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I'm going to allow Mr Mark Wahlberg to express my reaction to this episode



I really dragged my feet on this review, because I found it so difficult to express my feelings about this episode.  Some good ideas here, the execution was pretty terrible.  And the script was atrocious.  And some of the guest acting?  Yikes!

Well, lets start with the hard facts...the numbers

Patriot, running time 41m, 33s (Previously On: 53s)

Clark:  17m, 59s
Lois:  20m, 19s
Oliver:  11m, 52s
Tess:  5m, 40s

AC/Arthur/Orrin:  10m, 50s
Mera:  8m, 29s
Dr Emil Hamilton:  3m, 29s

Season To Date:

Clark:  193m, 29s (9)
Lois:  161m, 3s (9)
Tess:  63m, 20s (7)
Oliver:  58m, 27s (7)


As bad as this script was, it did have one kick ass line, and I'll use that to take us under the cut for the review


Not only was that the lin from Tess kick ass (and a current reference, when this show often seems a decade behind the times in pop culture references), but it actually addresses a big issue I have with this episode.  Which is why, in the middle of all this monumentally life-threatening heavy-duty shit going on, people are having 'ship conversations?  Good God, really?  Clark and Arthur, in the middle of searching a rig for potential prisons have to make time about AC settling down to marriage (while anvils clang onto our heads, and we can practially see the flashing neon signs on the background saying "OMG, SEE CLARK! LOIS MAKES YOU SO MUCH BETTER AND YOU ARE LESS WITHOUT HER BECAUSE AC SAYS THAT ABOUT MERA!!).  But that wasn't it.  Later, we have Lois show up and encounter Mera (who does an improptu striptease), which then launches into an examination of the Clois relationship.  Now, first thing here, doesn't Mera know AC is off with Clark, and she's lost communication with him?  So wouldn't she be, oh I don't know, worried?  vigilant? monitering the comm?  And as she's known Clark for 5 minutes, and Lois, 30 seconds, who launches into this kind of conversation?

God, it was so moronic.  It made my head hurt.

Honestly, there are good ideas in this episode.  I do enjoy the focus on the hero stuff, and more illumination on the VRA thing.  I did like that they connected it to the Darkseid thing.  I even like how the Suicide Squad was weaved into the whole situation.  Its far more cohesive to weave all these plot elements together, rather then have them merely co-existing.

But, having said that, the execution of that was so bad.  And the unnecessary heavy-handedness of using AC/Mera as some sort of mirror for Clark and Lois felt like serious overkill.  In fact, cut all that shit out, and I think you have a far better episode.  I'm not suggesting cutting out AC/Mera, or Clois moments.  I'm saying cut out any need to parallel them, or have one relationship be a lesson for the other.

The character that fared the best in this episode was definitely Lois, and its been my feeling all year that she's the character the writers are most invested in writing now.  I said elsewhere that this episode felt Lois-centric to me, and I stand by that.  Not just because she had the most screentime, but because of the 4 regulars, I felt Lois' POV was the most focused on here.  The point of this episode, at least in part, felt very much like a vehicle to validate Lois in many ways.  As a reporter, as an asset to the JLA team, as the perfect partner for Clark (repeated ad nauseum), as his "co-captain" (personally, I would've preferred the term "co-pilot" used, but whatever...).  It was Lois at the end that pushed Clark to reveal the darkness to the other members of the team.  It was Lois that got the information on where Oliver was being held. 

Sometimes, its just the way the ep strikes you.  This one struck me as Lois-centric, even with all the hero stuff.

Now, Clark isn't written badly here.  But why wasn't I satisfied with it?  This is one I'm still not sure of.  He really did say a lot of the right things.  Again, sometimes, its just the way the ep strikes you.  I find I can't explain my feelings here. 

The actors playing AC, Mera and Slade all fell short.  We already knew AR was a bit challenged on the whole acting talent thing, and I'm not sure intensely focused, serious AC was playing to his few strengths.  Frankly, his whole Aquadude thing is part of what made him campy fun.  And the actress playing Mera?  Oh, Lord have mercy!!  Where did they find this girl? Very beautiful, but....  And was it necessary for her cleavage to be displayed all episode?  I'm usually someone who objects vehemently to actresses being referred to by their anatomy, but in this case, how can you avoid it?  My sister was calling her Aquaboobs.

OK, I'm sorry, I have to step away from my inner-14 year old.

Maybe if she was a better actress, I wouldn't have been so distracted.

I never watched Battlestar Galactica, so I know nothing about Michael Hogan.  I just found him hammy, but not in a good "Zor-El" sort of way.

The scenes that worked for me in this episode were in the minority, but I do want to mention them, because they had merit.  I enjoyed the opening scene between Dr Emil (who should be on all the time.  Really!), Clark and Oliver.  I liked Lois in sneaky reporter mode with Slade, and its one of her best scenes all season.  I liked the Lois/Tess scenes, and the newfound detente between those characters.  And I liked the last scene at Watchtower.

But, speaking of that last scene, something did occur to me when I rewatched, and it did change my feelings about it to some degree.  Lois tells Clark that he needs to inform the rest of the team about "The Darkness".  OK, so presumably he calls a meeting.  Now, why not include AC and Mera in that meeting when they're both already in the episode?  And why not have Dr Emil join you for it?  See, I liked this scene, but it occured to me that this was an opportunity for a real "team" sort of scene, and instead it was a "all the series regulars together" scene.  I understand that actors not in the episode can't appear in "team" scenes, but you had 3 actors available for the episode.  Why not use them?

One thing I did like about the dialogue in that scene though was that it seemed to become less about Clark's darkity-dark darkness, and it was more presented as a darkness that could consume ANYONE and EVERYONE.  One of my deeply held resentments of Supergirl was the idea that both Kara and Lois were immune to this "Darkness", while Clark was just a dupe ready to fall like a playing card.  Here, I felt like that was a corrected a bit.

So, now what didn't work for me...

Probably, first and foremost, the whole rescue sequence at the end.  Look, I understand that the show is operating under a limited budget. But if you can't bring an action sequence to climax, then change the way you write it.  The Oliver/AC/Mera scene is just so bad.  First of all, Oliver is dumped into the water, that can't be more then 10 ft deep, with a completely open top, and he's thrashing around as though there's some reason he can't propel himself to the surface for air.  Even if he's weighed down by the cuffs, he can push off the bottom with his legs.  Mera shows up, does a hand thingie, and is able to shatter the glass in the tank.  However, if she can manipulate water, woudn't it have made more sense for her to be able to make the water surge out of the top of the tank, rather then shatter the glass which she doesn't have control over?  This causes a wave that splashes over AC, who breaks his metal chains.  Mera just stands in one place, and bars come down around her.  AC, who just was able to break chains, seems unable to do anything, so Oliver....now, this was the part me and my sister almost pee'd our pants laughing over....Oliver throws a piece of glass into a metal console, which causes the bars around Mera to retract.  WHAT?  No, really, WHAT?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Oh show, you are so silly.

Now, OK, we get the impression that they are now going to swim away, though not one of them mention anything about Clark, and you'd think Mera would say "Oh, Clark's around too".  But, whatever.

Now, Clark encounters Slade.  He's got his Thriller jacket on, and his Fonzie hair happening, so he apparently thinks that makes it OK for Slade to see his face?  I mean, really, think about this... Slade is the bad guy here, right?  And Clark just totally exposed himself to said bad guy (Oh, Dirty!).  How did Clark think this was going to work out?  Even if Clark turned Slade in, Slade is likely to slide because he's working for the government.  And now Clark's identity is out there in the world.  This is so stupid.

Then a kryptonite cage comes down....how Slade would know Clark's weakness when he didn't even know who The Blur was is completely nonsensical.  Clark acts like the kryptonite hurts for a few seconds there, and then seems to get better (?).  Him and Slade go back and forth a bit, and then the whole facility blows up.

End Scene.

Really?  You take your lead character, put him into a kryptonite cage, have things blow up around him, and don't bother to show how he gets out of that?  So, its just "Make Up Your Own Clark Escape" boys and girls?  Now, I'm an imaginative person and all, but I sort of feel like the SV writers and Co are being paid to write the story, not me. 

Among other scenes that didn't work for me was the Lois/Oliver scene, where Lois hears that Clark almost volunteered to register for the VRA, and she reacts like this is something Clark has been planning and never shared with her, and Oliver never sees it necessary to let her know that this was something that just came up, in the spur of a moment, and there's a very good chance that Clark planned to discuss it with Lois before going through with the registeration.  Because I sure didn't hear Clark say "I'm going to head over there RIGHT NOW and register".  Also, I'm not sure why Lois thinks Clark shouldn't discuss this sort of thing with someone like Oliver, who is sort of in the big hero boat with him.  In the course of hero stuff, there should be some things that Clark discusses with the other hero guys and gals before Lois. 

The Lois/Emil scene didn't sit quite right for me either.  Mostly because I think Emil would've been more apt to blow her off then capitulate.  This felt very much like a "Wow, isn't that Lois so ballsy and cool" moment to me.  Sort of unnecessary when that seemed to be an underlying theme of the episode overall.

As I said, absolutely nothing about the AC/Mera = Clark/Lois parallel worked for me.  Not to mention that there's a huge difference in these couples, in that Mera possesses the same powers as AC.  That alone makes the parallel a stretch.  But mostly, it felt subtle as a sledgehammer, which is becoming my issue in some of the Clois stuff this season.  I really don't understand why the show can't allow Clois to just be a bit more relaxed, and natural.  There are so many things in this episode that Clois could've dealt with in a far more organic way without the AC/Mera stuff used as the means of comparison.

I mean, really, who the hell cares what Mera thinks about Clark and Lois' relationship?  We've literally known the character for less then 9m.  But her insight that Lois is what Clark needs, and treats him as he should be treated is supposed to mean anything to me?  She's a twit.  She doesn't know Clark.  She doesn't know Lois.  I don't care what she thinks.  And she hasn't nearly spent enough time around Clois to have this sort of insight.  And thats when scenes like this, and lines this, feel like an idea is being shoved down your throat.  Because its so unnatural and false.

Clois have had a lot of great moments this season.  But one of the things thats bothering me with the writing for them is that every single episode seems to have to have the "And Now, a Very Special Clois Moment" scene.  Its as though milestones in the Clois relationship are a grocery list, and each and every episode seems to throw another thing into the shopping cart.  The Clois talk at the end of this episode didn't even remotely feel like a natural conversation between a couple in love.  Not the dialogue, not the staging, none of it.  It felt like throwing a can of beans into the cart, only this can of beans has a label that says "Clark now includes Lois in all his hero stuff". 

I just feel like there has to be a better way of writing it, and still achieving growth and evolution in the relationship.  Remember how people used to get so sick of the endless Clana loft scenes that seemed to end countless episodes in the earlier season?  Well, we have a new variation on them, and its called the "Very Special Clois Moment" scenes. 

I had intended to include a rundown of some of the worst lines in the episode, but as I started jotting them down last night, it just became too long a list.  Suffice to say that the absolute WORST written scene in this episode is the Mera and Lois meeting scene.  Without a doubt.

So, in conclusion, this episode does have some good moments, and good ideas.  It does have legitimate issues for Clois that should be discussed in their couple-y moments.  But the execution and how these moments were handled left much to be desired.

On the directing note, I will say that I love Tom Welling like crazy.  Having said that, not impressed with his direction of this episode.  Why was everything so damned dark?  And I'm afraid he has to take at least some blame for the very undynamic action sequences. 

Clark, Lois, Oliver, Tess and Dr Emil all had their good moments.  Surprisingly, I found myself OK with Oliver in this episode, much like Ambush.  Thats 2 for him this season.  Amazing!   And Tess?  Well, its pretty much always Love.  Dr Emil should be heavily recurring, because he's awesome.

And next week?  Well, things to SQUEEEEE about for sure.  But still, I worry.

Comments

( 67 comments — Leave a comment )
asha14
Nov. 21st, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
Standing O! funny as hell, Your best review yet. I have nothing to add because I agree with all of what you said about this episode. What I liked was Lois/Tess and Lois getting her reporter on. I am looking forward to Luthor for Clark and Lionel only...dis gon be guud
jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I wasn't even trying to be funny, LOL

I'm looking forward to Clark and Lionel too. My feelings are so mixed about the upcoming ep.
jlvsclrk
Nov. 21st, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
That scene with the prison blowing up reminded me of Doomsday. When will the writers realize its not the thing blowing up that's of interest but how Clark gets out of the pickle he's been put in. Ugh.

And I think we've seen the demands on Tom's time finally reach the breaking time - with all his other responsibilities, he obviously didn't have all the time needed to prep this and think through the FX and work with the editor to tighten up timing.

Still, although the episode had me rolling my eyes a lot, it didn't leave me in the fury that Supergirl did. As you say, they seem to have righted the excess of that episode that made Lois so pure and Clark so susceptible. And I kind of enjoyed Hogan's performance as Slade, perhaps because of the echo with Colonel Tye from BSG.
jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
When will the writers realize its not the thing blowing up that's of interest but how Clark gets out of the pickle he's been put in. Ugh.

Yes! This! Exactly! Whats the point of putting Clark in peril if you don't show how he gets out of it?

And like you, I also think Tom wearing many hats is becoming evident. And I say this as someone who loves him dearly. This episode was just messy. There's more then one episode this season where he just seems a bit distracted. And I've noticed that other characters seems to have all this dialogue, and Clark has so little. Could that also be an indicator?

But, you're right, Supergirl was the gold standard of suck this season. Maybe any season.

dm_wyatt
Nov. 21st, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
The love for this episode over in the very testosterone filled forums on Superherohype have me scratching my head... there were so many idiotic moments.

Tom did a great job directing the episode, but everyone was so passive and the chick swimming while her man was on a dangerous secret mission made no sense. It was almost like they had this girl with a beautiful body and they wanted to make sure she showed as much skin as possible.

She was pretty, I guess, but I there was zero chemistry between her and whathisname playing Arthur.

Usually, I think Tom makes the episode he directs better than they probably were on paper, but not this time.
jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
I don't know, maybe it was all the superhero talk, and the "team" stuff? Or, maybe it was Mera's push-up bra's? Even at the end of the episode, she's got a bare midriff, and a see-through shirt. Why? Not to mention its November in Kansas. Why is everyone walking around in t-shirts and tanktops?

I wish Tom had gotten a better script to work with.
(no subject) - dm_wyatt - Nov. 22nd, 2010 12:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
See, I think I've gotten to the point with SV where I want the lessons TO STOP! Everything is a damned lesson for Clark to learn. Everything needs to be spelled out to him, in either word or deed, by someone else. I hate that sort of writing for him. I know that, sometimes, they let someone learn a lesson from Clark too, as they did in this episode. But it doesn't seem to be done in equal measures.

I do not understand Clark, he does not want to fight it because he wants people to trust in the Superheores, but which people, the only people he rescues are Oliver, Tess, Lois and any other guest star, unfortunately Smallville has not created what was in the Superman series, the common people being rescued, even if they don't have nothing to do with him. Sadly in the series is more a mere mention of things that happened offscreen.

OMG, Totally! One of my biggest pet peeves with this season is that Clark out there, saving the random people as The Blur has been all but non-existant. And its such an important piece of Clark's puzzle. It almost feels like he was out saving more random people in earlier seasons from meteor freaks then he's saving now, when he's supposed to be just mere steps from Superman. Why?

I noticed the old footage too.

Oliver training scene looked like a Gatorade commercial.

LMAO! Yes, it did. That was so strange.

And good point about Tess.


dawnybee
Nov. 21st, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
I agree with you, Marky Mark. Although "Patriot" isn't as bad as "The Happening".

Clark and Arthur,(while anvils clang onto our heads, and we can practially see the flashing neon signs on the background saying "OMG, SEE CLARK! LOIS MAKES YOU SO MUCH BETTER AND YOU ARE LESS WITHOUT HER BECAUSE AC SAYS THAT ABOUT MERA!!)

Of course, because where would Clark be without seeing using everyone else's life as an example. That's the way they validate everything Clark does, by having someone else state their position or act a certain way before he does.

And as she's known Clark for 5 minutes, and Lois, 30 seconds, who launches into this kind of conversation?

That's the big problem I had about it. All of these characters with insta-insight on complete and utter strangers. And the way Mera went on about Lois not being equal, it would've made more sense for her to not even give her the time a day considering her *husband had just been captured*!

In fact, cut all that shit out, and I think you have a far better episode. I'm not suggesting cutting out AC/Mera, or Clois moments. I'm saying cut out any need to parallel them, or have one relationship be a lesson for the other.

In Alan's interviews for "Patriot" he talks about how it's very much a present episode, not alot of looking back on what AC has been up to, but I think if they had nixed all the AC/Mera = Clark/Lois talk, we could've gotten deeper into how Mera was the one who let him know he was Orin and had people to lead. To me that's a better way to show the parrallels between AC and Clark as individuals, not how their relationships define them.

Maybe if she was a better actress, I wouldn't have been so distracted.

Her acting makes Alan look like Matt Damon. I didn't think that could be possible.

I never watched Battlestar Galactica, so I know nothing about Michael Hogan. I just found him hammy, but not in a good "Zor-El" sort of way.

Terribly miscast for the character.

why not include AC and Mera in that meeting when they're both already in the episode? And why not have Dr Emil join you for it? Why not use them?

Because that makes too much sense!
jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Nothing is as bad as "The Happening".

Of course, because where would Clark be without seeing using everyone else's life as an example. That's the way they validate everything Clark does, by having someone else state their position or act a certain way before he does.

Yes! This! I think I was more forgiving of it earlier on in Clark's journey. But its the 10th and final season. Why are we still doing this shit?

You know what would've been more interesting? If Mera didn't change her opinion about Lois, and she continued to hold onto the idea that these superpowered heroes should be with their own kind. Because, ya know, why does everyone have to come around? Why can't characters maintian a radically opposed POV from each other?

I think one of my issues with Michael Hogan was that he sort of reminds me of Michael Ironside. So, he was like nastier General Sam Lane.

I keep forgetting that this show doesn't care about making sense *faceplam*

dawnybee
Nov. 21st, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
Part II
One thing I did like about the dialogue in that scene though was that it seemed to become less about Clark's darkity-dark darkness, and it was more presented as a darkness that could consume ANYONE and EVERYONE.

That's the thing that pissed me off. It pissed me off because like you pointed out how it's pinned on Clark in "Supergirl". Now they dial it back, but It cheeses me off that they even had Kara pointing fingers at Clark that he was the one who was the threat to the extent that Jor-El stopped believing in him. Why that was ever presented as a viable storyline (that Clark was the seemingly only one corruptable) escapes me.

Oliver throws a piece of glass into a metal console, which causes the bars around Mera to retract. WHAT? No, really, WHAT? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

The entire escape sequence was like something out of "Austin Powers". That's how ridiculously cheesy it was. But as Slade pointed out Oliver is just human. Let him have this :) Plus it looked like a Batarang, so that was cool.

Even if Clark turned Slade in, Slade is likely to slide because he's working for the government. And now Clark's identity is out there in the world. This is so stupid.

I've got nothing. You're right.

Then a kryptonite cage comes down....how Slade would know Clark's weakness when he didn't even know who The Blur was is completely nonsensical. Clark acts like the kryptonite hurts for a few seconds there, and then seems to get better (?). Him and Slade go back and forth a bit, and then the whole facility blows up.

Which is why I rewatched "Run" yesterday because in "Run" Bart has a small box of Kryptonite and Clark is dying, DYING and he's on the ground and he's panting and trying to speak, yet he's behind kryptonian bars and he's still on his feet and speaking forcefully. Maybe it's a synthetic kryptonite?

Really? You take your lead character, put him into a kryptonite cage, have things blow up around him, and don't bother to show how he gets out of that? So, its just "Make Up Your Own Clark Escape" boys and girls?

He covered Slade like he did Lois in "Harvest", but left the face exposed and then he ran naked (cos his clothes burned off) with Slade to military hospital and then ran with Lois back home. ::nods::

See, it's worse when writers don't write this stuff.

volunteered to register for the VRA, and she reacts like this is something Clark has been planning and never shared with her, and Oliver never sees it necessary to let her know that this was something that just came up, in the spur of a moment,

Edited: Okay, I rewatched the scene, her reaction was all Oliver's fault. He could've easily said it was something discussed on the fly.

The Lois/Emil scene didn't sit quite right for me either. Mostly because I think Emil would've been more apt to blow her off then capitulate. This felt very much like a "Wow, isn't that Lois so ballsy and cool" moment to me. Sort of unnecessary when that seemed to be an underlying theme of the episode overall.

But the way he smiled afterwards, makes me think he's heard enough about Lois and her relationship with Clark that he trusts her with this.

There are so many things in this episode that Clois could've dealt with in a far more organic way without the AC/Mera stuff used as the means of comparison.

The end scene where Lois tells Clark about how Ella felt each time Sam left was enough to me. That's all they needed. That spoke of how Lois knows Clark has a job to do and sometimes it hurts but she has to share him for the greater good. That negated all the need for the AC/Mera = Clark/Lois noise.

I had intended to include a rundown of some of the worst lines in the episode, but as I started jotting them down last night, it just became too long a list.

Let me help: "Don't make me take out my hairdryer and shrivel you."

The worst!

Edited at 2010-11-21 08:53 pm (UTC)
jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Part II
Now they dial it back, but It cheeses me off that they even had Kara pointing fingers at Clark that he was the one who was the threat to the extent that Jor-El stopped believing in him. Why that was ever presented as a viable storyline (that Clark was the seemingly only one corruptable) escapes me.

Escapes me too. Hell, Jor-El tells Clark he's the big enemy in Lazarus. And really, if Clark was just a ticking time bomb waiting to be possessed in Supergirl, how does it make any sense that Kara just walks away from him at the end? Wouldn't he need to be watched every second?

"Austin Powers" HeHeHe!!

And I have no problems giving Oliver his due. But all they need to do is have him pick up some piece of metal, and hurl it at the console, and same result. But a piece of glass? Why?

Clark's reactions to kryptonite as this show are dictated by the needs of the storyline. In one ep, a locket of kryptonite has Clark helpless as a baby. In another, he's walking and talking through caves full of the stuff. In one episode, he can't get a piece of kryptonite off his chest. In another ep, he's throwing the rock away from himself.

Its so silly.

I actually liked what Lois said about Ella and the General. And if you create a situation where Clark and Lois are talking in a much more naturalistic way, and this comes up, and we can see how this impacts them now, I'm all for it! But the show seems to stop dead, do the set-up, and then its the "Clois Moment".

Oh yeah, that was one of the worst lines. I was torn between "Look who skipped right out of the forest, doe-eyed Bambi searching..." and "listen squid-lips".

And all the sports metaphors in the Clark/AC scene at the end were so bad, it was laughable.


goodvibe
Nov. 21st, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
::does slow clap of appreciation::

Yes, you deserved it. ;-)

In total agreement on all the script, direction badness, as well as the Clois stuff, and the overdosage of misplaced parallels. And in that vein, I have to point out how much I agree with this:

//But one of the things thats bothering me with the writing for them is that every single episode seems to have to have the "And Now, a Very Special Clois Moment" scene. Its as though milestones in the Clois relationship are a grocery list, and each and every episode seems to throw another thing into the shopping cart.//

It's.Too.Much. And I'm saying this as someone who's very fond of Clois. But please, can we just let them be. They're at their best and strongest without the overt sap and the heavy handed anvils, and that's always been the case with them, even before they became a couple.

//Now, Clark encounters Slade. He's got his Thriller jacket on, and his Fonzie hair happening, so he apparently thinks that makes it OK for Slade to see his face? I mean, really, think about this...//

Y'know, I actually didn't think of this. Just shows you how much I am apparently zoning out on SV these days.

//See, I liked this scene, but it occured to me that this was an opportunity for a real "team" sort of scene, and instead it was a "all the series regulars together" scene. I understand that actors not in the episode can't appear in "team" scenes, but you had 3 actors available for the episode. Why not use them?//

Good point. Wasted opportunity - but then, isn't that business as usual for this show?

//And next week? Well, things to SQUEEEEE about for sure. But still, I worry.//

OK, stuff like this just makes the spoiler avoidance reahllly tough, I'll have you know. ;-)
jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)

It's.Too.Much. And I'm saying this as someone who's very fond of Clois. But please, can we just let them be. They're at their best and strongest without the overt sap and the heavy handed anvils, and that's always been the case with them, even before they became a couple.

Right. And I think there's this misconception that if you have these issues with the writing, you are somehow anti-Clois, and thats not the case at all. Its just that I don't really feel like method of writing, which feels like ticking off items on a list, does them any favors. A fictional relationship shouldn't feel so regimented.

Here's a thought...how about an episode that doesn't have any "big" Clois moments? Just them being them?

I always say with this show that it never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

And I'm not spilling any beans. But do you know who the guest star is next week?

(no subject) - goodvibe - Nov. 23rd, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Nov. 23rd, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
tasabian
Nov. 21st, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
Excellent review!

I enjoyed the opening scene between Dr Emil (who should be on all the time. Really!)
That actor is such an effortless scene-stealer. Love him with Tom. And at one point in "Patriot", Tom gave Emil an interesting reaction shot - he had an ambiguous look on his face. It made me wonder if it's foreshadowing that Emil will betray Clark before the season is out, be sucked in by Darkseid?

But one of the things thats bothering me with the writing for them is that every single episode seems to have to have the "And Now, a Very Special Clois Moment" scene.
Could we not have ONE naturalistic couple on this show? Would have loved if the episode had showed Clark and Lois going about their separate ways and meeting up for a drink & a laugh at the end.

This felt very much like S5/6 where every episode required a Clana coda with lumpy dialogue, impossible for the actors to sell.

The Clois talk at the end of this episode didn't even remotely feel like a natural conversation between a couple in love. Not the dialogue, not the staging, none of it. It felt like throwing a can of beans into the cart, only this can of beans has a label that says "Clark now includes Lois in all his hero stuff".
That dialogue sure didn't sound like Lois. And I don't want Lois included in all of Clark's hero stuff. That diminishes him but it also diminishes her. She's not another Watchtower, she's a reporter & this episode shows she's at her best when she's chasing down a story.

Really? You take your lead character, put him into a kryptonite cage, have things blow up around him, and don't bother to show how he gets out of that? So, its just "Make Up Your Own Clark Escape" boys and girls?
Clark now has the added power of super-editing himself out of peril. I think the writers are in such a hurry to get to the Important Relationship Stuff that they figure they can leave out the insignificant plot details & fans won't notice.

I mean, really, who the hell cares what Mera thinks about Clark and Lois' relationship? We've literally known the character for less then 9m.
And this is another example of the character getting no introduction or explanation, as you talked about in your previous post. I had no idea who Mera was or that she had powers. I also wish Clark had rescued AC & Ollie.
jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
Why thank you! Maybe I should drag my feet on reviews every week.

I hope Dr Emil doesn't get Darkseid'ed. I like him too much.

This felt very much like S5/6 where every episode required a Clana coda with lumpy dialogue, impossible for the actors to sell.

Exactly. And its so unbearably clunky. There are so many other ways to write them. Better ways. For me, the best ficitonal couples are the ones that seem like they can just *be* No "very special moment". No constant testimonials. Just being together. They have this whole year with Clois. Its a long distance race, not a sprint. But I suspect we are sprinting because they want to do a wedding.

I had no problem with Clark showing Lois Watchtower. But, in hindsight, I think I would've preferred Clark just showing Lois Watchtower. Not, "lets get the whole team together, and Lois, you're now on it. Yay!"

Clark now has the added power of super-editing himself out of peril.

LMAO! Maybe he's developed the power of teleportation. Off screen, of course.

Clark rescuing AC and Ollie would've been nice. I would've liked that too.

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agentobrian
Nov. 21st, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
Average ST:

Clark- 21m, 30s
Lois- 17m, 54s
Tess- 9m, 3s
Oliver- 8m, 21s

Can I just say that I really HATE Lois being in WatchTower? What's wrong with having her focus on her reporting and leaving the super-hero stuff to the rest of the cast? I get what they're trying to do, but geez. WatchTower was always the one place I could enjoy the show without suffering through seeing Lois. Now that's gone. EPIC FAIL for me.

"And next week? Well, things to SQUEEEEE about for sure. But still, I worry."

I thought it was in two weeks, not next week.

"Surprisingly, I found myself OK with Oliver in this episode, much like Ambush. Thats 2 for him this season. Amazing!"

Okay, who are you and what have you done with Valerie? ;)
jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC)
I really didn't mind Clark showing Lois Watchtower, because thats fair enough. But "the team" stuff? Well, I'll have to see where they take that. Because that could go down a road I really would object to.

And yes, you're right. 2 weeks till Luthor.

And LOL on Oliver. See, I can be fair, even with characters I don't like. ;)
costas22
Nov. 21st, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
That was a very good review.:) Couldn't find anything to disagree with.

I particulary agreed with your Clois comments. About the sledgehammers(from virtually every guest star on the show), the special feeling of every Clois scene and Lois' Lana like reaction when she heard about Clark's VRA decision. What's really starting to worry me is that Lois is getting too involved. Why were AC and Mera there? Just to show us that Clark and Lois can become partners at the heroic stuff? Some people feel that it's ok for Lois to be involved and help him out, but we are forgetting one thing. Clark is not Supes yet. This is actually the most crucial stage of his journey. And the way they've written Clois this season, I am afraid that Lois will play a crucial part in him getting there. Which for me would ruin the show and its original premise to a degree. Finally, one last thing about the Clois scenes and an indication of how poorly they are written at times. At the beginning of the episode, we are led to believe that Lois feels left out when it comes to Clark's hero life. The episode revolves around this to a large degree. However, in the porch scene and in order to show why Lois means more to Clark than anyone, we learn that he has only told her about the darkness. Doesn't one cancel out the other?

Anyway, I liked John Chisolm's previous episode, Checkmate. I don't know what happened here. Maybe the fact that he had the Lois factor to deal with? Not knocking her. Just saying that in today's Smallville, a Lois episode is very different from a non Lois episode. It almost feels like a different show. Also, I think that Chisolm forgets what budget the crew will have to work with. Checkmate had some cool action scenes and the director for that did a good job. But you can't ask of them to do that every time. When I see old shots of Aquaman underwater, that sets off alarm bells about the limited budget. So, even though I can't judge Tom's (or anyone else's) directing, maybe the script was too "expensive" for him.

Finally, I'll agree with your choice for favourite line. Can we use Tess to interrupt every ship's arguement like this? CAN'T WAIT for Luthor. :)
jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, come on! There must be something you can disagree with. LOL

Ya know, I understand what an important role Lois plays in the story of Clark Kent. I would never suggest that she shouldn't be his great love, shouldn't be his closest confidante. I would never diminish how much she can accomplish with her journalism, or how ultimately important her story on Superman will be.

But why can't that be enough? Why does she actually have to play a role in Clark becoming Superman? Why does the writing have to take such an extreme angle?

I think what they were going for with Clois was that Clark had let her in about some of the emotional issues he was dealing with, but had still kept the superhero stuff mostly away from her. And ya know, I don't really have a big problem with that myself.

Its funny that you bring up Checkmate, because when I think of the 2 eps, side-by-side, I can see how similarily Clark was written, with the same problems. Only in Checkmate, at least they had Clark staying in the shadows when he encountered Waller, until he was forced to step forward. In this one, he was all "Hey, here I am Slade. Check me out!"

Tess has my blessing to interupt conversations all over the place. Because she's awesome. :)
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(Anonymous)
Nov. 21st, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
I was worried about the writing going into the episode and after viewing it, my worried were justified as this was a Lois-centric episode. This episode was mainly about introducing Lois into Clark's superhero life as well as visiting Watchtower for the first time and meeting Dr. Hamilton, Mera, and Slade for the first time. This episode was written by John Chisholm, who wrote last season's Checkmate. It's clear to me that Chisholm does not write for Clark at all despite how he was portrayed. The emphasis was on Lois.

I agree that the idea of the Justice League rescuing Oliver and being targeted by the VRA was a great idea, but wrongly and weakly executed. There really was no need to parallel the Clois relationship with Aquaman and Mera's because both Clark and Lois are already settled in.

I hope they don't go overboard with Lois being the Watchtower because Tess has earned that position. The scene between her and Dr. Hamilton was unnecessary and out-of-character because Lois has the smarts to get info out of him in comparison with her scene with Slade. Lois needs to start trusting Tess and Dr. Hamilton like Clark does. My concern is that the writers could make it look like Clark can't survive without Lois because that's clearly an insult to his character.

There was lots of gaps in this episode such as how Clark got out of the Kryptonite cage, how Aquaman was captured, and who rescued Slade from the explosion.

We should have realized this was not going be Clark-centric after no Clark in the preview stills, the preview clips, and having an abundance of characters like Aquaman, Mera, and Slade because they have a tendency to have Clark lost in the shuffle.

Average episode at best. The directing was fine from TW, but it's the writing and editing that's the problem.

Vantheman77
jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
Well, its nice to know I'm not alone in my feelings that this ep was Lois-centric. Like you, I just felt like one of the big drivers of this episode was establishing Lois more firmly in Clark's life, and showcasing all the ways she deserves to be there. And that makes it feel Lois-centric to me.

I think you make a good point about Clois already being settled in. Let their relationship unfold to them as it unfolds. We don't need parallels, mirrors, testimonials, speeches or the like. Just let them BE.

My concern is that the writers could make it look like Clark can't survive without Lois because that's clearly an insult to his character.

Its a big worry for me too, and the shows track record makes it a very valid concern.
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jeannev
Nov. 21st, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC)
I can't believe that someone didn't take a good look at the rescue scene, and realize how ludicrous it was. That couldn't have sounded any better on paper then it did playing out on screen.

I wish they did more to showcase Lois the reporter, because thats *her thing* And I'm far more interested in seeing Lois get her reporter on then seeing her as part of "the team" at Watchtower. Lois has her OWN THING. And when she's allowed, she can kick some ass with it.

Maybe thats how the Mera chick got hired. They needed someone to make Alan Ritchson look good?
svfan01
Nov. 22nd, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
“And was it necessary for her cleavage to be displayed all episode?”

Sort of a double standard. Seems like the show had 0 problems showing off Ollie's chest yet again or Aquaman's chest as well. I had no problems with any of them, especially Mera. lol

All that being said the show probably would be better to cut down on the cheap titillation. When the show got moved to Fridays, I always felt the show might be better targeting a more family friendly audience, seems like the more out for the CW friendly audience and I think that might hurt some potential revenue for the WB.

“I understand that actors not in the episode can't appear in "team" scenes, but you had 3 actors available for the episode. Why not use them?”

While that is a great idea, I assume they books actors to show up certain days so while the Emil scenes might be filmed one day, the AC and Mera scenes could be filmed different day(s). While it might be cool to get them all for that final scene I am guessing they would have to pay the actors to show up(It’s not a case that the players are all sitting on the bench till it’s there time to play). I am somewhat forgiving for budget issues.

All that being said I do believe the show should have hired the guy who plays Emil as a support character(as a person for Clark to voice stuff to and some plot exposition), but the fact he doesn’t have much “shipper” potential made that unlikely. Sort of sad that I think not hiring Emil or a character to fill that sort of role shows the mentality of the producers.

“Remember how people used to get so sick of the endless Clana loft scenes that seemed to end countless episodes in the earlier season? Well, we have a new variation on them, and its called the "Very Special Clois Moment" scenes.”

There is a reason I hated many of them, Lana would make some passive aggressive comment to Clark about keeping secrets, Clark face would frown, then Lana would storm out of Clark’s loft(or wherever the scene took place) and roll credits. Those scenes left a bad taste in my mouth many times because I want the show to end on a somewhat happy moment, not to some crappy song with Clark depressed. Many episodes for me are ruined by a bad Clana scene to end it off(or at least get lower marks in my books then it would if the last Clark scene came across happier). I don’t think it’s a good comparison since while you have some legitimate complaints about the Clois scene, it in no way mirrors the angsty Clana endscenes(For argument sake there is many Clana endscenes that I thought were good whent hey avoid the blueprint I stated above, although most of those were in S1. lol).

As for the episode itself, seems as always you are harder then I. I liked it it wasn’t anything perfect but entertaining for what it is. As long as the show stays away from major “drama” I am happy. I have to agree the Clark escaping scene was a big negative. I guess the fact I am Lois friendly helps for my enjoyment, I notice on Ksite many people talking positively about Lex centric episodes from earlier seasons(as if they greatest.episode.ever) then complain about Lois, while I would argue that many Lex centric episodes have some of the same issues that people complain about Clois ones(ie not enough focus on Clark, Clark being shuffled to the background, not enough vocalization from Clark, etc). I guess different strokes for different folks(although I guess the Lex fans could argue Lex never really got a major focus for such a long stretch of episodes as Lois/Clois)
svfan01
Nov. 22nd, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
On the subject of why I hated those Clana loft scenes. I also hated when character A would ask character B a question(this definitely goes beyond just Clark/Lana scenes but they were some of the worst in this regard), they then would answer it without really answering the question then stare vapidly into outerspace for like 5 seconds with shifty eyes
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audrey229
Nov. 22nd, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
I actually did enjoy this episode even though I totally agree that the script was particularly clunky and corny.

Mera was god awful. She is a beautiful woman. Her face is gorgeous. Her body is gorgeous. Her acting was horrible. It felt painful hearing her deliver her lines. I think they were going for the idea that Mera was supposed to be "odd" since she's not used to being around normal people. But it didn't work.

In general, I usually enjoy AC. However, I also think that he's a character who is better to be seen and not heard. His character is supposed to be a bit corny and so I think he does well with the occasional corny line. But I don't think he's a strong enough actor to have such a large role in an episode. I know Alan Ritchenson tries very hard and I know he really cares about the role so I feel badly saying that. But his acting just isn't there for me to be featured in this capacity. I would prefer to see him as one member of a larger team.

You know I'm one of the biggest Clois fans out there and I just didn't need the AC/Mera parallel. As you said above, we just met Mera. I don't care about her. I don't care what she thinks. And honestly? As a Clois fan from all media, I almost felt insulted that the show was trying to parallel Clark and Lois with AC and Mera. Because not for nothing? But Superman and Lois Lane are the freaking gold standard for Superhero relationships. They HAVE no parallel. Just as I believe that Superman, as a hero, has no equal in his heroism....his relationship/marriage has no equal. And from a purely Smallville perspective, I just don't care enough about AC's marriage to hear about it.

I thought the issues that came out between Clois in this episode were important and valid. And I would have been happy to deal with them without Mera or AC's comments. I totally understood why Lois felt nervous that she couldn't get ahold of Clark. That was a valid, genuine reaction and I understood that. Of course she was upset that she couldn't reach him. They live together now. They share a freaking bed. If you can't reach your signifigant other for days on end and you have no way of reaching them....I think it makes sense to feel upset.

To me, Lois going to Watchtower was more about providing her with a place/resource where she could go in the future in case of an emergency. She'll never have to sit around for days wondering where the hell Clark is again. Someone (preferably Tess in this case) will be able to tell her what the hell is going on so that she doesn't just sit at home worried sick and if she has valuable information that she has to get to Clark she now has a way to do it. I really don't think that means taht Lois is going to become an active participant in Watchtower at all. I really felt as though the reason she was brought into the fold was so she would have a way to keep in contact with Clark from this point forward. I liked the parallel to General Lane and Ella. THAT was a parallel that worked. All of that Clois stuff would have worked very well without the AC/Mera conversations. The episode didn't need them.

I loved the Lois/Tess scenes. They are both very strong women and it makes sense to me that they would be able to put aside their previous differences and find some mutual respect. That was good stuff. Please give me more of that.

I really liked Clark's speech to Slade while he was in the cage. I know the scene was totally ridiculous and full of plot holes. And I know that Clark has now outed himself to Slade. But there was something about the way Clark pleaded with him to let him save him that just kind of got me. Clark was just so determined to hang on to his belief system and so determined to try and work WITH his countrymen as opposed to fighting against them. It was imperfect execution for sure but...man...I just really love when I can feel how deeply Clark wants to help and wants to keep peace with people.

jeannev
Nov. 22nd, 2010 04:11 am (UTC)
Its funny, because as many issues as I had with this episode and its terrible script, it does really have some good ideas, and scenes. It sort of makes me really mad that the show didn't do a better job with it all. But I think TPTB at SV have such a hard time of really figuring out whats important, and what isn't.

I think this desire to parallel and mirror things just isn't necessary. Because, ya know, it should be OK for some things to just happen, and people deal with what comes. I know some say it shouldn't be important for Clark to be first at some things, but I disagree. Because there is something to be said for blazing the trail, even when it doesn't turn out perfectly.

And that same thinking applies to Clois. It should be enough for Clark and Lois to bring their own baggage into the relationship, and learn from it. It should NOT be necessary for the show to try and have AC and Mera show up so we could get some sort of comparison thing going here, complete with speechifying, and clunky dialogue. And most of all, this idea that what AC and Mera should matter to any of us.

Like you, I also thought the issues that were raised in this episode for Clois had merit. But I think Clark and Lois could've gotten there on their own without the aquatic peanut gallery there to provide commentary.

I also agree that Lois should be able to reach Clark. I had no issues with her being upset about that.

I also have no issues with Lois being shown Watchtower. I think the reason that the reaction to that was so mixed is not that Clark showed Lois Watchtower. It was because Lois was presented as joining "The Team". Tess even welcomes her officially. And I think thats where people see some red flags.
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miss_tress
Nov. 22nd, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
http://www.meander.ca/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/harris-01.jpg

I kept thinking while watching this ep that the writers were using the approach in this comic for their writing. Either that or they were hoping we would all think that wizards did it. I was just totally underwhelmed about the whole ep. The only part I really enjoyed was the "Oh crap" look that Tess had on her face when she saw Lois during the video link up. That was really amusing.

Also, the dolphins were cool.
jeannev
Nov. 22nd, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
LMAO!! Thats hilarious, and amazingly accurate.

I also liked the scene you described. It was my favorite line of the night.

And yes, you can't go wrong with dolphins, because they're awesome. I'm just bummed that they filmed at the Vancouver Aquarium, and didn't film the Belugas, because I love the 'lugas at that aquarium (yes, been there 3 times).
audrey229
Nov. 22nd, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
I think there are plenty of legitimate issues this season. I've certainly had my own issues with several of the episodes. But I have grown tired of certain people (not you at all) using Clois as an excuse for every single problem on the show. You said something on Ksite the other day that I think was very true: blaming Clois for every problem that people have with the show is using the relationsihp as a scapegoat. The Clois stuff is important and it does deserve attention. The issue is that the same love and care that has been put into some of the beautiful relationsihp moments this season has to continue to be put into all of the other sides of Clark's life. That's how you get your balance--to write Clark with care in every aspect of his life. But I admit outright that I have grown very weary of the constant "Blame Clois for everything" that has started to become the norm in parts of fandom. I think there are legitimate issues with this season that need to be addressed and I agree that the execution of various episodes has been flawed. But the anger that I feel when I see people say that the Clois stuff isn't valuable or worthy or important has gotten to the point where it's rage inducing. And I hope you know that I'm not directing this at you because I actually think you've been quite good at explaining what you would like to see from the show while still being respectful of Lois' importance to the overall story. I understand and respect everything that you are saying. But the Clois scapegoat that is occuring in other places has made me angrier than I have felt in a long time with fandom. I wish people had the ability to explain what they feel needs to be improved on the show without disrespecting/insulting/belittling another part of the story that IS incredibly important and means a great deal to a lot of people.

And I agree with you about Tom as much as it pains me to do so. I do wonder if he's being stretch too thin. His screentime has been lower several times this season and he's had less dialouge. I do wonder if he's just pulled in too many directions. If that's the case...it makes me really sad. I don't blame him because I know that his new show means a lot to him and I wish him all the success in the world after Smallville is over in every capacity. But the selfish part of me wants Smallville to remain his #1 priority until the very last second. I'm greedy that way.

Thanks for your comments. Sorry for my long comment. That was way longer than I intended. Hope all is well.
jeannev
Nov. 22nd, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
SV fandom is a rather curious thing. Part of the issue you are describing is because the breakdown into various 'shipper groups has become so acrimonious, that its created a very real bitterness between fan groups. Clana was certainly targeted in the earlier seasons. And as you've responded to yourself, is still brought up to be derided and mocked as worthless and unimportant (the nasty comments about Lana, even though she's gone from the show, still continue). The Clark and Chloe frienship became a huge issue for some due to how entrenched Chloe became in every, single aspect of Clark's life. And now the prominence of Clois is a frequent target.

Its a vicious cycle.

Clois is not to blame for the issues this season. Its like blaming the sneezing for the terrible head cold. Its just a symptom of an overall bigger problem. The writing for the show is to blame for the issues of this season. And as you rightly point out, the fact that they are far, far more interested in writing Clois with care then writing anything else thats Clark related with the same care is the very thing that fuels the resentment towards Clois.

Again, its a vicious cycle.

And, I'll be frank here, speaking as someone thats encountered this attitude from several factions, there is a resentment that builds up when you see people who so obviously care about nothing else then the shipper stuff. And I know this doesn't apply to you at all. In fact, I don't think it applies to anyone that visits my journal, and posts here. Just this week, I posted back and forth with 2 people whose icons and screen names were Clois related, and both of them were so rude and derogatory towards Clark, while Lois was faultless. That makes me ragey. I mean, I don't care if someone doesn't like Clark (well, I do, but I have to respect that). Their loss!! But then don't tell me you're a Clois fan, or Clana fan, or Chlark fan, or Clex fan, ya know? Because Clark, the individual, who is the most important person on the show is a helluva lot more then half of a couple.

In any case, what I'm trying to say is that SV fandom can make you nuts, and its full of double standards, and anger, and acrimony. And I think we all get damn pissed off with it, for different reasons.

For my part, I think Clois has a significant part to play on this show. I don't think we have to have an epic Clois moment in each and every episode, and I think to do so feels forced and unnatural. I feel like the show needs to let them just be, and let them just breathe. not every episode needs a lesson, or a milestone. But, its here, and it should be here.

I notice Tom is in a lot of scenes this season, but he doesn't say much. And that makes me wonder if his dialogue isn't being cut, and handed off to other characters, because I find that both Lois and Oliver have TONS of dialogue this season.

And no need to apologize. I really don't mind if people want to share anything here, even when they disagree with me. As long as its all done friendly, and with respect for each others opinions, its all good. I wish people could just talk more without falling back into armed camps when they disagree. And I do include myself in this.

More then anything else, I'm just very frustrated knowing that this is the shows last season, 9 episodes are gone, and I know for me, its likely the battle is lost. Because I really did feel like they needed 22 episodes of their best efforts, with good writing for Clark, to bring this show to a truly satsifying conclusion. And with 9 eps gone, that hasn't happened for me, and I don't think they can make it up with 13 eps left, especially knowing there's a Chloe arc coming, and the "Lets stroke Geoff Johns Ego" episode to consider, and I do think they are going for a wedding. So, I'm bummed. :(
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audrey229
Nov. 22nd, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
In my opinion, Clois fans who don't love Clark...are not my kind of Clois fans. And I have no problem saying that to people and I have said it to people. I've been modded on Ksite because I got into it with a few posters who have something with Clois in their freaking username and yet they spend most of their time bashing Clark. I made a sarcastic comment that if they hated Clark so much perhaps they should change their username because why the hell would you have "IheartClois"!! as your username and then bash 1/2 of the ship. I've said flat out to people that if they hate Clark so freaking much then for the love of God stop shipping him with Lois. Seriously...I don't want your support for my ship.

I also don't think it's a bad thing to recognize that Lois, as a character, has flaws and honestly...she just ***** up sometimes. And that doesn't have to be an end of the world thing nor should it be a bad thing to admit if you love Clois. Part of the reason why I can love Lois so freaking much (and ironically why I've grown to love Tess) is because I can relate to having those moments where you just screw up and say something stupid. And the more "human" Lois acts...the more it endears me to Clark because he is just so freaking humble and sincere and he has this amazing ability to see the best in people (as Lois noted back in Season 4)and see right through to someone's heart. I can totally buy that this sweet man would love someone like Lois and that he would love her forever. But if you act like Lois is perfect, imo, you lose that.

I have responded several times to people who continue to take cheap shots at Clana. Do I think that Clark and Lana had a healthy relationship? No. And I had major issues with the way Lana left the show. But I do have a soft spot in my heart for Lana and everything that she meant to Clark. I appreciate what they shared together and I appreciate the important lessons learned from that relationship. I think the constant digs at Lana and Clana are unnecessary and immature.

On the one hand, I completely agree that it's frustrating that there are some fans that watch the show soley for the relationships and nothing else. I have a close friend that I used to watch Smallville with every week. A few years ago she just got tired of the show and stopped watching. She started DVRing the show again in Season 8 and now she basically only cares about the Clois moments. She thinks the rest of the show is boring. She literally only care about Clois. And I obviously totally disagree with that. And I've tried to convince her on a number of occasions that I think there is so much more to the show. But she's just not interested. I guess my point is...it frustrates me too and that's certainly not why I watch the show. But then again, I feel like it's not really my place to judge why people come to Smallville. I don't think there is necessarilly a "wrong" reason to watch Smallville. That being said, of course, I understand the frustration.

I'm just ragey in general this week with fandom. I wish I could articulate why in a better way and I'm sorry for the venting. Mostly, I think I'm tired of the generalizations. I'm tired of comic fanboys trying to speak for all comic book fans. I don't need or want them to speak for me. I'm tired of Clark fans (I do not include you in this) generalizaing about all shippers and making condesending comments assuming that all shippers are the same. I'm just tired of the generalizations period.

For what it's worth, I don't think there is going to be a full out wedding episode. I honestly don't need one. I think that we'll probably get is a montage of some kind near the end with Lois and Clark taking their vows. I honestly think that will be it. And I think that if they do that? And if they balance that with plenty of focus and care on the other parts of Clark's life? I think that would be a fitting conclusion to show Clark's future. But my suspicion is that it's going to be a montage of some kind towards the very end. DC has been very on board with this engagement. But I don't think they are going to let Smallville marry Lois and Clark before Clark is Superman. It's just a hunch.
jeannev
Nov. 22nd, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
I hear ya, re: fandom. It makes me ragey on a consistent basis. Which is a sad commentary.
brijeana
Nov. 22nd, 2010 05:33 am (UTC)
I agree with a lot of your criticisms. You're right that the AC/Mara paralleling with Lois/Clark was necessary and largely unsuccessful, but I enjoyed seeing Lois and Clark talk about some issues in their relationship. I think more than their personality differences (which have been addressed again and again) I enjoyed Lois seeing the strength in letting Clark go and do hero things without her, and Clark seeing the necessity of including Lois in all aspects of his life, even if it's just by having a conversation with her.

I loved the beginning shot of AC and Mara. It was like they were at the happy ending of their own action film or something. I liked AC being more mature and serious but Mara could have been better cast. I didn't like the Lois/Emil scene either. It just didn't work. It should have been played for laughs.

You are so right about the weird Mara/Clark/AC scenes and how on earth did Clark and the General guy survive. I did love the General guy's hammy character though.

Overall I enjoyed it for the better definition of the darkness, the hero/team stuff, the Lois/Clark conversations and the fact that they are now starting to see Darkseid as a subtle enemy.

Enjoyed your thoughts.
jeannev
Nov. 22nd, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
I certainly don't mind Clark and Lois talking things through. I just wish the show had worked this important conversation into the show in a more relaxed, natural way. But by connecting it to the AC/Mera stuff, it just felt...stilted to me. But the issues they discussed are important.

I just can't believe that no one saw the problems with the Mera/AC/Oliver scene, or the Clark/Slade scenes. Really?

You point out all the good ideas that were in this episode. If you can move the execution over to the side, which clearly I'm not good at (LOL), I can definitely see whats to enjoy here.
shalimarfox80
Nov. 22nd, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
My only problem with the episode: AC/Mera. The episode could seriously have done without them. If they had to bring back AC for a mission, he would have been tolerable if they hadn’t given him any dialogues, like in the past. But an episode where he had DIALOGUE? Yeah, cringe-worthy. As for Mera, the episode would have been 10 times better if she weren’t in the episode at all.

I wasn’t a fan of Tess’s Metropolis Housewives line to Lois and Clark, but I didn’t hate it either because it was funny the way she delivered it, but yeah, in any other situation, I’d have told her to STFU. Lois was absolutely justified in going ballistic. Any family member or girlfriend or boyfriend or even a close friend in her situation would have done the same because uh, she had to fly all the way to meet her boyfriend, who wasn’t available to her even on the phone, but she finds out that someone else is quite easily communicating with him. What is she supposed to do if she urgently needs to contact him? Stand in the window at the farm and wait for him to return home?

Obviously, as soon as Lois realized the gravity of the situation, she dropped the subject but her first reaction on seeing Clark and on seeing TESS in communication with him of all people – was exactly what it should have been. Anyways, Lois forgave Tess in the end so I did too ;)

AC/Mera as a parallel to Lois/Clark – sucked big time. It was pointless and pathetic. That was my only complain with the episode actually. Ritchson and that girl (don’t remember the name) both did a terrible job. There’s bad acting and then there’s BAD ACTING. And the fact that their ongoing commentary on love and partnership was not needed at all didn’t help them either. You know, Carter Hall in Shield made sense. Because he’s older than Lois and Clark, and he had been married for a long time so if he gave them some advice that would make sense.

The one thing that I love about Lois/Clark most, and the one thing that has always made them stand out from all the other so called ‘epic’ relationships on this show is that their relationship is not contrived. They don’t need great dramatic moments to show that they’re in love. I find their driving together, or waking up together or Lois finding a gift on her desk from Clark more beautiful and real than two horribly written guest stars coming and telling me that they belong together.

I loved both Lois and Clark in the episode. There was nothing about their characters that I didn’t like. Both their point of views made sense, and the best part was that both of them understood each other in the end, and realized what the other went through which is why I have to disagree with you on the end scene. The conversation was very simple. It was nothing epic or the anvil of realization didn’t fall on anyone’s head. It was a simple, straight forward exchange of thoughts. Lois’s mention on how her mother felt, and Clark’s reaction to it, and his bringing up the darkness and how he wants Lois to share everything, I think was a really good character-building conversation. Comparing it to Clana is a huge stretch IMO, because so far, none of their scenes or conversations have been meaningless or ‘been there done that’.

There wasn’t any ‘special’ Lois/Clark moment in this episode (in fact there was hardly any screen time spent on Lois/Clark), nor in the last episode. The last ‘great’ moment between them was in Harvest where they consummated their relationship. Everything that has happened after that are either spontaneous moments or scenes/conversations driven by the story, for e.g., their fight over Lois’s lack of support for Clark against her dad, the parents conversation in the end of Abandoned or the one in the end of Patriot.
jeannev
Nov. 22nd, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
They don’t need great dramatic moments to show that they’re in love. I find their driving together, or waking up together or Lois finding a gift on her desk from Clark more beautiful and real than two horribly written guest stars coming and telling me that they belong together.

Right. Which is why the writers should just take a breath here, and let them be. Not every episode needs a milestone moment, or something epic.

I think I would've been able to appreciate what they talked about on the porch more if it hadn't been set up by the ACMera stuff, with the completely unnecessary Lois/Clois validation from random guest stars who showed up less then 10m ago.

For me, that whole set-up, which leads to the porch scene, which leads to Clark talking Lois to Watchtower is another oe of the "Very Special Moments". Just as last week they had to use Lois seeing a tape of her dead mother to facilitate Lois getting Clark to the FOS to see a tape of his dead parents felt like the same sort of thing to me. For me, re: Abandoned, this was a totally forced parallel done more for Clois then anything Clark/parent related. YMMV

But not liking the way they are writing this does not equal not liking the characters.

(no subject) - shalimarfox80 - Nov. 22nd, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Nov. 22nd, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shalimarfox80 - Nov. 22nd, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
shalimarfox80
Nov. 22nd, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
Lois’s reaction on finding out that Clark was going to register through VRA – I think the fault lied with how Oliver presented it. Clark wasn’t all “I’m going there right now”. He just threw out the idea, but the way Ollie made it sound was as if he dragged Clark back from the verge of doing it. Lois’s disgruntlement was again justified, because she was given the impression that Clark would have done it without telling her if Ollie hadn’t stopped him, which wasn’t the case. I agree that there are things that Clark may discuss with others before Lois, and I think Lois even understands that, but this particular situation was more of miscommunication (read bad writing) than anything else.

On other relationships, loved Lois/Tess and Oliver/Clark interactions. It was funny how giddy Tess was when she welcomed Lois at the Watchtower. Sadly, don’t think Chloe would have given Lois such a warm welcome. I am among the majority who loved the Fantastic Four moment in the end. I have no doubt that they did it as a ‘four series regulars’ moment and I was fine with it, because these four will be most involved in the rest of the story so obviously they are the ones who matter. I’d have been okay with having Emil there, because I love him, but it would not have made the ‘awesome four’ impact that they were trying to create, in which they did succeed.

Lois/Emil moment was made of pure gold. It wasn’t a moment to be given much thought. It was one of those funny trademark Lois moments which you’ll see aplenty in the comics, and in other live incarnations such as L&C and Superman: TAS. And ITA, we definitely need more Emil.

I loved a lot of things about this episode so it’s weird when it is not on my favorites list when I talk of the episode on the whole. You’ve correctly pointed out the problem, i.e., execution. The idea of a young couple, paralleling Lois and Clark on paper may have looked good, but the weaknesses of executing it, and the bad acting killed it. I have said this on other places as well, a big problem with this season is the execution and editing. So far, all the episodes have been good, concept-wise, but the way they come across on your screen, either leaves a lot to be desired, or kills the purpose of the story by the way they are handled. I guess a lot of it is thanks to Genevieve Sparling being the story editor. Where would you get when your story editor is a writer who hasn’t written even a single worth mentioning episode?

Agreed on the darkness immunity stuff. I hated, hated, HATED the fact that Clark KENT of all people is not immune to the darkness. It was beyond ridiculous. But then, I like to pretend that Supergirl didn’t happen, so yeah. I agree with the rest of the stuff you’ve said about the action sequences.

I think Tom’s direction was really good. Some of the angles, such as the shot in the barn in the end, the shot at the farm, and the Watchtower when he gives the speech and other others are standing in a semi circle, I think all of them were done really, really well. Then again, I may be biased because I can’t dislike anything that Tom Welling does LOL.

And I can’t wait for Luthor. I don’t understand why there is so much skepticism for this episode. It looks amazing to me and I think the whole idea of how would Clark have fared if he were raised by Lionel Luthor instead is so much fun and interesting. It would have been gold if Lex Luthor was still on the show, but I think still it’s going to be a lot of fun. And how can it go wrong when you have badboy!Tom hotness to drool over LOL. Can’t wait for it.
jeannev
Nov. 22nd, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
I don't fault Lois for her reaction to the VRA outing thing, because she seemed totally under the wrong impression on how that discussion occured.

So far, all the episodes have been good, concept-wise, but the way they come across on your screen, either leaves a lot to be desired, or kills the purpose of the story by the way they are handled.

I'll have to disagree with you there. I thought the concepts for Supergirl, Isis and Harvest were all completely terrible.

I don't like Sparling either, but truth be told, I'm not really convinced any of the SV writing staff cares about Clark Kent, the individual, as much as I think they should.

We'll see about Luthor. I have my concerns, but I guess we'll find out.
silverscreengal
Nov. 23rd, 2010 05:09 am (UTC)

I have never agreed with you more. I could not be a more loyal person and to Tom, it is almost a fault. So I feel bad to even think this, but I just didn't get this ep: the writing, the acting (ugh, Mera!) or the directing. It was worse than an Afternoon Special.

And what in the HELL was up with the clips of Ollie working out?? I was waiting for there to be a logo for a Sports Drink at the end of the montage.

I wanted to cringe for Tom through most of the ep. I was actually embarassed for him that his name was attached to such a mess.

The best part was he gave us a wet Tommy!!! At least that is something......

jeannev
Nov. 23rd, 2010 12:49 pm (UTC)
I know. You hate to knock Tom's work (I know I do), but this just wasn't good to me. And when I think about a lot of the faults with the execution of the storyline, I do have to believe that directing played a part. Although I understand the script was bad, and the budget is limited. But I don't think I ever had to think of the budget stuff before in a Tom directed ep.

My sister and I just laughed at the scenes of Oliver working out. Because, really, that stuff isn't necessary. You could just have shown Oliver on the treadmill, and got then same point across. It just ate up time.

And yes, we did get wet Tommy, so thats something. And everyone in the ep looked great, so there's that.
wingster55
Nov. 24th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
Michael Hogan...hammy? *speechless*
I blame the script.

He wasn't right for the role..i think Souders/Peterson just liked BSG and/or just have ties with those actors.
jeannev
Nov. 24th, 2010 02:07 am (UTC)
I know nothing about the actor, but I'm perfectly fine with blaming the script. I'd be willing to blame this script for the Kennedy assasination and global warming, LOL
shopgirl318
Nov. 25th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
The episode was okay and I liked A.C. but this episode felt way too season 6ish and I am not meaning that in a good way either. Maybe it would have been better if AC came back and the wife was left out of the equation.

What was the point of telling Clark things he already knew?

Happy Thanksgiving :)
jeannev
Nov. 25th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
Happy Thanksgiving to you too :)

I do think the episode would've been better without Mera. I can't think of one good reason why she's there, except to do some sort of comparison to Clois, and why is that even necessary?

As with so many eps this season, I can't help but think to myself "This ep would've been so much better if..."
(no subject) - shopgirl318 - Nov. 25th, 2010 04:43 am (UTC) - Expand
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