Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Smallville: Fortune (2011)
This is one of Smallville's love it or hate it stories. The basic premise revolves around Clark and Lois having their Bachelor/Bachelorette parties. Throw in a brief mention of Zatanna casting a spell on them, and we have the first ever Superhero knockoff of the movie The Hangover.
To enjoy "Fortune" one has to go into it understanding that this is intended to be the most over the top, blatantly comical, ridiculous, absurd and silly episode, probably in the history of the 10 year run. I liked that instead of just filming 45 minutes of goofy gags, they actually wrote a highly complex plot involving mobsters, robberies and missing rings. Sure the plot is ridiculous, but the writers knew that. I laughed a lot and really had fun watching this episode. One major complaint I have comes from the final scene. This episode works only because they treat it like an hour long joke. Why they felt they needed to add the final moment between Tess and Emil, I have no idea. That moment at the end seemed completely irrelevant and tacked on, and spoiled an otherwise ridiculously fun story.
In the end many may find this a tough episode to like. if you don't suspend disbelief and throw away any hopes of a serious story within the first 5 minutes, you'll end up frustrated. If you watch "Fortune" as the near parody that it is, it can be a lot of fun to watch.
Smallville: Supergirl (2010)
Kara returns for the first time since a throwaway appearance in the season 8 episode "Bloodline" which was little more than a glorified cameo. Finally her character is given a proper return, and proper closure. This isn't Kara saving people secretly the way her and Clark always did on Smallville, this is Kara as a public superhero for the first time. Kara had been one of my favourite characters, but I felt the writers tanked her in the second half of season 7, with lame amnesia stories. As I already said, I was equally frustrated by her glorified cameo in "Bloodline" so it's such a relief to finally have a proper send off for her in "Supergirl". This wouldn't be her last episode in the series, but it is the one that gives her character closure. I also felt after several episodes in season 7 they missed the whole point of having Kara on the show in the first place, which should be as a mentor to Clark. This episode finally gets back on track with that.
This episode isn't entirely about Kara. The main plot revolves around Gordon Godfrey, otherwise known as Glorious Godfrey from the comics, a minion of Darkseid. The majority of Smallville portrayals of DC villains are heavily altered in their adaptations. In the case of Godfrey, he's as close to his comic book character as I believe they could have gotten. His purpose is exactly the same, to stir up hatred towards Superheroes, or vigilantes. This would mark the beginning of the Vigilante Registration Act story, which later in the season would lose its focus and become too much of an X-Men imitation. Here the plot is at its best, with Godfrey steering the ship. I loved the actor's portrayal of Godfrey, and how they use him to give us our first proper introduction to Darkseid was very effective.
In the end, I can't think of anything to complain about with this episode. Godfrey was a fantastic supporting villain, as Desaad and Granny Goodness would be in later episodes. Most of all, this is a straight Superhero story, featuring a proper send off for Kara aka Supergirl. She would return in one more episode by the end of the season, but there again it would be as an irrelevant background character in a wasted cameo. This is one of the best episodes of the final season, and after many disappointing episodes near the end of season 7 and one in season 8, a story that gets Kara's character back on track for one final time.
Smallville: Beacon (2011)
There is more going on in "Beacon" than almost any episode of Smallville. Martha Kent returns, while Alexander Luthor and Lionel both re-emerge. While these character make enough of an impact to carry the entire episode on their own, there's also the VRA story to be tied up, and an assassination attempt. Smallville often suffers when trying to tell multiple stories, but in "Beacon" everything is juggled flawlessly. Alexander, Lionel and Martha all have huge roles in the plot, and despite having to share screen time with a couple of side plots involving the VRA, none of the characters returns suffer.
Season 10 had a strong start up to episode 4, then hit a slump until the return of Lionel in episode 10. From this point on it's all one fantastic build up to the end. From Alexander's dramatic turn, to the destruction of the Luthor mansion, the show is taking huge gambles to set up the finale. The unpredictability alone makes "Beacon" worthwhile, but adding Martha and Lionel in there helps remind any viewer of the gap that was never successfully filled when they left. No matter what the writers tried to do with Tess, Doomsday, Zod or any other villain, nobody can top Lionel Luthor. It's a joy to have him back on the show.
Only minor complaint is that I would have liked a more extensive scene between Martha and Lionel. The home video clips in the end were a little corny, but it accomplished what it needed to in terms of pushing the story forward.
Smallville: Abandoned (2010)
In the series of season 10 stories dealing with tying up family issues, "Abandoned" is a step in the right direction after the unoriginal "Ambush". Lois watches a video her mother made for her before she died, Clark sees his birth parents Jor-El and Lara one more time, but surprisingly for the first time ever, Tess carries the show.
After 3 seasons of Tess being nothing more than a boring replacement for Lex, and then a boring replacement for Chloe, she's finally given some individuality as a character, and a proper back story. Tess' childhood is tied directly to Granny Goodness, a DC comics villain with a strong connection to this season's main villain, Darkseid. For one, I loved that the producers chose not to make the main villain front and centre for the whole season, something that I feel ruined the tension is seasons 8 and 9. Instead Darkseid is always a menacing presence in the background, with his minions taking centre stage. Of all of Darkseid's minions we see this season, Granny Goodness was probably the best written, best acted, and most terrifying. Lots of credit goes to the actress for being able to stand next to Desaad and Godfrey and be the one to give you nightmares.
Smallville: Collateral (2011)
There's not much I can say that hasn't already been said about "Collateral" an episode that kills every ounce of suspense, drama and emotion that "Icarus" built before the winter hiatus. This wasn't the first story in season 10 to rip off another popular science fiction story, but it is the one that hides it the worst. They made no attempt to separate this episode from the Matrix at all. Season 10 had been doing a good job of integrating more science fiction like elements into the show, like Hawkman's origins, the mirror box, etc, but this is just too absurd to enjoy. This was a wasted return for Chloe as well. Her explanation of her absence for half of the season not only lacks logic, it makes her come across as a cold and unlikeable character. Every season has at least one infamously bad episode. "Collateral" is it for the final season.
Smallville: Icarus (2010)
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.
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.
Smallville: Luthor (2010)
Alternate universes, alternate timelines or glimpses at the future are nothing new to Smallville. Some of my favourite episodes follow this formula. What works with alternate realities is that it gives the viewer a chance to look at the show and all of the characters from a completely different point of view. Of the many episodes to use this formula, "Luthor" is one of my very favourites.
The show opens with Tess coming into possession of a Kryptonian mirror box, which Clark later comes by and activates. When the mirror box is activated, Clark Kent switches places with his counterpart in the alternate universe (Smallville's take on Earth-Two) named Clark Luthor. Of course the twist is that in that universe, Clark was found and adopted by Lionel Luthor instead of the Kent's, and he's grown into a super villain by the name of Ultra Man, whose shield in an upside down Omega symbol, which viewers of this season will recognize as the mark of Darkseid. Unlike past episodes like "Lexmas" or "Apocalypse", this isn't just a hypothetical view of what could be, but an actual swap of realities, so while Clark Kent is stuck in a world where Lionel is his father and Lois hates him, the same villain Clark Luthor is transported to the world of Smallville, where Tess and Lois discover that there's something different about him. We get to see both sides of the story. Thanks to some great editing, there's tons of suspense leading into the climax.
Of course the biggest treat in "Luthor" is the return of former cast member John Glover as Lionel Luthor. This marks the first appearance of Lionel since he was killed off in season 7. In my opinion, Lionel is hands down the most interesting character on the show. Here we get to see him more villainous than ever before. Nobody can steal a scene like Glover, and no character is as interesting to watch as Lionel Luthor. To make it even better, this is only the beginning of what we see from Lionel.
At the same time, we see Clark in a villainous role as well. Tom Welling has played evil Clark before, like the many episodes where he was exposed to Red Kryptonite, or the series of episodes where he played Bizarro, this is totally different. Tom Welling rarely gets the kind of credit he deserves as an actor. There are so many variations to Clark's personality that he has to play every week. Bumbling Clark, hero Clark, Clark opposite someone who knows of his powers, Clark opposite someone he has to hide his powers from. His performance needs to change literally for every character he interacts with. It would be very easy to play Clark Luthor the same as Red K infected or Bizarro Clark, but Welling has managed to create totally separate characters for each of these evil personas.
After a string of weaker episodes revolving around the VRA, "Luthor" finally hits the high point that season 10 was striving for.
Smallville: Patriot (2010)
I don't know if I was dying to have Aqua Man back. In my opinion he was the weakest Justice League character portrayed on Smallville, mostly due to the actor's lack of personality. Thankfully it's not an Aqua Man story, but a story about the Vigilante Registration Act where Aqua Man, his wife Mera and Oliver Queen all share the story with Clark. AC and Mera's presence is mostly in place as an example to move Lois and Clark's relationship forward, and in that I guess it succeeded.
The VRA plot was far from original, but I have to give the writers credit here in making it a little more interesting than "ambush" did. Slade was a good villain to introduce, even if he was a little over the top. The main action plot with Slade and the VRA is more or less an exact remake of the plot from season 6's "Justice" with even the action coming across as strikingly similar. Still "Patriot" has its exciting moments, and like many episodes this season, Slade as a villain brought a lot to a generic story. I can't say I love this episode, but it accomplishes what it intends to.
Smallville: Ambush (2010)
The episode "Ambush" starts a series of stories that serve one purpose, and that's to tie up loose ends between Clark and Lois and their families. "Ambush" brings back Lois' father, General Lane, and her sister, Lucy Lane. I don't think there were a lot of people dying to see the return of Lucy, but this episode is worth viewing just for the opportunity to see Michael Ironside in the role of General Lane. Unfortunately the writers seemed to have forgotten the dynamic that had already been established between Lois and her father. Nothing about the relationships in this story seem to match what we've seen before. On the plus side, it's still amusing to watch Clark try to impress his future father in law.
There's more going on here than just a pathetic family thanksgiving dinner. Rick Flag is back for the third time this season, and his purpose starts to become clearer. While I like the inclusion of Flag, I'm not so thrilled about the Vigilante Registration Act plot. One of the issues season 10 has is a lack of originality when dealing with the superhero aspect of the show. Everything is borrowed from past superhero movies. Oliver going public with his identity as the Green Arrow was just ripped off of Iron Man, and the Vigilante Registration Act is a direct copy of the Mutant Registration Act from X-Men. I would have liked this episode, and that overall story a lot more had it not been almost identical to what X-Men told over 3 films and who knows how many comic stories.
Smallville: Harvest (2010)
Lois and Clark find themselves trapped in a village that time forgot. Since M. Night Shyamalan was nowhere near the script during writing, or set during filming, this episode doesn't fail nearly as colossally as the movie The Village did. That's not to say that it works on every level either.
After revealing his identity as The Blur to Lois in the previous episode, and spending the opening scene catching her up on the real history behind many of their encounters with Kryptonians, Clark is suddenly stuck in village where his powers are obsolete. This obviously isn't the first time the show has told a story where Clark was without his abilities. It's been done countless times before, and it usually makes for good TV, but this episode itself isn't nearly interesting enough on its own merits. I actually kind of liked the premise, and the looks of the village was interesting. Even the story isn't all that bad. The best way to explain my issue is by comparing this episode to the previous one, Isis. Both are far fetched, cheesy, and over the top in concept. The difference is "Isis" knew it was B-Grade entertainment, and never treated it as anything other, while this one "Harvest" takes itself far too seriously. If the director had shot this with more of a sense of humour it would have come out better.
The second half of the episode deals with Tess and the young Lex clone. I usually have problems with episode like this that tell two completely unrelated stories, and this is no exception. There is a way to do it right, but it involves at least a similar tone or theme to tie the two stories together. The Tess and Lex footage has zero relation to the Crucible style Village plot. It was almost like it was directed by two different people. I actually loved the story between Tess and the young Lex clone, and as its own episode it may have been able to carry the story, but pairing it up with the other plot was a mistake.