Smallville: Prophecy Review -

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  • TV Series: Smallville
  • Episode: Prophecy
  • Starring: Tom Welling, Erica Durance, Justin Hartley, Chris Gauthier, Cassi
  • Written By: Anne Cofell Saunders and Bryan Q. Miller
  • Directed By: Mike Rohl
  • Network: The CW
  • Series: Smallville

Smallville: Prophecy Review

Smallville Returns to Form. It Sucked Again

By Joe Oesterle     May 10, 2011

Smallville: TV Review
© Mania/Robert Trate


Amazing. Simply Amazing. No, I’m not talking about this episode of Smallville, “Prophecy” – that was just amazingly dumb. My amazement stems from the fact that this show is capable of creating three continuous weeks of entertaining stories, (beating their previous record this season of one good show in a row) and then they revert back to form, with this suckfest – just as I started to believe, and right before the anticipated 2-hour finale.
   From the opening minutes we were subjected to some of the most tired and worn out premises this show has stockpiled in its junk drawer. Clark loses his powers, Lois gains powers, and just for good measure, Jor El is once again an enigmatic dickhead.
   If that weren’t enough, Kara and Ollie are solving some of the most inane riddles ever written, and in the end, it turns out the Bow of Orion was never going to play into the big story anyhow. Seriously, why introduce this instrument capable of destroying Darkseid if you’re only going to demolish it before we even meet the ultimate intergalactic heavy? If they don’t pay this off in next week’s finale, I’m going to have to hit the thesaurus for a more powerful way to convey “amazingly dumb.”
   We are then reintroduced to the enjoyably hammy Toyman, portrayed in pure 1960’s Batman camp malevolence by Chris Gauthier. (Side note, Gauthier’s Toyman has always reminded me of Josh Mostel’s King Herod in the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical, Jesus Christ Superstar.) Gauthier’s scene chewing performances are always appreciated, but I can’t always say the same about the stories he’s written in to.
   Could somebody please explain to me why Lois Lane, a woman who is clearly bright enough to be trusted with a position of power at one of the most respected media organizations in the entire world, would think for a second it’s a good or even noble idea to allow herself to be controlled by a known and jailed urban terrorist – especially when she happens to possess the strength and speed of a god? I mean no one in their right mind would hire an idiot like that to write reviews of Smallville, and I happen to know first hand how little some people out there think of certain Smallville reviewers.
   Was it cool to see the silhouette of Solomon Grundy, or the green glowing heart of Metallo, or even the blue hood of Captain Cold? Yeah, it was cool for a millisecond, but entirely unnecessary because the entire foundation of the script was hopelessly flawed.
   Similarly, it should have been a much sweeter moment when we saw the official Superman costume encased in Fortress crystals, but they already showed us that trick months ago, so the impact was much less than impressive this time.
    Anything else I didn’t like? You betcha. I’m suppose to believe Kara is just as skilled as the Green Freaking Arrow with a bow? Look, I’m already stretching my ability to sustain disbelief when we talk about a guy devoting his entire life to being a crime-fighting archer. I’m also happily, but still suspiciously skeptical about a girl from another planet who lands here and has powers far beyond those of mortal men. Let’s face it, I’m all in, if it’s written well, but why am I expected to believe the super alien girl is capable of picking up a weapon she’s never fired before and carrying out a one-in-a-million shot dead on target? From a simple character study viewpoint, doesn’t this negate why Green Arrow is an important piece in this Justice League team? If any Kryptonian can do what Ollie does – and obviously better, since he has trained his entire life for such accuracy, why do we need him around to begin with?
   Speaking of Supergirl, I understand why she left to pursue her own destiny, (kind of) but I have no idea why she had to do so without saying goodbye to cousin Kal. (Other than to make for a forced dramatic scene outside the Watchtower window.)
   And so Lois comes into the Tower and starts her brainwashed mission to assassinate The Blur (damn, I have always hated that nickname.) Wouldn’t you think it would be within Checkmate-trained Tess Mercer’s character to have a piece of Kryptonite laying around for just such an emergency? It’s not like it’s the first time some Kryptonian-powered being has decided to wreak havoc at that well-known super secret headquarters.
   And from the files of Lame-O comics, Clark momentarily disarms Mega-Miss Lane with a declaration of his love for her, right before she loses her power at sundown in one of the hokiest slow motion punch grabs in the history of ever.
   Finally, I called the plot device of Lois calling off the wedding earlier this season, and while I’m positive all will be worked out for next week’s series ender, it will not be resolved brilliantly. If for no other reason, it will be impossible to do. What with the return of Lex, (and Chloe – yuck) the appearance (I assume) of Darkseid) the redemption of Green Arrow (probably by Chloe declaring her love for him while he is under mind control) and probable guest stars of heroes and villains of the past, not to mention Clark finally pulling on the red and blue long johns, and flying over the Metropolis skyline and into the closing credits.
   Well, that’s what I have for this week. There’s a lot to get to by next week, and only two hours minus commercials to do it all. Obviously some plot points will suffer, but this team doesn’t care about the art of writing. They are content they produced a series that lasted a decade, and are confident enough viewers will tune in to finally see Tom Welling in the suit. They know they will entice old viewers who gave up on the show years ago, and they also know they’ll grab more than a handful of people who’ve never watched, because this is a bona fide television event. I wish I could say I believe it will be a great send off. The best I can muster now is I believe it will be cool to see Welling all Supermanned up, but what I believe more than anything right now, is this show could have been so much better.
   I believe the character of Clark Kent/Superman, was for the most part, not respected by team, and I believe they should have and could have done a much better job on it.
 I also believe regardless of how good or bad the finale is, the diehard fans are going to love it. I just hope they give a finale worthy of the love decades of comic book, movie, radio, live-action tv and animation fans have for the character himself.


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zalder 5/10/2011 7:34:52 AM

This is one old fan who will not be tuneing in.  superman 90210 got terrible long ago and is not worth coming back for.  And this is from someone who even liked quest for peace...

gopherblaster 5/10/2011 7:35:18 AM

Joe you hit it head on. Fans are going to love the finale because they will see Clark in the suit. All the bad writing, and lost potential of this show will get a pass because, OMG he is in the suit! I think the finale was actually two episodes that they later decided to cram together for the two hour finale. So it has a stong potential to be a complete suckfest. How much of the two hours is going to be filled with Clark convincing Lois to marry him, and then the wedding itself?

Once again, like always, in the episode Prophecy, the supporting characters are out trying to get things done, or accomplish a mission and Clark is wrapped up in some horrible story line.

Im going to miss your reviews Joe. Thanks for the forum you provided. Would have loved to hear your thoughts on the earlier seasons

JoeArtistWriter 5/10/2011 7:37:35 AM

Thanks gopher. Such a shame. They were really riding an unprecedented wave of fun shows (not great, but legitimately fun) and then this. It does not bode well for the finale - especially if what you're saying is true,and this is simply two different shows smashed together.

This team pisses me off. I wish I could say I'll miss watching this show, but I won't. I will miss this comment box. It's nice to chat with people who agree this should/could have been so much better. I'll also miss mixing it up with the blind die hards. The die hards I can almost understand, but the blind die hards are a mystery to me, and even more mysterious to me, I may miss them even more. I guess I'm a masochist. How else can I explain watching this show for the last two seasons?  ;)

JoeArtistWriter 5/10/2011 7:38:48 AM

zalder, I like the cut of your jib. Good for you for sticking to your principals. I'm jealous of you.

muddseye 5/10/2011 7:43:04 AM

Thisis probably the first negative review of yours Ive read where I havent wanted to string you up by your toes Joe.  Ive been watching it since day one and have been looking forward to the final probably for the same reason you cite, he will finally don the jammies.  Personally, I think the show should have ended a season or two ago and been spun off into a Justice League show.  The conference with "The Legion of Doom" kinda made me giggle.  I mean who didnt get a good snicker out of seeing Black Manta in that ridiculous helmet :)  You are right tho, its hard to be truly excited for Fridays finale especially after the writing for Fringe's season finale last week.

SarcasticCaveman 5/10/2011 7:50:43 AM

 I'm DVRing the series finale, but I gave up on the show quite a while ago...well, once they did that hour long Stride commercial, I found I just couldn't find it in me to defend it anymore.  The first 5 or 6 seasons gave me some good entertainement though, and I'll tune in just to see the return of Michael Rosenbaum and see if he can blow some dust off this turd in the last episode.  He cracks me up every week on Breaking In.

TC777 5/10/2011 7:58:56 AM


Let me start by echoing gopherblaster, I'm going to miss coming here every week for your reviews.  Regardless what anyone thinks, I think its great that you take the time to interact on a personal level with the people who read you.  It says alot about you.

As for the episode... what a disaster!  Your review is a green arrow (or I guess Kara) bullseye.  Every character mishandled.  Tess can fight Clark Luthor, but here all she can do is whine about superpowered Lois?  And as for Lois, after all the progress they made making her three dimensional (sort of) and fleshing out the depth of her love, in one episode they transform her into bumbling, schizophrenic season eight Lois!  And why was Kara even in this episode?  As for the Bow of Orion, this is the best way to show Ollie is under the power of the Darkseid?  Jorel is once again a mysterious superpowered asshole, and they never miss a chance to emasculate Clark, who someone should tell them is the hero of the piece.

Usually I just shake my head and give them mulligans.  But I can't give them a mulligan on every line of dialogue and inexplicable plot twist.  Usually I'm just dissapointed, but this week I was annoyed.  What a waste of an hour.  And because they wasted this time, that means the finale will be rushed, inconsistent, and probably in places incoherant.  But we'll see the suit and the flying, so that will make everything alright. GRRRRRRRR!!!!

xpaladinx45 5/10/2011 8:02:58 AM

 Good review Joe, I really have nothing to add, you said it all.  I am just glad that the finale is Friday and I won't sit through it for a good week and a half due to vacation.  I am also glad that this finale and SGU's finale weren't on the same night, because the combined level of suck I have a feeling the two would inspire might lead me to do something drastic.  (and yes, I am still b!tchy about sitting through the crap that was the series finale of SGU...the show had gotten fairly decent the past year and the finale was pathetic.  Don't know who to blame on that one, writers or the network.  At least with Smallville I guess we know it's the writers that suck :)

I am one of many who have watched this show from day one, ten years ago.  From that perspective, I am looking forward to the finale and seeing how it all closes out.  I am a bit of a collector at heart, and the idea of watching a TV show and not seeing it through to the end is difficult.  The ride has been long, bumpy, and sometimes even painful to watch.  There have definitely been good moments too, and full of cheese, but good cheese.  

In the end, this will not be a show I ever purchase a season of, or even rewatch on Netflix...or reruns for that matter.  I love the story of Superman, however the replay value of this show is in the negatives.

I only pray that when the credits roll as we watch Tom welling fly through the sky ala the move "Superman" to close the show out, that I am at the very least left with a feeling a completeness with the show.  Even if I think the episode is poorly written (which, let's be honest, has a REALLY good chance of being the case), if i feel they at least wrap the show up I can at least be content.  Unlike certain other recent finales I MAY have mentioned already...*cough*SGU*cough*

As to our reviewer, Joe:  Once again, as with LOST, I anticipate your final review.  I have enjoyed them quite a bit since you came on board the Smallvile train (and i just noticed the little slip/type I just made there, but I am going to leave it..).  Hope to see you on another show in the near future.

zalder 5/10/2011 8:54:29 AM

If more people stuck to their principles and had stopped watching this 4 or five seasons ago we either would have gotten a better show, or it would have been canceled.  Either of which would be better.  DON"T WATCH THE FINALE DON'T BOW INTO THEM.  Tape it if you must and fast forward to when he puts on the suit and flies, but when shows like this continue and shows like flash forward and anything by Jhoss Whedon get canceled, their is something wrong with the TV watching public.

gopherblaster 5/10/2011 9:00:15 AM

 You know I got to thinking.  We all expect there to be a scene with him in the suit, because that is the way to wrap it all up.  But think about it, who is to say they will do that?  As much as we blast the writing team on this forum, we may be giving them too much credit to actually pull it off.

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