Season 10 Episode 18


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Apr 22, 2011 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
282 votes

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Episode Summary

While Lois advises Clark on how to maintain a low profile, a new hero, Booster Gold, travels from the future to present-day Metropolis to become a media darling as a superhero. However, one of his rescues goes wrong, causing an alien scarab-weapon to attach itself to a teenage boy, growing into a battlesuit and transforming him into the Blue Beetle.moreless

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  • smallville

    Love it 10
  • Didn't get to watch it

    Didn't get to watch it
  • Too little focus on Clark

    Geoff Johns has a bit of a spotty track record with me. Unlike most fans of "Smallville", I found "Legion" to be a completely muddled mess. Those of us with little to no education in the particulars of the DC Comics canon had no chance of understanding the context of most of that episode. On the other hand, "Absolute Justice" was the opposite: an epic two-part episode that managed to introduce all elements clearly and place them in a context that mattered for Clark and his allies.

    So coming into this episode, I was wondering if Booster Gold was going to be explained in the "Smallville" mythos, or something that would go right over my head. What I got was, apparently, the introduction of two well-known figures: Booster and the Blue Beetle. Even though I get the definite sense that longtime fans of DC Comics got far more out of this than I did, I must admit that it all worked well enough for "Smallville" as a whole.

    Booster Gold is essentially a tool (no pun intended) for Clark to recognize the value of a "brand" without giving in to style over substance. As Lois says about a dozen times throughout the episode, Clark needs to hurry up with establishing his alter ego, so he can move on to picking up where the Blur is going to leave off. They couldn't be more obvious in setting up the arrival of Superman in the series finale.

    That said, a lot of the episode seems to be spent on the uber-fan continuity porn, and that takes away from some of the enjoyment of the episode. It still gets to the point eventually; it's just very clear that Johns is putting a lot of time and effort into name-dropping and such. I just wanted him to get to the damn story already. In that regard, it falls right between "Legion" and "Absolute Justice". This is far more accessible than the former, but much less integrated into "Smallville" than the latter.

    The inevitable fallout, however, is that the example that Booster sets for Clark (reinforcing his heroism and his need to accelerate his image transformation) requires Clark to be out of the spotlight for most of the episode. With only a handful of episodes left, sidelining the main character is a huge error in judgment.

    Similarly, Clark's evolution into the familiar clumsy, accident-prone man we all know would have been more effective if it had started a season or two ago. Having it happen this close to his assumption of the Superman persona is just working for me. Granted, we're not going to see the aftermath of Superman's arrival play out, so credibility of this plot point is somewhat moot, but they still could have put more effort into it.moreless
  • A fun yet important story in the "Smallville" saga!

    As we enter the final 4 episodes of the series, it's understandable that the fans would expect these last episodes to focus on Clark Kent and his final steps to becoming Superman. "Booster" is Geoff John's final outing as a freelance writer for the show and it serves as the big debut for Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. Wait. What? How does an episode introducing two new characters so late in the game serve as a way to get Clark Kent closer to the Man of Steel? But believe me, it does. The main reason why "Booster" works so well is that it manages to find the balance between superhero extravaganza (i.e. last season's "Absolute Justice") and a character driven story (i.e. the 200th episode "Homecoming"). While the introductions for the characters are well done (more so Booster Gold than Blue Beetle), it's the whole plot point with Clark trying to "unmake" Clark Kent in order to be ready to show the world the Blur's face that makes the episode for me. Watching Clark Kent grow over the past 10 years has been a treat to watch, and "Booster" is a clear indication of how far he has come since the pilot. He hasn't worn the glasses since "Masquerade" and although it was a little frustrating to see no development with that storyline for the past 3 episodes, this certainly makes up for it. It's hilarious to watch Clark unleash his inner geek by purposely bumping into me, slouching his shoulders, and mumbling as he adjusts his glasses. It's a remarkable transformation and it's one I'm glad the writers didn't wait for the finale to do. As for the heroic debuts, Eric Martsolf is pure gold (pun intended) as the narcissistic Booster Gold. Even when he comes off as a total jerk, he's still able to come off as completely likeable and that's not easy to pull off. He has a little journey of his own in the episode and by the end, his performance leaves you wanting more (spin-off anyone?). Jaden Brandt Bartlett also guest stars as Blue Beetle and unfortunately, his performance left me...cringing. Now I'm not a professional actor and I'm in no condition to judge but I think they could have found someone with more acting chops for the role. Luckily, it wasn't that big of a role in this story as the focus was kept more on Booster.

    Overall, "Booster' is a fun episode of Smallville that merits numerous repeat viewings. There's a lot to love and I'm glad the writers were once again able to prove me wrong when it came to a episode with a questionable concept. Bonus points for Tom Welling's amazing job as a director (the last episode he will be directing for the show) and the incredibly goosebump-worthy phone booth scene. -9/10moreless
  • As Good As (Booster) Gold!

    Booster-While Lois advises Clark on how to maintain a low profile, a new hero, Booster Gold, travels from the future to present-day Metropolis to become a media darling as a superhero. However, one of his rescues goes wrong, causing an alien scarab-weapon to attach itself to a teenage boy, growing into a battlesuit and transforming him into the Blue Beetle.

    Geoff Johns is arguably the best writer to grace Smallville the past 3 years! Starting with Season 8's spectacular "Legion" and then last season's 2 part epic "Absolute Justice", when it comes to introducting DC characters to the Smallville unvierse, no one has done it better than Geoff!! Johns perfectly combined the DC's comic book spectacles with Smallville's surrealistic approach towards superheroes in a tight, delicious package and brought many comci book fans who have never watched Smallville to view his episodes just because he penned them. Both the Legion of Superheroes and The Justice Society were remarkable guest heroes who not only worked well with Smallville's own mythology but contributed pieces to the overall puzzle that would eventually lead Clark to becoming Superman. While "Booster" is the weakest of Johns' 3 episode run (4 considering "AJ" were two seperate episodes put togetehr) on the series, it's still everything you would expect from an episode written by him: A heartfelt comic book inspired story filled with DC references, some fine action set pieces, some genuine character development and some awesome Superman mythology teasing!

    I have to say one thing Smallville does right is casting and Eric Martsolf (yet another "Passions" alumi guest starring on the series) could have been more perfect as Booster Gold! He completely captures the overly cocky, attention seeking, appropriately cheesy 25th Century aspiring hero. His interaction with all the characters couldn't have been more spot on. His egotisical rivarly with Clark, his assertive drive for fame when talking to Lois about writting his story, even his constant snubbing of Cat's affections. Seapking of Cat, this was probabaly the best use of her character yet! What she represented as well as most of Booster's suddened, overwhelming fan base was how quickly "public" heros can change the way were look at heroes in general. It has been touched upon all season the importance of heroes coming out into the light and revealing themselves into the world, especially Clark for obcious reasons. While many will see "Booster" as a stand alone episode, it's really an episode that fits into the season's narrative quit nicely despite being released so late in the game.

    Another highlight is watching Clark continuing to develope his mild mannered persona. Sure, it's beyond ridiculous for people at the Daily Planet to even be slightly fooled by Clark's disguise given they;ve seen his face for two years now, but hey, this is classic Clark Kent stuff and I loved every minute of it. The best scene by far was Clark trying to get a comment out of Ted Kord (yes, the original Bue Beetle in a nice cameo) at Kord Industries. Talk about priceless. Tom certainly has the Clark Kent persona perfectly because I couldn't stop laughing through the whole scene. It's uncannny how identical his portrayal is to the late Christopher Reeves' Clark Kent. Not only did we get to see some classic Clark Kent scenes but some awesome Supermanly scenes as well. The phonebooth quick change (do they ever exist anymore is the question?) was a nice touch but the real defining moment for Clark came when he and Booster had their discussion about superheroes and Clark's destiny. Both man made a good agrument about their views on what the world needs in it's greatest hero but it's Clark who ultimately inspires Booster and whose words Booster uses to save the day. The last scene between the two was also refreshing with the depth in the acting especially from Eric and Booster's backstory with his footabll career as well as his sister. It's only human glimpse we get to see of Booster and it's down surprisingly well.

    Lois' contribution to the story was as good as it could be with her pulling all the stops to make sure the world doesn't forget about the "Real" Man of Steel as her promotional banner for the Blur declares. The best moment for her and Clark comes at the end of the episode where Clark discusses the flaws that Clark's new persona will have on Lois' reputation. It's heartwarming scene (shirt rip teases and all) and Lois' answer couldn't be more....Lois!

    Like I said, while the episode is solid, there are some weak points that take away from the episode and elements that could have been developed on to make this as amazing as Johns' previous episode. For one, the episode a bit jam packed, too much story for one episode is never a good thing. While Johns' manages to tell a cohesive story regardless, some story elements suffer because of the short running time. Jamie Reyes aka Blue Beetle also makes his intro in this episode and it's rather weak. The character is one note and the actor Jaren Brandt Bartlett doesn't have much to work with besides playing a loser. The Blue Beetle outfit was as good as this series was goona get portraying it, but seems everything with Blue Beetle was simply a plot device to advance Booster's story instead of establishing another well known DC superhero. But I do have to admit, the concluding fight was pretty impressive for Smallville's budget. Maybe it was Tom's direction or the writers finally putting some of that money to good use, but it was great seeing soem genuine tension of the show. Anyway, "Booster" was a fine entry in the final run of episodes for Smallville and good farwell episode for Geoff Johns. Oh and Skids was great, almost forgot about him! Even if we didn't actually get to see him in person!moreless
Eric Martsolf

Eric Martsolf

Booster Gold

Guest Star

Jaren Brandt Bartlett

Jaren Brandt Bartlett

Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle

Guest Star

Sebastian Spence

Sebastian Spence

Ted Kord

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When the Blur finishes dressing in the telephone booth, he zips his leather jacket up to his neck (collar of his t-shirt) and several inches above the House of El/Superman logo.  Yet, once he leaves the booth, the jacket zipper is now at least nine inches lower and almost to the bottom of the logo.

    • The SUV that almost hits Jaime has Metropolis on its license plate, but no state name.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Skeets: May I offer a piece of advice from your former career, sir?
      Booster Gold: Football?
      Skeets: Go big, or go home.

    • Lois: So just, I don't know, slope your shoulders a little bit, speak a little softer, and stop being so, so...
      Clark: What?
      Lois: Great.

    • Booster Gold: I'm sure you're all wondering who I am. Well, how about the 411? I'm pure gold, ladies and gentlemen. I am Booster Gold, the greatest hero you've never heard of--'til now!

    • Cat: I saw him first.
      Lois: Who?
      Cat: Who else? Booster Gold. I know you're competitive, Lois, but you can't just sweep in and take my story. You didn't want anything to do with him before I did.
      Lois: I don't want to have anything to do with him--or you.

    • Skeets: Will you be thanking anyone, sir?
      Booster Gold: Me. And maybe my mom. People love that sentimental stuff. Scores pretty big with the ladies, too.

    • Booster Gold: Who wants to be the star of the show? (all the Booster Girls raise their hands) Just kidding, I'm the star of the show.

    • Clark: Look, we need to get together and find Kord's missing weapon. It's dangerous
      Booster Gold: Danger... is my middle name. So is fame, fortune, and front page, Clark.

    • Clark: The suit doesn't make the hero. A hero's made in the moment by the choices that he makes and the reasons that he makes them. A hero brings out the best in people.

    • Booster Gold: Well, you know what? I got some advice for you, too.
      Clark: What's that?
      Booster Gold: "The Blur." No. No, no, no. It sounds like a roller coaster or something. You need something strong. You need something simple. Something that actually starts with that "S" you wear. Something... super. You got to brand it, baby. You know?
      Clark: I'll start brainstorming.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Cassidy Freeman and Justin Hartley are credited but don't appear.

    • Booster Gold

      Booster Gold first appeared in Booster Gold #1 (February 1986) and was created by Dan Jurgens. Booster is Michael Jon Carter, an athlete of the 25th century who got caught in an illegal gambling scam. He went to work at the Space Museum and stole some super-science gadgets and a reprogrammed security robot (Skeets) and took a time machine back to the 20th century, the Age of Super-Heroes. He then made a name for himself as a superhero, "Booster Gold," and promoted and marketed himself extensively to make lots of money. He eventually became an actual hero of sorts, and joined the Justice League. Since then he has lost his original weaponry, gained a replacement, left the League and formed his own group, the Conglomerate. In the aftermath of Infinite Crisis he got a new comic book where he travels the timestream.

    • Blue Beetle

      Jaime Reyes is the third hero to bear the name "Blue Beetle." He first appeared in Infinite Crisis when he found the scarab belonging to the Golden Age Blue Beetle. The scarab merged with Jaime and gave him the power to grow bio-organic power armor. The scarab is part of a hive mind and was designed to corrupt its wielder to aid its alien master in infiltrating and conquering planets. However, Jaime's conscience let him overcome its influence and it now works to help Jaime in his heroic deeds.

    • Silver Age Blue Beetle
      The Silver Age/Charlton Blue Beetle first appeared in Captain Atom #63 (Nov. 1966) under Charlton Comics, and was created by Steve Ditko. A student of the Golden Age Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett, who gets a namecheck here), Ted Kord had no superhuman powers but was a skilled inventor, martial artist, and acrobat. He created the Beetle, a state-of-the-art airship, and a BB gun capable of firing concussive air blasts and a blind light. DC Comics eventually purchased the Charlton line and introduced Blue Beetle and others in Crisis on Infinite Earths. He subsequently had his own short-lived series and was a member of Justice League International. He apparently met his death in Countdown to Final Crisis (March 2005). However, as of the time this episode premiered, subsequent alterations to the time stream may have resulted in an alternate timeline where he still lives.

    • International Airdates:
      UK: October 4, 2011 on E4/E4 HD
      Norway: December 3, 2011 on Max
      Turkey: January 22, 2012 on CNBC-e


    • Lois: Tell him you're mad as hell and you're not going to take it anymore.
      Referencing the 1976 movie Network. The movie features a famous speech given by Howard Beale, a news anchor who is being retired due to low ratings, but is kept on when his on-screen rants bring in the ratings. Beale tells his viewers that they should realize that they have had enough and should go to the window and shout "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" The quote was #19 on AFI's Top 100 Movie Quotes.

    • Lois: No, not until we've reversed Pygmalian the stud into a blunder of beige.
      Referencing the play of the same name by George Bernard Shaw, where phonetics professor Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can transform a flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, into a well-spoken woman who he can pass off as a duchess. The play has been adapted a number of times, most famously as the musical My Fair Lady.