I enjoyed every scene between Clark and Lois in this episode, but the Good Morning Metropolis teaser was pure gold. It was hilarious, adorable, and a delight to watch. I know, because I've watched it more times than I can count. :) Tom Welling has an amazing gift for comedy, and if he doesn't do a rom-com when Smallville is over, it will be a crime against humanity. And Erica Durance is a very funny lady herself. But the scene wasn't just about the laughs. We also learned that Clark will go to great lengths to please Lois, and put himself in some pretty uncomfortable situations to help make her dreams come true, including agreeing to host a cheesy morning TV show. Was anyone else waiting for him to say, "Oh, boy," right before the opening credits rolled?
The online dating storyline was fun. Clark went first, and, in spite of a little awkwardness, found success just by being himself. I liked the message behind that: not only that honesty was the best policy, but also that Clark's way was the right way. Lois made everything more complicated, starting with her online profile. I loved that Clark obviously knew her well enough to fill out her profile himself, and yet couldn't put into words exactly what made her so special to him. That's because it was everything about her, and there were no words that could do her justice. "You're Lois," really did say it all.
I think Lois felt the same way about Clark, but she was still guarding her heart. She flirted with him, both in her teasing banter and more overtly, like when she gave him the once over and then agreed that she does indeed like a six-pack. :) She felt the sting of jealousy when his blind date turned out to be both beautiful and accomplished. She even openly declared her feelings for him, albeit only to Oliver. But she wasn't completely sure of Clark, and besides, I think she was enjoying the dance.
Whatever Lois's personal feelings for Clark, professionally she still saw him as a rival, and she didn't hesitate to act when her competitive jealousy sent her into a panic. After Clark's dream date, Lois went to Oliver to get pointers on how to make hers even better. Instead she got Oliver himself, and a date that quickly careened out of control, losing her the job she wanted in the process. In the end Lois was dragged into Oliver's latest misadventure, and her very life hung in the balance. It's a good thing she has her own personal superhero!
Working on the dating story brought Clark's feelings for Lois into sharp focus. He enjoyed his time with Cat Grant, but I think he enjoyed the running commentary from Lois in his ear even more. When Clark played the observer on Lois's date, his comments were decidedly more tender, and things were just starting to heat up between them when Oliver crashed the party. After Oliver declared himself, and Lois turned off her ear mic to let him down easy, Clark assumed the worst. He was left in silence, wounded, but switched to Blur mode in an instant when his earpiece crackled back to life with the sound of Lois in distress.
Clark showed us his fierce side with that magnificent rescue. He stepped in at the last possible second and saved the day, using his heat vision to remove the threat of the gunman, and his super speed and invulnerability to take care of the rest. What a glorious reminder of who the real hero is on this show! Oliver was helpless, and you could see in his eyes that he realized the full implications of that as he faced Clark's fury. There were no words, but Clark's look seemed to say it all: "You think you're worthy of her love when you can't even keep her safe? If you ever let her come to harm, you'll answer to ME." It was Tom's patented paparazzi death stare, up close and personal, and it took my breath away.
Later Clark let his insecurities take over again, and decided to step aside to give Oliver a clear playing field. Chloe reminded him that his happiness was important, too, and that Lois should have a say in her own love life as well. The next time Clark saw Lois I don't think he meant to do anything more than talk, but when he couldn't get her to listen, he threw caution to the wind and swooped in for a kiss. And fandom exploded in response. :) I'm sorry to say the kiss itself didn't knock my socks off, but I'm thrilled Clark finally went for it, and that Lois kissed him right back, without hesitation, protest, or any mention of the Blur. I can't wait to see where we go from here!
When we hear the word couple, most of us think of romance. But Crossfire showed us that there are many other pairings beyond those of the heart. We saw people partnered out of friendship, exploitation, mentorship, extortion, and mutual gain, as well as some linked by motivations that remain murky. Let's explore some of the couples we saw this week.
Tess and Zod: OMG, were these two awesome or what? They're both powerful, dangerous, and unpredictable, and their scenes together were nothing short of electric. I was completely captivated, drinking in the chemistry, the verbal sparring, and the struggle for dominance. Did you see how he poked her? And then completely dismissed her, his voice dripping with scorn? Zod has clearly underestimated Tess, but Tess in turn is playing with fire. How cool was it that she gave his murderous minion exactly what he deserved, and then threw down the gauntlet with the bloody proof of her victory and that insolent coffee salute? Did she go too far? It looked like Zod could barely contain his rage! *shivers*
We've seen Tess's solar twin towers before, in Lois's vision of the future. The pieces are beginning to fall into place. THIS is the storyline where Clark belongs, but I guess we'll finally see that next week. I know the show is trying to make Zod's story stretch out over the entire season, but I'm getting frustrated with the way it's being doled out a few minutes at a time, and it's making me resent the other storylines that don't interest me as much, and seem to be getting in the way.
Oliver and Mia: It seems a bit soon for Oliver to be providing guidance to other lost souls, but I liked the idea of him simultaneously recruiting for the Justice League and providing a helping hand out of the pit his privilege has insured he'll never have to face. I appreciated that Oliver's interest was purely platonic, fatherly even, and without condescension. This is Oliver being the good guy, and that's the Oliver I adore. Mia herself was okay, but it's hard for me to embrace a new character who doesn't instantly grab my attention when I'd much rather have more of Clark instead.
Oliver and Lois: These two have real chemistry, and I always enjoy their scenes together. I liked Ollie's amused shock at the thought of Clark on Good Morning Metropolis, and his sweet attempt to reassure Lois. But ultimately he didn't help her at all, and I was disappointed to see the show revisit this romance. I could understand Ollie's nostalgia for his days with Lois when he was in his downward spiral, but I had hoped that once he was back on track he would see that those feelings were about something else altogether. I loved the friendship we saw in Bride and Roulette, and I thought Crossfire diminished that, as well as Oliver's ability to find fulfillment without a woman's love to validate him. Besides, it made me worry that the writers are beginning to Lanafy Lois, and I really don't want to see that.
What I would have liked better was to see Oliver help Lois out by using his considerable charm to make her date look fabulous, and maybe push Clark into declaring himself by tormenting him with a little outrageous flirting, with all of it being just for show. But at least Lois was unequivocal in turning him down, and Oliver had the decency to look abashed when Clark glared at him over the bullet he stopped in the nick of time. I just hope the show doesn't use this as an excuse to create more tension between Clark and Oliver; I want to see our two heroes get along, at least for a little while.
Chloe and Clark: What a relief to see these two so close to the way they used to be! The scene at the Daily Planet was just like old times, with them walking and talking, except that now it's Clark who works there, and Chloe who visits. But their dynamic has definitely changed. Chloe has emerged from the events of last season and the conflicts of this one much more independent from the alien around whom her life used to revolve. She is clearly making her own decisions, based on her own priorities, and is obviously enjoying herself. She no longer seems bitter or hurt, but rather is happy, with a new focus and energy.
Clark doesn't seem entirely comfortable with the new Chloe. He keeps shooting her these concerned looks, with that famously furrowed brow, and he always seems a bit on edge in the Watchtower, watching her work, although he's thankful for the results. I think he knows she's not telling him everything, but he's trying to let her live her own life, and not become any more entwined in his than she already is. He's reluctant to challenge her and create any more animosity between them, and has decided to trust her instead. But he seems uneasy to me.
Chloe and Stuart: Is Stuart the new love interest for Chloe that TPTB have hinted at in recent interviews? It was such a treat to see her go up against him this week. Chloe was in her element, conquering one after another of his firewalls, each victory putting a bigger smile on her face, until she used his own arrogance to defeat him in another, unexpected way. The fact sheet she pulled up told us he's 20, holds an advanced degree from MIT, and has impressive skills. In addition, he's quirky, he knows way too many of Tess Mercer's secrets, and his morals are questionable at best. I just hope Chloe knows what she's doing, because he seems like a risky recruit, especially if it takes blackmail to get him on the team. Chloe's playing the puppet master again, and having a blast, but as much fun as it is to watch, it makes me nervous, too.
Random thoughts: I pretty much worship Cassidy Freeman, and her Tess Mercer. IJS. Were we supposed to take Cat Grant at face value? Or was that all an act, and she had that job in her sights from the start? Did they photoshop her head onto a pic of Lois to make that ad? Because she was wearing the same outfit. I thought Lois's mother died long before she was old enough to go to any prom. Does every woman on this show have to wear a shirt that is longer than the jacket/other shirt that goes over it? And I think someone on the show likes Pretty Woman. Not only was Mia's hooker outfit, with the blond wig and thigh-high, patent leather boots, straight out of the film, the cardboard cutout of Lois and Clark was a dead ringer for the poster (check it out HERE).
Crossfire was a wonderful episode. It was entertaining, it built my anticipation for episodes to come, the stories meshed and overlapped in a really nice way, and it took the relationship between Lois and Clark to a whole new level with an unforgettable kiss. But it also reminded me of my one quibble with this season of Smallville: where is Clark? Don't get me wrong, I love Clark this season, I just want to see more of him, and I want the stories to be ABOUT him. I don't mean to nitpick, but in this episode, except for his big move at the end, Clark did a lot of watching and reacting. He had no interaction with the majority of the cast, and had little or no part to play in the storylines outside of his one with Lois.
Compare that to Rabid, where the virus was released specifically to flush him out, he was instrumental in effecting a cure, the action revolved around him, he shared at least one scene with every character except Zod, and he had more screen time than anyone else. And Rabid seems to be the exception rather than the rule. It makes no sense to me. I can't decide if TPTB are pimping Oliver for a JL spin-off, trying to lighten Tom Welling's work load, or if they have run out of stories to tell about their main character. I just know it doesn't feel right to me.
The one thing this show never fails to deliver is outrageous amounts of the Tom pretty. My top twenty caps from Crossfire:
Screen caps courtesy of Home of the Nutty, with my thanks!