Smallville Review – “Bride”

This was the last new episode until January 15. On Monday and Tuesday, I’ll post reviews that’ll get the “Secret Invasion” content back up to date.

Cast

Tom Welling as Clark Kent
Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
Erica Durance as Lois Lane
Aaron Ashmore as Jimmy Olson
Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer
Sam Witwer as Davis Bloome
Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen / Green Arrow

Written by Al Septien and Turi Meyer
Directed by Jeannot Szwarc

Original Airdate

Bride originally aired on Thursday, November 20, 2008.

Synopsis

It’s the day of Chloe and Jimmy’s wedding. Lois and Clark start to move closer together, but a number of suprise guests throw things off.

High Point

Virtually any conversation involving Oliver Queen.

Low Point

The intro that set things up was, once again, made from footage that comes later in the episode. That always feels cheap to me. When you look at the first few minutes after the intro, with Lois working in overdrive to get the barn in shape, and Chloe getting the message from Davis, you can see that it’s not needed. If the intro was Lois’ overdrive moments, leading to Chloe sooner, followed by the voicemail that cuts to what’s going on with Davis (rather than waiting until mid-episode for that) they could have set things up much more effectively without revealed when the confrontation happens relative to the ceremony.

The Review

This has original elements, including how they’re finally handling the Clark/Lana relationship. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were limited to makeup and the transitional CGI needed to get from the actor to the makeup. Even then, when the effects came into play, they were kept heavily in the dark so we don’t yet have a good look at our antagonist. In fact, apart from one good punch, there wasn’t a lot of call for the expensive stuff this time. Still, the story didn’t need more effects than that, so it still receives 4 out of 6.

The story held up fairly well. There were a couple of nagging points (SPOILER GUARD: Downloading data from a rack-mounted router that has no rack to provide a power source? Clark tells Lana about the memory tampering, and she doesn’t get mad? Clark takes Oliver’s word that Chloe’s gone, and he’s not fast enough to go catch her? The emotional points work well, particularly regarding Oliver and Lois, but there were a number of logical issues that should have been sorted out. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was better than typical. There were emotional moments for everyone here, and the cast handled them very well. I think we’ve found the kinds of scenes Szwarc knows how to direct. (Action scenes definitely aren’t on the list.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was very positive. There wasn’t a lot of action, but they had a lot of character moments that help draw everything together. I just wish the intro hadn’t revealed so much of the episode; it could have scored a perfect 6. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was much better than I’d anticipated when I saw Szwarc’s name in the credits. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good episode, that nicely sets up a cliffhanger that keeps us going until the series returns on January 15 with “Legion,” written by Geoff Johns. (Yes, comic fans, it is what you think it is.) I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Bride receives 31 out of 42. You’ll enjoy it a lot more if you skip the intro and start watching after the opening credits.

10 replies on “Smallville Review – “Bride””

  1. apetrovic says:

    Cloverville
    Two amusing moments:

    – On the first thumping sound, Chloe asks "who is that?". How she knows it’s someone?

    – Clark is an idiot, or had too much hits in the head. He wishes to give Lana memory erasure, because in that way their relationship can be saved. Well, Clark, do you remember some bald dude that nailed your sweet Lana in not so distant past, after you lied and pushed her away to protect your secret? Duh!

  2. Fez says:

    Noticed something…
    …or rather, a lack of something.

    Are they getting more subtle about it, or were there a lot less blatant product placements in this half-season?

    • Fez says:

      Re: Noticed something…

      …or rather, a lack of something.

      Are they getting more subtle about it, or were there a lot less blatant product placements in this half-season?

      I should also say that I thought about this whilst buying a pack of Stride gum. I’m still not sure I can forgive them for that episode…

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Noticed something…

      …or rather, a lack of something.

      Are they getting more subtle about it, or were there a lot less blatant product placements in this half-season?

      They are more subtle, and with good reason. At a corporate conference in September, I talked to some of the ad reps for our company, and it turns out it’s the same company that does Stride. (We were talking about product placement before I found out they had the Stride contract, and I mentioned the episode as a way not to do it.) It seems they recognize how badly that came across, and are intentionally getting much more subtle about it, or even trying to find other revenue sources to avoid that sort of thing entirely. (I still have never bought a pack of Stride, and likely never will.)

  3. Fez says:

    Thoughts
    Re: The router, I had the same question. However: I suppose, given its nature, it could have been running on batteries if it was trying to stay undetected

    I felt some things were a little forced to setup the cliffhanger, but overall it had its intended effect: I want to see how it will play out when it comes back in January.

    I’m still not comfortable with the memory erasure. It makes me wonder if Chloe really doesn’t have the memories now, or if they are still there but encoded. Something tells me when she comes out of this latest ordeal, she’ll have her memories back.

    I also hope that Jimmy is alive, and that Lana leaves again, for good this time.

    • Scifi^2 says:

      Re: Thoughts

      I’m still not comfortable with the memory erasure. It makes me wonder if Chloe really doesn’t have the memories now, or if they are still there but encoded. Something tells me when she comes out of this latest ordeal, she’ll have her memories back.

      I also hope that Jimmy is alive, and that Lana leaves again, for good this time.

      I still wonder how the erasure would have effected memories of the many times she’d worked with Oliver and company. Given how closely she was working with him for awhile that’d seem like quite a few memories to just disappear. It wouldn’t be quite a spider-man level retcon but still a fairly major one in terms of the show.

      Hopefully those spoilers come true as well.

  4. hans says:

    Trade Lana

    … for Lois. At least that’s what it was looking like to me in the last half of the episode. I seriously hope they were just setting up a cliffhanger, not setting up a needless Lana-like roller coaster between Lois and Clark. There are plenty of ways to make that relationship complicated and interesting without the on-again off-again audience yanking.

    Overall an episode with good emotional response that left me wondering and wanting more.

  5. nitefallz says:

    Doomsday?
    I haven’t seen much discussion about how they’re handling Doomsday. What’s everyone take on that?

    I know a lot of people were up in arms when it was announced he’d be in Season 8. I have to say I’m a bit more impressed by what they’ve done. I was expecting total crap with the character and such.

    • Abednigo says:

      Re: Doomsday?

      I haven’t seen much discussion about how they’re handling Doomsday. What’s everyone take on that?

      I know a lot of people were up in arms when it was announced he’d be in Season 8. I have to say I’m a bit more impressed by what they’ve done. I was expecting total crap with the character and such.

      Honestly I think "total crap" is what we’ve gotten as far as the whole Davis/Doomsday character and story. I read up on the origins of Doomsday in the comics and while I know Smallville often takes license with the characters Doomsday is by far the worst. They take a character that was created to be the ultimate destroyer and turned him into a pansy. Whatever kills him cannot kill him again, which was shown when his "mother" stabbed him with the bed pole and he couldn’t stab himself when he was resurrected. They got that right. But that creation process in his origins left him full of rage and hatred, especially towards Kryptonians since it was a Kryptonian scientist who created him. But what we’re given is this emo EMT who blacks out when he turns into Doomsday, not remembering what he did, and is basically King Kong when it comes to Chloe. He goes from rampaging destroyer to softie with a high school crush in the span of 30 seconds. Total crap.

      • Fez says:

        Re: Doomsday?

        Honestly I think "total crap" is what we’ve gotten as far as the whole Davis/Doomsday character and story. I read up on the origins of Doomsday in the comics and while I know Smallville often takes license with the characters Doomsday is by far the worst. They take a character that was created to be the ultimate destroyer and turned him into a pansy. Whatever kills him cannot kill him again, which was shown when his "mother" stabbed him with the bed pole and he couldn’t stab himself when he was resurrected. They got that right. But that creation process in his origins left him full of rage and hatred, especially towards Kryptonians since it was a Kryptonian scientist who created him. But what we’re given is this emo EMT who blacks out when he turns into Doomsday, not remembering what he did, and is basically King Kong when it comes to Chloe. He goes from rampaging destroyer to softie with a high school crush in the span of 30 seconds. Total crap.

        I agree that what they’re giving as his origin and what I’ve heard about the real "ultimate"’s origin is supposed to be are vastly different. However, I’d wager that Braniac has a hand in Doomsday’s fondness for Chloe. He may simply be following orders, not (necessarily) fawning over Chloe.

        Either way, I’m still eager to find out how they will be wrapping this arc up. Unless their plans changed I didn’t think that Doomsday was supposed to be around for the entire season, just 8 episodes or so.

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