SMALLVILLE - 10.2 - 'Shield' Review (Mania.com)

By:Joe Oesterle
Review Date: Monday, October 04, 2010
Source: Mania

While Lois is throwing back a few belts with the reincarnated Carter Hall, Cat Grant is getting all kinds of cuddly playful in her new pad at the Daily Planet. Now I have no problem when a series rewrites certain characters to fit their particular spin on the DC universe, but while Cat Grant has never been a major player in Metropolis, I much prefer her as a forceful and confident sexual tiger (with more then ample cleavage) than this cute and wholesome innocent kitten. (With possible cleavage, but nowhere near the type they pencil in on the pages of Action.)

I also didn’t enjoy her buying into Smallville’s answer to Glen Beck – Godfrey. I will say this Godfrey character may be going somewhere, and let’s hope he does – I just never saw Cat Grant as an AM radio groupie. She seemed too much of her own woman to buy into that kind of propaganda. Godfrey however could become an interesting rabble-rouser as long as he doesn’t become a pawn of Checkmate or Lex, if only because it’s already too obvious. That said, I wager we’ll find out someone is pulling his strings very soon.

Speaking of obvious, I never thought for a second that bullet was meant for Cat. The letters, “ARNT” seemed pretty obvious to me our villain de jour was after Clark. Why the hell wouldn’t Clark just flatten out the bullet to make sure rather than make the assumption “ARNT” was a crumpled up shorthand for Cat Grant. Come on, it could have simply been the manufacturer of the bullet itself. Clark took a pretty big leap there for a flightless Kandorian. You know why he did that? Because these writers don’t think we’re smart enough to be offended at that kind of shove in the wrong direction.

That ploy works for exactly 5 seconds. It actually would have played much better had Clark looked at it, muttered the words, “Cat Grant” as if he were assuming it were her, and then we could have looked at a tight shot on his face as the camera then zooms in on the now smoothed out bullet (because that’s really what Clark would have done if he weren’t an idiot, or written by an idiot.) 5 seconds is all they get for us to not jump to the character they’ve shown us for ten seasons. It makes much more sense we’d expect it to be him then her if only because of our familiarity with him.

What else didn’t I like? How about Lois going shot for shot in a drinking game with a seasoned boozer like Carter Hall? I’m not saying Carter has a problem, but the guy has lived enough lives to build up a tolerance for straight whiskey in the hot sun. Just because Lois’ dad was a bad-ass general doesn’t give Ms. Lane the ability to play drinking games with someone whose been tossing back the sauce since the Sphinx was under construction. Let’s just look back to the Indiana Jones series from which they were so obviously trying to borrow. Marion Ravenwood could slam ‘em back with the best of ‘em, and yet she was still pretty soused after a night of competitive drinking.

This leaves me with two possibilities. The writers/director foolishly didn’t factor in the fact the Lois would be at least tipsy after swilling rotgut with a 3000 year old pro, or Erica Durance doesn’t have the acting chops to play drunk. I’m assuming it’s a little of column A and a little of column B.

Ohh, and I still hate Ollie’s stupid little voice-altering thing. Maybe think about a costume that makes it harder for people to figure out who you are than some annoying audio modulator.

OK, enough ragging. I actually liked this episode. It’s a shame they always give me enough to complain about, because like many other episodes, these flaws could have been avoided. I am forced to grade this program on a curve, and I don’t care who thinks that’s insulting, because time and time again I’m insulted by this show. Turn about is fair play.

Now on to the good stuff - Deadshot was great. There’s a character they changed on us from the comic book, and I think they actually improved him. Now of course he never wore a blouse that could barely manage to contain his undulating breasts, so that might have made the transition a little easier, but I agree wholeheartedly with this incarnation of the character. It was even fun to hear a little cowboy twang in his voice.

Traveling with the bullet in actual “bullet-time” was fun, and it really gave credence to our bad guy’s abilities. And how ‘bout all those stuffed animals in Cat’s little pink ride? Anyone wondering if Cat has a Plushie thing going on?

By the way, it was nice to see where all of Metropolis goes during the day since they are clearly never on the streets. They all hang out at the bus station.

I’d like to also hand it to this team for working in a fresh Nietzsche reference. I always said Nietzsche would never have called Clark “The Red and Blue Blur.”

And finally, who else got a little excited when Clark showed up on the rooftop of the Daily Planet. Standing there heroically, dropping his plane ticket, a big S emblazoned upon his chest, the American flag flapping behind him in the bright sunlight. Only two things wrong with that image; Clark wouldn’t have littered, and his hands could have been positioned into fists at his waist… but that’s just nitpicking.

Like Cat said, we need a hero in red and blue, fighting the good fight away from the shadows. Could it be, after 9 seasons this show is finally going to get it right? Seems a little late in the game to finally give us what we’ve wanted, and this show has needed for at least 4 seasons already, but it’s coming soon. We can all feel it. The super underwear should be out of the Fortress Dry Cleaners any week now. Hope it’s soon.

 


 

Joe Oesterle’s latest book, “Weird Hollywood” hits book stores Oct 5. It’s full of urban legends, Hollywood ghosts, roadside attractions, celebrity interviews and he got to sit in the Adam West Batmobile. Follow the book on Twitter: http://twitter.com/WeirdHollywood

And if you live in the Los Angeles area, write him at Joe@JoeArtistWriter.com for book signing events.



Mania Grade: B+
Title: Smallville
Episode Title: Shield
Writer: Jordan Hawley
Director: Glen Winter
Episode Cast: Tom Welling, Erica Durance, Cassidy Freeman, Justin Hartley, Michael Shanks, Sahar Biniaz, Ted Whittall, Bradley Stryker, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Keri Lynn Pratt
Network: The CW
Series: Smallville