Monday, November 9, 2009

What I’m Watching: Smallville

Smallville: Season 9, Episode 7 “Kandor” (B-)

It’s as if there are three separate Smallvilles this season, and none of them are really connected at all. One or two of them are featured in each episode, and they’re hardly consecutive, in the same way that the third and fourth seasons of “Lost” featured certain characters in one episode that thereafter weren’t seen or heard from again for weeks at a time. The best of the three different directions is that of Lois and Clark, while Oliver and the Kandorians aren’t as promising or fulfilling. References to the unseen Lois from Clark, Chloe, and Oliver simply won’t cut it, and their relationship can’t be expected to progress if she doesn’t even appear. The show was doing well enough with the notion of Clark as the Red-Blue Blur, his budding reporting career, and his courtship of Lois, and would have been well served to go pursue just those angles this season. The presence of the Kandorians has always been a big strange, partially because of its incongruity with the timeline of the show. While it is great to see the great British actors Callum Blue (“Secret Diary of a Call Girl,” “Dead Like Me”) and Julian Sands (“24,” “Leaving Las Vegas”) share the screen, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that they’re actually in the present, roaming free with seeming super-strength but no powers otherwise. Having Jor-El meet Chloe and barely even speak with Clark is a bit of a disappointment, though it’s good that he didn’t stick around for too long to disrupt the space-time continuum too much. The most intense and gratifying scene was Clark’s business-only approach to interrogating Tess, shorting out much more quickly than usual and grabbing her by the throat. Her joy at having him all but confirm his true identity as a Kryptonian was truly striking, and it’s nice to see that the character is following very well in her LutherCorp president predecessor’s footsteps.

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