Friday, October 28, 2005

Smallville Review 5:5 Thirst

Crazy4Smallville’s Weekly Review

Season 5
Episode 5
“The Masked Ranger Revealed”

I had expected this episode would be hokey and cheesy, and unfortunately, it didn’t fail to live up to those expectations. But, there were some amazing things mixed into the crazy mush pile, and I fear they may have gotten lost.

This just in - I interrupt this regularly scheduled review for late breaking news!


Well – at long last we now know the identity of the Masked Ranger. For those who read these reviews, but haven’t followed the Smallville Ledger Board’s “Adventures of the Masked Ranger” won’t know what I’m talking about, but those who do – we finally know the truth (or do we?) It seems that Clark Kent is the man behind the mask. Who would have guessed that the Man of Steel was the man behind the mask? LOL! At least it was a nice ‘kudos’ to the Masked Ranger, and I thought it quite hilarious. All this time many thought the man behind the mask was Michael Rosenbaum when it seems to have been Clark Kent. LOL! Oh, and the cape was nice touch to the Superman reference.

Now, back to the review!

I’m confused to the effects of the vampirism of Lana Lang. Did it make her act out of character or did it only enhance what she already knew and felt? If so, then does Lana feel that Clark is a whiny baby and her affections for him have waned? Because the Lana that was portrayed last night was not the Lana that is shoved in our faces week after week.

One of the reasons I detest Lana is the way that TPTB have risen her status in the mythos and life of Clark Kent. He’s Superman, and Smallville is supposed to be the story about HIM. But, sometimes you’d get the feeling that the story is about Lana –who happens to be some secret Supergirl. They’ve given her a role in Clark’s history, Kryptonian history, given her powers of an ancient witch and now has turned her into a vampire and given her a sample of Clark’s powers. How much more can she do without them coming right out and giving her a costume and nickname? The more they exalt Lana, the more they deflate the greatness of Clark Kent. In the mythos it was Lana who crushed on Clark – but he didn’t reciprocate those feelings. In Smallville, he’s a love sick puppy dog. Clark and Lana both keep harping on ‘destiny’ and how they were ‘destined’ to be with each other, when destiny has nothing to do with it. This storyline did nothing to move the main plot along. It only made Clark look like a really BDA (Big Dumb Alien) who let’s his girlfriend walk all over him.

There were some great things I loved about this episode though. I love the way it was told from Chloe’s narrative. I loved her interview at the Daily Planet with the Chief Editor, Kahn. (Note how the secretary called her ‘Chief’?) I think Carrie Fisher did an excellent job, even if I hardly recognized her from her Star Wars days.

I nearly choked on laughter when Chloe was talking to Clark on the phone and then swooped into the room. That was hilarious! I thought it was one of the best scenes in the entire episode.

I couldn’t figure out why Chloe chose to dress up as a nurse though. I would have liked her to dress up in a Supergirl or Wonder Woman costume – to give Clark some idea to his superhero status.

Now, for the pearls of the show – Dr. Fine and Lex Luthor! I hope that their interaction wasn’t lost in all the fluff and cheese that was slathered all around it. It was priceless to see the look on Lex’s face when Dr. Fine told him not to start something he couldn’t finish. I haven’t seen Lex look madder, or more evil – ever! I loved every single moment of it.

I love this character of Dr. Fine (Braniac). Lex Luthor could learn a lot from him. Maybe his influence is what causes Lex to become the ‘Greatest Criminal Mastermind of All Time”. I really hope they keep him around for a while. James Marsters seems to bring a level of excellence that the others could learn from.

I just wonder if Lex’s famously known surveillance system captured Dr. Fine’s “spikey” performance in the hangar. This made me think about the other FOTW with the same Terminator 3 powers – from Season 4.

In conclusion – I didn’t hate the episode as much as I thought I would. It was kind of fun and it had its great moments. It could have done without the whole vampire storyline – but hey – it’s Halloween, and I suppose a little fun was in order. But, if I were Clark – after watching Lana’s performance as a vampire – I’d be twice as worried for her to find out the truth about him being an alien.

This has been Crazy4Smallville’s weekly review. Till Next Time!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Smallville Review 5:4 "Aqua"

Crazy4Smallville’s Weekly Review

Season 5
Episode 4

This is by far one of the best episodes of Smallville I’ve seen to date. I think they did an excellent job. This is what Smallville is all about, and it’s about time they got to it. Next week doesn’t look as promising, but I have to say that I really, really liked Aqua.

I’m sure most of you think it’s the Aquaman story line that I’m impressed with, but that’s not what has me beaming this morning. It was great, and I’ll get to the points I really liked about it, but I must give the first portion of this review to Alexander. He made me proud!

There is no way that the Lex that we grew to know over the past few years still exists. Lex didn’t survive the meld; Alexander is all that remains and I for one am glad. My excitement doesn’t come for a love for bad guys, but because I now know that my hero will soon emerge, and I got a small glimpse of him last night.

Lex Luthor wouldn’t have even considered building a weapons system, but Alexander would. Lex wouldn’t have openly tortured AC, but Alexander would find pleasure it in. Lex wouldn’t have been smug with Clark about finding his pitchfork, Alexander would be pleased with the comparison. I think what little bit of Lex there was, finally died, when Clark told him that he had defended him.

Alexander and Clark have now chosen sides. They stand in the rink facing each other, gloves up and waiting for the sound of the bell. I can’t wait. I’ve been anticipating this fight for so long that I’ve already drank my soda, ate all my pop corn and my candy has been consumed. Let the games begin!

The next best thing I enjoyed last night was meeting Dr. Fine (Braniac). James Marsters did such an awesome job, he had me convinced he was a teacher and firmly believed what he said. His facial expressions alone had me mesmerized with every word. I was expecting that familiar British accent, but his American one will do. When he spoke of how Alexander the Great had already accomplished so much at just 18, I instantly thought of our own Alexander. I’m hopeful that it will Braniac who will truly teach Alexander what true warfare is. Wars are not won on strength alone, but on the genius behind the actions. I think Braniac will teach Lex how to truly become one of the greatest criminal masterminds of all time. I can’t wait!

The next thing that impressed me was Chloe clarity when it came to Clark’s role in life. She gets it, and he has just begun to scratch the surface. Clark has a lot to learn from his friend.

Ok, now I’m ready to get to Aquaman. Though he was much more buff than Clark (at the present time) he still a little on the immature side. Clark can learn a lot from him because he already knows what his role is in life, and is working on trying to fulfill it, whereas Clark still doesn’t have a clue. However, he needs to learn a little of the patience and humility that Clark owns. A.C. needs to have a little more tact when it comes to pursuing the things he wants, including women. But, I loved the way he handled Lois.

I’ve always known that Lois uses her crass attitude to protect her heart. She acts tough on the outside, but is very fragile and caring on the inside. The more she fought against A.C., the more I knew she liked him. But, this also set a high standard the next guy to come in her life. One that I’m sure only a Superman can fill.

I loved the way A.C. called Clark “SuperBoy” and mentioned the “JLA” – they were priceless. There were so many little snarky ‘fishy’ phrases littered throughout the episode, one couldn’t help but laugh at how much they went overboard with them. “Swim like a fish”, “swimming with the seals”, “dad runs a place down south”, etc. I could go on. I think I caught all of them through the show, but I’ll watch it again just to get another laugh out of them.

This episode was more in the way of how I’ve always pictured Smallville should be. I’ve waited so long for it to get to this point. This is by far one of my most favored episodes. Does this mean I’m in for a disappointment next week, because the bar has now been set high again? I hope not.

This has been Crazy4Smallville’s weekly review. Till Next Time!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Smallville Review 5:2 "Mortal"

Crazy4Smallville’s Weekly Review

Season 5
Episode 2

As much as I thought that I would hate this episode, I was genuinely surprised by it, and I enjoyed it tremendously. There were elements I hated about it, but overall I think it was well acted, well written and well executed.

But, as much as I was pleased, I was also very highly disappointed with some of the aspects of the storyline.

I am going to jump right to Clark and Lex first, because their storyline just jumps right out at you. Do you know what happens when you strip an all powerful alien of his powers? He gets a little common sense on one end and becomes totally hopeless on the other. Clark is definitely starting to grow up. Clark was able to foil Lex Luthor’s plans – all the while knowing that Lex had something to do with it. He put the pieces of the puzzle together for himself. I have to say that even I was shocked at how much Lex was involved, yet Clark had him pegged and confronted him about it. When Lex started with his ‘I was hoping to have a fresh start’ mantra – I noticed my brain was starting to shut down, because I’d heard the same speech over and over. But, when Clark reared back and knocked him one, I thought okay, this is getting interesting. When he exposed Lex’s plans – and Lex didn’t have a rebuttal – I jumped up to the edge of my seat. But, when Lex finally saw that Clark wasn’t going to be hoodwinked again, blocked Clark’s swing and hit back, I jumped in the air. IT’S ABOUT TIME!

The previews had you thinking that ‘everything you’ve been waiting for’ was about the relationship with Clark and Lana, but it was with Clark and Lex stepping into the roles they were destined to play. Alexander surfaced to the top, took off his Lex mask and exposed himself. NOW things will get interesting. So, YES – that was what I’ve been waiting to see for four years now.

Clark’s done a lot of growing up. He’s starting to finally realize some truths about himself and see a purpose for his powers, instead of viewing them as a burden and shame. I think he got a little taste of how limited a human really is, and how much more (with his powers) he’ll be able to do the thing that comes natural to him (whether it be by Kryptonian nature or human nature) and that is to be a “hero”. I think he’s starting to realize that it’s not his powers that make him a hero, but his heart and his passion. Clark has went around for four years thinking that he’s become Smallville’s ‘self appointed hero’ out of his guilt for being the cause of the meteor showers and the result to all the ‘freaks’, and because he has these super powers it’s his ‘responsibility’ to help. Well, now that he doesn’t have any superpowers, he’s still out saving people – yet he can’t do his job the way he was made to do. When a person does something, they should do it to the fullest, and Clark is beginning to realize that he’s a hero (with or without powers) and can now see the benefit of having the powers.

But, where he’s still his weakest is when it comes to Lana Lang. Now, granted – I actually enjoyed their exchanges at the barn raising and even their ‘secret moment’ in the barn. It didn’t bother me, made me want to hurl or even get upset. I thought it was sweet. I really admired Clark for telling Lana that she deserves their first time to be as special as she was. That was honorable, that was touching – and I found it to be heartfelt. I even liked their surprised expressions when they realized that the other was still a virgin, especially Clark’s. The look on his face was priceless. I’m also glad that at the end of the episode, they didn’t give us a free peek.

Yet, I’m disappointed! Clark has once again showed that his word isn’t worth anything. He promised Lana a special time – not a convenient one. Yes, he just nailed the proverbial coffin of his friendship with Lex shut – but that was not a reason or circumstance for them to have gone any farther than comforting one another (if that’s what happened). If Clark truly desired for that moment to have been special with Lana, then he would have done it after he made a commitment to her. Dating her isn’t a commitment. Even under the influence of Red K – he made a commitment with Alicia (even if it was her idea) – yet with the one he supposedly has loved all of his life – he changes it in for a moment of depression? I know many of you will probably disagree with me on this point – but there are those of us in the world that truly honor a committed relationship and view intimacy between two people as one of the most sacred and cherished of acts that two people committed to each other can share. Yet, we live in a society (especially in the world of the WB) that views it as a moment of convenience, as leverage, to be exploited for personal gain, to be used to fulfill a selfish desire, abused and perverted. If he loves her enough to be intimate with her, then why doesn’t he love her enough to honor her by first giving her a commitment before asking her to share her most intimate gift she could ever offer? Maybe his ‘human’ emotions were too much for him?

An aspect of the episode that I didn’t fully understand was Lana’s obvious disdain for Lex. Why does she so openly hate him? What has he done to her? Let’s see – he tried to get her out of Smallville during the meteor shower in one of his helicopters after he had been trying to protect her from going to jail for murdering Genevieve Teague. He found her in the middle of the road, took her back to his mansion, cleaned her up and left her alone. She wasn’t a prisoner and could leave at any time. She then lured two aliens back to his mansion, who tore up the place. Oh, and then he takes the murdered body of the woman she killed and made it look like she was killed by the meteor shower to keep Lana from going to prison, because I don’t think the defense of “I was possessed by a witch when I killed her” would work too well. So, why the disdain for a man who seems to have only helped her? Because of the shame of her own guilt and the burden of the secret she now has to carry.

The exchange between Chloe and Lex was awesome. It revealed to us how Lex has been feeling over the past few weeks – as a third wheel. He was pulling a ‘Lionel’ on Chloe, trying to play off her emotions about Clark, but it backfired. Chloe wasn’t falling for that a second time. I just KNEW that Lex was standing behind Chloe when she was standing at the table and mentioned Clark. Lex always has a way of being in the right place at the right time. I’ve always said that he’s seen too much, and overheard too much to not know what was truly going on.

Poor Lex though – after all this time, everything he thought he knew he now questions, because Clark conveniently lost his powers – AGAIN. He was right about Clark, but he went all wrong on trying to expose that truth. But, I’m glad to see Alexander back. I like him much better than Lex.

I LOVED the banter between Chloe and Clark. Clark struggling to do the most menial of tasks was a sight to see. Chloe’s nonchalant attitude through the whole episode was great. She truly loves Clark and has shown her dedication and loyalty. But, what she has shown Clark (which I’ve known all along) is that it’s not the powers that you have that make you a hero. She’s never had a superpower, yet she helps ‘save the day’ as much as Clark does. She’s insightful, inventive and ingenious when it comes to ‘solving the clue’ of the day. She’s a modern day Nancy Drew with a few more attributes. I love Nancy Drew – but I love Chloe Sullivan even more. She’s the new super sleuth for the new generation.

I was so glad to see my favorite sheriff return. Two things really stuck out – her overwhelming affection for coffee, and her blunt approach to all things Smallville. Her line about being just another day in Smallville, when the cop was pointing out the invisible field was priceless. I really do hope they keep her around. I love her humor, I love her accent and I love to see her on the screen. She’s sharp as whip, and doesn’t miss a thing. She played her part cool and then went right into action.

WE saw the Kent’s resilience again. Once again they’re held hostage and Jonathan gets tossed around, yet doesn’t have a mark to show for it. For a brief moment, during his fight exchange, I saw Bo Duke emerge. It was awesome.

The three stooges did nothing for me. They were really stupid. What did they think they were going to do once they got their ‘fix’? Keep going back to the Kent’s to get the next one? They weren’t too bright, and they didn’t really explain their powers too well. At one point – Mo said that the experience enhanced what they already had – so were they meteor freaks or were they some of the people Lex had hidden from level 33.5 that had been enhanced by kryptonite? Mo, had powers that he seemed to get from electricity, while Larry and Curly had this force field type of gift. Either way, neither was impressive. I thought they did a great job portraying addicts in need of their next hit. They’re relevance to the story wasn’t apparent until the end of the episode when it was revealed that they had been part of Lex’s plan to expose Clark.

There was a lot in this episode. Even as long winded as this review is, I’m sure I missed quite a bit. I thought this was an exciting episode. Though I dreaded it, I was very pleased with it.

This has been Crazy4Smallville’s weekly review. Till Next Time!