"There could be an upside to all this... For the first time in my life I may actually be able to be myself." -- Clark Kent (Tom Welling)
After a break for several weeks, Smallville bounced back after a brief storyline made the show tolerable at best. All due respect to Kristin Kreuk, the Lana Lang character set Clark Kent back to a navel-gazing level that should've been abandoned back in Season 2. Now that she is conceivably out of the picture (I would guess for this season for sure), our farm-bred Kal-El can once again get on track to becoming the Man of Steel. While succinct in nature, in terms of working with a big concept within 45 minutes of showtime, "Infamous" was a great way for Smallville's more recent creative direction to return to form.
Things kick off in Metropolis where Clark botches an airport pickup for Lois Lane (welcome back, Erica Durance!) in a rain-soaked scene. Clark's so busy working overtime in Metropolis as the "Red-Blue Blur" that he blows it picking her up. Two questions: 1) What does Clark drive in the big city, and 2) how does anyone wait in the rain for 3 hours before opting for a cab or public transit? But Lois blows off Clark in a huff and before he can do anything he is approached Linda Lake (Tori Spelling, previously seen in the "Hydro" episode) with an "offer" to write all of the Red-Blue Blur's exclusives. For those out of the loop, her ability to morph into water allowed her a couple of seasons ago to discover Clark's true identity as a superpowered Kryptonian. If Clark says no, she will publish an exposé on his life story. All of it. Uh oh!
After credits, back at the Kent farm, Chloe shows up and Clark tells her Linda Lake's blackmail scheme. Before Chloe can even offer a solution Clark declares that he wants to go public. Chloe has a lot of doubts, and for good reason, as we find. Even if it's not the best decision, fresh off his latest breakup with Lana, Clark is already more confident and assertive. That's the last time I rail against Lana Lang in this article, so you know. At the Metropolis General Hospital, another dormant character returns to the show. Paramedic Davis Bloome (Doomsday to you and me) is caught in a medical supply room stocking up on anti-psychotic meds. Having apparently been away for a few weeks (gestating in the Fortress of Solitude), he manages to talk his way out of the situation with the female doctor.
Later, at the Daily Planet, Clark approaches Lois but she is ignoring him still over the airport snub. He cheers her up by asking her to write his story. She of course assumes he's full of it, but he proves himself to her in convincing fashion in the supply room (heh, not in THAT way). Coming clean on everything , he also tells Lois that Lana and Chloe have known for years, which is a tough pill for her to swallow at first. He lays out his powers -- she of course pauses at X-ray vision -- though we get nothing like Margot Kidder asking Christopher Reeve what color's her underwear. She also assumes it's meteor infection, and he corrects her on the fact that his abilities are factory originals from a galaxy far, far away.
And with that, the Daily Planet runs a Lois Lane exclusive, and Clark goes public to adoring fans. While most everyone is ecstatic for their new hero, early on he experiences the pitfalls when one girl leaps off a fire escape for the sole purpose of getting caught by him. No doubt, Clark's entered a whole new world.
Back at the hospital, Chloe's trying to check on her husband Jimmy Olsen (still being treated from the Doomsday encounter, and the character has yet to get screentime since) but paparazzi are in the way. She sees Davis and approaches him and it's clear she's forgotten all about the Doomsday scenario when she was inhabited by Brainiac. Davis suggests that maintaining a friendship can be dangerous and initiates a clean break, but not before learning from Chloe that Clark is Kryptonian. He immediately realizes that he is Kal-El's appointed destroyer.
Cut to the Daily Planet and Linda Lake, trumped by Lois, approaches the Planet editor with another story about the Kryptonian. At the Kent farm, for the second time Chloe has a tough time getting around thanks to her new notoriety as the alien's BFF. It's total media pandemonium ("The Beatles have landed in Smallville.") One obvious thing comes up is how this affects Clark's mother, now a senator in Washington, D.C, though we'll see if that holds. But no sooner do Clark and Chloe bask in their almost-triumph from going public does Lake go to the press with her own story claiming that Clark was the first wave of an alien invasion and that he killed Lex Luthor in the process to maintain his plan!
Shortly after, Clark is interrogated by police amid the charges. Here's where "Infamous" starts to walk on shaky ground in that Lake somehow fabricates a story from virtually nothing, and it's what the feds work off of to pretty much indict Clark as an enemy going forward. He brushes off one agent when he refuses to do a DNA test, and they open fire with minimal provocation. Very quickly he becomes hunted, and Chloe as well. He figures out that the way to fix this is essentially call "do-over" and use his Legion flight ring to turn back time.
Back at the Planet, when Lois confronts Lake (Spelling, by the way, camping it up in classic Batman villain style), the tabloid-peddler revels in taking down Clark. Lois tries to go to the top of Planet management but is wanted by authorities as well for her obvious connection to Clark. He saves her in superspeed and goes back to the farm with the intention of using the Legion ring. Lois tries to talk him out of erasing the past to no avail, and he goes to the tool drawer for the ring only to find it rigged with kryptonite. Lake's beaten him to the punch and has the ring. Here she expresses her own ambitions with the time-traveling ring to corner the market on exclusives the likes that TMZ's never seen!
At the Isis Foundation, Chloe is laying low and Davis shows up in distress. He reveals that he's that other Kryptonian. Davis tries to fight the beast inside but he starts to make the change in a red-eyed way reminiscent of the Incredible Hulk. Doomsday subdues Chloe in her car when she tries to make a break for it. Back at the farm, Lois manages to knock out Lake while Clark is subdued by the kryptonite. Once safe, Clark slips on the ring just before getting Chloe's call that she's being attacked by Doomsday (with a killer glimpse of him to boot!). Clark goes back "2 days earlier," approaches Lake first about the story she's cooking up and takes her out via electricity. Not necessarily vindictive, but it does almost show a vicious side of Clark.
Clark later replays the airport pickup with Lois to much better effect, even lining up a date in the process, and he later tells Chloe that he destroyed the Legion ring so as to not use it as a crutch. Back at the hospital again, Linda Lake is under restraints and tries to tap Davis's help, knowing his true nature, but he ends up smothering her with a pillow when she provokes him to unleash his beastly side. Had Clark waited a second later to put on the LSH ring to change time, he would've had a chance for a rematch with Doomsday and possibly come out ahead this time. Who knows?
"Infamous" concludes with Lois is at a cafe, waiting for Clark. He sees her there from a distance but chickens out on a conversation where they'd revisit their "almost situation" at Chloe and Jimmy's wedding. He texts her a cancellation and she replies as if she were not there herself. Always one step forward and two steps back with Clark.
So how was this return to Smallville for you? Was Tori Spelling's water-based villainess as delicious as a honeybaked ham? Are we due a return of Senator Martha Kent? Was Clark standing up Lois at the end a total dick move?