Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summing Up: Smallville

The vision of a world without Clark is pretty ridiculous, but I suppose it's sort of fun. I was surprised to find myself enjoying Lois hitting on Clark quite a bit. Regardless, the episode ended predictably poorly and was pretty much a waste of time. The next episode was a little better, as Robert Picardo (the Emergency Medical Hologram on "Star Trek: Voyager") is always a welcome guest. I don't really see why he had to try to kill Clark, but I'll let it slide.

Now, the finale I actually kind of liked. A superb beginning with Kara on the plane, set to a cool, fast-paced score was a good kick-off for a pretty action-packed finale. I enjoyed Clark's interactions with "Kara" especially when he gave a harsh talking-to and then tried to stop her from flying with little success. Though it was a bit corny, I liked the sort of slowing-of-time effect when Clark listened in to the black box. "Kara" going to Lex and saying "Don't you already know?" in relation to the Traveler was probably the best scene of the evening. Unfortunately, the episode couldn't reach complete greatness mostly because of Chloe's quick apprehension following Jimmy's proposal (yeah, what?!). Lex is not the kind of guy who would turn him in - it does not benefit him at all; he'd rather just hold it over Jimmy's head. I guess Lana's breakup with Clark is a good thing, and it was actually probably Tom Welling's best moment of acting with the fake crying and such (and Lois' hug - I wonder what's going to happen there...). The finale scene should have been a bit more climactic (the previews made it seem like it would be), but it is pretty fantastic to hear Lex say that he would have helped Clark become a hero.

The real problem with the finale is the need to end on such a cliffhanger. Every season until this point has done so, usually with more success. But why can't they resolve what's happening with Lex? Cable shows tend to have a big shocker towards the end of the season finale which is resolved by the episode's close and which will send the next season in a whole new direction. A perfect example is the most reason season ender of "The Shield" which did just that (watch it! It's so good!).

***Stop reading now if you don't want to know anything about next season.***

Having this cliffhanger seems especially pointless given the casting news for next season. Michael Rosenbaum is not returning to the show, so keeping his storyline going is rather anticlimactic. I'm sure that will be resolved by the end of the first episode or two. I'm actually rather concerned about a skeleton cast, which The Futon Critic's press release says includes only Welling, Kristin Kreuk, Erica Durance, and Aaron Ashmore. Allison Mack (Chloe) has since been confirmed as returning, and I think Kreuk will only be back in a recurring capacity. I'm hoping for the addition of some good new characters, and I wouldn't really mind the return of Laura Vandervoort as Kara. I've come around to her character, and I think they could do interesting things with her.

New showrunners next season=a better show? I hope so. We'll see. Chances are, I'll probably still be watching anyway.

Season grade: D+
Season finale: B
Season MVP: Oh dear...probably Vandervoort in the finale only

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