Smallville – S2 Ep12 – Insurgence Review

Smallville delivers an action packed episode as we reach the mid-way point of season two. The ongoing rivalry between Lex and Lionel is escalating as Lex finds out that his father has bugged his office in order to steal a lucrative business deal from him. In retaliation Lex decides to fight fire with fire and arranges for a crew to plant surveillance in Lionel’s Luthorcorp offices.

At the Kent farm, Jonathan is busy preparing an anniversary meal for Martha, however she has been called into an emergency meeting at work with Lionel. As you can imagine this does not sit well with Jonathan as he feels Martha is continuously putting her job above her family. Unbeknownst to Lex, Martha and Lionel turn up to work at Luthorcorp at the same time he has arranged for the offices to be bugged. When Clark goes to Lex to ask for help in making things right between his parents, Lex realises where his Dad is and tries to call the whole thing off. Unfortunately for him, the team he has hired goes rogue, and we discover their agenda was to empty the Luthorcorp vault and escape with the money.

In the ‘b’ story Lana has an uncomfortable first meeting with her birth father’s wife, Jennifer Small. Lana is worried about fitting in with Henry’s family but his wife Jennifer doesn’t think that Henry will stick around long enough to be a father figure to Lana. So she offers her a warning to not get too attached to Henry. I always found this story a bit odd and that the writers just needed Lana to have something to do as it doesn’t really fit in with the otherwise fast pace of this episode.

Martha is a little ticked off with Lionel for making her work on her day off, but it seems Lionel has an alternative agenda as well. He tells Martha he wants to promote her and give her an office at Luthorcorp, and he also gives her an engraved watch as a gift. It is clear Lionel is quite enamoured with Martha and thinks he can woo her with a title and expensive jewellery. It is quite amusing for me to know that it was John Glover’s idea to have Lionel get a bit closer to Martha in a way to humanise his character. As they are talking the robbers discover them and take them hostage. Lionel alerts the police by pressing a panic button and the hostage situation quickly makes the news. When Clark and Jonathan find out they make their way to Metropolis along with Lex, who is keen to resolve the situation without anyone getting hurt.

A very exciting part of the episode for me were the scenes shot outside of Luthorcorp where the standoff is taking place. Mainly because we get our first glimpse of the Daily Planet building, located across the street from Luthorcorp. Clark comes up with a plan to leap from the roof of the Daily Planet and into Luthorcorp in an effort to save his mother. It truly is Clark’s boldest move yet, as not only is he afraid of heights, but he has never tried to leap that far before.

When the robbers break into the vault they are disappointed to find no money inside, but very large quantities of meteor rocks. As they empty the vault of the contents Martha sees the extent of Lionel’s secrets, as not only does he have a file with Clark’s name on it, he also has the octagonal shaped disc that disappeared during the tornado. As the robbers try to negotiate a route out, Clark makes his move and jumps from the top of the Daily Planet to save the day. It was definitely one of the biggest moments in the show to date. When Clark takes out the power to the building and makes it to where Martha and Lionel are being held he is immediately knocked out by the meteor rocks, Martha takes action and pushes it back into the vault so Clark can regain his strength. Luckily for Clark, Lionel is still blind so he doesn’t witness Clark’s heroic rescue, while Martha sneakily steals the octagonal disc and tells Clark to burn all the files with his heat vision.

With the situation defused the police burst in to arrest the robbers. Lionel and Lex part ways on bad terms with Lionel saying he will be moving out of the mansion, having figured out it was Lex who orchestrated the whole attack in the first place. I do feel for Lex as it was not his intention for the situation to become violent and he is left standing alone watching Clark embrace his parents. These little moment really help us to understand how much Lex wants to have the life that Clark does. Back at home Martha shares with her family, all the evidence Lionel had on Clark stored in his vault, all except the octagonal disc which she mysteriously hides in her flour pot! Certainly not my first choice of a hiding place! Why has Martha decided to hide her discovery from Clark and Jonathan I wonder? Overall a thrilling episode with everything you could want from a superhero show.

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.

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.

Smallville – S2 Ep9 – Dichotic Review

It has been almost a month since my last Smallville review here so apologies for the long wait between chapters. I must admit I haven’t felt very creative during this most recent ‘lockdown’. However this week I listened to Tom Welling speak on Michael Rosenbaum’s ‘Inside of You’ podcast and felt inspired once again. Tom actually spoke about how it is difficult to be creative when you are just trying to survive and that is definitely a feeling the resonated with me. Then I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Tom again myself, thanks to the on-going virtual conventions. I enjoy how Tom is much more open and available to his fans now, even more so than when the show was actually on air. So after a double dose of Clark Kent himself I am feeling more like writing again.

Onto the episode review, Dichotic starts in school metal shop where we meet Ian, a student striving for perfect grades so he can secure the Luthor foundation scholarship. Clark sneaks a peak at the grades the teacher has assigned and Ian is set to be disappointed with a ‘C’. Ian certainly doesn’t take the news well and goes back after class and stabs his teacher with the letter opener he made in class. Yikes! These early episodes have made me think how disturbed some of the students at Smallville High were.

At the farm Jonathan is becoming increasingly frustrated with Martha dedicating more time to her new job as Lionel’s assistant. He attempts to do some repairs to their tractor by himself and ends up getting his leg trapped underneath it. Fortunately Clark arrives home in time to hear him calling for help. His injury puts him on crutches and unable to perform his farm chores which makes Martha feel guilty, even though she is only trying to make more money to help support the family farm. Later Jonathan admits he was a little jealous but Martha assures him that he and Clark will always come first in her life.

There is some story progression for Lex in this episode as he meets his future wife, Dr Helen Bryce at the Smallville Medical Centre while visiting Jonathan Kent. He manages to offend her straight away by saying he can pay for better medical care than she can provide. Funny how Lex always has ‘specialists’ from Metropolis ready at any moment in time! He runs into Helen again while attending therapy for anger management. We have never seen Lex to be physically angry for no reason so it was a little odd to see him lash out at a meter maid when the try to give him a ticket. At therapy it is clear Lex is enamoured with Helen and attempts to make things right by asking her out on a date, which she promptly declines as she remembers him from the emergency room a few years ago when he came in drunk and disorderly. The next day he goes to the hospital to see her again and she eventually warms to him after he apologises and accepts his offer of a coffee.

We also see Lana move in with Chloe and her dad now that her aunt Nell has left to go to Metropolis with her new fiancé Dean. Things quickly become awkward for them when they both start dating Ian, literally at the same time. Ian has the ability to split himself into two separate people which is how he has been able to up his grade average in order to finish High School early and qualify for his scholarship.

Clark notices something is off with Ian and questions his motives for dating both Lana and Chloe. Sadly for Clark they see his efforts to protect them as plain jealousy and dismiss his warnings that Ian is just using them. Ian wants Chloe to write a story about him and Lana to put in a good word for him with Lex since she is his business partner, something that never quite made sense to me as I believe Lex out right owns the Talon and Lana just works there after school and on weekends. Clark tricks Ian into revealing his ability by setting up a meeting with him and both Lana and Chloe at the same time. When the two figure out Ian has been using them by themselves he turns violent and kidnaps them. Even though Lana and Chloe have treated Clark quite poorly in this episode he is still there to save them when they need him and defeat Ian. Where usually Clark would be the one to apologise, here at the end he confronts Lana and Chloe about the lack of trust they had in him and how quickly they dismissed his warning even though he has always been there for them both. The conflict in their relationships has been boiling since the beginning of this season and it is nice to see Clark stand up for himself for a change. They agree to put everything behind them and just be friends. Let’s see how long that will last as my Smallville lookback continues in ‘Skinwalkers’.

Smallville – S2 Ep8 – Ryan Review

Have your tissues ready for this instalment as it is quite a tear jerker. After the episode ‘Stray’ in season one we thought that young Ryan was going off to live a happy life with his Aunt, but we were wrong. This follow up starts with Ryan being experimented on at Summerholt Neurological Institute, if you remember Ryan had the ability to read other peoples minds. He manages to trick the doctor running the experiment into leaving the room so he can escape. Obviously this sets off alarm bells and unfortunately he is caught, but not before he manages to call the Kent farm for help.

Chloe has one of her many sources trace the phone call to the Kent’s and finds out Ryan’s location. Clark gallantly rescues him from the facility and brings him home to the farm. It turns out Ryan’s Aunt could no longer afford his medical bills and handed over custody to Doctor Garner who offered to pay for his treatment. Lex also comes to the rescue when he files a restraining order against the doctor preventing them from re-claiming custody of Ryan. It is nice to see Lex doing the right thing early on in the show and always being there to help Clark, even if sometimes his reasons for doing so suit his own needs as well.

Ryan spends some time with Lex at the mansion where we see them bond about their love of Warrior Angel comic books. What we don’t know is Ryan is a lot sicker than he was letting on and needs to be rushed to the hospital after collapsing. At the hospital he tells Clark he has a tumor in his brain and he is dying. Clark spends the rest of the episode trying to find a cure for Ryan’s condition. I will say that Smallville does manage to find such brilliant child actors – Ryan Kelley who plays Ryan does such a wonderful job with all the emotional scenes and brings a tear to my eye on more than one occasion.

Lex also visits Ryan at the hospital and they discuss the subtle differences between heroes and villains. It’s a lovely little scene where Lex tells Ryan that ‘the road to darkness is a journey not a light switch’. Ryan simply tells him that is something he should remember, having seen the darkness that lies beneath the surface in Lex. Later Ryan tells Clark how much Lex admires him and makes Clark promise to keep an eye on him after he has passed. We can certainly see the complexities of the friendship between Clark and Lex, at this early stage they have each other’s backs but the longer Clark keeps his secret the more distrusting Lex becomes. It is surely part of the reason why they turn into enemies. But more on that as the seasons progress.

Clark does all he can to find a cure for Ryan, including running faster than he ever has to find a brain surgeon to operate on him. But sadly it was all in vein as Ryan can not be saved. This is actually an episode very much centred around real human struggles, as even ‘Superman’, no matter how hard he tries can save someone from cancer. Clark does manage to give Ryan the best last day of his life by overcoming his own fear of heights and taking run up in a hot air balloon. At the end Ryan asks Clark to make a promise to never give up trying to help people, and that he thinks he will change a lot of lives in doing so. In all I certainly remember this as one of the saddest episode of the show, with a lot of heart and emotion, and a lesson for Clark that he can’t save everyone.