"What's it gonna be for us, Lois: love, or war?" -- Clark Kent (Tom Welling)
Greetings, Smallville viewers! Before I break down "Crossfire" for ya, I want to beg your pardon for an especially tardy Post Game here. As a viewer myself hailing from Chicago, our WGN-TV broadcast of last week's episode was preempted for a Chicago Bulls game. WGN didn't get around to airing "Crossfire" until the end of the weekend, throwing my schedule on everything in a tailspin. Never mind that the CW network really needs to employ better episode replay options online like the other major networks. As big of an NBA fan as I am (the Denver Nuggets being my team of choice), hopefully that sort of thing doesn't happen too often in what's shaped up to be a vivacious, though at times dark ninth season.
For the first time that I can recall this season, there's no recaps to begin, but instead a hilariously cheesy intro to "Good Morning Metropolis," hosted by... Lois Lane and Clark Kent? Turns out it's an audition taping, Lois going for a new reporting gig on TV and Clark's along for the ride to serve as a male host to bounce off banter with her. During a cut, the two bicker, and the producer says they're good for the day. Certain that she blew her audition, Lois begs for another take since Clark was completely out of his element (in his defense, though, he bought a new tie). The producer says they can get another shot on it the following Monday, since she's got the job! With Clark! Wait, what?? But it's all or nothing as the producer says it's a packaged deal, determining that they have real chemistry.
At the show's return from credits, Clark's back at the Daily Planet and greeted by Chloe who's dying to know how bad the audition went. Of course she thinks it's funny that Clark got in on the job, telling her that their first assignment is a hard-hitting piece on online dating. Hey, no one ever accused local morning shows with being 60 Minutes. Chloe's quick to give Clark some good-natured flack for taking the new job to get back into Lois' good graces (for the most part Lois has gotten past the issue she had with Clark in "Roulette" about keeping Oliver Queen's recent suicidal tendencies a secret). In the most comfortable scenes shared by Alison Mack and Tom Welling yet this season, they cut to the matter of their current covert mission to track down the Kandorian refugees thought to be roaming the Earth. Clark's investigation of all the supposed crop circles that popped up that in realty were Kryptonian family symbols has gone nowhere to this point. It begs the question that if Clark and Chloe are aware of the significance of these crop circles' symbolism how they didn't notice that one of them looks like one belonging to someone with the last name "El." Chloe has turned up a potential lead in that they suspect that Tess Mercer is reinforcing her operations at the Luthor mansion in Smallville for something that would either protect against or accommodate aliens. Chloe assures him that she can follow these leads for the day while he tends to his "cover" as a reporter. Clark then swings by Lois' desk to see how their shared piece is going. She's putting together her dating profile and he's quick to point out the glaring inaccuracies on hers when he cranked through his in minutes earlier that morning. We'll just see how their first dates turn out.
Somewhere in in Metropolis, a match is in progress at an area fight club (again with the fight clubs!), and a smokin' hot and ever-so-fit brunette is going toe-to-toe with a male opponent. Showing a plethora of effective moves, the young lady wins her match convincingly. Moments after she's declared the winner, a skeezy dude pulls her aside, happy to see her judging by the gun he flashes under his jacket if she tries to get away. Calling her "Mia" he's apparently been tracking her down to get money owed to him. He gets her out of there, but not before getting the attention of Oliver, this time a clear-eyed spectator rather than drunken participant. Cutting to a seedy downtown strip of "ladies in waiting," Mia is among the street girls and wearing a blond wig now. Oliver pulls up to her with the appearance of being a potential john, the guy who had a gun to her keeping an eye on her from a few yards away backed up by a couple of muscleheads. Guess the guy's a pimp, and not in the cool gangsta sort of way. Oliver takes her on a ride for sure, instead of taking her up on some sexual favors letting her drive his expensive hot rod for fun. Even he's not feeling as reckless as he'd been recently in the emotional tailspin he managed to get out of, and he reveals that he caught how skilled she was in fighting and clearly in need of a more noble line of work. Assuring that he can relate to her situation, Oliver's in fact recruiting the young lady he calls "Speedy," what with her abilities behind the wheel.
In our first visit to Smallville the Luthor mansion, Tess is grilling her young charge Stuart about maintaining the firewalls that may be getting expertly hacked, or else he stands to get "terminated." This is right before she begins a shareholder presentation over cocktails there where she presents, in partnership with "RAO Incorporated," a magnificent looking self-sustaining solar tower, green and able to power Metropolis. Anyone with an in-depth knowledge of all things Superman can appreciate the relevance of the name of that corporation. Among the impressed and enthusiastic is none other than Major Zod. Surprised to see him while keeping his cover in front of the audience, Tess refers to him "Mr. Zod" and he announces to the attendees that he's the new chairman and CEO of RAO Inc. Giving all due credit to Tess, he coyly declares his support of this project and it's ability to harness the power of the sun.
Back in Metropolis, Clark is at a sidewalk cafe getting prepped for his first date, all the while razzed by Lois remotely back at the TV studio since he's wearing an earpiece meant to capture the audio of the whole date while she can call signals to him. Her teasing him about the prospects he should expect thanks to his honest-to-a-fault online profile proves to be way off the mark when a gorgeous, bubbly blonde named Catherine introduces herself to Clark. They're both nervous, especially since the date is being taped. When Catherine proves to be a great catch, at least going off the background she gives, Lois gets a little nervous, not doing the best job covering her attraction to CK. At that same time at Tess' place, the presentation party has cleared and Zod stays behind to talk with her. He says that while she was busy failing to find him and his fellow Kandorians, his crew was using their rapidly developing intelligence to improve LuthorCorp's functionality. But what he's there for is to find out about this supposed "Red-Blue Blur." She denies any knowledge of this urban legend but he's not having it. He reveals that got a sample of that anti-virus (back in "Rabid") to test, but all was apparently destroyed by her. She wanted to level the playing field. At a stalemate over what they do and don't know, he leaves, but not before giving discreetly her bald, intimidating bodyguard seen earlier the order to get the info out of Tess. Looks like a proper background check would've shown that the bodyguard's on the Kandorian side.
Lois visits Ollie at his office (shirtless, ladies!), telling him about her new job and assignment with Clark, again getting laughs out of someone hearing about this for the first time. She's come to him for help because since Clark did so well on his date, she wants Ollie's help to do better. Lois wants to know her "red flags," like anything that made her a bad romantic prospect. He only remembers her more charming points, but their conversation is cut short when Mia comes out of the shower, inopportunely asking about some money before she realizes that Lois is in the room. While we the viewer know that Oliver is innocent, Lois does not, especially considering his recent issues, and she leaves this awkward moment, not so much hurt as disappointed in her friend.
The Three's Company moment is cut by a commercial, and after that Chloe is at the Watchtower trying to hack into Tess' operation. Stuart's on the other end and it takes on the appearance of an online chess match, each one matching the other's moves. Back at Oliver's office, they prep for a sparring match, and when she thinks she's rebuffing his advances, he's actually caught her having tried to swipe a pricey wristwatch from his collection. He offers to get Mia out of her debt, and she refuses to believe that the Green Arrow's aim is true. Giving her a wardrobe, an offer to do something she can be proud of, an assignment, she's excited at her new prospects. That night at a nice restaurant, Lois is waiting for her first date and the tables are turned in that Clark is teasing her via remote. They have some flirty back and forth before her date arrives... and it's Oliver! He bribed the real date to scram so he could step, surprising them all.
Elsewhere at the time, Mia goes to see her pimp. Her offer to him is the car she's driven there in, and he rebuffs it figuring that there's a bigger Oliver Queen prize in a safe somewhere. This sleazy d-bag is not going to give her up so easily ("No second chances."). At Lois and Oliver's date, it's all kinds of awkward, but he's taking the opportunity, in front of the camera, to explain himself to Lois about earlier with Mia and to show himself off as the most available billionaire bachelor in Metropolis. She relents, figuring it's good for the ratings. He tries to pick up where he left off before listing the things he loves about her, and the confession's making her AND Clark uncomfortable. Lois bails but he pursues her immediately, professing his feelings for her, only she has feelings for someone else. Anyone wanna guess? Heartbroken but not bitter, Oliver retreats with his tail between his legs, though he is happy for her. Lois follows Oliver outside, Mia having just gotten his attention being nearby in his car to pick him up, Lois wants to make sure he doesn't relapse, but he assures her that he's in a better place now. When Lois sees Mia in the car and assumes she's a "Plan B" for Oliver, he attempts to introduce them as a goodwill gesture. As Mia fails to open the door to the car, looking upset and you can make her out saying "I'm sorry," you know who's lurking in the shadows. The pimp & Co. ambush them, knocking out Oliver and pulling a gun on Lois.
At the studio, Clark is hanging around moping, having been shown a promotional display for their new show that looked distinctly like the infamous poster to Pretty Woman. Not sure if that was intentional, but it's cute. Since the filming of Lois' date was cut short, he's unaware that Oliver's been tossed in the van by thugs with a ransom in mind. Lois fights them off for a few seconds before almost getting shot by Pimp Daddy. Mia kicks the gun out of his hands before he can fire, taking the gun and pointing it back at him. He knocks her out to get the gun back, though he gets tagged by Ollie before he can shoot Lois and the two of them make a break for it. My question at this point is why the skilled fighting pair of Lois and Oliver didn't take the thugs out once and for all and rescue Mia. Fortunately the subsequent gunfire is heard by Clark who makes it in time to make a spectacular rooftop save. Ollie gets a quick enough look to see it's Clark who saved them while he's shielded Lois. Speeding off just enough to keep a distance, Clark mistakenly assumes that the couple is back on. At Tess' place, she's mulling over Zod's business takeover, and I'm pretty sure she's drunk. She's approached by the bodyguard who wants to know where the Blur is or else he dies. He's got the mansion on lockdown and it doesn't look good for her.
Later at the Watchtower, Clark visits Chloe who may very well have been pulling an all-nighter at her computer. She's gotten nowhere with Stuart, but in his brashness he holds up his hands in a video message to her and she scans that for his prints to get his rap sheet as "Stuart Campbell." Now THAT'S the resourceful Chloe we know and love! Clark's still bumming about Lois and Oliver, and Chloe tells him to man up. This leads to one of the better "show's end musical montages" that I've seen on this show or any other. Zod's at a cafe and an envelope is brought to him. The contents are a bloody Kandorian dogtag, and when he looks around he sees Tess across the street, confidently smiling and tipping her coffee cup in salutation to him. She can be pretty awesome when she wants to be. About at that same time, Stuart is seen heading somewhere down an alley and he is approached by Chloe with an envelope of her own to him. It's all the dirt she's pulled up on him, and nervous that he's been caught she instead proposes a new partnership that he accepts with a handshake. And back at that red-light section of town, Oliver finds Mia back on the street. He nods to her to join him, and she's happy that he's forgiven him for her earlier transgression and now finally ready to start a new life without the threat of those creeps holding her down. And "Crossfire" closes with Clark approaching Lois at the Daily Planet. She's upset because "Good Morning Metropolis" decided not to go with the two but instead someone the producer liked from earlier. As Lois shows Clark a new promo sheet, we find that Mia was not the only DC Universe character introduced in this episode. This Catherine is none other than "Catherine Grant," a Superman Family staple for the last three decades! Finally feeling brave, Clark tries to talk to her, and she keeps going on and on about missed opportunity with the show. He does what just about any male viewer knew needed to be done at this point and quiets her down with a well received kiss. And so begins a chapter in the story of Lois and Clark...
So were you viewers sufficiently caught up in this "Crossfire"? Can we now expect Mia (Elise Gatien) as a new series regular? Has Chloe found a kindred spirit -- and possible love interest -- in Stuart? What is going to be Zod's next move? And does your office have any policies regarding public displays of affection?Related Story: Smallville's Tess talks Zod, Justice Society, and More