Smallville Season 9, Episode 16: "Checkmate" Review


The opening sequence delivered some great action beats and played on the chess motif that continued to be carried throughout the entirety of "Checkmate." I really enjoyed how every other scene throughout the episode really did feel like a chess piece being played by either side. It gave the story a great pace throughout and the action and story never letup. Smallville could stand to have more of this type of pacing in their episodes.


One thing that this episode failed to do however was establish Checkmate as a formidable nemesis for the super friends. Sure, they had Clark and the team by the gonads at one point this week but at the end of the episode the young JLA comes out of their clash with Checkmate relatively unscathed.


Checkmate needed to leave the super friends irrevocably scarred by the end of this week's episode, and that just didn't happen. Amanda Waller's knowledge of her opponent's weaknesses did make her an interesting adversary though. Although, I'm still not sure how she knew Martian Manhunter was going to stand where he ended up standing so that she could spring her firetrap on him. Dumb luck or was every panel on the floor rigged with a booby trap?


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