Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 9 - Episode 5: "Roulette"Reviews:
RouletteReviewed by: Neal Bailey
And ceiling cat is watching them... well, you know.
This was one of those episodes that goes so far beyond the pale into crap territory you actually kind of sit there with your face in your hands and wonder what they'll come up with next.
It's like... Oh! Look! The old buried alive gag! I wonder how many people who are working on this show remember they already did that. And with Chloe as the victim, too! Isn't that hilarious! I mean, here's Chloe, thinking, how do I cheer up my buddy Ollie. I mean, he's suicidal!
Suddenly her brain flashes back to being 15. She recalls being chloroformed, stuffed into a box, and buried alive, and says, "AHA! I have a first step!"
Me? I'd just hold an intervention, you know? And it's funny, at the end of the show they're like, "Well, he's not depressed any more, so let's BOOZE IT UP! WHEE!"
For people like me who suffered under an alcoholic parent, that's just HEE-larious. HEEE-YAW. It felt like Twisted Toyfare Theater with the Iron Man shtick. Except it was being played for serious. For reals. For like, not the luls.
This episode is a pretty plain ripoff of Saw and The Game, with Michael Douglas. They've already ripped off Saw with the "game" concept in this show, and now they do it again, antagonizingly, agonizingly, I mean, crap, look, it's driven me to adverbs.
The Game has Michael Douglas in more and more increasingly ridiculous situations that ultimately culminate in him realizing, OH! My friends were just playing a joke on me! He learns a bit about himself, and we all forget the burnt orphanage, the exploded helicopter, and all of those live bullets flying around.
Except, you know, we don't.
I think the thing this episode did best inadvertently was an exploration of cliché.
Dude getting hit with a tazer and going unconscious (even though they don't do that save in extreme cases)? Check!
Lois being rendered unconscious simply by (not making this up) falling to the floor gently? Check! (Did you see that? Seriously, did you see that #%$#?)
Guy betting his car against the house, losing in slow motion? Check.
Taking the X colored pill? Check.
Suicidal guy saying the line, "I GOT NOTHIN' TO LOSE!"? Check, mayonnaise.
Asiatic woman with games of chance who seduces unsuspecting white guy with the allure of mysticism? Check!
Special, Smallville-only cliché: Guest star character who is either redundant and/or not much like her comic book counterpart? CHECK!
Who was driving that semi, anyway? I think it was mentioned. Cyborg, right? I can imagine that conversation.
"Chloe, uh, I think that might be attempted murder."
"It's this or I reveal your 'special addiction', Vic."
"What 'chu talkin' 'bout, Chloe?"
"I know you spend an average of three minutes twice daily looking at the new Dodge Vipers online."
(Vic runs off to find a Mac truck)
SECRETS? LIES? Check! We have a gratuitously avoidable situation where, for reasons unknown, Clark doesn't let Lois know Ollie's suicidal? Usually it's for some ridiculous "It's for her own good!" thing, but here there really is no reason. It's just Clark being a d!ck.
Which I'd say is out of character, but that's as foregone a conclusion as a Kryptonian in hiding wearing a tattoo on her shoulder saying where she's from. Good thing they'd never do that.
Lois/Ollie shipping? Check.
Clark/Lois shipping? Check.
New, creepy Ollie/Chloe shipping? Check. This is also, strangely, the first combo that doesn't really change anything when you combine the names in terms of strange romantic pairing. IE, Clana, Chlark, Lark, Cloe, Lartha, Mionel, Olois, Lollie.
Chlollie is the chlosest I can clome up wlith.
You seen that new Twilight trailer? Sweet Jesus, it deserves an emmy next to this crap.
Clark finding a piece of paper with one word on it and suddenly deriving the conflict and nature of said conflict? Check.
Two women meeting and irrationally commencing in a whip-kick fight? Check.
Main character who has been tricked by villains ten thousand times listening to a man explaining how he's about to be tricked and then falling for said trick? Check!
Yeah, Ollie! Look out! We're gonna steal all your money! Just enter your name and password here. I love his bank name: Online Banking.
There's another one. Someone's bank account suddenly draining before their eyes despite the complete impossibility of said scenario? Check!
A device that locates every Kryptonian in existence on Earth miraculously appearing? Check! Well, okay, that's not a cliché, it's just ridiculously stupid.
A character going from one polar extreme of personality and lifestyle to another without proper catalyst? (IE catatonic to healthy, drugged out to happy and sober, murderous to saint, whore to virgin, and/or in this case suicidal to optimistic) Check!
1 of 5? Big check.
Will be done next week, as this week I ran low on time! Apologies.
Don't forget to check out the updated KO Count.
RouletteReviewed by: Douglas Trumble
Super-short run on Sentence summary: Oliver goes on a bender at an underground casino and does some drugs only to wake up being forced to live through a montage of bad scenes from bad horror movies only to find the inner hero inside in the end before finding out the whole thing was a watchtower trick to kick him in the pants.
You know I really didn't like this one all that much.
I understand what they were doing here. The idea was to show Oliver at complete and total rock bottom then force him to be a hero anyway so he would wake the BLEEP up. Ok I get that. I understand that. I just didn't buy it.
First of all I couldn't believe that Chloe would go that far with something. She didn't even really bat an eye when she learned Lois got ninja kicked all over 1st street, tied up, and knocked out cold. How many times has she yelled at Clark for getting Lois in danger or something similar?
Speaking of Lois? Another concussion? Seriously? It wasn't even needed this time. She knows Oliver is the Green Arrow already. She didn't need to be knocked out while he played hero like they have to do when Clark is doing his Blur thing. Was it to keep her from finding out it was staged? I don't buy that either.
Chloe was also putting Roulette in danger as well. Even if she is a "villain" that is totally not cool. Oliver is a highly skilled combatant. He could have easily killed that woman. Plus it's silly that her one safety net was putting blanks in Oliver's gun. Who honestly would go into a situation like that without checking that their gun was loaded? Blanks do not look like real bullets so that didn't work for me. Plus what if he took a bow instead? I don't think you can load blanks into one of those.
What about these traps? Not only did they seem like a bunch of cheesy scenes from the popular horror movies of the day but they were not even credible as something Chloe would set up. Oliver could have been killed easily. Hitting him with a truck? I mean what are the odds that he'd survive that? If she had pulled that with Clark ok, maybe I'd buy it but not Oliver. He'd be squished. The gas chamber thing? Oliver would be dead if Clark hadn't gone looking for him and Chloe had no idea that the Blur would be on the case. You can't tell me there was a failsafe in that gas chamber since no one was there to turn it off when Clark tore it apart (though it is always fun to see Clark tear down a wall with his bare hands).
Since when have Lois and Oliver been drinking buddies? I know they are still "friends" even if they are not lovers but they never gave me the impression that they were still pounding down the cold ones together all the time. I am not saying they have been knocking boots or anything like that but how they played it just kind of came out of nowhere.
I just did not like the reaction of Lois to Oliver going off the grid like that. She knows he's been out of it for a while so having him not show up for their beer party is not really something that screams panic time. So why the panic now and why so intense? Now Clark comes off to me as the rebound guy and I don't like that one bit. They have done a good job avoiding Lois becoming the rebound from Lana so far, so why risk making Clark into Lois' rebound? They had good closure on the Oliver/Lois relationship last season during the wedding episode and while I am ok with some lingering feelings coming up now and then they need to be clear that Lois has move on.
I do have to say though I was enjoying the heck out of the scene at the Kent farm until we found out why Lois was there. Everything before that moment was just full of win. I was amused when Clark came home in his Blur costume to find Lois in the house doing her laundry forcing him to speed back out and change. Plus his popcorn "runs" were pretty cool too. (Though I do have to say, Clark... Man...Buddy... You don't need to trash the girl's car to save her you know...).
Lois' comment about not having any shirts to wear could be the funniest thing the character has said on the show so far. I think that was mostly due to the look on Lois' face when she realized what she said. Erica Durance certainly does a good job pulling off a look that is a mixture of shock and horror. You just can't help but laugh. Lois' re-cap of the movie was funny as well, plus Tom Welling did a great job showing Clark's nervousness. I laughed at his look when he found her un-mentionables in the cushions and it was certainly worth a giggle or two when she was sitting right next to him on the couch and he was looking like he was about to jump through the roof.
Such a great scene that they had to go ruin by making it all about Oliver instead of about Clark and Lois. Boo, hiss!
At least Clark stepped up and took action on Lois' concern. He told Oliver he was going to be a better friend and this week he put his actions where his words were and that is always nice to see from our Superman. I didn't really like Lois getting mad at him for not telling her about the bomb incident but I guess from her point of view I can somewhat understand it. I guess Clark didn't know they were still drinking buddies either. Looks like we viewers were not the only ones.
I did really like the scene with Clark and Oliver on the roof top after it was all over. It was a good moment between the two heroes. Oliver's comments about Clark's costume were especially amusing and I am happy the Green Arrow is back. I was growing tired of the Oliver funk. I don't think they ended it all that great but I am at least glad it's over.
The character Roulette was done well. I didn't buy Chloe being the mastermind of the plot but as far as having Roulette being the one tormenting Oliver, it all fit from what I know of the character. They certainly nailed the look of the character. No doubt there. She's not a huge villain from the DCU but this was a good version of her. I wouldn't be against the idea of bringing her back for something else. Maybe something to do with those underground fight clubs Oliver was messing around in?
So mostly a blah episode with some situations I just couldn't buy but there was a couple of fun scenes which at least made my hour entertaining.
I will give it a 2 out of 5. Not worst ever material but if you missed it you didn't miss much.
Next week? They showed some smooching on my preview. That is at least a better tease than Oliver goes a gambling.
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