"I need you to help me die." -- Davis Bloome (Sam Witmer)
After some serious narrative speedbumps in recent weeks -- the spiked kind where if you back up your tires get blown out -- Smallville regained more sure footing last week where Zatanna made her live-action debut (special thanks to Lan Pitts for handling the hosting duties for "Hex"). Despite the fact that he's yet to fully embrace his ability to fly, Clark at times still seems like he's got his head in the clouds as to the depths of his destiny and subsequent responsibilities. Whether intentional or not, Chloe Sullivan can only do so much, and for a while now Clark has lacked any valuable guidance from his various parental units. Jonathan is now long since dead, Martha has been reduced to a mere one-way phone conversation ("Infamous") as she serves in Washington as a senator, and Jor-El has been mostly M.I.A. with the Fortress of Solitude being out of order the better part of the season. As much as Clark needs to do some more growing up to do, lacking those positive influences may be slowing the process some.
Which brings us to "Eternal." Without a doubt, this episode addressed the "nature over nurture" concept. The opening of the episode gives us some glimpses of almost-forgotten old friends, the same mothers and fathers mentioned earlier (including Lionel Luthor). The initial arrival of Kal-El is revisited, including the lifelong impact it had on Lex Luthor. What is seamlessly added is how Doomsday, that is DAVIS BLOOME, represented one of the meteors as well, and he landed right next to Kal-El's rocket. A charred pod opens up and schmutz oozes out and forms into a young Davis. What's unexpected, cut to present day, is that Tess Mercer is discerning this information my way of an illustrated journal depicting those events, and she determines that there were not one but TWO Travelers who descended upon Earth.
Back again to the present, at the Daily Planet, and Clark approaches Tess, his editor, with a vital story he's working on. He's on to the fact that there are missing people disappearing over similar circumstances, but she blows him off due to his lack of concrete facts. In doing so she taunts him somewhat over her certainty that he is super in nature. Elsewhere, at Chloe's house, she's hosting a little dinner with Davis, apparently cool with moving on after her ugly breakup with Jimmy Olsen. According to her, his responses to her attempts at reconciliation have been harsh at best. Not to say I blame the guy since she repeatedly took bullets for Clark and Davis over him during the history of their relationship. During their food prep, Davis cuts himself, but when Chloe tries to help it's fixed itself a little too quickly. An interruption from an unexpected Clark distracts her from pondering the matter more.
Davis gets himself out of there when things get too close, but he can barely contain himself and almost "Hulks out." Cut to a cold, desolate farm ground, in Smallville, I'm gonna venture. A hooded guy tosses a shovel in his trunk after apparent work's been done burying something in a field. It's Davis, clutching beads, working on a disposal. He gets a call on his cell phone, and it's from Tess from yards away from the truck, and all signs point to success on her end as she pushes a button and blows his SUV up in the middle of the field.
At the Talon, Chloe is helping Clark with his mystery regarding the missing people. "I hope you have the safety cocked on your heat vision," she says when she gathers that he is not cool with how close she is with Davis so soon after her breakup. Chloe throws it back at Clark that she favors Davis' support since he hasn't been coming through. This conversation is cut short when the Davis' "mishap" hits the police reports.
But not before Tess discovers Davis' value. We get to the Luthor mansion and Davis is bedridden and covered in bandages. How could he possibly survive that truck explosion?? Oh, right... We get a battle of wills between the now-invalid Davis and his host Tess and it is compelling stuff. She busts out a Lex diary that suggests that Davis was there when Kal-El was picked up by Jonathan and Martha, and a flashback sequence ensues. From there, on his own, he was chased by agents and caged, and we find that they were not federal agents but LuthorCorp guys. He becomes a pet of sorts for Lionel, and they show where he is isolated at the mansion at one point but approached by an equally lonely young Lex. Of all things, they bond over a superhero. Lex is a huge fan of the fictitious "Warrior Angel," and he introduces Davis to his favorite comic book. Trust me, the irony was not lost on this viewer.
Chloe goes to the site of the "accident" to see if Davis' body is claimed and it was ruled abandoned. Clark shows up soon after, and a quick x-ray vision scan shows him tons of bodies buried in the field. Adding to the gravity of this is the fact that it's where Kal-El first landed in the meteor shower from Krypton. Back to the mansion, and take one guess who is all healed up. Wandering around the mansion, Davis starts to recall his time as a boy there. In another flashback, Lex and Davis are playing make-believe, and ironically Lex deems Davis the dragon and slays him, not a first for Davis. For fun Lex opens up a box with kryptonite and Davis unexpectedly reacts like Clark normally would and freaks out from the pain.
Tess turns up the moment Davis realizes what may be the only way out of his predicament. She waxes biblical suggesting that he is there to get in Clark's way of being the world's savior. In revealing that Lionel thought for a while that Davis was the prophesized Traveler, she hypothetically pits him and Clark against each other, and the prodding makes him "Hulk out" again, evidenced by his glowing red eyes. He knocks out Tess and makes a hasty retreat. Need I remind anyone that Tess has figured out more about Clark in an incomplete season than Lex did as the series lead for seven years?
Back to Clark and Chloe doing some more investigating, ("It's not that bad, Chloe, it's worse.") and Davis' killing indicates vigilantism. He's only targeting relatively deserving victims. They deduce that Tess has an idea what's going on, but their trail leads to her at the hospital (this show ALWAYS ends up at the hospital!!!) recovering from Davis turning into Doomsday. She calls Clark out about Davis and he being there the day of the meteor drop, even implying that the Traveler was 2-headed beast. Earlier she suggested to Davis that he was Judas to Clark's Jesus. And let us pray...
Back at her office, Chloe looks over the carnage, and she knows it was Davis. He shows up to defend himself and they struggle. One would assume that he was gonna eat her up or whatever, but he's actually there to get her help to kill himself. When he recalled the playtime incident with Lex, he realized that kryptonite was probably the one thing that could kill him. Clark gets there too late but quickly figures out that Chloe and Davis are at Dr. Grohl's lab where there is a kryptonite deathtrap set up, just what he needs to put himself out of his misery.
Clark shows up in time to stop the euthanization, but Chloe and Davis fight him on it. Always opting for the less fatal option, Clark fights this fate, much like with saving Chloe's life in "Legion." "We should've been brothers" is the sentiment shared between the two guys. Clark wonders how it would've been if it was HE that ended up with the Luthors, but Davis divulges that he was sent to destroy Clark. When Davis gets ready to unleash Doomsday again, Chloe pulls the lever to open the kryptonite shower. Before apparently dying, Davis has a final memory of an agent of the Luthors dropping him off at a random spot in Metropolis (I assume it was there) and abandoning him to fend for himself. At some point Lionel knew Davis was not what he was looking for and discarded him like bad rubbish. Sans dialogue, Davis says goodbye to Chloe and it is much like Kirk and Spock at the end of Star Trek II.
Later, Clark consoles a grieving Chloe while Oliver (off-camera) is taking care of the business of disposing of Davis. Attachment-free as Davis was, it's not that hard to do. Clark confesses that his nightmare was Davis' life. After that at the Kent farm, Tess shows up while Clark is doing chores and taunts him with Kal-El facts. She says "I'll wait for you to come to me," whatever that means, but he replies that "it's gonna be a long wait." Back at the mansion, Tess pulls out a 4-point star from a case as if it's her ace in the hole. What the hell is this thing, and how are we only seeing it for the first time??
"Eternal" ends with Chloe at the Talon, she hears something in the shop and takes a look in the basement, hearing noises along the way. She sees a bedroom setup and Davis pops up. He confides that he is immortal, and he thinks the murderer inside him is calmed around Chloe. He asks her to stay. Just when it looks like she's going to turn around and leave, she hits the latch to close them in. Uh oh.
So was this a sharper, more focused episode of Smallville? Did Chloe undo the goodwill of a week ago as the Watchtower only to now ally herself with Doomsday? Does Clark have a more formidable foe in Tess than he ever did with Lex? Can you wait another 3 weeks for the next episode ("Stiletto")? Will a kryptonite shower be a new feature at your neighborhood gentlemen's club?