cbrownjc: (Susan Thoughtful)
[personal profile] cbrownjc
So I haven't posted on SV since Luthor, mostly because - as I said a while back - in retrospect I've mostly been bored by this season. Before Masquerade, there were only two episodes out of the 11 that had aired at the time that I really loved: Homecoming and Ambush. Masquerade had now taken that total up to three.



Other episodes? I thought Lazarus was a lackluster premier. Shield was actually okay, but is just one of those episodes that you like, but more because you like the set-ups it's doing, trying to build anticipation.

Supergirl? Don't get me started on that episode. I already talked about Harvest below (again, okay episode, but more problems than Shield had). Abandoned was all over the place IMO, and was more about revealing Tess to be a Luthor (which, honestly? Was something I guessed about her the minute she showed up in season 8, so I wasn't at all surprised when it was finally confirmed) than it was about forwarding Clark and the Darkseid arc, which has just been an utter waste this season IMO.

Patriot? Nice moments, especially for Lois, but the whole was not equal to the sum of the parts. I think it's - sadly - also the worst I've ever seen Tom direct on this show. And it's amazing they found a worse actor in Mera than Alan Richards who plays AC, but there it is.

Luthor I already listed my problems with it, and Icarus was, again IMO, just okay with, again, some very nice moments; but I just didn't feel any sense of climax in the final cliffhanger, and wasn't really into guessing how they'd get out of whatever it was they were in.

Which brings me up to the start of the Chloe Arc. Now, I don't think I've made it much of a secret that I do not like the character of Chloe Sullivan. And I fully admit that part of it has to do with the way her fandom treated Erica Durance over the years. Not the character of Lois Lane - I'm talking about the real live person Erica Durance. A lot of people in fandom now try to pretend a lot of the things said about Erica either didn't happen or didn't happen on the level they did, but that's just trying to whitewash the very real vitriolic - and even sexist - things that were said about Erica simply because the character she played on the show was a walking reminder that not only was Chloe not going to get Clark by just staying Chloe, she wasn't even going to get him by suddenly changing into Lois Lane and get him that way.

And, because of this, just like the character they love tends to do, they acted totally passive-aggressive about it, even trying to get someone who was providing spoilers to Lois and Clois fans fired. They derided Erica's looks, everything about her to the point that TWOP became a cesspool of hate wrt her - not just her character - so that now in the SV PTB wont do interviews over there anymore.

So yeah, that is where half of my dislike for the character of Chloe comes from at this point. I know not all Chloe fans were a part of this, but for a time there outright bashing and saying the most degrading things about Erica - and getting away with it - was the norm on K-site and TWOP, and no one in her fandom really tried to speak out against it until before season 8 started. So forgive me if I have a slight "too little, too late" feeling about it all.

My other half of dislike for Chloe however, comes more from legitimate problems with the character. I know it's considered bashing to call the character a Mary Sue in some circles, and yes I can see why Chloe fans would not like such a thing said about their favorite character. But I'm sorry, Chloe's final arc on SV has done nothing but solidify my opinion that not only did her character embody some of the worst traits found in a Mary Sue, but that her character ran out of story and purpose after season 5 - season 7 at the latest.

Chloe, at her best, worked as a foil for Lana. I never really bought the two of them as best friends of any sort - if it hadn't been for Clark I do not think they ever would have hung out with each other on their own. It's been said by the producers and Tom Welling himself that Chloe and Lana each represented different aspects of the woman Clark dreamed of. That in order to get the full relationship that he wanted when it came to a mate, he had to break that up between two women: love and sexual desire with Lana and friendship-companionship with Chloe. So Chloe had his confidence and trust, but Lana had his love and desire. Neither girl had both, and would never get both, no matter how much Lana begged for him to really see her and accept and trust her, or no matter how long Chloe unrequited-ly pined for him.

And the trick in all of this was that, with Lois Lane, he was going to finally get both those things in one woman. And so wouldn't need it individually anymore with either.

And starting in season 8, Clark started down the road towards that. It took another two and 1/2 years for it to fully happen, but he has it now. Even Chloe admitted in Fortune that he has that companion and partnership with Lois, and Clark didn't hesitate in agreeing that he does . . . in the same episode where he declares Lois to be the love of his life.

But aside from this, what other function did Chloe serve? None really, except what the PTB would mold her to do. Instead of letting her forge her own character identity, she became the jack-of-all-trades character, which the PTB finally acknowledged in Masquerade. Whatever any script needed her to be that week, she was it.

Which brings me to the final arc of Chloe on the show. Because I find it fascinating, and even a little sad that, in order to try and write an interesting final arc for Chloe, three out of the four of her episodes basically had to "borrow" the plots of (some very recent) films. Collateral was a mix of The Matrix and Inception. Masquerade? The Chloe/Oliver plot was straight from Date Night. And, as everyone by now knows, the plot of Fortune was taken straight from The Hangover.

You know that tired, cliché fanfic trope of taking your favorite movie, not changing the plot much and just inserting the names of your favorite characters into it? That is basically what the majority of Chloe's final arc on SV was - a fanfic trope come to life. And the one episode in the arc that didn't do that? Beacon? Basically made sure to have a scene where a character Chloe has hardly interacted with on a personal level, (only one moment during season five), praise her to the skies in a way that rang emotionally false for me, even given the nature of offscreenville interaction on SV.

The PTB stopped really knowing what to do with Chloe the minute she learned Clark's secret. The fact that the final arc for her character had to borrow heavily from recent films shows they really didn't know what kind of ending to give her because she had become so many different things as the plot demanded. And the ending itself, with her marrying Oliver? Well, I guess if you're into the relationship between her and Oliver that's something. But I personally still see no indication that Chloe was ever into Oliver as much as he was into her. The reason I liked Masquerade, even though it was an ep running in this arc was not only because of the strength of the Clark and Clark/Lois plot but because BQM didn't try to whitewash her in nothing but praise and/or quirkiness. He wrote her like a real person who didn't ignore her own faults, or try to make the audience dismiss her faults as just "endearing quirks." It was a Chloe who acknowledged she had no identity of her own anymore. It was a Chloe who's pride was shown to be her defining fault, and almost gave into that, showing fallibility and imperfection. It was a Chloe who seemed like a real character - and in that way a real person - other than the Mary Sue or jack-of-all-trades character she'd been over the last five seasons. If that Chloe had been around for the past five seasons, I would have smiled and maybe even shed a tear or two that she was leaving.

As it was? By the time Fortune was over I just couldn't wait for her to go, and was hoping that the few rumors out there that she'd be back for the finale would turn out to be false. I didn't think Fortune was terrible - I thought it was silly but mostly harmless . . . except for one or two points, all having to do with Chloe, who was, again, thrown back into jack-of-all-trades Mary Sueishness. Really show? Chloe thinks she alone inspired Clark to be a hero? I'm only letting that half-slide because Clark didn't agree she was the only one who'd done so (in fact, he noticeably kept his mouth shut on the matter when Chloe declared it). And don't even get me started on her meeting Bruce and Diana before Clark - especially Bruce Wayne who I have wanted SVClark to meet something desperate. But now Chloe is supposedly off to "inspire heroes"? What the hell does that even mean? And WTH does Chloe Sullivan have to offer Bruce and Diana in that regard? Lois has already built up a name for herself defending superheroes in her articles at the DP. Is Chloe going to be doing the same thing in her entry-level job at the Star City Registrar?

(And BTW, I'm slightly amused that the PTB caved into pressure and sent Chloe back to journalism. Never mind that the people who wanted that mostly wanted it because it was part of their wish to see Chloe become Lois Lane. But now while she's back in journalism it isn't even at the Daily Planet, or even in the same city that Clark's in, but I digress).

As far as "endings" for a character goes, this one was pretty vague IMO. People are even questioning if her marriage to Oliver is even legal. But you know what? I'm so tired of the character, I don't even care about getting more clarification about any of it. And Oliver going off with her for a bit means I wont have to listen to anyone talking about her for a time either thank goodness.

All this arc did was confirm for me that they should have wrapped up Chloe's character long before this season, but especially done it at the end of last season. Because her "end" just showed they still had no clear idea what to do with her, just as they haven't for the past five years IMO.

Date: 2011-03-01 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] audrey229.livejournal.com
I can't even go into this insane idea that Clark somehow "missed out" on Chloe or that Chlark were a "missed chance." No they were not. That's not the show canon. Clark had every opportunity over the years to be with Chloe. Her feelings for him were not a secret. He knew she loved him. Even with Lana out of the picture....he didn't turn towards Chloe. It fell for Lois. If Clark was going to be in love with Chloe....he would be in love with Chloe.

I also don't buy this ridiculous idea that Clark and Chloe missed their chance at the beginning of season 6 because of Jimmy. In what world would the Clark Kent that we know from Smallville not go after someone he loved because there was a chance she had a boyfriend?? It sure didn't stop him from going after Lana when she was with Whitney, Jason and even Lex. It didn't stop him from pursuing Lois even when he thought she might be getting back with Oliver.

People act like Clark is this enigma when it comes to woman but he's not. He has a fairly consistent pattern of behavior.

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