The previous episode gave us a little break from the ‘freak of the week’ formula, as for the first time our villain was not powered by meteor rocks. So I found it refreshing to see how Clark handles a different type of villain and his continuous struggle with whether he should use his powers.
In Shimmer we are back in Smallville, with the age old question… which super power would you like to have? Be invisible or fly? For me of course it has always been fly, but for student Jeff, he has the ability to make himself invisible. At first we are led to believe it is his sister Amy. She, Jeff and their mother live on a property just outside the Luthor mansion and work there as housekeepers. Amy has a crush on Lex and is jealous of his new girlfriend Victoria, so when strange incidents start happening at the mansion the finger is pointed at Amy. After Amy is fired and sent away Jeff attacks Lex. Clark comes to his rescue but is weakened by Jeff as he has used meteor rock oils to create his cloak of invisibility. However Clark is able to use his x-ray vision to see him and expose him.
There are some more scenes between Clark and Lana, at the start Lana tells Whitney she wants to take a break because Whitney has been acting distant. She and Clark become closer and it is clear Lana is beginning to have feelings for Clark as well. But when Clark discovers the real reason for Whitney’s behaviour he convinces her to go back to him and give him a second chance.
What I really love about this episode is the development in the friendship between Clark and Lex. It is especially nice to see Lex confide in Clark a story about his mother and a watch that she gifted to him before she died. It is obvious Lex sees Clark as a true friend as he would not confide such a personal story to anyone else. Clark also goes to Lex to tell him about his developing relationship with Lana. Lex even seems proud that Clark is finally saying he wants to fight for Lana. But by the end when Clark does the honourable thing for the sake of Whitney, Clark asks Lex what he would do, knowing Whitney has a sick father and is not able to be there for Lana right now. Lex tells Clark he would still take his chance but knows Clark won’t. He says that it is what he likes about him – the fact that Clark always does the right thing, even if it means sacrificing his own happiness.
Lionel also makes a brief appearance to challenge Lex on his relationship with Victoria, believing he is being duped by her. His best quote being ‘Empires are not brought down by outside forces – they are destroyed from weaknesses within’. Lex doesn’t seem to understand the significance of what Lionel is saying at the time, as his relationship with his father has always been contentious. He thinks he can do without his father’s form of advice and interference. While a first time viewer would see Lionel’s motives this season as rather ambiguous, the seasoned viewer like myself can take satisfaction in the hints about Lionel’s larger role in the story.