So I’m watching Smallville again.
Warning…here be spoilers!
Personally I blame it on the DVR, whick makes taping recording shows too freaking easy. I also put some of the blame on Big Honkin’ Steve, but not in a bad way because appearing on the two episodes of Starkville’s House of El got me kind of jazzed for a while there, though that excitement dimmed a little between then and sitting down to watch the first episode.
Here’s the deal; I haven’t followed Smallville regularly since episode 100 when I thought they made the wrong choice in terms of the person that needed to die. I have seen an episode here and there and bought season five and six when they dropped down to $20 at Wal-Mart, but as far as being a week in/week out viewer…well, it’s been a while. The main reason I am tuning in this season is that Clark is finally wearing some sort of costume. I have been accused of being a purist, but to me it isn’t really Superman until the costume is there. Also Zod has some promise so I sat down last night and gave the first episode a look-see.
The opening “last time on Smallville” thing caught me up to speed though I have talked to enough people to know what’s going on. The opening scene was fairly exciting and the special effects were quite good for the series. I must admit that it was neat seeing a Superman sized disaster happen even if there was that whole, “What the huh?” moment with Lois and the mysterious ninja woman. There was a fair bit of drama as well when Clark caught a look at Lois through the window. I have never had a problem with Tom Welling’s portrayal of Clark Kent and I think he sold the conflict Clark is feeling in that look he gives her.
After that it fell into the standard Smallville season opener. Each character gets an introduction that begins to set up their arc. Clark is somehow conflicted though at least he has his powers in the opener and is in control of himself somewhat. Usually he either has no powers or is under the influence of…something. This opener reminded me that I actually like Clark on this show and want to see him get to that point where he becomes Superman. Chloe had an interesting time of it and I liked her interplay with Dr. Emil Hamilton. This is my first exposure to Hamilton on the show so I am not sure if he was on last season but boy did they Smallville him. Gone is the kindly old scientist look. Well, at least he wasn’t a hip, young, cool scientist that listened to hip, young, cool music. Lois was a lot of fun and the more I see Erica Durance the more I like her in the role. The writing for her is strong and she embodies Lois even if she isn’t quite where we are used to her being.
I will admit that I liked Zod. A lot. I like the way they introduced him and he seems like the character to watch this season. Callum Blue had an intensity about him and the scene at the end where he finally convinces his men (and women) that they should follow him had a great intensity to it. I am curious as to why they made him a Major though I am sure that will get explained at some point. I don’t know if he can top Terance Stamp for me but I am going to enjoy watching him try.
Then there’s John Corben. Metallo is one of my favorite Superman villains and has been for some time. I like the concept of a villain that is powered by the main weakness of the hero but is also a villain that Superman can just lay into because as long as the head is kept alive the body is pretty much fair game. His introduction as a reporter…I don’t know if he is smarmy or just extremely confident…was nice and I kind of dug the squeaky chair thing from last year’s season opener. It is almost a shame that he is going to be Metallo in the next episode because it would have been nice for him to develop a little more as a character before outfitting him with the cyborg body but it looks kind of cool just the same.
The over arcing story and character beats were interesting as well. I am not all that familiar with Tess but it seems like she and Zod are going to be connected in some way. Alia was an interesting character as well, though the reveal that she was one of Zod’s people had some of the wind taken out of it for me because you pretty much knew she was going to be around. I also felt for Chloe when she asked Clark to go back in time and bring Jimmy back and dug how Oliver is still around though why don’t they just give him a Green Arrow series already?
My one problem with the episode is that once again Clark is forced to take action out of guilt. Clark did something in the future and it is going to destroy the world. My main gripe with Smallville has always been that everything seems to be Clark’s fault and I am tired of it. To me what makes Superman great is that he doesn’t act out of guilt but out of altruism. But this concept seems so ingrained into the show that I doubt they could take it out at this late stage of the game.
That problem aside I thought this was a solid opening and I am looking forward to watching the rest of the season.
Especially the Justice Society.
More to follow…