Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 8 - Episode 15: "Infamous"

Reviews:

Infamous

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

MAIN POINTS:

  • Clark decides, rather arbitrarily, to reveal his powers to the world.
  • It leads to him being pursued for Lex's murder. Somehow. Not sure.
  • He realizes a dual identity might be swell.
  • That annoying chick from 90210 appears and is killed by Bloomsday.

    REVIEW:

    Arg. This is one of those reviews where I can consciously choose to rip on it for hours and hours and hours, or just list the faults and let it go.

    I used to have enough passion to note every little inconsistency and oddness. Back in season four it was much easier, because it was the first time I'd seen the systematic deconstruction of the framework. They were taking something which had run well, and driving it without oil until the head blew.

    Now the car is just stopped, and we're waiting for the mechanic. Earlier this season, some kindly dude named Geoff stopped by, pushed the car ten or fifteen feet with the help of a few friends, but now here we are, sitting by the side of the road in the female 18-25 demographic.

    There were so many problems with this episode. Just top to bottom, it was crafted poorly. The acting was great. Visually, there were some great moments, two or three. But the writing itself, the concepts behind it, they were all patently designed to exploit as opposed to honor.

    An example: Clark reveals his secret. Lois falls and swoons into his arms, where they gaze longingly at each other despite no catalyst to do so, really. That's not a logical progression. That's fanwank for Clois people.

    Another example: Clark and Lois have a date to see "if this is going somewhere!" The ubiquitous "it" that I have never been able to identify that only gals of a certain persuasion seem to understand. And then, despite the fact that they both obviously want "it", they ignore each other and run off.

    Reminds me of Lana and Clark in season two. Sucked then, sucks now. That never changed.

    Will they, or won't they? My response? Who cares. WE KNOW THEY WILL. The anticipation of when it will be is, to me, uncaptivating and utterly ridiculous, particularly given that it should be, I dunno, FIVE YEARS FROM NOW IN CONTINUITY. And before you write me a nasty letter saying, "Smallville is its own continuity!" I respond: No kidding! That's why I can't get excited about the Lois and Clark romance. It's obvious they'll be boinking before Lois has even MET Perry White. Beyond that, she already boinked his proxy, so hell.

    Will Chloe and Davis? Or WON'T THEY?

    Now, this episode, with proper writing, could have had potential. They could have built up to a big reveal of Clark's secret at the END, and that would have been an interesting cliffhanger. Instead, they reveal it early, playing the hand that it'll be reversed way, way early. Not that anyone in their right mind believes Clark will reveal his secret. It's like when Green Arrow killed Clark. Are we supposed to go, "OH MY GOD! HOW WILL HE GET OUT OF THAT ONE!"

    No. The obvious answer is a clichéd device, because that's just what Smallville does.

    Here, it's a Legion ring that was supposed to take him to the future. It has now gained the odd unmentioned property to take you wherever you want in time. Uh-huh. Maybe that's how it is in the comics, I'm not sure, but Clark was not informed of that in this show, making it odd.

    There's gotta be a term for information characters have that they can't possibly have. I remember something like that in college, but I just don't care enough to look it up. PLOT HOLE is good enough for me.

    My initial inclination was to take this entire review and make every single sentence have some kind of water metaphor in it, because that's what every character in Smallville did this episode. Then I realized that even though it'd be funny, like in Smallville it'd be banal after the second time we heard some character use some line like, "She's a slippery character!" or "My! Your excuses are all wet, Kent!"

    I felt like I was watching a pun-off in 1954, because that's the last damned time other than Buffy that dialogue like that has flown.

    Honestly, why Tori Spelling again? Brainiac. Doomsday. Zod. Bizarro. Heck, there are even TENS of really great stories from the last seven years that could have made a reappearance and meant something. They choose the "water as gossip" metaphor. What's the point of identity? What's the cool factor? She turns to water. He character is empty. God, I just don't get it.

    The systematic destruction of the hope I had built up in the early part of this season has now edged into "worse than it's ever been" territory. I mean, the FRICKING SHOW OPENED WITH AN IMAGE OF THE VILLAIN CIRCLING THE DRAIN.

    Ergo renewal. Sigh.

    Blow-by-blow, I guess.

    We open with Lois returning home from taking care of Jimmy. She, the one with the job as a reporter, goes and takes care of Chloe's husband while Chloe, currently unemployed, sits on her thumbs? Way to explain actress absence, Smallville. Interviews suggest it's about whether a character can fit into the story or not. Uh-huh.

    Linda Lake pops from a spout and gives some of the most cringe-worthy dialogue I've ever heard. She looks like a plastic mess, and her acting is about as wooden as the back of a logging truck, with all the bark still on and the gas smell.

    "The police cleared my name!" she spouts, when Clark asks her how she got free of, well, being hit by a car. This contradicts later, when she's arrested for her crimes. This also contradicts common sense.

    I honestly cannot remember a single salient point about the last Linda Lake appearance beyond the fact that Chloe hit her with a car, and they let her go despite the fact that she knows Clark's secret without investigating, because it was so ludicrous.

    So she goes through what she calls two years of being a nobody (has it been two years since that lamentable episode?), and THEN decides to blackmail Clark. Uh-huh. See, when you mention something to justify a character's lack of acting on something, and it's more ludicrous than her not acting on something, it makes the writing look hacky.

    "Well, how would you do it, Neal!"

    I wouldn't bring back Linda Lake, firstly. But if I had to, if a suit was breathing down my neck, I'd say, "It took me this long to reconstitute." And that's putting ZERO thought into it.

    Point being, it seems like they actively worked to insert the suck there.

    But she has a plan! She's going to blackmail Clark! He's gonna be her pet story, the RED-BLUE BLUR!

    Now stop for a moment, and think of the episode "Rogue". Chances are pretty good you can remember multiple salient details, because that was an awesome episode. It has the same plot as this one, only in this one, Clark does stupid things and it devolved into fanwank.

    "Little Orphan Alien." Oy. Did she really say that? I must have hallucinated that dialogue. No one writes that badly.

    Chloe and Clark talking, more water metaphors.

    "Hey, uh, Chloe! You've faithfully kept my secret for years and saved me in multiple situations. I have to reveal my secret to the world. I know you are unemployed, and-"

    "Yes! Yes, Clark! This is what I need to follow my dream of being a reporter again!"

    "What? No! I'm gonna give the story to Lois! She doesn't even have a degree, and she treats me like crap, and I don't even trust her with my secret, and she steals stories from me, but damn, she hot!"

    Superman is a d#ck.

    AND AGAIN WITH THE METROPOLIS SQUEAKY SHOES! (X1)

    Davis is caught in the meds room stealing anti-psychotics to, uh, stock his ambulance. Because even though he can't prescribe, uh, anti, and, uh, because he could be stealing anyth-, uh, and he's been gone two weeks, and, uh:

    Nurse: "Go right ahead, you! You hot!"

    Buffering... Buffering... Buffering...

    Okay. My brain has returned to normal functioning speed again. Sorry. Hit a break in the feed, there.

    Clark has learned that someone knows his secret, and plans to expose it (person number 1 of 500,000 who know his secret, and would have told, and haven't, see the KO Count for a full documentation. I count some 25, at least.). This one, however, is apparently enough to tip the scales and make him decide to go public even more than Lex was.

    So he goes to Lois, and he says, "I can shoot fire from my eyes!"

    Her response, "Neat!"

    Not, "OHMIGOD! ALIEN!" Not, "I NEED TO PROCESS THIS!" Not, "YOU LIED TO ME FOR FOUR YEARS WHEN I WAS TRUSTWORTHY!"

    She writes up a story, it's out the next day, and without any vetting, all of a sudden, everyone loves Clark Kent. Because, you know, we as people are always like that. Someone shows up with incredible power, we're like, "Man, I love him!" instead of "KILL IT!"

    Beyond that, it now sets the ugly precedent of Clark being a rude fool without reason. He told Lois, she didn't freak out, but when he goes back to the past, he doesn't tell her again. She even brings it up, and he has no real rationale not to tell her. It's not a "for her protection" thing, because people don't come gunning for the red-blue blur yet. He just looks like a petulant ass.

    I might add, this is hardly a faint on Lois' part in awe. It's more like, "Oh! I can use you! Great!"

    And she does.

    I hope he pays for that desk.

    The kid in the Clark jacket... oy. Entirely too much cheese. Kill the cow.

    The suicide jumper, per Lois, was a decent touch. It was still too cute, like the kid. The entire scene was enjoying its own ludicrousness too much to be taken seriously.

    There was a good visual moment, when Clark was swarmed by the people, a red blot among a bunch of black suits. I was hoping it'd turn into "They all want a piece of me." But Pa is dead, and this is Smallville.

    AND AGAIN WITH THE METROPOLIS SQUEAKY SHOES (X2)

    The "Obama" Clark poster in the crowd was really funny. I'll grant them that.

    Martha is referenced, indicating that she's being forcibly removed from the senate. Yeah. Does this count as a mention or a reference? That's Clark keeping up with the most important figure in his life currently in terms of moral guidance? No. It's just him being guilted for the consequences of doing a logical thing. And besides, it never happened, right?

    That begs the question, did the knockouts from this episode count? I'm gonna say yeah. Why? Because it's my count. So there. Doesn't always have to make sense. I'm allowed one for Smallville's ten thousand.

    On the television, a mother berates Clark for not being there when a crane collapsed on her husband. Sounds like something I might see on Fox. Otherwise, I'd say it was patently insane and in no real world would it be on the television.

    Still, that it is a point which compels Clark to reconsider is article five of this week's "Dumb as Clark" document, which is longer than the tax code.

    Linda Lake goes on television and, without evidence of any kind, is taken seriously when she claims that Clark murdered Lex. So seriously, sans evidence, that the cops come to his house to arrest him, and shoot bullets at him despite knowing he's bulletproof.

    That sounds like the government of two years ago, not the current one.

    Clark, true to form, stands by as bullets that could potentially kill these men ricochet. Why? Because it looks cool on camera, one would assume, and since when has this show been burdened with logic?

    Lex portrayed as a savior against an alien invasion plays well. If it weren't coming from the mouth of TORI SPELLING. I don't think I've ever ached for Lex on the show since he's been gone as I did here, where he could have really hammered it home. In fact, this whole episode, with Lex in Linda's place, might have been epic, written well.

    Clark is described, I kid you not, as "DANGEROUS, UNPREDICTABLE, AND WITHOUT REMORSE!"

    Like, "Oh crap! He's dangerous AND unpredictable!"

    "No! It's worse! He has NO REMORSE!"

    Cue fifties screaming from the ingénue.

    Lois and Clark meet up with Linda, and THE BATTLE IS ON! Linda Lake, who has the ability to turn into water, does not turn into water for the whole fight. She takes multiple hits, and then collapses into unconsciousness... STANDING UP.

    Yeah. Really.

    She hits Lois in the back with a board. Hitting Lois in the back renders her HEAD unconscious.

    Yeah. Really!

    After I typed the above, I was SURE my notes were wrong. They had to be. So I uh, CUED UP MY VCR COPY and viewed it again.

    Yeah. Really.

    Doomsday hulking out is a ridiculous way to do Doomsday when it's uncontrollable. And that he's managed to go all this time without detection equally so. The costume, however, is still rad, and it was awesome to get a better view.

    The ring wouldn't work for Lake, would it? Aren't they genetically programmed?

    Lois prepares to tell Clark about Doomsday. He doesn't listen, despite there being no urgency (he can travel back in thirty seconds and he will still go to the same time period). Ridiculous.

    He then creates a paradox with an impossible situation resolution. He changes the past, so he can no longer go back to change the past. But that's obvious.

    Less obvious is why, when Linda's been cleared of murder, accusations of murder from a man who's just, without physical provocation, ELECTROCUTED her, will hold up in any court of public opinion.

    As much as I know that Linda is a villain, Clark just electrocuted her into unconsciousness (physical violence) for believing something. All for the effects cool factor, I suppose. Or maybe more Tori face time. Who cares? It seems subdued because she survives, but would you have the same reaction had he hauled off and belted her into unconsciousness without her physically attacking him?

    THIS IS SUPERMAN. He doesn't do that #%$#. Batman does.

    So then you say, "Well, he had to! She'd have revealed his secret!" So what, she wouldn't when she woke up in jail even more mad? Come on!

    Clark, gifted with a ring that we now know can change time, does what?

    Stops Hitler? Pol Pot? Stalin? Brainiac? Stops his father from dying? Saves Lionel? Saves Lex? Saves any one of the over 100 people who have died because of him?

    No. He picks up Lois from the airport.

    BUT NEAL, EVERYTHING YOU CHANGE IN THE PAST HAS A NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCE! JOR-EL SAID IT!

    Well, what was the negative consequence for picking up Lois early, then? Linda Lake was killed, but that's a positive consequence, because Clark didn't do it, one, and because it protected his secret, two.

    He doesn't learn who Doomsday is!

    Okay. But that's not because he time travelled, that's because he was an idiot.

    After picking up Lois, he destroys the ring.

    Notably, he does NOT go and save the man who died from the crane accident, ironically making it Clark's actual fault the man was killed.

    AND AGAIN WITH THE SQUEAKY METROPOLIS SHOES! (X3)

    And a scene so nice, they did it twice. David and the anti-psychotics I now need.

    Buffering... Buffering... Buffering...

    Doomsday murders Lake, and it's supposed to be tragic. Instead, I'm rooting for him. "YEAH! KILL HER! DEATH! NO MORE GUEST APPEARANCES!"

    She dies after approximately 20 seconds without air.

    Davis then stands up and makes this conclusion: "Oh my god! I just killed someone! Time to throw away my anti-psychotic meds!" And he does.

    Cut to a Clois where Clark and Lois avoid each other why? Because it's not the finale.

    Golden.

    Shower.

    1 of 5.

    LETTERS:

    Rob wrote:

    Neal,

    Don't know if you saw it or not, but the ending to this last episode ripped off, or at least was similar to, the movie "Hancock" last summer. Like this episode, that movie ended with two super-powered beings learning they could no longer be together.

    Yeah, I saw Hancock. It felt like two movies shoved into one... badly.

    With Al and Miles gone, this year they have four executive producers. They are Kelly Souders, Brian Peterson, Todd Slavkin, and Darren Schwimmer. This season has been about half good and half bad, and that's about right.

    It's taken a nosedive for the last three, alas.

    I don't know how much you pay attention to who writes each episode, but I do, and there are some trends.

    I used to. Now I just don't care.

    You see, over the last few years, Souders and Peterson have been by far the most consistent writing team.

    Their credits in recent years include "Promise," "Noir" "Bizarro," "Wrath," "Veritas," and "Prey". No one, I repeat no one, has even close to the same number of good episodes as them in this time. They've been with the show since season two. Their only "miss" in recent memory was the first Black Canary episode.

    Either way, no one team has made me sit up and go, "Man! They're great! I'll watch for theirs!"

    But the other half of the executive producers, Slavkin and Swimmer, are responsible for many of the worst episodes in this show's history. These guys wrote "Power," and they also wrote the Pete episode "Hero" last year, and worst of all, they wrote "Velocity". They also gave us "Hypnotic" in season five, and "Sneeze" in season six.

    Yeesh.

    This list seems like a rundown of the show's worst episodes, but ALL of them were written by this pair. Can you imagine a greater run of awful? Steven DeKnight wrote "Spell," but he at least compensated by writing "Run," "Zod," and "Justice," among others.

    I think you underestimate the fact that though one writer crafts the script, it's shredded by a committee in a room. All of the writers are responsible, I would say. It's why I have little desire to write for television. I've had naught but bad experiences, generally, with committee work.

    Still, Slavkin and Swimmer they've been with the show since season two as well, debuting with "Duplicity". Their finest hour came when they wrote "Transference," but aside from that, the list of 1/5s from them is staggering.

    So, there's your explanation for why this season is what it is. Two executive producers who seem to "get it" and two who don't. I should mention that all four of them shared writing chores on the season 8 premiere.

    I can't lay the blame on any one person. I used to do that with Gough and Millar, but it's not just them. It's the whole shebang. The only consistently good part of Smallville has been the set design and the general acting from the mains.

    The other day, I was watching season one, and noticed that on the wall of the torch is a blue smallville crows logo. It is a blue crow (something that files) and with a red S on yellow. In the episode "Crush" from the first season, with the crazy artist kid, he used to draw comics with the Smallville bird.

    Why is it that Clark has to plagiarize everything? You can show his "influences," but at some point, the guy should have an original thought. So, basically, Lana inspired him to be Superman, the girl from "Venegeance" came up with the idea of the secret identity, and so on.

    It's because the show is so obsessed with self-reference it doesn't realize the shell of its self is hollow and built on capitalizing on a concept they didn't have the ingenuity to create or really add to, beyond Chloe, which was unintentional.

    Way to ruin Green Arrow's character, writers! How is a superhero killing people entertaining?

    Agreed.

    It sometimes seem like these writers don't get the "show, don't tell" idea. They characterize by telling ("Lana's amazing" or "Lex is the WORST person in the world") when the facts don't bear it out. It's how they get from point A to point B, and it's lazy.

    Yes.

    Do you think they're going to do another Christopher Reeve Foundation Public Service Announcement? The last was with Dean Cain last year I think.

    I don't know. I would hope...

    Dave K wrote:

    First let me say I continue to enjoy your reviews of Smallville. I hope all is well in your corner of the world.

    Thanks! Actually, my life is happier than it's been in some time since I declared bankruptcy. Sounds crazy, but it's true.

    So, Lana Lang, now Super-Lana feels that she is able to fight crime alongside Clark... WHAT?!?

    Yeah.

    All other times she has gotten a hint of power of any kind she has used it as, oh I don't know, a Luthor would... But hey, what the heck, she's a good guy now and a member of the Justice League.

    Yeah.

    How can anyone besides perhaps a god be greater and more important then Superman in the DCU? I just feel that maybe Saturn Girl was messing with Lana. There must of been a scene missing in the Legion episode where she tells the others about how she filled Lana's head with nonsense and laughs along with everyone else.

    In the future, they're like, "Heh. Yeah! That'll get her back for stunting Clark's growth into Superman by four years!"

    This Super-Lana episode was up and down for me. First of all it had Toyman! That was great. I appreciate these characters slowly being shown by the show that they exist before Clark Kent became Superman. Villians that are not meteor infected crazies... They do exist! Then of course, the Super-Lana fest that followed, then the end. Lana is radioactive! Well, I've felt that way about the Lana character for a while now.

    Yeah.

    So she's gone, but, not forgotten. How can we forget the Lana who one week liked Clark and was demure to the point of weak but then the next was a kick butt martial arts expert that needs no man... The Lana who proved herself to be as bad as Lionel Luthor at times and a super computer hacker with the skills of Chloe Sullivan when just the week before her computer wouldn't stop crashing... I know I won't soon forget!

    I already have, and hope to keep it that way.

    Bruce Kanin wrote (RE: Requiem):

    /OVERALL/

    D+.* An improvement over last week, but only because of three things: (1) the SMALLVILLE introduction of another DC Universe character; (2) two neat scenes; and (3) nothing could be as bad as last week's episode, "Power".

    _THE GOOD_

  • The SMALLVILLE introduction of a DC Universe character: Winslow Schott, AKA The (Terrible) Toyman, was introduced way back in ACTION COMICS #64 (Sept. 1943). According to the web, The Toyman was on the SUPERBOY TV-series and in two episodes of LOIS & CLARK. He was only referred to as Winslow Schott once, though, on L&C. Anyway, his depiction on SMALLVILLE wasn't bad. He even looked somewhat like the original comic book character - as nasty and devious, too.

  • Good scene #1: Schott vs. Oliver in the hospital. It was done well, with some tension while the monkey is clanging its cymbals on its way to an explosion. Oliver's escape by strong-arming Schott was good, too.

  • Good scene #2: I may be crazy, but the final Clark-Lana scene, at least a part of it, was pretty neat. That was when Clark forces himself to approach Lana despite her Green K emanations, kissing her and looking like someone who had kissed X-Men's Rogue. It was done well. All of the dialogue in the scene was crap, but Clark's forcing himself was cool.

  • That's it - there really was just about nothing else redeeming about this episode besides Lana's exit.

    _THE BAD_

  • I just couldn't buy Clark telling Lana that she had to stop Lex's K-bomb on the roof of the Daily Planet. That is SO un-Superman-like of him to send the woman he supposedly loves into danger, despite her powers. He had no idea what the K-bomb would do to her. The real Superman would have found a way to build a lead containment shield at super-speed and whisked the bomb away. He would not have risked the life of Lana, Lois, Jimmy, Perry - anyone - except his own.

  • The continuation of Lana's super-powers from last week's episode - and her wanting to be a super-hero - made me sick. Worse, Clark and Lana's "getting it on" once again with both having powers (done in a prior season) made me sicker. It's all about as un-Superman as things can get.

  • Come on...we know that Lex didn't die.

  • I didn't buy Schott teaming up with Lex. With a whole corporation at his disposal, why would Lex bother with an unstable character like Schott?

  • Lots more wrong with this episode, but too much to jot down.

    _THE REST_

  • I'm assuming that Lex had intentions of becoming a superguy and gaining Green K powers before Lana stepped in. If so, that would partly hearken back to the comics when Lex swallows a formula that gives him Green K emanations (ACTION COMICS #249, "The Kryptonite Man"). In that story, Superman ultimately builds himself a lead outfit to outwit Lex. Too bad the Clark Kent of SMALLVILLE doesn't read DC Comics.

  • So now we know for sure that Lex knows that Clark is super. It digs an even deeper hole for the writers and Clark to get out of once he becomes Superman. But that's an issue they won't have to face on this show, so they probably don't care.

  • I'm sick and tired of the issue of people keeping secrets from each other, e.g., Chloe keeping Oliver's secret, Clark being annoyed, then Chloe showing her allegiance to Clark by telling him about Schott. They do that in every other episode - like meteor freaks.

  • So now we know...Lana wasn't going to be Insect Queen, Batgirl or Supergirl...she's K-Girl.

  • Is this the end of Lana? Hope so! It's being touted as "Kristin Kreuk's goodbye episode".

  • My local paper /Newsday/ had a synopsis for this episode that included a reference to "Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) Luthor". Guess they don't watch the show.

  • Luthor and the Toyman team up with the Prankster in SUPERMAN #83 (first series), "The Terrible Trio".

  • What was that K-ring that Oliver was holding at the end? What? No crystal? Ball of confusion. I don't know what's going on anymore. Or care. At least it looked like the K-ring that John Byrne put on Lex's finger in the second SUPERMAN series.

    _COMING ATTRACTIONS_

    None. Good. We need a break. Obviously Doomsday, Tess and Lois will return. Ho-hum.

    The ring was, I believe, Lex's Kryptonite ring from the black Kryptonite episode.

    Otherwise, I'm pretty generally with you. I just read the lead-suit thing a while back in the showcase... good stuff.

    Fred wrote:

    You know, I'm actually GLAD power and requiem were so horrible. There's nowhere to go but up.

    And then there's this week... heh.

    I can't believe they made Lana the Kryptonite woMan. I just wish she didn't have superman-powers to go with it, for what it's worth. I'm totally cool with her being poison to Clark, what with her character being poison to the show. Maybe it's a very, very, very subtle way for the writers to say, "Ok, now she's never, ever, ever" coming back. Promises, promises.....

    At this point, I'm resigned to the balance of the season, and impending rebound romance with Ms. Lane. Hit that reset button already!

    Oh, they have. They do. They will.

    Keith wrote:

    I can't believe you think any episode of Friends is worse than this season of Smallville.

    Any show that cuts to a couple laying upon a dentist chair, where they're basking in the after-glow of sex and has the female say, "I'm so glad this sink was here" (it was the SPIT-sink she was referring to), deserves some respect.

    Well, I can make gross bodily function jokes too. That doesn't make me revolutionary. The whole implication of the above is that there's vulgarity or taboo in some coital act that is so vanilla to me and my experience that it comes off as a yuppie dabbing at their mouth with a napkin and going, "My! I'm like the rabble, now!" because they've referred once to oral sex. When Friends makes a Rick Santorum joke, THEN I'll sit up and take notice as boundaries are potentially broken. It's not exactly coprophagia or similarly "out there" stuff to to indicate that a seminal discharge has been spat.

    That's not to say I don't like gross humor. Just saying that it's mere presence doesn't indicate greatness. There's 2G1C, and then there's the Godzilla in "Crooked Little Vein." One, to me, is light years more thought-out and hilarious than the other. And in case you're curious, it's the Ellis book. The other is just stupid.

    I honestly gave Friends a try. I did. I watched, like, ten minutes before each Smallville for most of a season. I never once laughed. Something about the problems of eight picture-perfect white people living in the lap of luxury not meaning much more than a hill of beans to me as I went bankrupt.

    Seinfeld and Curb, now THAT is a way to make me care about rich white people. But see, it's because those expose the raw nerve of the awkwardness of post-modern wealth. Friends might as well be called "Hot Rich White Folk and Problems They Could Have Easily Resolved"

    If you like it, cool beans, not saying you shouldn't. I just have no relatable point to it.

    Not that the show couldn't often be cloying and obnoxious...but so is Lana, and she was part Smallville for most of its run. =]

    Which, like Friends, made me want to watch it. But Friends, to me, seems like eight Lanas.

    T.Vincent wrote:

    Hi, Neal. Great review. I don't always agree with your POV, but I enjoy reading them nevertheless. And I must say, we're on the same page this time.

    Cool.

    Super Lana Lang who got away with all those crimes she's done in the past. Not even her boyfriend who (supposedly) stands for justice and truth won't tell her a thing. Everything is peachy when it comes to Lana Lang which is nothing new though BTW. So this time, the writers retconned everything inconvenient (includes Clark's progression for the last 12 episodes), in order to fit her into this so-called 'beautiful heroic send off'. Her boyfriend often inspires others not to kill, but this only applies to him as long as no one break him up with her. Now the purpose of the greatest criminal of our time is also to break up this couple. Instead of,.....oh I don't know, maybe kill his arch enemy? Now Lex has two of them. One Kryptonian man and one Kryptonite woman. Both completely mad with him (because he break them up!!!) and both possessed superpowers far beyond those of mortal men. Way to go, Lex! Great plan!!!

    Yeah. Overly complex.

    Back to the story of her boyfriend. He couldn't approach Lana because of her kryptonite necklace before, and 7 and half years later he still can't because she is literally Kryptonite now. So as long as Lana Lang is around, this boy is never able to glow up emotional-wise. Well, so much for the TV show for HIS journey. Geez.

    So, what we got here? Well, we all know that their relationship doesn't work because they are dysfunctional (which was one of the theme of this series, right?), but writers decided to show that they can't be together because of Kryptonite. And on top of it, they sugar coat this ending as a *tragic' love story. (They got to be kidding me.)

    They essentially kill Clark's moral maturity, and turn Lana into a shallow bint.

    The last scene was almost unwatchable for me. I even felt sorry for Tom Welling for playing this most pathetic version of Clark Kent in the history (IMHO).

    Yeah. Nothing says "The superior man!" to me like a guy so obsessed with a girl who treats him like crap that he crawls to her on his knees for one more minute.

    And Lana Lang proves yet again that she doesn't give a damn for Clark. She can't stand the idea not to touch him so that she had to leave him forever? What's kind of ****love** is that? It's like saying their relationship is merely a physical things. Think about it. She could even cover up for his weakness against Kryptonite with the ability of her suit. All she had to do was to keep 20 feet distance from him. But nope. She can't sleep with the man so she had to leave him forever and ever. And of course as a result, ripping his heart out yet again for the gazillinth time.

    Sad, ain't it?

    Kristin Kreuk said in her recent interview that she was happy with her character's send-off and had an input in this storyline. And she is the woman who founded Girls by Design, an organization designed to help empower girls. I'm really surprised if she thought this was a good idea of telling young women viewer, that in order to save the world, you change who you're by gaining superpowers and become someone you're not without taking any responsibility of your doubtful actions in your past. I'm really disturbed by these implications in the storylines, and if anything, this is NOT the message I'd like to give to my own daughters.

    Well, just in general, I think well intentioned people want to empower girls who have been formerly impressed. They don't do it, however, by saying, "You can, with effort, be as smart as anyone else out there! We're all equals!"

    Instead, they say, "You're hot, and you deserve power!"

    They stand at odds.

    I enjoy *new interprations*, but they shouldn't change a fundamental story or the core of the characters, IMO. Because if they do, then they don't have show about the Clark Kent that becomes Superman anymore. Now I'm no longer wondering if this boy becomes Superman one day (I hope not), but starts wondering if this guy is Clark Kent. I really hope this show won't get season 9, I can no longer bear to watch these showrunners keep spitting on my favorite characters.

    The dead horse...

    I'm sorry for my rant, Neal. I just feel so insulted as a Superman fan. I needed to get this off my chest. Thank you for the amount of time and effort you put into your reviews and responding for our mails. But if you want to stop writing reviews for S9 (I'm terrified by this rumor), I won't stop you this time. This show called 'Smallville' proved us once and for all, that we all have much better things to do on Thursday nights.

    I'm gonna keep doing it. I might kill the letter column (It's a good chunk of time) and I might experiment and not take notes, but a promise is a promise.

    T. Vincent

    Kyle wrote:

    Hi Neal

    What a horrible episode "Requiem" was. What is with the Metropolis Police. You pointed out that they failed to secure a crime scene properly. I can't believe that they didn't want to ask Oliver (the only survivor/witness of a bomb explosion) any questions. Wouldn't the police be worried Oliver may have been a target and if the bomber found out Oliver was alive might still go after him. The PD would of put a guard outside of his hospital room. What exactly were the extent of Oliver's injures (broken bones, organ damage, internal bleeding, judging from his actions after I'll say brain damage). He looked pretty good for someone who was in explosion that killed 10 other people in the same room. Why was he staying at the hospital? After Oliver detained Winslow in the hospital bed he just walked out to go find Lex

    What was he thinking.

    Yeah. It was pretty schlock writing, generally.

    Oliver: This man boomed a office, killing several people and just tried to kill me, but I have to go find a more dangerous man so I will leave Toyman tied to a bed without checking his person for weapons or the items he brought with him, possibly leaving him to harm innocent people at a hospital. Screw them. I only had minor scrapes and bruises, why did the doctors make me stay anyway?

    I am sure the nurse called the police to file a report. The police show up and confirm " So the man who survived a explosion last night is missing and another man was in his room and tied to harm you and he also escaped, right?"

    Nurse: "That's right". Police: "Gee if we put someone outside is door we could of gotten a statement when he woke up and possibly nab the other man who may or may not be connected to the explosion. Man, we need to get Red Blue Blur to do investigative work"

    That's the show's logic!

    Clark and Lana, I am sorry I mean Clark finds the bomb on the roof of The Daily Planet. How did something that big and suspicious looking get on the roof of a major city office building?

    Yeah.

    Lana now emits kryptonite a form of radiation which also causes harm and mutations in humans. Is she going to live long? She will probably have to isolate her contact with other human beings, even if Lana has a roommate wouldn't the roommate get radiation poisoning? And Clark still kisses her. Isn't more harmful to Clark if kryponite is injected into his body via boodly fluids. He would have to spit after they kissed not have Lana walk 5 feet away. Will Lana continue to use her superpowers for good across the Earth? Will the Justice League want to use her as a replacement in Superman's absence?

    Remember, this is the show where he DRANK kryptonite once...

    Clohe said the remains in the truck explosion were identified as Lex Luthor, I assume by the police after their investigation. Hey Metropolis PD getting any clues yet? A week ago Lex was officaly declared dead, for the second time in 5 years might I add, it was on the front page of The Daily Planet. Then a explosion kills Luthorcorp board members and Lex apparently died in the truck explosion a week after he was already declared dead. Are these things coincidence or are they all related?

    Random things in Smallville tend to lack purpose, so I would say coincidence.

    Neal I also want to ask how you feel about the CW executives telling the Smallville producers to write a season finale that could serve as a series finale. It was reported on the Supermanhomepage a few weeks ago.

    If they write a season finale that serves as a series finale and the show is brought back for another season what will they go on and what direction would the show take.

    If they write a season finale and the show is not brought back then that cheats the viewers of a big series finale that we deserve.

    Well, now, in the future, I know the show is coming back. One thing I am almost certain of, though, is that I'm pretty sure the show will not end on the note anyone expects or wants. I would be dead surprised if it were otherwise.

    Thanks for reading and for sitting through the crappiest Smalliville eposides at leat twice to write the reviews or do yo try to get them done in one viewing?

    I get them done in one viewing with pauses.

    Scotty V wrote:

    Hey there Neal,

    I'm finally caught up to speed on all the Smallville's this year and I'm now about to read your review for "Legion," but I have to say, I don't think I'm going to say too much because really, I think the show has gotten back to it's normal horribleness and I haven't found too much redeemable. I know initially you were saying this year has been better and I thought it was too at first. Leading up to Doomsday and the way he was handled and Chloe being Brainiac-ized, all was pretty well with some issues (as usual) but then we just derailed again and it's really been bad. I know there's serious talk about a ninth season and I know the ratings have been up, but man, it may have gotten worse!

    And worse, and worse, and worse...

    First, for this particular episode, I have to say I really, really loved it. I found it to be one of the best the series has to offer since the beginning. That only makes it more heart-breaking when things go so badly over the next few, but I guess we really should have known better than to think the turnaround would continue. Seeing an actual super-team that actually comes from the future and actually is the real Legion and not a brown, non-Kryptonian dog they name Shelby or a Russian guy who claims to be called Mxyzptlk was something I never expected to see and frankly, it thrilled me.

    Yeah. The Legion episode ROCKED.

    Lana being in this show, or any show, continued to bring it down for me. I'm so tired of everyone saying how great she is and how important she is to Clark's destiny. The only way I could really see this particular Lana being important to him becoming Superman, is by him finally realizing that she's evil, has killed, has attempted to kill several more times and has played so many people it would make your head spin, and then by Clark saying he's glad he knew her so that he knows what NOT to do. From this episode onward, it just gets worse, what with the super-skin and all that and I think that's what mostly ruined it all for me.

    I think without Lana, this show would have maintained a good degree of integrity it lacks.

    You mention that since Johns wrote this episode, he's not solely responsible for the Lana being great and destined for better things stuff. I'd like to add that I don't think he's responsible at all. I doubt Johns has the time or desire to watch this terrible show on a regular basis when he's busy writing GL and Superman related books that define the REAL stories about these characters. I think Johns probably wrote the story for this episode, because he's a Legion expert, and then the actual Smallville writers wrote the actual script based on his outline. Sure, he may have submitted lines and stuff, but the writers and producers are the ones about all the Lana is great stuff, even though she clearly isn't AND they're the ones who wrote her to not be.

    Beyond that, the more I think about it, the more I realize this stuff is done by committee.

    You mention all the times Clark has killed. I can't really think of one. There have been times where people have died as a result of being bad and then being stopped by Clark, but that doesn't translate to him having killed them. In fact, the actual Superman that was created and driven in the 40's by Siegel and Shuster goes one step further when people die as a result of their tangling with Superman and even says things like: "Well he died but he deserved it" or "it was his own fault for acting that way."

    I should clarify, he didn't MURDER, he killed. There's a difference, generally. At least, that's the way I was taught in Bible class, long ago and far away. Murder is a sin against god, killing can be shades of black and white. Whatever that means, I guess.

    Further, the continuity on this show is always off and the writers always have people indicate that Clark is certain things that he isn't, because the research department apparently knows who Clark and Superman are, but simply don't have the ability, or choose not to, actually write Clark that way. In my opinion, this is just another time the very writers who make Clark the way he is on Smallville, are choosing to selectively forget who their Clark really is and instead have people saying things like "the Clark I know."

    Which is telling, not showing, alas.

    How would the Legion, who were formed because of Superman's actions and moral code, not already know that killing was never on the agenda? We could say that this is the Smallville version of the characters, where Clark hasn't really set a particularly strong moral code, but then, the Legion in this episode talk about his morality and how there'd be no greater code to follow. And this right before they talk about how they've come back to murder someone. And then, which is cool, Clark teaches them the new code, do not kill (even though he's really only saying he's unwilling to kill Chloe, his friend, not necessarily saying to not kill anyone) and they adapt it. But if they're from the future, wouldn't they know that already? Wouldn't they already know everything that has happened and Clark's moral code? This is why I often have trouble with time travel shows and movies and episodes. There really is no dilemma, because we know how the future turns out. So then if we say there's a dilemma, we have to say that it doesn't make sense because we already know how it turns out. It's why the whole LOST situation is starting to bug me. I still love the show, think it's incredibly well written and mostly about characters (which is why it's good) and the drama is so great that I can press on even though I'd rather it not gone in the direction it did.

    Yes. I'm enjoying how Lost is goofing with it, myself, but Smallville's recent time stuff has been lame to me.

    With the Persuader I'm wholly in agreement on how cool it was. I couldn't believe it. As far as I can remember, they've never really done what they've done this year with aliens and villains on this show. Usually, as you say, it's some kid with a name that sort of sounds like the character's name and with powers that somehow mimic the villain's powers but it's all emo and silly. Here, and with Doomsday, I thought they were pretty damned good, even if Doomsday is a Smallvillized version.

    Yeah. Both Doomsday and Persuader were the ACTUAL guys. Very rare on this show.

    Now, after making a big deal that Clark wouldn't even kill Brainiac, who they made clear was a machine and you can't kill a machine, you say that you're hacked that Clark doesn't kill Brainiac in this episode. I was ok with Clark destroying Brainiac last season because Brainiac's a machine that can be destroyed but not killed, so Clark's not killing. Here, as you say, they purposely wanted to indicate Brainiac 5 so it's cool, plus, Clark now knows (through at least two other attempts) that nothing he can do will destroy Brainiac anyway so why not try something else?

    It's muddled, to a degree. I do think Brainiac is a sentience. I think his threat is such that he needs to be killed. I think good writing would make Clark incapacitate, not kill. But they had him in a situation where he was morally obligated to kill. Sounds like I'm splitting hairs, I know, but there is a logic to it.

    I think Chloe was forgetting stuff because Brainiac code was replacing things she knew with things it needed. Now that they've chased the program, her normal memory blocks could be restored. I find myself thinking that, if code was erasing her memories, then the memories are gone and that even when the code is gone those memories would be gone. But maybe the code was just taking over those parts of the brain so she couldn't see them anymore and now that it's gone, she can.

    Next up was Danny-Boy, or Turpin, or as they call it here "Bulletproof." Though there were issues, as there always are with this show, I did get enjoyment out of this episode. I like Clark teaching Oliver, instead of the other way around, and I was truly surprised when the bad guy called Danny "Turpin,' I really had no inkling. While it's true that Turpin is way young, so is everyone else in this show so I guess that's just the way it goes.

    You know, Turpin was okay, what irked me was the irrational presentation of all the things around him.

    Yeah, I too wondered why Lana should have coverage in the paper and why she'd be surprised she didn't. My sister said "because she dated Lex," which might be true and yeah, I thought of that, but still it wouldn't happen. No. One. Cares.

    To that I reply, does anyone in the world know who Warren Buffet is dating or married to? I don't. Donald Trump? The Rockefellers? Paris Hilton? I don't. I would argue they're not big fish, either.

    Except for those of us who are annoyed beyond all belief that she's come back and continues to have scenes like this. But then, this is actually great compared to where they go in an episode or two so maybe we should be thankful.

    Yes.

    I think the explanation for John not reverting to normal form is that he's lost his powers. And as we all know when you lose your powers all Smallville, that means you become human. Further, when you have powers on Smallville, as is evidenced by Brainiac, Maxima, Lana in a week or two and you're from space, or space influenced (like Lana) you have the SAME EXACT POWERS AS CLARK.

    I'm just amused, because MM's power is shapeshifting, meaning he's outside of his true form, constantly, so when he dies, he will look all extenda-head.

    The thing with Lana, yeah I've been saying this for years. The way they've always played it on this show, and the way I'd hoped they were moving away from now that Lana has murdered people and shown herself to be evil, is that Lana is the one Clark wanted and will continue to want, until he SETTLES for Lois. And that just ain't right. I thought at the very least Clark would be disappointed but would decide, that because of what Lana had become, he could no longer be with Lana or be friendly with Lana...or (in my perfect world) allow her to live. But then, that wouldn't be Superman-ly would it?

    Yep. And on Smallville that be strictly taboo, unless convenient to the plot.

    Clark takes a name that references Whitney Fordman, a guy who hated Clark and who beat on him repeatedly, mocked him regularly and treated him like crap. That's the name I would take. Not Jonathan or Ryan...you know, guys who actually were nice people who meant something to me, but an obscure ex-boyfriend of a girl I shouldn't even like who hated me.

    You said it better than I could.

    Maybe Clark finds the scene at the end by using the superhearing you're always angry he never uses. I know, it's more likely they didn't even think that far, but it sounds better than how did Clark find the place? And I think Turpin is vindicated because he didn't really do anything more than beat up a guy a little and no one knew about that. Sure, Clark could tell on him, but he's giving the guy a chance. You could see watching the show that he wasn't sure which way he should go but that he never went over the line. He didn't even beat up the guy too much and he was very hesitant about it. I think he was the new guy on the baddies team and I think he just came along and wasn't party to anything they'd been doing prior. Further, I'm not sure there was any way for Clark to know they were behind the bad stuff, so that's why I think he had to wait and watch them to do something further.

    The whole show seems to rely on gimmicks and "wouldn't it be cool?" over stuff that springs from the character. Like, "Wouldn't it be cool if Clark had to become a cop?"

    Azor wrote:

    'Sup Neal,

    Yo!

    I wanted to let you know how much I loved your "Requiem" review. As someone who has read your reviews since season 1, I've noticed in recent years a bit of a fatigue on your part, a bit less passion. This is certainly understandable given the fact that the show has long exceeded its natural shelf life, and I can only imagine how tiring it is for you to have to point out the same grievences week after week, year after year. But in reading the "Requiem" review, I was reminded of what made be a fan of your reviewing style in the first place. If you will allow me the indulgence of reviewing your review, I think I've determined the three elements that make for a wholly immersive entertainment experience. When these three elements are in place, it leads to comments like "I just watch the show these days so I can appreciate Neal's reviews."

    1) Critical analysis of subtext. I know you have scars from being an English major in college, but I think you ingested some wheat with that chaff. You are often highly effective locating what subtle messages about culture are being encoded (if you forgive the jargon) in a narrative. Whether speaking about gender, violence, morality, or class issues, you are able to hone on what is "really" being said by the characters, and when you locate something objectionable, you do us all a service in foregrounding it (must stop...jargon...).

    Thank you!

    2) Pointing out narrative flaws. I didn't realize the patent absurdity of Clark's decision making process (leave Lana at the Planet, then find Lex's location, then go back to the Planet) in Requiem until you pointed it out. Though for some of us this might shatter our suspension of disbelief, and thus cast a cloud over the viewing experience, for those of us with lowered expectations of the quality of the show to begin with, this service you provide at least provides a good laugh. And this brings me to

    Thank you again!

    3) A humorous presentation. You've had your share of straighforward angry rants, but I think you are at your best when you temper your vitriol with clever humor. In particular, I love your use of satire, especially when you parody the voice of the Smallville characters. In your "Requiem" review I really dug the faux dialogue between Lex and his hypothetical battlesuit designer.

    I think I'm gonna have to lean that way more to continue into season nine. That's, honestly, when I'm having the most fun doing this.

    I know that "Requiem" provided you plenty of ammunition, but I'm hoping that for however long this show lasts you will be able to continue to provide entertaining reviews that include the above ingredients. And I'll put in a vote for bringing back the video re-enactments.

    That's actually only stopped because I didn't get any nasty-grams from folks saying, "BRING IT BACK!" I will consider this the first, if folks want them back.

    And two more random notes:

    1) Thanks for no longer misusing the word "archetype." Funny enough, a couple weeks ago you had the chance to use the word correctly and failed to do so. When you spoke about the prevalance of some version of the Prometheus/Jesus/Superman myth across cultures, you were giving a textbook example of an archetype. Also, I found it interesting that you mentioned that people get "hacked off" when you point out that the story of Jesus is an archetype. You might be interested to know that for many Christian philosophers, this was not a stumbling block, but a source of assurance. In fact, Northrop Frye, the father of archetypal criticism, was an ordained minister. C.S. Lewis and Tolkien are a couple of other notable Christian thinkers who were fascinated by archetypes. If you are interested, here is one essay on the topic I found through google:

    http://catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0071.html

    I read a lot of CS and Tolkein when I was younger and exploring the idea of allegory. I should clarify, I think people who think calling Jesus an archetype is an insult get hacked off. It's like when you say the Bible isn't literal in every respect, there are other people who will want your head. I myself have written a book with allegorical biblical figures. My second.

    As for archetype and stereotype, you've got me on that one. I can't do it any more without thinking about it. I concede! I concede! Heh.

    2) It looks like I might be going to the Superman Celebration in Metropolis this year. I know the economy is a factor, but I need to meet up with you some time so I can get you to sign my World War Hulk #3.

    Arg! I am trying. Depends on what the returns are on the comics I just wrote. It is my intent to go if at all possible, but alas, I won't know until it's really close to time.

    However, if I don't go, I will pay to have it mailed and to mail it back, just for my own amusement, if you let me take a picture...

    Daniel McItosh wrote:

    Hey Neal,

    I have to give you kudos for sticking it out this long with your reviews of Smellville. (no that wasn't a typo). Like you and many other fans who grew to love this show are now in despair over what it has become; a big pile of sh!t. While this season started with such promise, I guess we as fans can't help but feel somewhat dejected by it now. I just wanted to say thanks for maintaining a strong sense of will and fortitude in continuing to review the show as they are entertaining. I usually don't have time to thoroughly read your reviews because I read at the pace of a pre-schooler (LOL) and I have very little time on my hands, but I do hope that when the show is over that you will collect your reviews into a book. If you can't publish it for legal reasons, at least put a PDF of it on the website that we can all print off and read the collective smallville works of one N. Bailey.

    I probably will at some point, if there's some demand. But perhaps, even better, I can put out a book or three and then have a kid copy edit it for some cash and THEN release it, because I know the things are rife with the occasional error, because I pound it out in one draft.

    till later

    keep up the good work

    regards

    Dan

    Thanks!

    P.S.

    more Star Trek anecdotes in your reviews :P *I will make it so!

    Gary Ormsbee wrote:

    Help me Neal!!!,

    Gary! Hey!

    I have been buying this carnage, this refugee from a toilet paper factory for so long I'm hopelessly hooked like a junkee. I need to continue reading the book in the hope that

    a. it will someday finally be finished and all our suffering will end

    b. that there may be some small crumb of a decent resolution to this story that will justify the time and money I have already invested on this drivel,

    and c. that someone will finally expose the truth that Kurt Busiek has been replaced for the last 4 years by a skrull.

    BRING US BACK THE REAL KURT BUSIEK!! I appeal to the Skrull queen!!!

    Ah, Trinity! You know, I think the idea behind the book is a great one. But it's 12 issues worth of story, max. And that's stretched.

    Take Care Neal, I'd love to talk to you sometime. Send me your number again and I'll call you on my dime.

    Gary

    I shall!

    P.S. Obviously I think you your reviews of this book are spot on.

    Thanks, man.

    Jeremy wrote:

    In response to your review of the recent issue of Superman, I'm glad I'm not the only one digging the build-up to Blackest Night. This is how DC should be doing crossovers.

    A thousand times, yes.

    V. Ellis Wade wrote:

    Ugh... episode isn't even over, but can I use my Legion ring to go back and change this mess?

    Is it bad that I knew he was going to time travel the minute the episode started?

    Nope. You're perfectly normal. Just steal some anti-psychotics in an EMT jacket, you'll be okay.

    Bruce Kanin wrote (RE: Infamous):

    _OVERALL_

  • It was a flawed episode full of nonsense, but I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Sue me. Or...Save me. Gets an *A-* because it suck(ered) me in.

    _THE GOOD_

  • The whole sequence of Clark deciding to head Linda Lake off at the pass by revealing his secret to the world was wonderful. Everything from him exposing himself (no, that's not what I meant) in front of Lois to walking down the street in Metropolis with crowds cheering him on, was just plain fun.

  • Did you notice one of the placards, in the crowd, saying "Save me" ... the theme song of the show.

  • The return of Martha Kent! Well, not really, but at least, for the first time in eons, they acknowledge that she still exists in the Smallville Universe. This happens when Clark calls his foster mom as his world is unraveling.

  • Great scene worthy of George Reeves when Clark stands there being blasted by the G-men's bullets!

  • I figured that the "Clark exposed to the world and the world turning against him" situation couldn't last long, and that there'd be a way to "reverse" it, just like Christopher Reeve's Superman did in "Superman II". But my thought was that Zatanna, who will be making an appearance in an upcoming episode, would somehow play a role. Instead, I enjoyed the use of the Legion ring to send Clark back in time. That said, I didn't know their rings could do that - thought they were just flight rings.

    _THE BAD_

  • Tori Spelling.

  • Wasn't Clark afraid of electrocuting Linda Lake, near the end? Once again, he comes close to killing someone. Bad.

  • If Linda is a water-lady, why couldn't she flow her way out of the hospital before being suffocated by Davis?

  • I didn't quite buy that the "world" would be so gullible as to accept Lois's article one minute - that Clark is a super-good guy - and then Linda Lake's announcement that Clark is the lead member of an invasion force. The Red Blur was known for saving people. Clark openly rescued a girl falling from a fire escape. Not believable at all, though it was a good touch to have that woman on TV bemoaning as to why Clark chose not to help her versus others.

    _THE REST_

  • Linda Lake, like Lana Lang, Lois Lane, Linda Lee, Lex Luthor and Lyla Lerrol (who's she? ;) ) is an "LL" gal. Well, Lex ain't a gal.

  • Has Clark-Lois replaced Clark-Lana? But Clark-Lois is much better than Clark-Lana. Lois is not a whiny character like Lana.l

  • Great scene in the barn when Lois seemed like she was going to tell Clark that she's in love with him.

  • The Doomsday subplot is predictable and boring, but I thank him for killing Linda Lake.

  • Doomsday must be a relative of The Hulk's.

    _COMING ATTRACTIONS_

  • Is Clark forced to expose himself in front of Tess? No, not that way. I mean, his identity. Seems like he finally learns to fly, perhaps...or jump out of a plane. Maybe.

    I'm glad you liked it... to me, all of the water metaphors, the oddness of how pat everything was, and especially the abuse of time travel killed it for me.

    SHACMA wrote:

    "OK so it's been a long break, but it's time to get back into the action of Smallville *cough*. So my first problem with the episode is simple, The paper that Lake has turns to water. WATER. OK I get it, water is her power. But to what extent I mean really."

    Yes! And beyond that, how does the plastic in her face turn to water...

    "OK my second problem with the episode would be probabbly the most obvious throught the ENTIRE episode. He decides to go public, and that's fine, in a way, BUT HE DOESN"T EVEN THINK OF TALKING TO MAMA KENT! There is a scene later on when she is being kicked out of somewhere and Clark says 'Can they do that you're a senator'. She is probably thinking 'You B$stard child how dare you not consult me'...maybe..."

    Or, more likely, Clark was just talking to himself. We didn't hear her, after all...

    "Another awkward setting for me is how open he is with lois, especially after what he went through with lana 1 episode ago, but I guess everyone forgot since it has been a couple months, so it's OK. Queue LANA SWOONING. *gag*."

    A swoon vomit would be grand.

    "Next I think, if he is going public why doesn't he think of a costume, why is he just going public, what the hell is he thinking? This is later answered in the episode when Chloe tells him he should wear a costume. Clark never went to Chloe to tell her he was going public, she found out in the hospital where Jimmy was, or was being transfered to FOR NO REASON. Anyway if he would have went to her first she may have told him to dawn a costume."

    Especially considering Green Arrow and his precedent.

    "The next peeve with the episode is short but has a point, we see Davis just as he was, and has been forever. Nothing different, so he went into stasis for what? some may argue that you see more of his powers. Though my rebuttal is this, HE WAS DOING THESE THINGS THE ENTIRE SEASON."

    Yes.

    "Another short episode flaw Clark tells Chloe to go out of the back of the house. Just because we only see reporters infront of the door means that is the only place reporters flawk to? Bogus in my opinion."

    I'm just amused by Clark telling Chloe to go to the back door. Chlark!

    "OK lastly Lois looks honestly looks worried, her face looks like panic when she gets Chloes text message and all Clark does is put on the ring, a Dumb as Clark moment maybe? I would hope so."

    Yes.

    ~SHACMA

    Take care, all! More next week.

    Neal



    Infamous

    Reviewed by: Douglas Trumble

    Clark shows up late to pick up Lois from the airport and gets an earfull from our favorite spunky reporter. After Lois stomps off, Clark comes face to face with a morphing water creature who is none other than our old friend Linda Lake. Linda has a plan. She knows Clark is the Red-Blue Blur and has the idea that if she is the one to cover his actions she can get back into the news game. Of course if Clark doesn't play along she'll expose him to the world and make his life a living hell. She is a villain after all.

    Clark decides the best way to stop her is to come out on his own terms and he enlists the help of the best reporter he knows, Lois Lane, to tell his story to the world. It takes some convincing and just a little bit of super strength to get Lois to believe he is telling the truth but soon her eyes are open and she sees the "real" Clark for the first time... or actually third time... or maybe fourth time...Okay the first time in her recent memory anyway.

    So at first everything is great. The world loves Clark and thinks he's the best thing to hit the planet since the Jonas Brothers. Then a disgraced gossip columnist writes a story with no proof accusing Clark of killing Lex and faster than a speeding bullet the screaming fans become protesters, the government is shooting at Clark, and commandos are going after his friends like a pack of hungry dogs on a raw steak. Clark quickly realizes he made a bad mistake coming out to the public and decides to use his Legion Time Travel Ring to go back and stop himself from telling Lois his story.

    The Liquid Lady overhears Clark's plan and thinks having her own time travel ring would be swell... not to mention having Clark stop her in the past would be bad... so she sneaks off to Smallville to slip a hunk of Kryptonite into Clark's super secret hiding space, or as some of us call it, a tool box. A smack down ensues between Lois and Liquid Lady who stays solid for some reason taking a serious dose of Lane-fu. While this is going on the Paramedic of Doom comes out to Chloe about his inner superkiller. Chloe to her credit quickly figures out that things are a bit worse than a guy with a crush on a married woman. Just as she's about to reveal the truth about Doomsday to Lois and Clark, the Red-Blue Bur slips on his legion ring and travels back in time to "fix" everything.

    In the past, Clark stops Linda from blackmailing him by threatening to expose the truth about her murderous past. The Liquid Lady doesn't want to go quietly so Clark uses a jumbo sized tazer to take her down. Everyone goes on with their life living not so happily ever after... Well except Liquid Lady whose backup plan involves trying to blackmail Doomsday into helping her which doesn't exactly go as she planned.

    First of all while this was not a perfect episode it was leaps and bounds better than the last couple of episodes. I am going to be flat out honest about that. This was not great. I had some issues with it but I will fully admit I enjoyed it a lot more than maybe I should have and that is likely because of my hate of the previous story line.

    The biggest change that just breaths life in the show is the return of Lois. I mean seriously. Just her presence elevated the show to something better. I am not trying to sound like I am crushing on the actress or anything. Erica Durance if you're reading this, don't worry. I am not going stalker on you. But the simple presence of the character, the charm and charisma the actress brings, and the chemistry she has with Welling's Clark just brings a life to the show that you could actually feel in the opening scenes like a fresh summer breeze. It was so much more enjoyable than the dead weight around the neck the Lana character brought to the show.

    Why they do not use her more than they do is beyond me. Let's hope they change that in Season 9 and use her more.

    Okay, I am not going to beat that one to death but it's important people know where I am coming from simply because it may color my opinion of this episode a little bit. I liked it. It was good. Not prefect but when I get into what did bother me below I want people to know that while I am critical, over all I did like the episode.

    So as I said it had some problems...

    First of all the pacing was just terrible. I know the show has never been known for pacing things out the best but the speed at which we went through this story line was terrible. I am not just talking about actual minutes of the episode spent on the story either. I am talking about the time in the lives of the characters the story takes place over. Two days. That's it. Just two days. Clark goes from nobody, to national celebrity, to public enemy number 1 in two days. Even Joe the Plumber took longer to ride the national celebrity roller coaster. There is just no believable, conceivable way it would happen that fast. Add to the fact that the actual pacing of the episode covered this ground in maybe 15 minutes of screen time and you are just compounding the feeling that it's way too fast to be believable. It really made it hard to get into the story. It didn't ruin it but it didn't help it either.

    I just cannot buy that the world would jump on Linda's story so fast. Not when it came from her. I could have bought the government coming after Clark. They could have easily showed them to be mistrustful of him from the beginning. I could easily buy the fact that some would be quick to jump on Linda's story but not everyone would switch that fast. Heck Michael Jackson still has raving fans for crying out loud. People would not be turning on Superman so fast. Yes I believe they would turn on him. It's a common theme in Superhero stories but it happened just way too fast.

    This story would have worked so much more by just spreading out the time in the character's lives over weeks instead of days. Spend just a little more time on the time frame between Linda's story breaking and the world turning on Clark. Or maybe show people as mistrustful form the beginning which would have made the fast switch more believable.

    Plus a better option for breaking the story would have been to use Tess Mercer instead of Linda Lake. Have her bring up the idea to the world that Clark killed Lex and was part of a Kryptonian invasion plan. First of all it is believable that Lex would have left behind ready made proof of such a thing to pin on Clark but more importantly Tess would have had the standing in the "community" to actually be a believable source and the resources to get the story out fast.

    Linda Lake had nothing that made her tabloid gossip anymore believable than alligators in the sewers. I didn't buy that the world bought it that fast if at all.

    Next was the idea that Clark would jump to the time travel solution so fast. Last time he went that route it ended very badly. He lost his dad the last time he screwed with the natural order of time. Sure this time he wasn't going back to save a life but it should be a painful memory to him. Maybe having the legion arrive from the future so recently in his life may have softened his view on that subject somewhat but the simple fact is that it should have not been such a quick easy decision for him to make.

    Especially when you realize at the end that Clark actually did have proof Linda was a lying murderer that could have been used to set the record straight about her lies. There were other options but he didn't even try. Lois wanted to go in there and put her boot in someone's backside. To stand up and fight for him and they should have let her. Not only would that have been fun to watch it would have made way more sense to try that route before trying time travel. Sure things were bad, but even with the government going after Lois and Chloe, things were not at the point where time travel was the only option. They should have tried to clear his name first. They should have made more effort to expose Linda in that time line before going back and resetting the time line to something else.

    I know the series likes self contained episodes but this is yet another example of something that would have worked so much better as a two part episode. Something like this just doesn't work right in 40 minutes. It just doesn't. At least not without exposing the characters to undue criticism.

    Then Clark destroys the ring? What? Why? Because time travel is too dangerous? Okay sure WE know that but what happened to him that made it dangerous this time? We as viewers know it ended up saving Chloe's life and ending Linda Lake's life but Clark doesn't know that. Linda's own choices lead to her end at Doomsday's hands, not Clark's so he is not to be blamed for that but it was Clark's changing time that made the situation play out that way. It was the universe balancing out the change in history.

    Her death was the natural cause and effect we as viewers were shown so that we could see that the show's rules on time travel were not broken (something I am actually impressed they made sure to show). However with that said, it is very important to note this was not something shown to Clark. He did not know Chloe was seconds from becoming a tenderized pile of wet meat when he put on the ring and at the time he destroyed the ring for being "too dangerous" he had no idea Davis took out Linda Lake.

    There was nothing to show Clark that his going back in time was "dangerous". The only down side of it from his point of view was what he had to do to Lois and at this point in Clark and Lois' life that was at least understandable (more on that later). The point being, nothing really negative happened to Clark this time so there was no logical reason for him to destroy the ring.

    Oh well. At least it removes the plot device from later episodes. Hopefully this is the last time this Superman channels his inner Hiro Nakamora.

    This was, by my count, the third time Lois learned about Clark only to have her memory erased, but I am somewhat okay with it. (The alternate universe that Jor-El made for Clark doesn't count). I just hope it's the last time they use this plot line. It worked this time but if they try to do it again it would be simply too much.

    The reason why I am okay with it here is simply because it's too soon for them to grow that close together and it was the only real option to take a step back from that relationship. It was heart breaking when Lois realized that by changing the past Clark would be also taking her memory of him from her. Lois' speech about it being sad but yet still understanding was fantastic. Erica Durance hit the right notes for that one and it really made us as viewers understand why Clark would decide he needed to keep her out of the loop.

    Clark is recently Lana free. He's not ready to move on and it's not fair to Lois (his future wife) for him to move on to her so soon after the end of Lana. We certainly do not want her to come off as the re-bound girl so I am glad to see they took a step back from that. Sure Clark is not being honest with himself but that is normal and they need Clark to believe there is nothing there a bit longer so that when it does happen, it's done right.

    I am also happy they didn't make it come off as Clark being selfish when he made the choice not to re-tell Lois (yet). We all know if he came out to her and asked her to keep it secret she would, but it's not that simple right now for the characters.

    Clark knows Lois is in love with him right now and he's not ready to return that love. Add that to the knowledge that Clark knows of Lois' dream of finding the "hero" and that he would be crushing that dream yet again and you can understand why Clark would think it best not to tell her. He doesn't want to mess up Lois' life like he messed up Lana's. He doesn't want to kill that dream. Sure there is some self preservation going on there too which Chloe rightly pointed out but I really got the idea Clark is more concerned for Lois when he chose to keep his secret from her after altering the past. He can't give her what she needs right now so he's staying away. Plus it's understandable that even Superman would have some inner emotional self preservation going on after what just happened between him and Lana.

    Plus the scene at the end was fantastically done. Sure it was angst but it was the good dramatic relationship angst, not the beat the dead horse on something that was old years ago angst like they usually have on the show. I was tearing up. My wife was tearing up. I don't know who I felt worse for. Clark or Lois. It's amazing how much it helps when you know there is a future in the relationship. This is painful for the characters now but when you know there is at least a chance for a happy ending in their future it makes this pain a good thing because it makes the good that is to come all the more sweet.

    Tori Spelling's acting as Linda Lake was maybe a bit too character like but I thought it worked. If she was male I would have expected her to be twirling a mustache with the way she acted out the roll but taken in small doses I don't mind that. She did a good job.

    The small movement we got on the Paramedic of Doom's story was pretty good. It was intense when he hulked out on Chloe even if Clark's time travel ended it before he pulverized her. Plus I actually like the sub plot of Davis trying to fight a monster he can't control. No, I am not sympathetic to him. He's evil to the core and I can't wait to see Clark take him down but I think it adds an interesting twist to the story making it a little unpredictable. That makes it more enjoyable to see how it's playing out.

    So this episode had great Clark and Lois stuff. Pretty good Doomsday stuff. A main plot that was full of holes that wasn't terrible but could have been a lot better if paced differently. A loose (wet) thread from a past episode was tied up and we actually had relationship angst that didn't suck.

    Not great but not terrible either. I'm going to give it a 3.5 out of 5 with the full admission that maybe the contrast with the previous episode might have added a .5 to a full 1 point to that score.

    Next week Lady Lex is back and it looks as if we get yet another use out of the Green Arrow mobile. Color me interested.

    Doug



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