The Regularly Scheduled TV Show Blog

Friday, October 14, 2005

Alias 5.03, Smallville 5.03: A Repeat of The Past and The Return of The Super.

Alias adds the final new cast member to the show and Smallville ends the terrible reign of normal.

This week's episode of Alias brings the last new cast member of the three new cast members into the show. A female techie for the bad guys who thought she was working for the CIA with an off-the-books section of the CIA. Sounds familiar? I guess the baddies are still using that line to get their work force for cheap by selling itself as the CIA. Our female techie is Rachel Gibson (Rachel Nichols) a twin in recruitment like Sydney and Marshall, both lied to in the same way as her, which translates into a natural kinship between the three.

The episode starts off with a robbery of a nerve toxin, Substance-33, from a laboratory within a household in Istanbul. This video is shown back at APO by Marshall to the team, which includes the new replacement for Vaughn, Thomas Grace (Balthazar Getty), and identifies the women in the crime as an associate of Gordon Dean, the person responsible for killing Vaughn. Jack assigns the case to Sydney, Tom, and Marshall to track her down in Prague and locate both the toxin and Gordon Dean. Sydney goes off on a temper tantrum, must be because she's pregnant, about having to work with the new guy instead of someone she trusts, Dixon. Jack informs her that Dixon has already been assigned with Sloane to meet with a contact about a possible cure for Nadia, Sloane's daughter and Sydney's half-sister. By the way, does the CIA really let pregnant women out on the field? I just don't see that happening, or perhaps it's so improbable it actually helps because no one expects a pregnant woman to be a spy?

Dixon and Sloane discuss the meeting with an old Sloane friend, Dolzhenko, about a possible cure for Nadia at the cost of $300,000. In Russia, Sloane convinces Dixon to let him meet Dolzhenko alone per his instructions. Sloane uses the "what if it were your daughter" card and gets Dixon to agree. At the meeting, Dolzhenko double crosses Sloane, not for greed but for revenge. Dolzhenko tells Sloane that his daughter was at the city that was stricken with illness and that Sloane was the reason his daughter was dead. He points the gun at Sloane, but Sloane using his old Hannibal Lector style intelligence convinces Dolzhenko not to make himself a murderer as a legacy to his daughter. Sloane is saved, but still with no cure, as there was none in the first place.

Once in Prague, Marshall tracks down the hacker of the security system in the theft to a cafe. Sydney enters the cafe with a tracker that is hidden in the back of a mint box. She approaches the man she thinks is the hacker, until Marshall tells her that someone else in the cafe is piggy backing off his computer's signal and that the signal is fading. Sydney sees a blonde woman, Rachel Gibson, leaving the cafe and points it out to Marshall and Tom in the car. Tom chases her down and crashes into her car, capturing her. The team interrogates Rachel, when Tom stops her from trying to push a button on her watch, a transmitter that is supposed to signal for help. Rachel says that she is a CIA agent and passes a lie detector test to verify this. What she is saying is the truth, but a truth only relative to her. She is, just like Sydney and Marshall once were, a fake CIA agent lied to in order to get her to work for a criminal organization. Marshall confirms this by tracing the signal that the watch would have made not back to the CIA headquarters in Langley, but to Gordon Dean's headquarters in Prague, right around the corner of their hotel.

In order to obtain information about Substance-33 and Gordon Dean's organization, they ask Rachel to go in covertly and gain access to Gordon Dean's personal computer. Rachel gets the encryption key for Dean's computer and leaves to hand it off to Sydney, when Peyton, the women who stole Substance-33 at the start of the show, joins her in the elevator to go grab a smoke and coffee. Rachel and Sydney do a brush pass of the encryption key, with Tom distracting Peyton. Rachel goes back into the office to open up remote access to Marshall, but Peyton watching Rachel's nervous behavior goes to talk to Gordon about it. Dean notices the file transfer and tells Peyton to execute Plan B and to meet him in the parking lot. Peyton sets off a delayed EMP and activates a timer to a bomb and leaves. Rachel knows something is wrong and begins to leave the floor when the bomb explodes. The floor is decimated, but Rachel survives the explosion only being knocked out by the debris.

A solid episode, but with no new information about the guy in the box that came back to life. Something that I was really hoping would be elaborated upon, but I guess adding a new face to the cast isn't that bad. I still don't know how the show will work with two techies at work for APO, unless they are planning Rachel's stay to not be a long one, or that Marshall is soon to go the way of the Dodo bird. We'll find out more next week, I hope, but I can already see a Tom + Rachel relationship in the planning. If it is anything like Alias style relationships nothing will happen for an entire season and everything in one episode, right before one of them dies/disappears.

This week's episode of Smallville ends the reign of the mortal man of Clark Kent, all two weeks of it, and returns the Super back into Superman. The episode starts off with Chloe and her car packed with all her things on her way to college life when she receives a call from Gabriel, a friend from high school who worked with her on the Torch, the high school newspaper. Gabriel tells Chloe that in one hour she's going to get the biggest story of her career as he is sending a missile to blow up Smallville and that she should get out of town. Yes, he apparently broke into one of the many missile silos in Smallville and hacked the outdated missile system to give him control of the missile, which he is going to launch at Smallville, but is giving the only person he cares about, Chloe, a one hour buffer to get out of town. Sounds like a comic book to me. Good job, Smallville.

Chloe heads to the Kent farm to elicit help from the mortal Clark on the situation. They both know it would be impossible to search all the missile silos in an hour, especially with a mortal Clark Kent, and instead attempt to trick Gabriel. Chloe calls Gabriel saying that she got into an accident and needs his help in order to leave town, when Gabriel shows up Clark confronts him and is instantly shot by Gabriel. Sucks to be human, huh, Clark? Gabriel kidnaps Chloe and takes her back to the missile silo and leaves the bloody Clark on the side of the road. Seriously, either she let him kidnap her to try to stop him at the missile silo, or she is a sucker. Gabriel was driving a motorcycle; I can't see it being a good kidnapping vehicle in my opinion.

After a return from commercials, we see Clark being wheeled into the hospital's emergency room and the Kents right behind him. The doctor tells the Kents that it appears that the bullet pierced his lung and that she will do everything she can to save him. Clark lies in a hospital bed as Lana walks in and talks to him as he sleeps. She goes on and on about how she was afraid of being with him because she knew this day would come and so on. Clark turns his face towards her and opens his eyes for a second and flat lines. The doctor and nurses come in and usher Lana outside the room as they attempt to defibrillate Clark to no avail. He's one dead Kryptonian. The show cuts to Lionel Luthor who has been in a catatonic state in a mental hospital since the finale of last season and suddenly awakens with superhuman powers and escapes. Lana cries back at the hospital and goes out to the Kents and they all cry together when a nurse informs the doctor and the Kents that the body is now missing.

Back at the missile silo, Gabriel goes in a monologue about why he wants to destroy Smallville, the meteor rocks. The rock creates mutants and they in turn will destroy the world as his father informed him. Gabriel explains how his father got changed into a mutant and how he was asked by his father to kill him and he did so. Chloe grabs the unconscious guard's baton and whacks Gabriel while he is on a monologue and they struggle for the gun. Gabriel gets shot during the struggle and dies, but unfortunetly for Chloe and Smallville it was too late and the missile is already launching. At least, Chloe killed someone in an episode; I think she was the only person not to kill anyone of all the cast members, not including the Kents.

Clark awakens at the Fortress of Solitude fully healed with Lionel Luthor nearby. Jar-el explains that he took over Lionel's body in order to save his son, but that the return of Clark's life and powers will be at the cost of the life of someone he loves. Clark goes into pout mode, but not for long luckily because he runs back to Smallville as the missile is launching out of the silo. He does a pretty sweet jump, at least a 20 story building high jump, and claws into the missile. In one of the best CGI scenes in Smallville ever, he climbs his way up the missile to the top, as the missile enters the outer atmosphere and begins its descent back to Smallville. He grabs the explosive in the missile and throws it into space where it explodes. All is safe once again in Smallville with their hero back. Clark returns back home and does the Huck Finn routine with his parents and Lana, but doesn't tell them about the possible death of one of them. When he talks to Chloe, the only friend on the show that knows about his powers, he explains about how he made a huge mistake in letting his powers go away. Finally, I thought he was going to do a little crybaby routine about why everything bad happen to him and how everyone else is to blame, he actually takes the blame for being an idiot and it costing the lives of someone close to him.

With the show over, we must wonder who will be the one to lose their life for Clark's mistake. I hope it is Lana; she is such a waste of time on the show with regards to her and Clark's relationship. If Smallville history is to mean anything it would point to Chloe getting knocked off, as Pete knew about Clark and he was written off the show before the end of the season, Chloe should see the same coming her way if not by death, then by her at least moving away for college never to be seen again. Finally, if Superman history has any say, it will be Clark's dad, Jonathan Kent, as he was off and dead at the beginning of the very first Superman movie. So all good choices, but smart money is still on Chloe or Jonathan, but we can all dream its Lana. Next week's episode should be quite a show with the introduction of Aquaman to Smallville. These superhero cameo episodes have occurred before with the Flash and should prove to be a great episode.


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