Smallville: Kent (

By:Joe Oesterle
Review Date: Monday, April 18, 2011

 It’s been a number of weeks since I was obliged to sit in front of my TV set and click over to Smallville. I have to admit, I was half hoping my cable company had dropped the CW from my package plan in the last month and a half. They hadn’t, and I resigned myself to the fact I needed to give up a sixty-minute chunk of my life. That realization did not leave me with unbridled optimism. In the win-loss column, Smallville has been way under the .500 mark for this, its final season, and I didn’t expect the lengthy hiatus would give this squad any reason to return with a burst of creative gusto. Turns out it wasn’t that bad. Not a stellar episode by any means, and since this is Smallville, there were still a few errors, but as a team, this show was more good than bad.

What didn’t I like about it? Mainly what I didn’t like about it had nothing to do with the story itself, but more the entire lack of set-up or even a tiny C-plot mention of the upcoming climactic triangular brouhaha between Clark, back-from-the-dead-Lex, and Darkseid. What’s even more worrisome is next week is guaranteed to be a bit of fluff, since it’s a Booster Gold story. Personally, I’ve come to grips with the fact that these last few episodes may very well all suck giant Krypto turds, but I’d forgive much of that if they could pull off a finale worthy of the blue and red tights. I have major doubts, but I want to believe. I want to believe a man can fly, but most of all, I want to believe this final installment will not willingly ingest the aforementioned Kryptonian canine fecal matter, and then claim it did right by the source material.

 I feel that needed to be said, but now on to the episode at hand. I also wasn’t sold on “Evil” Clark’s motivation to kill Lionel. “Evil” Clark was not able to convince Lois or Tess that he was “Aw Shucks” Clark for very long, and since it seemed his major reason for traveling back this way was to finish off his father, he seemed to do a whole lot of not doing that for most of the show as well.

I was also dubious of how “Aw Shucks” Clark was capable of convincing a dark, depressed and dangerous Earth 2 Pa Kent that he was actually his son in another plane of existence in just under 5 minutes. I’ve tried that trick with my own dad a few times, when he’s tied me to a kitchen chair and had beaten me with a baseball bat, but he’s never bought it once. Perhaps I didn’t quote back enough of my own father’s homespun platitudes at him. Next time.

We were once again gypped at a rewarding super showdown. Don’t get me wrong. At no time did I expect to see some incredible, mind-blowing special effects laden donnybrook, but I was hoping to catch a few more frames of Tom Welling in the same shot as Tom Welling. Mostly what we got was a couple of brunette stuntmen falling through walls and Welling talking to the shoulder of his brunette body double. Of course I assume we’re all willing to forgive that fact, because at this point we’re all prepared to let that stuff slide, if it means keeping something in the budget for the highly-anticipated (for people reading this article anyway) series finale. I realize we’re all a little concerned they may not pay off the ending of this series, and I am aware much of that apprehension stems from a very unsatisfying Doomsday finale. It’s probably fair to say that singular incident turned off more loyal fans of this show than any other moment, but I’m also willing to bet many of those who swore off the show since will peak in for the concluding two hours.

And while we’re still on the subject of what I didn’t like, I will go out on a limb at call balderdash on Emil’s ability to crazy laser glue a Kryptonian mirror box together and make it work perfectly. Oh yeah, and I found the fact that “Aw Shucks” Clark decided all his mass-murdering doppelganger needed was a heart-to-heart with a different version of his own hologram father. Apparently even though Ultraman had killed Earth Two Oliver Queen and indiscriminately slaughtered countless other innocents, not to mention financially crippled and emotionally destroyed the lives of undoubtedly millions on his home planet, “Aw Shucks” Clark decided that justice would be served if this insanely malevolent mega-powered being get some daddy time. Seems like “Aw Shucks” Clark believes in nurture over nature. It’s probably fair to assume from these actions if Earth Two Clark was sporting a tiny mustache, and a swastika around his biceps Earth One Clark would have bought him a German beer as well.

Hey look at that, the review is almost over and all I did was list the negative parts. I do find that strange because I sincerely did enjoy the episode overall. Maybe the break did me good. Maybe I simply accepted this episode as a piece of entertainment and I was able to overlook the critical flaws until it came time to write this. Maybe I had a lobotomy during the long Smallville break and don’t recall the operation. (Which I assume would be true if my lobotomy theory was going to hold any water anyway.) Or maybe there was just enough amusement in this program for me to enjoy it overall. Maybe all of the above were true. That said, I can’t say I’m excited about next week’s filler ep. But hey, at least this week didn’t suck Krypto turds.

Follow Joe Oesterle’s book, “Weird Hollywood” on FaceBook. Lots of deleted and unedited stories from the book, but also plenty of genre discussions and some like-minded people. Daily updates.

Mania Grade: B
TV Series: Smallville
Episode: Kent
Starring: Tom Welling, Erica Durance, John Schneider, Cassidy Freeman
Written by: Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders
Directed by: Jeannot Szwarc
Network: The CW