'Smallville' goes supernatural: A recap and a suggestion

At a time when TV is overrun with irony, sarcasm, and hip knowingness, one of the things Smallville does well is innocence and earnestness. The episode “Warrior” was a good example of this.

Comic-book conventions are usually played for cheap laughs (look at all the geeks!), and while the beginning of this hour had a little of that, the central plot — a boy steals a copy of Warrior Angel #0 and becomes a superhero himself — managed to play this out straightforwardly, frequently with a pleasing sense of youthful wonder. It was fun to see the kid turn into a young man (the latter played by Carlo Marks) capable of super-feats but still a gawky pre-teen at heart. The cleverly written (by Bryan Miller) episode had Chloe getting a tad turned-on by Stephen Swift’s muscles, only to become sheepishly embarrassed once she figured out she’d been crushing on a boy who was more turned on by an Xbox than by a blonde inviting him up to her place. (Well, Carlo Marks did play Chloe’s fiance in the “Apocalypse” episode… )

In addition to the reappearance of the Warrior Angel comic in Smallville, there was the return of Zatanna. She figured in the plot as the source of Swift’s Warrior transformation — it was the result of a curse Zatanna’s father had placed upon the heretofore unopened comic book, one designed to result in the hero turning into the villain Devilicus (the most frightening thing about that metamorphosis was an alarming increase in hair-gel).

Zatanna is a tricky character to pull off in live-action TV, mostly because her costume is so — well, as Lois derisively referred to her, “Lady Fishnets.” But Serinda Swan really has a handle on this character by now; she plays her smart but not too smart-alecky, and her crisp dialogue with Clark made Lois’ jealousy plausible. And speaking of costumes: What’s the verdict on Lois Lane as Wonder Woman — or is it, as one Commenter suggests below, Xena, Warrior Princess? (She does refer to herself as “this Amazon princess,” but I do see the Zena resemblance, and the episode was called ‘Warrior’… ) Nonetheless, I come down on the side of less Amazonian than simply cute, a quality that suits this Lois well.

I guess when you direct the episode, as Allison Mack did, you get to put yourself in the final scene: The heck with Clark and Lois — Chlollie was in full effect, as Oliver guided Chloe in shooting an arrow, his arms enfolding her. One imagines that after the closing credits, they pulled out a boomerang arrow that would… well, fill in your own Valentine’s Day/Cupid’s arrow joke here.

Oh yes, my suggestion: Watching Smallville on Friday and Supernatural on Thursday, I thought, why the hell doesn’t the CW pair up these two shows on one night, as they used to be? Vampire Diaries may be more successful (in terms of numbers) than both, but I’ll bet ratings would increase for those two other shows if you brought their fan-bases together again; Vampire can hold its own by now, anyway. (This assumes, of course, that both Supernatural and Smallville will be back next season.)

What do you think of my idea? And what did you think about “Warrior”?

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Comments (90 total) Add your comment
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  • Branr

    Erm, they WERE originally together, on Thursday nights…

    • TJ

      Erm, that’s what he wrote

      • mcfly

        Erm?

      • jordan

        hahahaha. the trifecta of comments.

      • Bruninha

        Absolutely loved the interview. You are such a paonissate and wonderful person.I especially love the fact that you are a huge fan of the comics and know the character of Mera in and out. I am a HUGE fan of the DC and Marvel comics myself for nearly 17 years now and so it made me very happy that youb4re a very paonissate fan yourself.Much love from your biggest fan xoxo

  • Jeff

    Smallville and Supernatural used to be on one night together, and it should have stayed that way; Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl on one night might be an interesting mix.

    • Gus van Rant

      Why is Ken Tucker even watching this teen dreck? He’s not 13 years old.

      • MJ

        Gus, this show is not teen dreck. If anything, the last two seasons have been extremely adult and more mature. Maybe you should watch it before you judge. I’m in my 30’s and I love this show.

      • Sean

        Yeah Gus, you sound like those snobbish authors who cited Harry Potter as a kid phenomenon and nothing more – Smallville, much like the Potter franchise, has gotten more adult as the series has progressed.

      • darrin

        yes this is no longer a teen show that was the “first four seasons when they were in high school”

      • JaySin420

        Hey Gus- There is nothing more pathetic than to comment on a show you don’t watch.

        Move along.

  • Erik

    I guess you’re totally clueless to the fact that, until this year, Smallville and Supernatural were paired up for years? And yes, their ratings were better!

    • Abby

      Like Branr, you’re not paying attention dude. Ken wrote “why the hell doesn’t the CW pair up these two shows on one night, AS THEY USED TO BE [emphasis mine]?”

    • Tiffani

      “Watching Smallville on Friday and Supernatural on Thursday, I thought, why the hell doesn’t the CW pair up these two shows on one night, as they used to be?”

      And I guess you totally can’t read.

  • arwen

    I am really loving this season. I really do hope Smallville comes back next year and in an earlier-in-the-week time slot.

  • ObiHave

    Am I the only one who thinks this incarnation of Clark Kent is too sanctimonious, preachy and just down right boring?

    • MJ

      I love this version of Clark Kent. I think he’s more real. Less perfect. More flawed and more relatable than previous versions of the character that were so perfect that they never made a mistake. I love Tom Welling’s Clark Kent.

    • Wilson

      I love Smallville, and I’ve watched it since the first episode, but I realllllllyyyyyy have been annoyed at Clark’s preachy behavior for almost the entire show…I think that while it’s sort’ve his persona, it’s really annoying sometimes…I think Tom Welling does an awesome job but the writing on his character in the past has kinda got on my nerves a bit. However in this past season he seems to be getting a better portrayal, and I’ve not been bothered by his sanctimonious side in a while. :)

      • MJ

        Wilson, I understand what you are saying and I respect that we can disagree. I don’t really see Clark as preachy…because most of the time…he’s right. He’s made a ton of mistakes. Don’t get me wrong. I like that he’s flawed. But his moral compass does tend to be the most reliable. Sometimes I feel like he is put in the position of having to say the tough things because as Superman part of his personality is to see things in black and white sometimes. And for what it’s worth, I think the show has proven time and again that Clark is one of the most forgiving and compassionate characters. He always forgives….even when people might not deserve it. However, I will agree with you that he has been MUCH MUCH more likable in the more recent 2 seasons than previously. The show allowed his character to grow up and I think it was an important step forward for him.

      • Orac

        You don’t get to be “perfect” and the paragon of heroes without learning from your mistakes. That’s the beauty of Smallville. You get to see all of the formative bits that lead to the legend. Only when he’s ready will Clark take on the mantle of Superman. It might be boring to you but it fits the mythos perfectly. And I’m still enjoying the ride.

    • Temp

      I agree. Boring.

      Last weeks episode really made me feel he was a bit of an ass somehow. Everyone else has their costumes now, Green Arrow, all the Justice Socitity types, hell even Zatanna wanders around in her fishnets. But Clark is just tooooo damn cool I guess. Its like hes embarrassed to be around the rest of them

      there were a number of scenes last week were various other heroes gave speeches about how great and awesome clark would turn out to be as a hero, and shots of clark just nodding and smiling like “yeah, im the man” with literally no reply back to them. Not even a “thanks” or something

      • Ange

        Wow, Temp I couldn’t disgree with you more. “I’m the man” is pretty much the last thing I’ve ever taken way from Clark. He’s extremely humble. The reason why I think he stays quiet is because he’s sometimes uncomfortable with the hero worship. This has been confirmed several times on the show. He doesn’t want to be worshipped and he feels uneasy when people talk about his great future because he’s afraid he can’t live up to it. This year it seems he’s finally accepting his destiny but I’ve never found him to be cocky about it. I like his character a lot. Different strokes I guess.

      • jen

        But how would you reply to that? I mean just cause someone says it doesn’t mean it’s gonna be true, It’s just the future they see for you so you can’t say thanks cause you sound like a tool and you can’t say nah thats not gonna happen cause they think it will so you just have to stare at them squint your baby blue eyes and stick out your proud manly chest (god he’s hot). :)

        Oh yeah didn’t really think much of warrior, propably my least fave ep of the season but still good, I liked the Clark & Lois chit chat and whats that with Oliver and Chloe??? yeahhhhh I so would Chloe ;)

    • Scarlett(TWU)

      I adore this version of Clark Kent – he’s my favorite one in all of the different the versions of the Superman story!

      Tom Welling does a fantastic job! And, he is definitely the Superman for my generation. It would be difficult to see anyone else in the role now.

  • Elias

    What’s the story behind that “Lois Lane As Wonder Woman” pic??? How did they explain it in the plot? Was she in a Halloween costume? (Dressed as what, if WW has yet to appear in Smallville), Dream sequence? Fantasy?

    • Ken Tucker

      Sorry, Elias, perhaps I should have explained: She wore it briefly at the comics convention, both working undercover and hoping to charm Clark.

      • Elias

        Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply, Mr.Tucker. (I really appreciate it)

        What I don’t get is…she wore it at a comic book convention…does that mean that there are Wonder Woman comics in the Smallville universe? (or at least a comic with a character who wears a costume quite similar to the character we know as WW) And this is going by the understanding that Wonder Woman herself, has never appeared in Smallville…

      • Matthew Ulm

        She wasn’t dressed as Wonder Woman per se, but as an Amazon Princess. It was the show paying homage to Wonder Woman by making Lois’ costume resemble the WW costume.

      • Temp

        There may be wonder woman comics in the smallville universe. We learned last week Hawkman, Dr. Fate, et al. were real and were fairly well known in the past of the smallville universe. Wonderwoman, being an immortal greek amazon princess, could very well have been a known hero, maybe she helped fight the nazi’s or something!
        Myself, im dying to see Spectre show up, since hew as in the JSA painting last week.

      • Jimbo Jootes

        Also – unless I’m mistaken – the kid was wearing a Wonder Woman logo t-shirt (could’ve been a Weezer logo though….)

  • Hillary

    Just to point out, I think Ken already knew they were together…He’s saying it’d be smart to pair them up again. And I agree. Those two shows worked well with each other.

  • J. Baker

    “At a time when TV is overrun with irony, sarcasm, and hip knowingness, one of the things Smallville does well is innocence and earnestness.” Ken is absolutely right about this. It’s one of qualities about this show that’s made me watch it faithfully through its many good (and sometimes, well, less good) seasons.

    • Carrie

      Yes, that is exactly why I love this show so much. It’s not all about sex and angst. The show is very clever and character-driven. Even though the characters have gone through some pretty dark times, the show has always had a very light tone, overall. It makes it very enjoyable and easy to watch.

  • cassi

    Hell no, I like my Vampire Diaries Supernatural thursday!!!

    • Zoey

      I second that! Smallville’s doing fine on Friday anyway.

  • Steph

    Allison Mack is not onl a fantatic actress, but this episode proved she can hold her own as director. It was a beautifully shot and well-written episode(and with Smallville you never know when you get oen of these episodes). Carlo Marks was excellent- I truly thought I’d be annoyed with him, but he played pre-teen extremely well- and I loved that super-wedgie he gave. Very heroic :D

    Chloe and Oliver= YES! That last scene was fantastic.

    I have been annoyed by Clark and was a bit in this episode, but luckily he has Lois there to make him look better(StormTrooper!Lois FTW!)

    I really hope we see more of this Fun Chloe in the future, she is going on a dark path and I hate to see her go back to being cold(and yes I realize this episode is a standalone, but quite frankly it is my favorite of the season).

    And yes, take Smallville out of the death slot, this show does not deserve it- it is the only one I actually watch on the lame CW.

    • Wilson

      I agree with ALL of this. Chloe’s been my favorite thing about this show since the beginning, and Allison Mack directing the episode just made it even better for me! It was such a great episode!

    • Joe

      Chloe has never been my favorite character although I do like her. The whole cast is so great that I find that I have new favorites with each episode depending on who got the spotlight that week. One week I could say my favorite is Lois, the next week Oliver, the next week Chloe and so on. I guess my favorite person is Clark because he’s the one who ties this whole thing together and has kept the innocence going all these years. I was happy to see Allison Mack get another chance to direct. And Ken, thank you for giving this show some press. It’s sort of like the little show that could. The fans appreciate you recognizing it.

  • Brad

    I loved their idea of dressing Lois up as the Justice Society version of Wonder Woman and not the ‘League’ version which has a sleekier outfit. As for the 2 shows returning, Why? Isn’t Supernatural going off after this season?

    • tigersmurfette

      its too popular to quit now. it will most likely be back, but the lucifer story line will be finished this season.

  • RedRidingHood

    I loved it! Smallville is so good, how has it gotten better in it’s 9th season and relegated to Friday nights? I don’t know, but whatever it is I hope it keeps up for a 10th season.

  • kennedyDC

    Thought it was a great episode as well. But totally missed the mark on Lois being Wonder Woman. I thought she was supposed to be Xena, the Warrior Princess.

    • greg

      The lasso and color scheme are the giveaway that’s she supposed to be Wonder Woman.

    • Ratsamee

      voici un poster de la fin de sasoin de Gossip Girl! A moins que je ne comprenne pas trop bien comment tu as fait ta phrase, pour moi la fin de sasoin est seulement vers mi-mai :s, or, ce poster est pour l’e9pisode 19 (sur les 25 annonce9s pour la sasoin 2).bref, e9claire moi ^^’.

  • Elle

    I am a true follower of Smallville and LOVE Lois as Wonder Woman!!!! She rocks and I am so happy that she and Clark are “getting together.” What awesome storylines you have this year. Keep it coming!!!

  • Mary

    Ken, I like what you said about the show being sincere. You know, I’ve watched this show from it’s first season and it’s made some missteps over the years that’s for sure. But I do think that it has always managed to be sincere. Someone mentioned Clark Kent above. His sincerity on this show is what has kept me watching for 9 years. He’s a flawed character. You’ve got this guy with incredible power and he makes mistakes—but he has such a good heart and you know he’s trying. It makes him lovable and relatable on so many levels.
    The most recent season has been a real treat. The show has found a new level of maturity and it’s allowed Clark to grow up. The current ensemble cast on the show is, in my opinion, just a FANTASIC cast. They are all so likable and quirky and funny. The Clark/Lois lovestory has been a pleasure to watch this year as well.
    I liked seeing Chloe experience some happiness last night. You can tell that this character is still searching for meaning and is struggling with being in a dark place. I thought her interactions with the child and with Carlo Marks were very enjoyable.
    There was also a lot of sincerity in Clark and Lois’ relationship last night. Despite the fact that these two are clearly falling in love–they’re insecure and scared. Both of them seem afraid that they are going to repeat past mistakes and screw this up. You just want to tell them that it’s going to work out and it’ll be ok. I thought Lois’ insecurities were played well and it was clear to me by the end of the episode that Clark has been holding back out of fear but that Lois is truly who he wants. I loved Lois as the Amazon Princess. She is hilarious.
    Chloe and Oliver are interesting in that I don’t think their relationship is about “love” per se. I think they both want and need a companion and they respect one another and see a potential chance for maybe even redemption with each other? It should be interesting. And it makes an interesting parallel to Clark and Lois who probably have more to lose if something were to crash and burn.

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