Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 8 - Episode 12: "Bulletproof"



Reviewed by: Douglas Trumble

The Manhunter is out hunting man in his new "day job" as a Metropolis PD Detective. He catches the bad guy but is shot down by a sniper and left for dead. Signs point to a fellow cop. After a little out-of-nowhere tiff with Oliver, Clark gets on the case and ends up going under cover as a police officer in order to track down the villain this week. He is assigned to work with a nice guy cop who has unfortunately recently lost his partner in the line of duty and also works with a few boys in blue who have the wrong idea of what Justice means. After a little poking and prodding Clark ends up homing in on the bad apples in the tree but things take a turn for the worse when the bad cops realize Clark isn't one of their club. Clark is hauled off to jail while the bad guys set a trap for the Green Arrow. Oliver takes Clark's words to heart and trusts that Dan Turpin will do the right thing, but while one cop sees the light the others are beyond saving and it takes a superspeed jail break, a bit of bullet stopping power, and some cool moments by the Red Blue Blur to save the day. Now while all that was going on Lana is snooping around Luthor mansion and finds out Lex is jacked into Lady Lex's eye balls. A smackdown ensues between Chun-Li and Mercy which results in broken glass, wasted bullets, and not so much as a bruise on the pretty ladies. Lady Lex is pretty upset with the idea she has Lex in her brain... literally... and decides to strike back by offering a merger between Luthor Corp and Queen Industries.

I have to say I really liked this episode. I really did. It was not perfect. There were a few things that kind of rankled my goat so to speak but nothing that made me hopping mad.

I'll start with the negative. As usually this might have me jumping around a bit but I like to put the bad first and end with the good.

The down side of this episode was limited to just a couple of things. First of all I thought Oliver's attitude towards Clark was forced in the beginning. I understand they are not the best of chums right now but the idea they didn't want to work together when needed just didn't fit. I never got that idea before. Yeah they were strained a bit but not to the point where they couldn't put that aside to fight the good fight. I don't know. It was just a bit over the top. Nothing episode ruining but out of place enough to notice.

Also there was Lana again. Not as bad as before but I did not like the way Clark was talking to her at the end. Turpin gave us and Clark the reasons why it's okay for Superman to have someone in his life. He doesn't have to give up everything to save the world. He can have love in his life. As Turpin said. It's important to have someone you are fighting for. Yes Superman fights for everyone. I understand that but having Lois in his life gives him that little extra something that is important to have. The problem I had was Clark wording it like he did. He said "Maybe the world doesn't have to come first." It just seemed a little too much like a regression in his path. It would have come off better if he realized what Turpin was saying in that he didn't need to give that up to save the world. That a family helps you keep on task. Just seemed against what they were going for.

Plus it really got me miffed when they kissed but that was mostly just on principle. Do we really need to go there again? Earlier in the episode Chloe articulated what every Superman fan knows. The future is with Lois and this resurgence of Lana is a slap in Lois' face. Clark was moving that way. Lois is already there. This step back is meant for drama but in the end it is something no one wants to see. It's not going to boost ratings. Fans are tired of it. It has gone on too long and it's just a waste of time they could spend on better subjects. Plus it kind of makes Clark look a little like a jerk as Chloe kind of hinted at. That he's stringing Lois along.

The funny thing is; I even got the feeling the actors were not into it either since that kiss was about as passionate as someone other than Luke Skywalker kissing their sister. Hopefully that was on purpose. Maybe the point will be that they come away from the kiss going. "Wow... There was nothing there anymore". That is likely my wishful thinking but at least let me hope for 7 days. This rollercoaster has been going on too long and I see no reason why it is a good thing to kick that dead horse one last time. Sure acknowledge the lingering feelings but do not go back to lovers again. Please?

I did like the scene between Chloe and Clark even if the reasons Chloe was there and not with Jimmy were a stretch and the insinuations that make Clark kind of look like he might be stringing Lois along. The comments about Lois' feelings being "that obvious" and Lois being Lois made it worth it though.

Everything else was just top notch.

Clark working with Dan Turpin was pretty sweet. In fact I didn't catch that at first and it wasn't until the end when one of the other cops called him Turpin that I caught on that Danny Boy was Dan Turpin. Yes it means he'll probably know full well who Superman is in the future and that might bug some fans but I personally do not see that as a bad thing. Maggie Sawyer knows Clark too and I am sure she'll have a good idea as well.

On a similar note: Was I mistaken but did Oliver call that doctor he hired for "the capes" Emil? Is this the Doctor Hamilton from STAR Labs we're talking about? That's pretty cool too. Maybe we'll see more of him. It does make sense for Oliver to have a doctor on the payroll. It was also cool to find out that Green Arrow and the Manhunter had been working together a bit off screen.

I did actually like Lana's part with the story involving Lady Lex... There was an interesting twist there when they learned Lex was spying on Tess via her eye balls. That was a total Lex Luthor move right there. Also, did I see battle armor on that screen when Lana was looking at the data she swiped? No way. That's just too much cool to even consider right now. The Lana-Fu fight was pretty cool too even if it's one of the few times I actually wanted the "bad guy" to win.


kind of...


Both actresses can bring it when it comes to fight scenes. There is no doubt about that.

There was also a neat twist near the end with Tess wanting a merger between Luthor Corp and Queen Industries. If that doesn't make Lex make a move then I don't know what will. The funny thing is I kind of was expecting Tess to not even care that Lex was spying on her so I was surprised by her reaction. Pleasantly surprised. I just wonder which one of them is in control of her budding Legion of Doom? Was that the project Lana was referring too?

The whole idea of Clark going undercover searching for a bad cop was a great idea. He wasn't going in there to kick tushy and take names like Oliver. This was Clark being proactive. Going out of his way to save the day. Not waiting until he had to. He was going in to find the bad guy and stop them from doing bad things. Along the way he realized there was someone on the brink who was worth saving, so being the Superman he is, he set out to save him. I call that a nice way to showcase our favorite superhero. Even Oliver, in the end, learned a lesson from the Red Blue Blur.

Plus that scene in the end with Clark standing in front of the sniper scope was just a giant "S" short of epic. The line about the bulletproof vest was priceless. Yeah maybe Clark should have done the knock out and leave move but that line just made it so worth it. The way Tom Welling delivered it was pretty cool too.

I also loved the wrap up in the hospital when the three supers were talking about the events of the episode. Having J'onn call them all out on letting pride get in the way of cooperation was nice and relevant and having Clark learn that from cops on the job was a good move. I think all three heroes should move forward with a new respect of what they can accomplish together.

So I am going to give this one a 4.5 out of 5. A few minor issues but this is what I want to see out of Smallville. Clark being Superman showing people what is right and what is wrong and saving someone who is in danger of going on the wrong path. Just ditch the Lana baggage and get Lois back it would have been perfect.

Is it just me or are they no longer showing previews for the next week? Is this the new production people or is this a CW thing? All I get on my end is a general Smallville promo showing shots from throughout the season. It was the same one as the end of last week. Oh well. I know there is a new one next week so I will be there.



Reviewed by: Neal Bailey


  • Clark becomes a cop to investigate a murder.
  • He meets "Turpie," a skateboarding punk kid modeled after Dan Turpin.
  • Okay, that's a joke. But Turpin does have a baby face for a surly dog in this episode.
  • Through solving the murder, Clark teaches Turpin that he can change the world.
  • In the process, he saves Manhunter, who gets shot.
  • Lana and Clark kissy-face, and Tess renounces Lex 4evar.


    This episode had heart. It was the Tin Man at the end of Oz. By god, you wish that little Turpin well.

    The problem being, the episode lacked a brain. There were absolutely WAY too many oddities and errors that would take place in no logical universe that pulled you out.

    Come to think of it, Dorothy never gets home, either, as Clark's pretty much full time in Metropolis now. Guess that makes Doomsday the kalidah.

    Smallville, from the very beginning, has had to put some irrational twist on something in order to make it occur. Why? Who knows. Is there something wrong with the Dan Turpin of the comics? Oh yeah. He's dead. Batman shot him.

    Cough. Echo sound. Boos. We now return you to our regular programming.

    But beyond that, look at the laundry list of people that are ridiculously changed in this show into something they're not. And they must know, by this point, that their greatest successes are when they stick close to the mythos. Doomsday as Doomsday rocked. Legion as written by an actual comics scribe knocked it out.

    It's when you take, say, Lana, and turn her from a hometown girl into a whipkicking akidoist who knows computers and is too sophisticated for Smallville that you run into the BS factor, and people turn on you.

    But beyond the changes to Dan Turpin that weren't really necessary, there was the issues raised in terms of incomprehensibility in the show itself, and to get to that, we need blow-by-blow:

    First off, great little green man on the dash for Jones. Cute touch, I dug that.

    Then I was ripped entirely out of the story by a detective... in a chase... without other cars and backups. I get the rogue detective stereotype, but here it plays like John saying, "Shoot me! I'm an idiot!"

    He hops out of the car to subdue the baddie, and doesn't draw his gun. Instead, much like the antagonists he spends most of the episode chasing, he opts to BEAT the suspect physically into submission. See that contradiction there? I did.

    Cool scene visually, but coherently nonsensical in almost every respect.

    BAM! He's shot from cover by an EVIL COP. EVIL COP, who is used to covering his tracks, uses a high-powered sniper rifle from afar instead of a pistol at close range, and doesn't finish the job. Why? Who knows. He's apparently a pee-poor shot as well, because he hits his target about one in ten times this show.


    Cut straight to Lana. Oy. Her first line is a barb at Clark for doing his job as Superman (er, the red-blue blur), indicating that she doesn't approve of the date because it's taking place in an emergency room. Later in the episode she berates him for considering leaving being the red-blue blur, and then proceeds to kiss him as a reward when he suggests that he stop being the red-blue blur. Because I do believe if Lana were to have a single moment of coherent and logical characterization, the world would fold in on itself and we'd have to contact (shiver, cringe) LORD EYE.

    Don't ask. It's a Morrison trip. I know it's all hip today, as I write this, but in three years, reading this review, good god, I weep for your soul.

    Lip service is played to the RAMPAGING MONSTER OF DEATH unleashed at the end of last episode. Apparently, he's quietly making people disappear without sowing much chaos at all. Because he's the PENultimate destroyer until, you know, the finale. CRAP. CRAP CRAP CRAP. You let him out of the bottle, you deal with him, dammit.

    And then I wonder, why is Clark allowed free reign in the Emergency Room? Reporters don't get that. There's still confidentiality. And beyond that, HE STEALS PATIENTS! There's probably a "SEDATE ON SIGHT!" order with Clark's picture on it stapled above the coffee machine in the break room.

    To say nothing of LANA LANG, who should be in the papers with her DRAMATIC REAPPEARANCE! Er, not. But we'll get there. That's a Tess scene.

    Apparently the doctors can work on John despite his Mars origin because, uh, Emil is the doctor there.

    EMIL! Emil Hamilton! Wooooooootah, right?

    Well, yeah. Cool. Good that we see Emil. Still doesn't explain how the ambulance drivers and nurses and assorted staff were able to aid Emil with Martian physiology. Or why, for that matter, when John was rendered unconscious he didn't immediately revert to his green form, as he should have. Emphasizing more how much this is NOT the Martian Manhunter in any real way beyond his chosen career. And this is another reason why altering the character bites Smallville in the butt. It gives them a writing out when they want to do strange things, but it makes the story incoherent.

    Green Arrow: Teamwork's never been our strong suit.

    Huh? Who saw Justice. Raise your hand. I did! So because interpersonally you and Clark had an arbitrary argument that was resolved in one episode, you've never been good as a team... AS YOU ARE BEING GOOD AS A TEAM.

    Retarded. And not even functionally.

    Tess is learning Aikido. It appears to be Aikido, anyway. Not the aikido I studied, but AN aikido. I was taught never to disparage other martial arts than my chosen style, so I won't knock on aikido. I will, however, point that it is an art based in non-agression. The goal is to divert energy from the assailant and use that energy against them. To that end, aikido is out of character for Tess. She'd be a shotokan karate gal, or Krav Maga, perhaps. But to be honest, I think she's of the GUN FU school, as was evidenced later in the show.

    I just get irked when they show one scene with a person doing a martial art to justify a fight scene later in the show. Particularly the wrong martial art, as later they use different fighting styles entirely than aikido. It's like when Lana is shown checking her email in season 3 and then in season 4 can hack the Luthorcorp database.

    This scene just absolutely infuriated me from the beginning. It shows a staggering lack of care for continuity and hypocrisy and sympathy.

    1) Lana thanks Tess for keeping her "return" out of the newspapers. Firstly, Lana is an arrogant enough bich to think her simple appearance in town deserves headlines because she once was married to a missing rich guy. WHAT?! Secondly, Tess agrees, and treats her lack of stories as a compliment. HUH?!

    2) Lana stole ten million dollars from Lex. STOLE. Not got as a settlement. She admits to Clark that she stole it, and Lex points it out to her. Why is she allowed in the mansion?

    3) How the hell does Lana know about Prometheus? How does she still have access to the computers? She is NOT CHLOE. Nor is she LIONEL. She does not have the computer skills or the connections. She is a FARM GIRL from a SMALL TOWN who married a rich dude and then moved away. There is no logical way she would be like Lionel. Hell, there was no logical way for LIONEL to be like Lionel, and he was rich, evil, and had connections.

    4) Here's where I had to get up to go to the bathroom and try not to puke. LANA accuses TESS of siphoning money away from Lex's company. LANA, who STOLE from Lex, accuses the CEO OF LUTHORCORP of MANAGING LUTHORCORP'S MONEY.

    5) AGAIN with the stinking impossible router that steals from encrypted hard drives! I hope to hell she got her mega-gigs, because I lost three years off my life.

    Again, Lana/Clark shipping emphasizes a key flaw in the show. That Lois is not the love of his life, he's the second choice Clark settled for after Lana decided not to be with him any more. ABSOLUTE CRAP. Not like regular crap. The kind that comes in prestige format and costs a hundred bucks. ABSOLUTE CRAP. With notes by Dave Gibbons and a "Comedian" pin.

    Clark decides to become a cop. You know, to get close in a way that SUPERHEARING, SUPERSPEED, the ability to be INTANGIBLE, FREEZE BREATH, TELESCOPIC VISION, X-RAY VISION and HEAT VISION doesn't allow.

    Yeah. I can just see the conversation with Chloe.

    "You want me to get you into the police?"

    "Yeah! Me be cop! Me find bad guy!"

    "But Clark, why don't you just go to the cops' houses and use your telescopic vision to find the gun?"


    "Yeah! And you could listen until they make an indemnifying phone call, and then follow it all the way up the chain! We could report them to IA, get surveillance, and BAM! Case solved, all bad cops put away."


    "Clark, stop making siren sounds and be serious!"

    "You dumb like Clark now! Me find bad guys on own! I sewed my own suit!"

    "That's a Halloween costume, Clark. And it's for girls."

    (Red light washes the room)

    "Okay! Okay! Calm down, big guy! You can play police!"

    "YAY! Crime makes me poop!"

    Turpin treats Clark like a yokel when he's from Coast City, a major city. Methinks this scene was originally something different and wasn't edited right.

    Joe Fordman is a nice code name. References Whitney. Though, you know, the characters never do.

    Again the "cool factor" trumps common sense, as a junkie flees from Turpin and Clark. He steals a bag full of drugs, and here's where things get crazy. They get out of the car, and Clark doesn't chase, number one, or set up a perimeter, two.

    Turpin chases, and the Junkie, having gotten clear of the cop, then decides to SHOOT HIM. Why? Well, because it's much easier to kill the cop who's seen him than, I dunno, STAY HIDDEN. And hey, if you know crackheads (and I have met my fair share of drug addicts), they ALWAYS keep a gun that could be pawned for a few hundred bucks to buy drugs. Right? No, wait, they don't. They sell it.

    Beyond that, he robbed them in broad daylight. C'mon. At least TRY. This is like shooting rabbits staked to the ground.


    Not that we'll see Rosenbaum again, but they've designed a green and purple suit. NICE. Now, if that had any part in the show, we might be talking...

    Project Prometheus actually strikes a pleasant chord with me, and was a cool name. They have a ton of great names in this show, very little use of them, but hey.

    Prometheus, as I stated in my extra long Superman Returns review, is a special myth for me. It's perfect for Lex, in my opinion. It's the story of the guy who saves man from the gods by sacrificing himself to bring them fire... technology.

    Prometheus was a special story to me growing up, because it caused one of my most profound and cathartic revelations when I was 14, the one that drove me to be an atheist. I read the greek myths, I read the Bible, and I realized they were cut from the same cloth. Metaphorical stories about how to be better people, the story of sacrifice for your fellow man, and ultimately, a story that shows that good people will be rewarded and bad people will suffer. I realized almost immediately that Prometheus was analogous to Jesus, among many other historical figures over time. There's been a figure like Jesus in almost every major religion. Whenever I bring that up, it hacks people off, but then, Superman is another incarnation of that inclination. Part of what makes Lex such a great villain is that he reflects Superman's selflessness, he just does it from a position of greed and despair instead of hope.

    Prometheus died for our sins, so that we might live. He has a wound in his abdomen (as Jesus did) that is reopened and healed. He comes back from the dead only to die for us again and again. Lex is coming back from the dead. There are some stark parallels here, and they're all beautiful and synchronous. Agree or disagree with the analysis, there are many strong thoughts here that could be exploited to great dramatic effect. They're amazing.

    And not at all used on this damned program in any way. Instead, we get Lana kissy-face.

    Do you understand this anger, thereby? I expect better from my modern Prometheus analogue.

    Lana and Tess have a whip-kick fight. Sigh.

    1) No way Lana is that good after one year away.

    2) The fight was utterly ridiculous in many respects. Particularly the blocks with the arms way out to the side and the wrestling style slam moves. At least, for anyone who knows martial arts. None of the key targets were sought, and no martial artist I know would EVER strike to the bone of the face. That is, assuming you buy the BS that these gals studied martial arts.

    The roll was good, I'll give them that.

    So Lana gets the best of Tess, and she's trying to take down Luthorcorp. She has her, at gunpoint, having attempted to kill her, IN HER OWN OFFICE. And Lana doesn't put her in jail? WHAT?!

    Then we go to the scene where the cops rough up a baddie. Clark sits and watches them do this. He could, at superspeed, knock EVERYONE in the area out without them being the wiser. He would also hear the Green Arrow, and he didn't. Clark is, essentially, an accomplice to the beating, and doesn't immediately turn all of these cops in. Out of character, and reprehensible. He knows these are the men responsible for John. They should all be jailed. Storyline over, right here, and yet not. Which suggests Clark somehow condones what they're doing, as a later GA conversation suggests.


    Lana shows Tess that her eyes are a camera, and her ears are microphones. See, here's how I see it. I'm Tess Mercer. People are assailing my company on all sides, and I love and trust Lex Luthor. His ex-wife comes to my facility and lies in order to steal my data, which in the process corrupts it, essentially attempted murder on Lex Luthor.

    I go to her place of business to strike back, and protect Lex, and instead she kicks my @$$ sideways and takes my gun without sending me to the cops.

    She then shows me that my eyes are cameras and ears microphones. The logical conclusion is:

    A) Oh my God! Lex has been lying to me all this time and is really EVIL!

    B) This stupid witch who just kicked my @$$ is spying on me, and she's trying to blame Lex to change my loyalty, but it's on HER computer.

    Instead, Tess absolutely lightswitches from murdering, corrupt, and evil, to repentant and tragic. I DON'T BUY IT.


    Clark speaks of the redemption of the cops in question, and yet they are behind a MURDER. This isn't Bart Allen stealing. This is KILLING A SUSPECT. And he's sitting on his thumbs, attending barbecues, and palling around with these idiots. OUT of CHARACTER.

    NOW, Clark finally decides to use his x-ray vision. He sees the rifle, and instead of calling the police, he OPENS THE TRUNK and PUTS HIS FINGERPRINTS ON IT.

    Then cops sneak up ON A GUY WITH SUPERHEARING who somehow didn't hear them assembling, and cart him off to jail. I mean, SERIOUSLY! Even if you presume they're trying to frame Clark... how would they know he'd find the rifle and when? It's in a LOCKED TRUNK. They'd have to know he has x-ray vision and where he was going ahead of time, neither of which was established in this horrid plothole of a scene.

    Cut to a scene where GREEN ARROW is a hero on Clark's show, and hey. The baddie doesn't shoot Green Arrow himself, instead, he shoots the cop who's already 90% on his side. Yeah, that makes sense. And Turpin makes it so easy, being a trained cop who runs out RIGHT INTO THE PATH of a sniper's range when he KNOWS WHERE THE SNIPER IS.

    Beyond that, Clark, because of "pulled strings" and "called in favors" is released from jail before being vindicated and knows where to show up and when, revealing his secret to the baddie.

    The baddie then shrugs it off, because apparently bulletproof vests now have the power to bounce bullets directly back into their assailant and convince them to stop fighting the person who is about to ruin their life and career instead of IMMEDIATELY SHOOTING THEM IN THE FACE.

    Turpin, now redeemed (?) decides to be a good cop. His record is clean? How is this possible given what's transcribed? I don't get it. If you're gonna tell a Turpin story, why like this? His thing is fighting metas.


    Tess decides to say her goodbye speech to Lex right when Ollie is walking in. Tact! Skill! We can see how she became the head of the corporation.

    Lex Luthor is declared dead... shades of comic book stuff there, if they roll with it.

    Clark/Lana shipping, again with this "I'll give up being Supes for you, Lana!" and Lana not stopping him.

    I have a note, "Cue Lois! Lois?" because any time someone on this show kisses, the third part of the triangle walks in to many boos and hisses. Here we WANT it to happen, and crap, it doesn't.

    I'll close this review with Clark's last line. It embodies Superman, I would say, at least, as Smallville sees it, that selfless spirit of a man who gave up his individuality to bring fire to the people, to become a beacon of hope for the people of Metropolis without desire for rest or reward:

    "What about what WE need?"

    Such a Superman-y line, no?

    1 of 5.


    Fred wrote:

    I think you need to get it in your head that Smallville is a DC-Elseworlds version of Superman, and let it be. It helps with the apparent continuity gaffes, ala Jimmy Olson, etc. Heck Green Arrow and Justice Leaguers support that as well. It's not a perfect solution, but it makes your head hurt less.

    Heck, is it ANY solution? Why the heck should I have to lower my expectations for a show? It's there to entertain ME, I'm not there to cater to its whims.

    Contrary to that- there is nothing to be done that could explian away or excuse the raging headache and anger I feel when Lana is on the screen. She is AWFUL. She drags the whole show down. Whipkicks to the skull, indeed.


    Finally- a serious bone to pick with the Smallville producers. WHY oh WHY has this show NEVER shown a non-human humanoid? I mean, what the hell is the hang-up? Afraid of "alienating" the viewing public? Newsflash- Buffy and Angel used costumes and make-up every week- even some of the MAIN CHARACTERS. They didn't have huge budgets, and they made it work. Their popularity and longevity proved that it didn't alienate too many people. You'd think that the Smallville producers and the CW (who had BTVS and Angel in one form or another for years) would be pretty hip to the fact that their target audience would have no problems with guys in rubber suits.

    I don't think it's the cost. I think they honestly believe Manhunter is cool as is.

    And if those aren't great examples of "main stream" shows using "monsters," how about, oh, I don't know, frigging STAR TREK?

    Concerning your review- I actually kind of liked Cloverfield cam. It was a different look for the show for sure. I thought my imagination (because I sure coudn't see him clearly)did a great job filling in the blanks with the Doomsday look.

    I had no problem with the cam. I had a problem with the fact that it obviously ripped off the movie.

    The show strikes me as a bit schziophrenic right now. On one hand, you seem to have a small yet vocal group of writers/producers who want to move forward and break new ground. On the other hand, the legacy voices of the way-overrated Al Gough and Miles Millar and their still-present disciples/lackeys are still in control. This season has really seemed to be a behind-the-scenes struggle. It will be interesting to see what Geoff Johns does with his one-shot when the show returns. One wonders how much leeway he'll be allowed.

    He did pretty well, I thought.

    Dave K wrote:

    First off, I hope this finds you well.

    Hectic, but good, thanks.

    Secondly, I feel cheated. Doomsday. He was there. In the flesh... All I got was a toss into the loft and a shadow taking off with the bride with a couple people bloody. WHAT?! That's Doomsday and Brainic's big plans on the Earth? Taking off with Choloe Sullivan? What will they do for act 2? Steal Green Arrow's private jet? Muhahahaha!

    Or put a gag around a fish Aquaman is about to talk to!

    How is that Clark Kent on the show titled "Smallville" takes a back seat to Jimmy Olsen, Choloe, Lana, Lois and Ollie? And where the heck is Martha Kent? As a Kansas voter I would be quite upset if my representation to Congress didn't show up every once in a while to check on things. And why can't Clark super speed to D.C.? He's too busy to visit Ma Kent? In past Superman related tellings, he sent half his check to her... Just doesn't feel right to me.

    It's funny, too, that her re-election campaign isn't being mentioned. It would be starting.

    And of course the next time we see a new show it'll be 2009.

    "Legion." Are they going to fix everything? Wave a future wand? Make Lex forget all about his time in Smallville? That way he thinks of Clark Kent as a nothing and in no way a possible second identity of Superman?

    Who knows? I still don't, having seen the episode.

    How about the glasses? He's not going to be changing much in looks so slicking his hair back isn't really going to make Lois forget he's Clark. Maybe make Lois always remember him with glasses?

    I'm at a loss. I'm tired of the little "Lois and Clark" comments. WE GET IT! WE KNOW! Those of us who are helping to keep your show on the air know they end up together. Move on!

    Well, I realize in some aspects I'm preaching to the choir but it could just be such a great show with just a little more effort. Lord help me but I am looking forward to "Legion." We can only hope for the best.

    Have a great one!


    Dan Fenton wrote:

    Hey Neal,

    Overall, I'd say the first half of season eight has been better than most of the past three seasons anyway...that said...I've got a few bones to pick.

    I agree.

    So Lois lane is all moonie eyed and lovey dovey for Clark Kent. Now, I have watched every episode of Smallville from season one to present and I am confused as to when this all started? My guess is that this must have occurred during episodes 21-22 of season seven. Lois sees Clark...still bummed out about Lana's departure and realizes that he's not the bumpkin she always thought he was...but a nice guy with feelings...a CUTE nice guy...and his pain draws her...

    ...sorry I can't continue...the idea is just too absurd.

    It happened because Kristen left the show and they need the shipper crap to keep the gal viewers happy (demographically speaking), even if it's totally nonsensical.

    I am not against the whole "Lois & Clark" has to happen and I really think Erica and Tom play well off each other. The problem is, they have expressoed things to where Lois is suddenly head over heels for Clark...and they get to the point where they nearly kiss...meaning Clark has feelings for Lois as well??? Did something happen in the Phantom Zone that we haven't been told about?


    You know...I could even accept the fact that Lois has these feelings for Clark, forced and sudden as they seem but how is it that Jimmy and Oliver know so much about her feelings for Clark? Man, it's frustrating when they develop the story but forget to turn the cameras on to film it. Really, it almost seems like we're missing about 3-4 episodes in this case.

    Or 3-4 years. Haw!

    What really sucks, though, is when they bring back Lana to stick a wrench between Lois and Clark and then, that done, keep her around for four more episodes while Erica is constricted to the bench. Now, perhaps they knew they had to complete Kristen's contract obligation and that Erica had a few (more) episodes scheduled off so, let's bring Lana back just long enough to turn Lana haters off of Smallville. Honestly, I could see one or two episodes, maybe even three, but five episodes is almost a quarter of a season. It's too long to revolve around a character that is a)disliked by everyone b)hated by everyone and c)detested by everyone.

    And presumably the last season, at that.

    Bringing Lana back even for the short term just sends to show back to a simpler time when we all watched, puke buckets at the ready, as Clark walked into walls whenever Lana happened by. To bring her back and to remove Lois from the equation virtually the entire run. Gee, this'll help develop the budding romance now, won't it?

    It'll reset the show a year back, which is exactly what they wanted to do, no doubt. They hate progress.

    Kinda like getting the car stuck in mud ("How does it look on your side dear?"), the tires just roll around and you go nowhere...stuck in the same place. And now Lana is back...story development will have to be put on hold until we revert back to season seven...or six...or five...or...almost seems as though they're injecting season seven episodes into season eight. You know, if every Lana hater put in one dollar...we probably could have collectively bought out Kristen's contract and avoided the travesty that lays ahead.

    The power is beyond the money. Good looks get you anything. This show is proof of that.

    Jimmy and Chloe...who gives a flying fedoo? They weren't very interesting to begin with and they've almost become the primary focus the last few episodes. Snore. The show's supposed to be about Clark Kent...yet he again comes on like a supporting player.


    Well, things DO look interesting for 2009 (why do we have to wait more than a month and a half for things to begin again anyway?) one can only hope Lana's presence comes off as an annoyance and nothing more...and Jimmy and Chloe will settle into private life (at least as far as the plot of the show). The problem when Erica returns is that there will be about seven episodes left in the season (possibly the series) wanna bet the Clois emphasis will be even further amped up just in case there isn't a season nine after all?

    I'm guessing they'll be a couple by the end of the season, end or no end.

    This makes Lana's return an even further waste of time...with the series possibly grinding to a halt (though who really believes there won't be a season nine?)'s way too much time spent on a dead-end character when there are more important things to take care of.

    Take care,

    Dan Fenton

    Burlington, Ontario


    Carlos wrote:

    Hi neal, I'm a huge fan of your reviews, I don't mind missing an smallville episode, but I always read all of your reviews.


    I really wanted to read your review for bride, I personally got really excited when I saw the teaser showing doomsday, but I ended up really disappointed, on one side doomsday looked awesome, but come on, ONE punch????, and clark landing on kryptonite..., I could just imagine your review saying LAME LAME LAME, I was right jeje.


    I have to admit that I did enjoy the almost kiss scene, I know that having lois in love with clark is really rushed, and it shouldn't be happening in smallville, but to me, Lois falling for the REAL clark is perfectly natural, at least she did in the comics and in Lois and Clark.

    Finally I have to say How impressed I am with Erika, her performance this season is amazing, when I see her, I really see Lois Lane in love, her expressions are so real, I never thought she could act so good.

    Anyway, thanks for reading (if you read this), I'm a big fan of yours and I'll keep reading all your reviews, please forgive any mistakes I made writing this message, english is not my native language.

    You're more legible than 90% of the native born letters I get. ;) People never proofread. Thanks!


    matthew Bowers wrote:

    on your smallville knockout page under the Indictable Offenses section season 4 ONYX you mention not knowing how air in his IV could kill him that fast the answer for this at least in theory "I am not a doctor" is something i thought was common knowledge an air bubble in the bloodstream can cause a heart attack, by messing up the rythm of the heart when it passes through it. this being said it seems to be the perfect untracable way of killing someone who is on an IV.

    At least until the autopsy. If it stops the heart, wouldn't the air bubble stay in it and leave a telltale sign?

    Scotty V wrote:

    Hey there Neal,

    Just got around to watching the season premiere of Smallville and I'm reading your review as I type this. First, I gotta say I was seriously jonesin' for some 'Ville, man. I don't know what it is about this inconsistent, strange beast of a show, but I still like it, even after all these years of...bad mixed with semi-decent. So now, even though I've got nine episodes on my DVR, we're in the holiday hiatus and I haven't watched one in 6 months or more, I'm really ready. So my sister was over and we watched the second to last episode of ST: TNG, which was good, and then the season premiere of Smallville, which though not in the same league, was also good. And I was dying to watch it so I think it improved it some. We then watched the Series finale of ST and suddenly Smallville looked about normal decent for Smallville again.

    Yeah, it was weird, the way the premiere rocked.

    You say the opening font said Four Years Later? Years? If you're off here I'm sure I won't be the first to have mentioned it, but I thought it had to have said months, right? Unless I'm somehow confused as to what font we're referring to. It can't have said four years had passed so I'm thinking you must have meant to type months.

    Probably a typo on my part.

    I really disagree on the sun healing Clark thing. For two reasons based on what you've said. First, I didn't think he was dead yet, but if he were I don't believe the sun would resurrect him. I'd say he'd have to be "mostly dead" for that, not "all dead." I mean, after all with "all dead" the most you can really do is go through the pockets looking for loose crystals. But more importantly, if Jor-El's made Clark human, which is how they always refer to it on this show, and Clark is powerless, then the sun would simply fry him to a crisp and he'd blow away to ash. After he froze into a block of ice and shattered apart during the trip through space of course. If, as I've always wished they'd say, Jor-El simply removed his powers (however he does THAT) but he still had Kryptonian DNA, it might make more sense, but even then, his powerless state wouldn't last long anyway because he's always under a yellow sun and wouldn't he just regain his powers?

    Yeah, you almost have to try and figure out the insane logic of the show.

    And how could the Martian Manhunter have lost his powers but still been in space and gotten back to Earth? Wouldn't HE have been burned to a crisp by the sun and then blown away to ash before being frozen to a block of ice and shattering apart during the trip back to Earth? Makes no plausible sense whatsoever, let alone answering the question "Why?"

    Noted. Crazy.

    The good thing about Clark living in Smallville and how it isn't the same as the other characters is that he can and still be at work and then home within seconds. If I were as fast as Clark I'd probably play in LA or Florida every day and yet be living right here near my family.

    It'd certainly make cheating easier, haw!

    The whole thing with Lex just being gone stinks. Not just because we all want him to be there but really because it makes very little sense that he'd survive AND get out of the Arctic somehow without any help from his cronies. And of course, since he's not coming back, we'll never get a resolution to his story or see how he (inevitably and again) loses his memory of Clark's powers and of recent events. I think you'd be instantly dead if an arrow pierced your heart as one does Clark here so I felt that was a bit of overkill. It also reminded me of the show where he was again powerless through Jor-El and he was shot...and killed. And of course Martian Manhunter says: "this will be the last time I help you Kal-El." Why? I suppose it's because his powers are gone but did he really mean it that way and do they really expect us to believe anyone's powers are going to stay gone on this show?

    Yeah. It was total drama crap, I agree.

    Overall though, I did enjoy seeing everyone in action again. Although I've seen the promos for the Doomsday episode where Lana returns, for now I'm glad she's gone and yes, I too wish Clark hadn't seen her while dying, though he was very upset by her "dear John" video so it's not like he was over her. I have no idea why Clark appeared in Russia many things with this show...whatever!

    Because in Russia, the premiere... uh... premieres you!

    Anyway, talk soon.

    Scotty V

    Sertan Saral wrote:

    Hi Neal,

    Thanks for the review. I think you're an awesome, entertaining writer and you're one of the reasons I keep coming back to this site.

    Just wanted to say sincerely,


    Rad! Awesome! Thank you so much!

    Alasdair wrote:

    Alright fella; just finished reading your review for the latest JSA issue. Think last time I wrote to you was about Smallville Season 5 boxset and the rip off (cop out), the Region 2 DVD's turned out to be. Before that we were talking issue 3 of Identity Crisis.

    Anyway I just wanted to let you know I'm a Catholic and I read your columns all the time; I respect the insight you put forward. I couldn't care less what your beliefs are or are not; I just respect the fact that you're entitled to them. I hope some mindless t$#ts didn't get you down to much, I think you're awesome and I love your Smallville reviews (although we almost always disagree on whether an episode is good or not). Anyway take care buddy and keep up the amazing work; it is appreciated.

    Thanks! This is referring to the fact that I mentioned that I was an atheist in a JSA review referring to belief in God, and a bunch of people got up in arms and sent nasty letters, because apparently simply holding a belief is "pushing it" on other people when you're an atheist, but when you write them to complain about pushing their beliefs on you in an article you didn't make them read and end it with a plea for conversion, that's "compassion."

    I've mentioned it multiple times on the site, but seemingly randomly a group of folks will take offense and then try to get me booted, not realizing that Steve A) knows I'm an atheist, and B) Wouldn't let me talk about atheism, much less ANYTHING if it weren't in context, which in that case it clearly was.

    Now watch me take flak for Prometheus up there. "You're just trying to anger people!" Negative. I'm exploring a context and people who are religious who can't stand that there are people who are not religious can't handle that.

    You're one of the cool ones, man, and thanks for the letter of support, and from the other folks who sent in letters. Very reassuring that freedom of thought is still alive and well even if some schmucks want to shut you down.

    Mark wrote:


    Please accept my apologies for the words and actions of those who profess to be Christian regarding your expressed views of atheism.

    No need to apologize on their behalf. They will suffer under their own ignorance toward the benefit of idea tolerance more than I could ever gain revenge being vindictive toward them. But thanks for the sentiment anyway.

    I've been a Christian for some 30 years. I know I'm not a shining bright example of what a believer in the teachings of Christ should be, but one thing I have leaned is that everyone is entitled to their own belief system. (or disbelief system :) ) Also, people should be able to express their views, whether in an open forum or as part of a published review without fear of reprisal. It saddens me that some people were so threatened by your honest expression of your personal philosophy (and that's how I saw it, not as an attempt to belittle or demean believers) that they had to lash out at you. Those who profess belief in a loving God should be more ready to practice acceptance than that.

    I won't lie, there have been times where, after particularly angry lashings from people who profess to be Christian, I've written things (not for this site) absolutely critical of religion. But then, I'm only human.

    To me, I am a firm believer in the right to believe whatever you want, as you are. I will say that in my experience, I go out into the world, someone comes up to me, they say, "Man, I love being a Christian! I'm so happy! You'd love it!" and I nod, and say, "I explore Christianity. It's got good points and bad points, and it's an awesome avenue of thought that I use for its practical applicability whenever I can!"

    Then someone will be talking to me, and they'll pointedly ask me what my religion is unbidden, and I'll say, "Well, I'm an atheist." I won't even be like, "And I love it! I get to sleep in Sundays and I can eat meat Fridays! Woop! Woop! Plus, the sex is great!" I'll just state what I believe. And immediately, instead of the reaction I would expect, which is, "Oh! I like this about atheism and don't like this, let's compare!" I get, "YOU WILL BURN!" or "What's it like to live a life of utter despair and hopelessness?" or "How can you NOT believe this world to be created! Everything has a creator!"

    In other words, condescension, condemnation, or a combination of ignorance and fear. It scares me, because I can see that these inclinations often lead people to be hung up on trees when, say, the economy goes down the tubes and a war breaks out, and right now atheists are WAY more despised than Muslims, the key group being pounded on by the media. It's why things like "enemy combatant" scare me when there's no checks and balances defining the enemy, because I could be considered against America by some because I don't believe in God. The first Bush famously said, "I don't know that atheists should be considered as patriots, nor should they be considered as citizens. This is one nation under God." And that's the attitude I have to face every day, from my closest family to people who threaten to hurt me for believing as I do.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd be happy to debate the existence of a Supreme Being with you, but name-calling and threatening is not a debate. I am deeply sorry that some people chose that method.

    I totally agree, and I'm glad your religion finds you well. As long as it makes you happy, more power to you.



    Dave Boul wrote:

    Hey man, I just wanted to write a letter of encouragement to you. I see that you got attacked by people because of your comments about being an atheist and your views of the recent JSA comics. I think your comments are just fine and I understand your feelings and point of view entirely. I am not an atheist, I believe in God and love the things I believe He's done in my life, but I understand. I have loved this website for years and I visit it several times a week. Your reviews and passion for these characters that I also love keep drawing me back. No other fan site for anything I enjoy comes close to Superman Homepage and that is in large part to you. Thanks for everything you do for those of us interested in Superman. I live not far from Metropolis but every year I end up being away during the Superman Celebration. I've told my girlfriend that next year we're going no matter what. I hope to meet you and everyone else from the website and hopefully buy you a beer or show my thanks for your website somehow.

    Awesome! Thank you! I hope to make Metropolis, but I don't know what this year's looking like. For the last five years I've been writing without getting paid, supporting myself on real estate, and as you likely know, real estate crashed, so I'm nearing bankruptcy. We'll see.

    Do not be discouraged.

    I shall not! And thanks.

    Dave Boul

    Emanuel wrote:

    Hey Neal

    As a Christian, I wanted to let you know that I respect your comments. I've been visiting this site for years and had read that you were atheist. Out of all the reviewers here, I hold your reviews in high esteem.

    Thank you.

    You have a very objective way of writing that I enjoy reading every week. Most importantly, you write intelligently which is something I believe is seriously lacking in the Internet these days.

    Heck, I could simply write cogently and beat most of these lousy punk kids with their 4evars and their LAWLS. Heh.

    I also like how you respect others beliefs and don't demean it in favor of your own. You know it's funny, the only thing I can't seem to agree with you is on Trinity, but that's another story. :)

    Well, I hope I've engendered that respect by letting you know that I'm glad you enjoy Trinity, and not belittling you for doing so. I criticize, but I've never thought anyone should feel as I do unless they do. That's just... it's an odd sentiment for me to expect people to be like me. Everyone else seems to want to push themselves on me, but I want people to be themselves. If that's Christianity, GREAT!*

    *Provided that doesn't lead to killing me for being atheist. ;)

    Keep up the good work that you are doing, and I'll keep on looking forward to reading your reviews every week.

    Thanks again.

    Toby Wilson wrote:


    Great comments and reviews as always. I'm a Christian, but I think your thoughts are dead-on. I'm not sure if it's appropriate for either one of us for me to say this, but, keep giving 'em hell!

    More than appropriate. And let me again be clear, to me, it's not your typical Christian doing this insanity. Most typical Christians are like these letters I received, awesome and compassionate.

    Thanks for putting your cards on the table. Would that we could live in a world where everyone could put their cards on the table, be honest about who they are and where they're coming from, and just be OK with that.

    Then we might have change and peace. And hey, I didn't believe it until just recently, but I think there's still a chance.


    Scotty V wrote:

    Hey there Neal,

    Finally watched episode two...and now, my comments.

    Wow, both you and Douglas are really lovin the show this season. Well, Douglas didn't like the premiere so much but, this episode? I really felt like we were right back where Smallville is most comfortable. It felt like another meteor freak Kryptonite episode that was filler for the season and we're only in the 2nd episode!

    Look, I like most of the episodes in parts. I was like that with L&C as well. There were some episodes, like with Smallville, that were really awesome and standout even to this day - but a great deal were horrible and cheesy. I don't usually get the cheesy vibe with Smallville but it's just, well you know what it's been. And with this episode, though we need the bits with Bloome to get where we're going and it's cool to see Clark at the Planet, we still have meteor freak repetitiveness, L&C somehow working at the Planet on the main floor together and a terrible, annoying voiced actress playing another homicidal teenager.

    Yeah, I imagine in time the second will probably not be one to re-watch.

    You mention that Clark has no glasses and no slump. I'm about a year out from comics so I'm not sure how much of the (dumb) Donner stuff they've brought back into the books but I know for the longest time there was no slump. Clark was not a nerd or clumsy and he didn't even look that different. It may be harder to swallow, but in my memory Clark hasn't been a coward geek since the 40's. I think the whole secret identity thing can be pulled off with a simple normal guy, humility approach. Glasses yes, but we don't need the whole over-the-top cheesy Donner Clark. Didn't work for me then and I'd absolutely hate to see it now. And let's face it, on this show it's a little late to suddenly make Clark frumpy and clumsy and geeky. That would be as obvious to the surrounding characters as him suddenly dressing like he was GQ material or wearing a red and blue suit.

    Sure. I guess I was exaggerating that there's no attempt at all for duality.

    Lois looks different also because her hair is almost brunette as it should be. You know those people who wanted to boycott the new Bond movies because Daniel Craig has blonde hair? Well I'm not that bad but it's like that for Lois. Lois has dark hair. On Smallville she's always been a blonde...until now. The sad thing about that is that it means in this incarnation Lois is a blonde and she just dyed her hair, but at least it's dark now. I love Erica, but why would the producers go out and purposely cast someone with blonde hair and then not have her dye her hair before she started?

    Her hair was blond? Did I miss something?

    I think the body from the punk kid was probably just in the flames. Since we never see the fire put out it's possible the body was there and, though it is funny, that he didn't "implode." In so far as Clark seeing the power, I've said many times that I believe Clark's heat vision is invisible. At this point in the episode, it appears to me that Bette's power is too. We are shown the power later but that could be just for the viewers. Early on my thought was that it was more a psychic energy thing. She thinks about blowing up a place or a thing or person and bam, it happens. In that case we wouldn't see or hear a direction because it would just sprout up from wherever she wanted. And the kid might not have known there were explosive barrels there.

    This episode is redeemed a bit from the meteor freakiness for me when I research Plastique and find out she is a real DC character and that she dose have explosive powers. I was also super-pleased to discover Plastique's name is really Bette. When they were saying it on the show I was thinking: what the hell kinda name is that? At first I couldn't even make out what they were saying. Anyway the resemblance ends with the names and similar power. She's really just a meteor freak again who murders people. Her actual comic counterpart had to touch things (from what I'm reading) to make them explode and she was just a criminal. She wasn't really evil and she didn't murder folks. But this is Smallville.

    That's it,

    Scotty V

    Bruce wrote:

    Sorry to hear to you got a lot of of hate mail on the atheist view. However, as deist I read something different here.

    Gog shows the inherent problem of trying to have a ****personal** relationship with something on this power level. To have a personal relationship the god in question would have to be able to relate to us on a human level and that brings in human issues. As Yahtzee of zero punctuation fame said in his Sim City Societies review 'when you put people in the position of a god with responsibility over many lesser beings their attitude towards them is less about beloved children and more about target practice'. Gog is certainly doing a lot of target practice in this issue.

    I dunno. Isn't most modern Christian religion predicated on the idea of a personal relationship with Jesus? Now, I'm with you, I think that the suffering in this world indicates that if there is a personal relationship it's like the one with the ex-girlfriend who takes every chance to make you feel bad just to make you realize what you've lost, but still...

    To use another example it is like microbes being able to think and praying to the 'god' scientist in the sky. The scale is just too large in terms of both time and size for the scientist to even know if his microbes had any kind of intelligence. Other than whatever experiment he is running he likely doesn't really care about the welfare of his microbes but the outcome of his experiment.

    My problem with that is it assigns characteristics to God when we have no way to do that that's assessable. Who's to say God couldn't have a normal conversation with folks. You don't know, I don't know, so it's kind of like angels on the head of a pin in terms of relevance. Not to denigrate what you're saying, just pointing out that it's relative.

    Even 1990s issues of the Spectre (Jim Corrigan) and Captain Atom had the gulf between the 'true' god and human perception such that no true personal relationship is possible. Corrigan saw a god that consumed souls and Captain Atom went through Purgatory to get to heaven.

    Angela wrote:


    This is a response to the 'correct me if I'm wrong' statement in regards to Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher having pre-marital sex in 'Lois and Clark' as another comparison to Chris Reeve and Margot Kidder in 'Superman II' in your review for Smallville's "Freak" episode, and I'll have to be correcting you because were indeed actually wrong :P

    Curses! First time for everything. I kid!

    In 'Lois and Clark', Clark is a virgin and waited til he married Lois (which was the fourth and final season). He admitted to Lois that he only had a few girlfriends back in Smallville. Lois was celibate and was very lonely, which was kind of a running gag throughout the show in the first season by Cat Grant, who constantly teased her about it.

    Just thought I'd give you the heads up :)

    Cool! See, I have the first season, but I've been slow to rewatch, mostly because of, well, I dunno, I'm writing books.

    Mike wrote:

    Great job with the stats page on Smallville. There are so many random villains-of-the-week out there I completely forgot about. I especially like your list of lame uses of Kryptonite, that was very funny.


    I do want to point out one minor correction though. You list Dr. Hamilton (deceased) as one of the characters who meets Clark later in actual comic book canon than when they meet him in the context of the show. The Dr. Hamilton on Smallville who died from prolonged kryptonite exposure is actually Dr. Steven Hamilton, not Professor Emil Hamilton of Star Labs fame who was on the Superman cartoon of the 90s. The Smallville Dr. Hamilton was an original character for the show, whereas Professor Emil Hamilton is rumored to appear in an upcoming episode in Season 8.

    I know. I actually based that part on the list on an interview I took with Al Gough WAY WAY back in season 2, where he stated that this would be the only incarnation, and was supposed to be a reference to Emil, etc. Now things are revised, and will thusly change in the count.

    Scotty V wrote:

    Hey there Neal,

    Finally had some time with my sister today so my sis, the wife and I, with Chloe interrupting as is per the course (at least she's cute) caught up on some saved Smallville eps, but we've still got a ways to go. Today we started with "Toxic," where we see Ollie's "origin" story.

    I'll bet even Chloe saw the flaws... Heh.

    The first thing I read in your review is that you didn't like it. Hm, I actually thought it was pretty good. As with all Smallville eps all too often it had it's problems, but I'll read on a bit to see if we agree at all. Though overall I enjoyed it. For me it opened up Tess a little bit and I thought this show alone had the biggest heroic act I've ever seen from anyone on this show and it came from Mr. Queen. Look, Clark is a hero sure. But Clark can't be killed or hurt by conventional means so when he jumps in front of a bullet it's not really that heroic. But when Ollie does it, for a girl he doesn't even know, it brings tears to my eyes.

    That was pretty good, honestly.

    Do we really know that Tess is evil? I mean, I guess we know cause the show has said she'll be the new villain. But I don't think she's done anything we've seen to necessarily term her "evil." The thing with the girl last week may really be altruistic and it's Lex who kept those meteor peeps in captivity not Tess. I'm sure she will turn out to be evil, probably again cause they've told us so, but she's been fairly decent so far.

    Well, she did kill a dude. That's my personal evil line.

    It did occur to me too that Chloe calling Davis was odd. When she said it I thought: "She specifically called Davis? Although I suppose with what they were going for, he was the one she thought she could call since they needed to play it on the down low. I too think it's out of place for Clark to keep bringing up how he wants to "save" Chloe from her new powers. Currently she's not suffering and not in any danger. She has a power. And her power is helpful and now, since she's not able to bring people back from the dead at risk to herself, she's not at that risk either. I understand that Clark always likes to blame himself and worries about his friends, but here it seems unnecessary.

    It's out of character, yeah. Particularly when he has such power. Like he can handle it and others can't. Then again, anyone with a power HAS gone nuts.

    Yes it further occurred to me that it was strange Ollie wasn't hollering to the guys as soon as he heard them. I think I excused it when the plant poisoned him though, because that distracted him just after we were shown he for some reason wasn't sure what to do. Both Chloe and Lois bothered me in this episode. Have I ever mentioned that Chloe's use of "pithy, witty" dialogue and references to actual happenings in pop culture in her normal every day speech pattern has gotten so annoying I'm even beginning not to like her character anymore? What makes it worse though is that all the other characters do it too! They don't do it as much as she dose but it really stands out. It stands out because people don't do that in every day life. Sometimes you use analogies when you're telling a story or joking around but people don't speak that way normally. So then when other people speak the way Chloe does, which doesn't sound right in the first place, it really sticks out. It's like in a bad novel where every character uses the same types of phrases and wording. You think: "I guess everyone in this world has the same exact speech pattern," and then you stop reading.

    I have no problem with unrealistic dialogue if done well. But even in Buffy that crap sounded stilted to me.

    I'm trying to remember when one thug took Mercy out. It may have happened in one of the earlier episodes that I'm not remembering or maybe it even happened here. We watched at least three eps today so I'm probably mixing them up. I know in at least two of the eps she kicks some ass with the kickboxing and martial arts stuff.


    Yeah the whole scene with the girlfriend and the bracelet was not put together well and did not work. You know, reading your review, I see where you were more irked than enjoying of this episode. For me, I think the distraction of the baby talking to me, showing me her Christmas toys and keeping my attention away from some of this stuff (like great teeth and hair after two years) allowed me to semi-enjoy Ollie's "becoming." Still, I was bothered from the beginning that the origin wasn't quite the origin. You know, him and his parents being on the yacht when it was destroyed somehow and Ollie surviving when everyone else didn't. Even if they wanted Lionel to be the killer, why couldn't he have sunken their boat, or been responsible for it when Ollie was younger? Or, I guess if they wanted this romance story with Tess, which I sort of like, at least have Ollie out with his parents for a cruise at that age.

    I would probably like most of the stuff in this show more if I weren't reviewing it, honestly. But then, that comes with the review territory, alas.

    Yeah a lot of those issues with the antidote I was thinking: "Oh so Clark not only was fast enough to get the antidote, but they must have had it in the lab already manufactured and in a syringe." Then, because Bloome is fantasy world in love with Chloe after only just meeting her he's willing to do whatever they say. I guess this what they meant when they said: "People will really be surprised by how nice and down to earth Bloome really is since we know he's to be Doomsday someday." That translates to irrationally in love and somewhat weak.

    Yeah. Honestly, I think "nice" being equivocated with "sucking up to women you like" is stupid. Nice is nice. I would hold a door for a dude or a chick, because I'm a nice guy. If I complement a woman for no apparent reason, it's probably finkish and an attempt to get laid... except on TV!

    Clark knocking the guy with the phone line was overkill but what I liked about it was that to my recollection, it might be the first time Clark has actually done something that worked and yet kept his powers hidden. No one could see Clark do it and he was able to save the day and leave. Normally Clark just walks right up and throws the guy 30 feet and everyone can see him so I like this way better.

    I want to see superspeed taps. That can look cool, if they put thought into it. There are so many cool ways to render someone unconscious. The whirlwind air suck is one they haven't used yet.

    I think Clark not telling Ollie could play as a "what good would it do now sort of thing." He says he didn't tell him because he didn't want Ollie to do something he'd regret. Okay. So then when the guy's already dead it could be that it would just make Ollie feel worse that it was murder unnecessarily. Possibly. Anyways, I kind of like how Clark just stands there and takes it when Ollie says it. He looks as if he's not thrilled but not like he's really bothered by it and I like that. I like it because all too often Clark has been the wounded, put upon guy that everyone craps on and he always feels guilty over it.


    I haven't thought any of the episodes this season have been that great, certainly not as great as you've thought. I'm glad you're finally liking them though. I've really felt like they've been pretty "along the normal Smallville lines" myself, but I enjoyed Ollie and Tess's part of this story. I was irked by some of the out of character stuff and annoying dialogue as I mentioned though. Overall I'd have said it was about a 3 for me.

    To me, I just hope everyone's having a good time and can get some chuckles out of what I note, honestly. It's rough to be having a good time when other folks aren't. I hope that gets better.

    I'm sure someone wrote into you about it by now but one of your readers mentions Dexter and you asked what it was. I haven't watched too much of it but my family loves it and the two or three eps I did watch I found pretty darned good. It's a show about a serial killer who, per his father's instructions (his father was a cop) when he was a young, he only hunts down and kills the bad folk. It seems Dexter's a sociopath who has difficulty understanding regular human emotions but needs to kill to satisfy his sickness and yet he has a code that he upholds.

    Oh! Yeah. That's similar to the plot of my seventh novel. My friend told me that, so I've been avoiding that show so I don't cross-pollinate or steal.

    Talk to you soon good friend,

    Scotty V

    Scotty V wrote:

    Hello again Neal,

    Also watched "Instinct" today and thought I'd go ahead and read your review. I thought it was a decent episode with a lot of laughs but that not much of it made much sense. Hated Maxima's outfit. I thought she looked like a bimbo hooker rather than a Queen from another planet. Plus she, like all other non-Clark alien entities on this show, seems to have Kryptonian powers too! I don't understand why everyone has to have the same powers. The reason it really doesn't work here is that Maxima mentions how she was always told stories of the "great Kryptonian men" and that she always knew one was meant for her. Problem is, that unless we assume that people from Almerac get the same reaction from a yellow sun as people from Krypton there's no reason she should be able to stay in a fight with him. On the flipside of that, if Maxima is already super-powered and all people from Almerac have this awesome strength and power, then how could she have always believed that a Kryptonian was "worthy" of her?

    Yeah, given that they have no powers on Krypton. Hadn't thought of that.

    Yep it was way out there that Maxima decided to go walking up to Jimmy in that bar and I too thought it was strange that she couldn't tell who might be the droid she was looking for. Also, why does she come down in Suicide Slum, Metropolis when she says she saw the beacon and the beacon originated in Smallville? She even knows exactly where the beam originated from because she later goes there, so why would she think that schlub on the street was a Kryptonian or that he originated the beam? And then, when she dose decide that schlub must be the one but then finds out he isn't and knows as per later that the beacon originated from the mansion in Smallville, why does she take the time to go to another human bar and mess with Jimmy? Too many things in this episode make my brain hurt.

    Yeah, it was really, really illogical. Par for the course.

    When we were watching it, my sister too brought up how the guy in the street insta-died but how somehow Jimmy was lasting much longer and then surviving. I was thinking that the guy on the street's hormones just went nuts and he fell over with blood coming out of his nose, but that he may not have been dead. Just died by the time anyone found him but I didn't think we could know for sure by what we were shown. Plus maybe since she thought Jimmy was "sweet," she didn't overdose him so quickly or something just in case. I do so love the super-speed scenes on this show. I really like that they chose to go with slowing everything down. I've always liked it and I still think it's the best effect on the show. At this point in the show though, it still seemed like maybe Maxima didn't have super-powers other than maybe strength and pheromones because she doesn't follow Clark even though it's made clear she now knows he's the one she seeks. Of course my hopes were dashed not too long from this point and it's even worse because now we know there's no reason she shouldn't have grabbed him up right then.

    I agree on the effect. I wish they'd use it logically. It always seems at the most random or deus ex machine of times.

    I didn't even take Tess's speech to Chloe as a threat. I took it as what it sounded like. To me it sounded like her saying that she rally had an opportunity for Chloe and that no laws would be broken. Can't remember the exact words when Chloe finally said she was threatening as Lex would have but it just didn't sound that way to me. But you mention specific things from Lex's files that Tess does threaten Chloe with so maybe I missed the exact things what with the baby bothering us and all.

    You mention that Clark shouldn't have known anything about Jimmy being with Maxima because he hadn't arrived until after it happened. I think Clark knew Jimmy was with a woman because of his condition and since he was at the hospital with Jimmy he would have known that his hormone levels were way off the charts. And as you mention, since they knew that another guy had died outside the bar in the same manner the others had died, Clark can just match it up.

    That's a good point. He CAN see the hormones. Hadn't thought of that.

    You mention how Lois chasitising Clark in the elevator for being with Maxima makes Lois look like an ass but I disagree. First, you mention that Lois is very promiscuous on the show. I never really thought of her that way. I mean, yes, as you say she had sex with her boss. But she was in a relationship with him. Same with Ollie. And in this case I think it's all irrelevant because she's jealous. She's become very close to Clark and she's got feelings for him now so seeing him doing that hurt her. She may not have the right to be jealous and may have no actual reason to be but I think it was cute and touching and a clue as to how Lois really feels about Clark. She later tells Maxima there's nothing between them and that they're barely friends because well, she's about to be killed and she's also annoyed. In addition, anyone in that situation would feel embarrassed and deny any feelings she might actually have. That's over-ridden anyway because of course; her life is on the line.

    I just know that in the same situation, I've never seen Clark give her the stinkeye for dating someone, and that to make her actions in the show seem condonable to me seems like a double standard.

    When Lois is thrown in the car she should definitely be in worse shape than she is. Problem here is, she's not in any trouble whatsoever. When the car went flying through the air I said to everyone in the room "Well, earlier we saw a Jimmy dead moment and now it's Lois' turn." Who knew this was the episode where two hugely important canon characters would die?

    Yeah I'm pretty much with you on this one. For "Maxima," which it should have been called, or rather "Instinct," I say about a 2.


    Scotty V wrote:

    Howdi again!

    On the same day we watched the last two, my sister and my wife and I watched "Committed." As kind of a jokey/filler episode, I thought it was fun but of course, it was absurd as well. And now onto your review.

    You mention that "Kung Pow 2" is coming. I rented the first one during the time that I heard everyone talking about how great it was. Michelle and I watched, nay agonized through the first half hour or so before turning it off in confusion wondering what all the hubbub was.

    Hah! Well, it's my brand of awful, slapstick humor. I may be the only guy on Earth with an IQ higher than five who actually enjoys movies like "Scary Movie." And why? Because I turn my brain off, and it helps me do so. It's just random poop jokes. When you spend all day examining subtext and context and doing analysis, it's really great to go, "HEY! CRAPOLA! WOOOP WOOOP!" and that's all those movies are. Kung Pow is one of those style movies, but more on a Leslie Nielsen in his prime scale with visual humor over, say, Meet the Spartans, which was utter crap even with a brain shut down.

    On this episode you mention that we shouldn't have any reason to think Lois would know anything about relationships. Your reasons for this are that she hops into bed with a violent vigilante, a clone and crazy mafia types at every turn. My problem with this is that I think you may have just described every relationship encounter she's ever had. With the "violent vigilante," we're talking about Oliver Queen, who is pretty much, the same type character he is in the comics and also the same as Batman. Things go quickly on a TV show where we only see 40 minutes of the characters lives 22 weeks a year, but L&O had an actual bf/gf grown up, mature relationship. It wasn't always portrayed as such because we are in Smallville, but they did really have 'ship, as you say, so I don't see this as a negative. The clone you mention was Lex's cloned brother whom she fell for and they had an actual dating type relationship. We don't actually know that they ever had sex, but yes, and omg, they made out once in his office. People of dating age often do that when trying to find that special person. Finally, as I recall, the 1 mafia type she may have slept with was a one time thing very early on in her being on the show. These examples are hardly a case for how terrible a person she is at predicting true love. Further, I don't think two out of three possible sexual relationships where the people seem to at least think they're in love make her a bad moral figure necessarily, as your written tone suggests. But I also know you're always trying to be funny and sarcastic and cynical and you're reviews always make me laugh so this is definitely not an attack.

    I totally understand. I don't think she's promiscuous, nor that even promiscuity is in any way a bad thing. I'm a terrible little whore myself. It's more like when it comes to true love, that's generally not something that comes from a person who goes all doe-eyed at a pretty face, which she does. Aquaman, Green Arrow, the mafia guy, the boss, there are more, I just don't recall them right now. Point being, all of those on the show seemed like TRUE LOVE. I think she cried when AC split, I know she's cried over Ollie, etc.

    One thing you don't mention about C&J's expensive looking party is that Gabe is nowhere in sight. Maybe this is another case where you've given up mentioning the obvious. I know for me though, it really bothered me when Chloe asked Clark to give her away at the wedding. Clark, who lost his own father and would likely give anything to have his father see him marry, would realistically tell Chloe to have her dad do the honors. But on Smallville the writers just want us to forget Chloe has a loving father that simply disappeared from her life and is never mentioned. This type of thing really annoys me and there's no need for it. Maybe they asked the actor and he refused to come back. More likely, they just think it would be cooler to have Clark give Chloe away even though it makes no sense and they don't want to take the time to write anything that would explain it. Can you imagine how hurt and insulted a father would be if his daughter, whom he'd always been seen to love and take care of, shunned him in favor of someone else when the father was perfectly able?

    Yeah, but he's a CRAP MERCHANT! Ah, I kid.

    You also crucify Tess for sleeping with Ollie just for the sheer enjoyment of it and imply that makes her "non-brainy" and not strong. Sex just for sex sake is certainly a normal happenstance in the world and since these people have been shown to have a history and a strong attraction to one another, it's hardly surprising that this could happen. You may say that Ollie's a hero figure and should therefore not do anything that may be deemed amoral. Okay, I can go with you on that, although it looks like Ollie might be trying to rekindle what was once a possible love relationship. Tess may have been as well, though she needn't be held to the same standards as a superhero, and simply realized she was just being stupid thinking it might work out since she Ollie hurt her before.

    I should clarify. It's not that she slept with Ollie that makes her morally weak. It's the fact that instead of being honest about her feelings, she BSed him. That's emotionally immature. Sex is just sex.

    You mention that the Sullolsen car is towed because they're in front of a meter at night and that it shouldn't have happened because meters are not in effect at night in cities or small towns. I can't speak for too much by way of all towns and cities in the country, though I tend to believe that, like extraterrestrials, there's just so much universe out there it's likely they exist. What I mean by that is, with all the millions of towns and cities collectively across the country, it's awfully likely that some of them keep their meters in use all night. I do know that in many places throughout New York City you cannot park along the streets no matter what time of day it is. There are places where you can, of course, but there are also meters up and down many NY streets and people cannot park there, even if they pay the meter because the meters are for special vehicle types. Further, I thought the party took place in Metropolis? If so, then Metropolis would be considered a large city rather than a small town.

    True. I might have just never encountered it. It's like that sneezing while sick thing a few years back.

    Didn't they already do a "Saw" ripoff at least once on this show?

    Yeah. It's a once-yearly thing, it would seem.

    Again you bring up Lois' dressing nice as a slant against strong women. Every woman I've ever known, professionally or otherwise, still dresses to show off their figure or cleavage at least few days, assuming they're in a job where personal style is encouraged.

    Well, yeah. They DO. Doesn't mean it's a sign of good character. If I were allowed to walk around in a banana hammock, and that kind of thing was desirable to women, if I did it at work, it would be encouraging women to regard me for my genetic appeal over my ability as a worker. It's unfair to ugly women and men who aren't seen as sex objects, number one, and it teaches a woman learned helplessness, number two. Personal style, it should also be noted, is one thing. Cleavage designed to grab attention is wholly another. Women always say, "I do it to make myself feel good about myself!" but they ignore the implied, "...because it makes men look at me and treat me like I'm brilliant even if I'm mentally retarded!"

    You bring up a stationary store and that Lois yells at someone who is a child. I can't remember this scene and like you, I feel it would take too much effort to go find it online or something. I just don't even remember the scene at all. If I had it on my DVR still I might go check, but I don't.

    I didn't notice that the ring guy was in the jewelry store in one scene and then shown torturing the JimmiChlo in the next scene. You only give two explanations but I have two more.

    1) The guy could be a plastic surgery altered version of the Tool Time kid who was on a few yearsa go and could split himself in two. Believe me, it's not that hard to swallow. After all, on soap operas like this new actors are recast in the same roles as old actors who leave all the time. And most times the actors don't look anything alike. The funniest one I remember was on my mom's soap "Days of Our Lives." My mom still watches the show pretty religiously, but when I was younger there was a guy named Roman. Roman was shot on a beach and as the end credits rolled viewers were shown Roman still laying, alone, with no help in sight, and his breathing was shallow. I think it was years later when another actor came on claiming to be Roman. This actor was at least half a foot taller and looked nothing like the other guy. He said he'd been surgically altered but what about the height? Never mentioned. So you see Neal, this is a perfectly plausible explanation.

    On Smallville, I'll buy that. :)

    2) It's possible, unless disproved by dialogue in the show (I no longer pay that close attention), that several days went by with the couple tied up and that was the back and forth. You know, his hobby after work.

    I can't remember, because again, I don't really pay that much attention anymore, but did someone really get hit in the face with a bo staff and then smirk? I'm guessing it was Ollie and yeah, that's pretty silly.

    Yeah. Ever been hit by one? Good god, I hit myself with one on the arm just doing regular practice and it bruises me up.

    An ad for High School Musical 3 makes Neal feel right at home in the target demo. Oh yeah, it's always been that way; 12-year-old girls and pre-high schoolers. That's the demo. But it's okay Neal, no one knows we aren't 11 to 14 year old females squeeing every time Tom Welling comes on screen.

    But like, ohmigod! He's so hot! I hope he sings!

    In the "Illogical Conclusion Department," I think that Lois' phone dropped and she stopped talking, there was noise so Clark knew the phone was still on, which might be why Clark could have assumed the worst. In so far as them immediately knowing it was the jewelry store guy...

    I got nothing.

    Neal is Jesus. Praise Neal.

    I'm waiting for my robes.

    I thought the elevator line about being the safer way to travel klunked because I couldn't think of time when I've ever heard anyone say that elevators were a safer way to travel than...anything. But Clark DID say it so I thought it was cute.

    I like the respect to the mythos, but heck, that would have been so much better after season 4 when he rips the wing off the plane.

    Overall, yet another filler episode of Smallville and magic meteor rock watches on jewelry store murderers who are far enough away that it shouldn't effect a Kryptonian are the best judges of character a viewer can hope for.

    Bruce Kanin wrote (RE: Legion):


    The second half of the eighth and final season begins! Or is it the final season? Rumor has it the show will continue into Season Nine. Anyway, the second half begins with a ball-of-confusion first-half recap. The episode, though, was better than the recap, and gets a *B*, mainly because of the Legion's appearance.

    _THE GOOD_

    The live action premier of the Legion of Super-Heroes! They were the best and only decent aspect of this episode. They were done better than the wimpy Smallville version of the JLA. I'd look forward to a Legion TV series. Wonder if Warner is thinking of that. Not that they were fantastic - but they weren't ruined by Smallville writers, who are usually clueless.

    Lightning Lad had the best lines, usually about the future Superman we know about but Clark doesn't, e.g.: "Hey Kal...where's your cape?"; "No glasses, no flights, no tights (wink wink)"; "Nothing like the Man of Steel".

    Like us students of Superman lore, we've only heard of Lois, Jimmy, etc and not Chloe, at least when it comes to standard Superman lore. The Legion's speculation on why Chloe isn't known in history adds to the mystery of her future - and her possible demise.

    Loved the line about us not replacing carbon fuel for another 20 years. Somebody had better tell Obama!

    Liked the understated Legion of Super-Dudes uniforms, too. Nothing too flashy.

    The Legion mentions the "Levitz Museum". Chuckle. (In honor of DC's Paul Levitz).

    Garth mentions his sister - who we all know is Light Lass! And one of the Legion mentions Brainiac 5! Cool!

    _THE BAD_

    The whole Brainiac angle was disturbing. It's not clear as to what Brainiac was after. Downloading human memories? Nurturing Doomsday? Sooo confusing.

    Brainiac can be stopped by a Phantom Zone crystal. What?? Where did that come from?

    This show has an annoying habit of using one of its regulars to host a villain. Zod inhabited Lex...Lionel became the voice of Jor-El for awhile...Brainiac possessed Lana...and now Chloe is hosting Brainiac. It's a good ploy in that, to kill Brainiac, you have to kill Chloe, but it takes the menace out of the villain. Seeing a mad Chloe running around just isn't as frightening as the villain in his/her original form. Give us the real Brainiac from DC Comics, not a faade. Can't they afford more guest stars?

    _THE REST_

    I don't understand the Doomsday versus Davis situation. Why is Davis sometimes Doomsday and sometimes Davis? Or has the incubation at the Fortress changed him into Doomsday forever?

    Lana and the Isis Foundation are incredible - she can access the /Global Power Grid/! Jeepers, Miss Lane!

    When Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy blast Chloe - first at the Daily Planet - and then to capture Brainiac - why doesn't all that voltage and magnetism kill her?

    Saturn Girl tells Lana of her destiny and then says "your secret's safe with me". What is Lana destined to be - Insect Queen?

    Time to play - /Brainiac Ball/!!

    It was very nice that Clark insisted on not taking a life - too bad it was Lana who had to inspire him.

    Cool - Clark and the Legion convene right by the Vancouver Light Rail elevated line! I guess it was supposed to be the Metropolis rail system...


    Not sure what to expect...more Lana, which isn't necessarily good.

    Agreed on all counts. Now if only we could get Geoff to write the whole show. We must clone him.

    Thanks everyone!

    Next week's review will be posted later than usual as Steve is away.

    Don't forget to check out the updated KO Count.


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