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Smallville 7.17 - Sleeper - I worship at the television altar
Smallville 7.17 - Sleeper
This week on Smallville, Clark Kent turns his back on the world, Chloe Sullivan no longer has any interest in being a reporter, and Jimmy Olsen is James Bond. He can pick any lock, hack any computer, dance a mean tango, single-handedly take out the bad guys, rescue the damsel in distress, and then sweep her off her feet and into bed. He has a briefcase full of sophisticated gadgets and Lex Luthor in his pocket. He's part spy, part playboy, part ninja, and part action hero. Oh, and he also makes a delicious, fat-free breakfast. Wait a minute. I thought the AU episode was next week.

All jokes aside, I didn't hate this episode, but I didn't like it much either, and the number of WTF moments was truly off the charts. After the awesomeness that was Descent last week, this episode left me kind of depressed. Knowing they can hit it out of the park makes it that much worse when they strike out, you know? I don't even feel much like writing about it. But let's give it a try, shall we?

So what did I like about the episode? First of all, Allison Mack. She gives every line of dialogue her all, and she's a delight to watch. Even when her lines are cringeworthy, her delivery is flawless. And I think she had fun making this episode, which definitely centered on Chloe. I enjoyed the way Chloe was both competent and proactive in helping Clark, even at her own peril. I appreciated how she tried to talk some sense into Clark about his priorities, although it killed me that she needed to. But most of all, I think, I loved how Chloe sparkled on the dance floor. It looked like AM was having the time of her life, as was I while watching her.

The girl can definitely dance, and with style. She was playful, beautiful, and sexy. That dress was simply gorgeous on her! The lighthearted tone of the dance sequence was completely at odds with that moment in the episode, but AM seemed to play it like Chloe's enjoyment was half an act to keep her suspicions about Jimmy secret, and half her true affection for Jimmy breaking through in spite of those very suspicions. In any case, it was fun!

I also liked Aaron Ashmore's performance as Jimmy. I think his Jimmy is cute, funny, and sincere. I believe he cares about Chloe, and AA perfectly played the hurt and confusion of someone whose girlfriend is clearly lying to him, and whose relationship is slipping through his fingers. He's also good at portraying that Jimmy is clearly in over his head, making poor decisions and being easily manipulated by Vanessa, Lex, and, when she needed to protect herself, even Chloe. He's over confident in one moment and utterly bewildered in the next. But he always tries hard, in his misguided way, and I adore him for it. I even thought his completely unbelievable spy prowess was a kick to watch. And he's pretty cute in a tux.

I really liked the scene between Clark and Jimmy. At first I couldn't understand why Jimmy would go to Clark. If Chloe is always running off to meet Clark, wouldn't Jimmy think he was the leader of the sleeper cell? But then I figured Jimmy thought Chloe was just using Clark as an excuse, and that she was probably lying to him, too. Anyway, I thought it was a cute scene, and very evocative of the iconic relationship between these two, with Clark giving Jimmy sage advice. Tom was great in this little scene. His reaction shots were pure gold, as always, and his advice was so heartfelt. He does so much with so little sometimes. But does anyone actually believe these two men are the same age? LOL!

Every moment with Michael Rosenbaum was awesome, of course. I especially enjoyed his scene with Jimmy. His Lex is so smooth! He's the master of the iron fist in the velvet glove. How can someone be so genial and so unmistakably menacing at the same time? *shivers* Jimmy gets it, that's for sure. Poor Jimmy, he doesn't have a chance. And even though (because?) Lex is clearly full of malicious intent, I find him irresistibly hot!

I loved all the music in this episode. To see a list of the songs, click HERE to go to The Definitive Smallville Soundtrack.

Hmmm, what else, what else? Okay, that one little exchange between Clark and Chloe in the Talon, where Clark gives her those big puppy dog eyes, and Chloe says that look is his greatest superpower. Too cute. :) I also liked that we were finally given a definitive answer as to why Jor-El froze Clark in the Fortress. And... I think that's everything. Now let's talk about what I didn't like.

Clark, Clark, Clark. What the hell, show? How did we get from that determined, "I won't let him," last week to that petulant, "I don't care about Lex," in one episode?! And, "the only important thing now is Lana," just made me want to cry. I'm so stupid, I actually thought KK being gone would make a difference. I have a horrible vision of what S8 will be now. Clark will never break up with Lana, KK will come back for the final episode so the Clana can bookend the season, Clark will flirt with Lois from time to time throughout the season to assuage the Cloisers, and if AM comes back, we'll get the occasional Chlois anvil as well. I won't tell you how many bad words were in that sentence the first time I typed it, but a certain scene from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles comes to mind. Sometimes I just hate you, Smallville.

Not only was Clark Lana obsessed in this episode, he was kind of a jerk to Chloe. He dismissed her concerns about Lex, ignored her warnings about what he was risking by not going after the keys, chastised her for not finding Brainiac fast enough, and showed no concern when she showed up in his loft bruised and bloody. He totally took her for granted the whole episode. That is NOT my Superman.

Plus, Clark didn't do anything in this episode. Chloe did everything. Clark came up with the single suggestion that they turn the search for Brainiac Lana's salvation out, to space. Chloe figured out where to find the satellite, how to gain access, how to track where Brainiac and Kara went, that Jor-El wasn't the bad guy this time, and the full import of Kara's transmitted message. I love Chloe as Clark's sidekick, but in this episode it was more like he was hers! I don't like it when my superhero is made to look ineffective. Clark didn't even use any of his abilities in this one. I understand that Tom was preparing to direct next week's episode, and I support that, but did his relative absence also require complete hero emasculation?

The Chimmy. I hate the Chimmy, and it makes Chloe look bad. I don't think the show is telling us that Chloe is really in love with Clark, or that she's settling for Jimmy, I think they're telling us that Chloe thinks Jimmy is the bomb! *gags* She doesn't mind that he ogled Kara before they broke up, and ran to her side when they did. She may not know that he checked out Lois's cleavage, but she must know he's a horndog, and evidently that's okay. She's not bothered by the fact that she is vastly more intelligent than he is. She doesn't even care that he turned on her when merely threatened with prison, while she took a brutal beating to protect Clark. All he has to do is kiss her, and all is forgiven as she falls into his arms. No. Just no.

I have to agree with those who say that the Chimmy is shaping up to be the new Clana. It's a relationship that makes no sense. Like with the Clana, I don't understand why either one would want to be with the other. And why give us that whole cryptic exchange about things not being as good the second time around at the top of the episode, if you're going to have them be so clearly together at the end?

There are so many WTF moments in this episode, I'm thinking of doing a separate post about them. [ETA: I did. You can read it HERE.] In any case, it makes my head hurt too much to revisit them here. Suffice to say, I think there was a lot of bad, lazy writing in this one.

Random thoughts: We know Jimmy's a geek, because he drives a Volvo! *rolls eyes* Jimmy definitely does NOT rock the scruff. Do we really believe Lionel "The Magnificent Bastard" Luthor would ever have presented his son with a passport holder inscribed with sentimental words of encouragement? HAHAHAHA! Is anyone else out there an SG-1 fan? Did you catch Dan Shea? Poor Siler, taking the fall again! :)

Man, it really does sound like I hated this episode, but for some reason I didn't. I must really like Allison Mack a lot! :) Please, Smallville, make the remaining three episodes nothing like this one, okay? I'm really looking forward to next week's episode. I love it when Tom directs, and it looks like this AU will give us some thrilling moments. Not that you ever doubted it, but I'll be there!

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19 comments or Leave a comment
legendarytobes From: legendarytobes Date: April 26th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Word to all of that. It was awful. I'm still in denial that this was about Chloe still loving Clark but settling for Jimmy. It still makes her look bad, but I can't believe she actually loves this putz. Just no way.

Clark was horrible. I knew when they put Lana in a coma, everything would be all about her and she'd be the martyr. Supes not caring about the world? Not caring about his blood family? Not caring about someone taking his free will and using him to kill? Not being concerned for his best friend's health or career?

Douche squared.

They can have little TW and still have Clark be Supes. He was very good in Static and pro-active. Here he's a self-parody with all his Lana whining. God, if Brainiac left Lana untouched Clark would be happy and not helping anyone at all because the Princess was safe.

God, this ep makes no sense. NO ONE wanted Chimmy last year and after Kara oggling and Lois breast photography, we definitely do NOT want Jimmy Bond. Why give us epic in Traveler and Descent and waste it with this utter shite?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 26th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I knew when they put Lana in a coma, everything would be all about her and she'd be the martyr.

You're right, and I should have known better. And it depresses me even more than it makes me mad. *kicks show*

The really good episodes just make the bad ones so much worse. It's not that they can't make an awesome episode, they're all just too lazy or Lana-obsessed to even try sometimes. They get paid truckloads of money to torture us.
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: April 26th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
You know I honestly don't think I can come up with an entry for this episode. I like you didn't hate the episode(it's such a strong word and I reserve the word hate for things like homo phobics and peas) but god it was boring. I kind of only paid attention when Clark or Lex was on. Lex b/c they actually did something with the story line and Clark for purely shallow reasons since I'm going to ignore all the things that came out of his mouth in the beginning of the episode. I hate the Chimmy. No chemistry imo. And I wish I liked Jimmy but I don't. I think the only time I ever liked him was during Noir. Speaking of which I hope next week's is enjoyable for me I tend to like the AU's so here's hoping! Great read as always I enjoyed this more than I enjoyed actually watching the episode. :-)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 26th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
it's such a strong word and I reserve the word hate for things like homo phobics and peas

Okay, the fact that you chose those two specific examples made me laugh really hard. hee!

I really had a hard time writing this one. I got some grief for being too hard on Veritas because of the Clana, so I was determined to find something to like in this episode. Not that my review isn't truthful, but like Veritas, the Clana pretty much ruined this one for me, in spite of the things I did enjoy.

I do have high hopes for Apocalypse. I have a lot of faith in Tom as a director.

I enjoyed this more than I enjoyed actually watching the episode.

LOL! This made me laugh again, but thank you! I'm glad you liked it.
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: April 26th, 2008 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha! It's like you took all the things I was thinking about, took out all the swear words, phrased everything into neat little sentences and put it all out here. I couldn't agree more! Ok, so there are a few things we disagree about, like the dance and the music, but the similarities far outweight the differences! :P

And may I just say ... I was laughing my ass off at that first paragraph. I never took you to be the sarcastic type, but that was just pure GOLD. *thumbs up* :D

I didn't hate the episode either, but it certainly was a big, big disappointment after "Descent". I love AM and I've loved all Chloe-centric episodes to date, but this one just didn't do it for me. I think both she and AA are great individually (I think AA does a fantastic job as Jimmy and we all agree on AM's acting skills), but somehow they don't mesh well together. And I don't even think it's about chemistry - like you said, it's more of the audience wondering what the hell these two see in each other. They're Clana 2.0 and unfortunately, just as painful to watch. I think I might actually like Clana better than I like Chimmy, but I'm still processing my thoughts on that.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 26th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm actually very sarcastic in general, but it doesn't really come out online like it does in real life. I need those nuances of tone and expression to really make it work. :)

Yeah, we agree on a lot about this episode, as our respective reviews show. :) The Chimmy is just bad, and feels wrong. But I'll never hate anything as much as I hate the Clana. Seriously. :)
acampbell From: acampbell Date: April 26th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, your review really made the most of this ep!

At least it wasn't "Promise". :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 26th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I tried really hard to be positive! LOL! I do adore AM, and I'm glad she was given her moment in the sun. And actually, it was the S6 Companion that made me like AA. His quotes gave me a whole new appreciation for him, and the way he talked about Jimmy made me like the character better, too.

It wasn't as bad as Promise. And I keep thinking about the Clana episode it might have been! *shudders* Thanks for putting that image in my head! :)
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: April 26th, 2008 09:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I hated this episode.I hate what they did to Clark. That's NOT Clark at all! I hate SV right now and if it were not for Tom I wouldn't be watching ever again. it's too frustrating, annoying and painful.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 27th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel your pain, I really do. I really wish we could know what Tom thinks of episodes like these, because I can't imagine he likes them any more than we do. I am so looking forward to next week. Even if the script isn't what we'd like it to be, I just know Tom will show us the Clark he envisions, through action, expression, and every nuance in his arsenal.

I'm not exaggerating when I say I was close to tears when this episode ended. I was frustrated, angry, disappointed, and depressed. And if it weren't for Tom, I would have stopped watching a long time ago.

Thank you for commenting, especially when you're feeling so down about this episode. It means a lot to me.
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: April 26th, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is officially in my "worst eps of SV Evah" list. I hated practically everything about it.

But, I'll share your enthusiasm for next weeks' ep, even though I know next to nothing about it, heh. But TW's directing and that's enough for me.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 27th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
This one is definitely in my bottom ten. I can put up with a lot of crap from the other characters, and I can even fanwank my way around a weak story, as long as Clark is good. But when they make Clark look bad, nothing can make up for that.

The fact that Tom's directing is all we need to know! :)
From: seacrystal Date: April 27th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
If only they have made Clark to do at least SOMETHING on his own, this episode would definitely be 100x more tolerable for me. But Clark is just so incredibly stupid and an asshat some more that it just sucks out any kind of fanwanking that I've always reserved for Smallville.

"Travel far my son love Dad." *snort*
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 27th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know! It was so weird, Clark was just wrong. Lana obsessed, ineffective, and just dumb. What were they trying to say with this episode, exactly? I really wonder what Tom thought of it all.

Yeah, that's Lionel all the way. *rolls eyes*
ophelia_77 From: ophelia_77 Date: April 28th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I liked the Chloe parts as well. Jimmy being superspy was a bit far-fetched but once I decided to go with it, I could enjoy it for what it was.

I did like the scene with Jimmy and Clark. And the one with Clark and Chloe when she was talking about what his looks do to her.

I'm with you about Clark's whining about saving Lana. And you bring up a good point about the Clark at end of last week's episode versus this week's Clark. Last week he seemed to take a leap toward Superman and this week I feel like he was a freshman in high school again - he was whiny, Lana obsessed and Chloe was in charge.

I couldn't figure out why Clark didn't just superspeed to Zurich and take the key. Chloe should have been working on that plan in tandem to doing the other research. By the way, what is Clark doing while Chloe does all the work?

Good point about the passport cover from Lionel. But I guess that goes along with the entire rewriting of the character. I mean since when did Clark consider Lionel a "father figure." I thought every time Lionel called him "son" Clark yelled at him?

Rosenbaum does remain pitch perfect though. He's so good when he's bad!

Anyway, I too hope next week gets us back on track.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 28th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
AM was obviously having such a good time, I couldn't help but be happy for her. And I think AA is cute. The show just pushed it a little too far, and then of course there was the dreaded Chimmy.

I can't resist Clark when he does those funny reaction shots. I loved how he obviously thought Jimmy was talking about him, and also how sincere he was in his advice. And when Chloe started telling him that the way he looks at her is his greatest superpower, I couldn't agree more. I'd certainly agree with anything he had to say, and do anything he wanted. :)

Word about superspeeding to Zurich. But Clark didn't even seem to remember he had superpowers in this one.

Fingers crossed for the next one. I'm excited about it!
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: August 22nd, 2008 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought AM and AA were having the time of their lives with that dance scene. (And hey! Supernatural connection.) But maybe because I haven't been into the show for awhile, there were many, many WTF moments. I gotta laugh.

Off to read the WTF post now!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: August 22nd, 2008 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Was this the episode they showed tonight? And you watched? How nice of you to come and read my review, and comment! You totally made my night!

I thought that dance scene was fun. I agree that they were having a blast! AM just shined, and AA was pretty adorable. I do think they make a cute couple, but their characters just don't mesh right, IMO.

It was imperative that I do that WTF post. My head was threatening to explode if I didn't! LOL!
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: August 22nd, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I needed a MR fix, so I watched. Oh, you poor fans!

I agree with all your points in the WTF write up. Sleeper should just be taken as some weird AU episode that never happened in this reality. At least there was no Lana or Lois.
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