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Tom Top Ten: Tender - I worship at the television altar
Tom Top Ten: Tender

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.

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frelling_tralk From: frelling_tralk Date: January 28th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww lovely picspam!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it!
firebunny From: firebunny Date: January 28th, 2009 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the Tender Tom. This is an excellent selection.

I'll add one of my favorites. In Onyx after Clark has saved Chloe from the collasping cement and they're back at the Kent farm. The way he brushes her hair away from the cut on her forehead perfectly conveys his concern for those around him. Clark may be involnerable to injuries, but it hurts him that others aren't.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
The scene you mention is a wonderful moment between Clark and Chloe. I could easily have done this entire picspam with Chlark moments. And even though the one I chose from Abyss bothered me because of the mind wipe aspect, I thought the emotion Clark showed in that scene was the perfect reflection of just how much Chloe means to him.

laurelnola From: laurelnola Date: January 28th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry, I'm still stuck on number 5, looking at Tom's bicep.
*dribbles and forgets own name*

Seriously, I know this is supposed to be about the tender, and on 9 days out of 10 TW's looks are meh to me *ducks*, but that man has got a pair of arms that get me every time. I want to do dirty things to them. Um, and back on topic, I would then stroke them *tenderly*......so that they could rest up for more dirty things later. :-)
iliana_1 From: iliana_1 Date: January 28th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dawn, he's holding a baby. Have some shame!!!!


As for Tom looking meh, you have to see him in the Grey T of Glee. I'll post some pics for you later. He looks divine.
iliana_1 From: iliana_1 Date: January 28th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful picspam. You chose some lovely moments.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 04:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: January 28th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I'd include the personal bomb squad moment in Freak: just the way he touches Chloe's shoulder.

There are probably lots of great Clana moments that I've blocked out of my head due to recent trauma.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
That scene from Freak is an amazing moment. There are so many Chlark moments I could have chosen, truly.

I am similarly traumatized by recent events. :) I also wanted to keep the moments I chose free from romantic overtones, and Clana scenes most often have an element of that.
christina_kat From: christina_kat Date: January 28th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
so cute and beautiful moments!
I love the visage one!That scene was really intense...
and I also love the unsafe one!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
The two scenes you mention both make me cry, every time I watch them. Imagine having Clark's warmth and strength to comfort you like that when you're feeling lost in despair!
anakaliaandrea From: anakaliaandrea Date: January 28th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
this was great.
So many good memories.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so happy you liked it!

mahaliem From: mahaliem Date: January 28th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a great picspam! You did a terrific job!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! And thanks so much for commenting!
jeannev From: jeannev Date: January 28th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very, very nice. You picked 10 great ones, and it must've been hard to choose, because I think there are so many examples of Clark's tenderness. What a nice pick-me-up this is.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Val! It was very hard to choose, I agonized over some of them. I'm glad my choices worked for you.
luvmax1 From: luvmax1 Date: January 28th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
So beautiful. How adorable is Clark with that baby?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC) (Link)
He is adorable, and completely at ease. Tom has such a way with kids on the show.
trystan830 From: trystan830 Date: January 28th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh very pretty pics!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It's the softer side of Supes! :)
gyri From: gyri Date: January 28th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great theme! My favorite is #8.

To be honest, Tom is the reason I started watching SV. Maybe I'll start watching again........

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I love Clark with Little!Lex. I wish he could have had a similar moment with the real Lex, where he told him he would never give up on him. I did like what he said to Lex at the end of this episode, though:

"Trust me, Lex, there's nothing that's lost that can't be found again."

ophelia_77 From: ophelia_77 Date: January 28th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great choices T! Of course I love the Alicia moments. Probably because he was finally in love with someone whose name didn't begin with an "L". :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Probably because he was finally in love with someone whose name didn't begin with an "L".

LOL! He really did have some sweet moments with Alicia. I wish they hadn't killed her off so quickly.

starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: January 28th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw, T. This post has gotten me all sniffly. What a lovely bunch of moments ... I remember each and every one of them, and they clearly stand out in my head for the amazing amount of tenderness Tom manages to convey in them. I know there are tons and tons of tender moments to choose from, but you chose the pick of the lot. ♥
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much, I'm glad you like my choices. I had a hard time narrowing them down, especially picking just one Chlark moment. Here are some of the others I was considering (and there are a couple more in the comments above):

1.19 - Crush

1.20 - Obscura

5.01 - Arrival

6.12 - Labyrinth

svgurl From: svgurl Date: January 28th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww, this was a great theme! I love your Top 10 Tom picspams. And yes, Clark has shown to be caring time after time. Ryan and Maddie were two of my favorites. &hearts

I wasn't a fan of "Ageless" but Tom with the baby? ADORABLE! :D

Tom makes us believe every word Clark says, and in that moment he is my Superman.

I totally agree! :D
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: January 29th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I love how Clark can be so strong and so gentle at the same time. And it doesn't get much better than Clark with Ryan and Maddie. Fragile is one of my favorite episodes.

When I rewatched Ageless while putting this together, it was only the third time I had seen it all the way through. I usually refer to it as the Exploding Baby episode, and it is definitely in my bottom five episodes of all time. But Tom with the baby is too cute to resist! :)

That scene in Plastique epitomizes what I love about S8. There has been no better season for Clark, IMO.
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