Allison Mack's overwhelmingly bad acting meant this episode was not nearly as powerful as it could have been, no matter how atmospheric the lighting, set design, costuming and special effects are. It was a pity because Davis's performance was as excellent as always. I did like the reveal that the attraction was 'just a program' Brainiac had been running. Wow, mind fuck! I got through the rest of that scene by admiring his torso. What? It's what it was there for.
I did do a little dance of joy at the line 'we've never heard a thing about any Chloe Sullivan'. I admit it. However, I never for one moment thought she would wind up dead. Clark would never allow it. I was somewhat staggered to see that he considered it even briefly, but then I like to remember that Chloe was the one who advocated killing Lex, so really... karma, anyone?
SOOOOO FRIGGING ANNOYED that she knows his secret again! Arrrrrrghhhhhhhh. The writers threw away a massive opportunity there. Grrrrr.
I was rather indifferent to the Legion. I'm not versed in the 31st Century Legion characters so I can't say if they lived up or down to expectations. I rather enjoyed Rokk, found Garth annoying and thought Irma had the most going on. I really liked the actress's presence and particularly her voice. It conveyed an alien stillness very effectively.
I did find the plotting kind of hilarious. They just happen to show up on the day that Clark defeats Brainiac (a day of which they know the date but apparently no other details), minutes after Doomsday whisks Chloe away? o.O And their code was 'don't touch anything'? A code they immediately ignore. Hmm. Not filling me with faith, dudes!
I was a bit underwhelmed by Brainiac being turned into a giant paperweight. And while the Legion did seem awfully friendly, I don't think I'd have been letting them have Brainiac so quickly... yeah, yeah, we (the audience) know they're good, and the shoutout about Brainiac 5 was intended to reassure, but if I was Clark, I'd be thinking twice before handing over the dude I'd defeated twice
before to some folks who'd just shown up from the 31st century? Brainiac + 31st century sounds like a dangerous combo to me, and the Legion had been so, er, flaky, with their 'code' that I'm not sure I'd be trusting their good intentions to prevent any mishaps. Harrumph.
They did give Clark a lot to think about.
Lana was the strongest presence in this episode for me. I really liked her reaction to Clark telling her to 'get some rest'. I know he means well but he is not the only one who can help, nor is he the only one who wants to. What I found weirder was her 'I'm a different person now' line. I'm not quite sure where the writers were coming from there. While I buy that Lana has grown a lot in her time away from Clark, I could have imagined the same exchange (minus the 'I'm different' line) happening with them before she went away. Was it a reference to the darker aspects of her plot in Season 7? I was unclear.
Way more intriguing for me than the Legion telling Clark he'd have immense interplanetary influence, was Irma telling Lana that she's read stories about her and the incredible things that she'll go on to do. Wow. Very interesting framing too, saying that she's overcome hardships. It's fascinating that that's respected in the future because I feel like Lana's journey has felt like a private one in Smallville so far. The talk of her sacrifices was intriguing too.
I really liked that after Irma told Lana she'd be part of making Clark the hero others look up to, Lana demonstrates her influence by being absolutely adamant that she would never encourage him to kill anyone, and indeed talking him out of the idea that killing Chloe was a possibility.
I want to know what Irma saw when she read Lana's mind! And I thought telling her that she is remembered for a lot more than her relationship with Kal-el was AWESOME. Yay! Lana!destiny! Lana-solo destiny!? Bring it on! And I really want to know her 'secret' now.
Yes, there was a lot of Clana shippiness in this episode. It feels miiiiiiles away from the rest of the season and its Clois focus. But I really liked Lana's steadfast faith in Clark, and I admired her for saying that they write their destiny themselves. You could see Clark desperately needed those words and drew strength from her certainty. She felt very centred as a character. And wow, this made me REALLY wish that Lana was Clark's confidant/secret-keeper, not Chloe. In one episode she showed why she's far more worthy of that role.
ETA: Warning for Spoilers for BSG 4.11 in comments.