Smallville Review – “Commencement”

The fourth season comes to a close.

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 Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer.

Directed by Greg Beeman.

Original Airdate


Commencement
originally aired on Wednesday,
May 18, 2005.

Synopsis

A second meteor shower approaches, while Clark,
Lionel, Genvieve,
Jason and Lex race to collect the stones.

High Point

The best was probably the “she left it quite a mess”
line. Close
contenders were the foreshadowing dialogue, musical
score in the final
few seconds, the reaction to the sight in the library,
and lack of
footprints around the drop point. (That had to be a
single take; that
was well packed snow.) The big “who?” question near
the end will
likely have an interesting answer, too.

Low Point

How many times can Lana survive events like that?

The Review

Smallville has developed something of a
tradition. The
season starts to drag a bit in the middle, but the
season finale
kickstarts a new plotline and new direction to keep
things moving for
a new year. These new directions contribute to a
sense of
originality, as we begin to wonder how much
of what we’re
about to see is from the comics, and now much isn’t.
I give it 5 out
of 6.

The effects were very well done, including
those footprints,
particularly since there wasn’t the blowing snow you’d
expect around
the feet when a film helicopter is near. That shot
was a lot harder
than it looks. The other effects were convincingly
done, tying much
of the legacy together. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story was well done. There wasn’t time
for a lot of
emotional depth, but they worked a little bit in for
each character.
I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting worked. It really seems like
everyone involved
spent the last few weeks saving themselves for the
season finale, and
we had the payoff. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response had only three minor
weak moments.
One was “the return,” the second was the
uncharacteristic copter side
freakout, and the third was the “still mobile?”
portion that I
mentioned in the Low Point. These were small
complaints, and the rest
of the episode was strong enough that I still give it
5 out of 6.

The production was excellent. The music and
camera work was
dead on where it needed to be, as was much of the
lighting. A very
active camera helps to keep the feeling that things
are moving, and we
have that in spades. Beeman knows that aspect of his
job very well.
I don’t have a single complaint this week. I give it
6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a very strong season ender,
continuing in the
Smallville tradition. With season finales
and premiers like
this, I’d be tempted to cap the series off at two
episodes per
season. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total,
Commencement
receives
37
out of 42.

12 replies on “Smallville Review – “Commencement””

  1. Jard says:

    The thing at the end
    I went through a lot of possible explanations for the what is inside that thing,
    my most plausible thought…

    Brainiac

    • y42 says:

      Re: The thing at the end

      I went through a lot of possible explanations for the what is inside that thing,
      my most plausible thought…

      Brainiac

      I’ve saying for, what… 2 seasons now: ZOD!

      I’m convinced he’s overriding Jor El’s AI’s vocoder to tell Clark to conquer and whatnot.

      And BOY, that’s a teastastic cliffhanger there! I was geeking out, and it goes “to be continued”… the bastards! : )

      • AceCaseOR says:

        Re: The thing at the end

        I’ve saying for, what… 2 seasons now: ZOD!

        I’m convinced he’s overriding Jor El’s AI’s vocoder to tell Clark to conquer and whatnot.

        And BOY, that’s a teastastic cliffhanger there! I was geeking out, and it goes “to be continued”… the bastards! : )

        Three words Fortress of Solitude.

        • y42 says:

          Re: The thing at the end

          I’ve saying for, what… 2 seasons now: ZOD!

          I’m convinced he’s overriding Jor El’s AI’s vocoder to tell Clark to conquer and whatnot.

          And BOY, that’s a teastastic cliffhanger there! I was geeking out, and it goes “to be continued”… the bastards! : )

          Three words Fortress of Solitude.

          That would be why I was geeking out ;-|

          I thought I was about to see the new look of Kryptonian architecture… and they to-be-continued’ me. Bastiches ;-)

  2. madpoet_one says:

    Production Values
    I agree that the production values on this one were great. I especially like the scene in Lana’s apartment between Lionel and Lex. The way the light flashed from blue to red and back to blue again on Lex’s face really enhanced the clear struggle in Lex between good and bad.

    I only had niggling complaint though. What’s up with Clark stopping to engage in long conversations with his parents and Lana after Jor El told him what to do? Hello…. Clark? … impending doom. Let’s get going! Although, it was funny that they had kept the clock running during that bit, instead of the whole time slows down then speeds up thing that a lot of shows use.

    • y42 says:

      Super FarmBoy to the rescue!

      What’s up with Clark stopping to engage in long conversations with his parents and Lana after Jor El told him what to do? Hello…. Clark? … impending doom. Let’s get going!

      I had a fantasy that Clark would save the cows, by grabbing them one by one and carrying them to safety at super-running speed… I knew that I’m the only crazy geek thinking up of these kinds of heroics, but it had me smiling for a while just picturing it in my head : )

      Johnathan: “Clark! Me and your mom will take whatever we can in the pick-up, you save the heard!”

      • hck says:

        Re: Super FarmBoy to the rescue!

        What’s up with Clark stopping to engage in long conversations with his parents and Lana after Jor El told him what to do? Hello…. Clark? … impending doom. Let’s get going!

        I had a fantasy that Clark would save the cows, by grabbing them one by one and carrying them to safety at super-running speed… I knew that I’m the only crazy geek thinking up of these kinds of heroics, but it had me smiling for a while just picturing it in my head : )

        Johnathan: “Clark! Me and your mom will take whatever we can in the pick-up, you save the heard!”

        Clark: “Got the heard, gotta go save the world now.”
        Johnathan:”Can you get that tractor…Good, Now those Hay Bales…Son, can you lift the Barn?”

  3. themacdetective says:

    In the ship is….
    Supergirl. She will take over the series when Clark leaves

    • GrimSean says:

      Re: In the ship is….

      Supergirl. She will take over the series when Clark leaves

      Nah, my money is on Dean Cain – he grew that goatee hosting Ripley’s, thus he is poised to become a supervillain.

  4. Abednigo says:

    The arctic scenes
    I read an interview with Tom Welling and he said they literally just dropped him off in the middle of that area and then flew away, did the shots, then picked him up. There was no whole crew on the ground with him (except for a few close up shots where there was just one camera guy I think). It definitely was convincing that he just appeared in the middle of all that snow.

  5. hck says:

    Damn rock
    One thing I liked was the “why” he threw the cristal. I think we know what happens with it next, but in the first movie “somehow” Clark just knew to throw it. Here, Clark’s folks and friends are in trouble. He did what he was told to do. And what does he get for it? Dumped in the middle of a snow field.
    No way of knowing where, but it’s not Kansas! Now this cristal, that he did all this to get, wants to fly away. “OK fine! I’ll help you fly!”

  6. yodapez18 says:

    Kneel before me!
    itd be cool if it was General Zodd in the spaceship, Dean Cain? he better get some acting lessons I still can’t believe how bad he was in that stupid Dragon movie. It would be a cool nod off though.
    Speaking of nine lives was taht Chloe who shoved lex? oo he better have a concussion cause he’s gonna get her back for that.
    Wsn’t really buying that scene where lois distracts teh soldier

Comments are closed.