Smallville Review – “Phantom”

Smallville ends another season with a fun, though slightly bizarre season finale.

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 Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer.

Directed by James Marshall.

Original Airdate


Phantom
originally aired on Thursday, May 17, 2007.

Synopsis

Lex tracks down the last phantom, Clark makes an ally, Chloe’s meteor power is revealed, and Lana makes a fateful decision.

High Point

The surprises. I wasn’t expecting that meteor power, nor was I expecting the last line of dialogue.

Low Point

Did they actually expect us to be as convinced as the characters? Spoiler guard on: That alley has never seen an unimportant vehicle. As if they’d throw one in now. I’m sure she set the bomb herself before hitching a ride on the mail truck.

The Review

This is an original take on a classic villain, as well as revealing beyond a doubt the supervillain Lex. This is a season finale that actually will change next season in some fundamental ways. The mid-season episodes can be pretty weak, but these guys know how to deliver a season finale. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were plentiful and effective. Again, it’s a Smallville season finale. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story plays out nicely, tying this season together and leading into the next one. We’re seeing them move more deeply into the comic book roots while they’re at it. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was good, with pain and surprises for all involved. Anything with focus on the Luthors tends to play out well, and Phil Morris is a welcome addition. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional reponse was fantastic. I’ve said many times that Smallville is at its best on the way in or out of a season. (I swear, if they cut back to six episodes a season, it would be one of the best shows on the air.) We’ve got fun payoff and great setup, much of which is bringing in more of the classic comic book elements. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production is the typical great work that we’ve come to expect. This show has had some pretty lousy scripts over the years, particularly mid-season and non-sweeps episodes, but they’re always brought to the screen with style and efficiency. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s the kind of high quality that Smallville produces when they know viewers will have more than a week or two to drift away from the show. I give it 6 out of 6. If you’ve ever liked the show, you’ll probably like this one.

In total, Phantom receives 39

out of 42.

2 replies on “Smallville Review – “Phantom””

  1. Tekzel says:

    Best season ender yet?
    I think so. I really dug this episode, it was exciting and everything. The way they ended it though, I almost squealed with glee. While I wouldn’t say Bizarro was my favorite villain, he was always ONE of my favorites. So wacky and wierd. When he said "I’m like Clark, only more bizarre." I literally said out loud "No way..". My wife looked at me strangely. heh I hope for a more serious treatment of him in this show with more of a reimagining than trying to reproduce the comic character as I don’t think that would work so well in this show.

    Heck, I didn’t even mind the Clark and Lois soap opera in this one. I think its the best season finale yet.

  2. hans says:

    Speculation
    It was a decent finale. I wasn’t as taken as others seem to be but it sure was refreshing to see things moving along.


    I was suspicious of the truck in the alley too, but I thought it was going to run Lana down. Not until after the show did I put two and two together and realize Lana must have faked her own death.

    When she told Clark, he was just a little bit too carefree. Sure he’d be happy, but even in the face of his fantasy he should have realized Lex wouldn’t take her leaving him for Clark (or indeed leaving at all) sitting down. He should have been deeply concerned and probably offered to untraceably whisk her away to somewhere safe (where, if he was really smart, they could continue their relationship unknown).

    My low point was the whole Lois/Chloe thing. At first I thought (hoped?) that Lois was dead and Chloe would take on her identity, as she did nome de plume earlier in the series. The krypto tears were unexpected and a nice touch, but not if it kills her. It’s just gratuitous peril. At least I hope that’s all it is. IMHO, Chloe’s by far the best female character in the show and it would be a real disaster to lose her. She’s unfortunately also the most dispensible as far as the mythos goes (to my knowledge). I hope to see her still – do we know if she’ll be back due to casting for next season?

    How did the police know to arrest Lex at the dam? Or were all those cops responding to a 911 call by Chloe or Lois and just happened to decide to arrest Lex along the way? Probably a tipoff by Lionel.

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