TV REVIEW- Smallville: Bride (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, November 22, 2008
Smallville is a series that probably should have died several seasons ago. The show has lived long enough that it actually went from better to worse and astoundingly it’s actually getting better again. The show still isn’t stellar but with the falling quality of Heroes, it’s not as far behind that show as it used to be. This is the show’s fall finale and of course the big sweeps episode so big things were bound to happen, such as the appearance of Doomsday and the return of Lana.
This episode takes place at Chloe and Jimmy’s wedding, which is a bad thing. Thankfully, the show runners didn’t put us through watching them do their vows and all of that horrible-ness. Instead they went for a Cloverfield homage which is actually a fun idea considering this episode features the first full appearance of a pretty major monster for the season. Thematically, this story arc can compare strongly to King Kong. This giant monster just wants to be with his love, and he will be at whatever cost. There’s also some Frankenstein in the story and earlier on it could have even compared to Jekyll and Hyde. Happily Doomsday’s look does not disappoint if you’re a fan of the comic books. He’s a bit on the low budget but considering that limitation he looks great.
A lot of mystery is set up in this episode and it’s actually intriguing. Lana returns to the series apparently still chasing Lex and trying to protect Clark. Things get interesting when Lana receives a text message that reveals that there’s much more going on with her than is obvious. Hopefully this doesn’t mean we’ll start seeing more of her though. She’s just as uninteresting on screen even with her new snazzy haircut. The reappearance of Lex is handled quite cleverly too. He returns this season in a similar fashion to Brainiac. We get the back of Lex's head and a voiceover – earlier in the season – from Brainiac. One of the two of these characters is a puppet master in the Doomsday events. The more likely answer is that Brainiac is the puppet master and Lex is just watching everything preparing for his return to Smallville when he’s all healed up from the collapse of the fortress. All of this is entertaining, even if the fight between Clark and Doomsday is anticlimactic.
The sad thing about Smallville these days is that each episode seems to do its best to sabotage itself. This episode for example starts off with some solid drama and well directed quiet character moments and ends with some horribly heavy handed hospital drama with terrible emo music and ham fisted dialogue poorly delivered by Lois and Clark. Also in this episode, Clark recovers a router for Oliver which is supposed to lead to Lex. Well, one of Oliver’s henchmen is able to download all the information from the router in secret via Bluetooth while Oliver and Clark are talking. How is this possible when the router wasn’t even plugged in? It’s a little nitpicky but come on, try a little harder folks. Also, some of the drama in the episode is focused on Lois deciding she likes Clark. On that subject, there’s a good conversation between her and Oliver. It may be a little hard for fans of the comics to see Clark and Lois’ roles reversed in the series but based on what’s happened so far it shouldn’t be surprising. Overall, this series has much improved this year and there’s actually anticipation for the January return of the series.
Mania Grade: B-
TV Series: Smallville
Starring: Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Erica Durance, Aaron Ashmore, Justin Hartley, Cassidy Freeman
Written By: Turi Meyer, Al Septien
Directed By: Jeannot Szwarc