian Spirit Possession” mechanic is brought back into play as Lois is taken over by Isis, a goddess seeking to bring her lover Osiris back from the dead. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel pretty confident that this idea (which was already horrendous and out of place to begin with) was already used at some previous point in time. Maybe not with the Egyptian part. But Smallville has had its share of ghastly possessions. I somehow doubt I’m alone when I propose the notion that this idea is tacky and unnecessary given the context the show has been trying to put together. On the other hand, I suppose it is within expectations for superhero shows to delve into the completely bizarre and pointless (ie random as all get-out because they ran out of ideas and needed a filler episode), but I always thought what made Smallville brilliant in its early years was the earnest with which it approached the Superman mythology. It pains me to think that the same episode in which Clark entrusts his big secret with Lois is also the same episode where Lois is possessed for the third (fourth?) time.
The truth finally being put out in the open is, of course, what really made this episode worthwhile, and left me with a grin on my face despite the preposterous plot leading up to it. The final moments of this episode were what made it interesting – not just Lois tackling Clark to the ground with her “Well, it’s about time!” attitude but also the glimpse of development put into Tess’ character. Clark and Oliver let her take the reigns of Watchtower for this oddball mission of thwarting an Egyptian goddess’ plan – at least Oliver tackles it the same way I do: all this bizarre randomness is “just another Friday night in Metropolis: who’s ready for the weekend?” After Tess proves to be useful, the two decide to entrust her with the duties of Watchtower, which causes the normally sly and cunning Tess to practically fall apart – this is something she’s been working hard at for a long time: trust. Cassidy’s performance in this episode was one I enjoyed – seeing the hope and shock in Tess’ face, seeing her actually smile for once, and seeing what I perceive to be lingering feelings for a certain green-hooded hero come through in her expression…it was all a delight to watch and made me sympathize with her character in a way I generally don’t.
While the main plot didn’t advance much, weighed down by another “freak of the week” that felt stuck on with scotch tape at best, Tess’ character had some rewarding screentime and Lois and Clark are now officially the duo we’ve been waiting for them to be – open and honest, with one out to save everyone else and the other being the thing that holds him connected to humanity. It’ll be interesting to see where both elements are taken in the episodes to come as the show prepares for the end of a decade.