Smallville: The Complete Ninth Season

Smallville: The Complete Ninth Season
In a throwaway episode about halfway through the ninth season of the CW's long-running soap opera Smallville, Clark (Tom Welling) and Lois (Erica Durance) go away to a bed & breakfast for a romantic weekend. Running into secret lovers Chloe (Allison Mack) and Oliver (Justin Hartley), Clark is confronted with the question of sexual compatibility with a human, which is valid seeing that there were entire season arcs earlier in the series about his inability to bang Lana Lang for fear of blowing a super load through her back. He responds by saying that Jor-El gave him some tips on restraint, which struck me as amusing. Considering that Jor-El is such a humourless and self-righteous tool, and Clark is the biggest rube on the planet, that I can't imagine how that conversation would unfold. I just picture the Fortress of Solitude imploding on itself the moment Clark mentioned a Kryptonian uterus or banging a human, which I'm sure Jor-El would perceive as akin to bestiality. And while this season deals with the man of steel's final Smallville transition into Superman, receiving the outfit towards the end and confronting his destiny when Zod (Callum Blue) threatens mankind, I have to wonder why Clark is always tooling around with an ancient, tiny ghetto tractor that wouldn't be of any use on a farm of his size. What is he doing with his farm and why doesn't he have any animals or crops? Of course, questions of a pragmatic nature aren't on the agenda so much as finding the Book of Rao and unveiling the identity of the mysterious Red Queen. The presumption is that the nefarious Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) is behind the Checkmate enterprise, holding key information about Clark, Zod and the Kandorians, but she does a surprisingly good job of hiding it, if this is true. This season of Smallville actually constructs a decent mythology surrounding Clark's identity and loyalties, providing some solid complexities, with a little Neo-Nazi subtext thrown in to boot. It's just unfortunate that it builds up to a relatively uneventful climax, interrupted by lame side episodes about Blue Kryptonite, haunted inns and a Lois possession. That said, double-episode "Justice Society of America," with Stargirl, Hawkman and Dr. Fate, has some impressive visuals for television and works as sort of a mid-season T.V. movie diversion. Included with the Blu-Ray set are two commentary tracks and a dissection of said Justice Society episode. There is also an extended supplement on the character of Zod, with interviews from Superman II star Terence Stamp and director Richard Donner. (Warner)