Smallville Review – “Onyx”

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.

12 replies on “Smallville Review – “Onyx””

  1. y42 says:

    The Quote
    Lets not go too deep in spoiler town, but I loved the Lex quote, when he tells Clark in the loft that he has “abilities far beyond those of mortal men!” : )

  2. hernang7542 says:

    One more “movie” quote…almost
    Anyone else notice that during the final scene in the basement with Clark and the 2 Lex-es. Evil Lex says something along the lines of:

    “I offered you a chance at greatness…”

    I may be reading into it, but that echoed General Zod’s speech to Jor-El in the beginning of Superman – The Movie.

  3. nkuzmik says:

    Thoughts
    I suspect that my will be the minority opinion in this matter, but I think I shall miss the kinder, gentler Lionel Luthor.

    I rather liked watching him use his charisma and force of personality for charity and such.

    Okay, I’ll stop talking… for now.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Thoughts

      I suspect that my will be the minority opinion in this matter, but I think I shall miss the kinder, gentler Lionel Luthor.

      I rather liked watching him use his charisma and force of personality for charity and such.

      Okay, I’ll stop talking… for now.

      I can only speak for myself, but I like my Luthors evil. This show needs more nice regulars like it needs a long, drawn-out plot about Lana Lang being possessed…

    • Cerberus7 says:

      Re: Thoughts
      I’ll miss him, too. I was looking forward to a continued role reversal as Lionel fought to make Lex “stay good, Lex! Stay good!”

      But, it is nice to see evil Lionel again, if just for the performance given by John Glover. I’m so torn!

      • Abednigo says:

        Re: Thoughts

        I’ll miss him, too. I was looking forward to a continued role reversal as Lionel fought to make Lex “stay good, Lex! Stay good!”

        But, it is nice to see evil Lionel again, if just for the performance given by John Glover. I’m so torn!

        I certainly cannot deny the brilliance that is John Glover. The same with Michael Rosenbaum (I don’t count that stupid movie where he played a dude dressed as a chick, just the previews turned me off). Both of them can do evil and good amazingly well. Turning them on and off in a second and switching. Truly amazing. I’ll be really sad when this show ends (rumors are that’ll be next season). But I’d like to see them follow Clark and the gang all through college.

  4. Abednigo says:

    Umm…I don’t remember
    Possible spoilers, but I don’t think they are.

    First, I will miss the nice Lionel. It was very cool (and excellent acting!) to have the evil, heartless Lionel for so long, and it provided a good balance to Lex’s ever increasing evil. Lionel goes good, Lex pushes the evil envelope. I liked it, and will miss it. But evil Lionel does add much more drama to the overall situation.

    Now, regarding my subject title. I said to a friend halfway through the episode, after Lex saw Clark lift the concrete off him and Chloe, that, “If they use the amnesia excuse again, I’m gonna be pissed!” And sure enough…

    Why do they feel the need to do that? It’s very possible that Lex was lying to Clark, but he would have also had to lie to Lana and everyone else. Amnesia is being used far too often now to cover up people finding out Clark’s secret.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: Umm…I don’t remember
      My low point was the fundamental plot, which, as noted, is about as unoriginal as it gets short of going back to caine and abel. Which, now that I think about it, is pretty close to the same story too.

      But they did do it well. Especially from the shot of Lex at the very end, I think there was just enough of a hint of a smirk that it’s basically evil Lex in control, learning from his mistakes with just enough help of good lex to keep control. If that makes sense.

      I like the irony of getting apparently getting good lex back only to have dad turn bad again, though I was really hoping that the good guy dad was an act that would be revealed to be some devious plot. It would be perfectly in character…

      However, judging from the previews, I think it’s premature to be going “ding dong” about the witches… I don’t think that story line has gotten wrapped up and I’d at least like to see it finished.

      • y42 says:

        Re: Umm…I don’t remember

        My low point was the fundamental plot, which, as noted, is about as unoriginal as it gets

        My low point was: “Oh no! The experiment is going wrong! The heat is rising uncontrollably! I’ll take off the safety goggles and stand in front of the out-of-control laser!”.

        What the hell was that?!?

      • Babbster says:

        Re: Umm…I don’t remember

        However, judging from the previews, I think it’s premature to be going “ding dong” about the witches… I don’t think that story line has gotten wrapped up and I’d at least like to see it finished.

        I have faith that it’ll be wrapped up by the end of the season. They’ve got to know that if they keep pushing the witch angle the show is going to stop being about a kid who’s going to be Superman and start being Charmed v2.

  5. TechnoGirl says:

    I’d give big bucks if….
    …. they could just work the following line into some episode some time,”Good Lex, evil Lex… I’m the guy with the gun ,Baby” {g}

    • TechnoGirl says:

      Re:And My second thought was….
      Maybe evil Lex should grow a goatee??

      (and my third thought was…. maybe originality is a lost cause?)

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