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18 May 2007 @ 11:45 pm
Smallville 6.22 Phantom  
This episode, the season finale, took so damn long to download that I was drunk by the time it finally finished. Consequently, the following meta may not be as coherent as usual... ahem... THE PHANTOM ZONE!!! *flails* They remembered it! DAMN, Smallville, you are such a tease! You hold out on the good stuff for so long! Suffice to say that I was greatly relieved to see that they remembered how this season started out.

In all honesty, I wasn't that hyped for the finale--I mean, I was, but there have been lots of other things diffusing my squee this week, and Season 6 hasn't quite delivered in the way I hoped, so while I was excited, I wasn't over-the-moon-omg-this-is-going-to-be-so-good excited. The 'previously on Smallville' totally got me to that place though, with the inter-cutting of Nemesis footage with the Clexana, Lionel's threats, Lois's determination, Lex's masterplan and the Justice League. Squee could not have been higher! And then... WTF?!

This episode wasn't what I expected--it's safe to say that--but I'm impressed with the twists they managed to pull out. It's times like this that I LOVE being spoiler-free!

Lex: chasing a mystery
One of the earliest surprises in this episode was to find myself in Lex's point of view, sympathetically so. He completely broke my heart with 'as hard as it is to believe, Lana actually loves me'. Oh, Lex! You do fall so very hard when you fall in love, and Lionel still outmanoeuvers you. (Psst! Not talking so loudly on the phone would be a good start.) He accuses Lionel of manipulating Lana into obtaining secret information from Lex. We later learn that this was Lionel's intention in having Lana marry Lex. It's the first in a series of confrontations that show Lex as victim.

'You aren't capable of love, Lex' is possibly the worst possible thing that Lana could say to Lex. I admire her for having the courage to stare Lex down after he hit her, but she really goaded him by saying that she loves Clark more than she ever loved Lex. It's been foreshadowed that Lex would flip if Lana left him or betrayed him--he's warned her in as many words. Which doesn't make his assault any more justified, but Lana wasn't the only victim in that confrontation. You can see Lex plunging into a tailspin, into mania and rage.

Lana brings up the baby, the fake pregnancy, but Lex appears to be baffled. I am quite staggered that we've reached the end of the season and still don't know the truth about the pregnancy, but I'm prepared to believe it wasn't Lex behind it--I still vote for Lionel having a hand in there. If Lex did know, he did a very good job of lying about it and appearing completely baffled. But then he's got practice in playing the wrongly accused.

In confrontation with Clark, later in the episode, he appears equally taken aback. He doesn't appear to know about Lana's death, far less have been behind it. But Clark assumes he is. In both Lana's case and Clark's this is a pretty logical assumption, but it's also an assumption based on emotional content--they suspect Lex of being capable of these acts, their worst nightmares and they don't pause to gather proof before confronting him.

Lex stands accused of many things, but in this episode what we see him doing--chasing a wraith, trying to build an army of super-humans--isn't one of them. What a strange state of affairs! It is possible that he's not responsible for Lana's death or for engineering her pregnancy. It's equally possible that he is and is just way more lost in the maze of truth and lies in his own mind than we've realised. I hadn't expected this level of ambiguity around Lex to remain after the season finale.

I am impressed/surprised that Lex has been trying to obtain the Phantoms. That was a connection I hadn't expected the show to make. I thought we were headed towards Clark on the laboratory table, but it turns out it was a wraith that Lex was looking for, a wraith that would help animate his army. One of the more exciting things about this is that the culpability for the scenario that eventuates is mixed. It is Clark who first released the wraiths from the Phantom Zone, but Lex uses them for nefarious means. However, Clark's own methods of confronting them have also been problematic: as we've seen, he's had to kill to remove their threat. So neither man's hands are clean, and both contributed to the resulting showdown at the dam.

A final note re. Lex and his plans: it seems that the army is not cloned. I'm a bit disappointed. :-( But seeing the room of bodies again, some of them look different than others, and Lex says Wes Keenan failed... implying that Wes Keenan was a one-off. In which case, how many soldiers has he obtained?! *boggles* If I was General Lane, I'd have some concerns!

Circles of intimacy
Farewell, Martha! I'm kind of in denial that she's leaving though her touching farewell with Clark did make it seem more final. It was a very moving scene--fitting for this most important of relationships in Clark's life (and Tom acted beautifully, as he did throughout this episode). But I wanted to talk about it for a more specific reason.

Martha suggests that Clark leave the farm in order to gain some distance from Lex and Lana, who he can't escape in so small a town (no pun intended). Clark seems genuinely baffled by this suggestion and cites the fact that the farm is his legacy. He has a strong sense of family tradition and obligation. His pride lies in shouldering his given burden, which is fitting given the greater burden he will carry as Superman, a legacy of his Kryptonian parents. But leaving Clark's dedication to duty aside, Martha has a good point. Many people would seek out some healthy distance under these circumstances, and I think it's really telling that Clark doesn't, that he can't even imagine doing so. For all that Clark fights his own destiny, he's also very unwilling to let go of the important figures in his life, even when he's entered direct open animosity with him. Step away from Lex and Lana? Gain some distance? Why would he do that?

Lana is the next to suggest that distance would be useful--but in her case, she's suggesting that she should leave Smallville. Clark is equally shocked and baffled by this suggestion, despite Lana explaining that remaining there leaves them in danger from Lex.

The Smallville world is an intimate one and these three characters have opened themselves up to each other over the years. While remaining in Smallville there is no escape from each other--this makes sense at an emotional and symbolic level. At a logical level, it makes less sense, since Lex could in theory track Lana or Clark down anywhere. But the point here is about Clark's (lack of) willingness to remove himself from this most tortured of scenarios. He doesn't. He can't conceive of it. And he doesn't even view it as a burden.

Revelations
I was incredibly moved my Clark letting Lana see his powers. It shows how much he'll risk for her. But far more moving was to hear him speak the words. This is not the romantic dream of Reckoning, where he showed her silently the powerful beauty of his origins. This was a faltering, vulnerable speech from a man that has never said these words, in this way, to anyone. To say aloud that his parents sent him here to save him before his planet was destroyed was momentous for Clark. Saying so makes it more real and leaves him completely vulnerable--which he acknowledges, saying 'please say something' almost as soon as the words are out of his mouth. Lana gives him the best answer he could hope for: loving acceptance and the message that he's still the same in her eyes. He's never received this before. His parents carried the secret of his origins as their burden even before he knew it, Pete freaked out on him, Chloe went into hero worship. But Lana gives him unqualified love and acceptance--it's little wonder that he concludes that they can now be together.

But Lana carries her own secret and in this case it's hers that necessitates their separation. I can imagine that some people will condemn Lana for revealing Lionel's threat, or for revealing it only now, having gone through with the marriage. But I found it convincing that she would return Clark's openness with openness of her own. It leaves both of them completely vulnerable, and it does endanger their lives--but they're fully honest with each other for the first time ever--and that was beautiful to see.

It also made me worry for Lana's safety, even before she broke up with Lex. We saw in Reckoning that knowing Clark's secret is not safe for Lana. She is not a good secret-keeper and running was her only possible option. Though, she did not get to run very far. Do I think she's really dead? Not really--they've got out of worse so far, and this was very reminiscent of the Season 3 finale where Chloe's safe house got bombed. However it did make for a tense finale to see Clark and Lex assuming Lana was dead.

The strongest girl I know
Chloe and Lois--we don't get to see them as cousins and supportive friends often enough, but their relationship was really foregrounded in this episode in a very moving way. When Chloe finds Lois investigating the numbers Wes said as he died, Chloe's concern for Lois is very well-intentioned. She knows how dangerous the Luthors are and she'd like to protect her cousin. But I didn't think for a moment that Lois would listen. She doesn't think she needs protecting, and she's run headlong into danger many times before now. However, it was actually reassuring to hear that Chloe had told Lois about what happened to her mother (and presumably to her?)--I'm glad Lois knows the full extent of the Luthors' abuses on her family, and I'm also glad to see this proof of the cousins' close friendship. But Lois is not to be stopped so easily.

Chloe didn't have an easy time this episode. I felt for her when Clark told her that Lana knew his secret. Chloe's special role has been usurped by Lana, and Lana's response (a kiss) was more than Chloe was able to give Clark--each girl's reaction reflecting their pre-established relationship with Clark. But to her credit, Chloe held it together and said 'that's fantastic'--but she must have been hurting.

The abdominal wound that Lois received was incredibly nasty. But there was one thing I loved about that conflict and that's that despite Lois's martial arts skills, she wasn't able to avoid being stabbed. As soon as one combatant has a weapon and the other doesn't, there's a huge imbalance, and knives are incredibly dangerous. One slip and it's all over. I could buy that Lois could knock a gun out of his hand by taking him by surprise but hand-to-hand combat against a knife wielding opponent was different--rightly so. It was also a good way to show that however determined she is Lois on her own is limited in what she can achieve--if only when met with brute force. As everyone knows, I'm more than excited that Lois is determinedly taking on the Luthors, but I wasn't disappointed with how this panned out--it felt tough and believable and also a valuable lesson for Lois to learn.

I loved that Lois called Chloe and that Chloe came running. Girls to the rescue for once, not relying on Clark! Chloe's speech to the dying (dead?) Lois was beautiful. 'The strongest girl I know' was a wonderful acknowledgment on Chloe's part of Lois's toughness. It's something Lois herself might be surprised to hear: she's usually so much more conscious of the ways in which she's failed to achieve her goals, she doesn't see the qualities that make her so special (because they haven't been proved externally in formal achievements yet). Chloe's words to Lois also echoed what we could imagine Clark feeling about losing Lana: 'I can't lose you. I love you too much.' Clark brought Lana back to life in Reckoning... it seems that Chloe has become a hero in her own right and brought Lois back here... but at what cost?

The power to give life--so very beautiful a power--if that's Chloe's mutation then it is the most beautiful form we've seen. And at a symbolic level it works really well because Chloe has 'given birth' to Lois Lane in the SV universe in other ways--her own death was the trigger that brought Lois to Smallville, she foreshadowed Lois's role in early seasons, she started at the Daily Planet and triggered Lois's interest in journalism. I've always enjoyed the connection between the two girls, and this was the pinnacle.

The Kryptonian agenda
So we have a clear(er) take on Lionel now--wooot! With Lex still shrouded in mystery, it's a relief to have at least one of the Luthors pinned. Lionel is still very much Lionel. He may have become possessed of Jor-El's knowledge, but he still retained Lionel's Machiavellian inclinations. He still wanted to be the puppet master, and if he could protect Clark while still pulling the strings in his son's life, then all the better. Because I do not believe that manipulating Lana into marrying Lex by saying he would kill Clark if she didn't was the only way to go about doing so. Why not just recruit Lana to the cause and tell Clark the truth, damn it! He was never going to like it no matter when he heard it. This was the world's most convoluted way to achieve that goal--which suggests that Lionel was just as invested in the power it granted him over his own son's life.

Jon Jonzz! Jon Jonzz was back! Despite the fact that he's barely a blip on Clark's radar ('another alien fighting for good on Earth? Saves my life? Pfft! What do I care about him?!'), the show had not forgotten him. I'm delighted! He returns in order to prevent Clark from killing Lionel, stopping hin from straying from his path. Of course, Lionel also makes this appeal, calling Clark Kal-El, but not surprisingly Jon Jonzz is a more persuasive force. Though I did love Lionel saying he was going to try to stop Clark from doing something he'd regret for the rest of his life (killing Lex), because yes, he would.

I squeed to hear that Jon knew Jor-El, fought crime for him. Can he please stick around long enough to have a proper conversation with Clark about this stuff? This whole 'watching from a distance thing' is kind of lame. Because, love him as I do, Clark hasn't exactly done a great job on the wraiths this season. He's got side-tracked from that mission on many occasions. Equally, he's neglected to confront what Lex is doing in building an army--despite Oliver's warning. And now the two have come together with frightening consequences. I gotta say--it's a little karmic.

And again in this episode, Clark's absorption in his own intimate world leads him to ignore the big issues with damning consequences. I'm not condemning Clark for this--I just think it's clever construction. Clark, overwhelmed by grief at Lana's death, rushes headlong to confront Lex, despite knowing that Lex is trying to obtain a wraith, a wraith that is searching for a Kryptonian host. Without knowing it, he runs straight into danger (just like Lois did, incidentally!) and the consequences are terrible... though kinda hot! *g* 'I'm like you only a little more bizarre'?! COOL!

Next season?! CAN'T WAIT!
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: drunkdrunk
 
 
 
Cris: brunettesduskwillow on May 18th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
Oh K how much do I love your meta.
I enjoyed reading this far more than I enjoyed the episode itself. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois hugbop_radar on May 19th, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)
Hee! That is the most wonderful comment! *treasures you*
tragicllyhiptragicllyhip on May 18th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this, you really summed how I saw pretty much everything in the ep, with the small exception of Lex, because I didn't question whether he really did fake the pregnancy, because of all the evidence up to this point, down to the doctor attempting to blackmail him which resulted in his clumsy death, and if he's capable of lying all this time, he's certainly capable of pretending not to know, and he didn't really press the issue when she told him not to lie about it. I really loved that scene between them and I loved the scenes between Clark and the key players in his life, all of them revealing and open, I felt completely satisfied:) This episode both excited me and touched me, it rocked!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex showdownbop_radar on May 19th, 2007 01:02 am (UTC)
he didn't really press the issue when she told him not to lie about it
True enough! I'm only hedgy because I had expected something more definitive where the pregnancy was concerned--probably foolish of me!

really loved that scene between them and I loved the scenes between Clark and the key players in his life, all of them revealing and open, I felt completely satisfied:) This episode both excited me and touched me, it rocked!
SAME! When Smallville brings it, it really brings it! I just wish they wouldn't hold out on us so much... no, it was an awesome season finale and they've had some amazing ones in the past.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on May 19th, 2007 01:07 am (UTC)
thinking Clark might have helped Lana fake her own death (silly me)
Ohh, interesting! I haven't read anyone else's meta yet. I didn't think of that myself, but anything's possible in SV! ;-)

It makes the experience SO MUCH BETTER. I'm counting on you to get me through the BSG hiatus as a spoiler virgin, 'K?
It DOES! Yes, yes, yes, it is the way to happiness and glee in fandom! (Really, who needs those extra days/weeks/months of agonising over things whose context you don't fully know yet?!)

Too bad about those clones that weren't, huh?
Yes! I wanted more Tahmoh! *cries* Ach, no, I liked that the cloning was a throwback to earlier Luthorcorp experiments, but the tie-in to the phantoms made up for that, I think.
amandajane: loveamandajane5 on May 18th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)
You're so smart, Boppy!!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex lovebop_radar on May 19th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
Awww, 'sank you!
CapnZebbie: stalkerkittycapnzebbie on May 18th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
I agree, Lionel has many more things going on than he's saying. I still believe he's evil, and I'll be really pissed if we find out that he's not. I've been very irritated with the whole Saint fricking Lionel thing since he had his miraculous prison conversion experience (urk!).

As soon as we found out that Lana's pregnancy was fake I thought Lionel did it as part of his plan to trap her into marrying Lex. I just...hate Lionel. I'm very annoyed that Lana immediately assumed that it was Lex who had faked her pregnancy rather than the man who threatened to kill Clark to force her to go through with the marriage.

My thought on Bizarro Clark was this: In the comics, Bizarro Clark is really stupid in contrast to the fairly intelligent comic book Clark. In SV, Bizarro Clark is probably going to be a genius. Because Clark? Not firing on all cylinders most of the time.

Re Chloe's mutant power--very cool! I hope she's just regenerating right now, rather than being dead. I thought the special effects for that scene were pretty neat.

Re Lana--I do not believe that she is really most sincerely dead.

Poor Lex! He just breaks my heart! I really wanted him to win for once, but alas, it didn't happen. Stupid police! I want to see that army in action. I hope they are a bunch of Wes clones. I'd love to see that. Dozens of Wes's running around in little white shorts.

It's interesting the the season ended with Lex in peril, as well as the others being in peril. I really expected Lex to be on top, since he's now supposed to be the villain. I'm curious about the fact that he is still being shown in a situation more appropriate for a beleaguered hero--falsely accused and imprisoned in the cliffhanger. I wonder if the PTBs are as ambivalent as I am about Lex becoming the villain.

I can't believe I have to wait three or four months for another episode!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex here with youbop_radar on May 19th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
. I still believe he's evil, and I'll be really pissed if we find out that he's not.
*nods* Oh, I think it's entirely clear that he's evil. He's just unfortunately also the holder of Jor-El's knowledge. *growls at him*

I'm very annoyed that Lana immediately assumed that it was Lex who had faked her pregnancy rather than the man who threatened to kill Clark to force her to go through with the marriage.
Yeah, it was very interesting to see where people's conclusions leapt. Clark assumed Lionel (rather than Lex himself) was manipulating Lana (admittedly the evidence was pretty clear--but Clark does so love accusing Lex). But Lana probably figures that only Lex was close enough to her to slip her the hormones.

In SV, Bizarro Clark is probably going to be a genius. Because Clark? Not firing on all cylinders most of the time.
Heee! It's hard to imagine him being much slower, though he has improved a lot, bless!

I hope she's just regenerating right now, rather than being dead. I thought the special effects for that scene were pretty neat.
Yeah, they were really neat! And it seemed like a season finale fake-out, so yeah, I reckon she's regenerating. In which case, I think it's cool that the power takes so much out of her--because that kind of thing is such an amazing gift, it shouldn't come cheaply.

I hope they are a bunch of Wes clones. I'd love to see that. Dozens of Wes's running around in little white shorts.
Same! I really wanted that! *pouts* I fear alas no, though, looking at the room again.

I'm curious about the fact that he is still being shown in a situation more appropriate for a beleaguered hero--falsely accused and imprisoned in the cliffhanger
I'm fascinated by that! It's a really interesting and deliberate choice and implies to me that they're trying to keep us sympathetic towards Lex to some degree. I'm surprised but I kind of love it.
The Spikespike21 on May 18th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
*nods* Good recap/analysis -- and hey: all that and bizarro!Clark too. *g*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex golden fieldbop_radar on May 19th, 2007 01:17 am (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, they really packed a lot in! *g*
suex on May 18th, 2007 08:44 pm (UTC)
Enjoyed reading your review. Good job! I do think Lex is very much responsible for Lana's fake pregnancy. His line "Everything I've done is because I love you" pretty much confirmed it not to mention all the previous evidence that we've been given.

I'm leaning on the side of Clark being in on Lana's faked death. There's a screecap floating around that shows the driver of the truck. He's a tall guy, wearing jeans and a t-shirt and has dark hair.

I loved the Chloe/Lois scene, I thought it was beautifully done, despite my misgivings initially that it would be utter lameness. I think Chloe is going to have Phoenix like abilities. The tear drop, the ashen look. Preem time she'll form a cocoon around herself and be reborn from the ashes.

I loved the episode and the added bonus was that we had Tom Welling playing two roles. He was awesome in both.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex showdownbop_radar on May 19th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
There's a screecap floating around that shows the driver of the truck. He's a tall guy, wearing jeans and a t-shirt and has dark hair.
Ohh, really? That truck was very deliberate. It's an interesting theory.

I thought it was beautifully done, despite my misgivings initially that it would be utter lameness.
Heee! It does sound like the sort of thing that I would expect to be utter lameness. I'm glad I didn't know about it in advance because the effects really captured a magical moment for me.

the added bonus was that we had Tom Welling playing two roles. He was awesome in both.
Totally! Damn, I love how well Tom does these days. He's matured as an actor soooo well!
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on May 19th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC)
Wow, I'm impressed by how cogent and articulate you are when you are drunk!

One of the earliest surprises in this episode was to find myself in Lex's point of view, sympathetically so. He completely broke my heart with 'as hard as it is to believe, Lana actually loves me'. Oh, Lex! You do fall so very hard when you fall in love, and Lionel still outmanoeuvers you.

Yes, I found that heartbreaking too, especially since I almost feel like this is the last bit of emotional vulnerability we're ever going to see in Lex, now that Lana has left him. :-(

I myself am very unsure, right now, who we're supposed to think engineered the fake pregnancy. Lex's surprise seemed quite convincing to me, but I haven't had a chance to rewatch that scene, so I'm not sure.

It is Clark who first released the wraiths from the Phantom Zone, but Lex uses them for nefarious means. However, Clark's own methods of confronting them have also been problematic: as we've seen, he's had to kill to remove their threat. So neither man's hands are clean, and both contributed to the resulting showdown at the dam.

I like these parallels you've drawn a lot.

I was incredibly moved my Clark letting Lana see his powers. It shows how much he'll risk for her. But far more moving was to hear him speak the words. This is not the romantic dream of Reckoning, where he showed her silently the powerful beauty of his origins. This was a faltering, vulnerable speech from a man that has never said these words, in this way, to anyone. To say aloud that his parents sent him here to save him before his planet was destroyed was momentous for Clark. Saying so makes it more real and leaves him completely vulnerable--which he acknowledges, saying 'please say something' almost as soon as the words are out of his mouth. Lana gives him the best answer he could hope for: loving acceptance and the message that he's still the same in her eyes. He's never received this before. His parents carried the secret of his origins as their burden even before he knew it, Pete freaked out on him, Chloe went into hero worship. But Lana gives him unqualified love and acceptance--it's little wonder that he concludes that they can now be together.

I had to repeat that whole paragraph, because it's just beautifully stated/ I completely agree with how moving that scene was, and with your reasoning here. And it's the kind of observation that would make me love the Clana even if I weren't already onboard with it, because *finally* it feels like they have connected on the level the show always wanted to connect them on. If, as I keep seeing rumors in people's review, KK really isn't coming back, it's a wonderful note for her to go out on. I'm sure if she's coming back they'll come up with other obstacles to the relationship, of course!

loved that Lois called Chloe and that Chloe came running. Girls to the rescue for once, not relying on Clark! Chloe's speech to the dying (dead?) Lois was beautiful. 'The strongest girl I know' was a wonderful acknowledgment on Chloe's part of Lois's toughness. It's something Lois herself might be surprised to hear: she's usually so much more conscious of the ways in which she's failed to achieve her goals, she doesn't see the qualities that make her so special (because they haven't been proved externally in formal achievements yet)...The power to give life--so very beautiful a power--if that's Chloe's mutation then it is the most beautiful form we've seen. And at a symbolic level it works really well because Chloe has 'given birth' to Lois Lane in the SV universe in other ways--her own death was the trigger that brought Lois to Smallville, she foreshadowed Lois's role in early seasons, she started at the Daily Planet and triggered Lois's interest in journalism. I've always enjoyed the connection between the two girls, and this was the pinnacle.

Again, I had to cut and paste this whole paragraph because it was so lovely--I really love the way you describe Chloe and Lois' relationship, and Chloe giving birth to Lois.



K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex showdownbop_radar on May 19th, 2007 06:06 am (UTC)
I'm impressed by how cogent and articulate you are when you are drunk!
Heee. I'm a verbose drunk. But I did sober up while writing! ;-)

I almost feel like this is the last bit of emotional vulnerability we're ever going to see in Lex, now that Lana has left him. :-(
I agree--I think that's what really got to me about that scene. It was just so raw and open--he's already more closed off than he was with Clark, but this really does feel like it could be the last time anyone comes close. Ouch!

because *finally* it feels like they have connected on the level the show always wanted to connect them on
*nods* That's exactly the feeling I had too. And that did make me seriously wonder if maybe she ISN'T coming back. It would be a very fitting ending, a touching and tragic one, and one that would make me love Clana-in-retrospect. But I don't know anything re. who comes back or not. It's going to be hard to resist finding out!

I really love the way you describe Chloe and Lois' relationship, and Chloe giving birth to Lois.
Thanks! The way they traded comfort coffees in the last episode lingered with me so they've been in the forefront of my mind. And after my grumbling about them not really talking, it seems that actually they DID, it just happened off-screen. (Crappy show--always cutting the Martha & Lois and the Chloe & Lois scenes, grr!) And that scene totally swept me away. Their journey together, from when Lois first came to SV when Chloe was 'dead', to this moment when Chloe almost returns the favour by not giving up on Lois... it's so beautiful to think of that arc, and I really like it when the show shows them being cousinly.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lana Luthorbop_radar on May 20th, 2007 09:20 am (UTC)
up until that moment, he was remarkably composed given the circumstances
Yes, he was. For 95% of the time Lex is incredibly composed and in control--even when he's reprimanding minions, his anger is deliberate and calculated. He only ever really loses his shit where Clark is concerned--and Lana mentioning Clark? Double the fuel to the fire!

I really don't think he actually is wrongly accused in that scene.
I don't really think so either. But I was kind of surprised that we never got any further reveals on the pregnancy. To me there are a number of loose ends--particularly Lex's own emotional responses: his nightmare in Promise, and the way he looked when burning the evidence. I don't feel I've got a handle on what was really going on for Lex with the pregnancy or how he justified it to himself. Perhaps they always meant to leave it this opaque but for some reason I was expecting something more.

I think I'll actually be annoyed if it turns out that Lana's really dead and Lex really engineered it because that's just incredibly sloppy.
I agree! It seems ridiculous. Some super villain he'd make! It's also by far the least interesting set-up there: victim Lana killed by evil-but-stoopid Lex. *yawn*

Lana is really the first person Clark has told the full story to because he chose to do so rather than because circumstance forced his hand.
So true! And yes, so important! And I actually feel Lana has earned that privileged position in Clark's life which makes it even more enjoyable.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois hugbop_radar on May 20th, 2007 09:25 am (UTC)
Re: part 2
it's not a defensible moral position to only see other people as pawns. Clark would never abide that happening on his behalf.
Absolutely! And it's one of the things which has made me really love Clark, this Clark, that he won't abide that.

I love that the series is making the somewhat sophisticated moral argument that it's not enough to merely be on the 'right' side, but that what you do in the name of that side also matters. IOW, Lionel isn't actually excused for what he did to Lana on the grounds that it was all to protect Clark and I loved that the series allowed Clark to make that distinction.
*nods lots* That is wonderful, and it's more than I expected from the show in the early days. I definitely don't think Lionel should be excused from what he did to Lana--it was horrendous and ridiculous and forwarded his personal agenda and lust for power as much as it 'protected' Clark. That Clark should call him on this is entirely appropriate and a good way of showing that you can't just become a noble person by happening to fluke working for a good cause once in your life, but use ignoble means of doing so--that doesn't make you a hero! And it's good that Clark is thinking about all of this because it means he's articulating his own values and will uphold them himself. It reassures me that he'll never abuse his own power.
serenographyserenography on May 20th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
I love your meta, as always.

This episode made me all kinds of happy! I truly LOVED all three of the girls in this without exceptions. That NEVER happens! LOL.

The Chloe and Lois scene was beautifully done. I've never had much care for the whole Chlo-Lo (or whatever the hell they call it) stuff, but I really felt their bond in that scene and I was crying along with Chloe. And for Chloe to call Lois the "strongest girl I know" was absolutely PERFECT. I couldn't be more pleased with the direction they've taken her character, particularly this last half of the season. I really hope they keep it up through next season. It sounds like they do have big plans for her.

I wrote a bit more in depth on Lois in my Prototype review that I've yet to post.. but I will.

I'm sure you can imagine what the Clana scene meant to me. I thought it was perfect. I'm really glad to see that so many people whose opinions I respect also appreciated the sheer emotional beauty of it.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lana :Dbop_radar on May 20th, 2007 09:36 am (UTC)
I truly LOVED all three of the girls in this without exceptions. That NEVER happens! LOL.
RIGHT! It is rare! ;-)

I couldn't be more pleased with the direction they've taken her character, particularly this last half of the season. I really hope they keep it up through next season. It sounds like they do have big plans for her.
Yay! And yes, it's been exciting and reassuring--Smallville's always felt a bit flaky with the writing of its female characters. All of them have been spot-on at times and neglected/inconsistently written at others. But the back half of this season has been much more positive. I was worried about Chloe being a meteor freak but this assuaged a lot of my anxieties and was a beautiful scene.

I'm sure you can imagine what the Clana scene meant to me. I thought it was perfect. I'm really glad to see that so many people whose opinions I respect also appreciated the sheer emotional beauty of it.
It was impossible not to love, even if I hadn't grown more sympathetic towards Lana (I like her a lot now!) over this season. But the way Tom played it... so much vulnerability and love and heart... I felt for Clark so much in that scene and he's had such a heartbreaking journey with Lana. My heart hung in my mouth to see how she would respond (and he was SO scared) and her response was perfect. And as I said to LaT above, I really feel that Lana has earned this gift--to be the first person Clark voluntarily tells. She has learnt not to demand the secret as her right, and she's proven she can keep it and ask nothing in return, protect Clark's life... and that she was able to respond to Clark in that way, give him what HE needed in that moment without asking anything in return or making the moment about her... it shows true courage and honour on her part. And even the hardcore Lois (and Clois) fan in me does not begrudge her or them that special moment or relationship. It seems fitting. And it makes me less growly about the Clana in retrospect--because it isn't all so pointless (sorry!) now. It led to this beautiful pinnacle scene--I do love the Clana payoffs when they finally come (the Fortress scene in Reckoning also grabbed me), they just take a long time coming. ;-)
serenography: clanahiddenserenography on May 20th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC)
And as I said to LaT above, I really feel that Lana has earned this gift--to be the first person Clark voluntarily tells. She has learnt not to demand the secret as her right, and she's proven she can keep it and ask nothing in return, protect Clark's life... and that she was able to respond to Clark in that way, give him what HE needed in that moment without asking anything in return or making the moment about her... it shows true courage and honour on her part. And even the hardcore Lois (and Clois) fan in me does not begrudge her or them that special moment or relationship. It seems fitting. And it makes me less growly about the Clana in retrospect--because it isn't all so pointless (sorry!) now. It led to this beautiful pinnacle scene--I do love the Clana payoffs when they finally come (the Fortress scene in Reckoning also grabbed me), they just take a long time coming. ;-)

God, you're good. I may have to quote that part you wrote about Lana earning it.

I'm not getting too invested in all the Lana-Come-Lately appreciation though. To be honest, I don't think it's going to take much for people (not you, boppy.. you're always very fair-minded) to go right back to hating on her for every little thing - things they'd give a pass to, or find "cute" if any of the other females did it. Whether it's doing any investigating on her own ("nosy squirrel"), or fighting back ("Lana-fu!"), she's just not allowed to do those things without getting mocked. I honestly find a huge double-standard applied to her over anyone else on the show. But part of that is just ingrained pattern after six seasons of being the fan's whipping girl on this show. So, I'm willing to bet that a lot of the newfound and begrudging Lana appreciation is going to evaporate quickly. This season they really put her in circumstances where only the most irrational of haters could still hang on to their refusal to have any sympathy for her situation. I have no words for those that continue to cheer Lex for hitting her because she "deserved it." No words. But even those that are forced to acknowledge that maybe she isn't a horrible person after all, just a person dealing with horrible circumstances, still have a.. "but..." attitude about her. It's their right, of course, but from my perspective, I kind of have a 'oh, save it, don't do her any favors' attitude, but not a bad one. Just a little, hiding in the snarky corner of my mind. ;-)

For me the chemistry and beauty has always been there, the writers just needed to stop with all the roadblocks. The payoff was wonderful, but for me, it wasn't a surprise at all - that's why I'm a Clana fan.

There is an inherent tragedy in being a Clana fan. It is an ill-fated love affair, nothing will change that. And as you don't begrudge Clana, I don't begrudge Clois - I refuse to be completely blind to what is an inevitability. That's why I'm probably even more pleased than most about how much I'm really loving Lois lately. If Clark can't be with Lana, then at least let him be happy with someone that makes "sense" to me.

Am I talking in circles here? LOL.. I have this fear of sounding like a militant crazy Clana defender. I won't ever deny being a Clana fan, but I like to think I'm at least realistic about it - intellectually, at least.

Emotionally, I'd rewrite the whole damn mythology on this show and blow everyone's minds. *evil cackle*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois searchingbop_radar on May 20th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC)
I may have to quote that part you wrote about Lana earning it.
Please do! I'd love to rewatch the eppy and post more thoughts (including that) myself, but I'm a bit flat out this week... well, it's hiatus! Plenty of time!

I would also be pretty cynical about the Lana-Come-Lately appreciation--I agree that six years' of being the whipping girl on the show aren't going to vanish overnight. And there's definitely a huge double-standard where Lana is concerned. My own breakthrough with Lana came a long time ago, shortly after I entered fandom (end of S4) when I was struggling with her and duskwillow made some very astute calls about her not being the perfect princess everyone thinks she is, and her being frustrated with the way she's perceived by others and locked down into certain roles accordingly. She's still frustrated me occasionally since then, but my underlying resentment of and issues with her evaporated. But it took til late Season 5/Season 6 for me to openly fangirl her. The more I've explored her character, the more I appreciate her. But I don't think many people will care to put in the time.

I have no words for those that continue to cheer Lex for hitting her because she "deserved it." No words.
I have words. They involve expletives! ;-) And I wouldn't say them online, but in my head? Oh, there are words...

For me the chemistry and beauty has always been there, the writers just needed to stop with all the roadblocks.
*nods* Your comments here have made me really see a parallel between how I view Clois and how you view Clana. To me, the potential and chemistry in Clois has always been there, but the writers were heavily restricted in what they could do with it and they only had Lois for a set number of episodes. A lot of the griping I've seen about Lois comes down to structural decisions on the writing team's part. Just as a lot of our griping about Clana comes back to the fact that it's been obstacle after obstacle and it starts to feel very laboured and artificial. But I think if you take a more zenlike big-picture approach, both work well. And norwich36's essay on the cyclical storytelling in SV was a good reminder of that.

I don't begrudge Clois - I refuse to be completely blind to what is an inevitability. That's why I'm probably even more pleased than most about how much I'm really loving Lois lately.
*smiles* I think that's why I'm extra pleased that I'm liking Lana--if she's this important to Clark (and she really is--telling Lana his secret is a huge step in his emotional landscape), then I'm glad she's someone I now genuinely admire. And I've loved the Clana chemistry this season, I've found my peace with the importance of Lana in Clark's life. I'll be really interested to see what it's like doing a rewatch now! ;-)

I like to think I'm at least realistic about it - intellectually, at least. Emotionally, I'd rewrite the whole damn mythology on this show and blow everyone's minds. *evil cackle*
Heee. I know just what you mean! Of course, at an emotional level, we each have our attachments and we can't change that. But I like to try and stay rational at the intellectual level... OTOH, I have been struck several times recently by a desire to write (or see written, really, since I don't write) Lana & Lois scenes. I likes them! They are cute together and there's so much potential for commentary on Clark and character insights on both parts by contrasting the two women but showing that they both respect one another. It saddens me that no-one writes this...
jude_judith82: CKjude_judith82 on May 20th, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
So I'm just going to quote this whole paragraph because you put into words exactly what I felt watching this scene:

I was incredibly moved my Clark letting Lana see his powers. It shows how much he'll risk for her. But far more moving was to hear him speak the words. This is not the romantic dream of Reckoning, where he showed her silently the powerful beauty of his origins. This was a faltering, vulnerable speech from a man that has never said these words, in this way, to anyone. To say aloud that his parents sent him here to save him before his planet was destroyed was momentous for Clark. Saying so makes it more real and leaves him completely vulnerable--which he acknowledges, saying 'please say something' almost as soon as the words are out of his mouth. Lana gives him the best answer he could hope for: loving acceptance and the message that he's still the same in her eyes. He's never received this before. His parents carried the secret of his origins as their burden even before he knew it, Pete freaked out on him, Chloe went into hero worship. But Lana gives him unqualified love and acceptance--it's little wonder that he concludes that they can now be together.

Just so incredibly wonderful I seriously could not word this any better. On
another note what did you think of the scene where Clark tells Chloe that he told Lana his secret? I don't know what to make of it. Well as always it's been a joy to read your meta.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on May 21st, 2007 12:59 pm (UTC)
Aww, I'm so glad you enjoyed that scene and my description of it.

I think the Chloe/Clark scene was played to show that Chloe had conflicted feelings about Lana knowing the secret. Clark seemed to be happy--he sounded almost smug when he said she'd kissed him--but Chloe sounded regretful, I think, though obviously she said the right thing and acknowledged that it was a big deal to Clark. It must be weird for Chloe having protected the secret from Lana for so long to have Clark open up to Lana finally.
jude_judith82: Chloejude_judith82 on May 22nd, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
I kind of felt that way but I don't know why that scene left me with sadness. It was a weird moment for me. I'm watching and I expected Chloe to be happier because he did what she's been saying he should do, but then her face I don't know. I was all confused. It also didn't help that I was watching with my sister and she's like "Chloe's all sad,but why?". Any who I take my shows to seriously ;-)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark and Chloe reportersbop_radar on May 22nd, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
"Chloe's all sad,but why?"
I think Chloe's one of those people who is good at saying what the other person needs to hear, even if it conflicts with what she personally feels herself. She knows that telling Lana will be good for Clark, but she also likes being the special secret keeper. She knows Clark doesn't think of her romantically, but she wishes he did sometimes, and she keeps that hidden--I think it shows in her sadness here though. And I imagine as Lana's friend, part of her probably feels that there's a wall between her and Lana because of the secret, and it's Clark who got to pull down the wall, not Chloe, so the girls are still at a distance from one another. It's a bit of a lose-lose for Chloe--she loses her special status with Clark and Clark takes on extra closeness to Lana at the same time.
jude_judith82: Chloe and Clarkjude_judith82 on May 22nd, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
By the way thanks for answering. I tend sometimes to go off on weird tangents. Thanks for the response. Oh and I just read in your info that you're really good with grammar. I have such horrible grammar ugh. I'm jealous. ;-)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois Crimsonbop_radar on May 23rd, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
Tangents can be wonderful things! ;-)

Don't worry--I am quite as careless online as everyone else. But, yeah, professionally, I know my grammar.
hoolia goolia: Sexy arms - Ollieboom_queen on May 29th, 2007 04:14 am (UTC)
I finally managed to snag the hubby for long enough to watch this and now I get to catch up on your lovely meta! I was really touched by Lana's acceptance of Clark and the reveal of Chloe's mutant healing abilities. Lots of great moments and interactions all around for the female characters (which I really appreciate because I think they get shafted sometimes to serve the plot and/or Clark's arc). And the reveal of Lionel/Jor-el's motivations was very satisfying--nice to know why he was puppet-mastering all season long.

And now to nerd out a little bit about Bizarro Superman and what that could mean for season 7! After consulting the hubby and digging around online for info, here's what I found:
  • Bizarro superman--the original one from the 50's/60's comics lived on HTRAE ("earth" backwards) where it was like opposite day: it was a crime to do anything good, everything round was square, etc.

  • Other Bizarro incarnations include a Superman clone made by Lex Luthor.

  • Bizarro has chalky, sometimes stone-like skin. He was a similar costume to Superman's but with a reversed S, a ragged cape and other weird details to emphasize his imperfection.

Plus, Bizarro Clark is super hot (dare I say, even as hot as Red K Clark?). What a great bad guy to introduce! I love it when they introduce and play with characters/ideas from comic canon :D

Now I want more! At least it's coming back in September (as opposed to Lost and BSG and other evil shows that are making me wait till January...)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Oliverbop_radar on May 29th, 2007 10:31 am (UTC)
which I really appreciate because I think they get shafted sometimes to serve the plot and/or Clark's arc
*nods* I agree. It is a great pity. But this was a good ep for the girls with some very moving scenes, as you mentioned.

Bizarro sounds awesome! I had only the foggiest memories of him, but mskatej made this post about him and a few other people have filled me in. Sounds heaps of fun!

I want more too! *whines* But yes, at least it's not the ridiculous hiatus length of BSG. Srsly, I'm already going mad without that show!