Episode Reviews (23)
- SORT BY:
An old farmhand of the Kent's has been infected by Kryptonite in the mysterious "Level 3" at LuthorCorp, leaving him with uncontrollable, violent shakes. After he accidentally kills a man, he becomes determined to uncover the secrets of the plant. Ace...
This review contains spoilers.
I thought "Jitters" was an excellent episode, possibly 'Smallville's best story thus far. But it seems to be one of those stories that people either love or hate, as some seem to have rated it very low. I'm kinda surprised at this, as I felt this episode to be far superior to a few of the previous episodes.
It is a very enthralling tale about Earl Jenkins, an old farmhand-come-friend of the Kent family, who has been infected by some kind of Kryptonite toxin while working at the Luthor plant – in a department that Lionel Luthor denies even exists. I found this to be a very interesting "opponent of the week", and a welcome twist on a series that could so easily fall into the standard "troubled infected teenager of the week" template (and has even verged on doing so in a couple of previous episodes).
Earl is brought to life by wonderful actor Tony Todd. Although never quite making it to the "front line" of actors (as maybe he deserved to have done), Todd has shone in many TV guest roles and b-movies, and I enjoy anything he appears in. Earl could so easily have come off as an unbelievable, two-dimensional character, but Todd really made him believable for me; he is a victim, a tragic figure but not a deliberate bad guy, and I really willed him on to find the mysterious "Level 3".
Things start off with Jonathan and Martha going out of town, to a trip to Metropolis, which gives Clark the opportunity to have a "small" party which quickly gets out of hand. These are the obligatory "good looking teen drama" elements of the episode, complete with lovelorn Lana and Whitney scene, but thankfully, these elements are soon out of the way as the (no pun intended) badly shaken Earl is discovered in the barn. (It did lead to one fun scene though, as Clark zips around at super-speed to try and find something for a worse-for-wear partygoer to throw up into!).
The whole party element at the beginning does in a way feel slightly "tacked on" to the main story; I think maybe it was to try and emphasise the difference between the Kents and the Luthors – the Kents are understandably cross but quickly forgive Clark, whereas the relationship between Lex and father Lionel is much more distant and strained as Lex tries to defuse the hostage situation with Earl, only to find that his father has been lying to him and Level 3 did indeed exist. I suppose with this in mind, it would give more explanation and basis to the party scenes, though if it is the case I feel this point could have been made clearer; This is my only minor quibble with the episode though.
The story, especially with Earl's violent junkie-like shakes, feels to have a much darker edge to it than usual. The hostage situation at LuthorCorp, which could have been slightly two-dimensional, is executed well, and the climax, with Clark saving Earl and Lex hanging off of the collapsed bridging over the now empty Level 3, is very exciting.
All-in-all, I really enjoyed this episode. Personally I think it is strong enough to rank a perfect 10/10.
(By the way, I've said this before but will repeat myself, some people seem to misunderstand – "review" is to give your own thoughts about the episode, not to just give a plot rundown, which already exists on the page lol)moreless
Meanwhile,after a crap episode...
This is a pretty awesome episode IMO. This episode still has a FOTW in it, but it also has a hostage situation with the mysterous level 3 that plays a pivitol part in season 6. This is one of the episodes where you think back on Smallvile and say "I miss those times".
Clark- Throwing the party was awesome! It showed how much he really used to have fun back in high school. At the beginning where hes listening to music while eating cold pizza is one of my favorite Clark moments. But when it turns serious, I love how Clark knows hes the only one that can save all of his friends lives. He was just so awesome in this episode. Very Superman-like.
Lex- At the beginning when he shows up at Clarks house party, it was awesome, just because you really saw their friendship shine. But then when his plant gets taken over, and his father comes, you see his confidence go down. It was very un-Lex Luther like when he put his life in danger for a couple of high school kids...but man was it awesome.
Earl Jenkins- Very cool FOTW, as for the first time you dont see a psyco. Well, not really. I mean you just see a poor man who just wants to get better and see his child again. I really like Earl and while his condition was pretty stupid, I think he was a great addition to the show.
So ya, this episode was great. Not only was it suspensful, there was no side-plots, as everybody was toghther. The first 15 minutes, its hilarous and funny while the last 45 was serious and edge-of-your-seat stuff. So I highly advise watching this episode.moreless
i didnt think this one was all that interesting at all, that guy came out of nowhere and we were somehow suposed to sympathise with him with his predicament. well i didnt sure it was sad for him but he was acting crazy and he was well justified to act that way but i didnt feel anything for his character. saw lex's dad found out what we already knew, he is a jerk. i like that lex risked his life, didnt think he ever would. ok so noone questioned how the wall got distroyed going to level 3? and i hated the fact that clark who can barly stand up when kryptonite is near him could hold on to that guy, not even hold on pull up! what is up with that? i guess his adrenalin could have had something to do with it like he said but if that is the case then all those other times he much have had no adrenalin at all. the party was funny. "once you get past the first few dishes you get used to it" funny stuff. i almost had a heart attack when he quickly cleaned his house and people started to clap. at first i thought it was clarks friends, so glad it was his parents.moreless
Tony Todd "Shakes" Things Up!
Jitters-An experiment at the Luthor fertilizer plant makes an old friend of the Kents literally shake and jitter, and he seeks vengeance against the Luthors, who hide the secret of his transformation behind "Level Three" at the local plant.
Smallville has been on a very brisk pace so far it's first season, with only a few moments of excellence along the way. Well, "Jitters" is Smallville's strongest episode so far and ironically, doesn't seem to have any first season "jitters" anymore. Earl Jenkins could have come off as just another freak of the week waiting to be defeated by Clark, but the writers write the character very well and the fact that his played by the brilliant Tony Todd was a perfect touch. Tony Todd is one of the most underrated actors in the last 10 years. His role as the Candyman and his guest staring roles in TV and movies throughout those 10 years have shown his incredible acting talents. Todd automatically brings such a strong presence to Smallville and he steals the show throughout, even from the great John Glover who returns in this episode as Lionel Luther. You feel genuine sympathy for Earl and his uncontrollable kryptonite induced seizers look very disturbing.
The hostage situation is a highlight of the episode and it brings some tense moments. I loved how Clark played hero as both he and Lex become trapped inside the Luthcorp facility. The concept of Level 3 and its cover-up is played out very well and Lionel Luthor already seems cruel in retrospect. But the most powerful moment of the episode is the end where Clark is consoled by his parents while Lionel hugs Lex, just to show off to the press. It's one of Smallville's saddest moments as you can see the undying jealousy even yearning Lex has toward Clark. While Clark is adopted, his parents love him like their own while Lex's biological father will never love him like he wants. A solid moment that will drive Lex toward his ultimate destiny. All and All, "Jitters" is a superbly developed episode with wonderful acting, tense scenes, strong development and a terrific guest spot from Tony Todd.moreless
Another consequence of a meteor
Former employee of LutherCorp wants to know why he got sick after a weird explosion in the factory where he used to work. Now everyone tries to convince him that Level Three does not exist. And all Earl wants to do is find out what's the cause of his 'shaking' desease. Clark is there in the right place on the right time to save the day. He shows Earl Level Three. But Earl starts to shake uncontrollably and almost manages to kill himself, Lex and Kent. But Kent with his superpowers saves them. Again...
Lex is suspicious how come Kent was able to pull them up. How can't he figure everything up? I mean, he saw what the crystal does to people. That weird things happen in Smallville. Didn't he realize Kent had super powers too?
And one thing is bugging me since the beginning. So some people get in touch with parts of the meteor. They gain certain powers. And those powers are revealed eventually. The 'fat' girl, 'frozen' guy, ever-changing girl, Earl, 'wanna-be-young' old man-- how do people explain their behaviour? I mean, I'd be definetely suspicious. Why no one sees that weird things are happening? really weird!moreless
A superb episode of Smallville that reveals more about the Luthor business. (Spoilers)
This episode of Smallville was superb, and revealing, shedding more light on the Luthor family business. It was interesting to see Lex and his father interact, and to find out that Lex's father Lionel, truly doesn't care about him. It was a sad moment at the end of the episode when Lex had to watch Clark and his family cherish the moment they were having, while Lex's dad pretended to care about him due to the press being nearby. Hopefully Clark's family begins to welcome Lex into their family a little bit, so that he won't feel so left out and alone. Overall, I give this episode, Jitters, a 9 out of 10.moreless
One of my all-time favorites
I'm not really sure what makes this episode so good i think that part of it is how the relationship between Whitney and Clark made them become friends, even if it doesn't last forever. another thing that i liked was that Clark stared to show his heroic side and risk himself to save others. i think that the best scene was when Lex and Earl were hanging over the railing of the collapsed walkway and even though Clark knew that when he came close to earl he would become weak and in pain due to the meteor rock in his body he still came to the rescue and saved them. at the end the scene that showed Clark's family and Lex's dad proved that all Lex wants is to have a family and to be loved. One of the best Episodes of the entire show!!!!!!!moreless
Not what it should be. An episode that would turn you away from Smallville if you hadn't seen any of the others.
This episode was so boring that it was almost painful to watch. This is coming from a major fan of Smallville. One thing about this episode is that the villain, was just not villain enough. This was done on purpose, but did not make for a good story.
The whole story behind the freak of the week being a good friend to the Kents was neat, yet unbelievable. What are the chances that him out of all people would wind up with powers (If you could even call it that) and need Clark's help? Also, it would have been a neat idea to make him know about Clark's powers already. It would have strengthened the bond and made them more believable as friends.
Another thing that bugged me about this episode were the amazing seizures that killed anyone the guy touched. I can't even remember the guys name. Edgar or something. Shows how much this episode fails to keep your eyes and ears focused. The idea of him killing anyone he touched made me sick. I can't believe the writers thought we'd believe it.
All that said, there were a few key parts in this episode that made it work to an extent as the other reveiwers mentioned. The whole hostage situation was very fun. I also enjoyed Lex being the hero for a change. Well at least, trying to be the hero, anyway.moreless
I love Smallville more each week.
this is what makes smallville so good. another freak that needs to be dealt with each week. a pretty cool kryptonite freak appears in this show. this time clark is placed in a situation again where lex almost sees him using his power. the kryptonite is indeed a wonderful plot device, I can't wait to see a new episode each week. this show is really cool. the writers did it again. seeing lex in a state where his not evil is really refreshing. this show gets at every opportunity to explore that side of him, something we really never got a chance to see in other superman adaptations.moreless
Shake It Up
Jitters succeeds in that it's probably the first Smallville episode which makes you feel actual sympathy for the freak-of-the-week. Whilst previous said freaks have usually been mutant nutjobs with mother issues, Earl Jenkins is actually somebody we can root for, and it was a good creative decision on the writer's part. It's also helped by the fact that Tony Todd is a legend in the genre world, and manages to outshine almost the entire cast in just one guest spot.
I also loved how the production team got so much from what could have been a hokey hostage story. We felt concern for those taken hostage, including Chloe's dad, and you really wanted to see Earl's proclamations of Level 3 existing be true, even though, deep down, you knew Lionel would have cleared out any incriminating evidence months ago.
This episode also powerfully cemented a key element in Lex's future hatred for Clark. Whilst Lex is the bitter son of an uncaring millionaire businessman, Clark is loved by Jonathan and Martha, who aren't even his biological parents. The final scenes were really moving, as we saw the radical difference between the Luthors and the Kents.
A radical upturn from the slightly unsurprising episodes so far, Jitters aims higher than the average Smallville episode at this point, and it completely succeeds.
Director: Michael Watkins
Writers: Cherie Bennett, Jeff Gottesfeld