Ever since Chloe Sullivan learned that Clark Kent was, well, a super man, the writers of Smallville have been teasing us with the idea of how Chloe would handle that knowledge once she had to confront Clark. Clark has really only trusted one person with his secret, his best friend Pete. Pete wasn’t able to handle the burden of knowing and not being able to tell anybody – he was even tortured by people looking for more information. Chloe knows that Clark has awesome strength and blinding speed, and has dropped hints to Clark that she knows, but feels it would be better for him to tell her when he is ready. Looks like we have another episode that is going to be full of who you can trust and who would keep secrets from.We open the episode with a typical scene. The Talon is busy and, Lois is demonstrating that you don’t need to live in the blue states to be a good barista. (BTW, I just found out Erica Durance was married – there goes a little piece of my heart.) It’s good to see Lois is doing something productive, because I have started to get worried that she is hanging out with high school kids a little too much. Sure, most of these kids she hang out with are about to graduate, but don’t you think we see her hanging around the high school a little too much? Like in the middle of the day when there is class? But whatever, she is working hard, probably triying to make enough money to move out of the Kent house and/or buy all that allergy medicine for the dog.
Clark and Chloe walk in and they are discussing one of Clark’s potential schools – the University of Miami. If Clark was going to play football, he might have fit in at “The U” as they call it, but as a farmboy from Kansas, I don’t know how he’ll fit in. At least he won’t have to feel guilty about his x-ray vision when he is at South Beach. They are busy discussing the merits of flip-flops vs. timberland’s and wool sweaters vs. tube tops, when Lois screams that they have been robbed. Clark sees something and races into the side alley. He stops the kid who stole the money, but before he is able to do anything, the kid strikes Clark with some electricity coming out of his hands.
Earlier, this kid had used the electricity on Lois. He saw that she had left the cash till open while she was taking orders, and when her back was turned, he took the money and was about to run off. Lois is no rookie however, and she caught him before he could leave. The guy used his ability and it seemed to erase Lois memory from anything that happened in the last few minutes. Therefore, she didn’t notice anything was wrong until she looked into the register again and a ton of money was missing. Lois lost only her recent memory, but the Krypton in the electric blast (we know this because it was green) has a little bit more of a lasting effect on Clark. When Chloe catches up to him in the back alley, he doesn’t even know his own name.
Losing one’s memory is not a new thing on Smallville. Whenever somebody is possessed by somebody else, they usually lose their memory of events during that time. Clark has a particular problem with red Kryptonite, and Lana’s distant relative, the evil slut witch Thoreau, really likes possessing her. But during those times, the forgetfulness was all part of a sort of altered reality. The person who had been changed always knew about the body they inhabited. This was not the case with Clark.
Chloe sees this as a perfect opportunity to get the knowledge of Clark’s abilities off of her chest, although she doesn’t want to shock him too suddenly. She hopes to jog his memory a little bit by taking him back to the Kent farm, but it doesn’t seem to be working. He even knocks before he enters his own house, and any of thoughts of easing Clark into kind of, uh, go out the door, when Clark inadvertently pulls the front door off it’s hinges and throws across his yard with hardly any effort. He looks kind of stunned and Chloe is forced to give him a kind of crash course in his powers before anybody else finds out, even Lois. Although she never agreed with Clark for keeping things a secret from her, she knows that he must have done it for a reason, and so she decides she is going to try and obey the wishes of the “real” Clark.
First, Chloe has Clark bend a crow bar. When it bends effortlessly, he just doesn’t understand. Chloe explains the meteor shower and how it has affected a lot of people. Immediately, Clark wonders if he is a freak or an alien or a mutant. Chloe said that he used his powers to be Smallville’s hero and helped people all of the time. You can see Clark is confused and scared, but also relieved that Chloe is there to help him through it. He says he is glad he told her, and the Chloe has to explain to him that he never told her.
By this time, Clark is almost completely confused, but Chloe assures him that they need to find out who the thief is, and that they have to do it without the help of the sheriff. They go back to the Talon and start investigating. Chloe tells Clark to look around to see if he finds anything, and all of a sudden he is using his x-ray vision. He lets Chloe know that he found something, and she wonders how he can see through solid objects. She had been wearing a tank top that had been showing a lot of cleavage, but begins to cover up in fear of the obvious. Quite honestly, the most improbable thing about Smallville is this teenager, sexually frustrated, who doesn’t take ever chance he gets to fill his memory with some stroke material. Then again, maybe he is afraid if he does it too often, he might not get the results he expected. Looking at Lois’ curves? Great. Peeking at Chloe’s perky set? Lots of fun. Checking out Lana’s fine ass? Couldn’t be better. Accidentally catching his mother or the sheriff. Not so hot.
Clark stumbles upon another one of his powers soon afterwards. Lana is walking down the stairs, and he is immediately infatuated. He gets a little excited, and some flames shoot out of his eyes. Chloe puts out the fire, and you can tell she is sorely disappointed. When Clark had lost his memory, it was sort of a chance to see what he would have done if he had to do it all over again. He had originally questioned his motivation for even playing super hero, and wondered why he ruined his life by keeping secrets from everybody. For Chloe, who was Clark’s first, if not truest, love interest in the show, it hurts her to know that even Clark with amnesia sees her as a friend, and still sees Lana as the object of all his affections.
Lana is having some troubles of her own. Jason has been acting very strange lately. He is a little too obsessed with her. That’s why you always wonder about a guy in college dating a high school girl, especially when they weren’t dating together in high school. She receives an acceptance letter from central Kansas, but she confesses that she is not so sure that she is going to attend. Jason is really upset, he just wants to recreate what they had in Paris, and Lana isn’t so sure that will ever happen. Jason, who saw her dancing with Clark the week before, thinks she has feelings for Clark, and she does, but that is not the reason for their problems. Ever the smooth operator, Jason storms off, cryptically yelling “You don’t know how much I have done to protect you”. It may have meant something to him, but to Lana it just meant another relationship full of lies, which is what she spent so much time running away from in the first place.
Clark decides to confront Lana in the hallway at school. He knows that they had something, but doesn’t know what happened. Lana knows that Clark doesn’t remember anything, but still isn’t ready for the question. For her, it’s very hard to think about their relationship. She just had an argument with Jason about lies, and how they destroy relationships, including the one she tried to have with Clark. When Clark learns that the breakup was his fault, he doesn’t want to know anymore, and just says that “this time will be different”.
Before Lana can explain Jason, Chloe and Lois interrupt with some information about their mystery guy. His name is Kevin Grady and he does motocross. The three of them (no Lana) decide to pay a visit to the Grady home. Although Kevin was just there speaking with his dad, he used his little magic trick and erased his memory. When our scooby gang ask him about Kevin, he has no idea where he is. Chloe, ever the observant little minx, then asks him about the Summerholt Institute parking pas son his car. Mr. Grady explains that Kevin was in a hunting accident and killed his brother Dylan. He couldn’t deal with the pain, so they have been trying to help him at Summerholt.
Oh Summerholt. That name sends off a lot of warning signals. Lionel Luthor was tight with a bunch of people when he was trying to brainwash Lex. It’s generally not the place you want to hear that anybody had to spend a significant amount of time. While Chloe and Clark mull that over, Lois decides to investigate in the back. Right after that, Clark discovers he has super hearing, and makes out the sound of a motorcycle engine. Chloe tells him to run, and he doesn’t believe that it will make a difference, but when he gets going, he can’t stop. He catches up to Kevin on his bike, and then races right past him.
The next stop for Clark on the magical memory tour is the Luthor mansion. Clark can’t believe that he is friends with a billionaire. Chloe brought him there to get some more information, but when she leaves, Lex says that he wants to speak with Clark alone. Chloe tries to convince Clark not to say, but Lex is very persuasive. As she leaves, she whispers quietly to Clark that he should be careful. Now, Lex and Clark have had a strained relationship for the last season or so, ever since Clark learned Lex had been keeping secret files on him. Lex gave up that pursuit, but he always thought Clark was holding back from him about certain things, and so he takes Clark to the caves. Once there, he tells a story of how he and Clark worked together to find the mysteries, which is a lie, but is a good move. Naive about the whole thing, Clark tells Lex more than he ever knew was possible, including how one wall was supposed to have a room behind it. Satisfied with his new info, he takes Clark home.
Chloe decided that she needed to get some information on Summerholt. She gets there and is able to sneak inside. You would think with all of the things she has done to different research centers, they would have her picture up in “Evil Institute Quarterly” so she couldn’t get in so easily to so many places. She is able to find the exact location that the experiments had taken place, and using her computer hacking ability, e-mails them to herself and lets Lois know she is found something. Before she can say much more, Chloe is grabbed from behind. Seriously, what did she expect? She is trespassing.
Lois is at the Torch offices (remember, she loves hanging out at the high school), and gets the messages. They are surveillance videos of the experiments on Kevin, and he definitely was not a voluntary participant. In fact, it looks like he knows something, but that somebody wants him to forget what really happened. Clark leaves to see if he can find Kevin, while Lois is much more interested in what happened to Chloe.
As is usual with these types of plots, the person in search of his or her memory visits the location of the incident in order to jog their memory. Kevin is having flashbacks, but they don’t seem real. Clark finds him, and tries to explain that he is trying to help and knows that he didn’t do anything, but wants to set it straight. Miraculously, Kevin remembers that it was his dad who shot Dylan, and he was the one that couldn’t live with it. His dad implanted the memories into him, but the experiment went bad and know he can temporarily erase people’s minds. He knows that he could figure out what was going on, if only he could get into Summerholt. While that is a problem for most people, it is not for Clark. He breaks inside by pulling open a “rusty” door and they make their way to the lab. On their way, they pass by some kryptonite that is housed in some jars and Clark gets weak. Ah ha! He doesn’t know that he is “allergic”. He doesn’t quite know what is going on, but tells Kevin he should go ahead.
Well, Clark is really weak, but he manages to knock the jars over, and they roll far enough away that he can get his strength back and continues to the lab. Once there, what he sees is not very good. Chloe is strapped into the mind erasing machine. Kevin’s dad, who was the scientist doing all the experiments, is afraid she might know to much and plans to do a fairly large memory lobotomy to get things back to normal, or at least what he considers normal. His son tries to stop him, but is simply thrown aside.
As is likely to happen with lab scenes in this show, things get a little crazy, and Clark has to save Chloe from large pieces of equipment falling on top of her and killing her instantly. As luck would have it, while he is doing this the memory erasing machine, which is really a memory implant technique, hits Clark in the head, and puts back everything that had been previously missing. Unfortunately for him, Lois and the sheriff happened upon the scene. Lois actually decided to call the police when Chloe went missing, and when they get to the lab, they see that Clark is not like anything they have seen before, and certain things are starting to fall into place.
Not to worry though, Clark was a good samaritan with Kevin, and Kevin returns the favor. While they were out in the woods, Clark said he knew how it was to lose a part of your life. Kevin extrapolated that into meaning he didn’t want anybody to know about his super powers, so he does his little trick one more time to the sheriff and Lois before he gets the hell out of Dodge. Problem solved! They think they have just arrived onto the scene, with Clark standing over Chloe strapped to the machine, nothing really out of the ordinary. As he’s leaving, Clark bumps into Kevin, doesn’t remember ever meeting him, but says he wants to thank him anyway. With that, Kevin really does get the hell out of there. Where is he going? Oh, we don’t know, but I guess the writers want us to make that up.
Back in Smallville, Lana goes to visit Clark. They have a date, but he doesn’t know. When the machine returned his memory, he had no clue what he did for those 24 hours when he had amnesia. He senses something is wrong, and just as I think he is going to have his “we can’t do this” talk about dating and hurting each other, something else happens. OK, so they did have that talk, but instead of Clark just letting it go, he says that things are going to be different this time around. Just like he said when he didn’t know what he was talking about, Jason be damned.
Clark has a few other loose ends to tie together, like how he survived with no memory of anything. I guess he believes that Chloe showed him around and that he was able to hide his abilities without even knowing that he had them. Chloe still doesn’t let on that she knows, and after spending a single day trying to keep her friend’s secret, she has a better understanding of what makes him work. When he asks how he acted, Chloe says that he made all of the same choices except for one. You know that she wanted to tell Clark that he had fallen in love with her and not Lana, but she simply says that the one thing he did was trust her completely. If she can’t get Clark to fall in love with her, being his closest friend and the one he can share anything with is going to be just as close.
This episode was good because it had a nice twist on the whole “Chloe knows Clark’s secret” angle, and it opens up a lot of ways to finish the season. Jason is in love with Lana, but she may not be in love with him. He is convinced Clark is the problem. Lex found out more information about the caves, which means he will probably redouble his research, further putting him at odds with Clark. Clark and Lana look like they might get back together, but I am not sure how long that is going to last. I would like to say that the writers have some original way to take care of it, but I bet they either break up because they still keep secrets from each other or Clark tells her his secret, she gets hurt and can’t live with himself. That is pretty much how these things always end. As for Chloe, they have really been focusing on her a lot in this second half of the season. I think they are going to kill her off, and if they don’t I don’t know long they can keep her on the show. Her and Clark solving mysteries has sustained the series for four years, but we need to add a few new characters and force these writers to get creative with how they are using them.