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'Smallville' returns: Welcome to the matrix!

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Tom_Welling

Image Credit: Jack Rowand/The CWAfter an almost two-month wait — one that got even longer when The CW suddenly decided to push the show’s return by yet another week — Smallville finally returned last night. Its midseason debut, “Collateral,” saw our heroes stuck in government-induced comas, hooked up to an evil mainframe computer that tricked them into believing a constructed virtual reality was the real world. Hm… sounds familiar, somehow.

The real draw of the episode, though, was Chloe’s triumphant return to Metropolis. Anyone who feared that Clark’s oldest friend had somehow turned evil offscreen can now breathe a sigh of relief — after an ambiguous beginning, “Collateral” eventually revealed that Chloe’s still on the side of good, and that she’s even managed to strong-arm Rick Flagg and Deadshot into working for her. She worked tirelessly and, ultimately, successfully to free her super friends from The Matrix — I mean, from the VRA’s diabolical computer world — and also managed to have some fun along the way. (After being surrounded by people with superpowers for ten years and having, then losing, her own enhanced abilities, Chloe must have enjoyed phasing through walls and stopping flying knives in their tracks… even if she was only doing it in a made-up reality.)

Getting Clark to trust her proved to be Chloe’s greatest challenge. Tom Welling really sold his character’s uncertainty, and Allison Mack matched him take for take — even when she was playing a Chloe avatar that had been hijacked by one of Trotter’s men. If a virtual Lois hadn’t also been in The Un-Matrix, Clark may never have been able to take a leap of faith and escape back into the real world. But luckily, Lois was there to guide him — and we were treated to a tweaked version of an iconic Superman moment when he picked his fianceé up and flew her around the Daily Planet building. Does this mean that Clark might finally master his comic ancestor ‘s most famous power?

What did you think, PopWatchers — was the wait worth it? Were you satisfied with Chloe’s homecoming and her reunions with Clark and Oliver? And do you also think it’s weird that apparently, nobody in the Smallville universe has seen any of the Matrix movies?

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