Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 4 - Episode 10: "Scare"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey and Rebecca Cyrus


Main Points:

  • A "fear" virus infects Smallville, forcing the main characters to confront their fears.
  • Lionel is released by an unknown benefactor.
  • Clark solves the problem by helping an antidote along.
  • Chloe's found her mother, but she has a hereditary mental disease.
  • Lex's worst fear is the ending of Terminator 3.

    Well, we can assert with some authority that the show has not jumped the shark. Why? Because of portions of episodes like this, where the goodness of the show shines through, albeit for a few scant moments, and maybe for only half of the time, but the mythology, the hope, the original spirit of the show is still there.

    Oh, and by the way, to those of you who keep insisting that jumping the shark is a lame term and shouldn't be said because it only makes people not like the show...your line of logic has jumped the shark. Bwa ha ha ha...I kill me.

    This show has two writers (proof), and it certainly has that feeling. The first half is rubbish, the other half of the show takes the concept, which is somewhat lame, and runs with it for all it is worth (no, not like Running Man, but with a definite Schwarzenegger riff), albeit with one kitschy and stolen framework for a nuclear attack that I'm still grappling with, and will explain. It was like a movie that you watch once, and it's just incredible, and you go back and watch it again and you realize, ah, not so much.

    Part one is an episode with a gimmick that sucks (per the one with the computer mind control that causes, ugh, a catfight between Chloe and Lana), and part two is a gimmick that turns out to be quite revealing to character in startling ways, at very least (per Hourglass or Truth).

    I'm not sure, but I think this is the Smallville with the most KOs, period. There are a total of 8. Ma, Pa, Clark, Lex, Lana, Chloe, Jason, and heck, even some lame security guard who didn't need it.

    This show is actually two shows in one, as I've mentioned, so I think, on Stephen G's suggestion in chat, I'm gonna divide it into two reviews, it's only fair.

    First review goes up until the Lana hallucination, second finishes out the show. HERE WE GO!

    REVIEW (A):

    Isn't it funny that in most of the hallucinations, the person hallucinating is the focus of the hallucination? No? What are you saying, that it makes total sense? I agree. Which is why it struck me funny when the opening of the show was Jason's hallucination, but it starts with a whole five minutes of Clark and Lana just junking the last few years of thought and leaping into each other's arms for some gratuitous smoochy smoochy.

    I was willing to give it a chance. I actually said to myself, and wrote down, that I didn't know if this was a dream or not, honestly. Given the quality of the last three shows, and the continual cheesy way they're handling some elements of the show (seriously, a mother in a mental institution...I MAY BE GOING INSANE!) (or even better, I was a bad man, but now I'm all better, let me out of jail, warden! I remember Joker saying something like that in the 60s Batman show. And then Batman would all show up and be like, "Joker! We have you now!" And Joker would be all like, "Up your cowl, bats, I'm selling joke toys now, perfectly legit, waaaak waaaak waaak!" No, wait, Joker didn't quack. But anyway, I have to get out of these parenthetical references, so), I actually thought hey, maybe they're really making Lana just leave Jason, out of the blue, and hop back in the hay with Clark, just to save the show. Because honestly, for the last month, before this episode anyway, I think it's stunk.

    To the point: I thought it was serious, then it was revealed to be Jason's fear fantasy, okay, we have a frame of reference, but then look! The whole scene of Jason's fear fantasy is all about LANA and who Lana wants to be with. Which really makes sense, given the lack of depth to Jason's character. Seriously, what else could he possibly fear, being some twenty years old or older, other than the girl he's known for six months being with another man? Could it be Dr. Witch, Medical Mother? Nah. Actually, his character is so vapid and undefined that after ten episodes, we only have three defining characteristics. He likes football, he has a mother who may be evil who doesn't like him, and he likes Lana. Seriously, we lost Pete for this? And when he has a fear fantasy, he isn't even the focus of it. I had to pause it and think about that a minute before I went on.

    There's also the issue that the make out session is totally gratuitous, which is likely the reason it was thrown in even though it isn't sensible in Jason's fantasy without Jason there necessarily, but at least it got the gratuitous nudity factor out of the way quickly in this episode, which I'm grateful for.

    And Jason falls dramatically into a table, but the real question is, from WHERE? I mean, he'd have to leap REALLY far from that balcony to reach it, and he'd probably have to be in a vehicle that he leaped out of at just the last second to fall that precisely from that far out, and I didn't see Gina Davis in no drop top, so I think it's safe to say it was an odd fall. BUT, I have the solution. He fell from where he was LAST episode, when he went to save Lana, right out of the plot hole, into the fantasy, and BANG, through space time and into the table. Meta-physicists, y'all got my back on this one? Come on, now! Recognize!


    Cut to a scene of Lana bawling hysterically, tears flowing down her face, and then, fifteen seconds later, her face is dry, her makeup is perfect, and she's telling Clark and Chloe to go run around for her, Revlon style.

    And Clark's all like, yes mistress, and they vacate to the Jason residence, where we cut to a decent conversation, probably the better part of half one, and, I would guess, done by the writer of half two. Clark and Chloe talk about Lana and how Clark feels about her new relationship, yes folks, forward motion of character, and Chloe not only doesn't guilt or give Clark a hard time, she is a friend, they converse, there's no dramatic ploys, and they move on. It was incredible. I had my first spark of hope that this would be a good episode, finally, the first since Run.

    Then there's the scene where Chloe and Clark go to the fertilizer plant through miraculous deduction. See, Jason went to see Luthor, so OBVIOUSLY the reason he went nuts has something to do with the fertilizer plant. OBVIOUSLY.

    And even though Chloe's dad is theoretically still in witness protection (they conveniently forgot to clue us in on that one), she still has a swipe card, so they just walk in.

    They take the Scooby Doo approach and split up. Clark runs into Lex, who's all angry. The scene's play is set such that you're supposed to think Lex a fink, because he's obviously behind this, and because Clark's just trying to do right. But then you step back, you think about it, and you realize that Clark has just essentially trespassed in a fertilizer plant post 9-11 and is just walking around, when a fertilizer bomb is a very frightening reality that we all face. Some kid is wandering around a secure fertilizer plant and gets caught, Lex will face HORRIBLE media attention. So I saw his anger as righteous, and Clark as being his normal breaking and entering self without consequence.

    And then Chloe goes bonkers.

    She's in a dark area, knowing that one of her friends just went mad, and she sees some chick in a straight jacket sitting in the chair.

    At first, she must have thought, "Oh! The taste tester for the fertilizer!"

    But I can tell you, having been to many an urban theater living in downtown Tacoma Washington, any annoying voice crunching kernels right behind you would shout, "Look, lady! She in a straight jacket! She's gonna turn around and be uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugly!"

    Actually, that's usually me, and then the nice men with the red jackets put the leashes on me and lead me out to read poetry for spare change.

    In the great Smallville tradition of ripoff theater, we are proud to present, PSYCHO! I would have much preferred the shower scene with Lana, a knife, and then Clark doing detective work, but that's why I'm the guy with the poetry and change. No imagination at all.

    So Clark's driving down one of those Austin Powers vehicles, and there's a guard right next to him escorting him out, and Chloe comes screaming down the hallway, hugging herself going boodle-dy boodle-dy boodle-dy (that's the closest I could get to onomatopoeia for that sound you make when you put your fingers over your lips and make noise while going up and down).

    So even though it would have been relatively simple to say, "Hey, Guard Dude, stop! My friend is nuts!", he instead reaches over, knocks the guy senseless, and then goes and lets Chloe collapse into his arms.

    It would make sense if he needed to use his powers, but he didn't. Instead, later, he uses his heat vision to heat something to a thousand degrees right in front of two people (who somehow just take it as a given that things magically heat themselves even though neither of them had anything to do with it), and he doesn't even THINK about knocking them out.

    I can just see this guy, waking up like, oh, three hours later (because unconsciousness lasts at least for the drive to Metropolis in Smallville), shaking his head.

    Then there's the meetings. Lex will turn his back to the plant worker, shoot pool, or down some brandy and say, "I think this check will sufficiently fund any chiropractic work you may need."

    Then he goes to the Kent farm, and tells Pa his son knocked him out for no real reason.

    "Son, you know you can't just knock people out because they're poor. We've talked about this."

    "But dad, I, uh...I had to save Chloe!"

    "Those little 'I had to go to the broom closet to find my underwear.' excuses may work with your passive aggressive friends, son, but in this house, you can't fool me. I used to jump cars!"

    And nobody wants that, writers...come on, guys, next time, just let the guard go.

    Actually, it would have made more sense to knock Chloe out.

    "Boodle-dy boodle-dy boodle-dy." SMACK! Fwump.

    "That's for the middle of season two, bich!"

    And then instead of slumping into unconsciousness, the guard would begin applauding, because he saw her in season two. Her dad works in that plant, you know?

    We then turn to Lex and how he's responsible for this. His father made the contract, yes, and it's with the US government, yes.

    But should we blame the government?

    Should we blame the matches, should we blame the fire, or should we blame the doctors that allowed the virus to escape? Heck no!

    Blame Lana! Blame Lana!

    With all that pinkish hullabaloo, and passive aggression too!

    Blame Lana! Blame Lana!

    She's not even a real character anyway!


    Oh, pardon me. I figured, you know, this being the last review for some two months, I might as well CRACK CRACK CRACK!

    Well, fine! Multiple choice! You're Clark Kent, the girl who crushes on you and could probably take Batman for masterful deduction is going boodle-dy boodle-dy, what do you do? Do you:

    A) Ask her what's wrong?

    B) Knock out the guard and catch her?

    C) Blame Lana?


    It's just so completely out of character for Clark. I mean, knocking a guy out just because? I think they might have been wanting to go somewhere with it, they just didn't.

    And for that matter, just what the heck DOES it mean that Lana's dressed all in black now? That usually meant the evil guy, the Lex. Does it mean she's getting like Lex somehow, subconsciously? So confused! Usually the outfits make total sense for the character, with noted deviations, like bad girl Chloe.

    Now, this is a real scene. Lionel sees the warden, and because he's been in Clark's body, he tells her he wants to stay in prison. He's a CHANGED MAN!

    Good going, Caesar Romero, that'll fool em!

    Then you just push the button in the middle of a baseball game, second base shoots you into the air and over the wall, and you're free to menace Clark again with a nyah nyah nyah boodle-dy boodle-dy boodle-dy, you don't even have to shave your moustache.

    A key problem with this show, as mentioned in chat and thunk by myself. No motion. Nothing ever changes, with rare exception (and that one bad exception is Pete). Adam died, I guess, but was he ever really there? Chloe DIES, suddenly she's back, status quo, no consequence. Clark runs away and joins organized crime, next week he's back, milking the cows. Lana runs amuk stealing cars with her Magneto boyfriend, the next week she's back in school, back to normal. Lex goes nuts, he's in the insane asylum, the next week, he's just tooling around in his nice car. And now, Lionel, convicted of MURDER, is somehow free.

    It has the light element of mystery as to who saved him, who gave him his freedom, that's kind of neat, but it doesn't glom over the fact that HE JUST GOT OUT OF PRISON FOR NO REAL REASON.

    Who did it? It seems that Edge is the obvious choice. I've heard speculation of Crosby, but why would he recognize her so easily? Why would he be chummy with her? And I still can't believe that Swann or his people are evil. It just goes against the whole spirit of Rosetta. Bad enough that they couldn't even give Reeve a decent retrospective, but to turn him into a villain? I haven't seen it, but lordy, if I do...

    And then a Clark and Lana scene. Goody (said like JJJ in the Spider-Man movie).

    Clark: Well, Lana, maybe you'd think differently of Jason if he had a secret and she found out!

    Lana: Do you really think I'm that shallow, Clark?


    But now, I'm starting to get more than annoyed with the character of Clark that he won't just tell her and shut her up or deal with it. Of course, I still stand by Clark, in that it's his perfect right to keep the secret (it saves lives), but I'm beginning to project my Lana anger onto him for not ending the stupid plotline. What has Lana ever done to indicate she would hate someone who has powers? In fact, hasn't she outright dated a number of FOTWs?

    Then we have Lana's fantasy. Woe is me, my mom and dad are dead, everyone who ever loved me dies!

    Eh, shove it up your pink poopy cloud of plot device.

    It's kind of sad, all of these people around her, dead, people she misses, but no Emily. No childhood best friend. BUT, they did manage to put two Lanas in one scene. So instead of seeing some continuity, we see more Lana.

    Uh, goody, I say again.

    And this is where the nonsense stops, generally. Had the fear scenes not been so arbitrarily stretched and clich, had they told us something we DIDN'T know about the characters, save that Chloe's mom is Froot Loops without much elaboration, I might have enjoyed them much more.

    1 of 5.

    SUPER SHORT REVIEW A: Lana is the focus of another man's perverse fantasy, Chloe goes boodle-dy boodle-dy boodle-dy, Clark is really cruel to some poor guard who did nothing but join the guard union, and Lex is a bad guy for stopping someone from trespassing in a fertilizer plant? 1 of 5.

    REVIEW (B):

    Some guy goes up to Lex LuthOR and calls him Mr. Luther.

    I mean, how hard is it, after four seasons, to realize that there is a huge difference between Luther and Luthor.

    LuthER, somewhat anti-semitical religious figure of the printing press and founder of the modern Protestant church...

    LuthOR, greatest criminal mastermind of our time, Time magazine's hottest bald man of the year, and a remarkable parody of allegory for US Presidents, past and present.

    KNOW your emphasis and etymology, or you will sound like a BAD bit part. I mean, you get five lines, at least pronounce the character names right, FERTILIZER PLANT DOCTOR ONE.

    And whoever happens to be flubbing the LuthOR name (including the LuthORs themselves, from time to time).

    And this guy, he informs Lex that they have the cure for the plot that ails them, an antidote that has to be heated up to extreme temperatures before being used. Why? Because Clark has heat vision and a use quota.

    So they stab some poor hallucinating guy in the arm with this big needle after a screw-up makes him go insane, and he just gets more scared then dies. Sucks to be him.

    I know what he was seeing, though. Starr Jones, sauntering up in negligee, about to get frisky, and then, as she leans in to kiss, she changes to a fat hydra with three heads, Rosanne Barr, Paris Hilton, and the anti-Christ, who turns the nearby TV on to reveal "Velocity". The man's heart can then no longer take it, and he collapses and dies.

    The funny part here is that when he dies, he flatlines, and the doctor, he just kind of turns to Lex and shakes his head.

    Hey, doctors? If I EVER flatline, and you just stand their with your thumb up your butt, I will come BACK from the dead and be flatulent into your pillows every night until you die of stinkhead. You get those paddles, you get your fat, lazy, golf playing butt over me, you shout CLEAR, and you put the block up out of electricity, you hear me? And if I STILL don't come back, get a hot nurse to stand over me and instead of closing my eyes, open them wider.

    And then turn on Rosetta on the nearby TV screen.

    And release all that incriminating stuff in the envelope I've accumulated over the years regarding a Mrs. Lang.

    And tell Steve that instead of being the second hottest guy on Earth, he's now number one with a kryptonite bullet, baby!

    And Rosenbaum can have my stereo.

    Oh come on! Let me have fun! We're going on hiatus!


    They don't even try and hide it. Lex knows the doctor by his first name. Funny.

    This is where the show turns from cloud of fecalizational fictionalizing into something somewhat compelling. Clark sees some rocking, special effect meteors plowing into town, causing a terrorist like set of sound effects, some great explosions, and just general chaos. It's also not that far outside of the realm of possibility (Jor-El's done some crazy stuff), and it's very compelling.

    At least, until Lana decides to stab her second straight man in the show. She stabs Jason, she stabs Clark, with a girlfriend like that, who needs love?

    But overall, the dramatic effect of Clark having to reveal who he is, for Lana this time instead of Lex, (Asylum), is interesting. It's not horrible. It's been done, yes, but at least it's intriguing. My note: Where did THAT come from? Because I haven't had a real goosebump, tingle moment in this show since last season's finale.

    Clark shouldn't have been effected in the first place. He's immune to bacteria. He got the Fever once, and it was a cheesy show, it didn't play well. Part of Clark is that he's invincible to human frailty. They tried to cover this with the fact that he came out of it, but really, it never would have metabolized, I don't think. STILL, if it meant that cool scene, I forgive it, I really do.

    Then, just like the good writer had a scene in review A, bad writer returns for review B, and writes a completely implausible, bunk scene. Lex and doctor say, "Oh, if only the vials would be heated!". Then they turn their heads, Clark heats it up, and they don't even say, "That's odd!" They just nod, and say, "Oh, cool! It heated itself! Let's use it!"

    And Lex, even though he doesn't know if he's even infected yet, for sure, stabs himself with it.

    Cut to a scene I still don't know how to look at.

    I have two distinct impressions of this scene. The gut reaction, and the thinking reaction.

    We see Lex, as president again, per Hourglass. He walks among his own death and destruction, and we see nuclear bombs falling on farmland and destroying the Earth, presumably at Lex's hand.

    I break out in gooseflesh, and I say to myself, "Wow! That looks a lot like Terminator 3. They really evoked the spirit of the film well, but they managed to make their own effects quite well, I'm surprised."

    I love the scene, because I honestly thought they went back to the oval office scene, filmed it again, created new footage, and went nuts to craft a scene that would make me break out in gooseflesh.

    Then I come to the chat and realize through a number of people pointing it out, that was the EXACT same scene from Hourglass with a little CGI tweak, and they just essentially took the scenes from T3 and cut them into the show.

    How the heck do you look at that? It's pretty lazy to just cut up another movie, but then, maybe they couldn't have had the scene if they didn't get it cheap from another WB property, and we would have just seen Lex with his father disapproving of him or something. Initially, I was pleased when I watched it, but when I thought about it, I was disappointed, cheated, confused.

    And from the writer's perspective, I can see them just saying to themselves, "Well, what do people like? They loved Hourglass, so let's take that to the next level!". And then the reality of a TV show hits, and they end up doing it on the cheap.

    My final verdict? Still totally confused. I'm gonna stick with optimism, though, and use my initial reaction.

    Lionel, to add further confusion to the wardrobe dilemma, goes out to a limo in white, says, "Oh, it's you!" and drives off.

    I know who it was, but I'm not telling.


    You really want to know?

    Are you sure?


    Okay, but it's scary. It's a fat hydra with three heads, Rosanne Barr, Paris Hilton, and the anti-Christ, who turns the nearby TV on to reveal "Velocity".

    Or maybe it's Morgan Edge. That's my guess. Still, it's a better and more stirring sub-plot that whether or not Lionel's now a good guy, because even if he really is, I'm not buying it for a second, not just because he swapped bodies with Clark. Otherwise, why wouldn't Clark be suddenly evil?

    Uh, Jason's leaving Smallville. Okay. Wah? Why do I give a care? Seriously, what has he added to the show at all? He's gone, so what does that mean. Oh! It means someone is going to have to fill the Lana obsession part. Who could it be, oh, I wonder?

    Let it be Chloe, please. At least that would be interesting. Clark? Seriously, how could he ever consider her as any kind of viable love interest any more. Oh yeah! The shallowness of men! Hoo hahs! And I forget, most of the folks in charge of this show are the guys who I hear on the DVD sets going, "Lana, oh, isn't she gorgeous? Yeah, Lana, she's so pretty. She's unimaginably hot. Unearthly hot! She's like, the hot of hot!" (Seriously, you think I'm kidding? Listen to the commentary. Even Rosenbaum gets in on that action. It's kind of sad, really.).

    So we get a Crapana, but it's with Jason, and I'm sick of amalgamating names for things to call a moment of pain with Lana, so I'll just call it the hell minutes. Did I mention the anti-Christ head on that hydra has doe eyes? Or maybe I mean Cerberus. You see? This is why I'm always outside the theater, screaming:

    Here I sit, broken hearted,

    Watched a Smallville, and Lana and the writers fa-


    Oh, all right. But I still remember who Leto was. Beat that, Einstein!

    Oh boo hoo hoo, Jason is gone. Another hot man-meat for me to not look at any more, empty of head, full of himself. Oh boo hoo! Oh boodle-dy boodle-dy boodle-dy!

    Now Lana and Clark get together for a while, then Lana can't stay with Clark for some reason (PSST! So they won't become Lois and Clark), and another man who will somehow die or leave will come in to fill the hole for a few weeks. (Hint, it's LEX).

    So that sucked, but it was brief.

    Then cut to Chloe and Clark in a rather well written scene about how Chloe understands having a secret, and how she feels better when it's out, putting the ball in Clark's court to tell the secret, and making him look like a moron for not doing so. Great writing, and a great ending. It actually had me wanting more, unlike the last three endings.

    There was something funny in the middle of it, though. Chloe tells Clark about her hereditary madness disease that will take her away before too long (apparently, though we don't know its name yet. Sounds like a cheesy soap opera plot to me).

    Chloe: It's hereditary.

    Clark: You're not destined to follow in your parent's footsteps!

    Clark says it as an encouragement, and it sounds good, it's well played, but if you're paying attention, read it again.

    Uh, Chloe has no choice here, Clark. It's HEREDITARY. Genetically transmitted. You can't choose not to be black, you can't choose not to have a genetic disease, and farm boy, you can't choose not to sound like a moron after saying something THAT dumb.

    But it was funny, so I forgive it.

    He's dead, Jim!

    Well, revive him, Bones!

    I take a grim grinning irony saying that knowing that Bones is dead, but then, since I loved his work, I don't feel so bad cracking wise.

    Regardless, a great finish once we got past Lana's fantasy, a great run down for the rest of the episode, and I'll take half a good episode as opposed to a wholly crappy one. A decent note to end on for a while. 5 of 5.

    SUPER SHORT REVIEW B: Meteor explosions, a revisiting of Hourglass, nuclear death, three headed hydras (CRACK) er, Cerberus who like "Velocity", LuthOR, and a very neat little conversation that almost made the whole show worthwhile between Chloe and Clark. 5 of 5.


    Put them together, what do you get? 3 of 5.

    But I feel wrong saying that, because it really was two episodes in one. I'll never watch that first half again, but if I get the DVD, I'll definitely watch half 2.


    FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY TWO ENTRIES? Good God! And you guys complain to ME for writing novel-length reviews!

    And yes, I am well aware that it is a weekly contest and I missed last week. I blame the turkey induced coma. And guess what? The 22nd is my birthday, and I don't aim to put a caption contest up then, either, unless it's a certain picture I...well, you'll see.

    The last contest:

    The winnah:

    jimmy mac
    "Oh no, look what I done. Now George will never let me have them rabbits."

    And before you complain about me choosing a movie quote again, listen up, you yahoos, that's from a BOOK!

    Yes, a book. Read it.

    The new contest:

    The not-so-winnahs but not-so-losahs:

    Waiter! There's a kryptonian in my soup!

    DUDE! Now what does my tattoo say?

    "So THAT'S what was clogging the drain!"

    The new host of The Apprentice cheerfully announces, "You're fired!" Critics note that Darkseid is still less abrasive then Donald Trump...

    Darkseid: Wait a minute... Is this the Earth-1 Superman, the Earth-2 Superman, the post-Crisis Man of Steel Superman, the Birthright Superman with cellphones during his "early years," the trash-talking Brian Azzarrello Superman, the Smallville Superman, the Superman: Animated Series Superman, the first season Justice League wuss, the second season Justice League tough guy, the Superfriends Superman, the Superman: The Movie Superman with the goofy Lex Luthor, the movie script Superman who fights a giant spider robot and was supposed to have a Kryptonian brother who becomes Lex Luthor, or the old George Reeves Superman who fought the Mole Men? (puts on spectacles, peers closely) - I'm so confused, I think I'll become...a lumberjack! Swinging from tree to tree! (tosses Superman away and departs, singing)

    Darkseid: And I'd like to thank the Academy, and my mother Heggra, and my dad Yuga Khan, and my ex-wife Tigra. I couldn't have done it without them!

    After spending the previous night eating nothing but beans, Darkseid unleashes the deadly power of his "Boom Tube" on an unsuspecting Superman.

    What this cover doesn't tell you, is that inside is really a story of Lois and Clark having a nice peaceful picnic in the park.

    Tiny Elvis Impersonation, "Man, Darkside is huge... I mean he is really big!!

    (This is SO bloody obscure, but SO bloody funny if you get it, I had to put it in).

    Darkseid: My plan is complete! Now the caption contest posters will focus on filthy things like fecal humor and armpits and be banned for certain! Superman: I suppose that this is a bad time to say I'm wiped out...

    Superman: ...Yet again I sense Monty Python references coming from this... Darkseid: I do not go to Metropolis. It is a silly place.

    Darkseid: Anybody ELSE begrudging Neal's dislike of Lana? ...Didn't THINK so.

    Darkseid: Now watch carefully, if I swing him over my head fast enough, I can cause the fires of Apokolips to fly up to the ceiling, and cause them to be extinguished.

    Ha! And this is what happens to people who gripe about a person submitting too many entries in the Superman Homepage Caption Contest!

    [Darkseid]: ""This kryptonian is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late kryptonian. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-kryptonian!" [Pet Shop Owner]: "Beautiful plumage though, innit?"

    Superman: But I'm not tired! I don't wanna go to sleep! Darkseid: Now now... I have your bedtime story. It's called "For Tomorrow", by Jim Lee. Once upoin a time, Superman was sad, and went to see a priest... for twelve issues. Superman: zzzzzzzzzzzz

    jimmy mac
    Lana's true face is revealed after a freak accident transforms all the Neutrogena on earth into harmless iron.

    Thundera Tiger
    At this point, Superman realized that the song "I'm just a little black rain cloud" was not working...

    (What? I LOVE Pooh!)

    jimmy mac
    Darkseid (thick Hollywood-Cuban accent): "Say 'ello to my little friend!"

    [Darkseid]: "Knock on my door! Knock next time! Did you see anything??" [Desaad]: "No sir. I didn't see you playing with your dolls again."

    jimmy mac
    Darkseid: "You will NEAL before me!" Superman: "Gasp - I'm just BAILEY alive...." (Is that too blatant? Putting the judge's frickin' NAME in the caption..?)

    (Dude, I plugged the T-shirts in one of mine. 'Blatant' done packed and left town, already.)


    An honest tie between two letters I really enjoyed:

    Xalax wrote:

      Sup man...for the record, I don't hate what you do. But I got to let you know something. You were wrong about something in your review of Smalville's episode "Jinx". You stated this, "Clark finally realizes that magic can hurt him. Although this has already been seen, it's the first time it's explicitly stated. Like the girl who kissed people into doing what she wanted, that was magic, (no K involved, as I recall)". Your wrong and's how: The girl (Desiree Atkins) who kisses you into persuasion was affected by Kryptonite. In that episode Chloe told Clark in the jail cell that Desiree was in the throws of major passion when the meteors hit which increased her pheromone level resulting in the power to control male decisions. So, Mr. Bailey, she's a meteor freak as well. But you still were right...Clark has been affected by magic before. He should have remembered Mxyzptlk. His powers had nothing to do with meteors and Clark knew that. So that really should have been the episode where he stated that magic can hurt him. It would have been more appropriate to the storyline. Well, there you go...just wanted you to know that....and don't stop writing Mr. Bailey. I might not agree with everything you right but I'll keep reading. It's your opinion and it shouldn't have to be subjected to change. Keep up the good work---Xalax---

    My response is thank you, and you are correct. I miss little details like that. I bring up this letter because it disagreed, but it was totally cool about it, it backed up things with details, and hey, it was a good point. Xalax is my ideal dissent letter. Most angry letters start off calling me names, progress to telling me why without much elaboration, and end in expletive. Xalax not only changed my mind on something, he did it in a manner that gave me respect for him. Awesome letter.

    The other was just so funny it tied:

    Paul Neu wrote:

      In light of all the crap people have been giving you, I have decided to write the top 10 reasons people love your Smallville reviews.

      10) We LOVE Indy... CRACK!
      09) MONKEYS!!!!!!!!
      08) What else would we do to pass the time if we didn't have your review to complain about? ;)
      07) The Mohawk. I believe it relieves tension on the brain and lets the inspiration flow.
      06) MONKEYS!!!!!!! CRACK! No using references twice!!!
      05) The visuals you create about how Lana should perish........
      04) Your genuine love for the Superman Mythos.
      03) Your genuine love for Smallville.
      02) Your genuine love for Smallville fans by actually being 100% honest and telling us not only when it's crap but WHY it's crap, so that, if we, as in people with normal intelligence who don't fly off the handle if someone should, *gasp!* God forbid, disagree! That we know WHY you feel the way you do and can then respect your opinion.
      01) MONKEYS!!!! CRACK! That's it! It's Monkey Season!

    Thankee, Paul. I get long letters, short letters, angry letters, letters addressed to the wrong person, and occasionally letters that just make my week. This one was one of them. Thanks again.

    And for the record, I WAS getting some crap (mostly from the folks who really loved the Mxy episode), but since then, the mail has gone back to the usual, mostly positive stream, and I thank you all for it. It's great. I'm still behind, but I'm catching up.


    Well, it's hiatus time again, that means that before you hear from this review and me again, things will be changed. A new year, a new presidential term, and likely, ANOTHER reality show of some kind to darken our door.

    Next time you hear from me, I will likely know if I have a book deal (the novel I mentioned last year is being looked at), I'll have a grip of Christmas stuff or some coal, and I'm guessing that there will be Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men. Women, unfortunately, will still toil under the oppressive heel of the fascist Revlon regime. Them's the breaks of the lexicon, ladies!

    I will likely cry over Charlie Brown's Christmas special, like I always do, and I GUARANTEE that I will be extremely grateful if someone sends me a well wishing on my birthday instead of the most bile filled piece of hate mail I've ever received, like last year, on December 22nd. Which is inviting folks to flay me, but eh. I still have faith in you folks.

    I am also cordially offering you something to do if you're interested, to further the interaction we have here. I play City of Heroes now, and you can find my character Chinaski on the Infinity server. Let's team up and whup some bad guys in the spirit of Smallville, no? Anyway, figured I'd throw that out there and see how many people actually take me up on that, because it could be fun. Email me and tell me when you play, I'll see if we can swing it. I'm a late man, myself.

    Joe Trent wrote in with the most compelling pieces of thought on the sonic boom in "Jinx", which I will reproduce verbatim, as he puts his thoughts well:

      Let's set up our timeframe... he leaves as the linebacker is jumping at him, and gets back when he is still in the air, so let's say the "save" took one entire second. 1 second. The receiver was about 60 yards away from him, and Clark ran past him, so that's 60 yards traveled. Let's assume that Chloe and Mxy were about in line with Clark when he glanced over to X-ray through the stands, so another 60 yds from the end of the field where the WR was catching the ball. Again, we'll assume that from the edge of the field to the tunnel entrance is about another, say, 40 yds. That's a total of 160 yds one way, 320 back and forth. Clark runs this in the span of 1 second.

      So his speed is 320 yd/sec = .1818181818 mi/sec = 654 m.p.h. That's about 120 miles less than the speed of sound, which is a good thing, because a sonic boom in the middle of the field would have left Smallville with a large population of deaf football players (not to mention fans). I'll leave it at that and not even bring up the fact that in order to turn numerous times, every time at which he loses momentum, his actual speed during the straightaways would have to be higher than I calculated.

      However, this is where my rudimentary knowledge of physics stops. We can see planes moving at the speed of sound because of their size and our position relative to them (very far away.) They seem to be moving slower than they actually are. My question to you and anyone well versed in physics is, could our eyes view an object of Clark's size moving at that speed at that range? Would we see a blur? Nothing at all? Maybe we could get some feedback, and put this to rest. Or maybe we just stir up some discussion, huh?

    Indeed. It certainly got me thinking.

    Will Sabel Courtney, who has official permission to call me Neil for the rest of eternity because I messed up his name, writes in to tell me that OLD SPICE RED ZONE shows up three times other than the times I caught in the review. Once on Clark's locker, another time on the scoreboard, and it's even said over the intercom. I can't tell you what Will suggested the Old Spice reps must have done to Gough and Millar to get the product placement, but you can imagine and I can agree.

    Keith Price brought up the interesting point that most championship games are taped, and Clark's superspeed showed up on tape in Rogue. I would say that they won't review the tape as nothing really happened that would make them, but it's a good point. His powers are now on tape for those looking carefully.

    C. Bowland adds Alexander the Great in "Rogue" to the Greek Mythology section of the KO Count. Good catch!

    And I promise you, I now KNOW that the reference Chloe made was to Zalman King, and not Solomon King. I heard it wrong. Apparently, Chloe was not referring to the blaxploitation movie from the seventies, but rather, a soft-core porn director who is famous for 9 1/2 weeks, Wild Orchid, and Red Shoe Diaries. I don't know them, but that's just because I don't look at the titles. Joke. This was pointed out in no less than 12 emails, which is funny, because I got an email saying, "You've probably heard this a dozen times by now", and he was exactly right. I was told by: Daniel Alvarado, Stina, Spike, Peach, Donald Olszewski, Bill Abraham, XXX, Steve Crow, Matt Armstrong, Lycurtis, Kevin Voith, and Nick. And probably more folks whose mail I haven't responded to yet. Thank you! I'll have to look him up now.

    Uh, yeah...

    JB asks me what happened to Lex's constant transfusions. Don't know. I think they're where Jason's gift for Lana is. Just off camera.

    Cindy points out that though I ripped on iPods, it wasn't an iPod in Bound. It was a Dell MP3 player called a Pocket DJ. But since neither Dell nor Apple have sent me any kind of MP3 swag, I absolutely refuse to apologize. But hey, here's a picture she sent as proof.

    Thanks, Cindy!

    It's funny, because I received a piece of SPAM the day after I saw that episode advertising an Apple iPod, and I took all kinds of efforts to get a picture of it to show you guys the email, and now my joke is all blown. I will now go off into the woodshed and cry, cry, cry for my own stupidity! Or not.

    Still, product placements, you know, they're getting a bit crazy. We're naming our kids TUROK, folks!

    Bill Abraham writes in to poke fun because I made a joke about Lex's pool skills, when apparently Rosenbaum was in the movie "Poolhall Junkies". I've never seen it, but now I'm going to rent it.

    Also, I have given credit all around, but Bill I have shirked, mostly because my skills at organizing business are nary so great sometimes, but he gets a credit for mentioning that knocking out Mxy by throwing him down the hall and ripping up Chloe's cuffs was too complex for a simple solution problem. Sorry, Bill! I also confused his name with Bill Albanito, so I feel especially bad, that's the second time I screwed that up. But Bill's a great writer, I love his letters, I'm just unorganized. Thanks, Bill!

    Jonathan North wrote me and told me that Lex had said that he didn't know how to play the piano one episode. I vaguely recalled it, and asked for a citation, and Jonathan came through. In Hereafter, if you watch it, Lex tells Adam that he never had the patience to learn to play the piano. Guess he's either a quick study or the writers don't really research that well!

    Irwin Santos offered up the idea to put all of the ratings next to the title of the review on the main page. Thanks, Irwin!

    Richie McGuffin, finally (nice name given my recent rant) points out an irony I thought of bringing up, but didn't, thinking no one else would see it. But then Richie did, so I'm rolling with it. In a recent interview we reported on the main page about, Pa Kent Schneider points out that he joined Smallville because it didn't portray men as buffoons and promote sex over family values. This the week that S and M witches took over the town....sigh.

    Thanks all, Merry Christmas, Kwanza, Chanukah, or happy Cerberus Paribus, if you're an areligious logician like myself and you like corny puns. All the best, and I hope all I get for Christmas are Lana's two front teeth.

    And don't drink and drive. It's bloody stupid. And knowing is half the battle. Not knowing is half the bottle.

    And don't forget the KO Count, or to BUY A T-SHIRT! It makes a great gift, and hey, it means I might someday get paid, huh? DO IT! I'll make you watch Velocity! I mean it!

    See you in two.

    Smallville: Scare

    By Rebecca Cyrus

    I have been trying to understand since last week Neal's reaction to the show. Usually, he gets to send me his review of the show so that I can bounce off of it, but last week, it just didn't happen. I just couldn't be more polarly opposite in the way I think he's wrong about that episode.

    Since when is a woman standing up to a man who just uses her wrong?

    Anyway, I just thought I'd say that, because it seems like someone was doing a little woman hating last week, LOL, and I gotta stand up for my ladies.

    Anyway, onto the episode at hand.

    This show reminds me of the old days of the show, a time I look back on fondly, episodes that really just go into the characters and dig a little deeper into who they are. We saw a little bit of each character in this show, and what they fear, and I thought it was fun. First, we see Jason, he's afraid of losing Lana, I thought that was noble. And then we see Chloe and her mother, CREEPY!!!! And then there's Lana, with her fear about being left alone. I relate to that, because I never got to meet my real mother and father, either. It's sad. And that whole thing where she jumps up and it's another version of herself? Ick!

    But then that brings us to just the best parts of the show, when Clark sees his worst fears come to life. The hospital rocked, I actually gave out a little shriek! Seriously! There were people flying all over the place, and one of my girlfriends who was over actually covered her head with the pillow. I'm totally not kidding. Renee, I know you're going to hate me for it, but I had to poke fun. I think if a show can give that reaction, it's doing something right!

    And then the Lex scene! Wow! We see the scene from Hourglass again, only instead of blood rain, NUCLEAR BOMBS! Wow! That just totally made me creep out. I was the one scared when that happened. And then the nuclear explosions. I've been afraid ever since a kid of nuclear war, and I even believed it happened long before I was born once, it was just a little thing when I was a young girl. I'm over it now, that's just something that was made up, but seriously, that just makes me freak out.

    And then, at the end, I'm SO sure Clark was going to tell Chloe! OMG! I can't wait until next week cuz I know it's gonna pick up RIGHT where it left off, and I think he's gonna tell Chloe! He'd better! She set him up so right!

    This season just continues to get better and better. I think Neal takes it WAY too seriously, he needs to just sit back and veg, LOL! That's right, Neal, have some fun! Why be so negative all the time? Live a little! You might get more ladies that way!

    And hey, before you all hate mail me, he knows that I'm joking. We're just friends. And we're gonna stay that way! Ha ha ha!

    I give this show a 5 of 5! The show is still rolling along great!


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