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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Smallville 10x11 - "Icarus"


Special DC Universe Guest Stars:
Special DC Universe Guest Stars Referenced on a Most Wanted Poster:
Special Smallville Guest Star in a Flashback:

Smallville's 10th and final mid-season finale set up a wedding and ended with a funeral. In between was a lot of boring slog, then a patented Smallville nerdgasm DC Superhero fight that doesn't last very long but still, whoever thought you'd see it at all?

In the midst of superheroes having their status upgraded to "terrorists" by the Vigilante Registration Act following the explosion of the government gulag on the oil rig that "killed" General Slade Wilson in "Patriot", Metropolis is on curfew and lockdown. Defying the will of the people (the people with Omega symbols tattooed on their skulls), Clark has amorous intentions for one Lois Lane, the woman he loves. Clark planned a romantic dinner at Metropolis' finest restaurant, but Lois is typically obstinate and more than a little dense. Finally, Clark resorts to his old Blur trick of calling her in a phone booth (Metropolis is the only city in America that still has those) and makes it rain white rose petals from the sky. Clark Kent, you make the rain fall. Clark gets down on one knee and more than a few fully grown men squeal like little girls from their couches as he (Super)man's up and proposes:

"Lois Lane, will you marry me?"

Word gets out fast. Chloe somehow has a note and present sent to Lois at the Daily Planet the very next morning, which triggers a flashback that I don't remember ever happened in a past episode, but may have: At the Talon, Lois asks Chloe why Lana didn't stay with Clark. Chloe answers in her typical prescient mythic speak that Lana wasn't the one Clark was fated to be with (and if you know Chloe's lifelong affection for Clark, it stings her a bit that Chloe wasn't either.) Great to see Chloe again. At this point in the series, any appearance by a beloved Smallville Original tugs at the nostalgia heartstrings.

Tess informs Lois and Clark separately that they're due at Watchtower for retina scans to update the new security protocols. And they both fell for that one. The real protocol is an engagement party for the happy couple! In attendance are Tess, Oliver, Dr. Emil Hamilton, Hawkman and Stargirl! Now, who was in charge of invitations? It's glaring who's missing. Uh, Kara, Clark's cousin? Martha Kent? Anyone try to contact her? You think she'd want to be there? What about that Martian Manhunter J'onn J'onzz? He's local; fighting crime with the Metropolis Police. Oliver didn't invite Speedy? Where is Speedy? And the rest of The Team? Impulse, Cyborg, Black Canary, Aquaman? Uh... MERA? Where the hell is Mera?! No one invited Mera? Was the Currys' invitation lost at sea? HOW CAN YOU NOT INVITE MERA BACK?! I WANT MERA! (Sorry, sorry, but you understand why I'm upset. Mera better be a bridesmaid at the wedding...)

Everyone puts on a celebratory face, unless you're Oliver and Hawkman, who traditionally hate each other, but now mope and wax ominously in the corner. Clark asks Oliver, the man who's beside him on his best days and worst, to be his best man. (Pete Ross is probably somewhere stretching part of his body into a noose to hang himself. And that part of his body is his enormous cock. Have you seen his sex tape with that Playboy Playmate? Good Lord. Anyway, back to Smallville...)

Meanwhile, as our heroes celebrate the pending nuptials of what Lois thinks are the "Kent-Lanes", the forces of the very much alive and one-eyed General Slade Wilson raid the many sets of Smallville: the Luthorcorp Offices, the Daily Planet, the Kent House. I'm surprised they spared the Luthor Mansion, the Kent Barn, and the Indian Caves. Slade's men steal vital bits of info about The Team, enough to warrant taking Tess, Emil, and Lois Lane into custody. They also bring in Cat Grant, who unfortunately is in this episode, but was helping the mean old soldiers in black.

Later, Public Enemy #1 Oliver Queen ("Queen without a Country", heh) is nonchalantly strolling down the streets of the Metropolis backlot set, casually glancing at all of the wanted posters of his handsome face, when he stumbles upon a mugging. Going after the mugger, it ends up looking like Oliver Queen is attacking a random citizen on the street. The gullible people of Metropolis attempt a citizen's arrest; Oliver fights them off and is overwhelmed. Luckily, Hawkman and Stargirl arrive on the scene and whisk Oliver away via Stargirl's magically appearing staff. What was missing from this scene was a bloody, broken-hearted Oliver asking, "Whatever happened to the American Dream?!" And Hawkman responds, "It came true! You're looking at it!" Then he maces some dude in the skull. (Actually, the Hawkman part would be even funnier if Stargirl did it.)

Lois and Clark get home to the Kent House, don't notice it's been broken into, and find out Oliver was attacked on the street via the news. Lois knows what to do: She hands Clark his red Blur leather jacket and says "Go get 'em, tiger." (She doesn't say that.) The very next scene, Clark appears at Watchtower and he's not wearing the red jacket. Huh? Our heroes, including Black Canary on the monitor (but she couldn't come to the engagement party?) realize their secrets have been compromised so The Team agrees to go underground (I could swear "going underground" was a call they all made at least once prior). Clark shuts down Watchtower; this is achieved by him walking to the wall and pulling one non-descript switch.

In Lois' hand in one scene is the most bizarre Most Wanted poster yet, listing The Blur, Green Arrow, Impulse, Supergirl, Stargirl, Black Canary, Aquaman, Hawkman, and Zatanna. Wait -- Supergirl? How can she be called Supergirl before Clark is Superman? She was painfully called the Maiden of Might and even Ultrawoman (before Ultraman actually showed up last week.) SUPERGIRL before SUPERMAN? And how did they get mug shots of Impulse, Stargirl and Hawkman, but only have a drawing of Black Canary and Oliver Queen? And again, where in the deep blue sea is Mera? She's not on the most wanted? She's my most wanted!

The boring parts of the episode are up next as the lady in the charge of interrogating Tess, Emil, and Lois, does so boringly. Lois is weirdly left alone in Tess' office and discovers Tess has a Super Fun Happy Slide built into the walls and escapes. Then Lois quickly runs into Cat in the basement (that's a long fucking slide!) where she finally talks the current Worst Character in Smallville that the heroes are people she would want her son to look up to, not the a-hole soldiers following General Slade (this is NOT in any way meant to say our brave troops aren't the REAL heroes). Cat protects Lois when the soldiers come looking. Aw, Cat's not such a bad cat after all, just a bad character.

While their friends are being held captive and being given a good talking to, Clark, Oliver and Hawkman are for some reason hanging out in the office of General Slade Wilson. (Clark is not wearing the red jacket, he's in all black. They all are. Because they're "underground".) They discover that Slade was using Oliver to get to the rest of The Team under a operation dubbed "Icarus".

Clark Superspeeds to the Daily Planet to find Lois and frees Tess and Emil, who also, I presume head "underground". Lois goes back to, I presume Tess' office, for some reason, and runs into General Slade Wilson, who's mad as hell. He's not falling for Lois' tricks anymore, smacks her up good, and means to stroke her to death (I'm sorry. Best I could come up with.) But who saves Lois by bursting through the wall but her hero... HAWKMAN! (Complete with CGI retractable wings.) Slade unleashes his magically appearing battlestaff as Hawman tries to bash his skull in with his mace. Hawkman vs. Deathstroke the Terminator! The geekout doesn't last long, and ends with Hawkman being run through with Slade's weapon. Then the office explodes, Lois is blown out of the window, and Hawkman dives out of the window to save her, a winged man on fire. WHAAAT?! HAWKMAN IS ICARUS? (Layin' it on thick, Smallville.)

On the ground, Slade is nonchalantly walking away from the Daily Planet when he runs into Clark. (So Clark was Superspeeding around the Planet but failed to find Lois or see the big Deathstroke v. Hawkman smackdown?) Slade knows Clark is the Blur, and tells him (little chuckle) that he's "beyond Death's Stroke" now. Hee hee. You get it? Clark doesn't care, and he uses his S shield thingamabob to teleport Slade... somewhere... An ice cell in the Fortress? The Phantom Zone? We'll find out eventually.

Clark then finds the smoldering corpse of Hawkman a few steps away, but enveloped in his broken wings is Lois Lane, safe and sound. Yes, Hawkman saved her, because he's a hero. In his dying words, Hawkman tells Clark, "This is what we do" (what, die?) and wishes he could be there when they fight the Darkness. Then the light in Hawkman's chest logo goes out and Carter Hall is no more.

Cut to Egypt. In the vein of how last season showed us the musical montage of what a Kryptonian funeral looks like, the Team is assembled to give Hawkman a solemn superhero Egyptian funeral. With Clark (now finally wearing the red jacket), Oliver, Lois, Stargirl, and... well, look who made it - Black Canary! - as pall bearers, Hawkman is laid to rest beside his eternal love Hawkwoman. Their helmets are ceremoniously laid on top of their tombs so they are easy to find when the Hawks show back up here all reincarnated. Our heroes, this league of justice, pay their final respects to the Icarus of our tale, and then some diamond-shaped thing emits a white light, and suddenly all of our heroes are knocked unconscious on the floor of the tomb. See you in 2011.