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Season 4 in Review:

The Good, Bad, and Ugly Episodes

Season 4 in Review: The Good, Bad, and Ugly Episodes

By Cindy K. Green Written January 24, 2007

Season 4 has been called the blight upon the Smallville stage. And when I rate all the seasons together, Season 4 is definitely on the bottom of the pile. But having spent so much time watching these episodes again, describing them in episode guides, and writing these articles, I realized there are some real gems in there. And in fact, it really is hard to determine which episodes were Good, Bad, and Ugly. They all have a little good in them. But some of them just shine a little brighter than the other ones. Let’s take a short trip through Season 4 and recap what was good and not so good about Season 4.

Crusade – This was a terrific episode. If you can say one definite thing about Smallville, it is that their finales and premieres are AWESOME! And this one did not disappoint – it was a spectacle. In this first episode of the season, Clark returns as Kal-El, he flies, we meet Lois Lane, and the story arc concerning the stones and the witch Isabelle is introduced. I would most assuredly call this one Good all around.

Gone – I liked this episode because it was great to see Lois and Clark paired together while working as a team to try to figure out what happened to Chloe. What else happens: Lana returns to Smallville, Chloe is recovered, and Lionel is put away in prison. An enjoyable episode.

Façade – What was great about this episode was the banter between Lois and Clark and being able to see an inkling of Lois as an investigative reporter. But the end of the show is the best when Lois dunks Clark in the dunk tank and the sparks are flying to the sound of Avril Lavigne’s song, “So Much for my Happy Ending.” Best LnC moment to date! The actual plot of this episode – not so good. But everything considered I still liked it.

Devoted – I really enjoyed seeing the LnC banter in this episode. And then there was Chloe as a cheerleader. Not to be missed, I assure you. Lois and Clark work together again. They even go “undercover” so to speak at the cheerleaders’ party. Being a fan of the show “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” I love to see LnC paired together – foiling the bad guys. Again the FOTW story was weak, but they still manage to pull it off due to the characterizations. I think they really had something with Lois and Clark. It’s sad that the dynamic they were building crumbles after this episode.

Run- Wonderful episode! I really loved this one, and I think most if not all fans did. Here we have the introduction of another hero – the Flash (well he isn’t called that yet). Clark befriends a young Bart Allen, but he also begins to learn how to have fun with his powers. There was heart to this story but for once it was fun and not so angsty. One of the best of the season.

Transference – This episode was also one of the best of the season. Great acting from John Glover and Tom Welling as their characters exchange bodies. I especially have to acknowledge TW’s performance. He had Glover’s Lionel down pat. Plotwise, a change occurs in Lionel making him want to do good and his liver is healed -- a residual affect of having Clark Kent inside his body.

Jinx – This was a so-so episode. It was a Clark and Chloe work together to solve the problem kind of episode. What was really fascinating about this episode was to see Lex taking Mikael (FOTW) to level 33.1 in Metropolis. Unfortunately this story line was never continued this season. It seemed as if TPTB had dropped the ball again. Now in S6, we see that they have picked it up once again. Kudos to them. This really gives us a first look at Lex becoming something much more sinister. An inkling of his future.

Spell – This has to be one of the worst episodes ever! But I encourage you all to view it on the DVD commentary with the director, KK, ED, and AM. That is when you realize how hilarious it is. Most fans disliked this episode as an attempt to be Charmed. But what they do here is try to give background and explanation to the witch, Isabelle, and the stones arc which is directly connected to Clark’s destiny. It extends the plot and the story arc. But I have to admit KK’s performance as a bad ass was great. And Clark’s present wrapping job was awesome. And then there was TW dancing in his underwear. Now that was priceless! Definitely worth the price of admission.

Bound – What happens in this epsiode: Lex is framed for murder by one of his forgotten women, Clark sees his friend in a different light as someone who cares so little for others, Clark and Chloe work together again, and Lionel is totally changed and wanting to do good. I would say that this was a waste of an episode except that this is the beginning of Clark’s eyes being opened to what kind of person Lex really is.

Scare – Everyone is affected by a gas from LuthorCorp, and they live out their worst nightmares. The best part is seeing Clark living his worst dream (Lana learning his secret and rejecting him). And then Lex’s vision includes his future as President and how he caused nuclear war and death. From this event, Clark realizes more than ever that he can’t share his secret. Personally, I always hate that he holds his secret back from Lana. If he had told her at the right time, she would never have told anyone. Lana was always very loyal. Now here in Season 6, they seem to be changing Lana’s character. But previous to that, if she was one thing, she was loyal.

Unsafe – This eppie brings back Alicia Baker. Some hate her and others love her. Personally, I’ve never been an Alicia fan. Clark is feeling lonely and wishing he had someone to be with -- to share his secret with. And then Alicia is released from the psychiatric ward. Through this episode and the next, you just wonder if Alicia is really better or not. And then the red K comes into the picture. TW is really awesome when CK is on red K. It shows the breadth of his acting. Clark and Alicia get married while he is under the influence. But Alicia removes the red K necklace to make sure he really loves her. Then Clark leaves. Later on in the episode, Alicia takes a bullet for him to protect his secret. What’s amazing about these two episodes is that Clark gets to cry. They never let him cry. He cries in this eppie as he talks with his mom at the end, and she is disappointed with him running off and getting married like that. He’s hurting because of how his parents have reacted and because he so desperately wants someone to love.

Pariah – Alicia is back and most of Clark’s friends just don’t get what he’s doing with her since she tried to kill Lana and himself before. They don’t believe she’s cured. When someone starts trying to kill off Clark’s friends, they all assume it’s Alicia. Clark takes flack from his parents and friends to continue his relationship with Alicia. And then Alicia decides to show Chloe the truth about Clark. Now Chloe knows Clark’s secret (at least that he’s strong and fast), but she decides to not reveal to him that she knows until he trusts her enough to share it. (She sees him catch a car and then speed off.) And then Alicia is murdered, and Clark shows even more emotion. Anguish, anger, and loss. And when he tries to kill the guy who killed Alicia, it is Lois who stops him. Clark is decidedly depressed at Alicia’s passing. These two episodes are of note to the season in that Clark shows emotion. I loved that.

Recruit – Lois gets herself into trouble at Met U. They think she paralyzed a guy who ends up dying. But it is the star football player who is actually the culprit and a FOLW from Smallville. Clark sees what his power is possible of doing to others and chooses not to go to college on a football scholarship. He sees that the competitiveness would force him to use his powers and that could have consequences. He also knows how much more he would have to lie to keep his secret. So he decides to give up football. In this episode, when Lois tries to prove her innocence, she gets too close to the truth, and Clark has to rescue her. She is of course unconscious at the time. Another so-so episode.

Krypto – Okay maybe one of the lamest episodes of the season – about a dog. So this is how Clark get’s Krypto – a little different from the comics. Lois is talking on her phone while driving her car (similar to episode 1 Crusade) and she hits a dog. She feels awful, but she is also allergic. She moves into the Kent home. Now really is it fair that Clark has to give up his room for Lois? And does their farmhouse really only have 2 bedrooms?? Again the highlight of the episode is the team of Kent and Lane. They are so annoyed with each other. I love it! Lois steps in dog crap and Clark turns around and smiles. LOL! Lex has a scene with Genevieve Teague. He has a great line --“Why don’t you get together with my father and write a parenting book. I bet it’d be a best seller.”

Sacred – On a trip to China to gain another one of the stones, Lana becomes Isabelle once a gain. This episode is focused on the Isabelle/Clark’s destiny arc. While there have been hints at this story arc, it really starts to take off now, culminating in the finale. What I enjoyed about this episode was that Clark and Lana joined forces together to solve this. Lana is once again reminded that she can trust and count on Clark. But in the end, Lana gets a stone and is reunited with Jason. And Clark is in wonderment about how to get these stones that are related to his destiny. Important episode to the season long story arc.

Lucy – Here we get to meet Lois’ elusive sister. And I think she is written more interesting and more intriguing than in any other incarnation (In the Superman movies, Lucy was married with kids and in LnC Lucy is a kid who dates the wrong kind of guys – just Lois’ younger sister.) The opening looks more akin to a James Bond film. This episode allows you to glimpse more into the life of Lois Lane. You see Lois and Clark at each other again (fun, fun). But you also see the caring heart that Lois has especially when it comes to her sister. Lois begins working at the Talon, and she really opens up to Clark when Lucy needs help and is in trouble. Lex wants to help because he knows this German crime family that is after her. He needs something on them so he can build a hotel there. (Lame excuse if you ask me) And it comes out that Lucy was in on it with the bad guy all along. Lucy gets away with the money. Some good LnC moments in this episode, especially at the end. Clark even gives her a compliment.

Onyx – When Lex experiments with kryptonite, he turns it to black kryptonite which splits him into two parts. Regular Lex and evil Lex. (or future Lex) Evil Lex takes over and imprisons, good Lex in the cellar like “The Man in the Iron Mask.” This evil Lex ends up turning Lionel from his philanthropic good personality to his old self. Watching this in retrospect with the current Lex - he is definitely becoming this evil Lex. This Lex seems to have more of a sense of humor. Great line “I am the villain of the story.” This was a good one. Some love it and call it one of the best. I wouldn’t go that far, but it is definitely one not to be missed.

Spirit – This episode may have seemed pretty ridiculous to some, but I can’t throw it out completely because it included one of the funniest scenes and one of the funniest lines of the series. And in a series that is fraught with emotional angst and deeply serious moments, we need the funny to continue on. And I love funny. If you read most of my stuff, you will see that line of humor overflowing throughout my books. This episode opens at what will be the end of the episode with Lifehouse playing in the background. (Can you think of a better opener?) It’s kind of a  “Carrie” moment with Chloe (under the influence) starting a fire. Then it flashes to the day before. Prom Queen Dawn gets dumped before the prom. She ends up crashing her car and dies near some meteor rock to become a spirit who can take over people’s bodies. The part with Martha Kent aka: Annette O’Toole singing Ashley Simpson and telling Clark and Lois – “I’m just super pumped about prom.” and “Laters.” Priceless. But the pinnacle of these body snatching moments is when Dawn enters Clark – TW is just super. He says to Chloe “The crowns mine b****.” And then he whaps her across the room. Prom Queen with super powers. Watchout world! Okay this episode could be seen as one of the silliest of the season, but then again there are some really funny and touching moments as well. So I can’t completely throw it out. This is also when Chloe learns the affects of Kryptonite on Clark. And of course Clark and Lana have their wonderfully romantic dance at the prom. Aaah!

Blank – this is a goody. Clark loses his memories. Chloe helps him out and hides his secret (training for S5) while learning even more about him – not only his powers but that he made all his same decisions including Lana except one – he trusted Chloe with his secrets. I loved it when Clark is learning more about his powers such as when he pulls his kitchen door off the hinges and bends a crow bar. His look of surprise. Wonderful stuff!  And in this episode, Chloe, Clark, and Lois joing forces to solve the mystery behind Clark’s missing memory. Definitely a keeper.

Ageless – This episode has received flak every since it first aired in season 4. I think Steven S. DeKnight is a great writer (hey he wrote Justice is S6). So I have to admit that I actually really liked this episode. I have since the first time I watched it. Don’t crucify me yet. Why you might ask?? Well, because it was a breath of fresh air. We spent the entire season with Lana and Clark apart. All the Clana fans were clamoring. This entire series started with the idea that Clark and Lana should be together. And then they never really did get it together. Now having seen S5, we know things change and they do actually have a real relationship. But in S4 we had been forced to watch Lana with Jason, and Clark pining for her. The viewer also had to painfully wade through the witch story arch as well. This episode was a great relief for all that pain. Okay so the sci-fi story line was a bit absurd. But it was great to see Lana and Clark together and working together in this episode. And tell me Tom Welling was not cute holding that baby??!! I guess the question is -  what was the point of the episode? Does it further along the storyline of our young Clark Kent? I think this episode brings out the divergence between Clark and Lex and it also shows Lana and Clark moving closer together. And some more of the stone storyline moved along some more.

Forever – This is probably my least favorite episode of the whole season. A FOTW who doesn’t want school to end so he recreated the school and kidnaps the best of the best of Smallville High. But I guess this was just to show the ending of school with our Smallville teens who are getting ready to go out into the big bad world. I guess we all have kinda felt that way when high school was ending. We didn’t want it to end and yet we did. We need to know there is a future for us out there. But it was really odd to see the Torch empty and the Wall of Weird gone. It definitely made you think something was ending. It really was Chloe’s domain, and she was saying goodbye to it.

Commencement – This episode, on the other hand, has to be one of my very favorites of the entire series. It is almost like a feature film in many ways. I love the way that this episode takes place with a ticking clock with the meteors moving closer to earth. I loved the meteor special effects and all the destruction. It was very much like an end of the world kind of movie. Meteors exploding everywhere, people running and screaming. But the best moment was when Clark saves the little boy who was about to be hit by a meteor and shielding him from the fall out. That was a true Superman moment. Another great cinematic moment is seeing Clark at the North Pole surrounded by white. There was terrific music in the background and great emotion when Lois sees the effects of a meteor ravaged Smallville. And then there is also Lana surviving her helicopter crash, dragging her body to the crater and seeing the alien ship inside. And what about Lex? We see his determination to gain Lana’s stone even as he pretends to be trying to help her. Then the episode ends with Clark back in his wintery solitude, throwing the crystal with the music in the background sounding ever so familiar like the theme from the Superman films. The crystal flies through the air toward the screen and it cuts to -- TO BE CONTINUED. Great moment. These are the moments we Superman fanatics want to see. The things that lead to Clark becoming that great hero, Superman.

So there it is – Season Four. There were some Good and even great moments, some Bad moments, and yes even some Ugly moments. But overall it was a season that is leading Clark toward his destiny into becoming the ultimate superhero, Superman, that we all love.

© Cindy Green 2007

 

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