Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 3 - Episode 22: "Covenant"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Main Points:

  • Lana's gone.
  • Chloe's dead.
  • Lionel's screwed.
  • Clark's with Jor-El.
  • Lex is choking.
  • Jonathan's iffy. Martha? Well, Martha's okay. But she runs in slow motion to opera music.

    REVIEW:

    Atsa SPICEY meatball!

    Well, this show had all kinds of potential for disaster. ALL kinds of potential. You hear they're introducing Kara, also known as Supergirl, and that Pete is gone as of the episode before the finale. You make your rash judgments.

    I got 80 emails last week. EIGHTY. And most had at least one line to the tune of, "Hey, Neal, what do you think? Does introducing Supergirl mean that the show's jumped the shark? Doesn't it suck? Won't it blow?"

    I said, well, yeah, my gut tells me it's iffy, but my heart tells me to give it a chance. And so I gave it a chance.

    And I found out that I didn't have to. They covered their bases. The show rules, save in one minor detail.

    Jor-El is, well, evil. You can argue that it might not be Jor-El, but we don't know that, there's been nothing to evidence that it's a hoax. He's done some bad things. But we'll get there.

    Emily Dinsmore's second coming looked like garbage, and it was garbage. Supergirl looked dubious, it turned out to be cool. Let that be a lesson to ye fanboys (and girls). DON'T JUDGE SOMETHING BEFORE YOU SEE IT!

    Except Catwoman. Catwoman is gonna SUCK. But you don't need to see it to know that. That's what we call the Doubt Theory, a philosophical principle that I believe Descartes came up with:

    "If and only if something looks like it will suck so bad that there is no redeeming quality whatsoever in its regard, even in theory (such as the Karma Chameleon telephone, a Catwoman movie where Catwoman is a metahuman played by Halle Berry and there is no Batman, a Steel movie starring a basketball star, or anything with the words "romantic" and "comedy" in the title not written by Kevin Smith or based on a book by Nick Hornby), then it may be disregarded as sucky without due consideration."

    Cogito Ergo Suck. No, wait. Cogito Ergo IT sucks. I don't know. I only read the books in philosophy, and they flunked me for arguing. And anyway, I don't think most of you are getting this anyway, so on to the notes.

    We open up with a hybrid scene from both Splash and Hellboy. First, one exclaims "Bocce balls!", then a girl slams her fist into the hood of a car speeding straight towards her, which promptly flips over her head and explodes colossally. A bit extreme? Yes. But cool looking? Yes.

    So we learn, straight off, that Kara is a murderer. That didn't sit with me at first, until I realized, as we do ultimately by the end of the show, that this ISN'T the Kara we know, it is simply a tool of evil Jor-El, which I can accept.

    Pete's still in the credits. That's unfortunate, because it rubs in the fact that he's gone for the people who liked him.

    And then, commercials. Chicks for Chicken, KFC. That was, well, interesting. Nothing like trying to con hot chicks into eating highly fattening foods. Out of your demographic much?

    So Kara indicates she popped out of a cave wall, she has powers and abilities beyond those of mortal man, and Clark just instantly kind of, well, trusts her? I don't get that. It almost killed the episode for me, but we'll get there. I mention this because she speaks of the place where Clark will reunite with Jor-El, and I'm intrigued, because I believe it is the Phantom Zone. No evidence, but I think it'd be neat.

    Kara's acting is a bit...well, stilted. Well, a bit lot. A lot of a bit. Just plain stilted. She speaks melodramatically, she tries to make the words mean more than they do, and she really speaks far too closely to Clark for even my comfort.

    But hey! (People invariably say) SHE'S A HOT CHICK!

    Well yeah, dopes, but don't you learn your lesson from Lana? A hot chick does not a great actress make. Kristen is a decent actress, but if you like a character simply because she's hot, you do a disservice. Buy a poster, don't inflict her on the rest of us.

    And if you find the poster, tell me where I can get it.

    We also learn that on Krypton, they often wear low-cut dresses revealing a bit much for a 16-17 year old.

    So it's dark out, which means it's like, what, 9, 10? At least. Kara's just blown in, the party's started, and...Lex just walks in the door? Late at night? Without knocking?

    That counts as a time sneaking up on a guy with super-hearing, by the way. And a gal, but she don't get a column. Nope!

    It's weird, it threw me a bit. So they go out to talk, and Clark tells Lex about knowing what his father's done, about the ECT, what Clark should have told Lex a long time ago, and that it makes NO sense for his character not to have told him, but at least this episode wraps that up, and it does it well, allowing for an excuse for Clark to have damning testimony for Lionel. I am pleased.

    And finally, one of Clark's MANY lies turn back around and bites him in the butt. For the man who always tells the truth, I guess he learns to tell the truth the VERY hard way.

    And with the cheesy dialogue. I am STUCK on this episode, I really am, I enjoyed it. But some of the dialogue, it was so cheesy, soap opera, childishly written that I had to pull it out.

    Clark actually says this to Lex. Take it out of context and actually read it:

    "Lex, your father threw you in a mental institution and fried your brain. If you found that out all over again, I thought he might kill you, and I can't live with that!"

    Then Clark beats his breast, sighs, and wraps tighter his corset before leaning in to...

    No, wait, that was something someone sent me online. But the dialogue was real. It actually happened. And Lex never skips a beat. Someone tells me my brain was fried in so callous a manner, I'd be compelled to have a "tic" and slap the poor fool.

    And then, supreme characterization (all seriousness). Lex forgives Clark. Clark did a bad thing, but Lex forgives him. In fact, Lex always forgives. When Lex goes nuts in Red and oh, the other one with Red K, when Clark won't tell his secret. Lex is actually, always pretty darned cool to Clark. Later, that comes up, in this review anyway.

    Lionel only goes to the stylin' prisons, where rich dudes get big old cells with coo coo coo white lighting, daddy-o. Complete with shady guard, and crazy bars for people to put their hands to. Wanna bet it's a set piece for next season? I do. But seeing it at first is a bit ridiculous.

    Well, now Clark knows he can fly. And he flew again. That's...let's see. TEN times he has now flown despite the "no flights, no tights" rule.

    And don't you ladies wish it was ten times with the tights instead of the flights, eh?

    But now we know that he DEFINITELY knows he can fly, at some point.

    Jor-El is dead, but his spirit lives on. Same with Lara. Okay, I...guess. How odd would it have been to say that he was preserved through technology, as was she (per the movies)? But instead, it gets all spiritual. Well, plot-wise that isn't so bad, and it could be taken as cool, if that's your thing. It seemed a little too easy for me. I'd much prefer a living Jor and Lara forever trapped in the Phantom Zone, or a limited smart recording for answering questions.

    Why does Jor-El want Clark back if Krypton is gone and Clark knows most of the information about what he was, what his powers are? Will we see a return to Krypton? (Meaning, will a representation of Krypton be shown to Clark?). Either way, at least the stinking caves might be explained soon, and I applaud that.

    We hear the Superman music again, in particular, my favorite piece, the piece derivative of the score from "The Planet Krypton". I always play it to the reveal, then start it again, I love it so much. In fact, I'm gonna do that right now.

    Ahhh.

    And then cut to a commercial with, you guessed it, a Catwoman preview.

    So Lionel apologizes to Lex, and Lex tells Lionel to cry him a river, build him a bridge, and get over it, complete with the reference to the violins. Excellent. GREAT scene. Very powerful, and it seals the deal between father and son as enemies. Nicely done.

    Lionel knew two years ago? Well, then, that explains why he was so obsessed with K. It was less Clark, more the disease. I want to know when he found out, now, because it's not when he had the gun to his head.

    Kara in the sun, even though she doesn't say anything, was beautiful. A Kryptonian in a yellow sun is a great symbolic thing to a Superman fan, and they torque that well here.

    So, okay, Jonathan made a deal to get his son back, a deal whose conditional consequent is that he lose his son. Uh, I spoke about logic earlier, in jest, but let's knuckle this down to its constituent parts.

    I want my son back, Jor-El. If you give me powers, I will give you my son.

    Uh...

    Crummy deal. I can't say it doesn't make sense (some time with a son is better than none ever again, and maybe he thought he could keep Clark), but it is certainly a DUMB deal to get into. I'm disappointed there. I had hoped that the deal would be a good slight more interesting. Instead, it's pretty off. But it's such a small part of the episode that it wasn't too big a deal. Still, it disappointed me.

    You guys remember the biggest complaint about Superman II? Anyone?

    Well, the fact that somehow Clark walked through the Arctic wastes as a human in just a jacket.

    But the second biggest complaint? Ah yes.

    Strange, stupid, and uncalled for powers. The Super-kiss. The telekinetic...special effect, whatever that was. The ability to teleport. The giant, saran wrap S that Superman pulls from his costume. Remember all that?

    Add to that list the ability to just, because you're Kryptonian, hold out your hands and operate a phaser set to kill. The hands that can vaporize, well, anything.

    Lame! Cool effect, but lame idea. She could have just, as we have seen, punched it and flipped it and blew it up. Why not? Emily killed someone in the same way twice last week.

    Now folks, remember...Lana needs financial aid to go to school in Paris, right? So much so, that without selling the Talon, she couldn't go.

    So what does she drive up to the farm in? A BRAND NEW SUV, despite having already had a new one this year. That means she bought two SUVs this year. That's what, 60 grand? 40 grand? I don't know, I don't ever want one of the stupid things, but that's a lot of moolah.

    Not to mention a new hair do, which looks like it cost a pretty hundred bucks as well. And Clark didn't mention it. HA! Well, anyway, I'm cruel.

    So we didn't have an 8:50, but we did have an 8:25. That's the mid-episode Clark harassment, and it's happened about 5-10 times this season. So Lana gives him the cow-eyes and basically tells Clark, "Tell me your secret or I'm leaving." Which is, as ever, passive aggression.

    What's with that line, "Wanna be my supershuttle?" That's trying WAY too hard to be a pun. Coming from Lana, I barfed blood.

    Then she looks over Clark's shoulder and sees Kara. Clark tells her it's his cousin, and because he hasn't told her about her yet (she's just got into town perhaps, Lana?) Lana interrupts Clark, and then after he explains Kara, Clark says a kind goodbye (because Lana has decided that her previous conversation is not going to happen, because Clark is such a butthead for being around another girl), and if you watch the tape, he says a polite goodbye and she drives off without saying goodbye or even finishing the conversation.

    STAY IN PARIS, you PRETENTIOUS, ANNOYING, IGNORANT *&@#%.

    People have been writing me saying, "Hey, man. It's sad that Pete's gone, but given how marginalized the character is, will you miss him?" And the answer is no, they've prepared me well. So if they're going to lose part of the mythos and can Pete, I say let's go the whole 9 and can Lana as well. My logic: If Pete can go, so can Lana.

    Be gone with the little pink noxema avenger.

    Throw her in the sein river, and make it so that Clark won't hear her whining.

    That way Clark can't burden her with how awful he is, saving her life all the time.

    One of the better parts of the show, Lana splitting. The idea, not the execution. I'll get there.

    So we enter a scene with Kara and Clark, and Kara reveals that she loves Clark, and that together they will rebuild the Kryptonian race. Can you say, ERADICATOR? I can. But the real question is if the writing team want Jor-El to become the Eradicator, or if the Eradicator is really on his way. I don't like mean Jor-El, so I'm hoping it's not really him.

    And then at the end of their conversation, I kid you not, Kara looks at the camera. BAAAAD acting. It may be passed off as stylish, but if it was trying to be, tell the actor not to make it obvious she's looking at the camera.

    But Neal, she's a HOT CHICK! Oh yeah.

    Then we hit the next CRINGE dialogue. Chloe with Lex.

    "He needs to be punished for what he did, but he's still your father, and he's still dying!" Chloe then beats her breasts, puts her hand to her forehead, and turns away.

    Ready for her close-up.

    RRRRRR! More commercials. And look! Noxema! Kristen Kreuk! For the love of monkeys, she's leaving for Paris, but we'll still have to see the commercials!

    Psychosomatic CLANA! I need therapy.

    It's funny, because when we get back to the show, Clark breaks into Lex's mansion and finds his room, then Lex walks in, and instead of saying, as he could have, "HEY, why did you break into my house!" He tries to explain that the room is a form of therapy, a way of him trying not to be like his dad, a way to try and break the nature of his inquisition. Clark doesn't hear him out, Clark just pulls a Lana (very untypical, I might add, but he does it sometimes) and just walks out in melodrama and decides not to give Lex a chance to explain himself. I know without folks not giving other folks a chance to explain themselves, drama would fall flat, but KEEEE-rist, in this instance, I think Clark would have given Lex a chance to explain.

    The scene was well played despite its abrupt conclusion, and it was cool to see that they didn't forget the little parasite bugs, that Lex got one.

    And then Lana goes bye bye, and because Lex hugs her, Clark pulls a Lana and runs away, jealous? What, like Lex is going to go after Lana? Number one, it's illegal. She's 17, he's 25. Number two, it's unlikely. They've never expressed any romantic interest in each other. Third, it's retarded to assume from seeing something (like a girl in existence behind the boy you like, not hugging him, not kissing him, but merely existing) that you're up to something. Lex's hug might be grounds for anger, but not grounds for not asking Lana what's up.

    All I can say to justify Clark is that I know where he learned his moronic tendencies from. Doesn't mean I condone them.

    But Lana's gone, so there should be no more passive aggressive stuff, right?

    Until she's back the first episode of next season, that is. SIGH.

    And hey, Clark super speeds in front of all of those people at the airport, just disappears in the middle of hundreds of people. That's a time he uses powers in front of people.

    Now we have the court room. Chloe and Lex, worried about whether Clark will show. And then another, horrible line.

    "Just in time to save the day!"

    Of course, this is more of a pun than a chest beater, but it's one of those ones that fell flat. You know how sometimes they rock, other times they fall flat? This one fell a bit flat.

    Clark just ended his friendship with Lex without letting Lex explain. That's cheap. Lord help me, not only do I feel for Lex Luthor, as of this show, I'm on his side until he does something direct and overtly nefarious and worthy of scorn. Clark has done worse things than Lex. He's put MANY people into comas. Lex has done a few things to help other people that aren't exactly by the books. Count me with Lex until Clark asks Lex why he had the room.

    And HEY! Where's my testimony scene! How cool would it have been? Chloe facing down Lionel, Clark facing down Lionel, Lex facing down Lionel? Cut the whole scene with Lana and Clark at the SUV, save it for the airport, and re-cut in a scene in a court room! GAH! LAAAAAAAAAAAME!

    And then, kissing cousins. It was so, very bad.

    But soooooooo good. Hey, she IS a hot chick. I'd kiss my cousin if she looked like that. I might even...end this paragraph before I say something I'll later regret. (Some cousin I don't know I have from back East finding me and knocking out my grandma or something).

    But you know what's really funny (although shockingly real)? Hot chick kisses Clark once, and he's like, "Okay, let's go!" Anyone else see that?

    It's Anna Nicole Smith, all over again. 87 bojillion dollars? Well, I don't know, I've got Ma, and Pa, and the farm to take care of...and...

    HOOOOOOOO HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHS!

    HOO HAHS!

    Mommy!

    All right, whatever, liquidate my parents, they're insolent. Take me to Krypton. Beat up Pete.

    My favorite aspect of this (I say dripping sardonicism) is that not only is this bad because he drops everything because a hot chick kisses him, he drops everything because a hot chick who has just MURDERED SOMEONE RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM kisses him. That's sad.

    It's like, oh, god, what's comparable, uh, instead of apologizing to a mother whose fetus you just killed, taking a drug like substance and moving out of contact for three months. But a little better.

    So again, I think the reason for Clark's conflict at the end is forced, just like last year.

    And it turns out that she's not only a murderer, she's not Kara. She's Lindsey Harrison, a girl caught up in the meteor shower.

    This means two things...first, that the writers have come up with a fair, ingenious way to introduce a homage to Kara into continuity that does NOT mess up the fact that Kara, by all rights, should first meet up with Superman WELL into his stay in Metropolis, but they've also created a way for Jor-El to talk with Clark that isn't Terrence Stamp living and breathing before him or a reporter with blasto hands. I like it. I actually LIKED Supergirl in Smallville, do you hear me? Surprised? I was.

    Which brings us to the final fight with Jor-El, Kara, and Jonathan.

    I thought to myself, "I will hate this episode if Clark decides to go willingly because of this girl." And I was almost rewarded with my worst fear. Then they vaporize the hot chick, and start killing Jonathan. THEN, I would be content with Clark going to save his father. But not even that! They manage to maintain Clark's integrity. He says that going is his only option, but he never says, "Okay, I'll go." He's just kind of sucked in, and that's sort of involuntary, so Clark is preserved.

    Which brings us to the best ten minutes of the season, next to the many "moments". This is, to my mind, the longest protracted amazing series of events in a Smallville episode since Rosetta, and to date the most artfully done.

    They kill Chloe, Pa Kent is out, maybe dead, they shave Lionel's head, and Lex "chokes" on his own rope. Clark is in the ether, and all of this is accomplished amidst opera music that really moved me, with great direction, great camera work, and fantastic special effects.

    I didn't understand the symbol in the field, but it was so danged beautiful I don't care.

    Five minutes after the story ended, the emails poured in. "They didn't kill Chloe, did they?"

    Well, like I know! But hey, here's what I BELIEVE.

    I think yes, she is dead. There are two things that concern me. First, the fact that she winked/made a face to the guy in the back of the government vehicle. Second, that the article on the Smallville Ledger indicates that the exploded house had no owner and was cordoned off, and that no bodies were found.

    So does that mean Chloe lives? No. Because there are so many reasons for her not to have lived, and they outweigh the potential of her survival.

    Let's look at them.

    One, she steps into the house. As she steps into the house, we see her clearly, through a glass door, and inside, in front of her, a great ball of fire comes towards her, the house exploding.

    Assume she jumped out of the way. No human can jump the fifteen feet out from the periphery of the house that the fire extended, blowing the house into multiple bits. No human could have possibly survived being where Chloe was with an explosion that colossal. It's just not possible, and I refuse to believe it could be.

    Ergo, if they do bring her back, I will be VERY upset, and cheated. I will be, as they say, Kathy Bates with a sledgehammer, Al Gough will be strapped to the bed with the board between his legs, and I'll be saying, ever so softly, "Dirty birdy, dirty birdy, that was a DIRTY BIRDY thing to do, AL!"

    Further evidence. Lex is poisoned. That Lex is being poisoned at the EXACT same time Chloe is being "fake" blown up by the witness protection program is too coincidental.

    And Lex's poisoning was not fake, otherwise why would he do it all alone?

    Further evidence. Chloe is ALREADY in the witness protection program. Say the death were faked. Why do it with the new, false identity?

    The only way that Chloe can be saved is if Clark time travels. And either option, time travel, or some kind of, "I just jumped out of the way at the last minute" would mean me seriously reappraising watching this show, because it's such horrible storytelling that I would be forced to reevaluate.

    Now, do I want Chloe dead yet? I don't know yet. I haven't thought of that. All I've thought about is the logic. And she is, by what they showed us, VERY dead. Not like, MAYBE dead, like Lex and Jonathan are, but like, DEAD. Period. As is her father.

    As an unexpected, totally killer death, I think this is a great way for Chloe to go, if she must. I was worried that because DC optioned the right to the character they would somehow try to keep her alive, but I want her dead. It makes no sense that she would survive and just never be in Metropolis. She'd be like Lois Lane, if not competition. Could she have died a year later? Maybe.

    Here's my worry. Chloe is dead. Pete is gone. That leaves three mains. Lana, Lex, and Clark. And three support, Lionel and the Kents. So the bulk of the show will revolve around Clark and Lex, who hate each other now, and Lana, who...well, is LANA.

    This worries me much, but thankfully, I don't have to worry about that until next year.

    Is Jonathan dead? Nah, I don't think so. Chloe we can take, her death makes sense. Jonathan? It's not time yet. I don't get that feel. With Chloe, I was like, yeah, that makes sense. Not with Jonathan. So I'm gonna give him a KO, and assume him alive, and mark Chloe a Whammy.

    That's kind of sad.

    Lionel losing his locks, people say, "Hey, prisoners don't have to shave their heads!" I, ever the stickler, could be like that. But nope. I enjoyed it. It was a great bracket for some high drama, coupled with a nice opera, it just chilled me right to the bone. RIGHT to the bone.

    A friend said, "Don't sell out, Neal. Don't base your review on the last ten minutes of the show."

    Okay. Yeah. Because there were some inconsistencies though the show rocked overall, I will dock some, because trusting a killer IS stupid, Lana's BS got in the way, and I did hate the silly dialogue. And I missed a trial.

    4.5 of 5.

    The ten minutes makes up for a LOT of that.

    SUPER SHORT REVIEW

    Goodbye, Lana. Goodbye Chloe. Wake up, Jon. Clark, what were you thinking. Ha ha, Kara's a farce! That car blowing up was cool. Opera and a head shave. Great finale, best yet. 4.5 of 5.

    BUSINESS:

    Well, for business, we have a few sections this time around. As promised, I have the typical re-review, the "Memoria" I mentioned a few weeks back, the mathematics, and business standard. I will label them as such.

    BUSINESS STANDARD:

    I sent out my novel to all of those who expressed an interest. Hopefully, the next time I write a Smallville review to you all I will have a book deal. If you're interested, there's still time to get in on the action, or if you already wanted in on the action but somehow I missed your email, IMMEDIATELY shoot me an email at bailey.neal@comcast.net, because time is of the essence on that offer... it's worth an acknowledgement if I'm allowed, and I think if you like these reviews, you might like the novel.

    I got EIGHTY LETTERS last week. I know, I said that twice already, but I'm not doing it to brag, I'm doing it to tell all of you who wrote in who didn't get into the final business that I'm sorry. I did 60 letters in the last day (as in the last 24 hours) and I've now written 9 pages on what will be a 20 page review, and I just couldn't humanly do it. My apologies. I will apply all business to next year's first review, I promise. I am so amazingly honored. The first year, I got 10 letters a week, the second about 20, the third about 40, and now I get ten letters a day. It's just like, you step back a little bit, and you say, how in the hell? What do I mean to anyone? You know? Oh, I get the "Who would win in a battle with Superman and Batman?" letter all the time, and I joke about it, but mostly, you all are very wonderful, sincere people who brighten me again and again with your correspondence. So before I get to that correspondence, though I've said it before, I say it again. Thank you all. Thank you for your criticisms, harsh and polite. Thank you for your words of praise, heartfelt and beautiful. Thank you for being here for me in a period of time when I quit my job to become a writer, and supporting me through it. Thanks for reading my ramblings. Thanks for encouraging them. Thanks for making this third season of reviews possible.

    Thanks for potentially helping me achieve my dream of publication.

    I was...let's say very sad three years ago. I never thought I would be published much of anywhere. Steve had just taken me on a year earlier and I'd done a few reviews, but my list of publication was small. Now, thanks to Smallville, I feel I have a voice, I feel I have a very cool and very dedicated cult readership, and best of all, being a lonely little man who sits at his keyboard and typed 10-16 pages a day, I have gained through chat and through letters a series of friends that I will carry with me. There are too many to mention here, but you all know who you are. Without you, I am not the writer I am.

    You all amaze me to tears writing this, and that's sincere from a cynic.

    This week's letters:

    Andrew Friden wrote in regarding Forsaken, pointing out that when Emily enters into the cage with Lana, she never unlocks it. Hmmm. He also points out that Clark's chest is seen in Memoria, but he no longer has the scar from the Jor-El burn.

    Tim O'Brian, a long-time correspondent, has two points. First, that Jeremiah, once he gets his powers, loses his glasses immediately. I didn't notice that. Tim did, as did others, but I'll get there. Tim also notes, not without humor, that maybe the real reason Julian was killed was because he didn't fit into the pattern. His initials weren't LL...note that Lucas lived.

    Dave Bratton writes in with this:

    When does Clark not wear blue or red? When he's stabbed, shot or bleeding. Then he wears white, because it shows up on camera better.

    True!

    He also noted the glasses disappearing on Jeremiah, along with the slicked back hair.

    Tracie calls me quite correctly in that Clark called CHLOE when the psycho came after her in Truth. My mistake.

    Kevin Heacock points out a really dumb mistake on my part. So dumb, I smacked my head when he pointed it out. I point out how Clark doesn't duck in the scene where Jeremiah gets his powers. And THAT is correct. What is incorrect is that Clark isn't in the scene. At all. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.

    Kevin also thinks Jeremiah looks like Dean Cain. I see that.

    Sara writes in that Jonathan and Martha might have left Clark in place after his stab wound because after an injury you're not supposed to move someone, for risk of further injury. To which I counter, Clark was fully healed, right? But then, they didn't know that, so hey, I might have left him there too if moving might cause injury.

    Nah, I would have called the hospital...but I covered that one already. And Sara's solution is far more cool than mine...more thought out.

    Arne Klein saw marginalized Pete in a place you wouldn't expect. Eagle eyes say Pete in Legacy, in the background at the Talon. Check it out!At 10:45 in and 11:15, there he is, blurry but hanging around. Cool!

    Graywolf saw as well that Clark was not there at the beginning of Talisman.

    And Graywolf also chimes in with THREE KO Count categories. I don't typically add them unless they seem fairly common or I can get a start from the reader, and Graywolf gave me a good setup.

    The first new column is Greek Mythology References. The second is Kryptonian Wannabes, people who have Kryptonian Powers despite not being Kryptonian. The third is Times Clark has Lost his Powers.

    Check them out in the KO Count, and please suggest more to add as you find them!

    Rob Adams theorizes that Emily was no longer mad at Lana for three reasons. A therapist would tell her not to hate her, and also, with the brain of a young child, she would forget her anger very quickly.

    Rob also retorts correctly that Clark established the farm as belonging to the Dinsmores. Still doesn't explain the box (but the explanation is coming...)

    I myself noted that Lana sneaks up on Clark at the end of Forsaken in the barn.

    Samir saw the Dean Cain/Jeremiah connection as well.

    Drew Vandriel felt it implausible that Lana starts coughing before the gas reached her in Forsaken. Me too.

    Cort Chatagnier postulates that if Kryptonian metal can hurt Clark, then when the ship blew up, shrapnel should have torn Clark to shreds, or at least cut him.

    Felix Vasquez found the scene where Clark smashed the glass outlandish, because instead of flying inward and stabbing Lana, it simply fell at his feet when he collided with it like a battering ram.

    Barry Freidman, a fellow writer for the Superman Homepage and a good friend, remembered the box and its origin. It's a LEFTOVER prop from Birds of Prey, the penultimate episode. It held Clayface at Arkham. Cheapos!

    Hey, Gough! Write in a box!

    Huh? Why?

    Because we got one lying around, and it's part of that suckhole show Birds of Prey! We need to make it profitable.

    Well, okay, shove it in Forsaken. That's the crap show we put in there just before the one we threw our all into.

    Okay!

    And get this, folks. I AM VINDICATED! I am NOT a sexist! Matthew McGowan redeemed me, reminding me that Chloe's mom is no longer with the family. And unless a woman got socked with child support (highly unlikely) and further, that child support is enough to support a VW Bug, a cell phone, AND a bid on the Talon, I am not insane! She is too poor for what she does.

    But then, Lana has a new SUV but can't afford school.

    THAT, my friends, is class warfare. Showing someone who is poor living beyond their means and making it okay because money is the ideal, instead of focusing on the real and more common problem, that of the consequences of poverty in terms of health care, property, and social status. For instance, though I was a fairly bright kid, I couldn't roam in a number of groups because my car was from 1982, my parents weren't executives, and I had to work.

    Bitter much?

    YES.

    So I hate seeing people decried as poor who are, for all intents and purposes on the screen, rich.

    It's like a royal pain in the butt gal being called desirable. Uh uh.

    Bogie saw in the scene with the FBI agent and Pete something I missed, mostly because I was so mad at the bad editing. Lex and Pete, future president and vice-president, respectably, making a pact to help each other in the future while acting very diplomatic like. Cool.

    Michael wrote in with an addition to the Knockout Count, but alas, it won't make it. I'll let his words explain:

    A suggestion for a Smallville KO count for you. It should be easy to count because I think the number is exactly zero: Number of times a car collides, overturns or otherwise crashes WITHOUT exploding afterwards.

    Is this episode the first? Nope. Heck, today a car VAPORIZED, and another exploded. Sigh.

    Another Rob writes in and points out that Chloe's mother is not around. Thanks, Rob!

    Jocelyn was the person who originally gave me the child support idea. Right on, Jocelyn!

    Phillip pointed out that Clark found out the Dinsmores owned the farm where Lana was kept. But then, he also shows me that in Accelerate they lived in a Victorian, not a house with a big barn. Bad continuity.

    Jonathan North ALSO pointed out the Chloe's mom thing. I must have been blind!

    MD found MOUNTAINS in KANSAS! While Chloe's being attacked, in 318, watch for them. They're there.

    The MAN of the ATOM reassured me in the chat that though Chloe is dead, we should not fear. SHE WILL RETURN IN OCTOBER. As a Cyborg Chloe, a black Chloe, an Eradicator Chloe, and as a young boy Chloe. Which one will be real? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT, starting with Smallville 500! Er, Smallville 67.

    Spoon AZ was the one who pointed out that Lex CHOKED on his own rope to me.

    Katanga reassures me that Clark will be back, and in order to make up for the fact that there are two fewer characters, will split into two Clarks, Clark Red and Clark Blue. Clark Blue will put up with Lana's passive aggression, and Clark Red will pick fights in the local bar and ride around on a motorcycle. Please let one go to Paris and stay, that we may never see Lana again.

    THE RE-REVIEW:

    Episode 1: "Exile"

    Original rating: 5 of 5.

    Great dualism ending with Clark and his dad in a fist fight, Lex is on a deserted island going nuts, and a few inconsistencies, but not enough to mar the overall feel.

    I stand by my review.

    Episode 2: "Phoenix"

    Original rating: 4.5 of 5.

    Lex Luthor comes home, and there's hell to pay. Morgan Edge plays a big part, and Clark comes home. Although later the consequences are glossed over, this show is a great good time. I docked .5 because Lex accentuated theism when in fact, he will become an atheism, but in context, it could have been a tactic of deception, so I retract.

    New rating: 5 of 5.

    Episode 3: "Extinction"

    Original rating: 2 of 5.

    This inaccuracy plagued story of Van McNulty the candy bar has multiple inconsistencies, a complete gloss over Clark's absence, and only one redeeming quality...a Lex scene where he imagines the reason he's got K problems is because he's a freak of the week, more or less. It established the next McNulty episode, but then the character dies quickly and is essentially a boring, inefficient racist.

    I stand by my review.

    Episode 4: "Slumber"

    Original rating: 3.5 of 5.

    This show introduced Clark's next door neighbor, who we promptly never saw again. It was cool for a dream sequence where Lex goes nuts after finding out Clark's secret and whacking him with a sword, but again was rife with inconsistencies, Lana was the clich focal point, and it was a typical freak episode. The Lex scene catapulted it above average, but it's pretty much just above average.

    I stand by my review.

    Episode 5: "Perry"

    Original rating: 5 of 5.

    A bitter, drunk, and sad Perry comes to town and drives Lex into a foreshadowing homicidal rage. Desperate to figure Clark out, he obsesses until Clark helps him kick the hooch. Complete with hokey solar flares. Five of five for story, but for inconsistencies (a few) in re-review, I say:

    4.5 of 5.

    Episode 6: "Relic"

    Original rating: 5 of 5.

    This episode got me a lot of hate mail because I insisted that Lana looked Asian. Other people insist that because her character is not Asian, Lana was not Asian looking. Or that because Nell was not Asian looking, even though Lana's great aunt was, Lana was not Asian. People called me racist because I thought an adulterous relationship in 1961 with a gal who looked Asian and a white guy getting together might rile the community in 1961 Smallville. So I stopped taking a stand on it, and still do.

    In all honesty, I'm still confused, but it wasn't too big a deal. My job is to facilitate a dialogue, and I certainly did my job with this episode, so proven right or wrong (or the reality, neither) a lot of debate came of this episode, so that makes it a fond memory for me. In addition, the unique idea, the lack of a freak, and Lachlan Luthor still made the episode great.

    I stand by the review.

    Episode 7: "Magnetic"

    Original rating: 2 of 5.

    At the time, I said that the only thing that saved this show from being the first 1 of 5 was the fact that Lex learns about the intrigue with Chloe and his father regarding his grandparents. Well lo, in retrospect, we learn that Lex not only doesn't learn this information (because some writer waves the magic "forget" stick with ECT), he is kept from the very intrigue in this episode (stunting the plot, I might add, as both Chloe and Clark would have told Lex immediately were they like normal people and not treated as drama provoking fictional constructs), he doesn't need it at this point, rendering the only good in the story moot. I lower the rating, therefore, due to the freak, the Clana, the reuse of a concept, and a lot of implausibilities:

    1 of 5.

    Episode 8: "Shattered"

    Original rating: 5 of 5

    Lex Luthor starts going nuts because his father's poisoned the brandy. Say, you know, Clark didn't tell him about the brandy poison either! And now Lex has been poisoned in the finale by...yep. Brandy. Way to go, Clark! This is why, as I said for Magnetic, Clark should have just told the whole story to Lex, minus the whole stopping the car with his body, and any sane person would have. Arbitrary plot, shame shame! So anyway, very little wrong with this episode except the little jilt at the end where it is revealed (right after a really cool cliffhanger, Lex learning Clark's secret) that his memory is about to be erased. Hey, next time save a little tension, huh? There's enough arbitrary tension in this show that they could at least let the natural tension stay! So I lower the rating for that little slip to:

    4.5 of 5.

    Episode 9: "Asylum"

    Original rating: 5 of 5.

    There is catharsis here, and the catharsis fooled me. A lot of sadness for Lex helped me look over the fact that there were three freaks in this episode, Lana was being a dingbat, and we are introduced to ADAM, a character that was supposed to be a replacement for the Clanas and maybe a way to stop Lana from being cruel to Clark. So I was optimistic at the time. As Adam never came to any kind of really cool fruition, and as this episode, while disturbing and great on some levels, was rife with flaws in others (ECT doesn't kill specific memories), I lower the rating to:

    3.5 of 5

    Episode 10: "Whisper"

    Original rating: 4 of 5.

    I don't know what I was thinking with a 4 of 5. This episode was rife with inconsistency, it had a Clana, it had a bunch of Pete not acting like Pete (suddenly a chick magnet where he wasn't before). I liked the Chloe Lionel intrigue, the learning to hear (which had its interesting points) and I also liked Lex and Lionel scenes, but in retrospect, I don't think I'll watch this one again save for review purposes, which is sad, given that it's a power giving episode. I change it to:

    2.5 of 5.

    Episode 11: "Delete"

    Original rating: 3 of 5.

    I was far too kind to this episode. A cat fight for the sake of a cat fight, mind control emails, a hot chick computer whiz, Clark vulnerable to mind control when in Truth he couldn't be persuaded, and a subplot that was interesting with Lex and Somerholdt, but mostly just Lana and Adam development, to no futile end. I change my review to:

    2 of 5.

    Episode 12: "Hereafter"

    Original rating: 4.5 of 5.

    This episode had two VERY cool moments. Jonathan having a heart attack, and cape action. Beyond that, it's just more Adam development, more Lana acting like a bung, a freak of the week, and ANOTHER homicidal coach. Plus Clark somehow pulling someone out of a fire and not getting noticed. I lower the rating to:

    3.5 of 5.

    Episode 13: "Velocity"

    Original rating: 1 of 5.

    The first one of five for a reason, this took the already marginalized Pete, totally changed his character for no real reason, added Kryptonite gas to the story, and led to the ultimate storyline that kicked Pete from the show. I would make this a zero if I could, but I did see it, so it at least has to register.

    I stand by my review.

    Episode 14: "Obsession"

    Original rating: 3.5 of 5.

    This is the story of Alicia, a story that was great up until she became a homicidal maniac for no real reason and decided to kill Clark. Follow that up with a flat ending with her still at large but somehow now ignoring Clark, and you have half of a good episode, half of a bad, with an issue better than usual, Clark confronting someone who actually treats him with respect.

    I stand by my review.

    Episode 15: "Resurrection"

    Original rating: 4 of 5.

    This story was a lot like Alicia, except it didn't cover any new territory for Clark, and the kid started going bad at 8:25, not 8:30. If Obsession was 3.5, this one shouldn't be a four. Add in the bomb effect, which was cool, but the consequences (two people seeing Clark and his powers, and Clark merely disappearing while a kid dies) and you have loads of inconsistency. I lower this rating to:

    3 of 5.

    Episode 16: "Crisis"

    Original rating: 3 of 5.

    Lana and Adam, ah, bliss. This is the one where the worthless story of Adam comes to a head, and hey, he goes crazy. But Clark is a bad boyfriend, eh, even though he saves her all the time? Lana centric, but the beginning of the end of Lionel, this is an episode with, yes, a time travel phone call folks. Just like Kryptonite gas. It has a freak of the week, it has a Clana, I was too generous. It was worse than average.

    2 of 5.

    Episode 17: "Legacy"

    Original rating: 3.5 of 5.

    You'll believe a Reeve episode can suck. Alas, despite a stellar job by Reeve and tons of cool subplots starting, we now have a Lana centric episode with a Clana instead of a Swann episode, and it rattles through the whole lot which is rife with inconsistencies. Still, it IS a Reeve episode, it DOES introduce a lot of interesting plot elements, and it wasn't a freak episode.

    I stand by my review.

    Episode 18: "Truth"

    Original rating: 4 of 5.

    I was right. They never did address the fact that Pete loved Chloe, or that Lana said that she didn't trust Chloe. But there were a number of really cool plot elements, including Chloe getting truth out of everyone, including a chilling scene with Lionel. And the freak was CHLOE, not some crazed teenager. However, they DID throw in a freak for no real reason and there was a Clana. Those knock it a point. But:

    I stand by my review.

    Episode 19: "Memoria"

    Original rating: 5 of 5.

    This is likely the best show of the series so far, Lex catharsis, Lara as a first word, flashbacks and the resolution of the Lionel and Lex storyline. Lex's youth, the birthday scene, and the final apology of Lionel, to no end.

    I stand by my review. I wish I could go higher.

    Episode 20: "Talisman"

    Original rating: 2.5 of 5.

    A below average freak with above average plot justifications. Jeremiah is a walking stereotype, but we get to see Clark swing a tree, the Lex NAMAN speech, and the concept of the mortal enemy is explored. But it's a freak episode, it has some choppy editing, but all in all, it was okay. I raise the rating to:

    3 of 5.

    Episode 21: "Forsaken"

    Original rating: 1 of 5.

    Emily Dinsmore, who really didn't need to return, returned, with all kinds of inconsistency, nonsense, and crapola. Not only that, but Pete's left the show, Lana's centric, there's a Clana, and they manage to BOTCH Lionel's arrest with a great speech but a cheesy cop entrance. HORRIBLE. THE worst episode of Smallville yet.

    I stand by my review.

    Episode 22: "Covenant"

    Original rating: 4.5 of 5.

    In the two and half hours since I made my original rating, I feel the same way. Chilled and enthused. Goodbye, Chloe. If Chloe returns, this will instantly drop to a 3 or 2.

    I stand by my review.

    MATHEMATICS:

    So here's what we have:

    ORIGINAL RATINGS:

    Episode 1: "Exile" 5 of 5

    Episode 2: "Phoenix" 4.5 of 5.

    Episode 3: "Extinction" 2 of 5

    Episode 4: "Slumber" 3.5 of 5

    Episode 5: "Perry" 5 of 5

    Episode 6: "Relic" 5 of 5

    Episode 7: "Magnetic" 2 of 5

    Episode 8: "Shattered" 5 of 5

    Episode 9: "Asylum" 5 of 5

    Episode 10: "Whisper" 4 of 5

    Episode 11: "Delete" 3 of 5

    Episode 12: "Hereafter" 4.5 of 5

    Episode 13: "Velocity" 1 of 5

    Episode 14: "Obsession" 3.5 of 5

    Episode 15: "Resurrection" 4 of 5

    Episode 16: "Crisis" 3 of 5

    Episode 17: "Legacy" 3.5 of 5

    Episode 18: "Truth" 4 of 5

    Episode 19: "Memoria" 5 of 5

    Episode 20: "Talisman" 2.5 of 5

    Episode 21: "Forsaken" 1 of 5

    Episode 22: "Covenant" 4.5 of 5

    That's an overall season average of 3.66. So a little better than average season, rounding up, a 4 season average, just like the last two years. But it's gone down by a tenth on the initial review.

    That means:

    2 1 of 5s

    2 2 of 5s

    1 2.5 of 5

    2 3 of 5s

    3 3.5 of 5s

    3 4 of 5s

    3 4.5 of 5s

    6 5 of 5s

    Compared to the last few years:

    Season two:

    0 1 of 5s,

    7 2 of 5s,

    1 3 of 5s,

    1 3.5 of 5

    4 4 of 5s,

    and

    10 5 of 5s.

    1 6 of 5, if you count ferrets.

    Season one:

    6 5 of 5s,

    9 4 of 5s,

    1 3.5 of 5

    3 3 of 5s,

    and

    2 2 of 5s

    So essentially, on a graded scale, there were many more AVERAGE episodes this season, a few REAL stinkers that were never there in previous seasons, and far fewer five of fives than last season, but as many as there were first season.

    On a whole, the season had many problems with repetition, and the show is beginning a slow decline into failure, in my opinion, largely because of an increased reliance on the same plot device over and over and the reliance on Lana as a fetish object. Only Lex, as ever, saves the show, and only things that move the characters forward.

    I say this because if you compare the re-scores, the ones with knowledge of the context and the way that it affected everything, we have:

    Episode 1: "Exile" 5 of 5

    Episode 2: "Phoenix" 5 of 5.

    Episode 3: "Extinction" 2 of 5

    Episode 4: "Slumber" 3.5 of 5

    Episode 5: "Perry" 4.5 of 5

    Episode 6: "Relic" 5 of 5

    Episode 7: "Magnetic" 1 of 5

    Episode 8: "Shattered" 4.5 of 5

    Episode 9: "Asylum" 3.5 of 5

    Episode 10: "Whisper" 2.5 of 5

    Episode 11: "Delete" 2 of 5

    Episode 12: "Hereafter" 3.5 of 5

    Episode 13: "Velocity" 1 of 5

    Episode 14: "Obsession" 3.5 of 5

    Episode 15: "Resurrection" 3 of 5

    Episode 16: "Crisis" 2 of 5

    Episode 17: "Legacy" 3.5 of 5

    Episode 18: "Truth" 4 of 5

    Episode 19: "Memoria" 5 of 5

    Episode 20: "Talisman" 3 of 5

    Episode 21: "Forsaken" 1 of 5

    Episode 22: "Covenant" 4.5 of 5

    That leaves us with a season average of 3.272727. Compare that to the adjusted of last year, 3.478, and you're down two tenths of a point.

    In retrospect, the show is about to dip below average. Take from that what you will. I think we have one more good year, myself, unless something drastic happens. A 7 of 9 drastic. If you weren't a fan of Voyager until the addition of Jeri Ryan, you know what I mean. I personally liked the show after more. Not for the hoohas, though those were nice, but because it added to the show, it really did. They made a character out of her.

    Which brings us to the finale,

    MEMORIA:

    First off, my top ten episodes for the whole series, because people ask, and I'm going to want to define it each year so people don't ask each year and so I can be fair and define as the season ends, not as whim dictates:

    1. Memoria (Ultimate Lex catharsis and Lionel apologizes)

    2. Rosetta (Reeve)

    3. Hourglass (Rain of blood)

    4. Covenant (Kara and the death of Chloe)Perry (Drinkin in Memphis)

    5. Perry (Drinkin in Memphis)

    6. Insurgence (Able to leap into windows at a single bound)

    7. Asylum (ECT and villains three)

    8. Red (Bad Clark, Pt. 1.)

    9. Rogue (Clark meets the ultimate bad cop and retains his faith in humanity)

    10. Zero (Starts with Lex hanging upside down, ends with a bang.)

    And then, the memories. Only a few of you sent them in, so here's what I have:

    Trev (Guru):

    Red, when Clark throws the goon off the dance floor and asks, "Anybody else?"

    Red, when Clark confronts the bounty hunter, shoots the gun in his hand right in front of Lionel and then pushed the pool table, pinning him against the wall.

    Daniel Kirwan:

    1. Rosetta - Christopher Reeve and the Superman music
    2. Hourglass - Lex in the White House
    3. Lex and Clark - Our friendship will be the stuff of Legend.
    4. Lex and Clark Hug in Phoenix - (I like it when they are chums)
    5. His name his Clark Kent (I love when Jonathan Kent gets tough - he is how a father should be)
    6. Clark and Alicia...lovely
    7. "If raised a son that could kill.. then kill!"
    8. Desiree - SAY NO MORE
    9 Clark getting *^$ed off in Precipice
    10. Premiere - "Who did this to my truck?" Gotta laugh!


    David DeSomer -

    1) Clark's body language due to his fear of heights as he jumps from another building into the Daily Planet in "Insurgence."

    2) Clark getting shot by the Kryptonite bullet and his and Pa Kent's reaction in "Extinction."

    3) Clark getting tough with Lex's security guard when Clark gives him a light jab in the abdomen and then does his best Jack Bauer imitation shouting "Tell me who you're working for!" in "Shattered."

    4) Clark and Pete playing basketball at the end of "Duplicity" with that wonderful song "Ordinary Day."

    5) In "Perry" Clark's facial expression as she can't control his running speed and zooms of the scene into the forest and ends up in another state and has to take the bus home.

    6) The scene where Red Clark is robbing the bank to the tune of Metallica's "Frantic" in Exile.

    7) Lex Luther as President of the U.S. in a field of sunflowers in "Hourglass."

    8) Martha and Clark's conversation about Clark's natural mother Lara at the end of Memoria.

    9) And Rosetta goes without saying.

    And that brings me to mine.

    These are my favorite moments of the show so far (in random order):

    1) The comet hitting Lana's parents in the premiere. A cool effect, and it tortures Lana. Mwu ha!

    2) Lex with a submachine gun in the "Stray"

    3) The girl's locker room and Clark's smile in "X-ray"

    4) The "Hourglass" Lex scene, of course.

    5) The safe landing on the evil cop's car in "Rogue"

    6) Lex and Ryan talking about comic books in "Stray"

    7) The "control your heat vision" scene in "Heat"

    8) The Planet leap in "Insurgence"

    9) The music from "Rosetta", and the Reeve scenes.

    10) Clark's pan up when he's heading for Metropolis in "Exodus"

    11) Clark and Lana on the motorcycle in "Exile"

    12) Lex and Helen, denouement, in "Phoenix"

    13) Walking in Memphis with Perry

    14) The guy getting smashed in the head with the snow globe in "Magnetic"

    15) Lana getting the crap kicked out of her by a horse in "Shattered"

    16) Chilling Lionel with Chloe in "Truth"

    17) Lex's birthday in "Memoria" (Made ME cry.)

    18) Lex and his father punching him in "Memoria"

    19) Lex and no forgiving for Lionel in "Memoria"

    20) Clark swinging a tree in "Talisman"

    21) The opera shaving sequence and the death of Chloe in "Covenant"

    Well, that's all I have for you. 21 pages and 9,695 words.

    It's been one heck of a year. Keep in touch, folks. I'll be here with my regular reviews of the comics, some articles, and if you want to see my crazy side, hit www.nealbailey.com.

    Be sure to check out the final KO Count, and as I said before,

    Thanks for ANOTHER really great year, you all.

    Neal



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