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"Smallville" Icarus (2010)

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Icarus

10/10
Author: Colcatron from Canada
9 May 2011

I'm not a huge fan of the Vigilante Registration Act story, but the writers have managed to keep it interesting, even if it's not original. While the VRA would play a role in some later episodes of the season, this is the episode where it really hits its climax.

"Icarus" is what you might call the mid season finale of Smallville season 10. The final episode before mid season hiatus has always been one where Smallville would go a little bit bigger, but it was with "Bride" in season 8 that the producers started treating this pre-hiatus episode as a real finale sized epic. "Bride" went big and left with a huge cliffhanger, then in season 9 "Pandora" took it to the next level. While I don't necessarily think that this episode tells a better story than "Pandora", it is much larger in scale, thanks to the inclusion of a half dozen major guest stars, and a shocking cliffhanger. In all honesty, it's hard for a show like Smallville to really have a truly shocking twist, but I was completely surprised by the final 15 minutes of this episode.

General Slade is alive and well, and going all out in his mission to stop the Justice League characters. Most of "Icarus" unfortunately is spent following his underling, Lt. Trotter. Considering how strong Slade's past appearance was, I was looking forward to seeing more of him. In the end the stakes remain high even with him taking a backseat. The League disbands, leaving Clark, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Stargirl and Black Canary all on the run from the government. I liked the fugitive aspect to the story, even if it has been done dozens of times before in superhero stories.

**SPOILER**

The shocking twist comes courtesy of Hawkman, who sacrifices his own life during the climax. This was one of the most dramatic moments I've seen on Smallville since Jonathan Kent's death 5 years earlier. I didn't care for Michael Shanks in the role of Hawkman originally, but since he got over his bad Rorschach impression and built a great character, I've become a huge fan of Hawkman in this show. I wouldn't have thought that they could have pulled off such a dramatic death from a character that had only appeared in two episodes prior to this, but they did. Credit has to be given to the director Mairzee Almas, who brought the same level of drama and emotion to the episodes "Metallo" and "Supergirl". Shanks also deserves a lot of credit. I have a feeling if the episode had been filmed the same way, but featured Styargirl's death, nobody would be praising the drama.

The final cliffhanger at Hawkman's funeral left me in suspense, but not necessarily in a good way. It was far too vague and unusual to make sense. Too bad the next episode "Collateral" couldn't successfully conclude this cliffhanger, or continue the solid drama of this episode. "Icarus" ranks as one of the best episodes of the season.

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