Post Game TV Recap: SMALLVILLE S9E5: "Roulette"
Post Game TV Recap: SMALLVILLE S9E4
-- Clark Kent (Tom Welling)
"Roulette" gets under way after a recap that chronicles Oliver Queen's episodes-long descent into drunken guilt and despair, and we're taken to a casino where Oliver's losing badly at a roulette wheel to the point of giving away his car to keep going. He's approached by a comely lass in a slinky Asian dress and killer wraparound tattoo. She entices him with a shell game at the bar, asking him to make one choice of cups. Making his pick, his cup uncovers a red pill ("Holy Matrix, Batman!"). Taking it on the assumption that he's about to go on one hell of a trip with nothing to lose, Oliver doesn't know how right he is. He exits with the lady in a stupor, passing out in front of the place. Oliver wakes up some time later, trapped in a tomb God knows where. Desperately fumbling around his new surroundings, he reaches for a flashlight left with him. Shining the light directly above him, he finds a message scrawled in red: "GAME ON." Time for some show credits.
Returning from commercial at the Kent farm, Clark arrives in his super-black uniform, looking pretty ragged after a long night doing good deeds in Metropolis (can I assume that there's no more "Red-Blue" in this Blur since he goes all-black now?). Rushing into the Kent household not bothering to check on things in a well-lit home, Clark is almost caught in-costume by Lois who's there, but luckily she's got her back to him, folding laundry, not having heard him come in just yet. After a quick change, he appears before her looking more himself and she's up for a Friday night of watching DVDs at home. She plops him in front of the TV, but before he can get comfy he hears a female call for help, and in the time it takes to whip up some popcorn he rescues a carjacking victim in Metropolis. Returning to the farm in a jiffy(pop), Clark's clearly anxious because it looks like he wanted to be out and about a little more that night saving lives and jacking up criminals.What Clark hear is Oliver's cries for help, buried alive. Feeling his way around, Oliver loosens a hinge enough to bust open, only to find that the casket he was trapped in was not underground but in an empty room, like in a factory or warehouse. Also worth nothing that Oliver is also out of the casual Friday outfit he wore at the casino and now dressed in an all-white suit. Regaining him senses, he hears a muffled voice from nearby and sees another casket a few yards away. Cautiously approaching it and hearing a muffled, panicked voice inside, he wipes dirt off a label on it to see it reads "Alexander Luthor." Prying it open, it only has speakers in it playing sound effects on a loop. Oliver calls out for Winslow Schott assuming that it's a continuation from events last episode <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/tv/091022-Post-Game-Smallville.html>("Echo")</a>, but a male voice over a loudspeaker assures him that it's someone else whose life he destroyed and that he's in the middle of a game. The next move is a vicious dog busting through a window on the attack. Oliver gets out of this abandoned building and into a nearby car for safety. No sooner does he get safe from the dog than a speeding semi truck bears down on the car and Oliver can't get out in time. BAM!!!
Back at the Kent farm, Lois calls out Clark for making several excuses to stay off the couch they're sharing, getting lots of snacks and drinks. He's really doing superspeed saves during the course of movie night. He ends up calling her out for seemingly reaching for an excuse to do more laundry than she ever has in her life and subjecting him to countless shark movies. She confesses that she's bummed that it's Oliver's birthday and they usually get together for it, only he's not answering any of his many phones. Clark's holding back that he knows Oliver's been especially low lately (to the point of suicide), and she almost gets that key information out of him, but he changes the subject by suggesting they look for him. Clearly a few hours pass, because Oliver wakes up face down in a puddle, feet away from the smashed car he was supposed to be in, and it's daytime. He tries to call Chloe on a payphone there, and it looks like the operator is in on the game against him. He's taunted and hung up on, and he discovers a stamp on his wrist that reads "Roulette," the casino he was at. He makes it over there to find the lady in red who drugged him and she's afraid to see him and tries to earn his trust because the people supposedly responsible for his predicament would find them and kill them both. Immediately they're rushed by some hoods, and she goes on the defense for him with some nifty martial arts moves. She leads him outside and he gets her to tell him her name, Victoria. She insists that they have to keep running, insisting that those responsible will do them in and that she was only slipping him the drug earlier under a threat. When she suggests that the people responsible had to be people he very badly wronged, he has a near-impossible time coming up with an obvious answer -- there's been so many. They're chased off by some sniper fire, and Victoria takes a bullet. When Oliver tries to keep her awake, she dies and a cop car immediately comes on the scene, demanding that he puts his hands up. As soon as he professes his innocence, the cops taser him out cold.
Back to the show after commercial break, Lois and Clark get to Oliver's apartment, and it looks like they missed out on an awesome birthday party, what with all the empties strewn across the bachelor pad. A bad situation gets worse, though, and Oliver's not even there, at least not directly. With no one at the apartment, Lois figures out how to log on Oliver's laptop to look for a clue, and a video replay of the last episode's attempted gala bombing is on the computer. Lois is stunned to piece it together that Oliver tried to kill himself in the situation, and even more so when the tape shows Clark having been there to confront Oliver on it. Clark does a terrible job explaining why he kept this from Lois or anyone, and she's livid that Clark lied to her earlier that "everything was alright." Hurt and angry, she storms off and Clark stays behind, noticing a clue with a Roulette napkin. Elsewhere, Oliver is in lockdown at the police department getting interrogated by the cop who rendered him unconscious. An FBI agent comes in saying that the case has gone federal now. The agent says they are on to a team of criminals responsible for the game Oliver's been put through, and he's only the latest victim of an operation to steal millions from unsuspecting wealthy people. Oliver's asked to check his own accounts on a laptop offered to him, and knowing the game he's been going through this whole time, even I knew that using his password on this computer was a bad idea. His account looks safe, and that's just what the "agent" wanted to hear. When the agent exits the room, Oliver sees his funds dwindle down to $0.00. He panics, trying to get out, and gas starts to come through the vents. His calls for helps actually work this time, as a wall is ripped out by Clark revealing that he's in the same place he was in the beginning of this dangerous game. Oliver knows he's been had.
We're taken to the Watchtower and the first appearance of Chloe. Hey, remember her? Wish the show producers did sometimes. She's visited by Oliver and Clark, concerned with how messed up Ollie looks in his bloodstained white suit. Clark offers her the Roulette venue and Victoria's name as clues and she does her patented cyber-sleuthing. It turns up an FBI profile of one Victoria Sinclair, a.k.a. "Roulette." Oliver bails to sic his lawyers on the situation after his request to reclaim his locked up Green Arrow gear is denied. Chloe keeps Clark behind to discuss the videotape of the gala bombing that she came across as well. Aside from the whole Lois situation, they discover that in attendance was the Kryptonian assassin from the future who took on Lois and Clark in the Season 9 premiere <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/tv/090928-Post-Game-Smallville.html>("Savior")</a>. Knowing that she's dead and buried, they're stumped as to what she could be doing there in the crowd. Clark suggests consulting Jor-El for an answer.
Lois is elsewhere in Metropolis looking for Oliver's car via a GPS tracking service. She finds the car, funny that it's a yellow hot rod, a possible nod to <a href=http://www.comics.org/issue/167167/cover/4/?style=default>the classic Arrowcar</a> from vintage Green Arrow comics of the Fifties and Sixties. As soon as she gets up to the abandoned car she is approached by Ms. Roulette, claiming the car's hers, a gift from Oliver. Not having that excuse, they quickly get into a fight, very evenly matched. Roulette changes the odds though, pulling out a gun. Later we're brought to the casino and Oliver's cased the joint packing heat. He refrains from taking a shot from behind at a seated Roulette, but when he pulls her around it's really Lois bound and gagged. The real Roulette cocks her gun behind him and he surrenders his piece. Confessing that she's going to burn the whole place to the ground with them in it, a quick gunfight ensues with no clear victor. Roulette seemingly escapes, but after Oliver ensures Lois' safety he hears Roulette's calls for help because she she got pinned under some fallen debris. When he assures her that he will make sure everyone gets out alive, she gets out from under what's actually a lightweight prop and turns off all the surrounding flames. It turns out it was all an elaborate hoax to get Oliver to realize who the enemy he was fighting all long truly was... himself.
The next day at an outdoor cafe, Chloe is approached by a cleaned up Oliver who thinks he's figured out who put him through this game. It was Chloe responsible for everything! She staged the whole thing to bring the hero out of Oliver. She sure has some resources now! Roulette was hired to help, but Clark and Lois were not in on the charade for various reasons. Later at his office at LuthorCorp, Lois finally confronts him about his problems and he's evidently made a breakthrough. He apologizes for everything and is very welcome to her friendship. They end things on their birthday traditional game of beer pong. She's brought the beer and maybe he needs to lay off it for a while, maybe? Just sayin.'
That night at the Watchtower, Clark and Chloe convene about the Kryptonian assassin. After getting briefed by Jor-El, Clark reveals that her name is Alia and she's Kandorian, her shoulder tattoo in fact her Kryptonian family crest. As far as they know Kandor was lost like the rest of Krypton, but now maybe not. Doing a global search, they find out that there may be countless Kandorians around the world. They have their work cut out for them, and just in time. Green Arrow IS back, as evidenced when they show him back in full costume and convening with Clark how things are better now. But not before Oliver takes a dig at Clark's "ridiculous" outfit and even offers the services of his own tailor. Maybe something with a little color? Won't lie to you, the final shots of these two prepped to save the world got me a little geeky.
What'd ya think of "Roulette," viewers and readers? Were you psyched to see Green Arrow back after months of being down in the dumps? Were you okay with this mercenary version of Roulette (Steph Song) being a clear break from the more villainous comic book version who played ringmaster and odds-maker for a metahuman fight club? Going back to the shark movie theme from early in the episode, with all the Kandorians apparently covering Earth now, are Clark, Green Arrow and Chloe going to need a <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gciFoEbOA8>bigger boat</a>?