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Week 2 down, 20 more to go.

Overall, I liked Shield better then Lazarus.  Maybe I've just become very basic in my SV viewing needs, but I think an episode that doesn't leave me angry when its over automatically rates some extra points.  After Lazarus, I was annoyed.  After Shield, I was, like, "Oh, OK, well lets see where this goes...".  I will take the latter over the former any day.

First, the totals

Shield, running time 41m, 30s (previously on: 52s)

Clark:  17m, 3s
Lois:   9m, 28s
Tess:   5m, 18s
Oliver: 9m, 20s

Cat Grant:  14m, 2s
Carter:  9m, 5s

Year to Date Totals:

Clark:  40m, 17s (this time last season, 27m, 55s  Big Improvement!)
Lois:  17m, 33s
Tess:  11m, 45s
Oliver:  12m, 51s

I'll start with the biggest reasons I enjoyed this episode....Clark, Cat Grant, Tess Mercer, Deadshot.

First,  the easiest to explain.  I thought the guy playing Deadshot was fun.  He actually doesn't have much to do here, but I found myself wanting to see more of him, and that always indicates to me that an actor is giving something more to a role.  I don't have any comic book knowledge of the character, so I'm not beholden to any preconceived notion of what he should be.  Like the actor they choose to play Rick Flagg (another name from the comics that means nothing to me), I find myself interested in what more there is to see of these characters.  I think I might like where this Suicide Squad stuff goes.

Onto the guest star with the most screentime, Cat Grant.  When I first saw this character in previews, I was very skeptical.  And I was disappointed that they didn't use the actress that played Catherine Grant in Crossfire, as I found her interesting and engaging, and I thought she had nice chemistry with Tom.  Luckily, so does this version of Cat Grant.  Now, Cat Grant is a character I do have some prior knowledge of, having seen the Tracy Scoggins version in the Lois & Clark television show.  Obviously this Cat is a very, very different version.

I thought Keri Lynn Pratt did a really good job at giving this character some depth.  I wouldn't say she's a likeable character, necessarily, but she's also not a bad person.  She's misguided, I think.  And obviously her own experiances has made her mistrustful.  Now, why that mistrust is aimed at the cloaked heroes of Metropolis is never quite made clear, but I think they needed some character to represent the public dissention that is obviously going to play a large role this season.  And for that role, I think she did fine.  Even though she was presented as smart, and resourceful, there was also something a bit simple about her.  So, it worked. 

The Clark/Cat interaction worked very, very well.  I enjoy when Clark gets some serious interaction with characters outside of the norm.  I believe that the show gets revitalized a bit when it allows us to view Clark from the perspective of new eyes.  Through Cat, I felt like we got something of a throwback to how people used to regard Clark in the earlier seasons.  When he was just the teenage hero who always seem to be in the right place, at the right time.  And it was fun to walk down that memory lane.  Cat's admiration for Clark at the end felt easy.

I really, really loved the heart-to-heart talk Cat and Clark had.  It even allowed us a tiny bit of insight into what Clark is thinking and feeling at the moment.  Its very nice to see Clark being this good person that people want to befriend and confide in.

I also think one of the things that this episode got right was that it showcased why its important for Clark and Lois to interact heavily with other people, and keep a strong sense of individual, even as the show is headed into committed for life couple territory. 

Now, some of the dialogue was so heavy with anvils that it just felt clunky.  This is a SV writing issue.  Truth be told, I think SV has a staff of very average TV writers, and this sort of anvil-ish dialogue shows their weaknesses very strongly.

Tess continues to be made of win!  I very much liked her scene with Oliver, but mostly from her end of it.  Oliver, as is too often the case, was sort of a dick. 

Can I just take a moment to vent here?....this Tess/Oliver scene is a good illustration of why I just do not like the character of Oliver.  I get that he's upset over Chloe, his great love, blahblahblah.  But what is one of the first things he does?  He makes a nasty comment about Clark.  And why?  Why even bring Clark into this conversation about Chloe?  Tess even says "Low blow", and it is.  And why?  I get so sick and tired of Oliver taking all these passive-agressive shots at Clark, even in the oddest circumstances.  And if I didn't already love Tess, like, So Much, I'd love her more now when she actually sticks up for Clark.  To Oliver.  Let me say that again...Tess is sticking up for Clark to Oliver.  Why is that even happening?

OK, lets return to the Tess/Oliver scene.  I just love the way Tess handled that scene (and kudos to Cassidy for reading that WAY over the top letter with a straight face).

And the Tess/Clark scenes were even better.  I've seen some people complaining that Clark is going to Tess for help, but thats not exactly what happened.  Clark went to investigate Cat on his own, in Tess's office.  Tess walked in, and thats how their conversation began.  Clark does tell Tess what happened, but its the fact that Tess has information about this guy that sparks this exhange of information.  And why shouldn't Clark allow Tess to help if it means saving a womans life?  Later on in the ep, its Tess that calls Clark with information on the bullet.  I'm not even sure Clark knew she was still working on it.  I know I felt like their exchanges were pretty organic.  It felt like this is where they would be considering everything thats happened so far, especially after Salvation.  Tess still wants Clark to trust her.  Clark thanks her for her help, but its clear his trust is withheld.  And I just enjoy the tension that Cassidy and Tom bring to their scenes, especially when there isn't any violence involved.

I also don't agree with the complaint that Tess is the new Chloe.  The reality is that Chloe handled a lot of this exposition stuff that the writers use to move along the plot.  Its a bit lazy, but expedient.  But now Chloe is gone, and the show must go on.  So, they've found a way to tweak this plot device, with Tess providing some of the exposition.  It doesn't make her Chloe.  Nothing about Tess reminds me of Chloe, quite frankly.  And since I know this exposition scenes are going to occur on the show, regardless of who, or who isn't, in the cast, then I welcome the change to the status quo that Tess provides.

Honestly, anything that gets me more Tom/Cassidy scenes is A-OK for this viewer!.

Now, the part of the episode I am on the fence with is the Lois/Carter stuff.  The whole set-up felt a bit contrived, and it was.  In some ways, it worked, as the actors had nice chemistry with each other, and it provided an outlet for Lois to talk about what she was feeling.  And Shanks does a great job with this role, and it seems clear that he will be back, and part of a bigger story, so they needed to introduce him back to the canvas.  But here's the problem with these scenes that I just cannot shake....was it really OK for Lois and Carter to be discussing Clark so openly given the fact that Lois really has very, very little information as to the nature of any relationship between Clark and Carter?  And as for Carter, does he really think its appropriate to be having this conversation about Clark, and who he is, to Lois when he's perfectly well aware that Clark still doesn't seem to want Lois to know?  And I keep wondering if they couldn't have introduced some other element into these scenes to make them discussing Clark seem more palatable to me, but I can't really think of anything.  Its really more bothersome to me on Carter's end, rather then Lois.  Though this is the second time they've had Lois discuss Clark with a third party where it doesn't feel entirely right.  But as for Carter, I guess I just expect that someone who has lived a life among other heroes who have had to adopt alternate identities for one reason or another to not be such a chatty Cathy when it comes to someone elses secret.

I was also confused as to how Clark has sent Carter to keep an eye on Lois, when it seemed like the digsite was a place Carter already was.  Did he know where Lois was going, so had Carter set himself up there ahead of Lois' arrival?  I guess. *shrug* 

And purely from a nitpicky POV, I found Lois handling all these ancient artifacts to be a bit offputting, if only because they should be treated with more respect and care.  And yeah, I know, its nitpicky.  Sometimes its these tiny things that make my eye twitch. 

But, I don't have any issue with where Lois is coming from emotionally in these scenes.  Her questions, not only about Clark, but about her own place in his life, felt very valid.

The kiss didn't seem necessary, and please, would television stop having women slap men in the face in scenes like this!  Its so cliched, and it feels so fake.  I would've preferred to just see Lois give him a hard shove.

I loved Lois' desert wear.  On a show where the way they dress the leading ladies drives me bonkers, they all looked good in Shield.

Oh, and I just have to say this, because its something I feel so, so strongly about, but sorry, Yes, I do think Clark could do it without Lois.  I'm sorry, but I do.  I understand that everyone in Clark's life has an influence on him, but I so adamently believe that Clark becoming Superman is something he's meant to do, and something he's on a course to do.  And I do think he could do it with, or without, Lois.  Her influence will change the way he gets there, and who he is once he's there.  I'm not taking that away from her.  But I think to suggest he couldn't do it without -insert name here- is deeply insulting to Clark, and who he is, and what lies in his heart. 

And now to the stuff I didn't like...

Oliver.  Pissy, pouty Oliver is just such a huge drag for me.  Yes, I can acknowledge that he has cause to be upset.  But going on the 3rd season of pissy, pouty Oliver, and I'm just worn out by him.  Also, I just don't believe in this great Chlollie love.  It didn't translate for me, and its not believable to me.  And as I noted before, I do not understand why Oliver always has to take cheap shots at Clark.  I HATE it.  It makes me want to kick him in the nuts.

Also, is Oliver suggesting that they come out to the world as heroes?  See, to me, this feels like another thing that they are taking away from Clark.  Because isn't coming out to the world, showing his real face, one of those big things that sets Superman apart from other heroes?  It breaks my heart a lot that I feel certain that they are going to take this away from Clark.  Maybe its not a big thing to others, but its a big thing to me. 

Also, I don't really buy Clark's nonchalance at Chloe's disappearance.  I see what they are geting at, and obivously its a necessity since AM isn't a regular anymore, but still...it feels fake.  Clark appears callous, and he isn't that at all.  They could've set this whole thing up SO MUCH better by just having Chloe send Clark a message that tells him that her plan is in motion, and that she's fine, and to please trust her.  See how easy that is?  Just something more tangible for Clark so one could understand why he appears rather blase.   And the comparison of Lois leaving, and Chloe leaving, by both Oliver and Clark was nonsensical to the extreme.  

Oh, one more big thing I wanted to address....the whole "Superman" mention.   It doesn't fall in the dislike category, exactly, just the MEH category.   While its great to hear that said on the show, I didn't too much love the context.  Because in context of the conversation that Carter and Lois were having, it was that everyone can be "a Superman".  It wasn't like they were talking about Clark as "Superman".  Basically, Carter was saying that we all have that in us.  So, Clark is just one of the Superman's?  IDK, it didn't sit right.  Maybe I was just supposed to zone out on the real conversation, and just geek out because Lois said the word Superman?  Yeah, I didn't.  LOL

Some random things:

Cat's headline calling Oliver "Mean Arrow" cracked me up.

Once again, Tom Welling demonstrates how masterful a job he does with subtle humor.  Just the look on his face, and his body language, when getting into Cat's car was wonderful.  And later, when Cat asks "Who would want to kill me?", and he just does this little eyeroll....so gifted at this.  It will truly be a shame if the man never gets the chance to do a romantic comedy on the big screen.

Did anyone else get a very Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck vibe from the voice on the radio?

Chloe keeps a naked picture of herself on her own dresser?  Wouldn't that be the sort of thing Oliver would have on his bedroom dresser?  Am I crazy here?  I just can't even imagine keeping a photo like that of myself on my dresser.

How did Oliver change into his Green Arrow costume in 3 seconds, and then get on the other side of the room as Cat.  And then he just disappears?  And if you don't want people to think of you as a thug, maybe you shouldn't snatch their phones from them.  Just sayin'

Why do Chloe and Lois have a black wig hanging by their door?

And last, Clark's new outfit.  Well, I don't know.  I don't mind the concept of it, but that red leather jacket looks very stiff, and a bit '80's to me.  But, what really didn't work so well for me was the slicked back hair.  Why?  I don't get why they did his hair like that.


Oct. 3rd, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks Carol :) You and I are so often on the same page. Thanks so much for the kind words. A lot of times, I feel like I'm floating on my own SV island, but it feels good to know that there are a few others island inhabitants who see SV similar to how I do.

Why oh why do we have to have him on this show!

I think its because "he's hot" and he's willing to take his shirt off a lot, and Justin seems like a very nice guy.

Oct. 3rd, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
Thing I never understood when they got Green Arrow is why not put him in the "Jonathon Kent" role. Basically he can be on like 5 minutes and episode and give Clark friendly advice



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