Smallville Review – “Infamous”

The eighth season’s end run has begun. Generally speaking, this is the strongest season we’ve had in years.

Cast

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 Caroline Dries
Directed by Glen Winter

Original Airdate

Infamous originally aired on Thursday, March 12, 2009.

Synopsis

Linda Lake (Tori Spelling) is back, ready to blackmail Clark with his secret. Clark decides to deal with the issue by going public on his own terms.

High Point

The scenes between Clark and Lois.

Low Point

Tori Spelling can’t act. Anyone else with her looks and talent but middle class parents would live in complete obscurity.

The Review

This has the same sort of original feel as the rest of this season: it’s not new in the context of 70+ years of comic book history, but it’s new to the show, and giving us some definite forward momentum. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were well done. It’s the same set of effects we’ve seen in the past, but they’re still effective. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story felt a bit accelerated, as though it should have been a two parter but was jammed into a single episode for the sake of avoiding a two parter. It also smacked of deus ex machina, but frankly, that device has been waiting in the wings for a while, and this effectively closes that hole. It does have a classic problem with this device, though, which I’ll discuss under spoiler guard: Either we have duplicate Clark Kents running around, or we’ve got a logical flaw. We know Clark doesn’t just go back in time to become himself; the Legion didn’t have themselves around to jump into. Therefore, he goes back in time with another Clark still around. The only way to get rid of the second Clark is to give him the ring and send him back in time. He can’t do that, though, as he destroyed the ring. So, what are we to do with the second Clark? The solution is not to destroy the ring now, it’s to jump ahead to the time of the Legion and destroy it then, well removed from the timeline which is messed up by the dual presence of Clark. He also needs to bring the duplicate ring with him, while somehow telling the “past” Clark why the ring is missing so it doesn’t bother or concern him. The writers seemed to completely miss the duplicate person aspect. End spoiler. I did like what this episode does for the ultimate fates of Lois, Davis and Linda Lake, though. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting from the regular cast was great. Erica Durance had a great opportunity to shine in this one. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the guest cast: see the Low Point. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is strong. Some of the execution was pretty shaky, but the fan in me can get past much of that for the sake of the goals. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production of this series is always pretty solid. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, a lot of the parts don’t quite gel, but the complete package is worthwhile viewing for the sake of the entire package and the future of the series. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Infamous receives 31 out of 42.

10 replies on “Smallville Review – “Infamous””

  1. Timeshredder says:

    Interesting retcon premise, poor execution
    My low point? Clark used the ring to go back a couple days, instead of a few seasons.

  2. hans says:

    Original?
    I suppose it was somewhat original in that it was the biggest and most foreshadowed reset button yet. But we’re no strangers to reset buttons and the general idea is basically the same as when he told Lana then went back to undo it.

    Still, I enjoyed it and especially the Davis Bloom side story, and I was especially impressed with Durance this week, but especially unimpressed by Spelling. Actually, writhing in pain when she was on screen comes closer to the truth.

  3. Tekzel says:

    Heh. Tory freaking Spelling.
    I agree 100% with the low point, even though the idea of "telling everyone then going back in time to fix it" should have been the low point hands down, somehow they found out a way to make that flaky story construct seem not so bad: Put Tory Spelling in it! That woman should be barred permanently from appearing on camera, anywhere. Even her parents digital camera. After all, she is the worst actor to ever appear in front of a camera, and she is ugly as sin.

  4. Cerberus7 says:

    Hated it…
    I really, really hated this episode. I agree with the high point, those were really great scenes. I also liked Doomsday’s scenes, especially when he f-ing killed Tori f-ing Spelling. That couldn’t make up for the suck, though. The rest of it sucked. Tori f-ing Spelling f-ing sucked. The moment you knew this was YET ANOTHER DAMNED RESET BUTTON EPISODE it sucked.

    • TheDawgLives says:

      Re: Hated it…

      I really, really hated this episode. I agree with the high point, those were really great scenes. I also liked Doomsday’s scenes, especially when he f-ing killed Tori f-ing Spelling. That couldn’t make up for the suck, though. The rest of it sucked. Tori f-ing Spelling f-ing sucked. The moment you knew this was YET ANOTHER DAMNED RESET BUTTON EPISODE it sucked.

      Well, I saw the reset button coming pretty early on, so I was able to prepare myself. What really sucked the most was that they decided to play out Lois and Clark the same way they played out Clark and Lana. Has Clark learned nothing in all his dealings with Lana? Does he really think lying to and avoiding the woman he loves is the best plan? I hated the ending for that very reason. At some point Clark is going to have to sack up unless they are going for an alternate universe theory where Clark Kent is a wuss.

      • Cerberus7 says:

        Re: Hated it…

        Well, I saw the reset button coming pretty early on, so I was able to prepare myself.

        So did I, and I prepared myself by swearing at my TV and only half-paying-attention for the rest of the show.

        • Alexius says:

          Re: Hated it…

          Well, I saw the reset button coming pretty early on, so I was able to prepare myself.

          So did I, and I prepared myself by swearing at my TV and only half-paying-attention for the rest of the show.

          Why?

          I mean, as soon as he started to go public, I figured it was an obvious ‘we’ll be resetting this’ episode, but that doesn’t mean the story wasn’t going to be good. Sort of like how we know Clark doesn’t end up with Cloe, but that doesn’t diminish the stories that are based on her interest in him.

          I kinda figured that the writers expected you to know that was coming, so they didn’t bother to avoid the obviousness of it, like not avoiding the obviousness of the Red/Blue motif and his need for a secret identity.

          • Cerberus7 says:

            Re: Hated it…
            I think I’m bitter about it because they’ve hit the reset button too many times over the years. They come up with these compelling ideas, meaningful stories, then WHOOPS none of that matters, back to square 1! There’s only so much of that I can take before I stop caring.

            There was plenty of good stuff in this ep, but between that and Tori Spelling, I just couldn’t get into it.

      • fiziko says:

        Re: Hated it…

        What really sucked the most was that they decided to play out Lois and Clark the same way they played out Clark and Lana. Has Clark learned nothing in all his dealings with Lana? Does he really think lying to and avoiding the woman he loves is the best plan?

        I don’t think Clark is in love with Lois yet. To me, that makes a big difference in the amount of trust he places in her. I think he viewed her as a good friend until she opened up before the reset button, and only now is he really looking at her as more than that.

      • Fez says:

        Re: Hated it…

        Well, I saw the reset button coming pretty early on, so I was able to prepare myself.

        So did I, in the preview from the previous week. I knew then that there would be a big reset.

        And as if that wasn’t obvious enough, Chloe(?) even said "reset button" in the episode.

        I’m hoping that by shying away from having Clark tell Lois now, they are trying to keep some resemblance to other timelines of the mythos (which I won’t pretend to know all the details of)… Which at least means she doesn’t find out until after the tights & flights start up.

        Hopefully the preview for this week means what I think it means, and we might see some flying, but then again previews are known to twist things…

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