Smallville Official Site

The Time:
Thursdays, 8:00 PM, The CW

The Show:

Having grown up in Smallville under the protective eye of Jonathan and Martha Kent, Clark Kent, the future Superman, is finally setting out into the world to pursue his destiny.  Ever wary of protecting his secret, Clark nonetheless secretly uses his Kryptonian superpowers to help people and save lives.  He’s now colleagues with Lois Lane at the Daily Planet and still friends with Chloe Sullivan, his childhood pal who knows his secret.  Lex Luthor has mysteriously vanished after destroying the Fortress and learning his secret.  Lex’s hand-picked successor, Tess Mercer, is nevertheless a dangerous individual who is obsessed with learning Lex’s fate and the secret he was pursuing.  And a dangerous enemy, in the form of paramedic Davis Bloom is growing ever a bigger threat.

The Stars:

•  Tom Welling – Clark Kent
•  Allison Mack – Chloe Sullivan
•  Erica Durance – Lois Lane
•  Aaron Ashmore – Jimmy Olsen
•  Justin Hartley – Oliver Queen / Green Arrow
•  Cassidy Freeman – Tess Mercer
•  Sam Witwer – Davis Bloom

The Episode: “Abyss”

Brainiac, who is growing stronger within Chloe’s brain, begins erasing her memories one by one, until the only person she remembers is Davis (aka Doomsday).  Clark realizes the only way to heal her may be to rebuild the fortress and ask Jor-El for help in restoring her memories…at least most of her memories. 

The Lowdown:

I’ve had a few go-rounds with Smallville over the years, having covered four season box sets for the DVD section.  It’s usually boiled town to a few observations: 1. The Clark / Lana relationship was dragged out longer than even Superman would have been able to withstand, 2. The show has done some interesting things with the mythology, putting its own spin on it and has some nice special effects, 3. Kryptonite has replaced baking soda in Smallville in terms of different applications for which it can be used.  Be that as it may, the status quo has changed more in Season 8 than any other.  Clark has finally joined the Daily Planet, Lana and Lex are both gone, and Davis “Doomsday” Bloom, a mysterious paramedic with designs on Chloe and Tess Mercer have arrived to keep things interesting.

The show does have a sort of newness to it this season now that the action has mainly moved to Metropolis, and Lana and Lex are gone – and with them a lot of the baggage.  I’m just marking time until Davis Bloom goes nuclear (which will happen next week, FYI) and also measuring up Tess Mercer, who isn’t Rosenbaum’s Lex, but is filling the heavy role for now.    

“Abyss” concerns Brainiac taking over Chloe’s mind, systematically erasing her memories one by one until all she remembers is Davis.  There’s a bunch of Kryptonian symbols flashing, erasing everything from her mind ala Frequency with Jim Caviezel when he made a change that affected the past.  It’s not yet made clear how Brainiac knows about Davis / Doomsday, but there’s plenty of symbolism to mark his impending arrival, including a Kryptonian symbol for Doom.  ApparentLy Brainiac is completely hip to Doomsday’s impeding arrival.  Clark manages to rebuild the Fortress with the blue crystal that was left over from his encounter with Lex.  He also asks Jor-El a special favor to cure Chloe involving memory recall (or lack thereof) that we’ve seen all to often with this show;.

This episode is more of a filler until Doomday makes with the mega-death and destruction.  Although there is an interesting interaction between Brainiac and the Fortress that portends future havoc.  There is a nice little flashback to pre-teen Chloe and Clark in his barn with a couple of young kids .  Overall, I like that they keep making use of Brainiac as a major non-meteor freak nemesis for Clark.  However, the way that the show is going, I tend to think one thing more than any else: either there’s going to be some major mind-wipe of the planet courtesy of Jor-El so that Kal-El can assume his caped super identity or the producers are deliberately rewriting the Superman mythos, because Clark is making no attempt to hide his face or establish some mild-mannered identity with a pair of glasses.  Regardless, the show is definitely benefiting from the lack of Lex / Lana drama (until next week anyway). 

I have quite a history with Smallville over the last seven years.  I’ll see it through till the end, which may or may not be this year.  This episode is sort of okay, but I know bigger things are brewing in the near future.

6.3 out of 10