While the Vigilante Registration Act arc hasn't quite made its stamp on the series just yet, ''Patriot'' goes along way to bring it to the forefront of the season, as well as reminding us that Darkseid still looms in the background (way, way back). It's a full roster in terms of the Smallville cast this week, which adds some nice sparring and much needed momentum to the hour, and the writers continue to integrate Lois into the superhero fold by bringing her into the loop with Watchtower.
It's also a Battlestar Galactica reunion of sorts this week as Michael Hogan makes his first appearance on the show as General Slade (Deathstroke to you and me), and we have Alessandro Juliani reprising his role as Dr. Emil Hamilton. They don't share any screentime but I certainly got a frakkin' kick out of it. And by the gods, if they'd managed to nab Katee Sackhoff for a stunt role I'd probably have fallen into a geek coma.
Hogan is certainly the highlight of the episode, he commands the screen like a true general and I really, REALLY hope we get to see him in a costume similar to his comic counterpart down the line. But talk about type-casting, eh? After just one episode he's smacked with an eye-patch and his character also has an affinity for the ole whiskey, too. They practically ripped Col. Saul Tighe from BSG and plopped him into Smallville. Nowt wrong with that, I suppose. If it means more solid acting then I'm all for it.
Ya hear that, ''Squid-lips''? Ya hear that ''half-dolphin''? Solid acting. With this show I often tend to ignore the dodgy acting. I can't help it, I'm a geek. And this show is about as geeky as it gets. It may not be consistently great, but it's painfully geeky in all of the right places. But, really, no matter how much I tried with this one, I just could not get passed the horrendous acting from our fishy guest-stars this week. They're both very hot and both very naked for the majority of the episode and I still had issues with them both.
Now, before you mount that high horse of yours and call me shallow, it's a prerequisite for any CW show to have hot guest-stars. So why is it out of Supernatural, Nikita and The Vampire Diaries, this show usually gets the shortest straw when it comes to acting ability? Both Alan Ritchson (Orin) and Elena Satine (Mera) simply do not have the acting chops to convey the imperial authority required of the future king and queen of Atlantis. Like I said, I'm a geek, so I appreciate little references to Odin and the civilization down under, it certainly broadens to scope of the show even further, but it would have been nice to contract actors who have enough diversity to push their guerrilla warfare agenda with a little more panache and believability.
For all of my frustrations with this episode (there's not even one throw-away line referencing Tess' shocking and lame discovery that she's a Luthor) there are a lot of great character moments to soak up, especially towards the end of the episode where (Lu)Tess(a), Lois, Ollie and Clark all realise that there's a bigger threat afoot than the VRA: Darkseid. The writers seem to be on the right track by infusing the VRA with Darkseid's ultimate plan to destroy the world. It'll make future storylines more coherent and hopefully allow proper follow through in terms of the season's structure. I cannot tell you how annoying it is as a viewer to watch a show where striking revelations are uncovered one week only to be completely ignored the next. You would think after ten years I'd have gotten used to it -- expected it, even -- but we were told before the season started that this year would be different. Old habits...well, ya know the rest.
As for the finale... what happened there? Clark is trapped in a Kryptonite cage and then the ship explodes (with Slade on it too); we're suddenly whisked to the next scene where Clark and Orin are having a goodbye chat at the Kent barn and it ends with Slade wearing a computerized eye-patch. Rushed much?
There's too much going on here and not enough time to explore both sides of the VRA storyline. Perhaps A.C and his Mrs would have been best suited for a different episode altogether. And Slade's sinister actions towards our heroes felt awfully diluted and unnecessarily excessive. Why throw Ollie into a tank filled with water to begin with? So Mera could use her powers and help her hubbie, of course! Sigh.
If there's anything to take away from this episode...it's the preview for the next episode! It looks so bloody good! Here's hoping, cos the final season of Smallville needs another corker pronto!