Spoiler Level: High
Well, this was a pleasant surprise! At first I thought we were getting a classic "freak-of-the-week" story. Then I thought, hey, with those eyes and the skull-like face and the streak of white hair, this reminds me of Silver Banshee. And low and behold, it was Silver Banshee! Y'know, if I knew my super-villains better I probably would have realized from the moment they said they were going to the McDougal Inn. Silver Banshee was never my favorite villain so that's probably a big part of why I didn't recognize her real name,* but I still think it's absolutely awesome that they used her and made her recognizable even to someone with a bad memory like me! This season of Smallville has been just great.
(In fact, I wanted to watch Smallville instead of Stargate Universe the other day, but I couldn't get The CW's video player to work on either Firefox or Internet Explorer. I tried again today using AOL's browser, which worked.)
I also loved the character interaction. Watching Clark and Oliver try to make small talk was hilarious. "So... save any orphans lately?" "No, no... Oh, I did stop a bank robbery the other day." "Oh look, little jellies!" But Chloe got the best line of all... "Don't take relationship advice from Clark Kent." Amen.
I like how Chloe has come out from under Clark's shadow and is becoming her own person this year. She's no longer the unrequited love, and they seem to have dropped that story line of Clark ignoring her. They're doing a much better job of balancing the super hero action and the character growth. Clark's still a bit pompous, but he's getting better.
* Oh, and by the way, I had no idea that Siobhan was pronounced "Shuh-VON." Which is funny, because one of my best friends growing up had a cat named Siobhan, and I always assumed the cat's name was spelled Shouvon. Learn something new every day!