The hardware issues are fixed. The episodes got better. And before we start, a shout out. I want to say hello to a new reader. Her name is Ansley, and in “real life” she and her husband Jonathan are two of my best friends. The year was 2003. It was Summer. Those of us who were fans of Smallville were anxiously waiting to see what would become of Clark on red kryptonite. I had recorded most of the episodes of the second season for a friend of mine who was in college and didn’t get to watch Smallville on Thursday nights. I had one of the tapes I had recorded the show on in my car, and I handed it to Ansley. I said, “Just let Jonathan watch this if you guys aren’t doing anything, he might like it.” The next day, I got a phone call….from Ansley. They wanted more. Smallville was a drug and I was their supplier. That Friday night we found ourselves sitting in a booth at Ruby Tuesday talking Smallville. Actually, they were asking dozens of questions and I was fielding them as best I could. Since that fateful Summer day, we have been inseparable in our Smallville bond. We have thrilled to season premieres, we were on the phone with each other as Jonathan Kent passed away, and we all cheered as the show gave us things to cheer about. Smallville is better when it’s shared, and it’s great when it’s shared with good friends. Now, I bring my friends Jonathan and Ansley deeper into my world of geekdom and welcome them to the site with open arms.
Season 7 is right around the corner, and every Friday you can check here for detailed reviews and recaps of the show. I have chosen this season to remain unspoiled. I know the major details that have been released to the general press and stuff, (i.e. Supergirl, Dean Cain, Helen Slater, etc.) but plot points and surprises that I have been privy to in the past, I am avoiding. Right now there is a lot of information about the first few episodes over at Kryptonsite, so you can head over there and check out all kinds of news and stuff. But there is only one place you will find the Summer of Smallville, and that’s right here! So, without further ado….
Season 1 Episode 11 – “Hug”
Written by – Doris Egan
Directed by – Chris Long
This is the team that brought us Lex’s foreboding future in “Hourglass”.
Synopsis – Bob Rickman is an industrialist that has an amazing ability to get what he wants. We learn in the teaser, that when he touches people, he can persuade them to do whatever he wants them to do. We are introduced to this when he persuades an environmentalist who would keep him from building a plant in Smallville to kill himself. In Smallville, we are introduced to Kyle Tippett, a loner who lives in the woods and has the classic reputation of the guy who is up to something sinister. He is portrayed by Gregory Sporleder who is one of those actors that you’ve seen in a million different things, and you know that you recognize the face, but you can’t quite place it. Anywho, Lana’s horse is spooked and the first time we see Kyle he is standing over Lana who is just coming to as Clark gets to her. What ensues is eveybody but Clark thinking that Kyle has snapped and is out to hurt people. Clark takes a chance on Kyle, and as Bib Rickman comes to town things ramp up. We find out that Kyle and Bob used to be salesmen together and were trapped in a car during the meteor shower. When the dust settled, they found that they had the power to get people to do anything they wanted. Kyle, scared of abusing his power, took to being a hermit in the woods of Smallville. Bob, decided to use the ability to get rich. In the end, Lana and Clark have a falling out over the Kyle situation, which gets resolved, Rickman convinces Jonathan to do the unthinkable and sell the farm, Kyle comes out of hiding to stop Rickman, and Lex delivers one of the greatest lines in the whole of the show’s run….oh yeah…and Clark gets lit up by an uzi.
This is one of those shows that is just packed with little moments when we get glimpses of the man Clark will be and the future he will have.
- When Clark is talking to Lex about how he thinks Kyle may not be such a bad guy, and how much heat is getting from Lana and Whitney over the situation, Lex refers to Clark at Atticus. Lex then explains TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD to Clark. Clark, at this point isn’t familiar with it, but if you’ve ever read the Reign of the Supermen comic when the real Superman finally returns, you know that he mentions TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD to Lois to convince her that he’s the real deal. Why? It’s his favorite book. I don’t know if this was an intended reference, but it’s there and it’s cool.
- Clark races a bullet and loses because he gives it a head start, but he gets to Kyle quick enough to keep others from hitting him.
- There is a great moment when Clark tells Kyle, “When you have a gift, you can’t just hide in the woods and hope it goes away.” This is Clark who has had to use his abilities to save friends, family, and even Smallville. This is Clark who takes his powers very seriously and I love the thought that he is disturbed by anyone who would choose to simply be inactive with his gifts.
- The coolest moment of the show comes when Lex is under Rickman’s influence and trying to kill Kyle. Clark tries to protect Kyle and actually saves him from a burning car right in front of Lex. Lex now knows that Clark has powers, as he is seeking to not only kill Kyle, he is now facing down Clark. It’s great to see these two face each other. What is telling though is the way Lex loses his inhibitions under Rickman’s influence. He let’s Clark know what is really going on in his mind. His disappointment with Clark’s unwillingness to share his secret comes out in this statement. “Respect and fear are the betyou you can for.” You can actually see Lex enjoying being evil. Then…
- He fires the uzi (at least I think it’s an uzi. It’s an automatic weapon of some kind.) at Clark and the bullets are coming too many, too fast for Clark to dodge. He ends up getting lit up all over his back. This is the first time we see that Clark is bulletproof. It’s just an awesome moment as Lex unloads with a look of glee on his face and Clark goes down. Later, we see Clark bruised from the impact, but otherwise unscathed, once again, reminding us that he has yet to come into his full powers.
- Then Lana and Clark make up. They confirm their friendship for each other and Lana tells Clark that she thinks they will be friends for a long time. Even in the season six Lana marries Lex debacle, the Clark/Lana relationship is something that has neer been explored in quite this way. They have a genuine love for each other, and for whatever reason, they will never be together. But, they will be friends for a very long time.
- Finally, we get one of the best lines of the season if not the entire show. Lex and Clark are discussing how Kyle and Rickman’s friendship fell apart. Clark asks Lex if he thinks that will ever happen to them. Quote Lex, “Clark, our friendship is going to be the stuff of legend.” Indeed it will sir…indeed it will.
This episode is great to me because of how Clark responds to Kyle Tippett. While everyone else is ready to lynch the guy, Clark stands in the gap seeing the best in him and ready to help him however he can. Then of course, there’s the conversation that Lex and Clark have at the end of the episode. It’s almost painful to see a few of their better moments together and realize where things are with them on the show now. Also, we are left with Kyle wandering off with the intention of using his ability to help people. This is the first time we see a “meteor freak” make that choice. So, between Clark getting shot by Lex and helping a guy get on the right path, and especially considering the awesome line delivered by Lex at the end of the show, I have to give this episode a 5 out of 5. Why so highly rated. There are other moments too. Chloe kissing Clark and their discomfort at the situation, Whitney hitting Clark with a bat, oh yeah…and a man falling to his death and ruining a taxi in the process makes auto mishap mumber 8 and Lex dowsing a car with gas a torching it up makes auto mishap number 9. With all of that, you have to love this episode. It’s the way it makes you smile when it’s over.
So I know that’ s only one episode. I have several more to post on, but for now we’ll leave it at that.