For what seems like the umpteenth filler episode this season (I guess Darkseid will get the Doomsday wrap-up treatment after all) I was rather pleased at how "Booster" turned out, with one very minor exception: too little Blue Beetle.
The way they introduced the character was a little rushed in my opinion. Not that he is all that beloved a character for me, personally, but it would have been nice to see his story spread out across a couple of episodes. That's one of the problems with introducing multiple heroes only three episodes away from the series end, I suppose.
That said, this is the Superman story, not Blue Beetle's, so they at least set up Jaime's journey well enough, even if I didn't exactly understand what made him want to attack Booster.
It was an interesting dichotomy, though, having Lois try to help Jaime stand up for himself and be noticed all the while trying to nerd Clark down below the radar.
And what a job she did in that respect.I absolutely loved Clark's attempt at developing a forgettable persona. The stammer, the slouch and the refusal to look people in the eye: all spot on Clark Kent.
His concern over how people will look at Lois marrying a doofus was really sweet too. The only thing hard to accept is that after years at the Daily Planet, with all those people he has been in contact with on a daily basis, suddenly he can turn into a klutz and people buy it. I wish they hadn't waited so long to make that transition. It would been far more believable had it been a gradual thing, not an overnight development.
I won't complain too much, though, because it enabled us to have the iconic phone booth moment which thrilled this fanboy to the gills! Everytime we catch a glimpse of something so core to the Superman mythos, it almost makes any and all annoyances vanish.
Enter Cat Grant. The only thing I really enjoy about Cat is that she rarely makes an appearance. Her character is obnoxious and whiningly chipper, and I can't think of anyone on this show that has ever annoyed me more, save for perhaps Tori Spelling's gossip columnist. Lois pretty much summed it up when she said "Cat Grant. Like nails on a chalkboard."
Her obsession with Booster Gold made her seem less a reporter for an esteemed news agency than one of those screeching, pre-pubescent Justin Bieber fans who just can't shut up about him. The "Gold Girl" transformation she went through, trying to beat out Lois for an interview with Booster, was just ridiculous. Was she trying to get a Booster exclusive or a featured spot on Toddlers and Tiaras? Boo! Definitely won't miss her when Smallville takes its ultimate, single-bounded leap off television come May.
Since the episode was entitled "Booster," he played a major part in the action, along with his artificial intelligence robot Skeets, of course.
I love when DC Universe alum pop up on Smallville, so for me Booster Gold turned out to be everything for which I could have asked. Eric Martsolf seemed to capture the essence of the character perfectly, right down to the cheesy charisma and sparkling perfect teeth. It was interesting how he came in from the future, courtesy of a trusty Legion ring, trying to preempt Superman's rise as the world's greatest superhero, but in the end realized that Superman is just that for a reason. The praise, the adoration, the fame - none of that matters without the integrity and wisdom derived from years and years of learning tough lessons and making mistakes. Like Clark said, a hero is created in the moment by the choices that he makes.
I didn't know much about Booster Gold's comic book characterization prior to this, except of what I had gathered from his brief appearances on Cartoon Network's dearly departed Justice League Unlimited. I knew he was a glory hound, wears a costume that makes him look like a NASCAR driver, is jealous of Superman's fame and interestingly enough was the character who unwittingly named Superman's killer, Doomsday. Perhaps it was fitting, then, that he be the one to make the suggestion that Clark retire "The Blur" moniker in favor of something more "super."
"Booster" wasn't necessarily my favorite episode of the season, but it was a very strong outing that had a number of moments that made it both charming and contributive to Clark's emergence as Superman.
What did you think of Booster Gold's entry into the Smallville universe? How about that iconic phone booth moment? Sound off in the comments below!
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.