Smallville is back, but the countess isn’t. Let the peasants rejoice!

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 Terrence O’Hara.

Original Airdate

Onyx originally aired on Wednesday, April 13, 2005.

Synopsis

Lex accidentally creates some black kryptonite, which allows the Luthors to explore their true natures.

High Point

Lex tests Lionel’s worthiness.

Low Point

Security cameras with that kind of coverage, and no charges are filed? The syringe was right there? The killer didn’t keep up the act long enough to stick around and feign concern? That should have been handled differently.

The Review

This wasn’t an original set-up. Anyone who has watched such obscure shows as Star Trek or Buffy the Vampire Slayer has seen the device in use before. For once the characters had the “what happens if I kill him?” thought from the outset, but otherwise, we’ve seen it all before. I give it 2 out of 6.

The effects were pretty good, but not great. The black kryptonite sequences looked like special effects, and the concrete still moved like styrofoam when tossed around. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is where things start to pick up. We’ve now seen more than a glimpse of what Lex will become, including how he responds to lies from those close to him. If he was lying in his last conversation with Clark, then we’ve got a very solid push in the direction he is destined to go. There was also the inclusion of a nifty little carcinogen that the comic fans will likely enjoy. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was better than usual this week. That could simply be due to the amount of time spent on the Luthors, but Kreuk’s decent work in her scenes (particularly the first) was good to see, too. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was great. The witch plot was gone, and the story I’ve most wanted to see from this series since the pilot took centre stage. This was the show I was hoping Smallville would be. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was nice. The lighting was the bright world of Superman, and the cellar (which really should have had a more definite placement within the Luthor mansion) was built in a style consistent with what we’ve seen from the rest of the mansion. The only editing gripe was from the second transition from Lex’s study to the cellar, but that’s probably due more to physical constraints in set construction than anything else. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good episode, and hopefully a harbinger of things to come. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Onyx receives 30 out of 42.