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Smallville 8.8



I really loved this episode, but I haven't gotten a lot of sleep recently, so I'm not sure I'm going to be very articulate in this review.

Things I loved

--Erica Durance rocked the house . What is it about this show, that I love everyone so much more when they get to play evil? I mean, I wouldn't ever want to watch Lois go evil, but Feora (or however you spell it) was fabulous: hot and scary and powerful and the perfect female complement to Zod. Though why Kryptonians are making Nietzschean puns ("that which kills you makes you stronger") I do not know.

--Tess: I loved how fast she picked up on the fact that Lois wasn't really Lois. (That's my interpretation of that scene, and I'm sticking to it, even though the raise she gave Lois seems to contradict that interpretation a bit). I also loved her face-off with Green Arrow--especially the line about how hard it is to get blood out of leather. But I think her best scene was the final one with Clark, trying to convince him they're on the same side. "I want to trust you and I want to know why Lex didn't" was an awesome line--she really is so reminiscent of early-seasons Lex. Ironically, she's better at the facade of trustworthiness than Lex was, even in season 1, although she actually is a lot less trustworthy than he was back then.

--Kara: This was a great piece of closure for her storyline. I loved how heroically she was presented, staying in that hell hole deliberately to protect Earth. I was a little afraid they would leave her stuck in the Phantom Zone, since I knew the actress wasn't coming back; I'm glad they sent her off to search for Kandor instead.

One thing her reappearance reminded me of, though, was how much I miss Martha Kent. Because her scenes with Clark were great (more on that below), but even though I get that there is a family bond between them, that wasn't the family bond I was missing. (Especially since we got a hint that Martha still exists in the phony care package. I really hope they can get AOT to do at least one guest spot before the series ends!!!)

--Clark: I won't lie, I was a little mad at him for not telling Lois the truth when they ended up in the Phantom Zone. I certainly understand Clark wanting to protect his secret, and he's generally right that knowing his secret puts people in more danger--but since he didn't know how long he and Lois were going to be in the Phantom Zone, it seemed recklessly endangering Lois, to me, not to tell her exactly what he knew about the dangers she was facing.

However, he really won me back by his decision to stay in the Phantom Zone if that's what was needed to save her and prevent more Zoners from escaping. In fact, it seems clear his plan was to stay behind and send both Kara and Lois to safety, and while I knew the writers weren't going to let it happen, it still broke my heart a little when that's what he seemed to be offering. CLARK!! And then offering to go to Kandor with Kara! *Sniffle* And then Kara pulled out the "you're always with me, close to my heart" line and I actually teared up a little.

--Lois: I was a little sorry that she bought it was all a hallucination. But I had to mention how hilarious it was that she thought they'd been abducted by aliens precisely because they *had* been abducted by aliens. Hee!!

--Oliver: Just had to mention that I thought it was hilarious when he was reluctant to follow Chloe's plan until he found it involved stealing from Mercy. Hee!!


Things that made me go hmm

--When I saw Chloe completely (apparently) under her own control this week, I thought, wow, it was really Chloe and not Brainiac that killed that guy last week. But then she's clearly become a human computer in the way she manipulated the crystal, so once again I was unsure. I honestly think it would be very interesting territory if the show actually showed Chloe was *not* under the influence of Brainiac when she made the choice to kill for Clark, but I also think there's no way they're actually going to go that route with a popular character, just like they only let Lana go so dark before pulling her back.

But I'm glad more people are at least noticing that she is, um, behaving in non-human ways!

Also, I really loved her face-off with Tess. Especially Tess calling her on the lame "bird" lie, and then Chloe responding to her "blind loyalty" accusation with "That means a lot coming from a protege of Lex Luthor."

--So Grant is the (non-human) child of Zod and Feora? I'm suspecting that is not canon for CHIRT (the Character He Is Rumored To be, and I'm going to keep calling him that since there are several unspoiled people who I know read my reviews--no spoilers in the comments, please). If you are having spoilery discussion of this over in your own review, though, please let me know. I could of course just go to the wikipedia article on CHIRT, which is how I get 90% of my DC canon info, but right now I'm going to watch Supernatural instead.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
mahaliem
Nov. 7th, 2008 06:16 pm (UTC)
Erica was fantastic! And she looked so beautiful when she was evil. Oliver was great in this, too.

As for Clark's conversation with Tess - I don't understand why Clark doesn't tell her that he and Lex were in love, but being young and uncertain and raised in a conservative household, he rejected Lex. After which, Lex never trusted him. I'm sure there's enough corroborating evidence around to back up his story. *g*

Edited at 2008-11-07 06:40 pm (UTC)
norwich36
Nov. 7th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
She really did look amazing when she was evil. Evil is always very hot on this show!

And I really like your version of the explanation Clark should give Tess!!! If only they would go there.
(Deleted comment)
norwich36
Nov. 7th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
Re: part I
You really think so? Because I think Clark is clearly wary of her, even if he's matured enough so that it isn't written all across his face every time he interacts with her. I mean, he's willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she's not as far gone as Lex was by the end, but I don't think he's interested in getting to know her better and he definitely doesn't give off a sense that he's contemplating whether trusting her is possible.

Oh, sorry, this is what I meant about being sleepy and inarticulate. I agree that Clark, Chloe et al don't trust her, nor should they. I just meant that as a *viewer,* if I were dropped into the DP without any knowledge of Tess' shady background, I would trust the sort of things she says because she's a very convincing *actor*--enough that if she *didn't* have a preassociation with Lex and his shady dealings, she might be able to convince our gang--whereas Lex always came across as more shady precisely when he was trying to be trustworthy. I think that was a deliberate acting choice by MR to foreshadow Lex's future shadiness when he wasn't actually being shady, and help justify the Kents' perpetual of suspicion of him.

It's just interesting to me that they're going a different way with the Mercy characterization, portraying her as someone who could kill you with the stiletto she's holding behind her back while maintaining such a smooth facade you don't believe she's actually doing it. Lex almost never managed that facade until the very end--and again, I think that was MR trying to telegraph Lex's inner conflicts and the last hints of humanity he had--but Mercy, not burdened with having to show us a journey from light to darkness, can just be coolly evil with a perfect facade, if you see what I mean.
(Deleted comment)
norwich36
Nov. 7th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
Re: part II
This is the first time, I think, where Clark was able to acknowledge that the circumstances of a situation might have justified being upfront with someone and that his failure to be upfront directly contributed to the other person getting hurt. From this point forward, Clark is better-primed to think about things on a case-by-case basis instead of knee-jerking to the "Oh, noes! Can't know my secret!" place. That's a real shift for him and one he hasn't had before

That's a really good point in terms of Clark's character progression. (Though I wonder how much of it is actual character progression and how much a meta comment on the fact that Lois will in fact know his secret in the future). But taking it as character progression, it's a good sign.

I love your Lois theory, btw. It would be awesome if, say, at the very end of season 8 (or 9) they set up some big "Clark reveals his secret to Lois" moment, and it turned out she already knew.

-So Grant

Hee! Um, Davis, boo.


Oops! I seem to be confusing my mystery guys using fake names. ;-) I should stick to calling him CHIRT. Though I hope they reveal his real identity soon so I don't have to use codenames.
suex
Nov. 8th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)

Oops! I seem to be confusing my mystery guys using fake names. ;-) I should stick to calling him CHIRT. Though I hope they reveal his real identity soon so I don't have to use codenames.

I think they came pretty damn close tonight. :D So not much longer I say.

On the Clark telling Lois when they were in the PZ, I think if they had remained there for a longer stay, he quite possibly would have come around and told her the truth, but since their visit was only a short one, it was probably better for "the show" that she didn't know.
norwich36
Nov. 8th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
I really *hope* Clark would have told Lois, had they been stuck there longer--though obviously if he had told her at this point she would have had to experience a convenient concussion or something like that. :D
bop_radar
Nov. 8th, 2008 05:14 am (UTC)
that wasn't the family bond I was missing
I agree. I'd love to see Martha do a guest spot. I miss her more than I missed Kara, though I'm glad Clark got a little bit of family here.

it seems clear his plan was to stay behind and send both Kara and Lois to safety, and while I knew the writers weren't going to let it happen, it still broke my heart a little when that's what he seemed to be offering
Yeah, he is AWESOME! I really believed his sincerity in those scenes.

I think Lois knows more than she's letting on--I felt she was deliberately going along with what Clark was saying.
norwich36
Nov. 8th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I definitely miss Martha more than Kara, though her scenes with Clark were sweet.

I really think it would be cool if you were right about Lois knowing more than she is saying--it would be *very* in character, and she really is a fantastic investigator.
jlvsclrk
Nov. 10th, 2008 08:27 am (UTC)
Great review! As for Davis's backstory, its close enough to CHIRT's to make me happy. From Superman / CHIRT: Hunter / Prey, we learn that CHIRT was an absolutely gruesome alien experiment. CHIRT started from a fairly normal "baby", but "each day a new infant is cloned from the preceding one and subsequently cast outside to die." The idea was to give evolution a helping hand and create a being that could not truly die. As Faora put it, that which kills CHIRT makes it stronger. Oh, and the experiment took place on Krypton some 250 thousand years ago, although the lead scientist was from another planet.
norwich36
Nov. 10th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks. And thanks for the info on CHIRT!
starry_dawn
Nov. 10th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
I've been reading your reviews for a while, and I really like the way you put your thoughts down ... do you mind if I friend you? :)
norwich36
Nov. 10th, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And not at all--friend away!
shardsofblu
Nov. 30th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
Clark & Kara made this whole episode for me, I just adore them both to pieces. LV got an absolutely glorious, heroic sendoff for her character, even if it's still such a shame that she had been so underutilized in last year and *completely* forgotten throughout the whole of this season.

This is very Lois-lite but it's definitely another testament to Erica's acting chops. Her Faora was chilling, and her brand of "parental love" could definitely send Jor-El and the Luthors running for the money. As for her line about it all being a hallucination at the end, I have my speculation that it was more for Clark's own sake -- knowing that what they've gone through in that place was real, Clark knew more than what he let on and with the way Clark was playing dumb, she was giving him an out as usual.

And Ollie cracked me up in every of his scenes, I especially love the way he emphasized that he doesn't want to have anything to do with "Clark's... that". LOL!
norwich36
Dec. 1st, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
Faora really made me wonder about Kryptonian parenting, in general. Between her and Jor-El, you don't get the impression that there's a lot of love there--all duty and destiny.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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