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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

Smallville "Hydro" (****) by Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders
Smallville "Hydro" is a story of secrets, of secrets kept and secrets revealed.

I've mentioned before that the acting on Smallville is strong enough, and the writers confident enough in the ability of the actors, for the climax of a scene often to rest not on words or actions, but on the expression on a character's face. In this episode, the expression on Clark's face after the revelation at the end of act three is priceless.

Lex Luthor's losing battle against his own nature makes him one of the most interesting villains on television. Warped by his evil father, he started out as a genuine friend to Clark Kent. But his inability to trust made him unable to accept the fact that Clark had secrets. In the beginning his love for Lana Lang was genuine, but again his inability to trust made it impossible for her to get really close to him, though she certainly tried. Now, Lana is pregnant with Lex's child, Lex has asked Lana to marry him, and by the end of this episode, Lex learns things about Lana he would have been better off not knowing. "Go and catch a falling star, get with child a mandrake root, tell me where all lost years are, and who clove the devil's foot, and find what wind serves to advance an honest mind."

The romance between Green Arrow and Lois Lane also takes some interesting turns, though Oliver Queen does not dominate this episode as he has some past episodes.

May the next episode, "Justice" be as good as I hope, rather than as bad as I fear. The origin of the Justice League would be an easy subject to blow.

Heroes "Fallout" (****), by Joe Pokaski
Heroes Heroes is still in reruns, but I caught something watching the Season 1A cliffhanger that I missed the first time around.

spoiler warning

As you doubtless saw, but I didn't, Sylar does not take Eden's powers -- she kills herself in time to prevent that. Narrow escape!

end of spoiler warning

Heroes is moving forward rapidly. I suspect they will wrap up the "Save the Cheerleader, save the world" plot at the end of the first season, and move on to another plot in Season Two. That would be a nice change from shows like Lost, The X-Files, and Twin Peaks which, when they finally do wrap up a plot, leave loose ends lying all over the place.

This show must have a larger cast than any other show on television. I count at least a dozen heroes, and at least a dozen supporting cast.

Copyright © 2007 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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