Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 4 - Episode 12: "Pariah"



Reviewed by: Saundra Mitchell

Okay, how ineffably stupid does Clark have to get before somebody drops him in a kryptonite box for his own safety and for the safety of the people around him? Alicia Baker assaulted her father, assaulted Lana, and assaulted Clark on the first go-round... and Clark wants to date her anyway. Then, she lies to him, drugs him, and takes advantage of him in his weakened state- and Clark wants to date her anyway.

Everyone else around him seems to grasp the concept that perhaps Alicia, pre- or post-"treatment", is not exactly prime girlfriend material... but Clark clings to the whole "she knows my secret shield!" Now, you'd think the whole "(s)he knows my secret shield!" would have been worth something when Lex Luthor spent three months in an insane asylum keeping Clark's secret- when he could have used that information as a get-out-of-crazyville-free card at any time- but nah. Lex doesn't count. After all, he isn't rackalicious and he doesn't have pretty hair to stroke.

Even though Alicia has nothing to do with Lana's *latest* assault, with Jason's assault, Clark is still a stone-cold moron. The whole idea behind accepting someone who's been rehabilitated is actually predicated on the idea that there's proof of rehabilitation! Blind faith in somebody who's never earned it isn't heroic, it's dangerous. ("Oh, no, Darkseid, no hard feelings! I totally believe you just want to be my best friend. Hey, why is this apple juice green?")

Let's play pretend for a moment, shall we? Let's say Alicia *had* been the villain of this particular episode. We now know for an absolute certainty that Clark's threshold of dewy-eyed stupidity has a two-attack limit. Alicia's allowed to try to kill two people before Clark will actually do anything about her. Isn't that nice if you're the first or second person on Supes' latest girlfriend's dance card?

The only new thing that happened as far as Clark heroics go this episode is that we have confirmation that Clark will use his heat vision on people, and may or may not actually kill someone if he's angry enough. Too bad about that lesson, because the precedent set with Sam Phalen in the first season was a lot more heroic: think about doing it, feel the need to do it... but don't actually do it. Self-restraint- it's what's for dinner!

Once again, Clark believes he's completely right, and everybody else is completely wrong, so all I have to say is that I'm really looking forward to Azzarello's "Lex Luthor: Man of Steel" because I'm fairly certain this Clark Kent is going to grow up into a Superman we do need to be protected from. Alien overlord, indeed.

Meanwhile, on the criminal mastermind front, Lex is still drinking liquor in the library and flirting with women- which everybody knows is the seventh step to archvillainy. Okay, seriously, did we not know Lex is willing to get underhanded to get information he wants? Have we not seen Lex offer up an indecent proposal to get his way before? Is anyone at all surprised? Anyone? Let's get real, yo- even Clark knows about that particular trait, and he hasn't talked to his "best friend" in five months! A little forward-motion would be nice; that's all I'm sayin'.

Oh, and friendship of legend?

That pretty much sums it up. If they keep racheting up the tension like this, I'm going to be just heartbroken when the friendship is over and stuff.

Two cookies for Smallville tonight, because while Clark is still stupid, this episode didn't make me want to hang myself in a barn because I might have had sex once. (Twice, actually... my son's eleven, my daughter, 3.)

- - -

Love Letters to Neal

Dear Neal,


Aren't you glad they made this a two-parter? There's nothing better than an episode that gives you the opportunity to do a cut-n-paste review. Really saves on the carpals and tunnels.



Reviewed by: Neal Bailey


Main Points:

  • Clark's still hanging out with Alicia, which ticks everyone off.
  • Why? Because Alicia's been a homicidal maniac (nothing big).
  • Jason's mother is up to something. No one knows what, but she is.
  • Some kid uses his "morality" as an excuse to suddenly start killing (familiar?).
  • Kids, it just doesn't pay to get involved with psychos.


    Pariah: One who has been excluded from society; outcast.

    Whammy: Loosely coined term from God-knows-where meaning person who appears just to die on a television show.

    Coherent plausibility: A term meaning what is loosely needed, even in stories of extremely farcical and epic nature (like the Odyssey), describing what is required for the suspension of disbelief

    Old Spice Red Zone: Once again our sponsor. Just had to point that out, because everyone makes Old Spice jokes in the caption contest. See "Business" below for a new riff on that.

    Morality: A loose term someone coined a few thousand years ago as a way to describe a belief system in order to make one's own belief system sound better than another's. e.g.: I'm a better person than you because my beliefs are MORALITY.

    Squeaky Shoes: A code phrase meaning: HOSPITAL.

    Attempted murder: Something that when you do it, makes you a sucky person to hang around with, generally.

    Watch for these code words and other secret phrases in this week 's review of SMALLVILLE:

    Away we go:

    The show has reached a point with me where I don't really expect any of the things that made it great in the first few seasons, and I know there are a lot of people with me. I don't feel like I'm necessarily reviewing a Superman show any more.

    The interaction between Ma and Pa Kent is adversarial, the interaction between Clark and Lex or Clark and Lana is negligible... don't get me wrong, I don't want Lana/Clark interaction with the way they're steered the characters, but the real question I have now is where Superman is in this mess?

    Where is the heart of the mythos?

    Remember Shattered? It showed Lex and Clark talking about issues of trust and stability in ways that would change their relationship for the rest of their life. Then, they just forgot it.

    Now our main plots are these:

    Lana's turning into a witch.

    Lois keeps coming to town.

    Chloe knows the secret.

    Jason is somehow part of the witch thing, as is his mother.

    Ma and Pa can't help but keep being disappointed by Clark.

    Some kid goes nuts.

    Of those, only Chloe knowing the secret comes anywhere near interesting in the long term.

    It's like, yes, the show can go from A to B now, but where's the interest? Where's the myth? I say again to you all, where's the Superman?

    This show, I am rating it well, because I enjoyed it. But I just didn't, deep down, feel I was watching a show about Superman. I thought about that all through, and it irked me.

    There were a number of scenes in this show that just really made me go, "Ah! Coherence!", and a few were quite surprising.

    We start off with, monkeys be praised, a scene where I identified and sympathized with the character of Lana Lang (Yes, you read that right, and it doesn't happen too often, so soak it up in the bread and eat it before it drips, oh Lana lovers!).

    Clark brings in Alicia to the Talon, everyone's having a good time, and then the good time stops, the record scratches off, and you can hear the crickets as Clark stands there...

    And the instant reaction I think this scene was going for was sympathy. I believe, honestly, the creators thought we'd feel bad for Clark because after all, he LOVES Alicia, and these people, they're just making them both PARIAHS, right?

    Well, yeah, if Alicia hadn't, you know, ATTEMPTED MURDER.

    So picture yourself sitting at a night of bad karaoke, and suddenly the woman who chased you around and tried to steal the boy you like before slamming you into a staircase walks in. You'd be mad and walk out too. So go Lana, for once.

    What makes the scene odd is that Lana actually remembers anything. That's strange in this show. For instance, though Lionel has been out of jail for three weeks or so, Chloe hasn't mentioned or shown fear of him, though he co-blew her up a few months back. And that, my friends, is the problem with inconsistency of plot.

    And another problem...Lana is perfectly logical in her regard of Alicia, and yet Clark is a complete fool. I can't idolize or call heroism the actions of a man who's about as bright as the dull red glow of the hot sauce I'm eating with my pork rinds here. Just last week, Alicia drugged Clark, forced him to marry her, essentially, and went psycho.

    She then does the same thing she did at the beginning of the episode, says, "I'm okay now!", and both Clark and the viewers are supposed to just buy that.

    And what scares me, what really bugs me, is that a lot of the people writing and talking online DID seem to buy it. And the only reason for that is, I can assume, Alicia's hotness. It's like, what, if you're pretty you can attempt murder and get away with it, but if you're just a guy, you get in trouble if you make a comment that some gal misinterprets? Weird world. Anyway, I'm not buying it, so I'd like my receipt back.

    Regardless, the moment Lana walks off, I'm thinking, holy cow! Parallel universe story! Lana's good, Clark's bad, and Karaoke making someone look hot.

    But then all my hopes and dreams were smashed when we cut directly and pointlessly to the unnecessary gratuitous nudity. ANOTHER fricking shower scene! Look, I know we all shower every day, and I know it's fun to watch boobies, we get the POINT, show. But that's NOT what's going to raise your ratings! It might give you a BUMP (that will drop again), but what makes a show watchable all week is good writing. Why? Because you can get boobies ANYWHERE. You can only get Superman two places on TV right now, JLU and Smallville. If you put off the people who want a story for the ratings of three jocks with beers who want to see Kristen with her shirt off, you're gonna have a crisis on your hands.

    And so a shower curtain starts choking Lana, for approximately ten seconds, and she's passed out. Now look, I can buy that choking someone will knock them out. But not in 5, ten seconds.

    Stop breathing. Right now. Seriously. See how long you can go. Even rock around in your chair, like it's a surprise.

    You can go about a minute in desperation before you pass out is my guess, at least.

    But in ten seconds, Lana is KOed.

    I'm almost prepared to hold an appeal, because if she keeps this lame stuff up, she's gonna top Lex on the KO list. Though given her acuity of the last few years, it only makes sense. At least Lex is a brainy psycho.


    At this point, I note that though the situations are implausible, the dialogue and the acting have made the show watchable, at very least, which surprised me. Though I didn't buy the premise or the situation, the acting was sincere, the wording was well done. It was kind of strange. It was like watching two sponges talk on the moon. You don't know why they're there, but be darned if it isn't interesting sounding. Good dialogue helps, and they worked on it this week. Praise to the writer on that, making the best with what he or she got.

    The sheriff razzes Clark, saying that his alibi is the only thing keeping Alicia out of jail for the attack on Mrs. Lang. BS! I mean, there's also that pesky thing called EVIDENCE. I know that in some places in this society there are people being held without charge, without evidence, and on the basis of heresay, but it's not in Kansas, ladies in gentlemen. Who saw Alicia commit the crime? What is the evidence? Due process, even in hickville. It's important.

    Then we enter the guy who's so obviously the villain in his first five seconds it's not funny. Why? Because he talks to the main characters and he's not a main character, number one (though he's been their friend for a while, right?), and then he asks one of the girls out (fetishizing them, an obvious justification for later murder and/or showing psychosis so that they know who he's murdering on the side). Pretty obvious, there.

    I know this is me being a broken record, and I'm beginning to think that it will now never be listened to, but Smallville folk: Please realize that this continued contrived plot device, the freak, is done. It's dead, like red K, only it's risen from the dead about 846,000 times more than it needed to. This episode already had a freak. Why add another arbitrarily? How much more devastating and poignant would it have been had Alicia, despondent over being a Pariah, really HAD committed suicide? You want to talk about a social message this show's perfect to make, how about confronting teen suicide? If you're different in this world, you're spurned, which is why I like Superman. He's different, but he's also beloved. This show missed a key area of exploration for the sake of a guy who spouts about "morality" while choking people to death. Yeah, right. Believable. Another kid (of the some 50) from the same school (total students, probably 600) who went homicidal in one year. I tell you, there aren't this many murderers and psychos in one of the Burroughs of New York, let alone in middle America. And no one's buying it anymore that isn't just watching this show on the surface, I contend.

    So then Alicia comes to Clark and has a conversation about how wrong everyone is, how innocent she is, and to prove it, she shows Clark that she's taken her poorly contrived plot device bracelet off. I'm going to play a sound here you might all remember, from last week. I'm not sure you will, because I mean, last week was a long time away (Smallville's creators certainly don't think you can remember back that far), but here it goes:




    That's the sound of flatulence plopping its way out the ears of the main character of Smallville instead of thoughts. Although, thinking about it, the sound might be less of a BING! and more of a brapplerap. But I digress.

    So Clark doesn't even ask her to put her bracelet back on. GAAAAAAAAH!

    I'd smack him in the head if it wouldn't break my hand. You know what he needs? He needs some boys. Some boys would straighten that kid right out. Your boys are essential for that kind of thing.

    Saturday night, I'm sitting here writing my butt off (though I've been doing it for about 15 straight days, you know, I get manic), and there will be a phone call.


    "Hey! How's it going?"

    "What are you doing?"


    "How long you been doing it?"

    "Uh, since 4."

    "Six hours!?"

    "Uh, no, 18."

    "What! Get your butt up here. You're done. It's Saturday night. We're doing something fun."

    And that's what the boys are for.

    Clark would go to his boys (or boy, in the case of Pete, were Pete still around) and say something like, "Hey, Pete! I just met this girl!"


    "Uh, yeah."

    "Uh, uh. Psycho hose beast. Come with me. We're eating chee-tos and toilet papering that sheriff's car."

    "But, uh, Pete, she's, uh, reformed, and, uh..."

    "I'll reform your nose with the back of my hand, you little pansy! She's a psycho! Open your eyes!"

    "Oh. Oh yeah!"

    Lex would be even better for that, but the chances of seeing Lex and Clark together this season on this show are about zero unless it has something to do with the dumb stone sub-plot that's dragging on so long that everyone's gonna forget what it's about over the course of these filler episodes.

    There was a dangling part of this show I don't know whether to be happy or sad about. First, Lana (justifiably for once) doesn't want to see Clark after his girl he's dating tries to kill her. Then, all of a sudden, Ma pushes Clark to hang out with her and make up while Jason tools off. And then, we just never see what happened. I am torn, because the scene would likely just be Lana raking Clark over passive aggressive coals, as it was, as it ever were, but then, it might have picked up from the last conversation they had, where they sort of came to terms with each other. People berated me for belittling that conversation, saying, "Look! That fixed everything between Lois and Clark!", but I said nay, it'll be forgotten next week. And it has been.

    Still, they haven't really talked since, and though I expect nonsense when they do talk, I still hold out hope they'll be able to make Lana and Clark somewhat sensible. Call me an old romantic.

    And then there's Jason's choke scene. First, he's choked by a SCARF, a SCARF, for 17 seconds (I checked), and he goes to the hospital.

    Now, I know these kinds of things might not occur to those of you with money, so bear with me, but get this. Jason, who's newly impoverished, has a really nice car (complete with car alarm), and he goes out to it, gets choked for 17 seconds (choke yourself with a scarf for 17 seconds. I did it just to check myself out here. I could still breathe, and it didn't even hurt), and then goes to the HOSPITAL!


    You know how much it costs to go to the hospital? I got in a cataclysmic wreck a year or so back, I sat in an Emergency room in pain for four hours, got one shot and a prescription, and it cost me 750 bucks total.

    To be looked at by a doctor is expensive, even just for choking. Now I know, it's something a lot of people don't have to deal with, but like I always say, if something is blatantly implausible, it takes me out of the show. And to make sympathy for Jason, they've played him up to be a poor guy who sacrificed his money to be with Lana.

    Well, let's see it then. Looks like he's living high on the hog from my perch generally below it.

    I supposed that people will tell me I am not just sitting back and having a good time for noticing that Clark just obviously puts his fist through a windshield right in front of a conscious Jason.

    To those folk, I ask you to go out and try and put your fist through a car window, and see what happens. My guess is, unlike choking yourself with a scarf, you will require hospitalization.

    Teague's mom wants him to get a second opinion from Dr. Martin.

    When, in the early 90s? Bwa ha ha ha ha...God, I'm old. Excuse me while I go cry for my lost youth.

    Okay, I'm back. I realized I'm only 25.

    The Teague mother sub-plots is just the most boring and inane thing I've ever seen. So there's an old lady wandering around town being passive aggressive. Ooooooh! Wow. My curiosity is piqued. Too bad that curiosity is not the curiosity as to Teague's mom's nature, but rather my curiosity as to how the American Idol tryouts are doing whenever she's on. And I hate American Idol.

    So we cut to Clark, finally urging Alicia to confront her insanity (at least, the point at which it happens in this episode, about the same time it did in the last two Alicia episodes before he realizes she's wholly normal again for the beginning of the next one).

    He starts putting together another lead bracelet, which reminds us of the contrived plot device of the bracelet in the first place, which reminds us that you need an apparatus much larger than a friendship bracelet to inject anything into the body on a consistent basis, and then the dramatics that make no sense.

    Clark: "Everyone thinks it's you!" (to Alicia)

    Alicia: "Why? Because of my powers? Because I'm a freak?"



    Let's tell her what she's won! A long walk off a short pier with a medium length of rope. And Clark? NOTHING! You get NOTHING! You so STOOOOPID!

    Then she disappears. When's Clark gonna figure out that she's a nutty nut bar? Well, I guess it's moot now, huh? But it sure makes him look dumb.

    So then we cut to Alicia trying to help Clark through Chloe (who she, what, doesn't really know at this point) by exposing his secret. And she does, boldly. It's an interesting scene, a cool way to do it.

    And I even forgive the lack of payoff. Chloe could have immediately run up to him, but at least this way, we don't lose the payoff in a filler show. I respect that.

    I do find it funny that Chloe's all surprised. I mean, she's been a freak twice herself, right? Maybe three times? As has everyone else in Smallville, basically. Again, forgetting what's happened before, but still, well acted on her part, and interesting in the writing. It's the sponge on the moon theory in action again. I can usually pick apart a scene and hate it, but this one oddly I can pick apart and I still enjoyed it.

    I was amused by the fact that the only person in Smallville who's caught on that it's not cool what Lana and Jason were doing is the psycho. Talk about your fictive tacit stamp of it being okay for an older guy to date a younger girl! Feh!

    Tim, (I had to look up sandman's name) just spouting off his evil plan so that we can see Lois, number one, and number two, so that someone will somehow know that he's behind everything.

    It's like, yeah, I just started killing people, so let's go on a date with one of the people closest to the people I'm trying to kill and tell her all about how they need to be punished.

    Even a murderer ain't THAT stupid.

    Then we have Lex being approached by the second passive aggressive witch on this show, Mrs. Teague, offering help figuring out things that are unnamed (same thing that happens with Jason later in the show, to similar effect).

    Most subplots, even the ones which had obvious end results (like Lionel's blindness), at least had me interested. I don't give a solid care what the heck Genevieve is here for, and most people I talk to feel the same. Why? Why is she here? Why randomly insert Jason and his plot as an excuse to keep Lana in the forefront? It's not good for the show, it's not very fun, and it takes away from all involved. Barring a miracle, (and I don't see more of this witch stuff as going to be a miracle) it will just continue sucking.

    If you look, it takes Lex three drinks to get through the one scene. I imagine if I were a drinker it would have taken me a few more.

    Then, one of the saving graces. The death scene. I don't care if the plot is absolutely nonsensical to this point (It kinda was), the death scene for Alicia was extremely well done by Tom, and powerful, as was his vengeance. A very cool scene. Good fighting, interesting methods, shooting sand with heat vision to bring him back to solid form. Cool.

    But then, there is the fact that now this guy who wants Clark dead, who thinks he knows what's best for everyone, knows he has powers. And what, he's just not gonna tell anyone? Yeah, right.

    The Clark and his parents scene, the Clark and Chloe scene, both were well done. They show the consequences of the grief (events leading up to the grief notwithstanding) and they're well filmed, well written. Oddly out of place for a show with so many flaws. They're playing Chloe knowing right, at least, so far.

    The Chloe and Lois scenes were good, but they still fail to justify Lois' presence. She's literally on the show just for the novelty of having Lois there, and, I'm convinced, her tas. What does she add? Think about it. She DETRACTS from Chloe's role, because they're essentially the same person, and in this episode, she took two key scenes that Chloe could have had easily. AND, to make matter's worse, they don't have a good reason for her appearances. This show? Uh, I just wanted to come see you, little cousin! Well then, where were you for the last three years?

    I know it's hard to come up with a reason for her being there. But get this: Speaking from the premise of a story, you should really have a reason for everyone and everything in the story, so I give no yield when it comes to Lois being there without a reason. When things become arbitrary for the sake of novelty (cough cough witches and Lana's bum cough cough) a story loses momentum, spirit, and finally...followers.

    Will Alicia be remembered next week? I don't know. I doubt it. I'll be watching. Remember my old column in the KO Count, "How much we all miss Whitney." (or something to that nature)? Well, if they don't mention Alicia next week, it will certainly become a new marker in the KO Count.

    And lord of monkeys, next week Smallville really will be becoming The OC. Somebody save ME.

    Still, the good writing, the great acting, and a few scenes that really stood out made this show worth watching for me. It wasn't above average, but it at very least met the standard of decent, mid-season filler, unlike most of the rest of the filler so far. You may call me kind (but lord knows I've been equally over-harsh this season), but I'm going to give this one a 3 of 5.


    Good acting, good writing, sponges on the moon and Clark needs some boys. When the insanity meter goes off and you don't listen to it, you get nothing, because you're stupid, and the source of the insanity meter gets hung by her own rope. Morality is not a justification for homicide, and people who do commit homicide are usually not so stupid, but then, when you put sponges on the moon, and when those sponges sometimes come down to earth, you often gets something passably interesting at very least. 3 of 5.


    Well, this week was a hectic one. There's a con this Saturday, and I've been pacing myself so that I can make it. I'm hoping to pitch to DC, and that makes me frantic and worried. For instance, I'm planning ahead so much, I'm doing business Tuesday morning. That's right, you just traveled back in time, kids!

    There's a small business this week, oddly enough. Probably because of the whole returning from hiatus, and also because popularity of the show is waning. It was odd, I didn't get deluged with emails, and most of them were from my usual close folk. It was a welcome break, but I still missed the deluge.

    Also, no letter really stuck out this week as particularly epic (though all were great), so I don't have a letter of the week.

    Every letter, pretty much, that I received berated me in some way for missing the whole debut of Jimmy Olsen in the mythos. I do have an explanation...every time that Lana opens her mouth, for the most part, I start scribbling in my notebook. So my head was turned, I figured I got the gist of the scene, but I missed Chloe's essential line about BOW TIES, mostly because I was paying attention to my own hubris, in the observation that I was making about how most high school relationships are more adult than Lana's with Jason.

    I figured Chloe meant the kid with the pencil through his ear, so I just ignored the scene.

    So, now, having seen it again, I gotta say, it's a good shout out to Jimmy, but it's also impossible. I like the idea of hearing about ole Jimster, but really, he'd have to be what, 5 now?

    Clark starts working at the Daily Planet when he's 27, and Jimmy is, for all intents and purposes, a Peter Parker. A tag-along kid (not in the comics, but definitely in the beginning he was). I would put him at 21 at the oldest, maybe 18 when Clark hits the Planet.

    Which means, were Chloe to be with him, and given that Clark and Chloe are the same age, essentially, Chloe had an affair with a 10 year-old best case, a 7 year-old worst case. That's assuming Chloe went to the Daily Planet between Sophomore and Junior year.

    Creepy. So props for the reference, but minus clarity points for making Jimmy an old man.

    Matt Armstrong writes in to point out that it was Jeff Goldblum who throws the flare, and Sam Neill who waved it. I stand corrected. Other people wrote in, MANY other people, but Matt was first, so I give him dibs.

    John Clifford writes in pointing out how the show has resorted to a lot of undeveloped sub-plots. For instance, Alicia, instead of taking the time to develop her return to normalcy as Buffy might have, simply melted into the typical plotline from a promising start. John puts it really well, noting that we go from a good story to where "We get psychotic gunman plus last minute act of dubios heroism equals instant girlfriend."

    Well put.

    Tommy Nelson wants to know how many class rings Chloe bought, seeing as they were so did she get so many?

    JB wonders why, if Lionel's been released from prison, Chloe's not worried, or hasn't heard about it.

    Personally, I think it's just bad continuity. Oh yeah, one week Lionel was killing her, but now, since the audience has forgotten, it never happened, just like Clark in Metropolis. Sigh.

    And finally, I owe an apology to Stephen G, always an awesome contributor. He sent me private messages, I had a brain fart, and I didn't get back to them for a long time. Sorry, Stephen! But anyway, he wrote in with some great Greek Myth references, so look at them in the newly updated KO Count!

    An issue that a number of emails brought up asked me if I was bringing in Rebecca and Saundra because I'm sick of the show and I want to stop reviewing. Nope. Sorry. Nice try! Wishful thinking or aghast horror at the prospect, I wish to assure you that I will review this series start to finish, no matter what the circumstances, even if it becomes Lanaville. If it gets bad, I can bag on it, and bagging on things is fun. If it gets good, it gets good, capiche? But I'm not going anywhere unless Steve says so, and Rebecca and Saundra are here on their merits...

    Well, sort of.

    I have to admit, after last week's BASHING from Rebecca, I have to say I'm feeling a little put out.

    See, before she started writing here, she wrote a number of reviews on message boards that were in depth and focused, and truly insightful. So I stick my neck out, and I vouch for her to Steve, and offer to have her as a counterpoint to silence the naysayers or at least give them a second option.

    Instead, she trades the responsibility of getting the review a few hours before you guys do to do a little bit of Neal bashing.

    I'm cool with that. I won't lower myself to that grade school level, though I do think it was a low blow to mention my dogs in print. Rebecca clearly has no idea what impact those dogs had on my life, or she likely would have kept her trap shut.

    I give her the benefit of the doubt. I've read the emails from people that call her juvenile, surface, and puerile. I could certainly print those letters in response. I won't. Instead, I'll simply hand this to her in the hopes that she will take a more professional attitude, realizing that I've stuck my neck out here to get her a chance with you guys, who are just the best readers imaginable.

    I say take a cue from Saundra, Rebecca, and get back up to your old game. Just my own opinion, that's all.

    Completely selfish but relevant aside: When I stop my writing (usually late in the night) I often relax for a few hours playing video games. I recently picked up World of Warcraft, and it's a blast. I'm playing on the Stonemaul server as Chinaski. Why do I mention this in this review? Well, to be honest, because half the fun of writing this review is the interaction with you folks, so if any of you want to do some missions and shoot the cud about Smallville, tell me on there, we'll yak. It's just like another IM for me, and we can have fun while debating the show. As ever, I'm always looking for new ways to interact, and it just occurred to me that that might make a good new one, since I dropped City of Heroes...


    Hey, folks!

    Good week! I got some emails about where to find the commentary last week...what happened was that Steve has made a very handy caption contest archive, in response to the success it's had with you folks...ergo, I will now be popping the link to the commentary there instead of putting it straight with the review, and starting this week, there will be a link to the commentary on the main page, so I can keep the review to the review and the contest to the contest, though the commentary will still be all me, at least, so far as I know!

    BUT, I've decided to add a new wrinkle to get entries up.

    As long as I can afford it, and as long as it stays funny, on weeks when Smallville is in, the winner of the Caption Contest will now have a choice of two prizes! And you're gonna love them.

    I figured, given that I like Smallville, and given that I should support the show with this contest, I'd support Smallville's sponsors. So, since this week we saw the debut of the obscene sounding Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, and since YET AGAIN they used the Old Spice Red Zone, (OLD SPICE RED ZONE?), yes, Old Spice Red Zone, I give the winner a choice between one can of Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper or a stick of Old Spice Red Zone.

    Now, if the can breaks in shipping, I don't wanna hear any whining. And if the Old Spice Red Zone smells like a sailor and you complain about it, I'll backhand you like a sailor, swear to my shivered timbers. Yar. This is out of my pocket, so NO COMPLAINTS, NO RETURNS. Besides, I like Old Spice.

    So without further ado, follow this link to the Caption Contest commentary for last week!


    Dear Saundra,

    Indeed, the cut and paste is a life saver for bings and dings... problem is, give them a few more months, they're gonna have to cut and paste ratings!

    Just make sure those kids never date psychopaths... at least, until they ask if they're all better or not. Now, I'm off to finish this green kool-ade Rebecca....URK!



    By Rebecca Cyrus

    Seriously, I'm so silly. I thought that Pariah was something Egyptian until I just looked it up. But then I read the definition in Neal's review and it totally explains this episode. Totally.

    I mean, this is a story about outcasts. Outcasts who have no place to turn to in the world, about people who are all alone and need friends. Clark is so alone in this story, I felt bad for him, and Alicia too.

    Chloe knows the secret now, and that's awesome. It's just like I always thought... when she learned, she didn't immediately go telling everyone, and she kept it to herself. Why can't Clark just see that him keeping the secret only hurts himself? Grrr...

    I'm glad they brought Lois back. I like her, and she gives Chloe a friend. Since Chloe doesn't really seem to have any friends, that's a big deal to me. I think that she needs friends as a character, and maybe that'll bring her back into the story more, because I like Chloe a lot.

    I didn't like the villain very much. I mean, his powers were cool, and how awesome was that fight with Clark, huh? But still, he seemed to go evil too easy. I know he was all mad at Lana and stuff, but I don't know, I think I agree with Neal for once, it takes a little more than what Lana did to make someone kill someone.

    I think Alicia is a very tragic character, and I was so sad when she died. It's like, she tried too hard to do what she thought was right, and she just kept failing and failing. It was too bad that she had to end up dead. I was hoping that they'd make her a regular character, like Jason, so that Clark could have a love interest, at least until Jason dies or whatever, and then maybe he and Lana could get together again (cross your fingers).

    And that car catch...WOOO! Neat. I watched that twice, it was so cool.

    The Karaoke in the beginning was great, too. I LOVE that song! It's one of my favorites. I was singing along, LOL.

    Next week looks exciting...we get to see where Clark will go to college, maybe, and it looks like an interesting villain.

    All in all, this week went really fast. I watched the show, and it was practically over a few minutes later, it surprised me. That's what a good story will do for you! So I have to say, what with the secret being revealed I was really impressed, but I'm mad that they had to kill Alicia. Like I said, I wanted her to stay around longer. So I have to be mean and go 7 of 10.

    In response to Neal's unwelcome and unnecessary attack, all I have to say is that he needs to get a life. Someone finally called him on what everyone else just wants to say but doesn't, so I don't have any pity if he gets upset that someone told him the truth.

    He can call me all the names that he wants. I know that he's just an arrogant @#$%, so that's enough for me.

    There are no letters. He's making that up. I DARE you to print letters that are critical of me, Neal Bailey. Present them. I can't believe that anyone would rip on someone just for being positive.

    Good luck finding any, LOL!


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