Smallville: Seasons 1 – 5 (2001 – 2005)

Now this stands to reason, a whole decade of the Superman series is extremely impressive! So I am putting this post together to review seasons one through five. I will post a second one with a review of the remaining five seasons at a later stage. I love the way they seeped Superman into so many aspects of this show. Clark Kent is always shown wearing a variation of red, blue and yellow (whereas Kal-El wears black, so you can distinctly see the difference), the original kryptonite sound from the movies was used in the series, and the permanent referencing to where he would end up. I thought it was incredibly well executed, and a fantastic back story for the history of Clark Kent to Superman.


Season 1
Synopsis: We are introduced to Clark Kent (Tom Welling)  and his cohorts. The dynamic between Clark Kent and Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) is finally demonstrated, and we have a whole lot of episodes to watch them grow, and the relationship develop. Lex becomes overly-intrigued with Clark Kent, and his digging threatens to unveil the whole of Clark’s secret. Clark’s obsession with Lana (Kristen Kreuk) intensifies when they finally strike up a friendship, and Clark discovers that he is seriously allergic to meteor rocks. He works to maintain his secret from everyone, including his best friends Pete Ross (Sam Jones III) and Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack). The more he shrouds  his life in secrecy, the more he feels alienated from the rest of the world. Meteor  infected people start popping up with alarming regularity all over the show, and Clark makes it his personal crusade to save as many victims as is possible. The series ends with a nasty tornado ripping up Smallville.
Best Episode: Hourglass
Worst Episode: Kinetic
 6.5/10. For a pilot season this was really not too bad. As is typical, there was no real story to follow in the debut season, per se, but all the characters are thoroughly introduced, some history is given, and nearing the end do they start bringing in some further development. It was a good season to get to know Clark Kent in his “natural” habitat so to say, and understand the bonds of friendship that exist, and meet the family and understand the dynamic between them. It also lets us foster a vested interest between Clark and Lex becoming friends, so that deeper understanding is later possible. Overall, there were not a lot of crazy plot twists or really deep moments or anything, but it was just fine to get into and watch.

Season 2
Synopsis: Starting directly where season one concluded, there is severe carnage in Smallville due to the tornadoes that ran rampant and Clark is once again so involved with correcting everything. In an eye-opening season, Clark finally finds out precisely who he is and where he is from, but is terrified by the concept that there may well be a destiny for him that is unavoidable, set in motion by his biological father, Jor-El (voice of Terence Stamp). Clark Kent also discovers two more things about himself: his vulnerability to red Kryptonite as well as his heat vision. Pete Ross finally finds out about Clark’s secret, and the two become closer than ever, while Clark and Chloe drift apart due to Lana becoming ever closer with Clark. The native Indian Kawatche caves are discovered, and Clark is innately aware that the message on the walls is most likely for him, and foretelling his destiny. Virgil Swann (Christopher Reeve) is introduced in this season, and has an increasingly important role to play in Clark’s life as he has more answers than anyone else has ever been able to offer. This season primarily focuses on Clark becoming extremely preoccupied with his origins and his destiny, as well as the war that rages in Lex Luthor to not become his father’s son. Clark battles his biological father’s wishes, and destroys his space ship in a desperate attempt to change his future, and in the process ends his mother’s pregnancy. He turns to red Kryptonite to strip away his inhibitions to run away to Metropolis, leaving Lana behind.
Best Episode: Ryan
Worst Episode: Redux
7/10. It was definitely an entertaining season, and more of the characters bleed through. I like the way that Clark railed against some set destiny for himself, although it might cost him dearly in the future. The mistrust Clark holds for Jor-El is palpable. Chloe is still settling into her roots in this show, and can sometimes be highly annoying, while Pete and Clark getting closer is great. This friendship between Clark and Lana is getting very irritating, because neither of them really know what they want, but they assume the other is at the core of their desires. It was so painful to watch a finale where Johnathan Kent just as good as rejects Clark, and his following move makes plenty of sense.

Season 3
Synopsis: Lex’s honeymoon ended before it began, and we follow his recovery from the extreme psychological break he suffered at the hands of his traitorous wife. Clark is still in Metropolis,and things are going really badly. Johnathan Kent (John Schneider) made a deal with the devil, and Jor-El imbued him with the necessary Kryptonian powers to reign Clark in, which obviously leaves an anguished Clark fighting his guilt about what his father had done to bring him back, and the cost of it to his father’s health.  Clark and Lana’s relationship fizzles out, and as they are known to do, they dance around the edges of just being together. Clark establishes another of his ability: super hearing. Clark agrees to his destiny set out by his biological father in exchange for Johanathan Kent being left alone. Lex is placed into Belle Reve in a cover-up instigated by Lionel Luthor (Johm Glover) to hide the fact that he killed his parents for insurance money decades ago. Lionel is arrested for the conspiracy, and attempts to take Chloe’s life as she is the one with the most damning evidence linking him to the murders. Lana decides to move to Paris to deal with all the drama of Smallville and the rollercoaster of a relationship that she shares with Clark, and Pete Ross leaves to Wichita with his mother when keeping Clark’s secret becomes too great a burden to bear. Clark ends up relenting to Jor-El’s wishes in order to save Johnathan, and unlocks the cave wall and is ported away.
Best Episode: Asylum
Worst Episode: Magnetic
 7/10. This season was a flurry of deception, darkness and mental breakdowns. It was intense to see Lex on the island, almost out of his mind, and my stomach still churns when I think of the cheek of his wife to pretty much crash Lex’s “funeral”. Again I was astounded by the lengths the Luthor’s will go to to protect themselves and screw each over as royally as possible. I think it was crazy to have Lex admitted to Belle Reve and have his brain have shock therapy to wipe out the last few weeks. In a sense it is good for Clark, but it is also ghastly to see how it breaks Lex. I was sort of relieved to see Lana prance off to Paris, but I doubt that they will be able to maintain that section of the story for long. Lionel is truly the core of evil in this show, and it never ceases to amaze me how twisted and broken the Luthor family is. I pity Lex intensely.

Season 4
Synopsis: Clark returns as a reprogrammed bot after three months, prepared to carry out Jor-El’s wishes to the letter. The stones of knowledge are introduced to us as well as Lois Lane (Erica Durance) making her first appearance on the show. Chloe’s death is investigated in minute detail by Lois and Clark, and they eventually realize Lex is behind putting her into extreme protective custody against his father. Lex and Clark try unsuccessfully to re-establish the bonds of friendship between them that Clark wrote off. Lana Lang returns from Paris with a new boyfriend, Jason Teague (Jensen Ackles), and a mysterious tattoo from a dead countess, Margaret Isobel Thoreaux. An intense hunt unfurls for the crystals, all hunted by teh Teagues, the Luthors and Clark Kent. A witch,  Margaret Isobel Thoreaux, inhabits Lana Lang’s body, as she is a descendant of hers, and it is discovered that Clark, just like every other human being, is not impervious to magic. Clark decides that this year will not be about Jor-El’s wishes, and concentrates on other things. Clark begins a relationship with Alicia Baker (Sarah Carter), which ultimately ends in her death. Clark sinks into a depression. Before Alicia’s demise, she reveals Clark’s true identity, and Chloe begins a journey of keeping a lid on it while waiting patiently for Clark to expel his secret to her in person. Clark ultimately graduates from Smallville High, and a second meteor shower rocks the little town as Clark desperately seeks the final stones of knowledge to combine to create the Crystal of Knowledge that is meant for him only.
Best Episode: Pariah
Worst Episode: Spell
7/10. It was really nice to see someone like Jensen Ackles brought into the show, but Supernatural has forever tainted him for me. I could not envision the football jock, and could not believe him driving around in a crappy car and not comprehending all the supernatural occurrences. I enjoyed the hunt for the stones. I found it very difficult to finally have to say goodbye to the Smallville High (who knew we would become so attached to the place?). Overall, not a bad season to have watched, seeing Lex still being a mostly decent guy that is already fraying terribly at the edges. I was not impressed to see Lana return, as her personality grates on me, and the way she treats Clark. It is truly unfair to him, and she flits around way too many guys too often, and he just swallows it all?

Season 5
Synopsis: Clark arrives at the Fortress of Solitude, built from the ground up, and is possession of the Crystal of Knowledge. Clark begins training with Jor-El to prevent the upcoming evils, yet returns to Smallville to stop two evil Kryptonian desciples of the evil General Zod from destroying earth. Clark ignores Jor-El’s warnings, and does not return in time for training, and is stripped of his powers. Chloe begins to work at the Daily Planet, starting in the basement. Clark begins a normal relationship with Lana, and comes to terms with not being able to use abilities, but has been given his greatest wish of all. Lex is pushing dangerously to find out exactly what Clark’s secret is, and is becoming consumed by the obsession. The ultimate crumbling of their friendship is fostered. Clark was brought back from the dead by Jor-El in exchange for the sacrifice of someone close to him, and this later costs him dearly and forces him to make a choice he really did not want to. Clark and Lana’s relationship crumbles once again when Clark’s powers return to him. Members of the future Justice League pop up in the series with special guest spots. Lana and Lex also begin a relationship that cripples Clark, and drives an irrevocable splinter between all friendships. Martha Kent (Annette O’Toole) and Lionel Luthor begin to get very close, which frustrates Clark and confuses Martha. Lionel Luthor is still keeping a tight lid on Clark’s secret.
Best Episode: Lexmas / Reckoning
Worst Episode: Thirst
Rating: 8/10. This was a heart wrenching season,  what with the loss of Johnathan Kent, Clark dropping out of college and helping on the farm and all that. It was a nice twist to bring in Milton Fine (James Masters), and how he is a weapon (BRAINIAC) used by General Zod, as well as his efforts to break down the Fortress of Solitude to restore his master. I love the way they deepen the rift between Clark and Lex, although it is a truly sad thing to watch. Lois has begun to grow on me, and I still can’t get too attached to Lana as I think she gets away with screwing everyone around way too easily, and is never held accountable for her actions. I am very torn about Lionel Luthor… can he abandon his old evil ways, or can he truly conform to be the man that Martha Kent could spend her life with?

5 thoughts on “Smallville: Seasons 1 – 5 (2001 – 2005)

  1. Great post brought back some memories of early Smallville and reminded me about things like the oh so weird cave subplot. You can see though that there is pretty much an upward curve as the seasons progress which is not always the case with shows like this. I look forward to the next part of the review.


    1. Thank you! I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed it! There are so many arb subplots on the go in this show! I must say I agree, they got better, only one exception… but that will be in part two!


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