Smallville

Season 3 Episode 20

Talisman

2
Aired Friday 8:00 PM May 05, 2004 on The CW
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

9.2
out of 10
Average
598 votes
  • Rights to cave artifacts are the subject of this politically manipulative and stereotyped script, with a lot of contrived violence and overacting, and trivial subplots.

    5.0
    In the caves, Lionel's explorations are interrupted by Professor Willowbrook, ostensibly a native American, along with his stereotypically-angry research assistant Jeremiah, full of resentment over others exploring what he sees as his sacred history. He snatches an artifact, smashes it and it turns into a light emitting dagger - suddenly he has superpowers, wounds Lionel, whose bozo guards summarily open fire with at least three pistols. Of course he's not affected. This setup looks like the start of a manipulative and politically correct episode, meant to fan the flames of racial hatred and feelings of injustice. Smallville never does well when written around a political issue - it usually doesn't make for a good story line or a script.

    Willowbrook visits Lex, who thinks Clark is the man of destiny. Some of the cave prophesies are coming true, and strength and speed for the young native. Jeremiah, they suspect, will not return the knife. At the hospital, Lionel is being treated for his wound from Jeremiah. When Lex arrives, Lionel tries to hide the source of his wound, but Lex already knows the rumors about Jeremiah's powers. In a dramatic turnaround from last week, Lex is conciliatory and helpful. Just when we think a major shift in characters has occurred, the writers back way off and reset major relationships back to some previous state, and this is usually confusing and unsatisfying. We have a 'B' plot about Lana's proposed trip to school in Paris, but she's having a financial problem. Chloe suggests tapping Lex for a loan, an out-of-character proposal for Chloe, given her history of mistrust of Lex. Anyone want to be indebted to him?

    Clark finds Lex in the ransacked office of Jeremiah at Central Kansas A&M, Clark saying Jeremiah was going to help him with a term paper. Clark claims ignorance of the cave incident, so Lex fills him in about the artifact's effects. So a total stranger (Lex) can wander around a crime scene and the University has no security, objection, or investigation? On the back of the blinds Clark finds a cave symbol, a bit of a plot stretch. Lionel, meanwhile, tries to talk Willbowbrook into collaborating on more research - legend says the blade will disintegrate if the wrong person touches it - the Bearer of Darkness. Clarks strolls in, Lionel strolls out. Clark shows Willowbrook the symbol - it's said to be a place where rituals took place, a slumbering place.

    Out in the woods, Jeremiah is doing a dance of sorts at the site, when Willowbrook appears with Clark. Jeremiah says he no longer exists - their warnings to him about the blade's dangers fall on deaf ears. There are so many plot developments here it's hard to swallow. Rebellious Jeremiah goes overboard with power and demonstrates his heat vision by destroying a nice Jeep Cherokee.

    Clark tells Mom and Pop that he thinks Jeremiah is going after Lionel, but Jonathan advises searching for him before he can harm Lionel. Clark suggests that superpower weakness may match his own.

    Lana finds that Lex plans to sell the Talon without informing her - Lex later says he decided to sell a poor investment, and he kept the building all this time for her. He's getting practical, and she's leaving, so why hang onto the building? He challenges her to be something better - the girl who goes to Paris. This scene has the best script in the episode - all too brief.

    Lionel visits Clark - who preaches about Lionel pillaging the caves, so Clark is again portrayed as a supporter of native rights, a position that must mirror network or producer policy. Lionel believes the knife is forged from the same metal as the octagonal key - which is missing in the cave wall - (but we know Dr. Swann has it). Lionel believes the Kiwatchee will listen to Clark - and Clark sees Lionel as the culmination of prophecy - the "friend who becomes an enemy." He tells Lionel to get out.

    Clark returns home to find Jeremiah, who accuses him of being a false prophet. Clark pulls out the meteor rock, but Jeremiah is not affected, and stabs Clark with the dagger. Of course, Jeremiah could presumably finish him off, but doesn't, and Clark staggers into the house, wounded. The folks find him - but how do they treat the wound? Not a problem - Jonathan tries to stop the bleeding, and his hand turn to light - he has conveniently acquired healing powers, and the wound closes up. Quick problem - quick resolution. Why they leave Clark laying on the floor all night is a mystery, just as much of this murky story. Somehow they know that Jeremiah now has Lionel prisoner. No logic to all this - just quick one-liners to advance the script, but making the whole story trivial. Jeremiah somehow commandeers Lionel's Lincoln limo, and if Lionel isn't killed this time, we have to wonder. Jeremiah prepares Lionel for a ritual murder on a stone in the forest - of course Clark arrives in time to halt the attack. Lex magically appears, freeing Lionel, but of course neither see the superbattle between Jeremiah and Clark, which ends in Jeremiah collapsing for no apparent reason and the knife conveniently flying through the air onto the ritual altar - as Lex and Lionel try to grasp it, it disintegrates.

    How to dispose of Jeremiah is the next plot dilemma - oh, he's in a coma in Belle Reve, according to Clark's wrapup with the folks. Clark says the prophecies indicate that either Lionel or Lex are his greatest enemy, since they both held the dagger when it disappeared. The cast struggles on with this miserable script, with Lana telling Lex she's going to Paris - no mention of how she solved her financial problem.

    The third subplot with Pete and Chloe is hardly worth mentioning, since it's all contrived tension and mushy reconciliation. Anyway, Pete's parents are divorcing, so this foretells Mr. Jones' departure from the cast in some future episode. Not a good story, just a few lines to tip off the audience.

    Lex drops by Clark's lair, about the prophecy - his new interpretation is that the saviour comes from the stars, shoot fire from his eyes, and could conquer the world. The hero of the story is the adversary - so we're supposed so see that this is Lex...I guess.

    Talisman is about the fourth demographically-based story in the series, and just as poorly executed as the others. Someone with influence in the production staff is able to manipulate the writing process to advance their political position, to the detriment of the script and any enjoyment we might get out of the story. At least we can see it coming, and adjust our expectations downward, and don't bother watching it again. Re-run rating - skip it.
  • One of the best endings to a Smallville episode yet.

    9.5
    This episode was pretty good throughout, with Clark mortally wounded by a villain who is as powerful as he is. Clark believes that his mortal enemy is Lionel Luthor, the dark one foretold by the Kawachi legends. However, by the end of the episode he has reason to believe his enemy is either Lex or Lionel. The ending shows Clark studying a glyph of himself (Naman) and his mortal enemy Zegit in eternal struggle. Suddenly Lex is in the loft, and offers his own interpretation of the legend. "Naman is a powerful visitor from the stars with the strength of ten men, who can shoot fire from his eyes. It would take a brave man to battle such a man and keep his powers in check. Clark, did you ever think that perhaps Zegit is the hero of this story?"
  • this was a good ep

    9.0
    in this ep of the show smallville a man that is kerwaitch indian finds a sacred knife in the cave and it gives him huge amounts of powers and its like he is like clark and he thinks he is the one that fell from the stars and so he goes and wants to kill lex luthor with the knife and clark must find out a way to stop him from doing that without reavealing his powers to lex or anyone eles this was a good ep i thought and it had alot of action and intense scenes that is why i gave it a 9
  • Will The Real Naman Please Stand Up?

    8.2
    Talisman-Jeremiah Holdsclaw, a young Kiwatche Indian, steals a mythic knife from the tribal caves and gets superpowers similar to Clark's. Jeremiah believes he is the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy of Naman, "the man who fell from the stars." He sets out to kill Lionel with the knife, and Clark must stop him without revealing his own secret.

    An effective episode that sees the return of the Naman mythology of the caves. The development of the mystical knife is intriguing as well as the Kryptonian powers they give Jeremiah. Nathaniel Arcand is good as Jeremy yet we never see the full of extent of Jeremiah's rampage or what he can do. But I love how the episode goes back to the prophecy of Naman and about his greatest enemy, which develops into the possibility of Lex or Lionel. It's obvious that Lex will become Clark's greatest enemy but it's nice that the writers played with the idea that it could be either father or son.

    I love the action sequences of the episode like Jeremiah using heat vision to destory Clark's truck and the fight scene between Clark and Jeremiah in the woods. I also love how Jeremiah ties up Lionel and puts kryptonian symbols all over his body as it makes for a disturbing scene. Gordon Tootoosis (Joseph Willowbrook) makes for a good mentor to Clark and serves a purpose in Clark's destiny. Also, the last scene between Clark and Lex as Lex suggests that Naman could be the enemy of the prophecy is storng forshadowing of future for the yet to be enemies. All and All, Talisman is a solid episode that pushes Clark's destiny slightly forward with hints of the future.
  • Great Episode

    10
    Lionel Luthor calls Professor Joseph Willoebrook (Gordon Tootoosis) to the Kawatche caves to show a recently found ancient object. Professor Willoebrook brings his assistant Jeremiah Holdsclaw (Nathaniel Arcand), who takes the relic from the hands of Lionel. It transforms in a knife and makes Jeremiah as powerful as Clark. He runs away from Lionel's security men with the mythic knife. Professor Willoebrook insists that Clark Kent is Namam, the man who fell from the stars, and in accordance with the Indian prophecy, that knife belongs to him and could be destroyed only by his greatest enemy. Meanwhile, Lana Lang decides to move to Paris.
  • Great episode...

    10
    This episode goes back to the Kawatchi caves and some student who is of kawatchi origin Takes this knife and then he all of a sudden has all the powers clark has. believing that he is the one in a prophcy not clark he sets out to kill his enemy who he thinks is Lional Luthor. The legend says that if the enemy touches the knife then it will disinigrate. at the end when clark defeats the student the knife is stuck in the ground and Lex and lional go over to it and they both touch it at the same time and it dissapears. I really like it at the end of the episode when clark says to his mom and dad what if lional isn't the one in the prophacy what if it's lex. Well it was something like that. Later...
  • Great episode.

    10
    A young Native American Indian man steals an ancient knife from a cave and acquires Kryptonian like superpowers. He sets out to kill Lionel with the knife. Clark Kent comes to Lionel's aid, but he must do it without revealing his secret. This episode gets Clark's secret in trouble again. This is an exciting plotline, Clark deals with a person possessing superpowers that can match his own. It's a really exciting episode, there is an ample amount of action and adventure in it. Lex and Lionel are a very big part of the story, most of the characters have a considerable amount of screen time. Great episode.
  • An ancient “star blade” found in the Kawatche Cave gives absolute power to it’s possessor. But it also bring to light a prophecy about who is the archenemy of Clark Kent.

    8.0
    Lionel has just found what he’s been looking for and it a knife. It’s cool to see the writers go back to the roots of the caves. Oh, Lex really does love Lana. The thing I never got is if I was going to be ridding in a limousine why not take the bigger seats? Jor-el wasn’t going to allow Clark to die he needs him Mr and Mrs. Kent. Foreshadowing in Clark waiting up to have a red blanket around him.

    Good quote:
    Clark: “Who do you think I'll become?’
    Jonathan: “ I don't know. You can be the world's greatest hero, or its most mild-mannered citizen.”
  • Great!

    9.9
    This episode is really cool, is really great, finally some really action, a man named Jeremiah gets finally the same ablities as Clark when he gets a powerful sword that gives him super powers, Clark tries everything to stop him but is really cool how they fight and everything and how was Jonathan able to save Clark and how does Clark manages to defeat Jeremiah and also how did Clark finds out that one of his greatest enemies will be Lex or Lionel. Really cool!
  • John Schneider directs the last episode written by Kenneth Biller.

    9.2
    Kenneth Biller was one of my favorite writers of this series. He was involved in many of Season 2's best episodes (Lineage, Insurgence, and Calling) and was also the writer and director of the masterpiece "Shattered" from Season 3.

    His last effort was a worthy conclusion to his work on the series, with a particularly thought-provoking and clever storyline. The story revolves around one of the legends of the caves where a mystical sword, if in the right hands, would be the weapon and shield of the heroic warrior whereas, if in the wrong hands, would disintegrate.

    Unfortunately, the sword is obtained by a young man who is obsessed with protecting his culture and with his quest for power and self-promotion. The sword yields all of the same powers as those Clark has, which makes him a formidable foe to Clark. Kryptonite proves to be ineffective on the young man, so it takes a battle of will to overpower him. As the episode progresses, they meet for one final battle, and the sword is projected away from the young man -- appearing in front of Lex and Lionel (who are involved in the hunt given their corporate power over the caves and their obsession with the stories they hold). As both reach for the sword, it disintegrates as foretold in the Native American fables. Clark witnesses the event but does not know which one touched the sword first.

    So now Clark has zeroed in on his future enemy -- down to the two Luthors. Unfortunately and inevitably, it will be his boyhood friend Lex. As foreshadowed by the wonderfully chilling last scene, where Lex gives Clark a different interpretation of the mythology. Perhaps the real hero is Sageeth (Ziget)? His interpretation is certainly intelligent and (of course) disturbingly persuasive -- but ultimately flawed and telling. Seems about right for the future Lex Luthor.

    In terms of presentation, John Schneider does a commendable job here in his directorial debut on the series (Although far from his directorial debut period -- he directed several Dukes of Hazzard episodes). In fact, his work seems above average for the series -- which is certainly not surprising since he had directing experience beforehand.

    I also was impressed with some of the acting in the episode -- namely Rosenbaum and Glover -- who continue to impress more and more with each passing episode. Glover was especially convincing here as both obsessed and villainous. He's just terrific on this show.

    Finally, with regard to the Chloe/Pete storyline -- this would ultimately begin Pete's departure from the show. Although this seems a bit rushed and "out of nowhere" -- it also could be seen as inevitable. After all, the pressures of knowing Clark's secret (which would be exploited in the following episode) have certainly worn and torn on young Pete. And given the family trouble that Pete discloses to Chloe -- all of this may seem like too much. Yes, it might be a bit rushed -- but it certainly also seems reasonable.

    Overall, "Talisman" was a worthy effort and an effective foreshadow of the inevitable legendary tale to follow.
  • Intersting....

    10
    When a Kiwatche Indian (guest star Nathaniel Arcand, “The Lone Ranger”) steals a mythic knife from the caves, he is bestowed with superpowers similar to Clark’s (Tom Welling), causing the young man to believe he is the legendary Naman, “the man who fell from the stars.” Clark learns the Kiwatche legend foretold of a knife that could kill Naman and sets out to reclaim it before the young Indian can use it on Lionel (John Glover). Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack, Sam Jones III, Annette O’Toole and John Schneider also star. John Schneider directed the episode written by Ken Biller

    It seems that Lex is getting closer to his father for some reason and closer to his destiny to be Superman's biggest enemy. The end of the episode gave us a brilliant glimpse of what may go on in the mind of Lex Luthor while he attacks Superman in the future. Lex tells Clark his version of the Indian prophecy where the villain who attacks the man with the strength of 10 may in his opinion be the brave one. That he may be the one who keeps him in check and from taking over the world. So maybe Lex thinks he's doing good even when he turns evil. Which how many bad guys would ever admit to themselves that they are the bad guys. Everybody thinks their basically good regardless how the rest of the world views them, thanks to a little emotion called pride.
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