Smallville Review – “Vessel”

Thus endeth season five.

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

Erica Durance as
Lois Lane

Allison Mack as
Chloe Sullivan.

Written by Brian Peterson and Kelly Sounders.

Directed by James Marshall. This is the first
Smallville
season finale not directed by Executive Producer Greg
Beeman.

Original Airdate


Vessel
originally aired on Thursday,
May 11, 2006.

Synopsis

Lex is kidnapped to become the vessel for Zod. Clark
is told that
killing the vessel is the only way to prevent Zod from
destroying the
world.

High Point

Clark is growing into Superman. For once, we’ve got a
problem that
really will take a Superman to solve.

Low Point

The plot thread with Martha and Lois. They’re going
to have to go out
of their way to integrate that with the main plotline
next season;
right now, it seems like random stuff just to put
every lead
character in jeopardy at the end of the season.

The Review

This doesn’t feel as original as some of the
past season
finales. I think the main reason for this is that
this is the first
finale that didn’t throw a new threat at us, but
instead simply
delivered the threat that we’d been hearing about for
the entire
season. It’s also nice to really drive home the
amount of lying
Clark’s done, particularly when compared to Lex. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were well done. The work in the
teaser looked a
little cartoony, but that which came later (including
the cityscapes
and that great final shot) was extremely well done. I
give it 5 out
of 6.

The story was well written in most respects.
(Again, I feel
that the Martha and Lois plot thread was grafted on to
put everyone in
peril.) The conversation between Lex and Clark worked
extremely well,
though. It’s a great way to set the two up as
enemies. I really hope
that Lex retains his memories of this event, even if
it does
contradict most versions of the Superman canon. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was very well done this week, from
the cast all
around. With Marshall at the helm instead of Beeman,
things slowed
down the usual frantic pace and allowed for some
genuine character
moments to come through as well. I give it 5 out of
6.

The emotional response kicked into high gear
the moment
Lionel pointed out the choice Clark may have to make.
Once that
choice was laid out, and they started to face off in
the midst of
worldwide panic, the pace returned to the traditional
Beeman feel.
The results of Brainiac’s plan have turned out to be
very
interesting. What else can be said? This looks like
a job for
Superman! I give it 6 out of 6.

The production was also well done. It’s a
different feel for
a Smallville finale, but it worked very well.
I give it 5
out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good season finale, and one
that certainly
leaves me pumped for next season, as well as for the
movie (due June
24.) I give it 5 out of 6.

In total,
Vessel
receives
35
out of 42.

21 replies on “Smallville Review – “Vessel””

  1. nitefallz says:

    Brain-iac
    Did anyone catch the reference to "Brainiac" (Brain-InterActive Construct) from Jor-El when he was talking about the ship? I thought it was a nice touch.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: Brain-iac

      Did anyone catch the reference to "Brainiac" (Brain-InterActive Construct) from Jor-El when he was talking about the ship? I thought it was a nice touch.

      Yes, I liked that too. I give "High Point" status to the lecture Lex gave Clark on honesty. Something he’s needed for quite some time. I also thought it was stupid of him to not come out to Lana, given that she already knows something of what’s going on, but just enough to be dangerous to her. How can he not tell her the complete story if he cares about her at all???

      I think the low point is Martha accepting Lionel’s offer of the plane ride. She’s not naive enough to not understand how damaging that would look, no matter how innocent.

  2. pelogrande says:

    Kneel Before Zod!
    I spent the last ten minutes of the epsiode yelling at them, trying to get Lex to tell Clark to kneel before him. He’s gotta tell it to somebody. Hope it comes up next season.

    • nitefallz says:

      Re: Kneel Before Zod!

      I spent the last ten minutes of the epsiode yelling at them, trying to get Lex to tell Clark to kneel before him. He’s gotta tell it to somebody. Hope it comes up next season.

      I was hoping for that too! I thought the entire encounter was very anticlimactic though. The past finales had me on the edge of my seat but for some reason this didn’t. The one thing I was hoping for was for Lana to learn Clark’s secret. I’m not sure if that ever happened in the comics or not though.

      • graikor says:

        Re: Kneel Before Zod!

        The one thing I was hoping for was for Lana to learn Clark’s secret. I’m not sure if that ever happened in the comics or not though.

        In John Byrne’s 1985 Man of Steel miniseries that relaunched Superman post-Crisis, Clark tells Lana his secret right before leaving Smallville to go on a journey of discovery that ends when he becomes Superman.

        • cabrubak says:

          Re: Kneel Before Zod!

          The one thing I was hoping for was for Lana to learn Clark’s secret. I’m not sure if that ever happened in the comics or not though.

          In John Byrne’s 1985 Man of Steel miniseries that relaunched Superman post-Crisis, Clark tells Lana his secret right before leaving Smallville to go on a journey of discovery that ends when he becomes Superman.

          In the 90’s Superman cartoon, Lana figures out Clark is Superman the first time she meets Superman in Metropolis.

    • y42 says:

      Re: Kneel Before Zod!

      I spent the last ten minutes of the epsiode yelling at them, trying to get Lex to tell Clark to kneel before him. He’s gotta tell it to somebody. Hope it comes up next season.

      It’s gonna be Lana :-P

  3. cabrubak says:

    Last Two minutes?
    My tivo missed the last two minutes of this as I think they changed it to and hour and 2 minutes at the last minute.

    What happened when Lex(Zod) meet Lana at the end? That’s where it cut off for me.

    • AveryRegier says:

      Re: Last Two minutes?
      I lost it too. Could someone pipe up on this?

      • fiziko says:

        Re: Last Two minutes?

        I lost it too. Could someone pipe up on this?

        Here it is: Lana, thinking Lex is still the only inhabitant of his body, decides she wants to explore what they have together, and "Lex" agrees. The final shot of the episode was in deep space, where we see that Clark’s pursuit of that metal ring ended up with him trapped inside a very familiar looking squarish plate.

        • dan_k says:

          Re: Last Two minutes?
          Just my thought to this:I thought Clark was sucked into the ring as it looked like he was pulled to it from his midsection?

          • Fez says:

            Re: Last Two minutes?

            Just my thought to this:I thought Clark was sucked into the ring as it looked like he was pulled to it from his midsection?

            Same here, it looked very much like he was being pulled backwards into space, much like the people were pulled up in The Forgotten.

            • hans says:

              Re: Last Two minutes?

              Just my thought to this:I thought Clark was sucked into the ring as it looked like he was pulled to it from his midsection?

              Same here, it looked very much like he was being pulled backwards into space, much like the people were pulled up in The Forgotten.

              I agree

              it looked like he was pulled, but it wasn’t at all obvious. I thought at first that he flew after it, but that wouldn’t make any sense. He doesn’t fly yet, why would he be able to make a split second decision to fly after it. That could of been made much clearer.

              The high point for me:

              Chloe’s kiss.

              The low point:

              I know Lana is bitter and untrusting toward Clark, but after finding out Lex is some superbeing she looked a little scared. Why would she warn Lex about Clark if A) she didn’t think Clark could possibly kill him, and B) she might at least have an inkling of why what Clark and Chloe were talking about might not just be jealousy. But I never underestimate Lana. On a related note, Lana sure climbed a lot of stairs to get to the top of LutherCorp, and didn’t look that winded.

              • hans says:

                Re: Last Two minutes?
                I apologize for the spoilers. My brain was on backwards and I typed quote when I meant spoiler.

  4. obiwan says:

    I hate cliffhangers
    When’s the next season scheduled to begin?

  5. LEXX says:

    SMALLVILLE 6
    I WONDER WHEN THE NEXT SEASON WILL COME OUT I CANT WAIT, SMALLVILLE IS THE BEST SUPERMAN SERIES THAT HAS EVER CAME OUT!! I LOVE THE CONFRONTATIONS BETWEEN LANA AND CLARK. SMALLVILLE IS ONE OF THE SHOWS WHERE U HAVE TO YELL AT URE TV, LOL IF ANY ONE HAS ANY INFO ON WHEN THE NEXT SEASON WILL COME OUT PLEASE DO ME A FAVOR AND POST IT AND FOR THE FELLAS WHOS THE BEST LOOKING GIRL ON SMALLVILLE FOR ME ITS LANA SHES A CANADIAN GODDESS AND ALLISON IS GORGEOUS WHICH ONE DO U PREFER.IM DYING TO SEE HOW CLARK IS GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS ONE PROBABLY WITH THE HELP OF JORE-L BUT ANY INFO POST IT

    • TechnoGirl says:

      Re: SMALLVILLE 6

      I WONDER WHEN THE NEXT SEASON WILL COME OUT I CANT WAIT, ….

      All CAPS is soooo Comodore 64ish…

  6. bailfrey_mak says:

    Another Season!!!!
    I watched episode 1 of season 1 in February of this year (2006)!!! Since then I have bought, borrowed and downloaded in an attempt to catch up with the current series 5 on TV! I just cant get enough of this shit! To my surprise I caught an ad on TV for the latest episode and realised that I had infact overtaken TV! Ive just this minute finished watching ‘vessel’and well my God!!!! I started watching, thinking "yes! Ive finally reached the end of Smallville!" only to discover that NO infact i hadnt! Although slightly far fetched the only fault that I can put on the genre of "Superman" is that its a crying shame they didnt carry on the up and coming superman movie from the show! Tom Welling has sweated it out for five seasons and now an innevetable 6th season on the way, He deserves and we deserve to see him don that red cape! Yeah sure the trailers to ‘Superman Returns’ look great but come on! give us a prequal on the silverscreen!Going back to the subject of Smallville now being far fetched in my opinion I think its pretty obvious that we have now ‘Moved Out’ of Smallville! We have now entered "METROPOLIS". Enter SUPERMAN!!!

  7. mjcohen says:

    As Laur-el might say …
    "Well, it’s a fine mess you’ve gotten into, Kal-el!"

    If Jor-el, who is pretty smart and powerful for a dead guy, is so smart, why didn’t he (aside from plot requirements) say "By the way, Kal-el, it would be highly counterproductive to throw that knife at Fine"? JE should know that KE would be quite unwilling to kill Lex.

    Also, since JE can remove KE’s powers, can he do the same to Lex/Zod?

    Despite the description that KE gets closer to his "destiny", there didn’t seem to be much of that this episode. KE did his usual "disobey daddy and get spanked".

    Also^2, is KE alone in the phantom zone? What about the two Kryptonians earlier (I guess they wore red uniforms)?

    • vanyel says:

      Re: As Laur-el might say …

      Also^2, is KE alone in the phantom zone?

      From what I recall of the movie, each zone was independent, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it or even the previous zod episode of smallville.

      But it did occur to me also that a lot of the problems seem to be caused by JE not telling KE much of anything. I guess not giving people crucial information they obviously ought to be given runs in the family…

      On an unrelated note, and maybe this ought to be put up as a separate discussion thread, did anyone see the IMDB item that NBC is going to start a new series in the fall "Heroes: A Lost-like series where people are given superhuman powers"? Boy, could that go either way…

  8. villin says:

    clark kent will be able to fly again!?
    u know when clark has different side kal-el right!? and martha threw the stone to clark and use it to hit his bad side!? is he gonna be able to fly or not..cuz im lookin forward to clark kent flying in this up coming season 6 or 7 if there is 7? it looks so awesome like in the episode "Arrival" reply asap.

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