110 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2006
I have been a fan of "Smallville" from the beginning, and was very happy both as a viewer and a fan at how this season turned out. In direct opposition to season four's disastrous story arch involving Isobel and the Teague family attempting to manipulate Lana, this one takes a much more serious (and yet enjoyable) path through Clark's choices and their ultimate consequences. It also shifts the love interest from Clark and Lana to Lex and Lana, something they have been hinting at four seasons and only now have the courage to bring out.
Lex Luthor and Jonathan Kent do battle to become state senator, Lionel Luthor switches sides (again), Clark consummates his love for Lana and then is forced to give her up, Chloe starts working for the Daily Planet, one of the leading cast members is killed off, and it winds up in the most explosive, dramatic, and powerful season finale of the series.
It's rare that I have enjoyed almost every episode in a season, but there is some solid stuff here -- "Lexmas" is a heart-ripping "what if" featuring Lex's alternate life if he is to choose the path of good, with a sadistic twist in the second half to make Stephen King take a step back; "Tomb" is a fantastically fun ghost story in which Allison Mack plays an alternate Chloe; "Reckoning" brings two consecutive deaths and a painful funereal; "Mercy" revolves around the charisma between Martha and Lionel when a manic madman forces them to make their way through his house of horrors; and five or so episodes revolve around the steadily building seduction of Lana Lang. Tom Welling also makes his directorial debut (and a marvelous one at that) in "Fragile," an ironic twist of fate since it contains a super-hot first kiss between Lana and Lex at the end.
I am a little disappointed that there aren't more features (one would have thought at least "Reckoning" and "Fragile" would get a commentary, and no blooper reel is unfortunate, since many of the actors have mentioned the various pranks and oops! on set) but will be delighted to own this season. I look forward with great anticipation the possibilities the next will bring.
107 of 123 people found the following review helpful
So much changes in the fifth season of Smallville that it is hard to comment on aspects of the season without spoiling it for those who have not seen it yet.
However, in the most general terms, Smallville continues as one of the most interesting fantasy shows on television. A new character played by James Marsters of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fame joins the cast. He plays a professor at the college that Clark attends. Of course, no one is who they appear to be in this tale.
Themes of loyalty and betrayal prevail. As Clark, Lois and Chloe enter college and a new phase of life they must make harder decisions. Lex continues to make choices that will separate him from his humanity and his friendship with Clark Kent. Clark continues to push away Lex and Lana, even though at times it seems he will reconcile with them. Lois continues to be flip, curt and annoying. It is interesting that not only Clark but most of the main characters seemed doomed to have no sex life--as if the assumed celibacy of this superhero is infectious somehow.
In general the season is darker and less hopeful than prior seasons. Despite this it continues to fascinate and enthrall.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2006
I really, really love "Smallville" and don't think I can add anything that you won't read in other reviews but, I've got a gripe about the 5th season packaging that I just can't overlook... There are no English subtitles! How can this be? There's Spanish subtitles and there's French subtitles but no English. Now, personally, I don't HAVE to have subtitles... I just like them to be available because I can get a lot more out of the story, but, what about people who are hard of hearing or deaf? The first four seasons included English subtitles.
My only other complaint about Season 5 is the packaging... not nearly as nice as the first 4 seasons... and I hate the overlapping DVDs which make it hard to remove the DVDs in the rear. But, my main complaint is not having the English subtitles. I got spoiled watching the first 4 seasons and having the subtitles. To not include English subtitles now is just plain stupid.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2006
As I've said in my reviews for the first 4 seasons of this spectacular show on The WB network, "Smallville" just continues to get better and better with each new episode and with each new season. This season proves to be no exception, the stories are more epic and dramatic in scope, the acting continues to be solid from all actors on the show (even the guest actors), and the special effects are absolutely brilliant, especially for a TV show budget (the rising of the Fortress of Solitude proves this).
Many big events occur this season on "Smallville", beginning right where the season finale of "Smallville: Season 4" left off, Clark has thrown the crystal deep in the arctic and this causes a huge crystal fortress to be erected from the snow covered ground, thus his Fortress of Solitude is formed. Clark must come to grips with many things this season; he must decide whether his love for Lana can survive all the secrets, is his friendship with Lex broken beyond repair, and last but not least worry about getting to class on time at college. There are several big highlights spread throughout the season, the Season Premiere holds some truly awesome fight scenes and opens the door for many events that will take place throughout the remainder of the season; a dangerous villain from the Superman mythos makes multiple appearances, and a key figure in Clark's life dies leaving Clark wondering how to continue on, and another person knows Clark's secret and the revelation will change Clark's life forever.
This series is like a fine wine, it just keeps getting better with age, with now 5 seasons under its belt, and gearing up for a sixth season, "Smallville" shows no signs of slowing down. All the actors are terrific, generally I praise Tom Welling's improvements in acting from season to season, but at this point he's gotten the role down so perfectly there's not much more to say than that. He particularly handles the key emotional points in the stories that take place at approximately the half-way point of the season, specifically episode #100 titled "Reckoning". Michael Rosenbaum is awesome as ever as Lex Luthor, who in this season becomes even more increasingly dark and menacing, which is so nice to see, he actually is coming close to eclipsing his father Lionel in terms of despicable actions he commits.
The writing and directing for this show have also never been better, as both strive to bring in more elements from the Superman mythos to further strengthen the 'Smallville' mythology. And this season also marks Tom Welling's directorial debut for an episode, which was actually very solid for a first-timer.
All in all, there isn't anything I can really complain about with this season of "Smallville", generally there is at least one episode that's viewed as a throw-away of sorts, but this season didn't contain any. Even the ones that I just knew would be somewhat, subpar turned out to be really entertaining and contained some key plot points for furthering the season long story arcs. This series is definitely not one to be missed, and if you've enjoyed the first 4 seasons, then you must absolutely check this one out!
"Smallville: Season 5" is unrated and suitable for all ages.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2006
Smallville The Complete Five Season DVD set will finally be released on September 12, 2006. The set will include all 22 episodes from season 5 on a 6 disc set. The Smallville set will be in anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) video and include English Dolby Surround Stereo audio with selectable English, Spanish and French subtitles. Season 5 shows a darker side of Lex Luthor, a deepening love for Lana Lang along with an unexpected tragedy that not even Clark's powers can prevent. This is the season the co-creator calles superman in training. Warner Bros has included some exciting bonus material.
*Smallville 100th Episode: The making of a milestone.
*Commentary on 2 episodes:
*Look, up in the sky the amazing story of superman excerpts from the new documentary produced by Bryan Singer and Kevin Burns.
*Vengeance Chronicles Oromo webisodes.
Below is the complete Smallville Season 5 Episode List
#5-12 Reckoning "The 100th Episode!"
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2006
Season 5 of said show was really good. I loved the interaction between the character and enjoyed the dilemmas faced in each episode. I really loved how they tied together so many lose ends and created more in the season finale. This show is a great buy. Ciao.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2007
*POSSIBLE SPOILERS WITHIN*
It seemed like "Smallville" couldn't get much worse than its frankly absurd fourth season, but it nearly did during the subsequent season. Season Five of "Smallville" is the season of change, throwing out one life-altering development after another, sometimes gracefully, sometimes not so much. Unfortunately, though the fifth season clearly aspires for greatness, only on select occasions does it actually reach it. During the first four or so episodes it appears as though the show may have actually reached the level of greatness it held during its first few seasons, but immediately thereafter it becomes clear that though the season arc has improved, the overall quality of the show is still barely mediocre. At times, this season nearly falls to the rank of television trash. As a major "Smallville" fan, I felt almost as devastated through this season as I did during the fourth season. However, there were a few saving graces that convinced me to hold on to my fleeting hope that someday, this show may be as good as it once was.
First off, as a major "Buffy" fan, the thing I was anticipating the most in this season was the numerous guest appearances of James Marsters as professor Milton Fine - better known to Superman fans as Braniac, the evil, brilliant android who survived Krypton's destruction. Marsters doesn't disappoint. He makes Braniac a delectably devious and intriguing villain. The best part of this season is that it draws heavily from the Superman mythos, foreshadowing things to come while introducing major characters like the aforementioned android, giving Clark the Fortress of Solitude (a tasty development indeed), and pushing Lana Lang toward her destiny away from Clark Kent.
There are a number of episodes ranking among the show's best. In traditional "Smallville" fashion, the bombastic premiere picks up precisely where the last season's finale left off. In fact, "Arrival" may be the series' best premiere yet. "Mortal", in which Clark is left without his powers (again), is a surprisingly fun episode, showcasing a light-hearted wit that disappears instantly in the next episode. "Aqua", though not a particularly great episode, introduces the character of Arthur Curry (Alan Ritchson), a.k.a. Aquaman. ("Aqua" wound up as the WB's highest-rated Thursday night episode ever, spawning a spin-off, which was not picked up.) "Exposed" is a blast, reuniting John Schneider with his "Dukes of Hazzard" co-star Tom Wopat.
Then there's the 100th episode, "Reckoning", an utterly epic episode that throws one shocker after another to us, including the death of a major character (sorely missed in the sixth season, but a wise move on the writers' parts, one of the few times "Smallville" has actually followed the comics continuity). "Cyborg" introduces the titular DC comics character. Finally, the season closes with the super finale, "Vessel", an especially grandiose, bleak, and cool episode introducing a fan favorite villain who happens to have a strong liking of those who kneel before him.
Those are the pros. Unfortunately, the cons are far more numerous. For one thing, the acting is for the most part stale. None of the actors try anything new. Even previously sensational actors like John Glover and Michael Rosenbaum have become bland by the season's end. Maybe the writing is to fault for this. The writing isn't just ridiculous: it's downright stupid. The dialog is particularly awful - overblown, overdramatic, and without any of the realism or wit that makes the dialog in shows like "Gilmore Girls" and "Buffy" so compelling. The directing, for the most part, is astoundingly uninspired and amateurish, and the music is simplistic and silly.
Then there's the season's share of foul episodes. That includes trash like "Thirst", arguably the worst episode in the show's history, in which Lana joins a vampire sorority and becomes one herself. (That episode is worth watching, however, if only to see ex-undead James Marsters' deadpan delivery of the line "There's no such thing as vampires, Clark.") "Mercy" is an unbelievably absurd episode, a plain-to-see "Saw" ripoff, in which Lionel Luthor is taken captive by a man in a painted mask with a husky voice who, through televised messages, informs Lionel that he has "a game to play".
My final beef is that the writers in this season seemed unclear as to an episode's typical structure. When the climax has occured twelve minutes before an episode's end, you know you're in trouble. Thus the episodes drag on and on to the point where they occasionally seem preachy. What became of the concise, fresh writing of the first, second, or third seasons?
I expected greatness from Season Five of "Smallville", so I suppose it's my own fault that I was so disappointed. However, there is no excuse for a show that began so wonderfully to fail so badly when it's clear how to fix the series' many mistakes. This season is still an improvement over Season Four, and has spots of near-greatness, but ultimately, it's a failure. The next season, however, more than makes up for it.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
After that silly witches and stones business (not to mention the Teagues...yawn) in season four, SMALLVILLE got back on track with this excellent season (SPOILERS AHEAD). The year started off with a bang, with Kryptonian villains, including the great James Marsters as Brainiac. Chloe, now a keeper of Clark's secret, stopped being an annoyance and become a great ally. Lex learned the true meaning of Christmas. Two other DC heroes debuted: Cyborg and Aquaman ("Aqua" is arguably among the season's best episodes). The series even celebrated its milestone 100th episode with the death of a major character.
What more can I say? Oh, yeah, how about this? The Fortress of Solitude. An enemy learns Clark's secret...and (so far) doesn't tell anyone. The Phantom Zone. SENATOR Martha Kent. The widening gap between Clark and Lex. The, uhh, narrowing gap between Lana and Lex.
Every season, despite significant and occasionally great individual episodes, had its clunkers. These are hard to find in season five. SMALLVILLE has beaten the odds to become not only a huge success, but very much a part of the overall Superman mythology.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2006
This season has been my favorite so far. It had a couple of episodes that were not written very well, but those are easily ignored. By introducing Milton Fine (James Marsters) aka Brainac into the series just expanded the Superman Mythology. Lex Luther(Micheal Rosenbaum) became more evil and Lionel Luther(John Glover) became a vessel for Jor-El(voiced by Terrance Stamp, who played General Zod in the Superman movies).Clark Kent( Tom Welling) and Lana Lang (Kristin Kruek)become romantically involved. This season also throws in Aqua Man. This is an incredeble show and this is its' finest season.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Warning: Numerous spoilers ahead
I want to start by expressing my enormous gratitude to the makers of SMALLVILLE for trying so hard to maintain the integrity of this fine show and by continually trying to make it quality entertainment. I didn't like everything about Season Five and I'm sure others disliked some of the things I liked and liked some of the things that I didn't, but the fact is that the producers and writers are trying more now than ever to take the show to an interesting place.
Many fans of the show are upset with the Clark-Lana storyline, but I'm baffled as to why. There was NEVER a chance that Clark and Lana were going to get together permanently. There is this whole Lois Lane problem: this is a story in which we all know who Clark will end up with. The only interesting issue has been why they would fail. The reason has been building for several years, with Lana giving hints that she disliked "otherness," which gives the lie to her late 5th century assertion to Clark that Lex's transformation into a superman of his own did not bother her. On the other hand, Clark's persistent dishonesty and lack of candor to Lana continuously undermined any possibility of their having a close relationship. Season Five is definitely the last season in which Clark and Lana will have had any kind of chance. That was not just confirmed by their latest break up and her involvement with Lex, but by the enormously symbolic gesture of Clark's packing up of the telescope that he used in the Pilot to gaze at Lana from afar.
By any standard this was a content-heavy season. Just a few of the highlights included Clark and Lana briefly becoming lovers; the appearance in Smallville of the mysterious Professor Fine aka Brainiac (wonderfully played by BUFFY and ANGEL's James Marsters aka Spike); Jonathan Kent running for state senate and winning, only to die of a heart attack; Martha Kent becoming senator after Jonathan's death; and the mystery surrounding Lionel Luthor and just what game he is playing. In Season Four Chloe had discovered Clark's secret and now in Season Five Lionel has discovered it as well. But incredibly, the difficult to figure Lionel actually has Clark's best interests in mind, neither revealing his secret or in any way attempting to manipulate him to exploit his powers. The moment when Clark, who has suspected for some time that Lionel knew about him, uses his powers in front of Lionel for the first time is one of the finest images in the run of the show, as Clark catches a falling cage containing Lionel and Martha, his face only inches from Lionel's.
The only problem with Season Five was the same problem that has afflicted the show from the beginning: the prevalence of too many weak individual episodes. At its best, SMALLVILLE can be very, very good indeed. The episode where Lex has his own version of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE was one of the show's finest episode ever, as was the episode where Clark reveals his powers to Lana and asks her to marry him, only to turn back time courtesy of Jor-El after she dies. And the episode mentioned above where a mysterious individual tortures Lionel and Martha is especially memorable. All of SMALLVILLE's season finales have been memorable, and this year's was no exception, with the episode and season ending with all the major characters is dire peril. As far as favorite moments go, one of mine was in the very first when Clark becomes aware that Chloe knows about his powers. Their interplay throughout the season was great. Oh, and the biggest shocker of the year: Erica Durance + bikini. She has to be the envy of everyone who was ever in BAYWATCH. I found it humorous that several TV reviewers were inspired to comment on their shock how unexpectedly grand she appeared in a bathing suit. In fact, with the debate about who should play Wonder Woman in the upcoming film under way, I will say that Erica Durance, a dark horse candidate at the moment, became my favorite. It takes a very special individual to look anything other than silly in anything approaching the traditional Wonder Woman uniform. Erica Durance is one of the few actresses on whom the outfit would be flattering. She definitely has the physique.
Speaking of Joss Whedon (who is writing and directing WONDER WOMAN), the low point of the season might have been the painful episode that attempted to do homage to BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. That was my all time favorite series and one of co-executive producers on SMALLVILLE is Steven DeKnight, who was one of the main writers on BUFFY. He wrote SMALLVILLE's Halloween episode, "Thirst," in which Chloe tries to break a story about a sorority comprised of vampires. The main vampire is Buffy Sanders. Yeah, yeah, we all got it. Buffy Summer. Buffy Sanders. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy the Vampire. But as if all this weren't heavy-handed enough, later in the episode when Clark was in the hospital, Professor Fine comes up to Clark. After Clark tells him that his friend had been bitten by a vampire, the camera moves forward for a close up on Fine's face as the actor James Marsters, who had of course played one of the best known vampires ever on BUFFY and ANGEL, said, "There's no such thing as vampires." Yuck, yuck, yuck. I suspect they meant well and intended it as an affectionate gesture towards BUFFY, but despite DeKnight's best efforts, it just didn't work.
Nonetheless, overall this remained one of the best shows on TV and definitely one of the most underrated. My own hope is that the show won't be on the air much longer. I would really like to see them bring SMALLVILLE to an end next year and restart the next year as METROPOLIS. They would be able to keep many of the same characters, but move things to the big city. There isn't much left to do with Clark as a pre-adult. The only powers left for him to acquire are flying-on-demand (as Clark puts it, Kal-El can fly, but Clark can't) and his freezing breath. Beyond that he just needs to develop his sense of destiny, that he has a specific purpose. Also, they need a shift in priorities away from Lana Lang towards Lois Lane. Personally, I've always wished he could somehow end up with Chloe rather than either of the LL's. But like I said at the start, we all know how this story ends.