SMALLVILLE - 9.19 - "Sacrifice" Review (

By:Joe Oesterle
Review Date: Sunday, May 02, 2010
Source: Mania

I know many of you will think this was a great episode, and you’re half right. Fifty percent of “Sacrifice” was a tight, dark adventure. The other half unfortunately featured Chloe.

Again, a large percentage of you will feel I’m nitpicking, but I’m not. If I were truly nitpicking, I’d be finding minor flaws in a show that typically doesn’t lack in common sense, and if Smallville has an abundance of riches in any area it’s in the lack of common sense department. A minor flaw would be me once again commenting on how empty the streets of a major US city would be at the time Chloe buys here coffee from the street vendor. Unless Chloe is walking around at 4AM, this city of Metropolis is just not living up to its name.

That would be nitpicking. It’s a particular pet peeve of mine, and it’s true that even at 4 AM in New York City (the teeming metropolis that Metropolis is named after) Chloe would be walking by a few dozen early birds; joggers, dog walkers, morning disc jockeys, etc.

My problem with this show is so easily fixable that I contend the bigwigs at Smallville find a lack of common sense to be an endearing imperfection – kind of like Cindy Crawford’s mole, or the fact that the Sleestacks moved so slowly. The first LOCSM (lack of common sense moment) I speak of is right at the top of the show. These guys waste no time at all in being lazy. We the audience are supposed to believe that Tess Mercer, a highly intelligent, trained and deadly hand-to-hand special ops agent – who is capable of bypassing a Watchtower security system that is in all likelihood more technologically advanced than anything the U.S. government has at its own disposal – failed to bring her own gun. Jesus H. Christ on Red Kryptonite people, this is just stupid, stupid writing, but hold on, it gets worse (or more endearingly imperfect if that’s your view.)

The next LOCSM follows immediately when “quick-thinking” Chloe informs the Checkmate-educated Tess that the gun wasn’t loaded. Really? Does anyone who is reading this believe that Jason Bourne would have fallen for that rusty old canard? Because honestly, if we are meant to believe that Tess Mercer and all of Checkmate is as impressively lethal as they are meant to be, we have to suppose Tess is just as brilliant, just as dangerous and just as cunning as Jason Bourne. Guess what? She ain’t. But she should be. The writers have laid it out there that she should be, but their own lazy, inconsistent and illogical scripts have rendered that simple assertion impossible.

Now on to the third LOCSM, and this one is my favorite and obviously one of the writer’s faves too. Chloe, once again, manages to get the drop on a battle-tested martial artist. Does anyone here think Jason Bourne, James Bond or Ethan Hunt would ever even once let some 4 foot 8 inch chick, whose only training seems to be as a high school reporter, get the drop on them once? NO! No they wouldn’t, and they’d probably snap her little neck if they thought for a second that she was going to get in the way of the mission. Of course they wouldn’t have to snap her neck, because they would have had the option to shoot her, because they would have brought their own gun when they were undertaking a perilous assignment, and they definitely wouldn’t wonder if they remembered to check if their own gun were loaded or not.

That’s three instances of sloppy writing and we haven’t even had our first commercial break yet. Want a fourth? No sweat. Chloe apparently designed a security system that even she can’t override if a bullet accidentally goes off. Does this seem reasonable? Does this seem prudent? No, but it does seem an awful lot like Smallville (emphasis on the “awful.”

Somebody saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave me. Come on, I’ve been waiting for you, saaaaaaaaaaave me.

Now, there was the other half of the show - the Zod half. Once again, Callum Blue deserves credit for another fine acting performance, and finally we get to see Zod actually do bad things. Zod-like bad things. Strangling the life out of the woman he professed such great admiration for is pretty bad. It makes matters worse he did it basically because she wouldn’t “kneel before” him. (Frankly, the whole “Kneel before Zod” thing has been played out. It was cool at first, a nice little homage, but it seems to be a tad ham-handed nowadays since they try to shoehorn that bit of dialogue into every one of Zod’ s appearances.)

To make matters worse, and decidedly more somber, Zod realizes he just choked the life out of the mother of his unborn child, though when he managed to sew his Kryptonian seed in Faora is a mystery to me. I thought he was spending all his downtime shagging Tess. I guess that’s another advantage of superspeed.

Does anyone believe Zod actually killed Amanda Waller? I mean, sure, we saw her big fleshy ass jiggling awkwardly down the hall in the reflection of Zod’s fiery eyes, but the law of comic books assures us, if you don’t see the corpse, there was no kill – and even with a corpse, there’s really only an 18% chance the character will stay dead for any more than 50 issues tops.

And speaking of corpses, in some good news regarding Chloe, it seems we may only have another 2 episodes left to hate this character. With the Watchtower destroyed it seems Chloe has become expendable. I’d also like to think the character of Tess Mercer just foretold of Chloe’s death during their girl to arch nemesis girl talk before escaping from the clutches of Waller’s goons. Tess mentioned Ollie would never leave Chloe, which leads me to believe Chloe is getting offed. Now, this requires me to put more than a recommended amount of faith into these scribes, because that statement implies Ollie will be with Chloe forever because that’s the kind of guy he is. Now so far, Oliver Queen has not proven himself to be that guy, but I’ll let that bit of nonsense go by, because we all know a few things. One, some major character is going to die this season, and two, Ollie eventually hooks up with the Black Canary, and three, Green Arrow has been the de facto Batman in this show, and like Batman, he’ll need a serious loss so he can brood more effectively. This all of course hinges on whether the Smallville writers even know what foreshadowing means.

If Smallville is picked up for next season, its greatest obstacle may be how to come up with endearing imperfections (or as I prefer lack of common sense moments) without the benefit of the (hopefully soon to be corpsified) Chloe.



Wanna see Joe Oesterle’s photoshoot of the great fez-wearing Yiddish vampire, Count Smokula? It was done for Joe’s upcoming book, “Weird Hollywood,” due out in Sept. of this year. Enjoy.

Mania Grade: B-
Title: Smallville
Episode Title: Sacrifice
Starring: Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Callum Blue, Justin Hartley, Cassidy Freeman, Callum Blue, Pam Grier
Written by: Justin Hartley, Bryan Q. Miller and Walter Wong
Directed by: Kevin Fair
Network: The CW Network, LLC
Series: Smallville