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14 January 2006 @ 12:58 am
Smallville 5.10 Fanatic  
This was a solid episode (though not a standout for me), with several very interesting scenes in it. Spoilers for this ep beneath cuts

In Lexmas we saw Lex resolve to act against Jonathan Kent as a statement of his absolute desire for power and wealth. In the very next episode he fails to carry out this plan and this is pointed out to him by both his father and his fanatic follower. ‘You’re slipping, Lex’ is Lionel’s catchcry as he thrusts The Art of War into his sons hands, and it’s a possibility that Lex is left to ponder. It must be galling to Lex to be seen as weak by his father when he is more determined than he has ever been.

Similarly, in this episode he is offered a benchmark of extremism to judge his behaviour by and it comes up short. In the extent to which Lex’s student fangirl modelled herself on him, both physically and behaviourally, she represented a potential more extreme self. Her behaviour is neither practical nor successful, and that is at least partly why Lex would never act in this way. Yet this episode seemed to suggest that there was still some deeper reluctance on his part, some genuine revulsion at the violence and brash behaviour. Whether or not this is a ‘weakness’ may prey on his mind … combined with Lionel’s words, he may indeed wonder if he is ‘slipping’. Does he, in fact, need to be more brutal still to be successful? Or will he find a way of integrating restraint and determination?

(On a more flippant note, Lex really needs to get a grip on who he hires. He cracked it on the phone to Griff episodes ago and yet Griff is still the one he entrusts with the job of bringing down Jonathan Kent. Griff was so easily fooled by Lionel! Lex needs some better minions!)

The brief scene in the hospital with Clark was wonderful because it had so many echoes of conversations past. This time they both cut each other off swiftly, going through the same patterns almost in their sleep. Clark intercepts Lex before he reaches Jonathan’s room, Lex quickly denies all involvement. There is a sense of tiredness in both of them that they are here again, having the same old conversation. The lovely coda was Clark asking Lex how far he would go/what he wanted and Lex replying ‘you already have everything you want’. That, as we have seen, is what Lex believes. He believes he’s still striving to ‘live happily ever after’ but that Clark already is living that dream. Ironically, in the same episode, we learn the reality is quite different.

We’ve come a long way…
I could not have been more delighted with the Clana scenes in this episode. I feel like the potential of this plot arc has finally been realised. I’m very glad that the writers have textualised what we’ve suspected for some time: that Clark hasn’t slept with Lana since he regained his powers. The scene between Lana and Clark was well written and well delivered. It was built out of the development of both characters this season and showed a more adult side of their relationship than we often see. I felt compassion for both characters. Lana was dignified and restrained in her approach and Clark’s journey has been made so sympathetic and comprehensible this season that I sympathised with the position he was in. He is not the same person as he was before he came back from the dead. I particularly liked Lana calling Clark on his ‘deflection’ of her concerns. That interaction had a very Clex flavour to it. Clark has learned well how to deflect inquiries, but he forgot that Lana too has been burnt by such behaviour in the past and she’s past the point where that’s enough to appease her.

In the final scene, Clark enters the barn loft, his private space, to find Lana there, looking through his telescope. This scene almost gave me shivers, for we have come a long way from Season 1 Clark Kent using the telescope to spy on Lana. By placing herself back in Clark’s space, Lana reached out to him. She revealed in their conversation there that she feared she had been partly responsible for the tension between them: by burying herself in her studies, and particularly astronomy. By returning to the loft, she ostensibly returns to a site of sentimentality and intimacy for the two of them. However, the framing is wrong. She is there before Clark, and she’s the one looking at the stars. She’s the one that reveals a secret about aliens, not Clark, and it understandably unsettles him.

The theme of ‘fanatic’ is interesting to explore in relation to Lana’s fascination with astronomy. It has something of the fanatic element about it, and for Clark it relates to a desire to penetrate his secret, his true self, even if Lana herself has not yet made that leap. He fears the intensity of her interest, as he’s seen where it can lead with others, with Lex. Clark already fears losing her to Lex. In this episode, Chloe suggested to him that Lana will ‘start asking all the wrong people all the right questions’ and I suspect that more than ever, this possibility will prey on Clark’s mind: Lana may turn to Lex. I am very glad the writers have chosen to have Lana confess the subject of her obsession to Clark before or without turning to Lex for help. It makes it more individual to her, and her own immediate experience with the aliens. As Lex might say ‘this might seem like it’s all about you Clark, but actually it’s about me.’ The first meteor shower was as defining an event for Lana as it was for Lex and Clark and just like Lex she is drawn to explore its hidden significance.

Duplicity and secrets
An eternal theme of Smallville, secrets were again raised in this episode. Martha decides to act behind Jonathan’s back to obtain money for the campaign. It is a serious decision to make that I think represents a major problem in their relationship. To some degree Jonathan’s own ‘fanaticism’ about the campaign has created a distance between them. Lionel successfully preyed on Martha’s fear that she will be responsible for holding Jonathan back for her own selfish reasons. As the traditional selfless wife, it is believable that this would be unacceptable to Martha.

Interestingly Martha entrusts Lois with her secret. Lois has subtly become part of the Clark family through engaging with Jonathan’s campaign. She is more active, more loyal, more engaged than their own son, for he has his own worries, whereas she has adopted the campaign as a way of giving purpose to her life. She looks to Martha as a friend and interacts with Jonathan as an equal. She is becoming an adult and engaging in politics and real issues in a way that Clark is still not ready for. Martha’s trust means a lot to Lois, but this secret will embroil Lois deeper in the Kent family politics than ever before.

I was sad that there was not more Lois in this episode, although it’s wonderful to see her back on screen.
Current Mood: calmcalm
Melissa: Alex Greyradioreverie on January 13th, 2006 02:15 pm (UTC)
I wonder, though, if Martha told Lois all the details? Or just that she had a "way" to obtain more funding that, while not illegal, Jonathan would disapprove of? I can't imagine Lois being all hunky dory with illicit Luthor campaign funding.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois adorablebop_radar on January 14th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
Well it will be interesting to see how Lois reacts if she's put in a position of choosing between loyalty to Martha or to Jonathan... I can't see her being completely comfortable with it either, but I do think she has a lot of time for Martha. I get the sense that what happens with this plot could be quite defining for Lois.
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on January 14th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
Really good point! I think at this point if she had to choose, she'd choose for Martha, but it's really putting her in an untenable position.

If Jonathan is the one to die in the 100th episode, this whole plotline is going to cause *so* much guilt for Martha and Lois both, even if Jonathan doesn't find out about what they've done. (But I'm sure he *will* find out.)
Becky: Clex secret truthsbeeej on January 13th, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)
I love how you break it all down and find the common threads. :)

Is Jonathan keeping secrets of his own? First there were the threatening phone calls that he kept to himself. Then we see him popping a pill - I'm assuming for his heart, but I think those were way too big to be nitro glycerin. Does Martha know he's taking meds? You would think she would, but no one was around when he took it, leaving me to believe he might be keeping it a secret.

And just what did Griff find? Clark's adoption information?
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex bitter endbop_radar on January 14th, 2006 02:26 am (UTC)
Good questions! I agree that Jonathan seems to be keeping secrets of his own. The Kent family has become very fractured. They have always had secrets but they used to be more often common secrets than secrets kept by individuals from the family. It potentially sets up a situation where either Martha or Jonathan will find out about the other's secret and will appear to have the moral high ground until their own truth is revealed.

Griff's info? I hope we find out, but it's possible we will never know. What's interesting is that Lionel knows but Lex does not.
Becky: Clex OTPbeeej on January 14th, 2006 02:37 am (UTC)
It looked to me like information Lionel already knew. He only glanced at the paper before smirking at Griff and pulling out his lighter. So the most obvious item would be Clark's adoption record. But it would be much more fun if it was something new and juicy that we don't already know about. *g*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Boppy iconbop_radar on January 14th, 2006 03:02 am (UTC)
Mm. I agree. I like the new Lionel... so hard to read, so cooly manipulative. The extent of his knowledge is such that no matter what it was, I'm not surprised he just glanced at it nonchalantly! So, yes, let's hope for some new reveal at some stage...
Fleegull: CK Scoop by lucidity_0fleegull on January 13th, 2006 03:42 pm (UTC)
Awesome analysis as usual!

I've seen a few people saying that Lana's "flip" from being originally leery at the prospect of aliens to a fascination as a retcon that is paving the way for her to accept "clark". I don't think that's how this is being played out. I see it as her trying to look her fear in the face and learn about it rather than allowing it to control her. Sometimes when people try to over come a phobia, they can go to an extreme (I don't see Lana at that point yet), someone who is afraid of heights takes up rock climbing, a person trying to get in shape, eventually turning into an exercise fanatic. Clark sees it as another person looking into his secrets, but Lana doesn't actually know that the meteor showers have a connection to Clark. Sure, she has her suspicions about him, but she hasn't made that final leap. She never came out and said "Aliens are cool1", she stated with some wonderment, that it was possible that there was alien life living on earth. She's taking control of the situation in an academic way, which fits with what we've been told about her character - she's supposed to be a smart girl and someone (at least how I see her) who goes after what she wants (that's where I think her so called "selfish side" comes across to some viewers but that's another post).

Lois! Lex's crazy gal was right about one thing, Lois' sudden promotion out of the blue from houseguest/muffin peddler to campaign manager would absoltuely be seen with suspicion by the voting public., especially in a state like Kansas. Lex would be an idiot not to exploit that fact. Now, if she had gone the truly sneaky route and tried to insinuate that Lois and Jonathan were having an affair and casually leaking it to the press - that would have demonstated a worthiness to be one of Lex's minions.

Nora Norwichnorwich36 on January 13th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
Lois' sudden promotion out of the blue from houseguest/muffin peddler to campaign manager would absoltuely be seen with suspicion by the voting public., especially in a state like Kansas.... Now, if she had gone the truly sneaky route and tried to insinuate that Lois and Jonathan were having an affair and casually leaking it to the press - that would have demonstated a worthiness to be one of Lex's minions.

Yes! I've seen some people commenting that Lexfan out-Lexxed Lex, but honestly I think subtle sabotage, like suggesting an affair, is *much* more Lex's style these days.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex hotbop_radar on January 14th, 2006 02:35 am (UTC)
Out-Lexxed Led? Dear god, no!!
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lexana darkness Lanabop_radar on January 14th, 2006 02:46 am (UTC)
Wow! Interesting. I didn't have that reaction to that scene and so I didn't have that fear, although I certainly agree that it will be a pity if it works out so neatly for a happy Clana resolution. I haven't had the sense that that's where they were going with this though, so I'll try and outline how my reaction was different and for what reasons.

I certainly agree that Lana was (textually) very freaked out by the aliens. Fear was one of the strongest motivations for her to investigate the meteor showers/astronomy further. I guess, like fleegull, I see Lana as developing a fascination with them that grows into an obsession. She's confronted a lot in her short life. She's killed people. She's seen the spaceship. She's interacted with aliens. If she has discovered a spaceship could have come to earth in the meteor shower, I can imagine that her first reaction probably was fear. But one of the most interesting things about Lana for me this season is that she is closed off. She has done her emotional processing away from Clark (not just about the aliens, but also about their dismal sexlife), so that by the time she talks to him, she can talk levelly. I found it instinctively natural that Lana would have moved from immediate fear to a sense of awe. Awe and fear can often be inter-related and this has been shown to be the case with other people's reactions to Clark (e.g. Pete, Lex) and also in his own reactions to his ancestry. So to me, Lana is following in a Smallville tradition of awestruck fascination/obsession that has an undercurrent of fear. I guess I also made a leap and assumed that Lana felt that if an alien had been with them that whole time, there was a chance of learning about them/understanding/coming to terms with what they signify/who they are. That's perhaps a leap in my own mind rather than shown in Lana herself at this stage. But I had no problem with the scene.

As I say, I'll be disappointed if it in fact turns out to be just neat synchronised timing for Clark to tell her the truth, as you suggest. I see how you could think that: I just didn't have that reaction myself.
Naomi: Lexana kiss by Nidafrelling_tralk on January 14th, 2006 11:40 am (UTC)
I love your icon!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lexana darkness Lexbop_radar on January 14th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
Isn't it sexy? I have a matching pair! (I requested them specially from kho.) I like your happy Lexana animated one though--it's beautiful.
Fleegull: vaccumfleegull on January 14th, 2006 12:10 pm (UTC)
It may be that we are seeing her reaction differently but, to me, Lana has not given an indication that she's ok with aliens, simply that it was a possibility and a fascinating one. I don't think that being fascinated with something necessarily means that one doesn't regard it with apprehension. Then again, we may just be having different reactions to the way KK played the scene but I don't see it as her being "ok" with the concept of aliens.

I don't think that Lana is necessarily the same girl that she was in Visitor. While the Isobelle storyline may have been lame, it did give her a new perpective on the so called meteor freaks. She became a freak herself and I have to think that would lend itself to a sort of understanding about being different. Yes, she deserves to get angry at Clark and I hope that she gives him hell for keeping so much from her. Even if she does accept Clark, she still knows that there are other aliens out there (Aethyr and Nam-Ek) who have a very different agenda from Clark.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark dreams dyingbop_radar on January 14th, 2006 02:34 am (UTC)
Thanks for the comment! I found what you had to say about Lana very interesting: her development was one of the best things about this ep for me. I agree with your suggestion that Lana's trying to confront her fear and I agree that she hasn't said 'aliens are cool'. It's a conceptual/intellectual fascination that has deep emotional resonance for her. And I agree--Lana has got stronger as the show has progressed. She stands up for herself and seeks out what she wants in life. She contronted what selfishness there may be in that in the scene with Clark in the barn. I liked Clark's line to her (I can't remember it exactly) about how he hurt her and blamed her and yet she still accepted him back openly. However Clark, unlike Lana, hasn't yet been fully open with her. I like the positioning of the two of them. They are both absolutely genuine in their approach to the relationship, yet they each have their secrets and their baggage.

Yes--minion was stoopid! If she had the naus to notice the spin that could be put on Lois, why not use it. Daft girl!
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on January 13th, 2006 05:45 pm (UTC)
I always love reading your reviews, because you find so many themes beneath the surface of the episodes. I really liked your reading of the hospital confrontation between Clark and Lex as "echoes of conversations past."

I read that confrontation between Lex and Clark at the hospital as having two layers. One level is the rather hamhanded foreshadowing of Lex's reaching for power leading to his final crash and burn, a la Icarus. But the other is the way that Lex's ability to deceive others is tied to his own self-deception. I think that's the way they've decided to explore his "path to evil" this season while still making him somewhat sympathetic: on some level he really believes what he tells Clark, just as he really believes what he tells Samantha about never condoning hurting the Kents. I agree with fleegull below: he's still distinguishing between blackmail, which he definitely will use, and violence, which right now he won't, even though Lionel (and to a degree Lexfan) are both pushing him in that direction this episode. I expect when he *does* turn to violence, it will first be directed to Lionel.

I also like the way you have used the "fanaticism" theme to explore Lana's new attraction to astronomy and uncovering the reality of alien life. I hadn't thought of how symbolic the telescope was in that scene: Clark has always used it to peer voyeuristically into Lana's life (from the outside, not really understanding her, imagining her to be something she is not) and now she is (unconsciously) doing the same thing to Clark. Like you, I am *very glad* they are making this exploration of Lana's something organic to the character, not just something to turn her toward Lex, though I hadn't thought about how Clark's fears of Lex would play into the situation.

You are so right--post Splinter, Clark is naturally going to fear Lana turning to Lex, and now like Lex Lana is investigating things Clark doesn't think she should. (You are also so right that the Clana had a very Clex overtone--in fact, Lana here basically *is* season one Lex: she genuinely cares for Clark but is enraptured by a mystery that is in her mind all about her, but in Clark's mind is dangerous to her secrets. And my god, the way they left that scene in the barn is just like the setup of about a thousand Clextales, right before the revelation scene.)

(Deleted comment)
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on January 13th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
I see your point that for Lex to have truly turned to villainy he needs to be self-aware enough to know that what he's doing is actually hurting the Kents. But when I said Lex is, to a certain sense, deceiving himself, what I meant is that although I think Lexmas marked the point at which he decisively decided to seek power for its own sake, he still believes that he is different than Samantha (or his dad). And he is, at this point: he hasn't deliberately killed someone in pursuit of power. Whether or not he is deceiving himself into thinking that the means he is using to win the election are ok or not, that is still a moral line he hasn't crossed.

But I actually think what I'm calling "deceiving himself" is a moral line that he has crossed in the sense that he's *decided* that his ends--securing his own happiness, just as he thinks Clark has secured his own--*justifies* blackmailing Jonathan, and that's how this is different than blackmailing Nixon or drugging Dominic. (The other difference, of course, is that all of his previously evil actions--even, to an extent, torturing AC--were done in what Lex perceived as self-defense or defense of others. Well, the AC case is stretching a bit, but he was invading Lexcorp and committing sabotage. The Jonathan case is different because Lex is doing that purely for his own ends.)
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on January 14th, 2006 01:38 am (UTC)
Bleah. I just read over the response I posted and decided it wasn't too coherent, so I tried to clarify my point over at my journal.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: bsg lee/kara wasn't mebop_radar on January 14th, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
Yes, that's put very clearly and I share your frustration. In a nutshell, it's what leads me to say that evidently Lex has made the intellectual resolution but without coming to terms with what it will mean for him emotionally. He hasn't let go of his old self-image.

Although we see him resolute at the end of Lexmas, I did see that decision as rather naive. He makes it in response to having been dragged through the emotional wringer. I think at the time he honestly believed he was emotionally ready because anything would be better than what he'd just been through. But faced with Clark and their old behaviour patterns, the truth comes out that he still can't bear to admit that about himself, at least in front of Clark...

I guess I *get* it but I don't like it necessarily... on the other hand, I don't mind Lex not being at the end of the line development-wise yet.
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on January 14th, 2006 05:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think we basically agree, or at any rate we did until reading your reply to my post in my lj made me formulate a new Nietzschean theory of Lex's morality, which I wrote a long comment about in response to yoy in my journal. I should probably think all these things out before I post them, but it's usually only in the process of posting that I figure out what I'm trying to say!

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if my theories of Lex's circle of people he cares about derived from you, back when your journal wasn't flocked, since back when I was a total lurker (basically the first 3.5 years of SV fandom) I read a lot of your essays.
(Deleted comment)
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on January 14th, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)
I might have overstated the Nietzschean theory a bit, because while I definitely believe that's the way Lex is *going* in canon, I'm not sure he is actually there *yet.* I've been thinking about what you said about Samantha above, and you're right, his argument with her does sound like he's rebuking her from within the traditional moral framework.

I think that jibes with something bop_radar said about Lex having made the decision to go for power above all else in Lexmas, but his unconscious mind (and maybe his conscience) isn't completely onboard with that plan yet.

And yes, I completely agree with you that, especially by season 3-4, Lex using others as a moral compass is a way of manipulating them emotionally.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on January 14th, 2006 03:21 am (UTC)
Yes, I want him to be self-aware about it too. I think Lex has a bit of Luthor-blindness to the fact that emotional abuse is as harmful and hurtful as physical abuse. This is understandable within his character: emotional abuse is Lionel's most powerful tool against him and Lex uses it against others in the classic abuse-victim-turned-perpetrator mould.

For me, yes, there was a bit of character regression in this episode. Which is why I found Lionel's challenge to him interesting. Lex is in a state of evolution: he's making the decisions to act in an 'evil' way, but he's not necessarily fully embraced the self-identity that goes with that. It's particularly believable that he's least able to accept that in Clark's eyes.

Another idea: as a politician, self-deception is a powerful tool. If he truly believes his actions are justifiable he will be far more chillingly convincing...

Need to think about this one more...
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lana death giftbop_radar on January 14th, 2006 03:08 am (UTC)
Thanks, hon. I'll have to go over and read what you've written at your journal next.

I think it's interesting that you've raised the issue of Lex's self-deception. That's a fascinating new thread in SV for me, as Lex has previously been defined for me as a character who looks the truth about himself in the eye. I need to think further about this.

Yes--I'm so so glad Lana's development is organic to her and not just designed to thrust her into Lex's arms. This gives me hope that the simple resolutions will be avoided by the writers.

I think what I was really trying to untangle about the Clana is that the Lexana genuinely exists more in Clark's fears than in reality. And yet it's so so real and human of Clark to have those fears--there are natural connections to be made with Lex. As you say, the Clana barn scene was very much the Clex barn scene of old in many ways... (as well as fanfics!). The old: 'you're right, Clark. I haven't been completely honest... but now I will be because I love you and trust you completely' (pregnant pause).
rumpuso on January 13th, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
Great ponderings on this episode, once again. I found myself surprisingly pleased with Fantatic. Other than the fact that it was a new episode, there wasn't much about its description that appealed to me. I love it when they make it more interesting than I assume it will be. Fanatic showed me that season five Clark and Lana work. I loved them in Mortal, Hidden and now Fanatic. I love that the writers are showing continuity and touching upon subjects that were brought up then dropped, i.e., their sexual relationship. I loved how Clark was written into their intial scene as more relaxed...plopping himself on the bed. Lana reacted and laid down on top of him. Now that's very realistic, as opposed to the continuous stiffness that I identify with Clark when he talks to anyone. Tonight he appeared more human, more open, more vulnerable, and I loved that.

Chloe proved again that she is a wonderful best friend for Clark. The sex conversation that they tried to have is what I wished for when Pete was on the show. I love her friendship with Clark. She wasn't too in-your-face this episode and I adored her.

Lois was refreshing tonight too. She showed that she genuinely cares for the Kents' well being and that was a nice tender side to witness. She did a very believable job as campaign manager and I'm happy to see the writers came up with a legitimate purpose for her character on the show right now.

I actually expected Lex to show a more evil side after his declaration in Lexmas. Apparently he is still fighting his internal demons and wants power and wealth, but has boundaries. He will be forever seen as a tragedy, but the writers are handling his fall very artfully, in my opinion.

Martha was interesting tonight. She clearly doesn't want Jonathan in the public eye dealing with stressful situations on a regular basis. Maybe some of her fear stems from her remaining paranoia of the public finding out Clark's secret. But going behind Jonathan's back to accept Lionel's contribution towards Jonathan's campaign will come back to haunt her soon. A friend of mine mentioned that the precedent has already been set for her to behave this way, since she took money from her father to help out with the farm without Jonathan's knowledge.

Very good episode. It moved the players closer to the inevitable Reckoning in 2 weeks.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark dreams dyingbop_radar on January 14th, 2006 03:00 am (UTC)
Oh, I agree--Clark is far more human, more vulnerable and more natural and relaxed than ever before. I've loved him this series. As someone who didn't naturally respond to his character immediately, I am amazed at how sympathetic and complex a character he is to me now. I really felt his pain about keeping secrets from Lana in this episode.

Chloe seems to have found her niche within the show as 'best friend' to Clark and that sex conversation was wonderfully comic and yet still tender.

Lois fascinates me so I would have loved more of her in this episode, but, as you say, it is at least good to see her integrated into the show with a real role. I also like the campaign manager thing for Lois's development, because I think since Lex called her a 'muffin pedlar', she's wanted to prove him wrong. She actually has great drive, but she doesn't have personal ambition at this stage. She's motivated for other people, not herself (at least she's not self-aware about her own ambition). I think that's a fascinating character trait: she is deeply loyal to the Kents.

Yes--good point that Martha has acted this way before. I think the fact that she does this (takes/gets money behind Jonathan's back) indicates a certain level of frustration with the limitations of their lives that Clark also shares. It's partly what fuels Jonathan's defensive anger about himself/his life. He feels like he's failed, and any time Martha acts like this it undermines him. Can't wait for the fallout from the developments in this ep!
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Vote 1 Jonathan no detailsbop_radar on January 14th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
Yes, the extent to which Jonathan is motivated by kneejerk emotional reactions astounds me! But it is fascinating to untangle the threads for Jonathan, and once you look below his easily angered, agressive and one-eyed persona, you can see the very natural anxieties about Lionel and the Luthors generally.
blowjobs for jesus: fangirlskristiinthedark on January 14th, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)
Wow. This is the first time I've read one of your meta essays, and I'm very impressed. I really liked your comments on the Clana. Lana irks me like nothing else, but Clark's dodginess put me firmly on her side with this. It was an interesting and fully-formed conflict. I highly approved. And the scene where he jumps out of bed, saying "did I hurt you?" was one I had played out in my head many times. It was perfect.

Well, you're awesome. Thanks for posting this and making me think!

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: EssayGirlbop_radar on January 14th, 2006 03:13 am (UTC)
Hee! It's my thing. Jen and Bex and co. called me 'EssayGirl' before they really knew me. I embraced their nickname! I love exploring the themes of the show, especially when people comment with different ideas I hadn't thought of--so thanks for the comment.

I love Clark's sexual anxiety. I think it's fascinating. And, yes, no matter how unfond of Lana you are, I think as a woman you can't help but sympathise with her when faced with a locked-off, avoidance-seeking man--especially when she's making a genuine attempt to forgive him and reach out to him.

In the scene with Chloe, Chloe asks Clark what's so different about sex to other interactions with people where he could hurt them. There's a long pause which implies that something is very different about sex with powers for Clark. And I'm so glad. It's what I've suspected for a long time. This show is so great with the sexual anxiety theme! *g*
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on January 14th, 2006 07:30 am (UTC)
I also loved Clark's sexual anxiety, and I agree that in the scene with Chloe Clark seems to be telegraphing that something is very different about sex with powers for Clark , but I wonder if Almiles are forgetting their own canon. fleegull pointed out in her lj entry that expanded what she posted above that Jor-El canonically has sex with Lana's aunt, so the whole Niven "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" theory cannot be true. (Of course, that doesn't mean Clark might not accidentally get carried away by passion and crush Lana, or set her on fire with heat vision, which may be what he really fears, but it does suggest that his supersemen isn't going to rip through her cervix).
mkitty3: boy hugmkitty3 on January 14th, 2006 06:04 pm (UTC)
I think Chloe established that Clark really could have sex with Lana without killing her and that wasn't really the problem. I think it was implied that he's uncomfortable doing it without telling her the truth about himself. That maybe she wouldn't be thrilled having sex with an alien. That's what I got from that scene anyway. I think this is definately leading up to whatever they plan for Clana in the 100th.

Clana was actually my favorite part of Fanatic! I can't believe I just said that!

Awesome review bop_radar! Other than Lois, I think we almost entirely agree:)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Allison bouncybop_radar on January 14th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) The Clana was surprisingly interesting, wasn't it?! And I totally agree about the Chloe scene--it established that the problem exists in Clark's mind rather than his body. Sex is intricately linked to intimacy/understanding for Clark (he's very feminine that way!) and to have sex without full disclosure is extremely problematic for him. I love that idea and the problems it causes!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark wetbop_radar on January 14th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
Huahah! Yes. I meant more that there is something different emotionally for Clark about sex. In future canon, if AlMiles stick to it, he'll lose his supes virginity to Lois. Clearly he can have sex, but I really like the fact that it's anxiety ridden for him and also the subtle suggestion that it will involve an effort of restraint on his part that is powers-related.
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on January 15th, 2006 08:18 am (UTC)
Oh, yes, I see what you mean. Interesting theory about Almiles splitting his virginity that way!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on January 15th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
Well it's not so much my theory, as it is based on what they've said in some interviews. I know the matter of his supes virginity versus his human virginity was considered by them--of course that doesn't mean they'll stick to canon but I do know they split the two deliberately. I remember because it excited me that they deliberately complicated his sexuality in this way.
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on January 15th, 2006 11:36 pm (UTC)
It is an interesting complication of his sexuality, though I feel kind of bad for canonClark now, since he's not going to be getting any for a long time!