On Friday's Smallville, Martha Kent stopped by the farm (with Perry White in tow), Maxwell Lord practiced some psychic surgery, the identity of the Red Queen is revealed, and everyone (and their mother) needs the Book of Rao. Spoilers on!

The penultimate Season 9 episode of Smallville - "Hostage" - was supposed to be a set-up for next week's big confrontation between Clark and Zod, but Callum Blue was nowhere to be seen. Instead, viewers got a pastoral dinner with the Kents, Lois relationship drama, and some Checkmate intrigue. Given last week's big reveal that the Kandorians were juiced-up on Zod's blood (and the apparent deaths of Amanda Waller and Stuart Campbell), it seemed a little anti-climactic to throw extended sequences at the Kent homestead into the mix. Lois' break-up with Clark felt a bit shoehorned as well. After the "POWS!" and "KABOOMS!" of last week, it was weird to see the show take an abrupt volte-face to soap operatics, particularly since Lois was benched for the entirety of "Sacrifice." It looks like Clark will out himself as The Blur to Lois next episode. Hopefully this will blow up in his face and we'll get to see the Smallville equivalent of the Superman memory-erasing kiss from the films.


What was even more unnecessary then the 11th Hour Clark and Lois shenanigans? The introduction of Perry White as Martha's suitor. This wasn't a bad plot point in of itself, but it seemed totally ancillary given that Earth is faced with an impending Kandorian apocalypse. Scenes of Clark struggling with a new father figure were weirdly out-of-sync with the much ballyhooed alien war we're anticipating. The Perry subplot was mostly window dressing for Season 10 - he gets Clark and Lois their jobs at The Daily Planet back and asks Clark about his marriage prospects with Martha. Clark tells him not to get his hopes up. Ouch.

Minor mention: Chloe may not be Watchtower in the coming season. Looks like she's feeling aloof from all the superheroic action. Duly noted, Chloe. Duly noted.

Oh, and Martha Kent killed Maxwell Lord with a deadly cellphone frequency for failing to extract the Book of Rao's location from Tess. Wait, Martha Kent killed someone? Did I mention that Martha Kent is the Red Queen? Indeed she is - her red blouse this episode was a not so-subtle clue. Looks like Clark's dear old mom is playing the cloak-and-dagger game in Washington to check Checkmate from shooting her son with a Kryptonite bullet.


Using her espionage prowess, Martha wrests the Book of Rao away from Tess and presents it to Clark. It turns out that the Book has the power to transport all Kryptonians to another dimension. While this an apt solution to everybody's Zod problem, Martha isn't interested in kicking her son out of the space-time continuum. Not exiling your child to an unfathomable ghost reality...that's good parenting to the tee.