Smallville

Season 9 Episode 11

Absolute Justice

1
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Feb 05, 2010 on The CW
AIRED:
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
667 votes
42

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A man named Sylvester asks Chloe for help but ends up getting attacked and killed. Clark is led to the former headquarters of the Justice Society of America where he meets up with Dr. Fate, Hawkman, and Stargirl. Later, Clark, John Jones, Green Arrow, and Chloe team up to help the JSA stop the killer before he murders someone else in the group. Meanwhile, Lois receives a package from a mysterious agency called Checkmate.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Absolute Justice

    4.5
    If you don't know anything about the DC universe, and you're not in it for the Superman story, then well, this episode isn't for you. But that's not why this epsiode was bad though, I enjoyed the story, just everything else fell short in so many aspects.



    This episode contained some of the worst acting I've seen in a while, and who the heck is writing these scripts? At times, I couldn't believe that someone actually said what they said. We've got a lot of references to Superman which was just about the only good thing about this epsiode with the Justice League hinting.



    But other than that, this episode could have done way better in dealing with the Justice Society of America. The writing was weak, the acting was atrocious and it just wasn't up to Smallville's usual standard. This episode got way too much hype and it's definitely one of the most overrated episodes to this date.



    Just watch this episode, then watch "Justice" from season 6. In quality, this pales to the season 6 episode. I just want my 2 hours back, this "episode" which might as well have been a feature film was nothing special.moreless
  • Gimcrackery: n. A cheap and showy object of little or no use; a gewgaw.

    1.0
    The previous episode was going to be my last; but then they snagged my attention with about the only thing possible: Dr. Fate.



    How do you debase a character as epic as Dr.Fate? -- you have him be mentally deranged, and then when he puts on his helmet, the use of his power amounts to: opening a door, telling us what we already know and then restoring The Martian's powers; with a quite frivolous self sacrifice thereafter (a kid with ice powers could do nothing substantial to Dr. Fate).



    I had to chuckle when the antagonist assaults our heroes with Fate's mask; and for the first time in the series, Clark goes for the incisive heat-vision head-shot. But of course he, and everyone else, would aim at the invincible magic helmet on someone wearing no other armor.



    The dialog amounts to a mixture of arbitrary feel-good platitudes appropriated from other episodes, with smatterings of pop-culture buzzwords and phrases; and it feels like I'm listening to dialog produced by TMZ employees that play online video games.



    They were able to hook me for one last episode, so they deserve this one star; but an hour and twenty minutes of gimcrackery in no way renewed my interest. Corporations need to let these shows end while they are loved and admired, not milk them for every cent until the ratings drop below a certain point. The Office, Heroes and now Smallville... there isn't much worth watching these days.moreless
  • The first time around, effects and sheer geek-gasm fest just overwhelms you. The second time around, separates the chaff to reveal not much wheat underneath.

    6.0
    Right off the bat, I'll confess I was pretty stoked about this episode.



    Who wouldn't be? It had all the makings of a full-on superhero epic. A young hero, a group of over-the-hill heroes, and a shadowy government organization, who wouldn't be hooked?



    How did it all go wrong? * * *SPOILERS AHEAD * * *



    To be fair, it wasn't all bad.



    Amanda Waller was portrayed very well. Kudos to Pam Grier for hitting all the right notes with the character without seeming like a carbon copy of CCH Pounder's performance on the animated series.



    I loved how Geoff Johns decided to portray Dr Fate as a somewhat broken character by showing what wearing the helmet of Nabu has done to Kent Nelson.



    In fact, even the opening implied battle sequence between the Star-Spangled Kid and Icicle Jr. was a great lead into the story.



    However, things started to fall apart with Courtney Whitmore. The acting honestly felt a bit over the top. I almost felt no sympathy for her character and really hoped that Oliver kicked her butt when he caught her stealing her SSK's "glow stick".



    Add to that the seeming inconsistency of the JSA's timeline. If we follow the implied era of the Daily Planet's "archive footage" then, the JSA was active around the 1960s. However, if that's the case, why did the JSA members shown in the episode seem to have aged very little. In fact, in Hawkman's case, he seemed almost the same age as he was in the archive footage. Couldn't they have spared some make-up to age them up a bit more?



    Furthermore, Michael Shenk's portrayal of Carter Hall while so-so, was at least not half as bad as the "gruffy" voice he tried to use when he was Hawkman. It reminded me so much of what Christian Bale did in Dark Knight. Why did he even need to change his voice at all?



    Then there was the somewhat weak way in which Lois and Tess were woven into the narrative. Honestly, it felt like they were forced in there simply to tie-in the episode with the main story arc of the season.



    Oh, and don't even get me started on the crappy use of stock footage to reveal Clark's destiny. Reusing old footage by simply showing it in reverse is not a stroke of brilliance, it's actually quite irritating.



    Couldn't they have shot some quick scene with "Superman" saving some citizens or something? They could've left his face out and dove-tailed around him instead.



    Then there's the almost horoscope-like lines that Fate said to Lois when he told her of her future with Superman. Honestly, it was completely unnecessary for the story.



    Finally, while I realize that Waller was simply using Icicle to "rattle" the JSA's cage enough to make them come out of retirement, he might have gone about killing his victims in a more subtle way. Simply power-housing through them, especially if he was going after someone as potentially powerful as Dr. Fate is simply suicidal.



    I would've loved to see a bit more cleverness on his part.



    As a result, there seemed very little reason for the JSA and Clark's "team" to work together. Truth be told, Clark could've gone after Icicle on his own and taken him out without breaking a sweat.



    What it ended up feeling like was the JSA were used as a plot device to introduce Checkmate and Amanda Waller, and the only reason they worked with Clark and co, was because it was written that way.



    So while the episode does have a lot of Easter eggs and eye candy to dazzle the audience, the story leaves much to be desired.



    Rather disappointing since they had a full two hours instead of the usual one hour.moreless
  • Simply the best episode so far.

    10
    A complete story, well done, the acting is fine. The story itself is complete but leaves a few ties to whatever is supposed to come. A few hints and clues do help keeping me waiting for the continuation. And finally nothing about kryptonians.



    I would love to see more of the "Justice League" to be", but with all the members there are so far. And maybe a few more.



    And I would love to see more about the rest of the JSA. Would be nice to see who and what they are in this time-line. And of course more of the LSH would be nice as well.moreless
  • Best episode!!!

    10
    One of the best highlights of Smallville. Im not a fan of DC Comics but because of Smallvilee and an appearance of JLA. Now I'd love to watch them fighting the villains. Im excited for the appearance of other JLA. But in this episode I cant see superman on the picture? Or is it because he is not yet a member of JLA? One thing more where is Lex now? is he already dead in the series? I though he will be his arch enemies? I hope this show wont end fast. Hope doomsday will not come early. Go Go Go!moreless
Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Erica Durance

Erica Durance

Lois Lane

Cassidy Freeman

Cassidy Freeman

Tess Mercer

Justin Hartley

Justin Hartley

Oliver Queen/Green Arrow

Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks

Hawkman/Carter Hall

Guest Star

Brent Stait

Brent Stait

Dr. Fate/Kent Nelson

Guest Star

Britt Irvin

Britt Irvin

Stargirl/Courtney Whitmore

Guest Star

Alessandro Juliani

Alessandro Juliani

Dr. Emil Hamilton

Recurring Role

Phil Morris

Phil Morris

John Jones

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When Oliver and Chloe check out Pemberton's car, they find the journal. Oliver turns past the pages with his photo, and looks at the pages with Black Canary and Aquaman. However, in the next shot he hands it back to Chloe and the book has instantly flipped back to Oliver's pages.

    • Trivia: The items in the JSA brownstone are: boxing gloves (Wildcat, Ted Grant), Green Lantern power battery, ring, and mask (Green Lantern, Alan Scott), Winged Helmet (The Flash, Jay Garrick), Fair Play weight belt (Mr. Terrific, Terry Sloane), Hourglass (Hourman, Rex Tyler), and throwing knives (Hawkgirl, Shiera Hall)

    • When Green Arrow saved Stargirl from Icicle's attack, the angle the arrow came in at was impossible considering where he was standing. He was almost directly behind Stargirl so it couldn't have come in from the side of the screen like it did, and he was too close to have ricocheted it off anything.

    • Trivia: The 15 heroes in the portrait, left to right, are: Star-Spangled Kid, Wildcat, the Atom, Sandman, the Spectre, the Flash, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Dr. Fate, Green Lantern, Hourman, Dr. Mid-Nite (with Hootie the owl), the original Black Canary, and Mr. Terrific.

  • QUOTES (29)

    • Pemberton: You're the one they call Watchtower.
      Chloe: Watchtower?
      Pemberton: Technology today makes hiding a whole lot harder, Miss Sullivan. When someone like you reaches out and plugs into so many outlets, someone else is bound to pull out one of those cords and follow it back to the source.

    • Oliver: Is that my e-mail? Chloe, I'll have you know that those messages between me and Canary are purely platonic.

    • Kent: Red, white, and blue. Two betrayed. Stars and Stripesy, stars and stripe. Sandman doesn't dream anymore. Is Mister Terrific still terrific? I don't think so.
      Clark: Who's that?
      Kent: Who is that? Who is that? Kent Nelson. Dr. Kent Nelson. But the doctor is out. He's gone bowling.
      Carter: My friend is very sick.

    • Kent: Ticktock. The Hourman's run out. The Atom is split. No, he doesn't. He doesn't, Nabu, so stop whispering.

    • Carter: Look at Kent Nelson, Courtney. He spends most of his days wandering the streets, searching for the secrets to the universe at the bottom of trash cans.
      Courtney: So, Dr. Fate is incapacitated. The Sandman and the Star-Spangled Kid are both dead. You were their leader. What's your excuse? Please don't make me ask another team for help.
      Carter: Oh, the kids out there playing hero are hardly a team. They don't know how to lace up their own boots.
      Courtney: Well, maybe if you had laced up your boots when Sylvester had asked you to, he might still be alive.
      Carter: Don't waste your breath. I have enough guilt to last 20 lifetimes.

    • Kent: Please, Nabu, don't whisper too loudly. Don't show me what could be or not be. Fate is a fickle thing.

    • Carter: It's been a long while since I've made someone bleed. Time to go hunting.

    • Green Arrow: Red, white, and blue. Loud and proud to be an American. Nice.
      Stargirl: Well, at least I'm proud of something other than myself.
      Green Arrow: What's that supposed to mean?
      Stargirl: I know what kind of hero you are, Green Arrow.
      Green Arrow: Is the masked cheerleader really talking down to me?

    • Clark: But none of us here are the bad guys.
      Green Arrow: You sure about that, Clark? The winged warrior here threw me through a window.
      Hawkman: I hope I didn't make you cry.
      Green Arrow: Drop the mace, Conan.
      Hawkman: I will... on your head.
      Green Arrow: Bring it, big bird. Just for the record, you started it.
      Hawkman: I'll finish it.

    • John Jones: I hope it's not too late to say, "We come in peace."

    • John Jones: Even when I had the power to leave Earth, I chose not to, for one reason--hope. Hope for the future. Humanity's capacity for violence is great, but their capacity for hope is greater than any I've ever encountered.

    • Carter: I wasn't the leader they thought I was. I made too many mistakes.
      Clark: I've made mistakes, but I haven't quit.
      Carter: Haven't quit? You haven't started. Not as a team, anyway.
      Clark: You're making this too personal.
      Carter: That is our strength, not our weakness.

    • Green Arrow: I hate waiting.
      Hawkman: But you love talking. Shut up.

    • Oliver: What are you--my chaperone?
      Hawkman: Think of me as your parole officer but with a mace.
      Oliver: Well, I don't know what that means, but this whole thing is bad news. You want to know why? 'Cause no one's been able to answer "why"?
      Hawkman: Why what, green punching bag?

    • Dr. Fate: But when I see the future of someone such as yourself, I believe in tomorrow again.
      Clark: When you saw my fate, what did you see?
      Dr. Fate: You will lead this generation as Hawkman once lead ours.
      Clark: You sound like a group I met from the future. They hinted at my destiny, but they were as vague as you are.
      Dr. Fate: Then let me be specific. Although Lex Luthor is your ultimate opponent, you will triumph over him.
      Clark: Lex? Lex is dead.
      Dr. Fate: And when you show yourself to the world, it will be a different age than ours, Clark--a Silver Age of heroism. That will start when they look up into the sky at you with hope for tomorrow. You will help everyone embrace it.

    • Clark: Lois? What's she doing here? She shouldn't be in the middle of this.
      Dr. Fate: She is the key.

    • Dr. Fate: Greetings.
      Lois: What the...? What is this, reverse Halloween? Nice helmet.
      Dr. Fate: Thank you.

    • Dr. Fate: I see your fate, Lois Lane. You are the one he will need. He is the one you will need.
      Lois: What?
      Dr. Fate: The savior... the one who will lead us all... the sentient power.

    • Green Arrow: I'm thinking we should regroup with the others before we go after Icicle Junior.
      Hawkman: You go back to Sherwood, Robin Hood. I'll turn the Icicle into slush myself.

    • Green Arrow: You know, you really got to work on your landings.
      Hawkman: It would have been a lot smoother if you hadn't thrown up.
      Green Arrow: Send me your dry-cleaning bill.
      Hawkman: Send me your dinner bill.

    • Icicle: I killed you.
      John Jones: I'm Mars' sole survivor. There's a reason for that.

    • Clark: They're the best friends that I have, Carter, but I don't know if we'll ever be what the JSA was.
      Carter: You have to trust them.
      Clark: I do.
      Carter: You have to remember they're people, too. They'll make mistakes. We all do. We all have to keep trying. Isn't that what you said?

    • Carter: You know, I only learned to fly after my kingdom was attacked and taken from me. It was only then I realized it wasn't the throne that was important. It was my people... my wife.

    • Clark: What about you? You going to keep your wings locked up?
      Carter: No. No. No, I am putting people under them. Chloe helped Courtney and I locate the remaining members of the JSA, their children, and their proteges. I think the coming generation could stand to learn a thing or two from those of us that have done it before.

    • Carter: You're not like the others, are you, Clark? Kids that are in it for the thrills, or because they have a chip on their shoulder. You don't do this for glory or vengeance.
      Clark: I guess not.
      Carter: Your team is better than I thought, too. Even I have to admit, Green Arrow has pretty good aim.

    • Courtney: So what do you call your team anyway?
      Clark: A work in progress.

    • Oliver: Anyone home?
      Chloe: What's up?
      Oliver: Nothing, actually. I, uh, I thought I'd stop by and see if anyone's hungry.
      John Jones: I could use some dinner. Chloe?
      Chloe: Uh, sure. You're buying, Mr. Queen.
      John Jones: Don't look at me, I'm living off a policeman's salary.
      Oliver: Ah, fine. Dessert's on you.
      John Jones: On Mars, we never had dessert, but I have grown especially fond of cookies.

    • Clark: Do you believe in fate, Lois?
      Lois: Only the kind you make happen.

    • Waller: There's an army of heroes growing. This generation and the last are coming together. And I'm going to need everyone if we're going to survive the apocalypse that is coming this way.
      Icicle: Apocalypse? This is not what I signed up for.
      Waller: Welcome to the Suicide Squad. (shoots him dead)

  • NOTES (10)

  • ALLUSIONS (5)

    • Green Arrow: Bring it, Big Bird!
      Big Bird refers to the giant 8 foot 2 inch yellow bird character from the children's learning television series Sesame Street. Big Bird was the first Muppet (Jim Henson puppet) to appear on the show created in 1969. On the show, different animal puppets, human characters, and celebrities interacted with each other, children, and the audience teaching numbers, letters, and lessons.

    • Oliver: Did you put the call into the Snow Miser?
      Referencing one of the main characters in the TV Christmas special The Year Without a Santa Claus, based on the 1956 book by Phyllis McGinley. Snow Miser wars against his brother, Heat Miser, and they both refuse to help Santa Claus when he needs to prove to Southtown that he exists.

    • Oliver: Where are the other superfriends?
      Referencing the various incarnations of the TV series, including Challenge of the Superfriends. The animated series was the closest thing to a Justice League TV series for many years. The core group featured Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, although various heroes and teenage sidekicks (including Zan and Jayna, from "Idol") were members throughout the years.

    • Green Arrow: Drop the mace, Conan.
      Referencing Robert E. Howard's creation, Conan the Barbarian. Conan is a Cimmerian, a northern barbarian, in the Hyborian Age. A warrior, thief, and pirate by profession as his situation called for it, Conan eventually became the King of Aquilonia. He has been the subject of numerous comic books, movies, and TV shows. He is skilled with many weapons, although often uses a sword.

    • Chloe: If it isn't My Favorite Martian.
      A reference to the 1963 sitcom My Favorite Martian, starring Ray Walston as a human-looking Martian stranded on Earth, who used his natural telepathic powers to comedic effect.

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