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 OK, strap yourselves in kiddies, because this is going to be a long one....

And that sounded kinda dirty.

I'm going to try to power through this review, because I'm exhausted, and an expresso martini certainly didn't help matters (OK, it DID help matters, but not matters of doing a SV review).

In regards to screentime minutes, I've tabulated the RW characters, and the AU characters.  But for the year to date numbers, I'm just adding them together to make my life easier.

Luthor, running time 41m, 37s

RW Clark:  26m, 25s
RW Lois:  5m, 50s
RW Tess:  13m, 10s
RW Oliver:  44s

AU Clark:  4m, 34s (and it wasn't enough!!)
AU Lois:  4m, 31s
AU Tess:  4m, 34s
AU Oliver:  8m, 42s

Lionel Luthor:  11m, 29s

Year To Date (# of eps)

Clark:  224m, 26s (10)
Lois:  171m, 24s (10)
Tess:  81m, 4s (8)
Oliver:  67m, 53s (8)

OK, lets jump on in



There are lots of things to talk about with this episode.  Overall, I enjoyed it.  Yet, there's no denying that the episode had some huge problems, and raised some disturbing questions that it didn't have time to address.  And to me, the biggest problem of all was that it was just too much story for 41m of television.  I am convinced that this should have been a 2-parter, and more time and care should have been put into the overall concept.  If I'm going to see a version of Kal-El that been perverted into an amoral monster, then I should also be given a better explanation of how he got that way.

But, it wasn't a 2-parter.  And yet, the episode was still entertaining for me.  More entertaining then the majority of S10 (I liked Ambush and Shield better).  And I thought the dialogue was really refreshing after the last few episodes which had such crappy hokey dialogue (Patriot being the biggest offender.  If I never hear fish puns, and sport analogies again, it will be too soon).  I also admit, that I find myself a bit fascinated by really twisted family dynamics stories.  Its just a kink of mine.  Some of my favorite fanfic is dark and twisted.  So, again, that was another level at which this episode really worked for me.  Where other people might've been thinking "Ewww, incest!", I was thinking "Wow, you think someone might write a fanfic, and throw Lex in there too".

Don't judge me!

But let me start off with the simple, and the obvious (and if it wasn't obvious to you, then I just don't get it.), the INCREDIBLE acting.  This episode belonged to the acting triumverate of Tom Welling, Cassidy Freeman and John Glover.  Glover was his usual brilliant self.  But I want to give special kudos to Tom and Cassidy, who did incredibly nuanced work in this episode.  Tom had to pull off 3 different characterizations, and he did so beautifully.  There can be little doubt by now that he absolutely relishes the opportunity to play "bad".  And the way he changes his performance is wonderful.  Even just Clark Luthor standing there, the first time we see him, and Tom is just playing this differently.  As for Cassidy, while she didn't have to play characters so different from each other, her ability to capture the more subtle differences was brilliant.  And so many of her reactions in this episode felt so spot-on.  Particularly her scene with AU Clark in her office.  I think about 20 different emotions ran across her face in the span of a 2+ minute scene.  

At its heart, I think the entire reason this episode was conceived was to find a way to bring Lionel Luthor back to the canvas.  And while I find the character fascinating, and I'm always glad to see more John Glover, there's a part of me that wonders if that was entirely necessary.  Instead of conceiving this whole AU to justify the return of Lionel, I do wonder how much better this episode might've been if the AU, and the switching of Clark's was really the point of the story, and it gave them the perfect opportunity to bring back Glover for it.

This season already feels a like its got a lot of villians going on, and yet none of them have really been fleshed out.  Now we add Lionel to the mix.  Is this wise?  I guess we'll find out. 

I believe the whole idea of these parallel universes is pretty interesting.  Again, as a non-comic book reader, I'm not coming to this with much prior knowledge, so I appreciated the episode gave us some sort of explanation of the other world.  My sense was that it was different, in all ways, much darker and twisted.   I think I would just have liked a whole lot more time to see the differences fleshed out.  To fully understand what went into creating Clark Luthor other then "he was found by Lionel".  We needed to be able to get into Clark Luthors head, even for a brief time, to understand what he felt.  Was there any remorse?  Pain?  Did he have genuine feelings for anything, or anyone? 

Now, I do believe this ep did give us some hints as to what sort of upbringing Clark had to turn and twist him so completely.  Certainly regular abuse was suggested, evidenced by Lionel's beatdown of Clark at the end.  The use of blue kryptonite on the swords, and Clark having a gold kryptonite scar tells us that knowledge and use of the different kryptonites were part of Clark's upbringing.  Is it hard to imagine green kryptonite being used when young Clark didn't please his father?  Not for me.    And the very obvious mutual loathing that both AU Clark and AU Tess had for Lionel also hints to a rather twisted and horrific upbringing.  

But was that enough?   Well, not really , but it helped allow me to let my imagination do the rest.  And SV is sure as hell counting on his viewers to do a lot of filling in the blanks this season.

While the revelation that AU Clark had killed AU Lex was horrible, and obviously a horrifying idea for RW Clark,  I found it interesting that the elaborate, and obviously deliberate, scar AU Clark sported on his arm was courtesy of Lex.  AU Clark ultimately got the upper hand, but it seems clear to me that the AU versions of Clark and Lex were rather viciously pitted against each other, and AU Clark didn't always come out the victor.

I realize that mileage is going to vary on the sexual relationship between AU Clark and AU Tess, but I thought it was fascinating.  Despite Tess' claiming that she loved Clark, I doubt it was love in any conventional understanding of the word.  Still, AU Tess seemed to know exactly who AU Clark was, and she wanted him anyway.  Even referring to him as "fun" when confronted with the RW Clark.  And the issues of trust that were touched on with them were also compelling.  AU Clark had obviously told AU Tess about the mirror box, and what it did, and how they could leave together, which does suggest some sort of trust.  However, AU Tess is quick to think she's been betrayed when confronted by RW Clark.  Again, fascinating.  The mind boggles at what kind of pillow talk these 2 shared.

And considering how sexy, confident and predatory TW was playing AU Clark, I can see how someone would fall under his spell, including his equally ruthless, adopted sister (and I loved how the script didn't shy away from the brother/sister thing).  I absolutely loved the scene where RW Tess is confronted with him.  She's clearly taken aback by his agressive approach, followed by one sexy hot-ass kiss.  She resists at first, but gradually goes with it, before she feels the scar, and realizes for certain that this isn't the Clark on her world.

Was Tess wrong to allow herself to indulge in that kiss, even for a moment?  I don't think its that simple.  Its been obvious to me for a long time that Tess harbors feelings for Clark.  Again, its probably not love in any sort of conventional meaning of the word.  But as a woman who has found herself gravitating to powerful men her whole life, Clark really is the mother lode.  And I think Tess sees a means of redemption and validation in gaining Clark's approval.  To have him kiss her like that must've been a huge WTF, but also part fantasy come true.  I doubt most women would've resisted.

And for the record, I see nothing wrong with people being in love with Clark.  He's freaking Superman.  People SHOULD fall in love with him.  .

But my absolute favorite Clark/Tess scene was their last one.

Wait, let me go back for a second to their first scene together.  Was Clark's dialogue in this scene OOC?  Yes, I think so.  A contrivance to set up the episode?  Yes, again, I think so.  I will admit that the show has flipped back and forth of this issue of "bad blood" running through the Luthors veins, but this just didn't sound like Clark to me at all.  Not the Clark of the present time.  I think they went a bit overboard on this in order to set up the episode, and have Clark come to a revelation I'm not sure he didn't already come to a few times.

But thats sort of how SV works.  This is their prime stalling technique.  Clark learns something, or gains knowledge, and then has to learn it a few more times along the way in order to stretch out the show.  Its irksome here, but its ALWAYS irksome!  I remember feeling the same way just weeks ago when I watched Abandoned, and I was supposed to be moved in some way that Clark found out that his parents really loved him when they put him in the ship, and they loved each other, and it was hard for them to say good-bye, and Jor-El was not a perfect man, and...all this shit that Clark already freaking knew!  

BUT, if they are going to do that crap, at least I appreciate a truly moving scene at the end that comes about as a result of it.  As much as I love watching Clark doing all the big heroics, and speeding around, and tossing people, and shit, I also love this side of his Superman persona.  When he's just there for someone as a friend, and he provides comfort and forgiveness to them.  Because establishing this side of Clark is just as important as any other aspect, and its something the show woefully neglects.  It seems to prefer Clark being inspired by someone else, to him being an inspiration.   Clark had a really valid reason to be pissed off at Tess, and I didn't blame him for being mad at her in the beginning.  But through his own experiances, he came to understand why she did what she did, and he reassured her that she was not alone or without "family", even if they aren't related by blood.  I thought it was a gorgeous scene, and eloquently played by Tom and Cassidy.

I haven't mentioned Lois and Oliver yet in this episode, but thats probably because there isn't that much to say.  Both of them were just fine.  I expected some kind of Clois "moment" in the episode, and I got it.  But unlike how I've felt in some previous eps, I thought it worked very well here, even though some of the dialogue was a bit much ("you always know when I'm lying"? Really?).  The last Clois scene showed a couple very much at each and in sync with each other.  I appreciated the lack of drama.  Lois made it clear that no apologies were necessary from Clark, because it wasn't him.  

And now, I'm going to say something controversial (ME?  Be controversial?  That never happens!!!).  Chemistry is a very subjective thing, and so there is no rights and wrongs here, only personal opinion.  Seeing Tom and Cassidy work together in this episode the way they did was off-the-charts on the chemistry scale for me.  I think I might've found a dynamic that rivals Tom and Sarah Carter, and certainly it felt on par to the best of Tom and Michael Rosenbaum, back in the day.  I'm been a sucker for Clark/Tess scenes since he carried her away from a bus accident in Plastique, and she comes to and looks at him like "What the...?  Thank you God!"  These actors just click for me.  

As much as I wish I felt differently about this, and believe me, I WISH I did feel differently, Tom and Erica don't quite spark for me like that.  Some of their scenes are really nice, and they are a lovely looking couple, but I wish I could feel the same kind of oomph with them as I did in this episode with Tom and Cassidy.  My analogy would be this, watching Tom and Erica together feels like having the stereo volume on 5 or 6.  I can hear it, it sounds fine.  But in this episode, I felt like the volume got ramped up to 10, and the house was rocking.

However, I know what the story is, and so I will continue to hope for the best with the Clois scenes, and hope that Tom and Erica bring their A games.  And I really hope they get some good writing.

So, that should earn me some new haters, right?  LOL

Well, will it help if I say that I thought Erica and Justin did some lovely work together in this episode?

In the end, I'm not sure that this episode did a ton to further Clark's storyline.  However, it did give me a very Superman moment at the end with Tess, and I sort of like the idea that Tess might be the Luthor that Clark will help to save from herself, which he wasn't able to do for Lex.  I think this show has really dropped the ball in allowing Clark to reflect more on his relationship with Lex, and if he's able to do a bit of that through his new bond with Tess, then I think it serves a very meaningful purpose.

Now, some random scattered thoughts

Was I the only one that noticed that Oliver doesn't seem to know the difference between a masochist and a sadist?  LOL.  Oh Bryan Q Miller, how did you let that one slip by you?  (Re-watch the scene when RW Clark first encounters AU Lois and Oliver).

I think the ongoing debate of nuture vs nature is way too complex to just declare one the end-all-beat-all.  And here, this episode failed.  Which, in turn,  opens up a big can of worms in regards to Lex.  This is one topic they should've considered a bit more before going ahead with the episode.

Though it was a bad wig, I was completely digging how great Erica looked with the shoulder length hair.  Erica obviously has beautiful hair, but I think her current style is a little dated, and I would love to see her rocking out a shorter, more modern hair-do.  She was also completely rocking that red dress.

Kelly Souders, the director.  Well, I'm not so impressed.  I couldn't help but wonder what this episode would've been in the hands of a Beeman, or a Ransick (the guy that did Labyrinth), or a Jeannot.  Too much of Souders style felt a little inexperianced to me.  And I think the contrast between the 2 worlds was a bit overdone.

The guys at the coffee stand?  Terrific!!  One of the things I love about SV are these bit part players who come on for 1 tiny scene, and end up making a huge impression.  

The shows slashed budget felt obvious here.  The show felt very devoid of life and people in the scenes.  

And the biggest evidence of budget issues, and an absolutely egregious omission, was the Watchtower battle between AU Clark and Tess/Oliver and Lois.  Look, if they can't afford this sort of stuff, then DON'T WRITE SCRIPTS WITH THESE SCENES.  I can't even imagine how these 3 got the jump on AU Clark, but if they had, then he wouldn't have been able to wreck Watchtower, right?  I mean, how would that workd?  But since he did, then he also had plenty of time to just fry them with his eyeballs.  And they just all happened to be able to get their hands of kryptonite wearpons?  Oh wait, they all have kryptonite weapons in the first place?  WTF?  And Lois stopped in the middle of this battle to take off her jacket?  Really ridiculous.

It was amazing how easily John Glover slipped right back into the role of Lionel like he didn't even miss a beat.  And I felt like the show really did a nice job of recalling the Lex/Lionel relationship in the interactions of Lionel/Clark.

And lastly, would someone please, for the Love of God, put Tom Welling in a feature film where he gets to play a bad ass, sexy, cursing mother fucker who has sex on screen,  and does bad shit, and wears leather jackets.  PLEASE!!!  Because I want to watch that movie on a constant loop for a week.

 




Comments

( 65 comments — Leave a comment )
tasabian
Dec. 5th, 2010 05:56 am (UTC)
Hee! I always enjoy your reviews and this one is a hoot!

Seeing Tom and Cassidy work together in this episode the way they did was off-the-charts on the chemistry scale for me. I think I might've found a dynamic that rivals Tom and Sarah Carter, and certainly it felt on par to the best of Tom and Michael Rosenbaum, back in the day.
As you know, it's all about Clex for me but yeah, I succumbed. TW and CF just spark and I couldn't take my eyes off them. The entire premise was worth it, just to get those scenes.

Was Clark's dialogue in this scene OOC? Yes, I think so. A contrivance to set up the episode? Yes, again, I think so. I will admit that the show has flipped back and forth of this issue of "bad blood" running through the Luthors veins, but this just didn't sound like Clark to me at all. Not the Clark of the present time. I think they went a bit overboard on this in order to set up the episode, and have Clark come to a revelation I'm not sure he didn't already come to a few times.
Well, you know my biases. From my Lex-girl point of view, it's not so much that I wanted Clark to say it, but that the show itself needed it to be said (and it carries most weight coming from Clark.) Because Jonathan's view that all Luthors are inherently toxic and the plot contrivance Lionel-revisionism (he's not really such a bad father) had always left a bad taste with me. So this is a "fix" I've been wanting for a long time & am grateful for BQM for it.

I absolutely loved the scene where RW Tess is confronted with him. She's clearly taken aback by his agressive approach, followed by one sexy hot-ass kiss. She resists at first, but gradually goes with it, before she feels the scar, and realizes for certain that this isn't the Clark on her world.
Apart from being scorchingly hot, what astonished me about that kiss was that Cassidy, while kissing Tom, is still able to show a chain reaction of emotion across her face: we see Tess go from shock, to confusion, to "aw hell, whoever this is, I'm gonna make the most of it!" I have never seen another actor in anything, be able to convey that much, mid-kiss!

Is it hard to imagine green kryptonite being used when young Clark didn't please his father? Not for me.
I thought this was an especially clever implication because it dovetails with how we saw real Lionel starting to "manage" Clark in Traveler. I think if Lionel had lived, he would have posed an enormous danger to Clark, wanting to seek further control over him "for his own good." The scene where AU Lionel takes off his belt was very evocative of the scary, looming Lionel in "Fracture" and it's awful to imagine the childhood Clark Luthor endured.

It was amazing how easily John Glover slipped right back into the role of Lionel like he didn't even miss a beat. And I felt like the show really did a nice job of recalling the Lex/Lionel relationship in the interactions of Lionel/Clark.
Glover hit the ground running! He seemed to be having such a good time. My dream would be for a TW/JG/CF commentary for this ep.

The guys at the coffee stand? Terrific!! One of the things I love about SV are these bit part players who come on for 1 tiny scene, and end up making a huge impression.
Miller is especially good at writing these charming little scenes for Lois & both those actors were great interacting with ED.

Where other people might've been thinking "Ewww, incest!", I was thinking "Wow, you think someone might write a fanfic, and throw Lex in there too".
Heh, I'd read it. And we don't know how AU Lex died...I'm going to guess that Clark Luthor sexed him to death, yessir.

Edited at 2010-12-05 05:58 am (UTC)
jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
Always happy to entertain :)

I totally understand why this episode would really play well to the Lex fangurls. And I know for me, I think I totally cut it some slack in some areas because I did think we finally got Clark dealing in some areas that have been too long ignored. When this show started off, it very much was sold on the premise of this friendship, and how it turns into life-long enemies. Clark and Lex were never really on screen equals, but at least that felt like the central relationship to me. And then, as the show went on, it seemed to become more about Clark's love life, and I think the Clex stuff was just handled badly. So, I really do appreciate an episode like this that seems to be revisiting it a bit, especially with clone Alexander out there, Tess as a Luthor, and AU Lionel back in the mix.

Of course, I'm not sure all of that can happily co-exist in a season thats already a bit overcrowded with stuff, ya know?

As shallow as the development into Clark Luthor was, I could easily imagine little Kal-El being found by Lionel, and all the horrors that might have entailed. I do believe they should've involved Red K (as Glover hinted at, so I wonder if that was cut), because that would explain a lot.

Lets both keep our fingers crossed for inspired fanfic writers.
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jlvsclrk
Dec. 5th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Love the review! I thought it was a very solid and enjoyable episode but could easily be classified as filler. Clark's lesson about Luthors being made evil wasn't much of a revelation, though it was lovely to hear him say it flat out. So really the only thing that changed was that we got a Lionel back, which I assume was the writers back up plan if they couldn't get Rosenbaum to finish off the clone story line. They could have done so much more with the premise!

As for Tom and Erica, I don't often get red hot sexual chemistry from them. I would rank Calicia well ahead in that respect, and yes, Cless could have been smoking too! What they do bring to the screen for me is a sense of joy, for lack of a better word. That's why I love them so much together.
jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
As for Tom and Erica, I don't often get red hot sexual chemistry from them. I would rank Calicia well ahead in that respect, and yes, Cless could have been smoking too! What they do bring to the screen for me is a sense of joy, for lack of a better word. That's why I love them so much together.

And I wouldn't disagree with that at all. I too very much like that Clois are allowed to smile and be happy with each other. I truly do appreciate the lack of angst in their relationship, and often find them the most charming when they are being playful with each other, or just communicating in a relaxed way. Which is why I liked their last scene very much.
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jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
I do expect that AU Lionel and clone Alexander will encounter each other. I think thats a given.

I think you have to assume that AU Lionel had some serious power over AU Clark, because otherwise, why didn't AU Clark just kill him? And again, I think that plays into how its not hard to imagine a rather abusive, sadistic upbringing.

I wonder if some of the issues with current Clois is that its being OVERwritten. What I mean by that is that instead of just letting Clois be a natural, fun couple, but the show keeps thinking it has to hit certain beats with them, with seems to create a rather stiff component to their relationship. I really don't know. I'm very much reminded of S7 Clana, but there was some explanation for that, since Lana was hiding stuff from Clark.

I thought it was rather amusing that Oliver was a whiney, brooding dink in both worlds.

I think Cassidy is getting some of the best material this season, and she's doing a spectacular job with it.
twdiva
Dec. 5th, 2010 07:28 am (UTC)
While I've liked certain relationship dynamics on the show (like the one between Clark and his Earth parents), I've never really had a favorite character on this show in addition to Clark. But at this point, I think Tess is my second favorite on the show due to her intriguing character and the fabulous dynamic that gives to most of her scenes with Clark. So you won't be getting any hate from me regarding the Cless. After the AUClark/Tess scene, I'm seeking out Cless fanfic, the only time I've desired to read non-PWP Smallville shipper fanfic.

As for the episode as a whole, I had pretty much the same likes and dislikes as you did (including having Clark handling the object without thinking about the consequences first), but I think I'm more 'meh' on Luthor when I think about the messages and, well, the actual point of the episode for Clark. If I had seen more of AUClark (because hello? TW at his hottest...loved the voice he used) and a deeper, more explicit exploration of the background of the character, then maybe I'd like it better. Maybe split this into two episodes and completely scratch that horror called Supergirl.

Loved Tom and Cassidy, and thought Erica and Justin did a fine job with what little they were given to do. John Glover overacts for me at times, and that was especially the case in this episode. It was like every other word out of his mouth had to be accompanied by an orchestra. It fits the character of Lionel (or maybe I'm just more used to the character being that way now), but I just prefer the more subtle evil portrayed by Tom's AUClark or MR's last days as Lex on this show. Ironic really, since for me Lionel was actually the more interesting Luthor to watch, until Tess got revealed as one (I just got tired of all the constant woobifying of Lex, and so by the time he actually went full on baddie, I thought him pathetic rather than interesting).
jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
I'm really such a true-blue Clark girl. I mean, I totally admit it, there's Clark for me, and then everyone else is so far down the list. And thats probably not the best way to watch the show, LOL But honestly, Tess is probably my 2nd favorite SV character of all time behind Clark. I just find her so completely compelling. I never actually realized how I hadn't fully connected to the SV gals until one came along that I did.

And yes, fanfic, Please! I totally respect what the story is on SV, and thats Clois 100%, as it should be. Fanfic is where you can run and play with alternate pairings and such.

I didn't have a problem with Clark handling the object, just twisting it. But this is the sort of dumb stuff SV always does. I think I'm getting immune.

If I had seen more of AUClark (because hello? TW at his hottest...loved the voice he used) and a deeper, more explicit exploration of the background of the character, then maybe I'd like it better. Maybe split this into two episodes and completely scratch that horror called Supergirl.

Just YES! to all of that.

John Glover definitely chews the scenery, and it isn't always good. But I do find it fun to watch on a show where most of the characters tend to be subdued.
costas22
Dec. 5th, 2010 10:12 am (UTC)
Thumbs for a very good review. Making it hard to disagree with you, lol. I know it's shocking, but I really liked this episode. If I have an issue with this episode is this:

"But was that enough? Well, not really , but it helped allow me to let my imagination do the rest. And SV is sure as hell counting on his viewers to do a lot of filling in the blanks this season."

Maybe doing this a 2 episode arc might have worked better. But there still was plenty of stuff that wasn't explained properly. Clark Luthor himself is the main one. Personally, I would have also appreciated it if stuff like how Clark and Tess grew up in Lionel's family, if Lionel was using Red K on Clark, what happened to the Kents or why Clark Luthor was called Clark was explored more.

I had quite a few positives to take from this episode. John Glover's return is one of them. Like a lot of SV fans, I've missed him a lot on my screen. It was a testament to the man's talent that he slid right back to the Lionel role as if a day hadn't gone by. As for his storyline, we'll talk about this in future episodes, but my gut feeling is that AU Lionel will be a fixture in the current Lex plot. I'll take a wild guess and say that AU Lionel is brought back to recreate Descent with clone Lex. Finally, I liked Glover addressing the audience in his final shot. Thought it was a nice nod to the fans that missed him.

Finally, Cless was eveything I hoped it would be and more. :D First, the shallow stuff: The kissing scenes were both fantastic. I know the one at the barn lasted 2-3 seconds, but Cassidy's playfulness made it a win for me. I don't believe we've seen her like this on Smallville before. It made me scream at Clark to forget about the box and focus on the task at hand, lol. The DP scene was unexpected and just as fun. Plenty of more kissing with the added element of Tess getting into the kiss. Did she realize Clark wasn't himself and was playing along? Did her hidden feelings for Clark reach the surface? We'll probably never know. All you really need to know about Tom and Cassidy's acting, is that the barn and DP scenes gave you the impression that we were talking about completely different people. So full marks there. And of course, full marks to Tom and Cassidy for the final scene. My favourite scene in this episode. I didn't expect it to be honest. With everything out in the open, it gives me a lot of hope that Clark and Tess' friendship will develop even further from now on.

As for the chemistry debate, it really is subjective. Tom and Cassidy scenes rarely fail to please me. That could also be down the fact that they feel fresh. Looking at their scenes in Luthor, the only one we've seen before was the teaser. The rest was new territory for them.

Sorry for the long comment. I wanted to keep it short, but when it comes to Cless, I can't shut up. :)
jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
Ah, I see you've already been making icons from this ep. I'll get on that soon. ;)

One of my biggest issues with this season overall is that I keep watching these episodes, and I'm unable to shake the feeling that it could've been done so much better. And this episode was so exception. I see a lot of good ideas, even great ones. But the way they are being packaged leaves so much to be desired. And I mean that in every aspect of the show. This is the last season. I think we should be getting better stuff!

And you see a concept like this one, and my mind just boggles when I think what this could've been in 2 parts. And I would gladly have exchanged Supergirl, Isis or Harvest to get it.

I see there is much teeth knashing out there about the Cless stuff, but I really thought everything here made perfect sense, including both kisses. If there was unnecessary kissing this season, I'd say Lucy in Ambush was a much better example of it being pointless. But here? I think it fit the story. And I don't see how it impacted Clois at all.

And should I feel bad that I got an episode like this that made such excellent use of the chemistry between Tom and Cassidy? Well, I don't. Sometimes its just about me! :D

Chemistry is totally subjective, and I wish people could just be respectful of that. When I say I don't see something, I'm not putting down people who do. And when I say I see something, I'm not interesting in people telling me how I'm wrong. Chemistry is just an individual perspective and preference. End of story. I wish everyone could just respect that.

No need to keep it short. Come blab anytime you want.
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goodvibe
Dec. 5th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
part I
//OK, strap yourselves in kiddies//

Straps ahoy! (and that did sound dirty, heh)

//Overall, I enjoyed it. Yet, there's no denying that the episode had some huge problems, and raised some disturbing questions that it didn't have time to address.//

This is where I'm at. I thoroughly enjoyed it as an exciting hour of television but I can't quite ignore the flaws either, especially ones that pertain to Clark' characterization. But overall? This is second so far only to 'Ambush.'

//I also admit, that I find myself a bit fascinated by really twisted family dynamics stories. Its just a kink of mine. Some of my favorite fanfic is dark and twisted. So, again, that was another level at which this episode really worked for me. Where other people might've been thinking "Ewww, incest!", I was thinking "Wow, you think someone might write a fanfic, and throw Lex in there too".//

The effed up Luthor dysfunction was one of my favorite elements of the ep. If certain things squicked me out, I still couldn't take my eyes off the screen - and I think that was the point. That compulsion to watch is what made the dynamics so interesting to watch.

//the INCREDIBLE acting//

::nods:: The ep belonged tp TW, CF and JG. I'm still amazed at how JG managed to etch out another character entirely, despite the similarities, right down to the some of the dialogue ("watch that those emotions don't get in your way" is exactly the kind of thing real Lionel would say too). CF' tour de force I thought was b/w her scene with Lionel and the one she shared with Clark at the end. And what can be said about TW? He must've relished this script.

//But was that enough? Well, not really , but it helped allow me to let my imagination do the rest. And SV is sure as hell counting on his viewers to do a lot of filling in the blanks this season.//

Oh, absolutely. I had no issues filling in the blanks, and in fact given the time I think it was all just enough. Job well done. It's the concept itself, of nature vs. nurture and how it was worked in here wrt Clark that I had the real problem with.

//have him kiss her like that must've been a huge WTF, but also part fantasy come true. I doubt most women would've resisted.//

No shit! How can there be an opinion otherwise?! And going straight for the drink after - heh! This was the very definition of hot and bothered.
jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
Re: part I
No only can't I ignore the flaws, I'm not willing to. For ANY SV S10 episode. I think its an interesting approach that people bring to S10. Some just want to sit back and enjoy it, because the show is coming to an end. And I respect that, and totally understand it. Then some, like me, just are really critical of it, because its the LAST SEASON, and it should be MORE!

So, while I enjoyed Luthor, I'm not willing to overlook its flaws. Just like I wasn't willing to ingore more problems with Homecoming just because we got some really cool stuff in it, i.e. future Clark and Lois.

And let me tell you, when the acting is great, especially from TW, it just brings everything up a notch. And truth be told, I don't think Tom has been great in every ep this season. I'm still wondering what had him so distracted during Harvest.

I've watched that office scene between Tess and AU Clark about 6 times already. And it never stops being magnificent.
tjw_jaypat
Dec. 5th, 2010 12:52 pm (UTC)
It seems you are quite overwhelmed by the Cless. ;)))

Anyway, you said almost everything, and if not, the previous commentators did. For example, beside the contrived regression of Clark at the beginning, Clark was made to look stupid by handling that box just while Tess was still trying to talk to him. Reminded me of Infamous when he put on the Legion ring while Lois was just trying to warn him. Such things should no longer happen.

I also agree with twdiva that Glover overacted at times. You can play Shakespeare on stage like that, but in a sci-fi show it comes off as somewhat over the top. Still, it´s good to see him again. although I get the feeling that this season is already way overcrowded (and there is more to come), so much so that these writers will never be able to bring all this to a satisfying conclusion. After all, there is only half a season left...

The beating scene was too excessive IMO, in particular since we got no clue whatsoever regarding the relationship of AUClark and AULionel. Does Lionel have some hold over him? Why hasn´t he killed Lionel yet? Why go along with a father like that if you are so powerful and ruthless? Why didn´t Lionel notice that this was not his Clark? I can´t imagine that AUClark would behave like confused RWClark did around Lionel. Somewhat absurd... Nonetheless, due to the spades of Tom, I enjoyed Luthor quite a bit.

Just one thing that I need to unload somewhere: I am really annoyed by a number of tweets and posts that go like "Welling can act only when he plays bad". I feel the urge to educate these people with a paddle about the fact that Clark is a (difficult and, alas, ungrateful) acting choice too... Grrr! Sorry for abusing your site to rant about something that is unrelated to it! But I trust that most here are likely to share my feeling.

jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
I always enjoy scenes between Clark and Tess, and after last year, and the awful way their interactions were written, I really am relishing their good moments this year.

I agree with you that these writers should be able to write things without the stupidity and contrivances. Unfortunately, not one SV writer seems to be immune to that problem. Its lazy.

The beating scene was excessive, but I'm actually glad it was there. Because I think we needed to actually see Lionel's brutality to understand what Clark Luthors upbringing (and AU Tess' as well) might've been like. It was hard to watch, but I thought the context was important. And my own conclusion was that he had demonstrated this sort of brutality with AU Clark throughout his childhood, and had sort of psychologically paralyzed AU Clark to directly go against him. A lot of abused children will protect their abusive parents, and I can imagine this being to the 10th power.

I've been sick to death of the comments about Tom's acting for some time now. Usually I try to respect different opinions, but I've decided that I'm going to dismiss these on the grounds of 1. you wish you had him or 2. you wish you looked like him. LMAO!
goodvibe
Dec. 5th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
part II
//But my absolute favorite Clark/Tess scene was their last one.//

Y'know what I think really made this such a beautiful moment was the fact that Clark was just there for Tess - period. Yes, this is a woman who desperately wants to be believed in and Clark can help with affirmation, but I also feel the simplicity of the moment is special. Because this, right here, is a game changing moment. This is not just a working relationship anymore, it's a friendship. Clark is invested now. The stakes just got higher.

//Its irksome here, but its ALWAYS irksome! I remember feeling the same way just weeks ago when I watched Abandoned//

I hated that first Cless scene. It's a prime example of the kind of careless attitude TPTB have wrt Clark' character, and it continues to bother me, I can't help it. I try not to let it get to me anymore, but it does. I hated that Tess had to remind Clark, of all people, Superman, about 2nd chances. And the worst part? I think the dialogue was avoidable.

//I expected some kind of Clois "moment" in the episode, and I got it. But unlike how I've felt in some previous eps, I thought it worked very well here//

This definitely felt different to me too, than the forced, barn and loft 'moments' we've been getting of late. Atleast this had context and circumstance.

//So, that should earn me some new haters, right? LOL//

Ah, haters shmaters, since when has that bothered the likes of us! ;-)

But bottom line, like you stated, it's a subjective thing. Can't and shouldn't be justified, IMO. Personally, I think as far as hot, unrelenting, 'need-to-jump-your-bones-now' kind of chemistry, nothing beats, Calicia, still. It was as this this mutual spark of need, playful need, that existed b/w them. Clex is the kind that that was indicative of two actors who were at their very best in scenes with each other. Clana I thought had great highs and great lows. Cless chemistry is new and exciting. It's explosive, in that it's unpredictable. It's always fun to watch, but I also feel they're aided in this because they're not bogged down to the mandatory romance stuff. You want controversial? I think romance often kills chemistry on this show. A lot of this season and last, Clois has been miss, more than hit because of the heavy handedness of most of their scenes. It's all so life and death. When they've allowed to just be, like the opening scene of 'Ambush', or the future!rooftop scene from 'Homecoming?' They were terrific. Clois works best for me when they're natural. I thought some of their best chemistry moments in recent years were from S8 - 'Odyssey', 'Instinct', 'Committed', 'Stiletto', 'Hex.' From earlier seasons, 'Facade', 'Exposed.' Dare I say it, I think they spark the most when they're not all kissy kissy, but just bouncing off each other with the eyes and looks. I still think their final moment from 'Rabid' with the handgrab is their hottest, ever.

//And here, this episode failed. Which, in turn, opens up a big can of worms in regards to Lex//

I think it failed in a big way, in this regard, especially in how TPTB seem to view Clark, as stripped from his Kents upbringing, and then like you said, the history wrt Lex, as a character.

//Though it was a bad wig, I was completely digging how great Erica looked with the shoulder length hair. //

I'll be honest, I hated the wig and the length on her. I think it's an awkward length on her. I think shorter would work though. Or a sleeker, less busy version of her current length.

//One of the things I love about SV are these bit part players who come on for 1 tiny scene, and end up making a huge impression.//

Heh, GMTA. I even loved the Luthor minion at the beginning with her haughtiness and the befuddled newspaper guy at the end.
jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Re: part II
I love how you describe that last Cless scene. I totally agree with you. Thats Clark and Tess forging a real friendship. I hope it doesn't come to a tragic end (though honestly, I think it will).

There's no doubt in my mind that the first Cless scene could've been written better. When I knock the SV writers, its scenes like this that are the first things I point to, because you could've set the stage properly without it. But they seem to go for the heavy-handed contrived bullshit, instead of really thinking it out and putting care into it. Again, since its evident with all the SV writers, I have to believe its a Souders/Peterson problem.

I'm not bothered by haters honestly. I'm just always puzzled by their fascination with what I have to say so they can run elsewhere and make snide comments. It seems sort of pointless to me.

But bottom line, like you stated, it's a subjective thing. Can't and shouldn't be justified, IMO.

Exactly! It just needs to be respected that people see and feel things differently. And someone saying I don't feel the chemistry as much as you does NOT constitute bashing, or an attack, or rudeness.

I have a mental list of Clois scenes that really spark for me. The kiss in Salvation, the "Hello" moment in Conspiracy, all of Rabid and Committed. I mean, I'm totally not suggesting that they don't have their excellent moments.

Oh yeah, the Luthor minion was great too.
Re: part II - goodvibe - Dec. 5th, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: part II - jeannev - Dec. 5th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
mahaliem
Dec. 5th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
And lastly, would someone please, for the Love of God, put Tom Welling in a feature film where he gets to play a bad ass, sexy, cursing mother fucker who has sex on screen, and does bad shit, and wears leather jackets. PLEASE!!! Because I want to watch that movie on a constant loop for a week.

Oh, sweet Lord, yes! Tom being bad is a glorious thing. I don't know how many times I've watched the scene in Transference where Clark almost kisses Chloe then steps back and says 'Don't you wish'. *fans self*
jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Right! Why has this not happened yet? Its like the universe will never be aligned properly if this doesn't happen!
wingster55
Dec. 5th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
I said it on twitter and i'll say it here: There's something that TW has with natural blondes (Sarah, Cassidy, Allison, and supposedly MR is a dirty (out of the gutter) blonde. JMO.

So yes TW and CF sizzled..coincidentally I noticed it in Plastique too..no really.

I thought the ep was fine with a few holes involved like you said...I don't mind them using nurture over nature because that's what I personally believe (though nature does take a role). Plus there's the red-kryptonite..it wasn't mentioned but there was one scene where Clark was fiddling with a ring..i choose to believe that it's a TW improv that I've heard he does.

The main three were all on fire in it.
jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
Hmm, you could add John Schneider to that list, since he and Tom are terrific together. And in the 2nd CBTD movie, him and Jamie King were ridiculously adorable.

Oh, but then there's Maggie Grace in The Fog, so there's an exception to that theory. LOL

Honestly, I think Tom does have chemistry with just about everyone. I just think its in varying degrees. And I think the fact that the SV fandom is so fractured between different shipper groups, and so many of those groups involve Clark, is proof to me that he does click with so many different characters. As for what one likes best, its like anything else in life. Peoples tastes vary. Think of all the SV 'ships like different flavors of ice cream. Does anyone get bent out of shape if they like Rocky Road, and someone else prefers fudge swirl? 'Shipper preference should be the same thing.

I'm a beliver in nature AND nurture personally.

I noticed the ring a few times, and I hope someone got a good screencap of it. I also suspected it might be Red K.
(no subject) - wingster55 - Dec. 5th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
wingster55
Dec. 5th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Also not sure if I can get behind this: "People SHOULD fall in love with him."

jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Thats OK, I didn't expect you to. ;)
jwm_rocks
Dec. 5th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
Don't judge me!
Never. ;)

But unlike how I've felt in some previous eps, I thought it worked very well here, even though some of the dialogue was a bit much ("you always know when I'm lying"? Really?).
Line about lying was pretty rich.

I think they went a bit overboard on this in order to set up the episode, and have Clark come to a revelation I'm not sure he didn't already come to a few times.
Plus I think it was intentionally generalized just to lump Tess in with Clark's sudden judgmental streak. Hadn't Clark pretty much told others Lionel was on the way to redeeming himself and Clark always looked for that part of Lex was good. Based on Clark's experiences with Lex I think Clark has plenty of reason to be wary of anything spawned from Lex's DNA. But to condemn the clones from the outset is not Clark's typical mode of operation. But like you mention the character swings are how SV operates sometimes.

Was I the only one that noticed that Oliver doesn't seem to know the difference between a masochist and a sadist? LOL. Oh Bryan Q Miller, how did you let that one slip by you?
I had assumed masochist was intended in that if Clark did fire Lois she'd make Clark's life a living hell.

And Clark got 30 minutes of screen time. Good for him.

jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
The Clois scene in the AU on the rooftop was actually a lovely scene, and then he said that line about lying, and I just cringed a bit. I sometimes wonder what the writers are thinking. How can you have such a great line like the one about misspelling words, and then that?

I had assumed masochist was intended in that if Clark did fire Lois she'd make Clark's life a living hell

Ohhhh, maybe you're on to something there.

But its funnier to just think Oliver doesn't know the difference. LOL
serenography
Dec. 5th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, I think you managed to have plenty of deep thoughts on this one. You can't help it. ;)

Hells yes, on the acting. It was so good, especially Tom and Cassidy, that it pushed me beyond caring too much about the things I might have otherwise hated with a passion. Or maybe I'm just weary and shallow. Eh. You are dead-on with the subtleties of Cassidy's performance.

I agree that this had the potential to be an amazing and more fulfilling two-parter. Then again, that's just a lot more time for potential fail to creep in as well. I'm just not that confident they could have pulled off a lot more complex characterization successfully. Although, I am still hoping for the finale to be a two-parter.

Despite Tess' claiming that she loved Clark, I doubt it was love in any conventional understanding of the word.

The more I think about it, this AU exchanging of characters is really an ingenious way of exploring the Clark/Tess relationship in a way that it could otherwise never be shown. In the RW, Clark and Lois are IT - end of story. But this episode took us outside of that reality in two different worlds. I love that, because there is an element of "what if" with Clark and Tess that begged to be explored, at least to a certain, limited extent.

Totally agree about your chemistry stereo dial. LOL. For me, Clark and Lana were at 11 (shout out to Micheal McKean!), but as is so very obvious by this fractured fandom - the meter is hugely subjective. Clark/Tess do ping higher on my scale than Clark and Lois, but like you, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy or accept Clark and Lois as THE couple on SV. Tom and Erica at their best when they do playful banter or investigating together, IMO.


I think the ongoing debate of nuture vs nature is way too complex to just declare one the end-all-beat-all. And here, this episode failed.


Yup. I'll leave it to everyone else to explore the depths of "why" behind that though.

The guys at the coffee stand? Terrific!!

Was there some point behind Lois not having enough in her account to buy a cup of coffee?

But since he did, then he also had plenty of time to just fry them with his eyeballs. And they just all happened to be able to get their hands of kryptonite wearpons? Oh wait, they all have kryptonite weapons in the first place? WTF? And Lois stopped in the middle of this battle to take off her jacket? Really ridiculous.


LOL! You know, this didn't bother me AT ALL! I actually enjoyed that "big" ending battlescene (that we had to totally imagine). It didn't seem to stretch the lines of believability any more than the show does on a regular basis. I didn't notice about Lois' jacket though. Maybe she'd just paid a shitload of money for it (hence the empty bank account) and she didn't want to ruin it. :D







jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC)
I really think I've gotten to a point with SV where I've been disappointed in some many things, and so many storylines, that I now cling to thing that wake me up a bit. And qualities like great acting make a huge impact on my overall opinion, because I'm a bit in "I'll take what I can get" mode. And I'll be honest, I think most of us are.

The more I think about it, this AU exchanging of characters is really an ingenious way of exploring the Clark/Tess relationship in a way that it could otherwise never be shown. In the RW, Clark and Lois are IT - end of story. But this episode took us outside of that reality in two different worlds. I love that, because there is an element of "what if" with Clark and Tess that begged to be explored, at least to a certain, limited extent.

I enjoy "what if" stories for this very reason. Because it allows the show to explore something the box, but it really doesn't impact or taint when the storyline is. I'm really baffled as to why anyone would think RW Clois was negatively impacted by this episode in any way, shape or form. Any relationship that AU Clark and Tess have/had was happening in a whole other world!. In this world? Only friends because he's in love with Lois, and even if he wasn't, I'm still not sure Tess would be on his radar.

Totally agree about your chemistry stereo dial. LOL. For me, Clark and Lana were at 11 (shout out to Micheal McKean!), but as is so very obvious by this fractured fandom - the meter is hugely subjective. Clark/Tess do ping higher on my scale than Clark and Lois, but like you, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy or accept Clark and Lois as THE couple on SV. Tom and Erica at their best when they do playful banter or investigating together, IMO.

And I love this about you. Because there isn't a wrong and right here. There isn't an objective measure. Its all subjective.

I'm pretty sure we were supposed to think that Tess messed with Lois' debit card to get her attention, though it seemed a bit convaluted to me.

I think I have this tendency to want to see action on screen as opposed to imaging it, but I also know the show doesn't have the budget for it at all. So, I'm setting myself up for constant disappointment.
svfan01
Dec. 5th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
I found the episode entertaining overall although I am slightly annoyed that I see the same people who complained about earlier episodes not moving Clark's story forward anyway saying how great this one was when it has the exact same problem(and those people will probably will be the same ones to rave how great the Booster Gold/Blue Beetle episode is when that doesn't really focus on Clark becoming Superman as well)

It was great to see Lionel back because I am not a fan of the "tragic" villan and it's nice to see somebody who is just plain badass(as was Lionel S1-3), as opposed to wishy washy(Lionel S4-7).

Not sure I am liking the Tess storyline though, to me the Tess character is to much Lionel S4-7, when I much rather they made her S1-3 Lionel. I have a feeling they setting her up for a death before the show ends(because that's how the producers roll).
jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
You know, here's the thing with SV fans...there's always something wrong, until they like something. And that just spans across all fans, all fanbases, all 'ships.

But let me give my own perspective. I think I cut this ep a lot of slack because I just adored the showcase for Tom Welling, and I found myself more engaged by the storyline then I anticipated.

I know the Tess storyline is really working for me, and a lot of that has to do with how much I like the character, and the actress who plays her. But like you, I think she's likely to come to a tragic end.

asha14
Dec. 5th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah, well there are things the writers could have done better however that is just par for the course. I don't think it negatively impacted real world Clois either the other world I thought Clark was being a little selfish with his wooing and I would have preferred if he told that stuff to his real girlfriend instead of a woman who looks just like her. I have no need to see Lois and Clark being "soulmates" in every universe because I only care about this Lois and Clark. I liked this episode because I expected AU Clark to be the ultimate bad guy and I am fine with that. Welling did A great job with bad boy "sexy", even though I don't find "sexy" bad boy interesting in the least. The Psychopath part Welling also did a great, however I prefer my psychopaths a lot less sexy and a lot more chilling like the guy in my Avatar Marlo Stanfield from the Wire or Vern Schillinger from Oz. Speaking of AU Clark I never wanted Lois anywhere near that Psycho, AU Tess imo was enough of a victim without adding AU Lois to the mix. Segwaying into Cassidy Freedman, who did a fantastic job in this episode still don't really connect with her character however the actress can act...got to give that shit up. Cassidy is a natural actress I would not say gifted because I have seen better actors and actress outside of this genre. However I am going to say something that is a bit controversial. I love Erica Durance as Lois Lane I think she does a beautiful job in the role however I am curious to see what Cassidy Freedman could have done in the role. All and All good episode for a season in which I only really like two episodes Ambush and Homecoming and now Luthor.
jeannev
Dec. 5th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, well there are things the writers could have done better however that is just par for the course.

It really is, isn't it? I feel so tired of saying that. I think only one episode this season, Ambush, did not have me saying that. Why do we have to keep saying this?

I really do not understand why anyone believes that Clois was in any way harmed in this episode. Because AU Clark didn't care about Lois? Well, why would you want him to? He's kind of twisted. However, RW Clark gave Lois a beautiful speech in the AU which got through to her, incredibly. And in the RW, it was Lois that Clark turned to immediately to identify himself. And it was Lois that assured Clark that he needn't apologize for things HE didn't do.

How is any of that a bad thing?

I understand being tired of Tom Welling kissing other women, but in this episode, RW Clark was kissed by AU Tess when he was still trying to figure out WTF was going on, and he did push her away. The other kiss was from AU Clark, which had nothing at all to do with our Clark.

And as far as the last scene, that was Clark offering forgiveness and friendship.

The whole "bad boys" thing is not everyones cup of tea. And thanks for saying its not your cup of tea without any judgement, because I've seen a lot of that crap lately, and its very tiresome. Thats why you're so cool ;)

And wow, I thought I was being controversial. LOL

Honestly, I think Erica is a great Lois Lane. Whatever issues I might have with chemistry, I think the actors are great and give it their 200% effort.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 5th, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC)
Interesting that you're separating the real characters from their alternate counterparts when counting the screentimes. Luthor is a nod to the Superfriends' episode, Universe of Evil, when Superman switched places with his evil counterpart and we have the same thing with Clark and his evil counterpart, Ultraman Clark Luthor.

The ones who have shined in Luthor are Clark, Tess, and Lionel Luthor regardless of what universe they're in. I was afraid Clark might kick Tess out of the group, but I'm glad he didn't as Tess will continue to be Watchtower. The endscene between Clark and Tess was what the majority of the viewers enjoyed.

Luthor marks the return of Lionel Luthor with a twist. What's constant in both universes is that Tess is discarded by Lionel whether she knew her lineage or not.

They did a great job in distinguishing both universes visually. With Lionel in the real SV universe, either Clark Luthor is killed with Kryptonite by Oliver or he goes on to form the Crime Syndicate. Notice that Ultraman's symbol is upside down of Darkseid's.

Both Lois and Oliver didn't do much, but their alternate counterparts shined more than the real world versions, especially Oliver in his scenes with Clark, Lionel, and AU Lois.

Vantheman77

jeannev
Dec. 6th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
Well, I just thought people would be interested to see the times broken down that way.

I also liked that Clark forgave Tess, and reassured her. Because the reality is that he did have good reason to be pissed off at what she did. But I really liked that he gained another perspective on it, and decided to forgive her. I thought it was very Supermanly.

Its true that Lois and Oliver didn't have a ton to do in this episode, but neither of their characters took any hits either. It just wasn't an ep heavy on either one of them.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Dec. 6th, 2010 04:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Dec. 6th, 2010 04:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Dec. 6th, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)
Re: part I
Yeah, well, I feel like I need to make this big disclaimer that even though I did enjoy the episode, I'm in no way ignoring that the episode had big problems.

And the story in your head? I would watch that show. A lot!!

I keep hoping that some fanfic writers will get inspired by this episode.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Dec. 6th, 2010 01:15 am (UTC)
Re: part II
I suppose I should be more annoyed that this ep didn't do much for Clark's overall storyline, but I've just felt that way for a lot of the eps this season, and at least this one managed to keep me entertained.

I don't really have any clue as to what they intend to do with Lionel now that he's back, but I'm hoping that they use him in some way in Clark's storyline. I know he'll be heavily tied to Tess, and probably clone Alexander, but I keep thinking the big confrontation has to come with Clark. Because I can't see him losing that sense of ownership over Clark, even in this world.

And ya know, over the years with SV, there have been lot of times when people saw chemistry and I didn't. But I don't think I've ever had a problem with that. Heck people, the only thing thats important is that YOU see it, not everyone else.
audrey229
Dec. 6th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
I don't think your comments on Cless are controversial. I don't think it's any secret that you aren't a Clois shipper. And I think you've admitted several times that you ship Clark with Tess. I mean this as no disrespect, but I was expecting you to say that you thought their chemistry was better. I would have been shocked if you didn't. Just as I'm sure anyone who knows me could have easily predicted that I would have loved the opening scene of "Ambush." Just as I expect a fan of Clark and Lana to say that their chemistry is better. And yes, I expect a fan of Clark and Lois to say that their chemistry is better. Such is the nature of fandom and subjectivity.

The only time these types of conversations bother me is when people talk in absolutes. Saying that the Clark/Tess chemistry appeals to you more than Clark/Lois is, to me, a totally respectable thing to say. Saying, on the other hand that Clark and Lois just lack spark or lack chemistry as if it's some kind of absolute/fact is where it gets downright condesending and hypocritical. And sadly, that seems to be how these conversations sometime seem to go amongst people who don't ship Clois. Because clearly... Tom and Erica are doing something right for a hell of a lot of people. There is a reason, imo, why so many people ship Clois. (Just as there was a reason why so many people shipped Clana.) And that reason doesn't have to work for everyone....but to deny that it's there or to talk about it as if they have some kind of chemistry "problem" when clearly it's not a problem (and dare I saw off the charts) for thousands of people is where I get a little bit ragey. And I feel the same way when Clois shipppers claim that Clark and Lana didn't have chemistry. Yes, they did. It may not have worked for you....but it clearly worked for a hell of a lot of people for a really long time. What it really comes down to is that we are all attracted to/turned on by different things and different dynamnics. What is hot or sexy to one person can fall flat for another. What gets my engine running may not get your running etc. And sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for it. When these things are discussed under those terms...I really have no problem agreeing to disgree.

This morning, I was thinking back to the way I felt about the Buffy shipper debates and the reflection actually helped me come to understand some of this a bit more and try and consider other people's sides on this. Buffy/Angel just never did it for me. I tried really hard to care about them. And I DID care about them in some episodes. (I cared deeply in Becoming Parts 1 and 2) But, in general, I wasn't sad to see Angel leave at the end of Season 3 and I was never clamoring for them to get back together. Buffy/Spike though? For me, that was the hottest thing imaginable even though I knew outright that those two were just so incredibly wrong for each other. I was under no delusions that Spike and Buffy were true loves or supposed to be together or even a healthy couple. But I shipped them really hard. Even after all of Spike's horrible behavior...I still shipped them. And I think when I remembered that...it helped me understand a little bit more why some people would like the idea of Clark and Tess together because I certainly have shipped a couple in the past that was kind of....wrong. And I liked them better than the couple that was supposed to be the "true love" of the show. Yet, I know that millions of fans shipped Buffy and Angel and to this day really really love that ship. So clearly, Buffy and Angel did something right because why else would so many people love that relationship so much? Just because Buffy and Angel didn't work for me doesn't mean that Spike/Buffy was better or hotter. The fact that so many people loved Buffy/Angel (including some of my closest friends) is proof to me that there was clearly something awesome there that for whatever reason I just didn't see.

I also think that Tom Welling has had great chemistry with every single womam he's ever worked with. I think he oozes sexuality and I think that his sexuality is a force of nature when he's allowed to turn it on.

jeannev
Dec. 6th, 2010 04:44 am (UTC)
No, I've made no secret of the fact that I like Clark/Tess scenes very much. Though I've never held any illusions of them being a pairing on SV. I've always said that they'd be smoking in some AU (and what do you know, they were!), but in our SV world? I'm satisfied and pleased with them being just friends. I enjoy their scenes together very much, and I hope to be able to continue to do so. But I know that Clark is in love with another woman on the show.

I never speak in absolutes when it comes to chemistry. My opinion is always, ALWAYS speaking for myself. Its always why I make sure to put in "for me" when I speak of these things, or throw in lots of "IMO" and "JMO" when I post on message boards. To make it very clear that I speak only for myself.

If this offends you, I just don't know what I can say to that. And I get the clear impression you are offended.

Because clearly... Tom and Erica are doing something right for a hell of a lot of people.

Thats awesome for them. As I said I wish I could get as excited about the Clois as those people who are completely loving it, because then I think I'd be enjoying S10 a bit more. My mind is always open to the possibility.

Saying, on the other hand that Clark and Lois just lack spark or lack chemistry as if it's some kind of absolute/fact is where it gets downright condesending and hypocritical.

Well, it definitely is if one is claiming it as absolute/fact, rather then their own personal impression and opinion. But, let me turn that around, does that mean if someone says "Clark and Lois have more spark and chemistry then any other couple on the show" is that equally as condescending and hypocritical to anyone that doesn't feel that way? Or is that just someone speaking as to their own personal opinion?

Personally, I think its wiser to just assume that people are only speaking for themselves, unless its phrased in such a way that the intent can not be given the benefit of the doubt. Now, if someone says "Clois have NO chemistry, and I just have to laugh at anyone who is so delusional as to believe otherwise because they suck!"? Now thats offensive, condescending and rude. And sadly, posts of that nature do exist, on all sides of the SV aisles.

I'm all for being respectful of different opinions, but we should also feel free to express our own personal opinions.
(no subject) - audrey229 - Dec. 6th, 2010 06:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Part II - audrey229 - Dec. 6th, 2010 06:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part II - jeannev - Dec. 6th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part II - audrey229 - Dec. 6th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - svfan01 - Dec. 6th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
audrey229
Dec. 6th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
At the root of it, the reason some of the Cless stuff bugged me in this episode (outside of the fact that I admit outright that I don't like Clark getting kissed by other women) has more to do with what I think it says about the show's double standards about Clark and Lois. It really bothered me that they wouldn't allow Lois and Oliver to kiss. I wish I could explain better why it bothered me so much...but it did. Maybe it's because I'm a comics fan and so I'm used to this symbolic chastity belt that DC keeps around Lois Lane. She's basically Clark's property and once they are together...no other man is allowed to touch. If a man like Carter gives her a peck on the lips (even while she isn't dating Clark) she slaps him across the face to show that it's not welcome behavior. And while I appreciate the fact that the RWClark couldn't stand to see Lois kiss anyone else even in an AU....I still think Lois and Oliver should have kissed. It would have felt like less of a double standard and personally it would have helped me as an admitted Clois shipper to just let go and enjoy the fact that everything was different in this episode and all these different dynamics were playing out. But all I could keep thinking of was the insane way that DC comics keeps Lois away from any other man while still allowing AU behavior for CLark...and it bugged me. It made me angry after the episode aired and it colored some of the things that I really did like about the episode.

For what it's worth, I didn't think Clark's line to Lois about knowing when he's lying was weird. I think she proved last season that she does know when he's hiding something---she just doesn't always know what he's hiding. She knew in "Conspiracy" that he was hiding something. She knew he had a secret. She knew in "Salvation" that he was lying. And in the early seasons she was often shown to be the one person who could tell when he was not being honest about his feelings. I think she knows when he's being secretive...she just didn't always know what the secret was.

I liked the final Clark/Tess scene a lot. I thought it was very well done. I can't shake the feeling though that this is still leading to a potentially sad place for Tess later on in the season. Ultimately, I think Tess is a rather tragic character and I can't shake the feeling that she's not going to get a happy ending. That is not how I would like to see her time end on this show....but I think it's a possibility.
jeannev
Dec. 6th, 2010 04:49 am (UTC)
If thats a DC comics rule, its moronic. I would've had no issues with AU Lois and Ollie kissing each other.

And yes, I suspect that Tess is going to have a tragic end. I hate to say that, but thats also my feeling on the matter.
la_belle_isa
Dec. 6th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
I truly loved that episode. It had a clever plot, it opened a new world for me and it left me wanting to see it explored more in depth. All things that makes a good episode imo.
//When all is said and done, you know why I found more enjoyment in this episode then a lot of other eps this season? Because it was a showcase for Tom Welling. And for me, Tom Welling TRUMPS ALL.//
Exactly! This is a rare opportunity. He seemed to zone out a couple of times this season (in Harvest in particular) but certainly not in this one that offered him an interesting challenge. OMG. He was sexy and lethal, he offered an inspired and haunting performance, all that more troubling since he’s so beautiful. So what, the episode wasn’t focused on Lois/Clois for once. I truly don’t care. I know that next week I’ll be drowning in soap and rose petals.

I adored the fact that Lex branded him in the AU. I think too that the ring may have been a red-k one. It looks like AUClark was constantly and since childhood assaulted by the effects of varied sorts of Kryptonite. I found it horrible and very troubling. But hey, AUTess kissed RWClark now THAT’S the true horror, isn’t it.

I appreciate a lot that your lj is a free zone but I realize perfectly well that you’re paying a price for your fairness. Let me just say that that “hypocrit” talk on K-site is really rich. You probably know how I feel about it.

//Don't judge me!//
Never! And btw, I have an NC-17 scene running in my head since I saw the Cless kiss. It’s the first time I actually want to read a het fanfic.
jeannev
Dec. 6th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
I think you bring up a good point, in that this episode introduced another world. And if you are the sort of person that likes a dark, twisted sort of world in fiction (I am), this episode allows you an opportunity for your imagination to run wild.

God knows I love Tom madly, but what was going on with him in Harvest? Aside from the last Clois scenes, he was completely zoned out.

It does seem that in a world where Clark was branded by his brother, and then turned around and killed him, the idea that Clark was engaged in a sexual liason with his adopted sister seems like small potatoes.

Whatever happens, this journal remains a free and open zone. For better or for worse. Thats just the way I roll.

I think the SV fandom is one big hypocrite zone. I try not to throw the word around too much due to that fact.

I do hope that this ep inspired some fanfic writers. I'd love to see it explored. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the best writers left the fandom already. :(
chatchien
Dec. 7th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Hey!

Move over and let me at the keyboard.

I've got to say, like asha14 above, after watching this episode, I was wondering what SV would be like if Miss Freeman had been cast as Lois and Miss Durance had been cast as Tess. This is just my opinion, but I think that Tess would have been scarier---Miss Durance has that thing where she lowers her voice and smiles sweetly and then, as Lois she delivers some painful or tactless truth, but as Tess she would stab the knife in her victim's back.

As Lois, Miss Freeman would have been fun, the way that she widens her eyes and smiles her All-American smile when she's just about to do something outrageous. She lets the audience in on her questionable acts and thoughts. But she might be a little too confounding for Clark in their down time and snuggling time.

Now that's an AU that I would dearly love to see---Tess and Lois SWITCHED!

And of course, in that AU, we would explore the hot chemistry between Tess and Lois. Tess acts annoyed by Lois, but she is always secretly overjoyed to physically fight her for Clark, for Ollie, for that last maple donut. I always loved Tess flirting with Lois. Lois did too.

The one thing that struck me about this episode were the similarities between Lionel resurrected and AI Jor El. When our Clark went to the fortress to get Jor El's advice in how to deal with the alternate universe and I saw Lionel standing there in the fortress, I was reminded of those scenes in the Kowatche Caves when our Lionel was attempting to solve the myteries of Naman and Seguth (or whatever they were called). Lionel and Jor El always attempted to control a Powerful Clark with Power and Force and that never worked out well in our world. Jonathan Kent was powerless in his human way over Clark, but he was the one who could guide and manage without incurring Clark's resentment. Even when Jonathan took on Jor El's power to bring Clark back from Metropolis during his mis-spent teenage rebellion; it really wasn't that fight that made Clark come back to him.

And I've got to say, I would not have been able to watch Ultra Man Clark get that beat down from Lionel because Ultra Man Clark had no doubt received many of those beat downs from resurrected Lionel. That would make it obscene and very disturbing to me. Our Clark didn't have Ultra Man Clark's defenses against Lionel---our Clark was not raised to have those defenses. Our Clark was fearless and working his way out of his danger. Ultra Man Clark would have caved like a little child before Lionel. And I don't want to think about that child abuse or see it re-enacted.

And what is with all this Ollie Love of yours over the last few episodes? I'm telling Clark! Like Tess with Lois, you act annoyed but your lips say, "Take off that shirt, Ollie!" Did you see the brief bare glimpse of Clark's tummy? And where did Ollie get that scar? And I wish that we had seen more of the other Lois and other Ollie's romance. This other Lois knew how to dominate a man unlike our Lois in the stripper club.

Lionel is Back! Yay! And I can't decide if Lionel is back because they can't get Mr. Rosenbaum and the end requires at least one Luthor from the beginning. Or, they are setting up an entrance for Lex to come back and Tess to become what? A Villain or a Heroine? SV is about Clark's beginnings, I don't see how Darkseid fits in there. Darkseid is the future.
jeannev
Dec. 8th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
EEEEEE, Kitty!

Its interesting to think what it would've been like if we shuffled our actors around. Though its harder to do with the guys, because, Hello! Tom Welling=born to be Superman. But, we know Jensen Ackles was the guy he beat out. So, could our Tom have been Coach Teague?

I know I would LOVE to watch a body switch ep between Lois and Tess. How much fun would Erica and Cassidy have with that?

That an interesting comparison, Lionel and AI Jor-El. You know, I'll say this for this episode...it sure has people talking and thinking. Whether they love it, hate it, or fall somewhere in between. I haven't seen so many ideas flying in this fandom in a very long while.

I also think the point you make about Lionel putting the beatdown on AU Clark would've been difficult to watch in a whole other way. Because really, when I watched the episode, there just was no doubt in my mind at all that actual physical abuse was definitely part of his upbringing. Because for Lionel to establish the dominance he'd want over Clark in that world, he'd have to demonstrate that he had the power to hurt him.

Oh, and now lets not be calling my very slight thaw on Ollie "love" please. Just hold on up there with that talk Missy! I expect Oliver to piss me off very soon. And even in the AU, he was still sort of a whiny bitch.

I'm not sure SV knows what its about anymore. I think it has its own unique timeline for everything. I try not to think too hard about it, if I can.
brijeana
Dec. 7th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
If I'm going to see a version of Kal-El that been perverted into an amoral monster, then I should also be given a better explanation of how he got that way.

Yes this. If they needed more time, they should have taken the time.

I was thinking "Wow, you think someone might write a fanfic, and throw Lex in there too".

I know! The dynamics were delicious and I was seriously missing Lex. I just wish they'd used the episode to say more about Clark as a character or to grow him somehow. They didn't so it was like watching a good fluff AU fanfic to me in a lot of ways.

I do wonder how much better this episode might've been if the AU, and the switching of Clark's was really the point of the story

Yes please! This would have made the episode 100x better for me. Less shallow. I agree the acting was amazing! Tom's performance as Clark Luthor gave me chills! Clark could've investigated AUClark's path to evil and AUClark could have experienced a world untainted by AULionel, where he's a hero.

This season already feels a like its got a lot of villians going on, and yet none of them have really been fleshed out. Now we add Lionel to the mix. Is this wise? I guess we'll find out.

Hey, the more the merrier. LOL! I'm as interested in AULionel as any of the others. Maybe I'm a bit more interested in Granny Goodness. She was awesome. LOL!

We needed to be able to get into Clark Luthors head, even for a brief time, to understand what he felt. Was there any remorse? Pain? Did he have genuine feelings for anything, or anyone?

Yes please! I really wanted to know more about how Clark Luthor got to be the murderous Ultraman. I did feel a little bit sorry for Lex after that fencing scene though. Yeah, oddly I feel that this episode gave me more insight in to Lex than Clark Luthor or Clark. It was interesting to see that Lionel feared and hated Clark Luthor more than he loved him. I wondered if the same was true of Lex Luthor in the real world.

AU Clark ultimately got the upper hand, but it seems clear to me that the AU versions of Clark and Lex were rather viciously pitted against each other, and AU Clark didn't always come out the victor.

Wow. This idea totally changes the tone of Lionel's rant about Lex while beating RW Clark. It makes it seem that Lionel is saying Lex should have lived and Clark should have died in that contest. Interesting. And horrifying.

Still, AU Tess seemed to know exactly who AU Clark was, and she wanted him anyway. Even referring to him as "fun" when confronted with the RW Clark.

As twisted as it is, after reading Goodvibe's review, I really feel like my eyes have been opened to the fact that Luthors develop and appetite for the mind games, betrayal and... danger. There's a twisted enjoyment of the power, the risk... I don't know. It's repellent and compelling at the same time. This is not only shining a light on AULionel and AUClark and AUTess but also on RWTess, RWLex and RW Lionel and others... even Lana after she became a Luthor.

Wait, let me go back for a second to their first scene together. Was Clark's dialogue in this scene OOC? Yes, I think so. A contrivance to set up the episode? Yes, again, I think so.

I completely agree.

LOL!!! So are you now a shipper? Are you officially a Clark/Tess shipper? Or are you an AUClark/RWTess shipper? The kiss was HOT I will admit. I don't know if... Clark and Tess would always have that kind of heat though. Clark was evil and Tess is love starved. I don't see them sparking like that under other circumstances. Tess does seem to trigger Clark's crazy button A LOT in all worlds under all sorts of circumstances so maybe that's a sign of lusty hotness. Who knows. *giggle* It IS subjective.

Clois is very hit or miss for me. But when they hit it... they hit it! And I enjoy Clois chemistry in more ways than just lust, it's fun! I DID enjoy the bit of Clark/Tess investigation in Abandoned though. I'm excited to see more of their friendship.

Though obviously a wig, I liked Lois with that hairstyle/length also. <3

Enjoyed your thoughts.
jeannev
Dec. 8th, 2010 02:30 am (UTC)
There are so many episodes, and storyline arcs, that I think could've been something so much more extraordinary given more time. I know I should be over that by now, but I'm just not. I don't think I've ever watched a show that made me feel so dissatisfied with the 1 hour format. And its a writing issue, really.

I do find myself more open to the inclusion of Lionel in this final season, because at least he's the devil we know. I mean, Darkseid? Its really meaningless to me. They just haven't built this storyline up in any way to draw me into it. And since I'm not a comic book reader, I'm not bringing in any knowledge. I've heard some defenses of the writing in this area, and they're well thought out, but they don't work for me. At this point? I don't know enough about the Darkseid stuff to care.

The suicide squad is actually more interesting to me.

I do think the strength in this episode came from giving us just enough of this twisted Luthor family in the AU that our imaginations are running wild with the thought of it. Not everyone, of course. But those of us who find those sorts of twisted, gothic stories compelling (and I'd say there are a lot of us). I mean, I'm so freaking mad right now that I can't write fanfic, because I'd be scribbling down notes for the Luthor family right now.

Am I a shipper? This is an interesting question that I don't know how to answer. Because I don't really have any illusions as to what the true pairings on SV are. So, I enjoyed my Clark/Tess stuff in this episode, but I wouldn't start advocating for Clark to dump Lois and start dating Tess, ya know? But, I do hope that I get more Clark/Tess scenes of substance along the way.

So, am I a shipper? Nah, I don't think so, because as much as I like the Clark/Tess stuff, its not really going to have any impact on how I view the rest of the season. I think I'm still a Clark girl, through and through, and everyone else occupies a whole different level of interest for me. Even Tess.

However, I will say this, in a lot of ways, I think the writing for Tess this season has been better then the writing for Clark, and her storyline has been compelling in a way I wish his was more often.

But in fanfic, or AU-land? Clark and Tess are a smoking twosome. :)

I think Clois chemistry shines most brightly in ways other then lusty, sexy stuff. But whatever my personal feelings are about it, it is very nice to see a relationship where the people are involved are allowed to smile so often.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts too.

agentobrian
Dec. 10th, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC)
Average ST:

Clark- 22m, 27s
Lois- 17m, 9s
Tess- 10m, 8s
Oliver- 8m, 29s

Sorry for the delay. Real life has been a complete bitch this week.
jeannev
Dec. 12th, 2010 05:04 am (UTC)
No apologies necessary. Thanks for continuing to do this for me. :)
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