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the rambling fanatic
Smallville 6.02 "Kara" 
6th-Oct-2007 06:38 pm
I approve!

With each new episode I'm finding myself sitting on pins and needles for the next one. This anticipation is seriously not the best way to get through me week. Only two episodes in and Smallville continues to own my soul.

I loved the opening Lois/Clark scene. There was a nice warmth and mutal appreciation about it with some nice back and forth. It makes me so happy that after three years the meanspirited "banter" from older episodes is pretty much nonexistent. Lois acknowledges that Clark holds a special place in her world and is visibly affected at the thought of him leaving. In turn Clark, who in the past "would have done anything to get rid of Lois' is choosing to spend time with her. I tend to have a love/hate relationship with the Clois anvils but the whole "you can't break up with me we're not even a couple" and Kara's "girlfriend" comment were nice and subtle and not heavy handed. On a shallow note I loved Lois' jacket. Someone point in the direction of the place where I can purchase it because I've been lusting after it ever since the promotional picture of it appeared.

I'm very pleased with the way Kara is unfolding. I wasn't such a fan of her petulant kid look and the line about Lois "touching her stuff" is very bratty teenager which I'm guessing is one aspect of where TPTB want to go with her. I just open they don't go overboard with it because Kara really isn't that much younger than Clark. It would work more if she was about 15 or 16 but at 19 she'll just come off as spoiled. I like the fact that Kara is a bit confused by Clark's limitations like his inability to fly and his discretion when it comes to his powers. Plus the little look back towards her handiwork on the elevator when Clark told her not to was adorable as was her uh-oh when she sees her ship going atomic. Kara's training scene with Clark was nicely done. Welling is getting so Supermanish in his mannerism and his carriage. If I wasn't already so in love with Tom's portrayal of Clark I'd definitely be after watching "Bizarro" and "Kara". But back to Kara, I love the maternal side of her that comes out when she talks about baby Kal-El and of Lara. It makes me so happy at all the possibilities Kara presents in regards to Kypton. Lara has been woefully absent from Smallville and I think she and Kara will be so instrumental in showing Clark aspects of the Kryptonian culture that have not been serviced as of yet.

On Chloe, briefly for now. OK so now Chloe is smarter than two Kryptonians combined (the most advanced civilization in the galaxy) and Lana is brilliant. Um ok...not. Now I certainly believe that Chloe is intelligent and resourceful you get no argument on that from me but writers how about actually looking at your word choice. Ther eare other ways for Clark to make mention of his high regard for his friend's intellect.


Now on to the biggies: the Lex/Lana scene, Lois' introduction into the Daily Planet, the DP editor, and the cousins.

I'm a Lex/Lana fan. There were moments last season where i was positively gushing at how well it was being handled. I wanted to see Lana legitimately dabble with the dark recesses of her mind. Clark's rejection of her left her in a very emotionally vulnerable place and her growing relationship with Lex gave her the opportunity to involve herself completely with someone. Lana has suffered greatly at the hands of the town's meteor infected not to mention her experiences with the Kryptonian Ken and Barbie and Zod. One wouldn't exactly blame her for harboring less than pleasant thoughts about them. Lana has also expressed xenophobic tendancies towards the meteor freaks and in one of the S6 episodes she told Lex that she felt his experiments might be the only way to save earth from the aliens. I wanted Lex and Lana's relationship to be built on complete and total disclosure when it came to Lex's extracurricular activities and have it be one of the things that kept them romantically together. Then her discovery of Clark's secret and the realization that not all Kryptonians are bad would help her see that Lex's way was too extreme which would then prompt her to leave him. I could have done without the baby arc but it could have stayed only I would have had the baby be real and have Lana miscarry. That would then drive a wedge between the normally united Mr. & Mrs. Luthor

I say all this because then a Lex/Lana scene like the one we got in 'Kara' would have had some sort of foundation. It was a love and and partnership that legitimately went sour other than one built on Lex's Lana obsession and lack of self-esteem. Michael played the scene in a way I still can't quite read. My instinct is telling me that Lex knows Lana in ways that even she isn't aware of which is why Lex went in with apologies and claims of the world being a better place without him. So when I didn't see anything on screen to confirm those suspicions like perhaps a small smile when Lex walked away from Lana I got confused. I really hope that a future episode will allow us entrance into Lex's train of thought and a reveal that Lex is in fact playing Lana. It would be a nice "the gloves come off" development for Lex in regards to his precious Lana. 

I personally loved that Lois' first official foray into journalism was through the tabloidly Inquisitor. I think it makes sense. It would have annoyed if she'd actually started at the Smallville Ledger which is the paper people often cited as being a nice legitimate starting place for her. My problem with that suggestion isn't the legitimate part but the fact that it's in Smallville. I realize that the fact that Lois is even in Smallville, crashed with the Kents and even attended Smallville High for a second are things that some fans were in a tizzy about. Aside from the Lois attends Smallville High thing I had no problem with those events but if Lois Lane was to start her journalistic career in the town that produced Clark Kent well let's just say I'd be seeing red. With the Inquisitor it gave Lois a chance to see the very dredges of journalism. The vision of journalism that Smallville has present is that of Chloe's. Yes for years she'd covered the weird beat and it was a source of much fascination for her but eventually she wanted to cover the news for the Daily Planet. Chloe's progression has been well documented in SV. She did everything right and by the book and she expects to be rewarded for her hard work. She worked for the school paper, got internships, and was working towards a degree. It's the path that a large number of journalists take.

Lois, in contrast, comes in through the back door and shows an alternative way into journalism. It's in no way a pristine world but a rather ugly one. It's almost like guerilla journalism. I regret though that they didn't delve more into that. So with the down and dirty Inqusitor as her experience, combined with Lois' enthusiasm for finding stories makes her a good candidate for fishing out the stories that will sell papers for the Daily Planet. Plus it's not like Lois is getting a desk on the top floor. She's in the basement with all the interns, entry level journalists, and filler writers. If she wants to progress she's going to have to produce printable stories. 

I really don't know what to make of Grant Gabriel and the actor's performance. As a character he more or less works. I think that as Smallville begins to wrap up and lead into what is normally Superman territory the world of journalism on the show needs to step up to the forefront. Having a floor level editor become a part of the story is a great way to execute that and have interaction with the show's up and coming journalists--namely Chloe, Jimmy, Lois, and hopefully Clark. While initially concerned about the actor's age in watching the episode it isn't really a factor. I do believe the role should have gone to someone in their early 30s but just as long as he doesn't come of physically like he's 12 I'm good. Gabriel made a lot of good points about newspapers not being about feelings. Journalism is a profession but newspapers is a business. Gabriel wouldn't have been called in if the DP was doing it's job at that. What point is it in having the greatest paper in the world if readership is down. He's not there to dumb the paper down but to up circulation.  Part of that is being able to sniff out new blood and keep the paper fresh. He sees potential in Lois. He's the first person that hasn't mocked Lois' journalistic side. Clark was kind of ho-hum, Chloe has made snide remarks about her abilities both in front of her and to Clark, and Oliver would have liked it if Lois focused on him. Lois needs a mentor figure and that's another reason why I would have prefered a more mature actor in the role of Grant Gabriel. I'd harbored a wish that Dean Cain would be in the role but oh well. 

However, I'm not a fan of the way the actor played Grant Gabriel and the lines didn't exactly help. "Leaps off the page like a Bengel tiger" are you kidding me. I know the line was supposed convey that Lois has a natural gift with words but the line reading came off as sarcastic. His delivery strikes me as a cross between J.J. Jameson from Spider-Man and Lane Smith's version of Perry White in Lois & Clark.

And finally the cousins, I'm actually rather intrigued by Gabriel pitting the cousins against each other. It would be so easy to say that a Lois/Chloe rivalry will mirror the animosity that is present in fandom but what the final DP scene  told me, aside from Chloe's WTF face, is that both Chloe and Lois can eventually coexist in the DP quite well. Lois, the reporter of Superman canon is finally setting foot in the DP where she'll remain, alongside Chloe, the reporter created for this incarnation of the Superman story. They're both in the basement and encouraged by Gabriel to deliver the stories he wants--those that sell papers, big front page stories. He's pitting them against each other not in a no-holds-bar catfight but in a professional race upstairs. He insulted Chloe but saying that she's lost her mojo which means he knows her potential for stories but she's been complacent in his opinion. She was so gung-ho about stories during her Torch days and ever since she's found out Clark's secret she's layed off. That has cost her. Chloe's been a good little girl in writing what is assigned to her and as a result she's stuck writing jaywalking stories.Gabriel is challenging her to get back to her gung-ho roots and by placing Lois across from her he hopes that will spark her fire. He sees Lois as having that spark and he wants it back in Chloe.

It's a brand new day for the cousins and I sincerely hopes that this set up leads to some fun Chlo-Lo journalistic scenes. I want the two girls investigating together.

 

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