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RERUN REVIEWS: Smallville 1×14 “Zero”, 1×15 “Nicodemus”, 1×16 “Stray”

Welcome back, or just welcome in general to Rerun Reviews were back for anther week of good to great season one Smallville episodes with “Zero”, “Nicodemus”, and “Stray.”  Now these episodes are mostly remembered for two reasons, what happens in “Nicodemus” and who appears in “Stray.” Both of these episodes have enjoyable plotlines but seem to suffer in terms of quality, especially in the wake of three really good episodes. Smallville occasionally had a problem of their pre-hiatus episodes not being as enjoyable as some of midseason episodes. Those hidden gems like “Hug”, “Magnetic”, or “Crush” really manage to shine. The three we will be talking about today can best be described as sporadic in quality, as when they are on, these episodes hit the high notes, but when they don’t, the phrase worse than “Shimmer” comes to mind. So lets dive into this week and hope for the best in the end.

 

“Zero”

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“Zero” is supposed to be a fun episode, I say this because it is Lex-centric and when Michael Rosenbaum is given a chance to be Lex, he nails it.Unfortunately this is not the case in “Zero”, as the episode suffered on a couple of fronts, most of all the story was just not interesting. Sure Lex suspending above a fish tank in a straitjacket is great imagery for television but making it center around a flashback episode is not very enjoyable. When the character of Roy Rothman shows up trying to find out what happened to his sister’s fiancée and you find out that Lex is not the good guy we have seen up to this point, it sets the bar rather high. But the payoff of Lex helping the fiancée create a new identity was just so weak and unsatisfying that it felt as if the episode lacked the punch required. Believe me there are better Lex backstory episodes.

The only factor that saves this episode from being a complete wash is the side story involving Chloe researching Clark’s adoption and the opening of The Talon. It is super enjoyable watching Jonathan and Martha get a good amount of screen time as well as giving Chloe a larger role than first suspected. It also sets Chloe on the path to discovering more about Clark, which is wicked fun to watch. All in all, meh.

Final grade C

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Scott Swartz