After weeks of story bits, some photos and a few not-so revealing promos, we finally got to watch Smallville's two hour Absolute Justice episode. Here's the recap.
We start off the episode with a baddie picking off old members of Justice Society of America. We see Chloe walking outside, leaving Clark a voicemail, when suddenly all the power in the area goes out. Chloe looks around and sees something glowing with electricity. Running over (because why would you run the other way), she finds a man wielding an energy rod. He introduces himself as Sylvester Pemberton (hello Star-Spangled Kid) and says that they're both trying to put a team together. He knows all about Watchtower and notes that his friends did something like it first. While talking, Pemberton spidey-senses something bad and throws Chloe into a dumpster. He is attacked and ends up killed by someone that can shoot giant icicles. At the hospital, Clark meets a heartbroken Courtney Whitmore (aka Stargirl). Seeing his press pass, she refuses to speak to him as he tries to help her.
Never the one to not be a super sleuth,Chloe embarks on the path to digging up the truth about Pemberton, who, according to his arrest records that Clark later gets a hold of, was part of a gang of criminals. (We find out via an old highlight reel of footage these 12 people really didn't do “criminal” things). Chloe had gotten a hold of Pemberton's cellphone call log at the hospital, and they decide after seeing the footage and reviewing the log that they need to find a man named Wesley Dodds (aka Sandman). As it goes, by the time Clark gets to his home, dear Sandman is all holey and cold, and there is the “JSA” moniker scrawled in his blood nearby. Hmmmm, what the hell does JSA mean?? Nobody knows – but they will find out.
Meanwhile, Chloe and Oliver have tracked down one of the remaining criminals, Carter Hall (Hawkman). Clark goes to visit Hall, and we find out he is the keeper of a shut-down museum whose contents are bathed in sheets. We also find out he keeps a close eye on a crazy, mentally nutso Dr. Kent Nelson (Dr. Fate), (For observational purposes, let's point out he keeps the Nabu mask in a bowling bag. I don't know if this is always the case, but it's odd.) Hall denies talking to either of the dead men, and says he refused Pemberton's calls. Clark uses his x-ray vision on said bowling bag and sees a golden helmet inside. It turns on its own and faces Clark – eek. Carter tells Clark they have nothing more to say and Clark leaves. Once he's gone, Nelson tells Carter that the voices want to help, but Carter says that they'll have to help themselves. He clearly doesn't want to be a hero again.
Oliver discovers that Pemberton's energy rod is missing. He spots Courtney walking down the street, carrying the rod. He approaches her and wants the rod. She points it at him, but Oliver remonds her that two men have died and demands some answers. Nelson arrives out of nowhere and triggers the rod, saying they help themselves. Bam! Nelson and Courtney have disappeared.
Oliver gets Chloe and they track down Pemberton's car from the parking tickets filed against it (that darn Chloe is crafty). Inside the old car, we see it is labeled “Star Rocket Racer.” They find his journal, which has intel on all of their real identities. Chloe figures that Courtney knows who they are as well. Back at the museum, we see Carter, Nelson and Courtney. Stargirl insists that they know who the killer is, and that they have to do something. Dodds and Pemberton are dead, and Carter needs to stop being emo and lead them again. She says she will go to another team if she has to, but Carter calls them amateurs. As Carter walks away, Courtney asks him what Shiera (his wife) would have done, which causes Carter to stop and think for a minute. He then reveals his funny Hawkman costume and mace, and goads Nelson into putting on the Nabu mask once again. This creates Dr. Fate's insta-costume. I think Dr. Fate looked the best out of all of them.
Dr. Fate tracks down Chloe and Clark at the hospital morgue, where they are checking out the frost-bitten body of Sandman. Dr. Fate tells Chloe that her fate is much like his own. Huh? Like Dr. Fate, Chloe can see what everyone else is doing (as Watchtower, anyway) but her own fate, like his, is obscured. When Dr. Fate looks at Clark, he sees the Superman cape. (Woohoo!) He superhero-travels Clark back to the museum. When he comes to, Clark uncovers all the displays, revealing a that the museum was a front for the JSA Headquarters. It is filled with weapons, trinkets, and costumes. Showcases hold things like boxing gloves, a green lantern, a helmet with the wings of Mercury, a belt marked “Fair Play,” an hourglass, and various weaponry. Another case holds a woman's hawk mask, cracked on the top. Clark recognizes the Last Supper portrait as the people in the files/reel he had looked at. Wow – these were not criminals, but heroes who were arrested and discredited in the public eye long ago!! GASP!
Whils Clark is poking around, in flies Hawkman. Doc Fate and Stargirl arrive next, and Dr. Fate says that Clark is very important, and different from the others. Hawkman doesn't understand why. Stargirl explains that the Star Spangled Kid wanted to bring together the old and new heroes into a new team. Awkward tension. Green Arrow arrives, firing an arrow into the portrait of the JSA. Green Arrow says that the JSA are nothing but criminals. He and Christian-Bale Batman-voiced Hawkman are immediately at each other's throats, and (yay) John Jones arrives and asks for everyone to work together peacefully. Clark warns that they're not going anywhere as long as there is a killer on the loose.
Oh yeah – back to that killer-at-large. We find out that our frostbitten culprit is Cameron Mahkent, son of the comatose Joar Mahkent, known as Icicle. This whiney kid wants revenge because the JSA is responsible for his father's condition. He has been recruited by Agent Amanda Waller – of an organization known as “Checkmate”. She's the one who's hunting down the former JSA members and using this dope as her pawn.
We also finally see Lois, who receives a package containing all the JSA's criminal records, with a note that reads “The truth shall set you free.” (Note: Tess Mercer is also interested in this package.)
Back at the museum, Dr. Fate talks with Clark and explains that he sees everyone's fate except for his own, and that seeing Clark's future has given him hope. Clark will lead the new generation of heroes, like Hawkman led the JSA. When Clark notes that the Legion spoke similarly about his fate, Dr. Fate gives him some specifics and says he will one day triumph over Lex Luthor (wait – isn't he dead?) He says Clark will help everyone embrace a new age. Lois then arrives at the museum, Clark runs away, and Dr. Fate lets her in. He greets her and Lois says that she's looking for Carter Hall. He tells her that he knows her fate. He blabs about her being important to the “savior” and “the sentient power.” They will need each other. Okay, fine.
Looking for Icicle, John and Dr. Fate check out a nitrogen storage facility, since, after all that murder, the little cold bastard need to replenish his A/C reserve. When they sense him near, Fate sends John out into the abyss, revealing for a split second his true green Manhunter form. This also gives John his powers back. Surprise, surprise – Icicle then kills Dr. Fate, and takes the gloden helmet. Wow, the JSA are dropping like flies huh?
Back at The Daily Planet, Lois is going through old files. Amanda Waller comes up behind her and says that they're classified files, and she left them for Lois. Lois wonders why she was chosen, and Waller says that Lois is good at being nosy and “embracing the truth”. She hands Lois a fancy-schmancy cell phone with a chess motif and says that they'll be in touch. We also see that Waller also has some kind of history with Tess, as we see a sign of”Checkmate”- a White Queen chess piece – left on Tess's desk. Ooooooo foreshadowy.
Icicle goes to see his comatose father and says that Doc Fate's helmet will help him finish off the other heroes. He then takes his father's hand, says that he's ready, and then pulls the plug on his father's respirator. Nice. Icicle jerkoff puts on the helmet, which glows red. Uh-oh.
Heartfelt conversation between Green Arrow and Hawkman about his wife, connections, love, friends, etc. They fly to the Watchtower where Chloe is, and in comes Clark and Stargirl. Blah blah blah – here is Icicle – ready to deep freeze everyone. Here comes the fight we have been waiting 2 hours and 35 minutes for. Icicle suspends Chloe within a choke-slamy ice field. All our heroes attack in a semi-cool barrage of comic fighting skills, but Fate's helmet protects the blue shitbag against the brunt of them. Hawkman knocks him down, but Icicle throws out a blast that sends the good guys flying. F-A-I-L. He faces off with Stargirl, but Manhunter saves her by deflecting the next ice blast using his recovered powers. The heroes close in and Hawkman smashes the helmet loose with his mace, and we see him laying on the floor like there should be a chalk outline around him. Kind of a lame-o finish to the fight.
We then have all the heart-t0-heart talks at the end of the episode, which I really don't care too much about. Yada. Yada. Yada. Clark should trust his team, they will make mistakes, keep trying. He does say that if Clark overcomes his own chains, he'll soar higher than any of them. (Yes Clark – can you just fly already!!!) Chloe, Manhunter and Oliver have a cute family-type moment and go out for dinner.
Back at the Planet, another cute Lois-Clark moment where Lois tells Clark about her conversation with Dr. Fate. Clark asks if she believes in fate, and Lois says she believes in the fate you make happen. Nice.
Waller has somehow gotten Icicle, who is now holed up in a heated room. That must hurt. Conversation ensues, and she thanks him for bringing the JSA back into the spotlight. Waller tells him that he's done what she needed him to do, as she'll need the assembled heroes to survive the coming apocolypse (or should I write Apokolips….Darkseid foreshadowing maybe? Just throwing it out there). Waller then shoots him dead, saying “Welcome to the Suicide Squad”. As she leaves the room, we see none other than Tess Mercer – in a suit bearing a ID tag much like Waller's. Hello, Agent Mercer. Hmmm……
All in all, Absolute Justice was a nice way of bringing everyone together. I found it a little long, maybe since I am used to 44 minutes at a time. The costumes were a little campy, as was Hawkman's flying. I did enjoy the banter between Hawkman and Green Arrow though. Stargirl's mask was terrible – it looked like playdough stuck to her face.
Good news though: “Absolute Justice” attracted almost 2.8 million viewers, Smallville's largest audience of the season. It also gave The CW its best Friday night in more than a year.
What do you guys think? Was this worth such a long “movie”? Leave comments below…