Ken Tucker
October 22, 2010 AT 12:00 PM EDT

This week’s Smallville couldn’t help but be a little campier than usual — there’s something about a woman in a white toga saying things like, “What you know of these things is but the wisdom of a child!” that makes one giggle. And I’m sorry, but Smallville‘s version of Cat Grant is an off-putting miscalculation; the character is neither amusingly nosy (which seems to be what’s intended) nor much of an agent for narrative action.

No, this week’s plot centered around the spirit of Isis taking possession of Lois Lane’s body in order to free the soul of her eternal true love, Osiris. This was accomplished a tad clumsily: The minute Lois transforms, she suddenly acquires much heavier eye-liner and begins speaking without using contractions (“The you do not know love!”). This should have been a clue for Clark to hold off on telling this woman that he’s the Blur, but, love-addled dope that he is, it didn’t.

As far as I know (and oh, I’m sure you’ll tell me if I’m wrong), this Isis was somewhat similar to the one in the DC Comics’ “One Year Later” storyline, featuring Black Adam/Teth-Adam, but it’s outside of Smallville‘s purview to start talking about Osiris as a White Lantern — the show has enough characters and mythology to grapple with as it is.

Take Tess, for example. She was featured prominently this week, taking care of little Alexander, a.k.a., the Clone Who Would Be Lex. There was also a lot of back-and-forth between Tess and Oliver, much of it dialogue designed to remind us of earlier plot details, but I was glad to see a few fine Green Arrow moments, such as when he stuffed Cat into an empty sarcophagus to keep her quiet for a few moments, and when he referred to Clark’s rescue of Lois from Isis’ possession as “that eyeball-zap through the amulet thing.” Justin Hartley delivers lines like this with just the right amount of mild dismay.

Indeed, Hartley and Erica Durance continue to smooth over any rough patch Smallville may place them in; Durance even navigated Isis’ stilted dialogue to return brightly, woozily romantically, in Clark’s arms for the night’s big non-reveal. By which I mean, Clark told her what she already knew: “I’m the Blur.”

This is all part of the good, ongoing trend this season: Clark finally knowing, as he put it this evening, “I’ve been afraid of everything I can’t control,” and that the Super-Control-Freak is going to bloom into something super-better.

And maybe I was too rough on Catherine Grant at the top of this review. Cat’s other brief moments of amusement were her deluded pronouncement that Lois is the Blur, her accusation that Lois/Isis/Blur took part in a “satanic s-e-x ritual,” and the moment when she stabbed Lois’ hand with a pen. I actually flinched at that last one.

Bottom line: Despite its fine climatic moment, not an exceptional Smallville, but an interestingly romantic one, with laughs both intentional and unintentional. Agree? Disagree?

Follow: @kentucker

Oh, and while you’re deciding about the episode, won’t you check out the latest edition of the TV Insiders podcast, featuring Dalton Ross, Annie Barrett, Michael Ausiello, Michael Slezak, Missy Schwartz, and me-myself-and-I, all yakking about everything from Project Runway to The Good Wife to The Ultimate Fighter. All that, and more. You can either download the mp3 file here or click below.

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