Sometimes watching Smallville is like a trip to the dentist. You know it’s gonna be painful, and you just want to get it over with. I and many other fans agree wholeheartedly that Luthor should’ve been the mid season cliffhanger. It was perfectly fit for that. But whatevers, they went with this for some reason.
Sequence 1: So of course the big news is the proposal. Anybody that is trying to argue that Smallville isn’t clearly The Adventures of Lois Lane guest starring Clark Kent is either blind or a Palin, so pfffft. If you watch the show for this reason, it was a big payoff, but I do have a few things to say about it:
-For some reason…the heart just wasn’t there. It wasn’t the same. The Lana proposal was better: More moving, more epic, more at stake, more sincere, just…better. In every way.
-I’m awfully surprised that they put this particular moment *here;* at the top of an episode, and at the top of this episode. The pattern this season has been using the last five minutes for a dramatic moment, so this kind of dilutes the impact. Plus, as I’ll say more about later, the tone of this episode was all over the place, so again, it has the effect of making this seem more like a ‘meh’ than it should’ve been.
-After all the trouble that Clark went to to set that up, he should’ve tried harder. I certainly wouldn’t have let all that prep go to waste if I was proposing.
-Tom & Erica are normally very good together…but you can see acting fatigue in this. Two rings away from a complete phone in.
-The one moment that I didn’t feel was phoned in was, strangely, that passionate kiss at the end. Something about it felt more real than anything else. I don’t care what anyone says, you can’t tell me that Erica feels nothing for Tom. Not buying it.
So, I’m sure that shippers have to wipe all their squee up off the floor, so um yeah.
Sequence 2: So Lois, amidst all her gushing and bling-slinging gets a mysterio note from….why none other than Chloe! Her always-a-friggin’-bridesmaid-Jimmy-who? intrepid
nosy ass helper of superherodom cousin. And….also someone who has tasted the power of Dr. Fate’s helmet. So we get a Chloester flashback, and it was indeed good to see Allison on the screen, because she will always be the last link to Smallville’s innocent and fun days. We’re reminded of all this during the girl talk flashback where Lois is quizzing Chloe about both her fuckbuddy romp with Oliver, and the reason behind the demise of Clana.
But Chloe basically responds with what we as the audience got to see & know from Homecoming: she’s seen the future, just as Clark has. “Lana wasn’t the one fated(wink, wink) to be in Clark’s life.” So I’m with Lois, I don’t know how Chloe does it either, unless…she is now functionally living her life like Marty McFly wanted to in Back to the Future, with a detailed knowledge of how everything is going to end. Which makes her purty durn unnecessarily powerful.
Anyway, flashback over, and….Enter Cat Grant! Or Smallville’s version of Elisabeth Hasselbeck, except way less annoying. I love Tess’s response to Lois’ being engaged tho…I swear, when Tess is in full bitch mode she’s got more balls than anyone else on this show.
So blah blah blah, the “retina scan” was just a ruse to get Lois to Watchtower for a surprise ‘Congrats on your Engagement’ party and damn I wish that Superman could be a guest star on this show. So Clark
and Ollie have a talk about the ever unfolding consequences of his unbelievably stupid & short-sighted decision to reveal his seccy iddy to the world. And I haven’t said anything yet in this review that hasn’t been said a million times before by myself and others. So Clark invites Ollie to be his best man. Um yeah sure okay. Because Superman & friggin’ Green McFriggin’ Arrow have always been so close in the comics. But I’d rather have that than what these fools would’ve done to Bruce, so I guess we’ll go with it. So there’s lots of mumbliness about Carter & his eternal scary-go-round with Shayera and all their reincarnated shenanigans, setting up the *oooh forebodiness* of what’s coming later. Still cannot muster up more than a ‘meh’ for all of this so far. And have I mentioned that the actress that plays Star Girl is terrible? Then, of course, more Ollie whining about Chloe. Gotta fill the ChloeWhine quota evra damn week. *yawn*
We then cut to a scene where Ollie rescues a woman & then gets sucker punched and proceeds to receive an ass whoopin’ from the crowd. Hawkman & Star Girl show up, out of costume, and don’t really fight them off, they just kinda glare them off…and again, anybody with any sense would know that Ollie’s friends are metahumans. Still so bored. Star Girl does a big golden BAMF at the end with her star stick though, that was pretty cool. The natives were fixin’ up a stonin’ for criminey’s sake.
I guess this is supposed to demonstrate the level of fear & paranoia that Darkseid’s crow droppings are spreading. The only problem with that is, people might react exactly this way without any Apokoliptic visitors, so….
Sequence 3: Brief cut to LuthorCorp being raided. Hmmm…Then back to the Kent Farmnambula where the newly gushing engageroonies are arriving. Literally nothing happens in this scene. No new information. Nothing. Clark rushes off when he sees the convenient news report of Ollie’s reverse Kick Ass moment. Tess is on the receiving end of a snit fit from Cattails when she gets escorted out by the military. Hmmmm…they then proceed on to pick up Emil as well, and also raid the Kent Farm.
Back at WetchTower, the gang all get brought up to speed about what’s happened with Oliver, Slade’s seemingly miraculous survival of the explosion back at the facility where he had the Kryptonite cages for Clark, and we see that Black Canary(who looks more like a DC version of Dazzler) is listening in as well.
After like a 30 second conversation….Clark seems to decide that they must all go underground as super fugitives, that their old lives are over, and that he’s shutting down WatchTower. Just like that. No argument, no consideration of alternatives, no vote, just….*bbzzzeeyoooo* <power off>. Um. That just didn’t make any sense to me that they’d react like that and decide something so major so quickly. Especially without even discussing the plan to deal with Slade. Or even considering that a man like Slade would have DOZENS of failsafes and backups, meaning that he is always a threat, dead or alive.
Sequence 4: So Lois gets ‘captured’ and rounded up with the other dissidents.
Like they couldn’t have easily seen this coming and had some kind of “if we all get captured” plan. But then again…this is why the Justice League needs Batman. It seems that the other members are completely incapable of thinking strategically. And of course…I have to say it…WHERE. THE. FRAGBILLIES. IS. J’ONN??? He would have the best chance of avoiding this military dragnet for obvious reasons, but why the hell isn’t he helping his friends? So Major BitchLips interrogates each member of the gang plus Cat, trying to squeeze them for info I guess. Info that Slade already. freaking. has. *facepalm*
Superman, Green Arrow, and Hawkman all meet up in a dark gubmint office and simultaneously prove that they’re not Batman. They have no idea how to follow orders, do detective work, be covert, coordinate an attack or even follow a friggin’ obvious train of logic. I say this for all of the naysayers over the years that keep harping on why “the JLA doesn’t need Batman, they’ve got all those other heroes.” Mmm hmm. Powers don’t make you smart. Or a detective. Or a strategist. I can also see why the public actually would lose trust in these heroes, or at least the Smallville incarnations of them, because they’re so self-righteous and short sighted. So they figure out that Darkseid’s influence AKA “The Darkness” (LAME) is behind all of this, and has a history of this kind of activity, and according to Carter, he’s been there & seen that & fought it, and- *sscccrrrzzzt* Wait just a second.
If what Carter said is true….why the HELL didn’t he just say all of that in the beginning? His knowledge makes most of this season unnecessary as he JUST SAID that HE HAS A HISTORY OF FIGHTING THIS. Ummm….why is he just now revealing that? Why hasn’t his experience been at the forefront of their efforts to try and deal with this darkness stuff? Oh for the love of *headdesk* Yada yada Major Toxic Shock threatens Lois.
Sequence 5: Tess handles the interrogation the best, as expected. Cassidy is so awesome and Tess is such a badass. So back at the Planet, and LoLo is doing what she does best: snooping. Then she just HAPPENS to find Tess’s super secret Batslide. AHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHAH!!! I’m sorry that was just so convenient, it’s too funny. Cat is also doing what she does best, because she is clearly the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ character. And a snitch to boot. Lois gives her an impassioned speech about her perspective on the vigilantes, and Cat has to rethink her stance on everything. But then Cat just does a full, 180 degree, about face of, in her own words, “everything she believes in.” So she doesn’t snitch, calls the vigilantes heroes, and tells Lois what she knows about the gubmint plan against them. Ummm….mighty convenient timing for Cat to INSTANTLY switch to the Bright Side of the Force. It took Anakin longer than that to think about cutting off Count Dooku’s head. Geez.
And let me mention again, it sure would be cool
to have a shapeshifting invisible super strong super fast telepath in the mix right along through here.
So the VigiHeroes find out that the Daily Planet is bugged. Another ‘duhr’ moment, but at least it gave occasion to the best line of the episode, “Get back 8-track.” That was too funny. So SuperLois is still doing the infopionage when she is confronted by Creepy McCreeperson Slade. He just looks like he’s Hannibal Lecter’s long lost twin. Ergh. Then he bitchslaps the FUCK out of Lois. No comment. They argue, he belts her again, puts a gun to her head, she swears her loyalty to Clark, and he knocks her the FUCK out. Now I just wanna mention, aGAIN……THAT LOIS LANE AGAIN NEEDS SAVING OR HER FUCKING LIFE IS OVER, BECAUSE SHE’S IN OVER HER HEAD.
JUST WANTED TO POINT THAT OUT. So Batm-I mean Hawkman comes crashing in to her rescue with an entrance that’s all dramatical & what not. They then fight, which was actually pretty damn cool, especially the Wonder Woman bullets & bracelets moment. Also, planting his mace in John McSlade’s back. So Slade somehow manages to run Hawkman completely through…there’s an explosion that knocks Lois out of the window, yet AGAIN FACILITATING THE NEED FOR A RESCUE, and somehow HawkBritches manages to stop dying long enough to fly out after her. Thus we get the falling burning wings shot, from which the episode derives its title. Clark finally shows up(where the HELL was he?) and confronts Slade, who’s “beyond death’s stroke” now. Big ass wink. And in cliched Vader fashion, Slades asks Luke-I mean Clark to join him. And “put all this to an end.” Sure. No need to be original on VilleVille. Slade spills also on how he saw Hawkballs fall from the sky en fuego, and comments about how soldiers do what it takes to finish their missions…and then Clark…pulls out the Super PaperWeight and sends him to the Phantom Zone. Just like that.
1) I guess this was the plan that Clark came up with, but I wonder if he discussed it with anyone else?
2) It still shouldn’t have taken Clark that long to go to the Fortress and get his PZ transporter shield.
3) What about the ethics involved in such a decision? Slade clearly wasn’t still totally human, but he certainly wasn’t Doomsday or Zod…and what about the repercussions? Both for Slade in the PZ and for what the gubmint & anti-vigilante movement is gonna do when they find out Slade’s missing? This is somewhat reminiscent of Identity Crisis, and maybe that’s where they’re pulling some of the ideas from. How far would the heroes go to protect their secrets? For some reason here tho…it feels less organic. A Zee flavored mindwipe, like they did in the book, probably would have been more humane, and Clark has done that before, with Chloe.
Sequence 6: So Clark speeds up, and finds what in essence would’ve been Lois’s dead body if it weren’t for Carter…but instead finds a strangely not dead yet HawkDude who unfolds his wing to reveal a rescued LaneyPop. I know if I was Clark I’d feel like a bit of a buttmunch at this point too. Lois breathes out…”He saved me…he saved me.” Both in my mind with an emphasis on the ‘he’(because that’s Clark’s job) and the ‘saved’(meaning that, once again, she’d've bought the friggin’ farm if it weren’t for a super save). Carter then cracks a joke about dying which kind of sucks the seriousness out of the moment for me, but hey it’s Smallville. Lois for all of her normal bluster & bravado looks for all the world like a scared little girl that doesn’t know how to process what’s happening. And of course, Carter’s death is about Clark appreciating what he has with Lois, and Carter himself being reunited with Shayera. Love beyond death. N’kay great, we got it, like, years ago. Plus it seems like Hawkmeat is just kind of dying on cue.
Forward to Egypt, and Hawkman’s funeral, with some music playing that just totally does not fit the scene. Before we get to the end, I have to interject here and say, exactly what purpose did Carter’s death serve? It didn’t move the plot any further with the VRA, it didn’t teach us anything new about Clark or Lois, or even Carter for that matter, and if they were going for a feeling of dramatic loss…like Doyle, Cordy, or Fred in Angel…they picked the one JLAer that we know is coming back! Of course we know that those aren’t the real actors playing Aquaman, Zatanna, Impulse or Cyborg, but whatever. I still don’t get what they were going for…another scenario of “true love being stronger than death?” *sigh* When I first watched it, and even writing this review, I just cannot find any logical reason for them to kill off Hawkman.
And then we get the final Smallville midseason cliffhanger EVER: A glowy triangle comes up from the sand surrounding the Hawk tombs, kind of exudes some type of light, and next thing we know, the whole gang is unconscious. Hmmm. It does indeed raise lots of questions about what’s coming next, and why that happened, but, in context, when we’ve had a proposal, a death, a Phantom Zone banishment, and a super funeral all in the same episode, it feels like a patchwork of sorts. But, oh well.
So in conclusion, more shipper stuff, and quite a few headscratching moments for me personally. The real question at this point is the same one that I raised at the very beginning of the season with Lazarus…what will be the focus of Smallville as it ends?