Monday, April 12, 2010

Smallville: Season 9, Episode 16 'Checkmate' Review

Usually when Smallville themes are on Clark, Kandorian's and Heroes, with the exclusion of Lois, things wind down. I didn't expect to like this episode so much, especially without Lois' presence. Although I believe since Lois and Clark are official, it's hard to imagine any episode without some Lois reference, but that played a minor role with Amanda Waller, and the Hero reference placed at the forefront. I understand Waller's character from staying tuned into Justice League, so there were close similarities. Waller from Justice League was determined and obsessed with government policies and threats against mankind. She was often associated with Lex Luthor. I don't know how close to Justice League's story-lines would Smallville equate, but Waller's character is pretty close.

Now what did Tess get herself wrapped into? Did we actually have Tess crying and pleading for forgiveness, from Oliver? I don't buy it! Why would Tess feel the need to go underground and runaway front the rush of it all, when she clearly has Zod on her side? I would hope that Tess would have used her connection with him to her advantage, unless things aren't as good as they were presented last week. Tess has shown so much backbone in the past, to have her become the untypical villainess, admitting her sorrows and begging for forgiveness, comes off as a disappointment.

Oliver and Chloe's relationship seem to be growing on the other hand. They obviously have the "If something happened to you, I don't know how I could go on..." association. I believe Oliver is afraid to show his true feelings for Chloe for fear of losing her and instead he covers his "I care for you" with "Be careful and Don't get hurt". The early scene between Tess and Green Arrow, was shameful the way Tess confined him to captivity, but it was also incredible for Green Arrow to be just on the look out, at the right place and time. How did Tess know where to locate Green Arrow, let alone Waller? Why did Waller require Tess to do the job? What was the purpose behind the wig and the secretive approach? The only thing accomplished was the suspense behind Tess' sudden urge to run when she could have cleverly eluded all those villains herself, without question.

John Jones' presence was just as peculiar. There is something the writers are holding back from us, to keep us guessing and thinking about their secretive approach to telling a story. Although I would have appreciated seeing the Lois and Zod continuation. I understand that's another story which would require a careful approach. I was not happy with the approach to Lois and Clark last week though. The writers are somehow trying to provoke us. Clois fans have been waiting for the 'moment' between Lois and Clark, but I simply want a sense of humor between them again, just like the scenes created in 'Roulette' and something as breathtaking as 'Idol', without the twist in the ending.

This Clois topic is probably for the next episode, but for now the slow motioned fight scenes with Tess and the other with Clark in the white room rescuing Chloe was a 'please tread lightly' plead on my behalf. We know that Clark moves faster than a speeding bullet and simply having a room filled with guys and a detained Chloe at first glance, followed by a room of defeated guys and a missing person on a chair, would not have been as cool without the slo-motion, but it seemed overdone somehow. This is evident when Tess had her early slo-mo scene in the beginning, maybe that's just a personal dislike. Other than those questionable moments, the interaction between Jones and Waller was intriguing. I wasn't even aware of his fear of fire, although it made sense. Waller also seems like trouble and as long as she knows Clark's identity somewhere in her psyche, Lois would also find herself in some deep waters.

Oh and was the shade truly keeping Waller from seeing Clark, must have been really dark? Clark should pay an even closer eye on Lois, since he's so naive against threats against his personal life, especially since he's freely revealing his identity. Did Jones truly erase Waller's memory? What about the security tapes and the other agents, is Clark's identity truly secure?



Four Stars

Grade B-

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