Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 7 - Episode 12: "Fracture"Reviews:
FractureReviewed by: Douglas Trumble
Well they can't all be a home run I guess. There were quite a few good things sprinkled throughout this episode. Moments here and there that I really enjoyed. The problem is that taken as a whole I did not seem to enjoy this one very much at all.
First of all it seemed like the story was built around their gimmick idea. Let's get Clark inside Lex's brain so we can see the twisted workings of the villain's mind. Honestly it is a good idea. One with lots of potential. That part of this story worked very well I think. What went on during the times we were actually inside Lex's mind were fantastic. The problem was what was going on in the real world around this part of the story.
Talk about just thrown together. Yikes. Ok I get it that we the viewers were just thrown into the story part way so that we could follow Clark into Lex's mind to try and find out how things got to that point. The problem is we really never did learn how things got to that point. They just glossed over so much of the story to get to the "good parts" that they ended up making the good parts less... well... good.
How exactly did Lex find Kara? How did Lex even know Kara was missing? Since when did Clark think Kara was dead? He clearly said with surprise. "She's alive?" Well ummm Yeah.. Did I miss something that she wasn't? Why exactly did Lois follow Lex to Detroit?
Now I might be wrong here but before Bizarro showed up to replace Clark didn't Chloe and Lana run with the story that Clark was spending Christmas with Kara and her family in Minnesota? So Clark comes back and Kara does not... They did not announce to the world that Kara was missing. No. It would have just been assumed she stayed in Minnesota by those not in the know. In fact it was more likely that she just ran off on her own again like she had done earlier in the season. Yet Lex was looking for her? There are reasons why he could have been searching for her in general but he seemed to be well aware that she was actually missing and not just back home in Minnesota. I understand he is obsessed with her after being saved by her. Plus he thinks by gaining her trust he can use her to find out Clark's secrets. So there is some sense in his actions but I just don't see how they got from point A to point C. Point B is missing.
What is also missing is Kara's story while she was missing. Sure we get the 30 second summary version but it's almost like an entire episode was missing here. Some questions are sure to be answered in future episodes, like how she lost her powers but they just left me confused when viewing this episode. We're suppose to feel sorry for her being taken advantage of but we never learned why she trusted or liked this guy to begin with. How are we to share in Kara's heart break if we never learned to like the guy with her? Why is that all that important? Because it will help us understand why she is falling for Lex's line. Minor thing maybe. Sure we know the guy was a bad guy who did bad things. Ok. I guess that is enough. But ya know I do not even remember his name and don't care enough about him to even try and look it up. That's how dispensable the villain in this episode is.
What happened to Kara's House of El bracelet? Does Lex still have it? Does he remember seeing the "S" on it?
What is up with Chloe's powers? I like the dramatic issue involved with it. She was clinically dead for 18 hours after healing Lex. That is no small thing. The problem is she was able to heal Jimmy's minor wound with only a small effect on herself. Ok. So bringing people back from the dead is not something to be done lightly. I get that. It just seems that less serious wounds would be something she could handle. Let's say Impulse broke his leg or Green Arrow took a bullet in the arm. Could she not heal them without going into a day long coma? I am thinking a healer would be a huge asset for the budding Justice League and not all wounds would be near death.
Lionel just happening to have a secret project hidden away? Bwhaahahaha. Problem is how did Lana know about Lionel's secret projects? He seemed to be well aware of Lana spying on Lex. You'd think he'd be able to keep Lana out of his business if he wanted too. I know it was needed for the plot and having it come from Luthor Corp. That was logical but how the heroes found out about the device was a bit contrived to put it lightly. Not only that but the terrible trio shows up on Lionel's doorstep and demands to let them brain probe his near death son? Yet that is all off screen? What? No way. I would have liked to see that conversation. Needless to say. The machine to allow Clark to enter Lex's head is a neat little sci-fi gimmick that has a lot of potential but I just don't like how it was pulled off in this story.
I did like how Clark saved the day in the junk yard without being seen by Lois. It showed he is getting a lot smarter about protecting his identity. Sure the villain saw him but he has no idea who Clark is. Maybe in the future he will be watching TV and see a shot of Superman and say to himself..."Hey. That's the guy who dropped those cars on me that one time."
Now... Let us talk about the one aspect of this story that did work very well. The two sides of Lex inside his mind and how they were represented was simply brilliant. Young innocent Lex. Dirty, unkempt, roughed up, hurt and hiding, yet full of hope and wonder. That compared to the prim and proper grown up Lex. Fully of anger and malice. Dressed in white and seemingly full of added strength.
Good Lex dropped everything, including his regard for his own safety, to help Clark find the memory he was looking for. Bad Lex took sadistic pleasure in forcing Clark to watch a memory of him making love to Lana. Good and Evil so well displayed yet all within the character we know to be Lex Luthor. That was nicely done.
The dark dirty hallway was fantastic imagery. I loved how the rooms morphed into the memories. It was also extremely touching to see good Lex refer to Clark as his best friend and to later hear Clark also admit that good Lex was his friend and that he did care about him. This little exchange adds so much depth to the hero/villain dynamic between Lex Luthor and Superman. I love it.
I absolutely loved the speech when Clark told Lex's good side that he will be looking for him now that he knew he was still there. That little moment between Clark and good Lex was worth every moment of a less than stellar episode. We can see why Superman always looks for the good in people. In some cases he has met it face to face. Plus Clark will see hope for Lex's redemption here.
Add to that Clark risked himself even further by staying just a bit longer in order to give the good Lex a fighting chance.
So basically I liked the whole inside Lex's mind story line but was not too keen on how they got in there.
I'll have to give it a C. Call it 2.5 out of 5 out of the blue plot devices.
Did not see a preview for next week but I do know there are still a couple of new ones in the pipeline. Plus I read since the writers got their contract all figured out they will be filming 5 more for the end of the season. Awesome!
FractureReviewed by: Neal Bailey
This episode is, ironically, the same style of episode as the twelfth episode of last season. Both involve wandering around kooky minds trying to find hazy things about characters we know and love out. Unfortunately, instead of advancing the characters, as neither episode did, this episode parades around thing after thing that we already knew, with one addition. Lionel Luthor was abusive. But only lightly abusive, and in a way that won't disturb television viewers.
I mean, throwing your wife to the floor and knocking your son into a table? Not a good thing in any respect. But I've seen and experienced much worse. It just belittles the point to me.
Beyond that, they stole the plot from The Cell, hokeyed it up with pseudo science, and didn't really change anything from the beginning of the episode to the end. It was an episode that hinged wholly on the cool factor of Lex's inner psyche without going into anything really edgy or awesome, and married it with a bunch of inconsistency and random leaps of logic.
The time in this episode was insane. Just utterly insane in almost every respect. Lex is shot in the forehead, then has time to travel to Metropolis from Detroit, which would ironically be okay if Metropolis were actually in New York, where it belongs, but in Kansas, he dead.
Beyond that, Lois and Kara somehow can't climb a fence, and stay in a Detroit car yard for all of that flight time and the time it took Clark to be in Lex's head, and... ah, hell.
DETROIT! says the dramatic cue card. Why Detroit? Well, because it's a town of small-town diners, right?
The opening was hacked up for me, I don't know if it's the same for you guys, but the music was WAY louder than the dialogue. I couldn't understand half of what they were saying. I'm guessing this is because I use a surround sound system, but still, that's a part of design. I didn't have it on CONCERT HALL, where music might drown out the vocals. I had it on basic audio.
Lex sees the S symbol on Kara's bracelet, so now, if someone appears wearing that symbol, he'll know she's connected to it. That's a bit of a gaffe. I assume he still has the bracelet somewhere.
I don't really know why the scene was in the driving rain, what that served for the narrative (maybe to dramatize Lex's death, but it just made the dialogue harder to hear for me), but the lightning effect when Lois is running was neat.
But it begs the question, why are they running through the rain from this guy, why is he chasing after Kara, why is Lex there, how did they get to this point, questions which are never A to B connected, just left for us to assume, while they waste time going to extraordinary lengths to tell us how the magical memory machine works, when that's exactly the thing you don't want to focus on.
Well, that and the Lana/Lex sex which was arbitrarily protracted. Or maybe it just seemed like about four hours to me.
Lois is like "Kara, it's me! You've borrowed my jeans!" But I'm struggling, aside from knocking her out, to remember a single Lois/Kara scene. It seems like Lois was just arbitrarily thrown into this episode, and she served no real point at all. Or she COULD have served a point, had she been a reason for Kara not to use her powers to escape. But either way, Kara should have been able to climb a stinking fence in six to twelve hours.
There's also the question of Kara not having her powers, which is also utterly odd. Clark didn't know he was going to have powers before they manifested, and it's been shown on the show that people who don't know Clark has powers but suddenly receive his genetics discover their powers (Lana's eye beams, any villain that's absorbed Clark), so why amnesia would stop Kara from knowing she has powers is beyond me, complete with the whole "Gee, Clark's a nice guy, but he's hiding something!" speech at the end, affirming that for some reason no one is clueing her in.
Linda is a nice touch, one of the few this episode, in reference to Linda Lee. But as is typical, it's just lip service.
Lex is shot again to move the plot forward. That happens an awful lot. But here, he's SHOT IN THE FOREHEAD. Between the eyes. At close range.
But I guess he can, uh, somehow survive a shot to the forehead and be flown ALL THE WAY TO SMALLVILLE, only to have doctors shake their head?
AND AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES!
Cut to a scene where Lionel grieves like, well, a fat kid grieves a sandwich that falls on the floor. "Eh. That sucks, but I'll just make another."
It's not even like, crocodile tears, either. It's that Glover, an actor I have the utmost respect for, phoned it in, and couldn't be drawn to conjure real emotion over Lex's impending death. And I don't blame him. It's so contrived, how can we expect even the actors to feel for this dilemma? He's shot in the forehead, not insta-dead? And FLIES BACK TO SMALLVILLE?
His dialogue consists of, basically, "There's a lot of stuff I wanted to say to Lex that I should have said that remains unsaid. Said. Said."
Clark and Chloe are all busted up, too. They stand there, going, "Gee, where's Kara?" Because Kara's location, which they've been ignoring for quite some time now, is suddenly primary to someone they know being SHOT BETWEEN THE EYES AND DYING.
We then have the same scene twice. First, Clark berates Chloe for suggesting that she heal Lex, because she MIGHT GET HURT!
Then Clark decides to read Lex's mind to save Kara, whereby he MIGHT GET HURT, and Chloe? Well, she's just silent. Lana does Clark's previous job, berating him.
Either way, Clark and Lana are both out of character for suggesting that someone who is in a position to help someone not attempt to do so because of personal risk. I mean, the WHOLE DAMN #%@$ING PREMISE OF THE SHOW is that we are vicariously living the lives of people who take abnormal risks to save the lives of people they hardly know, and then you put them in front of members of their INNER CIRCLE of family and friends, and have them berate each other for trying to save them?
Lana, right in front of Chloe, who looks on like a half-retarded ape, does the computer wizardry, again spitting in the face of a fine character so Lana can look good. She dazzles both with her computer skills, revealing: THE 1960S MIND-SWAP machine!
My buddy Felix pointed out that he thought that Smallville was getting to be on the level of the 60s Batman show. I disagree (and get this, I don't think he should stop writing! Get that, letter writers!), but I do think that in this case, he's wholly right. I mean, the old MIND-SWAP machine, where they put electrodes on a guy's head and you can share or switch thoughts?
Are you #*%$@ing me?
Clark agrees to put himself into Lex's thoughts, at which point I paused the episode (which moved forward at a crazy-fast pace, thus we're supposed to, I guess, miss these things and Lionel's lack of grief) and wrote:
Are you crazy, or is Clark just getting in this machine without the audience knowing why?
I then thought for a minute, and realized, "Uh, okay. He's going to find Kara. Where Kara is."
And they even said as much, but it didn't sink in with the dialogue, because it's like wanting a soda, so you fly to Paris and hit up a vending machine.
You have super-speed. And a crazy father in a fortress who can seemingly grant miracles who sent this girl away on accident. And telescopic vision. And Chloe, the world's most instant hacker who can connect the smallest dots for the largest purchase in conclusion.
As writers, AND in the logic of this universe.
You first think, "Uh, why doesn't Clark just run around in the area where Lex was when he was taken away by the ambulance?
Then you think, "Heck, why doesn't he just stand where they picked Lex up and listen for Kara's voice?"
Then you think, "Hey! Lois has a cell phone! So did Lex! Why don't they triangulate? They have before!"
Then you think, "Uh, why didn't the cops look around to see who shot Lex, and why doesn't Clark have Chloe hook him up with where the police are doing the searching and go from there? Why the jump to the mind-reading machine?"
Then you think, "Why am I watching this show?" But at that point, Clark and Lana, who were at each other's throats last week, are making dovey eyes at each other, deeply in love, as Clark is strapped into the machine.
Cut to some of the cheesiest brain effects I've seen, and we're INSIDE OF LEX.
This, like Onyx, could have been a great chance to blastoff with Lex Luthor awesomeness. Instead, they stuck to surface, obvious crap.
You mean, Lex is teetering on the dark side, and only a small part of him, rapidly diminishing, is still good? The part that was friends with Clark? What a novel concept. Hasn't been explored at all. Nope.
The boy, I thought he had brown hair. Bad choice of filter if you're trying to make it clear this is young Lex straight off.
Cut to the TECHNO GUY on the BRAIN MACHINE: "He's entering further into the cerebral cortex!" Beep boop beeo beep boop!
At least Star Trek techno-babble is consistent.
I can just see him turning to Lionel after he makes that statement, once the cameras have gone back into Lex's head.
Lionel: "He's entering further into the cerebral cortex?"
Techno: "Uh, metaphorically speaking, of course. Actual physical entry to quadrants of the brain is retarded."
Clark sees Kara, who for some reason has a bandage on her arm. I believe this is to communicate to us that she's vulnerable now. For no apparent reason.
Little Alexander (a subtle, worthwhile nod to the comics, if you've read Adventures #600, I think, and out of the blue coolness) grabs Clark, and squanders the coolness of his naming device instantly by telepathic extrapolation through dialogue with Clark.
Clark: "Hey! You're all that's left of Lex that's good, aren't you!"
Lex: "You're my best friend! I trust you!"
This, of course, being the 8-year-old Lex who never knew Clark.
BLUNT STICK! YOU'VE BEEN HIT BY A BLUNT STICK! HOW DOES THAT FEEL?
The music also overrides the dialogue here for me.
I think the most annoying part of this episode is not that any and all character effects will be ignored, but that they're ignored in this very episode. Clark finds this little guy who tells him that Lex still has good in him, and at the end of the episode, Clark goes to Lex like an assumptive ass and condemns him for trying to save Kara's life (and succeeding, for all Lex knows) as opposed to trying to find that good and redeem Lex outside of one half-hearted sentiment. But I'll get there.
Lionel as abuser I already mentioned. I suppose they're trying to draw the connection between the fact that Lex is crazy because his father neglected and beat him, which is a palpable motivation for sociopathic tendencies, if you ignore the fact that the past seven years have been all about the fact that Lionel cared so much for how Lex acts, to the point of obsessive, manipulative control, that neglect is not the issue. A rare gaffe in the typically spot-on understanding of consistency in character that is Smallville, of course.
And again, Lex is pitiable, not evil, in this circumstance. And Clark turns to condemnation, an un-Supermanish trait if there ever were one.
In the memory, did you catch the STRIDE GUM display? How many of you have been to restaurants with GUM DISPLAYS? I mean, is there just no shame in the advertising?
Strike that. Later, the whole steady shot on a SAMSUNG phone with the name of a teeny bopper song stuck in the window for about six minutes of screen time makes the Stride Gum display look subliminal.
TECHNO-GUY: "Oh noes! Something went wrong with the equipment we totally didn't expect! He's TRAPPED!"
Me: "I totally didn't see that coming! Wow! What peril! I wonder if Clark will survive!"
And then the vomiting. And the regret. And the headache. Smallville is like Mardi-Gras without the naked ladies or the drunk. And with the arrest. And the naked dudes. And getting blinded by beads to the eye. And falling off a balcony. And I'm never doing Mardis-Gras again, guys, so you can just... just go without me next year. OKAY? We're entering the cerebral cortex!
Prolonged Lex schtupping Lana scene. Do I even need to go into it? Arbitrary skin without rationale quota: MET!
You might argue Lex is trying to rub in that Lana will always love him, or taunt Clark childishly. But if so, then why not point out that Clark's just a poor farmer who never went to college and he has BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. And plus, it's not exactly a feather in your cap to have Lana, as Lex now knows, and as Clark should. It is, to quote Colonel Cathcart, a BLACK EYE!!!!!!
I then realize that Lex's memory is in the third person.
I then realize he remembers things that he couldn't possibly. For instance, after he is SHOT and LOSES CONSCIOUSNESS (you know, consciousness, the thing Clark is WADING IN?), Clark is still walking around seeing things (third person) and picking up items and reading them clearly.
Then I realize... not only did they fly him to Smallville (presumably, they could have driven), but they hook him up HORIZONTALLY to a machine without any doctors around when he's in a coma, nearing death?
No matter how rich you are, what hospital would let you do that? It pulls you out of the show, folks!
Lex dies. Okay. Fine. Chloe brought him back from death. I dig.
HOW IS CLARK STILL WALKING AROUND IN HIS MIND AFTER HE IS DEAD, AND WHY IS CLARK STILL ALIVE TO DO THIS?
I mean, this just, this is beyond any kind of reasonable suspension of disbelief. This is like asking someone to swallow a football and crap it out still blown up. It's just not going to happen. Or if it does, something's seriously wrong with the way you consume.
At any rate, Clark lives, makes a tearful goodbye to the part of Lex he then promptly forgets, and shows to deal with captain arbitrary Freak of the Week.
He super-chucks him through concrete, because though the guy has no powers and would be put out with a flick to the temple, hey, Clark takes pains to be overly cruel.
He then splits before he makes sure the guy is fully unconscious. Which he's not.
AND AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES.
Lionel almost loses his son, and there's literally, no emotional torpor. He then spouts a generic, catch-all line, almost as cliché as Lex's "GET OUT OF MY HEAD!" earlier on. "Lex... I love you!"
You want to see this scene done much better? Watch Memoria, where Lionel, played masterfully by Glover, sincerely regrets things he hasn't even done, but was an unwitting accessory to, in Lex's past. Here, he's directly responsible for the traumas, and he can't even muster tears. It's phoned in.
When Glover is phoning it in, something is seriously wrong.
Clark berates Chloe for nearly dying after, to wit, essentially dying. Out of character.
Clark appears in Lex's mansion despite being BANNED FOREVER and accuses him of things because he went after Kara and offered to help her get her memory back. Problem? Lex's actions have no malice to them. At least, no outward malice. Clark's reaction, following THIS STORY, should be, "Lex, I'd like to believe you're trying to help Kara get her memory back. Maybe we can work together." Not "I know you're up to something, because you're evilly McEvil! You're the regular coke of evil! 160 calories, quite evil enough!"
Clark in my ideal world: "Thank you for finding Kara."
Clark in this world: "How dare you find Kara?"
Lex even indicates that he called Clark to try and get his aid, but Lana hung up on him. Lana, who Clark was basically on the offensive at last week, and yet this week he sides with her over Lex, assuming she wouldn't hang up on a guy without giving him a fair shake (gee, that sounds un-Lana-ey, don't it, he said sarcastically).
Lex, it is of note, did nothing wrong. He shot a man trying to kill Kara and Lois.
Then there's Kara's memory, as a device. Hey, guys. IF YOU TAKE A CHARACTER WITH ONLY A QUARTER OF A YEAR'S WORTH OF MEMORIES WITH A GIVEN GROUP OF PEOPLE AND WIPE THAT MEMORY, IT'S NOT THAT BIG OF A PROBLEM.
Beyond that, her personality wouldn't change. She wouldn't go from suddenly trusting people like Clark to suddenly trusting bad people. It's just... it's hack.
Clark doesn't mention that Lex and Clark were friends to Kara. Out of character for Clark.
Lex mentions that he isn't friends with Clark because he grew up. Well, if you can grow up at 27, which is about how old he was when they broke it off in this continuity, hey.
But he has a point. Clark is an inconsistent, immature, hero of circumstance. Not the Clark I admire.
This episode really had about next to nothing going for it. The scene with the abuse had an inkling of emotion to it, but didn't push the point home. The concept of walking around in a brain has been done before on this show, and this time is an almost direct lift from another movie. I cared for none of the dilemmas, and the characters are out of character.
Fully awful. 1 of 5.
I finally had an opportunity to read you SR review and I agree entirely that Routh did a spot on job as Clark/Superman, and I couldn't understand why critics were at all harsh on the portrayal.
From what I read, people didn't like his size or his mannerisms. I'm not quite sure. I enjoyed his performance, but not so much elements of the plot.
I must also agree that I was not keen on the Lois character. I always pictured someone like Selma Blair in the part; now of course with the 'Hellboy' franchise, and I think a good one at that, she's already known as a Super-Hero character of her own. Athough, I don't want to take a jab at Bosworth, but rather the writing of her character.
I'll take a jab at Bosworth for you. She's wooden as an actress.
I really enjoyed your description of how those of us who just didn't 'fit' in childhood, had that sense of wonder and elation at the fulfillment in Superman. It was exactly that magical experience for me, seeing the film when I was 4 or 5 for the first time. All the abilities, and limitless possibilities for someone who had been held back and held seperate from everyone else. I too had that same feeling of overwhelming joy when I showed this Superman to my (at the time) 15 month old nephew. His eyes wide, were glued to the screen, just to watch the scene where Superman takes in all the energy of the yellow suns' rays. With that music, at that moment, it still gives me goosebumps. He's obviously too young for many aspects in television and film, but I purposely let him see that scene, and hear the music of the end credits. Superman is a role model, and to me, still a Superhero that stands apart from the others.
There are just things he will not, and should not do. There is a purity to him, and certain things that should not be messed with, for fear of tainting that image. I must say, I'm mixed on the whole Jason sub-plot myself- having watched Superman and Superman II numerous times. What leaves me mixed is the final scene of Superman and Jason- it's played well by Routh and gets to me every time. But it is an unnecessary and annoying love triangle that they threw Superman into, and that makes it feel like Smallville nonsense to me.
Me as well. He's supposed to be a paragon or moral responsibility, and yet he still manages to have a child out of wedlock he didn't know he'd conceived? That's something the dumb lady down the street who can't afford food for her kids did, not the Superman I idolize.
I also feel that most writers today, in television drama only seem to know how to write tension for 'couples' by breaking them up. In real life, there are so many levels of tension, heartache, enjoyment and despair to be found within any relationship, and a breakup doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.
They do it because it's easier than deconstructing a relationship with rational dilemmas.
This horrid form of writing is what Smallville has made far too much of its' series about, and the love triangle plot of SR sadly seems like the writers adopted a Smallville type of story direction, which is quite disappointing. On a personal note, I am truly bugged at the use of the Richard character because of the actor portraying him. This is not a personal jab at the actor- but the fact that he is 'the man in the middle', in the X-Men films,(until he was evaporated), as well as (a movie which I will not expect many to know) The Notebook, as 'the man in the middle', and yet again here as....Do I need to say more? To me, it felt like stunt casting,"Get that Middle Guy!", and as though they were setting this character up to be loathe, when really in this situation, if it were real life, no one is a winner. It's a terrible situation to be in. By putting in this actor, and my having recognized him from previous films, in the same exact role, I felt like they were justifying what will inevitably be a cruel dismissal of this character.
I didn't see The Notebook, but he does always seem like the chump nice guy who eats it in the end.
On the technical side, I must say, too many loose ends with Jason, though I love seeing that piano go flying, and him looking at the inhaler like 'see ya later'. One very important thing to me is the length of his hair. As a yuppie kid, that hair would be hacked off and groomed perfectly- which makes me again think this is purposeful of the filmmakers to make us scratch our heads. Supermans' hair cannot be cut- so does this mean Jasons' can't either? If so, it definitely means that Lois knows who the father is, and for that matter, it makes Richard an idiot to have never figured that out.
I don't know if I'd go that far. I know rich kids with long hair. If anything, I'd think it'd be more present in rich families, because the kids are more indulged.
As for her not remembering her relationship with Superman- but ending up pregnant- this film depicts her as (possibly, jury's still out)believing Richard is the father, until the piano incident. Here's what bugs me.... This means that Lois, on the rebound, and obviously annoyed at Superman for being gone, jumped right into bed with Perry's nephew, and then found out she was pregnant. So, what could've ended up in a one night stand, became an unlikely relationship because of the child, and we're supposed to believe they're one big happy family? In real life, people who stay together for the kids are usually miserable- forget one night stand relationships. I might have bought them being connected, and sharing custody, but not Ozzie and Harriette. There's only so much suspension of disbelief I can muster. As for their misunderstanding of kryptonite, why don't they do better research on this, with millions of dollars at stake? After reading your review, more technical issues were brought to my attention, and I really find it annoying that even filmmakers who can put so many other beautiful details together, can't seem to understand the affects of kryptonite.
Most writers can't. It's very simple, too, which is why it agitates me. Kryptonite KILLS Superman. It's not an inconvenience. It's not something he can ignore. It KILLS him. Quickly.
I'm used to the lack of attention to such details on Smallville, but all the filmmakers would really have to do, would be to look back AT ALL of Smallvilles' mistakes, as reported by the fans, and gee, I dunno-- read a comic! I know it's tedious, but that's why they call it research. That's what focus groups are for. Get some people to look at what irks the fans, and just get the facts on kryptonite straight. In the long run, it's not all that hard. My Dad's a Teamster, for over 50 years, trust me-- that's hard work. Couple of last notes- the music making scenes more memorable- I mentioned it before- when Superman takes in the rays of the yellow sun, after the Luthor beating. That moment is priceless for me. And early Rosenbaum Smallville is the best Luthor- because he did it with dialogue which at times was subpar- and not nearly the level of SRs' dialogue. I forgot to ask last time- on a recent Smallville- Why is Lana Lang wearing glasses? So she can wear glasses, but Clark can't? I see the Smallville difference, ah....yek!
Terrific review - Read ya later Neal, Ann
Greetings Mr. Bailey....i've been thinking of becoming a super villain. I think i'll call myself, Mr. Disappointed. I don't know what Smallville is doing....here is the jist of my thoughts:
I don't undersatand why Clark always jumps down his fellow hero's throat all the time. It happens with every hero. This time with Oliver was just loud. Chloe is grown and Clark just over reacts and again him and Oliver have the "sitting down waiting for baddies at your doorstep convo". Too repetitive.
Arbitrary drama. They conjure problems where there are none instead of letting it flow organically from a well-thought-out plot.
Next is Lionel going to Lana for help. Suddenly Lana is the go-to character. Have you noticed that the writers have made become everyone elses character: She has mad cpu skills(Chloe), She's being a "good person" and taking care of the meteor freak problem with her clinic(savior like Clark), She can kidnap people like lionel and try to hav them killed(Lex), and now she is the rich crime boss being asked for help by Lionel, being Lionel himself. I am tired of her character.
Oh, and don't forget playing dutiful mother, per Martha.
And what Lionel?! I thought that especially after telling Lex he's lost him, that he wpould be so p!ssed he would go after Lex which would have made a great storyline. It's one that would have Lionel go out with a bang ang have Lex kill him and be ultimately THE top dog!
That's what I hope for, only well written.
Now Lois...I hope you noticed it, she's been getting alot of compliments about her acting in this episode. I can tell you why, she acted like Lois Lane. She already had a vague persona of her but this episode seemed like the Lois from all the mythos came to life. Great Lois Lane, odd for Smallville to have such a change. I also noticed her bond with Clark and the hug....Great sediment but I have trouble understanding how such a bond will have Clark be a bumbling quiet wimp that Lois never really pays attention to in the future. Hmmm?...
That's not their problem, remember?
Just a tid bit into the convo Clark and Lana had, he told that he wasn't perfect, that he stole a Lamborghini. He didn't steal it he bought it. Even though he bought it with stolen money he still didn't steal it.
HAH! You're right!
Towards JLA comment: At the end of the ep Canary asked Clark if he was going to be in the group and he said maybe someday. WTF? What happened to him telling Oliver that he would be a part of it after handling the phantoms? Now its a "who knows, maybe" situation. What happened to him starting the Justice League? Everything is going on without him.
Oh, and he had no reason to be in Smallville anymore without Kara, remember?
As for Lex, his martial arts has gotten alot better don't you think? And I like how he went Lara Croft on Canary and Oliver shoooting them both at the same time...What the hecky darn!?! And why did Clark let lex get stabbed? I read that he's tired of saving Lex and that he knew that Lex wouldn't die from the wound. So that's suppose to make it alright. Sounds like a grudge. Superman is suppose to protect people from harm not just death!!
Yes. I agree. But I buy the martial arts. They established it with his character earlier on with years of mentioned training.
This brings me to the last part, Hero Character Profiling:
Clark- Me and my girlfriend were arguing about this. I told her that this is not the way that Superman is suppose to be. The whole "He's not Supes yet, this is how he becomes the man people recognize" argument is getting old. It's been 7 years!! We are witnessing the man he is becoming and it is not Superman! She told me that every person's version is different. In the words of movie Lex, WRONGGGGG!!!! This only goes to an extent. Every version is different about upbringings, how villains come about, and what him and Lois does. Superman's character never changes. He doesn't scream at other heroes in hypocritical situations. He doesn't let people come to harm. He doesn't cause death. He is honest and respectable, the person that everyone wishes to be. He doesn't flash his powers to everyone he encounters. He doesn't get knocked around when fighting villains we know he could easily pummel. He's confident and strong when he fights. He takes charge and doesn't get led. He is smart in situations and doesn't just run in head first. I get so angry at "this version" of Superman.
I as well. And I was tired of the "He's not the man he will be!" in season 3, given the fact that I was a responsible individual at that age. Society likes to forgive a layabout and a fool because most of society is filled with layabouts and fools. Hell, we elected a dope president over a smart guy because we LOVE a dope. He's like us. Smart people intimidate us. It's why people poke fun at Superman and belittle him by calling him a boyscout and saying he's lame and pathetic. Because he's better than they will ever or could ever be, and has always been.
Black Canary- First off, her sonic sound cannot hurt Superman, especially make him bleed! "But he has Super-hearing, he's like a dog". No, he's like ****ing Superman, he can focus his hearing to not be affected by such a dumb power. Back to her...Her character was totally destoyed. They cut her hair and gave her a mask. So what if the mask is a better way to conceal her identity, it's not her. What if they gave Supes a mask?! I know that they were going for a subtle romance for her and GA but I didn't feel it. She must be invulnerable because not much was done for her bullet wound. And they gave her a corny Xena flip when she encountered Chloe. AL Gough said that he didn't know much about her character, well it shows.
I was going to mention that after this paragraph, but you already did. Yeah. Don't go into interviews and admit what's painfully obvious if you want your audience's respect. FIX what's painfully obvious.
But you know what bothers me the most? Her power. It's the Canary Cry!! I thought at some point i'd be able to hear it. I thought at first it was silent because it was a certain frequency to shatter glass but then i ended up never hearing it. And the stupid thing is that the hyped up promo for that episode, which you can watch again and see for yourself, has sound for the Canary Cry that sounds awesome. Why they took it out is beyond me...
I don't like becoming Mr. Disappointed but it seems inevitable. Thanks for you time sir..... Up Up & Away, Xalax
You know what's hilarious? We've seen the canary cry as many times as we've seen superbreath, if my memory serves me right.
I just finished catching up on your reviews!
I like hearing a critical review of Smallville.. I seem to read a lot from people who LOVED every single episode and think Lana is kick-ass now shes got mad skillz like Chloe.
There are many. As a group, they're like Marvel Zombies. I'm glad they're enjoying it, though. At least they have that, whereas we get shafted.
I've realised something about this season.. each episode is mediocre with one or two awesome/promising moments and one or two reeeallly bad moments. Sad thing is the good moments keep me coming back hoping they will be expanded on.. I havn't learnt my lesson yet. There are times during the episodes that I'm thinking 'WHY AM I STILL WATCHING THIS!!??!' then something totally awesome happens.
I liked Persona and Siren.. Siren was actually a decent episode if you ignore the confusing Lana/Lionel scenes and the Clana at the end.
Persona was funny. Chloe realises it was Bizarro.. when Clark comes back he has to prove its him. Lana couldn't tell that it was Bizarro and needs proof when CLARK comes back that it wasn't him all along. Oh and now Clana are going to try being honest with eachother.. what do they think, FIFTH TIME LUCKY??
I'm convinced Smallville's cast is learning impaired in cognitive ways.
Is Lana jealous of Chloe? because thats what i'm seeing.. Lana is thinking 'Hey! Maybe if I was more like Chloe, Clark could actually TRUST me and we can hav the Open and Honest relationship that I so desparatly crave.'
Like when she said "Chloes not the only one who knows her way around a computer!'
I had repressed that!
Looking forward to the next review!!
I'm just curious. Why on earth do the producers/writers/whatever think that they simply MUST change, by default, every comic character there is? I mean, Black Canary is tailor-made (no pun intended) for post X-Men movie superhero costumes. She wears a black leather jacket, fishnets, and no mask for crying out loud. She's got shortdark hair, and a long blonde wig. How hard would that have been?? The subsonic scream drove me nuts. I didn't care that it was subsonic (some writer said, "This is COOLER than high-pitched, so let's use THAT. Ha-hah, comics suck!"). But I did care that it made Clarks frigging ears bleed. I mean, come on. The guy jumped off a suborbital nuclear missle and landed just fine. And the in-front-of-the-speaker-stakcs bass line from a Metallica concert knocks him cold?
They didn't know the character. They wanted to draw in viewers. End result? Crap. Write what you know.
Lana is godawful. I tivo the show so I can fast forward her scenes. They do nothing to develop the plot, so who cares.
The worst part of this show is that the producers have no idea what Superman means as an american icon. Zero. So then what's the point of this crapfest?
Wrong guy to ask. I'm just Uatu.
I was glad to note in your review that you are turning to rage. You poo-pooed when I commented last time I wrote that, "I think I hate this show now." See? See? :)
Yes, actually. I do.
Yza Villegas wrote:
I'm sorry to tell you this, but this is the more biased, unrealistic review I've read. I respect your opinion but I just wanted to let you know mine. I strongly think you should re-watch "siren" again, because it is the best episode this boring season has produced.
God... it was the best performance Erica Durance, Tom welling and even, Kristin Kreuk have had in a long time.
Glad you enjoyed it. When you have reasons that it's biased and unrealistic, feel free to write in with an unbiased, realistic letter! Take care.
Oh, what, you want me to justify calling your letter biased and unrealistic? Wow. That'd be nice, wouldn't it?
Aw, heck. You win. It's the best episode ever, and I'm an idiot. Happy?
Excuse me. I have other letters to attend to:
Aaron Keel wrote:
In your review of the episode "Siren" you said the fight between Lex and Green Arrow was in your top 5. I would've thought so too if not for the fact that I had seen that fight sequence before in a little known Christian Bale pic called Equilibrium. Here is the link to the youtube.com video of that scene. I mean, it's almost punch for punch. All in all a good episode but I think I speak for pretty much every fan out there when I say "PLEASE KILL LANA"!
Oh, I've seen Equillibrium. I loved it so much that I keep asking my sensei at Karate, "Come on, man, there has to be SOME way to kick a guy sideways while firing a gun." He then shakes his head and says, "Never talk again."
Bennest Karate School in Edgewood, WA. The sensei is a wise man. Come do karate with me some time and share our wry humor and exercise!
Bruce Kanin wrote:
Re: SMALLVILLE "Siren" review
You wrote: "Green Arrow meets Lois bare-chested..." OMG! WHICH SCENE WAS THAT? I missed it! The WB censors allowed it?? Was it really Erica Durance, or a stand-in? Heck, wouldn't matter...
I mixed a modifier! Holy crap! Neal thanks Bruce for pointing out how stupid he is! And yes, that's me making a mixed modifier joke poking fun at Bruce and calling myself stupid. Is this thing on?
But good catch. The above is a really bad one. I write these things on the fly, and sometimes... good times. But at very least you got a good mental image, eh? :)
You rock. :)
Oh, wait, you meant... GREEN ARROW was bare-chested. Yeah, I remember that.
Yeah, me too. Dang.
Love your hair. Did you steal it from the new Batwoman? Oracle? Jean Grey?
I scalped Lex when he was younger. It's why he's bald in Smallville continuity. That changed last week. Yeah! I wrote that!
It's funny, it started red, now it's orange.
Thanks for continuing to publish my review. You rock, as usual. And, as always, I tend to lower my score for an episode after reading the obvious truth (which I try to ignore when watching Smellville) in your reviews.
Hey, I just said YOU rock! :) And never feel bad for a higher rating. I'm pretty harsh. THANK YOU.
And you as well.
paul Schaefer wrote:
I feel your pain. I'm not sure how you and your fellow reviewers do it each week. I would rush home each week to watch the show . Now I put it on and wait for Chloe and Clark scene's. And they are not as good as they once were. I re watch seasons 1-3 over and over. Pick any episode from the last two years and you say to yourself what has happened. I'm trying to make it to the end.Its hard to watch something you love die a sad death.
I was going to say, "I felt the same about education with college."
But I dropped out of that BS after five years. Sigh. I never learn.
I just wanted to tell you that I agree with you on almost every point you made for "Siren." And yes, I did say almost every point. The point I don't agree with you on is when Clark saw the bullet going at Black Canary and the knife going for Lex and he dove for Canary. I don't see that as an "I don't care about Lex any more so I'm going to save this chick" decision. I felt he was assessing the path of the two speeding deadly objects and deciding which would cause less harm to which person and grabbed the other person. (I hope that makes sense) Now I know Clark's track record with his feelings towards Lex in the past would suggest otherwise, but that's how I chose to see the situation (however right or wrong I may be).
You're probably right. Lex still got co-stabbed in the chest, and Clark's responsible for not stopping it, or at least attempting. By the pacing I saw, he had time.
That's all I wanted to say. But hey, please hang in there. Keep writing, I always look forward to reading your thoughts.
Faisal Ali wrote:
Do the writers of Smallville ever get to read your reviews? If not, is there a way to get your reviews in their hands?
No one has ever told me they read them. If I were them, I wouldn't. When I get my works published, I don't plan on reading reviews. I plan on trusting people who I know will be direct and honest with me. Reviewers almost always have an agenda, myself included. My agenda is to push Smallville toward the comic book and literary vision. The writers likely have the vision of turning Smallville into a profitable commercial television venture. We're at odds.
I know some in the production know of me. I know that I have angered people. I know I have pleased others. That's as far as I can go, really.
The honest truth is, even with 10-15 thousand readers on this site a day, my review is beans compared to the ever-shrinking audience of the show. There were 2.5 million a few weeks ago, as I recall, and though that's about a 65% decline from their peak viewership, my impact range is small by their standards. I would postulate that a single negative review on G4 would do more damage than the entirety of any of my pleas.
Or maybe I do have an impact. But I don't feel like I do at all, given that none of my or our respective concerns have really ever been addressed in any way by the show.
If so, maybe they would realize what utter garbage this show has become. Like you, I watch it only out of loyalty at this point, but my patience is strained. I keep hoping that in the end, when the last episode airs, that I'll get to see a fully formed Superman, complete with the costume, the cape and the John Williams fanfare. I keep hoping that by watching the trite they put out every week, I'll eventually get to the big payoff at the end, but as more time goes on, it appears that the writers of Smallville have no idea what they are doing. Oh well, at least the show was good during the first few seasons.
This episode was a disappointment to me. There is a lack of cohesion from one scene to the next, within a bigger story that has been repeated for the last 3+ seasons. Again the flashback, characters behaving out of character (going to the hospital after hearing Lex was shot)for the sake of the current plot, repetitive dialogue, and filler scenes. Oxymoron given the actual episode in question? Filler scene- young Lex again tortured at the hands of his father, Evil Lex making Clark watch Lana in bed with him (the I told ya so scene, way too cliche'),Lex and his father have another unsuccessful discussion (blah,blah). And then ridiculousness- Hacker Lana with Chloe and Clark, Chloe running back into the lab, and Lana is where? Getting coffee? Lex being brought all the way to Smallville Medical Center with a bullet in his head. Lex getting shot again. Kara is back, and yet no scene of her and Clark reuniting. Clark launching the newest nutball way too far to only be mildly injured. Lois wins dumb as Clark for (most of this season)actually handing Lex her phone, and not having the sense to call Clark as soon as she saw Kara. Clark going to the mansion, and the dialogue again is an interrogation of Lex. It's ok, we get it, they're not friends. And of course, what a shock, that Lana again screwed things up;she hung up on Lex, not only once, but twice (which also means another Lana lie by omission).
Good call. I had missed that. And agreed on all of the above.
We didn't go further at all in this episode, except that we're back on track for Lex to scavenge for information on Clark, inside of Kara's brain.So at the end of this story arch, she too will hate Lex for no real reason. But after this episode I feel like making a healthy wager that Chloe is gonna kick the bucket. I know- broken record- but I think the writing is on the wall now, what with it taking her 6 times longer to revive than the first time. The conversation between her and Clark, and her questioning why she is the 'chosen one' with the power she has and whether or not she'll use it again, has me willing to bet she's going to have the opportunity to decide thrown at her feet again. Eh- she seems to be the only character on track anymore, and I wanted so much more for her. Oh well- cool to see Chloe heal more than a finger this time- but it's all just too thrown in, without any real forward movement beyond exactly where we were when the season began.
I doubt they'll kill her with Lana and Lex leaving. Not until the end of the show.
*Irksome point- 'good, little Lex' should just not exist in any form anymore- if he is truly evil. It's played out. And finally, Lex again appears far too heroic, if it is true that he tried to contact Clark with news on Kara. He tries to save her AND Lois, by the direction of his actions; he didn't take Lois s' life for granted. It appears (atleast partly) that he was trying to bring Kara home to warm up to Clark again. Good play by Rosenbaum, just taking the phone from Lois and putting it in his jacket pocket- simple, nasty, in control Lex. That's all I've got- Read ya later Neal- Ann
Thanks. Take care.
Overlooking the reused basic plot point and the implausibilities of Clark being in Lex's brain, this episode was okay but not great. I think they should have used more archival footage from previous seasons to really bring it together more.
Heh. A clips show?
I've still been thinking about why they wrote Bizarro the way they did. After all, in the comics, he usually is written as dumb and someone who talks with poor grammar and so on. So, I've thought of a reason why they did it like they did:
Bizarro Clark would be indecipherable from real Clark. This is a character who had the "Dumb as Clark" award created in his name, after all. This is a character who had a friend apparently blow up, and when not seeing a body, proclaimed she must be alive (even though it was right, it's still stupid). This is a character who would believe Lana was with Nell time and time again when even Shelby the dog could probably see through it. Other than using the word "Me" instead of "I" when talking a lot, the Bizarro Clark of the comics would be impossible to differentiate.
Maybe they should go back and say that Chloe's meteor freak power saved her in the season three finale but she didn't remember it.
That would require continuity beyond convenience.
It seems every character on Smallville has hacking skills now. They're all just so nonchalant about it, whether it's a government site or a major corporation. Kara, Lana, Chloe--everyone can do it. In the beginning of "Freak" last year, Chloe and Lana were getting scores of 30 or 40 in bowling. Essentially, hacking is easier than bowling for the characters in this show. (That is, until Lana out of nowhere becomes the Smallville bowling champ to suit the needs of the plot. After all, she IS amazing!)
There's really no reason to need to reuse plots and do filler episodes. The potential for storylines this series has is enormous, and it's going to waste. They have 70 years of history to refer to. And if they couldn't do an effect, then they could just use sound effect signs like "BAM" and "POW" like on the old Batman show.
This season I think is still better than the final two-thirds of season four.
So is a vehement bowel movement.
It would be interesting to see either Lana or Lois get a boyfriend who didn't have some really weird trait for a change. Lois becomes the second character on this show to date a formerly dead dude. Lana was with Adam, and now Lois was with Julian.
I think I know why they always move patients to Smallville General. They are pretty busy, true, but they must have a pretty good reputation. The following characters have come back to life while being dead there:
Clark (shot by a bullet in "Hidden")
Chloe (season premiere finale and so on)
Jonathan Kent (in the season four premiere)
Martha (in "Fever" in season two, essentially)
I think there are more. Coming back to life is sort of a theme on this show. It was sort of amusing Clark had to clarify Chloe "dying permanently."
I know there's risk for Chloe as Clark has said, but seriously, would it kill her to go visit Jonathan Kent's grave? Heck, now that I think about it, Adam was brought back to life using vials of Clark blood.
Hmm...this opens a can of worms. All those lame freaks and people who've died...it makes you wonder.
But then, according to "Thirst" when Lana drank his blood, Clark's blood gives super powers temporarily. Then, why didn't Adam have...
I'm thinking too much.
You must stop that to watch this show.
Now, I'm upset, because Clark can bring Jonathan Kent back to life.
Oh well. Hope they get Pete right! (And the Indiana Jones movie better be good.)
Taking bets. On Pete. I know Indy will be good.
Don't foget to check out the updated KO Count page.
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