Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 4 - Episode 6: "Transference"Reviewed by: Neal Bailey
People write me, and they tell me a lot of things, call me a lot of things, and sometimes I agree, sometimes I disagree, but one thing they say is for SURE. I got issues, baby. More on that in a sec.
I am seeing a recurring pattern in this season as a whole. The first thing is stunts, like having guest stars of major import, and big risks, like flight.
I am not complaining. A lot of people see this as jumping the shark, but I don't. I see that there are some things going on which smack of desperation, but seeing as there is no reason to be desperate, the fans are still here, I'm guessing it's just the writers stretching out a bit. I mean, we've only had two episodes so far without a major guest so far, I've been reminded by my bud Rob Adams. Flash, Lois, and soon, Mxy. Two of seven.
I'm reminded of Voyager, when the show finally started stretching and brought in 7 of 9. Some of you may hate the show. Truth be told, I was never amazingly fond of it, it was just something to watch with friends, but there is a marked difference pre-Seven and post-Seven. Maybe this is that dynamic unfolding before us, and they're gearing the show up for more goodness. It's been a half to half freak to non-freak ratio, and that's a good sign. That's just what I want to be happy. But then, last season started like that, and the last half of the season descended into the old formula.
This season started off with a few rocky formula episodes, but now, now we're seeing some real goodness. I don't mind a late bloomer. Last week's episode shone, with the exception of Lana, and this week's episode shone, with the exception of Lana.
Notice a recurring pattern there?
Before I get to the review, I'm going to admit my issues. I hate Lana. I can't stand her. She's driving me mad, and making me not want to watch the show any more. This episode almost snapped me straight in two. I almost stopped watching the show halfway through, review be monkeyed. It's a personal issue, but it's a big one.
I can't go into it in this review. I just can't. For several reasons. First, it would take pages and pages of extrapolation, it wouldn't be very fun or productive, and it's an awful big personal risk. So I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to give you the issue in brief, and extrapolate on the message boards, and you can either pursue it if it's interesting to you, or leave it be and continue with the normal funny.
The basic issue I have is that I abhor physical violence, for personal reasons, and in this episode, Clark tried to kiss Lana (admittedly in a scummy kind of way), and for it, she slapped him in what looked like a closed-fist kind of way. I found this inappropriate, and in actuality, an entire sociological issue. Read more about it at this link, and feel free to discuss it...
This episode was just everything Smallville is supposed to be, that one scene aside. I loved it. I found a bunch of flaws, I mean, when do I not? But the show, overall, was just fantastic despite all of the things I mention, which you likely wouldn't notice if you weren't paying extreme attention.
Let's find a few, eh?
The opening was great, with the cows reacting to Clark playing. Touching, I've done it a million times myself, only with a baseball, and it's just the kind of thing you do when you're a lonely kid playing by yourself.
Then he has to go and break the bucket right in front of Teague by rocketing the ball some 80 yards, but I'll just pretend he didn't see it because I liked the scene, and I'm trying to be kinder.
And then they go and have Clark suddenly hearing a buzz and going nuts in front of Teague... yeah, lame. Sure, Teague won't see anything weird there... but then we actually take the leaps a step farther, and somehow he can just get into a jail meeting with Lionel Luthor without Lionel being asked, and just luckily at the right second.
"Hey, guys! You gotta let me in here!"
"I hear a buzz!"
"Oh, okay. Let me press the button."
"Thanks, inept guard!"
"You're welcome, kid!"
So the first few minutes of this episode? Totally odd and implausible. But then, then it all gets better. Lionel holds aloft his magic artifact, they trade bodies, and suddenly, we see all the naysayers of Welling's acting just shut down. I mean, a lot of people say he's wooden, but I've never really seen it, myself. I've always liked his performance. A good guy is less expressive than a nasty guy, it's true, but that doesn't make Welling a bad actor. It makes his part a certain niche. I can't STAND Lana, but I don't blame Kristen for Lana's character, I really don't. In fact, I think Kristen is a fine actor. I think the way her character is written is borderline misandry, but Kristen is just great.
So we cut into a series of just incredible scenes and good times. Lionel lifting the tractor was really well done. Tom's acting, the effect, and the look he has, just top-notch.
We cut to a scene in Lionel's jail cell, where we meet a really interesting and unexpected find, the roommate. Lionel's cell mate stole the show, he really did. Great acting, funny character. It was a prime example, I was thinking, of how one can insert humor into the show without going nuts or being arbitrary. I want to see his character again. Very well written, very interesting.
He tells us that there are three elements, fire, water, and air. Lana's symbol is water. So much for the LL theory (though I still think the design of the symbol was an homage to LL, per the message board theory from a while back). That's kind of cliche, but okay. It's at least something to unite the arc in a subplot, so I'll let it slide. I mean, how many times have we seen Freaky Friday, but if you get good writing, it's okay. Sometimes, however, you get the same thing week after week, and then it doesn't matter how good the writing is, you have Freak of the Week.
Now it can be argued that we have already done this plot twice. And we have. People stealing Clark's powers is getting to be a bit mundane on this show. I like to think that while the episode where Clark traded powers and a kid went nuts chucking cars was a great episode. I still like it. But the question is, if they're going to do this episode twice, why didn't they do it this cool the first time?
Another issue here. Clark looks up and realizes he's going to die. He has to confront death. Something that previously (though we never knew how he arrived at it, not specifically) never happened, as he was immortal so far as all knew. Then he's in Lionel and BAM. He may die. Hey! Superman dying! That might make an interesting story...
Then some more gratuitous nudity. I mean, I understand Lionel would be in awe about having a cool body, but molding and sculpting for the mirror for that long, well, it's kinda metro-sexual. This is the first time I was freaked out by just how twisted Lionel was this episode.
Then Ma comes up, and Lord help us, we have the first Clartha. (Other than the one with Lara. I mean a Clartha with romantic connotations). I mean, the guys hugs his own mom and gets hot, shooting fire out of his eyes.
That's just, well, it's funny, it's odd, and it's kinda hot all at the same time. You'd think that'd be my big issue with this episode, but nah. Evil excuses quite a lot of twistedness. Jason, what's your excuse for dating a 17 year-old?
And then, I have my BOO YA moment.
Just in case you didn't read last week's business, I wrote a light treatment for a Smallville plot. It includes a scene with a fire that Clark has to put out:
- Clark plows through the fence at super-speed as Pa watches for people, and brings it all into a refuse pile. Pa has him light it on fire with his heat vision, and as they watch it burn, it starts spreading to a nearby field. Clark gives the old "uh-oh!" And starts running down there and beating the ground with his hands, at first normally, and then he turns to his father and says, "It's okay, dad! I can pound it out on the ground level with super-speed!"
And really, this is the greatest accomplishment of my life, that's how sad and pathetic reviewers are, kids. Be a Plumber. Better pay, more ladies in distress, and where else can you fart on the job?
There are tons of great "moments" in this episode. Like when Pa Kent pats Clark on the back, and Clark turns and pats him back, sarcastically, not hard enough to give it away, but enough to make Jonathan second guess. It's just...oooh, evil. And it's played well. Really well acted.
Clark quit the team. That's good. But he's going to be back next week, according to the preview. That means artificial drama. Not good.
Then we have another "moment", where Clark is walking down the stairs and a felon gives him the "WHAT?" expression. If you don't know what that is, you never went to an inner city public school. That's when a big guy, in an effort to intimidate, puffs out his chest, leans into you, throws his head at you and says, in a gangsta intonation, "WHAT?". Then you either cringe and raise your hands, or a fight ensues. I cringed behind a lot of books as a kid. Once I didn't, and got my head smashed into concrete. We all make choices.
But it's played to comedic tone in this piece, and it's just hilarious. I enjoyed the moment quite a lot, it made me laugh because it's like, how would a corn-fed little white guy from Kansas, even an invincible one, react to prison. Now, likely Lionel wouldn't be in such a precarious position because of his finances, but hey, let's just assume and have fun with it. Great scene.
And then another creepy Lionel scene, where an old man puts the moves on Chloe, who's 17. I mean, how CREEPY is that? I mean, it's just as creepy, what Jason is doing with Lana, but with Chloe, criminy's, that's evil. Just eeeeeeevil. All this time, he was working to bag Chloe and Martha, we all could see that as a subtext, but to see him actually move on it, nasty, man. But hey, like I said, evil makes it make sense. What's your excuse, Jason? You're just a dope, but you seem a good dope. What's your excuse, I repeat?
Lana talks with Jason, and she's done research on her ancestor, and she puts all her research in a little plastic sleeve, neatly presented. I mean, is there anything about this character the producers, writers, and prop people will not over-fetishize? How many of you BIND your personal research? I tell you, I know research, being a novelist, and the amount of it you can find in a binder compared to the amount you can find stained with carbonated soda under a desk crumpled up, well, you don't want to know. Point being, no one does personal research like that, but Lana is so everything to everyone, so perfect, she keeps it in a binder. I am so incredibly sick of her character I scream at the screen.
So Clark bops into the room, and they act surprised that someone found out they were having a relationship. OH! You can't keep a relationship under covers forever? Lying is a bad thing because it always leads to revelation.
Don't make me puke. So contrived. So horrible. Such a waste of time. This dragged the episode down. If I were to go with my initial inclination, this scene, plus the Lana scene, would drag this down to a 3, simply because if I weren't reviewing, I would have turned the TV off during these scenes. Both of them.
People tell me, "But Neal, that's the way some people really behave!"
I don't care. I know that The OC is the way some people really behave. In fact, I know that some people really spend their day slaughtering other people and burning villages and raping women and the land. That doesn't mean it'd be a great character I'd like to watch on a show. I need to identify with the character, and I can't identify with a rapist, no matter how real, any more than I can identify with a moronic airhead led by her own sense of how valuable she is when said value is never exhibited.
It's really coloring my reviews. To the point of where though Lana is maybe 10-15 percent of the show, but it's making me not like 100 percent of it when thought of in her context. Some people, in fact, most people, would just give up a show if it had something they really hate in it. Like freak of the weeks, that drove a lot of people off. Lana is my thing like that, but I press on. So please forgive if I obsess. It's just, you complain once, it sucks. You complain again, it sucks. Eventually you've complained so many times that you're just angry you have to complain about something, especially when it's so plainly obvious. Most of the fans I see hate Lana, or at least find her questionable. I repeatedly ask people to justify her character, and no one can come up with anything other than "She's nice." Which she's not most of the time, and even if she is, that doth not a character make.
We see MORE great characterization when Lionel forces Clark to speak the code on pain of killing Lex. A really great blackmail, and it shows Lionel's character for what it truly is. I'm impressed.
I am completely skipping over the Lana and Clark scene. It is on the message board, and is controvertible. Find it there. I don't want to burn here any more than I already have.
Another moment. Clark steals a drink with Lex. That's great on three levels. First, Lex just smiles, enjoying Clark rebelling, showing a side of Lex that is both friendly and conspiratorially evil. Second, Lionel is rubbing the fact that he is there right in Lex's face. Third, it's just great acting on all three parts, playing a scene where both actors are in different places, with different thoughts from the truth, but they pull it off. It was just incredible.
So Lex gets it from Lionel, and this is when I have my REVELATION OF PLOT.
Now, I know that means nothing to you yet, but here's how it goes. I write books, and I've read books, and I study plot and construction of stories. Usually, when I'm watching a movie (your average movie, not a good one), I can immediately step up and say, "This is how it's going to end". With rare exception. I can usually say, "Ah, it was the BUTLER!" before the Butler is even revealed to be evil. The only examples I can think of where I fail in this are the M Night movies (because I just don't look for them, I'm absorbed in his plotting) and movies where they pick someone who can't possibly be the villain just for a surprise factor. Usually said movies stink.
The reason I bring it up is because my REVELATION OF PLOT sense (it's like my spider-sense) started tingling during the Lex confrontation. It said, "Neal! Here's how they'll fix it!"
And I kind of turned and said, whoa, disembodied voice. Tell me about the stock market!
It said, "Never mind that now. Listen. Martha. Lionel loves Martha. Martha will get the artifact, switch bodies with Lionel when he oogles her again, because he's weak, and then Martha, in Clark's body, will run to the jail, switch bodies with Lionel, and then Clark can go back, get Martha (Lionel) and drag him back to the prison to change bodies with Lionel (Martha). That way they stretch their acting chops, and we get to see one more switcheroo."
But my voice was wrong for once. That's of note. I actually like my way better, but I'll get to why in a bit. I just found that interesting and of note.
Clark fighting a bojillion loonies finally pays off. Even in the body of a frail old man he can beat a huge guy up. It looks implausible, but I'll buy. I mean, he does have fighting skills.
I asked in the chat, so I'm not crazy. The riot scene, it just seemed comedic with the music. The odd thing was, though it sounded comedic, it didn't take from it. I was like, oh, cool. Guard getting thrown off a balcony, guard bashing convict in the back of the head. The music was grooving, I was laughing, the cinematography was crazy. It's one of those funny train wrecks that once in a while justifies how bad the moment is. Like Lois' "BICH" a few episodes back. It just worked for me. One of those subjective judgment calls. If the rest of the episode had sucked, this might have sucked it up more, but in this episode, it just worked for me.
So Clark and Lionel meet up, and we have a Dr. Evil moment.
Uh, Lionel, why don't you just snap his neck? Why are you having a conversation with him?
"I'm just going to let him talk to me and assume everything is going to plan!"
But Lionel, seriously, you have super-speed vs. an unarmed man!
Seriously! I have a gun in my room, we could just
Instead, we are simply supposed to believe that a man who has super-speed (which means essentially that he can see the world in SLO-MO) would not have the time to stop Clark from the switcheroo. I think it would have made MUCH more sense to just have Clark with K on his person, and then when Lionel gets near him, he crumpled, Clark grabs him, goes the switcheroo, and bango!
For that matter, how did they not see the switcheroo earlier in the show? I mean, I understand the confusion of the riot, but in a closed meeting room? Maybe it was visible only to those two. I don't buy it, though. Odd.
So then Clark has his powers back, he wants the triforce thingie, but he can't find it. WHAT? A man who can search a room at super-speed? I don't buy that. He's more than willing to use his powers in front of folks all the time. Why not this time, when speeding is essentially invisible?
And this, the previous, is what made the show for me. It's all downhill from here, essentially, with little exception. I have much less to write on a good show, and this one is no exception. Here's the bad:
Clark and his parents about the magic triforce.
"Why didn't you tell us, Clark?"
"Uhm because I just wanted to close that chapter of my life and move on, Ma!"
BS. Crap. No. Clark is an honest boy, and there's no reason he wouldn't mention that to his parents. I don't buy it.
Lionel remembers nothing of the time as Clark, but Clark remembers? WHAT?
BS. Crap. No.
I mean, it's neat that a Kryptonian artifact healed Lionel. I'll buy that, even though I say Lionel needs to die soon and let Lex move on as a character. But no recollection? No. And why does he suddenly feel GOOD? Some of Clark left over? I don't get it. It's odd, out of character, and I'm not sure I like it.
And then Chloe, Lana, and Lex.
Note, which character do you like the most and identify with out of these three? Lord help me, I'm with Lex, because he's actually a pretty good guy in this show, so far, not a bad guy at all yet.
And note how all three react to Clark's time as a nutter.
Chloe slams him when Clark tries to explain himself, and doesn't let him explain himself. Lana gives him a lesson on how horrible it would be for him to disrupt a relationship between a grown man on a faculty and a 17 year-old girl, and then slams him with the relationship she's in knowing it will hurt him. And Lex? Well, Lex protects himself, but says, "It's okay, bud. I knew it wasn't you."
Who do you like? Who do you identify with? Which is you?
This is why I hate Lana, and why I hate Chloe when she's pretending to be Lana.
Here's another flaw of character. Clark out of character in several sorts. First off, Chloe's seen men who can change to steel. How hard would it be for Clark to tell her that he changed bodies with Lionel and make it plausible. "Sorry, Chloe. Lionel took my body" (as cheesy as it sound when I say it regardless). Then Chloe would think, and say, "Oh, you DID call me Ms. Sullivan now, didn't you?"
Bango. Problem solved.
And Lana, well, who cares.
It worked with Lex. My point? Clark is honest, and what does he have to lose by telling Chloe the truth about Lionel taking his body?
A few choice Lana lines that make me want to put my foot through the screen.
"We're both adults and we're not hurting anyone."
There are two ways this is total nonsense. The way it pertains to the plot and the way it pertains in the context of this show as a whole. In the plot, it's fairly obvious she's hurting Clark, endangering a man's job and her own position as a student, and leaping whole-heartedly into a relationship that is inappropriate, dangerous, and foolish. In the broader concept of the show's social duty, the writers and producers are reinforcing the idea that it's perfectly fine for a teenage woman to date a grown man and it won't cause any damage to any of them.
But you know what happens when a young girl dates an older man? (And vice-versa for young boys and older women, I'm no sexist). The girl is pressured into sex earlier, the girl is treated like an adult when she's really still a child, and it almost always ends in ruin.
By showing this kind of attitude as OKAY on television just because it exerts Lana's "independence" (read: foolishment), we show young girls watching this show that it's not only appropriate to date full grown men in a position of faculty above them, but that hey, it's COOL and SEXY.
"We're both adults and we're not hurting anyone."
I've heard that line before, only from an alcoholic very close to me. I was told, "It's only hurting me." Well, yeah, in a very basic sense, I guess that's true. But when you look at things with a little perspective, both situations seem rather selfish to me.
And harmful to society and the viewers, like confronting Clark's sexuality. But we'll get to that soon.
Another Lana line.
"Can't you keep our secret, after everything you've put me through?"
Okay. Tell me what he's put her through, really. One secret, that if he told her, she could be killed. Otherwise, all that he's put her through includes saving her life multiple times, going above and beyond the call of guy duty to try and make her feel special, and taking all of her vitriol in stride because he knows it will keep her happy, because he's noble.
You know what, Lana?
Why don't you just-
THE RANT THAT WAS CONTAINED HERE HAS BEEN CENSORED BY THE AUTHOR TO AVOID LAWSUIT, GIVING READERS HEART ATTACKS, AND TO STOP THE AUTHOR'S BLOOD VESSEL IN HIS FOREHEAD FROM BURSTING. HE APOLOGIZES FOR SUCH NONSENSE, AND BELIEVES WHOLE-HEARTEDLY THAT HIS POINT HAS BEEN CONVEYED.
Now we come to two more simple points. Lana bags on Clark for all he's put her through, which is essentially keeping a secret from her, a secret that doesn't harm anyone. In fact, it saves lives. Now, because he did such a horrible thing, Lana thinks it's perfectly okay when she has a secret and wants to keep it from everyone. Why? Because heck, she's Lana!
And I see more in it. I see the fact that it's okay because Lana's a pretty girl, but it's not okay because Clark is an insensitive boy. I see the misandry present in much of our televised viewing, an end result of hundreds of years of misogyny, conceded, but when the oppressed become the oppressors, does that stop it from being oppression? Something we should strive against.
But Lana is a pretty girl, Neal!
Yes, I know that, Gump.
And let me finally postulate that Clark, being a noble man of consummate intelligence, would realize just how damaging this relationship is going to be for both Lana and Jason, and tell them both to cut it off or he'll tell the administration. If not because the age gap is inappropriate, because the faculty student relationship, even if Lana is 18, is inappropriate completely. It could ruin their school system through suit, it could undermine the student-teacher boundary, which, though I rebel against it, is important. And finally, it's just creepy.
You can argue Jason is 19. A piece of business (the letter of the week) will soon show you evidence he is not. In brief, Andrew McBride points out that Jason is headed for business school according to dialogue. To go to business school, you need a college degree, which takes, at best, 3 years, commonly 5, so let's say 4 to be fair.
Jason is at least 22. 22 and 17 is inappropriate. It just is. 17 is not fully formed, 22 is grown man.
I've gotten a lot of emails saying, Neal, this stuff happens all the time in real life! Again, I say to you, I know. But that doesn't mean I find it entertaining or good. People get their heads bashed in on rocks all the time. I don't want to see it on TV, and I don't want it promoted as COOL and MATURE.
And that's that. I'm not a prude, lord knows, but I do believe media can influence people and owes a responsibility to those it preaches to.
Final Lana line, regarding Clark and keeping secrets.
"Can you at least keep this a secret? It seems to be the one thing you were good at."
Do I even need to say anything else? How can you not be tearing your hair out, hearing this crap? He was pretty good at saving her life, as I recall. And at being a good guy. And at saving pretty much everyone in town once or twice.
So he's not good at anything except being secretive.
SORRY. HAD TO CENSOR MYSELF AGAIN.
Aw, screw it.
Lana, you are the sorriest, lowliest excuse for a character I have had the displeasure of viewing on the medium of television. The most vapid, pointless "bich" ever. I have seen Kelly Bundy on Married With Children, Brenda Walsh on 90210, Monica, Phoebe, and that other chick on Friends once, the entire run of people on American Idol, YOU, my erstwhile failure of the ether of creation, YOU, my failed lobotomy of a sexual device and a beloved myth character, YOU, you sorry pink excuse for a character of substance, YOU can just jump in the lake from Slumber ne'er to arise, and torment me not in reruns.
Where's the whip when I need it?
Speaking of Lex, Lex knows Clark has strength now, marvelous. Instead of just saying that Clark got lucky and pushed him down, Lex now knows he had strength, and they just pass it off. Sheesh. Kind of lame.
And then... Margot Kidder! Nice sneak guest shot (kind of spoiled by the opening credits, admittedly). But hey, she gets the piece, does this mean Swann is trying to one-up Clark? Now, we know Reeve is dead, but Swann is not, yet, so he could still be trying to do good or evil... I'm intrigued.
So here's the deal. As I said, with Lana, this episode is colored in my head down to 3. So if you want to go with my gut number, my gut number, so furious am I, is a 3. But my honest thought, my honest enjoyment of this show, and the review I'm gonna go with, is a solid 5 of 5. This is in my top ten, easily. Maybe the top five.
SUPER SHORT REVIEW
Lana is passive aggressive to the point of agitating personal issues, so what else is new? The acting is all around great in this episode, as are the scenes, filled with plenty of moments. Lana and Jason need to stop what they're doing, Chloe and Clark need to stop acting like Lana, and while my objective attack on this review leaves me with a rating of three, I've gotta be honest and give it its props, with a total 5 of 5.
Man, I'm just blown away! 211 comments this week! The first week had what, 130? It's really going well! Thanks, guys!
Straight to the judgment:
And the winner is:
"I just felt a disturbance in the Force. It's as though a million voices suddenly cried out with great joy, and were suddenly--no wait, they're still cheering."
And the runners-up:
On the other hand, I still have great news. I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance!
After that tragic spring day, the town of Smallville, Kansas rode Jerry Bruckheimer out on the rails.
Clark: "I wonder if Chloe is still single?"
Clark doing his best Bill Murray impression: And the flowers are still standing!
The Old Bum
Maybe if I run backwards around the earth...
...I think the Homepage's "Smallville" reviewer's going to be happy tonight...
(REVIEWER'S NOTE: Ha ha! Touche! But so true at the same time...)
Clark: NOO! The grass is dead, oh dear God why?!
Why do you say this to me when you know I will kill you for it...whoops, never mind.
All those things I can do. All those powers. And I couldn't even save her. Not that I wanted to, you understand. It's just the principle of the thing. Sorta. Maybe.
Do you know why the number 75 is so vitally descriptive of both you and me, Lana? It's my IQ and your body temperature.
Clark: Ah screw it
Clark: Sonofa--even dead she still makes it all about her!
Lex Luthor: "Legend has it that this might actually be the best thing we've seen on the show so far."
voice over :lana did not learn the first lesson in how not to be seen
Lana? I'm ready to tell you everything.
Here we see an early scene from season 2 of the WB series "Smallville". Had this been shot during season 4, this scene would have taken place in the shower.
And yes, Hatman, you not only win this week, you get total brownie points for no fart jokes. Take a cue, people!
LETTER OF THE WEEK:
(From Andrew McBride)
This is my second email to you, last one was during season 2 I think, but anyway, love the reviews and don't think that they need to change at all. Just finished reading you review from Devoted and wanted to mention a few things.
Army of Darkness - Awesome - probably as doomed as you are but I get your jokes and always laugh at loud, which makes the people at work wonder about me.
Jason has graduated College because in Devoted he says that his father has cut him off because he hasn't gone to "B-school" as in business school, as in the place people can't go until they graduate college and most don't attend until they are at least 2 years or more out, which would put him, conservatively at around 22 and more like 23, or 24. And dating a 17 year old (because you know that people don't turn 18 until after their senior year or in college). One word: Statutory. You'd think that his LAWYER father would have taught him better, little unbelievable for me.
Anyway another thing that no one mentioned or at least that I didn't read about was that in Facade, the advertising for Abby's mother procedure said that it was a one-time deal and beautiful forever. But then when Abby hesitates at hurting Lana, one of the reasons that her mom uses is something like: "If you don't get your treatments, then you'll turn ugly again, and you wouldn't want that right?" Talk about a serious case of false advertising or blatant lying to your child. (Mongoose to snake? I don't know, either way it's bad.)
Also Abby's mom always comments on how she thinks that the pretty girls go everything so she made herself pretty (this is during the scene where Lois is applying for surgery among others in the show.) First, what the h$^# is Lois getting done? She looks fine to me, I know that she is supposed to be getting the beauty procedure but what the h($%? She's already hot, shouldn't that have tipped off Abby's Mom in the first place rather then some noisy tape recorder which (I don't think) would have been able to be used in court. Stupid, Stupid Plot, but Hot Lois.
Another thing (sorry I tend to ramble) but I totally agree with the situation of honesty in Smallville. To be honest, the most honest person that I have seen is Lex, he only lies to his father or to protect other people. He really gets the short end of the stick in all of this. I mean come on, Devoted clicked some things with me - the key scene was the reconciliation of Clark and Lex, in it Lex says that he feels his dark side creeping in. What dark side?? Lets go over the major points of Lex: In my opinion the only dark side he has is in relation to his father and let's be honest, justifiable. He wants to hurt him (Lionel) in the season one finale, fine whatever, but he didn't do it. He put his dad in jail, again justifiable. He went crazy on an island and killed his imaginary friend. Who wouldn't with that guy talking your ear off? And his relations to everyone else put his father. Impeccable. Helps out Lana with the Talon even though it runs at a loss for him. Helps out Clark and everyone else whenever they ask for a favor (any returned favors, yeah right, one time being pulled from the lake and he's paying for it the rest of his life). The Kents calling him untrustworthy when all he has done is try to help. I still can't get over the time when all of their cows died from one Lionel's experiments and Lex offers to cover the cost well above the going rate, and Pa just flat says NO. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID. No wonder they are always broke. He's trying to pay for a mistake and Pa won't let him. With all of the car crashes and comas, I think that Pa has had some serious brain damage.
And that leads me back to my original point about the lying: Lex = Honest. Clark = Lying Posterchild. And yet whose the one who never feels guilty about his own lies but makes everyone else feel bad about his? Clark. The real reason he was probably p(*$%ed at Lex was not that Lex lied but that Lex would eventually find out who had been lying the whole time, where's your moral high ground then? Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.
One last thing - I completely agree about the FOTW. The statement that the show is about them and we should suck it up because that's they way it's always been done. Stupid. The possible story lines that could have been had with Clark being the only one in town with powers were limitless: Dawson's Creek with only one superhero. How if they find out Clark has powers it's like so what, everyone else does. Why is your secret more important then the teleporting girl? Idiot people. So many missed chances, they didn't event try to delve into the fact that Pete liked Chloe, and Chloe liked Clark, and Clark liked Lana. How cool would it have been to have Chloe turn to Pete because she can't get Clark and then have Pete resentful because she stills wants Clark. Unfortunately with the Boss gone that can no longer happen. So many wasted ideas in favor of the freaks. I back you totally in their condemnation.
Finally the issue about Clark's use of his powers in front of other people, sometimes yes you may be a little too picky, but for the most part you're dead on. He is way to reckless and it's really getting annoying. I was cringing this week when Clark said that the pipe must have failed and how lucky it was. I wanted Lois to slap him and say you idiot, those things don't happen! And with that, to your idea about Clark not caring that he possible seriously hurt those people with the steam I add that Clark has never cared about anyone he fights. It's like once they go against Clark they are no longer people. Bug boy turns into bugs and disappears - oh well no harm done. Clark explodes a car and MURDERS A GUY- that Pete's fault for making me do it. People are killed at the time - usually by Clark and or his actions and does anyone comment - does anyone care - more people go homicidal or die in that school then in the entire country and are there ever mourning times. With the football season year round, mountains in Kansas, a City that's on the ocean appearing in the mid-west a distance that seems to change constantly and no cares that the population of the city is probably cut in half over the past three years, why would anyone want to live. Probably something in the water (HA!)
Well I guess that's about it, I could rant for days on this stuff, but it would for the most past just reiterate your statements, sorry if I went on too long. Hopefully you've made it down this far though I know it's tough with all of the emails that you do get. Keep up the good work and I'll keep reading them. Best part of my Friday morning is reading your review. Later
Also one finally note - I caught in the preview for next week that Clark says: "I can't just run down to Miami". I just want to point out that you mentioned a while ago that if Clark were smart he would run over and visit Pete whenever he wants, after all he is missing his best friend (another item never brought up again, just like Ma Kent's miscarriage, MAN are these people good at blocking out bad memories) It'll be interesting to see if he makes the connection - hey I CAN visit Pete.
BACK TO ME.
A lot of meat to that letter, which is why I responded to it a week later than I should have, and I was pleasantly surprised when I did. Andrew makes great points about Lex's honesty, Lana's role, and most importantly, the freaks. Basically he speaks for himself, and I agree with him. Great letter, Andrew, thanks!
Well, I seem to be catching up on letters (that's just asking for it now, isn't it?) and yet the site is going up in readers with the move to about 15,000 uniques a day. CRAZY, man! That means I have super-speed fingers, right? Nah, it just means I'm staying on top of things, kinda.
This week we had some really great speculation and email.
Felix Vazquez was the first of many to wonder how the heck the jock in Devoted got a gun into the school. It's kind of hard to smuggle in a pistol, much less a shotgun. Not that I've ever done it, but I mean, any kid in my old middle school who brought in a gun was instantly caught.
Rob Adams points out one good thing about Jason. He's standing between Lana and Clark and saving us from Clanas. I'll give him that.
MaNu writes me from France! She has a site called Planete Smallville. She has a few choice words about the "FRENCH" period of Smallville. Her points?
One, French schoolgirls haven't worn berets in at LEAST 50 years, it's a horrible cliche.
Two, the street names were wrong. On one street is says, "3e arrondissement - Rue du Bastille", when it should say "4e arondissement - Rue de la Bastille".
And finally, there's a sign that says "Grocerie" when it should be "Epicerie", this near a French flag, just in case you didn't know they were in France.
Bryan White chimes in with another miracle. Despite Lana being totally scarred up by the broken glass in Facade, the next week she was magically healed! Go figure! Can't mar up the pretty, can we?
Bryan also used pause to find that Chloe's dad DOES have a tombstone, right next to Chloe's on the right.
He also noted that Lois just left the electro gun at the factory.
Which inclines me to wonder, how the heck did she get such an obviously experimental gun in the first place?
Bill Castonzo writes in pointing out that the pool party is on school property, there are no adults, and also, that the cheerleader travels to the weight room, disappears, then reappears with jocks in the span of about a minute. Hmmmm...
Gailyn Baritot wonders simply how the heck cheerleaders can figure out chemistry. Something I really should have caught. How are all these kids who are on a baseline dumb (you know, homicidal people usually aren't the brightest, at least the kind who aren't pre-meditative), figuring out all this chemistry?
The name of the affirming dialogue guy from last week is Michael, and he has a few more for this week:
Martha: Lois? I'm so grateful, BUT... this is a family matter. Martha (to Kal-El): I can help you find the sign, BUT.... I need to get you out of here. Lex: I'm well aware of my tardiness doctor, BUT... Some things are worth the risk. Martha: Uh, Lois, I really appreciate everything you did for Clark, and, uh, I don't mean to be rude, BUT.... (Lois interrupts)
Ah! Cheap tricks!
Steve Crow writes in that Trent could have turned to liquid metal and snuck in to see Lionel. But then, if he's all metal, how did mace affect him? Crazy, man.
Ben Bowman, a good friend, wonders why if Jason is the assistant coach, why he's acting so much like the head coach, and for that matter, where IS the head coach, and why hasn't he gone homicidal yet (that last joke is mine).
Also, Lex was supposed to be in Metropolis mainly now, right? Why is he in Smallville all the time?
Will Sable Courtney writes in about the pipe Clark burst. So many people wrote in telling me how stupid it was, but Will was the only one to mention that the angle Clark blasted it at would send hot steam spraying on Lois and Chloe, not the jocks. Lame.
Rob Adams points out that almost all of Lana's current storyline could take place in Paris, and it wouldn't be as risky, dangerous, or potentially unethical. I agree, up until this episode. I still say she had no reason to come back, and not just because I hate her character, though I admit that bias.
This is less related to the show, but Jake Black, a former writer for the Smallville Torch website and the Smallville comic book, has been writing me for some time. He's a really nice guy. After I wrote a review of his comic he got into contact with me and we've talked a good bit since. Why do I mention him? Well, because he's got a new project coming out, and if you like Smallville, you'd like this, because it's a bit of a parody, much like my reviews. You can see a preview of his work here, and for more examples, check out www.jakeblack.com and www.silentdevil.com. He's a guy trying to make it up in comics just like me, so if you can give him a hand, it'd do the community well. Besides, the poor fool just got engaged, so he needs all the help he can get! Or maybe she does. But anyway. Check it out! It's something to do, and it's related to what we all love.
Stephen Hudson writes in angry that Clark broke into Lex's house when Lex invited Clark over the next day to study it. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense! And hey, when the alarms came on, he didn't burst off at super-speed? Come ON now!
And that's it!
Check out the new, updated KO Count, and be sure to come visit the Smallville Chat Hour at 9pm Pacific time! Tell me how much of a big stinking hunky loser I am, then hit me with pies and monkeys!
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