Smallville Review – “Mortal”

For once, we get to see the solutions used by a
powerless Clark.

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

Erica Durance as
Lois Lane.

Allison Mack as
Chloe Sullivan.

Written by Steven S. DeKnight.

Directed by Terence O’Hara.

Original Airdate


Mortal
originally aired on Thursday,
October 7, 2005.

Synopsis

Clark, now without any superpowers, faces off against
three
supervillains who escaped from Belle Reeve.

High Point

“Another day in Smallville.” The sherrif came across
as being quite
adept at her job, given the situations this week.

Low Point

The schmoopy portion after the opening credits lasted
too long.

The Review

The originality is good within the context of
the show.
We’ve got new approaches to problems without Clark’s
powers, and a new
level of respect is being granted to him from those
around him. It’s
nice to see him out thinking an opponent instead of
overpowering them. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were effective and clear. They
were very nicely
done this week. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story definitely maintained the momentum
from last week.
The slow start was surpassed by the progression of the
story as the
villains showed up, and Clark’s full support team came
into play. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The acting came together very nicely. The
characters are
acting more mature in every respect save Lana’s
willingness to be with
Clark after everything he’s done over the last four
years. This
maturity is a better fit to the abilities of the
actors, who are now
quite comfortable in the roles that they are working
with. I give it
5 out of 6.

The emotional response had some very
effective tension,
culminating in a unique type of solution: thinking.
We learned new
things about Chloe, got to see Chloe’s reaction when
she learned about
Pete, and had that ominous combination of song lyrics
and final shot.
In spite of the schmoopy opening, this episode came
together extremely
well. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production had that redressed lab set yet
again, which is
starting to get a bit tired. The technical aspects
and the rest of
the episode were well done, and they probably don’t
have much choice
for where they shoot the lab scenes, but they could at
least write the
season to return to the same lab over and over so it
doesn’t feel like
they’re trying to trick us. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, this is another good episode to give
a solid opening
to the season. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total,
Mortal
receives
36
out of 42.

12 replies on “Smallville Review – “Mortal””

  1. J_W_W says:

    Re: Powers
    I sure hope Clark gets his powers back soon. While I think the episode was overall a good one, I don’t think that a whole bunch of episodes about a non-super Superman will be that interesting.

    As for the high point, I thought the confrontation with Lex at the end was great. NOW what is Lex supposed to think. Also, it makes the break between him and Clark even more intense (and believable).

    • madhack says:

      Re: Powers

      I sure hope Clark gets his powers back soon. While I think the episode was overall a good one, I don’t think that a whole bunch of episodes about a non-super Superman will be that interesting.

      Agreed. One or two episodes is all it needs, really. Brainiac is coming soon… I can’t imagine Clark will be powerless for very much of that.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: Powers

      I sure hope Clark gets his powers back soon.

      They seem to be following the lines of the Christopher Reeves movies (which perhaps flow from the comics, which I never read): didn’t he give up his powers for a while and have sex with Lois, only to realize he actually needed them because he couldn’t stand by and watch people get hurt? I see that happening here as well…

  2. y42 says:

    grrrr
    What a great episode! Like when the guy threw the ball, and the other guy hit it with a stick and started running around… oh, wait, second class viewer here, the jocks got their TV last night, not me.

  3. Cerberus7 says:

    Schmoopiness
    Yeah, about that. Early on, when Clark and Lana were in the barn, I kept saying, “And the badguys show up…NOW! No? OK… And the badguys show up…NOW?! No? OK…” Until they finally did. The “love scene” was a little too drawn out. I wanted the evil trio to show up already and start doing damage.

    Loved the Clark+Chloe spy team stuff, and the reference to Pete was nice, considering we haven’t seen him in so long. I also liked that during their infiltration, they picked up on how easy it was.

    All through Clark and Lana’s tender moments, I couldn’t help but think about this and that, unless he meets Wonder Woman, this is the only action Clark’s ever going to get.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: Schmoopiness

      All through Clark and Lana’s tender moments, I couldn’t help but think about this and that, unless he meets Wonder Woman, this is the only action Clark’s ever going to get.

      Niven’s essay may be correct, but DC has long implied that Lois and Clark have a normal marital relationship, somehow. Maybe they do it under a red sun lamp; I have no idea. I suspect the Smallville Clark will eventually follow that path, though likely not within the series itself. For iconic reasons, I don’t think teenage Clark Kent can get laid.

      • fiziko says:

        Re: Schmoopiness

        Niven’s essay may be correct, but DC has long implied that
        Lois and Clark have a normal marital relationship, somehow.

        Niven’s essay is also the first verifiable instance of
        copyright violation using the Internet as a distribution
        device. (This was back when it was called the ARPAnet.)
        Niven told the larryniven-l mailing list that he only
        remembers giving permission to repost that essay to one
        site, and it’s this
        one
        .

  4. SemperAskew says:

    Bypassing Security
    I loved Chloe’s responses to Clark’s ideas about hacking and rewriting the security system. Too often in television shows you see underqualified people quickly bypass and hack complex, professional systems. They still managed to do more than they should have, but it was appreciated that Chloe was trying to keep Clark in check.

    • Cerberus7 says:

      Re: Bypassing Security

      They still managed to do more than they should have…

      Remember, the whole thing was a setup by Lex.

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: Bypassing Security

      I loved Chloe’s responses to Clark’s ideas about hacking and rewriting the security system. Too often in television shows you see underqualified people quickly bypass and hack complex, professional systems. They still managed to do more than they should have, but it was appreciated that Chloe was trying to keep Clark in check.

      I really loved the “security grates” in the ventilation system. They appearexd to have holes in them to still allow airflow. Which begs the questions, why weren’t they just permanently in place, in lieu being deployed in a video game maze fashion?

      • Babbster says:

        Re: Bypassing Security

        I really loved the “security grates” in the ventilation system. They appearexd to have holes in them to still allow airflow. Which begs the questions, why weren’t they just permanently in place, in lieu being deployed in a video game maze fashion?

        You wouldn’t want those grates in place all the time. Even with the holes in them, they would still cause a severe attenuation of the air flow and you’d have to increase the power of the fans by quite a lot to keep the same amount of air reaching the rooms. So, you’d get big power savings in the long run by only activating the security grates when absolutely necessary.

        Even then, I don’t know how plausible, or useful, that kind of security system would be. You’d think that a place needing to prevent movement in heating/AC duct work would have guards who could respond when sensors detect an intrusion, and those sensors would be far cheaper to maintain and use than sensors in conjunction with security grates. But, that’s fiction for ya. :)

  5. Abednigo says:

    An okay episode
    I guess I’m one of the few that thought the episode was merely okay. I guess in the context of setting up more of the Lex/Clark rift it worked. Lex is really getting desperate to discover Clark’s secret, but it still felt too much like a “freak of the week” episode, and at this point in the life of the show (this supposedly being the final season), those are little tired. We’ve seen pretty much every freak power anyone could ever have and they just seem to be rehashing powers now. They need to stick to mythology episodes now.

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