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Smallville Reviews

Zod photo of Clark and Lex

"Zod" By Chad

Wow! What a way to start off a season.  That’s what I was thinking once the episode finished airing.  Season five’s finale left Smallivlle’s characters in several predicaments.  Lois and Martha were unconscious on the floor of a plane headed who knows where, Chloe and Lionel were both being attacked by rioters, Lana and Lex/Zod were atop LuthorCorp watching the destruction of Metropolis, and Clark was trapped in the Phantom Zone.

Needless to say, I was a little concerned on how they were going to resolve these issues.  Do they have something up their sleeves, or did they just write themselves into a corner?

But to make a long story short….they did it, the episode was fantastic!  It had a few things to gripe about, but overall, it was a great piece of storytelling.

Beware, for I will be spoiling some of the plot….you have been warned:

“Clark’s in the Zone”

The episode started out with an interesting look to the outside from inside the Phantom Zone crystal.  When Clark stands at the center of the crystal, he is pulled through a dimensional portal and into the actual Phantom Zone.  Their vision of what it looks like in the Phantom Zone is very reminiscent of the movie “Supergirl,” with a barren wasteland making up that dimensional prison.  The phantoms were great and creepy, and seemed quite a dangerous enemy for Clark.

The introduction of Raya was interesting.  Pascale Hutton was a fine actress for the part, I really enjoyed her character.  The way things ended though, I have a feeling we may see her again.  I was also glad to see Leonard Roberts return as Nam-Ek, I only wish they could have gotten Alana De La Garza to reprise her role as Aethyr as well.  Seeing them attack Clark kept with the continuity from last year’s season premiere.  The key to the Phantom Zone was a cool addition, if only to see the real Superman shield for the first time. 

When Clark escaped and landed back on Earth, others followed him.  Who wants to bet Phantom Zone criminals will be the new freaks of the season.  I for one will welcome the change.

“Some Zexy scenes”

The other highlight of the episode was Lex as Zod.  Michael Rosenbaum has come such a long way as an actor since the start of this show.  He plays a great Lex, and in some ways an even better Zod.

For starters, Zod taking off the Daily Planet’s roof, Lana in tow was awesome.  Zod sticking a sword through Lana’s hand was brutal.  Then to top it all off, Clark and Zod have a throw down to end all throw downs.  When Zod tackled Clark my jaw dropped.  All that went through my mind is this episode had to cost a fortune.  The fight scene was very well choreographed, the effects were top notch, and the ending was epic.

“Kneel before Zod!   Kneel!”  Those lines sent shivers down my back.  Then the way Clark defeated Zod with the Phantom Zone key was priceless.  Finally seeing Terrance Stamp’s face on the real Zod was an awesome tribute to the best Superman movie of all time.

“And now for something completely different”

One of the things that bugged me was Zod’s plan.  He was using the ship, and a secret earthquake device to re-create Krypton on Earth.  But they never explain where the ship went after Zod was stopped.  Plus will the government ever take any action against Lex (who would be quite recognizable) for attacking the Pentagon?  Maybe in time, we’ll get answers.

Second, why didn’t Jor-El tell Martha that Clark could escape the Phantom Zone, instead of having her worry like that?  The way Jor-El acts, he was probably enjoying her suffering.  Also, does Lois serve any real purpose right now?  She was unconscious the whole episode.

Also, I don’t buy that stabbing Brainiac with the crystal knife would kill the Fortress.  Jor-El should have warned Clark of that, or at least he should have.  It’s a plot brewing for later I think, since obviously Lionel is still channeling Jor-El to a point. (Even if he did lie about it.)  I wonder what “Power” means, maybe a way to reactivate the Fortress.

“In conclusion”

 This was a great way to start the season, being full of action, drama, and character motion.  The premiere left us with several interesting plots to follow and a creepy ending to the episode.  All in all, there could be no better time to be a Smallville fan!  Give this episode a five out of five.  ~  Chad

Picture from Kryptonsite.com

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Updated 11/3/06  

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