Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 6 - Episode 12: "Labyrinth"



Reviewed by: Douglas Trumble

The much publicized second appearance of the Martian Manhunter. Well he was there and it was a bit more screen time than his initial appearance earlier in the season. It was also a good story to fit him in by showcasing his mental powers. I am sure shape shifting really is not in the budget so the Manhunter's mind powers would be the best thing to focus on.

It was just.. Well I don't know.. Not enough? I had so many questions after the episode. How? Why? Where? Sure there is a chance this will be answered later in the season but the previews for next week do not look like they will expand on this episode. Why was the Manhunter there? Was he tracking the phantom? Then how did he know about the phantoms? Was he one of them? I doubt it since he is from Mars. Ending up in a Kryptonian prison would be a bit odd though not impossible. Where did the phantom go? J'onn trapped it somehow but will he put it back in the Phantom Zone or will he destroy it?

Also we have to go back to the fact that Clark Kent/Superman does not kill. Someone running this show just does not seem to get that. Sure Clark didn't actually kill anyone since J'onn trapped the phantom in a crystal instead of destroying it but in Clark's mind he was ready to kill the phantom and that bothers me. It was obvious that they are not treating these phantoms as living creatures. I get it... But I don't like it.

But with that said it was a good episode. A great plot, well written, acted and presented.

First of all we do get to know the Martian Manhunter a bit more even if it was less than I would have liked. I think it is safe to assume we have not seen the last of J'onn J'onzz and I eagerly await more. Also we see Clark is front and center of the plot which is something rare as of late. There were no sub plots at all this week and it was all on Tom Welling's shoulders to carry the story. I think that is perhaps the highlight of this episode. Tom's acting was superb. He really showcased Clark's changing feelings throughout the episode. From strong conviction early in the episode to a timid doubt in the middle as the phantom's attacks began to chip at his resolve. Later in the episode you could feel him getting close to defeat and Tom Welling really sold the despair of the situation before turning the tide back and fighting off the phantom returning to the Super Clark we all know and love.

An interesting note that without his powers we actually got to see Clark in more "action" than we usually do. Fist fights, chases, wrestling, people shooting at him, and even a neat use of a hypodermic needle in the lab near the end. The best thing about this "action" was that Clark was using his head. Thinking his way out of a situation, using his surroundings, and even though he was not at his best he was still able to outsmart the phantom's attempts at capturing him. That is until the phantom hit Clark's weakness to defeat him.

No, not Lana as was suggested but his love for his friend. By making him believe Chloe was killed Clark was open to defeat. I am not suggesting some kind of love affair or a "Chlark" relationship as it is often referred to on message boards. I am talking about friendship love. About how Superman would feel if any of his close friends were killed trying to protect him.

This deep emotion is a weakness for Superman. Even greater than Kryptonite. He cares for everyone but there are those in his life whom, due to his feelings for them, present an even greater danger for him. Lois will grow to be the greatest of these but right now in his life Chloe and his Mother are the two biggest "targets". They are at the same time one of his greatest sources of strength and one of his greatest weaknesses. I loved how this episode really brought that out. Knowing that the phantom went after them both. First by turning his mother against him (notice how she is who Clark looked for first). This was bad enough but then having Chloe killed broke Clark and allowed the phantom a chance to defeat him. Clark's mind would never accept Chloe being against him so it used Chloe as a false hope that was quickly taken away. This was very well written and well played by all involved. If not for J'onn stepping in to push Clark's mind back towards reality, allowing him to hear Shelby in the real world, the plan might have worked.

So I am going to have to knock it down a bit due to the "you must kill him" line. Someone at Smallville HQ needs to really re-think that whole approach to phantoms but since Clark did not actually kill the phantom I will only knock it down one point. Even with less of the Martian Manhunter than I wanted I found myself really impressed with the episode. So I am going to go with a 3.5 out of 5 glowing eyeballs. Call it a B.

Next week looks like a ratings grabbing skin-a-thon love fest. I am SO there... The Boy Wonder however, is going to have to sit this one out. See you all next week.



Reviewed by: Neal Bailey


  • Clark hallucinates that his life is different and much altered.
  • He finds out that it's an elaborate Phantom Zone attack.
  • He defeats the Zoner with Martian Manhunter's aid.
  • Clark realizes he wants Lana again.


    This episode was executed in a novel way, it had good acting, you'd think it would have been a really great episode. The problem being, it's an episode we've seen eighteen times before, and like the previous eighteen times, there's a lot of internal inconsistency that strikes it from greatness.

    That said, it's still a step up from the season so far, which is taking a decidedly upward bent. It wasn't total trash, it was actually amusing to view.

    That said, in a string of 12 episodes where only about four were passable, and only two excellent, is that saying much?

    Believe it or not, I still hope.

    The main problem with the episode is quite obviously the premise. As stated, it's already been done a number of times, most recently last year with Clark's Silver K paranoia, and before that Fear, and before that, I'm sure, other similar instances. They didn't even bother taking it to another character, they just did the same basic episode with a different premise. Clark is infected with X, sees a bunch of improbable but somewhat cool things, and then snaps back to reality.

    They've done it with Lex, too, with the Lexmas episode. It's a concept, like the "out of character romp," that they just don't seem to realize has run its course. Instead, they say to themselves, I'm sure, "Oh! People reacted well to that last time! Let's do it again!" instead of what the rational storyteller says: "Let's do something new!"

    They're doing it next week as well, it would seem, with an out of character romp featuring Lois being coerced to make out with someone. Classy. Perhaps this is why it's being creamed by a factor of three by CSI reruns when it's showing new episodes. That's my guess. If I were an educated man, anyway.

    Plot novelty can carry a lot, however, especially in a comic based story. It's sad to see a story that was supposed to be more about the deeper character that's developed since BIFF BAM SOK drag itself to that level, but even at that level, there are some good things. Clark out of his element is at least interesting. The resolution and the Manhunter payoff is much better than the last one. The strange situations are interesting, curious, and often funny. I enjoyed that.

    It's also a character-episode, or at least an attempt at one, which is of note.

    And hey...only two and a half pages of notes. That means it spaced me out, or had few problems. I think it's half and half, so I'll examine in words, per usual in the blow-by-blow:

    BEHOLD! Shelby, the Kent dog. In the "Very missed character" column for the better part of ten episodes, the pooch has returned to save the day. Very cool. It's great to remove the dog from the missing least until next week, presumably. Kudos.

    Clark's repairing a wheel, and he does so by bending the axle back and spinning the wheel. Makes me wonder what the heck kind of farm accident would cause such an accident, and why Clark would even be using a tractor with his powers.

    Clark doesn't see a parasite, which is okay, I guess, despite the fact that he sees across the whole spectrum. He was blindsided. That doesn't explain how a parasite knocked him through the railing and flat onto his back, but hey.

    Clark awakens in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, not really ripping it off too badly, but nonetheless, awakening to a stereotype is not good for plot points or viewer attention, as even the blindest of writers knows.

    The immediate question that one then asks proves "What are the properties of this villain?", a bad question to ask in Smallville land, because the invariable answer is "If you care, you're watching the wrong show." Sadly, I do care about internal inconsistency, so I immediately begin to wonder why the heck a Zoner would go to such elaborate lengths to assassinate Clark's astral self, if he can invade his mind to the point of rendering him unconscious. Surely, he would simply just snuff Clark's light out.

    It's later explained that it's because Clark's mind is more powerful than others, which we've held court about before, when Clark's been controllable, then not controllable, then controllable in varying continuity-lacking situations that I'm sure if I've mostly forgotten, the audience and writers have, but nonetheless, it's an inconsistency, mostly because they don't explain how or why convincing Clark's mind to undergo an operation that would destroy it makes any more sense than simply bluntly attempting to destroy his mind. Why is subtlety required? This is never really explained.

    The Manhunter's arrival to protect him is neat, but it also begs the question of how or why he knows of Clark's malady and where the parasitic being is, if Clark can't see it coming or be aware of it. Manhunter has mental powers, but does he have better microscopic vision than Clark does? Maybe he's encountered this thing before, you counter. Well, then why not say so in the show?

    Instead of hashing out the silly matter of plausibility, we're instead pushed through insane scene after insane scene to justify the decadence. A hollowed-out Talon. Lex in a wheelchair. Chloe as a whacko. Lana still loving Clark. Martha marrying Lionel. Etcetera. Scene after scene that's designed to make you go OOOOOOH!, and actually might if you don't realize that only an idiot would keep going from place to place like Clark does without realizing something was up.

    The counter to that, "Well, Neal, he has to figure out what's going on!" ends rather bluntly when you realize that Clark knows something is going on from the outset, and has no reason or rationale whatsoever to believe or know that anyone in the supporting cast will help him out of that dilemma. In fact, each cast member he seeks drags him in progressively deeper, even Chloe.

    This whole episode, Clark wins the Dumb as Clark award. In fact, this episode's thematic is pretty much "Dumb as Clark is MENSA" given how incredibly dumb Clark is at almost every turn. The idea being, the audience is so wowed by what's happening, they don't notice how categorically mentally retarded Clark is being. However, given that we've already seen this plot so many times, the focus becomes the solution, and how every action Clark perpetrates does nothing to reach said solution. As I said, I've been reading books about well-constructed plots lately, and one key tip oft-mentioned is that if your actions don't flow out of the object of desire, they're worthless exposition. In fact, that's rule one.

    My videos which follow these reviews are examples of worthless exposition, which works only with comedy or absurdist or surrealist pieces. They're best in magical realism, my favorite genre for both the essay and script.

    The hard part about it, as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas critics note, is that when one goes on with such for more than a few minutes, there has to be a very stern motivating factor behind the madness.

    Clark's marveling at how different things are doesn't cut that cheese.

    If someone else on Smallville has a psychotic break, not only will everyone have had a psychotic break twice, I will have a psychotic break.

    Holy crap! A Clark-focal episode? That alone is of merit.

    The doctor mentions that Clark doesn't really have his secret identity. I found that surprisingly poignant but out of place, and largely glossed over. I mean, when it comes down to it, one of the best parts of this series has always been that Clark's powers are his secret identity, but Clark is the real hero and person. I love that. I miss that. It was almost a throw-away line, which is too bad.

    So J'onn taps Clark in line, and says, "Don't worry, I'm here to help you! I'm from MARS!" That made me laugh. Good setup, decent actor to play J'onn, and also a perfect way to introduce him, though I want some more definition rather than a K lipstick episode.

    The major problem I had with the elaborate ruse to get Clark to willingly off himself modus for the villain is that Clark has multiple minor victories that aren't relative to the Martian Manhunter. It's theoretical that he could be allowed to do this so that he sees how dire and hopeless his situation is, but if that's the overarching goal, the parasite would go straight to Clark with blood on his hands among the body parts of his friends and family, not a paralyzed Lex or the utter horror of a Lana who loves him. As Lana herself points out in hallucination form, this hallucination is much better as a life than the life he currently lives, ironically showing the overarching current failure of the series as a Clark Kent character drama.

    Get this...his worst nightmare is Lana loving him and sticking by him, and having loved him so much that she moved into his room. Poor guy.

    But then there is the fact that Lana essentially boots Martha off her own property opportunistically after Jonathan dies, which raises the question of how she made such money with a single mother and in college (or not). Either way, I know it's a dream sequence, but it still raises these absurdities.

    I do love the fact that Lana gets another death out of this for the whammy. She bought the farm!

    (Dodges tomatoes). Well, she did.

    And anyway, isn't it Lex's farm? Or did they resolve that eventually?

    They start in about here with the annoying (thankfully later ceasing) repetitive "YOU'RE WITH LEX!" or "YOU'RE IN ON THIS!" dialogue that makes no sense given the situation. It's the beginning of where Clark clearly should have wised up and moved on to part B: Where the hero realizes that looking at absurd situations won't solve anything, and that people who are smiling at you and trying to help you, the first, second, third, and eighty-fifth, are not out to get you.

    Clark one-hit KOs a bunch of security goons. The funny thing is, we're supposed to be able to justify this because it's a dream sequence, but it seems like it's pulled out of any old episode, where things really would go down like this.

    Chloe impossibly appearing out of nowhere to save Clark, clue 856, is still duly ignored by Dumb as Dumb as Clark. He really needs to get better at lucid dreams.

    Clark insists on seeing Lex out of nowhere with no real reason, which is good for the producers, because that gives Chloe another excuse to promote her car. "Here, Clark! Take my product placement YARIS!"

    "A Yaris? Isn't that a small Indonesian dog?"

    "No! It's my hot new car that I can afford on a college budget somehow! You want me to show you the KICKIN' stereo system?"

    "Okay. First let me put on some Old Spice Red Zone and some Accuview, and hey, can I rub your Sprint phone on my cheek?"

    "Why would you do that?"

    "It makes Erica Durance hot for you."



    As absurd as the scene is, Michael Rosenbaum still owns it. He's an incredible actor, and I love his work here. The Loeb bridge continuity is respectable as well. It's still in the end a wasted absurdist scene, but inside of it are some nuggets of good.

    Clark goes to the Talon to see...well, who knows what. It's a good roughed up version of the set, very respectably done. The prop department really kicked it out in this episode, from the Talon to the later little bit pieces, I'll get into it.

    Chloe dies, continuing the yearly death I've only recently been made aware of (I just didn't know the pattern). It's a fake death, one she's obviously going to come back from, which disappoints me, because I read and heard that they might actually be doing something that would move the plot forward, killing Chloe, but instead it was just a jokish absurdity. Too bad.

    Not that I think right now killing Chloe is the best thing. I mean, as odd as she is to still be in the plot, and as insane as it is, she's one of the only things holding this show together. Clark is in a rut (not Welling's fault), Lex is on autopilot (though Rosenbaum is not to blame), Lana is focal to the point of insanity, and Martha and Lionel have been pretty much absent thanks to Green Arrow for half a year.

    We need at least a reason. But still, we need something. Ollie wasn't it. Vegas odds say Kryptonite lipstick that makes everyone horny isn't gonna be it either.

    I absolutely LOVED Jor-El Antibacterial Soap. I swear, that's going to be a new regular bit. You're not going to see it coming, but it'll just be there in one of the videos. It explains everything, so totally. I mean, Jor-El is soap. THAT is what we'll tell the kids about this show in twenty years to answer all their questions.

      Daddy, why does Clark not fly at 20?

      Because Jor-El is SOAP! Shut up, you little %#$@%!

      Daddy, where was Chloe in the comics?


      But, why is he soap?

      Jor-El is soap because Jor-El is soap!

      Daddy, you're begging the question!

      JOR-EL IS SOAP! And you're not as smart as me, because you're short!

      Daddy, that's an ad hominem argument!

      You're an ad hominem! Jor-El IS soap!

      But what about Lana?

      Lana is the Devil.

    Try it at home.

    The next sequence is patently awesome. The Fortress of Solitude prison memoir, the Phantom Zone comic/magazine, Milton Fine to Level 3, Oliver Queen as Employee of the Month, Cyborg and Aquaman as fat redheads and pasty orderlies...HILARIOUS, and imaginative. I loved it. The Crystal Ship even, in there, hiding. Building capacity 331.

    Major prop kudos.

    My favorite part, however, is Raya the fat black nurse. I mean, come on, I can't even say that last sentence without sharting. What we really needed was Kara, the gay drag queen master of ceremonies at the Whitney celebration on the Day of the Dead.

    Seriously creative, funny stuff. You gotta wonder though, how Clark could take a fat black lady and make her a skinny attractive white chick...makes Clark look a little racist inadvertently.

    Here's where the plot goes from mildly interesting to dues-ex-garbage-a. Clark accepts a moronic proposition, that because Chloe is dead, REALLY dead, all is hopeless. This despite knowing that everything around him is totally off, and retaining all of his previous faculties and experiences with mind *%#@ villains. Truth is, if someone told you and illustrated that everything in your life was insane and improbably false, it'd still take you more than a few hours or even days to accept it. Maybe in a dream sequence, I don't know, but I didn't buy it.

    Especially given that if you believe that the world is not as it was, to you Chloe would then just be some psycho nut you don't know who just happened to have died brutally, and as we all know, when someone dies brutally in Smallville, even your father, they're forgotten in, give or take, a few lines of dialogue, or, in Jonathan's case, maybe five episodes.

    THEN, Clark receives a few key words of advice from the guy from Mars, that his world is real, this world he's just believed to be totally false. The guy then suggests that to get out of this, he has to kill the doctor.

    It shows what Smallville Clark is as opposed to real Clark, because when the situation is forced, he accepts this without hesitation. Kill a guy? Hey, okay! I'll do it with my bare hands!

    The fire bit was cute, I'll give them that.

    They should have had Clark ask Martian Manhunter how and why he should do this, why he should trust him, what his qualifications are, what the weather is like on Mars. Instead, they spent the time they could have been doing that showing wheelchair Lex, alas, so Clark looks like a guy who wants to kill on a near whim. He's like that on this show...but that's not the Clark or Superman I know.

    Better yet, why hinge a plot on Clark being forced to murder? It's been done, just ten episodes back with Zod/Lex, etc, and it was bad then, too. Clark has to and does find a better way, and good writing doesn't put him in that position.

    And the end resolution? He essentially decides to kill the guy for messing with his mind, as far as he knows. That sound like Superman to you? That sound like a young Superman to you?

    Why would killing one minor delusion in a paranoid fantasy defeat a mind-eating parasite? I don't get it.

    Lana is allowed to spend private time with Clark, unsupervised, before his "treatment" that Clark asks no questions whatever about. If Clark doesn't see something's weird with reality here, he's dumber than dumb as dumb as Clark.

    The funny thing here, too, plot derailed, is that Clark gets no anesthesia, he's being held down as a GIANT FRICKING DRILL comes at his head, he's shaking so the instrument's sure not to be precise, and he doesn't seem to be worried until the last second.

    "Uh, doc, shouldn't I be sedated?"

    "Jor-El is soap! Don't be insolent, or I vill release der monkeys! Mwu ha ha!"

    No, instead, it's Shelby that brings Clark back. I had to rewind it and turn the captioning on to hear the mumbled line, but he says, "Shelby? I'm still in the barn!"

    This though we don't see Shelby, and though there's no indication that he sees or hears Shelby in any way. Not even a faint bark that I caught.

    Martian Manhunter, pleased, sucks up the Zoner and takes off. Clark doesn't attempt pursuit for whatever reason, and instead sticks around for small talk with Chloe, which is...more important?

    Jor-El is soap.

    Clark talks with Chloe about what he's just experienced. I'll set this up for you. Imagine you're Clark, and Lana is Lana. Imagine, as Clark, you've just lived out an elaborate fantasy where you've almost destroyed the world by giving your powers to a Zoner because of the blind spot your love for Lana gives you to reality.

    Featuring, the return of the pop quiz!

    Hotshot, do you:

    A) Realize that you're so blindly in love with this woman you almost destroyed the world, and pledge never to even LOOK at her again, for the sake of the universe.

    B) Vaguely consider re-evaluating your relationship with Lana, because you almost destroyed the universe 'cuz she hot.

    C) Immediately try and break up Lana's relationship (though she's pregnant) with Lex by flirting with her in a coffee shop and talking about regretting not engaging her.

    D) Jor-El is soap.

    I hope you all went with D.

    I almost killed the world for Lana. It means we're MEANT TO BE!


    Meanwhile, here's Chloe, there to comfort him after his mind's been essentially raped. She's helping him find Zoners, there for him in all ways, hot as a pistol that's just been fired, and as Clark says himself, "You have NO IDEA how much you mean to me."

    And his character would then:

    A) Pledge love for Chloe, realizing his error, and start a new, healthy relationship.

    B) Apologize to Chloe for loving Lana despite knowing that she's bad for him, and re-affirm that he's not attracted to her, apologizing for taking advantage of that as well.

    C) Immediately try and break up Lana's relationship (though she's pregnant) with Lex by flirting with her in a coffee shop and talking about regretting not engaging her.

    D) (Hand to ear) I'm sorry, I just got a report in that Allison Mack has murdered Al Gough. More on this as it develops.

    I hope you all went with D.

    Lana called him delusional and almost got his head co-drilled. I mean, that's love. IN BIZARRO WORLD!

    I don't even have to tell you how utterly wrong it is to make Clark someone trying to break up a couple that's pregnant for his own selfish desires. I could write a long essay here, but it's patently obvious. This is obscene, and an abomination on Superman. Even with Lex as the father, Superman is not a homewrecker. What is with recent movies and shows trying to push that on Superman?

    It's not hot. It's garbage.

    I mean, on a simple quantitative level, Lex is rich, beneficent, powerful, and more dedicated than Clark's been, as far as Clark knows. Clark believes (true or not) that he's lied and hurt Lana constantly. He has no job. He's not going to college. He has no car. He's constantly putting people in danger who live around him. His next logical character decision is to...try and break up Lana's engagement and get in on that pregnancy? HUH?

    Clark, Lex, and Lana are friends again now, apparently, despite being constantly at each other's throats when it's convenient. How...repetitive.

    All in all, a few cute things, but no plot motion, really. Martian Manhunter just did what he did before, did something interesting, then disappeared. The plot is back to status quo. Nothing really neat here beyond a novel concept that's already been done, and a few intriguing situations that ended up poorly executed because of endless, unnecessary exposition solely for a geekgasm.

    2 of 5.



    patrick beardsley wrote:
    Hey Neal!


    You gave this episode the same rating as Trumble! Wow, I thought you guys were correlative opposites, you know a good review and a bad review (yours the good one-- in the sense of a quality critique, and his the bad one--in the sense of he being one of the "yes-men" for the fans who want a positive review despite nonsensical scripts {funny how numerically it's reversed! {always spoiling the fun of not thinking--you fun spoiler you!)}

    I respectfully disagree. I think Doug's reviews are great. Are they for a different audience than mine? Maybe. But that's kind of the point. Steve, realizing that my reviews cut to the quick, decided to give an alternative to folks. Rather than saying that his are bad (without rationale), I'd just realize that some people prefer different reviewing styles. And like I always say, I can't knock anyone for enjoying the show. My reviews are just how I feel.

    And hey...if you want positive, I can point you to a ton of MUCH more positive sites than I or Doug ever are. It's all relative.

    Maybe it will put to bed the whole Doug-is-me rumors. I mean, Doug could probably take me in a fight one-handed. At least until I bite. I fight dirty.

    Yes, the videos rock. I was nodding my head yes! yes! yes! this rocks!! and sometimes I was shaking my head NO! NO! NO! Don't stop rocking (you got the reference there, right?)

    Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Glad you like the videos.

    I agree on the terrorism point, a good review, I hope you are well. And continue the videos



    P.S. I have to ask, since you added Vader in the video, what you thought of the dialogue in ROTS when Ananking finally turns to the dark side and says to Palpatine "I pledge myself to your teachings" and the writers response for Sidious after decades of his plotting coming to fruition is simply (though delivered so well by Ian McDiarmid) "Good, Good."? (Now, there's a good voice actor)

    I think at that point in the plot, I could care less about Anakin, and I really don't think the film is about Anakin, Lucas be damned. Personally, that whole movie is Ian's. I actually BOUGHT it when he gave the "too weak" line. I was like, aw, look, it's an old dude. He's just mislead, and here Mace is gonna cap him, but...HOLY CRAP! ANAKIN TOOK OFF HIS ARM.


    You then spend the next ten minutes recovering from the horror of that, and by that time, he's in full hood, starting genocide you didn't expect to see in a kid's movie, and from there on, it's gold.

    I love that movie. And I could care less about Anakin's wooden acting. Anakin is not the point of that movie. He's a puppet. Palpatine, Yoda, and Obi-Wan are the point, and they're all spot-on.

    GeorgeHouseofEl wrote:
    Hey, Haven't written you in a while, but rest assured, I haven't missed a review yet!

    Sweet! Thanks.

    Anyways, I'm just writing to tell you that I'm Absolutely Loving the Super-Short Reviews. Keep it up. Ahh...The Joys of YouTube.

    It's a shot in the arm, only without the Ollie.

    I think I saw somewhere that the Green Arrow Files (or whatever name they gave them) are going to be on the CW's web-site by the end of February. Not sure on that though, I'm sure someone else knows better than I do.

    I'll check them out if they are. I hate cell phones.

    And, as a short plug for you, Everyone needs to by "Madly" by Mr Bailey here, its one of the best-written books I've read in a while, But as the author himself states, "You'll never Look at Chocolate Cake the same".

    Or porn star tee shirts, for that matter. Or, hopefully, novels. Thanks for the plug. It saves me from being shameless...or does it?

    Oh an Neal, I'm going to use the line "I disagree vehemetly" all the time now.

    It sounds grammatically wrong to me somehow, but maybe that's just because Vader said it.

    Peace, Love, and 42

    42 hell! I want to know why the dolphins abandoned us in our hour of need! Thanks my blown-up @##, dolphins!

    Mike wrote:
    Hey Neal,
    I just finished reading your review of the Smallville episode of "Justice". While I have to agree with you about your overall view of this episode, in that it doesn't give us any real character development and was loaded with one cheesy cliche after the next and was really nothing more than fan-boy fodder (not that I'm complaining). There werea number of things that I just don't agree with you about this episode.

    Okay. Shoot.

    For starters, Scene with Lois and Ollie coming home drunk. While you're right this scene was obviously in there to build-up the break-up scene with Ollie and Lois it also serves another purpose. If you pay attention to what Ollie says on the phone you can tell that this also sets up/foreshadows the Flash and Green Arrow team-up, which later turns out to be the introduction of the JLA.

    True, but it's also exposition that wasn't necessary. Dialogue could have later explained that just as easily without a whole scene.

    The whole Bart not telling CLark about his plans to take down 33.1. At this point in the show Bart does not know Clark and Ollie know about each other, the same goes for Ollie about Bart and Clark. And since this would be a secret operation, Ollie probably told Bart NOT to go blabbing his mouth to everyone. Which fits perfectly into what you said about Ollie doing things outside of what Clark helps him with.

    Right...but Ollie would likely tell them about Clark, etc. It's arbitrary to me, at least.

    Ollie tells Clark about Bart's disappearance. Once again Ollie doesn't know that Clark and Bart know about each other. This is also the scene when Clark does tell Ollie he knows Bart, and Ollie goes on to tell Clark what happened to Bart. So it seems like Ollie is being quite co-operative rather than stupid as you implied in your review.

    Well, why wouldn't they know about each other, then, is my question?

    Clark assumes Lex is responsible without any real reason. Ollie just finished telling Clark that Bart went missing while investigating Luthor and 33.1. THat would be a VERY good reason to assume Lex. On a sidenote that really has nothing to do with your review, it's nice to see Clark is seeing Lex as a villain rather than a misguided friend who needs help in the right direction.

    I see it as a good reason to suspect Lionel, who's been named guilty of murder. Lex is just twisted.

    Clark not going incognito during the rescue operation. He's only JUST met up with these guys (as a formed team anyway). How would he possibly have a costume made in one night? And besides he's gone into plants and such in the past with no mask or disguise, why would this time be any different? Because all the "cool kids" have em? Their costumes look like s$%t anyways.

    Well, so people don't find Martha and rape and kill her, for one. I have others.

    The act of terrorism with blowing up the building. I have to agree with everything you said about this. With the exception of Green Arrow, Aquaman and maybe Cyborg (I thought he was a member of the Teen Titans, not the JLA) these characters would not participate in blowing up a building. And Clark should definitely put his foot down on the matter and made a conscious stand against blowing up the building. Whether they went ahead with it or not, at least it would show Clark taking on the form of who and what Superman is. Be that as it may, they can use this to their advantage, if and when Clark goes onto join the JLA which I assume he will, he join with this guilty conscience of what he participated in and put his foot down and say this is not how they should go about doing business, and with that assume command of the JLA.

    Ollie would definitely blow up a building. He's a very radical, polarizing political character, and believes the ends justify his means. Clark? Nah.

    Lex being at the facility at night. I could totally believe that. Keep in mind that Lex was only in Bart's cell trying to get information out of him only a few hours if not minutes before the rescue attempt was made. Why would he have left so soon if he's determined to get his information and begin testing on Bart. Have you ever known Lex Luthor to be a quitter? I sure haven't.

    I also know he doesn't waste time lurking when he hires people to do it for him.

    Green Arrow's appearance does not progress the story? While I have to agree that his involvement in this show has only flawed facts from the comics itself (beginning with the formation of the JLA), but you can't say that it was useless. If anything his appearance has forced Clark to think on a more global scale when helping people, instead of bummin around Smallville waiting for the freak-of-the-week to show up.

    I didn't say it was useless. I said it didn't progress the story beyond that small plot point mentioned twice in eleven episodes.

    Finally, the point about Clark being out of the action in the rescue operation, I agree with this point. I mean, why would a guy who knows his powers dont work lead be so eager to rip the door off to a lead room? That makes no sense. Also there was no reason for him to go in there. Bart wasn't even being held in that area and there were so many other hallways to walk through. Him going into that lead room was completely unnecessary.

    Agreed. Cool.

    Those were the only problems I had with your review. Frankly I think this show has long since jumped the shark, and hopefully they are planning on wrapping it up either this season or next, they've done too much damage to the origin story of Superman with this show, and if it goes on any longer they're only going to cause more damage. I wouldn't be surprised if they killed off Lois Lane or Lex Luthor by the end of this show, why? because that's how much sense this show DOESN'T make.


    I think they won't change much of anything before the show ends...and that's the biggest problem.

    Anthony Robles wrote:
    OK first thing I want to say is the glove was in the Batcave until Supernova stole it. Easy enough to forget all things being considered. By the way was I the only one who saw Christopher Kent among the Phantom Zoners?

    (This is a 52 bit).

    Good catch. Actually, I saw Christopher Kent, but the art didn't convey it, until someone pointed it out to me. That sucks. And who were the other guys?

    Second thing I wanted to say was those yellow aliens who appeared behind Animal Man were the ones who abducted him and gave him his powers. They usually appear to Buddy as an omen that something is wrong with reality. They are based on beings from the fifth dimension that Grant Morrison had contact with in Kathmandu. Read "Writers on Comics Scriptwriting" by Mark Salisbury; the story is on page 205 and it explains things way better then I ever could.

    I'll just take your word for it. Cool.

    Chris wrote:
    Alright, I need to get something off my chest.

    Hopefully not Starro.

    Seriously, people, how hard would it be to let Clark take up the journalism pen again? It would solve so many of the bizarre questions that his behavior inspires in Lex and Lana, and give him enough of a cover to let him tell the truth without revealing everything.


    Secret identities aside, Clark would always have a ready made out when questioned about his knowledge of mutants, aliens, or Luthorcorp Black Ops projects, of "I'm doing an investigation for a story" or "You know better than to ask a reporter about his sources." Of course, then he couldn't stand silently like a deer in the headlights while someone (usually Lana) berates him for his desire to help.

    That's why they originally made his character a reporter...dig?

    And it would give him an alternate way of handling situations with illegal or shady LuthorCorp projects. Rather than incinerating Lex's facility that is not currently experimenting on or holding innocents, he could take the information he has on Level 33.1 and submit it as a story. This also has the added benefit of creating natural tension between Clark the do-gooder reporter and Lex the shady businessman without resorting to the incredibly horrid motivation of Lana.

    Word x 2.

    And it wouldn't be that hard, because if Lois has taught us nothing, all it takes is writing one article with poor spelling to get yourself a front page byline and a steady job as a staff reporter.

    Love the reviews.

    Loved the letter. Thank you.

    Caleb Garcia wrote:
    Mr. Bailey,

    As you may know I'm a big fan and I also understand that you're a very busy man and can not respond to every e-mail, so no hard feelings either way. I so so impressed with "Justice" that it made my "Top 10". Here's a list of my "Top 10 good and bad" I was just wondering if have a similar list. I loved your top 10 fav movie list, I'm already looking to rent them. Thanks for being awesome.

    Cool! And no worries, I respond to every letter, except flames.

    The Top 10 Best Smallville Episodes of All Time

    1) 3.2: Phoenix - After a Clark vs. J.Kent super fight Edge wants Clark's blood.
    2) 3.17: Legacy - Swan returns as Lionel ransacks the Kent farm for the cave.
    3) 4.1: Crusade - Kal-El steals from Lex and Lois investigates Chloe's death.
    4) 5.3: Hidden - Clark dies and resurrects with a cost and then he stops a missile.
    5) 4.17: Onyx - Black K splits Lex in two and the evil one discovers Clark's secrets.
    6) 3.4: Slumber - Clark's stuck in a dream and must figure out who the Traveler is.
    7) 1.1: Pilot - A meteor shower brings an alien to Earth and Clark and Lex meet.
    8) 2.12: Insurgence - Martha and co. are kidnapped so Clark jumps far 2 save them.
    9) 3.19: Memoria - Lex uncovers repressed childhood memories and Clark too.
    10) 6.11: Justice - Clark, Ollie, Bart, A.C, and Victor team up to stop Lex's 33.1

    H.M: 4.15: Sacred - Clark hunts for a stone in China but Lana turns into a witch.

    The Top 10 Worst Smallville Episodes of All Time

    1) 4.20: Ageless - Clana adopts a super-aging baby that later explodes. WTF?
    2) 1.7: Craving - A girl who sucks the fat out of things has her eyes on Pete.
    3) 3.13: Velocity - It's "The Fast and the Furious" only Pete uses kryptonite.
    4) 4.11: Unsafe - Alicia returns and somehow knows all about Clark and Red K.
    5) 3.17: Magnetic - Magnet boy influences Lana to date him and Clark cares.
    6) 4.7: Jinx - Smallville's Mxy is a sports gambler with an annoying accent.
    7) 4.4: Devoted - Drink the green juice and you become someone's boy toy.
    8) 1.10: Shimmer - Lex is attack by invisible boy and it was rather forgettable.
    9) 4.3: Faade - It's "Nip-Tuck" on Smallville but everyone's already pretty.
    10) 5.5: Thirst - Sorority vampires and a murdering Lana with heat vision.

    H.M: 6.3: Wither - A Phantom who can control plants can die really easily.

    Nice list. And actually, because you mentioned Slumber, I finally remembered that other plot where this last episode had been done before. Hah!

    Awesome letter.

    RMF wrote:
    You still were able to give "Justice" a positive review even though you noted its many flaws, but those flaws really killed my enjoyment of the show. That's a shame, because after long, deadening stretches of shipper nonsense, we all could've used a dose of action-hero screen candy.

    Honestly, I give the business to every episode, but I give my rating based on actual enjoyment...most people miss this, and wonder why I don't "just enjoy it". In this case, however, you're experiencing what I did...minus the overall enjoyment. I might have gone that way myself.

    To me this episode marks a point of creative failure for the series. Smallville's mission is to tell us the origin story of a major superhero. Typically what we see in such a story is how the hero uses his abilities, experiences, and assorted personal nuttiness to create his superhero persona. What they just gave us instead in Green Arrow is a full-blown superhero who comes in and with a flourish does it all right in front of Clark's nose before Clark can. GA didn't come on too strong at first, because he was portrayed as rash and ethically challenged compared to Clark, but by the end of "Justice", he's invented the costume, the dual identity, taken on crime fighting, formed a league of heroes, launched a major initiative against Lex Luthor, and marched off to save the world. The writers indulged their desire to write for a full-fledged superhero, but they sold out Clark and his story to do it. We now will never see Clark put the pieces together independently. He'll just follow in Green Arrow's footsteps. To top it off, they have Clark do everything here but tie his shoelaces together and put his pants on backwards. They don't even exploit the bonds Clark formed with the JLA members in prior episodes to give him a role in forming the JLA or helping Oliver recruit for it, although dramatic continuity cries out for it. Instead, Oliver magically finds all the same people on his own, and they credit Oliver with pulling them off the streets and giving them a reason to live (pass the tissues). It makes no sense when it comes to serving the myth or the series to rob the hero of his power figuratively and literally all season and especially in this episode.

    And robs Superman of his identity as "the first, the best, and the ideal" in my mind.

    The Green Arrow arc was strongest when it was a way to contrast the different types of heroes Clark and Oliver were. In "Arrow", Clark says something like, "So the ends justify the means?" and Oliver responds, "Yes!" and Clark retorts, "I'll never believe that!" Pretty meaningless now, isn't it? Clark is no longer defining himself, he's following Oliver's lead in blowing stuff up. This episode actually had the opportunity to develop the issue of their ethical differences. In the introductory scene, Chloe and Clark are having a phone conversation that tells us they are collaborating both on finding the Zoners and investigating 33.1. Chloe has accumulated some documentation showing that LuthorCorp has been using Dr. Caselli to transfer meteor freaks improperly from Belle Reve to LuthorCorp facilities. She and Clark are working on an expose of 33.1. That is the harder and slower but ultimately more effective way of bringing Lex to his knees, because if all you do is blow up the facilities, he'll move them to another location and heighten his security. Besides, blowing up the facilities destroys evidence Chloe could use to prove what's going on to her editors and the authorities. So, you could not only have an action-based episode, you could have intelligent conflict. Say that Oliver and Clark clash over how best to approach Level 33.1, Oliver goes for the short-term fix and blows up the facility, but Bart is captured, and Oliver appeals to Clark for help in freeing him. Clark may disagree with the JLA, but he would still help them save Bart in a heartbeat. Instead of having Clark look stupid and Oliver look like the hero of Smallville, you'd have the fanbase endlessly discussing the merits of both approaches.

    And something called conscious and subconscious desire working against itself, something called character depth by we writing type goons.



    Awesome words, man. Thanks for a cool letter.

    Bruce Kanin wrote:

    I missed the first 10 minutes due to a late train home, so this doesn't get the usual review treatment. If they hadn't had dream/hoax/ delusion /etc. episodes before, I'd have rated this one fairly high. Even so, the comics, especially during the Silver Age, had a slew of dream/hoax/delusion/etc. stories, and often they were decent (I'm not referring to outright Imaginary Stories).

    So, briefly:

    The good
    The first live-action television appearance...wait...the second live-action television appearance...of the Martian Manhunter! However, this time around, there was, er, more meat to him, so to speak. And yes, they briefly presented his weakness (fire), which was cool, even though it wasn't really MM, but his thoughts in Clark's head.
    It was kind of cool having Clark see all those things from his real life - mainly labels and such - that convinced him that the world in the asylum was the real one. Arthur Curry, in this world, had a beer belly!
    The return of Shelby, the non-super dog!
    I think that this was the first episode where they repeatedly referred to Clark's powers as "super-powers". He's getting closer to being a super-man!
    Clark admitting that he still loves Lana - plus explaining his "dream" to her - and Lana's reaction - was surprisingly good (in the past, these scenes started to make me nauseous). Even Lex's appearance added a nice mix. Made me long for the old days when Clark and Lex were friends. Whatever happened to them?!?

    The bad
    As said, this has more or less been done before. I probably didn't see enough to add to this category.

    The rest
    I dunno.

    Coming distractions:
    Next week looks wild! I think it's another Red K episode, though.

    Bruce Kanin
    Truth, Justice and the Milky

    You about sum me up, there. I was moved, slightly, but it was something I'd already seen and was left largely apathetic.

    GORE-ILLA wrote:
    Just saw Labyrinth. Justice didn't really impress me, and it was Labyrinth that I was actually anticipating more. I think the episode came out wonderfully. I've always been a fan of the "alternate universe" scenario, and some of the DC cartoons had some brilliant scenarios- like "Perchance to Dream" in Batman: The Animated Series, "Brave New Metropolis" in Superman: The Animated Series and "A Better World" in Justice League.

    Or "For the Man Who Has Everything," my personal favorite.

    I think Labyrinth may just have lived up to those episodes, aided by the opposite of the whiney Lana. Now that I think about it, the Lana from the dream world sounds alot more like the comic book version of Lana being close to Clark from childhood. Phil Morris seemed to pull off Martian Manhunter well here, although we still don't know much about this version except that he also hates fire.

    Well, in short, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and and, well, have not much to say but look forward to your review.

    Hope the rating doesn't outshine the goodness you found...which I agree with.

    Ami wrote:
    Hi Neal! :D


    So another week another Smallville! XD At least Smallville doesn't get pushed around by baseball, Bush's speeches and American Idol like House :( I'm surprised I ever get to watch a new episode between those 3 things. :O

    House will pwn baseball, Bush, and American Idol with one line of dialogue. That's the key difference between Smallville and House. House could be delayed by three years, he'd just come back and cure everyone while farting potpourri.

    First just some more things I thought about Justice XD On hindsight, it's sad that the Justice League would be started by Green Arrow, Impulse, Cyborg and Aquaman. :( Two of those are Teen Titans! :O Also, like MY Superman would not agree with blowing up a warehouse, even if it's owned by Lex "omghessoevil" Luthor. He would tell Chloe to get the Planet to blow the story wide open. I dunno why he would want to join this group in going around doing corporate terrorism. :

    'Cuz 'splosions are hot!

    It's hard to hate Lex when all this is happening to him. He doesn't have knowledge of everything the fans do. All he knows is that Earth is in danger from things like Zod, and that the freaks are crazy murderers and stuff but have useful powers to save people, and now these new people are showing up blowing up his buildings. :O


    Neways, so "Labyrinth" was on tonight! I'm impressed with this episode. Why? XD B/c it's named Labyrinth, which is relatively creative compared to past titles! X3 I thought for sure this episode would be called "Asylum" or "Delusion" or something :D

    I would have called it "Dumb" for Clark.

    But yah, I actually didn't have much problems with this one, mainly, I think, b/c it had very little to do with the "normal" Smallville world. I actually wished we got to see more of this world, just b/c I'm sick of the one we currently have XD

    It was a nice deviation, out of context, I agree.

    When Clark had to choose between Chloe and Lana and can't resist Lana it's like "hey a microcosm for the entire show!" If Clark rly was crazy tho and was imagining all of Smallville, you'd think he'd imagine a better life for himself.

    Yeah, no doubt.

    Is it just me or does every show, if left long enuf, end up doing one of these where the character is in an asylum or something and is being told that everything is his/her delusion? :| I know Star Trek: TNG did it with Riker and DS9 with Sisko and Buffy did it and so did Batman: The Animated Series. XD

    Don't forget every other show in existence, twice, heh.

    But yah, this episode might actually be rly important to the series, b/c it seems like the whole thing led to Clark finally letting go off his angsty angst! Like, he's finally OKAY with the Lex/Lana thing, and he's realized how he feels about Lana but understands that she's not good for him. And that when he had a life where Lana was like the perfect girl who would wait forever for him and love him forever, and where Lex had a bad life, he didn't like that. That's also showing that Clark is a good person inside and doesn't just want bad things to happen to Lex! Which is good, b/c I'm tired of this angsty angst angry Clark. :(

    True, if they actually remember this next week, which is highly doubtful.

    I just hope that this carries over! But it's Smallville... :|

    J'onn!!!! I dunno why he suddenly seems like.. intent on killing things tho. :| Like he killed Batista on a whim, and he didn't have to say KILL the doctor.. did he?



    Noted as well.

    I like how Shelby's growling and stuff was always in the background of the episode! :)

    Was it? Did I miss that?

    I can forgive most of the unrealistic stuff in the episode (like how Clark seems to have free reign to go and do what he wants when he escapes, and how the guards can't seem to stop him even tho he has no powers) b/c it's just a delusion. THO, if Smallville was rly his delusion, that would explain all the inconsistancies!!!! :D

    Well...most of them.

    The scene where he sees how everything in the room might have made his fantasy reminded me a lot of the ending of The Usual Suspects! Tho, they should be more creative with where he got the name Oliver QUEEN from XD Like, so he just stole names from actual ppl? That's not fun :(

    Lex Luthor is Kaiser Jor-El Soap.

    I found it odd that the other mental patients made fun of him tho. Like, do they regularly make fun of each other for being crazy? Is he just way crazier than the rest of them? XD

    He does have a dilemma remarkably similar to Superman's.

    I was hoping for some sort of cool dystopian Chloe, like a criminal Chloe or something who lost track of her life after her best friend was locked away, but I guess she served her purpose. But it was like.. why was she crazy too? As usual, they decide to focus on Lana and make Chloe just some person that shows up XD

    Pretty much.

    That scene with Clark and Chloe together at the end by the fireplace was so frustrating!!! JUST GET TOGETHER!!!!!! :O Stupid Lana! Chloe needs to like kill Lois and take her ID. She alrdy has most of her identity alrdy XD


    But yah... b/c it was set in his mind and stuff I was okay with almost everything. I liked the mood, I liked the darkness and how sad and grey everything looked, and that Clark might actually have learnt something from this :) I thought this was a fun, interesting episode, and at least it's another Phantom out of the way!

    I can't wait to see what you think! Oh btw, your video review for Justice was teh awesome!!!! So funny :)


    -Teh Ami

    Rob wrote:
    Justice was very good. The most recent one wasn't quite at the same level. The lighting was certainly a lot different than usual for most of the episode.

    It was chalky, wasn't it?

    In season one, the pilot, Clark meets Lana in the graveyard and sees Lana talking to the graves of her parents. It's a nice scene. But, some investigating the other day seems to show that in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm there is a scene almost redundant to that Smallville scene. The Batman scene has Bruce meeting Andrea Beaumont in a graveyard, where she too introduces Bruce to her "parents." Can't help but wonder if there was some inspiration there.

    Inspiration, yeah, THAT'S the ticket! We'll call ripping it off INSPIRATION!

    The other day I saw an old Superboy comic. Superboy is in high school and saves Jimmy. Except in this comic, which makes sense, Jimmy isn't more than five years old!

    Heh. Is he schtupping Chloe?

    There seems to be inconsistency as to how much Clark is weakened by Kryptonite. In an episode of season one, with the flaming football coach, Clark is actually able to chuck a few pieces of Kryptonite out a window when he is trapped in a sauna. In Justice he is completely unable to move. In Superman Returns, he picks up a chunk of Kryptonite, then subsequently dies. In a comic with Metallo I read the other day, he summons his last remaining bit of power to melt a piece of Kryptonite with his heat vision.

    And in theory, Kryptonite KILLS Superman. In theory. Heh.

    Of course, most of the Superman movies have problems. The time travel in Superman the Movie makes no sense. And, how I wonder, does Lacy Warfield survive in space?

    She's already so frigid, the vacuum does nothing to her brain or body.

    Another thing some people were wondering about was where Miss Tessmacher goes for the second half of Superman 2. It seems to me they would have given her more scenes if Hackman or Donner hadn't departed, but it's fun to think of explanations for this.

    Tessmacher goes to Tralfalmadoria. And my GOD, is she hot there. Hello, goodbye, goodbye, meee-ow!

    I imagine you will have seen the Donner cut of Superman 2. (Why does he return to the diner at the end of the movie?) From what I've seen, Bryan Singer wants to use that continuity for his movies, potentially opening the door for a return of Zod. But even that continuity and Superman Returns have holes.
    I don't know what to think.

    I think Singer wants the plot elements he likes and ignores the ones he doesn't. Reminds me of the comics.

    Oh, and bad writers who can't write around obstacles.

    By the way, someone may have noticed this already, but Season One, in the pilot, the first time we see Lionel he has a copy of the Daily Planet. The headline is: "Queen Industries CEO Missing, Presumed Dead."

    Yep. Noted.

    Speaking of Lionel, why is he a good guy? I guess they are setting up Lex to inevitably murder Lionel, and maybe they want people to feel something when Lionel dies. It won't work.


    Anyways, the reviews are excellent. Thank you.


    Dan Fenton wrote:

    I'm torn here. I want to say that Smallville is on the upswing and headed in the right direction after the past couple of episodes but I do find a few things troubling and almost feel things might be headed back in the usual direction.

    Just finished watching 'Labyrinth' and thought it was a dark and interesting episode. Now, this was a fantasy, Clark goes crazy or is possessed by a creature from the Phantom this all in his head or was it really an alternate reality? The presence of the Martian Manhunter in the barn at the end would suggest it was more than a mind trick, but it was one of those episodes where we knew things would be "back to normal" at the end.

    It would be nice to know, wouldn't it?

    I don't think there was anything here that advanced things along. As entertaining as it was in a 'what if''s not as though we haven't played this card before. Does this make it a 'throw-away' episode? Or is it foreshadowing what it is to come?

    It's throw-away.

    We do know (as though there were any doubt), that Clark still loves Lana. He's going to pine for her as she makes her plans to marry Lex while carrying his child, etc. and one wonders how much the writers plan to play this card this time.

    A disturbing sidebar...and perhaps it's just one of the rare episodes where this does occur, but I kind of...liked...Lana in this episode. She actually came off as sweet and decent both in the alternate reality and in the reality, even if she did encourage Clark to go through with the treatment.

    Yeah, but she wanted his head drilled. That soured it with me.

    I feel assured that my Lana-hate will re-emerge soon, but it was actually a nice change not to see Kristen having to overact the stuck up and bitchy bit for a change. She seemed a lot more relaxed than she has in any recent episode.

    There, I've done my New Year's Resolution and said something nice about Lana, now I can move on and sleep at night.

    How? ;)

    Also nice about the episode was the fact that Shelby got some well-deserved quality screen time. Probably the most under-used character on the show, Shelby actually had some good lines and impressed me with his (her?) acting. I've always said, it's not the actor, it's the material...and Shelby finally shone.

    I liked the way he barked. Top-notch.

    How many times are they going to pretend to kill Chloe though? Even if this was all in Clark's head...or was it really Level 33.1...they can only pretend to kill her so many times before it's bound to take.


    Which would be a shame, not only because I rank Chloe as the hottest Smallville chick...but because her role in 'Justice', playing the 'Oracle' bit, shows that she might be the one 'outsider' who could fit within the group. While it's nice to see Clark hanging out with his pals and save the world, etc., it's important that he has that one person he can fall back on, perhaps bring him back to Earth. Pete wasn't right for the part, but Chloe is the typical trustworthy friend you tell everything because you know you can trust her to keep it.

    If there weren't that sexual tension in every male-female relationship that makes the current setup totally unrealistic to anyone over the age of 12...

    I still wish they could move Clark past Lana and let him see that maybe there is someone else out there...maybe or maybe not Chloe...because there's a line that is hard to cross once you've cemented the bonds of friendship. But, c'mon, any guy can see Clark would be stupid not to notice what has been right in front of him the whole time.


    I, however, don't watch Smallville for the romantic stuff. While it's nice to see Lois happy and wearing tight tee shirts and it'd be nice to see Clark happy and everyone happy happy's the action and the stories and the whole Superman mythology that drew me to the series.

    And where has it been, I want to know.

    Which is why, while I thought 'Justice' was a good episode, I kind of expected more. Maybe this would have been better served as a two parter, but it seemed to take awhile to get going and then they had to throw in the Lois/Oliver subplot which took up more time. It's tough to find adequate screen time for four guest stars in that case and I thought Aquaman served no purpose here. He swam, didn't do a whole lot else and didn't really impress me here. Cyborg did a bit more, but still came up short. I wondered why these two were even there at times.

    Me too.

    Then we get the appearance by the 'Martian Manhunter' in 'Labyrinth' and I was less than whelmed by the role here. This could have well been some other crazy prisoner. A couple of so-so effects in the barn don't impact on me. If you're going to bring established DC characters least let them do something. They brought the MM in to Clark?? They may as well have brought in the ghost of Jonathon Kent.

    Or Pete.

    I think this is something that will have to be reworked in the future. If I know that MM is on the show, I want to see what he can do, same with Aquaman, Cyborg, Impulse, Green Arrow and Clark himself. What's the point of bringing a character on unless he's there to do something significant? Lex as Zod in the season opener had more impact than all of MM, Aquaman and Cyborg over the past two eps.

    I agree.

    I do like the level of evil Lex is taking. Bit by bit he loses a little more humanity and becomes the criminal mastermind who will always be a thorn in Clark's side (though will Clark need to wear glasses as Superman so Lex doesn't recognize him?). I hope the planned wedding with Lana goes horribly wrong and that this puts him right over the edge. Since it looks as though there will be a Season Seven (unless anyone knows anything different), it's time for all of the evil to emerge.

    With SOME tact, hopefully.

    So what do we have in the weeks ahead? Red kryptonite? Lana being stalked? Clark and Lois doing the dirty? Things could continue to be interesting but one thing is for sure...Shelby will always be there when he (she, it) gets the opportunity.


    Speak to you soon and have a great week.

    Dan Fenton
    Burlington, Ontario

    Thanks, Dan, as ever.

    Gauntlet101010 wrote:
    So, I've been reading your reviews. You ask for feedback, here it is!


    Do a Super-wiki! We need it! Seriously, I find it hard to keep track of things now .... I started collected S-Man when he died (yeah, I know .... but we all gotta start somewhere, right?) and I was so intrigued I collected no less than ever single back issue from that time to Byrn's revamp (good starting point for that purpose) and a few Silver age stories. And these continuity things are seriously messing me up. I really want to know when Brainic stopped being dead. Or Despero, for that matter! I remember Supergirl fought him and he was still in L-Ron's body. And I'm one of those anal-retentive guys who gets really bugged by stuff like this, so a wiki would be helpful.

    Watch for it in the coming weeks.

    You know tho .... in all the changes one thing I really miss is Byrn's Krypton. Not because it's any better than anyone else's take, rerally, but more for the fact that Krypton had a definate "look" to it. You could tell any peice of tech was from Krypton just by looking at it. It wasn't genericly high-tech or anything that could be from some other ficticious planet. Now we got Byrn, SA Krpyton (from R2K), Waid, and whatever this post IC Krypton turns out to be.

    And don't forget the multi-verse, now.

    And LSH made Kandor a bottled Kryptonian city again, when it was by that Tolos guy .... only it was in that dimensional rift with the Cyborg (ONCE) .... and I was NEVER too clear on which version of Krypton Superman was in after that last big Brainiac/Supergirl story. And now it's Silver Age Kandor (admittingly the best version of the concept), but I gotta admit to being flattened by the whole continuity mess they've been fond of.

    It's poorly taken care of by the current editorial crew.

    Really, the message I'D like to make to any of the writing staff is to be CLEAR about their concept! And ALL the details! If I were them, I'd hammer out a small timeline of what events count and what doesn't because I have every single issue of the modern Superman ... and I couldn't even tell you what a guy like Brainiac's origin is anymore.

    I don't know if even Johns can. But he's writing it anyway...we'll see.

    See you all next week! And don't forget to check the updated KO Count.


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

    Back to the main TELEVISION page.