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Smallville: Episode 2.23, "Exodus"

Written by Steven Dougherty
Saturday, 27 December 2003 17:39
Why is that Tom Welling is consistently out-acted by either men in wheelchairs or disembodied voices? I mean, that's enough to make someone cry. Not me. I point and laugh. I'm sure someone cries though. Maybe his wife, or his father. Either way his diminished acting prowess continues to amaze me. He's come a long way since the series began, but he's got miles and miles to go before he sleeps.

Episode 2.23, "Exodus"
Directed by Greg Beeman
Written by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar
Guest Stars: Emmanuelle Vaugier (Dr. Bryce), Terrance Stamp (Voice of Jor-El).
Air Date: 05/20/03

Let's list off the things that seem abundantly clear right now. Chloe is working for Lionel Luthor. The SpaceCrib was destroyed, so no more Terrance Stamp. Martha lost the baby. Lex is plummeting into the ocean, seemingly betrayed. Okay, now for what's not so clear. Was the blood Lex stole last week Clark's? Was Helen working for Lionel the whole time? Did she betray Lex? These are some interesting questions, and a plot summary might shed some light on the answers.

Clark is given an ultimatum by Jor-El, in the form of his spaceship, to leave Smallville or face letting everyone he cares about getting hurt. Clark decides, rather stupidly, to destroy the ship rather than decide. So you know this isn't going to go well. Clark remembers that the ship neutralized Lana's Kryptonite necklace back in "Visage", so he figures the ship might also be vulnerable to the deadly Greek K. He decides to steal a Kryptonite Key in Lionel Luthor's possession to test out his little theory. His theory proves right, and the resulting explosion injures Jonathan and Martha. This causes Martha to lose the baby, and pisses Jonathan off beyond reason. The way he treats Clark more or less explains why Clark goes onto do some things that are even more idiotic later in the episode.

Meanwhile, the Lex/Helen marriage is still on, despite Lex's confession early on that he did break into Helen's office. The vile of blood he stole clearly has a label on it, and Helen claimed last week that she didn't label Clark's blood. I know we're supposed to assume that this is Clark's blood, but he's never named by Helen or Lex during the exchange. Lex was unusually interested in Martha's medical file from "Fever", so this could have been Martha's blood. Also keep in mind that she was a patient of Helen's as well. Either way, the blood is back in her hands, which might not be good news for anybody come next season.

Clark, in shock, decides to turn to the sweet liberation of Red Kryptonite rather than deal with what he's feeling. Pete warns Clark about what Red K does to him, but all Clark can think about is that it makes him feel better. That's a not so subtle metaphor for substance abuse, but it's still not a bad idea. Clark rockets out of Smallville on his dad's motorcycle and heads straight for Metropolis, leaving everything behind. Who here thinks that Clark's gonna have trouble winning Lana back next season? Everybody? Good call. Lana does try to stop him, but she can't get in the way of Clark and a really good brood.

After the wedding, Lex and Helen retire to a private jet for their honeymoon. Everything seems fine until Lex wakes up from an apparently drug-induced slumber to find Helen nowhere in sight. Not to mention no pilots and a seriously damaged cockpit. The last we see of Lex his plane is crashing into the ocean. Producers Millar and Gough have said in interviews that the next season will take place three months after the second season finale. If that's the case, then I have a bad feeling that Lex is going to wind up being presumed dead for three months then return from some Castaway experience a changed man. The only relationship that wasn't totally damaged was Clark's relationship with Lex. Lex didn't even seem pissed about Clark being a no-show at the wedding. Not sure if this is going to have consequences or not just yet. Did Helen actually betray Lex? Most likely, but it's not entirely apparent. Chloe, though, is most definitely betraying Clark by accepting Lionel's offer. A new antagonist has entered the stage, and I'm going to enjoy this development most of all. Now if only they don't screw things up. "Exodus" gets:

Episode Rating: 10 out of 10

- This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it did this review entirely liquor and caffeine free. His pork intake, on the other hand. Not so good.