This week’s Smallville was very highly anticipated because it featured the appearance of Aquaman. I am not a huge fan of these cameo episodes, because the characters usually come and go in one episode, and you never see them again. Yes, that is really what a cameo is all about, but I think doing it that way really tends to break up the central story lines and leads to more confusion throughout the season. Even two or three episode arcs would make more sense. The fans love them, however, and it is kind of fun to see how often the writers try to fit in references to the comic books. And let’s be honest, anything that gives us a chance to see our favorite hotties in their swimwear can’t be that bad.Even though it’s almost November in the real world, it’s still summertime in Smallville, and with all of that oppressive Midwestern heat and humidity, it’s only natural for the kids of the area to spend some time on the beach of Crater Lake. It’s really too bad that frolicking beach movies have really started to go by the wayside. Yeah, there was Real World: Cancun, but then there was From Justin to Kelly, and neither of them hold a candle to something like Weekend at Bernie’s or Summer Rental. And what about summer camp movies? Admit it, you would pay to see Meatballs 5 in the theater, and probably Police Academy 8 while you’re at it.
You know what I would pay to see? Lana Lang in a two-piece. Unfortunately, despite her newfound willingness to get naked with Clark, we are still waiting for something equal to that pool scene back in season two. Luckily for us, Lois has decided to come back to Smallville, and her bikini made up for the lack of skin displayed by both Lana and Chloe. I do love Lois, not just because Erica Durance is hot (for more pics, try Egotastic), but because whenever she is around, Clark turns into a bumbling idiot. And not only is she back, but Martha Kent invited her to move back into the farmhouse. Clark had a problem living with Lois before, but it’s hard enough to find time to have sex when your parents are around, so the last thing you need is somebody else living in the house that has a bedtime past 10 PM. Lois is not naive, so she assures him that she is a heavy sleeper, and they can do what they like.
A lot of you are probably wondering to yourself how Clark managed to hide the fact that he has no scar while laying out on the beach. Well, he covered up the spot where his scar was supposed to be with a bandage, and Lana has no clue. Chloe sees that Clark didn’t tell Lana anything and asks why Clark is lying about his powers. Obviously, we have been down this road before. Clark wants to tell Lana, but is scared that if she knows, somebody will try and hurt her. It’s curtailed their relationships before, and it’s bound to happen again. I do say that I can understand what Clark is going through. Could you imagine telling Lana about all of this stuff that has happened, how he gave up his powers to be with her, and how somebody close to him is going to die because he was shot when he gave up his powers to be with her. How do you take that news?
But really, since we’ve heard it all before and I am sure we will hear it again, why not concentrate on something productive, like how Lois looks as she dives off of the dock and into the lake. Even if she ends up looking like Margot Kidder in thirty years, you kind of understand why Clark was obsessed as an adult. Lois tries to do a back flip off of the dock, but hits her head and falls into the water. It isn’t long before Chloe notices she hasn’t been up in a long time, and Clark races in to save her. He is just about to rescue her from drowning, but another guy gets there first. Yes, somebody else can swim faster than Clark, and this random guy carries Lois out of the water and performs some CPR on her.
Lois wakes up, looks like she intends to punch out the guy who just had his hands on her chest, but when she sees her savior, she notices that he’s really jacked and kind of cute. Clearly she is smitten, but in her Lois Lane style, she tells “Bobby Baywatch” that she appreciated the help, but that’s as far as it is going to go. We do learn his name though, and it’s Arthur Curry, or as his friends call him, AC.
Just because Clark decided to stay in Smallville doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in higher education. He is enrolled at Central Kansas A&M and his first class is history with Professor Milton Fine. Professor Fine is played by James Marsters, and for all of us that are used to him as Spike, it’s quite a shock to hear him speaking without the British accent we have all come to expect. Imagine seeing Michael Jordan without his head shaved or Jack Nicholson with a woman his age and you can begin to imagine just how out of the ordinary it is to hear non-Limey James.
Since he was late to class, I am sure Clark was expecting a few words from his professor, but what I am sure he wasn’t expecting was for his teacher to go off on Lex Luthor. While talking about the role of history, Professor Fine explained that history is not so much what happened, but what is written about what happened and the context through which those results are filtered. When asked what his role in history would be, Clark said he was too young to know, which prompted Professor Fine to talk about Lex Luthor. Not much older than Clark, Lex has turned his father’s agrarian business into one of the leading defense contractors in the country. Even though he has gone from feeding people to killing them, he is seen as a white knight to the community because of the jobs he provides. But he says the white knight does not slay dragons, but trains them for his own use, and just in case you didn’t know that he though Lex was a jerk, the professor caps things off by comparing Lex to Hitler and Stalin.
Clark isn’t on great terms with Lex, but he still hasn’t decided to put him in the monster category. I am sort of wondering what Clark is waiting for before he makes Lex his enemy. Maybe he forgot how just a little while ago Lex let a few people escape from a mental institution that would have had no problem killing off his family members just for the taste of an exotic drug? The secret files, the obsession with the sacred stones – isn’t that enough to tip you off? Does Lex have to rent a billboard saying “I am evil” for Clark to get a clue? After class, Clark catches up with Professor Fine, who offers him a chance to work on his research team that is studying Lex and Luthorcorp in depth. Although this is exactly the type of thing Clark needs, he declines the offer because he still has loyalty to Lex.
In town AC is at the Talon, hitting on Lois. He really likes those green board shorts that she had on, and although she says that his outfit looks like Flipper threw up (what does Flipper eat? Orange and lime fruit roll-ups?), she still looks like she is fairly interested in his package. One of the things I didn’t like about Aquaman is that the actor playing him seemed very stiff and unnaturally, perhaps because he got his start on American Idol. His name is Alan Ritchson and he never made it to Hollywood. But if Paula Abdul was willing to get down with Corey Clark, she would have had three or four babies with this guy. Eventually, Arthur convinces Lois that they should go to the lake. Things are going great, and he and Lois are just about to kiss when there is a high-pitched noise that pierces the air and knocks out Arthur, causing his ears to bleed. No, they didn’t replay his audition tape from Idol, but instead it was something else.
Lois gets Arthur back to the Kents and now that he has had time to recover and drink some more water, he is back to normal. Bleeding from the ear is not a good sign, and would normally be cause for concern, but AC has better things on his mind. It’s been a couple of days since he was able to touch lips with Lois, and he is determined to get another taste of what she is offering. Lois only offers mild resistance, but before Arthur is able to get to second base, Clark walks in (hey, it is his house) and stops all of the funny business.
Part of the reason why Clark is so skeptical of Arthur is that he doesn’t know him, but that makes sense because the kid grew up in Florida and went to the University of Miami. He is positive that there is something strange about the kid, but the only thing that he and Chloe can find in his records was that he broke into a zoo to free eight dolphins. He’s a member of the swim team, so how much trouble can he be? I mean, water polo is one thing, but the swim team people are harmless. He obviously has some ability and although it didn’t come from meteor rock, that wouldn’t be the first time Clark encountered somebody like that.
The next time Clark sees AC, which is at the Talon, he gets a little nosy. You know, it’s one thing to be protective, it’s another thing entirely to mess up somebody’s game, and Clark was quickly going from protective to just plain jealous. Bad feelings aside, Clark wants to get to the bottom of why Arthur was there, and it must have come to a surprise to him when Arthur told him simply that he was investigating problems at Crater Lake and didn’t try to hide his intentions. In fact, Arthur hadn’t really been trying to hide anything about himself. He doesn’t try to explain to anybody why he can breathe underwater or why he swims so fast. Lois found his blood was cold, and he drinks water like it’s going out of style.
AC gets the point with Clark’s questioning and decides that he doesn’t need any abuse. He finally figured out what was causing the problems in Crater Lake and he was going to do something about it. The high-pitched noise that we heard earlier was actually a weapon. It had the power to devastate anything in the water such as a ship or submarine, but had the nasty side effect of killing all the aquatic life in the area. Those side effects did bother AD, and he snuck into the Luthorcorp lab in order to plan an explosive to blow up the weapon, which was called Leviathan. It was being tested for the Pentagon, and AC wanted to stop it before anybody had a chance to build more of them.
Clark had been sticking close to AC like flies on shit, so he was there to see the explosive planted and was able to remove the charge and let it detonate helplessly between his arms. AC escapes and Clark follows, but in the fight that ensues, Clark is no match for AC underwater. Despite all of that, when things have cooled down, AC finds Clark in his barn and fills him in on why he was at the lab. He’s trying to prevent an ecological disaster and wants Clark’s help. AC saw what Clark could do, and they would make a great team. The problem is that Clark is not so sure he wants to become a terrorist, even if he’s just an eco-friendly one. He gets AC to go with him to talk to Lex, and Lex rebuffs them. He’s not making an underwater weapon, he’s growing super kelp that will feed millions. This is all a lie, and even if it wasn’t, the super plants that Lex creates will end up killing more people than they feed. Since he has taken over Luthorcorp, how many of his experiments don’t involve sort of nefarious plot? He could tell his scientists to bake cookies and they would come back with weaponized anthrax, or a pimento loaf – both are fairly deadly.
Arthur knew that he wouldn’t be able to reason with Lex, but it’s no big deal because he can just go ahead with the plan he had before and blow some shit up. Lex is no idiot though, and has AC captured and taken to the secret lab where he is deprived of water, and if you haven’t picked up on it yet in the episode, you realize that he needs water to survive. One way that you can tell Lex is becoming evil is that he has really become good at using puns to painfully remind us all of his greatness. He has a “thirst for knowledge.” Oh, I get it! Arthur is thirsty too, ha ha. We then learn that while Arthur may be a big fish underwater, on land, Lex is the shark. Oh that’s great! See, sharks eat fish, so that means AC is powerless. I wonder if when all of this is done, Lex will send AC’s tank top to Clark wrapped in a newspaper with a fish. Assuming Clark’s parents let him watch The Godfather, that gives Lex an unstoppable trifecta of groan-inducing metaphors – enough to stop any super hero.
You know how the next few minutes go. Watching any super hero movie, the minute that the villain leaves the room where he has the hero trapped, the hero will find a way to get out of his shackles and spoil the villain’s plans of world domination or lucrative arms contracts. Right on cue, Clark rushes in, turns the sprinklers on in the room, pelting AC with enough water to restore him to strength. There may not be enough time to stop the weapon unless…they work together? How crazy! They are able to destroy Leviathan just before Clark demonstrates it to his general and admiral friends. He is embarrassed and will lose funding, and Leviathan will be another wasted project.
One of the things I always liked about Smallville was the complexity of Lex Luthor. Conflicted, usually with good intentions, but often with bad results. Each year, we are wondering when Lex will reveal the evil madman that we know he will become later in life. It looks like we won’t have to wait much longer because not only is he has started doing things that he know might hurt other people, but it doesn’t bother him unless it affects his bottom line. The other thing we have been waiting for is how long Clark is going to stay friends with Lex despite everything he knows Lex is capable of. We may have hit a tipping point there as well, because towards the end of the episode Clark finds Professor Fine, and asks him if that research position he had inquired about is still available. Once accused of being afraid of uncovering the truth, Clark now says that he can’t just stand by and watch anymore.
It’s too early to tell whether Clark’s revelations about Lex are going to affect how he feels about using his own powers to help mankind. Chloe sees his gift as a duty to help others, and Arthur criticized Clark for not doing more given his abilities. As AC is about to leave, it’s time to let the writers drop hints about what may be coming in the future. You know, they make a pretty good team, so why not start a Junior Lifeguard Association? When Clark says they are not ready for the JLA, which is an allusion to the Justice League of America, which features Superman and Aquaman, among others.
So, will Arthur hang around Smallville and have sex with Lois? No, he is more of a wham, bam, thank you ma’am, and decides that he has to leave. There are other bodies of water worth protecting, and with Lex Luthor out to get him, he’ll never be able to live a normal life. He kisses Lois goodbye, and in her disappointment, she seeks out Clark for some solace. She’s afraid that she’ll “never be able to meet somebody like that again” by which she means somebody who will listen to her constant bitching but still be in love with her. I know that they are trying to amp up the sexual tension between these two, but I would have to say this scene miserably fails. What we need is more Lois walking in on Clark when he is in the shower. Now THAT was funny. Anyway, Clark comforts her by saying that someday, she will find somebody even more special, meaning him, although neither of them know it yet.
I can’t really say that I enjoyed this episode. It’s not that I really care that they introduced Aquaman, but since they are only having him for one episode, too much of the focus had to be on AC, and Alan Ritchson is not a good actor. He’s obviously great looking, but the delivery of his lines was so bad that it is enough to keep you distracted from his abs. And even though Lois had one great bikini and another fairly decent one, I still had to wonder how Clark had to sneak around to avoid his parents, but apparently they never show up when Lois wants to get busy. What I did like was the introduction of Professor Fine. We know that he becomes the villain Braniac, but it is going to be interesting to see how this goes forward. My guess? Clark works with Professor Fine and thinks he is helping to take down Lex, Clark then discovers that Professor Fine is just as crazy and dangerous, and the only person who can help Clark defeat Braniac is…Lex. That’s not a spoiler, just speculation.
Next week, which means tomorrow, we’ll get plenty of innuendo as Lana becomes a vampire and Smallville gets a visit from Buffy Summers.
What did you think of this episode? Do we need more Aquaman? Are Clark and Lex officially enemies now?