Over the past 24 hours ( real time, not Jack Bauer time) I've screened Smallville's much-touted "Justice" episode (airing tonight, Jan. 18, and in which Green Arrow's association with Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash-like Impulse is revealed to Clark) and the first new, back-from-hiatus outing of Prison Break , hitting your TV on Monday, Jan. 22. My quick takes:

Smallville
It's 8 am Thursday morning, and I literally just shut off the DVD player and immediately e-mailed TV Guide Smallville expert Rich Sands to rave about "Justice," I enjoyed it that much. (Rich has a related story posted online today, and penned a fab preview for the Jan. 15 TV Guide.) Goosebumps were in great supply as I watched this League of truly extraordinary gentlemen assemble to save (at least) one of their own, as well as make a concerted bid to put a chink in Project 33.1's armor. Sure, there are a half-dozen too many "cute" quips shot back and forth 'tween Oliver/Green Arrow, Bart/Impulse, Arthur/Aquaman and Victor/Cyborg - along the lines of, "You'd make a great can opener" and, "You'd look at home on a package of green beans." Even Arthur cops to having had his fill of fish jokes. But you know what? That's what guys in such a situation would do, given their respective costumes - oh, I'm sorry, their "gear" - and such. (Gals may be glad to see that Aquaman prefers crimebusting in the buff, however.) I was amused when Oliver points out how not all of them got to pick their superhero nicknames, and Veronica Mars alum Kyle Gallner really gives Bart a lot of personality. (It's a fun episode, in many ways, for Chloe fans.) And I'll be damned if a pivotal scene between Oliver and Lois didn't make me all misty-eyed. Is saving the world better than what Lois stands poised to offer, green negligée and all? Discuss.

Prison Break
Fox's fast-paced contribution to popcorn television is back, and, after a pause to ponder Agent Kellerman's apparent reversal of allegiances, the boys are off and running again. As you have undoubtedly seen in the promos and publicity stills, beefy Lincoln has brains, too, and quickly puts two and two together to realize that Kellerman has a lot to answer for before the brothers will trust him. The hour, save for C-Note's B-story, progresses at a quick clip and delivers major developments in Michael and Lincoln's effort to crumble the conspiracy - so much so that this week's news story about the writers being stumped for a Season 3 arc comes to make a lot of sense. Now, lest you think that Fox spilled the episode's big twist in the promo, with the phone call Michael makes, that is not the case. There's another shocker lying in wait, one that casts a huge new cloud of doubt on the fate of the fugitives. Before I go, a few quick teases:

" Mr. Kim is not at all happy to hear who picks up the phone when he calls Agent Mahone as the hour kicks off. In fact, every phone call Kim subsequently makes goes sour. Dude should consider changing carriers, maybe? Or updating the resumé?
" As they rush to welcome back and hug "Uncle Teddy," Mrs. Hollander's kids threaten to harbor Kim Bauer-like powers of perception. Yeah, that scary.
" You, as I was, should be compelled to learn the complete lengths to which the conspiracy has gone to safeguard Terrence Steadman's status as a corpse. He's deader than Vanished.
" In an interesting wrinkle, light is shed on a key player's unexpected "connection" with President Reynolds.
" Line of the hour: "We will be a family... if it kills us." Gee, guess who says that?