SMALLVILLE - 9.2 - "Metallo" Review -

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  • Title: Smallville
  • Season: 9
  • Episode Title: Metallo
  • Cast: Tom Welling, Brian Austin Green, Allison Mack, Erica Durance
  • Directed By: Mairzee Almas
  • Written by: Holly Henderson, Don Whitehead
  • Network: The CW
  • Original Air Date: October 2, 2009
  • Series: Smallville

SMALLVILLE - 9.2 - "Metallo" Review

" appears as if I’m going to enjoy this season."

By Joe Oesterle     October 04, 2009
Source: Mania

SMALLVILLE - 9.2 - "Metallo" Review
© Mania

A Quick Intro About Yours Truly

Greetings Smallville devotees, before I begin my review of the latest episode, “Metallo,” I feel I need to let everyone know I am not a long time fan of this particular show. That is not to say I haven’t enjoyed watching from time to time over the past 9 seasons, but I have to admit, the program never hooked me.

I guess I felt the first season seemed a little bit too “Dawson’s Creek” for me. I didn’t necessarily need to see Clark in his red and blue tights every week, but when there’s a genuine Kryptonian in the story, I will always vote for less mindless teenage drama and more action/adventure. That said, now and then over the past 8 years, I have tuned in. Sometimes I enjoyed, sometimes I rolled my eyes, but I never gave up hope that the show might eventually win me over.

Like many of you, I’ve been a Superman fan my whole life. I loved the old black and white George Reeves re-runs, devoured the comic books growing up in the 70’s – so much so that I would search and buy older mags just to read the Man of Steel’s adventures from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. In 1978, I really believed a man could fly. (Although, and I know I might get some flack for this, I find those Christopher Reeve movies no longer hold up for me.) I loved Tim Daley’s portrayal in the animated show, and one of my favorite books of all-time is “Superman vs. Muhammad Ali.” Yeah, that’s right, I consider it a book.

I give you all of this preamble to let you know I am no piker when it comes to the Superman mythology; and now that it’s my job to watch this show, and I’m happy to say that this mild-mannered reporter from a great metropolitan-based entertainment-driven Internet company liked what he saw last night.


Loving The Mood

Brian Austin Green as John Corben Photo Credit: Jack Rowand / The CW

From the beginning of the episode, I was impressed by the dark and gritty cinematic feel. That ambiance was certainly not there back in the “Dawson’s Creek” days. Since then, I’ve seen Smallville attempt this theatric mood over the years, but it always seemed like there was a third rate Joel Schumacher behind the scenes. (Which is particularly insulting since I consider Joel Schumacker to be a second rate Joel Schumacher.) Last night however, visually - they pulled it off. I may be hooked.

And speaking of mindless teenage dramas, let’s give it up for Brian Austin Green. The former 90210 resident really gave a mature and tense performance as John Corben, a.k.a. Metallo. And while I thoroughly enjoyed Green’s performance, I am quick to point out the flaws Corban’s Blur-hating logic.


Please Help Me Out Here

If I understood this correctly, and I think I did, obsessed hero-hater, John Corben detests this alien “Blur,” because he believes his sister was killed because Clark Kent/Superboy/Kal-El changed the normal course of fate, and in the process his sister was killed?

Just speaking on purely common sense level, how in the hell does John Corben know what the normal course of fate would have been? Maybe it was his sister’s fate wasn’t to die that night? And how could John Corben foresee that this Kryptonian wasn’t destined to land here on Earth, and do exactly what he did on the night in question? Hey, I love a bad guy with an irrational grudge as much as the next guy, but make the irrational grudge more believable. Like, you saved this horrible Hitler-like man from dying, but in the process, Corban’s sister got killed. That’s an irrational grudge I can get behind. Maybe I misunderstood. As I stated, I’m not a regular viewer, but could someone clear this up for me? Am I right about this?


Conflicted Chloe

Tom Welling as Clark Kent in Smallville on The CW. Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW

I didn’t let that bit of convoluted reasoning take me out of the show though. I loved the one-way anxiety between Lois and Chloe. Obviously, over the years, Chloe has gone through the gamut of feelings concerning Clark, and in this episode it’s clear she is no longer blindly enamored, secretly crushing or even doggedly unwavering to Clark’s ideals. Chloe isn’t sure who or even what her childhood friend has turned in to lately, and while she believes there’s a chance he may eventually become the hero she expects, she’s not so all-fire sure of it anymore, and her concern/subtle jealously towards Lois is a nice twist.

Now the fanboy in me really loved the nod to the phone booth. Nice to see that in this day of cell phones and hi-tech (especially Chloe’s Oracle inspired digs) the city of Metropolis hasn’t done away with all of their phone booths. Homeless people always need a place to pee.


Super-Powered Inconsistencies

Of course the phone booth scene also bugged me from a writing perspective, and it’s a problem writers of Superman have struggled with or completely ignored since 1939; the guy is really too powerful to face as much daily conflict as he does. Suspension of disbelief only works for so long. Especially when Clark has shown off his super speed a number of times already in this episode. I’d like to know how in the world Metallo could have possibly crossed the street, let alone skulked back into his way cool flaming industrial secret hide-away after kidnapping Lois while she was on the phone with Clark – who was calling from the same area code.

Come on. Assuming Metallo’s underground lair was directly beneath that phone booth, Superman would have been there before Lois was dragged three feet, and if not, he could have used his super hearing for her muffled screams, he could have heard her particular heartbeat (you know Clark knows Lois’ heartbeat) he could have searched the immediate area with either his telescopic or his x-ray vision, or he simply could have used his super smelling senses to hone in on Lois’ scent. (Again, you know he knows her scent, and if he has all those other senses, he has super-smelling.)


This Just In… Good Wins Defeats Evil Again.

Well, in the end, good triumphs over evil. Matrixy looking Clark stands in the shadows, ala one of DC’s other famous crime-fighting avengers, Lois begs for a peek, but the Blur blurs away. And it appears Clark Kent will once again embrace his human heritage as he takes his rightful seat at the Daily Planet across from Lois Lane. Now that sounds like fate to me.


Signing Off

In the final analysis, it appears as if I’m going to enjoy this season. But I can tell I’m going to have to accept there will be a fair amount of, for a lack of better phrase, super-power inconsistencies. And so fair citizens of Smallville, until next week, this is Joe Oesterle, your mild-mannered blogging, reviewer guy saying, “I am not given to wild, unsupported statements. And I tell you we must leave this planet immediately.”



Joe Oesterle is an award-winning writer and illustrator, but what he often fails to mention is that many of those awards were won on a New Jersey boardwalk. Pick up his latest books "Weird California" and "Weird Las Vegas" in any Barnes and Noble near you, and look for his next book, "Weird Hollywood," due out soon. And be sure to check out his weekly animated rant:


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PAGE 10/4/2009 1:41:58 PM

This epsiode was the business! This new season is great so far! Only problem is that no one is home to watch Tv on Friday nights. This was the most stupid thing the CW could have ever done. And then to pair it with a rerun of Top Model?? WTF!!! If left on Thursdays, we would no doubt be heading towards a 10th season of Smallville, but this Friday move, I'm just hoping we make it to the end of THIS season. The ratings have taken a serious nose dive.

soylentcola 10/4/2009 2:02:42 PM

I really liked this epsiode. I keep wondering why Zod and company don't have their powers yet. I loved the ending with the S symbol and someone laying in the middle. I have a feeling its Jor-el.

Wiseguy 10/4/2009 2:38:18 PM

It's been a solid start this season. The show keeps getting better the last couple of years

I'm glad he gave up trying to disconnect and being cold and accepted his emotions.

I love the sexual tension between him and Lois. Lois is likeable unlike the annoying Lana. I also like that Lois is showing emotion for Clark and not just Superman or the Blurr

Zod and his followers not having powers yet I think maybe they need more time under the yellow sun after such a long haul in the phantom zone but I really don't have a clue yet.

BAG spent 2 years fighting robots and now he is one (almost) the irony. BAG came across well as Metallo, I like it

Lois should be suffering from post concussion syndrome after that slap from Metallo. She should really be dead

Joe I think you're off on the Corben hate for the Blurr. I  think it makes good sense. Like if an attorney fights for a client and later on he kills again I can see you hating that lawyer for doing his job. Clark like an attorney doesn't look at the circumstances he just saves as many lives as he can while an attorney will defend any sc*mbag

And the superpowers again is nit picking. Come on man, otherwise nothing would ever happen. It isn't such a stretch to think that Metallo is fast enough for him to get away or that Lois' heartbeat isn't so different from thousands of others to single out. You're overthinking it and the sense of smell is almost always ignored if not outright dismissed

Anyway the superpowers issue is why I almost prefer the original version where his powers were more limited as opposed to the way he has become and the powers given him

ponyboy76 10/4/2009 6:01:12 PM

First off, Good review Joe. Some others on here that write should be taking notes.

Secondly, this was a pretty good episode and I am happy so far with the way the season is going. I kind of hoped that Clark would stay in the shadows for awhile longer but it makes sesne that he has to have a hapy medium of his human/kryptonian sides of his life. It just findinf that middle ground which we all know he eventually gets to.

BAG was good as Metallo and I liked the explanation of his origin, connecting to Zod. I curious to find out who the person was laying in the crater. It was obviously someone else from the house of El, but what other family does Clark have?

PAGE 10/4/2009 10:19:57 PM

Ponyboy76 If I'm not mistaken, and forgive me this is a *spoiler*, but I believe I read on Kryptonsite that a young Jor-El came along with the rest of the Kryptonians from Kandor. They haven't cast anyone for the part yet as far as I know, but it won't be Tom Welling like he played a young Jor-El back in Season 3 I believe. Will be interesting though.

Hobbs 10/5/2009 7:02:03 AM

I haven't watched it but I was curious to know what you guys were saying about it.  The ratings were out for last week and the only show that was worse than Smallville was Dollhouse...for viewship that is.  It's supposed to be the last season anyways so it probably doesn't matter.  Just doesn't look like anyone is watching it.

thecheckeredman 10/5/2009 7:15:24 AM

This show has jumped the shark more times than it should be allowed to.  Boooooooooooooo!  I loved this show Seasons 1-4 -- I suppose it was a little melodramatic, and teen angsty, and predicatble, but those elements were kind of charming in Clark's world.  The "each season is a year in high school" was a fun gimmick but ultimately gave the viewers and end-point to look towards.

What the helk season is this now?  8-9-10-11-12???  WTH?



Krasch 10/5/2009 8:06:49 AM

Ummm hobbs, Welling is signed through at least Season 10, possibly 11 AFAIR.

monkeyfoot 10/5/2009 8:14:34 AM

Yeah, this was an enjoyable episode. It did seem to borrow heavily from Iron Man And Terminator Salvation for it's look and feel. I don't want all episodes to feel so dark.

Yes, there are also inconsistencies but that is par for the course for the Bizarro Superman world of Smallville. I don't know how Supes has kept his ablities and identity secret from nearly everyone with all the superstunts and villians he's fought. But, hey  don't take the show seriously and have fun with it and you have a good time.

Joe, I loved the Superman vs. Ali comic too as a kid. Even Supes couldn't beat him because Ali is the Greatest!!!

littlemikey979 10/5/2009 8:30:30 AM

I am so looking the new season, i just wish we could see some good slugfest. i was kind of let down with the doomsday "fight" and was hopeing clark and metallo would at least throw some punches and do some serious property damage, maybe they are saving their budget money for the clark vs. zod ho-down showdown

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