Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 7 - Episode 9: "Gemini"



Reviewed by: Neal Bailey


  • A clone of Julian/Grant threatens to kill Chloe unless Lois exposes Lex.
  • Clark saves the day. But he's Bizarro.
  • We see will they/won't they scenes (Jimmy/Chloe, Lois/Grant, Clark/Lana)
  • Clark is stuck in the Fortress, in ice, eyes open.


    I'm tired of soap operas. I am. I just hate them. I know, I know, they appeal to a certain demographic, and that demographic watches Smallville, but for the love of God, enough already. Jimmy breaks up with Chloe then gets back with her, Chloe breaks up with Jimmy, Jimmy gets with Kara, Clark breaks up with Lana to protect Lana, Lana gets back with Clark, Lana breaks up with Clark, Lois dates Aquaman, Aquaman dates Grant Gabriel, Clark dates a wall mural, the wall mural has to leave because its six issue stint is up, Chloe dates her handbag, Jimmy dates Lois, Martha dates Lionel, Martha dates Clark, STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP!


    Roughly half of this story is whether or not Jimmy will stay with Chloe, whether Lois will stay with Grant, or what Clark's status is with Lana.

    Here's the truth: This show hasn't laid enough groundwork of character for us to care, at all, about any of the three. The only one close enough is Lana and Clark, and that's so regularly inconsistent it's laughable.

    As for the "A" plot, that of a guy planting a bomb on Chloe, it's just another guy irrationally going about trying to kill people to achieve an impossible goal that anyone, ANYONE would know is impossible.

    It's a clone of Lex, who, if Lex can implant memories, could obviously be given a trigger to collapse and die if he's trying to kill Lex, right? How's that for implausible number one, right there?

    In the chat (after the PST showing, after each new show, in our chat room) I was asked if I was going to savage this episode, if I hated it with a passion. No. Not really. I didn't. There were no huge gaping, awful plot holes. But then, there wasn't really that much to it, either. It was just THERE. I barely have two pages of notes.

    There was a big twist at the end, but the problem is, they telegraphed it awfully. First, Clark acts strange, promoting Lana's insane quest. She, of course, doesn't see anything wrong with that. Har. Second, he flies. DUR. That was a dead giveaway. That's when my notes say, "BIZARRO. For sure."

    My notes when Clark first appears say: "Bizarro?"

    This being because he has a blue jacket, as opposed to the typical red.

    We start with Lois and Gabe making out to falalalala techno. Joy. Sigh. I've already vehemently conveyed how much I disapprove of tarnishing the Lois character by having her firstly sleep with everyone (cause Erica hot) and secondly by having her sleep to the top of the Daily Planet. She got the story because of her TALENT! Yeah! All that UFO expose experience. And they've even got Chloe fetching her research. Awful. Chloe sources for Lois' sexual promotion.

    In another absurd musical choice, when Lois hears that Chloe has a bomb on her, the music ramps up in this strange drumbeat, kind of like Saw, except the moment isn't as tense and the music is indicating it is, so it comes off extraordinarily odd.

    Lex is fencing again. This is decent. Their strikes are very close and seemed off to me, but the acting was actually decent, particularly with Baum. Gabriel is still overdramatic, and it's hard to feel for him at all.

    They mention Suicide Slum, only pluralize it again, slums. They've done that consistently on this show, which bugs me, but at least it's consistent.

    Lois hangs up on the bad guy, which is odd considering he's bombing Chloe, apparently. She doesn't try to text Oliver, Clark, anyone. The guy has also cut her hardline to the computer's internet, which makes me wonder how she's going to file her story. I guess they still hand it in on paper and retype it in 2007.

    Lois hauls a guy who she thinks is the baddie into a closet and beats him senseless. This is supposed to be a cute scene, because it's so funny. Then the guy gets stabbed in the back and is never seen again. You know, if my bumbling caused a guy to get stabbed to death, I might think about it again. But that's, you know, realistic.

    And as if his poor bit part weren't enough, he excuses his odd scene by pointing out that Lois is a babe! Hey! Wow! And Lois doesn't go, "That's kind of pervy!" she's just like, "Well, okay, yeah." The show runs with its own reality. I might say that kind of thing in real life (I do) but I get flak for it. Hot chicks tend to bristle when you call them hot chicks, either with insecurity or with anger. Not sure why, but hell, it's not my world.

    Clark/Bizarro drives Lana all the way to Isis to illustrate his point about working with her on Isis instead of talking to her. This is so she can illustrate that she's broken Milton Fine's jail vial, a SECRET, and expose Scion. Meaning she LIED when she told Clark she'd gotten rid of all her research and quit. There's also the SECRET of the nearly dead girl Brainiac attacked that Lana kidnapped and placed in a dark room to observe... yeah, that's legal and moral.

    She SPEAKS Kryptonian, however. My buddy Paul Glass noted this, and we're trying to get a recording of it. It sounded Aramaic, maybe Hebrew sounding, which would be interesting. They'd better watch out, or convention geeks WILL be speaking Kryptonian to one another. I'll do it, hell.

    Clark blames himself for Lana's actions. Lana says it's not his fault. I am amazed. I actually had started writing, "Lana agrees with Clark?" when I realized she wasn't agreeing. It's gotten to the point of where Lana being civil and normal is atypical and unpredictable, heh.

    Chloe and Jimmy's tension is played for constant humor in this episode. I didn't laugh. I laugh pretty easily. The only thing that doesn't make me laugh is when something is trying to be funny, or forcing an awkwardly implausible situation. And I don't mean Ben Stiller dodging a dog that flies through a window while trying to kill him (funny). I mean two people seriously supposed to be in love who begin making out when about to be blown up in an elevator instead of trying to save themselves and they end up getting "SEEN KISSING." Oh, the horror. How funny.


    (Borat not)

    Chloe finds the bomb, knows of the bomb, and doesn't try to disable it? Doesn't try to call the cops? I've never had a cell phone, but my guess is that they work just fine in elevators. Maybe they don't. Either way, they don't really try too hard to get out. I would quite literally rip the fingernails from my hand trying to get through a wall if it were life or death.

    The villain, nonplussed that Lex won't just confess to an evil clone experiment, has Lex "confess" to Lois while he has a gun on him. I always cringe at these plots whereby you get a character trying to get Lex's goat by making him confess in public. Fer crying out loud, a confession under duress doesn't stand even in the court of public opinion. Why the heck do you think people are so rightfully hacked about torture? You threaten my life, I'll confess to murder or a terrorist plot. Any reasonable person would, if there were an avenue to save your life offered. Ergo dumb villain.

    But a sympathetic villain. They play it for sympathy, and it kind of works. Lex cloned a guy, gave him false memories, and now he's dying young. Okay. That's semi-sympathetic. Until you realize it's a plot about a cloned human being (cliché) aging rapidly (worse cliché) who's trying to exert a confession through duress (worst...cliché...ever).

    Chloe's deductive skills are magnificent. From "BOMB ON YOU!" she derives that Lois is obviously being watched. I think she could tell from the distinctive handwriting. Gol.

    I finally felt my first bit of identity or empathy for Gabriel this episode, when he realizes Lex created him as a sick fantasy. Then it passed, when he spoke.

    Lex murders a guy in cold blood with Lois right there. That's...a bit much to get away with. THAT you can testify to.

    But at any rate, he presses the detonator, which starts a timer.

    He presses the detonator, which starts a timer.


    I'm surprised when the timer didn't stop it didn't start the FINAL COUNTDOWN.

    This is the most maladroit statement in this review: The reindeer on the Daily Planet were cute.

    Lex owns the Daily Planet. An interesting development, and not without precedent. I always wonder why he doesn't just buy the Daily Planet and shut it down. I would. Couple that with a great line from Baum, "I am your boss!" and we have what is one of the only exceptional moments of the episode.

    Chloe can apparently control her power now. A bit odd, but okay. I'll take that as off-camera. But if it's an eye for an eye, she should be dead, right? Or she did die, and has resurrection powers, as well? I'm just curious as to why she doesn't try and use it more. Pain is worth saving a life, right? I dunno. I still have yet to see the big deal or point of Chloe having a power.

    Lex cloned his brother, Julian, because he wanted to have a family. Because he, uh, learned how cool family is with Lionel, and because he has no brothers.

    Oh, wait. He has a brother that worked with him against his abusive father still living and out there named Lucas. Instant plot deflate.

    Oh boy! Another soap opera breakup scene with Chloe and Jimmy! They're together, but they're not, but they're, oh die.

    Then, the meat of the episode, the thing everyone will alternatively like or hate. Clark is... A FIRE SPIRIT! No, really, he's Bizarro, and he's horning in on Clark's life while Clark is stuck (EYES OPEN) in a block of ice in the Fortress. Jor-El is apparently making Clark listen by plugging his ears with ice.

    Like I said, there just wasn't much to this episode. Not much good, not much bad. I'm excited to see Bizarro again, I'm glad the Gabriel crap is almost likely over, and I think Clark in the block of ice could yield something interesting, at least.

    But subpar dilemma, subpar acting, generally, subpar subplots. Lex buying the Daily Planet, Gabriel's one moment of empathy, and Bizarro give this episode about a .5 up, giving it a total of 1.5 of 5


    Ivan Pereira wrote:
    Hi Neal,

    My name is Ivan Pereira and I'm a journalist from Queens, NY. I'm a big Superman fan and like your site. As I read earlier, Warner is looking for new writers for the sequel to Superman Returns. Now I'm not a screen writer but I did have some ideas for the sequel. After some pushing from my friends, who loved SR, I decided to write a script. My outline is that the movie will feature Brainiac as the villain using his Superman TAS origins. I would love to explain more about it, but I was wondering if you would like to...

    A) Read an outline and a the script's first 10 pages to see what its like and

    b) point me in the right direction of the Warner execs who can see the script themselves. My e-mail is (DELETED BY ME, NEAL).

    Thanks for your help.


    Hey, Ivan! Thanks for the vote of confidence. I wish I could help you, I do. I don't know the direction of any Warner Execs, alas, or I'd be pitching my own stuff.

    I'd love to look at the pitch though, if you want, and wish you luck. Personally, though, if you want to get into screenplays, I'd aim lower first. Make your own mark with fine indie work or a strong screenplay, then bust in and get asked to do Supes. That and a miracle seem the only way for anyone.

    jeff wrote:
    Hey Neal,

    Just caught up on all of your reviews from the current season. As usual, very spot-on analysis. I do have a few questions/comments, however.

    Sure, and thanks!

    Here is something you never addressed (coincidently, the writers are in the same boat): Why did Kara save Lex? Her mission was to search for and locate her cousin, and before meeting the one we call Superman, she never gave a damn about human beings or human life. I propose she muttered under her breath, "you know, for some reason, today I feel like searching randomly for survivors of chaotic human disasters in the area of Kansas," as she hovered above the earth. Maybe others were still alive (Lionel!). Rather, she plucked out Lex and no reason was given and I don't expect one to surface anytime soon.

    She did it because bald men are so incredibly hot. Or so I hear.

    Seriously, it amazes me the writers of this wretched program belong to a union. You know what? They don't deserve that kind of luxury! Same goes for the two idiots who produce this show. There is simply no excuse for the lack of understanding the fundamental makeup of the Superman mythos and it's prime set of characters. I swear, pick a few guys at random from this site and they'll develop a more robust, consistent set of scripts. They may tread towards simplicity and struggle to span 42 minutes, but at least they get it. They get it! We get it! We know these characters like the back of our hands. Yet, those who write and produce a Superman TV show for a living are totally in the dark. I mean, it's almost hard to fathom at times the irresponsibility and complete carelessness of it all.

    In defense of the Smallville writers, my guess is that they're appealing to a differing demographic than you or I, at least now. It was different in the beginning. The choice to change that falls on Al and Miles.

    I do think they deserve a union, whether I like their work or not. Suits screw writers regularly.

    Every freakin' episode, Lana, Clark, even Chloe and Lois, go on and on about Lex, the supposed megalomanaic. Please, for gods' sake, WHAT THE HELL DID HE DO?!? HOW IS HE EVIL?!? The real Lex would've killed (or at least tried to) Lana where she stands at the first instance, either by his own hands or someone else's. What an absolute failure. It's not incredibly difficult to create a truly evil Lex Luthor and, somehow, the Smallville crew succeeded. Pathetic.

    It's bald envy. He's the hottest man on Earth.

    Same goes for The Man of Steel. He reveals his true self to anyone who will care to listen or observe. Talks openly about his powers and heritage in the building of one of the biggest metro papers in the world. He kills innocent people by accident and "freaks of the week" by accident and with intent. Matter of fact, when does this guy find the time to actually save people anymore??? But the best part about Clark is his lack of guilt. I still vividly recall Cyborg breaking down into tears because the doctor who risked his life to save his was killed and he blamed himself, exclaiming it's his fault. That's a real hero.

    I think ramifications involve thought. This show does not.

    And I watch this show every week. Why? It's not like I expect my viewing experience to improve 1000-fold. I practically expect disappointment but I still complain. Why? Because I care so much about this character and, sadly, once this show is over, who knows when's the next time we'll see a live-action Superman show.

    Honestly, right now I am asking myself many of the same questions. I promised to review to the end, but I'm wondering if that "end" has a statute of limitations. It seems to have "ended" for me a few episodes back. I just can't get excited any more outside of my own designs on the concepts.

    I dunno about you, but I cannot wait to see how they write themselves out of the metaphoric elephant in the room; that is, Superman hiding his identity in plain sight. Oh wait, I forgot, they don't care in the least bit. Otherwise, Clark would've been wearing glasses in Season 1.

    That's not their problem, recall. Sigh. I was actually there when they said that, glibly. In the room.

    Take care,

    You too.


    Tyson L Cromeens wrote:
    Hey Neal,

    Its Tyson the guy who pestered you to read your article in Smallville. If you could send me a copy via email or snail or whatever I will be happy to pay you back whatever you need. I sent Younis an email about reviews starting at the Death and going on. He said he loved the idea. He said he needs the right people to do it. Well I think you fit that bill perfectly. You were awesome to meet and I hope to see you at more cons. Also, the rep of Superman homepage was awesome. You did them proud.
    Later days,

    Thanks! I'm actually going to try and make that a steady goal soon.

    Brian G wrote:
    Hey, Neal!

    You wrote, regarding Blue:

    "Instead, he smashes the crystal, and somehow, as he does so, the RING EXPLODES?"


    "I'm just totally cross-eyed now. Hitting it against a console does what a grinder could not?"


    Actually, this one is pretty simple. Since the ring appeared with Lara (don't ask me why, seems to me that she should have appeared totally naked, since the crystal contained nothing but her DNA), when the crystal was destroyed, EVERYTHING that had appeared with her disappeared, including the ring.

    That's simple? Heh. But I agree.


    Scotty V wrote:
    Hey there Neal!


    Just finishing up the letters section of your review for the finale and I wanted to point out something that one of your readers mentioned.

    Loren writes:

    "The idea of a Martian working with a Kryptonian raises its own questions, but it also illustrates one of the tricky problems in Superman's origin. If Jor-El was in the business of locking up interstellar criminals, then Krypton must have had some kind of access to interstellar travel. In which case, why didn't a LOT more Kryptonians survive? If Jor-El was employing Martians, punishing aliens, and taking field trips to Earth himself, then why did he have to resort to a baby-sized spaceship rather than saving more of the planet?"

    Now it's possible she's simply referring to Superman's origin on Smallville, which has many unanswered questions and flaws now, but I just wanted to point out that everything she mentions isn't really Superman's origin, but the way it's been shown on Smallville only. Jor-El was instrumental in developing the Phantom Zone, yes, but it was meant for Kryptonian criminals and not interstellar ones. The Martian Manhunter in canon history had no previous connection to Jor-El or Superman but in Smallville they always connect everyone, sometimes (often) in ways that make the whole story harder to swallow.

    Yes. And heck, now in the comics they have interstellar travel too. Sigh.

    As far as the Kryptonians taking trips to earth throughout different time periods, I think it's going to be REAL hard for the Smallville writers to come up with a believable explaination for that. Though we HAVE seen now in the 7th season, something about portals and interstellar doorways that even Kara and Lara used back in the day and we've heard Zor-El say that the portals were all closing and that the one he wanted Kara to use was the last one and the others had collapsed. There are, of course, many problems present in this explaination, like why does Kara need to go through the final portal in a ship if Kryptonians were always travelling to other worlds via the portals without vehicles?

    And if they can travel through time, why don't they just send portals back in time ad infinitum, etc.

    However, what I'm trying to say here is that it isn't really Superman's normal origin that becomes questionable because of these things, rather it's the way Smallville has decided to change ALL of these things and put their own spin on them that brings up all these unanswerable mysteries. It seems they're trying with some, like having Zor explain that Kara needed to use the last portal (but why is it the last and why the ship?) but then with the caves and the stones of power, and so many countless others...not so much.


    Several times too you have now mentioned how there was no proof Lex did anything to Lana and that she's wrong in condeming him for it and all that.

    Then another writer, Colleen, writes: "Even Lana's creepy unfortunate pregnancy--stop teasing us over almost a dozen episodes about THAT whole thing. Is Lex innocent? He seemed a LITTLE surprised by Lana's comments, but maybe he was acting"

    For me, I gotta say I think it was painfully obvious, what with all the Lex apologetic looks (and I think he even voiced it once, saying he did it for love or something like that) that Lex definitely did it. I even think he came out and said the words, but they definitely showed enough in the show to tell us he did it and he's nuts.

    They need to be clear about such things, I would say.

    You then mention Smallville magazine and your writing job again, and though I haven't read it yet (I always wait several months to read the mag causet hey give away too many spoilers in there) I'm CERTAIN your continuity and character work will be 100% better than what they do on the Ville itself. And if I haven't said it yet - congrats on getting the gig!

    Scotty V

    Thanks! I tried. The end piece pleased me.

    B-Rad wrote:
    Hey Neal!


    I know I haven't written in a long time, but I hope you still remember me? I just wanted to say that I'm still reading your reviews the day they come out, enjoying every word of them. Keep up the great work!

    Acourse, man. Your name is very distinctive, and you're a regular. I remember most people. Even really obscure, one-time meets, so long as there's something to jog my memory, and we've yakked a lot, you and I.

    I just don't understand why there are people who write critical e-mails to you simply because you do not share their opinion. Mind you I still disagree with many things you write, but the most decent thing to do would be to list these disagreements and explain them in a respectable manner. That's one thing I just can't stand, people who insult other people simply because their views differ.

    I couldn't agree with you more. It's actually gotten to the point of where there's a site out there where a bunch of guys talk, literally for hundreds of comments, in homophobic ways, about Steve and I. I go there for a good laugh, but I won't promote it here. Suffice it to say, I've never understood why people can't live and let live. But people want to assert themselves onto others, a LOT.

    Since my last e-mail, I am now working for a news corporation known as IITV ( From the past four years of reading your reviews, I like how you have the ability to look at things from a critical perspective. I would greatly appreciate it if you would check it out and give me your opinion on it, seeing as it is a work in progress and every critique only serves to make our site better.

    It's got a nice layout. I don't know if you know, but I'm a big fan of multiple news sites, I used to run a blog that was political in nature, then realized that people can't be persuaded to care or be persuaded, and gave up. I have a huge stream of links I still check though, and this'll be a fine addition. I love video links, especially. Thanks!

    Anyway, take care of yourself and keep on doing what you're doing.


    You too, man, and best on the new work!

    Serethiel wrote:
    Hey Neal! I hope life is treating you well, yes?

    My house is done and I am catching up on work, so yes. Though I have yet to take a break. I take my first weekend since September 23 TOMORROW. To give you an idea. That's the 13th. It likely explains why this review is so short and my eyes are so baggy... but I have elaborated far too much. Thanks for asking.

    I had high hopes for "Blue," I really did. But none of the episodes I've had hope for have been any good...likewise, the ones I thought I'd hate ended up being somewhat decent (with the exception of "Fierce," which was just crap all the way around.)

    It's been a disappointing season to me.

    To me, "Blue" seemed VERY choppy and pieced together...very little character movement, and dull. I found myself very bored.


    Not to mention the fact that Grant being Julian totally ruins both "Shattered" and "Memoria," and those are two of my favorite episodes!

    That REALLY irked me. Memoria IS my favorite.

    There's rumors that Smallville may only have a 15 episode season due to the writer's strike. However, considering the sloppy writing of this season, I'm not sure how it's going to matter.

    We'll see. I can't even say I have hope any more, for the most part.

    Blessings be upon you, and I'll hollar at you later.



    thebrakeman wrote:
    [quote]At the Fortress, Zor-El gloats over Kara and Lara, two FULLY POWERED Kryptonians. I'm baffled as to why they didn't take the opportunity to show Lara, former Kara, using her powers. At all. Not once. She didn't try to smash the console destroying the Earth. She didn't try and overpower Zor-El, which she and Kara could have presumably done. She didn't try Kryptonite. She just kind of WAS.[/quote]

    Whenever I see things like this, (Kryptonian vs. Kryptonian), I think of how the same matchup would be if they were humans. So, if a typically petite woman and a teenage girl were being threatened by a crazy male scientist:
    A. I'm not sure the 2 ladies would have the nerve to gang up on him.
    B. If they did, it certainly would not be a stretch to think that Zor-El would prevail. Any more than a crazy human man could beat up on a woman and a teenage girl. Unfortunatly, we see that in the papers all the time in domestic violence cases.

    Yes, true, but in this case we're dealing with two hero figures, very strong hero figures morally, and they're not just letting themselves be dominated, but they're risking the entire human race...that would make even someone with battered wife syndrome step up and say, "Uh, hey, honey?"

    Just because these ladies are Kryptonian, that does not make them soldiers, trained in hand-to-hand combat. Zor-El, however, seems a bit more disciplined.

    As far as the ring "exploding" when the crystal was smashed, I think it was clear that the ring was "undone" just like Zor-El and Lara were "undone". Everything that was replicated by the crystal was destroyed when the crystal was destroyed. Why? I don't know!! But the ring and the crystal were tied together, just like Zor-El and Lara were tied with it.

    Heh. It's a bit odd, but that I do buy.

    scotty v wrote:
    Hey Neal.

    Just reading your review for "Bizarro." In the first few scenes, you mention that Clark vaporized the water so Lex shouldn't be submerged in water in a car. My take on it was that Lex had tumbled off a bridge into the lake or river that the dam was needed for in the first place. Clark had dissapated the waterfall and cascading waves to save the people and forest, but that doesn't mean that, on the other side of the bridge, which may have even been on the other side of the dam, that there couldn't have been a major body of water that the dam was siphoning off.

    Good theory.

    You then mention that on this show the sun hurts Bizarro so he shouldn't beable to walk around after his organs have been pierced. For this show, I have to say two things. One: Superman's body, unless severely weakened by Kryptonite, should even be ABLE to be piereced as he's extremely resistant (if not measuredly invulnerable) to most forms of physical harm. Two: On THIS show, we've already complained about how Kryptonite is often nothing more than an "inconvenience" so if they're saying that Bizarro is the opposite of Clark, then the sun in turn would also be an "inconvenience." I don't remember the ending exactly, other than Bizarro being destroyed by the sun, but I do know that (even on this show) Kryptonite WILL kill Clark with enough exposure and once he's been weakened enough so I'd think we could say the same here.

    Perhaps...time will tell.

    With the protecting his secret over Chloe's life, I would say he probably knew she was dead already, since she technically died long before he ever arrived, and was already mourning her at this point, not taking her to the hospital because dead is dead. After all she's not injured here, still talking, phasing in and out of consciousness and in need of medical care. She's dead, right? But then in the review you say that Chloe is next scene at the hospital and that THEN she dies. Hmmm. I don't remember everything scene for scene, it's been a few weeks, but that seems to imply two things. First, if Clark was able to take her to the hospital BEFORE she died, then she didn't die in the finale AND he DID take her to the hospital, and quickly, because she was still alive when they arrived.

    Interesting...hadn't though of that, actually. But she was blue, wasn't she?

    I think maybe Lois doesn't connect her healing to Chloe because she was...dead...when Chloe arrived and wasn't privy to what we saw Chloe do. Furthermore, if I were to mysteriously come back to life after being stabbed or shot or whatever, and then when I reopened my eyes again for the first time my cousin was lying next to me, I don't think I'd NECESSARILY make the logical leap that "hey, my cousin just cried on me, exchanged her life force for mine, and then died!" Although, as I've said before, this is Smallville so EVERYONE should know anything and everything is possible, but I don't think anyone knows by this point that Chloe has any meteor-type enhancements so there may not be any real reason for Lois to suspect her cousin just cried on her, exchanged Lois' life force for hers, and then died!

    Heh. Look! A rabbit!

    You then smack Smallville again for showing a girl who's been smacked on the rear smacking the guy who smacked her accross the face. Can't say I agree with you here, because he smacked her so she's definitely entitled to a smack back. Besides, his smack was like a sexual assault. It was an attack that says "I can do this to you because you've got a tight tush and I'm of the gender that rule the world so you've got nothing to say about it!"

    There's still a line. If I punch you in the arm, you shouldn't break my teeth off, and if I grab your butt (change the sexes) and you slug me in the face, you go to jail, I get scolded.

    What it comes down to is the fact that women are allowed to hit guys without much critique because they're viewed as sexual objects. I find that abhorrent. I find violence abhorrent, even though I'm a probationary brown belt in karate. I think there's always a better way, and even if Lois is entitled (and I don't think she was), as a hero, she should have found it.

    When Lois hits him I think she does something any woman is likely to THINK about doing, even if many won't simply because I think most are too shocked to react at all. You then mention how she should have said no BEFORE hitting him. Again I reassert that he HIT her without her invite or without being asked.

    There's a HUGE difference between slugging someone or a full-on smack and a butt pat. Guys butt pat me playing sports. Guys even butt slap me playing sports. Intent is VERY important. Being misguided in intention (IE slapping a butt and not knowing it's unwanted) is very different from punching someone in the face. Particularly in a society where guys are taught to be sexually aggressive by women or get no nookie. That sounds sexist, but it's true. I've never made it with a girl who I didn't, in some way, accept an action that by the above could justify a full-on slap in the face. And that's wrong.

    No it wasn't an attack as if to hurt or something but he's already crossed that line. So I say sure, if you're nice, if you (as a lady) are also interested in the horn-doggin', or if you're just too shocked or cowardly to strike back, then yeah you could let him know and give him another shot but I don't find it to be a prerequisite to striking back and protecting ones dignity. Now, if later, like when Grant kisses her in the office a few episodes from now, she strikes him, I would say your scenario would be warranted.

    I disagree. I think there's a huge difference between defending your dignity (say with words) and slugging someone over a misunderstanding, even if Lex WAS being a jerk. And he was.

    Neal: "Lana Luthor apparently gets a death certificate without a body."

    Ahh but Neal, how wrong were you on this one? (now that we're 8 episodes in and we know that there WAS a body.) I actually found it pretty amazing that they even managed to go that far and it actually rings true for what's going on right now in this series and since we've seen cloning with the Luthors before it works. Again, not that there's ever been any accurate representation of Lex's fall into complete maniacal crazy-man but hey, you can't expect everything.

    You're totally right here, though. I figured there wouldn't be one, heh.

    You then go on to say that Lex shouldn't say he's ready to face his demons because he shouldn't have any demons because he didn't kill Lana. No he didn't kill her, but he knows that he slapped her, the woman that he loved enough to covet from Clark, fake her pregnancy, lied to her continuously (not that I'm harping on the lies, lies, lies) AND murdered (even though it was an accident) her physician!

    Right, but his "demons" were always referenced in what he did to Lana, not the physician, and all he did to her was slap her, a biggie, but she's slapped him as well. As for the pregnancy, they never affirmed that he actually did that.

    Plus, so far as I can remember quickly here, Lex was in an insane asylum for having mental problems, has made it clear he's had to manage his anger, wanted to kill someone on the island he was stuck on because the person reminded him of his father (of course, that was just a hallucination and there wasn't even a person there, that's sane, right?) He's captured, mutated and tortured meteor freaks and others while experimenting for his own obsessions and cloning armies of mindless controlled soldiers that he plans to use to "protect the world." He's been obsessed with Clark Kent and the Kent family for seven years up to the point that he's had a secret room about them and endangered their lives purposely by releasing freaks to attack their home so he could see if Clark was different. So I'd say there are demons to face and I can't imagine you wouldn't agree.

    THIS much is true. But that's not what they're focusing on, it would seem. And heck, Clark's killed ten times as many people, his mistakes have caused worse damage to the world, and yet he's not referred to as "that diabolical Clark Kent!"

    Well that's all for now, talk later!

    Scotty V

    Thanks, Scotty! Good thoughts, man.

    Jeremy wrote:
    Sheesh, I dropped Countdown and I'm so glad I did. The current GL comics are making Superboy Prime out to be a bad@ss, and DC is further grooming that. Yet the dialogue in Countdown is "Waaaah, you don't play nice you jerks! I'm gonna tell my mommy. Wait, she's dead. Waaaah!". Nope, not buying it. In my mind Prime should now be the opposite of Superman without being a Bizarro. Meaning, he should be confident in being a bad@ss. But like with Superman proper, DC just can't get it right. I've taken the hint from Booster Gold #1: look elsewhere. Cause Countdown bites...hard. Take care Neal, see ya at the cons.

    Thanks, Jeremy. I agree. Countdown Prime is ridiculous, Prime by Johns is insanely good.

    Ben wrote:
    Was just skimming your "Smallville knockout count" and had a thought. I'm not sure where this would fit in but I recalled the bracelet belonging to Kayla which should apparently go to the woman Clark is destined to be with. It was built up quite a bit during 210 and the never mentioned again.

    On the same point, Clark was meant to be in love with Kayla and she hasn't been referred to in 4 seasons.

    Hope theres something useful there.

    Don't take this the wrong way, but I haven't the foggiest what you're talking about, heh. My bad memory. That's not YOUR fault, though, that's because of this show's penchant to introduce DESTINY pieces without following through. I should remember this, heh. But at any rate, I recall it faintly, so I will add it to the count, and thank you. You've got a FAR better memory than me. ;)

    Bob wrote:
    Hey Neal,

    In response to something I said about S5 ('Clark treated Lana like crap'), you wrote:

    "I completely disagree. Treating someone like crap is not trying to do what's best for them awkwardly. Treating someone like crap is constantly hiding things from them without reason. Which Lana does, Clark doesn't."

    Just look, if you will, at the S5 premiere. Way at the end, the scene in the hospital. Clark has just come from his parents' house. Presumably, his parents thought to tell him that Jason Teague, a man whom Clark called his friend earlier in S4, showed up at their house, menaced them with a shotgun, and died a fiery death-by-meteorite. It just seems like current events enough to pass along, to my thinking. Presumably, they'd tell Clark this whether or not Clark still considered Jason a friend. Within (what--an hour? two hours? thirty minutes?) of acquiring this knowledge, Clark shows up at the hospital with flowers for Lana. So far, cool. He comes in and within TWO SENTENCES IS PRESSING HER ABOUT THEM GETTING BACK TOGETHER. He knows that Jason is dead, he may or may not know what all passed between Jason and Lana before Jason bit the big green bullet.

    Yeah...he loves her. That doesn't make him a jerk. It just makes him socially maladroit. But honestly, in a show like Smallville, if a person is gone for thirty seconds, they've been gone forever. And as I recall, Lana took the flowers...

    The point is, it DOESN'T MATTER what happened between Lana and her boyfriend. It doesn't matter whether she's technically available. It matters very much that Clark is sitting there in a HOSPITAL ROOM and instead of expressing sympathy and being there for someone he's CHASING TAIL.

    Heh. Clark is hardly the kinda guy I'd consider chases tail. I chase tail. Clark, if anything, is stupid-smitten. Being in love with someone is not being jerky. I can't buy that, sorry. If it is, I've been such a jerk to so many women.

    THAT is treating someone like crap, my friend. It doesn't matter whether Lana is receptive to his advances or not, he shouldn't be making them. People get so caught up in the whole 'secrets and lies' garbage that you decry so often (though I note your own objection to my claim, quoted above, centers around this very theme), that it buries the larger issues of morality. Said issues being, in my opinion, the reason that Superman's mythology is relevant to the larger world.

    I still don't get the leap from "loving someone and giving them flowers at an inappropriate time" to "treating someone like crap." If he had handed her flowers and she had said, "CLARK, MY BOYFRIEND JUST DIED!" and he then replied, "WHO CARES, WOMAN? ME WANT TAIL!" then you'd have some grounds.

    Superman would not act like this. Superman would, in addition (unless I'm very wrong), turn DOWN any kind of advances he received from Lana in this situation, because the girl has as the very least been possessed (which, if you believe it's possible, must be very much like being raped), in a helicopter crash, and tossed around (& T.K.O.'d, of course) by two aliens bent on world domination. She's traumatized, and bound to clutch at whatever seems like safe haven. So what does Clark do? Goes after her like a horny dog, of course.

    Yeah, he jumped on the bed and started dry-humping. No, wait, he BROUGHT HER FLOWERS. Heh. You're not going to get me to bite on this one.

    I do agree, however, that the Smallville Superman quite often doesn't act very Superman like. That doesn't change the fact that Lana's an amoral, almost constant pain in the @$$. I'm not alone with that. As our polls recently showed on this site:

    In early 2005 we ran this poll question: "In regards to the TV show 'Smallville', what, continuity aside, do you wish for Lana Lang right now?"

    We received the following results:

    I enjoy the current Lana = 68%
    Removal from storyline (alive) = 18%
    Death = 14%

    In late 2007 we asked the same poll question with the following results:

    I enjoy the current Lana = 19%
    Removal from storyline (alive) = 51%
    Death = 30%

    Thanks to Steve for the statistics on that one.

    This is why I have two separate categories in my head, as I'm sure most Superman fans who watch Smallville do: There's Clark Kent/Superman, and then there's Smallville Clark. The two men, if they met, would not recognize one another.

    I agree with you here.

    I recall you saying that you hold Smallville to a high standard. Well I hold Clark to a high standard. A lot of people who write to you seem to hate Lana. I don't hate her at all: she's not really vital enough to the story to hate. She was a girl he loved when he was a kid, and that was kind of sweet, once upon a time. She's turned out to be just a tad insane in this continuity, well okay. She's an average human person (at least Smallville average; that place turns out a lot of nutjobs). We should have no expectation for her to have superhuman morality. Clark, on the other hand: to see him acting so frequently on nothing more well-considered than his impulse of the moment, that is a tragedy.

    Average human people don't kidnap and torture people they disagree with, hit them with shovels, cause them pain after major traumas, digitally spy on their exes... there's SUCH a huge difference between Clark and Lana. And while I do agree that Clark has issues, compared to Lana he's a saint. And I agree, she's a typically minor character, but here she's become a major character.

    I still watch avidly every week to see what happens, but I stopped rooting for this Clark a long time ago. It's a weird parallel universe where nothing makes sense if Superman's moral compass is so incredibly off-kilter.

    I agree.

    scotty v wrote:
    Hey there Neal!

    'Lo again!

    I was just reading the comments from "Bizarro" and in them I write about transporter and intraship beaming on Star Trek and you responded with:

    "HAH! Heh. Funny you mention this, and bad for me, because I gotta fess up to the fact that I have played a Star Trek RPG. We used intraship transport CONSTANTLY. The way we explained it per the show is that it uses massive resources (you're going through walls, after all) as opposed to ship to surface (massive empty space). And now I will bury my face in my hands and cry at my own nerdiness."

    I thought this was extra funny because I too have played a Star Trek RPG. What's worse about it, is that I created the game and the ruleset and was the Admiral (what we called the Dungeon Master of the Star Trek game.) Mine was 80 years or something beyond STTNG and I was the Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise M. We had a fun time with that for a while. I even put a Gorn on our ship as one of our security officers. I think we stumbled across the intraship transporting issue too and we always tried to come up with a reason why we couldn't do it too much. Like I'd have a blast hit us or a magnetic cloud we'd enter or something, before the dilemma that could be easily solved by beaming within ship, so then we couldn't do it.

    We called our GM the "Q." and reveled in anachronism. I always wanted to do the future, but my buddy Kev was obsessed with TNG period.

    Later on in the comments we're talking about "Crimson" and the end of "Trespass" when lex gives Clark the invitation to the wedding and I say Lex only takes Clark an invite cause he wants to rub Clark's nose in it and you say he could be being a gentleman because the writing doesn't tell us either way. Lex definitely makes snarky comments to Clark when he grabs his hand and says things like "I want you to see what you've lost." So in my mind, he's definitely trying to stick it to Clark and the writing establishes that exactly through Lex's dialogue.

    Good call. You're right.

    Anyway, that's all for now. Hope you had a sweet Thanksgiving and hope your holidays are swell. I know I loved Thanks day and today was great cause my wife and I closed on our first house today. We are now homeowners AND my birthday's tomorrow! Perfect birthday gift! See ya Neal.

    Thanksgiving was quite lonely. I've had a falling out with my family. But then, I'm sacrificing this year as I have many before for the promise of better, and I still have good friends, good lovers, and fine folk such as yourself to keep me up and going. Take care, beloved Palpatine! Heh. (To see what I mean, check out Blue Harvest, my audio serial, with Pendant. Scotty plays a MEAN frickin' Palpy).

    Scotty V

    Mindy wrote:
    Neal, so glad you liked my last video. I'm hoping you will agree with some or all of the points made in this one even more. I'm planning to send it along with the Fake Pregnancy PSA to Dawn Ostroff and Al & Miles with a revised version. The revise version will be slowed down to be read easier (it was sped up to fit on YouTube because I didn't feel like cutting it in half) and the credits will include the names everyone who agrees with the video.

    Awesome. Feel free to sign me on there.

    Good video!

    I had planned on doing this by December 12th but now I think I'll wait until after Gemini airs since I'll probably want to add something to the part about Julian because myself and others had also figured he was a clone.

    Yeah, that was the only hole. If you seal it, all will be well.

    John wrote:
    Hey Neal,

    I'm a longtime reader of your reviews, and unfortunately, a longtime watcher of Smallville, but hey, I have also rooted for the New Orleans Saints for the past 27 years, so apparently, I'm a glutton for punishment. Although, I would have probably already stopped watching Smallville if not for your reviews. They are awesome. And it's like another poster mentioned, it doesn't work as well if you haven't seen the episode. The CW should be compensating you for keeping your fan base tuned into the show every week.

    Thank you. That's very flattering. :)

    I don't really have too much to comment on, I mean there is so much wrong with this show right now, that I don't know how they plan on transitioning into the iconic Superman mythos, right now it's more like Superman: the Jerry Springer edition.

    I don't think they do plan to do that.

    Well, I will say I the only one who seems to have an issue with Chloe and Lois' dialogue lately? I mean, it's always been campy and bad (I assume intentionally to emulate what the writers think comic books read like) but lately, it is just unbearable. Go back and watch the Chloe/Lois confrontation in the last episode (the one with all the water cooler references) and see if you don't find yourself staring at the TV afterwards blinking and mouthing "what?" Or maybe it's just me.

    It got old for me last year. Pop culture reference plus overly long delivery apparently equals funny to some. Even Xander could barely pull that off.

    One other thing I noticed that I don't know if anyone else picked up on, in the episode Wrath, when Lana got her (cough) powers...anyway, she uses heat vision on a lock's hinges before using super strength to pull the safe door off. Doesn't this seem redundant? I mean, wouldn't just pulling the door off the hinges with super strength suffice without the heat vision? It seemed to me a wasted effect, since we get she has Clark's powers, to use on such a non critical situation. I know that's a nitpicky thing to bring up since this show has much more glaring flaws, but those are generally addressed with much more flair and entertainment than I can bring to the table, I thought I would volley some lesser points for my contribution. I now await the setup and subsequent spike. (For whoever finds this volleyball metaphor I just used annoying and unnecessary, now you see how I feel about 90% of what comes out of Chloe's mouth.)

    Actually, no spike. It's a good point. My response would be to wonder why she didn't use x-ray vision so she wouldn't be detected and just take the combination.

    Thanks for the fun reading Neal, look forward to your review on Gemini.hope the episode won't be as bad as I think it will, but if so, there is always the Saints.sigh.


    Thanks, John! The Saints will win, eventually. Heck, I've got the Seahawks, you have a better chance than me. We choke on a dime.

    James Harvey wrote:
    Hey Neal,

    I just wanted to send a quick thanks. Why 'thanks'? Well, thanks to you and your reviews, I've discovered alot of great SUPERMAN reading I would have ignored otherwise. Thanks,


    Thank you, kind sir. Awesome note to go to Christmas on.

    Happy holidays, all! Be safe...don't drink too much nog. See you soon!



    Reviewed by: Douglas Trumble

    Holy Plot Twists Batman!

    I so did not see that coming. Talk about catching me for a spin! Bizzaro? The whole time it was Bizzaro? BIZZARO! NICE! It is so rare that a show surprises me anymore that I really love it when they can pull off a major twist like this.

    I did think Clark was acting a bit strange all episode. A little too lovey with Lana so to speak. Plus I found the fact that he just blew off Kara missing odd but in the end it all made total sense. Bizzaro never really knew Kara and was a bit obsessed with feelings he picked up when he was cloned from Clark. So having him ignore anything that was new to Clark's life after the cloning and obsessing over Lana made total sense.

    I watched the episode twice. After knowing it was actually Bizzaro all along I was able to spot a few other clues along the way. For one Bizzaro actually flew up the stairwell. I thought at first it was another super jump but on second viewing it was clearing flying. Second Clark was in the Daily Planet when Lex shot the other clone. Sound proof walls might have stopped the rest of the staff from thinking it was nothing more than the janitor dropping a mop handle but Clark would have heard the gun shot. So would Bizzaro except Bizzaro simply would not care. He was there looking for Chloe because he needed Chloe. Someone else getting shot or blown up would not be worth his time. Nice touch.

    Lastly Clark was in action wearing the blue jacket and red shirt. In a Christmas themed episode? I know it's his alternate outfit but they almost always switch him into the red jacket and blue shirt for things like this. Nice touch keeping him in the opposite outfit.

    Bizzaro getting Lana to keep on her Lex fixation was a nice touch too. Keeping her need for revenge going keeps villain Lana in play and I really like villain Lana more than girl next door Lana.

    Grant is a clone? Really? Bizzaro was a surprise... Grant being a clone was not. It is interesting though. What exactly is Lex hoping to do? Clone everyone he loved to make a happy family? Will Lionel be cloned? Does he have more Lana clones on the back burner? Will this lead to Lex actually cloning himself? Because in the end the only one Lex Luthor really loves is Lex Luthor.

    I loved Chloe and Jimmy's reconciliation in this episode. Jimmy really took the news of Chloe's infection really well. I don't understand Chloe though. I know she is afraid of going nuts or waking up in the morgue again but she can heal people. That is no small thing. She has an amazing power that can really save a lot of people. If she can learn to use it without draining herself so much she could really become a great asset to the world. Her place on the Justice League would be as a healer. Not only could she heal the members of the team who are not invulnerable, she can also go with them into situations and help heal people. I can't wait to see how Chloe's superhero status develops.

    Clark is stuck in the Fortress. Bizzaro is on the loose and Brain-I.A.C. is rebooting! This is a cliffhanger of monumental proportions! ARRRRRRGGGG!

    I love it!

    Anyway. I give this one an A-. Loved it. Call it 4 out of 5 plot twists.

    Back to time off I guess. I hope everyone has a very wonderful Holiday Season and I will see you all next year!


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