SMALLVILLE 8.13 - "Power" - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Title: Smallville
  • Season: 8
  • Episode: Power
  • Starring: Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Kristin Kreuk, Cassidy Freeman, Ari Cohen, and Bill Mondy
  • Written by: Tom Slavkin and Darren Swimmer
  • Directed by: Allison Mack
  • Network: The CW
  • Series: Smallville

SMALLVILLE 8.13 - "Power"

This Week's Wild Twist Falls Flat on Its Face

By Rob Vaux     January 30, 2009
Source: Mania


Mania Review of SMALLVILLE episode POWER (slideshow)
© Mania

One can never be too ill-disposed towards any show that opens with the phrase "begin the transdermal evisceration," especially when it's delivered by a guy in a lab coat. Unfortunately, this week's episode of Smallville more or less goes downhill from there, focusing mainly on Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) and what happened to her after she cut that DVD for Clark (Tom Welling). Apparently, it involved beating the snot out of a couple of LuthorCorp thugs, ninja training in some Edge City basement, and time in a jury-rigged lab where said transdermal evisceration precedes a nanobyte transfer all over her fetishistically seared flesh. Clark pieces all this together through a number of sources, notably Chloe (Allison Mack) who apparently knew more about Lana's activities than she had previously let on.

Meanwhile, Grade-A sneaky girl Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) trades Machiavellian comments with Lex's bodyguard (Ari Cohen) before deciding that his services are no longer required and kicking him to death on the office floor. Chloe and Clark find a secret safe at the Isis Foundation, containing a video conversation between Lana and Dr. Groll (Bill Mondy) in which she leverages him into giving her the "Prometheus Suit" nanotech skin graft. Apparently, she's doing it to keep the technology away from Lex, and despite Tess's attempted sabotage, the episode ends with Lana now possessing as much power as Clark.

The Good

Nothing beats a decent round of LuthorCorp shenanigans, especially when they involve someone getting beaten about the head and shoulders with a "Businessman of the Year" award. Mercer's head games are a constant hoot and that look on her face while splattered with her rival's blood is worth a viewing all on its own. Clark's bouts of anger--which appear in a few flashes here--make for must-see TV as well. The show never loses sight of his moral core, but it's delicious wondering if he might ever snap and mangle some hapless thug like Third World Postage.

The Bad

Tom Welling as Clark and Cassidy Freeman as Tess in SMALLVILLE, on The CW Network. Photo: Michael Courtney/The CW

The various LuthorCorp goings-on have a distressing way of upstaging whatever Clark is doing, and all the flashbacks in the world can't make his amateur sleuthing any less of a snooze. Chloe's constant plot exposition grates considerably, though Mack's rapport with Welling remains one of the series' better selling points. Smallville also has a way of fawning over Lana, which this ill-conceived super powers go ’round illustrates all too clearly. (Echoes of a dreadful episode of Lois and Clark--the one with Teri Hatcher in the pink tights--percolate dangerously to the surface here.) Of course, there's still the intriguing question of who's really controlling Lana's actions, and whether Smallville's girl-next-door truly instigated all of this or if someone else is living behind those pretty hazel eyes…

The Prognosis

About par for the course. The show has rolled reasonably well with Michael Rosenbaum's departure, but eight long seasons have taken their toll and episodes like this one struggle to shake the feeling that they're nothing more than a stunt. How long can they reasonably maintain the notion of a super-powered Lana Lang before it becomes a joke? And how will they undo it in a way that doesn't feel contrived? At least we'll get some more Green Arrow soon.  

Agree? Disagree? Post your comments below and let's get the discussion started!

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 13
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staven2519 1/30/2009 10:14:40 AM

I found that this episode was really a set back to what the writers have been able to do this season. Truthfully i have found the last couple of episodes in such a way. Ever since Lana returned i have felt like the writers never changed hands and we have been forced to suffer through the same stuff that has been going on for 8 seasons "Clark and Lana." It felt rushed this season with the development of Lois and Clarks relationship, but at least it was NEW territory. I was enjoying their interactions much more than Clarks and Lanas. Lois and Clark just have this way of actually flirting with each other, where when Lana is around it almost always seems depressing. With the preview for next week it does not seem like I am going to get to see what would make great TV for this show, which is Lana back out of the picture or atleast out of Clarks life as the love interest. Also um... where is Lois? ever since Lanas return Lois has been NOWHERE! How does that make any sense?

Wallace85 1/30/2009 11:46:44 AM

I agree with you Staven 100% when Lois is around everyone is happy the show is enjoyable the flirting between Clark and Lois is great and funny.But it seems like whenever Lana steps into the picture everything just becomes depressing and boring and nothing is evolving it's just the same formula over and over again.I'm wondering the same thing too where is Lois?It seems like ever since the Doomsday Wedding episode she hasn't been on any episodes after that.I'm also wondering where's Doomsday?They showed him at the end of last weeks episode and then we get this episode.So is Doomsday just walking around in the snow making snow angels?That's the only problem I have with this show is Lana and how they get into a great episode and then you think the next episode is gonna be even greater and the story continues but then they don't and go into a irrelevent story like this one.Cause no one really cares what happened to Lana,Lex yes Lana no.I want to see Clark become Superman that's what I care about I wanna see more Doomsday that's what I care about.Let's move forward with the story not backwards so forget about Lana.

mbeckham1 1/30/2009 12:52:50 PM

Agee Durance and Welling havve far better chemistry6 together than Welling and Kreuk ever did.  Kreuk justt seems sad and sappy, where Durance is fun and funny.  And, yeah,  where the hell is Lois anyway? the only reason this little jaunt down Lana lane would've made any sense in terms of the series is to add tension beween Lois and Clark and now Lois hass convieniently vanished.  You'd think Lois would at last have come around to see how her cousin was doing after the Brainiac thing.  For that matter, where the hell is Jimmy?  Didn't he and Chole have sort of a Wedding thing happening?  Is he too busy handling Caterers comp suite for alien monster injuries?

mbeckham1 1/30/2009 12:56:32 PM

BTW giotta say all elose aside,  Awesome award to the scene where Tess gouges the Lex dude neck out with a stelletto heel and we got to see the blood splatter.  Definitely the best scene in this episode. 

popa 1/30/2009 2:28:15 PM

 Am I the only one who thinks the writers of this series would rather be creating stories on a completely different subject?  The story of an alien who comes to Earth with fantastic power practically writes itself.  Why all the devious side trips?  Why doesn't Clark fly? I understand why the writers would want to be totally original in their treatment of this subject, but sometimes it seems like Clark is simply the spectator in the story of the psychological meltdown of everyone around him.  The idea of a young Clark Kent coming to terms with living on a planet full of aliens should be emotionally and intellectually riveting.  Instead, we get the story of emotionally challenged aliens (from his point of view) who can't seem to deal with anything.  It makes me long for the old TV series when the bad guys were simply straightforward avaricious crooks.

Wallace85 1/30/2009 2:40:00 PM

Yea where's Jimmy you would think he would check on his wife and Lois would see if her cousin was ok?This episode just leaves a bad after taste BLAH...Yea Tess is a badass I kinda like how she is a merge of Mercy and Ms.Tessmacher.The only good part of last nights episode was Tess.

redhairs99 1/31/2009 4:38:20 PM

Jimmy is still in a coma in Star City or something like that.  Lois left with Jimmy to watch over him after Chloe was abducted by Doomsday.  Since Clark found Chloe and cured her (with help from The Legion), bothe Chloe and Lois have been at the hospital watching over Jimmy.  Chloe was only back briefly in this episode to check in on things at the Isis Foundation  and check on Clark and Lana, 

But yes, ENOUGH WITH CLARK AND LANA!!!  No one cares about them because we all know who Clark ends up with in the end.  Plus the fact that Kruek can't act her way out of a wet paperbag.

One more episode with Lana.  YAY!!!  one more episode, one more episode....

Hobbs 2/1/2009 9:56:13 AM

First episode I've watched in a while...wow...how this show is still on the air amazes me.  I even read that they are hoping for a 9th season.  Really, a 9th?  Now we have a Navy Seal Lana with Superman powers...I guess giving Chloe healing powers wasn't enough.  They had to give everyone in smallville a power. 

It's time to end this series and if you want to continue it continue it as a spin off with him as Superman...and yes, that means flying.  I understand when the show first started they wanted to stay away from the cape and flying but come on man, it's been 8 years.  It's time to make him the man of steel.

thatguy1 2/1/2009 11:17:33 AM

I agree with Hobbs 100%.

If Welling and co. are willing to continue playing these characters, it's time to end Smallville and boot up Metropolis.  Welling is a year away from his first grey hair for cryin' out loud.  It's time to put Superboy to rest and break out the tights, the cape and the ability to break the law of gravity.

And enough with the powers!  This isn't the Superman comic books of the 1950's when every character got a power for a while.  Let Clark and the League do the super-heroing.  

On the up side, this season, with its Legion, Doomsday and more Green Arrow is superior (even if you don't like the execution of some of the elements) to the last three seasons and shows some promise of what could be done were they to let Clark grow into Superman.

Final point:  Even if they manage to bring Luthor back, they need to keep Tess!   I'd pay real money to see her acting as Luthor's chauffeur, pretending to be loyal while plotting to bring him down.

Markweee 7/22/2009 12:35:37 AM

One problem I do have is putting Clive Barker's number 5. Seriously have you read his books...holy crap is he a Stephen King wannabe. I take back what I said about Koontz...kick Barker out of the top 20 list and you can give number 20 to Koontz.

Advertising degree AND online Masters degree

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