Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 5 - Episode 12: "Reckoning"Reviews:
ReckoningReviewed by: Douglas Trumble
Well I did not see that coming.
I guess it has been pretty obvious that someone was going to die leading into this one. I thought it was a forgone conclusion that Clark was going to tell Lana all about himself and I was pretty sure there relationship would take a turn for the worse in some way because of it. All that did end up happening but something came and twisted it around.
What didn't I expect? Hello McFly it's called Time Travel. Just without the spinning planets or a cool car.
Lana died. Dead and gone. Clark believed it was because he told her about him and that it was his fault. Sure in the end he did fix that but one thing we can be sure of is that he will never tell her now. Ever. Their relationship should be done now.
Emotionally this was a pretty powerful episode. All actors involved did a fantastic job projecting the emotions of the moments. Especially Tom Welling. When he came upon Lana dead in the road and went into a rage. I was almost ready for him to leap into the air and start spinning the planet backwards. In a sense he did, just without the flying.
I have mixed feelings on the Time Travel here. I think it worked well with the story and all that but I have to question something. If Jor-El had time travel technology why is there only one Kryptonian left? In "Superman: The Movie" Clark uses his Super Powers to go back into time, or make the world go back in time depending on how you want to look at it. Here Clark uses a piece of Kryptonian technology. The Super power used by Clark in "Superman: The Movie" would not have been available to Krytonians during the planets destruction so when the planet was tearing apart no one could have gone back in time to warn people. Technology however would have been available for a Kryptonian to go back how ever long it allows and save some more Krytonians. So I have mixed feelings but it is only a minor issue that honestly did not take away from the episode at all. If I was not a rabid fanboy I probably would not have given it a second thought. Super Blonde (AKA the wife) was a bit confused at me when I mentioned this so I could tell it was not something most people would think twice about.
Don't get me wrong. I do like how Clark is able to go back and save Lana from death. It just made me wonder about Krypton and why that tech was not used during its destruction. I am sure we can all come up with reasons that could have lead to that.
So Jonathan ends up dying in what seems like Lana's place. Sad but in someway it is an honorable way for Jonathan to go. Think about the character Jonathan Kent a bit. I do believe the man would have traded his life for Lana's. Martha was right. There is no way Clark could have or would have made that choice. I think had Jor-El tried to make him make a choice, Clark would have tore the Fortress apart with his bear hands before making it. Jonathan though? I think he would have given his life for a young gal he cared about. Had God himself come down and told Jonathan he could go in her place I think Jonathan would have simply said, "Let me get my flannel vest and we'll be on our way then." Jonathan Kent is just that kind of man.
It could also be that Jonathan would have died anyway. Clark never got to the end of the day the first time around. Maybe both he and Lana would have been dead at the end had Clark not used the time travel crystal to save Lana. Jor-El may have known Jonathan's time was limited and had been trying to prepare Clark for it in some tough-love sort of way but when Lana died Jor-El wrongly assumed that was fate balancing itself out. It is certainly up to interpretation which I guess might point to a weakness in the story but I still think it worked well enough.
I do think the whole someone has to die to pay for Clark coming back story has been a bit less than stellar. I guess my biggest problem with the whole thing is why did it take so long to pay up? It has been months since Clark's resurrection and now Death comes for its payback? Was it on vacation? If Jonathan was a balancing of Lana getting her's back, then it works since it happened at most a couple hours later but it has just been too long since Clark came back.
So this plot thread has not worked all that well for me and I think that may have made this episode a bit less than it could have been.
I was also disappointed that Lionel's motives turned out to be so transparent. I think it is neat how they are keeping the photo a secret. It makes sense that Lionel would need something more than just the money to make Jonathan play along but I still thought Lionel calling Jonathan like that so soon was a bit too obvious. I guess I had hoped for a bit more of a plot twist. Instead we just got Lionel twirling his mustache during a standard villain moment. Not terrible but I just thought they could have done so much more with it.
Lex was interesting. Both in his reaction to Lana being engaged and in the re-do how he made moves on her when he found out she broke up with Clark. Both actions speak loudly that Lex wants Lana and I would not be surprised to see those two develop a pretty good anti-Clark relationship. One that could even carry on into the future should they decide to carry it that far. Can you imagine an adult Superman with his greatest enemies being Lex Luthor AND Mrs. Lana Lang Luthor? Such a story line could work well in two different ways. One, Lana believes the best in Lex and is not aware of his evil side. Two, Lana is at a point in her life where she could easily go dark right along with Lex. Two possible roads that lead to interesting stories. Smallville will not go that far in the future so it may be up to fan fic writers to explore that one. Now a question...Will Lex be senator now that Jonathan is dead? I honestly do not know how that works if the guy won the election like that.
Lastly I like how Clark used a hunk of coal to make the diamond for Lana's ring. Yea I know it would not have come out cut like that but I still think it was pretty neat. That was something I had always thought was a neat gag in "Superman III" and I was glad to see them work that into the show.
So how do I grade this one? Well it was sad but emotionally powerful. It brought to a closure a story line that I think was a bit weak due to the long stretch of time between Clark's resurrection and the "payment" for it. The time travel brought up some other questions about Krypton's destruction and I think Lionel's villainous moment was a bit too transparent. But was it bad? No, but then it wasn't great either. Yet I cannot deny that it was a very important moment in the series which was well acted by the cast and really moves the characters forward, those that are still alive anyway.
So anyway. I am going to have to go with C+ on this one. (or 2.5 out of 5 hunks of highly pressurized coal.) Next week we get a bit of vigilante action. Could be interesting. See you next week Superfans!
Douglas "Doright" Trumble
ReckoningReviewed by: Neal Bailey
I remember a review I wrote, a long while back...and it's been a lot of reviews now. 100. I remember saying, "This episode would be the best episode ever in the history of Smallville, if they had only really done it."
It was an episode, I can't remember the name and now, it would be a very tedious chore to look up, where Clark has a dream sequence where Lex finds out his secret. In response, Lex goes ballistic, rips out a sword, and smashes it across Clark's chest into a million pieces, declaring war.
I said to myself, if that were the episode I were seeing instead of it being a dream sequence, it would have been the best episode of the series. It was bold, it was daring, it took risks, it was unsafe in all the right ways, the ways that compel you to watch or read. The dilemma was sharp, as the dilemma is sharp in the tv show House, constantly. Maybe it's because that's a newer show and this is an old one. When they say someone might get fired on House, or they bring in a risk to his job, because there's no mythos, I know it might happen. With this series, everything is somewhat defined and addressed towards the future. So Clark won't die. Lex won't die. The dilemma is strained.
And then the show follows its arc, and gives you the idea that maybe this could have change. Maybe instead of being a country bumpkin, Lana will travel the world. Pete will leave. Lois will come early. Lex will have a father. The Kents will move toward the senate. Clark will decide to have sex with Lana. Heck, Chloe will bump uglies (and statistically regret it) with Jimmy Olsen in a dark room of her 15th summer. That, while almost blasphemous, is at very least, uh, distinctive?
This is a good development, at least on its surface. You think, wow, a shake-up of the status quo. This isn't the movie Smallville, the comic Superman, or the movie of either, it's not the cartoon, this show follows its own course.
To take that risk, then, incurs the need to follow through with it. And that, to me, involves taking risks, shaking up the status quo...
In other words, EVERYTHING the first half of this episode was. EVERYTHING. Lana, dead. Clark telling her the secret. Pa Kent a senator.
Everything was moving in a direction that was dramatic, interesting, poignant, strange, new, frightening. I was locked in my seat and compelled. I even almost cried when Lana died (not because Lana was dead, but because I felt so agonized for Clark and, naive or no, his grief at the loss of the she-beast).
And then...the same thing that make many not like the first Superman movie. The time travel twist. I even said, last week, as I recall, that if he turns the world around backwards, it'll be horrible.
Suddenly, everything that made the episode great disappeared. Clark is a near-murderer, deciding that Lana can live, knowing that making that decision will cause another death. He, in a way, murdered his own father. He wasn't at fault for Lana, he was for the other death. Lex is now near dating Lana. Lana is now broken up with Clark, thus beginning the endless will they/won't they dilemma, and cheapening the fact that they had sex because they were "meant to be together" by breaking up over a bump in the road. What? Lying is more than a bump in the road, Neal! Well, take it from a guy who's watched people live through fifty years of marriage while one lies and the other tells the truth...if you love each other, if it was meant to be, people work through it. Jonathan is dead when it's not really time, as Clark will be on the farm for years yet (until the show ends or runs out of money). Chloe lives on as the emotional sponge. Lionel is unhampered for his villainy. Lex is now, presumably, free to be the senator (though I doubt we'll hear of that arc again).
Two major deaths my $%#.
In other words, we just got shrifted by another event episode in the name of keeping the status quo. We had change and newness in our grasp, but they let it fail, went with the safe death, and kept things in the realm of mediocrity. The show has not jumped back, as I'd hoped.
I'm sure I'll get angry letters for saying that. Neal, you're just mad that Lana's not dead. Neal, Jonathan dies in the Superman mythos, don't you get it? Neal, you'd make the same choice if you were Clark! (I wouldn't, but hey. The way I see it, Jor-El murdered someone, the next task is not to take his Faustian bargain, but to shut Jor-El down for good.)
I'm not mad Lana's not dead. In fact, killing Lana is the wrong move. It might revitalize the series, and I might enjoy it, but it doesn't make sense. Jonathan DOESN'T die in nearly half the mythos, and often when he dies, Martha dies with him. It was an optional choice, and thus, if it were made, it should be made at a very appropriate time for the story, not as a staged event. And no, though most people would make the choice Clark would make, I do not think it appropriate, nor do I think it what Superman or even a growing and learning Superman would do.
I wasn't as fond of Kelly's run on Action Comics as some were, but I'll point out one thing he got exactly right. In his Zod arc, which ultimately fizzled, he did have one really well put piece, when Zod tells Superman that he has to kill him, and if he doesn't, horrible things will befall the world. It looks that way, too. The only way to stop Zod is to kill him. But that's not what Superman does, so Zod throws himself into a suicide run and gets himself killed. Superman's still morally correct, and Zod is stopped. Is that realistic? No. But that's the way the Superman character works. He doesn't make the wrong decision, and miraculously, in kind of a deus ex machina reward for the way he's morally pure, things turn out right in the end. It's why he's not Spider-Man. Spider-Man does the right thing and still ends up walking in the rain. Distinctive flavors.
When Joker poisoned Lois in my favorite Superman comic ever, Superman had to choose between killing Joker to get anti-bodies and letting Lois die. He chose to let Lois die. Deus ex machina, Lois wakes up a second later, as the serum was just designed to mess with Superman's mind. And yes, he was tempted to kill Joker, but Batman reasoned with him, reminded him of who he was and what the hero's code is, and though it almost cost him Lois, though Joker is still alive, he made the RIGHT decision.
Now he has to choose between letting Lana die, or joining in the collusion of evil that is the Jor-El construct, and what does he choose?
He saves Lana, even though he knows doing so will kill someone. Don't give me, "Neal, maybe he thought he could save the other person!". He didn't KNOW. And Superman doesn't take risks like that. I believe that.
It's the Green Goblin sadistic choice. Tossing Lana off the bridge on one side, and a faceless entity that's someone close to him on the other. What does the hero code tell you to choose? The first one that might die, or BOTH?
If you can't save both, then you do the best you can in a way that doesn't make you complicit to evil. You didn't save Lana, but you've seen what happens when someone comes back to life when they're not supposed to. You know Jor-El kills. Maybe it's time to cut your losses.
Or, if you do go back in time, why live the day out? Why not go and destroy the entity that, later that day, will kill your "close person"?
He believed that telling Lana caused the death, and by not telling her, he's avoiding the other death? I don't buy it.
In fact, I don't buy the whole "Nature of the universe requires another death" bit, either. Jonathan Kent died for a cheap hack's plot device.
That infuriates me.
In a comical sense, I'm so infuriated I want to be like Stephen Colbert. I want to pull out the "dead to me" board and put Smallville on it, replacing "Men with beards".
That's how I saw the second half of this story. The story that was REAL.
That said, up until the first half became fake, this show was officially "off notice", and I accepted their ungiven apology hastily before hanging up the phone, keeping with the metaphor.
I'm not the only one, either. If the instant messages that flooded my screen after this show are any indications, for many, this episode was the last straw, and they're gone. That's sad.
I'm not. As I said before, I won't stop this review even if they give the powers to Lana and kill Clark. I signed on, I'm seeing this through. The only thing I ask is that people stop writing me saying "If you hate the show, stop reviewing it!", because first, the answer is NO, second, I don't hate the show, and third, even if I did hate the show, I have just as much of a reason to review it as I would if I loved it...providing my opinion in as compelling a way as possible. That's the whole point of an essay like this, persuasion. And judging from years of success, I don't think I'm failing.
This episode is, in many ways, like other episodes of the series. The pump-fake dream sequence (used just two weeks ago). The "death that isn't a death" from the finale of season three and Clark's "death" in the missile silo episode. The "OOOOH! That's cool!/Ahhhhh, that SUCKED!" from Onyx. The tearful funeral scene, per Whitney's dad (but not Adam, Whitney, Jason, Genevieve, or Alicia... hmmm).
I'll just get into it. You know what I mean. Or you don't, and I'll likely get a letter. Either way...
As I said, the episode started off good, good, good. Clark's in the loft, crushing a piece of coal. We all know where it's going, but it's still awesome, because we want to see it happen.
Lana comes in, and she's got her attitude on, which sucks, but at least we know it's about to be silenced. And I mean, silenced FOREVER. Why? Because she's wearing a coat. She's going to the Fortress. It's obvious, just from the whole tone of the scene. The dialogue is loose. The actors seem happy. There's no arbitrary, morose, worthless drama. It's free, it's normal, it's human, it's like what Smallville used to be in a lot of ways.
There is passive aggression. "I don't think that a mystery date is what our relationship needs right now" comes out of Lana's mouth, and I want to scream, "YEAH! YOUR RELATIONSHIP NEEDS COMMUNICATION, NOT SILENCE, FOLDED ARMS, AND PASSIVE AGGRESSION". But I don't. I have hope. I believe, heck, this might be her last words of anger against the man who constantly saves her life. Soon, she might understand.
Clark steps up, says, "There's something I should have shown you a long time ago."
I shout, "No sh#@, SHERLOCK. Get to it, already! We've only been waiting five and a half years, you neurotic nuthead!"
It is at this point I realize that this episode, starting here, would have been a great way to start season four. Chloe dead, Clark revealing the secret. Here is where Smallville broke off, and here is where it could start fresh and jump back. Here is where the show could be what it should have been.
Lana: "Clark, whatever it is, it's okay."
Yeah, sure, says I. In a pig's eye. Up your nose with a rubber hose. You'll be okay with whatever it is like Neutrogena prima donna fembot yuppie clones would be okay without you as a plastic human template, baby. In other words, hurting like the Fonz after jumping the shark, hon. And lo, I am vindicated when not two scenes later, Lana whines about what Clark's done to both Lex and Chloe.
But we're still in happy land, now. In a happy place.
Clark takes her to the caves, puts in the key, and they teleport to the cave. Lana gives this look of understanding, considering he hasn't shown her anything he can do yet, beyond teleporting.
He takes her, puts her in his arms, and AWAY!
I immediately break out in gooseflesh, thinking, holy crap. Not only are they changing the direction of the series from blow to suck, returning the air to Druidia, they just gave him flight.
Funny. She doesn't look Druish.
But anyway, he lands, which is kind of the suck, given that gravity doesn't work that way. The special effects in the background are less to par, but at very least this is an AMAZING plot development. She knows. She's seen him leap at least the height of a tall building.
He takes the coal and crushes it into a diamond. Why it glows when he does this, I don't care. It's like the background not being totally awesome. The context is such, you forgive it. He blows away the dust, shows her his heat vision, and proposes.
That is...wow. Really, really cool. The show, the series, it has just turned around for me. Here's the character motion we needed.
Lana doesn't recoil in horror when laser beams come from his eyes, and it's a bit pat, but at least it's there. It's strong. It's forward motion. It's character. It IS, in the sense that it's everything we wanted and more. They were right about that, in the promos.
At least in this happy place.
Clark arrives home to find his parents happily chatting. A great moment, considering everything later. Too bad it's erased from history, one would assume.
Clark walks up. "Hey, guys! I told Lana my secret. Isn't that great?"
And then later, when Lana tells them they're getting married.
"Oh really! Good! Let's watch the election results on tv!"
See, if I did that to my parents at 18, my mom would be kicking my shins at the same time my dad punted my head off, and my carcass would land at about the same time I would have graduated college. Or not graduated college, as the likely case may have been had I married at 18. Especially when I COULDN'T HAVE SEX with the woman I was marrying. Oh yeah. That's gonna last. Not.
Does Jonathan punt Clark's head? Does Martha kick him in the shins?
Nah. They just both give him the thumbs up. It's obvious he's with the girl of his dreams. She's done nothing but continually rip out her heart before dating him for a sum total of 7 months, which is, of course, all the time you need to date someone before knowing if you want to spend 60 years with them.
Jonathan Kent says, "Are you sure you're thinking this through?"
Clark says, "Yeah-um, Bo!"
And Bo says, "Well, looks like you're a man who doesn't need his father's advice any more."
It was at this point I wondered if the reason Jonathan Kent would die was from me strangulating him. But, since he said, "Well, you're a man who doesn't need his father's advice any more.", my next note reads:
Bo's a dead man.
That's when I knew he'd be one of the deaths this episode. Why? Because people don't say that stuff unless the writers know that person is gonna die. Watch any given horror movie, and if you see a mommy or daddy and a kid hug and say, "I wuv you so much! You're my pride and joy!" one of that duo is gonna bite it before the movie's over, generally speaking. Extreme love, admiration, and praise preclude death, because in real life, you say, "Oh yeah! Well you smell of stink cheese too, you rotten monkey sack!" before the person gets in the car and never comes back. Because we're human. In the dramatic universe, things are pat (especially in formulaic tv) and patterns emerge.
Talk about your character consistency. What happened last time Clark got married? Were his parents angry?
Now might be a good time for both parents to point out that the last person Clark told the secret before marrying ended up dead. But hey, why pressure the guy? It's not like telling Lana's going to get her killed or anything. That would be unduly cruel on their part.
Then, Lana turns up at the Talon to help Lois prepare for the senate race announcement that night (in the middle of February?).
My first note, "Have Lois and Lana even MET? Why is she going to Lois for advice when she lives right next to Chloe, and Chloe's her confidant and long-time friend?"
Later, I realized it was so that they'd have a paradoxical situation where if Lana wasn't there talking with Lois, she wouldn't have caught her before she knocked herself out and got nearly electrocuted.
So in other words, I'm right, the scene doesn't make any stinking sense, it's just thrown in there because it has to be there.
Chloe, meanwhile, is preoccupied with Clark setting up the things that are quite obvious that he'll remember in the future. They also talk, at length, very loudly, in the middle of a crowded room, about the fact that Clark's an alien. And in the closet, for you slash fans. Though she might have been metaphorically speaking...that's my guess.
Again, this is Clark asking Chloe for relationship advice, which is unduly cruel considering it's obvious that she loves him.
Yeah, letter-writers, I know that she told him they were just friends. But given that that "just friends" was precursored with "I love you and want to be with you" multiple times, it's obvious talking to her about how his relationship is succeeding or failing is an undue cruelty. Usually my advice is to go with what someone says, and let Chloe stew in her own soup until she admits the truth. But Clark's not like me. Clark's a nice, sensitive, no-holds-barred kind of idiot who puts up with crap. He'd care about Chloe's foolish sensitivity she refuses to talk about, and cater to that by buttoning his lunk lip about Lana.
Clark tells her that he knows they're too young, yeah, but...
Chloe interjects and points out Lana's obviously the right girl for him, forever and ever amen. Out of character. Doesn't make sense. Chloe, the character who seems to have the most maturity and common sense of anyone in the cast beyond Lex and Pa, would kind of, maybe, you know, warn him about getting married early. Especially when she was so quick to spout the statistics of how many people totally regret having sex early before "THE MORE YOU KNOW" played across the screen with stars and the peacock and the afterschool special ending with Jimmy with his pants around his ankles and bow tie a'twirlin'.
Pa wins the senate race, and it looks like everything is great. Character development, motion forward. Heck, Lana even goes to tell Lex to wise up and stop pining after her, or maybe to rub it in his face after she nearly got him killed last week. Knowing the character, you decide which it was. I'm surprised she didn't rub a lock of Clark's hair on her forehead before handing it to him and mooning him.
He'd then say, "That's it. I'm having you killed."
And she'd fold her arms and storm out of the room.
I was thinking about Clark being the son of a senator, and how that would put him in the public eye, which is bad for a secret identity. I then thought, well, look at Batman. He's constantly in the public eye. But then, Batman out of suit looks nothing like Bruce Wayne. Same can't be said for Clark. Not right now, anyway.
Lex is drunk, and pinwheeling, and angry that he's lost. My first response is glee. Good. Poor, humble farmer wins out over rich guy who's had his life handed to him.
Then, Lex makes a good point. He indicates he was in the race because he wanted to prove that he wasn't just a rich guy's son, he won it on his own and he's his own person. Sure, he tried to cheat, but he didn't, and when he didn't, he lost. I felt bad for him. It's hard to make me sympathetic with rich people. Frankly and by and large, I kind of hate them.
People have accused me of being a Lex apologist. I guess I am. But then, I can't really think of ways he's done many things that aren't all that horrible, or at least pursuant to truth, and this episode is no exception.
He gets mad at Lana because she chooses the guy who constantly lies to her (a pretty boy) over the baldie who is nice, honest, giving, kind, a provider, etcetera. I can't say I don't sympathize with that. I find more often the nicer I am to a woman, the less she wants to date me, and liars get what they want faster than Jimmy Olsen.
Maybe that's how I know, deep down, that Lex isn't evil in this series. He hardly ever gets the girl he wants, unless the girl wants to kill him, even though he's RICH.
Lana, after knowing better, tells Lex: "Clark isn't hiding anything, Lex."
Lex becomes furious, grabs her, shakes her, and tosses his drink into the fire, where it flares up in awesome style.
Those who think I'm a Lex apologist, pay heed. Here, he does the wrong thing. He's wrong, and he's not justified, even though he's angry. And he's lucky all Lana does is throw water in his face, because I would have kicked him in the crotch.
He physically attacks Lana, and Lana attacks back. Good.
I'm not even gonna say, hey, maybe he deserves one free physicality. After all, Lana's slapped him just for trying to kiss her. No. Violence isn't okay, anywhere, any time, for any reason other than to combat violence perpetrated on your person.
Lex then TOTALLY destroys his goodness with me, in a lot of ways, by driving drunk and nearly causing an accident.
That is, I say, the most evil thing he's ever done on the show. Driving drunk. So many people think it's no big deal. I'd rather you hit a child and broke out their teeth as opposed to driving drunk. So many people hurt...
Many of you don't know this, but I worked with a quadriplegic for about three years who got that way because he drove drunk, another person drove drunk, and they collided, killing a passenger. His life spiraled down, he turned to drugs, and he ended up dead, last year. A phone call in the night, my friend, this man who, while crazed and odd, dead. All because he had a problem, and chose to endanger others with it.
I don't mean to get all "THE MORE YOU KNOW" on you, but seriously, folks, drunken driving isn't as simple as a lot of people want you to think it is. People die.
That's a really villainous thing to do, no matter how depressed you are.
Take away my Charles Bukowski fan club card, but sorry, that's just how I feel.
Still...I blame the accident on Lana. I do. What Lex did was wrong, and it was stupid, but Lana caused the accident, note. Lex slammed on his breaks and stopped. Even driving blotto, he had the presence of mind to slam on the brakes. He has experience driving nutty. He hit nothing, nor would he have. Doesn't condone his behavior, but let's look at what Lana did, shall we?
She got mad at Lex, because Lex grabbed her. That's wrong. She's right.
She left. That's right too.
So what do you do then. First, you call the police, and report assault. That, or you tell CLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARK!, and Clark comes running. Why? Because Clark has super-hearing, and she now knows that.
She didn't. She got in her car, and went for a drive.
She then pulled out her cell phone while she was driving. This is before Lex was behind her. She begins to drive distracted and at high speeds, yammering to Clark.
Does she ask Clark to come help her, which would be more effective than yelling CLAAAAAAAAAAARK! (maybe)? No. She just keeps driving distracted.
Lex comes speeding up behind her. She's familiar with these roads, and familiar with Lex (we would assume). She knows that Lex is mad, yes, but Lex wouldn't kill her. If she thought that, she'd have immediately called Clark there, where he could arrive in a second. Now is when she should have pulled over and told Lex to go away. Or, you know, maybe, like an adult who's ready to get married, discuss his issues, hear his apology, and then move on. Or, if she felt threatened and didn't want to blow Clark's secrets, stop, lock the door, and call the police.
She kept driving, distracted, as Lex pulled alongside her, distracting her more.
She knew a stop sign was coming if she knew the roads, yet she continued to drive.
A schoolbus hit her, which sucks for her, and she died, but let's look at this.
A) She was driving on a cell phone and looking out the window not looking at the road ahead of her while speeding after passing up multiple opportunities to stop and call for help.
B) She hit a SCHOOLBUS FULL OF CHILDREN, potentially hurting or killing some of them.
C) She didn't stop for the stop sign.
Lex was pestering her. Yes, he has some culpability. Most of the blame for that accident, however, and for any kids injured, is Lana's. Maybe, MAYBE, if you argue that she couldn't get the police there and feared for her life, she was driven forward out of fear for her safety. But not with Clark Kent involved.
That's my analysis after the fact. During, however, it was only a few instances, and by the time I had a chance to see it, the SUV was flipping and Lana was dead.
Before I wrote this review, I thought about the possibility that Lana might die. I thought, hey, wow, that would be interesting. I thought that I would write, "Hey, did you all hear that cheer at _____?" with the blank being the time. "Yeah. That was me."
But I can't. Fact is, it's the first time I've empathized with Lana in three years. I almost cried. Not because she was dead, not really. I didn't really care that Lana, the character (if you can call her that), was dead. I almost cried because, straw woman or not, fake of fakes or not, Clark LOVED that entity, and when he saw her dead, the expression on his face was so genuine, it reminded me of losses in my life. I have loved my Lanas, ladies and gentlemen. The women who I have no reason, no right to love, women who have put me out with the garbage and shot my like a mangy dog before stabbing me in the heart, gutting my entrails, stealing my Bukowski books and Weezer albums, you know the drill.
The blood on his hands, the father pulling him away (Who cares how Jonathan instantly got there? I don't.), tossing the secret to the wind with Lex right there. Emotional ROLLER COASTER, like when I thought he was flying, earlier. From the shocking instantaneous horror of it, to the symmetry of the tragedy on the Loeb bridge, with Lana dying where the show started.
This is my show. This is my series. Right there, that was, I have to say, the best episode of Smallville I've ever seen, all earlier exposed flaws aside. It was Clark walking into Swann's office. It was flight in the premiere of 4. It was "Lois, Lois Lane." It was Lana saying, "No more secrets. No more lies." It was Lex swinging the sword into Clark's chest. The expression on Lex's face when he sees Clark crush a car. Chloe exploding. EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING that makes this show great. Not because Lana was dead, but because, as I live and breathe, they actually made forward progress with the character.
So what happens? Lois is really Chloe light. Clark is hallucinating Lex hitting him with the sword. More secrets, more lies. Lex's memory is wiped. Swann is dead. Chloe didn't really explode.
Lana is not dead. Lex doesn't know the secret. They're not getting married. She's breaking up with him because of "secrets and lies". EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING that made this episode great, is rolled back, made safe, brought back to the status quo.
And then we descend from heaven back into the seventh layer of hell. Or, if you're me, a poet in Purgatory with Homer. Gotta love Dante. Burn, baby, burn. But why did Lana have to come with me?
I've gotta say, the reason I didn't cry isn't because I'm a big man (Though I am, I'll destroy any of you lesser men and hide your carcasses in my ever growing beard with the squirrels. I'm grizzled. Try me.) But even John Wayne would cry at the death of a particularly enchanting puppy, and so I came close.
And then they cut to the commercial after Lana died. The first commercial was for FINAL DESTINATION 3. And the tagline, coming right out of the scene? "It was an accident they barely escaped..." in a cheesy fashion with that deep voiced putz who always says, "Now, Adam Sandler has three days to disenchant the cheese bomb, or Drew Barrymore won't crinkle her nose and hug him at the end of the movie! And look, he's half-man, half-animal!"
And from near-tears, I burst out laughing, and had a bit of a nagging realization. "Oh my God." I said to the room.
And yeah. I was right. They were riffing on Final Destination. This whole episode. I thought to myself, my God, when they come back from the commercial, he's going to turn back time, and Lana won't die, and that'll pass on to someone else. This is Final Destination."
And sure enough, back from commercial, he's in the Fortress, and Jor-El has a magical crystal that'll turn back time.
He can't bring someone back from the dead without having to somehow kill another person in a way that he can't possibly do, by reaching across dimensions, time, and death and stopping a heart of causing someone to run a stoplight, but apparently he can manipulate time. But only once.
My question is, if he can only do it once, how did he test that it would work, because had he tested it, it would have been used that only once, and...
Clark's shouting his lungs out. "You killed her! Why did you kill her!"
Which is the logical conclusion, after all. She was driving distracted and ran a stop sign, therefore, Jor-El smote her. Clark wins the "You're as dumb as Clark" award for this week.
But, apparently, the writers wants us to believe this is true, because Jor-El says, "Aw, shucks, son. I'm the only one who realizes that getting married at 18 is a bad idea. Besides, she was mean to you on a constant basis for saving her life. Go, my son, go, and be with Chloe! She will maketh your bowtie twirl!"
In other words, he cops to having killed Lana, even though no white light appeared from the sky, no Zod came from his Phantom Zone, no naked teenage girl appeared and started killing people, no ringing sounds accompanied the lunacy.
And we're supposed to buy it.
Instantly, I go from so emotional I'm almost crying to so angry I almost turn the TV off. We've been tricked, cheaply and without remorse, by an event designed to get our butts in a seat. And everyone watching knows it.
My notes say, "This is total bull*%$#."
I'll let you extrapolate, because I extrapolate enough, and if you saw it, you know what I mean.
Jor-El says, "If you save Lana, someone else will die."
And Clark says, "Okay, I'll kill someone."
Just in case you missed that. Because I'm so mad I want to kick my own head so hard it doesn't land until I finish college. And I dropped out to write. I'm not finishing.
Lana now doesn't know the secret. Instead of the opening that we loved, now Lana comes up to the attic and the first scene is the scene we all hate, where Lana acts like a totally repressed passive aggressive ape with a mad-on and Clark sits there and takes it like a subway ticket puncher who doesn't want to quit their job because it would make their life uncomfortable, but still lives in a kind of endless gehenna.
My notes now read: "Okay, boys. Bring out the "dead to me" board."
Lana flips him crap for having a secret, despite him pulling her out of an exploding building last week (and fifty-six thousand other times), and breaks up with him because he has the audacity to suggest she would get hurt if he told her the secret (not that that ever happens, I mean, she didn't just die when he told her, did she?)
Clark runs into Chloe, who makes a very blunt "spinning the world on its axis" joke that is FAR too forced and NOT the thing to rub in after just doing that in the most cheap way possible.
Clark is explaining how good it is that he's turned back time despite the incoming death (which he doesn't seem to be thinking about, only Lana).
Chloe doesn't turn to him and say, "Go to the movie place. Rent Butterfly Effect, Final Destination, Final Destination 2. Watch them. Go to the library and get a 101 book on philosophy, more specifically pre-destination and fatalism. Read any science fiction story from 1950 to about 1975. YOU CAN'T CHANGE WHAT'S PREDESTINED IN FICTION WITHOUT HORRIBLE CONSEQUENCES!"
Nah. She says, "Wow, you have great hair. What was my reaction when you said you were getting married. Bet I was angry!"
Leaving out the "Bet I was angry" for us to just realize and Clark to obliviate passsively in his ongoing quest not for truth, justice, and the American Way, but rather, to fetishize Lana Lang.
Face it. She's amazing, and undead twice now.
"What was my reaction?"
Shouldn't CLARK be the one asking that question?
Chloe agrees to watch after Lana and distract her all day. Which Clark goes along with. Total brilliance, given that Chloe and Lana never get in a life or death situation more than one day a week. And is it that day? Well, heck. His intentions were good.
Clark's lucky, though, and Chloe manages to keep Lana out of trouble until the senate announcement, where she storms by Clark without saying a word, showing how well it works when instead of working out your problems you just fume and ignore the person you have the problem with.
Jonathan wins! Hoorah! Clark dances around and does a jig with dad, and suddenly hears a smash. He runs up the stairs, and uh-oh! Because Lana was not there to catch Lois going for her snack, she's fallen, and she can't get up, and water is everywhere. And look, here comes Electro!
Clark saves her, then waits around for the ambulance. Why? Well, hey, he just has nothing better to do. And Chloe? She's supposed to be watching Lana, but somehow Lana just slips away.
Here's the stone-cold truth, ladies and gents. When you're in Smallville, and you have powers, and someone you love is threatened, you do crazy stuff. What's ethically wrong with Clark kidnapping Lana, tying her up, and watching her for the next day. After they break up, it's not like he has any reason to want to be on her good side. And if he explains the situation, heck, she might believe him, considering how much he saves her. Or she might have him arrested. Either way, she lives, right?
Heck, for that matter, why not call our old buddy neighbor down the street who can see people's futures, and see what's going to happen? Oh yeah. Because there's no continuity in this show.
This is shown very well when Lionel calls Jonathan a week after Jonathan returned his campaign money to tell him how Jonathan's his new lackey. Instead of hanging up on the guy who tried to murder Lex and Chloe, Jonathan offers to meet him in the dark in private on his own property when he will be conspicuously missed, because telling him off on the phone just doesn't make sense, right?
Lana, meanwhile, has a very similar conversation with Lex, only this time, Lana lets him kiss her without a slap, then pushes away without any real reason to, making her a tease and a dink for not going with the nice guy who tells the truth (as far as she knows) over the guy who lies to her constantly.
Lex still drives drunk, which makes him horrible, but in the mansion, I feel more sympathy for him.
It also again raises the question, why would Lex be interested in a disingenuous lying tease like Lana who's so obsessed with herself that she has to go and tell Lex she's left Clark in person and accept a kiss only to leave acting like she came there to talk about wiffle ball and strumpets. Oh, did I say strumpet? I meant crumpet. You know, like rich people eat? When they're not playing wiffle ball. With sparring swords from fencing. On a pool table. In the dark. With meat helmets. In Brugge. You really should see it...it's breathtaking.
AND AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES. Does the ambulance count?
Chloe comes up. "Uh, I can't find Lana."
Clark: "Oh darn. How did that happen?"
Clark runs, stops the bus, stands in the bushes watching Lex and Lana standing together (showing that Lana, not scared out of her mind, knows he's not coming after her to hurt her). I was told that Lana saw Clark stopping the bus, but I checked the tape...nope. She didn't see him.
Lexana is back on. Ah, more wonderful things to hate. Oy. Nothing like Clark being passive aggressive, staring on then running away and expecting Lana to later divine and explain why he's hurt and upset.
Lionel meets Jonathan in his barn. Jonathan immediately starts whupping Lionel around, which is great, if it weren't an incredibly stupid thing to do. Jonathan knows he's got a heart condition. Jonathan knows it's not right to hit someone first no matter how mad you are, especially someone that can put you in jail for a long time and bury you financially (Yes, I know Lionel is poor, yet another dangling plot thread, but his son isn't, and now Lex is probably mad at Jonathan enough to bury him). Heck, I would argue that Jonathan's smart enough to have a restraining order put on Lionel and have the police come if he sets foot on the farm again.
But nah. He beats the bejesus out of Lionel, leaves the evidence that smears him on the floor, and just walks out before collapsing in the arms of his family.
So he's besmirched by taking campaign funds from Lionel, he flagrantly disregards his duty to serve as a father and a senator by overstraining his heart in a fight that didn't need to happen that could get him thrown in jail and out of office, and he dies, right in front of his son, scarring him for life.
I'd call that a good character death, wouldn't you?
Or maybe not.
Was it sad? Yes. All of the circumstances aside, I got weepy when I heard Martha crying out, in much the same way I did about Lana. I thought Jonathan brought his death on himself (even though somehow Jor-El did it. Uh, yeah, that's the ticket), but to hear Martha wail in that honest, real, well-acted way, it brought tears to my eyes. I won't lie.
Why Clark didn't try and take his father to a hospital is beyond me. Why he didn't tear the Fortress limb from limb and renounce his Kryptonian heritage forever is also beyond me. Both are necessitated by this turn of events if we're to believe Jor-El is behind this.
Jor-El is now also, inexorably, a villain. There is no way this series can redeem him unless Jor-El was not Jor-El. The entity in that Fortress is the most horrible threat this series has faced, and why Clark isn't stopping it next week and instead wandering around with a girl who looks like Zorro is beyond me.
And it cheapens this episode, as did the way we got to this ending.
The next day, Martha Kent, in the house, devastated, can't even put the hasp on her necklace.
Clark: "I'm sorry."
My note: "You %@$#ing well should be, you creep. First you kill the kid in her womb, then you kill her husband over a girl who treats you like crap? You *%$#ing well better be, you @%$hole."
Ma, of course, says that it's not his fault.
It is, if you believe (as we're supposed to with this framework, sensible or not) that Jor-El killed Jonathan Kent to balance the till.
Incredible acting by Annette O'Toole. I love her even when she's sad.
And hey, I'll get shot for saying this, but now Ma Kent's single. Ding dong, young writer calling!
Ah, you know you like the funny. Breaks the morose mood.
What will they do with the senator angle? Well, I don't know what happens when a sitting senator dies in Kansas. Email me and tell me. I know John Ashcroft lost to a dead guy, that's about it. I'm guessing they'd have another election, right? In which case, Lex would likely win?
Or, heck, more likely, Smallville will just never cover the subject again. Which do you think it will be?
That's one of my biggest fears and regrets about this episode before it's even gone from my memory. I know next week the preview shows Clark grieving, but who wants to bet Jonathan becomes the next Pete or Whitney or Jason or Genevieve or Adam or Alicia? Who wants to put money on the fact that in two weeks, his name won't be mentioned outside of "well, your father would have done this, but...", with few scenes to actually show how truly devastating it is to lose a parent, even when "an adult", where an adult is someone who makes stupid and brash decisions that get people hurt or killed.
Curious: No one knows Jonathan died because he was kicking Lionel around. Will that ever be addressed? I hope so. I doubt it.
Lionel behind Martha at the funeral...OUCH. Very harsh. Very well played, set-up aside. I wanted to reach around her and strangle him. He's a bad dude. I just wish he was consistent and coherent in it.
My last note is a fitting one to end my 100th review on. I wrote it as I watched Clark dancing around with Zorro woman in a thoroughly unappealing preview for the next episode which seems to be slipping right back into the mid-season lull fair now that they know it's not sweeps and/or finale and/or an event, so they don't have to pony up with the good shows any more, just prepare the Aquaman script so they can sucker the next group of fanboy (and girl) chumps out of their time while abandoning the spirit of their project.
My note reads: "Epic posturing can't change precedent."
And it's true. You can't, just by making us emotional, erase a year and a half of BS with the slight exception of Brainiac. You can't make a death epic just by having it happen, if there isn't a long string of connected and important plot points leading up to it, instead of one episode of WHAMMO plot devices.
Lana cannot, face it, be amazing unless she acts amazing.
Clark is not a hero if he decides to kill people.
Martha is not a moral leader if she takes money from dirty politicians against the advice of the man it benefits.
Lex is not a villain if he consistently seeks the truth, and making him do something out of character (like driving drunk after a woman he shouldn't care about) isn't the right way to fix that.
Lionel is not correct in instantly going from a born-again style man with no money to a money-rich villain once again, and at that, with mixed and hard-to-understand motivations.
Chloe is not just "okay" with the love of her life suddenly being her best friend, and not suddenly a journalist just because she says she wants to be.
And Lois? Well, Lois just doesn't have any precedent for being there at all.
Jonathan? He's all quiet on the western front now. But that doesn't change the facts. After 100 episodes...
Epic posturing still can't change precedent.
The last half of this episode is such a 1 that I want to make the whole episode a one. Isn't that what the judgment is based on, the impression after you leave the show? This episode ended in such a way that many will leave the show because of it, as opposed to becoming excited (as many associated with the show have indicated) and eager. The first half is, however, undoubtedly, a 5.
I can't rate them both. I don't want to average them. I can't say 2, because 2 is unfair. I can't say three, because that's too high. 2.5 isn't right either, because it was not close to average, where it was horrible, it was horrible.
So I'm just going to let you decide.
After a hundred episodes, it's your turn. Above is what I think. Tell me your number in the comments. Tell me, given what I've said, what you think I should make my number.
Post-script: If you read the episode description for next week, it's kind of curious:
LOIS IS TARGETED FOR MURDER - The spirit of a young girl is released after Lois (Erica Durance) finds a corpse in the walls of the Talon. Clark (Tom Welling) and Lois must follow the trail of the spirit and find her killer, who has been preying on girls in Smallville for the past 10 years. When Lois is suddenly kidnapped, Clark comes to the rescue. Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack, John Glover, Annette O'Toole and John Schneider also star. Steven S. DeKnight wrote the episode directed by Whitney Ransick
Read that...what's wrong with that picture? I'll give you a hint. "John Schneider also star".
SUPER SHORT REVIEW
Go read a text on fatalism, go watch Final Destination, go watch Butterfly Effect, and by all means, watch every episode of this series, and then watch this episode, and see if you don't feel cheated.
I dare you.
And then rate this for me.
All right, folks. Tomorrow, today, however you look at it (it's 2:14 AM on the 27th, the night of the airing, and I'll be up all night), I'm getting on a plane and going for my first plane ride in 5 years to see my grandparents. Last time I visited them, I was doped up on Percocet and four of my teeth were missing. No, my grandma didn't kick my butt, I had my wisdom teeth pulled.
Point being, I will possibly be late and/or right on time with my next review, and those of you who have been so patient with the email backlog going back to October will have to wait some more. I apologize. The choice is between working on my novel, or taking the three or four days it would take to reply, and honestly, I figure if you like my stuff enough to read it and write me about it, you'd be happy to know I'm spending more energy creating new stuff as opposed to writing out as much...especially knowing that eventually, I get to EVERY letter.
Furthermore, anyone with a letter I haven't responded to, I encourage to send in again with a "Yes, publish me", because then I'm gonna respond...downside being, it's in the public eye.
I guess what I'm saying is sorry, and see you on the fifth. My feet are going to South Carolina, I'm putting my butt in the Atlantic Ocean for the second time, and I'm promising to blog it all the way on nealbailey.com but will likely not write a danged thing in the next ten days.
Which is a horror and a relief.
So...endgame. Let's wind up this cold full metal turkey and set it to crapping figgy pudding and dumplings:
As I sit here reflecting on the episode, I'm not sure what to think. At first, it was remarkably sensible. There were references to earlier episodes with the ship and Lex's radioactive bunker (following the missile incident weeks before). Also there was the cop from the season premiere's krypto-massacre, who makes one of the more believable citizen-turned-psychos that I've seen in the series, if poorly developed. I thought the scene in the panic room where Lana was trying to keep Lex conscious was rather well-done, especially the hair gag. There was even a major, surprising (to me) death of a recurring character (the sheriff).
The hair bit was actually pretty cool. I'll concede that. I'm surprised they haven't made more of it.
And then...it started to unravel. I saw the briefcase-bomb-complete-with-LCD-timer-display-cliche-prop and knew there was a problem. It was interesting to see the tension Clark felt over Lana's gratitude for Lex saving her life...yet whatever little she knows about Clark's abilities doesn't change the fact that she's seen him come to her rescue many, many times.
The question being, is it that obvious, or is it that obvious?
And then I began to wonder which was more questionable: (1) that Lana's been working for weeks with Lex-whom she'd hated because he refused to believe her about it at first-on this ship project, or (2) that all that time she didn't know the ship had disappeared. She never saw the ship while they were working on it? How long ago did it disappear? How long before that are they expecting us to believe she's been collaborating with Lex?-whom I seem to remember she stormed out on after throwing Clark's "normal" medical file at him following our hero's miraculous resurrection.
Folding her arms and stomping like a petulant child all the way. Yes. Very true.
And the there was the Lionel Luthor donation thing. I have heard of candidates rejecting donations from people that don't want to be associated with, since in the spirit of ethics and free information these records usually must be made public. A legislator doesn't want a newspaper to expose that they have the financial support of some obscure fanatical organization just for the benefit of a few thousand dollars on the campaign trail.
Being a Michael Moore fan, I remember and enjoyed the "Pedophiles for Dole" check he sent.
However, the more pressing issue is that most states, to the best of my knowledge, have limits on the size of campaign donations from individual entities. This is basic ethics. Found this site that I believe is pertinent: http://www.kansas.gov/ethics/campaignlimitsstatewide.htm
Yeah. And in fact, I wasn't raising a stink about that not because I didn't assume that was ignored, more because, to be honest, they didn't state how much it is, so I can't bust their chops for that. Five grand with matching donations from corporations that support his campaign, say, a HUNDRED of them, could fund the spots. Who knows?
While I respect Jonathon Kent's objection to Lionel's offer on the basis of ethics in spite of his desperate need for funds, he never addresses the larger concern: IT'S ILLEGAL. I think it's clear that Lionel's contribution exceeds the legal threshold, based on the Kents' reaction and the magnitude of things that Lois accomplishes with it. Either Jonathon Kent must falsify records of his campaign expenditures, or he's going to face indictment by the Kansas State Governmental Ethics Commission. Luke Duke would be proud. Oh and by the way--hasn't this family had financial crises (medical bills?) that would have warranted him selling "the back 40 acres" we've never heard of long before now?
As I recall, Lex now owns the farm and those acres weren't his to sell anyway. I should have mentioned that, but I didn't.
I wish somehow, some way, it will be Lana that bites the dust. It's really the only surprising thing they could do.
That or Martha would have surprised me. Or Lex or Clark, but that's beyond the pale.
They won't kill Lois or Lex, because there's no legitimate way to bring them back. There's a number of characters from the comics-like Max at the daily planet and the Asian doctor Lex threatened to deport that treated Adam-that have met their untimely doom far sooner in Smallville than traditional literature would have dictated. Why can't Lana follow that trend? It would be the ultimate conflict ignition between Lex and Clark. Have Lana learn the secret, then bump her off.
I think it would have been bold, crazy, and I do believe, given there's no way she wouldn't follow Clark to Metropolis now, it makes sense.
Realistically, the top three candidates are, predictably, Chloe and Ma and Pa Kent. I think it would be a huge mistake to get rid of Chloe because there's so much more they could do with her character-and I believe that many fans share my preference for her over Lana anyway, in terms of character interest, acting skill, and "aesthetic appeal." Ok, maybe the last one doesn't put me in the majority. However, I have to admit that if Mack is looking to try other projects and branch out to bigger challenges, she's more than earned the right to bow out of Smallville gracefully.
I think the tide has turned against Lana. A while back, I wouldn't say that. I think, as of season 4, a lot of people really despise her character. They love to look at her, and that's what sells the tickets, but I don't know ANYONE who watches and says, "Wow, Lana's character is just great! What a cool person!". Not like Lex, or Clark, or Chloe, or Pa.
If I had to vote, I'd say it's Pa. The show is moving toward Metropolis somewhat, and losing one of the characters that anchors Clark there would make sens in the inevitable progression.
You elected the right senator. Here's the booby prize...
Ok, enough ranting for one night. I'll yield til I read your review. I'm checking the box not because I especially want you to use this message but because I don't care if do want to use something I say.
I pretty much like to hear and respond to everything. In the public arena, I know I have to write a more epic response (or feel I do), so I think the letters turn out better. If I'm wrong, someone will undoubtedly knife me in my sleep and I won't know the difference, so there's no way I can be wrong. Mwu ha!
Have at it--and who do you believe will die?
Before the show, I saw the clip with Lana getting hit, and I saw pictures of Jonathan being brought into the fortress. I thought it was misinformation, considering there had never been leaks before. I thought it was a dream sequence (because Clark superspeeds right in front of Lex, which obviously has to be undone), and I thought even if it wasn't, Lana would miraculously survive. I saw pics of Jonathan dead or KOed at the Fortress and figured that didn't mean anything either, because Clark could be taking him there to heal him, they could be releasing the pics for publicity and fool us. I didn't have any clue, honestly.
But my gut told me that for story, the best way to go would be Martha and Lana, as they said two deaths. Both would be out of the blue, gut-wrenching, and allow the story to move forward, because you know Jonathan has to die, and he can die with Lionel, and then Lex and Clark will have a reason to leave for Metropolis, as Chloe is there for Clark, Lois he doesn't care for, and Lex? Well, he has no reason to be in Metropolis now, considering all of his work goes on in Metropolis. He was even supposed to be there last year, but that just dissipated like Lionel not having money or any sense of plot coherence.
That was what I thought was logical. What I believed was that it would be Pa and Chloe.
Hey Neal, I think I have the lowdown for you on this senate race arc. Now, it is obviously a state senate race, because every time someone actually mentions the job in the show they refer to the State senate, or State senator. And of course this makes no sense.
Lex Luthor wouldn't give a crap about state senator. Anybody could get elected state senator. And then there is the actual campaign. For instance, Pa Kent is running TV ads all over the state? Does he not know state senate elections are only in one small district of the state? He has a campaign HQ and large staff? You don't really need those for running for state Senate(well, maybe if your opponent is Luthor). By the way, did you notice his campaign is running out of the Luthor-owned Talon? Man, Lex is such a great guy, just letting his opponent use his property like that. He really is a saint.
One flaw: I know I refer to my local two senators as state senators, because they serve my state, and my two state's senators (if you follow) as my state senators as well. I believe Lex Luthor would only involve himself in a statewide race, so I have to go logically with big time senator.
But I have figured out the cause for all these inconsistincies. And it's a rather intriguing cause. The simple fact of the matter is, THE STUPID WRITERS DON'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SENATOR AND STATE SENATOR. THEY COULD NOT PASS A HIGH SCHOOL CIVICS COURSE! They probably think that a senator and a state senator are the same thing! It is the only explanation.
To be frank, and this may get me killed, I would bet 8 in 10 of my readers, who I love dearly, and who I believe to be smart, would not know that each district gets two senators. I know a girl, the smartest girl I know, and she didn't know that state government involved their own senators.
This, and this is a soapbox, but hey, THIS, I believe, is one of the main reasons I dropped out of/got kicked out for being insolent of teaching college. I don't believe you should tell a kid "Hey, each state has two senators, and two senators for each district, and a certain number of representatives. Write that down and memorize it, because it's going to be on the test.", then put them to the test, and then, because they memorized that information, assume they know it, sending them along their way.
I believe that unless education, and the fruits of it, are intrinsically rewarding, a kid isn't going to remember anything that doesn't benefit them personally.
Me? I got praise for being smart when I was a kid, so every time I knew something that other kids didn't know, I felt better for it. Not because I got an A on the test (which I stopped caring about in middle school beyond college admission), but because, like right now, if I know more about my local government, people look to me as a source of information and a guide. When I write a book, I believe I'm helping someone who reads it come to many of the same conclusions that I did. That's why I do what I do.
So in short (which it should have been anyway), yeah, people are too dumb to know that, even people paid to be smart, like tv writers (or at least paid to yield ratings). People should be smarter. But they're not.
This society cares about the size of your car, not the size of your gray matter. That's how it's always been, and that's how it always will be until people with money don't beat down the people without it, which is coming on approximately...
The fifth of never.
If you don't mind I'd like to jump back to Lexmas for just a moment and say why I really think Lex Luthor/Anakin Skywalker is an idiot. So, to keep the woman you love from dying in childbirth, you apparently have to turn to the darkside? This is the simplest method, to change your entire lifestyle? Couldn't Lex/Anakin, now knowing the future, and knowing the exact date this thing will happen, stop it?
I would say yes. But then, most contemporary philosophers (and conventional philosophy) believe that that theory is beans. They believe if fatalism is true, you cannot stop something that's pre-ordained. I take the unconventional approach that the instant something becomes known that is pre-ordained, it is no longer pre-ordained, and therefore can be stopped. I'm like Doc from Back to the Future. There are consequences, but in the right hands, the future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.
My buddy George hated it when I told him that in high school. He punched me in the shoulder and said I should have seen it coming.
Ah, the irony. It's okay. He didn't forsee me being "friends" with his sister now, did he! Booya, son! How you like me now?
By friends, of course, I mean...well, this is a family friendly site.
Don't worry. We laugh about it now. Only, if we could have forseen laughing about it then...
I shouldn't say that, because saying it, I know fatalistically speaking, tomorrow my plane will crash. How do I counteract that? I simply tell all of you lovely people that if I die, my sole wish is that people try and get my last three books (and the fourth, if it's slightly revised) published and out there.
Hah! Catastrophe averted.
And anyway, if I die, one of y'all will touch the crystal and offer up your own father, right? Face it, I'm amazing! Come on!
Where was I? Oh yeah. Anakin Skywalker.
Hey, here's an idea Lex/Anakin, take your wife in a week before her due date and get a C-section!
Cauterized by lightsaber and thus totally safe.
Or hell, if you somehow couldn't handle that, when you need someone powerful to help you get some special surgery, you could go to your best friend in the whole world the Senator/State Senator who just loves you and could easily pull strings. And hey, instead of giving up your entire fortune to be able to live life and be with Lana, you could maybe just hire somebody to run things for you, and simply get your dividends every month! But no, obviously the easiest way to get around this is to just turn evil and MAKE SURE YOU GET THAT ALL IMPORTANT STATE SENATE SEAT.
This just goes to show what I've been saying all along. Clark is Darth Vader, and he's the only person on Earth who can pwn Samuel L. Jackson.
Ah well, here's to next week, when somebody dies. Apparently, the sherrif wasn't good enough. Guess Clark didn't love her. Well sherrif, I love you, and that should count for something.
Just don't love her now. That's illegal in 50 states, and...I think...Australia?
Fatalistically speaking, Steve's now going to kill me. Thanks for the letter!
Adeel F. wrote:
Hey there. Good to see you take the time out to write most of the feedback you get. Almost makes me wanna tell you to get a life.. :). But I won't. I'm no rockin socialite either. Thank God for that...
Get a life? You kidding me? EVERYTHING I do for the Superman Homepage, it takes some time, but honestly, it's about 1/6 of all that I do. You want to see me not having a life? Look at my novels, my poetry, my essays, my research time, the houses I build. I'm a workaholic, because I know when it all pays off, I'll be able to relax and do what I want for 40 years, instead of the 10 to 15 years most people who plug their souls into a company as opposed to their heart get.
So yeah, no life, but some consolations.
This is further to the exchange about the Luthor name. Hate to repeat myself, but again, your point about the Luthor name pronunciation was wrong. Just because the name ends with the letters 'o' and 'r' doesn't mean its pronounced 'or', as in "Would you like coffer OR tea?".
Sure it does. I'd even look it up in my old linguistics book if I weren't so impeccably assured of myself. Heck, I'll try dictionary.com, one sec. All right. That failed, given that most entries on the net about the pronunciation of Luthor are written by me. That's flattering, and kind of scary.
I went and studied the morphemes again this week, and the only flaw in my logic that I can find is that there are two morphemes for "or", one that modifies when you ad a vowel to the end, the other that modifies when you add a consonant. Since Luthor has neither, as I recall, the rule is that you go with the one that has a consonant. But then, it's been five years, I could be wrong.
I don't actually care to back it up with a proof. I just know, in my gut, it's LuthOR. Otherwise, they'd write it LuthER. And no one ever has.
Would you say Lex lives in a manOR? What about your hair colOR? Writing 5 novels I guess makes you a pretty experienced authOR! So I agree on your point: Luthor IS, most definitely, pronounced as it is written, which is to say, as if it was an "E", the same way that writing books doesn't make you related to Thor. English is not my first language, but I, too, most certainly have 5 years (more actually) of English language education.
I will concede what you're trying to say. In common speech, in descriptive grammar, we go with what's done by the masses over what's "proper". But that's never been my issue. I might very well say color colER. But that's not linguistically, prescriptively speaking, correct. I use Luthor, but I didn't have an issue with it, I might say Luther. My point is not that; rather, I believe that Lex Luthor IS of the prescriptive school, an arrogant, erudite intellectual who quotes Greek Mythology constantly and would take offense to someone using the anglo-saxon form of his English name. You and me talking, we couldn't care less that I just violated the subject verb agreement by saying "me" instead of I.
Lex Luthor would wet himself with anger, as I see it.
Furthermore, the above discussion anyway is irrelevant. As I stated in my first letter, we, as veiwers, aren'y necessarily supposed to dissect the spellings of character's names.
The bottom line is that the show, FROM DAY 1, has told us that the name is LuthER. And that means it IS.
Logical fallacy. If, from day one, we all said and thought that a magical elf named Luther lived in our stomachs, and that's what causes farts, that doesn't mean it's true.
Though I personally believe in Luther, because I'm a man of faith.
That's one step removed from saying that Chloe Sullivan's name should actually have been Karen Johnson.
Not at all, actually. It's like saying it should be "KLO-EE" instead of "KLOW", because (and not that this ever happens, but) some people like to make their kids' name their own beyond common sense, like Kyryn being "Karen" or wymyn being pronounced "women". Just because people do it doesn't mean it's "technically" correct.
With all due respect, you don't have the right (nor do I) to decide what the names of the character SHOULD be.
I have the right. They just don't have to listen. I mean, they have the right to make Lois a prostitute. I'm gonna whine about it if they do, but they're in charge. Doesn't mean I'm wrong.
They are what the show tells us they are. How you feel the name is pronounced in the comic world, even assuming you are right, is, I repeat, IRRELEVANT.
Not to be so arrogant as to assume that I'm a god-like entity with the power of persuasion, but I believe the overall success of this column means that my opinions aren't irrelevant. In fact, I consider them a success, considering past endeavors which have been, alas, irrelevant.
I know you're going to disagree with that, but frankly you don't really have solid ground to do so.
This is a TV Show. It might be based on a story originated in comic books, but 'Smallville', it is a TV Show nonetheless. If the producers have the right to make changes (Pete and Lana's race??) and insert completely new storylines and angles left and right, then you have to concede that what happens in the comic world is of no consequence to 'Smallville'. If they say LuthER, it's LuthER.
I don't object to Pete and Lana changing races because to me, race is irrelevant to those characters. In fact, it's irrelevant to a lot of characters. Look how well and interesting the "black" Captain America performed (despite some outcry). They're differing questions. One is based on the color of skin, which I think is irrelevant, and the other speaks to a character that's erudite and aristocratic in nature not caring if their name is not prescriptively spoken when they're quoting Aristotle and Sun-Tzu left and right. To me, it's out of character.
When Jonathan says it, is it out of character? Perhaps not, but it annoys me, because by not addressing it, they're making it an issue.
(BTW, I completely disagree with your assessment on my SMYTHE example - "Depends on how the name is spelled. If it's Smith, I'm right. If it's Smythe, you're right" - that I gave. It's MY name, if I tell you its pronounced SMYTHE, regardless of how its spelt, you d$mn well say SMYTHE. You don't have the right to mispronounce my name just because of how you feel it conforms to your views on pronunciation, just like I can't pronounce your name BailAY, whatever reason I might have. My name, my call.)
Sure I do. In fact, I could say Smythe is pronounced "BOONDOGGLE", and that's my opinion that I have a right to. It may make you mad and wave your arms at me, but that's my whole point. Lex is the kind of guy that would get mad and wave his arms if you mispronounced his name the way HE wants it said, which would be in the prescriptive, schooled, erudite morphemological fashion, which is, in fact, LuthOR.
"No. (With respect). I don't really take orders well. No offense.". First off, none taken.
Secondly, it wasn't an 'order', just a light-hearted 'mock' order you could say.
Anyway, the reason I mention this is because it occurred to me while reading your reply, that perhaps my tone in the message seemed a bit harsh, which is not what I intended. (Any remarks about your hair or rambling was a joke, albeit perhaps lame).
I don't take offense, no sweat. Like, ever. Though I do like mocking the people who threaten to come kill me. I know you, you're not like that. ;)
In fact, its possible this message (apart from being L-O-N-G) also has a harsh tone.
It's no problem. Really.
If that's the case, let me add a disclaimer in advance: this is not an attack, or a put-down in any way; simply my honest opinions.
Totally understood. Logician here.
You could say, maybe, that I'm just defending what is one of my favourite shows on TV (along with 'Lost' and 'Prison Break'..seen them? They're great), even though I realise that it is, of course, one of yours as well. Also, its fun to have a debate! Most of the people on the Internet resort to dull, offensive and just plain nonsensible arguments. Nice to have someone who bothers using some intelligence.
Sweet! Thanks for the compliment.
Well, now that you've officially rolled your eyes for the fourth time, wondering when this email will end (and thought of an appropriately diplomatic response to the contrary), I shall wrap this up. Keep up the good work, and hope your novels get published some day. Looking forward to your response...
Actually, I loved this email, because I love debate. Don't worry, I don't feel slighted, and you readers should know that.
P.S. - You may notice that in the beginning, I accidentally wrote 'coffer' instead of 'coffee'. That was, of course, a typo. You may wonder, now, why I'm actually writing about it here, instead of scrolling up and correcting it. No reason, really. I like doing random things that give people some pause.
Or, like me, you believe first draft best draft in friendly letters and essays? Honest truth, I am a descriptive grammar kind of guy. That was, to wit, the only practicum lesson I got to teach. Prescription vs. Description in a modern rote learning context. It tanked, because teachers-to-be hate being told they're wrong. Why? They're teachers, and that mentality means you want to be infallible, so someone questioning you or your philosophies, be it a kid or another teacher, gets the boo stick.
That said, when writing one of said teachers, to show one going along with descriptive teachings when they're a prescriptive person, crazy, daddy-o.
Shafi S wrote:
I hope I got this on time.
Alas, a little late, but valid yet.
But is it me or the episode are sort of boring. Well except supes saving everyone from certain death. But i still think they can improve if they can get a sixth season. Just hoping.
I got that a lot last week, actually. Hope is here as well.
Well thats it nothing comes to mind but before I go.Just one question Neal whats your all time favorite or ok actor to protray our favorite Supes. Well thats it for me.
Depends. Does Welling count? I think the obvious choice is Reeve, but if you count over time and tv, Welling is my personal guy. To be honest, the real answer is that the best person to portray Supes is Dan Jurgens or Tom Grummet. But does that count?
If I had to choose over all? Reeve. Easily.
Jonathan North wrote:
Hey Neal, I was going to write you last week, but I was having keyboard problems, so I'm writing you now.
I understand. After 95 Smallville reviews and some 250 comic reviews, my keyboard finally crapped out last month. Now, it's like I'm immersing my fingers in butter. Or guts. But I prefer butter.
Anyway, Last weeks episode "Fanatic" was a first for me. I fell asleep in the middle of it. I was tired while watching it, but I have been tired while watching Smallville before. I've never actually fallen asleep though. Just goes to show you how riveting the writing was...
This weeks episode I liked a little better. But only a little. Just for the Clark/Chloe interaction and the foreshadowing his future with Lois. I can't believe they killed off Sheriff Adams though. She was one of my favorite characters.
There's a lot of love for that sheriff out there. I personally found her abrasive, but she grew on me.
A lot of people said last week bored them...I was pretty livid, but that's my job.
If they do kill off Lana next week, I will not be nearly as sad to see her go as when poor sheriff Adams was shot. Actually I won't be sad at all if they kill Lana. In fact, I'll probably throw a party. But I really doubt they're going to off their precious princess.
You doubt correctly. Face it. She's amazing.
Sadly it will probably be Jonathan or Chloe.
Ding! I'd make them send you a tee shirt, if they were talking to me.
Anyway, I just can't believe they'd kill Sheriff Adams without anything else, no funeral, no nothing. They don't even acknowledge the fact that she's dead. They just leave her on the floor.
And she's not to be spoken of. Ever. Lex is using her as a paper weight.
For someone who has been around for most of the show she deserved better.
Yes. Instead we get a Clana.
One minor disagreement with your review. I could be wrong but it sounded as if you said Jonathan sold the back 40 to pay Lois. But he didn't. He sold it to repay Lionel for the money that Martha accepted. He said that accepting the money meant he was no longer the man in the commercials or the man that Martha married, and he was paying back every cent that Lionel gave him. Other than that I completely agree with your review.
He did it for both, actually. He paid Lois, handing her a check, and then had enough to pay Lionel. But the funny thing is, Lex owns the farm, as I recall, and thusly Jonathan can't sell it.
Thanks for all your work.
SCOTTY V wrote:
Ha ha. I get it. You hate Lana and you hated this episode!
Ding! I'd send you a shirt, but I can't afford one.
Funny guy you are.
Thanks. I can do it on command, too.
A termite walks into a bar and asks, "Is the bartender here?"
Think about it. You'll get it eventually. ;)
I agree with most of your points so far though, I'm reading as I answer some of what I see. I hated that Lana made such a big deal about Lex saving her life since Clark does it all the time. ARGH! I just came to the point in your review where you talk about the nice blue paint job on Jonathan's truck. I'm thinking maybe you're saying it's the same red truck they've always had but it isn't. The red truck is in the background of this scene and it's practically bent in half. I couldn't remember exactly when that happened because I was thinking, nay hoping, that when Clark crashed it in "Splinter" that that was a hallucination. Anyways, it was destroyed...at some point...and the blue truck MIGHT be an insurance replacement? I don't remember any explanation but I'm hoping.
Interesting. Didn't see that.
Cell Phones. Yeah, they're expensive. I got mine originally because I was doing the whole self-owned business thing. Trying to be the club/bar/party DJ. I'm actually about to start trying to drum up business again. I'm really poor, I'm an actor/singer/performer AND my wife is 4 months pregnant with our first child. Would have been better if I were in film or TV by now, but we figured we really shouldn't wait any longer. You know that whole, there will never be a perfect time thing?
Honestly, less so than most. But I'm a meticulous work-afflicted freak who's never been normal, never will be, and has a profound temper to over-planning.
Doesn't mean I don't empathize or wish you the best. You're a great guy...and I wish I could do something to help out. If I ever get into paid writing, I'll try and pull you along with me.
But we're excited, although more income will most definitely be needed. Actors not in TV or film don't make very good cash and as my wife and I are both actors...sheesh! Plus my car just died again for the 4th time in 4 weeks! I've paid 400 dollars three times in almost as many weeks. We need a new car!
And I find, the more impoverished you get, the more things stack against you. Heck, the bank just doodled me out of 80 bucks. They said I could spend money the day before payday and not have that clear until the check was put in at midnight. In other words, spend the day before auto-deposit, and they won't hit you for it. So I got some food, some gas, and a few movies to watch, and this time, they hit me for 81 dollars in fees. Why? Because apparently, even though they told me that rule has been in place, and even though I've been using it for a year now, it doesn't apply on certain days of the week, according to the fine print in a brochure they know I'll never see and that the teller who told me it was okay to spend the day before my money was deposited failed to tell me.
It's like the time I took a collect call from Utah that lasted eight minutes and ATT, that's ATT, charged me fifty dollars, because in fine print somewhere they can charge over five dollars a minute if you call collect from a pay phone state-to-state. But only certain states. And only at certain times. On certain days. That's ATT.
Yeah, I don't get paid, but I do have a little power. For instance, I can say the bank that did that to me is WASHINGTON MUTUAL, and emphasize that the bank that screwed the ordinary poor guy was WASHINGTON MUTUAL, and maybe, if we keep doing stuff like that long enough, they won't keep doing stuff like this to poor people. It'll happen n...
The fifth of never. Point being, when you're poor, when you're an artist, when you're starving, it never rains it pours. Your own mother won't buy your book, but she will spring for bottled water, which she uses to water plants. And you can say that in a review, because you know she never reads what you write or supports your writing career beyond cursory lip service.
Absolute empathy from me to you, man. Individual problems, same cruel world. I do believe the only way to prevail is to find other people in these situations, hold tight, and try not to step on their heads as the water rises.
Anyways, the cell phones are a necessity for an actor because you're expected to be reachable immediately always.
Understood. I have no problem with career based cells. The only way I'd get one is if I were on a book tour, and then I'd probably just get a calling card. But an actor, it's important.
Plus, since I live in another state from my parents, the free long distance initially was nice but now, they all have the same company cells that I do so it's free. Though at 50 dollars a month, if you don't use all your minutes, it's not much more than a regular phone.
That I gotta disagree on. I get my line connected at 15-20 bucks a month, and I buy a Costco long distance card that costs 3 cents a minute, which I have to put another 20 bucks on every three months, which makes my monthly bill about 27 dollars. That's about 240 bucks a year. Not much, but it ain't chump change either... 24 books, about 25 mailings and printings...
I'm not giving an argument to Lana, just saying that I, as a poor person, do have a cell and so does my wife. We're both actors and it's also helpful in situations where we have a car that breaks down 4 times in 4 weeks! Ugh!
Yar. But you have a good reason, a rationale. What does Lana need one for? She's studying astronomy and whining...
I think the villains are just insane. They saw the ship, recieved injuries from the attack and then went nuts. Just the husband was there and got injured and he went nuts. The wife, chagrined over her poor fiance' also went a little wacky and they didn't really care that they were shooting people. I don't think they're supposed to be trying to logically or rationally figure this out.
I'd buy it, if they hadn't had the foresight to do the GPS and the C-4.
They just want to prove to themselves and the rest of the world that they're not crazy and that they did see the ship. As is seen in the end. They don't really care that they're being arrested, they simply yell and scream about the ship and LuthER and how he's lying and how he knows about the ship, which makes them seem even more crazy. But they are clearly obsessed and simply trying to prove their own sanity on the subject of the ship and that Luthor took it.
That I can buy. I think with a few more lines of development and maybe a little manipulation (known as EDITING, writers), they could have swung it, too.
I've been pulled over a number of times in my life. It's been years now since it's happened, though I will admit, the few times lately I've been on the highway and those flashing lights have come up behind me to pass me, i wasn't sure they were gonna pass me and my stomach dropped. That wouldn't mean I wouldn't then later be annoyed if the cop HAD pulled me over. I think it's common to be annoyed at traffic officers pulling you over and slowing down your day.
Might be. I don't know. I have a deep respect for authority. I question the heck out of it, but nonetheless, I have an involuntary kowtow instilled at a young age with the pledge of allegiance. Cops scare the monkeys out of me. Then reassure me.
For your particular event, you had done something wrong - you were speeding. Same for me in many instances where I was speeding and recieved tickets. I don't like em and I think there are better things for police to be doing, but that doesn't mean I have a disrespect for police officers. It doesn't sound like you do either, although you said you did nothing wrong but were speeding. That's the way most people feel though when pulled over. I've always felt that way whenver I have been pulled over and I realize you're just angry at Lana and the writers so it's unimportant but I just thought I'd mention that most people I know do get annoyed, frustrated, embarrassed and yes, even scared when they get pulled over. But these emotions can all come at once or very quickly upon each others heels.
Actually, in a technical sense, I was wrong. It's like if I were playing baseball and my bat flew out of my hands on accident and killed a kid. Should I be prosecuted? No. But I did do that. I sped because I was keeping with the flow of traffic and because there were no speeding signs and because similar roads had the same speed limit. Mitigating circumstances which, incidentally, the judge refused to listen to, forcing me to defer, which means taking the fine but not having it go on insurance. Apparently, a mitigation hearing is not for mitigation, but instead shooting for deferment or lowering the fine a slight bit. I assumed if I had a good reason, I could mitigate it to dismissal (as I have before on one other ticket), but instead, she lied, said it couldn't be mitigated in that fashion (I later checked the law and it could), and conned me into giving the state 100 dollars.
Incidentally, that's LEWIS COUNTY DISTRICT COURT in LEWIS COUNTY in WASHINGTON STATE. Not that I have any hope of removing patronage to a State Patrol building, but I can point out that their point of petitioning for a redress of grievances is flawed, intimidating, and erroneous. Which is, to wit, a failure of government. When I am king, all police will chase motorists using cell phones while smoking and blowing it at their unstrapped children, not people who honestly speed on accident.
With the horse, Clark got blamed. She had to "stay away from him" because "he was right" and "being around him isn't safe." Clark then tried to apologize but Lana "really wanted to be alone" or something Lana-ish like that.
Yeah. Blah blah blah, Lana...you want a broken leg to be my fault? AH-CHOO! (snap)
I took the whole Martha/Jonathan thing a little differently. Granted, I'm probably trying to overly justify something that the writers don't have the time or desire to do. Martha took the money after rethinking turning it down because she's really worried about how losing to Lex might affect Jonathan's health. She's not being rational, she's being in love and making a mistake. Taking the money might actually cause more damage to their family and to Jonathan's health but her emotions get the best of her and she thinks she can help more by taking the cash. Doesn't make it right, but if she simply tells her husband that the money came from several anonymous donations, it's not illegal and it doesn't hurt Jonathan's integrity, only Martha's.
Until, like Abramoff, it comes out. And it would...it always does. Okay. Often does. Okay. Does on TV.
I'm not saying this is a good way to go in life or in marriage, but she's willing to sacrifice her own integrity for somehting that she thinks will help her husband be less stressed and therefore less likely to have a relapse. She's not being rational, she's not being logical, she's making a bad decision based on love and irrationality.
Yep. Not my style. I like logic, and being mindful of the consequences.
But people have done much worse. Lionel went to jail for supposidly killing his parents. We know he did it and the evidence certainly tells the characters he probably did it but that was a long time ago and from what Martha has seen lately, she could say Lionel's a changed man and that this is Lionel's way of repenting or some craziness like that. As for Jonathan, he loves his wife and his family. He decides, which any of us of free will can, that he will immediately forgive his wife and do what is necessary to rectify the situation to his own conscience. It's important to him to fix the situation but to also let it go. In real life, you may be right, most couples would have a lot of difficulty with something like this but oftentimes our fictitious heroes are very forgiving very easily, especially, however misguided, when the person who made the mistake did it for the hero.
I always am surprised when people say that something is okay because people do it in real life. I can see the logic, but then, is that entertainment? I want to see heroes acting like heroes...and yeah, in real life, Martha might be week, but in my fictions, Martha's my saintly Ur-mother who can do no wrong...Annette too, but I digress.
You'll probably cover this next point in the business section since I covered it in last week's letter but I'll mention it here again. Clark is a bit naive and I still think he has never really been told about Chloe's feelings. We may be able to assume that he SHOULD know or that he's stupid for not knowing, but that doesn't mean he knows.
He is pretty dumb. But I think even a dumb guy could see her crush.
We can also say that it's Chloe's own fault for continuously being dishonest with Clark about her feelings and never being completely clear.
And I do. I don't think Clark would, though.
Or if she has been, I seem to remember her always reneging and changing the story. If anything they are at least both to blame because Chloe always says no no Clark, we're just friends you can tell me anything and Clark is oblivious.
The Sheriff has learned that Clark is helpful and does good things and therefore, as she now knows him and knows he wouldn't hurt Lana (she even says, though I don't know how she knows "two people in love like you guys" or something like that.) The Sheriff and Clark are on friendly, trusting terms now and she's come to see him as an amazing kid who should be "in law-enforcement," har har.
Yeah, but if she's been in law enforcement that long, she'd probably know that even Ann Rule was a good pal of Ted Bundy's for the longest time.
The disappearing act, Clark does that all the time. He's fast enough that people can't see him do it, but they certainly know he's gone and to where? That's the problem with him doing that all the time. I guess people are always just too busy to remember to check into it later. Plus, since Clark is always the one who does solve the crimes, he's off the hook in the end if there was suspicion. Lana, annoying as she is, is not gonna say, "yeah Sheriff, Clark kidnapped me...arrest him!"
A good sheriff would also know about Stockholme's...or maybe only I do, because I just wrote a book where it's pretty prevalent. Oy!
I thought the same thing about Adams going to the mansion but then the writers actually added one of those lines that, I normally say after a show when the line isn't added: "Boy one simple line of dialogue would have fixed that." The line is something about Lex being the future Senator and how it would be good for her image to check out something like this herself relating to a future Senator. Doens't explain the no backup thing, but she did receive the call of all clear. She then acts like the female officer is just a rookie or at least inexperienced. She too is a little naive, but I guess she has no real reason to suspect this woman of being the perp. Not the best way for the Sheriff to behave but I guess she's surprised and people surprised don't always act the smartest way they could.
Conceded. Good point.
I must admit, as many times as I've said it would be good to be rid of the Sheriff, I was shocked by it, even when I knew she was in trouble. I thought she'd be taken hostage or shot at or something but I didn't expect that. So this show, predictable though it often is, can still surprise me. Even so that I can say guess what? I was actually emotionally affected by it. It actually bothered me. We lost a character that nobody really liked but it hit me emotionally. I didn't cry but I did feel heightened tension and slight sadness. I think I might have even said damn out loud.
I miss her too, actually. She grew on me. More than Ethan, anyway. But Ethan ruined a perfectly good coffee table with Lionel, so maybe I'm biased.
I know we hate Lana and all, but when I was watching the show, I actually thought she was a young girl trying to do the only thing she thought she could. Again, as with Martha, maybe not hte best decision, but considering what the hostiles left her with, she's trying to save Lex and herself. We could say she was directly responsible for getting Lex shot but then, Lex stole and lied about the ship.
Lana's lied before. Can Clark shoot her?
Lex hid it from her and the world. Lex lied to the villains when they came and Lex resisted the villains with the panic room. Accountability. We always talk about it. In this instance, Lex is at least partially to blame.
Oh, Lex is almost WHOLLY to blame. He left the officer to die, and stole the ship. But then, in the midst of Lex's blame, he could have survived more likely had Lana not gotten him shot a lot easier.
Had he not set himself up in all the other ways, I might agree that it was all Lana and believe me, I hate too the way Lana is often betrayed on this show, but that doesn't mean everything that happens can be completely lumped on her.
Nor is it, let me be clear. Lex shouldn't have stolen that ship. Difference being, Lana's lies are geared toward how she looks in the eyes of others. Lex wants to find the truth. I find that more noble.
As for the ship not being there and her knowing, I guess she's trying to buy some time and think of something on the way or hoping they'll run into someone. She also knows that the Sheriff has been shot and that, silly as it was for the Sheriff to turn her back, people must know she went there and they will come to her and therefore, find Lex.
I think they show us Lex unconscious when Clark arrives so that we can assume that Clark runs him to the hospital. Lex wouldn't notice even if he woke up by this point because he'd be semi-delirious if he woke at all. Clark asks Lex for info, which is normal considering someone else is still missinf and in danger and he gets it. That was ok.
I put down one...
Clark has a protective aura that shields him and those close enough to him from the types of dangers that such high speed travel might cause. it's been discussed in the comics, likely because it's the only way they could rectify this type of situation, and not on this show but I'll take it for canon. Also that he knows how to move and manipulate his environment in such a way that people are safe.
I think that's the Flash, isn't it? Doesn't he put his speed force around others? I thought Clark's aura only went a half inch from his body...in fact, I think extending the aura was only first introduced in All-Star Supes 1. Am I crazy? Someone will email me and tell me I am, assuredly.
Clark doesn't exactly say that Lex is making Lana love him. He's just bothered that they're that close and hugging, that Lana made it a point to tell him Lex saved her life and that she wouldn't be there if not for Lex and that Clark himself is simply worried about the whole situation. Again with the Chloe, I'm not sure Clark really knows and doesn't think Chloe feels anything more than best friendship.
Yeah, but he didn't go up and say, "Hey, guys. That bothers me." He walked out, Lana style. I can't condone that.
Haha! I loved your little super short review about Lana. Very funny.
I actually enjoyed this episode for the story it provided though. I didn't like Lana's stuff and I'll reitterate I dislike her playing Lex saving her life up so much when Clark has done it for four and a half years but I thought it was entertaining otherwise. For me there were even a few shockers.
Beam me up,
Sorry, the ship's lacking appropriate power to beam right now. It's 4:10 AM. But I will have Data bring you some cookies and a cat until we re-power, boarding a plane in T-minus 18 hours.
Hey, Sal. Awesome name.
I sent a letter to you, but never got a reply.
Yes, I'm sorry. I've read it, I've just been really knocked around by an extended illness, Christmas, my new novel, and I think the dog ate it. Honestly, though, I do care, and I will write back as soon as humanly possible.
I hadn't put a "publish" note on it, so it wasn't addressed in the review.
Sorry about that.
I never use all caps, but please forgive me: KEEP THE REVIEWS UP. I always like seeing the review's score when I begin, as it was especially helpful while watching the series as a marathon. Filler episodes should be easy to point out. Case in point: I was going through season 3, dreading a sudden but inevitable decline in quality.
Perry: 5 of 5. Watch it. And I did.
Velocity: 1 of 5. 0 of 5. Don't watch this episode for all that is holy out of 5. So I read into it. And I didn't watch it.
Thanks for that, Bailey. Here, have a kidney.
Very interesting, compelling argument for the other side. I believe I have a solution which will solve this dilemma.
Steve is now likely asleep, even in Australia, and I am, myself, about to get on a plane, but I will ask Steve, when I submit my review and the KO Count, if he kept the review listing in an older version or backup. If he did, I'll have him put a link with the ratings on a separate page (instead of the main review page) so those who want to be surprised can be, and those who want to know to see if they should watch or not can decide with the review, too.
One problem...if Steve doesn't have a backup, I'll have to do that myself, and I will have to do so myself after the vacation. In which case, it will take until the next episode review. My apologies, but I have heard the request, and will respond...
Why am I using so many paragraphs? As I said in my last letter, you need to review (read: criticize) more things. I just watched through season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and having your filler detecting, easy access, no mercy, no second chances, no survivors review style would have been very helpful.
It was very flattering to read that, too...I'll respond more in private, but here's my basic response to that. I need an anchor. One day of the week where I go @%$#s out and just kill myself on something. I used to do it twice a week, and it killed me, so now I do Smallville, which, as of this word, is 48 pages long for this review alone (with letter help).
So here's my plan. When Smallville goes the way of the dodo, I will either pick up the next readily available show (should one become available easily) in the Superman mold, or I will simply do another show in some other fashion. Doesn't mean I'll be stopping or slowing ANYTHING here at the homepage (let me stress that this is my heart, my soul, and the only site I'm more devoted to than writing itself), but I figure, this has been such an experience, I want to keep doing it when this show ends.
When that day comes, I'll ask you all what to review next. I'll then see if I can stand the show (if it's Lost, maybe, if it's the OC, too diddly bad, neighboreenos), and we'll go from there.
As for more? Heck, I already work 12 hours a day right now, plus 4 more construction, typically, so I don't even have the time to breathe. When my house is sold (and I'll undoubtedly blather about it here) and I have some breathing room, maybe...8 ball says ask again later.
Mostly I'm just flattered that you would request that. That's incredibly kind. Thank you.
I know that you are a Superman fan, but you should just reevaluate yourself as an all around time saver. Do your part. Save lives. Save our patience.
I considered joining the military. But then I realized they strip away your rights and make you fight over ideas. Doesn't mean my family and friends aren't military, I just...OH! You mean reviews. Heh. You want a flaying? Check out my daily political column (*daily subject to workload interpretation) that is un-family friendly and probably more offensive than Hitler on Ice at http://www.nealbailey.com/chroniclingthefall.html. You want more critical analysis, there it is, baby.
Still an awesome name.
And if it's what it takes to get a reply, put it on the review page.
That's what gets an insta-reply, yes. That or URGENT in the subject line. Or even I HAVE THAT MONEY I OWE YOU. Or YES, WE'LL PUBLISH YOU. Or THIS IS ANNETTE, AND I LOVE YOU!
Okay. My O'Toole obsession is unhealthy. Officially.
"First off, Lana lied. She said she wanted to come over to study. Instead she wanted nookie. Chalk up another Lana lie.
Second off, Lana has always been portrayed as virginal and anti-sex, in it for the love, blah blah blah, etcetera etcetera, and yet here she is portraying the guy she gave wilting glances to for kissing on Alicia as a pansy for not putting out."
First, when college students who are dating have a study date, it's not a lie for them to also want to fool around. You hold Lana to an unrealistic standard and it's reaching on your part to brand her as a liar for this trivial event.
I never said that it's not a lie for college students having a study date to fool around. I said that Lana (as implied by Clark's statements "I thought we were going to study") said that she had come to study. In fact, she wanted sex. That's out of character and, yes, a lie. How is that reaching? I do admit I hold Lana to an unrealistic standard. This is because I used to hold her to a fair standard, and her character repeatedly violated that fair standard, making me hyper-sensitive to her character's actions. It's like politics. Everyone's always going to be watching Teddy Kennedy now for his indiscretion.
Second, you are the only one that is clinging to your straw man that Lana is virginal and anti-sex. Your repeated chastising of her behavior obiviously demonstrate that in fact, Lana is not virginal or anti-sex. She may have been that way at one point, but her character has changed over time.
For those of you who don't know, a straw man is an argument that takes this form:
Neal: Steve, I want to say the word @%$#ing in my reviews instead of having sex.
Steve: No way. Not a chance. It's a family friendly site. Soccer moms would kill me.
Neal: They'd #%$@ing kill you?
Steve: Thin line, mate.
Neal: Steve, why are you a censor?
Steve: I'm not! This is my site!
Neal: You want to control everything I say!
That's a straw man. Distorting one fact to prove another that simply isn't true. The assertion I believe Jeff is trying to make is that I am making a straw man fallacy by saying Lana is a virginal and is anti-sex by virtue of the fact that it's odd when she later suddenly becomes sexual and decides to have sex. Here's the line of logic put into the straw man framework:
Neal: Lana's virginal and anti-sex.
Jeff: No way. Not a chance. She's just expressing her sexuality for the first time after not being sexual.
Neal: She was vehemently virginal with five other men (including Clark), up to and including living with some and not having sex, an exceedingly rare situation, for five years, and now she asks to have sex every week and complains when she can't.
Jeff: That's... hey, wait, that's not a straw man fallacy! That's a proof! D'oh.
What I BELIEVE you are trying to argue (if I had to argue myself, this is what I would say, because I could totally pwn me) is that just because a woman begins avidly engaging in sexual activity after a long period of being virginal (and bless her heart for that) doesn't mean that behavior is odd or wrong.
I do think, in a fictional character, Lana in particular, it is inconsistent. That's what I'm saying.
Crap, I pwned myself trying to pwn myself. But thankfully, either way, I rule.
I suspect that your letters have dropped off not because of the lack of viewers, but instead because your reviews lack the critical analysis and wit they once had, and have now become filled with whining. The signal to noise ratio is just too low.
THAT is a straw man fallacy, there.
Neal: My letters are dropping off.
Jeff: Why do you think that's happening?
Neal: Well, honestly, I think it's because in season 4, the very devoted haters and passionate lovers of the show left, leaving the less passionate fans and without the show, there's no reason for the extreme people to frequent a review centered on it. That, and because after 100 reviews, a lot has been laid out, there's little original to ask about. Dropped off, also, significantly, means 20-30 letters a week, which isn't so bad.
Jeff: I suspect that your letters have dropped off not because of the lack of viewers, but instead because your reviews lack the critical analysis and wit they once had, and have now become filled with whining. The signal to noise ratio is just too low.
See! Completely illogical conclusion designed to slight the person who made an assertion in order to make them look bad. My reviews have ALWAYS lacked critical analysis and wit, and have always been whining. Unless, of course, you consider what I'm doing now critical analysis and wit. But would it be critical analysis and witty to point that out? I don't know. I do know, however, I did all of this without ever cracking the whip, which I am proud of.
This argument form is also known, to you fans of Lana out there, as PASSIVE AGGRESSION.
Lana: Why do you lie to me Clark?
Clark: Because, if I tell you my ONE secret I can't tell which doesn't hurt you, you'll become hurt. It's hurt other people. They've died.
Lana: I don't believe you.
Clark: I'm sorry. It's the truth.
Lana: You can't be honest with me, so we can't be together.
Clark CAN be honest with Lana, about everything but one thing, so she straw mans that out to make him a total liar, inconsistent, whatever it is she's passive aggressively accusing him of in a given week.
But hey, I shoulda been a plumber. My dad still brings me longshoremen aps. What do I know, huh?
Thank you for the letter, though.
First off, let me once again say thanks for the reviews. It makes good reading and I'd like you to know that all your effort is worth it.
Thank you. That means a lot to me.
While watching "Lockdown", when Clark and Martha are having their little conversation about Lana, I notice there is a busted up red truck in the background. Do we think this is the same one that got destroyed during "Splinter"? If so, its nice to see the continuity guys doing their job.
Very true. Good catch. I missed it.
Heres hoping that episode 100 actually manages to do what it promises. I can't wait to see what you make of it. See ya.
Alas, alas, alas!
Yo, Neal! What's up, man? I wasn't sure if your thing in your review about Clark saving Lana from that explosions was addressed to me...but I'm just going to assume so. :)
Oh yes. You're my physics man, buddy. Defer to the man! And you da man.
Clark would have to be doing well in excess of 300 miles per hour to save Lana from the bomb blast. The explosion, as we see it, is that large cloud of glowing, superheated gas which radiates out in all directions from the bomb. The blast is supersonic, which is why it creates a shock wave that damages everything around it. If it was C-4 in that briefcase, as it would have had to be to create such a giant explosion that could destroy the warehouse, it would cause an explosion which would have expanded very rapidly. According to HowStuffWorks.com (I'll give the exact link at the bottom of the message), C-4 releases the fiery gases upon initial detonation at about 26,400 feet per second - or about ten times faster than a rifle bullet. For any mortal human, it's effectively instantaneous.
BOOYA. Now you know why I asked you. See folks? People say Smallville should make me a script doctor. NO. Hire Will as a plausibility editor. I'll do the continuity editing for free.
So, in order to save Lana, let's say Clark would have to be traveling at the speed of the gases to get her out of there. (He'd obviously have to be moving faster than the blast at first to get to her before the explosion does, but let's assume he's smart enough to slow down as much as possible when he's got Lana.) That would mean Lana's unconscious body would be accelerated from 0 meters/second to 8,050 meters/second in about, well, considering her range to the explosion, 1/100 of a second - and that's being VERY generous. Newton tells us that Force = mass times acceleration, so F = 50kg (Lana's approximate weight, about 110 lbs) * 805,000 m/s^2 = 40,250,000 Newtons. Now, that's a big number. For example, the total force made by one of the most powerful cars in America, the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG, is 1,000 Newtons - about 738 lb-ft of torque. Let me put this a better way: The acceleration involved is equivalent to 82,142.9 G-forces. The Apollo astronauts experienced 6 on the way out of the atmosphere. Pilots in fighter jets black out at 9. Someone in a car accident where they, say, hit a rock at 60 miles an hour probably feels 50, but only for a tiny fraction of a second.
That's a lot of nuts!
Short answer: Lana would be chunky salsa. Actually, scratch that: she'd be pureed tomatoes. Of course, they do this sort of sh@# all the time on this show, just because they don't think anyone cares.
Will, you have made me giggle. I salute you, sir. Lana as puree...Neutrogena brand puree.
Bad episode. I was also wondering about Lex being shot in the lung; I figured he should have been dead in ten minutes. But, hey! He has a healing factor, remember! He's a Krypto-freak. Hey, maybe Lana has the combination krypto-powers of a) emitting pheromones that work on humans and aliens (take that, Kelly Brooks!) and makes everyone think she's amazing, and b) giving her superhuman levels of bichiness.
My bich modification. Didn't he assume that healing factor? I can't recall...
By the way, that was a NEW farm truck Pa Kent was working on when he was talking to Lois. You could see the battered and bruised faithful red Dodge in the background when Clark and Martha were talking. It's still smashed up from...hell, I dunno. Lemee check the KO count.
Wow. Was it really Splinter? WTF? I could have sworn we've seen it since then. So, apparently, not only does it heal itself all on its own, but it can also un-fix itself to evade suspicion. My God - it's CHRISTINE!!! ;)
We might have seen it and I might have missed it. I sometimes miss stuff when I'm scribbling. I'd do two viewings...but I typically don't need to. Thankfully, I've got you guys.
I do wonder, though, what the odds are of the Kents buying THE EXACT SAME MODEL of truck, except in a different color. I could see it oif it was a brand new truck, but that thing's almost twenty years old by now. Even in the sticks, you don't see that many excellent-condition 1987 Dodge Rams. It's almost like they had several different copies of their own truck, and decided to paint one of them a new color...
Yeah. When my car got totally by guys who ran a stop sign, an 84, they didn't replace it, they totaled it. I bet they would with a truck.
Any insurance guys out there?
I hope! Thanks Will.
Hey, cutie! So I'm falling behind again. Maybe I'll do two episodes with one response again. Maybe I won't. We'll have to see how my afternoon progresses.
I don't care how you do it if you call me cutie. And I'm a notoriously slow response, as ye know.
Welcome to the sickness. I had mine since November and I think I've finally kicked it! I kinda' miss my 1-900 voice, but you can only have that for so long. Not to mention a friend was freaking out and, if I hadn't gotten better, would have insisted I go to the doctors. I'm not a doctor girl, so that wasn't OK for me.
I thought I had bronchitis. I might have. It lasted four weeks. My buddy Daniel knew someone who died from Bronchitis. I called the poverty docs, and they said they could see me. In three weeks.
So I did what I did with my .7MM X .5 MM X .4MM kidney stone. I waited, and it went away. Some day I'll wait and I'll die.
But hey, socialized medicine is for commies. NEVER LET THE REDS GET TO US.
This message brought to you by the focus group committee for a healthy America, now tapping my phones.
Congrats on the fifth novel! Not that I want you to, but maybe they'll explode on the literary scene. Oh, now that's just too morbid, Sara! But sometimes that's what I wonder for my own prose.
I don't know if I want success or not, actually. I just want to write and distribute. If success comes with that, goody.
I agree that it was rather dull, boring and inane. It really reminded me of that episode of the girl that could go invisible. Of course, I've felt that way a number of times. for the last year or so. I've also felt that way with movies. Have we as a people run out of good original ideas? Seriously?
Cough cough it's a repressive artistic climate brought on by a society that values money over beauty, and only wants to place sure bets.
And hey, straw man fallacy, to keep it going, but I buy this one: Politicians call people unpatriotic if they question things, people get scared, and they don't write things as bold as they might if they had more freedom of speech.
The campaign. I've not been terribly impressed with this plot "twist" at all. It's too hokey. Jonathan (good guy) is running against Lex (bad guy). And to go with the Superman genre, Jonathan's soooo not gonna' win! Is it to show that Jonathan still doesn't trust Lex? Like who didn't know that???
I think it was to kill Jon-Boy. 20/20 now though.
I thought the whole thing with the gun was. well, retarded comes to mind. I know it's not going to "spoil" anything for anyone, but Lois is never shown until she puts her face near the gun. But then I have a couple of choice comments about Lois purpose in this episode that I'll go through a little later when it's more pertinent. And I also don't often agree with the flashback episode. Whether it be flashback of the series or of the "48 hours prior" type. Is it supposed to heighten the suspense? 'Cause it didn't for me.
It never does to me. It says HACK show to me. Mostly. With rare exception.
Nice tips about the gun and firing procedure. Being raised to be a girl (like me), I had no idea. (Tee hee.)
A gentleman who didn't want me to be public with his letter said that in the military, you are told you can close the eye for precision work. Personally, I've learned both ways, I still stand by both eyes open. Not that I've ever killed anyone, and my eye is out of practice. One of many flaws, regardless.
I hadn't thought about the social commentary. I know this will sound rather witchy of me, but do you think they intended it? OK, I'll try to be nice now.
I don't know, honestly.
The thing with Lionel. Yeah, with "Lexmas", I was thinking, "Well, maybe this is Lillian's view and she doesn't know about the Jor-El possession." Maybe Lionel wants Lex to become tougher with opposition. And what was the dirt? Is Jonathan having some sort of weird torrid affair? What's the deal?!? Why did he burn it? I know that he becomes Jonathan's secret backer through Martha, but why?!? Why?!? WHY?!? It's just not helpful to throw out these questions when there doesn't seem to be any real chance of clarification! Grrrr.
We know no more now, and I doubt we ever will.
The Lois campaign manager appointment irritated me. It's like they're trying to say she has more political savvy than they've yet to show in the series. Was it because she caught the misquote? That justifies having a maybe 20-year-old run a state Senate race? Seriously? 'Cause I would have been all "Let's hire someone else, but you keep that eagle-eye open!" Or are they saying her attention to detail is equal to someone who has political and media connections? Maybe this is their way of pushing Lois into the journalism realm.
Or maybe it's just a way to show how a woman can do anything she puts her mind to, no matter what her age or experience.
Or maybe it was just a way to include Lois in a series where she literally has no place at all.
I agree that the girly encounter was just too trite. While I was watching it, I thought "Why did she start at CKU? Doesn't she go to Met U? And is it really the best use of the campaign manager's time to be putting up posters? Where are all the supporters???" Because she was able to throw together a large rally within 48 hours of her appointment, there has to be some. And the fascist comment. I don't know where she gets that. In my head, I had an impression of what that meant, but wanted to get the official definition, which is "an adherent of a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism) or other right-wing authoritarian views". Now, I know that Lex wants power, but at this point, how can this definition be put on him???
Hitler was a veiled fascist, and Saddam and Kim Jong-Il are straight-up fascists. Hitler didn't reveal he was a fascist until he had power, and even then, played around it.
What you have here is the same people who call me a misogynist because I question women, when they should wait until I hate them (which I don't), and someone who misrepresents fascists to be a person who oppresses freedoms or bullies others into submission (an equivocation with a dictator, like Stalin or Saddam) as opposed to a father figure big brother. Like some accuse George Bush of because of the aforementioned "unpatriotic and comforting the enemy" comments. I don't think Bush is a fascist, I think the term is misused, as it was with Lex. I have other terms, however, that do apply...
The sex thing. Oy! I haven't been too pleased with the introduction of the element and to now have it constantly brought up. It definitely seems too much. What audience are they pandering to here???
Let's see...I'm gonna take a quick guess. Men who want to have sex with Kristen and Tom. And women.
Oh, you poor guy! I totally agree with the Lana thing. It's not that I hate the character, because that's totally wasted emotion on something entirely not worth it. But every time she's on screen, I want to change the channel. And it's not necessarily Kristen. After all, I did buy her "Snow White" remake!
Likewise, and that fantasy tv movie she was in a few years back wasn't half bad. Though, admittedly, it was so memorable I don't have the name in my head.
I'm with you on the "Oh, here's where Samantha steps it up like she said after her 'confrontation' with Lois." It was too crass for Lex. Lionel. or any other true freak o' the week. (OK, maybe not Let's be serious!)
I don't think we'll hear "I was just trying to do what I thought was right." Because I know she knows it's wrong. But we will hear "I just wanted to support you in any way I could, Jonathan, and you weren't going to even be a contender if I didn't take the money." I could see Martha come entirely clean. But I don't think there'll be any repercussions. It's just nothing I would expect from the PTB at this point.
I found the scene with Chloe really irritating. They could not have illustrated any clearer that Clark is a total jerk when it comes to his "best friend" and her obvious feelings for him. That he even thought to talk to her about it after everything that happened the year before makes my head want to explode. Yes, she's his sounding board (read "whining board") for anything regarding his powers, but this is totally over the top. You know, I have guy friends, but I wouldn't be singing any kumbayayas if they wanted my advice about sex and their retarded girlfriends. I did like that she told him to tell Lana again and that him thinking her totally idiotic wasn't realistic. After all, when it comes to someone else's secret that really doesn't have anything to do with her, she always seems to find out.
Personally, I find that when girls talk to me about their boyfriends, I'm getting the short end. And if I talk to girls about my girlfriends, well, maybe this is just the people I know, but the girls I know don't really care when I'm upset, they just typically want to talk about themselves.
Not saying that's what all women are like, just most of the ones I know. For all I know, I know the 20 crazies and the rest are all the most capable people in the world. That's not counting internet ladies, btw, but people I know in the flesh. You're an exception, Sara. Woot!
I have to say that every time I hear or see Shelby, I think of you. Do you have a thing for golden retrievers??? :D
I have a thing for dogs. You can fart on their heads and they'll keep smiling. If you step on them on accident, you just have to wave a ball and they're all better. They hug you even if you just did something mean to them (no human will do that). They're innocent. They like doing what I like, eating, running around, and sleeping. Dogs are more loyal to me than any person I've ever met. The dog has a reason not to read your books. The dog always wants to be around you.
Dogs are just plain cool. Cats? I have two, but they're idiots and mean. I respect that. But I guess I'm more fascist than dictator. I like blind filial dog obedience. In people, I just like interaction.
I know what they were trying to do with the hospital scene. They were trying to put doubt on Lex's road to the dark side. Of course, that's it! They want Lex to regain everyone's trust and have slumber parties at the mansion again until he can inject each and every last one of them with mutant-doses of kryptonite. Then we can have a town of superheroes or villains instead of just one. Right? Right???
Maybe. I don't know. I'll ask my lawyer.
You know, I have to semi-admire the actress that shaved her head bald. But I found the shape of her head extremely unattractive. Maybe that's just me, but I don't think it did a thing for her and definitely wouldn't improve her allure to Lex. But isn't it nice that she'll clock Lex for having a moment of weakness, but he gets to live?
With me, it's long hair or bald head. I like a bald woman. It tells me she curses and will head butt me when we're making out. She can also give me rug burn, and my punches will slide right off her head. Okay, joking. But anyway, I was bald once, kinda crazy. Hair removal is a stock trade trick in scripts to make a woman go through a cathartic journey. This is an example of the cliched use of it.
Don't worry about the actress. She'll get more jobs for having been on Smallville.
They don't have time for Clark to apologize to Lex every time he's wrong about his motives. 'cause that would take two seasons in and of itself!
Ergo, solution: Don't give Clark a reason to apologize.
I found the Chloe insta-tapping very eye-roll worthy. I love the character of Chloe. I really do. She's smart, intelligent and snarky. Just like I want to be. But that she can punch a couple of keys, go to the file cabinet for 1.5 minutes and then be back at the computer just in time for it to bing its results? Listen, I'm pretty computer savvy, and even I can't do that kinda' crap! I have problems sometimes just converting VHS tapes to DVD!!!
Just like you are. But yeah, implausible techno-stuff.
I couldn't figure out why Samantha tried to make Lois take the shot. After putting her prints on the gun, what's the point? Maybe you're thinking for the GSR. Hmmm. But then why would Samantha go and take the shot after she knocks out Lois again? (And where do those two incidences put Lois in the K.O. count?)
She was knocked to the floor and didn't move. That's my incidence there...there was another, too.
I thought the Griff death thing was odd. Why in the world, then, did Lionel give him a wad of money? Did he follow him to his hideout (because with his super bat powers he can so totally do that) and then find him making another copy of the picture with his computer or the negative and got p*$sy?
I'd know, if they would only tell us.
I agree that in the "normal" world, Lana would have called Clark. But in the normal world, where an alien would want to hide his superpowers, he also wouldn't be trekking up to Metropolis on a frequent basis. After all, all previous four years didn't have quite this many trips to Metropolis unless funded by a Luthor.
Yeah. I just think of all that gas, especially given that she has an SUV.
If this had been "normal" Lana, they would have been over. No wonder he was depressed. He had to know at that point that the relationship was over. Because in nearly every other instance, it would have been. unless it was Jason and then she would have hung onto him. Too bad she's not into mama's boys.
Or anyone who doesn't worship her unquestioningly.
I was pretty pi#@y about the limo scene. I was actually hoping that she'd go to her wealthy father. considering that Jonathan is trying to become a politician which should change his opinion of her hubby. But I digress.
I'm gonna' start off by saying I haven't watched yet. But I want to read it because otherwise I'll be hugely behind again. At least I have an excuse. My sister came up this weekend and I had no opportunity to "enjoy" this episode. I'm feeling wary with your first seven paragraphs. Oh dear.
You know, it doesn't seem like the average rabble are interested in anything beyond his study. Perhaps he could just have lasers there he can activate with a button on his desk. Or maybe every time he closes his laptop without the proper procedure.
Don't forget the basement he played in, even though the mansion hadn't been moved yet.
You know, as much as I have to acknowledge that Lex has a panic room. Why has he never used it before now??? Maybe he's never seen the danger coming? Oy!
He put it in last week, dontcha know?
And they're negotiating with Lex through the panic room door? Or the close circuit TV that should be in there? Why would they think Lex would consider it? They don't have anything to hold over him. at all.
Lana drove three hours for a booty call? And Clark is supposed to give up on his studies cause she says so? Is that really how girls are? I didn't realize. And I really am tired how they're portraying her as some sex starved nympho. It does belay the character they've had for four years. And I still can't believe that want me to honestly think she didn't have sex with Jason after she so freely offered it up. Are we saying that Jason found her so repulsive.? No, wait. I like that scenario!
Erm, not that I've ever traveled three hours for a booty call. Only two and a half. But then, I haven't been with a bunch of people I haven't wanted to have sex with because that would be "wrong" for the last four years.
I don't think most girls are like that. I know some that are, bless their wondrous hearts, but then, they are NOT Lana.
I'm going to be cranky here for a few minutes. Why does Clark still like this girl? He practically cut off Chloe by intercepting Lionel's interest in him Season 3 and he nearly cuts her dead. She's the devil, right? Because she agreed to investigate him for Lionel. But when they became friends again, she played double-agent and told Lionel absolutely nothing. even though there was plenty for her to tell. But Lana continues to do something that Clark has specifically asked her to drop and he still is going to propose?!? Are you SERIOUS?!? I've developed a bleeding ulcer with this one paragraph. I'm dying here!
Don't worry. I'll turn back time.
And considering he's using that death experience as the reason why they're not having sex, how hypocritical. Oh, right. We're talking Lana, right?
And do they really want us to believe that Lex couldn't put out a call for help within the panic room?
I believe they did.
Martha's what?!? Are you serious? Is she going to pull the "Well, Chloe and Pete know so you might as well tell Lana?" Where was that two or three seasons ago???
I believe it was.
Tracking Lana by? And considering that he and Clark aren't friends anymore and she's Clark's boyfriend. Oh, that's right. She does what she wants when she wants. I'm getting a headache.
I already have one.
I'm assuming you mean in front of Lex's close-circuit camera, right? :D
Ahhh. Lana Fu. The battle weapon of the whiny. Where she learned such skills when she's taken captive so easily I'll never understand. And back in the panic room? For the love of!?! And they don't snag a gun? And Lex is supposed to be willing to do anything for power, money and survival but he won't kill two crazy cops that have taken him and a friend hostage??? Seriously???
That's it though. They DID snag a gun. They just didn't use it. Seriously.
And he wouldn't faint or anything. Because he's super Lex with the overactive white blood cells! Of course those'll clot any wound he gets.
Heh. And grow a new lung, apparently.
At first I was confused because you said Lois confessed to taking money, but now I see. Jonathan sells the back 40? How are they planning on living when he doesn't win the Senate race? Wait. Lois took the blame and Jonathan smiles & forgives? Then Martha confesses? Really? I'm not sure. Ah, f*** it!
And Lex owns the land.
Are you serious?!? Oh, man! Is it worth actually watching the episode? I'm not sure. I'm feeling pretty antagonistic about it currently.
I think bad episodes put the good ones in perspective.
The cop survives??? What the.?
Oh. You don't think Lana's gonna' kick it? And here I had such hopes.
I had hopes. They were dashed.
Well, here's to the 100th episode. I can only hope that it'll be everything they say it should be. Oh, please, PTB, PLEASE!!!
Cue the Price is Right: BUM BUMP BA BUM, Boooooooooooooooooooow. Sorry. We do have some consolation prizes though. Letters!
Bruce Kanin wrote:
Re: SMALLVILLE Season 5 - Episode 11: "Lockdown"
You know that I didn't rate this one all that well, either. Ironically, despite the episode name, it was an escapee from the 3rd and 4th seasons (probably the 4th).
Or any season in the lull.
However, I kindly beg to differ about the shark jump. First of all, I think a show can jump back and forth. There is probably a statue of limitations (as Kramer once said - corrected by Jerry: "statUTE", like "utes", as Joe Pesci once said) on jumping, but I don't think SMALLVILLE has passed the limit, whatever it is.
I agree. I don't think there's a limit. I am just loathe to jump it back without three good episodes in a row. Three fives.
Let's digress, and I will once again show my age. Many moons ago there was a grand show, born from Bondmania of the 1960s, called THE MAN FROM UNCLE (laziness is causing me to not plug in the periods in "UNCLE"). It was refreshing and new in its first season; still wonderful and energetic in its second; and shark-worthy in its third. Well, it jumped the shark in its third, with a load of crappy episodes. But then a curious thing happened in its fourth and last season - new writers, producers, directors, etc. arrived and they were able to leap backwards over that fin.
THE MAN FROM UNCLE managed to produce a really great final season, before being canned about two-thirds of the way through. And it proved, to me, that a show can jump back. It's rare - because shows that jump usually stay crappy after the jump, but it can happen.
I've actually seen a ton of episodes. Nick At Night, as a kid, played it every night. I know what you mean.
End of digression. SMALLVILLE jumped the shark in Season Three and remained there last season (#4). But it leaped back, barely, this season. It's had some crap, like "Lockdown", but for the most part, it has remained, feet wet, close to the fin, ready to hoist itself, but not quite flying through the air over Jaws, yet.
I think the first half was passable. Maybe 3-4 territory. But not EPIC, as deserves a show that hasn't jumped, like, say, House for me right now.
I think you're right, though - next week's episode may be very telling. Plus, the end of the season - the May sweeps - will be telling. That's when I expect "Jor-El" to come out of the closet and reveal himself as General Zod - threatening to take over Earth with his other Phantom Zone pals - and aided by the return of Professor (Brainiac) Fine. If they do that, and they do that well, they not only will have stayed on shore, away from the shark - they will have killed the damn thing, despite Superman's code against killing.
I wish it had been that. Zod is coming, though.
And if they do that successfully, and next season, presumably the last one, Clark is able to vanquish Zod and company (and find out that the real Jor-El was a good guy after all - and long dead, as he should be!), it will be a springboard for Clark becoming a man - a Super Man - and a fitting end to an uneven, but ultimately satisfying (if they do all I hope they do!) series.
If only...Thanks, Bruce.
You know, earlier this season I think the writers may have actually toyed with the idea of writing a Lana that owned her manipulations and lying. Early in this season, she was shown concealing things from Clark, like the newspaper article with the "blackmail" message. I thought they might go all the way and have her investigating the ship with Lex in an openly sneaky manner. (Openly to us the viewers, sneaky to Clark.) I mean, I think she has a right to investigate something that seems tied to parents' death and nearly her own, but I thought "Finally she might get to OWN her choices! She gets to OWN her lies!"
Hah! That'll be the day.
But no. They had to retcon everything with Lockdown. So instead of Lana openly choosing to investigate with Lex because she understands how she can use his resources and manipulate his feelings for her, they have her tell Clark that he essentially forced her to be sneaky. They never spoke of the ship onscreen, so Lana saying that Clark downplayed its importance is a huge retcon. It attempts to absolve Lana not only of responsibility but also of independent thought and free will. Poor widdle thing had no choice but to lie and sneak around!
Of course. She's amazing, face it.
I would say the show has a misogynistic undertone in portraying so many women as thoughtless dolls who are merely forced into situations, but in truth I don't think they portray the men any better. Perhaps the writing staff are made up of misanthropes. Nearly every character has been turned into a tool.
Holy cow! Someone gets it. Me questioning this behavior doesn't make me a misogynist (I'm not), it indicates that writers making characters that proscribe such roles to women that they then adapt is a patriarchal, misogynistic practice.
Wow! Cool. I agree.
Now I'm off to stare at Erica's tas.
And heaven above why does NO ONE remember that Lionel is Satan? From Jonathan accepting his insider info a few weeks ago, to Lois and Martha accepting his money. Too many massive head wounds or what?
Must be. Could be bad writing, too. Pick one. :)
Howdy, writer boy? How's it going? OK, after watching the episode, I have some pithy (hopefully) comments:
It's going well. Threw out my back pouring concrete, but that's an excuse to sit and write. It's 5:33 AM and life is running through my veins like a squirrel! (You Can't Take it With You).
As Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, "Chancellor Palpatine, pithy comments are our speciality!")
1. Why are the PTB so unconcerned with the timeline of an episode? Lana & Clark have their "Why won't you have sex with me?" fight just before Clark is supposed to go to class. Don't most full-time students try and get their studies out of the way by early afternoon?
Er...Most. I was arrogant. I did it on the way to class. If.
So why, when Lana called Chloe right away and was driving back home, was it dark when the cop pulled her over? And when Lana takes the cops to the junky warehouse, it's daylight again. I really don't think Clark would be patient enough to slowly work through the night before finding Lana. Why didn't he just accuse Lex of kidnapping her? (Tee hee...)
2. In the save vein, how could Lana spend "so much time" with Lex? She has school, homework, her "relationship" with Clark, driving back and forth from Smallville, her independent studies of all things concerning the meteor shower, and hopefully a job. How in the world???
She's everything to everyone.
3. If Lana can do Lana-fu, why can't she do simple first aid? She doesn't put any direct pressure on the wound and in fact pulls away the shirt? And why does she have him propped up against the cot? I can understand having his torso elevated, but surely she could have stuffed pillows and blankets under him?
She gives him hell as he's dying, too, don't forget.
4. I know that the PTB doesn't have a firm grasp on subtlty, but what's with the cheesy music and the prerequisite zoom in's when bad news is heard or given???
Don't forget the chimes before the commercial break.
5. I know you pointed out that the sheriff should have at least pulled Clark in for questioning, but this is the warmest I've ever seen her act toward him? Did something happen? And she has a soft-spot for his and Lana's relationship? Seriously???
He's apprenticing with Deuce Bigalow.
6. I'm also not sure why the sheriff wasn't wearing a bullet-proof vest. After all, when they were investigating Lana's disappearance, they didn't know what they'd be getting into. I'm not a cop, but I would have played the Boy Scout and been prepared for any eventuality.
I can't make the joke I was going to make here. I would be shot. It has to do with missing armor. That's all you're getting out of me.
7. What's up with Chloe's overly complicated play at the Psych Ward? Does that or does it not seem a little odd? Maybe it's just me! And when did Smallville Medical Center get security???
It was odd. They're guarding the squeaky shoes, as a joke.
8. Why is it that Lex's security cameras never catch Clark coming out of superspeed? We know that he had cameras in his panic room covering the study. Clark enters the room just at the end of his superrun. How is it Lex has never seen it???
They're trained to focus only on the foxy ladies...like my cameras!
9. Why can Clark shout at someone who's unconscious from blood loss and they'll automatically wake up?
10. How is it that Clark's clothes remain virtually unscathed considering how many times he's engulfed in flames?
He's that cool, baby.
11. Looking at the footage again, it was like three months after the ship landed or more and a couple of weeks since it disappeared. I think we're not going to have a "January" election. They're trying to show that it's like an October/November election. After all, everything's still in bloom in Kansas!
Could be. They didn't try very hard though, or I would have seen it.
12. Even selling off the "back forty", it didn't cover all of Lionel's money, but Jonathan's confident. How? I mean, how many times in the past four years did Lex pull them out of the black hole of debt because they couldn't make ends meet with just the farm? How? How?!? HOW!!!
I think Lex owns it.
13. While watching this, I wonder why 18-year-old (maybe 19) would jump into marriage so early. Watching the end of this episode, it made me wonder if his fear that Lana would like Lex and dump him had anything to do with it?
Because 18-year-olds have never been utterly destroyed by a significant other. Because their parents pressure them into it. Because they're idealistic, stupid, and very into sex. Because they think it will save them money on rent. Because it's a tax break. Many reasons. All suck.
Some do it for love. Those rarities are neat. But rarities.
So, that's it for this installment. Are you sick of hearing from me already?
No. I can't be stopped. I type 100 words a minute and I've built a house with my bare hands. I've been chased by a knife-wielding assailant, smashed into concrete, I've drilled very sensitive areas of myself and I think, I'm not sure, but I think, sleep delirium is setting in.
In short, your letters are amazing.
Cort Chatagnier wrote:
Regarding the 100th episode:
Someone also can type fast. Woot!
I felt like I had gone to a nice restaurant, and the waiter was trying to stuff food down my face at an alarming rate.
Don't worry. When you choke, I'll go back and save you.
Simply too much in too little time, with the most injustice and lack of respect to the character of Jonathan Kent. Could they have possibly done a more rushed job of telling his final story?
They could have had him sitting on the couch, saying, "Honey, would you get me a soda?" and then have her cut off both his arms. And then she'd say, "You have two hands. Do it yourself! Er, wait a minute." Before holding a cup underneath the blood and feeding it to Lana, who's now a vampire and a witch again. Then Clark would try and take him to the hospital and trip, dropping him at subatomic speeds into the falling tractor.
That's the only more rushed job I can come up with at 5:45.
This episode contained two things we have been anticipating for the past few years (revelation to Lana & death of his dad), and they crammed it down our throats within an hour instead of taking the time to tell the story.
And pulled half of it back. All of the important stuff gone.
The first sequence happened so ridiculously fast, I thought it was a dream sequence. We hardly saw or heard a reaction from Lana, and I don't know whether or not Kristen just wasn't "pulling it off" or if it was bad story-telling alone.
Probably a little A and B.
All this time I was waiting for her to find out his secret ( to see her reaction ), and they rushed it. I mean honestly, what are they thinking? Now next week we have some dippy "bat/catgirl" character introduced to us. . . w o w.
She's a strong female role model. A strong female role model is one who can kick people's butts. Are you misogynist, Cort? ;)
I mean for crying out loud, as hard up for content as they make themselves, they rushed some of the biggest key story archs only to give us filler next week? . . . .amazing.
You know, it's NOT that easy to come up with content. It's hard to get networks to approve GOOD content, to spend the money. Especially when the audience is so fickle.
For a moment I found myself shrinking in my seat when I thought it was going to be a "Groundhog's Day" episode ( you know the kind that every TV show does ), and seriously contemplated if the writers simply lost their minds altogther.
The kind this show did two weeks ago, you mean?
I can remember thinking that at the end Clark would have to save Lana, then Lois, then Pa to get everything "back to normal" so the next day could happen. One of the episode's few saving graces was that it wasn't one of those.
I did enjoy all the nods to previous Superman films, ie: Clark arriving to the wreck, saving the school bus, making the diamond, etc. But let me tell you this:THAT WAS NO JUMP!!!! THAT WAS FLYING ( Fortress ), and it made no sense, because up until now he does not know he can do that!!!! If it was supposed to be a jump, it simply wasn't.
I agree. It was far too vertical to be a jump. They're teasing us.
I just can't believe what they did. I appreciated the story, but loathed the way they told it. It is still bugging me tonight, and I truly haven't cared for quite a while. I think at this point, they are simply having trouble seeing from the viewer's perspective.
You mean Hollywood is insular? I have promoted you to General Obvious. I am Emperor obvious though. Everything is proceeding exactly as I have forseen it.
Master Yoda! My little, green friend!
5:50 AM it is! At an end your article is! And not short enough it was, I must say.
(more lightsaber sounds)
And from what my girlfriend tells me ( she works at Warner Bros. and I think this info went public anyway ), CBS & Warner are coming together to create a new channel called CW, while getting rid of UPN & WB, so I don't know what that means for Smallville.
Yeah. Don't worry. Smallville will survive. Low ratings are high ratings for both networks. They'll drive it until there's not money left, or not enough to fill production.
Anyway I look forward to the movie and am nostalgic for the old Smallville.
Felix Vasquez wrote:
I have to say, I've never been so upset as with the Smallville 100th episode before. As a long time watcher, at the end I muttered two words aloud "That's It?!" We have this gigantic ratings grabbing gimmick that revolves around the deaths of two (TWO) characters, and then what do we get? A red herring death that was so exciting and daring and then--well fake--and then stating the obvious.
Yes. But stating it well.
Weeks of build-up, commercials, hype, buzz, and fan talk all for stating the obvious. The writers simply said "Pa dies". Really? Pa dies? How daring! How utterly--expected of the CW network--how utterly yawn-inducing, and boring. Jerking around the fans, jerking around the viewers yet again. Well, you know what? You fooled me. Congratulations. I'll never fall for that again.
Next thing you'll be telling me Lex is becoming a bad guy. PSSSSHT!
The first half of this 100th episode was fantastic, I agree. I was hooked, I couldn't look away, and then what happens? We get a cop-out, a cop-out that displayed to its audience by its writers "We don't want to take risks". Clark gets a crystal that allows ONE saving. Why? Why such an arbitrary plot device? Wouldn't it have been a much better plot point to have Clark choose between his father and his love? Wouldn't it be a father testing his son, a man learning about life and inevitable death. Remember how tense the climax was in the "Spider-Man" movie? Your girlfriend or helpless victims? This is how a hero is born. But, no. Lana doesn't die, Lex' feelings are yet to be resolved and Pa dies in a way only the writers know how to deliver. He dies during a fight.
It was very pat. Sad, but pat.
And will Clark ever figure this out? Is Clark so stupid he couldn't figure out that his father's good deeds always have a catch-22? Didn't he remember that someone HAD to die? Didn't he realize not to be tricked by his birth father? And it seems we're back in rare form again next week. A cheesy masked heroine, Clark is guilt-ridden, ma seemingly isn't, more loving glances and bad interplay between Clark and Lana until god knows when, and just more junk.
And Jonathan will be a hole in the heart of the whole town. Watch.
And, oh yes, no one will ever blame Ma for accepting the money from Lionel, which led to Pa confronting him, them fighting, and he suffering a massive heart attack that killed him. Will this be addressed in further episodes? Nooo! She's a woman and she meant well, and Jonathan shouldn't have fought him anyway... and Lionel was at the funeral?! What?
Yep. Probably spit on the grave when no one was looking. Evil will always triumph, because GOOD is DUMB!
Clark guilted himself for killing his sibling in that explosion in the season finale, why can't Ma suffer guilt for accepting the bribe? Because she's a woman. Well, "Smallville" has once again displayed its total impotence in giving fans what they promise. The Smallville 100th episode was not bad, it in fact was well done, but it cheated us. Yet again. It cheated fans, it cheated people whom invested time on a promise. And to that, as Neal says, I'll say good day sir!
To that, I'll agree. Actually, I think it's less she's a woman, more she's a woman on a show where women can do no wrong. In real life, that wouldn't fly.
1 out of 5 easily. Smallville slapped us in the face, and now we'll just roll over and take it, because we're complacent like that.
Sad note to leave on, but honest, at very least. Thanks for your patience in my absence, all, and thanks especially for 100 incredibly read reviews...or if you've only read three, I hate you. Just kidding. This is, I guess, a milestone, and the only way I can mark that is by an arbitrary death. I will now go and kill my waking self, as I have now been writing for approximately 8 hours. The monkey's dead, the show's over, here's your fifty-eight pages, and my butt is off to the Atlantic to read Hot Water Music and Cell in the shade.
Keep Lionel away from the funeral, don't stop the bus, and by all means, please, remember to solve your disputes with fist fights.
Morphemes are important, as are state senators. Erica hoo hahs.
One hundred. That's...that's just scary.
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