Lionel Luthor is starting to compete with Spike for the title of “greatest character on television.”

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

Story by Mark Warshaw. (I hope that’s the right one.)
Teleplay by Brian Wayne Peterson and Kelly Sounders.
Directed by Marita Grabiak.

Original Airdate

Skinwalkers originally aired on Tuesday, November 26, 2003.

Synopsis

A cave containing a myth about a visitor from the stars who will have the strength of ten men and be able to shoot fire from his eyes is found under the site of the next LuthorCorp building.

High Point

Any scene with both Luthors. I will watch anything and everything that has Michael Rosenbaum and John Glover sharing screen time. Both characters are fantastic, and the actors have wonderful chemistry.

Low Point

Clark’s discovery of the cave was much too convenient.

The Review

This felt like an original episode. We’re starting to lay some of the groundwork for the future version of the past. We also seem to have learned why a part of the ship was so easily detachable. This episode tied into a lot of what we’ve seen and what we’ll expect, but did it in a way so natural that we didn’t get the “beating you over the head with a brick” feeling (such as the Warrior Angel conversations), but the material wasn’t so subtle that people not familiar with Superman would miss it (such as Chloe’s placement of her pin, which is reminiscent of Ursa’s placement of her police badge in Superman II). Also, this is a portion of the Superman myth that I haven’t heard of from comic fans, although it’s still mostly consistent with what I know of the series. (Perhaps Jor-El took a closer look at Kal-El’s future home than I remembered, but apart from that…) I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects consisted of stock footage, some interesting “lupis-eye view” footage, a long drop, and a morph. All of these effects were very well done. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story was, for the most part, very good. The opening event was unlikely enough to bother me, and I’m not a big fan of cliffhangers that are almost unrelated to the rest of the episode, but otherwise, this was a very good episode. Yes, we’ve seen the “main character misses the obvious” problem before several times, but this time the character in question has a very plausible reason to blind himself to the possibility in question. Once the cave was introduced, the episode ran with a pretty tight plot and some great dialogue, especially from the Luthors. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was very good from most of the cast (including Kristen Kreuk!) Tom Welling was good, but not great. Tamara Feldman, who played Kyla, was not bad. However, since she doesn’t even have an IMDB entry yet, I think it’s safe to say that she’s pretty good for an actress with so little experience. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced in me was almost entirely positive. (I’m sure there are some serious Superman fanboys who blew a gasket, though.) Once again, the negative portion was the low point. I know it sounds like I’m dwelling on that, but frankly, those four or five seconds were the only parts that really bothered me. I liked the rest of the race; it’s the only kind of race that Pete can win against Clark without one of them holding back. The Luthor scenes were great, and the cliffhanger was effective. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was excellent. The sound in the scene when Lionel was alone was perfect. The teaser made me feel like The X-Files was still on the air for a few minutes. The cinematography in the morphing shot was beautiful. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this was an excellent episode that belongs in sweeps week, and may form a cornerstone for the series. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, Skinwalkers receives 37 out of 42.