Smallville – S2 Ep11 – Visage Review

Following on from the previous episode where Lana revealed that Whitney is missing in action, we find him struggling to survive with his military unit in Indonesia. Whitney heroically tries to save one of his men when they come under heavy fire and there is an explosion right before the opening credits. It is hard to think how Whitney will come out of this alive. With Whitney out of Lana’s life she has been spending more time with Clark, just as they are making plans to go out together Whitney makes a shocking return to the High School. Lana runs to him and throws her arms around him in a warm embrace, much to Clark’s disappointment – but is Whitney’s miraculous return for real?

Lana decides to give Whitney a ‘welcome home’ party at the Talon, he claims he is experiencing memory loss because of the explosion and has no recollection of the break up video Lana sent to him. Clark reluctantly goes to the party when his Dad reminds him he needs to put his feelings aside to honour Whitney’s service to the country. At the Talon Whitney is very hostile towards Clark for spending so much time with Lana, even though the last time they saw each other, Clark made a promise to him that he would look after Lana. In a jealous rage Whitney pulls the door off one of the bathroom stalls and warns Clark to stay away from her. The next day Lana is mad with Clark as Whitney has told her that Clark was the one who was jealous, as always she is very quick to put the blame on Clark without hearing him out.

A military officer turns up at the Fordman house to speak with Whitney’s mother, he tries to tell her that Whitney has been killed in action but before he can get his sentence out, Whitney bludgeons him to death with a baseball bat and silences his mother. He proceeds to interrogate her on the small details of his life that he should know about when he reveals his true identity… the shape shifter Tina Greer! You will remember Tina from early last season who had an obsession with Lana. Clark manages to put the pieces together after x-raying Tina and worries that, after their last encounter, she knows about his abilities. Concerned that Clark is onto her Tina steps up her plans and, still masquerading as Whitney, she asks Lana to marry her. Lana turns her down and comes clean about the break up video, this obviously doesn’t go down well with Tina but she decides to switch tactics and as a parting gift, asks Lana for her kryptonite necklace.

Tina pretends to be Jonathan Kent in order to get close enough to Clark to weaken him with the necklace. She locks Clark down in his storm cellar and tells him she is in love with Lana and the only way she knows she can be with her is to become the person Lana is really in love with… Clark! While trapped Clark struggles to break free from the kryptonite, only for his space ship to mysteriously neutralise it and save him. Clark rushes to rescue Lana from Tina, who is now pretending to be him, the real Clark arrives and manages to convince Lana of who Tina really is. We see Clark fight Tina (as himself) outside of the Talon and she meets her demise by impaling herself on a large metal spike.

In other news, Lex is still dating Dr Helen but is starting to have doubts about whether he can trust her. He confronts her about a secret meeting she had with Lionel after a large sum of money appears in her bank account. Helen takes offence that Lex has been investigating her and says she doesn’t want to be with someone who spies on her. It transpires that Lionel tried to bribe Helen to stay away from Lex but she refused to take his money. She is disappointed that Lex jumped to the wrong conclusion without giving her the chance to explain. Lex open up to Helen about the reasons behind his trust issues, mainly to do with his father’s influence and growing up without his mother. Helen takes his hand and decides to give him another chance.

When the sad truth about Whitney’s death in combat is finally revealed, Clark wonders that if he didn’t have his abilities, would he be able to be as courageous as Whitney and put himself in harm’s way in order to protect others. Jonathan assures him that he believes he would. Down in the caves Lana finds Clark and breaks down in tears, upset that everyone she has ever cared about leaves her including Aunt Nell. I always felt Lana thinks of her aunt in a very negative way which seems unwarranted, as she was the only person there for her after her parents died and even offered her a place in her new life in Metropolis, horse riding lessons and all!  She tells Clark that he is the one good thing in her life and she doesn’t want to loose him as well. He gives her a hug and assures her that he isn’t going anywhere. It was nice the show provided some closure on Whitney’s story, even if it turned out to be a sad one, the fallout of his death is yet another obstacle in the continuing Clark and Lana emotional roller coaster.

This Week in DCTV – 19/2/21

Things are ramping up with DCTV, Batwoman and Black Lightning this week!

Batwoman

Rob – What I want to know is how did little Ryan resist eating all those jelly beans on day one???

I like Ryan and Mary bonding and becoming friends. I wasn’t enjoying the backstory at first but it gave more substance to Ryan and her reasons for wanting to be Batwaman and it’s genuinely Javicia that’s keeping my interest in the show at the moment.

Alan – We’re back for the fourth episode of Batwoman, and I’m still liking it so far.

This episode tried to do multiple plot points all woven together, but I’m not sure how well that worked. The opening started off with a  whole drugs plot line, which then seemed to not really go anywhere, and we still have the looking for Kate hunt. I’m, not sure where they are planning on going with that, but I feel like it’s not going to pay off, because we already know Ruby Rose is very unlikely to come back.

I did very much enjoy that we got a lot of Ryan’s backstory and her childhood showing how she was kidnapped by someone who is still operating. There were references to Batman and Joker in this backstory, and we find out that she was a comic book kid. Which also shows id DC Comics is at thing in this universe, as is the Green Lantern Corps, in comic form at least.

I felt there was very little actual Batwoman in this episode, it was only really right at the beginning and then the end, but that was fine. We also look like we could be heading towards and alliance, at very least and acceptance from the Crows that Batwoman is helpful.

Overall while there were elements, I wasn’t sure on, I enjoyed this again, and will continue to come back next time. Final thought, is Ocean Black Mask?

JustinBatwoman is back after a brief one week break (due to the Superbowl) with another great episode! This fourth chapter of Season 2 sees Ryan recall a painful part of her past as she sets out to find a missing kid. Our new Batwoman is such a fascinating character. Ryan’s latest mission further cements the kind of hero she has set out to be: a hero for the overlooked. The series is doing an incredible job of depicting real life issues while still providing an element of fantasy and escapism.

This was yet another stellar episode of Batwoman! Ryan is truly coming into her own as Gotham’s hero. Using her own past experiences, she is able to reach those that Kate necessarily could not. It is powerful to see a hero that champions those that are overlooked by society. Ryan’s backstory continues to be powerful and compelling.The Candy Lady proved to be an unexpectedly menacing side villain. I also loved the dynamic between Sophie and Alice in this episode. I am curious to see who is able to track down Kate first, that is if she is even alive.

I am looking forward to what’s next!

Black Lightning

Justin – Dark are the days in Freeland. It seems that this is the new normal for the city and its people. This second chapter of the final season sees the Pierce Family and the city of Freeland continue to deal with the pain, grief, and the rising gang warfare. Jefferson continues to be reckless with his abilities as he processes his grief. This puts him at odds with Gambi, who is on a mission of his own to protect the city’s metas. Only two episodes and this season is already shaping up to be a worthy conclusion to this important series. This series is at its strongest when it uses the fantastical element to elevate human stories.

As I said in my season premiere review, it is refreshing to see the series come full circle and focus on the Pierce Family and the personal quest to protect Freeland. The way the series presents moral ambiguity and what it means to be a hero continues to be fascinating. Jefferson’s recent behavior isn’t necessarily right, but you can understand his motivation. Lynn is doing things for noble reasons as well, but her methods are also questionable. This episode also leans into the strained relationships between Jefferson and his family. His falling out with Gambi was especially heartbreaking to watch. Speaking of Gambi, I am glad to see him have personal attachments outside of the Pierce family. I feel like he has earned a chance to settle down and have some love in his life. It will definitely be interesting to see how the storyline plays out. All in all, I am excited to see where the season takes us!

This Week in DCTV – 12/2/21

So no new Batwoman this week, but we did see the return of Black Lightning for its final season, as it goes not a lot of the team watch it! But Justin is here to give you his thoughts on the season premiere.

Justin – Black Lightning is back! After an impressive third season, I entered this season with higher expectations. I am happy to say that this premiere met them! This emotional season opener felt like a back to basics for the series. This show has, at its core, been about the Pierce family. It is great to see the show refocus on the family dynamic that made it successful in the first place. I also appreciate the writers for not brushing over the trauma and fallout of the Markovian War. Sacrifices were made and lines were crossed for the greater good. All of this has definitely taken a toll on Jefferson, Lynn, Anissa, Jen, and Gambi. I am also excited for the eventual confrontation between Jefferson and Tobias, who is set to be the big bad once again. While I am disappointed that this is the final season, I am excited to see how this story unfolds and ultimately concludes.

This Week in DCTV – 5/2/21

Batwoman continues….

Jim – This week Batwoman definitely picks up, the introduction of Victor Zsasz is great, feels like Ryan is getting her own villains which is awesome and her settling into the role really well. I’ll be honest I’d rather they continue this way and maybe lessen Alice some, she’s a great character but her story is very connected to Kate which is cool right now but I would like them to move away at some point. From what we learn in this episode it doesn’t look like they’re doing that any time soon!

We also got some hints at maybe a future villain with the mention of a man in a Black Mask, that’s very exciting!! And a mention of Jack Napier, they’re busting all the villains out this week and we finally got to meet the infamous Safiyah, it will interesting to see well this story goes.

Rob – “Have you seen the damn wig!!!!!”

New look, new Batwoman and this episode was more like it. It gave me what I wanted and we saw Ryan have a little more fun with her new role which brought a much more lighthearted tone. This also meant Mary was the Mary that I love watching too. The fun was brilliantly mixed in with a great villain. Alex Morf was pure joy as Victor Zsasz. Victor maybe wasn’t as threatening as other versions we’ve seen but he was great to watch in this episode.

Alan – Week 3, and we have the usual fixtures in place, Luke is still kidding himself that Kate is coming back and Ryan is just a stand in, and Alice up to all kinds mischief in the background. We also find Ryan trying to make the Batwoman her own and disposed of the red wig. I find this is a shame, I like the red wig and feel it is iconic of the character, but I understand the need and desire to differentiate Ryan from Kate.

Alice is still great, and probably the best character, although I really enjoyed the portrayal of Victor Zsasz. I always enjoy  Zsasz as a character , and often wish he was used (in any media) as one of the “bigger villains”. We find him captured by Batwoman by the end of the episode, I hope we get to see more of him at some point.

Referring to the bigger villains, this now brings me to the main issue I have with this episode. The reference to Jack Napier. Anyone who has seen Batman ’89 knows that Jack Napier is an alias of Joker, and with so many great villains in the DC Universe, do we really need another Joker portrayal? I love the Joker when he’s done well, but I hope they don’t go in that direction.

Kendra – In Season 2 Episode 3 of Batwoman, a contract killer runs amuck in Gotham and Ryan has to stop them.Victor Zsasz, the hitperson, is a wonderful dip into the villain lineup. While it seem Victor kills indiscriminately…there is a definite method to the madness. I love the balance that this episode provides both giving a short story and playing the long game. It isn’t easy to do and when it happens it is so enjoyable.

Also Kate is brought up again as evidence comes to light that she may yet live, and this raises questions on just what they are planning to do with Kate Kane when the airplane crash would have sufficed to close that story. Guess we will see how this one unfolds as the season comes out.

Justin – This was yet another great episode of Batwoman! Javicia Leslie is truly coming into her own as the lead of this series. Ryan Wilder is officially Batwoman as of this episode and it was great to watch. The new suit is fantastic! Alex Morf was simply brilliant as Victor Zsasz. Charming and terrifying, he was the perfect villain for Ryan’s first true outing as her own Batwoman. I found it fascinating that he also inspires Ryan to make Batwoman her own.

I also love the budding friendship between Mary and Ryan. Nicole Kang continues to be a fantastic part of this cast that always brings heart and humor to each episode. Camrus Johnson’s Luke Fox is finally warming up to Ryan which is a joy to watch. Johnson is truly a phenomenal talent. Shivani Ghai’s debut as Safiyah was fantastic as well. Her regal and powerful portrayal of the Queen of Coryana was definitely reminiscent of Matt Nable’s Ra’s Al-Ghul from Arrow. I can’t wait to see if she is telling the truth concerning Kate or if she is simply manipulating Alice.

I am looking forward to what’s next!

Smallville – S2 Ep10 – Skinwalkers Review

This instalment of Smallville takes a dive into Clark’s origins, and it’s not about Krypton! While Clark and Pete are riding their speed bikes they come across a Luthorcorp development site where an explosion took place the previous night. Clark takes a tumble and ends up falling down into a cave. After a rough landing he draws the attention of Kyla, who is surprised to see he didn’t sustain any injuries after the fall. Kyla is doing research for her Grandfather Joseph Willowbrook and shows Clark the images displayed on the cave wall, she tells Clark the story of the legendary Naman which had been written in the earth long ago and never discovered. Naman was prophesised to fall from the skies in a rain of fire, have the strength of ten men and blast fire from his eyes… sound familiar?

Naturally Clark is intrigued with this tale and goes to his parents to tell them, he also saw a indent in the cave wall in the shape of an octagon – just like he key that came from his spaceship. Jonathan is sceptical as you would expect and puts it down to how the cave drawings can be interpreted. He tells Clark to be careful of what he divulges to Kyla and her Grandfather, like always he is worried about people discovering their secret and using Clark for their own gain. To try and put his Dad’s mind at rest Clark invites them over for dinner. They learn of the Kawatche people and how a man came from the stars and fell in love with the mother of their people, and that is how the legend of Naman was born. We also find out that the Luthorcorp development site is set to destroy the land where the caves are under.

Clark and Kyla become close in the barn looking at the stars when Lana interrupts them. They have a slightly awkward introduction but Clark asks for Lana’s help in preserving the caves since her birth father Henry Small is a lawyer. Martha also tries to appeal to Lionel to help the effort as well but it seems her words falls on deaf ears. Back in the caves Clark and Kyla are exploring the drawing on the walls. Kyla describes the meanings of the images to Clark as one of them depicts Naman’s nemesis Segeeth. The legend says that they were once like brothers and that one day Segeeth will turn against Naman and together they will be the balance between good and evil. Nicely parallel to the relationship the show is building between Clark and Lex. Clark then sees an image of a woman who Kyla says is the woman Naman is destined to be with – who could that be I wonder?! We are led to believe that it could be Kyla since she is wearing a bracelet the same as the woman in the drawing. While they are talking part of the cave collapses on them and Clark has to reveal his powers to Kyla to save her, making her think that he is this Naman.

It is nice to see Clark to spend time with and be attracted to someone who isn’t Lana, but is Kyla hiding something from him? When her Grandfather Joseph is arrested for an attack on the site foreman at the Luthorcorp development site Clark turns to Lex for help. He shows Lex the cave drawings and this peaks Lex’s interest enough for him to put up the bail money for Joseph. Clark begins to feel like Kyla isn’t being honest with him and that she could know something about the foreman’s death, his suspicions escalate when Martha is attacked by a wolf when leaving work. Clark confronts Kyla about Skinwalkers – Kawatche people who can turn themselves into animals. Clark believes that Joseph is a Skinwalker as it turns out the Luthorcorp foreman was murdered by a wolf. Kyla doesn’t take kindly to this accuasation and decides to end her relationship with Clark.

At the mansion Lionel is enjoying his evening scotch when the wolf appears to attack him, Clark arrives to stop Lionel from being killed and the wolf flees out of the window, hurting itself on the glass in the process. Clark chases after the wolf and when it changes back into human form Clark sees that it is Kyla. In a sad scene Kyla dies in his arms from her injuries saying that she sorry that she couldn’t be the one for him. Lionel shows up at the site the next day with Martha and they find Clark there protesting the works. Martha joins him and Joseph arrives to thank Clark for his efforts in trying to save the caves and Kyla. He apologies for not being able to keep her alive but Joseph doesn’t blame him, instead he gives him Kyla’s bracelet and tells him it is for the true one in his life. Lex also arrives and tells Lionel the state now has the right to presereve the land the caves are built on and have given Lex the contract to do so.

We end on a bit of a cliff hanger this episode as Lana goes to Clark in his barn to comfort him after losing Kyla. But, she is visibly upset about something more and opens up to Clark that Whitney has been missing in action from the military. I’ve noticed Lana does seem to have a way of making every situation more about her. I really enjoyed this episode as it explored so much of the mythology and also linked it to the story Smallville has set up, specifically with friendship between Clark and Lex. Whether or not Clark is this mysterious Kawatche legend named Naman we will have to wait and see! Stay tuned to Earth 9 for more of my Smallville reviews.