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Smallville: Power

Things I hated:

1. Characterization whiplash. Argh. Dear Smallville writers, PLEASE stop making characters like Chloe (and Martha) say something that directly contradicts a sentiment they expressed one or two episodes ago just because Clark needs someone to challenge his current stupid or misguided romantic decision of the week romantic situation. It really makes Chloe (and Martha) look extremely inconsistent, and it ANNOYS THE FUCK out of viewers.

2. Clark turning into crazy-man with every single person he interviewed. WTF, Clark? Immediately accusing everyone you talk to of kidnapping Lana, or contributing to her kidnapping, is not really a strategy to build trust.

3. Chloe's weird-ass warning to Lana, when Lana showed up a month before the wedding. If Lex is really dead (as far as Chloe knows) why was she so over-the-top about the dangers of pursuing Prometheus?

Things that made me laugh and laugh:

1. The low-rent Mr. Miyagi and the whole G.I. Jane training sequence. Oh, I liked the intention behind it--Lana eliminating her vulnerabilities and developing the emotional stability to handle super-powers, and I thought Lana looked amazing during those sequences--but seriously, tears of laughter at how silly and formulaic that whole section of the episode was. (And I was really just waiting for Faux Miyagi to make a speech about power corrupting, and he did not disappoint).

You would think that the whole "Lana with superpowers" should go in this section, too, but actually for the moment it's not going here. If I thought that after next week Lana would be left with powers, yes, I would laugh and laugh at this plot development being the apotheosis of the producers' series-long Lana worship, because seriously? This is the ending they think appropriate for the girl who was destined to be the one left behind in Smallville? The one whose fate is to have an ordinary life? But the fact is, I don't for a minute think Lana is going to make it through her last episode with actual superpowers--she'll either lose them (99% probability) or die nobly (1% probability), so I'm not too worried.

Things I loved:

1. Lana's hair. The haircutting sequence (marking a change of status, personality, or intent) is a little formulaic, but on the other hand it's a callback to Lionel doing the same thing way back in the season 3 finale, so I'll give it a pass--and the haircut itself was cute as hell.

2. Tess! I love that she's looking out for Lana as she goes full-throttle after Lex, and I love that we got the backstory that she was actually involved in Lana's kidnapping. Speaking of which:

3. A million gold stars to the Smallville for answering the question so many fans had at the end of last season: where the hell did Lana get a video camera from--and why the hell did she decide to break up with Clark--minutes after waking up from a coma?

4. A Chloe and Lana scene, YAY!!!!!!!!! (Although "you two make a perfect couple", BOO! Let the femslash fly free, baby)

5. Infighting among the Luthorcorp staff. This is the kind of byzantine politics I was hoping to see this season, and it's fun that we had the return of minions we've seen before. Though damn, did Tess actually kill that guy, right after criticizing him for killing someone else ? Hardcore, Tess.

6. The fact that it turned out that Lana was responsible for her own disappearance; she wasn't a victim, but rather an agent. And as over-the-top as her pursuit of superhuman abilities was, I did love the fact that she actually prepared herself for them in advance, and I loved that her motives weren't vengeance but actually a desire to help the world like Clark. It's great that Clark is her inspiration. And her desire to make herself invulnerable so she's no longer a liability to Clark makes absolutely perfect character sense, given what the Luthors have done to her in the past.

(I have to confess to being a little disappointed that the Lana in the tank wasn't a clone, though, because Lex making Lana clones would have been perfectly in character for him.)

7. "Lana Lang was born to be a martyr." Oh, SNAP. I actually approve of the fact that Tess made that decision, though, because now that she's actually crossed the line of killing to stop Lex, it makes perfect character sense to me that she would kill Lana to end the threat of Prometheus permanently. Sure, she started out the episode wanting to protect Lana, but I think her hatred of Lex trumps that, and certainly her sense of Lex as a threat makes it logical.

8. Which made her final scene with Lana absolutely perfect. "I don't want you to make the same mistake I did....Every second you're consumed by hate is another second Lex is still in control of you." I loved that.

Things I am kind of meh about
Is this the ep that AM directed? I don't know that I was particularly impressed. (To be fair, I should watch it again now that I know the plot so I can pay attention to shots and camera angles and things.)


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2009 06:19 am (UTC)
Maybe I'll grit my teeth and watch the ep again. I went with my gut reaction which was to cuss the screen out and switch the channel. My problem is I want someone to love Lex. If they can't do that, then I wish they'd go after someone else and give my heart a break.

Jan. 30th, 2009 06:32 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm so sorry that there's no one onscreen to love Lex, but you *know* the first thing he did was clone Clark, and they're happily boffing like bunnies offscreen!

(I don't think you should torture yourself watching eps focusing on characters you don't like!)
Jan. 30th, 2009 06:51 am (UTC)
I know! I know! I was forever trying to fix Lana when I wrote SV!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 30th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
Yes, it would have been helpful if they had explained why the apartment was trashed--but it's quite possible that she *was* actually abducted by Lex's men, who thought the order to test the suit on her came from Lex.

I'm afraid I don't agree with you that Lana is betraying Clark by seeking superpowers. It's true that one of the themes of this season is that powers can be dangerous for ordinary humans (e.g. Chloe-Brainiac, and possibly a little of Ollie's storyline), but another big theme of the season is Clark inspiring people to improve the world; Lana's storyline just combines both of those themes.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 30th, 2009 08:03 am (UTC)
Well, the meta reason she came back was to finish off the Clana arc in a more satisfying way than the end of last season, of course. In canon, though, I don't think she intended to come back until her encounter with GA.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 30th, 2009 08:05 am (UTC)
Yeah. The "Dear Clark" vid didn't make character sense to me--she wakes up from a coma and that's her first realization? RLY? She was traumatized--I expect her real first response would be to go to Clark for comfort. I mean, yes, letting go of Clark so he can save the world is in character, but not at that particular moment!

And I'm very happy that Lana has given up revenge-seeking. It's a good character note to be going out on.
Jan. 30th, 2009 09:07 am (UTC)
PLEASE stop making characters like Chloe (and Martha) say something that directly contradicts a sentiment they expressed one or two episodes ago

Considering the number of concussions the supporting cast have had over the years, it's amazing they aren't more inconsistent.
Jan. 30th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Hee hee hee!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 30th, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC)
I laughed (nicely) at Lana razor cutting her hair for the perfect bob instead of using scissors.

Especially immediately after escaping from being kidnapped. Are we supposed to believe that those two guys couldn't track her down while she was giving herself a haircut? It didn't seem like she drove that long.
Jan. 30th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was half expecting her to get kidnapped again in that bathroom!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 31st, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
I want to go with the handwave but it's just so hard. I mean, LuthorCorp was able to know exactly when Lana recovered and Tess got her camera crew there and the message recorded but they don't have a way to track down their stolen van?

*sigh* I need to stop letting the little things bother me so much.
Jan. 30th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
I really wasn't paying attention to the directorial choices, but nothing jumped out at me as especially good, that's for sure.

I kind of want to know where Lana came up with that razor, actually. Did she take it from one of the guys who kidnapped her? Surely she didn't have it in the asylum!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 30th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
It certainly seems to be out of left field, though as I said to xantalyn above, it makes a certain amount of sense, given that two of the prominent themes this season are (1) Clark inspiring people to be better and to do their part to help the world and (2) the dangers of superpowers to ordinary people (e.g. Chloe and Brainiac). Also it continues Lana's desire to not be a vulnerability to Clark.

But it does seem like a huge break with the trajectory established for Lana from the beginning of the show: Lana as the one who gets to have an ordinary life, even if that means she's the girl who gets left behind.
Jan. 31st, 2009 02:04 am (UTC)
Infighting among the Luthorcorp staff. This is the kind of byzantine politics I was hoping to see this season, and it's fun that we had the return of minions we've seen before. Though damn, did Tess actually kill that guy, right after criticizing him for killing someone else ? Hardcore, Tess.

Portraying Luthorcorp as a real company with real interoffice politics is a new angle for SV, typically the minions were interchangeable suits that could be killed off in a second. A guy like Lex would rule by paranoia, making everyone suspicious of everyone else. His "death" would breed a horde of hyper paranoid Type A personalities all out for themselves, this could be interesting.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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