Smallville Review – “Dichotic”

We’ve seen Zachary Ty Brian on Buffy and Jonathan Taylor Thomas on Smallville. Any bets on Taran Noah Smith appearing on a Fox show this season?

Cast

Tom Welling as
Clark Kent
Kristen Kreuk as
Lana Lang
Michael
Rosenbaum
as Lex Luthor
John Glover
as Lionel Luthor
Sam Jones III as
Pete Ross
Allison Mack as
Chloe Sullivan
Annette
O’Toole
as Martha Kent
John
Schneider
as Jonathan Kent

Written by Mark
Verheiden
.

Directed by Craig Zisk.

Original Airdate


Dichotic
originally aired on Tuesday,
November 19, 2002.

Synopsis

Jonathan Taylor Thomas guest stars as a person with incredible time
management skills.

High Point

It’s hard to choose. On one hand, kidnapping victims in this town do
not just sit back and wait for the cavalry. On the other hand, we’ve
seen an aspect of Lex Luthor for the first time that may contribute to
his eventual, inevitable future.

Low Point

Falling people aren’t hurt because the things they land on are
inanimate, they’re hurt because they stop so quickly. That entire
sequence needed to be completely rewritten.

The Review

There’s a limit on the originality when they recycle yet
another X-Files villain. (See Humbug from season
two.) In this case, though, they did do something different with that
concept. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were decent, but flawed. I really can’t think of
a way to make this stuff look natural. Instead of trying, I think
they should have reduced the lighting. There isn’t as much need to
make the close-up look good, and the shadow shot would have been
consistent with the way the close-up was lit. Lana also seemed rather
blurry when she was being shot from above near the end. I give it 3
out of 6.

The story, apart from the bit that made the “low point,” was
erratic. Some moments, including both attacks in the shop room, were
very well done. Others, like the “if you don’t have any facts” speech
and the “I expected more” speech felt forced and out of character. My
only other complaint was the lack of town and school reaction to the
death of a teacher, and an arson of the scene. Just how desensitized
are these people? I give it 3 out of 6.

The acting this week was one of the best aspects of the
episode. Strong work from the whole cast, including the previously
weak leads. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional reponse produced was moderate. There was
interest for most of the episode, and then frustration at a botched
ending. Apart from the bit in the “low point,” there’s also the fact
that there was a witness to Clark’s feats who seems to have left with
his memories completely intact, and nobody seems concerned. I give it
3 out of 6.

The production was the other category in which this episode
excels. The shop lab, including Clark’s project and its original shot
blocking, were very well made. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it was an entertaining episode, but not a classic.
I give it 4 out of 6.

In total,
Dichotic
receives
27
out of 42.

9 replies on “Smallville Review – “Dichotic””

  1. AveryRegier says:

    witnesses
    Shouldn’t Lana be wondering how he got there without a car?

    I actually enjoyed the ending speach a bit. It was nice to see Clark with the upper hand over Chloe and Lana for once. (depends how you saw it, I guess)

    • SciFi0964 says:

      Re: witnesses

      Shouldn’t Lana be wondering how he got there without a car?

      It seems that no one even questions Clark’s quick arrival wherever he goes. It’s the one blaring fact that the story crafters don’t seem to consider important so the characters don’t either I would guess. I think that slightly cheesy myself since it hasn’t been noticed several times.

  2. SciFi0964 says:

    Double your pleasure?!
    The story was pleasant with a villian of the week who drives himself twice as much as others, literally! I noticed a slightly blaring theme throughout the episode about people wishing they were two so as to get more done. That seemed slightly overplayed but melded smoothly with the story. I wondered how such a person could stay in that school without having some darker rep for being driven as he seemed to be. Still, It just took a minor suspension of disbelief for me to enjoy the tale.

    The developement of Lex’s romantic involvement with the doctor who also had a problem with anger management was well done. It was a good point to begin whatever the writers might develope. I must say one of the more prevalent reasons I enjoy this show is how they are handling the character of Lex and his actions.

    • GrimSean says:

      Re: Double your pleasure?!

      I noticed a slightly blaring theme throughout the episode about people wishing they were two so as to get more done. That seemed slightly overplayed but melded smoothly with the story.

      Did you notice in the opening scene, after the main title when they pan down onto the Talon that the sign read “Two for One Special”?

      It completely cracked me up

      However, the highlight of the episode had to be Lex flipping out on the meter maid. Lex is definately my favourite character – the development of his dark side is easily the best part of the show. Sure, Clark’s interactions with Chloe and Lana are interesting (especially when he was on red kryptonite), but they don’t hold a candle to any scene with Lex.

  3. Trekkie says:

    Ignored the story mainly
    I ignored most of the story and was salivating for the little lex time. I really am enjoying how they are slowing delving him to the dark side. The Mayor, The Meter Maid. It’s rather exciting for once.

    I didn’t necessarily enjoy the villian of the week. You’d think, after a while, the people of Smallville would never leave their home. ‘Ryan’ from last week was a nice break from the ‘someone is getting killed in small town kansas’ stuff. Speaking as a memeber of a small town in Kansas (Lawrence0 when someone dies around here, the whole city freaks out. If people were dropping like flies with an unexplained reason, a lot of us would be moving.

  4. y42 says:

    Low point?
    I don’t understand the low point…as far as I can tell, the only
    persons to fall unharmed from a great distance were Clark
    (unharmed on account of being superman) and Chloe, unharmed
    on account of having superman down there to catch her. The
    villain of the week seems to have fallen to his death (or deaths).

    If you mean that Chloe should have been hurt even if she was
    caught, well then stop watching super-hero stories because you’ve
    got 99.9% of the plots revolving around people getting saved like
    that. Might as well wonder how come she wasn’t broken in 2 when
    Clark started running…best to just say to yourself “he’s superman,
    so its ok” : )

    • vanyel says:

      Re: Low point?

      If you mean that Chloe should have been hurt even if she was
      caught, well then stop watching super-hero stories because you’ve
      got 99.9% of the plots revolving around people getting saved like
      that. Might as well wonder how come she wasn’t broken in 2 when
      Clark started running…best to just say to yourself “he’s superman,
      so its ok” : )

      You’re right: it’s a blunder that happens all too often and in the same category as lifting cars because you have a bionic arm, never mind what would really happen is the bionic arm would get ripped out of your body. As Asimov once stated, good science fiction takes a fictional premise and builds a logically consistent world around it. This is not logically consistent. They’re not even self-consistent: they’re claiming Clark won’t fly in this series, yet that’s the only way he could fall faster than Chloe in the first place.

      I also agree with a previous poster: the development of Lex is what really makes this show, beyond the eye candy of the leads. Watching Clark learn about his powers and what to do with them is interesting too, but they’re not giving that the depth it deserves in a show supposedly about that very thing.

      • bryce says:

        Re: Low point?

        As Asimov once stated, good science fiction takes a
        fictional premise and builds a logically consistent world
        around it. This is not logically consistent. They’re not
        even self-consistent:

        Although, the superhero genre is not really a subset of
        science fiction, any moreso than a fairy tale is a
        type of historical fiction. ;-)

        Regarding clark falling faster than chloe, I suspect
        the explanation would have to do with terminal velocities
        and so forth, as opposed to flying; perhaps they left the
        explanation ambiguous as groundwork for future aerial
        feats. Even if they don’t have him flying, I at least
        expect he’ll be “leaping tall buildings in a single bound”
        et al. We all know how much they like to make future
        allusions (e.g., the metalshop ‘S’ – for “Smallville”)

        • y42 says:

          Re: Low point?

          Regarding clark falling faster than chloe, I suspect
          the explanation would have to do with terminal velocities
          and so forth, as opposed to flying; perhaps they left the
          explanation ambiguous as groundwork for future aerial
          feats.

          Well, this is just another example of Clark subconciously using his
          power to fly. He woke up above his bed, controlled his movements
          in a tornado (nice way to get him airborne, btw), and now he willed
          himself to fall faster than he should. I also tend to think of his super
          fast running as using a bit of flying…else he would be ripping off
          the asphalt : )

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