Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 9 - Episode 1: "Savior"



Reviewed by: Neal Bailey


  • Emo Clark is emo.
  • Lois returns from the future, and is attacked by some lady.
  • Clark fights that lady, and kills her.
  • Zod and his soldiers appear. He's only a Major of yet.
  • John Corben is working for the Daily Planet.


    When I was in college, there was this awful device that we used to facilitate the editing of another's short story, paper, etcetera. It was called the PMI system.

    You say something positive, that's the P.

    Then you say something that was a minus, that's the M.

    Then, because you don't want to hurt the widdle feewings of the person who wrote the work you've just viewed, you say something interesting. Like, "It was really interesting when, in the context of your dorm, the floor suddenly fell away and you were falling! Interesting!"

    Where interesting is code for something you just really didn't understand and thereby couldn't knock.

    I hated it. I mean, I loathed it. It was antithetical to my whole code of writing. I like it when someone takes something I've written and starts to tear it to shreds, then hands it back to me to fix it. To prove them wrong. Not the internet brand critique, where it's like, "Oh, you obviously start your reviews with personal information because you're a retarded inadequate midget who lives in his parent's basement!" But more like, "I didn't see the symbolism you intended, but the hint is there. Make it less subtle, and you'll have something epic."

    But nonetheless, I always start off a review thinking of that device, because it's just something I know, something I learned in college and used a few times. It just sticks with you.

    This relates in two ways. First off, I'm at a loss to find any positive in this episode I just watched. Second off, Smallville is so caught up in the device it learned it's afraid to do anything creative. I honestly believe if anyone took their eye of Sauron, put it on Smallville, and said anything that tears it to shreds, it would implode under the weight of its own current mediocrity.

    Before I used to illustrate this with citations of all manner of writing failures. I could illustrate a bunch of them here, just the ones that stick with me, even though I haven't taken notes and don't any more. Some are so glaring, you actually are moved to remember them. Like when Clark extrapolates through dialogue with Jor-El. "Hey, I know I've been here three weeks training, but when do we get to fly?" "I know you've not flown, but it's only because you have to go say goodbye to Lois!"

    It's gotten so obtuse that they even have a clock on the arm of the time travelling antagonist that tells Clark he has to solve a problem by the end of the year. They're telegraphing the damned ARC, as opposed to minor objectives.

    How about the minus, then?

    Well, we can go character by character, I guess.

    Tess wakes up in bed, and meets Zod. The problem with this is that it's three weeks later in real time, as we know because of Lois' (groan) whipkick fight. She's still got the bruises, isn't healed, and now there's an army that is and isn't in her house. They don't have powers, but they can erase computers. Her character motivation appears to be escaping and hating the troopers she's aiding and abetting. Confused much?

    Chloe. She's somehow got no access to funds and an empty Watchtower, and can't get in touch with Clark. She waits three weeks to ask him to do something (go back in time) she's seen the awful results of before, and then we get Chloe crying again. She cries so much, it's almost worthy of a new KO Count entry, There's No Crying in Baseball. But no. And hey, she's still a murderer, but has Clark even so much as chastised her? No. She helped murder people, recall, last season. At least I do.

    Zod. Though he is imprisoned in the Fortress in Clark's crystal as a General, he is now somehow back in time with a bunch of soldiers, and hasn't been promoted to General yet. He's a Major. Oh, that's so cute, it's like Lieutenant Sawyer. Except, you know, it's not really coherent. I will grant credit to the actor for channeling Terrence Stamp in 1980. The problem is, Terrence Stamp as Zod doesn't stand the test of time. That doesn't mean I don't love watching Superman II. I do. But as a complex dynamic, "DIE, AS YOU DESERVE TO!" is in need of some re-thinking. That was for kids, and the audience isn't an eight-year-old boy any more.

    Compare the Zod who, less than five minutes after he's introduced, screams, "KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!" with the complex, motivated villain with a rational thought process introduced in World of New Krypton.

    I was going to watch the first episode of the fifth season again to point out all of the inadequacies here, all of the inconsistency. But why?

    Lois is back. She's wearing different clothes, so obviously she's been doing some things. Why doesn't she remember what those things are? Well, it'd be inconvenient to the plot, and require too much thinking for the writers, right? Same with why Zod and company have no powers, I'd imagine. Well, that'd be hard, coming up for a reason for that. We'll just leave it mysterious. She's back one day, and she's already flirting with John Corben, who was shoehorned into the plot as badly as Jimmy Olsen was, and I'm sadly reminded of the putz.

    Ollie? Does he even deserve a paragraph? Murderer, drunk. What was even established in that scene he was in? Was there even a reason? Did that scene have a point beyond putting Erica in heels?

    Clark. He's wearing all black, and there's no real rationale for it. He explains he's wearing the symbol to represent his alien heritage. Problem is, Lois sees it, and remember, Lois went to the Phantom Zone and saw Clark's bloodline being linked to that symbol. But hey, that was a whole half year ago. Can't be expected to remember little things like that.

    He is throwing himself into his training, and in three weeks, he has learned nothing we see in any demonstrable way. He can't fly because he hasn't forsaken Lois? Yeah, okay, right. I laugh at you.

    This one is less Clark, more just what the hell? embodied. In traditional Smallville style, the climax is ridiculous. A lady from the future (ZOMG WE SEE HER WITH ZOD!) comes back to kill Clark before he destroys their world. She has Kryptonian powers, and she is confronted with the task of killing Clark. Let's think about that in classic multiple choice.

    You have Clark's powers. You have to kill Clark. Do you:

    A: Hire a bum to walk up to Clark with a piece of Kryptonite (to find Kryptonite, simply look down in this universe). Shoot him in the face.

    B: Beat him to death, because you're a trained soldier and he's still training.

    C: Hire a magician.

    D: Get a rock that takes away your powers, put it right next to him while you're fighting him, and then draw a sword. Don't use a gun, by god, that wouldn't be sporting! You're just a member of a MILITIA.

    It's Labyrinth all over again. SHE CHOSE DOWN!

    Assuming we buy the logic of this fight, we have to wonder where she got the blue kryptonite, first off, and second off, why they fight like superhumans when they've both had their power removed. Clark kicks her in the face, and she does a backflip. Newton rolls in his grave.

    I also love the part where she breaks chain with a samurai sword. I thought I was the only one in my dojo who could do that! Me and Chuck Norris, huh?

    At very least when Lois stomps Corben for kissing her it's a worthy stomp, instead of Smallville's usual, "Oh, you kissed me when it seemed okay? Have a slap!"

    But it sounds like she broke his toes, and he's still smiling. Weird sound editing there.

    My basic reaction to all of these arcs is total apathy, and the execution of most everything in this show, aside from Callum's imitation of Zod, fails miserably. Unlike last season, there's very little to root for or hope for here. It's a bunch of whining idiots acting like a-holes, Clark included.

    When they're ready to start acting like heroes, I'll be ready to start having fun.

    1 of 5.


    Some of these are about last year's finale, so adjust your surprise accordingly...

    Mark wrote:

    The main thing I wanted to mention in this letter was how I'm glad you referenced the "looks like the freaks have come home to roost" line in your last review, because when I heard that line, my first thought was, "since when do freaks roost?" Chickens, or maybe, hens--but that's a Thomas Friedman metaphor if I've ever heard one. A couple years ago, my friend sent me this, which you might enjoy: a review of Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat. It focuses mostly on the writing, and not so much on economics.

    It's really funny you mention this, because I purchased the book to gain a little perspective on globalization and world economics. To date, it remains one of two books I returned to Costco before I finished it. Bad writing, a world perspective I don't agree with, and yeah, I agree with the article you sent.

    As long as I'm writing this, though, I can't help but comment on last night's episode. I wanted to enjoy it, I think, while I was watching it, but every time I tried, I got a sick feeling in my stomach, like I was doing something wrong. The few seconds of battle with Doomsday were about as good as they could be on Smallville but then it was over in seconds. All this build up for that? An entire season of Davis turning into this monster and that's all we get? About 10 seconds of Doomsday? Maybe you could argue he was there all season, because Davis was there all season, but he really wasn't.

    It was pathetic.

    And Davis being a killer? That was utterly predictable, if it still seemed out of character. I mean the guy was an EMT a couple months ago. Actually my thought when they were splitting Davis was "what if the monster is actually the good guy and Davis is the bad guy?" Not seriously, of course, but I thought it would be funny. Clark, however, seems to think it's true. I mean, now he's decided that his kryptonian half is good and human half is bad (although Clark is actually 100% kryptonian), because Davis' human half was pretty bad and his kryptonian side was even worse? Huh?

    Yeah, it's forced drama logic. Sad face.

    I was thinking, throughout the entire episode, that since Lois disappeared with the ring, we would see her in a little teaser at the end. She would end up travelling to the past, where she could fix everything in this episode. Even before anybody died, I figured that Clark would split Davis and defeat Doomsday and that for some reason she'd go back and make it so that Davis never got split. Then Clark would have to defeat them both. After seeing Jimmy's younger brother, though, I began to wonder if HE was supposed to be the Jimmy we know from the comics. That would be dumb if his name were also Jimmy and he called clark CK. Or is that some other comic book reference I missed?

    It's just a bad cop-out, is what it is.

    Anyway, I seem to be using way too many run-on sentences, and not writing that clearly--I think because I just woke up. So, I'll just end this here. I always enjoy your reviews and hope you never stop.

    Thank you. I'm not stopping, but I am paying more focus to my novels. I've written two this year because of pulling back from many side projects.

    Jay wrote:


    Sorry. Ah farted.

    Okay Neal, I'm sure at times you must sit at your computer screen after spending meticulous hours putting together your weekly column and you have to ask yourself "Am I being too harsh?" well, for at least one viewer of the show and reader of your column- dude- go crazy.

    I usually sit there wondering, "Why spend four hours on this when I could edit an entire chapter?" But that's lacking the perspective of what writing for fun does for the mind, opening it up, allowing you to play with the concept of audience expectations. You get used to it after a while.

    I never wonder if I'm being too harsh. My motto is "Truth without discretion can save the world." But I often wonder if it's worth the energy.

    I can't believe THIS was supposed to be the original series finale- GRANTED, they may have made a few alterations but seriously, all of that build-up for Clark vs. Doomsday and we get a few punches?! Oh okay, so they didn't want to go heavy on special effects, in Underworld 1 they had two costumed characters beating eachother silly and that was only comprised of lithe choreography and some camera tricks I could do with a hand-held camera!

    I know writers (not just me) who sit and agonize for hours how to accomplish a given thing in a given medium. They will not do it until it can be done. People who do it anyway tend to make me bristle.

    Jimmy has a little brother!!!???!!?!?

    Where in the hell did this come from?

    The same place as my fart.

    Two words on that 'twist' Lazy Writing. Though, I have to admit, me and the girlfriend did actually gasp when he was killed off because of the whole explanation (albeit sudden and quickly added) that Rokk gave regarding how the mythos had changed since Chloe was saved- but it didn't stick! So not only did they kill off a character which we had...Kind of... Been invested in- but the fact that they cover their tracks with a RET CON nulls any true character death to begin with making the entire stake of a death scene utterly moot!!!

    It's cheap drama. It's bad work.

    The Justice League turning on Clark... After that I just stopped caring about them. After all he had done for them in trying to show them the right way, only for them to bite his hand- and for what? Because he didn't want to kill? I mean, yeah, Clark is a big dumb alien- but he's a big dumb alien who is steeped in his idealisms- no matter how contradictory or inconsistent. Clark seems to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, yet at a moments notice "No, we're gonna side with the homocidal maniac."

    And um... Did AiMiles just kind of forget to wrap up the Lois thing? I'm beginning to wonder if she stepped through to the future and maybe the Legion was a bit to trigger happy and now she's a pile of dust or something.

    For that matter, do you think there was any part where Clark patted his pockets and went "Hm... I know I'm forgetting something..."

    The plot!

    Chloe's whole 'turn' was lost to me as I've lost any sort of stake on the character since her Bella Swan episode a few weeks back. For that matter, did they actually BUY the penthouse or is it just being rented? I mean, just renting the luxurious high rise seems like it would cost what Jimmy would have prospectively made in at least a years worth of his meager salary- let alone if he had all of those habits on the side.

    It's even more fun in a depressed economy to watch drama where poor people have rich digs. No, wait, it's like drinking broken glass.

    And I mean... Clark's whole outcome just seemed like a 1 step forward 3 steps back. I did like how he put it with his human side being his weakness, but now I get the sense that we're going for the 'brooding Superman' and that undermines everything we wanted out from with the whole Lana thing, an emotionally distraught Superman who dwells too much and has an inability to cope with his past.

    Hello, season premiere!

    And I guess the only thing left to say is... I just want to see him fly. Intentionally, deliberately, consciously lift off and... Up, up and away. When I saw Rokk come in at the beginning I got a little excited because I thought for once maybe they decided "screw the reveal, screw the style, let's just have him fly for the hell of it" but no... No such luck. And then at the end of "I reject my human side" he just kind of...Vanishes.... Ugh...

    Well... I think... I think there may still be SOME hope if they decide to play it right. Have this time as the 7 years Clark takes to travel the world, just ignore the whole Lois thing, then he returns with the glasses and with Perry White as the new acting editor, have Jimmy II come in as an intern from Met U taking pictures and getting into trouble where Clark helps him (out of guilt for his elder brother) and thus Little Jimmy becomes Superman's pal and what not. Have this season about reuniting an adult Justic League, have Green Arrow be the brooding activist (with goatee), Black Canary hiding her identity by growing out her blonde hair, Impulse becoming The Flash (maybe put Iris in there as a collaborator with the Daily Planet), Cyborg has some upgrades, Aquaman...Well... doing whatever Aquaman does... And then there's Zod I guess so then we could- I dunno- HAVE A REAL DOOMSDAY FIGHT.

    Ah, but who would pay for that? Ratings are at 2.5 right now.

    Ugh... Okay I've bothered you enough. Sorry for the long post I just needed to vent, looking forward to the column. Many apologies if you liked the episode.

    No worries!

    Keith Duca wrote:

    Sure, something seemed off about Clark's behavior at the end of the episode. The logical explanation to me is that Clark DID die in the final battle with Doomsday. If the Justice League did not see him get back out of the hole after the explosion detonated, how do we know that he emerged at all? Perhaps Clark is still buried underground with Doomsday? The emotional distance displayed by Clark at the end of the episode towards Chloe (he didn't even attend "Henry" Olsen's funeral) leads me to believe that this is an impostor (probably an amalgam of the faux Supermen).

    Just my take,


    There was a lot of this online. "That doesn't seem like Clark! He must be an imposter! Superman wouldn't act like this!"

    You forget, this is Smallville.

    Rhyne Putman wrote:


    I think you've hit the nail on the head with this Henry James Olsen ditty.

    I think this is something that Smallville fans should be worried about as to how the show is wrapping up.

    There is a tendency for major re-writes and or dramatic changes to end in a "We'll reverse time and or consistency just to bring things back to the way they were" deus ex machina fix-all. Clark working years alongside a faux Jimmy is an example of this kind of "We can do anything we want to the character or the story as we write it" as long as we reverse it in the end.

    It's the same problem that plagued other comic adaptions in the past. X-Men 3 was full of these major earth-shattering revelations: Scott Summers is dead; Jean Grey is dead; Xavier is dead; Rogue is rendered powerless before she even steps foot into battle; Magneto is rendered powerless once and for all. You know the drill. Then comes the "it doesn't matter what we did we'll reverse it all" ending. Magneto is regaining his powers (as it is implied all mutants affected by Leech's serum will do the same). Xavier isn't really dead but in Muir Island. What we find out at the end of the movie is that all of what we perceived to be character and story development was reversed. All of our two hours watching the movie was wasted if everything was reversed in the end.

    Yes. And cheap death is not good drama.

    I'm just afraid the same thing is inevitable for Smallville. Despite all the desire of fanboys new to this page--those who come in every week saying "I hope they get Welling in a costume next season" or bring Bruce Wayne on!--and those who are entrenched in the never-ending battle between Smallville apologetics and skepticism, I'm pretty convinced by this recent showing that Smallville producers are preparing us what they perceive as something pretty clever but what will ultimately hack everyone involved off.

    I think the season finale is indicative that the producers of Smallville are prepping for the great reversal--the world turning event that will undo nine (or ten) seasons of drastic changes to Superman continuity or even the more clever creative moments. Lois' relationship to Clark in Smallville? Gone. Lana's super-powered heyday? Gone. Lex's early demise? Gone. Chloe Sullivan? Gone. Krypto-freaks? Gone. Bipolar Kryptonian spirit father? Irrelevant. That nagging issue about a Clark Kent without glasses suddenly made unrecognizable as Superman by a world that has seen him operate for a decade? Solved.

    You are more optimistic than I am. I believe they'll just leave it hanging. Then, in three years, mark my words. Smallville, season thirteen: THE COMIC!

    The introduction of the Legion (or something like it), for better or for worse, has given writers the ultimate god in the machine. They have the freedom to go back and turn everything they've done and worked for on its head--making Smallville ten years of wasted viewing time as fans hoped that all along it would lead to Superman will probably end with someone going back to 1989 and changing the course of history in a way that is metaphysically impossible (via time traveling paradoxes like the grandfather paradox) and downright insulting to fans.

    Faux Jimmy Olsen is the tip of the iceberg.

    Thanks for another fine year of reviewing. Whilst I've refused to watch the show--following the S7 finale last year--I've still enjoyed reading your reviews. You're the best, Neal!




    Scott Yearsley wrote:

    Neal, I've been reading your reviews now since... oh, I'd say since the show was last consistently good.

    It's been a long time.

    Seven years. Many thanks.

    And during that time, I've never felt more than a slight itch to email you. This changed today, however. I think one of the reasons I still watch Smallville is that I can look forward to your acerbic commentaries and bizarre, geeky asides--


    --and without this to look forward to, I'll be stuck venting my frustration to my friends, not one of whom is a Smallville fan. Or, I suppose, the show might get good again and I might not need to vent. But I doubt it. The show's dug itself so deep into continuity black hole that it would take a retcon to noticeably improve it. And they can't do that. They tried with Henry James "Jimmy" Olsen and it failed miserably. The only thing to be pleased about, as I try to treat Season 9 as a fresh slate, is that She-Hulk (uh, I mean, Lana) is out of the picture. But then, so is Lex, one of the only good things the show had going for it until this season... along with Martha, a senator who never seems to visit her home state and yet (presumably) is still popular.

    Mind you, an episode with a certain up-and-coming Gotham businessman would certainly pick things up a bit. Not banking on it, though.

    Oh, I'm still reviewing. Just not taking notes. I'm not gonna get hung up on EVERY example of bad dialogue.

    I had this idea for a (very obvious) bit of dialogue for Season 9 Episode 1. Clark and Lois meet in the Ace O' Clubs, which has changed from a hip bar/club into a more old-fashioned drinking establishment. Lois asks why it changed and Clark replies, "They figured they'd make more money dealing with loyal customers who actually care about the character of a plce than with the fickle youth demographic who are only concerned with sex and gimmickery". That's how I feel. I'm a Superman fan who wants to watch a Superman show, and instead I'm being peddled the O.C. with capes. No, screw that, it's just the O.C. They couldn't be bothered to dip into their effects budgets to make a decent fight between Clark and Doomsday.

    That's actually a good line, and quite clever.

    I mean, Superman/Doomsday, for God's sake. One of the defining moments in Comic Book history! This ( has to be one of my favourite pages ever. And what did we get? 30 seconds and a disappointing explosion.

    Now I know how my wife felt on my wedding night. Buddum-tish.

    You failed to blow up the hotel room?

    I don't feel for any of the characters any more. Chloe has no integrity for me any more. And that's what she always represented to me - along with the Kents, she was the reason that Clark had faith in humanity; Ollie is not Oliver Queen. The Oliver Queen I know is a hippy - a shrewd businessman, yes, but one who ****cares**. The JLU Cartoon (in many ways a far superior show to current Smallville) got him right, I'd say. Tess is a complete non-character for me. I briefly toyed with liking her, but the writers couldn't decide whether she was Lex or some new, possibly-good character. So I gave up on her.

    Lois, though... Erica Durance is ****my** Lois. She is, I'd say, the best portrayal there is. I love her. But everything is happening too quickly, especially considering where Clark is in his life.

    Lois on this show bugs me. She acts like Lois for a while, then she becomes the FEMALE LEAD ARCHETYPE. You know, the one who kisses every guy and never sleeps with them, can whipkick fight and outdrink her male leads with no consequence, always has her hair done, and knows more than anyone? In other words, that chick on the cover of In-Style magazine I'm afraid will pop if I poke her with a good pin. But the times when she's spilling her coffee, or flustered and failing, though they're usually brief and soon forgotten, are great. And that's on Erica, not the scripters.

    And I guess that's the nub of the whole issue, isn't it? Clark, at the age of 22, as you pointed out in your review, can't fly, is unbespectacled, and has decided to become a Vulcan in order to save more lives.

    Where is the Superman? This is meant to be a show about Superman, isn't it? I just don't know any more.

    So I'll continue reading your reviews, but I'll miss your blow-by-blows a lot. Best of luck with all your other projects. As an aspiring writer myself, it's incredibly encouraging to see you getting the success you deserve.

    I should write an essay on that concept. THE SUCCESS WE DESERVE, by writers. Heh. It's a long, hard damned road, and it's full of people who don't want you to get there. Plumbers, they fix the pipes, people are thankful. Someone decides to live a dream, and the reaction is always, "Why don't you get a real job?"

    And of course, I'll continue watching Smallville, because... well, Superman is my kryptonite. But doesn't kryptonite seem a lot weaker than it used to?

    And every three feet in spades.

    Scott Yearsley, Paris


    Sandra Collins wrote:

    Hey, I just want to start out by saying that I've loved reading your reviews. Even though I don't always agree with you on your overall assessment of an episode, I find your commentary witty and intelligent. It's such a relief to know that somebody else is cringing at these horrible continuity errors and complete failures of logic or any sort of storytelling skill.

    Thanks! That's rad.

    Sometimes you just have to wonder what the writers are thinking. I mean, they cannot possibly be THAT stupid. They cannot have actually become professional screenwriters and look at an episode like Eternal or Doomsday and think "Well gee whiz, this is quality television! You know what show today don't have enough of? Nonsensical retcons that completely undermine _ years of character development."

    Writing is just like anything else. You ever go to work, and wonder how the boss got to be the boss? You ever wonder how the company keeps running if 99.9 percent of everyone is phoning it in?

    Same with writing. I'd say it has a higher percentage of people who do it because they love it. But just like anything else, once you get used to doing something, you phone it in more. It's why sequels suck. The original idea is a blast of energy. The sequel is how they make the money. Sophomore music albums, a guy works ten years to make an album, then has to make another in a year.

    This is why I'm honestly very glad I've written nine novels before recent developments in getting one published (Sorry, gotta be vague there). It means I've found a voice.

    Many screenwriters are trying to pay bills, and maybe they wanted to write ER instead of Superman, but Superman pays. It's intellectually insincere, but then, it works.

    I wrote four comics on strong female political figures. I thought it was a job I'd be taking for the cash, so I almost turned it down. I found a point of identity in the project, and then I did it. But the reality is, 99.9 percent of writers would respond, "It's a gig. Do it!" That's the mentality. I do not share it, but that's the mentality.

    I think you would actually have to try to be that dumb. Maybe we should be calling them the BDPS3. But no, I've come to the conclusion that they just don't CARE. Any idiot with half a brain and a working internet connection could fix half the continuity errors these guys let into their scripts. Shelby is a BOY dog, Metropolis can be viewed from the top of a windmill so it can't be either 2 or 3 hours away, and does anyone remember when Clark had super intelligence and didn't try to kill people? That was fun. Anyway, I've got to say it was pretty depressing to realize that the people making this show care so much less about it than we do, which is my very long and rambling way of getting to my actual point.

    It is depressing. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Many shows where the writers obviously care very much for their subject matter.

    I'm sorry to hear that you won't be writing any more detailed reviews, but I completely understand why. Past a certain point, the problems just get exhausting and it seems pointless to even go to the trouble to point them out. Not only do they clearly not give a crap, but it's disturbingly difficult to find ANYTHING in the show that still makes sense. Honestly, I'm rather impressed that you've managed to wade through the second half of season 8 in such detail without going completely nutters. So I'll be sad to see you go (halfway, anyway), but I sympathize with your plight. And congratulations on the book!

    Thanks! I just finished another last week, believe it or not. I'm on fire this year.

    Also, as ever, if you want to read more of what I'm up to beyond the Smallville review, there's my personal site (

    Jacob F. Keller wrote:

    Just read your review of Alex Ford's take on Superman. Glad I'm not alone on the suckiness of that draft. I've read just about every other script on the site from J.J. Abrams (okay) to Kevin Smith (too campy). Anyway, I found this unknown draft on a Spanish language website. It wouldn't let me link directly to it so I re-posted it on simply script:

    I don't know who wrote it but I think it's pretty recent (before Superman Returns) and it looks like they were on the right track - it's a shame they abandoned it. It has it flaws but its the best one I've read since Mario Puzo. Just thought you guys may want to know about it.

    I've read my share of Superman scripts online, so I'm gonna pass on reading it myself, but I'll leave it up there in case other folks are interested.

    Sara wrote:

    Neal, I'm a huge fan of your "Bailey Planet" video segments. I watch it every week. I was just remembering, though, the early days. You used to do creative things like play songs on your guitar, drink water (Tori Spelling) from your water dispenser, and crawl around with your shoes on your hands. That was hilarious, and I always looked forward to seeing what fun thing you were going to do next. I still love your content, but would you think about occasionally doing those sorts of things again? Thanks! Take care!


    Hmm... videos, eh? I'm actually considering doing them again. The problem being, if it becomes a burden, I lose the will to do it, and it did last time. I think if something particularly video worthy occurs, I will video it, for sure. I'm glad they were enjoyed.

    Derek wrote:

    Just checking out your Smallville lists. You probably could add all the times somebody drove illegally in the first 2 seasons since they were not 16 (although I do think there might be a law about driving at 14 if somebody else in the vehicle if they an adult if it Farm related)

    Recently rewatching episodes I notice an annoying trend of having people save Clark. I just want to come up with a list of all the times the Hero of the show needed to be saved. Here is what I got(so far) feel free to add other times (I know I am missing a few).


    Pilot - Lex takes Clark off the scarecrow cross.

    Memoria - Lex breaks Krypto Tank open.

    Lois Faade - Lois moves Clark away from Krypto machine.

    Fade - Chloe and Lois dig Clark out of a pile of dirt.

    Infamous - Lois saves him from crazy Linda Lake.

    Stiletto - Jumps through window to distract Krypto money counterfeiters


    Commencement - Drags Clark out of Lex' kryptonite filled vault.

    Solitude - takes Green K away from Clark in FOS.

    Fade - Chloe and Lois dig Clark out of a pile of dirt.

    Wither - Zaps plant that is surrounding Clark.

    Cure - Chloe moves Kryptonite tray out of the way.

    Fracture - uses her meteor powers to save Clark inside Lex's head.

    Traveler - Chloe and Lana save Kara who then rescues Krypto Caged Clark.

    Quest - flies to Montreal to take Clark out of Krypto trap.

    Chloe possessed by Gretchen

    Tomb - Clark is hindered by Green K, Gretchen in Chloe body saves the day.


    Traveler - Chloe and Lana save Kara who then rescues Krypto Caged Clark.

    Wrath - goes to save Clark from Kryptonite before becoming insane leather clad Lana.

    Bride - saved him from his own Kryptonite.


    Fierce - Used heat-vision to take out Green K.

    Traveler - Chloe and Lana save Kara who then rescues Krypto Caged Clark.

    Martian Manhunter

    Static - stops Phantom Zoner.


    Krypto - moves Clark away from Krypto Trap in van.

    Green Arrow

    Justice - Shot the guard and pulled away Clark from Green K.

    Jimmy Doomsday - saved him from Krypto Arrow.

    Jonathan Kent

    Hothead - Saved Clark from the Kryptonite sauna.

    Extinction - removes Krypto bullet from Clark.

    Talisman - Clark is stabbed by knife and later Jonathon as the Vessel of Jor-El heals him with his hands.

    Martha Kent

    Insurgence - Martha wheels tray of Kryptonite into Lionel's Vault.

    Progeny - Martha takes Green K off Clark.

    Lionel Luthor

    Hero - Saved Clark from Kryptonite.


    Duplicity - Pete knocks out Dr Hamilton who has kryptonite on him.

    The Ship

    Visage - when Clark is in his cellar with Lana necklace on him, the ship turns on and neutralizes it.

    Altered States

    (Clark quite not himself and needs somebody to take him out of that state). I am a bit more forgiving in these instances.

    RED K saving

    Red - Pete and Jonathan

    Phoenix - Jonathan

    Crimson - Martha

    Silver K

    Splinter - Professor Fine


    Hypnotic - Chloe

    Lost Powers

    Mortal- Jor El revives dead Clark.

    Odyssey - Ollie rescues Clark in Russia.

    Odyssey - Martian Manhunter heals dead Clark.

    Injustice - Ollie saved Clark from Parasite (after Parasite took Clark's Powers), Clark regains them soon after.

    Kal EL

    Crusade - Martha with Black K.

    Wacky Zoner Dream State

    Labyrinth - Martian Manhunter/Shelby team up and saves Clark from zoner.

    Jor El AU

    Apocalypse - Clark gets shot then goes back to real world thanks to Jor El.

    Stuck in the Phantom Zone

    Zod - Raya saves Clark's butt.

    Clark has a Fever

    Fever- The ship once again lets out a burst of light that helps Clark .


    Spell - Clark without powers due to Lana magic needs to be helped by Jason.

    Possessed by a Sex Goddess

    Instinct - Sees Lois.

    Saves By Season

    S1 -2 Normal, 0 Altered

    S2 -3 Normal, 2 Altered

    S3 -3 Normal, 1 Altered

    S4 -3 Normal, 2 Altered

    S5 -3 Normal, 3 Altered

    S6 -4 Normal, 3 Altered

    S7 -7 Normal, 1 Altered

    S8 -4 Normal, 4 Altered


    Total ....29........ 16

    Additional notations/potential entries:


    Lex shoots Phalen saving Clark a life of hassle

    Possessed by Dawn Styles

    Spirit - Jonathon pulls out the Green K (Clark's plan so I side more with NO)

    Crappy Brainiac Fights

    Oracle - Vessel Lionel touches Brianiac, he dissapears

    Artic - Chloe touches Brainiac, Clark then sticks a plug into Brainiac to blow him up

    Krypto Eyes in China

    Sacred - Guards drag him Away


    Raya stands in front of Zoners Beam when Clark is on the ground, Clark could have gotten out of the way but Raya takes a fall for him, when he gets up Zoner is defeated


    Blank - Chloe (I am a big supporter of NO in this case, since Chloe helped him more then saved him)

    For a list of even more times Clark was saved(that I don't include on here because he wasn't in immediate physical danger) check out has an even more compiled list(but I am more linient

    This is all very awesome. I think the top part of the list should go in, actually, but I'm publishing the other stuff because it's intriguing. I think it should stay out, mostly because it's not as clear-cut, but it was a fascinating read.

    This, folks, is how to get a new entry into the KO Count. I'll give you full credit, and thanks for the hard work! That's awesome!

    Bruce Kanin wrote (RE: Savior)


  • The Smallville-TV premier of John Corbin, destined to become Metallo, the Kryptonite Man. Note that there was one other TV version of him, that being on LOIS & CLARK. As I recall, that was a decent story, with Superman eventually vanquishing him by melting part of his body via heat vision while he (Superman) was hovering at a safe distance. Anyway, nice to see Corbin introduced. Hope the show doesn't ruin him like they do most characters.
  • Clark's move towards a pure Kryptonian super-character and away from his humanity reminded me of Spock, in the first Star Trek movie, when he was initially trying to purge himself of his humanity, but then ended up going back to the /Enterprise/ to help'em save the universe from V(oya)ger. Clark, at times, seemed quite unemotional and somewhat convincing. But see another comment about Tom Welling, below.
  • There was nothing else remotely good about this episode.


  • The escapees from Kandor look like a bunch of US Army commandos. Can't they look just a little alien? Speak Kryptonese instead of English?
  • I will continue to complain about Jor-El being "alive". He shouldn't be. Even if he's an intelligent computer, as was the Marlon Brando version from the first two Superman movies, enough already. That Jor-El didn't interfere with his son's life - he was a smart hologram at best. The Smallville Jor-El appears to be able to affect reality. Not good.
  • The banter between Clark and Jor-El in the Fortress was ridiculous. At one point Clark effectively was saying that in order for him to fly, he has to give up Lois. Huh? How far into the depths of silliness has this series gone?
  • And during that banter, Tom Welling was at his worst - quite unconvincing.
  • Who's Future Girl and why was she after Clark? Guess what, folks: I don't care!
  • I've lost track of what Blue K is supposed to do on this series. Can't they be consistent with the comics and leave Blue K for being the weakness of Bizarro? What did Black K do again? None of this is O K with me.
  • The opening recap of last season and beyond once more underscored how silly and confusing this show has become. Whatever happened to intelligent and simple?


  • Clark's black robe uniform looks like a bathrobe.
  • The saving of the Vancouver Skytrain...oops, I mean the Metropolis Skytrain could have been neat and classified under "The Good", however, we only saw Clark at the end. When he stopped and noticed Lois, did anyone else get a good look at Clark?
  • Major Zod has a British accent like General Zod did in the second Superman movie (and the voice of Jor-El on SMALLVILLE).
  • Why is Clark leaving the Superman "S" (the family trademark) all over the place? Is that like a cat leaving its scent everywhere? A dog taking a leak everywhere?
  • The Watchtower is supposed to be in Gotham City, but that's ok.
  • Seemed like they tried to make the battle in the barn between Keanu Kent and Future Girl look like something out of "The Matrix". Except The Matrix is really old now and not "hip", man.
  • Major Zod becomes a regular on the show. Ho hum. About as exciting as when Doomsday became a regular.
  • How (not) cute: they managed to incorporate "Kneel before Zod" and actually had his "legion" kneel.
  • I prefer the old geezer / old fart version of Emil Hamilton from the comics, not the Smallville-TV version, although he seems to have developed a personality this season (so far).
  • They're trying to justify the name of the series. Clark moves his fight with Future Girl from Metropolis to the Kent farm barn, and Lois is shown sleeping at the Talon. The Talon? And she works in Metropolis?


  • John Corbin becomes Metallo. S'ok, I guess.


  • *F*.
  • It really sucked.



    You bring up two other things I forgot to mention, but wanted to (ah, no notes!). The fact that Zod's men look like American boot camp jarheads, amazing, and the fact that Clark catches the train in an impossible way, and no one is killed, and no one sees him. Cray-zee.

    And that's all for this week, folks. Here's hoping for greener grass next week!



    Reviewed by: Douglas Trumble

    Super short run-on sentence summary: Clark, who was wearing an interesting symbol has to catch a train after it's knocked off the tracks when Lois and a Ninja Lady from the future appear in a flash of light, while the Zod Squad settle in to the simple life at the Luthor Smallville estate.

    Another summer done and here we are back for season 9 of the longest running Superman show ever! Who would have thought this show would last so long? Love it or hate it, 9 seasons is nothing to sneeze at. Congratulations Smallville!

    Wow what a start to the season! Clark wearing the S! Clark training with Jor-El! Zod and an army of Kryptonians on Earth! Clark trying to learn how to fly! Lois dreaming about doing the nasty with Clark! Ninja women from the future! Falling trains caught by the Man of Steel! Chloe with a command center! John Corbin! I was totally geeking out here.

    If I had any one complaint it is there was just too much crammed into the episode, but then after 8 years I did not really expect much different. They always cram too much into their "big" episodes.

    I really like the costume. At least the idea of it. Sure it is dark and broody but it also has that hint of Conner Kent's costume from the comics and I like that. It's a starter costume. I'm not looking for perfection from an obvious work in progress. Kind of like in "Spider-Man" when Peter threw together the sweat shirt and ski mask. Even the S looked homemade which actually makes sense to me. Where was Clark going to go to get an S screen printed on his T-shirts without getting busted? The coat flows like a cape and actually fits with what we've seen Kryptonians wear when on Earth too, so while I would be totally fine with him just dropping the coat I don't mind it either. I can totally roll with it for a while so long as we get back to the red and blue sometime this year.

    Honestly I am just jazzed he's wearing the S. That is so many levels of awesome in my book.

    I really loved the fact that he was actively doing his hero thing while also training with Jor-El. I never liked the idea of Clark being secluded for years while he trained. It was also very nice to hear Clark asking why he couldn't fly. Jor-El's explanation actually made a lot of sense when you think about it. Every other Kryptonian was either someone who grew up on Krypton or a clone of someone who grew up on Krypton. (Not counting the Zod Squad right now). Clark grew up on Earth as a human. Flying is just such an alien idea to him. I hope this doesn't last too much longer but it's nice to hear a reasonable reason on the show for keeping him on the ground for now. Plus the fact he is actually trying is a big plus as well.

    I am not totally sold on the idea of Clark burning his symbol around town though. I know last season he said he wanted people to know the blur is out there to give them hope but I think burning your mark into a wall is a bit more extreme than slowing down enough for a traffic camera to catch a blurry picture. I am willing to roll with it right now because Clark was still in a bad place and hopefully as he shakes off this "I have to cut off my humanity" idea he'll stop burning marks into people's walls. Or at the very least hopefully Lois will tell him to knock it off.

    And speaking of Lois. Wow. First of all coming out of a time warp and taking on a Kryptonian ninja lady was just awesome. Luckily for Lois the gal was obviously carrying her chunk of blue Kryptonite when she came out of the warp with her otherwise she would have been squished, but it's always fun to see Lois kicking tushy. Plus nice effects on the train crash/catch!

    It's interesting that the ninja lady thought Clark betrayed her and their people. What does she mean by her people? The Zod squad, humans, or just Krypton in general? Lois' vision hinted Clark might have worked for Zod at some point but those things are totally unclear (as they should be at this point). It's fun though with all the possibilities in my head. The fact Ninja Lady had Clark's watch adds to the plot. It tells me she was more than someone he knew. Where does Lois fit into it as well. Did a world without Lois progress differently? Did Clark have a relationship with Ninja Lady? Arrg... Lois' visions are an interesting twist and I can't wait for the rest of the season to see what they all mean.

    I was also really impressed with Clark's fight with the Ninja Lady. Not sure why he took her to the barn but I'll go with it. He was giving as good as he got and that was nice to see that. Too often we see Clark just taking it but even when de-powered he put up a pretty good fight against an obviously highly trained fighter. I know some might say something about the fact she was a girl but I don't see it that way when it comes to superheroes, especially super powered ninjas.

    The only question I have about that fight was why Clark didn't try to get her away from the blue K after she impaled herself? It might not have mattered since it look like she fell on her sword in a way that put it right through her heart but I think they should have at least shown him trying. At least we know her present self is still alive so maybe she will not end up falling on her sword after all once our Superman takes care of the Zod Squad problem. Besides, it's not a Smallville battle if a villain doesn't impale themselves during the fight.

    I loved the fact that Clark didn't listen to Jor-El when he told him to go say goodbye to Lois. I like that she is the one thing he can't let go of. Call me a softy but that is romantic. I don't even think he really knows that to be honest but that is ok too. I really want to know what he told her on the phone but I am sure we will find out in good time. Lois did go to bed with a really big smile on her face after that little chat so it had to be something good.

    Some interesting things were happening with other characters too. It's not all about Clark and Lois you know. Chloe was in a dark place herself but can you really blame her? I enjoyed the way her and Dr. Hamilton are beginning to work together on Watchtower stuff. I am very interested to see how that develops. Oliver and the gang seemed to have given up the hero gig while Clark is just going it alone but here we have Chloe and Emil not giving up on the team idea and I like that. They might not be "Super" heroes themselves but they are certainly showing why they will be/are valuable to the team. It's not all about the gadgets and the powers.

    I also like that Oliver completely fell off the deep end too. I know I've said that before but this is good. If you are going to have another hero as a regular on the show they need to do things like this to set Clark apart from him. Clark needs to be the beacon on this show. No offence to Arrow fans but I don't want a story where Oliver outshines Superman. It's ok if Lois, or even Chloe nudge Clark now and then but I can do without anymore lectures from Oliver about how to be a hero. Plus it was actually nice to see the story actually acknowledge the fact that Lois knows Oliver is the Green Arrow. That is a bit of information I think they glossed over a bit too much now and then.

    Chloe asking Clark to go back in time to save Jimmy is understandable as was Clark's response, but I hope it's not a plot point they linger on too long. Chloe knows the "rules" for saving lives via time travel. It's ok to entertain the idea this soon after her loss but if they let it drag on too long it stops being credible. I know they want Chloe and Clark to have a strained relationship and that's fine. I get that, but this subject can only go so far to keep a wedge between them.

    Not much to say about John Corben here right now. Not much more than an introduction but I do like the fact they are bringing this villain on the show. Not only are we getting a good version of Zod but we are getting Metallo too? Sweet. Can't wait to see how he plays out.

    Lastly, I really liked Zod. Man they are nailing him. Sure I have a pretty good guess how the Zod Squad came to be. Zor-El and Lara might give us a big clue if we look back at a past episode. I really like the idea that Zod had this contingency plan in place. It's just so... Well... General like even if the "plan" was obviously put into play before he became a full general. I like to see them treating him as a master planner and strategist. It makes him more dangerous and will also make it more fun to see Clark beat him down. On that note let me take a moment to say this... please...please... PLEASE... Smallville people... don't skimp on that showdown like you did with Doomsday. OK? It doesn't have to be a big three hour fist fight but make the confrontation epic and I mean EPIC. (Hint Epic = more than 2 minutes). Make sure Clark comes out on top the square jawed hero winning decisively. That is all I ask.

    I don't know about you but I got chills when Zod told Lady Lex he wouldn't hesitate to kill her. I think it was the first time I ever saw Tess actually show real fear. Nice!

    So anyway. Welcome back dear readers. I have some nitpicks here and there but over all a fantastic start to the season. I'll knock a half a point off for Clark not dragging Ninja Lady away from the blue K, for Clark tagging walls around town, and for cramming too much into one episode. (You have 22 to go people, you can skip the fillers and space it out a bit you know... Trust me... we will not mind.)

    I give it 4.5 out of 5.

    Bring on season 9! Next week Metallo!


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