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17 January 2009 @ 05:24 pm
Smallville 8.11 Legion  

Allison Mack's overwhelmingly bad acting meant this episode was not nearly as powerful as it could have been, no matter how atmospheric the lighting, set design, costuming and special effects are. It was a pity because Davis's performance was as excellent as always. I did like the reveal that the attraction was 'just a program' Brainiac had been running. Wow, mind fuck! I got through the rest of that scene by admiring his torso. What? It's what it was there for.

I did do a little dance of joy at the line 'we've never heard a thing about any Chloe Sullivan'. I admit it. However, I never for one moment thought she would wind up dead. Clark would never allow it. I was somewhat staggered to see that he considered it even briefly, but then I like to remember that Chloe was the one who advocated killing Lex, so really... karma, anyone?

SOOOOO FRIGGING ANNOYED that she knows his secret again! Arrrrrrghhhhhhhh. The writers threw away a massive opportunity there. Grrrrr.


I was rather indifferent to the Legion. I'm not versed in the 31st Century Legion characters so I can't say if they lived up or down to expectations. I rather enjoyed Rokk, found Garth annoying and thought Irma had the most going on. I really liked the actress's presence and particularly her voice. It conveyed an alien stillness very effectively.

I did find the plotting kind of hilarious. They just happen to show up on the day that Clark defeats Brainiac (a day of which they know the date but apparently no other details), minutes after Doomsday whisks Chloe away? o.O And their code was 'don't touch anything'? A code they immediately ignore. Hmm. Not filling me with faith, dudes!

I was a bit underwhelmed by Brainiac being turned into a giant paperweight. And while the Legion did seem awfully friendly, I don't think I'd have been letting them have Brainiac so quickly... yeah, yeah, we (the audience) know they're good, and the shoutout about Brainiac 5 was intended to reassure, but if I was Clark, I'd be thinking twice before handing over the dude I'd defeated twice
before
to some folks who'd just shown up from the 31st century? Brainiac + 31st century sounds like a dangerous combo to me, and the Legion had been so, er, flaky, with their 'code' that I'm not sure I'd be trusting their good intentions to prevent any mishaps. Harrumph.

They did give Clark a lot to think about.


Lana was the strongest presence in this episode for me. I really liked her reaction to Clark telling her to 'get some rest'. I know he means well but he is not the only one who can help, nor is he the only one who wants to. What I found weirder was her 'I'm a different person now' line. I'm not quite sure where the writers were coming from there. While I buy that Lana has grown a lot in her time away from Clark, I could have imagined the same exchange (minus the 'I'm different' line) happening with them before she went away. Was it a reference to the darker aspects of her plot in Season 7? I was unclear.

Way more intriguing for me than the Legion telling Clark he'd have immense interplanetary influence, was Irma telling Lana that she's read stories about her and the incredible things that she'll go on to do. Wow. Very interesting framing too, saying that she's overcome hardships. It's fascinating that that's respected in the future because I feel like Lana's journey has felt like a private one in Smallville so far. The talk of her sacrifices was intriguing too.

I really liked that after Irma told Lana she'd be part of making Clark the hero others look up to, Lana demonstrates her influence by being absolutely adamant that she would never encourage him to kill anyone, and indeed talking him out of the idea that killing Chloe was a possibility.

I want to know what Irma saw when she read Lana's mind! And I thought telling her that she is remembered for a lot more than her relationship with Kal-el was AWESOME. Yay! Lana!destiny! Lana-solo destiny!? Bring it on! And I really want to know her 'secret' now.

Yes, there was a lot of Clana shippiness in this episode. It feels miiiiiiles away from the rest of the season and its Clois focus. But I really liked Lana's steadfast faith in Clark, and I admired her for saying that they write their destiny themselves. You could see Clark desperately needed those words and drew strength from her certainty. She felt very centred as a character. And wow, this made me REALLY wish that Lana was Clark's confidant/secret-keeper, not Chloe. In one episode she showed why she's far more worthy of that role.

ETA: Warning for Spoilers for BSG 4.11 in comments.
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
 
 
 
serenographyserenography on January 17th, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
Allison Mack's overwhelmingly bad acting meant this episode was not nearly as powerful as it could have been,

Oh my.. LOL. I have to say, I very much enjoyed watching her twirl her sweaty and evol mustache, but I also can admit that my dislike of the sameoldsameold Chloe banter and presence is at least partly to blame.

I did do a little dance of joy at the line 'we've never heard a thing about any Chloe Sullivan'.

I just read the absolute worst theory in the world about that. I can't even repeat it (here) because I don't want it to spread (even if it is just fannish speculation).


I was a bit underwhelmed by Brainiac being turned into a giant paperweight.


This is a CLASSIC boppy review line. LMAO!


Yes, there was a lot of Clana shippiness in this episode. It feels miiiiiiles away from the rest of the season and its Clois focus.


It really is miles away. I'm beginning to think it's a good thing they don't have Lois and Lana in the same episodes (as much as that really disappointed me initially). I just don't trust tptb to be able to resist the temptation of making them competitors in one of their beloved triangles.

The Clark and Lana storyline will have it's clean end, and the Clark and Lois one will continue without that as a factor. This seems best.




K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kittenbop_radar on January 17th, 2009 08:21 am (UTC)
I found I couldn't suspend disbelief at all in Allison's scenes. I had to make a mantra: 'listen to the words, not the acting' because I didn't buy her as Brainiac at all.

I just read the absolute worst theory in the world about that
Oh I could hear the Chlois chorus in my head: 'that's because she IS Lois Lane'.

I think I'm also fine with the division of Lana and Lois time--I don't think TPTB are up to juggling the two in a sophisticated way. Let each have its space.
(no subject) - serenography on January 17th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on January 18th, 2009 01:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - serenography on January 18th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on January 18th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
daybreak777: wet clarkdaybreak777 on January 17th, 2009 08:02 am (UTC)
You didn't like Chloe? I liked her! But I like evil characters. I found the Legion kids more annoying. I was about to throw a piece of wood at Ron Weasley, he was so irritating.

Davis' torso is earning its keep, for reals.

The annoying thing about the secret (I'm glad she got it back, I didn't like erasing their memories), was that it was never explained how she got it back! Oh, Smallville. My brain so tries to make sense of you sometimes.

You found Lana the strongest prescence? Wow. I liked Lana, as always. She's grown up strong and well. Whatever life gives her, she can take it. But my TP of these two is really, really dead. I'm resigned and this was really a coda on it.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Blair yelloqbop_radar on January 17th, 2009 08:23 am (UTC)
I thought Allison's acting was the most painful I've seen on the show since Aqua. And yeah, the Ron Weasley impersonator was verrrrry annoying. ;)

was that it was never explained how she got it back!
Hahhaha, I'm such a longterm fan I never expected an explanation for a second! ;) It comes, it goes... who are we to question these things? :p

I think maybe the Clana is at a stage where it's easier for non-shippers to see the lingering shippiness than for those who are really invested in it? You seem very aware of the closure, for me it feels like there's still a lot on the table.
(no subject) - daybreak777 on January 17th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on January 18th, 2009 01:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
svgurl: clark s8svgurl on January 17th, 2009 08:16 am (UTC)
I think we had opposite reactions to the episode. It was fun reading your thoughts, as always, though.

As for the 'Legion', I too liked Rokk, but I thought Garth was cute for most of the episode and found Imra annoying after a while because of all the Lana fangirling. Once would've been fine but I felt they pushed it too much.

What I found weirder was her 'I'm a different person now' line. I'm not quite sure where the writers were coming from there. While I buy that Lana has grown a lot in her time away from Clark, I could have imagined the same exchange (minus the 'I'm different' line) happening with them before she went away.

I think when Lana said "she's changed", I could believe it. I actually found her different from s7.

I agree about the Clana feeling miles away. I felt more friendship vibes from Clark than anything romantic. Hopefully these two can stay friends at the end. It looks like it's possible.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark basketballbop_radar on January 17th, 2009 08:28 am (UTC)
I'm sure my reaction will be at odds with much of fandom. ;) But yes, I think I can see a (real) Clana friendship blooming.
Diana: Then and Now -- Lois and Clarkbutterfly on January 17th, 2009 08:46 am (UTC)
Allison Mack's overwhelmingly bad acting meant this episode was not nearly as powerful as it could have been

With Chloe/Allison, she was successfully playing Evil, but she wasn't playing Brainiac very well, which was disappointing. She was just cold, vaguely-slinky evil rather than the specific character that we know.

I'm with you on finding Lana and Irma the most intriguing parts of the episode -- I'm very glad that they're setting up Lana as more than the girl Clark doesn't end up with. She's got her own thing.

And I really enjoyed that Clark was the inspirational figure for the Legion, both historically and then in his forthright ethical stance when he was confronted with their more ruthless point of view (and he and Lana had a great moment there).
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on January 17th, 2009 08:48 am (UTC)
she wasn't playing Brainiac very well, which was disappointing. She was just cold, vaguely-slinky evil
Mmm, true. The vague sexiness really threw me. In no way was she Brainiac in my mind.

I'm very glad that they're setting up Lana as more than the girl Clark doesn't end up with. She's got her own thing.
Same! that's awesome. I agree that Clark as inspiration worked really well and he and Lana came over wonderfully in relation to the Legion.
~*~: sv: LANA bride smileisilweth on January 17th, 2009 08:59 am (UTC)
I completely agree about Lana and Imra - I found their interactions really interesting and I'm looking forward to a heartfelt friendship between Clark and Lana.

She felt very centred as a character. And wow, this made me REALLY wish that Lana was Clark's confidant/secret-keeper, not Chloe. In one episode she showed why she's far more worthy of that role.
Boy, wouldn't it be nice if Smallville followed that up and really went there? I suppose they can't with KK having left and AM on full-time, but that sounds genuinely nice. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lana :Dbop_radar on January 17th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC)
True, but it would be lovely! I can dream! ;) Very cute icon, btw.
is that how they do it in the pros?: actors - bsg - jamieantismiles on January 17th, 2009 09:12 am (UTC)
*butts in*

As you know, I don't watch Smallville (I used to, up until the season 2 finale, then I just kinda forgot to watch). Instead of coming here to discuss the episode of SV, I've come to infiltrate your post and ask you whether you've seen the new BSG episode. I was actually pretty OK with it. It was kind of like with Revelations, where it was really good and sat well for a couple days, but then you started thinking more critically and realized something was off.

But that is beside the point. My point being that there will probably be a need for an "In Defense of Lee Adama and His Romantic Choices" post soon. I would write it, but I don't understand Lee as well as you do.

And if you are dreading the episode too much, let me tell you that Lee was awesome and looked hotter than any man should be allowed to be. He's even more good looking than in 4.0. HOW CAN THIS BE?

*butts out*

;p
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee in darknessbop_radar on January 17th, 2009 09:59 am (UTC)
I have just managed to get a download and will watch shortly. Your comment makes me very nervous about it though! :( I didn't expect the episode to even have Lee in it much! *panics* Let alone have to defend him/bad writing decisions.... yikes! What am I in for? OH BSG, WHY DO YOU MAKE ME CARE!?!

*flees*
(no subject) - antismiles on January 17th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on January 18th, 2009 01:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - antismiles on January 18th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on January 18th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
Carol: C&T and handcarolandtom on January 17th, 2009 09:45 am (UTC)
I agree with you about not being particularly thrilled by the legion and on not really buying Chloe as brainiac. Sadly I can't agree on the Lana stuff at all. In that respect, I see things from a completely different perspective. But being able to disagree is part of the beauty of sharing and commenting, right?
But I appreciate your thoughts, as always.

Edited at 2009-01-17 09:47 am (UTC)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on January 17th, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
Absolutely! I can guess maybe that you're not so happy about her playing a role in 'making Clark the hero we all look up to'? I can see how that would not sit comfortably for many people, and I was actually surprised the show took it so far. While I enjoy it, I did find it... yes, surprising. And I feel like Clark is so much his own man this season, it was unnecessary really to have him have Lana as a confidant. I liked it from a Lana-perspective but not necessarily from Clark's.
Jen: SuaveClark by Ivory Kissjlvsclrk on January 17th, 2009 12:19 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed Allison's performance because I really wasn't expecting her to be exactly like Brainiac when he's using his shapeshifting abilities. Here he's actually inhabiting a human body and it makes sense to me that that would make a difference. Besides, he wants to retain enough Chloe-ness for her to be an effective human shield against Clark.

And other than a few too many fawning lines from Saturn Girl, I really liked what I saw from Lana this episode. She acted like a good friend to Chloe in the first scene and an even better one for Clark in the later ones. I too am know looking forward to learning her secret. Still find it hard to believe I'll forgive her for dumping him with a video last year, but yes, she does seem to have grown since then. Looking forward to next week!
Beckygiggleloop on January 17th, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
I too was like, "OK wait, so now she knows his secret again? What the hell? Then what was the whole purpose of getting rid of it in the first place? GRRR!" I didn't think her acting was that bad, she pulled off the snarky deadpan Brainiac voice in some of the bits anyway. And that makeup & costuming on her really worked for me. But yeah, I don't know what's up with that either.

I did also enjoy Lana, she needs to get her own destiny too. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Ameliebop_radar on January 18th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
Yes, a personal destiny for Lana would be lovely.
tragicllyhiptragicllyhip on January 17th, 2009 01:54 pm (UTC)
Its funny, now when I really enjoy and episode, i always think i bet boppy didn't like it very much, lol. I'm not going to say much, except i thought the ep was fun, and I enjoyed Clark and the Legion, i don't know much about them, except for one little ep of a Superman animated series, but I'd be happy if they visited again. As far as the Lana, Chloe, I don't know, I don't much care who Clark is with, and to me the show has always focused on Clark, and the people around him add to his journey. So i appreciate what everyone has given to him, even Chloe, though she's a thorn in my side these days, but she's an important part of Clark's life. I don't know why they gave her the secret back, I was happy about it originally, but then we'd never get to see Clark completely be himself on that comfortable a level. His interactions with Oliver or Maritan Jones tend to be more serious. So...yeah, i think he'll simply find another way to protect her from what he is. I thought Allison did a fine interpretation of Braniac, there's nothing threatening about her physically, so i thought she came off appropriately creepy.

I don't like Lana, never have, but I didn't mind her at all in the episode and I like where she and Clark are now, so good stuff all around:)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on January 18th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
Awww, hee, that's so funny! We are opposites. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had a hunch many people would find it fun. The Legion just didn't quite ping for me.
Beck: Superman Protector by gothamiteknightbeck_liz on January 17th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
*laughs* I think we disagree on everything but Lana. But then, a) I have no set expectations for how "Brainiac" should act, so I found Allison believably evil; and b) I've loved the Legion forever, so I'm totally predisposed to forgive any weirdness just so I get to see them. :-)

I do think Lana was wonderful, although I have to admit that I rolled my eyes just a smidge at Imra's pronouncement of how absolutely completely wonderful she was. Heh. But for the most part, I loved her steadfastness, her belief in Clark, and the fact that she'll have more to do than be Clark's ex-girlfriend.

I also loved Clark in this episode. I thought he was fabulous.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Boppybop_radar on January 18th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, I admit I did expect Allison to give a performance consistent with what we've seen from Brainiac in the past... I actually feel Laura did a better job when Brainiac infected Kara. And it's great to hear that the Legion lived up to expectations for those that know/love them.

for the most part, I loved her steadfastness, her belief in Clark, and the fact that she'll have more to do than be Clark's ex-girlfriend.
That's what excited me the most. Yay!
Mistress Spinmlsky on January 17th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
I always love reading your SV thoughts. I missed the first half of the episode so I have to play catch up...I'm looking forward to comparing my reactions with yours. :)

Cheers!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on January 18th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks! I wonder what you will think of it. I found it ok--not my favourite ep, but not dreadful either.
huzzlewhat: clark_fortresshuzzlewhat on January 17th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
Allison Mack's overwhelmingly bad acting meant this episode was not nearly as powerful as it could have been, no matter how atmospheric the lighting, set design, costuming and special effects are.

Hmm. I didn't think it was bad, so much as it was off target. If she'd been playing a villain we hadn't seen before, I would have been quite impressed. It just didn't sync up with the prior portrayals of Brainiac. It was a lot of fun in a no-holds-barred, almost campy kind of way. I just... I think that AM is a talented actress, I just think that she didn't subjugate her own profile to the part. For all that he takes hits for on-the-job learning, I think Tom Welling has shown remarkable aptitude for playing different bad guys... Lionel, Red!K Clark, Bizarro, they were all distinct. This, on the other hand, just felt "generic bad guy" to me. Not that it wasn't a good generic bad guy, but I didn't love it the way I would have if it had been a one-off character, as with Erica Durance's turn as Faora.

I did like the reveal that the attraction was 'just a program' Brainiac had been running. Wow, mind fuck!

Yes, I loved that.

SOOOOO FRIGGING ANNOYED that she knows his secret again! Arrrrrrghhhhhhhh. The writers threw away a massive opportunity there. Grrrrr.

It seems to me, in retrospect, that the purpose the memory-altering served was to get it on record that it was something that Clark (with Jor-El's help, of course) was capable of, both in terms of the technical execution of it, and making the decision to do it. I suspect that it prefigures something they'll pull out in (or close to) the finale, and that they've done it here means that it won't be an out-of-nowhere solution.

Way more intriguing for me than the Legion telling Clark he'd have immense interplanetary influence, was Irma telling Lana that she's read stories about her and the incredible things that she'll go on to do. Wow.

I was extremely pleased to hear someone say that Lana, who too often is just The Love Interest, has value in and of herself, completely separate from her romantic entanglements. And I loved how KK played the reaction to hearing it, too — how much it meant to her that she's valuable as herself, not just as an accessory to Clark.

She felt very centred as a character. And wow, this made me REALLY wish that Lana was Clark's confidant/secret-keeper

I've wanted to see Lana in this role for a while — I loved their friendship/confidante vibe in the early days; how they could talk to each other. I loved seeing that come back... there was such a lovely feel to that final scene between them in this episode; it didn't feel, to me at least, as if it was leading up to anything romantic, just solid knowledge of each other and security. I could definitely stand to see more of that.

Edited at 2009-01-17 04:50 pm (UTC)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Sally Sparrow coffeebop_radar on January 18th, 2009 12:12 am (UTC)
I think that AM is a talented actress, I just think that she didn't subjugate her own profile to the part.
Hmm. To me, that shows her limitations as an actress because I feel that role required her to do so...

I didn't love it the way I would have if it had been a one-off character, as with Erica Durance's turn as Faora.
I do think her performance suffered badly from being very close in time to Erica's as Faora. And yes, Tom plays different bad guys very well too--Allison came off as far less capable in comparison to them.

something they'll pull out in (or close to) the finale, and that they've done it here means that it won't be an out-of-nowhere solution.
Oh GOD, they're going to mindwipe Lois aren't they? She'll find out the truth and then they'll mindwipe her? harrumph. I don't like the fact that they built in the Chloe mindwipe to make that plausible--but that's because I feel that the Chloe mindwipe is far more necessary and it just shows the writers didn't actually care about the issues with Chloe's character journey at all.

how much it meant to her that she's valuable as herself, not just as an accessory to Clark.
That was wonderful!

there was such a lovely feel to that final scene between them in this episode; it didn't feel, to me at least, as if it was leading up to anything romantic, just solid knowledge of each other and security. I could definitely stand to see more of that.
Me too. I think there was a flicker of romance still, but a much more mature form, and more the 'how do we evolve from lovers to friends' kind. I enjoyed it and I will be interested to see more.
carpenyx: stock | girl with parasolcarpenyx on January 17th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
I really don't get the whole point in Chloe forgetting Clark's secret and then not forgetting... we really didn't get ANY time to see how that could've panned out. I think I might be more okay with it if there was more of the story to it that lasted longer... shame.

The Lana stuff was very interesting... but I had a hard time with the shippy for the reason you stated, it just seemed so far away and hasn't been the focus.

Davis is so made of win. And YUM. Hee.

Chloe being all evil, not-so-fun. It was weird and seemed to forced.

I don't very little about the Legion, but I didn't necessarily think bad of them or otherwise in this episode, I think for me it was "kinda of okay... but could've been better, oh well" I think Irma was my favorite out of the trio though.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on January 17th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
I really don't get the whole point in Chloe forgetting Clark's secret and then not forgetting... we really didn't get ANY time to see how that could've panned out.
I agree. Why have it at all? For people who didn't like the idea it just made Clark look like an asshole. For people that did, it was tragically cut short... reads to me like the writers chickened out.

"kinda of okay... but could've been better, oh well"
That's about where I am with them.
Nora Norwich: KK pink dressnorwich36 on January 17th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
Lana was the strongest presence in this episode for me. I really liked her reaction to Clark telling her to 'get some rest'. I know he means well but he is not the only one who can help, nor is he the only one who wants to. What I found weirder was her 'I'm a different person now' line. I'm not quite sure where the writers were coming from there.

All I know is now I *really* want to know what she's been doing for the last seven months. I do really like the fact that they are setting it up so that Lana has her own destiny separate from Clark, though.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lana :Dbop_radar on January 17th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I really want to know too! It feels weird though... until this episode I've been sooo into Clark's plot this season and suddenly I'm flipped into Lana! But I'm glad they're giving her a better end than she had in season 7.