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Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season by Various Directors
Review by Charles Mohapel
Warner Home Video DVD  ISBN/ITEM#: B001FB4VZS
Date: 15 September 2009 List Price $59.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: IMDB.com / Show Official Info /

I've always been a fan of Superman and haven't missed a first run episode of Smallville in eight seasons. What I was looking forward to viewing was the kind of bonus features that I knew would be icing on the cake.

Creators:
Alfred Gough
Miles Millar

Cast:
Tom Welling ... Clark Kent
Erica Durance ... Lois Lane
Allison Mack ... Chloe Sullivan
Aaron Ashmore ... Jimmy Olsen
Justin Hartley ... Oliver Queen
Cassidy Freeman ... Tess Mercer
Sam Witwer ... Davis Bloome
Dario Delacio ... Doomsday

"Odyssey" begins a month after "Arctic", the Season 7 cliffhanger finale left off. It was good to see Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Aquaman searching for the missing Clark Kent. Upon discovering that Kent is being held in a Siberian prison camp, Oliver Queen goes there to conduct black market business with the prison camp commander and free Kent.

In "Plastique" we meet Bette, a streetwise runaway teenage girl with meteor freak powers who tries to kill Tess Mercer. Bette is a pyrokinetic whom we will come to know as Plastique and both she and Chloe had been held in Luthorcorp's black ops Black Creek facility and now that Bette knows that Tess was responsible for her incarceration, she's looking for payback.

"Toxic" begins when Oliver Queen is poisoned at a charity fundraiser, but the toxin is extremely unusual and comes from a bad time in Queen's past.

In "Instinct" Tess unknowingly activates the mysterious blue Kryptonian Knowledge crystal found in the Arctic and it transmits a signal summoning Maxima, an alien queen. Arriving on Earth, she begins searching for her new mate, but she possesses a kiss deadly to anyone not of Krypton.

"Committed" begins with Jimmy and Chloe being kidnapped as they are leaving their engagement party. Lois Lane and Clark look for them by pretending to be a couple and going undercover, only to be kidnapped themselves.

In "Prey", there is a brutal serial killer wreaking havoc in Metropolis and Clark always seems to arrive too late to do anything. Paramedic Davis Bloome, Chloe Sullivan's new friend, is suffering unexplained blackouts and suspects that he is the killer.

"Identity" begins with Clark having to save Lois, only this time Jimmy Olsen was nearby and photographed the Red-Blue Blur. When Chloe refuses to help Clark protect his secret identity from a dogged Jimmy, Clark has persuade Oliver to impersonate the Red-Blue Blur.

In "Bloodline" Clark touches an alien crystal that sends him and Lois to the Phantom Zone where they encounter Clark's Kara. While opening a portal so the three of them can escape back to Earth, only to have Zod's wife Faora escape in Lois's body and rampage through Metropolis.

At the beginning of "Abyss" we see Chloe undergoing memory loss caused by the essence of Brainac which is now replacing her memories with Kryptonian codes. At this point Clark uses the Crystal of Knowledge to reconstruct the Fortress of Solitude in order to ask Jor-El for help.

In "Bride" Oliver gets closer to finding Lex's hiding place, while Clark refuses to help Oliver due to his desire to make Chloe's wedding day a special one. Doomsday crashes the wedding, throws Clark around like a rag doll, injures Jimmy badly, and abducts Chloe.

"Legion" begins with Clark in shock following Doomsday's attack on Chloe and Jimmy. When a rather nasty time traveling axe-wielding baddie called the Persuader appears and wounds him, Rokk Krinn (Cosmic Boy), Imra Ardeen (Saturn Girl), and Garth Ranzz (Lightning Lad), three members of the Legion of Superheroes travel back in time to defeat the Persuader to save Clark.

It is in "Bulletproof" that discovers John Jones (J'onn J'onzz/The Martian Manhunter) isn't bulletproof and was shot while working as a Metropolis police officer, Clark goes undercover to find the suspect. When Lana confronts Tess and informs her that Lex has been using her as his unwitting eyes and ears, this shocking news forces Tess to reevaluate her position as the acting head of Luthorcorp in Lex's absence.

Although "Power" is Allison Mack's directorial debut, that didn't stop her from acting in it too. When Lana goes missing, Clark goes in search of her. At the same time we get flashbacks filling us in on what Lana has been doing these past seven months. As it turns out Lana was undergoing the kind of specialized training that special forces around the world undergo. Now that this training has been completed to her satisfaction, she undergoes the physical transformations that are caused by putting on the Prometheus suit, which gives her powers to rival those of Clark himself.

"Requiem" begins with a big bang as at the very moment that Oliver is informing the LuthorCorp board of executives that Queen Industries has bought controlling interest in LuthorCorp, a green kryptonite-enhanced bomb detonates in the meeting room. During the course of investigating the bombing, Lana discovers that the Prometheus suit gives her superstrength and superspeed, but absorbs kryptonite radiation as well. This latter attribute comes in very handy when she has to absorb the kryptonite in a second larger bomb on the roof of the Daily Planet. Unfortunately Lana becomes so irradiated with the green kryptonite radiation that any extended contact with Clark will make him sick and kill him, so she reluctantly leaves Smallville again.

Like the proverbial bad penny, Linda Lake returns in Infamous and threatens to expose Clark's secret if he doesn't provide her with the exclusive scoop on every superdeed he performs. Then she makes a big mistake by attempting to draw Doomsday out of Davis, but he prevents this by killing her.

In "Turbulence" Tess puts an elaborate plan in effect in order to force Clark to expose his secret, a plan that culminates in the two of them being stranded on a crashing plane, but Clark foils her plans. When Jimmy witnesses Davis murdering a man in the hospital, Davis drugs Jimmy to make it appear that Jimmy is delusional and anything he says has zero credibility.

"Hex" is a perfect example of being careful what you wish for - you may get your wish - and a lot of other baggage that you never expected with it. When Zatanna Zatara, a beautiful and talented magician, grants Chloe's wish to have Lois's life, Chloe wakes up with Lois's body - and discovers that Lois's life is more than she bargained for.

In "Eternal", Tess informs Davis that he crash landed on Earth in 1989, during the Smallville meteor shower, alongside another boy (Clark). She tells Davis that he and Clark are destined to fight to the death, and that Clark will not accept his role as Earth's savior until he kills Davis. When Davis remembers that kryptonite hurt him as a small child, he tells Chloe to lock him in a tank filled with a liquid kryptonite solution until he dies. Unfortunately, he comes back from the dead with an immunity to kryptonite.

"Stiletto" gets off to a buttkicking start as Lois saves Chloe from a carjacker (local mobster Bruno Mannheim), Lois concludes that if you can't interview them, join them. Desperately wanting an interview from the Red-Blue Blur, she dons a costume and becomes Metropolis' newest superhero, Stiletto. When Lois convinces Jimmy to take photos of her in her Stiletto costume, the owner (Bruno Mannheim) of the bar where Jimmy is working, grabs Jimmy's camera to see what photos are on it, recognizes Stiletto and plans his nasty revenge on her.

As "Beast" begins, Clark hears about a vicious serial killer in Metropolis and he begins to suspect that Davis is still alive. When Metropolis PD begin a manhunt for Davis, Chloe decides that she and Davis need to leave Smallville immediately. Clark catches up to them just as Davis is about to kill Oliver, but he intervenes and takes Davis to the Fortress of Solitude so that he can use the crystal to send him to the Phantom Zone.

"Injustice" begins with Tess gathering a team of meteor freaks to track down Doomsday so that she can give Clark his location, and attempt convince him to kill Doomsday. But things don't go according to plan and some of them die at Doomsday's hands.

In "Doomsday" Rokk Krinn (Cosmic Boy) returns to Metropolis from the 31st Century, tells Clark that Doomsday will kill him without the Legion's help, and gives him a new Legion ring to transport Doomsday to the future where the Legion can combine forces to defeat him. But Clark has other plans and he decides to use black kryptonite to split Davis from Doomsday, and bury the beast a mile underground. Clark battles Doomsday, splits him from Davis, buries Doomsday as planned and uses explosives to seal the tunnel. Upon realizing that Chloe still loves Jimmy, Davis stabs Jimmy, but before dying Jimmy impales Davis on a metal rod.

When it comes to the deleted scenes on Discs 1, 3, 4, and 5, I can understand why they were deleted and I'm glad they were included on the discs. Of all the deleted scenes, those from "Power" and "Requiem" on Disc 4 were my favorites.

Of the two episodes with commentary, "Identity"> (Commentary by Director Mairzee Almas, Executive Producer Brian Peterson, and Actress Cassidy Freeman) and "Legion" (Commentary by Producers Darren Swimmer and Tim Scanlan, and Writer Geoff Johns), both were quite enjoyable, but you could really tell that Mairzee Almas, Brian Peterson, and Cassidy Freeman were really enjoying themselves as you heard lots of cool behind-the-scenes stuff.

I quite enjoyed "In the Director's Chair: Behind the Lens and Calling the Shots with Allison Mack", the story of her directorial debut as told by Allison and her colleagues.

"Smallville's Doomsday: The Making of a Monster" was a great feature of how their vision of Doomsday was conceived, painstakingly designed and constructed, and finally worn on the set.

Of all the episodes, "Odyssey", "Legion", "Bulletproof", "Power", "Requiem", and "Hex" were my favorites.

If you haven't already got your copy of Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season, run out or fly to buy a copy. Or order it online from the comfort of your own home, but get it - you'll be glad you did.

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