Smallville Review – “Unsafe”

The full cast is back, and an old DC standby is
mentioned.

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 Jeph Loeb and Steven DeKnight.

Directed by Greg Beeman.

Original Airdate


Unsafe
originally aired on Wednesday,
January 26, 2005.

Synopsis

Clark gets the opportunity to rekindle an honest
relationship from his
past, while Lionel and Jason strive for honesty of
their own.

High Point

The unexpected ending is probably the best part,
although the Jimmy
story and some camera work I’ll mention later were
pretty good, too.

Low Point

Lionel’s apparant transformation is going to need one
heck of a story
arc to justify losing the old Lionel. The one we had
before was a
simply fantastic character that they should have been
hanging on to
for as long as possible.

The Review

This is a fairly original take on the
returning villain
compared to most episodes with that theme. I give it
4 out of 6.

The effects were nicely done, with a new
effect for the
mid-teleport perceptions that looked pretty darn
cool. I give it 5
out of 6.

The story was laid out well, although some
moments had some
corny dialogue. (Dialogue doesn’t seem to be Loeb’s
strong point, and
DeKnight didn’t quite get it up to his usual
standard.) I give it 4
out of 6.

The acting worked pretty well. Welling is
moving into new
territory here. This “Evil Clark” was considerably
different from the
one we’ve seen in the past, and his reactions
throughout the rest of
the episode were far more emotional than normal.
These last few
episodes of season four have convinced me that season
five is going to
be one heck of a final season. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was strong. There
were some good
moments, and there was an ending that didn’t wrap
things up into a
tidy little package. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was very well done. There
was some great
lighting and relative positioning of the characters.
For one example,
go back to the private conversation that happened
just after the
skating. The camera lifts up a couple of inches at a
moment in the
conversation that reveals the true nature of this
relationship. We’ve
got a completely different view of this pair, with a
shift that
matches the shift in Alicia. It would have been
nicer if the shooting
location had allowed them a set-up for a smoother
move, but it was
still effective. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good warm-up for big things
to come. Keep an
eye on the last 33 episodes of the show, because I
think they’re going
to be good. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total,
Unsafe
receives
34
out of 42.

10 replies on “Smallville Review – “Unsafe””

  1. Babbster says:

    My Low Point
    Overall, I really enjoyed the episode. I think they missed out on Alicia’s psychotic break perhaps being due to flaws in her teleportation ability (a little brain scramble every time she uses it, maybe?), but on the whole the episode was pretty good and made some progress toward what I’m sure will be an interesting last few episodes of the season.

    My low point for this episode, though, was the extreme reaction of Martha (and, presumably, Jon) to Clark’s red K-induced foray into matrimony. They already KNOW the behavior-changing effect of the red K and they know that, even without that mood-altering rock Clark can have his mind altered/controlled by his daddy, so why would Martha take it so personally? Granted, if he’d done the same things while in full possession of his faculties, his parents would have good justification for being “very disappointed,” but he wasn’t. It would be like blaming a girl for an unwanted pregnancy resulting from being raped after being slipped a sedative – even if she might have been attracted to her attacker under normal circumstances, she wasn’t capable of giving consent and wasn’t responsible for the event. The same would seem to apply to Clark since he clearly wasn’t going to run off with Alicia (probably a little dumb there, but I don’t necessarily share Clark’s values, hehe) before she dosed him with the rock.

    • GrimSean says:

      Re: My Low Point

      My low point for this episode, though, was the extreme reaction of Martha (and, presumably, Jon) to Clark’s red K-induced foray into matrimony. They already KNOW the behavior-changing effect of the red K and they know that, even without that mood-altering rock Clark can have his mind altered/controlled by his daddy, so why would Martha take it so personally? Granted, if he’d done the same things while in full possession of his faculties, his parents would have good justification for being “very disappointed,” but he wasn’t. It would be like blaming a girl for an unwanted pregnancy resulting from being raped after being slipped a sedative – even if she might have been attracted to her attacker under normal circumstances, she wasn’t capable of giving consent and wasn’t responsible for the event. The same would seem to apply to Clark since he clearly wasn’t going to run off with Alicia (probably a little dumb there, but I don’t necessarily share Clark’s values, hehe) before she dosed him with the rock.

      Agreed. I also found it hard to believe that the usually understanding Kents would turn on Clark like that. He was drugged and unable to control himself, giving them no reason to treat him like that – I was expecting the “Honey, are you okay?” speech when Martha came down the stairs, and was quite surprised by what we got. I was slightly concerned that when Alicia gave him the necklace he would go Kal-El rather than bad Clark – I’m not sure if that would have been bad, though, but it may have been part of the reason the Kents reacted so strongly (as Jonathan did nearly die the last time Clark went Kal).

      On a side note, when Jimmy was mentioned, I nearly did a spit take – it saved a scene that I thought was being a little heavy handed (that could be my liberal Canadian ethics clashing with the puritanical American ones however) on the whole ‘waiting’ thing.

      • vanyel says:

        Re: My Low Point

        My low point for this episode, though, was the extreme reaction of Martha (and, presumably, Jon) to Clark’s red K-induced foray into matrimony.

        I’m glad to see I’m not the only one, I was just waiting for this review to get posted so I could comment on it, and then when I tried yesterday, the site was down ;-) The one caveat I have is that they could be upset with his judgement in even getting close enough to Alicia that she could slip him a mickey, as it were. But I still think it was too much for their established character.

        I have to agree with the others also, that there’s no way Red Clark didn’t get plenty of “experience” while he was away. It would be just like him in that state to lie about being a virgin just to make sure she didn’t change her mind about wanting it. I think it says interesting things about Alicia’s state of mind that she wanted Clark to be free of the red kryptonite first, and just hope it wasn’t a gimmick to get the episode over with in time.

        Although I’m not one to complain about a shirtless Tom Welling ;-) when Chloe gave her little “I don’t want to go afterschool special” speech, and then proceeded to do so, combined with the PSA at the end, I had wonder if they weren’t doing the moralizing in response to complaints about them sexing up the show this season.

  2. Abednigo says:

    5th and final season?
    What’s this about the 5th season being the last one? I hadn’t heard that. I heard they weren’t going to take Clark beyond living in Smallville, but there’s always college. I’ll be really disappointed if they end the show so soon. This is one of those shows that I would want to go on forever, but I know it can’t. I never get tired of it.

    As far as this episode, I loved it. And Alicia is incredibly gorgeous, minus the psychotic part of course. But I think I’d be willing to overlook that. ;)

    • fiziko says:

      Re: 5th and final season?

      What’s this about the 5th season being the last one? I
      hadn’t heard that.

      Miller and Gough have said a few times that they developed
      a five year plan after the first season that will keep
      Clark in Smallville. (They said some things that
      I consider to be spoilers, too, even though they are more
      like explicit hints than actual plans.) With the WB
      policy of running shows for five years (with a few
      exceptions), I wouldn’t bank on seeing it back. Just look
      at the network’s reason for canning Angel: they
      didn’t want to be “the kind of network that had the same
      show on the air after five years.” We’ll see if that’s a
      standing policy or a cost cutting measure when we find out
      if they cancel Gilmore Girls after this year,
      which is its fifth.

      Still, even if it does get renewed for a sixth, Miller and
      Gough have said that their plan is for five years, and
      that they don’t plan to change it if it does get renewed.
      If they do get a sixth year, I’d bet on a spinoff with a
      new location, either with the crew in Metropolis, or with
      Clark doing his traditional world-walking while becoming
      the hero we all know he’s going to be.

  3. ColoradoPotatoBeetle says:

    lingerie

    What gives? Part lingerie soft porn, part preachy abstinence/virginity/marriage bullhorn.

    >>>Lionel’s apparant transformation is going to need one heck of a story arc to justify losing the old Lionel. The one we had before was a simply fantastic character that they should have been hanging on to for as long as possible.

    Lost the old Lionel? I’ll believe it when I see it.

  4. pdavis says:

    Get a Clue
    I think the writers need to get a clue on the whole virginity thing. Oddly enough, out of everything in the episode the hardest part to believe was that any of the three are still virgins… especially after the whole witch thing. Don’t even get me started on the three months in Paris. The girls are just not pias enough to believe they are waiting, and Clark had that whole evil period where he had to have gotten some.

    • y42 says:

      Re: Get a Clue

      Clark had that whole evil period where he had to have gotten some.

      Getting some is evil?

      • Abednigo says:

        Re: Get a Clue

        Clark had that whole evil period where he had to have gotten some.

        Getting some is evil?

        Don’t even get me started. ;)

        I think he meant that wholesome Clark wouldn’t do it, but red kryptonite Clark probably would have. He was going to with Alicia after all.

        • Alexius says:

          Re: Get a Clue

          I think he meant that wholesome Clark wouldn’t do it, but red kryptonite Clark probably would have. He was going to with Alicia after all.

          Okay, so This Really Hot Guy You’re out Partying With Can Lift Cars, Bend Bars, And Move Fast Enough To Berak Through A Wall.

          Do you Want Him Most Driving Forces Ramming Your Most Sensative Parts?

          I’ll Believe He Didn’t Get Any, Even As Red Clark.

          After All, Man Of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex

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