The Best and Worst of Smallville: Season 3

For previous installments:

 

Season 3 sees fight his destiny that his biological father, Jor-El, has set out for him, and the price that Jonathan had to pay to bring him back to Smallville. This was the last season to feature Sam Jones III as Pete Ross.

 

The Best:

Exile, Phoenix, Slumber, Perry, Relic, Shattered, Asylum, Delete, Hereafter, Obsession, Crisis, Legacy, Truth, Memoria, Talisman, Forsaken, and Covenant

crisis

Briefly:

  • Exile and Phoenix continues from last seasons’ Calling and Exodus, in which Clark is under the influence of red kryptonite, living in Metropolis, and involved with the crime lord, Morgan Edge;
  • Slumber deals with a comatose girl who pulls Clark into her dreams;
  • Perry sees the introduction of Perry White;
  • Relic features Jor-El visiting Smallville on Earth forty years ago, and encountering Lana’s Aunt Louise;
  • In Shattered, Lex locates Morgan Edge, whom helped Lionel murder his parents,
  • Asylum sees Lex trying to escape from Belle Reeve Sanitarium, meanwhile Ian Randall, Eric Summers, and Van McNulty band together to try to steal Clark’s powers;
  • Nothing says odd like the mind-controlling e-mails from Delete;
  • Hereafter is a re-has of Season 1’s Hourglass;
  • Obsession introduces Alicia Baker, who would have a larger role in the following season;
  • Crisis sees a phone call from the future from Lana as she is being chased by Adam Knight;
  • As Jonathan withdraws from the family in Legacy, Clark suspects Jor-El is sending messages through the key to him;
  • In Truth, Chloe inhales a krptyonite-laced gas, a truth serum, with fatal consequences;
  • In Memoria, Lex tries to regain his lost memories through a controversial treatment, as Clark suspects will reveal his secret to Lex, and Clark gets caught by Lionel in order to solve the mystery about Clark;
  • Talisman sees student Jeremiah Holdsclaw steal the Palak from the Kawatche Caves, gaining similar powers to Clark, and claiming to be Naman;
  • Forsaken sees the return of Emily Dinsmore who kidnaps Lana, meanwhile an FBI agent, Frank Loder, kidnaps and tortures Pete to get him to reveal Clark’s secret;
  • Covenant introduces a woman who identifies as Kara, but is actually Lindsay Harrison as Kara from Krypton whom Jor-El used to lure Clark into his training.

According to the DouxReviews of Exile:

Jor-El: “Are you willing to sacrifice anything to get him back?”
Jonathan: “Yes. For my son, I’ll do anything.”

What a departure. And what fun.

Three months have passed, and Clark was having the time of his life. Tom Welling played Kal with absolute glee, as if he’d been let out of school. (Which he sort of was.) That row of busted ATMs in particular was a strong reminder that Clark could literally do anything he wanted at any time.

The writers made a point of Clark picking up a new girl every night but not taking her home with him. So we’re supposed to believe that completely uninhibited Clark has been on his own for three months, robbing banks and going clubbing every spare minute, but somehow, he’s still pure? Tell me another one.

Clark wasn’t the only one living an unfamiliar life far from home. Poor scabby Lex, stranded on a desert island and delirious with malaria, had to deal with an imaginary psychopath named Louis. In the meantime, Lionel gave a funeral for Lex, complete with a big, black, obelisky gravestone. I was semi-certain last season that it wasn’t Lionel who was trying to kill Lex, since Lionel does love his son. Sort of. So the one who tried to kill Lex had to be Helen.

This episode gave us Rutger Hauer as Morgan Edge, the biggest crime boss in Metropolis. (As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m very fond of Rutger Hauer, mostly because of his Oscar-worthy performance as Roy Batty in my favorite science fiction movie, Blade Runner.) When Morgan Edge told Kal he wanted him to break into a building, I knew it would be LuthorCorp. What surprised me was that Clark didn’t encounter K in the vault. Did it all get stolen in that season two episode with the truck-napping?

For me, the real highlight of the episode was Jonathan going to Metropolis to bring his recalcitrant super son home. Stay tuned for part two.

According to the DouxReviews of Phoenix:

Chloe: “Let’s face it, Lana. Clark has more issues than Rolling Stone.”

Fathers and sons, good and evil, like always, but more so. I love it when the writers become secure in their universe, and just go nuts. The Jonathan/Clark showdown was Smallville at its absolute best. Clark’s rebellion wasn’t all the accelerated power of red K; it was fueled by a serious identity crisis. He felt that, if he were Jor-El’s son, he was pretty much born to be bad.

Jonathan, of course, loves Clark more than his own life. What was surprising was that Lionel also loves Lex. The two of them reconciled in a big, big way, and Lionel took Lex back into Luthorcorp. And they hugged. Hugged! I could swear Lionel was actually crying at one point, too.

After all that’s happened, it wasn’t a surprise that Helen was indeed not the principled doctor she first appeared to be. I even thought for a while that Lex had fallen for her act when he was making up to her, but I shouldn’t have worried; Lex is too good at taking care of himself. What did Lex do to Helen? I don’t think they told us.

Lionel and Morgan Edge were drinking “suicides” together. It looked like they were putting blood in their drinks. (Guess that’s why they’re called suicides, Billie.) Ironic that all the carrying on was about Clark’s blood, after all. What I don’t understand is, if Helen was unprincipled enough to sell the blood in the first place, why didn’t she tell Lionel where the blood actually came from?

According to the DouxReviews of Slumber:

Chloe: “Clark Kent dreaming of the girl next door. Isn’t it nice to know some things never change?”

Even though it was somewhat obvious that the first part of this episode was a dream, I was still impressed with how it managed to stay sorta kinda real enough that I kept thinking, well, maybe it’s not. There were several major clues:

1. Lana suggesting that she and Clark skinny-dip. Like that would happen.

2. Clark wore a white tee-shirt. He never wears white. (And Tom Welling can take off his shirt anytime as far as I’m concerned. Wow.)

3. The Kents gave Clark a brand new truck. They were losing the farm five minutes ago.

4. There were flowers everywhere.

5. Chloe took down the Wall of Weird.

6. Lex knew Clark wasn’t human. (This was the last and biggest give-away, of course.)

This was, again, an interesting and unusual plot that was a good departure fromSmallville‘s traditional monster of the week. Did Clark’s alien nature have something to do with why Sara Conroy was able to enter his dream? This episode called back to “Nightmare on Elm Street” (right down to the coffee), as well as the “Nightmares” episode on Buffy.

Lionel wanted Lex in the business before, but now he appears to be putting up one obstacle after another. Psych tests? What does Lionel really want? Lionel did a scene with his shirt off, too, and John Glover has nothing to be ashamed of. One thing, though. Lionel has been seriously injured more than once. Shouldn’t he have scars all over his chest? Well, I guess he could afford primo plastic surgery if he wanted it.

According to the DouxReviews of Perry:

Chloe: “Wise decision coming inside. Weather service expects a shower of threshing machines, followed by a drizzle of combines.”

A comet smacked into the sun, and Perry White, tabloid television reporter, arrived in Smallville… just in time for Clark’s powers to go kerplooey because of solar flares.

Introducing Perry White so early was quite possibly screwing with the Superman mythology, but I think they made it work. Michael McKean was just perfect as Perry White; spot on casting. He irritated everyone in town, and saw Clark being super over and over again — while drunk. And they followed it with a literal cliffhanger, with Perry doing just what Lois Lane did in Superman II: jumping off a cliff, and expecting Clark to save him.

This episode had some of the best sight gags they’ve had in this series, at least so far. Clark accidentally throwing the tractor into the air was just classic. Having it land in pieces in front of a half-lit Perry and him reacting by pouring his booze onto the ground was cliched, but I loved it anyway. I also really loved Clark losing control of his superspeed, and having to come home from Colorado by bus.

And now Perry is on the wagon, and heading for the Daily Planet. And he owes Clark a favor. I’m ready for more Perry. Couldn’t we move the whole show to Metropolis soon? Yeah, yeah, I know. No flights, no tights.

According to the DouxReviews of Relic:

Clark: “It’s just a hunch that the drifter was there.”
Chloe: “I get that. It’s the robbery outside the Talon with the Natalie Wood movie playing that’s a little more detailed than your average hunch.”

I have a confession to make. Clark and Lana as a couple just don’t excite me. And when the episode is centered around them, I’m often bored. Not so much this time, though, because of the wild and crazy plot.

An episode like this one is a great excuse for our main actors to dress up and play different parts and have uncharacteristic smoochies. Tom Welling and Kristin Kreuk did indeed look terrific in period clothes, and this episode was definitely hotter and sexier than Smallville usually gets. It was also full of fun tidbits of new info.

Seems that Lana’s great-aunt Louise, who looked remarkably like Lana, was killed forty-two years ago by a drifter named “Joe” who looked remarkably like Clark. (Except the killer was actually Cancer Man from X-Files. But I digress.) Jor-El said that his father sent him, Jor-El, to Earth to teach him a lesson. It may not be Superman canon, but Jor-El’s experiences with the kindness of the residents of Smallville, including Jonathan’s parents, certainly explained why Jor-El sent Clark to Earth. He may even have been aiming directly at the Kent farm.

We got a brief and very romantic description of Krypton from Jor-El. “Where I’m from, we have colors that you’ve never seen. Our moons are so close, they fill up half the sky. We have sunsets that last for hours.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. And a big red sun.

We learned lots of new stuff about the Luthor clan. Lionel was born and raised in Suicide Slums (was that anything to do with the drink he shared with Morgan Edge?), and his parents died in a tenement fire. Or did they?

According to the DouxReviews of Shattered:

Lex: “What’s the price of a Judas kiss these days?”

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. This was a dysfunctional Luthor family extravaganza, and I just loved it.

Frankly, I think that Michael Rosenbaum should have gotten an Emmy for this episode. Alternately angry, confused, distressed, dangerous, and pathetic, Rosenbaum makes us see Lex fighting his own mind for clarity, and failing. It was even more poignant that Lex knew exactly what was happening to him. “You’re working for my father. You’re drugging me to make me crazy.” True. “As long as the world thinks I’m crazy, no one will believe what I found out about my father and Morgan Edge.” Again, true.

Until the end when we found out it was drugged scotch and an unscrupulous psychiatrist, it seemed likely that Lex really had gone off the edge. The real shockers revealed in this episode were that (1) Lionel conspired to kill his own parents (or did he?) and (2) Lex had a psychotic break as a teenager, after he accidentally killed his baby brother, Julian.

Clark came out of this looking like a damned good friend to Lex, staying with him even in opposition to his parents. Even when Lex started singing to a rolled up blanket. At least, right up until Lana got battered by Lex and then trampled by her horse. Clark shouldn’t have left Lex alone with Lana in his condition, so that really was Clark’s fault.

They were obviously unable to get Rutger Hauer to return as Morgan Edge, but Patrick Bergin did just fine. He managed to make the plastic surgery bit believable, mostly by doing a terrific Rutger impersonation throughout.

According to the DouxReviews of Asylum:

Eric: “Save your strength, Clark. I’m going to need it.”

Poor Lex! Locked up in an asylum, torn with barbed wire, tasered, confined to what looked like a modern iron maiden, and he wasn’t even crazy. Lionel was a right bastard to do this to Lex, and here I am, stating the obvious again. I knew (of course) that Lex would probably end up losing his memory because you can’t have Lex remembering Clark crunching a car, but what just happened? Did electroshock turn Lex into a pod person?

The “We hate Clark” club at the asylum was a truly excellent plot device. Usually in shows like this, bad guys just go away and you rarely find out what happened to them. But here we had meteor freaks and the meteor freak assassin creating an alliance to get Clark. And it even worked as a serious threat. Our three bad guys were from three seasons: Eric, from season one’s “Leech”, Ian from season two’s “Dichotic”, and Van from season three’s “Extinction.” Van, unfortunately, was my favorite of the three and got iced first.

A stranger named Adam gave Lana a much needed push with her physical therapy. Unfortunately, it was pretty much a rerun of every other show with someone giving someone else a much needed push with their physical therapy. The actors did their best, but I felt bad for how cliched it was.

I’m not into slash, but even I could see the intense slashiness of this episode. Clark tried to save Lex. Lex tried to save Clark. Both Lex and Clark were tied down and electrified at the same time. And when they hugged in the end, they actually closed their eyes. Yowsa.

According to the DouxReviews of Delete:

Lex: “You know, contrary to common perception, my father isn’t behind every nefarious activity in Smallville.”

Lois Lane? Chloe has a cousin named LOIS LANE? What a bombshell. And it certainly raises a major question. If Chloe used the name Lois Lane as her byline, then does that mean Chloe is the future Mrs. Superman? I’ve always thought Clark would be much better suited to Chloe than to Lana. It certainly would be fine with me if she were Lois Lane.

There was a lot to like about this episode, other than the stupid email hypnosis thing which really did nothing for me. I liked that we all thought Lionel had to be behind the murder attempts, and then we thought it was Dr. Garner at Summerholt… but then it turned out to be Mollie the techie working on her own. I actually didn’t see that coming, so good on them. The action was even unusually gross and violent, which got my attention.

I absolutely, totally loved Lana and Chloe’s fight to the death, with slomo and axes and showers and everything. Very, very impressive. Adam stepping in and disarming Lana with the moves and all was also very impressive. Adam was almost one of the gang here.

And now Adam is moving into the Talon. (This can’t be good for the Clark/Lana romance.) (Not that I care.) Lana was feeling a bit reluctant to get involved with Adam, because he’s got a lot of secrets, like Clark. Adam (Ian Somerhalder, who wound up on Lost) even looks a bit like Tom Welling, with the firm jaw and big eyes and all.

According to the DouxReviews of Hereafter:

Chloe: “Cue the spooky music. Because Jordan was born on the day of the meteor shower.”

This was an episode about thwarting death and changing Fate, with a capital F. And it ended with Jonathan collapsed and unconscious. Man, I hate cliffhangers.

Jordan’s gift was somewhat reminiscent of Ryan the mind reader, but a lot creepier and more metaphysical. Wasn’t there a classic sci-fi story about knowing when you were going to die? Whatever — it’s a great story idea. What I found most interesting was that nothing Jordan or his father ever did could change what Jordan saw… but Clark was able to do it. It was like Clark wasn’t part of the natural order of the universe or something, and could actually trump fate.

I really wanted Jordan to touch Clark and see when he would die, but I thought the writers wouldn’t even go there. But they did. Jordan saw flying, Superman’s cape, and a white light. Jordan told Clark, “You don’t have an end, like other people. It’s like you live forever.” How fascinating. I guess that, as a literary figure, Superman is indeed immortal. But is Clark?

Along with Jordan, boy of mystery, we learned some compelling and contradictory stuff about Adam, teen of mystery. Drugs. Piano genius. Industrial-strength nightmares. Oh, and he died. What’s up with that? With Clark in an “Adam-free” zone, Lex was all gallant and protective of Lana, investigating Adam himself. Lex also did some breaking and entering of Adam’s apartment, and ran into Chloe doing the same thing. And we still don’t know who Adam is, or why we should care.

According to the DouxReviews of Obsession:

Chloe: “I’m really sorry she went all Glenn Close on you.”

I’ve always wanted to see Clark forced to use his powers in front of someone. That elevator scene was fabulous. But why couldn’t it have been Chloe?

Not that I’m really complaining, because this was a really terrific episode. It really did seem at first that Clark had found his soul mate, and I actually liked Alicia a lot. Imagine being able to share everything with someone who had a similar secret, someone to whom you’re strongly attracted. A match made in Smallville. It all seemed perfect… right up until Alicia teleported unannounced in Clark’s bed, like a serious case of wish fulfillment. (Loved Jonathan walking in on them.) Strike two immediately followed, with Alicia eavesdropping on Clark talking with his parents. And then it escalated rapidly out of control.

The situation with Alicia controlling her terrified parents reminded me of the classic Twilight Zone episode, “It’s a Good life,” about the little boy who controlled his entire small town and sent everyone he didn’t like to “the cornfield.” One question I had was not answered. Did Alicia start out bad? Or did her parents imprisoning her in a lead-lined room just push her over the edge? The final bit with Alicia covered with lead paint was pretty freaky. Interesting coincidence, considering it sort of stops Clark, too. Maybe lead and Kryptonite are connected in some way.

Lana again went to Lex with her Adam problem, instead of going to Clark. (I really like the Lex/Lana connection, although I guess the chances of the writers putting the two of them together are pretty slim.) Turns out Lionel sent Adam to Smallville to suck up to Lana and learn about Clark. But Adam has a serious medical problem, what with the death and all, and Lionel is cutting off his meds. Stay tuned.

According to the DouxReviews of Crisis:

Chloe: “It’s like the call you received came out of thin air.”
Clark: “Or a really different time zone.”

I love episodes like this, even though they never really explained how it happened. Why did the call go to the teen crisis hotline? Because Lana is a teen and it was a crisis? 🙂 So that it would be recorded and Clark would figure it out? At least this wasn’t the typical “Lana in danger” plot. I even liked the gutsy way Lana dealt with the homicidal Adam.

This was a fine way to end the Adam arc and shift the emphasis back to Lionel, which will undoubtedly be a lot more fun. Lionel appears to be dying of a rare liver disease (and from a plot standpoint, may I say, “aha!) and of course, he’s after Clark. Lionel is very rich, wildly determined, and has nothing to lose. He’s too evil to live. But oh, how I love him.

And I love the complexities of the Lionel/Lex relationship. There’s a deep lack of trust, so much so that Lionel hasn’t told Lex about his illness. And that may have been a serious error in judgment, since Lex is now ready to sell Lionel out and put him away. Would Lex still do it if he knew Lionel was dying? It’s hard to tell.

Lionel can’t die, by the way. I won’t have it.

According to the DouxReviews of Legacy:

Lex: “Clark, I don’t know how you stumbled into this, but somehow you got two billionaires keenly interested in you and those caves.”

It’s the daddy death match and the billionaire show-down. Very plotty, and everyone had an agenda. But it seemed to me that, even though we got some fun scenes (especially that intense Jonathan and Lionel fist fight in the caves), not all that much actually happened.

Jonathan was experiencing some near death trauma and depression, second-guessing his choices. Jonathan said to the key (i.e., to Jor-El): “You said there’d be more time.” What is Jor-El waiting for? Did Jonathan exchange his life for those temporary powers? And is the bill coming due? Jonathan seems to think that Clark is immortal. This has come up several times this season, although I don’t really understand where the belief comes from. Especially since they know K can kill Clark.

The octagonal key, our magical talisman, was all over the place, and I am officially confused. Lionel believed that the octagonal key was the, well, key to his cure. Somehow, Dr. Swann ended up with it. Is he going to betray Clark after all, and let Lionel put it into the wall?

According to the DouxReviews of Truth:

Chloe: “Did you order Morgan Edge to kill your parents?”
Lionel: “Of course I did. For their life insurance. I needed that money to start my company.”

Scoop-a-rama. This was a reporter’s dream: asking questions and getting the absolute truth, every single time. This episode was so well written, and so much fun to watch. And several secrets were dragged into the open in the most enjoyable way. Such as:

Lana doesn’t really trust Chloe.

Martha thinks Jonathan’s illness has changed him.

Pete is in love with Chloe.

Lex wants Lionel to love him. (What a terrific scene that was. Lex actually looked a little shocked when he said it out loud, as if he hadn’t even realized it.)

But the best was, of course, Chloe getting the truth out of Lionel. Lionel did indeed have his own parents killed for the life insurance money. Chloe getting him to admit it, and even recording it, actually gave me chills, as did Lionel’s phone message to Chloe in the end. Allison Mack (also a favorite, along with the Luthors) was fabulous here: so gleeful, curious, and triumphant, just as Chloe would certainly be under the circumstances.

The only thing I thought was off was Clark curing Chloe with the great big Pulp Fiction needle scene, given to him by a homeless former somebody who just happened to have it ready in his fridge.

We even had a fun cliffhanger, with Mrs. Taylor’s son trying to run Chloe off the bridge. That was the same bridge where Clark saved Lex in the pilot, wasn’t it? Too bad Chloe was only minutes away from the truth about Clark.

According to the DouxReviews of Memoria:

Lionel: “If I’d known… If I’d seen… things would have been so different between us.”
Lex: “Yes, Dad. You might have actually loved me.”

It’s no secret that the Luthors are my favorite characters. So you can imagine how I felt about this one.

A lot of this series is focused on the friendship and contrast between our future superhero and supervillain, and it was never demonstrated better than it was here. Clark and Lex each regained an important memory of their mothers. Clark’s memory of Lara was of all-encompassing love, while Lex’s was of the murder of his baby brother. (I can also compare Lex standing on the ledge screaming “Julian!” with Clark screaming “Lara!”)

The flashbacks were really exceptional. Seeing Lionel as a caring parent was a whole new look for him. And the fact that Lex was covering all those years for his mother, taking the blame for Julian’s murder on himself, yanked the tears right out of me. I love Lex with a passion, and it is really starting to bother me that he is destined to become evil.

Even though the focus was on the Luthors, there was a strong subplot for Clark. I thought Clark going to Lionel in order to stop Lex from regaining his memory wasvery interesting, with Clark so intensely and understandably hostile toward Lionel, and Lionel so obviously fascinated by Clark. And I wasn’t even surprised when Lionel turned on Clark.

Big gold acting stars for John Glover and Michael Rosenbaum, who did outstanding work here. The actress who played Lillian was also terrific, and the boy who played Lex as a child deserves a specific mention, because he was totally believable in a very difficult role. Tom Welling also did well, although the writhing in the K-bath was a bit over, or possibly under, done.

According to the DouxReviews of Talisman:

Lex: “Clark, did it ever occur to you that maybe the hero of the story is Sageeth?”

So here we had not one, but two recycled plotlines: (1) the return of Joseph Willowbrook and the caves, and (2) a bad guy with temporary superpowers. Although that’s always fun. I mean the superpowers. I find the cave stuff mildly tiresome at times.

Jeremiah Holdsclaw (interesting name) not only misappropriated Clark’s powers, he even resembled him a bit. The big Clark/Jeremiah fight scene was actually pretty cool, and it was a nice twist that Jeremiah was not susceptible to K. Loved Clark whacking Jeremiah with a huge tree trunk, and their super collision was also fun.

But as usual, John Glover and Michael Rosenbaum stole the show.

Lex showed an unselfish and loving side of himself to Lana. When she asked him why he’d even bothered with the Talon if it were such a bad investment, Lex replied, “I thought that was obvious. I did it for you.” He bought it for her, and here he was ready to sell it for her. I don’t know why I find Lex’s feelings for Lana so fascinating, but I do.

We all know Lex is Sageeth, destined to become Clark’s greatest enemy. The star blade dissolve scene (also cool, good effects in this episode) made Clark think that Sageeth was Lionel. (Clark doesn’t want it to be Lex. Hey, I don’t want it to be Lex.) How about Lex’s very interesting interpretation of Sageeth as brave and heroic? It actually gave me a little frisson down my spine.

According to the DouxReviews of Forsaken:

Lionel: “She’s not a child. She’s a failed experiment and a colossal liability.”

And here we go with a second recycled plot in a row, with the emphasis on two of my least favorite things: (1) meteor freaks obsessed with Lana Lang, and (2) Clark/Lana relationship angst.

Emily Dinsmore was back, grown-up, walking through walls, and still homicidal. And ready to single-white-female Lana in a big way. I think they deliberately made her up to look like the girl in The Ring. The actress was very good, and the big glass room she had Lana in was visually striking. And good for Lana, for fighting back so hard.

Pete kept Clark’s secret, even when it could have been his life. Now, that’s a friend. (And Lex saved Pete’s life. How about that?) This particular subplot was intended to show us that Clark can’t tell Lana because he’d be putting her in danger. Except she seems to be in danger all the time. If he told her, then she could maybe carry a beeper or something. But forget that, because I now officially want Lana to be with Lex. And weren’t they pretty cozy in front of the fire with the first class plane tickets and all?

Lex finally brought down his father, with Chloe’s help. Chloe was ready to testify against Lionel, and as Lex said, that’s not a safe place to be. Even though Lionel was starting to look ill, he was still pretty scary.

According to the DouxReviews of Covenant:

Lionel: “Please. Don’t let me die in prison.”
Lex: “Dad, this might have been more effective if you had a string quartet in the corner playing Barber’s Requiem.”

I’m not sure how much I’m on board with the big Smallville season-ending cliffhangers.

I didn’t care for the whole Kara thing, even when it turned out that she was some poor kid named Lindsay who’d been in suspended animation for years and manipulated by Jor-El. I thought at first that Jor-El had indeed planned to provide Clark with a Kryptonian bride, which sorta kinda made sense in a perpetuating the Kryptonian race way. But no. Not that Clark had any interest in her at all, because he’s still hung up on Lana, who just got on a plane for Paris.

I love Lionel. Even from prison, he’s manipulating people like mad. More interesting than Kara and Lana was Lionel Fedexing the key to Lex’s secret room to Clark. Did he succeed in turning Clark against Lex? Is the Clark/Lex friendship over, at last?

The operatic scene at the end where Lionel had his leonine mane shaved off (obviously not faked) was unexpected, and oddly fascinating. Why did he do it? Was he shedding the past? Showing solidarity with Lex, after apologizing for being such a terrible father? Except that it was implied that Lionel could have been behind the possible deaths of Chloe and Lex. Jonathan was also quite possibly dying. And what happened to Clark, with the nudity and being reborn and all?

Does that make four cliffhangers?

 

The Worst:

Whisper, and Velocity

Velocityws_016

Whisper sees Clark temporarily blinded by his own heat vision, and his hearing compensates, while Velocity has Pete Ross get threatened by mechanic Jason Dante and begins taking part in illegal street races, becoming known as “The Boss.”

According to the DouxReviews of Whisper:

Clark: “Behind the Raybans, I’m still the same old Clark.”

So this time it was a meteor freak with a magical singing adams apple.

Fortunately, that was only a tiny piece of the plot, because Clark was blinded in a freak Kryptonite heat vision meteor freak jewel robbery accident. Which was almost as silly. Except then it turned into a pretty good episode about Clark developing another new power: superhearing. And having blindness trigger his superhearing even sort of made sense.

Superhearing brought Clark a lot of unexpected new information, starting with Lionel’s disintegrating business relationship with Chloe, and the still unresolved something that was going on with Jonathan. At least Chloe finally came clean with Clark. There’s something disturbing and sort of fascinating about Lionel and Chloe, two of my three favorite Smallville characters, juggling for position and blackmailing each other like mad. Unfortunately, Lionel now has the upper hand, what with getting Chloe’s father fired and losing her the Daily Planet gig. This means war, of course.

This was a good episode for Pete. His kidnapping actually got semi-heavy, and we met his rather gorgeous mother, Judge Ross. (We hadn’t met her yet, had we?) Pete even got to sound all heroic while he was protecting Clark’s secret.

In other news, Lana appeared to be experiencing Florence Nightingale syndrome with Adam. And Lex, who sounded a lot more like his usual self here, paid Lana’s medical bills. He even teased her about Adam. Or was he mildly jealous? I’d like for him to be jealous, but I’m probably projecting.

According to the DouxReviews of Velocity:

Pete: “Clark, you’re awesome.”
Clark: “I’m glad you’re happy, Pete. Because I had to lie for you, and I had to steal for you. Now I have to cheat for you.”

Pete had a need. A need for speed.

So, supposedly Pete was feeling a little Superman envy, probably combined with teen hormone issues. (Shades of Buffy and Willow. Except Chloe is Willow, not Pete.) Actually, I think having Superman for a best friend would be a lot of fun; Pete had some nerve bitching about it. Pete, of all people, should know better than to play with the green stuff, too.

This is probably the perfect time to talk about Pete as a character. I love the idea of Clark having a best friend in on his secret in whom he can confide, but basically, Pete is still chronically boring. Even when he gets a complex episode all about him, like this one, I’m pretty much waiting for it to be over. Is it the fault of the writers? Did they fail to give him any depth at the outset, and couldn’t make up for it later? The actor seems likable enough, but was he miscast?

Whatever. The more interesting part of this one was Clark’s moral dilemma. Do you steal from one friend in order to keep another friend alive? Stealing Lex’s car to use as a gambling stake was an interesting way to go, although it nearly backfired (pun intended) on Clark. I also liked the fact that Clark didn’t just forgive Pete and move on, because Pete was certainly way, way out of line.

Lex and Chloe were still investigating Adam together (Chloe called him “the talented Mr. Ripley,” which made me laugh out loud) and sharing information. Adam Knight used to be the late Chad Nash, “Tulsa valedictorian dead at 17” of a rare liver disease. Is Adam good or bad? What is he hiding? And why are there so darned many freaky guys in Smallville?

Last but not least, Jonathan had a heart attack. A weakened body was the price he paid for Jor-El’s gift of superpowers. This is a new and interesting interpretation of Pa Kent’s “heart condition.” Does this mean we’re going to lose John Schneider some time soon? I really hope not. I like Jonathan, dammit. He works as a character. Having such a loving and morally strong father (yes, and mother, too) made Clark who he is.

2x10-Skinwalker-102

Next in the best and worst of Season 2.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Best and Worst of Smallville: Season 3

  1. Pingback: The Best and Worst of Smallville: Season 2 | The Progressive Democrat

  2. Pingback: The Best and Worst of Smallville: Season 1 | The Progressive Democrat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s