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Smallville: Toxic



Ok, I confess that for the first twenty minutes or so I was not at all engaged and thought this episode was going to suck. But a lot of things redeemed it for me.

Things I loved

--There can never, never, never be too much barechested Oliver Queen in the world. For serious. That is one pretty man.

--Lois/Ollie may well be my OTP on this show. Even now that they're over, they have more chemistry than any other SV couple, ever, and despite the fact that I am enjoying the Clark/Lois vibe this season, if they wanted to go back to Lois/Ollie? I'd be there in a heartbeat. God, Lois nursing a dying Oliver was just completely, completely breaking my heart. That speech she made, about how she let him go and so he was supposed to save the world, not die? I was *weeping.* And then that wonderful rant to Davis about how he had to reach into his little tackle box and pull out a miracle? Yeah, I just loved that whole entire scene.

But I also loved her whole sense of humor at herself. Best line of the season so far: "I may have played nurse with Oliver but it never progressed to doctor."


-- TESS IS MERCY!!!!!!!!!!! Holy, holy crap. Suddenly I am forgiving them everything, because if anyone can swoop in and literally take over for Lex, it's Mercy.

And while in the first part of the episode, I was thinking "Oh, geez, do we really need lame backstory on the origin of Green Arrow on this completely and obviously fake island, with ridiculous antics like Ollie comically stalking that pig-thing on his hands and knees, and oh gosh, now here is Tess to create backstory and comically use leeches to cure him--by the end of the episode I was actually completely sold on the Olliver/Tess thing. (I am guessing we're supposed to assume that after he rescued her they had a relationship that ended really badly?)

I liked it first of all because it sets up so many interesting parallels--it makes Tess's desire to set Lois after Ollie's story much more complicated and backstabby, for one thing. And Tess/Ollie sets up an interesting parallel to Lex/Clark; friends (lovers) who have each saved the other's life, and there's bitterness between them but also enough friendship that Tess can drop bombs like "Lionel killed Oliver's parents" in a way that looks like she's looking out for Oliver's best interests when in fact she's deliberately sabotaging his relationship with Clark. Damn. That was quite Machiavellian--one might even say Lexian--of her.

And I also loved how kickass she was to her kidnapper, first putting up a very decent physical fight, then deliberately getting him released from jail so she could poison him with the flower. YES!!!!

(Oh, and the femslash side of Tess continues, with her relationship with her "best friend" whose bracelet she still wears. )

Things that made me go hmmm

So are they really setting up Chloe to be taken over by Brainiac? (Don't spoil me if you actually know one way or another, please). It certainly looks that way, with both Clark AND Davis freaking out about her sudden knowledge base, and with Chloe sticking her fingers in her ears and saying *Lalalalala I'm ignoring you now*


Hey, how long do I need to wait to use an icon from this episode? I made a new Oliver icon to celebrate his chest of barenekkidness, and I almost used it on this post (it is the first comment below) and I want to know when I can use it on an entry without spoiling people. One week? Two weeks? What do you think?

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
norwich36
Oct. 3rd, 2008 07:21 am (UTC)
Only posting so everyone can see the icon of half-nakedness.
butterfly
Oct. 3rd, 2008 07:49 am (UTC)
Awesome icon. Personally, I'd say one week for using it on open posts.
lonelywalker
Oct. 3rd, 2008 10:14 am (UTC)
... your reviews actually make me tempted to, you know, watch this season.

Or possibly it's just the naked Justin Hartley.

*uses obligatory shirtless Justin icon*
norwich36
Oct. 3rd, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
Well, I remember back in season 4, when a lot of fans were bailing out of the show, there was someone around who was posting "Lexminutes," composed solely of the Lex parts of the show. You just need to find someone to do the same for naked Justin Hartley! (Not me, though--dialup connections aren't really conducive to such things).
lonelywalker
Oct. 3rd, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm reading TWoP, which is generally better written than the show.

Out of interest, did this show retcon the bit in "Veritas" where Lex remembers lil!Oliver running around with a bow and arrow?
norwich36
Oct. 3rd, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
Well, when he started out on the island he wasn't very good with the bow and arrow--but on the other hand he had to make it himself, and a wooden bow with a stone tip is going to perform differently than one made of artificial materials and metal, so I don't actually count that as a retcon.
lonelywalker
Oct. 4th, 2008 09:41 am (UTC)
Aha. Thanks for that :-)
myownghost
Oct. 3rd, 2008 11:48 am (UTC)
in the first two episodes, i found tess only annoying. this backstory explained some things finally, intriguingly, and now i'll be looking forward to finding out how she connected with lex.

i agree with you that lois and ollie had fabulous chemistry. JH just radiates charm. he probably gives off pheromones like whoa. ;)
norwich36
Oct. 3rd, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
I'm a Lollie shipper to a completely RIDICULOUS degree. (Like, I don't care that Clois is canon, I like them better. I know the show will never go there for more than 5 minutes, but I want them to anyway.)

And Mercy! So exciting.
(Deleted comment)
norwich36
Oct. 3rd, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
That's exactly how I felt and it goes a long way to explaining why they seemed to model her so much on Lex to begin with: if she's actually Mercy Graves, then it makes sense that Lex showed her everything he knows and she's carrying that banner loud and proud now that he's gone.

Yes. This is a great development.

To bring it all around to SV, I suspect that SV!Mercy's loyalty to Lex comes from some sort of similar dynamic -- he saw something in her worth nurturing (by values of "nurturing" which really mean "indoctrinating in the Luthorian way of handling your business") and pulled her out of some kind of tailspin she hated. Certainly, the show seemed to be suggesting that her younger self was socially conscious and kind of bleeding heart (saving marine life, protesting and all that) and the implication is that her life experiences since being on that island have somehow corrupted those impulses to the point that she mocks them when Lois displays them.

What was intriguing to me was the suggestion that the corruption of her impulses is due not only to her kidnapping and the murder of her friends, but also due to some unnamed betrayal by Oliver. I know in comics canon he's kind of a jerk and a womanizer, so I'm wondering if they're deliberately going down that road with him this season.

Edited at 2008-10-04 12:22 am (UTC)
huzzlewhat
Oct. 3rd, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
That speech she made, about how she let him go and so he was supposed to save the world, not die? I was *weeping.*

I loved that speech for two reasons — first of all, because it was so affecting... I was all teary-eyed, too. But second, because it absolutely lays the groundwork for her making a different choice when it comes to Clark. It was an onscreen, textual moment where she changed her mind about being with someone she loved even if his destiny was "so much greater than mine." Brilliant.

-- TESS IS MERCY!!!!!!!!!!! Holy, holy crap. Suddenly I am forgiving them everything, because if anyone can swoop in and literally take over for Lex, it's Mercy.

Hee! Yes. You already know how I felt about this. :-)

Tess can drop bombs like "Lionel killed Oliver's parents" in a way that looks like she's looking out for Oliver's best interests when in fact she's deliberately sabotaging his relationship with Clark.

Yep. It's still a question, how much Tess knows about Clark — and so, how much she knows about how much Clark knows about Lionel (hee! try to parse that phrase!) — but I've gotta figure she was going for some collateral damage on that little maneuver.

with both Clark AND Davis freaking out about her sudden knowledge base, and with Chloe sticking her fingers in her ears and saying *Lalalalala I'm ignoring you now*

What I thought was interesting/annoying/full of potential about that whole thing was how Chloe confided in Davis that she was worried about it — with Clark, she blew off the concern, and Jimmy, she didn't tell at all. Why does Davis suddenly get this instant access, and what does that mean for her other relationships? I'm a bit bewildered by Chloe's choices thus far.
norwich36
Oct. 4th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
But second, because it absolutely lays the groundwork for her making a different choice when it comes to Clark. It was an onscreen, textual moment where she changed her mind about being with someone she loved even if his destiny was "so much greater than mine." Brilliant.

Ah, yes, good point. I admire that on a character-level, though I confess that I'm still enough in a Lollie place that I don't want her new decision to apply to Clark, I want it to apply to Ollie. :-(

What I thought was interesting/annoying/full of potential about that whole thing was how Chloe confided in Davis that she was worried about it — with Clark, she blew off the concern, and Jimmy, she didn't tell at all. Why does Davis suddenly get this instant access, and what does that mean for her other relationships? I'm a bit bewildered by Chloe's choices thus far.

Well, I'm wondering where the hell Jimmy IS. Do we have a canonical explanation for his absence?
huzzlewhat
Oct. 4th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)
though I confess that I'm still enough in a Lollie place that I don't want her new decision to apply to Clark, I want it to apply to Ollie.

::pets you:: Whereas I am a Clark/Lois girl all the way, and can hardly WAIT. :-) But yeah, the Lois/Ollie is nearly enough to turn my head... I'll let Lois and Ollie angst for a while, and leave Clark on his own (cues up special icon for the occasion)...

Well, I'm wondering where the hell Jimmy IS. Do we have a canonical explanation for his absence?

Nothing canonical that I can remember, only meta.


norwich36
Oct. 6th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
As I was saying to Bop over at her review, I think SV has trained me to appreciate doomed relationships more than relationships that will come to fruition. Sure, Clois is sweet and funny and filled with hilarious banter, but where is the doomed tragic angst? :-)

(At times I think I really need another Clois icon, but this one kind of makes my point for me, I think!)
(Deleted comment)
norwich36
Oct. 6th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
I'm just surprised they didn't give him a canonical explanation for vanishing (off in Brazil taking pictures for some story or another).
serenography
Oct. 5th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
That speech she made, about how she let him go and so he was supposed to save the world, not die? I was *weeping.* And then that wonderful rant to Davis about how he had to reach into his little tackle box and pull out a miracle? Yeah, I just loved that whole entire scene.


That was an amazing scene. I have a good bit of love for Lollie too. I think it's because I like the actor's chemistry a great deal.



I liked it first of all because it sets up so many interesting parallels--it makes Tess's desire to set Lois after Ollie's story much more complicated and backstabby, for one thing. And Tess/Ollie sets up an interesting parallel to Lex/Clark; friends (lovers) who have each saved the other's life, and there's bitterness between them but also enough friendship that Tess can drop bombs like "Lionel killed Oliver's parents" in a way that looks like she's looking out for Oliver's best interests when in fact she's deliberately sabotaging his relationship with Clark. Damn. That was quite Machiavellian--one might even say Lexian--of her.


Wow. I've been commenting on people's entries all over the place today saying how I don't get why they felt the need to create a wildly coincidental backstory for Tess and Ollie, but here you've actually given me some solid reasons. Good calls!


norwich36
Oct. 6th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm not really sure *why* the writers have decided to create a rift between Ollie and Clark--to explain why Clark doesn't join the Justice League? Even though it's disbanded? Or maybe they're actually going to emphasize the "different types of heroism" theme they sort of set up in season 6, with Ollie being the condoning terrorism type v. Clark not? --but I think there's no question but this is a deliberate choice.

I agree with you about ED and JH's chemistry. It puts Lollie right up there with Clana for me in terms of favorite doomed romances.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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