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Smallville Reviews

"Fallout" By Chad

The funny thing about the title of this episode is that Clark has been dealing with fallout from Dark Thursday since the premiere. Metropolis has been slowly rebuilding and getting back to normal, Clark now realizes that some of the Phantom Zone criminals have escaped along with him, and at the same time he is dealing with losing the use of the Fortress of Solitude.

Now though, there appears to be more fallout. Some of it is good, and some is more deadly than Poison Gloria ever was. That’s right folks; a new villain comes itching for revenge!

Before I go any further, let me warn of spoiler for those who don’t like to be spoilt.

“Like Mike”

The episode starts with a Nike commercial. Two boys (Lamar and Lance) are playing a game of hoops in Oakland California, rap music playing in the background. They run around, dodge, weave, and shoot…..score!!!! They may live in poverty, but they got nice shoes. Suddenly a light is seen in the sky and one of the lights crashes right near the basketball court. One of the youngsters immediately runs toward what could only be described as danger. He peeks into the crater and sees one of the phantoms, but before he can do anything; it takes him over.

His friend now runs over, not realizing what just happened. The now evil Lamar asks his former friend “Where is Kal-El?” Lance’s response is “What-El?” That line made me laugh really hard. Apparently this answer wasn’t good enough though, because the next instant Lamar sends out a purple shot of radiation that fries his friend real good. He then just walks away.

Then the camera pans over to where his former friend was standing, and settles on the shoes, still perfectly intact. Then the slogan shows up on the screen, “Basketball or disintegration; Nike can withstand anything.”

All kidding aside, this beginning introduced to us the villain of the episode, Baern (this was his name after being taken over; Lamar was his name before hand). He was a criminal that Jor-El through into the Phantom Zone. They never really explained much about his abilities other than he can absorb and shoot radioactive energy at high levels, and he seems to be able to run or move very quickly. Going through what he did, he has to power back up periodically, and he does this as he searches for Clark by absorbing the energy from various nuclear power plants.

Baern was played by Bow Wow, which I wasn’t thrilled about when I first heard about it. Truth be told though, he was far from the worst actor to grace this show. He played the character I’m sure as well as he could, so props to him for proving me wrong. I was glad when he fought Clark and Raya at the Fortress of Solitude that Clark was able to defeat the phantom without killing Lamar. That scene at the end was nice when he thanked Clark for helping him, and he played the confusion of the experience very well.

By far the worst part of his appearance in the episode was the line “I’m back, and I’m super sized!” Horrible, cheesy line; and completely inaccurate if you see how tall he truly is, especially when standing next to Tom Welling.

“Raya and the Last Crusade”

Remember last episode, at the end when Chloe showed Clark the satellite feed of Raya climbing out of one of the craters. Well, tonight we get to see her actual return. Pascale Hutton reprises her role as Raya, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. There was some worry originally that her part was being recast, but I’m glad she was able to do it. I enjoy her acting, and think she played a great role in the episode. My only regret was that she had to bite the bullet at the end, but what can you do?

Through her Clark learned much about his family and Krypton. How Jor-El sacrificed all he had to save his only son when he realized he wasn’t going to be able to save Krypton. He sent Clark to the Kents, whom he had chosen as his son’s adoptive parents. This is a throwback to the episode “Relic” where Hiram Kent helped Jor-El escape to the caves when he was being sought after for a murder he didn’t commit. Jor-El chose the Kents due to that act of kindness. Awesome continuity there!

The first fight in the barn was great. Clark got shot out of the barn and Raya Super-kicked Baern out the other side, which was a very neat effect. For some reason though, getting pimp kicked by a girl made this ruthless killer run away. Humiliating much?

What saddened me the most though, was her death at the end. Baern broke into Lex’s mansion and sapped dry Lex’s little black box, or the power source he had been studying this whole time. By absorbing all of this power, it made the black box disintegrate. The power he had from this he used to blow what looked to be a bit of a hole through Raya. She died in Clark’s arms. I would have loved to keep her around for a little bit, but maybe the actress couldn’t do it.

“Jimmy: Undercover Photographer”

Jimmy Olsen being added to the show seems to have gotten a little negative reaction from people. Personally I love having him in the show. It helps move Chloe away from pining after Clark, which is wonderful.

Jimmy takes some incriminating pictures of a secret rendezvous involving Lex’s car, and decides to try and get Chloe to write an article about them. Unfortunately, Chloe says that the pictures are not hard evidence that Lex has done anything wrong. This moves Jimmy to attempt to get some information that might help bring in more hard proof. So he sets up a meeting with Lex, dropping Chloe’s name to get it. He directly asks Lex what was going on, but doesn’t get quite the answer he was looking for.

Instead Lex throws him out and threatens that if he bothers him again, he’ll be going out the window. This exchange was done so well, and Michael Rosenbaum is really stepping up his game as Lex. It was chilling to hear him threaten Jimmy. Before he got dragged out, he snapped some quick pictures of what Lex had on his computer, which was photos and diagrams of the Kryptonian symbols on the black box.

This later leads to one of the funniest lines in the show. Jimmy goes over these photos with Chloe and comes up with the only possible answer to the story: Lex is working with the Egyptians! I laughed out loud for several minutes after that comment. Funny stuff and perfectly delivered.

“Secrets and Lies”

The last thing I’ll touch on is the Lex/Lana relationship. What is going on? What happened to Lana? When did she become the covert go to girl of the Luthor’s?

These are questions I look forward to seeing the answers to. Dr. Groll decides to quit the research he was doing for Lex and skedaddle, he then leaves his research and the black box with Lana. He figures that she is also a pawn in all of this and tells her she should get out of it all.

Long story short: She hides the stuff, Lex questions her, she lies, he gripes, she gives him the box back, Baern breaks in, saps the black boxes energy, it disappears, Baern leaves. Before the box was destroyed, she gives Lex an ultimatum: the box or me!

Lex never gets to answer, and later says, “Do you seriously think I wouldn’t have picked you?” Her reply “I guess we’ll never know.” I’m thinking the box would have been the winner, but it’s easy to back peddle when the item in question is gone. One question though, you live with a guy, sleep with said guy, doesn’t that give you right to use the car when you’d like? Lex didn’t think so…oh well.

“In Conclusion”

Great episode, everything a fan could ask for in a story. It had action, a good villain, humor, suspense, questions and answers all pushed into an hour. Clark learned more about his heritage, and his home world. Raya will be missed though.

To top it off, Clark decides to accept his destiny, and continue his training with Jor-El. First though, he is going to round up the remaining Phantom Zone criminals and capture or destroy them. This is the episode we have waited for, we no longer are just looking at Clark Kent; we are now seeing him as Superman; sans the tights. The episode ended with Clark using the energy that was taken from Baern to re-power the fortress. That ending scene was just awesome to see. Grade A episode from all angles with not much to gripe about. It gets a definite 5 out of 5.

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Updated 11/8/06  


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