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Isis Screentime Minutes, and Deep Thoughts


So, I guess I don't have to worry as much about harshing anyones squee this week.  Not that there wasn't squee to be had in this episode, its just that I think we'd all agree that this episode had its problems.  Namely, the A plot of the episode.

But first, screentime totals

Before I start, I just wanted to repeat my method of calculating screentime for mind whammy eps.  Basically, it counts.  While Isis took over Lois' body, Lois was still in there.  I have made a special notation of how much of Lois' screentime was spent possessed.

Isis, running time 41m, 24s (Previously On:  44s)

Clark:  22m, 5s
Lois:  20m, 43s*  (Time possessed by Isis: 9m, 48s)
Oliver:  14m, 1s
Tess:  12m, 3s

Cat:  9m, 4s

Totals to Date (# of eps)

Clark:  116m, 37s (5)
Lois:  81m, 20s (5)
Oliver:  37m, 52s (5)
Tess:  23m, 48s (3)

Cat Grant:  23m, 6s (2)




Little Alexander is not alone.  I LOVE Tess.  Like, crazy LOVE.  But, more on that later.

When I originally rewatched this ep, I jotted down all these notes on the Isis part of the storyline.  All this stuff that was just so stupid, and pointless, and badly done.  But then I thought about it, and said to myself "Self, why are you bothering?  I'm guessing most people who read your reviews 1. figured out that you'd hate that stuff, and 2. probably weren't big fans of it themselves".  And so, I'm skipping over it.  All I will say is that I thought the A plot of this episode was badly conceived, sloppily written, hokey as hell, and completely unfair to Erica Durance.  Because no actress should have to work so hard to sell an unsellable plot.

I think the thing that bothers me the most was that it was just pointless.

So, lets move onto other things in this episode.  Because if you remove the Isis stuff, and try to pick out the decent stuff, there's actually decent stuff there to find.

For one thing, Cat Grant made a return to the DP, and she cracked me up.  I just find this character refreshing, and goofy, and funny.  She isn't exactly likeable, but she is entertaining to me.  And the actress does a bang-up job with it.  I really thought that the Lois/Cat stuff might annoy me a bit, but instead, I thought it was hilarious. 

And lets give it up for the perky reporter, she does seem to have some moxie, and some investigating skill. 

And she had one of my favorite lines of the episode when she accused Lois of having a "...satanic S.E.X. ritual.." 

And me and my sister laughed out loud when she stabbed Lois with the pen.

And then there was Tess.  TESS!!!  So much love for this character (did I say that already?)  I loved how protective she is of Clark.  I like how she smacked Oliver down for his showboating ways.  I like how she kept trying, even while enduring Oliver's insults.  I loved her genuine laugh at Cat thinking Lois was The Blur.  And I loved that she broke my heart, not once, but twice in this episode.

However, I did not love that Tess is used as a Chlollie/Chloe pimper, and I would like that to stop right now please!!

Mostly, I was blown away by the performance of Cassidy Freeman.  I'll be honest, I think she's the most talented actress SV has ever had as a regular.  Which isn't meant to put down any other actress, but merely to stress how good I think Cassidy is.  There are several scenes in the episode that demonstrated that skill.  The scene where Cat walks in her office, and says she knows who The Blur is.  Tess has her back to Cat, and we can see the slight shift in Tess' eyes.  We can see that moment where she's measuring if she can throw this reporter totally off the track, or if she might have to go to more extreme methods.  Its subtle, but so good.  But Cassidy's best moment would come later in the episode.  In her reaction to Clark, and Oliver, welcoming her to The Team.  How monumental a moment like that was for Tess was so beautifully conveyed, without one word.  How meaningful for a woman who had just confessed to not having much truth, or love, in her life.  And then later, when she decides to love little Alexander, as opposed to treating him like a ticking time bomb.  Her whole reaction to Alexander crawling in her lap, and putting his little head back on her shoulder made me tear up.  I mean, we all know this isn't going to end happy folks, which makes the moment all the more poignant.

So, this episode was one big Tess Mercer, For The Win!

But it had another big win, and that was the secret reveal from Clark to Lois.  I've been upfront that I think that the secret reveal should've happened in Salvation, with the kiss.  And I still believe that the show let the right moment slip through their fingers.  As much as I liked this reveal, I do think it coming on the heels on Clark seeing his future presents some issues that could've been avoided by a reveal in Salvation.  But, having said that, I did really like the scene.  And I liked Lois' joyous reaction to the truth being out in the open.  Its a lot of fun to see someone react like that.  And I'm glad that Clark got to verbalize some of the issues that have held him back from revealing the secret earlier.  The whole scene was very well done.

So, we've got Cat, Cat/Lois scenes, the secret reveal and TESS!  as positives for this episode.  And thats really not such a bad thing for an episode that had an A plot that positively wreaked.

Now, I decided to refrain from talking about the Isis stuff, but I'm not going to refrain from discussing another character, and plot, that I'm really disliking intensely.  Oliver Queen, and his constant whining about his OMGTRUESTLOVEEVER Chloe. 

I've had a lot of problems with the character of Oliver for a while now, but usually I don't blame any of those issues on Justin Hartley.  But this week, his performance was just....odd.  I think exposition is not his strong suit.  In his first scene with Clark, he's rushing through his dialogue like he's got a bus to catch.  And while being sarcastic and flippant is supposed to be part of his personality, I think Justin was having a lot of problems exhibiting those characteristics in his first scene with Clark without coming off as dismissive and snide.  I'm still trying to figure out where lines like "what are you wearing anyway?" and "you sound crazy when you talk like that" came from. 

But, bigger then my problem with finding Clark and Oliver as believable friends (I don't), is his anger with Tess (why?), and his moping over Chloe.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the original story of Tess and Oliver that they were together romantically, until he cheated on her because he got scared?  And wasn't it Tess who grew bitter after that betrayal?  But, somewhere along the line, that storyline seems to have gotten discarded, for Oliver being,  somehow,  the wronged party here, with Tess having to win back his trust.  Ah, What?  It just offends me to see Oliver throwing comments like Tess not having love in her life in her face when he's the freaking dirtbag that cheated on her while they were in a relationship.  I understand Oliver being weary of Tess, and not knowing if she can be trusted in the hero realm.  I understand Oliver thinking she's grown dangerous.  But I don't understand this Oliver who seems to act as though he's the injured party of that meanie Tess.  Go eff yourself Oliver!

And then, what the hell is Oliver going on and on and on and on about in regards to Chloe?  Lets put aside that this was some grand love affair that took place 95% off screen.  But what about Chloe's leaving had anything to do with the "I gave her a secret that was too hard to hold onto"?  Oliver does realize that Chloe was a pretty expert secret keeper for years before their love of a lifetime, right?  And what about him being a sell-out would convince Chloe that she needs to run back home, and into his arms?

I do feel for Justin, because its obvious that he's the vessel the writers are using to keep Chloe relevant to the show.  And its a bad, unnecessary choice.  But, its just having the effect of making me like Oliver less and less all the time, and I wasn't even sure that was possible. 

And, oh yeah, I wish the SV writers wouldn't put lines like "Our team, we protect secrets, we don't keep them from each one another.  I'm not sure you know the difference." in Oliver's mouth.

Uh, does Oliver know the difference?  Or, was that not him that decided to conspire behind Clark's back with Chloe to hide kryptonite weapons? 

All I know is that I am so, so happy he's not in next weeks episode.  I need a break from this character, and his Chloe pining.  Do you realize that Clark didn't even go on this much about Lana when she was in a coma?

My opinion of Genevieve Sparling as a writer has not changed.  I think she comes up with some good lines here and there, but I think her writing, in general, is awful.  And I don't think she shows any particular interest in writing for Clark at all.  Of all the SV characters, she seems to write the least amount of lines for him to say, and in her eps, Clark seems to spend a lot of time standing around, listening to what other people say, and not figuring out much for himself.  And it didn't escape me that even in an episode where Chloe doesn't appear, GS found a way to sing the praises of her.  And I'd bet money that Sparling didn't write the secret reveal scene

And some of the SFX?  Really, really bad.  Like, this costs $1.29 quality of bad.  That Isis necklace effect was hideously bad.  

Next weeks episode looks like Smallville meets scary pilgrims.  I'm looking forward to it.

I'm leaving for Dallas tomorrow, for 3 days (going to see the Dallas Cowboy/NY Giants Monday Night Football game!!), and I should have some 'net access, but not sure how much.  So, if I take a little time to respond to comments, thats why :) 

Comments

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miss_tress
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
I'm still trying to figure out where lines like "what are you wearing anyway?" and "you sound crazy when you talk like that" came from.
I've been wondering about that first one myself since the preview scene came out. I figure there has to be a deleted scene for the ep or that it ties into the fact that the exhibit party was supposed to be themed and maybe Oliver was expecting to see Clark in a costume like Lois was.

Have fun at the game! *whispers* Go Giants!
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
I considered that Clark was supposed to be in costume, but why would Clark be walking around in costume? Oliver wasn't.

Then again, reporters don't dress up to cover a theme party. Thats ridiculous.

And thanks! I'm very excited!!
(no subject) - awehla - Oct. 26th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - awehla - Oct. 26th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, pretty much every single line from "Isis" was made of cheese. And I get that Erica was trying so hard, but it was...not so good.

As far as I'm concerned, the more scenes that Tess and Clark share, the happier I'll be.

I have never seen the show bend over backwards so much to keep mentioning a character thats not on anymore. Its really freaking annoying.
(no subject) - awehla - Oct. 26th, 2010 12:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Oct. 27th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - awehla - Oct. 28th, 2010 11:34 am (UTC) - Expand
wingster55
Oct. 24th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
Tess Mercer is the best thing about this season thus far imo.
Cassidy is one of the top 3 actresses on the show for sure...but for me the best actress is the other red head in AoT who always seems to get left off these lists sadly.

I do think the constant references to Chloe are getting a bit annoying...and that's coming from me.

One reference ever 3 eps is fine (and preferably from those who have known her longer and better..or Tess)

wingster55
Oct. 24th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
Oh and was I the only one who thought Alexander was a bit creepy.

Enjoy the game!
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC)
No, I think there was something a bit creepy about Alexander. But, also cute. So, its intriguing.

I LOVE AOT, but ya know, I did occasionally have some issues with her acting.

I think they just haven't handled the Chloe mentions well. If it was everyone that brought her up time-to-time, it would feel more organic. And if they weren't trying to oversell Chlollie so hard. But as it is, its just really bad and clunky. She really should be coming up in conversation between Clark and Lois on occasion.
(no subject) - wingster55 - Oct. 24th, 2010 01:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
katyjane91
Oct. 24th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
I loved parts of this episode and the rest was Meh. You're right, you have to pick out the good parts. And there were quite a few.
Really, the Isis stuff was lame but not monumentally terrible and wont ever come up again probably. And the Oliver stuff was terrible but when is Oliver ever not kinda terrible?
At least Lois (as Lois) and Clark were awesome *shrug*.
And the reveal was PERFECTION. Blur-fection. I was terrified he was gonna 'Clark' his way out of it and just let her leave. But then he picked his balls up and told her! Yey! Awesome moment. But, yeah, the Isis stuff was cheese. And yeah, Tess was awesome! I don't normally like her that much but she rocked it in this episode. Her with the kid was heartbreaking!
Really, that reveal saved the whole epi for me.
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:02 pm (UTC)
Eps like this are frustrating, because if it was just reconfigured, there are the bones here to make a very good ep. But the whole Isis concept was just dumb, and pointless.

The reveal was very fun. It was nice to see it turned into a joyous moment.
cbrownjc
Oct. 24th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
No way in hell Genevieve Sparling wrote that secret reveal. Nice of Brian & Kelly (who I do think wrote it) to give her the writing credit for it. Joss Whedon was also not above giving writers on the Buffy and Angel staff writing credit for things he'd written too (such as the final scene in the season 7 episode "Beneath You"). But GS obviously still finds Clark's character utterly boring, as you could tell during most of his scenes dealing with the Isis plot of the episode, where Oliver and Tess would always do most of the talking, and Clark would just mostly stand there.

Honestly, Tom looked the most engaged during the Daily Planet scenes at the beginning of the episode and the end of the episode - both of which I think were the work of Brian & Kelly, if not Bryan Q. Miller (who's Story Editor for the show).

Thankfully, I knew going into this episode who was writing it and so knew to expect the Chloe worship, (even with her gone), so none of that was a surprise to me either. Really, I do not know why they kept this woman on the writing staff. And I know we're going to have to endure at least one more episode from her this season. I just hope they give her one of AMs remaining final four episodes and they keep her far away from writing Clark and/or Lois - since I don't think she cares very much for Lois' character either.

.And, oh yeah, I wish the SV writers wouldn't put lines like "Our team, we protect secrets, we don't keep them from each one another. I'm not sure you know the difference." in Oliver's mouth.

All I could think when I heard that line was "Um, are they trying to be ironic or something by having Oliver say that?" Because, wasn't it just back in Shield when Tess was saying something along the lines of honestly not being the proto-JLA's strong suit? :p

I'm interested in the Tess stuff and she was for sure one of the major highlights of the episode, but I'm still wary about the show following through correctly this time with some consistency when it comes to her character. What I mean is, Tess' story lines always start off interesting (at least to me) and then, half way though the season, they always have her making so many inconsistent moves that I find I can never pinpoint what her actual goals or motivations are. So I hope they writers really know where they are going with all of this.

And finally, Clark's smile at the end before the cut to the end credits? Is exactly why I didn't want him to know that Lois knew his secret, or have Lois be the one to tell him. For the first time, Clark experienced joy when opening up to someone about this and, not only that, but he got that joy because he took a risk and opened himself up to Lois to do it. I love Lois and Clark because, even when they're fighting or they have problems, it never feels overwrought in angst or hurtfulness. And when they're happy? They're joyful.

Edited at 2010-10-24 03:33 am (UTC)
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:08 pm (UTC)
I agree with you that Sparling didn't write that reveal. I just don't believe she could write something like that. Not for Clark and Lois.

But GS obviously still finds Clark's character utterly boring, as you could tell during most of his scenes dealing with the Isis plot of the episode, where Oliver and Tess would always do most of the talking, and Clark would just mostly stand there.

YES! So much YES to this. And poor Tom has to stand there, furrowing his eyebrows, looking like he's thinking really hard, and no one can sell that.

I would be scared of what she'd write if she gets one of Chloe's return eps. Of course, I fear those eps no matter who writes them.

All I could think when I heard that line was "Um, are they trying to be ironic or something by having Oliver say that?"

Right, me too. It was like last season, in Kandor, when they had Oliver say he's always got Clark's back. I mean, that was supposed to be a joke after Doomsday, right?

I'm prepared for Tess' storyline to end badly. I'm just hoping they find a way to write it in a meaningful way.

Clark's big smile at the end was a beautiful thing. :)

asha14
Oct. 24th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
I liked your review glad to see you did one. I agreed with all of the storyline points you made, but not so much that Freedman is the most talented female actor that the show ever had, however imo she was the best actor in this episode. Sparling is no better than a fanfic writer writing about her favorite character (even when she is not in the episode) and it shows. Clark stood around this episode and except for the scenes in the DP and the reveal Welling performance was off imo just like Hartley's and the treck Erica had to act with Isis. The only featured character that Sparling had a handle on was Tess. I have to admit that was imo the best written Tess I have seen on this show.
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm back! Writing a review for Homecoming was just going to be too problematic for me. But this one was easy.

I did like Clark in the DP scenes, but even in the first one, with Lois and Cat, he really has the least to do. Its more a showcase for the ladies, while he's reacting to them. Sparling writes the most passive, reactive Clark over the last few years, I think. And I think Tom comes off stiff in these eps because I don't think there's a good way to play that.
shalimarfox80
Oct. 24th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
Word to every single word of your review. This is one of those rarest times when I 100% agree with you lol ;)

I did not have high expectations from this episode, mainly because of Sparling and turns out that I was right. The episode could have been a fun-filled filler kind of episode, and at places it even managed to be that, but mostly the episode seemed really… off. I blame the director here as well because he took the Isis stuff from cheesy to embarrassing. The reactions were so off and at places so delayed that they took away from the dramatic moments.

As for the story, let’s face it: Smallville isn’t well known for clever and intelligent scripts but then we have had this type of fillers before and we have enjoyed them a lot. Isis didn’t even fall into that category. It was simply bland, and did I mention embarrassing? Erica looked stunning and that was probably the only good thing that came out of putting her in that Egyptian costume. Other than that, did it serve any purpose for Clark or Lois’s story? Nope. And please, that necklace falling into Lois’s bag and getting transported to USA from Egypt without anyone discovering that it was missing was ridiculous, even by Smallville standards.

I so completely agree with you on the Oliver stuff. You know, going through this episode, I felt really sorry for Justin. He’s a good actor and he’s gorgeous and he used to be a fun part of Smallville, so it’s really sad to see how they have crapped on him for a character that is not even on the show anymore. How ridiculous is it to keep his character in a relationship where the other half isn’t even in the story anymore? And seriously, please tell me since when did Ollie really become this involved with Chloe that he cannot let go? Hartley/Freeman have amazing chemistry, and I enjoyed their scenes immensely. I have no problem in admitting that I would love to see them paired up. At least give Hartley a LI who is on the show and he can interact with her! And the tons of chemistry that Ollie/Tess have wouldn’t hurt either.

Sparling didn’t do herself ANY favors by throwing all the Chloe worship on our faces either. Heck, even Isis pimped Chlollie! How ridiculous was that? I hated the Chloe-whining with passion and Oliver’s character has gone down to drain because of that. I wish we could tell the writers that they should salvage this character before it’s too late by giving him a meaningful storyline that is actively part of this show, and for my personal wishlist, please hook him up with Tess Mercer!

I enjoyed Tess in this episode. I have never been a fan of her, and that’s because I’ve felt that the writers have no idea what to do with her. But I loved this new Tess, this ‘Superman’s ally’ Tess. I can live with her taking over the Watchtower. I’ll be more than glad in fact. Her reactions when Cat says Lois is the Blur, when Ollie and Clark invite her to join the team, and in the end with Alexander, all perfection.

As for the reveal scene, I loved it so much that I don’t think I have words to describe how much amazing it was. I still cannot stop watching it. It was even better than all our fan fictions and imaginations. I don’t think that Clark seeing the future took away anything from their relationship, or that the reveal was a direct result of that glimpse, but that is a debate for a different time. On the whole, I enjoyed some scenes from the episode, including the Cat parts, but other than that, I’d really hope that PTB would stop giving Sparling any episodes to write because the only character she’s interested in writing is no longer on the show, and she has no clue what to do with the rest.

Thanks for the review and have a wonderful week!
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
Yay to Agreement!! LOL See, it can happen. ;)

Like you, I think this episode felt off. And I'm so suprised that SV vet James Marshall directed it, because saying that the direction was nothing special is kind. When did he start to suck? And I think Tom, Justin and Erica all seemed a bit adrift, performance-wise. Not in every scene, but in several of them.

The necklace falling into her bag didn't even make sense. And she hasn't noticed in the weeks since she's been back? So stupid.

I feel, and have always felt, that Chlollie was a great big pander, and consolation prize, for the very vocal Chloe fans. I think this was something that was conceived to try and appease them. And thats exactly how it plays out to me.

The reveal was terrific, and this is coming from someone who is very neutral on Clois. But, I still feel like there was a better way, at a better time. Having said that, the scene was still great, and put a smile on my face just like Lois and Clark.

You know one thing I like about Cat. She may be a bit ridiculous, but she's not dumb.

You're welcome, and I am having one of the most embarassingly stupid days of my life. So, hopefully tomorrow will be better.
brijeana
Oct. 24th, 2010 05:01 am (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes! I agree with so much of what you say here. Cassidy Freeman is AMAZING. I loved Lois/Cat and Cat Grant being her plucky misguided self. I LOVED the reveal Clois scene.

But, bigger then my problem with finding Clark and Oliver as believable friends (I don't), is his anger with Tess (why?), and his moping over Chloe.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the original story of Tess and Oliver that they were together romantically, until he cheated on her because he got scared? And wasn't it Tess who grew bitter after that betrayal? But, somewhere along the line, that storyline seems to have gotten discarded, for Oliver being, somehow, the wronged party here, with Tess having to win back his trust. Ah, What?


You know, I think this self righteous Oliver stuff happened some time in season 9, probably around the time that Tess started pimping Chlollie and I'm right there with you - WHAT?! It just doesn't make any sense. I get that Tess had Oliver kidnapped and Chloe's life was put in danger (Checkmate?) but Oliver's attitude toward Tess is going on for WAY too long. In season 8 it seemed like they were suggesting that Oliver broke her heart, stole her innocence and may be part of the reason why she ended up so close to Lex. ???

But what about Chloe's leaving had anything to do with the "I gave her a secret that was too hard to hold onto"? Oliver does realize that Chloe was a pretty expert secret keeper for years before their love of a lifetime, right?

You know, after Oliver said this I laughed and thought, "Does he know Chloe AT ALL?" It reminds me of Disciple when Chloe actually thought Oliver shot Lois with his arrows out of jealousy over Clark? LOL! WUT.

And, oh yeah, I wish the SV writers wouldn't put lines like "Our team, we protect secrets, we don't keep them from each one another. I'm not sure you know the difference." in Oliver's mouth.

Ug. Yes. I immediately thought of Oliver and Chloe keeping HUGE horrible secrets from each other and Clark all during season 9. And honestly, WHAT is he talking about? How does that apply to Tess? What secret is she even keeping from Oliver?

Do you realize that Clark didn't even go on this much about Lana when she was in a coma?

Hahaha! This can't be true. It just can't.

I didn't see any of those special effects. Isis tied Clark up and I zoned out once he was free again. LOL! BORING.
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:23 pm (UTC)
I get that Tess had Oliver kidnapped and Chloe's life was put in danger (Checkmate?) but Oliver's attitude toward Tess is going on for WAY too long. In season 8 it seemed like they were suggesting that Oliver broke her heart, stole her innocence and may be part of the reason why she ended up so close to Lex. ???


But, here's the thing...Tess actually didn't know she was kidnapping Oliver, she was ordered to bring in the Green Arrow. And she didn't have anything to do with Chloe's kidnapping directly. She didn't even know Chloe was Watchtower. And as Oliver found out more about Checkmate, he should've realized that Tess really didn't have a lot of choices there.

And yes, it did originally seem to me that Oliver's betrayal started Tess down the path she took. But now, she's the bad guy to Oliver's victim? WTF?

Hahaha! This can't be true. It just can't.

Oh, but it is.

svfan01
Oct. 24th, 2010 06:29 am (UTC)
I didn't hate it as much as you, grant you I like Craving and have no problems with Thirst. Generally I am more acceptable of corny plots as long as Clark isn't depressed how his life sucks and is doing something to save the day. Way I look at it if corny a plot is bad then most freak of the week episodes in early seasons are bad. Sure it was far from perfect but it could be worse.

I will have to agree with your take on Ollie's main plot being constantly bringing up Chloe. Whenever it gets brought up it just takes you out of the episode for that minute.

I can't believe the producers didn't see the issue with the way they wrote out Chloe. I know I saw it a mile away when I saw their plans for her. They could have easily sent her on a super duper double secret special "assignment" and not make it an issue she has dissapeared. Hell they could have filmed a bunch of scenes with Allison Mack when she filmed Lazarus and thrown them randomly in a few episodes till she comes back(say she phones Ollie or Clark) to sort of give us quick updates on what she is doing.

I have to say I am very happy that Ollie is not in next week's episode(I believe, if not he won't be in the episode after it), hopefully we can go one episode without a Chloe mention for a change. The whole idea of keeping a character who is not on the show for a large amount of episodes a focal point is just plan bad writing, I am just thankful they have kept Lois and Clark out of that plot for the most part(no matter how bad one might think they look for not being shown to care on screen, the alternative of them worrying about her is 100 times worse).

I really hope Ollie is not in alot of episodes before Chloe comes back(I think he misses 4-6 this season) although given spoilers I can only see 2 episodes he won't appear(I assume he would be in mid season cliffhanger and first episode back after the break which means he would be in episodes 12+13)
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC)
See, to me, what worked in S1 isn't really going to work in S10. Having a teenage, high school student Clark fighting FoTW's makes sense. Doing that same sort of stuff with a mature, inches-from-Superman Clark seems....ill advised.

Like you, I saw the warning signs as soon as I heard them talking about how it would seem like Chloe wasn't even gone, and she'd be mentioned all the time, and "We Love Chlollie" became a recurring mantra. Its sloppy, and clunky, and is so detrimental to the character of Oliver. And frankly, he didn't need more troubles.

2 weeks off from Oliver? Is it my birthday? ;)
(Anonymous)
Oct. 24th, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
As much as this episode was about Lois being possessed by Isis, Tess stole this episode after missing the last 2 episodes - she cries, she laughs, she bickers with Oliver, and she's motherly with Alexander. I don't think Clark and Oliver brought her into the group out of trust, but more like keeping an eye on her as well as testing her, which is why Oliver asked Clark if she can be trusted.

The reveal between Clark and Lois at the end was awesome, but I agree that Genevieve Sparling could not have written that scene since her favorite characters are Chloe, Oliver, and Tess. I think Al Septien tweeted that Sparling had some help from them. Since Chloe is not in this episode, Sparling would focus on Oliver and Tess. Without Chloe, both Oliver and Tess have become Chloe substitutes in different ways with Oliver providing exposition and Tess being the new Watchtower.

Cat Grant was better this time around and this is the first time she interacts with Lois and Tess and all her scenes were a delight. I wish she was added to the cast as a series regular as she's mythos like Clark, Lois, and Oliver. If anyone is Lois' foil, it's definitely Cat.

I'm glad to see Clark's leadership continuing from Homecoming with him leading both Oliver and Tess while preventing Lois and Cat from fighting. Isis had to follow up the milestone Homecoming with moments of its own.
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
Its funny, because for the title of the episode, and the A plot, it really wasn't about Lois being possessed by Isis at all. In fact, Lois seemed completely unphased by the whole experiance. Bizarre.

I really think that after what happened in last seasons finale, and how Tess really came through for Clark, and them him realizing that he'd taken out his anger on people, Clark has decided to be more open to Tess. Its not that he's warm and fuzzy with her, but he's civil, and polite. And its really extraordinary to see how this effects Tess.

Cat just makes me laugh. She's ridiculous, but in a way that works for the show.
goodvibe
Oct. 24th, 2010 10:54 am (UTC)
//And she had one of my favorite lines of the episode when she accused Lois of having a "...satanic S.E.X. ritual.."//

Best line delivery of the ep, IMO.How many eps is KLP signed on for btw? I hope she sticks around till the end.

You already know I agree completely on the Tess stuff and the reveal scene - they more than saved the ep, as far as I'm concerned because they were ::that:: good.

//But, somewhere along the line, that storyline seems to have gotten discarded, for Oliver being, somehow, the wronged party here, with Tess having to win back his trust. Ah, What?//

::nods:: But see, to me, Oliver is just ::that:: much of a self involved, not to mention self righteous jackass to conveniently forget any of his own part in his and Tess' history, and instead blame it all on her. He's very into the whole delusional going on about secrets and trust - just look at his dialogue from this ep alone. I swear the writers mock us.
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:35 pm (UTC)
I don't think anyone knows how many KLP will appear in. I hope a few more.

I had a tie between line deliveries. It was that one, and Lois "No No" when Cat reached for a donut.

There is a part of my brain that acknowledges that Oliver does heroic things, and helps people, and all that stuff. But what I see on screen is just such a pain in my ass.

Like with Chloe, I don't think the writers realize how their writing for these characters comes across at all.
goodvibe
Oct. 24th, 2010 10:55 am (UTC)
Stupid lack of edit function - forgot to add, have a great time. Hope the game is good!
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
Due to me being an incredible idiot, I had to switch my departure to tomorrow morning. I literally haven't done something this stupid EVER in my life.
carolandtom
Oct. 24th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
Great review! (big surprise here):D

I disliked a lot of Isis, mainly because it had to much of Oliver and I just can't stand the man. Sadly I don't care a bit about the Tess/clone!Lex storyline either and I usually find that children are poison to many fantasy/science fiction shows. As for Lois flying, I just hate the moments they have Clark staring at other characters while they fly. I hate them!

GS has no idea how to write for Clark or what to do with him. In more than one scene I was shouting at the screen: "come on, Clark, say something!". Lois, otoh, had too much to say, for instance in her first scene, which made me feel sorry for ED. That monologue is plainly bad TV writing.

I like Cat Grant. I find her funny and a far more tolerable character than some regulars.

Have fun on your trip!
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
There was a lot of Oliver, and he had tons of dialogue. Too much.

I hated the flying moment, but truthfully, I knew it was coming. They just can't help themselves, and they seem to have no awareness of just how irritating that stuff is.

Oh, don't remind me of the monologue in the mirror. Thats an incredibly difficult thing to pull off. I think Erica gave it the ol' college try, but it wasn't good.

Trip is postponed one day, and I leave tomorrow morning. Because I am an idiot.
jude_judith82
Oct. 24th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
I read something the other day that made me think of you. I wish I remember where though. They were talking about Smallville and said they feel the whole Chloe and Oliver hooking up thing is really the writers not knowing what to do with them. They're basically like we two main characters hmm how do we give them story lines oh well let's hook them up. In regards to something you said in the comments. I think the writers are so in love with both Allison Mack and Justin Hartley that they don't want to face that they write them like jerks. Any way I've been finding it really easy to ignore Oliver's story lines. I literally do not care not the way I did with Chloe which is the only reason Season 9 wasn't perfection to me. I know I probably shouldn't say this but I'm so glad there is no Chloe I've been enjoying this season so much regardless of the missteps and I know it's because she's not on it. I'm not looking forward to the episodes she will be in. I just hope she comes back a much better character. But even still last season was the point of no return for me. That's why Clark's a better person than me. ;-) I'd never forgive her ever.
jeannev
Oct. 24th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
I'm not surprised that it reminded you of me. It sounds like me! But I do think Chlollie is more about serving Chloe then Oliver. Especially this season, as she's not around to pimp him the way he's pimping her.

And I agree with you that the writers are very much in love with AM and JH, particularly Sparling.

Unlike you though, I haven't been able to ignore the Oliver stuff. He just works my last good nerves.

I sort of dread Chloe coming back, not because I dislike AM, but because I fear the glorification of Chloe arc that I'm sure it coming.
(no subject) - jude_judith82 - Oct. 25th, 2010 02:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Oct. 25th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - audrey229 - Oct. 26th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Oct. 25th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
If the whole point of this episode was for Clark to take a risk, there are only about a MILLION other ways to do it. As you've articulated very well.

And this is part of the reason I bristle at Lois' many costumes. Because there's a part of me that thinks that they don't come up with a costume for Lois based on plot, but rather then go "Wouldn't it be cool if Erica dressed up as a greek goddess...", and then they write a plot.

It does get a bit annoying that almost every single female relationship on this show has a bit of antagonism to it. As much as I enjoyed the Cat/Lois stuff in this ep, and it did make sense, there is that part of me that wonders if it might've been cooler for them to be friends.

And you're right about Cat. As silly as she comes across, she's no pushover, and she's really no dummy. She was wrong about Lois being The Blur, but she had reasons for coming to that conclusion. And if she hadn't been sabotaged, she'd have had her proof.

Tess is just <3 <3 <3 Her reaction to Alexander climbing in her lap was so moving.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jeannev - Oct. 25th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Oct. 25th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
Re: part II
Yes, that is when the retcon started, but it didn't even make sense there. For one thing, in that Tess/Oliver scene, Tess is already acting like she needs forgiveness for violating Oliver's trust. Um, What? And she had nothing to do with kidnapping Chloe. She didn't even know Chloe was Watchtower, as I recall. I remember ranting about it then too. Its like they just decided to rewrite the Tess/Oliver backstory to accomodate the new direction they wanted to take, which is really....well, bullshit.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Oct. 25th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
If this review had arms, it would hug you back. ;)

I started trying to put the Isis stuff into words, and then I was just like "Why bother?"

All I can say is that if the show wanted to sell Chlollie, why have Oliver moon over Lois for the beginning of S9? Why not just have him move right on to Chloe? That at least gives you a whole season for the GREATEST LOVE THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN!

I'd love to see outtakes of them filming that leap into Clark's arms. Its probably very amusing.

Hopefully I'll actually get to that MNF game tomorrow.
(no subject) - audrey229 - Oct. 26th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
jlvsclrk
Oct. 25th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
ITA. The screenplay reeked, the FX were hideous, Oliver was more than ever a waste of space, the Chlollie gets more ridiculous with every week, and... And yet, because of Tess and Cat and the secret scene, I have to give it a pass.
jlvsclrk
Oct. 25th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
Oh, and I can't believe that Clark had over 20 minutes of screen time - he really didn't seem to be there until the end!
(no subject) - jeannev - Oct. 25th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
tasabian
Oct. 25th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
All I will say is that I thought the A plot of this episode was badly conceived, sloppily written, hokey as hell, and completely unfair to Erica Durance. Because no actress should have to work so hard to sell an unsellable plot.
How do the producers look at a script like that and say "OK?" It would have been better to have Isis be scary and silent, carrying out her plan without any of the silly dialogue. No actor could have sold those lines.

I do feel for Justin, because its obvious that he's the vessel the writers are using to keep Chloe relevant to the show. And its a bad, unnecessary choice. But, its just having the effect of making me like Oliver less and less all the time, and I wasn't even sure that was possible.
Oliver has been moping about some damn thing or other since he arrived on the show. That seems to be the only way the writers can see him. "I need to kill Lex. Oh no, I killed Lex! Clark's doing it all wrong! Jimmy's dead. I miss Lois. I miss Chloe." It's a straight line of MOPE from "Sneeze" to "Isis."

Mostly, I was blown away by the performance of Cassidy Freeman. I'll be honest, I think she's the most talented actress SV has ever had as a regular. Which isn't meant to put down any other actress, but merely to stress how good I think Cassidy is.
Especially amazing considering she joined the show at a point when the writing was on a downhill ride. Tess has been inconsistently written since mid-S8 but somehow CF manages to prevail over the writing and make the character work. I hope we get many more amazing scenes for Tess & Clark; I missed their interactions last year.

Have a good trip!

Edited at 2010-10-25 02:55 am (UTC)
jeannev
Oct. 25th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
Oh I often wonder how something on SV gets greenlighted. I would love to be a bug on the wall in one of their meetings, just so I could find out how much crack is inhaled during most meetings.

Its ironic to me that many of the people who bash Clark for being too whiney somehow don't have the same problem with Oliver. Things that make you go "Hmmmmm"...

I won't spoil you, in case you don't do spoilers, but I feel confident an upcoming ep is going to have significant Clark/Tess interaction, and I'm very excited for that.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Oct. 25th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
I think Erica will be OK. I don't see her going into movies, but I see her doing alright on television. But I think Cassidy could go far.

I agree with you that Chlollie was such a bad choice. And even if they wanted to do the pairing, the way they are doing it now, with Chloe off screen? Horrible!!!!!

I'm finally in Dallas. Yay!
(no subject) - audrey229 - Oct. 26th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
shopgirl318
Oct. 26th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
Loved Tess/Clark scenes so much. I am wondering where the writers are going with Tess being an ally. I like it better that she is and not completely their enemy. Clark needs more allies because Oliver and Chloe aren't cutting it.

Clois was perfection and nonangsty which was good. I hope the writers don't change their mind. I have seen this happen before and it wasn't pretty.

Oliver, the less said the better. I agree with you Jenn about the Chlollie. All the pimping is ridiculous. I always took their "love" at face value only. Chloe liked Jimmy, Davis, and Oliver but she never loved any of them. I never gotten that feeling from any of her romances. If anything she loved knoweledge and power more but that is my opinion.

Cat Grant amused me to no end. She totally reminds me of Jimmy with her blonde hair/blue eyed combo and that wide eyeed exurbence which is so fresh. Jimmy should be there period. Another thing SV messed up was not only putting C/O together even though it makes no sense with no chemistry, killing Jimmy and Lex also prematurely and having Lana put that super suit on.
jeannev
Oct. 27th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
I like Tess better as an ally too. I understand when people say they prefer her to be a bad guy, but CF has just made her so vulnerable that I really want to see her end up on the side of the angels. Plus, I think that gives me more possibilities for scenes with Clark, which I love.

I had my problems with the character of Jimmy on SV, as he was written. But now I feel like there's a hole in the show where he belongs. Its sad. I think they should have Cat show up from time to time to spice at the DP dynamic.
awehla
Oct. 26th, 2010 12:41 pm (UTC)
I thought after this ep I like Tess a lot more especially after her little weep. I think it's difficult for her as she isn't based on a comic book character (more of an amalgamation) and she hasn't been in the show much and came in after lots of fans were heartbroken Lex had left.

Lisa
x
jeannev
Oct. 28th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
I don't know. Sometimes I think its easier for the non-comic book characters, because they can really do just about anything, and no one can say anything about how its not "mythos".
(no subject) - awehla - Oct. 28th, 2010 11:27 am (UTC) - Expand
jwm_rocks
Oct. 26th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
if you remove the Isis stuff, and try to pick out the decent stuff, there's actually decent stuff there to find.
A perfect one line summation because I don't dare quote the entire review. So good stuff there as long as you can ignore the A plot.

Thanks for the Screen times, they are interesting as always. Good to see Tess finally get a decent showing.

Hope you trip goes well!
jeannev
Oct. 28th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
I think I'm just too much of a stickler though to give an episode a pass with such a lousy A plot. Even if there was good stuff. It feels like giving the writers a pass for medocrity, and that doesn't sit right with me.

I'm hoping for more Tess to come. Cassidy is so watchable.

The trip was...eventful. But the game was fun, so mission accomplished!
tjw_jaypat
Oct. 26th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
Your reviews are always so comprehensive that there remains almost nothing to be added! ;)

Maybe just another annoy-factor: Clark written as dumb again. I am referring to the first reveal scene on the DP roof. Lois is obviously not herself. This can be seen and heard after a few seconds, yet Clark goes on and on with his confession, not noticing a thing practically until iLois flies off. I know of course that stuff like that is written for some comedic effect, but I didn´t find this amusing at all. Besides, i think the reveal, as cute as it was, would have deserved a better context. A very big reveal like that is not really done en passant at the office. I´d rather choose a quiet moment at the farm.
jeannev
Oct. 28th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
Awww, you are a big sweetie to say that.

Its funny, because when I'm doing a review, I always feel like I'm all over the place.

I'm not sure I'd say Clark was written dumb in this episode, but he was definitely written as very reactive and undynamic. But that seems to be a problem Sparling consistently has.

I have to say though that I liked that the confession seemed to come in a more spontaneous moment, as opposed to a big set-up. But, as I said, I think the perfect moment was the kiss in Salvation, and they let perfect slip through their fingers.
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