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October 10, 2015

Smallville: Hero

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 13th 2008 10:30PM
Smallville(S07E13) With regard to Smallville, and at the risk of sounding slightly racist, the token African-American from the first few seasons is back (which is more P.C. to write than "the token black is back"). Since then, he's become a meteor freak and a walking commercial for Stride gum at the same time.

Let's hear it for the token band One Republic. They must have gotten a good minute of air time. I bet money they're a Warner Brothers label (part of the same empire as the CW and Smallville).

Kara's amnesia remains a plotline that will undoubtedly resolve itself right in the nick of time before the season's end. At least having amnesia gives her an excuse of having poor musical taste.

This episode was very retro to the first season. We had the return of Pete Ross and the return of a Kryptonite monster of the week. In this case, they happened to be the same person.

In more ways than one, the Kryptonite gave Pete a swelled head. In effect, between the stretching and the promotion, Pete turned into a stick of gum. Stride Gum must be so proud. Also, could Chloe's line about the flavor lasting so long have been more of a product placement? I think not.

Why didn't Pete notice that his gum was glowing green? For that matter, why didn't Clark feel the Kryptonite every time Pete had a stick of gum in his mouth? It was also pretty obvious that Pete's powers would quit once he stopped chewing, something Lex used to his advantage later in the episode.

The series continues to wink at the comic book incarnation of Superman. In the comics, it was Jimmy Olsen who became Elastic Lad. In the case of Smallville, it was Pete Ross. At least Jimmy took the photo.

I did like Pete's take on the paranoia of knowing Clark's secret. In virtually every incarnation of Superman, SOMEONE has been tortured to learn his secret identity. In this case, a little paranoia never hurt.

As a corporate lackey by day myself, I'm well-aware that company e-mails are company property and Lex was well within his rights to take the image from Chloe's e-mail. Chloe was just being whiny. I guess the show had to make up for the lack of Lana.

I am glad that Pete got to say a goodbye this time. If I recall, they let the actor go between seasons and he never really got a "farewell" episode.

On a final note, if Kara had asked me to stay at my place, I would have smiled and shut the door too. Lex is a lucky bastard. I'm sure Kara will know what she's gotten herself into soon enough.

Do you want to see Pete Ross on Smallville again?
Yes, he's great.168 (43.4%)
No, he's done.175 (45.2%)
Pete who?44 (11.4%)

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I didn't care too much for the product placement, but I disagree with the comments about Pete. He was always one of my favorite characters since he was so honest. He tells Clark exactly how he feels and isn't manipulated when he whines. But, even more important, he is a part of the original story of Superman, small as his part may be.
I also think that One Republic was a good choice for the episode. It was very dramatic, just like the show, and illustrated Clark hiding Kara's past from her. The bracelet was more symbolic than Clark just putting a bracelet in a box. It showed that he didn't trust her with the truth, which hurt him later.

April 02 2008 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The over the top product placement in the first five minutes of the episode finally got me to dump Smallville from my must watch list. Honestly? The first line in the episode was a guy at a club going up to a DJ asking for gum? "Dude, look around! We're in a gum factory!" Seriously? In a show where meteorites can make an alien that can run faster than the speed of sound sick, it's dialogue like this that strained my disbelief to the breaking point.

March 21 2008 at 12:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj green

I don't mind a product placement or two. I actually look for them. But this was a tad much. Couldn't they call it by another name? Like "Oaties" always being used for cereal in tv shows? Please, please, do NOT put Jimmie and Chloe together!! What is it with the writers? Chloe is the most interesting person on the show, and they always put her in boring storylines. Do the writers ever read fan fiction? Then they would know that no one likes Lana, and everyone loves Chloe. And that just about everyone wants her together with either Lex or Oliver.

March 18 2008 at 9:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Axel Harris

The whole stride gum thing was horrible in itself, but did anyone else notice this was a carbon copy of any Pete-centric episode we've ever had? Seriously, the minute Clark started talking about how he had "made a bad decision" I knew this was going downhill.

March 18 2008 at 2:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Everybody whines in this show. It's just not Lana. You completely forgot about Pete who wasted no time in whining about not being able to compete with Clark because of his powers. Kara whining about Clark and Lana keeping secrets from her.

So don't single out Lana for whining when you have the whole cast to choose from. LOL.

March 15 2008 at 7:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why did they get Gary Coleman to play Pete? Where was the original actor?

March 14 2008 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The fact is that with shows like smallville that don't have huge ratings they need to make money in any way they can in order to stay profitable and on the air, product placement is a necessary evil if this show is to remain on the air. All I can say is that I wish Journeyman had copied some of these tactics then maybe we would still have that great show.

March 14 2008 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Observer's comment

I get that, but it was so not well done. It was like watching Night Rider, it was where the characters could have done a soliloquy commercial and jump right back into the script.

March 14 2008 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They've actually been laying the Stride product placements on pretty thick in previous episodes. I just never thought it important enough to mention. But this episode was beyond the pale.

I know I came out just a few weeks ago stating I didn't mind product placements at all (http://www.tvsquad.com/2008/02/22/products-galore-and-you-cant-avoid-them/#c10610719), but their usage of Stride gum wasn't so much a product placement as much as it was a major plot point. These writers need a crash course in Proper Product Placements.

I'm sure they'll consider that as they're driving the truckload of money Stride gave them to the bank.

March 14 2008 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They are getting pretty lazy with Smallville lately, like they just don't care anymore. I'm in no way defending this episode but it wasn't that Lex took Chloe's e-mail from her it was the fact that at the drop of a hat, he could access her entire hardrive, and everyone elses from his desk and look at whatever he wanted to.

And I am not a fan of Jimmy, I like him enough as a character I guess, but it just doesn't seem to fit that a woman (Chloe) who storms into Lex's office and tears into him (when she knows he could kidnapp and disect her at any minute, and that he really wants to, or simply just kill her) keeps going back and forth in the most boring relationship ever wtih the Smallville equivilant of Opie.

The constant Stride placement did bother me a little but the lame slow motion Clark putting a bracelt in a box to "Apologize" was ridiculous. Was that scene so Important that it needed it's own soundtrack, and slow mo effect? But it still wasn't as bad as the fact that they aren't even trying anymore. Notice when Clark loads up the truck with all that wood, it doesn't move an inch, the back end doesn't sink any, as if the logs were made of styrofoam, I know it's small and nitpicky but sometimes it's the little things, attention to detail, that keep a show from being campy.

March 14 2008 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was looking forward to this episode. The character of Pete Ross was always pretty useless. However, I didn't hate him like Lana who has always been cheesy and useless. (Viewing tip: mute the tv when she is speaking, and she becomes quite a talented actress.)

Anyways, I was looking forward to Pete's return, and if it weren't for the overt product placement, I could've enjoyed the storyline. But when the camera focuses on the stride logo more than it did on the actors in frame, I die a little inside. Terrible, just terrible.

Frankly, I'm proud to have torrented the episode. I'll be sure not to buy any Stride gum or buy a Toyota truck in the future.

March 14 2008 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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