Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Smallville Re-Watch / First "Freak of the Week" Episodes From Season 1

It must of been incredibly fun in the writer's room coming up with the high-school super-students throughout season 1. I believe the majority of it's episodes are created to show the new fans what this glowing green meteor rock can do under the right conditions, and at the same time showcasing Clark's super-human abilities. Metamorphosis, Hothead, X-Ray, and Cool are the four episodes that proceeded the Pilot and they'll be discussed in this lengthy post.


Metamorphosis

One of the most important scenes in the series is shown early on in this episode. Clark is flying over the hills and valleys of Smallville, eventually flying into Lana's window and up over her while she's sleeping in bed. Clark is nonchalantly staring at her when her eyes open. "It's all your fault." she says. Clark wakes up from the dream and finds himself hovering over his own bed. Then gravity kicks in, demolishing it.


Clark is clearly feeling thoughts of guilt about how Lana lost her parents. We really get to see how blindly noble this young man really can be. He had absolutely no control over the death of her parents, yet he feels responsible for it subconsciously at this point.

It's pretty exciting to see Clark flying so early on in the show though, even if it was just a dream. Seeing him actually hovering above his bed for a moment was even more special. At this point I was always wondering if flight would be an ability he would learn early on, but I'm pretty sure the writers stated near the beginning that there was going to be a strict "no flight, no tights" policy. Not sure how that turned out in later seasons though.

"So when boy catches bugs and bugs bite boy, you end up with... bug boy." says an intrigued Chloe Sullivan. She was always my favorite character on the show and always had the best lines. She's extremely quick witted, clever, and has important connections to ensure that she gets what she wants.

Whenever Clark needs up-to-date info on the newest super-villain, Chloe always has him covered. In this case they needed to do some research on who this Greg Arkin kid was and what could of possibly happened to him. She finds some article discussing how Amazonian Tribesmen took on the features of the insects they were bitten by and this leads the young high-school detectives to the theory that Greg was bitten by his krypto-infected insects, thus giving him bug-powers. Makes sense.

Another interesting scene in this episode is when Clark visits Lex's mansion. Lex hands him Lana's meteor rock necklace and Clark immediately feels the effects. Lex closes up the necklace in a special box and insists that Clark give it to Lana. It's at this moment that Clark realizes the importance of lead, which will come in handy later on in the episode.

Hothead

Clark joins the football team and Lana quits cheerleading. But neither Clark nor Lana's decision works out by the end of this episode. Their relationship has picked up the pace recently though, as they've been spending a lot of time together. Lex, of course, is doing everything in his power to manipulate every situation in order to benefit Clark. I used to think Lex was being a good friend. However, now I'm seeing that Lex is just trying to get closer to Clark so he can find out more about his secrets.

Lex was a character I always felt sorry for. I always wanted him to have a better life, a better father. I believed that if Clark told him his secret early on in the show, that Lex would of protected him and made sure it stayed buried. Upon this re-watch however, I'm not sure what I was thinking. Keeping that in mind, it's rather funny how things turn out with Lionel much later on in the show. I won't spoil anything for those that don't know, which is my reason for being vague on the future Lionel situation.

In Hothead, we see Clark defy his father and join the football team. At the same time we see Lex go against his father's wishes and hire a bunch of new workers, rather than fire a bunch. This, of course, is settled by some serious swordplay between the two. Lionel inevitably wins the match, but Lex sticks to his plan anyways. It is Lex's "crap-factory" after all.

I never noticed the parallels this much before between Lionel and Jonathon, Clark and Lex. The father-son relationships don't have a lot in common on the outside, but both Clark and Lex are put in very similar situations quite frequently, at least from what I've noticed so far in the first handful of episodes. Looking for parallels like these is something I learned from watching Lost for all those years. With all the flashbacks going on, there were always scenes mirroring one another in that show.

X-Ray

Clark learns a brand new ability in this episode, hence the creative episode title. I didn't enjoy this episode really, aside from the x-ray vision stuff. I thought some actors were lame and Tina's Greer's mom mispronounced Lana's name, even though it was actually the shapeshifting Tina Greer in her place. Anyways, forgetting about the lame storyline and effects, let's just mention a few awesome moments.


In this episode Lana gets to find out the truth about her mother. Lana finds her diary and discovers that her mom didn't really like cheerleading either. This leads Lana to get together with Chloe to help track down a speech that Lana's mother gave back in high-school. Apparently it was quite controversial so it was tough to find the speech. Of course, Chloe has her connections and was able to find a copy for Lana. So that was a pretty big part of this episode, Lana and Chloe finally having their first conversation.

We also get to meet Roger Nixon, a reporter for the Metropolis Inquisitor. This idiot tries to blackmail Lex Luthor and Lex sees right through him. By the end of the episode Roger is under the impression that his identity will disappear with a single call by Lex, and so he's now working for him. Lex wants to discover what happened after the accident on the bridge, he even has the mangled car stored away for research. Looks like Lex is beginning his obsession with Clark Kent.

Clark first uses his x-ray vision during the robbery at the beginning of the episode. He's seen getting headache like symptoms right before he gets thrown through a window by Tina Greer. Then it hits him and he's able to see right through her. Later on he's in gym class with his buddy Pete Ross and while he's climbing the rope, he gets another headache and falls. Then he is seen peering through the neighboring wall right into the girls locker-room. Good old teenage Clark.

Cool

Sean Kelvin is a total dick, but I guess he didn't really deserve to be turned into a frosty freak. I have to say though, he did make a great super-villain. His powers might have started out as pretty basic, but he could have learned to use them more productively and turned into a real threat. Clark didn't really have any problem handling the kid by the end, once he knew what he was up against. Now Sean is frozen solid into the pond next to Lex's house. I wonder what became of his body or if it's still there.

Lex manipulates the Kents into showing up for a farmers meeting at his mansion so he could offer them a partnership to help save the farm. Martha seems to think it's a pretty generous offer, while Jonathan wants nothing to do with it. I personally think that this is all a ploy to get closer to Clark's parents. I don't think Lex ever truly "goes bad," I think he just lets it out. Lex was always trying to get whatever he wanted using tactics that relied on lies and deceit. It's pretty sad for me because I always thought Lex was trying to be a friend to Clark, but clearly I just didn't pick up on everything back when I started watching Smallville. Of course, I could also be very wrong.

I think that's pretty much all the awesome and important moments from these past few episodes. I should be watching a few more sometime today, so another post should be coming out within a week. Depending on how interesting the episodes are. Thanks for reading, hope everyone had an awesome New Years. If you're planning on writing a comment, be sure to mention what you're favorite "Freak of the Week" episode is from the first handful of seasons. Just for season 1 I would have to say my favorites are either Leech or Hug. I think Leech would be considered a "Freak of the Week" type episode.