Smallville Review – “Promise”

Smallville is back from reruns for a few more weeks.

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 Rick Rosenthal.

Original Airdate


Promise
originally aired on Thursday,

March 15, 2007.

Synopsis

Lex and Lana’s wedding day is upon us, and several people have doubts about the outcome.

High Point

The unmistakable return of the Magnificent Bastard to his full former glory.

Low Point

Needlessly prolonging the Clark and Lana angst (though I do like the odd symmetry that they used to do it.)

The Review

The originality wasn’t there this week. Most of the season has been building to this, and some of it was a rehash of stories best left in the past. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects were well done, particularly the one from the unusual perspective, which shows how effective Clark’s speed really is. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story was also well constructed, with the characters taking turns in the spotlight over a non-linear time construction, which builds some mysteries while revealing others and altering how we view individual scenes. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was quite well done, with some powerful conflicting emotions appearing for various characters at various stages. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was stronger than it has been for any of the latest Clark/Lana rehashes. Once again, they’ve left things at a point where they can walk away from that relationship and move on. Let’s hope they stop flogging the horse this time. (My boredom with that story dampens my appreciation of the other major shift in this episode.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The production was also well done. Mark Snow was firing on all cylinders when he put the score together, and it shows. The rest of the production staff, particularly the editor, also did their work well. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this was a decent episode, and one that would have been more powerful if the audience was still interested in the Clark/Lana relationship. (Seriously, it’s time for Clark to move on to Lois and for Pete to return and “rescue” Lana.) I give it 4 out of 6.

In total,
Promise
receives 32

out of 42.

9 replies on “Smallville Review – “Promise””

  1. vanyel says:

    Almost…but nah
    I agree with many of the good points about this episode, but I didn’t like the jumbled time flow, which served no useful purpose other than to confuse the audience. And the wine cellar scene was so obvious, the only question was camera or person hiding. The kicker was that they had a chance to advance the story (let Lana take a hike and send Lex over the edge!) and threw it away, and I’ve just lost interest. There are too many better shows on, so I’m throwing in the towel.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Almost…but nah

      And the wine cellar scene was so obvious, the only question was camera or person hiding.

      I thought it was more obvious than that. If you watch and listen carefully, there’s a "heartbeat" in the music when we see the scene the first time that gets louder at specific points. I haven’t rewatched the episode, but I’m sure the volume increases each time Lana stepped closer when we saw the scene from her perspective. As usual in the Clark/Lana relationship, Clark was hearing, but not listening. That’s one of Snow’s subtle touches that I loved about this episode.

      • vanyel says:

        Re: Almost…but nah
        I’ve already deleted the episode, but it does sound like a nice touch. Not enough to save it, but a nice touch — at least they’re not trying to pretend we shouldn’t realize what’s going on. I just don’t think Clark, and especially Chloe, are so stupid as to not realize the setup that was.

  2. Cunning_Linguist says:

    How it should’ve happened…
    Clark doesn’t wake up. Instead of it being a nightmare, he really does stab Lex in the back and Lana does stab herself.

    Lex being a Luther and, therefor having more money than God, is rushed by helicopter to Metropolis where the best doctor money can buy saves his life. Lana, unfortunately (or fortunately for those of us tired of the whole Clark/Lana saga), doesn’t survive because of complications with the pregnancy. This sends Lex over the edge, finally.

    Coin-toss as to whether the inhuman evil seed baby survives. It all depends on if it would be useful in future episodes.

    Am I nuts or, could something like this have worked out better?

    • fiziko says:

      Re: How it should’ve happened…

      Am I nuts or, could something like this have worked out better?

      I’ll never vote for a scenario in which Superman chooses to murder. I’d have preferred it if they kept the "now Lana lies to protect Clark" angle, and had Lois step in to console him. That lets them move on without completely scrapping the first half of the season.

      • Cunning_Linguist says:

        Re: How it should’ve happened…

        I’ll never vote for a scenario in which Superman chooses to murder.

        That makes sense and, it’s actually something I should’ve considered… brain fart on my part I guess. I still think they could have worked it somehow so that it wasn’t murder… not sure how though. Guess that’s why I’m not a writer. 8p

        I’d have preferred it if they kept the "now Lana lies to protect Clark" angle, and had Lois step in to console him. That lets them move on without completely scrapping the first half of the season.

        Good point.

  3. hans says:

    Could be good
    I’m the first to disparage the continuing clark/lana saga, but this wasn’t half bad.

    The biggest problems with clark and lana were addressed instead of swept under the rug.

    She finds out. On her own. _And_ clark was ready to spit it out. The pointless secrecy: over.

    Clark denial and lana blinded by bitterness and secrecy, all gone. We have a real reason for them to be apart now. Sure, I’d have preferred "we broke up 3 seasons ago and we’re so over it now", and it was obviously a gimmick for revealing Lionel’s true (again, or always?) colors, but at least it’s driven by luthors now and not by clark/lana emotional yo-yo. If clark accepts her as gone, he moves on to lois. If not, we have the luthors standing between them. Either way it’s an incredible improvement to what it was.

    I predict we’ll see much more of the lex/lionel downward spiral, and that lana will play a big part in it one way or another. Just what they’ll do with her I’m not sure. They at least have a good springboard for some good stories, even ones involving lana. That can only be good, given that they obviously enjoy having her in the show.

  4. y42 says:

    the baby
    So, "Superman returns" or Bene Tleilaxu krypto-freak?

  5. Fez says:

    Seemed rather familiar
    The multi-perspective format reminded me so much of Go that I half expected Lex and Lionel’s conversation at the end to go something like this:

    Lex: It really didn’t go as bad as it could have.
    Lionel: A man is dead, Lex.
    Lex: I didn’t say it went perfectly.

    That said, I thought the episode was OK. Everyone I know is tired of the Clark/Lana plotline but at least they moved things in a different direction instead of using the old routine of secret hiding and concussions.

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