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TV Fanatic Mid-Season Report Card: Smallville

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With our favorite prime time shows on hiatus, TV Fanatic is taking a look back at some buzzed-about programs and grading their performance this fall, with a look toward 2011.

Previously this week, we gave an A to The Vampire Diaries. Up now: Smallville.

Best Episode: "Homecoming." This one was not even close.  Even though we did rate one other episode higher, there's really nothing like the feeling of nostalgia and "Homecoming" was the perfect love letter to fans of the longtime series, as it prepares to complete its iconic 10-year run.

Nice Catch, Clark

Worst Episode: "Isis." You thought we were gonna pick "Supergirl?" Despite having the distinction of being "The One Where Clark Told Lois," the majority of "Isis" made us cringe by taking the umpteenth trip to the possession well. Seriously, how many times can you play the same card in a single series? The overall plot seemed out of sync with this season's direction and even Lois in a shorty dress couldn't bring us out of our catatonic state long enough to fully absorb the impact of Clark admitting his secret to Lois.

Best Character: How can it be anyone other than Clark? His scenes with all the other major characters have felt more poignant this year, and rightly so. Whether discussing his future with his deceased father, sharing a romantic moment with Lois, extending forgiveness to Tess, or fighting alongside his costumed brethren, Clark is learning more than ever about the meaning behind his journey and is in the final stages of becoming the ultimate super hero.

Worst Character:  Kat Grant.  We once called her a "Nancy Drew meets Dora The Explorer nuisance," and we still stand by that description.  She's like the annoying little sister who is constantly running to tattle on you with that squeaky, high-pitched whine in her voice.  A little goes a very long way with this character, and as far as we can tell her presence hasn't added much, if anything, to the story.

Best Performance:  All the regular cast members have upped their respective games this season, but the most impressive transformation has to be Cassidy Freeman from cold, calculating vixen to tortured ally who is desperately searching for meaning in her existence.  With powerfully emotional scenes, especially in "Abandonded" and "Luther," Freeman has created some of the most heartbreaking moments of the season. While everyone else is oohing and aaahing over the Clois moments, we are eating up every Tess scene by the fistful.

Hopes for 2011:  There's really only one thing we're hoping for as the series bows out in 2011, and that is that the rise of Superman is iconic enough to make the long and sometimes painful journey worth it.  Those of us loyal enough to stick through to the end are looking for real payoff, and a single glimpse of Clark in the red and blue flying off into the sunset isn't going to cut it.  We hope the writers are listening because there are high expectations for that final episode and there's a good chance of fanboy backlash if it doesn't reach a satisfying conclusion.

Overall grade: B+.

Agree with this assessment? Disagree? Prepare for new episodes in this preview and then sound off now!

Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Well, someone has to stick up for this series... I for one have loved this year for one very good reason... it keeps you guessing... I have no idea where they are going and that's just great drama... Now for the criticisms... too much Tess, Too much Cat, Too much Lionel... look folks... its an ensemble cast and as much as everyone loves Lois and Clark it just can't be them in every scene... I'm convinced they dropped Chloe as a regular character to give the Clois thing more air time... but Smallville has always been about multiple characters and multiple storylines... as I count it they have four going now... Clois, Suicide Squad, Luthor, Darkseid... that's alot of pins to keep in the air... I think they're doing fine with the time they have... as far as the Luthor storyline, everyone wants Rosenbaum back and I'm convinced he'll come back... but Lex is dead... he can't just show up... there has to be a plausible explanation, not to mention they're building the drama and that's good... as far as the episodes go, Homecoming, Luthor and Icarus are some of the best they've ever done... they can't hit a homerun every week... but some of the other episodes, though not the best had some of the best moments... Clark's I love you, the reveal, the proposal, Lois Mom's video, Jorel and Lara's video, the general's talk with clark, Carter and Lois chat in the desert... those are just great scenes... there's 11 more episodes and I can't wait and I will be genuinely sorry when there aren't anymore... Smallville you are far and away my favorite show...

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I think this seasons episodes would be great if they were in any other season besides the final one. I will give the writers credit for making better episodes overall but these are not keeping with the continuity of Clarks journey to become Superman. It seems like this seasons episode are full of filler (all be it good filler) and action about other characters i.e. Green Arrow, Hawman, Super Girl, Tess, Lois, and Aquaman. It seems like Clark is barely saving the day anymore. And now they are going to introduce more filler with Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. On top all this filler they are going to recycle yet another story line of Clark loosing his powers again in one of the up and coming episodes. This has obviously been done several times before.

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I have loved Smallville this year. But to add to the pointe about how many times a series can reuse a storyline (possesion). Well it also has a penchint for doing alternate reality episodes. I honestly think there have been atleast five.

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Isn't it great that we live in a society where we can all have and share our own valid opinions and insights?

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Michael Rosenbaum is the the Health Ledger of Smallville people only like him because he dead I love these show and Chole rocks

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I wish I could love this season more, but I just can't. Even all the Clois goodness isn't enough to mitigate the mostly crappy episodes. All the illogical, unnecessary stalling in Season 9 and the break neck speed at which the Clois is progressing in the first half of this season has made the romance seem too forced and rushed. And now that Clark and Lois are engaged, the latter half of the season will be probably be a romantic wasteland for the couple, just like the second half of Season 9. Really lousy pacing, if you ask me. Furthermore, I agree with previous posters. Far too much Tess. Please make it stop! The writers are writing themselves into a corner with the Luthor storyline. If they can't get Michael Rosenbaum back, the Lex clone/Tess/Lionel Luthor plot will fall flat on it's face, in my opinion. Tess, Lionel and fake Lex are no substitute for the mesmerising Lex Luthor created by Michael Rosenbaum. Not even close. Three wrongs don't make a right. One of the saving graces for Season 10 has been the absence of the polarizing Chloe Sullivan. Now that the showrunners are threatening a 'badass' return for the overrated character I have lost even more interest in the show. If the character ends up as Super-Chloe then I'll be finally done with the show. As if Super-Lana in Season 8 wasn't bad enough. It would make Clark Kent just another superhero on the block. There would be nothing remotely special about Superman at all. But maybe that's the point. The various showrunners have been giving the Superman mythos the finger since the show began, after all. To use the VRA analogy from the show (Nazi-like uniforms), with the way the show has been managed, if the producers had been Allied Forces generals in WW2 we'd all be singing 'Deutschland uber alles' now.

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The 10th season is giving us something that the past seasons have yet to give us and thats a consistant relationship. I love the fact that they've allowed for this (clois)relationship to build over the past 7 seasons. Its making for a great final season. In the past, the relationships on this show has been...I want her/him, I get her/him, and something happens were the relationship only last about 5 episodes. Its also been great to see the progression of this relationship and how well it works. These past couple of seasons, including this one, have been more comic book Superman. If the Superman comic books came to life...this is how it would be. Thats why we are getting Isis, a mirror box that has brought a dark clark to this world and has allowed for Lionel Luthor to return. Its allowing for a clone to be Lex Luther...That has comic book written all over it. I'm not a comic book reader or follower, but I've seen Superboy, Lois and Clark: NAS, and all the Superman movies and if it wasn't for Smallville, I never would have known that there were other bad guys for Superman to go up against except for LL and Zod. Smallville is doing a good job of bringing alive a comic book with their own story added to the mix and I enjoy Cat Grant but I wish she would be in more episodes. This season just needs a few things to let it go out on top and thats for Darkseid and Superman to have a great battle, The Superman theme song, Lex Luthor(MR) to show his face, A Wedding with the General and Lucy present, and for the last scene to end like the movies have.

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So far Smallville has been totally underwhelming this year. There has been way, way too much emphasis on Tess. This is the final season, so the focus should be on Clark Kent not the bipolar Tess Mercer. I, for one, have NOT been 'eating up every Tess scene by the fistful'. Abandoned was one of the worst episodes for me. Boring, boring, boring! And the Luthor episode was just too skanky to watch until the end. Thank God for the remote! And to make matters worse, the Darkseid storyline seems to have been sidelined to make room for the snoozefest Luthor storyline. I think the character of Lionel Luthor is seriously overrated so the Luthor episode would have been a bust even without all that Tess in it. Sorry, but I have little love for this season so far. Homecoming was the only decent episode. Everything else mostly stank on ice. I don't even know why I'm bothering to watch.

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For me the best episode was Homecoming, followed by Icarus. The worst episode has to be a toss up between Luthor and Supergirl. Cassidy Freeman and Laura Vandervoort were obviously hired for their looks, not acting skills. Casting couch anyone?!!! The Tess is a Luthor/Lex clone storyline has been duller than dishwater and if there is more focus on that in the 2nd half I'll just have to catch the highlights on youtube. Except for a (very) few good clois moments, most this final season has been boring. I give it a D. It would have been an F if there hadn't been for the few great Clark and Lois moments. I couldn't care less about the other characters.

Addict666

Smallville is on its own level of greatness, but it is sad to see Chole not as a regular because she is such a strong part of the show

Smallville Quotes

Clark: She saw it.
Nurse: Saw what?
Clark: Her future.

Eric: Come on, Clark. If you had the power to do whatever you want, what would you do?
Clark: I'd stop people like you.

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