Smallville – Episode 9-15 Review

Better late than never, right?

So I have a small confession to make. I was originally going to include this review in the following episode’s recap, meaning that I would only write a brief blurb about what happened in this episode. But after watching this, I came to realize that there isn’t going to be another new episode of Smallville in quite some time (by the way, CONGRATS! to all involved with the show for getting a well-deserved tenth season. Who woulda guessed it?), meaning that this column was going to be more substantial than I anticipated (although I’m sure there’s more than one of you out there who are wishing that my reviews were just a bit shorter). Well, let’s see how this goes.

Is it me, or did it feel like we missed a few crucial scenes between Chloe and Oliver. One second they’re suggestively flirting with each other, the next they’ve got assumed booty calls. Considering the notches in Oliver’s headboard, and the fact that Chloe’s husband died just a few months ago, I was hoping for something a little deeper with these two. Right now, it just seems like they’re using each other because they’re lonely. Up until that point, it felt like they were drawn to each other because they understood one another. One of those scenarios is shallow and empty. The other has the potential for a substantial bond. I’m disappointed that they were heading towards the latter but took a an abrupt turn towards the former.

What I did enjoy, though, was their differing views regarding Chloe’s “insurance policy.” It was actually rather nice seeing Oliver take the supportive, loyal approach (especially after his portrayal at the beginning of the season). He seemed discouraged that she had such little faith in Clark, and he disagreed with her decision to keep him in the dark. As I’ve said in the past, I hope Chloe’s dark, untrusting turn leads somewhere (and it does seem to have a direction). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Her “greater good” justifications for her surveillance and lies and half-truths really does make her sound like a Luthor. And I hope that observation doesn’t go unnoticed by the characters (who tend to relent when she defends her questionable actions).

One thing that does irk me, however, is that they seem very inconsistent about Lois’ status at the Planet. I mean, we’re to believe she can regularly be featured on the front page — above the fold — yet she’s still in the basement of the Daily Planet? Sharing a desk with a newbie? Meanwhile, she’s sought after by a bunch of nuts because of her incredible skills? It just seems a little….faulty. And do reputable companies really put employees in the basement?

Who remembers that episode of South Park that parodied the movie 300? Remember when they used unnecessarily complex camera panning and needless slow motion effects in the midst of mundane actions, like Mrs. Garrison making a pot of coffee? I felt that way during Zod’s infiltration of the Daily Planet. Aside from that silliness, I thought everything revolving Zod was marvelous. To those of you who think that his “turn” and deception with Clark was a bit abrupt, I must confess I think it was wise. Truth be told, by the end of the episode I legitimately liked Zod. And unlike Lex, who had several years to develop his evil persona, the idea of Zod and Clark becoming enemies became a bit unsettling. So nibbing it in the bud and making Zod ambiguous from the essential get-go was perhaps for the best.

But, again, the Zod stuff was great. I loved how Zod’s life experience afforded him the skills to find the Kryptonian much quicker and far easier than Clark. While Clark was hopping from place to place and resorting to threats to get information, Zod made one stop and used his charm and, ironically, his understanding of human behavior in order to find what he was looking for. And he came off as truly heroic as well. He took the time to rescue Lois — a human — even though he could have just saved the Kryptonian. And when things went awry, he warned Lois to find safety.

My ONLY problem with the episode was that same old pet peeve: Having characters other than Clark fly. This annoys me for two main reasons: 1) The visual of seeing other characters fly takes away from the impact of eventually seeing Clark fly (which should be a significant event), and 2) it emasculates Clark. Sure, he’s got super speed, strength, and all these other abilities, but he can’t seem to learn to fly. Meanwhile, we’ve seen Kara, Lex (as Zod), Zod, and even the Legion take flight. There’s just something a little backwards about these three “kids” idolizing Clark, as they fly away and he runs after them.

Plus, it irks me that they clearly have the technology to make characters fly, and they’re willing to spend the money on it (Kara basically spent a full season flying), yet they refuse to let Clark hit the skies because of some now irrelevant testament they created a decade ago. He’s essentially Superman now, and everybody likes it. Why restrict him from his coolest power?

Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, 24, Heroes, and Smallville. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.