Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 7 - Episode 2: "Kara"

Reviews:

Kara

Reviewed by: Douglas Trumble

Week two of Smallville already. Man is time flying.

I was worried that after last week's FX bonanza we would get a couple of weeks with little to no super action but boy was I wrong. This week did not have much in the way of Clark vs. a villain but we did get some serious action with Clark and Kara.

I really liked this one. It was a predictable tale knowing who the "mysterious" blonde was already and being familiar with the current version of Supergirl in the comics but it was still very enjoyable. Kara seems like she will be a great addition to the show and so far I really like how they are using her character. Laura Vandervoort does a great job as Kara Zor-El. She has the look and bearings of a superhero and presents herself with charm and an inner strength which is exactly what the character needs.

Anyone who has seen the Supergirl movie with Helen Slater will know what I mean about making the character of Supergirl work. In what was honestly a not so great movie Helen Slater made it watchable simply because she nailed the character so well. Everything from the way she talked, walked, flew, and simply the presence she had on screen was perfect. Now it is only fair to say that Laura Vandervoort will have a different Kara to present. The "post Crisis" Kara is not so much the goody goody that the Silver Age Kara Helen Slater played was but I still think the heart of the character is the same. Laura Vandervoort did a great job bringing that presence out in her performance this week much the same as Helen Slater did all those years ago.

I love how Kara has Clark's hero heart even without really knowing it. She might talk like she does not care much for humans but she flew up and flack jacketed a nuclear bomb without hesitation or worry for her own safety. It was an awesome display of superhero bravery that proved to us her true self. The highlight of this episode and a moment that makes a viewer cheer. Fantastic.

Of course there was a lot more to like here. Clark teaching Kara to focus her hearing was a great scene. Knowing Kara could fly made me worry a bit. I thought that her character would be the mentor to Clark which is a bit off the normal relationship between the two characters in past versions and not an idea I was totally comfortable with. Still, I like it now that they have it set up so they both will learn from each other. Clark has the experience using his powers for good and knows how and when to use them. Kara can teach him to fly and about the real Krypton. Not the one sided view presented to him by the program in the Fortress which is obviously lacking any emotional context. Clark will teach Kara to be a hero while she will teach him what it really means to be a Kryptonian. This will perhaps allow Clark to see it was not all bad and allow him to get over his resistance to learning everything about his abilities and heritage.

I loved how Clark immediately accepted Kara into his family. He straight out called her family and invited her to live in his home without hesitation. This is true blue Clark Kent style and they nailed it there. Sure Clark has reasons to be suspicious especially when Jor-El made a Kara clone in the past and tried to use her to influence Clark but when real family comes to the door Clark can see the truth and he did the right thing. Plus by keeping her there he can keep a better eye on her. Not really a bad plan if you ask me.

I also found it neat that they actually used the title "Supergirl" to refer to Kara and that Kara actually wears the S symbol on her wrist band. I am glad to see them using it more and more in this show. I know the production of this show was strong on the point that it is not a "Superman" show but it's really starting to feel like one and I think it is better for it.

The FX in this episode were fantastic. Kara flying into space, knocking Clark through the forest, or flying up to shield the bomb with her body were all great shots but my favorite one was when she tried to fly away from Clark the second time and he caught her foot. Sure, obvious wire work there, but I still think they did a great job making Kara look like she was actually floating in the air before being slammed down into the ground. Little things like that really help sell the story to me.

Plus I really got to say for the second time that I REALLY love the new super hearing effect. Hats off to whom ever on the Smallville crew came up with that one.

One question I am interested to know though. Why did Zor-El send Kara off the planet without telling her it was going to blow up? Why did she think she and Kal-El were being sent to Earth? Jor-El and Zor-El obviously both knew the planet was doomed otherwise they would not have sent their children into space like that. Kara mentioned a war with Zod's people so I can assume that they did something that Jor-El knew about but was too late to stop but I hope we are told more of that story in future episodes.

I have to say that one down side to this episode was the Lois and Chloe part of the story. I love that Lois got a job at the Daily Planet and that she got it due to her tenacious attitude but I absolutely do not like how they are setting her up to step on Chloe on her way. I guess it had to happen but I hope they find a way to give Chloe her due as well as Lois. One good part with Lois though was her and Clark in the woods. I loved how they hinted that Lois was a bit taken back by the idea that Clark would be leaving town. Erica Durance did a great job playing hurt but trying to act like she did not really care much. Not an easy thing to sell but she did it there and it was a nice touch to the story.

Not sure where the Lana and Lex story is going. The whole dead clone in the car thing was a bit out of the blue but I will go with it for now. I wonder if she will forgive Lex only to be betrayed by him again. I could see that happening. She did seem to accept his apology and he honestly did seem sincere. We know it wont last but for now Lex seems to have repented his wicked ways. I am not buying it though. Not that Michael Rosenbaum did not play it well. I thought he and Kristin Kreuk both did a great job acting out those scenes. I just do not buy the fact that Lex will have turned away from his ways. Lex's problem is that he does not always see what he is doing as an evil thing and that is what really makes him dangerous.

Another real question is where is Lionel? I must admit, last week when I saw someone in a trench coat pull him out of the river I thought it was just the Martian Manhunter saving him and did not think twice about it. Now to find out he is actually missing I am wishing I had paid more attention to that quick scene. Could it be those government agents who had Kara's ship? I assume they were the ones to actually kill the park rangers so kidnapping is not out of the question. Could there be something else going on? It is an interesting development and I am looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

So all and all a great episode that really sets up some story lines for the next few. Some relationships will grow and some will be strained while Clark has someone to mentor and some learning to do. Plus we have a threat growing in the government that is sure to be a significant challenge for Clark and Kara should they have any hope of keeping their identities a secret.

So I am going to give this one a solid A. Call it 4.5 out of 5 blue crystals. I knocked off .5 due to the fact I do not like that they are setting Lois up to step on Chloe but to be honest I really do need to see how that story plays out before completely judging it.

So, according to the preview, next week is the return of Lana Lang and the love Yo-yo! ALL RIGHT! YEA! I don't know about you dear reader but I am totally stoked for that to return. Forget flying into space, flack jacketing nuclear bombs, catching cars, lassoing helicopters, ripping missiles apart or even leaping tall buildings in a single bound with Lois in his arms. What we all really want is more angst filled doomed romance between Clark and Lana! Bring it on! (Insert your own sarcasm as you see fit)

Still, I am such a geek I am actually looking forward to it. I hope for a neat twist to it at least and the tag line attached to the preview has me believing there will be one. See you all then. I will be there. Rain, snow, shine, or meteor shower!

Doug



Kara

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

MAIN POINTS:

  • Kara, Clark's cousin, has come to Smallville.
  • Her ship goes blooey, and she needs to find a crystal.
  • Lex and Lana make up, and Lana is outted from hiding.
  • Lois is a reporter at the Planet at the behest of Gabriel, a new editor.

    REVIEW:

    Oh yeah. Girls mature faster. Sigh. Boys are all stupid, amoral lummoxes with one goal in mind, uncouth in all manner, brummagem and lost forever and ever, because they hear a poopie sound and they laugh. They openly admit they like sex. They watch football, and, in majority, go out and do most of the earning, whether from an erstwhile, stupid sense of duty, or, perhaps, a population that insists you're an inferior, immature man if you don't earn the bread. You decide.

    Either way, if I recall correctly, the phrase, "Girls mature faster than boys," for all its sexist ardour, was used to signify the fact that girls hit puberty first, and thereby stop smiling, playing, laughing, telling jokes and, yes, never laughing at a poopie sound. Alas, however, in my experience, they never seem to regain that humor back, and we men retain it, by and large. Does that make us inferior? Immature? What's immaturity? The ability to fly, or perhaps the ability to stop prosthelytizing sexism through television?

    PFFFFFT! Har. Excuse me. I have gas.

    Minor point in a larger episode, I know, but it's what sticks in my mind. Maturity, tee hee! I guess it IS still funny that girls mature faster on Smallville, particularly given that despite being Clark's elder from Krypton, Lara beats people up for "touching her stuff" and throws open elevator doors impulsively, endangering her secret. Oh, and losing her ship. Oh, and losing her crystal.

    Thus it was spake, and thus henceforth was coined a NEW column in the KO Count: GIRLS MATURE FASTER THAN BOYS, whereby we shall chronicle times in which the "faster maturing" Kryptonian sex's foibles with idiocy are chronicled, starting with the aforementioned.

    Oh, Neal, it's just a joke!

    Har har har. Here's another joke: What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? You already told her twice! What? Not funny when put in a serious context? Didn't think so. But it's just a joke! Broader implications of women hitting men and getting away with it, women maturing faster than boys, Lex doing one thing and having done "so many things" over Lana's pure innocence... It's subconscious, but it's also a writing choice, and the tendrils pervade in television, in sociological concepts, and into the fabric of our very lives. They cause this @#%^. Or is that me making corollary? Regardless, it can't help.

    Why pick on the women, Neal?

    I'm not. I'm suggesting is that we do away with this crap and finally find that equality hinted at that has never come to pass on both fronts. If I were to say that girls don't mature as fast as boys, despite the fact that I find a healthy sense of humor much more important than a sense of reserve, I'd be considered a sexist. When a woman is exploited, it is rightly condemned. When men are condemned, it's humor, because we're "dogs."

    Now for poop jokes!

    I might as well start out with the fact (given the above) that it seemed like Lois' breasts have gotten bigger. I know Erica's had some work done, but they seem a little bigger this season. Am I crazy? I don't even know what I think about that or what to say about it, I just saw it. I also notice that she's more prominent in the show now, essentially moving into Chloe's place. What's up with that?

    Clark says he's leaving Smallville after Lana's funeral. Good! He has no reason to stay, right? He just beat the Zoners, his parents are gone, Lana is dead, Chloe's in Metropolis with Lois (though the commute is insane), and...

    OH LOOK! A Kara. A bit obvious, but also, somewhat compelling as a dilemma. I don't buy it as the reason Jor-El tells him to begin his training, but I do buy it as a reason he'd stay. That's a later logic point.

    Now, the question I've been asked a lot, in response: NEAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF KARA IN SMALLVILLE, ISN'T IT A) BLASMPHEMY! B) GREAT!

    Maybe.

    I think it all, as ever, depends on how it's handled. If, like Green Arrow, she overshadows Clark and his journey, it'll hack me off. If, as this show seems to indicate, it'll draw him closer to the mythology and his destiny, it might be the best thing to happen to the show in three years. So long as it doesn't become another way to introduce yet another strong female with no real character to a cast of strong females with no real character, boffo.

    BLASPHEMY PEOPLE: Yes, it should happen later, in Metropolis. We know. So should Lois, and Jimmy, and Perry, and many, many other things on this show. Even Lex. If we were hung up on that, day one would have been the end. Instead, judge the show on how it's handled, right?

    GREAT PEOPLE: You haven't even seen more than one episode. What gives?

    Kidding around, but anyway, if the Superman Homepage has taught me one thing over the years, it's that the answer to the question of "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF X?" without actually having seen it is a pitfall to doom.

    We open with a series of expository lines that lead into what is essentially an interesting situation... Kara's ship, in the middle of the dam wreckage. Lois is knocked out, and Kara appears, "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MESS WITH MY STUFF!"

    She then grabs Clark, slams him through some trees, and tells him to get the girl and get out. Clark then promptly does instead of questioning her or talking with her (he waits another scene to do that) and Kara, who wins the first "DUMB AS CLARK" award this week, decides to just let him leave while NOT inferring that his survival of her attack means that he's Kryptonian, or the one she's looking for, anyway, because Kryptonian technology can fly across the stars, but identifying someone by their DNA is beyond that pale.

    The fight itself, however, and the trip to space, were totally awesome. Incredibly well done, high standard, and a lot of fun to watch. I really, really enjoyed that. More than any effect in the premiere beyond the sun on Bizarro's face in the last scene, actually. Top-notch. The baby glyph, even though it exposed the DNA plot hole, was still well done as well, and shows a consistency with the device from last year.

    Though I'm baffled as to how she hits Lois at full speed when Clark can't even approach the ship because of the Kryptonite.

    Chloe talks with Clark about the new Kryptonian, and I had a laugh out loud moment. She says, of Kryptonians, "What is it with you people?"

    I then pictured a black Kryptonian's head turning, grabbing Chloe, and saying, "What's she mean, YOU PEOPLE?"

    Point being, it's really funny because when it's an alien race, it's comedy. When it's relative to real life, it's racism. Just struck me odd.

    Lois comes in, and there's a sudden concern for a head injury.

    AND NOT AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES! Sorry. Hadda.

    Lex in an orange jumpsuit, folks! I can't help but dig that. It was...wow. Shiver moment. Great stuff. Even if his jailing makes absolutely no sense in context, visual high five.

    I also had a good gut laugh when I realized that though Lex has more money, Lionel gets a giant white room with his own personal barber (DO IT!) and Lex gets this grimy mudhole of a holding cell where it looks like he's already met Nasty Nate a few times.

    Visually, I also very much enjoyed the scene with Lex and Chloe with the papers being hauled off. It wasn't the typical three to five sets, and it made the scene very relatable.

    I don't get why Lionel would pay for a patsy for Lex. It's a gaping hole. He spent most of the season trying to (apparently, and if I get this right) blackmail Lana into marrying Lex so she could watch Lex so that Lex couldn't hurt Clark. In other words, Lionel is actively working to defeat his son, so why give him a patsy for the murder charge? Makes no sense.

    But I like what it signifies, to a degree. The whole show seems to be breaking from the plotlines of last year to start anew. The Lana Lex scene (ugh, I'll get to it), while horrible, at least seems to signify that the new idea is, "Lana and Lex are over, Lex is sorry, no animosity, new plotline." My worry, however, is that this plotline will be Lana and Clark all lovey-dovey, and, as a buddy suggested in the chat (Monkey Chops?), that Lex will be trying to get with Kara (note the lovey picture).

    Still, the Lex and Chloe scene was written and acted well, and I enjoyed it.

    Clark jumps straight to superspeed in front of the kids as opposed to using persuasion, probably for cool after cute factor with the kids being lifted. Enough with kids, show, unless one of 'em's gonna get mauled!

    But anyway, it leads to a scene where Clark actually...huh...STOPS someone he thinks is murdering? WHOA. He grabs Kara, slams her to the ground, and REASONS with her after he figures out she might be a murderer. It was...IN CHARACTER. Holy crap.

    And here comes the letter, so I'll answer it already: "Neal, you condemn it when a woman smacks a man for doing something she doesn't like! What about here? Clark clearly grabs a woman and slams her to the ground! You say stuff like that would be condemned!"

    Context.

    Kara's murdered two park rangers, as far as Clark knows. I forget, honestly, if she'd said she hadn't by this point, but regardless, even if she'd already said, "I didn't kill those guards!" She's still already physically assaulted him and Lois without prompt, and as far as he knows, she's another Zoner, so she has to be stopped, somehow or another. Considering he could have belted her into next week and started a fight, grabbing her leg and putting her on the ground without beating her is fairly reasonable by my logic. Beyond that, there's another clear factor: He knows it won't hurt her, so is it still assault? Worthy question, actually.

    Because when Lana smacks Clark, as far as she knows, he's hurt and feels it. So yeah, that's assault. But when a Kryptonian even punches another Kryptonian to the moon, since they don't feel it, I would say it could probably be a form of debate. Heh. Interesting philosophical concept, actually. Invincible people, what's assault?

    FINALLY Kara catches on. "Hey, humans can't move that fast!" Gol.

    Another thought... Clark would have flown up as Kara took off, considering they're both the same density and that she's got the upward thrust to lift herself, one would assume. Helicopter debate again... CURSE YOU BYRON, STOP HAUNTING ME!

    Gabriel. Oh, Gabriel. You know, honestly, if you had told me going into this episode that I would be sympathetic to Laura's acting, and yet the new Daily Planet editor would grate on my ears like chewing cotton, I'd have smacked you with a fish. Nonetheless, Gabriel's performance grated on me, as did the context of his vapid insertion into the plot.

    Major shifts associated with this character:

    Chloe is now a major writer who's lost it, where before she was a basement writer with a few exposes in the back of minor sections of the paper answering phones.

    Lois goes from a bad writer for a paper with no repute to AHEAD of Chloe at the paper that Chloe's been working at for two years now. Her prose is described much like anything Lana does. Wha?

    The Daily Planet is now a paper that is concerned with UFO sightings because it "Sells papers." If so, why not bring in Perry, whose modus fits this in Smallville?

    What I don't like is beyond all that, though. I can see them popping Lois in front of Chloe and making her the star of the Daily Planet. Why? Because guys love watching Lois, and because Chloe's character doesn't have a future to speak of, and should likely die. Doesn't mean I like or condone that. Point of fact, much like having Chloe say how beautiful Lois is, this is a royal smack in the face to all the work Allison has put in. I'd even go so far as to say that even if it made story sense, this story shouldn't have run. But even so, it doesn't.

    The bottom line of what bugs me about Gabriel so far, however, is the fact that his lines are written in the "Perry" I-don't-give-a-damn style, but they seem like they're being read by a pre-pubescent boy. Gabriel's actor exudes zero charisma, he seems annoyingly smug as opposed to confident and assured, and I hope they kill him next week, because if not, I'm gonna vomit blood.

    Instead, I forsee a Lois romance, which is just... just @ss. On a stick.

    Back to mythology, with Kara and Clark. Zor-El told her to find Clark, okay, but why? It's never stated, and Clark never asks. Cool factor for Zor-El, minus factor for lunacy of not stating her intent or goal. She's just...THERE. Her dad gave her a mission, but much like the comic, it's frustratingly not elaborated. It ultimately ends in the need of a CRYSTAL!

    This crystal is an OBJECT OF LITTLE VALUE BUT MUCH DESIRE! We have seen many of these in Smallville, and they never show up again. The necklace. The ship. The key. The stones. The Brainiac ship. The Zoner device. The bent tool. Kara's ship. The Crystal. There are others. I'm making a new KO Count for it, so feel free to submit your own.

    Kara's not very attractive to me. I must be crazy, but the vapid blonde look never really appealed to me. Decent body, but all in all, she seems very severe. Still, good acting. She reminds me of Hayden from Heroes, and it seems like they might be trying to mimic it a bit. Am I the only one who sees that?

    The mention of a Global Civil War on Krypton is intriguing. It then, however, begs the question of why sending Kara to Earth for Kal-El would make them Krypton's salvation? It makes no real sense, and struck me as odd. But honestly, it's mythology in a show that's been a real desert of mythology lately, so I'll cling to it.

    When Clark's ship self-destructs, it blows apart a silo. When Kara's ship blows up, it sets off a NUCLEAR BOMB! Girls mature faster than boys, apparently.

    They also seem to be using the same ship as Zod. Interesting. Or cheap! Yeah, gonna go with cheap.

    Gabriel's office did have one thing going for it... it seemed a lot like the "Superman Returns" one in many respects.

    Apparently, Lex can tap more phones than our president and monitor them all, because he finds Lois in Shanghai on the basis of one phone call. Later, we learn this is Lana leaving a brilliant trail of breadcrumbs... sigh. I'll get to it. Groan.

    Chloe working on the AM/FM story is a bit too pat and convenient for my taste, but it was decent to see Clark teaching Kara to use her hearing. I thought at first it was a waste of time while lives are on the line, then realized Clark wouldn't know the sound the ship would be making.

    Lois gets knocked out again walking directly toward klaxons. She wins the dumb as Clark award. Though how she gets there and finds the ship is never exactly established to my satisfaction. Again, WAY too pat. The dumb way to get her on at the Daily Planet.

    Dumb as Clark. We'll also start awarding Mature as Kara here, for Lois using dumb luck to show her sophistication and get a job.

    Kara can't shut the self-destruct down, it would seem, so she... uh... leaps into the air above the ship and absorbs a nuclear blast that causes the ship to... uh... disappear? This climax occurs way too early in the show, and is bafflingly impossible to comprehend. I still don't get it.

    I guess we had to make room for... ah, you knew it was coming.

    Lex walks into the Shanghai apartment of LANA LANG, still alive! God, I was so worried!

    What's she doing? Well, it's usually one of three things, brooding, showering, or brushing her hair. SPIN THE WHEEL!

    CLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKclickclickclick... click... click.

    BRUSHING HER HAIR!

    And, to keep with the passive aggressive theme, you can take what the wheel gave you, or you can take another scene... if you don't love me. No. Don't worry. It's okay. Go ahead and take another scene. I won't care. (POUT).

    I mean, seriously, we need another example of Lana vainly brushing her hair to show how amazing she is?

    Lex pined all the way there in the plane, listening to her last words to him. Woe, woe! You know what's better than Lana brushing her hair? Another nostalgic scene of Lex pining for the glory of Lana he hath lost!

    What I don't get, and maybe I missed something, is that what Lex did, "ALL THOSE THINGS" as he puts it in the scene, those horrible things that he did to her, include, basically, faking a pregnancy, right? And smacking her upside the head. I mean, that's bad enough, yeah, but then, he was never shown on the show to have perpetuated the pregnancy, was he? I can't recall. I just didn't give a solid crap. And even so, he spent all that time staring at the "fetus" in that one episode, didn't he?

    Not saying Lex was right to smack her in the head or fake a pregnancy, just saying that doing those two things would not make a man like Lex stare and get weepy at a photo and then pull a gun into his gut and tell her to pull a trigger. Doesn't make much sense.

    Lana playing by "LEX'S BOOK" by making a phone call and leaving her a trail of breadcrumbs to where she'll find him...WITH A GUN!

    Oh yeah, babe. That's great. You're gonna take Lex out... by laying in wait with... A GUN! Because, you know, that's... stupid. Lex will blow you up. Lex Luthor would annihilate Shanghai before he'd come within ten feet of you if he wants to kill you. At least, any Lex Luthor I enjoy.

    Lana assumes that Lex is planning revenge. But, for what? Her leaving him? What did Lana run from, anyway? She knows Clark's secret, why not have Clark protect her? OH YEAH. She left to protect Clark, not avoid revenge. Whups. Or maybe she did both, because Lana's so perfect, as Lex indicates:

    "I would have done the same thing, only not as elegantly. I always knew you were smart. I didn't know you were brilliant!"

    She farts perfume, I swear to God. I mean, enough already. ENOUGH!

    Brilliant plan. Put a clone in an SUV and blow it up, so there's a body. One flaw, Chuckles. WHO TURNS THE KEY IN THE SUV?

    Also, I couldn't tell the difference between the clone and the real Lana. Both are wooden, annoying Barbie dolls.

    I know there was a movie where someone who was "dead" came back and couldn't be tried for killing someone. Wasn't that Double Jeopardy? At any rate, ripoff.

    Lana, after indicating that she stands before Satan himself, and after Lex calls her "tactics" elegant, smart, and brilliant, HANDS LEX THE GUN.

    This is where I take the gun and put it to my chest and say, "PULL THE TRIGGER! PLEASE!"

    And after all this crap, I still feel sorry for Lex as he walks out the door. Not sure why. I just actually see him as the good guy still. Yeah, he hit her. Yeah, he faked the pregnancy. But those two things are so oblong and out of character, my mind can't conceptualize it on top of his character, much like when they say Lana is brilliant, I can't reconcile it with what I've seen in the past, even if that's the show's line.

    Kara says that she's made her father a promise and couldn't keep it. The promise is never revealed (unless that's find the crystal, which makes no sense, since it went with her). Sensibility is encouraged.

    Department of Domestic Security. Groan. Why not say Homeland? Is it trademarked or something? What, they don't want to vilify the Department of Homeland Security? Hate to break it to you, Smallville, but a clandestine organization that taps our phones and takes its name from a proto-fascist Orwellian dichotomy of fear as a way to enforce compliance is NOT gonna be decried as a little less scary just because you mask your satire, nor will you protect the "good people" of that organization, because the satire is so thinly veiled. I mean, if you're afraid they're watching, SURPRISE! They are. But you're not going to protect their feelings, and I doubt they'll sue you for indicating that they'd do nefarious things to protect the public. That'd be an awful rendition. Heh. Get it? I made a satirical pun, too.

    All of a sudden, the Fortress is back to life. I thought it was still dead. Apparently L'il Bow Wow brought it back to life and I missed it. If so, why hasn't Clark consulted it in half a year? Huh?

    "Hey, Dad! This girl named Kara showed up!"

    "I know no Kara!"

    "Well, okay then. You seem trustworthy, even though the last Kara murdered people in your name and you caused the death of my potential kid brother in Martha's womb. I'm READY TO BEGIN THE TRAINING!"

    "Okay. Your training begins! Babysit Kara for ONE TELEVISION SEASON!"

    "I thought you said you didn't know who Kara was?"

    "Look! It's Zod!"

    "Huh, where?"

    YOINK! POP!

    "Dad? Dad?"

    Muffled Jor-El voice: "The Fortress is, uh, dead right now. Leave a message as soon as you've found the object of little value but incredible import!"

    And next week: CLANA! JOY! Wow, that's sure not old! Wow! How great! That preview sure makes me excited!

    But all in all, the show wasn't a loss. It was a nice introduction of Kara, a horrid intro of Gabriel, and an interesting visual mesh of some nice scenes. If it keeps in this vein, it'll be a better season than the last, so far. I was leaning 3, because despite the inconsistencies, there were a lot of good moments. This is a gut review. I'm gonna give the promise this episode shows me a little play, and go with a 3.5 of 5. Maybe that's high, but hey, I enjoyed it about as much as I did last week. Maybe I'm being too kind because the show just came back. If so, so be it. One less piece of hate mail, and I'm still being honest.

    SUPER SHORT REVIEW:

    Girls mature faster than boys in theory, in practice, it's a bad thing to stuff down a kids show premise. Gabriel sucks, Kara's all right, but the show has too many objects of desire that aren't coherent. Lex and Lana are worthless diversions still, but at least the bad parts of last season seem to be being lopped off, though Lois taking Chloe's place still irks. All in all, the feeling of the episode overrides inconsistency. 3.5 of 5.

    ARTISTIC RE-ENACTMENT:

    Coming Soon! To be posted on Sunday. Check back then.

    LETTERS:

    Shorter column this week, because there was less time between this review and the last:

    Serethiel wrote:
    Hey Neal!

    New season...new characters...and a new awesome review. Five stars.

    Thankee sai.

    I found Bizarro as an episode to be rather sketchy, I think it might have been more effective if they had expanded the story to make it two parts, instead of crammming it into one. As with the season 4, 5, and 6 premieres, i felt rushed and unsatisfied with the end result.

    Yeah. Have we ever had a three-part episode on Smallville? We should.

    I will admit that a few of the new plot points introduced in this episode have intrigued me. I will say though, that none of them have anything to do with Lana, (although I can't possibly imagine why...)

    I can! I can!

    I'm not sure how I feel about Kara. I know it's too early to tell how her character will be. However, from everything I've heard, seen, and read about her (not to mention the horror of the upcoming episode, "Fierce") it seems to me that the Smallville universe is just bringing in yet another female character that can be objectified and serve little more purpose than a piece of kryptonian meat. Maybe that's just the feminist in me...*sigh* time will tell, I guess.

    That's the funny thing about it, too, and I think you'd get it. On this show, I call them when they do biased stuff against guys, like show them getting hit and it being okay, but it's about 1/10th as bad as the impression given of the girls on this show, who are arbitrarily everything to everybody and have no real human qualities, particularly in their plasticine mammaries.

    I will admit that I'm really disappointed to see Annette go, as I know you are. I will say her character hasn't been much since the removal of John Schneider, but having Clark in the show with no parental unit at all is going to take some getting used to, especially since Clark and his parents were a major Smallville staple in the first few seasons.

    The big hurdle is why the heck Clark's still in Smallville instead of hauling Kara north with him. I'll always have Cat People.

    Anyway...as always, thanks for listening to my ramblings. Take care of yourself. I'll prolly holler at you again sometime in the near future...you have been warned.

    Thanks!

    Serethiel

    Jim Smith wrote:
    NEAL!!

    Jim!

    Ahhhh I have seen the episode and read your review. It is official season seven has started. The two things are all part of the one package for me. Now...4 out of 5? Are you sure it isn't just the joy of having a new episode again messing with your judgement? The whole thing felt rushed and jumbled. Don't get me wrong, I still loved it, hell I am easy. Anyway, looking forward to reading your reviews for the rest of the season. Until next time...

    I'm feeling kind of positive. Not sure what's going on. I think Al Gough spiked my coffee with prozac. S'ok. I'll spike his Tab with Drano. Don't F with the Lanasitter.

    Jim

    Scott wrote:
    Hey Neal, just a couple of quick points.

    You may fire at will, commander!

    1. Bizarro never changed shirts, you can clearly see the tear in the side where the electrical tower pole went through when he removes his jacket in the barn to absorb that first little bit of Kryptonite. This is still no excuse for him to be walking, but then again you're applying logic about human physiology to a alien copy of another alien. Given the circumstance I don't think it requires too much suspension of belief ( you may recall in the "Gog" series of Action Comics, Superman is weakened by liquified green-k, and later takes like a full clip of bullets through his chest while vulnerable, but continues fighting for a while before sustaining so much damage that he passes out, keeping that in mind, I'm willing to believe Bizarro could be up and mobile with that damage, however, I agree it was ridiculous to call the yellow sun his weakness and not be consistent there.)

    WE DO NOT SPEAK OF CHUCK AUSTEN! He's like a writer, only a little more bizarre. Come to think of it, that might explain the difference between Metropolis (awesome) and his Action run (AHHHH!)

    You're right about the shirt, though, it's been pointed out. I have erred, and will now commit seppuku!

    2. I don't see why you assume Bizarro is dead at this point. I believe in some interviews a while back Gough said Bizarro would appear throughout season 7. Instead of assuming he's dead, don't you think this is a good opportunity for him now to be stuck with a permanent cracked face appearance like the more traditional Bizarro? That's my hope, but you're probably right.

    I assume he's dead because his face was flying apart, and Manhunter flew him toward the sun. But dead isn't dead in comic stories... you're right.

    Other than that, spot on review, glad to be able to read them again, and I look forward to more.

    Thanks!

    Shafi S wrote:
    Hey Neal,

    The premire was great, but whats with the kids. There was those two kids in the episode, the one that almost got crushed from the wave with his dad (which he should've had), and that possesed kid. That kid should've died, that other people did when they got possesed. Besides that the usually Lana Stuff in some (sorry to say)asian country with a blonde wig. Blonde?

    And then kids in this episode. They must have opened a daycare next to the show, and they needed cheap extras. I can just see Miles waving a juicebox.

    Clark and Bizzaro fight at last, some good action there, Neal you were right about Welling doing some nice supes impressions. In the last season when he did that black and white epsiode (Noir) he did a great Chris Reeve "Clark Kent" impression with the glasses, I mean if you look at it just that scene, he does it just like Reeve.

    Yep. Just watched it again, you made me think of it. HEY! Very Reeve.

    I like Erica's Lois, but sometimes she needs to get better dialog, I mean come on. Like you said Neal double standards, but why didn't Bizzaro kill her? Because she had some fluffly buns or a really tight butt. Also, Al and Miles should really really get Clark flying soon. Come on Supergirl giving HIMM flying lessons? That SUCKS!

    Yeah. It really, really does.

    Oh yea Neal, on the Season 6 DVD i got to hear your voice at the end of the credits of the fan stuff. Thats a bummer they put really crappy ones on and skipped yours. I have my theories, but why did they? Thanks again Neal.

    I have no idea. I haven't seen it yet, though I plan on watching it as soon as I possibly can. Life's been insane lately. But thank you, too.

    Catch you all next week!

    Neal



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