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As promised earlier, here are the totals for Quest




Screentime totals for Quest, running time 41m, 50s

Clark - 13m, 57s
Lex - 19m, 18s
Chloe - 10m, 26s
Jimmy - 4m, 58s

Season to Date (# of eps)

Clark - 316m, 25s (19)
Lex - 163m, 59s (19)
Lana - 105m, 49s (15)
Chloe - 167m, 47s (19)
Lois - 91m, 25s (11)
Kara - 124m, 15s (11)
Jimmy - 84m, 29s (10)
Lionel - 67m, 48s (12) R.I.P. 

Type your cut contents here.



So, what did I think about this episode?  Boy, thats hard to articulate.  I think, mostly, it made me uncomfortable.  I have a lot of trouble with heavy-duty religious imagery.  Especially in the hands of mediocre writers like the staff of SV.  I found myself wincing a lot.  I don't think thats the effect they were going for.

I will say that I thought they handled Lex's side of the story very well.  Lex's single-minded obsession to find the Traveler seems to have filled the void in his life.  I'm not even sure he's explained why he wants to find him so badly, except that its something his father kept from him.  And he feels he's been shortchanged and neglected due to Lionel's obsession.  Lex's motivation here is a tad ambigious.  But I think I like that.  

I can't say that the whole Veritas idea is really working for me.  I still believe its the wrong plot for this show.  If you are writing Heroes, then awesome.  But this is SV.  And I think what gets lost in the sauce of all these grand conspiracies, and prophecies, and secret societies, and cults is the story of Clark Kent.  Sure, this whole thing is about Clark, more or less.  But its almost treated him as object or false idol.  Not to mention that all the members of Veritas (with the possible exception of the Queens) are batshit crazy meglomaniacs.  And I don't believe its really doing that much to advance Clark's character.  At least not in the way I'd prefer.

Because honestly, for me, with all this Veritas stuff, on top of everything else, I see a Clark who has very valid reasons to become more reclusive and withdrawn from the world, rather then one that rushes forth to embrace it.  The world that SV has created for Clark is so dark, and confusing, and painful.  It seems every step he takes is somehow wrong, or at least not entirely right.  There's precious little validation for him, and almost no sense that he receives some gratification for being "a hero".  So, how can our Clark be the Superman we know?

And don't get me wrong, because I'm not disparaging Clark at all here.  I think he's reacting to his world in the best way he can.  Its just the world SV has created.  Superman is a hero of light, not born of darkness and despair.  Could that ever be our Clark?  I have to think not.  Our Clark has been beaten down by his life terribly.  He breaks my heart, he truly does.  I still root for him.  I do believe he can do good in the world, and be a hero.  I'm just not entirely sure what kind.

I did think Clark showed a lot of strength of character in this episode though.  I completely understand his reluctance to truly confront Lex.  When he tells Edward Teague that he "knows Lex", I believe that.  And I like that Clark isn't willing to have others tell him what he should do, and how he should handle that.  Is be possibly be naive?  Yes.  Is he taking a big chance?  Yes.  But in this context, I don't look upon that as a bad thing.  Lex still means something to Clark, and he's not anxious to hurtle to that final confrontation that simply cannot end well.  I love Clark a lot for that.

I also like his complete rejection of himself as a God.  He doesn't want, and hasn't asked for, the pedastal that people seem intent on placing him upon.  Even Chloe, which was very disappointing coming from her.  I think she should know him better then that.

Speaking of Chloe and Jimmy, I could totally have lived without either character this week.  While I didn't mind the Chlark scene at Isis, I found their other interactions disappointing.  Another super Chloe save was unnecessary, and her speech at the end made me cringe.  And I just can't get into Jimmy.  I don't see some sweet, loveable goof with him.  He just strikes me as a pain in the ass.  And Chimmy scenes just skeeve me out.  AA and AM just don't have chemistry that appeals to me on any level.  And since when is Jimmy a reporter?

On a totally HoYay! note, Lex and Clark getting tatoos carved into their chests in the same episode was sort of cool, as well as deeply disturbing.  

Which reminds me, and I know I read this in someone elses comments, but why would Clark want to wear a symbol on his chest that has twice been physically and painfully cast onto his body?

On a gratitious level, both of them look smashing with their chests hanging out.  Tom is looking particularly fit and trim.  

I just don't know how to categorize how I feel about the show right now.  I'm in it for the long haul, as long as TW is playing Clark.  But I have a lot of ambivalence right now.  Do you think there's any chance they might lighten this puppy up next season, and allow Clark to shine as the hero we know he can be?  I just wish I believed that might happen.


Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
redteekal
May. 10th, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
Interesting review and quite different from mine yet I still found myself agreeing on several points. I have faith that SV will end S8 on a positive and bright note - blind optimism some might say but still...I watch the show and continue to enjoy watching it so where's the harm in being the glass half full kinda audience? Many viewers are not comfortable with the religious/jesus/god analogies but for myself I don't have a problem with it as it is something that is always present due to the nature of humanity and Clark's heritage/origins. I thought about it afterwards - who else could have had that conversation with Clark? Pushing aside the debate over whether the conversation was needed or not I don't see Clark picking this topic up with Lex or Kara, if Lana was back to normal that could have been interesting and really who else is there besides Chloe? And I don't think Chloe herself places him in the realm of the Messiah but I do think she has an understanding of why humans would want to do that. And I think her motivations for suggesting Clark deal with Lex finally are more a combination of her fear for Clark if he lets Lex go too far and from her own experiences of the lengths that Lex will go to. In Fractured would she have offered to save Lex if Clark's mind was not at stake? I'm not so sure. Lex has hurt her a lot over the years.

And yes gratuitously speaking the show was stunningly beautiful.
In more ways than one.

Edited at 2008-05-10 06:41 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jeannev - May. 10th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
svgurl
May. 10th, 2008 07:02 am (UTC)
You and I shared a lot of the same thoughts for this episode.

I feel awful for Clark ... he's faced through so much. You're right ... this show has brought upon a very different Superman. I think he really needs a hug.

And I was just as uncomfortable with the religion stuff. SV writers are not good enough to handle it properly.

Clark was very strong in this episode though. I too loved him for refusing to accept his role as a God, even when it came from the person who should've known him best.

Chloe failed this week ... she should know Clark better by now and know that he doesn't kill. Most of all, the way she's putting him on a pedestal is a little bit unnerving. :\

And I just can't get into Jimmy. I don't see some sweet, loveable goof with him. He just strikes me as a pain in the ass.

Seriously. He is a bore and I tune out every time he comes on screen. Unless Lois is there with him and then I watch for her. Other than that, he brings up little interest on my part.

I've seen Season 8 spoilers and I'm very worried for this show. Poor Tom ... he deserves so much better.

Great review btw! I always enjoy reading your thoughts. :)

Edited at 2008-05-10 07:03 am (UTC)
jeannev
May. 10th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
Clark just breaks my heart. Not because I'm disappointed in him, but because his world is such an unhappy place. And it just feels like every disappointment and loss just chips another piece off of him. He's so sad, and I hate that my Clark is so sad. Why have they deprived him of any significant happiness? I don't get it.

One thing I've never felt that Clark got enough credit for was how he's managed to avoid abusing his powers. What sort of strength of character must it take to have these God-like powers, yet remain humble? And yet this aspect of Clark never seems to receive the attention and admiration it deserves from viewers.

I wish we knew how Tom was feeling about his last year on the show, but I doubt we'll ever know for sure. I do feel confident that he's a professional, and will do the best job he can.
carolandtom
May. 10th, 2008 09:13 am (UTC)
Thanks for the totals!

SV has become and elseworld too disturbing and depressing for me now. The show I used to love has lost its essence and now it seems the writers are just desperate to find anything to tell, no matter how stupid, confusing and pointless it is. The Veritas storyline is contrived, absurd and leads nowhere, except to contradict much of what we saw, and loved, on the show. We are supposed to look back at some facts and relationships and see them under a new light, but, to me, they are just making thing that were clear enough confusing, while they detract from many of the great previous findings on the show. And, worst of all, they are creating a world where Clark Kent could never be the Superman we have all known and loved for many years. :(

I look forward to the end of this series. SV has become a painful experience to me. From now on, I'll consider SV as some kind of twisted parallel universe where they play with the Superman mythology: names, some well-known facts... with mixed and mostly disappointing results. I find it hard to call SV a "Superman show" any longer.
jeannev
May. 10th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
I wish I could find a way to disagree with you, but I really can't. I would really love for one of the producers or writers to explain why they decided that this show should become so dark and depressing, and why Clark must suffer so much. I don't understand their decision to extinguish almost all the light. Now thats something I'd like to see asked and answered in one of the companion books, but I won't hold my breath.

But at least we have Tom, and his great performance as Clark.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
May. 10th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
Re: part I
I think our Clark will become Superman out of duty, responsibility, guilt, necessity, and a desire to help people. But I don't think this life will ever fill him with joy. I don't think we'll ever see a Clark that loves humanity and embraces the world, as much as we'll see a Clark who feels its his lot in life to serve. His destiny, that was set out for him since the day he left Krypton. And there's just something so sad in that.

I think AlMiles never had as much interest in a heroes journey as they did the villians journey, and the journey of the surrounding characters of the show. I sometimes believe that they feel as though everyone knows where Clark and Lois end up, so what they do with them until them is inconsequential. Because how that reflects on their future is, to quote Al, "not their problem". And thats some messed up thinking.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
May. 10th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
Re: part II
I totally agree with you that Clark's reluctance to take Lex on is a multi-level decision. And I definitely think Clark not wanting to "take Lex out" is a big part of that. We saw that Clark suffered through the 'zoner dilemna, and these were horrible, murderous villians for other worlds who could not be rehabilitated or contained or sent back to the P-zone. How much would Clark suffer over, possibly, taking Lex's life? Horribly, I think.

And I do believe he'd have Lex thrown in jail if they could find a way to make one of Lex's crimes stick. I do believe Clark would be OK with that outcome. But I think the show is trying to tell us that, like Lionel, getting something to stick to Lex is nearly impossible. Though they could be doing a much better job with that.

And feel free to lose your shit over here anytime.

Jimmy is a useless dick. And I don't understand the way he's written at all. I positively enjoy when Clark looks at him with he's an annoying insect.
mahaliem
May. 10th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
So, how can our Clark be the Superman we know?

I don't think he can be. I think that Clark will be a Superman that we haven't seen before.

I'm not one of those people who knows everything about Superman, but he's always struck me as someone who in many ways is God-like. He's almost all-powerful, he saves everyone whether they deserve it or not, and he's always confident in his beliefs.

But with Smallville's version, behind the Superman persona, I think that Clark won't have that confidence that what he's doing is right. That, unlike iconic Superman, he will always question himself.

He'll be confused as to what he should do. He'll suffer when he makes choices that result in people's deaths even though others might be saved. He'll know that while it might save lives in the long run to go ahead and kill a villain, he won't because it's wrong, but he'll blame himself for each life they take.

He's not God in heaven, but Christ on the cross, taking our sins upon himself. This is our Savior made human.

jeannev
May. 10th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
I don't know a lot about Superman either, but I know enough to know that these SV origins can't, and don't, suit him.

Like you, I believe they've set us up for a Clark who will suffer every single day of his life for who he is, and what he can't be, and who he can't save. And that makes me so incredibly sad. Thats why I would totally understand if Clark packed himself up and headed into lifelong seclusion. And I don't think thats what I'm supposed to be seeing with this show.
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jude_judith82
May. 11th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
Though I don't necessarily agree with most of your review you did make a lot of valid points and have given me a lot to think about.

I also like his complete rejection of himself as a God. He doesn't want, and hasn't asked for, the pedastal that people seem intent on placing him upon. Even Chloe, which was very disappointing coming from her. I think she should know him better then that.

Yeah this I definitely agree with. Chloe was disappointing in this episode but unfortunately it hasn't been the first time. *Sigh* Chloe imo has been consistent with Clark. She's always put these huge expectations on him and has always been demanding of him even before she knew "the secret" so I don't think her characterization is off.

And I like that Clark isn't willing to have others tell him what he should do, and how he should handle that. Is be possibly be naive? Yes. Is he taking a big chance? Yes. But in this context, I don't look upon that as a bad thing.

I don't think Clark is being naive but I do think Clark standing his ground is something that at least for the latter part of the season they've done well on the show. For this reason I do think you can get Superman out of this show.

. I'm in it for the long haul, as long as TW is playing Clark. But I have a lot of ambivalence right now.

With all the rumblings going on I do think this a valid feeling but I'm being a lot more positive I'm not letting anything stress me out yet.
jeannev
May. 11th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
Its totally cool not to agree with me. I welcome all viewpoints :)

I like Clark standing his ground too, but I'd be OK if he was even more forceful about it. I'd love for him to say "No, this is NOT my fault, and you people need to back the hell off!". Clark is still too quick to take on the blame, and let others shove the responsibility onto him. I'd like to see him get past that, and serve up some home truths of his own.

And its a TV show. Its really not worth stressing over, so I think you've got the right idea. I can always find happiness in watching TW for another 22 eps next season :)
(no subject) - jude_judith82 - May. 11th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - May. 11th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC) - Expand
tariel22
May. 11th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
I totally know where you're coming from with this review, and I feel a lot of it, too. I'm depressed about MR leaving, I'm stressed about what S8 will be like, I'm worried that Tom will be hating life on the show next year, and I'm wondering what the next obstacle will be that they throw in Clark's path. It's gone beyond stalling him now; it's as if he's in a prison made of guilt and a crushing feeling of responsibility for everything that's wrong with the world. Meanwhile, the man who was once his best friend is now his enemy, and his other best friend urges him to wield the sword of vengeance as if he were God himself. It's exhausting to even think about! Isn't Superman supposed to fun?

I see a Clark who has very valid reasons to become more reclusive and withdrawn from the world, rather then one that rushes forth to embrace it.

Absolutely. Every time he's ventured outside his comfort zone, it seems that something has gone horribly wrong. I still get frustrated that Clark is content to stay in Smallville, but I see your point that he's being conditioned to stay as isolated and removed from the world as possible.

I was disappointed by Chloe's speech to Clark in the loft as well. "Someday you're going to have to play God." What does that even mean? To me, it means deciding unilaterally who lives and who dies, and that is NOT what Superman does!! At least Clark rejected the whole concept. I loved how he didn't let anyone else tell him what to do in this episode. It made me want to cheer for him! And you know, every conversation with Chloe is so intense these days! I think maybe Clark needs to go have another beer with Lois. :)

I understand your ambivalence about Smallville right now. I always try to see the possibilities in this show, and I am fairly optimistic about S8, but it's more of a struggle all the time. If I could somehow know that Tom is on board and looking forward to it, I would be completely happy, but I just can't imagine that's true. I'm very much afraid he's saying goodbye to all of those who are leaving with more than a hint of jealousy, and if so, I wonder how long his consummate professionalism can hold the bitterness at bay.
jeannev
May. 11th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
I get frustrated by Clark staying at the farm too, but then I ask myself "Where should he go?" At least the farm gives him some measure of home, family and security. And seeing what Clark's life is like, I can totally understand why he clings to that desperately. What else is there?

I definitely think Chlark has lost the ability to have a fun, light conversation. I'm trying to think of the last one...

I wish I knew what Tom thought about S8 as well. I just can't believe this is the way he wanted to end his run with the show.
(no subject) - tariel22 - May. 11th, 2008 04:47 am (UTC) - Expand
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goodvibe
May. 11th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
//I did think Clark showed a lot of strength of character in this episode though. I completely understand his reluctance to truly confront Lex. When he tells Edward Teague that he "knows Lex", I believe that. And I like that Clark isn't willing to have others tell him what he should do, and how he should handle that. Is be possibly be naive? Yes. Is he taking a big chance? Yes. But in this context, I don't look upon that as a bad thing. Lex still means something to Clark, and he's not anxious to hurtle to that final confrontation that simply cannot end well. I love Clark a lot for that.//

Absolutely. I wouldn't want, nor expect anything otherwise, from him.


//why would Clark want to wear a symbol on his chest that has twice been physically and painfully cast onto his body?//

Excellent observation. Stupid, stupid writers. ::shakes head::

About next season, obviously, I have no ideawhat spoilers are out there, even if there are any. But I'd certainly like a bit more light and funny, as opposed to constant dark gloominess. We've spoken before about maybe even a couple FOTW stuff, where Clark can just interact with multiple characters and in different scenarios where he's just out there, solving a case, investigating - being a hero.
jeannev
May. 11th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
At this point, I'll take anything to shake SV out of the status quo. I know a lot of people don't like the potential change, but I actually think the show is a season late with needing a change. So, I'll keep my mind open to the huge changes happening. I'd even take a slight time jump.
goodvibe
May. 12th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't be averse to a time-jump idea either. Might be just the thing the final season needs, actually. Either way, I'm in it till the end, so long as TW/Clark is there.

And that's a stunning icon btw!
jeannev
May. 12th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
I think with all the changes coming, a time jump is actually warranted. I'm not talking a big one. But 6 months later, even a year? I don't know, I could see a lot of good reasons for that.

And isn't he so pretty in his tux? *sigh*
beef_wonder3
May. 13th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)
There were a lot of conflicting aspects of this ep. Also the religious subject is a sensitive issue and the SV writers aren't known for their tact or sensitivity.

But I too like that Clark doesn't see himself as GodLike when we know it could happen, Like with Lana and Eric Summers. And I hope that Clark's inner self knowledge that keeps that down to earth hold on himself is what will help him become the Man and Superhero that other superheroes look up to.
jeannev
May. 13th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
That really is something Clark does not get enough credit for, and the show doesn't dwell on enough...Clark's humility. And Eric and Lana are 2 perfect examples of what makes Clark so extraordinary. That should be a major focus of the show, but how often does it even come up? *kicks shows*
seacrystal
May. 13th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
Because honestly, for me, with all this Veritas stuff, on top of everything else, I see a Clark who has very valid reasons to become more reclusive and withdrawn from the world, rather then one that rushes forth to embrace it.

Superman is a hero of light, not born of darkness and despair. Could that ever be our Clark? I have to think not. Our Clark has been beaten down by his life terribly.


This is exactly what I've mentioned in my Apocalypse review, and you definitely have a very good point here, but Apocalypse has managed to convince me that Clark can and will able to find his own happiness, once he realized that he has own place in the world and has finally let go of all his guilt and unworthiness that he has expressed earlier that episode -- which is a culmination of everything that he has felt ever since he found out about his true origin, and everything else that has happened over the years, especially his father's death.

As long as Clark has made peace with himself, that's all I need out of him to make believe that he can truly become THE Superman that I've always associated with joy and light and the symbol of hope. I believe he will become the man he's supposed to be, simply because he wants to. That moment in Apocalypse when he gave a heartfelt, proud smile to his baby self is a very clear indication to me of this.

And Clark has once again, shown a lot of wonderful character strength in this episode, and he'd be dealing with a lot more crazies like that in the future.

Which reminds me, and I know I read this in someone elses comments, but why would Clark want to wear a symbol on his chest that has twice been physically and painfully cast onto his body?

Who knows. But I'm still optimistic that there will be something positive and hopeful to be attributed to that symbol in the end.
jeannev
May. 13th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
I long to see Clark achieve peace with himself. When that moment comes, I hope to reevaluate my current opinion of what sort of Superman our Clark will become. I so much want to see Clark embrace the good he can do, and gain some happiness and satisfaction from that. It always seems to me that the show never allows Clark to enjoy any of his victories. Even in Apocalypse, Clark getting Kara back and saving his baby self was quickly followed with the kick to the gut of Lana being worse. And it seems to me that show ALWAYS does this. Its so aggravating. Let the man enjoy his saves!!

I hope they find some way to redeem the symbol. I'm not sure how they're going to do it. As it stands now, you almost get the sense he'll wear it out of some sort of penance.
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