tariel22 (tariel22) wrote,

Smallville 8.19 - Stiletto

Stiletto was a fun episode, but it was far from a piece of fluff. The light comedic and romantic moments were balanced by darkness as we saw Lois, Chloe, and Jimmy all face the consequences of rash, impulsive decisions, and met a brutal new villain in Bruno Mannheim. In the midst of all the conflict, Clark stood tall and true, playing both hero and moral compass, and showed us just how ready he is to put his life on the line to protect the world. This episode made me laugh, but it also made me worry. I see more darkness ahead, and a price to be paid, and I'm very much afraid that Clark's broad shoulders will once again be asked to bear the biggest burden.

I have really come to adore Smallville's Lois Lane. I like her passion, her courage, and her vulnerability. I like the way she makes mistakes and owns up to them, and gets right back out there and tries again. I like her fierce loyalty, and the way she never gives up on love. I had my doubts about the premise of this episode, and I still think the plot was a bit silly, but I thoroughly enjoyed Lois's foray into Clark's world. Lois was a delight as Stiletto. She was beautiful, and she kicked ass, but she was also wry and self-deprecating. There were a lot of funny moments, but it wasn't played entirely for laughs. Lois made an impulsive decision in a moment of weakness, and as a result not only risked her career in journalism, but also saw her friends' very lives put into danger. She was humbled by the experience, and learned an important lesson about ethics and integrity, unanimously delivered by Jimmy, Clark, and Chloe. I appreciated that the show was adamant about that!

As much as I loved Lois, I loved Lois and Clark even more. *draws hearts around them* The scene of the two of them both working late, listening to the police scanner with their matching costume bags stashed at their feet, was adorable. And Clark's first meeting with Stiletto was hilarious. When Lois tried to brazen it out with that fake English accent, I couldn't stop laughing! Things quickly got more serious when Lois found Clark and Jimmy in trouble at the Ace of Clubs, and after her phone died while she was dialing 911, she was magnificent as she threw caution to the wind and crashed through the skylight to their rescue. First Lois saved Clark, and then he saved her right back, taking a bullet that was meant for her. Even made powerless by kryptonite, our boy didn't hesitate to throw himself in harm's way.

After that, everything was different. At the DP the next morning, Lois struggled to express her gratitude, and apologize for involving Clark in the first place. We could tell she was seeing Clark in a whole new light after his selfless act of heroism. Clark in turn seemed quite touched by Lois's genuine contrition, and her concern for him. By the end of the scene, the teasing banter was back, but it did nothing to mask the new level of intimacy between these two.

And then we had the best scene of the episode, Lois's phone call from the Red Blue Blur, where Clark called Lois "Miss Lane," and Lois asked, "Can you read my mind?" *swoons* The whole conversation was like that! That was Superman and Lois Lane, right there. It was romantic, it was iconic, and it was awesome. Clark never took his eyes off Lois the whole time he talked to her, and what he saw was something rare, at least to him: Lois without her walls and without her snark, open and vulnerable, more interested in the man than the myth, and more concerned for his loneliness than the scoop of a lifetime. How could that not affect him? The sweet smile on his face at the end of the conversation told us everything we needed to know. And I especially appreciated that Lois came from a place of pure admiration and hero worship for the RBB. She wasn't flirting or trying to spark a romance. After all, she likened herself to Barney in the Flintstones analogy, not Wilma! ;) Clark, on the other hand, was a different story. I think he's falling for her, and hard.

There is no question in my mind that Clark's feelings for Lois grow deeper by the day, but he may not be able to face them anytime soon. He told Chloe that romance is the last thing on his mind right now, and I think that's just as it should be. I don't know, maybe he's over Lana, but he certainly isn't over their breakup, and going slow is absolutely the right thing to do, both emotionally and for the sake of the show. With another season ahead of us, this relationship has time to develop naturally. In fact, as much as I hated the Lana arc, I have to concede that having Lana leave Clark's life in some traumatic fashion was pretty much the only way to go. Otherwise, what would stand in the way of Lois and Clark getting together right now? I still want to hear Clark say that kryptonite or no kryptonite, he and Lana would never have worked out, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm sure TPTB don't want to alienate the Clana fans, and so far I think it's working. I've already seen the theory that somehow the suit will prolong Lana's life into the realm of immortality, and that long after Lois is dead and buried, Clark and Lana will find a way to be together once more. In any case, I think they're handling the Lois and Clark romance perfectly. It's all about the journey, right? :)

I'm not so sure about what they have planned for Clark and Chloe, however. *sighs* My heart broke for Chloe in this episode. Her devotion to Clark and her compassion for Davis are at war within her, and that struggle led her to make an untenable decision in the face of impossible circumstances. Now she's in over her head, and seems completely lost and alone. When she collapsed in despair in that alley, her hands bloody, I had tears in my eyes, even as I condemned her course of action. I know she sees no way out, but I wanted to shake her, and tell her to go to Clark. NOW. And instead she pushed him away, even though it was clear he knew something was wrong, and wanted to help. I have to ask, how did she think this was all going to play out? Did she plan on keeping Davis in the basement forever? I guess the answer is that she wasn't thinking, she was following her heart, but in the end I still think Chloe should know better.

I hate what they're doing with Jimmy. I don't see what purpose this whole drug addict storyline serves, and it's way too dark for a character who works much better as comic relief. Jimmy, too, made a hasty, ill-advised decision, throwing back a day's worth of pain meds in a single swallow and quitting his job at the DP in the wake of his breakup with Chloe. This week we saw how far he has fallen since then, and it wasn't pretty. He's not all bad, of course. He didn't give Lois up to the bad guys, even when they beat him half to death, and he helped save both Lois and Clark in the fight at the Ace of Clubs, but I found it a bit ironic that he lectured Lois about ethics, and then turned around and evidently used stolen counterfeit money to buy illegal drugs. I have a bad feeling about this. :(

And then there's Clark. How completely awesome was he in this episode? He was smart, proactive, independent, and heroic in investigating the theft of Chloe's laptop and getting it back. He didn't berate Chloe for her mistake, was sensitive enough to realize there was something else wrong, and reached out to her, but also respected her right to privacy when she asked him to back off. He was stern with Lois about her Stiletto story, saving her from herself in the process, but was also tender and compassionate, and went out of his way to reassure her and make sure she knew just how special he (as the RBB) thinks she is. Not to mention risking his own life to save hers! I don't think he hit a single false note, although maybe he needs to start using his x-ray vision to check for suspicious green substances before he blurs into any strange rooms. :) Oh, and he flashed us! When Clark nonchalantly hauled up his shirt to show Chloe he was okay, fandom exploded, and fangirls around the globe flailed at the rare sight of bare Tommy tummy. Thank you, Tom Welling! ♥

So, what else? I loved the Chlo-Lo in Stiletto. We need to see more of that! I didn't like Bruno "Ugly" Mannheim; he was a little too ugly for me. He was a cruel, violent thug, and his brutality was hard to watch. I like my villains handsome and charismatic as well as evil, and this guy was utterly repellent. I loved seeing the iconic trio of Lois, Jimmy and Clark in action, that was fun. And every one of the four principal actors turned in an outstanding performance. Our cast just keeps getting better and better. I applaud them all.

Random thoughts: Does Chloe know that Lois knows that Oliver is Green Arrow? How did the Blur-etto shippers already know about Stiletto? Or was it that user known as ChloeSullivan who started it all? :D Did everyone see that they're calling Impulse "Flash" now? I want to live in Metropolis, where every moon is an impossibly big, full one. :) The music during that last scene was amazing. And how tiny did Clark's cell phone look in those big, sexy hands of his?

Stiletto held the promise of a deeper friendship between Lois and Clark, but it also warned of darker days ahead. As Clark continues to find his place in the world, struggling to fight the good fight, his two closest allies, Chloe and Oliver, are both lying to him. Regardless of their reasons for doing so, he's going to be hurt when he finds out, and probably angry as well. I don't know how easily forgiveness will come. And of course Doomsday looms large. I suspect that this episode gave us our last lighthearted moments of the season, and that we now turn toward the inevitable final conflict. Brace yourselves, guys, and make sure you have a box of tissues handy. I think we have a rough road ahead.

Cross-posted at Starkville House of El Podcast.

This episode had a lot of great lines, so I'm including my top ten quotes this time:

Chloe: When I came to in the ambulance, Lois was raving about some mysterious heroine who swept in and saved the day. Stiletto?
Clark: Must be some kind of knife expert.

Jimmy: Lois, I'm, uh, I'm really flattered, but I just broke up with Chloe.
Lois: Ewww! No!

Lois: I was gonna sew an "S" into the chest. Is that tacky?

Jimmy: I guess I didn't see the giant asterisk above Lois Lane's rules to reporting that said, "or just make it up."

Lois: Next time I call myself Nike.

Lois: *fake English accent* Lois? Who's Lois? I'm Stiletto. I should get back to my cave.
Clark: Lois, you could have a bag over your head, and I'd still know it's you!

Lois: Okay! First off, it's just "Stiletto!" There's no "the!" And second, I'm not impersonating anyone. I AM Stiletto.
Clark: You made a fake hero so you could tell her story?

Clark: I didn't know there was room for introspection underneath that costume.
Lois: Wow. Look who got grazed by a funny bullet.

Clark: I think there's probably a better name out there. And if there's anyone who can find it, it's you, Miss Lane.

Clark: And Lois, when I'm ready to tell the world my secret, you'll be the first to know.

And you didn't think I would forget the pretty, did you? Here are my top ten caps from Stiletto:

Screen caps courtesy of Home of the Nutty, with my thanks!
Tags: picspam, smallville, sv episode review, tom welling
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