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the rambling fanatic
Smallville season 7 premiere "Bizarro" 
30th-Sep-2007 12:29 pm
I approve!
The return of Smallville makes me so happy. Yeah there were a few beats that left me a bit off but all and all I was very happy with the premiere.

I love Smallville's version of Bizarro. I realize some comics purists might think of it as a travesty (hey Mxy was high school bookie rather than some incarnation of the Great Gazoo) and others might call him a version of RedK!Clark but personally think there's enough of a difference to make him interesting on his own. Rather than be Clark stripped of his inhibitions he's giving voice to all of the legitimate questions that Clark has asked himself over the years like what would people do if Clark wasn't around to save them. Bizarro holds these questions up like a mirror. Under the influence of RedK Clark is along for the ride and can only reflect on the events after the fact. With Bizarro Clark gets to witness first hand what the dark recesses of his mind are capable. I was extremely shocked at how violent Bizarro was and the level of gore surrounding him. His quasi impalement on the electrical tower was pretty graphic as was his murder or the would be Good Samaritan. I didn't expect them to go that far with the level of violence. I'm pretty desensitized with it comes to violence and Bizarro's murdering rampage caused me to readjust my expectations to what the show is willing to show.

I love the added emphasis on the influence of the sun on Clark. The way it shone on him cast him in this ethereal glow. I squeed with joy during the brief scene with Clark re-energizing in 'Nemesis' so I'm glad that it was showcased more prominently, especially in regard to his healing properties.

Also the Superman nod and music after Clark vaporized the water made me very happy. But boo that we couldn't see Tom's face behind the mega edition of the heat vision. The Director's Cut (pre-special effects) showed him looking very Supermanesqe.

I loved the bewilderment in Erica's delivery of"How did you?" when Clark brought down the baracade in the dam and Clark's entrance complete with the appropriate music flourish. Better get used to it Lois.

I found myself a little confused with the low level of emotion and urgency in several of the scenes. I would have liked it if Lois was a bit more hovery around Chloe when they were trapped in the dam and Clark's reaction to Chloe's unconcious state was more subdued then I'd expected. The same goes for his reaction once he opens up her morgue drawer. It reminded me of Chloe's non-existent reaction to Lana lying shot in the DP elevator in 'Noir'. I don't expect hysterics but I wanted something more. 

Chloe's emergency room scene reminded me a lot of Clark's deathbed scene from 'Mortal" however this time I wasn't sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen. With Clark's scene even though I knew he wasn't going to die I was emotionally invested in the event on screen. With Chloe I also knew she wasn't going to die but instead I found myself wondering what happened to my investment in the story. Instead I focused on the aesthetics of the scene. The music and camera movements were nice but once again like the acting in other scenes were not appropriate for a scene in which a series regular is supposedly dying.

Now I've never been a morgue but shouldn't the sheet be over Chloe's head and not wrapped around her chest. It would've have added to creep out factor for her if it had been.

I adore Lois. Every episode she's in is an automatic hit for me so I'm glad that 'Bizarro' had her doing things of more significance than last year's 'Zod' which was a waste of Erica's limited 13 episodes. Having her witness the remains of Lex's waterlogged super army is a nice way to further give her some evidence towards what people can do when they work below the radar of the public's trust. Granted she ended up with no physical proof the memory is still there. 

One of my wishes for this season is a return of the Chlo-Lo. It's one of the strongest relationships on the show and it pains me that the writers have had their moments occur offscreen, like Chloe's revelation to Lois about what Lex did to Moira Sullivan. Last year's hinted rivalry between the two aspiring reporter unfortunately sounded better on paper and faltered in execution. How can they be rivals when Lois is tracking down the Green Arrow and Chloe is doing research and pieces on parking meters? Plus what little rivalry strings they were strumming came off as cattiness on Chloe's part which is totally not her character.

Lois' final scene in 'Bizarro' was filled with positives. The sincerity behind Lois' acknowledgement of Clark's loss of Lana was truly heartfelt and there is still the slightest twinge of awkwardness in the hug but it never overpowers the moment. It was also the laugh out loud moment of the episode. Erica's delivery of Lois' threat to sever off Clark's wandering hands was spot on as were her facial expressions. I'm also relieved that we didn't get Smallville's typical dismissal of mindwarped behavior. No "You weren't yourself speeches" from Lois. She believes her encounter with Bizarro was Clark, just a bereaved Clark.

Going in I pretty much had no opinion on the introduction of Kara aka Supergirl but in seeing her limited and enigmatic appearance in 'Bizarro' I've got to say that I'm becoming more and more intrigued by her possibilities. From what I've gathered about Kara in preseason press she was sent alongside her baby cousin Kal-El to protect him on Earth but got caught in suspended animation shortly after she arrived. Early spoilers had Kara looking for a baby Kal-El. I don't know if that still remains true but I'm guessing she doesn't know about the length of time that has elapsed. I adored her scene on top of the Smallville watertower. She had such a look of loneliness about her. She's a young girl with a large responsibility and as of that moment she's failing. Not to mention the knowledge that everything she holds dear is now gone and she's alone in a strange planet having to care for an infant she still can't find. I'm guessing the bracelet  Kara recovers from her discarded clothing is of some signifcance especially given the importance given to the soulmate bracelet from "Skinwalker" a few seasons ago. Granted it hasn't made an appearance since but it seems to me that bracelets are of extreme importance to the women of Krypton. Maybe it's similar in symbolism to that of the wedding ring has between a man and a woman in Western cutlure. So yay at the possibility of learning more about life on Krypton. 

I love the way Kara standing on the watertower and then flies above Smallville's main street references the contrast that comes with the Superman myth of this superpowered being from another planet being raised in small town USA. It's the otherworldly and fantastical against a backdrop of Americana that Smallville loves to milk.

Hopefully the next episode or others focusing on the character of Kara give us a little more insight into what sort of impressions the discovery of her new abilities gave her. I haven't seen the Supergirl movie in ages but if I remember correctly there was a wonderful sense of innocence when she discovered that she was hovering and could actually fly. I'm really not getting an innocent vibe with SV's version of Kara but I will feel cheated if we don't get some sort of commentary on her feelings where that is concerned.
  

Lana really stood out in the faux!Shanghai crowd that she might as well have worn a big neon sign that said 'Lana Luthor". I guess if someone was trying to hide out from her husband then trying to blend in with your surroundings and casting off all identifiers from your former life should be a major priority but in Smallville's case I just don't care. Kristin looked great. There was small part of me that wanted a red wig as a nod to Lana by canon being a red head but the blonde was perfect as was the contrast with the red cheongsam. I want an icon of her so badly. At the rate I'm going I might as well upgrade my account. Another thing that amused me about her segment was the idea of Lana running away to China when Kristin Kreuk is half Chinese yet Lana in Smallville is of French descent. I like those little unintrusive nod's to the actor's background. I guess one of the big things for me about Lana's escape is how she funded all the cloak and dagger costs and living expenses. I wonder if she had her own allowance while married to Lex.

 
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