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This year of Smallville is quite interesting in the way
it is being written compared to earlier seasons. The standard has been with
the majority of episodes that plot A revolves around a Kryptonite freak or
some other villain; then plot B is the bits and pieces that moves along the
overall season’s arc.
This season so far has been different in the way it’s being handled. With
the exception of “Zod,” every episode has moved the character moments and
growth to plot A and the villain/Phantom Zone criminal/freak to plot B. If
that is what they have planned for the rest of the season, I couldn’t be
happier. Then to top it off, we are now on episode five, and we just ran
into our first Kryptonite inspired villain; and it had nothing to do with
exposure during the meteor shower! That though, I’ll talk about in a moment.
First though, let’s break it down for those who do not remember the last
“Zod” – Clark battles Zod to save all of humanity, and in the process learns
that Jor-El is not the monster he believed him to be. The villain took up
much of the episode, but that’s ok, since it is Zod we are talking about
“Sneeze” – Clark gains a new power and learns to control it. The stupid
kidnapper plot fortunately is not the main focus of the episode.
“Wither” – They set up the relationships that will play a role throughout
the season, and show how Clark is handling these changes to his life. Poison
Gloria takes a backseat to the main story, and makes it so Clark realizes
that other Phantom Zone criminals escaped along with him.
“Arrow” – What can I say? It was all about Green Arrow; and how he and Clark
first meet. This episode was heavy on hints about the future, and guess
what; not a freak in sight!
That brings us to “Reunion.” How does it stack up?
Before we continue, I should remind you that there will be spoilers; so make
sure to avert your eyes if you don’t want to know certain plot points.
“Strolling down memory lane”
Flashback episodes are not a new thing to this series. In fact, some of the
outright best episodes were flashback episodes; lest we should forget
“Relic” and “Memoria.” This episode is no different; it revealed to us more
information regarding Lex’s past and the hidden skeletons that continue to
plague his family. Throughout the show Lex has mentioned his time in
boarding school, and this is what we finally get to see, some of that time
in boarding school.
The episode starts out with a young Lex showing his friend Duncan something
that happened in a Warrior Angel comic book. What is great is this follows
continuity from a couple seasons ago, where Lex was showing these comics to
Ryan and explaining to him how important they were to Lex as he grew up.
They then start to get picked on by a trio of bullies, led by a young Oliver
All three actors do a wonderful job in their roles. Young Lex was played by
Lucas Grabeel, who was able to mimic many of the mannerisms that Michael
Rosenbaum has infused into Lex’s character. Ryan Overton played young Ollie,
and Bryce Hodgson played Duncan Allenmeyer who both put so much into these
characters. We really felt for Duncan’s plight, being betrayed by the person
whom he trusted most.
What made this episode so enjoyable to watch, was how it was a study on how
an experience can affect two different people in two different ways. Oliver
and his gang relentlessly picked on Lex and Duncan, which made life at the
school hard to handle. Later though Ollie and his group stole some test
scores, but unknown to them Lex and Duncan caught them doing so. Duncan
feels they should turn the group in for this, but Lex sees this as a chance
to fit in and be accepted. This difference in opinion leads to one of the
most heartbreaking scenes in the episode.
Lex snaps and starts beating the tar out of Duncan. The beating is so brutal
that even Ollie feels he must stop Lex from doing it. Sadly this ends a
friendship, and the betrayed Duncan starts backing away from them crying,
while Lex; realizing what he just did tries to talk to Duncan. Unfortunately
he does not get the chance, as just then a car hits Duncan. This changed
both men forever.
This is very similar to the way Lex is now in the comics, and where
Smallville’s Lex is starting to go. Lex tries to use money and power to
influence and control people. Those that do not agree with him, or he cannot
control; he destroys. This is one of the reasons he hates Superman, he hates
that which cannot be controlled. Duncan didn’t agree with Lex, so his
instinct to destroy took over. I thought it was spot on comparison.
Oliver tries to redeem himself over the years, yet Lex continues his path to
darkness. As Oliver said, “Since then I’ve been scrubbing ‘em real hard.
Yours just keep getting dirtier!” They have made it no secret that Oliver
looks with disdain at Lex, but he did the hero thing toward the end of the
episode and tried to make amends with him over their shared past. Lex
though, doesn’t accept it.
It made for an interesting character study on Lex and Oliver. Justin Hartley
plays such a darn good Oliver; I really wish they would keep him around
longer this season. That’s just wishful thinking though.
“The Dynamic Duo”
Something I really want to mention this week is the scenes between Oliver
and Clark. I am really enjoying seeing Hartley and Welling on screen
together. It was awesome when Clark caught Oliver’s arrow toward the
beginning. The joke about the Punching Glove arrow made me laugh out loud,
and the EMP arrow made for a really neat effect. I am going to miss these
trick arrows, since it’s been really cool seeing what new ones they can come
Both actors just work well together. This episode especially showed how
Clark will be the natural leader of the JLA, since it seems Oliver is
looking up to Clark for moral support and answers. This is good, because in
the future, Clark will be the moral compass for all the heroes to follow
later in life. Great acting by both actors all around, and I will be sad to
see it end.
One last thing I need to touch on is Lois’ direction this season. They are
really moving her toward her final destination as the top reporter for the
Daily Planet. Seeing her and Clark work separate angles to find Duncan, but
both reach the same destination shows just how good of investigators they
both are. Welling and Durance have such chemistry on screen together; I
would love for them to pursue a romance together before the show ends.
I will be a happy camper if they keep this interaction between the two up.
Then at the end when Clark explains that sometimes people keep secrets to
protect those closest to them, Lois’ reply was hilarious. “That’s totally
retarded!” It was much in character for Lois.
Lois Lane fans must be happy this year.
My only gripe is once again, another silly use for Kryptonite. Somehow,
injecting it into a person’s bloodstream gives them the ability to use
telekinetic skills. Yubawhat? So the guy is comatose, but begins a revenge
spree because some ESP powers are unlocked due to this Krypto-drug. Not only
that, but all it took to defeat Duncan was an oversized EMP from Ollie’s
arrow smacking into Clark.
Fortunately though, this by no means ruined a great episode. This is the
first instance of a Kryptonite powered villain this season, and it doesn’t
look like we’ll be dealing with another one any time soon. Plus Duncan’s
involvement was really secondary to what the episode was really trying to
Another great episode for what looks to be a home-run season. We delve a
little into the past of Oliver and Lex, and find out how a traumatic
experience can have completely opposite effects on two people. Instead of
showing any mourning at the news of Duncan’s death, Lex orders Lionel to
give him all the information about the experiments he was running on Duncan.
We see more of the woman Lois is destined to become, and glimpses of the
future reporting team of Lois Lane and Clark Kent. Chloe finds out that
other creatures besides Poison Gloria escaped the Phantom Zone along with
Clark; and they are now causing devastation all over the Earth. Oliver gives
images from his satellites to Chloe for examination, and she finds one of
the craters to be of special interest to Clark. It is an image of Raya, the
Kryptonian woman who helped Clark escape the Phantom Zone in the premiere.
I give mucho props to Steven DeKnight for crafting such an excellent
episode. I am now under the belief that he is one of the best writers they
have on their staff, and he is very much redeemed for the exploding baby. I
very much anticipate his next episode “Justice.”
Next week: Raya, Bowwow, and a trip to the fortress of Solitude. It looks
like it might be another winner, depending on if Bowwow tries to sell us
Nikes or not. I give “Reunion” 4.5 out of 5. ~ Chad
Picture from SVfan.com
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