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Smallville 9x07 - Kandor - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 9x07 - Kandor
I absolutely loved Kandor. It was a wonderful exploration of Clark's heritage that not only explained Zod's presence here on Earth, but also pulled together elements of the Superman story from all different media, including comic books, film, and previous seasons of Smallville. We finally met the man who was Clark's father, who was neither the boy we met in Relic, still chafing under his own father's authority, nor the powerful machine programmed to emulate him, that we know as a disembodied voice in the Fortress. We saw the return of sunlit scenes shot on location, eye-popping special effects, and one of my favorite Smallville directors, Jeannot Szwarc. After weeks of romance, however entertaining, I was ready for an episode steeped in mythology, and now that Clark and Zod are aware of one another, I can't wait to see what happens next!

I think what I liked best about Kandor was the continuity. With a reputation for retcons, dropped storylines, and characters who disappear, never to be seen or mentioned again, continuity has never been Smallville's strong suit. Even the most talented and creative writers couldn't tie up all the conflicting loose ends this show has left lying around over the years, but this episode did an amazing job of interweaving the old with the new, and using the events of this week's story to enrich and explain what has come before.

First of all, we were given confirmation that the Kandorians are clones. The DNA from blood samples collected back on Krypton was stored in the orb, which ties in nicely with the technology we learned about in S7's Blue, with Kara's crystal. I wonder, is the orb still around somewhere, and if so, could Clark make all the Kandorians go poof if he destroyed it? Jor-El used Blue!K to modify the orb somehow, so that any DNA stored within it no longer reacted with the yellow sun. We know it was the orb, and not the genetic material itself, he altered, because it neutralized Zod's DNA, which he added later. So it makes perfect sense to me that the orb could also rob Clark of his powers, as it did in Arctic.

Second, we saw where the Stones of Knowledge came from! They were created by Jor-El as a resource for the people in the orb, and accompanied them to Earth. We know the stones were sent here centuries ago, and legends about them sprang up around the world at that time. Well, I'm guessing that some of those portals from Krypton to Earth, like the one Lara and Kara came through to visit the Kent farm, could mess with the time-space continuum, and that the team sent to hide the stones and the orb traveled far into the past to do so. And then maybe stayed and partied for a while, enjoying their superpowers, and let the cat out of the bag in an indiscreet moment. :)

But how did Jor-El turn the stones and the orb to serve his own purpose? My theory is that those messages Jor-El sent to Earth, the ones Dr. Virgil Swann intercepted, also contained a software update of sorts, that transmitted directly to the Kryptonian artifacts, upgrading the orb from a simple vessel to a fail-safe device, and reprogramming the stones to create a Fortress that was less a library and more a surrogate father. The Jor-El we met in Kandor seemed just the type to take such precautions before sending his superpowered son across the galaxy to us.

Third, we saw the birth of Zod's deep, unreasoning hatred of the House of El, when Jor-El refused to resurrect his dead son. Once Jor-El's best friend, Zod now seeks to dominate and perhaps destroy the human race Clark's father so obviously holds dear, and repopulate the Earth with Kandorians. The true payback, however, will be to kill or enslave Jor-El's only son, once he can determine how to make Kal-El's superpowers his own. Too bad he doesn't have someone who can fly him into the sun, since that seems to be the only known antidote for the debilitating power of the orb.

There were many other little shout outs to existing mythology, from Zod's reference to the "bottled up hopes and dreams of Kandor," to the giant floating heads and spinning rings of Krypton's Ruling Council, to Jor-El's fond memories of his visit to Smallville as a young man, just to name a few. The worst was Chloe's clunky line about Clark having loved Lois since the 1930's. I know it was meant as a wink to Lois Lane's comic book introduction in 1938, but on Smallville, where Clark has barely begun to see Lois in a romantic light, it just sounded dumb. But overall, for a longtime Superman fan like me, this episode was a delight.

The one thing I still can't figure out is who spoke to Tess from the orb last season? He knew all about Kal-El and Doomsday, spoke of a prophecy to be fulfilled, and insisted that there had to be a fight to the death between the two in order for the inhabitants of the orb to be released. Is that yet to be revealed, or is it, as I suspect, a storyline that was abandoned when plans for S9 changed over the summer hiatus?

Kandor finally gave us the full story of Major Zod, the baddie we first met in this season's premiere. Callum Blue's unrelentingly ruthless Zod has been a refreshing change from the woobie villains we've come to expect from Smallville, but in this week's episode he showed us the man he was before he developed the hard edges that define him now. It was so different to see Zod without his trademark cynical sneer, his face open and warm as he greeted Jor-El in the trenches! He spoke of his family with love, and seemed fueled by hope as he prepared for battle. And yet we also saw signs of the Zod we know, in the way he led his troops, and his defiance of the Ruling Council's authority. The seeds of who he would become were already planted.

By the time Jor-El was put on trial, Zod had already become the master manipulator. When he so pointedly reminded his friend of the debt he was owed for saving his life, we knew his reasons for defending Jor-El were selfish, in spite of his sincerely passionate speech about tragic loss and wasted lives. I don't know how many more days passed as Jor-El completed the orb, but it was time enough for Zod's heart to harden even further. Did you notice how he ordered the guards to kneel as he entered Jor-El's lab? When he realized that his friend would dare to defy his wishes, and that he would never again see his son, bitterness overtook him. His blood taken at that very moment, the Major Zod who emerged from the orb was ruled by cold rage, and now seeks to bury his pain in limitless power, world domination, and vengeance against the House of El. Clark's instincts were right; this is a man beyond redemption.

I loved meeting Jor-El. Unlike that crazy bastard who inhabits the Fortress, this man is exactly who I had imagined Clark's Kryptonian father to be: an intellectual and idealistic scientist, a little detached from the realities of the world, moral and highly principled, and deeply compassionate, yet incorruptible. I know there's the whole problem of him not looking at all like Clark (in fact, I'd sooner believe Oliver was his son), but I'm willing to give the show a pass on that one in return for the pleasure of seeing Julian Sands in the role. He gave Jor-El tremendous dignity and nobility, and perfectly portrayed the economy of emotion I would expect from a Kryptonian. His performance was restrained, but left no doubt about the joy he took in discovering his son, or the regret he felt for the part he may have played in creating the dire circumstances that sent him to Earth.

I liked that Jor-El tried to protect Clark by pretending to be the Blur, although his lack of experience at subterfuge proved no match for Zod's intelligence and intuition. Like Lara before him, he recognized the wrongness of his existence, and gladly sacrificed his life in the attempt to keep his son safe. I was disappointed that he and Clark were given only a few seconds together; that was a conversation I was longing to hear. I think TPTB were afraid to go there, knowing they could provide no plausible explanation for one of the first things Clark was sure to ask about: the bizarre and often cruel behavior of the Jor-El in the Fortress. And speaking of Jor-El's death, are we supposed to think someone other than Zod killed him? Did Jor-El really not know who delivered the death blow? Did a Kandorian minion get out of control? Did Tess have an assassin lying in wait? The show seems to be trying to be ambiguous, but Zod sure didn't look surprised to see Jor-El's grave.

Cassidy Freeman's Tess was magnificent, as usual. I still think she's in over her head, but miraculously, she keeps managing to stay in the game. Her scenes with Zod were so much fun! They danced around one another, each trying to keep the upper hand, the power shifting by the moment. Zod continued to underestimate her, thinking that seduction was the key, much to Tess's amusement. Her sly smiles, when she realized Zod thought Jor-El was the Blur, and again when Zod played right into her hands at the mansion, showed that she was enjoying the game. But ultimately her plan failed, as Jor-El led Zod straight to Clark. Her belief that she knows how to handle every situation better than anyone else, her propensity for keeping her intel secret, and her tendency to make unilateral decisions with far-reaching consequences make her increasingly dangerous, to Clark and to the world.

Which brings me to Chloe, because I think you could say the same thing about her. Planting surveillance cameras in Clark's house?! Isn't that the same action she condemned Lana for in Wrath? Chloe is really getting out of control. She seemed so proud of Clark as she told Jor-El about his son, but when she was with Clark, her manner was dismissive. Her apology for spying on Clark was anything but, and you could tell she thought he should just be thankful for the footage she was able to provide. The end justifies the means, again. We also heard confirmation that Stuart is actively feeding information to Chloe now, and I feel sure that's going to end badly. And does anyone else think she'll keep the news of the artifact that Jor-El took out of the wall to herself? I know Chloe means well, and she was invaluable to Clark in this episode, but that doesn't change the fact that she's already sliding down the slippery slope, and it may soon be too late to haul her back.

I can't even tell you how much I loved Oliver in this episode! Ever since he first came to Smallville, THIS is the relationship I've been hoping for between him and Clark. He was there for Clark, supportive and caring, ready to stand by his side to fight the good fight, but just as ready to crack bad jokes and try to lighten the mood. Oliver has always been a little freaked out by all things Kryptonian, but I think he has finally come to terms with who Clark is, and appreciates what it means to live as a superpowered alien among mortal men: the enormous responsibility that comes with almost limitless power, and the weight of the commitment Clark has made to keeping his adopted planet safe from all harm. Their roles have completely reversed. Where once Oliver fancied himself some kind of mentor for Clark, now he's in awe of the younger man, and even seems to be developing a slight case of hero worship: "I don't think anyone wears that super shield quite like you." hee! Oliver is grateful to be counted among Clark's allies again, and has pledged his renewed allegiance to him, although I'm not sure mentioning Clark's back was the smartest way to do that. ;)

I especially enjoyed Clark's heart-to-heart talks with Oliver about his father. Losing their birth fathers at an early age, and having questions about their identities because of it, is something they share, and it was wonderful to hear Clark actually articulate his feelings for once, especially with someone who has a little bit of a clue what he's talking about. I hope this new accord between our two heroes sticks, and that we can finally have some episodes where they save the world together, instead of ones where Oliver snipes at Clark for no good reason and acts like an ass. And I wouldn't mind seeing them have some fun together either!

Clark wasn't in Kandor all that much, but at least with Zod's backstory to cover, I could understand why. This was an emotional episode for Clark, and the shock of discovering that his father was alive on Earth sent him reeling. He has always thought of Jor-El as that voice in the Fortress, a cruel and capricious taskmaster who turns his life upside down without warning whenever he sees fit to pass judgment on Clark's decisions or behavior. That cold computer gave Clark the idea that Kryptonians were an emotionless race, devoid of compassion, and he's been struggling to reconcile that with the feelings that rage in his own heart for years. And his encounters with others from his home planet up until now haven't done a lot to convince him otherwise. Now he knows that Krypton had a more human side, and that his father was a good man. I hope that knowledge will help him find the balance he is seeking in his life.

So what is the deal with the Jor-El in the Fortress? Do we chalk that up to faulty technology, or a change in Jor-El's philosophy over the next 20 years as Krypton's civilization fell deeper into the abyss? Did Clark's father decide he couldn't afford to leave anything to chance if Earth were to avoid a similar fate, and program his artificial self to disregard individual human lives and Clark's personal happiness in favor of saving the entire planet? I suspect it's a little of both. Once having made a decision, the Jor-El we met in Kandor seemed unlikely to compromise it, so I could see him being intractable. But no computer program could be as crazy and inconsistent as this one has been without some kind of error, so I say the technology is flawed, or corrupted, as well. At least Clark is properly suspicious of it, and is unlikely to do anything it says without question.

When Clark saw that Tess had kidnapped Jor-El, he went after her, furious, and for the most part I say, it's about time! Tess has been wreaking havoc on Clark's life practically from the moment they met, trying to manipulate him and make him into her own personal savior. This time she was standing between him and the father he had never met, smirking, and he lost it. It didn't bother me at all. Clark isn't Superman yet, and I'm interested to see the struggles he still has to overcome to get there. I might even go so far as to speculate that Clark used his ruthless Kryptonian intelligence to choose the one form of intimidation most likely to trigger acquiescence in Tess, with her history of physical abuse. In any case, he didn't hurt her, and she was so thrilled to see him demonstrate his powers in front of her, she pretty much seemed to get off on the whole thing.

Clark also showed some real justifiable anger towards Chloe and her secret surveillance. I'm glad he called her on it, not that it did much good. I remain very curious to see how things continue to develop between these two. Clark's attitude toward Oliver was decidedly cooler this week as well. He wasn't exactly angry with him, but he wasn't anything approaching solicitous either. I think in the past Clark saw Oliver as someone who needed rescuing, even if it was mostly from himself. Once Oliver was back on track, Clark was through mollycoddling him, and after the way he put Lois's life in danger last week, he was in the doghouse to boot.

In the desert, Clark completely ignored the jokes Oliver made to try to ease the tension between them, which to me was even funnier than the jokes themselves. :) Clark was focused on the task at hand, and Oliver's company had been foisted on him by Chloe. He wasn't about to indulge his behavior. Similarly, Clark just left when Oliver and Chloe started lecturing him on how to handle Tess. Seriously, why should he listen to either one of them? I love that Clark trusts his own instincts now. I did appreciate that Oliver seemed to accept that Clark's brusque treatment was probably exactly what he deserved, and aside from making those few jokes, he didn't complain.

The only emotion I didn't welcome from Clark was the sadness he felt when his father died in his arms, just seconds after meeting him for the first time. Once again Clark was powerless to stop the tragedy unfolding before him, and could only endure as the pain of his loss washed over him. My poor, sweet boy. When will it be enough? I get that on Smallville Clark's journey will never be an easy one, that the fires of conflict will forge the hero he will ultimately become, but I'm ready for him to have a little joy, too. I think that's why I'm enjoying the relationship between Clark and Lois this season. So far it's mostly been played for laughs, but I see the potential there for Clark to experience love without angst, and I hope we get to see that before something happens to break them up again, as I'm sure it inevitably will.

Speaking of Lois, the reason Chloe gave for her absence worked for me. As a military brat myself, I know what it means to put on a good game face while building secret walls around your heart. You do it so you won't feel the pain of being torn away from those you love when you move away again, as you always do. When someone you truly care about manages to break through those walls, which still stand years after they're needed, it can be very scary indeed. In an episode all about Clark's Kryptonian heritage, there was no place for someone who doesn't know his secret, so I know it was an excuse, but it was a plausible one. And how cute was Clark when he told Chloe he kissed her? :)

It seemed like we were given a bigger budget than usual for this episode. The scene of Kandor exploding was breathtaking, and we saw Clark use more of his superpowers than usual. We also had a wealth of scenes shot on location, including at the Kent farm. My favorite was probably the desert scene. Clark's super breath was very cool, and Tom and Justin both looked gorgeous in that warm, yellow light. Having Oliver drenched in sweat in his lightweight white shirt, while Clark was unaffected by the heat in his thermal shirt and jacket, was a nice touch. Overall, the production values were notably good.

The final scene of Kandor, where Clark buried Jor-El, was both touching and beautiful. The solitary ceremony reminded us of how in many ways Clark will always be alone, but also that he has the strength and courage to face the life that is destined to be his. I liked how Clark honored his father, but still followed his own way, deciding that saving Zod was not an option. Zod's intrusion on that intimate moment, and the eagerness with which he watched Clark, was positively chilling. The gloves are off now, and anything is possible. I just hope our hero can prevail.

Random thoughts: Jor-El's friendship with Zod reminded me a little bit of Clark's with Lex, and I wondered if we were supposed to think his experience with Lex contributed to Clark seeing Zod as irredeemable. Wow, Zod had some clout on Krypton. He turned Jor-El from a condemned criminal to a celebrated hero in just one speech! :) Oliver called the Fortress Clark's "ice crystal palace thingie." Has he been watching The Big Bang Theory? :D So the Vulcans aren't the only ones with a deadly nerve pinch. Too bad Jor-El didn't have time to teach that to Clark. And how did Tess know what the Blur's tee looked like, or did she just go rifle through Clark's drawers?

I know some people mourn for what Smallville used to be, but as much as I enjoy those glorious early episodes, I also really like the show we're seeing today. I love the man Clark has become, so close to the hero he's meant to be, and Tom has never looked better onscreen, or impressed me more with his acting, week after week. For a show that has been shuffled off to the Friday night death slot and supposedly crippled by budget cuts, Smallville is looking pretty good to me. If I can look forward to more episodes like this one, I'm all in. I just wish TPTB could remember who Smallville is supposed to be about, and give Clark some more screen time.

Off the charts pretty again this week! My top twenty caps from Kandor:




























































Screen caps courtesy of Home of the Nutty, with my thanks!

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Comments
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: November 9th, 2009 10:53 am (UTC) (Link)
//a storyline that was abandoned when plans for S9 changed over the summer hiatus?//

I suspect it's this. As much as I've been pleasantly surprised with how plausibly this Kandor / Zod storyline has been shaping up, I highly doubt the writers remember these details about the orb from last season.

Great review. I agree on pretty much everything though I think my overall enthusiasm for the ep is perhaps slightly less. I'm not even sure if it's the eps fault though. Because it was a more than decent, solid ep. I think it might just be me. I've yet to find an ep this season I've full on squeed about. Parts of eps I've squeed about yes, but still nothing as a whole. I suppose 'Rabid' or 'Metallo' probably come closest.

Nonetheless, a very good effort in terms of fleshing out the Zod storyline and character. I am absolutely loving Zod. And Tess was great as usual, Clark' usage of powers was brilliant and ::shock!horror:: Oliver was actually tolerable, heh. I'd say for me, Chloe was probably the only weak spot, in terms of characters.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 10th, 2009 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I've yet to find an ep this season I've full on squeed about. Parts of eps I've squeed about yes, but still nothing as a whole. I suppose 'Rabid' or 'Metallo' probably come closest.

Truthfully, I need more Clark to have a full on squee myself. I think Rabid has been the best episode for Clark so far. He was heroic, drop dead gorgeous, and devastatingly sexy in that scene with Lois at the farm. And I liked almost every scene in the episode. I never dreamed the zombie one would end up my favorite! :)

I love all the Supes stuff, so I'm getting awfully excited about the JSA 2-parter, and it's still something like 2-1/2 months away! I just hope it can live up to the hype.

If Chloe's recent behavior is the basis for a cautionary tale, and an opportunity for us to see Clark be the moral center of the story, I'll love it, but if it's all about Chloe being some kind of rogue hero, or her doing bad things and not being held accountable (a la S7 Lana), I'll be angry. And I just don't know what to expect. :(
gildinwen From: gildinwen Date: November 9th, 2009 11:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree with everything you say.:D
Tess manages to awe me with her nerves of steel but manages to make me *headesk* myself whenever I watch her on my screen

For all that Zod's seemingly playing into her hands. It's only because she is useful to him at the moment and can give him what he needs. For all that he underestimated her that fact that she thinks she can play him is worrying. Don't get me wrong. He does underestimate her but I do think it goes both ways. Zod's in a vulnerable place right now because he's new to this planet and kudos to Tess for taking advantage of that and playing him well. BUT. He already has business accumen and you know - is a CEO in his own right- The longer he's on earth the more dangerous he's going to be.

And I had no problem with Clark manhandling her. If I was in his postition I'd be kicking the crap out her. The woman has been trying to manipulate him into telling her his secret since she first met and now she holds his father hostage. Shades of Lex in mortal and I had no problem with Lex going after Lex when all the evidence pointed to sLex setting that situation up, which could have got Clark, Lana and the Kents killed. She tried to force a Doomsday/ Clark situation without seemingly realising that even if the fight did go her way, and Clark became her alien Jesus he would never have her in his circle because of all the people that died on the way. She is a true fanatic and she has a tendancy to switch her hero-worship from one person to another very easily. See her relationships with Oliver, and Lex and Clark and (presumably in the future Zod). He never would have told her because she did nothing to earn his trust.

And as always there's a creepy sexual element to wanting Clark's secret. Which err no.

Chloe and Oliver made me all kinds of angry when they apparently decided behind Clark's back that Oliver should go with Clark to whereever it was the "El" shield appeared. Which made him waster valuable time, since they had to fly there, and then Clark had to explain stuff to Oliver and then he had to slow down and you know that time could have been used to I don't know let Clark meet his daddy? True Jor-El probably wouldn't have been able to put the vulcan nerve pinch on him but he's a scientist, he'd have found a way *G*

And Chloe spying on Clark. Oy. And having a mole in Luthorcorp whose personal loyality she has done nothing to cultivate? Again Oy. This is going to bite her in her ass isn't it? I said last week that Chloe's storyline may end up with her being cut out Clark's circle and if the parallel's between her and Tess are foreshadow, this episode only increased that feeling.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 10th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't get me wrong. He does underestimate her but I do think it goes both ways.

I agree. But I love it! LOL! My heart is in my throat for most of their scenes.

And I had no problem with Clark manhandling her. If I was in his postition I'd be kicking the crap out her.

She has done some really unbelievable things in her attempts to learn more about him and push him into the role she sees for him. He's always been calm and in control with her before (his quiet confidence with Tess was one of the things I liked best about S8 Clark), but this was the first confrontation they've had since last season, and I guess Clark really was changed by the events of Doomsday, and is still finding his way back to a place of inner peace.

Chloe and Oliver made me all kinds of angry when they apparently decided behind Clark's back that Oliver should go with Clark to whereever it was the "El" shield appeared.

I think that was all Chloe, another example of her taking it upon herself to control everything. I don't think Oliver had a clue that Clark wasn't in on the request for his plane. I've seen a couple of people say that just slowed Clark down, but I don't know. If he had to cross the ocean, maybe the plane was necessary. I took him at his word when he said he would fly coach. I did like that Clark let his irritation toward Oliver show for once!

And Chloe spying on Clark. Oy.

I know! And she clearly thinks she did nothing wrong! Wow.
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: November 9th, 2009 11:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, you included some not Tom pics this time! Are you cheating on him? :D

I think JS was severely miscast. He's a good actor but they should have cast someone who looked like Clark, particularly after the Relic mentions. Jor-El is Clark's father so that was an important issue to me. There are plenty of tallish, dark actors who could have played the part even better than JS. IMO.

I can live with an Oliver who has six minutes of screen time (tops!) and is not lecturing Clark or being an ass to him. When he said he had Clark's back, I was hoping he would add that he would never shoot him with an arrow again but oh, well, that's an apology we'll never get to hear. *sigh*

I deeply value my intimacy so I would have a hard time forgiving someone who trespassed on it, like Chloe did, no matter how supposedly good their intentions were. She never told Clark or asked for his consent, and her dismissive tone and insincere apology made matters worse. I wonder if the writers will ever acknowledge the dangerous path Chloe is taking (has been taking for some time). In every interview I read TPTB point out that's she's coming into her own and being all heroic but no word is said about her possibly making wrong decisions, while Clark is the one apparently making all the mistakes! *sigh*

Though I was not too bothered by it, I think the Clark-Tess scene could have been handled better. To me, the writers' ultimate intention was to have Clark losing it a little bit so that he displayed one of his powers in front of Tess, and I hate it when there's not enough imagination to achieve that without forcing the character to act a little bit OOC.

Once again, awesomely written review!

Edit: Oh, I forgot to add that, to me, the fortress AI should be the Eradicator and Jor-El's files would have been corrupted by it. That would make more sense.

Edited at 2009-11-09 11:40 am (UTC)
theclexfactor From: theclexfactor Date: November 9th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Carol, you know I love you and how much you love Tom/Clark, but I have to politely disagree with the statement that Clark was OOC in his scene with Tess. There has been precedence established at least as far back as S1 Rogue of Clark flying off the handle when it comes to people close to him being in danger. He's done it for Jonathan, Lana, Lois, Alicia...and in all honesty, this was the most restrained I remember him being when he's angry enough to grab someone by the throat because he wasn't actually choking her (given that she could talk perfectly fine way up there in the air). And, like Tariel, I didn't mind Clark being pushed to those tactics either because a) Tess needs to realize who she's dealing with, and b) had that been someone I care about, she would've gotten a lot worse.

Still love Clark.
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: November 9th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you enjoyed the episode! Would you hate me if I said I was here for the pretties? And you, obviously.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 10th, 2009 08:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Did you notice I included CB and JH this week? That's all for YOU!

I'm mostly here for the pretties myself. :D *hugs*
chrisluvstommy From: chrisluvstommy Date: November 9th, 2009 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great review, I'm soo superficial though.. I'm only mildly intrested in the Zod/Jor-el storyline I want my Cloisfest back LOL

Though like you said it was beautifully shot and I do dig the Tesss/Zod interaction these people will stop at nothing to top one another..

I don't think it was farfetched that Chloe mention 1930's because if you think about it just because Clark is just now realizing his feelings he's had them for a long time he's just now been able to act upon them...

I think the Clark/Ollie scenes are so much better now that Ollie's been redemed I like them interacting together though I still feel a little peeved Ollie got to shoot Clark in the back
act like it was all Clark's fault about Davis and talk to him like a dog all is forgiven? Then I remember Clark is forgiving to a fault so I'm trying to get back on the Clark/Ollie bandwagon

Julian Sands was perfect as Jor-el at first I didn't like they had him be besties with Zod it was all too familar with Clark/Lex
but I see why they wanted a parellel*(sp) between Jor-el & Clark
showing that no matter how good a friend there will be no redeaming Zod/Lex

So all in all a good episode now bring on Idol I need my Clois

theclexfactor From: theclexfactor Date: November 9th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm eavesdropping, lol.

I agree about the 1930s line. It was meant as both a comics reference, but also as hyperbole. Someone on DI reminded me (us) that Chloe noticed the chemistry between Clark and Lois all the way back in Facade, and he has been shown to be a little jealous when Lois is involved with someone else (I distinctly remember his jealousy of AC in Aqua). Though that doesn't mean he was in love with her all that time, it still took other characters to notice that bond between them (Chloe, Jimmy, Maxima, even Lana) and how far back it went.

ETA: Oh and I forgot to mention that the Jor-El/Zod friendship is actually comics canon, at least according to Geoff Johns interpretation in the Last Son story arc in Action Comics.

Edited at 2009-11-09 02:55 pm (UTC)
jeannev From: jeannev Date: November 9th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Weren't the shots in the desert so cool. I made a few icons from it, one of which I'm using for this post. I love it like shoes and candy!

I do appreciate the story that this episode needed to tell. I'm not sure it needed to be done in quite this way, but thats really a minor quibble. We did need to get through this one for the rest of the season to make sense, and to give history a much needed clarification. For that alone, I really appreciate it.

I wasn't as impressed with Sands as you, but ultimately, I thought his removed performance worked for Jor-El. Honestly, I don't feel that much warmer towards Jor-El then I did prior to this episode, and strangely enough, I think that really works.

Chloe is just really....well, lets just say that I think her being in control of the Watchtower is a far more frightening prospect then it should be. I just really had a big problem with her in this episode, and I found her scenes with Jor-El so bizarre.

The worst was Chloe's clunky line about Clark having loved Lois since the 1930's.

Just UGH to that line. I realize what it was supposed to be, but it was just unnecessary. Frankly, aren't we past the time for these sorts of anvils and hints to be dropped? I think so. The show is already so Clois-heavy, things like this seem like overkill to me. Its annoys far more then its cute. At least for me.

I love the man Clark has become, so close to the hero he's meant to be

Me too! I think he's been awesome. I just really think we should be seeing far more of him, and getting much more POV from him. I keep hoping thats coming.

Edited at 2009-11-09 06:58 pm (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 10th, 2009 09:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that icon is gorgeous. I loved everything about how Tom looked in that scene.

I fell hard for the character Julian Sands played in A Room With a View, and have had a fondness for the actor ever since. Here's a cap:



He looks even more like Oliver when he's younger, doesn't he? LOL!

Honestly, I don't feel that much warmer towards Jor-El then I did prior to this episode, and strangely enough, I think that really works.

That's an interesting insight, and it makes perfect sense to me. What was weird for me was how much this episode made me miss Jonathan, and Martha, and their love for Clark. Jor-El died, but in that moment I mourned the other losses in Clark's life.

Frankly, aren't we past the time for these sorts of anvils and hints to be dropped?

I agree. We're living it now!

I just really think we should be seeing far more of him, and getting much more POV from him. I keep hoping thats coming.

Me, too. And it was very cool to see you say that to the writers today! The access Twitter affords is pretty amazing.
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: November 10th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I really wanted to like this episode more than I did but it just didn't quite work for me. It just felt a little off. Maybe that was my expectations getting in the way - I'll have to watch it a few more times. I also didn't swallow the alternate history of the Stone and Orb easily, but figure that after Jor-El finished with the experiment, they would have passed out of his hands and who knows what the coucil then did with them. I suppose for some truly byzantine reasons, they might have divided the Stone in 3 and sent it into the past and buried the Orb in the Luthor fireplace. Or maybe they've just retconned the main arc of S4 into oblivion too?

And Clark's flip flop about Jor-El's character really bugged me. I can understand his anger / fear on Ollie's jet OR or his admiration / dejection at the end but there's no explaining how he went from one extreme to the other in the course of the episode. He wasn't witness to the Kandor flashbacks after all. Bleh.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 10th, 2009 09:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, you'll notice I did a fair amount of fanwanking to make some of that stuff work. :) The stones were always meant to be hidden separately, I think, because they were already in three pieces when Jor-El showed them to Zod.

I know what you mean about Clark's attitude toward Jor-El. When I first heard him waxing poetic to Oliver after Jor-El died, I asked myself, where did all that come from? What I came up with is that his response when he saw Jor-El dying on that hillside was instinctive and visceral, and that after his father was gone, he went back to Chloe to find out more about him. She could have told him about their conversation, and whatever Jor-El shared about himself, so that by the time he talked to Oliver about it on the porch, he had gained a deeper understanding of the man his father was. Maybe Chloe even showed him video footage of Jor-El. But of course, as happens all too often on this show, that's all conjecture on my part, and we'll never know what actually happened.
duskwillow From: duskwillow Date: November 10th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I had too high expectations for this episode, because I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would. :/
There were few things that annoyed me, so that didn't help either:
- Clark not getting to spend any time with Jor-El
- Chloe and pretty much all of her actions in this episode.
They are writing her so similarly to how they wrote Lex, when he was supposed to be already evil, that it's blowing my mind if we're supposed to still see her as one of the white hats. How is her spying on Clark any different than when Lex was spying on Lana when she was living with him; or Lana spying on Lex later on, when Chloe herself told Lana how wrong she believes that is?

I'm used to Smallville retconning the hell out of past plots by now, but still, while it looked cool I just can't help but feel that they didn't put enough thought into it.
Take the three stones for example, we saw when Jor-El created them in this episode. But Jor-El at that point didn't have a son, so does that mean that FoS was created as general Kryptonian knowledge archive, and was not meant for Clark; and how did FoS Jor-El then knew who Clark was when Clark showed up there in season 5?
Best not to overthink it. :/

I like how they humanized Zod. We saw that he was a decent guy once, but they still didn't woobiefie him and the fact that he's such a manipulative, cold bastard now makes him just more fascinating for me.

I also enjoyed Clark & Ollie's heart-to-heart on the plane.
And that desert scene was so so gorgeous! *thud*

The worst was Chloe's clunky line about Clark having loved Lois since the 1930's.

Yeah, that was badly scripted. While I usually enjoy all Superman nods and winks, and I expect SV not to be subtle at all. And while I know it was meant as exaggeration and Chloe just being "Lois again, you've been talking about her since you got back, it's like I've been listening you talk about her for ages", it still sounded weird. And her "I love Lois show" comment also sounded...not as they, I assume, planned.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 10th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I had too high expectations for this episode, because I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would.

I'm such a sucker for the Superman mythos stuff, I probably forgive way too much. I mean, look at how much fanwanking I did. :)

Clark not getting to spend any time with Jor-El

That bothered me, too. Were they just trying to be extra tragic?

Chloe and pretty much all of her actions in this episode. They are writing her so similarly to how they wrote Lex, when he was supposed to be already evil, that it's blowing my mind if we're supposed to still see her as one of the white hats.

Exactly. I really haven't liked Chloe's actions this whole season, except in Rabid. But I'd be totally on board if I could have any confidence that the show will ultimately show us that her behavior has been all wrong, and then have Clark help her find her way back from her mistakes. After the free passes they always gave Lana, though, I don't know what to expect. As a result, all of Chloe's scenes make me fret.

I'm used to Smallville retconning the hell out of past plots by now, but still, while it looked cool I just can't help but feel that they didn't put enough thought into it.

Again, I'm the fanwank queen, but I actually thought they did pretty well considering the mess they had to work with. This show contradicts itself in the same episode on a regular basis; after 8+ seasons I don't think there's a single storyline that has remained consistent.

I'm thankful that they seem to be paying more attention to continuity this season, but at the same time they're still committing new sins, like having Oliver say his parents died when he was five, and also forgetting when Lois lost her mother, and that she's allergic to dogs. You'd think they would have had some intern create a continuity Bible by now, or even use some of the wonderful fan-created resources on the web!

I like how they humanized Zod. We saw that he was a decent guy once, but they still didn't woobiefie him and the fact that he's such a manipulative, cold bastard now makes him just more fascinating for me.

I agree, and I thought Callum Blue did a great job of showing us a subtle but discernible difference between Zod then and now.

And that desert scene was so so gorgeous! *thud*

Between Clark's super breath, Ollie's jokes, and the incredible pretty, that may have been my favorite scene of the episode! I had to really restrain myself to only include four caps from it in my favorites. :)
tasabian From: tasabian Date: November 10th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
First of all, we were given confirmation that the Kandorians are clones.
Which you predicted, clever person!

It seemed like we were given a bigger budget than usual for this episode. The scene of Kandor exploding was breathtaking, and we saw Clark use more of his superpowers than usual. We also had a wealth of scenes shot on location, including at the Kent farm. My favorite was probably the desert scene. Clark's super breath was very cool, and Tom and Justin both looked gorgeous in that warm, yellow light. Having Oliver drenched in sweat in his lightweight white shirt, while Clark was unaffected by the heat in his thermal shirt and jacket, was a nice touch. Overall, the production values were notably good.
Yes, the visuals were a total treat for the eyes. Sun + Tommy + "Desert" = PRETTY! Jeannot Szawrc has a real gift for framing an actor in the best possible way against a landscape. The desert shots were stunning - very convincing for Vancouver! I loved Clark figuring things out & then cleverly using his super-breath - awesome effect.

Ever since he first came to Smallville, THIS is the relationship I've been hoping for between him and Clark. He was there for Clark, supportive and caring, ready to stand by his side to fight the good fight, but just as ready to crack bad jokes and try to lighten the mood.
Absolutely - if Oliver had been written this way from the start, I'd adore him. It plays to Justin's strengths.

I might even go so far as to speculate that Clark used his ruthless Kryptonian intelligence to choose the one form of intimidation most likely to trigger acquiescence in Tess, with her history of physical abuse. In any case, he didn't hurt her, and she was so thrilled to see him demonstrate his powers in front of her, she pretty much seemed to get off on the whole thing.
This bothered me. I saw that clip from the preview and really hoped Clark was in an "altered state". I hope the writers don't go there with him again. It's fun to watch Clark throw down with other super-powered people and spar verbally with with Tess. But not the other way round.

Cassidy Freeman's Tess was magnificent, as usual. I still think she's in over her head, but miraculously, she keeps managing to stay in the game. Her scenes with Zod were so much fun! They danced around one another, each trying to keep the upper hand, the power shifting by the moment. Zod continued to underestimate her, thinking that seduction was the key, much to Tess's amusement.
Loved the scenes where the audience could see the secret smile on Tess's face, but Zod couldn't. CF & CB are lots of fun.

Great review & gorgeous 'caps as always! Looking forward to see what you think of the guest stars next week. (Will they have crushes on Clark? It would be only reasonable!)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 11th, 2009 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Which you predicted, clever person!

Well, I wasn't going to mention that, but do you have any idea how thrilled I was? I never figure ANYTHING out! LOL!

Yes, the visuals were a total treat for the eyes. Sun + Tommy + "Desert" = PRETTY! Jeannot Szawrc has a real gift for framing an actor in the best possible way against a landscape.

I was so pleased to see his name in the credits! And that desert scene was a real visual highlight for me. I couldn't stop staring at Tom.

This bothered me. I saw that clip from the preview and really hoped Clark was in an "altered state". I hope the writers don't go there with him again.

It didn't bother me like it did a lot of people, but I was quite surprised to see Clark go there. He's always had perfect control around Tess (she just doesn't arouse his passions like Lex always did). That was one of the things I admired most about him in S8, the way she could never provoke him, so this felt like a definite regression. I wasn't sure what message they were trying to send with such a physical outburst.

Looking forward to see what you think of the guest stars next week.

I'm really looking forward to Idol! I watched Warehouse 13 on Syfy this past season, and my favorite actor on that show was Allison Scagliotti, who plays one of the Wonder Twins. She has amazing energy. And I'm really curious to see how Clark interacts with them.
el_elle_8 From: el_elle_8 Date: November 12th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Once again, your review is spot on! I didn't enjoy this episode quite as much as you did but it was still good. I will admit to having a few Supes fangirl moments!

The biggest problems I had were how little Clark is in the episode and the lack of interaction with Clark & Jor-El. Now, I didn't expect this to be a Clark heavy episode but a little more would have been nice.

On a shallow note, in the desert scene, Tom was stunning! :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: December 6th, 2009 10:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Kandor was one of those episodes where the story could have really benefitted from being a two-parter. They're just so ambitious sometimes, trying to put so much into 42 minutes, that we miss the richness they could give us with a little more time. I wanted so badly to see a real conversation between Clark and Jor-El. In fact, in retrospect, I would rather have seen Clark be convinced by Jor-El to try to befriend Zod than have to learn that lesson from a future in which he was less than the hero I KNOW him to be.

That desert scene was unbelievable! Tom looked AMAZING.
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