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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!)