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Smallville 7.20 - Arctic - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 7.20 - Arctic
Arctic will forever be remembered as Michael Rosenbaum's last episode as a regular cast member of Smallville, and perhaps his last episode ever, if you take him at his word. Thankfully the writers gave him enough material to make a memorable exit, although why they didn't give us more of Lex and Clark together, I'll never know. Michael and Tom were both amazing in this episode, and they're never better than when they're acting opposite each other. I would have been happy to watch 35 minutes of Clex, and then give Chloe, expositional wonder that she is, the remaining six and a half minutes to catch us up on everything else that happened in the episode. But at least we got what we did, and I will wrap myself in the memories of that last scene for a long time to come.

Once again Smallville has given me an episode that seems to be a dichotomy. I rejoiced in all the scenes that revolved around our hero and his adversaries. I delighted in Lex's machinations with Jimmy, his deluded conviction that he was the world's savior, and his wonder at seeing his heart's greatest desire fulfilled as the truth he has sought all these years was finally revealed to him. I was truly afraid of Brainiac, in both of his forms, knowing he was capable of any evil I could imagine. And I felt a world of emotion for Clark, as he faced challenge after challenge, and rose to meet each one, just like the hero he is. Show, you rock my world when you get it right! But then you hit me with the Clana and the Chimmy, and you blow it all to hell. Why do we always have to go there? Just forget everyone's love life, would you, and focus on telling a good story! One particular line of 'shippy dialogue even reduced me to yelling at my television screen. *sighs*

Over the past few episodes, MR has shown us exactly why TPTB should have given him whatever he wanted to stay on the show. His Lex is fascinating and compelling, with a complexity I would have loved to explore further. Now that the villain in him has finally emerged, I feel cheated that the iconic struggle between Clark and Lex will forever be relegated to Offscreenville. This week Lex was masterful and in cold command at first. He sent teams of minions to risk the dangers of the Arctic and pave his way. He bullied Jimmy into lying and spying for him, and then casually moved to destroy Chloe's life when Jimmy backed out of the deal. Even when Krainiac revealed so much to him, he remained wary, and kept his feelings closely guarded. But once he stepped inside the Fortress, he was undone. That final scene, for all its briefness, was immensely satisfying.

Lex was in awe as he slowly walked the icy confines of the Fortress. It seemed he could scarcely believe that he was there, that all of his suspicions about Clark had finally been proved warranted. The music underlying this scene was awesome, communicating the import of the moment perfectly, and conspiring with the eerie glow of the giant crystals and the icy fog that covered the floor to bring our tension to a crescendo. And then, when Clark appeared and the device glowed pink to announce his arrival, Lex broke that tension with an unexpected laugh: "I must admit, Clark, this is a big step up from the barn." hee!

The confrontation that followed brought out the passion in both of our boys, and we saw not only the strength of Lex's convictions, but also the depth of his delusion. There is no doubt in my mind that he truly loves Clark, and yet he remained determined that Clark must be stopped. And so he stayed by his side, holding Clark in his arms, as the Fortress crashed down around them, proving that while nothing surpassed his need to be the savior of the human race, he was willing to sacrifice his own life rather than leave Clark to face his fate alone. The emotions betrayed in Lex's final words, "I'm sorry," spoke volumes about what this relationship means to him.

Tom Welling was also wonderful in this scene, bringing a rare intensity to this moment of truth between Clark and Lex. I loved how even as Clark was felled by the power of the mysterious device, he locked eyes with Lex, letting every ounce of his dismay for what their relationship had become, for what Lex had become, pour out in his gaze, along with his pain. These two actors brought everything they had within themselves to bear for this scene, and gave us the epic moment for which we've waited these past seven years. If only TPTB had seen fit to allot more than three minutes and fifteen seconds to their time onscreen together! I still can't quite wrap my head around that decision.

The FoS scene did leave me a bit confused. First, I think they must have cut some dialogue, because Clark's lines didn't quite mesh with Lex's in a couple of places. Second, I don't understand exactly what the device did. We've had all this talk in the episodes leading up to this one of a way to control the Traveler, which I interpreted to mean that whoever had the device could wield Clark like a weapon. Edward Teague expressly said the device would control, but not destroy, Clark, because Jor-El "couldn't bear the thought of his son's death." But it seemed to me that killing Clark was exactly what Lex was intent upon doing, and the device certainly seemed to have a debilitating effect on Clark similar to kryptonite. So what was happening there, and where did the control part come into play? Unless they always meant control in the same way you control a disease or a pest, to reduce it to the point where it can do no harm. Are we looking at a powerless Clark again when S8 begins? The words Lex used in his speech to Clark were frustratingly vague, too. And what did destroying the Fortress have to do with it? That destroys Jor-El, not Clark. I really don't know what to think about any of it.

Tom was great in the rest of the episode, too. He continues to portray Clark as a strong, independent, righteous man who has found his inner code of honor, and believes in it absolutely. Every second he's on my television screen brings me joy. Clark faced crisis after crisis this week, and met each one head on. I loved how he totally believed in Kara. When presented with the irrefutable evidence of her actions, he correctly concluded that there was something wrong with her, and then took decisive action to intervene. I didn't love another scene of Kara flying off while Clark watched in helpless frustration, but that's where Clark is in his development right now. :( I loved how, when he realized Kara was actually Brainiac, he didn't mope at Chloe's bedside, but instead went after him, and didn't hesitate to destroy him. And no, that didn't give me even a moment of pause. Brainiac was a freaking computer, people, a veritable killing machine, whose agenda was nothing less than the obliteration of the entire human race. I loved Clark's reaction to the news that Chloe had been arrested. And of course I loved how he went to confront Lex the second he heard he was headed for the Arctic.

But wait, you say. Clark faced one more crisis. Did you love how he handled that one, too? And you know what? I did. Sure, I yelled a few choice sentiments out loud when Lana said she was letting Clark go for the good of the world... Wait a sec, I think I'm gonna hurl... No, no, I'm okay... But did you really expect anything less? This is totally Lana's MO. She broke up with Whitney by videotape, wrote Jason a note in Paris, and would have left Lex a note on their wedding day if Lionel hadn't stopped her. I'm sure she had been traumatized to her very core by her encounter with Brainiac, and that upon suddenly escaping his torturous grasp, her first instinct was to flee. But, being Lana, she couldn't help but play the martyr, and once again make it all about her, by recording a tearful goodbye to Clark. And Kristin Kreuk nailed it, I have to say. But OMG, the lyrics to that song they played?! Shades of the end of Veritas all over again. Sometimes I just HATE you, Smallville.

I don't blame Clark for crying. My God, could his life get any more crappy? He's done so much to try to hang on to this clearly dysfunctional relationship, even when he must know in his heart of hearts it was never meant to be. In saying goodbye to Lana, he's saying goodbye to the last remaining remnant of the dreams he once had for his life: a normal existence, captain of the football team, in love with the prettiest girl in town, working the family farm, and best friends with that sexy, misunderstood billionaire who lives down the road. I think he mourns that loss as much, if not more, than the loss of Lana herself. And I think he cries for Lana, too, seeing in that desperate recording exactly who she has become, the perpetual victim for whom happiness has proved all too elusive. I don't blame Clark for one iota of what has happened to Lana, but I'm willing to bet he blames himself. So, yeah, go ahead and cry, big guy. It's been a hell of a season, and I think you're entitled. Besides, Tom blew me away with his performance. Well done.

And speaking of scenes I didn't hate, I didn't hate that Lois was there to comfort Clark. It was a nice callback to Siren, and it speaks to the friendship that continues to grow between these two. Besides, Lois has a nice way of being there for Clark without asking questions, and I think that has to be something he appreciates. I assume it was also meant to be an anvil for future Clois. That doesn't particularly bother me, but I prefer to enjoy it purely for what it was in the moment. I also didn't hate the scene where Lois brings Clark the application for a job at the Daily Planet. I think it was another unnecessary anvil, but it was a cute scene, and I think everyone who thinks Lois was an insensitive jerk to walk over the figurative grave of Chloe's journalism career to hand Clark that application just isn't hearing what the show has been telling us for most of the season.

I don't like the retcon any more than the rest of you, truly. I don't think it makes any sense, and I think it diminishes Chloe as a character, but I honestly think we're supposed to believe that Chloe has lost interest in journalism. They haven't shown her being a reporter in a good long while, and she hasn't shown any discernible anger or sorrow at losing her job at the DP, which she called a "black hole." Yes, Chloe has a long history of hiding her feelings, but the show always lets us in on the secret, by showing us her longing looks behind Clark's back, or a wistful remark she utters in passing. We've seen nothing like that. She's not trying to get her job back, or looking for work at another paper. And I think the most joy she's shown lately was while working with Oliver in Siren, and dancing the tango in Sleeper.

I also think we're supposed to believe that Chloe is head over heels in love with Jimmy. The signs have been there pretty much all season, but I just haven't wanted to accept them. In this episode, in their one scene together, she seemed positively entranced with him. And when he proposed... Oh, wait, this time I really am gonna hurl... Sorry, I can't help it... I don't think she was repulsed by the idea. Although I'm afraid that, like Lex, she's all too aware of Jimmy's limitations. After all, when the DDS dragged her away, it wasn't Jimmy's help she frantically wanted. :)

Chloe rocked the non-Chimmy portions of the episode, and I am beyond relieved that Allison Mack signed a contract to return for the final season. She's too gifted of an actress to lose. Let's just hope they honor her talent with some decent story lines! I liked Chloe's part in the story this week. She helped Clark without solving all the puzzles for him, and I loved their little exchange before she tried to take Kara down for him: "Chloe, you're the only one who can help me." "I'm always here for you, Clark." I thought it was cool that Brainiac remembered her, and saw her as a threat to him, but I didn't really understand what happened when he attacked her. I guess she was using her healing power to heal herself and resist him? And overpowering her clearly drained him. What I wonder is if the struggle somehow expended her ability completely and forever, and if the visual effect we saw was meant to represent that. Could we possibly come back to a non-infected Chloe in S8?

I still like Jimmy, and adore Aaron Ashmore. I think he's a good actor, and I buy Jimmy's incredible naivete when it comes to Lex. The boy is beyond clueless, which for me is part of his charm. I liked that he so obviously hated lying to Lois. I also liked that he stood his ground and said no to Lex, even though he didn't think that decision through to its logical conclusion. And he was suitably distressed in his scene with Clark. I'm telling you, I really can see the whole sidekick thing working there. And I won't even risk mentioning Jimmy's other scene again. I'm still feeling a little queasy.

Laura Vandervoort gave us one of her best performances this week, and I'm sorry to hear she won't be around much, if at all, next season. I've been a fan of LV and Kara both since the beginning. Although it does chafe to have a super-powered being around who routinely makes Clark look unaccomplished, so I can understand the decision to back off from that. LV seems like a gracious person, and I wish her every success.

Random thoughts: Michael Rosenbaum's voice-over on the previouslies gave me a thrill, as did hearing him call Clark Kal-El in the Fortress. Squee! Did you catch Jimmy pacing outside Lex's office before he burst in? That was cute. This episode was bookended by really bad CGI, on the airplane at the beginning of the episode, and on the collapsing Fortress at the end. Have we ever heard a doorbell at the Kent farm before? And because my review wouldn't be complete without it, I still hate the Chimmy!

All in all, this was another great Smallville season finale for me. The Superman moments were there, I'm curious about what the new season will bring, and I'm happy enough with the ending we got for Clex. I'll miss you terribly, Michael, and I hope you find nothing but joy in the life that lies ahead for you. Tom, I love you, and thank you so much for all you've given to this show over the past season. Plus a very special thank you for venturing out a bit recently. Could you please do that again, some more? I'm definitely in for one more season of Smallville, and I'll see the rest of you who are coming back in September!

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Comments
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: May 18th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)
ILU. Ok let me start with the few things I hated and then I'll move on to some of the amazing points you made. I freaking love Aaron Ashmore. I loved him on Veronica Mars and found him so incredibly sexy and loved him in that movie Prom Date with his cute blue hair, but I hate him as Jimmy and frankly a lot of it for me has to do with his relationship Chloe. Resolve it show and I'm ignoring Chloe's glow-y thing cause it made no sense to me but yay James Marsters!

Over the past few episodes, MR has shown us exactly why TPTB should have given him whatever he wanted to stay on the show. His Lex is fascinating and compelling, with a complexity I would have loved to explore further. Now that the villain in him has finally emerged, I feel cheated that the iconic struggle between Clark and Lex will forever be relegated to Offscreenville. This week Lex was masterful and in cold command at first. He sent teams of minions to risk the dangers of the Arctic and pave his way. He bullied Jimmy into lying and spying for him, and then casually moved to destroy Chloe's life when Jimmy backed out of the deal. Even when Krainiac revealed so much to him, he remained wary, and kept his feelings closely guarded. But once he stepped inside the Fortress, he was undone. That final scene, for all its briefness, was immensely satisfying.

Just word! Lex was all me, me, me at the ending but you could not feel something for him b/c even in his delusion you know he believes what he's doing is right which what makes him such a compelling villain.


Tom was great in the rest of the episode, too. He continues to portray Clark as a strong, independent, righteous man who has found his inner code of honor, and believes in it absolutely. Every second he's on my television screen brings me joy. Clark faced crisis after crisis this week, and met each one head on. I loved how he totally believed in Kara. When presented with the irrefutable evidence of her actions, he correctly concluded that there was something wrong with her, and then took decisive action to intervene. I didn't love another scene of Kara flying off while Clark watched in helpless frustration, but that's where Clark is in his development right now. :( I loved how, when he realized Kara was actually Brainiac, he didn't mope at Chloe's bedside, but instead went after him, and didn't hesitate to destroy him.


So great. Who ever says Tom can't act really needs to shut the hell up and watch this episode. Clark has shown himself as so capable that he just needs that extra step. I hope I'm not disappointed next season b/c I feel that after years of Clark's growth being almost non-existent they've finally made him who he is supposed to be.

am beyond relieved that Allison Mack signed a contract to return for the final season. She's too gifted of an actress to lose. Let's just hope they honor her talent with some decent story lines!

I do too! Give her something to work with writers!

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 18th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't even mention James Marsters in my review, which is terrible. He is always so perfect in his portrayal of Brainiac that I feel like I'm starting to take his excellence for granted! *facepalm*

As short as that final scene was, I suppose it had to be all about Lex, since it was MR's swan song. But I wish they had given us a true exchange between Lex and Clark. Everything Lex said was so raw and revealing and rich! I wish we could have had something equally satisfying from Clark.

I don't understand the people who can't see beyond Tom's pretty face, and automatically assume he can't act. All season long he's given us scene after scene of wonderful performances, and in this episode he went through just about every emotion in the book. I was really impressed.

It seems like they could go in so many different directions next season. I'm actually feeling pretty excited about the possibilities!
jeannev From: jeannev Date: May 18th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
As per usual, an intersting review that is wonderful to read.

I particularly like how you touched on what the show has been actually TELLING US, and how that might differ from what we want, but doesn't change what the show is saying. I understand being disappointed by a storyline direction. I don't understand refusing to acknowledge it.

I'm very disappointed in the show's decision to have such a short Clex confrontation in the FOS. This should've taken up the entire last segment of the show, and there is so much you could've gotten rid of to make room for it. Instead, its all compressed into a 3+ minute scene. And MR and TW were wonderful in it, and Lex got a decent POV. But still, I don't think I'll believe that it could've been, and should've been, much, much more.

Have we ever heard a doorbell at the Kent farm before?

Lois rung the doorbell in Crimson, when she was all dressed up to come and seduce Clark.

I'll miss you terribly, Michael, and I hope you find nothing but joy in the life that lies ahead for you. Tom, I love you, and thank you so much for all you've given to this show over the past season. Plus a very special thank you for venturing out a bit recently.

I completely second all of that!!

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 18th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for reading, and commenting. This is one of those times when I end up feeling like people see me as a little unsophisticated in my love for this show. I appreciate that you never require for us to agree in order to talk about an episode. Not everyone feels that way.

I don't understand how some people seem to live in denial either. And then they create these complicated, convoluted plots to explain away what is playing out right in front of their eyes. I guess otherwise they would have to stop watching altogether.

How could they not devote more time to that final confrontation? It was the moment we've waited seven years to see! I think Lex's dialogue was awesome, and MR made it even better, but I would have liked to see Clark say something equally revealing about his feelings for Lex. I loved what he did say, but I wish there could have been more.

Tom was so great in that scene. Did you see how he held his right hand when Clark was telling Lex he had no right to control his life? He was pointing with it, as if to punctuate what he was saying. The boys were so totally in the moment! They were living it, not just acting it.

It's my first summer hiatus in fandom! :) I'm looking forward to some fun!
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: May 18th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh. My. God. That sharing of a brain you mentioned? This review sort of confirms it. I deliberately kept away from your review till I could be done with mine, and I'm amazed at how many common points we have! Sheesh, even the random thoughts coincide! o_O

But yeah, needless to say, YES! to every point on your review. I'm still in denial about Chimmy and Chloe+DP (however that is supposed to be shortened), but the rest is just ... YES. I wish I had more to add here, but you've just said everything I wanted to. GMTA! :D

I'm in for another season, too. Stupid show and its stupid addictiveness!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 19th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I just came from reading your review, and you're so right! LOL! It's nice to find someone who sees things the same way as much as you do, truly. Sometimes is just fun to share the squee without having to explain everything you're feeling, you know? :)

And I'm glad you'll be back for more! \o/
laurelnola From: laurelnola Date: May 18th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
"There is no doubt in my mind that he truly loves Clark, and yet he remained determined that Clark must be stopped. And so he stayed by his side, holding Clark in his arms, as the Fortress crashed down around them, proving that while nothing surpassed his need to be the savior of the human race, he was willing to sacrifice his own life rather than leave Clark to face his fate alone."

I loved that. The Clex scene was the only scene I actually bothered to find on YouTube, otherwise I only know what happened from recaps. And Lex's line "the way you gave up on me" went straight to my heart. MR, with that scene, blew every other actor, including the magnificent JG, out of the water for this season.

The CW are a tree-full of crack monkeys for not offering this young man the damn MOON to stay.

I have to say, though, that I wanted to smack Clark a little bit (okay, a lotta bit) with his "you never thought of anyone but yourself" bullshit. Seriously, Clark? Go back and watch Season 1. And 2. And 3. And 4. And every goddamn time Lex has hauled your ungrateful ass out of the fire, you fucking hypocrite. Grrr, that made me want to reach into my television and throttle him. Why do they make me want to strangle my own hero?!

Actually, I think that the writer's folly is in mixing up SV-verse with Donner-verse. Yeah, CR's Superman used lines like that, including 'diseased maniac' and all that, but THAT Lex Luthor WAS just a villain who came out of nowhere. He was NOT Clark Kent's boyhood friend who had shown countless examples of decency and loyalty and humanity and LOVE towards Clark himself. Pay attention to your own story, morons! *sigh* Sorry, just had to rant a little there. Now I feel better! *g*

Otherwise, it goes without saying that the scene was a powerful one, and I, too, will miss Michael, as I'm sure will his partner in crime, TW. Who's going to booby trap TW's trailer from now on? :-(

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 19th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I know what you mean about that line of Clark's. I shouldn't have to make excuses for my hero, but all I can think is that Clark is afraid, and feeling betrayed that Lex went to the FoS with his knowledge of Clark's true identity, instead of coming to Clark himself. It only reinforces the picture of Lex that he's developed over the past couple of seasons, and that was fully hardened by the final step Lex took when he murdered Lionel. So Clark is talking about who Lex is now, not who he once was. But, yeah, that's only so much fanwank anyway. I totally understand your feelings about that line.

To be fair, that line made me cringe, as did the one where Clark said he had never done anything to hurt Lex. I agree that Clark has never done anything to Lex with malicious intent, but he's done plenty that has ended up hurting Lex, so that line sounded a little self-righteous to me. I would have liked it better if he had said he never meant to hurt Lex.
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: May 18th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
//Laura Vandervoort gave us one of her best performances this week, and I'm sorry to hear she won't be around much, if at all, next season.//

LV's not returning? I'm honestly surprised. Cliffhanger notwithstanding, I thought Kara could certainly have done with 3-7 eps next season.

Here's hoping the final season can offer us a good year. Of course, MR agreeing to guest star will please me very much, though it doesn't seem likely at the moment.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 19th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
She evidently doesn't have a contract, and seemed to think she would only be asked to be in one or two episodes, if at all. Maybe with AlMiles gone, she doesn't fit into the overall plan anymore. If there even is an overall plan, that is. :) I liked Kara, so I'll miss her.

I have high hopes for S8. I certainly would love to have MR back, especially for a series-ending arc, but I'm not holding my breath.
talitha78 From: talitha78 Date: May 18th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great review! You got me a little teary-eyed towards the end there.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 19th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww, thank you! I've spent a considerable amount of time today watching your awesome Clex vids and wallowing in my sadness over Michael's departure from the show. Like the song says, "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." *sniffles*
voldything From: voldything Date: May 18th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Although it does chafe to have a super-powered being around who routinely makes Clark look unaccomplished

I think her purpose is to shake Clark up and make him realize he can't stay in the farm forever. I believe Kara is a symbol of what he can become, not of what he's useless at :D
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 19th, 2008 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)
That's a great way to look at it. I've really enjoyed Kara on the show, especially her scenes with Clark. They really do feel like brother and sister to me, and all their scenes seemed so natural. I loved watching them together.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 19th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn’t love this episode; I didn’t hate it either, but I was disappointed in it. There was a lot of things to wrap up and not a lot of time to do it and some things they focused on were not of interest to me. But mostly, it just didn’t feel like a finale. Your review has made me want to rewatch it again and to especially rethink the last scene. The main thing I’m not sure about is how Lex was portrayed during the FOS scene. Up until that scene I was squeeing with delight at his evilness and Micheal’s brilliant portrayal of full fledged villain; then in the FOS he just seemed screwed up and pathetic to me. Something felt off and OOC. And after the incredible crescendo of emotion he and Clark reached in “Descent” it all just seemed so anti-climatic. I didn’t think the scene was long enough or fleshed out enough. I didn’t like that Lex so quickly believed that Clark was a danger to mankind, which seemed like a contrivance. I also didn’t like the staging or the special effects and the purple pinkish orb didn’t seem to make sense either. As you can tell I had some trouble with it. LOL! So thanks for giving me something more to look at on my next viewing.

As for everything else in your review I’m completely feeling it! But I hope you know that I don’t think we have to agree on everything. I greatly respect your intellect and your opinion no matter what. :)

Overall I wish there had been more screen time for Clark because in the scenes he had he was magnificent. Here’s what you said:

"Tom was great in the rest of the episode, too. He continues to portray Clark as a strong, independent, righteous man who has found his inner code of honor, and believes in it absolutely. Every second he's on my television screen brings me joy. Clark faced crisis after crisis this week, and met each one head on."

Word, word and more word to that!!!

Thanks so much for a season of great reviews and I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on the next. Here’s to hoping they get it right in season 8. (I so want them to.) And I also hope we have more sightings/special appearances to keep us talking this summer. ;) TWL247

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 19th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, of course we don't have to agree! I always love to hear another viewpoint!

I'm not trying to convince you of anything, but I'll tell you my take on that last scene. I loved Lex's dialogue in the FoS. I see him as delusional, brought to that place by fear and bitterness, the two emotions that have come to rule his life. And ultimately he feels both for Clark. Fear because he's an alien (and aliens have treated Lex pretty badly, all the way around), and bitterness over the fact that Clark never trusted him enough to tell him his secret. Defining Clark as a threat to the world gives Lex the opportunity to see himself as a hero for stopping him, while secretly (maybe subconsciously) satisfying his desire for revenge for Clark's personal betrayal. And then there's the love Lex feels for Clark, and that's genuine, and just complicates things that much more.

The other thing that makes Lex's view of the situation so interesting to me is, if he were talking about anyone but Clark, he would probably be right! Most of the aliens we've seen on the show have been hell-bent on destruction, and have been forces of evil that Clark has had to vanquish. The part that makes Lex's view crazy is that he knows Clark, and knows he would never hurt anyone, but his emotions overrule his common sense, and Clark becomes the enemy in his eyes.

Tom really was amazing in this episode. It was a great finish to the season for him. I, too, hope he'll pop up from time to time over the hiatus!

Thanks for reading my reviews, and for all your wonderful comments! I'm excited for S8, and I'm really curious to see what changes AlMiles' departure might bring. In any case, I'm in for the duration!
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From: (Anonymous) Date: September 2nd, 2008 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Kel's Thoughts

Hi Tariel! How are you? Here's my last review of season 7 for now since season 8 is starting soon! I also ranted a bit about my feelings of this past year and what is to come.

I liked Michael's voiceover on the previously segment as well, that was a nice touch at least. I thought his exit was average at best to be honest. After seven years, he finally finds out Clark's secret and then what? He's gone. I know it was because of Mike's contract ending but it was anticlimatic. I thought the orb was supposed to control Clark or something? How does destroying the fortress and having it crash down on the Traveler control him? Wow, the writing on this show is SO bad sometimes. I give credit to Michael of course, he was great as usual and he brought such complexity to an iconic villain and in the process made it an even better character. I know they've been trying to explain Lex's origins in the comics and make him more sympathetic but Rosenbaum is Lex Luthor to me forever. Leaps and bounds above Spacey. Nobody will do it better. Same goes for Tom, he's my Superman and much better than Routh. And to a lesser extent, Erica as well who is great as Lois.

I know, this is going to annoy you but the Clana scene touched me. In fact, it made me cry a lot. I must have watched the scene a dozen times. I can't believe that after seven years, the relationship is over. It was also probably because of Tom's amazing performance, I honestly think that it was one of his best scenes throughout the entire series. He was so emotional and broken down while watching the video (I wonder if Tom was emotionally drained after what must have been a long season). Lois coming in to hug Clark was nice as well, he needs a shoulder to lean on - seriously. I loved the whole setup, you knew something was amiss when Lana wasn't in her hospital room, my sister actually said "Oh no..." I loved how Tom was so earnest in the first part of the scene, his "Can I see her?" kills me. It's just so honest, like a child wanting to see his mother who's been in the hospital. The CD did remind me of the video that Lana recorded for Whitney, but this one was more emotional. I wish they would have let Lana mention that she was in pain, let her say something like "I love you Clark, but I can't live like this" Corny I know, but it would have made more sense. Then she could have said the world will always need you more, IE. she'll always be in danger because of his importance. Why did she really leave? I wish it was explained more. Kristin really was pitch-perfect though and I still believe that their chemistry is amazing. Even though they're not in the same room, they can still make me get all emotional.

By the way, have you always hated Clana or just since season 5 or whenever? I know Kristin will be back for several episodes next season so I hope they can finally move on and let them be friends, but their romantic relationship is definately over. Now, I would like to beleive that Clark will be upset when Lana comes back and will want nothing to do with her in the first episode where they meet again. But since the writers are complete morons, Clark will probably be asking himself whether he still loves her or not. How can he not be angry though? Seriously, he needs to vent at her.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 3rd, 2008 10:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Kel's Thoughts

Hi! I finally found my way back here to reply!

I can understand being disappointed by Lex's final episode. Smallville has a knack for putting too much into an episode, and then everything gets shortchanged. That final scene could have been so much longer, and so much more. OTOH, it was satisfying enough for me, because of Michael's performance. He gave Clark and Lex the best farewell he could under the circumstances, I think. And I see we had the same questions about the orb! :)

Believe me, I cried for Clark in that scene where he watched Lana's DVD, and I did think both Tom and KK were awesome, acting wise. It just frustrates me for Lois's sake that the show seems determined to make her Clark's second choice. That's just wrong, IMO. Honestly, I don't hate Lana, I just feel passionately that the Clana needs to end. I hope they give it a fitting goodbye in S8 when KK returns. I want the final parting to be mutual, or Clark's choice, but not Lana sacrificing her love for Clark by giving him up for the sake of the world. I've been touched by many Clana moments over the seasons, but Lois and Clark is the OTP of this story in the end.

I shipped Clana big time in S1, and have been swept away by the romance of lots of Clana moments since then. For example, I'm probably one of the few people among my friends who actually liked the Clana dance in Spirit. I found it to be quite nostalgic and tender. And I loved the happy, carefree Clana in Mortal and Hidden, and that was in S5! But time and time again, the relationship holds Clark back from embracing his true destiny, and that's why I've come to resent it. I also think Lana is just plain mean to Clark a lot of the time. I think the story would have been much better served if the show had let Clark and Lana be a true couple in high school, and then break up by the time high school was over, once and for always. And then let Lana be Clark's good friend. That would have been my preference.

I am fascinated by the possibilities of what they'll do with KK when she returns. It could be awesome, or it could drive me crazy! :)

Thanks, as always, for your comments. I have to go to bed now, but I'll be back to reply to your continued comments! And again, welcome to LJ!

Edited at 2008-09-04 09:15 am (UTC)
kelvintage From: kelvintage Date: September 2nd, 2008 07:56 am (UTC) (Link)

More Ranting!

Brace yourself for a rant:

I'm afraid for the eighth season, I will miss both Michael and Kristin immensely. They are family members of Smallville and it feels like they're moving to another country, never to be seen again. It makes me sad that such a great show couldn't finish with most of its cast members intact AND it's a shame that Annette won't come back. I think the producers and writers have constantly made mistakes by being arrogant about their cast. They mistreated Scnieder and O'Toole and now they won't make a return appearance which simply makes the show look idiotic, not that the producers have reached out to them. The writers can't even show Clark talking on the phone with his mother? How difficult can it possibly be? They just think they don't NEED anyone, which makes me angry. I've heard rumours they're going to try to continue the show without Tom, which is unthinkable! I think that may be the last straw for me if they attempt to do that... They've already angered me by not using Laura next season, I was really disappointed. I thought she was going to have the same contract as Erica again. It was completely unprofessional the way they told her that she would not be back, I have no doubt that the remaining cast noticed that and that's why the new producers are not any better than AlMiles IMO. They got rid of both Whitney and Jason (Jensen) after one season so Laura is in good company, they're all decent actors and it's amazing the talent that this show has wasted.

Now, I know Whitney and Jason probably had to go for the story's sake and it's arguable that Kara had to leave for the betterment of Clark's character but the family aspect is completely dead now and it's sad. The first two seasons were so family-oriented and it feels like the show has lost its heart. I feel that Laura is similar to Tom in a lot of ways. They're both perceived as pretty people who can't act. Tom has grown into a wonderful actor but I think it's fair to say he was a little green in season 1. Laura is relatively young and under Tom and Erica's wings, I thought that she had improved this season already. I understand when people say that the producers only used Kara for sex appeal but I think both Laura and Tom attempted to rise above the material. Their chemistry and scenes together were lovely, particularly the scenes in Fierce and Lara where they have some honest moments. They almost completely wasted the family aspect with Kara too, why couldn't they show Kara and Clark hanging out and having fun like a brother and sister? Instead of making her go away every other episode? That's why I sort of like filler episodes (Fierce), at least it shows the characters doing normal things or spending time together. There was a thread on tv.com where one poster said "They can't leave Kara in the phantom zone" and the next person said "Yes they can. These are the Smallville writers." Sometimes I think the writers and producers are complete morons. It's such a glaring problem that I can't believe they're not going to address it right away, give Laura/Kara two episodes in the beginning of the season and let her move on. It's not difficult. I know Laura did finally let everyone know that she will be back for one episode apparently, but I wish there was more family time. I'm afraid it's going to be rushed.

And what kind of a cousin would that make Clark? To leave his only living blood relative to languish in Hell while he goes about daily life never thinking of her or trying to get her back? I swear, if they don't even mention Kara then I don't what I'll do... I'll probably watch the show to finish it out but man... I think that would be the definitive sign that this Clark Kent is not the real Superman, and never will be worthy to be, while currently I think Tom's performance is so great, he could truly become Superman easily. He should say something like "Kara's gone...I don't know if she's even alive." See? Easy.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 4th, 2008 09:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: More Ranting!

As you might already know from reading my reviews, I adored Kara, and Laura. I thought she and Tom were wonderful in all their scenes together, and they just seemed so relaxed with each other. They really did seem like cousins to me. And I like Laura even more after seeing the vids of her from the SFX Con. I will miss her a lot.

I like the parallel you draw between Laura now and Tom when he was first starting out. I think it's absolutely true that they were both seen as just pretty faces at first. But I think Tom came to the party with a huge amount of raw natural talent. He was already impressing me with his acting long before the first season was over, and he just blows me away now. I thought Laura did a great job her first year as well.

I, too, mourn the loss of all of Clark's family members from the show. I loved the Kent family dynamic in the early seasons, and Supes without Martha in his life is unthinkable, IMO. Plus I just miss AOT and JS. It's kind of funny, they've eliminated pretty much any character over the age of 30. Lionel was the last. I guess Dawn Ostroff is dead serious about that target age range, first with her viewers, and now with her actors!

The only reason I don't want to see KK on the show as a regular is that I don't think the writers can resist the temptation to bring back the Clana, and to that I say, enough already. Also, it's clear that both Michael and Kristin are ready to move on, and I would never want them chained to the show unwillingly. I'm actually incredibly excited for S8, and have been for a long time now. I love Justin, the spoilers are intriguing, and those promo pics are to die for! We'll see if the episodes live up to the promise and the hype.

BTW, I loved Lana with Jason in S4. My understanding is that his character was supposed to have a two-season arc, but when Supernatural was picked up, they had to accelerate his descent into darkness and write him out by the end of the season instead.

I share your frustrations with the writers and producers of this show. My loyalty has always been with the actors, and I am devoted to them. That feeling was further enforced by the vids from the Rosenbaum/Marsters panel at Dragon*Con this past weekend. They talked about how they had no idea what was going on with the plot most of the time, and how the producers refused to tell them. Probably because they didn't know either! *rolls eyes*
kelvintage From: kelvintage Date: September 2nd, 2008 07:59 am (UTC) (Link)

LiveJournal!

In regards to Tom, I think it's really time for him to move on along with Alison and even Erica. He's given eight years of his life to this show and will almost have a decade in the industry under his belt, most of it on Smallville. Amazing eh? I would love to see them do other work...my sister and I are afraid that we'll never see them again, we joke about it but it does worry me. I hope Tom does a couple of good films, whether they're romantic comedies or violent epics. Being on a television show is too restrictive, I compare it to school. For 9 months, you're stuck in the same place. With more free time, Tom may do a film or two...or start a family, whatever makes him happy. I hope Tom is not coerced into doing a 9th season of Smallville because of money or fear... I'm guessing he hasn't been too happy the past couple of seasons so I don't think he will but you never know. Now, I know that Tom doesn't do a good job of promoting himself possibly because he doesn't really care so maybe these wishes are all for naught. I hope I'm wrong...I thought the Vogue photos and the MET appearance was a step in the right direction but it's as if Tom simply thinks "Well, I tried." He has to go to a couple of more premieres during the winter hiatus from the show or he's messed. While I do think that it speaks volumes that he hasn't said a word about Smallville for well over a year now, I'm praying that he won't sign on for another season, there's nothing left for you in Smallville...and this is coming from a Smallville lover... I will wait vigilently for the day when he goes to the premiere of his new film that he is starring in! Please, movie gods, let it happen.

P.S: I took the plunge and joined LiveJournal! Ah! I hope it'll be fun in the future! I love this icon...can I just take it to use or do I have to ask permisson from the creator? Thanks! I'm trying to learn how to use this thing...I love all of your icons by the way...hint hint! I may be tempted to take some in the future if that's okay? Please? I would make my own but I'm sort of challenged when it comes to art...and women...and - well you get the idea.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 2nd, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: LiveJournal!

Hi! Welcome to LJ! I'll come back later, after work, and reply to all your thoughtful comments, but I wanted to let you know right away you can feel free to snag any of my icons, just be sure to give the maker proper credit in the comments on your userpics page (let me know if you need help with that part), as I have on mine. The particular one you're using now was made especially for me by a friend, but I'm happy to share, as is she, so enjoy! Just be aware that some people might get upset if they realize it's a spoiler pic. I'll be using it as my default once Odyssey airs.

I'm friending you now. Brace yourself, you will now have access to all my super secret posts! No, I'm kidding, it's just a lot of boring personal stuff. :) If you need any help with anything, just ask! I'll be back later to talk about Smallville!
kelvintage From: kelvintage Date: September 5th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Last comment I swear

I've begun watching Rosenbaum at Dragoncon and he's so funny. 9 times out of 10 he makes me laugh. I saw the video where they said the producers wouldn't tell them what was going on! Hilarious! It's probably true that the producers didn't know what they were doing either. I think it's more frustrating to be an actor than most people believe, especially when you're contracted on a series and have little input. It's nice when the actors poke fun at the show when it's bad though, at least they're not pretending that it's perfect.

I will watch the 8th season of course, heck, I would watch a 9th season just to finish it but I really hope that I'm not disappointed and they don't move Clark forward in the last two episodes. Have you ever seen Birds of Prey, based on Batman's daughter? It was cancelled and they didn't shoot the last two episodes yet so they crammed everything into them. It was a little jarring to say the least. I just wanted to mention that I saw a couple of the new stills from the first two episodes of this new season and they look great! I am getting excited now, Tom is so gorgeous! I think he's the most beautiful man in the world! I'm a guy and straight (I hope) but I wish Tom was my friend! So sad. Actually, it's probably better that he's not, he would just steal every girl's attention away and I have enough trouble as it is! And of course I will watch for Tom and enjoy seeing him onscreen; he makes every episode bearable (almost). I hope I didn't come off as unappreciative of Smallville, because it's given us all of the cast members and some great episodes. I started class today and I was at the subway, there were all these posters for the A Channel and Global plastered everywhere. Guess what? NO Smallville or Supernatural, what a shocker. I honestly do think they are the two most underappreciated or underseen shows in the past five years. There were posters for Ellen (hasn't that been on for four years?) and Fringe and 90210. Actually, I've NEVER seen SV or SPN posters plastered anywhere in Toronto... I have class everyday except Thursday so now I even love it more, a day off to watch SV and SPN! Please tell me everything will be okay. I'm looking forward to your reviews of the new episodes! Less than two weeks, wow, time really does fly by.

P.S: Tom's red jacket fetched $2000 when Laura and Michael auctioned it off last weekend! Yay for charity and Tom's awesome for signing and sending it to her. Hopefully, this means that he'll never wear it again after the season premiere!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 5th, 2008 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Last comment I swear

I've watched every scrap of video I could find of Michael at both Cons. Could he be any more awesome? He's just so funny, but also so sweet, and so classy when he talks about the show. He pokes fun, but never disrespects his former colleagues. I adore him.

I've heard of Birds of Prey, but never seen it. I've liked a lot of shows that have been cancelled right in the middle of things, though, so I know how frustrating it is not to have the kind of resolution you want or need. I share your fears about how they handle this season. If they stall, stall, stall, trying to get a S9, and then wrap it all up in a couple of episodes at the end, my head will explode. I just hope Tom will make it clear from the start that he's finished when the season's finished. Who knows if the CW would even want a S9, though, or if they'll even be around as a network next year?

Those episode stills are unbelievable! Tom has never looked more handsome on the show, IMO. And I know better than to think they've retired the red jacket entirely, but I love that it isn't in any of the pics. And seriously, they should have a gigantic poster in your subway of that shot of dirty, sweaty, scruffy Clark in that henley. Who wouldn't tune in to see that?! LOL!

No class on Thursdays? I'm so jealous! :) I did put in for vacation on September 18-19. I want to revel in the return of both of my shows, and then have all day Friday to write my first reviews of the new season. I can't wait. I'm buried in work right now, but things should be a little calmer by then. Oh, and everything's going to be way better than okay! It's going to be glorious! \o/
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