Smallville Redux: Season One Review

It is very strange watching season one of Smallville with the full knowledge of knowing how the series ends. As I have mentioned I have not seen every episode of the series during its 10-year run so I am interested in seeing how Smallville evolved.

In fact, when season one first aired I only saw the first two episodes and didn’t really see the series again until Lois Lane (Erica Durance) came on the scene in season 4 but then that was even sporadic.

But I digress. I stopped watching Smallville not only for the lack of Lois but also because of its second ever episode – Metamorphosis. The Bug Boy episode and it really grossed me up especially when Greg Arkin (Chad Donella) moulted in the shower. I thought if this episode is that gross then the rest of the season would be that way so I stopped. But it was great seeing him pop-up again 198 episodes later to help Clark on his way to becoming Superman.

It seems that was the pattern in season one. We are introduced to the freak of the week. Learn his/her meteor power. Said freak goes after Clark or his family/friends to which he uses his powers to save him or them. One said freak is future Academy Award nominee and future Lois Lane Amy Adams. Another freak of the week was Shawn Ashmore and it was weird seeing him on Smallville (and sharing scenes with Allison Mack) as his identical twin brother Aaron Ashmore would end up playing Jimmy Olson 5 years later.

Many future Battlestar Galactica stars also pop-up in Smallville that include Nicki Clyne (Cally) as a waitress in the Talon, Rekhi Sharma (Tori) as Dr. Harden and Aaron Douglas (Chiefl Tyrol) as Deputy Birdigo.

But I have to say that after watching all 21 episodes, the freak of the week storytelling actually got kind of old.

If I were to choose some favorite episodes from season one I would list the following as ones that I enjoyed: Pilot, Leech, Hug and Stray. Pretty crappy ones are Craving, Drone, Metamorphosis, Nicodemus and Kinetic

I have to say that as the season progressed you knew that they were going to write out Whitney as his character first off wasn’t part of Superman mythos and secondly stood in the way of Lana and Clark getting together.

The season one finale was probably the first episode where you can see the show progressing beyond freak of the week territory but into something more meatier with the key of spaceship starting it up again.

It is interesting that we get to see Clark develop his powers. I am so used to him having the full complement that I find it weird seeing him having to learn to control his x-ray vision or to control his super strength and speed.

It is also interesting to see how young everyone looks especially Tom Welling and Kristin Kreuk. Over 10 years, Tom really grew into a very fine looking man.

Because I know how the show ends, I also find it weird how no one, except his parents, knows his secret. It is weird seeing Chloe be all Lois Lane like and how her character changed so much from being intrepid reporter to being Watchtower. Speaking of Chloe, there was one episode called Cool where she seems to wonder if anyone would be interested in her. I kept on thinking that wait almost 10 years and you will get a very sexy billionaire as your husband. And speaking of said husband, I did love how in the Pilot there was a newspaper headline about the head of Queen Industries either being missing or dead (I can’t recall). This is obviously alluding to Oliver Queen’s parents. I do wonder if they intended to introduce him at some point.

Still on the Chloe front, I really don’t like seeing Clark exploring whether or not he has romantic feelings towards his best friend. There was an episode called Obscura where Chloe mentions that she would be staying with a cousin in Metropolis, I like to believe that cousin to be Lois even though she is probably isn’t since should would be like 16 or 15 at the time.

What I find interesting and frustrating when watching these early episodes is the producers want us to root for Clark Kent (Tom Welling) the nerdy bumbling guy to defeat the jock Whitney (Eric Johnson) and end up with the cheerleader, Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk). But I never did even when I didn’t know where the show was going.

It is hard for me to see him pine over a woman who in later seasons doesn’t deserve Clark and doesn’t understand him the way Lois does.

What I really detest is how everyone fawns over Lana like she is some goddess. I especially hate seeing Clark pine over her hoping that she will notice him and want to be with him. I hate seeing that so much that it makes me hate Lana and makes it really unbearable for me to go through three seasons worth of this before I get to see Lois. I know that Clark really shouldn’t waste his time with all these romantic gestures to Lana, a girl who will keep breaking his heart over and over again. We all know that Lois Lane is Clark’s soul mate and the love of his life (as he told Lois in season 10’s Fortune) so I really hate seeing Clark pine for Lana. Before people hit the comments saying that Lana was his first love and childhood sweetheart and that he needed to go through Lana before he discovers true love with Lois, I know I get it. I understand but it doesn’t mean I have to like it and have the creative powers shove his pining down my throat and try and get us to want Clark and Lana together. But even in the first season, his secret has been a stumbling block to their relationship that continues on for many seasons after. Watching season one does help me understand his reluctance for years in not telling people his secret because he didn’t want people to think of him as a freak. His parents being very overprotective of him revealing his secret does not help with him feeling normal despite all the love they give him.

I love how in the pilot that Clark says to Jonathan he would give anything to feel normal. And I kept saying to screen don’t worry Clark in about 56 episodes or in 3 years you will meet the only person that has ever made you feel normal (as Clark said to Lois in season 10’s Scion).

It was funny seeing Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) give Clark advice on how to woo Lana and setting situations up where Clark can be alone with Lana so he could go for what he wanted (which is Lana). And it was strange in the second episode you see Lex and Lana in the barn and it kind of foreshadows their relationship in season 6. We keep on seeing scenes between these two throughout season one.

It is also strange watching Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) knowing full well that he will die in season 5. But really enjoy watching the father-son dynamic that has definitely shaped Clark. It was interesting to see how both his parents also guide him as in season one Clark was very shy and very unsure of himself.

There were some things introduced this season that would have an impact in season ten. One being Cadmus Labs where Lex had his clones created and Pamela Jenkins who turns out to be Tess Mercer’s mother.

It is also interesting to see Lex and Clark’s friendship and I am interested to see how it slowly progresses into enemy territory.

And it has been interesting see Clark discover things about himself and his powers and his weaknesses during this first season. But when I was watching season one I was in major Lois Lane withdrawal and now have to suffer through 44 episodes before I see her grace our screens.

One thing I will say about season one is that it was great seeing Smallville use Vancouver as a location for the show as later seasons it would stop being on location and rely on the sets in Burnaby. And it was interesting to see season one be filled with a lot of music of the time. In fact, I thought it was too on the nose for Smallville to use Remy Zero during the season one finale at the Spring Formal singing Save Me and having Clark saying he loved that song. It is too bad that there was a lack of songs in season 10 of Smallville but there were still some memorable ones. I also want to note that I started watching season one on December 22, 2011. I intend to watch all 10 seasons now in order so I state this date so I know how long it will take me to watch all 218 episodes.

Season one left me wanting to see how Lionel (John Glover) became a somewhat good guy. I have say seeing Lionel in season one was like seeing Earth-2 Lionel.

I also want to see how Clark realizes that he can’t have any romantic feelings for Chloe and as the series progresses I want to see the moment that Chloe no longer have any romantic feelings for Clark and I know that won’t happen in season two.

Anyways, one season down, nine to go.

About Vanessa Ho (1042 Articles)
Pop culture addicts' view of the world of TV

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