Friday, March 27, 2009
Magic comes to Smallville. Recap of 8.17 - "Hex
Smallville 8.17 - "Hex"
"You need to work on your slight of hand." -- Zatanna (Serinda Swan)
The episode "Hex" starts in the midst of Chloe's birthday party. What should be a joyous event is the first thing that starts a chain of most unusual events. Oliver Queen is there (absent from the past few episodes) and he gives her two presents: one from himself; and the other from Clark, since he is not there, which of course disappoints her. Chloe talks to Oliver about some of the things she regrets in life and how she wish she could be back in the bullpen like Clark and Lois, and wishes she could just be that happy again (having just been dumped by Jimmy Olsen in Turbulence"). Lois comes by to wish her cousin a happy birthday, but has to leave because she has an important assignment in Mexico. Soon enough, Oliver has to leave because "duty calls." As he tries to exit he meets a leggy magician working the party, Zatanna, but passes her on to Chloe since it's her birthday. Zatanna can tell Chloe is having a rough time, so she tells her to make a wish.
There are some chimes heard and a magical bright light, and we cut to Chloe's room and somebody sliding on a pair of bunny slippers. However, we soon realize it is not Chloe exactly, but Chloe in Lois' body. She has to get dressed to show up for work at the Daily Planet. Chloe soon realizes that Lois is treated with much admiration and respect, being praised on her articles and even has an intern getting her dry-cleaning. Chloe sits down and looks up Zatanna on the internet because she has a hunch that the sorceress may be involved. Suddenly Clark stops by and wonders why she isn't in Mexico, Chloe changes the subject and grills Clark on why he didn't call Chloe on her birthday, yet had enough time to call Lois five times. Busted. Clark says Chloe understands that he just gets backed up with work and such, then they talk about the Jimmy situation and Chloe not taking Jimmy's side. I can only imagine that must have been hard for Chloe to hear.
We cut to Oliver walking in his office only to find Zatanna looking for him. She is trying to find a book of her father's, the "Maestro of Magic," John Zatara, that Lex Luthor bought at an auction. However, because Queen Industries bought up most of Luthor's holdings, he really can't do anything. Zatanna then sweetens the deal. She strikes a bargain with Oliver that if he can deliver the book by midnight to her, she'll grant him one wish. And with that, she vanishes.
Back to Chloe (still in Lois' body), and Clark following a report about a guy screaming in Latin with a microphone and he notices something. He can't quite put his finger on it, but he knows something's amiss. When Chloe stops to talk to a cop, he begins talking about a poker game and hands "Lois" a wad of cash. Apparently, Lois has some late-night extracurricular activities. The crazy fellow is on a balcony and screaming, throwing things, and creating quite a scene, only in Latin. Chloe translates the message and it leads back to Zatanna. Clark is really curious now, and Chloe comes clean about her transmutation as they both go and try to find Zatanna.
The duo break into Zatanna's dressing room to confront her about her hexing and "cursing" Chloe. Though, that's not how Zatanna sees it at all. She granted Chloe a wish, and in that moment there was nothing she wanted more than to be Lois. Zatanna also tells Chloe she will revert back to her true form once she truly doesn't want to be Lois anymore, but cannot simply tell herself that. Zatanna then moves on to Clark and tells him that she can grant his wish as well, then vanishes, yet there's something not right with Clark. Shortly after, Chloe and Clark witness a mugging outside and when she tells Clark to do something he does: he calls 911! He has no recollection of his powers or the fact that Chloe is inside of Lois' body. Chloe tries in vain to explain to Clark why and how he's more than important. She gets him to test his strength and super hearing, but he still doesn't believe her.
The next morning, Chloe wakes up as herself and is surprised as Clark comes over to make peace for not coming to. Later at a LuthorCorp warehouse, Oliver, now in his Green Arrow garb, is sneaking around and trying to find Zatanna's book. After taking out two security guards, he finds it and goes looking for Zatanna, but she finds him first. Zatanna tells Oliver to can drop the misdirection and he unmasks himself. Oliver explains that he noticed some dark material in the book and he tries to burn it, but Zatanna magically wisps the book to her. She summons chains with an incantation ("Leets yb dnuob!") and binds Oliver in chains. She explains to Green Arrow that the book is the key to her bringing back her father, Zatara, with the hope of becoming more powerful. With that, she leaves with the book and Oliver hopelessly shackled.
Elsewhere, we cut to Chloe and Clark at the hospital as they visit the man who was spouting Latin. Turns out he runs an antique shop and Zatanna came by his store looking for her book. He didn't have it and she made sure he had a "good understanding of dead languages." The man says she is too blinded by grief to understand completely what she's doing by having that book in her possession. Chloe and Clark leave the hospital and see that there is something eerie going on top of the Daily Planet. It's Zatanna summoning some pretty heavy power. Chloe tells Clark that he is so important, not just to her, but to the world and he should use the power he feels to stop Zatanna. Sure enough, Clark is back to his old self, as does Chloe who is back in her own body. Clark leaps the tall building in a single bound and tries to stop Zatanna from completing the spell. Clark tells her it could kill her, but she doesn't care. Just then, Chloe is struck by the magic meant for Zatanna, and now her life is in danger. It's down to Chloe's life or Zatara's, and Zatanna must choose. Clark tries reasoning with her, sharing with her the loss of their respective fathers, and Zatanna frees Chloe, but Zatara's shadow is lost.
The next morning, Chloe wakes up as herself and is surprised by Clark coming over with bagels to make peace for not showing up to her birthday. Clark and Chloe accept who they are, but then the conversation evolves to Lois. Chloe thinks that he should open up to her and not think of his past with Lana and try to disassociate the two. Clark turns that on her and asks the same thing about being scorned, wondering aloud if Chloe is talking about him. . . or Jimmy?
Meanwhile, Oliver finds Zatanna in his office and is not happy, obviously. He understands the sacrifice she has made and can respect that. Zatanna informs him that she will be taking some time off of her tour to go home to Shadowcrest and to do some "light reading." She hands him a card, and Oliver thinks it's some sort of enchanted tarot that can magically summon her. She replies, "No, it's my phone number," and with a wink and a smile she vanishes again.
Later that night, Clark and the real Lois are at their Daily Planet desks working late, and I'm assuming she was filled in on what transpired since she jokes about how there is only one real Lois Lane. She also ribs Clark about how he framed a list Lois had made, "The Lois Lane Rules of Journalism." There's a bit of awkwardness to the point of sexual tension.
Finally, we go back to Chloe and Oliver at the Isis Foundation, and she talks about her ultimate purpose and what she was meant to do. She hands him an earpiece and walks into a secret room with numerous screens. On the screens are members of the Justice League: Impulse, Cyborg, Aquaman, Black Canary. The Watchtower is officially online.
I loved this episode on so many levels. I like how Erica Durance (all of the sudden this season, proving to be invaluable) played someone else's character. As a Zatanna fan, I have been waiting for this episode for quite sometime. Serinda Swan did an excellent portrayal of the Justice League's go-to mage, and looked amazing in the process. I appreciated the mention of Shadowcrest and how it touched on Zatanna's origin. Even her little violin theme when she was around was a nice touch. And let's not even mention the show's ending; I doubt many of us saw that one coming!
So where will this episode lead us? Will Zatanna be a recurring character? What will come of Chloe's new purpose? Is Clark ever going to get around to sealing the deal with Lois? Who knows-- I just know you'll be able to find me tuned in each Thursday.