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26 April 2009 @ 02:38 pm
Smallville 8.17, 8.18, 8.19  
I haven't felt much like posting since I got back, as my energy and attention has been focused on setting myself up in a new phase of my life.

However, I have caught up on Smallville--admittedly somewhat reluctantly at first--and I was surprised to find myself quite charmed by the rebooted Clark/Lois. This season still seems incredibly hit or miss, but at least there are some parts worth watching.

8.17 Hex
I was spoiled for the premise of this episode and was dreading it with all my might as I thought it would be a wank-fest about how terrific Chloe was and what a bitch Lois was. I'm pretty glad I wasn't around fandom at the time to see how the fans took it, as instead it turned out to be a subtle slapdown to the Chlois theorists.

It was worth watching for Erica's impressive performance alone. But most of all I was really glad to see Chloe decide that being Chloe was not so bad after all. Ok, I still don't find it appealing that she defines herself as Clark's sidekick, that she's so dependent on a slice of his 'specialness', but it seems true to her character. And I'm glad her jealousy of Lois has been textualised and dealt with. That seems really useful in moving the character of Chloe into her own destiny.

From a Clois-fan perspective, I found it a delightful 'behind the scenes' look at the daily life of Lois and Clark on the job, which, sadly, we don't usually get to see. I loved Clark's disorientation on finding Lois not behaving in her usual alpha, bossy manner, and of course I found it absolutely adorable that he had framed her rules.

I also really enjoyed seeing Clark-without-powers. He was completely charming and I thought it quite a neat way of orchestrating a moment that validated both characters' identities and let them lose their 'if only...' desires.

I wasn't thrilled by Zatanna and sadly found her storyline with Oliver absurd because of its reflection on Oliver's stupid decision to kill Lex. I just find the whole Oliver-killed-Lex thing too ridiculous/appalling to think about and so it was hard to see him as in character in this ep.

8.18 Eternal
This episode was an absolute trainwreck from start to finish. It contained some of the worst retconning I've ever seen (barring BSG). Before this episode, I wasn't completely averse to the implications of Davis arriving on the same day as Clark. However, having seen the way they executed it I feel like the writers hadn't watched the intervening 7 seasons. Grr. Lionel's 'diary' (complete with sketches) was absurd, and Tess's character unfortunately took a nosedive by being tied up with this ridiculous retcon.

The only good? All-to-brief Davis-torso.

8.19 Stiletto
OMG LOVE! This episode was delightful! I was especially thrilled by the final scene, but right from the beginning I thought it was very fun to see Lois try on the hero boots for a change.

In terms of the morality of Lois's actions, I have to say I thought it was very well played. For starters, I don't think she set out with a nefarious plan and implemented it--I think she found an opportunity and wanted to exploit it and for a while she didn't stop to think about the implications. It was quite clear later on that she realised she'd got carried away, and her remorse was considerable. That's in character for Lois who does 'screw up' quite regularly--she is not her fully evolved future!self yet and I feel sure that this event is part of her growth into a Pulitzer-winning reporter. She's experienced the tug to do anything for a story and now she knows where she should draw the line. She'll remember with remorse the time she didn't.

Having said all that, I also really liked the reveal that she was in fact not doing it just for the story. Her own obsessive interest in the 'Blur' (I'm so amused that they've made that work for so long!) and her budding feelings for him meant that she had personal reasons for doing so. While it's still not admirable to trap someone through a lie, it explains why she was so excited about the potential--she had both personal and professional motivation.

Also, her selflessness in love was in evidence in the gorgeous phonecall she shared with Superman--because that WAS Superman, I swear!--at the end of the episode. She surprised him by asking what he needed, such a rare reaction since most people want something from him. I believed him when he said he'd take Lois up on her offer of a kindly ear if ever he needed. While Clark is not alone (he has Chloe and the whole Justice League!), he certainly still perceives himself this way at times, and so I think this really touched him.

The conversation was part of a longer exchange of reciprocal actions between Lois and Clark in this episode, which were both touching and charming. I loved seeing Lois get a chance to save Clark's life but was also pleased to see it played reasonably realistically--she did try to call the cops first, and it wasn't a breeze to take down the guys. The fall through the roof was a fluke, and was very cute considering she'd earlier bunny-hopped so gently off the chair with its stage-managed fan and waiting cameraman.

I loved how startled Lois was by Clark throwing himself in a bullet for her. That was beautifully played. Lois has no idea of Clark's true identity so that action would have seemed so overwhelming. It's no wonder she was quite speechless and awkward afterwards. It seems like Clark knows how to read Lois these days since he made things easier for her in the 'thank you' and let their relationship fall back into comfortable territory with Lois nicking his pastry. He recognised the magnitude of her bringing him coffee and he saw how affected she was by his actions.

And how brilliant was it that he could see right through her costume?! Tee hee! That was hilarious. I mean, of course she looked obvious but this is Smallville and there was always a chance they'd play him as clueless. I'm glad they didn't.

The whole mob-boss part of the plot was incredibly tedious and slow-paced, but making up for that was Erica's hotness in and out of costume. That girl is awesome! Stiletto was a stupid super-hero name, but I've got to say I could have watched more of her in action... and I think Lois underestimates her capacities there!

I can't speak very cogently about their final dialogue because it was just so mindblowingly PERFECt. The chemistry between them was off the charts! And I really felt like I saw Superman in that scene. It was not a scene between Lois and Clark--she related to him differently as Superman (of course) and he noticed that and seemed to really get a kick out of it. To the point where I can actually believe that he was crushing on her in that scene. I can also accept that maybe Clark needed to experience this side of Lois before really falling for her. Which means I can swallow Smallville's slow-burn where Clark's feelings for Lois are concerned. I've actually felt some love from him for her in this episode and Hex--and that thrills me.

Chloe's angst isn't really my cup of tea, but I do think it's an interestingly dark path for her. 'There's a monster in my basement' could get old quick but seeing as the season finale is fast approaching I'm not too worried about that and instead am interested to see how they'll resolve this plot. Taking out the dead guy as rubbish was definitely pretty confronting and I guess could give Chloe sympathy for the 'Davis' personality trapped in Doomsday?
 
 
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(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on April 27th, 2009 02:59 am (UTC)
Ahh, that helps me understand a bit better how some people saw love when I did not--because I guess I don't think of it as 'love' if it can be turned on and off, as has been the case with Clark's feelings for Lois so far. I see that more as mild infatuation, whereas it felt a bit more serious than that in this episode.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois Crimsonbop_radar on April 27th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
Cuuute icon! I agree that Clark is quite hesitant and deliberated in his love. I think his emotions for Lois have not really shifted out of the subconscious background yet, and part of that is not being ready. I think they need to become conscious because Clark is not the sort of person to initiate a relationship on a whim. I just wonder how much it will take for the lad to clue that he's actually in love with her (which I think he is now that he's seen how she relates to the Blur).
svgurl: clois 'odyssey'/'hex'svgurl on April 26th, 2009 08:48 am (UTC)
Yay! I am glad you caught up because I really wanted to know what you would think. But 'Hex' and 'Stiletto' were great, weren't they? 'Hex' made me laugh.

of course I found it absolutely adorable that he had framed her rules.
I AGREE! It was so sweet. &hearts

I really liked 'Stiletto' too. I am totally with you on Lois's intentions. She does screw up but what I love about her is that she always figures out her mistakes and learns from them.

Also, her selflessness in love was in evidence in the gorgeous phonecall she shared with Superman--because that WAS Superman, I swear!--at the end of the episode. She surprised him by asking what he needed, such a rare reaction since most people want something from him.
SO MUCH YES HERE! You saw what I did. I really loved how Clark was taken aback by her question ... she showed him that even though she doesn't know his identity, she'll be there for him. It's what will make her stand out and what will cause Clark to eventually take her chance. This is why Clois will last. :D

I've actually felt some love from him for her in this episode and Hex--and that thrills me.
Me too. They didn't overdo it but you can tell how much he cares and that's just awesome!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois Crimsonbop_radar on April 27th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, 'Hex' was hilarious!

It's really pretty amazing that Lois would be 'there' for a guy she's never met, someone she's not even seen a photo of--that shows how huge her hero kink is! Hee!
Jen: CloisAUjlvsclrk on April 26th, 2009 11:20 am (UTC)
I loved Hex and Stiletto too - I adore the way they're developing Clois and the Lois-Superman angle. On the latter front, I really like that she's not swept off her feet by his looks (she's never seen him - or so she thinks) nor even because he saved her. No, its because she admires what he's doing, and how he's doing it.

For Eternal, I know I should watch it again before rendering a final opinion, but I just don't feel like it. Chloe and the whole woobie Davis retcon nonsense just make me throw my hands in the air.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Ericabop_radar on April 27th, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
Yes, I really like that too--about Lois being drawn to Clark's actions, not his looks. It's in character because despite the fact that she's dated very goodlooking guys, she's never actually seemed that looks-focused in relationships.

There was much hands-in-air throwing here as well about 'Eternal'. I think it was just DREADFUL.
huzzlewhat: dc_superman_lonelyhuzzlewhat on April 26th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
Also, her selflessness in love was in evidence in the gorgeous phonecall she shared with Superman--because that WAS Superman, I swear!--at the end of the episode. She surprised him by asking what he needed, such a rare reaction since most people want something from him. I believed him when he said he'd take Lois up on her offer of a kindly ear if ever he needed. While Clark is not alone (he has Chloe and the whole Justice League!), he certainly still perceives himself this way at times, and so I think this really touched him.

This, so much. Clark isn't alone, but even his friends who do know his secret are pushing him — it's what they need him to do, or what the world needs, or the role they believe he should play. I can't remember the last time someone asked Clark what he, personally, needed. Everyone means well, and I do believe their reactions are colored by their knowledge of Clark and his hesitance to step forward, but it was amazing to see someone completely outside of the "Oh, that's just Clark, if we didn't push him he'd still be on the farm" factor recognize that need. The last time I can remember — although I could be forgetting things — was the conversation between Lana and Clark at the end of "Legion," when she assured him that he'd be ready when he needed to do those universe changing things — the implication being that he didn't have to be ready now, he could take the time he needed.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois runbop_radar on April 27th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
Mmm, I agree that Lana's probably come the closest previously to letting Clark express his own needs. I think too that Martha's absence is felt in this regard, even though that absence is fitting now that Clark's an adult. And even Martha prodded Clark at times. ;)
goodvibe: dreamygoodvibe on April 26th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)
Wonderful analysis of the eps and I agree with much of it. I absolutely adored 'Hex' and 'Stiletto' turned out to be a mostly pleasant surprise as well. And of course, the less said about 'Eternal', the better.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois searchingbop_radar on April 27th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
Thank you! Yes, I was pleasantly surprised by both 'Hex' and 'Stiletto'.
emerald_night: supermanemerald_night on April 26th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)
Wow, great reviews! I loved Hex and Stiletto.

What I really liked in Stiletto was that for all of Lois' fascination (and rightly so, considering) with the RBB, the show made CLARK her hero by having him, k-nite weakened, take a bullet for her - which she saw.

She saw Clark come to her rescue, even called him a 'Superhero' as she and Jimmy were helping him out (which was another great scene, Lane/Kent/Olsen saving each other).
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois OTPbop_radar on April 27th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)

I liked the reciprocal heroism in Stiletto--and the fact that Clark was willing to risk potential exposure of his identity to protect Lois. It was instinct to do so, which shows his 'true' hero status. And yes, true that it was good to see the three of them together, supporting one another.
gildinwengildinwen on April 26th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
Editied because I had more to say
The Clark/Lois scenes and the Lois/RBB scenes just killed me in Stileto. How much did I love the teasing between them, in the first one? before they ran off to don their respective superhero outfits? or the fact that Clark knew it was Lois, even when she was disguised. Does he even know what he's saying? between this and the fact he *knew* her routine in 'Hex'. It's really obvious that he's fallen for her. And then he took a bullet for her? even weakened by Kryptonite paper!!!. And you could see how much she still is in love with him because of her reactions to him. And she tells him she doesn't need him to be a super hero. *hearts*. And you could see how much her doing his errands affected him. And the way he looked at her!!!GUH. I've been of the opinion that he has been falling for her all season, but this was where I could see it.

The RBB/Lois convo at the end made me grin like a mad thing. I've been a Superan fangirl ever since I was little, and a Clark/Lois fan for almost as long my inner shipper lept with glee, when I watched those scenes back to back. The fact that Lois asked the RBB what she could do for him, instead of it being the other way round. And it shows just how much she gets CLark, she doesn't need him to be her own personal superhero, she wants to be there for him, if he needs a friend. Clark needed to see this side of her, for him to see that she wasn't overawed by the fact he has powers and is a superhero. And I loved it.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois did we?bop_radar on April 27th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
Re: Editied because I had more to say
How much did I love the teasing between them, in the first one? before they ran off to don their respective superhero outfits? or the fact that Clark knew it was Lois, even when she was disguised.
Hee, that was brilliant. It was all totally fun. And I agree that it reveals that even if Clark's not conscious of it yet, his soft spot for Lois is IMMENSE.

I also agree that Lois's love for Clark was evident. What pleases me personally is that now it's evident without the pining. It's very clear that she feels the door is closed in terms of exploring something with Clark, and that she's fine about that.

. Clark needed to see this side of her, for him to see that she wasn't overawed by the fact he has powers and is a superhero.
The conversation between them was so intimate, wasn't it? It was a conversation between equals, which is one thing I think Clark would have loved. But the other aspect is that he could tell Lois was nervous and it was a new experience to be making Lois nervous in a crush-type way, and he really liked it, I think. I know she was nervous around him before when she thought something might happen, but I think then Clark was very serious and maybe freaking out a bit about the 'omg is this happening with Lois?' aspect of it. Whereas here he was 'safe' and could just relax and enjoy the fact she was so attracted to him. It must be pretty amazing for him to find Lois attracted to both his 'identities'. And the proof of that is definitive because she has no idea the identities are linked!
Kate: Clark/Lois: besottedmskatej on April 27th, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy you're back on the Clois train! Because I agree that it has been handled really well in the (woefully few) episodes featuring Lois.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois OTPbop_radar on April 27th, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's been very rocky for me this season but they've won me back. But I'm finding it increasingly hard to watch the show when Lois is not in it.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on April 27th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
Re: mind-blowingly perfect, indeed
Coool! I've already rewatched it five times. :) It makes me all shivery happy.
fruitsome: r_pingu pretzelgrapefruitzzz on May 2nd, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
I just saw 8x20 and really liked it. This has been a surprisingly good season in some ways. Maybe it helped to get rid of some of the cast - not for crapness, but just for a change of perspective.

I saw a repeat of 'Hex' yesterday as I was flipping over the tv and knew *instantly* that Lois was being Chloe because of her round eyes and speech patterns. Good work indeed. I loved her "I should have called myself 'The Trainer' line". Heh.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Ericabop_radar on May 3rd, 2009 12:50 am (UTC)
Hmm, gotta say I didn't love 8.20.

Hee, I love that story about 'Hex' though! Erica nailed Chloe's big eye expressions, and I was so amused that she had to flatten her voice. :D