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Smallville 8.11 - Legion - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 8.11 - Legion
Never before have I seen an episode of Smallville hyped as much as Legion was. From the moment the announcement was made at Comic-Con last summer that DC golden boy Geoff Johns would write an episode this season, fandom has been bouncing in anticipation. Along the way we've seen spoilers, interviews, episode stills, teasers, and clips, and everything reached a fever pitch over the hiatus, when it seemed that January 15th would never arrive. So, did Legion live up to the hype? Oh, baby, I believe that it did!

I read Superman comics as a kid, but I haven't kept up, and at first I had no idea who Geoff Johns was, or why all the fanboys were flailing over the prospect of him bringing the Legion of Super-Heroes to Smallville. The Supes love that I have, and that brought me to this show, was born out of TV and film. But after listening to everyone wax rhapsodic over the man, I made it my mission to hunt down and read what the mighty Geoff Johns had written. And I fell in love. Because he is a great storyteller, but also because this guy's Superman is the hero of my dreams. And along with the Legion, that's what he brought to Smallville.

The story in Legion was deceptively simple: Clark has to stop Brainiac, hopefully without killing Chloe, and the Legionnaires stick around to help because of the Persuader's damaging interference. But the episode itself was rich and complex, full of conflict and heroism, exploring concepts that lie at the heart of the Superman mythos, advancing Clark's storyline within the series, and bringing in enough elements from the DCU to satisfy even the biggest comics geek. Plus it was just a rollicking good time, with action, special effects, and humor. I loved it!

The Legion members were wonderfully written and perfectly cast. Cosmic Boy was every inch the leader, strong and resolute. I'm already half in love with him. Saturn Girl displayed the understanding that comes with knowing everyone's thoughts and feelings. She radiated empathy. And Lightning Lad was the ultimate fanboy, expressing the adoration the Supes fans among us all feel. He made me laugh. They were true to their comic book counterparts, right down to their costumes, executed with that special Smallville twist. From our first glimpse of them with that glorious shot of Rokk's flight ring, to that last, loaded warning before they left, every moment was a thrill. You didn't have to be a comics fan to fully appreciate the Legion, but if you were, there were lots of extra little details that made the episode even more fun.

With the Legion we were able to explore what destiny means: is it a path or a prison? And what is the difference between a legend and the man who inspires it? Garth was rocked to his core to discover a Clark who didn't embody his idol Kal-El in every way. I think Clark, in turn, was both touched and intimidated by what his future evidently holds. This season we've seen him expand his heroics from mostly friends and family to anyone who needs his help, and from the confines of Smallville to the crowded streets of Metropolis. Now he's told that's just the beginning, that his influence will be felt across the universe. That's heady stuff.

The Legion also brought up the question of history, and how it both illuminates and obscures. Can Clark trust their version of his story? I especially liked how the Legion members gave voice to some of the questions that have been plaguing fans for years. Why, exactly, hasn't Clark learned how to fly? Why has Chloe's name, and her importance in Clark's life, been lost to the past, and what does that portend for her future? Does she die, and in so doing finally inspire Clark to take to the skies? Or does she take another name, one that perhaps they already know all too well? It was a relief just to hear the show acknowledge these questions, even if they did leave them all unanswered.

I can't say I appreciated another hint at the Chlois theory, though, right on the heels of the Clois almost-kiss in Bride. In a fandom that sometimes seems to be dominated by its shipper wars, we don't need any more fuel for that fire. Pick a ship and run with it, show, and stop trying to pander to all fan groups at once. Actually, as much as I've enjoyed the flirty, funny moments Clark and Lois have shared this season, one of the things I liked best about Legion was its complete lack of romantic entanglements. Give me a smart, heroic Clark, a compelling big bad, some superpowers, and a good story, and I'm a happy fangirl. Even the comic book stuff was just icing on the cake for me.

I loved the Clark that Geoff Johns gave us in Legion. He was my hero, showing great leadership and strength of character, absolute conviction in his beliefs, and the determination to think and act independently that has become his trademark in S8. He was, in a word, my Superman. I have enjoyed every step of Clark's journey on Smallville, truly, but after seven seasons of watching, this Clark is exactly the man for whom I've been waiting, and I can't even express how happy I am to see him emerge. And Tom Welling plays him perfectly, as if he's been waiting his whole life to show us the man Clark is destined to become. My secret wish is to see Tom in a romantic comedy, not a Superman film, but I've never been more convinced he could pull off the suit and the cape on the big screen than I was when Legion ended.

I also loved Clark's interaction with the Legionnaires. It was gratifying to see their open admiration of Clark, and how deeply that affected him. And I liked how the relationship between them developed, how it was broken and then forged anew as they learned to see Clark as a man instead of a legend, but to trust him all the same. The cute moments, like when Garth asked Clark where his cape was, or when Clark signed the baseball with his heat vision, were a delight to watch. But most of all I celebrated how Clark rose to this occasion, and passionately made it clear that he doesn't kill, inspiring the Legion to make his personal code their own. He made me proud.

Allison Mack was amazing this week, as usual. Her Brainiac was chilling. Ruthless, relentless, and completely devoid of emotion, her total disregard for human life was unmistakable. The return of the real Chloe at the end of the episode was nothing short of a transformation. And I'm glad to have Clark's unadulterated BFF back. Analyzing her every word and action, trying to discern what was Chloe and what was Brainiac, was beginning to make my head hurt. Her conversation with Clark before leaving for Star City cleared up a few things in that regard, thankfully. We now know that while Brainiac definitely influenced her during his possession, Chloe evidently decided to marry Jimmy of her own free will, and is anxious to be reunited with her new husband. In fact, the ambivalence her attraction to Davis seemed to indicate was all Brainiac's doing. And Chloe has ALL her memories back. Good move, I approve, but it all seemed kind of anti-climactic to me. I guess I'm not sure why the show bothered to take her memories of Clark's secret away in the first place, if they were going to give them back so easily. What purpose did it all serve? And is Clark ever going to tell Chloe what he did?

If I have fewer questions about Chloe, I'm left with even more about Davis. Brainiac said Davis isn't human, and has no free will. Is that true? And if so, with Brainiac gone, who controls the beast? With his incubation interrupted, what state is Davis in, exactly? And if he's nothing but a monster on the inside, am I supposed to be unmoved by his obvious anguish over what he's become? Are we looking at a showdown between Clark and Doomsday to bring this season to a close? If so, how in the world are the writers supposed to craft a final story arc that can serve equally well to end the season or the series? I have a bad feeling about this.

Finally, I really struggled with my reaction to Lana this week. First off, I absolutely hated that she had to tell Clark that killing Chloe was not an option. I wanted to see him come to that conclusion on his own, not be scolded into it by Lana. Why does her presence always have to diminish Clark? I wasn't thrilled about the extreme hero worship Imra had for her, either, but I can at least rationalize that as idealized fangirling of her legendary status in future history. I like Lana's new maturity in S8, and the fact that they're giving her an identity outside of being someone's love interest. I applaud her faith in Clark, and her loyalty to Chloe. And I appreciate that her fans want to see a fitting farewell to a character they adore. But do they have to lay it on so thick? For all that's different in S8, some things are very much the same.

Random thoughts: Lana's hairstyle continues to be a disturbing distraction. Kristin Kreuk's new 'do looks fabulous, why not let Lana have it, too? At the end of Bride, Lana was in a hospital gown, in a bed at Metropolis General. And then she put her bloody dress back on and drove back to the farm? Clark is hot when he's angry. And Tom was gorgeous in that white shirt. I'm sorry, but I had to laugh when Clark just ran away from the Legionnaires. It looked kind of silly. And it took me right back to him running away so hilariously from Lois in Crimson. Did you see the Torch article about Alicia in Chloe's binder? Continuity FTW! What's the status of the Fortress now? Did the way Rokk exorcised Brainiac remind anyone else of Sam Winchester? :) And I think Ryan Kennedy is almost as tall as Tom!

We were given a rare treat this week, a true crossover between Smallville and the DCU. The result was a blast, and it seems everyone involved enjoyed the collaboration. Way to think outside the box, show! I'd love to see you do it again sometime. Legion was a fun ride, and it was also a great way to wrap up the first half of the season. Brainiac is gone, Chloe's back, Doomsday has been unleashed, and Clark is more aware than ever of the destiny that awaits him, and of his importance to the entire world. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Cross-posted at Starkville House of El Podcast.

Because I loved Geoff Johns' words, here are my top ten quotes from Legion:

Clark: Who are you? What's going on?
Rokk: Kal-El, it is an absolute honor, and a privilege.
Clark: How do you know that name?
Imra: We are the Legion.
Rokk: We've come from the 31st century.
Garth: Hey, Kal. Where's your cape?
Clark: Cape?

Rokk: Kal-El, your influence will reach far beyond Earth. It's because of you that the world learns to welcome alien immigrants with open arms.
Clark: What do you know about aliens?
Garth: Kal, I may have the smoldering good looks of a human, but I'm actually from a hunk of mud called Winath. Rokk and Imra are from different planets, too.
Imra: We've come together from across the universe to form the Legion, to help others as you do. Without you, none of that would have happened.

Davis: Chloe, if you're in there anywhere, you know that the feelings I have for you are real.
Chloiac: Feelings? That was just a program I was running to get you to me. Your journey's just beginning. Now it's time for you to incubate in your Kryptonian chrysalis. Once you emerge there will be no more pain, no doubt, only absolute rage, and unparalleled power.

Rokk: Kal-El, I have to tell you, we've heard of Lois Lane, Lana Lang, even Jimmy Olsen, but we've never heard a thing about any Chloe Sullivan.
Clark: Then you don't know me as well as you think.
Imra: Her name was probably just lost in the annals of history.
Garth: What she's trying to say is that Chloe Sullivan probably isn't in the history books because she didn't survive.
Clark: Chloe Sullivan doesn't die! Hear me?

Rokk: Lightning Lad! You might want to take your AC foot out of your DC mouth before you short yourself out.
Garth: Right, Rokk. I thought Kal-El was known for doing whatever it took to save the world. Are you sure we got the right guy?
Rokk: It's him.
Garth. I don't know. No glasses, no tights, no flights? So far, he's nothing like the Man of Steel.

Chloiac: Go on, kill me. I knew you'd never harm me in this human skin. Why do you think I chose her?

Clark: Does your Legion have any principles? You speak of a code. But if it had anything to do with me, rule number one would be do not kill. Ever!
Rokk: Kal-El.
Clark: If you ever believed in me, and even if you don't now, help me! There's a human being inside there. We need to help her, and together I think we can.

Clark: Chloe! Are you okay?
Chloe: I'm fine. I definitely feel a whole lot dumber.

Chloe: Thanks for not giving up on me.
Clark: I'd never give up on you, Chloe, you know that.
Chloe: I just hope that if it turned out that there was no other choice, you would choose to do the right thing.
Clark: What choice would that be?
Chloe: To do what's best for the world, and not for me. Know that I'd understand.
Clark: As long as I'm around, that's never gonna happen.

Clark: You sure you want to take that with you?
Rokk: I'm sure we'll be able to re-program what's left of Brainiac into something useful.
Imra: Let's hope Brainiac 5 is a little more friendly.
Rokk: I'm sorry I doubted you, Kal. You did stop Brainiac, and without taking a life.
Clark: There's always a way, Rokk. If it ever seems like there isn't, just remember what we accomplished here today.
Rokk: Preserve life at all costs. That will be the number one rule in Legion code from now on.

And because you know I can't resist the pretty, here are my top twenty caps from the episode. And if you're surprised that all but one are of Tom, then you don't know me at all. :)









































Screen caps courtesy of KEakaCK, with my thanks!

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36 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
drusplace From: drusplace Date: January 20th, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awesome review and picspam! I didn't LOVE the ep, but I did love things you mentioned here. Clark being more like Superman, Allison's portrayal of Brainiac...the fanboy Legion member! Thanks for posting this!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 21st, 2009 09:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! You know me, if I find enough to squee about, it's all good. :)

Garth was great. And I already had my eye on Calum Worthy from his small but hilarious role as shower boy in Supernatural earlier this season.
(Deleted comment)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 21st, 2009 09:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It feels good to write one again!

I really liked that last scene with Clark on the porch. He seemed in awe of what he had learned, and a little wistful as well, but there was no hint of ego. That's my hero.

I have never warmed up to Davis. His very first scene with Clark, where he mistook him for Chloe's fiance, was cute and funny, but since then he's been weird and hostile, and once we had confirmation of the monster he is, and the threat he represents to Clark, he lost any chance of gaining my sympathies. And as you say, he's not acting honorably. I do think Sam Witwer is a good actor, though, who brings complexity to the role.
acampbell From: acampbell Date: January 20th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't posted much reaction to the ep yet, but I did enjoy it. I think my favorite single moment was when Lightning Lad queried: "Are we sure this is the right guy?" They kept things pretty contained, gave us some laughs, and stayed true to the spirit of the Legion I remember from Adventure comics before Geoff Johns was even a gleam in his dad's eye.

I hope they leave it at a one-shot ep--I fear what might happen if the trio became regulars!

Lana is a friend and supporter in Iconic!Supes's future, and that's good enough for me. I wish they wouldn't continue to exaggerate her role, unless they have something really good and special in store. I can't imagine what that would be, though.


Edited at 2009-01-20 02:32 pm (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 21st, 2009 10:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I know how long you've waited for the Legion to come to Smallville, and I'm glad the episode didn't disappoint you. I've only read the recent version of their story, but the costumes at least seemed true to their first incarnation in 1958. I hope the story was as well.

I liked the Legion an awful lot. I wouldn't mind seeing them come back for another episode if we get a S9, but that's not looking too likely now, I suppose. In any case, I'm keeping an eye out for anything else with Ryan Kennedy in it.

I think it would be great to give Lana a meaningful role beyond Clark's girlfriend, an identity all her own, but they just can't seem to resist the temptation to go over the top and make her some kind of saint. And I can't believe they're bringing back the Clana AGAIN, but I don't know what other conclusion I can draw from the spoilers I've seen. *sighs*
simplytoopretty From: simplytoopretty Date: January 20th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
As always, I enjoyed your view. Not quite my view, but I'm sure you expected that :)

I didn't really like the "Chloe Sullivan isn't known in the future" bit. While I realize it's a reference to the fact that Chloe doesn't exist in the DCU, it felt too much like a gimmick to me. It didn't work because, even if Chloe did die, I can't see her name just being lost. She has had such an influence on Clark and to me, setting it up so that she either dies or takes on a penname, is basically saying all Chloe has done in the past 8 years for Clark is worthless. She won't be remember for helping him become a hero, which I just don't like. She won't be remembered for helping save the world. For Chloe fans, that kinda stinks to me.

And of course I dislike anything that makes fandom get all riled up. And of course now you get the "Chloe dies" camp and the "Chloe becomes Lois" camp and the middle ground is all unclear and murky and that's just annoying to me. Like you said, I wish they'd pick a ship and stick to it.

I'm still disappointed that I didn't get a Chlark hug *pouts* I also wished that Chloe had remember not remembering Clark's secret. Maybe she'll remember later, or maybe Clark will confess. I think that needs to come out, otherwise the memory loss in Abyss really was pointless and stupid.

I'm glad you enjoyed the episode!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 21st, 2009 10:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I wonder what restrictions DC placed on what they could and couldn't say about the future in this episode. After all, they seem to be redefining Lana in a big way. So why not just say the Legion had heard of Chloe, too? I guess they want to leave their options open with the one character whose future is not predetermined. I did like what Clark had to say about Chloe, though, throughout the episode.

I wish PS3 would give an interview and just lay it all out there. Be honest, own the story you intend to tell, and let the chips fall where they may. Part of me wonders if they're going to continue with the games right up until the end, and give us an ambiguous ending that can be interpreted more than one way.

I couldn't believe there wasn't a Chlark hug once Brainiac had been exorcised! That moment was screaming for one!
ellyfanfic From: ellyfanfic Date: January 20th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the review! And the screencaps are awesome. Isn't he a pretty boy!?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 21st, 2009 10:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that's one thing we'll always agree on, Elly, that Tom is unbelievably beautiful! :)
eeyore1017 From: eeyore1017 Date: January 20th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I always love reading your reviews. They're so thoughtful and well written!

I thought Tom did a great job being Supermanly and authoritative!

I can't say I appreciated another hint at the Chlois theory, though, right on the heels of the Clois almost-kiss in Bride.
I was not happy about this either. I really don't think the show is going to go the Chlois route so in my opinion, TPTB are just giving the Chlois fans false hope.

In my simple mind, if Chloe was Chlois, then I think the Legion would have recognized her. Even with different colored hair, they would recognize her, in my opinion. They recognized Clark without his glasses or uniform...

I was bothered by the same Lana issues that you were. Including how she ended up back in her dirty dress with apparently no leg injury.

Of course, I love all of the beautiful pictures of Tom that you chose to use. I used some of the same ones in my own picspam. GMTA! :-)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 22nd, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Brianne! That means a lot to me.

I loved watching Clark take a leadership role. I watched the Pilot again the other night, and it's just amazing to see how far he's come.

I don't think the show is going to do Chlois either. But maybe they plan to leave everything up in the air, especially if there is no S9. You know, leave things just ambiguous enough that Cloisers and Chloisers alike can believe their favorite is the real Lois Lane.

I'm not surprised in the least that we picked some of the exact same caps of Tommy to post. GMTA, indeed! :)
frelling_tralk From: frelling_tralk Date: January 20th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really wonderful review, thank you :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 22nd, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for your comment! And thanks for reccing my review to the Ledger! I'm so glad you liked it.
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: January 20th, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is such a well articulated, and beautifully written review. I'm afraid we don't agree on everything wrt this one, but I do agree, and absolutely love the way you've described Clark and his role.

//Because he is a great storyteller, but also because this guy's Superman is the hero of my dreams.//

I think this is precisely why I perhaps had too high expectations from this ep. Because I too, love GJ' work. But unfortunately he did drop the ball on certain things in this ep, for me. Having said that, there was a great deal to enjoy too. The fantastic legion, and some great maturity levels displayed by Clark, being my favorite aspects.

//Why does her presence always have to diminish Clark?//

It doesn't always have to, and to be fair, often it doesn't. But just as often it does too, and that's where I'm having such a problem with Lana' presence so far here, and in 'Bride' too. It's not Lana, because I actually think for the most part she's been written rather well. It's instead her ramifications on the storytelling, and her sometimes ridiculous levels of propping up at the expense of Clark' character - that irks me. This was none moreso evident than in this ep, whatwith the completely WTF placement of those Clana photos in the Kent kitchen. Do the writers realize how emotionally stunted that makes Clark look? These are not photos in his drawer or closet, where I could even understand, because, no doubt Lana was and is a huge part of his life. No, these were romantic, gushy pics placed smack in the middle of the kitchen. Thereby showing that Clark keeps them as constant reminders of a girl who broke up with him several months ago, either because he's unwilling or incapable of doing otherwise. So frustrating, as a Clark fan.

The 2 mins of Davis was just meh. This woobification is not working for me, personally.

For me, the Chlois theory, as much as it does involve a 'ship, is moreso about the total annihilation of an existing character replacing it with the preferred choice of another. So in that sense, I do firmly believe TPTB have picked a "ship" (i.e Lois is Lois). Therefore in that regard, I take the bit about the possibility of Chloe changing her name to mean something else altogether. I actually thought it had watchtower written all over it. And as Bri points out upthread, if it really was about Chlois, then the Legion would have recognized her. Unless Chloe had plastic surgery done too. But, JMO obviously.

But when it comes to the argument of picking an actual 'ship and sticking to it? I could not agree with you more on that. Because in that aspect, clearly TPTB want to keep all fanbases happy, idiots that they are.

That turned out rather longer than I thought, heh! I blame your (very insightful and thought provoking) review. ;-)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 22nd, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for your kind words, truly.

I think my limited exposure to Geoff Johns' work in the comics was just enough to make me love this episode more. :) I did read an interview in which he talked about the challenge of writing for television, where you have many restraints that don't exist in the comics, especially when it comes to things like budget and special effects. And of course I wonder what changes PS3 dictated, and how they impacted the overall story.

I have an anti-Clana bias that spills over into a dread of Lana herself that even I recognize as unreasonable. But every spoiler I hear about the next three episodes makes me shudder anew. I think we're going to see some classic Smallville in the weeks ahead, and not in a good way. :(

For me, the Chlois theory, as much as it does involve a 'ship, is moreso about the total annihilation of an existing character replacing it with the preferred choice of another. So in that sense, I do firmly believe TPTB have picked a "ship" (i.e Lois is Lois).

Exactly! Perfectly stated. I like your Watchtower theory, I thought it was just PS3 throwing another bone. I don't think they're going to kill off Chloe, either, especially considering the likelihood that the fate of the show will be as yet undetermined when the final episode of the season is filmed.

I love long comments, especially from you!
jeannev From: jeannev Date: January 20th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. I really wish I got as much from the episode as you did.

I do agree with you on how awesome the Legion was, and the actors that played them. And my favorite parts of the episode was Clark's interactions with them. That was magical, and thats where I thought Johns writing shined through. But outside of that? I'm afraid I didn't see much magic in Johns story. But I think I recognize the hand of the usual cast of characters in Johns script, so I'm not going to blame him for some of Legion's less stellar moments.

And great pictures. One thing was totally for sure....Tom looked just beautiful. But then again, what else is new? ;)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 22nd, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well you know me, I'm easy. :)

But I think I recognize the hand of the usual cast of characters in Johns script, so I'm not going to blame him for some of Legion's less stellar moments.

I agree, and I'm so curious to know exactly what changes TPTB made. And I'm just now realizing that in addition to PS3, the network and even DC probably had a hand in dictating revisions. But I give them credit for welcoming Johns to the set, and allowing the process to be so collaborative.

I did think Tom looked amazing. He still just takes my breath away, and even more so when he is allowed to give Clark strength and authority.
From: super_robyn Date: January 20th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of the things I liked best about Legion was its complete lack of romantic entanglements. Give me a smart, heroic Clark, a compelling big bad, some superpowers, and a good story, and I'm a happy fangirl.

I agree 106% with this. As much as I enjoy a romantic storyline, I feel like it always manages to overpower what Clark Kent truly is (and what he can be) on this show. Yes, he learns from his experiences with humans and through emotions such as love and partnership, but must he really always be in some sort of love triangle/square/octagon? That’s part of the reason why I love Clark/Chloe scenes, especially when she was still in the DP. They always worked together to save someone, they made each other better people, and there wasn’t that whole “let’s flirt and makes eyes at each other” business. /end Chlark speech lol

I absolutely hated that she had to tell Clark that killing Chloe was not an option.

Seriously! I mean, come on! I don’t think Clark would ever consider killing Chloe. I mean… okay, scratch that, I think if he was at the end of the line and absolutely nothing else could be done… then yes, it would become an option. But he was so easily swayed by Lana’s “you can’t kill Chloe” that it just felt so staged just so Lana could say that to him.

Thanks for the picspam! I’m probably in the minority when I say that… I didn’t really care for Tom in that white shirt. *ducks flying tomatoes* The man looks gorgeous in a tux, but there’s just something about those first 3 pictures… I don’t know. Maybe it’s the hair? I actually prefer him in the red jacket (#7 is KILLING me *drools*)!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 22nd, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
As much as I enjoy a romantic storyline, I feel like it always manages to overpower what Clark Kent truly is (and what he can be) on this show.

I agree! And for me, I never felt the need to define Clark's relationship with Chloe in romantic terms. Their friendship is beyond special, and their scenes are always a joy to watch. The unique bond they share, and the way they support one another, means a lot more to me than whether or not they will share a kiss. Let's focus on Clark's journey, and leave his love life to the future. As you say, the patented Smallville triangle/square/octagon (octagon? hee!) is so overused.

But he was so easily swayed by Lana’s “you can’t kill Chloe” that it just felt so staged just so Lana could say that to him.

Yes, exactly. It just feels like, once again, they don't know what to do with Lana, and so her role feels manufactured, and not natural.

I actually love Tom in the white shirt. I think it's because he looks like some romantic hero out of a period novel, like Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. :) But I also, surprisingly, liked his traditional garb in this episode. When he doesn't wear it every minute of every day, I can appreciate the way it evokes the suit without being so sick of it I want to see it burn. :D
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: January 20th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have no idea who the Legion is and it confused me the entire episode. (Yes, I watched the whole thing.)

I was a little disturbed that Clark was Kal-El, as that's a name I associate with him being less compassionate and idealistic. And I wonder if that's what confused the Legion.

OT: Looky what I got!! *points to icon*
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 22nd, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Geoff Johns wrote a Legion of Super-Heroes arc for Action Comics, and I bought the book version of that to read before the episode aired. I don't know how much of it would have made sense without that backstory. And I imagine that's the last episode you'll be watching for awhile, now that Bones has been moved to the same timeslot!

I guess when you're talking superhero to superhero, you go by your real name rather than your hero identity, and in the comics Clark Kent is the disguise, rather than the reality. Turning it around the other way, as they first did in LnC, is what truly made Superman relatable to me, and is what draws me to Smallville in such a big way. But you're right, in Smallville Kal-El has always been the ruthless, purely Kryptonian side of Clark. Now that they've created a kinder, gentler Jor-El, though, I think Kal-El will begin to represent something else as well.

OMG, I love that icon!! *runs off to see where you got it*

*runs back for a second* Oh, and since I'm so late in replying, have fun in Seattle! I hope your travel plans don't make you miss the boys!
tasabian From: tasabian Date: January 21st, 2009 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Gorgeous 'caps! Tom's eyes look enormous in the blue t-shirt shot. Radiant, lovely man!

one of the things I liked best about Legion was its complete lack of romantic entanglements. Give me a smart, heroic Clark, a compelling big bad, some superpowers, and a good story, and I'm a happy fangirl.
Me, too! All my favourite SV episodes centered on action and/or humour.

Why has Chloe's name, and her importance in Clark's life, been lost to the past, and what does that portend for her future? Does she die, and in so doing finally inspire Clark to take to the skies? Or does she take another name, one that perhaps they already know all too well?
Since Chloe was supposed to die in this time-line until Clark and the Legion intervened, the history books will have changed when the Legion returns to the 31st century. And I wonder if we'll see Clark use the ring Rokk gave him?

Great review!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 22nd, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even when the show drives me crazy, it consistently brings the pretty. And shallow fangirl that I am, that makes up for a lot.

All my favourite SV episodes centered on action and/or humour.

Absolutely. I'm a sucker for a romantic moment, but this show screws them up more often than not. Besides, Michael and Tom gave us unscripted ones that were better than anything we got from the writers!

I don't know that Chloe was supposed to die. Presumably if the Persuador hadn't come back and destroyed the shield, Clark would have used it to defeat Brainiac without killing Chloe. And how things work with time travel always confuses me. If they change history, do they still remember what happened before?

If we get a S9, I'd love to see the Legion again. But only if GJ writes the script again.
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: January 21st, 2009 03:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Love the review and the pictures too of course. The official picture of Clark http://www.cwtv.com/photos/smallville/005349208c6 emphasized the godawful makeup he was wearing in that first scene: or maybe it was just the lighting. Whatever.

I knew Johns would write a good story but I worried that we would be able to write a good screenplay, because television has very specific demands. And there were a few places where his inexperience showed through. As much as I liked the exchange you quoted, "where's the cape?" does not a good act break make. And the first half of the episode felt to me like it was one commercial break after the other.

But once the episode got rolling, I really enjoyed it (Lana worship aside). I hope there's more on the Chloe front because the Chlark scene is the only other thing that left me unsatisfied. I adored the Legion, and as you mentioned, the underlying theme about history not remembering the real person behind the legend. It was interesting how the day wasn't saved with Clark's powers but through his planning and inspiration. It won't make my Wow! moments of Smallville, but it was still great to watch.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 22nd, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually loved that promo pic. I was just commenting above that I thought he looked like Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. :)

I hope they follow up on what happened to Chloe, too. I can't imagine being possessed by Brainiac would leave her unscathed, and of course there's the whole issue of the mind wipe.

I especially liked the way Clark took the leadership role in Chloe's rescue, and found the way to save her with the Legion's help. He looked smart, strong, and heroic, and I liked it. More, please!
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: January 21st, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I always look forward to reading your reviews. I had a couple of complaints but then I wouldn't be me if I didn't lol but as a whole I really did enjoy it.

With the Legion we were able to explore what destiny means: is it a path or a prison? And what is the difference between a legend and the man who inspires it? Garth was rocked to his core to discover a Clark who didn't embody his idol Kal-El in every way. I think Clark, in turn, was both touched and intimidated by what his future evidently holds. This season we've seen him expand his heroics from mostly friends and family to anyone who needs his help, and from the confines of Smallville to the crowded streets of Metropolis. Now he's told that's just the beginning, that his influence will be felt across the universe. That's heady stuff.

Eloquently said. You pretty much summed up what imo this season has been about now here's hoping the rest of the season delivers.

I guess I'm not sure why the show bothered to take her memories of Clark's secret away in the first place, if they were going to give them back so easily. What purpose did it all serve? And is Clark ever going to tell Chloe what he did?

I do hope there is some fallout with this. I would really love to see what her reaction would be.

I like Lana's new maturity in S8, and the fact that they're giving her an identity outside of being someone's love interest. I applaud her faith in Clark, and her loyalty to Chloe. And I appreciate that her fans want to see a fitting farewell to a character they adore. But do they have to lay it on so thick? For all that's different in S8, some things are very much the same.

*nods* They need to take it down a couple of notches but you know I really did like her in this eppy.

Yay for picspam!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 22nd, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope they take the time to deal with the aftermath of what happened to Chloe, both her possession by Brainiac and the memory loss Clark chose for her. But you know what a short memory Smallville has. We may never see it addressed again.

Most people seemed to like Lana in this episode. I wish I could watch her more objectively. The anti-Clana bias I developed during S6 and S7 makes me overly sensitive to everything Lana does or says, and judging by the spoilers, I'm going to have a hard time with her remaining episodes. *sighs* I'm not a shipper, and I don't need to see Clark and Lois get together on Smallville, but the iconic love between Superman and Lois Lane should be sacred, and so much of what happens between Clark and Lana undermines that, IMO.
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: January 22nd, 2009 01:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful caps! Thankfully, Tom's beauty saves any episode for me.

That's all I'll say about Legion. There were some things I liked but there were others that killed any love I could have felt for the episode.

I'm glad you found a lot to enjoy!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 22nd, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for commenting, Carol! I don't know what specifically bothered you about the episode, but truth be told, that one conversation between Clark and Lana just about killed me the first time I watched Legion. And the spoilers I'm seeing just make me want to cry. I tell myself I have a bad attitude, and that I'm unreasonable, but I just can't seem to get past my rage over how this show makes Clark look bad in order to further deify Saint Lana. And I feel bad even saying that, because there are people on my flist whom I respect and adore who love Lana/Clana, but me? Not so much.

In happier news, it looks like the grey short-sleeved tee/white long-sleeved tee combo is back tonight, and OMG Tom looks incredible in it! :)
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