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Smallville review: Harvest - tasabian [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Smallville review: Harvest [Oct. 29th, 2010|09:42 pm]
tasabian
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*includes a spoiler from a future ep.



Firstly, Smallville is apparently distressing conservatives Well done, SV! Keep it up.

"Harvest" is an apt name for this episode as it seemed to be harvested from several other things. Clark and Lois end up in the Wicker Man, Tess and Alexander re-enact "Memoria" and the final sex scene is a reprise of several previous sex scenes, including those crucial casually placed candles. No one on SV can reach orgasm without an open flame, apparently.

The Wicker Man parts were variable for me. I thought Erica's speech from the scaffold was fabulous, her best scene this year. Unfortunately her acting partner, Head Villager, was absolutely awful. This was not the entertaining over-the-topness of Zor-El. This was just painful to watch. (Especially his soprano squeak of "SILENCE!") Either the Sheriff or the little girl would have made a better town leader.

Tom looked lovely in a variety of outfits but I was really unclear on when Clark was or was not affected by BlueK. Wouldn't he be more affected under ground with 20 years of meteor-silt? Suddenly the villagers take 2 steps back and he's fine? Wasn't he burned with blue fire? (A brave & gorgeous moment for Clark and Tom, but still puzzling.)

And I think it would have been nice for the "I'm an alien" discussion to happen onscreen.

Tess/Alexander

Writers Turi & Al have more respect for continuity than other writers. So kudos for that. But I had an issue or two with how they used continuity tonight.

Firstly, we know a little about SV rapid cloning from the Dinsmore stories of S2/3 (namedropped tonight.) CloneEmily has original Emily's memories but she is not Lana's lost friend, any more than Alexander is real!Lex.

Like Memoria, this episode featured a birthday party gone wrong for "Alexander", even mimicking the cinematography panning down the table, and ends with him getting violently hit by a parent. "Alexander" is in the barn recalling some nice moments with Clark, then he talks about Clark's lies, then he taunts Tess with her attachment to powerful men (the last bit rang false. How would a Lex-clone know about Zod?)

So Tess hits him. Essentially, Alexander has now received Lex's childhood in microcosm, the lesson being: all Luthor children grow up to be evil and all Luthor parents abuse their children. (Tess is revealed to be a Luthor in an upcoming episode.)

And Tess, like Lionel in a number of episodes, is willing to kill her "child", all in the service of Clone!Lex growing up to be exactly like Original!Lex.

I dislike that plotline for Tess because a) it's so much better for her as a character if she makes the decision to break the pattern. b) I am tired of the show's emphatic hammering of DESTINY, whether it's the sunny future of Homecoming or the No Choice future of Lexmas. c) The show is almost certainly going to validate her decision: all Luthors should die as children because there is only one path for them to take.

In an upcoming episode called "Luthor", it seems we will see an AU where Clark is raised by Lionel. While the ep has a good writer (Bryan Q. Miller) I am queasy about getting even more "genetics is destiny" blather.

All that said, Cassidy and Connor were fabulous in their scenes.

I still think the Lex-path is a dangerous one to go down without guaranteed Michael at the end of it. But I'm starting to wonder if he has signed on and the producers are just keeping it secret?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ctbn60
2010-10-30 02:00 am (UTC)
Interesting take on this one. This had me cracking up so loud: "No one on SV can reach orgasm without an open flame, apparently."

Connor was amazing. He did above and beyond with his scenes and the last one was chilling! However, as I explained to my mother the problem here with Alexander is that whoever made him gave him ALL of adult Lex's memories. And since they did that no matter what Tess did to try and change him Alexander was doomed to be Lex no matter what his upbringing was at the present time. The imprint of those feelings were so powerful they drove him to try and kill clark and himself in the end because he thought he was saving the world. Kindness and caring would not have been enough to change that imprint. I found it interesting that he blamed Clark for the riff between him and his father.

I would probably make more sense but I'm really sick tonight. I ate something bad. :(
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-10-30 02:15 am (UTC)
Sorry you're sick :( Hope it passes soon.

"No one on SV can reach orgasm without an open flame, apparently."
Every sex scene, the props people go MAD with candles.

I found it interesting that he blamed Clark for the riff between him and his father.
That's part of the Veritas Retcon of S7, which I also didn't like. (Suddenly Lionel knew about the spaceship all along & risked Lex's life to get "The Traveller.") The original version (Lineage) is much better.

However, as I explained to my mother the problem here with Alexander is that whoever made him gave him ALL of adult Lex's memories. And since they did that no matter what Tess did to try and change him Alexander was doomed to be Lex no matter what his upbringing was at the present time.
Very true. As in Lazarus, making the clones omniscient, strains the credibility. And Tess also gave up very quickly, which seemed conveniently OOC for her. Nothing Alexander said seemed enough to make Tess lose her cool and hit him...except that's what the plot requires.

Edited at 2010-10-30 02:15 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-10-30 02:55 am (UTC)
I think it's pretty clear that Lex didn't start out as a screwed up kid. But this kid was grown-up, screwed up Lex. Or rather Lex-clone (which is less stable to start with.)
I am fine with him being a screwed up clone, a la Emily Dinsmore. But not with Tess proclaiming him "real Lex."

CloneEmily had all of Emily's memories but was not Lana's childhood friend. Bizarro had all of Clark's memories but was not Clark. Memory is not the essence of the person.

And at least it knew it was doing Children of the Corn.
Thanks to Head Villager, more like "Children of the Corny"!

No buzz about Lana or Kristin returning - though SuperLana might be very helpful against Darkseid.
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[User Picture]From: ctbn60
2010-10-30 03:02 am (UTC)
I think you are totally right about tess not having anything to really provoke the slap. I'm thinking it might have come from her own childhood. It was her first reaction instead of thinking. Or she felt she was losing her last chance to save Lex.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-10-30 03:10 am (UTC)
Very possibly. We've seen keep her head with far more provocation - she is very, very good at keeping her cool. I do think the show was trying to evoke Lionel, who also always kept his cool, never throwing the first punch...except with Lex. His scenes with Lex in Memoria & Fracture are about as uncontrolled as we ever see him.
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[User Picture]From: jeannev
2010-10-30 03:21 am (UTC)
I thought the Tess plot was infinitely more interesting then the Clois plot. Not unlike last week.

Connor Stanhope was fabulous. And while I agree with you about the destiny thing, I do believe the show made a tweak here that helps it work. These clones are made from who Lex eventually evolved into, and I'm not quite sure how this works, but they don't seem to be evolving from the real, young, innocent Lex Luthor, but rather the man he became. Twisted and broken along the way. It sort of means that Tess can't fix him, because he was already too far gone.

Its not perfect, but at least its something.

Not much about the Clois plot worked for me. Sure, there was much Lois adoring from Clark, and that seemed to be his main function in this episode. Lois was written to be, by far, the more dynamic character. And I sort of hate that type of writing for them.

As for the Clois sex, well, I won't lie. I thought it was a snore. Candles? Really? Sure, its nice to have them look at each other adoringly, but where's the passion?
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-10-30 03:54 am (UTC)
My issue is with Tess, and by proxy the show, saying "this is the real Lex." Because memories are not the sum of the person and as with Lazarus clone knowing all about Clois, this clone also has memories that didn't make sense - how is he supposed to know about Tess & Zod?

No disagreement that Cassidy and Connor were fantastic but I really wanted to see them forge a new plot, not retread an old one.

I'm not quite sure how this works, but they don't seem to be evolving from the real, young, innocent Lex Luthor, but rather the man he became. Twisted and broken along the way.
I wish the show had taken the surprise path of having Tess-raised Alexander evolving from the innocent Lex and ultimately becoming the heroic Alexander Luthor from World 3 (an AU.) Anything to veer away from the DESTINY is DESTINY course the show has been pushing so hard lately.

Maybe BQM will surprise me with something innovative in Luthor? If Tom is going to be impersonating Michael at least it will be hot!

As for the Clois sex, well, I won't lie. I thought it was a snore. Candles? Really? Sure, its nice to have them look at each other adoringly, but where's the passion?
Even with heat vision, setting up all the candles seems like so much effort. And couldn't Lois be on top, just to dodge the candles + Clark = missionary position cliche?


Edited at 2010-10-30 03:54 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: carolandtom
2010-10-30 08:30 am (UTC)
Not much about the Clois plot worked for me. Sure, there was much Lois adoring from Clark, and that seemed to be his main function in this episode. Lois was written to be, by far, the more dynamic character. And I sort of hate that type of writing for them.

As for the Clois sex, well, I won't lie. I thought it was a snore. Candles? Really? Sure, its nice to have them look at each other adoringly, but where's the passion?


Agreed!
I hate it when they depict a Clark that seems to be completely useless and clueless without his powers. And this constant Clark gushing over Lois is quite excessive sometimes.
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[User Picture]From: auroramoon22
2010-10-30 04:37 am (UTC)
to be honest, I thought this ep was one of the most worst and cliched episodes.

Seriously, why is it that Hollywood and such always has to portray Amish people or other people who follow similar lifestyles to be pure evil or whatever? Apparently Hollywood cannot just respect beliefs that are different than their own.

It would had been far more interesting if the ep went along the lines of something like this: the leader was the only evil one, while the rest of the people had no idea of the sacrifices going on. He was the one who performed the sacrifices in secret, with that sheriff being in on it. Not to mention he was the one who fooled the community into thinking they were immortal/or healthy because of HIM, and not because of the sacrifices or the water--because they had no idea of the sacrifices going on.
so those people thought he was the messiah, etc.
It would had made for a far more dramatic set up, where the Amish community felt betrayed that their leader lied to them after Clark and Lois revealed him for what he was--a man who went mad after he lost his daughter and thought that he had to kill women secretly each year to keep up his charade.

and I agree the whole bit about Clark revving made no sense at all.

And when the Lex Childhood scenes started out, I was happy at first, because I thought it would show how Lex wasn't pure evil and such like everyone thought, even if he did end up having Lex's memories.

but I went back to being annoyed when it played out the way it did.

And I lost all respect and any liking I had for Tess when she decided that the child couldn't be redeemed, etc and threw that potion into the fire.

*sighs* seriously, only if I was a writer for Smallville. :p

they're just getting worse at this.
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[User Picture]From: auroramoon22
2010-10-30 04:41 am (UTC)
oh by the way.... the clois sex scene? My boyfriend was watching this episode with me and you know what his reaction was?

"WTF? the sex scene just came out of nowhere. And what is with all the candles?? Talk about a random and completely gratuitous scene!" He then just shook his head.

I have to admit I laughed a little bit at his reaction. I then had to tell him that for sex scenes they used candles in EVERY sex scene ever.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-10-30 04:48 am (UTC)
I have to admit I laughed a little bit at his reaction. I then had to tell him that for sex scenes they used candles in EVERY sex scene ever.
Even with heat vision, it kinda kills the spontaneity to stop and light several dozen candles! (Although if they'd accidentally set the bed on fire that would be a cute twist!)
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-10-30 04:44 am (UTC)
Yes, the "backwards" small town people is such a cliche.

It would had been far more interesting if the ep went along the lines of something like this: the leader was the only evil one, while the rest of the people had no idea of the sacrifices going on. He was the one who performed the sacrifices in secret, with that sheriff being in on it. Not to mention he was the one who fooled the community into thinking they were immortal/or healthy because of HIM, and not because of the sacrifices or the water--because they had no idea of the sacrifices going on.
so those people thought he was the messiah, etc.

That is a much more interesting and original premise, plus it gives Clark a chance to reason his way out of danger, use his wits and intelligence.

And when the Lex Childhood scenes started out, I was happy at first, because I thought it would show how Lex wasn't pure evil and such like everyone thought, even if he did end up having Lex's memories.
They seemed to have confused memory with Destiny :(
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[User Picture]From: auroramoon22
2010-10-30 05:13 am (UTC)
I think the writers were just so worried about following the loose rules of Comic book Canon. After all, wouldn't want comic books to whine about the TV show.
So they got WAY too focused on that, and wrote in all sorts of strange things to justify that.

but those same people are forgetting that the Comic book series also had AUs that showed that destiny wasn't set in stone at all... there was worlds where Clark was the "bad man" and such, thanks to having completely different backgrounds and the like. Those AUs and even in the main world they talked about stuff like how it's not Destiny that makes the person, it's all about choices that defines who a person is.

Also, I hate how they seem to confuse Antagonists with villains. so with that confusion, they're trying to make Lex into this super-bad person.
An Antagonist is simply just somebody who opposes the protagonist for various reasons. they don't always have to be bad at all. In fact, sometimes an Antagonist can be a protagonist (the supposedly hero or main character) at the same time in some cases.

I liked the 90's Lex Luthor in the comic book series the best... He was an Antagonist, and did his best to be a pain in Superman's ass... but he wasn't evil.
I wish they had this Lex Luthor show up on the TV show.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-10-30 04:46 am (UTC)
We all know CK is a wildcat in bed. Lex and Lana can agree with this so why make it seem soft and slow?
Exactly! Make it playful & exciting, things getting knocked over, both of them laughing.

I want TW on SPN (both shows film in Canada and if they could have Whitney and Zantanna, they could have Clark!)
He would be a very sexy demon!

if anything I blame Lionel for coming between CL and themselves respectivelly both parties are their own worst influence and the fact that Lionel wormed himself into to Clark and Martha's home/presence speaks for itself. That is like letting the scorpian into your home and you know he is gonna sting you anyway.
Yes!!! Lionel NEVER stopped being dangerous.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-10-30 08:18 pm (UTC)
Gawd, the SV sex candles! Again! Seriously, with how hard they seem to try and make the Clois relationship so vastly different that the Clana one, you'd think they'd skip the damn candles for the big First Sex scene.
One of the reasons I like Wrath is that the sex is spontaneous, irreverent and there's some humour. I was hoping Clois sex might begin with some blunt and humourous discussion, because that's Lois's specialty. "Am I going to survive this, Smallville?" And it would have been fun to see them tear up the house a bit, not be all demure with the candles.

I'd forgotten about Lionel striking Lex in the original birthday party scene. This is why I love reading reviews from people who remember and notice these things. Nice catch there.
Thanks! It happens after the birthday party scene (but also in Memoria) when Lionel thinks Lex has smothered Julian. I guess the parallel is that Tess thinks Lex has "smothered" the Alexander she loved?

The Blue fire confused me. I don't get why it was blue, or why he healed so fast. I know the implication is that the villagers were now 2 steps further away, but 3rd degree BLUE FIRE BURNS! *another resigned handwave*
I think partly it was just clunky direction. All the village scenes seemed to be missing bits & bobs that would have made the scenes flow much better. The Tess/Alexander scenes were direcetd very well so maybe it was two separate directors?

I'm not convinced that this fate would have still applied to Original!Lex had he been raised differently. There has always been this nature vs. nurture question regarding Lex and the upcoming "Luthor" episode sounds like it will maybe address this issue.
I'm really hoping Miller will opt for "nurture", partly because Tom acting like Michael's Lex would be oh-so-hot and I want the show to acknowledge how absolutely destructive Lionel was to his son. (If Michael had been around for this ep, wouldn't it be awesome to see Lex being raised by the Kents? Fanfic comes to life!)
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[User Picture]From: foreverknightfa
2010-11-04 10:02 am (UTC)
By now you should have figured out that anything remotely resembling actual depth in character and action is rarely if ever written in the script.

Actually the blue part of a flame is supposed to be the hottest part of the flame.

You gotta give the idiots who wrote this some award for making a sex scene with TW look BORING. How could they have dulled THAT?

I think, though I don't know, that the reason why TW wasn't doing much speaking time and why CK had so many dumb things in this episode is the real life problem of TW and his other project' Hellcats". Sorry but he IS human after all and he only has so much time to do either project plus whatever else he's doing.

Chalk this ep down as one of the turkeys. Salvagable if they actually bothered to think it through but as it is its boring as watching a koala poop.
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[User Picture]From: carolandtom
2010-10-30 08:37 am (UTC)
And I think it would have been nice for the "I'm an alien" discussion to happen onscreen.

I can't believe that such an important revelation was made to happen offscreen! SV is, once again, the land of missed opportunities.

I didn't like the writing overall and I think the episode was badly directed.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-10-30 08:08 pm (UTC)
I didn't like the writing overall and I think the episode was badly directed.
The scenes in the village moved along at a clunky pace & the director really should have stopped Head Villager from overacting so badly!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-10-30 08:07 pm (UTC)
I really don't like the Alexander clone storyline. I agree with you. The writers are playing with the fans. I am sick of the evil destiny stuff. I know they are trying to be true to the Superman against Lex Luthor in the comic books, but I find it depressing and tiring. Plus I feel so sorry for wee Alexander.
We need an episode that focuses on FREE WILL for once.

The real chemistry was between Lex and Clark - that sparkled :) ooo the good ole days of CLex!! I miss it...
Ah, me too, hon!
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[User Picture]From: eternal_moonie
2010-10-30 07:17 pm (UTC)
Tess Luthor? OMG! *SQUEE* and "Luthor" Clark is raised by Lionel. Cannot wait!

I totally LOVED this episode!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-10-30 08:05 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it :)
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From: dramaa_princess
2010-11-01 09:19 am (UTC)
Omg, i couldn't help myself and read the spoiler. Haha. ;)

This season seems to focus a lot on the Luthors (and we don't even have one in the show, lol - at least not a pure blood Luthor ;)), which i think is nice and strange at the same time. Makes me thinking that after all Clark's destiny is connected with them, no matter how many baddies they introduce in the show. It's all about Lex and Clark. ;)

Haha, now i understand how it was be possible for Lionel to come back. I was already afraid we would see something like in that Clark/Jonathon scene, which i think was a bit stupid. What can i say, i've never been a fan of Mr. Kent. >.>

Cassidy and Connor were fabulous in their scenes.
I liked that, a lot. Lex/the clone remembered all the awesome barn moments. ;D

I still think the Lex-path is a dangerous one to go down without guaranteed Michael at the end of it. But I'm starting to wonder if he has signed on and the producers are just keeping it secret?

Very, very true.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-11-01 10:58 pm (UTC)
Makes me thinking that after all Clark's destiny is connected with them, no matter how many baddies they introduce in the show. It's all about Lex and Clark.
They are the show's One True Couple!

Haha, now i understand how it was be possible for Lionel to come back. I was already afraid we would see something like in that Clark/Jonathon scene, which i think was a bit stupid.
Yes, Ghost!Lionel would not be much fun...
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[User Picture]From: goodvibe
2010-11-04 08:52 am (UTC)
//No one on SV can reach orgasm without an open flame, apparently.//

Heh! Apparently not. They're quite the aphrodisiac for our characters.

//Especially his soprano squeak of "SILENCE!"//

OMG, Bad, bad, bad acting.

//I still think the Lex-path is a dangerous one to go down without guaranteed Michael at the end of it. But I'm starting to wonder if he has signed on and the producers are just keeping it secret?//

I agree. And MR' not likely to return, is he?

//Tess is revealed to be a Luthor in an upcoming episode.//

Is this a spoiler?
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