Smallville, “Fortune”


Ever since I read a few spoilers about “Fortune,” I prepared myself for a terrible episode. But I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the giant suck-fest I watched unravel on my screen this evening. It’s been well-established that the Smallville writers have no qualms about ripping entire plots from other texts — see The Matrix-riffing nonsense of “Collateral” — but I think “Fortune” might take the cake in its lack of real creativity or general coherence. I’ve stuck with this series from the beginning so I remember all the terrible episodes, but I have some concerns that this might be one of the top 10 worst efforts the series has ever produced. And that’s saying something.

I understand the purpose of this episode was clearly to have a little fun before the series gets back to the heavy-duty stuff with the Luthors and Darksied, but seriously, there are so many terrible and laughable moments in this episode that even fun performances from Tom Welling, Justin Hartley and the rest of the cast can really save it. I mean the cast is obviously game for the events taking place here but it ultimately doesn’t matter. The words and actions they’re given are dumb, pointless and empty. Even the guise of Zatanna hexed champagne can’t make up for the following ridiculous events:

  1. The people at this bachelor/bachelorette party? Clark, Lois, Chloe, Oliver, Tess (okay just a slight stretch, but I’m fine with it because I love Cassidy Freeman) and…Emil. Aka the only six people the episode could afford to put in this episode!
  2. Emil randomly became an Elvis impersonator.
  3. Emil also made a sex tape with Tess. Yeah, Tess Mercer.
  4. Then the episode has the audacity to suggest Emil and Tess might have a legitimate connection. You know, BECAUSE EVERYONE ON THE CAST HAS TO BE COUPLED WITH SOMEONE  ELSE.
  5. The group ran rampant on downtown Metropolis, with Clark committing random acts of vandalism without ANYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD noticing.
  6. Oliver and Chloe apparently got married. Maybe. It’s a bit purposefully vague.

There are probably 12 other horrible things that I’m not remembering about this episode. And not only does it include these ridiculous moments, but even within the logic of this ridiculousness, nothing really works. Apparently, they all ended up at a casino where Lois started winning a lot of money until she wasn’t. And then apparently Oliver and Chloe decided to get married. But then apparently the group split up into three groups of two, with Clark and Chloe ending up at the Kent farm, Oliver and Lois on a railroad track and Emil and Tess up in her office making their tawdry sex tape. From there, the episode tries to keep the audience on its toes with its Hangover-esque camera work and storytelling, but there no sense of mystery or pace to any of it. There’s no real danger and really not even any drama aside from some manufactured nonsense about Lois losing her wedding ring.

On top of that, “Fortune” also happens to be Chloe’s swan song on the series. Although I hated the Lana character by the time she left in season eight and I also disliked the handling of her departure in “Requiem,” I at least appreciated the fact that the series built an entire episode around her leaving. Chloe is unfortunately not as lucky, as her departure gets tacked on to the end of this episode. She hinted at some changes in last week’s episode and the end of this one went ahead and just dumped them all on us. She’s apparently moving to Star City to work at the newspaper by day and be some sort of hero recruiter/supporter by night. Despite my hatred of the rest of the episode and the fact that this was rushed, I like where Chloe’s ended up. It’s completely unbelievable, but what the hell. This way, her future appeases both her early years and the messier later years of her life and I cannot imagine too many of her die-hards will be disappointed with where she’s headed. Not only that, but her final two scenes, one with Clark and one with Oliver, were pretty damn great. If we forget all the bad decisions she’s made and all the shortcuts the writers have taken with her lately, Chloe’s been a crucial part of this series from the beginning and she deserves to have some open-ended closure with Clark and a (possible?) marriage with Oliver.

But aside from that, let’s just forget this ever happened, okay?


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