Firstly, Smallville is apparently distressing conservatives Well done, SV! Keep it up.
"Harvest" is an apt name for this episode as it seemed to be harvested from several other things. Clark and Lois end up in the Wicker Man, Tess and Alexander re-enact "Memoria" and the final sex scene is a reprise of several previous sex scenes, including those crucial casually placed candles. No one on SV can reach orgasm without an open flame, apparently.
The Wicker Man parts were variable for me. I thought Erica's speech from the scaffold was fabulous, her best scene this year. Unfortunately her acting partner, Head Villager, was absolutely awful. This was not the entertaining over-the-topness of Zor-El. This was just painful to watch. (Especially his soprano squeak of "SILENCE!") Either the Sheriff or the little girl would have made a better town leader.
Tom looked lovely in a variety of outfits but I was really unclear on when Clark was or was not affected by BlueK. Wouldn't he be more affected under ground with 20 years of meteor-silt? Suddenly the villagers take 2 steps back and he's fine? Wasn't he burned with blue fire? (A brave & gorgeous moment for Clark and Tom, but still puzzling.)
And I think it would have been nice for the "I'm an alien" discussion to happen onscreen.
Writers Turi & Al have more respect for continuity than other writers. So kudos for that. But I had an issue or two with how they used continuity tonight.
Firstly, we know a little about SV rapid cloning from the Dinsmore stories of S2/3 (namedropped tonight.) CloneEmily has original Emily's memories but she is not Lana's lost friend, any more than Alexander is real!Lex.
Like Memoria, this episode featured a birthday party gone wrong for "Alexander", even mimicking the cinematography panning down the table, and ends with him getting violently hit by a parent. "Alexander" is in the barn recalling some nice moments with Clark, then he talks about Clark's lies, then he taunts Tess with her attachment to powerful men (the last bit rang false. How would a Lex-clone know about Zod?)
So Tess hits him. Essentially, Alexander has now received Lex's childhood in microcosm, the lesson being: all Luthor children grow up to be evil and all Luthor parents abuse their children. (Tess is revealed to be a Luthor in an upcoming episode.)
And Tess, like Lionel in a number of episodes, is willing to kill her "child", all in the service of Clone!Lex growing up to be exactly like Original!Lex.
I dislike that plotline for Tess because a) it's so much better for her as a character if she makes the decision to break the pattern. b) I am tired of the show's emphatic hammering of DESTINY, whether it's the sunny future of Homecoming or the No Choice future of Lexmas. c) The show is almost certainly going to validate her decision: all Luthors should die as children because there is only one path for them to take.
In an upcoming episode called "Luthor", it seems we will see an AU where Clark is raised by Lionel. While the ep has a good writer (Bryan Q. Miller) I am queasy about getting even more "genetics is destiny" blather.
All that said, Cassidy and Connor were fabulous in their scenes.
I still think the Lex-path is a dangerous one to go down without guaranteed Michael at the end of it. But I'm starting to wonder if he has signed on and the producers are just keeping it secret?