Superman on Television

Smallville: Episode Reviews

Season 9 - Episode 4: "Echo"



Reviewed by: Douglas Trumble

Super short run on sentence summary: The Blur screws up while saving some people from the Toyman's scheme so Papa Jor-El jacks up his super hearing so brainwaves start coming through in order to get the Big Dumb Alien to pay a bit more attention to what's going on around him.

Let's not sugar coat it one bit. Clark messed up and messed up bad. Sure he saved everyone and all that but I think we can all agree smacking out one of the hostages thinking they were the terrorist is not exactly the kind of behavior we expect from our Superman.

Yet that was kind of the point right? Clark is still learning on the job and I actually kind of liked that they took the time to cover that in this episode.

Smallville is only at Superman year one right now. This is not a seasoned and experienced superhero who is wise to the world we are seeing here... YET.

It was a pleasure to see Jor-El teaching Clark a lesson, not with tough love, like he has been known to do in the past but with guidance. Sure everyone who's seen The Dark Knight knew it was another hostage but since I am going to guess that in Smallville's world they haven't gotten around to releasing movies about Bruce Wayne yet I think we can assume Clark hasn't. Yet Jor-El didn't take Clark's powers away or freeze him in ice for three months so Bizzaro could take over his life, so I call this a great improvement. He basically just said "Here son. Let me show you something."

I liked that.

The only thing I think they did wrong with that set up/plot point was they didn't spend enough time showing Clark's reaction to hurting the hostage. Yes they did touch on it a bit so it was not like they just blew it off but it was too brief and I think maybe they should have done a bit more there. Perhaps have the blur pay the guy a visit in the hospital to apologize or something.

I am sure the guy is happy he wasn't blown up and I know we can all pretty much agree we'd rather have a concussion over a chest full of industrial grade explosives going off on us but I think a short scene between the Blur and that hostage covering those facts would have gone a long way to improving this episode.

The super hearing power up was an interesting way to get Clark to pay attention to what people were doing and how they were acting. Jor-El wanted Clark to see beyond just what people said and pay attention to things like body language, behavior patterns, and personal motivations. Jor-El did it in a way Clark couldn't ignore by causing it to be almost literally screaming in his head for a short time. Maybe he could have waited until after Clark stopped the Toyman before turning it off but I guess Jor-El only did it then because he trusted his son was ready, so I am good with that.

No one I am sure, including Clark, would want him to keep his super hearing powered up like that. Not only is it an invasion of privacy that Superman would not want to use but it really could become distracting at the wrong moment. Could be that's why Jor-El turned it off at Oliver's speech so Clark didn't get overwhelmed from everyone's thoughts at a crucial time but that is just the fan boy in me speculating. That is kind of what I do here so hey; I'll roll with it.

It was awesome to see Clark put it all together in the end when he used his head and not his powers to beat the Toyman. Well ok... he did heat vision the face off the robo-bomb but he used his head to figure out where the real bomb was. It's funny because as often as I use the phrase "heat vision something's face off" I found myself extremely entertained (perhaps more than I should have been) to actually SEE Clark heat vision the face off something.

Maybe I need help but until then I am happy to be entertained.

The fun part of the whole scenario of Clark's super hearing power-up was having Clark hear Lois' thoughts. I actually liked it a bit more at first when it was just Lois. I've always had a thought that Superman has some kind of psychic link to Lois. Whether it's from his love of her or just some sort of subconscious perception through his super senses, but in every version of the character Clark always seems to know instinctually when Lois is in trouble. At first I thought maybe that was where they were going with this so I have to admit to being a little disappointed when it turned out she was just the first he could tune into.

Yet it really doesn't matter if it was Clark's feelings for her, her closeness to him, or just the fact that Lois can manage to mentally out shout the entire city that caused him to hear her first because I find all those options amusing on some level.

I really do not think Clark did anything wrong using his enhanced powers around her simply because I never got the feeling he did it on purpose. He just happened to hear what she was thinking and reacted to it in order to cheer up someone he cares about. I know Chloe was just being the protective cousin but I think she was a little hard on Clark when she chewed him out for it.

Still I have to admit Clark could have handled it a bit better when he needed to call off the truck rally date too. So maybe Chloe's lecture was just premature. Okay. We will just call it that.

I do want to talk about Lois' emotional state for a moment because I think there is an area here where someone does need to slap the Big Dumb Alien in the head. They are making it a pretty major plot point this season that emotionally Lois is in kind of desperate place right now. I am sure it is not helping she has conflicting feelings for two different men right now (even if we know they are actually the same guy) but they are also making it clear that maybe more than anything Lois is just feeling lonely.

I think there is an area here where Clark is messing up when it comes to Lois. I don't blame him for it because I can see why he's doing it plus I think I know why the show is doing it this way too. Clark wasn't around Lois every day when he was calling her a lot as the Blur. They did show us that Clark needed those phone calls as much as Lois did. Now that Clark is working with her everyday he doesn't feel a need to call her as the Blur as much because he can talk to her every day. Clark needs to realize that with Lois not knowing he's the Blur she's not getting what she needs from that building relationship. I don't think it's a plot hole or even bad writing. I do actually get the feeling they are building that as a plot point that Clark will have to learn. I'm just pointing it out right now because I think it was a deeper part of this episode's story that fits with a sub-theme they have been running with.

Though as a fan of the Clark and Lois relationship I just want to scream at Clark, slap him upside his invulnerable head, and say "Call her dummy."

Through all this we are seeing a side of Lois which isn't the tough as nails and all snark which I think is important. Sure the snark is to Lois Lane as water is to wet but we all know she's more than that... Just like there is more in your water than two atoms of Hydrogen and an atom of Oxygen. For one most cities put fluoride in the water to help you from getting rotten teeth so when we see Lois cutting up her jeans and getting excited about taking a farm boy to a monster truck rally just think of it as seeing the fluoride in Lois' personality.

Yeah I know.. that was real deep.

Anyway moving on. I really like Smallville's version of the Toyman. Sort of a hybrid between the classic Toyman and the Control Freak from the Teen Titians cartoon. It's nice that the villain is still in play too. Having Lady Lex squirrel him away to work on Metallo's parts? That's not going to end well for Metropolis.

Plus you have to love the way Tess handles her employee motivational meetings. Here... Let me knee cap you first before we have our little team building talk. Dang... and I thought performance based compensation was brutal.

You do have to love a villain who's cutting up zombies with a ninja sword one week, shooting up a bar in a third world country the next week, and still has the cool to shoot someone in the knee BEFORE hiring them for a job. Slick!

Let us also talk about the Green Arrow for a moment. They are really doing a good job showing us how his "murder" (we all know Lex really isn't dead) is eating him up. I think it's a good way to show why superheroes shouldn't kill the villains. We all know some villains deserve it. Would anyone really think if Batman killed the Joker that he did something bad? No. Of course not. But what about the price to Bruce Wayne? Killing the villain maybe would save some lives down the road but it would destroy the hero and how many lives would be lost with out the hero? I do think that is what we are seeing here and I do think they are doing a good job of it.

It was nice to see Clark realize this too. Clark was right to be angry at Oliver's actions and Oliver did deserve to have Clark be angry at him. Yet Clark is Oliver's friend and Oliver needs his friends right now and it was good to see our Superman finally step up and be that friend. Friends can be angry with each other and still be there for each other. Clark didn't excuse or condone Oliver's actions but he did reach out a hand and tell Oliver he would be there for him to help him come to terms with his guilt.

Good job Clark! You might still need a slap on the head for not calling Lois as the Blur a bit more often but at least you are being a stand up friend again.

The only major knock I have on this episode that I can call an outright mistake by the writers/produces... Clark tells Lois they can go to a monster truck rally in what I seem to remember him saying "in a couple of hours" did I hear that right? Because I found it odd that Lois would then drive three hours to Smallville, take the time to "get ready" (which if my wife is any indication is not a quick process) and then drive three hours back to Metropolis for the rally. That's 6+ hours. Was the monster truck rally starting at midnight or something? Really people, can we pay a little more attention to the fact that the little town outside of Metropolis is actually more than just right OUTSIDE of Metropolis? I live in a city. Actually the Twin Cities so there are two of them. There are plenty of Smallville sized towns around the Twin Cities within a reasonable commute. I know some people who live in them and drive into the cities for work so I can buy the whole idea of the town being not too far from the big city and our cast still lives there. Yet I know at the end of my work day if I invite a friend from one of those towns to an evening activity they are not going to be able to commute back home and then commute back to the city in time.

It might work for Clark who has super-speed but somehow I don't think it works for Lois and her Ford Fusion. Even if it's a great affordable car with comfy seats and a fantastic sound system.

So anyway. Good episode with Clark going through some growing pains with a little help from Papa Jor-El and some good relationship building moments between Clark and Lois. Plus a bit more development with the drama in Oliver's life.

I am going to give it a 4 out of 5. I was thinking 3.5 because of the continued insane commuting going on and Clark not sending flowers to the hostage he punched out but then I had to give it an extra half point for having Lois admit she keeps a cocktail dress in her purse and her ability to talk a monster truck driver into giving her a ride across town. That has to be worth something.

Next week Oliver goes to a casino. Really? That's your preview? Maybe the advertising department needs some of Tess' managerial motivational skills. Well at least they are not just focusing on naked people anymore.

See you all next week.



Reviewed by: Neal Bailey


  • Emo Oliver is still emo.
  • Emo Oliver is still emo. (Get it? It's called Echo? Ah, screw it.)
  • The Toyman tries to get Oliver to confess, and fails, but joins forces with Tess.
  • Clark gains the power to read minds, then loses it abruptly.
  • Lois and Clark appear to be growing closer.


    Pay attention and read carefully, or you might miss it. This is a review for critical readers and critical people.

    I came pretty close to quitting the review this week. It was a bad week. This is to be expected, I guess, given that the first three reviews that I wrote were largely negative, and the last one called people who flip other people crap to the carpet and dallied a bit for a changeup.

    The inevitable result is that people then step up to the plate and respond by doing more crap flipping. I expected it. No biggie. I'm better at it.

    There's a large group of folks who read the first line of a review and that's about it. They then feel called upon to comment on said review. I get that laziness. I do. Can't condone it, but I get why people are the way they are. Learned helplessness, self-esteem, and public school. I went through it myself.

    Last year I had myself pretty good there where I wouldn't read the comments, and that was fine. Last week I decided to go take a look at the comments, and met with some galling stupidity that made me want to tear my eyes out. I can't tell you how many comments I wrote and then deleted. Wasted energy, and I feel stupid for it, but I'm human, so I also forgive myself. As do my friends, and they're the people one should care about pleasing, not the anonymous.

    And why did I do it? Why did it happen, when a thick skin guy like me knows better by now?

    Well, because the internet punishes you for being human. Not only that, it FINDS you when you're trying to be out of the numb fever. It also punishes you for being anything. Not for being something particular. For being anything. I mean, if Martin Luther King were on the internet today, there would be a hate site.

    One cannot do anything on the internet without someone hating you for it, and so the solution is to either try and cater to the retarded, or do your own thing and not give a damn.

    I could write a review praising this episode, and I'd catch flak from people who hated it. I could write a review hating on it, and I'd catch flak from people who loved it. I talked to Steve about the whole affair, and he told me that I have two options. Change to meet the rising water, or just keep on doing what I'm doing and not give a damn. I'm assuming he means write reviews like I used to and not this tangential meandering, but I'm hoping that time served has earned me a little leniency in this regard. We'll see. If you're reading this, it has. If you're not, what the hell. I enjoyed this piece of writing anyway, because I write to keep myself sane, nothing more.

    Conformity and/or change involves me trying to please the masses who cannot be pleased, and the other is me being myself. The choice is obvious. If you don't like my review, you're probably not reading at this point anyway, so go jump in a lake filled with sharks. And if you decide not to take my advice, I don't need to correspond with you.

    If you are one of the large number of good, kind readers, then thank you. I apologize for being tangential this review, but I think you'll dig it as a literary analysis and exchange as part of a series of 175 or so exchanges we've shared over nine years, which is why I'm doing it. If you read this, and have read the other pieces, you already know what I'm going to say about the episode, so how about I give you something new? Fun! Dangerous!

    Largely this review is an exercise in trying to be creative in saying the same thing over and over again, and to make that better it has to evolve and do new things. Deal with it. With recurring themes it will morph and change over time, but the reality is that a nuts and bolts review would be ten times as boring as licking envelopes, in my opinion. And that's all it really is, ultimately, an opinion to be taken or left.

    I thought I might play around with things in response to the twits on the comment board (watch how fast that's misinterpreted to have me saying I called everyone a twit). I thought I might write a review that started with me saying that it was my sole goal to spike Smallville like a touchdown football, and that I hoped all of the actors died of some bad STD, and that I think Superman is a pansy, and then follow it up after about a page of writing with the caveat phrase: "I mean absolutely nothing of the above that I have just written, and the real review starts here." Just, you know, to screw with the people who like to criticize criticism without doing the actual work of regard.

    But I already wrote a review that stated CAVEAT EMPTOR and no one listened, so screw that noise.

    I thought I'd do a straight nuts and bolts review as another option, and show how utterly boring it is or could be as an exercise.

    "The actors were proficient. The sound was not flawed. The cameras did not go out of focus. The music did not fit scene five. It is apparent that some of the voice actors messed up their mind-reading roles." Hemingway on dope.

    I considered the idea of removing the numbers from the reviews. Figure then I could talk my way out of anything. "You hate the show!" "Ah, but I point out the positive here, and no number, after all!" "You love the show!" "Ah, but I point out the negative here, and no number, after all!" And look, ma, totally ambiguous! Heads would spin.

    I thought it might be fun to take all of the comments and one by one refute them with quotes from old reviews and not write a single original word. Show how most of the critiques come from misinformed people who have only read one or two reviews at best, or come from other sites, or can't see the forest for the trees. But that's what the people who comment tend to do, and I can't abide by that. I'd spike my Tab with Drano. And besides, I already know that's where they come from. Thinking about doing that and not doing it is much more fun, and then I have time to listen to the DVD commentary for Catch-22.

    I considered a one-word review. I considered a much shortened review. I considered, just for the hell of it, writing the longest review I've ever done.

    The fact alone that I considered those things convince me I put in the work so that I don't have to feel bad for anything I do here.

    This is my review. It is. It's not your review. I can do whatever I damned well please, so long as it holds your attention and does what it's supposed to do, and meets reasonable expectations like not cursing, not being racist, not being sexist, and getting turned in on time. Heck, it's done for free in the first place, out of a love for the exercise, not any real ambition. So I might as well love it, and do as I please. If Steve stops publishing it, I can still write it. I doubt he will, because he gets what I'm trying to do, and people have an alternative in Doug. But if he does, heck, at least I go down swinging.

    A review is not what some strange person I don't know tells me it is. It's what I make of it. Up above I've summarized, and here below I will rate, and therefore all that comes in twain shall be determined by the words I craft it with, and not all of the hate in all of the message boards on planet Earth can change the sheer power of a person who will do what he or she will do with courage and conviction. Except, you know, Superman. But that's just because he shoots fire from his eyes and could give a man a heat vision colonic.

    Said one commenter, "I loved your review when it started, 2,000 words in!" I forget who it was. Say I in response, I love a narrow definition of anything, right? Don't you? Can a woman be a construction worker? Is a gay guy worthy of putting on a uniform, is he as much a soldier as anyone else? Is it war if there are no declared combatants? Is it still underwear if it's faded away into dust and blown off on the wind from use?

    Is it a review if it involves the person who writes it?

    "Hmm! Good question!"

    Thank you, Monkeybella the Wise.

    Why, it can't be, says my teachers in college and SUPERMAN84524356, because it has to involve a cold and aesthetic mentality and follow the tradition, the same mentality and tradition that made journalism and press maligned until it turned in desperation into weeping fat men crying for the loss of his country and making up crap for ratings. Well, and kids who were pretending to be lost in balloons instead of the some two million kids who die of diarrhea worldwide yearly.

    "But Neal, aren't you a jolly guy trying to be himself, crying for the camera?" winks the muppet who holds my strings.

    Well, maybe.

    But then, it's different, because for everyone Beck tricks, people get killed and money is made. I'm not trying to make anything here but a point, I'm not doing anything but having fun with ideas, and if people are going to willfully miss that, then is that my responsibility?

    Now, if the point I'm trying to make isn't there, that's a fault I can rightfully be maligned for. That's maybe one letter in a hundred by now, given how many of these I've done. But given that SOME people seem to get it, you know, the MAJORITY (8,000 pieces of fan mail vs. 200 dinks), I think I'll be all right. The cool people are the ones I want reading my books and reviews anyway. And they're the people I prefer to be edited by, because they get the net.

    And a big hand to Steve for getting that net, because he's rad for it. Most people are scared out of their pants at anything that goes in a direction other than KNOWN and FINANCIALLY VIABLE.

    The truth of the matter is that the main critique I have for Smallville applies to any episode (including this one) AND my review, which I will draw into parallel here for effect.

    You expect a certain thing, and you either get it, or you don't.

    For some people, it's wanting to see Erica Durance's ass. For some people, it's wanting to see character work. For some people, it's explosions in front of an American flag with MacGuyver guest starring. For some, it's Green Arrow, even though it's a Superman show.

    Same with this review. Some of you want nuts and bolts. Some of you want notes taken. Some of you want the funny, and by God, I am most inclined to give into that criticism, but I know something that perhaps the people who want the funny don't know... and anyway, saying "Suck Diapers" to detractors is pretty hilarious. How would one even suck a diaper? I hope they find out.

    This above, though? It's funny of another sort. Irony, and sarcasm, and satire. Intelligent luls, which the world needs more than a kick to the crotch.

    These things cannot be constantly accomplished for anyone. Even Smallville Zombies have an episode they hate.

    Why do we do it?

    Why do we watch? Why review? Why review this review? Why do we do anything, when it comes down to it? Why would any sane individual involve themselves in either when there are novels to write, clothes to wash, bills to pay, and life to live? This is me responding to putting myself and my views on trial, and this is the heart and core of analysis. It is review.

    The simple answer is that we live in hope.

    I hope that this show will entertain me. You live in hope that this review will be, well, whatever the hell you want it to be. Even Richard III lives in hope that he can be an adequate b#@%ard.

    I hope this review will be whatever I want it to be, not what you want it to be, and that's been quite the rub lately. But bleah. This is what I do for fun and out of love. Write me a letter when you've paid for my novel and can't stand it. Until then, suck diapers.

    I'll no longer be held responsible for the ignorant, I won't suffer stupid lightly, and quite honestly, even if every criticism of my review is correct and I am the worst reviewer on the face of the planet, I've still got a leg up on my critics, given that I'm doing my own thing and loving it, while they're, I dunno, wasting their time criticizing this crappy review instead of coming up with a better one of their own.

    I know you may not realize this, but quietly, over the course of the last nine years of this show, I've been building a rocket in my back yard.

    I've been writing novel after novel after novel. Eight so far, with a ninth on the way. When those novels are done, if I have time, I've been writing these reviews (that some might call novels of themselves, but are really relatively short and benign in the larger scheme of things).

    Soon, I'm going to take my own improvements, my own take on story, my own beliefs on character, and I'm gonna shoot those babies up into the sky as soon as I can find someone with enough faith to light the fuse. An editor. My agent. Some poor schmuck who tries to ban what I do for being faithless and evil.

    The rockets? They may be duds. I dunno. But I live in hope that they'll explode outward in a burst of flames and sear the retina of any turd within the relative vicinity. I have taken my self and packed it into gunpowder, and wrapped it in a tube.

    What is misunderstood is that along the way, when I grew too tired to pack the ordinance, I sat down for a while, took a loot at other rockets, and critiqued their engineering to pass the time.

    Most critics, especially on comment boards, don't have their real projects. Their rockets.

    I pity them for that. And so I forgive them their trespass. It's the right thing to do.

    But it's really not that much serious business, no matter how much the internet might think it is. I feel somewhat obligated to turn to the people who are criticizing this, my down time, and tell them why I think what I think about rockets, but really, it's much wiser and hopeful to turn my attention to the rocket itself and get the damned thing built. And so I do.

    I wrote this in an hour on a weekend.

    In other words, I could give a solid damn if you're one of the people who want to pour water on the fuse. Either strike up a match, or get the hell out of the way, because life's too damned short for anyone to give a care what strangers think of them or their life's work.

    Oh! Almost forgot. You wanted to know what I thought about this week's episode.

    Eh. Wasn't that bad. Wasn't that great. Cool face melt. I'd give it a 3.5 of 5.

    And hey, I even get the unexpected bonus of writing a review along a similar theme of the last one with the title of "Echo!"



    Olivia wrote:


    I read your reviews every week, and have to admit that I've found the amount of negativity within them frustrating. However I do agree with the rebuttal of sorts you posted before your review of Rabid; I completely understand where you're coming from with not simply wanting to sit back and enjoy the pretty, but really get into the nitty gritty of why the episode was completely nonsensical!

    Thank you! Hopefully this review will also shed some light on things. At this point it's just dull to site things over and over again. It's time to mine the crazy for some gems of wisdom.

    That said - I loved Rabid, and I love Smallville. It may be often utterly illogical, have a loose grip on the concept of continuity, neglect storylines and characters left, right and centre, but I can't help but love the characters and the show.

    So glad to hear that, actually. That means you're having fun. Please continue.

    A few things:

    I really disagree that nothing has happened within the last five years to indicate Lois has feelings for Clark - Instinct, Committed, Bride, Infamous just to name a few from season 8 that show definite development and not simply isolated "abitrary moments".

    You're right, I was actually more referring to some of the more arbitrary moments that have been sprung amidst the development. They're easier to see when you're facing down a bad episode.

    However, I loved the point you made about sexism being so inherent within Smallville that even a supposed "tough" girl like Lois is still conforming to the traditional idea of weak women/tough men.

    This review goes into feminism and gender roles? I don't know why. The writer should just stick to short, snappy, snarky stuff. But thank you.

    Although... I do think that had someone hit Lois for acting like an idiot she would have given back as good as she got, and I really don't think Smallville is alone in this kind of unconcious sexism.

    I really don't either. I resent it, because when I write stories, I think about that kind of stuff, and I don't see others doing it, and they get away with it. That's lame.

    I would also argue that the Clark/Chloe relationship has not suddenly switched; they half-way hashed out their disagreements in Metallo with Clark admitting he should have been there and since they barely interacted in this episode, it can be assumed they just have a functional working relationship - hardly back to being BFFs but still reasonably amiable given their long term friendship and Metallo discussion.

    It seems like they're whatever the episode calls for.

    About the disease - it needed sleep to incubate... therefore if Ollie or Chloe had it, they didn't sleep so quite clearly they could have had the virus but it just never "incubated" so didn't develop into the zombie rage!

    Yeah, I was half-heartedly pointing out that if it induces sleep, like it seemed to with Lois, than it should have with the other two, but I didn't finish the thought because I was so numbed with the stupid I wet my pants.

    As for Zod killing the guy - I presumed he did it because the guy showed a worrying amount of initiative and daring, enough for Zod to feel threatened and so his head had to come off. It's pretty Stalinesque.

    That could have worked, had it been made clearer, actually.

    Erm really that's about it, though I do have a question - are you able to watch the episodes and enjoy them on a superficial or aesthetic level, or do the painfully obvious plot holes and contrived or arbitary nature of most of the episodes ruin any enjoyment?

    Before, when I was taking the notes, it was immediately apparent that the plot holes and bad dialogue and trite story elements were present. Now I watch an episode, don't take any notes, and my hope was that it'd be different. Instead, it just takes about a half an hour for the plot holes, bad dialogue, and trite story elements to become readily apparent, and because I don't have notes I have to be more vague in the review. It makes them more light hearted for me, shorter, and fun! I'm loving it.

    There are a lot of shows that I can enjoy both during and after for their craft and good writing, even if I don't agree with a lot of their elements. Smallville hasn't been that way for a few years now.

    Because for me, I just hand my intelligence in at the door and enjoy the episode for what it is - I thought Infamous was an utterly illogical and idiotic episode but I LOVED watching it... and to be honest, no matter how badly they write Lois/Clark development, the chemistry between them is enough to keep me watching.

    I am glad you do. I suppose I could. Sometimes I will watch an entire series on my other monitor while I'm playing a game and get half the gist without being bugged by the stupid. That's fun. Usually, though, I save mindless fun for Tower Games (South Park's new one is neat) or killing the Nazi types in World War 2 FPS.

    Thanks for reading, I know this was probably ridiculously long!

    And ridiculously thoughtful. Thank you.


    Vic wrote:

    Hey Neal,

    I don't really have too much to say about the "Rabid" episode; although I enjoy horror movies, I'm not a fan of zombie flicks, so this episode was just okay for me. A few good moments, but overall, not too impressed.

    Likewise. And if you look at it too closely, hoooo boy.

    I just wanted to second the recommendation for watching The Big Bang Theory (when you find the time). This season hasn't been quite as enjoyable as the first two, but still a very funny show. Outside of The Office, this show is my wife and I's favorite (Smallville is definitely top 3 for me, but my wife does not care for it anymore).

    That's two... usually it takes three for me to dive in. I have to finish Original Series Star Trek, Leverage, Generation Kill, and this new one called Hustle, but I will definitely throw it in the rotation. With Scrubs gone and Lost late, I might be able to find time.

    Anyway, I hope the return of the Toyman makes for a better show tomorrow night.

    It did, actually.

    I suppose if people are still reading here they can get their review, a reward for their tenacity and actually paying attention and reading through the piece I spent time crafting. Maybe I did pull a trick after all... mwu ha ha ha. Call it a punishment for people who want to scream at something without reading it all the way. And by all means, laugh at the guys in the comments who don't get this far and bich at me, will you, because I'm not gonna be reading the comments any more. I'm not gonna label it review so that the absent minded can pick it out and avoid being tricked, but the real thoughts on the episode start here.

    I think they're developing the Lois and Clark relationship much better now, at least in this episode, if it stays consistent. The climax was as ridiculous as it usually is, given that Clark could have used his superhearing to figure out Schott was a robot at any time (or x-ray, for that matter), and he could have super-sped Ollie out of there before any potential bomb went off, or, as the episode showed, held it to his chest.

    Not much was made of the fact that Clark could have killed an innocent hostage, and nearly killed some cops. It was called a "mistake" by Jor-El, but it was a lot bigger than that.

    The power was what I thought I would hate, but it actually made some real sense and was used rather creatively, with the exception of a few lines that really clunked or provided too much exposition.

    Lois arriving in a monster truck was funny enough to justify the silly of it, and that Clark didn't hear her coming was even more hilarious, but all in all, it provided character moments for both that kept my attention. I also like the idea of Winslow with Metallo's heart. It felt like a Superman show, not spaghetti on a wall.

    That said, the dilemma was mediocre at best, the conflict dragged it down, and what was a good piece of character work was mauled by emo Ollie and the silliest non-Toyman stuff I think I've seen. I mean, what's the Toyman without a single toy?

    All in all, though, not so bad. Now, I'm gonna cheat and put your goodbye here so people think I was just responding to your letter, and I thank you for letting me abuse your kind correspondence in this way... and the graphic below is to help drag the eyes of folks not paying attention to the bottom without reading this.



    Thanks, Vic! And that's was an awesome letter. I'm sorry I frothed at the mouth for so long in front of your words.

    Well, I think I'll close with this image, just because it's distracting:


    Take care, all, and more next week!

    And don't forget to check out the updated KO Count.


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