I'm a 20-something office administrator with secret literary aspirations. When I'm not battling my office's computers, I'm privately tutoring computer students, plotting Canadian world domination, and engaging in a variety of fannish pursuits.View all articles by Marianne Edison
In the past, Smallville has gone in for the unforgettable season finale. There's a definable pattern. Big disaster (tornadoes, second meteor shower, Dark Thursday, to name a few), life-endangering peril ensues for Clark's nearest and dearest, and Clark himself ends up locked up. The poor guy hasn't had a decent summer in seven years. No wonder he's so repressed.
I have to admit, with the opener they did fool me for a bit. My initial reaction to evil!Kara was dismay. I thought they had returned to the earlier 'is she, or isn't she?' of the early season. It was almost a relief to know that it was Brainiac, though I'm hoping Smallville changes its mind and brings Laura back for more. While Kara did not have a huge impact on this season, that was largely the fault of the showrunners. They didn't use her to her full advantage and that was a mistake. You get a chance to redeem one of the DCU's most mistreated characters, you don't shelve her. You hit the ground running and show people what she's got.
And I don't mean clothing-wise. If someone needs firing at Smallville, it's the costume designers for Kara. At times, Kara's wardrobe could best be called stripper-chic and while it's understandable for an alien to initially believe women dress that way (after all, is there anyone left who hasn't seen Lindsey Lohan's crotch?), the key word is initially.
So yes, I definitely want to see Kara back next year. Even if it's not full time. We're after quality, not quantity. Although, this is Smallville. Asking for quality from them is like asking pigs to fly.
As for the remainder of the episode... It did not live up to its previous predecessors. While it had its moments (watching the Fortress collapse broke something in me people,) it didn't pack Smallville's usual cheesy punch. It felt the same way that much of the season has. Disjointed. There was a lot going on, but no real feeling of cohesiveness behind the scenes. While wanting to use all the characters is admirable, it's a mistake if you're not using them to their best advantage.
A lot of characters have suffered this year for that big issue. While they had Lois doing plenty, they didn't use her well.
Even if Chloe wasn't her cousin, Lois should have been furious. She should not need Clark Kent to point out the truth. She also shouldn't skip past the part where he was right. One of the main tenants of Lois Lane is her fierce pursuit of truth and justice. It's one of the things that, in theory, should make her Clark's soulmate. She fights injustice; she doesn't ignore it.
That's not Lois Lane and Smallville should know better. This is not a character they can afford to fumble. Lois Lane is one of the biggest feminist icons of the past sixty years. You can't screw that up.
Yes, Smallville's Lois is charming. She's gusty. She's always got a great quip ready to go and Erica Durance is adorable. She's more than equipped for the role. The problem is, if Lois Lane doesn't act like Lois Lane when it hits the fan? It doesn't matter how wonderful the actress is.
It's been a problem for all the characters throughout season six. It's been a problem throughout the series. The producers treat the characters like marionettes on strings and characterization be damned. Doesn't matter if Superman shouldn't say that, or Lois shouldn't ignore that, or Lex wouldn't be that stupid. They happily skip on by and chase the shiny red balloon they call a plot.
And that doesn't cut it.
The Fortress collapsing was heartbreakingly beautiful, Lex's speech to Clark was absolutely spot on awesome (Michael, come back!), but Smallville needs to get it together. Moments of brilliance surrounded by mediocrity does not a hit series make.
It seems to me a shake up needs to happen, but not with Smallville's cast. If Al and Miles are truly gone, perhaps they need to take a few more of the writers with them. A clean slate might be just the thing this series needs.
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