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October 13, 2015

'Smallville' Season 10, Episode 18 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 23rd 2011 12:40PM
smallville booster recap['Smallville' – 'Booster']

It's a bird...It's a plane...It's Superdouche!

This week's fun and extra-goofy episode of 'Smallville' brought another C-list comic book superhero to the small screen – the shallow and swaggering Booster Gold.

Fans of the show may not have been clamoring to see "Booster Boy" come to shining life as he did here, but the gloated guardian's guest spot proved oddly appropriate as the show nears its end and Clark Kent steps closer to becoming Superman.

This was another episode penned by Geoff Johns, the acclaimed comic book scribe behind two of the series' most memorable outings (Season 8's 'Legion' and last year's 'Absolute Justice'). Johns' episodes are a special treat for both 'Smallville' fans and fans of DC Comics lore. The man has a knack for transporting comic book heroes to TV with most of their quirks, personality and integrity intact. Johns also loves lacing his 'Smallville' scripts with sly comic book references that, surprisingly, tend to add to the story instead of merely calling attention to themselves.

'Booster' wasn't nearly as riveting as 'Legion' or as unabashedly geeky and epic as 'Absolute Justice,' but it was still a fine and memorable achievement for Johns and for the series.

I'm sure several fans were puzzled and disappointed when it was announced that Johns' final 'Smallville' ep would center on Booster Gold, arguably one of the silliest heroes in the DC canon. "Booster Gold? Really? But he's so ... stupid," the Interweb message boards seemed to shout all at once.

But the decision to bring Booster to 'Smallville' so late in the game made perfect sense. Clark is finally ready to become The World's Greatest Hero, but he's still struggling to define his public heroic persona. Luckily, Booster came along to show Clark how to act like a true hero...by doing the exact opposite and putting his own selfish desires first.

Booster -- a disgraced jock who stole a supersuit -- is the anti-Superman. He's boastful, proud, arrogant and totally trendy (didja see those shades?) while Supes is altruistic, compassionate and classic.

Booster put on a good show and gave Metropolis a hero to cheer for, but his calculated super-deeds were small change compared to The Blur's/Superman's power to inspire.

'Smallville' gets one thing right – it portrays Clark Kent/Superman as the hero who inspires the world and brings out the best in those around him. He's the beacon that we all look to, and 'Booster,' by contrasting Booster Gold's glory hound personality with Clark's quiet integrity, portrayed that idea perfectly.

Not content to bring only one DC hero to the tube this year, Johns also introduced the world to Jaime Reyes, aka The Blue Beetle. The Blue Beetle origin story felt a bit rushed, but, in the end, it fit in nicely with the theme of the episode – the suit doesn't make the hero, it's character that counts. Bonus points for including Ted Kord and referencing Dan Garrent, the identities of the first two comic book Blue Beetles.

A big part of what made 'Booster' work was Eric Marstolf's pitch-perfect performance as the titular hero. Not only did Marstolf look the part (with his shiny teeth, square chin, and golden spiky 'do), but he nailed Booster's aggressive arrogance as well as his more regretful and insecure side. The guy was pretty charming too. I enjoyed watching Booster mug for the cameras even when his endless pomposity reached epic proportions.

Jaren Brandt Bartlett, the actor who played Jaime, did the best with his mostly one-note role and predictable arc. I liked seeing Lois trying to inspire Jaime to grow a backbone while also trying to pull a "reverse Pygmalion" with Clark.

Tom Welling handled his de-evolution from "sleek to geek" quite well here. Sure, the idea that people won't recognize a geekier Clark as The Blur/Superman makes absolutely no sense, but that's OK. It's never really made much sense in Superman's 70-plus year history!

I'll admit that turning Clark into the bumbling reporter feels a little awkward, but it has to happen if we're gonna get to see him wear the suit before the show ends. Plus I like the idea that Lois is the architect of his "mask." It's a fun twist on the old story.

This ep gave us another fun twist when Booster suggested that Clark ditch 'The Blur' moniker in favor of a more "super" name. "Gotta brand it, baby!" Hey, when you're right, you're right.

And we finally got to see our man do a quick-change in a phone booth. Exciting! The sequence seemed a bit rushed, but it was still a nice nod to classic Superman lore.

The ep ended with Lois and Clark nuzzling on the couch and Lois assuring Clark of one important thing: No matter what anyone else thinks, she'll always love her Superman, even if he walks and talks like a geek.

Other thoughts/quotes:

- Cat Grant is still a mixed bag of annoying and cute. Oh, and I want someone to bake me some Superman cookies, like, now.

- Loved the Booster Gold Fan Club t-shirts.

- Director Tom Welling kept the pace fast and the tone light, which was appropriate. Really liked the gold and blue tones in almost every scene.

- Missed Lionel and Tess this week, but I'm glad they didn't try to shoehorn another subplot into this one.

- "Skeets," Booster's lil' robot pal, was seen but not heard. Still funny, though.

- Every superhero should have his own army of dancing, short skirted skanks!

- "The real man of steel"

- "The greatest hero you've never heard of ... 'til now!"

- "Thanks for being my number one fan."

'Smallville' airs Fridays at 8PM ET on The CW.

Follow @mikemoody on Twitter.

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I like this episode better than any of the others not for the flashy special effects or the scary cliff hangers. The message was one that was more inspirational than all the others because it not only defined a hero but it also showed how important it is to pay attention to the simple needs of others. I am so glad that I can watch TV when I’m camping like I will be tomorrow because not only did I miss the entire season but I can catch up with the reruns. My DISH Network employee tailgaiter http://goo.gl/vd4M4 is easy to set up and fits my budget which is important to my wife and me.

September 04 2011 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


April 29 2011 at 7:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Booster Gold reminds me of some of the people that live in my apartment complex

April 24 2011 at 12:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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