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Smallville 9x08 - Idol - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 9x08 - Idol
Idol was a rollicking good ride, from start to finish. The focus was on Lois, as she tried to make sense of the visions that have haunted her since she came back from the future, and we were treated to lots of scenes of Lois and Clark, with all the trademark romantic comedy we've come to expect from them, as well as a deeper emotional resonance that was both heartfelt and bittersweet. The Wonder Twins were a delight, and their hero-worshipping hijinks brought out a side of Clark that was absolutely glorious to behold! The episode also gave us new insight into what is behind the changes we've seen in Chloe this season, and another intense flash of the future we'll finally see next week, not to mention my favorite Shirtless!Clark scene since Exile! Idol was fast, fun, action-packed, and immensely satisfying. Once again a story that many dreaded turned out to be one of the best of the season!

I thought the Wonder Twins were all kinds of fun. Their part was smaller than I expected, but maybe that's why they worked so well. They love Clark as much as I do! Their misguided, youthful exuberance made me root for them, and I loved how they came through for Clark in the end. I adore Allison Scagliotti, who played Jayna. She has this incredible energy that just lights up the screen, and I wish we could have seen a little bit more of that. I also liked the WT's cute costumes, their crazy digs, and their abject terror at Chloe's threat to obliterate their Twitter account. :) And their interactions with Clark and Chloe were quite illuminating.

When Clark paid a visit to the Wonder Twins after they helped him rescue Lois, he wasn't the Blur, he was Superman, in every way possible. My heart swelled as he talked to them; every word made me proud, and I could barely contain my squee! Clark doesn't lecture, he inspires. He finds the good in people and nurtures it with his encouragement and approval. I would do anything to please this man! When he stepped into the light and revealed himself to the Twins, they were awestruck, and I think it was an important moment for Clark as well. His shield may give people hope, but its power as a symbol is nothing compared to the power of the man himself, in person. The Blur is all about action, the rescues and the saves, but Clark will one day be so much more; he is destined to be a beacon for all of mankind. I hope seeing the impact he made on the Twins will help Clark realize how important it is for him to find a way to emerge from the shadows.

Chloe's tone with Jayna and Zan was friendly, but stern. Her speech about saving Clark from himself was jarring to me, but I think it perfectly summed up how she sees him these days: he makes mistakes, and she has to watch and stay in control, so she can avert disaster and clean up any messes that might arise as a result. I honestly think she sees him as incompetent, and an incomplete hero without her help. How ironic then that it was her error that led to Lois hearing Clark's unaltered voice during her call from the Blur. But of course Chloe would never see it that way; little bumps like that are just unavoidable collateral damage, and besides, she fixed it, didn't she?

It's not that Chloe doesn't care about Clark; in fact, I think she cares too much. She's lost so much, and she doesn't want to lose Clark, too. She sees him as her friend, first and foremost, and guards him selfishly, no longer willing to let him fly free to embrace his destiny. She didn't care what anybody said about the Blur, she just wanted to keep Clark safe. Chloe has lost sight of the big picture where he is concerned. Her need for control has compelled her to seize every bit of power within her grasp, and each day she seeks to extend her reach. Clark has become one more playing piece on her virtual chess board, and it's all getting pretty scary, if you ask me. I was glad Clark called her on her Big Brother shenanigans, but as with the cameras she planted at the farm, I don't think he went far enough. I'm sure he doesn't want to create any more conflict between them, but things are getting seriously out of hand.

Lois, on the other hand, gets Clark perfectly. She loves him for himself, but wouldn't dream of trying to hold him back. She has complete faith in him, and when she realized that Clark and the Blur were one and the same, her only thoughts were of how to best help him, the whole him, man AND superhero. Clark is still finding his way in the whole hero game, and while his instincts are spot on, he sometimes wavers, and questions his own judgment. What I love about Lois is that she doesn't tell him what to do, but instead helps him to believe in himself. As Lois stood up for the Blur, and spoke so passionately about him to the gathered crowd, you could see Clark's uncertainty leave him, and the way he looked at her in that moment left no doubt about what she means to him.

So tell me, Smallville, why in the world doesn't Clark just let Lois in on the big secret? She has proved time and time again that she can handle it, and the whole keeping her safe argument doesn't hold water for me. The only thing I can come up with is what Clark said to the Wonder Twins about there being no room for mistakes. With all that's happened in his past, particularly to those who were in his inner circle, and all the pain for which he feels responsible, he's afraid. And Lois is too precious to risk. But I think it's too bad, for both of them. Beyond the love they have to offer one another, Clark needs a sounding board, a confidant, and neither Chloe nor Oliver seems very well suited for that role. And Lois is being tormented, not only by her visions, but by feeling torn between Clark and the Blur. It all seems so unnecessary, but therein lies the drama, I suppose.

I liked watching Lois's therapy sessions this week. It was nice to get such a thorough exploration of her thoughts and feelings, plus there was a lot of humor in those scenes. I would love to see the other side of the coin in an episode that gave us such an in depth look at Clark, but I'm not holding my breath. :/ I also liked the way Lois stood up to Sacks on the roof of the Daily Planet, scoffing at his plan to discredit the Blur, and never losing her courage even when she was facing certain death. But most of all I enjoyed Lois in her scenes with Clark.

Clark and Lois together were the highlight of Idol for me. All the way through their scenes I smiled, and laughed, and loved my show to pieces. And the dialogue in this episode was just sparkling. Welcome, Anne Cofell Saunders! Great script! It was nice to see our pair as reporters again, hitting the streets to investigate a story, and taking on a villain who was altogether human. As the story unfolded, we saw a nice progression from the lighthearted scenes at the beginning, to the emotional intensity of Lois hanging off a flagpole with Clark desperate to rescue her. I didn't really understand the way Lois went off on the Blur when she finally decided to take his call (love the ringtone!), acting like a jealous girlfriend, but Clark seemed more amused by it than anything else, and I loved the OMG moment when the voice scrambler failed, and the backpedaling Lois did as a result the next morning at the farm. :)

My favorite scene between Lois and Clark was, of course, at the end of the episode, when they met in the copy room at the DP. The cuteness of Clark in his glasses could only be outdone by the cuteness of Lois in his glasses, and I loved the intimacy of them standing so very close. The look on Clark's face when Lois called him the nicest guy she knew just about killed me, as did the way they smiled as they looked into each other's eyes. And when Lois kicked that stack of newspapers across the room to slide to a stop at Clark's feet, and then climbed up to plant one on him, that was the best part of all. You go, girl! It was the perfect mirror of the Crossfire kiss, because this time it was Clark's turn to be taken by surprise, and then surrender to the moment. And it was HOT. Right up until Lois started to have a seizure and passed out, that is.

Speaking of passing out, that's what I almost did when Idol started off with a slow, delicious pan down Future!Clark's naked, sleeping body, followed by his leisurely, shirtless strut across the room to snuggle up to Lois and deliver a scorching kiss. Yowza! I didn't even need to watch the rest of the episode to give it a favorable review! Mr. Welling, you are looking mighty fine, and I thank you for seeing the dramatic necessity of including that scene. To fully understand its significance, I have now viewed it approximately eleventy billion times. Because I watch for the plot. *nods*

Clark was awesome this week, but when is he not? In addition to everything else I've already talked about, I especially liked watching Clark struggle with the dilemma of whether he should remain an invisible presence, known only by the calling card he leaves behind, or if there are circumstances in which he should come forward in the light of day, to defend his honor, for example, or to save a life. Finding a balance between the two is what will lead him to become Superman, and is a fascinating part of his journey to me. I was glad to hear Clark articulate what his shield represents, and to not let Chloe dissuade him from its importance to the people of Metropolis. Someday Clark will stand before them, the true symbol of their hope, but until that day comes, the shield will stand in his place.

Tom Welling made this episode of Smallville a joy to watch, with his faultless comic timing, his priceless line delivery ("Are you turning red?"), and his perfect embodiment of the iconic Man of Steel. Much like the character he plays, the power of his presence is undeniable, and he makes every scene his own. Tom seems exceptionally comfortable onscreen this season, displaying a quiet confidence in his acting that I find irresistible. And the man continues to be ridiculously pretty.

Erica Durance was wonderful this week. Most of Idol revolved around her character, and the emotional range she was asked to portray must have been daunting, but she met the challenge and then some. I don't think I've ever enjoyed Lois more than I did in this episode, or felt more strongly that she is the one for Clark, and it was Erica's performance that made the difference. She hit the perfect notes of confusion and anguish in the therapy sessions, drive and determination as Lois in reporter mode, unshakable faith and fierce devotion when she was convinced that Clark was the Blur, and honest attraction and affection in that last scene at the DP. She was also hilarious, and she looked gorgeous in every scene!

It's a good thing Erica has emerged as such a strong actress this season, because there's no denying that at least so far, she is the star of the show. Almost every episode hinges on what is happening to and around Lois, and her time onscreen has increased dramatically as a result. I think anyone who started watching Smallville now would be shocked to hear it was originally conceived as a show all about Clark Kent, and that Lois wasn't even in the first three seasons. I'm not complaining, exactly, because I really am enjoying this season, but it's not the show I signed up for, and the pure gold Tom delivers in each and every scene he's in makes me ache for the show that could have been.

I'm sure we'll never know the full story of why Clark is not at the center of Smallville the way he once was. I think it's partly because the writers don't know how to write for him without rushing him headlong into the cape, so they focus on other characters to slow his journey down, and I think we've been seeing that to varying degrees since S6, when TPTB brought Oliver on board. But I also have to think, for S9 in particular, that Tom has asked for a lighter load. He's a producer now, and has projects outside of Smallville as well. I respect that, and I'm struggling to accept it, but still, I'm disappointed. Especially because he's turning in some of his best work ever, but maybe that's because he no longer feels overworked. What I do know is, Tom's Clark is the reason I watch this show, so of course I wish we saw more of him, and had more episodes that were about him.

Random thoughts: I love Lois's ponytail. Yay, Randall is back! I was afraid he didn't survive Rabid. Why doesn't Clark ever write his own stories about the Blur? If TPTB are set on having the Triangle of Two, showing Lois in competition with Clark for the scoop on the Blur could be fun. Clark really does look surprisingly different in those glasses. Tom is TALL. And why was the therapist's office full of phallic symbols and fertility statues with huge penises? I was blushing!

I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for the Superman stuff. Even though our Clark isn't quite there yet, I love it when the show brings in guest stars from the DCU. They manage to attract some truly phenomenal actors for those roles, especially this season, and they always give the characters that special Smallville twist. I thought the Wonder Twins were a blast, and I liked the way their storyline meshed with everything else that was going on this week. But the Twins were only one of the reasons I loved this episode. In fact, I don't think there was a scene in Idol I didn't like, and that's rare. For that reason alone, it's going down as one of my favorites.

I have a new source for Smallville caps to share! ophelia_77, one of my favorite people here on LJ, just started making screen caps, and they're gorgeous! Here are ten of my favorites from Idol. You can view (or download) the rest at her journal, HERE.






























And because there is no such thing as too much pretty, here are twenty more from the fabulous Home of the Nutty, with my thanks!


























































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32 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
chrisluvstommy From: chrisluvstommy Date: November 17th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
This episode was ridiculously PERFECT....as was your review T

I just can't stop loving how great this season is even with the lack of screentime for Clark (which I'm sorry I don't have a problem with especially if the quality is going to be THIS great)

How can I be mad at a show that's given me the most beautifully emotional opening scene ever with only one line
"I wish we had more time"

did your heart just explode with love for this man and this show, not to mention I slid right off the edge of my bed when they panned from Clark's beautiful sleeping face to his umm nekkid chest *shivers* then like you said him walking across that room sweat glistening on his chest...god that man p'wns me!

But everytime I rewatch that scene *yeah totally for critique's sake* It just makes me ache for them, when their looking into each others eyes knowing their time is short I just die... T I love my couple LOVE THEM

I think this is why I can't do a decent review, Tom is way to distractingly pretty to form coherant thoughts..

so what I liked....everything
what I didn't like ...Chloe's condisending attitude but with your explination I can understand where her head is..thank you for the insight
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 17th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
But everytime I rewatch that scene *yeah totally for critique's sake* It just makes me ache for them, when their looking into each others eyes knowing their time is short I just die... T I love my couple LOVE THEM

To be honest, I haven't allowed myself to have any emotional investment in this future. The whole time travel thing makes my head hurt, and I need to see the entire episode in context before I know how to react to it. Plus, we know this is a timeline that must be prevented, so I'm expecting the worst in the end, and steeling myself against the pain of that even now.

I think this is why I can't do a decent review, Tom is way to distractingly pretty to form coherant thoughts.

Oh, I get that, believe me! And sometimes right after I watch an episode, all I want to do is revel in how happy I am to be a fan of this show, and this man. But inevitably my thoughts and reactions bubble to the surface, and refuse to be ignored. :)
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: November 17th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ha! I actually watched an episode this season BEFORE your review! *is shocked*

Anyway, as always, I agree with everything you've written. "Idol" was a surprisingly good episode, and it was what we've been wanting to see for a long time now. Funny, warm and sweet, it reminded me a lot of "Identity".

You talked about all the good parts, so I won't go into it much more, but I have to admit that my favourite part of the episode was when Lois put on Clark's glasses. I can't describe it, but the cuteness of that moment just made me grin like a loon. So, so adorable. It's moments like these that make me love Clois.

Re: Chloe, I found a very interesting article that someone on my flist posted, and I'd love to hear what the rest of my flist thinks, so I'm going to be posting it in my journal too. Her story is going in a very interesting direction this year.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 17th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Funny, warm and sweet, it reminded me a lot of "Identity".

I like that comparison. Identity remains my favorite episode of S8, although it makes me mourn for Jimmy when I watch it now. :( It's interesting to see how much the relationship between Lois and Clark has progressed since then. I think Clark knows Lois much better now, and the snark between them has, for the most part, been replaced by affectionate teasing. It's nice, and I appreciate that they took their time getting there.

I can't describe it, but the cuteness of that moment just made me grin like a loon. So, so adorable. It's moments like these that make me love Clois.

I know! I was bouncing on my couch as I watched! :D And where's the icon?

We just don't see the side of Clark he shows Lois with anyone else. Scenes like this one make me believe that Clark can find true happiness with Lois by his side, and in the end, that's all I want for him.
theclexfactor From: theclexfactor Date: November 17th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved your review and I agreed with about 98.3% of it. I'm in a very zen place about the screentime totals and already posted about why in my journal. But everything else, I agree. Clark and Lois both individually and together were perfection. The Wonder Twins were kind of on the adorable side, which was apparently unexpected by 99.7% of fandom. I think they were utilized in just the right way that didn't take focus off of Clark or their reason for being on the show. It wasn't a Wonder Twins origin story as people feared, and I think by having them serve the story the way they did, it made it possible for the fans of the show to welcome them back in the future.

And although I watched it on my iPod yesterday in the middle of the workday, your review made me want to watch it again.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 17th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had never heard of the Wonder Twins before this, so I had no expectations going in, but I was taken aback by all the negative reactions when the episode was announced. But then, a lot of people freaked out about zombies on Smallville, and look how amazing Rabid turned out to be!

Because of work, I didn't get to see Idol for the first time until Sunday, but even so I've managed to re-watch it multiple times. :) I don't find myself fast-forwarding through any of it, and that's the true test of an episode I like.
jeannev From: jeannev Date: November 17th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great review. I've been missing your perspective.

Shirtless, sprawling, sexy Tom always makes any episode a winner, doesn't it? Its really hard to judge anything else when they hit you with that right off the bat. Its like a cobra strike! Oh Tommy, what you do to us.

I expected the Wonder Twins to suck, but instead, they were so much fun I ended up thinking that the episode didn't have enough of them. I also liked what their part of the storyline said about Clark. How he inspired them. Since we don't often get to see The Blur in action, it was nice to be given this picture into how he's effected young, potential heroes. I thought him revealing himself to them was a really important moment, because he did make it personal to them. That was a great scene. Maybe the best in the ep next to Shirtless!Clark!

So tell me, Smallville, why in the world doesn't Clark just let Lois in on the big secret?

Yes to this whole paragraph, but I'm only quoting this for space. I love the way you analyzed the Chloe situation. Honestly, I almost feel like its a love/hate thing with her in regards to Clark.

I'm not complaining, exactly, because I really am enjoying this season, but it's not the show I signed up for, and the pure gold Tom delivers in each and every scene he's in makes me ache for the show that could have been.


YES!! Totally. ITA. Well, except I am complaining, because as you so rightly point out, its not the show I signed up for either. And really, I think the show should be aiming for a little diversification here.

What I do know is, Tom's Clark is the reason I watch this show, so of course I wish we saw more of him, and had more episodes that were about him.


QFT! And I'm not going to shut up about that either. Why should I?

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 17th, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been missing you! I was almost entirely offline for four days because of work, and I'm just now catching up.

Shirtless, sprawling, sexy Tom always makes any episode a winner, doesn't it?

Especially when it's completely unexpected! We haven't seen him show that much skin in years, and oh, my, I think the boy has been working out! He looked AMAZING.

Since we don't often get to see The Blur in action, it was nice to be given this picture into how he's effected young, potential heroes. I thought him revealing himself to them was a really important moment, because he did make it personal to them.

I loved the way he chose to reveal himself to them, and the obvious impact that moment had on them. And what he said! The words, and the way Tom delivered them, were perfect. I also liked how this episode showed that Clark is right in what he's doing, that he's providing not only hope but inspiration, and making the world a better place by his presence in it.

Honestly, I almost feel like its a love/hate thing with her in regards to Clark.

That's the vibe I'm getting, too, although I kind of doubt the show would be that deep. I would love to hear Allison Mack talk about what's going on in Chloe's head, actually, and explain her acting choices this season. Sometimes AM's view of things makes me wonder if she's talking about the same show I'm watching, but I think her perspective would be fascinating.

Well, except I am complaining, because as you so rightly point out, its not the show I signed up for either. And really, I think the show should be aiming for a little diversification here.

Complain away! Of all the problems a fan could have with the show right now, I can't think of a more legitimate one than this. And you make a good point about diversification. Even if the show won't put Clark front and center (and just typing that makes me crazy!), there are other characters and actors I would love to see more of. Lois is great, and I adore Erica, but the Lois focus feels a little heavy-handed to me.

And I'm not going to shut up about that either. Why should I?

You shouldn't! And I love your gentle reminders to the writers on Twitter. :)
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carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: November 17th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: part I

What Clark doesn't understand right now, though, is that that's her choice, not his to make for her. The day he understands that -- that Lois actually has the right to choose whether she'll risk herself for him on a regular basis -- is the day he'll finally tell her.

I'm in awe of your clever thoughts, as usual, and I agree with practically everything you write but, please, allow me to say, wrt the above, that I think it's Clark's prerogative to choose when to reveal his secret in the first place, and to whom. He's not obliged to do so until he thinks it's the right time.
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 18th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: part II

I love that SV is addressing the idea that in order for the hero to have accountability, he can't be just a symbol; there has to be an active choice to make himself known to the public, to make himself recognizable. After all, there's a reason the citizens of Metropolis generally tend to trust Superman more than the citizens of Gotham tend to trust Batman -- Metropolis' citizens can see their hero's face.

That's a great insight. It drives me nuts that so many of Smallville's detractors say that the show has become a cheap rip-off of The Dark Knight. No wonder they don't like the show; they don't get it at all!

I like that although Clark doesn't have it all figured out yet, his instincts are true, and he doesn't let fear hold him back from doing what's right. I also appreciate that he no longer checks his decisions with Chloe before taking action, and that he doesn't allow himself to be swayed by others when he knows what he has to do.

ITA with all your points about Tom's and Erica's performances in this episode.

I think I'm most impressed with what a great team they've become. They play off of one another so well! Their comic timing is my favorite, but I love all of their scenes together.

And I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved the Wonder Twins.

I had no idea what to expect, but the extreme reactions some people had when the casting spoilers first came out made me a little nervous. I worried for naught!

This is easily one of my favorite episodes this season.

Agreed. And that last scene just gets better and better, every time I watch it. :)
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: November 17th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful review, as usual!

Just two comments: I find Clark's decision not to tell Lois his secret quite justified. As soon as someone learned that she knew about the Blur's true identity, she was put in mortal danger. Clark can't be okay with that risk, it's too soon for that in their relationship. Clark will eventually take that step but right now, when he's still looking for his own path, struggling with how to make his two lives compatible and wondering how to deal with the kandorians, telling Lois might not be the wisest of decisions.

As for Clark's screen time... I've already made clear how disappointed and frustrated I am. I signed up for a show about Clark Kent and his journey to becoming Superman and that's what I want to see. I don't want to see people talking about Clark, I want to see him in action, I want to see things through his eyes, I want to know about his feelings from himself. I have no idea if Tom has anything to do with the issue (that's mere speculation that hasn't been confirmed by any authorized source) but, as much as I adore Tom, I wouldn't be okay with it even if that were the case. We are approaching the end of SV: this is hardly the time to sideline your main character. If this is the route TPTB are going to take, I pray that season 9 is the last. No matter how well Clark may be written in the scenes he's in, I don't want to see Clark Kent featured as a special guest in his own show.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 18th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Carol, and thanks so much for your comment!

I find Clark's decision not to tell Lois his secret quite justified. As soon as someone learned that she knew about the Blur's true identity, she was put in mortal danger. Clark can't be okay with that risk, it's too soon for that in their relationship.

It's certainly true that learning Clark's secret has had dire consequences for Lois more than once, but from where I sit it seems the benefits outweigh the risks. But of course only Clark can make that call, and he would never do so selfishly. It's just that when they show me how it could be between them, I want that for Clark, because the friends he has now who know his secret (Chloe and Oliver) not only don't support him and believe in him the way Lois would, they actively tear him down! Lois's speech to the crowd in Idol smoothed the famously furrowed brow, and for that, I will always love her.

I signed up for a show about Clark Kent and his journey to becoming Superman and that's what I want to see. I don't want to see people talking about Clark, I want to see him in action, I want to see things through his eyes, I want to know about his feelings from himself.

Yes, EXACTLY. And the show would be so much better for it!

I have no idea if Tom has anything to do with the issue (that's mere speculation that hasn't been confirmed by any authorized source) but, as much as I adore Tom, I wouldn't be okay with it even if that were the case.

I am totally speculating about the reasons for Tom's reduced time in front of the cameras. I actually wish they would acknowledge it, and give us an explanation for it, because you and I are not the only ones noticing it, or talking about it. Speculation often leads to the spread of misinformation, but I think it's natural to wonder what's going on, and in the absence of anything official, it's all we have.

If the only way Tom could bring himself to sign a new contract was with an understanding that he would step back somewhat, I would probably try to find a way to be okay with it. I would hate to have missed the Clark we've seen this season, and Tom's consistently wonderful performances each week. But even then, I would still expect Tom's time onscreen, however long it is, to be spent in storylines that are all about CLARK.

I try to roll with the punches with this show, but seeing the focus move away from Clark has been disheartening. And I'm lost as to how much of a fuss I should make about it. I've scratched my head at the Chloe fans who continue to clamor for her return to the Daily Planet, but would my pleas to see more of Clark, and to have the episodes revolve around him, be any less in vain? I know that sounds dramatically pessimistic, but without knowing why they've made the changes in the first place, I honestly have no idea. :(
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: November 17th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was a good episode! I still make little squee noises when I think of it.

Yay for Ophe!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 18th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Me, too! :D Especially the last scene between Lois and Clark. I've watched that one A LOT! And the first one even more.

She captured some really wonderful moments and expressions with her caps! And the originals are even bigger. Of the ones I shared, I especially love her caps of that first scene, and that glorious profile shot of Clark in the blue shirt and red tie. Could he look any more heroic? That's my Superman! *swoons*
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: November 17th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow! So much pretty at the end, it pretty much knocked all the thoughts out of my head! I think this was a good episode made great by the scenes on either end, especially the last. The glasses, the kiss and the visions all had me grinning from ear to ear.

I also enjoyed your comments about Chloe, especially alas the bit about incompetence. As armchair quarterbacks, we can all point out times when Clark could and should have done things differently. His biggest mistakes seldom happen in the heat of the battle, but as you point out when he allows his instincts to be overriden - most notably in Beast.

Erica did do a great job here, but like you, this isn't the show I signed up for. In the last four episodes, we're back to all the Clark big saves occurring off screen and him only saving Lois and Ollie onscreen. And this time, there were even a lot of people vociferously convinced that it was Zan who saved Lois rather than merely providing cover. But at least we could see the impact he's having on the people of Metropolis, and I agree that with the WT, he was Superman in all but name.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 18th, 2009 08:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I think this was a good episode made great by the scenes on either end, especially the last. The glasses, the kiss and the visions all had me grinning from ear to ear.

Having those flashes of the future at the beginning and end, giving us considerably more to take in than we've seen before, was pure genius in setting the stage for next week's mid-season finale. I'm super pumped for Pandora! :) And that last scene between Clark and Lois at the DP was just made of win. We got the cute, the funny, the romantic, and the iconic, and Tom and Erica were both wonderful!

I still can't quite believe they gave us that scene at the beginning. Did Tom the producer make an executive decision to ask Tom the actor to give the fangirls that treat, or was it the story that demanded it? ;) Whatever the reason, I will be eternally grateful.

His biggest mistakes seldom happen in the heat of the battle, but as you point out when he allows his instincts to be overriden - most notably in Beast.

And the events of Beast are what I think Clark should be remembering now. Chloe manipulated him quite masterfully in that episode, first lying to him and sending him off on a wild goose chase to Alaska, and then verbally attacking him in the Fortress so she could use his stolen key to whisk Davis away while Clark stood frozen in shock. She never apologized, and I don't think she ever saw a need to. The Chloe we see now is the same, she's just stepped even further over the line.

Erica did do a great job here, but like you, this isn't the show I signed up for. In the last four episodes, we're back to all the Clark big saves occurring off screen and him only saving Lois and Ollie onscreen.

I really want to know what TPTB are thinking. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I just feel like there's some overall plan to which we are not privy. The show is good, but it could be so much better.

And this time, there were even a lot of people vociferously convinced that it was Zan who saved Lois rather than merely providing cover.

I was really surprised to see that. I didn't get that impression at all, but it is troubling to think that people could even imagine that someone besides Clark saved the day. Is there any clearer indictment of the way they're telling his story?

But at least we could see the impact he's having on the people of Metropolis, and I agree that with the WT, he was Superman in all but name.

And when we see how amazing Tom is in those scenes, how can we not wish for more of the same?
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el_elle_8 From: el_elle_8 Date: November 18th, 2009 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful review, as always!!

I just about passed out during the opening scene. Tommy is delicious!!! I won't admit to how many times I have rewatched that scene.

There wasn't much that I didn't like in this episode. I didn't mind that Lois had more screen time than Clark for this episode. The story was about Clark even when he wasn't on screen. The same can't be said for other episodes this season where the story was about the supporting characters. Having said that, this seasons trend of less Clark screen time can stop now!!

"I would love to see the other side of the coin in an episode that gave us such an in depth look at Clark, but I'm not holding my breath. :/"

I would love to see this as well but I don't think it will happen either. It is a good thing that Tom is able to express so many emotions without dialogue ;)

I enjoyed Clark, Lois and the Wonder Twins. Still not loving Chloe but I can tolerate her. Erica is doing a great job this season! She was adorable in the glasses scene!

I am hopeful that there will be lots of Clark in Pandora. If not, there will be more shirtless Tommy scenes so I will just have to focus on that. No, I am not shallow...

Going back to *drool* over the lovely screen caps!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 18th, 2009 10:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

I just about passed out during the opening scene. Tommy is delicious!!! I won't admit to how many times I have rewatched that scene.

Ditto! :) Why don't we ever get hi-res promo pics of scenes like THAT?

It is a good thing that Tom is able to express so many emotions without dialogue

That's so true. He's had years of Clark's stoicism to develop those skills. He's a master of nuance.

Erica is doing a great job this season! She was adorable in the glasses scene!

I can't get enough of that scene! When Lois put the glasses on and smiled up at Clark, I just about died from the cute. And then the whole tone shifted to sexy when she came after Clark for that kiss. Rowr!

I am hopeful that there will be lots of Clark in Pandora. If not, there will be more shirtless Tommy scenes so I will just have to focus on that.

I like the way you think! :)
la_belle_isa From: la_belle_isa Date: November 18th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful review. You really have a way of expressing your point of view in the most positive way. It's kind of a gift.
//What I do know is, Tom's Clark is the reason I watch this show, so of course I wish we saw more of him, and had more episodes that were about him.//
YES. I wish Clark will drive the A plot in future episodes. And since he's so awesome, why wouldn't Clark fans want that?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 18th, 2009 10:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww, thank you! *blushes*

YES. I wish Clark will drive the A plot in future episodes. And since he's so awesome, why wouldn't Clark fans want that?

That is my wish as well. Whether you're looking at S1 or S9, my favorite episodes are those that revolve around Clark, and that give us a clear picture of his POV. I have my fingers crossed for Pandora, although I'm afraid Clark's story in that one is going to break my heart.
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: November 18th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
::stares and drools at the Clark pics:: Let's start a petition that every ep open with bare chested Clark. Anyone with me?

Your thoughts, are as usual, so wonderfully articulated. And the best part of it is how you manage to voice out some of my own frustrations yet in a much more logical way than I find myself able to do.

Having said that, I did enjoy the ep. Clark was awesome, Lois was great, the Clois was so enjoyable and the WT' didn't suck, not at all, heh. But as you very rightly pointed out, and as I myself opined in my own review, how great would it be to see an ep of a premise such as this, with Clark in the thick of it?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 18th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Let's start a petition that every ep open with bare chested Clark. Anyone with me?

*raises hand and waves it frantically* Where do I sign?

But as you very rightly pointed out, and as I myself opined in my own review, how great would it be to see an ep of a premise such as this, with Clark in the thick of it?

I truly think that would be an episode EVERY fan would enjoy. And I don't know why the writers seem to have such a hard time telling Clark's story. One of the biggest reasons I'm looking forward to the JSA 2-hour movie is that I feel confident Geoff Johns' script will do Clark justice.
ophelia_77 From: ophelia_77 Date: November 18th, 2009 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great review T! Loved this episode. Of course, after that opening scene, they all could have been wondering around the DP dressed as Teletubbies the rest of the show and I would have still loved it.

Your thoughts on Chloe are enlightening. For my part, even though she's not boozing it up or popping pills, I think she's being just as self-destructive as Ollie was earlier and as Clark has been in seasons past. She's completely lost herself and has retreated into the protective shell of being the Watchtower. She talks to no one but Clark, Dr. Hamilton and occasionally Oliver. And even then its all about work. She has no other relationships or interests. She's hiding things. She's lying. She's simply not the full-of-life Chloe we've always known and loved. In fact, I think her begging Clark to reverse time and save Jimmy was the last time we saw her express any real emotion. I'm worried about her and think this is going to end badly. It makes me sad.

But I LOVED Lois in this episode. Her facial expressions throughout were priceless and so classic Lois Lane. I feel reassured in my choice to switch camps and become an official Cloiser.

And I agree that Tom is doing some seriously crazy good work this season. He has really matured Clark so much. It's all been subtle but when you look back at the Pilot, its hard to imagine Clark ever getting to where he is now. Every time he puffs out his chest in that superhero stance, I squee myself silly. But its also bittersweet because I kinda miss the bumbley, geeky, emotional Clark who loved his mommy and wanted *SO* much to make his dad proud. He's like a kid that's grown up too fast. I miss the old days but am proud of the man he's become.

I'm happy that you are enjoying the caps! It's a great excuse for me to stare at Tommy for hours (as if I needed an excuse).
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: November 18th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course, after that opening scene, they all could have been wondering around the DP dressed as Teletubbies the rest of the show and I would have still loved it.

LOL! I can't argue with you there!

I'm worried about her and think this is going to end badly. It makes me sad.

I feel the same way. If this truly is AM's last season, regardless of whether the show is renewed or not, they need to let Chloe leave on a high note, and I'm so afraid that's not going to happen.

And I agree that Tom is doing some seriously crazy good work this season. He has really matured Clark so much.

I love the changes we've seen in Clark, but like you, I also adore the sweet farmboy I first fell for. Whatever Tom goes on to do after the show is over, I'll treasure the Smallville legacy he leaves behind. I'm sure I'll still be wearing out my DVDs, watching each season again and again, for years after that final episode airs.

I love your caps! I'm so glad you're enjoying making them!
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