Ladies & gentlemen, please welcome to 2010!
After a "first half of the season" recap that mostly focuses on Major Zod's time on Earth, Oliver Queen's descent into drunken, self-pity, and the blossoming romance between Clark Kent and Lois Lane, "Disciple" kicks off with a translucent Metropolis evening. Lois and Clark are exiting a Daily Planet-sponsored gala for the "Wishing Well Foundation." They reflect on their first big night out as a couple in a significant public event. Plenty of awkward moments were apparently had, but after finally planting a kiss on Lois and proposing a return to his place in Smallville, Clark is ever so mildly rebuffed because she wants to take it slow and steady so they can get it right. The googly eyes they continue to make at one another is cut short when Clark's super-hearing picks up some cries for help. Having now just been given a quality excuse to bail, he makes a hasty retreat and she's left to get herself home. Even though she's okay with this, the problem is when her car stalls her attempts to fix it are interrupted by an arrow impaling the hood. Lois looks up and sees what looks like a familiar archer on a nearby rooftop. Assuming it's Oliver, she's calls him out for playing the jealousy card, though the only response she gets is another drawn arrow bearing down on her. She makes a break for it but the arrow hits its mark, striking her from behind and taking her out.
Image Courtesy CW/Kryptonsite.comAfter the show's intro and commercial we're brought back to Oliver's dojo the next morning and him quietly meditating. His peacetime is interrupted by a would-be ninja who tries to sneak up on him. Not one to be taken down easily, they go at it briefly before he gets the better of his assailant. Clearly in the zone and playing it very aggressive, he applies a near-fatal choke hold and the attacker starts to refer to him by name, begging him to stop. Almost as if he's in a trance, Oliver snaps out of it and lets go, and the ninja reveals herself to be Mia, his young apprentice ("<a href="http://www.newsarama.com/tv/091105-Smallville-Post-Game.html">Crossfire</a>"). She calls him out for using lethal force and his claims that he was just defending himself are shot down since he would barely respond to his own name. At this point we get our first indication that Oliver's maybe not 100% rehabilitated after recent episodes of near-suicidal depression. Before they delve too far into it, he gets a call from Chloe about Lois' condition.
Around that same time in the morning, Clark arrives at his Smallville home to find an unexpected visitor. Zod's been hanging out for a few, making himself at home, of all things admiring an apple and the historical, metaphorical significance of it as it pertains to Earth. Clark asks what brings him there (seeing as when we last saw them they made something of an uneasy truce, "<a href="http://www.newsarama.com/tv/091125-Smallville-Post-Game.html">Pandora</a>"). Zod suggests that in true Earth fashion Clark is hoarding knowledge that they require to regain their powers, unlike their common homeworld that religiously promoted the sharing of knowledge. Clark says he knows not how to spread the wealth that is his Kryptonian-derived abilities, and he knows that Zod's desire to somehow bring Krypton to this planet is a dangerous gambit. Zod suggests that he's the only thing keeping all the other Kryptonians from reclaiming their powers by force, and that Clark suspects that he was responsible for Jor-El's recent death (<a href="http://www.newsarama.com/tv/091111-Smallville-Post-Game-Recap.html">he was</a>). Just as was the case earlier with Oliver, Clark's own tense conversation is cut short with the news about Lois. Without even bidding adieu Clark makes a super-speed break for it. Because it wouldn't be a episode without a trip to the hospital, Clark hastily arrives at Metropolis General to find Lois bedridden, but very much up, her arm in a sling. Accepting his apology for not being there, she tells him that her assailant was dressed up like Green Arrow, but at least she doesn't think it was the real deal. As Clark comforts her at her bedside, Oliver observes from outside the room, clearly lamenting over the one who got away. Chloe announces her presence to him, questioning why he's not over Lois considering they've been split for a good long while by now. He changes the subject by asking her if she's got any suspects. Chloe tells him about the Green Arrow lookalike, and that the shot Lois took came frightfully close to the heart. While she assumes it had to be an amateur because the shot failed to kill, Oliver recognizes by the X-ray they examine that it was a takedown shot that only a world-class pro could manage. When he sees the arrowhead, it looks all too familiar. Oliver immediately heads to his LuthorCorp office to take out off storage a whole collection of the very same arrow found on the scene. he exclaims. Just then, we get our first good look at the Dark Archer suiting up for his next move, the scarred and tattooed bad guy clearly the one responsible for Lois' hospitalization.
Speaking of her, we return to Lois who's at least able to get in some laptop time to do some investigating into her attack. She receives an unexpected visitor, none other than Zod. He presents her with some flowers as a goodwill gesture and unabashedly introduces himself by his true name as an old friend of Clark's. Obviously not ringing any bells with her, Zod plays coy and says he know so much about Clark that he'll get around to telling her about some day. She's leery of him the whole time, even when he claims that Clark's shared so much about her. As he leaves, he gives her a "charm" that he claims got got from kids at the hospital, but we recognize it as his tag with his own family logo. Later, Mia visits Oliver at his office, and he's got it covered wall to wall with surveillance photos of Metropolis streets from all over the city. She thinks it looks stalkerish, but he assures her that it's nothing, all the time putting up more photos. She nervously observes that it's all stuff from the last two days, all shots of him. While Oliver confides that he thinks someone's following him, he gives Mia little else to work with, in fact even dismissing her because he's not the man she thought he was and is no good to her anymore. Crushed, Mia makes a hasty retreat. At the same time, Chloe is doing her own sleuthing at the Watchtower when the security alarms all go off and everything shuts down. Panicked because there's surely an intruder in the tower, she's confronted by the Dark Archer. With stained glass at his back and his hood on not saying a word, he definitely strikes the appearance of Chloe's old ally. He manages to get off a shot that clips her, but not half as bad as Lois' wound. Now helpless, the Archer then bears down on her and preps a kill shot, but someone approaching prompts him to escape. Just then Clark shows up to tend to the wounded Chloe.
Mia is on her own that night, walking the city streets when she herself is confronted by Dark Archer. He speaks for the first time, telling her that she's going to help in Oliver fulfilling a greater destiny. Mia clearly outmatched, they cut back to Chloe being patched up by Clark. They go back and forth about the prospect of Oliver having his own dark side that may be doing all the damage. To put Clark's doubts about that possibility to rest, Chloe confesses how she masterminded Oliver's recent comeback from irrelevancy ("<a href="http://www.newsarama.com/tv/091028-Post-Game-Smallville-Roulette.html">Roulette</a>"). Clark is stunned the way she went about it without confiding in him, and he leaves in a huff thinking he's now got some damage control to take care of. At that moment, Chloe's computers find a match on the arrows used against her and Lois. The next morning outside Oliver's training facility, he's surprised by Lois who has apparently been released from the hospital. She's looking into what he is knows and he shares his belief that it's someone out to get the ones closest to him, namely Lois. She reveals that Chloe was attacked as well and because Chloe was no more than a friend to him he starts to put it together. Lois counted as a lover, Chloe an ally, and next on the list that only makes sense to him helps him realize that Mia is his disciple who's now in danger. Clark's found his way back to Oliver's office around that time and he quickly finds the arrows. Chloe shows up just then with her findings thinking Oliver's in the clear, but Clark's just found otherwise. But when the wrap containing the arrows reveal a symbol Chloe found in her research, a new theory comes to the fore. Chloe says that the symbol on the wrap was part of a 13th-century Celtic collective of archers, vigilantes and assassins. While it admittedly goes a little deeper, the society has a binding "bros before hos" code. Since Oliver was apparently "off the reservation" for a good year even after his rescue from the island where he first developed his archery skills, the two deduce that Oliver got more training by this Brotherhood of Sion (sp?) and that someone's seeking him out to settle an old score. Stands to reason that Oliver's wise to this himself by now, and his fears are conformed when he goes to his gym hoping to find Mia and message seemingly scrawled in blood about the relationship between master and apprentice. Cut to one master (Vordigan) and one apprentice (Mia) where he's taken her to a hedge maze somewhere, setting her up as bait. Freeing her from her bonds with a wicked shot, Mia makes a break for it, but as we get a very wide overhead shot of where she's at, this maze shaped like the Order's symbol is a big one and she's right smack dab in the middle of it.
Wherever they are, Green Arrow has found it. Searching the premises for any sign of life, he's soon confronted by his old mentor, Vordigan. As they feel each other out, armed and ready to strike if necessary, Vordigan tells him that he's nearing the end of his run, a significant wound recently forcing him to come to terms with his mortality. Tradition dictates that Oliver's mentor must go out while strong and he declares that tstudent's final test is to vanquish him. Vordigan has set up the scenario for Oliver to take him down, whether it's because he himself killed Mia, thus making Oliver become his successor as the new Dark Archer in an act of vengeance. But when Oliver refuses, Vordigan sticks him to a wall by way of an arrow through his hand and he makes a break for it to hunt down Mia who's still lost among the maze. Meanwhile Chloe is doing a computer search at the Watchtower, and Clark returns having come up empty at any place familiar to Oliver. He questions Chloe's workaholic style of late, much like what drove Oliver down a dark path, though she insists the her constant watch over people is just her way of looking out for people like Clark does. Her clues finally lead to finding the maze in Coast City via satellite imagery. A closeup scan shows Mia ad Clark knows where he needs to go. At the maze, Vordigan gets close to Mia, but she sneaks up on him and knocks him from behind. She almost gets away when Vordigan fires what appears to be the final kill shot, but Oliver gets there in time to take the arrows for her in sacrifice. Just then Clark makes his necessary appearance to block the arrows for Oliver, allowing him to fire off a return shot that takes out his mentor once and for all. Green Arrow is all too proud to let Clark know that he made the shoulder shot he was always taught to make and not one that was fatal.
"Disciple" winds things down back in Metropolis with a return date between Clark and a recovered Lois. She ribs him for not visiting her a ton at the hospital including a ride home from there when she checked out. When he explains how much the case against the Dark Archer occupied his time, Lois assures Clark that it was okay since she got flowers and and cute charm from a friend of his. Shocked because he recognizes the trinket and asking her who gave it to her, Clark's forced to keep a lid on why he's got a problem with Zod. At the nightclub they're at, Lois sees Oliver from across the room and they exchange an awkward glance, but she takes Clark in her arm and they head the other way. Mr. Queen, it is officially time to move on. Back at Oliver's training facility, Mia is going at it on some bags when he stops by. He assures her that he shooed her away in hopes that it would take Vordigan off her trail. She thinks it's time for her to make her exit when he says he's hardly done with her training. Happy to stay, they exchange some words of wisdom about their mentor/apprentice dynamic and how it can't be like what he had with the Dark Archer, nor will it be. Later that night, Clark confronts Zod on a city rooftop and insists that Lois is off limits. Clark returns the charm to Zod, though Zod insists that it's simply the symbol of everything good about Krypton, merely a good luck charm. Clark thinks otherwise and they go back and forth calling into question each other's true motives and agendas. In an almost uncharacteristic bout of confidence, Clark assures Zod that if he comes near Lois again that he will destroy them all and with that he takes his leave. Zod then convenes with his subordinate Fiona who discusses strategy with him. Because Clark didn't fully recognize the symbol she assumes the Book of Rao they're looking for is not in his possession, much less anywhere in the world. Zod insists that Jor-El left it there on Earth and when they find it they'll have what they need to make the R.A.O. Tower under construction in the heart of the city operational to change the yellow sun to red in order to gain the abilities of Kal-El. As the show ends, Zod beams at the tower as it nears completion.
Now here's the part in your weekly "Post Game" where I'd ask a bunch of cutesy questions about what you thought about "Disciple" and what it means for Clark, Chloe and the whole gang. But I won't even waste your time. I don't know about you, but I am so ready for <a href="http://www.newsarama.com/tv/Smallville-Producer-JSA-100202.html">Absolute Justice</a>.