Friday, September 25, 2009

Smallville-Season 9: Part 1

Aside from Lost, Smallville is my favorite show currently on television. I have been watching the show since its very first episode, and last night it started its ninth season. I have grown up with this show, developed a deep affinity for it.

The first five seasons of the show were spectacular, quite possibly the best five seasons of any show ever produced in my opinion. Starting in season six things began to get a little rocky, coinciding with the transition from the WB to the CW. Since then, the past three seasons have been a little lackluster compared to the first five seasons, they even had me possibly wondering whether or not they should just end the show. Alas season nine comes in to potentially save the day.

This will be the first of a three part look at the ninth season of Smallville. Part 1 will focus on my thoughts for the season after the airing of the premiere. Part 2 will take another look at the overarching season after the show has taken a break for the Winter season. And finally Part 3 will sum up my thoughts on the season as a whole after the finale airs next May. We start today with Part 1.

Smallville seems to be really coming into its own. If the producers continue this trend, they will have effectively rethought the source material and made it their own. I kind of have always seen Smallville like the Ultimate comic book line for Marvel, where it retells the origins of their classic heroes in a modern way while still being familiar, and last night's premiere managed to take a good step forward in that direction.

The ninth season premiere of Smallville was a solid premiere. It had everything in it that any fan could really want out of a season premiere. It reintroduced you to all of the major characters, showing us all where they are after three months time, it also planted the seeds for some very exciting plot threads, not to mention it was action-packed and entertaining.

In last night's episode we were introduced to a new Clark, a Clark who has forsaken his human identity, fully embracing that of his Kryptonian side. Clark has begun his training with his biological father, Jor-El, and he is now wearing a black costume wearing the Superman shield, simply going under the name of, the Blur. It was really exciting to see Clark taking steps toward his destiny rather than almost taking one then stepping back like he has done now for the past five or six seasons. As well the producers allowed him to mature it seems over the course of the Summer break. When Clark makes the decision not to use the Legion ring to go back in time and save Jimmy, it's the type of thing in which Superman would do, because he understands that while he may save Jimmy, someone else might die in his place. Also I found it a nice touch to see Clark trying to learn how to fly, even if he failed at his attempt. I'm really thinking that the producers might finally let him take off into the sky before the season is over. My fingers are crossed.

Many intriguing things are happening all around in this premiere. Oliver has completely given up being the Green Arrow, spending his time fighting in grungy fight clubs, while Chloe is trying to use her computer prowess as Watchtower to reunite the recently disbanded Justice League. Of course the most intriguing plot thread presented here in this premiere was the one involving Major Zod (the future General made famous by Terrence Stamp).

The show has already used the character of Zod in the form of a phantom possessing Lex Luthor back in seasons 5 and 6, but this season we get legitimate Zod in the flesh. Of course he is not a General yet, just a Major. Zod and his Kryptonian followers are the people from Kandor who were transported to Earth at the end of last season when Tess activated the Orb. I'm not gonna lie, when I found out Zod would be a series regular this season, I was a tad apprehensive, but seeing him in action in last night's premiere quelled any fears I held. Callum Blue's portrayal as Zod was brilliant. When he rallies his Kryptonian followers to join him in his search to find the rest of the scattered Kryptonians around Earth, it is a wonderful scene, where all bow before Zod. I am extremely excited to see how Zod will develop over the season into the General we all love to hate. Of course that's not all.

At the end of last season Lois touched Clark's Legion ring and disappeared, traveling into the future. In last night's premiere Lois returned three months after her disappearance, no memory of any time passing, nor of where she went or what she did while she was there. But what's intriguing is that Lois begins to have these visions of the future where she sees a potential apocalypse involving Zod and Clark. Not only that, but she also sees her and Clark together as a couple. This all coincides with a Kryptonian assassin arriving alongside Lois from one year in the future. The assassin wishes to kill Clark, stating that he is going to destroy the world. The assassin reveals shortly before her death in a fight with Clark, that the world's destruction is only one year away.

Overall, many exciting things happened in Smallville's ninth season premiere. I'm really eager to see where they're going to take the Zod storyline, as well I'd love it if the producers finally let Clark fly. Of course my only question for the season at this point, is how are they going to handle interactions between Clark and the other characters if he is no longer living as a human? Something that will most likely be answered in due time, but I must say that I am pumped to see what is store for the rest of the season.

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