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Smallville review: Lazarus - tasabian [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Smallville review: Lazarus [Sep. 24th, 2010|09:38 pm]
tasabian
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Haven't had a SV rant in a while. If you enjoyed Lazarus, stay away from the cut. Far away!



I'm mentally scrolling back through seasons premieres and yep, this was the worst. By miles.

Anticlimactic, plot all over the place, yucky cinematography so that even the sunlit scenes look sickly.

Key areas of dissatisfaction:

- While I appreciate that they didn't try to pretend that the clone Lex is "real Lex", having him share a memory with Lex and spout a lot of nonsense about his first meetings with Clark was just cringe-making. If this is even in the ballpark of the dialogue they'd give Michael, I'm back to wanting him to stay away. And that's despite the actor playing old!Lex being very good and utterly wasted in this part - wish they'd cast him as the Suicide Squad dude instead (whose performance was poor.)

- They actually had old!clone!Lex ogle Clark and run a finger down his chest. This was....misguided, to say the least. Evoking older, better episodes is invariably a mistake on SV and this is the worst example yet.

- They stole the plot device from Dark Knight, extracted all suspense from it and resolved it in an extremely dull fashion.

- Jor-El was extremely sanctimonious tonight. To Clark: "You nearly took a man's life." Uh dude, you exploded an FBI agent, remember? And you kidnapped a little girl, made her think she was kryptonian, then killed her.

- Clark, who has never shown pride, is suddenly given a completely out-of-character and horribly written prideful tantrum at the Fortress - so I assume we're meant to be on Jor-El's side? Never!

- The scenes of Oliver getting repeatedly punched in the face were extremely dull.

Okay stuff:

- Nice work from both Erica & Allison.
- Dr. Emil can steal a scene just by saying "Move, Clark" and doing stuff in the background.
- I'm mildly intrigued by Tess playing Mama to a new Alexander clone.

Final scene

- dead!Jonathan is more likable and self-deprecating than living Jonathan ever was and I like how he acknowledged his own anger problems - nice continuity there. Also like that he laughed off Jor-El. Tom & John were great in this scene. But the bad dialogue continued. These two lines made me laugh.

Clark: "I destroyed an entire building!" (Me: Go to your room. Or come to my room, that's better.)

Jonathan: "We all make sacrifices and every time we do, we lose a little something in the process." (Me: NO, REALLY??? You don't say!)

GRADE: Worst since Requiem and a real letdown after Salvation.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jlvsclrk
2010-09-25 01:46 am (UTC)
Overall, I liked it considerably more than you did but agree that Jor-El was utterly infuriating, this "pride" thing came completely out of the blue, and not!Lex just didn't work for me. Best scenes were the Jonathan / Clark reunion (had me in tears) and the Clois scene at the DP that had me in stitches. For those 2 scenes, I'll forgive a lot.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 01:50 am (UTC)
Best scenes were the Jonathan / Clark reunion (had me in tears) and the Clois scene at the DP that had me in stitches. For those 2 scenes, I'll forgive a lot.
Both good scenes with good performances & I wish they were in a decent episode!

Jor-El was utterly infuriating, this "pride" thing came completely out of the blue, and not!Lex just didn't work for me.
I was somewhat prepared for the horrors of not!Lex but the other 2 items on your list sent me into a rage. How can the writers possibly have thought "Yes, lets do that!"
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[User Picture]From: miss_tress
2010-09-25 02:11 am (UTC)
- They stole the plot device from Dark Knight, extracted all suspense from it and resolved it in an extremely dull fashion.
No, they stole a plot device from "Spider-Man" since Clark managed to save Lois and keep people from being smooshed by the falling globe. After the requisite lecture about how he can't do both and the public will turn on him by the villain.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 02:22 am (UTC)
*bows to your superior comics knowledge*!

Spidey did it better. This was stale as day old donuts.
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[User Picture]From: gildinwen
2010-09-25 02:17 am (UTC)
Tess's arc is perplexing to me. I just can't see Lex forgiving her, and letting her back into the fold, after she betrayed him, even if she is playing "Mother" to a young Clone!Lex.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 02:22 am (UTC)
Poor Tess never gets a coherent plot :(

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[User Picture]From: ctbn60
2010-09-25 02:51 am (UTC)
I liked it better then you did. The oliver scenes made me cringe. A LOT! Too bloody and just horrible. I could have done without all the blood and pain. It wasn't a beating it was a slaughter. :(

I thought tom's acting was really pretty good in this episode. Especially in his scenes with jonathan and Lois. I adored Lois' wit and the fact that SHE saved him! He did go a bit odd in the fortress though...lol

I so agree on the fact that they needed to lose the jor-el scenes. How the hell did he go from rule them they are flawed to what are you doing Kal-el you almost killed a man? So did not work at all. Clark did seem a bit whiney there but I would too with a dad like that! lol

I liked the older lex clone. You could tell he was lying to clark when he told him the creator was dead. Not happening. Nothing is original plot wise anymore so it didn't bother me that what the clone did was similar to other movies. Those are all similar to comics and books. It's really hard to find anything that can be considered original anymore sadly.

*sigh* I wish Chloe didn't put on that mask and give herself up for Oliver. I can't believe the mask showed her to do that. Especially with the legacy of insanity that the mask holds over the user.

I'm actually looking forward to see where they go. I'm sorry you didn't like it better.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 02:58 am (UTC)
I hope they can only go up, but it was a dreadfully disappointing start, particularly after a great finale last year.

It's really hard to find anything that can be considered original anymore sadly.
But the thing was, Smallville used to be original, at least in portraying some of the relationships, like Clark and Lex...but this episode took what was unique and flattened it into something generic. It was also very generic looking - even the nice Clark/Jonathan scene had none of the visual lushness of earlier SV.
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[User Picture]From: jeannev
2010-09-25 03:19 am (UTC)
I hear ya.

There were some things I liked in the episode, and some set-ups that seemed intriguing. But there was a TON of what-the-fuckery? in this episode. I need to organize my own thoughts before I go into depth, but I knew they would follow a great finale, where Clark was amazing and heroic and self-sacrificing and follow it up with a "Oh Clark, you suck, and you're a shitty hero, and everything you do is wrong...and oh, BTW, you are prideful and vain!".

In a lot of ways, this ep was a Clark haters dream.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 03:26 am (UTC)
I was expecting to be outraged by the Lex-plot, and was. But the Clark-nonsense caught me off guard. Tom actually seemed mystified by his own dialogue in the Fortress scene & I can't blame him.

What a waste of the Salvation-momentum :(
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 04:49 pm (UTC)
Michael's absence is a gaping hole but the dialogue was so awful in this episode, I'm glad he wasn't in it!

The Oliver scene was horribly filmed, one visual cliche after another.
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[User Picture]From: jwm_rocks
2010-09-25 10:51 am (UTC)
"Anticlimactic, plot all over the place, yucky cinematography so that even the sunlit scenes look sickly."
Yep. Very disappointing first episode I thought as well. And I'm having a really hard time grasping Jor-El's and Chloe's POV (though that's nothing new in Jor-El's case).
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 04:48 pm (UTC)
How do they follow up a great ep like Salvation with a mess like this? * baffled*
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[User Picture]From: dramaa_princess
2010-09-25 11:12 am (UTC)
okay, and here is was considering to start watching s10 for Lex's/Michaels's big come back... not gonna happen. >.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 04:47 pm (UTC)
No, babe, stay FAR away until Michael is confirmed.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 04:46 pm (UTC)
For me, I don't care if it echoes something in the comics, that's not enough. Smallville still has to be able to stand on its own merits. And this episode wobbled and fell over like a boneless sheep.

The trouble - a recurring issue for SV - is the utter lack of character continuity. FakeLex, out of nowhere, says that Clark's river rescue introduced Clark to the sin of pride. That makes no sense whatsoever, except that the writers are clumsily trying to made Clark's pride a theme this season. The scene with Clark and Jor-El in the fortress made even less sense!


Edited at 2010-09-25 04:50 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: whimsywinx
2010-09-25 05:28 pm (UTC)
I could have done without CloneLex and Jor-El, but I loved Jonathan, and all I paid attention to in the Ollie scenes was nekkid Ollie.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 05:37 pm (UTC)
I usually try & watch SV like that too - skip over the bad scenes and focus on the good. But last night, the stench of the bad scenes leaked into the good scenes and by the time, Clark and Jonathan appeared, I was too pissed off to properly enjoy it. Will have to rewatch that scene on its own.


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[User Picture]From: starry_dawn
2010-09-25 05:57 pm (UTC)
While I appreciate that they didn't try to pretend that the clone Lex is "real Lex", having him share a memory with Lex and spout a lot of nonsense about his first meetings with Clark was just cringe-making.

I just kept thinking of how desperate the writers must be for villains if they can't seem to keep away from Lex even without MR. It just rings false. No MR = no Lex, for me at least.

They stole the plot device from Dark Knight, extracted all suspense from it and resolved it in an extremely dull fashion.

Ha, I know right? I find this so tedious, to be honest. The guy has SUPERSPEED, idiot villains! He CAN do two things at once! *facepalm*

I did get a very comic book feel from the whole thing, though. The setting up of impossible situations just to see Superman struggle with the decision to make a choice, taunting him about it... except we've seen this show for 9 years now, and it's just too cheesy to do it on screen.

Jor-El was extremely sanctimonious tonight.

Horrible, horrible, horrible. When I wasn't laughing at Terence Stamp's pronunciation of "eeeviiiillll", I was throwing things at the screen for all the crap he was saying. And once more, SV goes for plot over character, and makes Clark OOC-ly proud (what?) to move the plot along. What the fuck ever, Show.

I'm mildly intrigued by Tess playing Mama to a new Alexander clone.

Cassidy Freeman is another one of those actresses who can keep me hooked no matter what the scene is. Such an expressive face!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 06:24 pm (UTC)
I just kept thinking of how desperate the writers must be for villains if they can't seem to keep away from Lex even without MR. It just rings false. No MR = no Lex, for me at least.
They have Darkseid and the Suicide Squad....that would have made a much better premiere than what we got. I don't object to Lex clones on principle - but they gave this clone such a terrible mouthful of exposition!

Ha, I know right? I find this so tedious, to be honest. The guy has SUPERSPEED, idiot villains! He CAN do two things at once!
Heh, if you're going to revisit an old plot like that, give it a twist, ie after the clone finishes his speech, Lois has already freed herself and is marching across the cornfield to kick his ass - how awesome would that be?

When I wasn't laughing at Terence Stamp's pronunciation of "eeeviiiillll", I was throwing things at the screen for all the crap he was saying. And once more, SV goes for plot over character, and makes Clark OOC-ly proud (what?) to move the plot along.
Why do they have to manufacture an angst-arc for Clark in the last season? Why can't he just be the hero? And Clark has never been proud or vain.

Cassidy Freeman is another one of those actresses who can keep me hooked no matter what the scene is. Such an expressive face!
If Tess turns out to be a Lillian or Luthor clone, I will be okay with that. She is worthy!
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[User Picture]From: complicat
2010-09-25 06:50 pm (UTC)
It'll be months before I watch this one but:
Worst since Requiem
Ouch!

I am already all a-grrr over more Fake!Lex crappery, whatever they do with it. I'm glad that it's making people appreciate Michael more though!

The scenes of Oliver getting repeatedly punched in the face
I reckon I can get some enjoyment out of that though!

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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-25 06:57 pm (UTC)
DUDE, THERE ARE NO WORDS. Same writers as Requiem, and almost the same plot.

I am already all a-grrr over more Fake!Lex crappery, whatever they do with it. I'm glad that it's making people appreciate Michael more though!
Twitter has named the latest clone "Nosferatu"! What's funny is, the clone is basically brought on to deliver exposition: Clark, you are too proud. The love of your life is Lois. etc The actor gamely tries to mimic Michael but the content is completely at odds with anything the real Lex might actually say. Mad at Clark for keeping secrets: Yes. Calling him proud: no.

It's also a horrible episode for Clark - the pride thing seems to be a stalling tactic to keep him out of the costume. Jor El steals the Supes costume Martha made, as a punishment for Clark's "vanity".

Unfortunately people, angered by the new fake Lex, are now scolding Michael on twitter :(
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[User Picture]From: herohunter
2010-09-25 11:50 pm (UTC)
Tas, can you hook a sister up with caps of all these Lexes (young and old clones, methinks) you're talking about? I'm curious, hehehe!

:D
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-26 12:35 am (UTC)
The entire episode is screencapped here:
http://www.smallvilleph.com/2010/09/lazarus-screencaps-now-available/

I'd post 'caps for you but photobucket is being an ass!

Lex-plot summary: Clark, dead, sees white!suit!Lex in a vision (walking clumsily and completely unlike Michael, through a cornfield.) Tess wakes up at Cadmus, finds a little Lex with hair, who points out his "brothers", Lex-clones in tanks. Tess inadvertently lets out a bad clone. He tells her she still loves Lex (?) and then kills all the other clones. Then he puts Lois on a cross in the cornfield. Clark, now awake & having seen Tess, goes to find the clone. The Clone has a very stupid monologue in which he excuses Clark of becoming "proud" after pulling original Lex (the Creator) out of the river. He says he has all Lex's memories but, despite the actor's valiant attempt at mimicking Michael, sounds completely different than Michael's Lex

Clone says real Lex is dead and the clones were too late to save him. He tells Clark he can save Lois or the Daily Planet. Clark, without exerting himself too much, saves both. Clone announces he's dying and seems to be dead by episode's end.

Tess rescued the little Alexander & brings him back to the manor. We see him sitting by the fire, putting a chess piece (a knight) in the flames.
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[User Picture]From: goodvibe
2010-09-26 03:19 pm (UTC)
//Jor-El was extremely sanctimonious tonight. To Clark: "You nearly took a man's life." Uh dude, you exploded an FBI agent, remember? And you kidnapped a little girl, made her think she was kryptonian, then killed her.//

Ugh, honestly, don't even get me started on Jor-El and his crap. Hate.

//dead!Jonathan is more likable and self-deprecating than living Jonathan ever was and I like how he acknowledged his own anger problems - nice continuity there. Also like that he laughed off Jor-El. Tom & John were great in this scene. But the bad dialogue continued. These two lines made me laugh.

Clark: "I destroyed an entire building!" (Me: Go to your room. Or come to my room, that's better.)

Jonathan: "We all make sacrifices and every time we do, we lose a little something in the process." (Me: NO, REALLY??? You don't say!)//

LMAO @ "go to your room!" I liked this scene though, including the dialogue. I think, mostly because it was so much better in comparison to the rest of the ep.

I don't quite know exactly what to make of the Tess / clones stuff, but I am curious and interested. So I suppose that's something. But yes, the Clark / clone!Lex scenes, in addition to having awful dialogue, just didn't resonate at all.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-09-26 08:12 pm (UTC)
I liked this scene though, including the dialogue. I think, mostly because it was so much better in comparison to the rest of the ep.But yes, the Clark / clone!Lex scenes, in addition to having awful dialogue, just didn't resonate at all.
As Val suggests, either make the clone completely manic and non-verbal....or don't try and do a lex without Michael!
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