Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 3 - Episode 7: "Magnetic"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Main Points:

  • Seth was a kid with a "magnetic" personality (Lord help me, I couldn't stop that one!)
  • Lex Luthor finds out Chloe's deal with Lionel and agrees to protect her.
  • Though it's obvious, Clark likes Lana and is jealous when other guys date her.
  • Seth fought the Clark, and the Clark won. Lana felt bad about it.


    You ever have one of those moments where you think something is going to keep rocking and it doesn't? Most people feel that way with Star Wars, or The Matrix. They think sequels don't add up, aren't as cool, whatever. For me, the Hulk didn't add up to what it could have, and now, with "Magnetic", Smallville puts itself on the potential list.

    I am jazzed for this season, so far. We have some great non-freak weeks, and some great stories, and we're only 7 in, with 4.5 of 5 ratings, as I recall (perhaps badly).

    And then this week.

    Freak of the week, no character movement save with Lex and Chloe (I'll get to that), and guess what? You know that thing we hate the most about Smallville as fans, generally? That annoying Lana/Clark waffling I warned you about. This time it lasts ALL SHOW!

    Now last year I warned you all, the producers, heck, everyone (forgive me, I'm experiencing an "I told you so" moment) that if we take Clark and Lana to that "relationship" level, we risk The Shark. This episode and others preceding it have proven how that pans out. We have what I shall now lovingly decry as the 8:50 moment. I didn't coin that phrase, I believe it was coined by Adeylan (if not, someone flame me an email), but basically, it's the 4:20 in my week, except since I don't smoke and instead watch Smallville (this is your brain on Kryptonite), for me, for you if you're reading this, it's 8:50.

    It's that time of the episode where Clark and Lana meet in the barn, have their little talk about why they can't stay together (time that used to be used for Pete, that character we once knew who now is known as TOKEN) and generally show a lack of chemistry, making us all vomit onto our old issues of Teen Titans.

    BEWARE THE 8:50. It may very well kill our fine show here.

    So now we have an episode based upon Clark's incessant need to pine for Lana, something we've never focused on, right?

    It starts on an okay note. Some dweeb is hitting on Lana, and some big guy, for no apparent reason, decides to start coming after the guy. A big guy, as fate would have it, who has a fetish for snow globes. Right about now I'm giggling in my seat and rocking the suburbs. Then this big guy, he starts chasing the dweeb. And to make matters better, he STEALS the globe! Right on! Hilarity must ensue when a large man is chasing a small man with a snow globe in his hand. And lo! Hilarity DOES ensue. Big man smashes little man with snow globe.

    Then little man becomes a freak of the week and all hilarity ceases.

    There's some promise. Lana and Chloe actually TALK about how Clark was gone for three months. That's almost enough to sate my fickle rear. Just close enough to make me stop harping on it.

    I was interested to see how Superman would fare against Magneto. But instead of a character with depth, like Erik Lensherr, instead we have Seth, the dude who crushed on Lana. Sigh. Stupid demographic.

    AND NOW, the thing that made me REALLY MAD!

    This guy has already been used! This freak has already come and gone! TWICE!

    First they had the freak that caused fire by thinking it... Coach Walt. Then there was the guy who "ashed" people. That was close. I would even say that was the same freak. But this one is obvious! Remember Hug? The guys who shook your hands and you'd do what they want? Minty? I do. I laughed, but not in hilarity. In horror.

    And now they decide to make the same freak, only give him magnetic powers.

    Okay, there's titillation there. Who doesn't want to control magnetism and make chicks do whatever they want? I'll raise my hand for that. And since you asked, I would NOT go for Lana Lang. Heck no. No one I knew. First, I'd hit a bank, then make a buttload of money, because dangit, if my powers failed, I'd need cash, because chicks dig cash. Then I'd go for Gina Gershon, Denise Richards, Heather Graham, Lauren Prepon, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Connelly, Jordan, Carmen Electra, Madonna, Allison Mack, Carrie Anne Moss, Brody from the Distillers, Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman and Yo Momma, in that order. Line em up, then I'd knock them down. Just like the Trojan army. But NOOOOOO! This guy goes after Lana Lang. How many post-pubescent guys do you know who wouldn't do what I would have? None.

    So I don't buy old Seth-y.

    Why this obsession with making good characters go BAD? It's old now.

    ANOTHER VERIZON COMMERCIAL! The horror... cell phones are more frightening than a freak of the week, but the two in tandem make my neck crack. Really. I snap my own neck. CRK! Can you hear me now? ::slumps to the ground, dead::

    I notice that the mansion now has a red top. Has that always been there, or am I onto something?

    This guy is REALLY a rip-off of Marvel. To reference Smith, "I think Marvel gonna SUE somebody!"

    Man, I didn't know magnetism could influence people. I'm gonna go find some hot chicks and rub magnets on their foreheads. Next review will be filed from the county jail.

    Crazy tangential moment for this review: Jonathan tells Clark, "Jealousy's a tough emotion." I heard, "Jealousy's a tough monkey." I had to rewind it to make sure. I'm cracking up, just like Lex. But I'll get to that. Still, I wanted to see Clark vs. The Monkees. Wouldn't you? Take the last train to Metropolis and I'll meet you at the station. BZZZAP! Oh, no! He fried Davey with his heat vision. SING FASTER!

    Kristen turns to me while we're watching the show, and she says, "Why does Chloe have cockroaches in her hair?" Look! They're there. The world may never know.

    LEX LUTHOR IS ACTING LIKE LEX LUTHOR! Yeeeeeee haw! Starts with feet and ends in blood, Luthor is acting a little sinister, a little evil, a little manipulative. I didn't think they'd have the cojones! I really didn' t! But they did.and it looks like next week it's gonna pay off. This alone saves this episode. The intrigue of researching Lionel, the Edge best friend connection, and Chloe getting into danger. You don't think they'll kill her? I do. I hope they do. Why else would Clark hate Lex? GREAT development in the midst of a lost episode.

    I love Clark's speech about how Lana shouldn't lead Seth on. I remember being the nice guy and giving that speech. Did any of the ladies I spoke to ever listen? No. Why? Because, serious moment here... attention is more important than intention. Read em and weep, boys.

    Note: I am a nice guy, and I suffer for it. I'm with you, Clark, Seth, every guy who's probably looked at Lana and ignored a Chloe. Dopes.

    Lana learns he's Magneto and doesn't freak. That's odd. Then Clark SEES that and doesn't tell her he's Superman. Even odder. And out of character.

    Man, I've gotta use that zipper trick when I get magnetic powers. That's like, Billy Dee Williams Smooth. Cognac smooth. Smooth like an '82 Ford EXP. Well, maybe not THAT smooth. But smooth.

    Clark just following the lovebirds around, stopping Ferris Wheels, being jealous... well, it may have been for the best of intentions, but it WAS still kind of creepy.

    I'm thinking of creating a category in the KO Count for times someone says "YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M CAPABLE OF." I think Lex has said it twice, another freak said it, and now Seth did. I'm not afraid of making that category, either. You have no idea what I'm capable of.

    Clark B and Es again. But it gets Chloe to make out with him, so I forgive it.

    Seriously. Heat vision Lana to plasticy pulp, screw continuity and move with Chloe to Lex's island. I love Chloe that much.

    Allison, baby, you're just 400 miles from here... I'd love to take you out on a date.

    (Steve, the webmaster, reaches across the internet: SMACK "Back to your review, Neal!")

    Aye Captain, my Captain.

    Check it out! The Torch is destroyed again! That's THREE for the KO Count! Hilarity ensues! By the way, I know the KO Count was not updated last week, but this week it will be. I was moving, and I got lax. Sorry, folks.

    Who was that weird guy and how did Lex know who he was? I'll give them a few episodes to answer that one, but only a few.

    Lana kisses really wooden in this episode. I'll bet she didn't like the guy.

    Clark RUNS down the road again to stop Lana and Seth! Didn't he learn his lesson about that from Perry?

    He also uses his heat vision in the line of sight of both Lana and Seth. It's not obvious, but watch the scene again. It's really within the range of sight.

    And look, Seth boy gets his car mired in pavement (and who's gonna explain how THAT happened, huh?), but he somehow can't lift a METAL car out of the mire and back onto the road? Strange. He can move a Ferris Wheel, right?


    Lana got arrested, and convicted! JOY! Add one to the good guys in jail category of the KO Count. Note, folks, that I have hardly added anything to my count of silliness for the last two weeks. One new freak of the week episode, and we're already up to four for this episode. It means something. It does.

    Okay... in prison, Lana is being detained for WHAT? Lex has his lawyer working on the charges, so she's not being charged by Lex for theft, and the Sheriff knows she didn't steal the car, according to Clark... so what did she do? Aided and abetted? Lex would tell? I mean, she could have just said she was kidnapped? What's the deal?

    Chloe starts tearing into Lex, and Lex throws down. Beautiful scene. Someone, Adeylan I believe, pointed out that this is what happens when you get two people who can ACT in a scene. Not that Tom and Kristen can 't act, they just have as much sexual chemistry as a tomato and an engine block in a threesome with a porcupine.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, this episode, we see PETE! For 24 seconds. I counted.

    Hey, guys! I'm here, I'm alive, and I have ONE LINE! Off to eat some creamed corn and think of something hip-hop the writers made up to say.

    Sorry, but that's what they've taken Pete to.

    What is it with the Kents and compasses? First Pa and Lex, now Clark and Magneto... neat trick, though. It shows he has brains, like making an electro magnet and tossing Seth around like the big guy with the snow globe SHOULD have.

    Seth knows the secret, one more thing for the KO Count. But then, he's in a coma. One more thing for the KO Count. Get what I'm saying?

    Who is the guy in the Gi that Lex dismisses? Did I spell Gi right? Am I thinking of the right garment? Will someone kung-fu me for getting it wrong? Questions, questions, questions. I think the guy was Seraph, and Lex is just finding out who The One is so he can find him and destroy him in The Matrix RevoLexions. I'm producing, Peter David's writing, it'll be the ultimate crossover after Brendan Frasier plays Superman in Superman vs. Batman. Check it out in 2011. Then, the ultimate Sequel. Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash vs. Superman vs. Batman vs. Neo in The Matrix, Episode Five: Attack of the Phantom Menace in the Two Towers.

    Really, I just want to know who that guy is. He looked cool.

    So we have movement forward in character and plot with Lex and Chloe. Lo, this is the ONLY thing that saved this episode from my first Smallville 1 of 5. Instead, it should consider itself lucky, like Lana, getting off with community service and a completely high 2 of 5.


    Well, first but not least, the KO Count is now updated, unlike last week. Sorry. But the move is over, and I HAVE internet now, thank the jealous monkeys.

    Barry Frieman shows me up with my love of old songs by showing that I missed a HUGE reference to Superman III with "Earth Angel". SHAME ON ME!

    Jerry Newingham, among others (sorry if I missed you, write me and I'll fix it) point out that the Kent's truck keeps flipping and getting fixed. In slumber it was essentially destroyed, then in Perry, it's back. Shooting order, perhaps?

    Adeylan Dyos doesn't have ten credits this week, but she does have four. First, she points out that when Lachlan Luthor speaks, he doesn't have a Scottish accent. Hmmm, laddie! And that car, in the barn, the one that Clark touches? It's there for FORTY YEARS! Isn't that a little odd? And Hiram shoves a super powered being onto his butt. How? And probably my favorite for this week... when Lachlan throws Lana around, he's asking for something specific. He says, "I KNOW you have it!" What's he talking about? Anyone have a guess?

    Pat Estvold notes that Crater lake has hills. This is Kansas, right? Plains and all? Hmmm.

    Shawn Fuller notes quite correctly that it is not illegal in most places to ENTER a bar underage, just to order drinks. I'm used to here, in Tacoma, where it is (I believe) illegal to even enter a bar until 21...

    E. L. notes a really good problem. Jor-El is kind to humans in 1961, but in 2003 he tells Clark to RULE THEM WELL. Think he has a problem with the way Bush is taking care of business across interstellar space? Methinks perhaps, eh?

    Further, E. L. among others (sorry again, email me... hard week, etc and excuses) points out that Lana shows up when Clark flips in "Slumber", and the Kents just basically tell her not to worry, and she doesn't. CLARK FLIPPED IN A TRUCK! I'd call the hospital myself!

    Kathleen Chappell postulates that the distance from Krypton to Earth is three years, based in Clark's age when he impacts Smallville, given that he was sent at birth by Jor-El. So Jor-El's punishment was theoretically 6 years! Man, what a mean dad!

    Last week, I inappropriately identified Kevin Heacock as Keith. My apologies. I am all over the place, and I'm moving into a new place, so if I make a mistake people, feel free to write and ream me.

    And though I messed up his name, KEVIN this week points out that if Clark took a good swim in Crater Lake, which we can assume was formed by a crater from METEOR ROCKS, he'd probably drown. Good thing it was a dream, no?

    Mike, in reference to the director of Supergirl from "Perry" also directed Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour in a movie called Somewhere in Time... check it out!

    Mike and Barry Frieman also reference a tale of how Jor-El "chose" the Kents, in effect, and Barry offers a link to a site explaining the tale from the early 80s. I went there, and it's super cool. Check it out as well!

    Many people (and I don't want to name names here, because it's a bit controversial, forgive me, folks) wrote to chastise me for suggesting that because Lana is Asian her counterpart in the sixties should have run into problems in the 60s with interracial dating and the like. I received many arguments, most pointing out that Kristin Kreuk is merely HALF Asian and half Dutch, and even so, her character is NOT Asian. Look at Nell, her parents, and her family. None are Asian, so Lana must not be Asian, as a character. I have an explanation, and this is one of the few times where I feel I can safely defend myself on a touchy issue.

    First, the actor who plays Lana IS Asian in feature. She simply is. It's obvious, no matter how "white" she may look, whatever that means. And frankly, I'm proud of the show for doing that. I mean, an Asian or half-Asian Lana is a step forward, and I applauded it in my first reviews. I did. Check it out.

    Second, Lana DOES have Asian relatives. Her Great Aunt. Maybe it skipped a generation, and the alleles came back. She CAN be half Asian, and though it isn't referenced in the show, that doesn't mean she ISN'T. She is.

    And in the 60s, if an Asian, or a Half-Asian, made out with a White looking dude, namely Jor-El, there WOULD be societal repercussions. Big ones. It's not right, it just is. And my fear is that by not showing this, Smallville in a slight way practices revisionist history by showing a 60s where interracial dating didn't lead to lynching, beatings, or other societal negativity. I'm not a bleeding heart liberal. In fact, I hold most politics in contempt, largely. But I do believe that you must be VERY CAREFUL when working with issues like race, politics, and religion. And that was sloppy on the part of the 1961 writing staff, perhaps. So that's my defense. If you still disagree, continue to write, and I'll continue to discuss.

    Paul points out that I called Lana's Great Aunt Lana several times. She's not Lana. I was confused. Sorry.

    And finally, Timother O'Brian notes that while Smallville may seem a half hour from Metropolis, that doesn't count if you factor in traffic. Tee hee! He also got me thinking... the town I went to college in had 50,000 people in it. Smallville is HUGE, folks! It's not a small town...

    On that note, I'm off! Check out the NEW, FIXED KO Count, and let's hope that next week Lex goes TOTALLY INSANE and kills everyone in Smallville! I'm hoping the ad wasn't bonkers, and the last five minutes really kick me from behind.


    And PS... before anyone asks, I don't care. Matrix Revolutions ROCKED.

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