Superman on Television
Smallville: Episode Reviews
Season 9 - Episode 6: "Crossfire"Reviews:
CrossfireReviewed by: Douglas Trumble
Super Short Run on Sentence Summary: Clark and Lois audition for a morning TV talk show while Oliver goes shopping for a new sidekick which ends up causing all kinds of trouble forcing the Blur into super speed bullet pinching action before our mild mannered hero locks lips with his future wife.
Ok. I didn't really get why exactly Oliver was out looking for a sidekick and I also didn't get exactly why all of a sudden Lois was looking to be the next Cathy Lee but despite those two story inconsistencies I actually enjoyed the heck out of this episode.
Or let me put it this way. The awesomeness to be found in this episode far outweighed the iffy stuff.
I really didn't know why Oliver returned to the fight club. Was he back there on a case? Was he trying to shut it down? Or did he just remember Mia from when he was there and went back for her? If they said why he was there I missed it. Yet I still enjoyed what followed. Seeing Oliver do a good thing was a pleasant change from the dark Oliver of the recent past and I really like the idea of bringing one of his sidekicks into the show.
Yes I know they are skipping Speedy I and going right for Speedy II. If you are a hard core continuity purist you might be in convulsions right now but I am totally fine with that. Maybe because I don't know all that much about Oliver's sidekicks from the comics so it doesn't bother me if they skip one. I don't know. I do however know sidekicks are a big part of many Superhero stories/adventures so I think it will be fun to see if they try and play with that dynamic a bit. This is assuming Mia was more than a one episode deal which I have no idea. I just hope they bring her back. I don't want them to spend too much time on it since it is Clark's show after all but it might make for some interesting side material to the weekly plots.
While the Oliver get's a sidekick was the main plot of the episode there were actually quite a few other plots going on. Clark and Lois had some big movement on their relationship, Chloe was busy facing off against another mad hacker, and Lady Lex was busy sticking her head into the Kryptonian lion's mouth.
It was good to see they took the time to say that Clark was actively on the case of the missing Kandorians. They needed to make it clear he wasn't just putting that off. He just couldn't find them. Plus what made it even better is that they took the time to come up with a credible and perfectly valid reason why he would be off doing something with Lois instead of continuing his search. This is something I do not think the show has done very well with in the past so it was nice to see them do it here. Just a line or two of dialog can sometimes make all the difference in the world when you have Clark off doing one thing when most viewers would expect him to be doing something else. See, it is ok to have Clark sideline off the big major plot into something else for a week or two... Just have a good reason why. So nice job there and nice use of Chloe. Plus it gave us the greatly amusing hacker battle between Chloe and Lady Lex's tech guy so that made it all the better.
Speaking of Lady Lex I found myself greatly impressed. I don't think we ever doubted the woman was brutal and hard core but wow. Delivering the bloody tags to Zod after he set his thug on her? That was awesome! You know the lady has something if even Major Zod was impressed. This little battle of wills is shaping up to be very interesting indeed.
I don't know why Lois was suddenly looking to get into TV. Sure they did attempt to give her a reason but I never got the idea that Lois was concerned about her job security in that way. Fired again by Tess during a rematch ninja fight, killer clones putting bombs in her computer, or even eaten by a zombie in the basement of the building maybe, but cut backs and layoffs? It's almost too mundane a reason for this girl to be concerned. Still I have to admit I did enjoyed what came of it. The banter between Clark and Lois during the audition and Lois' reactions to Clark's "date" were just a couple of the highlights from the first half of the episode.
Plus there was other great things sprinkled throughout the hour. The way Clark showed how well he knew the "real" Lois when she was filling out her dating profile was fantastic. I loved the look she gave him when she realized how well he knew her. That said it all right there. Clark's anxiety and even jealously when Oliver showed up for Lois' date was great too. It really forced him to come to grips fast with his true feelings for Lois and led to the shocking final which was amazing (more on that later).
Plus it was just so freaking awesome how they totally killed DEAD the Oliver/Lois/Clark love triangle. I actually cheered when Lois put Oliver straight.
Seriously. For a show that has been known to beat dead horses all the way to the glue factory when it comes to love triangles it was nice to see them back off this one in a hurry. Sure it makes me wonder why they brought it back to begin with but I am still giving them a lot of credit for ending it now.
Plus it gave us a good moment for Lois as well. She was clear and honest to Oliver about how she feels almost without hesitation. (Her only hesitation being how to say it not whether or not she should). We know she has been feeling lonely lately but she didn't take the easy path away from that. Not only does that show to me Lois's character and integrity but it also shows me how strong her feelings for Clark really are.
Now we just need her to come to terms with her confused feelings for the Blur. We all know Smallville well enough to know they will be using that triangle but in the end we know that Lois can have her cake and eat it too so this horse is not a dead one. So I say kick away and let's see how fast it runs!
Now if I didn't use enough metaphors already let me move on by saying this episode came in like a lamb and went out like a lion!
Seriously... Wow! What an amazing final 10 minutes.
We have Lady Lex throwing down the gauntlet to Zod, the Blur doing a high budget (almost big screen worthy) save pinching bullets out of the air, and to top that all off we get Clark finally manning up and placing a big wet one on his future wife's lips.
It had everything. Great villains being villainous, serious romance, and awesome super powered action. I mean seriously. What more could I want?
Even though we all knew it was coming the entire family cheered when the 'S' appeared in front of the bullets flying at Oliver and Lois. Classic Superman moment right there! But to make it even better, not only did he fry the gun at high speed and pinch the bullet out of the air inches from Oliver's face they did it ALL without giving Lois another concussion! THANK YOU! And FINALLY! That right there is worth an extra .5 on my rating this week.
And this "kiss"? Dang. It was kind of shocking and somewhat sudden in the fact that he just went right for it but I actually liked that they did it that way. It's different and pleasantly surprising. No more teasing it or trying to drag it out. Just BAM! Lip lock! Sure we all know they will still be riding the patented Smallville relationship rollercoaster for a bit but for once I am ok with that.
So I have to give this one a 4.5 out of 5. Not perfect so maybe a 4 but I was serious about a .5 bonus point so 4.5 it is. You'll be sorry if you missed it.
Next week looks like we'll be finding out more about the Kryptonian's on Earth. I'm really looking forward to that.
CrossfireReviewed by: Neal Bailey
This is going to be an episode that a lot of people forgive and remember as great because it ends with Lois and Clark having a kiss at the end of the thing.
They'll forget the weird plot wheel, the oddball concept, the screwy execution. Problem is, I can't, because I had to look at it twice.
There's a lot that you can point at for its really dismal qualities. The idea of Clark and Lois suddenly falling into a morning show is a good, easy one. The best one I can see in the episode at hand is when you establish a character like Mia as a whipkick goddess, and then show her unable to stand up to a low level petty thug.
I don't know how many of you know women who have been beaten psychologically to a state of where they can no longer function in the face of one word from a butthead who has power over her. I've known an unfortunate few. I can't think of any of them who, when confronted with a guy about to hit them, if they had Mia's shown ability, wouldn't throw him sideways into a wall and have his nads. The problem is, they're smaller, men are bigger, and this presents a problem to people WITHOUT FIGHT TRAINING.
When you can do a backflip to avoid a punch, though, that kind of undermines your case as a damsel in distress.
There were three major plotlines in this episode, and they all suffered from a borked premise and a flawed execution.
Lois and Clark as hosts stinks, because we're talking about two high school educated people with jobs as reporters, not people who have been working toward the position for some time. It's a little too much magic for me to swallow.
This, of course, is just the vehicle for the idea of the Lois/Clark/Ollie triangle they fail at playing out. It doesn't fail because the concept isn't a decent one. It fails because Lois and Ollie as a couple have been over for more than, what, two years?
It's also moving too fast on Lois and Clark. Two episodes ago there was hardly a flash of romance, and now they're kissing arbitrarily. I thought the kiss at the end was unexpected, and as an unexpected moment it kicks you in the head, I'll grant that. No one really expects to go from a scene of chaos to the iconic couple kissing. That'll melt even a hardened heart like mine, at least until you realize that it's just done to grab your attention instead of as a culmination of the work at hand.
The second storyline, that of Zod and Tess, I am loathe to mention, because it's just so utterly bad in almost every respect. First, Zod is now the CEO of a corporation somehow, and has helped Tess make a solar powered building of some kind? Huh? Then he wants to know the location of Clark. He considers the blur a traitor. Now, I may be off on my continuity (and I feel excused given how often Smallville excuses itself in this regard), but didn't Zod MEET Clark and fight him?
Okay, fine. Ignore that. Somehow this is a Zod of the past. You're telling me that they're brilliant enough to create a scientific vessel building for solar energy, and that (if Jor-El is to be believed) can grant and remove powers at will, but the capability of finding someone is beyond them? Heck, last episode, LAST EPISODE, Chloe, a mere mortal, found a way to find every Kryptonian on Earth by bio-sign, and Zod cannot somehow do this?
This crazed lunacy sets the stage for Zod at a coffeehouse. That's the name of my new beat play. But anyway, we see Zod not making people kneel, not rocking the world stupid, but instead getting coffee. Menacing indeed. He sees Tess across the street, and Tess has stopped his guard. Why? How? Well, we can presume it was a bloody fight, given the dog tags, but since it's not shown, I just assume she shot the guy without Kryptonian powers.
"GIVE ME MAH SECRETS AND LIES!"
"Bullets! My one weakness! How did you know?" Slump.
But not only is she THAT bad@$$, a bus comes by and pooo, she's a fart in the wind.
On the bus to cliché-town, I guess. Not impressed.
And finally, the old fave of Smallville. I say old fave because they did it just last week. I believe I even listed it in my cliché "drastic change" list. Angel/whore. Or in this case, whore/angel.
Forsaking any and all of the social ramifications and costs and motivations behind being a prostitute, or for that matter a pimp, the show introduces Mia, from the comics, as a street walking underground fighting champion who probably has three masters degrees and can make an epic soufflé - that is when she isn't studying Aston Martin cars.
I remember running into a hooker one time in Tacoma and saying, "Hey, what do you think of the new Dodge Viper?"
Her response, I recall, was not, "Interesting use of cams, and you gotta love the horsepower." But rather, "I'll dodge your viper for five dollars, baby."
And what's equally hilarious is that her change is transitioned from a guy who went from a murdering alcoholic to a hero in two seconds flat. Still haven't forgotten that Ollie murdered someone, have you? Because I haven't.
They stuck a rather decent action sequence in here, and I'm not sure why. The setup was royally screwed when the pimp goon, who had an automatic weapon, simply hesitated repeatedly to aim and mow. Then, when he had them cornered, he hesitated again, breaking the illusion.
But then, as the action ramped into Clark mode, we were treated to one of the better examples of special effects in the last few seasons (with the exception of the bullets hitting Clark, which were clearly CG and seemed rushed to the naked eye).
The bullet grab, the speed effect, the look on the bullet, though, coupled with the heat vision, grabbed me and made me wake up from the sleeper episode.
I gotta say though, I'm sick of that whole "Clark hesitates... then stops the bullet" thing. They did it with Lex, and that sucked then, now they did it again.
Cat Grant was introduced, which is interesting, considering the character had almost nothing at all to do with the Cat Grant of the comics beyond the fact that she was blonde and looked good in a dress. It's like, "We need a character here, let's tie it in to the mythos somehow! Instant win!" Fail.
I can see two really great moments in this episode, which most poorly rated episodes don't have. The Clark/Lois kiss was beautiful, but it was a culmination not of the things that drive people to love, but rather badly coordinated attempts at humor and jealousy that just strike at the logic in me. I can't give them credit for that.
I can, however, give some credit for the awesome action sequence. Problem is, it's about ten seconds of a forty minute show.
1.5 of 5.
Believe it or not, I must AGAIN beg off letters. A relative of mine, my uncle, passed on suddenly this weekend. I type this right now on a train to get on a plane to fly across the country to a funeral, and in the rush I forgot to put the email on a flash drive. My apologies. I may be gone for several weeks, but rest assured, a large response will come in the near future. Apologies.
Don't forget to check out the updated KO Count.
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