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Smallville 9x13 - Warrior - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 9x13 - Warrior
Warrior could easily have become one of my favorite episodes of Smallville based on the loft scene alone, but it gave us so much more. It was a portrait of a hero in transition, edging so close to his destiny, but still struggling to find that elusive balance that will make his demanding life bearable. And it was wrapped in a delicious confection of a story, filled with light, fantasy, and magic, that was a delight to gobble up. Bryan Q. Miller wrote a fantastic script that finally gave Clark a much-needed voice, and Allison Mack more than did it justice as the director. Add to that Tom Welling's perfect portrayal of the future Superman, and my cup runneth over.

Ostensibly this episode was about a cursed comic book, Chloe's day of fantasy that suddenly turned all too real, and Zatanna's return to Smallville, but the highlight for me was Clark. Clark talked! About his feelings, and what it means to be a hero, and why he continues to choose that role for himself, in spite of the sacrifices it requires. After hearing what he struggles with, and what inspires him, I admire him more, I love him more, and his relationship with Lois makes a lot more sense. As a Clark fan, Warrior felt like a valentine made just for me. ♥

This week Clark was totally focused on his activities as the Blur. He was out catching bad guys in broad daylight, showing up late for his Daily Planet duties, and making excuses to Lois. In Disciple we saw him give in to his heart and turn up the heat on his new romance, but in Warrior he was putting it on the back burner again. Finding a balance isn't easy for Clark, and neither is letting Lois get close, especially when you factor in the baggage he's still carrying from his relationship with Lana. But Zatanna helped bring his feelings for Lois into sharp focus, Lois herself reminded him that life with her is a whole new ball game, and by the end of the episode he was ready to step outside his comfort zone and take a whole new chance on love.

I enjoyed every moment of Tom's performance. He showed us how serious Clark is about being a force for good in the world, and how hard it is for him to take a break from playing the hero, especially to pursue his own happiness with Lois. At the same time, he gave us some really wonderful comic scenes. I laughed so hard when Clark chucked that can to take out the bad guy, without even a hitch in his conversation with Lois. His expressions as he held up each costume in Lois's closet were hilarious. And Tom was both adorable and funny as he rushed through Clark's awkward apology, racing to get it out before Lois had time to react, and then faltered, suddenly shy, when the subject of fantasy came up. He shifted gears into sexy when Clark fell under Zatanna's spell, giving in for just one moment to pure, unadulterated lust. Tom does this thing where he lunges into a kiss that leaves me seriously weak in the knees. Rowr.

Tom's best scene of all, though, was Clark's heartfelt conversation with Alec in the loft at the farm. He was my Superman: so strong and true, so gentle and kind. Tom has a way with young actors that is truly magical, and Clark reaching out to kids never fails to touch my heart. He doesn't talk down to them, lie to them, or try to manipulate them, the way many adults do. He treats them with respect, and genuine affection, and inspires in them the devotion the whole world will someday feel for the Man of Steel. I loved what Clark had to say about being a hero, and the shining admiration in Alec's eyes as he did so. And how cool was it that Alec had been a fan of the Blur since his red and blue days?

Clark brought Alec back to his own beginnings to set him on the right path, and every element of that moment was perfect: the nostalgic loft setting, the golden light, the simple, wistful song, and even the soft breeze that ruffled their hair. And yet we were reminded by Clark's grown-up DP wardrobe how far he has come since then. I applaud the writer, the director, and especially the actors for crafting a scene that is destined to become one of my all-time favorites. The emotion pulled me in, the message lifted me up, and it was beautiful. *loves my show*

So after writing an entire review's worth of words just about Clark, what else did I like about Warrior? Everything! Smallville's trip to MetCon was fun. There were no thinly veiled barbs directed at the fans as some people feared, just a sweet celebration of geekdom, with a generous dose of Star Wars, and featuring Smallville's own comic book hero, Warrior Angel. I enjoyed scoping out all the costumes on the extras we saw milling about, especially the multiple versions of the Blur and Green Arrow. Very cute, show. They even had a booth with Blur-themed merchandise! I'm adding a MetCon tee to my ever-growing Smallville wish list, right after the DP key chain from Metallo, the Blur coffee cup from Idol, and the Lois and Clark cardboard cut-out from Crossfire. Oh, and Alec's Warrior Angel tee would be nice, too.

With MetCon came Zatanna, played by Serinda Swan, one of my favorite guest stars. She's gorgeous, she looks and acts the part to perfection, and she has incredible chemistry with everyone, men and women alike. She is simply wonderful, and I hope they bring her back again soon. In Warrior, Zatanna returned to Smallville to clean up a mess her late father had made, in the form of a cursed comic book. But she was too late; a little boy had already invoked the curse, and Zatanna was left to track him down, with Clark's help, and reverse the spell, before something went terribly wrong.

One of the things I like most about Zatanna is her sense of mischief. At heart, she's obviously a good person. She's undoing the evil her father wrought, and, as we saw in Hex, she likes to help people face the truth about themselves. The only thing is, she uses magic to do it, and I'm afraid her own amusement always comes first, which makes her methods both unconventional and unpredictable. But hey, that's the fun part! :) Last time she saw Clark, he was unattached, and this time she was definitely interested. She noticed Lois, but when she asked Clark about her, with a suggestive sidelong glance, all he volunteered was that he was keeping her at arm's length. So she decided to put his feelings to the test.

She started by filling the room with romantic candlelight and stepping dangerously close, and it was clear that Clark, although fighting to stay strong, was not completely immune to her charms. I liked that. We rarely see Clark experience true passion, and I want to know it's there inside him, ready to be unleashed when the right woman is in his arms. Zatanna whipped up a little spell to push him over the edge, and the next thing we knew, she was straddling our hero, and they locked lips in a hungry kiss. Yowza! It lasted only a second before Clark regained control, easily breaking the spell, and Zatanna conceded defeat graciously, her mission accomplished. Now Clark knew that maybe he did want a bit of fantasy in his life, but he only wanted it with Lois.

It was probably more naughty than nice of Zatanna to play with Clark that way, especially because we knew our boy scout was going to feel guilty for even the hint of attraction he felt for her, but her loosely woven spell was hardly a magical roofie, and all she stole was a kiss. To Zatanna, it was just a bit of harmless fun that answered her questions, and opened Clark's eyes at the same time. And without it, Clark would never have bought those apology tickets to the ball. Zatanna actually helped Clark's relationship with Lois! ;) Besides, did I mention that kiss was HOT?

The other guest stars this week were also exceptional. Owen Best's Alec was sweet and sympathetic, and he blew me away in his emotional scenes, especially the one with Clark in the loft. Plus he was a real cutie-pie. Once again Smallville casting found us a treasure (and he previously played little Jason Teague in Veritas). When Alec opened the Warrior Angel comic book and read aloud from it, he unwittingly triggered the curse. He transformed into a grown man who was also a superhero, and that's when the real adventure began.

Carlo Marks, who played Chloe's hunky boyfriend in the Apocalypse AU, returned in Warrior as Stephen Swift, Warrior Angel's secret identity, come to life right out of the pages of a comic book. He was Alec on the inside, and Stephen on the outside, and he perfectly captured the youthful exuberance of a boy whose wildest dreams have just come true, along with the innocence and naivete of that boy trying to be a man. It was exhilarating to watch him enjoy his new life as a hero, celebrating each newly discovered power, and joyfully saving victims from the bullies of the world. And when the dark side of the curse kicked in, and Warrior Angel became the evil Devilicus, it was equally chilling to watch him turn.

Stephen's first act as Warrior Angel was to save Chloe's life, and from that moment on they were inseparable. Chloe had just promised Lois she would try to have some fun, and then a brand new superhero dropped right into her lap. I think it was a relief for Chloe to look at the world through Stephen's eyes. He was so happy, and each new experience seemed shiny and bright. She could talk to him without the conflicts that define her relationship with Clark these days, and forget for a moment the constant struggle and worry that has become her life. With Stephen she remembered how to laugh again, and when she finally gave in to the moment and threw caution to the wind, her reward was an unbelievable night spent soaring through the skies, watching her city from a heady new perspective.

Chloe broke my heart in this episode. She's been through so much, suffered so much. Yes, she bears some responsibility for all that has happened, but I would never say she deserved the pain she's had to bear. When she finally tried to break free of her self-imposed prison, what happened? She was shot down, again. After learning the truth about Stephen, she still couldn't bring herself to open up to Clark, but instead attempted to make it right on her own. Unfortunately, she only made it worse, and almost lost her life in the process, flung from the rooftop by Zatanna's magic recoil. I loved that it was Clark who came to her rescue, with a glorious iconic shirt rip and a thrilling super leap from the street below, the true hero of the story. I wish Chloe could see that, and put her trust in him as she once did. Her decision to keep things from him can't end well.

In the aftermath, as Chloe hugged a distraught Alec tight, her eyes filled with tears, and I don't think they were just for that little boy. When Clark told him that everything was going to be okay, we could see that Chloe didn't believe his reassurances extended to her, and when she returned to the Watchtower to find Oliver in the middle of target practice, she seemed utterly defeated. As she shrugged off her coat, kicked off her high heels, and poured herself a single malt, I realized that some part of me has continued to see Chloe as Clark's high school sidekick all these years. For the first time it truly struck me that, like Clark, Chloe is all grown up now. And that was never more apparent than in the scene that followed.

In one of the steamiest scenes this show has ever given us, Chloe and Oliver bonded over their emotional scars and their world-weary cynicism, dispensing with hearts and flowers, and embracing honesty instead. Oliver, his eyes full of sexual promise, proposed that they find their fun where they could, and Chloe accepted, this time leaving all her expectations behind. As she stood in the circle of his arms for an impromptu archery lesson, his warm touch sliding over her skin, and his husky whisper in her ear, I was surprised the screen didn't burst into flames from the heat coming off of these two! And I say more power to them. They're going into this with their eyes wide open, they're impossibly hot together (who knew?), and they're not hurting anyone. Why not give it a whirl?

Justin Hartley had one other scene in this episode, a brief conversation between Oliver and Clark at the DP. He wasn't even onscreen for thirty seconds, and he still managed to deliver one of the episode's funnier scenes. The man continues to hone his comedic skills, and I continue to enjoy his presence on the show. And Oliver looked yummy in that suit. I just hope his dark days are well and truly over.

We saw Lois in reporter mode this episode, first at MetCon on a human interest story, and then following up on the comic book theft that happened there. She wore a couple of different costumes at MetCon to get that "embedded" experience. My favorite was the Star Wars stormtrooper, both for the geek factor and because she looked adorable in it, but when she couldn't get anyone to talk to her, she sent Clark to bring her something the fanboys would appreciate. Her Wonder Woman Amazon princess outfit looked amazing, and quickly garnered the attention she was seeking. Erica Durance positively sparkled in this episode, especially in her bubbly commentary as Clark flipped through the contents of her closet. How much do you love that Lois has a closet full of costumes? Was the one she had stashed in that garment bag always her backup plan, or did she just pick it up for the fun of it? ;)

Lois was feeling a little insecure at the beginning of Warrior, because Clark had been distracted and absent recently, and those feelings turned into full-blown jealousy when Zatanna showed up and dragged Clark away. Determined not to give in to the green-eyed monster, Lois gave Clark his space and focused on the comic book story, but obviously she cared enough to give Oliver an earful, which in turn gave Clark a little twinge of jealousy himself. There were a lot of cute and funny couple moments between Lois and Clark in this episode, from him awkwardly rifling through her provocative collection of dress-up clothes, to her hilarious retaliatory kiss with Jeff the Intern, but their last scene together ended on a sweet note, with no doubt that they only have eyes for each other. To me, this was the perfect amount of romance. It was an important and entertaining part of the story, but not the only one. It didn't overpower the other themes, and it let both Clark and Lois shine as individuals, not just as two halves of a couple.

Allison Mack did a tremendous job directing this episode. She has a great eye for comedy, and for emotional resonance as well. I loved the overall look and tone of Warrior, and there were many individual shots and scenes that stood out. The whole sequence where Clark cleans up crime while talking to Lois on the phone was hilarious. I liked the way she filmed Lois's apartment from a vantage point inside the closet. I laughed at the line of fanboys who all leaned in unison to check out Lois. The shot of Clark rescuing Chloe from below and speeding into the camera with her in his arms was cool. The sexual tension she created in the way she blocked the final scene of the episode was stunning. And the loft scene was, quite simply, a masterpiece. AM should be very proud.

Random thoughts: I loved the ChloLo scene! We need more of those! Whose burly bicep was that? It didn't match the rest of Stephen at all. Chloe's top was pretty. She wore it in Idol, too. Did you see Tom grin at that little boy in line for the bathroom? Awww. "Stop gawking and prosper." hee! How many takes did AM need to get that coffee order right? All that business with the phone cords at the DP was cute. Who else thought we got robbed when we didn't get to see Clark dressed up for the ball? *pouts* And Warrior had a couple of songs! The one we heard during the loft scene is called Miles, by Justin Mather, and it's available on iTunes HERE. The one that played over that final scene between Chloe and Oliver is called Smooth, by Car Stereo Wars, and it's on iTunes HERE.

Warrior was about finding a balance, between work and play, between serving the greater good and nurturing ourselves, between fantasy and reality. The episode had a lovely balance itself, with comedy, drama, action, romance, a stand-alone adventure, and a bit of mythos. And a long-overdue focus on Clark's POV, which for me made everything else better. I think it was a little slice of perfection, one that reminds me why I love this show, and that I will return to again and again. Well done, Smallville.

Have I ever mentioned that I think Tom is pretty? :D My top 20 caps from Warrior:




























































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

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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 16th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

open their hearts for love or life

That's a cool insight! I thought it was interesting how Clark said to Zatanna, "Right now, everything's under control." Very similar to what Chloe keeps saying to everyone!

That Chlollie scene was seriously hot. It really took me by surprise.
tasabian From: tasabian Date: February 16th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful review! And such a gallery of pretty Toms from this episode...

As a Clark fan, Warrior felt like a valentine made just for me. ♥
YesYesYes, me too! Love when an episode comes out of nowhere and turns out to be such a wonderful Clark-filled surprise!

He shifted gears into sexy when Clark fell under Zatanna's spell, giving in for just one moment to pure, unadulterated lust. Tom does this thing where he lunges into a kiss that leaves me seriously weak in the knees. Rowr.
Tom's such a great physical actor - he can convey so much with just a tilt of his head or a shift of the shoulder & infuse such eroticism into a scene.

I loved that it was Clark who came to her rescue, with a glorious iconic shirt rip and a thrilling super leap from the street below, the true hero of the story.
The shirt-rip and the can-toss were two such SQUEE moments - all in a day's work for our Clark!

How much do you love that Lois has a closet full of costumes?
Love that she kept them all because hey, you never know when you might need a red catsuit again! A girls' got to be prepared.

Tom has a way with young actors that is truly magical, and Clark reaching out to kids never fails to touch my heart. He doesn't talk down to them, lie to them, or try to manipulate them, the way many adults do. He treats them with respect, and genuine affection, and inspires in them the devotion the whole world will someday feel for the Man of Steel.
Tom always elicits such natural, comfortable performances from his young co-stars. It's a true gift & a tribute to his acting, directing and personality.

*draws hearts all over this one* Well done, Ms. Mack!

Edited at 2010-02-16 04:35 am (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 16th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww, you're so sweet. It took me long enough to put this together! Although I did spend a lot of the weekend passed out on NyQuil. :)

Love when an episode comes out of nowhere and turns out to be such a wonderful Clark-filled surprise!

Yes, I never expected Warrior to be the treasure it was! How I wish they could all be this rich with Clarky goodness! I say BQM needs to lead a Clark workshop for the other writers. :) I've liked the way he has written Clark in every one of his episodes.

Tom's such a great physical actor - he can convey so much with just a tilt of his head or a shift of the shoulder & infuse such eroticism into a scene.

That is so true. And I'm glad Clark is finally losing a little bit of his innocence, so Tom can unleash the sexy beast from time to time, without having to wait for a Red!K episode or an AU. I want to see Clark have some healthy, sexy fun!

Tom always elicits such natural, comfortable performances from his young co-stars. It's a true gift & a tribute to his acting, directing and personality.

I think this had a lot to do with why that loft scene was so special. Tom and Owen truly connected, and gave us something amazing. I think it is this quality that makes me ache for Tom to have children of his own, even though it is absolutely none of my business to even speculate on the matter. :)

*draws hearts all over this one* Well done, Ms. Mack!

I couldn't agree more!
bop_radar From: bop_radar Date: February 16th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't read this because I haven't seen it yet but I was going to say 'THAT ICON SHOULD BE R-RATED!!!' but then I saw the caps and now I'm ... just ...
GAH.



WHY. So. Pretty.?! Tom? WHY?!!!!!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 17th, 2010 10:33 am (UTC) (Link)
After all these years and all these episodes, he still takes my breath away, week after week. Picking out the caps to include is the reward I give myself for having finished my review. :)

Did you see the pic from the Olympics? He's just standing there, as casual as can be, and he looks incredible, even in a candid taken from a distance. How does he do it?!

jeannev From: jeannev Date: February 16th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
This review is worth the wait. Because I like this ep so much, and I think its been so ridiculously maligned, I find I'm just eating up any positive review I find. Especially those that are as well articulated as this one is.

I thought this episode was a little gem, and I really didn't think any of the characters were OOC. Zatanna was very much the same character we were introduced to Hex. Lois was the Lois she's been all season. Chloe's ongoing storyline of S9 was carried through beautifully. Oliver's 2 scenes very much captured the dichotomy of his character (breezy/snarky/funny vs cynical, dark). And there there's Clark.

Like you, I found it perfectly understandable to figure out where Clark was coming from this week. In his heroics, and in his slight step back from Lois. In fact, there's actually something more in character to Clark here then what we've seen prior, with him rushing right into a relationship with Lois without really giving much consideration as to the complications of it. I LIKE when Clark remembers his own difficult romantic past, because he should. What is that they say....those who forget history are doomed to repeat it?

The loft scene between Clark and Alec was one of my favs of the season. Tom + child actors = Total Win!

One day, I hope someone can explain why the Chlo-Lo relationship is so woefully neglected, because they really are very cute together, and it would be so nice to have a positive female relationship on this show.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 17th, 2010 10:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Valerie. I know what you mean about positive reviews. It's been a pleasure to find so many on my flist, especially after the storm of criticism I've seen elsewhere.

I thought this episode was a little gem, and I really didn't think any of the characters were OOC.

I didn't either. I thought their actions were consistent, and in addition, the script made their motivations clear.

In fact, there's actually something more in character to Clark here then what we've seen prior, with him rushing right into a relationship with Lois without really giving much consideration as to the complications of it.

I agree, and I don't see that as a regression at all. I like that we get to see Clark figure it all out, how to follow his destiny and his heart.

Tom + child actors = Total Win!

He really enjoys working with kids, I think. I'd love to see him play a single dad in a movie.

One day, I hope someone can explain why the Chlo-Lo relationship is so woefully neglected, because they really are very cute together, and it would be so nice to have a positive female relationship on this show.

I don't get that either. Their scenes together are always great. i know they can't work together like they did in Exposed and Solitude, since Chloe travels in a world that is kept almost completely secret from Lois, but they're still family.
theclexfactor From: theclexfactor Date: February 16th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
First I want to pause and say thank you for putting into perspective the whole "magic roofie" thing.

Second, I draw hearts around this review because I was almost starting to feel bad for liking the episode. I thought it was a delightful, fun, light episode, and yet still relevant to the overall theme of what it means to be a hero. Clark especially shined as he's supposed to. In what I thought would be a Chloe-centric episode (which does not necessarily automatically mean "bad" though I never cared for the character) turned out to be, like you said, almost a love letter to this Clark fan. It reminded the viewers who this show is really about while at the same time highlighting the other members of the ensemble cast. Everyone (even Chloe) came out in a good light. Even though Chloe was still keeping secrets, for once I could actually not completely blame her for trying to get through to Alec first. But what that did was only show that Chloe needs to start trusting Clark again because he was the only one that got through to Alec. I thought Lois was completely adorable (and the phone cord thing is something I can completely relate to when I'm already aggitated as Lois was). I still love Zatanna and would love to see her do another appearance next season (fingers crossed). Damn, now I want to watch the episode again (which wouldn't be bad if I weren't at work...but that's what iPods are for :P)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 17th, 2010 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I want to pause and say thank you for putting into perspective the whole "magic roofie" thing.

I'm so glad my perspective works for you, too. I adore Zatanna, and nothing that happened in Warrior changed that.

I was almost starting to feel bad for liking the episode.

I know what you mean. I try not to read other reviews and reactions until after I've posted my own, and I was surprised to find out that there were people who had big problems with the episode.

I thought it was a delightful, fun, light episode, and yet still relevant to the overall theme of what it means to be a hero.

Exactly! And Clark was glorious! I really wish Chloe would just go to Clark and have a true heart-to-heart. She can trust him above all others, but she can't seem to see that anymore. :(
frelling_tralk From: frelling_tralk Date: February 16th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the review :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 17th, 2010 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for reading, and for your comment!
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: February 16th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awesome, awesome review. :-) You already know I agree with practically everything, so I won't go in to endless ramblings, heh, but this:

//I think it was a little slice of perfection, one that reminds me why I love this show, and that I will return to again and again. Well done, Smallville.//

---is put so perfectly that I just had to quote it. Well done, SV, and well done, T!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 17th, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
*blushes* Thank you! And you already know I agreed with practically everything in your review! :)

There are some episodes that are my favorites just because I love them, and they continue to charm me, no matter how many times I watch them. Leech, Blank, Fragile, Committed, and Identity are all on that list, among others. And now Warrior is as well.
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: February 16th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love when you gush about Smallville. You can tell you're in your very happy place and it's wonderful.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 17th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really am, I just adored this episode so much!

And I love that you celebrate my joy with me. *hugs*
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: February 16th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I want to draw sparkly hearts all over this review! :D
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 17th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww, thanks! I want to draw sparkly hearts all over this episode! :D
From: kates_passion Date: February 16th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Smallville's trip to MetCon was fun. There were no thinly veiled barbs directed at the fans as some people feared, just a sweet celebration of geekdom, with a generous dose of Star Wars, and featuring Smallville's own comic book hero, Warrior Angel."

Such a difference in the attitude of the current show runners and the previous ones! I loved all the meticulous attention to detail. They really did a wonderful job decorating the MetCon set.

"One of the things I like most about Zatanna is her sense of mischief."

Yes! And Serinda Swann is so perfectly cast in this role.

"Tom has a way with young actors that is truly magical, and Clark reaching out to kids never fails to touch my heart. He doesn't talk down to them, lie to them, or try to manipulate them, the way many adults do. He treats them with respect, and genuine affection, and inspires in them the devotion the whole world will someday feel for the Man of Steel. I loved what Clark had to say about being a hero, and the shining admiration in Alec's eyes as he did so. And how cool was it that Alec had been a fan of the Blur since his red and blue days?"

So much WORD to all of this! It was a really beautiful and heartfelt scene precisely because of what you have expressed about Clark's sincere way of interacting with children. From the very start, when Clark read Alec's letter to the Blur, he got that Alec wanted someone to understand him and Clark did because he also grew up feeling different and wanting so much to fit in.

I also loved hearing him articulate his POV and in particular the part about why he does "it." I don't think we've ever heard him come right out and say, "I do it because I want to help people." It's always been implied but hearing him verbalize that was pure joy.

"I was surprised the screen didn't burst into flames from the heat coming off of these two!"

Me, too! I haven't been able to picture Chloe and Oliver as a couple but Allison and Justin completely sold me in this scene. I'm intriqued but I fear for Chloe. Has she really shut off her heart so much that she can be in this kind of relationship without any expectation and getting her heart broken again?

I think you liked Warrior more than I did but I did enjoy and appreciate much about it. What kept me from loving it was Clark seemed (to me) a little too much like the younger, less confident and weighted down hero of a few season's back in some of his scenes and not the same bold and confident hero I saw in AJ. I also understand that as his relationship with Lois progresses he has to deal with not telling her his secret and why he has all the unexplained absences but there just didn't seem to be a smooth transition into this dilemma. One moment he's questioning her reluctance to hold his hand in public and asking her to take the Clark Kent tour of the Galaxy (btw, where does one sign up for that excursion?) and then the next he's avoiding her and holding her at arm's length. It just felt sudden to me and I was left to fill in the blanks.

"Who else thought we got robbed when we didn't get to see Clark dressed up for the ball?"
*raises hand* That lucky Lois! I'd love to be the one getting to (un)dress him!

Thanks for the caps and the song title! : )
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 17th, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved all the meticulous attention to detail. They really did a wonderful job decorating the MetCon set.

I think so, too. I'm still poring over the screen caps, checking out all the costumes and displays.

And Serinda Swann is so perfectly cast in this role.

I agree. I have to admit, when I first saw pictures of her before Hex, I assumed she had been cast for her looks, but much like Tom, she's both gorgeous and talented. I love what she brings to this role, and I'm captivated whenever she's onscreen.

From the very start, when Clark read Alec's letter to the Blur, he got that Alec wanted someone to understand him and Clark did because he also grew up feeling different and wanting so much to fit in.

That's a wonderful insight. I know some people were bothered that Clark revealed his identity to Alec, but I love that he wanted to reach out on such a personal level. Besides, if Clark trusts him, then so do I!

I don't think we've ever heard him come right out and say, "I do it because I want to help people." It's always been implied but hearing him verbalize that was pure joy.

That was such an emotional moment for me. We've all seen people (I'm looking at you, Oliver) give Clark a hard time about his life and his choices, trying to guilt him into doing what they think is right. I'm so proud of the path Clark has taken this season, and to hear him say he's choosing to help people, and because he wants to, was amazing.

Has she really shut off her heart so much that she can be in this kind of relationship without any expectation and getting her heart broken again?

That's a good question. Has Chloe really become that detached? And what about Oliver? We all know his bad boy exterior hides a hurt little boy.

What kept me from loving it was Clark seemed (to me) a little too much like the younger, less confident and weighted down hero of a few season's back in some of his scenes and not the same bold and confident hero I saw in AJ.

I think I know what you're talking about, but I saw that not so much as Clark being different, but more that he let his guard down and was more open about showing and exploring his feelings. And I think magic always makes Clark feel especially vulnerable, so that may have been part of it as well.

Clark has a really interesting relationship with Zatanna. It was clear that he didn't approve of the spell she cast over him, but in spite of that they had a great rapport, and he was more exasperated than angry with her. I think he appreciates that she understands what he's going through, and as a person who is outside his close circle of friends, she offers a degree of objectivity, and, as Zee herself said, perspective. Clark threw a lot of smiles her way, and their goodbye was sweet. I think he knows she has a good heart.

One moment he's questioning her reluctance to hold his hand in public and asking her to take the Clark Kent tour of the Galaxy (btw, where does one sign up for that excursion?) and then the next he's avoiding her and holding her at arm's length.

I still can't believe Lois turned him down! :) I know what you mean. I suppose it's a bit of fanwanking on my part, but I think it has to do with what Clark said to Lois about how this is all new to him. Intoxicated by his wonderful evening with Lois in Disciple, he impulsively made his move. When Lois wanted to take it slow, he retreated again, maybe too much. And with the costume ball he's reaching out again, but with a gesture that's all about her desires, rather than his own. I'm utterly charmed.
miss_tress From: miss_tress Date: February 16th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope that everyone that says they didn't like this episode reads your review because I think it would change their way of looking at it and then they would like it more. Because everyone should like this episode. Because it was awesome sauce with a side of kick ass.

Also, my husband said he enjoyed this ep and if he'll actually admit to liking an episode that's a big deal.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 17th, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a wonderful comment, thank you!

Because it was awesome sauce with a side of kick ass.

It really was! I am loving S9 so much!

Also, my husband said he enjoyed this ep and if he'll actually admit to liking an episode that's a big deal.

That's high praise indeed. My own husband enjoys any episode where I spend more time laughing at Tom than drooling over him. ;)
silverscreengal From: silverscreengal Date: February 17th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)

I haven't even read your review yet, but I have to tell you I screamed when I read your tease line.

I have been trying to predict after each ep what your line will be and I KNEW as soon as Clark said it, that that would be the one.

Is that the hottest line ever or what??????? *waving myself with a fan*

Squeeeee!!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 17th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the moment I heard that line, I said to myself, "That's the one!" :) I love it when Clark's sexiness is acknowledged on the show.
dawnybee From: dawnybee Date: February 17th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Tremendous review!

I enjoyed every moment of Tom's performance. He showed us how serious Clark is about being a force for good in the world, and how hard it is for him to take a break from playing the hero, especially to pursue his own happiness with Lois.

It was so great to hear his viewpoint. We see Clark existing but we rarely get to know what's really driving him and it's good to know that it's not a sense of obligation out of guilt, but because this is truly his calling.

And Tom was both adorable and funny as he rushed through Clark's awkward apology, racing to get it out before Lois had time to react, and then faltered, suddenly shy, when the subject of fantasy came up. He shifted gears into sexy when Clark fell under Zatanna's spell, giving in for just one moment to pure, unadulterated lust. Tom does this thing where he lunges into a kiss that leaves me seriously weak in the knees. Rowr.

Tom got to play both sides: romantic comedy and sultry seductee and did both with great aplomb.

Tom's best scene of all, though, was Clark's heartfelt conversation with Alec in the loft at the farm. He was my Superman: so strong and true, so gentle and kind.

It was perfect Superman note.

Oh, and Alec's Warrior Angel tee would be nice, too.

Each episode some item jumps to the top of my fantasy wish list and now it's that tee.

One of the things I like most about Zatanna is her sense of mischief. At heart, she's obviously a good person. She's undoing the evil her father wrought, and, as we saw in Hex, she likes to help people face the truth about themselves. The only thing is, she uses magic to do it, and I'm afraid her own amusement

It is, but what helps is her heart. Amazingly even when she and Clark first met there was no wariness or distrust on his part. I think he can see that Zatanna is a good person in and out--a bit reckless in her machinations, but has a good heart.

It was probably more naughty than nice of Zatanna to play with Clark that way, especially because we knew our boy scout was going to feel guilty for even the hint of attraction he felt for her, but her loosely woven spell was hardly a magical roofie, and all she stole was a kiss.

And a free ride on the Clark pony. Lucky duck!

To Zatanna, it was just a bit of harmless fun that answered her questions, and opened Clark's eyes at the same time. And without it, Clark would never have bought those apology tickets to the ball. Zatanna actually helped Clark's relationship with Lois! ;) Besides, did I mention that kiss was HOT?

Zatanna could be a sex surrogate.She was just showing Clark what he's missing by not living with some passion.

Once again Smallville casting found us a treasure (and he previously played little Jason Teague in Veritas).

I didn't know that!

It was exhilarating to watch him enjoy his new life as a hero, celebrating each newly discovered power, and joyfully saving victims from the bullies of the world. …He was so happy, and each new experience seemed shiny and bright.

Carlo was fantastic. I swear these casting people are geniuses. I can't explain how much I loved his performance.

Chloe broke my heart in this episode. She's been through so much, suffered so much. Yes, she bears some responsibility for all that has happened, but I would never say she deserved the pain she's had to bear. When she finally tried to break free of her self-imposed prison, what happened? She was shot down, again. After learning the truth about Stephen, she still couldn't bring herself to open up to Clark, but instead attempted to make it right on her own. Unfortunately, she only made it worse..

And it goes back to this...Chloe, for some reason, no longer trusts Clark. she hasn't said as much, but she doesn't. If she did she could talk to him and explain why she didn't want to turn over Steven. She has an emotional forcefield up when it comes to Clark and instead of laying her cards out there that she wants that type of magic from someone like Clark (because I do think she's still dealing with unresolved feelings for Clark) she'll continue getting hersef in situations like this because she can't bring herself to ask Clark for help.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 18th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC) (Link)
We see Clark existing but we rarely get to know what's really driving him and it's good to know that it's not a sense of obligation out of guilt, but because this is truly his calling.

I'm so thankful for every word from Clark's mouth that BQM gave us, but especially for this. And Tom gave it such wonderful sincerity and heart.

Tom got to play both sides: romantic comedy and sultry seductee and did both with great aplomb.

Oh, that he would do the same on the big screen. *sighs*

Each episode some item jumps to the top of my fantasy wish list and now it's that tee.

I can't be the only one who's dying to spend money on merchandise from this show! Where is my Blur action figure? I know they have those pricey replica props, but I want the fun stuff I can incorporate into my daily life: t-shirts, key chains, coffee cups, a Clark Kent man-pillow... ;)

Amazingly even when she and Clark first met there was no wariness or distrust on his part. I think he can see that Zatanna is a good person in and out--a bit reckless in her machinations, but has a good heart.

Yes! He has an ease with her that is quite charming. I loved their scenes together, and I liked that Clark could smile with her and say an affectionate goodbye, without any awkwardness. He knows she's no threat to his relationship with Lois, but is rather a special ally. Who would be perfectly happy to jump his bones, if he ever changes his mind about that. :)

And a free ride on the Clark pony. Lucky duck!

LOL! I guess she did sneak that in as well, didn't she? Smart girl!

I didn't know that!

I didn't either. I was checking his name on IMDb when I saw it. Isn't that a funny coincidence that both Carlo and Owen have been on the show before in different roles?

And it goes back to this...Chloe, for some reason, no longer trusts Clark. she hasn't said as much, but she doesn't.

I agree. The thing is, I think he still trusts her, because of course that's his nature, so he doesn't see the full extent of their estrangement, or the danger it poses to both Chloe and himself.
dawnybee From: dawnybee Date: February 17th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
As she stood in the circle of his arms for an impromptu archery lesson, his warm touch sliding over her skin, and his husky whisper in her ear, I was surprised the screen didn't burst into flames from the heat coming off of these two! And I say more power to them. They're going into this with their eyes wide open, they're impossibly hot together (who knew?)

Who knew, for real. I sure didn't. That was a combustible scene.

The man continues to hone his comedic skills, and I continue to enjoy his presence on the show. And Oliver looked yummy in that suit. I just hope his dark days are well and truly over.

I love Justin. Another awesome casting find. How he pulled off a chuckle and made it into comic gold was astounding.

How much do you love that Lois has a closet full of costumes? Was the one she had stashed in that garment bag always her backup plan, or did she just pick it up for the fun of it? ;)

It made me love her so much. It's perfect Lois.

Allison Mack did a tremendous job directing this episode. She has a great eye for comedy, and for emotional resonance as well. .

This definitely goes on her reel. A wonderful episode all around for those reasons you mention.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 18th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Who knew, for real. I sure didn't. That was a combustible scene.

Oliver's always been more playful than seductive in romantic situations, and I've never even thought about Chloe in sexual terms. Her relationship with Jimmy always seemed so high school to me, and that dream kiss with Davis last season was just creepy. But they both brought it in Warrior, big time.

How he pulled off a chuckle and made it into comic gold was astounding.

His comic performance in Absolute Justice was a thing of beauty, and then he does so much with so little in this episode. I'm really impressed with him. And I love the current dynamic between Oliver and Clark.

It made me love her so much. It's perfect Lois.

I loved that they put stuff in there we've never seen before. Lois has had adventures we can't even imagine!

This definitely goes on her reel.

I'm afraid I could never get past my rage over the Super!Lana plot or Allison's girl power approach to evaluate her direction of Power with any objectivity. I'm glad I had another chance to appreciate her vision with a story I loved.
tjw_jaypat From: tjw_jaypat Date: February 17th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I guess I am sitting somehow between the chairs here. I too think that especially many Cloisers are overreacting to this episode, because I didn´t have all the problems they have.

However, I can partly understand their criticism. A few things did feel a little off in this episode, although I cannot put my finger on it. Probably, the whole story would have caused less outrage if it had come earlier this season. Clark has been portrayed as strong and confident this season, so his rather weak reaction to Zatanna´s crossing the line looked somewhat regressive. And I do agree that Zatanna crossed the line because you do not hex people to do things that they wouldn´t normally want to do. (Not that I don´t understand her: I would be among the first to be tempted to hex Tom to kiss me if I could ;) )

Also, after 7+ years of dreadful "secrets and lies", it pains me to see Clark to be not quite honest with his current love, even if it occurs in a funny setting and has no consequences for their relationship. 7+ years of Lana simply ruined the secrecy thing, although Lois not knowing about Clark is part of the mythos. It simply doesn´t work well in the context of Smallville.

Needless to say, I agree with your analysis of Tom´s performance. I am happy to have seen many facial expressions that I hadn´t seen for a long time. It totally escapes me that so many people seem to be unable to recognize and appreciate Tom´s performance and still bash his acting skills. So it´s always good to be here among the true Tom lovers! :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 18th, 2010 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately, I think any episode in which Clark kisses someone other than Lois is going to cause outrage. ;) I didn't see Clark's reaction to Zatanna casting a spell on him as weak, just tempered by his knowledge of her intent. But then, I viewed Zatanna's actions in a different light than a lot of people, and that obviously colors my expectations for Clark's response.

Also, after 7+ years of dreadful "secrets and lies", it pains me to see Clark to be not quite honest with his current love, even if it occurs in a funny setting and has no consequences for their relationship.

I struggle with this as well. If it were up to me, he would tell her.

It totally escapes me that so many people seem to be unable to recognize and appreciate Tom´s performance and still bash his acting skills.

That boggles my mind more than anything else in this fandom, I think. The man is a master of subtlety and nuance, and he crafts every performance with care. I delight in the layers he brings to this character, going far beyond Clark's innate stoicism with his line delivery, his expressions, and his body language. I swear his critics are watching a different show.
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