Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Smallville: Season 10, Episode 9 "Patriot" Review

What does it mean to be a patriot? Someone who is proud of their country, who would be willing to do whatever it took, to be noble on their country's behalf? In "Patriot", the focus was so much on the country, that mankind and humanity fell into the shade. What good is doing something for the country, if the country does not have a say. So much that greed and rage were the only emotions that surfaced. The writers have created this world for us, that we delight in the thought that people could fly, that the man-of-steel actually exists among humans. Is it so much the superhero with superpowers we delight in, or the thought that in our world today, that a mere human could be their very own superhero, without the powers needed be to do the right thing.

Have the writers successfully created this image? I am intrigued by Clark's growth, even through his human form, he has faced many challenges and battled many enemies. Haven't we all done the same in our lives? There would be people that try to bring us down and crush us just to have that power over us, but we prevail, because it is human to keep climbing. So Clark isn't so different from us, and neither are the people that love him. Only when we fear something and the power it could bring down, do we put up our weapons and fight, we don't know whether the threat is harmless or harmful those defenses go up, because either way we must be prepared for the worst. So was General Slade Wilson wrong in his actions of capture and possibly torture, all in the name of hi country? He seemed like he would have done harm even if he discovered the vigilantes he captured were harmless. He seemed like the type to only crave power.

This situation reminded me so much of Lois' father; "The General" Sam Lane. He was all set out to destroy the vigilantes, until The Blur saved his daughter's life and his heart was lightened. He however still considered the thought that not all vigilantes would have The Blur's reserve. I expected General Wilson to follow the same pattern, that in the end he would see the worth of having the vigilantes on his team. It was hopeless however, because of the darkness that Clark had to battle. I enjoy making connections like this to everyday life. The characters are almost comic-like, but we face the same battles, so we relate with "Smallville", even through it's fictional state.

The writers chose to develop their plots at a steady pace, just like how they developed Lois and Clark's relationship. Which is why I was surprised after we believed Clark told Lois everything, that in deed he was still keeping her in the dark, trying to protect her. I was surprised when Tess inquired to Lois about Clark and she uttered something about Jury Duty. Tess looked at her a bit shocked, only then did I wonder whether Clark filled Lois in on the Tess alliance. We haven't seen Lois in Watchtower, but we only assumed that Clark would have at least mentioned that side to him. Tess could only play along in the end, Clark didn't tell Lois, so she shouldn't be the one to say anything either.

I didn't see the point to Clark's reserve, Lois could handle herself, and she has proven that to him time and time again. Some old habits would not die hard, and it becomes natural instinct for Clark to keep those he love in the dark. On the flip side, it was a refresher seeing AC (Aquaman), even hunkier than the last time we saw him. Surprisingly bringing a wife with him, at least we would not have to worry about him and Lois' history. He was also changed, more a man than a boy himself, with bigger priorities and goals. I admired his approach to defending his people, but working in teams always gave better results. The writers cleverly made a similarity between Aquaman's relationship with Mera and Clark's relationship with Lois. Aquaman was clearly with his wife for a long time, given the memories they shared with us, so I appreciated Mera's bluntness to Lois. Mera's and Aquaman could be Lois and Clark in a few years or months. Probably Clois could grow even stronger.
Mera and Aquaman make a warming couple, which is why this episode was probably used to develop that side to Clois.

I appreciated Lois' input in Watchtower and her determination to be in Clark's life completely. Now that Lois has seen the other side to Clark, she could also be exposed to his indirect harsh ways of protection. Still it was funny having Lois see Tess appear on screen when she went to Aquaman's hideout, almost as though she was slapped in the face. Mera also snapped at her in the nude for being an outsider, but she made up for it when she stated her confidence in Lois in the end. The final scene between Lois and Clark when Oliver was caught off guard having Lois at Watchtower was surreal.

I want Clark to battle this darkness that seems to frighten him if he were to fail. It also could be the worst of most enemies he would have to face. I actually missed Kara, I wonder if she got a decent job. She was another person who came out about her powers, so it was strange that the others didn't consider her as an alternative instead of Oliver. Oliver risks too much in his life, signing the Patriot Act without any Plan B if in case things got out of control, that was reckless on his part. He still is human without Green Arrow, and he has to be careful. As for General Wilson, his actions were reckless as well. Did he believe the vigilantes would just crack. After he caged Clark like an animal and declared some theory for justice, he didn't do his research well on The Blur. His death was for nothing. I understood that no matter what Clark said, he wasn't going to budge, but Clark's plea to save his life was more patriotic. It's sad that he could not see that.

This was an interesting episode, a lot of exposition, and unexplained theory, but I liked it. We want to keep guessing. However, now that others know Clark's weakness, he needs to be extra careful.

Picture Courtesy: rackspacecloud.com



Four Stars

Grade B+

1 comment:

gman said...

Oliver has no idea that he is going to be imprisoned, but I suppose there could be worse. Execution is the worst thing that can happen. Now Oliver being the example for the world everyone will have cause to rise up against the government which is not the unity that is needed for the future. Nothing beats watching my DVR recording in HD though because I have a big TV and I need the best quality. My DISH Network HD receiver gives me the best quality possible and the programming is totally free thanks to DISH. I was a qualified customer with qualified programming and it’s free HD for life.