'Smallville - The Complete Fifth Season'
(Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / (2001) 2006 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: A meteor shower bursts from the heavens, raining destruction on the unsuspecting citizens of Smallville. Present day. Twelve years later and the healing process has left the town's inhabitants with scars and secrets. From the ashes of tragedy, a popular yet awkward teen attemptsto decipher the meaning of his life and his clouded past. As he struggleswith the transition from boyhood to adulthood, his strength and strangeabilities set him uncomfortably apart from his peers, and his name is Clark Kent.
DVD Verdict: I have been a fan of "Smallville" from the beginning, and was very happy both as a viewer and a fan at how this season turned out. In direct opposition to season four's disastrous story arch involving Isobel and the Teague family attempting to manipulate Lana, this one takes a much more serious (and yet enjoyable) path through Clark's choices and their ultimate consequences. It also shifts the love interest from Clark and Lana to Lex and Lana, something they have been hinting at four seasons and only now have the courage to bring out. Lex Luthor and Jonathan Kent do battle to become state senator, Lionel Luthor switches sides (again), Clark consummates his love for Lana and then is forced to give her up, Chloe starts working for the Daily Planet, one of the leading cast members is killed off, and it winds up in the most explosive, dramatic, and powerful season finale of the series. It's rare that I have enjoyed almost every episode in a season, but there is some solid stuff here -- "Lexmas" is a heart-ripping "what if" featuring Lex's alternate life if he is to choose the path of good, with a sadistic twist in the second half to make Stephen King take a step back; "Tomb" is a fantastically fun ghost story in which Allison Mack plays an alternate Chloe; "Reckoning" brings two consecutive deaths and a painful funereal; "Mercy" revolves around the charisma between Martha and Lionel when a manic madman forces them to make their way through his house of horrors; and five or so episodes revolve around the steadily building seduction of Lana Lang. Tom Welling also makes his directorial debut (and a marvelous one at that) in "Fragile," an ironic twist of fate since it contains a super-hot first kiss between Lana and Lex at the end. I am a little disappointed that there aren't more features (one would have thought at least "Reckoning" and "Fragile" would get a commentary, and no blooper reel is unfortunate, since many of the actors have mentioned the various pranks and oops! on set) but will be delighted to own this season. I look forward with great anticipation the possibilities the next will bring. This is a Widescreen Version Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
22 episodes on six discs
Commentary by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Ken Horton, and Steven S. DeKnight on Thirst
Commentary by Steven S. DeKnight, James Marshall, and James Marsters (Prof. Fine) on Splinter
"Smallville's 100th Episode: The Making of a Milestone" featurette
Excerpts from the documentary Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman
"Vengeance Chronicles": promo webisodes