Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 3 - Episode 19: "Memoria"Reviewed by: Neal Bailey
This is a review I dreaded writing. I had six hours plotted and laid out before me last night, ready to write this review, ready to get it to you, and I started my traditional plan of action. First you answer the letters and prepare business. I did that. Then you take a long hot bath. Then you sit down in front of the computer and type your Smallville review in about 6 hours, give or take, stopping for bathroom visits and fresh supplies of whatever comestibles the body may need.
Last night, I watched Memoria in a bit of a state of shock, came upstairs to my writing room, having finished the letters earlier, then went straight into a 7 hour bout of Neverwinter Nights. I told my friend who invited me in, "Hey, man, tonight's SMALLVILLE night. I have to write my review." And then I paused, and then I IMed him again. "No. Wait. I'm coming."
And the reason? Twofold. First, this was such an intense, such a well done episode that I had to take a period of brainless winding down, from a TV show no less, to be able to write about it, and secondly, because I know that this will be a review that will likely be read the most in the future when people look up my reviews of Smallville, if at all.
Because simply put, this episode was the best of the series thusfar.
And oh, lo, the masses writhe and rear back in controversial despair, ready to smite me for smiting Rosetta, but no worries. Rosetta is still my number two, still head and shoulders above anything else, but in terms of simple writing, acting, plot, ramification to the overall storyline, and effect on ME, this story takes the cake.
I cried at television when I heard the Fortress of Solitude scene and saw Clark with Swann, simply because it was such an honorable way to put the two new Supermen together, and such a wonderful cheap trick to use the music we hadn't heard yet, frankly hadn't expected to hear, to pull us in.
I cried at television, something I figured I'd never do, being very contemptuous of television.
And then tonight, seeing Lex Luthor crying at a birthday table with all of the things a person could want in the world but no friends because of how he looked, I bawled like a little wussy five year old, you bet, you betcha.
I don't know what's more frightening, the fact that I identify with Lex Luthor, or the fact that there is a very plausible and good reason to. As a kid I was a loner, an outcast, a rather outspoken and hated person in many ways. I had lip service friends, few lovers, I lived within books and my own mind. Today I see few people except the people I talk to online, waking late in the morning to type long into the night, very poor, very alone, and the image of Lex at a birthday party with everything he ever wanted reminded me of myself in such a position of power over what I wanted in life, I'm the writer, I'm the guy who can get up and do that dream, it reminded me that though you can have your dreams of killing Superman, sometimes it's lonely being the cast out cuttings from the mold of the rest of society.
There's also the issue of the family, the family in turmoil, trying to fight for dominance, what's best for the children, what's worth living for. My family has come a long way from when I was a kid, and I won't go into details, but there were problems. Seeing Lillian and Lionel, it reminds me of fights, of near deaths, of drastic actions taken and accused of in my own mind and in real life by parents who meant well in all things but inevitably fail by the flaws of their own character to be as supporting or loving as you'd wanted them to be.
Lionel striking Lex over the crib of his dead brother deserves to be a moment that struck pain into the heart. The ratings for this episode dropped down, and fewer people saw it, for Lana and freaks and elements I will address later in this review, but I am heartened that though in ways I am ready to give up on this show, correction, WAS, something like this will bring me back, make me realize the drama and the potential for this story even yet, looking beyond the past and failed elements that have sullied the regular weekly viewings.
The opening chilled me, with Lex Luthor the younger, by far an excellent young actor playing the part of the little social exile perfectly, seriously, with the manner of an adult. He's standing on a ledge, holding Julian, and he drops the boy, showing how much he feels responsible for his brother even though he's dead.
Did anyone else notice the very frightening fact that Lex's mother looked a lot like, and sounded a lot like, Lana?
The dialogue and the character interactions in this story are KEY, and also lined up with character history. For instance, when Clark goes to Lex in a very selfish way and tries to stop him from recovering his memories, Lex points out that Clark was sleeping in the middle of the road not too far back. Clark counters that Lex spent weeks in Belle Reve, but then, to my mind, that only makes Lex treated, and Clark, well, one of the nameless crazy masses.
St. George the Dragon Slayer and the box for his fears within his heart is the first time I've actually looked at Lionel and said, "Man. He IS a dad." That takes a LOT on the writers part, and this scene is one of my favorite of the series so far. To say nothing of the fact that it establishes that box, to say nothing of the fact that if you listen to the dialogue twice, as I did, first thinking of how it applies to Lex as a lonely child, and second thinking of how St. George vs. the dragon is a metaphor for the future Lex vs. Superman, and how the only way Lex can beat Superman is to stab at his heart (Lois), then you have some powerful re-imagining of the myth indeed. A KEY scene. Well acted, amazingly written, when I watch this episode again or in pieces, I will immediately go to the birthday scene, as I do with the Swann Fortress scene, and bawl like a puss.
More on that kind of thing later.
Lex is followed by the increasingly paranoid Clark, and this time, Clark appearing out of nowhere kind of makes sense, because he would be following Lex. And the potential for acknowledging the run on Lex's part is dealt with, because he coldly leaves Clark stranded, likely assuming he has a vehicle. I mean, he'd have to, right?
In this episode, we look through Lex eyes. This is why Clark is a d!ck. I may mean duck, I may mean dock. You decide. Clark betrays Lex. Their friendship is already tried by a number of misunderstandings, but now Clark flat out betrays Lex, going to Lionel, and I was glad to see him suffer for it.
Lionel, standing there with his cut from the Jonathan fight still healing, showing the mise en scene folks with their best touch, politely informs Clark that he knows he has a secret, and that he knows that Lex is trying to remember both of their undoing.
Lionel and Lex meet, and Lex remembers his father hitting him for trying to rock the baby. I already said it, but that too is a key moment in the series. There were at least five in this episode alone. The crib scene. The birthday scene. The Lara scene. The Lex "It's too late" scene, and the scene where we realize Lillian is a murderer.
Most episodes are lucky to have one.
Ah. Another one, my notes tell me. Lionel makes peace with Martha Kent. Martha takes his apology and his offer well, considering Lionel has just beaten on her husband, and points out why Pa Kent is a good man and Lionel a bad one. Nonetheless, again, I feel for a Luthor, in that Lionel is trying to make amends before his impending death, it is plainly understated. Seeing as we know this and the Kents don't, it makes the Kents contemptible, taking us further into the Luthor lens, which I think makes this episode as great as it is.
There is choir music, and Clark is lowered to find his first memory. Chilling. Just chilling.
I was surprised. In many moments of this episode, I was moved to shaking, one to tears. I was not moved particularly by the scene with Jor-El and Lara. Though I was intrigued by the fact that they were in a purplish membrane, very similar to the Phantom Zone. I do believe in this continuity Jor-El may still be alive, although in stasis somehow, or at least preserved through the fact that they sent Kal-El to Earth through the Phantom Zone. We'll see, but remember that purple. It'll mean something. As will the briefly seen warp gate in Legacy.
Not only is this episode a Luthor driven episode (my theory has always been Superman is not about Superman, but his enemies, so truly it's a story of Luthor and how he's stopped, what motivates him), but Lex Luthor gets to be the hero, saving Clark from the vat of Kryptonite and being the friend when all Clark has done is betray him.
How does he reward him? "Why does your father hate you so much, Lex?"
And Lex takes it like a friend. Masterful set-up for the inevitable Lex that must come out of being kicked around so carelessly by everyone in his circle for all of his life.
That final scene where he finds out about his mother has amazing lighting. All of the flashbacks have pronounced but great lighting. And the fact that it was Lillian, someone established as a great influence to Lex and in the comics, as a nice woman to Lionel's aesthetic businessman facade? Great.
Clark's first word? Lara. A nice touch, a nice addition to the mythos.
5 of 5. 6 of 5 if I could.
The best episode yet, and I'm guessing, not likely to be topped by this series. If it is, I'll be surprised. The core of the mythos, understanding Lex. We understand Clark. We all want to be good people. But to know why Lex is evil, and having it make sense, having us relate to it, this is a journey we rarely take, and never so well. Amazing.
Plus, no LANA thrown in arbitrarily. No Clana! First time this YEAR, really, with I think one rare exception.
Now I snark.
I finished and went online, and said that this was the first episode of Smallville where I wouldn't be able to really snark too much. Well, that's true. All of the following were just what I came up with watching, and most are COMPLETELY unrelated to the show at hand, so take it as such. I stand by my 5 of 5.
The only real complaint I had about the show, and I can forgive it certainly, is that they HAD to use Kryptonite in the memory machine. Why not KO Clark with Kryptonite, then plunk him in the liquid? Immersing him in Kryptonite for a long period of time should have killed him. They are far too lenient with how slow Kryptonite kills Superman. Always. It drives me nuts. It makes his blood BOIL folks. But forgivable, to be sure.
My first snark is the ads that this show had. First, it's brought to you by Zyrtec. I shout at the TV at medicine ads. I already have enough trouble with my caffeine addiction, I DO NOT NEED MORONS TRYING TO SELL ME ON DRUGS WHEN I'M ENTERTAINING MYSELF. It's like playing to addicts, and it sickens me.
As does Wal-Mart, spending money that could be spent increasing the wages for its poverty stricken employees on advertising how much opportunity they give to their poverty stricken employees. Anyone see the irony there? Raise your hand if you make under 5 bucks an hour after taxes. Man, that's a lot of hands.
And a razor called Divine. Ah, Gilette. No jokes about Occam's razor as applies to the complex divine, please. Keep it simple, oh deity! And hey, if you get that joke, you read some of the books I have, and associate words. NERD. But seriously, folks. Why is there a difference between guy razors and girl razors? Girl razors get moisture strips, I guess, but it's just another way for society to segregate guys and gals and contribute to a gender gap (beyond false assertions made for political gain) and it's also just plain retarded. I mean, I don't know any girls I'd want to hang out with who coo at the notion of the more feminine razor. IT GOES IN YOUR ARMPITS, folks. It's a nasty essential tool, not a divinity. Criminy monkeys, next thing you know we'll have Sublime (last bit pronounced LEEM) pooper scooper bags. Or Fresh-happy Bactine with little duckies swimming around in it.
I now want to talk to you about the psychosomatic Clana which almost ruined my episode for me. Three times, count em, three times in the episode I was taken out of the show by the simple POTENTIAL for Lana to show up. And she didn't, and I'm pleased. Well, she did once, but that wasn't to bully Clark, that was to inform him, so I didn't count it. But we had when Lex came up, and a gasped because I said to myself, "Oh God no. Not Lana. Please don't ruin a good episode for me!" And then when Ma Kent came up, "Oh, God, no! It's Lana!" And it was just a female form. Not Lana. Phew. And then Lana herself. "Oh God! It's Lana!" But then she was... human? Concerned about Lex? Someone other than herself? The psychosomatic Clana, heck, the CLANA, has got to end. Now.
Lillian and Lionel are both brunettish. How does Lex have red hair?
For clarification, the good doctor is not a freak of the week, because you must first go nuts for no real reason. The doc's been a scum for a good while now.
Am I nuts, or did little Lex run side to side, kind of weird? It made me chuckle in an odd way.
Sumerholdt's doctor is comatose! The first whammy since Adam! Boo-ya!
And finally, I must classify the 8:50 that involves Clark and his mother. I though about the Clarlectra, I though about the Mark. But ultimately, I like the one I came up with last.
SUPER SHORT REVIEW:
By far the best Smallville episode produced to date. We see inside of Lex's head, we understand how Clark could betray him, and we find out that bad people are good people on the inside, just a little twisted by misunderstanding and lost in the sea of blame and self-doubt. That, and having no friends because you look funny or are too smart can make a man believe you can cry, not fly. 5 of 5.
Man, oh man, you folks smoked me with business this week. So much of it, so on. And I didn't even get through all of the email. I will, of course. I have to before the season is over. Right now please understand I'm still working on editing my novel, so patience is key. I'll get to you all, or die trying, and thanks as ever for the support.
First today is Eric524892, a rabid poster at KryptonSite.com, the first guy to ask me what I thought about the show each week, and a good friend on the IM. He points out firstly that I listed Chloe as a freak three times, and it's only twice. I confused the positions of Lana and Chloe in my head in that episode where Lana gets Chloevision. It's twice. The red K leeches, and the truth serum, that's all I can think of.
Also, Eric has a good metaphor for the way that Lana is used and abused in this show by virtue of her seeming virtuosity. I'm even taking him word for word, it's so well done:
- You know how when you write an essay, and can't think of enough to make it reach the length-requirement, and are thus forced to add pointless statements? The kind of statements that, if you have a habit of making, will make readers roll their eyes until they pull a few muscles? That's what she is for this show. She never contributes anything good to the plot.
Also, he contributes a lot to the Kryptonsite message boards with some interesting theories. I, of course, recommend our message boards, but if you want, he has some spoilers here, but his posts are great. Here's a link to one about the finale.
Chris and Alicia watch the show together, and write in sometimes with ideas. They too had a Lana rant which I want to reprint, because it goes a direction I didn't. This was supposed to be in last week, but I forgot somehow. Apologies.
- Begin Lana Rant: You always make such a big deal about Lana's selfishness and passive-aggressiveness (and rightly so) but you forget the very thing that MOST makes me hate her: Her Hypocrisy in her dating life.
She won't be with Clark for two main reasons (that she herself gives):
1) He is "dangerous"' to be around.
2) He keeps "secrets".
Ok, let's look at all of Lana's other stellar dating choices. Too many for me to remember specifically, maybe, but she has gone out SEVERAL times (and *repeatedly*) with freaks that clearly demonstrated unstable and dangerous abilities and impulses and a ton of guys that (like Adam) made it clear that they were keeping secrets. Look how long she went out with friggin' Whitney - a rude, standoffish, and violent jerk. But she won't take a flyer on Clark? The guy she "loves"? Huh? Gimme a friggin break...
Oh, and remember when she breaks her leg and she blames *Clark*? I never got that at all. Please, Neal, mail me if I recall that episode incorrectly, but wasn't it because of LEX and *not* Clark that it happened? I know Clark was helping his friend, a sick Lex, but Lex is also Lana's friend and she insisted on also helping Lex! How was any of that Clark's fault??? (Also ironic that Lana reaches this decision when, uh - HOW many times in an episode has Clark told her to not get involved because it was 'too dangerous', but SHE always insisted on "helping"? (INTERRUPTING RANT NEAL NOTE: Lana did the same thing just this episode. Clark says, "Be safe, Lana. Stay away from Lex. He could be dangerous." She responds, "But he's my friend!" Yeah, but he's still dangerous until he's no longer psychotic. CONTINUE RANT)
Oh and my fave Lana (ir)rationalization? She has decided to stay away from Clark now because he is dangerous. Um, how many times has Clark SAVED her life from one of the nuts that SHE was going out with???
Amazing. Simply amazing...End Massive Lana Rant...
- Man, Alicia and I have a new game each week where we bet each other by what point in the episode Lana will be in tears (because she cries in every single episode) and last week I went out on a limb and said before the end of the first act - I won handily, lol.
Stephen G has an addition to the No Flights, No Tights count. He points out if I count the helicopter (and I do) I have to count the balloon ride from Ryan. I do. Consider it in. He flew.
Stephen also points out a nice little link to the Smallville Ledger for all of you folks who wondered how they'd hold Alicia prisoner. See this link. Then note the newly placed star by Alicia in the potentially recurring villains portion of the KO Count.
Stephen theorizes that the K on the ground in Crisis could have been unearthed by heavy traffic after rain softened the ground.
He also decimates my stairs criticism with Swann by pointing out a rich guy could have an elevator. Duh on me.
He also ascertains that Clark could have followed Lex to the FBI by simple following Lex after he leaves at a high rate of speed to ask what it wrong. At least, that could be his excuse.
Drew Vandriel came up with a neat explanation for Clark being afraid of heights but not of the balloon ride or the helicopter. He, like me, has a problem with heights when there is nothing to hold you down or make you safe. For instance, in my stint as a construction worker, I worked on 35 foot peaks with one measly little rope tied around my waist because I felt safe, but with nothing, I couldn't take a step. The illusion of safety...ah!
It's still a flight...
Dave Johnson writes me all the time with a hilarious dramatization of a show he calls Lex in the City. Before last week, they were all a little too, ehrm, expletive to show here by virtue of the fact that the Superman Homepage is a family site, but this week, it's perfectly within pounds. Here's your first episode! Clamor for more and I'll bug Dave about it (by the way, he hates Chloe, thus this episode):
Lex is sitting in his office at the top of LexCorp Tower. It's mad pimped out.
Secretary (through intercom): Mr. Luthor, your 2 o'clock is here.
Lex: Thank you, send them in.
Chloe walks in. Oh yeah...
Lex: Ah, Miss Sullivan. It's been so long. You've certainly become a successful journalist.
Chloe: Yes, I've become the most respected reporter at the Metropolis Post. And I finally have all the information I need to take you down, Lex. Your reign over this city is over.
Lex: I'm sorry to hear that... (presses a hidden switch. Suddenly clamps lock around Chloe in her chair) ...It's just too bad that I can't let you, or that information leave this office.
Chloe: You'll never silence me! I'm the... mmmmph...
(clamps lock over her mouth, finally making her shut the #$%@ up)
Lex: Sorry Chloe, but it looks like this is the end of the line for you.
All of a sudden, a subway train crashes through the wall and plows over Chloe, killing her instantly, horribly, and satisfyingly.
Lex: Last stop. Everybody out.
Secretary (through intercom): Mr. Luthor, how did a subway train come through the wall of a 98th story office?
Lex: It's simple, Miss Tessmacher. The WB gives the fans what they want.
Agreed, Dave. A bit harsh to our new DC property, but then, why not?
Dave also has a nice little comment about Pete, which, while perhaps borderline offensive to our more easily offended fans, is still ironic and poignant, so here it is:
Pete said "when it comes to long shadows, Clark, you're like the dark side of the moon." No #$%&, Pete. So dark that black people disappear for several episodes at a time.
Which is tragic, but true. They made Pete as a strong black character, and now he's been marginalized. More on that later.
Virge writes in that the least of Clark's worries is the seatbelt that he ripped off. What about the fact that when Chloe wakes up her car has all four tires on the street? Good call, Virge.
James Totten, the gentleman who told us that Metropolis is a city with piers in the middle of KANSAS (odd, huh?) noticed that Chloe indicated from Smallville to Metropolis and back is a six hour drive. Now that's canon, at least. But then, James has some theories about that, too, verbatim:
- ...she said 6 hours. My understanding is that Smallville is in South Central Kansas. Even if it's not, even if they moved it to ANY part of Kansas, there in NO body of water within a six hour drive of the state of Kansas that is large enough to constitute a pier with shipping companies. If there were, I would come from the Missouri Valley Island in the Iowa Ocean. The whole thing is a small part of the big picture, so I can get past it. However, I think they really need to make up their minds if Metropolis = St. Louis or = New York, big difference. Oh well.
And I know I'm using a LOT of you guys verbatim this week, but this week so many people were so passionate and spot on, I feel obligated, for sure. Here's a good one from Justin Zyduck, about how CLARK KENT is a bad actor:
- I don't mean Tom Welling. I mean, as a character, Clark Kent is a horrible actor. When Pete does his whole "Clark can make the trip in ten minutes when he goes supersonic" routine, Clark tries to avert suspicion by stating, stony-faced, "He's joking."
I dunno, all the little plot devices and suspensions of disbelief I'm willing to accept. I'll accept that Smallville has a huge teen mortality rate, yet people still seem to want to live there. And that Chloe has dozens of "sources" inside key places in town and in Metropolis, and all of them are willing to make time with a high school (I'll say it again, because the show wants us to forget she's a HIGH SCHOOL) reporter, no matter how tenacious (I used that word twice. Hm). 'Cos it's all necessary for plot. But character things get to me, and I'm just irked that Clark is totally unprepared for these little emergencies.
Well put, Justin.
Gabe Beaver wants to know why if the stuff that makes Chloe get people to tell the truth has Kryptonite in it, why it doesn't work on Clark. Good point.
Steve Crow points out that it's impossible to tell if Clark's immune to telepathy and mind control. He is in Hug, Ryan, Stray, and now Truth, but not in Slumber or Delete.
Steve also wonders why they're deconstructing Smallville. Jonathan, Pete, and now Chloe get superpowers or powered items and turn into jerks to explore character. Grow a new plot!
Steve also laments that Chloe's little freak attempted murderer from Truth likes the fact that his mother is a teacher. Kids whose parents are teachers tend to have it harder and don't like it, in both my and Steve's experience.
And he also notices, astutely, that it's spring, but the football team and cheerleaders are walking around, and there are endzone posters up on the wall. That one goes up on my wall of weird, the first entry in a long while.
Steve also finds it weird that Lionel goes to confront Chloe face to face, because he should know at this point (because he's going to see her about it) that she can force people to tell the truth. And further, why doesn't Clark make up some dumb secret to be his secret when Chloe asks him what it is, so he can pretend to be effected and get Chloe off his back once and for all? Like, for instance, I came up with the fact that the man cannot get through the day without wearing plaid, or he busts out crying. That makes sense, don't it?
Steve also noted the kryptonite basis for the truth power and how it doesn't effect Clark.
And finally, Steve lives in a town a third the size of Smallville and he can avoid his next door neighbors, so he thinks it BS when Clark says it's hard to be scarce in a town of 45,000 people. I agree.
Tim extrapolates further on the connection between Swann and Jor-El. Jor-El told Pa that Clark failed the test. Swann echoes this. Swann always contacts Clark, and calls him Kal-El. The key went into the wall, then Swann has it. They play the Fortress of Solitude music around Swann, which is where Clark meets Jor-El in the movies.
Futher, Tim says Swann could have contacted the ghost or memory of Jor-El, whatever the cave is supposed to be, and perhaps believes that Joe-El can give him knowledge or cure him, or help him take over the world? Kneel before Virgil?
David Johnson writes in with a new category for the KO Count (alas, but my ear is not good enough to Canadian accents despite five years in Bellingham to do it) for Smallville residents with Canadian accents, pointing to the gay football player from Truth.
Neal Bailey, futz of futzes, came up with the fact that we see some full bore, double barrel Chloe funbags in the last episode, Truth, but then, Neal Bailey indicates that he feels the same moral dilemma he always has with Smallville. Is it okay to sexually objectify women that are of legal age who are supposed to be playing 17 year-olds, and what does that say about us as a society? Who cares!
Clay Hinson notes that perhaps since there already is a Veritas company, Smallville didn't want a lawsuit or trouble. Clay also spotted the 3 hours each way determination for Smallville to Metropolis, further postulating that Clark's clothes would be destroyed if he traveled at supersonic speeds to Metropolis (assuming, of course, his aura didn't protect them, which it likely would).
Clay also points out a REALLY cool piece of business. Chloe's dad hasn't had a job for some time now. Ergo, he thinks, perhaps the Bug got sold and she was moved into a General Lee. But then, that leads to several problems for me. General Lees in such condition aren't cheap, and likely we'll see that Bug again, believe it. My guess is that it will never be addressed.
Aaron Thall informed me of something I didn't know, that the Pete crush on Chloe was alluded to in Curse, the Smallville novel. I refused to read them because the sample provided in one of the Smallville comics was so horribly written I barfed twice. And there's also the butt grab in the Season One DVD, but to me, two mentions in three years isn't enough to mean crush, and there is NO reason why Pete THE BOSS Ross would feel intimidated by Clark, who can't even bag whiny Lana.
Mike Cooke points out that I made a howling error. Clark says, last episode, that he wanted to give Lana more space, and she says, "Yeah, WE don't seem to be good at that." Instead of what I put, "YOU don't seem to be very good at that.
Which says several things about me and about Lana. I swear before my keyboard that I paused that line, rewound it, then listened again, because I couldn't believe she said, "YOU". I heard it twice. My guess is that the stereo made the line garbled. Ergo Lana's delivery, read Kristen's, was a bit stilted (and it is, upon multiple viewings) and it's a lot clearer on the computer than on the stereo, so I apologize for the error, all. I read into Lana's behavior out of expectation. Can I blame myself? Not really, given the way she's always spouting stuff like that, but can I retract the error once it's found? Most certainly. I regret any errors, that's why I have a whole business section dedicated to theories and proving that most of what I say can be bupkus. I'm just like you folks, prone to error perhaps and just trying to have fun, but above all, human.
Mike also noted the warning sign of a Chloe Pete relationship from the premiere.
Phillip writes in and suggests Levitas means light of weight, perhaps the way truth slips out easier with the serum.
Kevin Heacock notes that I did not do a short short version of my review last week. I forgot, my apologies. You will now find it in last week's review.
Kevin also poses an interesting question for me to elaborate on, and so I shall. He asks:
Would I rather the season consist of 10-12 episodes of exemplary continuity, or would I rather have the 20 or so episodes they have now?
I want a combination of the two, but I lean towards 10-12, myself. Here's my answer. I know, as a writer, that the best work comes of taking your time and doing your best. The television format is geared around more product, less time, and bouncing off the fact that the consumer is generally dumb, upsetting the discerning viewers.
So I'd do 18 episodes a year, one every three weeks, or close to that. And I'd take my time, get REALLY good scripts, and I'd film all year. Two month breaks, three month breaks, they kill an audience and destroy interest. If actors have other interests, get off my show. This will be a quality show. And I know for a fact that the reason some of the scripts and shows suck is because they HAVE to be rushed. If they took their time, if they cut out the extraneous, if they didn't repeat plots or appropriate horribly, we'd be in better shape. That's my answer.
Oh, and hire me as a writer. That's the other solution.
Heacock also has a good Jor-El theory. Here goes:
- Seemed a lot of people thought Swann may be Jor-El...I think that unlikely...but I admit it crossed my mind...here's my reasoning against it...Dr. Swann led the communication age in the 70s by being on the forefront of communication satellites...so he was around even before the meteor shower...so he can't be Jor-El because he was on Earth before Krypton ever blew up and so was not there to send Clark to Earth...another argument against it...is that we actually hear Jor-El a few times in previous episodes...and it is not Christopher Reeve's voice...it would be hard for Reeve to do the voice of Jor-El justice given his current state of health...anyway...I think it more plausible that Swann wants the key for the same reason Lionel wants it...to cure him...how they know it will cure them I have no idea...but obviously things from krypton give humans extra powers...i.e. all the FOTWs...and we've seen Clark's blood has some healing power...but then as you pointed out...the FIRST time the key was used by a human it put the guy in a coma...but then again...the LAST time it was used by a human...it turned Pa Kent into a superman...another idea goes along with you thinking Jor-El is trying to take over Pa Kent's human form...perhaps that is what Swann wants...to be taken over by Jor-El...and through him be healed...I think these thoughts are more likely than Swann actually being Jor-El...
However...I like to look at both sides of the coin and now propose ideas that despite what I have said above could allow Swann to indeed by Jor-El...I said above that Swann could not be Jor-El because Swann was on Earth before the meteor shower of 1989...but then again...so was Jor-El as seen in Relic...1961 I believe (I remember because it's the same upsidedown and backwards)...the question then is...how did Jor-El get back to Krypton...save his son from the destruction of Krypton...and then back to Earth...and also...why was Swann able get back to Earth before the meteor shower?...while I think all those things make it unlikely that this happened...perhaps it is possible by the very means by which Swann was able to capture the key...teleportation/stargate effect...and I liked the idea that he was actually opening up the Phantom Zone...and when I read that I thought...but Swann wouldn't know how to use the Phantom Zone because that was Jor-El's invention...but of course it fits right in here with the idea that Swann is Jor-El...so maybe Jor-El used the Phantom Zone to escape Krypton and get to Earth and but that Kal-El was too young to make the journey by those means...besides from what I hear...the Phantom Zone is not a pleasant place to be...anyway...so that's how Jor-El would make it to Earth before Kal-El...and then perhaps Jor-El used his superior Kryptonian knowledge to make a successful career in satellite communications...and perhaps his crippling illness is actually a Krypling illness...I love wordplay...you know...perhaps it was that illness that was spreading across Krypton after the Doomsday device started turning the core into the Kryptonite ore...(I don't know my Superman mythology all that well...but I think that might be a Silver Age plot line...but hopefully you know what I'm talking about and can correct me)...
And FINALLY, I have come up with my bonanza finale for the last episode. Aside from the Re-review for each episode, and the overall tally, which I did last year and will do again, with Covenant I will publish what you all come up with and send me regarding this year's finale bonanza topic:
Last year we had the Lextravaganza, this year we have the "Memoria". Since Memoria impacted me (and apparently so many others) so much, it made me realize that there are moments, special parts of each episode that you remember. You may forget the rest of the episode, but moments like Lex crying and Clark first meeting Swann are indelibly etched in your memory and will be there when the series is gone. Send me all of your moments, and I will publish them with the final episode review of this season.
This concludes regular business. Go check out the KO Count, and thanks for reading, folks.
All who dare go below, prepare for SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS, because I have ONE MORE THING to get off my chest before I leave you all alone until next week.
Get away before it's too late!
Okay. You're here.
Now let's get right down to the heart of this matter. In the last week we have learned two potentially devastating things from the internet. First, that Kara, also known as Supergirl in some incarnations, is coming to this show in the finale. Staying, going, no one knows yet. Secondly, Pete Ross has been canned.
Both of these announcements made me sit back from the keyboard, shout at the screen, and say to myself, "My God. They've gone and done it. They've JUMPED the SHARK." Read Eric's link above to calm down and think about it a little bit (He says that it won't, he thinks, and I tend to agree for now), and come to the conclusion that I did after speaking recently with Greg Rucka about condemning a storyline before we've seen it. Let's give it a chance. If it sucks, we will can the hell out of it, but I will make no preliminary judgments.
But I will say that I do know that things like Supergirl helped create the necessity of a revamp of the DC Universe, and I know that Smallville just isn't Smallville without Pete Ross, no matter how many Legions of teenage boys like Lana's yahoos so much that we want to get rid of the main positive black character on the show, and beyond that, Clark's best friend, who basically stays in Smallville his entire life until the vice-presidency. It's part of his character. Pete Ross, like Lana, gets left behind, like Clark. It's why they end up together, nothing else to do but fall in love.
I do not like the idea, but I will not pre-judge the episode. I hope you all stay with me, give it one last chance, and if it jumps the shark, hey, at least I'll be able to go off on it and you can all laugh with me.
Thanks for listening, see you next week.
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