EPISODE REVIEW: Smallville: "Booster" (Season 10, Episode 18)

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Recap

Lois and Clark are trying to get used to Clark's new black horn rimmed glasses (Of the military "Birth Control" variety), when a young man is endangered by a speeding SUV. Before 'The Blur' can spring into action, a figure in blue and gold speeds into view. It's Booster Gold, the 'Greatest Hero You've Never Heard Of.. Until Now". And yes, he talks like that. After a brief photo op and promotional plug, Booster flies off into the distance. As the near-victim walks away, a blue scarab scampers into his backpack.

Booster shows up at the Planet, knowing way too much about Lois and Clark. Cat Grant is rather smitten with him. She's competing with Lois for a promotion.

The young man (I think we can safely call him Jaime at this point), is about as clumsy and snakebit as Clark needs to be in order to 'unmake' Clark Kent, manly man and become Clark Kent, disguise for Superman. Lois encounters Jaime at his nadir, and tries to coach him to be a bit more assertive. After she walks away, the scarab affixes itself to Jaime's spine.

After the commercial break, we get a commercial break from Booster- in full on self promotional fervor. Clark notes that he's been at every single crime scene in the past few days. At the same time, Ted Kord of Kord Industries announces that some high tech has gone missing. (Ted Kord!?!! Cool!)

Cat goes to one of Booster's autograph sessions. She's trying to land the interview with Gold, but he won't talk to anyone but Lois, as he obviously now is determined to grab Clark's place in history, and thinks that usurping Lois' famous first interview with Superman will put him on that path.

Cat and Lois argue over the merits of Booster vs. Blur, while Clark tries to get information out of Ted while Clark stammers his way through an interview attempt. Clark excuses himself and eavesdrops while Ted contracts with Booster to find the missing 'trinket'.

Jaime goes to Booster trying to figure out what is happening to him. Booster blows him off. Probably not a great idea, as Jaime is quickly covered in Beetleborg armor… uttering the word "Destroy".

Clark and Lois discuss the Kord weapon when Booster calls, revealing that he knows who Clark is… but also revealing that he doesn't get being a hero at all. He has a Legion ring (which he obviously stole). Booster earns a masters degree in douchebaggery as he basically tells Clark to hang up the glasses and the red & blue long johns.

Booster goes back to his traveling stage show when Jaime, in the Blue Beetle armor, attacks. Clark finds a phone booth and changes into Blur garb. Beetle and Booster square off, and while at the armor's mercy, Booster actually gives a good talk on what heroism is. Armed with this pep talk, Jaime gains control of the scarab and shuts it down. Clark looks on approvingly. Two heroes are born.

Clark and Booster talk, where Booster reveals that he was a football star who pulled a Pete Rose. He stole everything and went back in time, hoping that he could make a fresh start at the rush of being a hero. But he realized that he put Jaime in danger for the sake of his own ego. Booster, Kord and Jaime are teaming up to help Jaime…

Lois gets the promotion to the city desk and Clark has nearly mastered clumsy nerviness. But Clark wonders what the impact of his new persona is going to be on Lois' reputation.

Observations

If there's anyone who knows these characters, it's Geoff Johns. He has written an excellent episode, highlighting the arse-holier than thou Booster Gold. All the elements are in place, the motivation is good and it works in the Smallville universe.
And what is Booster without the Blue Beetle? Although conceived in different times at different comics companies, Booster and Beetle are forever intertwined due to the Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis run on Justice League. Johns managed to get Ted Kord, Jaime Reyes and a name check of Dan Garrett into the episode.
Fanservice aside (and Boy! was there a lot of that…), did tonight's episode work?

Yeah, I think so. The characters were well defined- the costumes didn't look ridiculous, except (ironically) Clark's 'Blur' suit is beginning to look out of place. This is good, I think. When he puts on the Super suit, it will feel right. The red leather jacket is looking more and more like a placeholder.

To his credit, Welling is pulling off the near slapstick Clark Kent persona in a way it hasn't been done.. well.. ever. He evokes a bit of the Christopher Reeve performance and makes Brandon Routh's Reeve impersonation look pale. Welling owns Clark Kent at this point, and I wonder how Henry Cavill is going to top what has evolved into an excellent take on the character.

The climax of the show, Booster's conversion from douchebag to (slightly) humble hero actually played well, and felt natural. Kudos to Eric Martsolf for pulling off a nice feat of acting.

Next week: KNEEL BEFORE ZOD… and maybe Warworld?

Will Conservatives like this episode?

Yes. Absolutely. The nature of heroism, plus a capitalistic superhero? (well, he is a jerkface, but there's a hero in there somewhere…) Major Coolness.

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