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Anyone who knows me also knows that the longer it takes me to do a review, the more likely it is that its a pretty bad omen.

Well, thats true....but in my defense, I was also busy yesterday.

You know, there are some weeks when I'm very, very glad that I take such a cynical view of this show.  That way, when it inevitably sinks down to my expectations, I don't feel so sucker punched.  Still, I'd be lying if I said this show doesn't still have a very strong ability to make me sad.  Reall fucking sad.

Lets start with the totals:

Upgrade, Running Time:  41m, 30s

Clark:  18m, 32s
Chloe:  9m, 31s
Lois:  13m, 43s
Tess:  6m, 19s
Zod:  14m, 49s

John Corben:  12m, 58s


Year to Date Totals:

Clark:  329m, 32s (18)
Chloe:  167m, 14s (18)
Lois:  240m, 34s (15)
Oliver:  152m, 7s (14)
Tess:  95m, 52s 913)
Zod:  96m, 58s (10)



*sigh*  I feel like I have to start off all my SV reviews that way lately.



This week we saw the return of Red K, and honestly, I usually enjoy the Red K episodes.  I recognize the downside of them too, but its just so much fun to watch Tom Welling just be free to indulge his inner bad boy.  He approaches this side of Clark with such relish, I can't help but get swept up into the performance.

But this time, as good as Tom was, I thought the Red K angle ultimately fell completely flat.  And I think the biggest reason was because it really felt like it was thrown in there not to serve Clark's character in any way (or, any positive way).  But instead, it felt like it totally existed to service the characters of Chloe, and guest star John Corben.

And call me crazy, but I don't think thats a good enough reason to have Red K in an episode.

I suppose one could argue that it gave us some insight into how Clark felt about Zod, and the Kandorians.  But think about it....didn't that pretty much serve to completely validate Chloe?  See, Clark needs to face that, down deep, he wants to bond with Zod and the Kandorians because they understand him, therefore Chloe is the "only one seeing things clearly from the start".

Now, doesn't that just suck ass?

Aside from a Red K influenced reaction from Clark over the weapons, and a much overblown slight push of Chloe, Clark was pretty much robbed of any sort of believable and justified reaction to the kryptonite weapons.  Instead, he shows up at the end, hat in hand, to plant a big ol' smooch of Chloe's ass, and tell her everything she's done and does is just A-OK fine with him.  There's no confrontations about why she hid it from him, no mention of the smack Chloe has been talking behind his back, no discussing of trust issues, no reactions or realizations of what might happen if Checkmate gets their hands on her stash, and no mentioning of the fact that Tess almost did.

And most of all, no apology from Chloe.  In fact, aside from some big eyes, and gulping, from Allison Mack, I didn't even get much of a sense that Chloe was sorry.  Did it matter to her that Clark might feel betrayed?  I don't really think so.  Did she use this opportunity to come clean about the tracking chips, or seeing Jor-El hide something at the farm?  No.  And if she was really sorry for hiding this from Clark, wouldn't those things have come to light?

But, I suppose none of that matters anyway, because I'd bet anyone $100 bucks right now that if Clark does get confronted with that stuff, he'll tuck his tail between his legs, and validate Chloe, and tell her that everything she did/does is just fine.

Good times SV.  Good times!

Oh, and lets also throw in the angle that Clark is now spying on Lois using Chloe-like methods.  Which very nicely drags Clark down to Chloe's mentality, and thereby validates Chloe once more.  Clark spies on his girlfriend, so clearly, its fine for Chloe to spy on people too!  So sayeth SV!

As someone whose gone a bit cold on the Clois front, I did actually think the scene of him waking her up in bed was very cute, and sexy.  And the scene was proceeding along very nicely.  But then 2 big roadblocks hit (and neither was chemistry related, so Yay! for that).  First was Clark uttering the ridiculous line "I think it would be better if there were no secret between us".  Why do they have Clark say shit like that when he's not even questioning his decisions to keep Lois in the dark about who he really is?  And then we get Lois' cellphone ringing, and much like 2 weeks ago, she stops a hot make-out session to answer it.  And don't get me wrong, because I understand Lois is career driven, and there's nothing wrong with that.  But I think its OK for career driven women to say "Ya know what, I'd rather give my hot boyfriend a tongue bath".

I do give Lois props though for cutting the Blur short, and then running after Clark.  I'm also hoping that Lois finding out that Corben was the one that saved her will give her reason to suspect the Blur she's chatting with is not on the level.  I'd really like the show to let Lois connect some of these dots, because I like when they write her sharp.  Unfortunately, because she's not in on the secret, they have to keep her in something of a clueless state, and I'm not sure that always reflects well on her (and hasn't reflected well on ANY Lois Lane that isn't in the know).

One thing that did work very well in this episode were the Lois/Corben scenes.  ED and BAG did a nice job of playing off each other, and Lois going out on a limb to help him reflected quite well on her, I thought.

And really, I did find myself enjoying some of the Red K Clark/Zod scenes.  TW and CB also played quite well off each other, and it was sort of nice to watch Clark having another kryptonian to work with, and fight with, and even play with.  That was something we never really got to see with him and Kara.

Of course, there was something really extra silly about Clark and Zod going off to the Space Needle so Clark could make it snow.  It seemed like a rather juvenille thing for Red K Clark to do, especially since his reaction to the Red K this time was anything but.

Chloe and Tess working together just grated on my nerves, and didn't endear either character to me.  After finding Tess so compelling last week, she fell pretty flat for me this week.  I do understand keeping her ambigious to a certain extent, but I think we need to have some sort of consistent thread in the character to hang onto in order to empathize and understand her.  This week, Tess took another turn, and I feel like I don't really know where she's coming from.  Again.

As for Chloe, I can't, for the life of me, figure out why Chloe told Tess about what red kryptonite does to Clark.  Why would you share that information?  Of course, none of that will come back to bite Chloe in the ass, because we are deeply into Validate Chloe mode, but still...

Watching Chloe chloroform Lois was just an uncomfortable thing to witness for me.  I guess it would be one thing if I actually believe that Chloe and Lois have this loving relationship that the show keeps referring to.  But I see nothing of the sort on screen, so Chloe knocking Lois out just seems cold and calculating to me.

And boy, was it uncomfortable to watch Tess and Chloe using Corben as their personal robot to achieve what they wanted done.  Tess?  Well, fine, she's from the Lex Luthor school of ends-justifies-the-means, but in an episode where Chloe was exalted, again, it sure didn't sit will with me that she never ONCE expressed any discomfort or outrage over what was being done to Corben.  If Corben's chip had not fallen out in the FOS, what then?  I don't believe Chloe would've lifted a finger to get him away from Tess, and thats rather chilling.

This show also suffered from some serious non-sensicals.....

Corben tells Lois he needs kryptonite to keep his heart going.  Lois packs him off in her car, and drives off.  Next time we see Corben, he's in one of Chloe's stashs.  How did he get there?  How would Lois know about those?  How would Corben?  And yet, Lois drives up after the explosion, so clearly, she drove him there.  WTF?

Lois gets into (another) fight with someone, knocks him into a table, triggering a major explosion.  Lois runs out of the lab, but the lab was full of people, including a guard on the floor.  There's no way that people weren't killed, or gravely injured.  In fact, if you watch the scene again, it almost appears as though the guard is engulfed in flames.  And yet the shows makes it seem like none of that really happened, and the way the lab looks after the explosion is laughable.  That explosion just knocked some equipment around?  LOL, OK show.  Whatever.

Corben is totally incinerated by Zod, and yet he's totally fine, except he has no clothes.  Why would Corben's skin be fire proof?  How would having a kryptonite heart, and some bionics, protect his skin from bubbling off?  Shouldn't he have looked like the Terminator after being set on fire?

Tess tries to convince Zod that some of his people have turned against him, and are following Clark, by showing him some pictures of Clark talking to Alia (now deceased) and Faora.  Thing is, Zod ALREADY KNEW THIS, as he discusses Clark trying to get the Kandorians to assimilate in Conspiracy, and he also talks about Clark getting some of his people to turn away from him.  So, this should have had no real impact on Zod.  In fact, you'd think it would almost spur him on to more actively insinuate himself in with Clark.

Clark tells Chloe that, in the future, her kryptonite weapons saved the planet.  Only, ya know, they didn't.  In fact, the planet seemed like it was in pretty bad shape, and Clark ended up getting stabbed with one of those weapons.  Wasn't it actually the virus that saved the planet? Of course, Chloe is the big hero each time, and really, isn't that what all of us Clark Kent fans watch Smallville for?  I'd laugh, if it wasn't so sad.

So, it really feels to me like the writers of this episode were just lazy, and sloppy, and weren't overly worried about some of the stuff that came before.  And it also feels like their main objectives, i.e. Validate Chloe, make Corben sympathetic, question Clark's judgement with the Kandorians, seemed to override all else.

As for BAG's Corben, he was really good, again.  But I don't know....if just felt like there was really no compelling reason to bring him back, and use him in this way.  Aside from the fact that BAG is really good.  Did we need to bring Corben back to make him the hero?  Did we need Corben to want Lois to run away with him?  I can't help but think it really added nothing of much substance to the overall arc of the season.

But then again, its crystal clear to me that the overall arc of the season is headed right for the sewer, so I guess it doesn't matter much.

One of the things I so much wanted from this season was for Clark's POV to be validated.  For the show to stand behind Clark, and his beliefs, and his attempts to help people, and say "This is why he's going to be Superman!"   "This is why he's the hero among heroes!"  Is anyone getting that vibe from this season now/  If you are, please explain to me how?  Clark, instead, is endorsing Chloe left, right and all over the damned place.  Clark was the one that gave Zod his powers, albeit unintentionelly, but note how the show uses Clark doing a Superman-ly thing to kick him in the ass.  Clark will be wrong about the Kandorians.  Clark won't be able to accomplish much of anything without Chloe, and/or Oliver.  Clark is suddenly doing some seriously questionable shit when it comes to Lois.

Couple all that with Brian Peterson's quotes about this whole storyline arc for Clark thats been going on that they never managed to put ON SCREEN, and I think this season is going to limp to a very unsatisfying close.  In fact, it already is, as far as I'm concerned.

Some random comments:

That \S/ effect at Watchtower was so awful.

ED looked very, very pretty in this episode.

Very nice Clex shoutout!

Nice use of Freeze Breath.

AI Jor-El continues to be a useless waste of time on this show

Tom Welling continues to be the hottest hottie on television.


Next week, (I'm guessing), Clark fucks up some more, Chloe gets ass-kissed some more, Lois gets duped some more, Oliver takes off his shirt sine more,  Tess flip-flops some more, Zod invades personal space some more, and the show aggravates and disappoints me some more.

Comments

( 60 comments )
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(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC)
Honestly, me and my sister have been doing some serious contemplating on S10 over here too. I mean, I have to wonder whats the point? Just to look at how pretty Tom Welling is? Now, don't get me wrong, because thats a compelling reason, but if thats all I'm doing, I can't imagine why I'd bother to give a shit about the rest.

This episode was very badly paced, and very sloooowwwwww, and you are right, given the material, why was that?

I'd feel bad about the ratings, but when you take this 2nd half nosedive EVERY SINGLE SEASON for the last 4 years, then why would it be a shock that they are losing people?
miss_tress
Apr. 18th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
This ep made me so mad at Brian Peterson. After that interview where he said that Chloe would be called on her actions I had some hope. But to have it be Red!K Clark doing the calling and then have Regular!Clark come crawling back to her with apologies and saying she was totally right in what she was doing made me sick.

Especially since the weapons didn't save the day in the future (and they killed Clark) unless you look at it from the perspective that Chloe, Ollie and their team busting in and stopping Zod from killing Clark and Lois allowed everything else to happen.
jeannev
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know! How full of shit was Brian Peterson? Chloe was completely ass-kissed in this episode. This is his idea of consequences, or her actions being acknowledged? Well, they were acknowledged alright. Acknowledged as RIGHT, while Clark was either dragged down to her level, or was made to validate her choices.

Every single time someone praises Souders or Peterson, I think a blood vessel bursts in my head. For real!

I would've been OK if Clark has said something at the end like he could understand why she created those weapons. But wasn't he even allowed to be hurt that she hid it from him? Isn't he allowed to have an ounce of outrage that a close friend was amassing weapons that could kill him, and yet couldn't be bothered to tell him?

Well, obviously not!
tjw_jaypat
Apr. 18th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
You are completely right with everything. The only purpose of this episode was to make Clark look bad, so that he can´t come down on Chloe later. Even on RedK Clark behaved largely out of character. More like Bizarro than RedK Clark. RedK Clark was never a prankster. So why this infantile and useless snow thing? And Clark tracking Lois. Too obvious why this route was taken...

Gosh, I could go on and on. But you said everything already. What a disgrace.

Can I send you a bag of rotten tomatoes to throw at S&P in case you go to ComicCon again?
jeannev
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
I really, truly believe that the heart of this episode was validating Chloe, and everything else evolved from there. That Clark had to get thrown under the bus to do it was probably never even a blip on their radar.

And LOL at the rotten tomatoes!
jlvsclrk
Apr. 18th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes, yes, I totally agree. No need to write a review now, which is a distinct relief!

And boy, was it uncomfortable to watch Tess and Chloe using Corben as their personal robot to achieve what they wanted done. Tess? Well, fine, she's from the Lex Luthor school of ends-justifies-the-means, but in an episode where Chloe was exalted, again, it sure didn't sit will with me that she never ONCE expressed any discomfort or outrage over what was being done to Corben. If Corben's chip had not fallen out in the FOS, what then? I don't believe Chloe would've lifted a finger to get him away from Tess, and thats rather chilling.

Yes, that's one thing that really struck me this episode. Corben gets the control chip from season 5's Cyborg installed in him and apparently we're supposed to be fine with it? Scary what this show says about morals.

Clark tells Chloe that, in the future, her kryptonite weapons saved the planet. Only, ya know, they didn't. In fact, the planet seemed like it was in pretty bad shape, and Clark ended up getting stabbed with one of those weapons. Wasn't it actually the virus that saved the planet? Of course, Chloe is the big hero each time, and really, isn't that what all of us Clark Kent fans watch Smallville for? I'd laugh, if it wasn't so sad.

That irritated me enormously too. In fact, I came terribly close to throwing my remote at the TV screen during that scene. Ugh.

AI Jor-El continues to be a useless waste of time on this show.

Indeed! The stupid thing saw fit to freeze Clark on ice in season 7, but can't even be bothered to say hello to Zod. And it stands idly by while Zod gives his speech at the end. WTF?

Tom Welling continues to be the hottest hottie on television.

The show's saving grace!
jeannev
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
Hey, no fair! You need to write reviews too!!

I just don't understand why Chloe was so blase about using Corben. For instance, what if Clark and Zod had killed Corben up at the FOS. Would she have cared? It didn't even seem to be a blip on her radar.

The fact that Jor-El is so inconsistent on this show totally undermines why Clark would ever train with him in the first place. But its like the showrunners aren't bright enough to connect those dots.
tasabian
Apr. 18th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
Very nice Clex shoutout!
I'll admit it did flick the dormant 'shipper switch in my brain & made me enjoy this ep. more than I otherwise would have!

And really, I did find myself enjoying some of the Red K Clark/Zod scenes. TW and CB also played quite well off each other, and it was sort of nice to watch Clark having another kryptonian to work with, and fight with, and even play with.
I liked that Tom played Clark as wanting to show off his cool stuff, like the Fortress, to his new bro, wanting Zod to be impressed. Similar to showing off his new clothes to Lex in "Red."

Lois gets into (another) fight with someone, knocks him into a table, triggering a major explosion. Lois runs out of the lab, but the lab was full of people, including a guard on the floor. There's no way that people weren't killed, or gravely injured.
Heh, Al Septien has just reassured twitter that "no one was killed" in that scene. Fine, Al, then show an insert of people running away, including the guard, and leaving Lois behind!

Instead, he shows up at the end, hat in hand, to plant a big ol' smooch of Chloe's ass, and tell her everything she's done and does is just A-OK fine with him. There's no confrontations about why she hid it from him, no mention of the smack Chloe has been talking behind his back, no discussing of trust issues, no reactions or realizations of what might happen if Checkmate gets their hands on her stash, and no mentioning of the fact that Tess almost did.
It left a big old gaping hole at the end of the episode - no emotions, apart from Clark's yearning for family (well played by Tom.) No hurt feelings for Clark, no second thoughts for Chloe. It could have been a great scene for them and instead it was pablum.

And boy, was it uncomfortable to watch Tess and Chloe using Corben as their personal robot to achieve what they wanted done.
What amused me was, it wasn't even a crisis situation. There's no imminent threat to Clark - he & Zod are just shooting the breeze at the Fortress, talking about their boyfriends and prodding malfunctioning ice dildos. So why does poor Corben need to rush to the rescue anyway? It just seemed to annoy Zod and precipitate a Kandorian split.

Of course, there was something really extra silly about Clark and Zod going off to the Space Needle so Clark could make it snow. It seemed like a rather juvenille thing for Red K Clark to do, especially since his reaction to the Red K this time was anything but.
It was very silly, especially when they pop up on Chloe's monitor. But I laughed - would have even better if Clark had scooped up Lex and taken him there back in the day!

jeannev
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
The Clex shoutout was a very nice moment. I admit.

And Al Septien is a sweetie, and God Bless Him for being nice enough to interact with folks. But if you have to explain it on twitter, then THE WRITING SUCKS! That scene was bad direction, plain and simple. I just wish people didn't act so butthurt that people are daring to question it. Sorry, but Lois isn't exempt from that sort of thing.

The last Chlark scene was just a massive piece of fuckery. And people insisting that Chloe apologized, in any way is just a major puzzlement for me. Doesn't an apology need to consist of something? anything?

Oh, and Chloe's spy cam that can immediately zoom into the top of the Space Needle? Hilariously stupid!
Britas15, one more time! - (Anonymous) - Apr. 19th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
tariel22
Apr. 18th, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
Well, this was the episode that finally broke me. And I think a big reason was BP telling lies all over the internet the day before it aired. I think my optimism has been fueled by false hope, and I'm just not willing to pull the wool over my own eyes anymore. Fuck you, Smallville.

Thank you for the screentime minutes. I was happy to see so much of Clark in the episode, and of course Tom was wonderful. Doesn't it ever bother him to say those lines to Chloe? I just listened to an interview with Sam Witwer where he doesn't mention SV specifically, but he talks at great length about how as an actor your job is to show up and say the lines you're given. He said you can get frustrated, and voice objections, and make suggestions, but in the end, TPTB can just say no, and then you have to step up and do your job. I wonder if it's ever like that for Tom, even now that he's a producer, or if he buys into all this crap, or if he just doesn't care.

Instead, he shows up at the end, hat in hand, to plant a big ol' smooch of Chloe's ass, and tell her everything she's done and does is just A-OK fine with him.

Why was I surprised by this? I am such a chump. And can BP please explain the part where there were consequences for Chloe? It's like the Lana arc all over again, except we don't have Chloe's imminent departure in which to take comfort.

I don't think we have agreed this much on an episode in a long time. I ranted about so many of the same things in my own review. Just like last season was, the remaining episodes are something to be endured, and all my hopes are pinned on next season, and the hope that Tom will do the right thing and announce that it will be his last, so that there's some small chance that the writers will focus on Clark.

I watched that lab explosion scene a bunch of times, because I thought it made Lois look kind of bad. I think everyone gets out of the lab before the explosion except Lois and the guard, and the guard runs away in the opposite direction, toward the area where John was on the table. He appears to outrun the explosion, although of course that's ridiculous. :)
jeannev
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:56 pm (UTC)
Peterson was a total, fucking liar. Flat out. But then again, I've always thought him and Souders were douchebags, so....

I just don't know how anyone can think that this season is going to end well in regards to Clark Kent's characterization. I mean, they already took a great big dump on it, and it just feels like there's a lot more to come. To include a Chloe-centric ep, which I assume is going to have massive amounts of ass-kissery coming.

Tom is the 500 lb gorilla on SV. He can say no, if he wants. He can have lines changed, if he wants. I no longer believe differently. Maybe in the AlMiles days, he was stuck. But no longer. Honestly, I just don't think Tom is invested that much. He still does a great job with the material he has. I just don't think he's much invested in the storyline. I've never believed, FOR ONE SECOND, that he re-signed because they pitched him this great 2 year storyline. It makes a nice story, but its a crock of shit.

There were NO consequences for Chloe in this episode. None. Unless you count being pushed, very mildly, on her ass, and having to clean a giant \S/ off the wall. Those were her consequences.

I'm not even sure I'd compare it to the Lana arc, because in reality, Lana left the show with a huge hole torn out of her heart. But Chloe? I don't see that happening.

Just like last season was, the remaining episodes are something to be endured, and all my hopes are pinned on next season, and the hope that Tom will do the right thing and announce that it will be his last, so that there's some small chance that the writers will focus on Clark.

Thats pretty much all we have. What else is there?

I understand that we weren't supposed to think anyone died in the lab. But what a bad piece of directing not to make it more clear. And I hate when the show is this lazy.
katyjane91
Apr. 18th, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this episode sucked pretty hard. It didn't piss me off. But it wasn't interesting either. The only scene I enjoyed was the Clark/Lois scene at the beginning.
I'm not a BAG fan, or a Metallo fan. And them turning Metallo into a 'nice guy' was dumb to me. He's a villian. Always has been.

But all that didn't bother me half as much as the Chloe bullshit in this epi. She was a manipulative little bitch and she even dragged Tess down with her.
I cannot express how much I hate that blonde hobbit now. But, I have to say, and you may not agree with me but I have to: I honestly really do think she's gonna take a fall soon. And I think it's gonna be a long one.
I think that the entire reason the writers keep validating her,
and having Clark apologize to her every week is because they are building her up to fall. Making the pedestal as high as they can. That way, since Clarks been kissing her ass, no one can possibly blame him when she does fall. Because he tried. He put up with her shit WAY longer than any human possibly could.
This episode really cemented this idea for me in that they had, what seemed like, a completely unnecessary chloroforming of Lois. I was ticked beyond belief by that.
But, then later when Clark said the line about them being like family, you could see a hint of something on Chloe's face. She looked away. That line from Clark wasn't needed. He could have just said, 'I wanted family'. But he added Chloe and Lois' relationship in even though it's one that has barely had a mention in years.
The writers put it in there to show that they were reminding Chloe that she had done something bad. And yet she didn't admit to it.
Oh yeah, from a narrative standpoint, having watched this show for 9 straight years, having never missed an episode and watching every episode 10 times, if she doesn't get hammered into the dust, I'll eat my hat. And maybe someone elses hat

Also, everyone has been saying that BP said she'd face up to the consequences in this episode but the interview I saw he said it was in either 'Sacrifice' or 'Salvation' (I can't remember which but it started with an 'S')



jeannev
Apr. 19th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
The Clark/Lois scene in the beginning...well, the way it started anyway...was actually one of my favorite Clois scenes this season. Because it was warm, and sexy, and the actors seemed to be at ease.

I'm not sure what purpose was served by turning Corben into a good guy, except to continue SV's tradition of turning every villian into various degrees of woobie. Its tedious now.

I say this as your live journal friend...don't hold your breath waiting for Chloe to take a fall. LOL

And I have lots of baseball caps, and I understand they are rather tasty with a pinch of salt. ;)

Sacrifice is the other ep where Chloe is supposed to face "consequences" but since [WARNING SPOILERS BELOW]


Clark is going to Chloe for help in Hostage, I think its pretty much a given that her "consequences" are going to be laughable.







Edited at 2010-04-19 12:16 am (UTC)
(no subject) - katyjane91 - Apr. 20th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Apr. 21st, 2010 12:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - katyjane91 - Apr. 21st, 2010 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
chatchien
Apr. 18th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
Alas....
That Promo for the rest of Season 9 was so good. I haven't liked any of the episodes that it featured.

Escape was one of the worst SV episodes in the run of the series. Magnetic and Explodin' Baby levels of Bad, Bad, Bad.

And Upgrade? I think that Lois should dump Clark and take up with John Corben. And Lois can have Tess on the side. And Tess should dump Zod and love Lois while Tess thwarts and kicks Chloe's butt. And Ollie should put his money where his pecs are and refuse to wear any shirt that might be the product of Child Labor. Ollie has principles and pectorals.

ANd Clark and Zod should stop groping each other's biceps and just strip and make out as they fly in the air just like eagles!

I am watching and enjoying (other than Escape, that was Buffy painful for me), but I'm not hooked into the story line much any more. And the construction of last night's episode was very poor. I don't know if that was the fault of the director or the writers. The scenes just jumped around without much continuity or connection.

Suddenly Metallo is on a bus with Lois? Huh? And Metallo gets his chip and flies? (not with all this ash) walks? swims? takes a new bus to the Arctic to visit Jor El? And he has got a stick of green kryptonite? Did he pick that up in the storage room? Did Chloe throw it at him from Watchtower? Did he pull it out of his ass?

Chloe stalks everybody (she is the new NSA) and now Clark stalks Lois? Ugh.

Mr. Welling did look fetching last night. HIs Clark on Red K has become a Watcher. Red K Kal used to be a doer, but now he watches like a lion about to leap on its prey. Interesting turn for that character.

Edited at 2010-04-18 09:26 pm (UTC)
jeannev
Apr. 19th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Re: Alas....
Oh, SV could be the poster child for Looking Great, but not being able to deliver the goods.

I think the total secret to enjoying SV is to not think about it too hard. It just can't stand up to the scrutiny, as much as we all want it to.

I thought the pacing of this episode was just awful. And its not one of SV's first time directors, so I don't know what the excuse is for that.

I think they could've put Red K Clark to an interesting use, by showing how his actions have changed in accordance to how Clark has changed as a character. But that just didn't materialize. And it was probably the most interesting aspect of the episode, potentially.
Re: Alas.... - svfan01 - Apr. 20th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Apr. 19th, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)
Do you drink? Because I really think this episode would probably be better with some alcohol. LOL
(Anonymous)
Apr. 18th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
Britas15, present and accounted for.
Howdy, partner!

Alrighty, I do agree with you that the Lois and Clark wake-up scene was better than most of their recent scenes, being that, for me, it wasn't overly cutesy and that, for once, their physical interaction wasn't too awkward. But, here's why: (1) Welling did all the work. (2) They didn't actually kiss. (3) There was minimal dialogue.

You already know that I think Durance plays Lois as way too smitten and way too adorable when it comes to Clark. And there were definitely signs of that creeping back up as the scene progressed. But, thank the gods, I wasn't subjected to "Conspiracy" and "Escape" amounts of it before the shit got real and Lois's phone rang.

Seriously, I'm convinced that in order for these physical scenes between Lois and Clark to work, Welling needs to lead ("Pandora," anybody?), Durance needs to keep her mouth away from Welling (ugh, "Disciple" and "Persuasion" much?), and they need to never speak again, lest Clark say something with the word "forever" in it.

Nonetheless, having re-viewed the scene, I don't like it. Why? Because (1) Lois made a sexual advance in order to throw Clark off of her trail, and (2) Clark totally backed off of his concern about Lois disappearing and getting hurt, so that he could accept that sexual advance. And while I'm disappointed that Lois played to Clark's libido in order to deceive him, I'm even more disappointed that Clark totally went for it. I mean, it kind of makes me wonder just how upset the guy was about the love of his life showing up with no memory and a wound, if he could be totally derailed by the prospect of finally getting to fuck her.

Moving on...

I'm mostly indifferent about Brian Austin Green, and I didn't really care for him in "Metallo." But, you know, I really liked him in this episode. I think there's something about his facial features that makes him playing smug seem like almost too much to bear (kind of like when Russell Crowe and Jude Law play smug; I just can't stand it), as was the case for me in "Metallo." But, in "Upgrade," he played humbled and earnest really well. I liked his performance. It was the highlight of the episode for me.

That said, what a waste. The actual character was totally unnecessary in this episode, and I don't know that I agree with the decision to make Metallo into a good guy. As Red-K episodes go, this one sucked in a major way, for all the reasons that you mentioned, especially the one about the Red-K denying Clark any sort of legit reaction to Chloe hiding the Green-K weapons.

Lastly: (1) I officially have no idea as to what the hell is going on with Tess, and I don't like that at all, because her being so incomprehensible makes me not care about her character. (2) At this point, I officially blame Mack's acting as much as I blame the writers themselves for how Chloe's come off this season. I think Mack went overboard with the nastiness in previous episodes, and that that's what makes Chloe's non-apologies all the more infuriating. (3) Brian Peterson can kiss my ass. He's not just misconstruing. He's flat out lying. (4) There better be some kind of payoff to Clark constantly insisting upon honesty with Lois, but clearly having no intention of reciprocating. Because Clark's looking like a real asshole these days, if you ask me.
jeannev
Apr. 19th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
Re: Britas15, present and accounted for.
You do make some valid points about the Clois scenes. And I can't dispute them. Unfortunately.

BAG was really great. But like you said, what was the point of him here? Why was his storyline necessary? Why did we need him to show up and play hero? I just don't see the point, especially tacked on to the end of the season like this. Now he's gone again, and so? Will anyone care?

As you know, I've said all along that I thought Chloe would be validated, and Clark would be denied any sort of natural and believable reaction to what she did. But even being certain of that, and knowing it was coming, it was still a crushing disappointment for the show to prove me right.

I have also been less them impressed with Mack's performance in Chlark scenes this season. Maybe she's being told to play the scenes with her Bitch mode on 12. I don't know. Thats a very possible thing, because I suspect TPTB get off on characters acting like to Clark. And especially if they believe she is justified, and its clear they do. Clark is wrong, so of course he should be treated like a bothersome worm. Thats the mentality, I think.

Every single time they have Clark say something about honesty to Lois, I cringe. I love Clark to death, but there's no defense for that sort of thing. Just none at all.

And yeah, the show is definitely not painting Clark in a very favorable light right now. I expect a lot more of that to come. I'd discount all that bullshit Peterson said about the finale. We all know now he's full of crap.
duskwillow
Apr. 18th, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
But this time, as good as Tom was, I thought the Red K angle ultimately fell completely flat. And I think the biggest reason was because it really felt like it was thrown in there not to serve Clark's character in any way (or, any positive way). But instead, it felt like it totally existed to service the characters of Chloe, and guest star John Corben.

Precisely. This episode seemed like one big Kick Clark epi, and they used RedK so they wouldn't have to deal with important issues in any believable, serious manner. Not happy.

Oh, and lets also throw in the angle that Clark is now spying on Lois using Chloe-like methods. Which very nicely drags Clark down to Chloe's mentality, and thereby validates Chloe once more. Clark spies on his girlfriend, so clearly, its fine for Chloe to spy on people too! So sayeth SV!

This just pissed me off.
The only reason they did this was so Chloe could come out looking good. There was no need for Clark to ask her to do it. He didn't tell Lois they should stop with the mystery/secrets until that very morning (after they were already tracking her). And they could have explained it easily where Lois went the night before by having Chloe do some computer mojo and bring out Lois' cellphone GPS tracking, as she's already listening in on her calls and tracking her cell. Meh.

And don't get me wrong, because I understand Lois is career driven, and there's nothing wrong with that. But I think its OK for career driven women to say "Ya know what, I'd rather given my hot boyfriend a tongue bath".

I didn't really mind her picking up. Mainly because she had no idea what happened last night and how she got home. Second, because she wanted to tell The Blur how things went last night/what she found out. And then she hang up on him and went running after Clark.

One thing that did work very well in this episode were the Lois/Corben scenes. ED and BAG did a nice job of playing off each other, and Lois going out on a limb to help him reflected quite well on her, I thought.

They were fantastic! My favourite part of the episode, and their scenes definitely made an episode for me.

And really, I did find myself enjoying some of the Red K Clark/Zod scenes.

Yes. I also loved the bonding. And especially FoS scene, where Zod told him about how their religion is actually science, and how everything can be found in Book of Rao.
jeannev
Apr. 19th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
There's no doubt that they took a big dump on Clark in this episode. I'm not sure its even subtle. Red K was brought in to serve other characters storylines. Not Clarks.

There's no reason for Clark to spy on Chloe. Not only does it go against things he's stated this season, it goes against Clark Kent as a character in general. He's never been about something like this. Its character assasination, and little else. And why? To validate Chloe's methods.

I think my biggest issue with the Lois/phone call thing is that she just did this 2 weeks ago too, and that was before she was on a mission for the Blur.

Nice chem between ED and BAG, and TW and CB, made the show easier to get through. Unfortunately, the scenes between AM and CF were not as effective.
serenography
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:56 pm (UTC)
You know, I was waiting for you to post your comments because I have pretty much thrown in the towel on even attempting any deep, or meaningful meta for this show. It's all about the LULZ and the pretty for me now. This way I won't be disappointed because there is never any shortage of either.

Not to bash on the show completely, because I do still care (too much) about it. I cling to the hope for more moments that will give me chills, or make me laugh, or cry, and remind me again of why this show has ruled my fannish heart for so many years. But until then...

All that said, I do still enjoy reading various opinions about it, especially yours which I tend to agree with more and more.

I feel like a scratched record when I say anything about Chloe. I was happy to hear her tell Clark the truth about the kryptonite stores, but as you point out, it was all for naught, since the writers, once again, turned it all around and made her the object of sympathy and Clark the idiot who just doesn't appreciate her enough. I can't even let my brain dwell too deeply on this because I think my head will actually explode from annoyance.

I've been thinking more and more about what someone (maybe you?) said regarding Chloe being the only character that TPTB actually "own" and pimping the shit out of her and elevating her character's importance could be a strategic move for their future ambitions. Maybe I'm just grasping at straws, but that makes a lot of sense to me, even considering past seasons and frustrations.

Beyond Chloe and all that encompasses, I have to admit that I've lost almost all faith in these writers and producers. Like I've always said, I'm there as long as Tom is, but my heart has definitely strayed.

jeannev
Apr. 19th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
Honestly, watching this show on a surface level is the absolute best way to go. The more you invest, the more you get disappointed, I think. Its still an addiction, and its too close to the end to quit now, but I'd be lying if I said I don't think about it. If I wasn't relatively sure that this is likely to be my last chance to see TW in front of the cameras, I might contemplate quitting more seriously.

I have NEVER, EVER agreed with the complaints over Chloe being so put upon, and being kicked. That is not what I'm seeing at all, nor has it ever been what I've seen. Yeah, Chloe didn't get Clark to fall in love with her. But we've seen Chloe rewarded on this show over and over. I do understand that what her fans wanted for her may not have come to pass. But look where she is. She's in charge of the fucking Justice League. They all check in with her like she's a Queen, and they are her peons. She can do all sorts of heinous stuff, and the show will tell you she's made of sugar.

I think Chloe is their avatar, and thats how they use her.

Souders and Peterson suck ass. It doesn't mean they aren't capable of producing something good and entertaining. But at the end of the day, they are a duo that are in charge because they've been there the longest, and everyone left.
svfan01
Apr. 19th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
Well it looks like the show is going back to it's normal 2nd half "well we got renewed" slump. I think of all seasons only S3,4 and 6 had equal or better second halfs. Thankfully it's not as terrible as S8's disaster but still the past few episodes have all lacked in some way or another. Season 9 in general is wierd. There is no episode so far this season I consider terrible(on my worst 50 list I think 3 fit in the 40-50 range), on the flip side I don't think I have any of this seasons epsiodes on my top 25 list as well, everything basically fits into that slightly below average to good(but not great range).

I have to agree with the episode feeling slow and really didn't move any storylines forward(or at least ones I care about, I am sure Tess/Chloe is a storyline for the next couple epsiodes). I am sick of the sympathetic villian, I just wish the show would bring in a few bad guys that are bad and not give me some sad tragic story of how they got that way. If you want to make Clark look good have him fight somebody who is presented to be evil, simple Superhero writing 101.

I agree with you on the Chloe apology, it just seems like it's beyond the writers to show Chloe having any remorse/guilt out of fear it might piss of her fanbase(who cares about Clark basically).

I am a huge Lois fan, but I am getting sick of useless scenes of guys telling her how wonderful she is(Crobin and Ollie). The Corbin scene I guess at least made some sense, while the Ollie ones from earlier this season were unneeded(and they could have used that time focusing on Clark, or hell giving Tess a little more to do, let her be Ollie's object of desire). That being said, here is an idea, dump the Red K and have Clark front and center getting Corbin on the right path.

I once again go back to my main issue with the show, is why do they need to create so much mystery and decietfulness amongst the characters(save Tess who you expect that kind of crap from) just to try create tension for the sake of "drama". I just wish the show runners would back off on there soap opera mentality. It's the 9th season and there is a light near the end of the tunnel(ie end of the show), I do think they can lighten up the show in many ways as a way to Show Clark maturing and find other ways to create drama on the show(ie like a bad guy doing bad things, Clark needs to save the day)
jeannev
Apr. 19th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
For me, its too early to say whether the end of this season will be as bad as last seasons end. It very well could be, as scary as that might to contemplate. We just don't know yet.

I'm not a huge fan of S9 myself. There are some things about it I like, and I think you make a good point, in that most of the eps seems to occupy some middle ground. But a season that offers so little insight and POV for Clark is just not a season that I can find myself cheering on. Not being a shipper, that aspect of the show does very little to sway my opinion.

I also long for some straight forward superhero writing. I thikn the writers are so entrenched in this mindset that they need to constantly tear Clark down in order to make him relateable. That he's not interesting unless you are focusing on his flaws or mistakes. I also think are deeply committed to keeping Clark level with the other characters, as opposed to letting him soar above them. And what that mindset does, basically, is make Clark less special, less unique.

I actually didn't mind Corben telling Lois she was wonderful. It make sense in context of the episode.

I'm not so attached to the idea of lightening up the show, but I do believe the show is long past the time that it needs to gain some clarity, and realize what the story is that they are telling. You can't write a show about a young Superman, and then constantly undermine, and then expect that you've done a good job. That isn't a good job.
(no subject) - svfan01 - Apr. 19th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC) - Expand
agentobrian
Apr. 19th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC)
Average ST:

Clark- 18m, 18s
Chloe- 9m, 18s
Lois- 16m, 2s
Oliver- 10m, 52s
Tess- 7m, 22s
Zod- 9m, 42s

Quick question: do you have the AJ ST breakdown by hour? I'm curious to see how much time Clark, Chloe, and Oliver got in each hour.

I have to be honest, when I found out that RedK was coming back, I didn't like the idea at all, because of how badly it was used IMO in Crimson. And this episode just made me hate it even more.

"Clark tells Chloe that, in the future, her kryptonite weapons saved the planet. Only, ya know, they didn't. In fact, the planet seemed like it was in pretty bad shape, and Clark ended up getting stabbed with one of those weapons. Wasn't it actually the virus that saved the planet?"

I think the point they were trying to get across (trying, but not successfully doing so) was that the kryptonite armory was the only thing that allowed humanity to fight back until such time that they could disable the towers and get rid of the Kandorians. But I guess explaining it that way would be unnecessary exposition in their minds.

The main problem with SV is that they seem to be unable to make Clark look good without making everyone else look bad, so they go the other route- make him look bad, and the others look good.

Now I wouldn't have an interest in seeing 40+ minutes of Clark being 100% right week after week, and everyone else being wrong all the time. There needs to be some conflict, and not just battling the problem of the day. But if they could find a way to have that conflict, while at the same time making all the characters look good in some way, shape, or form, I think things would be much better.

On another note, I'm not terribly bothered by Chloe doing some morally questionable things this season. Partly because she is my favorite character (and the only reason I watch most of the time), but mostly because I love characters that aren't all squeaky-clean or all EVOL. She is going too far at times- embezzling funds from Oliver was particularly heinous, and the Big Sister part could be scaled back a lot- but once again, it goes back to the writing. Completely validating her approach is wrong, but villainizing her desire to do what she feels is right is wrong as well. It is possible to write middle ground characters as middle ground, but TPTB can't for some reason.

On a more positive note, if they could write Lois the way they did this episode all the time, I might start liking her again, because she was pretty cool. No ridiculous costumes designed for nothing but sex appeal, no lame comic relief, just her doing the investigation stuff. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening, especially next week.

Still thoroughly enjoying your reviews! I'm looking forward to the next one.
jeannev
Apr. 19th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
I didn't break down AJ, and I know that wreaks havoc on the averages. Its just that I didn't care much for the episode, so I didn't want to go back through it, and figure out where to break it up. But I will try to do that before the season is over. I'll just bite the bullet.

The main problem with SV is that they seem to be unable to make Clark look good without making everyone else look bad, so they go the other route- make him look bad, and the others look good.

I do think there's a lot of truth to that, but I don't really think they spend too much time making Clark look good at the expense of others. I think there's a touch of that, but really, they seem more then pleased to allow Clark to share the spotlight. But they seem totally prepared to throw Clark on the sword to serve other characters.

But, whatever the case, there can be little doubt that its shit writing.

But if they could find a way to have that conflict, while at the same time making all the characters look good in some way, shape, or form, I think things would be much better.

Exactly! Why is this so difficult? I don't need Clark to be right 24/7, 100% of the time. But he is the main character, the main protagnist, and is going to be Superman (supposedly). So, maybe it would be really important to have him be right about 50-60% of the time? Would that be asking too much? I really don't think so.

Completely validating her approach is wrong, but villainizing her desire to do what she feels is right is wrong as well. It is possible to write middle ground characters as middle ground, but TPTB can't for some reason.

And I'm fine with that. The thing with Chloe though is they pushed the conflict with Clark harder and harder, so its almost like the show HAD to pick a side. And unfortunately for Clark fans, it appears they choose Chloe.

Thanks for providing the averages, and a different perspective, and being so sool about respecting our differences. :)






goodvibe
Apr. 19th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
//Next week, (I'm guessing), Clark fucks up some more, Chloe gets ass-kissed some more, Lois gets duped some more, Oliver takes off his shirt sine more, Tess flip-flops some more, Zod invades personal space some more, and the show aggravates and disappoints me some more.//

::bands head repeatedly against the wall::

And I'm also getting this really, really bad impending sense of doom regarding Tess' character being this seasons 'big death.' All this while we endure yet another year of Chloe' stank attutude, I fear.

::sighs::
jeannev
Apr. 19th, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
Now, stop that. It will give you a headache!!

Its funny, because after Checkmate, I really didn't think Tess was in any danger. And then this ep came along, and that completely turned me around. Because really, she's just all over the place as a character, and I thought Checkmate was going to have a different effect on her character then it did, but it just ended up fizzling.

So, yeah, I don't know if Tess sees S10 anymore.

::sighs with you::
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