Smallville Review – “Exodus”

One more season down. Fall can’t come soon enough.

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

Reprising his role from last week, Terence Stamp
(known to the Superman film fans as General Zod) provides the
voice for Jor-El.

Written by series creators and executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar.
Directed by Greg
Beeman
.

Original Airdate


Exodus
originally aired on Tuesday,
May 20, 2003

Synopsis

Clark tries to take control of his destiny.

High Point

The final voice over.

Low Point

The close up on an inanimate object gave too much away about the
second last scene.

The Review

This is a new direction for the show, and (to the best of my
admittedly limited knowledge) a new take on the Superman mythos in
general. It felt original enough to earn 5 out of 6.

The effects were very good. Many were old effects, but the
wireframing at the beginning was new and well done. I give it 5 out
of 6.

The story was well written, pulling the destiny themes back
into play after they were used in last year’s finale without really
feeling like a retread. The elements and threads for future episodes
were put in place, including a great way to get more scenes with the
exceptional pairing of John Glover and Allison Mack. I give it 5 out
of 6.

The acting was better than usual. All cast members were
convincing, and the interplay was surprisingly balanced. The focus
was undoubtedly on Clark, but everyone else had their moments in the
spotlight. It’s nice to see after the reduced roles Sam Jones III and
Allison Mack have had recently. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was marred only by the
predictability of the second last scene. (If only they hadn’t shot
that close up, I’d have still had doubts.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was another Tollin-Robbins high, with Greg
Beeman directing. (He has previously directed Vortex,
Lineage, Prodigal, and Suspect this
season.) The score by Mark Snow, beautifully integrating cues from
John Williams’ theatrical scores, worked amazingly well. (That oboe
gets me every time.) I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this was a great episode worthy of a season ender.
Starting the story last week allowed them to start with all cylinders
firing and run with it. I give it a 6 out of 6.

In total,
Exodus
receives 38 out of 42.

25 replies on “Smallville Review – “Exodus””

  1. pythor says:

    Hmmm…
    Well, maybe I was spoiled by the Buffy finale, but I was just not happy with Smallville. The cliffhanger for next season was expected, but not overly drawing for me. The acting may have been better than average, but I’m one of the guys who never had a problem with the acting, anyway. I liked the whole destiny thing that this season was leading too, but this episode didn’t pull it off for me. I’m not really sure I can explain what was missing, but it wasn’t there.

    Low Points:
    Why was Clark pull apart drawers when he could have just used his x-ray vision? Sure, the box might be lead lined, but that would have just made it easir to find, versus everything else in the room that he CAN see through.
    Why did an explosion capable of flipping a full size truck a field away leave a copmletely untouched set of stairs leading down into its center?
    Why didn’t Lex analyze the blood? (I’ll take it back if it turns out he did.)

    Maybe I was expecting too much, but I’ve liked other Smallville episodes much more… Last season’s finale, for example.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Hmmm…
      I thought about the thing with the drawers myself, but once I thought about it I felt like it was the right move. I decided that since every time he’s used the x-ray vision in the past, it seems like he really concentrates on it. With the mental state he was in at that time (clearly way far out of it since he was hunting for the ring that turns him evil), he might not have even been capable of doing anything fancy with his eyes.

    • Foeclan says:

      Re: Hmmm…

      Why did an explosion capable of flipping a full size truck a field away leave a copmletely untouched set of stairs leading down into its center?

      I don’t think the explosion is what flipped the truck. They passed through the edge of it, it shook the truck and they ended up heading straight towards a telephone pole. He overcompensated on the turn and rolled the truck.

      • hck says:

        Re: Hmmm…

        I don’t think the explosion is what flipped the truck. They passed through the edge of it, it shook the truck and they ended up heading straight towards a telephone pole. He overcompensated on the turn and rolled the truck.

        That would give Johnathan Kent a good reason to be really mad. He’s
        always been hardest on himself. He tells Clark that his actions have affects, but he says it in anger. Not at Clark, but at himself. He fliped the truck, his action had a affect. After JorEl’s preditions that Clark will only hurt the ones he loves, Clark could only see his father’s anger, and take it as directed at himself. That could be an out for next season. And Martha crying could be part, “it;s not really your fault” after Johnathan claims responisiblity.

        Or, maybe I’m reading too much into it. Have to see it in “easy view” mode.

        Oh yeah… Riddle me this Superman; how does a crashing jet resemble an ended relationship? They both crush Lex!

        • Babbster says:

          Re: Hmmm…

          After JorEl’s preditions that Clark will only hurt the ones he loves..

          Actually, they didn’t sound like predictions to me. They sounded more like threats, as in “if you don’t cooperate with me, I’ll make your loved ones pay” which is one of the reasons, along with Clark’s disfigurement, I question whether or not the voice is Jor-El. It’s one thing to want the best (ruling the earth) for your son but it’s quite another to force him into it through threats and physical violence – that just doesn’t sound like the actions of someone who went to such lengths to save his son.

        • Alexius says:

          Re: Hmmm…

          Riddle me this Superman; how does a crashing jet resemble an ended relationship? They both crush Lex!

          Hey!

          =-=-=-=-=-=-|
          – `Lex

    • ring bearer says:

      Re: Hmmm…

      Well, maybe I was spoiled by the Buffy finale, but I was just not happy with Smallville.

      I agree, I think it stunk for the most part, I mean the plane crash scene was a little weird but i didn’t like the way clark left(under the influence of the red meteor rock)It just wasn’t a great boom! it should have been a little more dramatic.Oh! and as much as i wanted Lana and Clark to get together, When they did it just didn’t setttle right with me.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: Hmmm…

        ….and as much as i wanted Lana and Clark to get together, When they did it just didn’t setttle right with me.

        Well, that stands to reason, doesn’t it? If everything wrapped up completely with nothing left to drive forward the next season, nobody would keep watching. Conflict (in this case between what the viewer would like to have happen and what did happen) is an integral part of any story, especially dramatic ones like Smallville – I would have been upset had everything worked out (as it stands I rather enjoyed it).

        Besides, Clark is never going to get together with Lana permanently – there’s a little lady in his future with the name of “Lois Lane”.

        • quantaman says:

          Re: Hmmm…

          ….and as much as i wanted Lana and Clark to get together, When they did it just didn’t setttle right with me.

          Well, that stands to reason, doesn’t it? If everything wrapped up completely with nothing left to drive forward the next season, nobody would keep watching. Conflict (in this case between what the viewer would like to have happen and what did happen) is an integral part of any story, especially dramatic ones like Smallville – I would have been upset had everything worked out (as it stands I rather enjoyed it).

          Besides, Clark is never going to get together with Lana permanently – there’s a little lady in his future with the name of “Lois Lane”.

          That’s the idea “Lana Lang”, “Lois Lane” the names are about as similar as you can get. This gives the writers the flexibility whether or not to make it work as opposed to Lex where we know what the final outcome will be.

  2. UncleJam says:

    Chloe and the Bastard!
    Hmm, I found myself strangely uninterested in tonight’s
    Smallville finale. I kept getting distracted by other things.
    But, oh, those last few
    minutes!

    So Clark leaves town after bringing pain to his loved ones? Shades
    of Buffy‘s Season 2 finale.

    I really don’t like the ghostly Jor-El voice. Mega cheesy.

    Lex crashes? Where’s Helen? I knew something was up when she
    said everything was “perfect”. That was way creepy.

    But the best scene in tonight’s ep?

    Chloe and Lionel! Yay! Give in to the dark side, Chloe. Man, I can’t
    wait to see her corrupted slowly by the Magnificent Bastard.

    • dubbayoo42 says:

      Re: Chloe and the Bastard!

      I really don’t like the ghostly Jor-El voice. Mega cheesy.

      I felt it was a nice touch to have Terence Stamp provide the voice though, as it was a subtle and ironic link to the Christopher Reeve movies.

      Overall, I was very underwhelmed with the episode, feeling somewhat let down given the build up at the end of last week’s episode. However, it’s understandable that they have to leave the really good stuff for the season opener.

      • Babbster says:

        Re: Chloe and the Bastard!

        I really don’t like the ghostly Jor-El voice. Mega cheesy.

        I felt it was a nice touch to have Terence Stamp provide the voice though, as it was a subtle and ironic link to the Christopher Reeve movies.

        It may seem ridiculous, but I was having flashes that the voice might in fact be the voice of General Zod pretending to be Jor-El. I don’t recall any previous representations of Jor-El having that kind of cruel streak. No doubt he felt superior to humans but programming a spaceship to disfigure his son seemed really far outside the traditional mythos – though admittedly that doesn’t mean anything by itself. Traditionally, Jor-El and Zod are represented as having been bitter enemies with Jor-El having had a big part in Zod being exiled to the Phantom Zone, so the idea of Zod taking out his frustrations (however he’s managing it) on Kal would be perfectly in character for him.

        I’m probably making a mountain out of an homage here, but that’s what I was thinking about every time I heard Mr. Stamp’s voice and I thought I’d share. :)

        • Alexius says:

          Re: Chloe and the Bastard!

          I’m probably making a mountain out of an homage here, but that’s what I was thinking about every time I heard Mr. Stamp’s voice and I thought I’d share. :)

          I Thought So Too, But Like You Said, This Is Based On Superman’s Mythos, but They’ve Already Deviated. General Zod Could Be Jor-El In The Smallville Reality.

          No, Clark… I Am Your Father!
          Noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. n8f8 says:

    Handling the material
    It seems as though the writers for Smallvile are having a hard time dealing with the scope of Superman. On one hand you have their attempt to drive the characters at the emotional level -motivations and backstory. On the other hand they have to deal with who Clark Kent will become.

    Tonight I’d day they did a decent job balancing the two. Not too much soap-opera, yet we begin to really see the path each character is headed in.

    Not to say that the episode was flawless. The red ring-Harley thing was a little stupid. They should have made it a two hour special and played up the wedding scenes.

  4. hck says:

    What object?
    The close up on an inanimate object gave too much away about the second last scene.

    I must have missed something, but what object?

    • fiziko says:

      Re: What object?

      The close up on an inanimate object gave too much away about the second last scene.

      I must have missed something, but what object?

      The champagne glass. If the close up had even stayed centered, it would have been better, but following Lex’s glass while ignoring Helen’s made me sure she’d drugged him.

      • Gcdh says:

        Re: What object?

        The close up on an inanimate object gave too much away about the second last scene.

        I must have missed something, but what object?

        The champagne glass. If the close up had even stayed centered, it would have been better, but following Lex’s glass while ignoring Helen’s made me sure she’d drugged him.

        The druggin thing was the first thing i was gonna bring up but u just did so no need. I more expected that Lex would wind up in Metropolis’ Luthercorp and Helen reveals that Her little talk with Lionel was to betray Lex and steal Clark’s blood sample. They then offer Lex one more chance to join them on the “dark side” and we cut to the final scene. No complaints with this angle it was actually less predictable because now we haveta deal with the fact that Lex is “dead”. All in all i thought it was a great episode and a perfect way to wrap up Buffy-Smallville night. Clark’s left Smallville and has headed to Metroolis, Chloe is going to betray Clark, the baby is gone and John has practically convinced Clark he’s hated. We dont know what Lana’s gonna do, Helen’s betrayal, and Pete just severly pissed Lionel off! Holy season finale Superman! …wrong guy

        • GrimSean says:

          Re: What object?

          The druggin thing was the first thing i was gonna bring up but u just did so no need. I more expected that Lex would wind up in Metropolis’ Luthercorp and Helen reveals that Her little talk with Lionel was to betray Lex and steal Clark’s blood sample. They then offer Lex one more chance to join them on the “dark side” and we cut to the final scene. No complaints with this angle it was actually less predictable because now we haveta deal with the fact that Lex is “dead”.

          My prediction for the beginning of next season runs along the line of Helen taking over Lexcorp, then selling out to Lionel (whom she has been working for all along – I never did trust her) only to have Lex return – albeit as a significantly darker/paranoid/evil Lex and do some very evil things.

          I think it’s safe to say that Smallville has started to significantly depart from the standard Superman mythos, so I’m curious to see what the long-term effects of exposure to the Red Kryptonite will be on Clark. Perhaps they’re going to use the Red Kryptonite to actually give Clark some balls, something I consider to be a much needed addition in order for him to become Superman.

          Does anyone know if there is a set number of seasons planned for Smallville? I personally can’t see it lasting beyond four, simply because the characters would be graduating high school at that point, and it would be difficult to explain their continued presence in Smallville (unless that was why they had those frat boys a few episodes back – everyone is going to Smallville U!)

          • fiziko says:

            Re: What object?

            Does anyone know if there is a set number of seasons planned for Smallville? I personally can’t see it lasting beyond four, simply because the characters would be graduating high school at that point, and it would be difficult to explain their continued presence in Smallville (unless that was why they had those frat boys a few episodes back – everyone is going to Smallville U!)

            The readers of alt.tv.smallville were talking about an interview with Michael Rosenbaum in which he said Miller and Gough were looking at only a four or five year run. I didn’t read the original interview, because the link to it was prefaced with spoiler warnings. You can probably find it through Kryptonsite.

          • Babbster says:

            Re: What object?
            Unlike Fiz, I haven’t read anything about how long the series is planned to run but they could, perhaps with a title change, continue the series through college if they really wanted to do so. Since Metropolis is the big city with fairly close proximity, there’s no reason conditions couldn’t develop to where they would all go to the same fictional university there. I wouldn’t presume to offer any judgement as to whether or not it would be a good idea, but theoretically they could go all the way to right before Clark starts working for the Planet.

            • Alexius says:

              Re: What object?

              I wouldn’t presume to offer any judgement as to whether or not it would be a good idea, but theoretically they could go all the way to right before Clark starts working for the Planet.

              Someone Else Said That Clark Takes A Few Years Off To Tour The World, So That Might Even Take Them Longer than College.

              That Would Lend Itself To A Fourth Season Show, Also. You Can Add And Remove Characters, Since When Clark Goes To School, Anyone Who Stays Will Go To Smithfield-Metroplis University (SMU, Symbol Is A Big S On A Sheild, Mascot Is A Eagle/Falcon/Jet/Speeding Bullet Or Something), And Everyone Else Goes Elsewhere.

  5. vandemar says:

    Fanboy speculation
    What if Clark leaves Smallville for a distant city and bumps into a young man who’s even angrier at the world than he is? Someone whose parents were murdered right before his eyes. Someone who is obsessed with vengeance. Someone who exists in the same fictional universe as Superman.

    Such an encounter might help Clark get back his perspective, allowing him to return to his family, friends and regular cast members, as well as providing the occasion for a lucrative spinoff series.

    • jjmahoney007 says:

      Re: Fanboy speculation

      What if Clark leaves Smallville for a distant city and bumps into a young man who’s even angrier at the world than he is? Someone whose parents were murdered right before his eyes. Someone who is obsessed with vengeance. Someone who exists in the same fictional universe as Superman.

      I remember reading in some TV Guide article where they were tossing around the idea of a Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne meeting, and were considering it as a possibility for a future episode. That would certainly make sense and come in handy at this point in the show.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: Fanboy speculation

        I remember reading in some TV Guide article where they were tossing around the idea of a Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne meeting, and were considering it as a possibility for a future episode. That would certainly make sense and come in handy at this point in the show.

        That idea was supposed to have been put on hold due to Birds of Prey, but seeing as it has been cancelled, perhaps it is possible that we’ll be seeing another angry young billionaire sometime soon.

        • yodapez18 says:

          Re: Fanboy speculation

          I remember reading in some TV Guide article where they were tossing around the idea of a Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne meeting, and were considering it as a possibility for a future episode. That would certainly make sense and come in handy at this point in the show.

          That idea was supposed to have been put on hold due to Birds of Prey, but seeing as it has been cancelled, perhaps it is possible that we’ll be seeing another angry young billionaire sometime soon.

          So is there any reason that Jor-Ell couldnt really be the Eradicator? in the recent version of the superman story, the Eradicator is an AI that went with Clark in the Birth matrix, i think the cartoon series turned him into braniac, but the Eradicator has always ben a tough love fella, so why not have him pushing clark around only to have a crystal with the real Jorel pop up somewhere, Clark sees the history of Krypton while standing in a field, they could use that in a later season, but who knows, theyve resarted the superman story SO many times, first he debuts in the 20s then the 50s then the seventies, then teh eighties, and if you count lois and clark, its becoming a regular phenomenon to revamp superman, theres plenty of material out there. They had Superman going to college in the live action series Superboy back in the early nineties too, Someone said up there the writers could make things work out with lana because her name was similiar to Lois’s.
          I Think Not, Lana is doomed to marrysome other guy, and Clark…. well Clark gets it on with a mermaid before he finds Lois, its all right there in the comics….
          There is NO way Im waiting eight or nine years for Clark to become Superman though, can someone hit fast forward??

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