Thursday, 10 January 2013

Smallville: Hothead

Third Episode

The football coach's temper makes him a "hothead" and his meteoric power of combustion makes him a "firedrake", according to the terminology used in Alan Moore's Marvelman/Miracleman series. Since the villain of episode two studied insects and gained insect powers, it appears that the meteors affect bodies through minds.

There are two father-son conflicts: Jonathan and Clark; Lionel and Lex. The coach and his players are at one stage compared to another father-son relationship. The Kents have to resolve whether it is safe for Clark to play football and Clark has to make his own decisions so he plays against Jonathan's advice, then realises that he no longer wants to. Lionel wants Lex to sack twenty per cent of his workforce and Lex wants to employ twenty per cent more. Ordered to sack the twenty per cent, he instead finds a way to cut costs by the required amount without losing any staff. Lex, as in every version of the character, is extremely clever but has gone from scientist to scientist-businessman to just businessman.

Clark pulls the door from a burning car but the man he rescues is unconscious and there are no other witnesses, then the car explodes, destroying the evidence of Clark's super strength. Lana leaves cheer leading and tries waitressing but goes back to cheer leading. So, as in many TV series episodes, things look like changing but don't. I think that the Jonathan-Clark and Lionel-Lex conflicts and Lana's unsuccessful change of direction provide enough drama so that the coach's meteor powers were unnecessary.

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