A couple of weeks ago, Clark and Lois finally kissed on Smallville, an event I've been waiting for since Lois became a character on the series. While I was expecting a Clois follow-up last Friday on "Kandor," instead Jor-El popped up and I learned loads of stuff about the Kandorian clones, the orb and Jor-El and Zod once upon a time being best buds.
Beyond that, an event nearly as important as the Clois kiss happened when Clark finally got to meet Jor-El in the flesh—a cloned Jor-El, but Jor-El none the less.
There's only one big problem. Clark's pop literally died in his arms moments into that face-to-face, and that just sucks.
I'm enjoying this season, which is no small task for a series that's in its ninth season. In fact, overall the producers have been doing a really good job, and much of "Kandor" offered some cool Zod and Jor-El history (and yes, purists, it's not entirely consistent with mythology or Tom Welling [Clark] playing a young Jor-El seasons ago).
However, really, Smallville producers! You decide to kill off Jor-El after three lines of dialogue with Clark—really?! Seriously?!
While I have some annoyance regarding the missing Lois, I don't have an issue with the talented Julian Sands playing Jor-El, despite the fact that the equally talented Terence Stamp has been the voice of Jor-El through much of the series. I'm not sure why Stamp wasn't given the oh-so-short, one-episode role (his age, perhaps?), but Sands did a good job as Jor-El.
I don't even have an issue with the producers deciding to kill off Jor-El, which naturally pits Clark and Zod against each other. But couldn't Clark have gotten a couple minutes with his dad? This long-awaited and unexpected meeting could have been played out in such a great way, with Jor-El meeting the son he never knew he had and Clark finally meeting the man in person, and not some disembodied voice in the "ice crystal palace thingie," as Oliver Queen calls it.
So really, producers! What's that about? To have the big scene with Jor-El and Chloe and not Clark just makes no sense at all. You set us up and then boom! Talk about an unsatisfying letdown, with just three blasted lines of dialogue. When they finally meet, Clark asks Jor-El who wounded him, and he says he doesn't know. Then dad says, "Kal-El, I'm so proud of you, so proud—Save Zod."
Yes, the Krypton stuff was great, but the Earth stuff with Clark zooming around trying to find Jor-El was all buildup and no payoff. The show has a 22-episode season. Why not bring Sands back for a second episode and play this out with the father and son connecting AND then kill the dad? Really, producers, if it's about money, let us know. We viewers could have taken up a collection so you'd be able to afford to bring Sands back for another episode. Or maybe cut the Chloe scene (not that Chloe shouldn't get plenty of screen time) and the silliness about her not being able to get hold of Clark because for some reason he's flying on Oliver's jet. Then give Clark a couple moments to connect with his pop.
Apparently I'm not the only one with Jor-El issues. The Web's all a-twitter about "Kandor," from the wonderful Krypton scenes and mythology to the agony and ecstasy of killing off Jor-El.
- "Clark is reunited with his Kryptonian father just in time for the old man to die in his arms. And just where is that ring that can turn back time and FIX everything?" asked SourceEnergy.
- "The story of Clark and Jor-El was a lot less satisfying than the Krypton scenes," said S-Shield. "It really just leaves a bad taste in my mouth that Jor-El and Clark spent their whole time wrapped up in Tess and Zod's little chess game, which was really what this whole episode was about (whole season for that matter). "
- cxtasy said that Sands played "the role well enough that I wish they had kept him in the cast for a couple more episodes."
- icevader asked: "Did Clark's only scene with Jor-El really have to be a death scene? Though I must say, it's one of the rare few times I have almost shed tears on this show (the death of Clark's other father figure, Jonathan, being the other memorable one). And of course it's set up Clark's future enmity for the Kandorians as he'll try to exact vengeance for his father's death."
- "The flashbacks looked fantastic! Everything from the blue-screen wizardry, to the very cool, ominous courtroom scenes with Jor-El, they were some of the best moments of the episode. Unfortunately, I wasn't so invested in the character of Jor-El, as very little time is given to really flesh him out. I realize that Jor-El will never be Clark's actual father figure, Pa Kent will always fit that title, but, again, having Clark's first scene with his actual father a death scene felt like another cheap ring-round," said MovieMark.
Despite my annoyance at the Jor-El death scene, the final final ending was good, with Zod witnessing Clark use his x-ray vision and knowing who the Blur really is. And yes, there's a mystery regarding who actually killed Jor-El (my money's on Tess). And we know from last episode that Clark and Lois have some unfinished business. All that sets us up with the promise of some fine episode arcs in our future. Friday we even get to see DC's Wonder Twins in action trying to help out the Blur and making a mess of it. And it looks like Lois will be back for the fallout of her kiss with Clark, while Clark deals with losing his pop all over again.
However, producers, next time you set us up, pay if off! For nine seasons Clark has longed to know more about Jor-El, beyond the Fortress of Solitude voice that he at times has had issues with. And for nine seasons, we wanted Clark to meet his father—the man who sent him to Earth and did everything he could to make sure his son would survive the destruction of their planet. By cheating us out of a true meeting with Clark and Jor-El, you cheated yourselves and us out of some serious drama, and I'm not one bit happy about it. You can and should have done better.
How did you feel about "Kandor" and the death of Jor-El?