SMALLVILLE - 9.12 - "Warrior" Review (Mania.com)

By:Joe Oesterle
Review Date: Sunday, February 14, 2010
Source: Mania

The latest episode in the Smallville saga had all the warning signs of bad television. Completely unbelievable plot, beautiful guest star with no discernible acting ability, and way too much Chloe. That said, I really loved “Warrior.” It’s possible I enjoyed it so much because I took the time to “self medicate” before watching, but more likely still, I liked it because I’m a fan of hot chicks in revealing leather outfits, and curiously enough I’m also very fond of the short shorts, fishnet and stiletto look.

I’m not even grading on my usual “Smallville curve” this week, and this installment gets an “A” grade from me. I am however grading on my “hot chicks in leather and fishnets curve,” so that may have more than a little something to do with the high marks.

As a matter of fact, the only thing that kept this show from getting an “A+” was the lack of Warrior Princess on Magical Hottie full contact Jello pit wrestling.

It seems that Smallville did everything they could to appeal to the 12 year-old fanboy in each member of its male viewership. There were enough Star Wars sightings to satisfy a large portion of this particular audience, including a quick cameo by Emperor Palpatine himself. We were also treated to the feeling most every comic book nerd experiences at some point during his school years - the desire to gain super powers overnight and get revenge on every older bully who ever twisted your skinny arm behind your back and slammed your face into a shut row of lockers right in front of Theresa Valentina outside of Mr. Ackerman’s 3rd period Earth Science class.

There were some nice inside DC references as well; like Ollie’s text to Chloe mentioning the appearance of some “maniac with boomerangs.” Not sure why Captain Boomerang wasn’t pestering the Flash or rather Impulse, but it was still a nice subtle Easter egg. I even enjoyed Chloe’s casual mentioning of the “world’s finest.”

This being Smallville, there was still plenty to complain about; chiefly the fact that there was no costumed girl wrestling matches, but I’m willing to overlook the bad this week, because even without the eye candy, I sincerely enjoyed this episode for some reason. One thing I would have liked to see was better artwork in the “Warrior Angel” comic book itself. It would have been so cool if DC supplied the artwork by someone who could imitate Joe Schuster or Curt Swan. Instead the decision makers at the CW must have grabbed some 1st year art student off of Craigslist to do the comic book illustrations.

Sometimes the lack of a special effects budget on this show can be maddening. In case the Smallville Big Wigs were unaware, the featured character on this program is a guy who can fly to the moon, hurl islands, and drill to China by spinning really fast. Watching the sparks fly off the chain link fence while off camera Clark has used his heat vision to incapacitate the bad guys only made me wish this show had half the budget ABC is pouring into “V.” I did however really like Clark wailing a can of beans at noggin of the final escaping low-level criminal. By the way, here’s another thing I noticed about the city of Smallville. That place has more steam consistently pouring out of the streets than any ten cities I’ve ever visited. I’m guessing Lionel Luthor must have made all his money importing and exporting steam.

To my way of thinking, there was a potential flaw inherent in Bryan Q. Miller’s script. That story could have been terrible had they not cast Carlo Marks in the role of the Warrior Angel. Marks was able to bring a genuine exuberance to the role of the manchild hero. An actor of lesser ability could have easily tanked the entire show, but Marks did a nice job on a tough assignment.

Did anyone else assume Chloe and that kid got it on? I know when I was 12 I thought of two things on a very constant basis. One was to have super powers and the other was having sex with a girl. I’m betting if I gained super powers at 12, I’d be doing my best to make the second part of that fantasy a reality.

Another thing I loved; the reappearance of the famed red windbreaker and blue tee shirt. Granted, it wasn’t Clark who was wearing it, but I got the feeling maybe Tom Welling threw his stand-in a bone.

The Warrior Angel’s similarities to another well-known super powered manchild; Captain Marvel are worth mentioning. Both are young boys who transform into fully-grown men and gain godlike powers with the utterance of a magic phrase. While I did think “Warrior” was a fun episode, it only made me wish we could have witnessed a classic Big Blue Boy Scout against the Big Red Cheese in a battle royale.

And how about the Warrior Angel’s logo? Looked very similar to a certain Amazonian Princess. I would have had to add a couple other plusses to my grade if we had a Wonder Woman sighting. (Although it looks like Lois enjoys some WW roleplay now and then by the looks of her closet. You’re a lucky man, Clark Kent.)

While I’m not really complaining that we didn’t get that Supes vs. Cap showdown, I will rattle off a few things that bugged me this week.

As amazed as I was with much of Serinda Swan, I was not too terribly impressed with her acting chops. It seemed to me she was reciting lines to Tom Welling instead of interacting with her thespian partner. Now I admit I don’t particularly care if Ms. Swan ever gives Meryl Streep a run for her money in any upcoming Oscar nights, especially after she sidled Tom Welling like a seasoned dancer in the champagne room at The V.I.P. Gentleman’s Club. Still I felt it only fair to point out as an actress, acting is not Serinda Swan’s strong suit.

Here’s another thing I didn’t like, but again, liberal amounts of sexy legs and low cleavage allowed me to overlook it - but when Clark spots the comic book under a stack of cartons, Zatanna says, “I always knew you were packing some heavy artillery under that tie, but seeing through walls…. Now that’s a showstopper.”

Maybe I’m being too literal here, but Clark didn’t see through a wall. He saw through cardboard. Now granted, seeing through cardboard is still quite a power, and we all know Clark really can see through walls, but why would Zatanna make the wall comment when he didn’t see through a wall? Who the hell checks these scripts for inconsistencies… I mean except for me, and by that time it’s too late. Shit like that just bothers me.

Now the biggest annoyance in this episode has to be the fact that this script was really gearing up for one big punching each other through buildings, kicking each other over farmland and up choking each other in outer space finale, and we were completely gypped of that. Instead we have the preening prestidigitator making popcorn pentagrams and Clark catching Chloe as she falls off the side of a building. Then our hero thinks it’s a good idea to take a troubled 12-year kid into his confidence and reveal his secret identity to him by taking this kid to his house - a house that reads “Kent Farm” in fairly large typeface.

In the end, Clark saves the day, and the only casualty will be Oliver Queen when he wakes up and realizes he just did it with Chloe.

So that’s a lot of complaints for an A show, but aside from the gratuitous and greatly appreciated T&A, and the disappointment of a suitable ending, I really did like this installment. Of course as I mentioned I was self medicated.

 


 

In honor of Valentine’s Day, please check out Joe Oesterle’s animation, “Le Chat de Amore; The Cat of Love. And feel free to pass it along to all those on your Valentine’s Day list. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXFMAdCSD-k



Mania Grade: A
Title: Smallville
Episode Title: Warrior
Starring: Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Justin Hartley, Erica Durance, Serinda Swan, Owen Best, Carlo Marks
Director: Allison Mack
Writers: Bryan Q. Miller
Network: The CW Network
Series: Smallville