Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 7 - Episode 3: "Fierce"Reviews:
FierceReviewed by: Neal Bailey
That last is approximately four blocks from my house. And it's STILL not as big a disaster as this episode was, even though both happened this week.
The analogy I'm drawing is that this episode was a flaming, explosive, German/suspension pile of projecting crap that no one should ever have had to experience. Actually, that's a compliment.
First, there was Spell, an exploitive piece of girl power garbage that was a ridiculous excuse to get girls into S and M outfits and inject "HUMOR" into a serious drama. Then, for originality's sake, Thirst, an exploitive piece of girl power garbage that was a ridiculous excuse to get girls into S and M outfits and inject "HUMOR" into a serious drama. Now, Fierce, an exploitive piece of girl power garbage that was a ridiculous excuse to get girls into S and M outfits and inject "HUMOR" into a serious drama.
All three feature the "WALK," where girls who are scantily clad trod forth to the admiration of their betters not for their brains, or any actual accomplishment, but for genetic endowment. GIRL POWER!
All three feature "jokes" that are not jokes, but rather lame attempts to be as funny as Joss Whedon on Buffy, which (ducks) in all honesty is not that incredibly funny. Like Smallville, the heart of Buffy that I've seen (through two seasons now) is when they focus on character.
All three involve girls who are "repressed" (IE, insecure with themselves but needing to blame others for their insecurity, so it becomes "repression") acting out in ways that, if a guy did so, would likely get him thrown in jail, publicly ostracized, or demonized in print for all eternity. Not, "guy power."
But that's obvious.
The cookie cutter plot, three freaks instead of one, Lana Clark shipping, as if we need more of a reminder that this show hasn't gone past square one beyond losing three of its core and best cast members, and ending with Kara doing the exact same thing Clark did, but Lex STILL not catching on...
SEVEN @#%@ING YEARS LATER.
I mean, you can't even give it the joyful benefit of being GOOD WILL HUNTING 2: HUNTING SEASON, because even though Lex and "character who saves him" are gonna have a problem... again, Lex hasn't even studied Vickers.
And WE get the shotgun blast.
This season seemed to be starting out well. Kara seemed dutiful, and with a purpose, despite her relative unnecessary quality. Mythology was taking hold and pushing the show. Lana was sidetracked, briefly.
Now we're back to crap in full force, and I'm really, really dubious as to how this season will continue, and fearful it will fall straight into the ridiculous pattern of the last.
Blow by blow:
We start with a blatant plug for Beauty and the Geek and Project: Runway, showing how vapid Kara's viewing habits are. Straight U-Turn from dedicated, intelligent, powerful woman into ridiculous stereotype.
She's yammering on about the CRYSTAL! Reader Loren wrote in (see letters) to correct me, pointing out that the phrase I used (and actually prefer) for such a device is a PLOT DEVICE OF NO REAL RELEVANCE BUT MUCH SEEMING IMPORT! When one is present, the show suffers.
This episode had three. The Crystal, the necklace, and the map.
Kara is suddenly smitten with Jimmy. Hey, Smallville. C'mere. Meet me over at camera three.
JIMMY OLSEN IS A PUTZISH CHILD-MAN WHO NEVER GETS GIRLS! HE IS A GANGLY, GEEKY, BASEMENT TECH GEEK WITH LITTLE TO NO SOCIAL SKILLS! HE COULDN'T EVEN GET LUCY LANE AFTER FORTY YEARS! SHE MARRIED RON! HE WILL NOT CAUSE A SMOKING HOT KRYPTONIAN WOMAN TO ERUPT IN LUST! YOU HAVE MARGINALIZED CHLOE ENOUGH, THERE IS NO PLOT DRAMA TO BE GAINED BY REMOVING HER SOLE LOVE INTEREST AND GIVING IT TO THE NEW TOMATO.
Great. Now my fingers' throat is sore.
Enter a catwalk, with three chicks. All drawing attention, etc. My notes say, "Here is where anyone with any sense would have turned the show off."
And I would have.
Jimmy's "glamour" pics are blurry when he takes them.
Kara is, after seeing these women, changed miraculously from a girl who's out there kicking butt, taking names, desperately seeking to fulfill her mission (ill defined though it was) into an insecure fourteen-year-old who'd drink a roofie consciously just to show her guy that she loved him. She's so desperate to fit in she loses any and all redeemable character qualities.
I side with guys a lot in terms of the way we're portrayed on TV, because it's often as laughable pig buffoons, when the reality is that most people, men and women, are equally stupid and ridiculous. I don't believe that women are smarter, stronger, faster, or better. It's like the light side and the dark side of the force. We're equal. Yeah, there are differences. You look better in bras than we do. We probably could pick you up with our arms. But the point I'm making here is that for all the hullabaloo I point out for how men should not be trashed on TV, the only thing that can anger me more is a woman who seemingly has her head on straight and a mission in life on television turned into a vapid, emotional, needy wretch. At least without some plausible catalyst.
Cut to the commercials, where I see another ad for "Aliens in America," the precept apparently being Family Matters with a Muslim, ergo terrorism jokes abound. He buys fuses, explosives, and flame in order to make a geek's rocket, and the guy looks at him, "Oh! A dark skinned man! Must be a terrorist on Jihad!" and runs off.
We've come to the point of where the Muslim in America is a Stepin Fetchit for the CW? I can't picture an episode where Balki was holding a key and people ran thinking he was gonna shoot a nuke out of a Russian silo. I know, it's not Smallville, but the commercial just astounded me so much it drug me out of the show.
Hey, I've got a wacky idea! Let's do a show about an illegal immigrant who manages to fit in with an average white middle class family! We can have all kinds of wacky dilemmas, like slipping away from the Department of Immigration, and confusion in learning English!
Yeah, that COULD be funny, but the point is, it's just... I dunno. Something awful to laugh at when it's hurting so many people right now on both sides of the issue.
And hey, let's have some LANA! LANA LANA LANA! Needs more Lana, I believe the phrase is.
Lana tortures Clark with the knowledge that she's dead. She fakes her death when the guy who she faked her death to avoid obviously means her no harm. She walks into the barn, and Clark's immediate reaction? He folds his arm, he pouts, he berates her for trying to do the right thing, and then storms out without saying goodbye.
Oh, no, wait. He's just glad she's alive.
She snuck up on a guy with superhearing, too.
Now get this, which occurred to me, thinking of Clark's ears. Clark, when he heard Chloe was dead, began immediately listening for her despite any logical reason. When Lana died, did he listen for her heartbeat?
Then we have a random scene where a girl is talking on the phone about Cabo and the room freezes. It's oddly filmed, awkward, and creates a later continuity error, when Jimmy's frozen and it goes slow as opposed to instantaneous.
Back to Lana and Clark, while Lana explains why she did what she did. She left to... protect Clark. So Clark should be glad she put him through hell.
Clark, smiling the whole while, asks her a few questions and then drops it, glad she's fine.
Lana protected Clark by... leaving him with Lex alone? Remember, folks, the threat was from Lionel, Lionel was the one threatening to kill Clark, not Lex. And yet they make it like she was running from Lex, who did nothing to threaten her at all. He's a sick SOB for getting her fake pregnant, but he never did anything to threaten her life. I kind of look at it like a girl who gets pregnant on purpose, the guy version. When a girl gets pregnant and insists on keeping it so that the guy will stay with her... Lex basically does that. It's rotten, and it's finkish, but on the broad scale, it's done from some misguided sense of love.
Lana leaving Clark to be attacked from all sides while thinking the love of his life is dead? Well, hey.
And don't tell Chloe, because she has to avoid prosecution for coming back from the dead! Because Chloe, of all people, would know nothing about avoiding prosecution for coming back from the...
HEY, WAIT A SECOND! THIS SHOE I'M EATING NEEDS MORE LACE!
Honestly, given the choice between this episode and a Coca-Cola enema, I'm bending over. It's not that this is the worst Smallville episode ever. It's that all the bad parts of all the Smallville bad episodes I've seen make every little bad bit all the more worse.
So now Lana makes Clark "harbor a fugitive" as well. Sigh.
What can make this scene better, huh? How about sending out KARA in a bikini? Tee hee! I don't understand your Earth customs of clothes! What is this word, bikini?
Lana's mad face at Clark melts as soon as she sees that it's Kara, but it's still there. So Lana fakes her own death, and then she's still mad that Clark potentially got with someone else after she's DEAD? It's like in Scary Movie 4. "No... no more sex... ever!" "Sorry, say that louder?!"
Throughout this episode, it's hilarious, no one mentions or remembers the other Kara. Not Lex, not Lana, not Chloe, nobody.
I was going to write not Lionel, then I realized he hadn't been in two episodes, and I didn't even really notice or care. I love Glover, but that helped me realize his character in this show has no dynamic, because this show has no real peril any more. It's all been sucked up NOT in the fact that we know Clark will survive, but that any potential change will revert beyond the supernatural (IE a cast member leaving).
Kara: "She's nice!" This after hearing Lana say three sentences.
Neal: "Abject characterization through dialogue!"
Oh, HAW! He put a smiley face on a pumpkin and Kara blew it up! Man, I'm so glad they spent effects budget on this episode instead of others.
Kara has trouble putting on makeup... despite being perfectly made up.
Kara puts her fingerprints all over the window at the murder scene. She also decimates the statue and yet... is out of prison unexplainably by the end of the episode.
Lex is still wearing his wedding band and pining for oh-so-perfect Lana, lamenting "all those things" he did. Like cede her ten million dollars which she STOLE.
Honestly, if you give me ten thousand dollars, I'll forgive you getting me pregnant. I might even do it for a few grand and a nice dinner somewhere. Not, you know, Olive Garden good, but don't be cheap, mack daddy.
The goon identifies him as Department of Domestic Security, and then I flash to Little Shop of Horrors. I kept expecting Lex to say, "I'm sorry... DOCTOR! I'm sorry Doctor!"
DDS? Get it? You still back in the last paragraph? Sorry. This review's moving on without you.
Gabriel is probably the most annoying continuing character ever on Smallville after two episodes. I'm serious. He's more annoying than Whitney. He REALLY needs to die. More than that brother sister pair on Lost did in the first season (another Smallville character, note).
Chlo-ster. I just had an aneurism.
Lana berates Clark for keeping such a stern hand on Kara. "Aren't you being a little hard on Kara?"
Great foresight there, bich. Had Clark not followed your advice and reigned her in, she never would have gone to jail.
Then, a dance number we never see used.
Then, a plot revelation... the evil girls are using the pageant to distract from their theft of... a map... in a time capsule.
Time for two classics. Multiple choice, and, well, you'll see. But anyway.
You're a superpowered trio who have been, like, totally like BFFs since kindergarten. You hear they're gonna unearth a map that leads to like, totally like, a lot of money and stuff. Do you:
A) Enter a beauty pageant you can't leave, plot to steal the map (a map that may or may not lead to massive treasure, and then doesn't) while the beauty pageant is on, and enlist a patsy that is stronger than you are after, uh, killing one of the three BFFs? Then, of course, randomly try to kill a guy who took your picture for no apparent reason.
B) Go to the statue at three in the morning, use your rock crumpling power, get the map, and get the hell out of there.
Oh, wait. There's only two. You know what that means?
That's for making me believe beauty queens could plot deviously, then shattering my dreams!
That's for an hour I could have spent resting after the 100 square yard trench I dug last weekend and instead, fell into an anger-coma!
That's for making Supergirl even MORE of a one-note character!
That's for getting away from the mythology!
And THAT's for being so incredibly stupid, even Jesus and Mongul on my shelf fell silent in a pathetic awe of pity.
Jimmy is iced, which doesn't kill him, because apparently the powers are slow when you're totally exposed, and fast in privacy. Kara saves him, ripping off the door and leaving evidence, something Clark (rightly) later berates her for, only to be ripped apart by Chloe.
Lex and Lana talk. Lana wants Lex to do her favors again now. Cover up evidence. Give her ten million dollars. Take a-
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!
LEX LUTHOR DOES NOT LET PEOPLE WHO WALK ALL OVER HIM STEAL TEN MILLION DOLLARS! HE DOES NOT DO INSOLENT PEOPLE FAVORS! THE MINUTE SHE SAID, "Lex, I want you to-" HE'D ALREADY BE EATING TAPIOCA FROM YOUR SKULL! LEX LUTHOR DOES NOT PINE FOR PEOPLE WHO TREAT HIM LIKE CRAP. HE LIQUIDATES THEM FOR THEIR INSOLENCE! ENOUGH!
No, wait. Lex says he "applauds" her for stealing his money. Yeah.
AND (CRACK!) AGAIN (CRACK!) WITH (CRACK!) THE (CRACK!) SQUEAKY (CRACK!) SHOES!
Jimmy doesn't even have a blanket on.
Hey, look! Let's muddy continuity more with a piece of Kryptonian technology that's been around for a hundred years, a PLOT DEVICE OF NO REAL RELEVANCE BUT MUCH SEEMING IMPORT!
But wait! There's more! A swimsuit competition, where characters that are COMPLETELY irrelevant to the story are trotted out in their bikinis, given a named role, a pose, and then sent off. Ah, breasts. I wish I had breasts. Then I wouldn't have to dig ditches to get my work published. I wish you guys could see my hands right now, I do. You'd laugh SO hard. I'm laughing, too. No wait, I'm not. I'm pissed.
Lex indicates to Dr. Fed (DDS) that he's been "saved" by an angel. Now atheist Luthor is again religious, with a plot that was already done (horribly, and unconvincingly) with his father's character already.
Then, from out of the blue, we have the ONE positive thing I can say about this episode. Lex is working with the government to stop an alien invasion. That's it. Really. One sentence. Eleven words out of nearly 3,000 so far.
Clark finds the girls digging up a nostalgic looking gas station. Take a look, it's one of those cool 50s gas stations. That's important.
He says, "Uh, hey youse guys! Stop doing evil!"
They rip up the tarmac, and up pops... KRYPTONITE! Oh noes!
Now think for a second, there. What's the problem here? Oh yeah, math! 1950s gas station equals... 35 years BEFORE Kryptonite lands on Earth! Ergo, rocks under concrete is unlikely, even if it was resurfaced, unless it was resurfaced the day of one of the two meteor showers.
At any rate, Kara flies down, apparently unaffected by the same Kryptonite, and hits both girls into the distance, knocking them out. The blows could have killed anyone from the sheer force, but here it's another "Clark throw" moment made to be cool that actually makes you wonder why these people can conscionably live with themselves when they use more force in apprehension than a North Korean thought police squad.
Clark says, "Kara! These rocks! They hurt!"
This despite Clark explaining Kryptonite last episode.
Kara heat visions a rock. There was a debate about this years ago, and I forget how that debate ended. I think it was that heat vision could kill Kryptonite at full burst. It led me down a line of logic whereby I asked Eddie Berganza why Supes didn't just carry a Green Lantern ring to negate Kryptonite. His response was great, I think, like, "I guess Supes just didn't think of it!"
I dig that.
When Kara attacks, the black girl stands dumbly, waiting to get hit. Neither use their powers. Odd.
Clark and Kara talk, indicating that there's a THIRD KRYPTONIAN! I'm yawning as much here as I am in the comic, so far. We're having enough trouble accepting the second, thanks.
Kara goes back to brilliant and capable. She gets a job in one day, and speaks to the nature of "suffocating repression." She understands the term "suffocating repression," but not "vandal"?
Jimmy and Chloe and Kara have an "OOH! JIMMY'S A CHEATER" moment of absolutely zero drama for me. The only way I could possibly dig a Jimmy/Chloe/Kara tension storyline is if it ends in a threesome. And even then, just for humor value.
Lana and Clark are back together, reverting the show back to square one and destroying two seasons of potential deviations from normal into any kind of uncharted territory. Yep. They hit the reset button again.
Lex and Kara meet, much as Lex and Kara meet. Lex essentially intimates that he knows Kara's secret, and Clark's, and asks for honesty. Kara does the same dumb crap Clark did, and we see a reset button NEXT to a reset button.
Lex says he "doesn't believe in coincidences." The definition of a rational, analytical person is someone who knows that coincidences occur constantly. The alternative is determinism, which anyone who is somewhat sane or has a rudimentary knowledge of logic, generally speaking, doesn't buy.
Is she a savior... or a WARNING?
I'll tell you what, Lex. Like Lana, she's amazing when she's in a bikini, practically perfect in any way.
Personally, right now I just think she's just another *$#@ing shark.
1 of 5.
And hey, you know, try and make them more than forty minutes long, guys. Come ON.
SUPER SHORT REVIEW:
Kara, a sophisticated alien with enough wherewithal to understand oppression, nonetheless cannot put on her own makeup and is so un-self-assured that she has to vandalize things for attention. This is pretty much crap. 1 of 5.
A note to folks about last week's video: This is this week and LAST week's video. Sorry. I hit a time crunch. Out of character, it's because I'm up against the wall financially, mentally, and spiritually. That's usually the best time to write, but this week I just flat ran out of time.
So I ask you: Do you guys like these videos? Should they continue? I don't mind making them, I just want to make sure I'm not doing them just for me.
Mike D wrote:
First off, I read your story in the Smallville Mag, took forever to find someplace that carried it around me, but I did, and thought it was awesome! I'd love to take the picture the used and make a wallpaper when I have a better scanner. Second, bring on the review. I personally need to watch it again, cuz the 400 commercials made me lose my place a couple times. My biggest gripe, after Clark did the Super-Kryptonian into the troposphere punch, I thought he flew after him an got all excited, only to realize it was MM. There's probably more, but I've been in class making movies all day, so I'm out. Can't wait for the review, it's Stop 2 on the Smallville Train.
Hey, Mike! Glad you liked the story.
Folks, Mike has made an AWESOME series of graphics with Smallville themes that I have been remiss to post. I'm going to try and swing a gallery, with Steve's permission, I just haven't had a sec, so personal apologies, Mike.
At any rate, with you. The last episode, I found out, was under 40 minutes, just like this last one. Lame.
Bruce Kanin wrote:
This is from the premiere...I missed a week (Neal).
Tell you what: this show needs adult supervision, because the kids have gone wild. The adults are all but gone from "Smallville". With Pa Kent dead and Ma Kent in Washington (and out of the opening credits), Lionel is the only oldster left. And he barely made an appearance in the seventh season opener. Imagine that - seven years on TV - who'd a thunk it? Seven years...sounds like bad luck to me.
He's still missing, too...
This episode gets an F. Perhaps an F-minus And it wasn't even the worst episode of the series. It's just that, well...nothing made sense. Things were done for no rhyme or reason except perhaps because they looked good on the screen or made the story appear to flow. With this "Bizarro" episode, the show has lost any chance it had to be a legitimate Superman show. Oh, it has Superman and DC Comics elements, but they're facades.
Let me try and count the ways, in no particular order, and with some minor, some major:
There was nothing ... zero ... nada ...that was logical about this episode and where the show is going. It's really bad now. Clearly the writers know nothing about Superman. The producers, Gough and Millar, must have interests elsewhere, because whatever care and feeding they put into the show at the beginning is no longer evident. I still fondly recall "Smallville's" first season, when everything clicked and Clark was truly an innocent teen discovering his powers and learning to co-exist with humans. Plus I loved both of his foster parents being around. Now, both are gone.
I'm counting down the days to its last episode...someone should smother the series in, er, "meteor rocks"...
You, sir, have just made me... ME go "Ow!" for Al and Miles. But then, I can't exactly deny any of the charges above. I tend to give premieres and finales too much of a pass. I'm with you that this was not really much of a Bizarro. I saw it as a villain they gave Bizarro characteristics for the sake of fangasms...
In your review of "Bizarro," in response to Chloe's line about Clark flying, you wrote:
"No kidding. I mean, first, he learns he can fly from Kara. Then, he flies, three years ago, while possessed by Jor-El, and Martha sees him do it. Then his DNA flies, through Bizarro. It's getting ridiculous."
I think you're forgetting, even more obviously, that Clark flew to save Lana from the twister in the season 2 premiere.
With all those mountains we see in Smallville, if I was Clark I would just find one and keep jumping until I flew.
Heh. I don't count the premiere, because that was more willing than flying, but eh. Good darned point.
You know, the other day I was wondering how Clark passed high school. See, in at least two years (possessed by red kryptonite in season two and taken at the end of season three) I believe he missed his final exams. I'm assuming it's May when the season finales happen.
Hah! Another good point.
So Clark just skips school the last two months in consecutive years (because of the time that elapsed between the season two and season three finales to the premieres the following year). They never explain his absences from school. Clark skips a lot of class.
Also, though this isn't relevant to the current season, I've just had some random thoughts about Whitney.
1) Whitney's in grade twelve in the pilot. Lana's just starting high school. So when did they meet? Did the top jock court elementary school students before they moved to high school?
That makes him look pretty silly. I bet the other jocks would make fun of him for that.
When I was in high school, for some reason, the eighteen-year-old boys who dated 14 year-old girls were considered perfectly natural, but the older women who dated younger guys were ostracized.
It went even father, actually. Sixteen year-old and sometimes younger girls would date guys in college, and the parents didn't seem to have any problem with this. The reason being, cough, "girls mature faster than boys." Then when they ended up pregnant and mentally messed up, the parents were like, "I don't know how that could have happened! She was such a good girl!"
Personally, I think an eighteen-year-old dating a sixteen-year-old is creepy, much less a fourteen-year-old. The difference mentally between those ages is insane.
2) He's in his graduating year and Lana's starting school. This age difference isn't dramatically different than the Jason-Lana one in season four. (And two years later she's with Lex, who's older still. Maybe they should do a Lionel-Lana relationship next.)
Don't rule it out! Heh.
With all the homicidal Smallville high students they introduced, maybe they should do a Kenny Braverman story. That would at least have a comics connection.
Shhhh! You're stealing my pitch.
Anyways, I liked the Bizarro review (they seem shorter when they're positive) and I look forward to seeing the magazine if I can.
Thanks! If you have any problems, there's subscriptions, or let me know.
Jim Smith wrote:
Quick question, will we see Jimmy outside of the opening credits any time soon?
Dunno. I know what you guys do.
I did not mind the new copy boyerrrrr..editor. I think you may have been reacting to him attacking yer girl Chloe. I thought it was odd at first but think of it like this. She was given the job down there due to her potential. I believe she started down there in season five so she is going to be hitting her third year down in the basement soon. It made sence to me thinking about it. He knows about her yet she is still in the same place now as the day she started "working" at the Planet. Perhaps it was his way of trying to motivate her, to keep working forward instead of sitting back doing next to nothing. Granted, we all know she waits on Clark hand and foot but she needs to start doing for herself.
It's not so much the plotline (though it is) so much as how annoying the actor is.
"Kara's not very attractive to me. I must be crazy.."
Not crazy or alone. Oh and I will bet you that the missing ship is the door they use to bring back Brainiac.
I thought they said awhile back that Lana would not be back right away. So sick of the character...please make the bad lady go away Neal, please!!
Hehe, until next time.
Ryan Salyers (or Lex Luth-OR) wrote:
Hello, how have things been since Chicago? That being the last, and only, time I've seen you.
Utterly insane... heck, I'll catalogue:
Twenty reviews (appx), fifteen poems, two audio serials in the can, one floor ripped up, a hundred square foot trench, a quarter acre of brambles cleared, two videos, and I still don't know where the heck I am.
It is awesome to once again be reading your Smallville reviews, they are still the best part of the show.
However I am not here to simply boost your ego, I do have an issue with your review of Bizzaro. The scene with the wall of water about to show the ugly side of natural selection, mores specifically the heat vision. My point is the amount of heat and energy used in the heat vision, enough to flash boil a river in under a second, would have given the kid one heck of a sun burn. Even if the kid was shielded from the heat by Clark's body position, what about the trees? I'd think the scene would go a little more like this if Superman used his heat vision in such a way... Time returns to normal, Water goes Poof, Superman smiles, Kid smiles, half the forest bursts into flames! I suppose in the grand scheme of the show it doesn't really matters either way, I was just looking forward to you ripping that scene up and was surprised that you didn't take issue with it.
Important point. I suppose you kind of have to assume that Superman can somehow control where the heat goes. Or that it dispersed in the water... ? Why am I making excuses for the show?
On a more personal note I finished Madly, it was AWESOME! I'm reading Benjamin's Dream now, you have real talent man. When I met you in Chicago and bought your books I asked for a copy of 'Dogs' but you were out. You said you'd get a copy to me through the mail, but I haven't received anything yet. I wanted to let you know incase you had sent one and it was lost, if I need to buy the book through more offical means please let me know.
Awesome! Actually, I meant what I said, a copy is coming, I just have to get one in the mail. I ordered more for the Texas con, and they're slow coming. Can you please shoot me your mailing addy again?
I'm not sure how much of this you want to put in your Review, maybe just the points about the episode, maybe none at all (since I'm talking about an episode that is now two back). I'll check the box and leave it up to you what if any you want to include.
Thanks for the great reviews,
Ryan (Lex Luth-OR on the HomePage)
Dan Fenton wrote:
So, season seven kicks off with Neal explaining his jonesing for Smallville by comparing himself to a woman...signalling that this may just be the most interesting season yet.
That said, I loved "Bizarro" for the most part. If anything, the whole lack of suspense factor regarding Chloe and Lana kind of knocked a point off the scale for me.
The effects themselves were great and the fight sequences were first rate, at least for television. One could quibble, I suppose, about the cutting, but it was not nearly the worst I've seen. Just watch the Elvis Presley movie 'Kissin' Cousins' where he plays two roles and you can clearly see the face of his double in several instances. The guy that stood in had later acclaim as the bad guy the A Team were always chasing down...but his name escapes me...anyway, once you've seen that, it sets the bar pretty high. It would be nice if they could find a way to show two Tom Wellings fighting each other, but, especially in the world of television, budgets can't allow for absolute perfection. I thought Welling's performance was standout here...much more substancial than most of season six.
I think it was top-notch for TV, but low for the Smallville standard established in the first few seasons.
But the suspense factor...Chloe dies...then, right back after this message, she isn't dead...but she's stuck in a drawer at the morgue. Clark somehow knows to listen for her muffled screams even after he's just been told she died. Since the whole idea is to block out every other sound and concentrate, how would he know how to do this? I know Chloe is pretty much like Lazarus, this isn't the first time she's "come back from the dead"...but I found this to be far fetched. I thought the whole Chloe-is-dead-now-she-isn't scenario was wrapped up a little too quickly.
Yeah. She's died far less than Lana, though, check the KO Count.
Then there's Lana and the death certificate without a body. To issue a certificate, SOME body would have to have been brought in...so who was that french fry lying in the morgue (supposedly)??? How did they go about identifying whatever body there as Lana?? Did Lex come in unbeknownst to everyone and say, "Yes, that crispy critter is my wife?" No, because he was a little water-logged at the time. I sense a conspiracy here, I do. Gee, do you think Lana pulled this off and paid people to "make her disappear"?
It was weirdly plotted in that respect, even knowing what we know now.
Still, hope against hope for Lana haters that she is really dead...I mean she got bumped from second to third in the credits and all...then we get the graphic near the end saying "Vancouver, British Columbia"...err, I mean "China"...and we know this isn't the new home of Pete Ross, so that was all they had to show...then the slender figure on Lana in a blonde wig (great way to remain inconspicuous in Asia)...I guess they blew their budget on all of the effects for the episode and couldn't fit a better idea into the mix.
Anyway, Lana haters, instead of a few episodes off, we get her back in episode one...probably as payback for all the gleeful cackles from the "I Hate Lana Society"...rubbing their hands in anticipation of seeing dismembered Lana parts all over the road...okay, I'll be good.
Does anyone else think our Lois Lane is looking just a little haggard these days? I know the situation called for it, but Erica seems a little out of sorts here and is looking increasingly out of place. Since we know she seems destined for the Daily Planet now, when does she receive the bump on the head that causes her to permanently forget about Smallville and Clark Kent, etc? I thought they were trying to be "cute" with the scene between Bizzaro and Lois, but it seemed to me to be a feeble attempt to infect humour and to me it fell flat.
Yeah, and it's also making light of what is essentially Lois Lane putting up with a rotten guy for the eightieth time. She's smarter than that. Or should be.
Our introduction to Kara was mystical and well done without getting too much into a plot line that doesn't really begin until episode two...but a clever way to hook us in and, unfortuntately, another assumption of "redemption" for Lex Luthor. I say 'unfotunately' because this is yet naother recycled plot device just as Clark's pining for Lana is.
Pretty much, yeah.
I loved the fact that Martian Manhunter came to act as sage to Clark Kent, but, given this is now his third (correct me if I'm wrong) appearance, it would be nice to see him to something more substancial, to see him use his powers in more than a flash and he's gone thing. I hope they bring him back and give him something to do other than to moralize to Clark next time.
It's weird, he is just kind of instant ex machina.
I thought most of the performances were solid, though I thought Chloe seemed to get over too much too quick. On the other hand, she's still the cutest sidekick on television, so it's better to have her alive than dead.
On a different note, just to get off-topic, I purchased the Season Six DVD at the local Best Buy here in Canada and, included was the Smallville Visual Guide...a nice bonus. However, when I opened up the box, the episode guide was nowhere to be found. The folks at Best Buy don't seem to know anything about this (this happened a couple of years back as well, but the stores were shipped the guides separately). I'm wondering if you know anything about this and how one goes about 'completing' the set. They said they'd put a word in at the Best Buy, but I'm not holding my breath.
I got an episode guide in mine... best of luck with that. Best Buy's been good to me with stuff like that. I'd try an exchange...
Bruce Kanin wrote:
You can tell that my interest in the series is waning if the reviews are getting sloppier - not formal like before. That said, another "Smallville" watcher effectively said to me that for any True Blue (Red and Yellow) fan to have any chance of liking the show, you have to pretend that it has its own continuity. So, from now on, I'll have this attitude. In fact, as with DC's parallel universes, "Smallville" now exists on Earth-S, not Earth-Prime, -1, -2, etc., to me.
Earth-S sounds good to me. But wasn't that Shazam's? Meh.
As such, the Intro to Supergirl episode was fair (C+). It was really terrible, but given that it's Earth-S, well, they're allowed to do anything with the Superman characters as well as stupid things.
Heh. APOLOGIST! I kid.
For instance, if Kara just got out of suspended animation, how does she know how to fly (esp. when Clark, having been a superguy all these years, doesn't)? How does she know how to use any of her powers? That is, unless Zor-El equipped her ship with educational tapes, which I'll buy (not purchase, but "accept", although if they're available at Best Buy, I will in fact buy them). But then why didn't ol' Zor's tapes tell her about super-hearing? Still, it was a nice touch when Clark teaches her how to use it, and she first hears "everything".
It's a bit inconsistent, yes. I agree.
Also, didn't Jor-El bite the bullet last season or so? How come he's suddenly back? Of course, he should have perished when Krypton exploded, but this is Earth-S, so maybe he came from Krypton-S, where he survived, sort of. (Sorry if I'm making an "S" of myself).
Someone wrote that the Fortress came back in the Bow Wow episode. I don't recall that, myself.
I'm still holding out hope that Jor-El is really Zod. Remember, when Zod inhabited and inhibited Lex a year ago, Jor-El's voice seemed to go away. Didn't it? Or am I imagining that? Is that a clue to Jor-El really being Zod? Terrence Stamp, where are you? No, I mean...who are you?
He's @*#$ing coming! (Sorry. Watch The Limey.)
There was plenty of other nonsense. Lana used a clone of herself to fake her death. Clever, but so many fans wanted her to use her original body to stage her real death. I did like the scene between her and Lex. Not sure why. Just as I liked the scene between Clark and Kara where he realizes that they're cousins. What they didn't do - which I respect - is to get all huggy and teary. They'll save that for another episode.
Ding! Nostradamus. Heh.
I did like the fact that there seems to be a subliminal spark growing between Lois and Clark. "Lois and Clark" - has a ring to it. I did like the new Daily Planet editor, even though he's not yet Perry White. This guy seemed to have...spunk (sorry, Lou Grant).
I HATE SPUNK! No, kids, that's not a vulgar statement. It's a reference.
Speaking of Chloe, Lex and Lana ... they all seem lost in the show now. Their storylines seem to have reached the end of the line, which is why we'll see all sorts of contrived junk in coming episodes, just to keep them busy, like Lana getting superpowers. The main stars going forward will be Clark, Kara and Lois - betcha. And that makes sense, as they march away from the "Smallville" to "Metropolis" and beyond. I'd have included Lex with Clark, Kara and Lois, but since Michael Rosenbaum is leaving the show after this season, I didn't. And before we think that he's going to make guest appearances in the possible eighth season, guest again: he's had to shave his head all these years. He's not going to want to do that for a once-or-twice guest appearance. Moreover, a bald skull cap just won't cut it. Maybe CGI...
I think the show's continuation hinges on his signing for one more year. That's my gut. I can't imagine the show without an antagonist other than freaks.
But...getting back to Kara. So this is the new Supergirl. It's going to take time getting used to her. Perhaps an eternity. At times she looks like a spoiled, anorexic tart. Really. And where does she come off saying something to the effect of "that's what happens when someone touches 'my stuff'". Was George Carlin's "stuff" routine on Zor-El's tapes? If so, I have so much more respect for ol' Zor, and hope he survived (well, in the Silver Age, he and Allura, Kara's mom, did in fact survive the destruction of Argo City in something called...the Survival Zone).
I love Carlin's stuff bit. I think about it whenever I move or whenever I work on a house. Just generally, I very much admire Carlin.
Anyway, so Kara goes around to playgrounds picking up innocent toddlers asking if they're Kal-El. I suppose these were unsupervised toddlers? No parent came running over to yell at her? To try to have her carted away to jail? And why did Kara land near Smallville? Why not in Outer Mongolia? Boise? ("Star Trek" fans, which episode am I quoting?). Maybe ol' Zor used the same ship coordinates as ol' Jor did for young Kal's ship.
I go picking up kids all the time and asking them their names.
I go get beaten with sticks a lot, too. But I mature slower than girls.
Speaking of ship... This time ... a different ship. Kara's ship. It does strange things. It blows up. It disappears. It emits a high-pitched whine that knocks out radios and cable TV service (wish it would have knocked out "Smallville"! oops, did I say that?). At least it's consistent with Kal-El's ship - both a shipload of nonsense!
So Lionel, who I'd love to have back, is nowhere to be found, except in the credits. And Jimmy, who I don't care if I see, is in the credits, but nowhere else to be found. Martha Kent, not in the credits and not in the show, is sorely missed. Jon Kent is still missed. Heck, Pete Ross is missed. No, not really.
The kids continue to run the asylum on Earth-S.
I miss Pete. Maybe I'm crazy. I think Clark needs male friends. I think most men need male friends. Many of them are taught not to need or identify with maleness.
I agree with a lot of your points on the second episode. My comments follow in no particular order.
I hadn't thought about the "racism" bit, though so far they've only met one person they could be pretty sure was good from Krypton (Jor-El's assistant, whom Clark found in the phantom zone). Beyond that everyone has been pretty manipulative or outright evil/bad. Clark and his friends have good reason to wonder about what kind of society Kryptonians had given this. Unfortunately, rather than wonder about what sort of world Krypton was and how the people lived, we are left with a one-liner that will likely not be elaborated upon much. IMHO, the show would have benefited some by stretching this comment out into an actual conversation.
True, yeah. But here's the honest truth. Most of the black people I've met on the street have been very hostile toward me. Does it then follow that most black people are hostile? Hell no. Coincidental, anecdotal, and correlation experience (outside of reviews, cough!) are no basis for an empirical observation, only an informal one. Which is why politicians never inform you about the basics of debate. Or reviewers (cough).
Point being, don't judge a race by ten of its members. Or a thousand. Or fifty thousand. One has to judge people outside of race and by a case by case basis, or you're, well, a racist. By definition.
Lois does seem to get a big bump up in the journalism world without any good justification. There is some value in the show exploring how her friendship with Clark has impacted her journalism career. Weird stuff is her forte and love, but because she doesn't want to expose Clark to the public eye she doesn't report on anything she discovers. It isn't surprising that this has impacted her career, but it doesn't explain why Lois gets noticed -- I mean, what is Lois bringing to the table except she has no evidence for a crazy story and that she works for a tabloid? Something is definitely off there.
But... she has boobies!
Also, I would have liked to see more build-up to this even just considering Chloe's problems. I also agree that Chloe doesn't get the attention she deserves on the show; imho she's the best female character on the show, but she's constantly side-lined because she isn't part of standard Superman mythology.
Regarding Lois and Clark, is it me or do the actors seem to have no chemistry? The scenes that hint at romance between the two always seem unnatural and forced to me. (This is ironically, and tragically, in sharp contrast to the Chloe and Clark romance scenes that have occurred).
I see chemistry physically, not in any mental aspect.
On Kara's ship exploding....maybe it didn't. These Kryptonian ships can teleport, can't they? I don't remember her saying her ship was destroyed, just that the crystal wasn't inside of it. Seems to me she'd have the ship teleport away in any case, given that she probably doesn't want humans touching it with their dirty hands. Clark should have asked about it though. If the ship is destroyed, then I agree with all of your criticism regarding that.
I don't know, the effects didn't make it clear, alas.
Clark's inability to fly is getting very ridiculous. They did promise to not have Clark fly on the show, but that was before they bombarded the show with other people that can fly. Also, they have had Clark float in the first season and fly when he was controlled by Jor-El. My only guess is that Clark has some mental block about flying, but can still use the ability. Why couldn't Kara escape from Clark or pull Clark into the sky? Because Clark subconciously used his flying ability to hold himself in place. Assuming the writers are even thinking on that level (which I doubt).
I doubt heavily.
As far as Kara's mission goes, she said she failed after she found out Krypton was gone, right? That does make sense, since whatever the "save krypton" mission is, it can't succeed if Krypton has already been destroyed. One does wonder what the crazy scheme was (assuming it isn't just a throw-away line to explain why Kara is on Earth).
Lana....I really hate the character (rather sad, since old(?)-school Lana from the 90s comics and era and various TV shows I tended to like more than Lois). I want her to stay out of the show as much as possible. Sadly it looks like she'll be around next episode. I agree with all your criticisms regarding her evil behavior combined with being put on a pedestal. Anyhoo, why the heck did Lex clone her to begin with? That seems a little crazy (as does only one clone, if you are going to clone her). Anyhow, their knowledge of criminal law seems a bit lacking, considering if she killed Lex and was caught, whether or not the legal system *had thought* she was dead wouldn't matter anymore -- it isn't like she had been tried for killing Lex. "Moonlight" is the only show I've watched recently that has a worse understanding of the legal system.
In the comics, I like Lana more than Lucy, Perry, Lori, Ron, heck, she's right up there. This isn't Lana, though, it's just a pain in the ___ that they decided to call Lana.
I think Lionel's actions make sense. He didn't want Clark hurt, but he also wanted his son to live (despite their rocky relationship). He tried reaching out to his son a lot, so I can see why he'd pay for someone to be the patsy. That seems consistent to me.
Regarding the fortress -- wasn't it broken? Am I forgetting it getting fixed at sometime? Anyhoo, the first mission is to find out what Kara is there for? Jor-El (or Kryptonion science) really knows how to craft an AI; quite quick on its feet. This would make a lot more sense if things like clocks and other technologies we have were included on....their spaceships. Just how does Kara NOT know that Clark should be older? Shouldn't her ship have mentioned the hibernation? If the ship can still return her to Krypton (one gets that impression given the mission), why can't it get out of some water? They should have made her ship damaged and caused it to just arrive or something. Given these sorts of oversights regarding Kryptonian technology, it is no surprise that we find the quick-thinking AI more than a little odd.
That's assuming they think about anything the majority of us will ignore or miss because we watch shows to be dumb and not think...
Oh, and keep up the good work! Your reviews really help me deal with my gripes regarding the show. I am glad there are some people out there that really understand what Superman is about. :)
Jeremy Jackson wrote:
Official Permission to Post granted!!!
Oh, and on the subject of Smallville, I'm just watching the episode "Kara". I don't know if you saw it, maybe everybody saw it, but when Kara crushes Lois' cell phone at the beginning of the ep, the Sprint phone logo flashes in the small explosion. I did a slow mo and paused it and it's clear as day for just a second. Subliminal advertising on Smallville? That's more nefarious than Luthor's Projects 33.1 and 501 (was the Lana clone 501? Already forgot and don't care enough to go back over it) put together!
If I had a DVD recorder I'd get the still frame and send it to you, but alas, I only have a VCR...
Aha, Jeremey! You are correct, sir. We got a letter, shortly after this conversation, showing this insanity, which follows, thanks to Rob Catlin:
Some additions for the new KO category "Objects of Little Value but Much Desire!"
- the Kryptonite Octogon Key
- the Kawatche Starblade (http://smallville.wikia.com/wiki/Kawatche)
- Countess Isobel's Spell Book (http://smallville.wikia.com/wiki/Spell_book)
- the Manuscript Map (http://smallville.wikia.com/wiki/Manuscript)
- the Kryptonian dagger (http://smallville.wikia.com/wiki/Kryptonian_Dagger)
- Kryptonian Black Box
- Lex's briefcase
Parfecto! All will be going in.
Some other thoughts on the category:
First, I'd like to suggest renaming the category. In some earlier reviews, you used the phrase "PLOT DEVICE OF NO REAL RELEVANCE BUT MUCH SEEMING IMPORT" (with respect to the briefcase above). Perhaps you could go with that or something similar, like "Plot Devices of Arbitrary Power and Significance but Much Seeming Import."
I went with the original... good call!
Second, I'd also suggest renaming a couple of the existing items. The Octogon Key, the Stones of Power, the "Crystal of El" (http://smallville.wikia.com/wiki/Crystal_of_El). I just think they sound sillier that way.
Third, I'd drop Clark's ship, and maybe Kara's as well. They are legitimately relevant and valuable, and they both serve essential plot functions.
Well argued, actually. And agreed. Done!
Caleb Garcia wrote:
I'm digging the reviews dude, awesome job.
On the last review you said:
"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?"
Well it seems that great minds think alike because Entertainment Weekly said this is issue 956:
"Smallville: Faster than a network memo, blonder than a Heroes cheerleader, able to enslave fanboys in a single bounce - it's a bird, it's a plane, it's. Supergirl!"
I don't know if I'd call it mimicking but I see the similarities.
Also I was watching JLU the other day and come on Ray Palmer on Smallville would be cool. anyone want to second that notion? Come on!
I second it. Actually, I don't read Entertainment Weekly (though I love the mag, I can't afford it in time or cash) but I patterned a lot of my style off their editorials when I was younger. Great minds, perhaps. Or sick little puppies, more likely.
~ Caleb Garcia
Something that I noticed in the episode that I'm surprised you didn't comment on was after Chloe said "What is it with you people?" she said "Are you the only half-decent member of you Kryptonian race?" If she were saying that to me, I'd take half offense to the "half-decent" remark. I know she didn't mean it in a negative way, but it's kinda insulting if you ask me.
Especially given how much she has to admire about him. Good one.
Shafi S wrote:
Kara was an ok episode, but this episode is going to suck but only a little. Because of Lana. Now she is going to get back with him. IT SUCKS!!!!
I can only say: YES.
Kara looks hot but why fit her with short clothes. As a guy I really like it, but come on its a family show, I think. Shes an ok actress, but that editor guy is really getting on my nerves. Lois didn't even finish college and she gets to get a job at the planet? Come on!!!!!
I don't see the hot in Kara. She seems very plastic to me...
Also, I read JLA/Hitman, and it was great. Mr Bailey (the other one) and I agreed on the same thing. That Garth Ennis can write Superman. Thats how Superman should act. If only Smallville can catch that
Never read it. Sounds interesting...
So, how was the poem, it sucked I know even my professor didn't comment on it. Please honest opinion.
(This is something I did "off camera") Actually, you should have gotten an email about that...if you didn't, let me know.
Michael Dingess wrote:
First off, I coulda done without the Weather Girls. But at least they weren't dealt as if they were supposed to be a potential threat. Clark gets some Green K thrown at him (I believe he had already xrayed the surroundings and knew this was there, that way he could see that there was Green K that would allow him to sit back and watch his cousin in action and test her, knowing full well that she would pull a prison break, which Kent hasn't? and K.O. the Wonder Biches. That's what Batman woulda done anyway!) and bam Kara with a nice Neo-style spin kick knockes em out the box. And with Lex on the case? I think he's getting even more crazy until he snaps around Christmas, pulls a Sylar and starts PWNING everyone (I hope?). Anyways, Lana didn't really affect me that much, although having Lex bringing her back from the dead is kinda lame, and probably not much sense making (IN BIZZARO WORLD!). Well, can't wait for the review, and I think Kara works, Clark has been a let less emo since she came onboard. Of course I think his emoness went to Peter Petrelli over on Heroes (don't know if you watch it, but Peter has amnesia and doesn't want to find out about himself because he thinks he *might* be a killer!)
I haven't seen the whole of last season...it just couldn't hold me. I do like the idea of less emo Clark. My thesis is that this should just BE, with or without Kara.
Mike D. Out!
I was sitting there. participating in the weekly Smallville chat when I suddenly had a horrifying realization. I haven't read your reviews. for two weeks now! I mean, I had thoughts that I was dying to share, but had totally forgotten how I normally did it. So this week, you get it all and then I will be Faithful Girl Friday once more. No more slacking for this Junior Supergirl! :D
Cool! Yeah, I had trouble dragging myself in this year as well. Last year was such a let-down.
First of all, friggin' TiVo missed the first friggin' 10 minutes. I could have screamed bloody murder I was so friggin' pissed. But bygones.
I did notice that the Briefcase shot did make the credits. Did they think that somehow that made her bad ass?
I can shoot a suitcase! NYAH!
I thought the Kara in the water bit was too much. It was obvious from that point on that Lex had found a new "angel" to lust after and indubitably corrupt somehow. It's like he's attracted to these sainted Virgin Mary types because he's such a bad ass. I also made myself a note. Why is everyone seeing a "bright light" in this episode?!? Maybe your cynicism has rubbed off onto me. Gotta work on washing that off somehow.
Use CRELM with miracle ingredient FRAUDULIN!
Quick question. Are you sure that Lionel was saved by Clark? I thought we just saw the feet of Lionel's "savior" and I automatically assumed that they were the Martian Manhunter's. Maybe this was a part I missed?
I dinna know.
It's true about Lex's "vendetta" against the aliens. He's met 3 fluffy aliens and 3 bad ass aliens. If I met 6 people and they were evenly split like that, would I automatically assume that all other new people would be evil? And when do we get to see the darker Lex? I mean, he didn't run like I thought he would.
That sounds like the girls I meet. Ten crazy aliens who want to kill me, ten who are decent human beings.
Another quick question. Why the HELL did Bizarro Clark go to the barn?!? I mean, of all freakin' places. The BARN?!? I mean, Lex was presumably drowned to death. And he knew that at the very least he could play the "If you help me, I'll tell you Clark's secret" schtick. So why the barn over the manor. I tell you. That Bizarro dude is not very bright.
Well, Lois. yeah, Lois. I - just - can't. It's killing me slowly and agonizingly. My will to live is slowly being drawn away. The least they could have done with introducing Lois as a regular character this early was to make her more than a stacked bimbo that everyone seems to have the hots for and will jump all over her cousin's dreams to make them her own. but maybe that's just me. Maybe deep down I was wishing that somehow - someway - they would give me a character that I could connect to that they would give props to. I love Chloe. But the other chicks tend to be worthless. Drives me bonkers. ("Clinically retarded" - LOVE IT!)
Pretty much. And no real male role models beyond Clark any more.
Why would a morgue drawer have a light in it? (P.S. Lana Luthor's death cert actually did have a body. but did we only discover that in Episode 2?) When Clark asked about Chloe, I thought "At least they kept with HIPAA. well, the doctor at least." Not only that, but I thought they put the tag on with a wire. But who am I? Certainly not a mortician.
Awesome! I missed the light thing.
Why would Lex never kill Clark? And what's up with the Bizarro Clark's voice modulation?!?
I actually dug that.
It's interesting to see Chloe's grief over Lana. And I like the Clark almost broke down when Chloe hugged him, but then put on the strong face.
I loved that Chloe told Clark he had to get "on" the flying thing. ;D
True! Loved that.
I find it interesting that they feel like they have to introduce Jonzz with the red eyes nearly every time. I mean, sure. This time was pretty good and the effects were better than the first time, but still.
I've decided that everyone that's spent any time in Smallville has been implanted with bionic nanotech (can you tell I just watched the Bionic Woman) and that's why they can crush steel tubes and come out fairly unscathed.
And when Bizarro Clark absorbed the krypto-radiation, what did it turn into? It's just a thought.
Anti-Higgs and Bosons, of course.
Why would Clark suddenly understand the sun thing?!? The shiny sun healing was a little cheesy! The hit slow-mo with the "I've just been punched in the mouth" pose was a little much.
And now it's a "fairy tale marriage" with Lex & Lana. while during the engagement they were thinking gold-digger fantasy or it was just 'cause she was knocked up.
Star Wars quote. tee hee!
I'm tired of whiny "I'm not good enough" Clark. So he's shutting himself off from everyone 'cause he's sad that they'll all die.. Boo hoo.
Yep. So make them sad now, while they're still around.
What's up with Kara's Wonder Woman cuff?
And Lana's in China. Again? What? Did the China tourism board bribe the PTB?!?
But remember, I'm a racist if I intimate she fits in with a Chinese society, recall.
OK. And next is "Kara". Fabu.
Kara looked HORRIBLE in the opening sequence! Especially when they tried to have her hovering over Clark. Pathetic! And if she was in space, her hair would do that very unattractive floating thing. Seriously people! Pay attention! I know there's this whole kick about having Kara be a series regular, but why? What serious purpose could they have in it? Other than giving 12 - 16 year old boys wet dreams? (I'm thinking Kara got to get close to the ship because she was hovering. You know that all it takes is a piece of balsa wood to block the effects of kryptonite.)
And alas, all it takes is one 12-year-old to replace us as a viewer... sigh.
So, it's the middle of the day and Chloe's just hanging out at home. Fantastic. No wonder she's never going to get anywhere at the Planet. And I know I've said it before, but I'm totally going to say it again. How in the world is Lois supposed to become a "real" journalist? This Lois is only fit for tabloids and everyone knows it!
Got me on that one.
Ah. This is just like "Veronica Mars" Season 1. Innocent cancer patient claims to have committed crime of rich person because then family will get hush money and they get free health care. Nice to know the PTB are original. And why would Lex think that Lana's alive? I'm a little confused. Not only that, but why would Lex go to Chloe? He kidnapped her. Tortured her. Tried to kill her. Even if Lana had told her everything about some "plan", why would she ever tell him?
Another good point I'd forgotten.
Kara has pulled a boy up by the collar and then tells him to not be afraid. she's not going to hurt him? And then "humans can't move that fast?" She knocked him half a mile away and through a piece of metal/glass sheeting. And when he races her away from the kids that's when she realizes he's different? He stops her in mid-air and crashes her into the ground and now he can trust her?
Lois is once again begging Chloe to help her with a story. or get it submitted to the Planet. Great. I didn't think Lois would have her back, but she did surprisingly. I think that's because it gave the editor a chance to slam her. And yet, even when she's "turning down the opportunity", she pulls out the photos. Great. And I think they're trying to do the new love interest for Lois in him, which you say, but I gotta' throw up about it again. BRB.
The House of El is dysfunctional? Get outta town!
I always thought Jor-El's obsession with phallic rockets strange.
"I think you call it a." pregnant pause "nuclear explosion." Great. Again. And how does the government finally know how to open the ship when they never could get Fine's open? And he knows that with the temp rising, he has to evacuate? Oy!
I think the Kryptonians would have a word for nuclear. Here on Planet America though, remember, it's nuke-u-lar.
"Funky sound" Lois? It sounds like a freaking car alarm! Sheesh! And didn't Lois learn from the first time she touched the ship that she shouldn't or risk getting knocked unconscious? Was that just so she wouldn't see Kara and Clark together?
Why did Kara hover over the ship? There was no explosion. And then she claims it's gone. Well, Fine's ship could turn invisible. And why would she care if it's gone. Her planet's dead. She's not going anywhere.
I have no idea...bad effects, it would seem.
Wow! They found Lana super fast. Why would she be so stupid as to take her cel. Oh. Nevermind. Lex just walks into Lana's digs in China. 'Cause you know B & E isn't a crime in other countries. Why would Lana "lay bread crumbs to wait for the wolf to come knocking?" Um, mixing fairy tales there, Lana. And she was supposedly hiding to protect Clark. So that's over now? And Lex begs her to kill him because the "world would be a better place"? If he's so concerned about that, he'd cap his own ass. I think it was just to torture Lana. which endears him to me ten fold. And why would he want her back.? Oh, more torture. Huzzah!
I didn't know memories grew "hazy" with sleep. Maybe that's why I forget so much.
I didn't remember that either. Huh!
How would the government know about the crystal in Kara's ship?
Look! A wabbit!
So back to me. I didn't necessarily think these two episodes were awful-awful, but the PTB need to do a lot more like this to win back my love. I'm still watching only because I love Superman and I love chatting with the folks on the Superman Homepage about Smallville. Hopefully, one day they can fulfill the promise they seemed to be making in the beginning, but probably now. But as ever, I loved your reviews. They give me so much to kvetch over!
Hasta, cutie! (Remembered how to spell it! :D)
Take care, dear lady.
Scotty V wrote:
Hey there Neal,
As usual, I have been behind on my viewings of the Ville, as I like to call it, but now I'm caught up to the current season. I watched the season premiere a few nights ago and now I'm only behind two eps. I went back to start reading your reviews of the final 7 or so shows of last season and decided that, overall, since I can't really remember specifics of most of the episodes, that I would just comment if I had a strong feeling about something said. The first thing I came accross was in the letters section of your review of "Freak."
Jon wrote about how he disagreed with you on Clark's consistant morality fumbles. At one point he states, about how in STM, Clark and Lois had premarital sex and that he thought it happened in Lois & Clark too.
His quote: "(Correct me if I'm wrong, but Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher did the same thing in Lois & Clark.)"
I think I brought this up before when someone else was saying the same thing. The answer is, Clark and Lois on Lois and Clark DID NOT have premarital sex. They kissed quite a few times, but it was made clear on various occasions that Clark was waiting until he was married. It was said that Lois had had sex before but Clark never did. I'm not saying that's wrong or right, I just don't want L&C to be lumped into the same amoral pile as Smallville. Not because pre-marital sex is wrong, but because this entire discussion has been more based on ALL the amoral things Clark has been party to or allowed to happen and on L&C, Clark was exactly what he should have been. L&C clearly made alot of mistakes in terms of campiness, but it was more or less the Clark and Superman (as well as supporting cast) that I know and appreciate. Furthermore, that show was clear from the start that their focus would be on the Lois/Clark romance dynamic and they stuck with that till the end. So from a continuity standpoint, and in my opinion, respect to the characters standpoint, L&C did a much better job than Smallville has.
I had just forgotten either way. Point being, I think it's a subject beyond Supes, myself.
Thankfully Smallville is rarely ever silly-campy as L&C much too often was.
Jon further contends that: "So I do not find Smallville's portrayal of a young, still-growing-up-even-at-age-twenty Clark who has pre-marital sex (which, admittedly, I do not like shown as it sets a bad example to kids) and who, due to immaturity does things like purposefully put on Red K (with the result of him robbing ATMs) or can't make up his mind about Lana, and who, due to inexperience, inadvertently causes or allows the deaths of some people to be unrealistic."
You know, I don't think it's a bad example to tell kids that sex, or pre-marital sex, is okay. I think it is. I engaged in it, and I won't yell at my kid when he or she does, so long as they use a condom, and so long as I can have a kid. But the point here is that Superman shouldn't address that question, because it doesn't do ANYTHING productive to engage his character, it's just titillation.
When I look at the above statement I simply remember how badly I ffelt at the beginning of that season when Clark was ROBBING A BANK! I understood that it could be considered exciting television and it was somewhat fun to watch, but it wasn't the future Superman I was watching. I've tried to justify it since by saying he really didn't know it would get that bad and he thought he'd just act like a cool badass and that badass simply would allow him to forget all the horrors he felt he was responsible for and that may be true but still...Jon, do you really want Superman to be associated with bank robbery and then later the attempted murder of his earth father? After all, Clark didn't know Jonathan was Super-powered when he attacked him in Lionel's office. Furthermore, as that storyline played out, Jonathan died of a heart attack in the end, his weak heart caused by Jor-el's changing of his body chemistry to give him Kryptonian DNA enduced powers so Jon could forcibly bring Clark back to normal. Therefore when Jonathan eventually dies Clark is ultimately responsible. Are these the types of "mistakes" we really need to have our Clark Kent stapled with?
Jon then gets into how Clark would forgive Lionel because he's a forgiving person. His exampe of Superman's forgiveness is this: "In the comics, Lois immaturely broke off her engagement with Clark, but he gave her another chance and they got married. Batman went behind his and the JLA's backs to prepare weapons to use against them, those weapons ended up being used against them by a villain, but in the end Superman gave and continues to give Batman another chance."
Jon, do you really see these types of forgiveness as similar to what Lionel would need forgiveness for? Lois was worried about her independence and worried about how their lives would really change if they got married. Plus, she had just learned that he chose to allow the Joker to live rather then to save his fiance's life. A little hard to swallow, no? But in the end she came to her sense, realized that NOT KILLING SOMEONE was just something about her future husband she'd have to learn to live with, and they got married. Batman was building "just in case" procedures against his fellow league members because he was concerned about what might happen should Superman go haywire again. After all, Supes did beat WW and Bats to pulps while under mind-control. Bats did not USE said weapons to hurt anyone, they were simply there "in case." Unfortunately yes, the OMACS went haywire and badness ensued and Bats felt bad and as Neal says, made amends.
Lionel doesn't equal Batman for me...Lionel equals more a... Ra's Al Ghul?
Lionel killed people. Lionel tried to kill others - Clark, Chloe, Jonathan, and his own son included. I fail to see how this is similar to the forgiveness needed for Bats in the example above or especially Lois.
Anyway Neal, just finished all the letters at the end of "Freak" and now I'm to get ready for work. I'll get around to the next episode review soon.
By the way, I don't know if you recall but, way back when LOST was still new I was telling you to give it a try. You did and then you said you couldn't get into it. Now it sounds as though you've reconsidered. I think that's to the good for your sake. It really is a great show.
I watch it and love it now, actually.
Bruce Kanin wrote:
(Back to the good old format...)
I forgot to note Shelby myself. It is good to see the pooch back. I didn't know about the Jimmy Kara storyline in the Silver Age.
Personally, the whole "advisory" thing with Clark works for me if he's established as a hero, but as it stands, where he is now, it seems like a bit of a patriarchal meandering...
I have been so caught up in exams so I rushed to read both reviews and this is one lesson I fail to learn: never read Beal's reviews while eating or drinking. I nearly died with laughter.
Or write Beal's name while drinking. I kid. Heh. I sometimes sign my letters Neak because I type so fast. Thank you kindly.
I especially liked the Lana bit in your Kara review: too true, nothing Lana does is wrong. I mean, if it was wrong, that would not be Lana, right?
So thanks for the review and surely I am going to make my pals read them. We all need the laugh.
Radical Dreamer wrote:
Hope all going well with you. Anyway, I liked this weeks little beauty show of an episode. Mainly because Clark was acting like a grown up. He was more of the Superman ideal and less of the flawed Clark we've been forced to deal with. Of course, even that didn't stop a few "little" problems from bugging me.
Clark was fine by me. But the show I saw focused on four watery tomatoes.
1) Kara used her heat vision to make Kryptonite explode. But in blowing it up, wouldn't shards of Kryptonite and Kryptonite dust cover Clark and Kara?
2) What happened to the "weather girls." A backhand and a kick and then...? Are they in jail? Did they get away? Is there proof other than Jimmy's eye witness report and some research that they did anything other than stealing? Kinda a big plot thing to leave out...
3) Chloe got a front page story on what happened! Does that mean metahumans are common enough that people believe they're real etc.?
Beats me... and if so, they'd reverse it next week, knowing this show.
4) A new "Object of Little Value but Much Desire!" Another ship key, goody goody gumdrops...
Well, like I said I enjoyed it, and I hope you did too... but really! How do they miss these things?
I think they just don't care.
P.S. Shelby was back again! Hoorah for the the superdog!
Hi Neal! Good to read you again :)
I've got a comment regarding the scene where Clark stops Kara from flying away in "Kara" episode. You didn't find it plausibile that Clark could stop her, and argued that they would fly up together. If I understand correctly, you think that Clark needs to have larger density than Kara in order to stop her. That's not right.
Whether they fly togehter or not is decided only by "who's stronger". To fly and take Clark with her, Kara's "flying strength" (the force pushing her up) has to be greater than their combined weights plus his "holding strength" (making up the forces pulling her down).
Unfortunately, there's no way to gauge who'd win the match in "real" circumstances, althought the scene does suggest that Clark is overall stronger than Kara: even if there were two identical copies of Clark, it would be a question of whether his arm muscles are stronger than his "flying muscles"...
All in all, densities aren't really important in this kind of setup.
Very true. And when I thought about it more, I realized that given that Clark and Kara can both lift about the same amount when flying or ground-bound, it'd probably be even.
Awaiting your next review,
Catch you all next week!
FierceReviewed by: Douglas Trumble
So after the preview last week I was convinced I was about to watch an hour's worth of angst filled, "boo hoo we can't really be together", sappy love between Clark and Lana. Add in some mystery about if Lana was real or not, and hopefully they would show a bit of Kara and Clark. I was so glad to be wrong.
There seems to be a change in how they market this show. It was not simply the fact that the preview was WAY off the mark. No, that is pretty common. The change is the fact that this episode could have been marketed as an hour of half naked women with super powers. Now being the red blooded geek male that I am I'm all for that. So I have to wonder why they chose to focus on the Lana and Clark part of this for the preview when it was actually a really small part of the episode. It is not like they have ever shied away from the skintastic in their ads.
Jokes about the skin aside do they really think that Clark and Lana's doomed relationship is that important to the viewers of the show? Maybe they just saved the skin adds for later in the week. I do not watch anything else on The CW so I would not know.
Speaking of Lana and Clark I have to say... While I do think it is time to move on, I also know it needs to be addressed to move on properly so I guess I expected it to happen sooner or later. So despite my rant at the end of last week's review I approached it with an open mind. I actually do think they did a good job here brining it back into the mix for once.
It was natural, not forced which is exactly how it needed to be done to work. Plus there was actually a bit of hope but more importantly there was a sense of calm comfort in the scenes. That really made them work. Tom Welling and Kristin Kreuk both did a great job acting in their scenes together, bringing forth the emotions that were natural for the moments. Weather it was Clark's absolute shock of seeing Lana alive or the comfort of two people finally being able to sit down and talk about their not so normal lives normally. I actually liked that. Plus it did not dominate the episode which is extremely important. The time spent on that subject seemed just about right.
Now let's talk about the parts of this episode that really worked.
Clark and Kara. Oh my. Every scene with them was an absolute joy to watch. Clark being the older brother is fantastic. Tom Welling does such a great job here. I can not say enough how well he is making those scenes work. Laura Vandervoort is just an absolute joy to watch as Kara. She's sweet, somewhat innocent, with just a bit of frustrated mischief hiding beneath the surface.
I have to say Clark trying to show Kara how to use her heat vision in the barn is now one of my favorites scenes of the entire series. I was on the floor laughing when he burned the smiley face into the melon and was laughing even harder when Kara blew it up. Also Clark's reaction to Kara in the swim suit was priceless. Even Lana shared in the amusement of that scene and I loved her reaction to Kara super speeding. "I guess I know which side of the family she's from." That was a great example of the natural feeling I was speaking of earlier. It was just no big deal and I liked it like that.
I love where they are going with Kara and Clark's relationship. Clark is the over protective brother figure and while, yes he goes too far, he does so only because he cares. This is a side of Clark Kent that I love to watch and a side of Clark that Tom Welling really nails. I am so glad to see them bring it into the forefront of this show. So far it is making a great show even better.
It was also nice to see Jimmy back in the show and I think they worked him into the episode in a good way. I loved seeing him in the mix of things, snapping pictures, and getting into trouble so someone with an S had to save his back side.
Though with that said, it will be interesting to see how the whole Kara, Chloe, Jimmy thing plays out. I worry they are really stepping on Chloe too much. Just after we finally see her take a winning round on the reporter challenge against Lois, we see her get knocked down a few pegs on the boyfriend front. She's being set up to lose one man to her cousin and another to Clark's cousin. Things are not looking good for our intrepid reporter. In fact one might wonder if they are not setting her up to snap and become a villain? No really I am actually starting to worry about that. I fear that the only logical outcome is that she will snap and fall to the dark side. I do not know but it is a concern. I will wait and see where things go with the character but call me slightly concerned at this time. Hopefully she'll be promoted out of the bull pen and Jimmy will ignore Kara for her.
Kara's adventure with the beauty pageant was pretty interesting. I actually enjoyed it despite being an obvious plot device solely designed to get Laura into a bikini. Hey, who am I to complain about that? Still ignoring the skin factor it was an interesting story and I liked how Kara's part played out. Sure ripping the map out of the box like that was a bit heavy handed but she's still learning subtly. She did the right thing playing along to find out the evil girl's plot and she knew when she saw the Kryptonian amulet that she had to get that map first. She should have just found a less destructive way of getting it. It did lead to an amusing scene with her and Clark bending the prison bars back and forth while they argued. I loved the final fight with the weather girls. Clark was put out by a lucky shot from the wind girl and the kryptonite filled tornado but Kara came in and saved the day with some pretty sweet moves. Flying flip kicks are never a bad thing in my book. I would have liked to see a bit more of a fight but then those girls were a bit out of their league. Wind and ice are not something that would really slow Superman or Supergirl down much unless they get lucky like they did with Clark. Kara took them out fast which really makes sense in this situation.
The effects were pretty good too. Not quite big screen level but still good enough to tell the story.
Now I wonder where they are going with Lex? He now knows that his savior was not some angel from heaven but just another Kent freak from Smallville (so far he thinks that anyway). Is he still reborn? Was he ever? Is knowing it was just another Kent who saved him going to make him even more mad? I loved the scene with him and Kara in the ally. He laid down the gauntlet and reminded everyone of what could have been if Clark just opened up to him years ago. Lex might not have ended up the villain. But that is in the past and this Lex is a villain. A dangerous one. He's even more dangerous knowing about Kara and Clark's abilities. There is no doubt he knows and has known for some time at least about that but I wonder if he is not catching on to their outer space origins as well. I also loved how even when he was begging for Lana to forgive him he could not help to slip in a little threat about telling Clark she stole ten million dollars from him. Even when Lex is being nice he's just evil.
I truly believe this Lex is the most dangerous Lex we've seen in a Superman story. One that knows Superman's secrets is a much scarier Lex than any that have come before and this Lex KNOWS. Like he told Kara, the secret is safe with him. He will keep it close even if they did not trust him with it but it will be used more as a fuel to drive his anger and need for revenge than anything else. This could be good.
Lastly I am extremely amused that Kara's cover story is going down as Clark's cousin who is a farm girl from Minnesota. Speaking as a native Minnesotan who married a blonde farm girl from Minnesota I can say that is certainly a good way to go.
So all and all I liked this episode. A lot actually. I am concerned about the Chloe story and there are some questions that need answering about Lex's "reborn" status but nothing that shouldn't be covered in the next couple of episodes.
So I give this one a solid A. Call it 4.5 out of 5. It was a fun entertaining episode with some great moments fans of the series will not want to miss.
Next week I just have two words for you. Dean Cain!!!! Do I really need to say more? That's enough to get me to tune it. Heck I've even watched a bunch of cheesy B movies because they had his name on top. I've seen him crossing a nuclear winter wasteland, become a half dead zombie hunter who has to keep eating raw meat to keep from eating people's brains, or even kicking butt in an underwater lab. I even seem to remember one where he took on a dragon in an underground lab that was actually pretty good, though I think it was the exact same set from the underwater lab... but hey... whatever works.
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