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Arctic screentime minutes, and thoughts

And this brings our season to a close, with my final screentime minutes for S7.  I'm planning on going back to do earlier seasons during the hiatus.  Since I'm working backwards, my first task would be S4.  We'll see how far I get, but I do have a touch of OCD, so I'll probably get it done pretty fast once I start it.

Also, in a future post, I'll post some breakdowns, like everyones highs and lows.   



Screentime Totals for Arctic, running time 41m, 42s

Clark - 17m, 14s
Lex - 13m, 18s
Lana - 1m, 8s
Chloe - 9m, 5s
Lois - 4m, 44s
Kara - 8s *
Jimmy - 8m, 39s

*Brainic impersonating Kara - 8m, 34s

Season Totals: (# of eps)

Clark - 333m, 39s (20)
Lex - 191m, 45s (20) **
Lana - 106m, 57s (16)
Chloe - 176m, 52s (20)
Lois - 96m, 9s (12)
Kara - 122m, 18s (12)
Jimmy - 93m, 8s (11)
Lionel - 67m, 48s (12) R.I.P.

** Includes 14m, 28s of little Alexander, added to Lex's overall screentime as previously promised. Total for Lex played by MR is 177m, 17s 

Type your cut contents here.


My reaction to this last episode of S7 is mixed.  And boy, am I tired of saying that.  I wish I could feel more positive and enthusiatic about an episode.  I do try and find something good in each episode (only occasionally impossible, ex: Sleeper).  But really, I just want to bounce and SQUEEE, and love Clark, and.....well, you get the picture.  But I often find myself grumbling because I'm so damned frustrated that SV's showrunners are just so mediocre at their jobs.  I am not a great writer.  I'm not even a good writer.  But I could kick their asses with one leg tied behind my back when it came to dialogue.  Thats sort of nuts.  And they are so freaking lousy at pacing themselves.  I don't understand this need to throw so much shit into one episode that you end up shortchanging REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS.  In this episode, the most egregious sin was committed against the long awaited Lex/Clark confrontation, 7 years in the making.   It lasted less then 4 minutes.  4 Freaking Minutes!

Now, do not get me wrong, because I thought it was pretty good.  And very gay.  And while I stand firmly on the side that believes that Lex is seriously deluded, and absolutely no savior of mankind, I do believe the scene gave him a very clear POV.  It allowed us a strong glimpse into the mind of Lex Luthor, as sociopathic and twisted as its become.  And I liked that we were reminded that Lex did love Clark, and still loves Clark.  But Lex has very twisted concepts of love, no doubt instilled in him from childhood by parents with twisted concepts of love.  Being the object of Lex's affections is pretty scary.  The idea that he would kill Clark, because he must, but they would die together, is very romantic.  But in a crazypants way!

But I would have loved more time for the Clex past to be revisited.  I would've liked way more dialogue for Clark.  Its great that Lex got his POV in MR's final bow on the show, but doesn't Clark deserve his POV too?  I think so.  The show doesn't seem to.

So, I can certainly appreciate the scene for what it was, but I lament for what it should've been, and could've been.

MR and TW knocked it completely out of the ballpark though.  They've both been exceptionally good  in the last few eps, I think.  And they are truly brilliant together.  

But now to the rest of the episode......

I thought LV did a good job as Kariac.  Though I try not to think too hard about the whole plot line, because really, Brainiac impersonating Kara this whole time really makes no fucking sense.  

James Marsters is always a delight.  He does so much with so little material.  And he's so tiny compared to TW.  There's this brief moment in the Clark/Brainiac confrontation where James is standing in front of Tom, and he's WEE!  I know Tom is a ginormous, but still...

I've been pretty vocal about my issues with the Chlark dynamic as its been written lately.  Or maybe its been written like that all season and my reaction is sort of based on an accumulative effect.  I recognized some of the same problems in this episode, but I thought it was written a bit better.  Still needs retooling, but a step up from recent weeks.  As AM is returning next season, I so want to regain my Chlark friendship love.  But it will depend on the writing.

I have never been very interested in Chloe as meteor freak.  I hate that storyline. I just don't think its necessary at all.  And now they are just getting ridiculous with her powers.  So now she generates some sort of forcefield that can damage a Kryptonian supercomputer?  OK, whatever show.  Whats she going to do next season?  Walk on water?  Shoot lazer beams from her fingertips?

And I just don't believe the superfast Chloe coma scene was necessary at all.  Seems like a lot of set-up for something that was reversed one segment later.  Couldn't they have achieved the same effect by having Clark find her slumped on the floor of her apartment, seeing the white eyes, cue Clark/Brainiac fight, Chloe's better next segment?  I think they could've.  

And speaking of other scenes that could've gotten the knife, I have to vote for the whole Clark/Lois scene with the application.  No, I don't think Lois is the devil for wanting him to go for the job.  I just don't believe there's a lot of sense in the scene, and I also don't believe it belonged in this series finale.  Maybe if they had left the original dialogue in, with Lois questioning the nature of the Clex relationship, but since they didn't, I just think the entire scene could've been jettisoned, and should've been.  

And I have a tendency to feel that way about any Jimmy scene.  He just bugs me, and more and more with each episode.  I just don't like this character as they've written him.  It was great fun to see Lex treat him so dismissively, and me and my sister laughed out loud when Clark seemed to just be ignoring him altogether until he said Chloe had been arrested.  But I don't think I'm supposed to want people to treat Jimmy like an annoyance.  

I know that they were using Jimmy to get to the big Chloe arrest, but I think it could've been done in less time.  And for God sakes, a marriage proposal?  Oh, Yuck!  

But I think for me, the biggest scene that I wish they'd left out was the Lana video.  I've gone back and forth on this in my mind, because I do understand why they went there (I don't agree with the decision, but I understand it).  But with KK coming back next season, I thought this was something that could've been resolved then.  I thoroughly dislike the idea of Lana dumping Clark via video, especially considering the circumstances.  I thought it was cruel.  And while I can appreciate how difficult it would be for her to have to look him in the eye, I do believe she owes him that much.  If on the video, she had alluded to the trauma she had just suffered, I think I would've been more sympathetic to her.  But they didn't go there.

And its always been my opinion that its very important to show Clark as an active participant in the end of Clana, not passive.  Not having Lana make the decision, and leaving the lingering question of whether or not Clark would've stayed with Lana forever had she not ended it.  I can understand Lana being Clark's first love, and I'm all for a mutual, friendly ending of the relationship.  But Clark witll go on to a great love.  A forever love.  And I don't think there should even be a whiff of him getting there by default.

I did think the Clois hug was very nice.  I admit, I'm always a puddle when someone is being very sweet and comforting to my Clark.  And Lois came across as very caring,  very sympathetic.  But I just didn't like the whole scene.

I do want to say though, since some ignorant comments just burn my ass, I think its perfectly fine for Clark to shed a tear or two after just being dumped via video.  And I also think Clark's been through enough the last couple of weeks to probably have a lot of tears saved up.  I didn't see him crying for Lana exclusively.  I think Clark is just tired, frustrated, sad, guilt-ridden, scared, uncertain....and damn, sometimes it takes just one more shit thing to happen to get the waterworks flowing.  

Oh, that reminds me...I know I mentioned this in some back and forth conversation I had with seacrystal, but here's a classic example of the show NEVER allowing Clark a minute to enjoy his victories.  Here, he takes out Brainiac, and saves 2 people he loves dearly, and he's completely robbed of being able to be happy about saving them because here comes the dump, followed quickly by the FOS scene.  See how much that sucks?

I do want to add that I was pretty happy with the Clark I saw in Artic.  As I've said before, that goes a long way to helping me forgive a lot.   

I think it was a decent way to end Clex, and I think it was a decent episode for MR to go out on (I'm still hoping he changes his mind, and makes a few guest appearances).  It could've been better.  But all-in-all, I think there was a lot to appreciate about it. :)



 

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
kissme_myfool
May. 17th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for keeping the totals all season for us! *hugs*

p.s. its arctic ;)
jeannev
May. 17th, 2008 06:51 am (UTC)
DUH! I knew that. Man, I have to stop doing this stuff at 2am after being up all day.

And you're welcome. Its actually become a lot of fun for me to do. I get excited to see the actual numbers. And my math has gotten so much of a work-out.
carolandtom
May. 17th, 2008 09:25 am (UTC)
Thanks for the totals!

As usual, I agree with most of what you say in your review. But I really can't find any redeeming qualities on the final Clex scene. As a Clark fan first and foremost, I can't enjoy a scene where we don't get Clark's POV at all. And after seven years of witnessing the building up to the Clark/Lex relationship, I found that short scene deeply aggravating to a Clark fan and terribly disappointing to a, former, loyal SV fan.

I totally agree on the absurdity of Chloe's power and on the horrible way the Clana break-up was handled, on all levels.

(I'm still hoping he changes his mind, and makes a few guest appearances).

If Lex comes back as the sympathetic/woobie villain and Clark gets short changed, again!, in their confrontations, I hope Lex doesn't return EVER!

I'm glad you'll be working on former screen time totals during hiatus. In my case, I have to accept that my SV love is mostly gone so I think I'll work on trying to find a way to make my season 8 viewing experience more detached and less painful. Of course I'll always watch for Tom, but these last two seasons have been really trying.:(
jeannev
May. 17th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean about the final Clex scene. If I look at it completely from Clark's POV, then the scene is significantly less then it was. I very much wish that Clark would've been able to articulate his thoughts a bit more, and I would very much have welcomed Clark sort of reminding Lex of what he didn't really need, or want, his help to become a hero, thanks anyway.

Also, I don't really believe the scene made Lex sympathetic exactly. He's a very seriously deluded, sociopathic guy in my eyes. I don't believe for one second that he truly believes that Clark is plotting Earth's demise. For him, I think that whole scene was entirely personal.

And I agree, if Lex comes back next season, it better be evil! Lex. No woobies need apply.
huzzlewhat
May. 17th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC)
Would you believe that when I was doing my thinking-thing and wrote up my review, I completely forgot about Brainiac's reaction to Chloe? Like, just completely wiped it out of my mind? And it's not like I didn't have a reaction to it during the episode itself — when he backed away in horror and said, "What are you???" I pretty much rolled my eyes and said, "oh, god, what's up with her now?" The elevation of Chloe to mystical, inhuman levels is just... really annoying to me.


jeannev
May. 17th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
I think the thing that bugs me most is "Why?" Why did Chloe need to be elevated to this level. It both raises her to ridiculous levels, and diminishs her at the same time. Because Chloe was fine as a character as just a smart, normal human being. I'm not sure why this show isn't just content to let Clark be the unique super-powered guy, and let him be surrounded by regular folk.

Also, although I thought the Brainiac/Chloe scene was well-acted, I just really didn't feel like it was necessary to the episode. And once again, they managed to have Chloe lessen Clark's victory. He can only defeat Brainiac after Chloe has weakened him? I call bullshit!!

But this is what they've been doing almost all season, and I'm so sick of it. Its as if their first priority is making sure that other characters look good, or powerful, or whatever. Then considering Clark comes last. This is precisely the dynamic at work in the Chlark relationship that has me so frustrated with it. It is CLEAR that making Chloe look smart, capable, etc is far more important to them then doing that for Clark. And I just want the writers to explain that to me. I want someone to ask them that question, and I want to hear the answer.
(Deleted comment)
starry_dawn
May. 17th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
I think I agree with you on almost every point in this review. Good exit for MR, pointless Jimmy, a scene with Lois that felt tacked on, useless hospital scenes and the worst possible way to end Clana. Dear God, would it really be too much to ask that Lois (or whoever comes next) not look like pathetic seconds? I really hope KK does come back next season, so this can end right, with Clark in the dominant position.

I liked the Clex scene, but I agree, it was too short for a build-up that lasted 7 long years. Boo, SV. It's hard to accept mediocre stuff like this when you know they can do better. Sigh.
jeannev
May. 17th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
My hope is that Lana comes back next season having had a change of heart (again!). And then I hope Clark is the one to say that No, he thinks she made the right decision. That way, it still gives Lana power and agency, but also gives some of it back to Clark. Thats all I ask. I don't want Lana devastated and ruined. I just want to feel like Clark will be able to put Lana behind him, in perspective, and find his true love in the future.

Its hard for me to accept mediocre stuff like when I know I can do better. I don't get it.
starry_dawn
May. 18th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
Yes! I would be totally on board that idea. It's a great way of pleasing both factions, and it doesn't make anyone look bad. (Although, if I had it my way, I would make her look as bad as possible!)
goodvibe
May. 17th, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC)
This:

//No, I don't think Lois is the devil for wanting him to go for the job.//

And this:

//I do want to say though, since some ignorant comments just burn my ass, I think its perfectly fine for Clark to shed a tear or two after just being dumped via video.//

::sighs:: Seriously? Oh, fandom. The things you will find to bitch about---

I will say that (surprise, surprise) ITA with your review. I'm just coming off writing my own one, and we pretty much are in the same boat, wrt this finale. It's disappointing, more than anything else, because I ::want:: to ::love:: the finale, and a finale which contained such a monumental Clex development. But for all the reasons you point out, and which I agree with, I just can't help but feel let down.

jeannev
May. 18th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
SV fandom has made me very, very sad lately. When its not making me angry. I don't post reviews for eps on TWoP anymore. The atmosphere there sucks. Well, thank God for lj :) Aren't you glad I talked you into coming over here? ;)

And we agree? The hell you say! That never happens ;)
goodvibe
May. 18th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
If TWOP has driven you away as well, then all I can say is the last of the sane ones are now outta there, too. ::shudders::

As for lj, ::bows to thee - oh lj guide:: :-) ::hugs::
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
May. 18th, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
Oh, you are absolutely right.

And can someone explain to me what "crying like a bitch" means? Because, really, wouldn't a "bitch" be less prone to crying?

And is it just Clark that "cries like a bitch", or are Chloe, Jimmy, Lana, Lois and Lex bitches as well when they've cried over their romantic relationships?

I guess I'm just not getting it.

Edited at 2008-05-18 02:31 am (UTC)
jude_judith82
May. 17th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
And its always been my opinion that its very important to show Clark as an active participant in the end of Clana, not passive. Not having Lana make the decision, and leaving the lingering question of whether or not Clark would've stayed with Lana forever had she not ended it. I can understand Lana being Clark's first love, and I'm all for a mutual, friendly ending of the relationship. But Clark witll go on to a great love. A forever love.

As much as I can see your point in regards to the Clana break up. For me at least Clark in SV wouldn't do that. The things that I like about him are also his hindrance. Clark is loyal to a fault and has to be hit over the head with things before he gets it. Just look at the friendship with Lex. It was over before he could admit it to himself, but I digress. Lana has always been a weakness for him and I don't think at this point in time with what just occurred with her he wouldn't have broken up her at this point in time. I hope this is resolved in a more satisfactory manner next year though.

Any way on the Chloe front I do hope next year they do something to make her at least semi-likable again. I know as of right now I can fully admit if she didn't come back it wouldn't bother me too much but any way.

Thanks for another great read and as always you make valid points and have interesting commentary.
jeannev
May. 18th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
I get what you're saying, and I can't really disagree. But I find myself of the school of thought that says "Its never too late to do something different". In fact, didn't Lex say something just like that in this episode? LOL

But thats why I think the Clana situation can be resolved in the next season in a way that restores some of the agency for its demise to Clark.

I think fixing Chloe, and Chlark, isn't really that hard to do. I think someone just needs to back up off the idea that Clark can't do anything without Chloe helping him, and also I think both characters should have more of their own storylines going that don't involve each other. Also, I think it would help to see them hanging out together, drinking a beer, watching a movie. As opposed to every moment being about some disaster or something involving Clark's power/destiny/dilemma.
jude_judith82
May. 18th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
But I find myself of the school of thought that says "Its never too late to do something different".

I can't disagree with this. It's very true.

so, I think it would help to see them hanging out together, drinking a beer, watching a movie. As opposed to every moment being about some disaster or something involving Clark's power/destiny/dilemma.

Yeah it would be nice to see them as friends, you know like they're supposed to be.
bradygirl_12
May. 18th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
Ah, the tragic romantic ending! ;)

I enjoyed the episode pretty much and while I agree the Clex confrontation should have been waaaay longer, I found it fascinating to see Lex's motivations laid out for us, and how despite everything that's happened, neither man can really let go of the other.

I did notice that Lex didn't leave Clark. Dying together! *flutters eyelashes* ;)
jeannev
May. 18th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
I did think that it was a pretty good ending for the Clexers. And I hope its an ending that launches a new round of fanfics. I'm surprised no one has played around with the concept of Lex being able to control Clark, and where that would've gone. Sounds like a plot bunny waiting to be explored.
bradygirl_12
May. 18th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
I did think that it was a pretty good ending for the Clexers. And I hope its an ending that launches a new round of fanfics.

Oh, yeah, I've got a bunny! ;)

I'm surprised no one has played around with the concept of Lex being able to control Clark, and where that would've gone. Sounds like a plot bunny waiting to be explored.

And wouldn't that be cool? Lex controlling Clark, but with layers of all kinds of twisted love. ;)


jeannev
May. 18th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
And wouldn't that be cool? Lex controlling Clark, but with layers of all kinds of twisted love.

I think that would be very cool. I'd like to see it taken in both directions. Lighter, and very dark.
tariel22
May. 18th, 2008 03:42 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the screentimes! I am ridiculously happy to see that Lex edged Chloe out for second place, even without Alexander's help. Nothing against Chloe, but that's just the way it should be.

I really thought Tom was amazing in this episode. The range of emotion he showed was truly impressive, and I just felt like his performance was perfect. Of course Michael was wonderful as well. As you say, these past few episodes our boys have been awesome, apart and especially together. If only the show could be that good overall, and with some consistency.

It lasted less then 4 minutes. 4 Freaking Minutes!

So much word to this! I could have watched those two all night long, especially since it was likely to be the last time! So many other scenes could have been cut to make time for it, too! I just don't know what they're thinking when they make decisions like this.

So now she generates some sort of forcefield that can damage a Kryptonian supercomputer? OK, whatever show. Whats she going to do next season? Walk on water? Shoot lazer beams from her fingertips?

LOL! You are too funny! :) Okay, I didn't get what was going on in that scene at all. You think it's some new enhancement of her meteor power? Oh, please. I was actually hoping we were seeing her powers burn out or get used up, something like that. Sometimes I think they gave Chloe this power as a consolation prize to her fans for the fact that she can never have Clark (because I don't believe that is ever going to happen). No, your favorite doesn't get the hero, but look at her new shiny power!!

And its always been my opinion that its very important to show Clark as an active participant in the end of Clana, not passive. Not having Lana make the decision, and leaving the lingering question of whether or not Clark would've stayed with Lana forever had she not ended it.

And this is why I was yelling at my television screen during that stupid video. Grrr!! But I worked my way through it to a more philosophical approach. I really want Lana to come back and be definitively rejected by Clark, but I don't think it will ever happen. They're still trying to placate all the shipper factions at once, and it drives me so crazy!

And I saw some of those stupid comments about Clark crying his eyes out over his breakup, and I say fuck those idiots. I don't blame him a bit, and I love that he has those feelings! Besides, Tom was so incredible! He made me cry, too, especially in the part with Lois.

I liked the episode a lot, but then I almost always do. I'm notoriously easy. :P
jeannev
May. 18th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
Lex should definitely have 2nd place in screentime totals. He didn't in S6 or S5 (Lana did).

I was actually hoping we were seeing her powers burn out or get used up, something like that. Sometimes I think they gave Chloe this power as a consolation prize to her fans for the fact that she can never have Clark (because I don't believe that is ever going to happen). No, your favorite doesn't get the hero, but look at her new shiny power!!

I'd be all for Chloe's "powers" going away. I think her resurrection power is just annoying as hell. I do believe they gave it to Chloe as compensation for the storylines she's not going to end up with. But I don't think thats how writing a good show is supposed to work.

And I saw some of those stupid comments about Clark crying his eyes out over his breakup, and I say fuck those idiots.

Damn Straight!!


(Deleted comment)
jeannev
May. 19th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
Hey Solo :)

Well, if you are looking for the land of the Clark/TW supporter, this is it. At least I like to think so. I always try to be vocal in support of Clark/TW wherever I go, though lately I've felt best here in lj, since I can't trust myself to post elsewhere and not call people annoying jackasses!

I think, overall, I enjoyed this ep more then Vessel or Phantom, neither which did a lot for me. I particularly don't care for Vessel. But I do think its interesting that every one of the last 3 finales suffer from a lot of the same problems, and same writing issues. They used to get these right, so what happened?

I think its perfectly OK to be frustrated with the Chloe character right now. I think there are a lot of writing problems with her now. They've simultaneously elevated her to ridiculous levels, yet diminished her spunk and spirit. Thats some feat. I do believe fixing the Chlark dynamic is not an impossible feat. It requires a bit of rethinking, and probably a tad more seperation.

I think for me, I look at everything happening with Clark, and I'm frankly surprised he hasn't emotionally lost it yet. So, to see him suffer one more blow, like Lana dumping him, and to see him shed some tears feels perfectly normal to me. In fact, I want to tell the big guy to have a good cry and get it out. The idea that he's disparaged for that is one of the times when I want to call people annoying jackasses! LOL

I hope I can continue to keep my lj entertaining enough for you to continue visiting.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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