Smallville: Collateral

Chloe: "Whatever happens in cyberspace stays in cyberspace."

Smallville does The Matrix. If you're going to rip something off, do it well. Actually, they did it really well, so good for Smallville.

Lots of Matrix homages with the top notch fight scenes (I particularly liked Chloe versus Black Canary) and bullet-time (loved the bullets criss-crossing around Chloe). Lots of broken glass, which was probably the most obvious symbolism, although there's always a lot of broken glass on Smallville. And I liked the security avatars showing up every six minutes. It kept the episode going at pretty much breakneck speed. It wasn't terribly critical to tell the difference between the real life and the virtual reality since it was mostly VR, but the VR scenes had a glow to them. Plus, oddly enough, most of the VR scenes had visible breath. Maybe they had to film in a cold building or something.

And Chloe is back! Loved the gorgeous white suit and the nearly as gorgeous black dress. Big step up from what Chloe wore for years, and of course, a nice visual cue for the whole "is Chloe good or evil" theme. How many of us believed Chloe had turned evil and tortured her friends? No one, huh? What a surprise. At least Clark finally trusts her again.

I really like Chloe with Oliver, so it was lovely that Oliver trusted Chloe immediately. Chloe looked genuinely thrilled when Lois asked her to be her maid of honor, too. Maybe Chloe really has moved on and isn't jealous of Lois. I'll mention again that I don't mind sappy romantic scenes in the barn when it's Lois. Dan mentioned that now that Lois and Clark are together, Smallville finally feels like Superman. I agree.

And Clark finally flew! In virtual reality, yes, but he did it. And with Lois. Now if he could just do it without the VR, huh? I bet they're going to hold off until the series finale.

Bits and pieces:

— This was a very comic-book-like episode, both within the "Matrix" and without. Lots of comic-book-speak, too. Like Black Canary saying "this canary will have to eat crow."

— Vigilante Registration Agency Virtual Reality. VRA VR.

— Chloe running the Suicide Squad was an interesting way to go. And I see why they're called the Suicide Squad now. How do they keep their membership up?

— I was thinking that they made a plot booboo, because Ollie doesn't have superpowers to take away. They got around that by saying the VRA was going to take away his "skills."

— The "Do you trust me?" "With my life" was right out of Dollhouse.

— Lois immediately saw through the fake Chloe. That was refreshing, and true to the characters.

— In this week's hair report, Chloe's was quite possibly the best do they've given her yet. It suits her.

Quotes:

Lois: "In the world of Clark and Chloe, this is just another day at the office."

Oliver: "You sticking around for awhile?"
Chloe: "Yeah."
Oliver: "Good.
Okay by me, too.

Four out of four bent spoons. Except there was no spoon,

Billie
---
Billie Doux had a love-hate relationship with Smallville, which is why some of her reviews are briefer than they should be.

5 comments:

Tom L said...

Allison Mack kicks ass. I loved that she was given a special spot on the credits. She truly deserves it and it was a nice way to acknowledge how important a character Chloe is.

I was disappointed at Clark for not trusting Chloe, especially considering all the reasons Lois gave him later for trusting her. In fact, I believe Lois was channeling the fandom there.

Back to Allison Mack, sometimes she reminds me of Sarah Michelle Gellar. Both are blond and have a different nose, and even the way they use their eyes to show the character's emotion is similar.

The Matrix rip-off was great, but the score was both good and bad. There were moments similar to Buffy Season One's score, what with three notes being repeated over and over.

"loved the bullets criss-crossing around Chloe"

That was AWESOME!

All in all, pretty great episode. I haven't been watching Smallville for quite a while, and even if the show has been somewhat mediocre through most of its ten seasons, Chloe is one of my all time favorite TV characters. I'm hooked again.

Nick said...

I feel so split by this one, actually. So many great things, but lots of it just wasn't good for me.

Among the great things:
- Chloe's back!
- Clark flew, sort of
- More Suicide Squad
- Clark and Lois

But what annoyed me was mostly the execution of the episode. The Matrix references, while being obvious to the point of almost being painful, weren't very well done in my opinion. I've definitely seen better fights on Smallville, and Black Canary suddenly being excessively hostile towards Chloe didn't work, especially when I'm sure none of us doubted her loyalty in the first place.

It's going in the right direction though, so I'm just as excited for the next episode as usual. Where's Lionel, already?

Dimitri A.C. Ly said...

Oh, my, this did not work for me at all. Of course, having skipped most of the seasons leading up to this one, I don't have any connection to Chloe, which is why I spent most of the episode with my jaw to the floor, wondering why the writers stopped trying to write stories about Superman and how it is acceptable for them to get a paycheck for taking The Matrix script and doing a search and replace for character names.

If the episode had deviated from the initial concept and brought something new to it or done a satire, I think I might have appreciated it more, but this was just a straight scene-per-scene knockoff. I mean, I own The Matrix on DVD. I can watch it anytime I want.

Am I missing something?

Jer said...

I wasn't a big fan of the virtual reality. I think they could have brought Chloe back in a better way.
Yet in spite of the vr stuff, it had good scenes. Not sure I like Chloe being in league with the suicide squad though. I liked how they were a problem for the heroes--more super powered beings for the heroes to deal with.

Anonymous said...

1.Clark would totally be still stuck there if it were't for Lois
2.I love the idea of the Matrix, in fact I thought it was an awesome concept way before I heard of the Matrix, (this was years ago when I was like 8).
3.I now know why if you die in the dreamworld, you die in real life
4.The only thing I am sad about is that they didn't take advantage of the fact they are in a dreamworld and didn't like, grow colourful wings or something.
5. My fave episode!