SMALLVILLE - 9.13 - "Persuasion" Review -

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Mania Grade: F-

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  • Title: Smallville
  • Episode Title: Persuasion
  • Season: 9
  • Starring: Tom Welling, Erica Durance, Allison Mack, Callum Blue, Justin Hartley, Cassidy Freeman, G. Michael Gray, Carmen Lavigne
  • Director: Christopher Petry
  • Writer:: Anne Cofell Saunders
  • Network: The CW Network
  • Series: Smallville

SMALLVILLE - 9.13 - "Persuasion" Review

Are there any grades lower than “F?”

By Joe Oesterle     February 21, 2010
Source: Mania

SMALLVILLE - 9.9 - "Pandora" Review
© Mania

From the opening 30 seconds I knew this week’s installment, “Persuasion” was going to be one of those fluffy Smallville fillers they seem to throw at us much too often, but after watching this episode I found myself openly wishing for some misguided Kandorian from the future to sneak up behind me and run a steel pole through my back to put me out of my misery. I didn’t want to sit through an entire hour of this guaranteed crapfest.

Sadly, as I have discovered after watching this ninth season of what should be one of the greatest shows on television, there is never a murderous Kandorian around when you need one.

Perhaps I was a little generous in last week’s review of “Warrior,” but I am a sucker for a pretty girl in fantasy clothing. And again, I confess to grading last Friday’s show on my “Hot Chicks in Leather and Fishnets Curve,” while also watching the show in an altered state of consciousness.

I promise I did neither this time. This time I viewed the latest chapter in the Smallville saga stone cold sober. Big mistake. The lesson here is either start doing harder drugs before I sit in front of the CW, or assume next week’s script won’t make me want to gouge my own eyeballs out. Hmmmmm… Anyone out there know where I can score some highly lethal narcotics?

Seriously guys, I don’t enjoy giving this show bad marks, but can anyone out there tell me if this show was exactly the same, (same cast, same writers, same backstory, same producers, same everything) EXCEPT, instead of featuring the character of Clark Kent they invented some created-for-TV super powered being – would you still be watching?

The answer is no. No you wouldn’t. We’re all watching this show because we love Superman. We’re all willing to accept certain limitations that come with a live-action televised version of the Man of Steel – especially when the special effects budget often seems woefully underfunded. That’s not to say the only reason to watch a show about Clark Kent/Kal El/Superboy/man is to see him catch 747’s from crashing into capacity-filled stadiums, or witness him fly around the world at superspeed to reverse time, but let’s be honest - It’s a big part of who this character is.

We, the audience, deserve better. The characters of Clark Kent and Lois Lane deserve better.

I know many of you are sticking with this show because you feel like you’ve made a nine year commitment, but really it’s time to cut your losses. I’d like to say I was just bored with this episode, or it simply wasn’t my cup of tea, but that is not the case. I swear to you I felt like “Persuasion” was a personal insult to each and every viewer out there. It was, by far, the most difficult hour of television I’ve had to sit through all year, and probably ranks as one of the worst 60 minutes of broadcast television in the history of the medium. And that’s really saying something because it’s competing with about another 50 or so really shitty episodes of Smallville.

Eight paragraphs in, and so far I haven’t reviewed a single moment from the performance. Let’s take care of that now, shall we?

  • Clark gaining the powers of super persuasion from a tainted Valentine’s Day fairy dust. Pretty stupid.
  • Chloe holding her own, even for a limited time against a battle-tested Tess Mercer in a fight to the death. Very, very stupid
  • Lois dancing around like a blissful lunatic in Mrs. Kent’s wedding dress. Incredibly freaking stupid.
  • Chloe whipping out a hunk of Kryptonite and pointing it at Clark from a range of at least 50 yards away, and that piece of deadly mineral happens to cure Clark from his bloodlust revenge, saving Tess from a certain fiery death. So goddamned stupid I want super powers so I can fly over to the studios at the CW and heat vision the hell out of each and every person involved with this stupid, stupid show until nothing else remains but scattered charred and blackened husks.

I know there will be some who don’t understand my bitter disappointment. I’ve heard from you before. Some of you tell me it’s part of the Smallville package, and I should just lower my hopes and expectations, and I’ll enjoy it more. To you kind people I respectfully disagree. Nothing short of a full frontal lobotomy would have made me made me receptive to this one hour assault on my intelligence.

To those of you who believe I’m just a hater, and I really get my green rocks off by crapping on your party, I have nothing but sympathy. I’m not a hater of Smallville, I’m a lover of the Superman mythos. Comic books, The Animated Series, George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, the old radio show, hell even Superfriends. I’m angry that these people don’t respect what I hold dear. And I’m even angrier I have no heat vision to teach them a lesson.

I wish I could say that at least next week couldn’t possibly be any worse, but I’ve learned this much after watching this crew for this long. They’re always capable of sucking more.

We deserve to be rescued from this tragedy. Unfortunately Superman is nowhere to be seen.



If you liked this article, check out Joe Oesterle’s review of the 1974 classic, “Towering Inferno.”


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cheekymonkey 2/21/2010 11:47:53 AM

Throughout the show they have used other kryptonite rocks to cancel out the effects of each other.  I had no issue with that.

I was surprised that the Kandor Towers came down at the end...I thought that it would run till closer till the end of the season.

I just wish that they would pick a direction- fluff or action.  I was disappointed with this week (the Lois dancing things was way too long).  The show works better when they ditch the fluff and try to get to some real action.   Give Clark an enemy who does more of the yet to be called JLA...have Lois actually work instead of just drinking coffee in the DP basement

And for gosh sakes, bring back Lex.  I don't care if you have to replace the first guy, I don't care what crazed reason they give for him being alive.  Clark without a real nemisis is just lame

JoeArtistWriter 2/21/2010 12:59:25 PM

cheekymonkey, I realize there are kryptonite rocks that can cancel out the effects of other kryptonite, it's just strange that Chloe was carrying the exact type of rock to void out the effects of a power Clark had never before encountered.

I agree, bring back Lex. I didn't really watch much before this season, and not sure why Michael Rosenbaum left, but I hope it was because he couldn't stomach the scripts any longer.

Let anyone play Lex. Some new white bald guy, some new black bald guy, some new Chinese lady with a huge 70's afro... who cares, let's just give our protagonist a real villian to deal with.

hanso 2/21/2010 1:11:21 PM

Cheer up Joe, just think that on Tuesday you'll get some of the best 60 minutes in television.

Moz72 2/21/2010 1:33:13 PM

Okay, I agree it was cheesy. But, in all honesty Joe, what did you think of the final scene of Clark blowing the tower to hell and the look of anger and retribution on his  face as he watched it burn?


JoeArtistWriter 2/21/2010 1:46:59 PM

hanso, Smallville and LOST is the perfect anology for my life. Things are really great, then absolutely hoirrible. There is no middle ground. I want some middle ground. Maybe I'll start watching "That's How I Met Your Mother."

Moz72, I'll be honest with you Moz, that scene didn't even register for me. I was too busy trying to burn a hole in my television screen with heat vision powers that I have never possessed.

If the show focused on Zod and the towers etc, it might have been an amazing ending. It seemed to me that ending was a scene that may as well have been a teaser promo for next week's sh!t fest.

lracors 2/21/2010 3:24:10 PM

Dude F- is way to harsh... D is what i give this... I agree with alot of the points but the destruction of the towers are the end of this episode was like... wow Clark got balls.

jorson28 2/21/2010 3:41:02 PM

Truly, the art of review-writing is DEAD.  If the only reason you can come up with for giving the show a bad grade is that the referenced elements are "stupid," then you may as well be a toddler.  I mean, I'm not going to defend the show because I know how bad it can get, but as a reviewer, you could at least explain WHY certain elements are "stupid" instead of just assuming that we readers should all know exactly what you mean.  I at least know why I think the show is suffering and it comes down to two words with a lot of reasons behind them: BUDGET CUTS.  The same things that keep them from giving us more action also keep them from consistently displaying the JLA.  By Season 9, they're lucky to be able to afford the actors they have, let alone the effects needed to show them to doing "cool" things onscreen.

This is more opinion than fact, probably, but just about any complaint anyone has about this show boils down to the fact that it literally outgrew its premise about five years ago.  Think about it: The whole point was to show Clark Kent growing up in Smallville.  Now, not only is he all grown up and out of high school, but he's rarely actually IN Smallville anymore.  That point alone makes it even more difficult to abide the fact that he hasn't become Superman yet, but what's worse is that if they want to hold onto anything that originally defined the show, Clark CAN'T become Superman until literally the last episode - which, sadly, probably won't be for another long, plodding year.

In any case, even though I'm complaining about the show, too, I'm giving better and / or more detailed reasons than that certain elements are "stupid."  If this review is indicative of what the former version of this site turned into, I'm starting to understand now what might have happened to "Cinescape" and why I don't see it on magazine stands anymore.

Omarangel 2/21/2010 4:58:12 PM

you are a hater and this episode was good, yes there are some moments that are stupids. But I like the chapter.

JoeArtistWriter 2/21/2010 5:30:20 PM

icoras, again, I didn't care about the towers. By that tiime I was so pissed at this show, the towers had no impact on me.

jorson, I respectfully disagree with you. The art of the review is not dead. I have reviewed this show very fairly, and if you've read the Smallville roles before, I have even gone so far as to create a "Smallville curve" for this show so I didn't have to come down so hard.

My comments of "stupid" will have to suffice because this team has no respect for me, no respect for you, or antone else watching. The show was stupid, I felt stupid watching and so should you. 

I will defend my review by saying that I put at least as much time in this single review as the Smallville team put into that stupis script.

BTW, if you think my reviewing skills need to get better, check out my LOST reviews on this same website. I put in 7 hours on those reviews, and like the show or not, that show deserves the review it gets. I've gone in-depth on every Smallville this season, last Friday was the last straw. Smallville gets an F, and F Smallville.

Omarangle, not a hater. it sucked. There weren't moments of stupid surrounded by brilliance, there was moments of really stupid surrounded by really, really stupid.

JoeArtistWriter 2/21/2010 5:54:48 PM

... and jorson, not that I'm saying it would make the show any better to have Clark don the famous red and blue spandex, but there is absolutely no reason that he can't start doing that next week.

These guys have taken more than a few liberties with the Superman world. They invented the character of Chloe, the moved the city of Metropolis to right outside of the town of Smallville, they gave Green Arrow sunglasses for crissakes!

They could make Clark into Superman tomorrow, but that won't make the show better. They need to write better scripts, keep those scripts tight, and free from glaring gaps in logic and make sure the characters only do things those characters would do.

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