Smallville Review – “Instinct”

Well, so much for a consistent season.


Tom Welling as Clark Kent
Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
Erica Durance as Lois Lane
Aaron Ashmore as Jimmy Olson
Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer
Sam Witwer as Davis Bloome
Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen / Green Arrow

Written by Al Septien and Turi Meyer
Directed by James L. Conway

Original Airdate

Instinct originally aired on Thursday, October 9, 2008.


Tess Mercer continues to study the Kryptonian crystal found at the North Pole, and accidentally activates a beacon. This beacon summons an interplanetary queen with super seductive powers that human men just can’t handle.

High Point

We’ve now got forward motion in the Lois and Clark relationship. I don’t think they’ve established this much mythos in any four consecutive episodes of the series as they have this season.

Low Point

I haven’t read much of the comic book version of Maxima, but I really hope the character Stern and Perez created had more depth than this interpretation did.

The Review

This is not as original
as other episodes have been this season. If there’s anything this show has done before, it’s a love triangle. This one was based on such a weak premise that it not only failed to engage me, it actually disengaged me from the entire first half of the episode. It wasn’t until it started pushing Lois and Clark together that it got me interested again. The side plot with Tess’ proposition was much more interesting to me than the main plot, simply because we’ve seen this particular villain motivation so much on the show that it was tired before season one wrapped. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects were well done, though almost all have been done before. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story was far too predictable. I like the ultimate end that it provided, but there had to be a better way to get there. (I’m thinking Lori Lemaris.) At least the secondary plot was a strong one. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting from guest star Charlotte Sullivan was pretty poor, though she had very little to work with. Durance was a lot better than normal, with the awkward subconscious jealousy coming across quite nicely. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was really uneven. Some moments were great, but others were painful. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production on this show is usually excellent. This week seemed to have problems with sound mixing, though, with the most obvious example being the ABBA disks enclosed in the world’s loudest jewel cases. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, this was a mediocre episode that laid the groundwork for some good future episodes along with some terrible future episodes. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Instinct receives 28 out of 42.

3 replies on “Smallville Review – “Instinct””

  1. Uneven…
    I also felt that this episode failed to keep up the good pace they had going for the season. Parts were good, parts were not so good.

    I liked how it moved forward the Clark/Lois story, and (unfortunately) made it clear that neither Chloe or Clark have (or admit to having…) romantic feelings for each other.

    I thought it would have been better if Clark would have interrupted Jimmy & Maxima as they were just about to kiss. Maxima would have gone for Clark, and Jimmy would have been even more pi$$ed off that Clark got between him and another woman. Sure, the way they played it worked out OK in the end, but I think I would have rather seen a drunken Jimmy ranting at Clark. :-)

    The crystal plot, with Chloe and Tess, is interesting. I keep trying to think of who "X" might be, and it’s probably obvious to someone who is more familiar with Superman canon, but I’m drawing a blank.

    • Re: Uneven…
      I was under the impression that "X" is Lex, I could be wrong though. I was pretty excited about the appearance of Maxima until I actually saw the episode. It just seems like instead of developing a villian that isn’t Lex, or now Mercy, they would rather wrap up a character’s entire history in a single hour.

      On a side note, is anyone else excited that they ditched the whole Lana gets knocked out, Clark gets her to the hospital, and they both cry formula they’ve worked with for the past 7 years? Lex and Lana leaving the main cast has a chance of being the best thing that has ever happened to the show!

      • Re: Uneven…

        Lex and Lana leaving the main cast has a chance of being the best thing that has ever happened to the show!

        Lana leaving, yes. Lex leaving, no. The Lana/Clark drama has been my biggest complaint over the last few seasons. I was so happy to see her finally leave. I had no complaints about Lex though. Michael stole every scene he was in and his acting was head and shoulders above most people on the show. Just as he was starting to get totally evil, he "disappears". Now with him gone, the show is crap. And this chick they have taking his place at Luthercorp…what a snooze fest she is.

        The last few seasons have annoyed the hell out of me, but have kept me interested enough so that I’ll watch every episode. This is the first season that I haven’t watched any episode when it aired. I Tivo it and pick and choose which ones I want to watch base on these reviews. I made a pass on the Green Arrow origin episode (I hate the character and the eye candy for the chicks actor). I watched this one only to see the chemistry between Clark and Lois blossom. Other than that, this episode, just like the whole season up to this point, is a disaster. I feel zero loyalty to it anymore. The best characters (and their actors) on the show all left (Lex and Lionel), and we’re left with crap every week.

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