Smallville Review – “Subterranean”

Sorry this was late; I didn’t realize there even was a new episode last night until I saw a submission about the latest episode in the sub queue. Next week’s may be a day or two late, as well. I’m going out of town on business again, and the flight back doesn’t land until 11:20pm, which means I’ll be getting home and midnight and working the next day.

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 Caroline Dries.

Directed by Rick Rosenthal.

Original Airdate

Subterranean originally aired on Thursday,

December 7, 2006.

Synopsis

Clark meets an escapee from a slave labour farm, and puts his family in an awkward position.

High Point

Within the episode, it was the long walk in the last minute. Within the entire broadcast hour, it was the promise of next week’s episode.

Low Point

He’s got the “identity” part pretty well settled, but that “secret” bit really seems to elude him.

The Review

The basic premise is hardly original in this series, where individuals in need of help off the record have been taken in since the first season. What’s new is Martha’s reaction, which is consistent with her new responsibilities. I’m glad to see that wasn’t ignored. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects were nicely done. We’ve seen most of them before, but the sudden moves into and out of the ground were new and well done. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story did the job it needed to do: we got a good superhero story, complete with the “my powers can’t solve everything” angst; it moved Lana deeper into her relationship with Lex while showing the viewer that it can’t last forever; and it let us know how deeply involved Chloe and Jimmy are. I just wish it had a more original premise. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was well done, though I would have preferred it if Javier actually did have an accent, particularly since his excuse was watching American T.V. I have television-addicted relatives who don’t speak English that perfectly, and English is the only language they speak! I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was strong in the initial corn field chase, and in the final walk down the hall. The middle bits of the episode felt slow and familiar. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production is really what kept this episode going. The frantic corn field chase, the methodical and carefully lit walk down the hall, and the Mark Snow score caused more excitement for me than the script. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent episode, but not great. Ending with that geek-out teaser for next week tends to reduce this week’s impact, as well. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total,
Subterranean
receives
32
out of 42.

14 replies on “Smallville Review – “Subterranean””

  1. fiziko says:

    mjcohen writes…
    mjcohen dropped this in the sub queue, thankfully reminding me of the new episode. (At least my PVR doesn’t need reminding.)

    This had some of the usual holes, but, to me, the most interesting part was the preview, where it showed the JLA vs Lex’s army (motto: be more than you can be!), Lana going back to Clark, Clark (maybe) flying, and Lois confronting Clark (presumably) about his powers. In the episode, at the end, we see how evil Lex has become (a row of cells numbered "33.1"!). Clark and Chloe still talk WAY to openly about his powers. What exactly did Clark do to McNally – hit him? Clark was pretty trusting of Javier when he rescued him. He doesn’t trust Lana, but he does trust Javier!?! Why was McNally limited to the edge of the cornfield? Does Lex really love Lana? If so, he will be quite upset if she leaves him, and he has lots of resources for revenge on her and Clark. Also, Javier’s complete lack of any accent was unbelievable – I don’t care how much tv he watched. That’s enough for now – this was a reasonable episode with the main result being shown the evil of Lex and the preview looking good – hope the future episodes hold up.

    • madhack says:

      Re: mjcohen writes…
      My guess about the accent: It makes him easier to relate to. The explanation was a handwave, but why wasn’t ever really the point.

      Also, I’m pretty sure it’s Oliver that Lois finds out about, not Clark. We’re pretty far from existing continuity here, but I don’t think they’re going to go that far out, and Lois has had far more opportunities to discover the hidden lair of the guy she’s banging than to catch Clark in the act, lately.

    • y42 says:

      Re: mjcohen writes…

      Javier’s complete lack of any accent was unbelievable

      Shouldn’t that be "Xavier"?

  2. grimjack says:

    Truth, Justice, and all that stuff…..
    After losing "The American Way" in Superman Returns, is a Superman who does not believe in the rule of law now the path we take? I do live in Kansas, and if Martha Kent were my senator trying to undo the past of two illegals, she wouldn’t get my vote, Supermans mom or not. The abusrdity of comparing Supermans ‘alienness’ to the illegal status of Mexicans who have crossed to the US for work is beyond compare. This will do it for me, I won’t be watching any more.

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: Truth, Justice, and all that stuff…..

      After losing "The American Way" in Superman Returns, is a Superman who does not believe in the rule of law now the path we take? I do live in Kansas, and if Martha Kent were my senator trying to undo the past of two illegals, she wouldn’t get my vote, Supermans mom or not. The abusrdity of comparing Supermans ‘alienness’ to the illegal status of Mexicans who have crossed to the US for work is beyond compare. This will do it for me, I won’t be watching any more.

      Like the comparison or not, Clark’s adoption was illegal. Now there really was no legal way to do it as the government would have taken him and run experiments on him immediately, so you have to give the Kents a pass on that. But Clark really is an alien, and I could believe his rationale. I did think however that a twist at the end where the mother and son ended up sent back to Mexico would have made the solution a little less black and white and a little more grey, and I would have preferred that.

      The low point for me every episode is still Lana. I just can’t get past the point that she always had "feelings" that Clark wasn’t being straight with her, but now she’s catching Lex red handed time after time and believing his lame excuses, c’mon.

      • y42 says:

        Re: Truth, Justice, and all that stuff…..

        The low point for me every episode is still Lana. I just can’t get past the point that she always had "feelings" that Clark wasn’t being straight with her, but now she’s catching Lex red handed time after time and believing his lame excuses, c’mon.

        It’s indeed a toughy. I’m telling myself that she’s stupid and Lex is a great lier.

        He’s also quite rich, so she’ll be willing to forgive more out of him. Sad, but true.

        • smallvilleazz says:

          Re: Truth, Justice, and all that stuff…..
          ite yh ur right lana is sad for beliving Lex, plus Lex always hated Clark for doing the same. i think that Clark and lois should get together n forget about Lana

    • y42 says:

      Re: Truth, Justice, and all that stuff…..

      After losing "The American Way" in Superman Returns, is a Superman who does not believe in the rule of law now the path we take? I do live in Kansas, and if Martha Kent were my senator trying to undo the past of two illegals, she wouldn’t get my vote, Supermans mom or not. The abusrdity of comparing Supermans ‘alienness’ to the illegal status of Mexicans who have crossed to the US for work is beyond compare. This will do it for me, I won’t be watching any more.

      First of all, I’ll make fun of you for being such a stereotypical kansas blowhard: Haha!

      Then, you should know that "and the American Way" was added during World War two as part of the war propaganda effort… at the same time when Superman’s adventures started to involve punching a lot of buck-toothed bespecled japanese, and to wreck their shipyards.

      Superman is indeed an illegal alien, and the show used that to have a discussion of current events. If they loose you because you’re not interrested in a discussion, fine, be that way.
      I’ll geek out at the JLA without you :)

  3. betty$ says:

    I think it’s great
    well smallville is one of my favorite movie. But the thing is they made it so long and people who watch it are kinda loosing interest in following it up. But, other than that, I think it is a great movie and all the stars really rock.

  4. hans says:

    More unrealistic than heat vision
    I know this is a superhero story, but there really is no excuse for the blatant failure to portray anything remotely resembling the story they pretended to portray.

    Javier doesn’t even look Mexican. I’m sure he’s latino, or at least half (at least I hope they’d go that far), but if they wanted to visually communicate "Mexican" they did a very poor job.

    Javier sounded less Mexican than Doctor Who. I live in a border town in New Mexico and most people here who grew up speaking english and don’t even speak Spanish sound more Mexican than he did.

    Normal people don’t panic as if they’ve just met an escaped murderer and rapist when they meet an illegal. Not even a state senator. How someone does react will vary from person to person of course, but it’s more likely to be some sort of anger, contempt, apathy, or pity than fear of the illegal or fear that the law will suddenly send everyone within 10 miles to alcatraz.

    I doubt even in small Kansas towns do deputies search high and low for a possible illegal just because a latino boy was seen on the highway. The INS might start a search with a reliable tip off, but that’s about it. I doubt it’s even really the sheriff’s jurisdiction, but I don’t know that.

    I’m caucasian, I live near the border, I speak Spanish, and I’ve spent some time in cities in Connecticut working with immigrants (many illegal). They’re good people trying to make ends meet back by spending months or even years from the people they love to come work here. It’s not a black and white issue at all, and I think it’s good they tried to address it. It’s just too bad it was so poorly done. Then again, maybe I just know too much (most TV or movie entertainment breaks down when you know too much about the subject matter).

    I did like the Lex/Lana developments, although I didn’t understand the point of the psycho music during their conversation at the beginning. I enjoyed Jimmy’s antics and it’s always nice to see Chloe smiling. I’m ready for some more Oliver.

  5. betty$ says:

    it was not what i ecpected
    I have wished for chloe and clark to be together and now it looks like clark is goona end up with louis. and the fire between lana and lex(zod) is kinda great but it makes lana the bad girl. i don’t know how season 6 is gonna be but it sure got a lot of adventure in it, i guess.

    • Tekzel says:

      Re: it was not what i ecpected

      I have wished for chloe and clark to be together and now it looks like clark is goona end up with louis. and the fire between lana and lex(zod) is kinda great but it makes lana the bad girl. i don’t know how season 6 is gonna be but it sure got a lot of adventure in it, i guess.

      Boy, I really hope that Clark doesn’t end up with Louis. I mean, I am socially liberal and that kind of thing does not bother me normally, but I have always thought Supes was into the chicks.

      • Cunning_Linguist says:

        Re: it was not what i ecpected

        I have wished for chloe and clark to be together and now it looks like clark is goona end up with louis. and the fire between lana and lex(zod) is kinda great but it makes lana the bad girl. i don’t know how season 6 is gonna be but it sure got a lot of adventure in it, i guess.

        Boy, I really hope that Clark doesn’t end up with Louis. I mean, I am socially liberal and that kind of thing does not bother me normally, but I have always thought Supes was into the chicks.

        ROTFLMAO! 8D

  6. smallvilleazz says:

    the end of smallville?
    i think season 7 should be out coz everyone would love to c what appen’s whith clark,lois,lana,lex and chloe. i think when they end the smallville seasons they should on the very late 1 show clark kent wearing the superman custum for the first time i think that will be so kwl

    from Arrol

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