Zantanna. Some may say: “Clever!” Others may say: “Contrived!” I was always amused, thanks to a cast of actors having playful fun with — and finding the requisite poignancy in — a gonzo story about relationship jitters and wedding anxieties… even if I was left wanting to see the storytelling road not taken, suggested by Lois’ early line: “I thought I would be spending the entire night cuffed to a blow up doll while wearing a dog collar.” Woof! (?)Last week, Smallville managed a mash-up of Date Night and Seven to produce a creepy rom-com outing that riffed on the themes of identity, secret and otherwise. In last night’s episode, the superhero serial went Hollywood Vegas, blending everything from The Hangover to Casino to tell a story in which an awkwardly conjoined bachelor/bachelorette party for Clark and Lois went horribly awry thanks to a gift of magically roofied champagne provided by pranky witch (and sadly off-screen)
Instead, we got a lemur in a rhinestone-studded vest throwing rice at a spell-drunk Superman; a buttoned up Emil cutting loose by unleashing a winning Elvis impersonation (and getting sex tape randy with duet partner Tess); and the inspired choice of Justin Hartley dressed up as a casino showgirl/fan dancer, complete with skinny skirt and greasy stage make-up. The latter moment was part of a climactic set piece inspired the classic opening sequence of Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, with Lois scampering after her kicked-around engagement ring (“my sparkly little ball and chain”) amid a ballroom blitz of slapstick fisticuffs. (Fanboy FYI: The episode’s villain, Amos Fortune, is the latest bit of DC Comics mythology to be appropriated by Smallville.)
“Fortune” contained another cinematic allusion, this one more cloaked. Throughout the story, Runaway Bride lurked in the subtext like a threat. It’s not that Lois doesn’t know if she loves Clark — she does. But being a proudly unconventional gal makes it kinda hard to connect emotionally to certain wedding rituals. Even more, we learned that being The Bride of Superman is theoretically daunting. Lois feels like chaos incarnate; what exactly does she have to offer the “walking perfection” that is Clark Kent? I loved how Lois described herself as a “wacky worldview”; she’s still getting used to the idea that someone — anyone — can be madly in love with her and want to make a life with her. I dare say — if she could take a few steps outside her charming solipsism — that the alien immigrant who wants to marry her, the orphaned stranger in a strange land, may feel exactly the same way. At episode’s end, Clark assured his true love that she can take all the time she needs — days or months or years — to grow into the idea of being his wife; he ain’t going anywhere. Does this mean Smallville may not be ending with a Super-wedding after all? TBD.
We got another, more literal Runaway Bride reference in the form of Chloe, who seems to be always leaving town. Making peace with her recent travails that have put her own sense of identity and purpose in flux, Chloe decided to take a job at the Star City Register, portending another break from her friends as well as her boyfriend. (She’ll also continue scouting the world for new heroes. Are we to believe from her cryptic comments she’s already got a bead on Wonder Woman?) But then Oliver caught her as she was trying to sneak away and revealed the episode’s big twist: She hadn’t married Clark during the previous night’s enchanted shenanigans — she had married him. There was no way he was letting her scoot without her husband. Did “Fortune” really represent Allison Mack’s final appearance on Smallville? That’s the buzz — but I bet we’ll see her again. I think she deserves a slightly better send off. Regardless, her stroll-away into the moonlight with the Green Arrow made for a sweet ending to this particular, peculiar sweetly silly episode — but I think they should make the most of their honeymoon while they can. I’m sure that hidden dark mark branded on Oliver’s forehead is going to make a mess of their happily ever after before Smallville comes to a close.
BTW: Loved the bit where hungover Clark careened off that wall while running at super-speed. Now we know what happens when Superman drives drunk.
Did you find favor with “Fortune”?