Smallville (Season 1, Ep 18): Drone

Welcome to Smallville. I am doing an episode-by-episode watch, recap, and reaction and blogging about it here. There will be no spoilers for the series beyond the current episode. You can find my prior recaps HERE.

For those of you that don’t want to read the long plot recap, I provide a quick episode summary here at the top. You can read that and just scroll down to the “REACTION” heading below.

THE QUICK AND CLEAN SUMMARY:

Smallville High School is having class elections. After one candidate, Paul, is attacked by a swarm of bees in his bathroom at home, Pete nominates Clark to replace him on the ticket. After extreme initial reluctance, Clark embraces the idea when his parents and Lana both support it. Chloe, on the other hand, uses The Torch to endorse Paul who she says is the most qualified and who will be able to serve when he recovers form the attack.

Meanwhile, a second candidate is attacked by bees and Clark realizes that Sasha, another one of his opponents, is behind it. After a confrontation, and a couple of instances wherein Clark is able to overcome the bee swarm, the bees turn on Sasha and Clark has to save her from them. He succeeds. Ultimately, though, Paul, not Clark, wins the election.

THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP:

The episode starts by following a bee around the Smallville High School campus until it stops by Chloe interviewing a girl named Sasha. Chloe asks her to say something Presidential and Sasha replies to her that the election has not even started yet.

After Sasha goes, Chloe asks Pete to evaluate the candidates. He says Sasha know the most about student government, worked her way up, and is on a lot of committees, but he says she is more of a worker than a leader. When asked about Paul, Pete says he is the most qualified but that elections are not about qualifications, they are about popularity. The last candidate, Felice, is the school’s head cheerleader and is the President of the Drama Club. He decides that gives her the edge – in addition to the fact she is, he says, really hot.

A moment later, Felice approaches Chloe and berates her for taking Sasha’s pictures but not hers. Chloe tells her she plans to run pictures and bios of every candidate. By this time Paul has approached and asks her who she will endorse in the school’s editorial noting that she can only choose one candidate.

Felice: Who cares! No matter what she says, people are going to vote for me.
Chloe: Never underestimate the need of the clinically ambitious to pad their resumes.

Paul laughs at this but Felice warns Paul that if he wants to avoid the pain and humiliation of losing that he should drop out now.

Sometime later, in his home, Paul is washing his face. As the camera pans around the room, we see bees quietly lurking on towels and his mirror. Abruptly one of them stings him. He kills the bee but while he is treating the sting, he hears more buzzing. He looks over at his bathroom’s sink drain and peers down into it. A swarm of bees flies up out of the drain hole and attacks him. He screams.

♫Somebody saaaaaaavvee meeeee♫

At school the next day, Pete reads the school paper’s headline and tells Clark that this is his all time worst nightmare. He says he swells up like a grapefruit if he is stung by one bee, let alone over one hundred. Clark wonders aloud how they got into his bathroom and Chloe chimes in that the Center for Environmental Protection, based in Metropolis, is sending out a team to investigate. Pete says that this will shake up the class election. Chloe points out that Paul will still be on the ballot and that he will be able to return by next fall, but Pete tells her that if he is out of sight, he is out of mind, and he will not get the votes.

Clark: It’s nice to see the softer side of Pete.

Pete tells Clark that there is a new candidate on the horizon that he thinks will makes things interesting. As they turn a corner in the school hallway, they see a banner that says “Clark Kent For President” across the hallway. Clark, shaken, asks Pete what he has done.

Pete: I see a big future ahead of you in politics, Clark. You’re straight-forward, people like you…
Clark: Uh-uh, definitely not.
Pete: Clark, you’ve got the whole package. Looks, brains, and that whole farm-boy charm.

Pete asks Clark if he realizes the perks of this job and Clark retorts that if it is such a great job, why he did not run for President. Pete tells Clark that he knows his own strengths and likens himself to a power behind the throne figure. Clark looks deeply uneasy but Pete responds to this by starting a chant of Clark’s name in the school hallway – a chant which is taken up by a lot of people.

Lex, while driving way too fast down a road outside of Smallville, spots an attractive woman working on the engine of her apparently stalled out red Mustang. He stops and says that it looks like she could use some help. He calls his personal mechanic, Hans, and tells the man to meet him at this spot to work on a red Mustang. She tells him that she is not interested in his attempts at post-modern chivalry. Lex notices her Dolce & Gabbana in the car, in addition to her vocabulary, and says she has Metropolis written all over her and asks what brings her to Smallville.

Woman: You’re the sheriff come to run me out of town?
Lex: Did the attitude come with the couture or was it an accessory?

She tells Lex that if he must know, she is thinking of moving here, but then points out Lex does not look like a local, either. He admits he has lived in Smallville since last fall, and though he wanted to get away initially, he says the place is growing on him now. She asks if the Norman Rockwell ambiance is growing on him and he replies obliquely that appearances are deceptive and that nothing in this town is what it seems. She tells him that she is intrigued and asks what he means. Just then he tells her that she asks a lot of questions and that their encounter is beginning to feel like an interview. He then reaches into her car and turns the key in the ignition. Her car starts. Lex asks her who she works for and she plays dumb. Lex then threatens to throw her keys into the woods and she admits that her name is Carrie Castle and that she works for the Metropolis Journal.

Lex storms away from her and explains that he has spent his life taking back entrances to places in order to avoid people like her. She yells for him to wait and says she wants to write an article about him. He asks if that is her whole pitch and tells her articles are written about him all the time. She tells him the articles written about him are almost exclusively negative, focusing on his party boy image or articles characterizing him as the spoiled son of Lionel Luthor. She notes that she is aware of him getting recent positive press in the Inquisitor but says that the Metropolis Journal is not a tabloid and a feature profile could help to change his image.

Lex asks her what she has in mind and she offers him a cover profile on Lex and his work in Smallville, and she promises him that it will be both fair and accurate. She says this will help Lex get out of his father’s shadow and Lex replies that this offer is one that launches his career and hers for writing the piece. Lex tells her that he admires the effort on her part but says he has to decline. As he gets in his car he tells her that she gets points for style.

At the school, as Clark walks with Chloe, Sasha confronts Clark and berates him for running for office pointing out that he has never shown interest in student government before. Clark tells her that it is a gag and that Pete nominated him. Still worried, she asks Clark to confirm that he will take his name off of the ballot.

Sasha: Well, good, because this election is way too important to turn into a joke.

Relieved at the news from Clark, Sasha says that this is all bad enough with Felice in it. Chloe tells her that she has heard Felice is throwing a party with a band and catering. Sasha is once again livid and shouts that Felice is trying to buy this election like one of her Prada bags. After she storms off, Chloe comments on how tightly wound she is. Clark asks Chloe if she thinks he could win if he did run.

Chloe: Yeah! Right after I’m elected head cheerleader.

At home, Martha sees a poster of Clark Kent for President and seems happy about it. To Clark’s surprise, his dad is also supportive of the idea that he might run. Jonathan points out that Clark is always complaining about football being off limits and suggests that this might be a way place he can shine instead. Clark tells both of his parents that he thought they would object due to the public nature of being in office but Martha reminds him that he does not need to use his gifts in this role.

Jonathan notes that Clark looks like he wanted them to tell him no. Clark responds that he has never put himself out there and that he has always tried to stay out of the spotlight. Martha is telling him that no one will make him run and Jonathan adds that he can quit if he wants.

Jonathan: But just remember, quitting is a very hard habit to break.
Clark: No pressure.

Clark visits Lana in The Talon. He tries to comment delicately on the fact the place has no customers, but Lana takes up the comment and states it overtly, describing her business as empty, vacant, and deserted. Clark says he was searching for a euphemism to say as much before agreeing. Lana explains that The Beanery has been trying to put her out of business ever since The Talon opened. She says she has tried everything and that so far nothing has worked. Clark asks if she has spoken to Lex, pointing out that he is an investor and suggesting he might help, and Lana tells Clark that he has been uncharacteristically silent before saying that either way, this is her fight to win or lose and that she is determined to win.

Lana changes the subject to Clark’s own battle for Class President. Clark tells her that he is not really running and Lana replies that his not running is too bad and that she thinks he would make a great President.

Lana: You’re honest, people trust you, and you have this innate sense of justice. I can see it on your face how upset it makes you every time you think someone’s being mistreated.

Clark expresses surprise that Lana sees all of that in him but she tells him that she does.

Clark next visits Lex at his mansion. As he walks in, Lex says “Clark Kent for President” aloud, causing Clark to ask him how he knows about that. Lex shows him one of Pete’s campaign fliers and tells him that he found it on his windshield this morning. Clark apologizes saying that he has an over-zealous campaign manager. Lex says he did not know about Clark’s political aspirations and Clark says he does not, but that he thinks he can make a difference. Lex asks if Clark came by for a campaign contribution and Clark asks if he is aware of the situation at The Talon. Lex confirms that he knows the place has been practically empty for the last two weeks. Clark asks if he is going to help and that Lana is trying everything. Lex tells him that she is doing an admirable job but that he will not subsidize a money-losing operation.

Clark: Well, you could at least stop by and show some solidarity.
Lex: See? You’re already working for your constituents.

Lex tells Clark that he should change his slogan and points out that everyone has used it, including himself. Clark is surprised that Lex once ran for student government and Lex tells him he did once and that his aspirations were not very noble.

Clark: Did you win?
Lex: Of course.
Clark: Any tips?
Lex: You don’t need my methods. You’ll win on your own terms.

Clark tells Lex that the competition is pretty stiff and Lex replies that there is nothing wrong with a good fight. He adds that the man of tomorrow is forged by his battles today. Clark pause and asks if he can use “The Man of Tomorrow” as his slogan and Lex tells Clark to knock himself out.

The next day Chloe sees a school filled with Clark Kent signs using his new slogan. She asks if the slogan is presumptuous but he tells her firmly that he likes it. She says she thought he was dropping out but Clark tells her that he had a change of heart. Just then Lana walks by and says that his slogan is catchy. As Chloe rolls her eyes, Clark tells her thank you and thank you also for the encouragement. A smiling Lana tells him that he has her vote. Clark asks if he can have his election rally at The Talon and Lana says that sounds great.

Once Lana leaves, Chloe accuses Clark of running because of Lana and asks herself aloud why she is not surprised. Clark corrects her and says he is running because he thinks he can do a good job. Chloe blows this off and says “whatever” and an annoyed Clark asks her why Pete and Lana both have faith in him but she does not. Chloe says that she just wants to know what he stands for.

Clark: I stand for truth, justice, and… other stuff.
Chloe: Okay, well, you wanna be a little more specific?

He asks her what issues she wants to discuss and she runs through a litany of things at a rapid speed, causing Clark to tell her to slow down as he just decided to run last night. Chloe tells him that she thinks the Man of Tomorrow needs a platform for today. She leaves and Pete arrives with a list of places Clark needs to be for vote-courting. Clark asks him about his platform and Pete tells him that it does not matter. Clark insists and asks what Clark will talk about in his speech and Pete tells him he does not do speeches, he does meet-and-greets.

As Pete and Clark go down the hall, Sasha pulls one of Clark’s posters from the wall and stares at him knowingly as he goes. We next see her sometime later entering a wooden building wherein we hear a familiar sound of bees buzzing. She puts Clark’s poster on the wall inside next to Felice’s campaign poster and as the buzzing gets louder, she asks herself who they think they are (referring to Felice and Clark.) The buzzing gets louder until she shouts at the bees to stop. They grow silent after she does. She tells the bees that she has work to do, causing them to swarm into the shape of her face. She smiles at them for doing this.

Sometime later, Clark comes into Chloe’s office at The Torch and asks if she wants to help him hang posters. He explains that Pete believes if Clark’s name covers enough wall space that he is guaranteed to win. She reminds Clark that she needs to remain an impartial member of the fourth estate and that she is still working on her bee story. Clark asks if she has learned anything new, leading her to share that the agency found that the bees in the attack did not migrate from any of the usual places. She adds that beekeepers from all of the state are reporting that their hives have become inexplicably empty.

Chloe asks how his platform is going and Clark replies that he has been too busy meeting people to work on it yet. He adds proudly that he has even been invited to parties for this coming weekend. Chloe jokes that Clark has been corrupted by the lure of popularity in one day. He jokes in return that she should remind him to pull her funding after he is elected. Clark then asks Chloe about the next addition of The Torch and goes to pick up her paper copy, over her stringent protests that it is not ready. When he picks it up, though, he sees that Chloe has written an endorsement for Paul – the student who was stunt by bees. Clark, jilted, cannot believe she endorsed Paul. She replies that it’s great that he is gung-ho now but reminds him that the only reason he ran is because Pete suckered him into it.

Chloe: Paul has a clear stance on issues you have yet to articulate.

She tells him it is nothing personal but Clark clearly takes it personally and leaves her office.

Later, Pete and Clark stop by The Talon for a campaign rally. Pete tells Lana that he is here for The Talon’s two-for-one deal, causing Lana to joke that this is probably the last step before she introduces topless waitresses. Pete smiles and tells her he hopes the two-for-one deal fails miserably. After the awkward joke, Pete walks away leaving Lana to talk with Clark. He comments on how busy the place is, and she tells him it is just people here for his campaign. Clark admits that he saw how busy The Beanery was on his way over. Lana then tells him that the owner of The Beanery stopped by The Talon this morning and told her it is his mission to run The Talon into the ground.

Lana: Then he had the nerve to tell me that it wasn’t personal, just business.
Clark: Why does everyone over forty quote The Godfather?
Lana: I don’t know but it’s really annoying.

Lana asks him how political life is going and Clark tells her it is a chanllenge but that it shows him who his true friends are. She asks about his speech and he admits he has not started writing it yet. Lana offers to help him and invites him to come by tomorrow night so that they can work on it. Clark tells her that would be great but asks if she has enough time. Lana invites Clark to look around. She says that unless Whitney can coerce the baseball team into coming by, she thinks she can squeeze Clark in.

Just then Lex walks in and sarcastically announces to Lana and Clark that it looks like business is booming. She tells him that it is difficult when even her usual customers blow her off. Lex replies that he is not blowing her off and that he has had his eye on the situation. Lana says he is waiting for her to fail. He tells her that most new ventures do not make it, and that one must prepare himself for that possibility. Clark says he thought Lex did not like to lose and Lex says he does not, but that this is not his fight. He tells Lana that The Beanery has declared war and thus she needs to get creative and to be ready to get her hands dirty if necessary.

Lex: Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting anything illegal. To quote The Godfather, it’s time to go to the mattresses.

Lana mutters that the move should be banned from basic cable and walks away. A confused Lex looks at Clark who tells him not to ask.

At school, Sasha approaches Felice and tells her that she needs to drop out. Felice reminds Sasha that she is the frontrunner and Sasha replies that the reason is these drones would not know a qualified candidate if they saw one. She tells Felice that the school is like a hive with two queens and that if she knew anything about nature she would realize that one queen always goes down. Felice tells Sasha that she is a freak. Sasha tells her to have it her way and then reminds her that she did ask nicely.

Lex is getting a message and tells Gabby that she is the best part of his day. When he is told thank you, he realizes that his masseuse is not Gabby. He rolls over and tells Carrie Castle, the reporter he met earlier, that now would be a good time for her to leave. She asks if people always do what he says and she adds that she thought he said he appreciated persistence. She resumes the back massage and asks if she is not doing a good job. Lex lies back down and replies “lucky for you.” As she gives him a massage, she says that she realized that it is not his picture in the paper that Lex wants, so much as it is the caption of “son outshines father.”

Lex: Let me guess, your editor promised you your own column if you land me.
Carrie: So you can imagine how appreciative I would be.

She asks him again how she is doing and he tells her he appreciates persistence. Smiling, she stops the massage and tells him that he won’t regret this. Lex tells her that he paid for an hour.

At the school, Principal Kwon pulls up behind Felice’s car, which is stopped with the music inside blaring. He honks and gets no reply, so he exists his car to see why. When he opens the door to her car, after she does not answer, he finds her body covered by a swarm of bees. Her body falls out of the car and onto the pavement as he backs away overcome with horror.

Inside, Clark is handing out fliers. He sits down next to Pete and tells him that he thought meeting people would be the worst part but now he thinks it is fun. Pete tells Clark that he is glad he feels that way because a lunchtime poll he conducted indicates that Clark has a shot to win. Chloe walks over to the two of them and says hi. Pete advises Clark to answer “no comment” so that she cannot misquote him.

After an awkward silence, Clark asks her if she heard about Felice. Chloe says yes and that Felice was stung way worse than Paul and is in a coma. Pete says that it is a pretty freaky coincidence that two candidates were attacked by bees in one week. Clark says that they are way post coincidence and reminds them that last year Sasha was stung by a whole hive of bees. Chloe asks if Clark things that she is somehow controlling them and Clark shrugs in a way that says yes. The bell rings so Clark stands up and tells her it’s a theory. Skeptically Chloe says it is a theory by several leaps and bounds but that she will look into it. She then warns Clark to watch his back in the meantime.

Later, Sasha finds Clark by his locker and says she just heard about Felice. Clark tells her it is weird and she says sometimes things just happen for a reason.

Sasha: She didn’t care about this election as much as me.
Clark: She wasn’t my favorite person but no one deserves that.
Sasha: Well, the god news is that you don’t have to run anymore. With Felice out of the picture, the best thing you can do is let me run things.

Sasha levels with Clark and tells him that she really needs this, adding that her parents are riding her to win under a belief that if she does not win she will not get into a good college. She tells Clark forcefully that he has other activities but that this is her thing. Clark replies that he has his own reasons for seeing things through. She tells him that he is making a mistake and Clark asks if she is threatening him. He tells her that it is interesting that two candidates in this election were attacked by a swarm of bees and he asks her if she has any knowledge of how that might have happened. She asks if he is accusing her of it and he replies that he finds the circumstances interesting and that his thoughts are that someone is behind it.

Clark meets with Lana later. He tells her that nothing he writes sounds presidential enough. She advises him not to sound presidential but to instead just say what he believes. Clark telsl her that in that hcase he still has a lot of work to do. Lana replies that he does not have as much work to do as she has with The Talon. Clark sympathetically telsl her that despite how badly thing are going that he likes what she has done with the place. SHe tells him that the coffee bar was just a part of her vision – she says she wanted to also restore the old theater and show old movies in it.

Clark: Just not The Godfather?

Lana laughs and tells Clark that he has to get back to the speech. She says he has to decide what he believes in. He tells her that he believes in his friends and their dreams. Just then they hear a strange sound. Clark starts looking around at the various places from which it is emanating and then realizes it is a bee attack. He runs Lana to a door and hides her behind it before leading the swarm away after him toward The Talon’s freezer. From there, he breaks a pipe and sprays something on the bees, and everything else in the room, that instantly freezes them. Even Clark’s hand is frozen by whatever it is that he did.

On Lana’s front porch, she expresses disbelief that Clark did not get stung. He guesses to her that he must have tough skin. She tells Clark in turn that she is fine and that the insurance forms will hurt worse than her stings. Just then, Nell drives up. Clark tells Lana, jokingly, that he had a really nice time tonight and Lana agrees laughing that they should do this more often. Lana apologizes that they did not get farther on Clark’s speech and he tells her that this is the least of their worries and that he needs to fidn Sasha. She asks him if he thinks she has something to do with it and Clark tells her firmly thathe does, but that he does not know how she is controlling the bees.

Lana suggests to Clark that he needs to talk to Chloe. He repies thathe and Chloe are not really talking and he asks if she can believe that Chloe did not endorse him. Lana reluctantly admits that in Chloe’s position, she probably would have done the same thing, and she suggests Chloe is just trying to be objective.

Clark: Yeah, but still…
Lana: Clark, you said you believed in your friends. She only did what she thought was right.

Clark goes to Sasha’s house and sneaks into her wooden bee home outside. He is startled by Chloe sneaking up on him. She tells Clark that Lana told her about what happened and she says he could have called her himself to tell her. Clark stumbles through telling Chloe that he does not hold the endorsement against her and Chloe thanks him before admitting that she could have warned him first. They tell each other that they do no tliek fighting with each other Clark then tells her that everythign in his life over the last year has changed – things with his parents, and Lana, but he then tells her that his one constant has been her.

Chloe tells Clark what she knows about Sasha’s accident from the year before. She has learned that it happend in the deepest meteor crater in Smallville. They decide that the bees did something to make Sasha their queen when they stung her. Chloe then tells Clark that bees are only loyal to their queen, to a point, and that if she loses control over her hive they will turn on her.

Lex meets with Carrie Castle to discuss her article on him. She is surprised to learn that Lex has managed to obtain a rough draft of her work. He tells her that this is hardly the flattering piece she promised and in turn she tells him that it is fair and accurate.

Lex: You twisted everything I said.
Carrie: My journalism professor says “If you wanna bring down Goliath, you better know his Achilles heel.” Yours is your ego.
Lex: I see they like to mix metaphors at East Tennessee Community College.
Carrie: Am I supposed to be scared because you ran a background check on me? I have nothing to hide.
Lex: How much did my father pay you?

She tells him he really is paranoid and he asks why else she would do this. She tells Lex that she plans on making a name for herself as a hard-hitting journalist and Lex is a very visible target. He asks what it will take to make the article go away and she tells him that unlike his whore at teh Inquisitor, she is not for sale. Lex is visibly angry as she gets up but she smiles at him, thanks him, an dleaves.

Sasha meets with Clark at his barn. He tells her that he is dropping out of the race but again accuses her of orchestrating the bee attacks. She becomes upset with him for this and seems to concentrate on something. He asks where she is sending the bees and Sasha tells him that he might be thick-skinned by she wants to see about his mother.

We see Martha out in a field driving a large piece of equipment. She sees the swarm of bees form a distance, gets down to the ground, and begins to run. Just as the swarm is about to get to martha, Clark speeds to her, gras her, and runs at super-speed with her to their storm shelter. Martha is shaken up but is fine. She wonders where the bees are going next and Clark looks alarmed.

We see Sasha return to her bee barn and she is shocked to see Clark waiting for her there, inside. She asks how he got there and about his mom and Clark tells her it is over. She tells Clark that she has a speech to give and that he knows what will happen to the people in the audience if she does not win. Clark warns her that winning is not worth it at the price of hurting other people. She tells him that she has to win and that there are two kids of people in this world – leaders and followers. WHiel they talk, we hear the swarm approach from outside. Clark tells her to stop the bees and she looks confused and tells him that she did not tell them to come back. The bees begin to sting Sasha. She pleads with Clark not to let them kill her. Clark looks around the bee barn and finds stacked tanks of propane. He throws a metal tool at the tanks, covers Sasha with his own body, and then the be barn explodes with the two humans and the thousands of bees all inside. A few moments later, Clark pulls an unconscious but alive Sasha up from under himself and says he needs to take her to a hospital.

Some time later, we find out that Paul won the class election. Pete cannot believe that both Felice and Sasha both dropped out and that Clark still lost. Clark cheers him up by reminding him that they had a good campaign and had fun. Chloe shows up taking pictures. Pete tells her not to gloat just because her guy won and they lost. She says that she is taking pictures of Paul’s victory party since he cannot attend himself. Chloe then tells Clark that she is proud of him for demonstrating victory in the face of defeat – a quality she says that all great leaders possess.

Lex enters The Talon, where the victory party is happening, and tells Lana that she has a nice crowd. Lana replies that he can expect more crowds like this going forward. When he asks how she can be so sure, Lana tells him that she went to the mattresses. She tells Lex to check out page three of the Ledger tomorrow. When he asks for a preview, Lana tells him that apparently a rival coffee house has had several health code violations that they have been trying to cover up. Lex looks extremely impressed. He asks how she heard about that and Lana explains that a vender told her and that from there she had a reporter friend of Chloe’s look into it.

Lana leaves to serve coffee and Clark finds Lex. Lex tells him that he’s sorry about the election and Clark replies that his father says you learn more about yourself when you lose. Lex asks what he learned and Clark tells him that he is not destined to be a politician. Clarm smiles and says you need two personalities. Lex assures him that you do not need to be a politician to change the world. Clark asks Lex if he ever thought about getting into politics and Lex answers by saying that someday he would like to be President.

Clark: In that case, you can have your slogan back.
Lex: It’s okay. You can keep it.

Later, Lex meets with Carrie Castle. She asks if she can record their conversation for both of their protection and Lex says that he does not care. He admits to her that he is impressed and that few people catch him with his guard down. She asks if he lpans to blackmail her into not running her story and he tells her in turn that he would not dream of having her change a workd . Then he mentions to her that there is an opening at her paper for a managing editor. She replies that if there was an opening, she would know about it. Lex telsl her smugly that they do not know the same people.

Lex explains that she can now choose between running her article as is or sitting in a corner office. When she asks what the catch is, he explains that there is none, except that now if someone ever tries to blackmail her, she will have something to hide. She shakes her head and says she does not know if he is better or worse than his father. Lex asks her what she will tell his father when she reports that she is killing the negative article on him. She replies that she will tell Lionel she got an offer she couldn’t refuse. They then shake hands.

Lana finds Clark in his barn and asks if he is packing up campaign headquarters. As Clark pulls down his campaign posters he smiles and tells her it’s back now to being just a barn. She apologizes or not talking to him at the party but says it was packed. He tells her the place looks better that way. She confesses to Clark that she cannot decide how she feels about what she did to The Beanery. She says she kind of liked beign underhanded. Clark jokes about her being seduced by the dark side. He then tells her not to worry about it as everyone gets caught up in things sometimes. He says he got so caught up in the popularity thing that he almost forgot why he was running. She asks if he ever finished his speech and he says he did, not that anyone will ever hear it. Lana asks to listen to it. When he is clearly hesitant, she starts clapping and chanting “speech, speech, speech, speech.”

Clark starts giving his speech as the camera pans away from the barn loft and the music in the background gets louder.

REACTION:

Smallville leans back in on the horror genre and it’s… okay. The writers were trying to draw some parallels between societal expectations and the expectations of the bee hive and its queen, but it just did not land for me. In a lot of these episodes, there is some detective work done on screen to figure out who the baddie is, but in this episode Clark just kind of figures it out on his own, intuitively, and the explanation only follows later. To be fair, though, the culprit is pretty obvious given the circumstances of the attacks.

Unfortunately for the episode, Sasha does not really become interesting until the bees turn on her. It was at that point – and only that point – that I wanted to know more about her, how she would handle life going forward, if her parents were as hard on her as she thinks they are, etc.

I think the episode needed to spend more time fleshing out Sasha’s background, making her an actual human that controls bees (instead of a queen bee that kind of becomes human as the episode ends.)

I did enjoy Clark’s realization that he likes people and that he likes leadership. This is important considering who he grows into. I also enjoyed that his parents pushed him into the role, too. They were eager to give him some place where he could shine -which just adds to the Kent family charm. Superman is who he is because of how great his parents are and little things like this help to make that background feel real. I also enjoyed Pete in this episode. He works really well as the Clark Kent cheerleader who benefits personally from that cheerleading. Here he knows Clark better than Clark knows himself – which is rare and demonstrates some of that long-standing friendship we are told about but never actually see on screen. This is the best utilization of Pete in the entire series so far. It’s too bad that it took 18 episodes to pull that off.

Clark’s relationship with Chloe is grating. The episode spent a lot of time justifying her decision to endorse Paul when that was not the actual grievance. Clark even had to apologize over this. The actual grievance was not telling Clark about the editorial, first, and giving him a chance to address with her any campaign concerns before she went to print with them. Chloe’s actions would have been much more sympathetic if Clark had blown off a platform deadline or something. He didn’t. As a result, the episode tells us that Clark had to learn a lesson where I think he didn’t. The real lesson should have been learned by Chloe. She only off-handedly says at the end that she could have given him a heads up.

The Lex/Carrie Castle subplot was just okay. It’s usually fun to watch Lex outmaneuver someone (especially when that someone is a person being used by his dad as a proxy.) The story with her just felt a little rushed. He just won this chess match too quickly.

Episode Highlights:

  1. The relentless mocking / reverent quoting of The Godfather throughout the episode. It was hard to tell where the writers actually come down on the movie by the end. Do they love it? Were they speaking through Lana whenshe complained about ow over-quoted he movie is? I don’t know.
  2. Lex’s “East Tennessee Community College” diss of Carrie Castle. If you’re going to have a character who quotes Greek and Roman writers, he should definitely call out someone for mixing metaphors and for where she attended school. It was very on brand for Lex and was legitimately funny.
  3. The Man of Tomorrow. I enjoyed the Lex line from which the slogan derived and that Clark grabbed onto it so firmly. You could probably guess but “The Man of Tomorrow” was also the name of a Superman comic that ran in the 1990s.

2 thoughts on “Smallville (Season 1, Ep 18): Drone

  1. Episodes like this were what gave me hope for Pete as a character. Everything gelled just right and I know I thought to myself, “writers, use this as a template”. Sadly, as we’ve discussed in earlier posts, Pete just wasn’t used well overall.

    Just think, only 3 more episodes to go! You can do it….

    1. Indeed! If the show could just stay on formula, and if it could avoid overdosing on the badly written relationship drama, I could keep going. But as I know that this will not happen, a break is in order at the end of the season.

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