Smallville: Season 8
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Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season (Blu-ray)
There’s a new reporter at the Daily Planet: Clark Kent, who shares a workspace with Lois Lane. There’s a new hero in Metropolis, too. No one knows who he is. But Jimmy Olsen was on the scene of one of the do-gooder’s exploits, and he snapped a blurred photo of the hero in superspeed action – a hero everyone now calls the Red-Blue Blur. Red-jacketed, blue-shirted Clark Kent draws closer to his Superman destiny in the exciting 22-episode, 6-disc Season 8 of Smallville. Another Kryptonian destiny also takes shape. Davis Bloome begins to realize he is Doomsday. His mission on Earth: kill Clark Kent. So many new events (will Jimmy and Chloe’s marriage last?), so many new faces (Tess Mercer, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy among them!), so many state-of-the-art effects – so don’t miss a single thrill-packed moment!]]>
Who would have predicted that the departure of series creators Miles Millar and Alfred Gough would have given Smallville a surge of super-strength in its eighth season? Give a good part of the credit to saying out with the old--series veterans Michael Rosenbaum (Lex) and Kristin Kreuk (Lana), whose dreary romantic coupling dragged down previous seasons--and in with the new. The new include entirely fresh faces Cassidy Freeman as LutherCorp heir apparent Tess Mercer and Sam Witwer as paramedic Davis Bloome, and experienced players getting increased face time, such as Justin Hartley's Green Arrow joining the opening credits and Erica Durance receiving much more exposure than in season 7. In particular, with Lana having said goodbye, Lois (Durance) and Clark (Tom Welling) are given ample time to start building the relationship we know is inevitable, and their clumsy fumblings are the highlight of the season (their fake engagement is particularly funny). Chloe (Allison Mack) and Jimmy (Aaron Ashmore) grow closer, but the brooding danger of Davis reveals something much worse than a mere lovers' triangle. Clark starts to embrace his destiny by protecting Metropolis at invisible super-speed, earning him the groan-worthy nickname of "The Red-Blue Blur," and comic-book characters making their series debuts are the geek-favorite group the Legion of Super-Heroes (Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad) and Dr. Emil Hamilton (Alessandro Juliani of Battlestar Galactica). The season sags when Durance is absent for stretches, and the season finale isn't nearly what it could have been, but it was still more than enough to rescue the series from what seemed to be the brink of cancellation and head strong into its ninth season. --David Horiuchi
Unaired scenes (in high definition)
In the Director's Chair: Behind the lens and calling the shots with Allison Mack
Smallville's Doomsday: The Making of a Monster
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When Clark is found and returns to Smallville, it’s to start his new life as a reporter at The Daily Planet working across the desk from Lois Lane (Erica Durance). Meanwhile, Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) has a giant IQ and a fiancée in the form of and Jimmy Olsen (Aaron Ashmore) and Chloe has also taken over the ISIS foundation. Meanwhile Clark is caught on camera, sort of, and takes the next step in his evolution toward Superman as the mysterious Red Blue Blur.
But trouble is still brewing. Not only are Tess’s motives unclear, but she has moved in to the Luthor mansion and taken over all of Lex’s roles, including editor of The Daily Planet. Has she learned Clark’s secret from the files Lex left behind? Meanwhile, there’s also paramedic Davis Bloome (Sam Witwer) who is very afraid he is harboring a deadly secret. Is he correct?
There were lots of chances this season, both behind the camera with the creators and original show runners leaving, and in front of it with Michael Rosenbaum and Kristin Kreuk not coming back to play Lex Luthor and Lana Lang. Kristen did come back for a few episodes in the middle of the season to wrap up Lana’s story, however. That meant that it fell to the new characters to fill in the gaps. Tess essentially plays a Lex clone in many ways story and mythology wise, and Davis makes an interesting character. Sadly, I felt Oliver Queen was under used, but maybe that’s just my interest in their take on the character as a fan of Arrow.
Despite the changes, the season started out great with many fun standalone episodes. The increased flirting between Lois and Clark was lots of fun. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the main plot/villain of the season and what it did to Chloe and Jimmy and their relationship. As that took over, I enjoyed the season less. It was interesting, but not as fun as the beginning of the season.
The acting was great as always, and the special effects are still top notch.
The set includes 22 episodes in wide screen and full surround. Extras include deleted scenes (but no gag reel), two audio commentaries, and two featurettes about Chloe’s directorial debut this season and the creation of the season’s big bad.
The early part of the season is fun and definitely worth watching. I just didn’t care for the choices they made late in the season. Overall, this is still a good show.