Episode: Smallville 9.12 – “Absolute Justice, Part 2”
Original Air Date: February 5, 2010
Screencaps by Home of the Nutty.
While the JSA is busy coming out of retirement, Chloe and Clark find old files pertaining to a person who is capable of controlling cold and ice. Figuring he must be the mystery murderer, they go to his hospital room, only to find he is in a vegetative state, and has been that way for decades. When they burst into his room, Dr. Fate is already there, doing his magic Fate thing on the vegetating iceman.
Clark grabs Dr. Fate (not realizing he’s a good guy). Fate, being able to see people’s fates, has a vision of a Superman cape, which is totally awesome because Smallville never shows the cape and nine seasons is a long time to wait.
“Your fate is utterly blinding. You are of value, Clark Kent, but you, Chloe — you walk the same path that I do.” Clark demands to know what the hell Fate is talking about, but Fate responds “I’ll show you,” and makes him disappear.
With nothing better to do, Chloe and Oliver decide to track the blonde teenager chick again. Oliver finds her dressed in a tight and skimpy red, white, and blue superhero costume (which I’m totally getting for my wife). When Oliver/Green Arrow jumps into action, she declares herself to be Star Girl, and demands that Green Arrow leave, or he’ll ruin everything. Just before Oliver can confront her, the ice murderer kid shows up for some epic battle action.
Star Girl uses her stolen staff to great effect, but Oliver has to save her in the end. Of course, he doesn’t get the thanks he expects from her (she’s not into that damsel in distress thing). It turns out this was her audition to join the JSA, and he blew it for her.
At this point, I feared it was going to devolve into another Oliver-being-a-whiny-little-punk scene. But the producers seem to have tired of that schtick as well. Instead, Hawkman shows up. Not only is he wearing that totally awesome Hawkman armor, but he does what I have been waiting for all season. He gives Oliver the smackdown, snatching him from the alley, flying him all the way to Watchtower with super Hawkman speed, and tossing him through Watchtower’s bay window like a limp rag doll.
“Stay the hell out of our business,” demands Hawkman like the 1000-year-old mace-wielding warrior he is. “Next time, I won’t ask so nicely.” He then flies away to find more nails to eat for breakfast.
Meanwhile, Clark is waking up in Hall’s museum. With Dr. Fate looking on, he finds displays of Hawkgirl’s weapons, Green Lantern’s lantern, Wildcat’s boxing equipment, and a whole bunch of other stuff that would turn most Fandomaniacs into fist pumping giggle-monsters. Dr. Fate explains to Hawkman and Stargirl (who have been watching in the shadows) that Clark’s path is righteous. With that kind of letter of recommendation, it’s hard to hold a grudge. So, they start to let him in on their secrets. But Oliver shows up before they can get started. He doesn’t want Clark to trust Hawkman, seeing as how he threw Oliver through a window in the previous scene.
“I hope I didn’t make you cry,” responds Hawkman. Can we just give him his own show right now? The actor that plays him (Michael Shanks of Stargate: SG-1 fame) already commands a cult following anyway. And it would be a great formula. Oliver can be a recurring guest. He shows up to be all hot and sweaty and shirtless so the ladies tune in. But just as he flashes his whitened teeth and dimples and stuff, he gets the green crap beat out of him by Hawkman. It sounds to me like a winning formula.
But that’s a digression. This is the moment when the old team meets the new team and they decide to join forces. A handing of the baton moment. There is an additional treat, which is that they decide to call in Martian Manhunter (John Jones).*
The JSA explains that, back in the day, they used to protect society. But the government found out about their powers and decided to put an end to it. They jailed nearly everyone and ruined their lives. But with the Icicle killing off old JSA members, it’s time to get the band back together.
They decide to split into pairs. Chloe figures that the Icicle needs to charge his powers with nitrogen, so a nitrogen liquefying plant would be a good place to find him. John Jones and Dr. Fate go to the nearest nitrogen plant (which is a great place to hang out, by the way. My local nitrogen plant is great fun). Dr. Fate sees that John Jones has an important role to play in the near future, so just as the Icicle shows up, Fate sacrifices himself.
He shoots the Martian full of his magic Fate stuff, throwing Jones across the room (briefly revealing his Green Skin Martian form, which was awesome), and saving him from an icy death. The distraction works for saving Jones, but while Dr. Fate is distracted, the Icicle sneaks up from behind and stabs Dr. Fate in the back with a giant ice sword. Icicle then steals the Helmet of Nabu.
Green Arrow and Hawkman go to the hospital in case Icicle boy visits his father again. Not much happens in this scene, but it’s a great scene anyway because of the conversation, especially from Hawkman’s side. He refers to Green Arrow as, among other things, the Green Punching Bag, Robin Hood Jr., and the Green Whiner. I’m loving this Hawkman guy!
Meanwhile, John Jones is in a coma, but Dr. Emile reveals that he is undergoing some sort of metamorphosis.
The team meets up at the Watchtower and decides that, with Dr. Fate dead and John Jones in a coma, there should be no more waiting and no more pairing off. They are all going to work as a team. Just as Hawkman is about to lay some more bad-assery on us, Icicle shows up, wearing the Dr. Fate helmet. The ensuing battle probably will go down in fanboy and fangirl history.
Just as all seems to be lost, John Jones shows up. His metamorphosis is complete, and he’s got all his Martian Manhunter powers back.
“I killed you,” declares the Fate/Icicle.
“I’m Mars’s sole survivor. There’s a reason for that.”
The team succesfully removes the helmet and defeats the Icicle.
There is a subplot that has been going on all this time that I should explain at this point. Amanda Waller (played by the sexy-no-matter-how-much-weight-she-gains Pamela Grier) has been going around behind the scenes causing all kinds of mischief. She’s the one who sprung Icicle Jr. from juvenile detention and sent him on a killing spree. She also sent JSA files to Lois Lane so the Daily Planet would write an in depth report about them. At the end, we find out that she is the leader of Checkmate, a secret government organization that wants to bring the heroes out in the open and recruit them for as-of-yet unknown purposes.
The purpose of the killings was to provide sufficient motivation to bring the JSA out of retirement. Icicle was subdued without killing him, but Waller shows up and shoots him dead. Apparently she doesn’t like loose ends. Just as she is leaving, Tess Mercer shows up. It turns out she is a Checkmate agent too.
So, to summarize the season so far, we have the old-school superheroes in a position to serve as mentors to Clark and his generation of heroes. We have a new secret government organization that wants to recruit our heroes for unkown purposes, and is willing to kill some of them to do it. We have Lois and Clark tumbling towards their destiny together. Clark is closer than ever to donning the super suit. Kandorians are running around trying to jumpstart their plans to take over the Earth and restore their powers. John Jones got his powers back. Even the Wonder Twins got their own episode. So, things are coming together nicely.
One additional thought: I, too, was annoyed by the raspy voice that Hawkman has. That probably wasn’t the best choice. A good rule of thumb for actors is to watch Christian Bale, and never do anything he has ever done. Unless you want to be a complete ass.
* Martian Manhunter, in my opinion, is the most interesting character on the whole show (after Lex, but he’s long gone by now). Then again, that’s probably because I’m not in the target demographic.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
I have to agree with both reviews. If the show was this caliber all the time, I could put up with Green Arrow and silly, hard-nosed voices. Hopefully, this is a sign that Smallville is going to morph into a new show.