Last Friday's Smallville, "Supergirl," was an insane hodgepodge. Kara came back to lecture Clark and take glamour shots, Lois masqueraded as a dominatrix at Club Desaad, and Darkseid took over an ersatz Glenn Beck who called superheroes "mutants." Whuh?

Was Friday's episode of Smallville the most coherent episode we've seen? Not particularly. Was it freewheeling superhero pop was that was ridiculously fun? Indubitably. "Supergirl" was ostensibly another chapter in Clark's quest to become a more confident, open superhero, but his self-discovery was drowned by the gruyère fondue that drenched every scene. Awesomely cheesy moments of this episodes included...

- Darkseid possessing radio host Gordon Godfrey. Under the thrall of his dark master, Gordon becomes a glorious demagogue, repeatedly referring to the superheroes as "mutants" who need to be weeded out. I hope this is a sign that we'll see Clark fight Magneto and the Sentinels this season.

- Kara (Laura Vandervoort) returns to Earth after a long absence to fight off "the darkness." Jor-El doesn't trust Clark, so he's recruited Kara to neutralize Darkseid. What's her first move as a public superhero? Get glamour shots from some skeevy photographers. Nice.

- Also, Lois is back from Africa. Already! Remember the three episodes worth of emotional hemming and hawing over her departure from Metropolis? Who cares!


- Kara meets Clark at the damn barn. Again. Did Smallville cut costs by keeping the barn instead of building Clark a studio apartment? Also, the supercilious Kara tries to give Clark flying lessons by insulting him: "You've been on Earth all this time and you can't even fly." Ouch.


- And Lois went undercover as the world's most prudish dominatrix. Now that the show is in its final season, I kind of wish Smallville had just flown off the rails here and had Lois screaming about safe words.

- Godfrey later tortures Lois in some crushed velvet pleasure device.

- Clark and Kara knock Darkseid out of Godfrey using her magic bracelet. It's unknown what's the deal with Godfrey at this point.


- Oh, the reason Lois is undercover is because Dark Godfrey is going to expose Ollie as Green Arrow. But Ollie does that himself at the episode's end (he misses Chloe) by means of the world's most hastily planned press conference.

In sum, this episode was locked on a loopy Möbius strip of quality — it was a bad episode but a good watch but bad for the series but good for the senses. It had Lois Lane traipsing around an S&M club. That's the episode in a nutshell — do with that what you will.