The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the "Smallville" episode "Siren."
It's superhero against superhero as The Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) makes his long awaited -- and long overdue -- return to Metropolis and goes head-to-head with The Black Canary.
In season six, Oliver Queen brought a new dynamic to the "Smallville?" setup. Not only was he a love interest for Lois Lane (Erica Durance) but The Green Arrow created a lot of inner-turmoil for the corn-fed farm boy Clark Kent (Tom Welling). Namely, with his abilities should he remain at home and protect his love ones, or does he have a higher calling?
With that in mind it comes as no surprise that his return to the series comes charged with the same super-powered tension that made the sixth season of "Smallville"? a joy to watch.
Hartley is so very capable of carrying a super-series such as "Smallville"? and his billionaire status on "Smallville"? radiates a coolness that the young Superman will never have. He's sauve, dashing, well educated and has a knack for navigating the morale ambiguities of domestic terrorism. Dressed in an uber-cool hoodie (with matching glasses) and armed with more bows than Robin Hood, The Green Arrow brings a new excitement factor to the series right when it needs it most.
Why hasn?'t he got a show of his own?
This is what "Birds of Prey"? could have been without the Meta-human stories that doomed the series from day one. That series had so much potential but was instantly crippled because of the same freak-of-the-week approach that made the freshman season of "Smallville"? unbearable to watch. Thankfully, Al Gough and Miles Millar learned from their mistakes? in this outing, Black Canary retained at least some of her comic book appearance and the Canary Cry was given some level of credibility (with absolutely no attempt at an explanation for her abilities).
It is also an interesting twist that Lana (Kristen Kreuk) and Lionel (John Glover) are now the same -- both harbor a deep burning obsession for Lex and have been fascinated by the life of the last son of Krypton. And finally having it voiced was fantastic as each character tries to outmaneuver the other.
When Lois discovers the truth about Ollie's alter-ego, her moment of realization carried with it everything fans of the couple have been wanting. The only downside is that this is just a one-episode guest spot for the emerald-clad archer and aside from adding a new member to the JLA, the entire purpose was obviously designed to open Clark's eyes to what Lana is going through after her affair with Bizarro. Which is a bit of a shame because Lois and Ollie are far more entertaining than Clark and Lana. And so it comes as no surprise that the real breakthroughs with the couple comes from Lois' breakup with Oliver.
What Didn't Work
With Oliver Queen back on the scene, who really cares about the latest melo drama from the Clark-Lana relationship? Part of "Smallville's" strongest attributes is the versatility of its character relationships but as of late all of these have lacked any kind of push behind them. Clark and Lana is now finally becoming stale since Lana gave up her quest to bring down former hubby Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum), and Lois' office romance with Editor-in-Chief Grant Gabriel lacked any kind of emotional drive that is the normal trademark on the series.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"Siren" was written by Kelly Souders and Bryan Peterson and the episode was directed by Kevin G. Fair. "Smallville"? stars Tom Welling, Kristen Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, Erica Durance and Allison Mack.
Alan Stanley Blair is the assistant news editor for Airlock Alpha and its sister site Rabid Doll. Contributing from his home country of Scotland, he is currently studying for his diploma in freelance journalism and feature writing as a distance student at the London School of Journalism and can be reached at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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