Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Episode 21: "Tempest" - Season 1 Finale

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

I'll start off by saying that this didn't turn out to be as cool as I thought it would be. That said, I'll say that it could have been much worse, and in fact, was not bad. Now, does that sound like a patriarchal political figure trying to describe something they can't put their finger on but don't want to offend anyone? It does to me.

I was jazzed when I watched this episode, much like when I went to see the new Star Wars movie last week. Incidentally, I was more than satisfied with Episode 2 (that's another website, however). This just turned out to be another episode of Smallville, however. That's not really a bad thing, considering all things considered, for it was a pretty good episode of Smallville.

We got rid of that tragically burdened, obviously brainless (though developing a brain) dud of a boyfriend Whitney, while allowing a philosophical trick that will make Clark not touch Lana without a great deal of guilt. Chloe is taken out of the picture rather neatly, and I haven't even seen the second part yet, by Clark betraying her in the end and abandoning her, even though he had to. That's a good twist.

Even though I know the comics, and I know Clark has to get with Lana, and but quick, I still had hope that Chloe would stick around and be a thorn in Lana's side. Kind of a Cat Grant, though that doesn't really work. Someone to make Lana jealous, and not just get Clark because she's pretty, but because she deserves him. Maybe a Wonder Woman or a Maxima. But that might be stretching. Still, it occurs to me that I didn't know Chloe was leaving until last episode, and now I feel a little cheated. Maybe that was the intent.

Cliffhangers are by their nature designed to stretch things out unnecessarily and keep the watcher watching. In that, we can be assured that Lana will be saved by Clark, the people at the dance will be saved, and the Inquisitor reporter and Jonathan Kent will be saved, and somehow the Inquisitor goon will be taken out of the picture. All of this could have been done in one episode. We didn't need a five minute goodbye for the high school quarterback and we didn't need three Remy Zero turns, though I did like the cameo and I enjoy the music, myself. I'm more a punk guy, but I like Travis-esque stuff too, sometimes, when I'm trying to get in the mood to write my novels and poetry books. Remy Zero is just the right tone for this show, and it works out well. Good move on the creator's parts.

As Cliffhangers go, the only thing of note here is that Lex Luthor may or may not save his dad. Only bad things can come from this, in my opinion, as a cliffhanger.

From the comics, we know Lex kills his own parents. He grew up more or less poor in the comics, but the attitudes transfer, so it is safe to assume he may kill his father. If so, good. But it's not much anticipation for me, considering I see it as a foregone conclusion anyway. A real risk would be potentially killing Chloe. I mean, we don't know her fate from the comics, and she just might really die if the writer got that in his mind. I mean, they killed Kwan, they killed Whitney's dad. That would have been a better move, on my part. And if Lex's dad lives? Then what happened, of consequence, in the finale, when things are supposed to be delivered FINAL-ly? We'll see. Maybe I'll see it more favorably in the premiere.

And Clark and Chloe would have kept kissing, tornado warning be d@mn&d. I'm no teenager any more, unfortunately (not that I'm an old man by any stretch of the imagination), but I remember what happened for my first few kisses. If someone had covered me in gasoline, locked me in a box about to be compressed, made that box airtight and prepared to suck out all the air, told me that I could never write again, killed my family, stolen all of my possessions, and kicked my dog with a lit match next to the gasoline, provided there was a living, breathing female in front of me able and willing, the kiss would go on. How's that for a Eco-esque paragraph? If you catch that, Kudos. Write me. We'll talk. If you don't catch that, look him up. Name of the Rose.

But enough reference dropping. Alas, in my reminiscence on this season and the fun I've had writing this review, I've got a touch of the Dave Barry and felt the sum of my anticipation dashed in the knowledge that now I have to sit on my hands for three or four months. Maybe I'll spend the extra time finishing my new book. Or reading comics. More than likely the latter. Thank you all for reading, please come back next year, providing Mr. Younis, who deserves a great deal of thanks, allows me to write on, and thanks especially for the comments and correspondence that helped me belittle this season into respective oblivion.

Nah, it wasn't that bad. See my closing argument. See you all in three!

For the looming craggy board hanging above Mr. Luthor's head, I give this episode a tentative 4, subject to a later remission if the premiere is not everything I hope it to be. Good day.

Smallville: Season One, in Review...

  1. Pilot Episode - 5 of 5
  2. Metamorphosis - 5 of 5
  3. Hothead - 4 of 5
  4. X-Ray - 4 of 5
  5. Cool - 4 of 5
  6. Hourglass - 5 of 5
  7. Craving - 3 of 5
  8. Jitters - 5 of 5
  9. Rogue - 5 of 5
  10. Shimmer - 4 of 5
  11. Hug - 3 of 5
  12. Leech - 3.5 of 5
  13. Kinetic - 3 of 5
  14. Zero - 4 of 5
  15. Nicodemus - 5 of 5
  16. Stray - 4 of 5
  17. Reaper - 2 of 5
  18. Drone - 2 of 5
  19. Crush - 4 of 5
  20. Obscura - 4 of 5
  21. Tempest - 4 of 5

So that is, by the numbers, six 5 of 5s, nine 4 of 5s, one 3.5 of 5 (because even reviewers can catch retarded), three 3 of 5s, and two 2 of 5s.

In my opinion, the best episode of the season was Hourglass. Top notch, just great. More like that, please.

In my opinion, the worst was Reaper. Too political, too repetitive, almost to the point of ridiculousness, and just, ugh. Bad. Still not poor, however.

By math, the season as a whole gets a 4 of 5.

By reckoning? I think that things were accomplished with character that aren't typically accomplished in a series, especially a first season series. I mean, look at Enterprise. Anyone dead? Anything change? Nah, not really. But here, we have a number of things. Kwan, Whitney's dad, Chloe's feelings, Lana warming to Clark, Lex becoming a good and then a bad guy, all at once (he could have easily stagnated as a character). Still, there were many untapped advantages, untapped merely to keep the viewers strung along. All around fun viewing, however, and HEY! IT'S SUPERMAN! So I can't complain too much. By emotion over math, I stick with a steady 4 of 5 for this season.

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