Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 7 - Episode 5: "Action"



Reviewed by: Neal Bailey


  • A movie blows into Smallville, and the actress is endangered by a nerd.
  • The nerd, obsessed with making the movie "right," tries to kill the starlet.
  • He finds out Clark's secret, and turns his wrath on Clark.
  • Clark owns him.
  • Lionel was held prisoner by Kathy Bates, but he got better.


    You know that old commercial where they used to say "You've reached the end of the internet!" for broadband? It was stupid, yeah, but for reference's sake.

    Here, we've reached the end of the ripoffs. I mean, seriously. Misery? MISERY? How do you get MISERY from Smallville? There has to be SOMETHING original you can do to twist it. Other than Lionel NOT being an author. You have the gross-out scene, the crazy lady who seems like she's helping at first, and the friend determined to find Paul Sheldon (er, Lionel).

    At any rate, beyond that, this episode tried very hard to play at the whole "Clark's gonna be Superman someday!" angle. Problem being, that's been done a ton of times already in much more novel ways on this show, and we're all sitting here wondering when the heck he might actually become Superman at all if he's still moping around the farm at drinking age.

    Ironically, the actress playing the actress was a very poor actress, as was the freak designed to patently make people like you and I look like a psychopath, dragging the episode further down.

    The show had many telling quotes, but none better than one uttered by Ben, about people who want to change the mythos of a major hero character, per what Smallville has done: "You can't mess with someone's idol! That's why nobody believes in heroes anymore!"

    That's more ironic than an actress that can't act on Smallville. But what's pretty sad about that is that they put these words into the mouth of a guy who's essentially a proxy of people like me. People who expect or demand loyalty to the subject matter when they watch a show based on something they love.

    Granted, I'm not trying to kill someone, but it's still an obvious cut at people who criticize, and not in that funny, ironic Kevin Smith way for the doofuses that call people clownshoes, but rather instead in that way that says if you're a comic nerd and you're mad that Superman doesn't have a cape, you must be a psychopath.

    And there are some psychopaths on message boards, I'll admit, but the overmetaphor still played very heavy for me.


    The premise, that Clark has allowed a film to be shot on the Kent farm, and that a major film production would suddenly choose Smallville, Kansas to shoot in, is strange and chaotic from the start. Hey, I'm a guy with a secret identity. Let's invite a movie production to my house while my mom's a senator. Dumb as Clark award.

    Again, we have the "strut" scene, where a hot chick shows up, all eyes turn to stare, and it turns out to be a vapid, brainless, plastic looking shell of a woman, only this time with Paris Hilton glasses and unable to act out of a paper bag. Grand.

    But she has breasts, I'll give her that.

    But it adds nothing to the story, so give me THAT. Please.

    Clark jumps to superspeed in front of a whole movie crew to save her, quite plainly, which leads to good effects but still drags one out of the scene. Cut to a way to make the Paris Hilton character totally likeable from the start, when she says, apathetic to the fact that she was about to die, and cold as a cucumber in the face of a man she should be groveling before for saving her life: "So you just TOTALLY saved my life!"

    Did I say likeable? I meant made me want to bludgeon her with a shovel.

    But the best part is that she follows this with, "You're amazing!"

    CLARK'S AMAZING! HOLY HELL! Finally, after seven years, Clark is amazing too! Lana was amazing three years ago, but now Clark has finally gone to amazing! It's ...

    Amazing would be downloading an awesome personality into Lana, just like Alicia Silverstone. Get on that motorcycle, baby! Wootah. The 90s were rad. Hell with you. I can't wait for my virtual reality motorcycle, plane, and girlfriend. And jetpack. And flying car.

    Remember, Clark, the light at the end of the tunnel might be... the space between your ears.

    There were some major issues with Clark's "farm chores." The first one being when he pushed a fencepost into the ground and it... didn't go into the ground. Watch it. He just leaves it on the surface, when the post needs to be about 16-24 inches down, something even a city boy like me knows.

    Lana lie: "I was at Nell's last night." She was spying on Lex.

    Clark goes to the Talon, where they're filming. The production assistant, later to be a villain, is dismissive of Clark despite the fact that he's let them use his farm. Makes sense later, but is immediately odd in the scene.

    Clark talks to the actress, who clears out a whole room to talk to Clark (boy, she's even MORE likable now!). Clark gets off a few good lines about how a hero probably has good reasons to be running off all the time.

    Chloe's wearing a nice dress. It's oddly cut, and I dug it. I rarely, as a guy, EVER notice dresses or clothes beyond cleavage or skin (which, one would argue, is a lack of clothes), and I thought that dress neat.

    Chloe comes in to let them in on a secret. SOMEONE'S TRYING TO KILL THE STARLETT! You mean, the brakes didn't fail normally? Sigh.

    Lois and the editor banter, if you can call it that. The acting is a little less wooden but still horrible on the part of the editor, and the scene is atrocious. All of a sudden, the guy who hired Lois on a whim because she had scant, circumstantial evidence about an alien now wants hard proof beyond documentation that Lois has brought him in order to go after Lex Luthor. Yeah, that makes sense.

    Cut to Kathy Bates, torturing Lionel. The whole thing is kind of incoherent. So, what, Lana paid this woman to be at a place with a dam she didn't know would break to kidnap Lionel, and then was there magically to save things when Lionel tried to escape, and yet she has a room full of Marijuana, and... WHAT?

    Yeah. She has a big room full of pot. And why? What does it do for the story? Well, why not, huh? It just makes her EVIL. Because all people who smoke pot are insta-evil. Leonardo told me when I was 9.

    She's a turkey. When that kid told off the other kid, I went, "OH, SNAP! He pwned that guy!" Oh, sure, Joey went on to be so frustrated with his middle class drudgery of an existence that he bought an SUV, filled his house with crap, and didn't pay attention to his kids because he had no sense of fun or purpose, but that has NOTHING to do with his sense of purpose as a kid or his repressed desire to do anything of any note whatever beyond what people told him to. But that's growing up! He's no chicken. Or an egg in a pan. Or relevant.

    Clark acts out a scene with the girl with big boobs, she puts the moves on him arbitrarily, and UH OH! LANA! LANA SEES! Arbitrary drama, when Lana gets mad for something that's benign, then...



    Lana doesn't get mad?

    She says she understands and that she knows Clark wasn't sneaking around?

    That's just crazy.

    Mmm. Liv Tyler. I used to date a gal who looked just like Liv. Incidentally, she was totally bat@%#$ insane. That's best. My god, back when we all dreamed of jetpacks...

    Lex Luthor has the best comic book longbox ever. I'm not kidding. That is an awesome setup. It's hidden away enough so that any babes he brings by won't see them, but it's displayed so well that when comic book guy comes over, he can go, "BAM!" and make him wet his pants. Lex is a comic book pimp. I like him even more.

    Apparently, Lex can't out-history Chloe for Kara. Chloe, a low-level hacker, can create a more plausible, unassailable history than Lex can undo? Not buying it.

    I like the whole, "Destined to save mankind, destined to be alone" line regarding comic book heroes. That went over well with me.

    Clark is seen catching a bullet by the crew goon, who we now see is the baddie. Unfortunately, Clark can't hear a guy two feet behind him despite his super-hearing. Yeah, I buy that. Right.

    Lois breaks into Lex's office, and he's right there. How he knows she's there, meh. Nobody knows. It's just DRAMATIC. She has a badge that says Sadie Blodgett. That sounds familiar to me. A Google search reveals it's a known alias of Lois, but I can't for the life of me remember where.

    Lois says that Lex is supposed to be away at... a GREEN CROSS BENEFIT?




    Folks, the Green Cross is an organization to get pot to sick people who need it and who have a legal prescription (subject to legal maneuvering and interpretation) to have marijuana as a curative. I used to drive someone, as a caregiver, to the Green Cross of Seattle. He kept forgetting where it was.

    Ah, nuts. I just looked it up online, and apparently there's a Green Cross organization for environmental outreach as well. That would have been such a delicious irony, I would have eaten my own fingers.

    Cut to Lionel and his excessively gruesome removal of the trap from his wrist. I don't cringe, but this was a bit much. Almost Hostel much. We get the point, it hurts, you're not impressing us with your ripoff.

    He has to talk before he hits the woman, too. Great. It played poorly, which is exceedingly rare for anything Glover has done on this show.

    Beyond that, a trap on a hand that long (day to night) would most likely end the hand in question. It plays as too sharp of a dilemma for too little a payoff.

    Clark walks up to his house in a deluge of photographs. So now his mom's a senator, he's dated Lana Lang and been splashed across tabloids, and now he's in tabloids again as the suspected boyfriend of a famous actress.

    Thumbs up!

    Clark goes inside, and the hot actress is nude, getting a massage. What does it add to the scene, and how is it relevant?

    It's a nude hot chick getting a massage. Sigh.

    Lana shovels Lionel from nowhere, Deus Ex Machina, el crappo, obviously. Clark calls, and she explains she's watching TV with Nell. Lie.

    Clark goes to Chloe, who knows a guy who... tracks comic book sales? Huh? WAY too pat. Nobody does crap like that beyond comics like Action Comics #1. Hard to buy.

    Ben, the crummy actor playing the psycho, takes up the Zoom motivation, realizing that Clark needs tragedy. He accomplishes this by giving him clues for no apparent reason and then taking his time with an overly elaborate death for Lana and actress lady.

    For the second time in two episodes, Lex, acting on a tip, goes somewhere without backup and bearing only a gun to take care of someone. He finds his father and gets caught. That's a genius if I ever saw one.

    Lionel breaks free regardless, though why the lady didn't give him the old bear trap to begin with again is beyond me. Even farther, why does she let him regain consciousness if he's been held for four weeks without being conscious, and why doesn't she again sedate him? Or, as he later indicates, if he's been DECLARED DEAD (which takes, typically, what, seven years?), it's likely been longer. Convoluted crap.

    Lionel brutally murders the lady after she's down. This contradicts his current status as a good guy and a mentor to Clark, but hey. What's consistency?

    Lana and the girl are chatting when Ben comes to take them out. Lana, despite watching dumbly as the girl is taken out, doesn't prepare her miraculous Lana Fu. She attempts to defend herself per a kung fu master... by hitting the guy with a purse and running like an idiot. He tackles her, and she ceases to defend herself while he works his way up her with a taser.

    He tasers her, and she crumples, serene, sedated.


    Example, from one of my favorite Cops episodes ever:

    I'm not drunk! I'm not... GHAGYAGAAAAAHAHGHGGHGHAAAA!

    Seriously. Get hit with a taser sometime. This is almost worse than when Lois "drowned" into unconsciousness last season.

    Ben and Lana yell at each other as he's about to throw her off the building. He's saying she needs to die to strengthen Clark, she's saying she wants to live. There's one telling, unintentionally hilarious piece of dialogue:

    Ben: "...thousands of lives are at stake!"

    Lana: "And mine doesn't matter?"

    Kirk: "Crap! Someone needs to shut down the warp core?"

    Spock: "Huh? Sorry dude, I'm busy watching Aerosmith. Dude! Steve's a mime!"

    Another potential symbolic irony that I don't know was intentional... the guy representing US, the most frantic and fanatic of the Smallville fanbase, thinks that it would help Clark to throw Lana off a building and kill her.

    Yes. Yes, that's it exactly. But here we're equivocated with murderers because we mean a fictional character. Meh. Omelets and eggs.

    Lana falls, and we have one of the better effects of the series so far, actually. Clark catching Lana, falling to the ground. I'll even forgive the instant death of stopping on a dime, assuming Clark can somehow absorb the energy. Awesome catch, awesome moment.

    A scene with Lois and Gabriel indicates they're going to have a romance. Grand. Lois sleeping her way to the top. Way to go, feminists of America! You have your role model. Er, wait.

    We get a loft scene with Lionel and Lana. Lana sees him, Lionel reveals he knows she's behind the kidnapping.

    The question then becomes, "Why is Lana still alive?"

    And that's what the question remains.

    Well, instead of the logical answer to that, which is that Lionel will now have her killed, he gives her the Lex speech about being on a dangerous precipice. "Lana, dear, you're dangling off the edge of a big cliff with a precipice that falls into a dag nasty evil cave of darkness filled with Satans and Streisands and bears, where farting perfume will no longer be easy, no matter how amazing you may be!"

    It's like some guy punching me in the face repeatedly, and I'm a guy with a gun, and then I turn and say, "Hey, buddy. Watch out, you might be about to do something mean."


    In other words, Lionel's a day late, a buck short, out of character and annoying.

    She also compulsively lies several times to Lionel, upping the count quite a bit. First, Lionel accuses her. She says, "I would never be involved in something like that." Lie. When Lionel catches her up, she warns him, "I hope you don't plan on spreading these LIES to Clark!" She calls them lies, which is, ironically, a lie. And she also keeps what she's done a SECRET from Clark.

    That's five this episode.

    She also elaborates on the central flaw of the whole Lionel subplot in another piece of revealing dialogue: "Finding your body and paying your captor seems rather complicated from a hotel in Shanghai!"

    Well NO $#@!. It's why we don't buy it, numbskulls.

    Finally, we cut to Ben, who's trapped in a cell at Belle Reve. Lex visits him, and in an almost touching way, gives him comic books. I'm literally sad for this kid out of the blue at this point. Lex sees another guy trying to do what he thinks is right, that happens to be misguided, and so he relates to people's misperceptions.

    The kid has apparently ranted and raved about seeing a guy catch a bullet. I'm assuming he doesn't say, "Some guy! Some guy caught a bullet!" Yeah, I think it's fair to say he'd scream "CLARK KENT CAUGHT A BULLET." Lex now knows this.

    So, you've woven your story into an implausible position by having Lex find out Clark has a secret. You've drawn attention to something you typically ignore, that Clark is constantly flaunting his powers in front of people. What do you do?

    Well, the character that wants Clark to suffer suddenly doesn't want him to suffer and doesn't tell Lex anything. Yeah, that makes TOTAL sense, doesn't it?

    Clark fixes a vehicle again, despite the fact that Lana has ten million dollars. He had to fix a fence on his own, also. What's funny about this scene, however, is that if you look, Clark has an ordinary wrench when he bends down, but the tool makes the crinking sound of a ratchet wrench. There's even a ratchet wrench on the top of the vehicle, to add insult to injury.

    Hot chick comes by to say goodbye. She gives Clark a cape, sneaking up on a guy with superhearing (for the second time this episode).

    Lana now goes to Clark and informs him of his larger destiny, something that she's never mentioned before, and something that has typically been Chloe's department. Here, it's EXTRA wrong, because it's a show about people who go homicidal because things aren't depicted as they are in the comics, and yet here we have Lana Lang, the quintessential ONLY PERSON IN COMICS EVER who begrudges Superman becoming Superman (because she loses him for it) taking it on the chin with a spoonful of sugar.


    "I don't want to be the one holding you here!" she exclaims. Despite the fact that she is the only thing holding him there.

    They do a crap ending, with Clark walking away from the cape, a la Spidey, which doesn't fit. Because THIS IS SUPERMAN. Beyond that, it's showing Clark walking away from his destiny for Lana, AGAIN the complete opposite of what happens in the comics. This AFTER Lana gives him blessing to go be Supes.

    As one poster on the chatroom said, "Uh, it's been five episodes. Why isn't he training, if Kara's gone?"

    But beyond that, I'm struck with remarkable sadness at one thought: Yeah, so now Clark has a cape. But Martha's gone. Who's gonna sew the S on?

    If you're gonna play at getting back to the mythology, you're gonna have to do it, or you won't fool me.

    1 of 5.


    You like, totally should have saved me watching this. Gabriel's now into evidence. Kathy Bates visits. Lionel's now a murderer again. Lana's... surprisingly nice, and then a kidnapper. Movie stars are hot and should be naked. Tasing puts you quietly to sleep. Aerosmith fricking rules. This episode did not. 1 of 5.



    Mike D. wrote:
    Okay, I think Martian Manhunter is a bad guy. He has MURDERED and he jailed both Bizarro and Vandal Savage... I mean "CK- Nice Touch!" and they both have been said are returning. Kara so far has done nothing to presume she is evil, unless they go the route of the terrible comics of the past two years. When Lana said it was a "Clark thing" about lies, two seconds before that I said it was a "Lana thing" I kid you not. Chloe wins the dumb as Clark award for being dumb. And the Lex Luthor I know would be looking back at Lana in her secret spy room. Now I know she is an evil clone because this Lana is too nice and not smart enough to watch 7 computer monitors not airing Vapid tv shows.

    End Rant!
    Mike D.

    She's amazing, I'll give you that. I think Bizarro will be seen again, Savage won't. That's my guess, based on the frequency of return guest stars.

    Xalax wrote:
    Mr. Bailey, been a while since i've written you. I've got some new input on smallville's new season. I agree with you that Kara isn't that attractive, she honestly looks a bit old to me. Seems like they just took an older woman and tried to spruce her up with makeup(maybe it's maybelline).LOL. Speaking of that, that's something that really ticks me off for their storyline. Kara has been in stasis. She tells Clark that she used to watch over him. If she's been in stasis then she is the same age now that she was when she left krypton. So Kara, who is suppose to meet Superman when she's about 16 and he's 30, is in fact on this show about 18 years OLDER than superman?! Hmmmmm......

    I think she's just got deep sunken eyes, which I can sympathize with, because I have those myself, but the whole plastic body gives her a bit of a freakish quality with it. It's not that she isn't pretty, she just looks, I dunno, not like an innocent Kara type to me.

    As for the age thing, heck, Jimmy's older than Clark. It's all odd.

    I didn't really care for the fierce episode. I figure they're gonna make Lana a bad guy eventually and pass that as the reason her and Clark don't stay together. And I agree with you about the Gabriel/Chloe/Lois thing. I am going to be so ticked this is their way of telling why Lois is in the future of the Daily Planet and Chloe isn't. And doesn't Gabriel, the editor of the Planet, spend an awful lot of time in the basement? Did you notice in that episode that heat vision was used to explode some kryponite? I thought that was the recipe for black kryptonite?Hmmmm....inconsistancies.

    I don't think they'll make Lana evil. I think they will actually make it out like she's justified because Lex faked a pregnancy. Good point on the black K.

    I seen the episode with Dean Cain where i'm gonna guess that he's suppose to be Vandal Savage. Something I noticed that is kind of annoying is that for the villians Clark can't destroy, he slaps then over to his newly obtained lackey, the Martian Manhunter. He problaby feeds him an oreo every time he disposes of a villian. If they keep taking out Superman mythology baddies right now then who is he suppose the fight in the future? To me, i'm not really liking the new season so far. There's been no real storyline and it seems like the episode are full of time fillers. If this is indeed that last season of Smallville then why aren't they booking it to show how he's going to be Superman. Instead it seams like they're going backwards with Lex going soft instead of more evil. With Kara saving Lex like Clark did and Chloe having powers but breaking up with her boyfriend instead of telling hime about herself, like Clark did. Quite a repetitive formula...

    I had a lot of hope with the first few episodes, and now it's kind of fallen back to crap. I have high hopes with more mythology episodes coming up.

    Thanks for your time Mr. Bailey


    Thanks for your letter, Xal! :)

    Mark wrote:
    I just read your review for "fierce" (a little late, I know). When I first saw the episode, I thought about writing in just to say that after seeing the first two minutes, was there any possibility that the episode would be good? I kid you not, there came a point shortly after the show started, when I thought "this has gone past the point of no return", and I looked over at the clock, and saw it switch from 8:01 to 8:02.

    Me too.

    But anyway, on to the next episode. It's probably to late to make it into that review, also, but oh well.

    Yeah, but no worries.

    There was a point where Clark shoves Dean Cain's character into an electical box and assumes that he kills him. In the next scene, he says to Lex something along the lines of, "It makes me sick to think I killed for you." But he says it in a way where it's not that he KILLED that makes him sick, it's that he did it for Lex. It's like he says "Man, you know, Lex, you're such a bastard that I almost regret the fact that I took a life because it ended up helping you. It's too bad murdering that guy had to result in saving your life."

    Yep. That irked me quite a bit.

    And was it even remotely necessary to kill that guy? I mean, sure he was immortal, which was really lucky for Clark, but Clark had no idea that he'd be ok. So why use that much force? He could have easily stopped that guy without harming him.

    Because he's out of character.

    And what was with the ending, where Clark asks the Martian Manhunter, "You didn't kill him, right?" And The Martian Manhunter responds, "You can't kill him, Clark, he's immortal." And then, Clark just sort of nodds, as if to say, "Oh, duh, right. Silly me, I forgot that you can't kill immortals." I mean, did this suddenly become the highlander? Why is nobody shocked that there's an immortal HUMAN walking around there who obviously had his powers long before kryptonite came to earth. Do we actually know that he's really immortal, or might there be some way to kill him? What would happen if you took his head? Would he die, and then have lightening shoot out all over the place, while Duncan MacLeaud (sp?) screams in agony, or would he just pick it up and put it back on?

    There can be only one... bad plot I can figure out in one day.

    Anyway, that's about all. I can't think of anything to conclude with, so I'll just click send.

    No worries. Thanks!

    thebrakeman wrote:
    Knox's motivation was taken from several clues in the episode:
    1. Lex asked why Knox was checking meteor-rock concentration levels in the patients' organs.
    2. Knox said to Chloe that she had a high concentration in her heart.
    3. Knox was tired of everyone he ever loved dying while he lived on.
    4. Knox's love-interest was not sick; he had placed her in a coma.

    They never put it all together for you in one sentence, but his motivation wasn't to cure here of any problem other than her mortality. He was creating another immortal. Somehow, his theory is that by transplanting organs with high concentrations of Kryptonite into one body, that body would live forever, (or at least much longer).

    Weird, and not entirely explicitly put, but I'll buy it. Still, we shouldn't have to guess that, as the audience.

    This is why Chloe was taken aback when he told about her heart. I think she figured out that's why she has her power. The high concentration aparantly makes her more robust against death, but maybe only in "matters of the heart". Speculation. Blending the physical and the emotional "hearts".

    ...and he needed to work thru Lex, because:
    1. Lots of research already done.
    2. Lex wouldn't be looking for them anymore (supposedly) if he really was wanting to let them get back to life (void of any memory of Lex's studies).

    This was all explained when Lex and Knox were arguing in the beginning.

    Eh, kinda. I still don't know that it was explicitly clear. And even if it was, we don't know the origin of the girl, why he likes her, why he believes what he does, etc. I don't think the motivation was there.

    Serethiel wrote:
    Hey Neal!

    Let's's been about three weeks since my last letter, so you just had to know I was going to send another one soon, right?

    No, but I'm glad. :)

    You know, I was fully prepared to hate "Cure." I really was. HOwever, I just couldn't do it...kinda like "Crimson" a few months back. There's no logic to either one of these episodes, and yet I can't help enjoying them, despite the numerous flaws. Maybe Smallville is making me a mindless "Drone"...pardon the pun, I'm a tad sleep deprived.

    Nah, I'm glad you liked it. I hope folks do like it.

    One concept I did like about Cure was that it tied into Kara's statement in Fierce about how Clark can't stay on the farm and grow old with Lana. In a nutshell, she was hinting at the fact the Clark is immortal, something they've hintined at in the past, but never fully explained.

    Yeah, now it appears for sure in this continuity.

    Where I'm headed with this is that they took a character (Dean Cain)and showed a possible result of a conflict Clark is facing. Granted, if Clark becomes the next Jack the Ripper and starts cutting up bodies to provide organs for his dearly beloved (and just plain AMAZING) Lana Lang...I will officially quit Smallville.

    Does Dean count?

    Moving on to Jimmy and Chloe...
    I watched this episode with my sister and she was a screaming advocate of how "Jimmy shouldn't have done this" and how "Jimmy should have seen how much this was hurting Chloe and stayed with her" and "Jimmy should have blah blah blah." Put it this way...I love my sister, but the commentary about how much of punk Jimmy was, was very annoying.

    And very typical of the "men are always wrong even when heroes outside of Spike TV" mentality all-pervasive in TV.

    I know my sister's reaction was probably the one the writers and producers were aiming for, but I couldn't fall for it. I saw no plausible reason at all for the way Chloe was doing him. If Chloe had been Clark, and Jimmy had been Lana, I might have bit for it, because Lana had no reasons at all to be a putz to Clark, especially when she was doing the same things.

    True dat.

    Jimmy, however, has always been upfront with Chloe about everything. He's gone out of his way to be supportive and do frikkin EVERYTHING for her...His vendetta against meteor freaks was even INSPIRED by her. After all that, Chloe couldn't tell him the truth and I loathe the direction her character is being taken in.


    I appear to be running out of opinions, and I have a college project due tomorrow...So I'll be saying adios, me amigo.


    Thanks, bud. Hope the project went well.

    thebrakeman wrote:
    [quote]"If Clark is around K, he drops to the ground and begins to die. If he's not around K, an axe is like tissue paper. One or the other, no middle ground for the sake of action. Enough of this."

    No middle ground? So you say it's all or nothing? So how close is too close?
    9.99 feet and he's dying, but 10.00 feet and he's full strength? Or is it 49.99 feet versus 50.00 feet? Please tell us the magic distance.
    "No middle ground" makes no sense unless you have reason to believe that the radiation radiates out to a certain point, then just ends. That's not how radiation works! The concentration decays with distance, but it's not like the 1's and 0's in a computer.

    With me, it's much simpler than that. It's not a radiation thing. It's the fact that Kryptonite is a magical rock that kills Superman dead. If he's within its proximity, he drops to the ground and begins dying. If he's away from it, his powers return, albeit slowly, and he can once again kick butt.

    If you make it a radiation thing, my belief is that if Superman is in the same room with Kryptonite, it will drop him. If he's more than a room away, he's fine.

    This isn't like the aura. This is his weakness, and it's been cheapened to the point where Superman is invulnerable, well and truly.

    Ryan (Lex Luth-OR) wrote:
    Neal, what's up man?

    Working my butt off on a house. It's almost done, thankfully.

    Thanks for the awesome review for Cure. I have found a way to make Smallville much more enjoyable. Whenever Lana does something mind numbing, I numb my mind, I take a shot of whiskey... I've yet to finish an episode sober!

    Awesome. I have to pay attention, alas. Maybe I'll do a drunk review one of these days. Heck. There's an idea. The DRUNK REVIEW. Anyone interested?

    In all seriousness I can't believe you went so easy on 'Lana's Secret War Room'. When I saw that I went sideways! Someone put secret cameras in Lex Luthor's home! That someone is Lana Lang!??? WTF!?!?!?

    Oh, I went bonkers on it. It's just there's only so many ways you can beat on it.

    Think about that in terms of mythos rather than this show (i.e. Lex is the nihilist billionaire bent on world domination, and Lana is the sweet red head from Smallville). If someone was able to bug Luthor's office who's the last person you'd expect it to be? Lana Lang!

    Yep. But she's a genius in all things, didn't you know?

    After I finished my rant about this my friend looked at me and said... "I wonder if Neal just went catatonic."

    I went to Mars there for a second, but I'm back, and I brought tee shirts for everybody. RBF!

    After I finished laughing I had to agree. I thought that Lana having a 'War Room', and spying on Lex (despite the mansion's awesome security) would just be too much, that you'd finally lose it and kill every woman named Lana or Kristen on the West Coast! Happily that did not happen, however it does seem that you have repressed this part of the episode for your own mental health. Um, I hope this e-mail does not negate said repression and send you on a Lana killing frenzy!


    Glad to see you are feeling well enough to write the review.

    ~Ryan (Lex Luth-OR)

    (killing spree ensues)

    scotty v wrote:
    Hey there Neal!


    Just finished reading your review for Progeny. I'm actually caught up to this week's episode "Cure," though we haven't watched it yet. The only thing I wanted to mention about "Progeny" was this: I thought it was kindof interesting that Clark "hesitated," as you say, when recuing Lex again. I didn't really look at it as hesitating so much as him rolling his eyes and being like: "I can't believe I have to do this again but here goes..." kindof thing.

    Yep. Kinda sad.

    Anyways, talk soon.

    Scotty V

    Al Tunnell wrote:
    This is not really a Superman question, but I'm curious...

    You mentioned in the Last Days of Krypton review that you read Atlas Shrugged. What was your opinion of it? I read it several years ago and to that point, I'd never read such a commentary on politics, economics, and life. Had I been 30 at the time, then that would only reflect how little I had read, but I was fairly young and hadn't read much outside of what was required reading for school.

    I hated it. I like Ayn Rand's basic premise, that people should at their heart be individualistic and true to themselves and strong and intellectual and sincere.

    I just don't believe that means you should rape people or let everyone in the world die to fulfil your vision. That's easily lost in the rhetoric the novel expounds upon at catastrophic length.

    The Fountainhead was a much better version of that story, but it still involved a guy who destroyed housing for the poor out of selfishness and rapes a gal as a way to show he loves her.

    Fountainhead is worth a read. Atlas is not. Ultimately, We the Living is her best book, because it's not convoluted with her own dead horse.

    I still find Rorty my favorite philosopher.

    At any rate, I found the philosophy cold, but compelling. I think there's a great deal of truth in it. I've constantly seen examples of those characters in the work place. Having completed courses in economics and read a little more now, I sometimes wonder if I'd have the same opinion if I were to read it again.

    That's the hard part about it. It's an epistemology, so there's truth in it (as there are truths in most epistemologies) but in the end, the counterexamples and flaws outweigh its empirical statements, which are foolhardy in their simplicity. It's much easier and fair to just say "be yourself" instead of "in all cases, do what serves your interests only."

    Regardless, it's said in an overwrought, highly complex way, and I abide by the Bukowski code: "An intellectual is a man who says a simple thing in a difficult way. An artist is a man who says a difficult thing in a simple way." I prefer the latter.

    All the intellectual talk in the world won't stop me from pointing curtly at that novel and saying, "But the dude raped a chick and it's supposed to be okay."

    The intellectual will say, "Oh, but look at the subtle nuances of the way it turned out, and how it was a harmonic convergence of two individuals who are finally finding who they truly are." That's intellectual. I'm an artist. The dude raped a chick. That's not cool.

    So, what did you think of it?

    I want my time back, generally, though I have a feeling I'll be referencing the book a lot. It's like Grapes of Wrath. Ultimately, I didn't like it, but I still reference it all the time.


    John wrote:
    Hey Neal.

    Just a quick word here. In Cure, the reason Dr. Knox wanted meteor freak organs was so that he could make the love of his life immortal. That's my theory. Yet another use for kryptonite that needs to be included in the KO Count - IMMORTALITY!!!!

    Maybe, at that. I don't know that for sure, though, it's our inference, which it shouldn't be.

    I actually thought this episode was better than Fierce, though. I give it a 2.

    Come on, Smallville, you're even worse than last year!!!
    I have a feeling there's not gonna be a Season 8.

    I get the feeling there will be a season until Welling bows out.

    Shafi S wrote:
    Hey Neal,

    Dean Cain's character sucked!!! I had the same feeling you had on the character, he reminded me of Vandal Savage. I mean he could've been Vandal, the writers could've made him Vandal I just don't know.

    It probably costs money to do that.

    Why is Chloe showing skin all of a sudden, I mean Allison never showed that much skin before. Again with her Jimmy arguing, why is this keep happening. Smallville should be about Clark and his adventures not his sidekicks. Like what Al said in his interviews I disagree on that aspect I mean why show about Jimmy and Chloe fighting instead of showing Clark battling a guy and learning a lesson.

    I dunno, but I won't complain about Chloe skin.

    Also, how do you like the Green Lantern stuff thats going on, like one issue stand alones, like Cyborg-Superman, Parallax, and Superman-Prime. I liked all of them because the writing was great. Countdown sucks, why is Paul Dini writing this crap. But wanted to ask your opinion on comics today.

    I reviewed the Cyborg one, and will review Superman Prime this weekend. I have no idea what's up with Paul, actually. I can't stand Countdown, and I am very disappointed with rare exception with DC right now. Checkmate and the Johns Superman books are about all that's holding me in.

    Well thats it for me, thanks for everything.

    Thank you.


    scotty v wrote:
    Hey Neal!

    Just read your LDOK review and I gota say I'm very pleased to hear you feel this way. I was really interested in this book and knowing that you found it a great read and a great tie in to our guy makes me even more sure I'll feel the same way.

    I think you'll really dig it, man.


    Scotty V

    GeorgeHouseofEl wrote:
    Just finished watching Smallville today....annnnnd I think it was an episode about you. You should sue....

    That guy has short hair, I have long hair. Otherwise, yeah, I think Lana needs to die. And I like comics.

    Actually, the character was nothing like you, but the background for him (being a big fan, hating Lana..I mean....whatever the guest-star-of-the-week's name was, and having a 'blog' that lots of fans read) was similar to yours.

    I laughed. :) But I doubt they even know who I am, beyond Al, and I'm sure he's unconcerned with what I think or say.

    I'm just saying

    Rob wrote:
    Dear Neal,

    I thought this last episode had its good points, but also some things that were unnecessary.

    When Lois made reference to there not being many Luthors around, and it obviously not being Lionel or Lex, for a split-second I thought that Lucas Luthor was coming back. But it passed quickly. I'm not sure if they remember him.

    Hah! It's been over 100 episodes now.

    I've been thinking about what sorts of things made good movies or television. Upon doing this, I made a list of three things which, in my opinion, can save any movie or TV episode ever made. I don't care if it's Velocity, Batman and Robin, or any other horrible movie or TV show you can think of. Insert these elements and it's good.

    1) John Williams music. The more I think about it, the more I realize how practically all my favourite films are tied to him in some way.

    2) ZOD. I don't care what the context is--if it's some lame teen drama, or some B movie. A properly done ZOD, in my opinion, will put things in perspective and can resuscitate the worst movie ever made (which is Mars Attacks, in my opinion).

    3) Curly Howard, in his prime. With Moe and Larry obviously. And the right type of material. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

    That's a good addition. I have my holy trinity of comedy, "Midgets, monkeys, poo, and sometimes ninjas and zombies." Because ninjas and zombies are not always funny. Sometimes they are killing you.

    Though I did like Mars Attacks. I found it to be compelling satire. As a serious film, it's awful. Just like Starship Troopers. If you see it as poking fun at fascism, it's great.

    That's my list. What do you think? From what I've read, I'm guessing you'd include monkeys on this list as well. Take the worst piece of fiction ever created and add these things, even it makes no sense.


    Have you ever noticed that in Superman Returns, when the train set in the basement is being destroyed, you can actually hear screams from the fake train people? If you listen for it, it's hilarious. You don't catch it the first time.

    No, I didn't know. Awesome!

    Is there any chance this site could bring Al Gough in for a special situation where he has to answer direct questions from people here? I think he should explain some previous comments he's made (for example, on Clark killing).

    I could ask, I suppose. I have tried to avoid interviewing Gough even though we have contact with him because I don't like performing what could become hostile interviews. I really don't. I pick on this show out of an honest love for it, and I don't write it so the creators will read it. This is just my opinion, and I hate it when people write me to say, "You suck, and why do you do this!?" So I try not to do it to others. I interviewed Al twice when I was in love with the show, now I'd have to ask tough questions, and I'd rather not put him through that. He's been good to this site and to me, even if we've had our differences of opinion.

    It was nice that Clark didn't just wear his red jacket this episode.

    There's something ironic about the fact the fan boy wanted Clark to embrace his destiny, and was portrayed as loopy, and Clark just said at the end he wanted to stay in Smallville. I think that says something about the show.

    Yeah, that sucked.

    I don't buy the argument that he's not who he's going to be, or something like that. The guy's, what, 21? He should have a better idea of what he's going to do. I believe that from now on, when someone uses that argument, you can make the point that you were about the same age as Clark is now when you first started writing these reviews.

    Yeah, he's 21 now. And that's true, I was 21 when I started writing these. I had a house, a car fully paid for, I was three years into college, and I had three novels finished. But I'm still waiting to begin my training.

    I forget the exact line, but there was something there about how important Lana was to Clark's universe. I had to stifle a laugh. I think Smallville's due for a personality change episode.


    If they couldn't include Perry, I think they could have nodded to the comics by using George Taylor, the original editor. I think there are other members of the Daily Planet staff who could be introduced or mentioned, from comics. Why not Ron Troupe, with everything else they've done?

    Or hell, even that new guy from Birthright. Or Stern!

    Anyways, I look forward to reading the review.


    Catch you all next week!



    Reviewed by: Douglas Trumble

    Hahahahahahahahah... Did you see that? Hahahahaha... No they didn't. Hahahahahaha.

    Sorry, I have to wipe the tears from my eyes. Hahahahahahaha. I just couldn't stop grinning and laughing throughout this episode.

    Talk about having a set of brass you-know-what's. Hahahahahahahaha

    LOL, ROTFLMAO, or any other chat speak you can think of for funny as heck.

    Smallville writers and producers just gave the entire internet fanboy/fangirl community a big giant wet razz-berry. Hahahahahahahaha. And I LOVED it... Just loved it.

    I loved how they took common "gripes" that are all too often spoken on blogs and message boards on the net and turned them into a neat little story that surprisingly addresses those very same issues, all while poking a little good natured fun at the way us fans tend to get on our rants. Nice! Fantastic!

    I do fear that there are going to be some that will get up in arms over this. They will see this episode as an attack on them and their views and use it as fuel to drive their Smallville hate. I hope fanboys and fangirls will see it for the good natured fun that it was intended as and enjoy it for what it is. It was pretty good. By the way. Don't be upset about my use of the word Fanboy/Fangirl. I consider myself a fanboy as well.

    I thought it was also amusing that I was stuck at work and could not watch the episode live. My lovely bride did watch it and called me after laughing her back side off telling me that she loved the episode and that I was in for a treat. She has heard me ranting about online ranting more than once and she clearly saw the humor in the episode as it was intended, despite not being as ravenous of a Superman fan as I am. Don't get me wrong. She can geek out with the best of them about the boy in blue, (and as most of you might know there is nothing more attractive to a geek than a woman geeking out about superheroes) but I tend to carry it a bit further.

    The whole Warrior Angel thing is a neat little idea. I like the parallels between that character and Clark as well as the villain in the comic and Lex. I also find it pretty interesting that Lex was such a big fan. It was also very telling about Lex's place in his journey that he had given up reading comics since he and Clark stopped being friends. The sad thing is the fact that he still kept them in his office. It shows that there might be a glimmer of hope for Lex left but we all know that's only doomed to failure.

    The idea of filming the movie on the farm makes sense to me. Clark has said he has lots of land he can't farm and allowing them to use the farm is a good way for him to make the money needed for the year to keep the farm in the black. Plus it allowed us to get a glimpse at some of the behind the scenes stuff that is usually behind the camera. I liked that too.

    I also think it makes sense at this point in Clark's life for him to be kidding himself into thinking he can just settle down on the farm. He's running the farm, Lana is living with him, and he has a family member from his biological family. It's the life he always wanted really. I know a big point of this episode was the fact that Clark will have to move on but right now Clark has everything he ever wanted in life right there on that farm and there is no reason for him to just walk away from that. Sure, he'll still run off to save the world when he is needed but he is not quite ready to be a Superhero full time. It makes sense at this point. He's what? 20? 21 years old? I think he has a couple of years before he realizes that the life he wanted just will not work out. Of course the fact that the love of his life is turning into quite the little super villain might help spur that along.

    I was not sure what to make of Lionel's time with the Cathy Bates wannabe but I do like the Lana in villain mode. I guess there is a chance she thinks she's doing good but I doubt it. She's evil and I like her evil. Fact is I also think Kristin Kruek plays evil Lana very well which really helps sell it. I am not sure what she's up to and why she did not just kill Lionel outright but something is a foot with that woman and I actually find it interesting.

    I also loved Lois' part in this episode. I think they are doing a good job here showing why Lois is better suited for the reporting world than Chloe is. No knock on Chloe. I love Chloe but there is a noticeable difference between her and Lois that is going to carry Lois far. Chloe is like a German Sheppard. Loyal, dependable, honest, brave. Lois is more like a pit-bull. Still loyal and dependable, and honest but with a little bit extra. A mean streak. A reckless tenacity that mixes with her bravery to make an explosive situation. Lois would be long dead without Superman in her life. She needs Clark for her personality to be long lived, but with him around she becomes a force to be reckoned with. I like it and they are doing a good job showing it here.

    This does lead into an issue I have that was sort of touched on in this episode. The whole solitary hero idea. I don't get that. I just don't. I understand the challenges involved with being a superhero makes a love life difficult and in many cases impossible. The thing is I absolutely do not believe that applies to Superman. Why? Well because he's Superman. Duh. He can make anything work. Add in Lois' pit-bull like personality and we have the two people in the DCU who have the ability to make a love life work in a Superhero's life.

    That is why I like Superman and Lois Lane's relationship so much. They are meant to be together for two reasons. Lois is the kind of woman only Superman can keep up with and Clark is the kind of man that requires someone with Lois' tenacity to stay with. In fact I will go as far as to suggest that this is one of the big things that sets Clark above other Superheroes. His family life. I know it's all that post-Crisis/pre-Crisis argument but I think post-Crisis had that one thing right on. Clark's Ma and Pa being there for him for advice, Lois being a full time part of his life, and even Kara showing up to give him a link to his biological family. Stable family to turn to for comfort. I am not saying his family makes him a Superhero. He'd be that without them. They just make him a better Superhero.

    So while this episode poked fun at the idea of killing Lana to get Clark to move on I think they were both right and wrong with that idea. Lana will not work for Clark and he does need to get away from her to move on to his destiny. Still that absolutely doesn't mean he is doomed to a life of solitude. It's just he needs to find someone else who can handle his destiny and still maintain a healthy relationship with him. Someone with a bit more of an attitude to put up with it so to speak.

    She's around, we know who she is, and there are big hints that she is the one for him. He's just too blinded by Lana to see it. So it's not necessarily being a Superhero that Lana is holding him back from. It's more his destiny with Lois that is being held up. Then those things are so intertwined in the character you cannot just separate them like that.

    It was nice to see Clark and Chloe were still working on making a good back story for Kara. Sure she ran off in a huff but Clark did not give up on her one bit and I was really glad to see that. He's letting her cool off and leaving the door open for her. That is true blue Clark Kent right there.

    I also loved the final shot of the episode. Clark getting the cape as a gift was cool but walking away from it said a lot more. It was a pretty strong visual to show that he is still not quite ready to accept it. Things with Lana need to be resolved. Clark needs something to happen that makes him realize the world needs him outside of the occasional run to Metropolis.

    So in the end I have no choice but to give this one a Solid A. Call it 4.5 out of 5 spoiled Starlets. This season is really rolling. Loving it big time.

    Next week Supergirl Returns! Looks like she got herself into trouble. Let's hope her cousin comes running to save her.


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