'Smallville': Blood, sweat & tears let Roulette's spinning wheel save Oliver

justinhartley_smallville_290.jpgIt may seem like Oliver has cashed in his " Smallville" chips, but one elaborate plan (and scores of clichéd lines) later, we finally have our Green Arrow back!

It's clear the funk Oliver's been in has adversely affected those around him who would rather see him return to his old style, but when you're blowing off birthday beer pong with Lois Lane, you know you've hit the lowest of lows. Enter Roulette, an Asian with a game changer in the form of a red pill that clearly should not be taken. Sensing he has nothing to lose, Oliver takes the Morpheus offer and swallows, only to find himself passing out in the street and ultimately ending up in a coffin.

Off to a fantastic start, Oliver escapes and tries to rescue what sounds like Lex trapped in an adjoining box. Of course he's not in there, because this is all a game Oliver is playing against his will. In short order, it turns into The Running Man, except rabid dogs and industrial trucks are chasing him around the abandoned work site. Waking up in a puddle the next day, he tries to call Chloe and fails. Once he finds the Roulette tattoo on his arm, his next move is to return to the original scene where the trouble began. Problem is, says Roulette, that if the bad guys see him there, she will die. Right on cue, the punches begin to fly, yet somehow they manage to escape. She tries to answer questions on the run, (real name Victoria), but in the process of helping him help herself manages to get shot and killed herself. Again on cue, the police arrive and Taser® him, bro.

ericadurance_smallville_290.jpgOn the other side of town, Clark returns to the farm and finds Lois prepping for a Jaws movie night by doing laundry in the interim. They try to enjoy the movie together, except Clark's incessant need to save the world by converting the living room into a concession stand as a cover story finally wears Lois down. Yeah, she's bummed that Oliver bailed on beer pong, so she and Clark set out to find our confused billionaire... except all she finds in his office is footage from last week's party. Not only does it show Oliver and his death wish, it reveals Clark knew about it all along and didn't tell her. Oy.

Oliver gets the standard bad cop/good cop treatment from the locals and the FBI, until the fed's computer morphs into one giant phishing scam, draining Oliver's bank account. The interrogation room fills with gas, but Clark saves the day while revealing the room was nothing more than a television set staged in an abandoned warehouse. They run to Watchtower and Oliver begs for Chloe's help, but when she refuses, he returns to the gambling hall a third time, only to find Lois tied up. See, she continued to search for Oliver solo, only to get her ass kicked by Roulette... who is now holding her hostage. Seems all she's interested in is gunfire and regular fire, which the action sequence provides plenty of. The Moment of Truth comes when Roulette cries out for help and Oliver tries to save her anyway, only to realize the exercise was a fool's errand all along.

allisonmack_smallville_290.jpgYou see, Chloe had this notion that she needed to burn the village to save it, hence the need to create one elaborate game. If only Oliver could see how much he's loved and needed, he might bust out of his funk and resume being the hero he rightfully is. By saving Roulette, he finds he's only destroying himself. Packed with that knowledge, the light bulb kicks on and he remembers that having a purpose in life really is a good thing. Welcome back Green Arrow... we sure as heckfire missed you.

Back to that security footage for a moment: Chloe and Clark notice a familiar tattoo on one of the party guests from last week. Yep, that would be Alia making a cameo at the party. Chloe runs the tattoo through the database with chilling results: that mark has been found in hundreds of locations around he world. When they say that soon the world will need all the help it can get, boy they weren't kidding!