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Starting with the basics:


Running Time: 41m, 24s
"Previously on": 38s

Clark 22m, 24s
Chloe 2m, 35s
Tess 7m, 45s
Oliver 7m, 7s

Lana 9m, 11s
J'onn Jones 4m, 12s (and isn't that a shame?)

Year to Date (# of eps)

Clark 249m, 23s (12)
Chloe 154m, 29s (12)
Lois 104m, 46s (8)
Jimmy 67m, 29s (7)
Tess 62m, 21s (8)
Davis 52m, 45s (7)
Oliver 71m, 8s (7)

Lana 28m, 38s (3)

I thought very long and hard about how I wanted to approach this review.  Did I want to go all ranty, and vent, and express my frustration?  Did I just want to ignore it altogether?  Did I just want to take an analytical, detached view and edit out any parts that upset me?

In the end, I opted for the 3rd option, so this review will probably be pretty dull.  So, I won't blame anyone for skipping it.

Type your cut contents here

Even in an episode almost completely devoid of HoYay!, I found a gay line.

So, Smallville tried something a bit different this week, in terms of its main storyline, and I think the result was very mixed.  While there were some nice heroic Clark moments here, and it was great to see Clark wanting to bring Danny back to the right side, I just felt like the episode lacked the set-up, actors or budget (and Oy! it looked cheap) to really make the story into something that resonated.

Just a question, but when did Metropolis turn into Newark?  I had no idea.

We've seen the actor that played Danny before, all the way back in S1, in the episode Hothead.  He looks the same.  And that was sort of a problem.  The actor wasn't very effective, so I found it hard to work up much empathy for him. 

Now, the actor that was playing the really bad cop?  He made an impression.

Clark should wear that grey shirt all the time.  He looks amazing in it.

Tess should never wear that red dress again.  The one she had on in the last scene.  Bad fit, totally unflattering.  But Cassiday rocked that scene.  I'm not crazy about what they are doing with Tess' storyline.  I think I really wanted her to remain a loyal Lex minion.  If she was swayed by anything, I was sort of hoping it would be Clark.  But alas....  Anyway though, I've really become fond of  Cassiday though, so I'm rolling with it.  I find myself really hoping for more Clark/Tess scenes.  They can even have a fling.  I'd be curious. 

Is it necessary for Oliver to be a douche bag?  I don't mind Oliver and Clark coming at things from different angles.  Or even butting heads on occasion.  But the conflict here felt very manufactured.  Its hard to take Oliver going all righteous indignation seriously when 2 eps ago he was trying to shoot Lex in the head with an arrow, from behind.  I also didn't understand all this "lone wolf" talk from him.  Where did that come from?  Wasn't he all Mr Teamwork guy?  Now, suddenly, he and Clark aren't good at teaming up?  Again, its manufactured conflict, and it requires a warping of the characters.

But I did like the scene at the end with Clark, Oliver and JJ.  That was cool.

Clark, you haven't spent all last year sacrificing everything for the world and the greater good.  At best, you've been doing that for about 7 months.  Get over yourself.  Also, last week you were putting your loved ones first, now you are the King of Selflessness.  Yeah, OK, whatevercakes

Nice to see Clark doing some follow up to try and find Doomsday.  Nice touch.

I know Chloe was around for only a little over 2 minutes, but I really liked AM in that scene.  I had some issues with the scene itself, because it seems that we are back to Clark not being able to do something unless Chloe holds his hand, and thats not something I missed.  But, aside from that, I liked the sense of urgency she had, and saying she needed to get back to the hospital.  I liked her annoyance at not having Brainiac abilities anymore.  And I really liked her barely contained annoyance at...other stuff.  In any case, it was nice to see her looking out for her cousin.  I really, really wish that the show would spend more time on the Chlo-Lo relationship, and SHOW the cousins interacting more.  Talking, hanging out, investigating something together.  I hate that this entire relationship is shipped to Offscreensville.

I love Phil Morris, and I really dig J'onn Jones (and his martian hanging from the mirror), and I wish that he was seen far more on the show, and had a lot more to do in this episode.

FauxLexBack is just the suck!

I think thats all.

I'm afraid that I've lost my early season SV buzz.  I guess I had hoped so much for Clark's story, and I saw a lot of positive signs, and....well, I should've known better.  Not really feeling a lot of love for the 'Ville right now.  Or even Clark.  And I can't even remember another time when I felt like that.  Its sad.

Oh, and very cute conservation PSA from the cast.  Well, except for Tom.  Sort of a douchey move there Welling. 


( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Jan. 24th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
MM had less than five minutes of screentime? That really is a shame. What's the point of having such a cool character on the show if you're not going to really use him? The martian hanging from the rearview mirror was cute.

I have no idea why they've never really given the MM a much bigger role in an episode. He's done some important things, but I always feel like he's sort of there for a few minutes, and then gone. And Phil Morris is so incredibly awesome too!!

And boo! on Tom for not appearing in the PSA. And as a fellow TW fan you know how hard it is for me to say that.

I know. It was hard for me to say something too. But as understanding as I am about his "quirks", there are certain things that just strike me as douchey. Like this.

And I'm not ignoring the rest of your post, I'm just trying not to go there, if you know what I mean, LOL

Jan. 24th, 2009 04:55 am (UTC)
I giggled a lot at the line you used for your LJ cut. :D

I was waiting for your review ... I had a feeling you weren't going to be a fan of this episode. The numbers were interesting to see. Thanks again for compiling them! :)

J'onn Jones 4m, 12s (and isn't that a shame?)

It is! I really like him and I was hoping he'd be there more. :\

Just a question, but when did Metropolis turn into Newark? I had no idea.

Someone compared it to Gotham. :\

Clark should wear that grey shirt all the time. He looks amazing in it.

I LOVE that grey shirt. And I have no issues in admitting that I watched this episode to see Clark in uniform. It was amazing. I really liked his hair there too (I have a hair fetish ;D). :D

I too wished it hadn't been Lana who revealed the truth about Tess and Clark who had pushed her over from Lex but I really liked the way Tess handled it. Very cool.

I find myself really hoping for more Clark/Tess scenes. They can even have a fling. I'd be curious.

Yeah, I think they have a good dynamic. Anything that gets her the hell away from Oliver. That relationship needed to die, like ... yesterday. :\

The problem with Oliver's character is that they feel the need to make him do 180s just to move the plot along.

And I'm not speaking as a shipper here ... I know I go hardcore fangirl but I'm being sane here, I promise. What they're doing to Clark and Oliver's friendship is stupid. When Justin got signed as a regular, I saw it as potential for Clark to have a male friend. They have no secrets; it could've been good. But instead, they have them fight all the time and rehash the SAME arguments every episode. I'd think they have worked it out but instead, they yell at each other again in the following episode. It gives me a headache. And Ollie does come off as a douche.

But I did like the scene at the end with Clark, Oliver and JJ. That was cool.

That was nice.

I liked AM in that scene too ... the Chlo-Lo shoutout makes me happy cuz I just love those two so much! I totally agree that they need to hang out more. :D

I'm with you on feeling "blah" on the show again. I'm going with the no expectations routine again.

I thought the ad was cute. I don't know why Tom wasn't there though. :\
Jan. 24th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC)
I'm glad my cut line amused you. I was going to use "Always wear your vest", but then I heard that line towards the end, and went BINGO!

Yeah, now Gotham I would expect to be rundown and seedy. But not Metropolis.

Oh, which reminds me of the junkie robbing the pharmacy. I howled with laughter at that. That looked so ridiculous.

I'm not on board with Tess/Oliver either. Just no chemistry there for me.

Tom's hair looks amazing this year. Right length, good part. And he has such great hair.

I was really hoping they'd spend more time on the Clark/Oliver Friendship as well. Where is the guy that said "Clark would never give up on us, I'm not going to give up on him"? Are they trying to suggest that Oliver is still holding a grudge about Lionel? Why can't they just be friends? That doesn't mean they have to agree all the time, but why so many tense confrontations?

I'm going with the no expectations routine again.

Oh, I have expectations. Just no good ones, :P
Jan. 24th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
I pretty much feel the same way you do about what went on in this episode. When Danny asked Clark at the end if he had someone who made it all worthwhile, I was so hoping that they were going to show something Lois related, but I knew that in reality we were heading for a Lana scene.

The way I justify the Clark/Oliver argument about killing for the greater good is that Clark was just playing Devil's Advocate and didn't really believe what he was saying. Also, he was calling Oliver on his contradictions. I do wish they'd stop having Oliver say things like, "how many more people have to die before you do something?"

And the PSA- it was of course glaringly obvious that the star of the show was not in it. Really, Tom? What was that all about? All it does is make him look bad. It looks like it was shot the same day as the promotional pictures, so obviously he was there...I want to continue to worship him and think he can do no wrong, but things like this, tarnish that a little for me. Of course, we don't know the whole story or what was going on that day blah blah blah, but still...
Jan. 24th, 2009 05:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, its weird to see an episode that has so many positive elements in it, and so many things to potentially enjoy, and then feel so disappointed in it.

I actually agree with you about Clark playing Devils Advocate. I think he was just seeing where Danny was coming from, as he should. He's been there himself. But its not like he was planning on doing nothing. And what did Oliver think he was going to do? Just knock all the cops out, and what? Does he have any evidence? Witnesses willing to testify? Clark's way made more sense.

I think its OK to be a fan, but also say "Not cool". At this point, Tom and his hermit stuff has just worn out my patience a bit.
Jan. 24th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC)
I've finished my review, but I'm waiting for KEakaCK to get his caps up so I can include a picspam. I'll probably post it first thing in the morning. I went the ranty route. :)

When Clark said that line, in my head I said, that's what she said. :)

Except for other stuff, I liked the episode more than you did. I have a different interpretation of where Oliver's coming from, but it's mostly fanwank. I'm figuring Cuba was an epiphany for him, and that he came back determined to be more like Clark, and step back from the vigilante attitude he displayed in his hunt for Lex. It hasn't been easy, and he hasn't talked to anyone about it, least of all Clark. He's isolated himself, and Clark's been busy, no doubt with other stuff. Now, after all his struggles, Clark seems to be bending over backward to reach out to bad cops who are doing the very things Oliver rejected because he was inspired by Clark, and that makes him angry. Yeah, I said it was fanwank. ;) Oh, and Oliver's an ass. It's just who he is.

Tom was very pretty, especially in that grey shirt. And in uniform. And in handcuffs...

I liked the Chloe scene. AM is a great actress, she makes it look so easy, and she is completely engaging. And I think she brings out the best in Tom. His lines in that scene were the most natural of the episode, I think.

I'm sorry the show is letting you down. *hugs*

Thanks for the minutes, I thought other stuff would be a lot more. It felt like a lot more.
Jan. 24th, 2009 05:24 am (UTC)
I'll be looking forward to reading your review.

I've been sort of bad about posting comments on others reviews, but I guess I felt like I wasn't in a great place to contribute.

Going the ranty route was a near thing for me. But in the end, it just made me upset, and then I thought I shouldn't be upset over a TV show.

Its a good fanwank for Oliver. Its one of several stories that would be great ON SCREEN, not in Offscreensville. But it works.

I can only really concentrate on AM in that scene. For other stuff reasons. LOL

Hey, no reason for you to be sorry. PS3 should be sorry, LOL

(no subject) - tariel22 - Jan. 24th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 24th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
I felt this was a better starter for the second half of the season than Legion ever did. Clark was written well and I wasn't bothered by the end scene with Lana because it leads into the next episode.
The highlight for me was to see the future JLA together - Clark, MM, and Oliver. They remind me of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.
Jan. 24th, 2009 05:27 am (UTC)
I think I liked Legion a bit better then this one, but I wasn't over-the-moon about either of them.

I did like that scene between Clark, MM and Oliver too. MM is so good in that role, as the mentor-type, voice of wisdom. I'd so love to see him in more episodes.
Jan. 24th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC)
I agree with most of this, especially Clark in that shirt, and Chloe's momentary wistfulness over not having her super-brain anymore.

I could really feel the lower budget on this one, more than ever. Even when episodes have been mediocre in the past, the action is usually still pretty climactic and satisfying. Now it's kind of weak by comparison. :/

But honestly, if Clark keeps looking that good for the rest of the season, my eyes will stay glued no matter what. Every time I saw him in that shirt, it smoothed over a rough spot in the episode. ;)
Jan. 24th, 2009 05:31 am (UTC)
Also! LOVED the scene with Oliver, Clark, and Jones, as well. Definitely a high point in the episode.
(no subject) - jeannev - Jan. 24th, 2009 05:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:49 am (UTC)
I'm sorry you're feeling so blah about the show. I find I'm at that stage where I can take whatever Smallville throws my way. It's not a feeling I've had a lot before, especially with SV, and I have no idea how long it will last. The Lana stuff is definitely trying my patience, but I still feel oddly optimistic. And I can say with full confidence that this is shaping up to be one of my favourite seasons.

Just a question, but when did Metropolis turn into Newark? I had no idea.

I've seen quite a few people comparing it to Gotham, and I think that works too. But latxcvi said on her journal that maybe THIS is what a Superman-less Metropolis would look like, and that it may be Clark who changes it to a less Gotham-like city. I like that notion. :)

I know Chloe was around for only a little over 2 minutes, but I really liked AM in that scene.

Me too. I think that one scene managed to fit in so many small, but good details, it totally made up for the short screentime. Like you said, I loved the Chlo-Lo stuff, and really wish they'd do something to show that relationship more. (I know "Hex" is going to be very Chlo-Lo oriented, but I'm wary of that episode for obvious reasons.)

We've seen the actor that played Danny before, all the way back in S1, in the episode Hothead. He looks the same. And that was sort of a problem. The actor wasn't very effective, so I found it hard to work up much empathy for him.

Really? I felt like he and TW really did a good job together, because I loved their interactions. And I love that they chose to show us the little details about Danny and his family ... it really resonated with me.

Is it necessary for Oliver to be a douche bag? I don't mind Oliver and Clark coming at things from different angles. Or even butting heads on occasion. But the conflict here felt very manufactured.

YES. It feels like his sole purpose in episodes like these is to go against whatever Clark is doing, even if it doesn't match with what we already know of him. It really is annoying.

Jan. 24th, 2009 06:59 am (UTC)
Well, hell, its Smallville, so an up-and-down relationship with it is to be expected. I'll snap out of it (I hope!). I'm with it, and Clark, tell the end. I think the short hiatus thats coming up in a few weeks will be a good thing, and hopefully I'll get my SV mojo back. :)

Clark changing Metropolis? That would be very cool. I do like it when they allow Clark to be an inspiration.

I understand your wariness with Hex. I think its a monumentally bad idea, unlikely to please anyone.

I'm not sure why the writing for Oliver has been so unfortunate. It really feels like they don't know what to do with him at all.

Edited at 2009-01-24 07:00 am (UTC)
Jan. 24th, 2009 09:49 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the screentime totals!

I found this post very sad. It matches a lot of my feelings but still, it's sad to see you so disappointed on so many levels. *Goes off weeping*
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
Oh my, don't weep Carol!!!

Hey, we still have Pretty Tom, and even when we're disappointed in the writing for Clark, we still love Clark! We ALWAYS LOVE CLARK!! And screw anyone who tries to take that away from us!!! Go us!

I'm still very much on board for Clark's heroic journey, and I have not wavered in my opinion that he can be a great Superman. Emotionally? He's not the healthiest guy. But he will be a great Superman!

Jan. 24th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
Well, I just got done with my own thoughts on the ep, and I evidently chose the rant route. I think. I rambled a lot anyway. Heh.

Such a wierd ep, as a Clark fan. I'm both proud and disappointed with him.

//Again, its manufactured conflict, and it requires a warping of the characters.//


//I really, really wish that the show would spend more time on the Chlo-Lo relationship, and SHOW the cousins interacting more. Talking, hanging out, investigating something together. I hate that this entire relationship is shipped to Offscreensville.//

I know. The kind of scenes, basically that we used to get back in seasons 4 and 5. Still, I'd say in comparison to their interactions in S7, where I hated the tone of most of scenes together, S8 has been pretty good. There was Lois trying to rescue Chloe in 'Odyssey' and 'Committed' and Chloe having Lois' back here in this ep and forgiving her in 'Committed.'

//FauxLexBack is just the suck!//

Couldn't agree more.
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
I can understand choosing the ranty, and I may have done the same if I wasn't able to get out some of my initial rants on K-Site. But then I took a deep breath, and realized that I didn't much like me in ranty mode, so if I'm unhappy, I'm just going to try to the cool, detached, exasperated mode, and see how that works for me. :)

I was all for them keeping Lex in the story. But I can't say that I really like how they're doing it. And I never, ever wanted to see a body double.
Jan. 24th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
“I love Phil Morris, and I really dig J'onn Jones (and his martian hanging from the mirror), and I wish that he was seen far more on the show, and had a lot more to do in this episode.”

How I wish we would see him more! Clark just can’t suck when MM is around.

“FauxLexBack is just the suck!”

It is.
I just couldn’t get into that Tess story; I so don’t care about it. But a cheap episode like this just makes me wish that this is the last season. They just don’t have the money anymore to do a scifi show.
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
Not only is MM cool, but Phil Morris brings so much to the part. When he talks about power, and responsibility, and perspective, it really means something, because this is a guy who you believe have lived that life. How I wish he was a regular.

Down with FauxLex!! There can be ONLY ONE!! LOL
Jan. 24th, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
I though Olivers characterization was just awful. He seemed to be suffering a bit from personality whiplash, all in an effort to move the storyline along.

On the flip side, I also loved Tess's scene at the end and while she also went through a huge character change that one worked - it makes sense that someone who feels devotion so deeply would be so vengeful as a result of betrayal.
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
I sort of feel as though the writers just don't know how to use Oliver at all. And really, if they had just let his crisis of faith arc play out a bit longer, I think they would've had a good plot for him. Instead, its like he's all over the place, and yet nowhere. If that makes sense.

Tess just works for me. I was skeptical at first, but now I really like her. She's bad, but with layers, and best of all...even though you can have empathy for her...she's NOT A WOOBIE! I love that. The reason I love her is the very reason I can't give too much of a crap about Davis.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
YES, YES! Whats with the accusations of Clark doing nothing from Oliver? Just Shut. The Fuck. Up! Obviously if Clark was out there with the cops, and Oliver shows up at his house and sees Clark pouring over pictures and information, he's NOT DOING NOTHING! What he's trying to do is take things the right way, find out who the bad guys are, and who can be saved, and then figure out a way to prove they shot MM. And what was Oliver's brilliant plan?

SV writing has always been inconsistent, but sometimes the contradictions from one ep to another, or one scene to another, is very glaring. This episode suffered from that problem.

Hopefully, there are better eps ahead. Maybe a little far ahead, but I'm hoping they're out there. LOL
Jan. 24th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
*snugs* Because you clearly need them. Hang in there, V.
Jan. 24th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I do need it. But I'll be OK. Hey, I've been slugging out for Clark for years, and I may be down, but I'm not out. This too shall pass. :)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 24th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I really appreciate it. I guess at this point, the show is going to let someone down, somewhere. They've just made too many wrong moves up to this point. But its nice to know that people I really like are enjoying it :)

At this point, I'm just hoping that they bring this puppy into the station at the end of S8 with a really big Hero bang for Clark. And then no S9. Enough already.
Jan. 24th, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
It was a strange episode, wasn't it? It had a "Suspect" feel to it, and I really loathe that episode, so why did I like this? Especially with the Clana resurrection. Well, I can look past the *other stuff* because I can kind of see where Clark's coming from. He's NOT going back to season 7 hiding out on the farm to be with Lana: he's saying he can save the world AND still have someone to love. Because he NEEDS someone to love: that's why he does what he does. I could cite any number of comic book references to support that. Its just that we all know and he certainly should know by now that Lana's not the one, never has been. *sigh*

Anyways, I hope Smallville gets past the Clana doldrums and gets back into what had made me love this season so much: Clark forging his own destiny both as a hero and reporter, while starting to fall for the woman who will be his true helpmate.
Jan. 25th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
I can certainly understand Clark needing someone to love. I really do. What I don't understand is his inability to move forward emotionally, or his inability to learn anything from his romantic past.

I'm afraid that even if SV does snapback to what it was in the early part of the season, it won't erase the damage that may be potentially be done in this particular arc. TPTB may be able to forget what happens episode to episode, but I, unfortunately, lack that particular talent.
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