Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 8 - Episode 5: "Committed"Reviews:
CommittedReviewed by: Neal Bailey
So much for new blood. Or maybe it's just the lull before the middle of the season picks the story back up and starts going somewhere.
This episode, top to bottom, was nothing but shipper porn. Hate to put it that way, but that's what it was. Three separate shipper threads beat upon again and again for people to go and get their soap opera on. Surprisingly, I ain't having it. Or maybe unsurprisingly. Yeah. I'm gonna go with that.
Chloe and Jimmy. Lois and Clark. Ollie and Tess. What do these three things share? Instantly changing relationships with little or nothing to care about with regards to their substance beyond what given thing is changing in said relationship. Do we care that Chloe wiggles her nose a certain way at Jimmy? No. We care that they are breaking up this week, and not breaking up the next. This is what the show focuses on.
To show a significant counter to this, examine Unbreakable, a fine relationship plot movie. The hero is at utter odds with his wife, and a catalyst in the plot slowly gives him both a reason to try again. Over two hours it stretches out in an agony for both, ultimately redeeming the relationship and giving Willis cause to fight the good fight.
Contraposition: Smallville, where Jimmy and Chloe nearly break up because Jimmy's dad is poor.
Contraposition: Smallville, where Lois is selfless one minute, and then too stuck up to admit she cares for someone the next minute.
This is the difference between what you watch between noon and three and what you watch at eight at night, only this was on at eight at night.
Want some good news, though? I read that Kung Pow 2 is coming.
Couple shippers with a lamentably predictable and awful villain, and you have one of the more awful Smallville episodes in some time.
By the beats:
Chloe has no job. Note this. Jimmy is a cub reporter photographer who just last year, if I recall correctly, couldn't afford an engagement ring. I don't know, I forget, because my eyes glaze over and I fall into a coma any time relationship BS without any substance comes on this show. I've been in a coma for some time.
Now they can apparently afford this huge party, and it is later inferred that they shopped at the premiere engagement ring shop in Metropolis, one of the biggest cities in the world, the shop where Ollie Queen shops. Yeah. Okay.
Lois opens the show babbling about how she knows true love when she sees it, despite the rest of the episode showing her to be exactly stupid and wrong. This seems to be an attempt at character development, but there's no wellspring from which we would assume she would ever assume she knows anything about relationships, hopping in bed with a violent vigilante, a clone, and crazy mafia types at every turn. Beyond that, this continues to portray Lois as a moronic lush.
Lois drinks. Lois has a bad history with guys. I get it. But she's not a moron.
Still, Lois' observation, while from a position of hypocrisy, is actually correct. Chloe and Jimmy are on-again, off again, ridiculous as a couple... just last week Jimmy made out with another chick over a note from 2001. She's right, making her idiocy correct, but by the end of the episode, Lois is nonetheless nullified.
Shippity Ship ship ship ship shiiiiiiiiip. Fart noises.
Came a wild station wagon! And with it high beams! And with it a guy who, uh, kidnaps people who are engaged! Clueless, random, odd, arbitrary villain, here you are!
Chloe and Jimmy are the last to leave their own party, by the back exit where no one ever gets kidnapped? Check.
Lois, last episode, decided not to live at the Kent farm, and yet there she is. No, wait, she's just sleeping it off. Jeffrey Bridges sat next to me for this episode, and I told him that I always look that good after a night of drinking and vomiting. He said if I did, he'd make out with me. Just for the record. HAW!
I will never drink again.
It's kind of a cute and funny scene, stuck right next to an implication that Lois would have driven drunk. HAW!
Shippity ship ship shippity ship ship, look at Smallville go!
Tess obsesses over a ghost router in an attempt to find her missing crystal. I yawn and start singing "Ghooooooost router in the skiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeee!"
WTF is a ghost router? A router painted white? A router with a Halloween stencil on it? So she can't find the IP? Wow! I'm sure Lex, er, whoever sent that email, couldn't go to an internet café and sign up for a hotmail account. Buying a ghost router and making it spook up the joint is much easier.
Why would Oliver travel from the West Coast (Star City) to Metropolis (Uh, Kansas? Good God) just to talk to Tess? Well, I'll TELL you!
Shippity ship ship ship ship ship! Yo ho!
"Sometimes a meal is just a meal!" as a line which impresses a "tough, smart" girl who then sleeps with the dude thereby to show how brainy she is: Line 1 of post-feminist hell. TO BE CONTINUED!
Lois' cleavage and flannel combo is rather nice to look at.
Fuzzy cuffs! Wow! How risky! Jimmy's into bondage and sadomasochism! HAW! But I guess he's not THAT into it, because he only has one pair for a four post bed. But I do see the dom/sub of that awful, constantly switching plot warping his little older-than-Clark Kent brain of his.
And oh! Lois and Clark see the cuffs! Did anyone else feel like they were watching the worst of season four of Lois and Clark in this scene?
Jimmy and Chloe's car was towed for being in front of a street meter. At night. When meters are not in effect in big cities, much less small towns. And the cops call them, when they send a letter.
DEARLY BELOVED, WE ARE GATHERED HERE TODAY to meet a villain who is very coincidentally involved in killing random people in a way that directly involves the mains of the show in an uncreative fashion. A psychotic who is in no way a ripoff of Saw one week before Halloween and another Saw movie is released.
Lois again in a low cleavage shirt for a "professional" job? Check! Darn, but is she perspicacious in her determination to prove that women can do it with their brains!
That said, nice rack.
The dude wears a clown mask. Seriously. Clown shoes.
Crank electricity? I mean, I know this is twenty/twenty, but can't a dude who works for the most elite of the leet jewelry stores in Metropolis afford a two hundred dollar generator? Nah! Gotta use that crank electricity from the ole Edsel!
Clark and Lois go to a stationary store and Lois yells at someone who is a child. I tried to figure out why, but that would have involved rewinding. Jeffrey offered to help me do so. I declined, for obvious reasons. Who cares? I mean, really?
Clark saving Lois from the car was a nice touch, well done.
"Clark Kent! Will you marry me?"
"Because I want shippers to make icons and write slash fic that starts with this scene and then inserts eighteen scenes between this one and the next where we get married and have a kid!"
Ship Ship Sha Ship Ship (Two bits!)
Jeffrey gets credit for this one. Lois and Clark walk into the jewelry store, and I say, "Gee! Yokel here ain't the villain, is he, Jeff?"
"Yeah, Neal! No one would have expected it was the one guy with lines who wasn't a recurring character!"
Ollie appears. It's an "uh-oh!" moment played for laughs, where the awkwardness of Lois and Clark getting married is used despite the fact that their odds of meeting overwhelms the cute factor. Add into that that Ollie, even if he were to go to that exact same ring stop, why the heck would he get Tess, a super rich woman, a bracelet, when he can, I dunno, do something to get her something rich people don't have? Like, I dunno, buy a guy like me. It'd make a great movie. We could call it "The Toy."
There's a long history of Lois and Clark pretending to be a real couple in order to realize their feelings for each other. It's a grand tradition. The problem?
CLARK ISN'T SUPERMAN YET. If they develop the relationship before he becomes Superman, isn't that just kind of defeating the point of the secret identity a love foible?
On the marquee outside: "Stolen Intelligence". Seriously.
There are many quotable awful quotes in this episode. Some are at the top of the page. That'll explain it. This was the best: "The heart and the mouth are not always on the same page!"
Now, I know this might have been hard to catch, but here's the chronology. And this is seriously what happened. Chloe and Jimmy meet psycho. Psycho starts torturing them. Lois and Clark meet psycho masquerading as ring guy in jewelry store. Cut back to Jimmy and Chloe being tortured by the same guy.
There are two possible explanations for this. The first is that the dude was in two places at once, in which case, there's another psycho on the loose.
The other is that the guy went down, tortured Jimmy and Chloe, decided to take a break, changed into his work clothes, went back to work, then came back and tortured Chloe and Jimmy more.
Sum total questions needed to ascertain love or hate? THREE! Count 'em.
And then he goes to crank his little electrical thing. It's hilarious, I swear.
Chloe: "No! I'm not in love with anyone else! Ship shimminy! Ship shimminy! Ship ship, sheroo!"
One of my best friends, Sion, is from England. Whenever he hacks me off, I tell him to go sweep a chimney, because that's what you limeys do. He always laughs, and then threatens to kill me.
It's like when I tell Steve I'm afraid to anger him, lest he send kangaroos after me. He says "We don't do that, Neal." and I say, "Fine well and good until I get hit in the back of the head with a boomerang."
But back to the point.
Get me? It's good ship shippy-pop!
No! NO MORE! NO MORE SHIPPING!
That is one large caliber looking pistol for a sleeping dart gun.
You ever been hit in the face with a bo staff by someone who's trying to hit you? I haven't. But I have hit myself while practicing with one. You don't smirk. You try not to cry because you're 28 and just hit yourself with a six foot pole. Just saying.
"Weak men like you make me stronger!"
And the award for arbitrary feminism through physical violence goes to TESS! TESS MERCER! Tess, what're you gonna do?
"Sleep with him to prove how strong I am and how much I don't need him instead of solving our battle of the sexes with logic and big girl words!"
It's a cheap play at the Lex/Clark, Lionel/Lex sword fighting paradigm, and only shows us how much better those three are at it than she is. She's a good actress, but not an imposing physical specimen.
Beyond that, the blows weren't really going for a strike, they were essentially just hitting the sticks together, which irked me, even if it was fast enough to be harder to see.
But the random insta-relationship ship ship ship after the fight, I saw. Number three of three, for those of you collecting the trading card set.
Lois goes to the same alley Chloe was kidnapped in. Not bright, this team.
Cut to a commercial for High School Musical 3. Really makes me feel right up in this show's target demo.
Villain guy cannot only kidnap people, but return them to a house he doesn't have the keys for without Lois and Clark noticing and in better looking shape than when they left. Even the makeup is touched up. He EVEN LIT THE CANDLES. Kid you not.
Chloe smiles at the idea of the cuffs. Silencing myself now, lest I get in trouble.
The cops come to the house, Jimmy and Chloe don't go in, which is weird. Well, not totally weird, but the whole sirens and dudes walking all over the Talon seeking evidences is weird. It's overdone.
Clark then makes two miracle deductions. One, Lois spoke of headlights in her call, and Chloe and Jimmy were abducted by a dude who had headlights. Logical conclusion: "The kidnapper has a car!" Illogical conclusion: "Lois has been kidnapped!"
Next piece of information: Chloe and Jimmy's captor spoke of love and commitment. Clark and Lois met someone in a bridal shop who spoke of love and commitment. Logical conclusion: Marriage stores have a vested investment in love and commitment. Illogical conclusion: LOIS HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED BY THE MARRIAGE STORE GUY!
It's like this: I believe in turning the other cheek. Jesus did too. Conclusion: Secretly, I am Jesus!
So send fifteen percent of your earnings, please, or I bring back the New Kids on the... actually, hell. Never mind.
Hell. We survived this, we can beat the terrorists. I have faith in the future.
Clark can't just open the door, no. He has to bust it open and expose his secret. Neither Lois nor Psycho dude notice.
Psychotic dude has a kryptonite watch. A KRYPTONITE WATCH. Out of nowhere.
So he knocks Clark out, and then goes OUTSIDE OF KRYPTONITE DISTANCE. I mean, even reasonably he's unaffected at about ten feet, and the dude is at least twenty away to crank his retarded little edsel electricity machine.
"What is this, some kind of game?" (Lois) (Saw) (Et ack)
Lois, did you cheat on Clark? "No!" ZZZZZZZZZZZRK!
Uh... they're not together. She didn't cheat on him.
Clunk: "The broken hearted are the walking dead!"
"Oh, I, uh, fooled the test and I don't love you! I slipped the thing off! Ship ship! SHIP!"
Why would either answer any of the questions at all?
This is how shippy this episode is. Lois loves Clark so much she CRIES rather than admit it, even though she's never shown any real sign until last episode that she cared at all. Because Lois Lane and Clark's relationship should start in a moment of psychotic dysfunction. Go team Venture!
Clark can GRAB kryptonite from the dude's wrist? Huh?
The drain is a good Superman: The Movie reference. This is a crappy place to waste it.
How will Lois get that Clark got free? Beyond that, how did the pipe burst? She would ask these questions. Beyond that, THE MIST COULD BE SEEN THROUGH.
"My face is under faux pas in the dictionary." CLUNK.
"Sunset or dungeon, he's my guy!"
"I'm not who you think I am." (from Jimmy)
"I grew up!" (from Tess)
Dialogue of champions.
Jimmy's lie about his parents is completely irrelevant to the plot, and not something that would have any bearing on what the daughter of a crap merchant would think of him, and yet he thinks it irrationally devastating, and Chloe responds with equal vigor. It's an arbitrary way to make the reuniting more shippy.
Statistically the safer way to travel. Good try. Still klunked. Because SUPERMAN says that.
Lois hops in the sack with simple flirting for good ole editor dude whose name I've already forgotten and mafia dudes, but she treats Clark like dirt. It's made to be.
Ship ship ship.
1 of 5. Five ships of ships, too.
No letters this week... I'll post them in next week's review.
Check out the updated KO Count.
CommittedReviewed by: Douglas Trumble
Jimmy and Chloe have their engagement party. Lois get's really drunk and ends up out of her clothes and into Clark's. Jimmy and Chloe are kidnapped and put in some psycho's little death trap that forces them to tell the truth or their lover will end up fried food. Clark and Lois try to track them down and end up acting as bait by pretending to be a newly engaged couple. Oliver looks for a bit of mercy from Lady Lex. Clark and Lois end up strapped to the electric chair of some crazed Jeweler who just happens to spurn the diamonds for 14 karat Kryptonite but in the end Clark uses his hard head, I mean super stubbornness, to fight off the effects of Kryptonite, saves Lois, and stops the bad guy.
We all know the entire premise of this episode was to get Lois to say she loved Clark in front of him. Everything else was thrown in there just to get to that point with just a little side story for Oliver in order to justify his pay check and to meet their shirtless man quota. (I believe the wife was ok with that addition to the plot).
So yeah. It was contrived a bit. This isn't the greatest episode on paper and beyond a few little things here and there is mostly forgettable filler but man I tell you. I enjoyed the heck out of it.
It all comes down to two things. Clark Kent being SuperClark and Lois and Clark together. I am telling you they are NAILING it with these two. Their growing relationship is just hitting on all cylinders. Part chemistry between Durance and Welling, part witty dialog, and part great acting. They are doing a great job all the while avoiding just copying the Dean Cain/Terri Hatcher show. The big moment of the episode was well played with Lois really struggling to admit her feelings out loud. Erica Durance was on top of her game in that moment and really sold it.
Even leading up to that moment was fantastic. The whole scene at the Kent farm after Lois' bender is alone worth watching the episode for but there is so much more there. Their working together. Clark being shy about pretending to be engaged. Lois' reckless abandon tempered by Clark's shy weariness. Plus the way the two just naturally seemed to be paired together on these adventures. There is absolutely no feeling watching the episode that they are being forced together and that is awesome.
Clark continues to be Super with no step backwards (with maybe one minor exception I will mention later). When people are in danger he is there and he is on the case. I loved the little things. How he let it slip to Lois all the locations he "checked" searching for Chloe and Jimmy. How he took care of Lois when she drank too much. How he speeded away when Lois wasn't looking, after he realized her plan was not going to work fast enough. How he fought off the Kryptonite with no help from anyone and head butted his way to freedom. But most importantly how he sucked it up and gave Lois an "out" from her embarrassment at the end. He could have teased her or confronted her neither of which would have ended well at that point. He could have said nothing and let it linger. Instead he did a great thing by tossing out the idea to her that she might have fooled the lie detector. No I do not think he really thought that and I do not really think she believes he thinks that but it was offered up for a way for the subject to be dropped without anyone having to go out on an emotional limb. Clark is smart enough to know neither of them are ready to "go there" and I for one am always glad to see Clark be smart about stuff, so call me happy.
Now there were a few things that need to be mentioned that were not so good.
First of all why did Oliver show up at the same jewelry store Lois and Clark were checking? I know why it was in the script. They are obviously trying to play up tension between Oliver and Clark. I am not sure about that yet but I get it. First the thing with Oliver's parents and now it comes off as if Clark swept in on Oliver's ex. Okay. Fine. But why in the world would Billionaire Oliver be shopping in the same Jewelry shop that Jimmy and Chloe used? I don't know about the rest of the world but here in Minnesota billionaires just do not shop in the same stores as part time photographers. Maybe Chloe is making big bucks at Isis but I doubt she's making that much. It made no sense. Also related to why Oliver was there... While I thought it was cool how Lady Lex totally put Oliver in his place, that whole little side story really felt tacked on. Like there wasn't enough plot to fill their time. Call me "meh" on that little subplot, though the stick fighting dinner date is something I am trying to talk the wife into for our next Anniversary.
Secondly, as I hinted near the beginning: Clark power slammed his way in to save Lois. On the surface I am okay with that. Your friend is in danger you go. You don't stop for things like closed doors, brick walls, clowns on unicycles, or anything. I get that, but Clark just BLEW through those doors shattering them into a bazillion pieces. Cool? Yes... Understandable? Yes. Smart? Maybe not so much but there are bigger worries, so forgivable. Yet the guy ties him up and starts his little session without saying anything about the shattered doors. Huh? Did I miss something? Maybe it is a "Dumb Clark" move but it's more of a problem that it was never acknowledged afterwards by anyone. Sometimes Clark is going to have to put risk of discovery aside and just act. That's part of his job as SuperClark but to have an obvious thing go completely unnoticed by anyone is a questionable story choice at best.
Lastly where did that whole thing with Jimmy's family come from? Did I miss something? That was totally out of left field. Sure I understand some people can be ashamed of their family especially if there is abuse or something involved but I just found no creditable reason why Jimmy would hide that from Chloe this long. It might have worked had it actually been something we, as an audience, had known about and were following Jimmy's struggle with but to have it just dropped in there like that felt like they were just adding drama for the sake of adding drama. Maybe it will play out a little better some way in the future. I don't know. I could be over analyzing it but to me it just hit a flat note here. On a plus note though I did like how Chloe and Jimmy passed the nut ball's test. Sure the Chloe-I.A.C, my best friend is an Alien, and I'm the Watchtower issues were not really covered but those are more other people's secrets that Chloe is keeping for them. It really isn't her place to tell Jimmy all about that. Sure she is tied up in it and as far as the Brain-I.A.C. thing is really involved but she can't tell Jimmy without letting the Kryptonian or the archer out of the bag so I am not holding that against her.
So. I am going to give this one a 4 out of 5. Worth your time and thanks to the Clark and Lois scenes something you don't want to miss. Just be warned there are a few nitpicky items that might cause a few lips to be pursed and maybe a tisk tisk or two.
Next week? Whoa... I don't even know what more to say about that preview. They dropped the D.D. bomb on there and I was like whoa. I knew it was coming but so soon? Dang. If you think I'm going to miss that then you haven't been paying attention. See you then!
Back to the "Smallville: Episode Reviews" Contents page.