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I debated a long time over whether or not I was going to do a review of this episode (the minutes were a given).  A big part of me just really didn't want to.  This episode frustrated me, in a season where I've been mostly frustration-free.  And I don't welcome the return of that feeling.  And its not that I'm pulling my hair out, or cursing the SV Gods, or anything like that.  I'm just frustrated.  Because I think this episode could've achieved a lot of the same things, but in different and better ways.  And I don't really understand why this similar path keeps getting picked over and over again. 

Well, anyway, here are your totals.  I'm sure AM fans will be thrilled. :)


Running Time 41m, 40s ("previously on" 1m, 22s)

Clark 20m, 57s *
Chloe 29m, 46s *
Jimmy 12m, 2s
Davis 8m, 49s

* 2m, 16s was "Young Clark" & "Young Chloe"

Year to Date (# of eps)

Clark 183m, - (9)
Chloe 125m, 12s (9)
Lois 88m, 42s (7)
Jimmy 57m, 37s (6)
Tess 54m, 36s (7)
Davis 44m, 28s (5)
Oliver 53m, 57s (5)


Type your cut contents here.

And yes, my brain is actually fried.  I spent a day at The Spa, and I know all that stuff is supposed to relax you, but it sort of made me feel weird.  Go figure.

OK, so this isn't going to be a normal review.  I'm just going to tick off bullet points

-Very good performances from TW, AM and SW.  AA didn't fare as well, but he was 100% stuck in the role that doesn't suit him at all...love interest.
- Nice to see Clark and Jor-El communicating despite massive retconning bullshit
- Nice effect on the disappearing memories
- Despite questionable casting, the young Clark and Chloe flashback was a cute idea
- Everyone looked great.


So, there ya go.

Oh, OK, I obviously left out the big stuff, so I'll address that. 

I love Clark.  He's my favorite character.  But I'm not an apologist.  I disagreed with Clark's decision here.  I completely understood where he was coming from, and anyone who claims that his decision didn't come from a place of a love and concern for Chloe can kiss my ass.  But I don't agree with the decision.  And I don't like that the show had him make that decision.  I'm actually not entirely adverse to a situation where Chloe no longer knows the secret, I just don't want it to be this way.

And so its addressed. 

So now, I'll talk a bit about my frustration, and feel free to skip this part as its going to discuss a bit of the show overall, and may refer to coming spoilers, so WARNING, POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!!

I am so damned sick to death of the show putting Clark in these no win situations.  They absolutely, positively set him up to fail, and then we get into that wonderful "Oh, its all my fault" scenes.  And to me, thats precisely what this episode was doing to Clark.  I am SO SICK OF IT!  I hate it.  See, even if you think him not restoring Chloe's memory of his secret isn't going to bite him in the ass, obviously the whole Brainiac taking over the FOS will.  So, Clark was set up to fail from the word Go!  We get another one of those vague "I can do this My Son, but bad things might happen...", but what the hell else is there for Clark to do?  And then if it all goes to shit, which it inevitably does, then we get Clark lamenting that its all his fault, but we also get the show sort of hinting that yeah, it kind of is.  When the writing had set him up as the fallguy all along anyway.  He obviously can't let Chloe get taken over by Brainiac.  He has no other way of curing her but Jor-El and the FOS.  But because of that, Brianiac takes over the FOS.  Well, Shit!

I'm not sure I even want to get into the retcon crap of somehow Clark being at fault for all the shit the AI has pulled.  Yes, it was all because Clark screwed it up!  No, the AI never did anything sadistic!  Nonsense!  Ridiculous.

I'm also terribly frustrated by the dueling 'ship anvils, because yes, I thought this episode was obviously throwing them.  Most times I think all these "hidden signs" are shipper delusion, but I can't say that for this episode.  Because really, having Clark be Chloe's "happy place", and concentrating on scenes of her kissing him, more or less makes it crystal clear that she's not over him, and certainly not head over heels over Jimmy.  And having Clark be so determined and loving towards Chloe could certainly all be in the name of friendship, but it does just accentuate the intensity of that bond.

And then next weekend, he's coming close to kissing Lois?  

And BTW, there's nothing at all fucking wrong with him and Lois kissing, and Clark does not belong to Chloe, he is not her property, he does not owe her fidelity while she's marrying another man, and Lois isn't betraying her engaged cousin by falling for Clark.  That whole thing is horseshit.

But yeah, anyway, I think this continuing to send mixed signals on the 'ships at this point in the show is just tedious, and frustrating, and flat out moronic.  This is the 9th inning Guys, the 4th quarter, the home stretch, we're coming into port, the landing gear is down, Land Ho!  Pick a fucking ship for Clark, and sail it already!!!  At this point, I don't even think I care anymore which one it is (I might be most partial to Clark and Oliver though).  And this is just going to get more convaluted when Lana comes back, and Lois disappears.  Oh. What. Fun. 

Personally, I think if they weren't going to commit to the Clois, and stay the course with it throughout the season, then they shouldn't have started it at all. 

But hey, the preview for next week looks kickass, and I love that Clark and Oliver scene.  So, hopefully my frustration will subside a bit by next week.  But I don't know...seems to me that this week was the set-up for next week and the coming Legion, which will put all that "its all my fault" crap into play.  After all, isn't that the whole reason Clark sends the Legion back?  I guess we'll find out. 


Comments

tariel22
Nov. 15th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)
Oh, Valerie, I couldn't agree with you more! I'm going to write something, but I'm buried in work this weekend, so I'm not sure when that will be. It might be a big rant, or I just may not have the energy to go there.

The first time I watched this episode I was livid. To have Clark humble himself for his "father" drove me crazy, and then Jor-El basically said what happened at the end of S7 was not only Clark's fault, but necessary because he had become a danger to the planet. What the fuck ever, show.

My thoughts on the whole Brainiac thing mirror yours exactly. As soon as Jor-El went into that whole "are you sure?" talk, I knew something bad was going to happen. God, just when I think they actually care about and value Clark, they do something like this.

I also HATE that they had Clark apologize to Jor-El for not embracing his destiny, when it's the stupid writers who decided to hold him back as a stalling tactic in the first place. First, fuck up this amazing character you have, and waste the talents of the great guy who plays him, and then make HIM apologize for the mess you made.

I also hated that Clark decided to do the memory wipe. Honestly, he had no right, and Chloe told him exactly what it had meant to her to be by his side. It just seemed like a big step backward for Clark. *sighs* I suppose it won't stick, but if it does, what else are they going to take away from Chloe before this show is over? Her life?

The shipper stuff makes my head explode. This crap makes fandom feed on itself, and turns perfectly reasonable people into ugly, juvenile, shameful brats, whose behavior is appalling. Why would they want to encourage that with storylines that are romantically ambiguous? I don't care about Clark's love life. I enjoy the Chlark friendship, and I enjoy the Clois snark, but I don't watch this show to see who Clark might kiss.

I will never understand why the show took such a strong stand on the Chimmy in Committed, only to retract it immediately, having her be drawn to Davis in Prey, lie to Jimmy for Clark in Identity, and relive the first time she kissed Clark when told to "think of a place that makes you happy" in Abyss. In fact, every Chlark memory we saw except one was of a romantic moment. That would seem to suggest those feelings are the strongest ones Chloe has for Clark. Make up your fucking mind, show, and have the courage to serve the story, rather than pandering to all the various shipper groups.

Ugh. Sorry to go on and on, and sorry for the profanity, but I know you understand what I'm feeling. Thanks for giving me a place to vent. *hugs*
jeannev
Nov. 15th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was really torn between rant or ignore. LOL

And yes, I do understand, so feel free to rant here. :)

A part of me liked the Clark/Jor-El scenes, because it was nice to see that dysfunctional, nonsensical relationship finally have some civility in it. But at the same time, it was like everything that had gone down was heeped onto Clark shoulders. As though somehow a teenage Clark, raised as a human, among humans, wasn't supposed to freak the fuck out when confronted with some shit like "Come to ME!" and "Leave everyone you love!" and "Rule them with strength!". It blows my mind.

And yeah, the shipper stuff makes my head explode too. And really, I could understand the pandering when the show was younger, and not so close to an end. But really, now? What is the freaking point? Pick something and stay the DAMN COURSE! Its so frustrating. It makes me hope Bart runs into town, convinces Clark to go traveling around the world, and Clark is all "Smell ya later Peeps", and off he goes. Ir maybe he can find Lex, and those crazy kids can work things out. LOL
tariel22
Nov. 15th, 2008 07:29 am (UTC)
A part of me liked the Clark/Jor-El scenes, because it was nice to see that dysfunctional, nonsensical relationship finally have some civility in it.

I guess if I'm going to accept a new and improved Lois this season, I should in all fairness accept a new Jor-El as well. I've certainly always wanted to see (hear?) the Jor-El who loves humanity and his son on Smallville, rather than the sick, sadistic bastard who cruelly brands him, rips him away from everyone he cares about by blackmailing him with his father's life, and tries to freeze him in an ice block until everyone he loves is dead. My only problems with Lois were that she slept with her boss and delivered clunky lines. Jor-El's been a monster from the start.

maybe he can find Lex, and those crazy kids can work things out

I'm all for that! Or Oliver! I love their scenes together, and Justin's prettier than any of the girls anyway. :)

I'm so afraid the honeymoon is over, and that we're back to the same old crap. I was actually looking forward to Lana coming back, thinking they could give the Clana a decent ending, but judging by the spoilers I'm hearing, it seems like they only know how to write Lana one way. With 13 episodes left, if they spend five of them with Clark moping and apologizing, I don't know what I'll do. :(
jeannev
Nov. 15th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
The thing with Lois though was minor tweaks for the most part. At least I think so. But with the AI? Major retcons. I mean, the thing just encased Clark in a block of ice last season, allowing a psycho doppleganger to take over his life. And what did we get when Clark got out of that "Lana, this is all my fault". Did we get an "Whoops, My Bad" from the AI? Of course not. But yeah, ALL CLARK'S FAULT. What-the-hell-ever.

Cliver just really seems like the healthiest relationship for Clark right now. How nutty is that?

I think I said on another journal, somewhere, I think the honeymoon phase is over, and now we're onto the first fight.
tariel22
Nov. 15th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
The thing with Lois though was minor tweaks for the most part. At least I think so.

Yes, absolutely, and ED's characterization has been consistent. I just think they're writing her better now, so she has better material with which to work. I've liked many of the Lois scenes in the past, especially ones in which she shows her vulnerability, and I've pretty much loved the scenes between Clark and Lois from the beginning.

But with the AI? Major retcons.

Word. And retcons that reflect badly on Clark! Idiots.

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