If two months of lacking Justin Hartley shirtless on “Smallville” has left you thirsting for more, then you’ve arrived at the perfect episode.
Oh Lois, you’re just like practically every girl I’ve dated… counting the number of public displays of affection, lest anybody believe you’re falling for the hero. Unlike every other relationship she’s screwed up, she’s determined to make this work and work well. This means Clark’s aggressive kiss goodnight is all he’s getting. Doesn’t matter anyway as he conveniently whooshes away at the first sound of trouble. Of course, had he stayed around, he could have fixed Lois’ broken alternator and kept her from getting a painful (but non-lethal) arrow in the shoulder. Oliver, are you being a bad boy?
Probably not, because he’s deep in thought when a sexy ninja invades his dojo. Turns out, it’s just Mia showing off her moves in full character. She notes that he’s not himself. So what else is new? Speaking of personality changes, Zod visits the Farm and pleads for Kal-El’s help in saving the Army… or else. Clark doesn’t seem keen on being helpful this time, leaving Zod to wonder why he kneeled to him in the first place. All our characters convene at the hospital: Clark visiting Lois, Oliver sulking outside where he runs into Chloe, who clues our hunk in to who might be stealing his archer thunder. Yep, none other than Oliver’s mentor, Moritgan. (But you can call him the Dark Archer.)
Seemingly out of nowhere, Zod visits Lois with flowers in one hand and charm in the other. The symbol on the charm seems oddly familiar, but Lois is intrigued by it to later wear it. One day, Zod says, he’ll tell her about the real Clark Kent. I love stories! Continuing with our A-plot, Oliver uses his company’s technology to retrace his steps by viewing thousands of surveillance photos. Mia immediately notices Oliver going crazy, which leads to her dismissal from the mentor program. Of course, he’s not crazy, as evidenced by Chloe’s near-death miss from the Dark Archer, then later revelation that they’re being taken out by someone with even better skills than Oliver.
Once Mia falls off the radar, what with being abducted by the Dark Archer, Oliver begins placing context clues together and realizes the motto of his secret society is being fulfilled: “No vows, no lovers, no allies, no disciples.” Everyone close to him is being taken out so that he can step up and fulfill his destiny. Chloe and Clark figure this out roughly at the same time, connecting Oliver to a Celtic “CIA” that trained him when he was stuck on the island. As Oliver cris-crosses town looking for Mia, he finds a message directed at him at the dojo: “When the student is ready, the master appears.”
It would seem Oliver is ready to finally stare down his master, as he tracks Mia to a giant hedge maze in the shape of the secret society’s symbol. Once there, Dark Archer reveals that his mad skills are beginning to fail him… so like Seinfeld, he has to go out on top. To achieve this, Oliver must complete his training by killing his master. When he refuses, he gets a nice arrow in the hand. Oliver proceeds to stalk Moritgan, who is himself stalking Mia. At Watchtower, Clark and Chloe locate the maze (and Mia) via satellite, thereby allowing for Clark to whoosh there and save Oliver saving Mia. Just as Dark Archer takes his shot with three arrows, Clark busts through to save our hunk, which allows for him to precision-strike his mentor in the same way Lois was attacked.
Later at a rooftop party, Lois reveals to Clark that she met Zod by dangling the charm he gave her. Without revealing the true danger that is Zod, he cautions her about getting cozy with him. This leaves one final scene on the roof where Clark and Zod’s brief spell as true allies turns cold. Zod says Clark’s days on Earth has made him distrustful, while Clark steadfastly refuses to openly help a selfish Zod and his army. Luckily for Zod, he seems to be nearing the final piece of the puzzle that will allow him to turn the sun red and rule forever.