Smallville 10.12 “Incarus”

Opinionated commentary below the cut.

 

 

The main way that Smallville managed to suck A LOT over the years was the focus on Clark’s relationship with Lana Lang. The fans hated her, the actress was horrible, and Clark’s botching of the whole fiasco made him unlikeable.

 

Cue: Lois Lane.

 

Here’s the thing. For years as Clark pined over Lana and generally made a boob of himself, he had a trusted, loyal companion, Chloe. Everyone loved Chloe! Clark never grew a clue in that department. This was the payoff that never happened on this show because right around the time Clark realized what a disaster his relationship with Lana was the idiots who made the show introduced Lois.

 

Instead of turning Chloe into Lois, which would have been the logical thing to do, they introduced a whole new character. Turning Chloe into Lois would not have been that far-fetched in a show based around the concept of a humanoid from outer space being raised on a family-run Kansas farm. Just “kill” Chloe (again) and give her a new, fake identity for dubious reasons (there was actually a very good reason–to save her from Lionel), and PRESTO you have Clark and Chloe/Lois’s romance being the stuff of will-he-ever-notice-me legend!

 

Instead they introduced a brand new character who was six kinds of grating. Typical with this show, a program designed in a Hell lab with the intention of ruining as many lives as possible. SUCCESS!

 

 

This episode, following on the heels of a classic of the Smallville oevre, is the one where Clark asks Lois to marry him. Or so it seems at the beginning during the hilarible proposal sequence (raining rose petals, just don’t ask).

 

I assume that the Clark/Lois romance appeals to a certain demographic. The success of the Lois and Clark show indicates this. But are those the same people who watch THIS show?

 

I can admit to not hating Lois anymore, the actress has settled into the role and become endearing and funny. But I ship Superman/Wonder Woman if we’re going to really get down to it, so meh, whatever, Smallville–but I’m glad to see you putting your back into irritating the shit out of me.

 

If you’re just tuning back in to see how they wrap this shit up (please please let there be a dragon like on Angel: The Series), let me break it down for you:

 

Chloe and Oliver got serious (yay), but she sacrificed herself to allow him to escape from these bad guys who turned out to not really be all that bad compared to the other bad guys (boo, and typical). I assume Allison Mack is off having a career somewhere else while she’s on hiatus from this clusterfuck.(IMDB tells me this was possible.) I can’t really tell if they think Chloe’s really dead or if Oliver thinks she’s abandoned him. Either way, he’s super sad…and not just moving on. Which is actually kind of lovely for Chloe, if not for him at the present moment.

 

The backbone of the plot this year is a hamfisted attempt at social commentary very reminiscent of an actual comicbook. The Tea Party has passed anti-mutant vigilante legislation forcing all costumed heroes to register themselves with the government. Smallville doesn’t call this anti-immigration legislation or the bad guys The Tea Party, but it’s SMALLVILLE, the crap ain’t subtle. Also, I’m glad to see my own values reflected in this send up of rightwing wackadoos.

 

Obviously, Lois is crusading to expose these pompous jackasses. But, wait, there’s a bump: her dad (the general) is all for it. OH NO! Luckily Martha Kent, though, is a still a Senator (…yeah, forgot about that? THEY DIDN’T!). The VRA (Vigilant Something Something) is a bad law made by bad people for bad ends. Earlier in the season, Ollie stepped forward to be the public face of the hero community by publicly registering himself with the government.–even Clark thought that was a dumb idea, and when Clark’s the one giving you the sideeye with respect to your planning prowess, please please pay attention. Ollie’s plan (big shock) didn’t go well. It went typically for the idiot heroes on Smallville in that they ended up blowing up a superhero Gitmo. With the help of Aquaman and his wife Yeah, idk, either.

 

Also Tigh from BSG is now Slade, who you only know if you read comics (or watched the old Teen Titans cartoon). He’s a bad guy. He wants to expose Clark and kill everyone else. Why not? Might as well go big.

 

For “dramatic tension” the writers introduced a “foil” for Lois at the planet–Cat. She dresses in sweater sets and wears Hello Kitty barettes and is just there to make Lois look clever and smart. Not even Clark sticks up for her. She hates vigilantes because she’s a small-minded tool of the anti-heroes rightwing conspiracy. In this episode, Lois gets to look smart and progressive by winning Cat over to the heroing cause and there is specific mention of how the Right use rhetoric to trick people into hating others. Well played, Smallville, I wasn’t expecting that.

 

If you watched the episode and were confused about who all these people are at Clark and Lois’s engagement party were don’t worry, no one cares. Yes, Daniel Jackson from SG is an egyptologist on this show, too; he’s Hawkman, wiki it. Yes, there are two actors from BSG in the cast now, you’re not high on glue. Carter (Hawkman) has a deathwish because he and his eternal love have been cursed to live over and over again, finding and losing each other over and over, by a plot device, don’t sweat it. The blonde girl at the party is Cat the Cretin, she’s a hero you’ve never heard of.

 

Feels like a low-rent Justice League has exploded all up in your tv? You have arrived! It’s totally AWESOME. This is the exact show I always wanted. Clark dicks around not knowing his ass from that badger burrow, but he always manages to save everyone anyway! Ollie mocks people and makes grand gestures! Who knew Hawkman could be so cool? Lois is actually useful and not some B-plot that messes up Superman’s plans!

 

The bad guy this season isn’t just fascism. It’s literal darkness, Darkseid (a comics character). But the darkness is also metaphorical, you see, the darkness in our ~hearts, The darkness of fascism! The darkness of Michelle Bachman! Thank heavens the bad guys on this show are even dumber than the heroes.

 

I do appreciate that the writers are just coming right out and comparing the villains of this show with The Tea Party, I won’t lie about this. There’s no beating around the bush on this with their version of Homeland Security wearing uniforms straight out of a Stasi closet.

 

All of the puns around the character’s names in the comics make me laugh now whereas they used to annoy me. It takes some real work to get Slade to speechify the words “death’s stroke” into a sentence. Hats off, I respect your continued commitment to that cause, SV writers! (There was another a couple episodes back where Clark is talking about Darkseid and he mentions everyone having a darkside that caused me to lol like a cat.)

 

Now only if the show had introduced all of these awesome characters from the comics sooner we would have had a totally different show. I like Carter more than most of the characters to ever appear over the years, and he was in like three episodes.

 

In the end, Carter dies not only to save Lois, but to be the spark that defeats Darkseid. In a lot of ways, this is the natural conclusion for a superhero, really. It’s sad, but we all know he gets reborn and is reunited with his True Love. It would be lovely to have that certainty in real life.

 

I can’t believe how serious I just got. Wth.

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