SmallvilleNo Lana. No Martha. No fine Professor Fine. But plenty of them Duke boys. Just when Bo Duke says something about

Clark "hightailing it back to Metropolis," up comes Luke Duke speeding around the bend in a blue Dodge Charger. Not exactly the General Lee but close enough. Luke's a senator in this Smallville universe and wouldn't you know it, he's landed smack dab in the middle of a scandal involving a dead stripper he'd been sleeping with. And just when the veteran politician is running for reelection against the dastardly Lex Luthor. Jonathan and Clark think Lex is behind setting Luke up, but he does a nice job of deflecting blame, letting it slip that some Sheriff Roscoe was behind the whole thing. OK, that didn't happen. But I really, really wanted it to happen. Instead, Clark tries to clear Luke's sinking reputation. How, you ask? By going to his hero's frequent hangout the Boar's Nest. OK, not really. But if TPTB can load the show with a plethora of Dukes references, I can do the same thing with this column. Clark ends up at a private gentlemen's club in Metropolis. Lois and Chloe turn all Cagney and Lacey to solve the crime and also end up at said gentlemen's club. That's where Lois turns stripperella and runs into some rich Euro dude with evil schemes on his mind and diplomatic immunity to fall back on; but not before giving Clark what appears to be his first lap dance. Then what happens at the end of every episode? Say it with me, class: Clark saves the day. Bo then forgives his friend Luke for being all dirty-politician guy, and Luke thinks Bo should run for the Senate. Yee haw!   Bettina Charles

The O.C.
"California... here we come!" And with that, baseball's a thing of the past. (Love the game, but the season? Too. Long.) Finally we can get back to the drama at hand. I've got my November-sweeps beret on, so you know I'm expecting a big, big episode. I didn't get one, but that's okay. It was a nice, solid effort from The O.C. folks. Dean Mess decided to mess with Ryan's collegiate future. So what does the troubled boy do? He cancels the tutor, drops out of high school and faster than you can say Perfect Storm, he goes all George Clooney on us and signs on for fisherman duty. Ryan can thank Marissa's new public-school pal Johnny for the offshore gig. The two do seem to get along now  now being the operative word.

Remember a long, long time ago (before the baseball play-offs), when Summer spied some extracurricular goings-on between terrible Taylor and Dean Mess? Well, this bit of good fortune, plus some Seth and Summer sneakiness, plus Sandy's big bluff and blackmail maneuver, was just the perfect storm needed to get Ryan back at Harbor. OK. If your name starts with an "S," you rock. If it starts with an "M" (that means you, Marissa) not so much. Calling your boyfriend a coward when he was really going through something  well, let's just say that wasn't the least bit supportive. But really, who needs Marissa when he's got Sandy on his side?

Meanwhile, Psycho Charlotte's still around and now she's busy luring Julie Cooper into her plan to get Kirsten's cash. My favorite part was when her scruffy accomplice asked: "Are you sure about this, Julie Cooper?" He apparently got the memo that says everyone is required to call Julie Cooper "Julie Cooper" at all times. Glad to know everyone's on the same page.  BC

Survivor: Guatemala
Buh-bye Brandon. I'll miss that strong, silent farmer and his thoughtful ways. Until now I always thought that chewing on cornstalks was only something done in the movies. Guess I was wrong, but if I was that hungry, I'd probably be chomping on anything I could get my hands on. I did think it was really interesting that the people complaining most about the lack of food were not the ones who looked the most emaciated. Stephenie, RafeLydia and Jamie practically dove onto that big buffet, knowing their butts were safe, but I really want to give Danni, Cindy and Gary a pizza or something. They are looking so thin, isn't it about time for one of those food-auction challenges? But it seems like this is the season of survivor shake-ups. Like the whole hidden-in-the-jungle-immunity-idol thing  that's a fun new twist. And I have one big question about Rafe, who said that he was the "worst person at finding things" right before he stuck his hand in a hornets' nest. How the heck is he a wilderness guide? I am so never going into the jungle with someone who admits that he can't find things and doesn't know how to spot danger early. Angel Cohn

Got a question about Survivor: Guatemala? Ask us and you may see the answer in TV Guide magazine.

1989 soundtrack: The Cure "Love Song"; Fine Young Cannibals "She Drives Me Crazy"; Roxette "Listen to Your Heart"

How great is that Cure song, by the way? It never gets old. But what does get old on this show are those lines that are absolutely cringe-inducing. Like the textbook-sleazy agent trying to convince Jenna to audition for a movie that "is going to be huge! Hudson Hawk!" Please, please stop. While the beginning of the episode seemed like more of the same soft drama, the show really (and finally!) started to pick up some steam. After all, it's been a month since we've seen ya. You're really gonna have to capture our attention in order to ensure that we stick around, Reunion people! Captain MajorHottie continues to investigate the murder of one of the six friends. He's coming under some fire because his big suspect is Father Whatawaste. His next stop on the friends train is (drumroll, please): Congressman Craig! So that means the victim is either Jenna or Sam (my bet's on Sam). Congressman Craig recalls how his supposed best friend ended up helping the feds nail his dad to the wall at the most inopportune time: during Craig and Sam's rehearsal dinner. Then Will chose an even more inopportune time to tell Sam he loved her: at the church right before Craig and Sam were to get married. Ouch. Did Sam marry Craig? Or did she run away with Will? We won't know until next week. Very good  a juicy cliffhanger. Now you're learning. Will-Sam oozed chemistry (yay!). Carla and Aaron finally got together (cute!). Congressman Craig is paralyzed (how?). I confess I didn't see that one coming. But I loved it. This drama is finally getting good.  BC