Saturday, November 8, 2008

Smallville:Bloodlines and Laura Vandervoort's TV Guide interview

Smallville:Bloodlines aired on Thursday, marking the return of Laura Vandervoort's Kara to the show, at least for one episode.

Below find a link for an interview she did in TV Guide about her return. I included the most pertinent questions here. Where in the universe has Kara been?
Laura Vandervoort: She's been in the Phantom Zone — and apparently Smallville had forgotten that, because no one has mentioned her since the season started. [Laughs]

It is true. We have had no mention of her so far this season. It's as though they wanted people to just forget she was ever on the show. Is she any worse for the wear?
Vandervoort: Yeah. Time passes by faster in the Phantom Zone, but when Clark finds her she's a little bit messed up in the head. She's on-edge and not quite herself. What, overall, is the "Bloodline" episode about?
Vandervoort: It's about Clark and Kara coming together as a family, but perhaps deciding that they need to not be in the same place to best help the world. There's a little line at the end of the episode about how they'll always be close to each other's hearts and be family, no matter what. Is this where Kara urges Clark to don some tights already?
Vandervoort: I don't think you're ever going to see him in tights. [Laughs] Does she at least give him that much-needed flying lesson...?
Vandervoort: Um, no. There was that one episode last season where she attempted to teach him and it didn't work out, so I don't think she'll be the one to do it. Do you have scenes with anyone outside of Tom Welling?
Vandervoort: I have scenes with Erica [Durance, Lois], but they don't last too long, because I knock her out — mistakenly! And I have a brief scene with Allison [Mack, Chloe]. Does Kara suspect that, as rumored, Chloe has been possessed by Brainiac?Vandervoort: No, she doesn't. Kara doesn't talk about Brainiac at all. Were you glad to get the call to make this return appearance?
Vandervoort: Yeah! When they told me last season they had kind of run out of storylines for me and they needed to focus on Clark, I was upset because in my mind I was planning to be back for another season. And there was also the [once-rumored Supergirl] spin-off thing. I took it personally and said to the producers, "Look, is there something I could have done better?" They said, "We want you all the time on the show." But they've got to focus on Clark and Lois, and having another superhero around who could fly, while Clark can't, wouldn't work out.

We have talked about it on this blog a bunch. They ran outof storylines because she was more heroic and dynamic than Clark and you can't have that on this show. Too bad, sounds like she enjoyed her time.

And I can only imagine how good the spin-off series would have been.

As for the episode itself ... well ... it could have been worse. And for a second there I feared disaster.

Clark and Lois find themselves trasported into the Phantom Zone by the Kryptonian blue crystal. It is unclear exactly why the crystal teleported them there, I guess that is one of those plot points that we just need to accept.

Once there, they run into Kara who has been fighting to survive since her imprisonment. Interestingly enough, there is a way out for her, a back door built by Zor-El. Exactly why Zor-El would build an escape route from the Phantom Zone that can only be triggered by his daughter is also a bit strange. Nevertheless, it is there ... but Kara has not used it for fear that 'Zoners', the spirits of the prisoners there, could escape with her. (Apparently this happened once already during a season I was not watching.) At least that is noble of Kara to be thinking of Earth's safety more than her own.

Clark, amazingly, tells Kara that he will defend the portal while Lois and Kara escape. Wow! He actually was going to let Kara escape. Lois is able to escape but not before a zoner escapes with her. And before Kara can leave a large rock falls on her, pinning her legs. Realizing she is dying, she begs Clark to leave her.

How many of us were worried right here that she was going to die right there, another nameless corpse in the zone? I'm raising my hand. That would have been disastrous.

Luckily, Chloe is able to tap into her Brainiac powers, reactivate the crystal, and get both Clark and Kara out of there.

It's a good thing too! Lois has been possessed by Zod's wife Faora (a nice nod to Silver Age Phantom Zone woman villain Faora Hu-ul) and has Kryptonian powers now. She is looking for her son .. an amalgam of the best Kryptonian genes, both animal and human, something powerful and unbeatable ... and that person is Davis, the EMT driver who has been on the show this month and who becomes Doomsday later on.

Lois gets depossessed and forgets most of what happened. Davis begins to realize his powers. But most importantly Kara lived! She tells Clark she is leaving Earth to try to find Kandor (an odd 'show imitates comics' coincidence). We last see her flying off into deep space.

So, throughout the show Kara is shown trying to do the right thing. Clark actually tries to do the right thing and talks about how Kara is his family and he needs her (funny how it took 8 episodes to hear it). And Kara actually leaves with a pretty good mission in mind. I have to admit it. This episode was better than I thought it would be.

Overall grade: B


Anonymous said...

There is a strong implication when Kara first meets Clark and an unconscious Lois in the zone that Supergirl has survived in there by KILLING the other inmates...which is a huge deviation from her core character arc IMHO.
I Don't know about anyone else, but I sensed a lot of bitterness in Vandervoort's voice when her character turned to the camera and said "I have to LEAVE Smallville".
You could tell what she was thinking "Cuz the producers are small minded jerks!"
I like Vandervoort a lot, I don't think she was any great actress but she made Kara seem calm confident loving and strong willed.
This despite the writing that alternated depicted Supergirl as Zor El's blonde hench-wench, a man stealing witch, little miss powerless with amnesia and lastly an inept secret policewoman in an alternate reality...I mean the produce's sheer disdain for the charactre comes thru loud and clear.
Moreover Laura Vandervoort exposed something no one really was willing to discuss previously that Welling's Clark Kent had become a whiny self pitying twerp who in the supreme crisis of his existence can contemplate only suicide by inaction.
Well under those circumstances Supergirl just HAD to go...bring on the distractions like Doomsday and Faora and Green-freakin' Arrow so that Clark can go on staring at his super navel without any able competition from a character that threatens to rightly supercede him.
Laura Vandervoort is gonna be the great Supergirl might-have-been but any spin off generated by Smallville's producers would be an exercise in futility...the same costumeless self destructive crap that doomed "BIrds of Prey".

Frankly the show is a creative dead end, the writing is an embarrassment and the acting is for the most part wretched....let it be decently canceled and let us all move on to something better.

John Feer

TalOs said... Were you glad to get the call to make this return appearance?

Vandervoort: Yeah! When they told me last season they had kind of run out of storylines for me and they needed to focus on Clark, I was upset because in my mind I was planning to be back for another season. And there was also the [once-rumored Supergirl] spin-off thing. I took it personally and said to the producers, "Look, is there something I could have done better?" They said, "We want you all the time on the show." But they've got to focus on Clark and Lois, and having another superhero around who could fly, while Clark can't, wouldn't work out.

My heart goes out to poor Laura and I'm so beyond peeved that CW PTB contemplated on doing a Pre-Robin era spin-off rather then a rightful Supergirl one where there is a fan base built in already who'd be MORE then content in having a spin-off! UGH! YOU SUCK CW!!! Yeah, it's a bit emasculating for ol' Clark.

Vandervoort: Tom, when I left, said, "You're going to move on to good things,"

This coming from the actor who believes he'll have it even better career wise when his not remembered for playing "Superman" in fear of being "typecast" because of Smallville. Please. I wouldn't believe anything that comes out of this one's mouth myself! An I truly think his jealous over Laura doing a better job as Supergirl then he could ever do as "Superman"! He could've said 'don't worry Laura, I'll move heaven and earth for you to come back next season' but no. I wonder if he'd still have done and said the same were it Alison Mack being the one leaving the show unwillingly instead here. Hmph!

and [the producers] did mention I might come back for one or two [episodes]. I've been back for one, and I think that's probably it.

Man I certainly hope she either comes back in time to for the Legion ep where she is now a full fledged member known as Supergirl proper who's by the 31st Century era itself been dubbed main representative of of "New Krypton" as gratitude for Kandor being rescued by Supergirl 21st Century era prior! Or barring that that PTB at Smallville re think a Supergirl spin-off set for some time in 09!

Superman Homepage: The CW reports that Kara's return in last night's "Bloodline" episode
hit season highs last night in adults 18-34 (1.9/6), adults 18-49 (1.9/5) and total viewers (4.5mil). IN FACT, it was the highest rated and most watched episode of the show in nearly a year (since 11/15/07).

Again, as I've always said give Supergirl half the chance and she can really rival her cousin Superman! And the all up result for Bloodline's ratings just proves my belief even more! TAKE THAT KARA HATERS!!! *Sticks out tongue* Y'all had it coming! VIVA SUPERGIRL!!!

Anonymous said...

My thesis is simple , Supergirl YES
Laura Vandervoort YES
Smallville's Producer's NO!
If there was an SG show you'd want to bar them from the process if necessary by force.

John Feer

kwaku said...

I just read that this was the highest rated episode this season. Says something I think.

Anj said...

Thanks all for comments.

I do think it is interesting that ratings spiked. I wonder if the CW will see the writing on the wall that Kara is a viable character.

Mike said...

So much wasted potential. Whenever I look at photos of her in character I hear the Superman Movie theme in my head. Sigh.

Gene said...

Clark: "Kara stay here in Smallville with me."

Kara: "I'm sorry Clark, but the writers do not know what to do with me. Besides, it wouldn't work out when you realize that I look better wearing red, blue and yellow, with a cape..."


Jason said...

First off...I want to say I love this blog because I really love Supergirl too. to my comment. All in all I thought this was a good episode and a decent, thoughtful farewell to Kara. I'm glad we finally got to see the recaps acknowledging her presence last season as any new viewers who jumped on this season would have had no idea she was ever on the show. I'm glad Lois and Chloe both recognized and remembered Kara, but it still remains unexplained why she hadn't been mentioned up until this point. I liked how Kara somewhat "burned" Clark with her "the same thing that would have happened to you if you had spent more than one day here" comment kind of implying what I'm sure all us Kara fans have been thinking: "Why the hell haven't you been looking for your only living blood relative?". Aside from that moment, I thought the scenes between the two were touching...especially when Clark begged her not to stay and die (yes, I too am raising my hand to say I also feared she would be left to die in the phantom zone). I almost teared up at the end, when they said goodbye. I think what we had here on Smallville mirrored Supergirl's situation in the comics prior and up to CRISIS ON INFINITE that it was felt by a vocal group of fans and writers felt that her treatment up to CRISIS was just shoddy (and damaging Superman) and that it was her death in CRISIS #7 that many fans lamented as being "the best Supergirl story they'd ever read." I say that because I've read the comments elsewhere on Kryptonsite.come from viewers who admitted to not liking her at all during Season 7, but then saying she finally had decent writing and that she fit in this episode. Now...while the ending was heartwarming and respectful to Kara/Laura Vandervoort, I would've preferred and ending that really gave us closure and explained how she remains a teenager when Clark becomes Superman. As many others have stated, I think letting Laura stay on through the Legion episode could have provided for that (i.e. she ends up going into the future with them). In lieu of that, I think the perfect resolution would have been to take a page out of Peter David's "Many Happy Returns" from his SUPERGIRL run: have it be revealed Kara's arrival in Smallville was due to her rocket being diverted from her true timeline where it arrives later in Clark's life and that Kara must go back to that original timeline to die in the CRISIS to save the universe. Of course, that would require some Smallville-esque tweaking of the Spectre to enable his appearance, but if they can do it for Doomsday, they can do it for him. With that said, my opinion is that the ratings spike with this episode and the closure necessary to reconcile Kara's current appearance with her age when Clark becomes Superman absolutely necessitates at least another appearance by Laura. Let's hope the producers took note.

Anonymous said...

If all your proposing is that Laura V. return to Smallville to validate a spurious "Supergirl MUST DIE" meme,,,then the hell with it, better Ms. V make "BIkini Beach" straight to DVD schlockola.
Supergirl's death is nothing but a shock effect, sales/ratings booster nothing other words, KILL KARA and LET KAL EL REAP THE BENEFIT!
Monstrous notion, because forget all the propaganda about COIE being the "Best Supergirl Story Ever" functionally she was sacrificed to improve Superman's market share nothing more.
ANd we've seen how well that idea worked out.

John Feer

Jason said...

Hey John and anyone else to whom I may have given the wrong impression...I sincerely apologize for giving such an impression that I wanted Laura to return to fulfill a "Supergirl must die" memo. That is not at all what I meant. I love Supergirl, have been frequenting this blog for some time, and am in complete agreeance with anyone that says that Kara was sacrificed in COIE for Superman's benefit.

I was estactic when she finally returned in the comics a couple years ago. I always thought that the "one kryptonian rule" imposed for so long in the comics was ridiculous. She is a value to the Superman mythos. I am excited that Kara has recently been highly publicized and is being prominently featured in the current Superman comics.

I would love for Laura/Kara to return to the show permanently or at least for a longer stay. But if she HAD to return for only a short time and leave, I was just suggesting ONE option that might work continuity wise to explain the age discrepancy. She wouldn't even have to go back to her timeline to die, but just to go back to her timeline period where she arrives in Clark's adult life and becomes Supergirl and continues living.

I definitely did NOT mean that I thought she had to die. My point in bringing up Kara's death in COIE was that according to Marv Wolfman's intro in the COIE hardcover, fans (back in 1985) wrote letters saying that was the best Kara story they had read...i.e. her character was written so wonderfully and heroically for the first time in a long time at that point. I definitely do NOT think that story was "the best Supergirl story" simply because of her death, nor do I think those fans thought that. I was also trying to make the point that it was UNFORTUNATE and SAD that it took her death back in COIE to finally give her decent characterization and storywriting back then, and that it sucked that the same thing seemed to happen to her on Smallville (i.e. Kara/Laura had sucky writing/storylines through absolutely no fault of her own throughout season 7 and that the one story where the producers/writers made her shine was her departure.) In other words, if she had been given the same kind of writing/characterization on a regular basis that she was given in this particular episode, I think that would have helped. Also, make no mistake when I say this that I still LOVED her appearances in season 7.

John...I definitely am on your side and agree with you. In fact, you should be happy to know that I was nodding my head in agreement the whole time when reading this original blog posting and then your first comment that followed it. I thought you had hit the nail on every point you made.

Again, I apologize to you and anyone else that thought I would want Kara to die or have Laura fulfil some "Kara must die" prophecy. I had no intention of coming across that way, and I am sorry.

Anj said...

With that said, my opinion is that the ratings spike with this episode and the closure necessary to reconcile Kara's current appearance with her age when Clark becomes Superman absolutely necessitates at least another appearance by Laura. Let's hope the producers took note.

Thanks for the post and I am glad you are enjoying the blog.

I do hope that, given the ratings increase, that the producers try to bring Kara back at least for the season finale.

It will be interesting to see if that also spurs them to dust off the Kara spin-off idea.

Lil Joshy said...

Can I point out to any of the producers who may come along this web page here the ammount of support their is for Laura Vandervoort and probably THE most successful live action Supergirl (Granted we've had like 2, but the point still stands) in the past 30 years of Superman shows, Superman movies and a character that took the best parts of EVERY Supergirl.

In Response to the "Run out of storylines excuse" Al Gough and Miles Millar. The Ones that CREATED and DEVELOPED Smallville. Wanted to bring the character in despite never writing any episodes specifically themselves (I can assume throughout season 7 the issue with the future of the budget was causing problems) They had stated she would be in "approximately" half the episodes and would be around in season 8. The second they left, what they defended got beat down. The Show had already lost Kristen Kreuk, John Glover and Michael Rosenbaum! They say they couldn't have a hero on the show to distract from Clark and Lois and they couldn't focus on Kara tales cause of Clark being their focus. And yet they bring in Green Arrow, Doomsday and Tess Mercer and bring their backgrounds and histories along with them!

They say they couldn't have had Supergirl still around when she could fly and Clark couldn't. Hello??? Have Clark finally fly! Forget the tights! Problem solved! If you didn't want a female character that distracted from Clark by being able to fly then you shouldn't have written that as one of her abilities!

To cut someone's contract one whole season with no REAL reason without moving them on to a spin off series is hurtful and wrong in so many ways. Season 7 hit over 5 million twice an Kara appeard in both those episodes. and the first 6 episodes she appeared in all hit over 4 million. The stories got a bit less Clark/Kara defined and more focused on the "legend of the last son" but still weren't horrible. The Series struggled after that point because it aired the first 8 episodes in September-November but then it aired #9 in mid-December episode 10-12 in late January-mid February. #13-15 aired in March. and the last five aired from mid april to mid may

Interesting question what if Kristen Kreuk (Lana) wanted to come back to Season 8 as a regular? would they resign her if they were still aiming for a Clark and Lois pairing?

All I can say is that they had better reconsider dropping the Supergirl spin off and moving along with production because Green Arrow would lose alot of his fanbase after he left Smallville, Aquaman wouldnt of lasted 2 seasons. Birds of Prey only lasted Cyborg, Black Canary, Martian Manhunter and Impulse are definate no gos due to unfamiliarity with certain characters, meh actors or simply characters who work better in a team dynamic. Justice League or Teen Titans would be too expensive and it's too close to the Teen Titans and Justice League films they occasionally work on. If they can push for a freaking Dick Grayson prequel series then they can do a sequel Kara series. You could even name it Kandor! Lol

7 out of 12 appearances Kara has made on Smallville put them over 4 million in the ratings. Think Producers. Realise your mistake and fix it before it's too late.

At the very least bring her back for Season 9 while Clark is doing training. Someone needs to run around saving people while Clark is out of town. Hell you could even continue the show with Kara as the lead if they could get off their butts and be creative