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I'm a little delayed with the minutes, and the review this week.  And if you're thinking thats a bad sign for my reaction to the episode, then you'd be Correct!  But also, I'm just busy, and was out most of yesterday, and had dinner plans, and I'm watching the Olympics too.

But, yeah, I watched this ep on friday with my sister, and both of us just felt really annoyed by it.  So, thats going to be reflected in my review.  I'm letting everyone know now so that they can spare themselves that if they loved it.  Its just my luck that the episode that finally has the sort of screentime for Clark that I love to see also has some of the worst writing for him all season.

So, here we go with the numbers:

Persuasion, running time:  41m, 48s

Clark:  27m, 52s
Chloe:  7m, 37s
Lois:  15m, 49s
Tess:  7m, 54s
Zod:  10m, 25s

Dr Emil Hamilton:  The best 2m, 9s of the episode!

Year To Date (# of eps)

Clark:  262m, 44s (14)
Chloe:  125m, 9s (14)
Lois:  200m, 3s (12)
Oliver:  122m, 42s (11)
Tess:  58m, 35s (9)
Zod:  59m, 3s (7)

And now, onto the skewering

So, I didn't like this episode.  Let me put that right out there, and get it out of the way.  And I'm going to start right off with something I really don't blame on the episode itself, but instead on the showrunners and SFX people who never considered the imagery.

Look, I live in NY.  I'm a born and bred NYer.  9/11 was a significant event for the world, but none so much as NYers.  My father was on his work, to his office just blocks away, that day.  My sister, who was a police officer, spent weeks digging through the rubble to find body parts..  Its very much etched into my consciousness.

So, when I see 2 towers, set against a cityscape,  and I see a fireball erupt out of the side of one, and then I see them collapse onto the city, my mind tends to flash back to 9/11.  Did this never occur to the people in charge over at SV?  Did no one think "Hmmm, I wonder..." when they decided to have the episode end this way?  There are SO MANY ways they could've achieved the same outcome, but with vastly different imagery.

I'm not blaming the fiction here.  So, this isn't a knock on the storyline, or on Clark.  Though lets be honest, Clark destroying the towers in this fashion, with tons of wreckage raining down on the streets below, when the towers were made to appear as though they were going up right in the middle of a crowded city?  I know most of us are likely sticking our fingers in our ears and loudly singing "LA LA LA", and just telling ourselves its make believe.  But really, how far out does this show have to go for a cool looking money shot?  Couldn't an ounce of common sense by used here?  If there's even a handful of us who were reminded of 9/11 (and going by some of the comments I've read, we're out there), then isn't that too much?

OK, so lets move on to the episode content itself...

This felt like 2 episodes, mashed together, that didn't compliment each other at all.  In fact, I don't even know why they bothered with the whole meteor rock fairy dust.

Lets just take a second to shake our heads at that....Meteor Rock Fairy Dust!  I believe Kryptonite-infused Stride gum has just been usurped as the most ridiculous introduction of meteor rock.

For me, I think this would've been a perfect episode for Lois to miss, since we know ED will be missing 2 more eps.  None of the stuff with Lois felt at all necessary to me.  And in fact, I didn't find it at all amusing.  I appreciate that Lois Lane is a character that brings a bit of levity to the show, and thats a strength for her.  But personally, I'd like to see the show take her a bit more seriously.  I don't need to see ED dancing around in a wedding dress, and I don't see what purpose it served in this episode.  Aside from someone saying "Oh, that wacky Lois, dressing up in funny outfits again, being silly!".  And really, ED and Lois deserve better then that. 

I suppose the scene in the loft could be said to do just that, but I didn't really see it that way.  Because Lois is mind-whammied, and the crying, and all the "I can't make a home" just seems very extreme.  Was I supposed to believe that Lois is already to the point where she's plagued by these insecurities in regards to Clark?  Or was it the meteor rock infection that was inciting this?  In the end, I guess I'm supposed to think the former.

I wish ED & TW had more interesting kisses.  There, I said it.  They kiss funny.  I'm not blaming it on one, or the other, but both.

And I'm not sure what was served by having Chloe infected either.  Chloe's been on and off bitchy all season, so having something ramp that up seemed unnecessary.  And the things she said to Lois were rather vicious.  Are we supposed to believe that this reflects Chloe's real feelings towards Clois, and Lois?  And if they're not, why would the meteor rock, and her being compelled to protect Clark, manufacture this stuff?  

And while Lois, apparently, chalked up her behavior to bad chocolates (*facepalm*), what did she think was causing Chloe to go off on her like that?  Chloe had bad chocolates too?  How stupid is that?  Moronic, actually.  I'd much have preferred to see Lois actually remain annoyed with Chloe, because thats really what was warranted here.  Yes, we know Chloe was mind-whammied, but since Clark apparently didn't fill Lois in on that, then why would she be OK with what Chloe said to her?  

Really, I do like that they have Lois being forgiving and understanding, but she shouldn't be a doormat. Not for Chloe, not for Clark, not for anyone.

Now, speaking about Chloe again, as much as I think Lois has cause to be angry with Chloe, I also feel like Chloe had every reason to tell Clark to go scratch his ass this week.  I understand that the Chlark friendship is strained.  And I believe that Clark has had many reasons to be annoyed at Chloe in the eps this season.  But here?  There was NO reason for him to act like he did.  Chloe greets him with a smile, she asks about V-Day and Lois, and he just cuts her off to get down to business.  Which, really, not necessary to have him be so rude.  Then we have one of SV's famous "What the Fuck Does This Even Mean?" lines (I like to call them "pulling a Caroline Dries"):

"[I feel like a lifesaver]...Sweet on the outside, and empty in the middle" - Chloe

Is she referring to her life in general?  And if she is, how does Clark not respond to that.  Instead, he starts talking about her not approving of his plan for the Kandorians.  But how the hell would that line relate to her disapproval of the Kandorians?  I know I'm stumped.

And look, its not like I don't understand how Clark could get annoyed with Chloe constantly second guessing him, or Chloe suggesting NOW that he send people to the Phantom Zone.  People who are a whole lot more innocent that Davis Bloom every was.  But then why not have dialogue addressing just that?  Instead, we have this line from Clark:

"I want you to focus on watching my back, leave the rest of the planet to me" - Clark

Honestly, if I was Chloe, and I wasn't mind whammied, I would've told him to go to hell.   She isn't at his beck and call.  And you have no idea how much I HATE that this show wrote a scene where I have to feel this way about something Clark said and done.  I want to be on Clark's side of things always. 

There are so, so many other ways they could've written that scene, and rephrased Clark's dialogue to make that scene work.  I hate how they did it.

And then, to make matters worse, we get Deux Ex Machina Chloe coming through at the end, and "saving Clark from himself", which just makes the whole thing even more aggravating for me.

In fact, I thought Clark was acting strange the whole episode, and I kept thinking that they were going to reveal that the meteor rock was messing with his head.  The scene with Chloe, his reactions to Lois, his initial reactions to Emil, the way he used the power on Zod.  It all felt really, really off for Clark.  And yet, the episode never went there.  So, I'm left scratching my head over why Ann Coffel Sanders wrote Clark this way.  In my view, it was a massive fail.

In fact, I'm just not at all comfortable with Clark deciding to use this power for something personal, i.e. Jor-El's killer.  If he had used it to find out Zod's full plans, then I'd say it was fine.  But instead, it was all about him.  Again, was the meteor rock infection messing with his head?

And was Zod able to resist the influence?  Or did he truly believe that Tess killed Jor-El?  Talk about confusing.  And Clark can persaude himself?  

What a freaking mess this all is.

And BTW Clark, since when does meteor rock only effect you, and not other people?.

As for the storyline with the Kandorians, how compelling could this have been had it played out ON SCREEN?  I would've liked to have seen Clark befriending the Kandorians.  Trying to convince them to find lives for themselves.  Telling them about Earth, and showing them how they could be part of this planet and make it home.  Instead, that was all done in Offscreensville, and on screen we just see Clark handing them passports.  Well, thats great, but what does it really mean?  And how was he planning on dealing with Zod?

As I feared, this whole thing was handled badly.  I knew as soon as I saw Pandora that this wasn't going to go well.  And so, we have Persuasion, and I feel like saying "Toldya so".  Which is obnoxious, I admit.  

Sadly, it seems like the whole Alia storyline was just a bunch of nothing.  We'll never know why she put her hand on his face, and said "I'm so sorry" before he died in Savior, and we'll never know why she seemed to have her powers when she was under a yellow sun.  

I sort of have the feeling that the writers/showrunners lost interest in the Zod storyline somewhere around Pandora, and they're already mentally moving on to the next Big Bad.

This episode made me really bitter about Disciple, and Warrior (even though I liked that one).  Were those episodes really necessary, as opposed to developing this Kandorian storyline a bit better?  I really think not.  Especially Disciple.  

As for the Clois stuff, I have to be honest and say that I'm really cooling off on it more and more as this season progresses.  I'm not a shipper, which all of you well know.  But I have no objections to them moving forward with Clois.  But I just don't think the development has been there, and now that they're a couple, they just act....weird.  They were so much more sparkly and flirty in Rabid, and Crossfire.  Now, Lois is just a bit too needy and neurotic for me, and Clark just seems....distracted?  Maybe thats the word I'm looking for.  I can't put my finger on it precisely.

I suspect a lot of it has to do with me just feeling like I'm not getting Clark's POV in all this.  And in fact, in this episode, I can't even believe they had him say to Lois "We just have to continue being honest with each other".  What?  And if Lois is the "most truthworthy person" he knows, then why isn't he putting his trust in her?  I just feel like I'm not getting something that everyone else is getting.  

Back to the Kandorians, and the big funeral scene (which was cool looking).  When did Clark ever want to live by Kandorian ways?  Again, there's like this whole Kandorian subplot going on in Offscreensville that we haven't been privy to.  There were many times during this episode where I just felt confused.  

Am I the only one that thinks the scenes of Jor-El hiding something at the farm, and the whole Book of Rao thing is never going to amount to anything?

As with every episode, I try to point out a few things I liked, so here goes:

Emil rocks my world!  His 2m was the best part of the episode.  Now HE was funny in a way the Lois scenes just weren't.  

Cassidy Freeman is just so underused, I think its criminal.  She was so good in her 3 scenes (though I'd like Clark to stop beating on her now, please!).  The way she played that whole last scene, in the ring of fire, was truly impressive.  The strongest actor of the night to me.

The Zod/Tess scenes continue to work.

I haven't been feeling AM's performances lately, but I thought she was good in this episode.  I think she likes playing bitchy, quite frankly.

Good Tess/Chloe fight, though I've had my fill of girl fights with this show.  They get better fights then Clark does.

TW is very, very good at bringing the scary.  I would really love to see him take on a role in the future where he gets to play one scary Motherfucker, because he can totally do that!

Nice to see Shelby, and see Clark on the phone with his mother, and get references to the General and Lucy.  I guess Lucy got found in Offscreensville, and Lois and her patched things up.  I think that might've made a good SV ep, but what do I know?

All in all, my least favorite ep of the season.  And its eps like this that make me consider whether the show going on past S9 is really a good idea. 


( 55 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 21st, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
*co-signs every single word of this*

So, when I see 2 towers, set against a cityscape, and I see a fireball erupt out of the side of one, and then I see them collapse onto the city, my mind tends to flash back to 9/11. Did this never occur to the people in charge over at SV? Did no one think "Hmmm, I wonder..." when they decided to have the episode end this way? There are SO MANY ways they could've achieved the same outcome, but with vastly different imagery.
The imagery was disturbing, absolutely. And it just makes Clark look...bad to have waited until the buildings were complete and then burn them. Instead of "Disciple", we really should have had an episode with a Clark/Zod/Tess/Kandorian focus. Could have been a great cat and mouse episode: Zod's determination to get the towers built, Clark racing against time to stop him.

I appreciate that Lois Lane is a character that brings a bit of levity to the show, and thats a strength for her. But personally, I'd like to see the show take her a bit more seriously. I don't need to see ED dancing around in a wedding dress, and I don't see what purpose it served in this episode. Aside from someone saying "Oh, that wacky Lois, dressing up in funny outfits again, being silly!". And really, ED and Lois deserve better then that.
I thought the best part of the episode for Lois was the first scene, where she stands on Clark's shoulders to get her story. Cute, funny, in character. Apart from the one sweet moment, where Lois admits she doesn't know what a happy home should be like because she never had one, the rest of her mind-whammied scenes just fell flat for me.

I have no objections to them moving forward with Clois. But I just don't think the development has been there, and now that they're a couple, they just act....weird. They were so much more sparkly and flirty in Rabid, and Crossfire. Now, Lois is just a bit too needy and neurotic for me, and Clark just seems....distracted? Maybe thats the word I'm looking for. I can't put my finger on it precisely.
To me, it feels like in some episodes they're working so hard to make Lois sympathetic to everyone, all the time, they actually destroy what is compelling about her. Lois is tough, determined and sometimes her mouth gets away from her - that's what makes her Lois. We don't need to see her sweet & vulnerable side every episode to know it's there underneath.

I'd much have preferred to see Lois actually remain annoyed with Chloe, because thats really what was warranted here. Yes, we know Chloe was mind-whammied, but since Clark apparently didn't fill Lois in on that, then why would she be OK with what Chloe said to her?
They really needed a follow-up scene, with some plain talk between the cousins.

"I want you to focus on watching my back, leave the rest of the planet to me" - Clark
This was so irritating - Clark's personality being altered to fit the episode's stupid premise. He never talks to people like this and his "persuasions" with Lois and Emil seemed equally out of character to me.

Again, there's like this whole Kandorian subplot going on in Offscreensville that we haven't been privy to. There were many times during this episode where I just felt confused.
To me, it feels like the exact same mistake from S8 is repeating itself, ie the main plot arc is being set aside for 'ship stuff. Last year, Doomsday-the-threat-to-the-Planet was submerged into Doomsday-the-lovestruck-Chloe-suitor plot (and the return of Lana.) This year, Zod is in the backseat to Clois. SO when we do suddenly see Zod, it's as though he's vaulted ahead three steps, with none of this happening onscreen.

I'm left scratching my head over why Ann Coffel Sanders wrote Clark this way. In my view, it was a massive fail.
Her writing style is odd. I was amused that she seemed to be trying to patch over a writing blunder in "Idol" by having Lois apologize to Clark for outing the Blur. But logically, Lois wouldn't draw that connection & it doesn't work, putting a meta-apology in the script that way.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
Thats back-to-back weeks that you and I have been on the same page. This might become a habit ;)

Usually, I can see the flipside of my opinion pretty easily. But these last 2 weeks, I have to admit that I'm having a really hard time seeing the diametric POV. Thats my failing though, no one elses. I think thats tied into my general feelings about the show in general.

I thought the towers coming down in that manner was sort of ridiculous, even without the 9/11 similarity. There is just NO WAY that destruction of that magnitude, right in the middle of a bunch of buildings, wouldn't have cost lives, and billions in property damage. I'm all for suspending my disbelief when watching television shows, but I shouldn't have to remove my brain.

I would love to see more of Lois in determined reporter mode. Thats something AJ got very right. I don't really need to see a lot more of mushy-in-the-middle Lois. I'd also like to see a lot more passion in the Clois relationship. I'd like to believe that they're having trouble keeping their hands off each other, not stressing over every possible handhold.

The Chlo-Lo relationship is one of the shows true failures. But its hard not to notice that the show hasn't excelled with female-to-female relationships.

I also wish the show would play 'ships as more of a secondary plot, but I guess thats not what the show has ever been.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
Re: part I
I agree with most of your post, LaT!
Re: part I - jeannev - Feb. 22nd, 2010 01:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 21st, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
Just relaxin' with the Good Dr.

I found this episode totally incoherent. I don't know why ANYONE did ANYTHING that they did. Since I couldn't follow a plot or motivations that weren't there, I just watched the pretty. And this was a very well designed and photographed episode.

Because Lois is mind-whammied, and the crying, and all the "I can't make a home" just seems very extreme.

That was NOT my Lois. My Lois might give it a try (she does have a crazy streak---or shall we call it---Overenthusiastic?), but if she failed, she would just get back to business. No Hysteria. No Tears (not in public). Just Eat some Rocky Road Ice Cream.

Those Kandorians are a Strange People. I have NO idea why they act as they do. I think that the Yellow Sun is making them go native. I expect an episode devoted to Heart of Darkness soon. Zod can be Col. Kurtz and Clark can be WhatHisFace who goes up the River to kill him. And Ollie can be the surfer guy in his surfer shorts surfing the River as I watch the gleam of surf on his torso.

But that was a good girl fight. Chloe and Tess did it very well. Very punchy and grabby with just the right amount of hair pulling. And guns!
Feb. 22nd, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
I'm so glad I'm not the only person who found this episode so incoherent. I swear, my sister kept turning to me and asking "What is going on?" Now, she watches every single week. She doesn't do the on-line thing, but she's a regular watcher. Why should she be confused? Why should I? I think I've grown weary of having to create entire scenarios for what is happening in Offscreensville, when some of the stuff happening on screen seems like unnecessary filler.

The Kandorians have no personalities because we've never gotten to know them. Just Zod, and even he isn't on nearly enough for us to really understand him.

Clark is going to be Martin Sheen? Isn't he too tall?
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 01:15 am (UTC)
Truth be told, I'm growing a bit tired of feeling negative as well. And its actually why I skipped a review of Absolute Justice altogether. I did debate back-and-forth with myself over whether I was going to post a review for this one. But, I guess I felt like I wanted to get my feelings out, and also, I didn't really see too many critical reviews of this ep, and I thought it was more then merited.

I don't know what the thinking was in having Clark take down the towers that way. And truth be told, I'm surprised that there aren't more people that have an issue with it.

I think Clois needs a lot more passion written into it. There's nothing wrong with having these 2 be hot for each other. Just because they end up together and married doesn't mean you can't throw in a dash of torrid affair, ya know?

I never understood what was going on with Alia's blue contacts. I suspect very little will be explained about her.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
Re: part II
Thats an interesting theory about Alia. Mine was actually simpler. I thought their first idea was that Alia would be a Kandorian that Clark drifted into a relationship with, in his grief over Lois. And her subsequent resentment towards Lois, and then the dying apology, would be due to her feelings for him, and bitterness that he didn't return her feelings.

Too simple?

Re: part II - cbrownjc - Feb. 22nd, 2010 01:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 01:24 am (UTC)
Don't worry, your English is great.

I think the Kandorian storyline could've made for some really good episodes. It would've been nice to get to know them better. It would help us to know why Clark would be convinced that he could save them, and lead them to a better life here on Earth. But, unfortunately, that didn't happen.
Feb. 21st, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
Persuasion saw the most amount of Clark screentime as well as it should be. He was aggressive, proactive, and made his choice. The Kryptonian gemstone pixie dust have magnified Lois and Chloe's negative traits. An out-of-character episode for most of the cast, except for Zod and Tess. I was right that Oliver is not in this episode.

When Clark destroyed the towers with his heat vision, it seems like the producers and writers were telling us that the plot involving the towers was a dead end since we saw what happens when Zod would get his way in Pandora.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
I really, really get the feeling that the showrunners just didn't commit to the Zod/Kandorian storyline, and now they're already starting to move on from it. Before it really began, actually. Its very odd.

It was great to see Clark with so much screentime. I just wish the writing for him was better.

I didn't miss Oliver.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for the totals! It's wonderful that Clark had so much screen time. I wish that were the norm and not the exception!

I didn't like the episode much but not exactly for the same reasons you had. I understand your concerns but I can't agree with all of them, which must be a first! lol
Feb. 22nd, 2010 01:28 am (UTC)
I know I was pretty critical of Clark in my review. Thats really hard for me to do, because my first inclination is always to defend him, and see the storyline from his POV. When the very rare episode shows up where I find myself unable to do that, I think it just totally pisses me off.

Nothing wrong with 27+m of seeing Tom though :)
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
More Clark and Emil scenes would totally work for me! I've really grown fond of Emil. If there is a S10, I want him to be a regular.

I did love the amount of screentime Tom had. I pretty much think that only 1 or 2 eps a season should have less then 18+m of Clark screentime.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
Well... you did warn me. Maybe it's because my expectations are so low but...I enjoyed the episode. But I understand where you're coming from. My sister thought it was a mess too.

I did think of the twin towers when Clark blew up the solar towers. I wondered if it was too soon for that shot. *sigh*

You're right about the Kandorians plot. That's something that really would have been an interesting A story. I'm surprised that it's taken so long to get back around to Jor-el and whatever he hid at the Kent farm. I thought that was going to be a huge deal for Chloe, Clark the proto Justice League and the Kandorians. Low expectations here are probably a good idea.

I... enjoyed the episode but... there could be something sinister about the writers POV on Lois. They spend a whole lot of time tearing down her walls and leaving her emotionally naked for Clark to see... but they don't seem to realize that in a different way Clark is just as closed off. He has walls as high. I completely agreed with Clark's worried look at the end of the last Clois scene because for all his talk about being truthful... yeah, he's LYING to her. I think Clark tries to put his big secret in a whole other category when it comes to being open and honest with people but... *shrug*

I really wish there had been a followup scene between Chloe and Lois. I just want them to hash all this out.

Clark's behavior didn't really bother me. I've only watched once but... I WAS pretty horrified when he mind whammied himself to go after Tess. And the Deus ex Chloe was pretty bad.

So why did I like it... I was expecting embarassing Clois fluff filler... and I got so much more than that. I feel like so many things were touched on, so many storylines that drive the story forward as a whole. No they weren't dealt with in much depth but... it was a pleasant surprise even so.

Winced a few times but still I enjoyed your thoughts. And the show deserves the criticism. LOL!

Emil rocks! <3
Feb. 22nd, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
I feel like I have to put warnings out there. The SV fandom has gotten so prickly, that it seems that having a difference of opinion is akin to throwing down the gauntlet. And I get that when it comes to the crazy haters, but for those of us who still love the show, but aren't over the moon about this season, it feels a little isolating, and frankly, unfair.

I think low expectations with SV is never a bad thing. I've often said with SV that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And I know my expectations are probably too high for these particular writers. They are, at best, adequate.

Chloe/Lois is just one of those big question marks when it comes to this show. Why did they so utterly and completely abandon this relationship? Now, when one of them expresses genuine concern for the other, I just don't buy it. Because their relationship just doesn't really live on screen. And what we do see on screen? Its not entirely convincing me that they are loving cousins.

I do think that there was enough serious, important stuff in this episode that the Clois fluff should just not have been included at all. And if it was included, we sure didn't need as much of it as we got. It almost feels to me like they are unwilling to have an episode where Lois just isn't on screen much, for the most part.

I want Emil on all the time!
Feb. 22nd, 2010 03:23 am (UTC)
I didn't hate the episode as much as you but didn't like it as much as some. All that being said I never like it when the show seems to have 2 different plots tied together that don't really mesh well. It's been a problem since about S6 where they have a few episodes where it's like you are watching 2 completely different shows. I think another episode this season that followed that format was Crossfire and that knocked that down a notch for me(Hydro is one episode that really stands out that had 2 plots that didn't really mesh together)

I actually enjoyed both parts but the show just seemed a little off when they put them together. They should have made this 2 completely different episodes, one more light hearted one(with a b plot involving Ollie and Chloe) and the other Clark and the Kandorians.

In the case of Lois and Clark I had a few chuckles and a couple problems. I thought the early scenes were good for the most part but the loft scene and ending scenes could have been handled better(it basically just seemed like kissing for the sake of pleasing a shipper fanbase). I would have much preferred everybody forgetting what happened when they were mind whammied and they ended it off on a slightly lighter note. I also don't like they took a play out of the Clana handbook of having Lois ask Clark a question which he basically goes quiet for a couple seconds and gives an answer that in no way answers the question she asked and then have Lois let it go, followed by Clark giving a blank ambiguous stare into outer space with shifty eyes. It just seemed like the show was trying to push the relationship forward instead of having a fun episode for the sake of being fun and once they put a more serious spin on the goofy part it didn't come off that good.

Just my 2 cents about Season 9 in general(and even S8) but why the hell the show doesn't do episodes that involve Lois and Clark going out to do a story and shit happens is beyond me. It's an easy plot to write, great to build personal relationships and also give insite into Clark learning his journalist side. It's not like they have to do that every single episode, but like 3-4 episodes like that a year wouldn't hurt. It's sort of a problem in general on the show for a long time(and many teenage dramas I seen) that to often they are so anxious to get from point 1 to 10, they they skip over a few steps in the process that could be entertaining TV, then wonder why later years they have to do plots that involve alot of stalling or rehashing the same crap.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
I actually understand being middle of the road on this episode. I'm really having a hard time understanding the overwhelming love for it. Its just one of those times where I'm just not getting it, at all.

I think 2 plots can co-exist in one episode. If I think on it, there are probably a few times they got that sort of plot right (Cyborg is actually the first ep that came to mind). But here, the contrast was too much. I honestly think if they had cut the wedding dress dance entirely, it would've been marginally better. That dance just had no point, except to show what a brave, fearless performer ED is. But I think that same thing could be achieved in better ways then this.

I'm glad you said it first, but yeah, that last Clois scene felt very reminiscent of Clana to me. Especially with Clark's deflection of Lois' question, then the concerned look during the hug. It felt uncomfortable to me. And bottom line, if someone is the most trustworthy person you know, then why don't you trust them? I'm not much interested in wanking Clark's reasons here, because ultimately, it comes down to a matter of trust. Does he trust Lois to accept him, and handle the secret, or doesn't he? That is the question.

I'm often left scratching my head as to why SV airs the eps it does, and leaves certain things in Offscreensville. Why did most of the Kandorian plot take place in off screen, but we got Disciple with an enemey and sidekick for Oliver?
Feb. 22nd, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
Average screentime:

Clark- 18m, 46s
Chloe- 8m, 56s
Lois- 16m, 40s
Oliver- 11m, 9s
Tess- 6m, 30s
Zod- 8m, 26s

"Lets just take a second to shake our heads at that....Meteor Rock Fairy Dust! I believe Kryptonite-infused Stride gum has just been usurped as the most ridiculous introduction of meteor rock."

Eh, I think they're equally lame.

"Is she referring to her life in general?"

I think so. Maybe that line was a bit awkward, but that's exactly how she feels. She's crying out for help, and yeah, Clark was only there for the forged ID's, but it really bothered me how he almost completely ignored that.

"So, I'm left scratching my head over why Ann Coffel Sanders wrote Clark this way."

Me too, especially compared to Idol, and his brilliant speech to the Wonder Twins. But there could have been some scenes cut that might have filled in some of the holes.

"I sort of have the feeling that the writers/showrunners lost interest in the Zod storyline somewhere around Pandora, and they're already mentally moving on to the next Big Bad."

I agree. That was really bad planning on the producers' part. Instead of wasting time with useless filler aimed mostly at fueling the shipper wars, they could have given that time to Zod and the Kandorians.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
I think so. Maybe that line was a bit awkward, but that's exactly how she feels. She's crying out for help, and yeah, Clark was only there for the forged ID's, but it really bothered me how he almost completely ignored that.

It was so odd though, because Clark starts mentioning that he knows she's not on board with the whole Save the Kandorians, and there is no reaction from AM that would indicate that Clark is missing her point, or jumping to the wrong conclusion.

So, I'm just confused about the point of that line entirely.

But I hated the scene altogether, so there ya go...

Instead of wasting time with useless filler aimed mostly at fueling the shipper wars, they could have given that time to Zod and the Kandorians.

I'm not sure this show could exist without its 'ship fixation, but still, there are lots of things they could've left out to more fully flesh out the Zod/Kandorian stuff. Disciple and Warrior most come to mind.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 07:10 am (UTC)
I think my last favorite ep of the season is still probably 'Pandora', but I had a feeling how you'd feel about this one, because like me, I knew you'd hate the mindwhammy plot, and unlike me (I'm more amenable towards the Kandorian plot) you probably also wouldn't care for this side of mstters. Personally, I could not agree with you more in that it felt like watching two different eps. In fact, that's the first thing I mentioned when writing out my thoughts on the ep too, that the lightheartedness of one plot and the seriousness of the other just did not gel well at all.

Frankly, I could've done without the whammy plot entirely, I disliked it that much. I didn't think it was funny, I literally ::cringed:: at most of the Chloe and Lois stuff and my main beef with it was that it was all so pointless.

I also agree that Lois didn't quite work for me in this ep, and again I mentioned this myself too, that the antics just came off as ::annoying:: unfortunately, rather than endearing. I did like her first scene though - that's the kind of stuff I wish we'd see more of.

Another problem I had with the ep was the inconsistency in Clark' writing, which led me two of my biggest issues - a)Clark' abrupt decision to just off the towers and b)that he was unable to snap himself out of the whammy. I think the latter was such a disservice to him. I didn't have a problem with him in theb act of going after Tess - he was clearly whammied, but I just wish the writers would've had the better sene to avoid the Knite contrivance and let Clark battle it out on his on.

I think where we mostly disagree is the Kandorian plot, which worked for me for the most part. I 100% agree that there's been little to no build up - and that shows, and again, I remember when watching the ep and getting my thoughts out on it, I was struck by this none moreso than in the final few scenes. Because that's where the neglect of this storyline really showed. All if a sudden now, the towers were built and Clark just let them? And then Zod killing is what prompts him to destroy the towers? Not the fact that he actually knows of their deadly potential unto themselves? I completely agree, and noted that it all felt horribly rushed and abrupt. But, I do have to say, that if I view the ep in isolation then I can't help but be grateful that the storyline finally moved forward. That, and I think Zod probably works better for me than he does for you.

I hated the Chlark stuff in this one too. They were both bringing out the worst in each other.

I mostly don't have an opinion one way or the other about the Clois kisses - I think the only one I really reacted to was the one in 'Idol', which I admit, I thought was great. But yeah, most of their stuff felt very unnecessary in this one and not right for the rest of the tone of the ep. I do think their last conversation was interesting for a couple of reasons but I won't bore you with that, because I agree, on the whole, it all felt a bit of a retread here.

I admit, I thought briefly of the twin towers connection, but I will also admit that the thought flew very quickly out of my head because, clearly, I was swimming in the shallow side of the pool. ::hangs head:: No, but, I think it's also because those tragic images are now so much a part of our consciousness, we can't help but make those comparisons when we see something that triggers it off. So yeah, bottom line, I can see why the scene might have rubbed people the wrong way.

I'm glad for the Clark ST, but there are so many things I wished had been done differently.

Emil FTW though, heh. And apologies for the reahallly long ass comment. Wouldn't be me without it, though eh? ;-)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
For me, this episode, Pandora, Echo and Roulette are like a quadrangle of suck.

Its not that I don't like the Kandorian plot, its just that so little of it has actually occured on screen. Its hard for me to get heavily invested in something that takes place 85% off screen. In this particular episode, one of the real annoyances for me with the fluffy scenes was that it took time away from the far more compelling side of the episode, which was the Kandorian stuff.

I just think this could so easily have been one of the eps that ED missed, and it wouldn't have impacted her storyline, or the flow for her character at all. She felt isolated and tacked on in this episode. Her scenes with Clark felt like retreading familiar ground, and her scene with Chloe just felt entirely unnecessary to me.

How much would I have LOVED to see Clark snap himself out of the mind whammy? A LOT! SV misses another golden opportunity there. So what else is old?

Long ass comments are not only welcome, they're appreciated! ;)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 07:29 am (UTC)
Part I
Britas15, here!

So, like you, I had a number of problems with "Persuasion." I didn't think it was bad overall, because it did serve as way more than just filler and did move a lot of things along, but, all the same, I had several issues with it -- most of which I can only discuss here, because most people over at K-Site are too fucking blinded by Lois and Clark kissing to actually care about narrative nuance, clarity, and cohesion. So, I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been checking your LiveJournal all weekend, waiting to read your thoughts. And I must say, you did not disappoint. Thanks for making me feel like I'm not alone in this world.

Moving on...

I'll just pick two issues for now. Zod and Lois Lane.


I'm going to be writing a longer analysis on this topic over the next day or so. But I'll try to make sense of what I've been thinking for now. Like you, I think the PTB started the season not knowing what they wanted to do with Zod. I think they needed a baddie, and because of how Season 8 ended, they had to have Zod as at least one baddie. All the way through "Pandora," they gave Zod no real motivation. They just showed him cutting off heads and hitting on Tess. And I hated the character all the way through "Pandora." He seemed flat. I didn't care about his story in the least.

But ever since "Disciple," the PTB do seem to have a more coherent sense of what they want to do with Zod. Rather than continuing to write him as a typical, inherently evil villain, they're writing him as more of a tragic hero, in the very Greco-Roman sense of a tragic hero. Zod has actually become extremely relatable lately. He's losing control of his army, and he may never get the powers that were guaranteed to him. And his intentions are actually noble. He knows that he and his people will be hunted eventually. And he knows that they'll need their powers to defend themselves. But no one's listening to him. His defeat is a foregone conclusion, but I'm actually starting to feel bad for the guy. It's like watching Oedipus fall from grace. Oedipus wasn't a bad guy, he was just a victim of circumstance and fate, and of his own tragic flaw -- offending the gods. And in many ways, Zod's doing the same thing: He's offending a god (I don't mean "god" in the monotheistic sense) -- in this case, Clark. I think Checkmate is going to be the inherently bad entity this season, and I think Zod's going to go the way of all tragic heroes. And who knows where Chloe will end up.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Part I
Hey Brit :)

I'm not one of those people who calls "filler" on any episode I don't entirely like. In fact, I'm becoming a bit allergic to that term. And this ep definitely couldn't be called filler. But filler, or not filler, that doesn't define a good or bad episode for me.

I think I made 2 comments on this ep over at K-Site, and thats about it. Its just very....well, difficult to navigate if you are not marching in lockstep with the popular opinion. I knew there was no having a serious conversation about this episode there. I wouldn't even bother to try.

Hey, I've been feeling rather isolated myself in the SV fandom. So, thanks to everyone who joins me for the conversation here, whether they agree with me or not. :)

I actually think Zod has been a little woobified. I know I don't see that opinion out there too much, but the reality is that here's another bad guy who isn't trying to be a bad guy. He finds himself in another world, from a different culture, and he's trying to keep his people protected, and he even has a background sob story. How is he not woobified?

Personally, I wish SV would have a villian that is just a slimey, mean, bad ass motherfucker for once. This show could use a version of Heath Ledger's Joker.

So, yeah, I can definitely see them going the way you suggest, with Zod actually not being the big villian, and perhaps dying a noble death at the end of the season. And in a lot of ways, they might actually be interesting. But the story needs to develop ON SCREEN for it to have the impact it deserves.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 07:30 am (UTC)
Part II
(Britas15, again!)


Friday night, for the first time ever, I had a truly unsettling thought about Lois: Why is she on this show?

"Persuasion" made it abundantly, undeniably clear that Lois is only around to satisfy shippers, who, alas, make up a huge part of the fanbase. I mean, at one point, Lois was dancing around the farmhouse in a wedding dress, all by her lonesome, while Clark and every other character was off doing things that actually had relevance to the plot. Lois has officially been reduced to the roles of comic relief and romantic interest to the protagonist. That's her only relevance. And frankly, this character deserves better, especially if she's going to be on the screen all the damn time. But instead of seeing Lois Lane be Lois Lane, we get to see her forced into another situation where she overshares with Clark without having consented. It's a disturbing trend. It's happened in "Committed," "Echo," and "Pandora." And that says nothing of her overshares with the audience (her talk with Chloe in "Echo," and all of "Idol"). I don't see why it's so necessary to continue FORCING Lois to open up to Clark, especially when she's been doing it all on her own lately. Moreover, I really hated that Clark got caught up in Lois's "persuaded" confession/exit. That was just really disturbing and unfair. He knew she wasn't sober and he knew that his "persuasion" wouldn't last forever. But he continued letting Lois cry her eyes out and confess things that she didn't choose to disclose. And that was all the more off-putting because Clark then had the gall to say that they have to continue being honest with each other. Wow. Just wow. Way to make the protagonist look like a world-class asshole.

So, where was I? Oh, yeah. Lois. The way I see it, Lois can't be relevant because she doesn't know Clark's secret. Moreover, Lois can't be relevant to an entire half of Clark's life because the PTB have decided to not portray the triangle-for-two, lest they sully their protagonist's name, which is silly, because they've never seemed to have a problem with it before. So, if Lois is only going to be around to kiss Clark, to cry over Clark, to confess her love for Clark, and to dance around, be cute, be silly, and crack one-liners, then what the fuck is she doing here? Why is she taking up any screen time at all? My sincere opinion: Lois doesn't need to be on this show anymore until the PTB find something to actually do with her.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Part II
Well, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't consider the decision to bring Lois on this show from time to time.

And as you know, I'm not a big proponent of the whole "Its that way because its MYTHOS, and thats the reason for it". To me, that justification is total bunk.

Clark not telling Lois his secret on SV, right here, right now? Why? Don't talk to me about comic books, or LnC, or the movies. Talk to me about SV, and who it fits into this story. And they just haven't addressed it, and I think that does quite a bit to undermine the foundation of SV's Clois. At least for me. Because I don't understand it. Or his decision to lie again in this situation.

I also agree that we've gotten insight into Lois over and over and over again. Ad nauseum, if you ask me. And we haven't got a fraction of that with Clark. Why the disparity?

In the end, I think they made a mistake by deciding that their romantic relationship would be the defining qualities for Clark and Lois this season. Just as I've said that I wish we had spent more time on the Kandorians, and Clark's interaction with them, I wish they had spent more time on Lois the journalist.

If Lois is going to have 15+m of screentime, I think they need to dig deeper and have it be for more then dressing her up in a funny outfit, and having her act goofy.

For this last ep, I would've been totally satisfied if we saw Lois in the beginning investigating RAO industries, forget the mind wipe, let her have the confrontation with the mind whammied Chloe (and have the appropriate fall-out), then have Lois come around herself at the end to giving V-Day a chance. There would've been a lot more screentime for ED that way, but I think it would've been a better use of Lois.
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