I either bought or asked my parents for the fifth season box set of Smallville in 2006. This was mostly because of the 100th episode and Lexmas (yes, Smallville’s fetish for one word episode titles was so great that the resorted to making portmanteau words for their Christmas episodes), but I get the general feeling that sixteen year old me felt that this was the best season the show had before inevitable downturn in quality. And while revisiting the series for this countdown had brought up an old shame, it also made me remember something.
This was the season the show tried to become Saw for an episode.
“Mercy”, as the episode’s called, revolves around Lionel Luthor, Lex’s dad and manipulative bastard extraordinaire who was reforming starting this season. He’s menaced by Tinfoil Face, a random dude who got screwed over by a failed takeover of LuthorCorp Lionel orchestrated in order to get the company away from Lex. Lionel goes through some network TV approved death traps, Martha (who’s become a senator…don’t ask) get kidnapped too and Clark saves the day just in the nick of time.
While I can’t say that this episode (or the series as a whole, to be honest) is anything to write home about, I can say that it’s entertaining in a way that “Thirst”, isn’t; it’s a an attempt at aping horror movies that I can actually watch and not feel an enormous amount of shame. Even the villain, silly as he looks, is entertaining, in a “drunk college freshman just discovered radical political activism” sort of way.