For the time shifted viewer, we do have spoilers included in this review of Smallville's mid-season return episode "Disciple."
We open to Lois Lane (Erica Durance) and Clark Kent (Tom Welling) leaving a charity event and we see that they're publicly an "item" now.
The episode sets up Oliver Queen's (Justin Hartley) old instructor, Vordigan, (Steve Bacic) who they call the Dark Archer. He shows up in Oliver's life, trying to right some wrongs and set an old promise in motion. The old promise is an oath that Oliver took while training under Vordigan that declares "No lovers, allies or disciples" in his life. This confused me since obviously Oliver was a disciple of Vordigan. Vordigan tries to make the oath come to be as he takes shots at Lois, Chloe and kidnaps Mia (aka Speedy).
Vordigan wants his pupil, Oliver, to kill him because he feels he's getting old and is becoming too slow to fulfill his duties. Wow, I thought I was hard on myself!? Meanwhile Oliver is still having a few issues - he seems haunted by the dark side he experienced in the past, plus he's just not handling the Lois and Clark pairing that well.
Of course Zod (Callum Blue) is pandering to Clark, but Clark isn't buying it. Zod even plays the Lois card and visits her, making us wonder if he might spill the beans on Clark (he's effectively creepy in the scene). This is all a roundabout test of Clark.
In the closing scenes there is a final conversation between Clark and Zod where our hero tells Zod in no uncertain terms to stay away from Lois. This encounter was rather foretelling and when Clark whisked away like he usually does when in a hurry, Zod jumped/twitched. It was a subtle emotional demonstration of a crack in Zod's tough outer shell, even if it was a fleeting millisecond.
Did The Premiere Live Up To The Wait?
It's a shame that the mid-season return wasn't the "Absolute Justice" 2-hour event. I say that because all I wanted to do was get through this to the next week... It was a bit distracting.
This episode touched on several emotional issues between characters, and although Chloe drifted in the cliche direction of suspecting Oliver as being the nasty Dark Archer, she didn't sell it hard. In other words the showrunners didn't take the easy way out on this one.
The relationship with Clark and Lois isn't too over the top... though we're experiencing great patience on Lois's part when Clark disappears suddenly or doesn't show up at certain times when maybe normal folks (or previous season Lois) would (i.e. visit in hospital).
I liked seeing Steve Bacic again. He actually looked more like the Green Arrow from the comics than Justin Hartley - too bad the dialog between the two at the end of the episode was so painfully cornball. Does anyone remember Bacic from Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda? Or did you catch him playing Dr. Sexy on Supernatural? Now that was a funny episode!
I'm also becoming a bit disillusioned with Callum Blue's portrayal of Zod. I've seen Callum in a different series as the bad guy and he seemed exactly the same, so Zod doesn't feel very unique anymore. I've ruined it for myself!
Don't worry, I'll get past it.
How did everyone like the premiere episode? Are we all looking forward to next weeks 2-hour movie, "Absolute Justice?" I am.