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Smallville review: Collateral - tasabian [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Smallville review: Collateral [Feb. 4th, 2011|09:42 pm]
tasabian
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What I liked about Labyrinth back in S6 was the use of Clark POV - we got to see through Clark's eyes nearly every moment - the real suspense (where is Clark and what's happening?) and the frantic pace. This episode quickly dispensed with the suspense in the first quarter, when Chloe explains everything to Oliver. So then it's just a matter of Clark mentally catching up with everyone else. There were a few cool action moments & effects but once the world is explained, the ending is obvious.

What I liked:
- Lois's speech to Dinah. Very nicely done by ED and liked the continuity there. If Lois had thrown in a mention of Dinah and the JL leaving Clark helpless in the street with an arrow in his back, I'd have stood up & cheered....but the show has clearly decided to forget any of that ever happened.

- Chloe's initial walk through the wall was a cool effect

- When the army guy takes control of Chloe's avatar, he immediately has her give these baroque speeches - army guy is a frustrated screenwriter!

- Oliver getting stars in his eyes as soon as he sees Rick Flag. Oh, you two!

- Tom looked exceptionally pretty in his last two scenes with AM & ED.

Inadvertently funny

- Oliver's drama queen table-breaking hissy fit, followed by feral crouching in the corner.

What I wish they'd done instead

- shown the episode from Clark's POV. It would be much more suspenseful to be rushing about this strange world with Clark as our avatar. When he runs into Oliver, Chloe, Lois, Dinah....he has to figure out if they're the "real" ones or not, then figure out who the guards are working for. In other words: this is another epsiode where Clark reacts to what other people are telling him and I prefer him taking his own initiative.

- The episode endorses blind faith, ie Lois says Clark should trust Chloe because it's "in his heart." I would have preferred that Clark had relied on his head, his observation and logic instead, find the cracks in the world and figure out for himself that it's illusory.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: miss_tress
2011-02-05 04:00 am (UTC)
Tom looked exceptionally pretty in his last two scenes with AM & ED.
Oh yes! Especially his hair!

It would be much more suspenseful to be rushing about this strange world with Clark as our avatar.
*nods* I liked seeing all the little fights but the ep kinda felt limp since Clark spent most the ep just walking around talking about things.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-02-05 04:28 am (UTC)
Beautiful hair!

I'm always hard on episodes where Clark is purely reactive - everyone was nudging him in this ep. Stop nudging my baby, he's got a mind of his own!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-02-05 04:29 am (UTC)
"No you guys! You're in the Matrix!"
That would have been a good line for Lois: "So Matrix? Or Inception?"
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[User Picture]From: jwm_rocks
2011-02-05 01:23 pm (UTC)
Leave it to SV to take the concept of the Matrix and turn it dull and cheap looking.

I didn't like the "lesson" they tried to teach Clark about secret keeping. You'd think he already understands the concept of people keeping secrets from him -- didn't a good part of last season consist of Lois hiding her partnership with the faux blur with Clark?

As for trusting Chloe - Clark as plenty of reason to have some trust issues. He had good reason to be cautious IMO.

Have to admit I liked the flying. Never thought we'd get that so soon in the season.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-02-05 03:15 pm (UTC)
I didn't like the "lesson" they tried to teach Clark about secret keeping. You'd think he already understands the concept of people keeping secrets from him -- didn't a good part of last season consist of Lois hiding her partnership with the faux blur with Clark?
I cannot overstress how tired I am of Clark getting Life Lessons from others this season.

As for trusting Chloe - Clark as plenty of reason to have some trust issues. He had good reason to be cautious IMO.
And the show should have validated his unease. Instead he's presented as inferior to Lois and her unquestioning faith. Because on SV emotion > thinking. Always.

The flight scene was lovely but I wish it had been a) real flight and b) used in a better episode.
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[User Picture]From: jeannev
2011-02-05 02:58 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm sure it doesn't come as a great shock that I was not a fan of this episode. I just really don't understand why they need to write Clark as the dullest knife in the drawer, and yet, somehow, we're supposed to think he's almost Superman? Does Superman need so many people telling him what to do and think all the time? Maybe my image of the character is dead wrong, and maybe he is so behind the learning curve? I had no idea, because thats certainly not the impression I got at all from the movies, or the tv shows. I guess in the comics, he can't blow his nose without someone (probably Lois), holding the tissue?

I knew they were going to make his flying, no matter where it takes place, about Lois. I knew it. And so, I can't really enjoy it. I'd be more upset if I didn't see that coming like a freight train.

And the Chloe stuff? *le sigh* Again, not unexpected, but hurlworthy all the same.

10 more to go. Can I hang on?
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-02-05 05:41 pm (UTC)
I just really don't understand why they need to write Clark as the dullest knife in the drawer, and yet, somehow, we're supposed to think he's almost Superman? Does Superman need so many people telling him what to do and think all the time?
It would have been so easy to write this episode with Clark as the one figuring out what's going on, gathering the others, reuniting with Chloe at the end. But this felt like an episode where the writers had a checklist of scenes to keep Chloe & Lois fans happy and didn't bother writing anything but reaction for Clark.

At least there's one more Bryan Miller ep, right? He always gives me something to enjoy.
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[User Picture]From: complicat
2011-02-05 10:00 pm (UTC)
Oliver's drama queen table-breaking hissy fit, followed by feral crouching in the corner.

Hee! Well, that sounds like something to look forward to whenever I get around to watching this ep! Was he shirtless at the time?

The episode endorses blind faith, ie Lois says Clark should trust Chloe because it's "in his heart." I would have preferred that Clark had relied on his head, his observation and logic instead, find the cracks in the world and figure out for himself that it's illusory.

They must be relying on the audience sticking to blind faith as well!

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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-02-05 11:44 pm (UTC)
"Well, that sounds like something to look forward to whenever I get around to watching this ep! Was he shirtless at the time?"
It's awful, but I can't remember! Maybe? It was Justin grabbing his Big Acting Moment and making the most of it, which was rather endearing.



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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-02-05 11:47 pm (UTC)
I think it was a big mistake to shove Darkseid off to the side and not show him building his power episode by episode. He could be a really ominous villain.

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[User Picture]From: brijeana
2011-02-06 06:55 am (UTC)
What I wish they'd done instead

- shown the episode from Clark's POV. It would be much more suspenseful to be rushing about this strange world with Clark as our avatar. When he runs into Oliver, Chloe, Lois, Dinah....he has to figure out if they're the "real" ones or not, then figure out who the guards are working for. In other words: this is another episode where Clark reacts to what other people are telling him and I prefer him taking his own initiative.

- The episode endorses blind faith, ie Lois says Clark should trust Chloe because it's "in his heart." I would have preferred that Clark had relied on his head, his observation and logic instead, find the cracks in the world and figure out for himself that it's illusory.


Oh I love these ideas, especially the first one. Great post.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2011-02-06 10:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much!
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