Smallville 8.13 Power (2009, TV) – 2/10 review

Tom Welling: Clark Kent
Allison Mack: Chloe Sullivan
Cassidy Freeman: Tess Mercer
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Jerry Siegel
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Joe Shuster
Developer for Television: Alfred Gough
Developer for Television: Miles Millar
Kristin Kreuk: Lana
Bill Mondy: Dr. Grohl
Ted Whittall: Carter Bowfry
Ari Cohen: Regan
Writer: Todd Slavkin
Writer: Darren Swimmer
Director: Allison Mack

Smallville 8.13 Power (2009)

When Lana disappears, Clark discovers more about what she has been doing before she reappeared at Chloe’s wedding but won’t be prepared for sheer hare-brained-ness of her machinations.

2/10

Now Smallville has had some eyebrow-raising plots in its time but this is a doozy even by their audience-insulting standards. There’s a saying that ‘if everyone’s special, no-one’s special’ and that applies in spades to Smallville. The writers have consistently tested the patience of their audience by supplying an endless roster of beings with super-powers but this new development, while consistent in the show, is just depressing. Kristin Kreuk has lost whatever charm and chemistry she had in the first few seasons and Tom Welling is definitely just going through the motions. This episode was directed by Allison Mack who plays Chloe and she does nothing to disguise the stupendous ridiculousness of the plot. Also, I’d just like to point out that when I go and visit a friend, I still knock on the door and wait for an answer; I don’t just walk straight in.

This Smallville episode contains extreme violence and sensuality.

Links

House M.D. 5.09 Last Resort (2008, TV) – 2/10 review

Hugh Laurie: Dr. Gregory House
Lisa Edelstein: Dr. Lisa Cuddy
Omar Epps: Dr. Eric Foreman
Robert Sean Leonard: Dr. James Wilson
Jennifer Morrison: Dr. Allison Cameron
Jesse Spencer: Dr. Robert Chase
Writer (Series’ Creator): David Shore
Peter Jacobson: Dr. Chris Taub
Kal Penn: Dr. Lawrence Kutner
Olivia Wilde: Thirteen
Wood Harris:
Tracy Vilar:
Evan Peters:
Evan Jones:
Željko Ivanek:
Executive Producer: David Shore
Writer (Screenplay): Matthew V. Lewis
Writer (Screenplay): Eli Attie
Writer (Story): Matthew V. Lewis
Director: Katie Jacobs

House M.D. 5.09 Last Resort (2008)

House, Thirteen and a bunch of patients are taken hostage by a crazed gunman desperate to know what is wrong with him. Yes, you read that right. Anyway, House treads where sixteen doctors have failed and embellishes his usual operating procedure by getting several people to the brink of death before curing with no lasting consequences.

2/10

The biggest mistake made here was in not putting the writers into a room and shooting them. Case-of-the-week with no lasting consequences this week includes Thirteen whose kidneys "shut down" during the episode but who only takes a week of dialysis to permanently rectify. Željko Ivanek is seriously embarrassed by the character he has been lumped with and while House ensures that the hostage situation has some unusual touches and the episode has a good closing gag, this is awful, awful television.

This House M.D. episode contains mild swear words and gun violence, unpleasant and gory scenes.

Links

Smallville 8.09 Abyss (2008, TV) – 2/10 review

Tom Welling: Clark Kent
Allison Mack: Chloe Sullivan
Erica Durance: Lois Lane
Aaron Ashmore: Jimmy Olsen
Cassidy Freeman: Tess Mercer
Sam Witwer: Davis Bloome
Justin Hartley: Oliver Queen
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Jerry Siegel
Writer (Characters’ Creator): Joe Shuster
Developer for Television: Alfred Gough
Developer for Television: Miles Millar
Terence Stamp: The Voice of Jor-El
Writer: Don Whitehead
Writer: Holly Henderson
Director: Kevin G. Fair

Smallville 8.09 Abyss (2008)

Chloe realises that Brainiac is starting to have a negative effect on her (the murder she committed a couple of weeks ago was apparently fine) when she loses great chunks of her memory including fiancée Jimmy. With Clark being one of her oldest friends, he’ll be one of the last things she’ll forget but he has a plan that can restore her memory. A slightly, as it turns out, cunning plan.

2/10

This is another weak episode and it’s not coincidence that it is again concentrating on the overarching story. The memory loss effects are well done and it’s great to see the awesome car-catching that revealed Clark’s secret again but Allison Mack is clearly embarrassed by the plot and dialogue. Welling also is largely just remembering his lines and isn’t giving it his all. This is a series changing episode but it’s not well done and not convincing. It’s a shame as this is the biggest change in the Smallville universe this season. However, Clark’s choice and decision is an interesting and poignant one and, presumably, closes the Brainiac Chloe storyline. In the ewww stakes, lumpy-faced gonna-be big-bad Sam Witwer really starts hitting on Chloe. A strong stomach is required. And I have always hated Terence Stamp as Jor-El. Hate, hate, hate. *stamps feet petulantly* He also supplies the epilogue hook regarding the impending reveal of Doomsday so expect a, hopefully brief, return to Smallville’s horrific über-violence in an episode soon.

This Smallville episode contains unpleasant scenes.

Links

A Touch of Frost 5.03 True Confessions (1997, TV) – 2/10

David Jason: DI Frost
Writer (Characters’ Creator): R.D. Wingfield
Writer (Screenplay): Michael Russell
Producer: Martyn Auty
Director: Sandy Johnson
Bruce Alexander: Supt Mullett
Anthony Calf: James Barr
David Beames: Alec Barr

Touch of Frost, A 5.03 True Confessions (1997)

When a woman is found dead in the river, it looks like suicide but Detective Inspector Frost soon starts digging deeper when it transpires that she did indeed drown… but in bathwater. As he starts to get closer to the truth, however, an internal affairs department suspends Frost and starts investigating past cases.

2/10

Seriously under-par Frost which, yet again, sees David Jason as the only good actor employed by the production team. They provide him with a dreadful support cast (most annoyingly Gwyneth Strong but with the exception of Bruce Alexander as Frost’s Superintendent), a very unsatisfying story and dull, lifeless direction.

This Touch of Frost, A episode contains bad language and unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Smallville 8.06 Prey (2008, TV) – 2/10 review

Tom Welling: Clark Kent
Allison Mack: Chloe Sullivan
Aaron Ashmore: Jimmy Olsen
Samuel Witwer: Davis Bloome
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Jerry Siegel
Writer (Characters’ Creator): Joe Shuster
Developer for Television: Alfred Gough
Developer for Television: Miles Millar
Phil Morris: "Detective John Jones"
Tyler Johnston: Randy
Writer: Kelly Souders
Writer: Brian Peterson
Director: Michael Rohl

Smallville 8.06 Prey (2008)

Clark is now spending his nights rescuing everyone he can but arrives too late on a scene of intense supernatural violence. He finds an unconscious Davis Bloome but Bloome later confesses to Chloe that, during inexplicable blackouts, he thinks himself responsible.

2/10

This is an almost entirely broken episode with random scripting and an entirely non-sensical story. Chloe and Clark have an interesting trust issue which is the best thing about this episode but it’s so badly handled (Clark apologises then disses Chloe all in the same conversation) that it undermines what could have been a fascinatig dialogue. I hate to say it, thanks to her run of good episodes where she wasn’t being bolshy, I missed Lois this week.

This Smallville episode contains strong violence, inferred extreme violence, gory and unpleasant scenes and non-sexual nudity.

Links

Smallville 8.02 Plastique (2008, TV) – 2/10

Tom Welling: Clark Kent
Allison Mack: Chloe Sullivan
Erica Durance: Lois Lane
Cassidy Freeman: Tess Mercer
Samuel Witwer: Davis Bloome
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Jerry Siegel
Writer (Characters’ Creator): Joe Shuster
Developer for Television: Alfred Gough
Developer for Television: Miles Millar
Jessica Parker Kennedy: Bette
Writer: Holly Henderson
Writer: Don Whitehead
Director: Rick Rosenthal

Smallville 8.02 Plastique (2008)

Clark starts work at the Daily Planet and Lois decides to allow him to benefit from her knowledge and experience whether he wants it or not. Clark’s theory that he’ll learn about emergency situations quicker by working there bears instant fruit when a bus explodes on the street above. Chloe decides to take in a 15-year-old street orphan. Apparently, this is legal in America. And Thailand, of course.

2/10

Sad to see that Tom Welling still looks completely uninterested this week but given that the script doesn’t contain a single coherent scene and that the director doesn’t disguise the writing incompetence in any way, it’s not much of a surprise. At least there was no gut-wrenching violence. Most unusually, the solo guest star actress Jessica Parker Kennedy does not even have her work here listed on her IMDb page. Additionally, the show makes no effort to reveal why it is called Plastique (it is the name of the comic book character repurposed for this episode).

This Smallville episode contains mild threat and mild unpleasant scenes.

Links

Fringe 1.01 Fringe (2008, TV) – 2/10

Writer (Series’ Creator): J.J. Abrams
Writer (Series’ Creator): Alex Kurtzman
Writer (Series’ Creator): Roberto Orci
Anna Torv: Olivia Dunham
Joshua Jackson: Peter Bishop
Lance Reddick: Phillip Broyles
Kirk Acevedo: Charlie Francis
Blair Brown: Nina Sharp
Jasika Nicole: Astrid Farnsworth
Mark Valley: John Scott
John Noble: Dr. Walter Bishop
Jason Butler-Harner: Richard B. Steig
Peter Outerbridge: Dr. Reyes
Executive Producer: Alex Graves
Executive Producer: Alex Kurtzman
Executive Producer: Roberto Orci
Executive Producer: J.J. Abrams
Writer: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Alex Kurtzman
Writer: Roberto Orci
Director: Alex Graves

Fringe 1.01 Fringe (2008)

An entire plane is successfully targeted by a form of bio-terrorism. FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham is part of the investigating taskforce but when her lover is nearly killed chasing a suspect, she reveals a depth of determination that people higher up take notice of; people investigating more paranormal events around the world.

2/10

Joshua Jackson is an irritating, patronising and unconvincing actor. So Fringe gets off to a bad start by including his name in the credits but, as it turns out, he is not one of Fringe‘s major problems. Anna Torv is much better and makes a nice lead, committed and engaging, but isn’t given anything good to say or do (except strip down to her underwear, an old standby of the idea-less writer, as is the mobile phone not working in modern urban environments for no reason, the identity of the baddie of the week, dreams that can be easily understood and the maverick FBI agent who, yeah, yeah, yeah). Director Alex Graves does nothing to disguise the unconvincing story and dialogue and paces things badly in the first half making this feel like it lasts forever. In fact, the whole thing feels like a big bet by Abrams, Kurtzman and Orci on how much piffle they could get Fox to pay for and the audience to watch. As it turns out, as with the worst of Fox’s X-Files, rather a lot.

This Fringe episode contains mild bad language and substance abuse and extremely gruesome and extremely unpleasant scenes, strong violence and sexuality.