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Traveler screentime minutes and thoughts

 
Very unexpected results on the screentime minutes, because it sure as hell didn't seem like there was as much/little of certain characters.

But, anyway....

Traveler - 41m, 16s

Clark - 17m, 57s (yup, thats right, though a large chunk of it was spent writhing in the background...and thats not necessarily a bad thing!)
Lex - 7m, 7s
Lana - 4m, 48s
Chloe - 6m, 52s
Kara - 7m, 45s
Lionel - 14m, 35s

Doesn't that not seem right? And yet, it is. Go figure!

Season to date (# of eps)

Clark - 232m, 38s (14)
Lex - 108m, 6s (14)
Lana - 100m, 43s (14)
Chloe - 119m, 45s (14)
Lois - 72m, 6s (8)
Kara - 102m, 10s (9)
Jimmy - 39m, 54s (5)
Lionel - 52m, 12s (10) 

Type your cut contents here.


I loved this episode.  Which I've already said.  Loved it very muchly.

Not even addressing the story for a second, the episode just looked so damned good.  It looked like a movie, which I think when SV is at its best, they are able to do.  I remember feeling that way when I watched Exile.  The way the episode was directed, the way it was edited, the epic music, using the cityscapes in the background, the design of the creepy kryptocell, the SFX.  It was all just top notch.  Hey, maybe this show should keep goughlar on strike more often. ;)

Though Clark was really the main subject of the episode, I thought Lionel was really engine that propelled the episode forward.  And Glover was masterful here.  This was no return of the Magnficent Bastard, no matter how horrific his actions, or what revelations we got of his crimes.  He is a Bastard, of that there is no doubt.  But the man we saw here was hardly the smooth, cool, collected manipulator.  This was a man who was witnessing his longterm plots and plans coming apart, and he was fraying at the seams.  I love how we see Lionel appear to be right on his game in his first scene with Patricia.  He's making snippy remarks, he gets right up in her face.  Ms Swann holds her ground, but when Lionel threatens her, you believe that he's still in control.  But as the episode moves on, you can see how that control slips away from him.  He starts drinking.  His shirt collar is open, and his tie is disheveled.  Each progressive scene shows a less and less controlled and confident Lionel.  When Chloe and Lana walk in, he's overly solicitous.  He's trying too hard.  Watch the way he takes the kryptonite dart from Lana and hastily sticks it in his briefcase.  Its a desperate move.  He tries to shift blame to Lex, and it sort of works, but its not quite enough to keep Chloe off his tail.  In his scene with Lex, he's trying his usual dismissive quips, but they are just rolling right off Lex's back.  When Lex walks out, can there be any doubt as to which Luthor has the power?  When we see him with Pierce, you can see his compassion for Clark.  And yet, he allows this sadistic thug to keep control of Clark's circumstances, and he seems to only have a tenuous hold of the unstable Pierce.  Which comes back to bite him.

But the coup de grace is his last scene with Clark.  This is where Lionel has really lost it.  He looks nothing short of panicky.  Again, he's drinking.  When Clark comes in, he doesn't even know where to start, and Clarks silent, stoic menace is just reducing him to rubble.  Its really here that we see how Lionel's desire to control Clark is not without genuine affection.  I think somewhere in Lionel's warped mind, he really did come to start thinking of Clark as his "son".  His new, superpowered, shiney son that he could influence and control and use as he wanted.  He must've felt that he was inching ever closer to having that total control, and this episode just destroys it all in one fell swoop.  Lionel is a bastard, but there's nothing magnificent about him anymore.  Except the actor playing him ;)

Now Lex?  This truly is the son becoming the father.  The episode even has a nice parallel of Lionel capturing Clark with the rationale of him having to do it to get what he wanted.  With Lex, we see him giving orders to lock the mansion down if Kara should get her memory back and, presumably, want to leave.  And why?  Because thats what he has to do to get what he wants.  We also find out that Lex never hesitated to "terminate a project" when he was running Level 33.1, and can there be any doubt what that is a euphemism for?  And of course, the episode culminates in Lex ordering a premeditated, cold-blooded murder.  For Luthors, whatever they need to do to get what they want.  Surely if he just wanted Patricia's necklace, it could've had her mugged.  But Lex is way beyond that now.  He's a villian in every sense of the word.

And because of that, and because of what Lionel did in this episode, I can't feel any disappointment in Clark telling Kara that he believes the Luthor are beyond hope.  He can watch out for the good side of Lex in his heart all he wants.  But how is he supposed to react to knowing that Lex was planning a "procedure" to get to Kara's memories?  I still believe he would protect Lex's life, but he can't save his soul.

I'm not going to discuss Lana and Chloe too much.  Far more people have done it better then I could.  I will say that whatever my feelings for Lana, there should've been an explanation for why she wasn't at the FOS, and she should've showed up at the end of the episode.  She's Clark's live-in girlfriend.  The person he shares his bed with.  Having her disappear like this, for a 2nd time this season, in a situation where Clark's life is on the line is just odd, and stands out in the episode.

I thought Chloe was strong, brave, loyal and steadfast with her plea in the FOS.  I don't think it matters if you believe her love for Clark is platonic or more then that.  It doesn't diminish what she did, and I like that Clark has something like this in his life.

I liked Kara getting her memory back.  Amnesiac Kara wasn't really working for me, and the Karex just seemed like too much of a replay to things that have come before.  Her scenes with Clark had real warmth in them.  TW and LV have a lovely vibe.

And last, we come to my Clark.  I thought TW did a masterful job of infusing Clark with quiet strength and dignity in the face of extreme hardship.  Even when dealing with his greatest physical weakness, he didn't show emotional weakness.  I can't quite find the words, but it just came off perfectly to me.  And his scenes with Patricia, Kara, and particularly Lionel, all hit the mark as well.  I thought the scene with Patricia gave us some rare insight to Clark and how his great destiny resonates with him.  He accepts it, but he's not sure he's up to the task and the expectations.  He's worried about failing and letting the world down.  I think his fear explains his hesitancy.  Its one thing to proclaim you are going to save or change the world.  Its quite another to figure out how exactly to do that effectively.  

Both guest stars were terrific.  I so wish Patricia could've survived to become a recurring character.  There was enough ambiguity to her to offer promise of character developements to come.

One observation that did occur to me....isn't it unsettling how all these powerful people were anxious to vie for position with "the Traveler"?  Yes, the Veritas group claimed to want to help and protect him, but did it strike only me as seemingly arrogant and self-important?  I think back to Dr Swann, and him obtaining the key and keeping it from Clark for over a year because he felt entitled to do that.  Dr Swann was a good man, but was that his right?  We saw what Genevieve Teague was like, was her husband so different?  And of course we know what Lionel was like, and is like.  Do these seem like the people who should be protecting the Traveler?  Even with Patricia's apparently well meant desires to take Clark away.  To protect him.  Isn't there just this hint of him being treated like some precious exotic animal?  Its all very creepy to me, and seems to reenforce the notion that the less people who know who Clark really is, the better.  

Damn, I wish this episode had been 2 hours long!!  LOL

 

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
redteekal
Mar. 22nd, 2008 05:31 am (UTC)
Here here! Yes to everything you wrote. TW was absolutely on the ball with every inflection and expression and tone. There was almost a sense of pride that I felt when I saw how he faced this physical onslaught - his dignity and self possession was never in doubt. The way he delivered that line in the Clark/Lionel scene at the end - 'No...you haven't' was just chilling.

I did think though that Lionel's Magnificent Bastardry did surface throughout this episode despite his desperate, panicky and unhinged moments of evil. He has started drinking and become disheveled in past episodes yet that ruthless, calculating and brutal mind is constantly in motion under the surface. I think back to his jail time and the desperation of a dying man, yet all the time never accepting that fate without fighting, kicking and screaming and taking whatever measures he thought necessary. Did he ever fully convince himself that Clark completely trusted him? I'm quite sure that he always had plans, movements, manipulations going on in the background, making sure that if things went south re his relationship with Clark that he would be covered, he would be safe, he would profit in some way. That cage was three years in the making, first instigated when he found out about Clark's powers and his vulnerability. I think the blackmailing and the weak explanation of other dangerous Kryptonians needing it was just a convenient excuse to put Clark in a cage. He may have deluded himself and others for a while (never Lex though) with this pretense at being a changed man but truly he knew he would never usurp his true nature, not with his past. I doubt he ever really saw Clark as anything more than an amazing alien to be utilised, controlled and ultimately studied, as much as he tried to convince himself it was a father/son type r/ship.

Anyway yay for the episode and the brilliant performances. It certainly did have a movie like feel and some interesting outdoor shots of Vancouver. Thanks for reviewing, always a good read.
jeannev
Mar. 22nd, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
I think, for me, the reason I can't quite attach that "magnificent" to Lionel's bastard is because he was far too out of control. He was cracking under the stress. Making the desperate move of kidnapping Clark was foolish. If he had been thinking clearly, would if have chosen Pierce for that job. A bigot and zealot with an "appetite for cruelty"? Obviously that was a disaster waiting to happen. I also think Lionel, even with all his manipulation and cruelty, has been affected by his proximity to Clark, and thats also thrown off his game. He isn't cold and detached. His emotion is creeping in on his judgement.

But in any case, whether you think Lionel's the MB or not, there can be little doubt that this was a fantastic showcase for a multi-layered character. :)
tariel22
Mar. 22nd, 2008 05:54 am (UTC)
I absolutely love the way you deconstruct Lionel's unraveling during this episode. All the little details you cite are so telling, and for me, almost poignant. I can't say I mourn what may be the passing of one of the greatest threats in Clark's life, but I will miss the thrill of seeing that magnificence in action. :) John Glover has always made Lionel horrifying and delightful at the same time, just by the exquisiteness of his performance.

What Pierce revealed about Lex has been stuck in my head all day. I've been trying to do the math. Lana said Lionel started construction on the cage right about the time he found out about Clark's secret, and Pierce said he helped to build it, so he's been working for Lionel since then. I assumed that meant his time with Lex pre-dated that, which means Lex was "terminating" meteor freaks at least as early as S4, or maybe even S3, since Pierce made it sound like he worked for Lex for a while ("In all the time I worked for Lex...") Lex has always had his dark secrets, but now I'm thinking they're even more sinister than I realized. I'm reminded of the Alexander we met in Onyx. Clark is wise to warn Kara against the Luthors, and to heed those warnings himself.

I completely agree that we don't need to identify the nature of Chloe's love for Clark to appreciate what it means to Clark to have someone like her in his life. He can trust her implicitly, and that's what matters.

I also agree that TW and LV have great chemistry. The smiles they give each other seem so genuine, and I can totally believe the big brother/little sister dynamic they display. I just really enjoy their scenes together.

The insights you offer about how Clark feels about his destiny are an epiphany to me!! I will readily admit I've been one of those people who are always asking, as Oliver did in Siren, why Clark doesn't leave the farm behind and start helping the world, and what you say makes perfect sense, especially after last night. What a daunting task, to live up to such grandiose expectations, and Clark's been dealing with that kind of pressure practically from the beginning, from Jor-El, from the legend of Numan, from Virgil Swann's message from the stars, and now from an entire organization formed around the promise contained within that cryptic message. He's not stuck on the farm because he wants to play house with Lana and let the world go by outside his door, he's afraid of letting everyone down. That is powerful. And this is one of those times when I would love for Tom to weigh in on the matter.

You're so right about the creepy undertones of Veritas. Especially when all of the participants are fabulously wealthy people who are bound to already have entitlement issues.

I can't even tell you how much I enjoyed reading this! Your thoughts mirror my own in so many ways, but I can always count on you to give me a greater understanding of Clark Kent, and a renewed appreciation of the complexities of his life. Thank you!
jeannev
Mar. 22nd, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
I think the startling revelations about Lex are going to be a bit lost in this episode, but I don't think there can be any doubt as to how far down the abyss Lex has fallen, and how long its been going on. Its a shame that its been consigned to Offscreensville while we got subjected to on-screen storylines for Lex like Lexana.

Aren't TW & LV just lovely together? Truth be told, I can't help but wonder how these actors would play as love interests. Not that I want the show to go there. Just No! But the actors are so natural and warm with each other, but mind wanders...

I'm glad my ideas on Clark's thoughts resonated with you. I believe this also has been a part of the episode thats been overlooked. As Patricia speaks, notice that there is no part of Clark that is rejecting what she is saying. I believe he has truly accepted that he has a destiny to fulfill. I think where Clark is stuck is figuring how to fulfill that great destiny with wisdom, and at the same time not completely losing his sense of self. And what a daunting task that is. TW once described Clark's decision to don the cape and tights as catastrophic on his life. And he's completely right (Oh Tom, why do you not give more interviews!). Once he makes that decision, his life as he has known it is blown apart, and must be reassembled. What an incredible cross to bear.
tariel22
Mar. 22nd, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
As Patricia speaks, notice that there is no part of Clark that is rejecting what she is saying.

You are absolutely right, and I loved the expression on Clark's face as he flipped through Virgil Swann's journal. I was so glad they allowed Clark the time in the episode (as short as they are nowadays) to have that moment! Then, when he talked about how he hoped he could live up to everyone's expectations, it wasn't a complaint, it was more an acknowledgment that this was his destiny and he hoped he could do right by it.

There was so much going on in this episode (like you, I wish it had been two hours long!), I think some really wonderful tidbits are going to get lost in the shadow of the bigger reveals. Except, of course, to people like us, who are practically committing every word to memory as we delight in the episode again and again. :)
seacrystal
Mar. 22nd, 2008 07:28 am (UTC)
I absolutely love how you articulated Lionel's falling apart at the seams this time, he had always been in control and the one pulling the strings but it's just so delightful to watch him unravel like this. Everything comes to bite him in the ass. I also notice how he was downing his scotch like a totally messed up way, not in the usual smooth Luthor style.

For Luthors, whatever they need to do to get what they want. Surely if he just wanted Patricia's necklace, it could've had her mugged.

I think it's more about wanting to have the necklace, it's about him not wanting to have Patty having the slightest hold over him or trying to manipulate him, even the slightest bit. He can definitely sense that the moment she handed him over the painting.

One observation that did occur to me....isn't it unsettling how all these powerful people were anxious to vie for position with "the Traveler"? Yes, the Veritas group claimed to want to help and protect him, but did it strike only me as seemingly arrogant and self-important?

It's deinitely not only you, but I'm still waiting to be shown exactly what were the Queens' own stand regarding the Traveler.
seacrystal
Mar. 22nd, 2008 07:33 am (UTC)
I forgot to quote the most important part!

And last, we come to my Clark. I thought TW did a masterful job of infusing Clark with quiet strength and dignity in the face of extreme hardship. Even when dealing with his greatest physical weakness, he didn't show emotional weakness. I can't quite find the words, but it just came off perfectly to me. And his scenes with Patricia, Kara, and particularly Lionel, all hit the mark as well. I thought the scene with Patricia gave us some rare insight to Clark and how his great destiny resonates with him. He accepts it, but he's not sure he's up to the task and the expectations. He's worried about failing and letting the world down. I think his fear explains his hesitancy. Its one thing to proclaim you are going to save or change the world. Its quite another to figure out how exactly to do that effectively.

So much WORD!
jeannev
Mar. 22nd, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed the review. I can't tell you how I fret over these, because I never feel like I'm expressing myself well. Which is the very reason I gave up writing, but thats another subject.

And thanks for the validation on my Clark thoughts. I know I have a tendency to lean heavily his way, but I really believe this episode gave us a rare bit of insight to what he feels. This isn't a person hiding out so much as its someone that knows that next step is so monumental, that he's petrified of it being the wrong one. And who wouldn't be? So many of his well meant actions in the past have gone terribly wrong.

And I think you're right about Lex's motives, and that only solidifies further his villian status.
carolandtom
Mar. 22nd, 2008 10:34 am (UTC)
Wonderful review! I love how insightful and articulate you are! And of course, I enjoy your great understanding of Clark and Clark's feelings and motivations. Our Clark needs you and people who, like you, are willing, and able, to see the complexities and appealing aspects of the character.

I too am surprised about those screen time numbers, but they make sense to me. This episode was really about Clark and how he affects the rest of the characters and I'm glad his presence, even in the background, was a constant reminder of that.

I'm happy about the overall season numbers for Clark! This show should never forget what it's about!
jeannev
Mar. 22nd, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
I think what the screentime minutes show is that when screentime is used effectively, its really not so much about the minutes. Lex felt pivotal in this ep, but he was only there for 7 minutes. So did Chloe, and she was there less.

I too believe the show has done a far better job of focusing on Clark this season, though I still believe it leaves much to be desired in that area.
carolandtom
Mar. 22nd, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
I too believe the show has done a far better job of focusing on Clark this season, though I still believe it leaves much to be desired in that area.

I do too, but at least it's not as dreadful and frustrating as it was in season 6. I hope they start to realize that they can't waste any more time in pointless stoylines when we are nearing the end of the show.
jude_judith82
Mar. 22nd, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Came here via eat_crow. I think if I wasn't so tired I would have better comments. But I just have to because this was so great.
This was no return of the Magnficent Bastard, no matter how horrific his actions, or what revelations we got of his crimes.
Could not have been more true. I had posed this question in norwich36's when I commented on her post. Was the MB back? And I can say with a certainty that he has not and more than likely never will.

Now Lex? This truly is the son becoming the father.
It's been a long time coming and just the way he brushes his father off and the cold, calculating way he had Patricia killed was more than enough confirmation of how much he's progressed.

Isn't there just this hint of him being treated like some precious exotic animal? Its all very creepy to me, and seems to reenforce the notion that the less people who know who Clark really is, the better.

After years of the secrets and lies. The going around in circles about Clark's lack of honesty it was great to see the reasons why he shouldn't tell anyone and why it's his own secret to keep. This episode was just confirmation of this.

Thanks for the wonderful read.



jeannev
Mar. 23rd, 2008 01:49 am (UTC)
Welcome, thanks for stopping by :)

One of the great things about this episode was how it touched on so many issues in a meaningful way. And I think one of the things that was established was why its so important for people NOT to know who Clark is. Whether it be selfish, manipulative people like Lionel, or supposedly well-meaning people like Patricia Swann, there is this feeling that they want to have a say, and to have some control, and want to "take care of him", or influence him. And its all very creepy to me.
jude_judith82
Mar. 23rd, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
And its all very creepy to me.
I definitely agree with this. Like you said it's very arrogant to think they had a right to that. Lots of food for thought. I'm definitely revisiting the series during the summer.
bradygirl_12
Mar. 23rd, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
I found Lionel fascinating. He was clearly losing it, and regretted losing Clark's trust, but, duh, Lionel, sticking him in that cage was bound to do that! Also killing off a lot of innocent people, including Ollie's parents.

One of the best episodes of the season, by far!
jeannev
Mar. 23rd, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
Its been a long time since I was so jazzed about a SV episode. But this one really hit the mark for me. So good.
goodvibe
Mar. 23rd, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
Loved reading your thoughts on Lionel. I felt much the same way. What a fascinating presence he was, in this ep! Him and all these revelations to the past.

Also, thanks for continuing to do this number crunching for us. ::hugs::
jeannev
Mar. 23rd, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
The numbers for this episode just really surprised me. They are so misleading. Who knew?
pep_singer
Mar. 23rd, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
I could pretty much quote your entire review because you've expressed my thoughts as well. :)

I think this episode was one of the best, if not the best, of the past couple of seasons. I thought everyone did a great job, and I loved the feeling that the entire focus of this episode was entirely on Clark.

Also, John Glover is freaking awesome, and I loved his final scene with Clark/TW. They play off each other so well.
jeannev
Mar. 23rd, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC)
Oh definitely, JG and TW are amazing together. I love Clark and Lionel scenes, but especially the adverserial ones. And the thing is that JG completely sells the notion that Lionel truly cares about Clark. Even with everything he did in this episode. You still believe he cares. Thats great work. :)

I'm almost afraid of next weeks ep because I loved this one so much, I can't help but feel that Veritas can't help but disappoint. :/
svgurl
Mar. 28th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
Sorry for the late comment. I just saw the shows and I'm catching up with my favorite reviewers.

I was surprised at some of the screen times. But I wasn't complaining when there's more Clark. He was wonderful. *nods*

I think you were dead on about Lionel. I was wondering about the MB but it seems that you've got it right. He did seem more and more desperate and it was like his past was coming back to haunt him.

Chloe was cute in her protectiveness of Clark and her fighting to save him.

I am glad that Kara got her memory back too. The Clark/Kara scenes warmed my heart too! *g*

And because of that, and because of what Lionel did in this episode, I can't feel any disappointment in Clark telling Kara that he believes the Luthor are beyond hope. He can watch out for the good side of Lex in his heart all he wants. But how is he supposed to react to knowing that Lex was planning a "procedure" to get to Kara's memories? I still believe he would protect Lex's life, but he can't save his soul.

Yeah, after what they did to him and Kara, Clark deserves his moment. I don't blame him for his resentment at all.

I wish Patricia had stayed around too. Her quick death made me sad. :(

I too really liked this episode!

"I thought the scene with Patricia gave us some rare insight to Clark and how his great destiny resonates with him. He accepts it, but he's not sure he's up to the task and the expectations. He's worried about failing and letting the world down. I think his fear explains his hesitancy. Its one thing to proclaim you are going to save or change the world. Its quite another to figure out how exactly to do that effectively."

Exactly! This is the best explanation that we've ever gotten and I really thought it was a great one.

I still have about 45 minutes to go until "Veritas" but I'm actually looking forward to it. :)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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