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  • Episode: Sleeper
  • Starring: Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Kristen Kreuk, Allison Mack, Erica Durance
  • Written By: Caroline Dries
  • Directed By: Whitney Ransik
  • Network: CW


Stephen's review of the new Smallville.

By Stephen Lackey     April 27, 2008

More "damsel-in-distress" in SMALLVILLE:Sleeper(2008).
© CW

So, what we have here isn’t as bad as the bubblegum episode, but it is toward the bottom of the proverbial barrel even for this series. The plot in this episode is so scattershot you’d think the writers would need every minute to try and make everything feel cohesive but in fact, they leave time for a tired and silly choreographed dance sequence. What ends up being the focus of this episode is just so completely ridiculous, it was laughable, even when it wasn’t supposed to be. Over the past few episodes, the series has actually been able to craft a few intriguing plot threads – Braniac disappearing with Kara and Lex getting both keys to the mysterious box. Instead of following up in depth on these stories, the writers craft a little bit of brilliance by making Jimmy Olsen everything he hasn’t been thus far, a master computer hacker and a secret agent with all the gadgets to boot! The interesting stuff is just left as footnotes for the episode and even those footnotes come off like paint randomly sloshed onto a canvas.

Jimmy and Chloe are trying to rekindle their relationship but it’s not working out that well because Chloe is keeping a bevy of secrets from Jimmy and Jimmy’s not feeling super loved right now. Suddenly Jimmy is approached by a government agent that quickly turns him against his girlfriend, gives him a slick briefcase full of gadgets, and sets him on a path to spy on Chloe. Within moments Jimmy has the gadgets all down and he’s not the klutzy photographer he was prior to the appearance of the government agent. If the creators really wanted to do this kind of thing with Olsen, they should have crafted him to be more like a Maxwell Smart rather than James Bond. No, he wasn’t quite as slick as Bond, but he was nowhere near Maxwell Smart. Not only did this story not fit Jimmy’s character ,it also just wasn’t interesting.

Chloe has her mind in the right place – getting those keys from Lex and stopping him from gaining the power to control Clark. Clark on the other hand doesn’t seem to be concerned at all. He’d rather think about anything else in fact.  He’s spending the night with a comatose Lana and wondering about where Kara and Brainiac got off too. Both of these other situations are important, no doubt, but if Lex gets control of Clark, he won’t b able to help Lana or Kara. So, sounds like someone needs to get his priorities straight. 

Sleeper was a smattering of this and that with no real focus on anything. The episode stands in stark contrast to last week’s much stronger episode. This has been Smallville’s biggest problem though, a lack of consistency. Sometimes it’s well written and focused and other times, it’s a big mess and horribly executed. Unfortunately, the latter is more common. Here’s hoping the new show runners can save the series next season!


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extzero 4/27/2008 2:27:44 AM
well, i am a super superman fan, and i've been here since the beginning of the smallville saga. i dont know what to say. im not as intellingent as all the bloggers, but we need to get to something more interesting if this show is going to survive. Clark needs to fly already, and somehow erase everyones minds so the future can arive!
cellblock303 4/27/2008 11:05:16 AM
Survive? Isn't this the last season? If so, survival is the last thing they have to worry about. I do agree that he should just fly already.
Flashdog 4/27/2008 12:41:20 PM
Yeah, I agree...D The character Jimmy Olson is boring and the actor is mis-cast. So, getting back to Clark, he is not concerned about being controlled by Lex because if the writers ARE SMART they will reveal the "Traveler" AS Brainiac, Lex WILL control HIM and we are off to the races as it's Evil Lex's Brainiac vs. Clark which may trigger the hate-fued between Lex and Clark and FINALLY get him into a costume!
AzuLTaLoN 4/27/2008 3:50:55 PM
i knew this was gonna be a lame episode jimmy olsen "secret agent" WTF, flashdog great idea for brainiac as the traveler that is the way they should go.
redhairs99 4/27/2008 4:23:32 PM
I do agree that this episode was pretty lame, but is it possible to get some consistency with episode reviews? I mean, where was the review for last week's great episode with Lex burning his innocence and fully embracing his evil? It seems to me that you just like to bash Smallville any chance you get.
PAGE 4/27/2008 4:25:12 PM
I'm just curious as to why there wasn't a review for "Descent", which in my opinion was one of the best episodes of the series. If I am making a mistake about that assumption, I apologize but it seems you only want to give a rating to the episodes you think are the worst. Which, this episode I would probably give a C to because there have been worse episodes than this one, but my point is, review all episodes instead of just the ones that gives you a reason to give the show bad press.
slackey 4/27/2008 5:32:04 PM
My DVR choked and didn't record Descent and I didn't find another source to see it until several days later making a review old news at that point. Often we will skip a week for one show in favor of covering another to in order to keep variety up on the site though. If Smallville were more consistent we'd actually get some good reviews here and there too!
originaldave77 4/27/2008 5:54:41 PM
There will be one more season after this, cellblock303. What I find surprising, is that Smallville was not affected by the Writer's Strike. New episodes have appeared all through the season. They either finalized every script prior to the strike, or they improvised. The quality of the show would suggest the latter. Smallville did jump the shark, imho.
laforcer69@yahoo.com_home 4/27/2008 8:16:36 PM
I have unloaded steaming piles of shit more interesting than this whole season of Smellville...The writers should be fired and then put in front of a firing squad only to have the back of the heads explode and brains scattered everywhere...This show has been sh t for the last two seasons and thus has been completely destroyed by the producers, who also should be standing next to the writers in that fire squad...End of Story...
jedi4sshield 4/27/2008 9:36:58 PM
I'm getting the impression that they are trying to kindle the fires but its still in the rubbing twigs together and getting sparks faze so far. Also I'm starting to see that the flying issue is coming up but I have a feeling if they make him fly its gonna be idiotic and pointless in the making. Ive always thought that he would end up flying because he would be totally pressured in doing so (ex. Saving his mom from a burning plane that kind of thing). Hint hint to the WB creators this isnt a half bad idea, wink wink you might want to use it, wink wink. Still I hope he doesnt end up flying for some lame manner other than being pressured or thru trauma, please make him swet for it.
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