This week's Smallville was full of plot holes, OOC behavior, bad dialogue, and tiresome Chloe worship, but it was not completely without charm. Ten things I loved about Fortune:
1) Hungover Clark
Yes, I am exactly that shallow. There's something about Tom Welling in rumpled formal wear, shirt open at the neck and hair disheveled, that makes me weak in the knees. And in an episode with as little to recommend it as Fortune, sexy Tom tops my list. I also thought fuzzy-headed Clark gave us some genuinely funny moments, like when he accidentally super-sped into that building, taking a big chunk out of it as he spilled into the street. That was the biggest laugh of the episode for me.
2) Drunk Clark
I'm not a big fan of drunken antics, but the way Tom played Clark under the influence was pretty funny. Stealing the gigantic LuthorCorp logo and the little scene with Oliver (more on that below) were the highlights for me, but I also liked watching Clark gleefully spirit that armored car away and then return to the party, ready for more, with a lemur on his shoulder. Drunk Clark was an uninhibited goofball having a little fun with his powers, and he made me smile.
3) Cassidy Freeman
I don't know who Cassidy was playing in this episode, but drunk or sober, it wasn't any Tess Mercer I've ever seen before. I didn't care, though, because I loved, loved, loved seeing her sing and dance. Cassidy has bona fide musical talent, and she threw herself into that performance with delightful abandon. *applauds* Bonus points for her wonderful laugh, which we don't get to hear very often from Tess.
4) Justin Hartley
Justin was the only actor in Fortune who seemed completely comfortable in his own skin, even when it was covered by nothing more than a skimpy showgirl costume. He has a true gift for comedy, and he sold a lot of funny moments that I think would have fallen flat in other hands (only Justin could refer to Lois's breasts as "your Pointer Sisters" without sounding the least bit inappropriate). I thoroughly enjoyed his performance, and I hate to think his character was relegated to sidekick status and basically written out of the show early just because the showrunners felt they had to give Chloe a superhero with whom to walk off into the sunset. Thank goodness that omega symbol we saw on Oliver's forehead last week guarantees he'll be back at least one more time before the series ends.
5) Oliver and Lois
These two have oodles of chemistry, and a wonderful ease with each other. I thought their scene by the railroad tracks was the most natural one in the episode. I especially enjoy the friendly way they joke with each other, their conversation laced with wit and innuendo. There is obviously a lot of love between them, but not a hint of sexual tension.
Ollie: You're starting to do that twitchy thing again that you do.
Lois: I'm not twitching. There's something stuck in my bra. Just-
Ollie: That's not my territory anymore, all right?
6) Oliver and Clark
I measured my enjoyment of Fortune in moments, and the little scene between Oliver and Clark in the men's room was one of my favorites. I'm a sucker for any kind of male bonding between these two, and their inebriated state made them adorable. I was charmed by Oliver's little hiccup in the middle of his impassioned speech, and Clark dissolving into laughter when the ring got stuck on his finger. I thought it was clever how, if you were paying attention, the scene made it clear that it was Oliver who had married Chloe, and I loved the contrast of Ollie, all serious business, demanding privacy, while Clark, all wide-eyed cluelessness, mugged for the camera.
7) Emil Hamilton
I'm always happy to see Emil, just because he's awesome, and I've been hoping for a long time that Alessandro Juliani would get a chance to sing on the show. Dr. Hamilton was funnier in Persuasion, from the same writer/director team as this week's episode, but his Elvis impersonation was a hoot, and I had to laugh at his geeky reaction to having his head put in a vise by the casino thugs: "Ahh, I really wish I didn't understand the physics of this." I'm glad Clark invited him to the party (especially because without him, there wouldn't have been any video).
8) Sam the Lemur
He was no Shelby, but he made a cute and funny addition to Clark's drunken adventure. I just hope someone remembered to let him out of that closet.
9) Watching the Video
It was really nice to see our heroes hang out together and share a few laughs, putting aside the weight of the world for just one night, probably for the last time before Smallville is gone forever. Clark in particular is always so serious, and I loved watching his face as he took in how they all acted under Zatanna's magic spell: his surprise and amusement, his rueful embarrassment, and most of all, those big, genuine, Tommy smiles that are such a rarity on the show. ♥
10) Goodbye Chloe
Chloe Sullivan has left the building, and I, for one, will not miss her. After seeing how the show handled her return, I wish she hadn't come back. For me, Chloe's exit arc was even worse than Lana's, who out-supered Superman in every way, but paid a terrible price for it. Instead of honoring the fully developed and altogether human character we've known for years, TPTB couldn't resist elevating Chloe to superhero status at Clark's expense, and piling on the accomplishments and rewards until I had a headache from rolling my eyes so much. Let's review, shall we?
Chloe sacrificed herself to save Oliver in the season premiere. We thought she left as a prisoner, but in short order she was running the Suicide Squad, taking over "where Waller left off." She single-handedly saved the combined forces of the JLA and the JSA, including a stubbornly helpless Clark, after they were ambushed at Hawkman's funeral. She hacked into every national news web site, making the defeat of the VRA possible. She instantly saw through every illusion Desaad threw her way, escaping the darkness unscathed. And along the way she showed mad fighting skillz, equally proficient with punches, kicks, and guns.
Clark would evidently be nothing without Chloe, since she believed in him first, inspired him, protected him, and ultimately left him, to force him to finally stand on his own. But she never stopped watching his back, because Clark needs her, "as much as the world needs him." And while she was away, she traveled the world, and saw that there were many more heroes who needed her help to "realize their true potential." Including, it seems, Batman and Wonder Woman (!!!), who I guess will also have Chloe to thank for their introduction to Superman. Who's the hero of this story again?
I just don't understand why Smallville has to push it SO FAR. But wait, there's more. Let's not forget to throw in a return to journalism (which I actually thought was a nice touch) and a happily-ever-after ending with the love of her life. I'm fine with Chloe marrying Oliver (in spite of Green Arrow's comic book continuity), but I have to say it wasn't much of a wedding. They were both wasted out of their minds, and can't even remember the ceremony. All they have to cherish from the occasion are two ridiculous outfits, one ring, and a torn up marriage certificate. Not to mention that Oliver is arguably not himself, and Chloe was all set to disappear from his life without saying goodbye. AGAIN.
A full-blown rant isn't exactly what I promised on a list of what I loved about Fortune, but as a Clark fan and a Superman fan, I had to get that off my chest. Whatever, show. Let's move on.
To end on a happy note, how about some pretty? Ten of my favorite caps from Fortune:
Screen caps courtesy of TVPix, with my thanks!