?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Smallville 8.03 - Toxic - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 8.03 - Toxic
This episode was a piece of fluff. It had lots of pretty, a little suspense, a little action, and just a hint of story. It was fun, and I enjoyed it, but there really wasn't any substance. And as far as character development went, to me this third episode of S8 felt like one step back after two steps forward. I liked the episode, but it left me a little disappointed, and a little confused as well. Oh, and the title was all wrong. It should have been called Oliver. Or maybe Shirtless.

It's a good thing I like Justin Hartley so much, because even I almost overdosed on the man's naked chest in this episode. Honestly, I would love to see jeannev give us his screentime minutes for this one broken down by those in which his shirt was off, or completely unbuttoned, and those in which his chest was covered. There was an awful lot of hot, naked, sweaty, golden, male skin, I must say. I appreciate that Justin is such a sport about it, and he is absolutely beautiful, but sweetie, really, I like you just as well with your clothes on.

They've certainly made it clear that when a guy from Smallville gets stuck on a deserted island, he's going to spend the majority of his time running around half naked. So when is it Clark's turn? I know that when Oliver said to Clark at the end of the episode, "Maybe your island's still out there," he meant it metaphorically, but I want it literally! For serious, show.

So the big thing we learned in Toxic is that Oliver Queen spent two years shipwrecked on some tropical island. It was an experience that changed him fundamentally, and transformed him from a wastrel playboy into a vigilante for justice with a hero complex Green Arrow. On that island he met Tess Mercer (whom he calls Mercy), who was also subsequently transformed, in her case from a sweet marine biology student to a Lex Luthor wannabe who commands not only one of the world's richest corporations, but also, evidently, an emerging mutant army. All of which would be fascinating, if only they had told us why.

We did get to see how Oliver developed his archery skills, as a matter of survival first, and personal pride later, and I loved that sequence. The music was wonderful, and it was fun to see Oliver get better and better. It was also cool to see the birth of his future Green Arrow costume along with his skills. Besides, he looked too cute the whole time, with his little boy, no product hair style and his adorable white tennies. :) But I still have no idea why he came away from those two years determined to be a hero. I guess introspection is difficult to write, and a 42-minute episode format doesn't lend itself well to exploring psychological motivations while simultaneously following the exploits of six different series regulars plus a random bad guy. *sighs*

I know even less about what happened to Tess, although I suppose they may tell us more about that in future episodes. How and why did she change from that compassionate, frightened girl on the island to who she is now? And who exactly is she now anyway? Most of the time she seems ice cold and deadly, as she was when she executed her revenge at the end of the episode. But she also has moments of vulnerability and deep emotion, and she still wears Megan's bracelet. She seemed both supremely bitter and oddly wistful toward Oliver. She flirted girlishly, and inappropriately, with Clark. And she even seems to have some weird sexual vibe going on with Lois. Are we supposed to believe she's the corporate mogul with the heart of gold? Or is she just a big, hot mess? Kudos in any case to Cassidy Freeman. She makes Tess's every mood convincing.

I have really enjoyed Clark and Lois this season, both separately and together, and they both had great moments again this week, but they also both fell back into old patterns that drove me crazy. Lois was once again given some clunky lines that made me groan and roll my eyes, and Clark just stood there and took it, looking mopey, while someone heaped unwarranted abuse on him. Grrr. Can we not go there again, please?

Where Lois shined this week was in the scenes that showed her vulnerability, especially when she confessed her doubts about their breakup to an unconscious Oliver. I thought Erica Durance's performance was both touching and believable. And I liked the scene between Clark and Lois at the DP. That cute little bit with Clark's coffee was classic. It was especially nice to see Clark open up to someone about Lana a little bit, which I think is hard for him to do with Chloe, since she's Lana's friend, too.

Speaking of Chloe, I'm a little worried about her. I think it's cool that she has gained so much independence, and Oliver would have died if not for her, but she spent most of the episode butting heads with Clark, and she seems dangerously, albeit understandably, enamored with her newly enhanced brain power. She's keeping secrets from both her fiance and her best friend, and that can't be good. Davis seems like a good person, but the way Plastique ended makes me think he's not the best choice for a confidant. None of it bodes well, if you ask me. I've never seen Chloe look more beautiful, though. She was stunning in that gown.

There wasn't an over abundance of Clark this week, but I loved every moment he was onscreen. First of all, Tom was devastatingly handsome in Clark's new DP wardrobe. The man was born to dress this way, and I hope it continues all season. Second, Clark continued to be both smart and heroic, taking the initiative to get out there and do whatever he could, including using his superpowers, to help Oliver. Who, by the way, appears to be Clark's new boyfriend BFF. From the way Clark's face lit up when Oliver arrived at the fundraiser, and the way he defended him when Chloe thought he was drunk, to the way he rushed to his side when he fell, and then lost it (yelling!) over his condition at Isis, it was clear that Oliver means a lot to Clark. When did that happen, exactly? Not that I object, but it just seems kind of sudden. We even caught a glimpse of Jealous!Clark when Oliver implored him to save Tess!

My favorite Clark scene was his last one, with Oliver at the Ace of Clubs. Oliver was a complete ass to Clark, but even so, there's just something about the way these two guys are together that I love. They don't have the incredible chemistry that Clark and Lex had, but neither do they have the tension or the baggage that marked that relationship in recent years. They're just two guys who want to save the world, and the uncomplicated masculinity of their friendship captivates me. I'm willing to cut Oliver some slack for his behavior; he was reeling from the news about Lionel, felt betrayed by Clark for keeping it a secret from him, and was well on his way to being drunk. But he still owes Clark an apology, big time. I hated that Clark didn't defend himself, but I'm fanwanking that he figured it was pointless to argue with Oliver when he was angry and intoxicated.

Finally, the new music is beginning to win me over. I like how each episode is scored like a mini movie, and the recurring themes we hear for particular characters and situations are growing on me. I still miss my emo alt rock, but I'm getting my weekly fix from Bones now. :) And did everyone notice we had new music over the end credits this week? I don't know that I like it better, but it certainly evokes Supes in every note!

Random thoughts: I like that Clark is giving Tess the benefit of the doubt for the moment. That's a quality I want to see in my Superman. I did not like the naked waiter at the fundraiser. Ewww. The name of the poisonous plant was Euphorbia Marshalis. :) And the funniest line of the episode? "There were MOSQUITOES! That ate me alive!" hee! Even Justin thought that line was ridiculous.

I had my reservations about this episode going in, and actually liked it better than I thought I would. I did think Clark was somewhat marginalized, but the scenes he did have were important, and he still had a chance to shine. Plus they managed to advance the story in some interesting ways. This won't ever be my favorite episode, but I will watch it again. And I'm worried about next week, too. I'm all for sexy shots of Tom's chest, of course, but if this is a replay of Hypnotic, I don't think I'm going to like it. I'd rather see Clark stay away from sexual situations altogether than to see him mind whammied again. But I'm keeping an open mind until I see it.

Tags: , , ,

26 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: October 4th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
//From the way Clark's face lit up when Oliver arrived at the fundraiser//

Heh, I pretty much said exactly the same just now in my own review. ;-)

I'm afraid I didn't really enjoy this ep at all, which my thoughts on the ep in my lj will probably reflect. :-( It did have some merits such as Clark' characterization, and oddly, for me, Tess. But on the whole? The ep left me either bored or annoyed.
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: October 4th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm afraid I didn't really enjoy this ep at all, which my thoughts on the ep in my lj will probably reflect. :-( It did have some merits such as Clark' characterization, and oddly, for me, Tess. But on the whole? The ep left me either bored or annoyed.

Same here.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 4th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought TW was pushing the HoYay! big time throughout the episode. Maybe to entertain himself. :) I don't think JH quite gets it yet.

I do understand your problems with the episode. As usual, I think the actors did the best they could with the material they were given.
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: October 4th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Forgot to add (in all my negativity!) that the one thing I will wholeheartedly agree with you on is the "OMG!HOT!" reactions to Clark and the new wardrobe. ::fans self::

When all else fails, we still have Teh Pretty atleast, eh. :-)
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: October 4th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Forgot to add (in all my negativity!) that the one thing I will wholeheartedly agree with you on is the "OMG!HOT!" reactions to Clark and the new wardrobe. ::fans self::

Agreed!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 4th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, Teh Pretty has sustained me through many a scene where I just wanted to bang my head against the wall. The fact that we now have it not only looking better than ever before, but also in combination with the best Clark characterization I've seen in years, makes me positively weak in the knees!
eeyore1017 From: eeyore1017 Date: October 4th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
but sweetie, really, I like you just as well with your clothes on.
You amuse me! :-)

She flirted girlishly, and inappropriately, with Clark.
Didn't that just kind of come out of nowhere?

I like that Clark is giving Tess the benefit of the doubt for the moment. That's a quality I want to see in my Superman.
Yes! I agree.

I did not like the naked waiter at the fundraiser.
I was kind of amused when Clark went back to the party to look for Adrianna and there were half-naked men wandering around while he was being all serious and in investigative mode.

I'd rather see Clark stay away from sexual situations altogether than to see him mind whammied again.
I think unfortunately, this is the only way that Clark is going to get any lovin' since TPTB seem too afraid to put him in any kind of "real" relationship with anyone other than Lana, Lois, or Chloe (and even then, they're all about the stalling).
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 5th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Didn't that just kind of come out of nowhere?

Well, she did kind of make googly eyes at him when he carried her to safety last week. But yeah, I found it very jarring and creepy.

I was kind of amused when Clark went back to the party to look for Adrianna and there were half-naked men wandering around

Did we really need more shirtlessness in this episode? :) Besides, that waiter guy didn't have an attractive body at all.

I think unfortunately, this is the only way that Clark is going to get any lovin'

I agree, but I still don't think I'm going to like it. :(
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: October 4th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww, Justin was so cute! But I do wonder about how the man spends 2 years on a desert island that looked suspiciously like the one Lex was on with only getting that wee bit of scruff. I feel a little cheated frankly.

I was lost for a lot of it because I didn't know how much of Ollie's backstory was already known.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 5th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
You have a point about the scruff. Can arrowheads be used as razors, too?

I commented on a friend's journal that I thought this episode was a blatant copy of Lex's island experience, and someone who knows a lot more about Green Arrow than I do clued me in that Oliver's desert island story was comics canon long before Smallville hit the airwaves. I am convinced, however, that this episode was filmed on the same location they used for Exile. :)

There has been backstory about Oliver both in the series and in a couple of online projects. THIS PAGE probably has way more info than you ever wanted to know, but it pulls together everything we've learned about Oliver so far.
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: October 5th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I still feel cheated on the lack of scruff.

Thanks for the link! I notice there's no half-naked Ollie on it, though. Sign of the impeding apocalypse?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 5th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL! That is a gross oversight! I need to email someone and complain, STAT!
jeannev From: jeannev Date: October 5th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been having a bitch of time getting a decent download of this episode, which is why there are no screentotals up yet, but hopefully tonight. Just for you, I will make a special note about how much screentime Justin spent totally shirtless, or with his shirt open. Frankly, I thought it was overkill. I just felt like telling him to put it away after a while. Even my sister said "can the kidnappers give him a shirt?".

I also didn't quite understand how the experiances on the island led to him wanting to be GA. But there just wasn't the time to show that believably. And thats why I think they shouldn't have bothered to try.

Maybe Clark's growing fondness for Oliver comes out of the events of Odyssey, and the fact that Oliver didn't give up on him, and kept looking for him, and eventually rescued him from the Russian cavier mafia? I mean, yeah, he also killed him, but let bygones be bygones, LOL

I hated that Clark didn't defend himself, but I'm fanwanking that he figured it was pointless to argue with Oliver when he was angry and intoxicated.

I think thats a good wank. Also, Clark has a long history of just standing there and letting someone berate him. I wish he didn't.

I also like that Clark is giving Tess the benefit of the doubt. He's not immediately judging someone on the company they keep, or kept. But as he said to Chloe, he's cautious. And if she keeps sexually harassing him at work, there could be trouble ahead.

I want to be indignant about next week, but HOT! Tom's HOT broke my brain.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 5th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm late replying to comments, so of course now the screentime minutes have already been posted. Thanks again for doing special shirtless stats just for me! :) I finally reached my saturation point with Oliver, too. However, I feel certain that Clark could spend every second of an episode shirtless and I would never feel the urge to ask him to put a shirt on. ;)

I did feel that Clark and Oliver formed a special bond in Odyssey, but it was just one of those elements of this season that felt a little rushed. I'm not terribly bothered by it; I just had a moment during Toxic where I had to shift gears and say, oh, okay, they're BFFs now. Which makes what Oliver did at the end of the episode that much worse.

Also, Clark has a long history of just standing there and letting someone berate him. I wish he didn't.

I wish he didn't, too. The few times he has actually let someone have a piece of his mind have been immensely satisfying. When he said, "You're only honest with me when you're threatened," to Lana in Siren, for example.

I want to embrace the promise of Tom hotness next week, but I'm leery. *sighs*
simplytoopretty From: simplytoopretty Date: October 5th, 2008 02:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I do like the new wardrobe for Clark. The suits are a definite improvement over the jeans and flannel and that bloody red jacket.

As for the episode, well, I didn't like it. It was a waste of time I thought, to be blunt. I do like Oliver but I don't care about why he became the GA. I kept thinking, as I watched, that they could have axed this episode and could have spent moving time showing Clark's transition to the DP, maybe the trials and tribulations of his first week, maybe a discussion on how he was hired, stuff like that. I feel like stuff was lost because of the additional cast added this year. The show should just be focusing on Clark, Chloe and Lois.

I also really didn't like the fact that there's a past between Oliver and Tess. It just didn't appeal to me.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 5th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tom just looks so handsome in Clark's DP wardrobe! I think big men in particular look great in suits for some reason. Sam in a suit on SPN gets me every time. :) And I think I caught a glimpse of that stupid red jacket in one of the promos for next week. Grrr.

I totally get what you're saying about this episode being a waste of time. I guess if they're going to give AA a showcase episode with Sleeper, it makes sense that they would do the same for JH. But at least Sleeper had another purpose, to give Tom time to prepare for directing Apocalypse.

I would have loved to see an episode like the one you describe, focusing on Clark at the DP! That would have been wonderful!

Maybe the reasons for this episode will become apparent as the season goes on, but I doubt it. This is, after all, Smallville, where all episodes exist in isolation. *rolls eyes*
simplytoopretty From: simplytoopretty Date: October 6th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
He looks far better in a suit. Also, to me, Tom looks a bit younger (or maybe just a bit baby-faced).

Given how important the DP is in the future, the show really hasn't handled Clark's entry to it that well (nor Lois's for that matter). Chloe got an episode about how she got hired; Clark got nothing. And it would have been awesome to see Clark deal with how different journalism must be from farming. Yes it probably would have been an episode with less action, but it kind of was a necessary episode that got skipped. So sad :(

This is, after all, Smallville, where all episodes exist in isolation.

Snorts. Stand-alone eps are fine (I have a great love for some of the X-Files's stand-alones), but Smallville can do episodes really badly.
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: October 5th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Speaking of Chloe, I'm a little worried about her. I think it's cool that she has gained so much independence, and Oliver would have died if not for her, but she spent most of the episode butting heads with Clark, and she seems dangerously, albeit understandably, enamored with her newly enhanced brain power. She's keeping secrets from both her fiance and her best friend, and that can't be good.

I don't know if it was the writing but I found Chloe kind of scary this week. I don't know I just feel like she's going on a bad road.

That cute little bit with Clark's coffee was classic.
Ah ha ha. Short little thing but was fave thing of the episode.

was especially nice to see Clark open up to someone about Lana a little bit, which I think is hard for him to do with Chloe, since she's Lana's friend, too.

I did like that it wasn't cringe worthy and he seemed to open up to someone about something very personal in order to get them to open up I don't remember the last time Clark just volunteered info like that.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 5th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Chloe's not entirely herself. It seems like Brainiac left something behind during their encounter, something that's affecting her behavior even as it makes her smarter. Like you, I have a bad feeling about this.

Wasn't the coffee thing just too cute? Tom played it so perfectly, I thought. I laugh every time I watch it again.

I don't remember the last time Clark just volunteered info like that.

I know! I had this mental image of Clark sitting and watching that video of Lana, trying to figure out how he felt about everything now, and then I realized that he not only gave us a glimpse of a very personal moment, he also actually verbalized that their relationship is well and truly over. I really think that was an important moment.
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: October 5th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Chloe's not entirely herself. It seems like Brainiac left something behind during their encounter

There does seem an indication that this might seem the case. Clark himself mentioned it but she seemed very dismissive of it her behavior seems off and I don't think it's bad writing in this case lol.

I realized that he not only gave us a glimpse of a very personal moment, he also actually verbalized that their relationship is well and truly over. I really think that was an important moment.

I'm taking this as a another sign of Clark's progression as a character and his maturation process.

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 5th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm taking this as a another sign of Clark's progression as a character and his maturation process.

I like your interpretation, and I hope you're right. I'm still nervous about what their plans are for KK's return.
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: October 5th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah yeah I read something which may be considered a spoiler so I won't mention but it made me concerned b/c there were so many ways to interpret it. I'm going to stay positive though. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. :-)
stoodupforlove From: stoodupforlove Date: October 7th, 2008 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not up to a full reply to your post, but I will take a moment to say I agree with most of what you've said. The episode was mildly enjoyable overall, though the scenes with Tom were of course the best part of it. He's more beautiful each week, isn't he?

I have to also say that I'm starting to resent Chloe's attitude toward Clark. I'm noticing that more and more she's condescending toward him, very much the "butt out, you don't understand" mentality, when who would understand better than Clark what she's dealing with? Clark cares about her and is afraid of what it all means; rather than thank him for his concern and explain that she wants to explore it on her own, she lashes out at him and treats him like a child. That's my take, anyway. And yes, Chloe, he is going to spend a lot of time with Lois from now on--they WORK together.

I loved Justin's flat little hair, too! His little fringe bangs were adorable, weren't they? Aww. I'm really enjoying Oliver and Clark together.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 9th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Tom is more beautiful each week! I don't know how he does that. :)

I think the thing with Chloe is that we're seeing behavioral changes in her as a side effect of whatever Brainiac did that made her super smart. I'm not sure, but maybe as she gets smarter, that means Brainiac is taking over more and more of her brain? And that part of her brain is going to want to push Clark away. The whole thing kind of reminds me of how Chloe acted toward Clark in Truth, and she wasn't quite herself in that episode. But I did get a bit of a jealous vibe from her, both at the party and at Isis, so I don't know. That didn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

I'm really enjoying Clark and Oliver together, too. I hope we see more of that.
ivorykiss From: ivorykiss Date: October 8th, 2008 08:25 am (UTC) (Link)
It was fun, and I enjoyed it, but there really wasn't any substance. And as far as character development went, to me this third episode of S8 felt like one step back after two steps forward.

That pretty much sums it up for me as well.

Though I certainly don't mind shirtless!Ollie, it seems so unfair to have 3 mostly naked guys (not even counting the waiters) in 3 eppys and none of them Clark! Grrr...

Speaking of clothing. *g* I'm gonna voice what I'm sure is gonna be an unpopular opinion. I'm so missing the plaid. Yes, Tom looks amazing all dressed up, but I have the feeling that seeing it all the time will kinda take the specialness out of it. I know, I'm weird.

Speaking of weird. *g* Yays! One of my fav superpowers! I so enjoyed the pretty eyegasm this week!

They're just two guys who want to save the world, and the uncomplicated masculinity of their friendship captivates me.

The Clark/Ollie dynamic is wonderful to watch! I think part of the appeal of this relationship is how Ollie isn't fascinated with Clark like so many around him are. I think he's a bit too arrogant at times, I thought the 'You're useless' line in Odyssey was a bit harsh and totally uncalled for. Ollie seems to enjoy pissing contests way too much. *g*

I loved the Chlarky moments, of course. Clark and Chloe's amazing chemistry, whether ones sees it as just friendship or something more, is just lovely to watch.

And damn, if they didn't make me miss the Lollie! I've always thought Ollie and Lois were wonderful together. Lois has never been my fav character, but I never really hated her. Those character traits that annoy the hell out of me about her with Clark are the things that I actually believe and enjoy with Ollie. Go fig.

Yikes! Sorry, I didn't mean to go all ramble-y on you. ;) LOL! I should just copy/paste this to my el jay as my Toxic review. *g*
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 9th, 2008 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, I love ramble-y comments, especially from you!

Okay, I didn't realize about the three mostly naked guys until you said that. Aquaman, Davis, and Ollie, right? Well, it's a good thing it looks like we're getting at least a peek of skin from Clark this week. It's definitely his turn in the rotation!

I'm a big fan of the plaid myself, actually. It's just that stupid red jacket I can't stand. Even the blue tee that he wears with the jacket is fine by me. Clark always looks so beautiful in that shade of blue, and it's so nice and snug, you know? :) But I am enjoying his DP wardrobe so very much. God, he's a handsome man.

Ollie seems to enjoy pissing contests way too much.

I think you have a point there. But isn't that quintessential boy behavior? Or at least rich, bratty, spoiled boy behavior. :)

I do love watching Tom and Allison together. Their scenes are always so heartfelt. It's also kind of special for me to think that they're the last two left of the original cast. They have so much history together!

And now here we are at Thursday again! This week just flew by!
26 comments or Leave a comment