More of a problem for me was the fact that Clark has apparently had a personality abortion. It's kind of been happening for a while, but was definitely more in evidence in this episode. I could say that Smallville's writing has always been erratic but I've been trying to stay positive about the Clark-neglect this season for ages, and I think this was the final straw for me. The last character this level of de-characterisation happened to was Chloe and look where that ended up! Also, Clark could have defeated Icicle Junior with his little finger, a problem the writers seemed to deal with by ignoring his presence in the show, rather that writing a credible reason why the other heroes had to team up to defeat him (providing the cathartic moment of resolution in the episode). Equally, Clark seemed to respond to all the other heroes with the following internal monologue: I AM ACTUALLY SO AWESOME YOU CAN'T IMAGINE, but I choose not to show it right now, either in word or deed.
The gold for me, in this episode, lay in three places:
- J'onn getting his powers back *punches the air* (I've been in agony about that for ages, love J'onn and thought his part in this episode was fabulous--though I despaired briefly when he was put in a coma!)
- Lex is alive. Lex is SO ALIVE! \o/
- the genius interaction between Hawkman and Oliver.
The casting in this episode was fabulous. Hawkman had incredible presence and stole every scene he was in... until he was thrown up against Justin's acting chops, and then Hawkman's gravitas warred with Oliver's comic delivery genius to produce brilliance.
HAWKMAN: I may have wings and a silly looking helmet, but my gravitas will FLOOR YOU, little man.
GREEN ARROW: I may seem like I'm just a jokey wisecracker (I reject the term jackass as too harsh!) but I will OWN YOU by the time this episode is over.
HAWKMAN: *owned* *happy about it*
That admiring gaze Hawkman gave the arrow Oliver shot at his portrait was wonderful. For those exchanges, so beautifully handled for both characters, I heart the writers.
The dude that played Icicle was acting his socks off too. Unfortunately he made a pretty unscary villain, but that wasn't the actor's fault.
Interesting comment by Doctor Fate on Chloe--can I hope that the writers were referring to the old suggestion that she was destined to follow her mother and end up insane? Or is she simply going to martyr herself? Hmm, I know which one my money's on (and I'm not happy about it, but so it goes).
Tess is always fabulous but I'm not sure how I feel about the Suicide Squad twist in her backstory. When did this start? How long has she been an agent? This feels very 'pasted on'! But THANK GOD THERE WAS NO ZOD. It was a blessed relief, however brief.