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Smallville “Shimmer” Review (S1E10)


In keeping with the theme of the episode itself, the villain of this week’s Smallville was about as forgettable as they come. Nothing against the invisible Jeff Palmer and his attempts to do right by his sister, but there’s no denying that the central focus of “Shimmer” had far more to do with Clark and Lex’s romantic lives than it did with the show’s latest meteor-powered baddie.

There was at least an attempt to play up the mystery of who was actually behind the crimes this week. Both Jeff and his sister Amy were likely candidates at first, though the show’s overemphasis on showcasing Amy’s obsession with Lex made it clear she was the red herring.

Plus, this episode gave us a different sort of meteor freak, one that actively experimented with the Kryptonite to discover its unique power instead of just being accidentally effected. It’s the sort of plotline that could easily become more common once Lex realizes what the meteor rocks can do. Beyond that, there’s really not much to say about Jeff, who provides a threat at the climax and does little else.

As mentioned before, the real focus of this episode was on the ongoing romantic tension between Clark and Lana, which moved forward in a big way. For the first time, it’s abundantly clear that Lana definitely harbors the same sort of feelings for Clark that he does for her, and Whitney’s distance has her legitimately considering a relationship with him. It’s everything Clark has wanted since the pilot, but as Clark learns, Whitney has been steering clear of Lana in a misguided effort to spare her from his own problems.

Clark is of course the man destined to be called the big, blue boy scout, so of course he chooses to help Whitney open up to Lana instead of telling her how much he wants to be with her; we’d expect no less from the guy, nor should we. However, it’s still a great arc because it makes clear that, as soon as Whitney and Lana’s relationship hits the rocks for real, there’s a chance she and Clark could end up together. This episode benefits from the natural chemistry between Tom Welling and Kristin Kreuk, and this is the first time the show makes an argument for the two as a couple beyond just what’s expected from a show like this.

Lex, meanwhile, continued his relationship with Victoria, much to the chagrin of his father. We didn’t get much forward momentum on this storyline, though Amy’s snooping revealed that Victoria may not be as committed to Lex’s plan to betray their fathers as he would hope. That said, this is Lex, and he makes clear to Clark that he’s thinking far more with his brain than his heart in regards to this relationship. Plus, getting Project Cadmus namedropped has me excited to see where this storyline is going.

Random Asides

Pete Watch: How would Clark know it was time to hit the showers if not for Pete?

– In fairness to Pete, a good number of characters were sidelined this week, with only brief appearances from Chloe, Jonathan, and Martha.

– As much as I enjoyed the Clark/Lana angle, the show is still struggling to make Whitney a compelling character. The sick dad is a good start, but he really needs a stronger focus episode.

Final Score: 6.5 out of 10

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