Smallville – S1 Ep21 – Tempest Review

We have reached the first season finale of Smallville and it doesn’t disappoint. As a storm is fast approaching we begin at the Luthorcorp plant that Lex took charge of in the first episode. Lionel arrives via helicopter to inform Lex and their workers that the plant is being closed due to Lex’s mismanagement, then tells Lex he can come back to work side by side with him in Metropolis. Meanwhile at Smallville high the gang are excitedly preparing for the Spring Formal, the news of the Luthorcorp plant closure is spreading as it affects a lot of the town’s work force, including Chloe’ father.

Lex is eager to break away from always being in Lionel’s shadow and tries to engineer a buy out of the plant with a group of employees. Lionel however has pre-empted this move from his son and buys the bank where Lex’s employees take out their loans, effectively taking back power himself. Also playing dirty is Roger Nixon, the reporter who has been working for Lex and gathering evidence that Clark has powers. He sets up the Kent’s truck to explode when the ignition is turned on and films Clark’s miraculous escape. He then goes to Clark to threaten to expose him unless he tells his story, of course Clark denies he has any abilities and tells his parents of the encounter. Unfortunately Roger is outside listening to the conversation where Clark also divulges that he thinks Lex is in possession of the octagonal disc discovered in the field where his ship crashed.

The goodbyes begin when Whitney tells Lana he is joining the Marines and leaving before the dance, but before he goes he has a big ask for Lana – that she waits for him while he is away. We also have a final scene with Clark and Lex, the calm before the literal and metaphorical storm as it were. They remain best friends as Clark continues to stand by Lex during his fathers hostile take over and Lex has told Roger that Clark and his family are under his protection. In a poignant moment our two main characters agree that any relationship based on lies and deceit is destined to fail, like so many of them in the show eventually will.

Clark makes Chloe very happy as he keeps his promise to take her to the dance. They meet up with Lana and Whitney who are on the way to bus station as Whitney leaves for the Marines. Whitney has a final ask of Clark also, that he watches over Lana. Clark agrees, putting aside their differences and jealousy the two have had as they part on good terms. Then, in a sad moment Whitney tells Lana he has loved her since the moment he first saw her, Lana however is unable to say the same as she lets him leave without her promise that she will wait for him.

As the tornado is heading to hit Smallville, Roger discovers the Kent’s storm cellar just as Jonathan and Martha are running to it for cover. He has also stolen the disc from Lex’s desk and places it in the space ship. Jonathan’s protective instincts kick in once again, along with his anger as he runs after Nixon during the storm, leaving Martha in the cellar just as Clark’s ship begins to light up. At the Luthor mansion tensions finally boil over between Lex and Lionel as they argue about the missing disc. The tornado sends a tree flying through the window, knocking Lex across the room and trapping Lionel under a pillar. Lionel is left begging Lex for help as Lex only watches on, will he save his father or is this the moment his decent to evil begins? At the dance Clark hears of the tornado and abandons Chloe to find Lana, he races to help her and finds her just as the tornado begins to sweep her away in her car. We end on a super cliff hanger as Clark speeds into the tornado to save Lana… to be continued.

Thank you to Earth 9 for welcoming me to their team. Stay tuned for my reviews of season two but until then, ‘always hold onto Smallville’.

Smallville – S1 Ep20 – Obscura Review

While the significance of the title of the last episode called Crush both applied to the literal crushing of the ‘villain of the week’ hands and also the romantic feelings he displayed for Chloe, this instalment called Obscura left me a bit perplexed. The word typically relates to ‘camera obscura’ which could also be referred to as a ‘pinhole image’, a natural optical phenomenon to do with the projection of an image. In relation to this episode I am left to think it refers to the effect of meteor rock exposure has on Lana.

Back to the action, which this episode is full of, we start with Lana and Whitney as they find themselves in the middle of an explosion caused by a faulty gas line. Lana is thrown across a field and is exposed to meteor fragments. When she comes around, there is Whitney and two of the Sheriff’s deputies standing over her. After visiting Lana in the hospital, Chloe is abducted by an unknown assailant, Lana however has had a vision of her abduction and her new ability means she can see through the attackers eyes.

The next day at school Lana tells Clark about the vision she had, Clark is already worried that he hasn’t heard anything from Chloe and this arouses his suspicions further. After Lana has a second vision of Chloe both her and Clark realise she is in real danger and call the police. The Sheriff sends the same two deputies, Watts and Vertigo, that were at the scene of the original gas explosion to interview Lana, co-incidence? I think not! Of course they don’t believe her and Lana’s next vision is of Chloe being buried alive, when she tells Clark he is able to find her by the land marks she describes in a field. Clark makes a heroic rescue but there is a witness who sees him using his super powers…

Even though Chloe is safe, Lana’s visions continue, she can still see through the eyes of this mystery attacker. When Clark links Lana’s new ability with the gas explosion he goes to Whitney to find put who was at the scene, leading us back to the two deputies, one of them being Chloe’s kidnapper. Clark and Chloe arrive at the Talon too late, Lana is already missing with Vertigo knocked out on the ground. It turns out it was Deputy Watts who was responsible and he has taken Lana to the carnival where he works as a security guard and where Chloe was originally held. He tells Lana he never wanted to hurt anyone, he took Chloe because he wanted to save her to be seen as a hero, and now he wants to be able to solve Lana’s murder! It seems he has quite the ‘hero’ complex himself. As always Clark arrives in time to rescue her, and Lana has one final vision of a bullet being fired directly into Watts head as he is killed by the police in a stand off.

Lex’s interest in the meteor shower is growing as Roger, the tabloid reporter on his payroll, brings a story to him about a farmer who saw a spaceship come down in a field with the meteors. Unbeknownst to the Kent’s, Roger starts gathering evidence that will prove Clark has certain abilities. Jonathan and Clark come across Lex and a team from Luthorcorp digging up the same field where Clark’s space ship crashed. When they confront Lex he claims they are just performing tests on the soil, but during the dig, they discover a silver octagonal disc with Kryptonian symbols engraved on it. This action prompts Jonathan to refuse the money Lex reimbursed him for the loss of their livestock from a few episodes prior. Jonathan is adamant Lex’s intentions will eventually hurt Clark and their family, and doesn’t want to be indebted to the Luthors anymore. His behaviour comes across as stubborn but his instincts about Lex may have been right all along.

After a harrowing ordeal Chloe finally gets some good news, both in being accepted for a summer internship at the Daily planet and when Clark asks her to be his date for the Spring Formal. Lex also has some news of his own when he has Dr Hamilton examine the disc found in the field and he is even more intrigued to learn it is not from Earth. The final shot of this penultimate episode being of Clarks space ship hidden in the Kent’s storm cellar, with an octagonal shape hole in the middle. Just how much longer can Clark keep his secret?

Smallville – S1 Ep19 – Crush Review

At the beginning of the episode we meet Justin played by Adam Brody, a comic book artist who was the victim of a hit and run and suffered an injury to his hands preventing him from being able to draw. Justin is currently residing in a rehabilitation clinic but his doctor tells him he will soon be going home to Smallville. He has a certain animosity towards his doctor and it is apparent he blames him for not being able to fix his condition. We find out Justin has the ability to move objects with his mind and he uses this to take revenge, he cripples his doctors hands by shutting them in an elevator door after causing it to plummet to the ground.

It is career day back at Smallville High School and while Chloe is vying for a summer internship at the Daily Planet, Clark is uncertain of what his future holds. An air force recruiter tells him he sees Clark in a uniform flying, a nice nod to Clark’s future as Superman. Chloe is hurt when Clark forgets to book their place at a journalism conference in Metropolis and decides it is time she gave up on Clark realising her feelings for him run deeper than friendship. Justin returns and runs into Chloe in the hallway at the right time, he and Chloe had been friends before his accident and he expresses his gratitude that Chloe kept in touch while he was in the hospital. Unlike Clark, it seems Justin does have true feelings for Chloe and he even draws a beautiful portrait of her as a gift, albeit using his mind not his hands. While at The Torch he tells Chloe about his ability and the two share a kiss just as Clark walks in, he has some doubts about Justin after learning what happened to his doctor and tries to warn Chloe to be careful.

After seeing Justin and Chloe together Clark begins to question whether he does have romantic feelings for her. He asks Lex for some advice as Lex is aware of Clark’s feelings towards Lana as well. Clark tells him hasn’t made a move as he doesn’t want to ruin his friendship with either of them, to which Lex replies that love is about taking a chance and if he is not willing to accept the risks then he will never win over either of them.

Justin takes revenge on someone else he blames for his condition and kills the driver of the car that hit him… Principle Kwan, or so he thinks. It turns out it was Principle Kwan’s son Danny who was driving the car and Kwan covered for him. When Clark tells Chloe she refuses to accept that Justin could be capable of committing murder and accuses Clark of trying to ruin her relationship with him. Chloe does have her doubts though and uses her own investigative instincts to find evidence of Justin’s wrongdoings in his drawings. Before she can find Clark to tell him the truth about what she knows Justin tracks her down, now feeling betrayed by Chloe as well, he tries to kill her. Fortunately Clark is able to get there in time to save her and stop Justin hurting anyone else.

Also in this episode Lex is mourning the death of his mother on the day she died. His former nanny Pamela Jenkins turns up while Lex is visiting his mothers grave. Her appearance here doesn’t have great significance, we learn Lex had great affection for her growing up and she asks him for forgiveness for leaving after his mother died. Of course much later on in the series we learn that Pamela is the mother of Lex’s half sister Tess Mercer.

Maybe seeing Chloe with someone else made Clark realise he has feeling for her, as later at The Talon he makes an important step and invites Chloe to the journalism conference she had wanted to go to. Lana witnesses them together and is beginning to think she has feelings for Clark as well. To further complicate things Whitney comes in, visibly upset and tells Lana his dad has died. We end on a sombre note at Whitney’s dad’s funeral, with the song ‘Time after time’ accompanying the sad event in the background. While Lana is there to support Whitney, she can’t help but glance at Clark, who is transfixed with her also, something which does not go unnoticed by Chloe. Feelings are definitely starting to boil over as we approach the final two episodes and the complex relationships of these characters are going to be pushed to breaking point. Up next is Obscura.

Smallville – S1 Ep18 – Drone Review

‘Clark Kent for Class President’… Clark gets a little taste of school politics in this episode as Pete nominates him to be Class President. At first Clark is reluctant to take on the challenge, but after some encouragement from his parents, who give him their approval as it is one school activity that doesn’t require him to use his abilities, he goes ahead with his campaign.

Our villain of the week is a student called Sasha who has the ability to control bees. Sasha is also running for Class President and has decided to use her drone bees to take out her competition. Clark remains unfazed and committed to his goal as he approaches Lex for advice on what type of platform he should run with. They have an interesting conversation with a few nods to the comic books, Lex allowing Clark to use his campaign slogan ‘Man of Tomorrow’ for his poster, one of Superman’s nicknames. Chloe is not as supportive of Clark’s endeavour but only because she doesn’t think Clark is running for the right reasons, it’s not a popularity contest as she aptly puts it. As editor of the school paper Chloe also has an important responsibility of endorsing a candidate and Clark is hurt when she chooses one of his rivals Paul Chan. Another nice nod to the Superman mythology comes when Chloe questions Clark on what will stand for as Class President, his response being ‘Truth, justice and other stuff’. A fun moment when we all know one of Superman’s famous catchphrases is that he stands for ‘Truth, justice and the American way.’

After defeating Sasha’s bees the gang meet at the Talon for a victory party. Paul Chan emerges as the winner, although after being attacked by Sasha, can’t be there celebrate in person. Clark accepts that Chloe had to be impartial with her endorsement and concedes that the best candidate won. It turns out a life in politics was not for him, but is it on the radar for Lex? When Clark offers to return the ‘Man of Tomorrow ‘ slogan Lex lets him keep it, saying his own aspirations reach far beyond a school election, that he one day wants to be the President of the United States. We now have more of an indication of how much Lex wants to be a leader in a position of great power, which up until now had only extended to his father’s company Luthorcorp.

Also in this instalment we learn the Talon is struggling with it’s business profits, and with Lex being the main investor, he gives Lana some advice on how to deal with the competition. While there was not too much subtext to digest in this episode, one thing I found particularly interesting was how Lana decided to use questionable tactics to out do the rival coffee shop. Although Lex prompted her actions she freely admits to him how she liked the feeling of being under handed to defeat her opponent. There are definite cracks beginning to show in Lana’s persona, which, up until now has been almost perfect.

It was great to see some little hints at the Superman mythology in this episode, especially as we are fast approaching the end of the season. There are still quite a few threads to tie up before the end of the school year and the all important ‘Spring Formal’. With the big question being… who will Clark ask to be his date? Find out in my review of the next instalment called ‘Crush’.

Smallville – S1 Ep17 – Reaper Review

The ‘Grim Reaper’ comes to town in this rather dark instalment of Smallville. We meet Tyler, a young man who is visiting his sick mother in hospital, where she begs for his help in bringing her life to an impromptu end. Tyler reluctantly agrees, not wanting his mother to suffer any longer and attempts to suffocate her with a pillow. A nurse walks in and during a scuffle with security, Tyler is knocked out of the hospital window, seemingly falling to his death. At the morgue we see Tyler has a fragment of meteor rock embedded in his arm and right before the coroner begins performing his autopsy Tyler awakens, swatting the bone saw away and grabbing the coroner by the arm, turning him to nothing but ash.

Clark and Martha first encounter Tyler while delivering flowers and produce to the local community support centre for the sick and elderly. Unfortunately what he did to his mother has convinced Tyler that in order to bring sick people comfort he needs to euthanize them. Along with Martha and Clark he visits the house of Mrs Sikes and her little dog Pepper and sees how ill and frail she is, offering to return later with her favourite flower, a white rose. Sure enough he does return, and makes Mrs Sikes and her beloved dog Pepper, whose only crime was barking too loudly, his next victims by turning them both to dust.

The ‘b’ story ties in quite nicely this week as we examine the relationships of dads and their kids. Clark and Lex share stories of how their fathers bonded with them growing up, or how they didn’t in Lex’s case. Clark reminiscing about how he and Jonathan always take an annual fishing trip together, while admitting he only goes along to make his dad happy, not because he enjoys it. Instead of fishing Lex offers them tickets to a football game in Metropolis, while saying Lionel was never really there for him the way Jonathan is for Clark, as the one time Lionel did take him fishing, they were both the bait in a shark tank! Lex’s generous offer doesn’t go down too well with Jonathan however, whose distain for Lex and his friendship with Clark is not going away any time soon, especially since his latest discovery that Lex was investigating them after the car crash in the Pilot. Lex still tries to make Jonathan see him the way Clark does, and even confides in Jonathan how envious he is of the Kent family dynamic and how close they are. Right now it seems all Lex wants is people he can call family himself.

Speaking of dads, Whitney’s own father’s health has taken a turn for the worst, now in hospital after suffering another heart attack. This gives Tyler the opportunity to put his suffering to an end as he still believes that is the right thing to do. The episode does well in highlighting the issues surrounding assisted suicide, and while Tyler may well think he is preventing sick people from feeling more pain, it takes Clark to remind him he is also robbing them of valuable time they could be spending with loved ones. After Clark tells Tyler his mother is still alive and recovering at home, Tyler finally sees the error in his actions and brings death upon himself, for good this time.

We end with an emotional message about the importance of spending time with the people we love while they are still here. Whitney manages to get over the pain of seeing his once strong and athletic father so weak, and with the help of Lex, is able to fulfil his fathers dream of watching him play football for the Metropolis Sharks team, even if only for one night. Clark and Jonathan also share a heart to heart, both admitting that their fishing trips were important after all, Jonathan wanting to have a better relationship with Clark than the one he had with his own father. Knowing the eventual fate of Jonathan Kent and as someone who understands the pain of losing their father, seeing the end of the episode I felt I wanted to tell Clark to appreciate as much time with his dad as possible. A classic episode which reminded me why I love the show so much.