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28 October 2006 @ 04:32 pm
Smallville 6.05 Reunion  
*insert ten hours of cursing LJ for eating my review the first time round*

Accidents and Responsibility
In the comic that Lex and Duncan are reading at the start of Reunion, Warrior Angel and Black Diamond are fighting because of an accident, a death, that occurred when Warrior Angel confronted Black Diamond's father, a supervillain. The most obvious parallel here is to Lex as Black Diamond and Clark as Warrior Angel. The issue at stake is one of responsibility--Black Diamond calling Warrior Angel on his responsibility for the 'accidental' death, we assume. So from the start of this episode the theme of personal responsibility is established. Three characters--Clark, Lex and Oliver--confront their past actions in this episode and deal with their guilt and/or responsibility in different ways.

After the confrontation with Oliver and his thugs, Duncan says 'one day we're going to get those guys'. The camera pans up to the statue atop Excelsior. I could be wrong, but it looked like a statue of Justice. And in the present day, we see the sword of justice fall on the first of the three bullies, killing him. Helpless to Lionel Luthor's experiments, Duncan has been turned into a 'meteor freak' who acts on his basest instincts--vengeance. Of all the meteor freaks we've had, he's one of the most sympathetic. Had he lived, he may have exercised true justice as a lawyer, but instead he is poisoned and corrupted. Three characters--Lex, Clark and Oliver--face the choice between justice and corruption in this episode.

Blood-stained memory
Lex's memory of his school, symbolised in the school crest which he clutches, is stained with blood. He is haunted by the memory of his friendship with Duncan and its tragic end--and this memory comes to life in this episode.

Lex and Duncan talked of working as partners, lawyers working pro bono on behalf of the disadvantaged poor. This is the type of real-life heroism that Lex could have embraced, though he initially jokes with Duncan about it 'better hit the gym--spandex is hard to pull off'. Even as an adolescent, Lex's dreams were grandiose. It is Duncan whose down to earth practicality could have offered Lex the grounding he needed. But Lex is not motivated by altruism; he embraces the idea of working with Duncan not to do good, but to piss of his father.

Duncan's response to the discovery that Ollie and his mates are cheating is starkly different to Lex's. Duncan follows straightfoward rules and morality, regardless of the personal consequences. Lex thinks of the personal gain first and foremost. He also demonstrates a capacity for deception that Duncan finds abhorrent--'you don't pretend to be friends with someone Lex: you either are or you aren't.' This young Lex is not so different from the Lex we see in the present day, hiding his true self beneath layers of deception and denial for personal gain in terms of power, money and prestige. They have very similar world views as well. Lex still identifies as 'outsider'. Duncan is an interesting contrast to Lex, telling him that he never felt like he was 'on the outside'--'not when you were my friend'. Friendship is acceptance enough for Duncan, but not for Lex, who pushes for more, ambition being part of his nature.

Oliver throws Lex into stark relief in this episode. He has a certain view of Lex: 'poor little Lex, always blaming someone else for all of his problems'. There is truth in this. There is also truth in Lex's retort 'only when they're the cause'. For Lex may have a tendency to blame others, but he usually has a fair case. He frequently blames Lionel (accurately), Clark (sometimes accurately), and here he blames Oliver (also accurately), but unlike Oliver he's not ALSO prepared to share the ownership of responsibilty for them, and he doesn't take responsbility for his own actions. Lex continues to thrust the blame elsewhere--and it's easy to blame a dislikeable group of bullies. 'He finally got what he deserved' he tells Lana, still casting Oliver and the crew as the 'bad guys' and himself as blameless. Though through his dream we see that he still recalls his own actions and that those actions frighten him.

Lex initially refuses to open up to Lana, but he does do so at then end. She tries to comfort him by telling him that it's not who he once was that matters but who he is now. But Lex is still trapped in his old identity--there are a lot of similarities between young Lex and the Lex we see today who hides beneath layers of denial and deception. Lex tells Oliver he regrets ever wanting to be friends with people like him, yet Lex still turns up to his reunion. He may claim it is good for 'business', there may genuinely be no emotional need to fit in at a personal level any more, but Lex's excuses seem weak--he hasn't really moved on.

Lex sits in the shadows in the mansion and Lionel tries to offer advice. Lionel says that the best way to deal with memories that haunt us (an echo of Excelsior's motto) is to 'leave them behind us, bury them where they belong--in the past'. But Lex is already burying his emotions beneath alcohol and sarcasm. He's not working through his problems constructively. The only emotional shift he makes in this episode is from wallowing to swallowing, which is not much of an improvement.

Lionel hid the truth about Duncan's death from Lex in order to push Lex in a certain direction. Lionel would have hated his son being friends with the poor scholarship kid and he certainly wouldn't have wanted him to shoulder responsiblity for Duncan's death since that could have led Lex down the path of fulfilling Duncan's dream to make up for it--the last thing Lionel would have wanted. But Lionel also stood to profit personally from the experimenting on Duncan, and it was therefore extra chilling to see Lex adopt this same position at the end of the episode.

This was not an easy episode to watch from a Lex perspective. While I can understand how he came to project his own self-hatred onto Duncan and turn on him, I cannot condone it. Nor can I empathise with Lex in this. He is finally an unsympathetic character--although that doesn't mean that I don't have some sympathy for him. But things have shifted. In the earlier seasons, we had rose-tinted glasses where Lex was concerned. And with good reason--for the door to redemption still stood open to him at that stage. The door has closed, and it's cold and painful and lonely on the other side.

Oliver
Oliver is a very interesting character in the Smallville universe because he breaks the mould. He proves that who you once were is not who you will always be. And for this reason, he's the perfect role model for Clark at this stage in his development. He also casts a shadow over Lex, who has stood at crossroads more times than we can count.

Oliver's defined in this episode by the degree to which he takes ownership for what happened, telling Clark 'Lex and I killed Duncan'. Although we learn in the flashback that Duncan's death was accidental, Ollie acknowledges that the circumstances leading up to it were the direct result of his actions, as well as that of his friends and Lex.

Although we've seen Oliver be bitchy to Lex, he doesn't like seeing his school pals use Duncan as emotional ammo against Lex at the reunion. I can imagine that Oliver would feel resentment towards Lex--while Lex was off partying and then taking over Luthorcorp, Oliver was reinventing himself as a champion of the downtrodden. He may like one-upping Lex on a personal level, but he's not buying in to group bullying any more.

Hero pals
Clark is transferring some of his behaviour patterns with Lex onto Ollie. Excluded from the mansion and, in this episode, from visiting Lana even when she's in hospital (more-neutral ground), he bursts in to Oliver's apartment instead. Oliver doesn't respond with anger, but he does make a point of remarking on Clark's poor manners: 'or you need to learn how to knock!' In a similar manner, Oliver draws a clear line when Clark asks how he managed to keep his satellites working on Dark Thursday ('trade secret'). Clark is presumptuous in his friendship with Oliver in a way that implies he's directly transferring emotions/behaviour from his relationship with Lex. It must baffle Ollie!

But in this episode we see their friendship settle and deepen. Ollie sits on the barn stairs while Clark does chores. This is the first scene between them that does not include discussion of or line-drawing about boundaries. They are comfortable with one another--they are friends and they can relate to one another. And the bond that links them in this episode is taking responsbility for bad things that they've done. This is perfect for Clark right now, who is just facing up to his own responsbility vis a vis the Zoners. And it must be good for Ollie too to have an equal. Since distancing himself from his school circle and reinventing himself as a secret hero, Oliver must have been very isolated. So I'm not surprised to see him settling down in a friendship with Clark. It's also nice that he's not pushing the boundaries there too much--he hasn't pried into Clark's own secrets, even though he must suspect something after Chloe fumbled about the Dark Thursday article. Clark finally has a healthy male friendship! *squeee* I also loved his reaction to Chloe's 'in person, he's really...' Clark's little smile and nod indicated, 'yes, yes, he IS'--there was ownership and fondness there--Oliver isn't just Lois's hot new boyfriend! :-p

Wall of Weird goes global
The world is opening up to Clark--the Zoners are going to take him all over the world, even Australia perhaps! The final reveal about Raya was very exciting. But what was even more exciting was seeing Clark continue to take responsibility for the results of his actions. The matter of the village in India is of great concern to Clark. He wants to know if he is responsible. Notably he doesn't sink into emo-guilt-trauma as he might have in first season ('The meteor shower was my fault'), but he seeks to find the truth objectively ('I need to know for sure') and is prepared to shoulder responsibility if it is his. In this he speaks against both Martha and Chloe who seek to comfort Clark and reassure him of his own 'goodness'. This was useful at an earlier stage of his development but is redundant now. Clark's moved past them in their thinking and is looking at the bigger picture. Chloe and Martha both focus on the potential murder of Lex, but I doubt that's Clark's focus--he's thinking much further back--if he had worked with Jor-El from the start, finished his training, heeded his warnings, Zod's arrival could have been averted in a different way. And he's learning not to shy away from the big picture, less direct consequences of his actions.

My hot boyfriend
Lois and Oliver's relationship has clearly deepened. He not only takes her to the reunion but is also still with her later in the aftermath of his friend's death. Lois calls him 'my hot boyfriend' to Clark, the first real sign from her that she acknowledges they are dating.

Lois's journalism career is also developing, still growing organically out of her own life. She undertakes this investigation not only to get a juicy story but also to save her boyfriend. And while she is frustrated that he doesn't open up to her, she doesn't waste her time demanding that he do so or being self-pitying about it. She simply expresses regret about it and gets on with doing what she can. I loved Clark's ever-so=earnest attempt to explain Ollie's perspective to Lois. Lois is rewarded for her patience, which stands in contrast to Lex's and Lana's behaviour under similar circumstances with Clark. At the end of the episode Ollie says it may be 'time for me to do some talking' and we assume that he is going to open up to Lois about Duncan. Though not about his secret identity, which, I assume, will be this couple's final undoing. I just have one wish with that--that they make out on screen at least ONCE before they break up! Please!!

I'm still enjoying Lois's growth a great deal. It was good to see her drop the story as in bad taste. Again, Lois's morality is growing out of her personal relationships, in a similar way to Clark's. But once firmed up, these lines that she's drawing will serve her well as an ethical journalist in the future.

Final squee notes:
- Oliver has hero reflexes--shielding both Lois and Lex from the impact of an explosion.
- supacat tells me the 'boxing glove arrow' is from Green Arrow comic canon.
- The shooting-an-arrow-with-his-eyes-closed sequence was ridiculously hot. As he shot it, I exclaimed 'this could not get any hotter!' Oh, how wrong I was! ;-) With Clark catching the arrow mid-air! *flails*
- The final interaction between Lex and Oliver had echoes of old Clex--Lex thanks Oliver for saving him, Oliver says 'you would have done the same for me', Lex says thank you--but this time that's all he says. Pointedly. No more excessive gratitude and devotion from Lex!

I'm loving this new mature Smallville and new grown-up Clark!
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: crankycranky
 
 
 
Kate: K A T Emskatej on October 28th, 2006 11:19 am (UTC)
This was not an easy episode to watch from a Lex perspective. While I can understand how he came to project his own self-hatred onto Duncan and turn on him, I cannot condone it. Nor can I empathise with Lex in this. He is finally an unsympathetic character

This is the thing I can't stop thinking about. Clearly SV has done it deliberately - after all, as Lex moves closer to his future iconic self we *should* lose sympathy for him, but I'm actually shocked at how effectively they've managed it. In the space of one episode I stopped being on Lex's side. I actually sort of disliked him, which I just. I can't believe that happened.

How am I supposed to write Clex now? *weeps*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Pretty please clarkbop_radar on October 28th, 2006 11:30 am (UTC)
In the space of one episode I stopped being on Lex's side. I actually sort of disliked him, which I just. I can't believe that happened.
*nods* Yup. It happened to me too. This was the ep that broke me of Lex. It was when he said he wanted the lab notes. I saw you saying that was cool because he's Lionel's boss--and I'm really glad you pointed that out because I blacked out in that moment and only saw the 'omg! I hate Lex!'-ness. I feel like he raped Duncan for knowledge now... Ugh. But this is good. In a bad way, this is good. We are meant to dislike him by now. And I've been less and less 'in' him for some time, and more and more uncomfortable with him. But I finally actually disliked him in this ep. I am sure there will be moments in the future when I like him again, but the tide has turned.

How am I supposed to write Clex now? *weeps*
Yeah, I had a bit of a malaise today about the Clex and the lack of it. Yes, the slash is still ALL OVER SV, and I love Ollie and all that he brings. ADORE HIM. But It's not Clex, and I fretted that I'd lost my Clex groove. But I tell you, I watched one good Clex vid and I was right back in it again... I think you will find your Clex-y place again too. *pats*
(no subject) - mskatej on October 28th, 2006 11:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 28th, 2006 11:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mskatej on October 28th, 2006 11:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bop_radar on October 29th, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Vicki: Lex bare neckmyownghost on October 28th, 2006 12:06 pm (UTC)
i like the grown-up clark too, and i like oliver more than is entirely healthy (heh), but i'm grieving the lex-who-was.

>In the earlier seasons, we had rose-tinted glasses where Lex was concerned. And with good reason--for the door to redemption still stood open to him at that stage. The door has closed, and it's cold and painful and lonely on the other side.

yes, the door has closed. it makes me sad (see "more than is entirely healthy," above). it's like losing something that could've been beautiful but never will now. oh well, there's always fanfic...
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex golden fieldbop_radar on October 28th, 2006 12:37 pm (UTC)
It IS sad. There's no getting around that for me. I'm doing my own sort of mourning for a character I dearly, dearly love(d). It's interesing though--on other shows I move in and out of empathy with characters quite readily. But on Smallville, the loss (or gain) of a character-loyalty feels momentous. Especially this one--the inevitability notwithstanding. But it's not totally black and white--I suspect Lex will tug my heartstrings a few more times before the end.

I agree--thank god for fanfic, and fandom in general! *g*
(no subject) - myownghost on October 28th, 2006 12:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 28th, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - myownghost on October 28th, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 28th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rhiannonhero on October 30th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - myownghost on October 30th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mahaliemmahaliem on October 28th, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC)
The nail in the coffin of my sympathy towards Lex was when Lex demanded the experiments on Duncan.

It no longer seems impossible to imagine Lex, at some point, strapping Clark to a table and taking him apart to see what makes him tick.

The shooting-an-arrow-with-his-eyes-closed sequence was ridiculously hot. As he shot it, I exclaimed 'this could not get any hotter!' Oh, how wrong I was! ;-) With Clark catching the arrow mid-air! *flails*

It was amazingly hot. *fans self*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex villainbop_radar on October 28th, 2006 11:09 pm (UTC)
The nail in the coffin of my sympathy towards Lex was when Lex demanded the experiments on Duncan.
Same! The past events I can deal with--we've always known Lex had a difficult past. But the fact that he processed all that and decided to use the results of experimentation on Duncan?! *shudders* Yes, just rape your once-best-friend for knowledge. Yuch!
Diana: Clark Kent (by jess5320)butterfly on October 28th, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)
In this episode I loved the way (as you pointed out) Ollie was Lex to Clark and Clark to Lex, and both ways was used to illustrate the slightly different places the guys are in their lives now than they were back when Clark met Lex. I'm really impressed at how complex and fascinating they've made Oliver -- Justin's doing a terrific job as him.

Clark continues to be so grown-up this year! Again, as you pointed out, when Martha and Chloe fall back into the old pattern of simply comforting him, it isn't what he needs anymore. The guilt isn't eating him alive -- he's just using it as a way for him to figure out what he needs to do.

I do find it very interesting that they accelerated all three main comics folks all at the same time (Lana, too, if this is what they've made her future path -- they mentioned 'rewriting comics history' with Wither and I wonder if maybe making Lex and Lana real and lasting could be what they meant), though that's also very true to the way systems tend to develop in reality. A slow-build up, then once a certain threshold has been reached, a sudden upward spike.

Or downward, in the case of Lex. This episode fits together all the pieces of what will make him a supervillian in the future and they're all things that we've seen him do before. It works. The tragedy of Lex isn't that he can't make better choices, but that we already know that he won't.

Lois continued wonderful. I felt slightly bad for her at the party, when she came over to say, 'hi' to Lana and got... nothing back. But Lana has very definitely chosen her side and is making her loyalties of the moment very clear, so I can understand why she doesn't want to talk to Martha's CoS, one of Clark Kent's best friends (to use Oliver's words -- which can only be based on how often she talked about Clark to Ollie), and Chloe's cousin. She was investigative and ethical and continued to puncture Clark's seriousness. You can see why she'll be so essential to him in the future.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois no morningsbop_radar on October 28th, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
'm really impressed at how complex and fascinating they've made Oliver -- Justin's doing a terrific job as him.
Same! He really is carrying a lot so far this season, and doing magnificently. And it is not at ALL easy to join a show in its sixth season, with long-established stars around.

The guilt isn't eating him alive -- he's just using it as a way for him to figure out what he needs to do.
Yes--Clark is looking forward from a strong basis now. Not over-emotional, but clear-eyed. I love it! I finally see him becoming superman!!

they mentioned 'rewriting comics history' with Wither
Oh, really? I haven't been reading articles about this season in case of spoilers, which I'm very strict about with SV. But I'd be interested to read about that. There's definitely been a shift in the writing team this year--and so far I'm enjoying it.

The tragedy of Lex isn't that he can't make better choices, but that we already know that he won't.
*nods* Exactly.

I felt slightly bad for her at the party, when she came over to say, 'hi' to Lana and got... nothing back.
I know! Because actually Lois has been a good friend to Lana at times. But Lois won't dwell on this. She's not one to angst about stuff like that. In fact, she has very few friends but it never bothers her. *loves*
(no subject) - butterfly on October 31st, 2006 11:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
Nora Norwich: Lex don't fuck with menorwich36 on October 28th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
I think this essay is brilliant, so I don't think you need to worry about losing the first draft.

In some ways we saw this episode very similarly: it's all about taking responsibility for your actions, and allowing the mistakes you made in the past to teach you to make better choices in the future. Oliver and Clark are doing that; Lex is not, and he's joined in a chorus by Lionel ("bury the past") and Lana "you were just a boy then."

I disagree with you about Lex being the same boy he was in the past, however. Because after Lex exploded with rage and beat up Duncan, he regretted it--that's very clear. Right before Duncan is hit by the car, he's trying to apologize, though of course Duncan, rightly, doesn't want to hear it. I think that's a marked contrast to his future self, that is willing to use the results of the experiments on Duncan.

I think I'm actually pretty glad I had seen the previews about this episode before I watched it, though--it really affected my sense of Lex, to have been prepared to see much worse. I found Lex's actions at Excelsior believable and understandable, if not sympathetic, so this ep didn't completely change my opinion of him. (Also, while I'm sure canonically we are supposed to see Lex's violent attack on Duncan as frustrated ambition, or something of the sort, I can't help but give it a slashy explanation. That level of violence just screams "frustrated passion" to me.)

I also couldn't help but see all the Clark parallels in Duncan: both are heroic figures, in Lex's mind--warrior angel figures; both are outsiders Lex is drawn to specifically because of their outsider status; both are people with a strict moral code that Lex is attracted to, but can't ultimately share; both are people who Lex breaks with via physical violence. (I can't help but see the parallels to "Mortal", even if they are reversed: in Mortal the fist fight is provoked by Clark because Lex was callously endangering his family as a way of experimenting to see if CLark had powers;min Reunion, the fist fight comes first and the experimentation later, but we still see Lex's will to power overshadowing friendship).

Someone else--might have been huzzlewhat, I can't remember for sure--pointed out, too, that Duncan's death (which apparently was originally going to be a suicide) by car accident gives added resonance to Lex's first meeting with Clark. Clark had Duncan's strict moral code and yet survived a car accident; Lex must have seen that as his chance to make up for the way he treated Duncan. That affects the way I read his decision to use the experiments on Duncan at the end: it's really a decision about Clark rather than one about Duncan.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex mysterybop_radar on October 28th, 2006 11:26 pm (UTC)
I disagree with you about Lex being the same boy he was in the past, however. Because after Lex exploded with rage and beat up Duncan, he regretted it--that's very clear. Right before Duncan is hit by the car, he's trying to apologize, though of course Duncan, rightly, doesn't want to hear it. I think that's a marked contrast to his future self, that is willing to use the results of the experiments on Duncan.
*nods* You're right. Good call. There is similarity, but there's also growth--the adolescent self had negative attributes, but he could have gone in a different direction. I wonder, for example, if visiting Duncan's bedside for ten years wouldn't have been better for him. But our current Lex affirms in this episode that he's put a lid on these events in a decisive and certain way.

I found Lex's actions at Excelsior believable and understandable, if not sympathetic, so this ep didn't completely change my opinion of him.
I find them believable and understandable too. I just can't empathise with him in it; that's the subtle shift. I am aware I was quite melodramatic in my review about my changed feelings for Lex. I did want to mark the occasion properly, because when he asked for the lab results on Duncan, I actively disliked him and experienced revulsion about him. But this shift has been coming on slowly for me with Lex. I've talked in comments about finding I'm not 'in' Lex's emotional journey any more, and this ep just crystallised that for me, rather than it being a case of this ep changing my feelings. Having said that, I can understand how there would have been a lot of worry about this episode when spoilers leaked. I didn't find it unbelievable or a stretch though.

That level of violence just screams "frustrated passion" to me
Well, yes, and that fits with the Lex we know so well too. Passion and violence are interlinked for him, as are love and hate.

And I definitely agree about all the Clark/Duncan parallels. I actually liked that Duncan was so well drawn as a character in his own right. The actor had a real sincerity about him. I really bought into him.

Duncan's death (which apparently was originally going to be a suicide) by car accident gives added resonance to Lex's first meeting with Clark.
*nods* True! and that's interesting about it originally going to be a suicide. I think that would have been a mistake. Because responsibility is more muddled in that scenario; Duncan didn't choose to die--he's more fully a victim in this version.

Lex must have seen that as his chance to make up for the way he treated Duncan. That affects the way I read his decision to use the experiments on Duncan at the end: it's really a decision about Clark rather than one about Duncan.
Yes, yes, I think that's true. mahaliem said above it's not hard to imagine Lex pulling Clark apart on a lab table now, and I agree. This decision is an important marker in Lex's evolution.
(no subject) - norwich36 on October 29th, 2006 04:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 29th, 2006 04:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - norwich36 on October 29th, 2006 05:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 29th, 2006 05:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - norwich36 on October 29th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 29th, 2006 05:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - norwich36 on October 29th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 29th, 2006 07:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Re: comics canon incoming! - norwich36 on October 30th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: comics canon incoming! - bop_radar on October 30th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Re: comics canon incoming! - bop_radar on October 30th, 2006 12:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
serenography: Sserenography on October 28th, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)
Goodlord, boppy.. You really are the goddess of SV analysis. It makes me so happy to have found you on LJ. I couldn't agree more with so much of what you've said. It makes posting my own commentary seem superfluous (particularly since in no universe would I ever express myself as well as you do). Thanks for reposting this after the LJ demons ate the first draft.

Regarding the end of Clex - I dunno, maybe this is where being a Clana fan has its advantages. Just as I've always known that Clana wouldn't last and have learned to deal with it, the same applies to Clex. They were always going to break the boys up, and they need to do it in a way that is irreparable enough for them to end up as life-long enemies. So very sad, but inevitable. In my usual attempt to salvage any and all possible pleasure out of the show though, I think the angry confrontations are a whole different kind of intriguing (read: hot) Clex. I'm kind of looking forward to more of those. Hate/Lust is easy to see if you squint real hard.

I'm so going to miss Ollie. I'm joining the crowd hoping for a spin-off.

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lollie ship!bop_radar on October 28th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
Regarding the end of Clex - I dunno, maybe this is where being a Clana fan has its advantages. Just as I've always known that Clana wouldn't last and have learned to deal with it, the same applies to Clex. They were always going to break the boys up, and they need to do it in a way that is irreparable enough for them to end up as life-long enemies. So very sad, but inevitable. In my usual attempt to salvage any and all possible pleasure out of the show though, I think the angry confrontations are a whole different kind of intriguing (read: hot) Clex. I'm kind of looking forward to more of those. Hate/Lust is easy to see if you squint real hard.
Oh, yes!! I definitely agree with you. I'm actually 'ok' about the end of Clex, or rather the transformation into full enemy mode--all that suppressed desire transformed into rage. I've known it was coming. I've got emotions about it, but I'm working through them. And apart from personal attachment/nostalgia, I'm glad the show's played it out the way it has. That takes strength and commitment. I'm happy for it.

I'm so going to miss Ollie. I'm joining the crowd hoping for a spin-off.
Me TOOOOO!!! I don't know the details on if/when they write him off, as I sta spoiler free, but I'm assuming they will at some point. And I'm already fretting about how much I will miss him!! *sniffles* He's wonderful! He needs his own show!

(Also--that's nonsense! you express yourself extremely well! But thank you. *hugs*)
(no subject) - serenography on October 29th, 2006 04:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 29th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
Natashatheclexfactor on October 28th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, the boxing glove arrow is iconic to Green Arrow, lol, and the DC fangirl in me squeed loudly.

I absolutely LOVED your review. You have this way of making me rethink episodes that I either already loved (this one) and ones that I one the fence with and then later loved because you made me see some things that I didn't see before (Wither).
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on October 28th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
Awwww! That's such a sweet and lovely comment. *hugs*
blowjobs for jesus: oliver is fucking hotkristiinthedark on October 28th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
While I can understand how he came to project his own self-hatred onto Duncan and turn on him, I cannot condone it. Nor can I empathise with Lex in this.

Hmmm... I certainly can't condone it, but I guess I can empathize? I really felt for the younger Lex (even as my like for present Lex is fading) and, for me, it wasn't so much him beating Duncan up, as it was the brutality of it. I think the writers just went a little bit overboard to get the point across. I know that Lex has taken golf clubs to a windshield, but using the same technique in bashing a boy's head against a tree... I'm not seeing it.

While I must admit that Lois doesn't bother me as much as she used to, I have a problem with her sudden leap into journalism. Like, okay, I want to do that! And then it's done. I've found this to be the case with several of her endeavors and I really would LOVE some build-up, some kind of real character growth. But this is just me, and what I see. We obviously differ and that's very yay!

And I don't even need to tell you how much I love Oliver! ♥♥♥
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Oliverbop_radar on October 28th, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
I really felt for the younger Lex (even as my like for present Lex is fading) and, for me, it wasn't so much him beating Duncan up, as it was the brutality of it.
Oh, that's a really good way of putting it actualy. Yes, I think I agree. I think it was just a deeply personal thing for me--I could totally understand that young Lex and even feel some sympathy for him, but I couldn'tempathise. I think just because I have a hugely anti-violence streak myself, so that pushed me 'out' of him. But I certainly didn't find young Lex as unsympathetic as mature Lex is now. And I agree with you that pehaps the writers just went ott a bit--I think we're supposed to believe that Lex has some inate violent streak--evident on the island and on a few other occasions when he's lost it. But I don't know... it seems a bit forced, unlike other character attributes he's been given.

I have a problem with her sudden leap into journalism. Like, okay, I want to do that! And then it's done. I've found this to be the case with several of her endeavors and I really would LOVE some build-up, some kind of real character growth. But this is just me, and what I see. We obviously differ and that's very yay!
It IS very yay, and I'm glad you've mentioned a difference in how we see Lois. I'm glad she's not irking you so much, and I'm curious about the journalism thing. Because I *do* see character growth there--quite slow growth. For starters, she had a story land in her lap, so to speak, but it was Lois herself who sold that story to the Inquisitor. She's got a very go-getter personality. I wish I had that, but I don't. However, I don't find it any more unbelievable in a Smallville character than, say, Lana running the Talon, or Chloe being able to hack every computer system on the face of the planet bar the Pentagon. And they deliberately showed Lois as naive about journalism--her standards were low and it certainly wasn't a mature piece that she wrote. She's determined and works hard, but it's only in this ep that we see her exercise good judgment about taste for the first time. Whereas Chloe was miles ahead of her in high school--she was already trying to 'better' her journalism and aim for the Planet, despite having the same open-mindedness about the supernatural.

Oliver is LOVE!!! *flails*
(no subject) - kristiinthedark on October 29th, 2006 12:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 29th, 2006 02:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kristiinthedark on October 29th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 29th, 2006 04:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on October 28th, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
*curses LJ with you*
i cant add anything more, coz i have not dl the ep yet :D
Enderenderwiggin24 on October 28th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
that was me, ender, damn, why am i logged out?!?!
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 28th, 2006 11:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Beckysadface on October 29th, 2006 03:20 am (UTC)
;_; poor lex.

I liked this episode Boppy and your review pleases me.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Roslin Kara yaybop_radar on October 29th, 2006 04:58 am (UTC)
Hooray! \o/
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex villainbop_radar on October 29th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC)
But 'no' in that I think that by the *end* of the episode, he *has* moved on. Hence the need for nothing more than "thank you" when Oliver comes to apologize. A Lex who hadn't moved on, who hadn't hardened to the point that he's not as concerned with acceptance and fitting in and being liked as he was even when *we* first met him, let alone when he was 16, might have accepted that apology and tried to turn it into more of a connection
Yes--you're right. That's true. It's more subtle than I indicated. And I definitely agree with this: The subtext there is "Your regret is of no value to me. Because *you* are of no value to me." He has truly emotionally distanced himself from people now. I didn't get the impression that that was an act, as it once would have been. I think he's genuinely detached.

A truly reformed Lionel probably would have stopped the experiments, don't you think?
*nods* I'm definitely falling into the Lionel Is Evil Again camp. That snicker after Lex left was pretty chilling as well.

It was great to see that shift from the kind of ... false (for lack of a better word) guilt-assumption Clark's done in the past to a more-active inquiry into his actual level of responsibility.
*nods* I can really buy him becoming Superman!! I can see it! And Clark's doing so much more of his OWN emotional work, not relying on Mum or Chloe or anyone. *loves*

Lois' lack of obsessiveness about Clark's weirdnesses and her patience in the face of it will pay off for her in the long run with Clark in a way things never did for Lex or Lana.
*nods* I'm glad I could also genuinely see that in SV's Lois in this ep.
(no subject) - jakrar on October 29th, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 29th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - jakrar on October 30th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bop_radar on October 30th, 2006 03:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - jakrar on October 30th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - jakrar on October 30th, 2006 04:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - jakrar on October 30th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
Romany: sv: oliver queen-because we need a new hromanyg on October 29th, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
You know, I waited and waited for *some* indication that Lex felt in the least way responsible for what happened to Duncan. Instead he seemed to be blame everyone else. Although one could possibly see regret in his uncharacteristic decision to get plastered after the reunion. Functional alcoholics just don't do that unless they're really conflicted.

His attempt to place the decanter back on the table and missing it partially so that it tipped to the floor really spelled that out for me. True, it wasn't broken, but it fell. And he continually misses the mark in this episode, while Ollie can breathe close his eyes and hit the target--except Clark gets in the way, intercepts that arrow.

And yes, I do see how Clark has transferred some of his relationship with Lex to Oliver. He *needs* a billionaire boyfriend after all. *g*

All slashy kidding aside, Clark does need that male interaction, a friend, and Oliver needs it too. They're willing to admit mistakes, make amends for the past, move forward. Lex thinks he is, but by denying his culpability, he's trapped within it. Ah, Lex.

And Lois! I'm really starting to like her. *g*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark/Lois/Oliverbop_radar on October 29th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
His attempt to place the decanter back on the table and missing it partially so that it tipped to the floor really spelled that out for me. True, it wasn't broken, but it fell. And he continually misses the mark in this episode, while Ollie can breathe close his eyes and hit the target--except Clark gets in the way, intercepts that arrow.
Nice! Yes, that's really true. I think he does have regret, but it is SO deeply buried it comes out in these subtle things like being more plastered than usual and so on. And he's not conscious of the regret himself.

He *needs* a billionaire boyfriend after all. *g*
TOTALLY! Chloe must have done a double-take on seeing Ollie's convertible outside. 'Oh, Clark! You're incorrigeable!'

And Lois! I'm really starting to like her. *g*
Oh YAY! \o/
(no subject) - romanyg on October 30th, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 30th, 2006 11:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - romanyg on November 1st, 2006 12:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on November 1st, 2006 01:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - romanyg on November 2nd, 2006 04:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on November 2nd, 2006 05:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - romanyg on November 2nd, 2006 06:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bop_radar on November 5th, 2006 07:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
jakrarjakrar on October 29th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
I could not disagree more with your analysis of Lex's reaction to Duncan's death. Lex clearly had accepted his share of culpability with regard to what he had done to his one-time friend; he not only acknowledged it privately to Lana, but he kept Duncan's jacket insignia for TEN YEARS, and you could see him wince every time someone mentioned Duncan's name. That's not the response of someone who honestly considers himself blameless. No, he didn't admit any guilt to Oliver, but he clearly (and understandably) considers Oliver an enemy, and Lionel has long since drilled it into Lex never to show weakness to an enemy. And, yes, he considers Oliver and his cronies partially responsible, too, but -- since they ARE -- I can hardly blame Lex for that. Finally, I don't blame Lex for demanding the results of Lionel's tests on Duncan; Lex is innocent of everything Lionel did to Duncan, and if those test results can now be used in any constructive way, then what Duncan went through at Lionel's hands will not have been entirely in vain. Moreover, I hardly think Lionel is the person to leave those results with, as I have NO doubt about HIS bad intentions.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex purple evilbop_radar on October 29th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, that's really interesting! Yes, we do have different interpretations. How fascinating. Thanks for sharing yours.

he kept Duncan's jacket insignia for TEN YEARS, and you could see him wince every time someone mentioned Duncan's name. That's not the response of someone who honestly considers himself blameless.
Well, Lex has evolved during those ten years. I'm absolutely certain he did feel remorse during that time. In fact, I'm sure with Clark he thought he'd found a way to make up for the past. He wanted to reinvent himself as a good person--we all saw this in season one. That Lex kept that crest doesn't surprise me at all.

But in terms of Lex today, I think we see in this episode that he moves away from accepting responsbility for Duncan's death. He's pushed his emotions, including guilt, so far down, wanting to see himself as blameless. Wincing and drinking aren't signs of acknowledging guilt consciously--I think at a subconscious level that guilt is still there. But I honestly didn't see any sign of Lex admitting it consciously to himself, let alone to others. But that's open to interpretation, and I'm really interested to hear that others read it very differently. Our perspectives on Lex are different.

Finally, I don't blame Lex for demanding the results of Lionel's tests on Duncan; Lex is innocent of everything Lionel did to Duncan, and if those test results can now be used in any constructive way, then what Duncan went through at Lionel's hands will not have been entirely in vain. Moreover, I hardly think Lionel is the person to leave those results with, as I have NO doubt about HIS bad intentions.
Wow. Again--interesting. I guess because I would have moral qualms about doing that, I saw that as a genuinely chilling act on Lex's part. But you argue a fair case for your perspective. I agree that Lionel's intentions are most certainly bad. But the way that scene played, with Lionel chuckling after Lex left, felt like Lionel's victory, not Lex's...

I guess in order to have had your reaction, I would have needed to see Lex explain aloud to someone, to Lana perhaps, his justification about the lab notes. Because his motivation has been so muddied for so long, I don't think the writers can assume the audience will believe his intentions are 'good' here.
(no subject) - jakrar on October 29th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 29th, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jakrar on October 30th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 30th, 2006 03:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jakrar on October 30th, 2006 07:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
rhiannonherorhiannonhero on October 30th, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC)
Great meta! Thank you so much! Especially since you're the only one out there doing heavy meta on SV it seems. I really appreciate it!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex mysterybop_radar on October 30th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :-) It's true there's been a fall-off in meta... though I've been enjoying trading ideas with norwich36, huzzlewhat and butterfly reacently. And I'm glad there are still people interested in reading heavy meta! It does feel lonely sometimes. ;-)