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Masquerade Screentime Minutes and Thoughts

 Sorry I'm a little late this week.  I started off yesterday just fine, but got hit hard with some food that didn't agree with me, and I'm sure we all know how pleasant that experience can be, right?  So, needless to say, I wasn't in the right head space for a rewatch, screentime count, or review.

Still feeling a little on the punk side, but well enough to get this posted.

Screentime Minutes

Masquerade, running time 41m, 35s (Previously on: 1m, 23s)

Clark  17m, 13s
Lois  9m, 48s
Oliver  13m, 59s
Chloe  19m, 29s

Desaad  7m, 57s

Fake Clark 1m, 5s
Fake Lois  55s
Fake Oliver  57s

Year To Date (# of eps)

Clark  297m, 23s (14)
Lois   231m, 37s (14)
Tess   97m, 33s (10)
Oliver 114m, 38s (12)

Chloe  53m, 51s (6)



I don't think there's any other way to start this review then by saying OMG, WHY CAN'T THE WRITING FOR CLARK BE THIS GOOD EVERY WEEK?  Right, am I right?  How is it that there's a writer on the SV staff (kudos to Mr Miller) who so clearly understands who Clark Kent is, who he should be, how he should sound and act....and yet this show gets it wrong so often?  How do you go from a writer that gives us such a weak Clark 2 weeks ago, to 1 that writes him like the rock star he is?

It boggles the mind.

I sort of feel like Mr Miller has been reading my complaints about the writing for Clark this season, and just addressed those concerns one by one.  In this episode, we got a Clark off doing his Blur rescue thing on the general population.  And not just in Metropolis, not just in the USA, but worldwide!  We got a Clark that was portrayed as very smart, and very capable.  We got a Clark who bantered with Lois, not one that relied on her for peptalks and motivation.  We got a Clark that came face-to-face with a Darkseid minion, and was not even a candidate for The Darkness!  We got a Clark that was funny!  And we got a Clark that got his own fanboy in the hilarious Bert (can we keep him, please?).

Top to bottom, it was all good.

I have to admit that going into this episode, and hearing the spoilers about Lois deciding Clark needed a disguise, and her "pushing" him, and "being up in his face" about it, really had me expecting the worst.  And why wouldn't I?  The show has really conditioned me to think that way.  And when the disguise stuff initially came up, I have to admit that I had that moment of annoyance.  But it was all handled and written so wonderfully, with Clark always having a very strong POV.  And I love how Clark was able to address his reluctance to Lois at the end, and in such a way that perfectly explaned his reluctance to wear a mask, or disguise himself in his Blur persona.

I know the whole Clark is the disguise, No, Superman is the disguise, thing is obviously a cause for debate amongst longtime Superman fans.  For me, I just felt like the way it was addressed here, on the show, made sense to me.  Especially in light of what Martha said to Clark at the end of last weeks episode.  I in no way felt Clark was disrespecting his upbringing, or his name.

Also written exceptionally well in this episode was Lois.  I so prefer the snarkier, feisty Lois to the sappy cheerleader.  I love the genuine exasperation she showed with Clark (which was returned in kind, which was another reason why it was so great).  Because that feels far more real, and couple-like to me.  It feels much more like what I think Clark and Lois should be as a couple.  And no matter what exasperation existed, at no time did it turn nasty, or feel like there was any less love and regard in the air.

And speaking of Mr Miller addressing my previous issues, I can't even say how pleased I was to hear Lois express how little fun she was having in planning a wedding.  I never quite bought her as the gushy wedding planning type, so I was glad to see them reverting Lois back to a woman that approaches wedding planning like a military manuever.

Though, the whole wedding model in the middle of the Daily Planet.  Very funny idea, and dialogue, wrong location.  Then again, both Clark and Lois had a lot of inappropriate conversations at the DP this week.  This is what happens when you run out of sets, I guess, LOL 

And can we just take a moment to appreciate the funny?  The "Whoosh!" moment was terrific.  As was Clark's reaction to her scoffing as "microvision".  More, I'll do more on the dialogue later.

For me, as a viewer thats very rooted in my Clark FF ways, I really NEED to see Clark out there doing things on his own.  So, I really appreciated them allowing Clark to be at that crime scene without Lois.  Because they needed to show just how much respect Clark has earned on his own as a reporter.  This was important.  Having Lois there would clutter the scene unnecessarily.

I feel like if I try to address every scene with Clark that I loved, this could be a very long review.  So, lets just sum it up....All of Them.  I don't think I've said that this season since Ambush, and probably only then for this season.


Now, here's the rub with this episode though.  There was a whole lot of time spent on a storyline that I just am not invested in, and don't particularly enjoy watching, which is the Chlollie stuff.  Maybe it was handled better in this episode then its been handled previously, but its hard for me to judge that, because I just don't like it, or care about it.  I will say this though, I did get the impression in this episode that although Chloe does love Oliver, I don't feel that she's nearly as invested in this relationship as he is.  And ya know, I like that, because it makes sense to me.  Oliver has been shown to fall in love pretty damned easily, and Chloe has had a pretty rocky road.  I also see how that might play in her eventual exit from the story again, but we'll see on that.

Oh, and of course, Oliver has been marked by The Darkness!, so that could be a problem.  

I find myself laughing a bit at SV's penchant for this TWIST! endings.  They do it on a fairly regular basis, and they've sort of lost the shock appeal for me.  This week its *TWIST* Oliver is marked by the darkness.  Last week, its was *TWIST* Alexander is invulnerable.  In Luthor, it was *TWIST* AU Lionel is on our world.  And so on, and so forth.  

As someone who harbors some serious Oliver issues, I cannot even begin to explain how freaking satisfying it is to me that Oliver defied Clark's wisdom in handling the situation, and he got screwed.  LOL Forever!!

Must give mad props to Steve Byers portrayal of Desaad.  Completely the right mixture of menace, and temptation, with a chaser of Sexy!  In fact, I have to admit that all the actors chosen to play Darkseid minions have been exceptionally good.  I wish they had been used better, or more consistently.  And it doesn't change my conclusion that the Darkseid arc wasn't really needed in this season at all.  However, I really do need to give it up for the casting people, and for actors who can come in and play these types of roles and nail it so completely in one shot.

While I didn't like the Chlollie, I do have to say that I thought the Chloe/Desaad scene, and the last Chloe/Oliver scene, had some of the most interesting writing I've seen for Chloe in a long time.  Every "sin" that Chloe was tempted with felt truly organic to who she is, and who she's been.  That Clark would still represent 'lust" for her feels organic.  That there's still a part of her that might "envy" Lois feels organic.  But more then any of that, that "pride" would be her weakest point feels right on the freaking money.  Another great thing about this script was that BQM wasn't interested in putting Chloe on a pedestal, or canonizing her.  He was more interested in making her real, and true to who she's been.  Again, just like the writing for Clark that should be a weekly thing, this is the sort of writing that Chloe should've had in all of her eps since returning.

Though, we did now get a fourth explanation of Chloe leaving, with the line "...to proud to ask for helo, thats why we vanished without a trace."  Oh, come on show, make up your mind!  Was it a trade for Oliver?  The Dr Fate helmet? Staying away so Clark could stand on his own? Or was it Chloe's pride getting in the way?  I'm so confused!

Now, as much as this show was one of the better ones of the season, and as much as the writing for Clark was AWESOME!, this episode was not without its problems.

As I've mentioned the excess of Chlollie seemed, well, excessive.  That they should get screentime upon her return I don't dispute.  That it should be the A plot in this way?  Well, not so much.  And also, the fight scene, and the rip-off of the movie Date Night?  Both silly.

As I mentioned the wedding model, and the Clois conversations taking place in the middle of the DP was just odd.  I could get around the final talk, since it seems to have taken place in a seperate room.  But the conversations that seem to be occuring in the middle of a crowded work space?  Hard to ignore.

So, Desaad trapped Clark in a spinning black cloud?  I mean, I get the idea, but what a strange execution.  Both me and my sister were like "Um, whats happening here?"  And I don't think I should ever be saying something like that when watching a show like Smallville.

Now, all that is small potatoes,  and I can get over it pretty easily.  But here's the one big problem spot I had have with the episode, and thats the ultimate handling of Desaad.  According to Clark, "We silenced Godfrey, shut down Granny's orphanage, and buried Desaad underneath Belle Reve".  Um, what?  Unless Godfrey and Granny are locked down somewhere (and we've gotten nothing to suggest that), then Clark and team hasn't really handled them at all.  Whats to stop Godfrey from preaching from street corners?  Whats to stop Granny from snatching up little girls and making more Furies?  In fact, what happened to the Furies?  And I'm guessing from "buried underneath Belle Reve" that they locked up Desaad in Belle Reve, but how the hell does that make sense?  The guy can infect people with Darkness! Cause their bodies to massively hemorrhage (apparently with his mind), throw people around by willing it so, and conjure up black spinning clouds that can restrain someone like Clark.  So, putting him in Belle Reve is a good idea?  I mean, if Slade was Phantom Zone material, wouldn't Desaad be Phantom Zone materal?  No, instead, put him in a mental institution where there is NO WAY he could gain access to vulnerable people?  What?  How does that make any sense whatsoever?

And thats a pretty big ball to drop at the end of a really well played game.

A few weeks ago, after Collateral, I quoted some lines from the script to illustrate just how awful the dialogue was.  For this episode, I'd like to do the same to illustrate just how great this script was.  Though I do have to give massive kudos to the lines deliveries by the actors:

"I spell-checked it, twice"
"You talk like a cop, and walk like a fireman"
"I'm a little bit bigger then you..and it probably has to do with center of gravity"
"Tiny Martha?"
"He says you're lucky to be engaged to such a super guy" "Did he?"
"Its my power, I can call it whatever I want"
"You're so dramatic"
"You just hae to act like you're miserable" "That shouldn't be a problem"
"Its not any worse then machine gun fire" "Thats debatable"
"Whoosh!"
"I'm not even going to attempt the Chinese, because I'd just sound racist"

And although there's nothing at all original about the line "Good things come to those who wait", the delivery of that line by Steve Byers was tremendous!

So, in conclusion, could the writing for Clark in this episode be the shape of things to come?  Or one of those exceptions to the rule?  Lets all hope for the former.

Don't know what I'm going to think of next weeks ep, but I'm not a big fan of having a timeout for a wacky hi-jinks episodes.  But, we'll see.  Hopefully it will be funny, and entertaining.





Comments

( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
costas22
Feb. 20th, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)
Hey! I hope you feel as good as new in no time. :)

For the record, I had my mind set on this icon before I read your review. I somehow knew that you'd love the guy. I read somewhere that one of BQM's talents is that he makes the most of these little characters when he brings them to life. I have to agree. A year ago, I couldn't imagine that Q would become my favourite SV writer in season 10. I think that's a testament to how poor the writing has been all throughout. It's not that he gets Clark. Henderson/Whitehead seemed to get Clark in Ambush and look how they wrote him in Beacon. It's just that he gets the bare essentials on how to write a superhero episode. And his dialogue is usually easy to digest.

Anyway, I am glad you liked this episode from Clark's POV. It was about time too. And even though I didn't warm up to the first couple of Clois scenes, by episode's end, they were spot on. It was so refreshing to see him active in an episode. And to be proved correct. With Lois and with Oliver. Now, I notice that you were kind of cruel towards Oliver there, but I get you, lol. See I read your Doomsday deep thoughts recently and I know how long you've waited for this.;) I hate that twist by the way. As well as last week's. And I hate the fact that the next episode doesn't look like addressing any of them.

And I found your thought about Chloe's writing very accurate. My main wish for Chloe's return, was to get some realism back in her storyline. To make her more down to earth. And I am glad that Miller wrote Chloe like you'd write a somewhat normal 24 year old girl that doesn't know where life takes her. Doesn't happen often on Smallville. Of course we also got Chloe knocking out feds, but whatevs...Anyway, when she saw her S4 photo with nostalgia, that was a nice moment imo. And if she comes full circle and leaves the show as Chloe 1.0, I'll like that ending. As for Chlollie, like Chloe, I like that certain issues were addressed. Could have done with less screentime, but to be honest, Chlollie scenes work for me more than Clois scenes at the moment.

So to wrap up, a solid episode. I would lie if I said I was looking forward to next week.:( The trailer was funny, but the timing of the episode is weird to say the least.
jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
Ah, Bert! My new best friend.

I think that you're absolutely right that BQM seems to have an understanding on how to write a superhero show. And he also seems like a genuinely witty guy, and that has to help. Even from the interactions on twitter, I don't get the sense of other writers even having a sense of humor.

Believe me, at first with the Clois/disguise stuff, I was gritting my teeth. And then I realized that they were handling differently in regards to Clark. Instead of him just standing there, blankly, he seem to pushing back. Even annoyed a little, while indulging Lois. And then I got the sense that it was going to be OK, and it was.

Yeah, me and Oliver have a very difficult relationship. Although I didn't wish The Darkness! on him, I can't say I'm sorry that they showed that he was vulnerable to it, because honestly, Oliver has been shown to be a very conflicted guy with some dubious methods.

In the past, I always enjoyed Lana the most when they allowed Lana to be the more real, and fallible. And I feel the same way about Chloe. Honestly, this glorifying of characters, so often at Clark's expense, does nothing to endear them to me. Here, Chloe seemed the most Chloe-like in a really long time. And thats because the episode allowed her some introspection, and it allowed us a glimpse of the inner turmoil that Chloe has, which makes her just like any other character.

I would lie if I said I was looking forward to next week too :(
costas22
Feb. 21st, 2011 07:26 am (UTC)
In regards to Oliver, I think it was also a case of Clark's warning proving to be prophetic. Hence the Doomsday reference. Perhaps from now on, he will listen to Clark more often. I don't know how the omega symbol works, so I hope we don't get to see evil Oliver for a while. I have a feeling that Chloe's love might help. Remember that Desaad told Clark that he is incorruptible now because he has more love in his heart. Kind of lame if you ask me, but that's the show's canon.

I was wondering a bit about your take on whether CK or Superman is the disguise. I didn't see it as Clark disrespecting his upbringing either, but is it safe to say that the show has focused so much on Clark Kent as an everyday person that it's very hard to start seeing that as just a disguise? I agree that it's just words, but after 10 years of watching Clark Kent struggle and fight to reach his destiny, I find it hard to call him anything else. Maybe if he said "CLark Kent will now become a disguise" I would have been perfectly fine with it. Don't know about you.
jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
Actually, what I'm hoping is that we get to see some sort of hint with Oliver in each of his appearances, until the shit hits the fan. I don't want them to ignore it. I also don't want Chloe's love to have a thing to do with it. Because, really, if Chloe's love couldn't shield him from it initially, then I don't think they should have her love cure him. I also don't see this whole thing blowing wide open by the next ep, and after that, Chloe is gone.

Ultimately, I want Clark to be the one that saves him, because I think the show should let Clark make some of those big saves.

I think the "more love in his heart" line wasn't just about Lois. I think what they were implying was that Clark had opened his heart up to more love in all areas. With Lois, with his super friends, with having Chloe back, with his forgiveness of Tess, and with him finally allowing himself to believe that he was making a difference to people. Not to mention forgiving himself for his fathers death. So, I didn't take that line to be Lois-specific really.

Honestly, even though we've been watching Clark Kent all these years, doesn't it always feel like Clark was never 100% comfortable in his own skin? I think what we're seeing is Clark Kent finally coming into his own, and for him, he doesn't need to assign a name to that. Because its really a combination of all these identities, Clark Kent, Kal-El, The Blur. Ultimately, what and who Clark is finding the most fulfilling is the hero that goes out and saves people and makes a difference in their lives. I keep thinking back to Martha's words, where she said it didn't matter what he was called, he would always be her son. And thats how I'm looking at what Clark said. No matter what he's called, he'll always be Jonathan and Martha Kent's son. He'll always be the guy you grew up in Smallville, and had the friends he's had, and the experiances he's had. None of that will ever change. But the name just isn't that important.
costas22
Feb. 21st, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, I guess I misjudged Desaad's quote then. My bad. It's just that when this show uses the word love, it's usually about romance. If that's the case, yes, Clark is considerably stronger compared to Supergirl or Abandoned. For the reasons you mentioned.

You make a good point and really, at the end of the day, the name isn't important. It's just that I never bought in the whole Blur persona/suit thing. And this may sound weird, but Clark wearing the iconic suit hasn't been at the top of my wish list. Flight, yes. Tights, not really. I've liked him just fine as Clark Kent when he was pulling guys with one arm and on Green K in Jitters or when he was saving Tess from a burning jet in Turbulence. Smallville has given the name Clark Kent a lot more prominence compared to other Superman incarnations. Anyway, like you said, the important thing is that he is still the same guy.

Finally, yes, the cliffhanger from Masquerade does seem like something that will play a part in the last episodes. However, depending on how the Chlollie arc wraps up next week, it could prove to be a dark cloud over it. That's why I found the timing really strange. Of course, with this being Smallville, the whole thing could be forgotten for a few episodes, lol. We will see.
jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, you didn't misjudge it. Its just a different interpretation of it, and for all I know, BQM could've written that thinking along the same lines as you. This was just the way I wanked it in my head.

I don't care that much about the suit, but I do think the show wouldn't feel right unless that was the ultimate culmination. Its just part of the character. Part of Superman.

I think that whatever happens with Chlollie, until Oliver is "cured", has to be called into question. And I think that might ultimately be the shows loophole. They're way of trying to give Chlollie fans what they want, and then finding a way to appease Green Arrow mythos people. This show loves to try and throw a bone to everyone. Frankly, I have no clue where's its going, but I have no investment in Chloe and Oliver ending up together.
jude_judith82
Feb. 21st, 2011 12:09 am (UTC)
Just yes to you're whole review.

So, in conclusion, could the writing for Clark in this episode be the shape of things to come? Or one of those exceptions to the rule? Lets all hope for the former.

Let's all hope. I just don't see how writing Clark could be that difficult really. These people need to step it up.

Don't know what I'm going to think of next weeks ep, but I'm not a big fan of having a timeout for a wacky hi-jinks episodes. But, we'll see. Hopefully it will be funny, and entertaining.

I'm sure it will be but at this point I'm done with filler I want the story to move along.
jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
I don't see why writing Clark is so difficult either. I don't understand why good=boring for so many writers. And I don't understand why they seem to have such a hard time grasping why stalling Clark to such a degree has a negative impact on his character. Or they don't care. I don't know which.

But then you have an ep like this, and its awesome, and its impossible to figure out why they can't do it all the time.

I'm also done with filler at this point. There's nothing I've heard about Fortune that makes it sound necessary. It seems to be something they are doing because they wanted something "fun". And I just don't think you write the final season of a show like that.
chatchien
Feb. 21st, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
I have to admit that going into this episode, and hearing the spoilers about Lois deciding Clark needed a disguise, and her "pushing" him, and "being up in his face" about it, really had me expecting the worst.

I don't read spoilers, but I liked the way this was handled. Lois was trying to invent the Superman disguise not the Clark Kent one. It was the Inverse Disguise. And Lois' disguise costume was very reminiscent of the Green Arrow. In a way, Lois was trying to make Clark into a Green Arrow type of hero, and Clark is unique.

I am coming around to Clark Kent being the disguise because SV has always made Clark Kent the guy who wanted to be like everyone else. He wanted to play football, he wanted to fit into his high school, he wanted the perfect girl whom everyone wanted, and he wanted to stay on the farm in his old room despite the need for his unique powers and self elsewhere in the world. So yeah, Clark Kent is the ordinary and Kal El was never ordinary in his life. Now, I begin to understand Martha Kent's acceptance of his disguise. This makes me think of Labyrinth and even Bizzarro in their explorations of the two Clark Kents.

While I didn't like the Chlollie,
I never cared for it myself until this episode. I enjoyed it. And no, Chloe doesn't love Ollie as much as he loves her. Chloe didn't love Faux Jimmy as much as he loved her and she didn't love Doomsday either. Chloe isn't built to love someone like that. She didn't even love Clark that much. The only thing that I can think of that Chloe did love whole heartedly was The Torch. That was hers and hers alone.

Chloe left because Chloe is essentially removed in her interactions with others. Ollie like all the others before him will find that out.

The writers finally admitted that they made Chloe into so many things that fit the plot not the character. Chloe 1.0 went out in Season One, why should she come back?
jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
They did handled the disguise thing right with Lois. So, I'm very, very glad that the impressions I got from spoilers was wrong. I don't have any problem admitting that.

I also think SV is getting it right in the way Clark is coming into his own identity. In a way, its sort of like Clark re-defining himself as neither Clark Kent as he was, or The Blur. I don't know if I can explain it, but I like the message that the proactive hero is the one identity that feels like the right for Clark, and his true one.

I think you have some very interesting insights into Chloe. Truth be told, I don't think I've ever felt like Chloe felt the same amount of love and affection for anyone as much as she did Clark. And see, this is where I divert from most of fandom, because I never thought that made Chloe pathetic. I found how she channeled that affection into a positive friendship to be endearing. So, when they started to tear that down in her character, the thing I found most endearing about Chloe was gone as well.

But, yeah, Oliver, Jimmy? I don't see her nearly as committed to them as they seem to be to her.

I do like the fact that this writer confronted Chloe's past, instead of pretending like it didn't happen.

And I'm sorry, but this seems like a totally incoherent reply. Blame it on me being sick, LOL
chatchien
Feb. 21st, 2011 01:56 am (UTC)
And I'm sorry, but this seems like a totally incoherent reply. Blame it on me being sick, LOL
I'm sorry that you are sick. I spent the last month and half with gastrio-intestinal distresses, so I thoroughly understand how unpleasant it can be.

That said, I must be getting sick again too, because you made sense to me. ;-)

And see, this is where I divert from most of fandom, because I never thought that made Chloe pathetic. I found how she channeled that affection into a positive friendship to be endearing.
Oh yes! I have always liked Chloe, but I have never wanted her to end up with Clark or be perfect or some sort of a superhero. I wanted her to be Chloe and still be a very good if not the best friend of Clark. Chloe did take over Comic Conventional Pete Ross' role as Clark's best friend from his youth and still BF in his prime. I don't know about Comic History, but did Pete Ross ever get any superpowers? Wasn't he just always ordinary (like Lois) and still deeply loved by Clark?

In a way despite the writers confusing character and powers that appear and then disappear development of Chloe, she has managed to be her own woman. I attribute that to Miss Mack's firm grasp on her character. No matter how absurd or reductive or mangled her character was written, Miss Mack pulled it back to her vision of Chloe (I don't think that Miss Kreuk was able to do that with Lana Lang which was a shame for that character).

After ten years of SV, I feel that I know who Clark Kent is (and who he is becoming) and who Chloe is (and she is not what some people wish her to be). And Chloe is Not Pathetic. She is someone who should be respected. Despite their differences, Clark has respected her. Chloe is prickly and arrogant and over-riding and very intelligent and diligent and cheerful and has a great fashion sense and condescending at times and responsible...she is her own woman. She stands on her own with no apologies.

Oh well, my tribute to Chloe.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 21st, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
Masquerade addressed a lot issues relating to Clark that were dealt with such as his secret identity, his work as a journalist independent of Lois, having microvision, and facing the darkness by himself this time around. Bryan Miller writes for Clark very well, but he writes for Chloe also in most of his episodes. They finally brought back the Darkseid plot for the first time since Abandoned and that's a huge chunk of time not spent.

We get to see Clark's viewpoint concerning the secret identity and thankfully, he shot down both the sunglasses and hood that made him look like a big version of Impulse. As Homecoming foretold, they showed him deciding to wear glasses after his scenes with fellow journalist, Burt. If Clark adopted a secret identity merely just because Lois told him to, it would make Clark as if he had no mind of his own. I was hoping they'd address the suit in the Fortress.

Clark was proactive in his investigations that lead him to Desaad and was showing leadership when he told Oliver to stay put. What happened to Oliver in both the climax and end of the episode proved how right Clark was and this will be a problem for he and the Justice League down the line. Bryan Miller did a great job in showing Clark's work as a journalist in his own right, something that the rest of the writers didn't emphasize.

They corrected Supergirl in that Clark was facing the darkness on his own and this time he beat it as proved incorruptible in comparison to how Kara used the bracelet to repel it. I believe Clark is ready to take the suit back from Jor-El, but he will learn how to fly first again.

To see Clark going global and having the microvision shows that he had more development in this episode than any other episode since Homecoming.

Chloe was holding her own against Desaad until she faced pride, something that she didn't beat when Clark rescued her in the nick of time. The jury's still out on her. However, she did faced her demons with illusions of Clark, Lois, and Oliver. They also addressed the problem with her character that has worn too many hats for the last several seasons and the same thing applies to Tess.

The Oliver/ Chloe stuff was too much for my tastes and a lot was unnecessary. I find it hard to believe Chloe could take down the FBI agents. When Oliver attacked Desaad, this left him vulnerable to Darkseid's control as the end showed. I hope they address this in the next episode. Desaad was better used this time around than Abandoned.

Lois should have been with Clark to find Chloe instead of planning their wedding. She tried a disguise for Clark which didn't work thankfully. However, had they addressed the suit in the Fortress, this would have been unnecessary.

Because of the Oliver/ Chloe stuff that was too much, it's clear there wasn't enough in the original script so that they used the Oliver/ Chloe scenes to fill up time than anything else.

Great episode for Clark's development and the Darkseid plot, but I didn't care for anything else.

vantheman77
jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 01:55 am (UTC)
I really felt like this episode was doing a checklist of some of my issues with the writing for Clark, and trying to address them. When I saw them start the episode with Clark making saves around the world, I was thrilled.

I've really come to the conclusion that the whole Darkseid thing was ill-conceived, and unnecessary. Take it out, tweak a few things along the way, and I think you would've had a better season. Also, a plot like Darkseid brings along the same problems that previous seasons had with plots like Doomsday, or The Phantoms, which is when you have so many weeks that seem to ignore the menace, the characters come off as slightly oblivious. Which isn't a positive at all.

I wouldn't go so far as to say they corrected Supergirl, but they did have Clark move past it. For me, there will never be any correcting that awful episode.

I do think pride was Chloe's Achilles heel, and I thought that was very appropriate. That to me shows a writer that truly understands the character they are writing for.

To me, the excessive Chlollie stuff just feels like a pander to those fans. Because, really, I'm not sure what it does for Chloe or Oliver as individual characters, especially when Chloe is only around for a few eps. And Oliver has flipped and flopped out of love for seasons now. And it has zero to do with Clark. I just have a lot of issues with the whole thing.

I'm not sure that Lois was ever even aware that Chloe was taken until Clark had already rescued her. If you figure that he went straight from Watchtower to that warehouse, then I doubt he would've stopped to call Lois.

For me, if an episode is great for Clark, its just automatically a better episode. My focus is really simple, I think.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 21st, 2011 04:31 am (UTC)
Basically, whatever happened in Collateral was temporary. Since that episode, Clark has become proactive in his investigations and showing leadership. We see that Clark no longer has insecurities and doubts.

You're right that Smallville never does well with menacing monsters such as Darkseid and Doomsday. It's best stories always take place on Earth dealing with Earth-bound problems. I'd prefer Intergang, Checkmate, and Suicide Squad, along with Lex clones than alien menaces.
jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 06:20 am (UTC)
Well, I had some issues with the way Clark was written in Beacon too, though it was a step up from Collateral. Masquerade was a whole flight of stairs up from both of those eps.

I think the mistake SV makes with some of these villain arcs is way they treat them as out-of-sight-out-of-mind. And something like The Darkness! can't just be ignored for a week when the show decides it wants to do something else. Which is why its not a good idea.
jwm_rocks
Feb. 21st, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
//"You're so dramatic"//
Any writer who takes Ollie + dramatic and doesn't write "drama queen" is winner in my book.

Great review as usual. The fact it's a positive one is like vanilla bean icing on the cake. Hope you feel better soon.

It was a strong Clark ep and you're right. It shouldn't be that hard to do.

I'll save time - I heartily agree with all your likes. The dislikes we differed a bit on. But being unspoiled could have made all the difference there.

Have to admit though the highlight of it for me was the diorama with tiny Martha and tiny JLA. How sad is it that Clark thought there'd only be tiny Martha on his side of the church? :(. Poor Clark.

I missed Tess. And could have stood to have Chloe interact with someone other than Oliver, specifically Clark.

And the elephant in the room for me in all this is the suit Lois has already seen. How does that not come up?
jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
Believe me, I wish I could do positive reviews every week. I wish the show delivered the goods every week.

The diorama was hilarious, and I did love it. I just don't know why Lois set it up at the DP. But, that was really minor, because it was still super cute. And Clark's "Tiny Martha?" will never not be funny.

I do notice that this episode seemed to be missing significant Clark/Chloe interaction. Since Clark was the one that saved her, and zipped her out of there, I guess I expected some sort of scene after that, with maybe Chloe sharing what she experianced? But really, Clark and Chloe at this point aren't really believable as super close friends anymore, and thats a shame.

Yeah, its strange how the suit just seems to be forgotten most of the time. But then again, introducing it the way they did, then having Jor-El take it for no logical reason was always pretty poorly thought out.
brijeana
Feb. 21st, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed the episode. There were lots of great character moments. I too loved the temptation of Chloe and I felt like it was a great way to address Chloe's shady behavior while keeping the forward momentum of her story arc. I didn't even think about Lois' military style wedding planning. LOL! Great observation. The writing for Clark was much better. I appreciate the writing even more after reading your post. After watching I marveled at the fact that I didn't miss Tess! LOL!
jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)
I'm just so glad that we had an episode that seems to acknowledge that Chloe has issues! All this "She's just the most awesomest ever" stuff was making my eye twitch.

I always miss Tess when she's not there, but really, this episode didn't need her. I'm a big believer in the idea that only Clark needs to appear in every episode, and other characters should be used when they make sense. And I can't really see a space that Tess needed to occupy here. If you figure that she's off taking care of Alexander, and thats probably what she told Clark and Oliver, it makes sense that no one would reach out to her for information.

But, I'm looking forward to her being back next week. And I hope they have a good explanation for her waiting so long to tell Clark about Alexander.
wingster55
Feb. 21st, 2011 05:09 am (UTC)
1. Hope you feel better.

2. BQM has massively improved since s8 imo.Chloe and Clark were written great but the others didn't grate as they often do to me..but his eps still have that bit of cheese I dislike..

3. Why is Jeff the intern, interning Lois? She's on the lowest level. It's more of the "Lois is teh awesome!" that I disliked in Hex. It always bugged me.

4. No Tess :( but understandable

5. AM acted the heck out of the ep I felt. The rest were great too.

6. No mention of how AM looked in the red dress? How. Dare. You.

7. Not looking forward to next week that much but monkeys and "Chless" dancing? Win.

8. I'm on a horse.
jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 06:17 am (UTC)
1. Thanks. I took off from work tomorrow, just to get some rest.
2. I don't know. Compared to other SV writers, I don't see where BQM's ep have any excessive cheese.
3. I do agree with you that Lois having a lackey doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Honestly? Jeff the intern has never done much for me. But Bert, the fanboy photographer? Awesome!
4. She'll be back next week. :)
5. AM was very good. I thought everyone was good this week.
6. I liked the red dress, and I think its a great color for AM. But I LOVED the red coat.
7. Its a lemur, and although that looks cute, I'm still skeptical about Fortune.
8. ?????
svfan01
Feb. 21st, 2011 06:36 am (UTC)
Masquerade was probably the worst Jeff appearance but for the most part I think his casually showing up in an episode here or their sort of adds "life" to the Daily Planet. It's nice when you can add a small cameo by a character to liven up to feel of an actual working place instead of making it just feel like it's a background where 2 characters talk but not much else(even if it's something small like Clark stealing a donut from Jeff in Echo)
svfan01
Feb. 21st, 2011 06:27 am (UTC)
I am not surprised Masquerade was good, in general I like all the episodes BQM has written so far and this was the episode I was most looking forward to mainly on the basis of the writer then anything else.

I basically agree with everything you said good episode overall although a little to much Chlollie for my tastes.

If I had to point out one negative, I think it would have been better(although probably hard to get AM to agree) to spread AM's episodes throughout the season. Back to Back to Back episodes with so much Chloe has just put the season sort of in a lull. I don't think Chloe was ever ment to be a feature character and while the Chloe arc is 100 times better then the S8 Lana arc(which was like a train wreck for that season) it's just to much in such a short period for a character who has minimal importance to the overall season storyline.

In terms of BQM I think he generally gets the idea how to write a superhero based show. Committed and Hex rank among my top favorites of all time, Bulletproof, Echo and Warrior are all in my top 50(ish) while Luthor was a very good episode as well(for an AU which is not always my favorite story telling method). The fact he can make Chloe likable/relatable for most of his episodes really says how well he can write. It doesn't surprise me he got a job writing comics and I wouldn't be surprised if he will take his writing talents to another superhero/scifi based show(s) in the near future. It's sort of sad that I think he would have done a much better job as an executive producer then the soap opera mentality of our current producers

jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
I think there's only one BQM episode I really have a big problem with, and thats Echo. I don't think that episode is well written at all, and I dislike the writing for Clark quite a bit. But outside of that? I think he's done a pretty good job. And in this season, where writing for Clark has not been strong at all, he's been a stand-out.

Really, there was too much Chlollie for my tastes as well.

I don't think there was any way to spread AM's episodes around because I doubt AM would agree to that. Honestly, the best approach is to write her as a real person, instead of worrying about bringing her back as a "badass", or trying to please Chlollie 'shippers, or any of that. This idea that echoes the Lana arc, which is that these characters have to go out as big heroes, nearly equal to Clark, is just idiotic.
tjw_jaypat
Feb. 21st, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, at last some better writing for Clark! I´m all with you there of course.

However, I probably see the first scene a little bit more critical. It seemed that Clark was shown to be too oblivious to the very problem of being recognized out there. So Lois had to alert him to the problem by "getting in his face" about it. I would have preferred if he had realized that problem on his own, but since the whole disguise stuff was handled rather well, I´m not really coming down on this. It justs irks me a little. It would have been worse if Lois had suggested the glasses "disguise".

Speaking of which: it seems to me they won´t spend any more time of explaining how this glasses disguise is supposed to work. After 10 years of SV, however, it´s absolutely ridiculuous to assume that nobody is gonna recognize Clark. So I´d rather take a Zatanna spell or whatever contrivance as an explanation, but not just the glasses themselves. That would be too lazy, but I expect our beloved writers to try to get away with the least effort as always. The ostensibly disrespectful reaction of Jeff towards Clark at the end indicated that the glasses are all that´s needed...

It is such a shame that a topic for which many fans have waited for 10 years is relegated to the B-plot of 17mins, while a departing character gets the rest of the episode. I trust that BQM got it assigned. If not, my respect for him will suffer again. Though the 17 min we got were great I still fell cheated as a long time fan.


jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean about the first scene, and I'm not disagreeing, but I think the way they ultimately handled the issue was by explaining that Clark was really enjoying doing what he was doing, with that persona, and so he was pushing being recognized into the back of his mind. At least thats what I got out of it. And I also think that by having Clark be not at all passive to Lois' pushing, they evened the playing field quite a bit, and it felt like more of a conversation, then just Lois being active, and Clark being passive.

To me the glasses were always a ridiculous disguise for Clark Kent. In any version of Superman. So, I figure I have to just accept that its part of the storyline canon, or be annoyed with it in general.

I do agree that the Chlollie stuff could've, and should've, been trimmed down a bit, and they could've have a scene or two extra for Clark, and the disguise. No arguments there.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 21st, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
Hey Valerie

Sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling well, and I hope that you're feeling better by now. Here, take this: some organic ginger tea. This should be good for relieving some discomfort that you may have with your digestion. It's best to drink it a couple hours before or after meals for best results.

Anyway, great review as always. Yes, an excellently written Clark. He should be written AT LEAST that good in every episode. It's a shame that it's so rare that the central character is written so well that it becomes an event to celebrate over. I think that we can say goodbye to that for next week though.

I liked Lois in this one as well. At first, I wasn't feeling how much she was all over Clark about his lack of concern about being recognized, but Clark ultimately had the final say, so that issue worked out alright. I personally think that this is something that Clark should've figured out on his own a while back, and throwing Lois into the mix could've been avoided, but it is what it is. Of course I liked her "Whoosh!", and the best line of the episode from Clark: "It's my power, I can call it whatever I want" with excellent delivery. It was like they were *gasp* real people for a change.

To get to your point about how Desaad was concluded in that episode. What a cheap cop-out if you ask me. It was purposely written to be clouded in ambiguity so that they wouldn't have to really explain how they got rid of him. It doesn't make any sense that he would be locked up in Belle Reeve at all since he, as far as I know, still possesses inhuman powers that can be used to corrupt and infect many others. I know that some have speculated that the dark power within him may have been transferred into Oliver, which rendered Desaad powerless. I don't know how that could be possible though, unless he was just an ordinary human that was used as a vessel for the darkness. From what I understand, Desaad is a servant of Darkseid that naturally possesses inhuman abilities, but his origins on SV have never been explained and remain a mystery - just another problem that I've had with this "darkness" storyline. What have Desaad and Granny been up to all of this time and how long have they been on Earth? I think that they will both be conveniently left unexplained, but I'd like some kind of mention of it at least.

The Desaad situation could've easily been better handled if another minute had been afforded to it, rather than "Chlollie" hogging up so much of the episode. I won't even go into my thoughts on those two characters. I will say that I thought that the final Chloe scene was written well, and it's too bad that there hasn't been much of that for her character since what went down in Doomsday. Still, one good scene doesn't make things all better after so much damage and ass-kissing has already been done.

I won't even go into what I think will be a complete waste of an episode in Fortune, so I'll just say again, great review and I hope that you feel back to normal very soon, if you haven't already.

Take care, my friend

Matt aka HopeforTomorrow

jeannev
Feb. 21st, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
Hey Matt :) Thanks for the good wishes. I'm happy to report that my stomach is feeling much better today. Tomorrow, its back to work, and back to the gym, and trying to get back to normal.

It boggles my mind that Clark can be written so well one week, and its the exception for the season. That makes so little sense to me. And after Supergirl, I have ZERO confidence in ACS and her writing Clark. Less then zero. And like you, I think the premise is idiotic to the extreme.

I'm definitely feeling you about the concerns with Lois seeming to point out the obvious to an oblivious Clark, but I really felt that as the show went on, we started to understand more and more that Clark wasn't really all that oblivious. Just perhaps reluctant to do what he already sort of knew had to be done. And frankly, when you write Clark as so commanding and capable, even Lois getting in his face about stuff just plays better. Its when you underwrite him so badly, and he just stands there looking at her while she talks that it becomes so damned frustrating.

I have to be honest here, the almost total ignoring of what ultimately happened to Desaad by the show, and in fact, the fandom, is a real head scratcher for me. Now, that would be a good subject for a thread at K-Site. Is Slade was worthy of the Phantom Zone, how the hell is Desaad not worthy of it? How does putting him in Belle Reve make any sense whatsoever? Couldn't he just get to the people around him, and waltz right out of there? And there's no indication that Godfrey or Granny are in anyway contained, so really, whats to stop them from waltzing into Belle Reve and breaking Desaad out?

You're right, its like they have no clue how to address this, so they just throw some sort of ambigious comment out there, and just pretend like it doesn't matter. But of course it matters. Even in S6, which was a terrible season, Clark did just let the escaped 'zoners just wander away.

Really, they should've included a scene of Clark sending Desaad to the Phantom Zone, and cut down a bit on the Chlollie scenes.
tasabian
Feb. 22nd, 2011 03:00 am (UTC)
Hope you're all better now - tummy problems are horrid!

OMG, WHY CAN'T THE WRITING FOR CLARK BE THIS GOOD EVERY WEEK? Right, am I right?
You are right! Clark was perfect and Tom was just loving his lines, such a perfect performance it made my heart sing! And when Clark is right then the other characters are generally right too.

I wish BQM was head writer and would cast his eye over every SV script, root out the bad stuff....

I so prefer the snarkier, feisty Lois to the sappy cheerleader. I love the genuine exasperation she showed with Clark (which was returned in kind, which was another reason why it was so great).
When BQM writes them, I, the non-shipper, 'ship Clois. My favourite Lois-moment was her attempt at persuading Clark to wear a bobby-pin!

And we got a Clark that got his own fanboy in the hilarious Bert (can we keep him, please?)
Bert was adorable & the physical staging of his rescue just wonderful. And Lois's total lack of surprise that dudes are crushing on her boyfriend is perfect.

I cannot even begin to explain how freaking satisfying it is to me that Oliver defied Clark's wisdom in handling the situation, and he got screwed.
Clark's firm "Stay PUT!" was quite hot.

Must give mad props to Steve Byers portrayal of Desaad. Completely the right mixture of menace, and temptation, with a chaser of Sexy!
I hope that's not the last we see of him.

Another great thing about this script was that BQM wasn't interested in putting Chloe on a pedestal, or canonizing her. He was more interested in making her real, and true to who she's been.
When Chloe is listing all the "roles" she's had, it seemed like BQM offering a meta-criticism of the writing of recent seasons - which must have made it a cathartic scene for AM to play. And that he didn't back away from her big flaws - Pride, need for control - instantly makes her so much more likeable than in scripts where she's presented as selfless and totally pure of heart. Not at all sure about next week but Chloe just might manage a better exit than Lana...

"You talk like a cop, and walk like a fireman"
*loves so hard*
jeannev
Feb. 22nd, 2011 03:50 am (UTC)
Tummy is better today, but still a bit weird. Should be interesting at the gym with the trainer tomorrow. Maybe I can hurl all over him when he makes me do push-ups.

I also felt like there was a certain spring in Mr Welling's step in this episode. I think he enjoys when Clark is allowed to be funny. And why wouldn't he? He's great at it.

I can't tell you how many times I wish the SV writing staff was configured differently. But mostly not run by Souders/Peterson.

I hope Desaad is back too, if only because this episode didn't really deal with him. He's in Belle Reve? Thats it? Thats ludicrous. I kinda think Godfrey, Granny and Desaad all need to show back up just so they can be properly vanquished.

My guess is that Chloe's exit is going to be a non-exit. Which means they aren't even going to attempt to wrap up her storyline.
goodvibe
Feb. 22nd, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC)
//It boggles the mind.//

It really, really does. It seems as if there's only a periodic burst every now and then of a writer really showing interest in Clark and therefore writing for him in a strong, effective manner. The rest of the time it seems as if their attitude is, "Oh, yeah, and then there's Clark too---eh---" He's an afterthought, basically.

I loved all the pieces of dialogue you've singled out - how refreshing! Because honestly, this season has mostly been absolutely terrible with dialogue. When BQM gets it right, he gets it very, very right.

//But more then any of that, that "pride" would be her weakest point feels right on the freaking money. Another great thing about this script was that BQM wasn't interested in putting Chloe on a pedestal, or canonizing her. He was more interested in making her real, and true to who she's been. Again, just like the writing for Clark that should be a weekly thing, this is the sort of writing that Chloe should've had in all of her eps since returning.//

Pride, hubris - definitely. Again, credit to the writer here because in the past too, in certain instances he's managed to strike the right tone for her character - a tone other writers fail to achieve.

It was nice feeling good about the show this week - and moreover to really be able to feel great as a Clark fan, and take pride in being a Clark fan.
jeannev
Feb. 22nd, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
He's an afterthought, basically.

Too often, he truly is. I wonder what it says that Clark is written this well in an episode where he's basically the B plot. Hmmm, something to ponder.

This season has had some of the most AWFUL dialogue ever. And yes, I do think its been worse then other seasons. So, its really noticeable when a script doesn't make my ears want to bleed.

I'm not sure why the last 2 eps seemed more about glorifying Chloe, and ignoring the less savory aspects of her character. Because here, where that wasn't done (except for the stupid fight scene), she's just all around more appealing.

As Clark fans, we should probably cuddle this episode close to our hearts, because God knows when we'll get another one. I'm not sure BQM is writing another episode this season. And we have more efforts from the writers of Supergirl and Harvest coming up *shudders*
la_belle_isa
Feb. 24th, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC)
Late to the party! Full disclosure : I haven’t watched Collateral and Beacon, and I watched only the Clark scenes in Masquerade. So this means that it’s been months since I watched a SV episode. But I do read your reviews every week. :)
I was actually pleasantly surprised by what I saw in Masquerade. I liked the interactions between Clark and Lois; it looked a lot more like what I expect from this couple. The dialogues was so much more natural, and I don’t know how to say this, but it seems that Tom used a more “natural” voice in this one. It’s such a relief to not hear the usual lame dialogue. BQM is truly for me the most gifted writer on the team right now and not only for giving a voice to Clark. I used to love Septien & Meyer, but it looks like as they gained a producer title, they lost their insight on Clark.

I agree that the plot holes are as gigantic as ever, but at least, we got an actual explaination for some things in that episode even if it sometimes doesn’t make much sense. I'll stop rambling.

jeannev
Feb. 24th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
You know, once upon a time, I'd be surprised that someone hadn't watched an episode, or a few eps. Now, I see that sort of thing said all the time, and ya know, I totally get it. There is just something really damned underwhelming about this season which doesn't make you feel like you absolutely must see it every week. Or at least every single part of it. If I wasn't such a completist (and Tom fanatic), I'd be doing the same thing.

Collateral was total crap. You missed nothing there.

The Clois stuff in Masquerade was the best we've had of them for a long time. I still find them to be an oddly chaste and passionless couple, but I think there are other factors involved there. As for their interactions, and exchanges, they were right on the money here.

I think its just such a relief for a writer to allow Clark to be witty, and snarky. BQM seems to write [i]For Clark[/i]. Not just write Clark, if you know what I mean.

After being exposed to Septien on twitter, my impression is that he's probably a very nice man, but sort of clueless.

Rambling is always OK with me :D
tariel22
Feb. 24th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
How is it that there's a writer on the SV staff (kudos to Mr Miller) who so clearly understands who Clark Kent is, who he should be, how he should sound and act....and yet this show gets it wrong so often?

I love BQM. SO MUCH. Clark was awesome in Masquerade, and Tom was perfect. I weep for the show we could have had this season if everyone on the writing staff saw Clark the way BQM does. I wish he were writing the finale.

I was so apprehensive about this episode after the spoilers we had heard, but I loved the way the whole disguise thing was handled. Masquerade finally sold me on the concept of Lois being an active part of Clark finding his dual identity, and that's saying a lot.

I so prefer the snarkier, feisty Lois to the sappy cheerleader.

Lois's characterization was so much more in line with how I see her this week, and I think that is the Lois Erica was born to play. It's amazing how much of a difference a few tweaks make. Lois supported Clark in every way, but never diminished him.

The church diorama was great, but wow, indiscreet much? :) I couldn't believe the conversations Lois and Clark had right there in the middle of the bullpen. But you're so right, it's a symptom of having a limited number of sets, just like that ridiculous scene last week of Chloe and Oliver in bed in the middle of Watchtower.

For me, this episode consisted of the scenes with Clark, Lois, and Desaad. The Chlollie scenes were way too long, and either boring or over the top. I get it, it's Chloe's exit arc, but IMO a lot of that time would have been better spent on more Clark. Or how about a meaningful Chlo-Lo scene? I did like that Chloe's scene with Desaad acknowledged her very real problem with hubris, even if Chloe herself continues to deny it (I still think AM's acting choices have a lot to do with why I find Chloe so unsympathetic these days; she may be going for badass, but all I'm getting is unapologetic arrogance).

I cannot even begin to explain how freaking satisfying it is to me that Oliver defied Clark's wisdom in handling the situation, and he got screwed. LOL Forever!!

That was great not only for of the sweet justice of Oliver paying the price for his actions, but also because for once the show let Clark be RIGHT. I want to believe this will continue, that we're in the home stretch now and the show will no longer hold Clark back in any way, but I doubt it.

The dialogue in Masquerade was a delight. I loved all the humor (I've watched Lois's "Whoosh!" moment at least half a dozen times, and it still makes me laugh), and that has always been BQM's trademark, but I also found Clark's speech to Lois about who he is, and why he struggled with, and then accepted, the whole idea of a mask, to be quite touching.

Thanks for another great review. Isn't it fun when we can rave over an episode? Thanks, too, for the screen time minutes. Fascinating info, as always. It's like half the show was the best episode ever, and the other half was pretty much a complete waste of time. I am looking forward to Fortune. I can't resist Tom doing comedy, and I figure Chloe going out in a lighthearted episode has to be better than what they put us through in Requiem.
jeannev
Feb. 24th, 2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
I weep for the show we could have had this season if everyone on the writing staff saw Clark the way BQM does.

Truer words were never spoken. I've been thinking about my "dreamteam" of writers that I wish were handling SV's final season. None of the current staff, aside from BQM, would be on it.

I happened to watch part of this episode again last night, and its sort of ridiculous how they are having these conversations in the middle of the DP with other people right there. That whole part when Clois are talking about him being spotted all over the world, and him being too close to the story, there's a female extra less then 5' away in the background. She would've heard every word. The director didn't cover himself in glory with that choice, even though the dialogue and acting was top notch.

I think one is either on board with Chlollie, and buying what the show is selling, or you're not. I'm not, so I find their scene tedious.

I still think AM's acting choices have a lot to do with why I find Chloe so unsympathetic these days; she may be going for badass, but all I'm getting is unapologetic arrogance

ITA, though I did think she was better in this episode. Its like last year, where all I got off of her in regards to Clark was barely concealed loathing.

In a lot of ways, this episode was comparable to S8's Turbulence to me. One half of the episode was so tight, and written so well, with great chemistry between actors, and the other side of the episode was Meh. But the side that worked did so in such a big way, you're ready to forgive anything.

I think BQM is a mix of humor, without the terrible puns and metaphors and anvils that seem to populate too many SV scripts.

I'm hoping Fortune is funny, but its not really my cup of tea. I just think everything about it is crazy bad timing for the final season of the show. And whatever my issues with Chloe, I do think her leaving the show again should be treated with a certain amount of dignity and gravity.
tariel22
Feb. 24th, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
And whatever my issues with Chloe, I do think her leaving the show again should be treated with a certain amount of dignity and gravity.

That's a really good point. I think I was so traumatized by how the show handled Lana's exit, I'm terrified of what they might do with Chloe in a "serious" episode. Although I do have to say, so far nothing they've done with Chloe has come close to making me feel the way Power and Requiem did. It probably helps that Clark and Chloe have had so few scenes together since she returned, because all I really care about is how her story impacts his.
jeannev
Feb. 24th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
Honestly, what I'm most afraid of is the show trying to pull a non-ending for Chloe. Meaning, that they won't really give a good explanation for her not being around, but make it seem like she still is. Know what I mean? Very unsatisfying.
tariel22
Feb. 24th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
I could totally see them doing that, treating her the way they have the various members of the JLA, or even worse, her own father. I'm sure they wanted to leave things open-ended in the hopes of getting her back for the finale. Besides, I'll be shocked if they don't give Chloe and Oliver a happy ending, so it would be tough to write her out of the show with any finality if Oliver is still going to be around. Actually, until he showed up with that omega symbol on his forehead, I was halfway convinced he would exit with Chloe after Fortune, especially after the show asked for fan questions for everyone except Justin on Facebook.
jeannev
Feb. 24th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)
Well, they've certainly created an odd situation with Oliver being marked by Darkseid, yet it being very, very unlikely that Chloe will be around for the ep when this becomes known, and he's "cured". Unless that happens somewhere in Fortune. Which seems unlikely, but I guess its possible.
tariel22
Feb. 24th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
That does seem odd, but I'll be fine with it if it means Oliver is saved by Clark, rather than Chloe's perfect love.

I'm sorry to comment endlessly on your post, but another thing I've been wondering is how they're going to have a wedding without Chloe and especially Martha, who don't sound like they're coming back. Have they been filming green screen shots of all the recent guest stars in wedding guest wardrobe, to be used as cutaways in the finale? Because I don't think for one moment that we're NOT getting a wedding before the show is over.
jeannev
Feb. 24th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
Comment away! I'll be doing the same over at your journal when I get a space of free time.

I have no idea how they are going to handle the big wedding, because I don't know you have it without certain key guests like Martha, or the General, or Clark's other JLA friends. I can see them coming up with some excuse to keep Chloe out of it, but its also weird.

Which is just one of many reasons why I didn't think a big wedding was at all necessary.
agentobrian
Feb. 24th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
Average ST:

Clark- 21m, 15s
Lois- 16m, 33s
Tess- 9m, 45s
Oliver- 9m, 33s
Chloe- 8m, 58s

"Must give mad props to Steve Byers portrayal of Desaad. Completely the right mixture of menace, and temptation, with a chaser of Sexy!"

Not only did he give a great performance, but he is very, very pretty. That voice, and those looks.... is it hot in here, or is it just me?

"While I didn't like the Chlollie, I do have to say that I thought the Chloe/Desaad scene, and the last Chloe/Oliver scene, had some of the most interesting writing I've seen for Chloe in a long time. Every "sin" that Chloe was tempted with felt truly organic to who she is, and who she's been. That Clark would still represent 'lust" for her feels organic. That there's still a part of her that might "envy" Lois feels organic. But more then any of that, that "pride" would be her weakest point feels right on the freaking money. Another great thing about this script was that BQM wasn't interested in putting Chloe on a pedestal, or canonizing her. He was more interested in making her real, and true to who she's been. Again, just like the writing for Clark that should be a weekly thing, this is the sort of writing that Chloe should've had in all of her eps since returning."

The Chloe/Desaad scene was one of my favorites, not just this episode, but for the entire season. As much as I love Chloe, I will agree that there have been times where she's been portrayed as Ms. Can Do No Wrong. Not to the same degree as Lana was in the earlier seasons, and Lois has been at times in the last few seasons, but she's had her moments. Not here, though.

"And we got a Clark that got his own fanboy in the hilarious Bert (can we keep him, please?)."

No! Fanboys who support certain characters can be a good thing (if said character has earned it, unlike Jeff with Lois), but I thought he was really annoying. Tone that down a bit, and then we'll talk.

"I so prefer the snarkier, feisty Lois to the sappy cheerleader."

I can tolerate sappy cheerleader Lois. This Lois just pissed me off.

As far as the fight scene goes, I didn't think it was unrealistic. It's not like Chloe was pulling off Matrix-style moves or Lana-fu-esque spin kicks. Oliver did do most of the heavy lifting, Chloe more or less held her own, and she even had Oliver pulling a couple agents off her when she was in trouble.

"Though, we did now get a fourth explanation of Chloe leaving, with the line "...to proud to ask for help, that's why we vanished without a trace." Oh, come on show, make up your mind! Was it a trade for Oliver? The Dr Fate helmet? Staying away so Clark could stand on his own? Or was it Chloe's pride getting in the way? I'm so confused!"

I don't think that was a reason for her leaving, it was more for her erasing her identity and not telling anyone.

I'm very slightly more optimistic about Friday after seeing the preview clip, but I still have some doubts.
jeannev
Feb. 24th, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
Steve Byers is really attractive. But even aside from that, he was GOOD. The way he said certain lines....just really impressive. He should've been around more for this season. He would've livened things up (and kept the Darkseid stuff on the radar).

Sorry, I totally think Clark has earned his own fanboy. Bert was funny and adorable. And the actor did a lot with just a tiny part. I want him back!

I don't see how her erasing her identity and not telling anyone could be a pride issue. Honestly, I think they just haven't set anything in stone when it comes to Chloe leaving. Its a very SV way of handling things.

Fridays ep is going to be what its going to be. I'm resigned to it.

Thanks for the averages, as always :)
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