Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 2 - Episode 15: "Prodigal"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Main points:

  • Lex's brother Lucas, thought dead, returns.
  • Lionel now has his sight back (He was faking.).
  • Lexcorp is reinstated pending a Lucas/Lex coup on Luthorcorp.
  • Clark was not cut out to be a coffee goon.

    Welcome back, folks. This week was interesting, to be sure, but business. As is typical, if you don't want to deal with last week's speculation/wrap-up, please head down to the main body of the review, separated by a paragraph.

    First thing's first: The knockout count. Rob Adams, always a great source of information, had a good idea for modification of the count...counting the number of time a given character has been arrested. Sounds good, but I don't know...the list might get too cluttered...ah, what the heck. Arrests: Clark: 1, Jonathan 1.

    And with Jonathan's blunt pistol whipping by Lucas this week, he takes a strong lead! We have:

    Jonathan: 2

    Lex: 1

    Lana: 1

    Chloe: 1

    Pete: 1

    Clark: 1

    Whammy (dead or forgotten though apparently important to the mains): 6.

    No movement on the whammy...interesting.

    A reader named William (sorry, didn't get your last name in time, Will) points out something interesting that I meant to point out but didn't...when we had the resolution to the last season's cliffhanger, Clark's birthcraft flew into a field and settled. The next episode is the following school year...3 months! And what, no one notices the spaceship? Will reminded me, so I had to jab at that, because I forgot.

    And I credited a Dan Tores last week. That was actually Dan ToRRes. We regret all errors here at the Superman Homepage. I have sufficiently flogged myself in Franciscan style to make up for my error in this.

    And further, I have made a gross error in the fact that I figured Nixon still had the octagonal disc at the end of the beginning of the season. Oh god, I've gone crosseyed. No, serious, I have been informed by many (Souk, Will again, Brian Chang) that the disc was put into the ship, fell out in the twister, and just magically found its way to Lionel. So I stand corrected, and I bring out the flogger once's gonna be a looooong day.

    And finally, Rob Adams points out that Clark was not completely rude about Whitney...he does point out that Whitney was Pete's friend.

    And a general comment...I am very, very pleased with the acting on this show thusfar. I want to make it assumed, generally, from here on out, that if I don't make a comment to the detriment of an actor (cough cough JTT! cough cough), I'm liking what I see. Especially from Michael Rosenbaum.

    So, the show. Actually, this was a pretty cool one. It moved the plot forward, to be sure. Lionel was not blind. Let me take a moment to be self-congratulatory and arrogant...


    Actually, several readers put the idea in my head and I latched onto it. But still, I bought it, so I feel all smug and smart like.

    They took what looked to be a simple "occurrence" episode and turned it into a plot mover, which I have to applaud. Lionel's sight issue is resolved, they take a plot from waaaay back and resolve it (the Lucas character hinted at towards the end of the Lineage episode). They also remember things that happened more than two weeks ago, having Chloe and the information she didn't delete at the end of an episode come back and help the plot out. I smell someone paying attention to continuity here, and nothing pleases me more than that. I'm a continuity freak.

    Plus, we have a couple of cool gimmes for the fans. Edge city, Metropolis. That was nice, even in passing.

    I had a few awkward moments. Anyone else watch the beginning and think Indiana Luthor? I expected him to throw a flaming kabop into the poodle of some poor oriental goon, jump out a window while shielding his body with a gong, then hit the canvas awning, tell Short Round to put it in drive, then go find Lao-Tse airlines. But maybe that's me. I expected Luthor to be glib while getting into the limo:

    "Nice try, Lao-Tse!"

    Also, Clark and Luthor are just buddy buddy again, despite last week's madness. I am assured that Lex could just have realized the aliens were affecting his mind, but there would still need to be a resolution, or an apology.

    Anyone notice how nice that flower in the wastebasket looked after who knows how many hours?

    Clark is absolutely paranoid about being found out, as he should be. Wasn't the jump shot just a little out of line with Lucas right there?

    Chloe's highlights from last episode were magically gone.

    Lex Luthor ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS has a backup plan. He would never have to end up shoveling horse pucky. He would be making his father eat it. This is the Luthor way. Mischaracterizing, but to a good plot end, resolving the Pa Kent dilemma, so no knocks for that one.

    Another physics dilemma. Clark stops the guy on the motorcycle by knocking him off of a moving motorcycle, but the cycle just stops instead of carrying on the motion. But heck, with such a rocking special effect, who cares? That's one of the best bullet time effects I've seen since Spider-Man and Flash having a fight in a high school hallway, complete with redundant buzzing fly.

    Lionel is walking and wielding a gun and fighting and seeing pretty well for a guy who got shot twice two weeks ago. But hey, Luthors are quick healers, right?

    Martha was going to stay on in order to provide Luthor subterfuge, was she not? What happened to that?

    I absolutely love how Lionel was willing to kill one of his own children without even blinking. Bang, a pistol whip, then shots to the chest. Lex knows his fate now. Good characterizing, far making up for putting Luthor to the patsy.

    I have a note here that reads simply, "Lana, get ova yo bad sef."

    Nuff said.

    Lots of Bible references...I wanted to see a "Father, why have you forsaken me.", but we can't all be pleased. Or maybe, "His judgement cometh, and that right soon." when busting a cap in old Lucas. Perhaps a reference to denarius? Or is this too obscure...

    What I want to know is if Lucas will be around next week. If he isn't, I will bring down the hammer. He's too important to just forget. Looks like the preview indicates we'll be watching the Smallville version of "Outbreak". Why does every show have to have an episode where disease almost, but doesn't, claim the life of an integral cast member? I predict, in advance, a horrible episode. Please, please make me wrong.

    Will we see Lucas? Probably not.

    Still, all in all, this episode had a lot of great Luthor moments, and a lot of great Luthor moments, coupled with sub-plot resolution, and good, back reaching sub-plot resolution at that, minus one kryptonite inspired villain, minus Kryptonite, it adds up.

    It adds up to a sum of 5 of 5, silly inconsistencies aside.

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