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Smallville 8.22 - Doomsday - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 8.22 - Doomsday
Ever since the day we first heard the spoiler that Doomsday was coming to Smallville in S8, we've been waiting to see the inevitable outcome of his arrival: the final showdown between good and evil, played out on the streets of Metropolis. Lots of people assumed we would see Clark die in the fight, the way Superman did in the comic book version of this story. The show put a surprising twist on things by giving us Doomsday in the person of Davis Bloom, who appeared to be a sweet, sensitive paramedic, and the exact opposite of the killing machine we expected. But the real shocker was when it turned out that Clark's greatest challenge this season came not from the indestructible monster from Krypton, but rather from his best friend, and his brother in arms.

Once Clark realized that Davis was Doomsday, the ultimate destroyer Jor-El had warned him about, he came up with a plan to keep the world safe from him. In fact, he came up with three successive plans, any one of which would have worked. The first and best plan was sabotaged by Chloe, his BFF, because she thought the fate Clark had planned for Davis was too harsh. The second was thwarted by Tess, who destroyed the Phantom Zone crystal in an attempt to force a confrontation between Clark and the beast. And when Clark enlisted the help of the Justice League to ensure the third time would be the charm, they turned on him and literally stabbed him in the back. As the old saying goes, with friends like these, who needs enemies?

Clark allowed Chloe to change his mind about Davis. He decided to ignore his instincts and revise his plan, to try to find a way for the human part of Doomsday to have a normal life. The results were disastrous. Clark was felled by his own allies, Chloe unleashed the beast, and the JL proved powerless to stop his resultant rampage. Doomsday couldn't be destroyed, but Clark did manage to contain him. Unfortunately, by that time Metropolis had already paid a terrible price. And as Clark battled the beast, the human part of Davis turned out to be a monster, too, who attacked Jimmy and then went after Chloe. In the end both Jimmy and Davis lay dead, a burden Clark will carry on his shoulders for all time, placed there by Chloe and Oliver's inability to have faith in the hero who stood before them.

The two people who did believe in Clark, Lois and Jimmy, were gone, and everyone else close to him had let him down. Seeing only his own hand in the tragedy of Jimmy's death, and battered by betrayal, Clark turned away from humanity altogether. Of course he was wrong to do so; of course Clark needs his human side. But I couldn't help but think he was right, too. I don't blame Clark for wanting to take a step back. And maybe that's just what he needs to gain some perspective and balance. I've never been more proud of Clark than I am this season, but the one thing he has yet to master is believing in himself. Perhaps by exploring his Kryptonian side without fear or shame, he can finally embrace every part of himself, human and alien both, and truly become the man he is meant to be.

There were a lot of things about this episode that bothered me, and most of them came down to the same problem we've seen all too often on this show: too much story to tell, and not enough time or money to tell it properly. Smallville is nothing if not ambitious in trying to give us as much as possible in every episode, especially when it comes to season premieres and finales. Sometimes this can lead to rushed scenes, unexplained details, and plot holes that don't make sense, where we're not quite sure what's going on, and we wonder if something critical didn't accidentally get left on the cutting room floor. And the ongoing budget cuts are killing this show.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud what Smallville is able to accomplish given their limited resources, and usually I hardly notice the cut corners. I love that little city block of Metropolis where everything happens, and I'm perfectly happy to see an intensely focused look to represent Clark's x-ray vision, or an offscreen whooshing sound effect to indicate his super speed. But if I see one more scene filmed next to those old train tracks under Vancouver's elevated SkyTrain, I think I might scream. And when they end up shortening or even leaving out scenes because the necessary effects are too expensive, that hurts the storytelling. Much worse is that most of the series regulars appear in only half of the episodes. Their absences are notable, and can make the story appear abrupt or choppy. I sometimes wonder if one can truly do justice to a superhero story on a CW budget.

In Doomsday, the things they left out were disappointing. We didn't get to see the orb explode out of Tess's safe, or exactly how the JL captured Davis, or what went down at the Geothermal Plant when Clark vanquished the beast. I would have liked to see the conversation where Lois found out that Chloe had run off with a serial killer, or the one where Oliver convinced Bart and Dinah to turn against Clark, or the scene where Clark searched for Lois. I suppose the biggest disappointment was the big fight between Clark and Doomsday, the one we waited all season to see, that turned out to be just a couple of minutes long. What we saw of it was awesome (beyond the actual fighting, I loved the car catch, and Clark with the little girl), but it was so short! We also saw an overhead shot of Metropolis that was recycled from Vessel, and the big explosion was obviously unused footage from Justice. Noticing that took me right out of the moment.

What redeemed the episode for me, however, was every moment that Clark was oncreen. Between bad news and bad friends, Clark took a lot of hits this week, but never gave in to anger or despair. Instead he was my hero, completely focused on just one thing: removing Doomsday as a threat to mankind. Only when that battle was over did he finally break down.

I loved the scene between Clark and Rokk at the top of the episode, with both of them so serious, where Clark refused to regret his decision to save Chloe from Brainiac, and Rokk smiled because he expected nothing less from his hero, Kal-El. Clark took the sobering news that his own end could be near with courage and determination, prepared to die for the people of Metropolis if that's what it took to keep them safe. But first he sought to leave them a message, of hope and inspiration:

To the Citizens of Metropolis:

You have welcomed me into your city and allowed me to make it my home. I will always be grateful for that. Which is why I cannot leave without saying goodbye. This newspaper has made me into what you think I am - an example, a symbol, a "hero." But the truth is, I'm simply one of you. The only difference is that my days in the shadows and my nights on the streets have allowed me to see what you've lost sight of - the good in each of you.

I've seen regular people do extraordinary things. I've seen you help each other up after you've been knocked down. I've seen you stand together when times are tough. And I've seen the smallest act make the biggest change. If I've done anything right, I hope it's help you realize one person can make a difference in the lives of others - that Metropolis doesn't need a hero. Have faith in yourself, and you will find hope in each other.

Remember, it's not the mask that makes the hero. It's the choices we make and the desire to do what's right. I've seen that desire in all of you. It inspired me to promise I would do everything in my power to protect this city - but I can't promise that I'll be around forever. One day, there may be a fight I cannot win.

But if that day comes, please, keep fighting without me to make the world a better place. Be the heroes I know you are.

-- The Red-Blue Blur


*sniffles* I love Clark so much. ♥ ♥ ♥

Clark's RBB phone conversation with Lois was a beautiful moment that brought both of them hope. Clark was reeling, trying to come to terms with what his fate might hold, and Lois was frantic with worry over Chloe. He promised to find her cousin, and she showed him just how complete her faith in him truly was. These two need each other! I have no doubt that Lois will play a critical role in bringing Clark back from the edge, once she gets back from the future, that is. I think losing Lois was the final blow for Clark, the one he could not withstand.

The scene where Jimmy learned Clark's secret was wonderful. And heartbreaking. As soon as we saw Clark's cut heal right before Jimmy's eyes, we could read the handwriting on the wall. So even as my heart swelled to see Jimmy's absolute joy and Clark's quiet happiness as they shared this moment (complete with Supes music), my eyes filled with tears, because I knew just how short-lived that joy would be. It wasn't Jimmy's death scene that made me cry, but this one, where we saw the incredible potential of this character, but realized, sadly, that we were about to lose him. Still, I loved this scene, and have watched it again and again.

My favorite scene of the episode was Clark's last, with Chloe. Coming from Jimmy's funeral to the place where he died, his blood still staining the floor, Clark was devastated. He was in mourning for his friend, but also for so much more: the loss of faith, and trust, and hope. He looked so sad, and so alone. But along with the bleakness in his eyes, there was something more: a steely resolve. When Clark said, "Clark Kent is dead," I heard the promise of something hard and ruthless inside him being given free reign, and a desperate inner struggle to come. I can only hope that a superhero will be forged in the fire of that conflict. As Clark said goodbye and walked away, only to disappear, my heart went out to him. I hope next season brings us light as well as dark, but I'm looking forward to seeing what Tom Welling brings to his performance as Clark without his humanity.

I was intrigued by the showdown between Lois and Tess. Lois's fierce loyalty to her family is one of the things I like best about her, and I loved that she didn't apologize for breaking into Tess's office, or even seem embarrassed that she was caught. Was it her snooping for information about Chloe that made Tess suspect her of stealing the orb? Or was Tess remembering Faora and her talk of Kal-El? When Tess meets Zod, will she remember that Faora mentioned him as well? Things could get very interesting between these two next season! In any case, their banter was fun, as was their catfight atop the desks of the Daily Planet. I know Lois has bigger problems right now, being zapped into the distant future and all, but I'm guessing she'll be out of a job when she gets back.

The other scene I liked a lot was Jimmy's encounter with Lois in Tess's office. Cute, funny, and awesome. That is the Jimmy I've always loved, not Chloe's insecure, jealous boyfriend. Why do they wait until the episode in which they're going to kill him off to tease us with the Jimmy who might have been? Oh, we've seen him before, just not very often. Taking sneaky photos while meeting with Lex in Fallout. Having a heart-to-heart with Clark in Sleeper. Working at the DP in Apocalypse. Vowing to track down Metropolis's mystery hero in Prey. Every moment of Identity. I never liked the Chimmy, but Jimmy as sidekick, comic relief, and DP photographer completely won me over, as did Aaron Ashmore. I'm sorry to see Jimmy go, even sorrier that they killed him, and sorriest of all that they stripped him of his iconic identity as well. It just seems like a slap in the face to everything AA has contributed to this show, and the great character he brought to life. I know the official story is that DC had a problem with the age discrepancy between Smallville's Jimmy and the one in the comic books, but when you already have Super!Lana and U.S. Senator Martha Kent on the show, and you've supposedly killed off Lex Luthor, that seems kind of nitpicky. And don't even get me started on Jimmy's last scene, with Chloe. Ugh.

So let's talk about Chloe. I am so angry with her right now! All season long I've been making excuses for her in my head, calling her behavior OOC as she questioned Clark's actions and told him what to do, time and time again. But when she lied to Clark and betrayed him so that she could run off with Davis, I finally had to accept that Chloe no longer has the same loyalty to Clark she once did. She said she did it all for Clark, but I don't buy it. Everything about the way she interacted with Davis said there was more to it than that. She herself told Davis she once thought she loved him. Was that before or after she "never left" Jimmy? And using the black kryptonite on Davis was all about helping him, and nothing to do with Clark. I'm also outraged that she never apologized to Clark for any of it. Her plan to control the beast didn't work. She screwed up. And yet, right up until he walked out on her, she was still telling Clark how he was doing it wrong, and making it all about her. I haven't been this mad at Chloe since she made her dirty deal with Lionel at the end of S2. I loved her more than ever in S3, and I hope I will love her again in S9. But right now? Not so much. Whatever she's suffering, she brought upon herself.

Oliver was awful in this episode, and even worse, he corrupted the JL as well. I couldn't believe that Black Canary would lure Clark to an ambush! Or that Oliver would shoot him in the back!! And then they just left him there on the ground, writhing in pain, at the mercy of whomever came along. And these are the good guys?! Was Ollie's single manly tear at Jimmy's funeral supposed to signify his return from the dark side, instantly cured by remorse after seeing the consequences of his actions? I hope it's not that easy. I wonder if they're going for a complete role reversal next year. Will we see the same man who helped strip Clark of his faith in humanity try to restore it? Or will Oliver's darkness continue?

Random thoughts: Edge City looks a lot like Metropolis looks a lot like Smallville. *rolls eyes* Tess and Lois are furiously fighting, and Lois finally gets the upper hand when she knocks Tess out with a ring box? The JL have captured the most powerful creature in the universe, and they restrain him with plastic zip ties. Then they stand around and wait for him to wake up. And when he breaks free, how is it that they're all just left unconscious, instead of ripped to shreds and dead? How in the world could Jimmy afford that place he gave to Chloe? Even as a fixer upper, it had to cost millions. And awww, Jimmy almost gave Clark his hero name. He's some kind of super... guy!

Because of all the spoilers and hype, and the comic book canon about Doomsday, a lot of fans came to this episode with expectations. Most were surprised by what they found. Clark didn't die. Neither did Chloe or Lois. Jimmy did. Except Jimmy wasn't Jimmy, he was Henry. Jimmy Olsen was a young boy we met for the first time at his brother's funeral, not the sweet, funny guy we've known for the past three years. Rather than a tragic figure who struggled to conquer his inner demons and failed, Davis was simply a monster. The fight between Clark and Doomsday was over almost before it began. The Daily Planet was not destroyed. Clark still didn't fly. And instead of recreating the iconic Death of Superman image with Clark and Lois, the show gave it to us with Jimmy and Chloe:





In true Smallville fashion, everything had a little bit of a twist. And in the end, Clark Kent simply walked away. Most Smallville finales have left me on the edge of my seat, saying I can't wait to find out what happens next. And while I'm certainly looking forward to the next step on Clark's journey, and wondering how the show will resolve the crisis he is now facing, mostly Doomsday just left me feeling sad. For better or worse, S8 is a wrap. And I, for one, am ready for a break.

Cross-posted at Starkville House of El Podcast.

Clark was beautiful in this episode, but tragically so. Beware, the pretty will break your heart this time. My top ten caps from Doomsday:






























Screen caps courtesy of writrgurl, with my thanks!

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36 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
frelling_tralk From: frelling_tralk Date: May 20th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the review :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 20th, 2009 04:19 am (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome! Thank YOU for the comment!
jeannev From: jeannev Date: May 20th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, so eloquent, and so worth the wait!

Can I just propose marriage to this paragraph:
"Once Clark realized that Davis was Doomsday, the ultimate destroyer Jor-El had warned him about, he came up with a plan to keep the world safe from him. In fact, he came up with three successive plans, any one of which would have worked. The first and best plan was sabotaged by Chloe, his BFF, because she thought the fate Clark had planned for Davis was too harsh. The second was thwarted by Tess, who destroyed the Phantom Zone crystal in an attempt to force a confrontation between Clark and the beast. And when Clark enlisted the help of the Justice League to ensure the third time would be the charm, they turned on him and literally stabbed him in the back. As the old saying goes, with friends like these, who needs enemies?"

You know, it really says something when I find myself being unable to picture LEX doing to Clark what Oliver, Dinah and Bart did to him. LEX? I mean, I'm not saying that Lex wouldn't do something awful to Clark. But not that!! Not just leaving him like that!!

And I cannot reconcile that act. I just can't. And I find I want to hurt people who try to defend it. Hurt them bad!

Thats not rational, so clearly I also need a break.

AA got hosed. There's no other way around it. I don't believe for one second that DC was the one pulling the strings here. And honestly, if they wanted to kill Jimmy, I could maybe be OK with that. As long as they let him stay Jimmy Olson. As you said, with the other liberties they've taken, why is a dead Jimmy out of the question? I'm just not buying the excuse.

I'm really hoping that TPTB do some serious thinking about the way they're writing Chloe. Its such a mess. And I really, really need to hear that Chloe accepts her part in this, and recognizes the mistakes she made. I need to hear that. I don't need her groveling, and I don't need Clark casting her out. I just need to know that she feels what any human being in her place should feel.

And Oliver? I don't even know how I'm going to deal with him being back next season. If there aren't some serious mea culpa's involved, his presence could very well ruin S9 for me. I am that disgusted with him.

Thanks for The Pretty. Tom was devastatingly gorgeous this season, and it seemed to intensify as the season wore on. He's got to be an alien from planet Sexy!


Edited at 2009-05-20 02:46 am (UTC)
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: May 20th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
And I find I want to hurt people who try to defend it. Hurt them bad!

I saw a few of your posts on this subject over at K-site and wanted to cheer you on. I cannot believe how many people think Ollie had a leg to stand on in his actions. I too need to regain perspective!
simplytoopretty From: simplytoopretty Date: May 20th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll admit, I watch most of this episode on fastforward. Most people told me not to watch it, and after watching bits and pieces, and hearing the rest, I think they were right.

This episode was a letdown to me. I was expecting a Doomie-Clarkie fight. I'm not a comics fan, but repeatedly I was told how the famous fight between Clark and Doomsday went. The fight scene we did get was from far epic and it had been released as a spoiler clip before the episode aired to a large degree. Like I said, I fastforwarded through the episode and thought I had accidentally skipped the real fight scene, but then was told that was it. Plus, I don't get how Doomie died and how Clarkie lived; the explanation was no explanation at all.

I hated that the show brought back Chimmy. The scene between them made no sense really to me; the Watchtower apartment gift similarly made no sense to me. The show wanted to redeem Jimmy before killing him, I suppose, and I thought that was just lame. I was glad Jimmy died, because he has annoyed me far too long, but the whole thing that he was never the iconic Jimmy is just so lame.

Having Jimmy killed by Davis I also thought was lame. So Davis was just a psychopath regardless of the monster instead him. It seemed like the show wanted to kill Jimmy and so didn't care that it didn't really make sense for Davis to kill Jimmy. Or at least I thought it didn't make sense.

And now for Chloe. I could see where she was going from in the last Chlark scene and I felt sorry for her. She had lost Jimmy, Davis, and Lois. Then she learned Clark was going to leave. So I felt like her reaction was understandable in the content. Yes, she made mistakes. Yes, I think she'll need to come to terms with those mistakes.

Mostly, I blame bad writing for all that has happened to Chloe this season. Chloe hasn't been Chloe and that's because she's taken on the lead female role and so she couldn't just be the kick-ass character she had been in earlier seasons (like season 5).
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 20th, 2009 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I know a lot of people hated this episode with a passion, and I don't feel that way at all. But you know how easy I am! :) I found a couple of scenes infuriating, but other scenes I loved. Overall, though, I would have to say this episode was kind of a mess. And there were a lot of WTF moments. I blame the writers, which is kind of scary when you realize they're the sole showrunners for next year!

I didn't care so much about the fight personally, but when you throw around the name Doomsday, you have to know what people are going to expect. And hype without substance is always going to make people mad.

Plus, I don't get how Doomie died and how Clarkie lived; the explanation was no explanation at all.

Could you even believe the part where Chloe asked Clark how he survived and his answer was, "I don't know?" What is that, the laziest writing EVER? Even the writers couldn't come up with a plausible scenario! *shakes head*

That whole scene between Chloe, Jimmy, and Davis was insane. None of it made any sense as far as I was concerned. I think they wanted a "human" version of the Doomsday story from the comics, and Jimmy played the Superman part. He kills the beast, but is killed himself in the battle, and dies in his lover's arms. They probably started from that iconic image they wanted to mimic, and worked backward, with no thought of all the havoc they were wreaking along the way, to multiple storylines. And it would have made more sense for the apartment to just be Oliver's new acquisition for the JL, or even for Chloe herself. God, do we dare dream they will finally do away with the Talon set?

I really hate what they've done to Chloe. She is just a completely different person now, IMO. Allison is as amazing as ever as an actor, especially in the emotional scenes, but I'm having a hard time responding because I can't seem to let go of how Chloe keeps treating Clark (like Lana used to, if you ask me). I just want to see them have a big heart-to-heart where they spill all their remaining secrets, hash everything out, and go back to normal.

I heard that back in S2 AlMiles made Chloe unlikable on purpose because she was too popular compared to Lana, and their little ploy worked on me. I was totally annoyed with her vindictive, unreasonable jealousy when S2 ended. I know that's not what's happening now, but it's kind of the same in that I think the writers have an agenda, and they're no longer being true to the character of Chloe Sullivan because of it. Now that Davis and Jimmy are both gone, maybe they can cut it out. I hope so.
tasabian From: tasabian Date: May 20th, 2009 02:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Did you think there was something odd about the way Clark faded away as he left Chloe? I'm still wondering if that's meant to signify that wasn't the "real Clark", that our Clark is still buried under the ground with Doomsday, and this was a future!Clark or a ghost.

Oliver was awful in this episode, and even worse, he corrupted the JL as well. I couldn't believe that Black Canary would lure Clark to an ambush! Or that Oliver would shoot him in the back!! And then they just left him there on the ground, writhing in pain, at the mercy of whomever came along. And these are the good guys?!
That was the most appalling moment in the episode for me, especially that Bart - sweet Bart! - would go along with that plan. And as Val says, Lex never did anything that callous.

I finally had to accept that Chloe no longer has the same loyalty to Clark she once did. She said she did it all for Clark, but I don't buy it. Everything about the way she interacted with Davis said there was more to it than that. She herself told Davis she once thought she loved him. Was that before or after she "never left" Jimmy? And using the black kryptonite on Davis was all about helping him, and nothing to do with Clark. I'm also outraged that she never apologized to Clark for any of it. Her plan to control the beast didn't work. She screwed up. And yet, right up until he walked out on her, she was still telling Clark how he was doing it wrong, and making it all about her.
Word! It's been such a Lana-esque year for Chloe: weighing emotion over logic, juggling guys and seeming to need validation from men more than she ever has before...and just like Lana in S7, the script ties itself in knots to point out how blameless she is. What I liked about Chloe in S2/3 is that when she messed up, she paid for it. She, and the scripts, acknowledged that she had done wrong. It's sad to see her assume Lana's mantle of infallible martyr/siren. Such a reduction of a cool character.

That is the Jimmy I've always loved, not Chloe's insecure, jealous boyfriend.
Jimmy should never have been drawn into the stupid love triangles; he should have been Clark's pal, a light character in a sometimes too-grim show.

Beautiful Clark 'caps! He's wearing Lexy colours in the last ones: hurray!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 21st, 2009 04:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Did you think there was something odd about the way Clark faded away as he left Chloe? I'm still wondering if that's meant to signify that wasn't the "real Clark", that our Clark is still buried under the ground with Doomsday, and this was a future!Clark or a ghost.

I wondered about that, too. Clark was definitely different in that scene, and it was so weird how he said he didn't know how he escaped the explosion that trapped Doomsday. But I don't think they're that clever, to be honest. I think all of it, Clark's sober demeanor, his quiet sadness, his hoarse, broken voice, and his detachment, were to emphasize the weight of this decision. This is the death of Clark Kent, and we're at the funeral. And I think his disappearance was symbolic, to make us realize that Clark absolutely meant what he said, and that the man we know (and adore) is no more. We can't run after him and beg him not to go, because he's already gone.

I also kind of think it was to emphasize how truly alone Chloe is now. Whatever, show. *is so NOT feeling it*

So, is it bad that I want 9x01 to open with Kal-El, all hot and hard, sexing up the joint with his ruthless, alien ways? And shirtless. I definitely want him shirtless. :D

That was the most appalling moment in the episode for me, especially that Bart - sweet Bart! - would go along with that plan.

Me, too! Bart worships Clark! My jaw just dropped when I realized it was a trap. I was completely outraged. The way Clark's voice dropped, and the wounded way he asked Dinah and Bart, "What's goin' on?" was exactly the same as when Chloe showed up in the Fortress with the octagonal key in Beast, and Clark asked her, "Chloe, what are you doin'?" Oh, Clark. Betrayal, both times.

And then Ollie shoots him IN THE BACK?! With KRYPTONITE?! Fucking coward. And then he talks about Clark's ego?! I'm getting mad all over again just thinking about it. And then they just walk away and leave him there. Unbelievable. I was frantic the first time I watched it.

It's sad to see her assume Lana's mantle of infallible martyr/siren. Such a reduction of a cool character.

I know! And that is absolutely what is happening here. I just don't understand why they would go there. Idiots.

Jimmy should never have been drawn into the stupid love triangles; he should have been Clark's pal, a light character in a sometimes too-grim show.

EXACTLY. And AA was awesome at playing that Jimmy! There's a reason that Identity is my favorite episode of the season.

Beautiful Clark 'caps! He's wearing Lexy colours in the last ones: hurray!

And looking gorgeous in them! How I wish we could see them together, resplendent in black and purple.
anakaliaandrea From: anakaliaandrea Date: May 20th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
great in depth review.

I was overall disappointed and disgusted with this episode. It had a few moments, very little I liked. And the Jimmy finding out was one. I felt horrible for Clark, so much crap has happened to the poor guy I just wanted to hug him and never let go so he could just let it all out. Lois was barely in it. TARDS! and Jimmy isn't really Jimmy? It was completely messed up and it ticked me off. So many flaw with this whole Jimmy thing. and exactly...who cares about age? When yes, they've changed much bigger things. GOSH!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 21st, 2009 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!

I felt horrible for Clark, so much crap has happened to the poor guy I just wanted to hug him and never let go so he could just let it all out.

Oh, totally. It just kills me that these are supposedly his best friends! No wonder he wants nothing more to do with humanity.

The whole age thing just seems like a lame excuse. And what a waste of a great character! If it's a budget issue, just make him recurring again, instead of a regular. Bring him back for a few episodes where we see Clark, Lois, and Jimmy all working together at the DP, like in Identity, and Apocalypse.

At least Clark looked pretty. :)
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: May 20th, 2009 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Another brilliant review!

Clark allowed Chloe to change his mind about Davis. He decided to ignore his instincts and revise his plan, to try to find a way for the human part of Doomsday to have a normal life. The results were disastrous. Clark was felled by his own allies, Chloe unleashed the beast, and the JL proved powerless to stop his resultant rampage. Doomsday couldn't be destroyed, but Clark did manage to contain him. Unfortunately, by that time Metropolis had already paid a terrible price. And as Clark battled the beast, the human part of Davis turned out to be a monster, too, who attacked Jimmy and then went after Chloe. In the end both Jimmy and Davis lay dead, a burden Clark will carry on his shoulders for all time, placed there by Chloe and Oliver's inability to have faith in the hero who stood before them.

That's exactly how I see it - it seems so clear to me. Clark's mistake was never tuning out Ollie the asshat, it was simply that he valued a friend's opinion more than his own. That's not exactly a bad flaw for a nearly all powerful being to have; otherwise he could become a tyrant. My main concern with this view is that the show seems to be saying something different at the end by having Clark blame himself for Jimmy's death while Chloe prepares for her impending canonization.

Perhaps by exploring his Kryptonian side without fear or shame, he can finally embrace every part of himself, human and alien both, and truly become the man he is meant to be.

Absolutely. Clark has turned his back on his humanity in the comics many times, and it often proves fertile ground for storytelling. I like the idea of him exploring the strengths of his heritage, and then discover the weaknesses through his battle with Zod.

So even as my heart swelled to see Jimmy's absolute joy and Clark's quiet happiness as they shared this moment (complete with Supes music), my eyes filled with tears, because I knew just how short-lived that joy would be.

That was exactly my reaction! I wanted to cheer, but at the same time I was angry that they're showing us how great the character can be just to yank our chains 20 minutes later by killing him off.

My favorite scene of the episode was Clark's last, with Chloe. Coming from Jimmy's funeral to the place where he died, his blood still staining the floor, Clark was devastated. He was in mourning for his friend, but also for so much more: the loss of faith, and trust, and hope. He looked so sad, and so alone. But along with the bleakness in his eyes, there was something more: a steely resolve. When Clark said, "Clark Kent is dead," I heard the promise of something hard and ruthless inside him being given free reign, and a desperate inner struggle to come. I can only hope that a superhero will be forged in the fire of that conflict. As Clark said goodbye and walked away, only to disappear, my heart went out to him. I hope next season brings us light as well as dark, but I'm looking forward to seeing what Tom Welling brings to his performance as Clark without his humanity.

This paragraph just gave me chills. That's what I want too! And its the type of thing the show may just be able to deliver even on its limited budget.

So let's talk about Chloe.

All I'm going to say about Chloe is that ITA with what you wrote here. I have a feeling I'm going to have to fast forward through most Chloe scenes to make rewatching the season bearable, much like I did with Lana in S4 and S6. And Ollie is even worse. I don't want to see him back next year at all, not without a lot of genuine repentance and a complete change in attitude. I take the fact that the JL disappeared from Metropolis as a good sign.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 21st, 2009 09:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww, you're too kind. *blushes* Thanks!

You know, it didn't surprise me that Clark felt responsible for Jimmy's death. That's his way. In his mind, he sent Jimmy to take Chloe and Davis to the Watchtower, he failed to anticipate the threat Davis would pose, and he didn't get there in time to stop it. Oh, Clark.

Of course Davis's actions are Davis's fault and no one else's, but I do hold Chloe and the Justice League accountable for what happened as well. Was that remorse we saw from Ollie? IDK. He didn't apologize, but he did tell Clark he could trust him. Did that mean Oliver was ready to bow to Clark's judgment in all things, or just that he would help trap Doomsday in the tunnels, and nothing more? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Chloe seemed wholly unburdened by guilt. She was sad that Jimmy was dead, that she was alone, and that Clark wasn't by her side at the funeral, but clearly she thought those were all things that happened to her, not because of her. And I have no doubt that Kelly and Brian see her as the victim, the poor girl who sacrificed everything for Clark. Lana 2.0. And Chloe running off with Davis to protect Clark was Lana marrying Lex to protect Clark all over again.

I like the idea of him exploring the strengths of his heritage, and then discover the weaknesses through his battle with Zod.

Ooh, that sounds good to me, too.

I wanted to cheer, but at the same time I was angry that they're showing us how great the character can be just to yank our chains 20 minutes later by killing him off.

I know. And it made me so sad, for Jimmy and Clark both. It just breaks my heart every time I watch it.

And its the type of thing the show may just be able to deliver even on its limited budget.

It all comes down to Tom's performance, and I think he could be awesome. It's the one thing that makes me excited for S9. And if Clark Kent is dead, I can't wait for the promo pics of Kal-El! :)
theclexfactor From: theclexfactor Date: May 20th, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
A lot of people hated this episode, and sure, if I just focus on the fact that Chloe "got away with murder", then yeah, I could hate the entire episode based on that too. But there are several points you made that are the reasons why I really really liked the episode. They threw things at me that I DID NOT expect in an episode that I thought would be predictable. Lois disappearing into the future? Did not expect. The "Doomsday" turning out to be Davis all along and not the monster? Did not expect. Jimmy? OMG DID NOT EXPECT AT ALL! In my view, that's a success. I can overlook the use of sets or special effects, and while I did expect an epic battle between Clark and Doomsday, I realized that that wasn't what the episode was about. Also, I think minus a few plot holes, the show managed to use an entire season to push a story forward to its logical conclusion. Clark spent this entire season telling us that every person deserves a second chance and that he will not take a human life, and truly saving someone is helping them come back from the dark side. We saw it in Plastique, Bulletproof, we saw him give Tess the benefit of the doubt, and we saw him attempt this with Davis from Eternal on. In the end, it was his friends he should have watched out for, and this is why Clark renouncing humanity is both surprising and not surprising and, IMHO, a great way to end the season.

And, not that you did this, but I wish everyone would remember the meaning of the word "cliffhanger" when it comes to Lois. No you are not going to know what happened to her until the premier...that's why its called a "cilffhanger"

All of that was to say I loved your review.

Edited at 2009-05-20 01:45 pm (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 21st, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, I hunted down every spoiler I could get my hands on, and I was still surprised! Although some surprises were better than others. :) I agree that Clark's decision was a great way to end the season, and I'm really looking forward to seeing where they go with this, and especially how Tom portrays Clark in this crisis. I like how the show said this whole season would be about dual identities, and that turned out to be true of just about everyone. Clark/RBB and Davis/Doomsday were the obvious ones, but the way Tess, Oliver, and Chloe blurred the lines between good guy and bad guy evoked that theme as well. We even had Jimmy/Henry and Lois/Stiletto!

I think in these days of spoilers everywhere, people expect instant gratification, and want to know everything RIGHT NOW. I'm sure the season premiere hasn't even been written yet! But I can understand the Lois fans wanting at least the reassurance that their favorite character will return to the show. I am curious as to why they chose to have Lois accidentally put on the Legion ring, and where she went, but I'm also content to ponder it until the show comes back. Or at least until the first spoilers show up! :) I'm a spoilerphobe for every one of my other shows, but for some reason I can't resist spoilers about Smallville!

Thanks so much for your comment!
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: May 20th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful review! I agree on practically everything, particularly about Chloe, Oliver and the JL. I loved the paragraph Valerie quoted. I hated Oliver more than ever and lost all respect for Dinah and Bart. I hated what they did to Clark. Those three have a lot to apologize for but I'm sure they never will. Oliver and the so-called JL are definitely ruined for me as characters and so is Chloe.

Now it's my turn to thank *you* for loving Clark and Tom as much as you do and for writing these great reviews! (Oh, and for the gorgeous caps!) *Hugs*
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 21st, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Carol! It was bad enough when just Oliver was ragging on Clark all the time, but they just took it to a whole new level with this episode. I am dismayed that Ollie would even contemplate betraying Clark the way he did, much less follow through with it and convince his JL colleagues to join in. But I find what Chloe did even worse, because of the close relationship she had with Clark, and the complete trust he gave her.

It's intriguing to think about how Tom will approach his performance when we return for S9. I hope he finds it to be a fresh challenge, and is excited to show us a whole new side of Clark.

Carol, I'm honored to share my love for Tom and Clark with you! I hope that someday we can carry our fangirl squee beyond Smallville, and on to new adventures with Tom when he is finished with this show. *hugs*
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 21st, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, you! *glomps you* I can't believe we've come to the end of another season. It's all about the actors for me, too, and especially (of course) Tom. He has been wonderful this past season, and he seems to be enjoying himself, too (did you see THIS BTS pic?). I've seen many people say this episode was their last, but as long as Tom shows up, so will I. :)
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goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: May 20th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
See, this is why I love your reviews, because you so beautifully put into words all of the little nuances of the ep - whether good or bad.

I'll admit, I'm in a very, very bad place with Chloe' character right now. I think it'll take a big shift in how she's used next season in order for me to tolerate her again.

The JL were just positively heinous in their actions towards Clark.

And Clark. Our poor, broken Clark.

And don't even get me started again on the bull shittery that is the reason provided for killing off Jimmy. Age discrepancy, my ass. And did you read that interview of AA' in Entertainmemt Weekly? Where he basically admitted that the producers told him around the time of 'Bride' that his character would eventually be killed off as a sacrifice for Chloe.

How fucked up is that?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 21st, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for your kind words, truly. ♥

It's amazing to me the difference Tom's performance can make in how much I enjoy an episode as a whole. Everything you cite made me furious as well, and yet overall I would have to say I liked Doomsday. The Clark scenes, and the Lois scenes as well, redeemed it for me.

It kills me to see Clark so broken, but I'm excited to see where Tom takes him from here. Embracing his Kryptonian side to be a better hero is something we've never seen Clark attempt to do before, and I'm having fun imagining all the possibilities!

You know how much I've rationalized Oliver's behavior this season, but this episode just took him beyond the pale for me. But Chloe was even worse. It's Lana all over again, just when I thought Requiem, as horrible as it was, was the end of all that. Why do they insist on writing their female lead that way?! God help us if they ever do that to Lois!

And the way they treated AA, and Jimmy, was awful. I was so looking forward to more episodes with Clark, Lois, and Jimmy at the DP, now that the Chimmy was finally over, and then they do this. Ugh.

Bring on the hiatus. I need time to recover.
gildinwen From: gildinwen Date: May 20th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know I've haven't commented on your smallville posts lately,and the reason for that is although I love Clark and my heart swells with pride, I've just been so full of rage at the way his so called friends treat him I would swearing alot.

I have two things to say: I have to agree with what Val said. Any incarnation of Lex would NEVER do to Clark what Ollie and the Justice League did to him. No incarnation of Lex would shoot him with Kryptonite, and leave him to suffer in the street, slowly being poisoned, and try to justify it. in the other incarnations of Lex sure he may hurt Superman and sure torture him with Kryptonite, but he would never leave him in the street, where anyone could find him and kill him. Killing Superman is something that apparently only belongs to Lex. Twisted but it shows a respect for Kal-EL.

Smallville's Lex? The one who held him as the Fortress came down around them? Wouldn't shoot Clark period, and he would never leave him in the street. When your heroes are doing things your villian wouldn't dream of doing, then surely it's a sign that you're doing things wrong isn't it?

I'll have my review up by the end of this week, but that Chloe as ISIS meta I was talking about? Yeah it all fell into place, this week, It'll be up about the same time too.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 21st, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yikes, sorry it's taken me so long to respond, it seems I only get a few minutes here and there to jump on LJ these days!

Smallville's Lex? The one who held him as the Fortress came down around them? Wouldn't shoot Clark period, and he would never leave him in the street. When your heroes are doing things your villian wouldn't dream of doing, then surely it's a sign that you're doing things wrong isn't it?

Exactly. Why are we making our good guys into bad guys? I guess to make Clark lose faith in humanity, but don't they realize how damaging this storyline is to the fans' relationship with the JL and especially Oliver? You don't do that with a returning regular, unless he's coming back as the big bad, and you can't do that with Green Arrow. Not good, show.

I've lost faith in TPTB (not that I had an abundance of faith in them to begin with). I think they need to spell out their plans for next season, and in more explicit terms than their usual coy teasers and cryptic clues, or they'll lose even more viewers than they have already. Of course if Tom could be persuaded to promote the show even a little bit, that would probably win a lot of people back, but we both know that's never gonna happen. *sighs*

I look forward to reading your meta!
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: May 20th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even though my love of SV has gone down considerably I want to tell you I love you and your optimism. And of course I love the picspams ;-) It's because of persons like you and Valerie that I'm proud of this fandom even when the show or segments of said fandom let me down.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 21st, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww, thanks! I'm sorry the show has let you down recently. If Tom left I'd be gone in a heartbeat, but as long as he's still part of this show, I'm sure I'll find SOMETHING to love each week, if only his beautiful eyes and gorgeous smile. :) Not that Clark has much to smile about these days, though. :/
heliodor_a From: heliodor_a Date: May 24th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love your review! All so sad and true.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 26th, 2009 09:58 am (UTC) (Link)
They left us in a pretty dark place at the end, didn't they? I do wonder what they have in store for S9. Thanks so much for your comment!

BTW, I watch your Secret Agent Lex vid ALL the time, and especially when I'm missing Michael's presence on the show. Thanks again for making it!
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