Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 5 - Episode 15: "Cyborg"Reviews:
CyborgReviewed by: Neal Bailey
Please note, this episode contains an actual Cyborg.
I'm not sure exactly how to say this. I've been pondering it for the two hours since the episode ended, but I'll put it as bluntly as I can. Sit down. You may not be able to take it.
This episode? It didn't suck.
I mean, used to be, sucky episodes were the rarity, but here we are, amazed at an honest-to-goodness decent episode. It wasn't a five. It wasn't exemplary. There were errors, but there were not as many as usual. There were things which irked me, but not enough to make my pen scream as I ran it across my notebook taking things down. Point of fact, I only filled three measly pages of notes, and that last only halfway down. Typically, it's 4 full to 5.
This was a good episode. Motivations often sucked, but character prevailed.
We started out with Victor strapped into the doohicky. That's the thing they strap bad guys and good guys into when they don't want them going anywhere. A device so contrived and elaborate that even the most dramatic S and M mistress in the most expensive of dungeons would shrug at the cost.
Victor Stone, the guy I thought last week looked wooden in the preview.
Enter the good doctor, who releases him, sending Victor running. Run, Victor, run. He leaves the lab, which looks suspiciously like a warm storage place painted white (anyone else get that impression) and ends up outside as guys fire lasers at him.
Lana, driving distracted with a cup of coffee, smashes into him, completely annihilating her SUV but not doing him any harm.
Seriously, they should just take her license away. She drives with a cell phone, she hits people constantly. She did once in third season, too, as I recall, or was that Chloe? At any rate, that's the second time this month her distracted driving has caused a horrible accident. Thankfully, only she was hurt both times. Fate it seems, is not without a sense of...justice? Only in fiction.
BAM! Cue the credits. And I'm in. I'm into it, digging it. That's cool. Rare, now. I do question, if there were men chasing him with lasers, how Victor managed to go from smashing up Lana's car to sneaking her into a hospital. I mean, without Lana's SUV, wouldn't the goons just annihilate them? This is another one of those "cut to the commercial and everything will be all right" explanations. I hate those.
AND AGAIN WITH THE...
Metropolis SQUEAKY SHOES?
Ma Kent reads a newspaper stating that she's decided to take the senate seat. That's good. I like it. Because Martha is a good character and a good person.
I question it on a literal level, in real life. I was thinking about that, because people wrote in and told me about how when Ashcroft lost to another senator who died, they offered the wife the seat. I said to myself, does that make sense? The people voted for the husband, not the wife. What if the wife is a COMPLETELY different person. For instance, in real life, a ton of democrats marry republicans. It would probably tick me off if I voted for a _____ and got the exact opposite in office, even when I won.
But for the sake of the story, I like it, because it beats another February election (ah, erm, uh...) and adds complexity to Martha.
It also shines a big ole microscope on Clark, a microscope we won't likely see, but at any rate, it would be there.
I think I'm the only person under the age of 60 who still calls his senator occasionally. Mostly for things that really scare me or things I feel very vehemently about. People used to do that. People still do that as a hobby when they get older, now. Or activists. Anyway, point being, every time I call I get a nice page or a secretary who assures me that they will relay the message and that the senator takes my concern very seriously, which of course she doesn't unless I send her a check, but anyway, point being?
Senators have a full staff, and need one. Both for the continual fundraising (priority numero uno) and for listening to constituents whine or congratulate (priority numero twono).
Martha sitting alone in her house, not moving toward the capital, not accumulating a staff, not reading up on the issues, it strikes me as unrealistic.
They also have this little thing called terrorism which makes mail to senators very suspect. So when people leave unnamed packages on the front porch in block lettering, generally senators, even stupid ones, know it best not to touch it and call the cops.
But hey, Martha picks it up and opens it. She's shocked by what she sees, and she immediately recoils. I didn't know why until nearly the end of the episode, because the image shown wasn't clear and wasn't really that well framed. This, one might argue, has a touch of realism to it. But when that realism hurts the ability to understand the story, I stand against it.
BUT, as we later learn, it's Lana getting rescued from the bomb in Lockdown. It is also, apparently, the first time since that episode since Rogue where he's been caught on tape. Har!
It would have been more dramatic, had I known that. I thought it was a parking lot full of dead guys, which really confused me. I was like, did I miss an episode or something? HAR!
Clark goes to Lana, asking her what happened, and she explains. Without a single bit of passive aggression. They must have written it for Chloe and then switched parts at the last minute or something. But anyway, Clark says, "Describe him." before they cut away to Victor running. Clark finds him pretty instantly. It's not funny at first, but it is funny when you realize the situation.
Clark is at a hospital in Metropolis, the city of tomorrow. A city that, as Rucka aptly put it a while back, is diverse and representative because it embodies what we hope for in terms of acceptance, understanding, and progress. In other words, there are people of all races, jobs, colors, creeds, sizes, sexual orientations, heck, even pogo enthusiasts with Dorito fetishes. All over the place.
Meaning, more bluntly, that this is what had to have happened. Lana described the guy as a skinny black dude (who changed clothes since she last saw him, so she couldn't have given a clothing descriptor) with close-cropped black hair.
In a city like Metropolis, a skinny black dude with close-cropped black hair would likely represent any one of one hundred people in a major hospital.
So I was taken out, a bit, when Clark just finds Cyborg. It could have been easily rectified by a simple x-ray cut where he looks around and finds the guy who has something weird about him, but that would require continuity-based and scrutinized a to b writing, which at its very best Smallville lacks now in almost all respects.
Victor and Clark talk, and Clark tries to talk Victor into sticking around, Victor takes Clark and throws him fifteen feet into a brick wall, which shatters. This brings about a number of miracles. First, no one notices, questions, or even comes over after the racket. Second, neither even blink at the fact that they're staring at another super-human (it would startle at least Victor). Third, Clark doesn't retaliate to an obvious and dangerous hostile action. Fourth, and most miraculous, they then continue talking for a good bit without anyone coming outside to check them out.
Clark gives the scan of Victor, which is cool, showing the Cyborg make-up inside his body. People will complain that they didn't put it on the outside and make him like the comic character, but it would have looked pretty ridiculous. This is an arguement people make about the X-Men and why Wolvie didn't get his yellow suit, and there is some merit to it. Other times, like when you have a character that has an awesome suit that you never go near, like, say, Mystique, it sucks.
This is another case of "cut away and everything is fine". Clark later explains that Victor just didn't want to stick around. Well, what does Clark care? The guy just threw him through a wall. Follow him. Solve him. To motivation.
That's just how infuriated I get every time they do a scene where Lionel miraculously shows up at the door or in Martha's direct vicinity. I could write it out every time it happens, but honestly, I believe if you're watching you know exactly what I mean.
"Hi, Martha. I know I almost murdered the cousin of the girl that's living with you, and I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those pesky feds. Who then instantly dropped her out of witness protection just in time for my release. And yeah, I stole the key a few times and tried to co-opt the Kawatchee caves while getting in fights with your husband. I tried to kill my own son. Two weeks ago, you found out I hired a contract hit on Vengeance's parents. I threatened to expose your son's adoption and I shut down the city's main industrial jobsite to prove a point to the boy. I was convicted of the murder of my parents and even went to jail for it before I got off scott free because I have money. I then bribed you to finance your husband's campaign illegally because I wanted to manipulate you.
"But hey, I can see you're feeling a little down. If you need anything, seriously, call me."
Martha's response: "I will. Thank you."
SMASH! SMASH! BRAKASH! THWOOMB! (monkey noises and a toilet flush).
Is there ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE who is buying this, AT ALL?
Another fine factor that this episode brings into the fray is the fact that, well, it wasn't really a full episode. I realized this when I was fast forwarding my DVR (which I do after I pause the show to take my notes). I realized...I was catching up. I actually had to watch the commercials. Usually it ends up just about right. About two minutes of writing for every 8 minutes of program. There's usually about 42 minutes of show. Something was off.
This show was, get this, only 40 minutes long. They added more ads, without adding a lot of quality. That, frankly, SUCKS. A show should not be a third ads. If they're going to go down that road, they'd better at least make better shows. Justify the need for expense with more effects. As it stands, this episode was decent on the effects, but nowhere near the first three seasons, even.
Victor appears in Smallville in Clark's apartment, despite not knowing where Clark lives, and despite the fact that Clark had just returned. Though, given that he was talking on the phone with Lana, one would assume he waited (for the story purpose of having to drive) three hours before calling to tell her she's home. Still, how did Cy get a ride? All in all, something a line of dialogue would have cleared up (as ever).
Victor asks him how he saw into his skin and survived the wall, and Clark basically tells him he's a meteor freak/has powers. This is decidedly stupid, because over a hundred times now (ish) people who he meets who have extraordinary power then try and pummel him to paste. Chalk this up to Clark's stupidity, I guess. Yeah, dude, I know you threw me through a wall and wrecked my girlfriend's SUV while on the run from what looked like police, before changing clothes to leave the hospital on the sly, but you know, I trust you. Why?
Because you were a running back.
Personally, I was a cornerback, and I don't trust running backs. But then, I'm nutty that way. I also ran a defensive play on an offensive drive once, so I'm not the best authority on football.
But dumb? On dumb I am an expert.
My notes here: At least, circumstances aside, focused on character.
And that's the truth. Throughout all of the above inconsistencies that I list for fun factor, the episode started to harp and continued to harp on each character's motivations, thoughts, and hopes. The dialogue ran true, and everyone interacted with each other in a believable and normal way, for the most part (barring the Clana we've come groan-used to). Even Lionel and Martha. If you came into the show not knowing Lionel's past, or having only seen season one, it might make total sense in context and, in fact, seem heartwarming.
Problem is, context counts, which kept this otherwise exemplary episode from being Smallville perfection (such as it is).
The guy who played Cyborg is in fact far from wooden. He was very human, played the part well. He's the first guest in a long while I'd really like to see come back. More than Flash and Aquaman, even.
Hey...whatcha wanna bet that even though Lana split her forehead wide open, next episode she's neutroeugenic perfection all over again?
And...oy. The obligatory BURST IN ON LEX scene.
Only...what's this? LEX STANDING UP FOR HIMSELF? Calling Clark on bursting in? Excellent!
Clark confronts him with the fact that the company that made Cyborg was a subsidiary of Luthorcorp. "Aha!" Clark says. "You am man made cyber man! Me know it!"
Lex smirks. "You healed Chloe yet, Superman?"
Clark: "Me heal! Er, no. Me am not Superman. Me mild mannered Clark Kent!"
Lex: "Oh, please. You're not even wearing a disguise I can easily see through. I have an IQ in the low 200s."
Clark: "Me smash IQ! Where is it?"
Lex cuts loose with the obligatory (and comic-riffic) patented LUTHOR EXCUSE. "Clark, I have a bojillion companies. I don't look after each one. We just acquired that company."
At which point the LOGICAL person, knowing that yeah, Lex tortured Aquaman (for trying to blow up his facility) and drove drunk, and may have been involved in unleashing two freaks on him to test his powers, but, regardless, has still pulled your fat out of the fryer with money, friendship and trust about 800 times to counter those scant incidents that began ONLY after you began arbitrarily treating him like a villain, says to himself: "Well, that makes sense. Businessmen with many corporations aren't necessarily responsible for the niggling details that make up the-
STOP RIGHT THERE
Neal Bailey, you have officially won the prize for the longest, most oblong but coherent sentence to prove a point ever!
"Really? But what about my point!"
Look! A rabbit! (Balloons fall down and two women in bathing suits hand me a giant check that reads: Check yo'sef, FOOL!)
At any rate, I'm not going to belabor the point that in this episode, Lex did something that can honestly be construed as evil. One of maybe five things so far that people cite at me when they try and explain why everyone treats him so abysmally (and my response, as above, is that I still don't buy it, for all of the good Lex has done and continues to do anytime someone says, "Hey, I need a favor, baldshine!")
He did a bad bad thing (twangie guitars).
He did a bad bad thing (twangie guitars).
But then, Clark has no reason to know he's done a bad bad thing until after Cyborg escapes and tells Clarkie about the V Chip that makes him shoot lightning when he says Barbara Streisand.
In other words, yet another time where Clark is a total @*%$ to Lex, where finesse, being a friend, or heck, being normal might have garnered him trust and the truth. Instead he continues to lie and berate Lex, stretching further that paradigm of this show that points out that Clark is the @*%$#, and Lex is generally the good guy in pursuit of truth with slips along the way (like Clark has, to wit, with his dead baby brother/sister and his father. And Alicia. And Kawatchee cave girl. And Kara. And...).
Call me a Lex apologist. Fine. I am. At least until he starts smacking baby kittens. Most of his "evil" acts have a rationale. Unleashing goons on Clark (if you believe he did)? He didn't believe it would hurt anyone. Driving drunk? That's just stupidity, not evil, though you're evil for doing it. Torturing Aquaman? Come on, who DOESN'T want to torture Aquaman. But in all seriousness, if some guy broke into my house and tried to blow it up, I might visit a horrible, painful death on him and that wouldn't make me evil.
In fact, taking Cyborg and trying to make him a mindless drone, taking a human who is fully cognizant and making him an automaton, is the first thing Lex has done that one of us might not do in his shoes.
This is an evil act, but the point being, Clark doesn't know Lex to be evil before Cyborg tells him, later in the episode.
There's also the fact that he might have been involved with the suicide of the Dr. BUT, given that it's never addressed (much like unleashing the wonder twins and electro earlier, accident, or intentional?), we don't know. Frustratingly. Like the photo Jonathan saw. Is it Clark escaping the bomb? We'll never know is my guess.
Lana and the Cyborg talk about what it's like for the Cyborg to have secret powers and not be able to tell the person he loves, causing him to jet off and try and find his girlfriend.
This gives Lana the "dumb as Clark" award for this week. Allow me to explain.
"Hi! I'm Lana! Dur!"
"Hi, Lana! I'm Victor."
"What's your character motivation, Victor?"
"Well, I'm a superhuman. I can do incredible things no one can explain. I have a girl I love, but I'm afraid to tell her I have superhuman powers because it'll make her think I'm a freak or a dummy. Like I watch Survivor or something."
"Well, Mr. Victor, I'll have you know that women are sympathetic, beautiful and benign creatures, and I just know if you tell her there's something strange about you she'll love you forever and ever!"
"Thanks, Lana! My character dilemma is solved. Now what's your character dilemma?"
"Well, my boyfriend can do strange and incredible things no one can explain. He's afraid to tell me what it is, because it'll make me think he's a freak or a dummy. Like he watches Survivor or something."
"Oh, it's obvious. He has powers. How can you not see that?"
"I'm sorry, what did you say again? I was putting on make-up."
"What 'chu talkin' 'bout, Lana?"
Lana then folds her arms and walks out.
There are two things I ain't buying any more. I didn't buy them after three years (when we were stuck in this will-they/won't-they for almost a whole stupid year), and I don't buy it now, particularly. Now it's annoying to the point of driving fingers to the clicker.
ONE. Even Lois Lane is not dumb enough to not catch on by now. Lana should have an inkling as to what's going on, or at least be closer to the secret. In the comics, she knew at the end of high school. That seems appropriate to me. They're dragging it out for NO danged reason.
TWO. If I see ONE MORE character set-up where Lana and Clark find another person in a parallel situation to their own (IE someone scared to tell their secret and/or make the plunge into a relationship) and DON'T LEARN FROM IT, I swear, on Aquaman's table, that I will start smacking kittens.
Don't tempt me.
Goons drop in on their conversation and take a shot at Cyborg. Lana fails to use her kung fu and gets punched in the head. She falls over and slumps, unmoving. She gets up soon after, but given that she's motionless when any normal person would be ticked and fighting back (especially with "mad" kung fu skills), I'm gonna count that as a KO for her. It's long enough to ignore Clark throwing people all over the place.
Cyborg is shot, and leaks oil. Neat.
Commercial, and then the stupid summary which, if you watch it, wouldn't tell you anything more than the preview does. Less, in fact. Waste of time, waste of space, how about another due memorial for Sam Loeb? How about some Reeve Foundation time? Katrina relief? AIDS awareness? Heck, more Accuview pablum spice red zone and improve a special effect. It's national television, why waste time? Yeah, people are just coming in from "Everybody Hates Chris". Go on, reward people for skipping half of your show while annoying the faithful. Idiots.
Chloe and Clark talk about what happened, and how Clark just knows that Lex sent those snipers (Uh, how?). He also indicates that Lex was lying through his teeth about not knowing about the project (Uh, why?)
One might argue that since Clark just talked to Lex and the goons appeared thereafter, Clark assumes logically that Lex was behind it. Well, yeah. Sure. The guy who's been mostly a good friend to you over the last five years is going to send armed men to your house to shoot it up.
OR, if you're going to make a human Cyborg, maybe you implant a GPS in it. You know? That might make sense. In fact, that might make MORE sense. Right?
Clark finds Hong by looking him up in the directory, heads to his house, and finds a faked suicide. Lex appears.
Knowing that Clark and Lex have been at the scene of many a murder and suicide together while not having anything to do with the deaths, Clark makes the logical conclusion.
"YOU AM KILLER!"
Lex snorts. "Please. I'd use something creative, like toothpicks. Or dogs. Or old ladies armed with bacon. My IQ is in the low 200s."
"You am...me wet self."
Clark accusing Lex falls flat, even though he's later vindicated as correct. The reasoning being, he's correct before he has a reason to be correct. A critical gap.
They're both at the scene of a murder or suicide, laying prints all over the place. The cops apparently never decide to question them despite having their prints on record (Both have been arrested. Clark five times, and Lex four. Seriously. Check the KO Count).
Lex say's he's trying to help people.
Clark, passive aggressively, retorts: "I've seen the way you help people."
And yeah, Clark. You have. You really, really have. Whether it's from calling in a helicopter to fly you to Metropolis, helping to rebuild the town after the meteors, giving critical medical care to you and the people who love you, or heck, just helping you along with the benefit of the doubt, you really have. Administering the Kawatchee Caves to keep them from being destroyed, trying to find out what's up with Zod, harboring Lana when she's a fugitive, offering a flight to China, giving out free trucks. Eliminating the evidence room, helping save the farm, buying up half the Talon to help Lana get on her feet. Earning half the town their jobs back after Lionel fired them. Defusing murderous situations. Saving his life a bunch of times. Remaining his friend after Clark has turned his back on him. Quietly allowing him to still date Lana when he could likely manipulate like Lionel and take her away at any time.
Lex is kind of a helpful dude, Clark. Face it. He's amazing.
Another case of Lex is a nice guy, Clark is an abominable rectal...something.
The dialogue, also, and I haven't mentioned this even though I've been meaning to, is overwhelmingly falling into the patented, cliche, "I affirm you, but." It's annoying beyond measure.
"I'm sorry about your car, Lana, but I have to go."
"I'm sorry you're being blackmailed Martha, but if there's anything you need, you know I'm here for you."
It's prevalent this season, more so that even last. If you get bored some time, try watching one and just studying the dialogue. I don't, because I hear it as it's happening, but listen for it. It's curious. It's also pattern hackery.
Key character moment follows, when Cyborg is informed that the doctor is dead. Intentional or not, it hit me well, and hit me hard. He doesn't say, "Oh, crap. That means I'm gonna die." Instead, he starts crying (realistically), and says, "I'm responsible for his death." BINGO. That's a hero. You get it, you got it, BINGO. One of the better points of this season, hands down.
Ma Kent meets the guy in the middle of nowhere, preparing to offer him, uh, cash she doesn't have? Lionel pulls up, knowing where she is somehow...one would assume by reading the ransom left at the house. But to do that, he'd have to break into the farm, so obviously he couldn't have done it that way, which means he must have been in on it, which Martha would then know...
But anyway, the goon runs off at Lionel's arrival. Lionel offers to "take care" of the blackmail problem. Poor, helpless ingenue Martha who cannot help herself despite raising a boy with superpowers, owning a coffee shop (who's running it now, anyway?), surviving a miscarriage AND a lost husband, swoons into the villain's arms and reveals that deep down she's just another helpless woman who needs a man's help to get by.
Sarcasm, in case you didn't read it dripping off the word ingenue.
She KNOWS, knowing Lionel, that taking care of means killing.
I give up.
There's also the fact that the video means NOTHING. I mean, how hard is it to photoshop a picture of a guy carrying a girl through some flames, and another of the girl lying next to them? This show did it. If I saw that, my first reaction wouldn't be, "Oh god! A man moving at superspeed!" (Maybe Lionel's, because he knows better, but not anyone the blackmailer would show it to), my response would be "Decent special effects". I would then point out that moving someone at that speed would turn them to jelly with the help of Will in a letter column and the myth would be debunked.
Lex is again suddenly evil without reason. I buy that he would take the step of bringing a guy back from the dead with an experiment. That's in character. That he would take the step of removing his humanity, that I don't buy. This is the problem with an abrupt change to evil. You don't believe he's doing this. Do I believe Lex would shoot a man for being rude to him? No. But in the comics, that's just what Lex would do. So if Lex does it now, part of me wants his evil, the other part, the sensible part, says "Smallville Lex wouldn't do that. Not yet, at least."
Like Martha visiting with Lionel. Just because she does it doesn't mean it makes plot sense.
So yeah, Lex commits this evil act, but I don't buy it.
Clark finds Lana and finds out where Cyborg is. He then jumps to superspeed right next to her (sigh).
Clark bursts into the Cyborg's facility. How did he know where it was?
Apparently, a facility where you're building the six million dollar man also has no video cameras, otherwise Clark's secret is pretty compromised.
He takes the doctor and throws him into gas containers. You ever picked one of those up? I did. Almost threw my back out. They're incredibly heavy. If you're thrown into one at that speed, you're either dead or near it. Way to go, Clark, when you can just flick a guy unconscious.
The guys run, which is neat, and jump off a building, which is equally neat. Cool effect, and neat to watch. Decent effects for once.
The doctor, fresh from being thrown into the gas containers, (You know, the ones I said kill you if you go into them at that speed?) walks out and says drat. Yeah. Right.
At this point, I have a funny note that never came to pass:
"Watch out for the obligatory JLA joke."
Thankfully, they didn't do it this time. Though I came up with a great one:
"I been thinking. We need to start this society, this league, of America, where we dispense Justice."
"Yeah? Well, I can't right now. I'm too preoccupied with whether or not I should tell Lana my secret."
"You been on that for five years, man!"
"Yeah, I know."
"How about this. We'll work on that league thing after we solve your Lana problem. For now, you and me, we're the Jettison Lana into the Atmosphere...uh, League."
"Wait, that's too many words. Me am...wet myself."
Martha, back at home, gets a knock from Lionel. She fairly LEAPS to the door, where she looks into his eyes all dovey-like.
Lionel says, "You know, given that I kill people, it might be bad for you to associate with me, being a senator."
Martha then says, "Yes. You're absolutely right. And heck, you tried to kill Chloe. GET OFF OF MY PROPERTY, YOU MAGNIFICENT-"
No. Wait. She says something asinine, like "I won't turn my back on my friends because of what people think.
Yes. Your friends, Martha. Your friends who almost murdered the cousin of the girl that's living with you, and would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those pesky feds. Who then instantly dropped her out of witness protection just in time for his release. And yeah, stole the key a few times and tried to co-opt the Kawatchee caves while getting in fights with your husband. He tried to kill my own son. Two weeks ago, you found out he hired a contract hit on Vengeance's parents. He threatened to expose your son's adoption and shut down the city's main industrial jobsite to prove a point to the boy. He was convicted of the murder of my parents and even went to jail for it before he got off scott free because he has money. He then bribed you to finance your husband's campaign illegally because he wanted to manipulate you.
Don't turn your back on a friend like that.
So, that's it. No Jonathan mourning. It's over. She's effectively near hopping in the sack with Lionel now, and the most Jonathan Kent gets is a two second glance at the picture and one tear over the fire. I thought, seriously I did, I thought she was going to throw the picture into the fire. It's about as sensible as what they've been doing with her character of late.
Don't give me this "She's in mourning and vulnerable." crap. Has Clark started dating dudes? Because that's just as logical as Martha Kent suddenly taking up with a convicted murderer.
And no, that's not me saying it would be WRONG if Clark dated dudes. Sheesh. I'm just pointing out an extremely anomalous situation, you sensitive ones. And slash folk.
Clark and Lana have another "Tell me the truth!" "No!" athon, and I duly puke. There was no passive aggression, but there was also ZERO character motion, so I don't really want to talk about it, just suppress it, like the time I ate four raw habenero peppers on a dare and drank a whole bottle of pepto bismol before puking in a water fountain.
Thanks, Lana. Now I remember that.
At least it was brief.
You know what I mean. Sometimes, a show will have a moment that just wipes away context and makes you proud to be watching. Something you say, "I would be sad if I had missed that."
I haven't seen that in Smallville in TWO YEARS. The last time I can remember that was really that epic for me was Clark flying. Gooseflesh, excitement, hope that the show will fall into line and start ruling again.
Lionel knows, and he knows Clark's secret name.
I've thought Lionel should know his secret from before the time he was "blind", because there were several times when he had sight he would have HAD to have seen Clark's powers. If they can work this storyline well, I'll forgive all of Lionel's previous character inconsistency.
The opera music, coupled with the camera, coupled with the scene, VERY powerful. Incredibly good. It felt like a season three episode, maybe even a season finale ending.
I fear. I fear this may become like the "Lex knows!" plot in the Superman comics. Lex finds out Clark Kent is Superman, and they did nothing with it for a HALF YEAR. Then, it's just wiped from Lex's mind. NO! When you dare to make a story shift like that, you do something with it. Seriously.
All in all, a pretty good show. All above inconsistencies aside, as I said, character won out. Martha and Lionel ticks me off, but at least it's headed somewhere interesting. Hopefully she'll figure out he's a fink and kick him in the jiggly wompus or something.
4 of 5. Probably would have been a five if it had come off a string of good episodes instead of a bunch of crap ones.
SUPER SHORT REVIEW
Character is the most important part of any story, and this story delivered, despite the usual citable flaws. Martha should be with Lionel. Yeah. Right. And I should eat paste laced with broken glass. Cyborg turned out well for a guest hero, obviously something the writers cared for. Lex is now a bad guy, but they were treating him like one before he was one. That sucks. Photoshopped pictures are apparently very threatening. And Lionel once again rocks the villain house, finally. 4 of 5.
I'm in bold, as ever.
There will be a month and a half before the next episode, so I read, so if you all want to get in contact with me, I'm going to try and catch up on my emails post haste. I have 81 to go, so if you haven't gotten a reply, that's why.
In the meanwhile, if you play City of Heroes, and if you do it at about 12-4 Pacific time, when I usually wrap my 12 hour day, feel free to look up Chinaski on the Virtue server.
If you really want to make me happy, check out http://www.nealbailey.com over the break, because I write a lot there that no one reads because it doesn't involve supes-y. NSFW, though.
I haven't gotten any YTMNDs yet (frown face), but I did find two you all might enjoy. Funny stuff. Emo Clark and evil Chuck Norris. It says they're not safe for work, but if you've seen Reckoning, they're safe enough for you.
If you don't laugh, check yon pulse.
BTW, as a side note in my misogyny profile, I believe I've figured it out. I'm not a misogynist. I'm a misanthrope. I think most people are hopeless. Except, of course, all of you fine people.
Now on to letters...
Stephen G wrote:
Neal... How goes it?
Decent. Behind, as ever, and a slight sore throat, but I'm getting a handle on the treadmill again. Good times.
Well, I think we can finally settle a debate that the fans have had for about the last 3+ seasons. This is from the Smallville S2 Companion book.
Yes indeed, he does. Check it out, folks:
The executive producers had always intended to give Clark heat vision. "Actually, at one point we introduced it in the pilot," Gough recalls. "It was in a very early draft of the script, again with the idea of it arriving in the sex ed class, but then we thought, 'Why are we spoiling this? Let's save it.' It also took us a season until we saw, in terms of visual effects, a heat vision that we liked. We didn't want to do the red beams out of the eyes. X-ray vision had always been 'see-through' vision with Superman, and we wanted X-ray vision;in the same way, we wanted heat vision with this."
"It wasn't laser vision," Miles Millar amplifies. "We wanted to have a power that Clark could use in front of other people. They wouldn't necessarily be aware he was using it - it was almost invisible. We liked the idea of distorting the frame and having a heat ripple."
Officially stated. Thanks, Stephen!
esta bien chido su programa
I have no clue what this means and the free translator doesn't help me. I sometimes get letters like this, one line letters in languages I don't speak. I'm going to assume it means "You did a good job chiding that program." from what little French I know.
Thanks, Ivan. I think. Unless you just said something about my momma.
Captin Armpit wrote:
Neal once again amazing review. You definitely have a gift with writing.
Thank you. I have books no one buys, too. Woot woot!
Although sometimes when I first read something you write I think you are (dare I say) grasping at straws. Just read your reasoning and it all makes sense again (usually). Nicely done.
Heck, that's my schtick. Expose every flaw. Grasping at straws is fine, if it sparks dialogue. At least, I think.
I am sure everyone also will point it out, so maybe a good idea will be to cut and paste a repetative answer to explain why. But you didn't change your main points.
I did, it just took me a few minutes to figure it out. Thanks, though.
Now, like I said before, sometimes you seem to be grasping at straws. I can see that the title of the show doesn't fit, but at least its a title that some below-par writers have come up with. It does relate to the show a little, there is death involved although not directly connected(please begin your ripping out of my heart and stomping on it).
Why? I see your point.
They most definitely need something to happen to the show where it's more about the main characters, not just "someones in trouble Clark, do something!!" Show some development somewhere! Maybe something more about the Superman mythos, like some more about his long lost home Krypton. How about some more Super-power development. How about Flash burn Lana Lang's head off...well, it would be something different.
Anything different is the devil!
Sorry to hear about your awful experiences with women.
Don't be. I've had a million good ones for those bad ones. And as many bad experiences with men as women. It's really a normal human thing, I think.
Of course a lot of people can say that and it probably doesn't help that much. Everyone that anyone meets will have something that they are sensitive about. Not a whole lot you can do about. Like, someone could say to you your reviews are arbitrary and inconsistant, trying to present some sort of proof of it. Now you might not like it, or you might. I personally wouldn't like that (and didn't, hence my aweful grades on papers in school). People telling me what to think is a little touchy.
I love it when people don't like what I do and tell me why. It's a bit hard for me to perceive WHY people do that, because, for instance, I never write Bill O'Reilly telling him what a nutjob I think he is, I just change the channel, but for everyone that speaks up I get a piece of understanding about why people do or don't like what I do. At least, people who don't say, "Your retard!"
Wow, polar oppisite points on that one. Sorry.
No sweat, Captain Armpit!
ON WITH THE SHOW
The shower scene you talked about. I believe that with all the shower scenes and whatnot of Lana is getting a little dull. They should try to make Chloe a little more interesting to the public eye. I am sure most people would agree that Allison is way hottttter then Kristin.
I would, but most people, alas, seem to think Kristen hotter and Lois hotterest.
She gets extra ts on that too, and why not? Not just in the show because of the characters they are, but in this place we call real life too. What was the movie that they stole the face on an inanimate object from...Excesism of Emily Rose (very good movie).
Haven't seen it yet. Exorcism movies tend to grate on me after the first and best.
I will put money on the fact that ore little friend Dr. Cydell will never be heard from again. Maybe Chloe will be all better by the start of the next show. Because everyone that you can have a cure to hereditary psychosis. In this case what is she afraid of with telling the psychiatrist about her mom. He isn't going to tell anyone, nor is he instantly going to asume that shes instantly insane. His job is to help her out, not put her in an instatution. Chloe's a smart girl, she would have said something. It was out of character.
Lionel just showing up at the Kent house AT NIGHT. Wow, so many things wrong with that, which you pointed out. Doesn't take a genius to see that it wouldn't work. Only my closest friends are allowed to do the "pop in". I even set down some rules that everyone else call first. I wouldn't be friends with someone like Lionel. He doesn't deserve someone so "salt of the earth" as the Kents as friends. A big reason I think they don't kill of Lionel is because John Glover is one of the big name actors on the show, and it would take away from there pull with Glover fans. Also he is one of the few characters who stay consistant, you know who Lionel Luthor is and believe he could be tied in to the evil that happens with the show.
My friends, heck, my FAMILY knows that if you show up in my house without knocking, I will open fire and ask questions later. Of course, when someone pushed in about three weeks ago, I broke my own rule, but anyway, I've literally almost dropped a whupping on people who I know and love. Your house is your safety zone. If someone violates that without call, it's tantamount to B and E. It's a violation. I don't have any new age bubble or anything, but anyway, point being, if Lionel shows up on my doorstep in the middle of the night, I shoot first and shoot later.
Wait, Milton Fine still exists! I figured him dying would mean he's earased from everyones memory. But seriously it was a cool idea to bring him back in to the picture. Maybe we'll get the 2nd Milton Fine. Like a Brainiac 2, think theres a chance Neal?
Magic ratings eight ball says: Yes.
Everyone has to do Lana Lang a favor, she is the perfect women in Smallville standings. Everyone wants her and thinks that helping will mean a chance with her. Obviously Lex has feelings for her, so why wouldn't he say yes to whatever. It doesn't even phaze him anymore to say yes to her anymore. Like in Magnetic, she says "I want my job back" and he doesn't even hesitate to say "done". In reality she should have be B*&%$# slapped a season or so ago by someone like..uh...Lois, or Chloe, or Martha. You know they all would want to.
And generally would in real life.
This almost seems that I am trying to write my own review on your review. So I will just get to the point with it. The best scenes were just as you said, and everything else kindof leans twords the "fluff" category. I usually am not as harsh on shows as you are. I always expect a lot of good out of them, and that they will be better then the crud you can make it out to be. Which is what happened here too. You say being generous with a 1.5 out of 5, I don't believe its that bad. Although the idea behind the story was weak (did the dead girl have a name?), and Lionel and Martha is a little twisted and uncomfortable for me I would have said a 2, but not quite a 2.5.
And that's a good rating for a casual viewer. I lend myself to extreme criticism, so by its very nature the show will have a harder time pleasing me. I'm looking for literary good, you're looking for a show to watch...both are coolsville.
Keep up the reviews, one of my favorite reasons to watch is to see what you have to say about it.
Hope a publisher comes to you soon, maybe on there hands and knees begging for your work.
Hah! Thanks. I needed that. I hadn't laughed that hard in...phew. Literally, I could wallpaper an entire room, including my ceiling, with rejection slips.
Just promise that when you strike it rich you'll cut us all a break and give a discount on your nwely published works. And maybe send me a little money too.
Sorry for the long e-mail. Keep keepsing it real like that.
Actually, my fondest goal in life, as I spout, is just to have a little pile of books in my house, and whenever anyone wants one, just have them ask me, and I'd give it to them, say "READ!" and they'd want to, and they would, and they'd tell me what they thought.
That's all I want out of life. No fancy model wife, no giant mansion. I don't want to be the American Idol and if I get the motorcycle, I want it to be a beater, not a new one. I want to give people words, and have them want them. My way.
That's a lot harder than becoming the American Idol though. Take it from me.
Long time Reader,
When is Clark Kent going to grow some eggs and say something back to his supposed love of his life and make not leave childishly everytime?
When Lex Luthor is actually a bad guy.
Jeremy Hill wrote:
Ok, I'm sure you'll get a thousand of these, but the killer orderly from Tomb didn't just disappear. The spirit made him stab himself (Sepuku!) and he fell to the floor. I even re-watched the episode. It looks a little like he disappears, but you can see him fall, and you can clearly see him on the ground as Lois and Clark get up.
You're right. I didn't see it though. You're the first to point it out.
I don't really have anything else constructive to say. Oh, this is a few episodes to late, but did it bother you at all that Clark flew Lana to the top of the Fortress in episode 100? Don't get me wrong, I loved it way too much for that not to win out, but it kind of bugged me that last we heard about flying was "That was Kal-El. I'm still Earthbound." And suddenly he can do it again. I would love more flying, but when did he figure it out?
It bothers me that Clark knows he can make mighty, will-based leaps, but he isn't trying to fly. And really, technically, he should have been able to fly at 18 in my opinion. What, do Kryptonians hit final puberty at 20 or something?
That's really all now. Keep on giving us those great reviews.
Love your reviews, they're so complete.
I especially like the fact that you gave "Tomb" 1.5 out of 5. I think I would have given it 0.5 or maybe 1 (I feel generous sometimes). Wow, I was so deceived by this episode. And to be deceived by Smallville, that was a first for me. Yeah, really! Compared to this episode, I think I actually enjoyed "Spell" and "Ageless" from Season 4! There were so many problems with this episode.
It was pretty bad. At least it had Chloe going for it. I haven't ever given a .5. I'll have to do that...at some point. When Lionel and Martha are married.
First, the combination of Smallville + Horror movie really doesn't do it for me.
It just doesn't make the story believable. I was also bothered with the "10 years" thing. Just not possible... I really didn't buy it. And how could they make the characters look more stupid than they were in this episode. Seriously, I feel like I was supposed to be a stupid viewer not to see all the inconsistencies in this episode. It really ruined it for me, because I really don't think that I am a stupid viewer and I know my Smallville. In a previous episode, it was said that Chloe's mom left when she was 5 (while her dad was making pancakes), not 12 like it was said during this episode.
Good catch. I missed that.
Is it normal that the fans know the show better than the writers?
Since the advent of the internet and DVD season sets, yes. With Trek, it's law.
Also, I think I actually screamed at my TV when the orderly became possessed and disapeared! And I wanted to laugh at the same time. And how could Chloe-Gretchen have known that she needed to touch the guy with the bracelet? Maybe I missed something, but I didn't buy that either.
It's called Deus Ex Machina. Hackery.
And I agree with you when you say that the characters are so confusing. Especially Lana... she's frustrating to watch. Please just leave Clark alone, you're just not worth it. Yeah, I liked the last five minutes of the episode, but the previous 55 minutes had been so bad that they never could have redeemed the entire episode. I must admit that we had great acting by Allison Mack, Erica Durance and Tom Welling, but really, that's the only part of the episode that I liked. I just hope that the deception I felt watching this episode will be gone next week... I still have faith in my Smallville! Thanks!
Chels (somebodysaveme22) wrote:
I just wanted to get some things about the past episodes off my mind before I take an electric screwdriver to my temple to get them out.
Ah, so you've seen Pi too?
Firstly, in the 100th episode show (which had me in an angry huff for days)... I have a complaint about Lana. And not even the normal complaint. When she was driving, blankly staring at Lex instead of the road, and got t-boned... her instant reaction was to just look and shriek when she saw the bus coming towards her. Sort of reminded me of the man in Austin Powers about to be run over by a steam roller, just standing there screaming for a good minute while the steamroller slowly crawled towards him.
Funny. I was just watching that before this show started, doing my gear up (gotta do something brainless before 8 hours of straight think). Apt comparison, as well.
The reason this has recently started to bug me so much is because I was in an accident about a week and a half ago where I, because I was looking the other way, missed a stop signed. I hit a bus that was expecting me to stop. Now, I could have just sat there like an idiot and screamed my fool head off... in which case I would have been t-boned. The truth of the matter is, our minds and bodies are built for SURVIVAL. So, in a split second, our adrenaline will pump and our minds will kick in to gear, and we will make instant decisions in order to save ourselves. I slammed on the brakes and steered in such a way that I hit the tail end of the bus, most probably saving my life. And in real life, that's what tends to happen. In real life, Lana would almost definitely have tried to swerve out of the way and step on the gas. Would it have worked? Maybe not. But our minds aren't built to blank when something life threatening happens. They work fast, and then blank afterwards. That's what shock is.
She maybe doesn't have a few cylinders we have. Also, that wouldn't make a cool accident. My sympathies, though. I was in a pretty bad accident a few years ago, and it SUCKED. I know the feelings involved. I hope you get better soon.
Yet another thing... Martha and Jonathan. When I saw them being friendly/friendly in the kitchen the first time? I threw a pillow. But my Mom just shook her head at me. She said that when her mother died, she remembers that at the wake someone came to give her best wishes. Now this someone also had tried to get in her pants a number of times, and had threatened her. She hated him. And what did she do? She ended up crying on his shoulder. That's because she was suffering from grief and that tends to boggle the mind slightly. And Martha would not only be missing Jonathan, but would be missing that loving male presence in her life. Now, although I know you would be more than willing to fill that void, Neal, she probably justified his actions in her mind because she was desperate. It's not that she will ever like him, but perhaps to feel that male presence was comforting to her. Aaaand I know I'm justifying this crap, but uh... just a thought.
No. It's a good thought. And I've seen MANY similar situations. But there's a key difference between that situation and this one that truly separates it. A guy who's a scumbag who a gal hates can get rebound or consolation action, but if that guy's a MURDERER or RAPIST, that changes the whole game. Yeah, people are vulnerable when their significant dies...and they even lose some sense. But not ALL sense.
But a good review for Tomb. Definately a lot of WTF? moments.
Dave Bratton wrote:
I asked Dave to send me a list of his "essential" episodes that he sends people toward to put in the column. I agree with his list very much.
Hey Neal! Here is the list. Again, these are episodes that I consider the best, or at least important to understanding the specific season of Smallville. Feel free to post, publish, or whatever you'd like to do with them.... Take care, Dave
Smallville TV Series: Dave's DVD Picks
Disc1: Pilot* (How it all begins)
X-Ray (not the greatest episode ever, but a great reinvention of a classic power)
Disc 2: Hourglass (an old fortune teller sees some interesting things for Clark and Lex)
Disc 3: Rogue (bad cop finds out Clark's secret)
Leech*(Ice Man steals Clarks powers and kicks butt!)
Hug (Lex uses a machine gun on Matrix Clark)
Disc 6: Tempest* (Season Finale-Everyone is in danger!)
Disc 1: Vortex* (Season Premiere-Everyone gets out of danger!)
Heat* (Clark accidentally discovers heat vision, funny actually.)
Red (Red K, 'nuff said).
Duplicity (Clark shows Pete his stuff...get your mind out of the gutter)
Disc 2: Lineage
Disc 3: Insurgence* (Jeph Loeb makes Clark leap a tall building in a. . . )
Disc 5: Rosetta** (Chris Reeve, John Williams music. Fanboys get chills!)
Disc 6: Calling
Exodus* (Season Finale: Jor-El comes a callin')
Disc 1: Exile*
Phoenix* (Season Premiere in 2 parts. Pa Kent gets super.)
Disc 2: Perrry (as in White)
Disc 3: Asylum
Disc 5: Legacy (Chris Reeve, but not nearly as cool an episode as Rosetta)
Memoria* (All Lex episode)
Disc 6: Covenant* (or, Kara: The Supergirl from Krypton?!?)
Disc 1: Crusade *: Clark, er Kal-El returns. Best. Flight. Ever.
Disc 2: Run *: The Flash speeds onto the scene. Super-hero Team Ups rule.
Transference: Papa Luthor snatches Clark's body. Near super powered incest ensues.
Disc 3: Sacred. Crouching Clark/Hidden Lana.
Disc 5: Blank: Clark gets mindwiped and Chloe walks him through the process of being super. Great Chloe episode!
Disc 6: Commencent *: Clark finally graduates at age 27. Oh, more chunks of kryptonite demolish Smallville. Is that another spaceship?
* denotes must see, or critical to mythology (Superman's or Smallville's, and yes, there is a difference)
Lee Atherton wrote:
Just thought I'd dip my toe in your wonderfully detailed reviews of Smallville. I couldn't help but notice your critique of 'Tomb' stated that the bad guy just disappeared at the end of the show. I'm pretty sure he was lying dead on the floor after the spirit possession. Check your tape.
Yep. Correct! And thanks for the compliment.
By the way, I share your despair at the show's slow demise. The turning point for me was the episode were Jonathan Kent was gifted with super powers to bring home his adopted son. That really was a stretch of the imagination in a show which to that point had been quite grounded in some form of reality. Though I continued watching Smallville I still see this episode as the forerunner of the truly ridiculous developments in Series Four, which in turn tainted our expectation and perception of the current series. I have to say watching Smallville now, the writing is reminiscent of the way David Bowie used to put lyrics to his music. He would have a bag full of strips of paper, each with a word or set of words. Bowie then put random srips together until it made some kind of lyrical sense and this certainly worked for him throughout the 70's. With Smallville we now appear to have three monkeys for writers who hear, see and speak no evil. Two of the monkeys are dyslexic and the third has an undiagnosed condition which clearly creates problems when placing the random strips of paper from a bag labelled 'recycle'.
Good metaphor. I look at it like I look at life. It starts off so beautiful and with such great intentions, and then it slowly starts to suck more and more until eventually, abruptly, and without full resolution, it's over, leaving the people watching it or you saying, "Why? Before it reached its pinnacle, why?"
Sorry if my 'toe dipping' is getting a little surreal though maybe that's a result of over analysing something which has actually been long buried in a shallow grave and we are half-heartedly trying to ressurect it using several spoons and a semi-charged battery pack.
Nope. Not too surreal.
OK that's me done. Hope it helps!
Steve Crow/Gislef wrote:
The funniest thing about "Tomb" is listen when Michael "pulls" the knife out of his shoulder/chest/whatever. You can hear the metal *shwing* noise as the retractable prop blade extends back out. They didn't even dub it out in post-edit. *sigh*
That's...wow. Pretty lame.
Did you see the "viewer discretion advised" notice before the episode? Cheap marketing gimmick. I guess some people can't handle seeing ketchup on Chloe's wrists, or maybe the scary lightning effects. Or maybe Chloe naked in a shower is enough to scare off the viewers. Of course they don't say "parental discretion advised" anymore because they've given up on making Smallville a family show. Are there family shows anymore? Do parents use discretion in deciding what shows their children can watch? Do they make the decision at all? Oh, who cares.
I do. But then, what's worse, naked Chloe, slit wrists, or people trying to murder Clark every week coupled with kids sticking maggots in their mouths and trying to kiss? It's relative.
I think they were going for a horror movie theme, but to me this episode was really about racism. They have Chloe in the shower and the evil ghost lurks, but we know she's not going to be brutally, savagely murdered for two reasons. First, today's date on my wall calendar isn't encircled by red ink. Second, everyone knows that in a horror movie, the brother is always the first to get killed. Except that we're painfully reminded that there are no black people in Smallville. Not anymore, anyway. So when Pete isn't about to get killed in the beginning of the episode, we know that it's going to be a show about racism, really, like the dog that didn't bark.
Pete's absence and the fact that we never hear about him, ever, makes perfect sense. After all, why would someone stay in touch with his best friend from childhood through high school, especially if that person is an alien with superpowers who saved his life all the time? But LOIS' presence, that makes a LOT of sense. What would the Talon be without Lois?
Actually, from what I hear, Sam Wilson just ticked off the producers and quit or was fired. I don't think it was a race thing. Though I do think they should have replaced the actor at the season finale.
Smallville's racist decisions are particularly disappointing because they started out so well. The producers of the show worked to correct the racism, yes racism of the original creators of Superman, who included no people of color in the original comics.
Actually, I don't believe that's so.
Or you could say the creators of Superman weren't the racists, they were just reflecting a racist culture in Kansas where it was all white.
I don't particularly think it's either of those.
Or you could say it wasn't racist at all, but the natural human tendency for birds of a feather to flock together, like the extras in the "Planet of the Apes" movies who sat self-segregated into chimpanzee, gorilla and orangutan groups during lunch hour on the set without even realizing it.
I admit, I am an orangutan.
And you could discuss whether self-sorting into groups is an inherently evil instinct, or whether it's really self-sorting when there are external pressures involved. But it's a lot more fun to watch Lois brew a cappuccino, so pardon me.
A lot of theory, very little rationale...
So the Smallville producers tried to fix the problem of an all-white group of characters, if it was a problem, by changing the race of some of the main characters. Pete is changed from a white character to a black character. Lana is changed from a white redhead into an Asian. They might've had black actors portray the Kent family, but let's not go crazy or anything.
I don't even think it's that complex. In fact, to assume that race was a factor in their decision is also a form of racism. They MUST have thought of race while doing it, because no multi-cultural cast can exist without a group of racist white people helming it for their own profit, mwu ha ha!
Now in my mind, the producers made a calculated and wise decision in not including Lois in the original cast, since Smallville is a show about Lana. (And Clark.)
It's not a show about Lois. With Lana as Clark's love interest, Lois is irrelevant. They want us to know they haven't completely forgotten about her, so they make Chloe (sounds like Lois) as the journalist. Only they make her pathetic and evil instead of a heroine.
I disagree. They made Lana pathetic and evil and Chloe the heroine.
Then when they bring Lois into the show, they make Chloe redundant but for some reason they don't kill her off. Instead, they've gotten rid of Pete to make room for Lois. So we started out by replacing white characters with non-white, but then we undo this positive move by replacing a black actor with a white actress.
Actually, I think Chloe and Lois have miraculously become distinctive this season, and if anyone should go, it's Lois. And if your theory is that every time an actor leaves they replace it with another actor of a differing race, who's replacing Jonathan? Or does that not fit into the conspiracy?
Alright, I'm not wedded to Pete's character being in the show. It's not as if they got rid of Lana. You can do Smallville without Pete. But if you're going to get rid of the one black character in the show, I say it makes sense to replace him with a new black character. "But LanaFan315," the Smallville producers say, "we needed to bring on Lois Lane." And I say, where is the conflict? Black Lois Lane. What, do the laws of physics not permit this?
It was actually a comic. But I'd like to think and hope they just chose the actor that best fit the part. I wouldn't assume racism without any evidence. That's just silly.
There's a lot of precedent for this. In addition to the obvious Smallville examples, you've got a black actor playing Kingpin in "Daredevil", a black woman playing Catwoman in the unfortunate "Catwoman", and the movie "Wild Wild West" included two racial changes of the title characters. A white character is played by a black actor, and the Hispanic character is played by a white actor, since there are no Hispanic actors in all of Hollywood.
Well, yeah. But then, there's no requirement for it either, and NOT doing it doesn't mean you're racist.
So why can't we have a black Lois Lane? And preferably a really black Lois Lane, as opposed to women like Halle Berry or Tyra Banks who are just brown enough to still be acceptable to white America.
My God. You have no place calling other people racist, my dear. Saying who is "really black" or "really white" sounds a lot like a race supremacist to me.
The Smallville producers would probably make up some excuse about how she can't be black if Chloe is white. Whatever.
Where do you get this?
If they can make Jor-El evil, they can make the Lane family tree a little diverse. Or if they must have a white Lois Lane (new FCC regulation perhaps?), they could replace Chloe with Lois, seeing as how Chloe is redundant now anyway, except to have someone who wants to kill Lana in EVERY episode.
You just hate Chloe and want her written out, so you're rationalizing a way to do that. And frankly, what's more racist, casting a black guy and then firing him or having him quit, or never hiring a black guy? And for that matter, why go out of your way to hire a black actor over a white actor instead of the best actor? That's reverse racism.
Yeah, a black Lois would be a neat experiment. But because they didn't doesn't make them racist.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not some kind of diversity Nazi. There are lots of places in society where diversity is of no importance compared to some other objective. In the NBA for instance, no one would ever complain about how there are no women players, or not a proportional representation of the various races.
Oh, but they do. In point of fact, they very much do. See the WNBA and college campuses all over.
No one cares about that stuff.
Only the skill of the players matters. If skill trumps diversity in something as unimportant as our basketball games, then skill can trump diversity elsewhere. But this isn't one of those cases. Erica Durance is not the greatest actress in the world.
No. But neither is Kristin Kreuk. Both coast by on half acting, half 'cuz she hot.
They can find at least one black actress who's as good, if not better. Instead, they replace the one black actor with a white one. Was it done out of racism? I answer that the same way I always do when I don't know for sure: I hope not. Now Lana Lang is the only non-white character on the show, and some people seem to be begging for her to be eliminated, yourself included.
I already had this debate, years ago. A lot of people don't see her as white or asian, and actually, she's half-asian, half-dutch. So depending on how you look at it, you could consider her white.
For that matter, I don't want her gone because she's half-asian. I want her gone because her character is an unholy pain in the @$$.
Is racism an animating factor in that? I hope not. But it looks like next week's episode will have a black character find his way into Smallville, so at least we know the producers are thinking about the same things we are.
I doubt it. Cyborg is a black character in the comics. It plays to his normal type.
In the portion of the episode that didn't relate to race, I think even a Lana-hater such as yourself would have to admit that Lana scores big points, relative to Clark. Chloe goes nuts and is stuck in a hospital being treated by some psychiatrist who's really evil.
Uh, while POSSESSED and thus not in control of herself. How does she score big points?
I thought he was going to be the villain of the episode, since the last time I saw him he was threatening to work over Jessica Alba's face with a pair of pliers. Wrong creepy evil guy, but still not good enough for a friend of Lana's. Out of concern for her lousy friend, Lana swallows her pride and puts her anxiety about Lex aside to do what is in Chloe's best interest. Out of love for Lana, Lex is once again motivated to do the right thing and get Chloe to Belle Reeve. Until Clark puts a stop to all of that.
And I said Clark was dumb.
Did you see the way Clark's eyes bug out of his head when the psychiatrist first says Chloe might be cracking under the strain of keeping some secret? Always thinking of others, that Clark. My hero! Lex shows up to save the day; Clark tries to stop him. Clark's concerns about Belle Reeve's past are legitimate. But Lana and Lex also know what goes on in Belle Reeve, and they sign off on it. Lex's motives can be questioned, but Lana's (as usual) are pure.
Lana didn't have any motives. She just sat there and acceded to what Lex said.
Can we say the same of Clark? It's obvious he's only concerned that Lex will somehow take advantage of Chloe and get Clark's secret. Clark is being menaced, I think, but Lex is not being menacing. He was really acting no differently than in past seasons, just the way Clark reacted to him changed. If anyone's been turning evil this season, it's Clark.
And he's so evil, he ended up saving Chloe's life last week. What a punk.
When Clark kidnapped Chloe to prevent her from receiving any medical care whatsoever, I just died laughing. He's really lost it. Lana: 1, Clark: 0.
When did Lana score?
Finally, we have our obligatory Clana scene in the barn. I'm sure in your review you characterized it as just another Clana passive-aggression fest.
You didn't even read it? But yes, I did.
This time I agree with you, only it's not Lana who's being passive-aggressive. I won't allow you to get away with a formulaic brush-off of the Clana scene's content, repetitive though it may appear to the untrained eye.
Actually, you will. In fact, right now, I could basically take your letter and make you say you agree with me. But I'll just settle for you letting me get away with saying what I want to say in my own column. How beneficent.
The Squeaky Shoes I'll let you get away with, but only because Smallville is supposed to be about Lana and Clark, not General Hospital. At least there wasn't a car crash this hour.
You're doing a lot of talk about what you'll let me get away with, when you don't realize that I could, in a straight second, snuff this letter out like a fart in a stiff breeze. The only reason I'll let you get away with it is because you're hilarious.
Lana shows up at the barn, and Clark comes out with some bizarre accusation about how Lana betrayed his trust, "why didn't you tell me you went to Lex?" Okay, now this is just stupid. Why does Lana have to tell Clark she went to Lex?
Because Lex tortures. Because Lex wants to be with Lana and Clark is with Lana. Because she went behind his back. There are other reasons. Those are enough.
Is Lex supposed to be Clark's personal servant?
No. And that has nothing to do with what you just said.
She has to ask Clark's permission first?
Nope. Just not lie about it and go behind his back. Common human courtesy.
Smallville history shows that everyone uses Lex for favors, they just have to put him back in his manor when they're done with him. Besides, Chloe is Lana's friend too. And isn't it obvious that she went to Lex if Lex shows up in the hospital? What, did Clark need notice so he could clean up first before Lex arrived? And how would this all be coordinated, anyway? "Clark, this is Lana. I'm calling to tell you I'm going to ask Lex for a favor. Copy? Roger, over and out."
That's how my girlfriends have typically done it. Otherwise, I leave them. And likewise I return the favor. Especially with guys who want to steal the girl away from me, obviously.
But Lana is class, so she doesn't bother mopping up the floor with Clark by pointing out what I just did, so instead she re-focuses the conversation to something important. "Why didn't you tell me [you kidnapped Chloe and prevented her from getting medical care for no apparent reason, you psychopath?]"
I didn't know "class" was passive aggression about an act that saved a human life. To me, class is a woman who will belch and curse with me or swing a hammer. That says she's like me. And I'm a classy broad.
From behind the three-point line! Lana: 4, Clark: 0.
Uh, she still hasn't scored yet. And love isn't a game of points, it's a relationship. You're either decent to each other or you're not.
Although I was grateful Clark didn't use Lana's "Deflection. Nice. I'm not falling for that." He didn't say it because he knew he was wrong. Lana then tries to get Clark to open up to at least try to explain his sociopathic ways. Clark stonewalls, as usual. Lana tries again. Clark doesn't say a word. In frustration, Lana finally gives up and leaves the barn. Like any normal, well-adjusted person would do.
No. A normal, well-adjusted person opens all avenues of communication and continues to speak until the problem is solved. Many people over the years have walked away from me in the middle of great debate, but those who stick around, we always find a good, healthy consensus.
Cutting off diplomacy, if you will, is HARDLY a normal, well-adjusted thing to do. For instance, because your letter and your profound illogical statement offend my sensibilities, would it be a normal, well-adjusted thing to stop responding right now, or does it make more sense, is it more intelligent, to go on to try and get to the bottom of it? You know my answer.
Note that she doesn't fold her arms before walking out.
She often does, but anyway that's a joke.
But I'm sure your review pokes fun at how Lana pivots and walks away.
If you didn't even read it, you have no leg to stand on in criticizing my point of view. It makes your critique look flatly asinine. And I hate to be so blunt, but you've accused me of racism in a veiled, passive aggressive way, and called me a misogynist, and you openly admit you didn't even read what I wrote. That sucks.
But look, Neal, you have to consider this from Lana's side. She's trying to get the man she loves to open up, and he won't budge.
It saves her life. Period. Good enough for me.
If you watch their conversation, Clark barely even speaks a word. It's all Lana.
She's the one who shows up at Clark's barn, reaching out to him.
Or aggrandizing herself?
She's the one who tries to repair the relationship.
Or take when she gets what she wants, leave when she doesn't?
Clark's response: be a statue.
Or be kind and not tell her what a (%$# she's being because that's what "gentlemen" are supposed to do. Just tuck up their cojones and pretend they want to do everything the woman says.
No wonder they call him the Man of Steel. Lana uses the "s" word. Big deal. Stonewall Kent doesn't allow anything through. And yes, Lana pivots and walks out, seeing as how it's not her barn, and the guy who owns the barn isn't saying a word.
Or maybe he's just waiting for her to shut her big, dumb, ignorant, continually oppressive naïve and repulsive mouth so he can get a word in edgewise, and when he finally can, she's already walking out?
I guess you think she's supposed to wait until Clark finishes his chores and goes to bed, because he won't say so much as a "see ya".
I wouldn't either if you walked away from me mid-conversation. It's rude.
I cannot see how anyone could not see that Clana scene and not conclude that Clark is the passive-aggressive jerk, and Lana is the decent human being.
And how much more passive can you get than playing 'possum standing up?
If you'll explain to me how doing nothing at all is passive aggression in any way, I'll consider it. But it isn't.
I'm surprised Lana doesn't just go ask Lionel Luthor on a date, he's the only guy in Smallville with any emotions, even if they are all manufactured.
I'm surprised, given the show's tendency, Lionel isn't asking her out on a date.
Lana wins this episode of Smallville, Neal, admit it.
In a pig's eye.
In response to my last letter, you pointed out that although Lana enjoys incredible popularity and adulation in Smallville, Adolf Hitler was also admired by a lot of people. Comparing Lana to Hitler is ridiculous for two reasons. First of all, the National Socialist German Workers Party reached its height when it received less than half of the vote.
Lana Lang is admired by a much larger percentage of Smallville.
If she ran for office in Smallville, she could easily double--or perhaps nearly triple--the amount of votes that the Nazis got.
There are only 50,000 people in Smallville and there were far more people in half of Germany in 1932.
Plus, Hitler had to deceive people in order to get his votes, keeping secret what he planned to do and justifying the rest: the Jews are only X% of the population and have Y% of this job or that job so we need to level the playing field to get proportional representation--your standard racial hatemongering disguised as "affirmative action".
Affirmative action wasn't even a term back then. And he didn't say "level the playing field", he went out and killed 6-9 million Jews.
I think you're entirely missing the point of my comparison. The point, which you missed, is that just because a lot of people like someone doesn't mean that they're necessarily a good person. A similar analogy is that a lot of people liked Richard Nixon. He besmirched the presidency. Even though some people still like them, it doesn't change the things he did.
But people love Lana for what she is. She doesn't have to lie about herself to be accepted by others.
Though she does, often and well.
Unlike some other people I could mention (Clark, I'm looking in your direction).
Cite a single time Clark has lied to be accepted by others beyond his secret, which he keeps to SAVE LIVES.
Secondly, Hitler killed six million people. Lana has killed two or three, tops.
Still missing the point.
And none of those were murders, except maybe Genevieve. In any case, Lana has killed only a small fraction of the people who we've seen die in the course of Smallville's run. Concededly, Lana killed more people than Hitler had by age twenty, but somehow I doubt that Lana is going to close the gap by the time Smallville ends.
You're being way too literal.
Your beloved Lex, on the other hand, just might. Or, from what we've seen in the latest episode, maybe Clark will kill a few million people to protect his all-important secret.
Clark killed his dad, but not for his secret.
In my humble opinion.
And you're entitled to it. But boy, do I disagree vehemently and think you haven't proven your point.
Longtime reader, but let me just say that I'm really dissapointed when I'm more entertained by your review than the show. No offense, love the column. I actually now consider your show part of the entire view experience, but Tomb was horrible.
You're disappointed, but I'm happier than a fat kid who sweats butter and candy bars. Thank you!
Anywho - what are Rosen-farts?
Michael Rosenbaum is known to fart on set to hilarity. Like when he was in the cage in Shattered, I think it was, on the gag reel for the season DVD. Hilarious.
I'm a little late to the party with this Lex-Mas episode. I had no time to watch Smallville last Fall; so, I taped the episodes for future viewing oppurtunities. I'll try to make this short and sweet.
I don't think you understand that TV is TV and real life is real life.
I do understand that.
E-mail is a poor medium for this discussion because I gurantee you'll skew my point. I'd like to avoid miscommunication but I suppose I'm doomed from the start. I like to criticize as much as the next guy. Unfortunately, even when you review a good episode, sometimes, to this reader at least, discussion points and criticisms equate to two different entities.
Right...but why is it bad to commingle the two on the ultimate critical discussion point arena...the internet?
There's an etiquette for describing viewpoints without coming off as insincere. This is how you sound to me: "Lex-mas was an excellent episode, but the writers still stuck."
That's about how I feel. The acting was good, the camera work was good, the plot was pretty good. The actual written part of the episode just really, really sucked and offered multiple inconsistencies.
And this is how I wish to perceive your reviews: "Lex-was an excellent episode, but there are some questionable circumstances that make for great discussion. Let's get into it!" You see how the latter sends so much more upbeat and respectful?
Yeah, as well as totally insincere, sycophantic, and pandering. Personally, I hate euphemistic language and ideals. The example I use in company is that if I look at a wall and say, "This wall is most egregious, and I find it's existence to be a blemish on my very moral terpitude! I wish it nothing but destruction and I pray you'll all be with me in this notion!", it's pretty, and it's nice, and it probably doesn't offend old ladies, but frankly, I find it a lot more effective (at risk of being called a saxon regardless) to say, "*%#% that wall with a spoon!"
I don't care what it is, too much of anything is bad. In fact, a person who cricitizes every single nook and cranny, even if it's unwarranted, may suggest some control or power issues with themselves. This may or may not apply to you.
Are you kidding? I'm a writer. We're the only people who actively and constantly try to pretend we're god. But don't worry. In real life I can't even spank the dog.
Oh, and I totally disagree with you about money and power. I'm not talking about Lex. I can certainly appreciate and understand Lex's intentions for choosing the altnerative path to happiness, even though it's all for nought. While I don't presume to live in your shoes or force you how to feel and think, I'm sorry to hear that YOU think money and power leads to happiness. I'm sure you've heard that producing generalizations are usually unrecommended -- and this case is no different.
I don't think. I KNOW. I flat out know that the more money you have, the happier your life will be. It's just common sense. I want a steak. I can't have one. I have no money. Say I wanted a girlfriend. With money, you can get ten, all at once, and they won't give you the crap a girlfriend will give you when you're poor. I want a book contract. Rich people get them easier than poor people, because they can afford to pay some of the expenses or start their own publication company. It's just true.
I have heard that producing generalizations is unreccomended. Usually by people who are afraid to explore the truth that exists in many prevailant stereotypes and generalizations. I have yet to see how you've proven my generalization wrong...
Your situation is your situation. Just because you had a difficult poor class upbringing, doesn't necessarily mean every single poor person had a difficult upbringing and comes to the same conclusions you do.
Did I say they did or do?
It sounds like you firmly believe that poor people and, say, alcoholism and addiction are a one-to-one relationship, is that right?
Oh no. There are a ton of rich alcoholics. I just know that a rich alcoholic can bop down the street to treatment and a poor guy can't, so he beats his kids.
I can tell you from my experience this is far from the truth.
And I already agreed.
And not all rich people are happy.
Boo fricking hoo for them. Oh, wah, I don't have the latest I-Pod. Aw, I can't be recognized for the validity of my own endeavors because my money pollutes my nobility. Let me go drown myself in my Olympic swimming pool.
I have no pity for them.
If you divide society into even layers, at each one, a certain percentage will be unhappy.
Yeah, but a poor guy who's unhappy has a good reason. A rich guy's just a whiney fruit.
Money and power do not lead to happiness.
Yeah, they do. It's just unpleasant to admit that because it means that if you're humble and poor you won't be as happy as you should be. Which sucks. But it doesn't make it any less true.
A rich person can become addicted to drug paraphernalia, just as any other human being can.
And can probably afford better drugs, at that.
I can't tell you how to feel or think, but I hope you understand that if your unhappy now, money and power will not bring you happiness.
First off, I'm probably the happiest man on the face of the Earth. I can sleep as late as I want, I have a decent running computer, 12 hours of writing a day, and the hands to steer the keyboard by. I get fan letters. I get to build houses. My entire life is one great, building creative endeavor. I go to sleep knowing who I am, I wake up knowing who I am, and frankly, I never question myself. I know NO ONE ON EARTH who can say this to me with any kind of honesty. I feel unique. I feel blessed. I breathe the air outside on a cold day and I am glad to be cold. I am beloved of life. I have a great dog, a roof over my head...it admittedly needs repairs, but by God, I can MAKE those repairs, because I have a head on my shoulders, intellect, and a strong body.
The world is my burrito, baby.
But I can tell you, if I were unhappy, money would definitely set me to rights again. Easily. I've never seen a single person who dropped into cash that wasn't instantly happy. The sadness comes when the money runs out, as any lotto winner will tell you.
People make other people feel great to be alive, not possessions.
Right. And you can have more people around you the more possessions you have. Ironic, idn't it?
Caring, loving, and stable relationships facilitate euorphia.
And caring, loving, stable relationships are bred from a buttload of money to raise a kid right by or to keep a relationship steady with. My mom and dad never fought because they didn't care, love, or be stable for each other. It was always over the stupid light bill or the cable.
I know this from my own experiences. There's more to life than money and power.
Never said there wasn't. In fact, my life is pretty much a statement against the necessity of money and power. But you still haven't told me how money and power doesn't increase happiness. And I'd be a fool to say I wouldn't be happier with a million dollars to drop down on a school or my favorite pet charity.
Hey! Me again. And I actually have real input this time. Like, about the show. Amazing, huh?
Anyways, you said there was no reason for the girl to slit Chloe's wrists, but I think that it was so that they'd take Chloe to the hospital. You could argue that she could just MAKE Chloe go to the hospital and find the guy, but I think she wanted to have the guy try to seduce/kill Chloe the way he did with her, so she could turn it around and throw it in his face, rather than just walking up to him in the hospital and killing him. Plus, you know, it makes for a better show. Duh.
True. If only they'd filled in that blank...
Also, I got the impression that the power was out in the beginning of the episode, which would explain why lightning struck and why Chloe was bathing in the dark. Plus, Lois comes looking for her with a flashlight, which is why I thought power outage.
That makes sense. Hadn't thought of that.
I'm also surprised the face in the curtain creeped you out. I laughed. It reminded me of a cheesy ripoff of "the Ring," which actually really creeped me out (save for the horse falling off the ship, I actually laughed out loud during that scene...yeah, people stared). Anyways, it seemed a little "Ooooh look at the creepy girl in the mirror! This has NEVER BEEN DONE before! Are you scared? OoOoOoOoooOooh!!"ish.
I just didn't expect it. That's why it got me.
Um. Wow. I wrote that before I read the next paragraph...where you blatanly compare it to "the Ring"...okay, feeling stupid now. Yet not stupid enough to erase my last paragraph. Go figure. But, glad you got a laugh out of the scene after all.
Sidenote: I love House. Absolutely adore him.
I tell you, I've taken to chastising people who bother me in a form of character. I make them choose John Dorian, Perry Cox, or Dr. House.
For instance, if they pick Cox, after suggesting that there was a Lindberg presidency (no...really, it happened to me).
"Well there, Bridgette. You're just going to have to wind the old victrola a little harder next time, because I could swear the little squeaking this dog saw coming out of the horn had something to do with a man that lost a baby, not a man who would have made a truce with the Nazis. (SHARP WHISTLE). Later, newbie."
"ME HEAL!" fakescene made me laugh out loud. Props.
Good deal. I'm working on my Hulk Clark.
Also, I don't know if you know, but Cyborg...is Jett Jackson. And if you don't know who that is, then you're a lot cooler than I am.
I don't really know who it is. Sounds like a teen movie. What did I miss?
Right, that's all. Long letter, full of nonsense, but at least I had fun writing it. Till next week.
Long? Ha! I hate to sound vulgar, but you want to see long? Look up!
Shafi S wrote:
These last two episodes sucked big time. Well except the ladies (whink whink). Sorry.
That's either vulgar, or hilarious. I'll say hilarious so it don't get cut. (wink wink)
Are the writers getting paid to write this garbage?
More than I've likely ever made in my life for each episode.
Ok if a chick punches and kills that person you hunt her down and bring her to justice. Jeez come on. Or he probually Liked her ooooo. Writers should do what they suppose to do and thats to write that makes sense.
Or at least make a compelling series of cogent narrative plot points that allow for a logical continuity.
THe acuvue advertisment in the show really pEEed me off. I can't say no more.
Can you see no more? ;) Accuview to the rescue!
The only thing that made sense in tomb episode was lois. Jeez shes the only person in the entire episode to speak like a normal person. And the way she acts and throws the knife at the guy. Nice stab the jabroni (can i use this word sorry if i did if i wasn't suppose to).
If anyone uses a word they're not supposed to, I just censor it obviously in bold. I don't know what a jabroni is, so I'm going to assume it means something flowery, like puppies.
Don't know why it didn't kill the guy right away? I guess I can survived to too if i get stabbed in the heart with a two-inch knife. Again the writers need to write. Well now i guess why clark (hopefully) falls in love with Lois, SHes THE ONLY SANE ONE IN Smallville.
I think it hit his rib cage.
Well thats it for reading,thanks for reading.
Hoshi Reed wrote:
Hmmm. Okay, now I have to comment on your Tomb review.
Point one. The dark lighting for shower scene. More than likely this was done because Allison probably didn't use a body double where as Kristin did.
She did? I feel...violated!
Yeah fandom has been scratching their heads on how Chloe got HER wrists slashed. The best theory was a stigmatic kind of effect.
Umm, Chloe doesn't have a psychiatrist. Just like when you go into a hospital and need surgery a surgeon is assigned to you. The doctor talks to the family and you automatically become his patient while he automatically becomes your doctor/surgeon. When a suiide or self-injurer is brought in a psychiatrist is assigned. He probably never talked to her so he wouldn't be aware of her mother.
Didn't know that. I've never cut my wrists. I did do something evil with a number one paddle bit once, but you'll have to read my poetry for that.
As far as "...BUT, not for a long time. I mean, you literally have to wait five seasons of people walking around the Talon for you to make a move. See, it gives you unlimited spiritual power, but you don't begin using it just after you die. Nah, you wait a while. Just cause."
You must have missed the flash of green which is the cliched, "oh no, Kryptonite activation", when the lightning crossed the room and took out the lights.
I did, in fact.
It looks like you are one of the few who got cut off by your affiliate and missed the part where Clark took Chloe/Gretchen to his room on the Kent farm and they discussed that the lightning activated the ghost.
I actually just missed it. I had the whole show.
BDA missed catching on that she wasn't herself and left her to sleep a bit. She looks at her ID's and finds Chloe's license to carry a taser, her DP ID and her Met U student ID. Next scene was of him and Lois talking about the victim's name, the sheriff was new and green, and THEN they discover Chloe is gone. More than likely Chloe/Gretchen slipped away while Clark waited for Lois/went back to the Talon (Depending on how the cut scene of the sheriff went)
Clark didn't do any research. The BDA lives on as he looks through the history. This implied Chloe/Gretchen already made a pitstop at the DP to do research (Don't get me started on the nitpick of a ghost from 10 years back knowing how to use a modern computer)
Heh. I don't think that hard. That's the writer's job.
Hehehe, rented, not ran, his father rented the apartment back when it was a movie theater. And if you listen to Nell in Leech she says the movie theater was "closed for MONTHS now". So it WAS running when she had the flower shop. A bit of continuity which really SUCKS seeing as they can't remember Chloe's mom left when she was FIVE and not twelve.
Yeah, that too.
Uhh, he didn't disappear. After Chloe/Gretchen touched the stone to his skin, assuming he didn't touch the stone itself but only the bracelet when he put it on her in the first place, the ghost transfered into him. he stabbed himself (cue in the gory sound effect of knife entering flesh) and falls to the floor (MY nitpick is the glaring lack of proper effect that showed him fall and the corresponding thud sound). You can however see the body in the shot where Lois walks to Chloe to untie her arm.
All in all good review though a bit harsh on non-Clark centered stories.
I disagree with you about the Danny Elfman musical score in "Vengenace", on the notion that it's borrowed from Batman. Technically, the score more closely resembles his Spiderman theme, not Batman's. If you listen to it again, I think you'll see what I mean.
I went to the tape...I still say bats.
Rob Marcella wrote:
I have to admit I read your reviews every week and I usually find them very entertaining.
I know people jump down your throat for being a Smallville basher and I totally understand that you just want the show to be as good as it once was. With that being sad, I think your recent distaste for Smallville has gotten the better of you and is causing you to miss certain elements of each episode.
For example you say "Or, as I realize now, maybe the warning is for dropping dead of incredulity when you realize that Chloe's character slicing her own wrists actually makes no sense whatsoever. It's dramatic at the time, but if you think about the episode...IT'S NEVER EXPLAINED. Why would the vengeful ghost want to embody Chloe just to slit her own wrists when her goal is to find the guy who killed her? There's also the cheesy, badly done slit wrist makeup not helping things out. "
The reason her writs are slit is very obvious. The Orderly talked that girl into killing herself to put her out of pain and he had her slit her own wrists. As she possessed Chloe's body, the slit marks appeared. Maybe they didn't come right out and say that but it was pretty obvious to me.
Probably was...I just missed it. I have to be hit with the blunt stick sometimes, as do most viewers. Chances are if I missed it, many did. If you didn't, that just means you're sharp. :)
I think you also questioned why she had the Kyprto bracelet in the first place but the Orderly made a point to say to Lois and Chloe that he and his dad use to make these bracelets, and he gave one to that girl.
Yeah, it was less that it was possible, more that it's a cheap device that's been used a lot before.
Also you question Clark not letting Lex take Chloe to his Dr.'s from Bellreeves. You said "Clark, finally with an honestly good reason to be mad at Lex, what with the drunk driving last time they encountered each other that resulted in a dead Lana, simply browbeats him a little and then does something stupid: turns down Lex's doctors.
Here's the logic.
"Hi, Clark. It's me, Lex. You say you have a sick friend here?"
Clark gives a noncommittal grunt that borders on communication.
"Well, how about I give her all of the best doctors in the world and do my best to heal her?"
"No! Me heal!"
"ME HEAL! ME HEAL!"
Lex walks away, shaking his head.
In other words, good, REAL, purposeful drama is sacrificed. Clark could have read Lex the riot act for drinking and driving (say Lana told him), and Lex could have tried to make up for it with the docs, which Clark would have logically accepted.
Instead...CLARK TAKES HER OUT OF THE HOSPITAL INTO THE TALON.
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? (Embolism and......SCENE!) "
Now, again, this was clear to everyone watching with me that Lex only wanted Chloe taken to Bellreeve's so that his Dr.'s could TRY TO READ HER MIND AND HELP LEX LEARN CLARKS SECRET just like Lionel had tried to do with Lex. A pretty good reason for Clark taking her away if you ask me.
Maybe...but again, unsaid. Lex also could really have just wanted to help her.
And finally, you said "Clark is also, though not employed at the Daily Planet, allowed to use Chloe's terminal at night alone when no one else is around. Makes sense to me! "
Thing is, Clark has super powers and, if he wanted to, could use my home PC in the middle of the night. He's seen what Chloe can look up with it, knows all the entrances by now, and picked the most logical computer data base to use. Not to mention he's probably familiar with it by now.
Right, but he still has to stop and stand still and use it when he could be seen, potentially losing Chloe her job and certainly not something the Planet higher ups would like...
I'm not trying to be snotty but it almost sounds like you get so upset about the way an episode is heading that you purposely look for more stuff to hate and I think you definitely over looked those last few examples.
Nope, not snotty. It's true. The crappier an episode it is, the more the little things burn me. And the better it is, the less I have to say.
I do agree that Clark breaking the Talon wall was stupid and the episode has its holes, most I don't realize until I read your review. All I'm saying is that in the future you should be more careful about what you assume to be true and what you bash about Smallville.
I always just throw it one the wall to see what sticks. If I were careful, the column would still be sycophantic...and one page long. :)
P.S. Hopefully if you publish this in your review you don't kill me too much.
Actually, I liked your letter and your points. I don't attack people unless they call me names.
Hi Neal, you wrote in your latest Smallville review ("Tomb"):
"I did, however, in talking with Steve, come up with another theory about Clark's culpability in the death of his dad, one that surprisingly, no letters came up with. Steve suggests that perhaps Clark thought, when Jor-El said that nature would still seek to find a balance, that he meant Lana would simply die again, ergo he thought his quest only to save Lana. Which, you know, he kind of flubbed, but if you look at it that way, at very least it means that he didn't intend to kill. Still something I say clearer writing or filming could have brought closer to the fray..."
It's not possible that way. Clark could not possibly have thought that it would only hunt Lana down. Otherwise he wouldn't have let her out of his sight - no matter what she did (for instance saying she doesn't want to see him).
Theoretically. Or maybe he thought he wasn't letting her out of his site by having her cooped up upstairs...
Clark was even worried about Lois, who fell from the chair. I also think Clark put Lana's life above all of his friends and family ... something Superman would never do ...
Ah, well ... :)
Have a nice day
You too. Thanks.
Krishna Sharma wrote:
I think you've become desensitized to the pain of these last two episodes. This episode had me groaning in disgust so many times that my family must have thought I was dissecting a fetal pig in my basement.
This latest episode (Tomb) deserved a 0 of 5. Whatever redeeming qualities it had were quashed by the sheer stupidity of the rest of the episode.
I don't do zeroes, usually. But I'm considering a .5.
My ultimate problem is that we complain about the bad writing and often forget about the fact that these writers should have their feet held to the fire A LOT more often. I mean, this is their freakin' full time job. If writing for Smallville was my full-time job, I'd be bleeding the Superman mythos and my office would be covered in storyboards from all five seasons to ensure that each episode is rich in character depth.
You and me both. They're not looking to make a definitive Superman myth, though. They're looking to make an ongoing TV show that lasts as long as possible. There's a difference.
sigh I guess I can only dream. Take care bud.
I don't know if I'm alone or not, but I'm strongly tempted to name "Tomb" as the outright worst episode of Smallville thus far.
Nothing can beat the horrors of Lucy and Velocity. Maybe the Lionel Martha marriage.
You covered a lot of the plot holes and contrivances last week (most notably the lack of any explanation for the wrist slicing), but there was one you missed. Or rather, misinterpreted.
It was the scene where Clark discovered the baddie's name and address on the computer. We see him looking at the online news article that shows the guy's face, but Clark doesn't do any cross-referencing himself. He goes up to 'History' in the browser, and goes back to a previously-viewed screen that gave the info. (Being that, apparently, Smallville Medical puts its orderlies' home addresses on its website.)
Interesting. Missed that.
The implication here is that Clark is going back to a screen that Chloe/Gretchen visited. But that means that after leaving the dorm, Gretchen went to the Daily Planet (despite not knowing where it would be located), got into the building, located Chloe's computer, and then went about navigating the web. And it means that she did all of this, and left, before Clark could make it from the dorm to the Planet.
And when she has her own terminal, why do it on Chloe's?
Then again, Clark was a little slow throughout the episode. Gretchen made it all the way to Metropolis (how? even if it were a shorter distance, she'd still have to drive somehow) and Clark didn't make it there until after her. Meanwhile, Lex is in the dorm in Metropolis for no good reason whatsoever.
And Clark was even slower than that. When he learned the baddie's address, he instantly headed back to Smallville. Where Chloe/Gretchen was already being held captive. So somehow, Chloe/Gretchen went from the dorm to the Planet, did her research, and then made it back to Smallville and got KOed in the time that it took Clark to make it to the computer in the Planet.
I'd already decided that from now on, Metropolis was 1-1.5 hours away from Smallville. If the characters say different, they're wrong. This is a much more practical distance. However, even that doesn't explain the characters moving back and forth in this episode.
Anyhow, it didn't particularly matter in the end that Clark got the address at all, because he might as well have been KOed the moment he walked in the door. And on top of all the usual ridiculousness in bad Smallville episodes, that plays into why I think this one's the worst: the story had *nothing* to do with Superman.
Clark and his powers weren't necessary for any of the main plot. He didn't do anything that couldn't have been done by, say, Pete Ross. He was outright unconscious for the final resolution. With a couple of little tweaks, you could remove Clark Kent from the entire story and no one would recognize it as being a Superman story. It might as well have been a rejected Buffy script. Clark just got glommed onto it, and wasn't given anything important or interesting to do.
Yeah. I'm saying that a lot, but I mean it.
That got me wondering about the episode's writer, so I looked into Steven DeKnight's resume. (BTW, your 'Rating Predicter' doesn't work.) Sure enough, Mr. DeKnight wrote a lot of Buffy and Angel episodes before coming to Smallville.
Not surprised. He did comics for the show too, I think.
And what has he wrought since then? "Spell," the witch episode. "Thirst," the vampire episode. Now he's given us a ghost episode. The man sure loves his old genre material. Plus he offered up "Lockdown," your own Jump-the-Shark ep. Sure there are a couple of decent episodes he did, but his name appears on an awful lot of the worst the show's had to offer in the last year and a half. And last week what he offered up was a one-hour ghost story with Superman pencilled in.
Sounds right to me.
Mark Palenik wrote:
Lana is such a moron. Only three episodes ago she was nearly killed becuase she wasn't paying attention to the road in front of her, and now she goes and does the same thing again, leading her into a situation where she would have actually *killed* a normal person. It's not even five minutes into the episode, and already she's done something really stupid.
Heh. Best quick email of the day.
Hey there, writer man!
I'm doing a couple of semi-new things today. First, I watched the episode before reading your review... and I'm going to read your review fully before I write my remarks. (As you can tell, I have yet to read it, so please insert cheesy music in a Jeopardy tone [to drive you crazy...] here)
Now, a week later:
Oy, I'm late! I'm late!!! I'M LATE!!!! Hope you don't mind too much, cuite! (Nice new pic, by the by.) I have three to put my comments in. and I need to do it before tonight's episode or I'll be even further behind! Oy!!!
I'm beard-tackular. I figured if I'm gonna be like House, I gotta have a little bit of menace to me. Nothing says "I just fist fought a bear and won." like a beard. I'm also growing my hair long. I can't relate to the song "Life During Wartime" until I've appropriately changed my hairstyle so many times now that I don't know what I'm about.
Glad you like it. Steve said it made me look like I was about to attack...Lana. Or something.
The beginning of this episode felt like the light at the end of a very long tunnel. I have to admit that I cheered when Lana's car got smashed. but Clark's reaction ripped out what was left of my heart. (Because most people will consider me heartless for wishing such a fate on Lana. I have my reasons, people!)
As do I.
I was reading your deconstruction of some previous episodes that had given you hope and I had to agree that, in some ways, I would prefer a total departure from the mythos since they're playing all loosy goosy with it right now. I would be shocked and maybe upset at first, but then. then. they could actually go in interesting directions, instead of feeling like they have to regurgitate the same crap over and over.
As I'd started this episode, I knew Lana was going to die. not only because I read somewhere that some would die in a car crash, but also because he told her. Apparently, it is IMPOSSIBLE for Clark to tell Lana the truth about his powers and origins. But the beginning. Ah, the beginning was where I couldn't turn away. But after the crystal. Well, I could have just screamed and I absolutely knew without a shadow of a doubt that Jonathan's number was up. I thought it was a cheap trick.
Because it was.
I agree that the leaked information about two deaths was total crap. It was totally a marketing ploy to get more people to watch. But I felt totally cheated. I was so excited that perhaps FINALLY the Lana angst arc would finally be over. and now. now.
The whole thing with the blaming everything on Jor-El is also extremely tired. If Clark thought Jor-El was the mechanism for the death, he should have dismantled the Fortress. And it also makes you wonder why he keeps going back. Why did he choose to reveal his powers to Lana there? Was it really so special? Sure, they got to transport, but it just. It just doesn't make any logical type of sense.
Nope. Only bad things happen there.
Plus, I agree with your analysis of Superman's motivation. Superman would never have done what Clark did. And I can't believe that they just had him whine to Jor-El, but really just ultimately accept whatever he said. and his own father's death.
Yeah. That just sucked.
Here was a random note I had while reading: When the Fortress was formed, wasn't the entire reason Jor-El wanted him to stay was because he needed training? And what happened with that?!? And the last time Clark accepted Jor-El's wishes and went into the cave with Kara, he came back with amnesia and had to fight "himself" to turn back to normal. What the.?!?
It's called arbitrary dilemmas.
The thing about saving the life exchanged for Lana's is total bunk. Jor-El didn't say that someone else will die unless Clark could prevent it. He said that "Destiny" would insist. So Clark chose for someone else to die in lieu of Lana.
Speaking of the "Dead to Me" board, I might not put "Smallville" on it. Maybe the writers of Smallville.
The writers. The show I hope for.
I've thought about stopping watching. I really have. But I'm in this. I've committed five years to watching this darn show and I'm going to keep on watching. But I've also noticed that I'm using delaying tactics. Can you tell?
With me, it's more of a commitment to see it through. I always say I would have stopped reading Superman comics with Joe Casey if I hadn't been a reviewer, and it's true. But I would have missed the rebound and all the good stuff of the last two years. I'm hoping for that with Smallville.
When I read your description of the first scene, my note was that I was amazed it really pushed your buttons. I just think that the whole "Will Clark tell Lana his secret?" is now totally played out. They shouldn't even bring it up anymore. In fact, I don't really see her point in being there anymore besides to hawk Neutrogena and be eye candy to the guys. Her character is soooo played out! In five years, she hasn't grown an inch. (But I may be being too hard on her in my irriation.
That's why it hit me so hard. I thought they were really doing it.
I have to admit that I'm very very very very very very very glad that Chloe didn't get the ax. I was worried. I nearly gnawed my fingers to nubbins. But you're right in saying she's just there right now to be the "everything you do is right, Clark" aspect. Grrr.
I wouldn't be surprised if she survives the series.
When Lana was so understanding, I was flabbergasted. Like she's been oh-so understanding before. Like she hasn't given him significant reasons to distrust her.
Total props on the "Spaceballs" quotes. My actual note was "Shut up! Fave movie ever!!!"
It's Brooks' second best. I like Life Stinks quite a bit.
As much as the coal scene kinda' drove me crazy, I was like FINALLY! Finally this story arc dies! Finally we can all move on with our lives! But then. Hold on. I need to get a hold of myself again. Fingers bleeding. Head pounding. My neighbors are starting to complain about the screaming. Deep breaths, Sara. Deep breaths. OK, got it! And I really did expect more emotion from Lana. She'd just been told her boyfriend was an alien, transported to his alien hideout, and proposed to. Come on now!
When Clark told his folks, I really was irritated at their reaction. I was screaming for someone. anyone to see sense. While I know that Lana is "amazing," I wondered if this was really the message the writers wanted to convey to their viewers. "If you love someone but have been lying to them for good reason, expose said secret but then you have to do something incredibly stupid. I know! Marriage sounds about right." And as soon as Jonathan said the thing about not being needed, I could hear you in my head. "Bo is a dead man!"
Yep. Certain things mean insta-death.
When you were talking about the Kents throwing a fit with Clark's marriage to Alicia, I have to admit. I felt some huge sarcasm well up within me. It went "Oh, but Neal. He was seventeen then."
The Lois scene bugged me. I know that they don't show every second of their lives, but Lana and Lois have never seemed close. And why didn't Lois ask Chloe for help? Why didn't Lana make the instantaneous 3-hour drive to Smallville? I realized later that it was all for the set-up, but really. And when she said her line. the one about being lucky to find someone like Clark. Yeah, they always have to throw in that foreshadowing. And I don't feel any chemistry between them. Why do they keep trying to force feed that possible future relationship down our throats?
To try and make fanboy moments.
When I first watched the scene at the Planet, I couldn't figure out why so much attention was being paid to the little things around them. I should have known. It had to be obvious so stupid Clark would get it.
And I've been getting pEEy about the writer's use of Chloe and the writer's treatment of her through Clark. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't go with the character he's supposed to be. Why do they keep insisting that it is? And her statement about Lana being the one and only for Clark? I could have screamed! If they'd only had her say something like "make sure it's a long engagement" or something. Something! Anything!!!
I've been having trouble with the Senate race for some time. I don't think the Kents would want that type of attention placed on their family. Especially after all they've said and done to keep Clark out of the spotlight. Isn't it just a given that with a Kent in the Senate, the spotlight is gonna' be on and heavy???
It's a weird subplot. I'm gonna see how it pans out.
And Lex's reaction. To be honest, I was surprised that he didn't figure out that Jonathan had to have had a wealthy backer. But I guess. No. I'm tired of giving these guys the benefit of the doubt! But it's true. If he was really evil, he'd totally be b%$ging Lana by now. After all, in "Lois and Clark", Lex did get Lois for a bit. they nearly got married for crying out loud!
That's a central theme to what I believe to be Lex's tenets of villainy. Lois breaking his heart. And if I were Smallville, that's where I'd be going right now.
And could Lana have looked any guiltier when denying Clark had a secret? Hasn't she known Lex forever? It should have been obvious that he wouldn't have accepted that answer.
Oh, and you said the liquid thrown at him was water. With the way he screamed, I thought they wanted us to believe it was alcohol. maybe the second brandy he'd poured. But I digress.
Might have been. Didn't think of that.
The drunk driving bit was totally over the top. It was the most evil he's ever been. Supposedly, he wasn't thinking straight, but the man has servants and bodyguards up the wazzu. He could have had people driving him. And until you pointed out Lana's mistakes, I wasn't hardly aware of them. But then I looked back and realized that the girl really should have died through her stupidity. She's lived all her life in Smallville. The little town I grew up in. I can pretty much drive it blind and still do all the stops and yields. Oh, she panicked? Are they seriously trying to tell me that she's more scared of Lex than all of the other death inspiring situations she's been in? The whole thing seemed way whacked. But Clark's reaction to her was AWESOME!
I say the whole thing with Jor-El is totally getting out of control. They are blaming him for each and everything around. It totally drives me crazy. Why are they making him the ultimate evil?
Because Lex is a good guy.
When they're supposed to be focusing on Clark becoming Superman. Lex becoming the evil Lex Luthor. Maybe. if life was good and everything that was supposed to happen did happen. Lana would have remained dead. Grrr.
Bowtie twirl. Whee!
By the by. you weren't the only one that wanted the board. Grrr.
I know that it was a cheap joke. but I loved Chloe doing the "spinning on its axis" joke. I thought I was going to break something. But for her to just take it and be a total wanker about it. Oy!
The thing with Lionel and the money and all the other continuity crap. Yeah, I could pretty much shoot myself in the head right now.
Martha's reaction was AWESOME! I immediately burst into nearly hysterical tears. But then I wondered why Clark didn't run him to the hospital instead of just sitting there and shouting at him. But the whole "heart beats only a certain number of times" crap is totally beyond the par. Grrr.
It was dramatic!
Did you notice how wrong the next episode description was???
I'm not rating it. I mean it.
My response to your response of my response:
I'm an exception??? How fantastic! Am I amazing too? Got to the end and I AM AMAZING!!!
Few do. You are.
I was a little annoyed at how fast Martha packed up Jonathan's stuff and gave it away. Maybe it's just me, but I just don't think people usually do that. Perhaps it's just me. I still have one of my grandfather's shirts and he died like 5 years ago.
I wouldn't, but I know people who have.
Don't forget. She also went to Metropolis to meet the governor. or should it also be in Topeka? How close is Metropolis and Topeka???
Look! A rabbit!
Lex's drunk driving would have been a very good thing to talk about. and it could have pointed out a lot of things to people. But that wasn't the focus of the previous scene, so maybe they thought it would come out of nowhere. But as they left it, it seems like it really doesn't matter. I don't like it. I.just.don't.like.it.
I really hated Batgirl's jumping about. The SFX totally sucked. Maybe because she's a one show character? Nope. Just hate it. They need to do a little more effort.
I think it's budget. That's my guess. Good, fast, cheap, pick two. They need fast.
I don't believe that in Smallville, kryptonite that doesn't affect Clark has to be behind lead. It can be behind a brick wall. a silver necklace. heck, just in the other room. (whoops! Jumping ahead.) But her having it is totally retarded. Or is she trying to tell us that the person she got the heart from wore the necklace. because transplant beneficiaries get the jewelry of the donors. Oy!
That is weird, come to think of it.
Oh, it was important for Martha to drive to Metropolis so she could give her the mom "don't you lie to me" stare and the all-important "we'll be there for each other" hug. Yeah.
The product placement is totally out of place. but I guess I shouldn't be surprised, right? Why do I maintain such hopes for a show that can be so disappointing? Probably because it does have its moments of greatness.
Yes, it does. This show had one.
Or shut the necklace. apparently.
And the Lex blackmail pointed out that Lionel craves Martha's approval.
I kept waiting for Clark to slap Lionel's hand away.
One stop grief episode if Tomb was any judge.
It's much less by the episode.
And yeah. the Super Bowl sucked for us Washingtonians. And I didn't actually watch it. I just heard the screaming and yelling from the other room. Oh, but I did manage to sneak a peek at extremely old Rolling Stones doing their earlier stuff poorly.
I watched the last three quarters. I'd just gotten off the plane. I went hoarse.
First of all. the Chloe "attempted suicide" thing. I thought it was crap. It was a bad plot mechanism to get her into the hospital and have people think she's crazy. CRAP! But I'll have lots more to say about that later.
I didn't understand why Chloe was taking a shower in Smallville. And what was the crap about relaxing? It just made NO SENSE! I mean, obviously it was so she'd be in Smallville when the dead girl's ghost is animated so she can be thought of as crazy. but there could have been a better reason. I don't know, Clark invited them over for a barbeque and the hay wrestling made everyone messy???
I think it's obligatory to pass the nudity around.
I peg the psychiatrist as a future freak of the week. Especially considering how fast he's ready to over-medicate her. And I believe he was the Smallville Med. Center psychiatrist. not necessarily Chloe's personal one.
Here's what pissed me off about the Lex/Lana scene. Neither Lex nor Lana have the authority to commit Chloe. Would Gabe actually let Lex (who fired him) do anything for his family at this point if he didn't get his job back? (But then Gabe's been missing forever, so I guess it's not important.) And why does Lana immediately think that Chloe's "illness" had escalated to the point of committal time??? Cripes!
Because she's amazing. Face it.
Personally, I think Clark had a reason. Belle Reeve. well, it hasn't been so great to people Clark has cared about. There's the experimenting on Ryan to the point that Clark rescues him and he still dies. There's the kryptonite bath he almost died from. Oh, and there's the memory sucking Kryptonite machine. I can see why he wouldn't want Chloe admitted there. Now. taking her to the Talon. Not my first choice, but still.
Oh, and don't forget that Clark called the cops after finding the skeleton in the wall (and I have tons of issues with that, but I guess I'll just let it go. Let it go, Sara! LET IT GO!!! And done.)
I didn't let it go.
Oooo! Could I have a lava rock or Mt. St. Helen's ash ring? Could you make it for me? Pretty please. You know, in between the times you're rebuilding your house and patching up bullet holes?
You know, if I ever get enough of a break to actually go down and hunt Mt. St. Helens, sure. You gotta come over and watch another episode with me though...seriously.
Clark at least ran there.
The Clark bit at the Planet made me want to scream bloody murder. BLOODY MURDER!!! But he must have put 2 and 3 together to get four because the picture had a close-up of him. and we know the bad guys always get the close-ups.
Even in the periphery.
And of course, Lois gets napped. because that's her only part in the series. To whine at Clark and to get napped.
Why did Chloe get a bracelet but Lois didn't?
Chloe's, uh, I have no idea. Actually.
Orderly didn't disappear. He fell to the ground just after the bright flash and before bad-Ring girl disappears forever.
And can you believe how fast Lana believed Chloe? She was all ready to commit her "best friend", but a story about possession is cool beans.
Hadn't they broken up two weeks ago? So they're NOT a couple. She can worry about not being able to talk to him all she wants. but they're NOT a couple!
She'll still crack the whip. You watch.
Or that they weren't certain how much they liked the woman playing Chloe's mom so are giving themselves the opportunity to find a "better" one.
OK, my darling boy. that's it for this week. I'm just about to watch Cyborg, but I'll wait to comment until you have reviewed. After all, what's the point in making comments and you publishing them if you've just made the same comments? Oh, and don't forget. I'm amazing! ;D
I'll buy that.
I lied! Can you believe it?!? I lied!!! To my favorite writer!!! Something must be up. But I just started watching Cyborg and had lots of comments that I couldn't wait to share. Post them or not with the episode's review, but I just had to share them with [i]someone[/i]!!!
I'll forgive it. I just need an awesome list. Holy...!
1. Glad to see Lana's car all messed up. but you know she'll get a new one next week.
Whatever new sponsor.
2. And did you notice that Jonathan's still in the credits???
3. Hey! New hospital!!! And she calls Clark?!? And why would she assume that hitting someone at 30 mph guarantees death?
New hospital neat. I need a new squeaky shoes joke.
4. Doesn't Martha know you don't open mysterious packages that just appear on your front stoop??? And it's a portable DVD player? And it's showing a warehouse? Why is that so shocking aside from the fact that it has apparently dead bodies in it?
You missed it too, huh? It was Clark saving Lana, just badly filmed.
5. At least Clark came up with an excuse this time.
6. And Clark can automatically find him? And he calls Lana his girlfriend??? Oy! And they bond over football? Well, throwing Clark into the wall bridges the gap. And in x-ray vision, he looks like the "Teen Titan" cyborg, but not as muscly.
That's the same guy.
7. AND Martha gets a mysterious blackmailing call that Lionel happens to overhear? At least he didn't just walk in. And how would a favor from LuthorCorp be possible from Lionel? I love John Glover, by the by. but he's totally hitting on her! And she says she'll call him if she needs a favor? What??? What's on the f***in' DVD???
It was hard to tell at first.
8. And he lets Lana know where Victor is? At least she's not making a random trip to Metropolis.
9. At least Clark comes partially clean to Victor.
10. Is that just Victor's walk or is he limping?
Didn't see that.
11. And he and Catherine were going to get married after school? High school or college?
Must be high school, because he knew Clark.
12. And Lana knows the whole story? How is that possible? How long was Clark's call to her???
13. I didn't realize Clark & Lana were back together. And nice parallel between the situations.
They aren't, I don't think.
14. And of course LuthorCorp owns it and of course Clark are going to just go bursting in. At least Lex flips him crap for it. And Lex gives a reasonable answer and Clark's still all self-righteous about it.
15. Lana makes big trip to Smallville and spills the beans about LuthorCorp. Considering how much of a better relationship she has with Lex than Clark does, why didn't she go to the mansion??? And she encourages him to go visit Catherine? Don't you think people would be waiting for him there??? Good job, Lana! Oh, no. The soldiers find him at the barn, Lana gets knocked out, and Clark gets to go bad-a$$. Well, I'm assuming that Lex put the hit out because who else would think to find him there since he and Clark never really knew each other. And Victor's bleeding oil?
Yep. It's a Cyborg thing.
16. Eeewww! He rips off his skin! And it's the opposite side of where Clark saw all the machinery.
I noticed that.
Oy! What cracks me up is that neither Lana nor Clark vomit from the skin peel. (And I also find it interesting that they totally just walk into Lois's apartment. Why would no one look for them there? After all, not only did Lois live with the Kents for awhile, but she also ran Jonathan's campaign. I'm thinking there's an obvious connection.) And he pushes the skin back up. Is that supposed to auto heal?
Like the terminator, I'm assuming.
17. At least Chloe defends Lex. Ticks me off that Clark just brushes it off as tomorrow's worry.
18. And Hong is, of course, dead. Clark tries no resuscitation efforts and Lex is automatically there? Of course, Clark jumps straight into the accusations. 'cause that's what their relationship is all about now. And Lex is being all noble while Clark's being the whiny boy.
Good call on the resuscitation.
19. Good guilt work by Victor. But he's going to go see Catherine before he dies? Does Lana go to help the man who can hardly walk?
20. Creed's in Catherine's house? But it's a believable surrender. And Lex is actually shown doing a possibly evil deed. Wow!
First totally evil deed I've seen besides the drinking.
21. Martha's meeting some guy in industrial alleys? And Lionel scares the guy? She accepts Lionel's help??? What the??? Sounds like a set-up to me.
22. Victor meets Lex? And Lex plans to implant a chip to take out the emotion?
23. She says she tried to stop him, but that's totally bogus! Clark does a quick disappearing act.
24. No cameras in the lab, of course. And leaves his fingerprints everywhere! Doctor gets up pretty fast.
25. At least Clark has a witness now to Lex's "evil deeds". His accusation actually has some weight. And since that's true, do you think he'll get banned from the premises now? And Lex leaves him alone in his study???
After closing his laptop and playing pool.
26. And Lana brings the girlfriend. Great. Let's see the reaction. I see. This is supposed to show Clark that the true love of your life will understand and maybe he reconsiders. Hmmm. Nah. Too easy.
27. Hey, Lionel comes in the front door. He helps her and then says they shouldn't see each other anymore 'cause it could tarnish her Senate image. Hmmm. Seems too noble, doesn't it? And of course, Martha decides that they're friends now.
I call it murder buddies.
28. Ah. Passive aggressive Lana is back. Are they done? Are they over? And he says he always loved her and always will and she walks out looking hurt. Hmmm. Not definitive.
Haven't seen that before.
29. Lionel gives money to blackmailer? Really? And he's in LuthorCorp again? Looking through the footage, of course.
Didn't notice the Luthorcorp. Interesting.
30. At least Martha's looking at Jonathan's picture before she burns the CD. Can she really be so naïve to think that was the only copy??? At least we got to see what creeped her out.
Yeah. And slightly mourning of her just-dead husband.
31. Now, were you as shocked as I was with Lionel's reaction to the footage and the use of his real name? Do you think we're dealing with Jor-El possessed Lionel still and that perhaps he always has been? My gosh. That scene made my heart jump and start beating a mile a minute.
I think Lionel just knows everything and is hiding it.
32. That ending was AMAZING!!! I loved it!!! I actually really liked this episode. I'm just all excited. but it makes me feel like the season could be redeemed. Let's see what you have to say.
I liked it myself, quite a bit.
Thanks, all! Have a good break, and hope to catch you some time in the next month and a half before the next episode!
CyborgReviewed by: Douglas Trumble
First of all I have to admit something. I am a Teen Titans fan. I've collected the comics since the launch of the new run and I have rather enjoyed the Cartoon Network's anime-style Teen Titans - Go! So with that said I have to admit that I have a soft spot somewhere for Vic. Cyborg is the best character on the Toon and in the comics he is only topped by Conner Kent (Superboy) and maybe Cassandra (Wonder-Girl). To say I was excited to see a live action version of the "Booya" slinging Cybernetic hero is a bit of an understatement.
Was I pleased? Yes for the most part I was really pleased. The Smallville people handled Cyborg really well. Yes he was a bit older in this version than the other versions. In the comics Vic would be 8-10 years younger than Clark but this time around he is maybe 1 or 2 years younger, if that. I can live with that. They hid his cybernetics under fake skin too. This made sense to me. We know in the DCU that fake skin is something easily made. We've seen too many other cybernetic heroes and villains that have it.
At this point in Vic's hero career he has not yet outfitted himself with the weapons he uses to fight evil. His arm can't transform into a plasma cannon, his cybernetic eye doesn't have all the sensors, etc. So it makes sense right now that he'd have and keep the cybernetics hidden under the fake skin. It's all there. When Clark scanned him with his x-ray vision we see that this cyborg has the same metal parts as the cyborg we all know and love. So I was pleased. Oh I should mention it was pretty cool to see when Clark glanced him over with the x-ray eyes.
The story was pretty good. Vic was taken after being killed in a car accident and re-animated with the help of LuthorCorp. A doctor with a conscience breaks him out and Lana runs into him in a very cool effects sequence of crunching metal and solid Superhero muscle. (Note to Lana, you might want to think about getting a bus pass. You have really bad luck with cars).
Clark comes to check on Lana and finds Vic sneaking out of the hospital. Clark knows him from the football days which makes sense since Vic was supposed to be an all star athlete. Vic played for a Metropolis high school which is in the same state in Smallville's universe so they would play in the same state championships. Clark learns what happened to Vic and as the hero he is decides to try and help him.
For the most part the rest of the story was pretty generic but it was still nice to see Clark helping someone like Vic. Clark taking the time and effort like this may just inspire Vic to do the same and I like that. I also like the fact that this time the Superhero guest star wasn't a thief or eco-terrorist. He was a victim of LuthorCorp's secret projects which may or may not have been one of Lex's pet projects from the get go. Either way Lex was fully on board at the end. Boy Lex really is an evil you-know-what when he is not trying to play nice to get Lana. Even that is underhanded, even if he does honestly feel something for her. Lex still allows Clark to barge in on his office but I suspect that is more out of just being curious what Clark is up to than any feelings of friendship.
Adding in Vic's girlfriend was a good thing to help show Clark that some people can handle loving people like he and Vic. At least when that is all there is between them. With Lana there is too much other baggage attached for it to ever work. That doesn't mean there isn't someone out there who can handle it and we all know who that is. Once Clark starts seeing Lois for what she really is, things will be different.
The real shocker this week revolved around Lionel. Now I admit, I do not understand why Martha allows him around, and when it comes down to it, that is the thing keeping this from being an A+ episode. What is she thinking? Really I don't get it. Maybe she really bought into his reformed song and dance from early Season 4. Maybe. I could believe that she would give him the benefit of the doubt and actually be cordial to the man but to actually become friends with him? That is a bit iffy to me but I'll wait and see how the whole thing plays out before judging too much. He may have set up the whole blackmail thing as nothing more than a way to get on Martha's good side or he may just have lied about not viewing what was on the DVD, either way he's not playing honest. However the real questions this week are what and how Lionel knows what he knows and why is he helping the Kent's so much.
It's been obvious for some time now that Lionel had a pretty good idea about Clark. My first reaction to Lionel calling Clark "Kal-El" was that Jor-El was somehow still in control of him but then I thought about it some more. That could be the answer but there are other possibilities.
We know Lionel is well aware that Clark's adoption was fake. We also know Lionel is well aware that a small spaceship was found in the first meteor shower that was just about the right size for a small child. We also know that Lionel had heavily suspected Clark of having powers beyond normal man. He may even have known for sure since we don't know if he was faking his blindness when Clark shot himself in the hand in front of him in season 2. Those points are moot now though because even if he did not know about the powers before he knows now. The DVD of Clark saving Lana would have removed any doubt.
I think it is safe to say that Lionel knows Clark is an alien and has superpowers. The real question is how does Lionel know the name Kal-El? Well we know he was downloaded with all that Kryptonian knowledge and Jor-El even took over his body for a time. How much of that does Lionel remember? There is also the possibility that Lionel has somehow gained access to the late Dr. Swann's research on the matter. Of course Jor-El could still be in control there and all of Lionel's actions this season may have been Jor-El using Lionel to help the Kent's and Clark's friends.
There are many interesting possibilities here and I can't wait to see how it all plays out and what the truth really is. It certainly doesn't hurt the story that Mr. Glover is such a great actor that plays the part so well.
We still had to suffer through a Clark/Lana Yo-Yo scene but this time they pull an interesting twist on us. Lana asks Clark straight out if he still loves her. He admits that he does but there is a very heavy and obvious "but" that they cut away from. What that was we do not know but the next scene is Lana running from the loft in tears. Whoa! So we have to wait until next time to see what is up there. Ok. I'll play.
By the way my DVR didn't catch any preview for next week so either we're back to repeats next week or it cut out before it aired. I guess I am going in blind. Booya!
Anyway I give this week a Solid A. (or 5 out of 5 Tameranian princesses) One step short of A+ perfection simply because I can't figure out why Martha is friends with Lionel. They need to take a moment to give a better reason for that.
See ya all next time!
Douglas "Doright" Trumble
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