Smallville Review – “Void”

Sorry this review is so late. My home Internet access
is still out of commission (and will be for at least a
week), so I won’t be posting things (including
tomorrow’s DVD column and Saturday movie review) at
the regular times, though I’ll try to at least get the
right day. I’m also without my templates, so this may
not look quite like it normally looks.

Cast and Crew

Series regulars Tom Welling, Kristen Kreuk, Allison
Mack, Annette O’Toole, John Glover, and Michael
Rosenbaum star, along with some familiar guest stars
whose appearances would be spoilerish.

Written by Holly Herrold.

Directed by Jeannot Szwarc.

Premise

Lana becomes (emotionally, if not physically) addicted
to a chemical that grants a life after death
experience.

High Point

We have a few choices this week. The set-up may have
been sudden, but some of the moments were wonderful.
Lex’s paranoid addition to the mansion was a nice
touch, as was the camera move that showed Martha
viewing Lionel with a different perspective. The
speech about a symbol and a destiny was great, as was
the delivery of the line “goodnight… Clark.” Still,
my favourite moment was the speech about ignoring
previously given advice. That’s an interesting
approach to a difficult problem.

Low Point

The sudden onset of Lana’s problem. We really needed
to see what came between the last two episodes, and
how exactly Lana got herself into this. It’s not the
kind of choice she would make.

The Scores

This has some original elements for the
series. Somebody else gets saved this week, and one
of the regulars manages to save herself. Clark and
Lana stay broken up. There’s also the first serious
push down the road we have been waiting for Clark to
take. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects also had some impressive moments,
with several familiar effects and one completely new
and well crafted effect as Clark made a fairly long
run. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is missing its beginning. There’s
just too big a gap between where Lana was and where
she now is. The story served an important purpose for
the series as a whole, but it needed a more carefully
planned setup. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was well done. Glover and
Rosenbaum are always good, and Kreuk has improved
considerably over what she was a few years ago. She
plays a junkie well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was also very good. I’m
surprised; I usually don’t like Szwarc’s work, but
this week was well made, with some interesting and
dynamic camera works maintaining an active feel
through a conversation-heavy episode. I give it 6 out
of 6.

The emotional response was hampered by
confusion at the outset. (The change in Lana was so
dramatic I was convinced the teaser would be another
one that recycled footage from later in the episode.)
That weak opening hurt somewhat, but the second half
did recover with the motivation it provided for the
rest of the series. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good episode. It’s not great
in isolation, but it can become a significant piece of
the series in the long term. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Void receives 33 out of 42.

12 replies on “Smallville Review – “Void””

  1. obiwan says:

    Still waiting…
    …for they mythology part to pick up steam. This is the final season, we want a big buildup to a big finish :)

    • Fez says:

      Re: Still waiting…

      …for they mythology part to pick up steam. This is the final season, we want a big buildup to a big finish :)

      The producers have been quoted as saying it will continue on as long as possible, they’re not stopping after this season. They’re pretty much a lock for moving to The CW.

      I’ll have to dig to find the interview I read that from, though. (I posted it on a previous Smallville review, too) I think it was Jeph Loeb or Al Gough that was talking about what their plans for season 7 were.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: Still waiting…

        …for they mythology part to pick up steam. This is the final season, we want a big buildup to a big finish :)

        The producers have been quoted as saying it will continue on as long as possible, they’re not stopping after this season. They’re pretty much a lock for moving to The CW.

        I’ll have to dig to find the interview I read that from, though. (I posted it on a previous Smallville review, too) I think it was Jeph Loeb or Al Gough that was talking about what their plans for season 7 were.

        Here.

        I’ve said this elsewhere – I really wish they had stuck to the planned 5 seasons, as we’re starting to see some annoying repetitions as it grinds on (i.e. Fiziko scores it as original that they stay broken up). There have been some hints as to good things, yet it almost seems… forced to me.

        Then again, it could just be me; Johnathan’s death angered me to an irrational level – my high point this week was him, as I always felt that he was one of the strongest characters on the show (when not being forced to speak in platitudes).

      • zonk3r says:

        Re: Still waiting…

        The producers have been quoted as saying it will continue on as long as possible, they’re not stopping after this season. They’re pretty much a lock for moving to The CW.

        x-files season 8 and on… need i say more?

  2. hans says:

    Plot Device
    I felt like the whole plot was a plot device.


    "Hmm, we want to see Lex’s mom again, and a push and revelation from Jonathan would be handy too. Who can we inflict this near-death experience potion addiction on and how do we get it into Clark and Lex?" Please.

    But aside from the main plot and the fact that Lana would never do that, it was good. It does give me some hope that they’re picking up speed and gearing up to address the mythology. Hopefully they can find ways to do that without plot device episodes.

  3. vanyel says:

    Format
    I will second the bit about Kreuk’s playing of a junkie: very well done…

    Something I’ve noticed this week and last week: my local WB station is showing it in 4×3 format, and some of the text is getting chopped off the left and right bottoms, leading me to believe it’s being filmed in 16×9 HD and then the sides are getting chopped off to fit. Are other stations showing it letterboxed?

    Unfortunately, though I have a new HD Tivo, I haven’t yet got a terrestrial antenna up, and with the geography around here, I don’t think I’m going to be able to get the HD stations when I do (aside from a local PBS station)…

    • Cerberus7 says:

      Re: Format
      My local WB broadcaster is the flakiest HD channel around. Right now, I’m not even picking it up, but even when I was sometimes they were substituting the SD signal of the show in letterbox format for the HD signal. Not quite the same as what you’re seeing, but still flaky.

  4. obiwan says:

    Death of Superman Homage
    Anyone picked up a homage to "Death of Superman"? When he meets Pa Kent’s spirit and Pa Kent pushes him back into the land of the living, just like in the storyline where Superman died in the comics.

    • y42 says:

      Re: Death of Superman Homage

      Anyone picked up a homage to "Death of Superman"? When he meets Pa Kent’s spirit and Pa Kent pushes him back into the land of the living, just like in the storyline where Superman died in the comics.

      Yeah, I got that too. That was cute : )

      I really loved Lex’s reaction in the hallway to. The criminal mastermind is hard at work on the interior decoration department.

  5. Alexius says:

    Pun
    Serious Push… Heh…

  6. compumster says:

    smallville in general
    smallville has always been a good show with good acting. but to be honest i was bit mad (and suprised) when jonothatn died. i was sure they were going to follow the orinonal plot. watever. i also second (or third whatever) the statement that the transition from good girl to druggy was a bit fast. despite the eppisode rite after clark got back his powers and the one with the magnetic dude she was always well mannerd and kept herself in check.

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