Smallville Review – “Spell”

Will DeKnight or Szwarc prevail in a true battle of
good versus evil?

Cast

Tom
Welling
as
Clark Kent

Kristen Kreuk as
Lana Lang

Michael
Rosenbaum
as Lex Luthor

John
Glover

as Lionel Luthor

Annette
O’Toole
as Martha Kent

John
Schneider
as Jonathan Kent

Jensen Ackles as
Jason Teague

Allison Mack as
Chloe Sullivan.

Written by Steven S. DeKnight.

Directed by Jeannot Szwarc.

Original Airdate


Spell
originally aired on Wednesday,
November 9, 2004.

Synopsis

Lana is possessed by the spirit of her ancestor, and
she brings some
friends back with her.

High Point

Lex owning up to his previous choices.

Low Point

Will the ever convenient amnesia ever not be around?

The Review

This doesn’t feel original. As in Supergirl,
we get
Szwarc’s personal feminist view beat over our heads,
even if that
means directorial choices that inhibit the flow of
the story. Add to
this the body swap episode we just had, and it feels
pretty stale. It
did serve to introduce Clark’s weakness to magic,
though. I give it 3
out of 6.

The effects were usually well done. The
eyes didn’t work in
the woods, in my opinion. It’s a static image from a
moving source,
and it absorbs bright light while reflecting low
light. The rest
worked, but that moment didn’t. I give it 5 out of
6.

The story was fairly well written.
(DeKnight has a much
better track record than Szwarc, in my opinion.) It
wasn’t as
over-the-top cheesy as it could have been, it
established a good
reason for super-student Clark Kent to be stuck at
the farm for a
season after high school, it brought in Kal-El’s
vulnerability to
magic, and it tied it all together with what’s
already happened this
season. I have to give him credit for doing this
well with such a
tough assignment. Some moments were pretty blatantly
corny, but given
the subtlety in most of DeKnight’s work and the lack
of subtlety in
Szwarc’s work, I’d say those lines were modified
after the script was
turned in. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting from Tom Welling was back to
normal, while the
rest of the crew was doing some pretty good work with
new versions of
their characters. Michael Rosenbaum really sold that
piano playing,
too. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was better than
expected, given
Szwarc’s track record. I was mostly impressed with
the first half,
and with several moments in the second half. I would
very much like
to know which characters matched each of the other
symbols (and one
symbol in particular), and whether the amnesia hit
all three of them.
Some moments (“yes, they’re very nice”) were
remarkably amusing. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The production was considerably clunkier
than usual. We lost
the momentum of a consistent flow, and the lighting
was obvious and
overdone (right down to misplaced shadows in the
cave.) I give it 4
out of 6.

Overall, it’s better than I expected from
the advertising,
but not as good as the previous few weeks. I give it
4 out of 6.

In total, Spell receives 28 out of 42.

8 replies on “Smallville Review – “Spell””

  1. mjcohen says:

    How did that happen? (Spoilers inside)
    At the crucial confrontation inside the handy-dandy all-purpose cave of wonders, why did “Lana” not get any powers from the stone and, instead, dropped it? Why did Clark get his powers back? Why did he carry the (useless) gun? Why am I asking so many questions about a tv show?

    IMWTK!!!!

    Martin Cohen

    • graikor says:

      Re: How did that happen? (Spoilers inside)
      I figured that Isobel never understood the nature of the Kryptonian artifacts in the first place – perhaps the same reason Kryptonians are so vulnerable to magic made the stone react badly with the magically-possesed body of Lana.

      I used that as an excuse as to why Clark got his powers back, and I figured the gun was to be used on the stone – better to destroy it than let it fall into the Charmed crew’s hands.

      Not a great episode, but still better than the Kryptonade one.

    • LC says:

      Re: How did that happen? (Spoilers inside)

      Why did Clark get his powers back? Why did he carry the (useless) gun? Why am I asking so many questions about a tv show?

      IMWTK!!!!

      Martin Cohen

      Speaking from absolutely no expertise, which on the net is a perfect set of credentials :->, it didn’t look like an ordinary gun to me, but more like a tranquilizer gun.

  2. GrimSean says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this before
    only that time it was called The Craft.

    There were some good one-liners (“I’m not from around here” and “Yes, they’re very nice” stick out), but overall it was a ‘meh’ episode – I was hoping they would use it to return Jor-el, but that didn’t happen.

    Also, has anyone else noticed that Jason is quickly becoming Pete? He had, what, four scenes total and maybe 15 lines?

    • Trekkie says:

      Re: I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this before

      only that time it was called The Craft.

      Might want to re-watch the craft, quite different from the Smallville episode I saw at least ;)

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this before

        only that time it was called The Craft.

        Might want to re-watch the craft, quite different from the Smallville episode I saw at least ;)

        I was thinking specifically of the scene where they walk into the barn – that was very reminiscent of The Craft, not to mention the similarities between Evil Lana and the Fairuza Balk character (both driven by their lust for power, though admittedly Lana was possessed whereas Fairuza’s character did it herself)

        • bab5freak says:

          Re: I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this before

          only that time it was called The Craft.

          Might want to re-watch the craft, quite different from the Smallville episode I saw at least ;)

          I was thinking specifically of the scene where they walk into the barn – that was very reminiscent of The Craft, not to mention the similarities between Evil Lana and the Fairuza Balk character (both driven by their lust for power, though admittedly Lana was possessed whereas Fairuza’s character did it herself)

          I was thinking more of Hocus Pocus. The premise and characters are pretty similar, although there was no possession in that one either.

          • Alexius says:

            Re: I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this before

            I was thinking more of Hocus Pocus. The premise and characters are pretty similar, although there was no possession in that one either.

            I Was Thinking That To, (When I Finally Saw It This Week). I Still Loved It. It Had The Hot Witches Of The Craft, Or Charmed, And Some Of The Mindless Entertainment I Like About Smallville, With Some Buffyverse Style Humour Thrown In.

            Did Anyone Else Notice That The Magic Hand Position Was The ‘Horned Hand’? That’s What Reminded Me So Much Of Hocus Pocus (And The Play/Dance Until You Die! Thing), Rather Than The Craft. In The Craft, They Were Pagan Witches. In Hocus Pocus They Were Xtian Witches. These Seemed More Like The Xtian Type (Consorts Of Their Evil God) Vs. Simple Magic Practitioners Who Do What They Want.

            Or I’m Reading Too Far Into It, And Should Just Enjoy The Witchy Versions Of Three Hot Characters. Anyone Know Of Some high Def Captures Of Cloe?

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