ComicsAlliance Recaps ‘Smallville’ Episode 10.15: Fortune
Love it or hate it, the Smallville TV show has been one of the most popular mass media adaptations of a comic, reaching millions of viewers each week with stories of what Clark Kent's life was like before he became Superman. Now, we're marking its passing by having ComicsAlliance's Chris Sims and David Uzumeri, two guys who have never actually watched the show, watch and review every single episode of the tenth and final season.
David: Welcome back to SMALLVILLAINS, the weekly recap of the current season of Smallville! This episode, "Fortune," brings us anything but: I realize we've done the gamut of terrible movie adaptations, but this week we hit an amazing new low - or high - with a straight-up ripoff of The Hangover.
Chris: There may have been a time when I would've enjoyed this week's episode, in which the entire cast gets blackout drunk, marries each other and acquires a ring-tailed lemur, but sadly, that time has passed. I actually haven't seen the Hangover, but considering we've already seen shameless riffs on the Wicker Man, Meet The Parents and The Matrix -- in the year 2011! -- I don't doubt it.
David: This week, Smallville incorporates perhaps the single least interesting villain in the entire DC Universe, Amos Fortune.
Chris: Oh wow, did it really? I was so bored that I didn't even notice.
David: I figured the dude in Vegas running Fortune Casinos was Amos Fortune, yeah. I'm going to call his goons the Royal Flush Gang for no real reason.
Chris: See what watching Smallville has done to me? I can't even pick out the smarmy nod-and-wink references anymore.
David: They aren't even wink-and-nod this episode, but I'll get to my complaint with that later. We pick up with all their friends showing up for the bachelor party, which is apparently for both Clark and Lois (wouldn't that make it a stag and doe?), and then everyone drinks some champagne...
David: ...and we black out and wake up in a cliche.
Chris: I think this episode helped me identify yet another one of my problems with Smallville: Most of Clark's problems are entirely of his own making. There are government officials who know who he is and literally want to murder him. Why wouldn't he at least glance at the card attached to the bottle of champagne before boozing it up with his bros?
David: Why wouldn't he take some precaution before getting drunk with his power set?!? He didn't even invite Martian Manhunter to keep him under control! I mean, maybe he didn't plan on getting drunk at all, but couldn't he have noticed "wow, I'm getting smashed" at some point? He's not exactly low profile since, as we discover when he wakes up, he has BURNED THE S-SHIELD INTO THE CEILING OF THE HOTEL SUITE.
Chris: Well, consider two things: 1) Maybe the Magic Champange -- and yes, everybody, we just said Magic Champagne, sent by Zatanna in yet another attempt to ruin Clark's love life -- was instantly intoxicating and he didn't have a chance to notice how drunk he was, and 2) Clark is really, really dumb.
David: Yeah, he is astonishingly dumb. In any case, Clark wakes up in this trashed hotel suite, and opens the door to find Chloe in a wedding gown and that he's wearing a wedding band, leading the two to think they got married, since nobody else is there.
Chris: You keep saying "hotel," but I want to point out that it's actually the Kents' Farmhouse. Despite the presence of showgirls, Elvis impersonators, a casino and fly-by-night wedding chapels, this episode takes place entirely in Kansas.
David: Wow, that's... that's absolutely incredible. I just assumed they got there really fast on the Oliver Queen dime or something. That explains a lot.
Chris: If by "a lot," you mean "why I thought this episode was even dumber than the last one," I agree. It's also worth noting that when Clark gets drunk, he steals stop signs.
Chris: Thanks for that 394% increase in traffic fatalities this year, The Blur! You are truly the greatest hero of your age!
David: Maybe it's the stop sign that led to the car crash of Terry Long, making him perhaps the greatest hero in the entire universe.
Chris: Ha! Don't make me start liking him again, I'm having too much fun being consumed by hate. I do have to say, though, in all fairness, Tom Welling does do a pretty good job acting as a guy who's hung over from being so monumentally drunk that he accidentally played the worst possible version of Superman for an entire decade.
David: In any case, Clark also discovers a fancily dressed lemur, pretty clearly echoing the Hangover all over again, and then continues to do so as Clark and Chloe investigate what apparently was actually the Kent farm and find the sign from the LuthorCorp building. This is how Clark Kent fights crime: fratboy pranks.
Chris: And don't forget how Clark gets all mopey and doesn't think Lois wants to get married now, which considering that he married Chloe and quite possibly sexed her so good that she landed in the closet seems like a pretty selfish use of one's time.
David: Or thinks he married Chloe! Remember, Chloe actually marries Oliver!
Chris: Aw, you spoiled the stupid denoument plot twist for our readers!
David: After this, Chlark go to downtown Metropolis where they run across a huge red stretch limo they rented for the evening with JUST MARRIED written on the sides of it. At this point the entire thing turns into a Sierra adventure game, as Chloe goes
You have received ONE HALF OF WEDDING CERTIFICATE and EMIL HAMILTONS PANTS.
And Clark goes
> walk left
You are drunk and have supersped into a wall.
Chris: I could watch that on a loop all day, but I really wish they'd been eaten by a grue.
David: At this point it gets -- and I can't believe I'm saying this -- even MORE bizarre, as two kids walk down the street wearing ... Emil Hamilton t-shirts, because he has, overnight, become a YouTube sensation as an Elvis impersonator. He was such a hit that someone got up, took a picture of him, photoshopped it over a logo, silkscreened it on some shirts, and sold those shirts BEFORE HIS PERFORMANCE ENDED.
Chris: Not just two kids, David: Two straight up, giggling, non-speaking stereotypical Harajuku Girls, in the middle of Kansas.
David: Another reason why I thought it was Vegas! Look, Metropolis is very ... cosmopolitan.
Chris: It is, by definition, Metropolitan.
David: So they go to the club where he was filmed, and there he is with Lutessa Luthor, doing country and western bits as Elvis, when suddenly two cops show up and take him away for stealing an armored car, while Tess drunkenly jokes around with Clark about how only HE could make an armored car disappear.
Chris: Uzi, I think you're downplaying the fact that this was a full-on musical number. Like, they went into a studio and actually recorded this song, and then filmed a bit with Emil Hamilton in a full-on Elvis costume with Tess dressed up as June Carter Cash. I swear to God, I think the song is available on iTunes.
Chris: Also, there is an absolutely terrifying video playing on the screen behind them with what appears to be a zombie marionette.
Chris: Also also, the sexy limo driver who walks up to Clark, sizing him up like he's breakfast. At this point, this thing is like a surprisingly lighthearted David Lynch film, and even moreso once we cut to the scene of Lois and Oliver laying on train tracks getting rolled by a hobo for their shoes.
David: Now, exactly how did they manage to pass out between the train tracks like that? Like, there's a lot of space to the left, and to the right. Exactly how did they manage to pass out in the single most dangerous place?
Chris: Maybe the hobo moved them there for convenience? I mean, sure, it doesn't make sense, but neither does stealing a pair of size 7 three-inch pumps to wear when you're living on the street.
David: Of course, requisite shocks are involved: Ollie's dressed in a bright green tux (which kind of immediately pointed out the resolution to the marraige certificate thing to me) and Lois is missing her engagement ring, which she proceeds to freak out about like a two-year-old for the rest of the episode. This is a nice counterpoint to Clark freaking out about Lois's text that she "needs more time," thinking this means she's run away forever. Manufactured drama? On SMALLVILLE?!? I never!
Chris: I'd just like to point out that there is no conceivable reason that Lois should not assume that her ring wasn't stolen by the same hobette who took her shoes. Oh, and one more thing about Lois and Oliver before we move on: Lois claims that they're "going to stick out like a hooker in church" because of Ollie's green tux. She says this while she is wearing a tight, leopard print dress.
David: Please, Chris: LOLiver. But before we can even think too fast about that, we switch to Tess, Chloe and Clark at Watchtower trying to figure out what happened to the armored car. They discover that it's in the Kents' barn, and it's filled with money. Nice job, guys.
Chris: The thing is, it's not even surprising when Smallville Clark does something dumb like this. This is just the natural progression of his character.
David: And back to them! Lois looks in her bra for some reason and finds a $500 casino chip that apparently fell into it! Chloe's looking for the cops who got Emil but there's no record of them so they aren't cops! Emil's been kidnapped by Amos Fortune, who thinks Emil stole the armored car since Clark moved too fast on camera, even though Emil is standing there while suddenly like five guards get knocked over! You may notice I am using a lot of exclamation points! This is because everything in this episode happens like this! It just switches! And switches! And moves!
Chris: This episode is like eating at the Chinese buffet in the mall: It's not very good, but at least there's a lot of it.
David: Yeah, it really piles it on, as this rapidly escalates into an attempt to break out Emil from Fortune's casine on the part of Clark, Chloe and Tess, while Lois and Ollie show up to try to figure out what happened to them the previous night - which becomes obvious pretty quickly: Lois got cocky (no!) and bet it, losing it to Amos Fortune, who is now inexplicably rocking a woman's engagement ring.
Chris: He wants to feel pretty. Is that a crime, Uzumeri?
David: In a move that definitely one-ups my removal from Grace O'Malley's by bouncers, the response of the security is to take Lois and Ollie backstage and bind and gag them. Pure class!
Of course, they're backstage, so there's only one way to get out of this predicament: DRESSING UP.
Chris: The first, last and only entry in the Lois Lane Playbook. Also, did you want to make a joke about Lois claiming to be "the three-time champ at Fort Dix," or are we just going to let that one stand?
David: We might as well let it stand, since I doubt anything was left standing after Lois was done with the Dix.
Chris: Heyo! Also,before they dress up, Clark and Oliver talk about how hard it is to be married to and/or fight crime beside the "walking perfection" that is Clark Kent, which is about when I started cussing at the television. I mean, how would Ollie even know what it's like to fight crime beside Clark, when I don't think we've ever actually seen Clark fight any crime?
David: It's Smallville, so they're legally obligated to have all the most interesting stuff happen off camera.
Chris: But all of this is detracting from the main point of the scene, which is that Lois and Oliver dress up as showgirls. Here you go, Tumblr! Enjoy!
Chris: Calling what happens next a mess is underselling it quite a bit: Lois flirts with Amos Fortune but then gives up for no reason, and then Fortune starts hitting on Ollie, apparently mistaking him for a woman despite the fact that he is clearly an extremely muscular dude. Then Amos recognizes Chloe and starts shouting at her, which leads her to pull out twin automatics and start shooting up the place like the f---ing Shadow, and Ollie hip-tosses Amos across the room after what can only be described as a Justin Hartley Upskirt Shot, all set to a reprise of the Emil Hamilton/Tess Mercer overnight rockabilly hit, "How Do You Do."
David: It's pretty much about as much of a cluster as it sounds, and the entire thing is punctuated with Lois continually attempting to locate her ring while avoiding being stomped on by passersby since she's crawling on the floor trying to find it.
Chris: "Yo dog I heard you like ripping off movies, so we put a ripoff of Temple of Doom in your ripoff of The Hangover so you can rip off while you rip off."
David: The best part is that all of Chloe's shots end up being totally nonlethal, and still, you just know Batman is going to HATE this lady.
Chris: No, the BEST part is when there's a huge fight going on which multiple gunshots are fired, and Amos Fortune is choking out Lois, only to turn around and face a super-hero as Lois Lane is once again rescued by... Green Arrow. Remind me again why Clark Kent's even in this show?
David: So Clark saves Emil from this head-crushing vise, and everyone goes home and the Kent house is all normal again somehow, presumably with superspeed. Then we have the conversation between Clark and Chloe when Chloe informs Clark that she's leaving again, and going to Star City, because she met people in her travels.
Chris: Ugh. I don't even want to remember this part.
David: She met "a billionaire with high-tech toys" and "a wondrous woman." Which pretty closely describes Clark's current best friend and fiancee, so I have zero idea exactly how this is supposed to impress him.
Chris: I have to give it up to Allison Mack for being able to actually say those words without just throwing up from how awful the dialogue is. Just straight up puking everywhere, ruining cameras and freaking out the Key Grip. She holds it together.
David: She teld it together through Collateral, I think she can handle these relatively minor stupidites.
Chris: "A wondrous woman." Ugh. And keep in mind, this is on a show where we have already seen Green Arrow, Hawkman, Dr. Fate, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Stargirl, Zatanna, Deadshot, Doomsday, Deathstroke, Darkseid, Granny Goodness, Desaad, Glorious Godfrey, all the Female Furies, the Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. So again, why would anyone even care about a rich dude and some lady? They wouldn't. This is shamelessly wretched writing to sandwich in references that, because licensing rights are tied up elsewhere, have to be even more cutesy and grating than normal. If I didn't already hate this show, that would've done it.
David: That was poetic. It's not even licensing rights, it's just WB internal mandate.
Chris: It's dumb as a bag of hammers is what it is.
David: So after this little scene, we get a twee thing with Tess and Emil where she compliments his singing, and then Lois finds the camera. Now, I honestly expected them to just show the video over the credits, a la the actual movie, but apparently that's too much breaking of the formula for Team Smallville. The video features Clark stealing the Luthor sign and generally resembles any movie taken of me in my college years: a drunken asshole. Oh, and then everyone watches Tess and Emil bang on camera.
Chris: Yep. This episode ends with Emil talking about how he doesn't sing anymore because his dead wife liked to hear him, and then everyone gathers round to watch Tess and Emil's sex tape. Smallville, everybody!
David: Oh, hey! We forgot about the revelation where it turns out Chloe actually married Oliver, not Clark, which makes the fact that the chapel already annulled her marriage to Clark (as mentioned earlier) utterly baffling. So Oliver basically is like "yeah lady, Imma go to Star City with you!" and then she'll presumably get to die a horrible death and get stuffed into a refrigerator before being replaced with Black Canary in the hypothetical Smallville Season 13.
Chris: I wonder if we'll get a Green Arrow spin-off, and if, like Smallville, it will actually be about some other super-hero doing everything while Justin Hartley sits around making me hate him.
David: If Justin Hartley grew an Errol Flynn moustache and ran around a fake Seattle yelling at corporate fatcats and being a gigantic hippie, I'd pretty much watch every episode of that.
David: Clark stealing the Lexcorp sign. I'm with you, that was hilarious.
Chris: Agreed, but honestly, the best thing I can say about this piece of crap was that it was so terrible that I didn't have the energy to turn the television off after it was over and ended up watching the first half hour of Supernatural, which was about the two main characters being shoved through a dimensional portal into a world where they were Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki on the set of an episode of Supernatural.
David: That... sounds... kind of awesome.
Chris: Yeah! It was written by Tick creator Ben Edlund and guest starred Caddyshack's Brian Doyle Murray.
David: We should just review that in an off week instead of Smallville.
Chris: The thing is, though, there's a part where the guy played by Padalecki is making fun of Jensen Ackles for being on Days Of Our Lives, and I kept wanting him to rip into him for being on Smallville.
David: The incomprehensible fight scene, the awful coincidence of the Emil Hamilton t-shirts... "Emil Hamilton t-shirts." We watch a show with that phrase in it. Like, I tap out.
Chris: Remember last week, when Clark decided he was going to wear glasses to disguise his secret identity? Because nobody who made this show does.
David: But he's just chillin' with his bros, man! I wish someone had taken pictures. "THE BLUR? MORE LIKE THE SLUR!" Clark Kent ranting on top of a building he scorched the S-shield into the roof of "WHATEVER HAPPENED TO TRUTH, JUSHTISHE AND THE AMERICCAN WAYYY....." before passing out. Maybe Superman could develop an alcohol problem, but he can't get drunk, so he becomes a fiend for magic champagne. Or maybe they could have saved the alcoholic fratboy antics for the character introduced next episode, where it'd be borderline appropriate.
Chris: Also, here's a brief list of things that didn't resolve in this episode: 1. What happened to Amos Fortune? They can't really prove that he was scamming the insurance company without revealing that Clark's the Blur, and considering that Chloe just pulls out guns and starts shooting up a crowded room, it's not like anyone would think she wasn't one of the bad guys. Now, there's presumably just some gangster out there who knows who Emil Hamilton is and that he knows a bunch of super-heroes.
David: I totally forgot that there was a reason they took the armored car.
Chris: 2. The lemur. Amos Fortune talks about how it's his lucky pet, but that doesn't explain why he had it in his armored car that he was paying goons to rob with shotguns. Why?
David: Surely Lois Lane, Intrepid Girl Reporter can break the case! By dressing up as, and living with, the lemurs.
Chris: 3. Where the hell was Alexander while all this was going on? Out shopping for the Superboy t-shirt he's going to wear next week? I get that she might not want to ruin the party, but it has been two weeks since that thing and there has been no acknowledgment. Why didn't Tess bother to tell anyone "oh hey, that kid turned out to have Clark's powers when I tried to murder him with poison, now let's go make a sex tape! Woo!"
David: Well, we never saw the whole sex tape. I mean, someone had to record it.
Chris: They couldn't think of anything better to do this week than have a halfass "lighthearted" episode that rips off yet another movie, and so nothing carries over because apparently nobody working on this show has any idea how to write a serialized episodic story. It sucks, it's stupid, and I hate it.
David: Next week on Smallville: Conner Kent.
David: I. Cannot. Wait. I bet he dies before the end of the episode, though.
Chris: Maybe Clark will die and he'll be the new Clark Kent. At this point, would you put it past this show?
David: That would be the best ending I could possibly, possibly imagine.