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I worship at the television altar
Smallville 9x03 - Rabid
This week Clark Kent was back, front and center, and he returned to the Daily Planet a changed man. The soul searching he has done after the events of Doomsday, and the training upon which he has embarked, have crystallized his destiny in his own mind, and given him a confidence and sense of purpose we haven't seen before. The difference is a subtle one, but unmistakable. Gone are any remaining traces of the tentative farmboy, haunted by insecurity, and confused about his place in the world. This Clark Kent embraces that which sets him apart from mortal men, and gladly uses every weapon in his arsenal to keep his adopted planet safe. Our hero has truly stepped up, and seems just a breath away from donning the cape and taking to the skies. And who knew he would reveal himself in an episode that was equal parts horror and romance, where zombies run amok and Lois Lane herself becomes a ravening monster?

It was a thrill to watch Clark in action in Rabid; he was confident, decisive, and strong. At the first hint of trouble, when Tess ended up in the hospital, he was on top of the situation, trusting his instincts to tell him there was more there than met the eye. Confronted with her shocking infection, he immediately moved to find a cure, stealing the blood sample intended for the Disease Control Agency labs and enlisting Chloe's help to analyze it. He was in charge every step of the way, and never wavered, even when ending the zombie plague required him to reveal his secret to Emil Hamilton, and submit to risky and torturous kryptonite exposure. Plus seeing him take on a swarm of zombies with Lois in the DP was a treat!

Everything about the zombies exceeded my expectations. They were truly horrifying, and I could barely make myself watch when they were onscreen. Actually, the worst visual of the episode for me was the sight of Lois's saliva pooling on the glass of the copier as Clark approached her from behind. *shudders* Even though I steeled myself for what we would see when she turned around, I still recoiled at the sight. I have to applaud Cassidy Freeman and Erica Durance for their willingness to throw themselves into playing the zombie versions of their characters. They were marvelously unrestrained, and it will be a long time before I can wipe those gruesome images from my mind. The story was intense, the zombie scenes were filmed in a very cool style, and the action sequences had my heart in my throat. Well done, show.

Clark continued to show signs of a new maturity in this episode, and a focus on the future rather than the past. When he told Oliver that he should have listened to him about Davis, at first I thought my head was going to explode. WHAT? But I'm really trying to understand, and this is what I've come up with. Clark isn't about recriminations. He's not going to revisit the past just to express his own frustrations or to make someone else feel bad. He is always going to be the bigger man, and he is always going to take responsibility for any failing in which he plays even the smallest part. Oliver is a weak man. He is ruled by rage, and jealousy, and self-pity. But even so, he has the makings of a hero within him, and Clark is trying to help him find that part of himself once again. So while he has no patience for the ways in which Oliver indulges himself, he will only criticize when he thinks it will be constructive, and he will fully acknowledge anything that might help the man give up his pity party and do some good in the world. Also, I think Clark realizes that Jimmy's death has already pushed Oliver over the edge, and that reminding him of his betrayal would only send him deeper into the pit.

I'm afraid, however, that I am far less noble than Clark, so please let me point out one more time that Oliver shot Clark in the back with a kryptonite arrow and left him in agony, with no way of knowing if he would even survive!! And for the record, what he advocated was killing Davis in cold blood, something I hope Clark would never think is the right choice. I've given Oliver the benefit of the doubt time and time again, mostly because I adore Justin Hartley beyond all reason, but even I reached my breaking point with Rabid. Oliver was a complete and total ass throughout this episode, especially to Clark. I couldn't even believe the things he said to him! I know it was the self-hatred and alcohol talking, but that doesn't make me any more inclined to forgive or forget. And in a particularly self-involved moment, he let Lois fall asleep while staring at his own pretty face in the polished brass panel of the elevator! I was disappointed to see Oliver pining for Lois, especially after that wonderful scene they shared in last season's Bride, but I guess I can see it. He longs for the days when his life made sense, and he felt good about himself, and Lois was a big part of that time. I just hope it's only a symptom of his downward spiral. It looks like Oliver has even further to fall before he can begin to redeem himself. I have no more patience for that; I wash my hands of him.

Similarly, I think Clark harbors no resentment toward Chloe. To be fair, Chloe went through an awful lot last season that messed with her head, and that could have contributed to her error in judgment about Davis. She lied to Clark, manipulated him, and turned her back on him, but I think Clark probably sees all of that as part of the price she paid for being so involved in his life. Even though I think Chloe is more responsible for Jimmy's death than anyone, I'm sure Clark doesn't see it that way. He has taken that burden to bear as his own, and his main concern now is to ensure Chloe is never hurt that way again. He walked away from her awash in his own pain over Jimmy's death, attributing that tragedy to his inability to make the right decisions even when those he loved implored him not to. I think his distance from Chloe now reflects the toll her actions took on their friendship, but it also shows his reluctance to ever put her in that position again. He will never fully blame Chloe for the choices she made with Davis, much less condemn her for them, but he will also never let her make him the center of her life again. Their relationship will never be the same as it once was, and the true test of their friendship will be the struggle to forge it anew.

So I'm taking a cue from Clark and letting go of my problems with Chloe. Besides, I pretty much forgave her everything the moment she cried out in protest at Clark's pain when Emil used a kryptonite-coated needle to collect his blood. She still loves him, and she's still standing by his side, saving the world. Let's hope the rest can work itself out in time. I also liked seeing the side of Chloe that can't resist following the Justice League, ostensibly for their own protection. It reminded me of the tenacity she displayed back in high school, when she couldn't stop investigating Clark's adoption. Chloe's headstrong assurance is sure to get her into trouble, but it's also one of her more fascinating qualities. I'm curious to see where this goes.

Our final indication that Clark is committed to moving forward was the bittersweet moment at the end of the episode when he cleaned out his wallet, and removed the picture of Lana he found there. In direct contrast to the way Oliver mooned over the picture of Lois in his wallet, Clark saw Lana as a cherished part of his past, but not his future. With one last sweet smile at his lost love, and then a look of serious contemplation, he put her picture in a scrapbook and quite literally closed the book on that relationship. I had hoped for something more definitive, some articulation that Clark is moving on for a reason other than the existence of Lana's kryptonite-infused power suit, but I'll take what I can get.

Once again Tess wasn't around much in this episode, but she gave us two heart-stopping scenes of zombie menace. We had our first glimpse of the monsters when the mansion came under attack, and Tess's security team was quickly overcome. She retreated to her study in panicked terror, but then her survival instincts kicked in, and she fought back with a magnificent fierceness, ultimately dispatching the zombies with some impressive swordplay. Later, when she succumbed to the virus herself and was brought to Met Gen, we saw the horror of the infection up close and personal, on someone we know and care about. It was a chilling moment. I was a little disappointed that the first scene Clark and Tess shared this season had Tess completely out of her head, but the compassion Clark showed for her was touching. That's my hero.

Zod was also mostly absent from this episode, but his single scene, the final one of the episode, was stunning in its ruthlessness. Zod is a warrior, first and foremost, and his leadership can suffer no rogue soldiers, even ones with cunning plans that bring in unprecedented intelligence about other Kryptonians on Earth. We knew what was coming, but that didn't lessen the impact of the moment in the slightest. And what a great twist that Zod assumes the Blur is Jor-El. It's the logical conclusion, of course, but one that promises to make everything more interesting. Please don't woobify this villain, show. He is unapologetically ambitious, unrepentantly without mercy, and entirely awesome!

Now it's time for my weekly lovefest celebrating Alessandro Juliani's Dr. Emil Hamilton. :) I don't think it's possible for me to fangirl this character, or the actor who plays him, more. I adore his understated intelligence, his dry wit, and, most of all, how completely unflappable he is. His reactions when Clark whooshes onto the scene are priceless, and his matter-of-fact, "Well, that explains a lot," when Clark revealed his huge secret was too funny. I just love his dynamic with Clark altogether. I also think he and Chloe make a great team. She's passionate and he's reserved, and they each bring something valuable to the table. Together they do no less than save the world. I'm sure he's due to disappear from the show any time now, but I hope they bring him back as much as they possibly can. He is an absolute delight.

And I've saved the love story for last. Against an unlikely backdrop of rampant zombies, we saw Clark allow his feelings for Lois to blossom, and the two of them shared some of their most intimate moments ever. Right from the top of the episode it was obvious that the honeymoon of their reunion had not yet worn off. Their conversation was full of easy affection, with very little of the usual snark, and it seemed obvious to me that Clark was looking at Lois with new eyes, having come to the realization last week that it was time for him to figure out exactly what it is he feels for her. As the events of the episode conspired to throw them together in increasingly stressful circumstances, what emerged was the knowledge that she means a great deal to him, and, in the end, the conclusion that he was ready to take their relationship to the next level.

Their first scene together, at the DP, was all about Clark's efforts to hide any evidence of his activities as the Blur from Lois. At the same time, though, I think he enjoyed how besotted she was with his heroic side, and even puffed with pride over his latest rescue ("Two seconds. Not that anyone's counting."). I was glad to hear that Clark hadn't called Lois as the Blur since he came back to work. Last season the Blur called Lois to lift her spirits, and this season he just wanted to connect with her, and had no other way of doing so. Now that he's back at the DP, he's happy to talk to her across his desk, as himself. I know they'll find another reason for him to call soon enough, but I like that Clark isn't doing it just to amuse himself, or to stroke his ego.

Clark wasn't above making a few inside jokes about the Blur, but they were cute, not mean, and they made me laugh. He also had a little fun with his powers, using his super speed to bring Lois her coffee almost too quickly, and then chilling it with his super breath (have we ever seen him do that before?) when he needed a quick diversion to zip away again. As always, Tom's facial expressions as Clark during these antics were hilarious. I just love his gift for comedy! This lightness of spirit is characteristic of the relationship Clark has with Lois, and is one of the things I like best about the dynamic between them. Things quickly turned serious, however, when the pair went to the hospital to get the story on Tess's apparent mental breakdown, and discovered it was a zombie virus instead. Lois headed back to the DP to write the story, and Clark went to find a cure.

From that point on, the night turned crazy, and Clark spent his time rushing between rescuing Lois and helping Chloe and Emil effect a cure. Seeing Lois in danger helped him realize how deeply he cared for her, and fighting side by side for their very lives brought them together with an emotional intensity that could not be ignored. When Clark swept an injured Lois up in his impossibly strong arms, cradled her against his massive chest, and carried her effortlessly up the stairs of the DP, it was one of the most romantic moments this show has ever seen. *swoons* And yet it was surpassed just a short time later, when Clark confronted a zombie-infected Lois after Oliver failed to keep her awake.

Watching Clark go flying through the window of the DP and out onto the street after Lois punched him has to be one of my favorite action sequences on this show ever. As she advanced on him and attacked again, he grabbed her in his arms and held her tight, immobilizing her as he waited for the healing rain to come. When the downpour started, and all traces of the virus were washed away, we were left with a man and a woman, soaked to the bone, in an incredibly close embrace. Overjoyed to find Lois out of danger, it seemed to be all Clark could do not to kiss her, but he contented himself with gently stroking her hair, and wrapping her in his arms once again. Awww.

The next day at the farm, Lois, looking absolutely beautiful, breezed in to thank Clark for saving her, and told him she had seen a whole new side of him: the hero side. Really, Lois? How many times do you have to see this side before it sticks? After all, this IS the guy who took a bullet for you! But I suppose she meant she never dreamed he had it in him to take on and defeat a crowd of cannibalistic zombies. :) This scene was full of flirty looks, and positively steeped in UST. Finally, Lois stepped close and called him Smallville, and went to give him her customary punch in the arm. In a breathtaking moment, Clark caught her arm in midair and held it there, looking into her eyes with such intensity, I was shocked his heat vision didn't kick in. Then he smiled, and the moment passed, but we had all received the message, loud and clear: we're not just friends anymore. Oh, my.

There was one scene in Rabid that made absolutely no sense to me. It rivaled the barn scene in Infamous for WTF dialogue, and almost made me roll my eyes right out of my head. I'm talking about the scene where Lois poured out her feelings for the Blur to Clark. First of all, the jump from "we might be infected" to "we're all going to die, I need to confess something" was way too abrupt. Second, what the hell was she talking about? When did she and the Blur do good things together? And how can she feel this special connection to someone she's never actually met? Why would she feel the need to confess her feelings for the Blur to Clark, especially if it's a "we might not live to see tomorrow" kind of confession? What about the guy standing right in front of her?

Clark is a living, breathing, real-life man who is one of her closest friends, has saved her life several times over, including about five minutes ago, and who just literally swept her off her feet. Not too long ago she passed a polygraph professing her love for him. If there's a deep, dark secret she should admit to Clark before they die, isn't that it? He's sweet, he's gorgeous, and lately she's been having erotic dreams about him every night. If she doesn't want to be alone, why isn't she confessing her love for HIM? I say the zombie virus made her temporarily insane.

Random thoughts: Rabid had a scene that was actually shot on location. Wow. I thought it was too funny how Clark found Lois by picking up on the sound of her heavy metal music with his super hearing. As much as Ollie infuriated me, I still laughed at his pet rock line. Lois called the Blur Studly Do-Right. :D Since everything in Lois's visions seems to be something that must be prevented, does that mean she and Clark hooking up is a bad thing? The trailer for next week had a new shot of them, and Clark's face was hurt. What's up with that? How in the world did Coats know that the zombie antidote was made from Clark's blood, much less get a sample of it? And did this episode have massive amounts of the pretty or what? I'm sorry, Ollie, but Clark in a white ribbed undershirt or a see-through, rain-soaked dress shirt beats your bare, chiseled chest every day of the week. *thud*

This week's episode advanced everyone's storyline at least a little bit. Clark is back at the Daily Planet and is exploring his feelings for Lois, having put his relationship with Lana behind him. Lois's nightmare visions are getting worse, and have now invaded her waking hours. Chloe is secretly monitoring the Justice League. Oliver is falling deeper into his own private hell. Tess is scouring the globe for the Kandorians. And Zod now knows there is a superpowered Kryptonian in Metropolis. All that, and zombies, too! I don't know about you, but so far I am loving Smallville's S9.

Well, there was way too much pretty this week for me to hold myself to my usual limits. Here are 40 gorgeous screen caps from Rabid:

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

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28 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 12th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can see how the idea of using the Blur as a shield works from Clark's POV, but Lois actually thinks they are two different people. I don't get how talking about the Blur to Clark gives her any kind of "closure." And if they do make it through alive, how will her confession give Clark the green light to make his move? I just think the whole Triangle for Two thing is way confusing.

When you say she was talking about Clark, does that mean you think her deeper feelings are for Clark, and not the Blur? Obviously they're both Clark, but I mean as far as Lois knows. I can see her being tentative after what happened in Infamous. But after this episode in particular, I hope she realizes that Clark is interested.

In any case, I can't wait to see what happens next between them! :D
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goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: October 12th, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful review. And as usual, your unabashed love for the show compels me to rethink some of my own issues with the ep.

Unfortunately I still can't seem to shake off my ill-will towards the Oliver scenes or head-scratching at Lois' Blur confession. Both of these aspects of the ep were just downright infuriating and bizarre (respectively), to me.

That said, the rest of it was all very enjoyable, and for all the reasons you point out so well.

I was particularly impressed with the way the zombies were handled - anything ::but:: cheesily. The technical dept did such a bang up job. And I loved Tess' sword wielding at the mansion. And of course, some of the most beautiful moments of the ep were those shared between Clark and Lois, of which my favorite is the rain scene. There's something almost cinematic about that entire sequence. And then the Kent farm scene is all kinds of playful, but with so much underlying set-up. Not to mention, hot.

And Teh Pretty was overwhelming this ep.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 12th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

Unfortunately I still can't seem to shake off my ill-will towards the Oliver scenes or head-scratching at Lois' Blur confession. Both of these aspects of the ep were just downright infuriating and bizarre (respectively), to me.

Those are my two big problems with the episode as well. What Oliver said to Clark is just ludicrous, and he knows it. And what reason does he have to be angry with Clark anyway? Or is he trying to provoke Clark, and what we're seeing is self-destructive behavior? But you know, it doesn't matter, because I meant it when I said I wash my hands of him. And you know it's bad if even I am fed up!

That Blur confession made no sense. It really sounded forced, like they dropped it in there with no thought to how in fit into the rest of the episode, or series, for that matter. And it sounded like it was written by someone who doesn't watch the show!

I'm finally beginning to see some real sexual chemistry between Clark and Lois. My God, can Tom ever turn it on when he wants to!! If Clark had looked at me like he did Lois in the farmhouse, I would have jumped him on the spot!
anakaliaandrea From: anakaliaandrea Date: October 12th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
i still hate chloe. i love allison, but I'm done with chloe.

GREAT EPISODE! minus the zombies *shudders*

so many great Clark hero moments and cloisy goodness.

Ollie needs to just be slapped really hard.

Great review hun!

ooo I love the pretties! The rain scene was so beautifully filmed! =P
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 12th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
The zombies were pretty gross, weren't they? Well done, though. :) They freaked me out.

so many great Clark hero moments and cloisy goodness.

Yes! Clark made me so proud, and the Clois moments ranged from funny and cute to heartfelt and romantic. I keep watching the episode over and over.

And I've really had it with Oliver. :/
gildinwen From: gildinwen Date: October 12th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't talk about Chloe or Oliver without my right eye starting to twitch :( I'm yelling at them every time they come on screen so I'm not going to talk about them.

But the Clark/Lois UST and burgeoning romance? Oh my heart.THIS is why I've always had a special place in my heart for these two. This is the couple that made me believe in love for the first time and Tom and Erica are doing a fantastic job of showing why Clark/Lois is one of the the most legendary, and enduring love stories in pop culture.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 12th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
They are good together, aren't they? I think it's kind of nice that it took so many years to get here. Clark and Lois have this long history of friendship on which to build their romance, but at the same time everything is changing. It's fun to watch. For me, I'm just excited about the possibility of Clark actually finding a little slice of happiness for once!
gotearsofjoy From: gotearsofjoy Date: October 12th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely review as always! & picspam - the shot looking down upon Lois and Clark in the rain is gorgeous.

I'm so surprised by the quality of S9 so far! The look and feel of Rabid felt different.. a little sharper and less cartoony in tone. Some unusually good humour too - I'm not a big fan of Ollie but him accusing Clark of considering himself a "superstar" made me actually lol and Clark's antics with the coffee and whooshing Dr Emil away were hilarious. I agree it's good to see a confident side to Clark. Usually I'm not so keen on episodes that begin with flashes into the future but this one really worked for me, I got chills! The zombie plotline feeling like a genuine threat improved things too. And I can't complain about the focus on Lois and Clark.. ♥. I fear it's all a bit too good to be true at the moment!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 12th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really like that shot, too, especially because with Tom's wet shirt, you can really see the size of those incredible arms! *is shallow* I love that scene in the episode, not only because it's just beautiful, but also because it looks like he's rocking her, soothing her as she comes back to herself. It's such a tender moment.

I definitely think there's a different feel to things in S9, and that the changes are for the better. The characters seem more sharply drawn to me, the stories are more Clark-centric, and Lois is no longer a peripheral character. Perhaps I'm just making this up in my head, but it seems to me that Tom is being allowed to do what he does best, and the result is a thrill to watch. Whatever the true explanation is, all that matters to me is that I am really enjoying this season so far! :)

That's a wonderful icon!
chrisluvstommy From: chrisluvstommy Date: October 12th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Once again a lovely accurate totally awesome review T!

I am soo in love with Clark and my show I can barely see straight ..has our show ever been this good?

I mean don't get me wrong I loved SV from the get go but I've waited a long time for Clark/Lois to finally be what I knew they could be and who knew that SV after all the bad drama of Clana could write CLois so beautifully.. when that rain scene played I thought are you kidding me this has to be the most romantic scene I've ever scene on SV hell maybe even on television period..

I absolutely loved it and just when I thought it couldnt' get better we had the Kent farm scene...the UST was off the charts between these two and to see Clark catch her hand like that I literrally gasped out loud..I just couldnt' believe it he was silently telling her they are more..*shakes head*

I am still deliriously happy with this season and it seems each episode just gets better and better...
Of course I am a little confused with the Clois nekked scene but I can't seem to bring myself to care cause their together and nekkid it's more then I dared to dream

Fantastic pretty shots I had the BEST time capping mine Tom's gorgeous face is something I will never tire of seeing
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 12th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree that this episode had some wonderful romantic moments, and some incredibly intimate ones. I truly feel that the relationship between Clark and Lois has been subtly redefined, and I'm so curious to see what will happen next between them!

I have to admit I still don't trust this show, though. I keep waiting for the axe to fall and the angst to hit, and I just don't want to see Clark go through another round of heartache, or for Lois to be hurt again. I need to just forget all that and enjoy each episode as it comes. :)
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 13th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Can you even believe how gorgeous this episode was? Visually, it was just stunning. Not at all what I expected from the zombie episode!

But I do see how others can assess that she was really talking about Clark and using the Blur as a shield so that she didn't have to come right out and say it.

I don't see how she could possibly hope to get her message across that way, unless she knew he was the Blur. But whatever. She was exhausted, injured, zombie-infected and sleep deprived. It's a wonder she could form a complete sentence! :D
theclexfactor From: theclexfactor Date: October 12th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I always love reading your reviews because you write them based on the episode as a whole and not just the squee worthy moments. Rabid, IMO, was surprisingly excellent and hit almost on all technical aspects from Direction to most of the writing, to the lighting, music, and it either touched on, highlighted, or advanced every storyline for every character.

With that being said, the Clois was amazing, lol.

On a selfish note: If you haven't already, can you please vote in my SV poll (http://theclexfactor.livejournal.com/tag/sv+episodes+poll). I'm endeavoringto rate the top SV episodes of all time. This isn't anything to do with 'ships or favorite characters, but the overall awesomeness of each episode. Thanks my dear.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 13th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for your kind words about my review! I so appreciate your comment.

I agree that this episode was technically superior. There were many scenes that were filmed exceptionally well, and in a unique style that really stood out. Some of my favorites were the scene of Clark waking up in the empty Watchtower, his foray out onto the deserted streets of Metropolis, and the whole sequence between Clark and Lois that ended with them in the rain. I also loved the contrast between the bright, warm Kent Farm, and the cold, blue tones of the big city.

But the scenes I find myself playing again and again are the Clois ones: that first scene in the DP, the two of them in the rain after Lois has been cured, and their exchange in Clark's home. The scenes range from cute and funny to emotional and romantic to charged with chemistry, but they're all fun to watch.

I haven't voted in your poll yet, but I will. I just haven't been online more than a few minutes at a time for days. I've saved all the posts so far. :)
jeannev From: jeannev Date: October 12th, 2009 08:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
My God, The Pretty was sure strong with this one! LOL Thanks so much for the beautiful pictures.

I really did enjoy how strong and confident Clark came across in this episode. It was like there was this complete absence of indecision. I love seeing him like that. Its a very mature Clark, and its incredibly hot!

The zombies were so much fun! I wish there were tons more of them. I especially felt like we didn't get enough Zombie!Tess. I can't imagine getting into that makeup was fun, but I have to think getting to act like a crazed zombie was tons of fun for the actors.

I understand what you are saying about Clark being the bigger man with Oliver, and him focusing on the future. But ya know, thats just not working for me. And I can't help but find Clark's willingness to put up with all this shit as a bit detrimental to him as a character. Honestly, there has to be some point where you stand up for yourself when you are, literally, STABBED in the back. I am so incredibly frustrated that the show has denied Clark the reaction he deserves. Hell, they've denied him ANY kind of reaction. And while the show will eventually want to sweep this all under the rug, and pretend it didn't happen (except Clark being wrong of course), I just don't feel like I'm able to. And I know this, possibly above anything else, is just seriously impacting my enjoyment of the show.

When Oliver said that line about him betting on Doomsday, I was spitting nails. I just can't find anything amusing in Oliver basically saying that Clark should've died, and he could've cared less. How can anyone like or root for this guy? Because he's got a nice chest? I feel so out of touch with SV fandom since I am apparently in the minority in not finding it amusing when Oliver just shits all over Clark, and Clark takes it.

Anyway, I'm rambling, but I guess my point is that the Oliver stuff in this episode really kept me from loving the episode. I'm even at a point where I'm considering not watching eps that he's going to be featured prominently, and then just DL'ing them later, and skipping over his crap. I feel like I've gotten to that point.

I'm in a far healthier place with Chloe. Maybe because she doesn't sit there and talk crap to Clark. And like you, her reaction to his pain really did quite a lot to endear her to me anew. AM's acting in that scene felt very real to me.

I doubt very much I'll be getting much Clark/Tess this season :(

Lois' speech about The Blur was just nonsensical to me. But I'm kind of getting a kick out of reading the wank on that. For me though, bottom line, if you have to wank it 6 ways to sunday, then its a poorly written scene. Trying to get the point of a scene shouldn't be that much work.

I did like several of the Clois scenes though, and the rain scene was really filmed beautifully.

The Clana closure in this episode was more satisfying to me then anything we got last season. Still, if this is as far as they intend to go, it still feels like a copout to me.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 13th, 2009 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I could barely concentrate on the story watching this one. Tom looked amazing in every single frame! And the glimpses we got of his chest, abs, and arms made my jaw drop. He's unbelievable.

It was like there was this complete absence of indecision. I love seeing him like that. Its a very mature Clark, and its incredibly hot!

Yes! I have to wonder if that is Tom's influence, especially after what BAG said in that podcast. It's a relatively small change, but it makes a word of difference to me. I spent the whole episode with my heart bursting with happiness and pride for my hero!

You know I struggle to reconcile myself with this show, and always do my share of fanwanking to make peace with the things that drive me nuts, so I do understand your frustration. Every time I watch that scene where Oliver hurls insults at Clark, I feel my face get hot and my blood start to boil. I do kind of love the way Clark just lets it all roll off of him; it just points out how much Ollie resembles a small child having a tantrum. But like you, I resent that Clark never gets to express righteous indignation, or even just disappointment, over Oliver's outright betrayal.

Although I've been angry with her lately, Chloe is different to me because she has a long history of absolute loyalty to Clark that precedes her recent behavior. Oliver has ALWAYS given Clark a hard time. He's always ready with criticism, insults, and snide remarks. I've made excuses for him for years, but I see now that he will probably never change. And please let me clarify that of course I found nothing funny about Oliver saying that he had his money on Doomsday. But I did laugh at Doomsday being called a pet rock, especially after the near deification Davis was given in some circles of fandom.

My own personal fanwank on Lois's speech about the Blur is that she was out of her head. :D

I'm sure that's the last we'll ever hear or see of Lana on Smallville, and what we got was certainly better than nothing. The way they handled Lana's departure is the closest I come to true bitterness toward this show. I don't think I can ever completely let go of that, but I will try to not think about it. I just know that if they ever have Clark say "I love you" to Lois, though, the last five minutes of Requiem are going to replay in my head. :(
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 13th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! It's so nice to see you here!

Happy Thanksgiving! ♥
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: October 13th, 2009 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I always enjoy your reviews but this time you've outdone yourself. I found it a difficult episode to evaluate because the Ollie stuff was just SO awful, it was ridiculous. But like you, I didn't really mind that Clark "apologised" to him - its just in character for Clark and not for Ollie who has always been about self justification. I can't say I'm looking forward to any more of him.

But the good parts of this episode were just so darned good that I have to love the episode. I was totally captivated by the opening shot of Clark's eyes - thanks for the caps! And every Clark minute thereafter was a delight, even if I was totally perplexed by Lois's Blur speech. I just write it off to one concussion too many, or maybe the time travel is messing around with her memories - what she's remembering hasn't actually happened yet.

I also can't help but feel that deep deep down, Lois knows Clark is the Blur and thus her connection to the Blur is really the connection to Clark. But since she's not consciously aware of the secret, she's just as confused by her reaction as we are. Or something like that.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 13th, 2009 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

The Ollie stuff WAS ridiculous! You know when I can't stand him anymore, things have to be really bad. I've watched this episode at least five times now, but I've only watched that Ollie scene at LuthorCorp once. I FF through it every time.

Clark was just amazing in this episode. He was every inch the hero, beyond gorgeous, and Tom did such a wonderful job of showing the depth of the emotions he was feeling. Clark truly does have an infinite capacity for compassion.

I like your theories about Lois, all of them! Between the Triangle of Two and her visions of the future, I get dizzy whenever I try to figure out exactly what is going on in her head. :)
tasabian From: tasabian Date: October 13th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Your 'caps are lovely! Look at those lush eyelashes. Tom was so beautiful this episode, and in such pretty outfits. He must have had to struggle to get inside that tight t-shirt and I'm grateful for his efforts.

I have to applaud Cassidy Freeman and Erica Durance for their willingness to throw themselves into playing the zombie versions of their characters. They were marvelously unrestrained, and it will be a long time before I can wipe those gruesome images from my mind.
There's always a danger of zombies coming across as campy but that definitely wasn't the case here! Very effective portrayals & a solid action ep..

Second, what the hell was she talking about? When did she and the Blur do good things together? And how can she feel this special connection to someone she's never actually met?
Yeah, the Blur-fixation is boring and they should avoid having Lois talk about secrets, which evokes the less fun aspects of Clana.

Oliver was a complete and total ass throughout this episode, especially to Clark. I couldn't even believe the things he said to him! I know it was the self-hatred and alcohol talking, but that doesn't make me any more inclined to forgive or forget. And in a particularly self-involved moment, he let Lois fall asleep while staring at his own pretty face in the polished brass panel of the elevator!
Heh, the last bit gave me a good laugh so I'll forgive it. But I don't forgive Oliver being such a unrepentant jerk to Clark. We better get a big apology regarding the krypto-arrow damn soon!

Random thoughts: Rabid had a scene that was actually shot on location. Wow.
I know - exciting! I wished they'd used natural light for those shot, but hey I'll take what I can get. And all the commuters walking blithely around in the rain without umbrellas was pretty funny.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 13th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your 'caps are lovely! Look at those lush eyelashes.

Every week I give thanks for janine83 and Home of the Nutty! So few people are still capping Smallville; I feel fortunate to have access to such gorgeous caps week after week.

Tom was so beautiful this episode, and in such pretty outfits. He must have had to struggle to get inside that tight t-shirt and I'm grateful for his efforts.

LOL! Didn't he look amazing? My God, his chest! And I liked the way his dress shirt was tailored. It made those long shots of him in the rain with Lois extra pretty.

Yeah, the Blur-fixation is boring and they should avoid having Lois talk about secrets, which evokes the less fun aspects of Clana.

You're right. This show always makes me nervous. Their track record with leading female characters doesn't exactly inspire my confidence. :/ And the Triangle for Two can have its fun moments (especially with Tom's comedic skills), but I vastly prefer Lois's scenes of genuine affection with Clark to watching her go gaga over the Blur.

We better get a big apology regarding the krypto-arrow damn soon!

I'm convinced we won't, which is really too bad. It would go a long way toward making Oliver likable again, although I know he's past redemption in some people's eyes.

I know - exciting! I wished they'd used natural light for those shot, but hey I'll take what I can get. And all the commuters walking blithely around in the rain without umbrellas was pretty funny.

I would have loved to see Tom in unadulterated sunlight, but at least we have those BTS shots from that scene. According to K-Site, part of 9x07 was shot on location at the Kent Farm!

I figured all those people were newly cured zombies, like Lois. I guess the rain got there just in time, evidently they were just about to overrun Clark! :)
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 13th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a treat this episode was! Tom was finally onscreen for a healthy portion of the time, and he looked unbelievable in every frame!

Isn't mature, decisive, heroic Clark lovely to watch? Our boy is all grown up.

You're so right. Clark is all MAN now, and I love it. Although of course he has managed to retain that adorable boyish charm. :)
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 14th, 2009 08:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: part I

I was basically thinking, "What are you, new? That's why Superman matters: he doesn't care who you are, where you're from or what you've done in your life right up until the moment you need his help. If you need it, and he can give it, he will. That's exactly what makes him special, dude."

Exactly! And I loved how Clark showed so much compassion for Metallo, but didn't apologize for his choices, or even explain them. He's not looking for validation anymore; he knows who he is now.

If I just think about things from Clark's POV, and don't take into account what I as a viewer feel, or what I think the series showed me, I can understand how Clark could blame himself for having faith in Davis.

That's a good point. I feel so protective of Clark when I watch this show, and I know my reactions are all about ME, my thoughts and emotions. :) It's all too easy for me to forget that Clark's POV can be quite different.

Well, and as far as all of the characters, including Oliver, knew at the time -- and I will never stop pointing this out: When bonded to Doomsday, Davis. Could. Not. Be. Killed.

I know! I remember how frustrated that made me at the time. Oliver made it sound like it was a simple matter of choice, when all the evidence indicated that Davis was indestructible. Clark's original plan to send him to the PZ was the best option they had.
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 14th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: part II

With this creative team? I'm not sure any of them -- except maybe Bryan Q. Miller -- has the capacity for subtlety and nuance that'd be necessary to keep such a monologue from sounding incredibly defensive.

I certainly share your reservations about the writers, and in Tom's hands, this was a beautiful scene. He has a gift for nuance, and as Clark he has become especially adept at expressing himself without any dialogue at all.

You make an interesting point about it being a private moment. When I was busy wishing for more, I did have a hard time visualizing exactly to whom he would say the things I so longed to hear. Certainly not Lois, that would be inappropriate at best. Chloe? Maybe. If Clark and Lois were to start dating, she could express concern for Lois's feelings, and ask Clark what would happen in Lana walked through the door free of kryptonite. But that would never have the emotional resonance of the simple scene we saw here. Honestly, my need to hear Clark say those words is really a burning yet impossible desire to somehow turn back the clock and rewrite the Lana arc altogether. I think it's about time I let that one go and move on myself.

I think Lois really was talking to Clark there, but she gave herself a layer of protective distance by claiming it was about the Blur.

And of course that works out great, because he knows she's talking about him. If it were me in Lois's place, I'd be worried it would make him back off completely, thinking he didn't have a chance. But then, we're talking about a crazy moment where time is running out and she might never have another chance to tell him how she feels. It's not like she had time to analyze the situation; she followed her instincts, and spoke from her heart.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! You have wonderful insights into the show, and I so appreciate you sharing them with me!
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