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Smallville - The Complete Season 8 [DVD] 
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All 22 episodes from the eighth season of the series focusing on Superman's early years. This season features Clark (Tom Welling) taking up his post at the Daily Planet working alongside Lois Lane (Erica Durance), Metropolis getting its first glimpse of a mysterious hero who dresses in red and blue, Chloe and Jimmy (Allison Mack and Aaron Ashmore)'s relationship being put to the test, and new characters Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) and Davis Bloome (Sam Witwer) entering Clark's life with serious implications. Episodes comprise: 'Odyssey', 'Plastique', 'Toxic', 'Instinct', 'Committed', 'Prey', 'Identity', 'Bloodline', 'Abyss', 'Bride', 'Legion', 'Bulletproof', 'Power', 'Requiem', 'Infamous', 'Turbulence', 'Hex', 'Eternal', 'Stiletto', 'Beast', 'Injustice' and 'Doomsday'.
There’s a new reporter at the Daily Planet: Clark Kent, who shares a workspace with Lois Lane. There’s a new hero in Metropolis, too. No one knows who he is. But Jimmy Olsen was on the scene of one of the do-gooder’s exploits, and he snapped a blurred photo of the hero in superspeed action – a hero everyone now calls the Red-Blue Blur. Red-jacketed, blue-shirted Clark Kent draws closer to his Superman destiny in the exciting 22-episode, 6-disc Season 8 of Smallville. Another Kryptonian destiny also takes shape. Davis Bloome begins to realize he is Doomsday. His mission on Earth: kill Clark Kent. So many new events (will Jimmy and Chloe’s marriage last?), so many new faces (Tess Mercer, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy among them!), so many state-of-the-art effects – so don’t miss a single thrill-packed moment!
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Such doubts are quickly dispelled, viewers again destined for highly imaginative plots and stunning special effects. In fact, there is still a way to go, Superman as we know him yet to emerge - Clark remains without specs and knows not how to fly. Instead, identified simply as "The Red-Blue Blur" when doing his good deeds, Clark increasingly fears detection and realizes the need for two distinct identities....
As Chloe, Allison Mack has a busy season - first of all possessed by Brainiac, then falling for a killing machine (newly wedded husband Jimmy not exactly pleased). Aaron Ashmore makes an appealing Jimmy, deserving far better than what is in store. Cassidy Freeman proves an enigmatic, ruthless Tess, she looking after the absent Lex's interests. Erica Durance is more acceptable now the focus is more on her as a reporter. In the past she was too often an irritant. Hopefully we have at last seen the end of the Clark-Lana saga, it responsible for the series' more mushy aspects. The character of Davis Bloome intrigues, he forever agonizing over his uncontrollable homicidal urges - cue for a Beauty and the Beast scenario.
Inevitably not everything pleases. It hardly helps, for example, to have four actresses with shoulderlength black hair - at times confusing when so many scenes are on the dark side. The farm sequences look good with all those warm colours but prompt speculation about who tends the livestock (etc.) when Clark can be away for months at a time. The Daily Planet offices also rarely appear a hub of activity. Why, too, is practically everybody in Metropolis seemingly aged around thirty or under? Only in one scene are there people noticably older and, within seconds, they are all blown up. Political Correctness is occasionally tedious - prolonged agonizing over whether one is justified killing a mass murderer. (I am on Green Arrow's side there - good to see him, by the way.)
Such reservations aside, at its best the series exhilarates - much of the credit due to Tom Welling who literally towers over all. He continues to shine as Clark, the super hero movingly mindful of his responsibilities and struggling to do what is right. In short, the series remains full of steam and highly inventive. (Note, for instance, those visitors from the 31st Century.) Yes hopes are confidently buoyant for a sizzling Season 9.
The usual players that we've come to know over the years including daddy Lex, Lex himself and Lana Lang have all left the building. Leaving centre stage to Clark, Lois, Chloe, Jimmy, Oliver (he's back!) and two new characters name of Tess and Davis. I thought this change of line up truly reinvigorated the show and I particularly enjoyed Tess as a villain -- seeing Ollie again was also gratifying. Justin Hartley being well deserving of a regular spot on Smallville.
The season opens as Clark joins Lois Lane at the bull pen... as with anything hilarity ensues and Clark must learn to deal with this new situation. Something which takes him a good while. This season really sees Clark acting like a hero, accepting his destiny and going a long way towards mending the damage of his horrid relationship with Lana Lang. I found myself adoring Clark again. Something I didn't think would happen -- Tom Welling certainly looked a lot happier, as opposed to bored!
There are four main threads that hold together the plot of this season. The Doomsday arc, the relationship between Lois and Clark, Tess's machinations and Clark's alter-ego: the Red Blue Blur. These arcs make up the majority of the seasons story and are generally well constructed -- the development of the Clark and Lois relationship in particular has been excellent. It's a shame Erica Durance (Lois Lane) is only contracted for 13 episodes per season, as she was greatly needed, I felt, in certain episodes. I felt her missing presence keenly during that abominable Lana arc; fortunately Erica will be in eighteen episodes in season nine, yay! The beginnings of a romance between Lois and Clark was emotional, touching and well earned since their friendship has been bubbling up for a long time now. Lois was on the money in 'Bride' when she said her feelings 'just snuck up on her'. Not many TV couples can boast such a pro-longed build up whilst still maintaining such chemistry and tension.
Season eight is a year of romance, morally grey decisions, soul searching, crossroads and huge steps towards Clark becoming Superman. Episodes like 'Beast' illustrating the darkness that could so permeate the series at this stage amidst the lighter fares. For example, Lois dons a cape to save the city in 'Stiletto' and Chloe accidentally makes a fool hardy wish in 'Hex'. It's a mixed bag tonally with plenty of ups and downs -- but season eight always comes back to the man himself: Clark and his struggle to balance his new secret identity with his reporter persona. Not to mention some darker personal struggles. One good thing about this year was I noticed a vast improvment in the episode to episode continuity -- I was pleasantly surprised by some of the things the writers actually remembered!
There were things about this season that I detested. Notably the return of the Pink Princess. I wasn't happy how her return was handled and thought it made Clark look weak and stupid (not much change there). It just serves to show how much better off Clark is without her. I was (and am) willing to overlook that particular asinine Lana plotline mainly because I never EVER have to make myself watch those episodes again. She's gone. The end. Ding dong.
The season finale was a disappointment. I enjoyed parts of it but the whole season had been gearing up to what would be this huge cataclysmic clash between Clark and the enemy but instead... it just all fell a little flat. Chloe was let off the hook too much for my liking as well. But that's a whole other rant. Although, I must give props to Tom Welling. If nothing else he has improved immensely over the years and today stands as a very fine actor in my opinion -- you could definately tell he's much happier with Clark's direction this year. He even praised the 'Committed' episode script for its writing, which is quite a huge thing since he never talks about Smallville anymore... and the fact that he signed a contract for a season nine and possible season ten (if the network wants it) when he didn't have to also says a great deal. Clark Kent can be a thankless role and I admire Tom's fortitude -- he plays off Erica Durance particularly well. Scenes like the rooftop one in 'Hex' spring to mind with their mutual comic timing!
I for one look forward to season nine. I love this show and cannot wait to see where the writers go next, I've hung on this long after all!
Highlight episodes include: Bride, Committed, Hex, Legion and Bloodline.
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