tariel22 (tariel22) wrote,

Smallville 8.13 - Power

I'm going to give Power a rational review if it kills me. I may be sick to death of the Clana, and fed up to the eyeballs with the awesomeness that is Lana Lang, but you cannot write off my utter dismay with this episode to a personal bias. The story presented to us this week was fundamentally flawed, and it was served up with a generous side order of WTF. Our star and hero was relegated to sidekick status, and he reverted to behavior I thought he had finally left behind. I did find moments to love in Power, but overall I was left disappointed and a little depressed.

So let me get this straight. Lana wakes up from three months in a coma, during which she has spent every moment in indescribable, unbearable pain, only to be forced at gunpoint to make a goodbye video for Clark, and then be thrown into a van to be taken to God knows where. In that moment she's had enough, and decides she's done being the eternal victim. She overpowers her kidnappers, dumps them in the street, takes their van, and races off into the night. Okay, I can actually buy that concept. But how it played out was kind of redonkulous.

Step 1: Hack your hair off with a straight razor in a disgustingly dirty public restroom, giving the mirror your best crazy eyes while doing so. Yeah, I get it, it's a whole new Lana, and I love the new 'do. But it seemed way over the top to me, and a little cliched as well.

Step 2: Find a Jedi Master who lives in a dank, steamy basement, lit by boiler fires and lightning storms, and convince him to take you on. Earn his devotion by assuring him that by helping you he will help save the world and win personal redemption. Have him heap verbal abuse on poor, poor pitiful you to make us rally to your defense. And don't forget the false modesty to demonstrate how selfless you truly are. Are you for real, Smallville Lanaville? And what does lifting a glowing hot piece of metal with your bare arms prove anyway? I'm pretty sure that would have resulted in third degree burns and extensive scarring. Oh, and when you finish your training, have your Obi-Wan leave his entire life behind to go undercover and serve by your side.

Step 3: Use some of the $10 million you stole from your billionaire ex to finance your transformation into a genuine superhero, one who will finally show your other ex how to get it done. Toss off a few passionate sentences to inspire a long time LuthorCorp employee to abandon his career and worship at your feet instead. Set up a secret lab and use corporate espionage to steal both the technology and personnel you need to achieve your goals. Because although the suit would give Lex unspeakable power, and must be kept from him at all costs, it's fine for you to slip it on. With it you will be "saving people's lives" and "improving the human condition all over the world." I'm sorry, but Lana's sense of entitlement is mind boggling.

Why do we need this crazy, convoluted plot to bid a fond farewell to Lana? What I loved about her in the early years of this show was her heart and her humanity, and her ability to comfort, nurture, and inspire Clark. Why turn her into something alien? Why have her out-super Superman? And how much did the Street Fighter people pay for this promotional tie-in to their movie? Where exactly are we headed with this storyline? If the ultimate message is that Lana's decision is ill-advised, then why have Clark buy into it? If, on the other hand, the message is that this is Lana's destiny, how does that serve Clark's story? And if this is all to make Lana the martyr, AGAIN, I think I'm going to throw up.

I was actually happy with Clark in Power. I thought his actions and reactions were natural and understandable for the most part, and Tom Welling's performance showed both Clark's passion and his vulnerability. I liked the way Clark paused in the light of a new day to examine the wisdom of starting things up with Lana again. I admired his determination to help her, and the way he pursued the truth about where she went and what she did when she disappeared. And I appreciated that he remembered what happened the last time Lana had superpowers, and that he expressed his concerns to her. But I wasn't thrilled about the temper he displayed, yelling and throwing people up against the wall, and I was disappointed to see him lash out at Chloe for keeping Lana's secrets. Didn't we settle that issue a long time ago, in Hydro?

I didn't care for the blocking of the final scene, with Lana standing above Clark, beatifically pronouncing what their bright new future holds, with just the slightest touch of condescension, but Tom totally sold me on Clark's response. His confusion and concern seemed genuine, and my heart went out to him as he tried to hold himself back from believing in the promise of what Lana was offering, right up until the moment her lips touched his. As much as I think these two should have been over years ago, I don't blame Clark for surrendering to love. This week I understood exactly what Clark was feeling, and it was Tom's acting that made all the difference.

Tess was beyond awesome in Power, and each week Cassidy Freeman owns me a little bit more. I love Tess's wide-eyed wariness, her emotional intensity, her cold ruthlessness, and her quiet menace. She continues to intrigue me, showing a definite fascination with Lana, but also a complete willingness to sacrifice her. I enjoyed all her scenes, but I especially liked her power struggle with Regan. The scene where she kicked him to death, the fine spray of his blood covering her face, was both horrific and chilling. And yet I couldn't quite regret his passing, not after the way he tormented Tess with his knowledge of how Lex had secretly invaded her life.

Speaking of Lex, I'd like to take a moment to implore the show to please, please let him go. Michael Rosenbaum isn't coming back, and the glimpse of Fake!Lex we saw in the preview for next week made my stomach churn. Don't do this. Tess is a great villain in her own right, use her instead. Don't dishonor Michael's incomparable legacy with cheap tricks.

Chloe felt a bit off to me this week. She played cheerleader for the Clana, which was kind of bizarre, and her conversation with Lana at Isis seemed a little stilted. She was her normal sparkling self for the rest of the episode, though. Allison Mack was also the director of Power. I don't know enough about the process to judge how she did; all I can say is that some scenes seemed awkward to me, while others were unique and interesting. I was excited to see her given the opportunity to stretch and grow, and my reasons for disliking this episode have nothing to do with her.

Random thoughts: Transdermal evisceration? Ouch. It kind of cracks me up how everyone lives in that apartment over the Talon. Why didn't Lana somehow let Clark know the video was fake before now? How random was it that Clark decided to x-ray that bedside table? Lana said, "It's Miss Lang. That will never change." Huh? And what was with that hat Chloe wore all through the episode?

I'm not prepared to call this my least favorite episode of Smallville ever, but it's right up there with Ageless. I'm not sure which is worse, Super!Lana or the Exploding!Baby. I'm anxious to see how Lana's story ends next week, and I'm looking forward to moving on after that. I hope that at least the Lana and Clana fans are enjoying these recent episodes, and that the way Lana's departure from the show is handled will leave them happy and satisfied. Me? I'm ready for Lois and Jimmy to come back.

Cross-posted at Starkville House of El Podcast.

Special thanks to Whimsy, for letting me vent last night, and drop all my f-bombs on her instead of you guys. :)
Tags: smallville, sv episode review, tom welling
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