I’m back from Texas and caught up with my TV shows, so let’s get to last week’s episode of Smallville!
I’ve noticed that many of the episodes this season start the same way, with a soft-toned theme playing as the camera pans onto a familiar landmark (Kent Farm, the Daily Planet, a street in Metropolis). It’s a very nostalgic feeling, as if the show is constantly trying to remind us, “Things are going to change and this is going to end.” It’s like, yeah, we’re looking at a familiar scene, but we’re drifting away from that familiarity. We see Kent Farm, only for Lois and Clark to discuss selling it moments later. We enter the Daily Planet, but discover that Lois is getting promoted from the basement office. We scan the streets of Metropolis, where Lois is meeting Clark, so that the two can discuss wedding details. It’s very much a feeling of, “This is where we came from, and this is where we are going.” And I like it.
So I wasn’t quite sure what to think of this episode when I saw the previews. Yet, strangely, it ended up being one of my favorite episodes of the entire season – despite the fact that it didn’t revolve around any of the three major story arcs. And in many instances, it very easily could have gone in a different direction. Booster Gold was insensitive, but he wasn’t unbelievably monstrous. Clark acting like a klutz could have come across as slapstick, but instead they delved into the reasons for this behavior as well as his self doubt and personal insecurities. Even in the final moments of the episode, when Clark confronted Booster Gold, the tone was just right. Sure, he was self righteous, but he wasn’t judgmental. And when he to the rescue, he avoided being a glory hog. At the end, he gave Booster Gold the opportunity to be the hero and do the right thing.
This episode just hit all of the right notes. And there was some really great development as it relates to Clark becoming Superman.
Regular readers know that I’ve been critical of the fact that they made a big deal about Clark donning the glasses, only for them to go several episodes of him as his usual self. Most defended that it was because he was around his friends, which is fair enough, but why make a big production about the glasses if he’s not even going to wear them all the time? Well, this episode fixed that right up. The visual was absolutely, positively, spot on. The hair parted to the side. The distinctly less fashionable suit (wearing a bland combination of a white shirt, black tie, gray pants/vest, and tan trench coat instead of the slicker, bolder colors he usually wears). And, of course, the glasses. And I really loved their mentality of having the Blur essentially step away from the spotlight as the world becomes so used to the clumsy, accident prone Clark that they forget about the charming, heroic person he always had been. I liked this, as it brought attention to the fact that people aren’t going to just magically forget what Clark looks like without glasses. It’s going to be a long process of making people grow accustomed to this Clark, to the point that the train of thought that Clark could be Superman won’t even be approached.
Speaking of mentalities about transformations, we are also beginning to see the end of “The Blur” and the birth of “Superman.” As Lois explained, he’s not really going to be a “blur” when he’s making public appearances. And as Booster Gold said, the name is kinda silly.
If nothing else, this episode made me really excited about Clark officially becoming Superman.