Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season

Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season
With the departure of series creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, along with resident baddie Lex Luthor, and the increasingly vengeful Lana Lang, season eight of Smallville seemed like a sure-fire failure. Fortunately, rather than dwelling on these losses and trying to mask the gaps, those involved capitalized on these changes, moving Clark (Tom Welling) to Metropolis and finally injecting him with the journalism bug at the Daily Planet, alongside Lois Lane (Erica Durance). While a romance is hinted at, this season focuses more on Clark's final transformation into Superman, as Doomsday approaches (only to show up for five minutes, take a couple of punches and blow up). Subplots involve Chloe (Allison Mack) developing an alarming acuity for pattern recognition and data analysis, which may or may not have something to do with Brainiac, as her marriage to Jimmy Olsen (Aaron Ashmore) fizzles. To make matters worse, Chloe gets all horned up over a paramedic and potential serial killer (Sam Witwer, yet another in the Smallville series of wooden gym bunnies better at taking his shirt off than expressing human emotion or complexity), endangering herself and those around her. Meanwhile, Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) just wants to kill things, along with other members of the Justice League, as Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) picks up slack where Lex left off, manipulating everyone around her in the quest to unveil "the passenger." Typical plot-holes plague the series as usual, with people leaving time-travelling jewellery unattended and breaking into the Luthor mansion repeatedly without any sort of difficulty but overall, the series gravitates to darker places with increased character complexity. The arrival of Zod in season nine should spice things up for the gang, leaving one to wonder how much physical violence and emotional abuse these upward young professionals can take before they snap. Included with the seven-disc DVD box set are two special features on the creation of Doomsday and Allison's Mack's experience directing the Lana Lang female power episode. Inevitably, both supplements are panegyric in nature, praising Ali Mack's hard work and the creature design team, but provide some insights on what goes on behind the camera. Many deleted scenes are peppered throughout the season as well, mostly to the tune of unnecessary motivational speeches, along with two commentary tracks featuring various producers and Cassidy Freeman on two episodes. (Warner)