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Smallville 8.01 - Odyssey - I worship at the television altar
Smallville 8.01 - Odyssey
Smallville is back, and I am a happy fangirl! I loved this episode, but I have to tell you, this is a whole new show. All the many changes that have happened, both onscreen and behind the scenes, have conspired to create something completely different. And quite frankly, that's fine with me.

When you look back to the Pilot, this show was about a boy who, like most teenagers, felt different. But this boy really was different. And the show was about his struggle to find himself, and to find a way to fit in as an alien in a human world. The story took place in Smallville, and centered around his family and friends there, including his new best friend, a bald billionaire who knew all too well what being different truly meant.

Now the boy has become a man, a man who is finally ready to accept what being different means, and the destiny that goes along with that. Smallville will always be the home to which he can return, but it appears that his path lies elsewhere now. He has finished one journey, and is about to embark on another. And I can't wait to see what the future brings!

Overall, I thought the episode was great. There was a lot going on, and we saw a bunch of big developments take place in a short amount of time. I don't think it's an exaggeration to call this season a reboot, and the show did a good job of setting up the changes we're going to see in the episodes ahead. I loved all the action sequences, especially the ones with Clark, and I can't help but think that Tom had a blast throwing punches and taking them in return. His part this week played out like an audition for an action adventure film! Hollywood, are you taking note? So yeah, I thought the episode was a thrill ride. But let's talk specifics.

First and foremost, there is no replacing Michael Rosenbaum on this show. I didn't spend the whole episode missing him, but there were a couple of poignant moments. When they showed Lex in the previouslies, I felt a little pang in my heart. And when Tess whipped that sheet off of Lex's desk and sat down, something inside me cried, "Nooo!" All I can do is remind myself that Michael is exactly where he wants to be, and I couldn't be happier for him. Smallville will just have to go on without him.

The events of Odyssey finally answered some questions I've had all summer, but they also raised a whole bunch more. When you have roughly 40 minutes to tell a story with multiple characters and storylines, the viewers are inevitably left to connect some of the dots themselves. That's okay, this is Smallville, and a certain amount of fanwanking goes with the territory. :)

So what did we learn? The pink orb from Arctic evidently "controlled" Clark by taking away his powers, leaving him no threat to the human race. Also, the orb's presence in the Fortress, brought there by a human, triggered some sort of self-destruct sequence, presumably to keep all the knowledge stored there safe, and hidden from human eyes. All that remains is the crystal, which I hope Clark can activate again. Chloe was dragged off by Lex's minions, not government agents. And Chloe's confrontation with Brainiac left her changed. She appears to have expended all of her healing powers in fighting off his invasion of her mind, and in addition, he may have left a little of his computer intelligence behind, giving her superpowered cognitive skills. Interesting.

What don't we know? How did Oliver find Clark? How did Lois know what to look for in the mansion, and where it was? How did Lois get inside the Montana facility? What's the deal with that serum made from Moira's spinal fluid again? Where did Martian Manhunter come from? Was Clark unconscious, or actually dead? If Clark was human, as he told Chloe, how did the sun heal him? Since when does the sun restore Clark's powers? If the sun stripped MM of his powers, how did they get back to Earth? And did MM change Clark's clothes before arranging him so prettily on that couch in the loft? :)

There are new credits, of course, with all the cast changes. It's great to see Allison Mack get second billing, and I loved all the action scenes they included. How funny is it that Justin Hartley's sequence includes a shirtless scene? :) But I was disappointed they didn't shoot something new for Tom Welling, and I was reminded again that this show has systematically eliminated every character over the age of 30. In general I like the three new regular cast members, and am optimistic about the stories they will inspire.

It's quite clear that Chloe has her own story now, and that she will be much more that Clark's sidekick this season. I don't see how that serves the story of Clark's journey, but I'm fine with it. AM is the most talented actress on the show, IMO, and I find her captivating to watch. I enjoyed every moment she was on my television screen this week. It's also evident that Chloe and Clark are still immensely important to one another, and we saw some wonderful emotional scenes between them. I particularly liked how Clark dying in Chloe's arms so closely mirrored Chloe's death in Labyrinth. I don't see a romance there, though. As Allison said in a recent interview, it's cool to see a guy and a girl have such a deep connection without any sexual overtones.

AM is even beginning to sell me on the Chimmy! I don't like that relationship, but Chloe obviously does. She not only accepted Jimmy's marriage proposal, she flat out stated she's leaving her romantic feelings for Clark in the past. OTOH, Lana said that about Clark to Lex, and we all know how that turned out. But for now all I can do is take Chloe at her word. It's like when your sister is dating someone you can't stand. You wish they would break up, but you can't deny she's happy with him, and unless he's hurting her, at some point you just have to accept it. *sighs* Even Jimmy knows he's not good enough for her!

I liked Lois in the episode. I don't think her characterization is entirely consistent with who she was last season, but I had some problems with that Lois, so I'm not complaining. The Lois I saw in Odyssey was passionate, headstrong, reckless, brave, smart, and fun. And altogether clueless about Clark. :) That's the Lois Lane I loved before Smallville ever began. She also looked beautiful. I like the new, darker hair color, and I'm glad they haven't completely abandoned Lois's trademark ponytail. I thought Lois and Clark were very cute together, and I liked that their vibe was not a romantic one, at least not just yet. I don't mind a little flirting, but any relationship between these two belongs in the future.

My jury's still out on Tess. I thought they spent a little too much time on her this week, and I miss Lex too much to embrace his replacement without hesitation. Cassidy Freeman seems like a good actress, capable of giving this character some interesting complexity, but I'm just not feeling the love yet. Ask me again next week.

Loved, loved, loved the Justice League! I think Justin Hartley is a wonderful addition to the cast, and Clark's scenes with him were among the best of the show. JH is funny, he's a good actor, and he is extremely easy on the eyes. It's all good. I also enjoyed Black Canary and Aquaman. I want a Black Canary action figure to go with the rest of my set! Alaina Huffman was awesome; I want her to come back. And Alan Ritchson was good, too. I thought that shower scene was beyond gratuitous, but whatever. You can't argue with the fact that the guy has an incredible body, and obviously has no problem putting it on display.

I have to give a special mention to Phil Morris as Martian Manhunter. Like James Marsters, he raises the level of every scene he is in, and even with very few lines, he rocks. I'm not sure why they felt the need to take his powers away. So Clark would be completely on his own, I guess. I hope he finds a way to recover eventually, and that they bring him back.

As usual, I saved the best for last. Let's talk about Tom. Our very first view of him is vastly different from how we've ever seen him on this show before. The camera starts on his ginormous man paws, and travels up to reveal his broad back. Then he turns, and we're hit with the full power of the pretty. *thud* With nary a primary color in sight, Clark is clad in a snug grey henley over a white tee. He's dirty, scruffy, dripping wet, and sexy as hell. Even when he's unconscious. Show, are you trying to kill me? There's no better way to introduce the new Clark. He's tough, he's determined, he's on his own, and he's a man in every sense of the word. The boy from Smallville is all grown up. Point taken.

He's changed in other ways as well. Gone is the downtrodden boy who was so burdened by guilt. In his place is a man, one who takes responsibility for what he sees as his mistakes, but who looks ahead to making things better, rather than dwelling on the past. A man who is ready to face the mirror and take a long, hard look at himself. A man who is ready to embrace his destiny and leave his childhood dreams behind. People, I believe we have our Superman.

All through the episode Clark is a man of action. He tries to escape and crashes a truck. He throws punches right and left, and rolls around on the ground with Oliver. o_O He runs, and jumps, and bursts through doors, and punches some more. He's awesome! And he has his lighthearted moments as well. He brings the snark, and he brings the funny. And he smiles! Do you know how much I've missed Tom's smile?

By the end of the episode, I'm convinced. Clark has officially said goodbye to his old life, and is now in search of a new one. He has taken a job at the Daily Planet, and he's ready to start helping the world. Tom's acting is stellar throughout the episode. I'm willing to bet this is his Clark, and it's definitely my Clark. I am in love. And I am all in.

Random thoughts: I can't believe the Justice League went all the way to the North Pole and conquered the forces of evil in order to save... that stupid red jacket! LOL! Yeah, I get it, especially after this episode, it's a symbol for the cape, but I hate that damn thing! Although I loved the Supes music when Clark put it on. :) I'm bummed they didn't have Clark stay unshaven until after his powers came back, and then reveal how he shaves his indestructible scruff. The movie playing at the theater in Metropolis was called Confidential Ultimatum. Do the budget cuts mean no more songs in the episodes? And that was the sunniest rainstorm I've ever seen. :)

Could I nitpick? Sure, but I'm not going to. This is my favorite show. I am devoted to these actors, and I like a lot of the other people who work so hard to entertain us as well. They are facing reportedly massive budget cuts, and have virtually no support from a network that some say is in danger of failing altogether. I think they're doing a fantastic job under the circumstances. I loved this episode, and I can't wait for next week!

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48 comments or Leave a comment
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: September 19th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Before I get lost in the image of Oliver and Clark rolling around on the ground together (what has LJ done to me!), I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the episode. And I do wonder what Lex did to make those two very loyal employees. His tactics don't inspire loyalty in me, but what ever. Now, if She!Lex will tone down the eyeliner a bit, I'll be happy.

Plus, I'm not the only one who got that that human sized blip the lab techs saw was AC, right? Some reviews I saw implied it was just the jacket.

And OMGYAY!! Tariel reviews are back!! *does the MR happy dance*

Edited at 2008-09-19 09:18 pm (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I did think it was a fun episode. I like Clark and Oliver together, and I thought their fight scene was both hot and funny. :) Sometimes Lex's employees are hopelessly devoted, and sometimes they're motivated by self-preservation. I think the truly loyal ones empathize with what he's been through in his life, being at his father's mercy as a young boy, and ostracized by his peers because he looks so different from them. Poor Lex.

Yeah, that whole ice thing didn't really make sense. On one side of the tent the ice is so thick it's solid at a depth of more than six meters , but on the other side it's thin enough for AC to burst through, bringing a flood of water with him. It looked to me like the show was saying that was the jacket, but your explanation is much better!

Awww, thanks, Whimsy. This first one was a little hard, but I think I'm back in the groove now. :)
drusplace From: drusplace Date: September 19th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I liked the ep more than I thought I would. Tom did wonderfully. I'm not sure about Chloe's new storyline yet (Although I love Allison and she did a great job). And in the shallow end of the pool I LOVED that one of Justin's shirtless scenes was in the credits. And good for him getting that "other" coveted spots in the credits. The last one.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I have no idea what their plans are for Chloe's new power, but at least now we know we won't have to watch Chloe die bringing Clark back to life after Doomsday kills him. I've been worried about that.

That was cool for Justin to get the "and" credit. And with that credit sequence, we know we're guaranteed at least one shirtless scene every single week! \o/

I wonder if Michael watched, or stayed as far as possible away from it, or forgot it was even on. :)

simplytoopretty From: simplytoopretty Date: September 19th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
It does indeed feel like a different show. I will (try) to reserve judgment until I've seen more episodes.

I was more convinced by Clark's transformation than I thought I would be. It wasn't the one I would have liked it to go (it was more external event-driven), but it worked. I'm still not abroad on how Clark is going about to be proactive, but that's more to do with my own knowledge of journalism. I'm still confused as to how he got hired as a full-fledged reporter, but maybe there'll be an explanation later on.

Eek, I'm much more nitpicky than you. Sorry. My brain just likes to nitpick.

And on the purely superficial level, Tom looked wonderful in this ep and from previews he's going to look awesome this season. JH looked pretty good too :) Oh everyone looked really good.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)
There's nothing wrong with nitpicking. I just tend to fanwank over a lot of stuff. :)

I think the writers are often guilty of not thinking through the outcomes that are guaranteed in their minds. It's like they think, Clark has to end up in the DP, it's comics canon, so we don't have to explain why, we just have to make it happen. :P It's lazy.

If nothing else, Smallville still knows how to bring the pretty! :) I honestly couldn't get over how beautiful Tom was, and Justin wasn't far behind. Ollie looked so good in that outfit on his plane, with that snug, long-sleeved shirt. Yum. I agree that everyone looked really good.
laurelnola From: laurelnola Date: September 20th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Bad news: I pretty much hated the snippets of it I watched on YouTube, except for two things:
1) Clark's gasping plea, "Chloe, no, don't heal me"- guh! TW totally got me in that scene.
2) JH's line to Clark, "And you're.... useless." Heh. How I Justin Hartley. This show WASTED the smokin' hot blonde Chlollie-lovin' that could have been! Wankers!

Good news: It made you smile. And that makes *me* smile. Much more than if I had liked the ep, even. :-)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
The useless line made me laugh so hard! Oliver's delivery was perfect, and Clark didn't get all pissy about it, he just made it clear he wanted in on the rescue, powers or no powers. I loved that.

And the fact that he put Chloe's life before his own was wonderful, and very much in keeping with what he must have gone through waiting by her lifeless body after she saved Lex.

You're so nice, being happy for my happy, instead of just thinking I'm crazy. *hugs*
raputathebuta From: raputathebuta Date: September 20th, 2008 12:22 am (UTC) (Link)
*raises hand* Ummm, I don't regularly watch SV, but I did catch some of this episode before SPN came on. I don't know a lot of what is going on, but I wanted to put my 2 cents in as far as this: I've always thought Tommy was a doll, but that Justin Hartley is one fine looking man! *swoon*

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2008 04:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree completely, Rap, even if he does comb his hair with an egg beater. :)

jeannev From: jeannev Date: September 20th, 2008 04:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you loved it.

I was probably more nitpicky about it then you, and I know that nitpicking SV is a fruitless endeavor. I do try and roll with things where I can, when I can.

I guess my biggest beef is that I just thought Clark's story got a bit shortchanged. Not that every single second he was on screen wasn't wonderful (it was!). But I just thought there was so much of his story to tell in this episode, and instead we had too many Tess scenes that played as very repeatitive to me.

I don't agree with calling it a "reboot" though. Sure, the show may be changing and definitely entering into a new chapter and era, but I don't see anything thats indicating that they are radically changing whats come before. To me a reboot would be just scraping everything, and starting new. I think the show had to change. Part of it was forced due to cast departures (how could losing Lex and Lana not change the show radically?). Part of it was the desperate need to mature Clark and propel him forward. And I think part of it is because the show had gotten more then a little stagnant. I'm thinking of this season as Smallville: Book 2. But not so much a reboot. Plus I think a lot of people have decided to throw the reboot word around as some massive diss on the show (which I know you aren't doing), so I feel myself feeling feisty about the term.

And Yes, Please, Hollywood...sign Tom Welling up for a bid budget action flic? And also a romantic comedy? And maybe something where he gets naked and smokes and says "fuck" a lot. :) kthanks!

I'm hoping for the best with the Lois and Clark this season because I do believe the show is moving in that direction, and I think they're going to have a lot of scenes together. I don't do the 'ship thing, but I've always believed that you have to lay some sort of foundation down for Clark and Lois. I don't think it all can be left to the future. But I'm nervous at how this is going to be handled. I would've been perfectly happy with a single Clark this year.

Tom was amazing, and looked wonderful, and Clark was love, and sometimes I think thats really enough to make SV worth watching to me. And I really do feel like this could be a great Clark season. My fingers are crossed. :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 20th, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree that there was too much Tess, especially because a lot of her time was spent just kind of looking vaguely menacing. And her extreme eye makeup was a bit much for me. It made her look weird and scary.

It will be interesting to see the screentimes on this one. We were quite a ways into the episode before we saw Clark at all. But I felt like every single second of Tom's performance was pure gold. He was so good! I loved Clark's conversation with Oliver on the plane, where he displayed such maturity, and that quiet determination about what to do next. And of course his conversation with MM was the highlight of the episode for me. This time I know he means it, and I believe the writers will follow through. I'm more hopeful than I've ever been about where this show is headed.

I totally understand why the reboot word would engender a negative response from you, especially the way it's been bandied about in the Superman world again and again. I think that word came to my mind because so many sweeping changes have been implemented, to the point where Clark seems to occupy a whole new world. But I didn't mean to say that Clark has fundamentally been recreated, because I don't think that at all. I think the way Tom is playing Clark makes a lot of sense after what transpired during Arctic, over the past month of Clark's life, and in this episode itself. I also believe that Tom is being true to an inner vision of Clark that has always been there. We've caught glimpses of him before, especially when Tom directs himself.

Couldn't you just see him on the big screen, doing exactly what he did in this episode? Those fight scenes were awesome! And when he was lying there unconscious, right before they threw the bucket of water on him, I thought I was going to die from the pretty. He really should dress like that all the time. :) The snarky interplay between Clark and Oliver was fun. I really think I'm going to enjoy these two together.

I would be happy to see Clark stay single this season as well. The best episodes have always been the ones that are free from any romantic nonsense. But I'm perfectly okay with snarky banter with just a hint of flirtation between Lois and Clark, and a deepening friendship that we know will someday turn into something more.

I find I can forgive a lot if they get Clark right. Slavkin and Swimmer gained my trust with this episode, but Souders and Peterson still make me nervous. I'm really looking forward to next week. The promo stills look amazing, and it was written by Henderson and Whitehead, who are great at writing proactive, independent Clark. I'm excited! :)

Being able to talk to you about Tom, and Clark, means so much to me. I mean, you totally get it. :) You don't just love Tom for the pretty, you appreciate his acting and directing talent, his devotion to his craft, all the hard work he puts into this show, and what an amazing man he is. And I think this season just might be the one where Tom is truly allowed to shine like never before. My fingers are crossed, too!
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: September 20th, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I too, think that Clark was written very well in this ep. Despite circumstances working against him in every way, he kept control and never lost sight of his focus. And TW? ::thud:: 'Nuff said, heh. ;-)

I did find that a lot of the plot holes took me out of the ep a little, but that's not to say I didn't enjoy most of it, because I definitely did. It ::does:: seem like the producers and writers are making a conscious effort to move the show in a certain direction, and I happen to think it may not be a bad idea to do so, at this point. It's the 8th, possibly final season. Certain key developments ::need:: to be amped up now, and if done well, I think a satisfactory closure for all characters involved seems very likely.

I just hope, like yourself, that they continue to get Clark right. Because I honestly feel that's a lynchpin that determines the quality and direction for the rest of the show.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 21st, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Clark was so heroic, all through the episode, whether he had his powers or not. It makes me so hopeful.

I enjoyed everyone's performance in this episode, and I'm happy enough with where all the characters seem to be going. Things are different, but in all the right ways.
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: September 20th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
As usual, thanks for sharing your very interesting thoughts and reactions!

I find I can forgive a lot if they get Clark right.

So do I! That's what makes all the difference to me.

I can't find enough words to express how much I loved Clark in this episode (and how incredibly beautiful Tom looked!)

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 21st, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
He was awesome, wasn't he? I am just so convinced that he is finally free to play Clark exactly as he has always envisioned the character should be, and the results speak for themselves. I really think I'm going to enjoy this season.
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: September 20th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
EEEEE, our show is back! *dances*

I agree with almost every point made in this review. (The one thing we disagree upon being Chimmy, but I don't think anyone is capable of changing my mind about that! :P) I loved the episode too, and thought they did a fantastic job setting up the story for the new season. You can't have a show that's 7 years old and NOT have it change dramatically from the beginning. And considering the crap they've been trying to sell us the past few seasons, I think a reboot was completely necessary to get rid of old baggage and start over.

I know there have been complaints that there wasn't much Clark in this episode, but I think it was necessary for them to cover all bases in laying the framework for the season. And a majority of the episode was ABOUT him (especially all the JL stuff), so I'm willing to cut them slack for it. Also, if they manage to have a smart, heroic, active Clark every episode, I won't complain about screentime. I do think he deserves to have his right share as the lead, but I'll take quality over quantity any day.

As for the superficial stuff, Tom was beauty personified this episode! You know how much I hate the scruff, and even I was totally taken in by it. Yum! And then when he got rescued by Oliver and donned the white tee and lovely striped shirt? My heart, she sang with joy. Did you notice it looked a lot like Ollie's shirt from "Justice"?



Speaking of Ollie, I'm totally loving his addition to the show. Like you said, Justin's a good actor, he's pretty and Ollie makes for a good male friend to Clark, so it's all good. I'm really excited to see what sort of stuff is in store for him! :)

I'm not sure I like Chloe's new super-intelligence skills, but at least they fit her better than the healing thing ever did. I'd rather she not have powers at all, but now that they've gone there, they might as well make full use of it, I guess.

I'm so looking forward to the next few episodes! Did you see that the DC for "Plastique" is up already? So much squee! \o/
huzzlewhat From: huzzlewhat Date: September 21st, 2008 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Just to piggyback on your comment, but yes! The striped shirt! It was so obviously Ollie's shirt, because it was so obviously too small, and you found a screen cap! This makes me very happy. :-)
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 21st, 2008 07:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not a livejournal user, but did a search on "Confidential Ultimatum" to see if anyone in cyberspace had mentioned it...and your review was the only result! GREAT review. I've really been looking forward to this season premiere and it surpassed my expectations. I wonder how/if they'll manage to "discover" Lex's whereabouts.

Of the questions you posed:
-"How did Lois know what to look for in the mansion, and where it was?"
-"If the sun stripped MM of his powers, how did they get back to Earth?"

A-MEN. There is no explanation for these.

-"How did Oliver find Clark?"
-"How did Lois get inside the Montana facility?"
-"Since when does the sun restore Clark's powers?"

Theories: We saw Oliver, Canary, AC using tech to do all sorts of global searches early in the show. Lois probably got the site location off the flash drive. The sun is Clark's (or any Kryptonian's) source of strength/power/healing.

Anyhow, thanks again. EXCELLENT and very-appreciated review.

In Chicago,
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 22nd, 2008 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi! *waves* Thank you so much for stopping by, and for taking the time to comment! I so appreciate your kind words, and your insights into the episode! I swear I need some kind of handbook to tell the difference between a Kryptonian stripped of his powers and a human who never had any powers at all. :)

I have been eagerly awaiting the return of Smallville, and every new interview and spoiler I read over the summer just served to make me more excited. And I wasn't disappointed in any way. I can't wait to see what the rest of the season brings, and I have a feeling we're going to see some true turning points for Clark. I think it's going to be amazing!
From: seacrystal Date: September 22nd, 2008 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
He has finished one journey, and is about to embark on another.

lol, this is totally random but that just reminds me of Lion-El saying pretty much the same thing in Hidden. :p Only difference is of course, in Odyssey we don't have anyone to tell any of that to us, Clark seizing up his future and into the world is there for everyone to see -- he simply shone in every way.

Show, are you trying to kill me? There's no better way to introduce the new Clark. He's tough, he's determined, he's on his own, and he's a man in every sense of the word. The boy from Smallville is all grown up.

*flailing starts again*

I just feel so incredibly proud of him throughout the episode, and the sheer clarity he has gained about his life after all these years is just an amazing, amazing thing. And he was genuinely happy with himself, I can't ask anything better than that.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 25th, 2008 08:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry, somehow I missed your comment the first time!

Clark was my hero in every way, and Tom was born to play this Clark! I felt proud, too, and just incredibly happy. And I loved how, at the end in the DP, he had that big smile on his face as he looked at his name plate.

I can't wait to see tonight's episode!
netlynn From: netlynn Date: September 22nd, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooooh! This was a veryvery awesome review, I loved hearing your thoughts on the whole episode. But I have to admit, I was a little bored through most of it. I thought for a premier it could have been a lot better and for once they could solve some of the huge plot holes that have always plagued Smallville.

What don't we know? How did Oliver find Clark? How did Lois know what to look for in the mansion, and where it was? How did Lois get inside the Montana facility? What's the deal with that serum made from Moira's spinal fluid again? Where did Martian Manhunter come from? Was Clark unconscious, or actually dead? If Clark was human, as he told Chloe, how did the sun heal him? Since when does the sun restore Clark's powers? If the sun stripped MM of his powers, how did they get back to Earth? And did MM change Clark's clothes before arranging him so prettily on that couch in the loft? :) I asked myself these same questions, it was driving me batshit crazy!!

For example, these are the same exact things that bugged me. And the new bitchy chick? Don't like her just yet and not sure that I will. For one thing I felt like they tried to shove her down my throat and make it known that Lex wasn't there. And why is it that we've never heard of her and all of a sudden she's in charge? And? She srsly needs to chill the hell out on the eyeliner.

BUT. The one thing I truly enjoyed most about this episode was how unbelieveibly hot Tom looked. Was it just me or did that fight between him and Oliver just ... gah. And I especially like that Clark is starting to become his own man and own up to his mistakes instead of whining.

I cannot wait to see what happens Thursday. And? Clark is lookin' sexy as hell in that blue shirt.

Excellent review, my friend. I can't wait to read more. I'll get to your SPN later on, I was feeling under the weather this weekend. And? I've got gifs to make. Any requests from this episode?


Edited at 2008-09-22 01:48 pm (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 23rd, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the lovely comment, Net! Sorry I'm so late with my reply, yesterday was a crazy day.

About Tess? What you said, exactly! Especially the part about the eyeliner! :D No offense to Cassidy Freeman, but yeah, I know Lex is gone. That's the problem. :(

Tom was beyond beautiful in this episode, and his Clark was heroic, tender, funny, and adorable. If that's the Clark we're going to see from now on, this may turn out to be my favorite season of all! Thursday can't come fast enough for me!

Ooh, you're making gifs? *bounces* I leave the scene choices to your expert eye, but I definitely would love to see one featuring that scene where Clark is sleeping/passed out and they throw the bucket of water on him. I especially like how he sweeps his hair out of his face for some reason. *is remembering*
acampbell From: acampbell Date: September 25th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure glad I have you to explain the eps to me now, because I've thrown up my hands in despair at trying to make sense of 95% of what we see. I had the same questions as you, and also: how did Clark get hired at the DP? I could see him starting in a really grunt-level job, but nose-to-nose with Lois? I guess: because TPTB want/need him there--not reason enough for me, but, *shrugs* That's been the sole explanation for so much else on the program. I guess it was more important to show Clark & Ollie rolling around in the mud for five minutes than to explain even one or two things about how Clark landed that DP job.

I wonder what Clark did with that red cape that the actress from "Action" gifted him with? Might come in handy about now.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 25th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are you still trying to find logic, plausibility, and continuity on Smallville? Are you still hoping they'll place the importance of good storytelling over that of Teh Pretty and the implied HoYay? *passes you the Kool-Aid* You need to take a nice, long drink and watch the scenes with wet, dirty, scruffy Clark again!

Okay, I'm kidding, but I hear you. I read what you wrote about the episode and ended up deleting every comment I tried to write. Obviously my reaction to it was totally different. I don't know if it's because my expectations have been whittled down to almost nothing, or because I'm notoriously easy to please, but I loved this episode. :)

That said, it is completely ridiculous how many questions they left unanswered, and how many blanks we had to try to fill in for ourselves. I think they're trying to do too much in too little time, and it shows. As far as the DP goes, that one doesn't bother me so much. Like TPTB, I guess I just want it so badly I'm willing to live in a fantasy world where it all makes sense. I'll certainly cop to that.

Whatever else happens, we'll still have the pretty, right?
kelvintage From: kelvintage Date: October 8th, 2008 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Greetings Superfriend,

I've missed you! How are you? I'm going to try to say some interesting things that others have not yet.

Tom looked incredible in this episode, especially in his first scene! He is the most beautiful man in the world. I actually own a gray Henley but I don't look like that! Darn you Tom. I think a little bit of scruff looks great on guys like him because he has the dark hair. It wouldn't look so good on blondes like Justin, more on him later. Was I the only one, or did the scene where Clark was driving the truck and attempting to escape look oddly familiar to a similar scene in The Fog, which I watched just for him? I name that scene The Fog Redux! He nailed that sequence too, I liked how he made Clark scream in fear as the russians were shooting at him since he knew he had no powers and could die. There were some great shots, the one where Clark turns around after hearing Oliver's voice and then recognizing him was beautiful. He needs to make films after Smallville is finished, I would love to see him in a romantic comedy. Tom also rocked the death scene, I liked the convulsing and breathing hard...did that sound dirty to you too?

Clark checked Lois' pulse and then left her on the floor to go hug Chloe! HA! Yes, definately not a romantic reltionship yet. Judging by her little smile at the end though, I'm guessing Lois is beginning to have a crush on him...what took so long seriously? I loved Clana and I don't really like the love/hate realtionship in general but Clois has found a way to touch me and it really has grown over the years. And how incredible did Lois look?! Hubba hubba! I love the new hair colour, how beautiful would Tom and Erica's babies be? She seems happier now too, she attended a couple of events finally! Now, all we need is for Erica to invite Tom along... Did I mention that I met Erica at the Fan Expo in Toronto in 2006? She was pretty and really nice, she let my sister take a photo with her for free.

I thought Hartley was great in this episode, that plane scene was awesome because both men were so mature and really seemed to care about each other. Oliver's "You could have died..." and "Clark would never give up on one of us and we're not giving up on him" were great lines, they put things into perspective. Tom and Justin have a nice chemistry and they work off of each other well, I enjoyed their scenes. I'm guessing Clark told the russian that he would get him money for the food and clothes that he gave to Clark? That's how he survived for so long? I thought it would have been three months and I was asking myself, why did it take so long for the Justice League to find him? See, I don't really think things through. I got chills when the four heroes were standing in the street and walking away from each other, that was an awesome scene.

Martain Manhunter came out of nowhere! That was random and slightly lame to be honest but oh well, we have to have as many characters in the premiere as possible right? I did like their scene together, Clark finally got to voice his opinions and tell us why he is moving forward. Did Black Canary totally kill one of the armed men in the first action scene? She threw a knife into his chest...can't the heroes be a little more heroic?

I didn't like Chloe's storyline...it was boring and she never seemed to be in any real danger. Why does she have to have superpowers honestly? AM can't sell me on the Chimmy, their scene seemed to be drawn out and Jimmy serves no purpose except to be her boyfriend. I'm sorry, I know you like her. I don't want either of them to be hurt, I would rather not have them on my screen is all. I have been turned off by some of the shipper wars so I will just state that I do like Alison, I think she's cute and a decent actress! She makes Chloe tolerable...it's not an easy character to play. The editing of the scene where she read out the numbers was strange to me...so she reads them out and then the bad agents use superspeed to reach Black Canary and Aquaman in different parts of the world? How did they get out of Metropolis so quickly? Bah!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 9th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi! *waves*! Isn't it exciting to be back for a new season of Smallville? So far I am loving it. Thanks for your comments; I always enjoy reading your thoughts on the episodes!

Tom looked incredible in this episode, especially in his first scene! He is the most beautiful man in the world.

No argument there! The man took my breath away! :) I think introducing him for the season this way was inspired. Clearly Clark has gone through a transformation, and by the end of the episode we understand it's far more than physical. It's interesting what you say about Tom's scruff, because I didn't like Jimmy's (red) earlier this season, and I was underwhelmed by Oliver's (blonde) in Toxic. I think you're right, it looks sexiest when it's dark, especially on someone like Tom with his Black Irish coloring. And seeing Clark look so different definitely had me thinking about Tom in films as well.

That bit in the truck was so reminiscent of The Fog it had me checking screen caps for comparison! I think it most resembles THIS promo shot.

That's very cool that you had the opportunity to meet Erica! I watched her on The Bonnie Hunt Show the other day, and she seemed like a lovely person. And she is absolutely beautiful. I think you know I had my problems with how Lois was written last season, but I have really enjoyed most of her scenes in S8 so far. I, too, like her new look with the darker hair.

I am so glad they have added JH to the regular cast this year. I especially love the dynamic between Clark and Oliver. All the Justice League stuff was great, although I was a bit taken aback by the brutality of that first fight scene. I hope they have the chance to bring Bart back at some point this season.

Martian Manhunter was a true deus ex machina in this episode, but I didn't mind. Phil Morris is so awesome, and his talent has been woefully underutilized on Smallville. I hope MM isn't gone for good.

Oh, I didn't find Chloe's storyline to be boring at all! I'm glad her healing powers are gone, and I think the super brain power is a temporary, Brainiac-induced effect, that is more in line with Chloe's character anyway. I'm intrigued to see what's ahead for Chloe. Will she be taken over by Brainiac and go darkside? And if so, how will that play out with Clark?
kelvintage From: kelvintage Date: October 8th, 2008 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think of it as a reboot. I simply think that the producers finally got their act together. Last season, in one episode, Clark doesn't care about protecting the world or stopping Lex (I think in Arctic he actually said "I have chores to do" *shakes head*) and then in others, he's proactive, such as Apocalyspe...well partially because Chole couldn't help him. Zachary Levi was speaking about Chuck and said that the show would have a new direction but it would not be a reboot, and he said "Well, then it would be named Morgan". I think a reboot is scrapping characters like Chloe as if they never existed and changing everyone's personalities. I didn't think Lois was too different actually...Erica may be playing her softer this year though, which she has eluded to. Clark's proactive stance on life is long-awaited...it was a little rushed in this episode but I think it sets up nicely for the future. I'm guessing Tom only had 15 minutes of screentime or less? I didn't like the Daily Planet part, that should have been saved for the next episode. The interaction between Clark and Lois was cute but, I can't believe I'm saying this, it could actually have waited. It was way too easy, even by Smallville standards. I would have loved to see Clark's journey from the arctic to the russian concentrat- I mean work camp and back home. That would have been nice, but perhaps it was too difficult? Or the writers are just too lazy.

Do the budget cuts mean no more songs in the episodes?

Dear Lord, I hope not! The songs compliment the scenes so well sometimes and actually make the scene along with the great acting. Mark Snow has chosen some amazing songs to be on this show so I hope he continues to do so. Are they really gone?

No mention of Kara, I'm not really disappointed because I wasn't expecting anything. Clark will remember he has a cousin when she stands in front of him again. Can you feel the sarcasm?

Random Comments:

Do girls really like the guy on guy action? It's starting to creep me out! Lol! I want Kara and Lois action then...or Tess and Lois action...or Lois and Lana action or - okay that's enough. I'm glad you did notice the sexual chemistry between Tess and Lois though!

No? I'm grasping at straws here...

I liked when Tess said "You like to play dress-up?" I thought to myself, 'Please say yes.' We all know that Lois does!

Erica says she's willing to do another season of Smallville! Bad Erica! But it's because that means she would get to work with Tom for another year! Good Erica! I think it's time for Tom to move on and the show to end with whatever steam and/or dignity it has left. Why would Tom want to return after the bugdet cuts and disrespect from the network? I'm sure he could find work in film or on a stronger network along with Erica.

Thank you for listening Tariel. I love reading your reviews, they are so well thought-out and written.

Here is a little gift for you! New recycled footage of Tom and Erica! Yay! I've never seen that shot of Tom before, how much footage do they have of him!?

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 9th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, at least I think we agree that S8 is an improvement over S7! :) You're right that it hasn't been a reboot like we've seen with other shows, where they get rid of everyone except the main character and completely rewrite the premise of the show, but what I meant was that Clark seems to have made a huge leap forward in his development, and has a completely new outlook on where he wants to be, and how he wants to spend his life. It's not unbelievable to me in any way, but it is different, and also more than welcome.

A lot of people have complained that Clark's transition to the DP was too rushed to be credible, and that an episode dealing with how he got the job there would have been interesting and fun, and I can't argue with that. But I think the writers just couldn't resist the appeal of putting Clark and Lois together at the DP to kick off the new season, and so they were determined to have it in the very first episode. I loved the scene, and seeing that Clark Kent nameplate gave me a little thrill, so I'm not going to quibble.

Mark Snow is actually no longer with the show; he left at the end of S7. Louis Febre, who worked on additional scoring last season, is now the sole composer. I haven't seen anything official addressing the music question, but it seems clear they've decided to go with a musical score soundtrack only this season. I do think the new music has been wonderful, but I still miss my Smallville songs. :( I don't know if the decision was made for budgetary reasons, or conceptual ones.

I'm still bummed about LV not returning, but I can see why they made that decision, given Clark's new direction. I wonder what Clark thinks happened to Kara? Does he think she's dead? That she has flown off to parts unknown? It is weird that he hasn't even mentioned her.

I'm afraid the HoYay! subtext has been a big part of Smallville's appeal since the beginning; there was no way it was going to go away just because Michael did. :) And I am definitely picking up a vibe between Tess and Lois, at least on Tess's part. I wonder if CF and KK will have any scenes together when Lana come back. That could be very interesting! ;)

I can't imagine that Tom would ever say yes to another season of Smallville. I certainly hope he doesn't. As much as I love seeing him on my TV screen each week, it's time for him to move on, hopefully to bigger and better things. I just hope he continues to act.

Wow, that is a gorgeous banner! Thank you! And I've never seen that pic of Tom before, either, although I recognize the shoot from which it came. How many more unearthed treasures are they sitting on? It looks like no new promo shots of Tom are forthcoming, but at least we've been getting those amazing episode stills!

New episode tonight! I have mixed feelings about this one, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and I can't wait to see it!
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