STUDIO: Warner Home Video
MSRP: $37.99
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 827 minutes

• Commentary on episodes “Persona” by exec producer Ken Horton, director Todd Slavkin and John Glover and “Siren” by producers Al Gough and Miles Millar, writers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson and Justin Hartley
• Supergirl: Last Daughter of Krypton featurette
• Jimmy on Jimmy featurette
• Smallville Legends: Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton mobisodes gallery
• Smallville Visions digital comic book
• Deleted scenes

Smallville: Season 3 Review
Smallville: Season 4 Review
Smallville: Season 5 Review
Smallville: Season 6 Review

The Pitch

Enter: Supergirl.  Cue: Naughty thoughts.

The Humans

Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack, Erica Durance, Laura Vandervoort, Aaron Ashmore, James Marsters, John Glover.

Damn.  When a Kryptonian needs to moisturize, it ain’t pretty…

The Nutshell

Season 7 of the adventures of a pre-tights Man of Steel as he continues his angsty existence in the small Kansas town.  Among the things he deals with this season are Lex Luthor getting ever closer to his secret, Brainiac (James Marsters), Bizarro, a few stray meteor freaks, Vandal Savage (Dean Cain), his evil uncle, Zor-El (Christopher Heyerdahl), blue kryptonite, his neverending romance with Lana, and the emergence of a certain ridiculously hot Kryptonian he’s related to.

The Lowdown

Without the dreadfully laborious love triangle between Clark, Lex and Lana (I’ll leave it to you to work out who was getting with whom) weighing the show down as it did in Season 6, Smallville managed somewhat of a return to form in Season 7 and, amazing as it is after seven years, is chugging full steam into Season 8, albeit with half the original cast and the show runners gone.  Nevertheless, Smallville is still the mixed bag of cool shit and tired shit that it’s been from the beginning.  There are still interesting concepts and familiar characters with new twists
being introduced and yet some of the same-old-same-old in terms of meteor freaks and Clark’s relationship with Lana.

Glorious.  Now I can cross the blonde Lana fantasy off my bucket list.

As in previous seasons, there are multiple season-long arcs at work in Season 7.  The first being the introduction of the Girl of Steel, Clark’s Kryptonian cousin, Kara Zor-El (Vandervoort).  During Clark’s battle with Bizarro at the dam, her pod is released and she rescues a drowning Lex, who initially believes she’s some sort of Angel.  From there she assumes the role of Clark’s human cousin and has an adventure or two of her own.  However, speculation is also introduced about what her true purpose on Earth is: to help Clark or to destroy him.  Clark’s uncle Zor-El and mother, Lara (a nicely cameoing Helen Slater), figure into the story as well.

Another major arc is Lex’s dogged pursuit of the secret of the Traveler, an extraterrestrial figure of great power and destiny that his father, Lionel Luthor, and Oliver Queen’s parents and others banded together to protect years ago.  Even though he’s discovered it about a half dozen times by now throughout the years, Lex is still unaware that the Traveler is Clark.  But via clues that emerge and repressed memories (yeah, I know), Lex is hot on the trail.  Lex also has fully lost any pretense about not being the heavy of the piece this season.  He kills indiscriminately, including one of the major characters of the show, in his pursuit of the secret of the Traveler.  Nice to see him finally becoming the Lex we all know and love.

I had a couple of visions of Kara and water myself…albeit a tad more NC-17 rated…

Of course there’s also Clark’s eternal struggle with his relationship with Lana.  They finally get to shack up together with no secrets; but still, there are monkeywrenches that are thrown into their machine.  It wouldn’t be Smallville if there weren’t.  One of the said spanners being that Clark is *Spoiler* replaced for part of the season by Bizarro and Lana doesn’t know the difference.  In fact, she admits to Clark that she was happier with Bizarro Clark than she was with him, because Bizarro Clark would dedicate his life to her, whereas the real Clark couldn’t.  *End Spoiler*  From there, Clark has an issue that that relationship took place and worked so well for her as well as it did.  Then another is that the show runners mark old territory by having Lana absorb Clark’s powers via a Krypto-lightning strike, then going off on a power trip to try to expose Lex for the evil bastard he is.  The only good thing about that episode is the inevitable super banging between Clark and Lana that takes place.  Earthquake kits are mandatory.

Even in the yellow sun, Clark just couldn’t quite get Elvis’ sneer down…

In addition to Zor-El and Lara, other well-known characters that appear are Black Canary (Alaina Kalanj), looking very much like a bad send up of the Pussycat Dolls, Vandal Savage / Dr. Curtis Knox (again Dean Cain with the welcome cameo), and Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) for a small cameo.  Brainiac returns as well for several episodes, and is one of Clark’s main foes for the season.  He employs several schemes, including a Kryptonian supervillain team-up with Bizarro, a trip back home to wipe out Baby Kal-El, and turning Lana into Terry Schiavo.  The season culminated with Lex getting his hands on a Kryptonian device that could spell doom for Clark, and finally learning everything he wanted to know about him.  

Since the producers promised from the very beginning that there would be no super tights on Smallville, I find this an equitable replacement.

The good for Season 7 include the Brainiac, Bizarro and some of the Kara storylines.  These are explored in episodes “Bizarro,” “Lara,” “Blue,” “Persona,” “Traveler,” “Veritas,” and “Descent.”  “Descent” is also where Lex goes all-out evil in a move you knew was coming since the very first episode of the show.  The bad include (surprise) most of the Clark / Lana storyline.  Though I love Kristin Kreuk, Lana probably should have been written out of the show sometime in Season 5 at the latest, because this is one of the single elements of the show that’s been not only dragged along to death, but repeatedly run over.  Lex being within a fingernail’s grasp of Clark’s secret is the other element, and finally that has been wrapped up.  The single worst element of Season 7 was the return or Pete Ross in the episode “Hero.”  I just so happened to have previously commented on that episode here.

J’onn, how am I going to beat Bizarro?
“Beat Bizarro?!  Who told you you could beat Bizarro?!  I never told you you could beat Bizarro!  Hmmph!  Beat Bizarro? Outrageous!  Preposterous!  Eggregious!

If Smallville is to continue even beyond this season (I doubt it, but then again I kept thinking the last two seasons would be the final ones), they’ve got to shake up the status quo bigtime, because the Smallville gas tank is on serious fumes.  With the departures of Kreuk, Rosenbaum and show runners Gough and Millar, that’s a possibility.  Supposedly the show is moving much more action to Metropolis and the Lois / Clark dynamic is supposed to be getting its due.  I’ve enjoyed and hated this show to varying degrees but have stayed with it for the entire run.  I’ll stick with it to the (hopefully not so) bitter end.  However, like I said, I think Season 7 was a return to form after the drudgery of Season 6’s Clark / Lois / Lex triangle of doom.

The Package

Smallville has always looked good, being shot well on widescreen, and with some of the best special effects on TV.  The episodes are in Dolby 5.1 English with optional Portuguese and English, French, Spanish Portuguese, Chinese, Thai and Korean subtitles.  In terms of special features, there are two commentaries on episodes “Persona” by exec producer Ken Horton, director Todd Slavkin and John Glover and “Siren” by producers Al Gough and Miles Millar, writers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson and Justin Hartley.  Supergirl: Last Daughter of Krypton is a good 18-minute featurette on the superheroine, from her roots in the comics, through Crisis on Infinite Earths, to the feature film with Helen Slater, jher appearance on Justice League Unlimited and finally to Vandervoort on Smallville.  Vandervoort and Slater contribute.

“So…Black Canary, huh?  Wanna eat a White Earthworm?”

Jimmy on Jimmy is a rather unique occurrence in that four actors who have portrayed the character on TV and in film – Jack Larson (The Adventures of Superman), Marc McClure (the Reeve Superman films), Sam Huntington (Superman Returns) and moderator Aaron Ashmore (Smallville) have a roundtable discussion about Olsen, what it was like to portray him and the impact the character’s had.  What I’m wondeing is where Justin Waddell and Michael Landes (Lois and Clark) were.  Smallville Legends: Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton is an series of animated shorts for the web that detail Kara’s backstory on Krypton.  Finally, Smallville Visions is a digital comic book.

7.6 out of 10