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Smallville – The beginning of the end

Two worlds collide as Clark Luthor returns to track down and kill Lex while Clark Kent is sent to Earth Two and discovers how hated his counterpart is amongst the people of Smallville.

Clark Luthor threatens Tess

So was the return of Smallville everything you’d hoped it would be? For me, I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t pick up right where we left off with Lionel coming face to face with Darkseid. No Lionel at all in this episode, but plenty of Earth Two shenanigans.

I have to give some props to Tom Welling for his performances in this episode as Clark Kent and Luthor. After ten years of playing good old Clark Kent, with only a few forays into his own dark psyche over the years, it’s nice to see him play the polar opposite of the same role and even more fun to be able to see the Luthor side of the coin easily switch from the good to the bad with nothing more than a smile … more a sneer. He really pulled off the duality of the characters; I have to take my hat off to Welling because he is so closely associated with the Clark Kent role that it’s going to be very hard for him to not be pigeon-holed as an actor for years to come. Although if there is yet another Superman reboot in twenty years or so, Welling should be at the top of the list to play Jonathan Kent.

While I was disappointed that the story didn’t continue from the last episode, I was impressed with just how much of a sense of dread permeated almost every frame of the show. From the moment Lois realized Clark wasn’t her Clark the show just went to a very dark place, and I liked that. Cassidy Freeman had a chance to shine this week as she went from the tough girl ready to tear down what was left of the Luthor mansion to someone who had to show strength and confidence while dealing with a sociopath. Her body language projected confidence but her expressions revealed the fear she had for her life.

It was also good to see John Schneider back again but this time as the Earth Two version of Jonathan Kent. It was a shock to see him cause such a scene at Oliver Queen’s funeral and then hit Clark up side the head while protecting himself with the green meteor rock. Schnieder and Welling also had a nice moment together as Clark told Jonathan about his father in his world and they nearly had what could have been the tearjerking moment of the season but Clark was snatched back into this world just a second too soon.

If nothing else, this episode certainly marked the beginning of the end for Smallville. We’ve probably seen the last of Clark Luthor, who discovered that his real father did exist in his own Fortress of Solitude, the Luthor mansion is about to be razed, and Martha sent Clark and Lois the deed to the farm as a wedding gift. In the end, though, Clark realized that his life will not be centered in Smallville for much longer so he has decided to put the farm up for sale. Overall, a pretty good episode that went from upbeat to dark and ended on a bittersweet (and hopeful) note.

Photo Credit: The CW Network

Categories: | Episode Reviews | Features | General | TV Shows |

2 Responses to “Smallville – The beginning of the end”

April 16, 2011 at 2:20 PM

I was wondering if you’d use a shot of Tess in that dress for the post :)

I am actually disapointed about the selling of the farm. I know that there’s always the Fortress, but I think it would be nice in the (hypothetical) future to know that these two always have a “real home” to go back to.

As much as I’ve enjoyed this show over the years, and love reading your thoughts, I’m not sure I’ll ever agree with you on the quality of the acting on Smallville. It has, even at its best, always come across as a bit campy to me. I’ve become a big fan of Cassidy Freeman and Allison Mack because of this show, but have, ironically, internally always looked forward to the time that they will get the opportunity to act on a “real show.”

April 16, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Yeah, I’m not sure about selling the farm either. Martha isn’t going to be in D.C. forever, after all. Maybe he’ll have a change of heart by the finale, but I agree that the farm should always be “home.”

As for the acting, it’s not consistent and like I said, Welling will be typecast in this role for a very long time (his remake of The Fog didn’t fare so well) and not to put the guy down, but we really haven’t seen him in anything else to prove his acting chops. But I did think he did a nice job in this particular episode. I love Allison and Cassidy and do hope to see them get more jobs after this, and I think Erica Durance’s acting has grown immensely since she joined the show. I was not too keen on her at first, but she’s totally embodied the character, she has great comic timing and she can pull off the dramatic and heartfelt moments just as well. Justin Hartley, well, he’s pretty and all and could have a career as an action star but some of those really complicated (for Smallville anyway) passages of dialog he’s been given just proves he needs a lot more work. Unfortunately, with soaps becoming extinct he can’t go back from whence he came. The women of the show have shown a lot more range in their abilities than the men have (Glover and Schneider excepted, of course).

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