On Friday's Smallville – "Charade" – Lois finds herself betwixt allegiances to Clark and the Blur, Maxwell Lord showed up to brain-drain Lois, and our reporters get canned from the Daily Planet. Also, never date Clark Kent. He'll stalk ya.

Dating Superman is rough. One minute you're watching Mystic Pizza on the couch, spooning the guy, and BLAMMO. He hurdles out your fire escape at the speed of sound (breaking all your grandmother's china), only to return 40 seconds later, smelling like low tide and tubeworms. "But there was a geothermal disaster in the Marianas Trench!" he'll stammer. Yeah, yeah Clark. Tell that to Nana's collection of Hermès porcelain.

This is the traditional "dating Clark Kent" motif Superman fans are used to – the Big Blue (scatterbrained) Boy Scout. There have been variations of this. For example, Kurt Busiek's wonderful Superman: Secret Identity miniseries touched on the idea of Superman as a reclusive loner, morally burdened by his obligation to save the world. This season of Smallville introduces a new take on Superamour – if you date Clark Kent, he'll tap your phone calls, stalk you from afar, and generally act like Mark Wahlberg in Fear. (Of course, I'm discounting the movie's seminal, NSFW rollercoaster scene, which was required viewing for anyone who had a sexual awakening in the post-grunge, pre-dotcom era. Smallville keeps things PG-13.)

Okay okay, so Clark is pulling a Rockwell on Lois because he discovers that she's been talking to Blur-Zod (he's not positive it's Zod though), but nonetheless, he doesn't think twice about tapping her phone or monitoring her progress. This isn't a bad idea, as Lois finds trouble wherever she goes. She ends up in the clutches of corrupt ex-Metropolis D.A. Ray Sacks and Checkmate's Maxwell Lord(!), both of whom want the Blur's identity.


Clark intervenes as the Blur twice and discovers that Lois harbors feelings for his faceless mystery man persona. Clark-Blur cuts contact with Lois, only to realize he may have compromised Clark Kent's relationship with Lois as well. I realize the alter-ego song and dance is part of the superhero game, but the more Clark hides his identity from Lois, the less appealing of a protagonist he becomes. This kind of relationship pathos is reserved for Peter Parker. You're the Man of Steel, dammit.

Other important events:

- Maxwell Lord meets Checkmate's mysterious Red Queen? Who is she? And why did Max steal his psychic thievery beds from the Dollhouse prop room?


- Lois and Clark get fired. This isn't the first time Lois has been pink-slipped, but Clark's even less of a catch now that he's unemployed.
- When Lois punched Clark, wouldn't her fist shatter?
- Lois' line about Clark's kiss altering space and time... a nod to the memory-draining kiss from Superman II?


- Is there some unwritten Smallville rule that Lois must appear in a negligee once an episode? It's like Patrick Stewart from Extras is the lead scriptwriter sometimes.