Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 6 - Episode 7: "Rage"Reviews:
RageReviewed by: Neal Bailey
I know I'm gonna get flak for saying that for some reason. A lot of people are telling me, via chat, via email, that they liked this episode. The main reason that they give is because it's so much better than the last one. And if I gave THAT a one, this one MUST be a 2, right, just because there aren't as many inconsistencies?
To me, there is a baseline. You have to reach a certain height before you even start to become entertaining. I tried to pose the question in chat, what was good about this episode?
I got: Lois was on character (and I agree, when she wasn't playing the bad role model for young girls courting the druggie and then insta-forgiving him), the Clark scene at the end, and Lex being on character.
But my response to that is that Lex is SUPPOSED to be on character. What would make it special is if you did something WITH that character.
This is also an episode already done with every character. The "strange substance" that puts someone "out of character dramatically" in a way they'd never rationally involve themselves. They just did it with Lana near the end of last season. It hasn't even been a half year.
That, coupled with all the craziness and inconsistency just tears you out and makes you (me) not enjoy the episode. The only thing I liked was the part where Green Arrow tells Clark that all he has to worry about is his secret identity while he's in the trenches. It's honest, raw, and good characterization. But for the rest of the show, he's a moron without character acting on base instinct, not someone we can relate to or empathize with. In fact, if you break it down, let's look at the mains and how they behave in this episode:
Clark: Pretty spot-on. But he's the lead.
Lana: Pregnant, passive aggressive, but in no way entertaining. The pregnancy doesn't make her compelling, just more irresponsible and foolish.
Lois: Puts up with a druggie, ignores the obvious.
Chloe: Sits next to the man who tried to kill her and serves no real purpose.
Martha: Nearly kisses Lionel.
Lionel: Opening the Who Hash.
Ollie: Druggie without any real signs of foolishness or instability beforehand.
Lex: Working on a serum that heals all ills (The villain!)
I'm going to get a ton of flak for this review, I know it. Why? Because like before, now I'm forced to confront a hot-button issue, pregnancy. And because I didn't like this episode, and I'll be crucified for rating it accordingly.
But I'm honest, so here we go anyway:
We start with a prolonged makeout session between Ollie and Lois. It's not lurid, but it does go on long enough to be an explicitly irrelevant way to show two hot people making out without a real plot point. In fact, there's no reason for Lois to be there for this whole scene at all. There are other ways for her to find out something is strange without creating an implausible situation.
Which they do. Ollie sees trouble. Lois has already gone to change into her "surprise," a business shirt. (That's a surprise? That's like Jason's surprise he never returned with. Nah, not Smallville using similar crappy devices! I mean, they never use drug-fueled out of character stuff to promote arbitrary drama!). Ollie sees trouble, changes, goes down and deals with it, gets shot, and collapses. All of this in the time it takes Lois to remove clothing.
You might want to look at that more closely. In the time it takes Lois to remove clothing, Ollie changes clothing, suits up, descends off a tall building, gets involved in a physical altercation, gets shot, and collapses.
Man, he's fast.
There's also the fact that a couple of carjackers don't just take the car, they haggle with the owners long enough for someone a bojillion stories up to hear it, change clothes, arm himself, and come after them.
This is all stuff a little attention to detail would fix on the part of the writers.
He stopped the car in a fairly neat way, shooting an arrow into the dash. I liked that, until I realized that he crashed two cars to save one. I suppose you could argue that he was stopping the baddie.
Then we cut to Clark and Martha preparing for Thanksgiving.
Uh...I don't know if you guys are paying attention, but I am, and as I noted last week, it's been six weeks since Dark Thursday according to Bow Wow. Remember? Bow Wow crashed, six weeks later, Clark encounters him. Dark Thursday happened after November, for SURE. We know this because of the election. I'm going to assume (rationally, given the weather) that it happened right about the same time we're seeing it, in May of last year.
Six weeks after may is at the latest July.
In this episode, Martha mentions what "just" happened to Raya. Assuming that you say "just" means two months ago, that still sets us firmly in September.
Continuity. I mean, it's not that hard. We're supposed to buy that four months passed in between this episode and the last. Lana and Chloe are not back in school? Chloe's still at the Talon, I think she makes two trips. Lois goes back and forth too. Martha as well, all the way to Lionel's just for a few lines of dialogue.
Why is Clark not back in school, for that matter? Senators make a lot of dough. If he's going to write news, he should be studying NOW.
Clark feels guilt for his father's death. That's touching. They've already done it, and he waffles about it every week. It's Jor-El's fault. It's his fault. They never say it's LANA's fault, but hey. I guess what I'm saying is that while I admire the sentiment, it's already been done to death. "God I miss him." Would be appropriate. Lingering guilt six months later without some kind of resolution is bad writing.
Lois decides Oliver is off the Christmas card list without going and asking him why he disappeared/etcetera, in a bout of passive aggression usually reserved for Lana. Which is just great, because then they totally reverse her passive aggression to make Clark look at fault. Here's the logic: Ollie skips out on Lois, so he's off the greeting card list. Clark discovers it's because he's ON DRUGS (pretty much the only sure good reason to dump someone for sure beyond rape or abuse, particularly for a feminist role model), and suddenly she's mad at him for telling her to stay away from him, that you don't abandon people because they do drugs.
Yeah, I know. You don't. In co-dependent dysfunctional relationships. Speaking from personal experience here.
It ticks me off, I know little girls form themselves somewhat through miming and aping TV behavior, and what does it say when you see all kinds of women across television thinking love can solve addictive behavior?
Lana does that. Lois is usually pretty self-reliant and admirable. Down a peg she goes.
Honest-to-god truth, redemptive faith in a lover changing them happens. It does. But it's the exception to the rule. But on TV, the steadfast woman can cure any ill a man has, change any ill quality. It's made out to be the rule.
Yeah, right. You can't get most guys to stop leaving their socks wadded up on the end of the bed, much less give up an addiction. Same with women and their quirks. When it's leaving socks on the end of the bed, you ignore it. When it's drugs, having kids without cash, rape, abuse, or murder, you LEAVE the punk.
Oh, but Neal! You can't abandon someone in their moment of need! They'll get worse!
The ONLY thing that stops addiction is a feeling of failure tantamount to total abandonment called "hitting bottom." Think that happens when you habitually foster bad behavior with a reward schedule?
All that is a deviation, but my point stands. Don't write stories geared at teenage girls showing that forgiving druggies and sticking with them is wise. I have no personal problem with drug use or the choice to use drugs. I don't myself, but I'm largely libertarian on the issue. But that's when you're not hurting others.
It's also all just an excuse to make Clark look like a butthead for indicating that Ollie has a problem and should be avoided until he works it out, a sensible suggestion, like telling Lana not to hang out with hardened criminals when she's a waif. Instead, Clark is played as the guy who abandons his friend. And why does Ollie quit again?
Oh yeah, Clark. Reversal of character portrayal for the second time this episode. So I was wrong, Clark wasn't even on ultimately.
Clark finds out that Ollie is shot, and doesn't go looking for him at super-speed. Good friend.
Cut to a scene of Lex and Lana. Now they're perfectly happy and cordial with each other despite being near killing each other last episode. Grand.
Lana now wants to run a charitable foundation with Lex's money. Lex points out (correctly) that she'd be working with convicts. In fact, one of those convicts later slaughters everyone at the halfway house, making Lex absolutely correct.
Lana then gets mad when Lex won't let her dictate how to spend HIS funds, pouts, turns, and storms out.
This whole side plot, Lana magically finding the charity that Lex is being finkish with, is too pat and impossible. It's a way for Lana to look brilliant without showing any of that through her character.
Lana gets mad at Lex for trying to protect her. How laudable. How entertaining. Doesn't it entertain you to watch someone be incredibly stupid repeatedly? It doesn't? Wow. I'm surprised.
With such great lines as (Lana) "This isn't about what YOU want, it's about what I want!" (when she's spending his money).
Then we have the scene were Ollie confronts Clark. Basically, he nails him to the wall about staying in a small town when there are people who need him in the big city. Good scene, awesomely written, tragically sandwiched in the middle of all of this crap.
Ollie wiping his glass wound with a green towel...overkill. We get it. He likes green. Yeesh.
Clark sees Ollie's injection. Ollie would theoretically know Clark could see him taking the injection through the wall (assumable, but maybe not). Either way, Clark doesn't go back and tell him to stop (what Superman would do), and he doesn't take the drugs and destroy them, another thing Superman would do.
Lois baking in the toaster oven was cute. I'll give them that.
Ollie's hand is full of glass. He takes the injection, and no little chunks of glass are still in there? Just a thought.
Then LIONEL shows up at the back porch, as has happened about eighty times this season. Martha's reaction? "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Come in!" with great joy.
Lionel tells her that he isn't coming to Thanksgiving. Martha is devastated. "I was really looking forward to seeing you!"
They then almost kiss.
So now they've completely destroyed Martha for us as well.
Honor roll for being on character:
Clark: Idiot who lucks into doing good.
Lana: Passive aggressive shrew who gets everything she wants instead of being the one left behind, pining, with a fear of any kind of commitment. Oh! And pregnant with Lex's baby! (at least we think).
Lex: Still mostly a good guy who's misled, trying to find a cure for cancer, not hurting many people all in all for the good he's done. Slavishly devoted to Lana for no reason. About to be a father. Before Clark.
Chloe: Beautiful, well-adjusted, talented, and never used for much of anything save stock sex humor, per Kylie in Firefly. (Sp?)
Lionel: One-time murderer now "Dad."
Jonathan Kent: Killed over a girlfriend without much impact. Though with constant future whining.
Martha: Over the death of her husband almost instantaneously and near-dating a homicidal maniac.
Pete: Left the show before it was even halfway finished.
All we have left is...
Oh, wait. We have no characters left to admire. Even Clark is a constant miss.
My note: This show just went beyond the pale. And yeah, that's fair.
Lana goes to the Daily Planet to have Chloe research the charitable foundation that she wants Lex to spend money on. Because if Lex doesn't want to spend money on her every whim, he must be up to something. And Chloe, as we know, is her first confidant, seeing as they live together. No, wait. They don't. And hey, what DO they have in common? Oh yeah, nothing.
It's a fakery, a reason to have her faint in front of Chloe, and it doesn't play.
She says to Chloe, I KID YOU NOT, "Lex is being secretive."
In this episode, Lana lies FIVE times. Four. Lex lies ZERO. You can argue that he didn't want her at that charity because of the serum. That I'd buy. It's an obfuscation. But he said, "It's not safe." He didn't directly lie. It's more a lie of omission. Lana directly lies five times.
One, she goes to see Chloe on the side. That's going behind Lex's back, which is "secretive." In secret. A secret. She could have asked him directly.
Two, she faints in front of Chloe, who asks her if something is wrong. Lana asks Chloe to keep it secret, and says that everything is fine. Secret sprung from lies.
Three, when Clark visits Lana, he asks her if anything is wrong. She says, "It's nothing. I'm fine." Lie.
Four, when Clark then says, "What did Lex do?", she replies, "He didn't do anything!" Yeah. Except get her pregnant. Lie.
Five, she states to Clark: "This has nothing to do with you!" Lie. She's stated on several occasions in differing episodes that his "lies" and "secrets" drove her to be with Lex. Usually as she's macking with Lex and rubbing her jealousy in Clark's face.
Ah! Isn't that entertaining? No?
Lois goes to see Ollie. He's in his Green Arrow outfit, because apparently he doesn't have to buzz people in to his rich, opulent apartment. She sneaks up on him with a weight and smashes him.
Somehow, she doesn't realize that this is Olliver.
Yes, you whiners, I understand this is Lois Lane, who can't see through glasses. But Clark Kent has different mannerisms than Superman. At least, as it's supposed to be. Ollie looks and acts exactly the same minus bad voice modification. She's seen him near shirtless, and rubbed him all over (as they made us painfully aware in the opening). She'd be clinically retarded not to realize it's him. But hey, assume that she can't see through the disguise. WHAT IS HE DOING IN OLIVER QUEEN'S APARTMENT? And why does she never ask or try to figure that out? If she can't put two and two together, she's a brick. A brick.
Martha goes to Metropolis to tell Lionel she has feelings for him, but doesn't have feelings for him, and wants him around, but doesn't want him around yet. It's one of the most awfully inept scenes all year. I mean, Lionel has no response to this? Martha is just going to drive all the way to Metropolis to tell him that?
She's definitely acting like a politician, I'll give her that.
Lois attacks Ollie, who throws her backwards through glass. This is a good argument for why not to date drug people. This episode conveniently skirts the issue, because she never knows that Ollie threw her through plate glass and hospitalized her. But WE know, so that means we see her dating a guy who threw her through a plate glass table and hospitalized her is supposed to be okay, because he's sorry.
She calls an ambulance which, yes, takes her to the SMALLVILLE hospital.
AND AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES. Even if it doesn't make any sense, because she's in Metropolis when she's injured.
And when Clark comes to see her, she's laying on her back, that which got all cut up. Do they even have a continuity editor on that show? At all? A monkey would laugh at this crap.
She asserts that she broke a few of his ribs, even though she hit him in the shoulder.
No. They definitely must lack a continuity editor.
Ollie chases the guy who shot him, and conveniently, the guy has powers. No real reason to, he just does. He jumps, snaps his neck, and without administering the serum suddenly heals, contradicting the already shady rational framework we had. And when I say we had, I mean we lacked.
The halfway house and the druggie connection is far too convenient. Already said that, but it bears repeating. Awful.
Clark and Chloe trespass on a crime scene, observing what went on. This after Clark broke and entered into Olliver's apartment to get the needle, when he likely could have just taken it right in front of Ollie. I mean, what could he do about it?
They use the x-ray sound effect but don't show the special effect. Given that the sound is supposed to be audible to Clark only, presumably, it doesn't make sense to use the sound and not show it. If you have to cut the effect for the budget, just use a line of dialogue.
Clark goes to the mansion, where Lex made it expressly clear he wasn't welcome. He saunters past security, apparently, and deals with the above-mentioned Lana passive aggression. Great. Such fun.
Lana asks Clark if he ever wishes he could go back in time to change things. "All the time." He replies. Don't know if that's supposed to be ironic, or funny, but it sadly works. He could wish that he sacrificed her instead of his father (which would make sense, but isn't likely what is meant) or they could have Lana rubbing in the fact that he killed his father, which is in her character but also likely not what they intended.
I'm guessing the line was written not thinking of episode 100, which is sad.
Now, what I'm really gonna get yelled at for. Lana's pregnancy. Here are the statements that will get me shot:
I think pregnancy at her age is irresponsible. You're not emotionally mature enough. Yeah, people do it. Those people are taking a risk with a child that's not necessary and foolish.
Every baby is a choice. There are no accidents. There is the choice to have sex, and that's a choice the man and the woman make. Then there's the choice to have a baby, a decision the woman makes entirely on her own in this nation. If a man says "I don't want you to have this baby!" the woman can say tough. If the man wants to keep the baby and the woman wants to abort, the woman can say tough. It's HER choice.
Lex is foolish for having sex without a condom/choosing to have sex with a failing condom and birth control. That's his idiocy.
But it's Lana's too, and since she has the choice to bear the baby or not, that's really her responsibility. But Lex is going to get all of the blame for her having to make that choice, you watch.
I don't believe Lex would allow himself to have unprotected sex with a woman who isn't on some form of chemical birth control, and I believe if he slipped he would opt for the morning after pill. He's cold and logical. That's what logical people who are careful about having children do. And non-religious people, where religion is an exemption for contraception. Lex is not religious.
I never really got that, either, the idea that you're going to have sex despite religious prohibitions, but then you're very religious when you're pregnant and thusly don't get an abortion.
Uncomfortable? Good. I'm glad. These are issues that make you angry, make you think, and should.
NOW, take all of your anger at me and put it on this show, for making us have to confront this issue with two characters who didn't have to be put in this position, who have no logical reason to be put in this position.
Last year they devoted an entire episode to showing how Lex had chosen NOT to be with Lana and instead take the dark path. But here we are.
Will Lana abort? Will she have a child? Now we have to debate that, and shouldn't. There's no reason why in any continuity Lana would be pregnant with Lex's child at the age of 20. It's ridiculous. Just read that. If I had told you in season three that by season six Lana would be pregnant with Lex's baby and Lionel would be macking on Martha, you would LAUGH and call me clinically retarded.
Is this because Kristin got pregnant? Or are they really doing this consciously as a choice?
I don't know how they'll resolve this. They have the rest of this season, presumably, or if it's not cancelled or doesn't end, next season.
They've also already done this plotline. Martha got preggers, Clark did something stupid or heroic that went awry, and Martha's child died. I wouldn't be surprised if they saved Lana the choice by having a freak hit her and have her have a miscarriage. I would be equally less surprised if they actually had her carry Lex's baby to term, as stupid as that is.
Regardless, they just killed Lex as a character for me, which was the main reason I still loved this show.
Green Arrow tries to get Lex to sign a contract under duress that would not legally stand. As a billionaire, you'd assume that Oliver would know contracts under duress can be fought.
But Neal, Ollie is enraged! He's not in his right mind!
Drugged or not, you don't lose all critical faculties. It's a cheap, stupid device.
Lex and Ollie shoot at each other, and hit each other. Ollie heals, Lex dies, then comes back to life.
Again with the "You're not a killer" speech they just did in Vengeance. Again with the hero attempting to kill and Clark trying to convince them not to. I mean, at least wait two years before using the same plot, huh?
Clark throws Ollie 30 feet and knocks him out. A bit overkill, but then, if he were subtle and intelligent about mauling humans, this wouldn't be Smallville, it'd be a show about a young Clark Kent.
Lana tells Chloe, which as about all the drama of the fish slapping contest.
Oh, HELL. Six. Six lies. Lana keeps secret her pregnancy from Lex. Six. That's a new record for one episode.
Lana seems distraught that she's pregnant. It's like being distraught you got shot in the head. You loaded the gun, you put it to your forehead, you pulled the trigger, now you're surprised and dismayed that you're dying?
You had sex, you're pregnant, you're surprised and dismayed?
Especially when they've been playing up how happy and secure she feels with Lex, at least early on in this season. Why the sudden shift and fear?
She drags the character of Chloe down, too. Chloe now has to keep Lana's secret from Clark, which puts her in an awkward position.
Lois makes up with Ollie instantly. He says he's off drugs, and she believes him. Sheesh.
Lionel is at Thanksgiving dinner. He's sitting NEXT to the girl he tried to kill and sent into the witness protection progam, who is smiling and laughing with him, and NEXT to the woman whose husband he fought and essentially caused the heart attack of.
Yeah, that makes sense.
Lana shares a cold and desolate Thanksgiving with Lex Luthor. Now all of a sudden she's not happy with Lex, for little reason.
And hey, yeah, she doesn't DRINK the wine. They pointedly show her raising it and not drinking it. But the fact that Lana had a glass of wine poured for her when pregnant is enough. The fact that a twenty-year-old is being served wine (when she's a role model, not that it doesn't happen in real life) is just grand.
And next week: WWE wrestlers and...Martian Manhunter? Are things getting good?
I'm actually hacked the Manhunter thing got out. I knew about it a while back, but because I have fricking journalistic integrity, I sat on it, because it's supposed to be privileged information that isn't released of yet. And I'm punished for that when I could have had an exclusive. Grand. Sure is fair.
All in all, the little things in this episode do nothing to warm it up for me. Despite urgings, I have to go with what I see and what I wrote and my gut. 1 of 5. Again.
I'll do it all year if I have to. I will NOT bend or lower my standards just because this show did, and the harder I am, the more honest I am, the more hope there is for improvement.
Oh, and before I end this, I know it's in the letters, but an astute reader writing in just under the bell wrote in and said that the doctor asked Lana if falling unconscious has happened much before. She says just three times. As the KO Count indicates, that's a bald-faced lie. Seven.
SUPER SHORT REVIEW:
Lana's pregnant and lying left and right. Everyone's out of character. Lois is with an abuser. Martha's with a murderer. Lionel's a good guy. Green Arrow is trying to kill people. What more could you ask for from entertainment? How about a kick in the head? 1 of 5. I guess it beats tossing salads:
I'm in BOLD!
James Totten wrote:
It's been a while since I've written in, but thought it appropriate since Season 6 in up and running. I just got done reading your review of "Reunion", and I agreed with you on pretty much everything, as always. Why is it so hard for the writers to come up with dialog and characterization like this more often?
Because it takes effort, and artists are generally lazy.
Honestly, I'd settle for less episodes per season for better episodes.
I think of many of my other favorite shows; Family Guy, American Dad, the Shield, Nip/Tuck, Scrubs. In fact, I think Smallville and Supernatural are the only two shows I watch anymore that are 20+ episodes a year, and I'm ok with that. Besides, this season seems to be split between Smallville and the Green Arrow Show. Seriously, have you noticed that Tom Welling is in like half or less of the episode anymore? I think the season premere and last night's episode have been the only two Clark centric episodes so far and I didn't even see him in the preview for next week.
If they build it to the Justice League, I'll take it. If the Justice League is a one episode thing and Green Arrow fades away, I'll be perplexed as to why they wasted characterization for Clark. It's like guest-star overkill. They do one episode for Cyborg, which isn't enough, and some 6-12 for Green Arrow, which is almost too much.
Anyways, I'm not sure if anyone has brought this up to you or not yet, but they're botching the continuity pretty bad on the Green Arrow story they've established. If you recall the very first episode of Smallville, there's a scene with Lionel and young Lex in 1989 in a helicopter. The headline of Lionel's newspaper was something like "Queen Industries CEO Missing, Feared Dead". I assumed that was Oliver and thus would make him in his 30's at best by current time. However, when they introduced this guy and said his parents are dead, I thought, ok, so his parents were killed in the cruise ship accident. So I guess that means Ollie didn't wash up on an island and train for years huh? Also, I was under the impression that the death of his parents were the driving force behind Hartley's Green Arrow (which REALLY rips of Batman even more). However, in "Reunion", we see a snot nosed bully Oliver Queen in 1996. When we get to present day, Ollie tells Lex that since the death of Duncan, he's been trying to right wrongs. So that's what made Green Arrow on Smallville? Not washing up on an island (Green Arrow), not the death of his parents (Batman), but the death of a kid that he picked on (cheese?)?
His origin isn't very detailed or sympathetic yet, I agree. They'll have to work on it.
I guess I'm just annoyed because they seem to be taking too many liberties with the characters anymore.
Hah! Try since season 4 with Lois.
Clark is being reluctantly pushed to becoming a superhero by everyone else around him and tragidy and circumstances rather than being compelled to do so out of a sense of duty and love of humanity. Lana is googleyed over a 19 year old brat who should have died in a horrible car accident so that Bo Duke might live. Lionel (convicted for Crimes Against Humanity, left dirt poor as a result, and tried to kill almost every cast member at some point) and Martha (widowed somewhat by Lionel, housewife turned Senator running for the US Senate after less than one term, and dirt poor because of Jonathan's medical bills and the campaign) are going to parties and political functions together playing the do we/don't we game?! Lois is a drop out turned high school student turned college student turned drop out turned muffin peddler turned campaign manager turned driven reporter turned billionare arm candy, come on! Chloe is dating Eric Summers, who tried to kill Clark in Seasons 1 and 2. Oh, wait, that's not Eric, that's Jimmy Olsen, who absolutely in no way at all looks anything whatsoever even remotely like Eric Summers even in the slightest way shape or form... at all... ever.
Last thing I thought I'd mention was last nights episode, in the scene were Clark is talking to Ma Kent about Raya the Kryptonian being killed by an alien who shoots radiation from his hands. Clark says that he's going to start his training and accept his destiny after he catches all the "zoners". I turned to my fiance and said, "so this IS the last season." He's already caught 2 of the 6, and once he gets trained up, he's Superman of Metropolis, not Clark Kent of Smallville. Welling refused to wear the suit and doesn't want to fly, so that doesn't leave them many options.
That's how I see it.
Maybe I'm wrong, maybe you can correct me on some of this stuff. Let me know what you think. Keep up the great work with the reviews! You're reviews have always been a key part of the show for me, like the dessert to my dinner. Anymore, the dessert is the best part because the dinner either tastes like crap or is only half cooked.
You're right, and thank you. I'm glad you enjoy them.
Thanks for your time Neal,
Oh hey, something else I remembered. In Reunion, Lex specifically said that the school thing wasn't an official anniversary reunion, it was a gathering of alumni to network and such.
True. Thank you.
I think I figured out why Lex in Smallville isn't like any other Lex.
Its because in Smallville, there is no Lex LuthOr, only Lex LuthEr.
Thats all it is, no controversy, no argument.
Michael Rosenbaum = Lex LuthEr
totall different from
Kevin Spacey = Lex LuthOr
I'd buy that for a dollar. I still like the Baum. Just not his writing.
I enjoy reading your reviews and think you are a talent (as a writer and enthusiastic personality). I won't go into great depths about this, but in regards to your reviews on Smallville, would you ever consider sectioning off the Lana "reviews"?
Nay. Already been asked. The main reasoning being, it's relevant, and easily skipped if you don't like it.
While I don't always agree with your coverage of the show (plot, pacing, continuity, etc.) or whatever Lana's doing wrong, it might make for a smoother read for us readers looking to get to the heart of the scoop. At times, the review seems to meander (sometimes purposely) or turn into pages of critiquing Lana for pouting or being on camera.
The heart of the scoop is usually in the Super Short Review. OR, speaking from the writing, if you read the first page, I generally summarize first so that people can read the general impressions without the niggling details. That, and the end of the review.
For what it's worth, perhaps you might consider putting the Lana stuff in a section, possibly before or after the review. Not because it's her, mind you, but because your take on Lana, put simply, is (Spacey Lex) LOOOOOONG! Humor aside, it there were such a sectioning, I think everyone wins. You don't have to change your views on her or the show, and we still get to read what you think while providing (what might be) a more straight-forward review.
Mostly the reason they're so long is because she's the most flawed, failed character of the show. Proportionally, I would do that for whatever character was failing the worst.
Thanks for your time and happy writing.
You are absurdly correct about everything.
Thanks. That means I prognosticate in a clown outfit. Booya!
I have been chatting it up in the KryptonSite chatroom after every episode airs, and to tell you the truth I receive far too much hell for simply criticizing this show. Like you, I'm a massive fan of the franchise, of Superman in general, and of the concept of the Smallville TV Program. Like you, I have massive respect for the acting of much of the cast. Like you, I think the CGI work (when done) is in large part excellent.
But also, like you, I've found that the writing of the show is incredibly subpar from time to time. It also suffers from bad casting from time to time. When those two merge, a show with a great concept can turn into a total mess. It is not "more expensive" to take a show like Fallout and cast it with someone more menacing/cool than a 5'6 Bow Wow. That was the worst casting in the history of this show, for sure. In fact, they could have hired a no-name actor to do the part, spent less money, and had a better performance. Furthermore, it is not more expensive to have better writing.
Kryptonsite is a very rah-rah site for the show. That's fine, that serves a purpose just like my more critical look does. I am finding, however, that the more I try and explain nuanced opinion to people who are blindly uncritical of the show, the more it's like talking religion with a profoundly religious person who believes you're going to hell. Rationality isn't a factor.
Baern was perhaps the least-fleshed out villian in Smallville history, including every single FOTW. All we know about him is that he was some sort of galactic criminal who killed "thousands" and that Jor-El banished him to the Phantom Zone. That's it. How come there was no exploration of what he really did, why he did it, and how he was captured/tried on Krypton? Why was there no exploration of how the "Zoner" possessed a body or was bodiless to begin with (something that "Zod" did not explain very well)?
Because that would require character work. This is a plot-based (and ripoff plot) show.
Moreover, why dd they kill the only good character to be added to the cast in the last two seasons, Raya, in her first episode back? Was it really that tough to use Raya as a vehicle for Clark learning more about his past, about Krypton? Was it too difficult for AlMiles to have her around, stealing precious airtime from glorious Lana?
I hear it's because the actress had another gig.
Speaking of Lana, I seriously cannot get over how AWFUL she is by now. I know it's extremely superficial, but it isn't just her terrible personality that gets me. She used to be very hot as the spunky teenager in seasons 1 and 2. But by now, the show has taken Lana from being a sexy cheerleader to a depressed lunatic. Instead of dressing in clothes/makeup that emphasize her good features, they have her wearing more and more black and are growing out her hair. She went from being a healthy reflection of what Clark would want (an honest, wholesome All-American) to a disgusting, selfish wretch.
An emo kid with self-aggrandizing self-fetishization. Worse than a sparrow with a machine gun.
For this more than anything else, the plausibility of the whole show is destroyed. For what rational reason would Lex, a billionaire 28 year old (apparently) playboy who was dating Kelly Brook so badly desire a 19 year old as increasingly average looking and psychologically screwed up as Lana is?
Lex is on the dead to me board.
Those in power need to write her out of the show ASAP. They need to use good characters like Raya to push the main plot, they need to cast appropriate villains and maintain a semblance of continuity. Smallville has so much potential: I guess that's why I criticize it so. It almost hurts to imagine how good it could be.
As sexist as it is, hot chicks are never written out of shows purposefully. It sucks.
Just some random comments about "Fallout".
Actually, Lex does close the laptop. If it's not his laptop, then he certainly closes something that resembles one. But he still has the blueprint (the sheet of paper) of the kryptonian device on his desk; I think the actual device was still in that steel briefcase. (Inconsistent and shotty scene).
I watched the hospital scene again; Lana doesn't confront Clark about the device. She asks him to stop playing games and tell me the real reason you're here? He takes out the diagram and shows her. (Same).
And how many times have we heard that Clark has never met a female with special powers who relates to him? There's the teleporting girl who got hung and the other girl who impersonated Superman's cousin. Perhaps there are more.
Another thought: Lana said to Lionel that she's living with Lex, at least partially to keep an eye and him, protect Lex from himself, something like that. Especially in this episode, she CHALLENGES Lex. What is the motivation for CHALLENGING Lex? Why is she fighting for power? She acted the same way with Clark, only the experiences with Lex feel more potent and explicit. I hope the writers, one day, let Clark defend himself from her insaitable tirades.
Because she's insecure, and an awful, manipulative character that for some reason the writers idolize.
Sorry that this last week was such a suck fest. I didn't hate it quite as much as you, but I feel your pain. Let's commiserate. (Half of these are comments that I typed while watching the show and half are brought up by you. You must be my Muse!)
Coolsville. My muse is a biker with a pipe who beats me.
I was tempted to skip the Lana scenes, but I thought there may be something redeeming in them. Of course, I also wanted to skip the Jimmy scenes. but Chloe was in them. Hmmm. (I vote for the PTB being clinically retarded!)
Hah! Sucker! A Lana scene with redemption. Good joke.
Wow. Hip hop beginning, hmmm? What cracked me up is that the kid with the hair has already been on Smallville once. He delivered a package to Clark at the farm. On a side note, he was also the Red Ranger on Power Rangers S.P.D. (Space Patrol Delta). And I didn't even blush 'cause I knew that! :O (And I mentioned it on Chat Time, but I thought it was worth saying again.) I thought Bow Wow's flared nostril anger very funny. unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be funny. And it's a Kryptonite possession?!? OK, not Kryptonite with the purple stuff shooting out. And the shoes are fantastic 'cause they're undoubtedly good shoes. right?
Acourse. Someone else pointed out, I forget who, that this is just after Dark Thursday, with all that rioting, but they're just goofing, playing basketball, in the open?
Interesting Lana moment, I suppose. And she believes the scientist? And he's worried about her?!? I suppose that's new. But I didn't buy it. I don't buy that the scientist guy would actually give Lana the box and all his research. Thinking about it now, it would have been better if it was another Lex test. But it was nice to see Jimmy actually taking pictures. Maybe we'll just say that Jimmy was walking home in the rain one night. with his expensive camera. all alone. and sees Lex's cars and, after hearing what a bad guy he is from Chloe (assuming that she's taking Clark's side in the Lana issue, which of course makes him an immediate villain), follows him and then sees the "suspicious" meeting. Yeah. That's the ticket! Did you also catch that the scientist was supposedly worried about Lana and warning her?!? I don't. get. it!
And we actually see the satellite photos again? But Chloe has HUGE insight, apparently, and sources.
I haven't harped enough on that of late. I should.
Raya learned the ways fast, apparently. And Jor-El talked about the Kents. Hmmm. And "She's here."??? I was bothered with the whole "I'm so different" convo. Why does he feel "so different"? 'Cause he's got powers? My gosh! Hasn't he met half the residents of Smallville? He should feel entirely at home. And the boy does everything he can to be Joe Normal! COME ON!!!
I agree that I thought she'd said "yard", which I thought was weird because her dad lost the house with his job and they made a big deal about them living in an apartment. At least Jimmy's actually taking newspaper photos. And at least she's questioning him. And he wants HER to find the actual story from a few photos and he only assumes that Clark's in there?!? And then tries to make her feel guilty that he's not doing a ton of stuff for him?
Sounds like bad writing.
I guess I hadn't thought too hard about why Bow Wow would come to the DP. But that Chloe automatically assumed he'd be there. And did you notice that they never. not once. tried to find out what the kids looked like? You know, to give them a hint of what the bad guy might look like? I think that the "revenge on the father" is weak because Jor-El paid the ultimate price, right? He paid for it by losing his son to Earth, and his life and his wife's life in the destruction of Krypton! I mean. Oh, forget it! Whatever! So how would Bow Wow know that a picture would be Clark? Well, I suppose that memory of Jor-El from before had them practically identical.
Because he's eeeeevil! Like the Frooooits of the deveeeeeel. Eeeeevil!
Lana didn't tell Lex about her meeting with the doctor? SECRETS! And Lex just lets Jimmy in?!? The thought that he did it as "a favor to Chloe" or just because he's Chloe's boyfriend is inane and so not Lex! (You're also right that Lex would be nicer to the press. even the press that is Jimmy. as a matter of course. You can't hope to rule the world without putting positive spin out there where you need the press!) I guess that's how Lex finds out about Lana's meeting. And that was the LAMEST way to start an interview!!! Bitchy moment with Lex and the Chloe comment. But at least he (Jimmy) pulled something out of his ace by taking the shots of the diagram.
Yeah, but Lex left it out? Goy.
LIES!!! Lana tries to just brush off the meeting? And what's with the glare she gave him? And she really thinks she's playing on his level? And why would she be so angry at him? (And wow! You now probably hate Lana more than I right now and I didn't think that possible.)
I guess they're trying to make Jor-El more human with the Raya angle. At least Clark mentioned the grief the Voice put him through. But I'm really getting sick of the "why didn't I listen to my father" angle. Jor-El isn't his "father". JONATHAN is!!! ("Face it, Clark! You're an ingrate!" I LOVE IT!!!) I thought the whole thing with "Pain" was just killing me! WHY?!? Why do they feel like that is the deciding argument?
Because they want an out.
I liked the side effects with the purple stuff and how it showed that it took a lot out of the skin suit. (I'm assuming that it killed Raya because Bow Wow was boosted by the ultimate plot device.) Are they going to make Raya his teacher? And what's with all the supergirls being blonde? Hope for some? If Jor-El was the one who controlled those who went into the P.Z., why would they feel hope of Clark's survival? And crystal's gone from milky white to blue?
I dunno. I prefer brunettes. The crystal is an arbitrary plot device. I have no idea it changed color, because I can't pay attention to it without snickering.
And now Jimmy's being all evasive 'cause Chloe didn't immediately drop all she might have been working on to help him? And now he's lying to Chloe? OK, he's coming clean. I feel better. What's she going to do? And OMG, the Egyptian line almost made me pee my pants!
Me too. Good stuff.
And we FINALLY here Brainiac's actual name!!! How EXCITING!!! It's his power core? Must be why Fine dripped out of the ship.
Yeah. Sounds more Eradicator-y, but why not?
And now it's time for the final L/L confrontation. And is it metal or is it rock? And why does Lana now think it's a weapon against themselves now? (I was hoping to find the clip, but yeah. That's not gonna' happen tonight. Media Center screwed me over with recording the premiere.) Wasn't she all gung-ho about it earlier??? She's equating the box with the ship? And she's giving him an ultimatum? Like that's the smartest thing to do? And now it's nothing? Interesting. I suppose. And I was all ready for Lex to be knocked out and was shocked that he wasn't. I guess it was just an excuse to show that Lana could possibly be a caring girlfriend by rushing to his side when he's hurt. and to get away from the evil FOTW. (And Boren should have killed them. Once he got the power, it makes sense.)
Yeah, you're not crazy. It's inconsistent characterization.
Squeaky shoes is right. What's with the Lana shaking of the head? And it's all about the lies. And they're maintaining the chill factor with the couple and Clark. I'm surprised that Lex didn't ask Clark why he just happened to be going by the mansion when the big bad burner guy showed up. So is Lana and Clark going to have a big heart to heart while Lex's gone? (I was also surprised that Lex left them alone.) Ah, now she's the one with all the questions. and they're all pointed "Clark you're such a bad guy" ones. Great. And Lana's actually truthful about it. but doesn't ask him how he got the picture. Hmmm.
And I guess the black crystal means the Fortess is "burnt out", right? At least they did make mention of it being a storehouse for the universe's library.
Yeah, which is kind of...weird.
And Martha's just going to cancel all her meetings like that? And she's getting taken captive, I suppose. No? He's going to kill her like he wasn't going to kill the LLs. and the signal just saved her. How convenient! But at least he bothered to open the door.
Hah! I saw that too.
McD reference. And why did he go after Raya? And now Clark can hold it up? And I'm guessing that's how the Fortress is powered back up. The filtering of the radiation through her body into the crystals. I did like the effects, however. (Maybe she died because the radiation actually went through her?) Boy, she's got a dewy complexion, doesn't she? And she dies and shuts her eyes. That's always a bad sign. And she says to use the crystal to recharge the Fortress, but DOESN'T TELL HIM HOW!!!
You, uh, hold it up? And hope it doesn't release Zod.
And they really want me to believe that Lex is going to let the kid go after his body destroyed his box? Seriously?!? Clark must be relieved by the total amnesia. Lex got Jimmy fired? Like he's really going to take that much time with him. Oh. Right. Photo of the diagram of the box. Yeah. That would do it. But his self-pitying whining is getting on my nerves! I'm still cranky about Lex's switcheroo. I guess it must be because she's preggers. Oh and the cheesy music is SO on my nerves! And apparently, Lex lied because he neglected to specifically inform her that he was working with the military. Right?
Not really, because she told him to, right?
Raya's the only one who could understand how Clark was so different? Seriously? Has he not met any of the FOTW's out there who were struggling with their differences? Ah. The training is on delay until the PZoners are gone. Yeah. And he just knows what procrastination gets him!
Why does the Fortress look so cheesy now?!?
Because most of the universe's information is made of gouda.
Honey, I'll talk to you next week. Hope all goes well and you can put this suck fest behind you!
Hah! I wish. This week just deepened the suck.
Jules Brice wrote:
Hey, Neal, Jules in Costa Rica, kickin' it live (I have a job once again, plus cable modem at home!!!!).
I wrote in to say something that's probably going to sound like the rest of the "If you don't like the show, then don't watch it" crew.... but (having written a letter just like that [although it wasn't similar, it did run in the same vein] and then tracked back and regrouped), I have to say...
I do honestly, and wholeheartedly (and inebriated to boot), believe that this is the last season we have Smallville on the air. Why? "Why not?" I say. It's a good turning point, and the ratings are not going to go up in this new CW thing, plus Superman Returns on DVD is the only thing keeping the story alive, so season seven looks to be commercially bad, so...
That's my thinking.
Neal, relax, it'll be fine... my ESP is tingling and I believe that Lana is gonna be off the show for a while... I believe this with all my heart. When I watched the season opener I said to myself (and anyone within earshot) "Kristin had a boob job"... then I tripped on some spoilers, then I read your reviews for episodes 1 and 2 and whammmo!, Lana is going to be offed the show soon and, you know what? I look forward to it, so I actually paid attention to the other things that we get to see in any given episode...
I don't think she's gonna be off the show. If anything, they've created another stone for her to obsess about...I didn't see the bigger boobs because even if Kristin was a flawless creature, which I don't think she is, I'd be so turned off by her character's attitude that I could never be attracted to her. Like Cat Grant on Lois and Clark.
Kristin's got bigger boobs... Pregnancy?... she's also acting the heck out of any scene she's in (with the poor characterization she's given...) I mean it, I went over her scenes (scary thoughts, I know, having all that Lana on my screen), and she actually comes away with what she was given to portray... Now, I'm no Miles/Gough to rate her acting, but compared to her acting on season fur and five... let's just say that KRISTIN's acting is greatly improved... Lana, she's just more of a heartless bich that should have been crisped to a fine powder by Li'l Bow Wow, but then, that would have been too vulgar a display of power to merit actually performing it. And she's pregnant, so we can't do that so blatantly.
Honestly, I think half of what makes Lana annoying is what Kristin brings to it these days. She could play it much less annoyingly. I'm beginning to side with the people who blame her.
Three months ago I bought a little device called a GP2X so I could use it as an iPod, along with playing my favourite videos and some Nintendo/Supernintendo action. Up until 6 weeks ago, I only used it for music/NES, but since season 6 started, I've dow... I mean, taped (we don't get CW or NBC in Costa Rica... maybe WB [which still exists here] will pick up Smallville in December, but they haven't had any promos, so...) every episode on Thursday to analyze Fri.-Wed. and I'll tell you something... you've been spot on with most things this season (heck, all 6 seasons), but I'll give the season a thumbs up, even with all the ridiculous stunts they pull... Granted that episodes 2 and 3 sucked, 4 was so-so and the others were just "Cool" to watch... they're building something.
See, that's something I never got. Why, if half of the episodes suck, is it okay, so long as they're building to something? I'd call that a half-sucky show, not overall a success.
They're creating foundations, and if I really thought about it, I would say the CW could spin off Chloe, Jimmy, shucks, even Clark, but the package they're presenting (and this is as a disgruntled customer... my Season 5 DVDs never got here) is actually quite "tight" as a friend of mine likes to say. Me?, I'd say they want to take on the Heroes crowd and get the Justice League going before the other show has all the heroes united (hmmm, sounds like a summer blockbuster rip-off) so they can score better points in the ratings. I like that in a bumbling and foolish way Smallville is having closure. It sucks that they're killing what's good about supes, but this is a stellar show nowadays compared to season 4, and I will never forget it. Season seven doesn't look like happening, so... I'm enjoying what I get of my favourite show (even if that spot is threatened by some NBC newcomer).
I watched an episode and a half of Heroes, and so far, I'm not really impressed. BUT, I'm gonna watch more before I decide.
I'm not saying you're not entitled to your say in reviewing... shucks, like I said in that email long ago where I backtracked and apologized and agreed with you... you're absolutely right. I mean, who do these people think they are, trying to convince us of something we probably know better than they do? How can they attempt to pass off this bio-digested manure as young Superman? Or any kind of Superman at that?
No worries. And I don't know, heh.
And Yaris? if you're ever in Costa Rica, that's the top of the line taxi-cab (when I was in Panama it was a Mercedes, but hey, it's only 400 miles away). Still, I will give the Toyota Yaris an A for privacy, seeing as there's not much room in the back (or the front), so just get out of the car and out of sight. Plus it only costs 8,000 US dollars, new.
I've never heard of it. Sounds interesting. I'm a Nissan and Toyota man, myself. I have had three Toyotas and two Nissans, and they would NOT die, no matter what I did to my little four hundred dollar cars. I even took a curve and a jump at forty miles an hour, fell five feet, didn't even lose a tire. If a Yaris can do that, I'll try it.
By the way, I still enjoy everything you come up with, and am not siding with the Lana fans (you know who you are, yeah, you two in the back), I've never even seen Lana as hot... she did remind me of my stepdaughter most of the time (still does, but that is mostly buried now that I'm divorcing)
Hah! A stepdaughter sounds about right to me.
It bothers me that from ALL of Krypton, only Jor-El could handle immigrant threats... guess he was the Commander in Chief of the Internets for the 28 known galaxies, or something like that.
The show has too many meaningful (or meaningless unless you have a 12-year-old mind... personally I'm stuck at 17 with a penchant for putting to good use my pre-adolescent eagle-eyes) nuances, like "the box or me" and CK tossing his mom's salad... just too much, darn it, why'd you have to point out all of that?
Because it was too funny not to. Heh. I'm surprised soccer moms haven't come for my head.
I can't remember where exactly in the episode Lana says that she would never set Lex up to hurt him, and I rolled over (in a moving bus, with co-workers looking on). I man, she left Lex to get hurt and die when she was a flatliner junkie last season... on purpose... what gives? Bad writing, do I hear you retort? you betcha.
I am also pained by the LuthER, instead of LuthOR... Where's Otis?... he'd give these flimsy actors a run for their money with a simple "coming, mister LuthOR"
I think people believe it's not LuthOR because it was used in a mocking way in the first movie. But does that mean Kryptonite is Krytuhnite? I'm all about descriptive grammar, but pronounciation for Luthor would be a character quirk Lex would engage in.
I really enjoyed your review, and I meant no offence for the "relax" bit, I was just not ready to smoulder over such a piece of crapola. I'm not indifferent any longer (as I was)... I'm taking it in stride and keeping the fearsome Season 4 in mind when I evaluate... but mostly I don't evaluate... I just watch and enjoy... even Lana can't phase me out that much. Keep writing 'em, Neal.
I don't really take offense, no sweat. I just give as good as I get, usually. Although the "Kevin Smith" boob a few letters below is a bit annoying, but I'll get to that letter shortly...
And to end such a mindless dribble on a high note (sheesh, I sound like the April Fool's girl you made up)... I still will take a Big Dumb Alien Supes over a family wrecking one anytime. After all, it only brings out the be(a)st in you, right?
Thanks for your time (and my apologies if I ranted out of line).
No. And thanks, Jules!
Hello Neal, I simply wanted to ask what has lead you to the conclusion that Lois is a slut, at least in Smallville??
I don't remember saying that. Did I? I don't think she's a slut.
I can understand Lana, first she was about to give it up to Jason, then Clark got some as well as Lex, but what about Lois?? Throughout the the show she hasnt "done" anyone or given any real indication to havingany sexual activitys, the closes thing would be occasional kisses she has given. If there are please do note them to me!! thank you for your time Neal.
Lois has been with two guys, for the most part. I think I might have said she's a hero whore or something, but only in jest.
D. H. wrote:
WORD. Swear to Dog, I have to handcuff myself to watch the show, because otherwise I'd be out one TV EVERY TIME BLAHNA CAME ON THE SCREEN. So much potential, so many stories to be told, and it always has to be all about AlMiles' Mary-Sue / girl they couldn't get when they were pimply geeks in high school. Here's hoping Al and Miles get accused of terrorism and go to prison. Or at least that the CW buys a vowel and fires them.
Heh. I'd be content with them just telling good stories.
I don't even remotely expect continuity. Hell, I don't even expect that of the comics. But for GHU'S SAKE, this is a show about SUPERMAN, you @#$%^ing whores! NOT an ex-cheerleader!
Save the cheerleader?
Great review, as always. Sometimes I think the only reason I continue to watch this show is so that I'll know what you're talking about in your reviews. That's not true, really. I watch because I've known and loved these characters for most of my life.
Both are cool.
It pains me to see the liberties being taken with them, though. I accept that the show is of a separate continuity than anything else, but at this point, it may as well be about other characters entirely, and not the onew I grew up with. Clark talking of destroying the "Zoners"? This is not something Superman would say or do. Superman always finds another way; it's what makes him my favorite superhero. Some people may find that dated or even cheesy, but there's nothing dated or cheesy about doing the right thing. Superman is everything that a superhero should be. Clark Kent in this show is not, and there isn't any indication that he's even progressing in that direction. If the show does end this season, I will not buy any sort of forcefed characterization they try to use between now and then to show that Clark has indeed become Superman.
I'll give it a shot, and likely then blast it when it fails.
As far as Lana goes, I think you've said enough for everyone that I don't need to retread those waters. I just want to say that I find it baffling that so many people find her "hot". I hope that Kristin Kreuk doesn't read this, because I don't want to be mean, but there are times when I look at her that she seems slightly monkeyish to me. I just don't get it. I've been saying it since the first episode: "Mmm...Chloe". And I DO hope that Allison Mack reads that.
Monkeyish is only offensive if you're using it in a racial way, I would say. And you're obviously not saying that. Lex looks cueball-y. Personally I just find Lana not to my tastes because she's wafer-thin, makeup obsessed, and prim. I like my women burping, cursing, climbable, slightly over wafer thin weight and with actual breasts.
Kevin Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
Couldn't disagree with you more. This episode had a lot of elements that tied back to eatlier stages of the series very nicely. I'll go with Douglas Trumble on this one, it was a damn good episode. Defend your logic all you want, there is a reason why people keep telling you 'if you don't like the show, don't watch it'. It's because you take it way too seriously and don't just enjoy it for what it is. Is the world going to end because the creators of the show have a different vision of Superman then you? No. If you stopped looking for what you consider to be 'mistakes' & 'inconsitencies' in the show I'm guessing you'd be a much happier person.
Sometimes I get letters from people who give me fake names because they think it's cute, and use that as an excuse to try and get to me.
These cowardly buffoons believe that there's some integrity in attacking someone without attaching their name to their words, as if there's any way I'd ever take someone who wasn't proud enough of their own work to sign their name to it seriously.
These letters are often written from a position of ignorance, having not read my reviews, and they're often short, with common misspellings and bad grammar.
Above is a key example. It encourages me to "defend my logic all I want" but refuses to confront any of it. It "couldn't disagree with me more" but doesn't offer any way that the writer does disagree. It encourages me not to watch the show if I don't like it, which is inane. It tells me that I should enjoy it for what it is. If I smacked you in the head would you enjoy it for what it was? It states that I take it too seriously when, even reading one line of a review, you'd see I do a lot in jest.
It calls mistakes and inconsistencies "mistakes" and "inconsistencies" misspelling inconsistencies, when they're mistakes and inconsistencies. There's little about it that's unverifiable, as this column is put to public scrutiny and anyone can question my judgments logically.
Look, don't be a coward. If you're strong enough to try and make a person feel small for having an opinion and daring to take a chance with writing, be man enough to sign it.
Kevin Smith can write, you can't.
Why does this letter get more words than others? Because honestly, I'm sick of morons. That's all. I write these people letters back, and then they get sent back to me, and if I'm goodly enough to write back to your self-effacing crap, be goodly enough to provide me your real email instead of hiding behind anonymity like a ten-year-old who just discovered the internet with a grudge. Putz.
Here's the letter I wrote him which came back, because I like it too:
My response is the same it typically is to someone who writes me a letter like this (and many do, on a regular basis, whenever I dare critique something.) Take your own advice. If you'd just stop looking for what you consider to be mistakes and inconsistencies in my review you'd be a much happier person. Oh, but when I say that I guess I can't take the heat. Whatever.
Your statement "Defend your logic all you want" impells me to, but this antecedent suggests that whatever consequent you come to means you won't listen to logic, and if said consequent is then "If you don't like the show, don't watch it," you're obviously not a reader of my reviews beyond watching something you hate, so you're doing exactly what I do.
Either way, the real Kevin Smith knows how to handle a critic. Unless the critic goes beyond the pale and storms out of a theater, he minds his business. My guess is that when I hit send this'll be another egocentric coward who wrote an email under a fake address because they were too scared to confront their assertions in person. Me? I write the letter anyway, because I write out of passion and don't give a solid damn if someone like you reads what I do or not beyond the effort I put into it.
Ben Bowman wrote:
Neal, I'm actually very suprised that you haven't been enjoying this season. In my opinion it has been the best season so far. Things are actually starting to move forward. It may not have forward motion in every episode but there seems to be some real thought put into these new episodes. We no longer have the kryptonite freak of the week. A new Character has not been introduced as Lanas new boyfriend so we know that's one less dead person. I think you it's just time for you to accept that Lana in Smallville is just a crappy character. I don't mean in the comics but the way this show has written her has been horrible and has never been good. I think it's time to stop with the Lana bashing (even though I hate her) And just move on. It's not going to change so accept the fact that this is the shows fatal flaw.
I dunno. I don't just accept someone crapping in my soup, why would I just accept a crappy Lana? And there are no FOTWs, yeah, but there have been more arbitrarily powered people per episode than any other season thusfar. Check it in the KO Count.
Like you Neal I too love the show and I am ok with being critical of it like yourself. I think reviewing this show has done something bad to you though, it's made you a critic. I can still enjoy the show but I don't believe you can anymore.
Hah! Well, you'll have to explain the five two weeks ago then, and why I'm solely a critic if this review is approximately 1/15 of the writing I do. I mean, I wrote a novel last year, I wrote about fifty to sixty essays, I wrote about five short stories, and about 150 poems. Not to mention some four to six thousand emails, Radio KAL...I think maybe you're only exposing yourself to this criticism, which leads to your conclusion...
I think the show is finally going in the right direction. I still have lots of questions as to how they are every going to make Clark the Clark of Metropolis and how can they not do a superman tv show. I think it would be foolish not to.
And Smallville is known for doing foolish things, heh.
But for me it has been the best season so far. Green Arrow has been fun and I smell a spin off, Lex is no doubt a bad dude, Clark has finally decided to train, We have real super powered villians, and to top it off Chloe is still hot. So what more could you ask for?
Coherent plot and character-driven stories.
Daag Alemayehu wrote:
Just a few comments about your last review re: Bow Wow and racism.
First, he officially started going by Bow Wow instead of Li'l Bow Wow a few years ago, so that was not Smallville's doing, which is what it appears you're suggesting.
No, I'm not suggesting that. I know it was outside Smallville. I just find it silly. Bow Wow is still a kiddie name.
Second, the "stereotypical rap music" Bow Wow was playing ball to is his most recent hit single. They note that at the end of the show while they're shilling his album.
Yeah. Stereotypical rap music. Ask anyone into rap, there's fewer stars more generic and stereotypical than Bow Wow.
Third, Bow Wow is not the son of a basketball player. Not sure where you got that from. Perhaps you were thinking of Li'l Romeo, who is occasionally (but rarely) confused with Bow Wow. His dad is Master P, who was a one-time aspiring baller. Other than that, no clue where you got that info/hunch/rumor from. (In actuality, Bow Wow's dad walked out on the family).
Someone told me that, that's why I think I caveated it with an "I don't know but I'm told..."
(Now that I'm done with the stuff you most likely don't care about..)
I do care, actually. Thanks.
Fourth, regarding your whole take on the semi-racism thing: what in the holy hell are you talking about, man?? Watching this episode, I didn't see a single thing that could possibly be construed as racist. Inner city kids playing basketball. Okay, *maybe* I can grant you that one. I think it's probably more likely that Bow Wow requested this scene. He's always playing basketball in his music videos and during those stupid MTV rock 'n' jock basketball games.
There you go.
But the other things you mentioned? Lana called Bow Wow's character a thing because it was VERY CLEAR that he was not human. He killed/disposed of Lex's entire security single-handedly, he slung Lex across the room with minimal effort, and he caused some sort of crazy disturbance in Lex's chambers, which resulted in the destruction of the device that Lana and Lex previously thought was all-powerful and indestructible. Now, if you were living in Smallville, and you had lived Lana's life, and some guy barges into a room and does all of those insane things, don't you think it'd be reasonable to assume that the guy in question is not human? Or at the very least, is a meteor freak? And it should be all the more clear to the viewer at home who KNOWS Bow Wow's character is not human and is, in fact, more properly characterized as a "thing."
I think it's mostly clear. The fact that doubt can be cast is what I lamented. Logically speaking, you can make an argument that there was an undercurrent of racism. It wasn't just me. People who hadn't read my review sent me letters noting it straight up.
I don't think the writing is sloppy at all (in this respect), and no reasonable person could ever misinterpret or manipulate what Lana said to be something racist. Way too much of a stretch.
Dan Fenton wrote:
The one thing I notice more than anything about this season of Smallville so far is the damned inconsistancy from week to week. They give us a super crappy episode one week, treat us to one (well, two) decent episodes and then stick another crapper like Fallout on us.
The opening scene was one of the least entertaining I've seen in a Smallville episode since I don't know when. And I don't know about you but I thought Bow Wow's basketball buddy was one of the worst actors ever seen on television, the way he delivered his lines made me think they just took a cardboard cutout, recorded some dialogue and fed it through the gaping hole that should be his mouth. Well, a least he got what he deserved.
Heh. Yeah, it was a suck.
While this WAS just another Freak of The Weak (sorry...weEk)episode, it seems that there is too much concentration on the other characters to fill an hour (less commercial time) with a decent story. The bursts of action tend to be short and somewhat irrelevent at times...and when we interject our favorite four letter word into the mix (give me an L...give me an A...give me an N... geez, I can't even finish), it takes so much more away from the episode.
It took it all for me.
But, to backtrack a bit, Bow Wow (Lil or Super Sized) didn't come across very convincingly to me. I'm actually more surprised that, when he came down the stairs, Clark's first words weren't, "Wow, Pete, when did you get back?" This isn't a racist crack...but, sorry couldn't you see them bringing in Pete for essentially the same purpose? Creating a role for some pseudo celebrity makes it an even bigger stretch of credibility. I didn't buy his character at all, so I was never fascinated with the whole scenario.
Jimmy Olsen, in a Smallville sense, is a waste of skin. For them to bring him in just so Chloe can have someone to make out with and go all googly over further convolutes the plot. The writers and execs should get out there and poll the fans of Smallville and ask them why they tune into the show. It's not to watch Chloe who, even though she's my number one girl, is a made up and ultimately irrelevent character. It's not to watch Lana and her hystrionics either and it's certainly not to watch Senator Ma Kent. The whole scenario with he and Lex wasn't played out well at all and I disagree, the whole Egyptian thing was just...weak...not funny.
The sad thing is that they seem to listen to their core audience, which seems to be the young, sex-driven, superficial kids who aren't as comic based.
Saying that, another thing we know for sure...if you're female and hot and Clark shows even the slightest of interest, you'll end up dead. Raya never stood a chance (yeah, there's an age difference, theoretically, but I think Clark would have let it slide...maybe). You'd think people would have learned from what happened to Alicia...you can't mix super powers with a relationship/friendship and Clark Kent (though props to Sarah Carter, who has bounced back in one of the best new shows of the year, "Shark" with James Woods, plus a movie with Erica Durance...which proves Canadian chicks rule).
Canada just rules in general.
Most of all, though, this episode was yet another showcase for Lana and her continuing descent into one of the most annoying, overplayed, overhyped, unliked, bichy, unpleasant, irrelevent, bossy, annoying (sorry, said that already), standoffish and an even more waste of skin.
It really cuts down the ol' viewing time when you gotta fast forward through all her crap. And it makes me feel a little ripped off, too. They promise us a more evil Lex Luthor and we rub our hands together in glee and anticipation, then they lay the bomb at our feet, "BUT YOU GET LANA, TOO. LOTS AND LOTS OF LANA. MORE LANE THAN YOU COULD EVER HOPE FOR (OR AGAINST). WHERE THERE'S LEX, THERE'S LANA...SIMPLY BECAUSE WE'VE MADE HER IRRELEVENT AS FAR AS CLARK KENT GOES AND, IN ORDER TO KEEP PAYING THE LOVELY KRISTEN KREUK HER SALARY, WE GOTTA GIVE HER SOMETHING TO DO...SO WE'LL GIVE HER TO LEX FOR AWHILE AND BRING OUR HER INNER BITCH SOME MORE AND GET A SEASON OR TWO OUTTA THAT...SO HOW BOUT THEM APPLES???"
Gawd, they really gotta talk to the fans who watch because those who are truly dedicated would all answer the question: "What would you do to move Smallville forward and make it the show fans of the show and the Superman legend will continue to watch and to look forward to?"
"Ummm...errrr...well, there's about ten things I would do, question asker, 1) KILL LANA 2)KILL LANA 3)KILL LANA 4) KILL LANA 5) KILL LANA 6) KILL LANA 7) KILL LANA 8) KILL LANA 9) KILL LANA and 10)Ummm...HAVE LOIS PARADE AROUND IN A GRATUITOUS TOPLESS SCENE OR TWO OR THREE. Hey, I'm not ALL about blood and murder, you know."
Kill Lana is my 11. I go to 11.
Man, sure gets the adrenaline going to do that. Problem is now I've got various Loises parading around topless in my head (Erica...really okay, Teri...super duper okay, Kate...okay, Margot...oh gawd, need the barf bag!).
Ah, just rent that movie she was naked in.
Anyway, point being, until they eliminate Lana, much of the focus will still be taken away from Clark and Lex who are the two most important characters on the...(Phyllis Coates...now that's just sick!!...sorry)...show and we will never be able to concentrate on the most important elements that wil make Clark the man he will be.
When we continuously cut away to something less relevent, it either prolongs the saga...or it forces cuts here and there and a reliance on a suspension of belief to ignore the gaps.
Good turn of phrase.
Clark seems more determined to do what he can to fulfill his destiny...at least this week. Next week he could well be back to pitching hay on the Kent Farm.
Guess they're determined to stretch this thing out as many seasons as humanly possible.
Take care for now.
Matt W. wrote:
Just read your review of this weeks episode of Smallville. Like usual, I agreed with you on some point and disagreed with others. I do have a challenge for you, if you're up to it.
I would like for you to write up either an episode or a synopsis for this upcoming season, the way you would write it.
I just would love to see your take on it, because I think that your take on Smallville would probably be 98% better than that of the actual writers.
I've refused this before, actually, mostly because I believe the writers and the producers would in no way look at it, and it's time that I could spend doing my novels. BUT, given that it's been asked a lot, I'm considering it.
Me and Arune Singh are actually working on a collaboration I can't go into too much yet (we'll launch at a date I'll announce some time soon) where we will be writing about pop culture, what it's like to be writers, and other goodies.
One of the things we want to do is put our money where our mouth is. So we're gonna write a Smallville. And we may write other pieces of media we think can be improved. Not fan-fic style. Seriously. See if it can't get noticed. More on that later.
Ashley "Amy" B. wrote:
Dear Mr. Neal Bailey,
I have to say that you are one of the most enteraining reviewers of television that I have read so far! I loved your "Superman Returns" reviews as well. I don't quite know how I found your reviews, but I'm glad that I did. I have read all of your Smallville Season 6 reviews so far, and they have truly opened my eyes to the show's flaws.
Thanks! I'm glad you did too. I'm glad you enjoy them.
You see, I am an avid reader, and writer (one or two short stories, much fan fiction, and one unpublished book so far), by nature. For a time I also wanted to be a film writier/director. So, after I spent time studying documentaries on multiple films and TV shows (and reading more-than-numerous books), I found myself picking out the flaws in movies and television (and books on occation), though I am by no means an expert. Yet. ;) This was all to say that I can very much see where you are coming from, Mr. Bailey, when you review the way you do. The errors are grating, annoying and simply mind-numbing at times. I now recognize Smallville's biggest flaws: bad writers and bad continuity! The reason I didn't see most of the flaws before was:
It's easier to see when you write. And congratulations on the book! It's a hard thing to accomplish.
1) I've only started being a 'reviewer/critiquer' in the last three years or so,
Don't worry. If you put your heart in it, success will come. Maybe not in the form of money, but definitely in the form of awesome letters like this. Doesn't feed you, but it still feeds you.
2) I was one of many bedazzled by cool CGI, back-references and the overall 'Superman is cool, this show is about Superman, therefore this show is cool' factor.
Many are. I have no problem with that attitude, as long as people don't try and make me feel bad for not adopting said attitude.
However, thanks to you, Mr. Bailey, my eyes are opened! (For TV shows, it's harder for me to see the problems, but once they are pointed out, I usually agree.) I have joined the ranks of those deploring Lana's characterization and the bad writing. I've even mentioned your reviews to one of my "Smallville buddies". He hates Lana (on his own) with a passion, though he still is a 100% fan. I am too (the show is good overall; I love Martha, Johnathan(R.I.P.) and Lex), but I now have more of an eye to the moments that could potentially ruin the experience (like Lana).
That's another thing I hope to offer. If people regard everything else in life with a more critical eye, we'll let less of the bad slip. Good for you.
Well, I'd better sign off now and let you get back to your writing! I enjoy your witty and insightful reviews and look forward to more!
Thanks! You rule! That made my day.
Ashley "Amy" Fraiser, future (hopefully) writer of books and film reviews
Keep plugging, you'll do it. A wise man once told me to never quit.
PS: May I ask what "AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES!" means exactly?
It's a Kung Pow reference. It means something annoying that keeps repeating, and in this case, the Smallville general hospital, which we see pretty much every show despite the fact that these people are poor and likely can't afford much insurance.
Just a few comments:
Normally I love reading your review mostly because you get annoyed at all the same things I get annoyed with. But I have to say, I disagreed with you concerning "fallout".
Not fully, of course, a lot of what you thought was crap bothered me too. How many times can super-powered women make Clark stop feeling alone for the first time in his life shortly before they die? Seriously. And I definately agree that Kryptonian technology should not be used for unexplained pick-and-match dilemma and solution creation. And seriously, how hard is it to pick up a phone and say, "Hey mom, there is a nuclear-powered guy from the phantom zone who disintigrates people as a hobby, want to kill me, and knows where we live. You might want to stay at a hotel tonight."
However, I felt that this episode continued to move Smallville in the direction that I want to see it go, which forced me to forgive a lot of the other smaller (Or maybe larger) writing flaws. It always bothered me that Jor-El was portrayed as a villain to create unneccessary tension and drama, and I think it is about time that the audience finds out that he was a good person. Jor-El should be a hero, even if the other Kryptonians didn't listen to or respect him. I also enjoyed seeing Clark start to connect with his kryptonian side. I know that you strongly disagree, but I think that Superman, in many versions of the character, came from the combination of the human passion that he learned from the Kents and a desire to connect with his kryptonian ancestry. The so-called 'S' that he wears on his chest is, after all, the Kryptonian symbol for the family El.
That's okay. Just two different flavors of fan. Many prefer the Kal-El. I just tend to like the more human side, the competent, Byrne Clark.
In any case, by the end of this episode I felt like they did move Clark closer to his destiny. I feel like he is taking more and more responsibility and is getting closer to accepting who he is and what he has to do. This season may not be salvageable, (mostly because of lexana and liartha) but if we can get a real superman-like Clark who has a sense of morality and isn't as thick as lead-lined brick, maybe I'll start really enjoying the show again.
Its been long but I was very busy and my PC went haywire on me...so I have just seen the reviews. Boy did I need a good laugh.
The bit about the kid's shoes remaining reminded me of a certain James Bond movie when all that was left of the evil villain (a woman) was her pair of high heels after he sort of made her explode. I will try to remember its name. Then Lana...Lana...Lana! Like you said Neal and I quote.."She's amazing!"
And now getting fat. HAH!
I no longer know if Jor-el sent Clark to conquer or save humanity if I can recall his words in the movie "...a race capable of doing good" or something like that. If you had a father who did not know what he wanted, then you are sure to get a messed up kid.
So I agree with you: the writers sit in different rooms and don't talk till they read your reviews.
So thanks for another review....but my ribs are cracked up!
I don't know what to do in regard to the Lana character this season except to laugh helplessly. Not two weeks ago, I was taking her to task for pushing Lex towards dangerous experiments on the black box, but this week, Lana thinks he's wrong for actually doing them. And this, based only on the word of a scientist she barely knows that the experiments are out of control. Whatever works for the writers week to week, I guess.
The main theme of the episode concerns me, though. I'm not one to be gravely offended by the show's creators re-imagining certain aspects of the Superman myth within reason (I consider Smallville's Lois Lane to be FUBAR, though). I consider it just someone's take on a popular myth and accord them a certain amount of creative freedom as long as it makes dramatic sense on screen. What drives me nuts, though, is when a series doesn't respect its own internal logic.
I harp on that all the time. I know what you mean. Change whatever you want, just make it coherent.
Of course Clark needs to reconcile himself to his Kryptonian heritage; he needs the knowledge, he needs the abilities, and he'll never have peace of mind until he accepts all of who he is. Basic psychology, right? And this episode does offer a plausible reason for him to pursue it at last. Raya humanized the living Jor-el to him as a man who very much resembled Clark himself, and opposed to merely connecting with a fellow "freak" like Alicia, he now has the opportunity to connect with a whole race and culture that belongs to him. What this episode doesn't get right, though, is that it never allows Clark the chance to confront Raya over all the horrible things the Jor-el AI has done as a part of its mission. In response to her scolding, all he gets to say is that he's never seen the benevolent side of Jor-el, and that Jor-el has brought a lot of pain into his life. Raya's response that every journey has its share of pain is miserably inadequate to address the fact that Jor-el burned Clark, tried to kidnap him, brainwashed him, and tortured Jonathan Kent into a coma. It wasn't collateral damage, it was direct, deliberate damage inflicted by the AI.
Yes. It was murder, essentially.
Most critically of all, however, the "rule them with strength" inscription in the ship is never even brought up. This is what first sent Clark into a tailspin and touched off the self-loathing and fear of his heritage. It gave him an enduring distrust of Jor-el and affected a number of his subsequent decisions. The inscription can't be dismissed as just a mistranslation or misunderstanding, because when Dr. Walden was zapped by the cave wall, he woke up saying the same thing -- "Clark Kent will rule the world." And God only knows what the Jor-el-infused Lionel Luthor thinks Clark's purpose on Earth is. Yet, somehow, the very good reasons the writers gave Clark to run away from Jor-el have evidently been reduced to irresponsibility on his part because he wanted a normal life. It's true that due to this desire, he maybe gave up too easily on his heritage in Season 5 when he lost his powers, but the "rule them with strength" phrase has never been explained. Perhaps according to Jor-el's Kryptonian outlook, Clark's role as Earth's "protector" is the same thing as being its ruler. If that's the case, though, Clark is taking a big risk going off to train with him. However, other than Martha's apprehensive look, this episode gives no clue whether the show still remembers or will ever go back and resolve the mystery. Are they saving it for a later confronation between Jor-el and Clark? Will it be a major issue in Season 7? Should I just give up and play along?
I doubt there will be a seven, but I do share all of your apprehensions.
Patrick Gannon wrote:
First and foremost... great article.....
If reference to product placement 6: What kind of car is that... It looks like the same car that Ricard, Jason, and Lois used to drive to the hospital.....
I dunno. SUVs bug me, so I don't know what they are.
hat may be thge reason why lois took a cab earlier in the film...
Chris supes wrote:
Hi, i message u a while back about the awesomeness of your Smallville reviews.
I read them as SOON as I watch an eps of smallville (which is usually the next day or 2 after it comes out, i record it) and I wish to emphatically praise you.
Double thank you.
At times you actually write "maybe im getting carried away.." or something to that effect, but you're not. Maybe its your perception on the show, and the fact that you know ----continuality--- which I'm a true fan of. Oh yea, and this quote....."I would rather be %@$# by ZOD than hear another moment of her incessant, prattling, manipulative na.ve power-grabbing head-shaking quivery-lipped turn-and-walk pout, maniacal-look, furrowed-brow, Neutrogena, neutering, emasculating, angel-whore, not-red-headed, Clark-hating, continuity-screwing, Superman-denigrating, anti-life equation black dress wearing girl power BULL%@$#." Just to say, in the most NON-homo way...I love you.
No worries. And thanks. I'm honored to speak for you.
I hope messages like this at least give you SOME motivation to not give up on a HORRIBLY written show. Besides...there are times that its almost WORTH it as my eyes lit up in glee when something is referred to such as Gotham city or The Flash vs Superman (err..Clark Kent) footrace....Ahh yes..thoughts?
Maybe it's just tenacious foolishness...I refuse to give up. I'm going all the way with this show.
I stay for those moments myself, and that's about it.
Hey Neal wasup, I made a music video of smallville, tell me what you think.
The address is http://youtube.com/watch?v=jm8JxzR4dFo
Awesome, man! Thanks for sharing.
Mark Palenik wrote:
It's been a long time since I've sent you a message. I'll bet you missed me. Actually, I'm pretty sure you have no idea whatsoever who I am. That's ok. I don't really know who you are, either.
I do now that I looked back in my letters archive, heh. Is that cheating? Thanks for writing in...
But anyway, there were so many hillariously *wrong* moments in Smallville this season that I felt like sending you mail numerous times. Finally in this episode, I was pushed over the edge. It was something small (and certainly not the only thing), but never the less, it made me laugh outloud. Lana passed out. The doctor asked if that had ever happened before. Given the number of times that she's been knocked out, would this be an entirely unexpected consequence? I mean, I'm surprised she's not a mentally deficient invalid already (although that may be somewhat debatable).
Pretty crazy...and noted above. Check it out in the KO Count. GOOD catch. I'm surprised I missed it.
Anyway, there wasn't really a point to that. It just seems like Smallville has been getting so ridiculous lately. I mean, there were things that I didn't really care for in it when it first came on, but it did have a sort of charm. And in the beginning, I felt like there was at least the possibility that Superman could some day emerge from Clark, and that the mythos of that world could be connected to Smallville. Now, it feels like it's in a strange place. A strange place with a lower budget and (even?) dumber writers.
I don't think they're dumb. Just lazy. Or so committed to plot we're like the antithesis of each other, those guys and I.
Thanks for letting me vent,
One more week before break, folks! Thanks for sticking around.
RageReviewed by: Douglas Trumble
This week there are things that I really liked and there are things that I did not like so much.
There was nothing terrible here but there were a few items that did not quite work.
Let me start off with the bad first so we can end this on a positive note.
First of all one major mistake that I hope is not a sign of things to come. I understand that Smallville is about a three hour drive from Metropolis. That is ok. I like that and I like how we are seeing more action in Metropolis. However if Lois is bleeding to death in Metropolis why in the world did they take her to the Smallville Medical Center for treatment? Three hours away? A major city like Metropolis should have several hospitals. This was just an error on cutting in an outside shot of the S.M.C. Had they just left that out there would be no problem here.
Anyway. On to the story. I know I have mentioned this before but it is coming up again. I am not comfortable with Martha's and Lionel's relationship. If they are to tie it into how Clark learns to see the best in people then I can see it working but I am highly skeptical this will turn out to be a good thing. We are really not sure which team Lionel is playing for at this time. It will work for me if he turns out to be good but I will be severely disappointed if he turns out to still be evil. So while this story thread is still ongoing it is important that I mention my discomfort. Either way, I think it is way too soon after Jonathan's death for Martha to be getting involved with anyone. Even the tease that they are doing. I would have felt a bit more comfortable with that possible story line had they waited until next season to work it in. It is less than a year later. Give the woman some time.
I am also not really keen on Lois and Oliver becoming so close. I understand she is not Clark's wife yet but I still feel a bit territorial with her for some reason. This is causing me not to find good things in her and Oliver's relationship. I see it more as a challenge for Clark to overcome. Not something romantic or even fun to watch. It can make for good drama but let me just say I am not hoping it works. So when Lois was left in her almost nothing state I did not feel bad like I should have. I was happy because I was hoping it would split them up. Too bad Clark is too nice of a guy and he went and helped them patch things up. I really wanted to reach into my TV and slap him. Hey STUPID. That's YOUR Girl!
Okay I know. Way over reacting.
On to my last negative. Clark really needs to stop barging in on people. He barges in on Oliver and even though he has been told to stay away he barges into Lex's living room again without knocking. I mean really? Can they just have Clark knock? Is it too hard?
That said I think the overall story this week was pretty good. Not fantastic or best ever material but pretty good. The Green Arrow is only human and I found the story using that weakness to be something that made a lot of sense to cover. A guy fighting evil like that would want some kind of instant heal health pack. I was happy to see once Oliver was made aware of his dependency he stood up and took responsibility for it. He is a hero after all, and while this was a mis-step in his heroic history I was glad to see him beat it. What was great about his overcoming the challenge was the fact that our future Superman had his hand in saving him. We see the beginnings of Clark inspiring other heroes. Sure Oliver was doing his thing before meeting Clark but he is now inspired to be a bit more on the side of right and less in the gray area between good and evil.
I like to see that.
The Thanksgiving scene was pretty good and I liked how Clark was at the head of the table beaming at his family and friends. There was no angst about being alone there. He was just glad the people he cared about were happy. It was also a fantastic contrast from the Thanksgiving meal with Lex and Lana. The Kent house was warm, everyone was close, and there was happiness. At the Luthor house they were separated, it was cold, and there seemed to be an air of despair hanging overhead.
Of course we know that is Lana's medical condition which was quite the shock let me tell you. Lex's dream from the Lexmas episode is coming true, yet it is a twisted version of that happy vision. The price of his making the wrong choice. I fear for Lana now. I do not think she is a saint here and I like the idea of her playing the villain for a while but I am starting to worry that she might be in serious danger now.
So as I said, pretty good but not best ever. I am going to go with a 3 out of 5. Call it a C+
Next week looks like a super throwdown, WWE style. The prehistoric side of my brain is giddy with anticipation. I just cannot help it. I do like the good old fashion superpowered smackdown now and then.
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