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 I really wonder if my feelings about this episode would've been different without the hyping out the wazoo.  Because I sort of think that maybe all these advanced reviewers actually got to see a different cut of the episode then me.  A better cut.  I mean, don't get me wrong, because I do understand that opinions vary, and the SV fandom is very diverse.  And I respect that.  But when you have proclamations like "Best Clois Scene EVER!" and "OMG, you can't miss this, because its so awesome", I think you sort of start expecting an episode thats....well, great.  And while Booster had some good moments, I just didn't think it was.

But, we'll get to that.

First, lets run the numbers

Booster, running time 41m, 32s

Clark:  24m, 19s
Lois:  17m, 47s

Cat:  7m, 49s
Booster Gold:  20m, 47s
Jamie/Blue Beetle:  11m, 46s

Year to Date

Clark:  383m, 31s (18)
Lois:  292m, 53s (18)
Tess:  132m, 43s (13)
Oliver:  133m, 43s (13)

Cat:  36m, - (4)




Let me start by saying that I very much can see why someone who is familiar with Booster Gold and Blue Beetle might like this episode better then me.  Because, in my eyes, I thought both characters were largely one dimensional.  Sure, Booster Gold was douchey fun (and Eric Martsoff was terrific), but I don't think I learned enough about him in this episode to give a crap.  He's a disgraced sports star, so he steals a legion ring and a suit (no explanation of what the suit did, or who it belonged to, or what its powers were), and a computer, and goes back in time to screw Clark Kent out of becoming Superman.  But he really, deep down, wants to be a hero, so I shouldn't think he's a dick?  Why?

(And I just resent the hell out of the conceit in the SV writing that viewers should just know stuff thats from the comics, so they only have to do a cursory job of filling in the blanks.)  

Same problem with the Jamie/Blue Beetle character.  He's a shy, bumbling kid, who is in Metropolis with a bunch of other kids why?  Does he have parents?  I guess not, because apparently Booster Gold is now going to be raising him, or something.  And because this kid was able to control the Blue Beetle suit, which apparently likes to go on murderous rampages for no explained or stated reason at all, that means he's a hero who should remain in control of this powerful technology under the tutelage of the guy who was a douche 5 minutes earlier?

I mean, lets forget for a minute that these are comic book characters, and look at it through my eyes for a second.  Don't these characters sound shallow as puddles?

I really think they should've just stuck with the Booster Gold character, and forgot about trying to do the Blue Beetle thing.  That would've given them more time to flesh out Booster as a character, and they could've simplified the storyline to focus more on Clark and/or Lois.

And yet, these characters are introduced 4 episodes before this series ends forever, because they are here (allegedly) to serve as catalysts for Clark's struggles to transform his Clark Kent persona into a bumbling, invisible dude who is no longer handsome because he's wearing glasses and a raincoat, and is clumsy.

Let that last sentence wash over you a little.  Because its just that incredulous.

Now, I understand the whole glasses wearing, mild mannered Clark Kent at the DP thing.  And I also understand that in some versions, like the Chris Reeve movies, he's a bumbler who trips over his own feet.  And in some other versions, he's merely a subtle, mind mannered guy, like in the Lois and Clark series, or the old George Reeves version.  But here's where I hit the wall with Smallville, and their Clark Kent...he's been working at the DP for 2 years now.  You can't remake him now, and expect that its believable that he's suddenly going to become awkward, and clumsy, and full of quirks, and no one is going to think "WTF is going on with him?", and that actually draws attention to Clark.  It doesn't make him invisible.  This episode was making me crazy with the constant contradictions they were throwing out in regards to this new identity he's forging.  Or, should I say that Lois is telling him how to forge, because this episode seems to be telling us that although Clark came up with the glasses/mild mannered disguise in Masquerade, and even though he's actually been to the future and seen this persona in the flesh, he still needs Lois to tell him what to do, and how to do it.  Because if she didn't, how could we make sure Lois shared in the credit of helping to create his dual identities?  And thats, apparently, more important then showcasing Clark coming up with this, and implementing this.

And if that isn't a testament to how this show is written most of the time in regards to Clark's development  I don't know what is.

While I can totally appreciate how Clark might always carry some insecurities of being an outsider, and feeling different, and so he'd be reluctant to assume the role of the outsider once again, the reality is that Clark was not presented as a bumbling geek in high school, except for briefly in the very beginning of the show.  And as we came to find out, that was due to Lana's green k necklace.  I wouldn't say that Clark was the most popular, or coolest kid in school (until his senior year).  But I would say that the show made a decent case of showing Clark as a  well liked kid.  This is a guy who had his schoolmates chant his name in the hallways when he ran for student body president in S1.  This is the guy that was described as the "hottie in primary colors" by the bad girl exchange student in S2.  This is the guy that stood up to bullies for the strange kid in Visitor.  Clark was NOT a bumbling geek who was picked on by other students.  Aside from the scarecrow incident in the first episode, it just didn't happen.

And this was the guy that lead the high school football team to a state championship, made it into the yearbook as one of the "Most Likely To...", and had enough influence and juice at the school to get Chloe put on the ballot for prom queen.  

Look SV writers, don't piss on my head, and tell me its raining.

I really don't mean to dwell on the retcons, but they really bug me, because they are so unnecessary.  

Heck, they retcon from episode to episode within the same season.  Cat was praising Clark as a hero, better then the Blur in Shield, and she was cozying up to him in Isis as a potential writing partner.  Now he's a "fixer upper"?  In Masquerade, Clark puts on the glasses and tells Lois he's willing to dial back the hometown hero.  In this episode, Lois tells him to slouch and stop being so awesome and Clark actually asks her if she thinks that will help.  What?  Booster tells Clark that he's never felt the rush of being the miracle that people hoped for...but in Beacon, Clark was shown taped testimonials of people telling how much he's the miracle that people hoped for.

Its enough to give one a headache.

Oh, and just an FYI, if you are trying to make someone invisible, who don't invent allergies for them, or push them into people, or knock over peoples stuff.  What you do is fade into the background.  Interact as a little as possible.  Be bland.  Have no characteristics that stand out or draw attention.  Hello, Duh!

Now, all this aside, this episode did have some stuff I really liked.  Clark was able to be shown as having good instincts (again!), and he was shown as the person who had dug up the information on Kord Industries (for that reason alone, I was glad that Tess wasn't in this ep, because if she was, you know they'd have given that to her), and his scene with Ted Kord was pure genius.  TW is absolutely great at playing the more awkward, mild mannered Clark Kent.  See, thats when the stammering reporter might come in handy...around people who don't know Clark, and have never met him.  And the way Clark listened to the phone conversation, then snatched the information was very smart.  I like to see a smart Clark!!

And I do like seeing Clark stick to his guns on his ideas about heroism, and influencing someone else in a positive way.  Thats a big part of whats been missing from this season for me, so I really do appreciate it when it shows up.  Even when its totally implausible, as it was last week with Clark Luthor, I still appreciate the effort to show this aspect of Clark's character.


I always find Cat Grant pretty entertaining, and she was here too, though I'm not sure this was the very best use of her this season.

I think Lois was written OK, and there was a lot more emphasis put on her reporter stuff, though this just made me wish they had really allowed her a reporter arc this season.  This episode kept telling me how incredible a reporter she is, but what we saw was Lois blowing off a story on Booster Gold because she didn't like him (as opposed to, say, writing that story to expose him as the fraud and blowhard she thought he was), her being more focused on "unmaking Clark Kent" then reporting, and ultimately getting the promotion from a story that pretty much fell in her lap.  And I'm just not sure all that does justice to Lois Lane, ace DP reporter, in the way it should.

As for Lois and Clark scenes, well, as I said, I'm not a huge fan of Lois telling Clark what to do with the bumbling thing, so that didn't much work for me more on the principle of the scenes, rather then the characters themselves.  As for the last scene, it was very sweet, and very cute, and pretty much like most of their other scenes this season.  Not particularly hot or passionate or fiery, but very darling and precious.

Though, I have to say, Clark ripping his shirt open was just odd to me.  Having read some explanations of this from various fans, I guess maybe I now seeing where they were going with it, but I just don't think it came across.  

Still, it was very sweet that he was worried about what people would think about Lois.

Honestly, with the series winding down to a close, I just don't think its the time to be introducing new characters.  Especially ones that are going to just disappear again.

Really, this wasn't a bad episode.   It was decent.  The performances were good, the direction was good, Clark did get to be an inspiration to someone else, and he was allowed to show some investigative smarts.  But was this worthy of all that hype?  I really don't think so.  But I thought much the same thing last season when Absolute Justice aired.  I guess there's a certain rush to seeing comic book characters come to life that I can't experience because I don't know who they are.

And then there were 3 (well, really 4, because of the finale smash-up).  Next week on....This. Is. Smallville!! (300 joke there) 

Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
brijeana
Apr. 24th, 2011 05:10 am (UTC)
Fun Filler
I enjoyed this episode and it's largely due to the guy playing Booster Gold. For some reason I thought Gold K would be in this episode. They talked about it so much in Kent. I'm sick of Clark losing his powers so I wasn't too disappointed about that.

You are so right about how ridiculous Clark becoming invisible is, the execution of it I mean. And... I don't get why Clark is so reluctant and Lois is so pushy about it. I just don't get it. I think I would rather see Clark having fun with it and Lois amused while being focused on getting her promotion. And you're right, Lois needed a real journalism story arc this season. *sigh*

But Tom Welling was SO FUN with the bumbling act. It was fun to see Cat back again and getting into it with Lois and then being chummy with her. The comic book stuff doesn't grate on me too much. It's like a light show interlude or something. And honestly my expectations are pretty low. *sadface*

Clark ripping his shirt open at the end was goofy but hot. I got what they were trying to do but it was just silly. LOL! I enjoyed Lois getting turned on by it and tackling him. But... what was she saying? Her dialog was so weird. It was as though the way he tore his shirt was confirmation of how good the disguise was. Or was she assuring him that she'd still find him sexy because she had a thing for dorky guys? I don't know. And I don't get Clark's insecurity or why Lois' reputation for having bad taste in men would be a detriment to her career or their relationship. ???

Enjoyed reading your thoughts.
jeannev
Apr. 24th, 2011 05:18 am (UTC)
Re: Fun Filler
Eric Martsoff was totally great. No doubt about it. Which is why, even though I didn't think Booster Gold had much depth of character, I would've welcomed more of him to correct that problem.

And... I don't get why Clark is so reluctant and Lois is so pushy about it. I just don't get it.

Well, yeah, exactly. Especially when it was his idea. Why did they need to put him back in the "must be pushed and prodded" position with this?

I think I would rather see Clark having fun with it and Lois amused while being focused on getting her promotion.

Someone on K-Site had a great idea, where they suggested that it would've been fun to see Clark experimenting with this, and having Lois be the one who was trying to make the adjustments to the "new" Clark Kent. I sort of love that idea.

Tom was so great with it though. No question.

If I was doing that last scene, I would've had Clark express his concerns for Lois...then had Lois put the glasses on him, rip open his shirt, and then jump him with no words. Let her actions speak for themselves, and by putting the glasses on him, she sort of sends the message that it turns her on.

(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Apr. 24th, 2011 05:26 am (UTC)
This was a hard review to write, because I found I had so much to say about it. In a lot of ways, this episode was indicative of a lot of the problems with SV writing in general. And yet, its also not a bad episode. So, its sort of hard to sum up in a review.

I'm very weary of the whole "Clark needs to be pushed" aspect of this show, so when we see Lois pushing him on something that he came up with a few episodes ago, its grating.

I can't really fault Lois getting the promotion with Clark being left behind. While the show didn't pay enough attention to Lois's journalism arc, they've at least done something there. With Clark, its almost non existent. I think we'd have to assume he's miles behind her in that field.

It was Matt Mitovich for TV Line (?) that said it was the best Clois scene ever. And ya know, he's entitled to his opinion. I just disagree. I'm not much of a Clois fan, but I'd say scenes in Homecoming, Isis, Ambush and Masquerade easily have this one beat. And thats just assuming we are talking about S10.

Don't know why Lois was wearing Clark's glasses. Maybe she has an identical pair, and those were hers?
(Anonymous)
Apr. 24th, 2011 08:15 am (UTC)
As nice as seeing Clark wear glasses and become mild-mannered and bumbling, it's way too little and way too late. You got a point in that Clark has been working at the Daily Planet for 2-3 seasons and this felt lightswitchy to me. Instead of Clark seeing for himself why he had to distinguish between himself and the Blur, he became mild mannered because Lois told him to. It felt like Clark didn't have a mind of his own and I doubt we will see this bumbling version of Clark again. It's nothing more than Geoff Johns' tribute to the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, along with the phone booth change.

I doubt Geoff Johns has watched an episode for this season prior to Booster. This version of Clark is what he cares more about than regular SV Clark.

Booster Gold stole the episode and Cat Grant was great. They were the counterpoint to Clark and Lois.

I was surprised that Clark got the most screentime because I thought it would be Booster with Lois second.

With Lois promoted out of the basement, Clark will continue to work on the mild-mannered reporter persona on his own and his way. Just like he threw Lois' ideas for his superhero identity, he will do the same. I don't think stuttering talk and bumbliness will stick in the next two episodes.

Was this Geoff Johns' best episode? Not really. That goes to Absolute Justice. This was Tom Welling's better directorial than Patriot was.

Vantheman77
jeannev
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC)
Too late is really the big problem. They should've had this in mind from the moment Clark starting working at the DP, OR, they should've not had him working there until the final season.

They screwed the pooch.

Such short sighted writing.

I would be very surprised if Johns has watched every SV episode in S10.

I was a little surprised at Clark's screentime too, because it didn't feel like he was around that much. But, it is a little misleading, because there are a few scenes, like the confrontation betweeen Booster and Blue Beetle where Clark is just standing there and watching.

You could be right that they won't really address this new version of Clark Kent again. There certainly isnt much time to do so.

When all is said and done, I think my favorite Johns episode is probably Legion. But none of them strike me as anything overly special.
costas22
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:37 am (UTC)
Thanks for the screentimes. Your review was right on the money I'd say. A good episode, but not what it was hyped up to be. I am going to take a guess here and say that this episode switched places with Kent in order to avoid any ratings decrease that hits the first episode after a long hiatus. Plus, the CGI stuff and all the promoting indicated to me that they had big plans for Booster. Were they looking for a spin off? Were they trying to protect Johns? Who knows?

What bothers me a bit, is that they are using all these Superman anvils, but they are not the iconic moments they should be. They are cop outs. We've heard "Up, up and away" about 3-4 times on this show and he hasn't flown in any of them. So what are you going to say when he actually does? Or the phonebooth change. That wasn't the first time it's happened by the way. We saw it in Turbulence too. But in both instances, it's not the same if he is not putting on the real costume. Just my pet peeve about this stuff.

(And I just resent the hell out of the conceit in the SV writing that viewers should just know stuff thats from the comics, so they only have to do a cursory job of filling in the blanks.)

Thank you. I was starting to feel like I don't deserve to watch this show if I don't know who Booster Gold, Jaime and Ted Kord are. And I agree with you that they didn't really explore what these characters were about. Geoff Johns had that luxury in Absolute Justice (and that's why the 1st part is actually my favorite from those two episodes), but here it was too much to fit in 41 minutes.

You can't remake him now, and expect that its believable that he's suddenly going to become awkward, and clumsy, and full of quirks, and no one is going to think "WTF is going on with him?", and that actually draws attention to Clark.

ITA. Although I think that Tom was brilliant as clumsy Clark, the whole thing makes no sense and it badly retcons what we were saying in Clark's high school years. Of course retcons are not new on this show, but you expect them not to rewrite history on matters like this. Not to mention that people like Cat have seen a different side of him for so long! Your analogy about piss and the rain sums up how I feel, lol.

This episode kept telling me how incredible a reporter she is, but what we saw was Lois blowing off a story on Booster Gold because she didn't like him (as opposed to, say, writing that story to expose him as the fraud and blowhard she thought he was), her being more focused on "unmaking Clark Kent" then reporting

Another issue I had with this episode was this pattern. I thought that at least GJ would bring a new dynamic in their scenes. And the last scene was a lot better. But personally, I've seen enough of Lois giving Clark pep talks. I wish they showed Clark and Lois work on their own element a bit more.

Next week, snakes, skulls, 300 and Tess! :D
jeannev
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
I do think there was probably a lot of catering to Johns in general.

What bothers me a bit, is that they are using all these Superman anvils, but they are not the iconic moments they should be. They are cop outs. We've heard "Up, up and away" about 3-4 times on this show and he hasn't flown in any of them. So what are you going to say when he actually does? Or the phonebooth change. That wasn't the first time it's happened by the way. We saw it in Turbulence too. But in both instances, it's not the same if he is not putting on the real costume. Just my pet peeve about this stuff.

This is a good point. I think the anvils were fun in the beginning of the show, but now? It just seems to be a reminder that we still aren't there yet. And things definitely lose their effectiveness when they keep doing them over and over again.

I still have no freaking idea what Booster's stolen suit actually did. And who did he steal it from? And since Clark convinced him to stay here, and he's going to keep using the suit, isn't that a pretty big detail? And why does the scarab thingie want to turn into a homicidal transformer?

I don't think you should be writing an ep with the assumption in mind that people will just know this stuff, or will be able to find out that information from another resource. Thats bad writing.

Tom was positively brilliant as clumsy Clark, but we all knew he would be (I think). Still doesn't help it make anymore sense then it does.

I'm also weary of Lois' peptalks to Clark. It feels like this season has been full of them, and while I would expect this to come up from time to time with them, I wouldn't expect it to be this constant. And how about a peptalk from him to her for a change? Her going for a promotion would be the perfect time for her to be doubting herself, and for him to step in and beat the drum a bit.

Don't forget the bodacious phantom babes for next week. I didn't realize the phantom zone had plastic surgeons. LOL
costas22
Apr. 25th, 2011 07:28 am (UTC)
Wow. Funnily enough, I didn't notice all these chests when I watched the trailer. Lol. The PZ not only has plastic surgeons, but it has many humans too. I wonder when that happened. I have to give it to TPTB. They've become experts at diverting the fans'attention from the real issues an episode might have. Give them Clois or Chlollie in bed, Tom or Justin's chest and PZ chicks or Tess cleavage and no one will care how bad the plot is. ;)

One final thing that's staring to become a common joke among fans. There's too much talking. I realize that they may not have a sufficient budget to put together some cool action sequences, but it doesn't help that the dialogue is repetive and full of platitudes most of the time. It would be interesting if we ever found out how many lines Tom has now compared to past seasons.
eeyore1017
Apr. 24th, 2011 11:36 am (UTC)
Hi, Val. I agree with pretty much everything in this post. A lot of the same things crossed my mind- like having no idea who Booster Gold & Blue Beetle were and being confused about their stories. I could have done research before the episode aired, but that's too much like work and TV is supposed to be for entertainment. Besides, what other TV show do you have to do research for in order to understand the plot?

I also thought the same thing about Clark not being a dork in high school- especially in his senior year.

If I start thinking about this stuff too much though, it makes me crazy! I guess that's why most episodes this season I've watched once (or watched again but only the Clark parts) and then moved on.

I know some people want a Season 11 and I would be okay with that IF we were getting episodes like we were a few years ago. But another year of this stuff? No, thank you.
jeannev
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:26 pm (UTC)
I don't know why I should have to research a character before he comes onto SV to feel like he makes sense. Thats idiotic. I don't have to research angels before I watch an episode of Supernatural.

Clark wasn't a dork in high school. Period. Just didn't happen.

Don't worry, there won't be any S11.
foreverknightfa
Apr. 24th, 2011 10:42 pm (UTC)
I honestly don't think there should be a S11. Frankly as a TW fan I think he should have the freedom to go on to other projects, either in front or behind the camera. Preferably in front but that is not my decision to make. Smallville seriously needs to end, good or bad.
jeannev
Apr. 24th, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, I totally agree!
carolandtom
Apr. 24th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
Awesome review! I agree with every single thing you say!

It's a fact: I don't like GJ's contribution to SV. To me, he hasn't added anything of real value and, at times, he has even been detrimental to this Clark Kent and to the SV universe. Furthermore, I don't see the point of introducing these two "heroes" (BG and the BB) so late in the final season. Once again I'm convinced that the show runners have no idea of what to do with Clark Kent and keep piling up new characters so that they don't have to actually write for him. And they said they had plenty of stories about Clark's journey that they were eager to tell, but they only seem to be good at retconning, even within the same season. Do they ever watch their own show?

About the whole stupid "unmaking of Clark Kent" thing... well, you said it all above.

Tom did a great job, both acting and directing and the episode had some fun moments to watch. But it's sad that, at this point, with so little SV left, I can't be more excited about what I see or more saddened about the approaching end.
jeannev
Apr. 24th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
You and me agreeing? That crazy talk! LOL

I don't like GJ's period. He rubbed me wrong with a lot of things he's said over the time he's become involved in SV, but what really influenced me was seeing him in person at Comic Con. He's smug, and self-important, and not at personable. I just wasn't impressed.

When it comes to SV, I just don't get the impression that writing for Clark interests him overly much. So, why are you writing for SV?

Tom did go a great job, but I think he usually does. He's a very talented guy. Hopefully, we'll be looking forward to a future project for him very soon.
homicidalfink
Apr. 24th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this about sums it up for me. I liked Clark bumbling around, Tom is so good at physical comedy, but I think I would have liked it more if, as someone said above me, they'd had Clark figuring out how to 'hide in plain sight' on his own, without the peptalks.

I am so damn tired of the peptalks, whether its from Chloe or Lois or Ollie, or a random salesman on the street. Clark's a smart guy, he really is, and he can figure it out for himself. The only person I will accept a talk from in that kind of 'cheer up, you might want to work a little one this' at this point, is Martha.

And the last Clois scene I wasn't that happy about. Yes, it was cute that Clark worried more about Lois than himself, but that's how he rolls, but I didnt think it was necessary, especially after Masquerade.

Oh, well. I guess that's what we get for being Clark fans first.

Thanks for the minutes. :)
jeannev
Apr. 25th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
I think one of the reasons that the scene between Clark and Kord was so good was that it was Clark, on his own, adjusting his own behavior. And being convincing, because this guy had never met him before. And then he used his smarts by using his hearing, and then swiping the scarab info. It was a great scene.

I'm also tired of the peptalks. Its not that I don't think that Clark could use a sympathetic ear from time to time. But I do think it would be nice to see more of Clark moving forward without someone nudging him from behind. And I thought thats what we were going to get after Masquerade, but I guess not.

I confess that I found the last Clois scene a little odd. TW and ED were cute together, but I thought the dialogue in that scene could've achieved the same end without a lot more clarity.

And you're welcome :)
tariel22
Apr. 24th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
Smallville has long since painted itself into a corner where Clark is concerned, and now they're clumsily trying to get out of it. In the comics Clark adopts his mild-mannered alter ego before he ever gets to Metropolis. The biggest clue that he's Superman, IMO, is how they both have a special relationship with Lois. I can see why making Clark bumbling and awkward makes sense for Smallville, because just putting on the glasses wouldn't fool anyone after all these years, but trying to make it happen in the space of a single episode is ridiculous.

Still, as someone who wears glasses, the difference in how I'm treated when I'm wearing my contacts can be astounding. People really are that shallow.

Invisible was the wrong word for Lois to use, IMO. What they're aiming for (and what we saw in Booster) is to redefine who Clark is, not make him disappear. They want people to think of Superman as everything Clark is not, to look at Clark and dismiss him as a potential hero. They also have to give him excuses for being unreliable, because he'll have to rush off to save the day mid-assignment on a daily basis, and I think that's what GJ was getting at with the allergy thing.

You're so right about all the retcons and contradictions, but why would the writers stop now? *is jaded* They've been doing that for years, and it's full steam ahead to the finale now. Continuity is just so much collateral damage. I'm realizing it doesn't bother me all that much anymore, though. At this point I'm just happy to take what I can from these last few episodes. I suppose that's why I don't write reviews anymore either.

Inevitably the show had to leave out most of Booster Gold's backstory, so I can understand why he came off as a dick to you. He WAS one! I did think Eric Martsolf's performance was wonderful. He gave Booster a touch of vulnerability, and made him believably sincere at the end. And he was a lot of fun when he was being completely over the top. I agree that it would have been better to leave Blue Beetle out of it. As always, Smallville tries to do too much, especially in their big "event" episodes.

I started reading comic books in self defense in S8, and fell in love with them, but I still resent any episode that depends on knowledge that only exists outside the show. I shouldn't have to do homework to understand what I watch on TV, and Smallville relies way too heavily on Offscreenville without even counting the mythos stuff. It's lazy writing, and it's disrespectful to the many viewers who fell in love with Smallville for itself, not as an extension of the DCU.

I completely agree with everything you say about Clark in high school. He was never a loser, and in his senior year he was a total BMOC. Did the writers forget that the 200th episode showed us exactly how awesome Clark's Smallville High classmates thought he was? Or maybe GJ didn't see that episode. I can accept, however, that Clark still looks back and sees himself that way to some extent, and I'm sure he remembers the pain and disappointment of having to let Lana think the worst of him at times because he had to hide the truth. I think some momentary reluctance to go there with his colleagues is understandable. (cont.)
jeannev
Apr. 25th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
Its not hard for me to believe that people in glasses might get treated differently (I also wear them). However, I do think men that look like Tom Welling would probably not fall into that category ;) In glasses, he's hot like fire!! LOL

Continuity is just so much collateral damage.

Ain't that the truth? I wish it didn't bother me as much as it does, but I can't help it. I keep thinking that I should expect more from the show in its final season, not try to make peace with less. But I suspect you have a much healthier take on the whole thing.

But hey, I just wouldn't be me if I wasn't critical.

Its so odd to me that after all this time, SV's PTB still haven't quite figured out the old adage "Keep it simple Stupid". Less, done well, can be more.

I do understand that any show is going to have some Offscreensville, but when what we see on screen isn't so incredibly vital, or compelling, then the fact that important things are left off screen is really freaking annoying.

How cute would it have been if Clark said "that was me" when looking at Jamie, and Lois was all "WTH are you talking about? No way". They could've made it seem more like Clark has a twisted perception of his high school years due to his own insecurities, but as it was, I don't think thats what they were trying to go for.

tariel22
Apr. 24th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
I loved every minute that Clark was onscreen, and I thought Tom was amazing. I'm not a fan of the Clark Kent who stammers and trips over himself, but if anyone could convert me, it's Tom. He was so good, and so funny. Then he turned around and was the epitome of heroic during Clark's speech to Booster Gold in the alley, and his quiet conversation with him at the end. Those were pure Superman moments, and I do love how GJ writes him. I reveled in how strong, steadfast, and smart Clark was throughout this episode, and how he inspired Booster. And I thought Tom did a great job directing. It wasn't a perfect episode by any means, or my favorite of those Tom has directed, but I enjoyed it.

This was actually one of my favorite episodes for Lois. I liked that she seemed more likely to give both Clark and Jaime a kick in the pants than a big hug, and at least she showed SOME interest in journalism. I liked that she was completely immune to Booster's charms, and that she so effortlessly put Cat in her place. And I liked that both Lois and Clark showed more concern for each other than themselves, but without getting all schmoopy about it. It made sense to me that once Clark decided to adopt a mild-mannered persona, Lois was all about impulsively rushing in and getting the job done, while Clark struggled with the long-term implications, both for himself and Lois. I don't mean to say that Clark isn't a man of action, just that he's learned the hard way to carefully consider the consequences, when he has the luxury of time to do so.

I get what they were going for in that last scene, but the shirt rip was so contrived. I found the scene sweet, but nothing particularly special, but I'm neither a fanboy nor a shipper, so both the iconic moments and the overtly romantic ones are often wasted on me. :)

Thank you, as always, for the screentime minutes. I do love seeing Clark continue to rack up those big numbers. I haven't even begun to process the fact that we only have three more episodes left.
jeannev
Apr. 25th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
I did think that Clark had some very good moments in this episode, which is a plus. I'm not so enamored with how how Johns writes Clark. He does some things right, but there's always something off for me that I can't quite put my finger on. I'm just not a fan of his.

I've grown beyond weary of having someone always pushing and nudging Clark along. I just don't want to see it anymore, and I can't wring out any enjoyment from it.

I'm very much at peace with the end, and I'm ready for it. I don't think I could take much more of this final SV season. But I'm going to miss Tom like crazy.
foreverknightfa
Apr. 24th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
The only way "out" of their obvious plot dilemma regarding CK as " invisible" IMO would be for Zatanna to hex his glasses. I'm sorry but TW is good looking with or without the dorkiest glasses you can find, and he was established as you pointed out in DK as seen NOT wearing glasses.

So a little zappie where anyone looking at him would not connect CK to Superman when he dons the glasses and there ya go!!

Hey, its better than some of the crap THEY'VE come up with lately!
jeannev
Apr. 25th, 2011 02:40 am (UTC)
I think enchanted glasses would've been a great way to handle it.

Though honestly, I'm not sure there's a good answer here. What they should've done is either have Clark wear the glasses the second he entered the DP, or held off on him joining the DP until now. But, they just didn't plan for it.

And yeah, making Tom Welling UN-handsome is sort of a ridiculous concept.
la_belle_isa
Apr. 24th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
It was an OK episode. Like you, I think that clumsy Clark makes no sense. I find Clark, with his attire, completely fashionable, especially the glasses. In fact, he looks more like a model then ever before on that show. I mean seriously, you would see a guy like that, with glasses and all, walking into your office and what would be your reaction? I can assure you that mine wouldn’t be: “What a dork”. And the clumsiness just adds to the charm. I just saw a giant ad for glasses on the highway, and the male model was sporting a pair of glasses very similar to Clark’s. Anyway, they painted themselves in a corner with that one. For me, the idea of magic glasses wouldn’t have been bad.
Anyway, the showrunners have been meticulously planning clois for years, but it looks like Clark’s arc is not that well thought out.
Re: DC characters I don’t give a fudge about. That’s a good comparison with Supernatural. They always explain in one sentence what the new character is about and at least, there are chances that I might see them in future episodes. In Booster’s case and gang, why should I bother? (In an unrelated matter, I’m re-watching S5 of SPN, and in every episode when they’re not working on the main arc (the apocalypse coming), they have a dialogue at the beginning explaining why they devote their time to something else. I think it would have been easy to do in SV with Darkseid.)
I think whenever reporters receive an episode in advance, they make a glowing review to keep receiving episodes in advance. Ii guess a lukewarm review isn't the way. Also, I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of synergy going on in promoting certain type of episodes, namely G. Johns episodes. Even that PR person saw fit to urge us to watch live, in her completely candid opinion. Maybe they all thought they had a chance at a spin-off.
jeannev
Apr. 25th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
I kept wondering why we were supposed to be thinking that Clark's wardrobe was dorky. It looked fine to me. The vest, the raincoat. He looked hot.

I'm never quite sure what they plan on this show, and what they just throw together carelessly. You'd think if they planned better, they wouldn't have to retcon so much.

Ya know, I kind of think that SV was supported for most of its 10 years by a lot of people who had never picked up a comic book. I really resent that we're so callously disregarded in the final season. I understand throwing in things for the fanboys, and all that. But you can't write the show assuming that they're your only audience.

I wouldn't watch a Booster gold spin off. I can't see that entertaining me. Its like a less funny version of The Tick.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Apr. 25th, 2011 01:40 pm (UTC)
I can understand if people don't care about the retconning, because really, thats a personal choice. But what blows my mind is seeing people actually say that Clark was a bumbling geek in high school when he totally wasn't. I mean, just watch any episode that isn't the premiere, ya know? Drives me a little crazy. Or crazier, I should say ;)

I also understand why they want to show why Clois works so well as a partnership, and that makes sense. But sometimes, I think in their pursuit of that, they forget to write them as strongly as individuals as they should. They should be strong individuals first, a strong couple second. At least to me.

The last Clois scene in this episode didn't even touch the reveal scene in Isis. Or really the dance at the end of Homecoming either. Or any of Ambush. I mean, it was fine, it was cute, but its pretty much like most of their "relationship" moments this season.

I'm not sure there's any spin-off from SV that I'd be interested in watching. I watch for Clark, or more accurately, Tom Welling. No Him, no Point.

(Anonymous)
Apr. 26th, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC)
Trying to play devil's advocate about the retcon of Clark being a bumbling nerd in high school. Yes the only time we saw this was in the premiere. However it was mentioned in the premiere by Pete and Chloe as being a common occurence. It wasn't long after that the necklace issue was resolved so that Clark and Lana could be physically closer and the bumbling stopped. So my point is that I believe they are saying that prior to the premiere Clark had been seen as a bumbling nerd, mainly because of the Lana necklace stuff. He had no way of knowing in his pre-show years that it was because of kryptonite so yes I can see where he could relate to how Jaime feels being sort of klutzy and picked on. Anyway that's how I'm trying to make sense of what screams retcon. What do you think?
jeannev
Apr. 26th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
I see what you're saying, and maybe thats what they were going for. What tends to make me think otherwise though was that scene in Homecoming when we had someone ask where the geek in primary colors went. Of course, later in that ep, we had someone talk about how cute he was, and how caught up in his relationships she was.

But yeah, I think thats a pretty reasonable way to look at it. I'd probably be more willing to find rationales myself, but as you can probably tell, I'm not so much loving S10. :(
(Anonymous)
Apr. 26th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)
Hey Valerie :D

Great review. I'm glad that you were able to get something out of Booster. In all honesty, I just couldn't get into the episode at all. I tried to give it a fair chance, but after it got about halfway through, I just kept looking at the clock out of boredom waiting for it to get over. Just not my thing. The retcons and story revisions - even things that either happened earlier in the season, or just a few episodes ago - just made it all the more worse, to me.

I pretty much gave it points just for the guy (I'm not familiar with him) who played Booster - because he was pretty good - and because Clark got decent characterization, but unfortunately the unnecessary retcons were a part of it. I find it funny that out of all of the experiences that Clark's had in his life, that he somehow developed a complex along the way that led him to be insecure about his image. And it's even funnier that his insecurities stem from things that hadn't ever happened on the show before. LOL I tell you, good ol' convenient SV writing. It never fails to disappoint. What was the point of that shirt rip at the end anyway? Oh yeah! Wait for it...... gimmick.

Take care,

Matt








jeannev
Apr. 26th, 2011 04:24 pm (UTC)
I totally get where you are coming from with the disconnect. And I think its much easier for your attention to drift when you aren't fully engaged with the storyline. And truthfully, I'm less and less engaged all the time, and thats going in exactly the wrong direction when you consider that we are coming up the end of the show. I should be on the edge of my seat instead of thinking Blah!

There's definitely a "make it up as we go" mentality with this show which means we get a lot of retcons. Hell, the whole Veritas arc was one big retcon, and we got one again with the Doomsday arc. Its just neverending, I guess.

The shirt rip was so, so silly. It made Clark seem like he was having a tantrum, or something. Besides, we ALREADY DID the shirt rip in Warrior, and to much better effect. Gimmicks lose their effectiveness when we've already seen them.
tasabian
Apr. 29th, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
Really, this wasn't a bad episode. It was decent.
You're kinder than me. Apart from Martsoff's performance (which was great), I thought it was terrible. (Because of the script' not Tom's direction.) The dialogue was so repetitive - Lois & Clark seemed to have the exact same conversation three times in a row and the ending with everyone telling everyone else to "be yourself" was cringeworthy.

And, like you, I cannot accept that people who have worked with and known Clark for two years - the journalists, sources and beat cops- would be anything but confused by his new persona. It would draw suspicion to him like a beacon.
jeannev
Apr. 29th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
Now, I don't think its often that any describes me as kinder then anyone. LOL

I certainly don't think Johns script was anything special. His dialogue rarely ever comes across as sounding easy or natural. Its very speechy.

The whole clumsy/glasses thing was only ever going to work on SV if they had added another angle to it, like Zatanna puttying a whammy on the glasses, or something. Even then, it still wouldn't really address why people that have known Clark for years wouldn't be clued in. Its really just a terrible conceit to think they can get away with this because "Its Mythos!". But thats pretty much how Souders/Peterson operate. Lazy, sloppy, and completely unconcerned with logic.
tasabian
Apr. 29th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
I certainly don't think Johns script was anything special. His dialogue rarely ever comes across as sounding easy or natural. Its very speechy.
And every single line out of every character's mouth was a cliche, stale as a week old danish. Contrast that with Bryan Miller dialogue which always sounds fresh and funny and the actors just blossom.

Even then, it still wouldn't really address why people that have known Clark for years wouldn't be clued in. Its really just a terrible conceit to think they can get away with this because "Its Mythos!"
See, if he'd subverted the concept by having a bit player like Bert of Jeff say "why are you suddenly acting so weird?" it would have worked. But having Cat, who's previously been quite sharp, suddenly turn into a pod person for the sake of the script, is pitiful.
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