Smallville Review – “Stiletto”

This is what I would consider to be the first truly weak episode of the season. Getting 19 episodes in before hitting that mark may be a Smallville record.


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 Kevin G. Fair

Original Airdate

Stiletto originally aired on Thursday, April 23, 2009.


Lois stumbles onto a mugging, and assumes a superhero identity to stop the crime and bring out the Red Blue Blur. However, one of the muggers is none other than Bruno “Ugly” Mannheim, and she soon learns she’s opened one heck of a can of worms.

High Point

Chloe’s last scene.

Low Point

Though I do like what this leads to in the Clark/Lois relationship, there had to be a better way to do it. I think part of the problem is the lack of growth from Lois. This season has gone to great lengths to turn Clark into the Superman we all know he will be, but Lois is still fundamentally driven by the insecurities that haunt her. Jimmy’s not yet the recognizable character either. I sincerely hope that season eight is about developing Clark into a hero, and season nine will be about Clark inspiring those around them to become the fully realized characters they will eventually be, because they’re simply not there yet. Mannheim is about the only supporting member who makes any progress.

The Review

This is an original episode, setting up the origins of Mannheim and sending Lois in a new direction. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were prominent twice. When Clark first blurs into the room, it looks great, disrupting the environment in a reasonable way. Then we get Stiletto crashing through the skylight, and it was done poorly. The uniformity of her falling speed, the shattering pattern of the glass, and her final kick just didn’t seem natural, even through slow motion. As the most prominent and only new effect, it detracts a lot. I give it 3 out of 6.

The story was a weak means to a nice end. I find the premise hard to swallow, but I do like what they did with it. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was actually pretty good, showcasing the vulnerability of the characters nicely. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was very weak for the first half of the episode. It didn’t really start to build until the last quarter, when the final implications started to reveal themselves. I give it 3 out of 6.

The production is solid, and it generally is with this crew. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a weak episode. If you taped it, it may be worth skipping the first 40 minutes or so and just watching the parts that will have definite implications for the future. I give it 3 out of 6.

In total, Stiletto receives 28 out of 42.

6 replies on “Smallville Review – “Stiletto””

  1. Was I the only one that noticed that Lois asked Clark “Can you read my mind?” when he called her as the Red/Blue Blur?

    Yet another call-out to the Movies. For some reason, I find these highly amusing.

    It was a generally weak episode, but it had its moments. The events that transpired, especially with Jimmy, felt way too coincidental. Lois’ fall/kick was a bit weird.

  2. I just read through this, which is good news for fans of the DC Superman Mythology, (but potentially not so good news for fans of Chloe)

    Quoted from here:

    Seems like they’re going to try setting the story straight next year.

  3. Great interview Fez. Thanks for posting the link.

    The last moment with Chloe (the solo moment, not with Clark at the end) was truly disturbing. Knowing that Chloe is not ignorant to Davis/Doomsday’s killing spree and is in a way a part of it now is frightening for her character. She obviously knows it from that scene in the alley, throwing away the mobster’s body parts.

    I haven’t been very impressed with this season frankly. Doomsday having a human form, and that human being an emotional, girl crazy 20 something is just ridiculous. It takes away any serious terror that Doomsday would bring when he shows up. But hopefully things will pick up for the finale and we’ll see him be the heartless, murdering beast he is.

    • CLARK: Gee, I immediately recognized Lois wearing a mask. I better come up with something better when I become a superhero.

      Well, at least we’re getting a little closer to Superman.

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