tariel22 (tariel22) wrote,

Smallville 8.05 - Committed

I find it fascinating that Smallville, a show whose online fandom is fraught with shipper tensions, chose to devote an entire episode to telling us who is and isn't in love with whom. We looked at three different couples this week, and each one had something new and possibly surprising to show us. The question is, is everyone telling the truth in Committed? Whom do you believe?

The episode started out focused on Chloe and Jimmy, although another couple soon became much more interesting to me. Kidnapped by a crazy jeweler, they were hooked up to a makeshift lie detector and forced to tell the truth or subject the other to a slightly less lethal version of the electric chair. And what we saw was Chloe state unequivocally that she loves Jimmy, and only Jimmy, forever. I guess that closes the book on romantic Chlark, once and for all. Unless, of course, you think she used her Brainiac-enhanced brain to somehow fool the lie detector. If you believe that, then I guess all bets are off. But me? I'm taking Chloe's words at face value.

I think the show has been trying to tell us that Chloe is over Clark for quite some time now, in spite of a few mixed signals along the way, and the message has never been less ambiguous than it was this week. Like it or not, the Chimmy is here to stay. And they must be wearing me down, because I didn't roll my eyes or yell at my TV once during the Chimmy scenes in Committed. That's definitely progress! At least Jimmy himself acknowledged that there is no way a girl like Chloe should be with a guy like him, but obviously she sees something in him the rest of us don't, because our girl seems to be smitten.

Clark and Lois joined forces to find the missing couple, and once again I thoroughly enjoyed every one of their scenes together. I find myself charmed by Erica Durance's portrayal of Lois as a woman who is passionate, ambitious, fiercely loyal, and recklessly brave, and who also has a few foibles that make her all too human, and very relatable. I cringed at Lois's drunken toast at the engagement party, but forgave her when I saw how dismayed she was once she sobered up. Liquid courage has made me less than tactful on occasion, too. Besides, she said what we've been yelling from the online rooftops all along! Come to think of it, that may have been the point. Anyway, Lois has some traits that would drive me crazy in RL, but what saves her for me is her vulnerability and her tender heart. And I think Erica especially excels at showing us that side of Lois. I'm glad she's been given more chances to do so in S8.

The big news in Committed was that Lois loves Clark. We got a hint of her feelings when we heard the hilarious message she left after she drunk dialed Chloe the night of the engagement party, but the true confession came when she was at the mercy of the kidnapper, and had to answer his question honestly or see Clark shocked with electricity again, perhaps fatally. I think she was as stunned as the rest of us to hear her one-word answer spoken out loud, and even though she later pretended it was all a ruse, Clark has already seen her in a whole new light. I don't think he knows exactly how he feels about Lois, but he's definitely thinking about it now. We continue to rush right along this season, but so far I'm still okay with it.

I prefer, however, that they keep things light between Clark and Lois. I love the banter between them. "And throw in a Shirley Temple for the lady!" *snerk* It's funny, it's snarky, and Clark gives as good as he gets. This episode made me laugh out loud, but even more, it made me smile. Big, idiotic, happy smiles. My show is actually fun to watch! And compared to some of the depressing episodes last season, and that awful feeling I used to get that Clark would never escape his dysfunctional relationship with Lana and embrace his destiny, it seems almost too good to be true. But I'm beginning to let my guard down and trust in it all the same. Clark finally has some balance. He's serious, and determined, and heroic, but he's also adorable, and funny, and devastatingly handsome and sexy. He is, in a word, perfect. Thank you, show!

But of course I reserve my greatest thanks for Tom Welling, for his performance this week and every week. His acting has never been more natural, or his demeanor more relaxed. He seems to make every acting choice with confidence, and an ease I've never seen before. He plays Clark with a wealth of nuance, every look and action rich with emotion, or humor, or depth of character. I know I'm gushing, but it is just a tremendous pleasure to watch him this season. Not to mention the off-the-charts pretty he brings (did you see the purple shirt?!), served up this week with a generous side order of ARMS!

The third couple we saw in Committed was Oliver and Tess. I'm not sure what's up with our blond billionaire, but he seems to be trying to recapture what he once had with the woman he calls Mercy. Tess is clearly still angry and hurt over what passed between them, but that doesn't stop her from falling into bed with him. For which I have to thank her, since it gave us another lovely shot of Oliver shirtless, this time with bonus naked back. :) Tess says it's purely physical, but I don't know if I believe her. The look in her eyes hinted at something a little more complicated. In any case, their involvement should prove very interesting if Tess's secret team of meteor freaks ever comes up against Oliver's Justice League.

I had so many favorite moments in this episode, I have to mention at least a few. Clark at the engagement party, making that lovely toast with such sincerity, and looking at Chloe with total BFF love. Clark and Lois at the farm the morning after. I loved that whole scene. When Clark said, "Don't worry, you got dressed all by yourself. In the middle of the kitchen, for like an hour," something about the way Tom delivered that line, and the visual image it gave me, made me laugh. :) Clark, Lois, and Oliver in the jewelry store! All three actors were delightful, truly, but Justin Hartley was my favorite. And it was funny enough even if you didn't read anything into it, but it was steeped in subtext that made the whole thing hilarious. And I have to make special mention of Allison Mack's acting throughout the episode. She always blows me away.

I also liked how Clark rushed to Lois's rescue, reducing the door to splinters in the process. Very cool. I was gratified that he tried to reason with the bad guy before even attempting to escape. And I loved his reaction when Lois made her anguished confession, first steeling himself for unendurable pain, then looking around in confusion when the shock he expected never came, and finally, as comprehension dawned, looking straight into Lois's eyes, stunned. Awesome. In the final scene of the episode, I adored Clark's sweet compassion for Lois when they met up in front of the elevator at the DP, and he gently invited her to join him inside. Awww. Who could resist that face? And how funny was it when he gallantly offered her an out to save face, and she grabbed it and ran with it, leaving him uncertain all over again? Oh, Clark, baby, you're so naive! LOL!

Random thoughts: Did Tom really lift Erica down off that stool so effortlessly, or was that some kind of special effect? Because if he did? Wow. Chloe looked beautiful in her short trench coat, and Jimmy looked cute in his bow tie. And he finally gave her a real engagement ring! Have you noticed how much Clark puts his hands in his pockets lately? I have a thing for that, along with rolled-up shirt sleeves. Yum. Tess has an endless supply of female minions. Pumpkin? Muffin? hee! When Clark was walking down the street in THRJ, he looked just like my action figure. :) And why did they feel the need to put Erica on an apple box for the elevator scene? That just looked dumb.

This was a fun episode, with a good mix of action, humor, and emotion. Nothing about it drove me crazy, and there were a number of scenes I could watch again and again. It had a nice balance of characters, with a good focus on Clark, and it advanced everyone's storyline a little bit. And everyone looked gorgeous, especially Tom. We're halfway through the first arc of episodes for this season, and I'm already dreading the hiatus to come at the end of November. Is anyone else loving this show as much as I am right now?
Tags: smallville, sv episode review, tom welling
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