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The CW has had an interesting marketing method for
Smallville this season. They have been advertising three romantic triangles
with the tagline “Every Triangle has Three Sides.” These triangles are as
Chloe, Jimmy, and Clark.
Lois, Oliver Queen, and Clark.
Lex, Lana, and Clark.
I was wondering when we would start seeing this theme introduced, and it
looks like it didn’t take long. Tonight showed the blossoming of two
romances and the progression of the third one. Clark was shown as the odd
man out; the third wheel of these relationships. On top of that we had the
introduction of a new type of villain, one that is not Kryptonite inspired.
Before you read any further, let me remind you as always, that spoilers are
“Love is in the air”
First off, there is Jimmy and Chloe. This is the first time we get an idea
of how their relationship will work. Aaron Ashmore does an admirable job as
Jimmy Olsen. He’s not so much the “Gee Whiz” Jimmy of the George Reeves day,
but modernized. He’s surer of himself, even a little arrogant; but he has a
charming quality that makes the character likable. His personality is closer
to the Jimmy Olsen of “Lois and Clark” even to the point of calling Clark “C.K.”
at times. I was very fond of that show, and hearing him say “C.K.” brings
back good memories from that time period in my life.
He and Allison Mack also have good chemistry. Some of their conversations
were just fun to hear. An example is when he calls Chloe “his girl.” The
amused face that Clark gives during that scene was hilarious. It was
interesting, because it seems Clark is slightly jealous of their
relationship now, and it doesn’t have to do with any romantic feelings for
Chloe, but more because he may feel he is losing his closest friend.
Needless to say, I am very interested to see this relationship explored.
Next we have Oliver Queen and Lois. Last week I was unsure if I’d like
Justin Hartley in the role. Well, he convinced me this week. He is suave,
clever, and witty; but by no means any less dangerous. Justin Hartley is not
as stiff of an actor as I first judged him to be. His acting style is a
little different, but it’s not bad by any means.
His scene at Lex’s ball was interesting. There was an obvious tension
between him and Lex. Something has happened in there past while they were in
boarding school together, and I can’t wait for it to be explained. Props
goes to the costuming department for putting Oliver Queen in the classic
Green Arrow costume.
The final scene showed us more of Queen’s archery expertise. Lois told him
she would only give him a goodnight kiss if he could hit a can with an
arrow. Though it looked like he missed, upon closer inspection we see that
he speared the pull tab off the can. That scene was just outright awesome. I
can’t wait to see more of it.
Finally we have Lex and Lana. While I don’t like the idea of their
relationship, some of the scenes between the two were interesting. Them
showing up to the ball as Mark Antony and Cleopatra made me laugh,
especially when you think about what ultimately happened to the real people.
Their relationship continues to be hard on poor Clark, who only wants to
make sure Lana is safe. That comes to play a little bit when Clark and Lex
have a confrontation in Lex’s greenhouse. (Anyone else find it strange Lex
just happened to be lurking around in there?) Clark tries to persuade Lex to
end his relationship with Lana, and Lex ultimately tells Clark that he is no
longer welcome at the mansion. What really saddens me is seeing two people
who were such close friends turn on each other like this.
It will be interesting to see where these relationships are taken in the
coming season. It was heartbreaking to see everyone paired up, but Clark
sitting all alone in his loft at the end.
Clark now realizes that some Phantom Zone criminals escaped with him. How?
Simple, he meets one of them. Her name is Gloria. She was played by Amber
McDonald; who was part of the cast of the doomed “Aquaman” pilot.
Gloria is from a lush green planet that was eventually overrun by cities and
technology. She then made a decision to fight against the people
responsible, which landed her as a criminal into the Phantom Zone. Gloria,
simply put, can control plants of other worldly origin, and can use these
alien vines to plant seeds in unsuspecting males.
Plain and simple, Gloria was a throw away villain. The only difference
between her and most of the freaks is that she isn’t Kryptonite based. There
was some good there though, such as a plant based power is something we
haven’t seen before in the show. On top of that Amber McDonald played the
part very well.
The problem though is that Smallville basically gave us Poison Ivy without
the name or the interesting personality. The vine special effects were a
little off also, not up to the usual standards the show holds. For example,
when the vines went into Jimmy Olsen’s mouth, it seemed they didn’t try too
hard to make his mouth seem like it was stretching to fit the vines. That
though is a small gripe. A bigger gripe is that when Clark was being
attacked by the vines, he couldn’t just start ripping through them, so they
could at least show him giving Gloria a little bit of a fight. She seemed to
beat him a little too easily.
That left room for Chloe to figure out how to beat the vines, and she found
the most obvious answer…Electricity! I mean why didn’t we think of that
before her? Oh I don’t know…probably because we usually think of fire as the
plants worst enemy. I mean, she does hang out with a guy with heat vision
and all. You would think Clark could use that, or maybe the snazzy new Super
Breath that he just learned he had. There were many options open to them
much more obvious than electricity. But what do we know?
The other gripe is how easily she died. She smacked Clark across the room;
knocking a hanging lamp onto the floor. She then tries the choking the
Kryptonian with the vines again, but this time Clark is ready. He quickly
uses his heat vision, not on her, but on the sprinkler system. The water
causes the electricity from the fallen lamp to arc through the floor and
into her and her vines. This causes the vines and Gloria to disappear in a
puff of logic…er I mean smoke.
Throw away villain or not, there should have been more of a fight than that.
This episode accomplished several important story elements. First, it
established the relationships that are going to play a major role in the
coming season, and Clark’s place in them. Second, it made Clark aware that
others escaped the Phantom Zone at the same time he did. Those are all good;
it furthers the story and characters, and also gives us a glimpse at the
future threats Clark will be facing.
But the episode was brought down slightly by Poison Gloria. She was a
carbon-copy, throw away villain that was beaten way too quickly in the end.
Fortunately though, she was the B-plot, while the character driven story
took center stage, which I like. For this reason, it didn’t hurt the episode
much. It was an episode I can see myself watching again, and for that I give
it a 3.5 out of 5. ~ Chad
Picture from SVfan.com
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