Monday, December 27, 2010

Smallville Re-Watch / The Pilot

I've been playing so many hours of the DC Universe Online beta, I needed a different type of DC storytelling. Today, I've decided to begin my Smallville re-watch. Hopefully this will be a re-watch of the entire series. At least, as of this moment, that's the plan. I just watched the season 1 Pilot tonight to see how I felt afterwards, and it's a pretty sure bet that I'll continue watching for awhile. Besides, I need something new to write about and hopefully Smallville will keep me entertained throughout the cold winter.

Let the rambling begin! I've already wrote about my overall thoughts on Smallville, which you can find right here. That was my first article written for my site (and boy can you tell it was my first.) I may repeat some things here and there that I already covered elsewhere on this site, but I'm going to try and stay on topic and mostly write about the Pilot episode alone this time.

I've probably seen this episode more than 15 times since the night it first aired back in 2001. One of the main reasons I've seen it so many times is because I was so in love with the show, I'd show it off to everyone I knew. Smallville is what got me into watching television. It showed me that good storytelling doesn't only happen in the movies, it can be just as great on a weekly television series.

What surprised me the most was the special effects. Looking back on the Pilot now, it actually doesn't look so hot. Back in 2001 however, and on my tiny apartment sized standard def television, it blew me away. I was hooked.

In the Pilot episode, we see a serious meteor shower that hits the town of Smallville and rains green kryptonite rock down on it's inhabitants. These green shards can imbue alien powers to humans in many different ways. In this episode a boy is strung up in a cornfield by his fellow high-school students and is directly hit by a blast from a meteor.

Smallville's early strengths were showcasing the super-powers. In this particular episode the boy that was strung up is given the gift of electricity.

Clark also learns that he is indestructible, another power of sorts. While he already has his super-speed, as well as his strength, Clark had no clue he was invulnerable to all forms of injury. He proves it to his father, Jonathan, by sticking his own arm into a wood chipper. Quite the leap of faith there, Clark.

One of the great moments in this episode was when Lionel found his son, Lex, in the leveled out cornfield. He looks at his son in disgust. Young Lex's curly red hair laying around him. He's covered in dirt and trembling. Lionel Luthor shows his true side in this scene. He probably thought his son looked weak, pathetic even.

Following that scene we see Martha and Jonathan Kent finding young Clark. Martha picks him up and both Jonathan and Martha are overjoyed, despite the boy not even being human, let alone their real son. These two scenes were probably my favorite moments of the episode. I absolutely loved how they mirrored one another.

Something I really missed later on in the show was Martha and Jonathan Kent. They truly are the perfect parents and it was sad to see them eventually leave the show. It was inevitable as Clark grew older though, things change.

Neither of them were really portrayed or written as the perfect parents though, I thought they were realistically perfect. Both Martha and Jonathan had their moments of weakness.

As I recall, Jonathan had quite the temper. Sometimes this would leave him open to kryptonite assisted suggestion. Where he would end up going to kill Lex. Clark or Martha would just tell him afterwards that it wasn't his fault, it was because of the meteor rocks. However, Jonathan would know that he does feel that way sometimes. He never really did give Lex much of a chance to prove himself.

Martha ended up working for Lionel as his personal secretary for awhile. She did get a little too close to him and the moment Lionel offered her a permanent job in Metropolis, she turned it down and went back to the farm. I do remember that whenever Lionel would visit the farm, those two would always have awkward conversations. There was definitely a little something-something going on between them. Lionel was all for it, but of course, Martha would always retreat back to her husband before it got out of hand.

Clark the daydreamer. He sure did have quite the imagination back then. This episode we see that he envisions himself as the star player in a football game, using his powers to secure victory for his team. He also has an imaginary dance with Lana at the end of the episode. After seeing so much of the newer Smallville episodes (though I'm not nearly caught up, I think I've only seen up to season 8) it's nice seeing Clark as a kid again. He's acting irrationally, (stacking Whitney and his friend's trucks on top of each other!) daydreaming, drinking straight from the milk bottle, freely using his powers, etc.

Lex, Lex, Lex. I sure missed the guy. The number one reason why I quit watching the show was when Lex was written out (I'm sure for a good reason,) and it just wasn't the same without him. Watching the Pilot and seeing his awesome character development all over again will be an excellent experience. I can already see some subtle changes just in this single episode. After Clark saves his life from the river, Lex tells him that while he was unconscious, he felt that he could fly. He now has a purpose, a destiny to fulfill. All thanks to Clark. Before this incident you can clearly see that Lex was a spoiled rich kid. He felt he was sent to Smallville as a punishment (or as a test as Lionel would put it.) and is seen going way over the speed limit in his Porsche when he causes that incident on the bridge. I'm excited to see Lex grow and advance towards the villain we all know he has to become.

I'm pretty sure that's the majority of my thoughts on the Pilot. There are a few more things to mention (like Pete and Chloe) but I should save those thoughts because there are plenty more episodes to go. I'll probably end up skipping a few here and there because, well... there's a heck of a lot of filler and I think I have a lot of this stuff memorized. Even though it's been years since I watched it. There's no way I'd be lost or confused considering how many times I've seen it. I'm anxious to get to episodes like X-Ray, Jitters, Nicodemus, and the finale, Tempest.

Thanks for reading. If you're going to comment below, let me know what you're favorite Smallville episodes are from the first handful of seasons. Even if you don't remember the episode title, just write about it. One of my all time favorites would be Truth. The episode where Chloe finally gets the truth out of Lionel about how he killed his parents for the insurance money so he could start his company.