This being Justin Hartley's debut as a director just begs the question: why in the world did they wait so long to get him behind the camera?
Granted, the story and dialogue belong mostly to the writers, but I thoroughly enjoyed how each moment of "Dominion" played out.
I was not particularly a fan of Callum Blue's excessively smug Zod when he was part of the cast last season. There is such a thing as too much grandstanding, I think. Here, though, the dialogue-heavy scenes between he and Clark and he and Oliver seemed to work better, and felt a bit closer to the iconic portrayal Terrence Stamp set forth in the original films years ago.
I have to think Hartley had a lot to do with keeping Blue's smarm in check and giving me a reason to finally get on board with Smallville's incarnation of Zod.
I knew there was no way Oliver would ever betray Clark, but that didn't keep the fierce battle scene between them from eliciting gasps of shock. The slow motion interspersions aren't anything we haven't seen before, but I thought they worked quite well for the circumstance and added a little something to the brutality of the moment.
In fact, I thought everything related to the Phantom Zone plot worked well, and I especially liked how it tied so neatly into the Darkseid saga. (Seriously, though, if we don't get some actual Darkseid action soon my dark side is gonna come unglued.)
The only thing I couldn't quite reconcile was why in the world Oliver would show up, fully aware of the situation, and enter the Zone with Clark without his archery gear? Still scratching my head over that one.
Oliver going off in search of the weapon to destroy Darkseid has terrible idea written all over it (something tells me Darkseid is already aware of it's existence on Earth) but at least it will give us a Green Arrow/Supergirl team up next week, to which I'm looking forward.
Is it too much to hope that she'll don the costume before Clark? Probably so.
Lois may have played the selfish card in forcing the League to keep the Zone gate opened, putting the lives of everyone on earth at risk in the process, but with the mix of passion and desperation in her eyes, I dare to say not one of those Leaguers would want to go up against that. Forget what they say about a woman scorned…don't mess with a woman in love!
I take solace in the fact that Lois had already seen a glimpse of a phantom-free future and therefore had to know that Clark would return; it was just a question of when.
Maybe it's because I know the end is near, but the closer we get to the big finale, the more powerful the impact of the scenes between Clark and Lois. I was not initially on board with the idea of them getting together prior to his emergence as Superman (much less engaged to be married!), but now you can call it my kryptonite, because I go weak in the knees watching these two in every heartfelt scene they share.
Go ahead, call me a CLois shipper in the comments if you want to, but I continue to be mesmerized by the chemistry between these two and probably will be till the final frame fades to black. In just two weeks!?!
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.