'Smallville' Kneels Before Zod

SmallvilleIt's hard to get a feel for a season of Smallville based on its premiere. Usually, with a summer to plan, the show almost always starts off strong. There's a liberal dipping into the special effects budget, some big drama setting up this year's conflict, etc.

Then, suddenly, it's three weeks later and we're enduring a filler episode about Lana joining a vampire sorority.

Yet, this season things already seem a bit off.

Sure, the premiere had some nice effects: I like the way the Phantom Zone resembled "St. Elsewhere's" take on Purgatory, but the rock Clark broke with his body when Lex/Zod was beating him looked as styrofoam as they come.

But there was a definite break of tone between the beginning end-of-Earth-as-we-know-it portion and the secondary putting-things-back-together segment. This was made especially awkward with most of the main characters spending so much time apart, except for a couple of cursory scenes here and there.

I also find myself wanting them to pull a Marissa Cooper with Lana and kill her off. Really, her character has served every possible dramatic purpose and should just go away. At this point we have more use for Chloe than Lana. At least Chloe was our gateway for bringing Jimmy Olsen into the mix.

And we're all for Jimmy Olsen. Plus, it's extra fun for comics fans that he's played by Aaron Ashmore, brother of Shawn Ashmore, Bobby Drake (aka Iceman) in the X-Men movies.

Still, the arrivial of Jimmy on the scene was a bit anticlimactic, considering last season we got Professor Milton Fine/Brainiac, one of Superman's bigger villians.

Maybe things will pick up when Oliver Queen/Green Arrow shows up in a couple of weeks.