TV Recap: Smallville - Freaks

‘Smallville’ can get lost in it’s own teen drama clichés quite often. But there are episodes that rise above that and make you forget the bad times you’ve spent with Clark and the gang. Tonight’s episode was of the latter variety. Virtually the entire episode was on point, with a brisk pace and tremendous moments one after the other. When a blind kid named Tobias has the ability to “see” meteor freaks, he is used by Lex and a Dr. Bethany to weed them out. The results lead to a revelation that is so obvious upon reflection of the series, and also hits very close to Clark.

As you spend so much time with your friends, sometimes you may not notice the special things about them. With Clark, there’s no mistaking it…well, unless you’re Lex or Lana. In that case you keep running into contradictory evidence. What made ‘Smallville’ so great tonight is simply the power of the latest meteor freak, Chloe Sullivan. Now, I don’t mean her actual powers, which aren’t addressed in the episode, but the power of her character. I’ve said before that the scenes between her and Clark are often fantastic, but tonight blew most of the previous ones away.

Tobias is used to find meteor freaks for Dr. Bethany, who works for Lex. In exchange for his help, Lex is going to pay for a cornea transplant surgery to restore the young man’s vision. After he points out a meteor freak named Daniel Kim in a bowling alley where Lana and Chloe are, the telekinetic Daniel is kidnapped. Chloe witnesses the crime.

Chloe visits her best friend Clark to investigate what’s going on. When Kim shows up again, completely unaware of what’s happened they hit a dead end. Luckily Chloe likes gadgets and took some pictures with her cell phone at the bowling alley. One pic shows Tobias, who is blind remember, pointing at Daniel. “Why would a blind person be pointing at someone?” Chloe inquires. Both convinced that 33.1 is probably behind what’s happening, she and Clark go to visit Tobias and find out.

Tobias denies pointing at Daniel. When Clark knocks his glasses off Tobias freaks out. Then excuses himself by claiming he gets raging headaches from the light. But on they’re way out Clark uses his super hearing to listen in on Tobias’ call to Dr. Bethany. “I’ve found another one,” he tells the doc.

We’re meant to assume he’s talking about Clark, but I wondered if Tobias’ power worked on him. If he can see meteor freaks, then Clark shouldn’t be part of that group. He’s not a meteor freak, but who knows what it is Tobias is actually seeing. If it’s they’re powers, then Clark is still a candidate. Clark and Chloe both assume this to be the case.

Using a little unheroic thievery, Clark gets a hold of Dr. Bethany’s laptop. When he shows up at Chloe’s apartment Jimmy is there. Jimmy, distraught, cannot find Chloe. Clark asks him to take a look at the computer, and Jimmy replies that Chloe is the computer whiz. Clarks asks him to try, and then leaves to try and find Chloe. He can’t find Dr. Bethany, whom he believes took Chloe, so he goes to Tobias.

Clark tells Tobias that Chloe has been kidnapped. It’s obvious that Tobias has no intention to hurt people; he just really wants to be able to see again. When Clark says that the kidnapping is a plan to lure him in, Tobias is confused. “I thought you knew,” he tells Clark and then reveals that Chloe is a meteor freak. It was a great “Holy crap!” moment, but upon any thinking it seems pretty obvious that she would be infected. Still, it’s a nice twist that is followed up by some of Chloe’s greatest scenes in the show’s history. Then there was that Fire in the Sky scene where Chloe was strapped to a table and being put through tests. Freaky.

The next day Jimmy and Clark are talking. Jimmy is upset and says, “I’ve never met anyone like Chloe Sullivan, and I never will. You know what the pathetic part is? I was so worried about playing it cool I never got to tell her how I feel.” At that moment Chloe shows up, seemingly normal, and tells him he can tell her now. They inform her she was kidnapped, and she can’t understand why she was taken. Jimmy says it was probably to keep her quiet. This might be true, but since she’s still alive Chloe doubts it.

Clark asks Chloe to pull some files off the laptop Jimmy couldn’t break into. She does so pretty easily. They find a map that seems to be used to track other meteor freaks. There’s a green dot where Chloe is at that moment. Just then Jimmy comes running back in and says Daniel Kim was just hit by a car and killed. The green dot where he is turns read, then one by one the rest begin to turn red. Clark sends Jimmy away, and then Chloe confronts the issue of what’s happening.

“I’m some sort of meteor freak. Aren’t I?” Chloe asks her friend. Clark says that they don’t know for sure, but Chloe does. She’s been around meteor rocks more than anyone else, it is no stretch to believe she could be infected. As they watch the green dots turn to red, she asks Clark to X-ray her. He finds something beneath her collarbone. Desperately pleading she asks how accurate Clark’s heat vision is. When he says that they should get her to a hospital Chloe pleads with him. “I don’t want to die! Daniel Kim is dead, and those green dots are turning red one by one, and I will not be the next red dot!” she yells at her friend. Clark is still unable to hurt her, even if she wants him to. So, she grabs a knife and goes to dig whatever it is out herself. Clark stops her, and then bracing Chloe he uses his heat vision to burn a hole in her. He reaches in and pulls a GPS device out and crushes it. Her dot goes red, and she’s safe. Tobias is the last green dot.

Before we get to that, let’s take a look at the other side and see what happened in the Luthorverse. Dr. Bethany visits Lex to tell him Tobias is getting impatient about the surgery. So, we know for sure that Lex is behind this latest development.

Chloe admits to Lana that she believes Lex could be behind what’s happening, and also tells her about tobias. When Lana asks Lex about the kid, he denies knowing him. Lana visits Tobias, and asks him to stop what he’s doing. She offers to help him get the surgery. When he asks why she tells him, “Because you’re putting someone’s life at risk who saves people on a daily basis, and I can’t allow that.” She’s obviously talking about Clark, and she tells Tobias it’s OK to talk. She knows Clark is a meteor freak. Tobias lets her know that “Clark is the most normal guy I’ve ever met.” This is not the news Lana expected. Just after this Dr. Bethany shows up.

The doc tells Tobias they’re going to do the surgery, but neither of them believe the doctor. Dr. Bethany pulls out…well, I guess one of those toy light guns. I mean seriously, what was that thing? A super villain taser? In any case, Tobias turns the lights off and grabs a gun. Using his hearing he is able to shoot the doc, and when they scuffle the doc comes up with the taser and Lana has the gun. We have ourselves a genuine Mexican Standoff. Lana and Dr. Bethany shoot at the same time. Clark arrives at that moment and knocks the bullet away, then takes the taser to the chest, and gets out before anyone sees him. Lana finds the bullet in the cabinet behind where she was standing.

Outside she talks with Clark. When he says he can’t believe she thought he was a meteor freak she shows him the bullet. She knows something is up with him. The fact that she was trying to protect Clark’s secret, even though she doesn’t really know what it is, says a lot for her intentions. Clark might just be starting to see that.

For the first time in quite a while the best parts of a ‘Smallville’ episode didn’t involve Lex Luthor. Oh, he had some fantastic moments to be sure. But nothing like the interactions between Chloe and Clark. Even the scene at the end between Lana and Clark was well done. An episode like this is why, even when the show gets bogged down in tripe, I continue coming back week after week. Whether you love or hate Chloe, ‘Smallville’ delivered.

Steve West

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.