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'Top Gun' had the danger zone, 'Smallville' has the phantom zone

Actually, we think the floating glass would be more comfortable that that throne.

Only one more episode left before the two-part finale, which means we have to get all the Thunderdome episodes/scenes in that we can, apparently...which means we get to see Oliver and Clark do some ol' skool hand-to-hand combat, Gladiator-style. Now while we're all for loincloths and ripped muscles and steel here (and frankly who isn't, ahem!), the highlight of the show was seeing another Superman staple come to fruition...the "Phantom Zone glass." The floating Krypton-emblem orb that floats through space with 3 occupants, including Zod. But there are a couple of other interesting tidbits as well...

Read on fair reader, read on...

It all starts simply enough...Lois and Clark are melding lives in the new Metropolis apartment (Lois with her Whitesnake pillow and Clark with his farmboy tchotkes), when news hits that Slade has been sent back from the Phantom Zone. And since only one of his family can open and close the portal to the Phantom Zone, Clark goes to investigate. But investigating means crossing over to the side where color goes to die, without superpowers. Just so happens, Oliver tags along to help him out since he's so adept at fighting without genetic super strength.

So home sweet zone pretty much looks as it always does. The phantoms come a-runnin' and whisk Clark and Oliver to Zod. Yes, the ostracized military leader is now king of that domain, which isn't saying much, but hey...you gotta get your jollies when and where you can it seems. So Zod is all: "I'm a god, because I've now melded my life with the Phantom Zod and have knowledge of two lives." Ummmm, right... Clark figures out Zod took the crystal that keeps the zone door closed and wears it as bling now. How could Zod do such a thing, you ask? Well, ever since Clark gave Zod a blood transfusion, they are blood brothers, hence opening special portals is no longer exclusive.

But the breach was Zod's doing. He tricked Clark into coming to his new exiled lair so the Darkness could grant him lordship of the Phantom Zone. But Zod has to kill Clark in exchange. You would think pitting Clark against warriors in a fight to the death would bring out the animal in him, but no such thing. So Zod turns to Oliver to join him in his quest. Oliver will be spared to reign with him, since Oliver has already been touched by the Darkness. Makes sense to Zod. And all would appear that it's going according to plan, when the two friends engage in battle (Clark is even speared with Oliver's sword), but just when it looks to be the end for our boy in blue, Zod steps in wanting to deliver the final blow. Of course, that's when Clark grabs the crystal from his neck and is teleported home with Oliver. But before they go, Clark entraps Zod and two of his followers into the infamous Zone glass and sends them out into space.

As if that wasn't enough drama, back home in Metropolis, Lois discovered that Clark's mission into the Phantom Zone was a suicide one. He and Tess devised a plan that if he wasn't back in three hours time, the portal door would be blown and sealed for good, trapping him there. It was a risk he was willing to take, knowing the evils that lay on the phantom side. But Lois didn't know any of this until she goes all "Dirty Harry" on Tess and says a very cool line: "Being a hero's wife means never accepting defeat." (Feminists everywhere should be clapping! We were.)

So the two friends make it home, but instead of three hours missing, Clark and Oliver were gone for three weeks. Lois convinced Tess to keep the portal window open and the wedding is only a couple days away now. We can't wait....

Bit of a footnote: Oliver kinda comes out to Clark about being Darksided. Okay, it's posed as more of a hypothetical, but the news is out there. Clark, not reading too much into the question, gives a matter-of-fact answer about locking up someone who wears the Omega sign. That gets Oliver off his bum to start searching for a weapon to defeat the Darkness. Tess knows he's on this quest and tries to get him help, but Oliver goes forth alone. So let's hope he can find a cure, before he Benedict Arnold's his team.


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