?

Log in

No account? Create an account
The Smallville Cast directs! Part two - tasabian [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
tasabian

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

The Smallville Cast directs! Part two [Sep. 10th, 2009|07:59 pm]
tasabian
[Tags|, , ]

Part one is here

Part 2: Michael gets a good script and why "Apocalypse" is one of the Clexiest episodes EVER!



"Freak"
Of all the cast-directed episodes, I think "Freak" has the best script. It's suspenseful, Clark gets to use all his powers and even Lana is quite fun. In this shot, she's shouting "Cool!" and about to do a goofy almost-dance!

Michael throws in some cute visuals. As Clark forces open the doors to the bowling alley, Chloe scoots right under his arm & gets in there first.

We also get a cheekier Clark than usual. Here he snarks a little at Dr. Bethany, then brazenly steals his laptop - great comic sequence! (Michael says he was determined Tom not do a "wussy blow" when displaying his super-breath, make of that what you will!)

This scene is fun: the actor who plays Dr. Bethany is convincingly terrified and Michael does a sexy flare with his eyes: Rrawwwrrr! There's even a cool cobra rattle on the soundtrack.

In this scene, Clark knows Chloe's meteor-infected and is finding it very hard to keep the secret, hence the big, distressed, puppy eyes!

The sequence where Chloe's implant is discovered and destroyed is edge-of-the-seat tense, a rarity for Smallville. Love Clark's panicked "Ummmmm...." when Chloe asks him to x-ray her, then his flat-out panic when she starts waving around a knife! Fabulously acted by TW & AM & shot by Michael.

Also love how Jimmy walks in right after Clark's fried the implant and wonders what the hell's going on.
Chloe: "Clark had a pocketknife..."
Clark: "We improvised!" (Wonderfully chirpy delivery from Tom.)

There's a moving scene between Chloe & Clark at the end, including a tender arm squeeze.

Michael gives his boy a beautiful close-up....

Then gives himself one too! Awesome!


"Apocalypse"
Of Tom's episodes, I think this is his best script - it is truly one of the oddest episodes Smallville has ever done. It borrows that common device, the "It's a Wonderful Life" scenario. What would the world be like if Clark wasn't there? Usually this is a way of showing the hero how much the world needs him, but in this case...

Lois is happy and successful in the no-Clark world - although she's certainly pleased to meet him here! (This is a great episode for Erica - the scene where Lois tries to cheer up Clark & takes him out for a beer is very sweet.)

Lana is married and living in France. Chloe is happily engaged and enjoying her career in journalism.

And cruelest of all....the Kents aren't lonely and suffering. They have a son they adore and they're on a cruise! All of Clark's loved ones are thriving, seemingly happier in a world without him.

Except for one loved one. Without Clark, Lex is nothing. A mere shell of himself, controlled by Brainiac. He is nothing like the emotional, conflicted, trying-so-hard Lex we are accustomed to....I LOVE that the one person wrecked by the lack of Clark, is Lex. ♥

It's like he's missing a piece of himself, his other half - and Tom cleverly underlines the link between them in this wonderful shot, as the guys come together...

...then merge. A shared identity, two halves of a whole - and a possible callback to Naman & Seget? (Tom SO needed to do a commentary for this episode!)

Tom pays attention to continuity. This scene recalls the lovely scene in "Lineage" where Lex tosses Clark a basketball, and wonders if it's possible they really are brothers.


"Apocalyse" is a very rushed episode- should really have been a two-parter. So it's interesting that Tom makes time for the Clex scene at the end. Even though not much happens in the scene, it's important because it demonstrates that despite Lionel's death in "Descent", Clark and Lex will inevitably come back to each other. And it gives Michael a chance to show how different SV!Lex is from white suit!Lex. White!Suit Lex is dead-eyed, flat-voiced and ready to sacrifice the world; SV!Lex is still trying (in his mixed-up way) to save the world and those eyes are full of passion & pain.


"Injustice"

Poor Tom, stuck with a dud script and a low budget. There's no fixing that dialogue but as always, he does a lovely job with the visuals.

This is the best scene. Tom opts for a very dark tone, the implication being that Davis has assaulted Chloe. This head to head shot conveys a real urgency (which unfortunately isn't sustained.) It's a shame the scene of Clark tenderly bathing fake!Chloe was deleted.

Lovely staging here, as Clark listens to Oliver & doesn't like what he hears. As Clark's face hardens, Tom conveys how alone Clark is right now.

Awful dialogue in this scene - but look, Justin!chest. Thanks, Tom!

Tom often finds different ways to shoot familiar locations. This staircase shot rejuvenates the boring barn.


Hopefully Tom gets a better script this year - as EP, perhaps he gets first choice! (And I omitted Allison's "Power" from his post because given the plot, no "power" on earth could get me to sit through it. Heh.)

'caps by acampbell & savingpeople
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: jeannev
2009-09-11 12:37 am (UTC)
Love this picspam.

You're right. Freak might be the best of the "directed-by-the-cast" scripts, though I also like Hydro and Fragile a lot. In fact, Fragile holds a special place in my heart, because the Claddie is made of so much love, and it just feels to me like Tom put his total heart into that episode.

I hope both Tom and Allison have good eps to direct this season.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: theclexfactor
2009-09-11 02:36 am (UTC)
Your Cloess icon is epic, my dear.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jeannev
2009-09-11 03:31 am (UTC)
Thank you! I made it from some photoshopped promo pic I saw. I adore it. Its actually the one triangle I could totally get behind.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tasabian
2009-09-11 03:33 am (UTC)
Thanks!

In fact, Fragile holds a special place in my heart, because the Claddie is made of so much love, and it just feels to me like Tom put his total heart into that episode.
The Claddie is charming - I just wish the rest of the episode was more suspenseful. But it was a promising debut for Tom & he keeps getting better (even if the scripts don't!)

I hope both Tom and Allison have good eps to direct this season.
Yes, I felt mean leaving Allison out of this post but I just can't face Power! SO I hope she gets a juicy script this year.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: acampbell
2009-09-11 01:41 am (UTC)
Great topic, as always! I'm always honored to have my caps included. Sorry I'm not further along in capping the series. I'll try to get caught up soon!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tasabian
2009-09-11 03:33 am (UTC)
I'll be so happy when you've 'capped all of S7!

Edited at 2009-09-11 03:33 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: starry_dawn
2009-09-11 03:14 am (UTC)
Awesome post! "Freak" was definitely one of the best scripts that a cast member got to direct. It was paced well, and got the best out of everyone, which is rare for this show. Michael did a wonderful job with it!

"Apocalypse" was great too, and your observations about Lex being the one most affected by Clark's absence are wonderful. Truly Clexy!

I never got why people disliked "Injustice" so much ... I quite liked it, and it was definitely WAY better than "Doomsday". And I thought cutting the scene of him and Chloe in the shower was a good idea, because really. Is it convincing that faux!Chloe was SO good at playing her role? I don't know, I would've questioned it.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tasabian
2009-09-11 03:38 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I thought cutting the scene of him and Chloe in the shower was a good idea, because really. Is it convincing that faux!Chloe was SO good at playing her role? I don't know, I would've questioned it.
I like it because of the way Tom staged it - Clark's desire to protect and just envelope Chloe is so moving. (And as you know, I'm not really a Chlark 'shipper & it takes a lot to make me go "aw!" over a non Clex scene!)

I never got why people disliked "Injustice" so much ... I quite liked it, and it was definitely WAY better than "Doomsday".
Definitely better than Doomsday! But to me, the script felt disconnected - the scenes don't add up to a whole. And the budget cuts are very noticeable. The Injustice League should be scary, not emo kids moping around deserted warehouses.

"Freak" was definitely one of the best scripts that a cast member got to direct. It was paced well, and got the best out of everyone, which is rare for this show.
It really is a good ensemble piece - I even enjoyed Lana quite a bit!

"Apocalypse" was great too, and your observations about Lex being the one most affected by Clark's absence are wonderful. Truly Clexy!
I would love to know what Tom thought about that aspect, he staged it so well!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: rosy5000
2009-09-11 03:33 am (UTC)
I'm kinda stuck on staring at the last two pics from Freak. ;) But I love your breakdown of Apocalypse. Makes that episode so much better. :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tasabian
2009-09-11 03:40 am (UTC)
I'm kinda stuck on staring at the last two pics from Freak.
Sexy boys!

But I love your breakdown of Apocalypse. Makes that episode so much better.
Somewhere, at the back of Clark's pretty head, is now that knowledge that Lex loves him more than any of the others!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: carolandtom
2009-09-11 09:25 am (UTC)
Great picspam! You chose some very good shots to ilustrate your comments.

I'm glad you didn't include "Power". I don't think I could sit through that episode again either. :D

I hope Tom will get good scripts to direct this year, though at this point I know that's quite unlikely. But I'm sure he'll do a great job with them, as usual.

Looking forward to more picspams from you!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tasabian
2009-09-12 01:52 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I hope Tom will get good scripts to direct this year, though at this point I know that's quite unlikely. But I'm sure he'll do a great job with them, as usual.
Hopefully as an EP, he'll get first pick and can choose a script that excites him! And I hope there's at least one script worthy of his talents.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: christina_kat
2009-09-11 11:19 am (UTC)
the Chlark scene in Freak IS TRULY AWESOME!
Michael did a great job with it!
and I agree, Apocalypse was a really great episode and Tom's direction was awesome!

I also did a fic about that last Clex scene on Apocalypse!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tasabian
2009-09-12 01:55 am (UTC)
I also did a fic about that last Clex scene on Apocalypse!
I just read it! It's a good scene to use in a fic - there's so much going on between them there.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: goodvibe
2009-09-11 03:55 pm (UTC)
'Freak' is a solid ep. All around - script, direction, acting. I think the reason I most like it though for how well it showcases both Clark and Lex' characters.

I have to say, I love 'Apocalypse.' For me, theres an immense enjoyability factor when it comes to certain eps, and this is one of them.

As much as I love TW though, and think he did an amazing job with his first three directorial ventures - 'Injustice' did absolutely nothing for me. It was just a very shoddy script, IMO.

I agree with you, and hope he and AM both get decent scripts this time around.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tasabian
2009-09-12 02:00 am (UTC)
'Freak' is a solid ep. All around - script, direction, acting. I think the reason I most like it though for how well it showcases both Clark and Lex' characters.
Yes, they both get some very cool moments - it's a good action ep for Clark and Michael gets to show off some sexy menace.

I have to say, I love 'Apocalypse.' For me, theres an immense enjoyability factor when it comes to certain eps, and this is one of them.
It's a shame it wasn't a two-parter - there was lots more they could have done with that scenario & I would have happily sacrificed "Sleeper"!

As much as I love TW though, and think he did an amazing job with his first three directorial ventures - 'Injustice' did absolutely nothing for me. It was just a very shoddy script, IMO.
The script is all over the place - I think it might have worked better if the audience was shown from the start that "Chloe" is an impostor. It would raise the stakes as we wait for Clark to find out. And the Injustice League is most unimpressive.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jlvsclrk
2009-09-11 07:33 pm (UTC)
I love seeing your thoughts on the key scenes like this - it makes a very compelling story. For me, Freak is the least interesting of all these episodes - it just seemed a colossal mistake to give Chloe powers, and they really didn't do all that much with them. And the scene with Clark removing the chip just struck me as one of the most over acted scenes in SV history - a natural enough rookie mistake, similar (but much less annoying) to the overdone staging for the kiss scene in Power.

I have nothing but love for Apocalypse - every minute works for me and I don't know how it would play out over two episodes. I think you'd lose a lot of the tension. Too bad the TV time format is so darned rigid, because I think 15 more minutes would have been perfect - a little more reporting in the AU, a little more on Krypton.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tasabian
2009-09-12 02:09 am (UTC)
And the scene with Clark removing the chip just struck me as one of the most over acted scenes in SV history
It's a little melodramatic but I liked the urgency Tom & Allison brought to it & the way Michael shot the scene, cutting between Chloe and Clark and the laptop showing all the little lights going out. I found that scene more suspenseful than the actual climax (Lana in a stand-off with Bethany) because Clark frying an implant out of Chloe was genuinely surprising to me (which SV rarely is.)

However, I totally agree that the Chloe as meteor freak served no purpose after this episode, except as a convenient deux ex machina.

I have nothing but love for Apocalypse - every minute works for me and I don't know how it would play out over two episodes. I think you'd lose a lot of the tension.
I'd like to have seen some more of Clark exploring his new world and more of Lex & Brainiac - they have such a iconic relationship in the comics.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: complicat
2009-09-11 09:30 pm (UTC)
I think Freak is my favourite of the cast-directed episodes - even though I'm not all that keen on the Chloe-as-freak plot that was going on I remember when first watching finding it tense and it holding my attention all the way through (very rare for a SV episode in the last couple of years!). If you look at it closely there's plenty of plot holes (it is SV after all!) but I totally didn't notice them at the time, and I put that down to Michael's direction.

Also I remember being highly amused by Lana's bowling ball being pink. I choose to credit Michael for that too.

Apocalypse is a strange ep - there's a lot to like but at the same time it left me disappointed. I think you are right though that it would have been better as a two parter. It's my favourite of the Tom-directed eps though.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tasabian
2009-09-12 02:13 am (UTC)
I remember when first watching finding it tense and it holding my attention all the way through (very rare for a SV episode in the last couple of years!)
SV always has trouble sustaining suspense, which is why this episode stood out, especially in soapy S6! It helps that all the characters are involved in the same plot-line - gives Michael a straight through-line to follow through the episode.

I remember being highly amused by Lana's bowling ball being pink. I choose to credit Michael for that too.
Ha, I completely missed that. Michael's a genius!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)