Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 5 - Episode 11: "Lockdown"

Reviews:

Lockdown

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

MAIN POINTS:

  • A few police goons who saw the spaceship decide to try and find it.
  • They do so by attempting to kidnap and murder Lex and Lana.
  • Predictably, their attempt fails.
  • Lana yells at Clark about secrets and lies, Clark contemplates telling her the secret.

    REVIEW:

    I have had my reviews characterized as "malicious" at times. They blame me, because, as any idiot knows, it's the fault of the person watching and regarding if the media sucks, right? Or if the person THINKS it sucks?

    Regardless of cynicism, rest assured, this review will be one of the reasons people have that impression, because, in the words of the immortal Butthead:

    "Oooh. That SUCKED."

    Huh huh huh.

    I am reading "Jarhead" by Anthony Swofford right now, very akin to Timothy O'Brien's The Things They Carried, only more accessible (and The Things They Carried was pretty accessible, for that matter). There is a phrase from the movie that hasn't appeared in the book yet, but it's still in my head as I write this. It was even in my notes, the first time Lana went postal on Clark:

    Welcome to the suck.

    I suppose, given my parlance as an internet critic, I should put it welcome to teh suck, but you get my meaning.

    Top to bottom, this episode was much like Thirst, with maybe one or two redemptive moments.

    It's the most notes I've taken since...wow. This episode has the most notes yet. Is that to say it's the worst episode I've seen? No. But there is a lot to cover here, a lot that stank, a lot that made me pause and write. I believe at one point there was a 6 minute buffer on the DVR, and there's never usually more than a minute. I write good shorthand, I went through five years of college. People can usually sit and watch with relatively few breaks with me. This episode...well, let's get to it.

    The episode starts with Lex complaining to his campaign manager that Jonathan Kent is neck and neck with Lex, telling him to try and find something to hold over Kent's head. Two cops burst in. Lex, seeing it to be a bad scene, starts to duck behind his desk and call his security.

    Yes, that's right, his security has failed yet again to stop someone from coming through the doors.

    You know, Lex, I'd just buy some automated turrets that shoot at anything that goes beyond the gates. Spider Jerusalem style. Have a sign: "Warning. Unauthorized access means fragging. Please press the button."

    That's what I'd do, if it were my billions. After, you know, feeding the poor and buying a normal car instead of those flashy compensation pieces.

    Lex says, "Hey, campaign manager we've never seen before, look out!" He then sends out the mental telepathic command for the guy to toss his laptop at a gunman and run.

    Ducking into his panic room, Lex says, "Take him! He's almost alive! Yoink!".

    The door slides shut, and the campaign dude is turned into swiss cheese.

    It reminded me of the YTMND where Anakin and Obi-Wan both pick paper, except instead of paper, it's a laptop and a gun, and the laptop loses. I mean, really, really loses.

    I tell you what. Someone comes into my room and points a gun at me, what's the first thing I do? Toss my computer at him, or wet my pants? I'm gonna go with wet my pants. Maybe this guy wasn't so stupid.

    Or I might try to negotiate. But mostly, I'd just get mad at the guy going "yoink"!

    Speaking on a tangential note, since I never, ever go on tangents, I haven't received more than TWO YTMNDs from you guys since I put out the call. What's up with that? I got this one from Spider-Hulk over the break (I forgot who it really was, so hey, if it's yours, let me know, I'll give you credit next review): http://lexbowling.ytmnd.com/

    I want some more! They're funny. Or hey, maybe, if you have a particular line you like from one of the reviews, suggest one for me to make. Bottom line, it's an untapped interaction tool we ain't using here, folks.

    So Lex's buddy loses at laptop/gun/panic room, Lex dives in, and I'm thinking, SWEET! There's my boy! There's my backup plan! There's my Lex! This episode might not suck!

    Of course, when he dives in, he doesn't really care that one of his close associates is dead. He's just happy to be alive, which is kind of hard to believe. Instead of "Oh my God! You killed my new campaign manager. You *#%$S!", he says, "Ha! I have a panic room. Eat it, suckers!" and other such witty banter.

    The campaign manager WAS doing a poor job, so you could argue that Lex was merely liquidating him in an ingenious way, but that's a tough sell.

    Then the thieves start spouting about what they want. And you know, I didn't read the spoilers too closely on this one, so I had no real idea what was going on beyond the panic room thing. I figured, hey, maybe it's someone who ticked Lex off in the past or something, but nope. It's people who survived Zod's ship landing, and they're mad that Lex covered up the ship and got them fired.

    After this is explained through some dialogue, I started thinking about the rationale. And the rationale sucked. It's another villain who, for no real reason, suddenly turns homicidal and starts killing everyone in sight.

    Rich dude steals an alien craft, loses you your job, covers it up, and gets you committed to an institution? What do you do.

    You find him and kill him real quick? That makes some sense. Revenge. That's within character.

    You extort him for money? That's okay, if you have proof. Not in this case.

    You go to the guy sensibly and say, "Hey, man, you lost me my job. I don't care what that ship is, but can you give me a job, please? You've done a disservice to me and my family."

    Then if Lex says no, you find him and kill him real quick. That's what I did to the last guy who turned me down for a job. He threw his laptop at me, and I gave him Xes for eyes.

    You hear that, Bantam? You're on notice! Buy Benjamin!

    Stinking slush piles. I'll give THEM piles, the...

    Er...anyway.

    My point being, you don't get an improvised explosive device, a global positioning tracker on a peripheral track, and a few guns, go killing everyone in sight, and kidnapping the guy so he'll show you the ship. First of all, you KNOW the ship exists. You know he hid it. You don't need to see it to prove that. And say he takes you straight to the ship, and say you call the news, and they get pictures, and yeah, Lex Luthor is exposed. You still go to jail for MURDER and KIDNAPPING and EXTORTION and, heck, playing the illegal form of laptop/pistol/panic room.

    If you're smart enough to plan a heist as they did, I argue, you're not dumb enough to consider the end result. Most revenge motivated slaughter in literature has a rationale, at very least.

    But this isn't literature, it's TV, as this painfully points out. The sad thing is, Smallville was a kind of literature on TV for a while there...before they gave up on plot and moved more into arbitrary drama.

    Lana has driven all the way to Smallville to study with Clark. Clark is, in fact, dutifully studying, when she jumps on him and says, "SHOW ME THE MONEY, HORN-DOG!"

    How can she afford that much gas? Well, because face it. She's amazing.

    Clark says, "Uh, ah, erm." And begs off, because he doesn't want to blow the tailbone out of her butt. A reasonable thought.

    I mean sitting on her, you dirty minded...Lookout! LAPTOP!

    Anyway, now that I have strategically distracted you, let's examine.

    First off, Lana lied. She said she wanted to come over to study. Instead she wanted nookie. Chalk up another Lana lie.

    Second off, Lana has always been portrayed as virginal and anti-sex, in it for the love, blah blah blah, etcetera etcetera, and yet here she is portraying the guy she gave wilting glances to for kissing on Alicia as a pansy for not putting out.

    Huh?

    Third off, they already resolved this plotline. Last week, no less. Clark figured out, with Chloe, that it was safe for them to have sex, because Clark can control himself. Remember? So this is a case of bad continuity, or at least reversed forward motion without any kind of catalyst or acknowledgement, like unto when Lionel has money after Lex took all of his assets.

    Lana gets mad, folds her arms, and starts to leave the room. Why? Because, as Lana's character so frustratingly indulges herself in a weekly fashion, it's her modus to solve problems by ignoring them. Does this happen in real life? Yes. Does that mean I want to watch it for entertainment? No. People always write me to justify Lana, saying, "Yeah, she's fruity, but there are people like that in real life!"

    I knew guys who beat their kids and smoked dope in the living room with the kids present growing up. My best friend. His parents were constantly arrested. That happens in real life. Heck, people burned other people in ovens for real life. Does that mean I want to watch that for entertainment, unless it's being villainized?

    NO.

    Not saying Lana's a nazi, though there's always the off chance. More just saying, when I see women acting like this in real life, or men, for that matter, I cut off ties with them, I ignore them, that's the end. People who treat other people like this in real life are only tolerated by dopes, and it's not entertaining.

    She continues whining as she folds her arms and attempts to leave without communicating, because, as we all know, the best way to solve a problem is to get angry, not talk, and leave, cutting off all avenues of communication. Works in diplomatic talks, don't it?

    Clark says, "Uh, wait. Let's be rational and talk." She tells him he should be having sex with her, he says, and here's where the quotes start:

    Clark: "It's complicated."

    Lana: "It shouldn't be. Not when you love somebody."

    Well, hey. Then why didn't you have sex with Adam, Whitney, Magneto, or Jason, who you LIVED with, Lana? You professed love to them. It shouldn't be complicated? After all, you're an adult. You can make your own decisions. You pain in the &$#.

    What I wouldn't pay for a walk-on role where I choke her to death to the other characters' applause...I don't even care if it's just the imaginings of John Dorian on a cut scene on Scrubs.

    You loved four guys with no ficky-ficky, Lana. Your statements are frustrating.

    And given that even mentioning this subject is taking the torture knife from Slaughter-House 5 and twisting it in my nethers, because it involves Superman choosing pre-marital sex and reveling in it if only he didn't have powers, which I KNOW is estranging viewers, it's like broken glass in my nasal passages set on spin.

    Lana's voice is like the most annoying sound in the world from Dumb and Dumber when she's on a passive aggressive roll, and watching it is making me eat the burger with the ulcer. That girl's got so much bullcrap in her mouth, I'm surprised she doesn't have chronic dysentery.

    Put that on my tombstone. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus.

    As she walks out in this huff, I go to get a towel to stop the bleeding from my ears, and when I get back, the schematics from the ship drop onto the floor.

    Lana lie number two: "I stopped studying the meteor shower." But, uh, she's still looking at the ship schematics with Lex. Why? Because he tells her the truth, and Clark lies. Except when he hides the ship from her in the first place, and except when he doesn't tell her that the ship has disappeared.

    That's kind of funny, considering that they were studying it, but it wasn't there. Is Lana so dumb as to keep looking at pictures of it as she's coming to Smallville to talk with Lex and never ask to see it again?

    And hey, chalk those trips to Smallville up on the gas bill, because, you know, a three hour drive, what's that? NOTHIN'!

    It's a double betrayal considering that Lex is running against Clark's father for a senate seat, and also because it's time she could be spending with Clark, given that they have a long distance relationship.

    Clark: "Why would you keep this from me?"

    Lana: "Because, Clark. Every time I try to bring up the ship I saw you change the subject."

    Great excuse. So, let me get this straight. It's okay for you to lie to look into something if the person who doesn't want you looking into it is uncomfortable with what you're doing?

    I'll apply this to real life, and a situation that honestly happened to me once. I had a girlfriend, she loved going out partying and dancing with other guys. I was jealous, angry, and ticked off about it, because I knew she'd be dancing with these dudes, and untoward things would be occurring. The response from all of my friends was "If you're with her, dude, you should trust her, let her do these things." Because, you know, limiting her expression of her own sexual self was not cool, dude. Let the woman be the delicate flowery petal of perfection.

    I told her it made me uncomfortable. I told her, "Let's talk about it." And so we did. We never came to a consensus, we kept on talking, and in between these talks, as so often occurs, life happened. We ate, we slept, we went to school. And thus, not unlike TV, our dialogues occurred in scant human patterns.

    She knew I didn't want her dancing with other guys until we figured it out. It made me uncomfortable. She went behind my back, did it anyway, cheated on me, and bang. We were no longer boyfriend and girlfriend.

    Point being, though it's an interesting story, human communication is indeed subject to interpretation based upon whether or not something has immediate utility to you. She wanted to dance. Lana wants to study that ship. They think it's right, even if they haven't yet exactly figured out why with the person they love, the person they're supposed to think these things over with.

    So when they try and assume these failures of their own character give them the moral high ground, it p*$@es me off on a personal level.

    Am I taking this too personally or making too much out of this? Nah, I don't think so. I'm just putting it in my own logical framework, and hopefully, that rates. The armchair critic will then say of me, "Ah ha! The only reason Neal REALLY hates Lana is because she reminds him of a girl that once dumped him!"

    Nay. Actually, the reason Neal really hates Lana is because any woman who acts like Lana he avoids like the plague they are, preferring healthy relationships, and yet here, on TV, the Lana-archetype is portrayed as the female ideal, when really, the best a gal could be for me is, well, a Chloe, when she's not going on her evil bender of season 2. Smart, pretty, but not so pretty that she becomes fetishized and thus manipulative, and having a personality with limitations that makes her not everything to everyone, but just who she is. Like me.

    Lana tries to justify it further, rationalizing that she saw the ship, she saw the people who came out of it, and then, drops my favorite bomb:

    "I almost died, and all you can say is 'There's no point dwelling on it!'?", complete with indignant huff and look in the eyes like, "I'm gonna spit passive aggression like a cobra, bich-hotch!"

    Clark then gets the sullen, Oh, I've been a d*ck face on, and lets Lana storm out.

    Yeah, what a mean guy, getting mad at her for obsessing over the fact that she almost lost her life. What a putz. What a loser.

    Except, you know, for the fact that her life is threatened every week, and every time, the person who usually saves her is, incredibly, him. And except for the fact that since their lives have been threatened so constantly that to dwell on it would mean that they'd go instantly insane, that statement Lana made has a lot of sensibility to it.

    KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-ripes.

    Yeah, I guess Lana, you'd better start having some pity for Clark, then, because, you know, a few weeks ago, he ACTUALLY died, but, you know, why doesn't he just move on, like, totally, you know?

    My next note: "I hate this episode already, and we're ten minutes in."

    That episode was the most full-blown, panic-inspiring, annoying Lana outburst since last season, and it only got worse as the episode went on. Abysmal. That's not entertainment, it's torture.

    The cop tries to pry Lex from his panic room, calling him LuthER. That happens a whole bunch of times. I figure he's just saying it wrong to try and tick him off and scare him out. Uh, yeah.

    Let me get this straight. Lex Luthor had enough men to hide the ship, bribe the cops, destroy the evidence of extra-terrestrial attack, and move it into a warehouse that doesn't have a door big enough to hold it, but he couldn't pay one guy to go over to the cop cars and say, "Hey! There's some dude here, his hand's all burned up, but he still has a pulse!"?

    And then, subsequently, the cop would throw a laptop at Lex's goon, and Lex's goon would pwn him with a pistol, in a sweet sweet irony.

    But no, they insinuate that he was just there the whole time, saw it happen, somehow survived, and no one noticed him. Yeah. I buy that.

    I know I complained that I didn't believe there would be no witnesses. But then, on the other side of the coin, it's also fair to say that if we're supposed to believe Lex has the kind of resources necessary to make THAT big of a cover-up, there's no reason to believe any cop would survive it without being bribed and/or killed.

    Cut to a scene, no kidding, a scene of MA KENT giving Clark crap for not being honest with Lana.

    Clark says, "Hey, Ma. You remember the last person I told the secret to? I forget her name, but I recall she died of a slow, hanging, asphyxiation style death while I screamed to the Heavens. Alexia...Alena...I don't know, doesn't matter. I only married her. Point being, when I tell people my secret, they often DIE."

    Ma Kent says, "Hey, Tom, that's not in the script."

    The director then says cut, and they have to do it again and again. WELLING!

    No, really, she gives him crap and he just, as the "good" guy, takes it and makes himself feel like the bad guy. Which is, to wit, largely why a number of "nice guys" think the only way to get ladies to approve of them is to take crap sitting down, even when it's totally unjustified. Way to provide a sociological role model.

    *%#s.

    Lex himself, in the panic room, offers a LuthERcorp.

    Back to Ma Kent and Clark, talking about how he could never love anyone outside of Lana, or couldn't perceive it, anyway. I think he could, if he'd only just imagine constantly hugging a doll called "Knife pain man" filled with broken glass and saline solution that crushed as the blades penetrated.

    Instead, the writers came up with a neater solution, having Lois drive up. Which is, to wit, the second and last time the show entertained me. First, with Lex pulling his "yoink!", and then, with the creative way to insinuate his future with Lois.

    Good going on those ten seconds of forty-two minutes.

    Lois meets with Jonathan, who walks around the barn, then out to start ratcheting something in his truck. I was struck immediately by how hilarious it was that they were trying to pass him off as a humble, hardworking farm guy when his truck, that he's so poor he has to repair himself, sports a nice new blue paint job that cost a couple of dimes. Then, just for the fun of it, they talk about where money comes from.

    Laugh me a river of blood.

    Lois says "Look! We're about to put out about eighteen million dollars worth of advertisement! Isn't that great!"

    Jonathan, dutifully ratcheting, replies, "Yeah! Shore is, puddin'! But how's we all affordin' that there telly vision?"

    Lois: "These aren't the droids you're looking for!"

    Jonathan: "I will take you to Jabba now. I am a good worker, and will be rewarded."

    This is the dumb as Clark moment for this episode.

    Lana, on the road back to Metropolis after her passive aggressive knife fight, sports a nice, new, expensive cell phone handset.

    I don't know how much they cost, because I don't have a cell phone, because, you know, I'm really poor, not fake TV poor (Buy my books and change that if you enjoy this, you MOOKS). I looked it up online and found one that looks like the one she's using for 170 dollars.

    That is, to wit, half a month's rent in college, if you live cheap.

    I found a few as low as 30 bucks. Point being, she looks like she's a walking status symbol, but she's portrayed as poor on other occasions. Disgusts me. Same with Chloe, later, and her nice new cell phone.

    Is it envy? Am I just a bitter, envious poor guy that I don't have what they have?

    Maybe. But considering I don't WANT a cell phone, you make the call. Am I just mad that the character is misrepresented, or is it, as I hear on TV, that the poor are engaging in class warfare by wanting to be depicted appropriately given their contribution to society. I know. Yawn. More fart jokes.

    I'll throw a laptop at you! If, you know, I could afford one.

    She's still in her nice, new SUV, talking on her cell phone, and the lights go up behind her. Uh-oh, the fuzz!

    I got pulled over in November for the first time in ten years. I was speeding. It was an accident, I thought I was doing the speed limit. Didn't stop the state from dinking me out of 122 bucks or the judge from ignoring my mitigating circumstances, but here's the point: I was scared out of my mind, and I hadn't done a thing wrong. I was shaking, a grown man, shaking, and nervous. I got my ticket, but he had to move his hand around to get it into my palm.

    Lana, if you watch, is actually ANNOYED that she has to cut short her call with Chloe, and slows only AFTER she's finished her call.

    The cop comes up, and she's "La la la, sorry, whoopee dee, was I going fast back there?"

    I don't buy it. People get scared when cops pull them over, number one, and when you don't immediately stop for cops, they get MAD, and you KNOW they're gonna be mad.

    Even if she acted normally, pulled over normally, and didn't mean to speed, the aloof and annoyed attitude she has towards law enforcement made me hate her character all the more.

    At first, the whole scene bugged me, because I assumed they were just saying bad cop found her in the middle of one of the many roads that would have to exist between Metropolis and Smallville. But no, instead, get this, they find her by GPS.

    This is what really kills me. The whole setup is thus that they BUST in to Lex's house, expect him to lead them to the ship, and thusly, they don't anticipate the Panic Room, and when they find he has one, they have to improvise, and thus get Lana.

    BUT, given that they didn't know they would have to improvise, why would they be tracking Lana in the first place? You assume BAM, you go get Lex, he leads you to the ship, game over.

    So Lana was hanging with Lex, that might lead them to want to track her. But then, that would require pre-meditation, intelligence, and skills, which would imply they had planning and common sense, which is contradicted by the way they break into Lex's office and have a "DO IT OR I'LL SHOOT" episode of the bad villain gong show.

    I ask you, what makes more sense? Going and grabbing a hostage and dragging her back to the mansion, or WAITING a day or two until Lex is starving enough to come out and do their bidding?

    Anyone?

    They drag Lana into the Luthor office, turning the episode into a VERY BAD imitation of Panic Room, which was, point of fact, a VERY BAD movie, so you can see where I'd have problems with a very bad impression of a very bad movie, especially considering, hey, I'm expecting ORIGINAL entertainment, not an imitation.

    The evil policeman gives us two nice, new LuthERs to add to our collection, and we find Lana in a situation where she's NEARLY KILLED. They put a gun to her head, stand her in front of Lex, and PREPARE TO PULL THE TRIGGER.

    That means, behind Clark's back, she's going to be fanatically and obsessively studying the methodology that inspires someone to kidnap, ransom, and extort, right?

    What? What do you mean, by next episode she won't be dwelling on it. That would make what she said earlier really shallow and make her look like an idiot, wouldn't it? Good thing that isn't happening.

    Lex comes out, tells them he'll accede if they just let Lana go, which Lex is not stupid enough to do, as he later points out, knowing that if they get information they'll kill them both, but he does it anyway.

    Lana, the woman who is everything to anyone, magically conjures her kung-fu skills again and hits the person holding a gun on her. Lex takes the other guy down, steals the gun, and shoots a transmitter. He takes Lana, jumps into the panic room, and slams the door shut. It looked to me like he got a gun, but apparently he didn't. He musn't have, because otherwise, the rest of this episode would...okay. Going to the tape.

    Oh, monkeys.

    Yeah. He got the gun. Lex got the gun, went into the room, and shut the door, collapsing with a bullet wound to the chest. They have a GUN for the rest of the show, and they don't use it. Amazing.

    Now, get this. Lex Luthor has a gunshot wound to the chest. In the lung area, actually. Looks like a lung wound to me. I tried to find a bleed out time on the internet, and the best that I could find was that it was likely a few short seconds, or you would survive. Point being, collapsed lung, I don't think Lex is doing so well. If it missed his lung (hard to imagine, given that shot), he might be able to do what he does for the rest of the episode. I doubt it, especially if it's making him that weak. You decide...

    Either way, I hate it when someone's shot in a show and just keeps talking and interacting. Pheh!

    Get this. If Lana hadn't started the attack and taken the gun, Lex would never have been shot. It's her fault. I can't remember when it happened, but I distinctly recall that Clark got blamed, or Lex, I can't recall, when she got trampled by the horse. The horse did it, but because Lex was the indirect cause, she got to blaming.

    Now, she causes a wound that almost kills Lex, is there even, or will there be, an apology?

    Best not to dwell.

    Lois, in the campaign headquarters, offers a nice LuthER before telling Jonathan the cold, hard truth. She took money from Lionel.

    SHOCK! GASP! Such intriguing drama! I didn't see how this would end, at all!

    Here's my quote from the last review:

    "Martha's going to take this money, and when it comes out, she'll say, "I was just trying to do what I thought was right." and she will not be questioned."

    Well? Who deserves a cookie? Who's a good boy! I'm a good boy!

    Martha tells Jonathan she's just ruined the trust of their marriage, sold their soul to the devil, and done it all so that he can succeed in...what? Family? Farming? Finding Clark's peace? Nah, POLITICS!

    And what's his response? It's not questioned, because he hears her say, "I was just trying to do what I thought was right!". Another case of, because someone doesn't have time to discuss something, doing what they think is right or want to, and then expecting no one to care. And this show indicates, as is NOT the case in real life, that there are no consequences for such actions.

    In FACT, Jonathan SELLS the BACK FORTY. He does this to PAY the campaign manager that advised that he take dirty money (and indeed, spent it) and to fix the mistake of the wife who went behind his back and destroyed his own personal integrity. And, you know, I guess Lionel's just going to take the money back and not go, "Nyah! Keep it! I have you now!"

    Jonathan doesn't say, "YOU ARE TAKING MONEY FROM A MURDERER TO FINANCE MY CAMPAIGN?" before clutching his heart and falling over. He says, "Well, I guess you meant well honey." (Smile).

    NO!

    NO, NO, NO, a THOUSAND times no! That is NOT Kent integrity. Kent integrity involves being responsible for your failures, even at a personal cost. Which Pa Kent shows, but in this case, doesn't hold his wife to. Martha should have had to return the money and cancel the spots. It was too convenient. Beyond that, it was awful.

    Passive aggressive dilemmas, arbitrary drama that compromises what we love about the character, and forced situations we're supposed to forget.

    THAT is why I am hard on this show. Not because I hate it, but because I LOVED it when it was SO MUCH MORE.

    Clark again goes to Chloe for advice on his Lana relationship, per last episode, and it is met with the same criticism it had last week. You're going to Chloe to talk about your sex life with Lana? *%$er! He's not a bad guy for questioning Lana's actions. They're suspect. He's a horrible person for rubbing who he's having sex with in with the person who loves him. They even show, through cinematography, that it's hurting her, and he doesn't give a crap. Evil scene. Frustrating.

    Clark speeds off, hearing where Lana's vehicle has been found, abandoned, and shows up at the scene. He doesn't have a car, he appears out of nowhere, and they're setting up a perimeter to find Lois.

    Now, I've just elected you sheriff of Smallville. You come upon an abandoned vehicle and a missing girl. Your men are fanning out to find her, but then, a guy shows up, out of nowhere, a guy who always seems to be around trouble. Trouble centered, coincidentally enough, around the same girl. He has no car, so he didn't drive in. He wants to know what the police know about the girl's disappearance. He knows about a suspicious GPS device in her wheel well that would have taken a long time to find, if anyone would have looked for it.

    How do you respond, Sheriff Reader?

    Me? I immediately detain him for questioning, throw him in a room, and ask him where the heck Lana is.

    Adams? She starts to give him details of the case, doesn't question how he got there (even though the most likely explanation is that he was in the vehicle with Lana), and COMPLIMENTS him when he finds the GPS.

    I'm thinking, at this point, "She needs to die."

    Hey, maybe there's three things that pleased me in this episode. Nah, not really. As annoying as they made her character, and as often as they put her at the helm of the army to stop nuclear missiles and gave her authority she didn't have, I liked the actress playing the character.

    The police tell the sheriff that they've got a silent alarm at the Luthor mansion, and Clark disappears. Right in front of the sheriff. There are a bunch of other cops around, guess they weren't watching their commander. Oh well. That's a super-speed in front of folks, not to mention all the lingering questions his disappearance leaves.

    There are a lot of "Say WHAT?" moments in this episode. This, by far, was my favorite, even if it is insane. Cutting back to Lex and Lana in the panic room, the villain leans into the camera, crowing.

    "NYAH, see, NYAH! We just cranked the thermostat up to 130. We're gonna sweat you out, see!"

    Lex then, despite a lung puncture, has a long conversation with the guy. Meanwhile, I can't hear any of it, because I'm thinking, wait! Lex built a panic room that could withstand a nuclear blast, but he put the thermostat controls on the outside? No, that can't possibly be it. They're raising the thermostat in the house to put him into misery. But how does the heat penetrate a nuclear bunker? Why, for the rest of the show, are none of the characters perspiring? Have you ever seen a thermostat that goes to 130? Mine goes to 80, and my feet still go numb if I'm not standing on the stinking vent. For that matter, why didn't Lex put a CELL PHONE in his panic room to call the cops?

    And for that matter, THEY HAVE A GUN. WHY IS LANA NOT SHOOTING THEIR WAY OUT WHILE LEX IS DYING. Yeah, it's desperate, but do you SIT AND TALK while the man you caused to get shot bleeds out, or do you open the door, take a few shots, then run like hell?

    Anyone?

    Lex, collapsing, has very little blood anywhere. The room is pretty clean. I find that hard to believe with a wound like that.

    The sheriff comes in, exploring. Because it makes sense that a sheriff, instead of trusting her police, would come and examine a situation out of the blue on her own. Especially considering it's completely illogical. She even gives us two LuthERs for the trouble of watching her.

    She finds her deputy ignoring her orders, trying to stop her from moving through, and in the dark. Instead of saying, "Hey, something might be going on here!" She walks past the woman and into the room, where she finds a dead guy on the floor. She draws her weapon, aims it at the man in the room, another cop, and instead of, say, watching her back where the cop acting funny was, she just stands there, waits to be shot, and is shot. Dead. Crappy end for a somewhat decent character. But if she's that stupid, she probably deserved to die anyway.

    Then, the next inadvertently funny scene takes place. When last we saw Pa, he found out that Lois had taken dirty money from Lionel. What does the next scene start with? PA SHARPENING AN AXE. Hilarious.

    "I'll show that girl the House of the Dead, you watch!"

    Ma: "No, Bo, don't do it!"

    And she sees him sharpening the axe, she knows he's mad, and then she says, "Uh, I did it, Paw."

    I half expected him to bury the axe in her forehead. That would have redeemed it. But no, as mentioned, she just says, "I thought I was doing what was right!" and all is well.

    Well, hate to put it so plainly, but when Clark blew up the ship and killed your baby, did you forgive him because he thought he was doing what was right?

    They did, but not because it makes sense, but rather, because this show has no memory.

    The cop proffers another LuthER upon us before trying to con Lana into coming out, nyah, see. Instead, she finds that Lex is passing out. Does she take up her gun? Does she try and make a deal? Nah. She leans in toward Lex, almost straddling him, and they have a nice, long conversation despite Lex's lung wound about how much of a light she is to him, how much he loves her, (cough cough) and "Does Clark know how lucky he is?" (actual quote from Lex)

    Hey, Lex. SHE JUST GOT YOU SHOT.

    Hey, Lex. SHE ONLY COMES OVER TO GUILT YOU FOR THINGS YOU'VE DONE.

    Hey, Lex. SHE ONLY MARRIES YOU IN YOUR DREAM BECAUSE YOU BECAME WHAT SHE WANTED TO BE, NOT WHO YOU ARE.

    Hey, Lex. YOU ARE RICH AND CAN HAVE ANYONE IN THE WORLD. ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE YOU'D TAKE A PRIMA DONNA WHO DOESN'T PUT OUT AND THEN DOES, FRANTICALLY, GUILTING PEOPLE WHO DON'T SEX HER?

    Hey, Lex. Is it hot in the panic room you installed the thermostat on the outside of?

    Hey, Lex. WHILE YOU TALK TO HER, DO YOU NOTICE YOU ARE BLEEDING OUT?

    And then, I swear, I almost turned off the television. I really did. I had the remote IN MY HAND. This was going to be the first episode where I said, "Hey, guys, sorry, I can't go another inch."

    Lana is sitting over Lex, the goons are demanding to see the ship, Lex is bleeding out. He tells her that it's disappeared.

    Lex is BLEEDING OUT. DYING. IN PAIN. AFTER CONFESSING HIS LOVE FOR HER. HE'S RUPTURED A LUNG.

    And she starts giving him crap for lying to her. I swear to GOD.

    As it was, I had to pause and take a few deep breaths. I suppose there's something to be said for something moving you so emotionally that you actually get mad. But when it's in that Bill O'Reilly kind of way and not that "fighting injustice" kind of way, where you're so furious at something so ignorant, uninformed, and infuriating that you have to leave the room, I ask you, readers, is that entertainment?

    Lana realizes she has to save him, though why this took the time from when he was shot to the time the sheriff comes in and dies and through a dialogue between her and Lex is beyond me.

    She opens the door, and tells them that she'll take them to the ship if they call for help. They offer to call for help after she shows them the ship.

    Lex croaks, "Lana, no!" because it's pretty obvious that they won't call for help, they'll just kill Lana and whistle all the way out the door. They want Lex dead anyway.

    Lana AGREES to take them to the ship before calling for help, after getting Lex shot.

    I kid you not. She leaves him to bleed out.

    She does this KNOWING that there's no ship. So let's try and figure out her plan. Take the kidnappers away from Lex? He's bleeding out, with no one knowing he's there. No one will be saving him. She's letting him die. Okay. Maybe she assumes when the kidnappers find there's no ship, they'll feel guilty and call for help. Even though, with that tact, she could just tell them and wind up with the same result. Lex could even, likely, call up the image of it disappearing on a computer. Assume that she thinks she can dispatch them when they get to the warehouse (as she tries). Lana fu versus a gun?

    Either way, she's obviously condemning Lex to death. Does Lex get mad at her later? Nah.

    Best not to dwell.

    Clark and Chloe go to a psychiatric institute to find information on the cop, trying to find his psyche profile to figure out where he is. It's on a computer, you see, and they have to get to that computer, even though Chloe just broke into a corporate web site, decrypted the password, and found out the private information of who bought a GPS system. We're supposed to assume she can't assume control of a computer remotely? Especially a state owned computer?

    Well, okay.

    So they have an obstacle on the way to this impossibility. One inept guard. Chloe offers a complicated solution, Clark says, "I gotta idea! Dur!"

    He then shakes up the guard's soda, which he opens. It spills on him, and he leaves his post to wipe it up.

    If the guard's that dumb, why not just knock him out? Because they were trying to be funny. And, you know, it just wasn't that funny, given that the soda didn't even explode that much. Ketchup and baking soda exploding equals the funny. A soda on a guard that fizzles into his lap? Lame.

    They find their psychiatrist's profile, ripped out of Terminator 2, and the cop treats us to another LuthER.

    Finding out that they MUST be at Lex's, through the overwhelming (read: non-existent) amount of evidence, Clark rushes to Lex's mansion, bursts his way in, and finds Lex near death. Clark then either runs him to the hospital or waits for an ambulance. Either way, he's nuts. First off, running Lex while he's semi-lucid (which he'd have to be to survive that long with a gunshot wound) would reveal his secret, but would still be necessary by the hero code. You don't leave a man to die. You get him to help, immediately. So we have to assume, since Lex didn't know the secret, they called an ambulance. It would also be the only possible way Lex could comprehend, later on, that Clark got him to the hospital, given that the other alternative involve car keys he doesn't know about or running. Which means Clark violated the hero code.

    When he gets there, he pushes Lex for information, Lex passes out, but he finds out where they're headed.

    AND AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES.

    Now, we find Lana in the warehouse, delivering what is (and you'll flay me for this, but it's true) another LANA LIE. She tells them she's taking them to the ship, but she's not.

    Lana then attempts to beat up two armed assailants, and they, predictably, knock her out. That's when we realize: HOLY CRAP, THEY HAVE A BOMB!

    Now, here are some more questions to ponder. Why would extortionists who just want to see the ship have a bomb with a one minute timer? Why does it start when the box opens? Why isn't the guy able to turn it off when he tries to, considering he made it?

    Clark uses telescopic vision (more proof for the unconvinced that he has it). He rushes in, grabs Lana, and takes her out at the approximate speed that the bomb was exploding, with the flames licking at his butt.

    One would assume that moving a human that fast, IE taking them from zero miles per hour to, say, oh about 300 miles per hour (or more, Will?) would break every bone in their body and kill them instantly. But hey.

    Should we dwell, Lana?

    So Clark saves Lana's life, Lana doesn't know how he got there with no car, why he was able to carry her out without the villains killing him, and the cops don't question how he got inside despite a dead sheriff, a dead campaign worker, a missing girl that is now found, right next to him, and Lana? Well, Lana must just assume he's that fast on foot. I guess.

    Jeeze.

    Hey! Lana was almost killed right there! You think she's going to dwell on it?

    Clark was too! Think he'll dwell? How about Lex?

    Cut to commercials, where I again see one of those smoking ones that indicate that kissing a smoker is like X, in this case, a girl sticks a maggot ridden rat corpse into her mouth and tries to kiss her boy.

    Now, sucking on a maggot ridden rat corpse is okay, but a man contemplating suicide because he's found out he's going to die needs a parental warning? Okay.

    My next note: "It's 8:50. I'll take one quick helping of passive aggressive BS, please, and then shoot me in the head."

    The cop, being hauled off, screams one last LuthER in desperation, then we see Lana and Lex in a hospital room.

    AND AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES.

    Lex tells Lana he's thankful she risked her life to save him, and that he's sorry he's such an idiot and that she hates him.

    Lana then tells him, no, I don't hate you. I just act like I do every single second we speak, even when you're bleeding out, and tell you I like you when you intimate that I hate you.

    She didn't risk her life for Lex. She pulled an ignorant act of desperation that would have killed him had Clark not saved him. Lex would know that. In fact, Lex told her that, as she walked away, leaving him to bleed out.

    Lex sits up easily after having been shot in the chest to talk to her about these things. Lana rewards him by saying, "You're a LuthER."

    Lex's response? "Yeah, I guess I am."

    Clark sees Lana hugging Lex, then runs away in fury, sure that he's manipulating her into loving him, because, you know, hugs mean a lot. I hug my mother, so I must have an illicit relationship with her, right?

    Ew.

    Clark goes to Chloe, telling her how much he loves Lana, and asking her for more help.

    Nice guy.

    You know, I had hopes this season would jump back from the shark. Milton Fine and the first half almost made me believe it would. But shows like this, shows that bring back the worst of last season, they make me remember there's a LOT of work to do to make this show on par again.

    We've been told that this next episode will change the series forever, and put it on the right track. Take it from a guy that's read a ton of comic books in his time. When they say that, they're trying to sell comic books, and it's only true one time in ten after a few weeks have passed.

    I'll give it a chance. The deaths might revitalize the show, if they're not cheap, and if the characters don't "find a shelter" three weeks later.

    This show has still jumped the shark.

    Next week, I think they have their one last chance for this season.

    In the preview, we see a black car hit by a school bus and rolling. Lana's screaming in the preview, so that makes it safe to assume it isn't Lana dying, but rather, they want us to think it's Lana. Thus the graveyard scene above the angel, as well, I postulate. If they kill Lana...well...let's just say, you'll hear the cheers. It'll be like the end of Return of the Jedi. I will officially yub yub. Do I think it will happen?

    No.

    The preview also means that yet another cast member will have a new car.

    Sigh.

    I give up.

    This show, obviously, is a 1 of 5. And that's generous. Really generous. It's almost unwatchable, especially if you know the context of the show and what's going on.

    Surviving two gunshots to the chest in three weeks?

    Come ON!

    SUPER SHORT REVIEW:

    Lana is stupid. Lana needs to die. Lana is like two minutes hate. Lana is worse than breaking a thermometer in my hand. Lana tastes like...burning. Lana is like hitting a baby with a baseball bat. Lana is a monkey without poo, a midget without a sense of humor. Lana is like war. Lana like a metaphor without a...something. Lana, I hope you die next week. Die die die die die.

    THIS is how people become insta-homicidal. Not the crap this show just peddled.

    1 of 5.

    LETTERS:

    WOW. Not that many letters this week. In fact, you may recall, up through season four, letters were steadily increasing. Now I'm getting maybe 20-30 a week...that's kind of crazy. It either means my reviews are totally sending people away (nay, I think I can have enough sarcastic hubris to say), or the show has lost a lot of die-hards in the last year. Either way, feel free to send in words.

    I'm in bold, because it's finger licking good.

    TRA wrote:
    I almost didn't write anything to you about "Lexmas," simply because no episode has touched me in such a way since "Memoria." Although this episode was no "Memoria," the Smallville writers often do their best work when writing the downfall of Lex (and their worst work when writing about why Superman is Super).

    I think I agree. Unless it's a Reeve episode.

    I'm sure you've received a lot of comments about your views about Lex's ultimate decision, but I find it more interesting to analyze Lex's choices during the crisis point of the story, and not his decision at the end. For it is his decision to turn to his father in the first place that seals Lex's destiny. At first, I was annoyed by the decision to have Lex turn to Lionel for help. It seemed so obvious and forced. I'm thinking, "Why in the world are you going back to that unforgiving jerk for help?" I'm practically yelling in my head, "Why not go to Senator Kent for help; he has just said that you are like a son to him, for goodness sake?" Most Senators would have the ability to get a helicopter, I think. Jonathan Kent would help Lex and Lana in a heart-beat.

    Agreed. Good point.

    In addition, Martha would have taken up a collection that would have paid for all the hospital bills by the next day! Or, "How about the Governor, who is about to award you the humanitarian of the year award?" You would think you could get a helicopter from him! Okay, so I've been watching too much Smallville, but I just didn't get Lex's thinking.

    Pride, maybe?

    After the episode was over, I realized that the decision to have Lex turn to Lionel made sense. First, it re-emphasized a continuing theme-Lex's need for approval/acceptance from his father. A nice reminder for this season, when Lex and Lionel are more estranged that ever. Gotta love any continuity!

    And I mean ANY.

    Second, and maybe most interesting to me, is that Lex's decision is that of a man who has not worked for where he is and doesn't trust his own power. Lex is placed in a dream, where many of his secret wishes are reality, but he is simply there (placed there by his mother or his own imagination, you decide). The point is, Lex did not take the journey to get there. He doesn't know what he has done to "earn" this happiness and so doesn't trust it in the first place. He really doesn't believe that he could be so respected, so loved, that anyone would help him. Fascinating and true; for me it captures the heart of a super-villan to be.

    I agree.

    Personally, the episode made me want to smack Lex and comfort him at the same time. Rosenbaum presents the vulnerability of a villan fighting his destiny like no one else. Lexmas was an episode that stayed with me, made me feel and think and wonder. What more can you ask for?

    More Lex episodes. And I do.

    Danielle wrote:
    Hi again!

    Hello!

    *pauses mid-thought* Wait, I just saw "Bad Religion version of 'Silent Night'" a second ago. Are you yanking my chain, or is that real? If it's real, what album is it on? *prepares to squeee like a silly fangirl*

    It is real. I believe it is a B-Side. I heard it when I was still a young, nave, second-waver. I just looked it up, looks like it was on an album called "A Punk Rock Christmas", and also featured NOFX. People who steal music online are brigands and horrible people who need to be hit with wet noodles, and I don't associate with such filth! BUT, hey, if you find a guy at scotttreadwell@hotmail.com on the MSN messenger who may or may not be me (not sure, because I can't condone the man's actions), he may give you a series of leads which will bring you to a highly illegal MP3 of the same name. Be sure to bring a bomb with a one minute timer and a laptop computer.

    But back to Smallville ... maybe I spend way too much time in the SW universe, but I was watching Lexmas with my husband, and after it was over, our conversation went something like this:

    "So ... Lex turns to archvillany er whatever because he saw his wife die."

    "Yeah."

    "In childbirth."

    "Yeah."

    "In a dream."

    "Yeah."

    So ... they should have had Natalie Portman playing Lana all along! I know there are other movies/shows that have done the same thing ... but not in the same year (hopefully)! I should NOT have been hearing "Enter Lord Vader" while watching Smallville.

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    Okay. That's it. I'm outta jokes. Good point, though.

    However, the Star Wars fangirl in me was quite entertained by the whole idea. Apparently, all truly bad villains turn evil for the same reason.

    Pregnancy?

    "So, Anakin Skywalker and Lex Luthor were sitting in a bar .... " *snicker*

    Keep up the great reviews ... hope you get to feeling better soon. :D
    ~Danielle

    I'm well as of this writing, thankfully. Still eating cough drops though, those addictive scalawags at Halls have my butt in a sling. Thanks!

    SCOTTY V wrote:
    Hey there Neal.

    Yo!

    I haven't written on the last few reviews because of Chris...the HOLIDAYS and all that. Wouldn't want to be politically incorrect now. But I thought I'd write a short little response to your review just to let you know I'm still reading.

    HEATHEN! I'm sending men right now. Raise your laptop and prepare for war!

    BTW, thank you for reading, joking aside.

    First, I have to mention that I don't see how Jonathan has gotten anywhere in this campaign. There are a few reasons for that:

    1) The writers don't tell us. A few weeks ago the good ol' boy was gonna run after the other good ol' boy suggested it. Now, with no real way of having it done, Pa's got campaign workers, a huge rally with sound systems, music, balloons, posters and a security team!

    And in JANUARY, no less!

    2) The guy can't even keep his own farm afloat. He has no money. Sure, we have to assume again that Jonathan - hard worker that he is - must have gotten all the money he needed by going around asking for contributions. That would be fine, if he had many months or years to prepare. It's been a few weeks. I'm sure this didn't need to be pointed out but, we didn't need another (albeit sans Kryptonite) freak of the week.

    But, uh...Lois did it! She knows a ton of people willing to offer up money, which is why she can't afford college, but Lana can...see? See now?

    Next, I was actually a little happy that the girl, FOW that she was, was at least a regular old unrealistic comic book type homicidal villain, as opposed to Krypto-infected. The problem is, as you've stated, everything just happens on this show and we have to agree to swallow it, even if it's something we all promised our mothers we'd never do. Your "House" example was a pretty good one. I understand the dilemma the writers have, not that I'm saying it's impossible, with coming up with a way to show us Clark stopping a villain or using his superpowers each week. When they do that you get implausible villains, situations and squeaky shoes bills.

    Yeah, and the funny part is, we all complained because of it, so what did they do? They got rid of the KRYPTONITE inspired part of it, and thusly assumed the problem solved. NAY! From the beginning, it was all about "Why would someone just go homicidal like that?" And the funny thing is, they used to be able to point to the Kryptonite, and say it was the undue influence of Kryptonite. Now it's just normal people going nuts. Uh, yeah. That's better.

    Thirdly, in terms of the summary at the beginning of the show. I thought about it while viewing it and I thought it would be an exciting addition in this particular plotline if only. If only they hadn't already made it very clear that the big event happens in TWO WEEKS! It almost seems as if they're trying to run the show like TV was back in the 80's and 90's when all the spoilers weren't already leaked out to the viewers. In other words, this episode and then next week's where Lex gets shot again, would work so much better and would have so much more real tension in them if we the audience didn't already know they weren't the 100th episode. We know that nothing is gonna happen till then, bu these shows and summaries are written as if they're trying to scare us into thinking now could be the time. It would be so much better if they just left the threat hanging out there, which I first thought they were going to do, until BANG - the day came and someone was lost. That way we could all be worried every time a potential was in danger.

    I agree. I also think that I'd rather have five good shows than ten where five suck.

    I really thought they were gonna drag this out till the series was going off and Jon-boy was gonna be the one to go. He still could be, my understanding is that DC is trying to line up all of the current projects so they all link up with the new movie's telling of events, which means Jonathan will die.

    I have an idea of who will die. Do I think Jonathan should die now? No. I think it should be sudden, unexpected, not planned out. Will it be?

    Probably means he's the one to go in Infinite (I haven't read any of those yet, I'm waiting till it's done) so that the unnecessary arbitrary drama of simply having Clark's father dead in the film to give the writers an emotion to work with will match. But I digress, my whole point here was to say that they've ruined any tension or concern we might actually have for the mains by telling us when something might happen. It's my opinion that they've ruined much of the impact that episode 100 will actually have by advertising it so. It should have been left a mystery. In fact, they've embarrassed themselves with all the little teases in episodes up to this point because we know: "eh, we don't have to be concerned until January 26th."

    I'll judge that after I see it. Personally, given that we never see Pa, Ma, Perry, or Jimmy much any more in the comics at all, I'm less concerned that any of them die than I would be when they were a huge part of the comics. Which is sad. We see more of Josef than we do of Perry, and granted, I like the idea of a new, Jewish member at the Planet, that's neat. Gerry, too. But hey, guys? No real Perry stuff in forever sucks.

    Lionel and Lex. These guys are impossible to read. You continue to defend Lex and I must say that to a certain degree I agree because he has helped an awful lot. Lois wasn't around to hear about most of the good things he's done and again, it's not enough to do good things for people simply because you're trying desperately not to become your father. It should be authentic and a lot of times with Lex, it was. However, we must remember that this season, and to a certain degree in previous seasons, Lex has always done things a little shady.

    This is true. But then, so has Clark. Not as overt, but Lex's goal is always TRUTH. Power with the senate race is new. And only after Lexmas.

    In terms of the Kents and Clark, those shady dealings were always trying to discover Clark's secret. Generally, I could see Lex really wanting to know since he felt he should be dead. But the desire for knowledge really grew into an obsession and he's needed Clark to let it go a great many times. But finally when Clark decided with Lex (when he walked into the Clark room in the mansion) that he just couldn't let it slide anymore you were all over Clark.

    Less for his position, more for how arbitrary they made it.

    In a way, it's almost like what you said of the Lana situation and I agree with it. You could say "Sure Scott, but Lana never bailed the Kents out of bankruptcy." True nuff', but doing a few good things in repayment of someone saving your life doesn't mean you can continually get away with doing things you promised you wouldn't do. Clark simply finally had enough after letting his and his families suspicions go for 4 years. Just this season alone, for god's sake, Lex has gone so far as to:

    1)release homicidal killers on the Kents just to see if Clark was indeed super-powered risking the lives of Clark and Lana and the Kents.

    Unproven, and still unsure.

    2)Tortured Arthur Curry in an extremely villainous manner.

    Yep. But Clark isn't supposed to know that. Technically.

    3)Hired Griff to "find dirt" on a poor farmer that really doesn't stand a chance at winning anyway and keep in mind that poor farmer is Jonathan, Clark's father.

    Yep. That sucks. But they don't know about that, so they wouldn't regard Lex's role in that.

    To be honest, Curry was trying to blow up a facility. If someone did that to you, you might torture them for information. Et-hem (Skirts touchy issue with flair). It would be villainous, I concede. Regardless, every time someone threatens the Kents physically, Lex is ALL over them. A political race loss won't kill Jonathan, nor would torturing Arthur Curry. What has Lex done, specifically, to the Kents, given that releasing the baddies MIGHT have been an accident (wish they'd TOLD us, but given that the writers didn't, we can't assume that).

    Lex may have his own psychotic reasons. In my delirium after being shot I thought I married Lana and she died and that I would have had the money to save her if only I'd done evil things in my life and fixed the senate race. Whatever, still wrong and unfortunately for Lex, trying to fix the senate race isn't even close to the worst thing he's done this season and we're not even halfway through. But it's okay, see, cause we all know Lex is to become the bad guy. We can see it. I often think that they've definitely gone about it wrong in the writing because it usually seems to come out of nowhere, but the whole idea of making it a bit understandable and even making it seem like the people around Lex COULD be partially to blame makes it an interesting shift, as opposed to just "okay I'm gonna be evil now." But in the end, you said it yourself in this review about the Lana sex situation, people are responsible for their own actions. So it doesn't matter how many things in life are against you, you need to rise above it.

    Very much so. And Lex is completely to blame, no matter what. I still, however, say he hasn't done as much as they treat him like he's done. And I also believe Clark's not being Clark-y with Lex, which is much of the problem.

    Lionel is an enigma and I'm not even sure he is that way on purpose. The writers really seem confused about where they are with him on a weekly basis. I hope they prove me wrong. Maybe he's still conflicted about the goodness of Clark's infused spirit and he has both halves, like a schizophrenic, that dictate his conflicting actions from week to week. I tend to think yes, although Lex cleaned out the assets he knew about AND had access to, Lionel probably had many other assets in hidden accounts, hidden businesses and other countries that Lex couldn't get at.

    All things they need to either say on the show, or not make us assume. That's part of telling a story...

    Besides, I can't remember exactly how it was stated in the show, but when people go to prison, thy don't always lose everything they had on the outside. It's often waiting for them when they get out. I do seem to remember Lex saying he somehow took over everything from his father though in this case. But again, lionel could have had an exact duplicate of everything he had in America in some other country. The problem again is that the writers don't tell us that. It's probably another way for them to keep Lionel shrouded in mystery.

    Lex completely liquidated Lionel, as I recall. Someone yell at me if I'm wrong. They say "shrouded in mystery", I say "arbitrarily obtuse".

    As far as Lionel following Griff around or showing up at the Talon. With Martha, he knows she works at the Talon and he knows he can play to her emotions and the responsibility she feels toward her husband. Lionel could show up at the Talon any night of the week and 3 or 4 times out of 7 he'd run into Martha. I'll even go one better, it probably wouldn't be that hard to find out her schedule, that way he'd be a hundred percent sure she'd be there. With Griff, he's probably been following him around since he discovered his son was working with him. Chances are, Griff was Luthor contact and Lionel probably has all of those guys on watch with bugs in phones and even men on each guy. Plus we know that Lex is a lot naive in terms of the freedom allowed his father. It's also likely Lionel still has the mansion bugged and knew exactly when, where and on what phone Griff was going to be talking to lex just from bugging Lex's office. Although he wouldn't need to if he had the other methods in place.

    Perhaps, at that.

    There is no reason to hire Lois. Maybe he just thought it would be funny since she's the one who noted that the way the other guy was running it wasn't right for the Kents. Who knows? I actually thought the opening with Lois WAS pretty well done. I didn't notice the closed eye being incorrect and that's unfortunate but minor. The teaser was just a way to get us thinking about how this predicament occurred. My thought was "Wow, this person shooting Jonathan really looks a lot like Lois" and on this show, that could have been the case, so I think it worked okay. You could say in the end that it was a cheap Annie from Misery cliffhanger type thing and I guess it was, though it wasn't as bad as seeing it all happen and then it being changed. I can't remember how closely we saw Lois with the closed eye and then the trigger pull, but there's no reason, as long as Lois wasn't in the shot when the trigger was pulled, to say it doesn't work. It's also much better than another Krypto shapeshifter. Also, I don't know about all the other viewers, but I certainly didn't think that's what they were gonna do so it WAS a surprise for me. Maybe I'm just not with it.

    It was not what I expected, but given how cheaply it was done, it still bugs me. It'd be like showing the Kent vehicle, with all the Kents in it, heading for a cliff, falling off, then exploding, and then when that happens again, showing them having jumped out at the last minute. Sucky.

    Interesting little tidbit for me in your review. You said that many people, as well as yourself had mentioned that this show and this episode in particular seemed boring. I didn't really feel that specifically but when I asked one of my friends if he'd seen it he said "Yeah. I'm starting to get bored with it." I can certainly understand that sentiment, connected with the Lana/Clark thing and the villains thing because it's almost always been done before. Although I'm sure most of the bang-up issues in comics are essentially the same week after week, even if the new strong guy has a different name and look. I think I watch this show, as with L&C, for the character interactions and growth, not so much for the A plots. Unfortunately for Smallville, they often get characterization and consistency wrong so it's even more weeks we have to wait to see something that's good and that fits.

    Usually comics are boring and formulaic too. It's why I'm so frustrated I can't get published...I put that extra work in, and that's "risky". But I still get a few issues a week, and I still watch some TV. This show is one of them...they're working with a lot of original ideas. What's boring is that it's always the same show, with changed ideas, and not a different show with different ideas involving solid characters.

    We all know that Clark is often portrayed as oblivious. Do we know if he really KNOWS that Chloe was or is really in love with him?

    He'd have to be a brick covered in super-dense density not to know. Like with Lana.

    Or is it possible that he still believes what she said in the season premiere of season 2 about being happy that they were just friends and that she wanted it to be that way?

    He'd have to be a brick covered in super-dense density not to know. Like with Lana.

    It can never be said that people on this show are always clear and honest about their feelings.

    A point of annoyance...

    I'm thinking that Chloe never really came out and told Clark directly about her feelings. We could say that Clark should know or that it's obvious, but if she's made him feel - due to her own pride or because she wants him to have what he wants because she loves him so - that they are just friends and it's best that way, then Superman is not really a *%$#, as you say, but instead we just get more of the "duh, Clark!"

    I'd prefer to think Clark is not THAT stupid. Not the Clark character I know and love.

    No Clark doesn't apologize to Lex but he does have every reason to assume it COULD have been him. He knows that Lex sicked those thugs on the Kents to try and prove Clark had powers and he should know that Lex tortured AC, unless he wasn't told and I can't see why he wouldn't have been. But again, Clark trying to see the good in everyone, he says: "Do really think Lex would go that far?"

    Or even if he knows Lex did, he would believe in his own potential redemption and thus not be so hard on him.

    I think the characterization on Clark at this point in the relationship with Lex is pretty good. He's been burned a few times throughout the first few years but let it go and started again. Now they're at a point where they're not really close anymore and Clark knows about some things Lex has done and Lex knows that Clark knows but Clark is still having trouble believing that Lex would do certain things. Clark so wants Lex to be redeemed but has to consider the possibility that he might already be lost, based on what he's done. We can't keep sighting money money money and bailing out of financial situations as redemption, not when he's still doing these other things behind them.

    It's only three things. He sends help to save lives almost as much as Clark does...

    Clark could still have apologized to lex but he didn't really accuse did he? He asked and Lex said he didn't. They then discussed why Lex wanted to win so badly and left each other. Clark didn't insist and you could tell by his face that he wasn't sure either way, but he knows he can't really trust Lex completely anymore.

    Or the writers want us to think he would know, which I disagree with.

    Neal: Clark is an assuming blowhard who doesn't trust his friends, and Lex is the guy who's constantly trying to do right.

    No. The SMALLVILLE Clark is an assuming blowhard. MY Clark, the Superman I grew up with, believes in redemption and forgiveness.

    Clark assumes because Lex brought that suspicion on himself. Lex is constantly trying to do right? I don't think we need to cover this again.

    But he does...

    Murderous thugs to find out Clark's secret? Murderous, gun-toting shady Griff to dig up dirt? Torture for financial gain? Ugh!

    Yep, but then, of those three, only one is lethal or even threatening to the Kents, and it's not sure that Lex did it.

    Believe me Neal, I like Lex too and I've always been chagrined in this show that I knew he would go bad because he always seemed to be trying so hard but that's not so anymore. In the beginning, it may have all been innocent charity, albeit payback for the whole lifesaving thing, but now anything good he does is measured by the guilt he feels for the bad he's doing.

    This I'll concede.

    "Apparently I need better security." HA! I was rolling on the floor with that one! I had to wonder if the writers realize that that's a point of contention for fans and a bit of unreality in this show.

    They must.

    As the scene in the barn with Lana was opening, before we saw Lana, I said to my wife: "If Lana is in that loft, and she will be, I'm going to go out on the street and find a stray cat to throw!" I then continued about how she's in Metropolis and how they all make too many trips back and forth blah blah blah but then there she was and luck be with the kitties of the neighborhood because in my disbelief at having figured out such an unexpected plot twist on such a well-written show I had forgotten about my threat - Lana was there. I then tried to forgive this by saying: "well it is night so she certainly had time and maybe she felt really bad and that it was really important to see him because she hated how things were left." If this wasn't the Lana/Clark relationship and Smallville where people have endless funds even though they're poor and can drive around willynilly even though they're hours apart, I might actually think it was a great way for Lana to make sure things were right and an extra mile she decided to go because of this extremely important issue. Oh well.

    In other news, gas prices on the rise...

    Martha accepts the money. Is it a mistake? Sure it is. It's the whole reason Jonathan always had a hard time accepting Lex's generosity throughout the series. Lionel's original generosity with Clark's adoption came with a Luthor price. Now we're getting right back into bed with Lionel who may or may not be the same guy he was when he did the whole thing with Clark's adoption. Not to mention the whole tried to kill all our friends thing. Could I see it happening? I think so. Martha knows it's something she shouldn't do and she knows that Jonathan wouldn't like it but she's also worried about Jon's heart and the stress of the campaign and not having the finds to continue. I think she is so emotionally concerned over the stress Jonathan already has on him that she'd almost do anything. In terms of ethics, were this not Lionel, who we should be pretty sure we can't trust, there's nothing illegal or morally wrong with accepting campaign contributions unless they're connected to favors in return. Contributions in fact, would be the only way Jonathan would have gotten this far. The only difference here is that we know Jonathan wouldn't accept one from a Luthor and that it's Lionel, to boot.

    Which is exactly why it was SO bad for the Martha character to just do it and get away with it.

    Oh well, so another plot twist in a dark alley ends another episode of Smallville. I think they need to get back to Fine, wherever he is, Jor-El, and perhaps introduce some other REAL villains that make plausible sense and that might stick around for awhile.

    Very much agreed.

    Laters!

    Gimme cat! :)

    Scotty V

    Thanks.

    R. Paladin wrote:
    I think you missed one important point when Clark tells Chloe he's afraid to have sex with Lana. It shifts the power of the players on the board. The smile on Chloe's face said it all. She's more Clark's girlfriend than Lana. I half expected her to suggest that Clark experiment with her. Anyway, considering how things are progressing, Clark is about to dump Lana.

    Heh. I'll buy that when I see it. Face it, Lana is amazing.

    If they use this as a way to parlay Clark into having sex with Chloe, I'll buy it, but I don't think it'll shift much of repetitive anything, alas.

    Thanks, though.

    Azor wrote:
    A couple Greek references from "Fanatic" for the KO Count:

    1) Lex quotes Thucydides, though I can't confirm the authenticity of the quote, and have reason to doubt it, since he quotes Thucydides as using the word "pawns" which seems unlikely even in translation since Greeks didn't play chess.

    2) Lex tells Clark that asking why he is running for office is like Apollo asking Icharus why he was making wings. (Of course, Icharus didn't make wings, it was his father Daedalus, and Apollo never asked Daedalus why he was making wings for that matter).

    Also, I couldn't help but take notice of the "fantatic's" name of Samantha Drake. The now deceased Spoiler in DC Comics (and briefly a Robin) was named Samantha and the girlfriend of Tim Drake. Are the writers sublimally telling fans who are into spoilers that they are fanatics?

    Interestingly, IMDB lists the character as Samantha Dunn.

    Good ones. I'll add them in.

    As for IMDB, it might be based on a misprint, or maybe they just screwed it up. Personally, I don't really care what her last name was, so they probably assume much the same of the audience...

    Mr S wrote:
    Hi,

    Still enjoying your great reviews.

    Thanks. Awesome.

    Just wanted to correct an error I noticed in your KO Count page. For the 'Freaks of the Week to episodes ratio' you have 96 freaks to 98 episodes. Your counts for the freaks for each season are 23+21+20+23+10 = 97. Just a small error that managed to slip through!

    Good catch. Updating every week as we do, we make mistakes like that from time to time. Consider it fixed. :)

    Keep up the great work, and have plenty of vitamin C!!

    Mr S

    I ate two bags of Halls Vitamin C, alternating them with cough drops. It says to take one every two hours. I think I took one every fifteen minutes. It says the end result of abuse is explosive diarrhea. Just goes to show, I have one super-power. COLON OF STEEL! But thanks for the concern, regardless.

    ben wrote:
    Hi Neal

    Hey.

    Ben from the u.k here. iv written to you twice before usually at the end of a season (i even got a mention once in a review for mentioning the band ash woowoo!! made me smile that day...). This letter comes a little late, but its been a complicated summer!

    I just got one of Ash's newer ones...decent. Not as good as the old stuff, but still fun. No worries on the timing. Thanks for a letter.

    O.k. i know season 4 ended ages ago, but as i said im from the u.k so its not so long ago for me. I've bought the season 4 DVD and i am currently going through the episodes, it is proving to be the hardest yet. sure there are wonderful moments to revisit (run etc) but i have just finished watching "spell" and i t gave me the push to write this year's e-mail.

    Cool. For those of you reading who don't know it, they air Smallville later and in odd order all around the world. It sucks.

    ok heres the deal, i avoid major spoilers and read your reviews as the episodes air here in the u.k, usually a couple of months behind. e.g. season 5 has only just begun, we're on the second episode!.

    Exactly. Sorry about that. I'd smack someone, but for some reason the production doesn't talk to me. I think it's my colon.

    Another great season (review-wise anyway)

    Thanks.

    it frustrates me to read your reviews months later and not be part of the current events, but i guess that's the price i pay for waiting to watch my episodes in the old fashioned way in front of my TV on my sofa rather than squatted on a computer chair downloaded off kazaa.

    You're better for it, trust me. The computer is a suck-hole for social activity.

    But i did want to step in on a number of occasions to say "NEAL, DONT CHANGE A THING, STICK TO YOU GUNS!! WRITE WHAT YOU FEEL AND FACE THE CONSEQUENCES!!! don't doubt yourself, i write play and sing for my own band and i am faced with the same questions you pose in your reviews each week, and it is enjoyable to read. i can tell that you are one of the good guys Neal.

    Thanks. That means a lot to me...to be honest, with me, it's less about the courage to do what I know is right (otherwise I wouldn't have quit my job to work for free), it's about the desire to know I've lived a life I won't regret. I always debate whether that's best served by touching the lives of more people with a greater scope of publicity in my writing or (as I'm inclined) writing what I know to be good, even if it doesn't or never sells.

    i think the whole Rebecca saga was GREAT, i totally fell for it, it was another one of those moments where i wanted to step in, but couldn't.

    I didn't think I could pull that off. It was fun. That was probably my most selfish action on this page so far. I giggled about it all day for months.

    the points you raised this season about female violence towards men were spot on. i, like many, was used to seeing a woman slap a man for trying to kiss her on television. Its not that i particularly approved of it, id just never questioned it. it wasn't until you reversed the situation and had lex slap Lana one across the chops and asked how the thought got us riled, that i saw how wrong it was, and is.

    I just saw a lot of women beat on men and get away with it growing up, and saw more than a few men who raised their hands in simple defense hauled off at the shrieking of some shrewish, evil woman. It's a sensitive subject. I don't like seeing anyone assaulted. I've seen too much of it and been party to too much of it in my life.

    I had an ex who thought it was ok to get physical with me when she got wound up with me, because she is a weaker 5 foot five girl and i am a much stronger 6 foot 3 guy, but i had to point out this is unacceptable, and that it is insulting and that if i was to hit her back with the same amount of venom, and the same percentage of my strength, then she wouldn't view it so kindly. i had to explain its not the damage done, but the anger and intent behind it.

    Women, by and large (oy, I'm gonna get in trouble for this one) in my experience are taught that when someone ticks you off, it's more okay to hit that person if it's a guy, whereas guys are taught that to hit a woman is like punching your own mother. I'd honestly say the ratio of women hitting me and thinking it's okay to men in my life (beyond mother and father) and not counting playful sparring is about ten to one.

    Anyway, sorry, im having a rant, but as you are well aware you give a lot of yourself into your writing therefore from reading your work week, in week out, i feel i know you to some extent, so please forgive my familiarity.

    Forgive hell! I applaud it. It's why I do this. And it's an awesome letter. Don't feel bad. Part of the BEST thing I get with this gig is the fact that in real life, I'm socially maladapted and somewhat awkward, if bold and somewhat ambitious. But when someone has read what I write, and when I talk to that person, I'm not maladapted, suddenly, someone knows who the hell I am, spot-on, understands me, and cares for my dreams, my hopes, my aspirations, and I can care for them in that they're experiencing much the same things I am in life. It's incredible. I've never experienced it elsewhere, and it's better than a paycheck, I'll tell you that.

    You do know me. And that's incredible.

    Hey!! i was pleased to hear you got your signed photo of rausenbaum, i have been tracking that since season 1, nice one! it still annoys me the way they say Luther instead of luthor!! (don't let that drop!)

    I won't. :) I'd try sending him a photo or a letter. It took six months, but he got to mine. Nice guy.

    i know this is an old point now, but in "krypto" they played a band covering "give a little bit" by supertramp. which as we know is the song Lois is listening to as the earthquake strikes. coincidence?? i wasn't sure, but no-one else seemed to mention it.

    Probably not...and I missed it. Good catch.

    i was sorry to hear that your readership was so down this season, when you did your jumping the shark review, including all your regular gags, I NOTICED THE "CRACK!!" COMMENT MISSING!! i really really did, i sooo missed it, i was so gutted when you said next week hardly anyone noticed, and how a year ago many people would have...hmm.... in future don't beat yourself up, you never know what is going on the other side of the Atlantic ok!

    You know, as I look back on that season, it was less that people were leaving the column, more that they so violently reacted to me not liking the season. NOW people are leaving when I'm half positive, and I realize, it's not the column so much as the show, because a lot of them move on to my more serious stuff on nealbailey.com or follow to another medium they like, like comics. It's awesome.

    But seriously i hope readership is back up this season, but i guess that goes on the quality of the show....

    Very much so. It's strange that way.

    The multiple choice and role-play still work really well in the reviews....
    That whole dressing down you gave at the beginning of the review for "ageless" was great, i particularly liked the way you set up welling as the big dumb pretty face with muscles, i quote:

    "I shake my head and pull the pointer back. But Neal, that's what the people know. It's what they know. They want it. They expect it. You can chide them for repetition, you can point at their inconsistencies. It doesn't matter. They want something simple that they know, not something complex that solves their problems. They want war, not peace. They want Grisham, not Saroyan. They want an SUV, not a hybrid. They want arbitrary concepts that they can latch onto and run with. Family. Action. Adventure.

    "Truth? Love?"

    Overrated. Here. Look at my biceps. (Neal admires) "Well, they are kind of nice."

    Exactly, son."

    That line bout the bi cracked me up at the time, i just thought it was worthy of a mention....

    Thanks. :) I actually really felt proud of that review. It was a hard year, and I put a lot of myself in those reviews, and it helps me through it, and sometimes exposes some fun, good writing beneath the chaff of simple commentary. I love when that happens.

    I was so glad you picked up on the inappropriateness of boulevard of broken dreams to accompany Clark striding onto a football pitch with his team of jocks. I was just about the right age for green day when i was growing up( i am now 22). so they hold a special place in my heart. i would also be very interested to read your script for American idiot, i briefly checked your website, but couldn't find it. Have you had any luck or response from posting it to the band??

    You know, I went to see Green Day, and watching a huge crowd sing "I want to be the minority" is sad, along with cell phone "lighters", but the spirit of what they're getting at, the most important part of what they do, is still indelibly incredible to me.

    They never responded to my script. I never got a yes or no either way. I'm still very proud of that work, and I'm usually pretty critical of myself.

    If you want to read it, shoot me an email at bailey.neal@comcast.net, I'll send it to you. I'm keeping it offline until I know they're making the movie without my script, then I'll put it on nealbailey.com with the rest of my work...

    O.k. im goin well off the topic now, but i generally tend to enjoy your reviews of comics aswell, i was wondering if there are any particular superman stories you would recommend me to dig out as i respect your opinion. ?????

    Depends on what you're looking for. For a good stand-alone, I recommend Kingdom Come, any of the Rucka trades, Our Worlds At War, and Birthright. Out of context with continuity, Birthright is actually pretty decent. Also, the Death of Superman, Funeral for A Friend, and the Reign have really stood the test of time pretty well.

    If you're looking for in continuity, Superman/Batman, the hardcovers, are incredible, and the ongoing is very accessible. Infinite Crisis also examines the core of the character well.

    Beyond that, if that's not enough, let me know.

    Off the top of my head, so far iv read the first 4 MOS reprints, the superman vs. the flash reprints, for all seasons, Godfall, return to krypton, death and return of, day of doom, the domesday wars, kingdom come, the kingdom, birthright, for tomorrow (still distracted by the pretty pictures!),superman/batman 1,2 and 3, identity crisis, omac project, sacrifice, and the first three issues of infinite crisis..

    Ah, so you've got most of what I recommended. Okay. So you have a pretty good knowledge of what's going on. Then I'd move on to Metropolis (If you can find it), Action 775, For the Man Who Has Everything, Superman Vs. Mohammad Ali (pricelessly incredible), the Superman Showcase collection (10 bucks), Loeb's Superman run (I think it's 160 through 210-ish?), and then, if you want good Batman and Superman stories, Dark Knight and the Loeb Hush trade (it has a good Supes/bats fight).

    For Elseworlds, Red Son rules, and if you've got a mind toward the JLA, most of the 60-100 era trades are decent (but that's down the line from the other stuff)

    On a personal note, i know this is a long time coming, but i really appreciated the piece you wrote on the day of Christopher reeve's death, it summed up a lot of what i was feeling at the time, but couldn't express because of the confusion and guilt of mourning so hard someone i had never met. The bbc screened a programme that week of Chris battling to walk again, working through his exercises, some of those images will never leave me and i have a respect for him which goes further than the movies had which touched me so at an early age and continue to inspire.

    I think I got more positive feedback for that than anything I've written on this site. To be honest, I wrote it in five minutes. To say that makes it sound easily written, but those were five of the most heart-wrenched minutes of writing I've had. I learned that he'd died through a call, at midnight, from the BBC Europe, and a gentleman who'd interviewed me before said, "So what's your reaction?" I said, "To what?" And he explained.

    After I hung up the phone, I immediately sat down, wrote the piece, and lost a bit of my heart there.

    I tend not to sympathize with celebrity plight, but there's hardly a heart out there outside of jest who didn't identify with Reeve's quest. Yeah, celebrities sometimes selfishly indulge in promoting things that only help them, but you could tell, watching Reeve, listening to him speak, knowing what goes on behind the scenes beyond monetary contributions and token boat rides in New Orleans, Reeve really wanted to change the world, and he was taken before he could. That really sucks.

    I don't want to leave on a down note, so I will quickly mention that, Knives shattering on smallville really bothers me.. I was ok with it when clark had that really long dream and lex shattered the ancient sword against him, because it was A DREAM and it was a cool effect. But every instance since has bugged me. Even if clark is as hard as steel, a blade would not shatter against him, it would bend.If i swung a sword at a steel statue, it would not shatter, it would take a superhuman with a large amount of speed and strength to even have a chance of it shattering, and even then it unlikely, im surprised you have never raised this point (to my memory).

    You're right. I got a C in physics. Will usually saves my butt on those issues. He's a good guy. :)

    Anyway keep up the good work...

    Thanks, Ben. Awesome letter.

    Ben

    P.s you're free to use elements of this letter! But its pretty dull.

    Ha! It'd be the letter of the week if I still did that. Meant a lot to me.

    P.p.s oh yeah PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remove the ratings from them episode guide. I don't know who suggested this, but it is SUCH a pointless idea. Why do this? For people who only want to read the positive reviews? Or for people who only want to laugh at the bad ones where u get mad???????
    I cant fathom this concept at all. As a quick reference guide?? Im confused
    This "feature" has ruined the suspense of reading you reach your verdict on many occasions, I try to scroll down with my fingers covering the ratings, but sometimes this fails. Please please change this for meeee.

    You know what? That's a good call. We did it for two reasons...one, someone asked for it, and two, so that I could reference it at the end of the year for the roundup. But you're right! I'll ask Steve to take them out.

    james nechleba wrote:
    hey neal,

    something i've noticed is that you have a running problem with how lex's descent to villian is being portrayed. "...they don't know how to dig out of making Lex a good guy and then making him a bad guy without us being sympathetic to his actions."

    Yepper.

    this caught my attention very quickly. i would argue that it's impossible to write a character from good to evil without sympathy; lex's journey is a tragedy, and so whatever happens, we are going to be able to feel for him at that. but i ask you: how would you write him without having the audience become sympathetic to his actions?

    I wouldn't. I'd make them sympathetic, but I'd conjure for him a reason to be evil that made sense, not just that he's inclined towards it generally after being good for so long. I'd make a catalyst. There are any number of ways. Here are a few.

    1) Simplest, have Lana turn Lex down because he's not as pretty as Clark. Lex hates Clark for what he is.

    2) Have Clark Kent kill Lionel in self-defence.

    3) Make Lionel pressure Lex to do evil, and have him resist to the point that he kills his father, then, like Anakin, stuck in kill mode.

    4) Have Lex, while trying to kill a bad guy, accidentally kill Chloe. Clark goes into a fury, TOTALLY breaks the friendship, and Lex is without a moral compass. Led only by money and guilt, he starts searching for power as opposed to redemption.

    5) Lex regains his memory, only because it's messed up, he thinks Clark is behind his memory loss, and doesn't know why, so he sets his resources toward destroying Clark.

    6) (controversial) Brainiac tells Lex that Clark is constantly lying to him, and shows him how without revealing Clark's powers. Lex breaks it off with Clark, realizes that even the people he knows to be the best people are evil, and thus believes the only thing in the world is power and control.

    You could brainstorm any hundred of these and make them pan out. It's easier to just show him do a bad thing without reason and then make everyone just say he's evil.

    marklar wrote:
    I would like to say that your reveiws are hilarious. I only started reading your reviews about a week ago and I didn't notice almost any of the things you said until i read your reviews. Also, in this weeks episode('Lockdown'), when clark is talking to his mom, he says (regarding lana) "she's the only one I could ever love", and then lois pulles up. Just wanted to point it out (if you didn't notice already. And you were right about lana in season 4. She (witch included) were pointless until the finale, where she was only good for one line("i love you"), and to give clark the stone(which he could have gotten a million other ways). Leaving her in paris would have saved us alot of agony.

    Thanks. Much agreed, and much obliged that you just came into the reviews. Glad to have you...and hope to keep you.

    That's all I have this week, folks. Until next week, cross your fingers!

    Oh, by the way...you'll notice that the new principal has been removed from MIA. Retired, if you will. The reason for this is, as Steve astutely noted, they're no longer in high school, so even though he's absent, he no longer has any bearing on the mains.

    Neal



    Lockdown

    Reviewed by: Douglas Trumble

    Ok. The question of the week for the fanboys and girls of the world is this. You have a person driven crazy by Kryptonians instead of by Kryptonite. Is that person than a Krypto freak or are they just psycho?

    So there was a survivor in the bloodbath from the season opener. This survivor was driven a bit past where Prozac would help and now is pretty much desperate to find proof of what he saw. He brings his girlfriend/wife-to-be along for the ride and we end up with their master plan of forcing Lex to give it all by taking him hostage.

    Not a bad little subplot nicely tying back into events we saw earlier in the season. In someway I was glad to see this development. The fire fight with the Kryptonians at the beginning of the season did seem like it was swept under the carpet a little fast. It was nice to see repercussions of that, and the "official" story of the team being hit by a meteor as the cause of their destruction. It all tied together nicely.

    There was just one real down side. I really liked Sheriff Adams. She was the best small time cop since the days of Mayberry. I also was wondering what exactly she knew or at least suspected about Clark and sadly it seems now we will never know. Even in their shared scenes this week I got the feeling she was not all too surprised by Clark's sudden appearance and disappearance. That could have been an interesting story thread to follow had they chosen that route. But I suppose with the stories moving more towards a Metropolis setting the Smallville based police would have to make room for the big city police at some point.

    First lets talk about Lex. Or should I say Fiddy Billion since the man has been shot more than a rap star. But then an accelerated healing ability is something he gained from the first meteor strike so I can roll with it. I guess he is like Wolverine without the claws. The question is though, what is he up to. We know he's full on Dark Side now. The Darth Train has left the station. So what is he up to with Lana? It really comes down to this. Even villains can be nice guys when it suits their needs. Lex wants Lana and he will do what it takes, even pretending to be nice. Yes he took a bullet for her and to be honest I think he genuinely is willing to get shot for her. He is in love with her but I also think that Lex feels invulnerable. I really do not think he is afraid of being shot. Heck he has been shot twice now in a couple of week's time alone. Even his healing ability has to have a hard time keeping up with that.

    How far is he willing to go to make his dream a reality? That is something Lana should be worried about.

    At the end of the episode Clark is left at a crossroads and there are only two ways to go. A choice needs to be made by him now. Chloe spelled it out for him though it was obvious he had already figured it out himself. She just vocalized it. If he wants to continue his relationship with Lana he needs to tell her everything now. Either tell her or move on. There is no other option at this point. Maybe she already knows or maybe she at least suspects. Her comments after the bomb went off seemed to me like she may have been fishing for answers.

    Now I'd like to mention a few minor items that crossed my eyes.

    Clark and Martha's talk early in the episode was rather amusing. I like how Lois pulled up just as Clark was talking about not being able to find someone else he loved like Lana. I know some will see that as force but I can not help but be amused by these moments on the show. The way Clark rolls his eyes or the way she acts so annoyed by him. Maybe it was just because I saturated myself with my back-to-back marathon nights of Lois and Clark Season 2 this week but I am so ready for Clark to move beyond Lana. I know they more than likely will not get into a romance with Lois on the show but I find the Clark and Lois non-romantic banter way more interesting than the Lana and Clark love story. Even when it is done in such an obvious way.

    Chloe chewing Clark out for his superspeed messing her paper up was absolutely hysterical and I also found Clark superspeed pop shaking plan to be rather humorous as well. Those were rather light moments in a somewhat darker tale.

    The Kent campaign brought up some interesting things. First of all I was glad to see that Mr. Kent figured out the money thing himself pretty fast. I also thought it was very interesting that Martha pointed out to Jonathan that other people donated to their campaign other than Lionel and were also going to be looking for favors. In fact at this point I could see them asking for favors more than Lionel would. Lois was right. Stopping Lex seems to be Lionel's main motive here. He might try to call in a favor to Mr. Kent someday down the road but it is not like Mr. Kent is contractually obligated. Besides Lionel saw what was in that folder last week. If he wanted something from Mr. Kent he could simply use that as leverage. The campaign money really is not going to get him far.

    Lastly kudos to the FX guys/gals. The shot of Clark running through the explosion to save Lana was pretty cool.

    Anyway a good tale this week with perhaps a bit more meat to the overall plot.

    (I give it a B+ or 4.5 out of 5 missing space ships.)

    Next week we have the big 100th. I get the feeling the gloves are coming off. See all you Super fans next week.

    Douglas "Doright" Trumble



    Back to the "Smallville: Episode Reviews" Contents page.

    Back to the main TELEVISION page.