Usually when I get this excited for an episode, it always blows out of proportion and does a complete 180 on the quality I expect.
Smallville has delivered some overwhelming Clois moments and the conflict among Clark, himself and Zod has been well established, but I was still waiting for the other shoe to drop and it kept on strong. The effects were widely attractive, like the action scenes and the consistency with Season 8 Lois.
'Pandora' dealt solely with Lois' missing three weeks of memory and her sudden divulge into the future. I kept channeling my thoughts to the season 8 finale, where Lois finished speaking to the 'Red, Blue Blur' back when he was still called that and her sudden altercation with Tess, and I actually tried to mesh my trend of thought with Lois' mindset. Basically she and Clark didn't kiss before, so when Clark embraced Lois as if they were lovers in the future I kept thinking 'maybe they had a connection', but then I reminded myself that it was the first time Clark saw Lois in months. The same reaction he had to seeing her in the train was close to the one he had when he gave up his watch to possibly save her life. (That explains how that ninja chick got the watch).
Clark has matured so much over these nine seasons and I am beginning to adore Season 9 Clark, really. Tom Welling has managed to turn the boy into the man and it suits him handsomely. I assume the shirtless Clark was for those Tom Welling fanatics and possibly Clois lovers, but I thought Clark was rather passionate and slightly forward for his love scene with Lois. Where did all those 'I did it for you' or even the 'Lois after you disappeared I couldn't be around Oliver or Chloe, they reminded me of you and that hurt to much' come from? I knew that Jimmy's death had the greatest impact on Kal El's decision to leave Clark behind and seeing Lois gave him a reason to bring Clark back, but I would not have guessed that Clark stayed away solely because of Lois' disappearance, I believe that Clark would have tried to find her if she did mean that much to him then.
Still they basically gave away that love scene through Lois' dreams and it came to a level of catch up as opposed to the greatest love moment between them. I wonder if that was the reason Clark worked up the nerve to make it official between him and Lois for real. Lois couldn't remember the future, but Clark still has to live with that over and over in his head. Clark's ability to admit to himself that the games between them were worthless if he did nothing about it, showed his maturity as a man with a destiny. The only thing I am concerned about is Lois' safety around him. The reason he tried to isolate himself from his emotions before was to protect the ones he loved, has that changed? I believed that Clark has reached a certain point where he knows that Lois is already in his heart and he would always find his way around her, so the only way he could protect her, was to be in her life.
While Lois and Clark bore the prominent scenes in Pandora, Tess and Zod also did a number when it came to impression. Future Tess is misguided and thwarted. She believes that forming an alliance with Zod would save humanity when it did the opposite. The only moment she realized she was wrong was when Chloe stuck a knife through her heart, in this case and arrow. I sympathized with Tess when she died in Oliver's arms. Tess was completely different from the one Lois left in the present. That Tess was actually willing to consider Zod a true enemy and wasn't willing to trust him completely. Yet I still have to consider that future Tess didn't have Lois in her past, because that Lois vanished months ago, enough time for Zod to take over the world.
Future Chloe shows a possibility of what present Chloe could become (phew). Now Chloe is manipulative and also admitted to keeping secrets from Clark, future Chloe was willing to kill without consequences. I hardly doubt Chloe could easily kill Tess now, but this is also a Chloe that was locked up in 'Watchtower' for a good couple of months without dealing with Jimmy's death. I believe that move made by Chloe before she was killed was reckless. Even though Alia (ninja chick) didn't give Chloe a fair fighting chance, Chloe seemed to have lost her track in life, without true cause.
Everyone's future looked bleak actually, even though Clark managed to get the better of Zod, he still surprised Clark with the Krptonite knife. I realized a lot of people were complaining about Alia's ability to super-speed even under the influence of the yellow sun. The theory is that the red sun is the Kadorian's main power source. Even if I were to somehow develop a theory that some of the clones bare certain abilities even under yellow sun, Alia should have an essence of her powers even now. I could go further and say that we were able to see Clark regain his powers, but Zod didn't appear to lose all of his. It could also be that Zod's abilities weakened when compared to Clark and Alia was surviving on the remnants of what she use to have.
That still doesn't explain how she had her abilities when she came to the present? Maybe they were still wearing off? At least I tried, I leave it in the hands of the writers to give us a full explanation. The fates of the present and future have not collided yet and some pieces are still left out of place.
It's strange, I actually thought Clark and Alia had some kind of relationship in the future. It didn't necessarily have to be an intimate one, but a friendship on the same. She came to the future to assassinate Clark in 'Savior' and when she looked up to Clark and apologized before she died, as though she owed it to him, I wondered.
Another questionable fact would be the duration of the three weeks Lois spent in the future, which more or so felt like two days and could possibly stretch over to three. Did Oliver really think he could take on an army with one arrow? Why didn't he do something to save Chloe?
Don't get me wrong, I did love this episode, I could easily point out a load-some of scenes I replay over and over, (probably not the love scene ;)). One would definitely be the Lois and Clark holding hands in the elevator scene. It not only established a huge change for these characters but it actually made me love Lois even more and despise the anticipation for next years episode.
Smallville has been giving us back to back thriller of episodes this season, I would just have easily loved to replay the episode over from memory and not have a few question marks in my head. I must commend Cassidy Freeman for that dying scene, it really hit the heart. As for Pandora, the only evil that was let out was probably the knowledge of the future.
I am looking forward to:
**Lois and Clark of course. (Could the writers possibly top this union?)
**How Tess would deal with Chloe knowing how she dies in the future.
**How would Chloe adapt since she knows her fate as well (definitely do not listen to past Lois when she tells you to run).
What do you anticipate?
Four and a Half Stars