SMALLVILLE 8.17 - "Hex" - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Title: Smallville
  • Episode Title: Hex
  • Season: 8
  • Starring: Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Erica Durance, Justin Hartley, and Serinda Swan
  • Written by: Bryan Q. Miller
  • Directed by: Mairzee Almas
  • Network: The CW
  • Series: Smallville

SMALLVILLE 8.17 - "Hex"

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By Rob Vaux     March 27, 2009
Source: Mania


Review: SMALLVILLE 8.17 - "Hex"
© Mania

It's Chloe's (Allison Mack) birthday, and she's busy mooning about what might have been. Specifically, she's wondering how she ended us where she is now, when her life was supposed to look a lot more like Lois's (Erica Durance). Enter Zatanna Zatara (Serinda Swan), Mistress of Magic and granter of rashly desired wishes. Chloe blows out her candles… and wakes up in her bed the next morning looking exactly like Lois. Since the actual Ms. Lane is covering civil unrest in Mexico, Chloe gets a chance to live the dream. She starts by grilling Clark (Tom Welling) about his true feelings over her crumbling marriage to Jimmy while researching Zatanna on the web to find out how the hell some Vegas lounge act could pull such a whammy out of her hat.

Over at Luthor Corp, Oliver Queen (Justin Hartley) receives a visit from Zatanna, asking for his help. Her late father had an ancient book which Lex Luthor acquired in an auction. She wants him to track it down for her. Oliver is initially reluctant, but she promises to grant him one wish if he finds it.

Meanwhile, Clark and "Lois" hit the street in pursuit of a story: a standoff between the police and a man on a fire escape, raving in Latin about Zatanna. Chloe reveals herself to Clark and asks for help in getting answers from the Tuxedoed One. They break into the theater where Zatanna is performing and confront her backstage. She tells Chloe that her wishes wear off as soon as the recipient doesn't want them anymore. Everyone wants something they can't have, she explains… even Clark. Her eyes sparkle mystically as she speaks, and Clark finds his wish coming true: to be normal just like everyone else. He now believes he has no powers, and thinks Chloe is Lois to boot. Chloe responds by locking Clark on the roof and trying to prove to him that he has all manner of superhuman abilities. He explains each one off as something mundane.

That night, Green Arrow breaks into the Luthor Corp archives and quickly finds Zatanna's book. She appears before him once he has it--recognizing his true identity--and demands that he turn it over. He balks, telling her that the book looks incredibly dangerous, and tries to toss it in the fire. She pulls it out of midair, however, and quickly accesses its power. Oliver finds himself bound with mystical chains while Zatanna heads off with the book to resurrect her departed father.

Serinda Swan as Zatanna in SMALLVILLE, on The CW Network. Photo: Michael Courtney

Clark and Chloe head to the hospital to speak to the man who was raving about Zatanna. He tells them that the book can bring her father back… but that someone must die in exchange. Clark is still in denial, but Chloe convinces him to take a leap of faith when they return to the Daily Planet building and see Zatanna casting the spell on the roof. As she pleads with him, she turns back into Chloe. Clark shakes off his amnesia and leaps up to the top of the building (in a single bound no less). He tries to talk Zatanna out of it, but she is adamant about completing the spell and sacrificing herself for her father's soul. They're interrupted by Chloe, who stumbles into the spell and seems to take Zatanna's place within it. Zatanna responds by breaking the spell, saving Chloe and keeping her father dead rather than spilling innocent blood.

During their weekly post-mortem, Clark thanks Chloe for reminding him who he truly is. Over at Luthor Corp, Oliver arrives at his office to find Zatanna waiting for him. She apologizes to him for chaining him up and offers him a calling card. If he ever needs help of a magical nature, she tells him, give her a ring. Oliver and Chloe then set up "the Watchtower," connecting various superhuman beings across the globe into… I don't know, some kind of a league or something…

 

The Good

Marry me, Serinda Swan! Fishnets are optional, baby, I'm flexible! As the centerpiece of the whole episode, she performs her duties with admirable aplomb, bringing Zatanna to life with the right touch of sauciness. Director Mairzee Almas delivers a lightweight tone without dissolving into undue fluffiness, while allowing both Zatanna and Oliver to share some of the spotlight with Clark. Kudos, too, for avoiding the worst of the body-swap clichés… something that looked ready to send this episode tripping over its own shoelaces. Durance makes a reasonably effective Chloe--wearing clothes two sizes too small for her was a nice touch--and the last little twist with the Watchtower was kind of keen. (Though seriously, Chloe as gatekeeper? Chloe?!)

 

The Bad

Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen in SMALLVILLE, on The CW Network. Photo: Michael Courtney

Welling needs to stay far, far away from comedy. The scene on the rooftop where he's forgotten his powers plays like nails on the blackboard. Some of the plot exposition is massively awkward as well: Zatanna just blurting out her powers, Oliver picking up on the book's true purpose very easily, and the guy in the hospital existing solely to deliver key plot exposition. The denouement between Clark and Chloe clunks as usual, compounded by at least one "final scene" too many.

 

The Prognosis

I'm so glad they kept the door open for Zatanna to return, and the Justice League precursor holds some interesting potential as well. But seriously… Chloe?!

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 9 of 9
1 
Bryzarro 3/27/2009 7:37:33 AM

Chole!!  I'm kinda with you on that one.  If she stil had the Braniac powers maybe....but she'll work.  I was going to get kinda pissed if she called herself Oracle tho.  I'm glad she didn't.  The episode was okay for me.  I really thought Clarke was gonna fly but oh well.  He was kinda funny when he was "normal" and I do like to subtle play he and Lois did have at the end. 

As painful as this show can be at times it's episodes like this that make me still enjoy it while it's here.  And Zatana looked Wicked HOT!!!

wsblackadder 3/27/2009 7:51:30 AM

first,  Serinda Swan, is mine!! you back off Rob ;)

2nd, just to get it off my chest...   the fact that Kent does not fly, has pissed me off from the first episode i watched of smallville.   So that lil comment  on the rooftop about "it's not like i can fly",  really steamed me.

but otherwise I thought Welling's straight man comedy on the rooftop was decent. (i'd have to watch again to see if it was just what he was saying (the writing)  or if his dry delivery added to it) 

also on your 'the bad' parts  .. Most every villian is dealt with within the hour.  So a lot of the story is rushed (just told to the audience)  to fit it in the episode.  its typical of the entire series.    I really wish smallville had more of a lost or heroes feel to it.  Epic, instead of episodic (one-shots).  Filler episodes,  instead of moving to milestone.

 

drwynn74 3/27/2009 8:15:19 AM

 This actress isn't NEARLY busty enough to be playing Zatanna.  Definitely beautiful enough (incredible eyes)...but a little too flat-chested for my liking.

acidsquall73 3/27/2009 8:44:50 AM

I like the Watchtower angle. It worked really well the first time they did it either last season or the season before. It was fun to watch. My first thought when she said, "Watchtower is officially online" was next season will have a lot of League in it. Hopefully anyway. I'm also a minority that has not gotten tired of this show. For me, there have only been a handful of eps that have been so so. But the show is entertaining as hell and now with this potential of Justice League being more prominent, it'll get even better.

fft5305 3/27/2009 9:29:15 AM

I was fine with Chloe as Watchtower.  Even without Braniac powers, she has shown herself repeatedly to have sufficient computer and tactical capabilites to sufficiently coordinate the nascent League.  Especially if Oliver is putting the resources of Queen Industries behind her, she should be better able to cruise the info superhighway without getting nailed by the authorities.

Although I felt they should have wrapped things up this season, I'm still enjoy the show and will probably continue to enjoy it through next season.  Hopefully, they will pull a "Lost" and the definitive deadline will spur the writers on to a creative boom.  They need to move forward and bring the show to a successful conclusion.  Clark needs to complete his journey from Clark Kent, Smallville High Freshman to Superman, the Man of Steel.

zaldar 3/27/2009 1:55:41 PM

Did they explain how she got her powers and where the other people with powers came from?  Green arrow was always a little odd to me, batman but with a bow.  I stoped watching this awhile ago, the angst became to much for me.  Supernatural is a much better show as was BSG.

mbeckham1 3/27/2009 2:09:43 PM

Thought Serinda Swan was brilliant as Zatanna, she played both the sdauciness and the dedication to ressurracting her father well.  I hope we get to sewe more of  her in the nearfuture.  Love Chloe being the Watchtower.  It wrks brilliantly.  Sheneeds a new role in the show now that her Brainiac powers are gone.  Running the Watchtower should do nicely.  And it makes sinbce Quee would trust her in the role considering ow they've worked together over the past season.  BTW did I here Black Canary mentioned.  Have they started the Queen Canary relationship yet

fft5305 3/30/2009 11:44:24 AM

I think there was some mild flirtation in the Canary episode. She was mentioned briefly, as all the Smallville League was, during the closing scene.  "Aquaman, online. Canary, online. Cyborg, online. Impulse, online. Arrow, online. Watchtower, online."  Brief image (still photo, I believe) of each on the computer screens as each said their line.

mbeckham1 3/31/2009 5:33:41 PM

Thank you./  i ope we gewt to see more League action this season.  I'd like to see who plays Canary and the others.

1 

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