There's no way to get around it: this week's Smallville was a return to the campy old days when they'd just steal the plot of a movie, make it a little more family friendly, insert a DC Comics character and then hope that no-one would notice. This time around, Maxima came to Earth searching for her perfect man, but only succeeded in reminding us that Lifeforce (or, if you're younger than us, Species) was pretty bad the first time around, as well.Anyone who's seen either of those movies knows the plot by now: Hot naked woman comes to Earth and fucks men to death in search of her perfect mate. Except, because this is Smallville, she's wearing clothes (admittedly, less clothes than her comic book counterpart) and just kisses them to death, instead... but she did have the greatest first line of any character on the show: "I came as soon as I saw your Kryptonian beacon." Is that what the kids are calling it these days? (As a very geeky aside, am I the only person who's only just realized that the comic Maxima is pretty much the same character as Marvel's Thundra? Of course, neither of those characters kissed people to death; they would've just punched them a lot and then gone on about female supremacy or something, instead.)
Because this was a flashback to the bad old days of the show - albeit an entirely watchable one, for all the wrong reasons - the Maxima plot about finding your soulmate even if you have to kiss every other man on Earth to death to do it was only a superpowered metaphor for all of the B-plots of the episode, all of which centered around the characters' romantic entanglements: Will Chloe get over her love for Clark and embrace her future with soulmate Jimmy? Will Clark get over his love for Lana and realize that his future is with future soulmate Lois? Will Lois get over her ego and realize that her future is with Clark? Well, the answer for that last one only came with some help from Maxima, who pretty much said "You love Clark," leading Lois to spend the end of the show making gooey eyes at him like the most suggestible newsreporter in existence. (The most important unresolved question of the episode wasn't "Who has stolen the Kryptonian supercomputer crystal McGuffin?" as much as the writers undoubtedly wanted it to be - It's totally Chloe, in a moment of evil schizophrenia, by the way - but "Does the Luthor Mansion only actually have one room?" Tess seems to do everything in that one room with the desk and the fireplace, whether it's hold secret meetings with crazy scientists, get invited to parties by Green Arrow or take kick-boxing lessons that get interrupted by people accusing you of breaking and entering. Don't get me wrong; I admire her ability to re-use the space, but still, it's a mansion. You'd think she's have a gym or something, at least.) Everything ended up remarkably well, and remarkably timely, of course; the ten minutes of epilogue at the end being just enough to tell all concerned viewers that, yes, Clark is over Lana because Chloe told him that she was over him, even though we all know that that's only because she has Brainiac living in her head - To everyone currently calling for my head for spoiling the show for them, it's not a spoiler when the characters themselves say it twice - meaning that the moral gets slightly confused: Moving on from the past is really easy when you're modeling yourself after someone who's part computer? Love means never having to say you're sorry for snogging a hot alien? I'm not quite sure, but if Smallville wants to replace real plots with allegorical agony aunt answers, I'll happily keep tuning in. As long as those answers are illustrated by cute red-headed aliens, of course.