Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 2 - Episode 16: "Fever"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Main Points:

  • Luthor's girlfriend just became something more... a potential fiance.

  • Clark is not immune to Kryptonian illness.

  • Martha gets sick because of a Kryptonian pathogen

  • The mysterious ship has healing properties.

  • Chloe really loves Clark, but can't tell him. (No, wait. That was last week. And the week before. My mistake.)

    Hello again, folks, and welcome to business. The review du the week is down below, as per usual. Now we get the finality out of last week, with technicalities:

    We have motion on the knockout count in several fronts. It wasn't a blow induced unconsciousness, but a loss of consciousness nonetheless for two of the main characters, Clark and Martha. Not to mention an odd addition, the unnamed military goon Clark takes out.

    Jonathan: 2

    Lex: 1

    Lana: 1

    Chloe: 1

    Pete: 1

    Clark: 2

    Martha: 1

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

    No movement on the whammy... two weeks now.

    New category: Number of weeks since Luthor found his new brother after never knowing him at all it takes for them to make contact again: 1.

    And boy, everyone is still missing Whitney, right? It's just like a hole in the heart for the whole town.

    Alert readers abound! I am missing the thoughts of several, no doubt, because my email has backed up a bit, but I am doing my best to tamp it down. I will make rectification next week, but for this week, I have several important concepts offered...

    Adelan Dyos points out that I was a bit off of one point... I took great glee in the fact that Lex Luthor would be shot without hesitation by his father, and he was served, on notice, per se, by the fact that Lionel without hesitation sacrificed someone who turned against him. But wait! Lionel had PLENTY of opportunity to shoot Lex. Lucas tried to make him. He resisted, as though he... cared? It can also be argued, however, that he feared retribution from the police, but I see the point. Well said.

    Rachel Arruda-de Cell notes that while I pointed out some great costuming this last week with the red and blue Clark, I missed the fact that one of the main reasons I got goosebumbs (unconsciously, I imagine) when Clark leapt from the Planet building was because he had a blue T-shirt and a red jacket on! Seriously! Plug in your taped copy on the VCR, download it off KaZaA, and check it out! It makes it a lot neater, seriously, when you see the tricks they use to make the effect more complete. Kudos on that one.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand this is a big one. Huge props go to Pam (last name next week) who wrote me in a looooong while back with a huge plot point...she guessed that Martha's secret which Ryan mentioned in, aptly enough, "Ryan", is that she was pregnant with a child. Great eye, good mind for plot, and you scooped me, dearie. Congratulations.

    Many apologies to the emails I have not responded to, but discussion will ensue next week, promise, because I will write a nice long write-up of the Reeve episode.

    Now on to matters at hand, for now...

    I have my notes of inconsistency, and they are many in this episode.

    Martha goes down into the cellar to hide the disc, and not only does she bury the whole stinking flour tin (how bologna and brummagem is that?) but the whole paranoid Kent family has left the SPACESHIP IN THEIR CELLAR uncovered. What if some punk kid were to look in trying to find cigarettes?

    "Hey, Lint. Let's see if the Kents have anything interesting."

    "Right on, Madly. Look, I'll peek in the cracks here..."


    And then we add another faint to the knockout count. Random punk kid.

    Chloe was plenty mad in this episode, but one thing that would make her more angry than Clark pulling the "other woman's name" thing (oh, how many of us have done that. I still have scars...) is Clark not noticing her NEW HAIR CUT!

    Can't put it past me. I've been gut-wounded too many times. But Clark wasn't, so I have to point that out.

    How about the Krypto-sick cam! I mean, seriously, maybe my buddy is right, and they have to have one CG effect per episode, but sometimes they just don't know where to use it...I personally would have made it when the ship went into healing mode, and had it do some Close Encounters of the Third Kind stuff. It was kind of horribly cheesy.

    And speaking of horribly cheesy...the Chloe speech. Lana reads it, and later, talking to Clark, she says something to the tune of Chloe having a great grasp of words. Listen to the thing! It's as adolescent as adolescent gets! And for that matter, Chloe's behavior is about as adolescent as adolescent gets! Someone tell her to just excrete or get up out the outhouse, word? I mean, she wants to win an honest, heartfelt man like Clark? Be honest and heartfelt, instead of a game-playing wench! Chloe, dear, I love you like none other, you know that, the fact that you are a fictional construct dillies me not, but GROW UP! And writers, stop focusing on this Clark is in-favor, out-of-favor nonsense! It's getting more old than the fact that we all know that he's going to get together with someone soon, we just have to find out who.

    The whole speech reminded me of the Spider-Man Mary Jane soliloquy in the Spider-Man movie. Did any of you watch that movie like I did in the theater about four times (geeks gotta represent, you know? It's a comic movie) and catch how every word in what she says to Peter rhymes and sounds like it was written like a ten-year-old with a crush?

    Peter, you make me be,

    Just like I want to be,

    You make me see,

    I can be more like... ME!

    Yeah. Like that. I'm pretending to be your best friend, but I really love you, but I want to tell you, but I'm afraid to tell you, but I love you, so I hate you, and you smell, but I think it's nice.

    Get over it!

    Clark's slip, however, the Lana thing, that almost made up for it. I was laughing. Cruel man that I am, I was laughing. THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR PLAYING GAMES! This sick soliloquy is over, lady, and you will now be revenged by Clark!

    Not that women have played games with me in my life and I'm bitter or anything.

    No, no, no, no, no, no...


    Chloe's car is really nice. Most of the people in Smallville must be really rich.

    Like Pete, who has another truck, apparently, be it the one Clark and Pa borrowed, or the one he's nearly arrested in. That makes two sports cars and a truck, and that's just Pete. Not to mention the motor-bike.

    I missed something. When did Pa Kent teach Clark to drive and when did he get his license? Did he use X-Ray vision to cheat? Isn't he only 15? He must have had a birthday we all missed.

    Okay, this is a cheap criticism, but dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.

    Jonathan looks at Clark and says, "Son, I think the ship helped your mother get pregnant."

    Insert your own jokes here. Pause for laughter, then on to the next paragraph.

    Prego jokes. Gotta love em.

    I found it hilarious that this week they are all paranoid when they're going to search the Kent farm, but in "Suspect", they just kind of glossed over the whole ship thing. Inconsistent.

    This disease confused me as well. It's airborne, but can't be spread? Clark, a Kryptonian, can get it, but humans can as well?

    The Martha explanation for hiding the disc was horrible. Absolutely terrible. Oh, I'm afraid Clark would leave us if he found out the truth!

    Look, lady:

    1) He already knows the truth.

    2) Even if he didn't, he wouldn't leave home for it. Parents hide stuff from kids all the time. Seriously. I didn't know I was a complete idiot for wanting to be a writer until my dad told me at 16. By then I was hopelessly enmeshed in words. CURSE HIM! I WILL HAVE LUTHOR-IAN REVENGE! I'll call out my buddy's Dad's name when he reads me a letter while I'm sleeping telling me how much he loves me.

    3) What's he going to do, supposing he gets so ticked he wants to leave? Even Luthor had to shovel dootie to make a buck. Think a corn-fed little family kid like Clark is going to want to face the real world before college? Uh-uh. Not even with flight. Check the pulse of the American youth, here. We're mostly lazy.

    The ship lights up, heals a couple of people, potentially a whole hospital, flies around doing the Lite Brite Curly Shuffle, and no one even looks out the window to see old man Kent and son gazing in Awe? Not even the military, out in force not a mile down the way? I don't think so. Completely implausible.

    And the BAND! ARRRRRR! Hey, Clark! Check out THE TALON MIX! PLUG PLUG PLUG PLUG PLUG! And look, we managed to get a nationally recognized band for a FOOD DRIVE that just happens to be on PLUG PLUG THE PLUG PLUG TALON PLUG PLUG MIX!

    Whew. Anyone not going out to buy the soundtrack now?

    There were several cool things about this episode. Lex actually picked up with the girlfriend that we thought we'd never see again, but it ended ambiguously and we'll probably not see hide nor hair of it next week.

    There were plot resolutions in the disc, the ship giving away its properties, and Chloe, somewhat, revealing her true feelings, but they were all fairly shallow. Also, the ship was even inconsistent...last time it got nuts, flew away, and landed in a field. This time it just conveniently healed everyone for the sake of the plot.

    Also, if the ship helped Martha get pregnant, what's going to happen to all of the women in the hospital?

    How about that master infiltrator Pa Kent! I think he could have been quieter if he'd whooped and hollered his way in over the fence in the General Lee. Just add in some inept goons...

    Also, we have a recurring theme this week from last week, but it's more comical and incidental than anything else. Pa Kent has to sneak into the military installation by rolling under a door...last week we had Indiana Luthor, escaping from Lao's club, this week we have Indiana Kent, rolling under the door. Seriously, I expected him to drop his hat and go after it. I started whistling the John Williams theme.

    This episode was entertaining, but only for the inconsistencies. The plot was contrived, Kryptonite driven, and not really that remarkable. We have some resolution to long-standing plots, which merits some credit, but all in all, it wasn't average, it was a bit lower than average, so I have to smack this episode, much to my own distress, with the evil 2 of 5.

    I expected Outbreak, but I got only one sick person, and NO MONKEYS!

    Next week, with Christopher Reeve, I anticipate much, much better. They had better do Reeve right, or I know for a fact he'll fly right out of that wheelchair and burn the scalps right off of Gough and Millar.

    He'll be like, "I always tell the truth. THIS EPISODE SUCKED!" Then he'll pick him up like he picked up Luthor in the original Superman, call them twisted maniacs, then fly off.

    That's what I'd do. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

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