May 2, 2008By Joe Diliberto Posted: May 2, 2008
Thursday is one of the busiest nights (along with Mondays). That means the ol' remote thumb gets a workout...
On SURVIVOR: MICRONESIA — FANS VS. FAVORITES, the Black Widow Brigade was in full effect, plotting to oust the menfolk, but this season's curse did most of the work: James' finger boo-boo forced him to be medically evacuated, but Alexis somehow managed to soldier on with a bum leg. However, James was still in the game for the always-emotional visit from loved ones (in his case, dad James Sr.).
The reward challenge was one of those dull "how well do you know your fellow Survivors" quizzes, so I flipped over to SMALLVILLE, where a Kryptonian artifact (and Jor-El) enabled Clark to go all It's a Wonderful Life and see a version of Earth without him. Basically, Lex becomes president and Jimmy wears a bow tie. Not so bad, eh? Except that Brainiac is urging President Luthor to launch the United State's nuclear arsenal and destroy the world. On the plus side, Lois is the intrepid crusading journalist we all know, and she gives Clark his classic disguise: blue suit, tie and glasses (which Tom Welling pushed up his nose with a single finger, just like the late Christopher Reeve in the movies. We got another glimpse of Krypton — but sadly without the iconic theme music from the movie...!?! Welling directed this episode, and handled the effects well. The scenes of nuclear armageddon were chillingly effective (orbital views of silent explosions), and the destruction of Krypton aped the movie depiction fairly closely.
Lex better get his global destruction in while he can — word is Michael Rosenbaum has allowed his contract to expire and will not be a regular next season. I have had the pleasure of meeting Rosenbaum a couple of times — he's very personable — including charity events conducted by the New York Rangers, so he was no doubt just as overjoyed as I was to see the Rangers claim Game 4 from the Pittsburgh Penguins last night!
Back on SURVIVOR, Amanda was sent to Exile Island to track down yet another hidden immunity idol. She ultimately discovered where it was hidden by digging a trench in the beach with her bare hands — an exertion that left her bikini-clad form gasping and covered in sand in a way that I cannot accurately conjure in an all-ages blog.... Since shaggy Erik won immunity and James was already gone, the Black Widows were forced to eat one of their own, and they selected Amanda (unaware that she would go on to dig up the immunity idol). After the votes were cast, Amanda dropped the bomb that she was playing the idol — bringing paroxysms of joy from the jurors and that sinking feeling from Alexis — who turned out the be the runner-up vote-getter, and so her torch was snuffed.
As host Jeff Probst pointed out, this season has "perfected the art of the blindside," making tribal councils completely unpredictable and so much fun to watch. I'm almost ready to declare this the best season ever. (At this point, I think it hinges on whether Amanda or Parvati wins.)
SUPERNATURAL got back to the serious business of being scary with a truly creepy spin on the hoary "getting phone calls from the dead" plot, but the big news was that the-powers-that-be actually got Jeffrey Dean Morgan (ex-Denny, GREY'S ANATOMY) to reprise his role as Daddy John and make a couple of spectral phone calls to Dean (Jensen Ackles, ex-Eric, DAYS OF OUR LIVES). I would love to know if Morgan actually recorded his vocal cameo over the phone or went into a studio.
Even though the story dealt with a demon tricking grieving loved ones of deceased relatives into killing themselves, the saddest thing I heard was Dean finally admitting to his brother that he's scared. Dean's contract is coming due (right around the season finale that starts next week!), and he is finally facing up to the fact that he will soon start serving eternity in hell. Dean had desperately hoped Daddy Winchester really was calling from the afterlife because he dangled the prospect of voiding the demon contract that had damned Dean. But it was not to be. All season long we have been seeing Sam (played by Jared Padalecki, ex-Dean, GILMORE GIRLS) feeling guilty because Dean traded his soul to convince a demon to save Sam's life; now we see that far from being implacable, too-cool-for-school Dean has been silently crapping his pants about going to the Bad Place. And, for what it's worth, this being SUPERNATURAL, I'm willing to speculate that Dean will not get his fat pulled out of the (hell)fire at the last moment.
Speaking of people in need of saving, LOST's Jack finally had to admit weakness and let Juliet remove his appendix. Ever the self-flagellating martyr, Jack insisted on trying to talk Juliet through the operation, obliging the audience to watch the operation right along with him. I lasted about as long as Jack did.
The flash-forward dealt with the dissolution of Jack's post-island bliss. Hurley's warning and the reappearance of Christian's ghost really spooked Jack, but it was his jealousy over Kate that really frayed his mind. He asked her to marry him (Awww...), but when she undertook some kind of secret errand for Sawyer that was it for Jack. It's easy to see this booze-guzzling, pill-popping version of Jack now on the road to becoming the eye-rolling, island-obsessed lunatic we glimpsed in last season's mind-blowing finale. Jack is clearly the most frakked-up character on this show.
Other (potentially) important information we learned:
•Sawyer chose to stay on the island.
•Morose Hurley thinks they're all dead.
•Charlotte speaks Korean.
•Claire called Christian "Daddy" (but we already knew that, didn't we?) and somehow became separated from Aaron.
And now it's time for us to separate, at least until the next Night Shift...