Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 2 - Episode 13: "Suspect"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Okay, as always, let's open up with the matters of business, namely, the stuff I failed to notice/a fan pointed out last week...

First, a gentleman named Evan Paul points out that my knockout count would do better to serve the whole of the series, so I'm toying with the idea of doing it from the start, but that would take a lot of time and effort, and I'm unsure if I want to commit the time to something that would be cool, but in effect a really geeky thing to say I have done. So for this week, at least, I'm still thinking about it, but I'm putting out a standing offer for any fan who wants to read the synopsis of each episode and count the knockouts/frivolous death a place in fame with name recognition in an upcoming review. Otherwise, I'll get off my rear and do it myself, eventually. Nonetheless, the count remains unchanged this week save one small addition...Jonathan passes out, which I'm going to count as a knockout. Ethan is also gone from the series, likely to never be mentioned again, which counts as a whammy, so the count is:

Jonathan: 1

Lex: 1

Lana: 1

Chloe: 1

Pete: 1

Whammy (dead or forgotten though apparently important to the mains: 5.

Episodes since Whitney's death where he's not even mentioned once: 2.

Also, it's been pointed out that in the episode "Visage", I missed that poor Pete is left bleeding and forgotten on the floor, and no one ever checks to see if he's all right. Bad editor! Bad reviewer! Thanks to the many people who pointed this out through email astutely.

And finally, Thomas Pauls points out that I am neglecting the continual speculation/surety that Lionel is not in fact blind, but can truly see. In the last episode, he shot a man through the heart. Good aim for a blind guy, or good aim for a faking guy? The world may never know, but the speculation rages on...

And a plea...several people have emailed me asking me about particular songs in episodes, and I myself would like to find a few. Someone sent me a URL a while back where I can find the songs from each episode, can someone send it to me again?

And now, on to our regularly scheduled review, and thanks for all of you who email me and help me catch things that even I, picky geek though I am, would miss.

This episode had a major flaw. From all major standpoints, plot, story, and logical conclusion, the person who should have shot Lionel was Henry Small, no questions, no debate, period. He's the logical choice. Ethan has no character to speak of, save the noble regretful sheriff who comes and tries to take Clark or some other main character who's being framed away at times. That he would be corrupted by one deposit from Luthor, much less turned into a mass murderer, is astoundingly unbelievable.

Small was the obvious choice, and would have made for a better episode in several ways. I'll elaborate.

1) It would make the episode actually forward the characters instead of not affecting them at all. Ever heard of Kwan again? No. Because he was a peripheral nothing, like Ethan. I joke about it, but do you think we'll see the Whitney neurosis rear its head? Probably. So kill Lana's new dad, or put him in jail, and we have a real effect on the characters.

2) We could get rid of an annoying character that nobody I talk to really likes anyway. Small is a pseudo failure pro-bono hippie who is a dead-beat dad and look, kids, he's a LAWYER! Mark him for death.

3) A good murder mystery is marked by having the killer be plausible, but no one you suspect. The right hand man was obviously too evil...too obvious. Lex is a main character, you could make him the bad guy, but it would take more than one episode. Jonathan. Ha ha ha. Henry? Just off enough to surprise people.

4) A good murder mystery is also marked by the quality of allowing the astute viewer to figure out the villain, if they note certain clues and items. This episode did nothing of the sort. Small could have left an easy but obscure trail.

Now, this doesn't mean the episode stank, I just didn't like the outcome. But it was formulaic. Normally, this would rate a 3 if it were any other show. But this is Smallville. This show, then, becomes a departure from the norm and well done in ways, because there's no freakish villain from Kryptonite, no love triangle whining, and some real consequences. LexCorp is no more...for now.

I have one REALLY big beef, and I'm wondering if any one else caught it. Let's see, Clark comes home, police are ransacking the place, looking for clues, and they find a one to two inch watch under a bed. Suppose they found the FIVE TO TEN FOOT LONG ALIEN SPACESHIP IN THE BARN? OR THE KEY TO THAT SPACESHIP IN THE FLOUR?

Whups! I guess they're just bumbling hick cops, right? Silly me.

So an average episode, in ways, but it breaks from the old formula, so I have to be obstinate and give a half point rating again for the second time. This episode rates 3.5 of 5. Better than average, but not above average. If that makes sense.

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