Oooh boy, welcome back to Rerun Reviews and this week is gonna be a doozy. You know, in retrospect I may have bitten off more than I can chew this week, but I made a promise and I am a man of my word. This weeks episodes, three of them at least, hold a special place in my heart as I did a full presentation on “Reaper”, “Drone”, and “Crush” in seventh grade. Really nerdy, I know, but what can I say, fans do what we can to promote our shows. These three episodes plus “Obscura” were a great run up to the finale. Fun plots, unique side characters, great character development for some of the cast. What really managed to make these episodes thrive is that in the grand scheme of things, Clark was not the main character of the story. Yes Clark is our protagonist, but the best episodes of Season One managed to focus on more interesting side characters, like Kyle and Ryan. So yeah it’s time to light the lights and dig in.
You know for a one season character, Whitney got some really fun storylines to play with and in “Reaper” we truly get to see how the character has evolved. In this case, from shallow athlete to learning to accept mortality. The story is really quite strong and unique as Tyler Randall, this episode’s duly appointed meteor rock freak, uses his angel of death like powers to kill those in too much pain. Tyler determines that his mission in life is to end the pain of those in suffering by turning them to ash. Clark makes Tyler realize that Tyler is only trying to rid himself of pain and in the end ashes himself. However, Tyler’s role in the story is really secondary to how all of the characters explore their relationship with death and what their roles are as high schoolers. That is some pretty heavy stuff that we really did not expect to see.
What really helped to make this plot excel are how Tom Welling and Eric Johnson portray their respective struggles with mortality. We learn that Whitney’s father will pass away soon and that Whitney is having a hard time being able to confront this reality and what it means for him. Similarly, Clark gets touched by Tyler, revealing to Clark that he is basically immortal. These two divergent paths set up a very strong story and though Clark does not confront his revelation, Whitney makes the most of exploring his mortality. The conversation with Lana in the graveyard is a standout no doubt and those final moments of Whitney playing with the Sharks really cement that though his priorities have shifted, Whitney will always make his dad proud.
Final Grade B+