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Smallville review: Icarus - tasabian [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Smallville review: Icarus [Dec. 11th, 2010|02:10 pm]
tasabian
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Warning: Sparling's episodes are not my cup of tea and this one is no exception.



I totally get why the romance fans would be all over this one - the proposal in the teaser casting a rosy light over everything - but that's not me. While I like the VRA plot in theory, it didn't deliver any suspense. As with Sparling's previous eps, Escape & Isis, I found the dialogue just awful, almost every line a clunker. When practiced scene-stealers like Cassidy Freeman and Alessandro Juliani can't make their lines spark, you know it's a dud script.

Highlights

- The one moment I really enjoyed was Lois discovering the escape chute in Tess's office and the way Erica says "I hate slides!" cracked me up.
- Emil casually fitting "phone bugged" into his crossword
- A beautiful shot of Tom's face, bending over Hawkman
- The visual of Hawkman sheltering Lois under his wing.
- The actor playing Aggressive Army Lady was quite good - if she and Erica had decent dialogue in their scene, it could have been killer. But the dialogue stank.

Dislikes
- This is one of those eps where Clark's role mostly consists of arriving late to the action and saying someone's name; "Lois!" "Carter!" "Oliver!" He's very reactive here and after 30 glorious minutes of Tom-time in Luthor, this felt Clark-light.
- The ep. also had too many protaganists - the POV keeps shifting and Sparling is not a skilled enough writer to make the transitions organic. Since Lois and Oliver are the characters she writes best, she should perhaps have split the POV between them.
- Cat, who I like, was horribly written. The scene with Lois would have been much better if she turns Lois in. But absence of surprise characterized this ep.
- Deathstroke: I enjoyed Hogan in his hammy Slade incarnation but as full-on Deathstroke, he'd lost his Fun.

Inadvertently funny

- Did anyone else predict that Hawkman would use his dying words to give Clark relationship advice? No guest hero can come or go without weighing in with a romance platitude!

Verdict: If it was up to me, I'd have switched the order round and made Luthor the go-to-hiatus ep. The last scene with Lionel addressing the camera is like, whoo!' adrenaline rush. (And I also would have made Luthor a two-parter and cheerfully sacrificed Isis, Supergirl, Patriot or Harvest to get that second half!)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jlvsclrk
2010-12-11 10:14 pm (UTC)
Amen on the verdict - Luthor should have been a bigger deal, and could EASILY have been tied into the whole darkness theme by having Clark Luthor wreaking havoc and contributing to the distrust.

I still liked this episode a fair bit, in fact I'd probably give it an A-. I just enjoyed the Clois and some of the super heroics, even though it definitely needed more Clark.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-11 10:22 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it better!

Hawkman & Stargirl are not my favourite guest stars either, so that didn't help my lack of interest.

Luthor should have been a bigger deal, and could EASILY have been tied into the whole darkness theme by having Clark Luthor wreaking havoc and contributing to the distrust.
I wish we had seen the two Clarks together!

Edited at 2010-12-11 10:22 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: jeannev
2010-12-12 05:16 am (UTC)
I was far kinder to this ep in my review, but I think we agree on a lot. I just felt sort of neutral on this episode, and I know I was supposed to have all these emotions stirring up inside of me, but neither the engagement, or the funeral really upped the ante for me.

I very much agree with you on how Clark was written, and its probably my biggest beef with the episode. Having just done the screentime totals, not only does he have almost 7m less screentime then Lois, but he literally does not go one scene without either being with Lois, or mentioning Lois. Which seemed like an odd choice given the nature of the episode.

And I think I may be in the minority, but I didn't care for agressive army lady. But I found the whole nazi/gestapo imagery to be a bit much.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-12 05:24 am (UTC)
TBH, I was bored, checking the time a lot. An action-centered episode should not bore me. I truly think that since we're going to have to sit through an Oliver-episode at some point, this should have been it, since Sparling actually writes him fairly well. Have the VRA chasing Ollie around, Lois chasing the story, Clark saves everyone, the end.

And I think I may be in the minority, but I didn't care for agressive army lady.
I liked the actor, doing her best with a terrible part. But the writing was poor.

Having just done the screentime totals, not only does he have almost 7m less screentime then Lois, but he literally does not go one scene without either being with Lois, or mentioning Lois.
Weird...I have a hard time even recollecting his scenes, apart from the proposal. Tom was kinda a bystander in this one.

*off to read your review*

Edited at 2010-12-12 05:25 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-13 03:18 am (UTC)
It was a Justice League episode and so clipped along and covered a great deal of ground without much character development.
I don't mind fast-moving plots - I liked Checkmate & Sacrifice last year. But for me, this managed to be plot-packed, yet turgid.

The funeral did remind me of a Crash Test Dummies video.
You're right. Deliberate homage?
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[User Picture]From: jwm_rocks
2010-12-17 01:49 am (UTC)
I totally get why the romance fans would be all over this one - the proposal in the teaser casting a rosy light over everything - but that's not me.
Me, I didn't mind the proposal itself. But as the teaser, WTH? I thought teasers were supposed to set the tone of the show and leave you hanging. They've had some really underwhelming teasers this year.

Did anyone else predict that Hawkman would use his dying words to give Clark relationship advice? No guest hero can come or go without weighing in with a romance platitude!
Hawkman is all about the relationships. He can't help himself. Now if he had pictured Clark as Shiera and tried to kiss him -- that would have been awesome.

And I also would have made Luthor a two-parter and cheerfully sacrificed Isis, Supergirl, Patriot or Harvest to get that second half!
I don't know if you ever listen to SHoE but they talked with BQM for their Luthor podcast and they talked a bit about the two parter idea. Reading between the lines it sounded like he wanted it to be a two parter but instead he just had to cut a lot out of it. I likes BQM's episodes for the most part but that guy walks talks the party line like nobody's business. I swear I think had Kelly thrown his entire script in the trash and started over from scratch BQM would have said the episode was all the better for it.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-19 07:45 pm (UTC)
Hawkman is all about the relationships. He can't help himself. Now if he had pictured Clark as Shiera and tried to kiss him -- that would have been awesome.
Awesome, indeed.

I likes BQM's episodes for the most part but that guy walks talks the party line like nobody's business. I swear I think had Kelly thrown his entire script in the trash and started over from scratch BQM would have said the episode was all the better for it.
He's an odd duck. As soon as the hate-tweets started coming in after Luthor ("You HATE Clois, OMG!!!"), he started retweeting them. Wish he stuck to his guns about the 2-parter but still loved the ep.
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[User Picture]From: auroramoon22
2010-12-19 05:23 pm (UTC)
I like romance as much as the next person... but god, i found the flower petals raining down on them as he proposed to be too much.
it was almost like he was trying too hard to be romantic or something.

The action in this ep was pretty good but you're right, the dialogue stunk.

basically It had me yearning for the older seasons where it wasn't so cheesy and had good dialogue. and of course, Lex.

It also feels too soon to me that Lois and Clark would be getting married or even getting engaged. Honestly, to me it still feels like they were only dating for a few months. Yes, they apparently built up the rapport and all that jazz, but I would think they would wait some more before jumping the gun.

Although it probably doesn't help my case at all that while I'm okay towards Erica as Lois, I still don't like the Smallville Lois character hooking up with Clark.
Somehow it doesn't feel all right to me at all. I guess I haven't been able to let go of the brother-and-sister relationship the two had in the start. the relationship they had in the start was adorable, etc....
And then boom, all of a sudden they apparently see each other much more than that?

Needless to say it did weird me out on some level. If I saw somebody as a brother or a sister then it would take me much longer than that to see them as something else in the romantic sense. Even if I knew that they weren't related to me at all.

Sigh. oh well. of course I'm kind of hard to please when it comes to my favorite characters having a romantic relationship.

My idea of a perfect final season, if not the final episode-- Clark and Lois take it slowly, build up all the romantic moments together. Lex comes back for real... not as a clone, etc. Maybe even have his memory gone so he doesn't remember who Clark actually was. So he's Neutral towards Clark but kind of hostile towards the Blur because the Blur's symbol kind of causes an psychological reaction in him where he tries to remember something but can't. So as an result he becomes obsessed with finding out if The blur is a threat or not, and if he was involved in what caused Lex to lose his memory of the last seven years.
Lex doesn't act uber evil at all like the writers made him out to be in the last seasons, he's just acting like a regular bad boy with a heart of gold. Coupled with the anvil-dropping moral lesson he learned in the episode "luthor", Clark knows that Lex is not evil, just morally anbomgious. (which is the best kind of Lex I like).
I would prefer to set Lex up as the woobie again with that Evil Parallel Lionel Luthor picking on him, and maybe Clark saving Lex.
This would lead Lex and Clark to have a mutual "professional relationship" where they occasionally help out each other but is kind of wary of each other... and will occasionally take a few jabs at each other.

That way it would be almost exactly like it's in the comics, just with a smallville twist. :)
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-19 07:48 pm (UTC)
This would lead Lex and Clark to have a mutual "professional relationship" where they occasionally help out each other but is kind of wary of each other... and will occasionally take a few jabs at each other.
I like that too, though I'd also want Lex to remember Clark's secret.

It also feels too soon to me that Lois and Clark would be getting married or even getting engaged.
It would be cool if Lois is the girl he doesn't rush things with....ie, let the relationship grow & get married in a couple of years. I'm not thrilled to have to sit through another SV wedding.
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