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August 21, 2014

Review: Smallville - Echo

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 17th 2009 1:39AM
Smallville(S09E04) It's when the writers give Clark abilities he's not supposed to have that I begin to worry, like his "reconstruct the Great Wall of China" vision from Superman IV. Thankfully, in this instance it was yet another of Jor-El's senseless tests and only temporary.

Admittedly, I don't get the title "Echo" for this episode. Is it that Oliver is an echo of his former self? Is it that he's turning the path back to heroism? It certainly seems that way.

Since Clark has switched to the black outfit, I hope people (including Lois) stop calling him the "red-blue blur". Now he's just the Blur. Or maybe the Black Blur, but that could be construed as slightly racist.

One can tell by watching the flow of the season that eventually Tess is going to learn that Oliver killed Lex (or likely only tried to kill him. There was that "cameo" of Lex at the end, and you know Lex will still be around to menace Clark when he finally dons the cape).

At first, I thought this was a replica of a Buffy episode from way back when, but the whole "our hero gets telepathy" angle was handled differently enough for me to change my mind rather quickly. I still don't get the point of Jor-El giving Clark this power, but it was obviously a device by the writers to further the tangled Clark/Lois relationship (which is still quite reminiscent of the Lois & Clark show of the 90's). The last relationship I've seen on television that has been this complex was Clark/Lana.

Why didn't Oliver just admit to being a murderer then? He could have easily recanted later, arguing that he said it under duress. Of course, it might have led to further investigation of Luthor's death. In the end, we'll likely find out that Luthor is alive anyway and Oliver is torturing himself for nothing.

This must have been an easy paycheck for Chris Gauthier. He only appeared in one scene with anybody else. It's the little details that remind me how much this show tries to keep a budget.

It was very nice how they merge together the Metallo and Toyman storylines at the end. It makes it seem like the writers have a plan for the season.

This is why comic book supervillains are laughable. Toyman can build human-looking robots, but he's a terrorist. He could finance his own terrorist army with that sort of know-how. Clark still has things to learn, like how to use his x-ray vision on people so he can tell a robot from a person.

The episode was better than usual. Despite the angst and melodrama, I like how the series has been progressing since after the first episode. Perhaps it's the lack of Lana and her whine.

Other bits:

  • Anybody else catch the reference to the Toyman of the Superman and Justice League cartoons with the giant toy head at the beginning? If so, then you're a nerd.
  • What about the retro feel of Clark being at a phonebooth, which is a very Superman thing before cell phones existed? If you caught that, you're also a nerd but less so (plus it's been a repeating motif in the series).
  • Apparently, everyone in a standard Mexican bar is either criminal or hot. Or both.

[Watch episodes of Smallville at SlashControl.]

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Mike

I think everyone has missed something. Oliver is torn up because of Jimmy's death not Lex's. It was clearly established in one of this season's previous episodes. Clark said something to Oliver like "You can't keep beating yourself up for Jimmy's death". Oliver feels that he is partly to blame for Jimmy's death but I can't exactly remember the specifics from last season that would make him feel that way.

October 19 2009 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike's comment
Mel

yes, blur...

Oliver thinks he should have gone against Clark's decision to NOT kill Doomsday and then "Davis" would not have been able to kill Jimmy.

October 19 2009 at 7:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fred

What the hell was with the robot at the end?

When Clark X-rays the podium and sees the bomb there is clearly a timer on it that says like 2:05 or something and it ticks down as he is looking at it, then when he finds the robot he's all like "How long does he have?". Umm.... Then he just decides to burn off his face and there is a time with 2 seconds on it there? Umm.... And the timer stops because his face got melted off? What the hell?

Mind reading was good however it never actually got used for anything useful. He didnt even use it to know there was something going on with toy man. It made sense Jor-El gave it to him because he own'd the guy wearing the mask at the start but that was it and Clark didnt even use it for Jor-El's purpose at all.

Im not even entirely sure why Oliver is still cut up. He was fine when he'd killed Lex, didnt really care when Clark kicked him out of the league. What is he even cut up about these days anyway?

Lamest episode ever.

October 19 2009 at 2:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Diana

I thought that or Jor El's move to give Clark telepathy actually made a lot of sense. Clark usually acts instinctively, believing in the best of people, rarely taking the time to make connections and analyze people's behaviours. This gave him the oportunity to be a little more like Batman. :)

But what pissed the hell out of me was that stupid blurry image efect that went along with his telepathy. It became SO annoying after a while.

Not a single word about Justin Hartley's performance tonight though? I think he did really well, better than I came to expect from him. I do hope he gets out of his rut though. I mean he hit rock bottom. Where else is there to go but up?

October 17 2009 at 10:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ron

it was called Echo becasue when Clark is hearing proles thoughts, would be my guess

October 17 2009 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
matthew m. barnes

um... when did Tess become Lara Croft?

October 17 2009 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
litehousebeacon

I'm not a nerd, I'm a geek. There's a difference.

And Ollie will still have every reason to torture himself because he tried to murder Lex. Just because he failed that doesn't let him off the hook for that. If he had gone about it the right way it would be a different story, though. Because I agree that the only way to stop Lex was/is to kill him.

October 17 2009 at 7:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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