TV Discussion

Smallville 3×15 – ‘Resurrection’ – TV Rewind

A fairly packed episode that manages to squeeze in a lot of incident and plot development, after a few weeks of seemingly going through their DVD collections for inspiration, it looks as if Smallville‘s writers might finally be going back to coming up with original ideas with ‘Resurrection’. That is until you realise how similar some elements are to the 2002 Denzel Washington-starring film John Q.

It’s hard to be too critical when Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer’s teleplay has such propulsive energy to it, especially in the second half when it opts for developing into a hostage situation episode and linking its story back to other threads going on in the season.

Of course, having a character holding others hostage is an old television episode stand-by, something that Smallville has done in the past itself with season one’s ‘Jitters’. This doesn’t quite go for broke in the manner that episode did in terms of the scale and production values. Instead, it focuses most of its attention on the Smallville hospital set which is becoming as familiar at this stage as the Kent Farm and Lex’s mansion.

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While being another episode with similarities to a recently released feature film at the time of production may make the season feel at this stage like it’s taking ideas from wherever it can get them, there is a lot to enjoy and have fun with. It’s clear that Jonathan Kent isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and it’s hard to fathom if that’s down to the series bottling it when it comes to having Clark experience the loss of his adoptive father at this stage, or wanting to play with a section of the audience that knows what to expect when it comes to that part of the Superman lore.

Jonathan’s operation and the barrier it places against this week’s guest characters means that there is a push and pull emotional direction to some of the events here, even if television series logic dictates that the episode can only go one way. On top of all that, it allows the monster-of-the-week format that is Smallville’s frequent bread and butter to do a lot of things that it frequently does well such as going for a weird science angle that involves suspicious scientists, atmospherically photographed laboratories and the involvement of Lionel Luthor.

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Connecting the main story of this week’s episode’s antagonists to the Adam Knight storyline also just adds to Smallville‘s ability at this stage to allow some of its plotting to be more expansive than just functioning as mere filler stories as it was prone to do in season one. The strongest part of this season overall has been the clear eagerness of its writers to connect things more in a serialised way than the series might have looked to have done in its early days.

The Adam Knight story when it began didn’t seem promising, mainly because it felt as if the writers were looking to utilise some sort of love triangle element to the Clark/Lana dynamic that at this stage is honestly starting to feel more exhausted than the reliance on monster-of-the-week stories. But what with its weird science angle and the involvement of Lionel in proceedings, the story has more of a drive than one might have thought when Ian Somerhalder first appeared several weeks ago. It legitimately leaves you intrigued as to where this part of the season will go next.

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