Ken Tucker
October 29, 2010 AT 12:00 PM EDT

In an awkwardly bifurcated edition of Smallville, Clark and Lois spent the hour with a nutty backwoods cult, while Tess had her hands full with a rapidly-aging Alexander.

Clark took Lois off on a jaunt to cover a “cherry festival” — an excuse to keep her from attending the “anti-hero rally” being held in Metropolis. They encountered a group of so-called “Believers,” who, with blue Kryptonite in their water supply and a penchant for human sacrifice, temporarily overcame Clark and Lois. The villagers were old horror-movie cliches, complete with pitchforks and flaming torches.

The tedium was lifted briefly during Lois’ final speech to the Believers, in which she started riffing spontaneously about what Clark’s super-powers would do to them if they all didn’t kneel before his mightiness. Soon enough, however, Lois was cheerfully referring to this escapade as “our Stephen King romp.” Once again, Erica Durance made the most of her dialogue with a bright twinkle.

The other half of the hour was more pertinent to this last season of Smallville, a story line about Tess and the rapidly-aging Alexander. The tyke of the past few weeks turned 12 this night, and Tess was anxious to try and halt the Luthor-clone’s rapid growth, since, unabated he’d be “dead in six weeks.”

Alexander showed an increasing awareness of his ultimate enemy, scrawling the “S” symbol over and over, and having nightmares about the man who “wants to kill me.” Tess is at first relieved when a serum is developed for Alexander, but by the end of the hour, she destroys it, realizing that “he’s not just a clone — he is Lex Luthor.” In the final scene, we see Alexander holding electric clippers and the camera pans up: He’s shaved his head. The effect was less ominous than kind of predictable, almost risible.

Actually, in what was otherwise the weakest episode of the new season, the real money-shot was the scene preceding bald-Alexander. Clark gave Lois the Book of Rao Swann’s journal for some bed-time reading, but not before the couple used the bed for another purpose. Yes, fans, they did the super-deed.

What did you think of this week’s Smallville?

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