Smallville Review – “Precipice” (new)

The season finale is on the way, and it’s looking to be a good ride.

Cast

Tom Welling as
Clark Kent
Kristen Kreuk as
Lana Lang
Michael
Rosenbaum
as Lex Luthor
John Glover
as Lionel Luthor
Sam Jones III as
Pete Ross
Allison Mack as
Chloe Sullivan
Annette
O’Toole
as Martha Kent
John
Schneider
as Jonathan Kent

Written by Clint Carpenter.
Directed by Thomas J. Wright.

Original Airdate


Precipice
originally aired on Tuesday,
April 22, 2003.

Premise

Clark loses his temper when frat boys threaten Lana.

High Point

The “it’s not the days of the Good Old Boys anymore” crack was
incredibly funny when directed at John Schneider, but I’ve got to give
them credit for using “normal” human people as the villains.

Low Point

The compression of time. I can believe that several days passed
before the last scene, allowing Dr. Bryce to recover, but Lana had
at most two days worth of karate lessons. I’ve known people who
attend for two months before being taught any offensive tactics.

The Review

This went out of its way to break the mold of previous shows, which
helps it in the originality category. They used human
villains, showed implications and consequences to Clark’s actions, and
had him acting like a normal teenager would with his abilities for
once. Huzzah! The police were even competent. The final scene in
the Talon was the only part that struck me as totally unoriginal, so I
give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were limited to stuff they’ve done before, but
they used them well. The two guys didn’t follow normal arcs when
flying towards the chain link fences at the beginning, but the rest
looked good. Given their practice, that should have been better. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The story was well done. We saw something of what Lex will
become, but we also saw he’s not there yet. Clark is starting to
learn about using his abilities with subtlety, in what is likely a
precursor to a secret identity. The behaviour of the police was
completely understandable, too. I give it 5 out of 6, because they
pulled the punch and had the guy fake his injuries.

The acting this week was good all around. Tom Welling and
Kristen Kreuk are finally getting the hang of their craft, and Michael
Rosenbaum always shines. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was very good. I was
hooked, and excited to see them write intelligent costars and police.
The confrontation in the parking lot was a thing of beauty. I laughed
out loud several times, too. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production value of the show is at a comfortable high.
They’ve got the budget they want, and they’re using it well. I give
it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is a stronger episode than last week, and it’s
a nice episode to have as we approach May sweeps. I give it 5 out of
6.

In total,
Precipice
receives
34
out of 42.

22 replies on “Smallville Review – “Precipice” (new)”

  1. quantaman says:

    Low point
    I’m willing to give Lana some leeway with her self-defense because for one I’m sure Lex was giving her actual fighting skills from the get-go and also she really caught the guy off-gaurd (like Lex taught her which would add an advantage), the only thing I didn’t like was the kick which isn’t a usual self-defense move. Though I really didn’t like the scene at the end. She showed absolutely no effects of her fairly severe injuries (there might of been something on her neck but it could of just been hair) I would of at least expected some stiffness and a couple of bandages.

    Also I don’t really like how they keep almost killing characters, Lionel a few eps back (the who done it one) and Dr. Bryce when it looked like she had been killed but later recovered. If you’re going to keep doing that actually kill someone just so we have some suspense over it, aww heck Buffy has spoiled me.

    Either way I felt it was a great episode.

    • Alexius says:

      Re: Low point

      Also I don’t really like how they keep almost killing characters, Lionel a few eps back (the who done it one) and Dr. Bryce when it looked like she had been killed but later recovered. If you’re going to keep doing that actually kill someone just so we have some suspense over it, aww heck Buffy has spoiled me.

      I Was Actually Hoping For Lex To Shoot The Guy. I Like The Character Lex Tends To Be In The Show, But I Think He Was A Wimp This Week. I Was Hoping for him To Actually Shoot The Guy As Soon As he Threw Him The Gun. Or Even At The End. It Would Have Been Nice To See Lex Show Some Of The Detatchment Needed To Become A Major Villian. I Think he Would Have Been Justified, Anyways.

      • quantaman says:

        Re: Low point

        Also I don’t really like how they keep almost killing characters, Lionel a few eps back (the who done it one) and Dr. Bryce when it looked like she had been killed but later recovered. If you’re going to keep doing that actually kill someone just so we have some suspense over it, aww heck Buffy has spoiled me.

        I Was Actually Hoping For Lex To Shoot The Guy. I Like The Character Lex Tends To Be In The Show, But I Think He Was A Wimp This Week. I Was Hoping for him To Actually Shoot The Guy As Soon As he Threw Him The Gun. Or Even At The End. It Would Have Been Nice To See Lex Show Some Of The Detatchment Needed To Become A Major Villian. I Think he Would Have Been Justified, Anyways.

        Yeah I was kind of hoping he would shoot too but I let them get away with it because I figgure they don’t want to make Lex too evil too quick. Like the other poster said also I’m expecting Dr. Bryce to get whacked sooner or later and am willing to let them get away with her surviving that currently because they’ll likely kill her off later. After that Lex will hopefully get a little more evil.

    • pythor says:

      Re: Low point

      Also I don’t really like how they keep almost killing characters, Lionel a few eps back (the who done it one) and Dr. Bryce when it looked like she had been killed but later recovered. If you’re going to keep doing that actually kill someone just so we have some suspense over it, aww heck Buffy has spoiled me.

      This is just speculation, but think about what Lex said. “Clark didn’t save me, youi saved me.” Dr. Bryce is Lex’s conscience, so they’ll have to kill her off sooner or later. I say they build up the relationship until right before the wedding, then knock her off, in some way that Clark could have saved her, but doesn’t for some reason. (Maybe Lana or his parents in trouble at the same time?) That’ll kick-start Lex’s fall, and give a basis for the arch-nemesis attitude Luthor’s always had in the comics.

    • Gcdh says:

      Re: Low point

      Though I really didn’t like the scene at the end. She showed absolutely no effects of her fairly severe injuries (there might of been something on her neck but it could of just been hair) I would of at least expected some stiffness and a couple of bandages.

      If you’re going to keep doing that actually kill someone just so we have some suspense over it, aww heck Buffy has spoiled me.

    • Yea, they do a horrible job of displaying her as the victim of an attack. I also agree with the Buffy statement. Why does Smallville refuse to go past PG? We have Xander getting his eye gouged on Buffy. Cordy slashes someones throat and blood sprays all over (that was deep) in Angel. But on Smallville all we get as a descending knife and some ketchup. Tch how boring! I’d like to add that I am not as bloodthirsty as i seem and that i too lost sleep the night i saw Xander’s eye gouged out.

    • y42 says:

      Re: Low point

      the only thing I didn’t like was the kick
      which isn’t a usual self-defense move.

      Nope, its a “show your ass to the camera” move. That’s Smallville
      fighting back against Black Sash if you ask me. They too can have pretty
      teenagers in tight ass-fitting gettups high-kicking for the camera! Pretty
      blatant too…

    • bubbabrown says:

      Re: Low point

      I’m willing to give Lana some leeway with her self-defense because for one I’m sure Lex was giving her actual fighting skills from the get-go and also she really caught the guy off-gaurd (like Lex taught her which would add an advantage), the only thing I didn’t like was the kick which isn’t a usual self-defense move. Though I really didn’t like the scene at the end. She showed absolutely no effects of her fairly severe injuries (there might of been something on her neck but it could of just been hair) I would of at least expected some stiffness and a couple of bandages.

      Also I don’t really like how they keep almost killing characters, Lionel a few eps back (the who done it one) and Dr. Bryce when it looked like she had been killed but later recovered. If you’re going to keep doing that actually kill someone just so we have some suspense over it, aww heck Buffy has spoiled me.

      Either way I felt it was a great episode.

      I THINK THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD TRUELY MAKE SMALLVILLE ANY BETTER, WOULD BE IF CHLOE AND LANA WOULD GET INTO SOME STICKY SITUATION THAT THEY WOULD NEED CLARK TO SAVE THEM FROM, BUT IN THE PROCESS OF BEING STUCK, THEY START MAKING OUT(THINKING THAT THEY COULD DIE WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO JKISS ANOTHER GIRL) AND OOPS! NEXT THING YOU KNOW, THEY ARE NAKED AND DOIN SOME HIGH QUALITY LESBIEN STUFF, THEN HERE COMES CLARK TO SAVE THEM AND BAMMM…. HE JOINS RIGHT IN FOR SOME HOTTTTTT THREE WAY ACTION….. THATS WHAT IM TALKIN ABOUT BABY!!!

  2. PerlStalker says:

    Law suit

    The whole law suit thing bothered me. Not because he was
    faking his injuries — which was fairly obvious to me — but
    because any good lawyer would demand an independant
    medical evaluation by an independant docter to verify that the
    injuries are, in fact, as bad as they are presented to be. That
    simple step would have blown the whole thing and probably
    would have had the bully is serious legal trouble. And, as a
    bonus, we wouldn’t have needed the stupid karate thing with
    Lana at the end.

    Also, the when the Kents received the law suit, they just
    sort of rolled (bent?) over. There was no talk at all of
    challenging the suit just Clark and Lana talking about how
    they can trick him into revealing his injuries. I mean really,
    how sitcom is that? That part felt like a bad episode of “Three’s
    Company.”

    • Cerberus7 says:

      Re: Law suit

      The whole law suit thing bothered me. Not because he was
      faking his injuries — which was fairly obvious to me — but
      because any good lawyer would demand an independant
      medical evaluation by an independant docter to verify that the
      injuries are, in fact, as bad as they are presented to be. That
      simple step would have blown the whole thing and probably
      would have had the bully is serious legal trouble. And, as a
      bonus, we wouldn’t have needed the stupid karate thing with
      Lana at the end.

      Also, the when the Kents received the law suit, they just
      sort of rolled (bent?) over. There was no talk at all of
      challenging the suit just Clark and Lana talking about how
      they can trick him into revealing his injuries.**snip**

      I justified that with “The Kent’s don’t have money for a lawyer at all, much less a good one.” Lex could provide some help, but I’m not sure if Mr. Kent has gotten over his “I don’t take handouts from Luthors, no matter the cost to me and my family” hangup just yet.

    • GrimSean says:

      Re: Law suit
      I thought the whole Lawsuit plot line was a little weak. It was a little hard to believe that Clark could be baited so easily into losing his temper when he has successfully (for the most part) hidden his powers for his entire life.

      I was also hoping that Lana and Chloe would team up to trick the frat boy into revealing he wasn’t hurt, but instead we have Lana setting herself up for a lawsuit much the same as Clark (though I did enjoy the fan service shots). Anyone think this is one of those random elements that won’t be touched on again, or will it be a reoccurring theme? I doubt we’re going to start seeing Lana beat someone up every week from here on out, but Karate practice would be a nice thing to see

  3. Gcdh says:

    Dr. Bryce

    Wow what’s with all the killing of Dr. Bryce. I understand that she needs to go in order for Lex to become bad but there must be other ways. I personally am a fan of her leaving him at the altar for the season finale. Also lets not forget that this show isn’t about Superman so much as it is about Clark Kent. Lex may not turn evil for another couple of seasons when they run out of good ideas. I think that this episode was the first to even mention a life of crimefighting via Clark “Sure crimefightings great if you like getting sued.” Ain’t it the truth. Then again, i guess you could always dress up in red and blue spandex and NOT WEAR A MASK! Y’know so that way nobody finds out who you really are.

    • antihero says:

      Re: Dr. Bryce
      I’ve always been really intrigued with the way I’ve seen this idea dealt with, specifically (if i remember correctly) in the novelization of the Death and Life of Superman. It’s a common complaint that his disguise isn’t much of one at all. I felt the same way, but the book talked about how he worked out these two different personas, and had the ability (through his super-ness) to completely change his body language, voice, accent, inflections, mannerisms, the whole shebang. Maybe that’s just a lame cover for a lame disguise, but I kinda liked it. And, if nothing else, you have to appreciate him always taking the time to restyle his hair between identities.

      • UncleJam says:

        Re: Dr. Bryce

        I felt the same way, but the book talked about how he worked out these two different personas, and had the ability (through his super-ness) to completely change his body language, voice, accent, inflections, mannerisms, the whole shebang.

        Wouldn’t he then just look like Clark Kent acting like Superman, or vice versa?

        There really is no way to explain his inept disguise except to fall back on “it’s just a comic book”. Lame, I know, but it’s all we got. :)

        And at least we don’t have the old Silver Age Lana Lang, who was always trying to find out Superboy’s secret identity even though it was plain as day to anyone with eyes. For some reason I thought of that last night during this episode. Along with “Oops, now Lana’s open for her very own lawsuit from that guy!”

        • Babbster says:

          Re: Dr. Bryce

          There really is no way to explain his inept disguise except to fall back on “it’s just a comic book”. Lame, I know, but it’s all we got. :)

          My favorite (and cheesiest) explanation for the “no-disguise disguise” was WAY back (before DC really went crazy revamping characters during and after the Crisis) in the day when they explained that he has “super hypnosis” abilities that function subconsciously all the time so when people look at Clark Kent they see a wimpy guy instead of a buff Super-Dude. Even as a kid at the time, I laughed and laughed at that one.

          • UncleJam says:

            Re: Dr. Bryce
            For anyone who’s interested, in looking at the new Previews catalog tonight, I see that DC is doing yet another “definitive origin” of Superman series, entitled Superman: Birthright.

            One of the sentences in the ad copy is “How could you possibly meet Superman and not recognize him as Clark?” So, I guess we’ll get the current DC word on why no one recognizes him. Let’s hope it’s better than that time (in Man of Steel?) they tried to claim he was constantly vibrating his face very subtly to hide his identity. Groan.

      • Cerberus7 says:

        Re: Dr. Bryce
        I can believe that. I’m having a brain fart, but in one of the first two Superman movies, when Clark is thinking about revealing his identity to Lois, he removes his glasses. It’s a credit to Christopher Reeve that, in that moment, you can almost believe how his simple disguise could fool people. He pulls this change in posture, facial expression, and voice that’s really amazing.

        I also think Clark’s small amount of telepathic ability helps (dunno if that’s official Superman stuff, or not, but he’s got some in the movies).

        • fiziko says:

          Re: Dr. Bryce

          I can believe that. I’m having a brain fart, but in one of the first two Superman movies, when Clark is thinking about revealing his identity to Lois, he removes his glasses. It’s a credit to Christopher Reeve that, in that moment, you can almost believe how his simple disguise could fool people. He pulls this change in posture, facial expression, and voice that’s really amazing.

          That excellent moment was when Lois was changing in Superman: The Movie after the “can you read my mind” sequence that needs some serious trimming.

          • GrimSean says:

            Re: Dr. Bryce

            I can believe that. I’m having a brain fart, but in one of the first two Superman movies, when Clark is thinking about revealing his identity to Lois, he removes his glasses. It’s a credit to Christopher Reeve that, in that moment, you can almost believe how his simple disguise could fool people. He pulls this change in posture, facial expression, and voice that’s really amazing.

            That excellent moment was when Lois was changing in Superman: The Movie after the “can you read my mind” sequence that needs some serious trimming.

            There’s also the scene during Superman II, just after Clark saves Lois from Niagara Falls as Clark (to preserve the secret), but then proceed to stick his hand in the fireplace in the honeymoon suite and not get hurt. Reeve gets up, pulls off the glasses, and his entire body language changes from the Clark Kent (subordinate) to the Superman (dominant) as he walks across the room – I also was quite impressed by Reeve pulling it off (it’s really a rather startling change).

            • Babbster says:

              Re: Dr. Bryce
              Even as a kid, I didn’t think that Christopher Reeve’s physicality was right for Superman before I saw the first movie, but (again, even then) I too was impressed by the way he pulled off the differences between the two characters. In fact, I think the reason he could pull it off was BECAUSE he didn’t have that cartoonish muscular look. I don’t think a bigger guy, even with ill-fitting “Kent Wear(TM pending),” could have done the job nearly as well. It’s something that I don’t think Tom Welling has, in that he looks extra-cut no matter what he’s wearing – as a side note, it also makes me wonder why bullies mess with him (Tom Welling as Clark Kent)…they usually go after people who look weak.

              Personally, though, I don’t need any fancy explanation for people not knowing the Kent/Superman secret on sight (one could ask the same thing about Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s voice, Green Lantern/Hal Jordan’s small mask, etc. etc.). If the story is told well, I don’t even think about it.

              • Alexius says:

                Re: Dr. Bryce

                Personally, though, I don’t need any fancy explanation for people not knowing the Kent/Superman secret on sight (one could ask the same thing about Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s voice, Green Lantern/Hal Jordan’s small mask, etc. etc.). If the story is told well, I don’t even think about it.

                I Got An Answer For That In A recent Spider-Girl. (Okay, Not Recent, But Recent to Me.) Spider-Girl’s Costume Was Stolen, And Another Girl Met Her On A Rooftop, Wearing It. She Looked At This Other-Spider-Girl And Tried To figure Out Who She Was, And Couldn’t, Even From The Voice. her Throught Bubble Comment Was ‘I Never Relalized How Much My Mask Muffles My Voice. No Wonder I Don’t Get Identified By It.’

              • fiziko says:

                Re: Dr. Bryce

                Personally, though, I don’t need any fancy explanation for people not knowing the Kent/Superman secret on sight (one could ask the same thing about Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s voice, Green Lantern/Hal Jordan’s small mask, etc. etc.). If the story is told well, I don’t even think about it.

                Alexius covered Spider-Man. With Hal Jordan, in Emerald Dawn people he knows don’t even recognize him before he starts using the mask, so it’s implied that part of the natural ability of the ring is to avoid being identified. It probably wouldn’t extend far enough to protect him from identification if he changes in front of somebody, but it’s enough to get the job done.

                • Babbster says:

                  Re: Dr. Bryce

                  Alexius covered Spider-Man. With Hal Jordan, in Emerald Dawn people he knows don’t even recognize him before he starts using the mask, so it’s implied that part of the natural ability of the ring is to avoid being identified. It probably wouldn’t extend far enough to protect him from identification if he changes in front of somebody, but it’s enough to get the job done.

                  I have GOT to remember who I’m dealing with on this site. :)

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