We all know the classic phrase, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Give that woman the powers belonging to a Kryptonian, and you just know things are going to get interesting. And that's what we had this week on Smallville. I should start off by saying I wasn't looking forward to this episode - the "Clark's love interest gets his powers" plotline has really worn me out. But I was pleasantly surprised by "Wrath".
After a romantic afternoon, Clark is trying to talk to Lana about the fact that they've grown apart. Before the conversation can go far, an unearthed piece of kryptonite, a falling windmill and a lightning storm combines to transfer some of Clark's powers into Lana.
Having obtained the powers of a Kryptonian, Lana immediately begins exploring what it's like having the powers of Superman. Needless to say, she has a blast with it. It also lets her do something with Clark that she hasn't been able to do (at least not that she remembers) and she and Clark have sex, setting off earthquakes in the process.
Chloe goes out the Kent farm to find out why they hadn't returned her calls about the mysterious tremors. Clark and Lana let her know that it was probably their fault, and that Lana has half of Clark's powers. Not one to forget any previous event involving a meteor inflicted menace, Chloe reminds Clark about the dangers of someone else possessing his power - not the least of which including the fact that Jonathan Kent had a heart attack after taking on Kryptonian powers. Clark asks Chloe to watch over Lana while he tries to get help, which Lana overhears. Although it upsets her enough to kick furniture across the room, she still goes off with Chloe to the Talon.
While at the Talon, Lana tries to describe what it feels like to have this kind of power. It is quickly apparent that Lana has fallen prey to the corruption that accompanies this kind of power. She is planning on getting vengeance against Lex.
Speaking of the younger Mr. Luthor, he's being told that the dust that was found in Professor Fine's ship has now liquefied. Long-time watchers of Smallville will have recognized that the liquid in the bottle is identical to the form Braniac originally took when he arrived on Earth. Lex locks the information about Project Scion in a safe and he leaves with Dr. Jansen to further discuss the issue. Lana was spying on them this whole time, and as soon as the two of them leave, she uses superspeed to zip over to the mansion, where she uses Clark's other powers to break in and take the hard-drive containing the data.
Meanwhile, Clark is speaking to the other Luthor, Lionel, about Lana having his powers and how dangerous it could be. Lionel agrees, but he doesn't think the danger lies in what might happen to Lana - instead it lies in what she might do. Lionel tries to warn Clark that Lana is more ruthless than he realizes, and that she may not be trustworthy.
Clark returns to the farm to find that Lana isn't there - but Lex is. He tells Clark that Lana just broke into his home to steal something from him, using superhuman strength. Lex and Clark posture at one another, throwing verbal jabs, and using Lana as the chief weapon in the fight. Lex tells Clark about the Isis Foundation, and wonders why she wouldn't have told Clark. Lex can see that Clark doesn't fully trust Lana either.
Lois is flirting with the new Daily Planet Editor, Gabriel while they discuss yet another story of hers that he rejects. A perfect time for Lana to show up with a hard-drive full of data that proves what Lex is really up to. Gabriel tells her that he can't let the Daily Planet be used as a battleground between her and Lex Luthor, nor can they use stolen data as a source for a story. This is not what Lana wants to hear, and she threatens Gabriel. Lois tries to interfere, at which point Lana shoves her through an interior window. She then stalks off, to take care of Lex herself.
Clark visits Lois in the hospital and finds out that it was Lana who injured her. After Clark and Chloe leave, Lois starts to sneak around the hospital where she runs into Gabriel. The two of them have a cute flirtatious moment, where Gabriel warns Lois not to go after the Luthors.
From the hospital, Clark and Chloe end up at the Planet, where Chloe tells Clark that she's been unable to find evidence of Project Scion. Clark confesses that Lana has been different since returning from Singapore, and asks Chloe about Isis.
Lex is driving while he speaks to Jansen over the phone. Lex wants to know if the liquid metal is acting on its own, or if it is being controlled from the outside. Before he can get an answer his drive is interrupted by Lana, who nearly makes him crash his car. He brings it to a halt, but she then smashes through his windshield to get to him.
Chloe takes Clark to Isis, where Clark sees the full extent of what Lana was hiding from him. It was more than Chloe realized, as his x-ray vision shows him Lana's spying equipment. He and Chloe tap into the gear to overhear the last few moments of Lex's cell phone, which tells them that Lana is trying to find out more about Project Scion.
And indeed she is. A violent and verbal confrontation between Lex and Lana is taking place, during which they both throw verbal jabs at one another over what relationship exists between them. They also argue about what Lex's intentions are. Lana demands to know the truth about what Lex is doing with his monitoring of alien life and the meteor rocks, and even threatens him with death. The death threats are briefly interrupted by a kiss between the two of them. Lex tells Lana that if she kills him, she will lose Clark forever. Lana doesn't much care, and prepares to take that chance when Clark arrives.
Clark tries to stop Lana from making a terrible mistake. Lana, in turn, accuses Clark of being afraid to get blood on his hands and to do what must be done. When Clark tries to get Lex away from Lana, she attacks him, leading to a very cool-looking slow-motion fight between the two super-powered beings. In the fight, Clark gets smashed into the vault where Braniac is being stored. The kryptonite surrounding Braniac's liquid metal form weakens Clark and Lana both, which gives Clark the opportunity to grab a power line that had been knocked loose and zap his powers out of Lana and back into himself. The zap also seems to revitalize the liquid metal form of Braniac, and as Clark cradles Lana's unconscious form, it oozes away.
In the aftermath, we see that Gabriel is working for someone else - someone who wants to see the data from the hard-drive Lana stole destroyed. His efforts to delete the file are interrupted by Lois, who tells Gabriel that there is probably something between them. They kiss, and look like they'll be very happy. At least until Lois finds out that he's a lying, scheming dupe of the Luthors.
Clark goes to Lex to find out what Lex plans to do in retribution against Lana. Lex says he doesn't want to do anything to her, now that he knows she still has feelings for him. As he points out to Clark, her hatred for him is stronger than her love for Clark. Clark tries to blame Lex for the change in Lana, to which Lex tells Clark that Lana's ability to lie and betray someone were something she learned not from the Luthors, but from Clark himself.
As Clark is having this soul-baring moment, Lana is having one of her own. The spy-gear at Isis has been shut down by Chloe. Chloe lets Lana know that while she thought the Isis foundation was a good idea, and that Lana would be good to Clark, she now sees that Lana is dangerous. She makes a point that Isis was a loyal goddess, who brought her husband back from the dead. This was the Isis Chloe hoped Lana could be. But Isis was also a goddess of the underworld, who brought the sun god, Ra, to his knees. When Lana protests that she would never hurt Clark, Chloe lets her know that she wouldn't let her.
And what about Braniac? Well, Luthor calls Jansen to find out where the alloy might have escaped to. Jansen goes to speak to Luthor over the phone, just in time for his assistant to find the liquid metal. Or rather, for it to find her as it oozes into her, turning her eyes black, and probably giving Braniac a new body. (Not to worry, he'll be back in his familiar form as James Marstars soon.)
The final scene of the episode is between Clark and Lana, where they both are forced to admit that there have been unrealistic expectations and far too many lies between them. The awkwardness between them is almost physically tangible as their illusions about one another are torn away. Clark tries to take the blame for their problems on himself, which Lana won't allow. She doesn't want him taking the blame so he can avoid seeing that she doesn't belong on the pedestal he built for her in his mind. All she asks is for him to tell her that he loves her, no matter what. The episode ends before Clark is able to give her his answer.
I really enjoyed the previous episode, "Lara", and fully expected this one to irritate and annoy me with a tired out plotline. Instead, we got a really intense episode in terms of emotional drama between all of our main characters. We were also once more shown that it isn't Clark's powers that make Superman the greatest superhero - it's the ability to use that nearly unlimited power in responsible ways that make the world better, and not to satisfy a personal agenda. It was starting to look like Smallville had "jumped the shark," but the last few episodes of this season have done a lot to make me change my mind.
Now, if only the writer's strike can end before we get to episode 15, which Al Gough has said was as far as they had written when the strike began.
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