Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 2 - Episode 1: "Vortex"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Well, hello, everyone. Neal here, back again with your average take on the old Smallville television show...

This premiere had:

  1. No Kryptonite-inspired villain
  2. No one going to jail in the end
  3. A major character development (Lex's dad...ouch) and
  4. A great ending.

In other words, it wasn't the middle of the season stuff we had to deal with last year, which, while palatable, was not my favorite thing to watch when Superman could be showing his stuff.

I knew, in advance, from reading things spoilerish and all, that Lionel would be losing his sight and becoming paralyzed. I didn't know, however, that they would make it such a burden for Lex. I figured Lex would let the beam fall on his father, then the father would be his little haunting voice in the background, driving him evil. I like the way that Lex retains his innocence, while being shown that he truly can...well, hesitate.

And then there's the whole shooting the guy in the back thing.

That was a moment, there. A genuine moment. One of those things you don't forget, and forgetting is rather easy with TV. Thus the annoying, five minute rehash of the last show from the last season, where your average chunky with his or her tub of popcorn and a grease stain down their brain says to themselves, "Lana who?"

So Lex has this great stash of weaponry, and some on hand, at all times. Great. I'm glad. Now show me some more of it...

Jeph Loeb was a consulting producer, by the credits. That's great. I loved his run on the comic books but I always thought he was setting up filmic scenes...I imagine I'll enjoy his work on Smallville more. I anticipate a great season ahead, particularly with...well...that preview.

Clark gets aroused, things start on fire? What's that? Could it be...heat vision? Well, it can't beat flight, which they hinted at. That actually bothered me. I mean, Kristen knows, I want to see a man fly as much as any of you other drooling fanfolk out there, but they made a solemn oath, no flights, no tights.

Aw, maybe we should let them renege, eh?

I can just see next episode. See, I'm a caregiver and a construction worker, but I'm a caregiver by experience more than a construction worker, so I work with people all the time who have gross disability, and they are usually nice to you for a time, but let's be frank here. After a while, it degenerates into running around for every little thing they can't pick up, wiping their rears, and other graphic imagery I won't burden you with, but suffice it to say, it begins with the former and ends with euphemisms like differently abled when referring to your own ability to stay sane. I hope we see Lex have to do a lot of things for his father, things which either make him closer to him, gaining some of the evil we all want him to adopt, or sending him away, ironically making him start manifesting his father on his own.

The acting was top notch. There were a few points where I just said to myself, damn, Neal, that Tom Welling would make a superb big-screen Supes. And with the comics flailing (THEY CANCELLED MAN OF STEEL, THOSE #*@$*^@s!! Not that I'm bitter or anything. Maybe it will make way for Superman/Batman.), the movie looking horrible (see AICN, but don't yell at me about spoilers, if you can call them that. I call them, well, excrement. Look, the second fecal reference in this review. I'm lucky Steve doesn't kick me out on my electronic butt...), and action figures aways away, I'm a very desperate fan for some Superman done right.

So here we have this episode...a great job.

I wanted Chloe to be the one who knows the secret, but Lana, it would seem, is the logical choice.

And here, we have Pete consoling Chloe? CONSOLING? Or just an arm around the shoulder. The writer in me smells something. I wonder how the heck they're gonna turn all of this around so Lana ends up with Pete. Maybe they'll just forsake that continuity there. I would. Not because of the whole interracial relationship thing (God, why be paranoid about that?) but rather because it doesn't seem to fit with the characters as they stand now. Lana likes Jocks, and face it, Pete's the water boy. And Clark's a nice guy, but he's ripped.

I really despise the whole playing games thing in relationships (I'm a straight up, lowest common denominator kind of guy, myself), so I hate seeing things like the quoted, "defense mechanism" Chloe uses by telling Clark she just wants to be friends when everyone knows they want each other. I also resent Clark digging it and using it, but hey, he's a pansy nice guy. What can we expect. And it's admirable, at the least, while Chloe, at the least, is deceptive. I don't like such things in real life (try honesty, even bluntness, people) and it just irks me seeing it in drama, because it's a writing device to string the audience along. But at least it was brief.

The spaceship...who will find it...looks like we're headed for familiar territory of having things recur, which is nice. Anyone see that the Sheriff was the same guy? I did...I like that kind of stuff, like having the evil detective return in the past last season. Nice touch.

I'm interested as to just what Jeph Loeb is contributing, and where he is taking the story. You out there, Jeph? Got any comments? I'd love to hear from you.

So, nice start to what looks like a nice season. If we can avoid too many villains of the week, and stop Chloe's whining and just get her to say how she feels, we might have true greatness. It'll be hard to top the last season, save in the middle of the season lull.

See you all there.

For these and thus, I give this episode the old 5 of 5. Poifect.

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