Smallville – S2 Ep1 – Vortex Review

Season 2 picks up right where we left off in the first season finale, with Clark heroically speeding into the tornado to save Lana. The special effects are really well done here given it was filmed nearly twenty years ago. It is not often in the show that the season opener has so much action and plot to resolve in one episode. We also last saw Jonathan Kent running into the tornado after the reporter Roger Nixon who had discovered Clark‘s spaceship. The two of them end up in a fight and when the tornado destroys the surrounding area they are both buried in an underground cave beneath the rubble. Lex also has some heroics of his own to perform when he rescues his father from being trapped in the mansion, but only after a moment of hesitation. At the hospital though Lionel doesn’t express gratitude, behaviour we have come to expect from him.

Chloe goes to see Lana at the hospital, who fortunately has only suffered a ‘mild concussion’, which almost becomes a weekly occurrence. I was always surprised that she didn’t suffer more serious brain damage after all of her concussions, and I was certain she had a room reserved at the Smallville medical centre given all the accidents she has! Right, back to being serious, Clark rushes home to the farm to find that his dad is missing and also that his ship has mysteriously disappeared. Lex joins Clark in his search for his dad and when he recognises Roger’s car stuck in a tree, he puts together that Jonathan and Roger must be together. This causes some friction between him and Clark as he questions Lex’s motives for helping in the search.

Trapped and running out of air, Jonathan and Roger try to dig their way to freedom while discussing Clark and why Jonathan wants to keep his secret. It becomes clear that Roger knows way too much about Clark and the likelihood of him making it out of the episode alive is slim, unless of course he suffers some kind of memory loss. Lex apologises to Clark for lying to him about Roger, proclaiming he was just trying to protect him, an excuse which is used a lot in the series as the reason behind keeping secrets. Clark is still unsure about whether he can trust Lex after finding out that Lex knew Roger. Lex does however provide a clue to their whereabouts and Clark, Chloe and Pete go out on the hunt for clues. This gives Chloe time to talk to Clark about the school dance. In a sad moment Chloe decides to give Clark an ‘out’ by saying she thinks it is best if they remain friends, all the while hoping that Clark will put up a fight and say otherwise. But he just agrees with her and says he too just wants to be friends. Unfortunately Clark was never very good at picking up on Chloe’s true feelings and she ends up permanently in the ‘friend zone’, while Clark continues to pine for Lana. I wonder if things would have been different if Chloe had fought for Clark in that moment, but we all know in the end that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Clark finds Roger and Jonathan just in time, however he is affected by the Kryptonite rocks they are trapped with which gives Roger the chance to overpower him and drag him away. Jonathan frees himself and tries to fight back, but just as Roger is about to kill Jonathan a bullet is fired… by Lex, who kills Roger to save Clark and Jonathan. Lex appears the hero and gets a reluctant thank you from Jonathan and the promise of a fresh start, however Roger’s death also benefits Lex as now he can’t reveal the truth about Lex hiring him to investigate the Kent’s.

Lionel receives the tragic news that the he is blind and blames Lex for agreeing to the surgery to save his life. It is sad to see Lex so devoted to saving his dad but getting nothing but rejection in return, quite the contrast to how Clark and his dad are with each other. The last scene is with Lana questioning Clark on what really happened when he saved her from the tornado, not believing or willing to accept that is was just luck. I think this is where the flaws of their relationship start to show, as from now Lana starts to become more like Lex in her quest to find out the truth about Clark. Overall a thrilling start to the season, with the question of Clark’s spaceship still to be answered and the relationships of the characters left more complicates than ever. Next up is ‘Heat’.