Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 2 - Episode 18: "Visitor"Reviewed by: Neal Bailey
Warning. Spoiler, right here, right now. Not a big one. I just have to share:
In preparations for this review, I read the synopsis for the next episode at the Smallville Ledger. In it, I found the most wonderful line. I am proud that in an age of increasing care with what we say, this made it through the channels:
After Lana is nearly hurt by a college kid Clark goes after him, forgetting how lethal his powers can be. The little frat turd survives, files a suit - which could end up costing the Kents their farm.
Little frat turd! Brilliance! Turd, in a popular medium. That's neither here, nor there, but really, for a show geared towards middle America, I was just amazed that such got through. I applaud it. Little executive editing turds...they won't laugh today!
Since the business section is more speculation and spoiler based, I've decided that henceforth I will merely label one business, the other review, and if you don't like business, just skip to the review...that way no one can be mad about my spoilers, which I will discuss here (I only know mild things, staying mostly spoiler free, but if it's on tv, I will discuss it, since it's in the public domain.). Thus henceforth no spoiler warning in business.
I have the longest business section I think I've ever had on this review, mostly because it's been a while since the last episode, but largely thanks to someone who's done the dirtiest of dirty deeds for me in terms of work...making a comprehensive collection of the knockout list. Yes, folks, while we had a sizeable break in between episodes, Erica Caitlin Haakensen went through and noted every single death, every single knockout, and every single time Clark's identity was exposed over the course of the show...here's the result, with my work from the previous reviews:
In the pilot, Lana's parents were killed (2 whammies), Lex was knocked out by the meteor shower and the car crash (2 for Lex).
In Metamorphosis, Whitney is knocked out in a car accident, then again when Bug Boy hits him on the head (2 for Whitney). Lana is cocooned into unconsciousness by Greg (1 for Lana).
In X-Ray, Lana is knocked out by Tina before being put in the Crypt (1 for Lana).
In Hourglass, Cassandra dies, but she learns Clark's secret and promises to keep it (1 whammy).
In Craving, Jodi knocks Pete out before trying to eat him (1 for Pete).
In Shimmer, Lex is knocked out twice (2 for Lex).
In Hug, Lana is thrown from here horse (probably knocked out. 1 for Lana). Lex is knocked out by Clark (1 for Lex). Kyle finds out about Clark and promises to keep his secret.
In Kinetic, Chloe is thrown out of a high window. It is assumed she is unconscious (1 for Chloe).
In Zero, Lex gets tazered out (1 for Lex).
In Nicodemus, Jonathan, Lana, and Pete are all knocked out by the plants spray. Lex is stunned by Clark (I'm going to count that as one for all of them.).
In Stray, Ryan learns Clark's secret.
In Reaper, Whitney is knocked out in the hospital, and Dominic Satori is knocked out by Lex and thrown in a trunk (1 for both).
In Crush, Chloe is knocked out by a horseshoe, Kwan is murdered, Pam (Lex's nanny) is dying of cancer (assumed dead), and Whitney's dad dies of a heart attack. (3 whammies, 1 for Chloe).
In Obscura, Chloe is drugged by a kidnapper (1 for Chloe).
In Vortex, Lana passes out in the tornado, Martha is stunned by the ship, and Lionel nearly bleeds out into unconsciousness (1 for each).
In Duplicity, Pete finds out the secret and is knocked out by Hamilton. Hamilton croaks (1 for Pete, 1 for Whammy).
In Lineage, Lex is knocked out by his fake mom (1 for Lex).
In Ryan, Ryan gets knocked out and then killed (1 for whammy, 1 for Ryan).
In Dichotic, Chloe is knocked out by Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Oh, the agony! 1 for Chloe).
In Skinwalkers, Clark loses his new girlfriend (1 for whammy).
In Visage, Whitney bites the big one, Tina croaks, and Lana bites a pole (2 for whammy, one for Lana). Pete also gets knocked out (1 for Pete).
In Suspect, Ethan becomes a jailbird (gone, so a whammy), and Jonathan gets knocked out (1 for Jonathan).
In Rush, a faceless no-name dies at the party, and Clark is knocked out by Pete (1 for Clark).
In Prodigal, Jonathan is pistol-whipped by Lucas Luthor (1 for Jonathan).
In Fever, Clark and Martha get knocked out plague-style, and some unnamed military goon is knocked out by Clark in the Rambo raid of the "military facility" (1 for each). Helen figures out Clark's secret, basically.
In Rosetta, Christopher Reeve may never appear again, so he's whammy status until he becomes a frequent guest star (IE, he's not forgotten). He also knows Clark's secret. The archaeologist is taken out (1 whammy).
In Visitor, Cyrus is knocked out (1 for Cyrus) and he disappears to a mental asylum (1 for whammy).
STATISTICS COMPILED IN THE COMPLETION OF THIS REVIEW:
Ryan (deceased): 1
Whitney (deceased): 3
Dominic Satori (don't ask): 1
Cyrus Krupp (FOTW): 1
Random Military Goon: 1
Whammy (dead but mostly forgotten though important to the mains): 16.
People who know Clark's secret (for sure, not potentially): 3 living, 2 dead.
Number of weeks since Luthor found his new brother after never knowing him at all it takes for them to make contact again: 3.
And hey! Someone DOES miss Whitney! It IS like a hole in the heart of Lana! This statistic is RETIRED! She said something this episode.
Now it can be told, folks, the real reason why Lex Luthor turned to a life of crime. Brain damage. He was really a noble intending intelligent rich guy, then Clark kept knocking him senseless until he decided to take up a life of crime. Tragic. Superman created Lex Luthor after all.
And I don't know about you, but I pull two things from this statistic pile in corollary, though I'm not supposed to use corollary as a logician...
1) I don't want to know Clark's secret. The odds of survival are very low.
2) I don't want to be a peripheral friend of Clark Kent. Sixteen of his peripheral friends are dead, missing, or forgotten, in just the last two years.
Interesting...but it isn't over yet! Six more episodes!
Rob Adams also points out that I missed several important detailsŠLex has a file on Clark now, and if you look back, there is a lock on the cellar. Perhaps my critique of the police might not stand, in that event.
I had further lauds, but this last month, waiting for the next episode, they got thrown about my desk. If I missed anyone, email me and let me know...sorry.
And one more thing...I deserve to be railroaded and critiqued just as much as anyone else, and I've done my share on this dole, so anyone who wants to critique my depth of character and etcetera can check out a comic I'm trying to put together.
This episode had a number of qualities that typically weaken an episode, but then again, this episode was well done, so a lot of the elements that sometimes bore were retarded by their plot and character potential.
Clark meets another potential Kryptonian. Sure, his story is dubious, but then, he has some remarkably evident proof. The ship was something he could have seen, but the tower that transmitted had a pretty realistic beam, and something other than a helicopter might have been in that sky. And he did heal someone. This is a potential hanging plot, and I look forward to seeing what comes of it.
That aside, the episode itself was good in its own right. The mystery unfolded, and I was expecting it to end with a complete retraction, a freak of the week, the story not really being relevant, but then, it was relevant (Clark now has to deal with his "alone-ness", and he has a potential Kryptonian brother in loneliness), and it had plot movement (Lana is coming back towards Clark, Whitney is on her mind, Chloe is back in the mix).
My notes tell me that I noticed that Helen magically appeared where before there was none. Interesting. She's there one episode, gone the next, back when it's convenient. I understand how this makes sense in a creative capacity, so I won't knock it, just notice it.
I noted that the Transplants did the opening song, and questions spring to my mind. Anyone who knows Rancid, the Transplants, Lars Fredrickson, Op Ivy, etc, they know of the potential knot in the tree of punk rock called selling out. Through all the years, I have prided Rancid, and particularly Tim Armstrong, as being paragons of those who do not sell out, being a punker old school myself. Only now, in these later days of his reign as punk rock king, Tim has gone and done several things to make me question him. First, Rancid splits up and does side project, granted, on their own label, but then, The Transplants album is heavy on samples, and I have seen it now in two different (sold out) mediums, a hair commercial, and Smallville. Not that being sold out is necessarily bad...I would sell out. No lie. It's just when you base an idealism on a person, and see that idealism falter over time, it says something about life. Tim Armstrong and Superman are two of the only people in my life who never faltered, and now I question one. So such put a pallor to the first little bit of viewing this Smallville. Sorry if that was a little off-track.
It is implied that Lex got some. As a geek, I thought that a good moment of hilarity. Lex is getting some. Clark is getting none. I use these quantifiers to protect my lady-like status with the world, and because kids might be reading this, but you all know what I mean.
Lex's logic, also, is called into play excellently. He pegs Cyrus as a non-alien because he figures any alien would be afraid to reveal himself, and he says this to CLARK. Great moment.
Lex breaks and enters into Cyrus' personal hovel, and Clark says nothing about it. Minus character points for Clark.
Clark lights a truck on fire. Many would call into question to morality of this action. I do not. It stopped physical violence. Plus back the points I just took.
On a pragmatic level...no one is ever punished for the flaming truck or the attempted damage of property at the communication tower we saw, resultant in a young boy's coma. What happened there? Not a big deal, but a deal.
Also, even though they're jocks, thus typically dumb as a post (I've known smart jocks, so don't plaster me for saying that, but they are typically, generally, dumb as posts), they know that you don't go after something you can't handle. No one does. Fight or flight. And I tell you, you get me Vin Deisel. You stand him in front of me. You pump him full of steroids, heck, even angel dust. Tell him I said something mean to his mom. Send him after me.
Then give me the ability to shoot fire from my eyes, and let me use it to light Vin's truck on fire. Then watch Vin kind of become obsequious, kneel on the ground, and say, "Please, Mr. God-Man, don't hurt me!".
Even idiots know when they're outclassed, and I don't believe the jocks would have gone back for third revenge.
The coma was also just silly. He just decides since he can't go home he's going to lapse into a coma? What, because he knows Clark's secret? These two things knocked this episode from a near perfect to a 4 of 5.
But a great effort.
Back to the "Smallville: Episode Reviews" Contents page.