***In Lexington, the CW is channel 117 (digital cable), 384 (satellite), 914 (HD).***
This review is in 3 parts. This is Part I: Clark Kent is the Mask. Click here for Part II: Introducing Chloe Sulivan. Click here for Part III: Villains and Weddings.
This being Smallville’s final season, after ten long years, I am paying a bit more attention to it than I usually do, and than I do to other shows. As the series ramps up to the two-hour May finale, important pieces of the Superman puzzle keep falling into place. At first, I considered not covering this week’s episode, “Masquerade”, because overall it was just another run-in with one of Darkseid’s minions, Desaad (Steve Byers). Sure, a good chapter in the season-long villain arc, but not particularly noteworthy. However, interspersed within that main story, there was a lot of interesting and important milestones in the Superman saga, and so I feel compelled to address them.
First of all, Clark Kent is the disguise. Lois (Erica Durance) tried to make The Blur’s outfit more costume-y, adding dark sunglasses and a hood. Clark (Tom Welling) didn’t really go for that. However, his monologue near the end about how The Blur is who he really is, and that he needs to stay true to himself, was perfect. It really encapsulated who Superman is, and revealed a deep understanding of the character that hasn’t always been immediately evident in Smallville. Of course, now that can be excused, as it was all part of the journey of Superman’s origin, building to the hero he will become.
Never has an origin story been told over ten years before, at least not one that I can remember. Usually, the origin is a quick beginning, maybe thirty minutes or less at the start of a movie. At most, a pilot episode of a series. What is so interesting about Smallville is that we finally saw Superman’s entire climb to who he is. I’ve thought for awhile that Clark was getting too old to still be learning about himself, he should be defined by now, but looking back, the progression has been mostly natural and thrilling. Anticipating seeing a true Superman come out in the show in the next few months is incredibly exciting!
I really enjoyed the modern spin as to why The Blur / Superman / Clark needs a disguise. When the character of Superman was first introduced, many decades ago, the glasses and hair costume was plenty. In the age of internet and cell phone cameras, it is a miracle that the Clark / Blur connection hasn’t been solidly broken yet. One can only assume that it is because of the great care Clark takes to protect his secret, as well as Clark’s relative mid-Western obscurity, that he has managed. Lois is right. It’s time to make a change.
In that same vein, it may seem odd that glasses and a hair style, the latter of which he hasn’t even adapted yet, will be enough to disguise Clark in the 21st century. Thus, Clark and Lois rightly agreed that attitude makes all the difference. Perception is reality. Clark Kent’s mild mannered-ness is as much a part of the costume as the glasses are. The immediate effect of the new Clark was stunning, but not totally out of left field. Act like a mouse, and thou shall be treated as one. Brilliant handling of a tricky subject!
Smallville‘s final season continues Friday nights at 8 p.m. on the CW.
This review is in 3 parts. This is Part I: Clark Kent is the Mask. Click here for Part II: Introducing Chloe Sullivan. Click here for Part III: Villains and Weddings.
Article first published as TV Review: Smallville – “Masquerade” on Blogcritics.
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