Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 7 - Episode 7: "Wrath"Reviews:
WrathReviewed by: Neal Bailey
I fully expected this to be a one in every respect. It wasn't. It wasn't awful. It wasn't great. I just sat there for most of the time shrugging, and every once and a while going, "Ah. Interesting. Odd, but interesting."
It has the charm of any episode where Lana does all kinds of awful things and gets away with it with no real rebuke, except in the end, this time it's kidnapping, torture, and attempted murder, and there's no real rebuke. But hey, she's amazing, waddayagonnado?
There were, actually, a number of cool moments and good scenes in this one. I didn't realize why until after. Sounders and Peterson, I believe their names are, have typically been doing the best work on Smallville, but they're still stuck in the status quo in multitudinous ways.
We begin with Lana on a horse, and I vomited a bit in my mouth. Wiped it away, moved on.
Again, picnic under a tree. I understand what they're trying to do, appeasing Clana folks before they do their big Lana axe, perhaps, but it's still basically a scene we've already seen a bunch of times.
Then the lightning, the kryptonite, and BANG, I ask myself, are we watching a repeat?
They pay lip service to this, mentioning Eric Summers, pointing out the fact that this already happened. Are they trying to say that this is established as a working thing in this universe, or were they just short a creative device? Either way, it's a crappy way to get powers to Lana, but there they were, and from there, some character exploration began.
Technical issue: I don't know about you guys, but my TV gave the please stand by bars and jittered for most of the episode, quite annoyingly. That happen to you?
Pure, wonderful, virginal Lana gets her powers immediately, and decides to hop in the sack with Clark rather haphazardly. We again confront the issue of pre-marital sex (and I'm not even getting into it, you know my argument by now or you don't), and Clark and Lana cause earthquakes. It's actually kind of amusing. Then you ground yourself realizing that it's Clark and Lana making the beast with two backs kind of irresponsibly. But the amusement ultimately wins out for me. A somewhat cute idea. The leaves were funny.
In comes Chloe, who they don't clue in, really, though it's odd not to. She's also carrying a purse that looks like it was cut out of an anime film. I know, this is the second time I've noticed Chloe clothes in two weeks, but holy hell, that is an UGLY purse. I wouldn't put a picture of Paris Hilton in that thing.
In the bedroom, Lana overhears Clark telling Chloe to look after her. Furious at her friend caring about her, she picks up a picture of her on a horse, glares at it, and THROWS IT THROUGH A MIRROR! Why? Dunno. It's edgy. But I did titter, jumping into her thoughts...
Secretsliesneutrogena...clarklex,whataretheydoing? Gottaspy, gottafindinfoonwhat huh? HORSE? HORSE! Horse make leg break! RRRRAH!
I'm still rooting for the horse.
Lana goes with Chloe regardless, and tells her about her powers in egregious dialogue:
"It's like nothing can hurt you!"
Wrong, babe. Not a simile. A metaphor. It IS nothing can hurt you.
Lana gets all persecuted minority privileged idolized girl, grimaces, and proudly tells Chloe, "I do have a story to tell!" Gah. I hate that expression. I HAVE A STORY TO TELL! As if someone's stopping you from telling it. "No one will listen to my story!" I understand. "I have a story to tell!" indicates a feeling that your story isn't worth telling to others. What kind of crap self-confidence leads to a bemused, whiny, attention craving statement like that? I heard that one a lot in college. Usually a jock with zero brains, or a single mother who threw her life away and struggles with feelings of inadequacy for the choice of having a child before she was ready. "I have a story to tell! (don't ignore me because I made bad choices!)"
Then you should have told it, or you should tell it, but stop whining.
We see sentient metal. Brainiac, obviously. Lex has it in a small glass jar, because apparently Kryptonite DOES weaken Brainiac. Even though he, uh, can synthesize Kryptonite, and didn't he use it to weaken Clark while standing right over him to inject some kind of curative last season? Meh. Doesn't matter. Brainaic returning at least has some kind of mythos or excitement to it. I don't care if he pops out of Lionel's butt. And he just might.
Oddly enough, I couldn't find a single lie in this episode, or a secret. Yeah, Lana still has her room, her secret therapy club, and the fact that she imprisoned Lionel, but that all came out this episode, and I already chitted them in the last few episodes.
Lana starts going nutty, chasing after Lex's project. I'm still unclear as to just what it was she was seeking so desperately. In the end, it's kind of indicated that she's obsessed with the fact that he's still studying aliens. But is she seriously thinking he'd stopped? And even if he hadn't, what does she care if he studies aliens, beyond the potential to figure Clark out? She was hand in hand with him for most of it, and even did it herself for a prolongued period of time. It's just odd characterization, an excuse for Lana to charge Lex that doesn't float.
Lana's remarkably good with her heat vision after one day.
Lionel talks on the phone with Martha. They're buddy buddy, as if Lionel is her husband. Clark walks in, and treats him like a father again, and GOES TO LIONEL FOR HELP? Huh? I suppose it is logical for Clark to assume Lionel has a power reversing ray. Right.
Lionel tells Clark about the kidnapping, and Clark's reaction is dumbfounded disbelief. This I can see. Decent scene, with the Samson and Delilah reference, also a reference to one of the inspirations for Superman.
Chloe and Lois both got hair changes this episode, and both looked like bowl cuts with the bangs and the Prince Valiant. Cringe. In case you can't tell, I dig long hair.
Lois bursts into the Daily Planet, insisting that they publish a story about Lex's wrongdoings with a laptop. It's obviously illegal, and there's nothing really wrong with working with the department of defense to study aliens... what's the angle? Did I miss something?
Another way to arbitrarily drive the plot forward. Lois is drop kicked, Gabriel is knocked out, and Lana is never brought up on charges, despite the fact that Lois has no real reason not to press charges on her. Maybe to appease Clark, but the girl KICKED HER UNCONSCIOUS without reason.
Beyond that, it's funny that Lois went to the hospital and Gabriel didn't, to me.
Lana, yes, she's become insta-homicidal. But what's weird here is the attempted confusion between the fact that she's "infected" and the fact that infection doesn't mean you become evil. See Ryan. See Chloe. People of good character thrive. Going homicida-crazy is established as a choice, which is why it's so odd and implausible in the show.
AND AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES!
Lois checks herself in, which we clearly see. Then she sneaks out? SHE CHECKED HERSELF IN! It's obviously just a dumb excuse to trump up the "sexual tension" that leads to Lois essentially sleeping her way to the top by the end of the episode. Sexual tension? Hah!
Lois and Grant are in the elevator, where they plunge to the depths of the hospital's secret underground. By my estimation, they go down twelve to fifteen floors.
Ah ha ha ha ha! Sexual harassment is SO cute! Thatz hot! LOLZ! Or not. Particularly given the stubbornly disturbing commentary of this episode: Gabriel's actions are okay because "Lois wanted it."
Sigh. See, usually I'm very much on the side of the guy in sexual harassment, because I've seen women abuse the law on that left and right. Here, I've gotta take Lois' side, and then condemn both. Either way, it's Lois whoring her way to the top after just falling into a Daily Planet job, and I can't $@#$ing stand it.
Lana attacks Lex, spouting pernicious dialogue: "The world should know what a LIAR you are!" It take one to know one, Daniel-San.
In the background, Lex has his research info. In that info, there is a picture of that Kryptonian symbol burned into Clark's lawn. That's pretty compromising, and seemed odd that he would have that, seeing as he was choking to death at the time and no one was around. Well, and the fact that it was never really explained.
Lana kisses Lex, I collapse in paroxysms of "What the #@%$?", and then she knocks him out.
So in this episode, Clark finds out that Lana has a front company, spies on Lex, kidnapped and tortured Lionel, knocked Lois and Gabriel and Lex out, stole from the mansion, busted up Lex's ride, and subsequently, unbeknownst to him, causes the release of Brainiac.
I yell at a girl when she treats me with disrespect, and girls do the same. You knock my friend out, we're gonna have to have A TALK that ends in A WALK. Here, Clark utterly forgives, forgets, and doesn't give the pout-walk-stomp Lana always does. I'm half-convinced he's suffering from battered wife syndrome without the beatings.
Lana line: "How many people would still be alive if you'd taken Lex out?"
Well, Lex has killed, what, one person not in self defense? So one person. This isn't exactly the Joker argument. Again, this is the writers saying, "Lex is so evil! He's done so many things!" when he really hasn't.
Clark grabs a cable, shuts her up, finally, and then sits there dumbly as a cable sparking electricity hangs a few feet away.
Unlike with Eric Summers, he retains his powers. Why? Dunno. Rationality? Try House.
Chloe takes Lana to task in a great scene, telling her to lay off Clark and that she won't let her destroy him. Nice scene. It needed to happen years ago.
Brainiac appears and takes over a woman who is incredibly stupid and slow. Again, not the best of ways, but good to have him coming back regardless.
Lana remains unapologetic. "I wasn't wrong! I won't apologize for going to extreme means to protect those I love!" She also accuses Clark of acting like she does. Yeah, I remember the last time Clark tortured a middle aged man for three weeks. It was hot. LOLZ.
Clark's response: "You sound like Lex!"
Well, yeah, except Lex only resorts to kidnapping and torture when someone has broken into one of his properties and committed a terrorist act (Aquaman). Lana did it on a vague threat that turned out to be an attempt to help Clark. Which she knew.
Good advice to Clark, Lana, about not worshipping an ideal of her that he's created, and letting her be responsible for her own actions. I wish to hell the writers would take her advice.
Next week, more Lara. That at least looks interesting.
It's a short review. I didn't say that much, because there wasn't much to say. It was an easy episode to space through. Not much substance, beyond Lana showing what a bich she is, and we already know that, believe me. WELL established. I think what could have made this episode good was some sort of consequences for her actions.
Regardless, though, there was some goodness. Chloe telling Lana off. Clark finally finding out Lana's nature, to a degree. The sex scene, even though that was a downer, too. Brainiac. Lex's lines that totally trounced Clark and made Lana look awful, all the while sneaking in a kiss (is that the REAL Lex under that veneer of a lovesick idiot somewhere?). So not a total loss. But not any real gain. I'm gonna say 3 of 5.
SUPER SHORT REVIEW:
Listen up, ladies. You can kidnap and torture an old man, run a shadow organization, spy on an old lover, beat him senseless, knock out people at a major press who will not run one of your stories, release Brainiac into the world, and TOTALLY get away with it if you excuse it by being to help the people you love. But look! Brainiac! 3 of 5.
Kevin Smith (email@example.com) wrote:
I think I'm gonna start a website. I think I'll call it nealneedsagf.com. Wait, that won't work. How aboutnealsaloser.com?
ZOMG you TOTALLY got me, LOLZ!
I'm gonna start a website, too! I think I'll call it, "www.i-have-your-ip-address-moron.com". Or better: "www.i-have-multiple-girlfriends-dumb@$$.com"
I will admit to being a loser, however, if you'll admit to being obsessed with one to the point of writing haranguing emails.
I love it when I get letters from folks who use real celebrity names and their public email addresses. I think they're trying to freak me out or something, like, "Oh God! Kevin Smith disapproves of me!"
This is defeated, ultimately, by the immediate realization that Kevin Smith actually knows how to smite someone with words, and this letter is about as pathetic a put-down as one can come up with.
But, as ever, please, write again. Entertaining, to say the least.
Now come one Neal, I had to correct you last week on the proper finger for the GL ring...now this week I have to correct you on the use of your Monty Python Knowledge...and I quote
"Nice corollary from a scientific genius there. I suppose we have our Earth counterpart. When I go to Venus, I'm sure to hear Gallahad say in his empirical logic: "This FIRE stuff burned your Earth wood, so I hypothesize that if we put it to your skin, YOU TOO WILL BE... ""
Sir Bevedere my friend, not Gallahad....I just don't know what to do with you.
Ah, crap! But I get the last laugh, 'cuz it's BEDevere! Hah! I knew reading obscure texts as a kid would pay me off. Point being, burn witches, foo!
Jim Smith wrote:
"HIS Washington contacts over... his own mother's? Not even a line, "I can't reach my mom."?
Thank you! She might as well have died. I really don't blame her for wanting out of the show if that was the case but hell they could fake it now and then.
Yeah, no doubt.
"Where were you Clark?"
"Having lunch with my mom."
"Who was that on the phone Clark?"
"Mom, she was calling to let me know..."
Even Lionel who was hot for her bod has not mentioned her in the limited time he has been back. Don't get me started on the whole hug now that I am thinking about him. Honestly, the best part of the whole episode was the return of Brainiac teaser they showed.
They did mention Martha, but it was kind of... eh.
Oh and Clark in the barn at the end with the crystal, did you see the look on his face? CREEPY! Only thing I can think of is that they rushed production on these shows to get as many done before the writers strike kicked in. Anyway, it would seem you liked this one a lot more than I did which is rare.
I liked it? Nay!
Until next time
Mr. Bailey, I just watched the Lara episode and am not impressed. Too many things are just wrong. First off, when Clark hugged Lionel I looked around the room at the people watching with me to see if anyone else had an awkward reaction. I felt weird when that happened.
The just miss anything Lionel has done wrong in the past. Secondly, we have Lana running the clinic...????? Is that really a REAL place. I mean, if you look at the show as trying to be realistic, who would take that clinic seriously?
I'm wondering how Lana advertises for her business. Do you just look in the yellow pages for "Rehab For The Meteor Challenged"?! I know that she has the info online but how does that go?....."Do you sit too close to meteor rocks? Do you feel different from everyone else? Are you finding powers in unusual places? Then come to Lana Lang's Amazing Rehab for Clinical Ability Restraining...." Thirdly, I'm not understanding the whole coming to Earth scene in the 80's. Kara is just walking around in the barn then see's Lara and says "What are you doing here?" as if she wasn't expecting her. She didn't say "What are WE doing here" If that's the case then why is Kara there. And for that matter, why does Krypton clothes look like Earth clothes?
I'm guessing it's like asking the computer to give you 21st century clothes on Star Trek.
This scene though proved what I had stated to you in the past, that Kara is way older than Clark. Lara told Kara why they were there. If Kara did indeed come to Earth with Lara, though inconsistant with the dialogue, then you think she would have told her why they were coming during the three year trip! Speaking for Kara, who takes trips that long anyway? But to show me who is Zor-El who took a three year trip to steal his brother's girl. Does no one at kypton find everyone taking three year trips a bit odd?
Apparently, they took a portal, if the dialogue is recalled correctly.
lol...Next, I thought that it was funny that Lex just walks into the DDS's Lab pretty much saying" You found something cool, didn't you? Well I touched it, my germs, so that makes it mine. I'll get it later!" I found that scene abit childish and stupid. How is Lex going to tell the government they are suppose to fork over things he wants.
It WAS odd, actually.
Now you could say that he's evil Lex Luthor, that's the way he rolls!! And I would take that if he hadn't be good up until now. Another thing is, what is up with people going from one far place to another all the time? Trips from Smallville to Metropolis which are oddly fast, Lex going all the way to Shanghai just to chat with Lana for 10 minutes then leave, and the back and forth to Washington with Lex and the DDS guy. The part in your review where you wrote about Clark saying "We're not defined by our parents, Kara!" Well I call this EASY and DUMB because it's EASY for Clark tosay that because he wasn't raised by his birth parents. And DUMB because Clark is a flannel wearing farmer, same as Johnathan! Lastly, we have krytonite in Kara's veins...At this point we have established that k-rocks can't kill kryptonians, it only gives them boo boos.
It annoys them. Strenuously.
So here's my Super-Short Review, if I may be so bold:
It's ok to be affectionate to murderers. If you have an aching super power and need som cream for it, see the Amazing Lana Lang. Cut 3 years to Earth into 3 seconds with travelocity. It also helps if you need to jump cities for story plot convenience. And remember, crack kills, kryptonite don't!
You may, and thank you. I am flattered. :)
As for next week, I think that it makes sense for Lana to get Clark's powers. Don't you know that everyone on this show gets a turn with his abilities? What are you, silly?!
Thanks for your time....-Xalax-
Tom Haskard wrote:
Long time reader, first time mailer.
Cool! Good to hear from you.
I've been reading your reviews since the dawn of time and there's only been a couple of reviews that I've ever thought you were too negative and even then, not by much. I feel like you are one of the only people I can think of that watches Smallville, and can see how bad the writing and continuity has truly become.
I think there are many others, they simply stopped watching. Mine is a quest based in fanaticism...
I still watch for the same reasons as you, to see if it will restore the glory I haven't seen since season 3 and how they will end it all.
However the thought that they could have done so so much with this show, only to ruin some of the best moments-that-could-have-been in Superman mythology, is devastating.
It is to me, as well. My nightmare is that it'll end at episode 15 on a cliffhanger and they'll just call it. And it could happen.
Lex turning "evil" just sort of happened, Lionel is not only still alive but apparently on the side of angels, Jor-El originally being evil will probably be explained in the same method as Dr Swann obtaining the key was, Chloe being alive. It's too much. I mean, this show has the pure goal of moving towards a particular status quo, something the writers will not change. I don't understand how so many Superman fans can apparently be so easily pleased by the quality Smallville has fallen to. This show used to be magic to me. Now the story and the characters have become so convoluted and inconsistent, the only real kicks I get are the effects (which have finally returned to the quality that they used to be) and the DCU guest stars.
Yeah, I noticed that. The effects got better. Weird! I'm around for the mythos more than the guest stars, but same vein.
Anyway enough bitching. Your reviews are always top notch and make me actually laugh out loud. Which is rare because, you know, I'm such a dreary so and so. Anywho, you're a superstar and keep it up, because your reviews are my only companion to look forward to after another subpar Smallville episode. Oh and the recent youtube insertions have been fantastic. Haha. Rambo.
Thanks, man. I try and plug em in, knowing full well it'll mess up my collected versions of this later, given that clips will disappear...
You know, ten years ago there were bumper stickers that read: "MEAN PEOPLE SUCK!" I hated them for their pretentious obviousness. I like your nick. I had a bumper sticker, LOVED it, it said, "ALL PEOPLE SUCK." I much prefer it.
just one unSmallville related thing - i noticed in your reveiw of Action you mentioned
"I went to Mars for a second, but I'm back now, and I got tee shirts for everybody."
I LOVE THAT SONG.. definatly in my top 5 Reel Big Fish songs. That and Your Guts (I hate 'em) which is an exact representation of my feelings for Lana.
I think RBF have diminished with the last two albums... not sure why. But I still loves me some ska, and still turn their old albums constantly. Sarcastic, morose, great.
ooook. Lara. I didn't really like it. It had some cool moments.. but it didn't really hold my attention. The only thing I had an issue with was Clark showing Lana the Lara Crystal and not showing Kara, the one person who had been searching for it since she came to earth.
Yeah, that was odd.
I'm reeeally not looking forward to the Clana power transfer next week. I have 2 main issues with it. Aside from ITS BEEN DONE, there is also WHY LANA?
Lana passes the Could YOU Become a SuperVillan Test. She gets powers she goes nuts and tries to kill people.
I read something over at the Devoted Fans Network that Chloe will have a confrontation with Lana. Here is the quote: "Clark's BFF basically issues Lana an ultimatum: You hurt my friend, you deal with me." Now THAT should be fun. :D
It was indeed...
Chloe should be finally coming back in character. Instead of obsessing over curing her 'Freak' status..
anyway.. til next time
Thanks for choosing not use the delete button :D
keep up the good work!!
No Vincent wrote:
I always enjoy both Douglas's and your reviews, they're so different...how nice!
In your last review, you wrote;
I think the biggest flaw is not her continued existence, but it's that Lana's character should have been Chloe's, and Chloe Lana's. Chloe is the honest, good, down-home girl, and Lana's the ditsy idiot who demands power that no one likes, not a high school sweetheart.
That's exactly what I've been thinking ! I'm 120% with you!!!
Just look at how many people hate Lana now. It's such a shame.(But I understand that, 'cause Smallvill's Lana do make us hate her, you know...)
She is really supposed to be in the place of Chloe. In my opinion, even those high school years in season 1 to 4.......but then there's probabily not enough dimension to the one-sided love story between Clark and Lana etc.....Oh well.
Yeah. It's too bad. There was real potential to tell a great one there.
I have nothing against Allison Mack, she is a very talented and attractive actress, but I also think she really shouldn't be there anymore.
I know she (as a character)is very popular, but especially because Smallville writers made Chloe character very nicely. I don't know what kind of position she will be settled in Superman myth, but personally I really don't care if she never appears in the comics.
By the way, neal. Please don't quit writting even if someone pay you off with 7 thousand dollars! There's so many people who really enjoy your reviews worldwide you know (including me), it's one of the thing I'm really looking forward to, every week.
Actually, my plan was to take the seven grand, stop writing the reviews, and then next week my good friend Beal Nailey would take up where I left off. He's a good guy, that Beal. Just like me in every way.
Sorry, my English sucks. But I think I'll keep writing.**(I hear you saying,"Is it promise or threat?")
Dear, your English is better than 99/100 of the letters I get from native speakers. I appreciate your care with the language, though. My friend Alessandro has the same worry that he butchers English, and I always tell him, the fact that you care alone makes you one up on most native speakers. I understood you just fine. ;)
Please do keep writing.
I have a theory on the "no Clark flying" thing. Every other Kryptonian on the show has fully excepted the fact that they are Kryptonian. Clark on the other hand clings hard onto his Earth heritage. Back in season 4 when he was "Kal-El" he could fly because he didn't consider himself human at all, he was Kryptonian. Also a lot of the dialog (don't ask for examples yet)between he and Kara has also given the impression that he doesn't like the fact that he is alien and that holds him back from flying. I'm also not claiming the writers have this in mind but from what I've seen on the show this is the reason I think he remains grounded.
I dunno what it is. Only one thing is clear... it's not holding water with folks very much any more.
I like thy reviews of Smallville. Though this may seem unnecessary, would it be possible for you to post something like the top 10 things which make any Superman episode/comic suck? I understand that the writers of Smallville try to find creative means, in their own opinion, to advance the Superman mythos, but in their struggle to create stories, they tend to go against the dogmas of who and what makes Superman, SUPERMAN.
Sure! But it might seem overly simplistic to you. I'm a minimalist at heart. These are, incidentally, things that make most any piece of media suck, to me.
Top things that make any Superman piece of media suck:
1) Lack of characterization.
2) Simple misunderstanding of the basic precepts of Superman's world (IE, kryptonite, his power levels, his relation to others, making him edgy).
3) The writer not subsuming themselves into the characters and instead trying to make their "MARK!"
4) Soap opera plotlines over rational dilemmas.
5) Stretching a story for too long for the sake of filling out a time period. Stories should be like a woman's dress, long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep things interesting.
6) Seems simple, but USE WRITERS THAT KNOW HOW TO WRITE. This is, to wit, why half of all media sucks. Actually, half is kind.
7) Paying too much attention to what would benefit making the character "cool" over "true to the character."
8) Not understanding that Superman is defined by his antagonists.
9) Not understanding that Superman is defined by his antagonists.
10) Not understanding that Superman is defined by his antagonists. And also Lana fetishism. Also rocks. (meteor)
In regards to "Action", I think I can offer an explanation as to why production assistant boy didn't rat out Clark. It's not true that he wanted Clark to suffer, but he only wanted to kill Lana and free Clark from his inhibitions and become the Warrior Angel like superhero he had come to love and admire. He wouldn't rat out the hero's secret identity, he's too much of a fan. Second, he didn't tell Lex because he immediately recognised his role as Devilicus, and therefore wouldn't give the villain the upper hand. I thought it was actually a high point of the episode. Despite his actions we see that the boy is a hero at heart and willing to stand up to evil, even when faced with priceless comic books (which is very tempting).
I dunno, if he saw Lex as Devilicus, I'd think he'd tell Lex to kill Lana, at least.
[quote]Clark, not inches away from a bag full of Kryptonite, is standing and just fine. Kara, though the same physiologically, is dying. He rears back and delivers a super chest punch, starting her heart again, presumably. Error here being that if she's under K influence, CRUNCH, there went her chest. If she's not, then why is she dying? And if he's under K, how could he crunch, etc. Complete lack of understanding of the properties of the devices in question. Bad writing.[/quote]
A. Kryptonite kills Kryptonians. Stated as an absolute.
B. Some liquid substance (known to include some amount of Kryptonite rock) is going thru Kara's bloodstream.
C. Kara is not instantly killed by the substance.
D. Clark's blow to the chest also does not kill her.
1. Maybe Kryptonite is not the instant, magical killer that you think it is.
2. Substance does not have enough concentration of K to instantly kill...although it did stop her heart, apparantly.
3. The effect on her internals was not severe enough to weaken her structure.
You know, I once read an issue where Superman murdered three people for their crimes. By your logic, that means that Superman kills people who deserve it.
But that's an isolated example in the midst of a wide mythos.
Okay, beyond that though, say you can come up with hundreds of examples where Clark is over-exposed to K, and it isn't that instant killer I say it is.
Still missing the point, which is me stating that Kryptonite as a device is done a disservice when it's used as a catch-all over an ultimate foible. It's a way to avoid creating an adversary that is compelling, because hey, he has a Kryptonite IV drip! So he doesn't have to be smart enough to defeat Clark, just delay him for a while arbitrarily.
Anyway, all of these points keep mounting to a grand conclusion that the effects of Kryptonite on Kryptonians is not an instant on/off problem. Like I've argued, it's more like radiation, which I think was a reasoning used in one of the movies, too. Proximity and time-of-exposure are elements. And if this substance was also not pure (meaning the actual amount of K was small, I can easily buy that Clark could still function. Kara was more effected because it was IN HER BODY. The different effects are proof that it depends on the type of exposure.
The different effects, to me, are simply proof that the writing staff is inept and incorrect in their use of Kryptonite.
Dan Fenton wrote:
Well, those who would treat you with scorn for your reviews of the season so far are missing the point completely. Other than Bizzaro, what single episode of the season has stood out?
The second one was decent, as I recall.
Those that wondered why Michael and Kristen were flip-flopped in the credits and wondered if it were a sign of Lana either being dead (obviously not) or a less significant presence on the show need not be concerned. I foresee another change in the credits after this week's episode. Kristen will be number one, the town will be renamed Lanaville and Clark will be reduced to giving Lana footrubs and pedicures.
This upcoming writer's strike might be a good thing but I see it as the death knell for Smallville as I believe they need an entire season to build up to something to carry them into a season eight and a truncated season would force them to resort to ridiculous plot devices in order to justify the flow of the story...
...okay, okay I caught that...been there, done that et al. Smallville is in of itself a ridiculous plot device.
As for the notion that some people would have that the show would have to convince Michael and Kristen to come back for a season eight...there is one thing I have noticed about this year...Lex Luthor has become extremely boring. Either Michael is just mailing it in, or the writers (snicker), have no idea how to develop his character anymore. Just as Clark has been grounded with the whole 'no flights, no tights' mantra that seeks to suck any anticipation for the future of the show out the door, Lez has not crossed as far to the dark side as he shoudl have by now.
I think it's the writing. Baum can act.
Geez, since Tom Welling is closer to 40 than to 18, perhaps it's time for him to handle more adult situations as Clark Kent and stop with the boomerang effect that sees him go off but always end up back at the same place. I would never go as far as to suggest burning down the farm, but it seems that as long as he is here, he will not progress.
Truth be told, this is the longest pre-apprenticeship period a future super hero has ever served. It's been more than six seasons...the guy should be flying by now and going off to save the world on occasion.
Instead were are given his big-knockered beautiful cousin to satisfy the whole flying part of the show. Now she may prove once again why single men come to Canada to meet women...but as far as I am concerned she has not added to the show in any other regard than to "challenge" Clark in a way that the producers won't let happen anyway. How can we anticipate the emergence of the Clark who will be Superman when the producers are adamant that this won't happen?
Yes! I mean, I dunno.
Say what you will about the show and it's characters, but some or all of them have to make some significant progress before the year is over. Chloe has to stop playing Robin to Clark's Batman and, in fact, should move on once the year is over...that is if they are intent on developing Lois' Mad Dog Lane personna. Sadly, Chloe is becoming redundant. Jimmy Olsen was a bad idea from the outset and an even worse idea now. What does that leave?
Heck, screw this season. How about four seasons back?
Clark and Lana? Clark and Lois? It would serve a better historical purpose for Clark and Lana to be done but, I fear, in this version of the boy-who-would-be-the-man-who-would-be-Superman, the paths of Clark Kent and Lana Lang will always intertwine...
...well at least until Kristen's contract expires anyway.
How goes life?
Better. Almost done with the house now.
First I want to say I enjoyed your Lara review, as I enjoy all your reviews. One reason I enjoyed this one was because I actually got some of your comic book references. Unfortunately, even though I am an avid Supes fan, I don't read the comics. I really dug the Russian Elseworlds reference, because that comic is one of about two I've read.
No worries. It's a good one.
Are you dreading "Wrath" as much as I am? I don't know what possessed the writers to do a reconstruction of "Leech" featuring Lana. Don't get me wrong, as far as season one episodes go, "Leech" was top notch, but...does it really need to be done again? I say no. Clark losing his powers is getting really old, really fast, and the fact that Lana is getting the abilities just adds insult to injury.
It was better than I thought it would be, but still no picnic.
I liked this week's episode though. I did note some of the inconsistancies you did, such as the kryptonite. One thing you didn't mention though, that hit me as really odd, was Lex's reaction to Kara and the DDS dude being in the mansion...or lack thereof. Two people that have no reason to be in his house are IN his house, and he never once asks why. Maybe it's just because he's so used to weird people being in his house like, all the flippin' time. Gotta love Luthor Mansion security.
Of course there's also the fact that Kara knew exactly how to dress for Earth, and Lara knew what pot raost was...but I guess those are minute details that I'm not supposed to notice (so the writers seem to think.)
Ah, that can go to Kryptonian memory crystals, I'd say.
I was also disappointed in the lack of Martha this episode. It would have been a perfect opportunity to have her back, the script was open for it. I wonder if Martha even knows about Kara, Clark hasn't mentioned whether he's told her or not.
I really hope the season, as a whole, improves as we head into November sweeps, because this year REALLY has a lot of potential, and just isn't measuring up to it. Of course, that describes the way Smallville has been the last 3 years. Dare I hope we get our beloved show back?
I still do.
Anyway, I'm through boring you for this week.
No worries! Thanks.
Rosana J wrote:
Neal! I haven't written this season yet, but I can't seem to quit this show. My childhood love for Superman and my admiration for your well-written, witty and always dead-on reviews just won't let me go.
I had to watch Kara twice, because I got that same Perv vibe you picked up on right in the beginning of your review. Granted, Smallville's never been one for the subtle when it comes to the sex-up, but this particular episode had that same vibe in nearly every scene, topped by the out of character Paris Hiltoning of Kara. How ratings starved IS this damn show?
I dunno. They stopped posting them pretty generally on K-Site, and I don't know where to look.
Did a double take when Lana asked Chloe to keep a previously revealed from Clark. A triple take followed during the Kryptonian torture porn moments, but nothing hit me stronger than the quadruple take that floored me upon realizing Lara/JorEl/ZarEl were in a LOVE triangle. Another damned, unnecessary romantic plot contrivance. Just what we need in the SEVENTH season of this twisted tale.
Yeah. Who knew, even Krypton has crappy soap opera lives?
Anyhow, Neal, I just wanted to let you know that your reviews are probably 80% of the reason I keep watching this show. Thanks for writing and giving me some great reading week after week. Take care!
THANK YOU. That rocks!
Hello Neal, I am wondering what your thoughts on the Lana Lang character so far this year are. My new theory is that both good and bad Lanas are clones and the real Lana is locked up in Lex's basement or something. But we have to assume that there is only the one original Lana since they haven't told us otherwise. So I am wondering as you're a professional writer, what your thoughts are on having a character split into two distinct good and bad sides. Is this unusual? I can only think of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but that was very different and the audience knew what was happening. Are the Smallville writers perhaps desperate? Confused? Lazy? It's so very disconcerting to watch this character act like this every week.
I think splitting personalities into good and bad depends on how it's written. It can be great, or horribly clich. I think this Lana is the real one, though.
Shafi S wrote:
I saw last episode as a time waster, why because it didn't push Clark's story as usual, it instead made him look like a lying piece of crap. Hiding a crystal to do what, recreate his mommy again.
Now this episode with Lana having powers. WHY!!! To show Lana is amazing or Lana is a female dog. Don't know, but this isn't what smallville suppose to be, an age old complaint but nothing is coming to me.
Neal, do you think the strike will fix these problems or make them worse, also what do you think of the strike, is it good or bad, and whats your personal opinion about it.
I think that writers are crapped on. I think that they deserve compensation for internet downloads that take in ad revenue. I also think that it's hard to organize writers, and that public perception of what writers do and how we're paid is quite ignorant. I stand with the strike. I do not think it will help the show.
In the comics, Superman third Kyrpto was ok but it didn't gel with me, like the last superman confent it didn't make sense to me, and this superman confent was ok, too bad all of the good stories are in the Superman Annual. OH YEAA I read Batman Confent and its the best please CHECK IT OUT!!!!
I did, actually. It's pretty good, I'd say, surprisingly.
Bruce Kanin wrote:
I think Jor-El will actually be married to L-Ron in this continuity. GOOD catch on the Metropolis attack to the Smallville hospital, though. I can't believe I missed that!
Mark Palenik wrote:
Sometimes, I feel bad about writing in because it gives you more work. Then somehow, I always manage to justify it somehow by pretending that you enjoy responding to letters, or that somehow it's giving you more practice writing. Of course, I changed the e-mail address that I write in with recently to make it seem like I've only written you twice :).
I do enjoy responding to emails though, so no worries.
First of all, I wanted to say, I'm so glad you pointed out the thing last week about "I saw kryptonite hurt your ship, so I figured it would hurt you". That drove me crazy when I heard that line, and I'm glad I wasn't the only one who realized how stupid it was.
It kind of reminded me a part of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie. They did the movie "This Island Earth", and there was a scene where these two people were aboard a flying saucer, and suddenly their hands clamped down on a metal railing and they couldn't get them free. One of the aliens on the ship said "the bars are magnetized" or something like that and Crow responded "And if your hands were made of metal. . ."
There was one more thing about last week's episode. I wasn't entirely sure, but was that dress that Kara was wearing at the beginning the same thing she was wearing when she emerged from her spaceship on earth? I actually don't remember, but I think it wasn't. If not, maybe that's another entry for "it's a miracle", unless she changed clothes inside the ship.
I think it was the same dress, actually. I could be wrong though.
As for this last episode, did the beginning make any sense? Clark's powers are transferred (or copied) into Lana, but presumably, she doesn't know that. So, not knowing that she has super powers, she suddenly decides that it's a good idea to run toward a falling windmill and try to hold it up so it doesn't fall on Clark, who DOES have super powers, and would be uninjured by the crash.
Yeah, there's another point I ended up missing... good one.
Also, I thought it the last episode where Clark's powers were transferred it was established that kryptonite doesn't harm humans who have been given his powers. Or perhaps I misunderstood what happened at the end of that episode.
Nope. They just flubbed it.
And I know you're a big fan of Chloe, but the way she continually throws pop culture references into her excessive witticisms is really started to get on my nerves after over six years. And for some reason, this episode didn't seem like the first time that she's mentioned La Femme Nikkita. La Femme Nikkita was, to me at least, an uninteresting cable show that I was vaguely aware of at some point in my life, but never watched. Was it also a comic book or something? Was it more popular than I thought? It just seems like an odd thing to reference to me, or at least, something that shouldn't be referenced multiple times during the series, whenever a female character tries to steal something while wearing leather.
It was also a movie, but yeah, they've really over-done her dialogue. It's Buffy-style.
Oh, and that reminds me--the line "but what the textbook left out is that Isis is a goddess of the underworld". what kind of crummy textbook would leave that out?
Egypt For Patriots: A Jingoistic Manual the Left Doesn't Want You to Read.
And since when do Clark's powers amplify emotions? I'm not sure if they were supposed to have amplified Lanas emotions, or if we were supposed to just think that she was making excuses. If the former, then, well, that's just stupid, especially since Clark's emotions don't dull when he loses his powers.
I think they're trying to say females are more vulnerable to emotion. I agree, actually.
And why the metior foundation at all? If it's just a cover for her spying, couldn't she have just rented out a warehouse somewhere to set up her equipment and not told anyone about it, instead of hiring a fake staff and putting up a fake webpage to advertise that she's doing something at an address that she clearly made public?
So, is Lana evil now? Or is she still supposed to be on that "slippery slope"? I can't really think of anything Lex has done during the series that's more evil that what Lana did in this episode. Except when Lana does evil, she's not just evil, but fickle and stupid.
She's been evil for years to me.
The fact is, she's been on a slippery slope for a long time. First it was the slippery slope of annoying and vapid, then the slippery slope of secrets and lies, which, I suppose, connected to the downward spiral of self obsession, that apparently was adjacent to the precipice of evil bich, that she's been dangling over for quite some time.
Dangling? She fell, dude.
Everyone's reaction in this episode "Oh my God, Lana's evil!" sort of reminded me of an episode of Futurama, where Leela, in reference to Bender said "Oh my God, he's become evil!. . . Well, evilER."
This also isn't the first time that Clark has questioned whether or not Lana is the girl for him. Was it in the episode where Jonathan died or shortly after that he and Martha sat down for a conversation where they talked about how he didn't really have feelings for Lana anymore?
I get the feeling that they've been trying to set things every year so that they could wrap up the show at the end of the season if they need to, but then when the show gets renewed they have to regress all of the characters and relationships back to the way they were at the beginning of the season.
That's probably more accurate than you might think.
I think the thing that annoys me most, though, is the way Clark is progressing. At the beginning of the series, I thought "this guy really doesn't seem like someone who could be Superman. He's not heroic enough. But maybe as the show progresses, his character will progress, and some events will completely change his outlook on the world." Unfortunately, it seems like as the show has gone on, not only has he not become heroic, but he's actually become more self centered, focused on Smallville, and willing to sacrafice other people's lives to serve his purposes. And the writers throwing in lines every so often, like "It's not up to us to decide who lives or dies" doesn't change the overall nature of his character.
Yeah. I agree.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to next week's review. I'll be sure to watch Smallville first, so I can be up to date on what you're writing about.
With "Wrath" we have a plot that's sort of been done before, but the fact it's been done before almost makes it good continuity in a way. It shows they remember, but the fact is, they can do better. This year has been tied in to the first season a lot more, but it's almost like they're deliberately bringing back the worst aspects of the earlier seasons just to spite us. Like bee girl. The exception is how the writers of "Lara" seemed to remember the plot of "Relic" from season three.
Yeah. If they had remembered a past plot to improve on it, maybe...
Lana-centric episodes are my favourite, and it was great seeing more screen time for Grant Gabriel as well. This is just what's needed to forward the mythos (he said sarcastically).
I could be wrong, but in the flashback to 1986 in the Kent home in "Lara," did the Kents have a big-screen TV in the living room? I have a vague idea I may have seen that. It's quite remarkable that a poor farming family that can afford only plaid shirts would have this. I wish I could check the episode to be sure.
It was a 32 incher, or so, which was expensive back in the eighties, and seems a bit too modern.
I'm sort of bothered by how they're characterizing Lex more through dialogue than his actions. When every single character goes on long speeches about how evil the guy is, it helps to paint a picture for some, and I see what they're doing.
Yeah, I see that too. And it sucks.
However, the point is, Lex hasn't done enough truly awful things (when not being possessed by something or split in half) to justify a lot of what people say about him. He's killed a few random people, threatened Chloe, and faked a pregnancy, but on the whole, I don't think he's been that bad to Lana. He's been nicer than I would be.
Whenever Lex says something to Clark, I'm getting annoyed by how Clark just turns it on Lex, talking about his hidden agenda. If Lana does something even slightly imperfect, she
must have learned it from Lex! Or Clark keeps rubbing it in how he thinks Lex is a liar and how vengeful he is, but the evidence doesn't back it up. Clark is annoying me. Example:
Lex: "Clark, do you know where the nearest washroom is?"
Clark: "Yes, Lex. That would be your way, wouldn't it? You make a horrible stink, and then you use your money to make it disappear...like it was never there. You disgust me. How many people have you hurt before 'flushing' away your secret projects like 33.1? How many people's lives have you made stink? You hurt Lana, and I'm not letting you near any restroom if I can help it. You hurt people Lex. For people like you, it's all about revenge. Use your own high-priced toilet, or do honest work like the rest of us!"
Exactly. And here it is with Lana:
Lana: "Clark, WHERE IS THE WASHROOM!"
Clark: "No need to overreact, Lana, I-"
Lana: "Don't tell me how to act! You're the one with the secrets! You drove me to this washroom!"
Lex: "It was just a simple question! Do you have a brain?"
Clark should make more of an effort with his old friend and talk to him directly instead of chiding him about everything. I mean, Clark forgave Alicia, didn't he? And he and Lex were good friends before. I know how the mythos ends up obviously, but I just want something massive to happen that forever makes Lex irretrievably evil in everyone's minds. I wouldn't mind having Clark act more like a superhero on a consistent basis either.
Regardless, I'm interested to read your take on the episode.
Hope it met with your approval...
Scotty V wrote:
Just reading your "Noir" review. The first thing I thought to comment on was when you mention about the police ensignia looking like the Superman shield and why would they be using it before the shield became famous. I think the idea initially, when both you and I thought it was kindof neat (even though in retrospect it's not cool because it makes Supes a copycat...again, instead of an original), was that Clark saw that insignia on the police and adopted it rather than vice-versa. It's like the crow with the cape or The Angel of vengeance with the glasses and phone booth changes or GA or Lex's armor of Alexander. It all kindof takes away from Superman's myth and makes it less somehow.
Then you go on to talk about how Jimmy is given knowledge of the future just so that they can make the story work the way they want. I agree with that assessment. It didn't occur to me at the time, but this is giving Jimmy an awful lot of credit he has no reason to have earned. In your counterparts review, he mention that through this device (Jimmy's dream and his subconscious) we are shown that Jimmy really know alot about people and how to read them. I think that's a bit more credit than the writers deserve or that even makes sense. For even if Jimmy HAD some kindof intuition about people and their double lives or secrets or what have you, why in the world would he imagine Clark with slicked back hair and glasses? He wouldn't.
Exactly. It's convenient coincidence, something Smallville excels in.
In L&C, I believe Lois was on stage singing a couple of times. I think once was when she had amnesia or something, but the time you're referring to I believe is early in the first season. Lois is undercover in a dive auditioning to be the entertainment there so she can get close to the story when Clark comces in dressed as a sailor also trying to get close to the story. I remember it was pretty exciting for me too. I also think that show succeeded on many fronts that this show does not, even if that show also fails in other areas.
Hang on a sec...I'm lifting my jaw from the floor.
Someone informed you that John Glover was gay?? I must say that if this is true I really had no idea. Not that it's necessarrily par for the course that I SHOULD have had an idea but I figure I would have heard about it before now. Like with Kevin Spacey. You kinda get the feeling that he might be and then the way he speaks about his dating life being no ones business and all that jazz and that you never see him with anyone. But with John it never really occurred to me at all. Even when reading about his various stage acting jobs, which is when (believe it or not) I've had people ask me if I'm gay once they hear that I'm in a play or what have you. But that's very interesting and you're dead on with his talent level. I've always thought he was great. One of the best people to watch scenes of on the show. Especially in the earlier seasons when it made sense and we knew where his character was coming from.
People ask, "Are you gay?" when you mention you're a poet. A lot. Either way, he's a great actor.
Huh. I wondered what significance Gardenia had to the story, since it's never really used for anything and doesn't do anything for the mystery. Niow though...thanks to you Neal, I get the joke. The word was used simply for another Noir gag. Wow and I thought maybe I'd missed some plot significance.
In letters Bruce kanin mentions that he couldn't recall them mentioning that the sun is Clark's power source. I believe the only time they did was when the solar flares were going off and Perry was in town. Clark says something to his parents then about being like a solar battery. I don't think it was ever legitimized but I think that's the only mention.
There was another, where he soaked up the sun after being underground with Lex for a while...
For now though, that's as far as I've gotten. Need to get to bed but I will get back to it soon.
Thanks, all! One more week to break, hope to catch you there... And don't forget the KO Count.
WrathReviewed by: Douglas Trumble
Smallville Episode review Episode 7-7 "Wrath"
Whoa... I really liked that one. No really I mean I really liked that one.
We had it all. We had MAJOR movement forward not only in the running season plot but MAJOR forward motion in the lives of at least two of the lead characters. Plus they even took the time to reference past events and their consequences on the present and to show that they actually learned from them.
First of all I loved the idea of having Lana and Clark get into an accident that gives her Clark's powers. Awesome idea. Sure how Kryptonite happened to find its way to the Kent farm like that is a bit iffy but it's a minor point. It could have been something left behind or dug up when the movie crew was there a few weeks back so I am not going to dwell on that. Having Lana become Resplended woman is just too neat an idea to let that bother me.
I loved how at first it was fun and games and that Lana and Clark actually seemed to be enjoying it for a bit. I was in tears laughing at the earthquakes. That is perhaps the funniest thing they have done on the show. Yeah I know it was a bit on the goofy side but I still think it was amusing. Especially Chloe's reaction when she realized the seismic cause. As much as I hate that Clark can't be intimate with a human idea they did play it for a good laugh here without being gratuitous. Heck there wasn't even any shirtless scenes so they were totally going for laughs and not the skintastic. Nice job! It's nice to see the producers learning they don't have to go with the sexy all the time.
I also liked that Clark was taking Lana's "condition" seriously. Sure they had their fun and he was willing to give her some leeway but he was still worried and was making sure he and Chloe kept their eyes on Lana.
Which was a good thing because Lana went evil pretty quick. Which is when I say Duh because she's been evil for some time. Now she had just a bit more than $10,000,000 to do her evil deeds. Lionel was absolutely right. Lana is not who Clark remembers her to be. More importantly it was clear at the end of the episode that Clark also sees that now. He did not just toss her out and cut her off. No that is not Clark Kent's way but he knows something is not right there and he's not blinded by love anymore. That was really nice to see. He'll try and save her. Turn her back.
That's Clark Kent.. But it's not Chloe Sullivan. Whoa. Chloe. I loved Chloe here. I mean they really hit the nail on the head with her character in this episode. She was amusing and cute when uncomfortably wandering into the super powered love nest, yet in the end when she saw a real threat to Clark she was hard core and deadly serious. All well played by Allison Mack. I had chills when she was taking Lana to task about Clark. I loved the way Allison Mack played it. Deadly serious but softly serious. I don't know if I am explaining that well enough for someone to get the right idea if you did not see it for yourself but that tone was awesome. That moment in the Isis foundation lobby was one of Chloe Sullivan's finer moments. Something that really drives home her place in our future Superman's story. Not only did she snoop out all the facts on Lana's symbolism, she stood her ground, risking a friendship to protect someone she knows the world is going to need.
Speaking of good acting. I just love Kristin Kruek's villain mode. I really do. Lana as a villain is just awesome. She's wicked, nasty, deadly, and pretty all at the same time. There is no sweet there which is exactly how I think they need to play it. Evil Lana needs to be a complete polar opposite from sweet innocent Lana of the past and they are doing a fantastic job pulling that off. I like the idea that she is still feeling for Lex in some way. I even like it more that Lex seems to dig the fact that she is obsessed with him. Only Lex Luthor would find that a good thing. He's still in the game. As long as Lana is after him, Clark wont win and that's really what it comes down to for Lex. If he can't win then he's okay as long as Clark doesn't as well.
I also love how we're already seeing Lex's Superman obsession growing to a fever pitch. Even before Clark puts on the cape Lex is after him. Having him constantly refer to Kryptonians as creatures or monsters was a nice touch. Plus thanks to Lana doing her Lana-fu on Clark Brainaic is back and things are really starting to heat up. (Okay so maybe Clark had a bit of the blame there but he did not know what was in that Jar. He just needed the Kryptonite to get the powers away from Lana).
The FX folks were on top of their game too. Sure they changed things up a bit from past episodes and they may even be doing it a bit cheaper but I still think they are doing a fantastic job with the super powers. Lana and Clark's fight was pretty sweet. The slow motion blur as Lana did her Lana-fu was, if nothing else, cool to watch.
It's not that the episode was prefect. I know I did not like Lois' little fling with her boss and I mentioned a couple things above but they were all minor compared to an overall great episode.
But over all we had Lana coming out of the villain closet, Clark's eyes are open, Lex finds out he's back in the game to win Lana, Chloe throws down the gauntlet, and the Brain-Inter-Active-Construct is on the loose once again. I call that pretty good.
I am going to give it a solid A. Call it a 4.75 on the Richter Scale :)
Next week? Helen Slater is back! SWEET! I am so there.
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