Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 2 - Episode 8: "Ryan"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Well, it's nice to revisit this character. Finally, a recurring character in a very real sense, unlike the cop with Lex, but more like a freak of the week coming back. The catch? It's a hero. The other catch? He dies a horrible death. Eh. Such is the reward for being good, right? Joke.


Anyway. First I have to apologize for this review being so very late after the episode. I passed my goal of doing every review on the night of the show about six nights ago, largely due to my construction job, and people have written me and told me that the review was missed, which is a great feeling, and though this is an aside, I have to thank them, because they help me draw myself to the old board every week, and without them this wouldn't be half of the fun it is.

Now, on to the nitties:

There were a lot of great things in this episode. If I had better editing skills, I'd probably take the absolute best moments of the show and put them in a big string. It would probably go a full hour, but still, given the some thirty hours of show we have now, that says something. And in this show, the entire monologue between Lex and Ryan would have made it. The discussion about Lex's evil, the hints as to the future, these things are what make this show great. The largest criticism is that without any real fear that any of the characters will die or change beyond the most cursory (Bull. Look at Lex.) the show is a waste of time. I disagree simply because of the new angles that can be and are cast upon the characters we've all come to know and love. How would Lex react to a caricature of his future self in a comic book? This is prime stuff, and well executed.

The storyline was a bit flawed in technical aspects, but the interaction, and the acting, as per usual, assuages some of this. The doctor insisting that he get the child back was clich, silly, and it didn't come off right, and right away I thought, hey, Clark should have been arrested, huh? And there's also the common and worthless subplot. Is Lana moving?

Oh, God, they almost had me. Nah. Not really. Yeah. Sure. Lana's going to move. And maybe, just maybe, Clark and Lex are brothers, right? Get up an antenna and listen, people. That's what the poet said. I think the writers, if they can write dialogue this great, should be able to see beyond these inconsistencies. But these things do not take away from the essential greatness of the story, as with the comics of late.

We still have the dynamics. Clark having a brother. Lex realizing and combating his fate. A confrontation of death that Clark can't control, an INTEGRAL part of his character development. Movement forward, with Chloe and Lana moving in together. I wonder at Chloe's motives, as I always have since we knew she liked Clark. This, however, at least moves us away from the potential jump the shark moment when Clark gets with Lana. How can he if she's living with a direct rival, Chloe?

Besides, much as her character can be annoying, I'm going to go controversial here and say I want Clark to get with Chloe anyway. She's prettier, and though she's more prone to feminine silliness, she's obviously got more depth to her.

Boy, the emails I will probably get for that one. But it's just an opinion, folks! J

It's too bad the kid is dead. I hope they don't do this to every recurring character. But it was a nice touch, it helped move things along a bit. I liked this not as much as the first episode with Ryan, (heck, any episode with a cool special effect of a guy getting hit by a bowling ball hurled through the air at super-speed is hard to beat.), but I still enjoyed it a great deal, thus earning this episode the same as its last Ryan inspired predecessor, 4 of 5.

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