Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 7 - Episode 15: "Veritas"



Reviewed by: Neal Bailey


  • Lex regains more Veritas memories, leading him toward a safety deposit box.
  • Brainiac turns Lana into a brainless drone irrevocably.
  • Wait... what?
  • Kara starts to teach Clark to fly, and Clark refuses.
  • Kara and Brainiac flee into space for reasons unknown.


    There appeared to be something. missing from this episode. Not sure what, exactly, but, not surprisingly, it seemed to be a finale that pulled back at the last second. Which, of course, it kind of is, given that it might have been the season finale had the writer's strike gone on.

    Spoilers in the next paragraph, and big ones, so despite my usual policy not to hold back, I am.

    According to other sites, next episode Lionel bites it. And Lana is going to stay in this state. Spoilers end.

    Given that, and given the fact that it felt like there was a big Brainiac fight that should have been in here, given that the Clark flight seemed totally... aborted at the last second, I'm guessing that some serious shuffling was done with this script.


    And this is strange

    BUT, this episode was pretty incredible. I can't believe I'm saying that. Two episodes that weren't freak of the week crapfests. In a ROW.

    I always figured that as the END approached, things would get better. The reason Smallville has had such horrible problems is the fact that it's stuck in a holding pattern where nothing of any real import happens. When mythology occurs, or when things move forward, it's EPIC. Positively great. But when nothing happens, predictably, nothing happens.

    Here, we have Brainiac with a master plan, Lex moving towards irrevocable evil as opposed to the diet coke of evil, Lionel paranoid and seeing his own demise, the TRAVELER, i.e. Clark, revealed to the world, potentially, Lana being taken out of the picture leaving Clark responsible and beholden to heroism to make up for what he's done. BIG THEMES, even if they're not amazingly well elaborated upon.

    There was also less to criticize, in that the show was THIRTY-NINE MINUTES LONG. Thirty nine minutes. Literally, more than a 1/3 commercial-to-show ratio. Looking at wikipedia, if you trust it, it says there used to be 9 minutes, and that the average is 42 minutes of show per hour. If it's a BIG episode, why was this one 39 when the STRIDE episode was... oh, wait, that was one big commercial. Never mind.

    Point being, I hate ads. I just do. And I love story.

    Brainiac appearing as a hawk, despite the fact that my brain probably tells me it's less probable in Kansas, worked incredibly well, particularly with that nice full moon. It's a creepy, creepy scene, and I enjoyed the work on it a great deal.

    His dialogue and Kara's reaction are compelling, and for the first time, Kara is seeming much less wooden in her delivery for me.

    The throw, and the fight, and Brainiac emerging from the water were all GOLD. Great moments, good teamwork, it felt like a SUPERMAN show. Because you throw Brainiac a quarter mile, not some unnamed goon. GOOD.

    There's a bit of an oddity here. Kara recognizes Brainiac, but doesn't fill in Clark on what she knows, and she obviously would know more than he would. Though there is that good bit about how even Zor-El, flawed though he is in this continuity, hated Zod.

    BIG COOL HEADLINE HERE reads Lois' screen. I think you mistake journalism for fiction, Smallville, which is why I'm a novelist much more than a journalist. In journalism, what you write about is more handed to you. As a novelist, you write, "BIG COOL TITLE HERE." and then make stuff up. The illusion that reporters go out and make up stories is kind of, well, they used to more, I admit, but the ones that I know (with exception) tend not to beat the street so much as the internet.

    Beyond that, Lois' cleavage is just... distracting. Horribly distracting. I may have to go back to the tape to check just how distracting it was again.

    Yep. Definitely go back to the tape distracting.

    Lex meets with his advisor, and there's a stained glass reflection on his face. I'm not sure if it's interesting or distracting, but with Michael's delivery, I settled on interesting. I'll miss his work.

    Who is this lady? My notes read. I don't know, but it's immaterial in the wash of goodness.

    Lex starts to talk about how since he was healed, his memory has been coming back. This is great, in that it shows continuity and gives a bit of a context to Chloe's power. But then, if he's remembering THAT blur, why doesn't he remember the time taken from him by Lionel's electroshock, and thusly that Clark has powers?

    Lex, Jason, Patricia and Olliver gallivant around the mansion (ER... wait, wasn't the mansion brought over later? Meh.), with a great Swann homage cameo. I struggle to say whether this is Jason being remembered (note in the KO Count the "since he's been mentioned" bit), but since there's no CHARACTERS remembering him beyond him simply being present, I'm gonna say no, but it's still a neat little scene for having internal continuity.

    The actors playing the elder Queen and Teague were more wooden than (JOKE ABOUT LOIS' EARLIER CLEAVAGE REMOVED FOR NEAL'S PROTECTION AND FOR THE KIDS. THANK US LATER.)

    The ENVELOPE that holds the secret to REAL ULTIMATE POWER is a bit of a hack plot device, too, but if it's ultimately neat, I'll forgive it. It's not elaborated on in this episode, but if it doesn't turn out to be something pretty impressive, it'll upset me. But as that's not in this episode, no complaints from me.

    Lionel walks up to his office past this SUPER SMOKIN' HOT gardener. Maybe this'll sound awful, but it's my opinion, so hey, but it's my belief that no dude becomes extraordinarily rich without developing some kind of danger sense for extraordinarily hot gals who want to suck his blood, like a spider-sense. I think Lionel would have noticed Lois there. But that's just me.

    But when she DOES get in there, and Lionel gets ambushed, and looks at Jimmy and says, "PUT IT DOWN!" I actually put my pen down. That's some scary, hardcore acting there from Glover. Insanely good.

    Lois points out that the chain was forcibly removed. That inclines me to believe "Why?" beyond forwarding the plot. They should've done better there.

    Lionel has his own key, apparently, in addition to the one Lex has, which inclined me to believe that there would be four, right? That would be sensible. But apparently, all you need is two to open the vault. Lionel killed the Queens, and Swann, presumably, and he knows the Teagues were dead. So why doesn't he have three if Swann had hers accounted for? Odd.

    Clark and Kara talk about flying, and then Clark makes the lamest excuse ever and we are denied a COOL SCENE. That ticked me off. Beyond that, there was a big hullabaloo about how Clark sent Lana to Isis. Why? Why is Isis in Metropolis? Why don't they just huck the equipment to the farm if it's not her SUPER-SECRET LAB? Either way, irrelevant now: BWA HA HA HA HA!

    That's right, folks! Kansas is the name of the star!

    I love how those midgets have just, like, parades prepared. It just goes to show you how very much midgets rock, both in real life, and for comedy. I LOVE midgets. I can imagine the false alarms.


    "No! Guys! False alarm! That was just Betty."

    "Betty counts!"

    "No, she's not the witch!"

    "It's a metaphor!"

    "Just shut up and get back in the bushes!"

    This is an EX-LANA.

    I saw it kind of like this, even though it was not like this at all:

    Oh, you thought I was out of Lana being taken out of the show pop culture references? You were WRONG! I mean, if I want this page to be totally out of date in half a year, I've gotta ensure as many youtube links as possible, so one more:

    Goodbye, Ice Queen! Goodbye, Lana! Goodbye, turning around! Goodbye, loft scene! Goodbye, annoying lines of logic! Goodbye, boyfriend of the week who is a stalker that turns out to be annoying! Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye! Good bye! Ciao! Auf Wiedershen! Toodle-oo! Phrase I can't transcribe!

    I couldn't feel pity for this scene. I just couldn't. Lana, in the middle of her passive aggressive monitor hive, zombified arbitrarily. A good ending for the most annoying character on TV ever.

    Clark is still cold to Lionel, which is great, because I figured the send-off would end the following week when he needed something. Consistency is good. I dig it. A lot. Lionel plays nervous incredibly well. Maybe it's overforeshadowing, but maybe there's a good reason, and he's playing it really, really well. Lionel tries to give him the necklace and he doesn't take it, which is out of character, given that he's trusted Lionel before and, after all, it's just a necklace, not nuclear secrets, but his anger plays well.

    Lionel leaves a note for Lana, and I actually really, really want to see what's in it. That's a sign a show's doing a good job.

    Clark finds Lana, and it's funny, the moment is pretty much devoid of passion. I don't know if they were trying to play it like, "Oh, we'll find a way to fix it, strange stuff like this has happened before" or if Welling just couldn't muster the emotion, or what. Either way, I shared the feeling. Eh. So she's gone. Meh. I was clapping and giggling, but I'm sure that was just happening off-camera.

    Jimmy and Lois' reaction to Lana's room of passive aggression/spying was awesome. Lois says creepy (normal person's reaction), and Jimmy says, "Sexy." That is a WELL-WRITTEN GEEK, I have to give compliments for that.

    Another Lex flashback scene, which ruled. Warrior Angel as a bald man that wears what Superman wears in an action figure was great.

    Lionel grabs the boy Lex, and leads into the pilot scene, saying they're going to take a flight to Smallville, which he refers to as a "friendly little town just outside the city." So I guess the line now is that it IS a suburb of Metropolis and not three hours away?

    Brainiac and Clark spar verbally, and Brainiac tells Clark how much pain Lana is in. Like thirty times. "Clark, she's in pain, pain is Lana. Lana's suffering in pain and pain and suffering. Like, imagine you broke glass and stuffed it up your nose and then ate a blender and turned it on. And then you had to poop that blender. And then you rolled in salt and lemon juice and farted flames while hitting your face on solid rock. Like, pain and suffering. Imagine, like, a bed of nails... or, no... actually, imagine your life with Lana for the past seven years. That bad."

    Clark: "NOOOOOOOOOO! I must save her!"

    Brainiac and Kara take off. Nice special effects. I'm completely baffled as to what they're doing, but it's compelling enough to make me want to give it a chance. Particularly given that it involves "Saving Krypton."

    People FINALLY are treating Lionel logically. Chloe rips into him, blasts him for being evil so many times, and ignores his warnings, just like Clark did. This is LOGICAL. This is how it should have been ever since he blew Chloe up. The screwy thing is that because this show has established that these people will buy his lies repeatedly, it comes off as out of character. But you know what? I don't care. Better out of character and logical, or steering toward the logical, than in character and stupid.

    And finally, ending with Lana and Clark together, Clark finally displays his emotion over his failure to protect Lana. I LOVE the little Brainiac rub-in. "You're too late, Kal-El!" That STINGS like a bich. And it should.

    Chloe being the emotional one, crying to see the man she's obviously loved in pain, it's a GREAT ending, and a GREAT show. I am blown away by the potential here, and I hope they keep it coming, because I'm EAGER to see the next one now.

    5 of 5.


    Tom wrote:
    Dear Neal,

    I have to tell you that while I think I still enjoy Smallville more than you do (judging by the overt negativity in your reviews), we usually see about eye to eye in terms of absurdly bad writing and points of plot oddity within the shows. This time around (Hero) I really have to disagree with your take.

    I think that a lot of your points were more personal opinion than opinion as resident Superman pundit (One Republic, product placement, etc), and thats one thing, but I think you missed some important characterization that did happen this episode, and IMO you drew a couple wrong connections.

    There's a difference between my personal opinion and my opinion as a pundit? Heh. News to me. The only place where I ever put the site between myself and my opinion is in not cursing my head off and when it comes to diplomacy. IE, I won't come on here and say, "God, I hate this creator, because he's a real cruel and awful person." Because that's unprofessional.

    I don't think it was unrealistic for Lex to see that Pete was a meteor freak and then try to exploit him, and as he surely must have seen Fantastic Four, a stretchy guy can have great door opening abilities, so the safe thing, while odd, not that big of a stretch. Yea I know, ignore the pun. When it came to the torture scene, Clark already said that he "destroyed" all the gum, and so Pete used up the last ounce of his stetchyness choking Lex. Subsequent beatings resulted from the loss of those powers, and no chewing gum to bring it back, you missed this in the plot I think.

    Nope, I saw it, I just saw that Pete was chewing gum when he was hit, which means the fist would bounce off. That's not a wrong connection, but rather a matter of interpretation. You're entitled to yours, but it doesn't make mine wrong.

    Also, I think you missed a bit thing about Lex. He is obsessed with Kara, and he believes that bracelet is the object that will win her affection for good, in addition to furthering his obsession with Clark and the Kryptonian legacy. It is entirely conceivable that Lex would cherish Kara and do good for her while being real Lex and extorting killing and maiming to get that object for her. In this show Lex doesn't really beat around the bush, and so I think he was well within Characterization to do what he did.

    Well, yeah, but there are things Lex has really wanted that he's denied himself. A good example was Lana. Did he beat anyone up to win something that would earn her affection? It seemed out of character to me.

    I also think that also you place too much emphasis on what occurs on camera rather than off. Frankly we wouldn't care about Jimmy and Kara hitting up concerts, and so it wasn't shown, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Granted the writers abuse this, but in and of itself this is a legitimate thing.

    There is a line there, yes. We don't want to know if Lex had a strong BM. But there are certain connections that, when missing, are odd. Imagine if next episode Lex and Clark were arm in arm watching a movie. Maybe it's feasible to say they both decided to become homosexual and make a regular tradition of watching movies together that we missed off camera. It's not insane for us to go, "Huh? What the hell!?"

    I really thought this was one of the better episodes in the post season 3 holocaust of Smallville, and here's why: There's IMO good characterization of Lex (who rules this show anyways), Pete really hasn't changed much, still living in angst and insecurity, and there was tons of foreshadowing about stuff to come, which always gets me all hot and bothered. The best part though, the writers have turned a corner. They know they're writing crap, but they make it pretty crap, and they let Rosenbaum do his thing, which is always a good way to go.

    Uh... my old standby: Crap wrapped up in a flowery bow is still crap.

    I know as a viewer you're displeased with the show, and as a reviewer it's your job to criticise it and point out what was wrong, but there are realities like product placement, advertizing revenues, and 13 year old girls (a triumvirate of crappy television evil to be sure), but I just really have a diverging take on some of these episodes.

    I appreciate that.

    Take care and keep reviewing,


    Thanks, Tom!

    Ann V wrote:
    Hi Neal. Reading your episode reviews should come with the disclaimer: "do not consume food or drinks while reading review due to the likeliness of spontaneous projectile spitting." I almost choked on the potato I was eating with your justification for committing suicide (i.e. living with Lana).

    Thanks. :) Sorry about the food.

    Everything from Lana driving off in the humungaloid truck to Chloe's Aaron/Bonds comment (which made me so angry to an extent that I cannot fully express in writing alone), I completely agree with you.

    Yeah, that one slipped right past most people, and it was pretty bad. The people who wanted to kill me for suggesting that because Lana is half-Chinese she might have experienced prejudice in the 1962 episode (I think it was) seemed to have disappeared for that obvious one.

    Please do not give up on writing reviews. It is the only thing I look forward to after watching the show.

    I'm doing my solid best. Episodes like this one help.

    Ann, San Francisco

    Bruce Kanin wrote:
    Re: SMALLVILLE "Hero"


    We probably haven't been more on the same page than for this episode. Thing is, does your rating system start at zero? You gave it a "1", which suggests that it has something redeeming about it (the basketball scene? perhaps. But NOTHING else!)

    Nah, because zero is if there is no episode at all... it's like 1-5 are polar extremes. Awful, less than average, average, very good, amazing. I've asked Steve about zero... but I think the zero should be reserved for something that would make me actually go out to the DC lot and protest, of which there has been nothing yet. Like Superman raping or killing someone in malice in normal continuity, etc.

    Take care,


    Bruce Kanin wrote regarding Traveler:

    Decent, though somewhat flawed. Moves the "strategic plot" forward quite well, what with Kara regaining her memory and Lionel's true intentions revealed, along with Veritas. Plus the return of the Curt, I mean, Virgil Swann family, in the form of his daughter, albeit just for one episode. It held my interest, despite the usual silliness rearing its ugly head a few times. Give it a B-.

    Crackerjack opening. First, a calm scene with Lionel receiving mysterious letters. Then, continuing with a calm but mysterious atmosphere, Clark looks at his "key to the Fortress". And then the calm is shattered with Clark unsuccessfully fighting off the K-armed attackers. Nice effect with him succumbing to the K-things.

    They finally found a Reason for Lana: to have her get in and out of Lex's place, with Chloe helping and Kara in tow. Then again, how the hell did Lana break in to Lex's place? You'd think that since their divorce, he'd have changed the secret locks on the secret entrances. Then again, this is the very transparent Luthor Mansion - it's always been open to the public.

    Kara bursting into the K-cage facility was neat. Zapping the machinery controlling the K-cage with her H-vision, something Clark probably could have done (though the episode would have been shortened), was cool.

    The K-cage was a neat effect. Though it was quite different, it made me think of the all-time great Imaginary Story "The Death of Superman", circa 1962-3, which has a cover showing Superman succumbing to K-rays in Lex Luthor's orbiting satellite while Lois, Jimmy and Perry look on.


    Why did "Jor-El" restore Kara? Why did she lose her memory (and possibly her powers) in the first place? This was the worst flaw in the episode. Made zero sense. More than a flaw in this episode - Kara's amnesia lasted through a few episodes. They whisked it away, sans explanation, in a moment. And they did away with a potentially interesting subplot with Lex uncovering the "secret of the Kents" by dissecting Kara. I was hoping for a scene where they try to put her "under", via a needle, and the needle breaks!

    And why didn't "Jor-El" speak? He usually does. Perhaps Terrence Stamp finally got hold of his senses.

    The thing about the Veritas Society was intriguing, although it echoed what was done on "Heroes" with the heroes having a secret society made up of their parents. So we learn that Lionel has been as evil as sin all this time, and his interest in Clark purely selfish. Not a surprise, I guess, but why trap Clark now in the K-cage? What was Lionel hoping to do with Clark in the cage? Made no sense. Not explained. Bad.

    Why did the amnesiac Kara suddenly trust Chloe and Lana, when she had fallen under Lex's spell? Made no sense to me.


    The Fortress is referred to by Lana or Chloe as the "Fortress of Solitude". I could be wrong, but I don't recall its famous suffix ("of Solitude") ever being mentioned before.

    Just what were those letters Lionel received? Never explained. Perhaps next week?

    Did they deliberately show that Chloe was freezing her chochkas off in the Fortress, while Kara was unaffected by the low temps? I was straining to look for that.

    Clark's confrontation with Lionel at the end was good, though Clark did seem like he was on the verge of believing Lionel. There was a strange moment with the music building, just before Clark flatly tells Lionel that he hasn't changed, in which the music changes to a whooshing-stop noise. Just seemed odd.

    Patricia Swann is killed by Lex at end. That bothered me. Her appearance made me remember those wonderful episodes when Christopher Reeve appeared.

    Wonder why Clark didn't use his heat vision to short circuit the mechanism. Was he that powerless? Answer: it would have been a short episode, otherwise.

    Why did Lionel hire a crazed nut to operate the K-cage? Answer: because it made the episode more exciting, having him torture Clark.

    What were those high school photos and such that Kara was looking at? Did Lex manufacture them? If so, why did he cast doubt on their authenticity in front of Kara? I was confused. Still am!

    When Lex finds that Kara is gone, I half expected him to yell "Miss Tessmacher!" Nah, I didn't.

    So, Oliver Queen's parents were part of Veritas? Interesting, I guess. Veritas happens to be the name of a computer file system.

    When Kara threw the K-cage in the air (um, effectively killing the crazed madman that Lionel hired), the special effect was semi-poor, just like the prior week when the effects were cheesy for Clark's hoisting the logs on Lana's pickup.

    It was nice to see Clark & Kara reconcile, although last time she had her memory, I thought the two were at odds.

    Lots of nice shots of the Vancouver, I mean, Metropolis skyline.

    "The Traveler" is the name for a thrice-recurring character on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" who traveled through time and identified Wesley Crusher as a VIP.


    Next week looks good. Plus: Kara meets Brainiac!

    I got the Wesley vibe myself, heh. I hadn't noticed, but I think you're right, it's the first "of solitude." I read that "death" story myself just recently for the first time, and you're right, it's a great one.

    Rob wrote:
    Dear Neal,

    I was watching "Reckoning" the other day, and honestly, I think that if Lana had stayed dead in that episode, the show might have jumped back. Jonathan's death was emotional, but the way it happened was frustrating. When Clark went back to Jor-El, maybe they could have done something like this:

    Clark: Bring her back! I know you're the reason that Lana crashed into a school bus.

    Jor-El: Yes, I am. But I had to restore balance when I brought you back to life by killing someone close to you.

    Clark: That's incredibly stupid. If you're the smartest one, no wonder your planet blew up. But could I remind you that the reason I died was because you magically took my powers for no reason because I had the audacity to stop Zod's followers. I call for a vote of no-confidence in Chancellor Valorum's leadership. Besides, you're a dead, so why should I let you control my life?

    Jor-El: I thought I was doing you a favour. I killed the individual who had been the most vindictive toward you after the last few years. I thought you'd be happy! Still, we're following the Donner films, so Jonathan should die instead I guess. There's no way around it.

    Clark: Sure. I'm to go get Lois pregnant in three years and then go away for a while in that case (rolls eyes). How about I destroy the fortress now?

    Cut to a prolonged kissing scene between Jar-Jar Binks and Chloe.

    Jar Jar: Mesa love you, okeyday. Mesa am so smilin' to be in Smallville.

    (Okay, that last part is sort of weird.)

    That IS weird. But I enjoyed it. Actually, I'm very much with you. I think had Lana died in that episode, the show right now could be in an amazing place in multiple ways.

    In Traveler, why didn't Clark die from the Kryptonite?

    Going off topic again, I saw an article from a years back on the Homepage where someone wrote Superman was the antichrist. Not very convincing to me. I think there might be an equivalent to the antichrist in the mythos though, and his name rhymes with "God."

    I wrote that one, and I remember it vividly, because I keep getting mail about it, and not just this one. :)

    1) General Zod gets people to give false worship to him. "Kneel before Zod!"
    2) He was trusted by Jor-El's council. If you push the Superman-as-Jesus analogy, this makes Zod sort of a Fallen Angel who was punished in the phantom zone before getting free, if Jor-El=God.
    3) The name "Zod" on its own is already an imitation of God.
    4) He spreads lies defaming the name of Superman, when he suggests among other things, that Superman is a "coward."

    That's just a starting point. Of course, I don't completely like the Superman-Jesus imagery all the time, all though the movies definitely used it. Because, if Superman=Jesus, than his father Jor-El would be equivalent to God, as I said above. But Jor-El is not God, Jor-El is soap. The Moses comparison was what Siegel and Shuster intended when they made the character.

    Yeah, I see what you're saying, but studying thought on the anti-Christ, the idea is that most people would be taken in by him, and willingly give him power. On Krypton he might be the anti-Christ. Here on Earth, he usually just goes straight for power, no "hearts and minds." Good thoughts, though.

    Ann wrote:
    I wrote a whole lot the last time, so let me just say that I'll try to keep it short, but I have so many problems with the episode. I wanted to see things come to a head, but the whole action of this episode stems from Patricia Swan wanting the Traveler. I just can't believe that Dr. Swan would leave her so much information and data (when he wanted to protect Clark so badly), basically telling her that the Luthors (or at least Lionel)were dangerous and shouldn't be dealt with- (for not just her safety but Clarks' as well), and not find some way to leave her clues as to who the Traveler is, (in case she was tempted to find him)- so that she could connect safely with the Traveler herself .

    Yeah, I see what you're saying there. That is a bit of a stretch.

    So to start- Lionel looks distressed over what he's about to do. Clark doesn't hear this guy until he's entered the barn- BAD- superhearing again not used. He calls out for Lana. He can't differentiate Lana from this stranger- by heartbeat- as you've said, or footsteps, and he doesn't just look through the wall of the barn- like I said before- the x-ray effect is dead.Clark doesn't hear the rest of the team either. Right off, all of that should've been even easier for him to hear coming. He's shot with kryptonite- also bad. He pulls it out, and can just throw this guy. But he stands there, and basically waits to be caught by a whole team of men, who shoot him with even more K- BAD. Superman should be the ultimate force to be reckoned with. Can't sneak up on him, he sees you and hears you coming, he can speed past you, and he's always one step ahead of you. We find out (after he's taken) from Lana that he wanted to leave quickly to get to the Fortress, so why not use Superspeed to get the key and go?

    Yes. Very much so. I wrote that myself in the last one.

    I could see K somehow being planted in the barn when Clark wasn't at the farm and him walking into what he thinks is his safe place with his guard down only to fall to his knees from the K- cut to opening credits. After the commercials, a team coming in- after a time lapse that is made to feel about 20 minutes or so, and taking a now subdued Clark.
    Personally, knowing K is the weakness, as this whole team of people now knows- too many people knowing the secret again- BAD. We have no idea what happens to this whole team of Lionels'. Why wouldn't one not go to Lex- Pierce worked for Lex, and seemed to admire him?

    Yeah, with you, totally.

    Clark wakes in the box- and doesn't run at the bars before they turn green, but he runs right at them when he knows it K- dumb as Clark.


    K has a percentage now. This from a group of people who can't seem to get straight just how much K it truly takes to take down Superman. Itty-bitty rock, or lava flow of Kryptonite? Drinking K or being shot by a K bullitt? Having it put directly on his chest? Don't start talking about percentages when you can't keep this straight.


    I'll say it here before I forget- No one calls Martha. I know it's Kansas- but she's a Senator now- how does this type of thing go completely unnoticed?
    Lana doesn't even know what the key is. Clark said he would tell her everything- completely inconsistent again. She should know what the key is. When they were about to break up, he took her to the Fortress and proposed-which of course if changed in the time travel- but at the beginning of this season he proclaimed he'd never been happier, and yet he doesn't take her to the Fortress, and he never even considers proposing. Inconsistent.
    He's in a K box- he should be dead.

    I can buy the percentage thing, I just wish they'd keep it consistent.

    They add Pat Swan, and it just jumbles things up here. Too much back story- the Teagues, Swans, Luthors- they were Veritas - all were in on the Traveler?
    It's too thrown in now. I believed Dr. Swan and his research but the rest seems too forced. I thought Lex met Queen at school? Did they establish Swan knew the Luthors before now- I missed season 3 and parts of 4.

    I don't know. I'm guessing so, though, because Lionel met with Swann and threatened him, as I recall.

    Kara's paperwork. Her highschool year book photo- what she's doing this summer- modeling. We know she's pretty, but can't she aspire to something more than that? Why does Lex need her permission? Once she moved in he could've just drugged her and took her to the hospital. He drugged Lana with the hormones and he LOVED her.

    Because that would be consistent.

    Again Clark is zapped to hell and still not dead. I don't want Superman to die- but they can't keep doing that and not expect that we won't think it should happen at some point.
    Again Lionel is badly written- "...I'll hold you responsible." He should have a better threat than that.

    I agree. I wanted a payoff there.

    Beware the return of Stride gum in the form of a comic book contest. The gum being brought up just bothered me.
    Why was the electrode just left behind?-the girls go to Lionel- dumb as Clark.

    Yes again.

    Lionel pins it on Lex. Clark's worst fear is Lex knowing- but why? I thought his worst fear was losing loved ones.
    Lana wants to kill Lex. I bet she's going to kill Lionel, and thus they are about to ruin Lana.
    Chloe doesn't really have to work at the Planet- Lana "did some digging".
    Great show explanation again. Chloe outdoes her and links Lionel.
    Lana uses the tunnels Lex told her about for her safety, to screw over Lex.
    In turn, Lex is too dumb to do the equivalent of asking a former lover for their key back, by not security tripping these tunnels. Lex dumb- go Lana.
    Just a note- Chloe says Fortress of Solitude- not a good or bad point- just didn't know if it had been said comletely before. I only remember Clark referencing his room in the barn that way during season 1.

    I couldn't remember either, but I think not.

    Lex had a crush on Patty Swan and yet he- Blam! But wait on that.
    She pulls right on the locket- he notices- ya know here he'll get it. Why not try and romance her for access to the locket and whatever other info she has.
    She's worth more alive- just like Julian was.
    After Memoria and Lex still can't remember much else about his childhood. He remembered her and the crush he had on her. This all seems too unclear in how it's explained. Maybe it's just convenient for the plot again.

    It's convenient, and flat-out bad when it forgets the season three Lex knowing plot.

    A dumb as Clark conversation-
    It doesn't make sense to me to have her tell Lex to go to his Dad w/ the pic and not try and bring Lex into the loop to have him on her side. She shouldn't have a reason to fear Lex. Lex doesn't know or even seem to consider how important she is and doesn't seem to press for information.
    Pat engages in this without any proof Lionel has the Traveler. So instead of telling Lex any real info she forces Lionel's hand by having Lex go to him with the painting, and he actually bites- by calling her and agreeing.
    Lex in turn says Pat will tell him - when Lionel won't - he should've just dealt with her. He should know Lionel will be evasive.

    Yes, and he took that drive for nothing knowing that.

    All here win the award.I just disliked this whole interaction. It's just going in circles without answers, and Lionel has no real reason to comply with her; no reason to take Clark. She never got close to him. He could've put anyone in the cage- with the same result for her- she wouldn't know the difference. No need to have Clark taken- when you think about it.
    Lana says Lex keeps his women on a short leash. We didn't need to have her say that- we knew that. Chloe would climb Mount Everest and Lana has no reaction.

    Heh. Well, there is the fact that Lana had a longer leash for taking crap than I give my ladies, I know that much. And I'm not evil.

    Their trip to the secret passage is supposed to take long- next scene they're in.No guards are close enough to her room- she just goes with the girls.
    Pierce sees so many freaks, and doesn't wonder why K didn't hurt them, but is killing Clark.

    Yeah, there is that.

    Why do only Chloe and Kara go in the Fortress? Does Lana have to stay behind to make sure they can get back? Or is she standing guard? Why don't they run like hell when the Fortress starts to react? No voice of Jor-El especially when Chloe professes love. I love Allison Mack in this scene. So why have her get back with Jimmy last week? And Lana conveniently can't be there when she says this. Allison Mack always does this stuff well though.

    And they got her back with Jimmy only to give him a scene with Lois instead the next week in a plot Chloe could have filled.

    Swans' lawyers know where she is - and yet conveniently Lex bumps her off.

    And no consequences for Lionel, either.

    Pierce basically mentions how Lex offed a bunch of meteor freaks- but we should've seen some hints of this thrown in over time- to make believable how evil he has become.

    Yeah, they're very lightswitch. In one scene, Lex is his old self, but we're supposed to recognize he's been doing bad things behind everyone's back. So SHOW IT! That's why we pay admission!

    100% K and he's still alive- and this should be a never before felt amount, by their figuring of it- and Kara feels no effect at all. We're just supposed to believe she's far enough away from it.
    Cool effect of her landing next to the cage to pry it off Clark. But why does she launch it into the private room? That could've killed everyone.
    Clark shouldn't be able to with all the K he took but Kara doesn't react to the gun- and Lionel saves them, by killing a guy that Kara should've caught. Argh.
    Too many wrap up ending scenes here- This is 1-
    Again someone Clark knows dies, who he should've seen to Metropolis.How could neither of them believe she's in danger. Where's Lana, Chloe or Kara now that he's back home. The whole discussion here is repetitive of shows past. She mentions all those Lionel killed and Clark blames himself. They have to move beyond this same stuff. In the end- she nicely infers -- get off the farm.
    2- Clark/Lionel- He should just say- we're done.
    3- Clark/ Kara- now she's a Lex hater too. He says Luthors are far gone. After all of this he should not go back to trusting Lionel. He knows he's committed all of these murders. It is wrong if Superman pairs up with him again.
    4- Pat Swan dead. The music here was somewhat epic to me. I liked it. The scene was cold and serious. Although too much was weak and forced leading up to it.
    5- Lex w/ the cameo- wiping off the blood. This is sinister too. But it reminds me of the Julian murder. I just can't believe that he'd kill her when she had so much access to information. How can the key alone be more important than everything she knows and has researched? After the dealing she had with Lionel it would've been easier for him to ingratiate himself.
    I like the ideas, Lionel really having his own motives- Lex bumping off someone Lionel would've let go after he got what he needed- Kara and the girls saving Clark- Chloe admitting her love- Clark separating from Lionel and gaining a new ally. The execution just doesn't seem to be there. I like that there is a reason for why the Luthors' had their interest in Clark- but it's too forced now- thrown in.

    I liked it, but I see where you're coming from in every respect.

    Also, when I think back to the recreation story of the meteor shower, when the Kents to young Lex and Lionel to the hospital, and Lionel met young Clark- if Lionel and the rest of Veritas were WAITING for this Traveler- wouldn't Lionel have known from that day- that this little naked boy in a blanket was him? I know he took a keen interest- helping them falsify adoption papers- but why not strong arm them then and take the boy much earlier on- instead of waiting utnil this point in his life? I think it proves a big hole in this new plot element.

    Yeah, there is that, a very good point.

    The pay off has to be very big- and satisfying for this to be salvageable.
    I wrote too much- edit away.
    Read ya later Neal- Ann

    No worries, it was all good. We're not print, after all.

    Xalax wrote:
    Ahh, this best episode ever!!!!..........WWRROONNGG!! Now i've seen some doosies but holy $**$! Let's start with the gum factory Mr. Bailey. Right off the bat we see people headed toward this factory that has neon lights everywhere. Now this would be okay if this were a club called STRIDE but its not...It's a gum factory! Why does it look like that?! And what's funny is that Clark said that it was an underground concert place. Doesn't that usually mean that it's off some where not that pronounced? That 3was out in the open in plain sight. By the way, I don't even have to tell you that this was just one big commercial...and for no reason. Capitalism in action, what sell outs.

    Yes. No contention here.

    Now we come to Pete in which there was no real recognition for his return. That bothered me. So then Pete gets some gum and gives it some unrealistic big jaw chews and gives a huge smile, just tickle to have some gum!! I found that dumb. Kara is with Jimmy and Jimmy agrees with her that they went on dates like that before....not that i've seen. Moments later Jimmy, the stalker in training, is filming Kara from afar when a convenient speaker falls down to someone who just lost their powers. Then Pete, not knowing he has powers stretches and save her. My thought was, "Why was his clothes able to stretch?" Hmm...

    I got that one from a bunch of folks, and I'm amazed I didn't see it.

    Oh yeah, and not to escape from the band in the background....Lets throw these guys in for ratings!! Problem is that it didn't make sense. They stayed for two days. And in a GUM FACTORY. Now at the Kent house with Lionel in the kitchen I heard him tell Clark to take Kara to the fortress for her memory loss and Clark said no way, he freezes people!! I never really understood, much like kara's power and memory loss, just why Jor-El froze Clark. Moving on....I seen that the color of the Tundra changed since last time but who cares right? Pete and Clark are playing b-ball like the old days but the mood is ruined but 2 things. Clark walking up to Pete with a mean face and saying "we have to reverse it." He handled that situation the wrong way. The second is the good friend Pete is, threatening Clark. Why?!

    Because he's EVIL FROM BEING A FREAK! Which, you know, is convenient and cheesy writing.

    Later we have Clark checking out the gum with a strem of kryponite rising out fro,m the floor. How did kryptonite get underground like that and in liquid form. And it didn't even seem like it hurt Clark or weakened him. Later he's talking with Chloe at the DP. Now I hate this line they always use about how kryptonite makes people do evil things. Clark says it here and its stupid because Chloe, the person he's saying this to, is living proof that that's not the case. Soon after Pete uses Kryptonite on Clark. I don't even see why Lex needed Pete to do that robbery. None the less, he puts Clark's Life in danger to stop Lex from "Getting close to the truth" and thus put Clark in danger. A bit ironic isn't it? Clark gets free and says "i'm gonna have a chat with Lionel" but doesn't. Didn't Jonathan's spirit warn Clark about Lionel?! Why hasn't he cared about that?! Pete then proceeds to Lex and attacks him. Then something happens that seems like a rip off of Heroes. In case you don't watch it, Claire's Dad was a powerful man who had a black bodyguardish man come with him and the man had the power to stop the powers of others to apprehend them. Now I might be stretching a bit(no pun intended) but Lex had a black bodyguard who grabbed Pete and somehow Pete could no longer use his powers. I think that he writers should find ways to copy that isn't so obvious.

    I saw enough of heroes to know that, but I don't know that it's a ripoff, per ce. He's had other bodyguards all over the place, and the guy didn't negate the powers, he just beat Pete up.

    Now we have Pete with a broken arm apologizing to Clark. Last time when Pete took Clark for granted he didn't even want to play basketball with him.(Velocity) Now in this episode he almost killed Clark and they just walked in from a game.... What the hell?


    Next he's saying good bye to Chloe. Chloe doesn't heal him, not that she should, and doesn't tell him her power, not that she should do that either. Look what he did with the last info on someones powers... Then a mess up in the writing. HUGE mess up. Pete tell Chloe that the gum is kryptonite free right in fron of Jimmy! And Jimmy laughs like he gets the f****** joke. I want to kick Jimmy in his Jimmy.

    GOOD POINT. I missed that.

    Now about Lex and the symbol. Its stupid that a woman comes in and tells him about the stars aligning the way it was on the symbol. Who looks at a picture of stars and says "I wonder what would happen if a looked up the stars in this pattern in an observatory. Let's find out. Wow I actually found something!!". Thats a cheap stupid way to draw up comparisons of Lex's family history to Clark's. Not to mention that the date of the meteor shower is different according to the Smallville Ledger, the Chloe Chronicles, smallville's comics, and the Oliver Queen Chronicles. They all say the shower was on oct 16. This episode said it was Oct 7th. And that symbol wasn't on the glass before.

    Eagle eye! You're better with the details than I am.

    And lastly Kara is moving in with Lex. This is Lana's storyline all over again. Better yet a twist, it's Clark and Lana's story rolled into one. Ahh, best episode ever. Thanks for reading Mr. Bailey, i'm going to have a stick of gum now. Xalax

    Thanks, man. Awesome catches!

    Mark L. wrote:
    Why does this show still exist?? Why do I continue to watch?? Who are the writers for this show?? I think "Hero" was the worst episode of all time. Pete shows up at the farm and everyone was like, "Oh. . . hey Pete." No surprised responses like "Holy Cow! Pete! You were like my best friend and I haven't seen you forever!" It might as well have been the FedEx delivery guy they were greeting. Is there going to be another season? I really hope not, because this show has become a crippled, diseased animal that needs to be put out of it's misery.

    And then, the last two. Isn't it weird?

    Just some random talking points...

    (Note: Please excuse my grammar and sentence structure, as I'm writing this e-mail before bed and I'm plenty exhausted)

    Black Canary is not second to batman in H2H combat, nor is Batman the best in the DC universe. That distinction goes to The Karate Kid, who beat Batman I recall, straight up, in a recent comic. Batgirl is also pretty tough, maybe ahead of Bats. I'm not talking ingeunity, here, just straight fisti cuffs.

    A fair point. Present DCU, though, I'd say Black Canary is second, given that Karate Kid is both dead AND in the future. Heh.

    And about the mind swap episode... Lex was shot maybe a few feet away from kara and Lois. Since he was found and flown to Smallville Hospital, a cop or EMT worker must've noticed the two girls trapped behind the fence! Makes no sense how any other way (well, none of this episode does, but that's beside the point)!


    "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."

    I could be wrong, but maybe you're missing the point; Of course Lex did not know Clark as an 8-year old. Maybe the writers are that dumb (they are!), but I'm surmising that Little Alexander was employed as a representation of the good side in all of us. We associate children as innocent or inherently good. I think that was the purpose, to show Lex is still "good" by showing us his inner child (the playful, innocent side).

    Right. I got that. I was being sarcastic.

    And after seeing the bracelet, nevermind about not wearing glasses, there's no way Lex won't recognize Superman. He knows the bracelet belongs to Kara, who is Clark's cousin, and then this super being with a red cape has this same insignia on his suit. Gee, it doesn't take a retard to put two-and-two together, right? Something tells me Gough and Millar clearly didn't think things through, or just plain don't give a rats ass.

    I think it's B based on public comments.

    Oh, and Kara having/not having powers makes zero sense. Old news. But I"m presuming she doesn't have powers b/c the fortress somehow took them away. And I am presuming it was in the script, but they somehow forgot to include a bit where they let the audience in on this most crucial detail. It's not that hard but, then again, you'd think the notion of kryptonite killing Superman would be easy to remember for these writers, huh?

    Yes on both counts.

    If she did have her powers, you'd think doing simple things like opening a door or grabbing a spoon would invoke stupendous events. I mean, if she doesn't know she has powers, opening a door should cause it to break off the hinges and/or break the knob.

    I assumed she should still have had her powers, but then, what do I know?

    "And then, a very interesting setup for a three way revelation. Pete learns that Chloe is a meteor freak (nothing comes of it), we learn Lex knows Chloe is a meteor freak (nothing comes of it), Jimmy learns Chloe is a meteor freak (nothing comes of it, and he asks her out), and so, in a plot twist that might have been laudable, all potential momentum is completely lost."
    - Neal

    Also, Wanted to mention in the gum episode, Pete learning Chloe is a meteor freak is, well, new. Lex knowing chloe is a freak is not b/c he's the one who kidnapped her (Do you recall the episode where Lex kidnaps and examines her?); same goes for Jimmy (remember, Chloe healed him in an earlier episode and he even used the 'biologically enhanced' line in this particular epsiode).

    TRUE! I had forgotten, due to the show's lack of memorable qualities.

    The other thing that I wanted to mention was the producers, Gough and Millar, surprising reaction that Annette O'Toole played Lana (see 'Look Up In The Sky' special) in the movies, when they interviewed her for the role of Martha Kent. They not only had no idea she contributed to the mythos in the past, but they also admitted she knew more about the history of the character in the comics and elsewhere. They used the word 'bible' to describe her knowledge. Now, if you were DC, who must've had some influence in the Smallville series, you would think they'd demand the persons helming the show would have more Superman knowledge than Annette O'Toole (no offense to her).

    Well, and look where she is now. She left the show, just like Schneider when Schneider realized it wasn't family fare, but exploitive, as I read it.

    I mean, let's say I invest in a start-up car company. I don't want a ruthless CEO from the Home Depot to handle the day-to-day operations - I want a ruthless CEO who's a car nut (think Bob Lutz at GM). You see it so often in business, where a top executive from one industry hops to another one. Yes, sometimes, it's doable. But more often than not, you want your people to love and understand your company missions and goals in the same vein as your customers and clients.

    The problem with stuff like this is it's all based on how much money you can make and who you know. If it were a meritocracy like ratings are as opposed to a fight for supremacy behind the scenes, we might have a better industry. I have no problem with Sith rule. The best should take the others out. Instead, you get one hit, you're gold for life. It's a strange thing. I still can't suss it.

    So, why not hire people who actually understand and LOVE the Superman character and mythos? I understand live-action TV versus TV animation are VERY different, with their own sepearate problems and headaches, Standards & Practices, and demographics to please. But I can't help but wonder how Smallville would've turned out under the direction of Bruce Timm and company. The most important trait of all those who worked with and under Timm is they get these characters because they are the biggest fans of DC. They're not some fakers like the two geniuses producing Smallville.

    I think they love the character. I just think they care more about their version of it than what the larger majority of fans would enjoy, and they don't want to put the full effort into that when there is money to be made elsewhere.

    The last random talking point that, frankly, pissed me off is the 'No tights, no flights' motto. First of all, Gough and Millar are disobeying their own rule, as Kara will be teaching Clark how to fly! I recall reading an interview with them, describing why Clark won't fly on the show -- something to the affect of it'd had to end. This is a prime example of their lack of understanding into the inner core of this global icon. Why does the show have to end upon acquiring Clark's flying ability, regardless if he would've discovered it in the series premiere or the series finale? Lots of super heroes fly, not just Superman. But that's a minor point. Really, it's as if Gough and Millar believe what makes Clark Kent Superman is the ability to ride under the clouds. No, what makes Superman the definition of a hero is not his x-ray vision, super speed, or his flying (especially his flying). It's his good-natured character and moral fiber being. If Clark lost his powers and Lois was in danger, you can bet your bottom dollar he'd find a way to save her, even if he knew it'd cost him his very own life. That's a hero and that's Superman, not this flying nonsense.


    Take care,


    Joseph wrote:

    I've written before (it was at least a year ago) and I think in that email I noted one of the only reasons I continued to watch Smallville was so I could then be entertained by your reviews. That is still the case; I actually watched the first two episodes this season, then TIVOd the rest until about three weeks ago, when I decided to start powering through them mainly because I missed reading your reviews. I'm up to "Siren" (on the show and your reviews) and am sad to once again see this season is as craptacular as ever, although happy to report your reviews are as entertaining as ever.


    I find myself constantly wondering why I have shown more patience with this show than I have any other. I can't think of another show in my 38 year existence where I have continued to watch despite basically hating it for four straight seasons. I think it's because the show has so much potential, given the mythology and characters it's working with and the talent of much of the main cast, I am in a constant state of denial that the show is actually this bad, and think that at any time SOMEONE on the show will snap out of it and bring the show back to where it was the first three seasons. I mean, after basically being angry after every single episode, I see the "coming next week" clip and usually think "Ooo, that one actually looks pretty good" only to be inevitably disappointed again. Hey, it's kind of like the Clark/Lana relationship! We keep coming back to a show that abuses and has nothing but comtempt for us!

    I find myself doing that a lot with Superman and Star Wars stuff. It's all always hit and miss, but you don't want to miss the hits...

    Anyway, I place the blame mainly at the feet of Gough et al. Once they left the daily managing of the show, and Loeb left, it has become increasingly directionless, with no real character development, just killing time until the series ends. Problem is, no one seems to know when the show is going to end, so they keep treading water. I wish the producers had the guts to do what the Lost producers did, which is to step up after the third season, give a set end point for the show, and start working their way towards that. I think that one simple act would have (or at least could have) resulted in a much more rewarding series. Maybe the shake-up in the cast next season, with Lex and Lana limited to recurring character status and the end of the show in sight, will be the beginning of something better.

    I hope so. It seems to be working now.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, and thank you (or curse you!) for giving me a reason to keep watching.

    Thanks for such kind words!

    Kirk wrote:
    Hey Neal -

    I read your reviews every week, and find them very entertaining and almost always spot-on. You and I have generally the same viewpoints with regards to Superman and the direction he should be going in.

    Awesome! Thank you.

    My question is rather simple, but may provoke a more detailed response for which you may not have time. Do you feel the main problem(s) with the flagship Superman title are more editorial, or do you feel it's almost exclusively on Kurt Busiek's shoulders? Also, do you feel that James Robinson will do better? I hear that, come October, the books are going to essentially be linked once again, as they were under Mike Carlin for most of the 90's.

    That is a HARD question to ask without risking getting myself in trouble. I have no problem with the time, but there is the issue of diplomacy, given that Kurt, however much I disagree with his storytelling, has been kind to the homepage, and given us a column people enjoy.

    I don't know who James Robinson is. I think he'll do well if he subsumes himself into the character and writes compelling stories. I still think anyone could do that, but most choose not to.

    Is it the editor? Is it the writing? I don't know what goes on behind the scenes. I know that DiDio, for all I know, could step in and rewrite everything. I can't tell you, because I'm not in that circle.

    I will say that I believe a crappy story belongs to the person whose name is on it, and the editor is responsible for fixing that crappy story, so yes, I think Matt and Kurt should have written more compelling, well-thought out stories.

    But that's... it's not just Matt and Kurt. Superman titles are ALWAYS hit and miss, and have been for more than a decade. I believe that writers are given far too much leeway in terms of continuity and telling stories that fit their bottom line instead of the fans, and it's because of the cult of personality. Kurt wrote Astro-City, so I believe he was given leeway where another artist would have been forced to reign themselves in, with both the fans and editorial.

    I know, for myself, that continuity is a mess, that the stories are not holding my interest, and that DC in general is in a state of inconsistent crisis with most of its writers. Laying blame doesn't help. Withdrawing financial support does.

    Thanks for the response ahead of time, if you have time for it!


    No prob!

    G.V. Golwitzer (georgehouseofel) wrote:
    Hey Neal,
    I was on Google's book search the other day, and I found Benjamin's Dream on there. Thought it was pretty neat to have your book on Google's Book Search.

    Anyways, there's a book out there titled "Using the Force: Creativity, Community, and Star Wars Fans"
    well,'s a link.

    I was just curious as to whether this was you, the infamous Neal Bailey from the supermanhomepage? Or if it was some other Neal Bailey (I don't know if this planet could handle two of you?).
    Completly Curious, Like the Monkey.

    Your friend, and loyal Reader
    G.V. Golwitzer (georgehouseofel)

    That is me! Though they erred with regard to where I am from (I'm in Washington State) and though the letter depicts me as saying that I would be a better person if I were religious. Here's my actual quote:

    I really wish I could believe in God. More than anyone can know. I pray
    nightly, and get no response. It's rather dismal, really. So imagine the way
    Star Wars effects that tugging in my heart. If I could see the power of God by
    being able to enhance my ability to do good, if I could use my power to take
    evil and destroy it while doing minimal harm...I'd be a priest, and a theist.
    It's a great amalgamation, and that is why it appealed to me.

    My experience with Star Wars goes from young, uneducated obsession with
    the sound and fury of lightsabers, and ends wtih my current reason for
    obsession...the Force is a physical manifestation of religion. As an
    atheist, I don't believe in God because I can't see him. feel him, touch
    him. Were I a Jedi, this crisis of faith would be solved, and I would be
    a far better person, in that sense. So I see where the courage, the
    strength, and the far reaching consequences of the Force can relate to
    me in every day life. Good luck with your book.

    The "in that sense" is missing. But the spirit of what he's saying is fair, up to the point where my dangling clause kills me (I was younger, hey!) But what I am saying there is that if I could see and touch God, I would not suffer a crisis of faith about Him/It/Whatever.

    John wrote:
    In Hero, the reason Pete was able to be hit by a punch was because he lost his gum, so his powers were gone...

    And yeah, the only good scene (somewhat) was the basketball scene. It brought back lots of good memories.


    Robert Gillis wrote:
    Neal--Don't want to sound like a fanboy, but I wanted to tell you that your writing is incredible. Your style is terrific and you are a VERY gifted writer -- insightful, intelligent, and very funny. I know this is not a paid gig for you but thanks for all you do. If you or Steve and ever in the New England Area would love to come to the convention, meet you guys and buy some of your books. Thanks for all you do. And your smallville reviews -- perfect, man. Best wishes -- Bob Gillis

    Awesome, Bob! That's all the payment I need, actually. Though if you could talk to my mortgage bank and tell them that they need to lay off... heh.

    I'll make New England eventually. Can't wait to meet you, Bob.

    Jeremy Ruban wrote:
    Hi Neal,

    Just so you know where I'm at, I've just finished Crimson from season 6. My wife and I have been enjoying the seasons for about the last 11 months or so (we were both fringe fans so we decided to start from Season 1 together soon after our marriage), and we are slowly getting caught up to where Smallville is now. I'm not looking forward to being caught up though, because it means I have to deal with commercials and TV quality picture rather than DVD quality picture and sound, or alternatively wait until a season is released on DVD to watch.

    Yeah. I tend to watch shows that are over now more, or near over. I hate commercials. And I'm slow, because I work long hours.

    Anyways, I've meant to write to you for a while as I respect your reviews greatly. I didn't find your reviews until I had been to about a third into season 2. I had been reading other reviews and what not, but one site I was on was really lame (don't remember which one and don't care to look it up). The reviews were written after the season had been completed, and were written in context of the plot of the season, so it was lame to always have things reviewed and compared to things I hadn't seen yet. Anyways, fell in love with your reviews and went back to season 1 and read every review up to the episode I had seen at the time. Now I read your review after every episode (usually when I should be working - desk job).

    Great! Anything I can do to help fight that drudge is good by me.

    People have asked me to review Lois and Clark, and that context thing is what stops me, along with time.

    Anyways, I appreciate your writing, your reviews are always a treat to read, um well, almost always, especially compared to other reviewers in the world as you do have talent writing and it makes for a more pleasant reading experience. I really appreciate your knowledge of Superman mythos and the history of the characters. I like to learn about who these characters are and what they have done in different continuities and such.

    Thanks! Glad to be of service.

    I do realize how creepy this sounds, but I think if we lived close to each other/knew each other we'd be friends or get along well enough. I'm born in 1983, so we're close enough in age. I love your sense of humour (yes, I added a "u", I'm Canadian eh!... yes we do say "eh" a lot eh), and references to things that are pop culture for us. Indiana Jones, Usual Suspects, crap on a stick, other movies/shows that were coming out when we grew up in the 90's. Although I'm not a comic reader, I'm into geekism stuff like Star Wars, LOTR, and Dragon Ball Z (which I know you never fell in love with). Oh yea, we were talking about humour. I think I have a pretty kickass sense of humour too. Like the way you like the Colbert Report, I'm not even American and I love the show. Stephen knows funny, and he's so witty and clever. Conan O'Brian knows funny too. All I'm saying is that I greatly appreciate your sense of humour and find mine similar - and I like to make people laugh. Keep up the good puns and 90's pop culture references when you write.

    It's funny, my closest friend in terms of "getting" my humor is Will, a guy I met online who lives in Saskatoon and lived in Vancouver for a few years. Americans who love Colbert are not a small group. I'm sure we probably would get along great. I'm very easy going, as long as everyone is laughing. That doesn't creep me out, it's flattering.

    I'll try not to bore you or creep you out any more, after this paragraph. I think we'd get along well for a lot of reasons. We'd have our differences; I like sports (playing and watching); I'm more vain than you (that's the polite way of saying you don't give a rat's ass about your appearance/what people think of you, and for better or worse I do to some extent); I'd try to subtly find out what you find distasteful about Christianity, and enjoy debating you on its merits; I'm more of a right-wing politics kind of guy (although the right is waaaay different in Canada, just basically not as crazy to the right as you guys).

    I do sports, actually. Karate now, but I used to be big on Football and Baseball. My politics are actually generally conservative, but socially liberal, but I never let it get between friends. As for religion, heck, I'm a pretty good person to debate on that one, but it'd be fun...

    Before I forget, there's a lot of talk in your review of Crimson as to the noise Shelby made in the background (barking? Growling?) that tipped Clark off that he was in a dream (during Labyrinth). My wife and I were watching the episode and the sound was driving us nuts all episode. The sound (that you said you could not hear) is almost entirely from the Bass. So if you have any way of playing the episode on a system with good Bass then you can hear it clearly, where as if you just use your TV speakers, I could see you missing it pretty easy. This of course is lame because seriously what % of Smallville fans have a sound system with a sub set up when they watch Smallville, poor job by the audio crew. I would not have heard it either if I was not watching the season on DVD, as my cable TV does not run through the sound system. However I am aware you may never watch that episode again, so it could all be moot.

    I think part of the problem is that I have a very heavy bass system, and it was drowned out in the other bass.

    I've just always wanted to write, say hi. Let you know you're a funny guy, you write well, you're reviews are getting too long (just the business side, but props to you for answering sooooooo many emails - how do you do it?). Of course, the new video artistic re-imaging you have incorporated into your reviews are really funny, totally awesome. It gives people who are frustrated with crap (i.e. the plot) something to laugh about. So I hope they continue for the rest of this season and into next season as well.

    I answer the emails one at a time, as fast as I can, and with brevity, which is something Steve taught me. Here, I'm much more verbose because it's an article and I can be, which is why I like to answer letters here, it lets me answer more in depth. I stopped the video thing mostly for the time sink, alas... I haven't had people calling for my head too much about it.

    If you've read this far I am supremely impressed, as this email is far more interesting for me (I feel like I know you) than it is for you. Not sure I'd read this much if I were you. I did want some advice regarding Superman from you.

    Ah, you'd be surprised how interesting and fun it is to have someone tell you they enjoy your work. It never gets old, and thank you.

    Basically this, I like to get into stuff a lot. Like for example (like I said above) I like it when you explain how Supes acts in the the comics, or tell me who Perry White is, or what happens to such and such - why? Because I like to know more about the world of things I am a fan of. Like with LOTR, I had to read every book before each movie so that I remained true to the books in my heart, and didn't let the movies distort it too much for me. I actually attended a Christian college for my degree and took a class on Evil (why it exists, where it came from, ect - all from a biblical perspective, so um you wouldn't have liked it), and the teacher is a nerd so one of the class text books was LOTR - talk about major geekasm for me all semester.

    That's the point of the site, to help you all become more informed. I love debating the argument from evil, and evil related things. GREAT for in-depth discussion.

    I'd like to get into the Superman world a bit and explore it. What do you recommend. I honestly probably won't shell out to buy comics. I've seen the live action movies and all the Smallvilles (up to combat 6.17), but nothing else really (well we've all seen some Lois & Clark, but let's not go there). Well I also have a hacked Xbox with an emulator and about every super Nintendo game ever on it. I just played through The Death and Return of Superman. I'm guessing the game was pretty true to the comics story line, so that cool to play through even if the game kind of sucked.

    The Death of Superman cartoon was good, and the second two seasons of Justice League ROCKED.

    What should I get into? What's the best Superman stuff out there. Is Justice League (or whatever that cartoon is called) any good? What about the cartoon superman movies out there? I saw some of one on YTV (Canadian youth channel) one day and thought it would be interesting - I think it was the Doomsday movie. Or are comics WHERE IT IS AT with Superman? I know you're pretty much into all of it, so I thought you'd be real good to ask. I know the Doomsday events were supposed to be really awesome. I see looking on supermanhomepage (in the "2000-now" section) that there is an animated Doomsday movie, is that any good?

    Yep, and it's great. Beyond that, comics are probably best, even if they are expensive. Up, Up and Away is a grand, cheap start.

    Your fan from Winnipeg,

    Ann wrote:
    First off- Daniels' letter in your review of last weeks' show, so eloquently stated what it is that makes any of us take to task elements in the current episodes of Smallville. I applaud his 'stream of consciousness' and thank him & you for putting it out there for all of us.

    Me too.

    -This may be deemed a 'spoiler' (I understand if it is cut) but I may say- I think all of us out there (not just me) eager to get updates on all things 'Superman' look on the net for news. My such bit of news heard on TV Guideonline said the April 17th show would include the death of a character- who'd been on since season 1, never presumed dead, and the most shocking thing would be WHO did it. The preview for the next episode showed Lex- I don't think that's a shock, other than it's finally happening.

    I think it could be great, or awful. I hope great.

    After Lana's declaration last week, and how sometimes airdates change- I thought tonights' show would be the show and she'd kill Lionel after knowing his hand in Clark's abduction.

    That'd be a twist.

    Well, it wasn't her, but cut to tonight- WOW! Action, heartache, torture, violence, evil and despair. That's what I call drama. A major character being nearly silenced forever; life & future in jeopardy. Lionel finally shows to be on the side of good & no one believes him. Cool point- does this mean we may see old Jimmy Olsen again? Did he end up like Lana? Does he have the power to fix Lana? We don't need Lois and Jimmy or Clark having to be taught to fly- but it's all starting to gear up for major story forward motion. Awesome!


    I love the whole Finale feel- the epic confrontations. There are some holes in the story and new elements thrown in from the past to back track and make it all make sense now, but it might really pay off. I'll forgive mistakes when it's trying to rectify former writing miscues, and when attempting to show something monumental. My only real downpoint is that episodes completed post strike can't have Kristin Kreuk because she's filming a movie. So Lana won't be brought back yet; we'll have to wait until season 8 for that. After the graphic description by Brainiac about all she's going through, the heartwrenching ending (Clark closing her eyes and crying) I can't wait until she's saved. Not without annoying flaws, but it's getting good now.
    Read ya later Neal, Ann

    I agree. Just goes to show you what would happen if they wrote every episode like it was a finale. IE, important.



    Reviewed by: Douglas Trumble

    Whoa... This one was a bit on the intense side.

    Brain-I.A.C. is back and is after the super cousin for some nasty plan that is still unknown. Lex is after the contents of some secret vault that holds a way to defeat the Traveler and Lionel has crossed into desperation as he sees his one chance to save his soul slipping away.

    Let's start this by talking about Veritas. I like where they are going here. First of all I was glad to see the lines in the group with Queen and Swann being the ones wanting to meet the Traveler before doing anything and Luthor and Teague wanting to prepare to control it. These flashbacks really filled in a lot of blanks and I really like how they are using Lex's recently unlocked memory as the driving force. They are tying in a lot of older plot lines and cleaning up a few loose ends (plot holes) from the past. Plus I have to admit; seeing little Oliver with his toy bow and suction cup arrows had me rolling on the floor. That was a nice image.

    I was also interested to learn that Lionel did, in fact, have a hand in the death's of all the others. They heavily implied it in the flashbacks and I noticed he did not deny it later on when desperate. (Which is something I will get to in a moment.) It was very cold the way he could talk with his goon about the death of his "friends" one minute and then be nice daddy-like to Lex a minute later. This reminds us how cold blooded Lionel was at the beginning of the series. Cold just cold. A reminder of how much he has changed.

    This was an important thing to remind us at this time because it makes seeing Lionel desperate all the more powerful. I was shocked the way he was in full panic mode after Clark told him to bugger off. (Which was a great scene where Tom Welling got to put some back bone into his Clark Kent.) I liked it a lot. Don't get me wrong. Lionel burned his bridges and had that coming to him. He might have thought he was doing the right thing at times but as I said last week; with friends like him, who needs enemies?

    The really neat thing about this part of the story was that this was the first time we ever heard Lionel admit to doing evil things in his past. The first time we have heard him actually repent for it. He did not list off his crimes but he admitted to doing them. Most importantly he did not deny the murders of his "Friends". He only denied the murder of Patricia Swann, which we know he did not do. Everything else he was willing to accept responsibility for. It will be a powerful lesson for Clark when he comes to learn Lionel is sincere in his quest for redemption.

    I am very interested in seeing how that plays out for the remainder of this season. Plus John Glover is just a joy to watch. The man can go from Evil S.O.B, to friendly father, to desperate sinner trying to hold on to his last chance to save his soul, all in about 42 minutes run time. That, my friends, is acting.

    So what is in that Veritas vault Lex is after? A weapon? It cannot be just Kryptonite if it is being kept in a secret vault across the ocean. Is it just data? Information on who/what/where is the Traveler and how to defeat him? Could it be a red herring Swann cooked up to test his fellow Veritas members? I am not sure. Why then would Queen and Swann be the two with the keys? No. It has to be something Swann did not trust Luthor or Teague with. Listening to the way they talk you have to wonder if they have Doomsday stashed away in a vault. Seriously I really doubt the show would go that route, (or at least be able to afford going that route.) but there has got to be something big there and I for one have no idea what it could be. (No I don't want to know if you spoiler hounds do know).

    I guess the one important thing to think of here is that if it is a tool/weapon developed to fight or control Kryptonians then it is something Clark and Kara could possibly use to defeat Brain-I.A.C.

    Speaking of our favorite Vampire turned super-computer. What is Brain-I.A.C. up to? He took Kara off planet somewhere so his plans are something far beyond what he has been doing on Earth. Did he take her back to Krypton? I doubt it. She'd be powerless in that system and if he just wanted her powers gone their are easier ways.

    So what is he after? What is his plan? He did not heal Lana after Kara submitted so he has to know Clark is going to open up a Kryptonian sized can of whoop tooshy on him when he comes back. Not to mention Kara will no longer be his willing partner with Lana still all vegetable like. He must be really confident in his plan.

    I should mention Lois and Jimmy are in this one but only for a brief time. They serve the purpose of giving us info on Patricia Swann's murder but other than that they really don't do a lot in this one. It is nice to see that working relationship developing into the reporter/photographer team we all know and love.

    There was also a nice moment where Kara tries to get Clark to fly but I warn anyone who has not watched it yet against getting your hopes up. Anyone expecting to see Clark actually fly or even fall might be disappointed. Kara is the only hero to fly this week. Still I found the scene amusing. The look on Clark's face as he stood there "thinking" about it really worked. How many times have you seen someone with that look before doing something scary? Something like riding a roller coaster for the first time? Going down a scary water slide?

    Clark knows he can but is not sure how and to be blunt I think he is afraid to try. That's okay right now but the time is rapidly approaching where he will have to and the show is running out of excuses to keep him earth-bound. Obviously it's not a budget problem. They have found a way of doing credible flying effects on their budget. There were a couple of nice shots of Kara flying this week. Sure they are made-for-TV effects but they work well enough to tell the story.

    I just hope we do not see a situation where someone isn't saved because Clark would have needed to fly in order to save them. They are getting dangerously close now with Kara flying off with Brain-I.A.C. but I'll give them a pass on that one since Kara went off on her own.

    Speaking of Kara, it was nice to see that she actually enjoys her life on the farm. They never really spent much time on how she was fitting in with life on Earth so I think it was important that we see her content on the farm, feeding animals and helping with chores.

    So many questions are left hanging at the end of this one... Will Clark come to trust Lionel again. What's in the vault? Where is Kara being taken? How long will Lana's broccoli impersonation last? Will Lois get that "Really Cool Headline" for her blank page? Will the NBA add Kryptonite laced Stride Gum to their banned substance list? We need to know!

    This could have been the season final where we would be waiting for September for some answers but luckily the writers and studios have worked things out and we are set for a few more episodes before the big big cliffhanger.

    This is an important episode for fans of the series to see. One you really should not miss. Not real big on the action but plenty of drama and some serious big steps in the main plot of the series. Not to mention some minor loose ends from seasons past coming together into this thread. Not to mention some great acting by John Glover. (The whole cast does a great job really but Mr. Glover covers a bit more ground in this one).

    I have to give it a solid A. Call it 5 out of 5.

    Looks like the next new one is April 17th if I heard the promo right. So I guess it'll be a few weeks again but that is better than a few months. I will see you all then.


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