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26 September 2006 @ 04:12 pm
Project Smallville: The Countdown, Season 4 (Part I)  
Let me say upfront that I know that Season 4 wasn't fandom's most popular season. And I guess it's pretty well-known that I loved it! Personally I got to watch it all in the space of a few days so it was a lot easier to zoom through the poor eps, and to see the season as a whole, even though at times the construction was admittedly jarring. It's actually NOT my favourite season (that's Season 3), however it does contain some of my very favourite Smallville eps. Hopefully today I'll give you a glimpse of it through MY eyes--there were a lot of great moments. Really!

Two things that I found it useful to keep in mind when watching Season 4:
1. Never apply logic to the Smallville universe.
2. When all else fails, look for the pretty! (one of the things I love is how great the production quality was by Season 4--so much love for the visual direction)

Warning: this got looooong

Season 4 saw the arrival of Lois. As a Lois fan from way back, I started squeeing from the first sight of her at Chloe's desk--and I loved that her introduction to the show demonstrated both her tenacious investigation skills and her steadfast loyalty to her loved ones.

Also, she held up the long tradition of talking on the cellphone while driving in Smallville. :-)


Like Lex, this resulted in a crash. Unlike Lex, she didn't get a snog out of it, but she DID get an eyeful!


And so did the fangirls! Ah, naked Kal-El ... obsessed with cherubs. *reminisces*


Meanwhile, Lex was going all Indiana Jones on us. Personally I have deep love of his impeccable white suit and wished we'd got more of his globetrotting adventures!


Al&Miles showed an admirable commitment to nudity, nudity and lots more nudity in the season opener.

(Aside: supacat will tell you that this scene actually caused me deep angst. Long into the season, I assumed that Lex was still receiving transfusions. Yes, yes, of course I should have known better than to expect continuity from the writers, but I was young and naive, you know?!)

We also got to see Clark (or rather Kal-El) go zooooooom!


Margot Kidder guest-starred.


And the show temporarily explored the role of mothers (refreshing after Season 3's father-obsession). One of the major highlights of the season opener for me was Annette's acting--not only can she scream really well, she can beat someone's chest convincingly and she does motherly comfort like noone else.


In the less-functional family storyline, we found Papa in prison. Ripped Lionel doing push-ups on books is definitely my favourite incarnation of his--love him without the hair.


Plus it facilliated lots of Lex/Lionel snark through the prison bars--and doesn't Lex look purty?!


Also! Random Lionel implied-prison!rape scene! (My love for S4 can perhaps partially be explained by my adoration of absurdism and wtf-ness--this instance has me rotfl.)


Lois, meanwhile, was busy disregarding other peoples' personal space. A mortal sin in secret-ridden, privacy-obsessed Smallville! Personally I was all for this. I found her transgressive-ness fascinating.


Plus it provided us with comedy gold in the form of perplexed and pissed-off, shower-damp Clark.


Al: I think something's missing...
Miles: I know! We need more ...
Both: NUDITY!


What this cap doesn't show is the amazing back-ripple that Tom performed. I swear I've rewound that scene 50 times. Who knew backs could be so erotic?!

I really should mention Lana--a lot of the season was about her. Kinda. There was brief Clana angst, but Lois was sceptial about it all: You two?! Really?!


Lois and Chloe got to hang out as cousin-pals at school together.


And one of my favourite scenes of all time ensued:


Awww, look at that grin!


Lana this season came with bonus Coach Teague! I had great fondness for Coach Teague--he was so peppy, he had such disturbing mother issues. *happy sigh*


The Clex action was angsty this season--there was lots of use of this shot set-up, a fave of mine. And it was back in the day when Lex was still channelling his inner woobie.


But that didn't stop Lex investigating his plane's door being ripped off--in fact the first time that Clark sees Lex after that incident, Lex's body is covered in the evidence of that investigation--a beautiful visual representation of how Clark sees Lex: steeped in suspicion and obsession.


So Clark channelled his energy into ... football. Ah, the sublimation! He didn't get his hugs and kisses from the team straight away, but he did get them.


You've got to admire a show that can tough it out with a punctuation error as glaring as this:


Which boy do they mean exactly?! I'm guessing it's Mr Pouty!


Context: The Slashiest Scene of All Time
That's right--Lex bought the football team. Ok, he sponsored them. He put clothes on their backs. To quote the famous icons of said event--he put his money where his mouth is. Clark and co. running around with 'Lexcorp' badges on them was definitely a highlight. And just check out this backdrop of male flesh for Lex's love-letter gesture to Clark.


I think Coach Teague knows what's going on!


Of course there had to be a green k plot here somewhere, and indeed there was, resulting in Chloe going all fangirly.


I hurt for Chloe losing her dignity like this, but Clark's girlphobia is always fun to watch.


Speaking of girlphobia... this is one of the best shot set-ups of all time. Lois had absolutely no qualms about using Clark as bait in her investigations. Again, I loved the gender reversal--pretty boy distracts suspect, rather than pretty girl distracts suspect.


In an unguarded moment, Lex's devotion to his man was obvious.


He's watching Clark... watching him closely. The change in Lex this season was fascinating--this shot shows it brilliantly--he played his cards close to his chest and he watched and he waited. I'm sure in his mind he was leaving the ball in Clark's court--waiting for the magnanimous gesture. You could also argue he let Clark hang himself.


It wasn't all angst though! Bart (aka The Flash) dropped in for some fun. I loved this ep!


And let's just freeze on that face for a moment. *blisses*


And Clark got some joy out of using his super-skills freely, albeit just in football and just in his own back yard.


Season 4 also brought us Tom's acting tour-de-force: the episode Transferrence, in which Lionel decided he liked being Clark.

Though things turned a little creepy.


And he didn't exactly blend in with the Kents.


Lex and Myx get slashy, but of course Lex totally plays him in the end. And here we come to another missed-opportunity for continuity. Personally I like to think that Lex has an entire floor full of beautiful super-powered men that he will one day release on Superman. *g*


Lana went all witchy.


And while ‘Spell’ wasn’t widely liked, it did give the girls a chance to vamp it up.


Oh, the glorious wrongness of the Clark!dance.


And chained up boys are fun!


An unexpected moment of poignancy and intensity was provided by Michael and his supreme acting ability--he turned the farcical premise 'play the piano until your fingers bleed' into a true horror, and provided us with a Clexy rescue.


In Bound, we got Lex in a tux. Mmmm, yum!


Making out with a Clark substitute in deliciously hot fashion.


Clark had some *issues* (aka jealousy) about this.


Thankfully there was a balm coming for Clark in the shape of Alicia. The ice skating date was one of the cutest things of all time!


Caps by acampbell and oxoniensis

More later!
 
 
Current Mood: gigglygiggly
 
 
 
Echo: TW/Smilestir_of_echoes on September 26th, 2006 08:28 am (UTC)
I loved this, some of my favourite moments. I know season four isn't rated very high and it definitely isn't my favourite but sometimes it's easy to forget that it had some glorious moments beside some amazing stand alone eps.

And Clark's smile when he was dunked by Lois is one of my favourite Clark moments ever, also that look on his face as he's racing with Bart. And Bart...

*dies*

Transference was an amazing episode, and really showed how much TW had raised his game and Lex at the piano during 'Spell', I could go on and on :)

Thank you for these!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois no morningsbop_radar on September 26th, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)
Awww, yay! It's great that you appreciate these moments. Yeah--it did have some real highs for Clark--he looks transcendently happy in some of these caps.
tyffi: SV: lex nekkidtyffi on September 26th, 2006 08:33 am (UTC)
Each time I see Lex shrugging off his shirt and getting the dialysis I go all... woooooo *lol*
I mean, his shoulders. OMG, his shoulders!!! *drools* And the arms... and *flails*

I hope for so much nekkid!Lex in season 6. The MR might hate it, but Lex shouldn't wear shirts at all! *g*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Tom's backbop_radar on September 26th, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC)
Hee. SO TRUE. No shirts for Lex! No shirts! I don't care how long Michael has to spend at the gym--he's so hyper all the time he's got energy to burn anyway. ;-) No shirts!
rumpuso on September 26th, 2006 10:46 am (UTC)
That was a wonderful walk down memory lane. Really looking forward to more. Thanks for doing this. (I loved a lot of season 4 too).
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kal bringing sexy backbop_radar on September 26th, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
Yay! *g* I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
svartalfur on September 26th, 2006 10:48 am (UTC)
Thanks for the recap. It's still my least favorite season, but you show some interesting moments. Lex in the boy's locker room, yay. Of course it's only one boy he sees... ;D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Pretty please clarkbop_radar on September 26th, 2006 01:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, totally only that one boy!! There's only one boy for Lex--that's for sure.
Natasha: rps2theclexfactor on September 26th, 2006 11:51 am (UTC)
I'm with you. Season 4 had some really good eps even if the overall season arc wasn't well accepted. I mean, we got Lionark, The Flash, ALICIA!! (how I miss thee), Kal-El flying, some more Red-K!Clark, Lots of Naked Clark, Onyx, and as you mentioned, one of the gayest scenes that ever gayed (the locker room in Devoted).
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois Chloe comfort foodbop_radar on September 26th, 2006 01:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, totally!! So Much Gay! And lots of other greatness.
brandil on September 26th, 2006 12:22 pm (UTC)
Wonderful post!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW awight!bop_radar on September 26th, 2006 01:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
Vicki: beautiful clarkmyownghost on September 26th, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
i've rather predictably been fretting about tom welling's increasingly pumped-up body, but oh my stars, those pictures of his back! i read somewhere recently that it's been crucial to the series that he had been a model rather than an actor -- he's so iconic! and no one photographs better. the camera worships him.

i love the shot of coach teague smirking in the locker room. *g*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Tom's backbop_radar on September 26th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC)
Hee!! Yeah, I love Coach Teague's smirk! That was a real find of a screencap. And really Tom was at his most ripped (if bulked) this season--his body is phenomenal. Back muscles!!
amandajane: evil witch lanaamandajane5 on September 26th, 2006 12:47 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I loved S4. Okay yes, the Isobel plot was a bit weak, but Tom really shone and I adore Erica, and the two of them together make me so very happy. Plus, Alicia!!!!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois joybop_radar on September 26th, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we can skip the Isobelness! ;-)
Tom and Erica together do make me SO HAPPY. *clings*
And Alicia!! She was so adorable. It made me teary revisiting it. More Alicia shortly!
I can read Sam's mind: Tom's Hand of Pornwendy on September 26th, 2006 02:07 pm (UTC)
I thought Season four was awesome, except for that whole witch plot, which I hated. I didn't even know people hated it until I dived into fandom.

Mmmm...Clark abs. Can't look away!

Love the pics and recap baby!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex purple evilbop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
I didn't even know people hated it until I dived into fandom.
Right! Well, I'd heard they hated it but didn't know why, so when I was watching it I kept thinking 'where's the horrible bit? where does it turn bad?!' *baffled* The second half of the season was weaker, but hey, every season has their lows.
mahaliem: standing clarkback2mahaliem on September 26th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC)
I adore Clark's back. Actually, I love backs in general and Clark has such a pretty one.

Season 4 did have some wonderful moments. Transference was one of my favorite episodes ever and the dirtywrongness of it just made it better. And Alicia made Clark so very happy. I'm still sad that they killed her off.

You are absolutely correct about the slashiest scene ever. Lex walking through the locker room while half-naked men clap for him - what were the writers thinking? I don't think they were thinking what I was thinking when I saw it.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clexvillebop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC)
what were the writers thinking? I don't think they were thinking what I was thinking when I saw it.
Hee! I don't know. Al&Miles seem to enjoy the slashy and they certainly like stripping male cast members so that sea of male flesh would have played well to them. And regardless of what the writers thought, the props and set guys and the actors would have had a field day. (My mind goes explodey when I try to imagine MR playing up to this in outtakes!) Also, the ep WAS called 'Devoted'. I think the writers knew. ;-)
StoryDivaGirl: buffy - faithstorydivagirl on September 26th, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC)
I loved the premiere of season four and there were certain things I liked about it. 1) I liked Lois. 2) Jason was hot!!! 3) I liked Alicia too.

Basically, there were some really good moments in the season, but for me, a lot of it was just not up to par with the rest of the show...some of the Lana stuff was even stupider than normal.

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kristin and boybop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
Jason WAS hot, yes! I really liked Jason. And Alicia was awesome as well!

some of the Lana stuff was even stupider than normal.
Indeed! Even in recapping I can't bring myself to include it. It was just so 'meh'. And I say this with new appreciation of Lana/KK! Ah well.
president of the back seat: SV MR sexyvibrantharmony on September 26th, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
Ohh, I always forget that I did like lots of this season. Transference is still in my top list of episodes, and I *adore* Alicia :D

Plus, nakedness? Always fun!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois backbop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
HaHA! Success! \o/ Yeah, that's what I wanted to show--S4 didn't have a good overall arc, but it did pull off some great standalone eps and moments. And characters.

More nudity! *bounces*
blowjobs for jesus: Clark YAY!kristiinthedark on September 26th, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)
Yay, Season 4! It was actually the first season I watched, so it holds a special place in my heart of hearts. Plus, TRANSFERENCE!!!!

This was awesome and hysterical. I am having the best time this week!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
it holds a special place in my heart of hearts
Mine too! I think because I'd been dreading it since hearing fandom hated it. And then I watched it and thought 'hmm, is not so bad!'

So glad that you're having a ball! I am desperately trying to finish Part II. *wipes brow*
Alison: oh yeah ringacampbell on September 26th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
I wish so much that, despite the fact he claims he hates doing tv shows, Jonathan Rhys Meyers had been cast as Mxyzptlk. If he'd used that Irish brogue and had a couple of scenes with Lex, the tv screens would've exploded and Lex would never have looked at Clark again. IMO, it would have been a bit of absolutely perfect casting.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex villainbop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers had been cast as Mxyzptlk.
*dies*

Oh MY GOD! The mere concept! The perfect casting! *flails around the room*

That is the best concept ever.
Naomi: Alicia angel by daddylionfrelling_tralk on September 26th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
I loved the first half of season 4. It was the middle of the season, with the two minute Lex time and no Clex, that I got grumpy...

But it was really good at not taking itself so seriously (I'm one of the few who liked Spell and Spirit lol), so for pure entertainment it was a lot of fun. If only Lex had more of the silly campy plots, and wasn't in the darkened mansion so much... There is Onyx to come though! "My bad!" "I am the villain of the story"
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex villainbop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, the middle was poor. And there was a real slump towards the end. Around the 'episode 20 black hole' mark (which evidently even the writers acknowledge as a poor patch).

Yeah--for pure entertainment it did good. And yes, more to come! Some of the best, IMO, because Onyx is one of my faves!
Becky: Squee!!cinderella81 on September 26th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
Okay, I totally loved S4 ... is it wrong that I loved the episode 'Spell'??

Yeah, there were some not-stellar episodes, but man, there were some kickers!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark dance!bop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
Hee! I'm glad someone liked 'Spell'. I didn't actually, but I could see how the campy fun would please someone. I did like the Clark!dance.
just a girl: lexana (sv) | safe_touched on September 26th, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
Just a quick hit and run...

This was pretty good, hee. *g* You manage to sum up most of S4, though I wished I could have seen a little more Lana...rotfl. I'm bias where she's regarding, only because I'm not crazy about SV's version of Lois. rotfl.

Long live Terri Hatcher forever!!!! rotfl. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois no damsel in distressbop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
I'm not crazy about SV's version of Lois.
Ah, well there we differ! ;-)
Don't worry--there will be more Lana in the next post, though honestly I was a bit bored by her S4 plot. I much preferred her in S5.

And I'll pay your Teri Hatcher comment--she did make a brilliant Lois, and she sold me on that character forever. However, for me, when I go back and watch her Lois it feels a bit dated now--she was a woman of her time, and for me Erica's the Lois for a new generation. I'm happy to say I love both of them. It's that piss-poor little nothing in the recent movie that I'm really grumpy about.
(no subject) - _touched on September 26th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on September 26th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _touched on September 27th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on September 27th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _touched on September 27th, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on September 28th, 2006 04:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _touched on September 28th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _touched on September 27th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on September 28th, 2006 04:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _touched on September 28th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
Alicia: Miss you - Clexgoodnightsong on September 26th, 2006 05:45 pm (UTC)
Eee, lovely post! Thank you for making this and putting a fun, positive spin on it. You posted some of my favorite moments up there. Like Transerfence (I still can't get over Lionel checking out Clark's junk) and a happy Lex watching his man play football. Oh, and Clark saving Lex in "Spell". *sigh*

You know, I know that S4 gets a lot of crap... and it does have it's moments that make you go "wtf", but... I just can't hate that season! I can't. I mean, it's the season that I started watching after all. ♥
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Allison bouncybop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you can't hate it!! I'm like you. It holds a special place though I can totally see its flaws. And you'd have to pay me to rewatch 'Ageless', for example! More to come! I must get cracking!
(no subject) - bloodygoodgirl on September 26th, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois joybop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC)
Coooool! I'm trying to get Part II up. *wipes brow*
lastscorpion on September 26th, 2006 08:09 pm (UTC)
My love for S4 can perhaps partially be explained by my adoration of absurdism and wtf-ness

That'd do it, all right! :-D

The dunk tank scene is one of my all-time favorites, too. Thanks for posting and writing about these!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
That'd do it, all right!
It sure came in handy! ;-) I got some joy out of the season, but I'm not blind to its faults.

I'm glad you enjoyed the post!
Laura ☂: sv:  CloisSnarkstarryeyedmagic on September 26th, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC)
S4 was a really interesting mesh of really amazing episodes and really awful episodes, lol. But the amazing ones like Crusade, Transference, Pariah, Sacred, Onyx, and Commencement made it a half way decent season.

Plus I loved the Lois/Clark snark.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: SV mockerybop_radar on September 26th, 2006 10:05 pm (UTC)
*nods* Me too--the snark was so great! (and isn't that icon brilliant?!) I think S4 was actually a better season for Lois and Clark, but Season 5 was better over all. The episodes you named though were really spectacular.