Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Watched: Smallville, "Icarus"

Title: Smallville, "Icarus"
Original Airdate: December 10, 2010
Generation: Golden Age Carter

Summary: At the engagement party of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, Carter Hall tells the groom to be that when it comes to wedding planning, it's best to agree with your bride.  He then talks to Oliver Queen about love and loss, and the two bond over their missing loves.  The joviality is cut short later that night when Oliver is attacked by an agry mob after breaking up a mugging on the streets of Metropolis.  Carter and Courtney Whitmore come to his aid, but the situation quickly starts turning into a riot.  Stargirl uses her Cosmic Rod to remove the heroes.  But the damage is done: General Slade, administrator of the newly passed Vigilante Registration Act, is on the warpath.  Clark and the others decide to go underground to spare those closest to them.  Slade, however, orders the interrogation of known "Vigilante sympathizers," including Dr. Emil Hamilton, Tess Mercer, and Lois Lane, taking them prisoner.

Breaking into Slade's office (all separately), Clark, Oliver, and Carter find the list of interogatees, code-named "Project: Icarus," and talk about the rising tide of hate in the city.  Oliver speculates that Slade and the angry mob are possessed by Darkseid; Carter says that this is not the first time that the Darkness has tried to gain a foothold on Earth.  Each of those other times, he was one of the ones who stopped it, and he says that they will stop it this time too.  Carter decides to take out Slade, while Clark heads out to rescue the prisoners, but finds that Lois is not with them.  

Lois, who had escaped earlier, is in Oliver's office when Slade enters.  She puts up a good fight, but Slade is no longer vulnerable to "Death's Stroke."  Hawkman smashes through the window, and he and Slade engage in a furious battle.  Hawkman is able to seriously wound Slade with his mace, but Slade gets the upper hand and impales Hawkman through the chest with his sword.  A stray spark lights a stack of gas tanks, striking a huge explosion - the force of which blows Lois out the window and lights Hawkman's wings on fire.  He dives out the window to save her.  Later, when Clark finds the carnage of the office, he sees that Carter has saved Lois, but at the cost of his own life.  Clark tells Carter that he can't begin to thank him for everything he has done.  Carter says that he will be reunited with Shiera soon, and tells Clark that Lois is all the "backup" he will ever need.  With that, Carter Hall dies.

In Egypt, all of the heroes are serving as pallbearers for their fallen ally.  Carter Hall is interred in an ancient tomb next to his beloved Shiera, his helmet and mace placed atop his grave.  But as the mourners look on, a mysterious small pyramid emerges from the sand, glowing bright white.  In a flash, all of the heroes are laid out unconscious...

Review: I figured from the title that this episode would feature a healthy dose of Carter Hall, but I did not think it would be as big as it was.  Michael Shanks really sinks his teeth into the Winged Wonder, always making his presence imposing without sacrificing the intellect one expects from  a man as learned as Carter.  There's a lot going on here, as this is the final season of Smallville so all bets are off.  The image of Hawkman pulling an Icarus to save Lois is one of the best in a long time on the show, and the death and funeral of Hawkman were both extremely well done.  The balance of the story is just as interesting to me, a Smallville viewer from day one.  It's all building towards a crescendo of chaos which should be suitably epic.

All in all, a very good episode and one heck of a send off (if, indeed, it is his send off) of the Smallville version of Hawkman.  


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