Smallville Review – “Descent”

There’s no guarantee we’ll get a movie review up this weekend, but at least we’ve got this to offer.

Cast

Tom Welling as Clark Kent
Kristen Kreuk as Lana Lang
Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
Erica Durance as Lois Lane
Aaron Ashmore as Jimmy Olson
Laura Vandervoort as Kara
Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor
John Glover as Lionel Luthor

Written by Don Whitehead and Holly Hendersen
Directed by Ken Horton

Original Airdate

Descent originally aired on Thursday, April 17, 2008.

Synopsis

Lex confronts Lionel, asking for the key. Lionel doesn’t cooperate, so Lex takes drastic measures to ensure his victory. This is one of several moves this episode which adds a metaphorical layer to the literal definition of the title.

High Point

Breaking the cliches. This happens a few times, with Lois’ heroism, Lex’s inner voice, and Chloe’s game of hide and seek.

Low Point

Villains are less scary when they pull their punches. Considering what that character had for a recent model, she needed better reasons to hold back. Spoiler guard on the rest: She had reason to leave Jimmy and Lois alive until she confirmed the actual destination of the picture, but there was no reason to leave Chloe alive. Had she hit Chloe once, then heard Clark enter and scrambled to destroy the photo before finishing the job, it would have made more sense.

The Review

This has a fairly original feel to it, particularly for this season, as it feels as though it’s actually putting us on course for Clark’s inevitable future. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were well done, with some new, and some new variations on older effects. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story holds together well, apart from the low point. Seriously, those were decisions based on the needs of future episodes, and not on the character’s likely actions in those situations. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was done well enough. Lionel looked rather calm the second last time we saw him, and Lex’s lackey was weak in her private moments with him, but otherwise, things were fairly well done. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is much stronger than one might expect given the weaknesses I’ve mentioned above. The clear forward momentum (including the total absence of Lana) are a breath of fresh air. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was also well done, delivering as consistently as we’ve come to expect. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, despite a couple of weak aspects, it’s generally a strong episode. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Descent receives 33 out of 42.

9 replies on “Smallville Review – “Descent””

  1. manly says:

    I’m going to miss the Luthors
    While the murder of Lionel was a great way to push Lex down the path of pure evil, I think it’s going to be really hard to keep interested in Smallville without the interplay between Lex and his father.

    I can only hope that the season finale is written such that I can just stop watching and assume season 8 doesn’t exist :)

    –Andrew

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: I’m going to miss the Luthors

      While the murder of Lionel was a great way to push Lex down the path of pure evil, I think it’s going to be really hard to keep interested in Smallville without the interplay between Lex and his father.

      I can only hope that the season finale is written such that I can just stop watching and assume season 8 doesn’t exist :)

      –Andrew

      Spoiler tags!!! ;-) While I could assume that much happens in this episode, the tags would have been nice.

      Actually I’m not that bothered by your lack of tags so I’m being nicer to yoy than people were to me when I left (second cylon hybrid) unspoilered in the Galactica season finale discussion last year :-). Lately, I just don’t feel too inclined to watch this show anymore. I’m with you on season 8 too. I just won’t be watching. Don’t promise to wrap up a story in 5 seasons and then try to give us 8, thats just lame.

      I wouldn’t have even accepted that if Babylon 5 had tried that and Smallville is _not_ on the same level as B5 by a long shot.

      • manly says:

        Re: I’m going to miss the Luthors
        Sorry, I thought it’d been discussed in the review :P

        I was completely shocked that they killed him off before the credits – at first, I totally thought they were going to try to bring him back.

        Now that I think of it, I wonder if ‘Descent’ can be applied to something else – Lionel’s descent into hell! I don’t know if the Superman universe has ever had demons and such, but a demonic Lionel would be awesome :)

        • y42 says:

          Re: I’m going to miss the Luthors

          I was completely shocked

          And now you’ve made sure no one who reads reviews beforehand will.

          SPOILER TAGS, godsdammit. The more you’re shocked, the more they’re relevant.

          • Tekzel says:

            Re: I’m going to miss the Luthors

            I was completely shocked

            And now you’ve made sure no one who reads reviews beforehand will.

            SPOILER TAGS, godsdammit. The more you’re shocked, the more they’re relevant.

            While I understand your righteous indignation, why are you reading the comments before watching the show? That seems kinda dumb to me. Just my opinion, of course. I sometimes read the review posted as they are always careful about tagging the rare spoiler that appears, but I only read the comments after I have seen the show in question, if I am going to at all.

    • Fez says:

      Re: I’m going to miss the Luthors

      While the murder of Lionel was a great way to push Lex down the path of pure evil, I think it’s going to be really hard to keep interested in Smallville without the interplay between Lex and his father.

      You’re assuming that with mini-Lex out of the way, Lionel won’t play Harvey in Lex’ new outlook on life.

      They could easily have John Glover back to haunt Lex after opening that door.

      (I would have used spoiler tags, but somewhere there was already a bag missing a cat. :-)

      • fiziko says:

        Re: I’m going to miss the Luthors

        (I would have used spoiler tags, but somewhere there was already a bag missing a cat. :-)

        I would have made the premise more obscure, but I guessed that based solely on the marketing campaign. It was very predictable, and happened before the opening credits. Had that been the end of the episode, it would be different, but when it’s the first few seconds, I don’t think it’s that big a deal.

        • Fez says:

          Re: I’m going to miss the Luthors

          I would have made the premise more obscure, but I guessed that based solely on the marketing campaign. It was very predictable, and happened before the opening credits. Had that been the end of the episode, it would be different, but when it’s the first few seconds, I don’t think it’s that big a deal.

          It also showed him getting pushed out a window on the "next week on Smallville preview", so between that and all the publicity that someone was getting killed, and the pictures going around of Lex and Clark at a funeral in the city, it was pretty obvious what would happen…

          • Trekkie says:

            Re: I’m going to miss the Luthors

            It also showed him getting pushed out a window on the "next week on Smallville preview", so between that and all the publicity that someone was getting killed, and the pictures going around of Lex and Clark at a funeral in the city, it was pretty obvious what would happen…

            If I wanted to put the effort into it I’m sure I could count the number of times characters on Smallville have been chucked out of windows, blown up, etc only to pop up like nothing happened it wasn’t always obvious Lionel would die this time either.

            I mean he did have what liver cancer?

Comments are closed.