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Smallville 8.20 - Beast - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 8.20 - Beast
This season we've seen Clark move closer to becoming Superman than ever before. He has embraced his destiny, and in so doing has struggled with some of the bigger issues of living as a superpowered alien among men, such as revealing his true identity to the world, and deciding what limitations to place on himself to insure he doesn't abuse his powers and become a tyrant. But I think the biggest adjustment he has faced is the reluctance of his closest allies to fully accept him as a superhero, and to trust him to take a leadership role when his abilities are needed to keep the world safe. Oliver seems to second guess Clark's every move, and is rudely critical of him on a routine basis, while Chloe lacks faith in his decisions, and feels compelled to constantly tell him what to do. Both of them are hiding things from him, and the situation just got worse in Beast. How is Clark supposed to believe in himself when those who know him best don't?

Chloe is Clark's BFF, and outside of Martha, there is no one he trusts more. She has put helping him above everything else in her life, and he would move heaven and earth to keep her safe. But the events of this season have put their friendship to the test, and their lives are no longer as closely entwined as they once were. First Chloe hid her Brainiac enhanced intelligence from Clark, and then they argued over whether her new abilities were a fortunate side effect or an ominous warning sign. Chloe doesn't know that Clark had Jor-El wipe her memories clean of his secret. Clark doesn't know that Chloe killed a man who was a threat to him while under Brainiac's influence. Clark started a whole new life at the Daily Planet, and Chloe wasn't part of it. Chloe developed a deep friendship with Davis, and Clark knew little to nothing about it. Chloe hasn't approved of some of Clark's activities as the Red Blue Blur, and Clark didn't agree with how Chloe reacted when Jimmy accused Davis of being a killer. Most recently they clashed when Clark discovered how much time Chloe was spending with Davis, and how much she had been keeping from him about the anomalies of Davis's life. As devoted to one another as these two clearly are, they've never been more seriously estranged.

Chloe took even more steps away from Clark in Beast. Almost every word she spoke to him was a lie, she ridiculed his assertion that Davis was still alive, and she even sent him on a wild goose chase to Alaska in an effort to buy herself time to get Davis out of town. She has convinced herself that she only has Clark's best interests at heart, but I think her motives are a bit murkier. With her erotic dream that ended so gruesomely, her subconscious seemed to be telling her she has a dangerous attraction to Davis, one that may prove fatal to Clark. The plaintive way she said to Oliver about Davis, "he needed me," spoke volumes, I thought, as did the stricken look on her face when Oliver told her Clark had taken Davis away. In the confrontation with Clark in the Fortress, Chloe's concern for Davis's suffering in the Phantom Zone seemed at least equal to her worry over Clark's guilt about it. Her anger toward Clark was obvious, and the things she said to him were hateful. Even if you theorize it was all an act, that she sought to manipulate Clark for his own protection, I think she crossed a line. When the solution you come up with is just as harmful as the problem you seek to solve, how have you won?

Chloe claimed that she stopped Clark from sending Davis to the PZ because she couldn't bear to see the burden of guilt it would place on his shoulders. Ignoring for the moment all the pain she caused Clark in achieving that goal, does she honestly think the thought of her, out there somewhere with Davis, giving up everything to stay forever by his side in order to tame the beast, will torture him less? Especially after she dropped the bomb of her excuse for everything she had done to betray him: "Anything I've ever done, right or wrong, I did for you." She said herself that she knew Clark better than anyone. What did she think he was going to do with a statement like that?! We need look no further than that crumpled file cabinet to gauge his emotional distress. Way to go, Chloe. I think she's playing the martyr here, and I have no patience for that. Her final words to Clark just made me roll my eyes: "Clark, if there's one lesson I've learned from you, it's that choosing the greater good is never a sacrifice." *rolls eyes* See? What did I tell you? I think Clark said it best: "Chloe, you're wrong! You're wrong, Chloe!"

The real tragedy is that with Chloe's cooperation, Clark's plan would have worked perfectly. We saw in the Fortress that Davis physically can't doom out when Chloe is near, and even loses his strength in her presence. With Chloe by his side, Clark could have opened the portal and sent Davis to the PZ quickly and without a struggle, minimizing the likelihood of Zod escaping, or Clark being sucked in. And I really do think Clark's solution was the best one. The PZ was created to hold the worst criminals the universe had to offer, and that certainly describes the killing machine known as Doomsday. As Clark pointed out, at least Doomsday could be himself there, and no longer fight against his true nature. If Chloe really is interested in the greater good, she should listen to Clark. Her plan is infinitely more dangerous to the human race. What if something happens to her, or separates her from Davis? What if her soothing effect wanes over time? Then you have Doomsday fully realized, in the midst of humanity. And that would be bad.

Obviously I feel no sympathy for Davis's plight. I never have. He's been a monster from the moment he arrived here on Earth, he exists to kill my boy Clark, and he must be stopped. End of story. My take on Doomsday is, he was created to adapt and survive, and the Davis persona is just one of the tools in his arsenal, the one he uses to manipulate the humans who surround him. Isn't that what we saw in this episode, as he lied to Chloe, and acted differently when she wasn't around? With Chloe he plays the woobie, because that's what works, but he was positively chilling in the basement with Jimmy and Oliver, and he couldn't wait to throw down with Clark once he saw that his attempt at emotional blackmail wouldn't do the trick. I don't know if the part of Doomsday that is Davis could ever be separated from the monster within, but it doesn't look likely. Anyone care to haul out the Black!K and try for a Hail Mary pass in the last seconds of the game? Even if that were possible, I shudder to contemplate the undiluted version of Doomsday that would unleash upon the world.

I both hated and loved Oliver this week. I wanted to kick him for the way he spoke to Clark, especially at the end of the episode. Ollie, you're such an ass sometimes! But at least he's consistent in his expectations, and I suspect he's got an agenda as well. If he can convince Clark to kill Doomsday, maybe that will somehow make the way he murdered Lex seem less awful. [You're grasping at straws, Ollie, but ease your mind. That wasn't the real Lex anyway.] And why does Oliver assume that killing Doomsday is simply a matter of Clark agreeing to do so? The guy was already dead, and he came back! In any case, the growing discord between Oliver and Clark worries me. They're the heroes in this story, and they need to stick together. Oliver needs to swallow some of his arrogance and see that Clark's is the better way, and Clark needs to tell Oliver to shut up.

On the other hand, Oliver was a wonderful friend to Jimmy in Beast. He didn't beat around the bush in confronting his drug addiction, but he didn't humiliate him with it either. And he offered to help without preaching or proselytizing. Oliver really is one of the good guys. He was also great with Davis in the basement, trying to calm him down and keep him that way until Chloe arrived. He's no dummy. But where he earned my undying devotion was in the glorious smackdown he delivered to Chloe. No, he wasn't very nice, but I don't blame him. Her actions almost got him killed. And she needed to hear what he had to say, for all the good that it did. Or maybe I just needed to hear it, because it's what I've been thinking since the moment Chloe took Davis in, and it was immensely satisfying to hear someone speak the words out loud on the show.

Jimmy continued his downward spiral in this episode. Not only did he find out he was right about Davis all along, he learned that Davis was also the beast who destroyed his wedding day and nearly killed him. Worst of all, he found out Chloe had been willingly hiding him in the basement of the Talon. In his weakened, drug-addled state, the news proved to be too much, and he lost all hope, lashing out at Davis and daring him to kill him. Luckily Oliver stepped in to save him from himself, and he escaped, battered but still alive. Oliver extended another helping hand when he offered Jimmy a job. There was a world of difference between the nervous, shifty Jimmy who approached Oliver for a loan early in the episode, and the one who accepted the job from him at the end. Maybe there's hope for Jimmy yet!

Beast was a little light on Clark, probably because Tom Welling was busy preparing to direct next week's episode, but I didn't really notice, because the scenes he was in were all so good. Once again, as far as I was concerned, Clark didn't make a single wrong move. He investigated his suspicions about Davis, discovered the truth about his resurrection, and formulated a plan to save the world from the threat of Doomsday without the loss of a single life, not even the monster's. Nothing Chloe or Oliver said kept him from doing what he knew was right, and he was every inch the hero. He truly had compassion for Davis, but he knew there was no place for him on Earth. Hey, Oliver? Clark makes tough decisions all the time. And Chloe? He's a big boy, I think he can handle living with those decisions. Let's give the guy a little credit, shall we? Davis chose to fight rather than face a world without Chloe in it, and his brief showdown with Clark before Chloe intervened was a thrilling preview of the inevitable and final conflict still to come. I can't wait!

When Clark finally realized how completely Chloe had deceived him, he was devastated. He knew she had lied to him about Alaska, but when she showed up in the Fortress, key in hand, there was no longer any question that her involvement with Davis was voluntary. As Clark stared at her, stunned, and quietly asked, "Chloe, what are you doing?" he broke my heart. When she proceeded to berate him for even considering sending Davis to the PZ, of course he stopped and listened. He has always valued Chloe's opinion. Her condemnation, combined with the shock of her betrayal, made him freeze in confusion, and gave her the time she needed to whisk Davis away.

When Oliver found Clark later, using the bank of monitors at Isis to search for Chloe, he looked grim. He refused to rise to the bait of Oliver's asinine remarks, but his face told a story of frustration and cold fury. He couldn't make sense of what Chloe had done, but he never lost faith in her, and never stopped believing the best of her. I wish Chloe could have had that same faith in him. When she called to tell him she was okay, and to ask him not to look for her, he grew desperate, frantic in his need to save her from the reckless path she had chosen. After she hung up, lost to him again, his control finally broke, and we saw the toll this crisis had taken on him emotionally. Oh, Clark.

The acting in this episode was amazing. Sam Witwer seemed to delight in showing us another side of Davis, letting a creepy coldness peek through, giving us just a glimpse of the monster who simmers right below the surface, and who lives to kill. *shivers* Justin Hartley's Oliver was the arrogant, flawed hero I have come to love, even as he infuriates me, and I found his performance both consistent and compelling. Aaron Ashmore blew me away, especially in Jimmy's bitter conversation with Davis in the basement. How his acting talents have been squandered on playing little more than Chloe's jealous boyfriend! Allison Mack perfectly portrayed Chloe's strength, and her vulnerability, showing us her steely resolve as she fought to save Davis from both beast and banishment, and her tearful despair as she faced the true cost of life by his side. And Tom Welling was phenomenal. Clark faced challenges everywhere he turned in Beast, going from confident leadership and unshakable determination at the beginning of the episode, to hurt confusion and blinding frustration at the end, and every moment was unmistakable in Tom's hands. In the scene with Oliver at Isis, I couldn't take my eyes off of his face, as a world of emotion played out in his eyes and even in the set of his jaw, telling us so much more about what Clark was feeling than any dialogue ever could. We may be heading for the final countdown on this season, but this wonderful cast is still bringing everything they've got to the game.

Random thoughts: Dream!Davis was charming and sexy. Rowr. It totally cracked me up that the two fake movie posters the art department designed to put on the wall for Chloe and Davis to make out against were "Casa Bronte: A Love Story," and "Zytron: The Clock Is Ticking, The Last Day Is Today." Love! And aliens! :D Clark's dead torso, strung up and dripping blood, was easily the most horrific thing I've ever seen on this show. I liked Dr. Emil Hamilton. Can we have more of him, please? I know I keep harping on this, but the plates of cupcakes on the counter and the buckets of flowers by the door seem to indicate the Talon is open for business, but what exactly are their hours of operation? And I love Clark's new blue-on-blue combo. It's so pretty! :)

Beast was a dark episode, showing us the shadow Doomsday has cast over Clark and his friends. It explored the conflicts in Clark's life, and resolved none of them. It was dramatic, suspenseful, and intense, leaving me impatient to find out what happens next. I may dread where this storyline is heading, but I can't wait to get there! I see tragic endings ahead, as Oliver is forced to face his demons, Chloe risks losing everyone she holds dear, and Clark finds himself at odds with those he once trusted most. Not to mention we still have Doomsday to consider. I hope Clark doesn't lose faith in himself, and that he can weigh the doubts Oliver and Chloe have expressed against Lois's open admiration for the RBB, and the public's appreciation for all he does. This isn't the first or last time our hero will be tested, but this challenge feels particularly personal, and the possibility that Clark will face his greatest enemy completely alone is daunting indeed.

Cross-posted at Starkville House of El Podcast.

Clark is very pretty when he's sad. Poor Clark. My top ten caps from Beast:






























Screen caps courtesy of Home of the Nutty, with my thanks!

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Comments
luvmax1 From: luvmax1 Date: May 3rd, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're so much better at analyzing the episodes than I am. My first thought was- who's taking the bigger dose of stupid pills this week, Clark or Chloe? If I were Clark, I would have grabbed that stupid disk right out of Chloe's hand, and shoved Doomsday right into the PZ.

You're dead right about Oliver, he's always been so down on Clark, always telling him how wrong he is. I was glad he was so helpful to Jimmy, but I wanted to smack him about the Clark thing. Clark is ten times the hero he is, Clark understands more about sacrifice than Ollie does, and it's time Ollie started showing him some respect.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 3rd, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
What I thought was really interesting was how easily Davis went from pleading for mercy from his "Kryptonian brother" to charging Clark when he saw that he really meant to put that crystal in the console. Davis certainly isn't crippled by those pesky emotions!

I thought Tom did a great job of showing how utterly destroyed Clark was to see Chloe show up in the Fortress with the key in her hand. He could barely even speak, and once she started railing at him, all he could do was stare at her in stunned silence. And his face! My poor Clark! Chloe turning on him was simply incomprehensible. :(

I wanted to smack Oliver, too. If fact, in my first draft of this review, I said Clark need to tell him to shut the fuck up. :) But I really don't like to use language like that. ;) I still love Ollie, though, I can't help it.
gotearsofjoy From: gotearsofjoy Date: May 3rd, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Perfect review!! :D I have been so impressed with smallville lately!.. I can't wait to see how this season will end (although I'm dreading it in a way, too). I love the fact that I can't tell exactly where Chloe's motives lie. And that last scene with her and Clark on the phone was so emotional on both sides.. owww. I'm starting to ship them! Lovely array of screencaps too.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 3rd, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I have my fears about how this season ends, too. I don't think anyone is getting a happy ending this time. :(

That phone conversation was so heartbreaking and so frustrating at the same time. They care about each other so deeply, but neither could hear what the other was saying. I really don't want to see this friendship pulled apart, so I just hope that when these two do finally reunite, they can work everything out.
duskwillow From: duskwillow Date: May 3rd, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is it weird if I completely agree with every single word you said here?
Fantastic review!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 3rd, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not weird at all! :D Thanks, I'm so glad we agree!

I've resigned myself to a finale full of death and destruction, which has the potential to be kind of awesome. I just hope that Clark can rise from the ashes without a tremendous burden of guilt and blame. Are you listening, show?
simplytoopretty From: simplytoopretty Date: May 3rd, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
As devoted to one another as these two clearly are, they've never been more seriously estranged.

I love Chlark and I love their friendship, but you hit it so on the nail that they aren't in a good place right now. And it kills me because I hate how estranged they've gotten. I hate Chloe protecting Davis, even though I'm more inclined to believe that at least part of her motivation is to save Clark (I think her logic is very flawed, and I do think she cares/loves Davis, although not like she cares/loves Clark). It's so sad for me to see and while I realize conflict can help a friendship grow and emerge stronger, I have such a fear for my Chlark friendship.

Chloe risks losing everyone she holds dear, and Clark finds himself at odds with those he once trusted most. Not to mention we still have Doomsday to consider. I hope Clark doesn't lose faith in himself

Chloe is walking very close to the edge and I do hope she doesn't lose everything. Spoilers say things will just get more tragic for her, which has me biting my nails. And I know Clark is supposed to face a bunch of darkness in season 9 so it seems like something terrible is going to happen as a result of the choices Clark makes. I would imagine in season 9 we might see Clark having lost faith in himself, which I know will hurt.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 3rd, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I absolutely think that Chloe's main motivation is to protect Clark, and the world, but whether she realizes it or not, the only solution that is acceptable to her is one that saves Davis as well. I think she's so focused on how best to help Clark that sacrificing herself seemed an easy decision to make. What she's lost sight of, IMO, is that it might not work, that she might not always be able to keep the beast at bay. We know this can't end well, but I don't want the show to tear this friendship apart for the sake of an angsty storyline. I don't trust them to handle it well, and that worries me.

I'm convinced this season will end tragically for both Chloe and Clark. I could just see them killing off both Davis and Jimmy in the finale, and making it all Clark's fault somehow, and then Chloe loses all three of them at one fell swoop when Clark can't face her afterward. :( And yes, having Clark lose faith in himself next season sounds very plausible, as much as it depresses me to admit it.
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: May 3rd, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
This episode just upset me tremendously. This is the type of thing that really makes me want to stop watching SV. I'm not looking forward to the next two episodes or next season. I don't know maybe I'll feel differently later but right now I'm over it. But any way you made such wonderful points in this entry the main two that I could not help but nod over are these

Obviously I feel no sympathy for Davis's plight. I never have. He's been a monster from the moment he arrived here on Earth, he exists to kill my boy Clark, and he must be stopped. End of story. My take on Doomsday is, he was created to adapt and survive, and the Davis persona is just one of the tools in his arsenal, the one he uses to manipulate the humans who surround him. Isn't that what we saw in this episode, as he lied to Chloe, and acted differently when she wasn't around?

and

The real tragedy is that with Chloe's cooperation, Clark's plan would have worked perfectly. We saw in the Fortress that Davis physically can't doom out when Chloe is near, and even loses his strength in her presence. With Chloe by his side, Clark could have opened the portal and sent Davis to the PZ quickly and without a struggle, minimizing the likelihood of Zod escaping, or Clark being sucked in. And I really do think Clark's solution was the best one. The PZ was created to hold the worst criminals the universe had to offer, and that certainly describes the killing machine known as Doomsday. As Clark pointed out, at least Doomsday could be himself there, and no longer fight against his true nature. If Chloe really is interested in the greater good, she should listen to Clark. Her plan is infinitely more dangerous to the human race. What if something happens to her, or separates her from Davis? What if her soothing effect wanes over time? Then you have Doomsday fully realized, in the midst of humanity. And that would be bad.

The faster everyone realizes this the faster I'll be happy with this show again.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 4th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)
The difference for me with this episode and other episodes of Smallville that have frustrated me in the past is how Clark was portrayed. I rejoiced in the fact that he wasn't talked out of the right course of action, he didn't blame himself and mope when Chloe disappeared with Davis, and this isn't about romantic jealousy. I can live with the people around Clark making mistakes that throw obstacles in his path, as long as we get to see how he prevails. So I'm hopeful that's exactly what we'll see in the two remaining episodes.

The litmus test for me is going to be how they handle accountability. Oliver told Chloe off, and it was perfect. What that says to me is, either 1) they meant it, Oliver was right, and they acknowledge that Chloe was wrong, or 2) Oliver's a big meanie, Chloe's the self-sacrificing angel, and somehow this was all Clark's fault. If it's the latter, I'll know for sure that Chloe is the new Lana. :(
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: May 4th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)
This episode left me so angry at Chloe (all of her actions except the first meeting with Dr Hamilton) and Ollie (for his insults to Clark and more than murky ethics) that I just couldn't rate it highly. I have the opportunity to see Smallville broadcast five times a week and for the first time ever, I couldn't force myself to watch more than once.

If I knew that the show runners were on Clark's side and the blame for what's about to follow would rest on the head that deserves it, well, perhaps I'd be a little less rage-y. But I don't.

All that said, I love your analysis here of what's been going on season-long between Chloe and Clark. It is so sad how far their relationship has fractured. Here's hoping the show amazes me in the next two episodes. At least we've got a TW directed episode up next: not surprisingly, these always deliver consistent characterization.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 4th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I will say that, for me, this episode got better every time I watched it again. I've seen the whole episode probably four times by now, and some scenes a dozen times. I honestly can't get enough of Tom's performance in this one. Even after all these years, I still think he's finding new depth to bring to this character. *gushes*

If I knew that the show runners were on Clark's side and the blame for what's about to follow would rest on the head that deserves it, well, perhaps I'd be a little less rage-y. But I don't.

Well, you're absolutely right, of course. I share your fears. But I'm trying desperately to stop speculating, it just makes my head hurt. For the moment I've adopted a policy of wait-and-see, but we'll see how long that lasts. :)

I am so looking forward to Injustice! Tom's episodes are always favorites of mine. This will certainly be the darkest episode he's ever directed, and the most critical to the show's mythology. I can't wait to see what he does with it!

Thanks so much for your kind words about my review. When I was watching Beast, I just kept turning over in my head, how could Chloe ever betray Clark this way? Theirs was a relationship that I always thought was unassailable. But a lot has happened this season. I wonder what's next for these two.
angryzen From: angryzen Date: May 4th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
That dead torso was Clark?! Damn I need to pay more attention during Chloe's scenes. I am at my wits end with her. I've been sick of her for a long while. And I do mean a Long while. But lately she just seems determined to push my buttons. I thought I'd start to tolerate her since she wasn't going to be all up in Clark's business this year, but nope. She got all in Doomsday's business.

I don't think she's seriously doing this for Clark. I think Chloe has a really big ego and just wants to feel important.

I loved Ollie in this episode too. I also gritted my teeth a little in this episode. Clark's way is not Ollie's way. But can't Ollie just tell Clark that he admires his morals or whatever but say that he doesn't see it that black and white? I love both of these guys and I would love to see an episode of them just hanging out.

I sincerely believe that Ollie's hotness amplified Jimmy's hotness in their scenes together. lol.

I'll be happy when drugged!Jimmy is done with.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 4th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I love both of these guys and I would love to see an episode of them just hanging out.

This has been a fantasy of mine for a long time now. I'd love to see them just pal around, or maybe go undercover on a case together. Or go to a bar and pick up chicks! :D Something where they don't have to butt heads or argue.

I don't know why Oliver acts the way he does around Clark, and I've pondered it a lot. I think part of it is that he grew up a spoiled little rich kid, and developed that arrogance and sense of entitlement rich kids sometimes have. And now he's a powerful billionaire, so probably no one ever says no to him. And he sees himself as Clark's mentor or big brother or something, and thinks he needs to give him a kick in the butt to get going on the whole superhero thing. But he takes it way too far, and besides, Clark is his own man now, and doesn't need Ollie telling him what to do.

And then sometimes, like when he made that crack about wasting time being what Clark does best, I think he gets really frustrated with Clark's unshakable stoicism, and he says outrageous things just to try to get a rise out of him. :D Because otherwise, he's just being a jerk! :)
jeannev From: jeannev Date: May 4th, 2009 01:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Great review, as always!

I wish that this episode, and this storyline, made me as anxious for the last 2 episodes as you are. But I'm sort of dreading it. I see Jude also mentioned that this episode upset her so much, she was considering not watching, and I have to admit that this thought has also been rolling around in my head. I think the direction that this whole thing is going could not be clearer, and I don't like it. Not one bit!

And I really want Clark to get new friends. Can he get new friends, please? Maybe he could start paling around with Rokk.

I think one of the things that you pointed out in your review that is really troubling me, in regards to Chloe, is her total lack of faith and belief in Clark. Because if one really believed that Clark were here to save us all...If someone really believed that he was good, and heroic....then how would you completely not trust in their judgement, decisions, or ability to take care of themselves? You can't have it both ways. That makes no sense to me.

And something else you can't have both ways is saying that you are stopping someone from doing something to save them having to dealt with the guilt, then taking an action and actually calling them to inform them of said act, that is going to cause 10x the guilt as the thing that you said you wanted to spare them.

And was that the longest, more nonsensical sentence ever? LOL

I do agree with you on how great the acting was. I think Tom has been so magnificent this year. I fear for Clark next year, but I feel completely confident in Tom's abilities in the role.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 4th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)
The only thing that's keeping me going, really, is Tom. I can't wait to see Injustice, because it's Tom's episode, and so far all the episodes he has directed have become favorites of mine. I'm so interested to see his take on such a dark theme, especially wrt Clark. As for the finale, I want to see how everything plays out between Clark, Ollie, Chloe, and Davis. I think Tom's performance in the finale will give us a clue as to what we can expect in S9. And I need to know if I'm going to spend my entire summer satisfied or pissed off. :/

If Clark could have a friend like Rokk, I would think I had died and gone to heaven. I think he is my favorite of all the one-shot guest stars from the DC universe the show has ever had, and I'm half in love with Ryan Kennedy anyway. :)

I think one of the things that you pointed out in your review that is really troubling me, in regards to Chloe, is her total lack of faith and belief in Clark.

This has been bothering me for a while now. At first it was just the way she acted in Prey, but after the Lana arc it became a regular thing. She was especially annoying in Turbulence. But now it's completely out of hand.

And something else you can't have both ways is saying that you are stopping someone from doing something to save them having to dealt with the guilt, then taking an action and actually calling them to inform them of said act, that is going to cause 10x the guilt as the thing that you said you wanted to spare them.

And isn't that the very definition of being a martyr? That's Chloe making it all about her, I have to say. And that's the writers making Chloe into Lana, 100%. So, yes, I guess the blame and the guilt comes next, but I'm holding onto one thin thread of hope that somehow they won't have Clark regress back like that. That this time he'll handle it differently somehow. I have to hope, because if they go there again with Clark, I'll just die. :(

You know who gives me hope? Lois. Because she does believe in Clark. Or in the RBB, I should say. And I don't know what role Lois will play in S9, but I hope it's one where she can remind Clark that someone does believe in him, wholeheartedly and without reservation. And I think they've shown us, in Infamous, that Lois would feel the same way if she knew the RBB was Clark. And none of this has anything to do with them being a potential couple, or anything romantic at all. It's about Clark being a hero in Lois's eyes, and how knowing that makes him feel.

I think Tom has been so magnificent this year.

I think so, too. And I think he's been especially amazing in these past two episodes. I'm telling you, he's getting better, even now! How does he do it?
tasabian From: tasabian Date: May 4th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Way to go, Chloe. I think she's playing the martyr here, and I have no patience for that. Her final words to Clark just made me roll my eyes: "Clark, if there's one lesson I've learned from you, it's that choosing the greater good is never a sacrifice."
She is absolutely playing the martyr, lifted wholesale from the book of Lana. It would be much more interesting if the show would acknowledge that (and also, that like Lana with Bizarro, Doomsday is an "accessible" house-pet version of Clark, which would be very appealing to a girl who's crushed on Clark for years.).

When Oliver found Clark later, using the bank of monitors at Isis to search for Chloe, he looked grim. He refused to rise to the bait of Oliver's asinine remarks, but his face told a story of frustration and cold fury.
He looked more pissed at Oliver there than he has ever looked at Lex, IMO! Wonderful performance by Tom.

My take on Doomsday is, he was created to adapt and survive, and the Davis persona is just one of the tools in his arsenal, the one he uses to manipulate the humans who surround him. Isn't that what we saw in this episode, as he lied to Chloe, and acted differently when she wasn't around? With Chloe he plays the woobie, because that's what works, but he was positively chilling in the basement with Jimmy and Oliver, and he couldn't wait to throw down with Clark once he saw that his attempt at emotional blackmail wouldn't do the trick.
Ooh, I like that! That would be a great "reveal", and what a horrifying moment for Chloe!

On the other hand, Oliver was a wonderful friend to Jimmy in Beast.
Heh, miss_tress commented in my post that Oliver might have hired Jimmy to use him as "bait", which in my view is all Jimmy is good for. I found him profoundly irritating in this ep.

Lovely 'caps - but so many teary-eyed Clarks. Oh, my poor baby!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 4th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
She is absolutely playing the martyr, lifted wholesale from the book of Lana.

Exactly. I didn't want to stir up controversy by saying it in my review, but this whole storyline has Lana written all over it: the unfair recriminations, the guilt trips, the way she aligns herself against Clark with a guy she really doesn't know, and who clearly can't be trusted, and of course the martyrdom.

like Lana with Bizarro, Doomsday is an "accessible" house-pet version of Clark, which would be very appealing to a girl who's crushed on Clark for years

I thought about this, too. First Chloe pines after Clark for years, and can never make him like her back. In addition, he's unpredictable, and hurts her deeply and unexpectedly more than once. Then she's with Jimmy, who is jealous, insecure, and not particularly accomplished. His ego needs boosting constantly, on several different levels. Then here comes Davis. He has all of Clark's mystery, AND he's utterly and completely devoted to Chloe from the moment they meet! He never even glances at another woman! That has to be pretty heady stuff. And finding out his secret only heightens her feeling of power over him: only she can control the beast, and save the world. Of course she's going to want to run off with him, and save him from the PZ!

He looked more pissed at Oliver there than he has ever looked at Lex, IMO! Wonderful performance by Tom.

Wasn't that just amazing?! Talk about if looks could kill! The fury just radiated off of him, and Ollie only added to it by telling him what he definitely did NOT want to hear. I mean, I think it was anger over many different things (at Davis for not doing what was best for Chloe, at Chloe for lying to him and running off with Davis, at himself for being impotent to stop her in that moment at the Fortress), but most of all, I think, at Oliver for not doing the ONE thing he had asked of him: finding Chloe and keeping her safe. It was such an unusual moment of emotional clarity for Clark, and it was ALL Tom. I was stunned the first time I watched it.

Heh, miss_tress commented in my post that Oliver might have hired Jimmy to use him as "bait"

OMG, that's so cynical, but I love it! LOL! But is Ollie really that smart? Lex, absolutely, but Ollie? IDK. :)

Clark only smiled once in the whole episode, the smile you see above, which lasted about a micro-second onscreen. But my God, Tom is beautiful when he's bleak.
angryzen From: angryzen Date: May 4th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't want Ollie to be using Jimmy. Please don't let it be! He looked very sincere in that scene.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 4th, 2009 05:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I laughed at the joke, but I don't believe that for a second. Oliver was absolutely sincere. And besides, he's no evil mastermind, hatching plots and playing puppet master. Like I said, Oliver really is one of the good guys. That's why I love him so.

You know what other scene convinces me of that beyond a doubt? The conversation he had with Lois at the reception in Bride. He was a wonderful friend to her in that moment: sensitive, sweet, and genuine, without a hint of jealousy. What a guy.
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: May 4th, 2009 11:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Like you said on my review, GMTA! ♥ ♥ ♥ I love that we think so alike. I'm not even going to bother commenting on anything more, because I don't want to ruin how beautifully you've worded this review. So much love!

And eee, I didn't mention the blue-on-blue combo, but it was beautiful! And is it sad that one of the things I'm looking forward most to in "Injustice" is seeing that black jacket? :P
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 14th, 2009 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I fell in love with that black jacket the moment we first saw it in Eternal. Tom was born to wear black. Guh. And the whole time I was watching Injustice I kept thinking about you and how much you were going to love Clark's clothes! :)

I hope you're having fun! I miss you! *hugs* I'll be thinking of you again as I watch Doomsday tomorrow!
anakaliaandrea From: anakaliaandrea Date: May 7th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
finally read it!

Veryy good analytic review! I loved it. And I totally agree. It was love-hate for Ollie. Justin did extremely well. He is so hot.

Was happy at the end when Ollie gave Jimmy a job. Finally some hope for Jimmy to get back on track. ;)

Clark was pure awesome in this episode. He did everything right, and everyone else thought otherwise. Idiots. The PZ was a perfect idea, at least he wouldn't have to kill him.

Don't get me started on Chloe. *smacks hard*

and the blue on blue, hot! glad to see them finally mixing and matching. Still be nice to see some more casual wear other than the jacket/t-shirt. what happened to his plaid shirts? geez. That's a piece of his father, and I like when he wears them.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: May 14th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I was surprised to find myself liking such a dark episode so much, but seeing Clark be so good, and so strong, was glorious. He's my hero, and I couldn't love him more.

Clark was pure awesome in this episode. He did everything right, and everyone else thought otherwise. Idiots.

I have to agree. The only person still on his side seems to be Lois. I'm looking forward to seeing them together in the finale, even if it's only for a moment or two.

what happened to his plaid shirts? geez. That's a piece of his father, and I like when he wears them.

I always liked Clark's plaid shirts, and I miss them, too. He looked downright gorgeous in some of them, and I love your point about them being a piece of his father. That's a lovely sentiment.
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