Is anyone up for another edition of my Tom Top Ten? This is the seventh in a series of mini (just 10 pics each) picspams in celebration of Tom Welling, highlighting the wonderful performances he gives us, episode after episode. I call this one Tender.
1) 1.16 - Stray. When Clark finds Ryan in the storm cellar with his ship, they talk about secrets, and Ryan finally opens up about his. As he tearfully reveals all he has faced in his young life, Clark holds him close to let him know he's no longer alone. Tom perfectly portrays Clark's compassion, his heartbreak over Ryan's helplessness, and his determination to protect him, no matter what.
2) 2.11 - Visage. Lana comes to Clark in tears, devastated over Whitney's death, and awash in regret for the video letter she sent him. Now she's afraid she has driven Clark away, and will lose him, too. Clark gathers her in a reassuring hug, and vows that he's not going anywhere. Tom shows us that nothing hurts Clark more than seeing those he loves in pain.
3) 2.21 - Accelerate. Clark finds Emily hidden in the dark, crying, and tries to comfort her. Most people would fear her as an aberration, but Clark offers her honesty and understanding, assuring her that different doesn't have to be wrong. Tom reminds us that the most powerful being on Earth can also be the most gentle.
4) 4.11 - Unsafe. After all the crazy events of this episode, Alicia comes to say a final goodbye to Clark. He tells her he has faith in her, and then, as she turns to leave, he realizes he's not ready to let her go. Tom shows us that Clark's heart has an infinite capacity for both love and compassion.
5) 4.20 - Ageless. Clark and Lana find a newborn baby in a 30-foot crater, and Clark gets a crash course in parenthood when he refuses to abandon him to the social welfare system. Tom makes ovaries explode across the land as he proves that any child would be lucky to call Clark Kent dad.
6) 5.18 - Fragile. Clark reaches out to Maddie and changes her life, helping her to come to terms with her meteor power, and coaxing her out of her silent shell. His unconditional acceptance makes her blossom, and Tom's performance makes us understand that saving one little girl is every bit as important to Clark as saving the whole wide world.
7) 7.11 - Siren. Clark consoles Lois in the aftermath of her final breakup with Oliver. He understands all too well the challenges their relationship faced, and his heart goes out to Lois as she finds herself unable to chance being left behind by the man she loves. Tom leaves us no doubt that Clark will always find a way to make those he holds dear a priority in his life.
8) 7.12 - Fracture. With only moments left to escape from Lex's mind, Clark stops to reassure Little!Lex, telling him he will always be there for him, and imploring him to continue to fight to stay alive inside Lex. Tom gives us a glimpse of the hero Clark will someday become, who never gives up on the innate goodness to be found in humankind.
9) 8.02 - Plastique. When Bette tries to kill Chloe, Clark saves her just in time. Instead of lashing out in retaliation, as many of us might do if one of our loved ones were threatened, he quite literally reaches out instead, and gently tells her he only wants to help. Tom makes us believe every word Clark says, and in that moment he is my Superman.
10) 8.09 - Abyss. Clark has had to watch helplessly as Chloe's memories slip away one by one, convinced that she is paying the price of being his secret keeper. He finds a way to help her, but decides not to restore her knowledge of his abilities. Clark's anguish is written on his face as he apologizes to an unconscious Chloe for breaking their special bond, and Tom convinces us that our hero will make any sacrifice to keep those he loves safe.
Screen caps courtesy of acampbell, KEakaCK, Screencap Paradise, and SVFan, with my thanks!
And those are my choices for Tom's Top Ten performances where he showed us that Clark's heart is as big as his body is strong. Do you have a different Tender favorite? If so, tell us about it in the comments. And be on the lookout for the next Tom Top Ten!
Did you miss the previous Tom Top Tens? Click to see Dangerous, Broken, Happy, Pain, Kiss and Family.