As a big fan of the now-seven-year-old show, it pains me to give it less than four stars; however, season three ranks as probably its weakest one. The series, still sporting the high quality look and the exemplary acting, fell short this year in the writing. Ironically, one of the bonuses on the disc is a short documentary devoted to the writing staff.
Perhaps, the group was trying to convince itself that it had done its best. Sadly, it had not.
Season four features the ill-advised "Lana Lang, teenage witch" storyline wherein Clark's main lady discovers that she is descended from a French sorceress. Lana (Kristen Kreuk} also embarks on a doomed relationship with Smallville High's assistant football coach (new cast member Jensen Ackles). As for Ackles, his character goes through a major personality change, beginning the year as a young man of calm and rationality - in most respects, save his judgment to date a minor - to a bona-fide psycho by season's end.
Guest star Jane Seymour gets to exhibit her "bad girl side" in several episodes as she plays Genevieve, the malevolent mother of Ackles' character.
According to the liner notes on the DVD box, the producers wanted a "lighter" season than previous ones. They succeeded but came up with a rather disjointed one, at that. In paying homage to the show's comic book roots, the show introduced Krypto, the super-dog, and a young "Flash," with mixed results.
Even the season premiere ("Crusade"), featuring Clark (Tom Welling) discovering his flying ability lacks the spark of the third season ending one.
There were a few gems in the season, though: "Transference," "Onyx," "Spell," "Ageless," the Crouching-Tiger-Hidden-Dragon-influenced "Sacred," the dark comedy of "Spirit," and "Commencement" possess the stellar better quality of the previous three seasons.
The addition of Erica Durance as "Lois Lane" was a stroke of genius. The actress provides the "yin" to Welling's "yang" and it makes for a most fascinating contrast.
Also, the compilation sports a fascinating tribute to the actresses that have played Lois Lane over the years.
Though the set does not represent the show at its best, it is still a necessity if one wants to understand developments that arise in succeeding seasons....that, in itself, makes it worthy of purchase.