Sunday, October 25, 2009

That's not how Legion rings work! (Smallville Se08 overview)

They're called FLIGHT rings for a reason, dammit.

Yep, I'm watching season 8 of Smallville.  Well, I'm watching from episode 12: Bulletproof on anyway.  I got sick of watching it on the computer and succumbed to the box set.  £40!! But worth it.

More notable is the fact that it took me EIGHT seasons, and the episode Infamous, to get me to shout at the telly in anger at the show's interpretation of events.

For those of you that don't watch it, (so, pretty much all of you then), Clark puts on a flight ring and it magically transports him back in time.  Presumably by willpower as there sure as hell wasn't anything else that could have affected it.  Gah.

Anyway, I started by watching Power, because I'd forgotten I'd watched them before.  It was neither here nor there.

Next up is Requim.  This includes a battle damaged topless Green Arrow, the Toymaker (surprisingly good), and Clarj and Lana being split up.  You want to know how they got split up you say?  You're sure?  Ok.  Umm, well she's got her power suit on, from the previous episode, (it's an invisibile power suit, naturally) and there was a bomb constructed of Kryptonite, made by the Toymaker, placed at the top pf the Daily Planet.
Clark can defuse it, for obvious reasons, so Lana does the job.  Instead of actually defusing it, or using her new found super strength to hurl it into space or something sensible, she sucks the Kryptonite out of it and asorbs it into her body.  Now she's poisonous to Clark and oh so conveniently disposed of.


Then there's Infamous, menioned above.  Then Turbulence, notable only for Clark having to save Tess Mercer from an impending plane explosion.  He does this by knocking her unconscious by depriving her of oxygen in the plane, then jumping out with her in his arms.  The jumping out the plane bit was heroic, and made me go a little gooey inside.

Next is Hex.  With Zatanna!  I had been looking forward to this.  Zatanna wasn't particularly likeable but I'll forgive her as she's consumed with grief over the death of her dad.  She has the power to grant one wish to every person she meets, so she grants Chloe's and Clark's.  Chloe wakes up in Lois' body (as she's jealous of Lois' journalistic achievements).  This works out well for the viewer as we get to see how everyone else sees Lois - we see evidence of her charm, her achivements, and how damn hard she's worked.  It's nice to see her get some credit.
Clark wishes that he doens't have to lead a double life anymore, so his wish manifests as him forgotting all his powers whilst ChloeinLois tries to get him to remember.  It's played for laughs and it is very funny.  Even
 the boyfriend who hates Smallville found it entertaining.

They got the casting exactly right for Zatanna, check her out:

How perfect is she?

And and and and!  At the end Chloe has a career change and ends up taking an Oracle type role at  the JLA Watchtower!  Awesome beans.  I squee'd so hard.

Eternal will really upset the purists.  It is revealed that when Clark landed in Kansas he was not alone.  The boy that would grow up to become Doomsday also landed with him.  Because Doomsday is Kryptonian.  naturally.  If I cared about the continuity of the show I would wonder if this retcon was done successfully, but I don't.

Stiletto is Lois faking being a superhero to get a story.  She makes a costume out of PVC and realises that squeaky rubber isn't too stealthy when you're trying to fight crime at night.  And the point is made that stiletto's aren't practical fight wear.  The episodes ends with her getting her first interview with the RedBlueBlur.  Over the telephone with Clark using a voice changer thing.  Of course.

Beast has Chloe harbouring Doomsday (in his human form)  in the Talon's basement.  There's some soul searching and arguments and Clark wants to chuck Davis (Doomsday) in the Phantom Zone, and Chloe won't let him, and Jimmy is still massively pissed off that Chloe didn't support him, and Green Arrow wants Clark to murder Davis.

I've got two more to go and I'll watch them tonight.  Then I'll probably go back and rewatch season 6.  then buy and rewatch seasons 5 and 7.  I am mostly looking forward to Clark's costume being revealed at the this season.

Watching season 8 it's struck me how, well, silver agey it is.  Ludicrous plots, 2d characters, convenient forgetting of powers and rules, (or temporary creation of new ones) and some very stupid and unobservant people around.  Particularly Clark.  Not only is he rather dumb he doesn't actually have much of a moral compass.  He's petty, can be immature, occasionly stalkerish and ready to knock people out on a whim.  Without Chloe around he'd be in the shit by now. 

I know it's veered way way off from canon, but that's not really the point of the show.  Honestly, they should have called it Smallville: Elseworlds.  Then canon purists wouldn't be so hacked off with it.  Although the use of the Legion ring will be just plain wrong.


cerebus660 said...

I never watch Smallville but, fair play, Zatanna looks perfect!

Or should I say "!tcefrep skool annataZ"?

Bubbashelby said...

I still watch it - this season isn't the greatest and the Zod subplot is taking it's sweet time to the point of tedium, but with upcoming cameos from Hawkman, Dr. Fate and Star Girl, one can forgive them for the anticipation alone.

Feminist Avatar said...

I think I am on season 9, and Lois is totally coming into her own- I know she did have a kick-ass personality in earlier seasons, but she kept being put in the background. In the new stuff, she is very central and very superheroey without being a superhero. And in this season Oliver is back as a major plot person, which is great because he is my favourite superhero. I actually think its picked up the pace after being a bit slow in seasons 6 and 7, and was kind of getting back into stride in 8. Plus Clark is all wearing black suit and tie, which is better than the horrendous blue and red jacket combo we've had for the last 8 years.

I know that the getting rid of Lana thing was a bit lame, but she had to go to let Clark move on, and this way she gets to stay a superhero, and I think the more female superheroes the better (even if only I get to imagine storyplots for them).

It occurs to me that the nice thing about Smallville is that there are as many female characters as male and that they all have their own personalities and abilities. The only person who really operated as a love interest was Lana and they tried to grow her out of that and when they finally decided they couldn't, she got kicked from the show (but at least in a way that left her as a powerful character).

Saranga said...

@ FA: Oh don't get me wrong, I didn't mean to insinuate that I thought Lana's exit was crap - on the contrary, I'm loving all the corny forced plotlines. I always have done, it's what makes smallville smallville! However I know a lot of comics fans loathe the show, because of various daft events like that. My comments were mostly addressed to them.

I adore Lois. She has always been great on this. Her, Kara and Oliver are my favourite characters. Dinah would be too, if she'd had a bigger role to play.

Lana as a love interest was awful. She was so insipid and dull, as soon as she got moved angry she got interesting.

@Bubbashelly: I am *so* excited about the JSA episodes!

Cerebus: You'll be glad to hear Zee also did the talking backwards trick in Hex.

Red said...

haven't watched Smallville and frankly surprised it's still on, but not Firefly. Okay, one is not related to the other, but I think it's now convention to mention Firefly whenever talking about TV and cancellation.

Anyway. I like that the actress playing Zatanna has normal sized thighs. Too, too many women on TV are too thin.

notintheface said...

I'm no canon-slave, but the fact that Clark is in his early-mid 20s and working in Metropolis at the Daily Planet, but doesn't fly and DOESN'T WEAR GLASSES, just takes me out of the story. Plus, Jimmy Olsen's dead and Perry White isn't working at the Planet yet. He's met like the whole Justice League but not Mon-El. I've pretty much blown this show off since the end of Season 6 with the exception of a few eps like the Legion and Zatanna ones. Justin Hartley does a good Young GA, and Erica Durance as Lois is a riot, but I miss Rosenbaum's Lex, which was a big draw of the show.

Saranga said...

@ face: I'm really glad I watched the last 2 episodes of Se08 before I saw your comment! ;)
More seriously, fair enough if that's how you feel. I also miss Lex, he was pretty good. But I figure he may be coming back in Se09. I also believe that Lois may be in the 31st century now, with the Legion. This can only lead to good things.
I am also stunned they killed off Jimmy - but will have more thoughts in an upcoming post. The other stuff really doesn't bother me. But each to their own :-)