TV Review: SMALLVILLE - SEASON NINE - 'Absolute Justice' - iFMagazine.com Send to a friend
© 2010 CW Justin Hartley as Green Arrow and Michael Shanks as Hawkman in SMALLVILLE "Absolute Justice"


TV Review: SMALLVILLE - SEASON NINE - 'Absolute Justice'

A two hour television event that looks to breath new life into the story of Superman

Grade: B+
Stars: Tom Welling, Justin Hartley, Allison Mack, Erica Durance.
Writer(s): Geoff Johns
Director: Tom Welling
Release Date: February 5, 2010
Rating: NR

By CARLOS DELGADO, Associate Editor
Published 2/6/2010

Fans will say this was a great episode. They will say this laid down the foundation for what may be the next incarnation of SMALLVILLE. “Absolute Justice” sowed the roots for the Justice League, that we will finally see Superman, and not the Red/Blue Blur. Ground breaking, historic, yada yada yada, but did it really have to be two hours long?


For those of you not familiar with my past rants about SMALLVILLE, my complaining about the length is a good thing. Why is that? Because if losing my Friday night is my biggest gripe, then that means I don’t really have a gripe with the episode/movie premiere event or whatever the CW hyped it up to be. While I do have a few issues with the episode (I always do), I do give credit where credit is due.

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“Absolute Justice” was ambitious. A two hour defibrillation trying to restore a pulse to a show that had been relegated to the Friday night death slot. It takes guts to air something that could so easily make or break a season. Two hours of garbage, the show is done. Two hours of comic book bliss, well, let’s just say contracts might be written up that very night to secure the next phase of the Man of Steel’s odyssey. Yes, it was that big.


So what’s the verdict? Did “Absolute Justice” work? Well, yes and no, depending on how you look at it.


Let’s start with what “Absolute Justice” hoped to accomplish. There are references to forming a new coalition of super heroes, the famed Justice League. There’s the affirmation of Clark’s (Tom Welling), Lois’ (Erica Durance), Oliver’s (Justin Hartley), and even Chloe’s (Allison Mack) destiny as agents of good. All of these serve one purpose: to take SMALLVILLE out of, well, Smallville and into the big leagues.


It has become obvious to even the most casual of fans that the story of SMALLVILLE has run its course. SMALLVILLE was a typical coming of age story with a superhero twist.  It has been painfully clear, however, that Clark’s days in Smallville are over. Clark works at the Daily Planet now, and has made protecting humanity a full time gig. In short, Clark has grown up.


“Absolute Justice” may very well be the jumping off point that allows Clark to be Superman. In that respect, the episode was a success.


Now, as a stand alone episode, “Absolute Justice” was good, but not great.


Chloe is approached by a man, Sylvester Pemberton (Roger Haskett), who knows all about Watchtower: its mission, its members, and its location. But their confrontation is cut short when they are suddenly attacked by Icicle (Wesley MacInnes), killing Sylvester. As they story progresses, we learn of a group, the Justice Society of America, that Sylvester was a member of. Think of them as a precursor to the Justice League. The JSA is responsible for placing Icicle’s father in a coma. Icicle is now seeking revenge on the group, killing them off one by one. The JSA and Watchtower must now team up to stop Icicle.


For a two hour event, the premise was rather simple. I get we’re not talking about a full blown motion picture here, but it seems that the length allotted to this episode should have warranted a more involved storyline. One could argue, though, that the real story was the formation of the Justice League, and not about stopping Icicle, and perhaps they are right.


That would be a good thing, because Icicle was a pretty weak antagonist. This virtually unstoppable maniac was essentially to a delusional teenage boy. And when I say unstoppable, I mean it. It took the combined efforts of the Watchtower gang and the JSA just to incapacitate him.  It’s a plot point that never sat quite right with me. You’re trying to tell me that Clark, who possesses superhuman strength and is virtually invulnerable, can’t handle a kid whose special ability is shooting ice? I don’t buy it.


No matter. Like I said, “Absolute Justice” wasn’t about telling a story, it was about setting up the next phase. Should SMALLVILLE morph into a completely new beast next season, with Clark finally donning the cape and the Justice League running full form, fans can look back at this episode as the catalyst. And for that by itself, “Absolute Justice” is a success.


Reader Comments

AC from Canada sez....
That really wasn't a review, you know. It was a recap with a couple of gripes attached.
2/6/2010 9:31:27 PM

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