Smallville: Season 10, Episode 19

Dominion (29 Apr. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Romance
8.1
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After banished general Slade is found on earth, Clark realizes the Phantom Zone portal must be open and decides to go close it, however dangerous as his super powers don't work there. ... See full summary »

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Title: Dominion (29 Apr 2011)

Dominion (29 Apr 2011) on IMDb 8.1/10

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After banished general Slade is found on earth, Clark realizes the Phantom Zone portal must be open and decides to go close it, however dangerous as his super powers don't work there. Oliver was denied coming along but managed by surprise. The heroes find the zone under the rule of general Zod, who looks forward to his revenge for both worlds on Clark and was promised full dominion by Darkseid if he eliminates the great Kryponian adversary. So Clark is forced to enter Zod's arena's mortal gladiator combat, while Oliver is offered an alternative and reminded of being Omega-branded already, which no earthling knows yet. In the Watch Tower, Lois discovers the three hours portal destruction 'safeguard' Clark ordered Tess to trigger and fights it. Written by KGF Vissers

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jail | fight | execution | kneeling | duel | See more »


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TV-14
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29 April 2011 (USA)  »

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Quotes

Clark Kent: You have the console crystal. How?
Zod: We're blood brothers, Kal-El. Have you forgotten how you healed me with your blood on Earth?
Clark Kent: We're not brothers. I saved you because it was the right thing to do. We have nothing in common.
Zod: We're from the same world. Do you really think that having powers is the only thing that makes you Kryptonian? It's not. We share the same instincts. We're decisive... single-minded, headstrong. We were meant to be leaders.
Clark Kent: Leaders? You're a tyrant who believes only in ...
[...]
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References Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) See more »

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Dominion
2 May 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Clark returns to the Phantom Zone, for the third time in the series, after the season 6 episode "Zod" and a briefer appearance in the season 8 episode "Bloodline". This time Clark is joined be Oliver Queen in the Phantom Zone, where they both find a a returning Callum Blue as Zod.

I've said it before, I'm not a fan of how the Phantom Zone is visually portrayed. In my opinion it should look and feel more surreal, like being caught in a nightmare. Instead it's a post apocalyptic wasteland. I have no problem putting aside my complaints when it comes to the environment, as long as the story is good enough. Unfortunately, "Dominion" has little story to fill out an hour of TV. In some ways "Dominion" fails, but in other ways it succeeds. I'll give my opinions on both, starting with the negatives.

The previous trips to the Phantom Zone were much shorter in duration. "Zod" spent about half of the episode there, while "Bloodline" only spent about 1/3 of the episode in the Zone. In this episode, almost the entire episode is spent in the Phantom Zone. You'd think with that much more time there would be plenty of opportunity to show more of the environment. Unfortunately we see a LOT less of the Phantom Zone than either previous episode. Th majority of the time is spent inside of a ratty old tent. Visually this is the least interesting trip to the Phantom Zone.

One other issue I have is regarding Zod's return. I'm a huge fan of Callum Blue's performance of Zod, but this story did very little to bring something new to his character, other than giving him a bit of a chance to act like a jerk toward Clark, and give him a beard to look closer to Terence Stamp. Really, there was no reason to bring Zod back this season. Between the episode start and episode end, nothing new is brought to the table. Zod is no different of a character. The main reason is that there is no plot here. It's just Clark and Oliver meeting Zod in the Phantom Zone. This was a wasted opportunity. As much as I'm a fan of Zod, I would have rather not had him return at all than to return in a wasted opportunity.

There are a few fight scenes in this episode, but of course being in the Phantom Zone, nobody has powers, and everyone looks like they walked out of Spartacus. In 10 years of watching this show, I've never thought to myself "Gee, I'd love to see these super powered heroes and villains swinging swords and shields at each other while wearing armour from some sword and sandals epic of the 50s." Bridging between the strengths and weaknesses, the cut scenes back on Earth with Tess and Lois were both ordinary and uninspired in concept, while at the same time actually succeeding in bringing some tension to the show. The Phantom Zone conflict never had an ounce of tension, since it's been done 2 times before, and came across far too cheesy. The few moments between Tess and Lois on Earth had legitimate tension. It's just too bad they couldn't come up with an interaction that was a little bit more exciting.

Now onto some of the good points of "Dominion". While the action and plot are very weak (almost non existent) the performances are fantastic from start to finish. This is the first episode directed by cast member Justin Hartley (aka Green Arrow) and I have to give him huge credit for bringing out the best performances from the entire cast. This episode has some of the longest dialogue scenes I've ever seen on Smallville, and thanks to the performances, the dialogue scenes never drag. In fact, the scene between Oliver and Zod was one of the best moments I've seen all season. Usually when a cast member directs an episode, they take a back seat role in the acting department. That's not the case with Hartley. Aside from Zod, it's Oliver Queen that's really the focus of this story. While I felt this episode did nothing new to further the story, and in Zod's case was completely unnecessary, the evolution of Hartley's own character is what saves this episode from being forgettable. The position his character is put in by the end of "Dominion" has me just as curious to see the story arc revolved as I am with Clark's personal story.

One of the weaker episodes of the season, but saved by some great moments from the cast.


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