Christopher Reeve makes an appearance on Smallville. Oh, and some other stuff happens for the first 45 minutes.


Tom Welling as
Clark Kent
Kristen Kreuk as
Lana Lang
as Lex Luthor
John Glover
as Lionel Luthor
Sam Jones III as
Pete Ross
Allison Mack as
Chloe Sullivan
as Martha Kent
as Jonathan Kent

Written by series Executive Producers (who adapted the concept for
television) Alfred
and Miles
Directed by .

Guest starring Christopher
as Dr. Virgil Swann. Mr. Reeve would probably also
appreciate a plug for this

Original Airdate

originally aired on Tuesday,
February 25, 2003.


Clark finally learns something about his life before landing on Earth.

High Point

The slow integration of John Williams’ score into Mark Snow work. The
last 15 minutes worth of music was all John Williams.

Low Point

The set-up for the episode felt awkward. I sincerely hope they come
up with a good reason for the sudden change in behaviour of an
inanimate object.

The Review

This was somewhat original. The last few weeks have been all
about landmarks, and this one didn’t feel that big to me as a person
somewhat familiar with the traditional canon. Of course, the twist at
the end was interesting, but will probably not be met with enthusiasm
by fans of the comic book character. I’ve got to give them credit for
taking that sort of step with a borrowed property, so I’ll give it 4
out of 6.

The effects were sparse, which is good, as they weren’t that
convincing. The flying looked like a guy hanging from a harness, and
the heat rays from his eyes didn’t match up with where his eyes were
pointing half the time. I give it 3 out of 6.

The story started awkward, but began to fill out as the
episode progressed. Once the symbol hit the barn, things flowed more
naturally. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was in good form this week. Tom Welling did a
decent job showing strain under the pressure of the mysteries of
Clark’s life. The other actors really took a back seat for most of
the episode. John Schneider and Allison Mack got a fair amount of
screen time, but the rest were really secondary. Once again, Pete is
barely in the episode. (I was hoping that learning the secret would
make him a more prominent character.) Christopher Reeve didn’t have a
lot of screen time, but he was definitely the center of attention for
all of it, due to a combination of talent, expectation, and importance
in the script. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this week was fairly good. My only
real complaint is that I spent the first 45 minutes waiting for
Christopher Reeve to show up, so the earlier events didn’t really have
the impact they should have. Still, some of them did get through,
such as the choice of colours on the active key, the shape of the hole
that opened in it, Lex’s obvious and justified mistrust of Clark, the
first Torch scene with the nuclear family discussion, and the pan
across the group as they looked at the damage to the barn. The use of
the John Williams music was very effective, building with the less
recognizable Planet Krypton cues and moving into more familiar
territory as the scene progressed. The last scene packed quite the
punch, too. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was excellent. Again, the use of the familiar
John Williams score for this episode earns big points from me. I
really enjoy the work Mark Snow has done on the show, and I think he
gave us the foundation for a new Superman anthem when Clark was
preparing to jump from building to builing in Insurgence, but
his wasn’t the score I grew up with, and it’s not the music I
immediately think of when I think of Superman. The pan across the
group looking at the barn was a very nice shot, as well. I give it 5
out of 6.

Overall, this episode felt like a bit of a let-down, but that
could be primarily because I had my hopes up too high. While I might
give it more credit watching the full season on a DVD release when
there are no more surprises, tonight I only feel it deserves a 4 out
of 6.

In total, Rosetta receives 30 out of 42.