Smallville 9.2: "Metallo"

After posting the review for the season premiere, I received a great deal of information regarding the differences between “canon” Zod and the “Smallville” version. It was enough to clarify that this version of continuity is specific enough to the television series to eliminate any need for knowledge of the comics continuity. This is a good thing, since the writers often rely on previous knowledge too much.

I’m not so sure about Metallo. His origins on “Smallville” were unique to the current status quo on the show, without a doubt, but I still feel as though his nature and “cool factor” were based more on dreams of audience expectation than anything developed within the show itself. I certainly don’t think that John Corbin was established enough in his own right to make the transformation into Metallo meaningful. It’s almost the exact opposite of how well the writers developed Davis last season before shifting him into the Doomsday role.

Unfortunately, rushing things has been a time-honored tradition on “Smallville”, and that trend continues this season. Clark’s decision to abandon his earlier choice to pursue a more Kryptonian way of life ends that intriguing storyline before it even had a chance to develop. It renders Tom Welling’s performance over the past two episodes even more disappointing, since it now feels like he was just waiting to get back to the real Clark. It also nullifies the impact of the previous season finale. In the end, it was just a momentary blip on the radar, and therefore dissatisfying.

It also doesn’t help that Clark’s decision to return to the “real world” is due, in part, to Lois and her constant pining for the Blur. (They really need to find a better name, one that doesn’t sound like a Flash knockoff.) Ever since the ill-advised Lana arc last season, the writers have been trying to salvage the damage done to the Lana/Clark relationship.

In essence, the Lana arc undermined any notion that Clark might love Lois to the same degree; he would always be yearning to be with his true love Lana. Perhaps recognizing the mistake, the writers have been working overtime to push Lois into a girlish infatuation with the Blur. It’s a proto-version of the Lois/Clark/Superman triangle, to be sure, but it’s also led the writers to alter Lois’ character. When she talks about the Blur, she slips into a dreamy cooing voice that is about as annoying as it gets. It doesn’t fit Lois as we have seen her before at all.

Along with the introduction of Metallo and the return of Clark Kent, there was some additional information on the arrival of the Kandorians. There is plenty of evidence that Zod was behind the experiment that produced Metallo, and other evidence that a ton of other Kandorians (not all aligned with Zod) also arrived. One arrival in particular promises to be interesting, if it pans out; the figure found within the familiar House of El symbol could be none other than Jor-El.

My suspicion is that Zod, Jor-El, and the others were pulled out of time by the Orb, back during the beginnings of the struggle to control Krypton. The experiences of this season will end with Clark sending Zod and the rest of the Kandorians back to their true time, even though it will mean the destruction of Krypton itself, thus bringing the story full circle. Clark could become the catalyst for everything that has happened (which, ironically, would validate every ounce of guilt and responsibility Clark ever felt for the meteor showers and their aftermath).

Overall, the problem with this episode is the rushed nature of the story and the subsequent unconvincing character portrayals that consequently derive from it. So far, the season has been a bit of a mess. Considering how well the writing staff handled the first half of the previous season, this is a huge step backwards.


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