Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Episode 14: "Zero"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

This episode had a number of great moments. While episodes in the past have had great moments, this one had several that were very compelling, visually, and in foreshadow of events obviously to come in the future of everyone involved.

The cows. A hundred dead head of cattle with Pa Kent weeping over them. Lex is blamed, just as things looked like he might be gaining respect with elder Kent.

Lex in his element... violence, corruption, sex, and bribery.

The police officer, a one hit wonder villain, so we thought, returning to again cause hell for Lex, actually paying attention to the plot and bringing back a character that could have just been "cop on scene" in the credits. Excellent.

It's obviously a few weeks later than the last episode (the theater is almost finished being renovated)... and Chloe's arm has had time to heal. I was more than certain that they would let this plot point pass without notice. Extreme kudos to their continuity people. The comic books could take a cue from here, as things stand now.

Zero consequences. Good symbolism.

Chloe saving the orphanage info. Good foreshadowing.

I had a small problem with the fact that Pete recalled Clark shoving a student through a door in first grade. This is obviously the thinking, Byrne Superman being recreated here, but in the Pre-Crisis style of Clark's maturity? Part of Clark's powers was puberty, I imagine, and if he had his powers in first grade, wouldn't more of them be manifest now? He still gets bruised by bullets...

We moved away from the Kryptonite "meteor rock" inspired villain this week. Good. Now, if we could stay with it.

I had one major issue with the story. Lex Luthor may be a nice guy now. I'll concede that. But there has to be little bits of malice built up in him over the course of years, from some source other than his father, along with the idea that he can get away with murder and wanton destruction of other people's lives. Therefore, despite the fact that story-wise, it would be better for Lex in the audience's eyes not to have committed the crime, I submit that it might have been better for the characterization to have had yet another flashback, this time with the boyfriend coming after him in the club with no weapon, Lex shooting him with his own gun, stealthily slipping a knife into his hands as the police arrived and walking out with the girl. That, my friends, sick and twisted though it may be, is what the future Lex Luthor would have done, based upon all my knowledge of the character. Usually they pull the evil side of Lex off well. In this episode he was just a good guy.

For this, along with all of the other wonderful qualities of the episodes, I give this show 4 of 5.

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