SMALLVILLE: Prey (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, October 25, 2008
Smallville should be such a great show and this season should have been the time to turn it around with a new creative team running the show but alas, it doesn’t appear to be. This season introduces a major character in Superman mythology; Doomsday. In the original interpretation in comics, he was an unstoppable force hell bent on destruction – no other motivations, just destruction. He was a scary character because he was such a monster. There was no negotiating with him, no reasoning with him; the only thing that could stop him was brute force. Eventually, Superman had to die to stop him. Smallville brings an exciting twist to the character, an emo EMT is to become Doomsday! It couldn’t be more suspenseful and exciting! Sarcasm withstanding all of the suspense has been torn from this character in favor of another formulaic Smallville villain. The only difference here is that it’ll take at least a full season to stop him rather than one episode.
So, Chloe is a character that really fell adrift of what she was originally supposed to be. In the early days of this series, she was the journalist, the investigator, the one that was hot on Clark’s trail, the one who should have been named Lois. At some point, the show runners decided that there needed to be a new female addition to the cast so enter Lois. Lois is a tough as nails military brat that basically out of the blue – with no experience – decides to become a journalist. With a real Lois in the picture, Chloe has been edged out of a significant role in Clark’s life. Since then her character has been tweaked to make her more important, including giving her meteor abilities. None of it seems to fit like the old character direction did. Now she’s become an advocate for other “meteor freaks” and that doesn’t work either. Since when does she have the experience to be a counselor? It’s apparent that realistic character development isn’t really important on this series anymore.
Clark seems to have fully embraced his role as super protector of Metropolis is full on Batman style. Superman was and still is a creature of the daytime but here he’s working at night with the Martian Manhunter helping him still, this time as a police detective. The Manhunter may be the only high point of this episode. He seems to fit comfortably in this role. The scenes between him and Clark felt very much like the long dead series Birds of Prey. The writers also appear to be showing desperation when it comes to making Jimmy important. Since when is Jimmy Olsen the one in the story that’s trying to discover the identity of Superman? That’s Lois’ job. That’s what brings her and Superman together. Jimmy is wholly unnecessary character in this series.
Doomsday seems to be slowly manifesting himself in a Jekyll and Hyde formula and he’s killing people along the way. There’s was a horribly attempted twist with one of Chloe’s group members appearing to be the killer. It was so poorly executed that the villains of the episode saw right through it but it seemed to be perfectly acceptable to Chloe and Clark. This series should be so good, but it just isn’t.
Mania Grade: D+
TV Series: Smallville
Starring: Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Erica Durance, Aaron Ashmore, Sam Witwer, Phil Morris
Written By: Kelly Souders, Brian Wayne Peterson
Directed By: Mike Rohl