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"Smallville" Shield (2010)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Shield

7/10
Author: Colcatron from Canada
5 May 2011

"Shield" was both one of the best episodes of the season as far as character development goes, while at the same time being among the worst for overall stories. I'll explain my opinion on both.

Season 10 did what should have been done many seasons before. It was time to scale back the full time cast and spend more time focusing on fewer characters. Look back in the history of Smallville. In any given season you can find characters that were constantly being forced into the plots just for the sake of using a permanent character. There was no need for Pete during most of his run. Lana was around at least a few season longer than she had to contribute as a character. Even Lois spent at least a season or two just floating in the background with no purpose. In season 10 there are only 4 major characters from start to finish. I love that the producers allowed for more time on fewer characters. Just to fill the gaps, they brought in a handful of recurring characters that ended up being used only as needed. Cat Grant is the main one, who appears here in the same type of role as she had in the comics, but the actress portrayed her in a perkier way. The character is slightly different from the comics, but a lot of her backstory is here, and she still succeeds as a new character to interfere in the Clark/Lois relationship, without making it a love triangle. Hawkman returns here with his back story being told properly. I wasn't a fan of how he was portrayed the first time around in "Absolute Justice" but Shanks does a much better job here. I not only thought Hawkman was an improvement, but now he's become one of the best characters on the show. Finally, there are many villains introduced here. I hated how seasons 8 and 9 wasted the entire seasons on just one villain. We already know Darkseid will be the villain focused on this season, but instead of dragging him out all season, we have several minions to fill out the season.

With so many great characters introduced, and all of them introduced so well, it's disappointing that the story is so uninspired. There's just too much going on, and no real hook to keep the story interesting. There's too much of a divide between the two stories as well. It sometimes gets frustrating when you have multiple stories with no connection. When the action is light as it is here, it plays out too soap opera like.

"Shield" is forgettable in the end, but the season would continue to get better from this point on, thanks in part to the character introduced here.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

High and low guests, confusing but intriguing story, messy but interesting Clark arc, substantial contents, smart visual effects, inspiring Lois, flawed ending

6/10
Author: igoatabase from France
2 October 2010

I wasn't expecting Shield to outclass the astonishing Metallo but I never thought a season 10 episode would be so questionable. Indeed it was an awkward mix of dry and sweet sequences.

First two guests were featured. One was an absolute surprise, as much as Brian Austin Green in season 9, but the other was really annoying at the beginning. Second too many arcs were developed and I found the story quite confusing. I think it would have been wiser to focus on Lois or Clark for once. Or their respective adventures should have been blended in a creative way. However I think they all have potential and I can't wait for them to collide because I'm sure they're linked ! Third the mark of a disappointing installment is when you remember its inaccuracies. Clark's side was a bit messed up even if I enjoyed the role of Tess, respective of Cassidy Freeman's talent, and consider his friendship with Oliver is very inspiring. Fourth even if it wasn't flawless I have to admit that the episode was filled with bright ideas and memorable lines. From the mythology to the philosophical dialogs there were plenty of material to satisfy the audience. Fifth I don't know what happened to the budget cuts but the scenes were heavy on visual effects. Well rendered and even informative they magnified the exciting events and made the upcoming arcs even more intriguing.

In fact it's sort of frustrating, not to know what will happen next. I have no idea where the writers are heading and a few scenes puzzled me. What really happened to Chloe ? When will Lois come back to Smallville ? Indeed her story is probably the most inspiring so far because since Hostage she has become a role model, someone the viewers can really relate to. As for the end it was cut sharp and in my opinion a complete failure when it could have been as much as jaw dropping as Zod's cliffhanger in Conspiracy. Instead we had to digest the few seconds of a bizarre idea. The real issue was that it was actually inspired by the character who annoyed me the most, even if her chat with Clark at the Talon was touching.

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