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Friday, October 28, 2005

Alias 5.05, Smallville 5.05: A Man in a Box, a Sorority, and Vampires. Oh my!

The mystery of the man frozen in the box is finally revealed and the Smallville Halloween episode for one year doesn't suck utter crap.

This week's episode of Alias finally provides the answer of who is the man inside the box. After a two week lapse of no new information of the very intriguing story line of a frozen man in a box, it finally is revealed who the man is, twice. The episode also pushes further into the return of evil that is Sloane. The episode, as mostly all Alias episodes do, starts off in an action paced sequence of a masked thief who breaks into an army storage facility and steals a chemical. This unknown thief is revealed as Renee "The Raven" Rienne, and the chemical, Antropine ZX, an experimental drug used to resuscitate gravely injured soldiers in the battlefield. Back at APO, they connect the dots and know that Renee was also the person responsible for the theft of the frozen body at DSR. Sydney volunteers to go speak with Renee and to get answers, Jack asks Tom to go with Sydney in order to ensure her safety.

Sydney and Tom meet up with Renee where they discover a disoriented man who pulls a knife and holds it to Renee's throat. Renee calms the man down by informing him that she is her daughter. The man is introduced as Luc Goursaud, Renee's father before his kidnapping when Renee was a child, and that a man named Aldo Desantis was responsible for his kidnapping and eventual freezing. Before informing the team on what Prophet Five is, he has a seizure and falls unconscious. Tom and Sydney call Jack to inform APO of the man in the box and his medical state. Rachel hearing the name "Desantis" remembers that she stored files of "Desantis" for Dean in a San Francisco facility. Jack sends Rachel, Dixon, and Marshall to obtain the files from San Francisco as he also informs Tom and Sydney of a trusted doctor he knows in their area that they bring Luc to. But before Tom and Sydney get the chance to move Luc; their building is surrounded by a dozen heavily armed men.

During this all, Jack and Sloane have a lunch meeting in which Sloane asks to be reinstated at APO in order to use the CIA resources to find a cure for his daughter. Jack says he already has put in the request, but that an unknown person higher up has prevented the request and he leaves to return to APO. Sloane later that night is approached by Keach, the man who obtained Sloane's freedom for his allegiance, and is introduced to his employer, Gordon Dean. Dean tells Sloane that the person responsible for preventing his reinstatement is Senator Lewis, the chairwomen of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sloane approaches Senator Lewis at a skating rink where she watches her daughter practice. Sloane threatens Senator Lewis by way of killing her daughter if he isn't reinstated. And at the end of the episode, Sloane walks into APO reinstated. It's nice to have the evil Sloane back, we've missed him.

Back at San Francisco, Rachel and Dixon run the op as Marshall plays technical support. During their prep, Marshall and Rachel have a very geek love-style conversation and it appears that a future relationship is very possible. This would be hard to pull off considering Marshall is married, they need to find a way to kill his wife off first as Marshall as the cheating type would be almost impossible to pull off. In the op, Marshall uses a robotic spider to take x-ray photos of the Desantis' files and they learn that the brain scans of Luc and the man in the box are not the same.

At Renee's place, the masked men are pumping a gas into the building in order to knock them out before entering. Tom decides to knock out one of the men and wear his clothes in order to get outside the building. Once outside he plants a bomb on the van pumping the gas and destroys it and runs back in. Once back inside, Tom finds out how the men tracked them, a beacon that was activated on the box the man was in. Sydney learns that Luc was the man who brought the men there when he slips up and mentions the beacon when he and she have no knowledge about it. Luc takes Sydney as his hostage until the wall of the building is blown apart and is air lifted out by helicopter. It turns out Luc was actually Desantis and was using the new face and body for a yet unknown reason.

This episode solved the mystery of the man in the box and introduced the face of the ubber villain, Desantis. His motives, history, and connection to Prophet Five are still unknown. Also the creation of a possible relationship between Marshall and Rachel have been created, although I could have sworn that last week's episode they paved the way for a future Tom and Rachel relationship, I guess they are just keeping all their options open. Although Sloane has returned to his evil side, his motives for such are yet unknown. It could be his unwavering love for his daughter, Nadia, and wanting to find a cure for her at all costs that may be his current revival of his evil ways. This would make more sense as it seemed that his evil ways for the sake of being evil are long past, but doing evil in order to protect those he love have always been a constant possibility. We'll learn more in the future for all of these questions; hopefully they will be sooner than later.

A vampire episode of Smallville that I was very hesitant about, considering the whole vampire theme has been done to death, proved to be quite satisfactory with the slight shift in the view in which the episode takes place. Also for the fact that the Smallville Halloween episodes generally provide zero storyline progression and are considerably horrid in the unscary sense of the word. Despite this, a very Chloe-centric episode, in which she tells the story as the narrator, provides the minor twist to this episode that allows it from becoming a crappy filler episode into a moderately successful one. The episode begins with a meeting between Chloe and the editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, not Perry White, but Pauline Kahn, aka Princess Leia. I guess Perry White won't be the editor-in-chief for a quite a bit. The meeting is about her internship to the Daily Planet, which Kahn denies. Rather the meeting was meant for Kahn to meet the person who got a column at the Daily Planet at the arm twisting of Lionel Luthor. Kahn tells her she'll only consider giving her the internship if she can bring her a story. This is the story in which Chloe will be narrating throughout the episode. The story Chloe tells involves a sorority, Tri-Psi, which holds the secret of being all vampires. This is seen when three women in a hot tub feed of a pizza boy who just wanted to deliver some pizzas.

After the break, Clark drops by to visit Lana in her apartment above the Talon to see that she is packing to move. She got into Metropolis University and is moving although there aren't any available dorm rooms, so she is going to joining a sorority so she has a place to stay, I guess that makes Lana sense. Luckily, Lana decides to rush the same sorority that are all vampires because if she didn't this would be the shortest episode of Smallville ever. Lana is the only pledge to be accepted and they convert her into a vampire. At least the whole process of becoming a member was short and not a long drawn out process.

Back at Central Kansas University, the college Clark attends, Professor Fine, aka Brainiac, gives a lecture on the responsibility of the people to rise up against the powerful, much like that of Lex Luthor. Lex drops in on the class, and Professor Fine noticing this puts Clark in a tough spot by asking him if he would fight against LuthorCorp if he learned that Lex was a power hungry man trying to destroy his world. Luckily for Clark he stalls long enough for the class to end and leaves without answering. Lex threatens to use his access from his contributions to the college to have Fine gone before he gets another semester. Later that day, Professor Fine visits Lex at his mansion to provide him with his entire record since birth to save Lex the time and money. He also reveals that he has a record of Lex using his contribution funds to perform experiments on the college campus that are off the books. Fine leaves and Lex sends a man to follow him. Fine is followed to the building that is housing the spaceship that came during the meteor storm. The man pulls a gun on Fine and Fine flexes his Brainiac muscle by stabbing him in the chest with his finger. You know like in Terminator 2 and that metallic liquid guy, exact same thing but black goo instead of silver.

Back at MetU, Metropolis University, Chloe and her roommate have an argument about Chloe's wall of newspaper clippings and her passed out friend on the floor. There lies Lana passed out and Chloe thinks she is just hung over. Clark shows up and Lana starts making uncharacteristic advances on Clark. When Clark doesn't respond, because Superman is gay, she leaves. The next day, Clark and Chloe are talking over the phone about Lana and her new sorority. They figure that they can sneak in during their Halloween party to snoop around. The show up as Brittney Spears in her "Hit Me Baby One More Time" school uniform and Zorro. I so wished he showed up as Batman, which would have been the perfect disguise, although I guess in their reality Batman wasn't even created yet, so it would be hard to do that. While at the party, Clark finds a newspaper article in which Buffy, the president of the sorority, survived a bat attack in a Smallville cave. Clark runs off after hearing Chloe crying for help and finds Lana biting Chloe's neck. Lana runs off and Clark takes Chloe to the hospital where he runs into Professor Fine.

Professor Fine says he was there visiting a friend, I wonder who that is, perhaps the man he finger stabbed? Either he was there to make sure he was alive, I guess he isn't ubber evil yet, or was there to finish up the job, because Brainiac is ubber evil. Either way, Clark informs Fine of Chloe's situation and Fine checks the chart. Fine tells Clark that this he should go talk to Lex about Project 1138. Clark runs off to Lex's mansion where he confronts Lex about Project 1138, he of course denies everything until he mentions that Lana is involved in all of this. Lex comes clean and talks about Buffy being attacked by vampire bats that were in contact with meteor rocks and that there is a cure for it. He opens the case to a Kryptonite rock that contains the cure and Clark is obviously affected by the Kryptonite. Before Lex can notice the effects of the meteor rocks on Clark, Lana breaks into the mansion, knocks Lex out with a push into a wall, and bites a weakened Clark. She reacts to Clark's blood by shooting a fireball out of her eyes and she knows that he is special. Clark grabs a syringe of the cure before being taken by Lana back to the sorority house.

At the sorority house, Lana suggests that they convert Clark instead of killing him. Buffy refuses and they have a short fight in which Lana vaporizes Buffy with a fireball from the eyes. That's got to hurt! The other girls bow down to Lana as she throws them out of the room as she is about to convert Clark. Clark before being converted stabs Lana in the chest with the cure and all is well once again. After it all, Clark goes to thank Lex for his help and Lex tells Clark to be careful of Fine. Chloe turns her vampire story over to Kahn who takes her as an intern at the Daily Planet.

An episode that I expected to be utter crap considering it involved vampires, a Halloween oriented filler episode, and well vampires. Did I also mention how much vampires sucked? A Chloe narrated episode was a first for Smallville and provided the appropriate twist needed to make a possible crappy episode adequate and provides a greater insight into Chloe. I still don't get how Lois Lane becomes a reporter if Chloe already plays that role, unless Chloe getting off'ed off pushes Lois to investigator her cousin’s death and thus her future of being a reporter. This is a serious issue that Smallville writers will have to figure out, considering whoever plays "Lois Lane" be it actually Lois or Chloe playing that position, she will be the final love interest for Superman and eventually Clark Kent. Next week's episode will have a reunion of sorts as Jonathan Kent, who was on The Dukes of Hazzard, and Senator Jack Jennings, also from The Dukes of Hazzard, will be in an episode together.


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