Smallville Review – “Fanatic”

Smallville is also back from the winter
reruns.

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 Wendy Mericle.

Directed by Michael Rohl.

Original Airdate


Fanatic
originally aired on Thursday,
January 12, 2006.

Synopsis

Some of Lex Luthor’s supporters really, really don’t
want Jonathan
Kent to run.

High Point

The human villain. No kryptonite based powers giving
her super
mind control, etc. She’s just your average messed up
individual.

Low Point

Lois did learn from General Lane. She
shouldn’t have gone
down at all.

The Review

This is original compared to the rest of the
series. For
once, Clark wasn’t at the focus of the episode. This
really felt like
an episode that should be named after the town, rather
than a
character. The different type of villain was a nice
touch, too. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were additional applications of
those we’ve seen
before, and a pretty nifty looking balloon. I give it
5 out of 6.

The story was good. I think it would have
worked better
without that particular teaser, but it still worked.
(I always
dislike it when the teaser is just a clip from later
in the episode.
It feels like a cheap and easy way to get the viewer
invested in the
story, and it sets us up looking for the twist that
keeps things from
being exactly what they appear.) I give it 4 out of
6.

The acting was nicely done, as we’ve come to
expect from
episodes featuring this much of the Luthor family. I
give it 5 out of
6.

The emotional response would have been better
without that
teaser. Just that set-up, with the absence of Clark,
lets us know
that he’ll be able to sneak in at the last second and
do his thing.
The revealing teaser just gave too much away. I give
it 3 out of 6.

The production was the standard stuff. It’s
hard to really
excel in this area on TV schedules and budget, but
they didn’t mess
anything up, either. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good episode, and a nice
return after a few
weeks of reruns, but it’s not spectacular. I give it
4 out of 6.

In total,
Fanatic
receives
31
out of 42.

10 replies on “Smallville Review – “Fanatic””

  1. J_W_W says:

    Teaser
    I would have to agree about the teaser. I actually rewound to confirm it was Lois. Then in the end it was _totally_ different.

    In the beginning of the episode I noticed how much the teaser resembeled the original "Manchurian Candidate"(sp?). The shooter was in about the same location for the hall _and_ it was LOIS, which had me looking for some mind control angle for the rest of the episode, and that didn’t happen.

    All in all the spoiler could easily been tossed, and should have.

  2. pythor says:

    Good and Bad…
    I enjoyed the episode. The teaser could have been left out, I aggree. I spent half the episode wondering if I had miss-identified the shooter, and it wasn’t really Lois after all.

    After the fact, however, the episode brought up a bunch of questions that are annoying. Lois getting taken out by a crazy woman being one. The whole sex-scandal story would have worked just as well if it was just some pointed questions in an interview. Why would Martha agree to a midnight meeting with Lionel, when she knows a picture of her and him together would also ruin Johnathan’s campaign, regardless of the money situation? How can you explain the absence of your son from a rally where the high point of your pitch is your family? How does Clark hear the bullet coming, when most bullets from rifles are super-sonic? Super hearing can’t help much when the wave front hasn’t even gotten to your ear yet. How many cameras (still and video) caught Clark’s leap across the stage, or even just his sudden appearance on stage and subsequent disappearance in the blink of an eye?

    OK, enough. It was fun while it lasted, but I find myself falling into plot holes everytime I think about it.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Good and Bad…

      How does Clark hear the bullet coming, when most bullets from rifles are super-sonic? Super hearing can’t help much when the wave front hasn’t even gotten to your ear yet. How many cameras (still and video) caught Clark’s leap across the stage, or even just his sudden appearance on stage and subsequent disappearance in the blink of an eye?

      I’ll offer a couple of workarounds for Clark’s big save. First off, the chances that a camera, video or still, could catch Clark in an action that likely took less than a half-second are probably pretty slim. He’s "faster than a speeding bullet" and thus would be virtually impossible to see when he’s moving at top speed – even a camera capturing 60 frames/second would be lucky to register a blur.

      On his hearing the crack of the bullet, one just has to chalk that up to the general silliness of "super hearing." He can hear things at such great distances that there’s no way his hearing can be a simple function of sound waves hitting a "super eardrum" because sound waves can’t possibly remain intact in an understandable form after they travel a certain distance, through and around obstacles. His super hearing (if we’re going to try to explain it at all beyond "it works") has to have some sort of "active" component reaching out from his body that works faster than the speed of sound.

      I guess what I’m saying is that super hearing makes about as much sense as spontaneous, natural flight of a wingless human shape. :)

      • pythor says:

        Re: Good and Bad…

        I’ll offer a couple of workarounds for Clark’s big save. First off, the chances that a camera, video or still, could catch Clark in an action that likely took less than a half-second are probably pretty slim. He’s "faster than a speeding bullet" and thus would be virtually impossible to see when he’s moving at top speed – even a camera capturing 60 frames/second would be lucky to register a blur.

        And I’d be much happier to accept that if they hadn’t included the nifty popping balloon effect. Quite obviously, there was time elapsing as he ran, and I expect that a politcal rally has enough cameras clicking that just by coincidence one would have caught him. Even ignoring that, the fact that he stopped on the stage, sat there for a couple seconds, and then ran off to find Lois means he was in frame for at least some camerea to notice he was there and then gone. It would have been better if he had caught the bullet and just kept running, so he wasn’t in the room long enough to show up noticeably on camera.

        • Babbster says:

          Re: Good and Bad…

          I don’t think he was on stage when he was shown on the ground – he certainly wasn’t hustled off by security like his mother and father, which would have happened had they seen him on the stage. It looked to me like he ran in, caught the bullet and went to the ground at the feet of the people in the front of the audience (thus, out of camera view), an audience probably pretty interested in a) where the bullet came from and b) what was happening on stage. The shot of him on the floor was very short (possibly even shorter in relative terms if he was still operating in his speed "mode") and one would have to figure that he almost immediately started moving again to take down the assassin.

          In fact, what should be more surprising is that he didn’t smash the hell out of that door and rush in at super speed, revealing his secret to Lois – a threat to his father would, presumably, inspire some carelessness in that regard.

    • quantaman says:

      Re: Good and Bad…

      How does Clark hear the bullet coming, when most bullets from rifles are super-sonic? Super hearing can’t help much when the wave front hasn’t even gotten to your ear yet.

      I didn’t see the episode but I don’t think there’s necessarily a problem with the super-hearing and the speed of the bullet. The bullets travel faster than sound in air, but through solid objects sound is transmitted significantly faster. Clark could be able to pick up sound of the bullet through vibrations in the ground which would allow him to hear the shot before the bullet got there.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: Good and Bad…
      …and more bad than good. I’ll jump on the teaser bandwagon: I always hate that type of start. Then you’ve got villains who are too stupid to exist, or at least be interesting to watch. Has beating up someone like that *ever* done anything except increase their resolve? Then you’ve got Martha in the audience instead of on stage with Jonathan, and Clark nowhere around at all. You’ve got Martha getting ready to take money on the sly from Lionel. Campaign finance laws aside, you just *know* that’s going to backfire, especially if Jonathan doesn’t know about it: he’ll make some comment about grass roots funding, and be shown to be a liar. Even if that doesn’t happen, it will cast doubt on his whole campaign when it comes out, and it *will* come out. Then you’ve got Clark obviously holding out on Lana when the obvious answer is to just come out already. At the very least, when she reveals she knows there *is* someone from another planet hiding, find out what her attitude towards them is. The one good part about this interaction is Clark’s awareness of the "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" issue. But then they ruin it because I can’t believe Chloe would be that unconcerned. On the other hand, she’s presumably still a virgin, and could believably have not even masturbated, so she may be unaware of how uncontrolled climax can be. It still doesn’t take much thought to realize there are danger issues…

      For me, this whole episode was painful to watch, and as usual, the best part was the interaction between Lex and Lionel. The only good part in this case…

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: Good and Bad…

        On the other hand, she’s presumably still a virgin, and could believably have not even masturbated, so she may be unaware of how uncontrolled climax can be. It still doesn’t take much thought to realize there are danger issues…

        Nope, Chloe got it on with Jimmy Olsen two(?) summers ago, during her internship at the Daily Planet – so unless our intrepid photographer is completely inept…

        Actually, he probably is. Nevermind.

  3. mjcohen says:

    they done it wrong
    imho, clark should have stopped the bullet with either his heat vision or by blowing it so that it missed.

    the way it was actually done was STUPID!

  4. madhack says:

    I’m surprised…
    No one has mentioned the nod to Niven’s famous essay on the topic of Superman’s ability to mate with humans. Obviously they toned it down (seem to have ignored the super-sperm — fair enough since the comics have had Supes in presumably sexual relationships without it being a problem), but it’s there nonetheless.

    Lana’s last line is also interesting. I feel like Clark might have been more seriously considering telling her until then. I’ve never cared too much for the teenaged fawning and whatnot between Lana and Clark, but there’s a lot of pathos to be explored around there, and I think it touched on that in a more adult manner than usual.

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