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  Wow, I never thought I would get this done.  Between a crazy busy weekend, major download issues, and general malaise about the show itself, it felt like a very long journey to this review.

I also think I was having a hard time thinking of what I wanted to say.  Because while this episode had some very entertaining moments in it, and some very good performances by the guys, when you peel back the layers of this episode and examine it a bit deeper, you find yourself staring into some major plot holes, and contrivances.  And those are par for the course.  But whats even more disturbing is how this episode reflects on Clark, when you take a good hard look at it.  And we're almost to the last episode of the this series forever, so I find that especially troubling.

Bottom line, this episode is so clearly indicative of the problems that this show has had all season long.

But, we'll get to that.

Running Time for Dominion 41m, 39s (Previously On:  41s)

Clark:  26m, 8s
Lois:  10m, 30s
Oliver:  22m, 38s
Tess:  8m, 34s

Zod:  16m, 22s

Year To Date

Clark:  409m, 39s (19)
Lois:  303m, 23s (19)
Tess:  141m, 17s (14)
Oliver:  156m, 21s (14)



OK, so who brought the snakes? I mean, I assume the Phantom Zone has no natural wildlife. Did some of the criminals smuggle in snakes in their pants? (insert joke here)

Yeah, I know, it was for effect.

In fact, when it comes to making a visual impact, this episode succeeded. The blue tones of the Phantom Zone are always interesting, and then mingling it with the whole "300" vibe made for a visually interesting episode. Of course, the "300" thing has been done to death at this point, but I won't discount a good fight scene. Especially when SV so rarely allows Clark to participate in a good fight scene.  And it was a good fight.  JH did a decent job with the direction.


I wasn't much of a fan of Callum Blue's Zod. When its all said and done, I just think the actor was miscast in the role, and lacked the gravitas to make Zod a really menacing presence on the show. However, having said that, I thought he gave a fine performance here. And somehow, Zod ruling the Phantom Zone seemed the best fit for the character. But, there's no getting around the fact that a Zod reappearance was just another check off that infamous bucket list. Because the bottom line is that there was no real reason at all to bring him back aside from "Oh, wouldn't it be cool if...."

And while I have a ton of problems with the character of Oliver Queen, and I think he's been used terribly this whole season, I also felt like this was one of Justin Hartley's best performances on the show. While I find it incredibly hard to be invested in Oliver's skull tatoo, especially when he's been off in Star City for the last 3 weeks, I did feel like JH was able to bring dimension to Oliver's internal struggle here without him falling into the usual patterns of whiny self pity, and nasty sniping at Clark.

And then there was Tom. This was one of his better performances this season. Very heroically defiant throughout. Very resolute and strong presence. Oh, and yeah, he looked magnificent. Its too bad the overall message of the episode sort of undermined that great performance.

And there's no 2 ways about it, the homoerotic undertones were all over this episode. Not for nothing, but why do all these guys that want to be Clark's "brother", or want to be his trusty companion, seem like they're true desires are something of a more sexual nature? Is it just me? They all seem to get overly pissy because Clark won't love them enough, or won't love them the way they want him to (and by that, I mean in a naked way).

And hey, I'm not objecting, because I think its definitely an interesting aspect of this show. And sort of infinitely more interesting to me then the boring heterosexual relationships the show presents as true love.

I also very much liked Tess in her first scene at Watchtower. I though Cassidy did a good job of showing how very invested Tess has become in Clark.  However you want to categorize it.   Her worry for him was palpable and suggests more, but doesn't go overboard with big cow eyes or trembly bottom lips.

What did not work for me, on any level, were the Lois/Tess scenes. But, that ties into that underlying message of this episode which sort of tears at that superficial enjoyment I was able to get from the visuals, and the manly fights, and the gladiator gayness. See, on the surface, we have a very heroic Clark, who is willing to sacrifice himself and his safety to find out whats going on in the Phantom Zone, and instructs Tess to wait only a certain amount of time before closing the doorway and making sure no other phantoms can come through (and the gateway was open for 3 weeks, and no criminals came through?). And thats heroic, right? Oh, no, no, no. See, thats where the writing for this episode fails. Because what this episode tells us is that it was a good thing that people didn't listen to Clark's plan, because while it might seem heroic on the surface, it was really dumb (Lois even calls it "stupid"). Going into the Phantom Zone in the first place? A trap hatched by Darkseid and Zod. Going in alone? Well, he needed Oliver to get out, so good thing Oliver didn't listen to him. Telling Tess to blow up the crystal? Well, thats a "stupid plan", and unless DevotedFianceeLois! hadn't shown up to change it, Clark would've been exiled in the Phantom Zone. And the one person who was actually standing by what Clark told her to do? Coded as wrong, and misguided, and got a gun pulled on her. And Lois pulling the gun was one of the stupidest scenes this show has done all season, and thats saying something. You could've achieved the same result in the end with Lois just talking Tess out of following Clark's noble, but stupid, plan.

It sort of reminds me of Salvation, when we saw Clark be so brave and heroic and self-sacrificing, and then Lazarus came around and told us how stupid and proud Clark was. Well, here we have Clark being so brave and heroic and self-sacrificing on the surface, but what the show is really telling us is that it was a good thing no one listened to his plan, and he's overly controlling and won't trust other people enough. And really, is that what we needed 2 episodes from the end of the show?


Also, like the episode Luthor did earlier this season, they have Clark take what is, seemingly, a very harsh and overly simplistic POV so that another character can be justified in not confiding the truth in him. Here's, its Clark rather OOC "we'd just lock them up, because there's no getting that pesky Darkness! out once you got it" to Oliver, which in turn is supposed to explain why Oliver couldn't be upfront with him. Instead of what it really is, which is Oliver being completely reckless and selfish here, and endangering everyone around him. But, no, lets lay that at Clark's feet because he told Oliver that infected team members needed to be locked up, and could never be cured. Whatever show!

Now, I do want to give credit where credit is due, and they let Clark be the man with the plan to get the crystal from Zod, so that was something, at least.

And, I'm just going to say it, I am so sick to death of perfect, strong, brave, supportive fiancee Lois. I mean, I get it show!  Lois is perfect. Lois is perfect for Clark. Clark could never have someone so perfect and supportive in his corner, and could never become Superman without her.   I get it! I get it! I get it!   Jeez, how many times do you need to hammer this point home already?. Personally, I think Lois was a far more interesting character when she wasn't turned into this paragon of spousal perfection. Its like they rubbed off her edges to make her to the perfect fit for Clark. And I find it exceedingly dull. I'm also tired of the big Clois moment, where they have a heartfelt conversation about something, and ED gets all teary eyed (and Tom frequently looks vaguely bored), and they look deep into each others eyes, and they declare everloving devotion to each other, and there's some hugging, and....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!

Look, its just not my thing.

I know this episode was supposed to bring the Darkseid arc back into the storyline, but its been such a lame season long arc, its hard to be invested in it for me, even with Oliver's skull tattoo (well, it doesn't help that I really don't care what happens to Oliver). I also can't get over the lack of logic in this storyline. I mean, at one point, Oliver actually says "We took care of Darkseid, and his 3 little minions". Um, what? When was that? Lets see, they defeated the VRA vote, and seemed to have gotten back in the good graces of the public. But they never encountered Darkseid at all. And the 3 little minions? Well, last time we saw Godfrey and Granny Goodness, they were free as 2 little minion birds. As for the 3rd, Desaad, they took someone who could prey on the minds of the weak and vulnerable, and had extraordinary abilities, and they put him in Belle Reve? Oh yeah, they TOTALLY took care of those minions. How ridiculous is that?

And this episode was soaking in the ridiculous, and I don't just mean the snakes.

The idea that a drop of Clark's blood has altered Zod's blood to such a degree that he now can activate a crystal that can only be done with El blood is super silly.

Lois remembers her time in the Phantom Zone?

Why would Clark be wearing a cape for his gladiator fight with Oliver? Because its an homage to Superman? Come on, do we need that at this point?

Tess never bothered to mention to Clark and Oliver that they were gone for 3 weeks?

When Clark finds out that's its been 3 weeks, he says "You waited all that time" to Lois. Did he think she should've started dating?

Its 2 days to the wedding? And Chloe's not in town? Martha's not in town?

In fact, how strange was it that Oliver never once mentioned his wife?

And the biggest WTF, Hawkman had a quest? Now, wait, lets back up here....apparently, Hawkman saw someone use a weapon that pushed back Darkseid last time he showed up on Earth. But Hawkman never thought it was a good idea to share this information with Clark, or the League in general? Just Oliver? And Oliver has known this since Hawkman died, and never thought to mention it to Clark, or anyone else? And the missing piece to finding this weapon is in the Veritas Journals, because why? What would the Veritas journals have to do with any of that?

And these are all just the hundred and more reasons this season is so damned awful. Its sloppy, its lazy, Clark is still being undercut for the benefit of other characters, they keep throwing in things off the "bucket list" (and tell me that whats coming in the next episode isn't more of that)

Comments

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dawnybee
May. 3rd, 2011 05:25 am (UTC)
when you peel back the layers of this episode and examine it a bit deeper, you find yourself staring into some major plot holes, and contrivances. And those are par for the course.

And that's my disappointment with this final season. If this was just regular 'ol season 10 I'd love it, but this is it for the show; this should all be about Clark and his next big step and it's really no different than any other season with a focus on Very Special Guests and as you say, bucket list items, but not enough about Clark and his destiny and that's my disappointment. I've been mostly content with this season, but I wish I could love it.

Did some of the criminals smuggle in snakes in their pants? (insert joke here)
Is that why Zod kept squirming around in his throne?

Because the bottom line is that there was no real reason at all to bring him back aside from "Oh, wouldn't it be cool if...."

It was so unnecessary. It's like the writers think they're doing the fans a favor by bringing these incidental characters back.

While I find it incredibly hard to be invested in Oliver's skull tatoo, especially when he's been off in Star City for the last 3 weeks

And has been perfectly fine and is even worried about having the Omega symbol which means he's self aware and isn't as evil as the symbol is supposed to imply. I don't get where they are going with this at all.

Oh, and yeah, he looked magnificent.

I even love his short hair!

They all seem to get overly pissy because Clark won't love them enough, or won't love them the way they want him to (and by that, I mean in a naked way).

Do you blame them? :)

It sort of reminds me of Salvation, when we saw Clark be so brave and heroic and self-sacrificing, and then Lazarus came around and told us how stupid and proud Clark was. Well, here we have Clark being so brave and heroic and self-sacrificing on the surface, but what the show is really telling us is that it was a good thing no one listened to his plan, and he's overly controlling and won't trust other people enough. And really, is that what we needed 2 episodes from the end of the show?

But what is so crazy is that the writing gives us characters who are always pushing and looking to Clark to lead and for guidance and when he does so they all shoot him down and interfere and tell him how stupid and selfish he is. Which POV are we supposed to follow?

I'm not even going to go in on supportivefiancee!Lois because I'd be ranting all day. I've been over this side of her.

and they look deep into each others eyes, and they declare everloving devotion to each other, and there's some hugging, and....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!

Look, its just not my thing.


LOL! They're very perfect boring antiseptic love and devotion. It's not my cuppa either. It really makes me regret hating on Clana as much as I did because at least I can see them as a passionate couple, this is like Lois is Clark's beard which considering he has a son with Lex, maybe...

Well, last time we saw Godfrey and Granny Goodness, they were free as 2 little minion birds.

I bet they got their just desserts in Offscreenville. Though, didn't he send Godfrey to the Zone too or did Kara handle him? I don't even remember.

Why would Clark be wearing a cape for his gladiator fight with Oliver? Because its an homage to Superman? Come on, do we need that at this point?

That's the only reason why, unless Justin didnt't want anyone shirtless besides himself.

When Clark finds out that's its been 3 weeks, he says "You waited all that time" to Lois. Did he think she should've started dating?

LOL!!

Its 2 days to the wedding? And Chloe's not in town? Martha's not in town?

Clark doesn't need anyone else but Lois, don't you know that?!
jlvsclrk
May. 3rd, 2011 07:20 am (UTC)
Preach it, sister! I enjoyed it for the most part, but agree it was a tremendous waste of time to bring back Zod - I really, really hate that bucket list! And yes, I'd like to see a bit more passion at times with Clois - they feel like an old married couple.
dawnybee
May. 3rd, 2011 05:26 am (UTC)
Part Deux..
In fact, how strange was in that Oliver never once mentioned his wife?

He was with Clark for three weeks, he had all that he wanted.

And the biggest WTF, Hawkman had a quest? Now, wait, lets back up here....apparently, Hawkman saw someone use a weapon that pushed back Darkseid last time he showed up on Earth. But Hawkman never thought it was a good idea to share this information with Clark, or the League in general?

IIRC he only talked about it in vagueries before his final showdown with Slade Wilson, but it was more about the darkness inside people not Darkseid. This was a last minute crazy reveal.
jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 01:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Part One and Deux..
You would think that this being the last season, they would've taken so much more care to plan it out, and pay attention to detail, and trim the fat, and try to do everything they could to make the show look like their budget was over $29.99. And yet, this season feels more scattered, less cohesive, and more over inflated then the show has in years. And it looks SO cheap. I don't get the thinking.

I don't even think TPTB are thinking of the fans with this "bucket list". I think they are trying to amuse themselves as much as possible before the show goes off the air.

And has been perfectly fine and is even worried about having the Omega symbol which means he's self aware and isn't as evil as the symbol is supposed to imply. I don't get where they are going with this at all.

And you know the worst part? We all know that, in the end, he's going to be cured by the strength of how awesome Chloe is. It won't be Clark at all. When it comes to Oliver, it NEVER is. So, why should I give a crap?

But what is so crazy is that the writing gives us characters who are always pushing and looking to Clark to lead and for guidance and when he does so they all shoot him down and interfere and tell him how stupid and selfish he is. Which POV are we supposed to follow?

Exactly! What is the message here? Clark is the leader, but not really b/c everyone, to include his fiancee, will run right over his plans whenever they want. AND, the show will validate those actions. The show will tell us that they were right and heroic to go against Clark, because Clark's plans are "stupid".

The last time we saw Godfrey, he was having a minion meeting with Desaad and Granny. Thats also the last time we saw Granny. How does that constitute them being "handled"?

The whole Hawkmans quest thing is a last minute throw in, which could've been planned earlier, but they just didn't bother. Messy, sloppy, lazy. That explains this season all over.



mahaliem
May. 3rd, 2011 06:02 am (UTC)
I thought it was obvious that those snakes were bad snakes. I mean, did you see how they were practically hanging on Zod? Clearly, decades before they'd done something evil and had been sentenced to the Phantom Zone. *grins*
jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 01:34 pm (UTC)
Right,of course. I think I could even see their little hooded cloaks. ;)

Which raises an interesting point...what do they eat in the Phantom Zone?
(Anonymous)
May. 3rd, 2011 06:47 am (UTC)
Dominion was written by John Chisholm, who wrote Checkmate and Patriot. If you look at his episodes, he writes for Oliver more than anyone else and that's why Oliver stole this episode and why this episode did nothing for Clark, despite whatever screentime he had.

You brought up a lot of things that went wrong in this episode and how it reflects the entire season. If Oliver knew about this since Hawkman died, then the trust issues between Clark and Oliver are justified and I hope Tess will tell Clark about Oliver's quest in the next episode.

You're right in that Lois pulling the gun is the stupidest thing I've ever seen and the Lois I knew wouldn't resort to that just to make a point to Tess. I know that she and Tess can physically fight if they have to, but I have no sympathy for Lois and Tess ends up more interesting pointing out Lois' selfishness and desperation. For Lois to stop the countdown when there's 2 hours left was really extreme. Why would she stop it when it's plenty of time for both Clark and Oliver to escape?

Even if Clark and Tess told Lois of their plan of shutting down the gateway to the Phantom Zone with Clark in it, Lois wouldn't still go along with it anyways so the drama between Lois and Tess was unnecessary. Tess was only following Clark's orders and has done a wonderful job as Watchtower so far.

You raise up another problem - Lois is seen as perfect and that has made her uninteresting compared to Tess. Basically, Clark and Tess both got the shaft while Oliver, Zod, and Lois end up looking great under Chisholm's writing.

There was no reason to bring back Zod as we didn't need to find out what happened to him since Salvation. By the time Clark and Oliver got to the Phantom Zone, the two Zods have already combined into the one, true Zod. They were reminding us of the Darkseid plot through Oliver and Zod. The Darkseid arc is failing.

In other news - Dominion is the lowest-rated episode of the season.

Vantheman77
jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
John Chisholm is yet another mediocre writer on the SV writing staff. But really, I blame the people in charge, because I do think these writers are only doing what they're told, for the most part. The dialogue in this ep was pretty par for the SV course. Its the storyline itself, and some of the implications, that were bothersome, and that comes from the breaking of the story itself.

To me, the idea that Clark and Oliver are real friends who trust each other is as unbelievable as it gets on this show. They just never sold that to me, and instead continue to do everything to undermine it.

Lois pulling the gun was just unnecessary. End of story.

Its ironic to me that Tess was the only one that was willing to back Clark's play 100%, regardless of her own feelings. And the show tells me she is wrong.

I'd challenge anyone to show me one instance where Lois has been shown to be anything less then the absolutely perfect, supportive girlfriend/fiancee all season. Oh wait, maybe Ambush, and I think there's a reason that episode is so well liked. But outside of that, she's shown as without fail or flaw. And I just don't think thats interesting.

Zod's storyline was one that came to a satisfying conclusion. It had its implied "another day, another time" ending to it. Revisiting him was so pointless.
eternal_moonie
May. 3rd, 2011 10:27 am (UTC)
I'm dreading the thoughts for Prophecy, especially the Kara/Oliver scenes.

Another great review!
jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
I'm dreading Prophecy too. I didn't like the episode Supergirl. But when I heard Kara was coming back, I thought this was the chance to give Clark and Kara a better episode to end their interactions with. Instead, she's brought back to interact with Oliver? WTH!
awehla
May. 3rd, 2011 11:48 am (UTC)
Lois remembers her time in the Phantom Zone?

Lois didn't get a mindwipe that time - she was convinced it was a drug trip of some kind probably caused by those pesky meteor rocks again.

As if Lois and Clark would just hug after 3 weeks apart, OK it's been a few hours for Clark but Lois would be gagging for it after 3 weeks and we don't even get a kiss.

I agree with most of what you say. I can enjoy the episodes on one level as fangirl entertainment but otherwise I can't help picking holes and even thought why doesn't Clark wear his glasses all the time and fly yet like the "real" Clark Kent? Obviously that Freudian slip reveals a lot about how I view Smallville's take on the character.

Lisa
x
jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)
Ah, OK. Thanks for reminding me of the Lois/P-Zone stuff. I sort of had the impression is was all fuzzy to her.

All I know if that if my fiancee was gone for 3 weeks, and I wasn't sure if I'd ever see him again, I would be hugging AND kissing him.

On the purely shallow, there was a lot of enjoy about this episode, because the P-Zone stuff was fun, and The Gay!, and gorgeous men fighting, and Callum Blue chewing the scenery. Its all fun! But then you think that this is the 3 episodes away from the end of the show forever, and its sort of mind boggling that this is what they went for.
(no subject) - awehla - May. 4th, 2011 12:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
christina_kat
May. 3rd, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
WORD!WOMAN WORD!

I agree with every single thing you just said. I thing that having so many villains for just one season makes the plot confusing and the whole thing is just sloppy.

where they have a heartfelt conversation about something, and ED gets all teary eyed (and Tom frequently looks vaguely bored), and they look deep into each others eyes, and they declare everloving devotion to each other, and there's some hugging, and....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!

My.God! This is soooo true. I don't like Clark/Lois any more. I believe that Lois's character has changed a LOT! I miss how Lois was in season 4. She is more Lanalike now. She is also a softy this season and I'm tired of all the talk about their wedding. I also hate weddings but that's not the point I'm trying to make.
I'm more of a Clark/Tess fan in season 10. I've always found them interesting but this season that we've actually seen a kiss between them(even if it happened with CL) I'm soooo hooked on them. I don't know if I've even mentioned it but I don't like the Clois kissing scenes. Though, there are a few exceptions.

AND.I still do have some BIG problems with Oliver.I mean, BIG ONES.
jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
It seems to me that this season tried to do so many things, that it ultimately ended up doing nothing particularly well.

I always thought that one of the appealing qualities about Lois was that she wasn't perfect, and that she could be very abrasive, and abrupt, and clash with Clark on things. And the eps this season that remember this are among her best. But it feels to me that they were terrified of introducing any potential realistic and sustained conflict there. And thats kind of boring.

Oliver is such a problematic character to me, and I can see as we enter the home stretch, they continue to make a lot of the same mistakes with him. They could've made him being marked by Darkseid a compelling storyline, if we had seen this struggle within him play out over a number of eps, and if we got some sense of that darkness creeping in, and if it was directly effecting Clark, and his interaction with Clark. But none of that happened, so who freaking cares?
costas22
May. 3rd, 2011 02:13 pm (UTC)
A review like this is worth the wait if it's going to encapsulate how I felt about some of the letdowns of this episode.:) Good job on it and thanks for the screentimes. I've never made this distinction before, but I enjoyed the guys' scenes a lot more than the girls' in this episode. Clark, Oliver and Zod at the PZ with a 300 vibe was something that couldn't fail imo. Tom and Callum's performances were solid and kudos to Justin for balancing his two roles very well. Erica was ok considering what they gave her. Didn't like Cassidy's acting. Can't remember another time where CF went through almost an entire episode with one motion. That of fear. Maybe it's just me, but she looked off, especially in the scene with Lois.

I think I said this after Patriot, but Chisholm strikes me as an extravagant writer. If the episode has the funds for that stuff, the action scenes look great (Checkmate, Dominion). If it doesn't, you get Patriot. However, Chisholm's weak point is characterization. Of course you can make this arguement about almost every SV writer, but his flaws are very evident.And this of course will bring me to the two parts of your review I mostly agreed with.

And the one person who was actually standing by what Clark told her to do? Coded as wrong, and misguided, and got a gun pulled on her.

To clear up one thing. The gate wasn't open 3 weeks. It closed as soon as Clark crushed the crystal. It just took Clark and Oliver 3 weeks to return to Earth through the magic of time jump and writing contrivance. And looking at the episode again, what purpose did this time jump serve? Just one. Make it seem that Lois was right and Clark's plan was wrong. Well, imo Clark's plan wasn't wrong. He took a huge risk and he was succesful. He and Oliver defeated Zod way before Tess would have blown up the gate and they were on their way back just in time. As for the gun scene, that was Chisholm at his finest. And although there were still 2 hours left before the gate got blown up, that didn't bug me as much as Lois'general attitude towards Tess in those scenes. Ordering her around and then immediately accusing her of backstabbing Clark. You mentioned that they are making Lois out to be the perfect fiance. She is more like the perfect character actually. Over the years we've seen Clark, Oliver and other good characters called out for some of their actions by other good characters. Has that ever happened with Lois? Tess was never going to break that mould. By the way when did Tess become such a pushover?

Also, like the episode Luthor did earlier this season, they have Clark take what is, seemingly, a very harsh and overly simplistic POV so that another character can be justified in not confiding the truth in him.

Clark's comment was another OOC moment. I understand that they want to have Oliver go out on his own to find the cure, but why does Clark have to be the one that pushes him towards that direction? Oliver imo had enough reasons to do this on his own. He could be too insecure about telling anyone about the mark. Or he might be afraid that Clark will tell Chloe. They could have gone another direction.

Once again, loved the Cless scenes. Based on those, I can't see how Tess will ever be torn between Clark and her Luthor side. Not so sure about Tess keeping Oliver's secret though. Lets see how it plays out.

This Friday, Granny is back! Sorry, it's the only thing I am excited for.
jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
I didn't like Cassidy or Erica in the Tess/Lois scenes. I thought both of them were off their game. But Cassidy in other scenes felt fine to me.

Its so hard for me to form an opinion about the SV writers really, except to say that I think SV has an extraordinarily mediocre writing staff, and even worse showrunners. And its ultimately Souders/Peterson I blame for the quality in the season, and the scripts, because they are in charge. So, they set the pace.

Thanks for the clarification about the gate. But it would seem to me that the gate being open at all should be a threat, but there was really no explanation why it wasn't. Which is lame.

And you're right, there was no point for the 3 weeks thing except to showcase how loyal and steadfast Lois was. Thats pretty much it. But, did any of us doubt those qualities in her? How could we when the show hammers this home every single episode?

I really thought that both Oliver and Lois were written at Clark's expense this week.

I don't really buy Tess being torn either. Thats going to be a very hard sell if they go in that direction.
(no subject) - costas22 - May. 3rd, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
tjw_jaypat
May. 3rd, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
I missed the last round due to the Easter break, so let me rush to thank you for your work now.

Actualy, I am rather unmotivated to say anything about this crappy season any more. What a let-down... :((

You´ve pointed out most of the problems as usual. Just a few more things that bugged me.

Clark was portrayed as inept again. Ollie had to tell Clark to watch out, to take the shield and finally the helmet. I understand of course that Clark normally doesn´t care about such things because he´s invincible so that he may be oblivious about them when suddenly losing his powers. Nonetheless I hated it. After all, does losing his powers also include losing the superperceptiveness he should have. Ah well, he never had it anyway, not on this show...

I found the fight scenes excessively violent and gratuitous. I do mildly enjoy some kung fu fighting but not blood splatter fights which are done only for the sake of the gore. Wouldn´t it be enough to show the seriousness of the situation by one scene instead of showing several bloody swords running through bodies? I also can´t stand any more that Clark needs to be "killed" all the time. They really seem to enjoy running daggers and swords or other stuff through Clark. Just think of Salvation, Harvest, and now Dominion, not to mention Upgrade, Odyssey, Whither etc. It´s getting really old, just like the Green K at other occasions. I am also fed up by the very same scene in every fight involving Clark: at least once Clark gets hit in the face and we see blood spewing forth from his mouth, if possible in slow motion. It never happens with others, it´s always Clark.

Finally I must admit that after Dominion my disappointment about S10 has turned into outright contempt for the writers and showrunners. A minute or two of Clark possibly flying in the suit in the finale won´t change the fact that to me SV is a total failure as an origins story of Superman.
jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome :)

Its hard to come up with things to say because its just so damned disappointing. Its just sad now.

Truthfully, I expected them to portray Clark as even more inept when it came to hand-to-hand fighting, so I was pleasantly surprised that he showed him as capable at all. Small mercies.

The fighting was violent, but that seems to be all the rage nowadays when it comes to fight scenes, especially with this slo-mo stuff. And its pretty clear that SV's stunt team has a pretty tried and true style, so that similarities between scenes is very obvious.

Here's the bottom line...part of Clark turning into Superman is him being out and about and saving people. And that part of his story is just completely off screen. And I think its necessary to show for the transition to Superman. And much like Clark the journalist, they don't care. Instead we get powerless Clark in the P-Zone, and Oliver's skull tattoo.
wingster55
May. 3rd, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
"Oh, and yeah, he looked magnificent." Oh don't pretend that was an after thought.

The ep was alright to me. All actors were good...minus one.
I did think Clark's stance was odd, especially him trying to redeem Clark Luthor.

Really don't like the saint hood of Lois either...and TW does look really bored. Shame. Hope he'll put that to bed for the finale.

I didn't get the whole three week thing..and it's only two days from the wedding? I guess next ep's events all take place in 1 day.

I think they're just saving all the cool stuff for the finale.

jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
Well, the Tom Pretty is always first and foremost in my mind. Don't think I could've made it through 10 seasons without it.

If they're saving all the "cool stuff" for the finale, it means the finale is going to be crammed full and rushed, which means its going to blow. Yeah, pretty much what I expect.
wingster55
May. 3rd, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
well by cool I mean the character driven important stuff..let's face it it's just treading water before MR and others appear.

Also I don't think the wonky filming schedule helped.
(Anonymous)
May. 3rd, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
Hey Val,

Thanks for the ST. Awesome review. I agree with Costas wrt Cassidy's acting. I usually love her acting as I find her to be a better actress than ED (who I think is so overrated), but she was way off her mark. The only scene that she seemed alive in was w/ Clark and Ollie. I could've done without the Lois/Tess scene...that brought the whole episode down for me.

Chalk up another episode where I had to go with the shallow. Tom did indeed look incredibly hot!! He was the best thing about this episode.lol Seriously, I loved how Tom played Clark...defiant, cool, calm and collected. He was the man with the plan...yay!!

Sorry, I'm not very good at conveying my thoughts. They're usually so jumbled.lol

Also, I found that scene between Zod/Ollie too long as well as that last Clark/Lois scene. I agree on how they're portraying Lois...but again, didn't you know that Lois is awesome and Clark just sucks. [/sarcasm]

Anyways, thanks again for taking the time for compiling and your review.

Maria (wl66)
jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
Hey Maria. Thanks for stopping by :)

This wasn't one of Cassidy's stronger eps, I agree. I would've been happier with just Tom, JH and CB in this ep, with more time spent in the P-Zone, and formulating the plan to escape. Lets give the ladies the week off! :D

Going with the shallow is ALWAYS a good plan. Tom was so beautiful, and I'm actually surprised at how lovingly JH directed his close-ups. And I also liked the way he was playing Clark. Whatever my issues with the season and its writing, I do think the actors have always done their best for the majority of the time. They aren't on all the time, or in every scene, but I think they've poured a lot of themselves in the show and the characters.

You convey your thoughts just fine. I know when I write these reviews, I feel like my thoughts are going in 20 different directions.

Now, now, Clark doesn't suck....because he loves Lois! Thats the way that goes.

And you're always welcome. :)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 3rd, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
la_belle_isa
May. 3rd, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
I could quote your whole review! I love it when you analyse an episode. Those are huge plot holes.

“And there's no 2 ways about it, the homoerotic undertones were all over this episode. Not for nothing, but why do all these guys that want to be Clark's "brother", or want to be his trusty companion, seem like they're true desires are something of a more sexual nature? Is it just me?”
No! :D This is my favorite aspect of the show, which is sorely lacking of course since Lex is gone. And also, I noticed that Zod seemed to have a climax every time Clark was hit during the fight.
“Lois is perfect. Lois is perfect for Clark. Clark could never have someone so perfect and supportive in his corner, and could never become Superman without her. I get it! I get it! I get it! “
Seriously. I don’t recognize her anymore. If I was a fan of her, I think I would be pissed.
“When Clark finds out that's its been 3 weeks, he says "You waited all that time" to Lois. Did he think she should've started dating?”
ROTFL.
“Why would Clark be wearing a cape for his gladiator fight with Oliver? Because its an homage to Superman?”
I’m beyond irritated with those little “winks”: “oh look, Lois has a red cloak that looks like a CAPE!” Oh look that fuzzy promo where we can see a suit in the background” and so on.
“Because what this episode tells us is that it was a good thing that people didn't listen to Clark's plan, because while it might seem heroic on the surface, it was really dumb (Lois even calls it "stupid").”
I think that this kind of “teamwork” is the only one they can think about: Clark is doing reckless stupid things and the others clean his mess. Or as they would put it: he saves the world while the others save him. It sucks.

I won’t understand EVER why Oliver has a big arc so close to the end of the series. ARGH.
jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm glad a few people love it, LOL

CB was definitely bringing the HoYay to this episode. Whenever he said he was looking for a brother, I just heard "lover", because thats how it came across to me.

I am also beyond tired of the little winks. Its the end of the show. Enough with the winks, bring on the real thing. At this point, its just irritating. I mean, really, think about it...who the hell in the P-Zone made Clark a cape? And why would they?

I'm just not understanding why anyone would think sending the message that "Thank God Lois didn't follow Clark's plan, or he would've been screwed" is a good thing. Unless what you're interested in is making Lois look good, and don't care so much about what it says about Clark.

I would be OK with Oliver having this arc so close to the end if I thought for one minute that it would be used to show Clark being the one pulling him out of The Darkness! But it won't be. It will be Chloe. Guaranteed. So, yeah, totally don't care.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
May. 3rd, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, watching parts of the episode on mute...you might be onto something there ;)

I think the Lois/Tess scene with the gun is just probably one of those scenes that might have looked better on the written page, but just looked soap opera melodramatic once put to film.

This coming weeks ep certainly does not look good. At all. Hopefully it will surprise us both. :)
(Anonymous)
May. 3rd, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
Hi Valerie! :D

I'm so glad that you managed this spot-on review, because I think that it's your best one yet - that I've read anyway. You said it all. On the surface it didn't seem so bad, but when you peel the layers away, lots of issues to be discovered underneath. That was Dominion in a nutshell.

After I'd watched Dominion live, I felt that it wasn't too bad at first. The episode looked alright visually, and I thought that JH's directing style brought some needed energy to the show. The one thing that stuck in my mind after watching it though was: Clark's plan was wrong! That was the message that they decided to go with - you know, only 2 episodes away from the series finale. I actually watched Dominion again on Sunday night to make sure that I wasn't just imagining things, and there were many more problems - that you pointed out - that I was able to catch. Veritas journal? Hawkman's quest? CloneZod's DNA somehow got altered with just one drop of Clark's blood?! WTH? But hey, so glad for Lois. What would Clark have done without her. I think that anything Lois-related was awful in this one.

It's funny how they try to throw these things in out of nowhere at last minute. You're absolutely right. Why would only Oliver get the memo from Hawkman about the BOW OF ORION!! LOL, but Clark gets left out of the loop - AGAIN. I know, I know. And it was so nice that Booster Gold was able to help them out with PZ communication technology while he was around. Like you say - lazy, lazy writing. That 3 weeks later "Clois" scene was terrible too. That whole scene was so terribly overdramatic and cringeworthy. All that for some hugs. This relationship bores the heck out of me as the weeks go by.

Anyway, I just wanted to stop over and give you some support. I'm not looking forward at all to Prophecy. It's so laughable that Clark would bring Lois to the FoS to get Jor-El's blessing. LOL Are you kidding me. And it looks like Clark-without-powers again. One thing that I hope to see is the "unplugging" of that AI Jor-El, not that it matters at this point. Better late than never. Also, I hate to be a downer, but the series finale doesn't appear to be shaping up too well. Unbelievable the things that are going to be going on.

Take care,

Matt

jeannev
May. 4th, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
Hey Matt :)

Just 2 more weeks buddy. Just 2 more weeks.

And thanks. My best yet? Wow.

I guess I'm just not sure if the SV writers are just that inept that they don't realize what message they are sending with their eps, or if they know, and just don't care how it reflects on Clark. Because I keep hearing how they care SO MUCH and stuff, and yet, these are really the best scripts they can turn out. How does that compute? So, I guess we're going with inept then?

Now, certainly they did portray Clark as strong, and capable when he was in the P-Zone. And he was the person that came up with the plan. So, maybe they thought if they gave him that, then we'd ignore the rest? IDK.

The Veritas journals are the new "A Wizard Did it".

If they wanted to set up a quest for Hawkman, and the bow or Orion, they had the chance to do that in Icarus. But, as usual, they didn't plan it out. I would not be the least bit surprised if this bow of Orion wasn't a last minute idea, and if it doesn't quite fit into what we've seen this season, well, we just shouldn't worry our silly, fluffy empty heads about it. I guess.

For the finale, I'm looking forward to the Clex scene, and the Lex/Tess scene. And, thats about it. They really aren't giving us much about the finale, and what they have given us just isn't blowing me away.

Prophecy looks terrible.
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