Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Episode 8: "Jitters"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

First off, there's this: HALLELUJAH! AN EPISODE WHERE THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE, SOLITARY FRAGMENT OF KRYPTONITE TO BE SEEN! Sure, there was some implied, sure, there was some in the evil goon's blood, but there was none in the actual show, in rock form!

Other good things: We get to see Metropolis! Finally! I was upset that there was no Daily Planet, but hey, what can you do, eh?

An adult villain! Amazing! Bloody stupendous! I was beginning to think that every villain would be some hocked-up teenager who suddenly decides that murder is the only way to solve their angst.

The villain was a villain in name only! This man actually had a reasonable beef with Luthor, he didn't try to kill anybody (well, maybe a little, with the gun, but he was desperate), and Clark didn't have to kill him or otherwise get him carted off to the great beyond in order to end his menace.

The villain was someone close to Clark in a way that we believe... not in the way it's been in previous episodes, where the thinning girl just happens to be a study buddy, or Clark just happens to go out for football when the coach goes insane. It's believable that an old farm hand would know Clark and turn to Jonathan, a known good moral person, in order to help solve a problem.

Attention is paid to little things that could give Clark away. Adrenaline could have made him lift two people with one hand. It's been done. Though it will come back to haunt him. Also, when he broke the wall that lead to the lower level... it's been brought to my attention by a reader that there is a sledge hammer next to the shaft nearby, explaining this occurrence. Well done.

The Lex and Lionel cadence is great. You can see Lex trying to avoid his future, and succeeding at times, failing at others. I think it would be great to have Lionel harping on him every episode. It would make for a great motivator. Now it's almost impossible to see how Lex could turn bad. He's shrewd, maybe, but as he says himself, he's not a super-villain.

Then there's the bad...

Not so much. Clark should have tried to stop the jittering Earl. The Superman ideals that he holds dear would have led him to sacrifice his secret to save a few lives, even if there was a chance he could save it. Perhaps chalk this up to his stage of idealism in growing up?

Chloe's dad has never heard of level three?

It's not made clear, really clear, that the plant is in Smallville. It seems odd that such a media presence would show up in such a small area. And increasingly odd that nothing is being done to investigate Clark.

THE EPISODE FLEW! More of the Luthor Corp, more of Metropolis, please! I know the title is Smallville, but the dynamic made for a great episode.

But the good far outweighed the bad, and thus I give this episode 5 of 5.

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