Smallville

May. 15th, 2009 11:34 pm
chrysalitron: (write)
[personal profile] chrysalitron
Warning:  It gets pretty lengthy.  Even for me.

I know I sound like a dramatic fangirl right now, but I honestly don't think an hour of television (save for General Hospital, of course - always the exception) has ever made me so damned ANGRY.

I read in another review where someone pointed out that this episode satisfied NO ONE.  I agree with that 100%.  Is there ANYBODY out there who actually watched this episode and enjoyed it?  I'm not even talking as a season finale, I'm talking as an episode in general.  If the writers' intent was to piss off every single person who had ever seen this show, I'm pretty sure they nailed it.

First up, the thing that bothered me the absolute most - Chloe.  I say this as a former diehard Chloe fan.  In the first several seasons of this show, I loved her.  If I had to pick my favorite non-Luthor character (because, well, we know the Luthors always win my heart), Chloe Sullivan would have been at the top of the list.  But no more.

It's been happening steadily over time.  Even when I was still a fan of her, I could see where the writers were trying to force her down our throats.  I didn't HATE it (at the time, I was still consumed with my Lana hatred), but I could see it happening, and I couldn't help but think "Man, if people weren't a fan of Chloe before, this is NOT going to win them over."

Two things pushed me towards becoming very....uneasy....about Chloe.  The first was, as many have pointed out, the nonstop obsession with Clark and the personal need she felt to be his conscience.....even when (especially when) he didn't need one.  In many of the Chloe/Clark arguments, I fell squarely on Clark's side.  

The other thing that bothered me was the way she treated Jimmy.  He never came first for her.  It was all about harboring Clark, saving Clark, caring for Clark.....hell, when the alien Jesus HIMSELF started pointing out that she should open up to and spend more time with Jimmy, you knew something was wrong.  She and Jimmy had argument after argument that revolved around the fact that she never focused on Jimmy, but at no point did it ever seem to sink in that she was mistreating him.  Instead, she treated him like an annoying little gnat.  Not once did she REALLY seem to consider his feelings, and how it must feel to see his girlfriend/fiance constantly running to the side of a guy that she herself had admitted to being in love with.  Jimmy Olsen may not have been my favorite character, but I knew from the start that he deserved better.  So when he gave Chloe what-for in the hospital hallway, I couldn't help but cheer.  Harsh?  Yes.  Long overdue?  HELL yes.

It was about that point that I realized the bloom was definitely off the rose for me when it came to Chloe Sullivan.

The Davis storyline was starting to pull me back towards her.  I'm pretty sure I'm one of the only people in fandom who enjoyed this story (at least it feels like it).  But I thought the two of them had major chemistry, more so than Chloe and Jimmy did.  I loved the story of Davis wanting to be a better person, but the evil inside wouldn't let him.  I loved that Chloe wanted to save him, even if it meant alienating everyone around her.  To me, it was a dysfunctional love story that naturally wouldn't - couldn't - end well.  But I was intrigued by it nonetheless.  (I blame Sam Witwer).

Unfortunately, this episode completely ruined that for me.  Even when Chloe swore up and down in an earlier episode that the "only" reason she was running off with Davis was to protect Clark, I knew better - or so I thought.  She felt something for Davis.  She had a pull towards him even before she knew who and what he was, even before she married Jimmy. 

To hear her say to Jimmy that she never loved Davis, that it was all about Clark, that the only person she ever wanted was Jimmy.....that stung, and I'm sorry, but it was a TERRIBLE character move.  Her harboring Davis, protecting the monster, was made palatable to an extent BECAUSE we believed she had feelings for him.  We believed it, and Davis believed it. 

And speaking of, who the hell admits that while Davis is lying two feet away on the floor?  I mean, SERIOUSLY.

I'm not saying that I think Davis was correct to kill Jimmy.  Hell, it wasn't Olsen's fault that Chloe is a lying headcase.  But as Davis cried and advanced on Chloe, losing it over the fact that the most important thing to him had turned out to be a lie.....I didn't feel sorry for Chloe, I felt sorry for DAVIS.  Did Davis the human turn out to be a murderous monster?  Perhaps.....but you know who made him that way?  CHLOE SULLIVAN.

What made it all so much worse was that, in the end, Chloe STILL wouldn't admit her own blame.  It was all about how Davis was a psychopath.  Hell, it was even Clark's fault, because she was trying to protect him the whole time.  At no point did she actually SAY "I did this.  I may not have killed either man myself, but I might as well have."  Because in my eyes.....that's the truth.  

I'll be honest - I actually wanted Clark to turn to her and repeat the words that Rokk had said in the beginning of the episode:  None of this would have happened if he had let Chloe die.  Of course I knew he wouldn't - that's not Clark Kent - but I think a part of him couldn't help but come to that conclusion.  And at the end of the day, I think THAT'S why he made the decision that he did.  He might say that it's about Davis, and seeing that the human side can make you a monster just as well as the actual monster side, and he probably even believes that.  But I think in his subconscious, he probably sees everything that has happened and realizes - if he hadn't loved Chloe so much that he insisted she be brought back, maybe this wouldn't have happened.  As much as he's trying to deny it, Clark IS human....and the second-guessing, the what-ifs, as horrible as they may be...that's a part of being human.

Between the return of the Legion ring and the complete mindfucks in this episode (did you just KILL JIMMY OLSEN?!), I was totally expecting them to play out another "going back in time" arc.  In fact, I didn't even get that upset about Jimmy and Davis dying at first, because I was so convinced that it was going to be undone.  I held on to that hope until the credits rolled.  When it didn't happen, I was in absolute shock.  I think I still kind of am.  In fact, I was still clinging to my "They're going to undo it all" theory, until I started reading everyone else's thoughts.....and realized everyone seems to be accepting of the fact that Jimmy died, and that in fact, he wasn't Jimmy at all.  (Not the canonical Jimmy Olsen, anyway).  To my surprise, this theory made me feel even worse.  You mean to tell me that this show had us invest in Jimmy Olsen, in Aaron Ashmore, only to sweep the rug out from under us and say "Oh, by the way - he wasn't really Jimmy Olsen at all.  Gotcha!"?  Because to me, that's not creative storytelling, that's screwing with your audience big time.  It's not fair, not to the character that we THOUGHT was Jimmy, not to Ashmore, and certainly not to the fans.

Having said that.....the scene in which Jimmy found out about Clark was PERFECTION.  I loved seeing Clark pause and then mentally go "You know what?  It's time."  On top of that, he gave Jimmy full credit for having figured it out before and even apologized for lying to him.  Jimmy could have been angry with him, but he wasn't.....he instantly forgave him everything.  Yes, the later scene in which Jimmy sanctified Chloe as the heroic secret-keeper was a bit much, but the scene with Clark was just wonderful.  It really is a shame, because I honestly believe Jimmy would have been one hell of a sidekick for Clark. 

Tess's story.....I don't even know.  It wasn't until I was reading everyone else's comments that I realized she had unleashed Zod.  That was how confused I was by the whole thing.  I still don't know what to make of it, except that, naturally, I won't be nearly as interested in Zod as I was when he was in the guise of Michael Rosenbaum.  Just saying.

Speaking of.....maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part (always!) but when Lois first brought up that video of Tess torturing....you know, that other guy, whatever his name was......there was a brief second when I thought it was Lex (Rosenbaum Lex, that is).  Not because of anything that was said....it was just literally in that first split second when she pulled up the screen, that I went "LEX!.....oh, wait, not at all."  Ohhh, wishful thinking.  Imagine how much happier I'd be with this episode if Rosenbaum HAD shown up.

 

Lois.....again, I don't even know what to make of this.  That was another reason why I was sure we'd get the Legion-Ring Revamp.  And I'm sure we might still, but....yeah.  Right now, I'm at a loss.

I had read somewhere (TV Guide?) that a past character was supposed to come back in this episode and possibly stick around next season.  If that's the case, our options are apparently Dinah, Bart, and Rokk.  I guess I wouldn't be against any of them sticking around, but I admit, I was so hoping for Lex.  (I know, I know.....but let a girl dream).  

Overall, I am just so disappointed in this finale.  Saying I'm disappointed doesn't even sum it up, really.  As silly as it sounds, I feel totally betrayed by this show.  This season has been so incredibly bipolar for me.  I'll admit, I started out the season with a heavy heart because I knew there would be no Lex, and I had no idea how the show could still seem viable.  I was pleasantly surprised when it started out with a bang.  I liked Tess (for awhile), I liked Davis, I loved the new scenario of Clark working at the Planet, I liked Oliver being a more permanent part of things, I liked how the show was playing Clark and Lois......the only disappointment I had was in the fact that Lois wasn't more prominently featured.  I was sure that, with Kristin Kreuk being gone and Clark/Lois being, after all, the money couple, that she'd be much more visible.

Bringing "Lex" back only to kill him off......I wasn't thrilled at all with that, but since I was (and am still) in denial that it was actually Lex Luthor, I dealt with it.  When I heard Lana was coming back, I groaned.....we've all heard my feelings on Lana Lang before.  But you know what?  All things considered, I was okay with her arc.  (Especially in hindsight.....hell, even Lana would have been a welcome reprieve in this episode.  You know if I'm saying that, it's bad).  The way she and Clark left things before, it was too unfinished.  There would have always been a question mark over Clark getting together with Lois, because you knew that at any second, Lana could come back and it would be over.  So to actually give that pairing a final end, something they couldn't come back from......I was impressed.  I like that Lana was allowed to go off and be a superhero on her own merits.  

So yeah, I went into that arc with dread, but I ended up being really impressed with how it was pulled off.  The season after that was hit or miss (seriously, I'm pretty sure we saw the cows on the Kent farm more often than we saw Erica Durance), but I was really hoping for the finale to hit it out of the park and make all the lackluster moments of the past season worth it.  I was so, so wrong.

I'll obviously be tuning in next season, simply to see how the hell they dig themselves out of this.  I think that's the best way to put it.  I don't want to see "what happens", I want to see how on earth they are going to fix the monumental mistakes they made with this show and if it's even possible.  But to say I'm looking forward to it?  Sadly, right now, I can't even say that's the case.  Check back with me in August and see how I feel about it then.

 



I'm planning on writing a few thoughts about the CSI finale (which I also found somewhat disappointing, but nowhere NEAR to the extent that Smallville let me down), but I figure this has been MORE than long enough.  And probably ranty enough, too.  Sigh.

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July 2009

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