This review may contain spoilers.
In Harvest, Lois (Erica Durance) and Clark (Tom Welling) are en route to a cover a story when they stumble across a seemingly harmless village.
Needless to say, of course, things go awry, and while this episode marks an unwelcome detour from this seasons fairly sharp focus on Clarks road to becoming Superman and the emergence of Darkseid, it surprisingly still manages to drive the story forward, thanks largely to the development of the seasons other major plotline: the potential return of Lex Luthor.
At its heart, Harvest is thematically all about faith. The misguided villagers have blind faith that their actions are the will of God, Clark places his faith in Lois and the future of their relationship by completely divulging everything he knows about Krypton and Tess (Cassidy Freeman) wrestles with the faith in her own ability to prevent the young Lex clone from becoming the monster that Michael Rosenbaum brilliantly portrayed during the first seven seasons of Smallville.
This common thread effectively connects the various subplots, not just of this episode, but of the season as a whole. What has made this final season of Smallville so spectacular is that it really seems as if the writers are focused on more than impressive special effects and guest appearances by various characters from the DC Comics library. They know that this is their last chance to really exploit the philosophical questions that being a hero poses, the value of Superman becoming a public figure rather than hiding in the shadow and the dynamic between Lois and Clark and why it truly works.
As usual, Durance and Welling are absolutely electric onscreen, and with every episode that passes, their performances are more natural. Its a relief that the creative team behind the show seems to understand that one of the most interesting aspects of the Superman story is the relationship between him and Lois Lane. While Harvest doesnt focus on their relationship for much of its runtime, it still pushes the story forward, culminating in Clarks declaration of love near episodes end and the romantic milestone that follows.
In addition, the storyline involving Tess and Alexander (Connor Stanhope) really gained some momentum this week. Apparently, Lexs memories are having a bit of a negative effect on Alexander, who is convinced that The Blur is the bad man. Guess Tesss quest to redeem herself by redeeming Lex has failed, leaving only a very creepy child in its wake. The final scene in Harvest is particularly chilling and hopefully sets the stage for Rosenbaums long-awaited return to the Luthor Mansion.
The episode also earns points for its continuity. The integral role that blue kryptonite played in the main story was a nice call-back to the season 9 finale, and Loiss Q&A with Clark about the various phenomena shes witnessed in Smallville was particularly amusing, as she discovered that it all ties back to his Kryptonian roots.
What Didnt Work
The whole village of the damned plotline was loaded with blatant rip-offs from other, better shows and films, and in and of itself, it wasnt particularly interesting. The only good twist was Clarks total lack of super-abilities. Were it not for that silver lining and the character development going on elsewhere, Harvest would have been nothing more than a filler episode. However, as is, it marks an indispensable step in what is rapidly becoming the very best season of Smallville
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
Harvest was written by Al Septien and Turi Meyer and directed by Turi Meyer. “Smallville stars Tom Welling, Erica Durance, Justin Hartley, Cassidy Freeman and Allison Mack.
Smallville airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.