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I've sort of been putting this off, and thats kind of a depressing feeling.  I was really hoping that Smalville would come back from the hiatus, and I'd be so excited, I'd want to run to my computer to say what I thought.  But Nah, this episode didn't really inspire that in me.  And its not that it was a bad episode.  Just that it seemed to be a reminder of some of the things that I wished SV would've left in the past.

We'll start with the stats:

Episode running time: 41m, 57s
Previously on: 1m, 22s

Clark: 24m, 21s
Chloe: 13m, 35s (Chloiac counts as Chloe time, since she was possessed, and Chloe was still technically there)
Davis: 3m, 39s (12s in Doomsday form)
Lana: 9m, 25s

And as an added bonus:
Legion members:

Rokk: 17m, 53s
Imra: 20m, 22s
Garth: 17m, 32s

Season to Date (# of eps)

Clark: 226m, 59s (11)
Chloe: 151m, 54s (11)
Lois: 104m, 46s (8)
Jimmy: 67m, 29s (7)
Tess: 54m, 36s (7)
Davis: 52m, 45s (7)
Oliver: 64m, 1s (6)

Lana: 19m, 27s (2)

For more thoughts, both good and bad, positive and negative...Type your cut contents here.


I think I'll start out my review by talking about what I think really worked in this episode, and thats the Legion itself.  I think the actors were very well chosen.  My first watch of the episode left me unimpressed with Imra, but upon the rewatch, I think I could more fully appreciate what the actress was doing.  Its not really her fault that she got stuck with a few of the episodes most grating scenes.  For me, the standout thought was Ryan Kennedy as Rokk.  He brought a real quiet dignity to Rokk, and there's no point in the episode where you doubt his place as the Legion's leader.  I don't know anything about the Legion, so I don't know if he's like this in the comic books, but I loved him on SV.

And I also love that the show didn't do the SV predictable, which is have a character that believes so fully in Clark become disappointed and verbally blast him for being so disappointing.  I have no doubt that had AlMiles still been in charge, Rokk would've had a very dramatic moment where he told Clark how his illusions had been crushed.  Instead, Rokk seemed to maintain his faith in Clark, and understood that they were meeting a young Clark who was not yet the man they had come to so admire.  I love his line "He's no fraud".  And even when he disagreed with Clark, it never turned into a "you suck" moment.  I thank Geoff Johns for that.

I did think it fit to have Garth, the more immature, emotional member be the one with doubts.  And even that was played softly.  I appreciated that.

I also very much loved Clark's speech about saving Chloe when he stopped them from killing her at the DP.  I thought Tom did a great job with that scene (and honestly, I don't think it was one of his strongest acting episodes overall).  I like how he inspired them to find another way, because he actually lacked the ability to save Chloe on his own.  He needed the Legion's help, but he was also the person that helped them find a way to use their powers to save, and not kill.  It was a true Clark affirming moment, and I also appreciated that a lot.  I love the idea that Clark is an inspiration not only for what he does, but for what he inspires other people to do.

Taken alone, I did very much like the Clana scene on the porch.  For one thing, it was beautifully filmed, and props to Glen Winter for resisting the urge to have it take place in the Loft, and instead giving these 2 an entirely new setting for this type of speech.

On the technical side, I loved the music in this episode.  It was wonderful, and actually contributed a lot to the comic book feel of the episode. 

And now the so-so stuff...

I think Allison Mack is a very talented actor, and I think she played a chilling villian.  I just don't think she played a very effective Brainiac.  For one thing, what was with the whole sexy swagger thing?  Someone compared it to her walk when she was effected by the alien worm in Rush, and ya know, it was sort of a variation on that.  But what does that have to do with Braianic?  JM's Brainiac was always very still, very deliberate.  I think there was a lot going on in AM's performance, and it had the ultimate effect of putting far too much "human" in her Brainiac.  She seemed to completely miss that droll quality JM was so good at.  I think I was ultimately reminded of John Glover in Transference, who by his own admission, found it nearly impossible not to do too much when playing Clark, and so he overplayed it and ended up missing on his Clark (as opposed to TW, who nailed his Lionel completely).  And I think that might be why Laura Vandervoort, an actress who I believe is less gifted then Mack, was able to sell  a more effective Brainiac.  Because she probably didn't have as much of an instinct to do more.

Of course, I do put part of the blame on Glen Winter, who should've dialed AM back just a hair. 

And then on the flipside, we had the last scene between Clark and Chloe, and that was just odd.  And off.  The whole tone of that scene struck me as wrong.  Given the experiance Chloe had just been through, and with Jimmy barely surviving and off in a hospital somewhere, didn't her chipper tone seem inappropriate?  She baked cookies?  I realize that she's had some incredible experiances, but still, I would've expected a more lasting impact, a melancholy for the ruination of such a special event in her life, and I would've expected a Chloe that was a bit more upset.  In fact, my off-line sister, who is pretty much the definition of a casual viewer, thought Chloe was still not completely cured of her Brainiac infection. 

And then we come to the restoration of Chloe's memory.  Which is something I wanted.  But if this was how anti-climatic it was going to be, and the whole mind wipe was going to only last 2 eps, I have to wonder what the whole point of it was?  I already thought Abyss was a drag of an episode, but now its completely pointless.  I'm not sure what the point of all the drama was (and all the shit they had to know Clark would take for it) if they were just going to brush it under the rug 2 episodes later. 

But having said all that, I did want Chloe to have her complete memory back, so I am grateful for that.

And now the bad....I'm going to throw up a warning here.  I'm going to go into how frustrated I am with the writing for Lana, and how much I fear for the next few eps. 

Before I get to Lana though, The Persuader?  Really, that was it??  What a waste.  Good SFX on the axe though.

Alright, now I will talk about Lana.  See, I don't hate Lana.  I'm not one of those people who thinks she's a villian, or wants to see Clark and Chloe rag on her, or thinks that Lana deserved what Lex did to her.  But at the same time, I feel like this show makes it so hard for me to actually root for Lana because they seem to completely lack the ability to write her like a real human being.  She's got to be THE MOST.  The prettiest, the most desireable, the most traumatized,  the "Chosen One", the love of a lifetime for Clark/Whitney/Jason/Lex.  And now, we hear that people are reading about her thousands of years in the future, and she's going to do GREAT things, and she's sacrificed more then anyone, and so on and so forth.  And it just makes me tired.  And annoyed.  And exasperated.  Because to me, Lana doesn't need all this stuff to be a likeable character you can root for.  But by doing all this stuff, it makes it so hard for me to feel for her at all.  Why should I?  I know that Lana will raise like a Phoenix from the ashes to be revered again.  And again.  And again.  

I had very much hoped that when Lana came back, her and Clark would find a satisfying closure that allows both characters to still have love in their hearts for each other, yet both have mutual ownership in the ending of their romantic relationship.  For Clark, I've always felt that this wasn't only desireable, but absolutely NECESSARY for any of his future romantic relationships to have true meaning and gravitas.  After this episode, I was left with the overwhelmingly strong feeling that no such thing is coming.  If I had any doubt, all I had to see was the Clana pictures left displayed in the Kent household.  Not only were they impossible pictures for Clark to have (one is in a timeline that Clark erased, and the other took place when they were alone).  But TPTB were so set on showing Lana's place and prominence, that they didn't take a second to think what having those pictures so prominently displayed said about Clark.  Or how emotionally stunted it makes him seem.  And thats just such a deflating and demoralizing feeling for me.  And thats not about the person Clark ends up with.  For me, its about Clark, and how horrible I think that is for him.  And how much I think that won't matter, because PS3, very much like AlMiles, are too worried about what will make Lana look like THE MOST.

Also, the scene where Lana reassured Clark of his convictions was just a bit hard to take.  It shouldn't have been, because really, there's nothing wrong with the content of the scene.  Though I do want to say that we've some variation on this scene over and over and over again, and it has become a bit tiresome.  But in relation to Legion, I guess it just was a bit of a bitter pill for me to swallow since my memory is so vivid of Lana implying that Clark was a cowardly loser for not "taking care of Lex" just last season.  Some scenes are burned in my brain, and are hard for me to shake.  

And strangely enough, I really have very little to say about Davis/Doomsday/SW in this episode.  I just really want him to put a shirt on.

On a shallow note, everyone looked lovely, though I hate KK's hair extensions, and think whoever decided that she couldn't have her new short hair on the show is a giant bonehead.  And although I loved Lana's black top, didn't it seem like a bit much?  Tom was gorgeous, as he always is.  AM's makeup was amazing, and she looked great with it.  

So, there's my review.  I brace myself for the coming episodes. 

Comments

( 41 comments )
bradygirl_12
Jan. 18th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC)
You know, I agree with your sis. I thought there was something very off about Chloe being so chipper, baking cookies after Jimmy had been at death's door, her wedding day ruined, her life nearly snuffed, and so on. Maybe there is some fail-safe programming Brainiac implemented before he was extracted.

Ugh, I hate Lana's hair. Not a good look for her.

I did enjoy AM a lot as Chloiac. I get your points about the performance, but I think I just had a blast watching her. ;)
jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
I have no clue at all why they did that to KK's hair. If they didn't want her to have short hair, then why not put her in a long wig? And if its OK for her to have the short hair, why the odd extensions? I don't get it. As someone mentioned to me, she looks a bit like a Jonas Brother. Why do that to such a beautiful girl?
svgurl
Jan. 18th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
Great review! I agree with a lot of you said and you always say it so eloquently. :)

I too liked the Legion and thought they were picked very well.

I like how he inspired them to find another way, because he actually lacked the ability to save Chloe on his own. He needed the Legion's help, but he was also the person that helped them find a way to use their powers to save, and not kill.

I like that Clark taught them about the importance of life because it really showed them that even though he's not in the cape yet, he's still a hero and can teach them things. :)

I did think it fit to have Garth, the more immature, emotional member be the one with doubts. And even that was played softly. I appreciated that.

Garth reminded me a bit of Bart and a lot of many of us ... I think I would've fangirled him like he did. LOL

The Clana scene on the porch didn't bug me as much as I thought it would, though I did tune in and out. One thing for sure, I definitely get more friendship vibes ... nothing romantic from Clark and I really believe if PS3 keeps going like that, they can give this ship a solid ending.

I think Allison Mack is a very talented actor, and I think she played a chilling villian. I just don't think she played a very effective Brainiac.

Good point. I thought she did well but I didn't think of Brainiac ... she's definitely no JM.

But at the same time, I feel like this show makes it so hard for me to actually root for Lana because they seem to completely lack the ability to write her like a real human being. She's got to be THE MOST. The prettiest, the most desireable, the most traumatized, the "Chosen One", the love of a lifetime for Clark/Whitney/Jason/Lex.

I definitely agree. I was okay w/ her in early seasons, where she was a flawed character and shown to be. But now, it's very frustrating. The fangirling of Imra was just so annoying and unnecessary. I hated seeing those pictures there.

And don't even get me started on that 'Wrath' scene. I see red thinking about it. :\

I'm not raising my expectations for upcoming episodes either.

Oh man, sorry for rambling ... I guess I had more to sa that I imagined. :\
jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
The Legion was really the highlight for me. They were just very well done. I think they really benefitted from being written by Geoff Johns. And mega props to the casting people.

Garth did have a bit of Bart in him, without the larceny leanings. *sigh* I miss Bart.

I think one of the reasons the scene in Warth still resonates for me is because I felt like it was never really dealt with, and I never really felt like Lana was sorry for what she said. And so, that left it out there, hanging. And then something happens, like in this episode, and it comes rushing back to me. *grrrr*

And you know you can ramble here anytime ;)
canadabear
Jan. 18th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
Oh, man, the pictures. I literally cringed when I saw them. Clark having a picture of her in his desk drawer like he did when Lana went through his stuff in Trespass? Perfectly okay. But having them on freaking display in the front foyer of his home? Not okay. At all.

As for the rest of the Lana stuff, I just can't let it grate on me. I can't. I've resigned myself to Lana getting a Special Destiny and being the Great Sacrificer, as spoilers have indicated.

I just really want him to put a shirt on.

Ahaha. Word. Guys, the man is not comfortable with this. Stop making Erica drown, and stop making Sam wander around shirtless.
jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
I wish I could just let the Lana stuff just slide off my back, like you. But it just ends up crapping on Clark, and I just don't know how SV writers can sit in a room and not CARE about that. I don't understand how they justify it to themselves. Its so frustrating for me.
jude_judith82
Jan. 18th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
I'm sure you're not at all surprised that I agree with a lot of your review. :-)

I think the actors were very well chosen. My first watch of the episode left me unimpressed with Imra, but upon the rewatch, I think I could more fully appreciate what the actress was doing. Its not really her fault that she got stuck with a few of the episodes most grating scenes. For me, the standout thought was Ryan Kennedy as Rokk. He brought a real quiet dignity to Rokk, and there's no point in the episode where you doubt his place as the Legion's leader.

Of the three he was my favorite. He seemed authoritative without being overbearing and I think he had the least dialogue of the three but seemed to say the most.


Alright, now I will talk about Lana. See, I don't hate Lana. I'm not one of those people who thinks she's a villian, or wants to see Clark and Chloe rag on her, or thinks that Lana deserved what Lex did to her. But at the same time, I feel like this show makes it so hard for me to actually root for Lana because they seem to completely lack the ability to write her like a real human being. She's got to be THE MOST.

I think you've pretty much stated what I feel about Lana. There were a handful of times I can remember actually liking her but for the most part it was difficult to do so.

I had very much hoped that when Lana came back, her and Clark would find a satisfying closure that allows both characters to still have love in their hearts for each other, yet both have mutual ownership in the ending of their romantic relationship. For Clark, I've always felt that this wasn't only desireable, but absolutely NECESSARY for any of his future romantic relationships to have true meaning and gravitas. After this episode, I was left with the overwhelmingly strong feeling that no such thing is coming.
All the progress that has been made with Clark this year the minute Lana comes back and bam we're back to square one almost. I'm not looking forward to seeing this any further and I hate this feeling because I actually enjoyed Lana in this episode. And I think the final scene at the porch was wonderful. Besides the fact that Tom looked stunning, the final conversation was one that I could see these two have as friends. There seemed to be no inkling of romantic feelings during that scene, no angst, and no drama. If only this could continue I would be a very happy fan.

I think Allison Mack is a very talented actor, and I think she played a chilling villian. I just don't think she played a very effective Brainiac.

I stated her performance felt a little over the top to me. I like your parallel to John Glover in regards to Allison Mack. Both are wonderful actors but both have trouble acting in a more quiet manner. Any way I tend to always leave you such long comments I guess I'm just long winded. LOL.

jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
I thought Ryan Kennedy really distinguished himself. It was an excellent performance. If I was the CW, and thank God I'm not, I'd be looking to get him on one of my shows. I think the guy really made that big an impression.

I'm not really sure why PS3 would feel like they needed to pull Clark backwards to accomodate Lana, when showing them both as having grown up, and evolved and moved forward would be so much more positive for Clark, and the show overall. I'm not sure why they don't care how emotionally stunted this makes Clark appear.

The final Clana porch scene was wonderful...if you forget about the other stuff in the episode, and you have faith in the upcoming eps. Unfortunately...

I hope you never get short winded. :P
jude_judith82
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
I'm not really sure why PS3 would feel like they needed to pull Clark backwards to accomodate Lana, when showing them both as having grown up, and evolved and moved forward would be so much more positive for Clark, and the show overall. I'm not sure why they don't care how emotionally stunted this makes Clark appear.

Maybe I'm being to kind but I really think they don't even realize it. Well here's hoping that season ends well even if I have wait for Lana eppys to be over. I was not happy with the preview but I do have a great capacity for denial ;-)
jlvsclrk
Jan. 18th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC)
Great review as always. ITA about the Legion and Rokk in particular: him I'd welcome back on the show. Saturn Girl with her Lana worship, not so much.

I'm spoiler free so Lana in this episode didn't bother me. I am definitely starting to dread the next episodes when her secret comes out.

And yeah, the biggest letdown for me was definitely the Chloe-Clark scene at the end. I skipped over this in my review but I'm hoping they're saving more discussion for later. I feel like the scene might have got trimmed late in the game for timing reasons. But yes, Chloe's whole attitude just felt off. I'd like to believe that she was so on edge from the whole experience that she was desparately clinging to normality by baking cookies. Maybe that she's ruthlessly repressing all her doubts about whether she married Jimmy on her own free will or as part of Brainiac's plan. Unfortunately, I didn't see any hint of underlying turmoil.
jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
I admire people who can be spoiler free. I think its probably a much healthier way to watch a tv show, especially this one.

The last Chlark scene was just so weird to me. Maybe it was a last minute rewrite or something?
carolandtom
Jan. 18th, 2009 10:43 am (UTC)
Great review, as usual!

Though I seldom speak my mind for fear to hurt some of my friends’ feelings, this time I need to speak up because, after the long hiatus, I could hardly be more disappointed. I don’t intend to bash a character, but if I want to express my feelings, there’s a certain amount of bashing implied. Sorry, my Lana loving friends!

I agree on most of what you say, particularly in regard to Lana. All the enjoyment I was having with past episodes went down the drain the moment Lana made her appearance to be praised, worshipped and revered. The Lana adoration has turned into a bad joke to me, a virus that seem to infect everyone who writes and produces for SV. Those stupid pictures on display at the Kent farm, all the comments about her sacrifices, her victimization, her martyrdom, her awesomeness... I could laugh at it all if it were not so detrimental to other characters, particularly to the main one.

I'm bitter again, and spoilers certainly don't help. And to think that this could very well be SV's last season!

As for the rest of the episode, I was mildly entertained by some of the scenes but never thrilled. The only scene I found myself enjoying was the final one between Clark and the legion. The episode failed to impress me, maybe because my expectations where high this time. I should have known better!

All in all, a mixed bag of disappointment, annoyance and dread of things to come.

I just really want him to put a shirt on.

Yes, please! SW's continuous and pointless shirtlessness is getting a bit ridiculous. I assume that it wouldn't bother me as much if it were an actor whom I found attractive but sadly that's not the case.

Oh, I forgot to thank you for the screentime numbers! I was surprised that Clark got 24 minutes. It seemed a lot less when I was watching.




Edited at 2009-01-18 10:48 am (UTC)
jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
I used to be more afraid of saying what was on my mind, and speaking negatively about character or actors, but then I realized that no one cares about ripping Clark, or even Tom, when it suits them. And really, I think I do try to express my issues in a respectful, even-handed manner. I may not like what went on with Lana in this episode, but I'm not calling her a leech, or a skank, and I'm not ripping on KK. I may not have liked AM's performance particularly, but I'm not saying she can't act. I think I try to express my opinion in such a way that at least shows a modicum of class and respect for people who don't agree with me. And Carol, IMO, you always do the very same.

I'm a bit bitter over the upcoming spoilers as well. I just feel like we've hit the typical SV mid-season, fall-off-the-rails. I had so much hoped that PS3 weren't like AlMiles in that regards, but oh well...

My feelings about this episode were very jumbled. I think thats why it took me so long to put a review.

And you are always welcome for the screentime minutes. I was surprised at Clark's number too, and I hope it stays high like that.
dawnybee
Jan. 18th, 2009 11:15 am (UTC)
. He brought a real quiet dignity to Rokk, and there's no point in the episode where you doubt his place as the Legion's leader. I don't know anything about the Legion, so I don't know if he's like this in the comic books, but I loved him on SV.

He was really great. And like you, I don’t know anything about the Legion, but without a doubt you know with Rokk you are dealing with a leader, someone respect, a guiding force. It was great to see an actor embody those qualities and not do it in a showy way of overstating

And I also love that the show didn't do the SV predictable, which is have a character that believes so fully in Clark become disappointed and verbally blast him for being so disappointing. I have no doubt that had AlMiles still been in charge, Rokk would've had a very dramatic moment where he told Clark how his illusions had been crushed. Instead, Rokk seemed to maintain his faith in Clark, and understood that they were meeting a young Clark who was not yet the man they had come to so admire. I love his line "He's no fraud".

He believed in Clark fully and I don’t know if it was a natural response to the moments or if it was a suggestion by Glenn Winter or Johns, but the interaction between Rokk and Clark was so great. Rokk treated Clark as an equal and the comfort and appreciation Clark towards him because of that was obvious.

I also very much loved Clark's speech about saving Chloe when he stopped them from killing her at the DP. I thought Tom did a great job with that scene (and honestly, I don't think it was one of his strongest acting episodes overall).

It wasn’t. At one point I even thought maybe he was sick because his voice seemed scratchy, so maybe Tom was tired or just sick. But his smile was still blinding 

. For one thing, what was with the whole sexy swagger thing? Someone compared it to her walk when she was effected by the alien worm in Rush, and ya know, it was sort of a variation on that. But what does that have to do with Braianic? JM's Brainiac was always very still, very deliberate.

I had the exact same problem with her performance! I suggested that maybe instead of watching Marsters as Brainiac, she watched him on “Buffy”. When you boil it down he’s a computer. Unless he was playing a role (such as Milton Fine), where he’s trying to mimic humans, his movements would be that exaggerated.

, didn't her chipper tone seem inappropriate? She baked cookies?

I swear I thought she had no recollection that anything had happened and I was waiting for her to ask “Where’s Jimmy?” Her reactions and attitude was so opposite from what has happened in these last two episodes. Unless this is a coping mechanism?

And then we come to the restoration of Chloe's memory. Which is something I wanted. But if this was how anti-climatic it was going to be, and the whole mind wipe was going to only last 2 eps, I have to wonder what the whole point of it was?

I’m thinking---I’m hoping---that it leads to more. There are going to have to be answers: Chloe is either going to find out or Clark will admit what he felt he had to do. If not, that was as pointless as Grulian.
jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, not only was Ryan Kennedy really good, but he and Tom just clicked on screen. I happen to think Tom has chemistry with a lot of guest stars, but there was just this comfortable vibe between them. I hope he gives a few interviews on his experiance.

I'm sure Allison loved the opportunity to play such a cold, ruthless villian, and she went to town with it. And maybe that accounts for why it seemed a bit overboard. Its not always easy to emulate another actors performance, and even truly talented actors can't always nail it.

Hopefully there's at least some sort of acknowledgement and closure in regards to Chloe's mindwipe, and why Clark made that decision. Unlike some, I really don't want her to go insane on his ass, because frankly, I think Chloe should understand his reasons. But I'd at least like to see a reaction, and some sort of exchange about it, otherwise SV just wasted my time again.
theclexfactor
Jan. 18th, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC)
I guess I really liked the episode because I do read comics and I have seen the Legion and their interactions with and without Clark, so I loved the way they were written and i know that I totally have GJ tot hank for that because he's actually written them in the comics. I was bracing myself for the Clana scenes, but they surprised me because the two of them didn't come across as still pining for each other, but two friends who I can believe loved each other at one point. but have moved past that (like how in Bride, Clark kept his distance, but you could tell he wanted answers...I rather liked that). I'm sure future episodes will ruin that for me, but that's Smallville for you. As for the Lana praise, I brushed it off my shoulder because at least the Legion BOYS didn't fawn all over her. Besides, I was thinking that Imra was referring to the fact that Lana does become a First Lady, however briefly, and then eventually takes over LexCorp, and maybe she does great things with those titles in her future, so its something I could actually live with.

And at least we got two Lois mentions, one for her implicit role in Clark's future, and one from Clark or Chloe, I can't remember which one said it.
jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
I really have no issues with how TW and KK played the Clana scenes. I don't think either of them overdid it at all.

I do believe that in an episode like this, with the implication it has, there should've been some sort of Lois "moment", and I felt like it was a bit disrespectful to her fans to have her be such a nonentity here.
goodvibe
Jan. 18th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
Great review. Needless to say, I agree with you ultimately that I was left more disappointed than I would have liked.

I find your take on the Chlark scene very interesting. Because I actually happened to think it developed quite a melancholic tone to it towards the end of it. But you're right, her reactions and general demeanour wrt the Jimmy thing, now that I think about it, was almost inappropriately chipper. I suppose when I first watched this scene, I was just so relieved they actually had Chloe remember Jimmy (because no matter what my opinion on Chimmy, the man is her husband, and brutally wonded in hospital) that I failed to notice her approach. I'm not sure if it was deliberate, or perhaps a wrong acting choice on AM' part? Either way, strange.

You and I are of one mind when it comes to the Lana thing. I'm so incredibly wary of the upcoming eps. ::sighs::

Also agree with you on the awesomeness of the Legion, in general. And AM' unfortunate acting choices as Brainiac (especially in the Chloiac/Clark scene, for me, because I thought she did very well in the Chloiac/Davis scene, oddly). Overall, I just really missed JM. ::sighs again::

Thanks for the numbers. Don't they just reflect though how screwed up SV' character employment policy really is? You have Clark ahead in the lead, in his own league, which is good, and the way it should be. But then the only other character you have with a decent amount of screentime is Chloe. Lois is only barely in the 100's. The rest are ::dismally:: lacking in screen time and that not only takes away momentum from them as characters and whatever storylines they may have going, but in turn from the overall feel of the show. Not good, SV. Not good. If there's a S9, I'd like to desperately see this altered. Atleast pick up Lois and Jimmy for more eps. And if the others will remain at the same numbers, then try and perhaps have serialized eps/arcs for them in one row or something.
jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't disagree that there was a tinge of melancholy, but then again, maybe thats just the impression left because the scene was so...incomplete? lacking? Its hard to find the word that best describes it. I just expected a very different aftermath.

I think JM as an actor sets the bar very high. But hey, do did John Glover, and TW completely nailed that. He did have the advantage of JG helping him though, and maybe thats what was missing here. LV got the chance to really work with JM, so maybe he was there to give her pointers. AM didn't get that opportunity.

This whole cast alignment system they have right now DOES NOT WORK. Its aggravating, and really shortchanges the characters. I maintain that this half season stuff only works with 1 or 2 characters a season, max. And there really needs to be about 3-4 characters with almost the full season.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 11:30 pm (UTC)
I think I can understand where your Lois friends, and Lana friends are coming from.

For me, pretty much everything on the show is viewed in terms of how it effects Clark. And I don't think thats just me liking him best. But I really think thats what the show is supposed to be about. Other characters, and their storylines, aren't supposed to happen at Clark's expense, and its very irksome that so many do.

I admire your determination. I'm not built like that, but heck, I admire those that are. :)

Edited at 2009-01-18 11:30 pm (UTC)
la_belle_isa
Jan. 18th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
Reading your take on Chloeiac, I agree that her acting may have been a little over the top; but AM's scenes are still the ones I liked the most.
I wasn't that impressed with the Legion; I liked Rokk and Ryan Kennedy; but Lightning Lad grated my nerves. And yes, the Legion's relationship with Clark was believable and well done, not at all the ole "Get off your butt, Clark". I think it's totally due to Jones.

I totally agree with you about Lana and I have absolutely no hope for the upcoming grand glorious heroic Lana episodes. I think the Clois shippers have a healthy way of seeing things actually: "2 down, 3 to go." Meaning, S8 will resume when Lana will finally be gone. And how weak does a character has to be, when she can't be fit into the actual DP story line and she can't be played against Lois and Jimmy?
Of course, for us, Clark fans, we want meaning, continuity and growth for our character but it looks like the writers' point of view is mostly the ships: right now, they put Lana in front of Clark, so it's Clana time and he's gonna have a relationship with her; and what kind of relationship is anyone's pov but there will be a little something for every one.
Sorry for that cynical point of view!
jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
Of course, for us, Clark fans, we want meaning, continuity and growth for our character but it looks like the writers' point of view is mostly the ships: right now, they put Lana in front of Clark, so it's Clana time and he's gonna have a relationship with her; and what kind of relationship is anyone's pov but there will be a little something for every one.

Don't be sorry. I think thats pretty much bang on. I so much wanted Clark to be their priority in this Lana arc, but I really hold out no such illusion.
tasabian
Jan. 18th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
I thoroughly enjoyed AM's take on Brainiac - but then I almost always like the villainous transformations. Loved Erica's Faroa as well. I'm fanwanking that Brainiac borrows aspects of his hosts to explain the different demeanors of his Fine/Kara/Chloe versions!

And then we come to the restoration of Chloe's memory. Which is something I wanted. But if this was how anti-climatic it was going to be, and the whole mind wipe was going to only last 2 eps, I have to wonder what the whole point of it was?
It did fall rather flat. Unless this is something that is addressed in an upcoming episode? Chloe remembers because there is still a kernel of Brainiac inside her? He knows the secret so she does too? Or Imra deliberately restored the knowledge for some reason? I hope there's some kind of payoff.

Not only were they impossible pictures for Clark to have (one is in a timeline that Clark erased, and the other took place when they were alone). But TPTB were so set on showing Lana's place and prominence, that they didn't take a second to think what having those pictures so prominently displayed said about Clark.
They always over-emphasize what doesn't need emphasizing. We understand that Clana is "epic." Stop forcing it! (I did LOL at all those publicity stills being used as Clark's photos - reminds me of Helen having a S2 still of Michael in a frame in her office!)
jeannev
Jan. 18th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping there's something more to come with Chloe, and the whole memory thing. But honestly? I can't even imagine what that would be, and when it would fit in. I certainly don't see it going down during the Lana eps when it might -GASP- take some focus away from Lana.

The Clana pictures were just totally not necessary, and the stupidity of it just makes me want to hurt someone.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Jan. 19th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
I can tell those pictures are something I'm going to be grumbling about for months. Just such a stupid, stupid thing to do, and for what? NOTHING. It wasn't even necessary. Good God!

I don't know why they even introduced a dog for Clark if they were just going to pretend he doesn't exist.
acampbell
Jan. 19th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)
Word, word, word, on Everything Clana in this post!! Well done.
jeannev
Jan. 19th, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
Thanks. I was really open to Lana coming back, and I guess I foolishly convinced myself that they'd handle things with her in a more mature, even-handed manner. Silly freaking me. :(
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Jan. 19th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
What you loved best about the episode is what I loved best...how they let Clark be an inspiration. I did really feel like the episode could've made an even bigger deal of that, but I guess I'll take what I can get, LOL

I think the last scene with Chlark actually fell flat on 2 levels. The first level was the Chlark interaction itself, and yeah, I can see that this might've been strained because Chloe suspects what Clark did, and she's not sure how to approach that. This explanation is a wank that works for me. But the scene also fell flat on another level, and that was just Chloe's general attitude towards what had happened. I mean, she baked cookies? WTF? Her new husband was nearly ripped in half, her wedding became a bloodbath, and she's all chipper because she isn't Chloiac anymore. Its just so much the wrong tone for the scene, I think.

I'm perfectly fine with Lana having her own destiny. But as usual with this show, they completely lack the ability to exercise moderation where Lana is concerned. And that only makes it hard for me to connect with her at all.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 19th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC)
The only things that I cared about in this episode were Clark setting the Legion on the path of no killing, the Legion themselves, and the end Clana scene. Everything else was disappointing.

There are people who felt that AM is overdoing the part of Brainiac. I also agree that the episode Abyss was pointless and there was no reaction to the wedding that was crashed by Doomsday.

The Clana scene from Isis I couldn't stand because of all people Lana now starts to believe in him and thinks she knows him even better than Chloe, which many would dispute.

Clark was actually useless in this episode despite his screentime because he was whipped by both Persuader and Chloe/ Brainiac. In comparison, the Legion was able to defeat them without him. Geoff Johns either doesn't get SV Clark or doesn't care much about him.

When I see the Clana pictures in the house, it's clear that Clark has not moved on from Lana despite his feelings for Lois. I'm also glad they said No Flights, not yet because that implies that Clark will fly later in the season at some point.

Put together Abyss, Bride, and Legion and you can see that it's mainly about Chloe and Brainiac. She shouldn't be in the next episode much because AM is directing Power.

This was not a strong start for the second half of the season and should have aired back in November to complete the first half.
jeannev
Jan. 19th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Well, I didn't like the episode Abyss very much on any level, so even if they do revisit the mind wipe thing, I'm still probably going to think that episode was a waste of my time. ;)

I don't think Clark was useless in this episode. I can't blame him for being surprised by the Persuader, and he was defeated by 3 people, working together, who knew exactly what they were dealing with. And as far as Chloiac, Clark was reluctant to harm Chloe, which held him back from engaging Chloiac. And again, with the Legion, it was 3 against 1, with them having no such worries about harming Chloe. And I think Clark's real value in this episode showed through in how he inspired others. I think we were even supposed to see that in Lana, because we certainly know she used to be singing another tune.

I do think that the show took a turn wit Abyss, which we are still seeing, and I don't think its a turn for the better.
eeyore1017
Jan. 19th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry that you didn't like this episode more.

I always wonder how much say the writer vs. the director has on some things. For instance, was it written in the script that Lana and Clark have their chat on the porch or does it just say "Clark and Lana have a talk" and the director gets to decide where it takes place? Hmmm...

I wasn't too interested in the Davis/Doomsday stuff either. If they really wanted to be "realistic" about things, then Davis should have woken up naked after he transformed from Doomsday, but since they couldn't do that, they just made him shirtless which made no sense. Like you said, put a shirt on the boy! I don't even really enjoy looking at him like I do with Oliver.

I also agree that the apartment scene with Clark and Chloe was kind of strange and awkward. They seemed distant from each other. Maybe Clark was doing that on purpose until he knew whether or not Chloe knew his secret? And like I said in my review, that reveal was so anti-climatic. And I don't get the whole "Chloe baking cookies" thing either. She's not exactly Suzy Homemaker. It seemed out of character to me.

I also agree that Lana seemed a little dressed up for someone who had supposedly just thrown on some clothes and dashed off to save her BFF. And what about her leg? I thought it was injured?

Just think how much worse it could have been if AlMiles were still running things...
jeannev
Jan. 19th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, I expect its the director that has a lot of say about where a scene takes place. Though I expect some of that is written into scripts, I would think that a director could choose a different set.

I guess the first thing that came to mind with me and cookies is that it didn't seem like much time had elapsed between the end of Bride and the end of Legion. Maybe 2-3 days, tops. Is Jimmy even in any shape to eat cookies? Is she going to liquify them and shove them into his IV? Did she make them to eat on the plane? Its so bizarre.

I'm sure it would've been worse with AlMiles, but then again, ask me that question again during the next 3 eps, and I might say the more things change, the more things stay the same.
shardsofblu
Jan. 19th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
Also, the scene where Lana reassured Clark of his convictions was just a bit hard to take.

I like this scene a lot actually, and I do understand where you're coming from with the Wrath comparison. I appreciate the fact that now even if she doesn't agree with Clark, she can at least respect him on this. Her scene with Oliver in Bride though, now that definitely didn't go down well with me. She could've said something about how she had been there (killing out of revenge) but instead she came off as hypocritical and condescending.

And I'm still pretty optimistic about the next three episodes, but they really REALLY need to dial down this Lana worship.

Instead, Rokk seemed to maintain his faith in Clark, and understood that they were meeting a young Clark who was not yet the man they had come to so admire. I love his line "He's no fraud". And even when he disagreed with Clark, it never turned into a "you suck" moment.

Despite me being just not cool with their attitude on the whole killing thing, I knew there was still something I really love about that scene and you put it in words perfectly. :)
jeannev
Jan. 19th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
If they can dial down the Lana worship in the next 3 episodes, and manage to write Clark as the strong, determined character he's been all season, and not fall back into Clana angst, and allow both Clark and Lana to have a say in the end of their romantic relationship...

Well, then yeah, I think the next 3 eps could be pretty good.

I just wish I could be optimistic that any of those things will actually happen. Legion wasn't a good start in that regard.
tariel22
Jan. 20th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
Great review. I love reading your thoughts, and as usual when I do, I am reminded that I never hold this show to the standards I probably should. I just want so badly to like it, and in this season in particular, I tend to just grab hold of the stuff I love and make excuses for the rest. :P I'm cool with it, that's who I am, but I truly enjoy the depth and intelligence with which you approach the show.

Thank you for the screentime minutes. I love to see Clark onscreen so much, and I'm glad the Legionnaires were given as much time as they were. Their role in the episode was substantial, and meaningful, as it should have been.

I, too, enjoyed the scenes between Clark and the Legion best of all, and I think the reason they were so good is that those are probably the scenes that are pure Geoff Johns, with little to no meddling from PS3. I wonder, OTOH, if GJ wrote one word of the scene between Clark and Chloe in the Talon. I have no way of knowing, of course, but that's how it feels to me.

Ryan Kennedy blew me away. I loved his performance, and I found him to be both compelling and charismatic. And I agree that he had great chemistry with Tom. He just did an interview with SHoE, and while he didn't say anything about the actors on the show (they never ask the questions I would ask in those interviews), he did talk about how badly he wanted to be on the show, and how they had been trying to find the right part for him for awhile, and how happy he was to play Rokk. It's funny, evidently they were trying to keep things so hush-hush they didn't even tell him the real name of his character until filming started, but luckily he had a friend who was both a Smallville and a comics fan who had talked to him about the Legion episode that was coming up. When he got the script he remembered that conversation, put two and two together, and figured it out. So he was able to do some research on his character ahead of time, and I think that showed.

Clark's speech in the DP was probably my favorite Clark moment of the episode. I also think Tom did a good job in the Clana scene at the end, hitting just the right notes of both awe and resignation about what his future holds. I thought he showed a lot of vulnerability there, and a wistfulness that reminded us once again how truly alone Clark will always be in some sense. And I can't remember where I read it, but someone else asked if the porch was the new loft. :)

I do think Allison was just playing her interpretation of Brainiac, rather than trying to emulate James Marsters, when the latter would have been more appropriate. But I thoroughly enjoyed her performance nonetheless. I fanwanked that she acted seductive around Davis because it would torment him more, kind of in the same vein as putting Lana in the pain coma to hurt Clark. And with Clark she let a little bit of Chloe shine through, for the same reason.

As for the Talon scene between Clark and Chloe, I agree completely about the whole memory thing having no point, but Chloe's behavior actually worked for me. She seemed a little bit brittle to me, and Chloe has a long history of putting on a happy face when she's devastated on the inside (like in Vortex). I thought she was hiding her pain, and going through the motions to a certain extent. It bothered me that there wasn't a conversation about what she had been through, but there also wasn't really time for that with everything else in the episode. But they'll probably never revisit it, even though I'm sure Chloe would be tortured by the memory of what she did under Brainiac's control.

And I just want to quote everything you said about Lana for absolute truth! Yes, exactly, I couldn't agree more! I've really been trying hard to see Lana without my anti-Clana bias, because I have a few Lana/Clana fans on my flist, people I genuinely like and respect, but the show makes it so hard! I am dreading the next three episodes for that reason, but like this one, I will try my hardest to give Lana the benefit of the doubt. I just hope that once she's gone, she's really gone, and that Clark won't be talking about her and mourning her departure from his life all the way until the end of the season/series. Ugh.
jeannev
Jan. 21st, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
You hold this show to YOUR standards, and thats exactly what you should do. Everyone brings their own ideas and preferences to the table. I wish I could be as upbeat and see things as you do. It sure would make my life easier, ;)

I can't believe that someone wouldn't ask Ryan Kennedy what it was like to work with the SV cast (meaning TOM!). That seems like such an obvious question. Can you maybe gentlely make a suggestion to the interviewer people?

Thats a good fanwank for Allison.

I really think you, like myself, really had an open mind about Lana coming back. But what is is what is, for lack of any eloquent way to phrasing that. The writing for the character, and how that impacts Clark, is such a puzzlement for me. Why? Really, WHY?
tariel22
Jan. 21st, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
I can't believe that someone wouldn't ask Ryan Kennedy what it was like to work with the SV cast (meaning TOM!).

I know! Especially since Tom was the only member of the regular cast Ryan had any scenes with!! I mean, Allison was in a couple of scenes with him, but I don't think they had any dialogue together, did they? And it even seemed like in the interview that they kind of ran out of things to ask him.

Before the interview I thought about emailing and suggesting they ask about working with Tom, but I thought it would be too pushy. Next time I'll take the chance. Don't they know that in the complete absence of interviews with the man himself, the next best thing is to get other people to talk about him?
jeannev
Jan. 21st, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
I don't think there's anything wrong with you suggesting that to them. Its not pushy at all. Obviously they are trying to appeal to the SV fans, and thats something fans would enjoy, and something which might attract more people to their site and interviews. I know I don't bother to listen to them if I don't think they have anything to do with Tom/Clark.
tariel22
Jan. 21st, 2009 06:41 am (UTC)
Oh, and I remembered, it was Voldy who said the porch is the new barn. :)
(Deleted comment)
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