Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 5 - Episode 7: "Splinter"

Reviews:

Splinter

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

MAIN POINTS:

  • Milton Fine is actually a...Kryptonian?
  • Clark encounters silver Kryptonite, which causes paranoia.
  • Lex Luthor shows Lana Lang the ship.
  • Clark does a bunch of nutty things, but eventually Milton saves him.

    REVIEW:

    This is another case of me saying, "Novel concept! Too bad it's already been done on the show twice already".

    That said, there are some really great subplot elements floating around there, so not a total loss. The second time we saw this episode, it was a half and half affair, where one half was a lot of fun and the last half was written by monkeys with typewriters. The first time, Shattered, was actually pretty decent. Now it's taking what we saw with ALL of the characters in Scare (which turned out somewhat intriguing), and they focus it on Clark. It hardly worked last year at this exact same time, now it seems like they're taking the part everyone said was cool about Scare, when Clark went nutty and trying to hit it again without expanding on it. Turns out there's not really enough there to well fill an hour. Go figure.

    And now we have this, in which the main plot is pretty much wholly recycled crap, but the subplot is so cool that it's easy to forget the crap sometimes. But only sometimes, alas. And sometimes isn't made up for by the novelty of a new Kryptonite, Kryptonian, or any other trick they used in the Silver Age that so convoluted things that it necessitated the Crisis.

    Keep it simple, stupid. Character, dynamic plots, and growth.

    Instead, continual stagnation.

    Clark is still the same person. Chloe is still the same person. Lana is still the same person, only with more assigned properties we haven't seen her earn. Ma, Pa, Lionel, same people. The only person we've seen change is Lex, and that's from covertly evil while thinking he's good to outright evil that he covers up while thinking he's good. Which is still pretty much covertly evil.

    The story opens with Clark arriving at Lana's apartment bearing food and a tractor part. As Bruce Kanin, my online buddy, so astutely points out, they don't have tractor stores in Smallville, but they do in Metropolis? Suuuuuure. But assume he was just making an excuse to see his honey. Okay. I'm cool with that, even though I'm solidly against long-term-relationships.

    What's happening in that room before Clark enters.

    I'll TELL YOU what's happening in that room before Clark enters, people.

    SECRETS! SECRETS, and LIES!

    Lana, being the genius that she apparently became in between this week and last, has satellite projections of a decaying orbit for the ship that landed somehow mapped out. She has it so well done that it would make a guy with a Masters in astronomy blow chunks of coffee mixed with donut out his nostril and say, "Holy hell, does she have dangling earrings? How DOES she get so beautiful, so talented, and so smart?"

    Lana, face it. You're amazing.

    So Clark walks in, and she pulls Lex Luthor's move, closing the laptop as someone walks in. Clark doesn't find that, I don't know, a little suspicious?

    "What were you working on."

    "Oh, just some astronomy homework?"

    I have this new bit I use with my friends. I call it "The Anakin". You walk back and forth, but you keep your head at 90 degrees, just like Anakin does before he and Obi-Wan fight. You then scream, totally out of context, "LIAR! You will not take _____ from me!"

    And usually, _______ has to be something really benign or relative to the conversation at hand.

    So in this case:

    Lana closes her case.

    "What were you working on?"

    "Oh, just some astronomy homework."

    "LIAR!" Clark begins pacing back and forth. "You will not take my ba-"

    I'm gonna just stop that there, but you get my point, I'm sure. Just grooving on finally having my saga complete. It's a recurring demented Neal thing. I just figure, if Lana can whine for an entire season about when someone lies to her, Clark should have some catch phrase. I think it should be The Anakin.

    Alternatively, you can throw in a, "You turned her against me!"

    With "her" being a changeable noun. In this case, "You turned Lex against me!"

    Don't think this won't come back in a few episodes. Brainiac: "YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE!"

    As I recall, Lana said that she was moving in with Chloe. That just hit me today, because I realize, housing arrangements are usually made a month or two before the semester, and can only be paired with who you want by some kind of special dispensation, right? Though we can only imagine Chloe's old roommate would be too happy to go, I'm wondering what the heck Chloe and Lois have in common, and why they're friends/roomies, and why Lois isn't going to college and no one is razzing her about it.

    Enter the silver K, complete with a note from Lex. Er...we'll get to that. Clark gets himself a sliver, because he's stupid enough to TOUCH the kryptonite...dur. And apparently, somehow, this dislodges a bit of the rock (er) and that bit of rock, we later find out, enters his bloodstream through his FINGER? More on that later too.

    Clark starts driving home (that's right, he drove to Metropolis when he can run at super-speed, wasting, by my reckoning, approximately 60 dollars in gas. Poor farm boys! No wonder they're impoverished) when a big evil black vehicle starts chasing and ramming him.

    Follow the disappearing seatbelt as Clark first has it on, then rolls, rolls, rolls, destroying the red truck, then BING! The truck stops, and he just jumps out with no seatbelt. Swear to you I didn't watch for it, it was just so obvious by the way he hopped out after such a catastrophic accident.

    He gets a phone call saying things that would make one totally paranoid, but I'm focused on how a kid who purports not to be able to go to a state college because of money issues with the ole farm can afford a spanking new cell phone. I don't have a cell phone, mostly because I'm pretty darned poor, but I did price one, because people told me having one and losing the land line was cheaper.

    Surprise surprise, it's not. They're still just status symbols. I can get a land line and long distance (unlimited, mind you) for 23 dollars a month. Every cell phone plan I found was at least 60 dollars a month with connectivity, and that's if you get the cheapo plan with no minutes.

    Poor people don't get them. Or shouldn't. And humble poor people like Clark would never.

    He staggers out, screams, "KAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHN!" and then we cut to the theme.

    We don't know if this really happened or not, but I'm going to assume that it did, because most of the things in this show really did, and only the character actions were misinterpreted by Clark.

    That POOR red truck, that's all I've got to say.

    Well, that and I'm curious as to why, if he flipped the truck and etcetera, no cops came. Clark couldn't have carried the truck away. He was in plain view of three or four houses. The question then becomes, did it really happen? And why don't we find out, if we have the time to have a stupid summary that could be that line of dialogue?

    I have to give them credit here, though. I just went down and checked the tape, no mountains at all save in one scant pan from the inside of the truck. Well filmed, in that respect, given how much is shown. Yeah, there are evergreens all over the place, but feh. Still, better attention.

    At home, Martha and Jonathan are talking about the impending senate race. Jonathan Kent passionately espouses that he has to beat LuthER.

    Martha Kent very astutely points out that he has heart problems. Of course, for all of the other times he's been knocked out, beaten around, or risked his life, we haven't seen any kind of real worry, but hey, this is POLITICS. I actually buy that one. Anyone who reads my other column knows...

    Clark arrives, but if we look out the windows, it's dark outside. You can call this good, knowing what's coming, or bad, given that it's an astonishing breach of continuity, or an affirmation of it. It shows that Clark has been gone for a long time (which, if you believe Fine when he later says he hasn't seen Clark all week, makes sense), but it also doesn't make sense in that, hey, wouldn't the cops have called the Kents about their truck by now? Does this mean it didn't happen? Either way, the Kents don't say, "Uh, son. You have a cell phone. Why didn't you call us? Uh, son. The truck's all blowed up. Why didn't the cops call?"

    They say, "Oh! Someone's out to kill you, and you don't know who it is, but the truck's ruined. Okay!"

    There's also the fact that Clark keeps perpetually hiding his problems in the hope that they will go away, which is very much in character for a passive aggressive bink like Lana, but right out for Clark.

    Clark Kent would immediately tell his parents about being cut (which is odd). Or, later, as we'll see, about Fine.

    The Marsters education scene was great. And yeah, it's happened three times, but all three have been incredibly good, at least for me. They actually dig into that mythos, make Clark question who he is and will become, and they're handled masterfully. Brutus and Caesar, Jesus and Judas, both very good analogies for Lex and Clark, though it's usually the other way around. They forgot my favorite, though. Continuity and a good story.

    Zing? I'm here all week? Until I'm ret-conned (golf swing).

    Again, the bell for class, which is funny, given that it's ultimately a hallucination. Will this be on the test?

    I KNOW HOW TO KILL YOU!

    Clark blinks. "Oh noes11!!!"

    Neal kind of sits back, rolls his eyes, and says, "You know, in the first few episodes, that might have been compelling. But now, anyone with an IQ of 4 can melt down kryptonite and turn it into Gatorade. Who DOESN'T know how to kill Clark in Smallville? So what could have been serious turned to the comical.

    Clark finds Fine, who assures him that it's likely Lex, come to get them, finally. Nyah! He even had the foresight to remember the license number of the strange truck that's been following him around (but apparently not the foresight to call the cops about it). Were it any other character, I'd flay him, but Fine has the computer brain going for him. You gotta wonder why, if he were being followed, he didn't just liquidate the fool.

    Maybe because it was a hallucination. GAH, I hate stories where you're unsure what really happened or not. Hard to critique, really.

    Clark, again showing his stellar wit, chooses not to go to the police, but rather, to Chloe. This protects his secret, so it makes sense. What doesn't make sense is why, if he's going to pursue these nuts, he didn't the minute they flipped his truck with super-speed.

    Lionel Luthor's emailing Chloe, it would seem. This turns out not to be a hallucination.

    Clark sees it, and says, "Uh, what?"

    I see it, and I say, "Uh, what?"

    Chloe says, "My job requires me to talk to Lionel Luthor."

    Me: LIAR! (paces left to right, right to left) "YOU WILL NOT TAKE CONTINUITY FROM ME! He tried to kill you!"

    Clark to Lionel: "You've turned her against me!"

    I'm perplexed as to how Clark, even in a weakened state, would just instantly buy that the Planet info line gal would have to interact with Lionel Luthor. Especially given that even if it WERE part of the job, she'd have a legitimate beef in refusing to do so. "Uh, yeah. He blew up my house."

    Then, the most unintentionally hilarious line of the season.

    Clark: "Chloe, there are THREE people in Smallville who know about my secret."

    Burst of gale force wind coming from my laughing mouth.

    Try THIRTY-FOUR, Clark, and that's just what we've seen in our little picture-perfect weekly hour shot of your life. Many of whom would gladly tell the world your secret. Mwu ha ha indeed!

    Don't believe me? Check that KO Count. Knew it would come in handy sometime.

    Begin the magically warping characters from Metropolis to Smallville. What Barry calls the "suburb" effect. Where they've basically changed Smallville to an easy, short trip away from Metropolis.

    Lana goes ALL THE WAY from Metropolis to Smallville just to burst in on Lex. She doesn't try calling, because, well, I guess that wouldn't be dramatic enough. And given that she has no job, no finances to speak of, and no shortage of designer clothes, you gotta wonder how she can afford all that gas. Bellingham, where many of my friends live, is roughly two hours from Tacoma, where I live. I can barely afford the gas to go there once every few months. As a college student, I wasn't going ANYWHERE unless someone paid for it for me. If you're poor, that's how it is. This show again makes it seem easy to be opulent while poor. It annoys me. A call would do the SAME thing.

    Lana and Lex, as I recall, parted on bad terms last time they saw each other.

    No, wait. That wasn't exactly bad terms. That was LANA JUMPING DOWN THROUGH HIS SUN ROOF AND THROWING HIM INTO A WALL BEFORE RUINING HIS MIRROR WITH HER IMPLAUSIBLE HEAT VISION THAT BROUGHT BACK THE WHIP!

    Lana, entering his house unannounced. "Hey, is this a bad time?"

    Lex: "Never for you!"

    Lana, face it. You're amazing.

    They do this not because it makes sense, but because they're trying to force the fact that Lana and Lex are on great terms when they never have been so they can keep playing this romance angle later. It's the Lana fog.

    As is typical, she doesn't drive all the way to see her buddy, she drives there for the same reason she drives anywhere, to be aggressive, or, barring that, passive aggressive.

    "WHY DID YOU SEND ME THIS ROCK?"

    Lex: "I didn't."

    "NONSENSE! IT HAS YOUR NAME ON IT! LIAR! YOU WILL NOT TAKE LOGIC FROM ME!"

    This is another point where I had to pause, I was laughing so hard. Mostly because it reminded me of a parody film I'd seen earlier in the year called Star Wars: A Lost Hope.

    Coincidentally (I didn't plan this) it also centers around the great betrayal of Episode 3, when Anakin thinks Obi-Wan's pig swine and Obi-Wan determines that Anakin's logic is most egregious in retrospect.

    The way that Anakin turns in this parody film (which, if you want to see it, can be found here, though it uses adult words and consequences, you five year-old hooligans!) is that Palpatine shows him a crayon drawing that Obi-Wan made calling Anakin a poo-poo head.

    Anakin doesn't believe it, but it's signed.

    Obee Wan Kanobee.

    Anakin immediately goes nuts and tries to kill Obi. He whips out the drawing of Anakin as a poo-poo head, and says, "Explain this, Obi-Wan!"

    Obi-Wan says, "I did not draw that!"

    Anakin becomes incredulous, saying, "It's right here, as clear as purple crayon!"

    That's exactly the feeling I got in this scene.

    "I didn't send you that rock, Lana."

    "But Lex, it's right here! As clear as purple crayon!"

    Erudite, this French dangly-earring fashion amazing goddess of all's logical sense.

    Lana gets bojangled by the fact that Lex didn't write a letter signed with his own name, so she resorts to bringing up the ship.

    Lex tells her that he doesn't know what she's talking about, which is a lie, so Lana, instead of confronting him about it, gets up and starts to huff off, which is how any mature adult handles a pressing problem.

    Lex calls her back (why, I have no clue), and tells her that everything he's done has been to protect her.

    THIS, she buys. She turns around and listens to him. Oy, she's like a brick, bright as a dim bulb and sharp as a frictionless bowling ball.

    Lex seems to sincerely believe this, so I'm not going to take this as a carefully crafted deception he's using to lure her into something. Because if so, then what? It can't be a romance (though that's the inevitable answer), because what the heck can Lana offer a man like Lex Luthor? Period. He can get hotter, smarter, richer women who aren't mean to him. There's no attraction for Lana to a man like him, in character or in fact.

    His next step is to...show her the ship? That makes NO sense at all.

    Lex tells her that she can help him get inside. How?

    The logic being, she was there when it opened, so logically, she must know how to open it.

    As opposed to, say, what might make sense to a logical person (as Lex is), that the ship opened when it did because the two Kryptonians needed to kick butt and take a pee break after the trip?

    So here's the logic we're supposed to buy. Lex, smart guy, believes that going to great expense and making a ship invisible to the outside world (as he has) protects Lana somehow. Furthermore, he can't tell her he's done this and must somehow make her think she hallucinated it, because that protects her more.

    Tell me that's not nonsense.

    And why is he stopping? As Lex says, "I couldn't lie to you any more."

    Well, great. Looks like Lex lying really chaps him so much he has to stop. Good thing, because I thought he was dag nasty evil now, but I guess he's just back to the old status quo of a repentant semi-villain who's actually just doing the best he can to protect the people around him who treat him like crap and burst in to his office angrily.

    Lex to Lana: "I'm offering you the opportunity of a lifetime!"

    What's that? To look at a ship? Cheesy, forced dialogue.

    Lionel comes to visit Jonathan, and Clark sees a most mellifluous scene indeed.

    It turns out to be mostly benign, but here's a question.

    WHY IS JONATHAN KENT TALKING TO SOMEONE WHO TRIED TO MURDER A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY?

    People seem to have just forgotten that being a butthead is different from when you TRY AND KILL SOMEONE.

    Lionel tried to KILL Lex. He tried to KILL Chloe. He's gone to JAIL. People don't just TALK to people like that and allow them on their property. Let me put it this way. Your enemy goes on trial for murder, gets out, and enters your land unannounced? CAP HIS $#%.

    Lionel comes to offer Jonathan his POWER and INFLUENCE in beating Lex Luthor's senatorial bid, because he thinks his son having power and being large and in charge would be bad for him.

    WHAT? WHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

    Okay. Let me get this straight. Lionel, the man so obsessed with pushing his son into power that he essentially becomes a machiavellian demon hounding Lex to realize his potential from the background of every situation he's ever been in, now wants to STOP Lex from becoming a senator so that he won't enjoy the taste of power?

    LIAR! YOU TURNED MY SHOW AGAINST ME!

    Gag me with a stupid puck!

    Add into this the fact that LIONEL HAS NO POWER OR INFLUENCE!

    You remember last season? I do. Gilgamesh, king of the Uruk save me, I do.

    Lex Luthor DRAINED Lionel's bank account. Remember? He had to live in the guest house? He was impoverished, or at least as impoverished as people in this show get.

    And remember that MURDER TRIAL?

    How many rich murderers do you know who have power and influence beyond the crazy, mental ladies who write them marriage proposals in their incarceration?

    People write me letters telling me that I write these as if a blood vessel is about to burst in my brain.

    That's not usually the case. I usually write these with a wry smile on my face and at a steady pace.

    I'm telling you, right now, I'm about to burst a blood vessel in my brain.

    Why?

    Because it undermines the best evil character on the show, turning him into a good guy, and because it was one of the last good things this show really had in terms of intrigue. Brainiac is NOT going to fill the Lionel gap.

    All of this, just so that we could freak Clark into thinking his dad was in league with Lionel. Why make a pretense that's real, then? Why not have him and his father colluding in secret, without the whole Lex thing?

    GAH!

    So Clark, ticked, goes into the house and confronts his parents. He knocks Martha out and chokes Jonathan. Jonathan calls him the thing he found in the cornfield, which would be really hurtful and dramatic if we didn't know that it was a hallucination, which is obvious. Of course, none of this does anything to agitate his heart.

    Chloe comes in, waving Kryptonite. "Booya, son! How you like me now?"

    She has driven all the way from Metropolis. Hello, suburb effect. She does it without calling the Kents, just on a hunch. Bright. Also expensive.

    Clark does his typical squint and then...I kid you not, SUPER-SPEEDS OUT while the K is on him. If you look at the angle, he even has to run right past Chloe to do it.

    Criminies.

    Though I'm almost willing to forgive it all for the incredible Chloevage that follows. Allison, now, SHE is amazing, in all those ways they say Lana is.

    AND she's hot.

    Clark arrives in Metropolis, and finds Lana. That's another trip back to Metropolis for Lana. He's acting funny, and then he tells her he hears Chloe coming. He then SUPER-SPEEDS right in front of Lana. They show the sound, she's looking straight at him.

    So Lana just saw him HEAR someone who wasn't in the room, and then super-speed off.

    Marvelous. They think this is unnoticeable?

    Then the summary again. This time, it wasn't even a summary, just random sound bites from the episode. Basically, something anyone who saw the previous would know, without any narrative structure. Sigh.

    Give me ten seconds on a TV show. TEN SECONDS. I will show you what ten seconds can be. That's the problem, the whole medium is treated like throwaway time. Attention is sought, not poignancy.

    Clark's now wandering in his fugue, and he sees his ship. He doesn't think this is strange, seeing as his ship was destroyed, killing his little sister or brother? Well, okay. Lex stands there, talking to the audience, telling them that Clark is the first vanguard of an invasion force. AWESOME. Even though it follows Birthright, very awesome. It's like my comic shop owner says. There's your Superman movie...yes. As a stand-alone story, Birthright is all right. As the current canonical origin? NO. But seeing as Smallville is still an open book in a sense, it fits right in with the Lex character here given his alien paranoia. Great moment.

    Lana AGAIN drives to Smallville, that's another 6 hour round trip drive that could have been a simple phone call, to confront Lex.

    She charges in. "I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR ANY MORE OF YOUR LIES, LEX!"

    Lex, actual line, says, "This is the part where I say, 'What are you talking about?'."

    They poke fun at how bad and formulaic their own scene is. That's pretty pathetic.

    Why did Lana come to Smallville? Well, apparently, to AGAIN ask why Lex sent her that rock, even though he said he didn't already.

    Clear as purple crayon, folks.

    The Lex and Lana kiss was so plainly awkward that I felt a bit like Clark, only less in the rage sense and more in the...gah sense.

    The lights go out in the mansion, and Lex goes to investigate.

    He finds a knocked-out guard, and a wall literally torn from top to bottom with the electrical cables ripped out by hand.

    So, bearing in mind how it later turns out, Lex doesn't question how Clark did that to the wall so fast, and without electrocuting himself? Furthermore, Clark isn't arrested for knocking out the guard? That's assault, buddy, and even if you're under the influence of something, you still get arrested until the evidence is presented to the prosecutor, as I recall. Or at least questioned.

    Clark finds Lana, grabs her by the throat, and slams her into the wall.

    No Lana Fu, you'll notice. She knew he was coming, and she knew he was homicidal, and she didn't try to defend herself. GIRL POWER! Or another girl who's girl power when it looks cool, and damsel in distress when it pleases the writers.

    Then, seriously, this really happened, BRAINIAC shows up at Lex's. Why? How? Who knows. He just knows where to go, I guess.

    He slaps the doohicky on Clark, pulls out a sliver roughly the size of a mountain that could never have worked its way from a finger to the shoulder, and regards it coolly.

    He explains to Clark that he's a Kryptonian as well.

    AND AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES!

    Lana's in the hospital for her injuries at Clark's hands. Jonathan, Martha, and Lex don't rate, apparently.

    I write: "PA, on the way!" for passive aggressive.

    But hey, Lana doesn't get mad at him. She even makes excuses for him, going so far as to say that the sliver gave him temporary powers. Strange, but at least it's word play toward explaining his behavior. I still don't buy it. At all. Lex would immediately test it, find that it didn't have that property in humans, etcetera.

    Clark brings up the spaceship, and Lana lies directly to him about it. Two in one show. SECRETS AND LIES! SECRETS AND LIES!

    Chloe: "He is a LuthER."

    Is he?

    They discuss the fact that Lionel's letters were real, and that she's talking to him to undermine Lex's candidacy. Well, okay. That sure makes sense, given who protected her from Lionel in the first place. Cripes, they MUST assume we're idiots.

    Or maybe we're idiots and they're playing to the crowd?

    I like to assume the former.

    Chloe's line, "I'd die before I'd ever betray you." seems an obvious gimme and a red herring for the death in episode 100. Or maybe they're really that obvious. I'm still grappling with why someone has to die because of the lost powers.

    The background music for the entire Lex and Lionel scene along with the Chloe scene was incredible. Can someone email me what it was? I loved it. It was a bit odd for Smallville, but it still worked really well.

    The scene with Lionel lecturing Lex about the contents of one's heart didn't ring true with me at all. It was nice to see the screws turned on Lex's "dreams" of being with Lana Lang, wherever the heck they came from and whatever BS motivates them, but this is a guy lecturing Lex about the contents of the heart who, to put it bluntly, had sex with his son's girlfriend behind his back and while they were together. Lex wouldn't bring this up?

    There's also the fact that Lex has no reason at all to put up with Lionel or even have him around, and beyond that, WOULDN'T. Why is Lex just allowing people to use him as a doormat all the time? He can afford better friends, really. For instance, me. Heck, if I had a buddy that looked out for me financially and just wanted to be a good person, I'd CHERISH that person, not accuse him of lying all the time and attack him. At least until he tried to buy me. Then I'd hit him with a stick.

    Clark tells his parents that the infection burned itself out. Great. Because, you know, lying to his parents has never led to anything bad. This is not Superman. This is a kid who is insecure and lies his way through coincidences to safety. Why would he not tell his parents that there was another Kryptonian around? And why not tell him that the man cured him? I don't get it. Why not tell them that Chloe knew the secret? Is he that insecure? I don't believe the character of Clark Kent is.

    Fine: "The superior civilization is difficult to ERADICATE."

    Fine: "The path of the true Kryptonian."

    This scene, the scene with Fine and Clark, is awesome. They talk about what's going on, Clark gets the gist of his adversary/mentor, and it's a great basis for the rest of the plot. Loved it.

    I question why Clark didn't start immediately asking him questions about his abilities and heritage, but the scene was so well played I'll forgive it.

    Fine then NEUTRALIZES the K and drops it to the ground, indicating that he created it.

    Well, I guess that at least explains the letter. I'll bet Lana still thinks Lex sent it, though. Oy.

    All in all, this episodes, like most, was plagued with the problems and inconsistencies that drag this show down.

    However, there was a good subplot, and some character motion. Chloe told the Kents she knew. Fine is revealed as a Kryptonian, at least for now. Silver K comes into the mythos beyond Jimmy Olsen's joke and ends up just as benign. And we also, sucky though it may be, learn that Lex is going after Lana. Oy.

    I don't like a few of those motions. Silver K is just another riff on the same chord, taking Kryptonite from the one thing that can KILL Superman dead if he'd within a few hundred yards of it into something to deal with, something that changes his behavior as opposed to killing him. I like the two K theory. Green kills him. Red does something unpredictable. We're running out of colors, and I don't mind the execution of the device, just the fact that soon we'll be to aquamarine.

    Also, Fine as a Kryptonian is a bit off unless, as I'm now suspecting, he's not gonna be Brainiac, but instead the Eradicator.

    If that's the case, as they're hinting, or if they turn Brainiac INTO the Eradicator but call him Brainiac, it'll be odd. But so far, it's really rocking, and I've really enjoyed the whole Marsters scenario. I was worried about the prada jeans stuff, but he's really playing it down the line and they're writing him well. Astonishing.

    Otherwise, we started out with a bang-up season and now we're degenerating into season 4 crap.

    It's happening faster this year than last year, also. If you look at season four, at very least it maintained high ratings and good shows until episode 7. Now, they're resorting to the mid-season lull on the main plots and focusing their energy on the subplot, which won't save a bad main plot.

    I'm hoping next week will change that, because the bad run of season four stretched for a ton of episodes, and there are only two more until January.

    All in all, the subplot was cool enough to save this from being a one, but not enough to make it average. I'm gonna stick with 2.5.

    SUPER-SHORT REVIEW

    LIAR! YOU WILL NOT TAKE LIONEL FROM ME! YOU'VE TURNED LEX AGAINST ME! (and toward Lana?) 2.5 of 5.

    LETTERS!

    I'm in bold because it looks better than fishnet stockings.

    David Khattak writes:

    All that really came from watching that episode of Buffy called "Supes Comes To Town" was the tired cliche of a bad writer, doing away with the literary universe of the charcters and placing them in a snow globe of fraternity nonsense and really REALLY bad plot.

    David, face it. You're amazing.

    It's done loads of times on sci-fi TV. A story farmed out(oh please god let this on ehave been farmed out..I'm almost too scared to read the credits lest it be from Jeph Loeb as some form of "retaliation"!). Characters exisint only in 3 locationswithin the plot and no outside influence on proceedings (ie the authorities - police saddneed Pizza Boy parents)

    When it clicked that it was "Intrepid reporter snarks it up over her first report" it actually made things more inconsequential for me and thus less vitriolic.

    Likewise. Although it's still like saying, "Well, because it's crap in the context of a field, that means it's okay that it's crap."

    [Gets measuring tape out]

    Looks like she made it 5 ft from the Shark this time

    You're kinder than I am about it. As I said, sweeps ain't over yet.

    We've seen so many shark jumping events you can compare them! Series 4 being struck by constant Shark Jumping Competitions means this had some competition but yes, there was finally in-your-face trivialization of the characters and their commodities:

    Clark: Phone sex takes on a new meaning for him

    Chloe: "Snarky and intrepid"... 2 adjectives that are actually hollow since they only fleetingly bother fleshing her out with other "emotions" only recently and the distant past...and also not one who'd be considered sexy and popular next to...

    Lana: Frumpy dress nevers quells the need for praise

    They even reference the shark in this last episode. Fine says, "Maybe the shark is finally getting testy." Oy. What is this, the Aquaman episode? That's now getting a SPINOFF? What the...

    Notice the leg-whorage of the fellow students? Lana, all granny jumper compared to Hawaii Girl and Sexy Fpreign Exchange Student (TM); hmmm.

    Yep. Dark and goth and so amazing.

    One thing smallivlle used to do well, before they inronically cut the CG budget but moved more 'stunts' to CG (BAD idea), was physical stunts.

    Agreed. I miss them.

    People falling down stairs and the like were brilliantly done. Then it seemed their wire team quit in frustration!

    Or were liquidated in favor of all Lana, all the time.

    "We turned down Matrix 4...for Clark's 'Over-The-Shoulder-Tossing'?!"

    "Ally-oop!"

    [4 stuntment get arbitrarily thrown through a caravan]

    [Alison Mack told she has no trailer due to 'cutbacks']

    Insert two adjective snark without feeling...

    But some 'intrepid' crew memebers must have came back at the thought of doing the brilliant "Lana Dies" scene.

    But then, wouldn't you?!

    "Holy MASTECTOMY! Lana's getting killed?! Canada here I come!"

    I'd throw myself down stairs in a Lana suit to be party to that.

    So very nice stunt work and Mrs Kreuk showed Lois a thing or two about physcial acting...not a shaky coffee mug in sight!

    Heh.

    Seems the honeymoon period lasted slightly longer this series than prior examples but it's taking the reassured turn to pole+bossoms route; biding our time till Miles Millar wades in.

    It hurts, really, because so far, the season was looking like it might turn things around. But each bad episode REALLY hurts after season 4.

    "Next Week: Clark begins swigging out of a milk bottle. Lana learns jung fu for the first time and Chloe gets repressed. That's only in "Continuity". Keep Watching"

    "Sweet" review...tried to introduce someone to it and after saying "how...what....it's never ending!" I just pointed him towards the paragraphs on what's wrong with female charcters in Smallville. When I read them I do feel the 'flow' of the article and love the skittish flashforwards/back to discussions or points coming/came up. It's...it's like you're my evil, more successful twin!!

    Or like I know what's coming because of notes, whereas most reviews wing it in favor of impression over objectivity. My schtick.

    So how's your experiment with The Great Unwashed going?!

    Not sure I understand, but it may be because I'm out of my mind.

    It's slightly macabre seeing the response times to emails getting longer and longer! I just imagine you, in a darkened room, with one light on... possibly using sharps utensils to damage things as you watch you inbox fill

    "Downloading Msg 1 of 1082"

    Heh. I just sent him an email about the whole responding to letters here. Must be a misunderstanding.

    Has your readership increased?

    I don't know, actually. I know my number of emails has dropped dramatically from last year and the year before. I don't really think that's because of the review, I think that's more because the audience, largely, is more here to react to the show they like, and since that audience is diminishing, so too will mine, because outside of context, these have less meaning.

    Oh and I really do get ANGERissed at that person (or persons?) who write letters longer than my rambles to critique you and pick apart sentences that were never designed to be defensive strongholds against assault from mis-interpretation!

    I learned long ago not to get mad about that kind of thing. The mark of an amateur writer is taking critique to heart as opposed to searching for the truth in it and remaining apathetic to the eventual fact that everyone has opinions, and they won't agree with yours. Now tell that to the talking heads. NO! Not the band.

    Of course, please don't worry about "argument proofing" every single little aside or flippant comment. If anything the existence of this type of reader (..."troll"? Is that how one says it?!) is just a given of the Internet experience; added to pigheaded "sit behind their keyboard" philosopher's and debaters it's always a risk when you open up the floor.

    Actually, I don't tend to worry about argument proofing after the fact. I tend to think I'm argument proof for the most part with most of the stuff I put out. It's a pretty good talent I've developed over the years next to eating only one food for three weeks at a time and putting writing before important things in life.

    I feel called to address trolls when they either say that I said something I didn't (happens more often than you might think, first they don't read, then they make assumptions about what they didn't read), or when they assert that I "MUST" believe or do something that I do not. Like the guy a long while back who asserted that I write these because I have a lot of time on my hands. Har. I wish.

    It's a great idea, though, to actually reply to them in a reasoned manner. It's disarming, but still tough going to plunge straight back into prose that misconstrues, or willfully missed, the point of your [re]views.

    Agreed. So thusly I do. Haven't missed a letter yet.

    Certainly your line from Rebecca days, "I had to push myself away from the keyboard after I typed that", springs to mind as I read some of the letters.

    That happens a lot...actually. Surprisingly. It happens even more when you later read what came out of an otherwise addlepated brain and say, "Hey! That might be cool!"

    Pat wrote:

    Neal,

    Love the reviews and look forward to them every week; I just wanted to point out that neither you nor Douglas made any note of two things I found rather awesome in the helicopter scene:

    1) I the homage to my favorite part of Superman, when he catches the heilcopter one handed by its runner

    Didn't catch that. True. Good one.

    2) The flight effects (like in the season 4 pilot) when Clark superjumps; my guess is he is "sort-of-flying" here -- kinda like when he jumps the flight powers are starting to kick in, but he doesn't know it yet. Just a thought.

    I still say it's just a jump. They'd go full bore if he knew how to fly, I have no doubt.

    Other than that I completely agree with your entire review, and rather enjoyed the format.

    Thanks.

    Zach wrote:
    Hey Neal,

    I just wanted to start out by saying I've only become a fan of Smallville for about a year or two. Sure I heard about the show when in 2000, but I thought the WB would somehow find a way to destroy the image of the man of steel so that it could accustomed to more recent times. So after having missed about three seasons and having nothing to do, I finally sat down and watched an old rerun of season one, and was impressed. To make up for lost time I quickly went out and bought the other three seasons and soon realized my greatest fears had come true, the show had strayed from the storyline. I found myself wondering what on Krypton is going on with the introduction of the 'cave' (which seemed to me something like a Fortress of Solitude), Pete Ross moving away (don't know how he's going to marry Lana now), and more recently the whole witch crap with Lana and the whole "you must find the stones which contain ultimate power."

    I agree. They've very much strayed in favor of pet goofy drama.

    Sure the thing where kid's got powers from Kryptonite, misused them, and got beat up with about seven minutes of air time left was cool, but I don't recall any stones, Kryptonian magic, visits from past Kryptonians on earth, and Lana having a French/Asian witch ancestor that liked to turn parties into chaos in a barn because she was a slut. The entire thing just screams rewrite, or at least a requirement issued by DC comics stating that if anyone wants to write a television series on one of our characters, most notably our greatest one, that all writers, directors, actors, producers, editors, make-up artists, effects department, and anyone else involved actually READ THE COMICS before you go and screw up almost every aspect of the world's greatest hero for the next generation. Okay, that's really harsh saying that they've screwed up every aspect, but it gets the point across.

    I tend not to think that they've totally screwed it up. The basics are really very much there and fun. The problem being, when they stray, they really stray, and they never seem to try and get to the point, just do the same thing in perpetuity.

    I'm sorry to say that my fate with the show is already starting to fade. It saddens me to see all of the mistakes they've made (like mountains in Kansas, common there's most likely an Atlas right at your finger tips if you didn't already know that the state was flat) and the whole lets add sex into the show for about four episodes in a row right after we managed to convince most people that this season isn't going to be a total bust. I feel like going to Vancouver and... have a little chat with the writers.

    They're actually in Cali. I had that set up once in season three, but they never called me with the times.

    It just killed me to see Clark and Lana have intercourse, not only did it go against Clark's moral character (yes I know he did the same thing with Lois in Superman 2, which I also didn't like) but it also made for a very weird and awkward High School Reunion where Pete (if they ever bring him back, THEY'D BETTER) meets his best friend from outer space that is far superior to him and has slept with his future wife... and Clark then asks him how has he been doing with his life. You probably see what I'm saying, they just didn't need that to happen. Also a note I'd like to make, WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO LANA? First a witch, then a vampire, and next she's Wolfgirl. They have plenty of other characters to experiment with, which is bad experimentation, why not experiment with Chloe (who seems to disappear somewhere along the movies and comic and cartoons...). Why even Vampires?!

    To capitalize on the Buffy audience, I believe.

    I know it's Halloween but it's still no excuse to make a crappy story, not to mention the part where the lesbian vampires weren't that of Count Dracula, but of Kryptonite infected bats... but bats don't have immortality, Kryptonite infected or not, so wouldn't this be more myth than modern day, and how did Lana know how to activate the heat vision, which still doesn't make sense how she got the powers in the warped mind's of the writers? Clark only activated his powers by thinking of first (eyes roll) sex, which would be kinda weird for Lana to be thinking while drinking Clark's blood and staring down BUFFY THE VAMPIRE (nasty if I do say so), not to mention how she did an insta Death Star fry on Buffy.

    I have no answers for the whys of that one.

    And of course the brilliant writer's up in Vancouver had to thrown in some amnesia for drama... please just let Clark tell Lana his secret and save US all from having to witness poorly written drama. Quick question though, why do people in Smallville talk with their backs turned to someone... are they begging to get shot, It really isn't that hard for someone of Lex LuthOR's caliber to turn around and make eye contact with someone without ANGERissing them off.

    At this point, I walk five paces away, turn my back and say, "I don't know, but I do know that they've been doing it a lot."

    Point of Mine, the show just doesn't make sense in many ways. I can't say I don't like the show though, the race scenes and flying (God please let Clark learn how to fly before the show gets cancelled) are what I look for, and the appearance of Brainiac keeps me coming back for more.

    Likewise.

    So I'll still watch Smallville and be waiting for the Brainiac fight, a hopeful visit from another JLA member (maybe young Bruce Wayne, would make show interesting though he hasn't finished training), and possibly another future bad guy like Bizzaro, Doomsday, Darkseid, Zod, etc. Sorry for writting you a huge email of complaints, just haven't had a chance to write yet is all. Love your reviews, painstakingly hilarious.

    No problem. You're speaking for other folks as well. Glad I can make you laugh.

    TRA wrote:

    Neal, have you ever read any of Hope's reviews over at the Smallvile News website?

    Any? I've read them all. She's great.

    She is a budding screenwriter, who actually mentioned you in one of her reviews, which is how I got hooked. Sadly, she has taken a leave from the website this year, and even with the entertainment you provide, I miss her.

    And I as well.

    The reason I bring this up is because she commented last season on the number of needless shower scenes, etc. being brought up in Smallville. She blamed the "trend" on the WB's new executive Ancier and actually called anything of the kind (nudity, etc. for no apparent reason) "Ancier droppings." If her theory is correct, the "Ancier droppings" just continue to increase. (By the way, you were mentioned in her review of "Scare" last season. Take a look if you get the chance).

    Agreed, and done...

    Do you know why Smallville has started providing summaries half way through the show now? It's because, according to the polls, the people who watch "Everybody Hates Chris" do not stick around to watch the show that follows. Instead, quite a number tune in to watch the second half of Smallville. The WB wants ratings, thus summaries. Speaking of which, Smallville passed up "Everybody Hates Chris" in the ratings with the "Thirst" episode. That's just sad. Good ratings for an episode like that just lead to more "Ancier droppings."

    I don't mind high ratings for either show. As for the summaries, I know WHY they're there, for sure. What gets me is that they actually pander to a group of people who don't care enough about the story to watch half of it. It's like those Marvel summary. Yeah, okay, so I picked up Ultimate Spider-Man late and I need to know what's going on. So we WASTE a whole page catching up morons, a page that could be story, when the morons could just buy the trade or the back issues?

    It's corporate greed, is all. More viewers, more readers, at the expense of story time.

    As to "Exposed", I just want to tell the writers to watch "To Kill a Mockingbird" or some Gary Cooper movies and get an idea of how heroes behave! I immediately thought of you during this episode because Lex is written so clearly as the hero. I can't decide if the writers don't know how to write good people or if they think we'll forgive the out-of-character behavior because ultimately Lex is *bad* and Clark is *good.* It's getting harder and harder for me to look the other way, especially when the writers have Lex telling Clark the story of David in the Bible! Although I could listen to Rosenbaum talk about anything, I found that offensive. The point seems to be that good people do nothing but lecture and accuse their friends, while the evil not only forgive and forget but can find the references in Bible as a basis for it. I agree with your opinions related to Clark's midwestern upbringing and I simply can't buy that CLark doesn't know the story of David. I hate when they write Clark so badly: Lex LuthER, superhero.

    The intention is to make Lex's evil questionable and perhaps relatable, I understand that. But to swing the pendulum so far and to make Clark the constant butthead, that seems to be the problem with me. Clark is not the clear hero, the moral arbiter he should be.

    On a more positive note, the scene in the gentlemen's club actually reminded me of the first episode of Lois & Clark. Did you ever watch that show? Lois and Clark are competing for a story and they both go undercover at some dockside nightclub. Clark walks in wearing the most horrible disguise; the beard is so fake and he's in, what you say? A sailor outfit! He sits down, kind of uncomfortable, but a bit smug too, until Lois comes on stage. She has been hired as the nightclub singer. Clark's jaw drops because, not only is she (Terri Hatcher) drop-dead gorgeous, but she can sing. For some reason, that scene came to mind during the Gentlemen's club scene so that I actually enjoyed it more. Just wondered if anyone else caught the similarities?

    I haven't seen that since the premiere itself. I want the box set bad, but I'm just short of cash for anything lately.

    One final note. In my comments last week, I also was not blaming Lana but the writers. The point seems to be, that once the writers decided to allow the CLANA "consummation", they decided to resolve the issue by ignoring Lana (she wasn't even in "Exposed!) or by turning her into a Vampire with the most inane dialog ever. Of course, they put themselves in that position by giving Clark and Lana's relationship little to no foundation. So, once the "longing" was satisfied, nothing was left. Now they've shipped her off to Metropolis and probably plan to continue to ignore the issue, except for occasional comments from Lois. I'm not a Lana fan, but once again, an opportunity for these characters to grow and learn has been lost, with the writers creating negative side-effects for those who engage in sex, ignoring the fact that they are exploiting it on the show. Immediate gratification followed by ... nothing. Any point that was trying to be made, if there was one, seems to have been lost along with what was left of Lana's character.

    I agree.

    Shafi S wrote:
    Hi Neal,

    Thanks again for posting my quote.

    No problem!

    Well, watching Lois pole dancing just reminds me that in the season 5 dvd we might have a feature that has Erica the person playing Lois show everyone how she did it or how we can learn *cough*.

    Sorry I just wanted to get that out of my chest.

    And off of hers. ZING!

    In any case on having future heroes. Well its going to be fun having good ole batman kicking the crap out of clark by finding some k stuff. But thats me. But wait if Bats comes to smallville hes either going to look around say this is a crap town and go back to which he came.

    Or, in my opinion, say, "How does this aid the mission?" and realize that it's just a Podunk town and leave.

    Or meet Clark for the first time and punch him for being such an idiot towards stuff. I think its just me.

    Well having wonder woman wouldn't be that bad because she will punch Clark. Why because hes always paying attention to camera huggin Lana.

    Also, even though Erica does play a good Lois. I don't find her appealing as the other loises. She just doesn't stand out on female stuff. Also I think the best lois was (please don't laugh) the one from the superman animated series. I think it was just me.

    I think she looks and acts more like the UR Lois in my head than any actress yet, personally. I just think she's an anachronism.

    On the girls on the show well they are all pretty. But the writers are NOT *cough*.

    P.S I find it funny that DC wrote a letter to you that was funny and your comment was even funnier. Thanks again Neal for reading.

    Heh. You gotta take criticism with a grain of salt. Besides, I don't think that was really DC...heh.

    Shafi S

    stina wrote:
    Hey Neil...just wanted to correct something you posted in your "Exposed" review:

    But first, I get to correct the spelling of my name! Mwu ha ha ha! It's NeAl.

    You stated: "If you'll note, as a reader pointed out to me last week, Lois, Erica Durance, is in the credits BEFORE Chloe. She's been billed AHEAD of Chloe. Her character has no real motivation to be in the show, really, and yet she's taking a solid front to Chloe. She's taking her place."

    The order of the cast in the opening credits, since since season 1, has always been The Big Three (Welling, Kruek, Rosenbaum), then the younger actors alphabetically, then the older actors alphabetically. If you look at every season's opening credits, you'll notice this to be the case. Allison is billed after Erica because her last name begins with an M. Allison also got billed after Sam Jones, Eric Johnson and Jensen Ackles as well.

    I'm one of the biggest Allison Mack fans out there, but this isn't a slight against the actress. It's the way SV has always done their opening credits. I also got this confirmed by someone close to the show as well. They LOVE Allison and Chloe over there, and her storylines this season show that.

    Mayhap you are correct about the ABC order. My suggestion would then be to change that to more appropriately reflect the character relations in the show. They may very well love Allison and Chloe, and this season is certainly showing they're not letting her go, as they did with Pete, but they're certainly upstaging her with Lois, and that isn't aided by putting her ahead in billing, even if it is in ABC order.

    And hey! Tell that person close to the show to have some of the show folk contact me. Might clear up a lot of messes with regards to how I look at things. If they keep the critical media at arm's length, how am I supposed to become a bought out shill? But anyway, joking aside, if they keep us at arm's length, how are we supposed to know their intentions or directions? Heck, even so much as a preview copy one week ahead of time would help me resolve a lot of complaints and strangeness, and I'd gladly sign non-disclosure.

    I know for a FACT that other media sources get scripts, preview copies...ask that person what gives? I've given this show and this character over 350 reviews now, and I can't even get the stinking comics comped.

    Graywolf76 wrote:

    Neal,

    Dude I love the reviews! Highlight of my week (even if the episode sucks)! The whole Star Trek riff was great! As one Trekkie to another I say Bravo, mon capitane!

    Thankee. Truth be told though, I'm not an incredible Trekkie. I just pay attention to little details and google a lot. My best friend, HE is a Trekkie. I'm a total Warsie.

    Anyway to business (if u can call it that)

    I changed the name, but the suit's the same.

    I honestly considered not watching Smallville this season. I was going to skip and go with Alias (J. Garner, AWOOGA!).

    I tend to wonder what I'd do if I weren't reviewing it. I think I would have dropped Supes in 2002-3 and Smallville in Season 4. But then, I'd have missed a lot of good stuff, so I'm glad I didn't.

    But then i found out Brainiac would be on the show...and my jaw dropped to the ground. Clank!

    That's what happens when Clark has a conversation with a Sherman.

    Get it? Clank? Never mind. I give.

    If there's one thing that's for sure about me, I am a sucker for a good villain and Brainiac is one of my favorite Superman adversaries (right up there with Lex and Darkseid). The plot can be thin, the girl can be not so hot, but if the villain's good, I walk away loving it, wether it be a movie, TV show, or whatever.

    Likewise. Now, if it's only really Brainiac...

    Anyway, I loved the premiere great reference to the movies, I thought.

    "Mortal" I thought was pretty good since we had super villains instead of super freaks.

    With you.

    "Hidden" I thought sucked aside from the scene with Clark and...do we call him Lion-El now that he is Jor-El's host? Whatever, that was cool in an ironic kind of way. Finally get to see Jor-El acting like a father. Then he disappears again. Argh.

    Some problems there.

    "Aqua" was cool. Brought in Aquaman and Brainiac as a professor. Makes sense. Jor-El's trying to educate Clark, so Brainiac does the same thing, in a kind of God vs Devil kind of way. God tries to show man the right path, the devil tries to distort it and lead man astray.

    Better than average.

    "Thirst" I watched only b/c i knew Brainiac would be there. The scenes between him and Lex rocked, with Lex coming to realize he's up against and evil greater than him.

    That was all I liked about it.

    "Exposed" was one of the dumbest and pointless episodes in the show's history. Granted watching Erica Durance in a bikini made my eyes pop out of my head (hey, I'm a male sue me!), but aside from that it was pretty dumb.

    Yes.

    Anyway, this season's had its ups and downs. Next week new Kryptonite that makes Clark go nuts, since Red K already does something else to him.

    One more thing before I go. I found a place in Smallville's ancient history where someone pronounces LuthOR correctly, and I'll think you'll like it cause it's from one of your favorite episodes.

    When Lex frist meets Cassandra Carver in "Hourglass" and he tells her his name she says "of LuthOR everything incorporated?" And i think that's the last time it's pronounced correctly till Brainiac.

    Even by Rosenbaum. Heh.

    Anyway, that's all. Farewell, have fun reveiwing and making us laugh. And may Brainiac kick Clark's @$$.

    Always,

    GW (not the pres)

    As long as there's a Deus Ex to pull him out of it, sure. Kick ahoy.

    Matthew Vann wrote:

    This will be my first time writing in, despite my having read your reviews religiously for the past four years.

    That always puzzles me, the religiously, because I mean, don't religions get paid? Just kidding.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. Though I have disagreed with you on more than one occasion, you've never failed to make your points in such a way that, even if I disagree, I can understand them and the position that you're coming from.

    That's all I can hope for. Thanks.

    You've never failed to make me smile with your reviews, and through the drudgery of season four's shallowness and gimmicks it was your humorous, and at times thought provoking, reviews (and, admittedly, Michael Rosenbaum acting and portrayal of Lex LuthOR) that kept me going.

    Same here, believe it or not. This is not an altruistic practice.

    Now, I'd better stop quickly, before it sounds like I'm sucking up.

    Nah, sucking up would be sending that money. Heh. Or buying the books! Oy, what do I have to do to get people to read my novels? Slit my wrists? Actually, that's pretty much the only thing that works...death. But then, hey. I like life too much. It's funny.

    With that out of the way, on to the main point of my writing in. In your review for "Exposed" you seem to imply that diplomatic immunity doesn't apply to family members. It's not entirely clear, as our poor Klingon friend didn't have a chance to finish his sentence. Spouses and children (under the age of twenty-one) of diplomats do, however, have derivative immunity. A lower level of such immunity covers the actions of those in the employ of diplomats, such as guards and drivers.

    This, of course, doesn't explain why his home country wouldn't revoke his immunity after he, ya' know, MURDERED a couple people. You'd think that it would just be common sense to let the American judicial system have him. But no, it's "Oh, lets take the pervert/murderer/rapist/kidnapper/slave owner back to our country. We really need more of that kind of jolly fellow, and just think of the GREAT things they'll say about us in the news after we let the pervert/murderer/rapist/kidnapper/slave owner get away with, well, perversion, murder, rape, kidnapping and slave owning."

    Good call.

    On to something from last week. Lana is now studying Astronomy, and is far away from Smallville and Clark. I just hope that means, as it did this week, that we won't be seeing much of her, if anything at all, now. Yeah right, that's sure to happen. I must admit, though, her academic choices, or the portrayal of them, anger me. How is it that she could have blown town to head to an ART school in Paris, transferred back to Smallville high mid-term, never express any interest in Astronomy, not even mention it, register weeks (?) late for courses and still get into Metropolis University?

    Face it. Lana's amazing.

    With all the transfers, how did she even graduate high school, never mind with "excellent grades and not one tardy". It would have made much more sense if she had been forced to repeat her last year of high school, or something to that effect.

    Or at least played lip service to her struggles.

    Of course, if that had happened, she wouldn't have left Smallville for Metropolis. I'd best shut up and count my blessings.

    Come to think of it, wasn't she the girl who was just supposed to stay at home and be small town? Can't believe I missed that.

    And there goes the last nugget of knowledge or insight(Ha!) I have. Pretty light compared to some of the stuff you get, eh.

    Eh, I just trained my mind to it.

    Best wishes.

    Likewise.

    P.S How is it that seeing the misuse of *they're* *there* and *their* doesn't make you want to wig out like a Freak of the Weak and murder people? I mean, I've murdered people for less, like the confusing of *your* and *you're* .

    Well, I used to get really annoyed with it. But the reality is that it's 99 out of 100 letters that aren't even proofed in that sense.

    I get angry at the teachers of America, to be honest, for not having the courage to tell a kid when he's dumb. We want to pin medals on kids who are perpetual grammatical screwups and idiots, and yet we suppress and oppress any kids who think outside of the goosestep. It's one of the reasons I gave up on being a teacher, though I took most of the necessary training. Teachers are not given free reign to teach, only license to applaud mediocrity or whatever else appeases the parents and leads toward a job as opposed to independent thinking.

    Just so you know, it wasn't my fault. Kryptonite made me do it.

    That's their line too, no doubt. ;)

    Parker wrote:

    Huh. Odd review this week. Still good though.

    Thank you. It was fun to write, even though it took twice as long as usual.

    Anyway, the first thing I noticed about this episode was that it was very badly directed. Most of my student films were shot a lot better than this. My basis for this is that in my student films, when someone started walking or driving, you could tell where they were going. At the beginning of this episode, I had no idea which direction the guy was driving in relation to Chloe and Lois. It looked like he was going to hit them, and then he didn't, but I couldn't tell if he swerved or if he wasn't pointed at them to begin with.

    I saw that too. Made my notes disjointed because something felt off but I couldn't put my finger on it.

    When Clark jumped onto the helicopter, they didn't really show the jump. He was just running and then it showed him attach the hook and fall down.

    That's budget, there, I'd guess.

    Also, a stun gun doesn't just knock a person out. She would be both paralysed and extremely disoriented. Certainly not fit for beating up several people in a wobbling helicopter.

    Not that I've ever stunned someone for fun or been party to people who have (COUGH), but it also makes you wet yourself sometimes.

    Still, I thought this was a pretty good episode. It reminded me of "Lois and Clark:TNAOS", there were some classic Clark moments(Coke on the rocks),I liked Jenning's explination for climbing in the window, and they tried to play Lois' strip-tease for laughs rather than pure skin.

    I agree. The stripping was handled better than it could have been. It was still there, though, and it still didn't need to be.

    All this, plus the fact that Lana wasn't in it at ALL makes it my second favourite of the season after Mortal.

    THAT was fun. I'll give you that.

    W i l l o w wrote:

    Neal, hello:

    Greetings!

    THIRST:

    Lemmie start off by saying, I hated this episode with such passion I wish I could record over it without having to hear it in the background of the TV show I have recorded it over with.

    That's why I love downloa-er, DVR. You can just delete it.

    Whew, I keep that secret better than Clark, don't I now?

    Honestly, I think I've gone numb in the mind from expecting SMALLVILLE to improve or retrieve itself from the stumble it had on via Season Four. Alas, it is not so. Did I not tell you not to enter that "Chasam of Doom?" (Sorry I had a L.O.T.R. moment there).

    YOU'VE TURNED THE BALROG AGAINST ME!

    I mean honestly, I don't know how many times I found myself cheering when Lana was killed - or how many times I wept mentally she came back to life (would the Lesbian kiss count as Lana dying since she did after all gett "bitten" in the sense of the word by a - oh, I dunno, a VAMPIRE wannabe?). I swear They borderlined on the name "BUFFY SUMMERS" and the half of the title "BUFFY THE VAMPIRE . . . ." so much, I wouldn't be surprised if Joss Whedon decided to sue their asses for infringement of copyright. I would laugh at it on the local news and COURT TV. I mean, I honestly, I really didn't understand any of it.

    The funny thing is, even if they did pass it off as Buffy Summers, it's protected parody, provided it's meant in humor, which this show obviously was. Thing is, they changed it, I'm sure, because at one time it was supposed to be serious drama, or because some actually consider it that.

    I kept the volume down through most of the show with the caption on. There were so many problems with this episode; Like Chole's entry to the DAILY PLANET (er, why isn't Lois applying?) and then her story. Now I would've probably accepted this so-called story, if they had decided to make it a piece of fiction actual "fiction" instead of "this actually happened in this episode and Chole is somehow telling it from all characters points of the story." And then her assumption that Lana was a VAMPIRE because she shied away from the "light" and slept in "late" and etc., was S-T-U-P-I-D.

    An illogical conclusion from slight evidence stupid? Darn it. That must mean that the mailman isn't behind the squeaking on my porch just because I heard him make it squeak. CURSES!

    I mean, KUDOS to the producers gave Allison Mack more screen time, but did they had to utilize her screen time such a way? I mean, ugh, don't make me barf my dinner. I kept Wishing NEMESIS would rise from the shadows and pump Dead-Lana full of inch long bullets from his submachine gun. But aside from this, how is it that KRYPTONITE cured Lana from "death" since she was a vampire? I mean, she was dead wasn't she? Substance pluz. Clark is still barging into Lex's Mansion grounds - every time, the guards are on Lunch break and never seem to notice him leaving. The good part of this episode is James Marsters. He continues to supply the acting that should be on this show.

    Agreed.

    EXPOSED:

    Please don't do that "STAR TREK SCRIPT" thingy again, I was utterly confused by what you were tryin' to say amongst all the speakings at once. Warf was funny though.

    Actually, I can't. Steve actually sent hitmen for making him format that beast. I still think it was a lot of fun, though. I'm one of those guys that says, "If you're confused, but it's still coherent, it's not my fault." I'm hardlined that way, like when people say, "I don't read your review because it's too long!" I have very little pity. Patience and looking at complexity is a good thing. I could easily, right now, drop Journey to the End of Night because it's confusing and it's heady and it's LOOOOOONG, but if I've learned anything from Dostoevsky, it's that if you can pick through the arduous and find the inner message, you're gonna have a good time.

    And Star Trek is nary Dostoevsky. Nor am I. I don't plan to convert or gamble to extremes. And I laugh more. And I'm American. And, well, I'm just nothing like Dostoevsky.

    I was totally confused throughout this entire episode. I mean, yay, Jonathan's not AWOL, but for some reason Martha and Krypto are still on the AWOL CRUISE VIA-CATION. Clark is still barging through Lex's Mansion grounds (Lex should fire his security before Elektra stops by and pays him a visit) and acting like they're still friends on some level - of course Lex sets him straight, but seems to gladly accept Clark's sudden friendliness nonetheless. I mean what was this episode about in all reality? An Underage Stripper mystery, A girl being run over by a mysterious person in whom is suspected of being the RUSSIAN-Sterostype guy, or the every constant "Bloated looking", balding, Duke Luke being accused of being involved with the murder of an underaged Stripper girl and the stripper club itself?

    Yep. That's about it. Alas.

    I mean, my head was hurting trying to figure out what the heck was going on throughout 40/41 minutes. I mean, the whole stripper-LOIS thing was dumb, and if they were gonna use an AMERICAN-THEMED stripper thing, they could've used Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" or "Voodo Child", somethin' with substance that isn't the PUSSYCAT DOLLS (why are there that many women in that girl group when only 1 is singing?)!

    I'll give you a hint. It's because they're manufactured record-company tripe.

    You want a good girl group? Get yourself some DANCE HALL CRASHERS. Though it's hard to strip to.

    If I could have picked the song, I would probably have picked "I am Superman", right at the part where he goes "I can see right through you.". But I'm a cad.

    And why did the lady cop let Lois knee that man? Wouldn't she have gotten arrested for touching somebody with such a status?

    That I bought. I know if I were a cop, I'd be looking the other way.

    Clark didn't do a blesed thing in this episode besides strut around in his Red T-shirt and Black Tux! "The Dukes of Hazzard" qoutas (or whatever) like Sliding into the car window instead of opening the door, the "underneath the car" shots, and Duke himself was just corny. I mean its like the Writers got attacked by Uncle Jessie's ghost and were forced to write that stuff or face being cursed. I hope next weeks episode is better, it didn't give much of an explanation as to what it was about though. Why is Lois still on the show? Why is she moving into Lana's former apparentment instead of moving back to Metropolis with Chole? Whah, I digress. Adios.

    No idea, actually. I'm with you. Later!

    (SORRY FOR ANY ERRORS).

    That's not my burden...but thank you. :) I've learned not to care.

    'lex wrote:

    Dear Neal, I've been reading your reviews for a long time now.

    Thank you.

    Some things to consider. Are you capable of having a none sarcastic objective review?

    Not really. I'm a sarcastic guy. And besides, there's no such thing as an objective review. We don't rate shows on our truths of them, we rate them on our impressions of them. Objectivity is based in factuality. That's why news can be objective, but editorials can't be. Problem there being, most news is a disguised editorial. It's a tough nut to crack.

    Do you always have to "spice things up"? I guess you can't, I should know that b/c like I said, I've been reading your work for years.

    I don't actually spice it up, believe it or not. That's just how I write. I tend not to put on airs, I just shoot out what's really on my mind in the manner with which I'm most accustomed. I spice things up in my novels, but even then, I bust up convention with a baseball bat so bad that publishers think I have butt taint.

    Another thing, you don't Lois Lane. We get it.

    I don't what Lois Lane? If you mean don't like her, I do like her. If you mean I don't like her on the show, that's correct.

    We really, really do get it. You complaining about her every single week isn't going to make her go away.

    Same with the freaks, same with Clark lying, same with the lack of character progression. I know. I also write articles decrying the injustices of the world on my personal web site, and I know full well that it won't make injustice go away. Doesn't mean it's not a good idea to do my best to change things anyway.

    You do realize this, don't you?

    Very much so.

    You also probably realize...that there are Lois Lane fans out there. The numbers keep growing, now that Erica has been added to the cast.

    And rightly. She's an incredible character, and Erica plays her well. My beef has never been with Lois. I love Lois. My beef is that she doesn't really have much of a purpose in Smallville besides T and A.

    Neal, face it. Lana and Chloe are the past, Lois is the future.

    That's my whole point, right there. Lana and Chloe and Clark's past. Lois is his future. He's not at his future yet, ergo Lois is anachronistic.

    You always make a point that Lois doesn't belong on SV...well what about Lana? Does she belong? In the mythos Lana and Clark are over after High School, yet the show found a way to keep her around, hell they even make Clark/Lana a couple. Will you say something about that?

    Sure. At the end of the fourth season, Clark should have left for his travels and studied the world, leaving Smallville behind. That's how I would have handled it. It's risky, but it's also an incredibly cool concept no one has ever explored, really. I might do a comic about it some day, if I'm allowed.

    I doubt it, you're too focused on telling us how much you dislike Lois Lane.

    Read the above, then tell me that. :)

    Neal, I don't think that Erica went to the producers and said "Hey, you know what, take advantage of the fact that I have the best body on the set".

    Nor did I accuse her of doing so. And actually, I don't even know that they're doing it consciously. Nonetheless, it is being done.

    All she can do,is follow the script.

    I don't blame her. I don't blame Kristin for her character being all muddled.

    I guess that's too much for your brain to comprehend.

    Uh, okay. If it were, wouldn't I be at the hospital right now instead of addressing your baseless and uncalled for insult?

    I guess that's it. You keep up "the great job", and meantime I'm glad that this website has finally found someone else to "stop the madness". Yes, I'm talking about Douglas Trumble. His reviews might not drip with sarcasm and borderline insulting humor, but they are accurate! Thank God for that.

    I like Doug's review too. I'm glad you enjoy it.

    How is my humor insulting though? I'm curious.

    I also get a kick out of the idea of the website autonomously going out there and finding someone to stop the madness. It's a lot like Superman 3, you know, with the giant robot. Steve just got sucked in by the website, and now he's all coming out as robo-Steve looking for Douglas, but he just shot Barry up onto the wall with that machine telekinesis and Felix is trying to pull him down with a stick, and I'm all eating the screw on the inside 'cause I replaced the magical HTML with tar.

    Okay. Maybe that's sarcastic. I'll give you that one.

    PS. This isn't the last you'll hear from me.

    'lex

    That's perfectly fine. I actually enjoyed the letter, and I look forward to the next one. That's honest. Thank you.

    Jules Brice wrote:

    you were right about everything.

    I'm gonna get a big head if you say stuff like that! I want a great big body, and a small head. David Byrne style.

    All I can say is (after a self-punishment sort of...) Aqua was WAY better and (after loathing myself for watching...) Thirst was better in some (imaginary... Chloe is omniscient...) ways...

    OY VEY (And I'm not versed in yiddish).

    Nor am I, but I do read Ultimate Spider-Man. Ha-ho!

    Yes, Chloe can do the role of Lois (nowadays), but Chloe was written off for much of the past seasons... I guess in a redeeming sort of way I like to see more of Chloe, even if she's getting the dregs of the cup handed to her. She's better off that Pete in a way, but... OY VEY.

    Agreed.

    MY KIND OF SPOILER WARNING !!!!

    I guess she's the one that gets the life force taken away by Jor-El... only to be osmosed (is that a word? I don't really copy this into a text editor and check grammar and spelling) INTO Lois and the process wipes out Chloe's and Lois' memories.

    MY KIND OF SPOILER WARNING ENDS !!!!

    I wonder...it seems too easy to me. Too pat.

    I...

    ME...

    YOU...

    DaRNed sweeps...

    Yes.

    THEY (TPTB [DaRN you Al & Miles])...

    What has this become?????

    It's a giant robot. It just shot Barry up on the wall, and now it's coming for me. I need acid and heat vision, STAT.

    I remember reading Hawaii by James Albert Michener and being confused by the final chapter where Politics became OMNIPRESENT and OMNISCIENT to everything, before understanding it was a sort of redemption of the things the writer believes, and that which history (which shouldn't be misconstrued as HIStory {Hi , TPTB]) eventually holds true for the writer, much to the chagrin of actual people living in the novel's timeframe...

    Michener is just...oy, the man tries too hard. Though I really did like The Source. He's like what Umberto Eco would be if he took steroids and never had any fun. Informative, yes, but where is the current relevance Eco has?

    The same plot device is used here, we know what the outcome is, so we'll look over the fact that the main characters are unknown and give the eventual characters more... more presence in lieu of the story which history at large holds... thretofore Erica must (MUST mind you) have a greater part than Chloe [We'll use the Chloe character as a plot device, which is better than Pete got... RE: TPTB], plus, Erica is a lot more titillating than Allison (which is not necessarily true in my book, BTW I would LOVE to take Ms. Mack out to an evening here in Costa Rica if I could afford it).

    Never mind Costa Rica. She can name the place and time.

    In short, if you look at sweeps this season from a skewed (and very misconstrued) point of view where Lois and Chloe are one and the same eventually, I could buy the last two episodes... HOWEVER...

    I still hold with my point of view that things should fall into place when they are presented, namely, Chloe is Superboy's best friend, she should be doing the pole dance (poll, said Doug), nevermind that she doesn't look as hot as Lois, it'll work better for the story if you have the young reportress (another one that begs the question whether (?) [DaRN me for not recalling my spelling bee lessons] or not it's a word) seeking a story to get her out of the basement.

    I refuse to DaRN you for it. I tend to think nobody on that show, even if they could swing it, have a reason to really be on a pole. Or a poll.

    I'm making this one long, ain't I? never meant to, I was only gonna write "OY VEY" with regard to the last couple of shows.

    I know the disease. Trust me.

    Anyway, with regards to the show at large I think I see where they're going with it. Even if I HAVE to watch it illegally because I don't get the show on thursdays, I believe they're planning to breeze through sweeps for laughs and suspension of disbelief (TM MR. Bailey) and then come back with something that'll make people say "hey, after the stuff we've seen lately, that wasn't that bad". Well, I still think it's a cheap shot to the whole idea of Superman and his origins, but, what the he**, I don't plan to get rich off of someone else's idea. I just hope they don't kill off Allison Mack's character in a screwed up sort of way (sigh).

    Illegal downloading!? Don't you watch the beginning of DVDs? You wouldn't punch a baby! You wouldn't slap a nun! So why, how dare you, would you, could you, in a train, STEAL A TV SHOW! I mean, just because you watch it on TV MOST of the time and buy all of the box sets doesn't mean you can...oooh! I'm gonna call the FCC! Right after I finish the Flash run. The Flash run I just...uh...bought so that I can understand and better finance Geoff's future work.

    Neal, if you're ever in Costa Rica and I have some of my present responsibilities off my back, I'd like to show you around the place. Still haven't got through your site (especially now that it says: "error 403") but I'm willing to read your stuff through and through.

    That error is now fixed. I am now proudly on the same server as Steve, it just had a few bumps.

    I'd love to visit Costa Rica. Problem being, I need a ton more people to buy my novels before I can even afford non-generic top ramen. They don't call it sacrifice for nothing, and unless writing and reading suddenly become one whole heck of a lot more popular than Erica Durance on the pole, I may never get out of this state, much less to New York and then on to Rica...

    But would that it were, and thank you.

    Regards

    "The Die-Hards are tough to find and tougher to lose" Jules

    Yes. And likewise.

    P.S. ...and "...in a handful of people, only some want to fly, isn't that crazy?"

    Yes.

    P.P.S. Sorry, just wanted to add something to my MSN nick

    P.P.P.S. I will buy your stuff as soon as I can get my Credit Card straightened out, honest, probably in december, though (oops, maybe that one shouldn't go on the reviews page, I'll understand if you don't post after "Regards")

    If you buy anything of mine, you will be the first person since October 18th, and one of few to read my novel Madly.

    Though to you readers out there, I now have copies in my possession I can sign, perform rituals over, whatever, at a cheaper price, if you want me to send you one.

    Also, coming soon, three comic books. I finally managed to get some good, faithful, talented pencillers.

    J

    Dave wrote:

    Hey Neal

    I found your last review amusing. I was a huge Star Trek TNG fan. I had a couple of points I wanted to make.

    Cool. Engage.

    It's getting to the point where most of the relationships in Smallville don't make any sense anymore, unless you totally ignore everyhing that's happened in prior seasons. I'll give you a list

    Getting? Heh.

    Lana and Clark

    If I had a girl treat me the way Lana treated Clark throughout season three, I would probably have stopped talking to her long ago. If Season 3 Lana wasn't enough, then Season 4 Lana would have finished me off. And I was quite the rug matte back in High School. Lana goes from hating Clark through most of Season 4, to suddenly loving him.

    My perspective exactly.

    Clark and Lex

    If I were to get in a physical fist fight with one of my friends, that friendship would be over. Clark shouldn't be able to just waltz up to Clark mansion without warning. They shouldn't be able to have a nice cozy conversation, about Hero worship, which is what happened in the last episode. If someone punches me in the face, I stop all the help that I used to give him. And The whole reason that fight happened is that Clark thought Lex put his family in jeopardy to just to satisfy his own curiosity. How do you forgive someone for that enough to be a civil? And could the writers please decide whether they want Lex to be good or bad at this point? Show some consistency in the writing of this charrecter. That would be pretty nice.

    You know, I had my best friend do something naughty with my girlfriend at the time, and we're still friends. That stuff happens. What it needs, though, is a transition. There was three months there where he wouldn't let me borrow the Luthor yacht and I wouldn't give him my secret Kryptonite antidote for audacity.

    Jonathan and Lex

    The only reason that Jonathan is still living on that farm, is because Lex has bailed them out time and time again. Even helping to get the money, to rebuild their home after the meteor shower. In fact doesn't Lex own the deed to their farm? I think all of that entitles Lex to a tiny bit of, oh I don't know, respect, politeness? Or at the very least Jonathan should at the very least fake it. Lest Lex gets the crazy idea to take the farm away, and give it some new tenants.

    Yes.

    My other points concerns Lois. When Clark becomes superman, he has to take on a separate persona. In the movies, he becomes a fumbling, goofus, as Clark Kent. You posed the question how based on Smallville how Lex wouldn't know that Clark is superman. At this point I can't imagine how Lois wouldn't know. Lois has seen Clark without his glasses. She's seen his personality. Won't she question the personality change, when he gets to Metropolis? Or the fact that he's suddenly wearing glasses, or that he looks exactly like Superman without his glasses, or the fact that in Smallville Clark is running around saving everyone, and then suddenly when he's in Metropolis, there's a man wearing funny blue tights, flying around saving people, that looks remarkably like Clark? For that matter, Lois should be having some interest in Journalism about now. It doesn't appear that she has any. At this point in time, they have messed with continuity so much, that the time of Superman, cannot be the one that we have all grown to know. Which would be all right if we were ever going to see how, what THIS superman universe is going to be like. But we never will. The creators have said all along that when the show reaches Metropolis, the show is over. So that is why they can have Lois around, for no particularly good reason, because they will never have to answer the questions, from above.

    He could become the comic Clark, where he is a great journalist and just changes his posture. It's a problem they don't really care about because they'll never have to confront it.

    Anyway that's all I have to say for now.

    Thanks for reading,

    Dave

    Thanks, Dave.

    thebrakeman wrote:

    Neal,

    I sorry to say that I haven't had a chance to watch "Exposed" yet (I have to tape them and watch them later. But I've cheated and browsed thru these reviews.

    Cool!

    The helicopter scene. I understand Clark super-jumps, hooks on a cable to the helicopter, fall back to the ground, then pulls the copter down. Now, what would happen if a normal 200 lbs guy started pulling on a rising cable attached to a helicopter with who knows how many hundreds or thousands of lbs of lift? Yes, the guy would simply start climbing the cable (if his arms weren't hanked out), while the helicopter is barely affected at all.

    Yes.

    Ok, this is Kal-El, so his arms won't be yanked out. But the only way he can keep from being pulled into the air (and simply climbing the cable) is if he can exert more downward force then the upward lift from the helicopter. Not having his feet attached to the ground, he must be exerting this force some other way.

    ISN'T THAT FLYING?!?!??!! If willing your body UP is flying, so it is with willing your body DOWN (or willing to remain grounded even with a huge upward force, like a helicopter).

    Yes. But I purport it's unconscious flying. But also, you have to bear in mind that Clark has consciously had to control his density forever. He weighs a whole BUTTLOAD of pounds, but he can subconsciously will himself to normal human weight, and must do so constantly. So he's always flying, in a sense, by my understanding, only he's working with gravity. Here, he didn't so much fly on his feet as will gravity to be normal.

    I say that whenever this type of thing happens, Clark is flying! The same can be said about the time Lex hit him with the car (cool scene with the hood, radiator, etc. crumpling around Clark in slow motion). To do this, he hunkers down, but he must be exerting a HUGE amount of downforce thru his feet to the ground, to prevent the car from pushing him across the pavement. Essentially, he makes himself heavier!! If he can exert this much downforce (with nothing above him to push against), then he can exert that same force in any direction.

    I believe it's all his will, very much his control.

    Krishna Sharma wrote:
    Neal, your reviews are usually very well written and comedic, but using a Star Trek storyboard to do the review? My GAWD, please understand that being a Trekky-geek does not bode well for your image in everyone's books. Please stick to reviewing episodes normally and not forcing people to put up with such geek-laden nonsense.

    If I did what everyone told me to do, I'd be a doctor and live in LA. I love taking risks, living poor and humble. It's a lot of fun, and I feel it brings me integrity. So I'll politely decline the advice.

    Also, I'm not a Trekkie, I purport. Most of the heady knowledge I got from Google, and in reality, I've only seen the whole of about three seasons and the movies of TNG. I watched Enterprise with my buddy as a buddy thing to do, but I don't own a single Trek toy, I have two of the movies that I own, and I've never even read a Trek comic. It's just what I do well...pop culture references. And Trek is a big one.

    And frankly, I don't care what my image is in everyone's books...that can take their books and shove them. I am I, individual, pure, and DaRNed happy about it.

    It makes me poor, but it's fun. And I believe justified.

    Sorry to be so rude, but I had to be honest.

    No problem.

    This is the first review of yours (this season) wherein I did not bother to finish reading the whole thing. I started reading the Star Trek stuff, got annoyed by it (seeing as how, god forbid, I'm not a Star Trek fan), scrolled down and down and down, noticing that chose to run with the Trekky theme and then angrily wrote this email. Better luck next time.

    P.S. -- I've written you before and you thought that I was a girl. I'm not. I'm a guy. Just wanted to clear the air on that point. Thanks!

    So let me get this straight...you didn't even read it, and yet you're condemning it because it involved Star Trek?

    Imagine if I did what you did here, and stopped reading because it was critical of me. I'd think you were a girl! Is that fair?

    Krishna

    ks@look.ca

    Patrick wrote:

    Enticing-- a vernal episode driven by plausibility, character, and setting with subtly didactic social commentary, introspective ponderings, and inquisitive rhetoric, displaying the verisimilitude of a quality drama enhanced by Clark exhibiting a new-power (superbreath), which he uses to foment a tempest that blows all the trifling, paltry episodes and recent inaneness far, far away.

    Were you watching the same show? Heh. All I saw was an archetypical brummagem meandering of summary fruitless dissipations coupled with a prurient and nonetheless pedantic display of nudity that bordered on facetiousness. And boobies.

    Questions: Why is Clark going to college and/or what does he expect to learn at school when he has at his fingertips the wealth of knowledge amassed by Kryptonian civilization in the Fortress of Solitude? Why does the phone always ring when you're in the bathtub?

    More importantly, why doesn't Clark ever learn or grow from his mistakes? Personally, I got a cordless and I put it next to me on a shelf I keep my book on, because I needed a place to keep the phone when I bathe. Which brings me to the next question. When you're in the bath, and the phone rings, and it's Grandma, what do you do? TELL ME THIS, CLARK!

    SCOTTY V wrote:

    Hey Neal,

    Just wanted to write in quickly to say I loved your STTNG review of "Exposed" this week. I'm a huge fan of TNG and I thought it was a hilarious way of doing a review. I'm sure it was great therapy for you since you hated the episode so much. I couldn't believe you replied to someone that "Thirst" was actually better than this one though. I personally really enjoyed this episode while I watched it. Albeit I didn't catch any of the little things you were talking about, though I do agree Chloe should have called the police, but then so should the girl have.

    I don't remember saying Thirst was better, but I'll take your word for it.

    I would also disagree with you that the nudity was for sweeps and gratuitous. If it is sweeps, then I'm sure the way the nudity was marketed on commercials all week was so that they could try and draw people in. That's what sweeps ploys do. But in the show itself, I didn't feel it was gratuitous or overdone. It was most certainly played for laughs, and since Lois obviously didn't know what she was doing, it wasn't heavy on sexuality either.

    Twas still there. Twas still a ploy.

    It was a clumsy attempt to pass as a dancer and it was funny.

    Agreed. Lois is still a stripper on the show.

    Granted, Lois shouldn't be here and Chloe would be fine as a character on her own but I think in terms of what they've given us, what I mean by that is Lois WITH Chloe, it works. Lois has done many things like this in "undercover" situations in every incarnation there has been. (Other than the films and that wasn't really Lois anyway.)

    Agreed.

    As far as Lois not asking Clark about how he stopped the helicopter I think he played it as it got caught itself and he had nothing to do with it. Sure it might be a coincidence, but Clark could explain after the fact that he and Chloe had been working together to find Lois and that he happened to arrive as the ship wsa taking off.

    Awful convenient...

    I also must disagree with you again on the whole "pulling a chopper out of the air" thing. I'm not sure why my explanation isn't "flying" with you but I'll try again. If you're the Hulk, then you can hold a helicopter to the ground for two reasons: 1)you are immensely strong and 2) yes you way alot. If you're Clark or Superman without flying powers: 1) you're immensely strong and 2) perhaps you're incredibly dense. Though I don't remember super-density being one of Superman's powers. If it were and it's the weight that allows him to hold a chopper, wouldn't he crush anyone he dove on top of? Or fall through the floor of the upstairs in any structure, specifically an old wooden barn floor? I think the Hulk would, especially if he were bounding.

    The hulk would, but that's just because he weighs a lot. Think about it like this. Krypton's gravity and atmosphere is DIABOLICALLY hard to survive in for us. Why? Because the pull of the gravity is intense, and the air has very little oxygen, etc. At least, that's been the explanation of late. This is because the sun is weaker, as I recall (or maybe it's stronger, I forget). Point being, when Kryptonians come to Earth, because there is SO MUCH less gravity, and because there is SO MUCH more oxygen, it'd be like us walking on the moon. This, coupled with the fact that they gain the "field" around their body that allows them to manipulate gravity (hey, it makes as much sense as fire from the eyes) allows them to control their interaction with Earth's gravity. Ergo, Supes is CONSTANTLY flying, only he's willing himself to Earth's gravity. So when he lands, he lands as a human does, normally. It's why when he's knocked senseless he takes a building with him, but when he takes a step, he doesn't cave in the stairs. That's my understanding of it.

    Regardless of that, I say if you are strong enough (stronger than the flight or liftoff power of the chopper) you could hold the helicopter like it were an insect. It could struggle and struggle but your power would just be too great. The same would apply if you were super-dense. But if Byron were super-strong enough so that the chopper couldn't overpower his strength, that would be enough.

    I tend to disagree in the current framework. Outside of it, bombs away.

    Anyway, loved the TNG thing but I think I enjoyed the episode even with a few errors. I actually thought it was real good. No meteor freaks, no glaring continuity errors (we've already established the Lex thing was weird) and I did indeed enjoy seeing Sawyer in her upgraded condition. I don't think she was ignoring murder, I think she was simply telling a few kids that they couldn't and shouldn't be trying to do anything about it.

    Later!

    Scott

    Thanks!

    P.S. - It's funny. I didn't get the idea from the previews that they were re-doing "Fear." I guess it can be seen that way since it appears Clark's greatest fears are happening to him, but it appears to be only Clark. I haven't read any spoilers on it but my guess is that Brainiac is somehow giving Clark mental suggestions and possibly controlling his mind. Showing Clark what he wants to see. This would be on par with what powers Brainiac HAS been known to have through the years and so I'm very excited about it. "Splinter" even hints at the idea that Clark has a Splinter of the Mind. Maybe I'm wrong but that's certainly my guess and Superman in comicdom has definitely had many run-ins with mind control.

    Close to what it was. I meant more that it was extrapolating the idea of Scare, but yeah.

    SCOTTY V wrote:

    Hey there Neal,

    Splinter. Hmmm. It's Thursday night and I just finished watching the episode. First, I have to say that I had high hopes for a Brainiac mind control plot when I saw the preview for this week's show. I read some people's complaints that it appeared the story had already been done in "Fear" but I disagreed. Of course, none of us knew because all we saw was the short trailer. Now that we've seen the show though, we can say what we will. Overall, I thought the idea was an interesting one, though not necessarily executed very well and the continuity was way off, but I think we've come to expect that(gives an unfortunate sigh.)

    Yes. Agreed.

    The show opens with Clark getting a "Splinter" from a piece of silver Kryptonite given to Lana by 'Lex.' Lex later says he never sent it to her and I'm still not sure if the gift from Lex aspect was one of Clark's hallucinations or whether Lex really didn't know anything about it or whether Lex is being devious. After Clark gets stabbed, he runs from Chloe's dorm room and is in a horrific roll over after being run off the road by another truck. How many times has the Kent truck been trashed now only to appear in the next episode unscathed? Though later I guess we're to assume that Clark only hallucinated that he crashed the truck? We don't know why we're to assume this. The show doesn't tell us. Much like it doesn't tell us whether many of the events in the show were real or not. We are expected to guess.

    Agreed. Pounded that nail in my review, too.

    For instance, Chloe makes three trips that are, from narrative gathered over four and a half seasons, at least three hours each. Chloe starts the show in her dorm room at Met U. Let's assume that the school is on the outskirts of Metropolis because many colleges in real life are in themselves mini-towns and therefore are sometimes moved away from the busy city. In assuming this, let's also assume that the school is then on the outskirts closer to Smallville. Then let's further assume, since the show (over four plus seasons) still hasn't really told us the exact distance Metropolis is from Smallville, that this makes Met U even two hours away from Smallville. (This would then make Met U approximately an hour or so away from the main city of Metropolis. I can't say for sure because again, we only know that we are now meant to believe that Metropolis is somewhere between three and five hours from Smallville. Sure it is.)

    Insane, isn't it?

    Anyway, if Chloe traveled to Smallville under the time periods I've listed here that means each trip would take two hours. Based on the first season episode "Nicodemus," we can see Metropolis clearly on the horizon when Lana and Clark sit atop the Smallville windmill. The city is clearly visible and appears to be no more than 45 minutes away. At that time, I thought it was cool and yet it bothered me to learn they'd moved Metropolis from the East Coast to the mid-west. Then at some point, though I can't remember which episode it occurs in, Chloe actually says that Clark decided to take the "Five hour drive to Metropolis." Just with these two examples we have widely different estimations on how close the city would be, but there's continuity and believability for ya.

    Yes. Very much agreed.

    So Chloe, all in the same day, leaves her dorm to surprise delirious Clark,(who's trying to kill his parents) conveniently saving the day at the Kent home in Smallville then she chases after Clark and somehow arrives back at the dorm room to confront Lana about Clark JUST AFTER the guy with super-sonic speed left and she then is back at the Smallville hospital for episode's end. That's at least six hours of driving, based only on the estimates I made up above for one day and we have to assume Chloe DID some things in between. It gets worse.

    You're thinking like me! Here's where I say, "Uh, just enjoy it, dude?" Right? Heh.

    Lana. Lana begins the show in Chloe's dorm room at Met U. She then is so pleased by a worthless chunk of meteor rock that SHOULD mean nothing to her that she takes the "five hour drive" back to Luthor's mansion to thank Lex personally. I'm gonna cut the show a break and say that Lex's mansion is EVEN closer to the Met U location in my theory above. In other words, the Luthor Ancestral home is on the outskirts of Smallville, perhaps 30 to 40 minutes form the Kent farm. Met U is an hour or so away from the main part of Metropolis city, which is (by my made up estimates above) three hours from the heart of Smallville. (let's assume that's the Kent farm) This means, at the very best, that Lana is taking an eighty minute drive to tell Lex, whom she has attacked verbally in at least 4 of the last 5 episodes, "I got a rock" and I'm soooo happy about it.

    And whine at him about it.

    Lana drives the very generous hour and twenty minutes to the Luthor home to say thanks to a guy she doesn't even like who gave her a worthless piece of rock. Then, after thanking Lex (who she doesn't like) and then accusing him of some ulterior motives and guilting him into showing her the Kryptonian ship, Lana simply leaves to go back to her dorm. Why does Lana do this? We can't possibly assume any further for this one episode can we? Sure we can. Let's assume Lana does care about the worthless rock. Let's then assume that Lex could possibly have any reason to reveal the ship to Lana. Now let's assume that Lana, who WOULD have a care about the ship, although she is of no value in opening it or studying it to Lex, would simply have a small argument with our young supervillan and then leave. We have to assume this. Then we have to assume some plausible reason why Lana, who could have just called to thank Lex in the first place, would then drive 80 more minutes back to her dorm room. Maybe she has an important class to attend, though we never see her attending any classes. Plus, if she did have a class to attend, couldn't Lana just have waited till the weekend or until the school day was over before traveling 60 plus miles to thank someone? I always had a problem during the first four seasons of the show when Lana would drive all the way to Clark's house just to tell him...WHATEVER and then say "well I should go." Why should you go? What reason could you possibly have to drive all the way over here, (which back then was a half hour at most) just to leave after saying "thanks Clark," or "I really didn't appreciate that Clark," or "you sure are a strange one Clark!!" There was no reason then why she wouldn't just call and there's even less reason now.

    Now you're cooking! You could take my job! Er, wait!

    Would have been much better had Lex called Lana to say he wanted to show her something very important. He could even have told her what it was in case she didn't want to come. Truth is, based on her attitude toward Lex at this point, we can almost be 100% sure Lana would NOT want to drive all that way to see Lex UNLESS he told her he had the ship and wanted her to see it. That would have made much more sense but hey, why make sense on this show? But that's not all! Lana then drives all the way back to the Luthor mansion yet another time. This time she says something akin to "You just couldn't stand to see us together could you?" More assuming tells us that Lex is now believed to have some imaginary reason for not wanting Lana and Clark together. This is also assuming that Lex would have some imaginary knowledge that a worthless silver rock would have any affect on anyone, let alone the one guy that he apparently can't stand to see with Lana. Not only that, but we must also assume then that Lex somehow imagined that by giving Lana a worthless (mostly black. In fact, almost indiscernible from black) silver hunk of rock it would somehow break Lana and Clark up. Wow that's a heckuva lot of assuming.

    I swear I didn't read this before I wrote my review, folks. I've found Red K Neal.

    You know what we do when we assume kids? That's right, we make an astonishingly implausible and unbelievable line of reasoning for many of the characters on this show for you and me. Oh yes, and these are the characters that AREN'T having delusions!

    Yepper.

    So Lana ends up in the hospital, put there by Clark, but she thankfully forgives him immediately. Chloe finally did something Clark should have done years ago in so many of the situations he's been involved in. Chloe actually explained what happened to Lana. WOW! Imagine that! So many people are influenced by the meteor rocks in Smallville that it would always be believable to say "Hey sorry about that _____, I was affected by the rocks and it made me all weird-like. But who the heck wants to go to all that trouble when we can just stand there looking sheepish, shrug our shoulders and ASSUME everything will work out some day?

    Heh. Woot.

    Throughout the many happenings in this episode I continuously found myself hoping that the entire show was all in Clark's head. All of these moments would have been better if they weren't actually happening:

    1) The fight with his parents, mainly because I think Martha was lucky to be alive after a punch in the face from Clark. Guess he was holding back.

    Nice little role for someone who's been essentially absent this season. Sigh.

    2) Chloe's multiple trips back and forth all in one day. Heck, good ol' Chlo' took at least six hours of travel AND she somehow kept up with Clark and got to the dorm right after him. Again we have to assume that Clark had some other things to do and places to go but man, where could he have had to go that would have taken him two hours so that Chloe could actually keep up?!

    With you.

    3) Clark superspeeding away from the green Kryptonite Chloe used to protect the Kents. This is just a continuity problem. Clark has been in many situations with the green K and he's never, to my memory, been able to superspeed away from the stuff. If he could, it wouldn't really be a danger at all cause no matter who whipped it out, he could just zoom off. It was cool looking and I bought it in the context of what they gave me but based on what they've shown us over the years it seems like Clark couldn't do that. Maybe Chloe was too far away or just didn't have the expertise to handle the K.

    Pegged that.

    4) Lana's journeys, mainly because her motivations were stupid and her interactions with Lex were worse. I don't think Lana would go all the way to Smallville (even the outskirts) to thank a man she appears to despise. I also don't think Lana would, after being treated to "one of the greatest scientific finds in history," simply leave and go back to her dorm for no reason. I then thought her reason for returning to Lex was silly. People really need to start using phones on this show. But then, we wouldn't have Clark "seeing" Lana and Lex kiss and the whole showdown thing. God I wish this was all in Clark's head!

    It was arbitrary drama, and homie don't play dat.

    5) Professor Fine rescuing Clark as a "Kryptonian," because Fine is Brainiac and I didn't understand why he had the superspeed and the heat vision. A supercomputer, not a living Kryptonian. Not that Fine couldn't lie and say he was a Kryptonian, but without DNA, he couldn't be altered by the sun to gain powers. We can only assume (here we go again) that Brainiac is able to mimic the abilities a Kryptonian would have through the use of electronic and computer equipment so that it appears that he is a living Kryptonian. Also, why did Fine pull the sliver from Clark's neck when Clark was stabbed in the finger? Why was Fine even able to pierce Clark's skin? We saw that Clark was not weakened physically by the silver kryptonite. He's still busting through walls without being injured and running around at superspeeds. Heck, he even runs from green Kryptonite when Chloe stops him from killing his parents. Certainly not the actions of a weakened Clark.

    Look! Rabbits! Many, many rabbits!

    6) Clark saying "I still don't trust him" when talking about Lex at the end of the show. Make up his mind, writers! One episode he's punching Lex. The next he's basically witnessing Arthur Curry being tortured at the hands of Lex, (even if he didn't see it I'm sure AC would have told him who it was.) He then, in that same episode, suggests to Lex that he might want to look at who he's becoming. Then Clark gets more assistance from Lex to save people from being vampires and Clark thanks Lex in the end saying: "I know things haven't been great between us, but I want to thank you for your help." Now Clark's saying "I still don't trust him?" I understand where the sentiment might come from but make up your mind! You either don't trust him: Lex I know you set my family up with those guys from Belle Reve and I won't stand for you lies anymore! Or you do: Thanks for helping save Chloe and Lana with your vampire antidote Lex. Or... Since I basically WATCHED you torture someone like some evil incarnate, I want you to know that I think it's a bad road you're on in your life. (whatever THAT is!)

    Agreed. Sorry. Just not much to say. You're on a roll.

    7) Lionel and Lex discussing Lana and the Lionel saying: "That's why Lana Lang will never love you." He also mentions that Lana has a boyfriend, as if the kiss actually happened or Lex made a play for her, which he did not. We can ASSUME that Lionel knows something about his son's feelings for Lana even though we don't. I realize it's been mentioned before by Neal and others to expect a Lex/Lana love interest plotline but nothing has been built to that. I've never seen anything to make me think Lex too was pining for Lana. Nothing believable or that I buy anyway. *sigh*

    Oh, I didn't say it'd be believable. :)

    Too many times during this episode did I find myself looking around the room perplexed and annoyed. Too many times did characters do things that I personally found didn't make any sense. Too many times was the continuity way off, which I know I should be used to by now but I was hoping it was getting better. Too many times was I taken out of the story by something that just seemed to make no sense to me. It was the trips, the motivations of...almost everyone and the fact that I still don't really know what scenes actually happened and which ones didn't that really hurt this one for me. I can choose the ones I think didn't work and HOPE those were all in Clark's mind. But I truly know better. I realize that it looks like whatever scenes Clark didn't actually participate in actually did happen the way they looked and that means alot of silly things happened. I also realize that the ones Clark did participate in were askewed from Clark's POV while under the influence.

    And they never tell us which, alas, for the most part.

    It really is too bad the whole episode couldn't have been all a feverish delusion in Clark's mind. Don't forget to shake the snowglobe or wake up in bed next to the wife you had on another show. That would have been much better. Or better yet even, flesh out your ideas in such a way that when you actually put them on national television that they make sense and that they actually work or (novel idea!) DON'T PUT THEM ON! How dare you think that your viewers are either so young or so stupid that all these trips to a Metropolis that shouldn't even be there make any reasonable sense! How dare you manifest hatred or love between characters that really has never built! How dare you lazily write what really could be great into weak weekly fare.

    And the best part? They get away with it, and make money for it.

    The really sad thing is: I actually really liked this premise once I got over the disappointment of it not being a Brainiac mind control thing. I still think that would have been better and a better use of that character but I can definitely see the direction they are choosing to go with him becoming something interesting. I find it unfortunate that this was the episode that got us here. I might even say that inconsistencies and poor character motivations aside, "Splinter" could have been a great episode. Unfortunately though, for me I must assume it's only mediocrity at best.

    Take care Neal,

    Scotty V

    I agree.

    Neal,

    Hey how's it going man? Just writing you hoping that you get this in time to post it in your Smallville Splinter review.

    Well, look how that worked out! :)

    I thought the episode was pretty good. But my main thought is that the conversation between Lionel and Jonathan WAS REAL. I honestly now believe that Lionel knows the truth about Clark and why shouldn't he? Afterall, they switched bodies in "Transferrence" and Lionel served as a vessel for Jor-El, so you mean to tell me in all likelihood (the writers would actually be dumb not to do this) that Lionel does not know or remember a thing? Yeaah right. He knows.

    He SHOULD. I don't think they think he does. There's no reason any of the characters shouldn't know by now, actually.

    I think Jonathan hid the money before he went into the house and Clark thinks everything's cool now but it's not because this episode actually rings truth. Chloe is his only true friend. Lex is keeping the spaceship secret from him, Lana is hiding the truth about the spaceship and investigating into it as well and Jonathan is also not telling Clark the truth about Lionel because I believe that all these characters are trying to "protect Clark". Ironic isn't it? The one person who tries to protect others is getting hurt for being protected.

    Yes. Though I don't think Jonathan kept the money. He's too prideful.

    Anyway, I say the next episode should be as good as this one and I didn't have any major quips about it. 4.5 out of 5. Keep up the good writing buddy, take care.

    ~Noah

    Cinema Crazed - "We take movies seriously"

    www.cinema-crazed.com

    Thanks, Noah. You're more kind than I am. I kept that link in mostly because it's a site that I write movie reviews for (and thus might be interesting you y'all), and also because it's a darned good one.

    I think I'll save the Haiku review for Lexmas (Gilgamesh save me!), so until next week...thanks!

    Neal

    PS: Don't forget the KO Count, and though I missed the last two chat hours, I will be in the next one at 9 PM pacific after the next show, right here on the Homepage.

    PPS: Apologies to Will, whose graphic I did not manage to get in to the last review, much to puzzlement, of Batman in Thirst. Here's the graphic:

    Batman?



    Splinter

    Reviewed by: Douglas Trumble

    Clark gets his finger pricked by Silver Kryptonite and starts having hallucinations about a big conspiracy against him.

    The thing I found most interesting about this episode was in the end you're really not sure which of Clark's paranoid delusions were real, which were partially real, and which were completely fake. This could lead to some interesting developments in the future as Clark learns some of the things he had thought were just delusions start showing themselves to be true. The biggest and most obvious of these is the spaceship he over heard Lana and Lex talking about. When he learns of the truth in that, will he begin to also believe the rest of what he heard and saw in Lex's mansion to be real?

    A love triangle is brewing between Lex, Lana, and Clark, that much is obvious. Should Clark find out about the spaceship and start wondering if the rest of that delusion was real or not, it could lead to something Lex can use to drive a wedge between Lana and Clark. Only time will tell. One thing I find interesting here is that we know, as fans, that Clark and Lana do not end up together forever. What we don't know is why. This is one time Lex Luthor may actually beat Clark Kent.

    There was a lot of good film work in this episode. Technical aspects of filming a show are sometimes a bit beyond me so I avoid mentioning them usually but I noticed some good work done on this episode and felt it only right I mention it. Mostly it was mood setting, lighting and even at times choosing a focus level to help the audience get a real feeling for Clark's state of mind at various times of the episode. Something related to this I noticed was an interesting visual choice for Clark's wardrobe. The series has developed a blue shirt, red jacket look for Clark that he usually wears during times he is off doing his Super thing. I have always liked this and I have grown to think of it as almost a pre-costume or pseudo costume of Clark's. The interesting thing was that in this episode we have Clark getting all twisted around in his head. So instead of his normal colors or dressing him in black like they did with Kal-El, they instead chose to dress him in a red shirt and blue Jacket. The exact opposite as he normally is. I thought this was a neat little visual clue that Clark was not himself.

    In the end when he is free of the silver splinter we see him back in the red jacket and blue shirt so we know he is back to normal.

    Lionel had an interesting part to play this week. At least for the portions I understand to be real and not part of Clark's delusions. His fears of Lex getting a taste for political power are interesting. We as viewers know the danger of Lex becoming president since we have seen a vision of a future he could bring if he ever gets into office. We know that danger but Lionel does not. So what is Lionel's game here? It could be nothing more than he wants to knock Lex down a peg. Maybe even as part of a plot to regain control of Luthor Corp. Still, I get the feeling there is more going on here that we just do not see yet. Something less than obvious.

    Could we have been to hasty to announce Lionel's return to evil ways? Could the good Lionel/bad Lionel question from last season we thought was answered still be in play? I did think his turn back to evil was a bit sudden but tonight got me thinking. What if he didn't turn back? What if he saw the path Lex was on and decided to pretend to have gone to the dark side just to keep Lex off balance? Biding his time for the right moment to make his move? We shall see.

    Prof. Fine's part of this episode was a neat twist and it was nice to get some serious development on that story line. Not only do we learn he has Kryptonian powers, or at least can fake them, we also learn he was behind the Silver Kryptonite to begin with. The whole situation was a set up by him, yet he is the one to pull Clark out of it in the end. Why? The most logical possibility is that it was just a plot to gain Clark's trust. Sure Clark is leery of him now that he believes him to be Kryptonian but Clark will not be able to deny the fact that Prof. Fine saved him and I think that was the end result Prof. Fine was looking for.

    The final scene with Fine absorbing (or re-absorbing) the silver Kryptonite tells us he is not actually a Kryptonian Humanoid. He is something else. It also tells us that Silver Kryptonite may not be Kryptonite at all. It may actually just be a part of this entity that is posing as Prof. Fine. The only thing we really do know is that he is out to gain Clark's trust but we don't know why. It is not Clark's powers he needs. We see that he has or at least can fake most of Clark's powers. So what is it he needs from Clark? This is the big question this plot will answer.

    This is a good running plot and I am very please with how it is playing out. The twists and turns it is taking each episode are really starting to become interesting and I cannot wait to learn more.

    Now some bad. Something that didn't ruin the episode for me but did sort of bug me enough to bring it up here...

    In general it is about Superman loosing control or being controlled. It is not something that is just happening on Smallville but has recently been a major plot point in the comics as well. I understand that someone with Clark's powers being out of control is a source for great danger and thus can add serious drama to any story, TV show, Movie, Comic, or Novel. I just think it happens too often and too easily for my tastes.

    So far on Smallville it has been OK in a general sense. Sure maybe he has crossed a line or two and did some things we all regret him doing but it hasn't been anything too terrible. Some of those things have even served to teach him something that will help him in his future as a superhero. I can see the merit in the story from that side.

    It bothered me a little more than normal tonight for a couple of reasons. For one because I think Smallville has gone down this road a few too many times before. It is not as bad as the "high school teen turns psychotic" plot line but it still is beginning to be overused, but there was one thing more that set this time apart in my mind. Tonight he goes as far as to backhand Martha and knock her across the room.

    His Mom. Our future Superman smacked his Mom. SMACK!

    Man, I wish they hadn't done that.

    I understand it served the story to show Clark was losing control and that the people around him, those he loved, were in actual danger of harm. It's just...well I am not even sure I know how to say it. So I will just say I hope I never have to see Clark Kent smack his mother like that ever again. They did it, it served the story, and it helped show Prof. Fine is trying to manipulate Clark. OK, so it is done. Let us move on and hope our Clark losing control or being controlled days are past us now on Smallville.

    So anyway. One black mark on an otherwise good episode. An episode which had some interesting developments on a few running plots for the season and some good visual presentations and only one problem that I really cannot fault the show for much.

    So I give it a B (or 4 hunks of silver Kryptonite)

    My DVR cut out of next weeks preview and I try to avoid spoilers when I can so I guess I will just go into that one blind unless I happen to catch another commercial during the week. See you all next week Super Fans!

    Doug "Doright" Trumble



    Back to the "Smallville: Episode Reviews" Contents page.

    Back to the main TELEVISION page.