Saturday, October 16, 2010

Smallville: Season 10, Episode 4 "Homecoming" Review

Nearing the end of a series, where an abundance of fans have followed since the beginning, writers often slip with the quality or step up their game. "Homecoming" was proof that not only these writers improved on the material, but gave meaning to the story of Smallville; a boy's journey to become the man he was destined to be. Ten years of Smallville clubs, shippers from videos on 'Youtube' and incredible reflections on the image previous writers played on the Superman image, created this milestone. What other meaning could this Superman be to us; the dream that gives every individual hope of life, that people beyond our imaginings hold our best interest at heart.

This episode was filled with such debt. Others have put strain on the pressure placed on Clark to become the hero he was already, but did not take into consideration the strain he placed on himself that held him back. Our minds were focused on the possible threats that Clark would have to battle on this journey, that no one paid attention to his destination. This trip down memory lane was for his own good, despite our resentments. Clark had to face his past; a past he dreams he could redo, correct the wrongs he made and save the people he hurt. He finds so many ways to hurt his already bruised heart from the suffering he had endured. Instead of learning from his mistakes, he transforms the pain into another load.

All this time I struggled to figure out exactly how Clark would change his identity, except the mistake made was the 'change'. There is no way Clark could change the person he spent years building. He once tried to erase himself completely for the betterment of others, rather than realizing the strength he already had to realize his humanity and his destiny. In fact, with a trip to the future, 2017 to be exact, Superman was already born, he was in love and he was on his prophesied path.

Braniac: "This is the moment that your life changes forever"

Braniac's presence alone shows the fate that Clark needed to have in himself. If a corrupted villain could change his stripes, maybe the darkness Jor-El described could be eradicated and overcame. Clark just needed to figure out the meaning behind his doubt, rather than focusing on saving the world just because he could.

Braniac: "The problem is Kal-El you and I aren't very different. We were created in one way or another by Jor-El, both intended to save civilizations, to bring peace to a brutal world, but neither of us was immune to corruption and darkness."

Clark: "What does that mean? All of a sudden everyone is telling me that I have a darkness inside of me, but I don't understand what it is or how I'm supposed to change it!"

It's amazing that when Braniac made his trip to the counselor's office, whose mind was triggered to harm Clark, we assumed Braniac would use her to do Clark harm when he did show up. The question that came up was 'If Braniac was not defeated, why wait on some high school reunion to reap havoc?' So when the counselor bounced into Clark and embraced him, I expected to have her eyes glow, or for some sort of twisted look bearing a smirk, leading to an element in Braniac's plan. I was caught off guard with Braniac's good nature and his trip from the future theory proved more believable and it was time for Kal-El to begin his true path. What other explanation through the revelations of Clark mourning his father's death, or going back to the fight he had with Lionel, could Braniac have other than to help Clark? Give him a saving chance of survival.

Braniac: "We cannot see it in ourselves. My corruption started with a nanobite"

Braniac issued a displeased puff; he could not believe a nanobite could cause so much harm. Yet it's the little insecurities in ourselves that cause us to do harm, so maybe the nanobite was not so small but the biggest revolution to Braniac becoming who he was in the end and being the guide that made Clark discover his nanobite. Sometimes, it is even that simple. We spend so much time figuring out why we need to change ourselves, rather than pointing out what led to that thought of change. What is wrong with the people we are already? All Clark needed was to see for himself that even heroes need a savior.

This revelation for Clark and a trip to the future, made him focus on the people around him. Through his thought of saving humanity by staying away; he hurt the others around him. Oliver needed a friend that remained hidden and Lois was Lois in the end, but he didn't realize how he was hurting her emotionally. Clark's view of humanity and how he could help was what he needed to see clearer. In fact, his glasses in the future gave him a clearer double identity. Though the writers imprinted a nerdy Clark, he was still super in those glasses and the uniformity; the trench coat, the brown overhauls, they all completed the look of Clark Kent. Looking at himself in the elevator, the differences between them were impeccable. Future Clark was so confident, he had no burdens and all that mattered to him was seeing how his destiny truly began. No wonder why Lois couldn't keep her hands off of him. Clark discovered he could also trust Lois with his secret.

Lois: "I would do anything for you"

I remember being hooked on Superman affiliated shows; Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Superman Movies and even Justice League caught my addiction. When Smallville came into play, I couldn't believe, an actual series that masks the true Superman I fell for! Overtime, Smallville worked on developing Clark's character, his journey through childhood; then a teenager. This is something we definitely did not get to see with Clark and the other series. It is almost as though they work hand in hand to tell the full story. Even as Smallville does not reach to the point where we get to see Tom Welling as the Man of Steel, the journey he took us through would always be cherished. I would however save this speech for the finale. We know how we all love it when our favorite series come to an end.

My only fear was the representation of Clark. Previous writing strategies have often played with the idea leading up to Superman; Red-Blue-Blur, The Blur. I only hoped for more serious episodes like this where we connect with Lois and Clark and we see the potential that this Clark Kent could fly. Floating is almost the first baby step to flying and it happened while in the arms of Lois. I found myself staring in awe at that final scene, the moment he told Lois he loved her. Lois is still trying her best not to come into Clark's way. She knows that his destiny is far greater, but hers is also a big part of his. We don't always need future trips in our lives to discover where things would end up, what road not to take, but we can always try to be selfless in our decisions.

I was impressed beyond words with this 'Homecoming'. In the beginning, it seemed to get off at a slow pace with regurgitated clips, but as it built up, I became just as hooked. There were subtle clues in the future, like "Photo by: Jimmy Olsen" and the eight floor dedicated to Lois and Clark, not to mention Perry White. Those were about all the clues the writers chose to reveal, but as for the present "Glad to see you are carrying my torch" -- CS (Chloe Sullivan perhaps?).

Also as a tribute to the present, I admired Oliver's valor; the reporter came down on him, but he didn't put up a fight until Clark showed up to give his support.

Oliver's Speech: "I am not dwelling on revenge for past atrocities, or looking ahead to what I can personally gain from a few tax breaks, drilling oil wells in the ocean, putting up razor wire fences to keep out immigrants who only wanted what our grandparents wanted! In this world of arm chair bloggers, who created a generations of critics instead of leaders, I am actually doing something. Right here! Right now! For the city, for my country... and I'm not doing it alone. You damn right I am a hero!"

Except for the criticism on bloggers, who obviously gave him a topic to talk about, Oliver's speech was his defining moment.

The future as painted in "Pandora" has changed drastically. Moreover since Zod was defeated. It can also prove that what future Clark was exposed to, may be cause for change, and it would only be up to Clark to create his own future. I spent a while on this review, re-watching clips of my favorite moments throughout this episode, which meant I had to watch the episode over to its entirety. Thumbs up to everyone who made 'Homecoming' possible. I applaud each and everyone to keep it up, the journey was a long one and fans are still traveling down the road you constructed for us.

Picture Courtesy:



Five Stars

Grade A+

1 comment:

Bryon said...

“So you’re the moth, not the flame.” Hine sight is 20/20. It’s easy to see what you should have done when you have the capability of time travel, but Clark doesn’t trust the council of Brainiac. The power went out just as he grabbed the ring and I was so angry. My wife thinks it’s silly to get worked up about a TV show. I have to admit that I have been busy for the last 9 months enough that I wasn’t able to keep up with some of my favorite shows. My absolute favorite being Smallville I figured it was better to wait until I could watch them successively because there are long periods of time I can’t watch. Well I finally started watching them and I can’t stop. The only saving grace is that now I have time since I got my new Sling adapter for free that I use with my DISH Network employee account. If I hadn’t heard about the free offer I never would have tried the Sling that allows me to watch TV on any internet enabled device like my iPhone or Galaxy tab.