Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 8 - Episode 10: "Bride"Reviews:
BrideReviewed by: Douglas Trumble
We start off ala Blair Witch project by viewing amateur video made of the big day. We see Lois putting her foot in her mouth, some sweet moments with most of the cast, and it all ends as some unseen creature smashes the barn, blood is everywhere, and Chloe is screaming.
Flashing back a few hours before, we are treated to somewhat higher production values which shows us a bit more of the build up, as Lois turns into her father for the day and has everyone on their toes turning the barn into a love nest. (Married in the barn? Okay... Roll with it Dougie).
Meanwhile Oliver has Lex's scent and needs Clark's help tracking him down. Clark puts his foot down and stands up for his need to be there for Chloe but Oliver ends up going anyway. Once on Lex's trail it turns out Oliver actually found the former Misses Luthor instead who not only kicks his butt but unmasks him AND gives him a lecture on what it means to be a super hero. (Oh don't worry there is more on THAT in a little bit). Anyway we end up back in Smallville and see the wedding going great. Even Clark and Lois are getting their hormones in sync and we are treated to some really heart warming scenes. That all comes crashing down when a monstrous creature crashes the party and ruins everyone's fun... Then to make things worse a little later Doomsday shows up and kills people.
Honestly. I mean really honestly. All the momentum and excitement building this season just came to a screeching halt. I just felt all the joy sucked from this show the minute Lana showed up on screen. I mean really? Did we really need to bring her back? Have they not learned that the character just does not work? Okay so maybe you could find a way to work her into the story but did they have to do it like that?
If I was a big Green Arrow fan I would be livid right now. I mean absolutely livid. Okay I am livid. I am not saying Oliver Queen was ever the beacon of hope and example of Super hero-ness as Clark Kent, but to actually write a scene where Lana Lang, of all people, lectures him about what it means to be a superhero? Are you kidding me?
Lana is at best a dark "hero" character using the word hero loosely. She kills, she kidnaps, she tortures, and she has plotted and schemed in a way that even caught Lex Luthor off guard. She is basically what I would call a reformed villain AT BEST and honestly I think her character works better as a villain. Maybe a tragic villain but still the "bad guy". To put her in a position where she is the one lecturing an iconic DC superhero about how to be a superhero is just insulting. It angered me and my interest in Green Arrow is limited to Smallville and the last line of Justice League cartoons. I never purchased a Green Arrow comic in my life but I care enough about the character to find this scene so insulting and aggravating that I just wanted to scream. Actually I did scream which caused me to get a dirty look from the wife but she agreed that it was a bad scene. To make it worse she damasked him in a kung-fu fight. Come on. Lana Lang vs. Green Arrow and she kicks the tar out of him? Give me a break.
I understand they are playing up Green Arrow in conflict and that's okay. It's okay when Clark Kent has to have that "talk" with him. We're talking about Superman here. But Lana Lang? No. Just no. She has no place to lecture anyone about anything. Had they played that scene up as more of a "yeah I've been there" kind of talk then I would have been okay but instead she lectured and scolded. I am not taking that quietly.
The rest of her part in the show wasn't too bad. I mean as much as I hate the angst loft scenes this one made sense. Where they left the characters in their relationship required some kind of "talk". It's just I am not interested anymore and I would have been just fine without it.
That relationship failed long ago both as an interesting story and as a believable romance. It's so glaring now because they actually have a romance blooming that is working and is fun and exciting. One that we know actually has a future. I mean it. They are doing a fantastic job with the Clark and Lois relationship. I know they are just teasing it for the most part and probably will never actually go there completely by the end of the show but it is fun and that is what is important. Fun to watch is something I could never say about the Lana and Clark romance. That was more like a train wreck from day one. All they are doing now is reminding us how bad that one was.
Enough on that though. Lois is there for the long haul and Lana is just around till they get the episodes they paid Kristin for last season out of her. We'll just have to grin and bear it and hope they surprise us with nice closure and a decent send off for the killing/torturing/kidnapping former lady of Clark's desires. (It better be "former" because if they go back to being together, if even for an episode or two, I just might need to have my foot surgically removed from my TV.) I apologize to anyone who is a fan of the character and I am not dissing the actress. Kristin Kreuk is a fine actress. I just never liked the character for the most part but that has become even more obvious to me since she has been gone.
I loved the scene when Lois was helping Clark with is cuff links both in real time and during the preview when we saw Lois's speech. Clark's reaction to her comments on the tape was priceless and honestly if there was on thing worth watching this episode for, that is it right there. Then later when they danced and almost kissed. It was great. Perfect. Real romance. At least it was until the creature... I mean Lana showed up. I did like the look on Lois' face though. I thought that sold her feelings about Lana's return very well (her's and mine). It did lead to a nice scene with her and Oliver though. At least they gave us good closure on that relationship. I thought Oliver was very gracious in that moment. Forget superhero stuff. That is Oliver being a stand up guy and good friend. I liked seeing that from him. Too bad we had to sit though him getting his butt kicked and chewed out by a wanna be super villain who should have left the show in season 4 to get to it. (okay... enough... I'm done... kind of...)
I am not liking the Chloe memory wipe though. We already see a problem with it when she pulled out the Kryptonite on Clark. It sort of makes you think that maybe it was not such a good idea. Not terrible because I think Clark had his heart in the right place but I think it might end up being a mistake. It would work really well though if, for example, it teaches Clark in the future that maybe he needs to just let things that happen be. So say someone like Lois finds out about him he doesn't go and try some kind of memory erasing super kiss power on her. Okay I am reaching there but I need this to work for me and since it looked like Chloe ended up getting Brain-I.A.C re-downloaded into her at the end I am finding myself wondering why they even went there in the first place.
So all those years we had people being hurt in Metropolis being brought to Smallville for hospital care and now that we actually have people hurt in Smallville they are brought to Metropolis? I know it's just a location establishing shot but would it really be that hard to just use a shot from season 3 of the SMC in this episode? I know they spent money on the Metropolis hospital sign and everything but it is something noticeable that just comes off as sloppy. Maybe I am being a bit harsh since the error was more in previous seasons using the Smallville hospital. Maybe this time they chose to just not continue the error. It does make sense that some people badly hurt would be sent to the city hospitals but if you have this big time hospital in town and you've used it before then you shouldn't just ignore that in your story world no matter how much your new shinny sign cost.
I know they are saving the Doomsday "fight" for later but they could have given us a little more of a struggle. Did they really think fans of the show would rather watch five minutes of Lana and Clark in the loft talking all angsty over a bit more time watching Doomsday vs. Clark part 1?
I do like how they made Doomsday look. The scene with Davis transforming was pretty sweet and it's nice to see they went full out on his fully transformed look. His arrival at the wedding was brutal just as it should have been with the character involved. Poor Jimmy... man. I was not expecting that. Lois standing by him while Clark stays to search for Chloe was well played. I thought Erica and Tom both did a great job with their character's emotions in the hospital at the end.
Doomsday brings Chloe to the Fortress where we can assume Brain-I.A.C. called him. That is an interesting development but tell me why Clark wouldn't have gone there to seek help in looking for Chloe? It's not too big a leap to figure out that something Alien took Chloe and Clark did just remove code from her head about the Kryptonian Destroyer being on Earth. It's easy to assume the two things are related. Wouldn't going to your Alien Fortress with the Alien tech be a good starting place to track the Alien creature down? Just a thought. Sure maybe he did or will and Brain-I.A.C played being Jor-El and sent him off with false info. That would be an awesome twist but as they left it it leaves some questions that I think need to be addressed. Hopefully they will.
Sorry. I know I am kind of all over the place and you can probably guess I am not going to grade this one very high but that's just how my thoughts are on this episode. The Clark and Lois scene I loved and a few other moments are pretty cool but some of the main steps in the plot shown in this episode angered me to no end. Lana should have stayed gone.
Call it a 2 out of 5. Lois and a cool looking Doomsday saved this one from being a 1.
Looks like we're done for this year. That was another shock. So I guess I'd like to wish everyone a happy Holiday season and I will see you back hear some time shortly after January 15th. Thanks for reading.
BrideReviewed by: Neal Bailey
Week ten... oxygen running out... totally... totally... co-half jacket.
Well, I got excited for this one, and I knew I shouldn't have. My bud Will warned me, he was like, "Dude, you expect them to actually show and do Doomsday?" Paraphrased, acourse, but along those lines.
I tend not to comment on the boards so much unless a direct question is asked, any more. It's not because I'm too good for you guys (HAW), and it's not because I'm mad or anything. Mostly it's just because I'm danged busy. I just finished my sixth novel, I'm working on seven, I just moved across the state to avoid legion female stalkers... it eats up time.
But anyway, the real rationale has a few angles. Firstly, I've learned in a few years that, for some reason I can't quite understand, I'm considered authoritative here, so when I say, "Nah, I disagree." where to most people it sounds, when they say it, like, "Nah, I disagree." when I say it the phrase suddenly blooms up to "YOU MUST BELIEVE THIS BECAUSE I WORK HERE!" Feh. The internets. Crazy.
But that's not the main reason, that just taught me to be cautious. The main reason is that I've actually had all of the arguments in potentiality about fifteen times with fifteen people regarding Supes, generally.
To bring it to the point, I commented when I saw the Doomsday footage. I jumped up and down in my little office, smiled, and said, "HOLY CRAP! ACTUAL DOOMSDAY!" To be fair, for the few seconds Doomsday is on the screen, he is certainly Doomsday, and probably the best incarnation of a villain shown on Smallville yet. It's ACTUALLY Doomsday, and not, as I snarked in the comments, a skateboarding kid who can pull bone spurs out of only his elbow who calls himself "Doomie." Or "DD." Or "Double D."
I got really, really excited to see a Smallville for the first time since... god... thinking. Justice. Since Justice.
And when this show was Doomsday, I loved it. I did.
When it was Green Arrow being an idiot, when it was the return of Lana, when it was Shipper's Paradise (By Coolio, TM), it was crap, and not even crap on toast. You had to choke that crap raw.
Now there's a reviewer's moral dilemma. When you say "Crap on toast!" It's supposed to be a greater extreme. And yet I'd rather eat crap on toast than just plain old crap. Bread makes most anything more palatable. Just ask a fat kid in front of his pizza.
Yes, Virginia, it was a total ripoff of Cloverfield, and yes, Virginia, that bugs the crap out of me. Why? Because I LOVED THE HELL out of Cloverfield. All you people who got motion sickness? You're gonna get picked off by a predator. I am evolutionary supreme! No sickness at all, just JOY! And yet this? This was no Cloverfield. This was a spit in the face of Cloverfield.
They needed a way NOT to show the monster. So they stole an idea.
They got married in the barn? Aw. AWWWW. That's so cute. If you're a fifteen-year-old chick. Still and all, not a bad set.
My next note, given that they had the wedding end: "At least the wedding isn't dwelled on..." Stupid notes not knowing the future...
Despite the bad ripoff, I still found the opening semi-compelling, but only in the context of "Hey, we might see Doomsday!" Given that we do not, it's just plain annoying.
Ramifications of Jimmy getting married before Lois and Clark are together, given that Jimmy's supposed to be like, fifteen, when Clark is, like, 25? A: My brain just broke.
"How can Chloe and Jimmy afford a wedding like this?" is gonna be the obvious go-to criticism everyone uses, and for good reason. I just watched Highlander, and I started 2, and stopped, and the question I just asked is akin to "Why the future?" for Highlander.
Organized caterers, Lois running around like an idiot, a fully redecorated barn... the central irony here is that this cost is likely a good chunk of why Doomsday was in the shadows, you do realize? I mean, it's expensive for a FILM COMPANY, to say nothing of a bunch of stupid kids in a reporting gig. I know reporters. I am a reporter. We don't make enough money to afford VEGAS. Or the Church of the Sub-Genius. Hell, I can't throw pennies at a bum to make him wave his Boone's wand at me and my dog in a melancholy way.
I like how the cameraguy, who appears to be filming this thing for free, is ordered around and treated like crap by Lois for helping. Even if he was being paid, it made me hate Lois for a second there. In fact, most of this episode made me hate Lois generally. I mean, she HITS the cameraman. HITS HIM.
There are two kinds of conflicts. Real, physical conflicts, and emotional conflicts. Most of both suck, and it takes time to craft a truly scary one, which is why most stories suck. But EMOTIONAL conflicts suck on entirely higher levels than physical ones, I assert. So a dude's coming at you with a bat? Well, that's really unoriginal, but at least it makes sense to watch the guy dodge and hope he survives. You love a guy, but you can't tell him? Aw... cry more, emo kid.
I just got cable back a little while ago (to give you an idea how much we intrepid reporters make for our weddings, I had to cut it off for six months), and I turned on the television and sat in stark horror watching Paris Hilton's BFF. It was like watching someone's colon turned inside out while still alive. I couldn't stop for a few minutes. There was this vapid group of girls, and they had apparently gone out to get a boy in another city, and Paris walks in and says, "Your guy sucks, your guy sucks, your guy sucks, and oooh! You didn't get a guy!" The camera zeroes in on the girl who couldn't skank her way to a guy, and this is, folks, EMOTIONAL CONFLICT, generally.
Oh! I hate the guy who killed my father, so I won't reveal to Clark that I have angry feelings! (Emotional conflict)
Oh! I can't stand the fact that a man has feelings for me, so I just won't call him and tell him to go away! (Emotional conflict)
Oh! I love Clark, and I wish he'd ask me to dance, but I'm too much of an idiot to ask him myself! Maybe things will fall together! (Emotional conflict)
Doomsday busts into your barn, turns your cameraman's colon inside out, and starts claiming women like Caligula. Time to pull out the BOOM stick! (PHYSICAL CONFLICT! YEEEE-HAH!)
This episode seemed to be all about the physical conflict, and yet it was all emotional. Emotional conflict can be great, and with television drama, it's about all you have, because physical conflict costs money. I'm not saying this episode should have been 42 minutes of Clark fighting Doomsday. I'm saying that it's utterly predictable to have Lois and Clark magically start loving each other after three years of hating each other and then, when they're about to kiss, have Lana appear.
But I'm pulling myself away from the blow-by-blow here. Bottom line? The reason Smallville has gone from what it was to what it has become is because of the whole "I can't deal with my yuppie problems" angle.
If you love someone, tell them. If you're going to take an action, test it against logic. If you hate someone, don't pretend you don't. Be direct in most things. Use common sense. Characters that do this, and still have conflict, they're the ones that are compelling to me, and to you, even if you can't put your fingers on why. Just because you're a victim of circumstance doesn't mean you have to be a victim of supidity in literature, film, television, canvas, or stage. I wish writers would get that.
Key example? Andy Dufresne. Good, honest, direct, noble, and still set upon. One of the best films of all time.
Back, back, BACK!
"Lois and Clark would be great together."
"A show without oblique anachronistic references that clunk would be better."
LEX IS ALIVE! Okay. Yeah. Duh. No body. It's a comic show. Oh! They wouldn't know that!
Obviously, the baby mamma drama crap between Ollie and Clark is a stupid excuse to include Oliver in a story where he has no place. The only place where he SEEMS to have a place in this episode is the scene with Lois, which has some emotional resonance.
Ollie wanting to kill Lex for what his father did is just ten levels of retarded. They even go so far as to turn Ollie into someone who would have killed Lex, had that really been him. His character is now morally bankrupt for me, and I can't empathize with him anymore. Way to go for a little one-off tension!
He also wins one of the dumb-as-Clark awards for shooting at a manikin. I mean, like Lex is gonna be sitting in a dark room just staring out into the... oh, wait. It's Smallville. Chloe does it later this episode for the shipper bride shot (launched a thousand manip slash ships), on her WEDDING day. Damn, these kids are emo.
AND AGAIN WITH THE QUEEN PLANE!
(We wrote him bad, as a joke!) You hear they're making a sequel? Go ODEKIRK!
So... with a wifi connection, a hacker dude stole information from an unpowered router when routers don't store information?
Ladies and gentlemen, I contacted former Alaska representative Ted Stevens to explain this to us, and he graciously sent back this audio response:
See, a router's not like... it's a hammock. And you put your butt in that hammock, and the hammock sways. Sometimes, if you're not far enough away, someone can reach out, pull some, some of the threading, and some of your butt can fall out. Why, the other day, I was eating some great steak, and that steak, you can replicate it with, ah, ah, Doomsday. Doomsday can fly through the air, like ah, ah hammock, you see. I think Lois and Clark make a great couple. NO!
And then I realize that Chloe, if she didn't know Clark's secrets, would have enormous gaps in her memory. Like, GARGANTUAN gaps. Like, she'd have no idea how she defeated or survived half of the baddies who have tried to kill her over the last few years. The full ramifications of the memory thing have yet to fully sink in. The level of awful here was total. And given that they do NOTHING with it beyond, "It's like a weight has lifted!" makes it more degrees stupid.
Hello, Chloe leg. Wow.
The corsage from the first season was a nice touch, if brief. As were the several indications that there was a season before this one.
So Green Arrow flies to Cuba, where Lex is supposed to be hiding, and finds Lana, whipkicking her way into my heart again. And when I say whipkicking her way into my heart, I mean making me vomit what feels like a combination of razorblades, bile, and pus.
Shocking scene, but ridiculous. Lana doesn't act like Lana for the whole episode, save where she walks in on Clark about to have a NORMAL, HAPPY LIFE, and puts a boot in that life's @$$.
And how does she do it? IMPOSSIBLE PLANE RIDE. The chyron says "EIGHT HOURS EARLIER!" So they flew from Kansas to Cuba to Kansas, had time to find a facility and whipkick fight, and get dressed for a wedding?
Sigh. Face it. She's amazing.
But the best part was when she said that the place was a repository for MEGA-GIGS of Luthorcorp information! MEGA-GIGS! Not... MEGA-GIGS!
Little known fact... in 1984 they had a Superman show with the exact same plot. Only in this show, Lana was a blonde, and there were about eight hundred Lex Luthors (some clone plotline, I can't recall.) She was fighting against the Mega-gigs then, too. A brief excerpt I found on Youtube:
Hey, Smallville guys. A Mega-gig is called a TERABYTE.
You know, I wouldn't be so hard on them if terabyte wasn't such a common thing now. Or if a terabyte meant anything at all, really, because a terabyte isn't so much data.
Lana is off in a strange country fighting Lex, something she's keeping SECRET from Clark and company. SECRETS! LIES!
She also says, "I can't come to the wedding." then does. LIE!
Lana is responsible for a bojillion mega-gigs of lies and secrets. You know, I actually spit out some food when I heard "Mega gig."
Clark reading his vows and Lois mistaking them for him saying it, do I have to point out how gag-me-with-a-spork that is?
Davis is getting rid of some bodies, and he's accosted by a security guard who wins the dumb-as-Clark award with, "Hey! That's BLOOD!" He's not a cop, but he's got a gun. Weird.
So Bloomsday does hulk out. Okay. So it's the hulk, not Doomsday. Lame. Unless he STAYS Doomsday from here on out. If he reverts back, then it sucks. Evolution isn't regression.
The Lois and Ollie scene was long. I didn't really relate, because one, Lois is being an idiot, two, Lois has no major revelation in her life to make her suddenly start liking Clark that I can see, and it's also post-Lana, so it's just an excuse to play the Lana/Clark and Ollie/Lois shippers. Have I mentioned I could give a crap about shipping and how ridiculous it is?
"Did the Archer believe you?" on a cell phone implies a Lana LIE, even if we don't know what it is yet.
Lana talks to Clark about his secret, and says, kid you not, "I understood the lies you told me." LIE LIE LIE LIE STAB HER LIE. LANA UNDERSTOOD? That's like Lex going, "Remember when I had hair in season 2-5? Wasn't that great?" and that audience being expected to accept it.
At this point, with five minutes to go in the episode, my notes read: WHERE IS DOOMSDAY? WHERE THE HELL IS DOOMSDAY?
I don't know if Lana gets a KO. She pops right up, but is still. I'll call that a no.
The fight is ONE PUNCH. Seriously. You put DOOMSDAY on SMALLVILLE and you have the fight be ONE PUNCH? He grabs Clark and throws him (conveniently) to kryptonite. LAME.
LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME.
When I was a kid there was a show called "Almost Live" showing locally. It was rad. Better than Saturday Night Live, by far. From it came Bill Nye. It was a bastion of local humor, and it had a bit called "THE LAME LIST." Observe:
Yes, that's the dude from Soundgarden.
The Doomsday fight made me do the headbang lame for the first time in almost fifteen years and brought back my memory of this show. My neck hurts.
I miss Almost Live. If it were on today, I'd have a better "Worst Girlfriend in the World" clip for Lana:
I also want to see Clark do a "Mind Your Manners" bit. But that's just because, as you all well know, I'm obsessed with Kung Pow style humor.
So Jimmy gets nearly killed. Yeah, they're gonna kill Jimmy. Yawn. Like Lex died, right? Maybe Clark will die too. Another clue: Drama cannot come from threatening to kill characters we KNOW will survive.
AND AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES!
And why did all of those people go from the Smallville wedding to the Metropolis hospital?
Why is Jimmy wheeled out not wearing a neck brace if he has to go all the way to Star City?
We get an emo kid walk away ending which starts very lame, but builds to something very nice, with Lex in the tubes, and Chloe smiling (must be Brainiac, etc). Toward the end that got quite good.
I'm torn, because even though this episode had more flaws than many episodes I've seen, it still made me excited, made me enjoy some of it. I really cared what Doomsday would do. I think in retrospect this episode will be something I don't want to encounter again, and will go down in the re-review, but for feeling alone, for gut (which is what I go by) I'm gonna give this a 3. About average. Some really good, much mediocre bad.
Bruce Kanin wrote (RE: Abyss):
(Viewed via the web because of a stupid football game pre-empting it)
As I viewed this episode on the web because of an unfortunate pre-empting of SMALLVILLE in the New York area due to what turned out to be an exciting football game, the usual review format will be dispensed with, perhaps forever...
Hey, at least someone got HIT on football! I kid.
With all due apologies to Shakespeare (who has nothing to fear from the SMALLVILLE writers), this episode could have been titled "Much Ado About Nothing". It tried to drum up excitement about an impending doom (let's come back to that word shortly) for Chloe. There was some degree of suspense with regard to her situation because this is theoretically the final season and as such, as a non-DC Universe character (like Lionel, Whitney, Jason Teague and others), Chloe could possibly be killed off.
And yet, she's not...
However, in the end, with much hoopla involving an unseen Brainiac, an unseen but unfortunately heard "Jor-El" (more on him shortly), poor mixed-up Jimmy Olsen and the less-mysterious-by-episode Davis, nothing much really happened to Chloe except that she no longer remembers that Clark is SuperGuy. If the purpose of this episode was to accomplish that, then they could have performed that feat in a minute or two some other way (e.g., wait for the episode where Saturn Girl shows up and have her erase that tidbit from Chloe's mind).
And why do it in the first place, I wonder...
There were cute touches, such as seeing a very young Chloe and Clark in the Kent barn. What was curious is that that was supposed to be Chloe's memory, and she clearly remembered young Clark super-speeding away to snatch her favorite book from the library. First, why would her memory contain knowledge of Clark's super-speed, since at the time she knew nothing of it (unless that was purely for our benefit) and second, was Clark's super-speed so well-developed at that age? He seemed to perform his stunt as well as he would at his current mid-twenty-ish age.
Heh. Very true. Didn't catch that.**
These are minor nits compared to the return of the Fortress and its resident equivalent of "Attention House of El Shoppers" voice, Jor-El. First, we now understand that the crystal Clark owns is really very, very powerful. It can transport him and others to the Phantom Zone (last week) and can apparently re-create the Fortress. Since when can it do all that, and how does Clark know it can do all that?
The Fortress was made by that Crystal originally. The teleport crystal is, I think, a different plot device.**
In any event, the Fortress is back (or was, until the very end - let's remember that next time it re-appears in a future episode), and so is Terrence Stamp as Jor-El. Even Clark voiced my opinion somewhat when he effectively wondered why Jor-El was alternately good and evil. Jor-El said he was putting his son through his trials. If so, Jor-El isn't just a tough and strict parent, but a reckless one. He certainly isn't worthy of being called "father", as Clark finally referred to him near the end, with some amount of affection. Luke Skywalker had more reason to call Anakin "father" at the end of "Return of the Jedi" than did Clark to Jor-El.
Very true. At least Vader personally spanked his own son to teach him a lesson on Cloud City.
And once again, just who or what is Jor-El? Is that the spirit of Jor-El - his katra, so to speak - contained in the crystal? Let's suppose it is - all it is, then, is a spirit. But this Jor-El seems to have immense powers - to take away Clark's abilities - to rid Chloe of Brainiac - to arrange for Jonathan Kent's demise - and god knows what else, over the past several seasons. That makes zero sense. And if Jor-El is so powerful, why did he allow Brainiac - the black goo that perhaps also is responsible for Spider-Man's black suit (ok, perhaps not) - to ooze its way into the crystalline Fortress thingies, turn them black and seemingly turn the whole Fortress into a Fortress of Brainiac?
I brought that up a long while back. It's a recurring criticism that has no answer.**
Finally, we have the Coming of Doomsday. We were given strong hints in the last couple of episode, but now we've been warned by none other than Jor-El that there's something unbeatable out there. And Clark has set up the inevitable fight, declaring that he'll go up against the as of yet unnamed Doomsday. The thing about Doomsday - the son of Zod and Ursa - is that he seems inconsistent with the character of Davis. This week, Davis seemed back to normal (though brooding), forgetting that he was indestructible and acting like a regular EMT guy. In fact, his love and care for Chloe made him seem, well, like a good guy.
Bottom line...this was, strangely, an exciting episode, because we really didn't know what was going to happen to Chloe. But like Seinfeld's show, it was really about nothing. And as such it deserves a *C+*.
You were nicer than me, but I agree on all counts.**
The web didn't post coming attractions, but Kryptonsite indicates that the next episode, "Bride", introduces Doomsday as Doomsday. It's also a Wedding from Hell for Chloe and Jimmy - not because of Doomsday crashing it, but because Lana returns.
I fear Lana more than a ten foot tall dude with bone spurs for knuckles.
In your "Smallville KO Count", in the part about Miracles, could you please add the episode "Freak" (I think) where Chloe's been implanted with a GPS tracer in her shoulder? Clark has to heat-vision it out.
Very next week she's a bridesmaid for Lana at the Lexana wedding. She's wearing a sleeveless dress. Absolutely no sign of a third-degree burn on that shoulder.
(But wait! I forgot! She's got that meteor mutant healing power!)
Can it still make the Miracle List?
ABSOLUTELY! And thank you.
Hey Neal! How's it going?
Great! Just finished a novel.
Just thought I'd mention in case you didn't notice:
The "kid" scene in Abyss was actually a scene described WAAAAYYY back in season one's "Obscura." Clark was telling Lana about the day he ever met Chloe.
I didn't notice. I had forgotten.
Taking it from that context, it was actually a pretty cute scene.
But anyway, just thought I'd point it out. :-)
Neil, I think you missed the point of the Alex Ross cover on the JSA special. The cover is drawn the same way as for Kingdom Come #4. The monosaturated "problem" doesn't apply to this one.
This was brought up to me, and yeah, I see it. But that's a funny thing about reviews that I've never understood... if something is in a context, and the context is not given to the audience in some way, then how can the audience be responsible to get it? Beyond that, even assuming I got it, and I didn't, because that cover wasn't that incredibly memorable to me in the first place, it succumbs to the same problem as the first. And yes, that monosaturation IS there in that first one, so it does apply, in my opinion.
Hi Neal, Great reviews. Glad you take the time every week. I haven't remembered much of what I've seen on Smallville this year but I remember your reviews!
Don't know if my question will make much sense but here goes...
We (the audience) know things that the characters don't, for example Davis is Doomsday. Have there been times on Smallville when the characters know something that the audience doesn't? Which do you think works better?
Well, it depends on consistency, honestly. I think when the characters know something the audience doesn't, and it's mapped out well in advance, it can be brilliant. For that, see Lost. For a show like Smallville, where they obviously make it up as they go, you end up with riotous contradictions and BS, like the whole four crystals subplot and the "purpose" of Jason. Theoretically, from episode one, the Teagues would have known about the Traveller, and had they built that over three years knowing where it would end, it would have been great. But Smallville took a 4 year show, stretched it over eight years without touchstones or definites beyond what sells, and bang, we have what we have.
Making it up as you go can work brilliantly too, though, with great results, with stories where the characters don't know what will happen, but the audience does. For instance, we know House is gonna get with Cuddy, and we know House will likely die of his addiction at the hands of Moriarty or kick his habit and survive. He just thinks he's living a normal life, and that's why we identify with his dilemma.
The Doomsday episode hasn't aired yet, so no comments on that, other than I hope it's good. The preview has me worried, though.
Anyway, I noticed in your review, you mentioned that the "lets kiss and get this thing out of the way" line was very in character for Chloe. I wasn't sure if you remembered, but in one of the early seasons, when Clark is describing his first meeting with Chloe, he talked about that. He said that he showed her around the school, or something like that, and then brought her back to the loft, where she kissed him, because she said she knew he'd been thinking about it and wanted to get it out of the way.
I didn't recall, but now I've been told, which rocks.
I also wanted to say, in reference to the "gotcha" lines, THANK YOU! They've been bothering me since season 1. I mean, nobody talks like that. Nobody can talk like that. Every sentence is like listening to Dennis Miller go off on a rant. Every time I hear one of those lines, I just think about how fake it sounds, and it's not the actors' fault. There's just no way to pull it off in a way that doesn't sound pre-prepared and rehersed. It didn't bother me as much in Buffy, but, I suppose I was younger back then. And the show didn't even try to take itself seriously (and it sucked when it did, especially near the end). And maybe it actually did bother me a little.
It started with Buffy, at least as I've seen it. Other shows have since imitated.
Also, the Kryptonians actually have a symbol that means "doom" and is used to referr to some powerful, destructive creature--even though this creature wasn't created until relatively recently, and even though it was sent to earth before it was even born, and thus before the Kryptonian language could have made up a symbol to represent it. Did I miss something?
The comic history, which they're playing off for fanservice.
And finally, Zod and Faora (Fiora? I can't remember) wanted to have a son, but couldn't have one, so they took genetic material from the world's strongest. . . animals? Who would do that? I mean, I get that they're supposed to be unreasonably evil, but would say, Hitler, if he were infertile and wanted to have a son, have tried to make one out of animal DNA? Maybe a weapon, but for a child, I'd think you'd want someone more like you. Surely, Krypton has fertility clinics, and probably better ones than they have on earth. Oh well, I guess it makes sense in a comic bookish sort of way.
And for that matter, why engineer a superior son when you have a portal to Earth, where you can be superhuman?
Shafi S wrote:
Sorry for not emailing for a while...I lost contact with everything for the last couple of weeks. But I'm in full form (sort of). Oh yea the weirdest thing...my friend got me into an anime which is about bread making (really bread making Yakitate Japan).
Interesting. Bread makes everything better, as I note above.
Yess....The Graysons are Dead, but Neal what do you think will replace them...or lets say what should replace them. I was thinking Batm....wait people will get confused (bad joke). I don't know me I go geek out and choose GL or The Flash. Neal, do you have a choice?
I hope that The Graysons will be replaced with DC getting their head out of their @$$es and getting a new Superman show on Prime Time television. And not Lois and Clark shipper crap. A SUPERMAN show.
On smallville....well I liked whats going on...but are they going to get another season? Welling's contract will be over...I really want the show to go the 9th season but its up to Welling. The Lois and Clark dynamic is cliche but I think was good...the best thing that was going for this season was Doomsday...I was surprised Neal....The actor isn't bad nor the story line, I thought the hole Lois getting possessed thing was weird, but great acting came about. Neal...our dreadful enemy is coming back the AMAZING LANA...do you think she is going to be a great addition (cough CRAP) or CRAP like always. I guess Geoff is writing her for one episode and gives her props but the character should be dead. Neal...what do you think about this?
I think Lana should never be on television again in this incarnation. I hate her.
Comics...I'm sorry its been ages since I read my last issue of Action. But do you see potential of it all. Superman having adventures in space...James Robinson quitting???? Or Action having another character and the Adventure comics coming back. These are big decisions Dido is making...Neal I think he is 50-50 on it...he made ok decisions in the past but no one can forget countdown or Bart's death. But Batman (Bruce dead)...I thought they had the whole Superman death dynamic stuff going on in the Batman universe. Nightwing, Robin, and Birds is getting cancelled...but why because Dick could be Bats and Robin could be Nightwing....I don't know about the Birds. Neal, what do you think about this mess?
Looks like Robinson isn't leaving. Internet rumors.
As for Dan DiDio, I don't know. I've heard bad things and good things from folks both in the industry and out. I know he's a target because he's the big kahuna. But when it comes to Countdown, I don't blame DiDio. I blame Paul Dini and Jimmy Palmiotti. Why? Their names are on it. They didn't have to write it. And they did. And it sucked.
As for Batman dying, I find it utterly ridiculous, a ploy to make money, and honestly, I haven't been enjoying Morrison's run on Bats at all. It's indulgent. I say that as a fan of Morrison when he's on. All-Star Supes is among my favorite stories of all time, as was his X-Men run.
Again sorry for the long stuff....Ahh the mid season break. Neal, I hope you have a nice holiday. Thanks for always reading.
I'll be glad to take it... and no, thank YOU.
Bruce Kanin wrote (RE: Bride):
I never thought that Chloe and Jimmy would make it to the altar, but they did. Whether Chloe lives is another story, having been carted off to none other than the Fortress by Doomsday. This episode was a mixed bag, but much of the mix was above average.
I've come to the realization, again, that this series exists in Earth-SM, meaning that it has its own continuity versus other incarnations of Superman, especially the comics. As such, whereas I believed that a romance between Lois & Clark shouldn't occur until Superman is on the scene and as such was the wrong thing to do in this show - heck, I originally thought that Lois didn't belong as anything more than a guest star - I'm now warming up to the spark growing between the two of them. The scene in which they dance and almost smooch at the wedding was quite good.
I agree. Once it got going. And then... LANA!
In fact, when Lois gazes her starry eyes at Clark, it's like she's seeing that he's really Superman, being mesmerized like her Margot Kidder version in the movies.
This episode also featured the return of Lana. For the first time, two aspects of Lana made me not dislike her: for one, she looked different. I dug her in her dark hairdo. There was something alluring about her this time around. And second, there was no chance of a soppy, soapy Clark-Lana conversation, because their relationship is kaput. That said, her return was somewhat contrived. I mean, she all but said that she's dedicated herself to seeking out Lex in the name of protecting Clark. That seems way far-fetched. Then again, we don't know much about her any more. In fact, is she really Lana? Is she a clone? I can't remember her situation the last time we saw her.
I hope she's anything but ON THE SHOW.**
Finally, we meet Doomsday. Granted, we only see him in darkness and shadows, but he seems to somewhat resemble the comic book version. My advice to Davis is that he makes a long distance call to Bruce Banner, who might be able to help. Anyway, it's not clear as to why Doomsday takes Chloe to the Fortress. Nor is it clear as to why her eyes turn black and is seemingly happy to be in the Fortress, with the Doomster.
Yeah... good scene.
All told, I'll give this one a *B*.
As for coming attractions, it looks like we have a long wait (till January) for the next episode, which hopefully will be a blockbuster, what with the Legion of Super-Heroes making an appearance. It looks intriguing, especially in that I thought I saw a caped figure return.
Yeah... that looked like Persuader to me, man. I don't know about you.
Love your reviews, dude. Just wanted to give you a few goofy notes from the episode "Bride".
1. They keep talking about getting data from routers. Routers aren't hard drives. They don't store data.
That would fall under the "Yep." category for anyone with a computer, generally. Especially with no power.
2. Some guy in Oliver's plane downloads all of the data from the "router" that Clark's holding even though the router isn't plugged in. He also did it in about 2 minutes when Oliver said it would take 2 hours.
3. Who holds a wedding in a barn?
4. No Pete, Martha, or Chloe's dad at the wedding?
Yeah... Very lame. I hadn't even thought of that. Too true.
5. 2 movie ripoffs in this ep. Cloverfield and Wedding Crashers.
I can't remember Wedding Chasers even though I saw it, but I'll take your word for it.
You probably saw all of these, just thought I'd pass them along.
Keep up the great work.
Been a while. I'm glad you decided to keep doing the reviews. At least when an episode disappoints, I enjoy hearing your spin on it. Just as an exercise, I'm going to see how many of my questions from this episode match questions you point out in the review. Please ignore any you already answered:
I'll just banter snarkily, how's that?
1.Did they ever officially write off Chloe's dad? We haven't seen him since the exploding house fake-out in the season 3 finale. So what WAS his fate? Seems so obvious that they'd have to mention him (and why he wasn't at the wedding), given the show's recent attention to past details.
You got one that I didn't get.
2.Speaking of which, who the hell paid for this wedding?
3.Who are these guests? Co-workers? Friends? Family?
I didn't get that one. 2-1.
4.Does Chloe remember that Oliver Queen is Green Arrow?
I didn't get that one. 3-1.
5.Couldn't they at least have had Jimmy read Chloe a congratulatory card from Pete? He would've come if he could.
6.How many writers had a hand in this episode? I've seen better, and I've seen worse, but I've seldom seen more drastic shifts from cornball (like Clark faking out Lois with reading the vows) to quality (like some of the conversations toward the end). Seems like it was spliced from several pens.
I'd say I kinda got that. 4-1.5.
7.The cuff link joke was - actually nevermind that one. I won't bother.
I got that one, but this is a family friendly site. A point apiece. 5-2.5.
8.Why do a crowd of people injured in a barn in Smallville travel to a hospital in Metropolis? Maybe it's just Smallville Metroplis Star City in terms of health care quality/expertise.
I got that one, but I stole it from you after I read your letter before I wrote the review. So you get the full point, and a point for me cheating. 7-2.5.
9.You think maybe the title of the show now refers to the main character (a la Lois' nickname for him) rather than the town?
This I don't know... final score: You win.
Like you, I've been impressed with genuine plot movement with several episodes this season, and I really like your Smallville/SMALLVILLE distinction. Something tells me this review will include more of the first.
Anyway, keep up the good work.
You can add this to my other e-mail. If I'd been less impatient I would have just waited until after I watched this episode to write in, but now that I've seen it I just had one thing I wanted to add.
Everything was wrong with this episode. I couldn't stand it. Even the ones you gave 1s to this season, I've enjoyed. Part of my brain told me that the writing was bad, but I still enjoyed them. This. . . I just went "bleh". Even before Lana showed up. Everything was wrong, illogical, nonsensical, poorly done. I can't even list all the problems, so I'll let you do that. I just wanted to go on the record saying that for some reason..
No worries. I do it every week, I know the urge.
One last thing--most annoying thing on the show. Nobody says "you and I" anymore when talking to Clark. It's all "Lois and Clark" and "Clark and Lana." It's like that episode of Seinfeld with that guy Jimmy who always talks about himself in the third person. "Jimmy would love to go on a date with you." Ok, that's all.
You'll probably be pleased to know I'm actually plowing through Seinfeld (now that someone, Jeff, explained it was a continuity show and made me sit down through a few) and I just watched the Jimmy episode two days ago. Good reference.
I felt a bit compelled to write this week after hearing Lois say the line:
"You just have to make sure this part sticks up straight and then it slides right in."
I doubt you missed it but I do hope you give it mention in your review. I can just envision Michael Scott snickering "that's what she said" in the background.
I was going for the Kevin Smith cufflinks joke. Maybe I did JB a bad one a letter up... Either way, that's what she said.
Maybe I'm just a bit too immature but it seems that the writers are too.
Good luck and keep up the great writing.
Immaturity is actually just a sense of humor. "Mature" people don't want you to know that. So I diarrhea fart on their heads and make poop noises.
Matt Wreede wrote:
I was excited Neal.
I was excited.
Sure, it was a total rip off of Cloverfield. But I LIKED Cloverfield. I WANTED to see Clark fight Doomsday. I wanted to be excited and scream with glee and watch Superman, SUPER-FREAKING-MAN, fight Doomsday.
Instead I got:
Lana, kryptonite, and one punch.
Me too. :(
Is Clark even trying anymore?
Remember that episode where we saw him move so fast, he dodged rain drops? Remember that? That was neato.
Yes it was, despite the return of Emily.
So, when, at a wedding, people start screaming and loud noises happen and the whole barn shakes... why doesn't he go into super speed? Why doesn't he find out what is up? Why does he gape at Lana as the wood hits her? Why does he allow wood to fall on multiple people?
Oh, budget you say? Super-speed is expensive?
Then don't make a Superman TV show. Don't.
I'm angry Neal. I'm a young male. I want to see a neato Doomsday fight with super speed and awesomeness and Clark shooting LASER BEAMS out of his eyes.
Instead I get Lana and a non-super powered Clark. And more awkwardly placed kryptonite.
I hate this show.
I don't hate it, but I am, like a teenage son who ran your car into a telephone pole with Ted Kennedy in the passenger seat, a bit disappointed by something that could have been amazingly cool and instead was just... a car in a telephone pole.
See you all in two!
Don't forget to check out the updated KO Count.
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