Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 2 - Episode 17: "Rosetta"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Main Points:

  • Clark is really Kal-El, from Krypton
  • Clark can read Kryptonian
  • Martha is pregnant
  • The researcher at the caves is comatose
  • Lex is obsessed with figuring out the "alien" secret.


    Wow wow wow.

    You know what I mean.


    But first, business, as always, skip down if this annoys you... though admittedly, I want to jump right in this week.

    Another change to the knockout count! Clark is taking a strong lead with this week, and seeing as he is the invincible one, I find that kind of odd, but it makes the Vegas odds interesting, eh? I am counting the good expert (not Reeve) as the whammy of the week, but since it is not a freak of the week, I give it the stipulation of a "barely making it" whammy.

    Jonathan: 2

    Lex: 1

    Lana: 1

    Chloe: 1

    Pete: 1

    Clark: 3

    Martha: 1

    Whammy (dead or forgotten though apparently important to the mains): 7.

    Number of weeks since Luthor found his new brother after never knowing him at all it takes for them to make contact again: 2.

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

    Adeylan Dyos points out a flaw in Lex logic over the last few weeks... first, he's kicked out of the house, and he goes to stay with the Kents instead of his serious girlfriend/soon-to-be-wanted fiance? I know Lex goes through wives like nothing in the comics, but seriously... then again, I know what living with a girl will do to a guy sometimes, and vice versa, so maybe... she conned Lex into asking her to "save" him, and yet, she's not even around when his dad swipes the company or when he's being spied on, save in offhand mention? Good call, Adeylan.

    The "Pam" (mentioned in the last review) has a last name of Gross.

    James Bone refutes my theory that the ship is chaotic when the key is put in by pointing out that the ship always sticks near Clark, which makes sense. I buy that.

    Thank you all for being patient in letting me take my time answering question mail from the last few weeks... I've had a bit of personal business killing time, and it's past now, for the most part. I should be prompt in my responses henceforth.

    Now, the show.

    I have already...ALREADY now, less than an hour after the show ended, received three emails.

    What a show!

    That music... the theme! How did they get away with it?

    I heard the horns whisper the theme from the "Superman" movie, this was going to be great.

    What a GREAT episode!

    I can't say I could possibly agree more. The episode with the pseudo-flight, my nit-picking criticisms aside, made gooseflesh erupt, I became teary, and I was five watching Superman for the first time again. This episode sustained that feeling for the whole show. From the start, with the flight, to the red, blue, yellow key, to the kryptonian writing and understanding, to key moments we've been waiting for with Martha and Pa, to the Eradicator entering the picture, to catatonic doc (Clark is responsible for brain death!), to Christopher FRICKIN Reeve, playing the part like as not seeming without a disability in spirit, even though they filmed the man in a chair.

    Here's the basics. Plot movement that truly affects the characters? Heck yes. No krypto-villain/teeny-bopper prattle? Well, maybe, in the Lana/Chloe issue, but I have something to say about that. Otherwise? No. Dialogue is superb. Camerawork? Check the obligation-heavy shot of the Kents and Chloe in line when the fire is burned into the barn. Check the shot of Reeve as Clark comes in.

    And folks, don't even get me started on the music. I damn near cried. I had no idea that they would just come in and use that cheap, wonderful trick on my poor fool gluteus. It's almost unfair, but it was so well done,

    I geekity geekity geek geek geek geeked out. That's six geek verbs, folks. Harry Knowles doesn't geek out that much, and I respect him as Lord High Geek in ways.

    The Fortress of Solitude Theme when Clark walks into Swann's lab. The Superman theme when Clark decides through his father that he's in this world to do good, not command and conquer, as it seems his destiny forespeaks.

    Last week? Outbreak, without a bunch of sick people, and NO MONKEYS!

    This week? TWO SUPERMEN! And it wasn't like, look! Superman Red/Superman Blue! It was Clark Kent and the original big S, acting it up and bringing the fan on.

    We have Krypton. We have Kal-El. We have the House of El insignia. We have Kryptonian language. I was afraid I'd have to start looking it up on the translator on this website (plug, plug, it's a great tool).

    My notes are few and all positive.

    An odd thing: The Crows have a Glee club? Anyone else see that poster? Who has a glee club anymore? Last I heard of a glee club was a downloaded version of Old Man River sung by a bunch of rich sounding white guys. That's almost as perverse in irony as last week's episode compared to this week's.

    Helen is not present. Does she need to be? I say no.

    Lex's line, "Let me worry about Clark Kent." Goosebumps. Boom. Lex was so on, and yet just behind in this episode. This kind of stuff is how Lex falls, not someone confronting him, but luck and the power of good slowly getting ahead.


    Which I, of course, have been screaming into this white screen for months, but you know, she just doesn't listen. She even counters, telling the story of her attempted seduction of poor, outbreak-sick Clark, trying to win pity. Guess Lana should have taken the bull by the...well, you know, and said, "WHY DON'T YOU JUST TELL CLARK HOW YOU FEEL, WHEN HE'S CONSCIOUS!"

    Imagine the WHEN HE'S CONSCIOUS! in a much bigger font...

    Martha is pregnant. This isn't forgotten. It is addressed. Mucho kudos.

    I am sending an email to both Clark Kent and Doctor Swann using the email shown in the episode. I don't want to give it out, because I want to see if it works first, but I'll let everyone know what happens next week.

    All in all, I haven't been more pleased with an episode since Hourglass last season with evil President Lex and the blood rain. Even that didn't sustain like this episode. And that episode had a freak of the week pulling it down.

    This is, perhaps, the best Smallville put out yet.

    The shark could have reared its head, but get a load of this. Roy Scheider pulled out his nice little barrel shooting thirty-thirty, aimed at the barrel, and blew us all out of the water.

    "Smile, you son of an alien!"

    Chow, folks. I can't say anything more without being unduly kind.

    5 of 5.

    Back to the "Smallville: Episode Reviews" Contents page.

    Back to the main TELEVISION page.