Saturday, June 12, 2010

Smallville Rewind Review - “Metamorphosis”

Season 1 - Episode 2

Review by Antony Ellis

Tom Welling has lovely, manly hands. He really does! A bit veiny, mind you, especially when using them to delve into lead-lined boxes to retrieve meteor-stone necklaces for secret loves. This is just one of the things I learned from the second episode of ‘Smallville’ – this and lots of random facts about bugs.

‘Smallville’s’ winning streak continues, although it’s formula is set in place as “Metamorphosis” sees Clark face off against an old school friend turned meteor freak. Along the way he is manipulated slightly (with good intentions) by Lex Luthor, continues to angst over the fate of Lana’s parents, and saves three members of the credited cast before the episode is out.

Speaking of the credits – we have some now! And they were worth waiting for as they combine an anthemic tune (Remy Zero’s “Save Me”) with great opening credits of Clark’s various heroics throughout the initial episodes of the season. The opening credits are hued with a warm amber tone similar to Smallville itself and it’s all very appealing to the eyes. The WB also probably sent a memo stating that the image of Tom Welling shirtless from the pilot episode had to be a part of the montage of episode clips – and why not?

This week’s episode follows directly from some of the fallout of the pilot, particularly the Clark/Lana/Whitney triangle. Whitney, whilst little more than a goon in the pilot, does get a tad more likeable as he apologies to Clark for the scarecrow prank we saw last week. The meat of the episode follows Teen Superman’s battle with an old school friend who has gained bug like powers after being bitten by a swarm of meteor shower tainted bugs. Chad Donella plays Greg, said bug-boy, in the episode. Donella was making somewhat of a name for himself in the late ‘90s and early 2000s with roles in hit teen films like the original Final Destination and Disturbing Behaviour which co-starred Katie Holmes, so he was probably a great casting back in 2001. After ‘Smallville’ his career seems to have taken a bit of a nosedive, which is a shame, as in this role his performance is great. He channels U.V. (his character in Disturbing Behaviour) before he finds himself getting bitten and Peter-Parkered by the bugs, at which point he changes in character too, becoming more confident and threatening to our teen cast.

Kristen Kreuk’s performance in this episode was actually quite good, and I wonder if I was a little unfair in my last review by slating her and branding her as a discount Katie Holmes. Whilst I’m certain her range isn’t stellar by any means, I did find myself smiling and buying why Clark is infatuated by her.

Of Smallville’s trinity, Michael Rosenbaum continues to impress – despite only appearing in one or two main scenes. He isn’t a villain yet, by any means, but it’s interesting to watch certain characters, like Lana, and Jonathan Kent, view him with uncertainty, while Clark is totally under his spell. I’m excited to see more of this develop.

In my last review I said I would discuss more of the supporting cast members, and I’m interested to give my opinions on Allison Mack and Sam Jones III, however, found very little chance to do so. Jones, as Pete Ross, really hasn’t done anything yet in the series. Mack on the other hand as has a similarly slight role, yet managed to sparkle in each small scene she appears in. I think it’s that smile. It makes my heart flutter a little – and that’s saying something!

‘Smallville’s’ first season continues to be strong and elements of the Superman mythos and power-set are slowly being set up (Clark runs fast, is invulnerable and strong at this point – and sleep floats) and the opportunity to see more unravel in later episodes makes me excited to delve back into the box set!

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