Smallville

Season 9 Episode 11

Absolute Justice

2
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Feb 05, 2010 on The CW
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (42)

8.9
out of 10
Average
668 votes
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Absolutely AWESOME!

    9.5
    Absolute Justice-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.

    After a disappointing return to Smallville last week, fans, critics and audiences alike are treated to Smallville's first (and hopefully not the last!) 2 hour movie event and quickly revives not only the season, but themes on Smallville we haven't seen in years. "Absolute Justice" may not have been given Clark the big push to becoming Superman, but this was episode focusing on how important super heroism is to the world, how it will continue to be stay important and how Clark will play a major role in all of this of course. I loved that this episode gave us lessons for a good amount of the characters to learn to help them grow. Once again, Geoff Johns makes the impossible possible by introducing a DC comic superhero team, the Justice Society of America, and integrating them to series so well to the point where Clark, Oliver, Chloe etc, are much better from meeting them.

    Out of the JSA's impressive rooster we are given Carter Hall aka Hawkman, Kent Nelson aka Dr. Fate and Courtney Whitmore aka Stargirl. They are introduced skillfully by Johns but as far as the actors portrayal's of each character, it really varied. Micheal Shanks's Carter Hill was awesome, but his Hawkman was sometimes grating (what the hell was up with the Christian Bale Batman voice?) Luckily, Hawkman's interaction with Oliver made for it. Man, was the banter between between those two hilarious with Oliver calling Hawkman "Big Bird" and Hawkman making comments like "Think of me as your own parole officer...with a mace." Brett Strait was riveting as Dr. Fate. I could watch that scene of his crazy rant while clutching onto to his bag (that holds Nabu) over and over and never get tired of it. We really only get two scenes with Kent Nelson and man, did Brett hit it out the park. He conveyS everything about Neslon's struggle, personality and fears in such a limited time. I wish we got to see more of the man inside the mask. But then I realize that Dr. Fate himself was by far the finest adaption of any comic book hero on Smallville yet. From his geektastic transformation to his individual scenes with other characters, Dr. Fate's presence was so strong and effectively thought-provoking. I could go on praising him more, but he was the bench mark of what comic book heroes should be portrayed in live action. Brittany Irvin was the weakest of the three, giving a lackluster performance as Courtney overall. I mean her first scene at Metropolis Gen. where she finds out Star-Spangled Kid died was simply unbearable. She does have a few good scenes like the ones with Clark and Chloe, but overall, Stargirl's finest moment was her fight scene with Icicle, which involve limited acting.

    Speaking of Icicle, he was a rather weak choice for the main antagonist of such big movie event involving two major superhero teams coming together. I get that Icicle's powers of cold manipulation are pretty deadly, especially killing two JSA members at the beginning of the movie but he came off as more of an annoying brat than a major threat. Not to mention, he was given some pretty "Batman and Robin" worthy dialogue ("Anyone up for some ice cream?") Obviously Johns was having a little too much fun writing this script. But of course, we should factor in that Icicle was simply a puppet whose strings where being pulled by a more opposing nemesis in the form of Amanda Walker and Checkmate. It's an excellent development here, as Checkmate are now being set up as the second half's season villain(s) and it doesn't hurt that Amanda Walker herself is played by 70s superstar Pam Grier. While her first appearance was a bit awkward as Pam literally seemed stiff when she moved around, this is Jackie Brown we're talking about!! The whole set up about the upcoming apocalypse (or Apokalips?) was exciting and has my full attention for the second half of the season.

    Three pretty lengthy paragraphs and I still haven't even scratched the surface of why "Absolute Justice" was beyond amazing. There are the dozens of DC references thrown at us throughout from Hawkgirl's helmet, Wildcat's gloves, down to even the JSA's former maid. There are tons of great character development moments between Courtney and Chloe, Clark and Courtney, Oliver and Carter etc. that involve both teams trying to understand each more effectively. Great cameos from other JSA members like Star Spangled Kid and Sandman. There are the impressive special effects like Hawkman's flying, Dr. Fate's magic blasts, Stargirl's staff lighting up etc. Dr. Fate's prophetic and thought-provoking allusions about the sentient power that Clark will become. Phil Morris's return as John Jones was everything fans had been waiting for (a glimpse of his true form and his powers reinstated) Lois getting involved, learning her vague importance to Clark and meeting Amanda Walker. Agent Mercer? Tess...and Checkmate? I'm was very intrigued! The brilliant direction by Glen Winter in Part 1, which was surpassed by Tom Welling in Part 2 who shows that his directing skills are growing remarkably (That superhero team-up against Icicle at the end was some of the finest mix of SFX/editing/direction I have ever seen from the series!) The overall epic scope of the movie with some stunning storytelling (those JSA archive footage scenes were beautifully done!) and Johns fully realized work being executed to near perfection. While there are some faults again (Chloe...cause she's Chloe!), "Absolute Justice" is quite the masterpiece for this long running series. This is what Smallville should be every week, an action adventure, superhero thrill ride (We even had Oliver back to form and flipping around as Green Arrow!) All the more I can say is, Geoff Johns either become a full time writer for Season 10 or make a comic book series of your own...pronto!
  • When members of the disbanded Justice Society start turning up dead, the Justice League teams up with the remaining members to stop the killer. Meanwhile, Lois receives a mysterious package from an agency called Checkmate. (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD)

    9.5
    For the first, and possibly only, SMALLVILLE "movie" (really just two episodes combined, let's be honest), ABSOLUTE JUSTICE was actually pretty awesome. Then again, for the budget it was presumably given, it should be. The first half did a good job of introducing the guest characters and setting up the story, and I liked how, even though only a few JSA members actually appeared, the others were "introduced" via an old news reel and all their various memorabilia. In fact, I totally geeked out at seeing the Green Lantern ring, and I'm not even a comic book fan! Anyhow, it was awesome how, in the second half, both groups of heroes teamed up and came at Icicle Jr. (as I like to call him) from all sides with their abilities and/or gadgets. Also, I'm glad Martian Manhunter got his powers back, though unfortunately, the writers had to kill off Dr. Fate to do it, and just when I was starting to like him. On the up side, though, he more-or-less confirmed that Lex Luthor is still alive, which, to me, is as it should be. As for Lois, she probably could've been in there more, but Dr. Fate's whole Clark-needs-Lois-as-much-as-she-needs-him spiel *more* than made up for it. :D And I don't know about anyone else, but I could've done without the whole Amanda Waller/Checkmate/Suicide Squad storyline. Plus, I found the whole Tess-is-an-agent-of-Checkmate-and-has-been-the-entire-time reveal somewhat disturbing. Maybe it's just the thought of Tess having any kind of power. In any case, there's never been so much as a subtle reference to her ties to Checkmate, until now. Nice continuity..not! Other than that, which is my only real complaint, I give ABSOLUTE JUSTICE nine-and-a-half helmets out of ten.

    Highlights -- Chloe running into Sylvestor Pemberton; Clark and Chloe investigating Pemberton's "team" in the Daily Planet archives (including a cameo from the Green Lantern ring); Clark getting a glimpse of Dr. Fate's helmet; Carter Hall, a.k.a. Hawkman, convincing Kent Nelson to put on his helmet and become Dr. Fate; Dr. Fate reading Clark and Chloe's fates; Courtney Whitmore, a.k.a. Stargirl, sparring with Icicle Jr.; Clark exploring the former JSA headquarters; Hawkman and Green Arrow verbally sparring, before Hawkman flips GA onto a table; Hawkman, Dr. Fate, and Stargirl standing across the table from Clark, Oliver, and John Jones, all while discussing "justice"; Lois babbling on and on to Clark, who isn't even there; Hawkman and Oliver bickering on a rooftop; Dr. Fate hinting about Clark's fate; Dr. Fate meeting Lois and dropping vague hints about her fate; Lois and Clark discussing a story Lois is working on; Dr, Fate restoring Martian Manhunter's powers; Hawkman explaining about himself, his wife, and their cursed past lives; JL and JSA fighting Icicle Jr. from all sides; Clark and Hawkman comparing the JL and JSA; and finally, Lois showing off her front-page byline and telling Clark what Dr. Fate told her.
  • this was a really good ep for smallville

    9.0
    i this this ep was really god for a 2 hour show.anway in this ep cloe gets a message from a old justice person that he needs help he ends up dead. and clark is lead to the old justice hall of the origal justice superheroes. and then the old heroes that are remaing think there not ready and they dont want there help. oliver goes and helps someone but gets attacked and thinks they were tring to kill him but clark and cloe do more digging and find out that these people were the heroes of the old days. and were chanced down by the goverment. and so clark and the others team up with the justice to take them down whoever is killing them. and the maritan guy gets his powers back they are restored. it was great ep i thought
  • One of the best episodes of the series

    10
    When this double-length episode was first announced, I was a bit concerned. The last time the producers brought in Geoff Johns to introduce a classic DC team to the "Smallville" universe, it was the utter mess that was "Legion". That episode was the most potent example of the "DC Syndrome": the tendency to introduce the classic DC characters with the assumption that proper backstory is unnecessary because the audience already knows the history and continuity. A great deal in "Legion" was glossed over, right down to the character names and abilities.

    The writers have been doing a much better job of introducing classic DC characters this season, perhaps based on an honest assessment of the shortcomings of previous attempts. And perhaps Johns learned from his own mistakes as well. Whatever the reason, this episode was a far cry above past efforts.

    I've said in other venues that I've always loved stories that call back to the secrets and parallels with previous generations. For example, one of the things I love about the Harry Potter story is how the truth about the previous generation and the First War against Voldemort is necessary to put Harry's story in context. When it was far more consistent, the story of the Company and the Twelve on "Heroes" provided a similar narrative thrill.

    "Smallville" introduced something similar with Veritas, but it was never quite as integrated as it could (or should) have been. The history of the Luthors and Kents earlier in the series did, of course, serve a similar purpose, when the parallels between Lionel, Jonathan, and Martha spoke to the relationship between Lex, Clark, and Lana. But the past couple seasons have been much more about Clark's evolution as a hero, and along with Oliver Queen, his role in a much wider superheroic context.

    Right from the beginning, the style and tone of the episode brought to mind some of the aspects of "Watchmen", though clearly a more cohesive and network-friendly version. I was struck by the sense of depth given to the history of the Justice Society, and how well Johns managed to explain how something with such a rich history could have been unknown for so long. There were aspects of "legacy" that came across in elements of the score as well, all contributing to the sense of a long prelude to Clark's world.

    For example, Hawkman made a solid point about how Clark and Oliver have very little understanding of what has come before; they are focused on their own aims and personal histories, not that of the world around them. In fact, considering how many of the metahumans have been directly tied to the various meteor showers, starting with the one that brought Clark to Earth, there was very little reason for Clark or Oliver to even suspect that there had been societies of heroes in decades past.

    As such, it was a nice touch that the writers incorporated elements of the DC character backstories, however truncated, to explain how some of the members of the JSA acquired their abilities. It doesn't quite explain everything, but then, a lot of the dialogue suggested that many of the members were simply well-trained humans. In that respect, there was the other parallel to the Minutemen of "Watchmen".

    One of the recurring themes for the ninth season has been the tension between Clark, Oliver, and Chloe. For the purposes of the story, this was extended to include all the members of the nascent Justice League, many of which haven't been seen in quite some time. Establishing that the team has been having issues with common purpose is a smart way to address the very practical limitations of the series; they simply can't afford to have all those actors and actresses waiting in the wings.

    Unfortunately, it also hinges on the notion that the audience simply assumes that Oliver's team has been operating in the background through Chloe, even if it has hardly ever come up in conversation. Granted, it makes complete sense, because that's the function of Watchtower in the first place. But it's a stretch to say that the team is something that is particularly important in Clark's life lately. It exists, but Clark is dissociated from it. That makes all the talk about how the team members, including John, are all Clark's closest friends a bit disingenuous and forced.

    It also means that the larger point about this story, that Clark and his friends need to start acting more like a family than a loose band of vigilantes, may never quite get the treatment it needs. There's the final scene between Oliver, Chloe, and John, but that's all we're likely to see. Instead, it might mark a change in how Clark, Oliver, and Chloe interact going forward. It's unfortunate, especially given the aims of Checkmate.

    If there's another aspect of this story that touches on the whole "Watchmen" vibe, it's the role of Checkmate. I love this idea that Tess has been working behind the scenes to counter Zod (and perhaps others) by manipulating heroes past, present, and future to band together against a common foe. I especially like how they used Lois to get the story out there, garnering public trust in heroes again, all in preparation for a time when the masses will need a symbol of hope. That connects very well to Clark's slow but steady development of the Blur as a public icon.

    It also helps to demonstrate how well-rounded Tess has become as a character. Tess has ably replaced Lex as the character that does questionable things in the name of what she believes to be right for the world. The writers were never quite able to portray Lex as someone dedicated to saving humanity from alien threats, despite their best efforts, because they kept overshadowing his noble aims with his misdeeds. Tess, on the other hand, has been more consistently depicted as someone who believes that the ends justify the means, and as someone willing to bear the cost of her choices.

    Hopefully, that is how the writers will portray Checkmate and its agents: not as a villain per se, but as an organization that operates in that grey area between outright moral heroism and clinical pragmatism. It would tie in well with Oliver and Chloe's mindset, which in turn would challenge the audience to consider where the line between heroic vigilantism and villainy should be drawn. If the writers play their cards right, it would take "Smallville" to the next level.

    So it's possible that the writers could overcome the limitations of the series' budget to incorporate some of the large-scale implications of this story. Unfortunately, long-term viability will do nothing to address the effect it had on this story. When push comes to shove, the writers were only able to gather a handful of the heroes from the JSA and proto-JLA, and that weakened the impact. Also, while Welling did about as good a job as one could hope with the final showdown, it just seemed too short a battle to pay off the excellent build-up. Then again, that's been a major problem for "Smallville" for a while now, so it may be that the scale of the story only amplified the negative effects.

    But did that ruin the story in any major capacity? Not at all. I can say, as a "Smallville" fan with very limited knowledge of the DC canon, that this was one of the best episodes of the series to date. I never felt like I was missing some crucial piece of information or continuity, and it really felt like everyone involved was putting forth their absolute best efforts. This is the sort of thing fans have been begging for, and for once, "Smallville" was able to deliver.
  • Been waiting awhile to see this come....

    8.0
    All I have to say is that I'm glad that Lex will probably make a comeback since Dr. Fate told Clark he and Lex were destined to be enemies. Although, as usual, Clark completely missed it. I'm sorry I disliked Hawkman's portrayal but Lex was my favorite character so I'm happy there is hope he will return. I'm super glad the Martian Man got this power back, Yay! But Dr. Fate is a powerful hero and it was stupid how easily he was killed by an ice pick, basically. It was no need for the Lois inclusion or Tess for the matter
  • All eyes were on this two-hour special, with its alleged big surprises. Unfortunately, the only surprise was how little effort and attention to detail they put into such a highly-anticipated episode.

    2.0
    I won't lie. Ever since the end of Season 3, I've stopped calling myself a Smallville fan. While once my favorite show, I find myself wondering why Smallville hasn't been cancelled yet while so many superior shows continue to bite the dust. It's embarrassing these days, but I continue to watch anyway, hoping the my lost love will make a turnaround.

    This particular episode, self-dubbed a special by its two-hour length, pretty much underlines where the series has gone -- in the gutter. It's all the little things they fail to do, and yet are so obvious and easy to fix that you have to wonder if they care about the show.

    *SPOILERS*

    For instance, given how old the JSA members look, the JSA probably dates back about 20 years. We know Smallville takes place in modern day, so why was the arrest film made to look like 1960's footage? Also, none of the JSA members looked a day younger in the footage. Less scruffy sure, but not younger. These criticisms could have been easily fixed by 1) using VHS, which I assume was around 20 years ago, and 2) by using different actors in the film or making the current day JSA members look 20 years older (white hair, makeup, etc). Instead, it seemed like a dumbing down of the introductions so a pre-teen audience would know who was who (which was done again when at the museum).

    Another example of a flaw that didn't need to be one was when Chloe cloned the cellphone at the hospital. Did it occur to anyone that the actor playing the deputy could have had a bit of trouble putting the phone in the evidence bag so that it would still be outside the bag when approached by Chloe? Why the silliness of putting the phone all the way into the bag, only to take it back out so far that his hand was in a natural resting position by his waist? Again, it seemed like it was for the audience's benefit, so we would know that 1) Chloe was trying to clone the phone, and 2) phones can't be cloned when in a plastic bag (obviously). Just doesn't make sense.

    Then there were all the problems with scale, first with their abilities, and then with the story's timeline. Icicle is apparently so fast that the Star-Spangled Kid doesn't stand a chance. We see his speed again when he escapes after his fight with Stargirl, and when he kills Dr. Fate. For some reason, he's slow as molasses as he's getting beat up by Stargirl, who doesn't seem to have any special abilities aside from waving around a glowstick with her human-like speed (no wonder Star-Spangled Kid died though). He becomes even slower (and weaker) after inheriting Dr. Fate's powers, standing in place for most of the fight at Watchtower HQ. Oddly enough, Clark runs at the same speed as Oliver's arrow, which flies through the air at the same speed as Stargirl's human-like glowstick attack. It was such an anti-climatic fight scene, it belonged in a regular episode. The audience deserves something better after two hours. Heck, Star-Spangled Kid vs Icicle seemed 100 times more intense even though we didn't get to see it.

    The story itself was the most infuriating part. Let's Isolate Clark and Icicle from the rest of the backdrop. Icicle is so fast and so good at tracking people, that he manages to find the Star-Spangled Kid at night off some random alley, then visits Sandman the very next morning. Following the attack, Chloe informs Clark that Sandman (not by that name) is the next target because he was the last person called. Clark finds his address and, with no real sense of urgency, takes his dandy ol' time to get there. Rigor mortis has set in hours ago. Icicle is so underwhelmed by his pursuer that he goes back to Checkmate HQ to arrange his photos. After Clark and Chloe connect the dots between the victims and JSA, Clark again takes his time with trying to save the next would-be victims. Icicle remains mesmerized by his photos. If you count the number of days and nights between each event, you'll see that the writers completely forgot that they had built up suspense with the two rapid murders at the beginning. That or Clark and Icicle both have lives (not shown) outside their cat-and-mouse chase. Clark should be ashamed, because the news of each death traveled faster than him.

    The writers/producers simply blew it. With the introduction of the old-school JSA heroes, and the suspense surrounding their impending murders, this could have been an exciting movie-like episode, but instead ended up a disinterested one-hour episode stretched into a two-hour slot, with the same predictable lines and lack of depth that has surrounded Clark for a good number of seasons now. The only positive I could draw was a solitary smirk when Hawkman called the one-dimensional pretty boy Oliver Queen by the name "Green Punching Bag".

    The lowest rating possible is 1, and this episode earns a measly 1 extra point for time spent on new costumes for a final score of 2.
  • Silly, Unemotional, Melodramatic, Blame, Bad Props. Nothing like the emotional adrenaline rush you look forward to from Smallville. Simply Unnecessary. Dr. Fate was the exception. He alone would have been sufficient to advance the story

    4.0
    Silly, Unemotional, Melodramatic, Blame, Bad Props. Nothing like the emotional adrenaline rush you look forward to from Smallville.

    Simply Unnecessary. Dr. Fate was the exception. He alone would have been sufficient to move the storyline forward. His powers were mystically eye catching, without looking like Halloween-clad actors dangling on strings swinging cheap plastic.

    I don't see Clark putting on blue tights anytime soon, so I don't see why Smallville should force others to put on unrealistic "outdated" costumes.

    Normally I look forward to any storyline that brings forward the Justice League of America, with so much opportunity to engage spine-tingling effects with storylines that bring both tears and joy. BUT, there just wasn't a need to cram a bunch of old unpopular superheroes into an episode, especially when their super costumes look like bad theater props.

    Then, everyone just kept criticizing each other.

    There is a strong reason why the Smallville's opening titles still have Clark wrapping his arms protectively around a small child in the middle of a meteor shower. It successfully conveys great strength and heartfelt emotion, without all of the bad drama of blame, regret, and "I told you so" lines.

    It's the difference between giving a shoulder to lean on, versus slapping the back of your hand.

    This episode leaves you feeling emotionally drained. Clark continues down the path of a critical judge of other people's behaviors, rather than the hero raised by loving midwestern parents, who set the example of strength and protection of the good hearted.
  • Clark, Oliver and Chloe go up against the survivors of the Justice Society, but finally form an alliance to end a threat to them all. Tess makes a brief but welcome appearance.

    8.0
    "AJ" was an improvement over last week's "Disciple," although with some of the same drawbacks. As a longtime fan, I want to admire, and find the good parts of every episode. The Justice Society brought in several characters, so a two-hour episode helped give all of them some reasonable screen time so we could get to know them and care about their story. Those who follow the comics had a head-start - appears the writers will continue the trend this season and the rest of us will be behind the story curve. Some fans may be disappointed in the brief action and battle scenes, but they were ok with me - I enjoyed the pauses in the action and the time Clark spent absorbing the history of the JSA through the museum displays.

    It's good to see the main characters comport themselves well and make good decisions, and show loyalty and ingenuity. Otherwise, what's to admire? Hawkman was the lead among the new characters, with a backstory about being semi-immortal, but having Mr. Shanks snarl through the whole episode made him seem just mean and not worthy of hero-worship.

    Chloe's well-deserved knocks for being isolated in the Watchtower may lead to her getting out for a chance to be a more well-rounded character than Ms. Mack has been allowed to portray recently. When was the last time we saw her at the Talon with Lois? Chloe's just been the tough guy lately, scolding Clark for his alleged shortcomings. High school is long gone, Chloe's a widow, and is drifting into a one-dimensional character, bipping from one data terminal to another (the ISIS foundation layout made more sense), and the speed at which she hacks into secured sites and satellite feeds is ludicrous. Commercialism is heavy-handed again, with a software manufacturers' logo on-screen long enough to make it obvious who's supplying the computer equipment. Pemberton's '57 or '58 Studebaker Hawk was a nice cameo for auto enthusiasts.

    Combining the low-angle camera work and the magnificence music score, the SV team goes for the look and feel of Lord of the Rings, and succeeds in a less elaborate way. How does the music score by Louis Febre compare to previous seasons' work by Mark Snow? Pretty well, but I'd give the edge to Mr. Snow's compositions. Let's give some props to the props department - they came up with a great group of superhero artifacts for Clark to view in the museum.

    Courtney Stargirl and Chloe spent several minutes discussing the Watchtower layout - suggesting that it's due for a makeover by Chloe to make it more a refuge and second home for Clark, Oliver and company - otherwise they would not spend that much script time on the issue. I like the idea, look forward to seeing how that develops. Stargirl had a colorful FX battle with Iceboy, who was an irritating and shrill badguy. But the last battle took all our heroes working together to put him down, then he recovered without a scratch in the final scene. And then he was killed with one pistol shot by the Checkmate agent? Why didn't Oliver try that?

    The Checkmate conspiracy involves Tess, but I missed the background and can only assume it's of comic book origins. If it's a criminal organization, why the corporate logo and security badges? "AJ" was better on a replay, rating a B.
  • Does Smallville do the Society Justice?

    8.0
    Apologies for that awful pun. After tackling the Justice League and then the Legion of Superheroes Smallville has a go at the Justice Society. I have to admit I'd never heard of them, but I guess if they're going to use superhero groups they're obviously going to start with the best and work their way down. However just because I hadn't heard of the JSA doesn't mean I didn't know who many of its members were. Mainly thanks to the Justice League Unlimited cartoon I recognised Hawkman, Dr. Fate and Stargirl. I feel this put me in a perfect position to be able to enjoy the comic book geek stuff as a comic book geek as well as judge how well these characters were introduced to an audience who probably doesn't know them.

    It wasn't an easy task for comic book writer Geoff Johns as he had to balance explaining the JSA's origins as well as tell an interesting story all the while keeping it on continuity with both the DC comics and Smallville's own mythology. Working the JSA into the Smallville world was one of the things the episode did brilliantly, and fortunately it wasn't the only thing!

    Going into this episode I was worried how they'd be introduced. Surely a band of masked superheroes going about would've made a few heads turn despite the fact no one like them had ever been mentioned on Smallville. This was explained very well by them having worked in secret away from the public eye. It also worked as Chloe and Clark were a way in for us as we could discover who these characters were alongside them. Of course it wasn't perfect; the first hour had the task of introducing and getting us to feel something for these characters, which it took a little bit too long to do. It was understandable that a bit extra time was needed to do these guys justice (sorry again) but shots like the fade from black and white to full colour flashbacks for each character was completely unnesecary. Seriously what was that about? It'd already been explained who they were. You could argue it helped to give a clear connection as to which superhero was which but I felt it should've been cut.

    Another overly long scene was Clark taking the coverings off all the relics in the JSA's HQ. That said I could forgive it that as the audience, like Clark, needed to be able to take in everything that was there. From the great props that were identifiable straight away (although Green Lantern's ring looked a bit cheap) to the great portrait it was fantastic. I'm really glad they could get away with showing the likes of GL and the Flash. I guess the deal was as long as they didn't show their names anywhere. But easter eggs and cool props can only get you so far, there needed to be a good story too. Fortunately the show was up to the task. Initially it seemed to be a simple revenge story for the son of a supervillain taken down by the Justice Society. While not hugely original the simple plot device was a good idea as it meant we didn't need to spend much time on the villain's plan. This was all about the Justice Society and that's fortunately where most of the episode focussed.

    So how were the members portrayed? Well the best one all round was Dr. Fate who was simply amazing. He was the hardest to explain to the audience what his power was and how he worked, yet it was delivered brilliantly. The best way to explain something in a visual medium like TV is visually. Being told what his power was wouldn't have been anywhere near as satisfying as seeing it play out. It started with the helmet looking at Clark when he X-rayed the bag it was in. It looked a bit cheesy but instantly showed that the helmet wasn't just an accessory of the costume. Seeing how Kent Nelson had descended into almost madness was quite heartbreaking and the actor portrayed him really well. I also loved how the show not only embraced the cheesiness of the character, but made it work and perfectly believable. The shot of the costume appearing when he put on the mask looked fantastic and was a great visual. The costume design itself was excellent too. Lois' line about it looking really good despite how ridiculous it was was right on the money!

    Hawkman wasn't quite as impressive. I was under the impression his wings were part of him, so seeing them hung up was a bit weird. I also would've liked an explanation as to how they work if they're strap on wings. Are they mechanical, magic, what? Also there were a couple of shots when he was meant to be floating that his wings were stationary, when they should've been moving to keep him in the air, that looked a bit naff. But it didn't ruin the illusion. Neither did his Christian Bale type Batman voice although it wasn't needed. Stargirl's costume looked fine too, but it was the simplest of the trio and the actress being really hot didn't hurt either!

    While the first hour was definitely the weaker it was still pretty good. While a lot of time was given to explaining these knew characters there were a couple of actions sequences. The main one being the duel between Stargirl and Icicle. It was a brilliantly shot and choreographed sequence, with the CGI effects enhancing it nicely while not being over the top. Ollie saving Stargirl at the end was a bit predictable but totally worth it, even if the shot was an impossible angle even for the Emerald Archer.

    It was the second hour that was more action packed and more rewarding. Now that we knew who these characters were it was time to see them in action. Adding Lois to the second half of the episode felt a bit unnecessary but you wouldn't want to go a full two hours without her would you? Tess on the other hand was really not needed, but she didn't hurt things. I still love her and Clark's relationship now. It's great that he's not stooping to her level and playing games with her, but just being straight about things. It's a great relief considering all the arkward excuses he's made in the past to cover for himself. The character who made the most impact on the second hour was the returning John Jones who's been away for far too long.

    Since he was introduced back in season 6 we've been given no backstory for him, to the point that I felt we'd never learn of his Smallville version background. Fortunately I was wrong and it was delivered perfectly here. At this point seeing a flashback episode for him would be a bit out of place, as he's only in a handful of episodes per season, so Dr. Fate revealing it to us made perfect sense. To have a character of his stature inform us that Jones is the last surviving Martian worked great. Of course the moment that followed was even better. His last act to restore MM's powers was superb. It was a great visual and seeing the green version of J'onn is something I never thought would happen!

    With the helmet Icicle was now a match for the whole Justice team, or so he thought. While I was a bit worried at how no one seemed to care about him choking Chloe the climactic fight scene was the best one Smallville's had that didn't involve non-superpowered characters. The circling shot of all the characters attacking was great, and in any other episode that would've been all we'd get. Here however we got more and it was all superb. Each character attacking in their own way gave a great diversity to the battle and really made it feel more epic than anything before it. The Martian Manhunter coming in at the end to help out was almost too awesome for words. A compliant I've always had that was while he did have his powers we hardly got to see him use anything but flight. Seeing him phase through Icicle's attack was a great moment and another fantastic visual. It was a thoroughly satisfying action scene which was a great ending to the main threat.

    Then it was to Smallville's usual epilogue type ending, but this week it worked. Having sat through almost two hours (including adverts) the episode needed to wind down and it did nicely. Stargirl's message of the reason Oliver and Clark's gang aren't as successful as the JSA were being because they weren't as tight a family unit was nicely done. It could've been very camp but hit home well. Oliver asking if they all wanted to go out for dinner was a sweet little moment and it's nice that the events here should have lasting affects on our main characters.

    So there was fantastic action and visuals but that alone can't hold up an episode. You need characters which is where most noticeably Hawkman and Green Arrow came in. There conversation together on the roof was brilliantly played and written. Yes written, something not normally said about Smallville! Their dialogue nicely rang true regarding Oliver's recent struggles and was great. But it wasn't all perfect. Icicle worked fine as a plot device villain for me but I'm not sure about the agency he and Pam Grier's character were working for. It's obviously a set up for the rest of the season, and was nice to get a bit more of an explanation for why Icicle took so long to attack the JSA. Still I feel this episode could've help up just as well without it. Add to that Tess being a member I didn't buy at all. How many secret organisations has she been in!? She's only meant to have gone evil after Ollie broke up with her, and she's not that old so how did she manage to do all that? While it's nice to tie the mysterious organisation in with one of the main characters it maybe should've been left for another episode where it could've been handled better. Even as just a bit of a tease here it didn't work for me.

    So despite a slow start this was a great episode. The double episode was a great idea here as it never would've worked as a single one. The effects, costume design and overall look of the show has never been better than it was here and that it served the story rather than just looked pretty is what really made it brilliant. There was a mixture of character moments, both good and bad, but on the whole the good far outweighed the bad. Here's hoping the main story of the season can reach the dizzy heights that part of this episode did!
  • Two worlds collide as the predecessor to the Justice League (JSA) comes together once again. While under the attack of the son of an old enemy, the JSA reunite with the help of the new young heroes.

    2.0
    Set to be one of the major episodes of this season, Absolute Justice falls incredibly short. Horrible cast choices coupled with lame, uninspiring dialogue make this episode at best laughable. Anyone else find it ironic that their choice for the role of Icicle was completely and entirely flaming? While I love Michael Shanks in practically everything he does, this was a poor role for him. The episode did little to nothing to utilize his talents as an actor. Pam Grier? Really?? While Stargirl wasn't that horrific, the role of Dr Fate was extremely unimpressive. I give the acting about a 5, but it was utterly dependent on the worst writing i've seen yet for the show (or any show for that matter). This show has, with worsening season by season, finally degraded to the level of a low rate soap opera. I will not be surprised if CW decides not to renew the show after this season. How they managed to drag out a plotline into 9 seasons in baffling. They would have been much better off to condense everything into at most 5 seasons to increase the quality of the show.
  • Worst Smallville episode ever.

    4.0
    I'm not saying this without real sincerity. This was just awful. I've been thinking of all previous episodes from all 9 seasons but this is still the worst. I kept looking at the clock, desperately hoping that there was enough time for the episode to turn the corner, hoping that it was just a slow and boring beginning with better things to come. It never happened. I just had zero interest.

    For starters, where was the storyline? A movie length episode, and yet the plot was as simple as you could make it. The writers could have at least invented an interesting Kryptonite freak, but an iceman was all they could come up with, a throwback to at least two other episodes that I can think of. Where's the originality and imagination? Where were the surprises, the twists, the events that keep you hanging on the edge of your seat, the interesting concepts and plot devices? Dr Fate was the only half-interesting character, but he told us nothing we didn't already know, nor present what we already knew in different perspectives. Even the vision of Clark's destiny was exactly the same as we saw many seasons ago back at Smallville High, and it wasn't even as well produced.

    Secondly, having never read the comics, I had no interest in these heroes that time forgot, and the episode was clearly crafted in some kind of hero worship for these old characters of yore. It's as though after 8 years of success the producers have decided that they no longer have to aim for quality production to attract a wide audience, but can instead indulge themselves in episodes that are simply there for the comic enthusiasts to reminisce over. This isn't Smallville anymore, it's the Superman comics brought to TV. I liked Smallville because it tied into Superman and told a serious story, not because I was an adolescent comic aficionado.

    The only redeeming feature of this episode was the main characters of Smallville coming to the conclusion that they need to become a team of friends, not just a loose coalition of heroes. This is something that has been seriously lacking in Smallville since season 6, when Lana and Lex broke away from the rest of the pack and the relationships have been fragmenting ever since - with the exception of Lois and Clark.

    So good end result that hopefully bodes well for the future, but terrible, terrible episode.
  • The overall story line had so much potential with the introduction of heroes from the past and fusing them with the heroes of present, however the story line failed to deliver in so many ways, especially with the portrayal of the present's greatest hero.

    4.0
    My biggest beef is with the portrayal of Clark (A.K.A Superman) It seems to get worse with every episode. Have any of the writers ever read a Superman comic book or seen a cartoon? Some good places to start would be with Superman VS Doomsday or even the Legion of Super Heroes weekly cartoon. Superman is the strongest force in the known universe. He beat Doomsday. He can throw a tank or slice through it with his heat vision yet in Smallville he can't seem to beat any opponent without Chloe holding them down first. And (although it has been said before)I am pretty sure Superman was flying long before he turned 40.

    Did we really need the combined teamwork of 4 superheroes to bring down a villain whose main power was creating icicles? Pretty sure cold doesn't bother the man of steel all that much.

    I would also suggest that the Justice Society of America would not have been brought down by an Elliot Ness crack down on super heroes.

    It still looks like the writers are trying to slowly develop the Superman character at an action rate of 20 seconds per week. It seems the longer the episode, the less we see Clark do something Super. To much Clark and not enough Superman is getting old.

    I keep reading the reviews and noticing how many 10's are given to some really bad episodes, and I can only think to myself that the writers should not be allowed to rate their own work.
  • Any Episode w/o Kandorians is a step in the right direction.

    8.0
    I am Sick of Zod: while this "Watchman" episode introduces and kills more DC characters than I would like... It is still better than most.

    Seriously. Clark has powers - they do not. Round them up and stick them on a desert island and have Queen Industries drop-ship them supplies every few months. The Kandorians can live out their "Lord of the Flies"/"Lost"/Survivior" para-military megalomania and we can go on. IF they want to make it more Dramatic Kara can come back from wherever she is, with Brainiac technology and she/Clark can Shrink them into a bottle where they're supposed to be.

    Icicle was a pretty good assassin but apparently wasn't too good in fair fights, and certainly not in the final battle vs. many. IMHO Tess being a member of a Shadow organization makes her entire role a lot more believable.

    A Solid Season Opener - hoping for more great episodes in the future
  • Some mysterious group comes to Smallville looking for someone with abilities.

    10
    These episodes were cool. I don't know anything about the society but I like the way they were potrayed in these episodes. The stuff with Hawkman and Clark was good, he could be a big influence for CLark. I like all the stuff with the ice guy and the fights between him and the society. I didn't get why he killed his dad though. I also didn't understand the stuff with the organization that Tess is in with the chess pieces. Maybe we will get more insight to that in later episodes. The stuff with Lois in this episode was kind of filler, I mean why would somebody send that to her. The only important part with her was when Dr Fate talked to her about what she will do in the future. Anyway I liked these episodes and I hope the society will come back every know and then.
  • this episode was a bit of a disappointment overall, the talent was there in all but the general writing/direction/storyline for it. not enough action to hold me for the whole episode (i skipped ahead to the action, of which there wasn't a lot).

    7.0
    first off, i loved the older generation of the superheroes and especially Michael Shanks / Hawkman (love MS from the stargate days), because they lend us a fresher look at the show instead of the same boring people over and over again. (same difficulty they have with the Justice league of the flash, cyborg, aquaman etc.). i really like it when there are other superheroes on the show as they always give something positive when they are involved and ironically it also shows how little clark kent has really done on the show the last few seasons in his training etc.
    though i still find that smallville is getting really difficult to watch. as a fan of the show i try and catch every episode and i am still hoping that the general direction of the show and of the individual episodes will improve. when we are talkig about cancellation of the show or of a tenth season, i am in two minds because of the direction the ninth season has taken so far.
    my desire to continue watching the show is that i hope to see clark fly but also to see him fly in a couple of episodes and really complete his transition/evolution into becoming superman. alot of people are talking about the fact they don't want to see clark go further than fly right at the series end but catching clark flying as a way to end smallville will seem like a small reward to me. for me, the ideal end point of the show will be somewhat similar to a few episodes in the show Lois and Clark (Dean Cain and Terri Hatcher) where we see CK in the costume revealing himself to the world and the difficulties he faces with that.
  • This episode made Smallville worth to watch again

    8.0
    I watch Smalville since Season 1. At first it was about Clark Kent becoming Superman, but lately it was more about dragging to show along into one season after another without focusing on the main character. The last episodes were so boring I couln't bring myself watching them without the urge to check me emails or play Mob Wars on Facebook.
    This episode however made Smallville watchable again. I hope it sticks to this concept: bringing superheroes together to fight a bunch of supervillians. Aboslute Justice reminded me somehow of Watchmen. I think that the fact that there are more superheroes outthere fighting the evil brings hope to the Smallverse. Clark is not alone, so he hasn't to carry the burden alone. So, the writers now have to decide, wether they will transform Clark to Superman - which would be fine, as it's way overdue - or to stick with the concept of a new Justice League fighting crime. Plus, get rid of the Zod storyline as soon as possible. Althouhg Callum Blue does a good job, the whole "why don't we have powers and how do we get them back" line is boring. This goes for Tess as well, she just isn't as intresting to watch as LEx was. Summary: AJ brought a new feeling to the show which I liked. Micheal Shanks was great as ever and even some jokes worked quite well (e.g. the computer). I didn't like the reference to Windows 7 though... kind of awful to see Watchtower working on Microsoft products. I mean, hey, what there is a situation and Cloe has to excuse herself due to a Bluescreen of death ;-)
  • Best Episode Ever!!

    10
    The story line was great. I've heard people say that you would have to be a geek and know everything about the comics to like this episode... Not true. I love it when Smallville digs into the comic world. I don't know much about the comics, but whenever i know something is in the comics i wiki it look at which makes it awesome. I always liked how Smallville made the costumes close to what they are in the comics but didn't make them so cheesy. Hawkman and Dr fate where a little cheese but i understand because they where the old superheros when those types of outfits where in. Great Episode I can't wait to see where they go with Checkmate, and possible reunited JSA/JLA
  • What happens when the 'Justice Crew' gets plucked out one by one, as though they were being hunted like animals?

    9.0
    Well it only calls for the collaboration of team work put on by Green Arrow, Hawk Man, Stargirl, Dr. Fate, Clark and we can't forget Chloe.

    Why does crisis always lurk in the lives of superheroes? The reasons some villains have for seeking revenge can be considered as outlandish, and it was even more distasteful how easy it was to capture Icicle in the end, no matter how cool that scene was when everyone finally came together.

    So basically I am an Erica Durance fan, more for the role she creates as Lois and half an hour into this episode I was like "when are they going to show her, I need some comedy now!". Durance did not disappoint when she finally came on screen, I actually believed it was Clark she rambled into, so I was like "turn around and give your woman a kiss or those cool stares you usually engage yourself into" ah, but it wasn't Clark. One question though, why the glasses? I mean Tom Welling was a few grades above the look-a-like when it came to looks, but that was just corny.

    We actually had a combustion of irregular characters along with some new faces. I was afraid this entire 'Justice' episode would come off cheesy, but I found it oddly amusing. Everything flowed, even the weird Tess scenes being curious, was smoothly dealt with. It was refreshing watching Tess lurk around in the dark like the real villain to be concerned with. I believe Clark needs to show some sort of concern with Tess' knowledge of his secret. Does he believe he intimidates Tess so much that she wouldn't even be tempted to mention it to Lois? I just believe that Clark has a lot of loose ends right now, he needs to be so careful with who he trusts, maybe he is keeping a closer eye on Tess, but knowing her she would always be up to no good.

    That Amanda Waller is a bit of a concern for me. What business did she have with Tess in the end and how did they know each other? Why would she hire Icicle then murder him relentlessly, with no conscience? Why would she confide in Lois and how does she know so much? There are just so many questions circulating her character and I don't like it. In the end Icicle turned out to be just another villain with a grudge, I mean that scene with Chloe in the dumpster :) was stunning, but that was about it I probably found impressive.

    Chloe herself is a topic on its own. She acts like the tech behind everything, but when Hawk man swerved through watchtower breaking all the glass, Chloe could have serious gotten hurt there. She needs to have more protective gear with her, there is only so much she could do in her human form. No one really worries about Chloe putting out more than she can carry, burdening her life into 'protecting the world'. Stargirl was right about watchtower, where is the furniture? It doesn't even look like a home and does Chloe even have a social life? It's been a while since Jimmy's death and I believe she has stuck everything into her job to forget about her losses in life, it's almost depressing.

    Anyway, I felt that in an attempt to tell the justice story, they omitted more Clois moments which I always look forward to. Still this was an adequate episode for me and I admired Lois' "Lois and Clark and not Clark and Lois" in retaliation to Clark, and that embraces the wit I adore in her...(and she's right Clark get your facts straight). I loved how she was able to trust Clark with her story, expressing her willingness to include him in the byline. As each episodes grows, so does their relationship. There wasn't even time to resolve Oliver's 'thing' for Lois, which I hope is done soon.

    Don't you guys really notice Clark's maturity; his decisions, the way he talks and moves it's so (what's the word) manly you know. Tom Welling has taken Clark Kent 'the farm boy' and turned him into the superhero he needs to be. Clark just needs some help when it comes to trusting people, especially people like Zod. I really hope he has a plan set for when Zod goes berserk. Oh and what emails between Oliver and Black Canary should Chloe not have seen?

    Lexa Reviews

    http://lexabuti.blogspot.com

    ______________________

    Four and a Half Stars

    Grade A-
    ______________________
  • Been a while since I could say this, that was was a really good episode of Smallville!

    8.5
    I finally saw it last night, and I agree Absolute Justice was quite a refreshing change. I've been bugged for a while now that Clark was going to emerge as just another superhero in a world already chock full of them, but this Johns has alleviated that concern for me a bit by giving the JSA a Watchmen-like ending and implying that masked heroes until now have never been trusted or embraced by the public. This is gives Superman a unique role to fill in the Smallvilleized DC Universe, and it works for me.

    Also loved the introduction of Checkmate and Suicide Squad, making Tess a Checkmate agent finally makes her a wee bit more than a female stand-in for Lex Luthor. Loved the JSA costumes, everyone looked spot-on (except for Green Arrow, but that's another ball of wax) giving me some small hope that if we ever do see a Smallvilleized Superman suit, it may be somewhat faithful as well. Loved that we finally got to see a glimpse of Martian Manhunter in his true form. Loved everything about Dr. Fate. Loved the Lois and Clark banter. Loved Pam Grier as Amanda Waller, perfect casting. The only negative for me was the guy doing Hawkman was a little more than over the top (yes, even for Smallville). Really couldn't take him seriously for a second, and that ruined what could have otherwise been some funny interplay between him and Oliver. Other than that, great episode, gives me hope for the future.
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Well directed and written, informative comics history, awesome superguests, inspiring intergeneration links and moral values, top notch visuals and effects, delightful dialogs

    9.0
    For a first long episode I think they did a great job. Of course Glen Winter and Tom Welling directed and Geoff Johns wrote it as two episodes but the transition between them was smooth enough to hide their seam. I hadn't read its summary before watching it so I really didn't know what to expect. In fact I thought it would be about the Justice League but it was more about the Justice Society of America. Before watching Absolute Justice I was an ignorant because I didn't even know what the JSA was. Its story should be a great way to introduce you to the superhero group and comics mythology in general. Doctor Fate specially amazed me with his surreal abilities and well designed outfit. His tailor is even better than Green Arrow's one ! I also found his helmet quite intriguing, even fascinating, because like in the film The Mask starring Jim Carrey it seemed alive and able to bend the tides of time.

    But even if it featured some JSA superheros our familiar characters were also involved. In fact I liked the way they were inspired by each other because even if Clark admitted that their team was a "work in progress" their youthful energy was able to motivate the experienced but depressed superheros. They also brought maturity to the scenes and it's something Smallville has been missing for an awful long time now. I really miss the good old days when Clark's wise and loving father used to lecture him. The Martian Manhunter broke the vicious circle for a few episodes but it wasn't enough to appeal the demanding viewer. Each generation had a lot to learn from the other. Stargirl was the link they needed to connect and comprehend their stories. The dialog she had with Chloe at the Watch Tower was really inspiring because it was full of family and friendly advices. So I can't wait for her to transform the place into something more comfortable. What about a kitchen to bake cookies ?

    Morality was even more important than in episodes like Injustice and Echo. The values the writer shared with us were very stimulating and if your parents are reluctant to let you watch Smallville then you should definitely brief them about what the JSA and future JL superheros believe in. So the contents was interesting but the visuals were also quite impressive and the new sets refreshing and well designed. In fact I think the effects were the best ever produced for a Smallville episode. Some of them were just astonishing ! But my favorite one was probably an inside joke involving a special guest I really missed. I hope it'll come back for more ! What happened to it was fantastic because the scene was both unexpected, funny, violent and sad. A soul for a soul.

    To sum things up the people involved in this episode's creation did a great job, the performers included. The cold blooded killer was scary. Some dialogs were smart, others hilarious, specially Green Arrow's ones, and I'm sure the references for comics fans were numerous. There were also plenty of intriguing developments even if I don't really know where the writers are heading. Of course we could still complain about the sloppy beginning and anecdotic flashbacks but these few cons can't hide all the pros I mentionned. I can't even imagine what Doomsday could have been if the same successful recipe had been applied to it !
  • Urgh...

    7.0
    I watched this episode last night and i was disapointed. Is it just me or are you lot finding that smallville is getting a little stupid? or repetitive?
    This episode just showed it.
    I want to see clark use more of his powers and there to be more fight scenes..its mostly talking and clark speeding around.

    And how many times has Lois n chloe been attacked without being fatally wounded?

    Their luck is incredible!

    Don't get me wrong..i still watch it every week to see what happens next and i think i will until it ends totally..but come on..spark some life into the show again.
  • a pretty good episode

    9.0
    they did a good job with this episode, but they could have done so much more. I wish that they would have brought back more of the team like aqua, etc. i also thought that the first hour was much better then the second, almost like they spent a little too much time in the begin explaining things throughly that in the second half they didn't have enough time. it was still a amazing, loved that they had all the cool original chacarters like eagle man, flash, green lantern (i love him). i thought that clark was gonna get his outfit his episode too, seeing how they were doing the whole back too the 70 look lol. all in all a great episode that i would watch again
  • Amazing build up, lousy follow thru. The novelty of other super heroes is wearing off. The show is stagnating.

    6.5
    Lets all just face it. The show is running without moving forward; its just where it is repeating itself. Everyone of this episodes is just repeating the same message "You're going to be a great superhero". Yes, we get it already. We got the first hundred times it was said. Seriously, how many times does this need to be said? Are the writers losing the plot? We're past the whole "Clark is becoming...." bit. The show needs to start getting on with itself. This point is reflected in this episode. Amazing acting by the veteran actors; they really carried the episode here. If anything, it had the ability to be an amazing episode this season or any other; instead it was a lot of talk and when it got down the action; it was 2 minutes at most. Cmon guys, really? Surely you can do better. I'm giving this a 6 because of the good acting; show is dropping otherwise.
  • If I could give this episode more than a 10 I would...its more like 30 on a scale of 1-10

    10
    Ok so this was two hours of pure geeking out. If not for the sheer fact alone that you get to see the JSA in live action. And by far the best part of this episode and probably the best character they have brought on to Smallville thus far (in 9 season have you) was Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson).

    SPOILERS BELOW - Do not continue if you haven't watched...

    Ok so they start the episode with the Original Star Spangled Kid...awesome. He corners Chloe to try and get her help bringing the JSA back together but their conversation is interrupted by Icicle 2 (this the name that im giving to the original Icicle's son). So SSK hides Chloe and fights I2 but ends of getting killed and with his last breath trys to warn Chloe about CHECKMATE (that's right CHECKMATE with Waller and everything).

    So the rest of the episode is SUPER exciting (pun intended). The fight sequences are some of the best that the show has ever done. And they did a lot on effects with the budget that I know they have (just look at the introduction of Fate lol).

    But by far my part of the episode is the lil easter eggs. For instance early on the is a scene where Ollie realizes that Chloe has been reading his email and tries to explain a string of emails between him and Black Canary. Then there are some of the things that Nelson says while talking to himself. He mentions Hourman, the Atom and Mr. Terrific. All characters that they show equipment for and hint at but never actually show. He also makes mention of the first book that Geoff Johns worked on "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E." about Star Girl (who by the way just as hot as Chloe and I loved every minute of screen time they shared).

    The other thing I have to mention is the characters Fate comes in contact with. He reads Clark, Chloe, Lois and John Jones (Martian Manhunter). He practically tells Clark that Lex is still alive and says that he will overcome him ultimately. He tells Lois that she will be there for him (Clark) and he will be there for her (but she has no idea what he is talking about. Fate tells Chloe that she is like him wanting and dealing with too much information all of the time. And he connects with John (SPOILER) giving him back his martian powers.

    The only other thing I want to mention is the two things that I loved the most. #1 is the banter between Carter Hall and Ollie because it is just like the comics and I love that. #2 is the mention near the very end of the episode that Waller is creating the Suicide Squad and I hope that means they will get an episode of two this season.

    Now like everyone else I'm saying I hope the CW looks and this and says hey we should keep them for one more season at least. But if that is the case I'm pleading with Geoff Johns to come back and write like half the season lol. Or at least the premiere and finales. Geoff thanks for an amazing episode and an homage to the JSA.


    SIDENOTE:
    Waller said there was an APOKOLIPS coming (I spell it this way hoping that it has something to do with Darkseid). However it is more likely talking about the Kandorians since that seems to be the big story this season. Darkseid would be really nice though. Ok so Geoff next time: JSA + Justice League + Darkseid = AMAZING TV worthy of the big screen. Think about that :)!
  • What an episode!

    10
    Well, what can I say. I started to get used and enjoy Smallville only after Season 6. I thought the earlier season lacked growth and the writers decided to move in a direction of absolute growth, the series starting earning kudos. This episode was quite key in the evolution of the stories and mythology of Superman canon. The JSA characters were fantastic. Initially I was irritated by Hawkgirl as I thought "yet another poor girl with chip on shoulder" but in the end she was definitely a good character portrayed well by the actor. Her description of how the JSA was like a family hit Chloe on the head like a hammer which tied in nicely with the end. Michael Shanks has been a favourite since my Stargate watching days (which sometimes I do) and his appearances on 24 and Eureka where he was able to spread beyond his very nerdy persona. I was a bit taken aback by his speech pattern but I realized perhaps he has to modulate suppressed anger which was not up the mark but worked on other levels. All in all a SOLID episode.
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