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21 October 2006 @ 12:36 pm
Smallville 6.04 Arrow  
It goes without saying that I liked this ep, right?!

I loved this episode so much that I almost don't know where to start.

I love that Oliver clearly adores Lois 'despite her personality' as Clark put it. Her socially awkward cringe-moment ('sorry about your oil tanker') was hilarious, but Oliver suaved it out. Justin played Ollie's mixed emotions so well--embarrassment (after all, he's a well-bred boy), amusement (he doesn't have much love for that guy himself I suspect) and frustration (both socially and sexually--hee!). This week I had a little moment of insight into why people may not enjoy their chemistry--for me, I'm a sucker for the 'impossible to date sassy woman being pursued by adoring guy' set up. I always shipped Lois/Clark more than Lois/Superman. And therefore the Oliver/Lois relationship is perfect for me. It echoes so well the future canonical Lois/Clark.

And in this episode we got to see the first interaction of Oliver and Clark. This interaction proved to have great significance in terms of Clark's character growth, which I'll tackle shortly, but in terms of relationships, it was also interesting. Oliver brings a refreshing clarity of insight about the Smallville characters, with some great calls on both Lois and Clark in this ep (having already snarked at Lex last episode). His 'I'd have masked my feelings in sarcasm too' line was a brilliant come-back to what was actually quite a sharp (bitchy) call from Clark about Lois's personality. Oliver's no idiot. The 'masked in sarcasm' call cut both ways, and I think his eyes were opened about not only Clark's feelings, but also Lois's. He can see there's chemistry and denial there, even if they're still willfully blind to it. It was interesting to see the shot set-up in that scene, because Oliver walked to the back of the room, leaving Lois and Clark in the foreground.

The writing team are realling earning their bucks this season--Clark and Oliver weren't the only ones with good lines in this scene: Lois undercut both of them with 'just for the record, that's not me!' about them 'marking their territory'. I also love that she walked out on them leaving Clark alone in Oliver's apartment at midnight. Hmmm. We'll get back to that. ;-)

Lois's growth
First of all--she has some! Hooray! Secondly, I'm glad to see how unrushed it is. In Season 4, when we first saw Lois stumble into Smallville, she broke all sorts of social rules. She still ignores people's boundaries and oversteps the mark socially, sometimes unknowingly. In Arrow we saw her bumble in the more elite circles of Metropolis society. Her faux pas are trademark, but she has evolved far enough to know she's blurted out the wrong thing now (at least some of the time). Part of it is nerves and awkwardness, masked by false bravado and a desire to please that means grabbing the limelight even when that limelight then just shows up her flaws. It's endearing--if you like that kind of honesty.

I also think her journalism career is being well handled. Lois may be getting front pages stories at the Inquisitor, but she's still only investigating at a surface level. Despite having clues dropped, she persisted in viewing and investigating Green Arrow (Bandit!) as a villain. It was Chloe who saw more layers there and who articulated the moral subtelties to Clark, neatly echoed in her 'I'd drop the Bandit' call. Lois remained blind to them, and while that worked for the plot, I think it also works well for her character development--she's not the fully perceptive, astute journalist of the future yet. Nor should she be, for she must grow over time as the other characters do.

I liked her interaction with Chloe in this episode too, particularly her call about not trusting 'part' of Chloe. I think that's spot-on, for we know that although Chloe has great loyalty to her friends, her desire to know the truth can outweigh other loyalties--we saw this in the past with Clark. But Lois still trusts her to a certain degree, and they both get something out of the exchange of information. It was nicely balanced so as not to put either character at a disadvantage. Chloe's changed now too--she has a secret to protect at all costs: Clark's secret. And that means that she and Lois cannot ever work together fully. This episode also made me realise what Chloe's sacrificed to be the holder of that secret--she can't fully reap the benefits of her investigations of the supernatural (or superhero) for fear of outing Clark. That Chloe hasn't complained about that shows what a true friend she is, because journalism is such a strong ambition for her.

Lollie fun
Watching Lois and Oliver is a joy for me on two levels--I'm loving the Green Arrow in his own right as a character, but I'm also loving the way he doubles as the Clark-of-the-future with Lois.

I'm glad we got backstory on Oliver Queen this episode and got to see him in his full superhero act. They used the Batman music too! And while it's frustrating that they didn't get rights to Batman, it's still fun to see them play with that. Queen is not as dark as Batman, and I think that actually works well here. In some ways, they get the best of both worlds with Green Arrow, but it's a balancing act that I can imagine won't work for some. Me, I'm a sucker for a boy in leather with a hi-tech bow-and-arrow--what can I say? ;-)

This episode showed the Difficulties of Dating Lois Lane incredibly well. Oliver clearly crushes on her ('I think this Green Arrow guy must have a thing for you'), but Lois is far more interested in his other identity. And she's a liability--at the party, it was Lois who came closest to foiling his jewel-thievery--and Oliver must experience such conflicted emotions there--'that's my girl!' mixed with 'goddam it--I nearly brought about my own downfall!' I also felt for Ollie when she turned his Cancun offer down, even though there's no way I'd want Lois to blow of journalism to be a beach bimbo. Poor Ollie! Has he even got a snog out of her yet? I don't think so. :-( It was therefore cathartic to see him get his bitchy side on a little as the Green Arrow. His call about her 'tombraider act' being a cry for attention to Daddy was very perceptive. The good character calls keep coming from the writing team. I liked that Lois fought and fought hard, but was still unable to escape. She was never a victim, but she was outgunned. Plus, it was hot as hell when she flipped him over!

And Oliver is also, of course, vulnerable when it comes to Clark--he got catty pretty fast with Clark after he realised that there was a lot more to 'Smallville' then Lois had made out. There's jealousy there, and he's afraid that Clark may be right when he says you can't be with someone properly unless they know who you are. I really wonder what he will do from here vis a vis Lois... I could watch those two swan around town together endlessly, but it ain't an easy relationship.

Lex on top
I didn't see the twists coming with the Lex/Lana/Lionel triangle. I'll fess up! For part of the episode I was deeply amused that Lex might learn some good 'lackey management skills' from Lana. (Because seriously, the guy's still got issues with that!) Amusing as this was, I was glad to be proved wrong. The circle of Lex-Lana-Lionel is fascinating. I am really glad that Lana acted the way she did--both Lex and Lana continue to exercise confronting honesty with each other. But Lex is the one ultimately pulling the strings. He's also neatly reversed positions with his father--and chilling as that is, I'm glad he has by Season 6! Otherwise I'd be whining! It's Lionel now who has an image to lost in regard to the Kent family. And once again, it's because of a love obsession as well as the mystery at the core of that family. Lovely lovely parallel and reversal--ah, Smallville does it so well!

But influence doesn't just go one way. Although we got to see how Lana's being drawn into the Luthor web of manipulation, we also got to see a more carefree Lex in this episode. They went jogging together (didn't Lana do that with Jason? Her relationship with Jason prefigured her relationship with Lex so heavily!) and was that water I saw Lex drinking?! Heavens! He hasn't drunk that on-screen since... when? Season 3? A long time, anyway. I liked that he's clearly enjoying the genuine side of their relationship. But he's such a Luthor, and there are a lot of layers at play.

In other notes, I was amused to hear them do a global warming shoutout about the Kryptonian device. And though it would not have been very Smallvillian, I desperately wanted Lana to reply to Lex 'no, you must continue the research if it will solve our energy crisis!' Hee. On a more character-driven level, I like that Lana is watching out for Lex and does fear his ambition and drive. The fact that it could be a weapon is not scary at all unless there's a weak link in the chain of people who know about it--and she must fear that that is Lex himself. However it's also interesting that she hates/fears aliens to such an extent now that she's happy to see a weapon developed against them. Having faced down Zod has firmed up her boundaries/morality in a certain way.

Speculation: I wonder if we will see Lex develop this 'weapon' and get an op to use it on the Phantom Zone escapees?

Some minor complaints
Oh, Martha, Martha, what are you doing? It's hot to see you out with Lionel, but is it WISE? And Clark, why don't you talk to your mom about the necklace and where it came from? Why don't you guys talk? And we didn't get to see Lois tell Martha about her new job. That was a little disappointing for me, but if I have to sacrifice Lois/Martha for anything, it would be for Lois/Oliver/Clark! ;-)

Justice League Babies
Aww, they are so cuuuuute together! I'm shipping Oliver/Clark hard now. I love that both their differences and their similarities were clearly, even textually (shock!) articulated in this episode. And both have penetrated each other's private spaces. Clark not only bursts in on Oliver's intimate scene with Lois, he also uncovers Oliver's private weaponry. Likewise, Clark comes home to find Oliver in the barn. He'd been reading about him there, which implies an intimate interest, but the invasion is still not completely comfortable. Both men are wary of one another, though having shared their secrets, they're already bound together. They test each other's boundaries in that final scene. Oliver already has an articulated position about the use of his super powers: ends justify the means. We already know that Clark firmly opposes this view. He continues to do so. But Oliver also calls Clark on the brittle nature of his own morality. 'You have such a clear idea of right and wrong' he says. But Clark admits, and I was glad that he did, that 'it's not as clear as it used to be.'

No matter whose morality you sympathise most with, Oliver is one step ahead of Clark in one regard--he's already living his life by his own established code. He's successfully managing to balance two identities. Only one person threatens that--Lois. In this way, Oliver serves as a good template for Clark to model his own life on. It should give him hope that that balancing act can be achieved--and of course he will dismiss Lois as a threat because he's in denial about his own feelings there. (Hee!) Had Oliver been introduced earlier in Clark's development there would have been a danger that Clark would have been swayed to Ollie's morality. But Clark's self-assured enough now to state that he will never feel that way. Oliver accepts that but still extends a hand to Clark, for when Clark is ready.

Personally I really enjoyed that. I wondered whether some fans might find it annoying that another superhero plays an important part in kickstarting Clark's 'career'. I didn't find that problematic because I think that we all define ourselves against others, and Clark needs to see that there's a bigger stage that he could act on. Oliver wasn't really telling him anything he didn't already know--but what Oliver might be doing is reminding him of that bigger stage at a time when he's receptive and nearly ready to take it on. It gave me chills of excitement!

I'm a little rushed this week, and have to go out now, so apologies if I don't respond promptly to comments, but I am dying to see what other people thought about the ep.
 
 
Current Location: kitchen table
Current Mood: highhigh
 
 
 
immal0serbabyimmal0serbaby on October 21st, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
I too love the Lois/Ollie ship, and I need icons. I can't contain myself, I really love it. I love how you pointed out Chloe's protecting of Clark's secret. I loved at the end how he told her to leave him alone as a favor. I really love this season! LOL
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lollie ship!bop_radar on October 21st, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
Yay!! I love this season SO MUCH. \o/ I definitely had the huge icon craving too. ;-)

I think what I'm appreciating most about this season is that the writers are demonstrating they really know the characters, and the characters have held their integrity, so far at least. The relationship dynamics are more adult, as well. It feels like Smallville's grown up!
immal0serbabyimmal0serbaby on October 22nd, 2006 02:43 am (UTC)
AHH LOVE YOUR ICON. I need to make some. Where on earth can I get that picture?! LOL I want the cap of her close to the green arrow when she jerks the necklace off of him.

SV does seem grown up! I love it. haha. I love how they're writing everyone. I also like how the focus is on Clark, but not all the time. (and now lana all the time either...) =D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Oliverbop_radar on October 22nd, 2006 03:02 am (UTC)
Hee! That ones from carmendove--I hope she does some more! I've been waiting for caps of Arrow and Wither too, though I'm not much of an icon maker. I'm just dying for others to make some!

Yes, this shift in focus is really working for me too. Everything ends up coming back to Clark, but the writers are free to explore other characters and their relationships around him.
immal0serbabyimmal0serbaby on October 22nd, 2006 03:04 am (UTC)
OH MY GOD I LOVE THAT ICON MORE. :drools: must.have.promopics. omg.

I would totally make icons - if I could find some good caps!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lollie ship!bop_radar on October 22nd, 2006 03:26 am (UTC)
I've found some caps here, but i'm still hoping oxoniensis puts up hers soon. *g*
immal0serbabyimmal0serbaby on October 22nd, 2006 03:28 am (UTC)
I haven't seen those, but I'm waiting on her to put up hers too! LOL. Right now I'm making Halloween icons from the Zorro!Clark episode. haha.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Oliverbop_radar on October 22nd, 2006 03:30 am (UTC)
Awww, cool! That was such a funny ep for the costuming. Zorro!Clark was adorable. I'm dying for good Ollie icons though...
immal0serbabyimmal0serbaby on October 22nd, 2006 03:47 am (UTC)
I'm trying for some. But these caps are NOT easy to work with! LOL
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on October 23rd, 2006 06:04 am (UTC)
Aw, dammit! Fingers crossed for some better ones soon, I guess.
immal0serbabyimmal0serbaby on October 24th, 2006 02:53 am (UTC)
I'm sure better ones will be out soon. I can't wait though. =D
Vicki: O Supermanmyownghost on October 21st, 2006 03:03 am (UTC)
i like oliver a lot, and that final scene in the loft was very good. the music underscored the import of it. in early seasons, the final music was usually a pop song expressing clark's longing for lana. nice change.

do you really see evidence of clark and lois suppressing feelings for each other? she's very annoying, and that's all i'm seeing in him -- annoyance. but i'm not subtle that way.

i hooted at the lex-lionel scene, as so much was finally revealed, but lex as villain is going to lose me. i'm sure he'd be so sad. ha!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois duhbop_radar on October 21st, 2006 01:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I loved the way the music underscored the final scene. It was a nice change of pace, as you say--it shifted us right out of 'relationship' mode and into 'epic grand destiny' mode.

And yeah, I really do see evidence of Clark and Lois suppressing feelings for each other. Clark more so than Lois, to be honest, but I think that's partly because Lois is ALL about denial. Clark's in denial too but he doesn't have Lois's layers of blindness! Don't you remember how jealous Clark got around Aquadude? And his pissiness at her reads as impotence/frustration quite often. But I really do understand how some people don't really 'get' the chemistry between them. I think you've got to have a kink for massively sublimated and denied lust thing to see it. But it's all over. There have been a couple of moments when Clark really lights up when Lois is around. And also moments that show how much Lois needs/wants someone like Clark, but doesn't realise it.

I see that if you find Lois annoying, you just see the annoyance from Clark. In some ways I guess it works for the audience either way--you must have liked his line about 'overlooking her personality'! ;-)

Yeah, the Lex-Lionel was a kickass reveal, but I know what you mean about Lex losing you. I'm both happy and sad about the evolution, and while I'm still fascinated by him, I don't feel that I'm 'in' his emotional journey/landscape as much. That's sad, and difficult to take.
Vicki: whymyownghost on October 21st, 2006 01:19 pm (UTC)
well, i'm handicapped in two ways. #1: i have not seen seasons 3, 4, and 5 except for individual eps. this is a serious problem, and it's why i should really keep my off-base opinions to myself. ("duh!" actually does apply to me. *g*)

#2: i watch smallville for slash potential, which means the female characters are almost invisible to me. tunnel vision, much?

>while I'm still fascinated by [Lex], I don't feel that I'm 'in' his emotional journey/landscape as much. That's sad, and difficult to take.

yes! that is precisely it! MR still plays him beautifully, but he's no longer someone i'd be moved to (let's say) write about or keep around as an imaginary playmate. fans who like evil!lex from the comics wouldn't have this problem.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Oliverbop_radar on October 21st, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC)
Hee! Yeah, those are pretty damn good reason for not seeing it!

I do watch for slash too--it was the primary 'hook' for me and Smallville. But I grew terribly fond of all the female characters too. I'm still not entirely sure how... but I do love them.

MR still plays him beautifully, but he's no longer someone i'd be moved to (let's say) write about or keep around as an imaginary playmate. fans who like evil!lex from the comics wouldn't have this problem.
Yeah, I completely agree. The full supervillain never did it for me. I do like the enemies slash thing, and I'm still going to enjoy the Clex, but Lex himself, Lex as an individual... I'm losing. It is really sad, and I suspect many fans are struggling with it/have struggled with it/will struggle with it. Perhaps we all have our own 'threshold' beyond which we start failing to empathise with him to such a degree. And there's a sort of mourning there. And nostalgia--which SV's so heavily about! But it's not easy. I imagine it's not easy for MR either... his performance remains consistently great, but his character is less attractive. I still admire him, but Lex is not my pov character any more. *sniffles*
Vicki: lex wakes upmyownghost on October 21st, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC)
>Lex himself, Lex as an individual... I'm losing.

again, you've expressed my feelings exactly. it IS sad, and i've been feeling it coming on for a long time. mourning and nostalgia, for sure. i go back and read barn fics sometimes to remember just how sweetly in love with clark's innocence lex was.

it remains to be seen how much lex cares about lana, really. there was one moment, when she walked into the costume party and he caught sight of her, that his face very briefly took on that fondly happy look. but i doubt we'll see a whole lot of that.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex lonelinessbop_radar on October 22nd, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
Yes, fandom definitely helps with the whole Lex evolution thing. Sometimes happy fic is definitely required to deal with it!

I don't think Lex often lets himself relax enough to love Lana in a natural way. I think there are moments--like the one you mentioned--which show that if he just let go a little he could have true happiness. But he's caught up in his own manipulations and obsessive patterns and the way he's constructe his love for Lana to such an extent that true emotion (which is present to some degree at least) gets lost. Poor, sad Lex! Though it's interesting that he's not the woobie Lex he used to be--because his exterior self has hardened up to such an extent, we don't have access to his woobie self any more--and it's harder to empathise as a reflex response.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark/Lois/Oliverbop_radar on October 21st, 2006 01:09 pm (UTC)
Hee! Sorry, I couldn't resist using my 'duh!' icon here, though I really don't mean to be dismissive of you having a different pov on the Clois--I find people either see it or they don't. (But that icon just amuses me so much!)
Vicki: mysterious skin Bradymyownghost on October 21st, 2006 01:20 pm (UTC)
oh, it's ok! i think the icon is adorable. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex lovebop_radar on October 21st, 2006 01:34 pm (UTC)
Oh good! It is a terrible cute icon.
mkitty3: green arrowmkitty3 on October 21st, 2006 03:24 am (UTC)
I love how you can be pro Chloe and pro Lois at the same time. That's very rare. I see Lois lovers who put Chloe down and Chloe lovers that bash Lois all to hell(yes, I'm totally guilty of this!). It's refreshing to read your recaps. It makes me rethink all my rabid Lois hate....well sorta;)

I'm loving Ollie. I think the actor does a great job and he's incredibly sexy. I'm totally down with some Ollie/Clark lovin'.

I'm loving Lana as well, which is just freaking me out! LOL
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Oliverbop_radar on October 21st, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it is rare isn't it. I'm constantly having to justify myself either to the Lois-haters or the Chloe-haters, you know?! :-) I really am very fond of both of them and am a little baffled as to why others feel they can't happily coexist. It rocks to like both of them, I must say--it makes the show really fun. I get to laugh at Lois when Chloe or Clark roll their eyes about her, and I get to enjoy Lois's daft escapades as well.

I'm loving Ollie. I think the actor does a great job and he's incredibly sexy. I'm totally down with some Ollie/Clark lovin'.
Awww, yay! I've been dying for those two to be in a scene together, and this episode really lived up to my expectations--actually I didn't expect their interaction to be so intense and have so much significance for the future--so that was a real plus. And I agree that the actor playing Ollie is doing a great job and is super-hot! ;-)

I'm loving Lana as well, which is just freaking me out! LOL
Right! I am too. Actually, I see many people are coming round to her. I think it's great, though it constantly surprises me too that I've done a 180 on her character. I do think, though, that the writers have really been delivering on the character integrity/consistency a lot better this season/recently, and that's definitely helping. Plus Lana is so much more interesting around Lex than around Clark!
Offical Exception to ALL the Rulestreetracer on October 21st, 2006 03:29 am (UTC)
Er, liked it so much you posted twice? *puzzled*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: bsg kara eeek!bop_radar on October 21st, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
*headdesk*
Oh, man.
I am the world's biggest idiot.
I should have totally clued on when LJ popped up the weird error message... but no! I ran out the door and left it. Ack! Suffice to say, other post is now deleted and I feel immensely embarrassed.
Offical Exception to ALL the Rulestreetracer on October 21st, 2006 03:35 am (UTC)
Clark not only bursts in on Oliver's intimate scene with Lois, he also uncovers Oliver's private weaponry.

Ok, I know you probably didn't mean for that to be humorous, but it cracked me up! ^_^

No matter whose morality you sympathise most with, Oliver is one step ahead of Clark in one regard--he's already living his life by his own established code. He's successfully managing to balance two identities.

God, *yes*. That's my biggest beef with Clark in past seasons; figure out what you want to do, boy, and stick with it!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark/Lois/Oliverbop_radar on October 21st, 2006 01:20 pm (UTC)
Ok, I know you probably didn't mean for that to be humorous, but it cracked me up! ^_^
Oh, I totally giggled while I wrote that line! I'm glad it amused you. I have a very straight-faced, laconic style of humour that doesn't translate well online, I think, so I guess it was hard to pick that that was deliberately humourous. ;-)

figure out what you want to do, boy, and stick with it!
I know, right?! Even though I've appreciated Clark's (sluggish) journey a lot more in Season 5 and early Season 6, I think I still may have been gesticulating wildly and yelling at the screen in that scene. ;-) 'Look Clark! He can do it! Get your shit together! Can you hear what the man's saying about the Big Stage? There's a world outside Smallville...'

I wonder how long Ollie will have to wait.
serenography: sexyLanaserenography on October 21st, 2006 05:54 am (UTC)
Ooh.. nice review. I agree on many points. Oh, and YAY! I loved Lois in this episode. Of course, I loved Lana too.
I wonder if you'd drop me an email (hirene23@gmail.com). I'd like to ask you a favor.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kristinbop_radar on October 21st, 2006 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! If I hadn't made a complete idiot of myself by posting it twice, I'd be proud of it. ;-)

The girls are kicking ass this season! I'm really happy with all of them.

And sure, I'll drop you a line. *g*
tragicllyhiptragicllyhip on October 21st, 2006 01:20 pm (UTC)
However it's also interesting that she hates/fears aliens to such an extent now that she's happy to see a weapon developed against them. Having faced down Zod has firmed up her boundaries/morality in a certain way.

Thats a good way to look at it, I may have let my disdain for Lana cloud my judgement of her actions, I still don't think blackmailing someone is admirable, and defnitely far from good, but if she acted out of fear the I suppose I can buy it. I'm still not clear why she personally blackmailed the guy, if it was supposed to show strength on her side, I certainly didn't view it that way. But I was glad to see Lex operating with Lana like he operates everything else. I'm going to enjoy villainous Lex.

And i agree with everything! Lois was awesome and it was the first time a female on SV actually made me believe they could kick ass. And seeing Clark clearly move toward his destiny was just squee worthy for me, and it makes sense that another Superhero would push him in that direction, its like their visits are taking the place of canon Clark exploring the world to discover that there are others out there who need his help.

Oh and Clark accepting his power was so evident in the way he caught GA's arrow and examined it, seemingly oblivious to Oliver's reaction. There was so much to get excited about in this episode, and you touched on it all, Thanks as always for making everything crystal clear:)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Oliverbop_radar on October 21st, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
Blackmail's not admirable, no. But Lana doesn't define herself as someone who only does what's admirable. She's lived with her own 'dark side' for some time now, and she knows she's capable of some pretty horrific acts--not least of which was the willingness to kill the man she loved to defeat an alien force. She's really defined herself as being against the aliens above all else. And that works for me with Lana's history--she blames them for the loss of her parents.

it was the first time a female on SV actually made me believe they could kick ass
Aww, cool! She was believably feisty! I love Lois. *happy sigh*

it makes sense that another Superhero would push him in that direction, its like their visits are taking the place of canon Clark exploring the world to discover that there are others out there who need his help.
That's a really good way of putting it. It's completely understandable in that context. And it's also interesting to compare 'superhero' eps. Clark was at a very different stage of identification with the Flash and in Aqua. This interaction with Oliver was far more mature and for me, therefore more squee enducing!

Oh and Clark accepting his power was so evident in the way he caught GA's arrow and examined it, seemingly oblivious to Oliver's reaction.
Hee! That was great, wasn't it?! Poor Oliver! He must have been thinking 'ok, you can do THAT TOO?!' Mind you, he got his own 'power' moments. That deflected bullet was genius! The special effects team rocked this ep!
tragicllyhiptragicllyhip on October 21st, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
Blackmail's not admirable, no. But Lana doesn't define herself as someone who only does what's admirable. She's lived with her own 'dark side' for some time now, and she knows she's capable of some pretty horrific acts--not least of which was the willingness to kill the man she loved to defeat an alien force. She's really defined herself as being against the aliens above all else. And that works for me with Lana's history--she blames them for the loss of her parents.

Very good points again! I know that being heavily biased toward Clark I've missed a lot of Lana growth, so its good to read another's take on it. I just see her as being bitchy to Clark all the time, which granted she has much reason to be angry with him. But I never understood the badgering for the secret, but maybe her reasons have been there all along and I've never been able to see it.

At any rate, given all she's been through, it makes more sense for her to be with Lex than Clark, since she and Lex have a lot more in common, but I do think its all going to end very badly. Secrets are nothing compared to what Lex is up to. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kristinbop_radar on October 22nd, 2006 01:17 am (UTC)
Oh, it's definitely going to end very badly!

And you're spot on in saying she and Lex are very similar. They both felt that Clark was obligated to tell them his secret--that aspect of both of them is not very appealing. I always had more sympathy for Lex coz of my slash goggles, but Lana's behaviour mirrored Lex's. For both of them their justification was that the secret was 'about them' as much as about Clark--Lana's always wanted to make sense of her parents death, and she's also wanted to make sense of all the strange incidents with Clark--from the tornado and his weird personality shift in Red onwards. Honestly, if I put myself in Lana's shoes, those would drive me mental as well. It doesn't mean that she's an admirable character, but I have found a way to sympathise with her on some levels.

It's going to end so, so badly. The facade of honesty with Lex is going to crumble and that's going to be far worse than with Clark--where at least she knew that he was lying to her!
Diana: Trouble -- Chlois (by thefakeheadline)butterfly on October 26th, 2006 09:48 am (UTC)
They both felt that Clark was obligated to tell them his secret--that aspect of both of them is not very appealing. I always had more sympathy for Lex coz of my slash goggles, but Lana's behaviour mirrored Lex's.

And to be horribly shippy, this is just the thing that makes Lois different so far. She cares about unmasking the Green Arrow (Bandit!) because she feels that what he's doing is wrong, but she doesn't worry about Clark's secrets because he's not hurting anyone. In fact, she gives him implicit permission to keep his secrets from her by giving him the diary in Oracle -- she sends the message that it's okay to keep things to himself, which is very different from both the hiding that his parents wanted him to do (which was all about fear) and the desire to know his secrets the way everyone else has shown. It's the third option -- the right to privacy. The right to be Clark Kent and not be on display.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois hugbop_radar on October 27th, 2006 02:17 am (UTC)
It's the third option -- the right to privacy. The right to be Clark Kent and not be on display.
YES! Exactly! I love that. *Clois shippy happy glow*
Naomi: Chlois triangle by mssullivanfrelling_tralk on October 21st, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC)
Great review, thanks!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Allison bouncybop_radar on October 21st, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)
*beams* Glad you liked!
Nora Norwich: Lana when I'm badnorwich36 on October 21st, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)
Yay! I knew you would love this episode!

for me, I'm a sucker for the 'impossible to date sassy woman being pursued by adoring guy' set up. I always shipped Lois/Clark more than Lois/Superman. And therefore the Oliver/Lois relationship is perfect for me. It echoes so well the future canonical Lois/Clark.

Yes, that's what I love about it, too, though I actually like both sides of the relationship a lot: Lois/Ollie AND Lois/Green Arrow. I love Ollie trying to distract her from his alter ego with trips to tropical locales, and being completely unsuccessful; I love his patience with her complete social ineptitude; and I love all the long gazes at her. But I also love the snark, and if anything the snarky banter between Lois and Green Arrow is even better than that between Lois and Ollie.

Lois undercut both of them with 'just for the record, that's not me!' about them 'marking their territory'. I also love that she walked out on them leaving Clark alone in Oliver's apartment at midnight.

Yes, that was SUCH a great exit line!!!

I like your reading of the Lois/Chloe interaction in this episode, because to be honest I fear that they're setting up a rivalry that might bring out the characteristics I like *least* in Lois & Chloe, and that would make me very sad. (Oh, and like you commented to someone above: I *so* don't want to get involved in the Lois v. Chloe wars. Ugh. I am just *not* getting into discussions about who's the better journalist, or is more ethical, or blah blah blah--too much of that I think is spillover from toxic Cloiser v. antiCloiser wars on different boards that I have no interest in engaging in). I love them both, and that's that.

Although we got to see how Lana's being drawn into the Luthor web of manipulation, we also got to see a more carefree Lex in this episode. They went jogging together (didn't Lana do that with Jason? Her relationship with Jason prefigured her relationship with Lex so heavily!)

You're right about the relationship with Jason prefiguring this, but eek if that is true, because Jason was lightswitched suddenly. That should NOT happen with Lex, dammit!

But actually, reading backwards, that does make the relationship with Jason a little more interesting: like Lex, he genuinely cared for Lana, but because of bigger forces in motion their relationship was doomed.

like that Lana is watching out for Lex and does fear his ambition and drive. The fact that it could be a weapon is not scary at all unless there's a weak link in the chain of people who know about it--and she must fear that that is Lex himself. However it's also interesting that she hates/fears aliens to such an extent now that she's happy to see a weapon developed against them. Having faced down Zod has firmed up her boundaries/morality in a certain way.

I was actually unsure how much credence we were supposed to give to her discussion with Lionel, because clearly she was telling him what he wanted to hear in an attempt to play him back. She might have been doing the same thing with Lex, of course, but I trust her xenophobia more than I trust any other piece of her characterization right now, since that was a constant for all of last season and only underscored by her encounter with Zod.

Lana has layers now! Her motivations are murky and unclear! How cool is that!!!!!!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark/Lois/Oliverbop_radar on October 22nd, 2006 01:43 am (UTC)
I love Ollie trying to distract her from his alter ego with trips to tropical locales, and being completely unsuccessful; I love his patience with her complete social ineptitude; and I love all the long gazes at her. But I also love the snark, and if anything the snarky banter between Lois and Green Arrow is even better than that between Lois and Ollie.
Heee! They are such joy! And I like both sides too, yes. He adoooores her--I'm so delighted. He's such a cutie. And yes, they snark so well at each other when he's in Green Arrow mode.

I fear that they're setting up a rivalry that might bring out the characteristics I like *least* in Lois & Chloe, and that would make me very sad.
Oh, that would make me very sad too! Eep! I hope not. So far, I feel it's been well handled, but I imagine it's not easy for the writing team to balance.

I love them both, and that's that.
Yup, me too. And I'm not going to engage with the inevitable wars over their characters. I think the rivalry is far more of a fannish construct than reflective of the show at this stage, so I'm not really interested in that debate. I'll defend both Lois AND Chloe if need be, because I like them both. And my issues with Chloe last season have evaporated--the writers are doing a much better job with not pushing the bounds of believability with her character. So I'm far more 'in' her than I was last season.

eek if that is true, because Jason was lightswitched suddenly
Do you think so? I never saw it that way at all. He wasn't lightswitched--the full picture on him just came into view--with the relationship with his mum and all. Regarding the mania for the stones--well, EVERYone went nuts for them, Lana and Lex and Clark as well, so I don't tend to see that as a character-specific lightswitch so much as an aspect of that lame plot line. Jason heavily prefigures Lex to me--and it's especially obvious in this episode where we see 'behind the scenes' interaction between Lex and his father, just as we started seeing Jason with his mother and realising that all was not well. And yes, Jason, like Lex, had genuine love for Lana, but that was overridden by his family loyalties and attributes. It's not gonna be pretty. (I always liked Jason and his plot line, though I know others didn't--I'm getting a kick out of seeing it click into place in retrospect too. I had the same revelation with Whitney when I went back on rewatch too--his plot also fits the 'bound to follow in your parents' footsteps' tragedy mode.)

And I agree about Lana! LAYERS! Wheeee!! I love that. One problem I had with her in the past is that we were told about her layers (by Lana herself) but never actually saw them. This Lexana plot is so good for her because we really do see her murkiness, how much she's in grey territory. My reading of the Lionel scene is that there was some truth in what she said to him and that's what helped her play him so convincingly. But I also trust her xenophobia more than anything else--and that was borne out in her dialogue this ep. (I'm LOVING the writing team this season--the dialogue is really showing they know the characters! Shock!)
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on October 22nd, 2006 07:19 am (UTC)
Do you think so? I never saw it that way at all. He wasn't lightswitched--the full picture on him just came into view--with the relationship with his mum and all. Regarding the mania for the stones--well, EVERYone went nuts for them, Lana and Lex and Clark as well, so I don't tend to see that as a character-specific lightswitch so much as an aspect of that lame plot line. Jason heavily prefigures Lex to me--and it's especially obvious in this episode where we see 'behind the scenes' interaction between Lex and his father, just as we started seeing Jason with his mother and realising that all was not well. And yes, Jason, like Lex, had genuine love for Lana, but that was overridden by his family loyalties and attributes. It's not gonna be pretty. (I always liked Jason and his plot line, though I know others didn't--I'm getting a kick out of seeing it click into place in retrospect too. I had the same revelation with Whitney when I went back on rewatch too--his plot also fits the 'bound to follow in your parents' footsteps' tragedy mode.)

Well, I haven't rewatched most of those Jason eps, but in my recollection it felt pretty lightswitched--he was opposing his Mom because he loved Lana, and then boom, he was evil. If there was any real setup for this, I guess I missed it. And I liked Jason, so I was pretty annoyed.

Though Whitney--you know, he's the Lana boyfriend (besides Lex) I liked the most, and I *still* haven't forgiven the producers for killing him off just to make way for the Clana (which they admitted to doing in interviews).

Yes, I agree with you about the improved writing this season, and also about Lana with layers. Yay!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Oliverbop_radar on October 22nd, 2006 07:36 am (UTC)
Well, I haven't rewatched most of those Jason eps, but in my recollection it felt pretty lightswitched--he was opposing his Mom because he loved Lana, and then boom, he was evil. If there was any real setup for this, I guess I missed it. And I liked Jason, so I was pretty annoyed.
Well as I remember it he was being suckered by his mum from the start--his attempts to fight it were always far from successful and he was as quagmired in Teague-ness as Lex is in Luthor-ness. He did love Lana, but he had his own objectives too and when it came down to it he fought for himself (just as everyone did at the end of S4) rather than her. The set-up wasn't brilliant, but for me it worked. I never saw a lightswitch.

I *still* haven't forgiven the producers for killing him off just to make way for the Clana (which they admitted to doing in interviews).
Awww. I never liked him on first viewing, but I felt really bad for him on second viewing. He didn't need to have been killed then. Ach! How irritating.
slinkling: Tomslinkling on October 22nd, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC)
I have used up everything coherent I had to say in my own post, so for now I'll just leave it as OMG yes I agree and *twirls you into a dip*.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Oliverbop_radar on October 22nd, 2006 09:59 pm (UTC)
Heeeee!!! My meta brain was overpowered this week by the OMG!SQUEEEEE!!!! so I completely understand. I will check out your post and attempt to be coherent, but I can't promise anything! ;-)
rumpuso on October 23rd, 2006 03:06 am (UTC)
Wonderful review as always. I guess I'm several days late to the party this week. But no matter when I read your recaps and thoughts, I always tend to feel more clarification for the episodes. Thank you for that.

I am not on the Lana loving bandwagon yet. I adored her in Arrival, Mortal, Hidden. Then I didn't enjoy her storyline again.

When she hooked up with Lex in the middle of season 5, I felt supremely baffled. I *get* why the writers put these two together. Lana does have some pretty dark secrets, from what I can remember. I mean, she was partly responsible for that goon's death in Phoenix, she (as Isobel) killed Jason's mom in Commencement, and then she kinda offered to kill Lexzod in Zod. That's not happy stuff right there, so I get the nature of why Lana and Lex have connected. They both have dark sides and they both tend to blame Clark for their own misgivings. But for me, the relationship isn't playing onscreen convincingly. For example, for 5+ years, Smallville has beat it into our brains that Lana and Clark are infatuated with one another. They were eachother's first loves, and first sexual experiences. They took it slow. They dragged it out. They got to know one another. And we sat back and watched. (Yes, we also rolled our eyes, but that's besides the point). Now Lana and Lex are dating for what...3 months? Lana is aware of Lex's nature, through her relationship with Clark. Yet, she dives headlong into a serious relationship with him, moves in with him, sleeps with him all in record time (for her standards). It's shocking to say the least. Now in Arrow, we see Lana blackmailing the scientist in the elevator. We see Lana playing Lionel Luthor, for god's sakes. And we see Lana interact with Lex, but how much of what she is doing is honest interaction, and how much is her secret personal agenda? That remains something to be determined. So, I came away from that elevator scene feeling like I have once again witnessed another attempt at giving Lana a purpose by the Smallville writers, a la Lana and Henry Small, Lana and Isobel and the magic crystals, Lana and Zod. If this time around, the writers create a Lana who ends up more savvy and smart than both Lex and Lionel, I may choke with irritation. If it plays out where Lana is victimized again, I'll be able to live with it because that it her modus operandi. I at least can wrap my mind around that. But, Lana street smarter than the Luthors who have been game players their entire lives...I think not.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex mehbop_radar on October 23rd, 2006 03:37 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm always happy to hear from you, no matter how 'late'!

she dives headlong into a serious relationship with him, moves in with him, sleeps with him all in record time (for her standards)
Well, it was fast, but it wasn't ooc in my view. Lana's had a lot of serious relationships, not just with Clark. Whitney was an emotionally significant relationship for her, though she was obviously a lot younger so it didn't reach the physical stage that later relationships did. But her relationship with Jason was very similar to her relationship with Lex now: and we saw her try to initiate sex with him then, but it was honesty/trust issues that disrupted their potential intimacy. Lex has got over those hurdles--he's been genuinely honest with her time and time again, even if we the audience see there is more going on that that. To Lana, he's proved himself. Also, Lana was sexually frustrated in her relationship with Clark for much of Season 5! I wouldn't discount that as a motivation for moving quicker with Lex. She got her first taste of sexual intimacy and then was starved of it again. Not easy for any young woman, I'd say. But clearly we come at Lana from different perspectives.

If this time around, the writers create a Lana who ends up more savvy and smart than both Lex and Lionel, I may choke with irritation.
I don't think you'll have to! I severely doubt that's where they're going, but I may be wrong. I'll be irked right along with you if that is the case. At the moment, it seems to me that Lana is stronger than she's ever been, but that that's being shown to be not strong enough for the Luthors. She's playing Lionel and blackmailing people, but it won't help her--in fact, it will make her 'fall' when it comes all the worse--because she's crossed all these moral boundaries for Lex only to discover that he was pulling the strings all along. Of course we don't know for sure yet, but that's what I predict.
rumpuso on October 23rd, 2006 02:29 pm (UTC)
\\Well, it was fast, but it wasn't ooc in my view. Lana's had a lot of serious relationships, not just with Clark. Whitney was an emotionally significant relationship for her, though she was obviously a lot younger so it didn't reach the physical stage that later relationships did. But her relationship with Jason was very similar to her relationship with Lex now: and we saw her try to initiate sex with him then, but it was honesty/trust issues that disrupted their potential intimacy. Lex has got over those hurdles--he's been genuinely honest with her time and time again, even if we the audience see there is more going on that that. To Lana, he's proved himself. Also, Lana was sexually frustrated in her relationship with Clark for much of Season 5! I wouldn't discount that as a motivation for moving quicker with Lex.\\
I do agree with this. Lana has been established on this show as very needy. Almost needy to the point where if she doesn't have another man to mirror herself off of, she cannot truly see who she is. So I agree with you here. I can't explain, I guess, why the onscreen relationship feels rushed/forced to me between Lex and Lana, because I honestly do understand why she turned to him.