Before I begin with the good (and there are many instances), I must voice, once again, how a major story development is handled with such carelessness by this show. Clark's initiation into the world of real journalism, just like Miss Lane's introduction, is sloppy at best, and totally unbelievable. The show has been running for eight years and has had plenty of time to allow Clark natural progression to this stage in his life. What should feel like an accomplishment for him, feels cheap and rushed. Now, I understand the writers are trying to place him where's he's meant to be in order to stay true to the mythos, but if you're going execute it so hamfistedly, why bother?
Having said all of that, I'm enjoying the new Metropolis locations and general feel to the show. How it got to this place may have been wobbly, but there's a certain level of maturity now to the entire production -- highschool is most certainly over! The production design for the blast looked terrific and it was refreshing to have a relatively CGI-free episode for once. Hopefully we'll see disasters of a larger scale as the season progresses.
The introduction of Davis Bloome is handled particularly well. Sam Witwer, known for his role in BSG and his stint in Dark Angel, strikes immediate chemistry with the rest of the cast. So much so it looks like Jimmy might have to look for a new gal, as Allison and Sam really do a great job with the few flirtatious scenes they have. Tess still hasn't really clicked with me yet, but it looks like the next episode will rectify that.
Plastique, unfortunately, is the weakest link here. She's played with sass, sure, but her story rarely convinces. It managed to pique my interest towards the end, with the possibility of a band of villains in the making, thus adding a bit of intrigue to what Tess is up to, but it never cements her intentions. Where Heroes is churning out revelation after revelation, Smallville seems content on spoon feeding, even after all of these years.
Erica looks absolutely stunning in her new get-up, and Tom seems to be enjoying a less angsty Clark - they both dazzle in their roles. I just wish they would have gotten to this point more fluidly, instead of having both characters achieve their goals because they happened to have known someone who just landed them the job.