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Info:

  • 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
  • Series:

Smallville: Kent

The good beat out the bad this week

By Joe Oesterle     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.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Weird-Hollywood/129515117077132

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 49
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redhairs99 4/18/2011 12:16:10 AM

Come on, Joe!  Next week's filler episode is by Geoff Johns and his episodes (while filler) are always fun at the very least.

I too am kinda distressed at the lack of build up toward Darkseid.  Surely after the encounter with Lionel Luthor at the end of the previous episode, we'd get a little more, but no.  I guess that'll all be relagated to the finale especially with appearances by Booster Gold, The Blue Beetle, Kara and Zod in the next few episodes.

I also thought the little heart to heart with dear ol' dad that "aw, Shucks Clark" set-up was a little "too" easy.  I would have liked to have seen a bigger battle between "Good" Clark and "Bad" Clark.

jedi4sshield 4/18/2011 1:01:12 AM

Same here with the lack of build up to Darkseid. These Episodes should be the showdown of the century straight thru. I fear it will just tickle our fancy for a about a 15 minutes spread between two Episodes. As for Clark 2 You shouldn't be able to change someone that quick! Come ooooooon!!!  The dudes is evil and loving it without the need for Red Kryptonite.

I also have something I want to get off my chest. Don't ask me why, but until about two days ago I had never seen the show "No Ordinary Family." Boy was I missing out. This show is like 10 times better than Smallville!!! The show starts off well, captivates you, and always ends well, and I'm only up to Episode 12. This new show rocks and Supernatural (as always) should be the real line up. To bad its on a different network. I even dig all the Marvel and DC references (Bonus).

Back to Smallville. Throughout the Episode I was like wow everyone is kicking Clarks ass. Clark 2 kicked his ass, even Jonathan managed to get a lick in. How pathetic is Clark? Is this the Man of Steel that I expect to go up against Darkseid? Cause nothing says amateur like Clark Kent at the moment. I hope to be thrilled in the last 2 Episodes (fingers crossed) I mean I know Lex has a part, but what role he gets in all of this is anyones guess, well just have to wait and see. 

SgtTechCom 4/18/2011 5:40:46 AM

Callum Blue is totally sporting the beard for his upcoming appearance. I can't wait. He's a great Zod.

Next week's episodie is supposed to inspire clark to embrace the whole "superman" thing because Booster is so into being known and in his case famous but kinda  full of himself . People want to love him. It shows Clark that people need to look up to someone in the form of a hero,basically come out of the shadows and show himself more.

Should be fun i like when they bring in other DC characters.

karas1 4/18/2011 6:01:56 AM

Since I've always loved Booster Gold, especially when paired up with Blue Beetle, I'm looking forward to next week.

gopherblaster 4/18/2011 6:02:28 AM

 So the bad Clark is here, we all know his weakness.  SO CARRY SOME FREAKING KRYPTONITE WITH YOU.  Game over.

Oh and with the citizens of the other world all carrying Kryptonite, porves once again my point of Clark really not being that powerful.  He can be taken down so easily.

rogue188 4/18/2011 6:30:08 AM

Great review, Joe. I think you will be surprised for next week. Every episode Johns' writes are some of the best of the season.

Jakester 4/18/2011 7:03:56 AM

I still haven't watched this episode.  Every time I open my DVR menu, it's there.  Staring at me.  Taunting me.  Daring me to watch it.  So far, I have been strong.

Bryzarro 4/18/2011 7:13:56 AM

 Not much to defend on this episode.  I'm just running out the season and watching whatever they put out there.  

I do have to say E2 Clark did end up saying to our Clark that he would have a fresh start on our side and that in the cave he admitted that he had never spoken to Jor-El.  

At the end of the day he was raised by a Luthor and it's entirely possible that he could seek change.  But i'm looking forward to seeing next weeks episode.  Have there been any pics of Booster out there? And I read somewhere that the Zod that Blue is reprising isn't the Zod that was sent away it is the one from the Phantom Zone.  Not sure if it's true but will have to wait and see.

xpaladinx45 4/18/2011 7:14:36 AM

 I have to admit, while not surprising, the ending of the episode once again did remind me of the Doomsday finale.  Couple shoves and end of story.  Other than that though, I did enjoy it.  Is it just me though, or does it seem like Welling makes a better bad guy than good, acting wise?  Maybe it's just the dialogue.

Less than a month from the end, think its safe to say we've gotten about all the build up we are going to get, and he's not flying before the finale, if at all.

Kind of sad really, the Doomsday story had some pretty good build up, but the lackluster in the end.  Maybe we'll get lucky and this will be the opposite, no build up, but great ending?  *Q the song "Dream Weaver"*

monkeyfoot 4/18/2011 7:16:16 AM

Joe, you are getting into the spirit of the show. Don't take take it too seriously. Don't worry about the extreme discontinuity from mainstream DC universe. Don't worry about large plot holes. Don't worry about seemingly slapped together stories with no budget to do them justice. Just enjoy the silly Smallville fun for what it is.

I agree with most of your points, but I also enjoyed this episode. I especially liked that this story didn't end in the expected Good Clark/Bad Clark slugfest. I actually liked that the sheer goodness of our hero was almost like a beacon in the color muted universe. So strong it was that Pa Kent (good to see Schneider again!) and Clark Raised Wrong could feel the truth in his words. Yeah, it was kind of silly but superheroes like Superman and Captain America are supposed to have this charisma around them and like a Junior Jesus that can show the right way to those who are willing.

The week before last they repeated the pilot episode which I hadn't seen in years and it reminded me of how well put together the show originally was. It was showing young Kal-El's formative and maturing years in a well written and coherent way and I missed it. Now, since the show ratings have been so good and they had to continue it way, way beyond an appropriate run, it has deterorated into a hodgepodge of whatever they can throw in and is just Bizarro world. I enjoy it for the silliness but I realize I miss the better show it evolved away from.

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