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Smallville: Rosetta

Clark: "I've got all these questions. And I can't leave them in the storm cellar any more."

The writers and producers of Smallville are to be commended. They found a unique and touching way to finally introduce Clark to his past. Smallville often calls back to the Reeve movies, so what could be better than to bring in the man himself to give Clark his answers? Christopher Reeve was more than just an actor who played the part some years ago. He was a great man, and I have a lot of respect for how he lived his life in the face of such tremendous misfortune. This was passing the Superman torch in a big, emotional way. Bravo.

Clark now knows his birth name and where he came from, and must face that his answers came with the ultimate global tragedy attached to them. Learning you are the last of your race isn't exactly fun news. I also really liked that final scene with Clark and Jonathan, and the new and interesting twist that Kal-El was sent to Earth to conquer. I especially liked the ambiguous looks on both Clark's and Jonathan's faces as they were hugging. Neither of them was feeling all that good about this turn of events.

There was a nice plot-adjacent storyline with all of the teens having problems with their family tree assignment, for obvious reasons. (Except Pete, who is actually the only one with a traditional nuclear family.) Lana showed some uncharacteristic nosiness and looked at Chloe's spring fling photos with Clark. And Chloe showed some uncharacteristic anger when she caught Lana doing it.

I think Clark should tell Chloe everything. She would stop investigating him, for one. And she'd help him find the answers, for two.

Bits and pieces:

— Yet another doctor who was helping Lex investigate Clark hit the dust. Dr. Walden is now in a coma.

— The score included John Williams' music from the films. It gave me chills, just a bit.

— Sending an email from a corner of the barn was sort of improbable. And Swann's reply gave a whole new meaning to "instant messaging."

— Lex picked up Clark's discarded "family tree." Oops.

— Clark told Lex his special delivery was just junk mail. Clark just doesn't lie well.

— Another new hairdo for Chloe.

— Loved that Clark was "sleep-flying" instead of sleep-walking.

— How did Clark and Jonathan turn the ship off and get the key out?

— If you're unfamiliar with the Rosetta Stone, for which this episode was named, check out the Wikipedia entry here.

— The octagonal key somehow threw Walden across the cave: one point.


Clark: "How's Mom feeling?"
Jonathan: "Pregnant."
One problem with a show about a well known universe is that we know Martha's not having this baby. Not unless they change the Superman universe a lot more than they already have.

Chloe: "Dr. Virgil Swann. You're being stalked by a legend, Clark."

Clark: "I think I was sent here to conquer. What kind of planet am I from?"

Four out of four stars,

Billie Doux had a love-hate relationship with Smallville, which is why some of her reviews are briefer than they should be.


  1. The Rosetta Stone is one of those rare things that is actually as fascinating when one sees it as it is when one reads about it. Every time I go to the British Museum (which is about once a month), I stop by and look at it. It is a thing of beauty.

    I absolutely love this episode. What an inspired idea to get Christopher Reeve to play Swan -- a nice nod to what has come before.

    I also love the fact that the music sampled so heavily from the movies' theme. Very neatly tied it all together as a lovely homage.

    I met Christopher Reeve so many years ago it was before his accident. He was as lovely in person as he appears on the screen. God speed.

  2. I am so enjoying your Smallville comments, ChrisB. The last few seasons of Smallville were such a struggle for me to review, but I so loved the earlier ones. How lovely that you got to meet Christopher Reeve. Wow. That's a *big* one. He turned out to be such an incredibly special man. Bless his soul.

  3. Thanks, Billie. Am loving your reviews as well! I haven't seen the earlier seasons for quite a while, and I had forgotten how good they were. I, too, struggled through the last few seasons, but the final season made it all worthwhile.

    I met Christopher Reeve in San Francisco in, of all places, a bar. I was waiting for a friend to join me and so was he. He sat down next to me, introduced himself (as if he needed to do that!) and asked if he could wait with me. After I picked my jaw up off the bar, I, as cooly as I could (not very, I'm afraid), said that he could do so. We chatted for about ten minutes about nothing important, but he couldn't have been nicer. When my friend walked in, he was dumbfounded. Nice!

    He is one of the few celebs whose passing I genuinely felt. Wonderful, wonderful man.

  4. Christopher Reeve is still the best Superman!

    I forgot how much I used to dislike Lana, although compared by Iris West, she doesn't seem so bad anymore. CW female leads hadn't gotten better with time.

    As much as the Kents loves Clark, I don't think they really understand how lonely he is. And Jonathan can be an overbearing father.

    Still love Lex!

  5. Before there was instant messaging my father and I used to "instant email". Our emails came through so fast that you may have well been using Messenger.

  6. When Virgil Swann appeared my first thought was not that it was Christopher Reeve (I haven't seen him in so many years, it did not click) but that he looked like Clark! I wondered if the character was a nod to Stephen Hawking as well as a way to get Christopher Reeve onto the show. It's fascinating that his Superman left such an indelible mark that they keep picking actors that resemble him for the part, Brandon Routh even more than Tom Welling.


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