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10 November 2007 @ 07:51 pm
Smallville 7.07 Wrath  
I have a LOT to say about this one. :) Wow! I don't think I've seen an episode of Smallville that made quite so much subtext text. *reels*

This was an INCREDIBLE episode, no doubt about it. However, there were some small things that really niggled me. So I'm going to get them out of the way first so that they don't distract me from the SHEER BRILLIANCE. Skip this bit if you don't care!
1. 'The transfer was incomplete'. Um. Why? That's the lamest thing I've ever heard.
2. How did that green K get there (Clark had never been on that part of the farm before?!) and how did Lana know to catch the windwill?
3. Super!sex. Yup, I'm the world's biggest spoilsport, but I was really sad that Lana took his supes virginity as well as his mortal virginity. I guess I'd clung to some small shred of hope that there'd be something left for Lois. :(
4. Um, could it have been any more obvious that Tom Welling can't ride? He could have at least sat on a horse, surely?

Lana's self revealed
This episode obviously reveals a great deal about Lana. She's been carrying secrets for so long now. Not just that, but she's been restraining herself, constantly modulating her behaviour, her speech, her carriage and demeanour to the circumstances she finds herself. The opening scenes really brought home to me how long it's been since we've seen Lana look... free. I've possibly never seen her look so carefree and happy as in the riding scene or their first little superspeed chase.

I thought the riding was a bit crazily out of leftfield when I first watched but having seen the whole episode now I'm glad they started it with something that is quintessential Lana. Horse-riding is her domain and we haven't seen that for a long time. She looked so joyous. It's a total contrast to how she ends the episode in the darkened barn with Clark, although both scenes show her at her most truthful.

Lana's little smile when she finds herself holding the windmill up was too adorably cute. And I loved the exuberant way she embraced her powers. She can't stop herself from expressing what it feels like: 'I was moving and everything else was frozen. Clark, this is so cool! How come you didn't tell me it was like this?' Clark flops his head as if saying 'yeah, well...' It would be easy to argue that Lana never really asked him about it. However, what really struck me is that for once Lana was speaking spontaneously as herself rather than speaking from her role within the relationship. Their relationship is so often about silent communion=--joyous, sad or wistful--but not often about talking openly and expressively about their lives. Contrast this shot of Lana, wide-eyed and babbling happily, with the one of the two of them touching foreheads after Clark saved her from falling from the building in 'Action'. Lana later says that she'd always tried to guess what his life was like but had never been able to truly know him. It's the first sign that this is an empowering journey for Lana.

It's telling, of course, that one of the first things she does is push the sex agenda. I'm not at all surprised--in fact I'm delighted that my sense that she'd been deliberately holding back knowing she would freak Clark out if she pushed the issue (given how things fell out in season five) was right. Which brings us to...

Super!sex
OMG SUPER!SEX OMG! THEY MADE THE EARTH SHAKE. *ROTFL* That will NEVER get old. Never! Smallville has this hidden capacity to shock--it's extremely subtextually sexual beneath the pretty sets and the clean country atmosphere. 'Wrath' was a perfect example--um, they just textualised the fact that Clark makes the earth shake when he fucks. *jaw drop* Yeah, no wonder he's a bit worried about having sex with a regular human. *pats him*

However, Clark made me laugh A LOT in this episode with his earnest innocence. The fact that they had him be so totally bashful and worried when Lana first initiated sex was incredible enough. What teenage twenty-year-old alien boy really doesn't want sex THAT much?! Then to have him act all coy and 'don't be x-raying my vertebrae' after they'd had sex was just hilarious. His intimacy issues are too funny! He actually still sees boundaries between them and wants his privacy--hee!

The sex is not that important to Clark, of course. He turned on the romance not, as a normal boy some people would, to get laid, but to discuss the emotional distance in the relationship. (OMGSUCHAGIRL!) When they kiss and make up he says, 'If everything we've been through was just for that, it's all worth it'. Oh, Clark! One perfect kiss? You are so hopelessly sappy!

For all that, he was cutely proud of himself with his little 'I better go fix the barn' and 'we've been, er, busy' smirks. I also really liked the way he kept his eyes on Lana as he sailed round the kitchen bench when Chloe entered. There was such a tangible sense of intimacy between them. It was as if life had been breathed into the relationship. I also thought the scene was very reminscent of 'Hidden', when Clark and Lana first had sex and she tried to sneak out of the house--complete with Lana in Clark's shirt and Chloe clueing on to what they'd been up to.

LOVED Chloe's whispered 'I thought you couldn't ...?' and Clark's shocked 'You guys TALK about that?' Hee! Again, I'm in shock that they just textualised the fact that Clark has sexual anxieties about having super!sex with normal humans. And Chloe and Lana have discussed this. Oh, please, someone write that fanfic! *pleads* Lana acts all innocent with her 'just Chloe', claiming Chlo as some kind of intimate extension of them. It's true that Chloe is a confidant to both of them, but Clark definitely hadn't factored on the girls sharing that kind of information.

Following the revelation that Chloe and Lana talk about their sex lives together, it was a little hard not to read Lana's 'I wish you could know how this feels' chat as partially about the sexual euphoria she was feeling. This foreshadows the fact that the episode will explore the way that sex and power (and love) are intertwined. It was also rather femslashy. And the Chlana subtext was definitely strong in this episode, with Chloe playing Clark to Lana's Lex.

Rage
The first sign of the potentially corrupting influence of Clark's powers on Lana was when she overheard Clark asking Chloe to keep an eye on her. The anger that she feels about their secret-keeping (irony much!) is expressed physically--she smashes a mirror. We discover that the powers have not just given Lana greater physical strength--they've also made her less able to control her emotions. This was a very Lexian moment, with echoes of him smashing his glass into the fireplace in 'Reckoning'. She's overcome with sudden rage and can't hold back. It's not something we normally see in Lana. She sees herself reflected in the broken mirror--I'll come back to that later. Beneath the shards of the broken mirror she picks up a photo of her younger self in a horse-riding competition: that controlled girl is left behind in the past.

The second significant 'shadows of Lex' moment I had watching Lana was when she tells Chloe she's been 'given a gift'. That's what Lex said when he was granted Zod's powers. Like Lex, Lana immediately thinks of ways to use her powers to gather more power. She's not at all concerned about morality or laws when she says 'I can break into any locked door'. For Lex the emphasis was on his physical strength and healing powers (he shot himself in the hand); in the short term Lana's more concerned with the way this will allow her to cross boundaries, to be free of restraint and to uncover other people's secrets.

It's not hard to see where this desire stems from. We've already seen that having to live in Lex's mansion with all it's secret rooms and compartments, and with constant video surveillance has driven Lana to turn the tables. She's behind the camera now, watching all the secrets. But now she can go one step further and not just watch Lex open a secret vault, but do so herself. She's completely free of the restraints he placed on her and she's absolutely reckless in doing so.

Seeing Lana throw Lex around was both chilling and strangely cathartic. While clearly Lana is out of control here, I was still excited to see her turn the tables after all this time. She was so trapped, abused and stripped of all power by Lex. It was a little like seeing Lana tear out the knife with which Zod speared her to the wall. We saw then, even when she loved Lex, that she was willing to risk killing him to defeat Zod and that same stop-at-nothing approach comes through here. It may be rare for Lana to hold this much power, but when she does: watch out!

I love that Lex knew about Isis and knew that Lana was stalking him. So all this season he's known she's been watching? *shivers* That makes me wonder if his transformation is, in part, a performance for her--he's very quick to remind her that he hasn't hurt anyone since being rescued by Kara. And he appeals to her about the 'creatures', the aliens he's been investigating and who they once investigated together. Lex as the prophet of the alien invasion--another textual reference to something that has been hinted at but never spelled out so clearly before. Lex is completely genuine in his exchange with Lana: he's desperate and he speaks with raw emotion. And yet, his words often also work as the perfect manipulation. For example he appeals for his life by telling Lana it would be a release for him and only torture her. Seconds later he tells her 'we understand doing whatever it takes to survive'. *blinks* Lex knows the only thing that will stop Lana is Clark and as she chokes him he reminds her that she would 'lose Clark forever' if she killed him.

The powers may be pushing Lana to extremes, but like Clark on RedK, they only reveal truths that were already there. Lana is driven in rage to speak her deepest feelings about Clark, and the hidden reality of their different moral positions comes to the surface. Lana says Clark is 'too afraid to get blood on his hands' and asks 'How many people would still be alive if you'd had the guts to get rid of Lex a long time ago?' It's a valid question and one that Smallville has posed before. She also cries out 'You could do anything and all you've done is hide out on some farm.' Wow! So that's what Lana was really thinking at the end of 'Action' when she coaxed him so gently to consider a greater destiny.

Like Lex, Lana justifies her actions by saying she's protecting herself. There's a point at which protection becomes aggression. Lana also pulls the 'I'd do anything for Clark' line. Like Lex, she would kill for him--but not with Clark's approval, or Chloe's. Chloe confronts Lana about lying just as Clark used to confront Lex. Both Lana and Chloe are trying to protect Clark--I'm pretty sure they are being set up for a showdown.

Truths
Clark looked very unhappy about having to go to Lionel to ask for help--and fair enough. I should know better by now but I was still shocked that he'd rather go to Lionel than Jor-El. Jor-El would have been an obvious choice as well, but Clark's fears quickly come to the surface in his exchange with Lionel when he lashes out with 'if you're saying this because you think I'm wasting my time with Lana instead of pursuing some masterplan that Jor-El laid out for me...' Woah there, Clark! No-one mentioned anything of the kind. That was clearly Clark's guilty conscience speaking: he's very defensive about it. Lionel's 'er...yuh' response was BEAUTIFUL. That's kind of how I imagine the AI responding internally every time Clark turns up for another tantrum.

Lionel asks if Clark has ever 'taken a really honest look' at Lana. Good question. Later Lex says that he can see in Clark's eyes that Clark doesn't trust her. And Lex's assertions about Lana hiding the Isis Foundation from Clark resonate with Clark's inner feeling that there's something 'darker' about Lana these days. Clark takes that honest look at Lana at the end of the episode--and she notices, saying 'I wish you wouldn't look at me as if you hadn't seen me before'. It comes down to the extremes that Lana will go to to protect the person she loves. Lana puts a strong case--Clark has crossed moral boundaries to save people he loves, but the difference is that he does see that as a failing, and it's something he chooses not to do in the future. Lana sounds completely calm about the prospect of doing so again.

The Clex
Oh yeah. It was back in spades. Starting with Lex showing up IN CLARK'S HOUSE. *reels* It was full-on enough to see him go there to meet Lana earlier in the season, but I loved it so much more that he'd pulled a Clark and let himself in in order to accuse Clark of something. *BG* Beautiful reversal! Clark's demeanour with Lex is so completely different than how we see him with anyone else--he immediately starts channeling his inner pissy bitch--with very camp undertones. Try imagining Superman delivering the line 'I'm sure you would see it that way' with that same bitchy inflection, petulant pout or camp head wiggle and you'll see what I mean.

While on the surface Clark and Lex discuss Lana, every exchange had heavy subtext about their own lost friendship. When Clark says 'she has a lot of reasons not to trust you' he loads his delivery with such a spiteful tone that it's clear he's saying 'and so do I'. When Lex replies 'funny, I thought she'd moved on', he's also talking about Clark. And yes, Clark finds that 'cord' hard to cut. Lex says revenge is like an addiction--he speaks from first-hand knowledge, but there's also an implication that Clark has sought revenge in the past--he could be speaking about all of them.

And yet when Clark asks if Lex is going to seek revenge on Lana, Lex says he will do nothing--does this imply his addiction to/obsession with Lana is over? Lex recognises the passion in Lana's hatred (he capitalises on it with that kiss-distraction). He says obsession outlives everything... even love. He says this TO CLARK. *dies* Clex = canon. In fact he pauses mid-sentence, scans Clark with his eyes, then looks away when he says 'even love' to take a drink. He looks up again to gauge Clark's response. Clark doesn't really notice Lex's subtextual stab there, at least not consciously. He responds by blaming Lex for Lana's transformation.

Good question: IS Lex to blame? I don't think so. Lana's always had fewer moral boundaries than Clark. Lex, of course, blames betrayal--Clark's betrayal to be specific--for turning Lana bad. He would, since he blames Clark for turning him evil as well. It was a brilliant moment to see Lex stare down Clark and point out how hard it is to 'face what you've created'. That knife cuts both ways, Lex! You two have forged each other into enemies. But at another level I don't completely buy it--the capacity for these acts was in Lana and Lex before Clark came along.

I love all the ways people look at each other, and themselves, in this episode. There are a lot of appeals to each other based on the look in one person's eyes. Lex says 'I can see it in your eyes'; Lana sees a difference in the way Clark looks at her; Clark and Lex see what they've created (in each other and in Lana) in one anothers' eyes. That also made me think of Lana seeing herself in the fractured glass at the beginning. She is so insistent that she's crafted herself: she broke the mirror, she stared at her own creation.

Barn scene
OMG BARN SCENE. This is possibly my favourite Clana barn scene ever. The one where Clark revealed his powers was pretty damn good but this one was so darkly powerful. It totally reminded me of the end of 'Bound' (yeah, I know everyone hated that ep but it was a very important Clex barnscene!). Clark admits he's thinking about Lex--saying Lana sounds like him. He's been in a situation like this, in this very barn, before: seeing the darkness inside someone he loves.

I got the feeling in this scene that Clark was trying to reverse what he did with Lex. With Lex he threw the blame onto Lex himself. He demonised Lex, seeing a monster where there wasn't one--yet. And by doing so, he forced that monster into being. Here he faces up to his own part in it, his own collusion in the secrecy, and he admits he's trying to see a part of Lana that he recognises (with Lex he focussed on what he didn't recognise). But Lana is swift to spot what's going on and tells him not to 'Take all the blame so you don't taint the image of me that you created'.

Clark admits that looking below the surface has never been part of their relationship. OMG, that might be the greatest revelation of the whole episode! We know this. We've seen for six and a half seasons how the Clark/Lana relationship has sustained itself on the surface only. But I never thought I'd hear them admit that aloud.

Given that Lex and Lana are so paralleled and compared in this episode, it was particularly powerful that Clark considered the possibility that Lex may have nothing to hide. Chloe asks whether Clark really wants to believe in Lex's metamorphosis or is just trying to exonerate Lana. I think the answer is both. And Clark's reply--'do you know what it feels like to wonder if someone close to you isn't who you think?'--works for both those relationships, as well as Clark and Chloe of course (real sensitive, Clark!).

I've never seen Lana assert her independence more than when she said 'I have to live with the decisions that I made'. Of course a moment later she asks Clark the impossible--to give her unconditional love--the one thing he really CAN'T give her. Someone's asked this of him before in this barn, and their initials were also LL.

Note on song choice
I was filled with (selfish) fear that the barnscene would actually be played to Samson. *shameless self-pimp* SV loves to draw on songs that highlight aspects of an episode's themes. I didn't listen to the songs in great depth but I did notice that both the opening and closing song contained lyrics about what one character (a male singer in the opening song, a female singer in the closing one) sees in the eyes of another. Despite the upbeat feel of the opening song, it mentions tears and says there will soon be tears in both peoples' eyes. It also mentions 'birds of a feather' (Lana and Lex?). The closing song contains the lyrics 'eyes tell me the truth' and 'spell on you'. The Clana relationship was a bit like a spell--but in the end, the truth was there in the characters' eyes.

Other notes:
It would be easy to forget that Lois was in this episode. I enjoyed the Grant/Lois snark but I don't actually want them to date.

Right now Lois has a blinkered view of the Smallville/Metropolis landscape. She trusts Lana even though she attacked her ('she wouldn't have come to us if there wasn't truth to it') and she jumps to the wrong conclusion about Grant. It seems transparently obvious that he's a minion, but Lois concludes that his odd behaviour is due to the sexual tension between them. *facepalm* Oh, Lois! Of course Lois needs to have this limited vision--in the future she'll remain blind, against all odds, to the fact that Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same. So I don't mind her looking a bit daft at this point in time--I believe she'll learn and grow when the truth comes out about both Lana and Grant.

Lana appears to forget she knows Lois, but I'll forgive that if it's the means by which Lois gets a lead on Lex's latest project.

Another one of those random SV *rotfl* moments: Clark bursts into the DP with 'Chloe, Lana didn't pick up!' Oh, noes, Clark! You have no plan B! She didn't pick up?! Wow, you're totally stymied--better go get Chloe to help. o.O

Love the return of the black X-files-y goop! *waves at Fine*

I am SOOO far behind on f'list reading and comments--will catch up tomorrow.
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: happyhappy
 
 
 
Becky: Lex laughgiggleloop on November 10th, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC)
Great meta! A very interesting read this morning. :) I think the Clex scenes were my favorite thing about this ep; I loved all the parallels between Lex's and Lana's relationships with Clark.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: K Lexbop_radar on November 10th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D And yes, the parallels were out of control.
daybreak777: lana is a badassdaybreak777 on November 10th, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC)
This was a great episode, wasn’t it? As always I get so much more out of your reviews, especially with relation to previous seasons. My comment is long because, LANA!

Ah, Lana. Isn’t great that Lana was actually herself and let Clark see her real self in this episode? I feel very lucky that I am seeing the results of what must have been years of secrets and angst. Well, yay! I really, really liked the Lana I saw here. I really liked the honesty.

Their relationship is so often about silent communion=--joyous, sad or wistful--but not often about talking openly and expressively about their lives.
Yay, some TV couple actually talked about their relationship! And it wasn’t cheesy or out-of-character, either but very necessary.

OMG SUPER!SEX OMG! THEY MADE THE EARTH SHAKE. *ROTFL* That will NEVER get old.
Never, never! \o/ I try so hard not to ship them because I know they are doomed but this makes it so hard!

However, Clark made me laugh A LOT in this episode with his earnest innocence.
See, this is where we differ on Clark. You are amused at his innocence and I just got more and more annoyed. Yes, he’s sweet and romantic but the cluelessness about Lana really got to me. I don’t know why I expected him to know her better but I did. And according to your review, he has this cluelessness about his effect on Lex too. I guess in someone with superpowers I expect that they would be smarter, more intuitive. Careful. Even Chloe will pull out claws to try to protect him. Clark needs to know that these very breakable humans will put their souls at risk for him. It’s not all his fault, everyone has free will, but I thought he’d tread a bit more carefully, have eyes a bit more open by now but he doesn’t. I think there is plenty of innoncence in there left for Lois to wake him up to someday.

Seeing Lana throw Lex around was both chilling and strangely cathartic.
Um, there was also this undeniable chemistry there and Lana can’t always resist it. It makes me worry for her. Her path is not clear and with Lex as a sort of the devil on her shoulder, I don’t know which way she’ll choose.

Good question: IS Lex to blame? I don't think so. Lana's always had fewer moral boundaries than Clark.
Is Lex to blame what Lana’s become? Is Clark? She says, “I sound like you.” Hmm . . . I don’t know. This is where my own lack of the backstory here fails me. But my instinct is to agree with you. No one can make you do anything. You make those choices for yourself. Even Lana owns it at the end. She knows her failings and weaknesses and is refreshingly honest about it. She’s angry at Lex but he doesn’t own her personality. Neither does Clark. She owns herself, whatever she’s becoming, and that ownership and independence is what I most wanted for her, wherever her path leads.

Of course a moment later she asks Clark the impossible--to give her unconditional love--the one thing he really CAN'T give her.
But why? If he could, if she knew that he loved her no matter what (is this what Lex wanted?), that might be the very thing that could help change her.

So many questions! So much Lana. :-) I truly need to think more about this episode. But it is such a relief to see little girl grown up. Whichever way she goes, Lana is coming into her own. And her growth is forcing Clark to mature as well. He can’t just bury his head in the sand or in the farm in Smallville anymore. With each episode, Clark is learning about responsibility and his future role.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Yay!bop_radar on November 10th, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC)
It was an episode of AWESOME, yes. There are always some patchy eps every season but when they turn it on for the big power eps, it's very exciting.

I feel very lucky that I am seeing the results of what must have been years of secrets and angst. Well, yay! I really, really liked the Lana I saw here. I really liked the honesty.
Yup! 'Tis a good time to tune in from a Lana pov--she's very powerful and interesting right now. I loved seeing her be herself too.

And it wasn’t cheesy or out-of-character, either but very necessary.
*nods* Definitely! It was great and I really liked seeing Clark's maturity in the exchange. He didn't have the capacity to handle a conversation of this sort when he was younger but he seemed like a grown man here.

Yes, he’s sweet and romantic but the cluelessness about Lana really got to me. I don’t know why I expected him to know her better but I did.
*nods* I can understand that, especially if you're heavily in Lana's point of view. Clark has this very idealised view of the world and he can be very black and white in his thinking. In the S1 pilot we learnt that he had always loved 'the girl next door' (Lana--he used to watch her through his telescope) and he has always held this image of her as perfect and pure. His mother, very very gently, suggested to him that perhaps Lana wasn't quite the woman Clark thought she was. But he's always resisted that and clung on to this 'I love her therefore she must be perfect' line.

And according to your review, he has this cluelessness about his effect on Lex too. I guess in someone with superpowers I expect that they would be smarter, more intuitive. Careful.
Nope. Intuition he's not high on at ALL. They always played it a little as if he found human nature hard to comprehend. For instance, he couldn't understand that his mother was not on speaking terms with his grandfather: to him, family was family and he found it really hard to understand. He used to read books about human psychology to try and 'get it'.

I think there is plenty of innoncence in there left for Lois to wake him up to someday.
Ha! Nice line, and yeah, you're probably right. All i can say is he really has improved. A bit.

there was also this undeniable chemistry there and Lana can’t always resist it
Hee! Yeah, there was. Lex is dangerously seductive and they always did have chemistry. Except once they were actually married and then they had the coldest relationship you've ever seen. *shudders*

You make those choices for yourself. Even Lana owns it at the end.
Yeah, I think that was important and it's what the writers wanted us to take away. Yes, Lana has reacted to Clark's betrayals in the past (his secret was always an issue between them) and she's reacted to Lex's abuse. But she had a choice about the way she did so.

that ownership and independence is what I most wanted for her, wherever her path leads.
Yes, me too--and so I was torn watching this because part of me was all 'yay! power!Lana!' and the other part was really sad because it seems a dark and lonely path.

But why? If he could, if she knew that he loved her no matter what (is this what Lex wanted?), that might be the very thing that could help change her.
You nailed it. Yes, that's what Lex wanted too. And that's the one thing that might have prevented him sinking into darkness (he used to say he could feel it clawing at the edges of his mind and appeal to Clark for understanding, which Clark didn't offer). Same thing here. The reason Clark can't give it is because he's got such a firm moral line--he is deeply troubled by the idea that others are willing to kill, willing to cheat, willing to lie, etc, even if it's to protect him. If he blinds himself to the actions of those he loves, he becomes a hypocrite--hence his crisis. He's going to be Superman, remember! And Supes always was pretty hardline and judgemental. :p (I'm not excusing him, btw, just explaining. The dissolution of the Clex relationship broke my heart because there was a time when Clark DID protect Lex but his own fears and discomfort with Lex's less noble actions ate at him so much he couldn't love Lex when Lex most needed it. It's all being replayed here.)
daybreak777: laughing in the wrong placesdaybreak777 on November 11th, 2007 08:07 am (UTC)
I can understand that, especially if you're heavily in Lana's point of view.
Oops. Guilty on that score. Thank goodness for your vid, I'm rediscovering that thing called . . . perspective. :-)

Nope. Intuition he's not high on at ALL.
Sometimes I forget the boy is not human. He's alien. Helps to watch him with Kara as she tries to assimilate into humanity.

Yes, me too--and so I was torn watching this because part of me was all 'yay! power!Lana!' and the other part was really sad because it seems a dark and lonely path.
But she had Clark's powers. What does that say for him? Yeah, he hasn't quite come into his own yet but someday soon he will. And he will have to make those hard choices. It's lonely being a superhero.

You know what I think? Pure spec, but I think a confrontation is coming between Clark and Lana. She keeps going in this direction, he'll have to take her down. And it will break his innoncent, boyish heart and he won't quite ever be the same. This show is tragic! I had no idea! :-(

he is deeply troubled by the idea that others are willing to kill, willing to cheat, willing to lie, etc, even if it's to protect him.
But didn't you say he traded his father's life somehow for Lana's ? Maybe he didn't know it would be his father, but it would have been someone. How moral was that? How different was that?

Lex's less noble actions ate at him so much he couldn't love Lex when Lex most needed it.
That's what I mean. Tragic. All these people breaking around him and he doesn't seem to get it. But I feel he will soon. I feel so sad for him. For all of them, really. And I will certainly keep watching. :-)
(Deleted comment)
daybreak777: laughing in the wrong placesdaybreak777 on November 11th, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC)
but Clark was in no frame of mind to suss that out. Lana had just died in his arms
*wibbles* Aww, Clark. After that vid and what you just explained, I can't not have sympathy for him. Lana dying in his arms, that's awful. I just started watching this season so I appreciate these clarifications since I haven't seen the back story.

I think eventually, Clark will have to make some tough choices. Maybe he is morally innocent right now. But having such power comes with heavy responsibility. It will be really interesting to see how Clark chooses to carry that. If he can somehow manage to do what's necessary and still retain his integrity, I will be very impressed. I'll be impressed with the writers too if they can pull that off.

By the way, nice icon. He's way cuter with the glasses. Don't know why but there it is. ;-)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex golden fieldbop_radar on November 11th, 2007 08:21 pm (UTC)
This show is tragic! I had no idea! :-(
It is. *nods* Not for nothing did I write an essay about how it is structured as a tragedy. Which is fascinating when you think it's the story of Superman's childhood.

LaT is right to point out that the situation with the exchange of lives was not so cut and dry. It was a beautiful episode, btw--grief-stricken Clark is very pretty. ;) And I never liked Jonathan anyway, so I didn't care if he died!

I feel he will soon. I feel so sad for him. For all of them, really. And I will certainly keep watching. :-)
HaHA! You are hooked! :D SV is powerful when they pull the big eps--it just takes a while to get into it before you realise how tragic and full of heart the story really is.
tragicllyhiptragicllyhip on November 10th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to dig in and read this since I too loved the ep, but I just wanted to comment on this because I keep seeing it mentioned

4. Um, could it have been any more obvious that Tom Welling can't ride? He could have at least sat on a horse, surely?

They generally won't let him anything that may result injury, and riding a horse can be dangerous and unpredictable and there's no way to write a Clark injury into the show, so they (from what I'm told) avoid having him do things like that. :) And he can probably ride being married to an equestrian, but maybe not.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on November 10th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's fascinating! I didn't realise they were so protective of him, but that does make sense. A Clark injury would be impossible to deal with.
Carolcarolandtom on November 11th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
In fact he was on horseback in "Hug". But it seems that they don't allow him to do those stunts anymore.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on November 11th, 2007 01:02 am (UTC)
What a pity! Although I guess they really can't risk an injury.
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anna: lexsnarkist on November 10th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
Awesome meta! I also loved this ep, and you did a great job in seeing a lot of the really important points that happened.

One thing that I kept thinking as I watched Lana get more and more aggressive throughout the episode was how much she was paralleling Lex's movement towards the villiany, only much faster, of course.

One of the things that really got me was when she said that she would do anything to protect the people she loved. Because, seriously, how many times have we heard Lex say the same thing to justify his actions? I'm mean, like, those exact same words? I found it slightly ironic that Lana herself didn't seem to pick up on the fact that the reasoning she was using to attack Lex was the exact same reasoning that Lex has used for almost everything that he has done to Lana and Clark.

The fact that Lana, when given so much power, acts so much like Lex makes their little twisted trio even more twisted. It gives OT3 a whole new meaning. *g*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex crazy for lovebop_radar on November 11th, 2007 01:05 am (UTC)
Because, seriously, how many times have we heard Lex say the same thing to justify his actions? I'm mean, like, those exact same words?
Absolutely. She was seriously channeling Lex! And yes, it's interesting that they played Lana as so blind to that reasoning. I guess that's similar to the way that Lex was blind to the ways he was becoming like his father. Though Lex has always had greater awareness, I think.

The fact that Lana, when given so much power, acts so much like Lex makes their little twisted trio even more twisted. It gives OT3 a whole new meaning. *g*
Definitely! That Lex/Lana showdown was incredible, with Lex's appeal that 'he's not like us'!
Beck: SV - Clark Lois Oliver by Carmendovebeck_liz on November 11th, 2007 03:26 am (UTC)
I thought the riding was a bit crazily out of leftfield when I first watched but having seen the whole episode now I'm glad they started it with something that is quintessential Lana.

Yeah, Lana being into horses is something I remember vividly from Season 1, possibly even the first episode. It's quintessential Lana. So that they started off with that... memories of a happier, more innocent time, anyone?

Yeah, no wonder he's a bit worried about having sex with a regular human. *pats him*

Yeah, um, wow. *pets Clark* I guess that explains why he and Lana have seemed rather... asexual in recent episodes, doesn't it? *cough* My word, I think I like Clana for like, the first time ever. Weird. If you'd told me back in season 1 that I'd say that, I'd've laughed myself sick. Still though, their relationship can't last, and I don't mean just because he's destined for Lois. They're just too different, and if Lana keeps believing that the ends justify the means, they'll continue to drift apart.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on November 11th, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
My word, I think I like Clana for like, the first time ever. Weird.
Hee! I remember that feeling! For me, it happened in Hidden when we saw them wake up after having sex and then when he lifted her up in their doorway reunion and she looked so wee in his arms. But yes, their relationship is unsustainable.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex purple evilbop_radar on November 11th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
Re: part I
Sex with Lois = the end of Clark's intimacy issues.
Thank you for that, and yes, I'd like to think that. And you're quite right that she'll be the first human woman while Clark's got his powers.

the underlying emotional frustration at work in that moment was perfectly in-character
Yeah, I thought so too--and maybe they weren't trying to draw a Lex parallel, but they wound up with one nonetheless. It's still unusual to see Lana express frustration physically and it was interesting to see how restrained she was in conversation afterwards with Chloe. It gave a good insight into how we can't trust her usual calm demeanour to tell us everything about her true emotional state.

I mean, he's figured something out that she's gone to incredible lengths to hide. That says a lot about what he's capable of.
Yup, I'd been really hoping he knew and was delighted to see it was so. I feel they've shown us his power this season, despite him not being at his most badass.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex purple evilbop_radar on November 11th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
Re: part II
And I'd note that she apparently learned exactly what he wanted her to, since he discussed Project Scion at home, at a point when he apparently knew she was watching. That in and of itself is interesting when one considers that Lex's history of 'testing' Lana goes all the way back to S1 (Kinetic), when he made her work to convince him to save the Talon.
*nods* It's classic Lex psychology and while I don't think his transformation is all for Lana, it does add another layer to the picture. Which I love because that's what Lex is all about--multiple layers of motivation for his actions.

it does make her "I have the right to protect myself," to Chloe sound, well, specious ... which I think it's supposed to.
Yes, definitely. And that's not to excuse what Lex did at ALL. But Lana is not in peril now and she is actively aggressive towards Lex. It definitely raised a question mark over her actions for the audience.

if Clark thinks of Lionel as Jor-El's vessel, it makes sense that he'd think Lionel warning him about Lana is Lionel espousing what Jor-El would say.
Yeah but why go to the vessel when you could go direct, you know? Seems daft. Lionel himself is so nefarious. I know you won't agree because Jor-El is also suspect, but if I was Clark, I'd prefer to talk to the AI. We're never sure how much of Lionel is Jor-El and how much is himself talking--I'd want that ambiguity out of the way. But I do agree that he seems to think of Lionel as espousing what Jor-El believes now. It's just interesting to me that he can deal with that in the physical form of the man who tortured Lex and who was partly responsible for his own father's death.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Ericabop_radar on November 11th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Re: part II
True true! This episode needed to happen, therefore I handwave such things and the absurd suddenly appearing green K! (Perfect icon.)
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois no morningsbop_radar on November 11th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
Re: part III
Why, it's almost as if ... there were long-term character arcs or something. *bg*
Heee!

It's wonderfully slashy, but also kind of hilarious that two people who supposedly can't stand each other keep swanning into one another's homes to say stuff they could say from a distance.
Oh, yeah, totally. But like I said to Kate, have you seen how ANGRY Lex gets on the phone?! I'd be dropping in in person too! Man doesn't seem capable of rationality on phonecalls. I guess Clark prefers in-person snark to long-distance verbal abuse. ;) Of course they used to email each other. But I'm not complaining!

Sorry to be ranty, but they annoyed the crap out of me in that last scene between them.
No apology needed--good rant! I completely agree though I guess I was just in the mode of being so used to this shit from them both that I just thought 'oh, yeah, same old same old'.

I've never loved her character more than I did in that moment.
Yeah, me neither.

Lois could write it, sure, but Grant says whether it runs or not.
Oh, I didn't mean to imply she should have gone to Lois first. It made sense that she went to Grant. But when she enters she looks like she doesn't even recognise Lois, let alone have time to say 'hi'. It honestly felt to me like Lana looked straight through her and that was a bit odd. Even drunk on power, Lana could have said her name or something. I just felt like if you'd only just tuned in you wouldn't know they knew each other, yet alone were friendly.
Nora Norwich: Luthorian Lananorwich36 on November 13th, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
1 of 2
She's been carrying secrets for so long now. Not just that, but she's been restraining herself, constantly modulating her behaviour, her speech, her carriage and demeanour to the circumstances she finds herself. The opening scenes really brought home to me how long it's been since we've seen Lana look... free. I've possibly never seen her look so carefree and happy as in the riding scene or their first little superspeed chase.

I really like this observation--I hadn't consciously noticed it, but you're right. Lana has really been adapting her demeanor to the situation, and it was really nice to see her truly happy. (It reminded me a lot of the beginning of whicever episode it was, Hidden or Mortal--I always get those two mixed up--when Clark and Lana finally got to have sex. Lana is so darn cute when she's happy!)

Smallville has this hidden capacity to shock--it's extremely subtextually sexual beneath the pretty sets and the clean country atmosphere. 'Wrath' was a perfect example--um, they just textualised the fact that Clark makes the earth shake when he fucks. *jaw drop* Yeah, no wonder he's a bit worried about having sex with a regular human.

Yeah, but to be fair, it's when two superpowered beings have sex that the earth shakes. Normally Clark will never be able to let go like that (and Lana has probably never had to think about that kind of control before).

Still: FUNNIEST SMALLVILLE SCENE EVER, hands down.

The sex is not that important to Clark, of course. He turned on the romance not, as a normal boy some people would, to get laid, but to discuss the emotional distance in the relationship. (OMGSUCHAGIRL!) When they kiss and make up he says, 'If everything we've been through was just for that, it's all worth it'. Oh, Clark! One perfect kiss? You are so hopelessly sappy!

I really loved that, though. Oh Clark, you really are the perfect boyfriend, except for how you're never going to be around due to world save-age and stuff like that.

The anger that she feels about their secret-keeping (irony much!) is expressed physically--she smashes a mirror. We discover that the powers have not just given Lana greater physical strength--they've also made her less able to control her emotions. This was a very Lexian moment, with echoes of him smashing his glass into the fireplace in 'Reckoning'.

Oh, thanks for drawing that parallel. When I rewatched that scene, I knew there had to be some significance to the mirror smashing, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was.

While clearly Lana is out of control here, I was still excited to see her turn the tables after all this time. She was so trapped, abused and stripped of all power by Lex. It was a little like seeing Lana tear out the knife with which Zod speared her to the wall. We saw then, even when she loved Lex, that she was willing to risk killing him to defeat Zod and that same stop-at-nothing approach comes through here

I have no coherent comment to this--it's just a beautiful parsing of her motivations, and I wanted to cut and paste it for emphasis.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lana :Dbop_radar on November 13th, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
Re: 1 of 2
Lana has really been adapting her demeanor to the situation, and it was really nice to see her truly happy
I guess vidding her I've really noticed the nuanced performance from KK and the way you can see her school her emotions at times. The Nemesis scene is a perfect example--she composes herself as she runs over to Lex and is able to give him a smile he might buy as genuine, even though the viewer gets to see her true emotions.

to be fair, it's when two superpowered beings have sex that the earth shakes. Normally Clark will never be able to let go like that (and Lana has probably never had to think about that kind of control before).
You are so fair and balanced, Nora! *hearts* You're right. However it was so extreme that it does make me really understand where Clark's fears come from. I mean there's still a huge spectrum between normal sex and earthquakes! I think Lana without any control would have been VERY cute, btw.

I have no coherent comment to this--it's just a beautiful parsing of her motivations, and I wanted to cut and paste it for emphasis.
Aww, *hugs*, thank you! I always love your comments because you're like me and have that *squee* response to meta that clicks with you.
Nora Norwich: Lex don't fuck with menorwich36 on November 13th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
I love that Lex knew about Isis and knew that Lana was stalking him. So all this season he's known she's been watching? *shivers* That makes me wonder if his transformation is, in part, a performance for her

Damn. That would be SO very Luthorian of him--I hope that's what we're supposed to be thinking.

Starting with Lex showing up IN CLARK'S HOUSE. *reels* It was full-on enough to see him go there to meet Lana earlier in the season, but I loved it so much more that he'd pulled a Clark and let himself in in order to accuse Clark of something. *BG* Beautiful reversal!

Oh, yes! I have to say, I'm completely loving all these scenes this season where Lex invades the sanctity of the Kent family space. I mean, Lionel did it first (and more creepily), but there's something about Lex being there that I really love, even apart from the subtexty stuff. Maybe it's something about innocence lost?

Good question: IS Lex to blame? I don't think so. Lana's always had fewer moral boundaries than Clark. Lex, of course, blames betrayal--Clark's betrayal to be specific--for turning Lana bad. He would, since he blames Clark for turning him evil as well. It was a brilliant moment to see Lex stare down Clark and point out how hard it is to 'face what you've created'. That knife cuts both ways, Lex! You two have forged each other into enemies. But at another level I don't completely buy it--the capacity for these acts was in Lana and Lex before Clark came along.

Oh, I really love the way you have turned Lex's own accusation back at him, here. I tend to think that they all have some responsibility for hurting each other in ways that have shaped the choices each has made, but for the most part I agree with you that the capacity for breaking moral boundaries was already there before Clark. (Look at Lana and Lex's respective parental influences, which in SV is always so telling).

I got the feeling in this scene that Clark was trying to reverse what he did with Lex. With Lex he threw the blame onto Lex himself. He demonised Lex, seeing a monster where there wasn't one--yet. And by doing so, he forced that monster into being. Here he faces up to his own part in it, his own collusion in the secrecy, and he admits he's trying to see a part of Lana that he recognises (with Lex he focussed on what he didn't recognise). But Lana is swift to spot what's going on and tells him not to 'Take all the blame so you don't taint the image of me that you created'.

Ok, I didn't think I could love that scene more than I did when I was watching it, but I LOVE this reading of Clark trying to reverse the mistakes he made with Lex. *Weeps* And of course it's precisely the wrong road to take with Lana.

*Pets the poor doomed triangle*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lana Luthorbop_radar on November 13th, 2007 09:53 pm (UTC)
I tend to think that they all have some responsibility for hurting each other in ways that have shaped the choices each has made
Oh, yes, definitely--and worse in my eyes, they've been blind to it at times and denied their responsibility.

for the most part I agree with you that the capacity for breaking moral boundaries was already there before Clark. (Look at Lana and Lex's respective parental influences, which in SV is always so telling).
Right! Perhaps things could have played out differently, but they both had a predisposal to certain patterns of behaviour and belief systems.

And of course it's precisely the wrong road to take with Lana.
I KNOW!! *weeps* But Clark was so deliberated in that scene, he watched Lana so carefully and then he said 'you sound like Lex' and went to stand at the window, unable to look at her directly. Lana was on a completely different page to Clark, turning that comment back on him, but I think the words that Clark says afterwards are a very deliberate attempt to see his own culpability, which I think with Lex he only truly understood after the effect.