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Smallville Reviews

"Cure" By Chad Hudgins

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Teri Hatcher is my all time favorite Lois, Dean Cain played my favorite version of Clark Kent, and there will never be a Perry White as good as the one played by the late Lane Smith. Of course the show was cheesy much of the time, but I didn’t care, in fact I loved the cheese factor of the show. It was just a plain fun and humorous take on the relationship between Lois Lane and Superman.

With that said, when I found out Dean Cain was finally going to be on Smallville, I rejoiced. I have wanted him to make a cameo on the show since it started, so tonight I got my wish. This is the type of stunt casting I want to see CW, not some cross promotional model non-actress.

While tonight’s episode wasn’t perfect by any stretch, it was miles better than last weeks. Remember there will be spoilers throughout, so stop reading if you don’t want to ruin the episode for yourself.

“Raising Cain”

I’m going to start by talking about the highlight of the episode for me, Dean Cain. He played a man by the name of Dr. Curtis Knox, which made me laugh since his initials were CK, which is what Jimmy Olsen called him on Lois & Clark. It turns out he has a new procedure that can cure the meteor freaks of their abilities. We learn this early on when Chloe runs into Sasha Woodman, who was the queen bee villain from the season one episode “Drone.” It was a great reference to an earlier episode. For those of you who thought she looked different than her first season appearance, it’s because she is. Sasha was played by Jovanna Hugets this time, and originally she was played by Shonda Farr. I’m not sure why they couldn’t just re-hire the original actress for the part, but there had to have been a reason. I didn’t mind though, the new actress looked and acted very much like the original actress.

So Sasha explains to Chloe that she was cured of her meteor infection, and she has the scar to prove it. It seems though that Dr. Knox has a more sinister motive, since moments later he kidnaps Sasha Woodman, and ends up killing her in order to use one of her organs. What was he using the organ for? I’ll get to that in a moment.

Dr. Knox’s character was very similar to the DC villain Vandal Savage. While they never call him that, I think it’s a safe assumption to say that this is who he was. Vandal Savage was a villain created by Alfred Bester and Martin Nodell in 1943. Vandal Savage was immortal, which he gained when he was bathed in the radiation of a meteor as a caveman named Vandar Adg. Throughout the centuries he has taken up many names and identities, including Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, and Blackbeard. Even though he changed identities as the years went by, one thing was always consistent, no matter in what time he was living, violence and death always followed him.

Do we see the similarity here? Curtis Knox was also explained to be immortal, and through research done by Lex, was shown to have lived for centuries. Through the photographs we saw many instances of this, including a picture of Dr. Knox with Adolf Hitler, which was a nod to his comic book counterpart. He also mentions that he was Jack the Ripper, which was also an interesting twist. I was hoping they would go a little more into his past, but maybe we’ll learn more about him if they bring him back at some point.

Dean Cain did wonders with the part. He played creepy and psychotic, but showed slight humanity at the end due to the tragic circumstances. His motivation revolved around the fact that since he was immortal he was going to outlive the love of his life. His plan was to work for Lex’s 33.1 program, and find those with unique radiation levels in their organs that would allow his love to live forever like he does. When he accidentally destroyed the machine that was keeping her alive, the look of pain on his face was tragic, and made me honestly feel bad for him.

Where did Martian Manhunter take him? I honesty don’t think Clark would have gone along with the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that the Manhunter suggested. On the plus side, the ambiguousness of it leaves open the opportunity that Dr. Knox could come back in the future. I surely hope so.

On a side note, we need to get the effects of Kryptonite on Clark more consistent. If he gets smacked in the forehead by a penny sized piece of Kryptonite, he ends up in the fetal position. Yet somehow, he is around jars of the stuff and he can stay on his feet and still fight, only slightly weaker. It just seemed inconsistent to me. It’s like in Superman Returns, Lex Luthor breaks off a tiny piece of Kryptonite in Superman’s side. What happens? He gets the tar beaten out of him by an old man. Then not ten minutes later, what does he do? Lift an entire continent of Kryptonite all the way into space. They need to get a handle on how badly Kryptonite affects him.

“Clash of the Titans”

One plot point that I am interested in learning about was touched on tonight. In the beginning of the episode, Martian Manhunter attacked Kara, claiming that she is dangerous and Clark should watch his back. He said that Zor-El once tried to have Jor-El assassinated, and that there was no love lost between the brothers. Somehow it seems that the crystal that Kara lost is in actuality dangerous and that Clark should find it before Kara does or he could lose everything.

It makes me wonder how much of what he told Clark is true. I think the end of the episode was very telling in that area. Kara indicates that John Jones did something to her family, but does not really explain much beyond that. John says that Zor-El was a traitor, which moves Kara to ask Clark which one he is willing to trust. When he doesn’t say anything, she says, “Well I guess this family reunion is over!” After that she flies away, apparently out of Earth’s atmosphere.

Here is my theory. I think they are following closely the story Jeph Loeb created about the current Supergirl. I think she was sent to Earth, not to protect Clark, but to ultimately kill him. We don’t know why yet, but I’m guessing we’ll learn that in time. My guess is it will be the season finale story. All I know I can’t wait to find out!

“Lang, Lana Lang”

Um….so what is up with Lana? I like that they are finally bringing her and Clark’s relationship to a good place, since they need to leave on good terms. She knows his secret, and they can talk much more openly. I love it, I waited seven seasons to see this. My only problem with it is they need to spend more time on it.

I don’t like that they are heading once again into secrets and lies territory. Having Lana suddenly keep all this stuff from Clark, then lying to his face about it just makes the last six years of her nagging him seem that much more hypocritical. I really hope they don’t spend too much time on it. I do want to know why she suddenly feels the need to spy on Lex though. Hopefully we’ll find out soon.

“Other Tidbits”

The one part that really dragged the episode down for me was the story between Chloe and Jimmy. Why would he break up with her because their relationship won’t ever be normal? I’m not sure, but I don’t see a need to mess with their relationship at all. Not all relationships must be filled with angst and problems.

I do understand though why she is hesitant to tell him that she is meteor infected, since for the last two episodes he seems to have it out for meteor freaks. Her story reminded me of Rogue from the X-Men, who was always trying to get rid of her ability. It makes sense for her to try to get rid of her powers though, since she thinks that her boyfriend will reject her if he finds out she has them.

There were some points in the episode where Chloe was not in character, and it just bugged me. When was the last time she blew Clark off like that? Usually he is more than willing to help her with her problems, and up till this season she shared all of her problems with him. Why is she so secretive all of a sudden? With the friendship they have built up, it just doesn’t make sense that she is acting this way towards him.

Now for my biggest beef with the episode. CLARK DOES NOT KILL! Now that I got that out of my system, I can talk rationally. There was a recent interview with Al Gough where someone asked about their rules on Clark’s stance against killing, and this is what he said.

“The fact is we adopted a policy from the start that the villain had to fall on their own sword, or die by circumstances beyond Clark's control. I've heard lots of arguments in early episodes that Clark did "kill" someone, but the fact is he hasn't and he won't. Now, when it comes to aliens and Zoners and Zod (whom in the comics, Superman did kill with Kryptonite) the rules are a little fuzzier, but the tenet remains — Superman (and by extension, Clark) doesn't set out to kill anyone. Believe me, it makes for some very interesting discussions in the writers room.”

BUZZ! I’m sorry Mr. Gough, but you have failed at our game, you win no prizes. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars.

As far as Clark knew, he killed Dr. Knox when he was saving Lex, and even said as much while talking to Lex in the hospital room. Clark didn’t know that he couldn’t be killed, yet he smashed him into a power box all the same. I don’t care how exciting you want to make the show, CLARK DOES NOT KILL!

Worst.Characterization.Ever.

“In Conclusion”

All in all, I really did enjoy the episode. Many of the mistakes can be overlooked since I’m blinded by the fact that Dean Cain was on the episode. It had a great villain; one that I hope comes back at some point. I don’t like what they are doing to Chloe, I’m not sure if I like what they are doing with Lana, and I am intrigued by what they are doing with Kara. Clark killing is never good, and hopefully they don’t make that mistake again. Also, Mr. Gough, if you are going to state something in an interview, it’s not advisable to go back on it during the very next episode. “Cure” gets a 3.5 out of 5.

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Updated 10/25/07  

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