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04 November 2006 @ 12:30 pm
Smallville 6.06 Fallout  
Zoners
I thought this wasn't the most brilliant episode overall but the Clark plot was fantastic. While the Zoner was a step up from a meteor freak, this was essentially still a FoTW episode and he wasn't that interesting in his own right. (Although admittedly the actor was hot!) It's interesting that Smallville's clearly trying to show that Clark's circle of influence is expanding out from Smallville, and even from Metropolis, to the whole world. Having said that, I'm kind of disappointed that this Zoner came from no more exotic a locale than Oakland, CA (though they did make a big effort to show how it really is a different world to Kansas). I guess I'd held out hopes that Clark might have to go to Australia to find Raya. But it seems that the Zoners will come to him instead. I hope we get a few more scenes outside of Smallville at least. The opening sequence, with such a different aesthetic, was very well shot. So for superficial reasons alone I think it would be fun.

Speaking of that Zoner, the poor lad who got inhabited is going to have a nasty shock when he returns home to find he killed his best friend! And in the hospital scene, I got the impression that Clark was checking out what he could remember--perhaps to suss how true it is that Lex doesn't remember anything? Will this change his suspicions of Lex at all?

Time to stop running
There were so many big reveals about Kryptonians in this episode. I loved learning that the high-pitched noise is the beacon for a family. The Zoner mentioned the effect of the 'yellow sun'. And they finally said 'Brainiac' on the show!

I adore Raya--I think she was brilliant casting. She looks so Kryptonian, with Clark's big eyes and similar facial structure! What I loved about the two of them together was the sort of serene, restrained contentment that Kryptonians show around one another when they connect. When she appeared in the barn, Clark was obviously delighted to see her, but his mouth barely twitched into a smile. And even when she tells him 'you're not alone any more: I'm here' he responds with no more than a deep stare and a slight smile. Their connection may appear passionless on the surface, but it also speaks of destiny and acceptance, which gets to the heart of Raya's message for Clark. Raya herself is a good role model for these qualities--she is far from angry about what happened to her--she accepts the joy of seeing Earth but also the pain of dying and not seeing Kal-El's future. And in doing so she plays a crucial role in his destiny.

I'm also glad Clark told Martha about Raya's significance to him. It shows that he still loves and respects her. And in pointing out that he is different, that he's reminded of that every day, and that it's only with Raya that 'I didn't feel alone any more', he is not rejecting Martha. He is simply admitting the truth to himself and to her. It did look as if Martha still felt threatened and conflicted, though I found her expression hard to read. But she is not losing a son--he's just growing into the man she would want him to be. I loved that scene between them at the end and was deeply moved by Clark's line: 'I don't think I ever really thought about what I'd lost'. Oh, Clark! *sniffs*

I love that Clark finally asked about his father. And Raya describes Jor-El in terms that Clark associates with Jonathan--'brave, strong, with the biggest heart of anyone I've ever known'. Clark has come so far--he acknowledges that his view of Jor-El was very different and that he hasn't been the best son. And he confronts the harsh but true message that Raya brings: 'pain is a part of anyone's journey, Kal-El, you can't escape it'. This has been the problem with the Kents approach to Jor-El from the start--they spent so much time blaming him and fighting the inevitable. Clark needs to learn acceptance of life's hardships if he's to be a successful hero, and he has finally begun that journey.

The parallels between Jor-El and Clark himself are striking. We learn that Jor-El was very hard on himself too. And the Phantom Zoners mirror the meteor freaks that Clark 'banished' to Belle Reve and who come back to wreak vengeance on him. Raya also describes Jor-El's determination, and by the end of this episode we see Clark demonstrate similar determination. Raya points out that the one thing he hasn't tried is the training his father wanted for him, and with the Fortress regenerating, he embraces this and vows to begin his training.

However, the other lesson for Clark this season is one of responsiblity-taking, so his vow to rid the world of the Zoners first fits emotionally with that. (At another level, it seems a bit daft, because surely the training would help him defeat the Zoners?!) There's a sense that Clark feels he has to atone for his inaction in the past. And since he's not overly defeatist or self-pitying about this, that's something I can get on board with. He's journey into action now, rather than staying stuck in his fear and pain. It's wonderful!

Lies and Ambiguity
I'm finding Lana fascinating at the moment. I loved the framing of her clandestine meeting with Dr Groll, and it's startling how quickly Lana has had her illusions of honesty with Lex stripped away. She is covering her back very well, but even so finds the news that Lex has begun military testing without telling her shocking. She controls herself very well though and is extremely composed. She lies to Lex smoothly, and she challenges him in saying that she's playing on his level. That comes back to bite her in the hospital when Lex implies that she might have had something to do with the box getting stolen. Lana is shocked--she may play Lex but she wouldn't let him get hurt. But Lex thinks she might--the disturbing implication being he'd be prepared to risk Lana getting hurt if the payoff was worth it.

Lex says he doesn't like playing cat-and-mouse games, but I think to some degree he gets a kick out of the tangled web that is his relationship with her now. It does, after all, follow the blueprint for intimate relationships in the Luthor household. He also appears genuinely frustrated at times (I love that he had to say 'please' to get the box back--hee!). It was hilarious that Lex was the one to pull the 'after all your talk about honesty' line on Lana, instead of vice versa. And again Lana was so composed--no hysterics from her, she just says 'we're even'. And she calls Lex on his egotism--'the human race has survived this long, it doesn't need Lex Luthor to save it'.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of their relationship now is that Lana's found a way to be with him but not agree with him. When Lex plays the 'aren't we in this together?' line she says 'we still are, just not on the same side'. I don't think he expected that. That he can be intimate with someone who disagrees with him and frustrates his objectives possibly hadn't fully occurred to Lex. I suspect he thought he would win more control over Lana than this.
I love that Lana is annoyed he's working with the military and she makes an excellent point that it could just mean 'a new way to destroy ourselves'. And she's not afraid to give him an ultimatum. Lex's eye-roll when Lana reminds him that they've been through this before with the ship implied that he would not have chosen her. And Lex is obsessed. I think he would have found a way to keep both Lana and the box--burying the box even further in secrecy. 'I guess we'll never know' says Lana, hiding behind her cloak of hair, comforting herself with a hot drink by the fire. Either way, she's going to stick this out, though Dr Groll's line may be foreshadowing what's to come: 'when you're in as deep as we are with the Luthors, they won't let you just walk away.'

Clark's girl
The most difficult part of this episode, for me, was the Chimmy plot. In the past Chloe has been defined by her insatiable curiosity and throughness. And we were reminded of this in this episode--'hello, have you met me?' But increasingly her curiosity and thoroughness are used purely for Clark. (I do find it super-cute that she made a flowchart for Clark of the Zoner-related incidents! 'Chloe, these attacks form a straight line!' 'GENIUS, Clark!')

Jimmy is incredibly naive, it is true, but his enthusiasm is charming, and I found Chloe's dismissiveness of the photos a bit out of character. I thought they would at least trigger her curiosity to investigate further, but I guess we're supposed to understand she's busy tracking down Zoners for Clark. Jimmy rightly points out that he was being proactive, and while his journalist skills are definitely below par, he had hoped they would collaborate. I didn't find her line about 'I've dealt with the Luthors before' to be convincing at all, especially as she has such a cartoonish view of Lex ('I think Lex Luthor getting out of bed in the morning is suspicious'). If that was really her main concern for Jimmy, it didn't come through very well.

Her shrug-off resulted in Jimmy approaching Lex himself, and thus playing straight into Lex's hands. Lex claims that Chloe is 'very close' to Lana, but we know this is not really the case any more. And if Chloe was really worried about Lana, she might have shown a bit more interest in the story herself.

Chloe's true agenda nowadays is covering for Clark. She only kicks into gear when she discovers Jimmy's unearthed something related to Clark. Naive Jimmy (with his amusing 'Lex is working with the Egyptians!') says 'that's my girl'. But the truth is that she's Clark's girl. Increasingly we're seeing the sacrifice that this means for Chloe--a Pulitzer, a front page story, an honest relationship--all of these are going to be hard for her to achieve while guarding Clark's secret is her number one priority.

Furthermore she lets Jimmy walk into a meeting with the Editor and get humiliated and demoted, nearly sacked. However she's right that Lex making the phonecall is a compliment, and of course we know Jimmy does have a future as a photographer, but I'm worrying now that Chloe's not good for him. And I can't see a way around this for Chloe--she's bound to Clark by sharing his secret, and it seems that this may mean she's stuck in the basement for longer than she would be otherwise. *frets*

Other notes
- Lex was great fun in this episode, I thought. Although I didn't like his bitchy line about Chloe landing a boyfriend--that tack was always below par for Lex, he shouldn't have revisited it. However I did find his silence with Jimmy very amusing.
- Clexana scene! So amusing! Clark knocked! Lana's expression throughout their bitchy exchange 'we had an uninvited guest--we're used to that kind of thing' was most amusing. And I really enjoy Lana and Clark's exchanges now that they're not a couple.
- When was a picture of Clark published in the Daily Planet? *confused*
 
 
Current Location: bedroom window
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Allison bouncybop_radar on November 4th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
Thank you! And yes, that's exactly what I'm wondering about Chloe now. Increasingly, we're seeing what protecting Clark's secret costs her. I think I mentioned in an earlier review this season that it's to Chloe's credit that SHE hasn't complained at all about it yet--while Lois got a frontpage story, she was completely dedicated to Clark, proving her worth as a friend.

The Kents never truly accepted Clark and his differences. His alieness wasn't just a secret, it was a dirty little secret.
*nods* That's so true!
Carolcarolandtom on November 4th, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC)
I think the kents fully accepted Clark, and his differences. But of course, as parents, they were terrified for their child, as any parent would. And Jor-El was just a dubious, scary and threatening entity. Why should they trust him?

The kents did the best that they could for their child. All parents make mistakes, but a great part of the amazing person Clark already is, and of the hero he will become in the future, is thanks to his upbringing and his life with his adoptive parents, the kents.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark identity crisisbop_radar on November 5th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
Mmm... yes, I've had a long think about this during the LJ outage. I was trying to work out why I thought they didn't accept him, and I think I may have been relying too heavily on the sequences we've seen of Clark's fears (eg the 'you're just a thing in the cornfield' line that Jonathan says in Splinter). I think Clark fears they don't accept him, but Martha at least accepts him as much as any human ever could (I find Jonathan harder to read). As you say, no-one's perfect and I think anybody would find bringing up an alien child confronting at some level, however subconscious. I think fear does influence the Kents and their parenting in a way that's not constructive for Clark, but I'm not sure anyone would do any better. I definitely agree that they've shaped much of who he is in a positive way, although I've always had issues with Jonathan's parenting style in particular.

Jor-El was just a dubious, scary and threatening entity. Why should they trust him?
Well, that's just the problem--they reacted on a very surface level to him. They didn't look at the big picture at all. And whereas the Kents accept Clark, I think they projected a lot of their secret fears about his alien nature onto Jor-El. Jor-El reads as a dispassionate godlike figure--he's abstract and easy to hate--'scary', as you say. However given what was at stake (the fate of the human race) and given that he was Clark's only link to his heritage, then I feel they should have been more open-minded. At the same time, I empathise with (for example) Martha burying the key in the flour. That's human fear and maternal protection at work. It's understandable, but unfortunate. To balance that picture a little (because it's a really complex subject), when Jonathan and Clark first heard the 'rule them with strength' message, Jonathan pointed out that Clark could be misinterpreting the message. It was Clark at that time who was most fearful. Jonathan's faith in his son actually made him the more open-minded of the two at that time. I've always found that so tragic--but I think Clark was just so young and bewildered, poor boy: he assumed the worst and that shaped the way he viewed Jor-El from then on.
Naomi: Lexana kissing and chestfrelling_tralk on November 4th, 2006 01:53 am (UTC)
Lex says he doesn't like playing cat-and-mouse games, but I think to some degree he gets a kick out of the tangled web that is his relationship with her now. It does, after all, follow the blueprint for intimate relationships in the Luthor household. He also appears genuinely frustrated at times (I love that he had to say 'please' to get the box back--hee!).

*grins and nods*

Great post!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: KK cutie iconbop_radar on November 4th, 2006 04:27 am (UTC)
*g* Thanks!!
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on November 4th, 2006 01:55 am (UTC)
And in the hospital scene, I got the impression that Clark was checking out what he could remember--perhaps to suss how true it is that Lex doesn't remember anything? Will this change his suspicions of Lex at all?

Ah, good catch! I didn't notice that!

She lies to Lex smoothly, and she challenges him in saying that she's playing on his level. That comes back to bite her in the hospital when Lex implies that she might have had something to do with the box getting stolen. Lana is shocked--she may play Lex but she wouldn't let him get hurt. But Lex thinks she might--the disturbing implication being he'd be prepared to risk Lana getting hurt if the payoff was worth it.Lex says he doesn't like playing cat-and-mouse games, but I think to some degree he gets a kick out of the tangled web that is his relationship with her now. It does, after all, follow the blueprint for intimate relationships in the Luthor household.

I really am enjoying their games. And wow, could they *be* more dysfunctional? I agree with you, though, that Lex is comfortable with that dysfunction--someone mentioned a parallel between Lana and Lillian, and how this may be how Lillian got similarly caught up in power games she wasn't really equipped to handle, trying to save Lionel from himself.

huzzlewhat has a very interesting reading of the Lex/Lana interaction in this episode, and how Lana knows all of Lex's manipulative relationship moves and can counter them much more effectively than Clark can.

I found Chloe's dismissiveness of the photos a bit out of character. I thought they would at least trigger her curiosity to investigate further, but I guess we're supposed to understand she's busy tracking down Zoners for Clark

Yes, I assumed that's what we're supposed to think: she's busy helping Clark save the world, basically. I actually thought that it was refreshing that despite her current suspicion of all things Luthorian, she wouldn't immediately jump on another round of investigating the Luthors.

But honestly, I'm increasingly convinced that the Chloe storyline this season is going to be all about the cost of being Clark's secret keeper. It's clearly going to affect not just her professional obligations and opportunities for advancement, but also her personal relationships, because like you I think she bears some responsibility for what happened to Jimmy, not so much because she didn't adequately warn him about Lex but because she deliberately misdirected him into the "Egypt" angle.

Most people didn't like this episode, as I'm sure you're going to see from reviews. I knew you would like the Jor-El stuff, though, as you will see in my review.

I assume, btw, that what the Zoner found in the daily planet wasn't a picture of Clark but a record of the meteor shower. (Or was there actually a picture? He might have been photographed in one of his many outings with Lex).
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on November 4th, 2006 02:59 am (UTC)
Oh, somebody else said that picture was a picture of Clark standing next to his barn in that episode when the Kryptonian symbols were burned on it.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee thinking hmmbop_radar on November 4th, 2006 04:32 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah! It could well have been that, though I don't recall precisely.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex here with youbop_radar on November 4th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
someone mentioned a parallel between Lana and Lillian, and how this may be how Lillian got similarly caught up in power games she wasn't really equipped to handle, trying to save Lionel from himself.
*nods* I definitely got a sense of that. I could buy that, definitely.

I'm increasingly convinced that the Chloe storyline this season is going to be all about the cost of being Clark's secret keeper.
Yes, that's what I'm feeling too. I'm not sure I'm happy about that, but I'll go with it. I guess it is fitting to explore that, because the secret has always exacted a high price. And it will be interesting if it's not just Clark that can't have a relationship and keep the secret. Though that just seems SO harsh for Chlo!

Most people didn't like this episode, as I'm sure you're going to see from reviews.
Yeah, I don't think it was that successful as an episode. It developed plot and was important for the sixth season journey that Clark was on, but it wasn't as coherent thematically as most of the eps this season have been.
Becky: Supermancinderella81 on November 4th, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
Although I wasn't completely enthralled with the episodes, there were some definite moments. Whenever Clark was with Raya, we finally saw him get closer and closer to becoming who he was meant to be.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark identity crisisbop_radar on November 4th, 2006 04:32 am (UTC)
*nods* Yeah, it wasn't great as a whole, but it had important Clark development.
Alison: blissacampbell on November 4th, 2006 02:56 am (UTC)
It never ceases to amaze me how my reactions change on repeat viewings. Last night, I thought the episode was beyond lame. Today, I rewatched it a couple of times and it seems quite brilliant! Proof that I should probably keep my mouth shut till it settles. I can't always, though.

I still hope that Lex really meant Clark with his remark about "your girlfriend is very close with the person I care most about." Surely they owe us Clexers a tiny tidbit, at least, now and then!

Thanks for illuminating so much of it, as always.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex here with youbop_radar on November 4th, 2006 04:38 am (UTC)
Last night, I thought the episode was beyond lame. Today, I rewatched it a couple of times and it seems quite brilliant!
Hee! I think it had some great stuff in it and I was genuinely moved by Clark's journey in the episode, but I think it was a bit jangly and less thematically coherent than many of the eps this season. Still, I enjoyed it. And yes, it's always interesting when your opinion shifts about an ep. Though I tend to watch very closely twice through in close succession and while I go through lots of processing in both viewings, my opinion on eps doesn't often shift much after that... I guess that's where dl-ing helps rather than watching it live on tv. I get to pause and digest lots!!

Surely they owe us Clexers a tiny tidbit, at least, now and then!
Heh, yeah, they sure do given our loyalty to the show!! And I rather enjoyed the hospital scene--I couldn't bring myself to believe that Clark's concern for Lex's healthy was completely faked--I just couldn't.
blowjobs for jesus: Kalkristiinthedark on November 4th, 2006 04:01 am (UTC)
I loved the opening sequence, too. It almost seemed like a different show there for a minute; there were more browns and grays rather than vibrant colors and that really stuck out for me.

While I must admit taht I found the Raya character (or maybe just the actress, I haven't decided) kind of boring, I like the idea of her, and the ideas that she brought with her, very much. And this:

This has been the problem with the Kents approach to Jor-El from the start--they spent so much time blaming him and fighting the inevitable. Clark needs to learn acceptance of life's hardships if he's to be a successful hero, and he has finally begun that journey.


I agree with so so much.

Awesome commentary, as always!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark identity crisisbop_radar on November 4th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
Thank you, little k!

It almost seemed like a different show there for a minute; there were more browns and grays rather than vibrant colors and that really stuck out for me.
*nods* Yeah, for me too! It was a fascinating shift--we've never seen those brown tones on the show before.

I found the Raya character (or maybe just the actress, I haven't decided) kind of boring, I like the idea of her, and the ideas that she brought with her, very much.
Well, all the Krytonians we've seen have had that bland serenity to them--they read as lacking in personality to us, especially as we are used to Clark who is tempered by human behaviour patterns. However, around Kryptonians, he often displays similar restrained neutrality. So yes in one sense they are 'boring', but I think it's deliberate Kryptonian characterisation rather than the actress.
blowjobs for jesus: clark smilekristiinthedark on November 4th, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
they read as lacking in personality to us, especially as we are used to Clark who is tempered by human behaviour patterns.

Ah, great point. I hadn't thought of it like that :-) And Clark did seem to react to her presence in a very calm, peaceful manner. Very interesting....
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Tom's backbop_radar on November 4th, 2006 04:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think the characteristics they've given Kryptonians are fascinating as a concept (serenity, acceptance of fate, minimalists when it comes to dialogue, etc), but unfortunately it makes them kind of dull on screen!

Still, I found Tom's acting awesome in this ep, because it was so different from when he's around humans. It made me realise how articulated his understanding of his character must be.
blowjobs for jesus: Clark sex godkristiinthedark on November 4th, 2006 04:52 am (UTC)
It made me realise how articulated his understanding of his character must be.

I am increasingly amazed at how much effort and time he puts into his character. While I've heard how he has issues with Clark sometimes, I've never been able to tell that from watching him on the screen. I think it makes him try *extra* hard, actually. He's so underrated.... except by us fangirls, of course! :D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on November 4th, 2006 04:56 am (UTC)
Yeah, for sure! At least we can see it! *waves flag for Tommy*
Carolcarolandtom on November 4th, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC)
Still, I found Tom's acting awesome in this ep, because it was so different from when he's around humans. It made me realise how articulated his understanding of his character must be.

Word to that!!!
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Allison bouncybop_radar on November 4th, 2006 06:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for being spoiler conscious with me. I know it's probably a real pain!

something about last night is making me fall out of Chimmy a bit. I realize that Chloe is very focused on the zoners and Clark, but the way she talks to Jimmy... the way she 'humors' him, is almost like coddling (and pair that with the way Lex treated him...poor thing). But at least they seem happy with each other?
I had the same uneasiness! I really found Chimmy cute to begin with but the coddling last night made the imbalance in their relationship too obvious... or something? I'm not even sure I can put my finger on it. It just didn't charm me anymore. And I presume they are happy, yes... *unsure*
Juxtoppozed: babyclarkpilotjuxtoppozed on November 4th, 2006 07:11 am (UTC)
part I
Now that's what I couldn't pin down about the Raya/Clark interaction-- the serenity. It was almost...alien-like. It was starkly different than anything we've seen before.

But Lex thinks she might--the disturbing implication being he'd be prepared to risk Lana getting hurt if the payoff was worth it.
...
...Lex's eye-roll when Lana reminds him that they've been through this before with the ship implied that he would not have chosen her. And Lex is obsessed. I think he would have found a way to keep both Lana and the box--burying the box even further in secrecy. 'I guess we'll never know' says Lana, hiding behind her cloak of hair, comforting herself with a hot drink by the fire. Either way, she's going to stick this out, though Dr Groll's line may be foreshadowing what's to come: 'when you're in as deep as we are with the Luthors, they won't let you just walk away.'


I love how you describe Lexana and those are the exact reasons I loved their scenes. 1) We finally see Lex's priorities surface, now that he's got Lana, all that crap they tried to sell us about Lex putting her above everything is shown for what it was-- he was just trying to win her over and tell her what she wanted to hear before. Lex is still Lex and he won't compromise his ambitions even being with Lana. I love that. ANd I got the distinct feeling he was being deliberately inscincere with her in the end, his tone was just so flat and unemotional.
Like...he wasn't even *trying* to hide the fact that he was insincere about he was dishing to Lana-- and I love that. I know some people think MR's performance was flat in this ep, but I think it was deliberately like this in the Lana scenes. He's not screwing around anymore, and he's not even going to pretend to put up with shit. I have to disagree on one small thing--I dont think he actually likes the games Lana is playing for the something you mentioned(he thought he'd have more control over her). Lex is nothing if not the control-freak's Control Freak and he ain't playing anymore. I love how he was deliberately showing his patience was running thin and subtly letting Lana know she's skating on thin ice. I want more of this Lex. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex juicebop_radar on November 5th, 2006 02:37 am (UTC)
Re: part I
Cute icon!

It was almost...alien-like. It was starkly different than anything we've seen before.
Oh, good! I'm glad I managed to capture that in my description. Because I as really struck by it, but it's a hard thing to describe.

Lex is still Lex and he won't compromise his ambitions even being with Lana. I love that.
Definitely! I love that! I loved his eyeroll about the ultimatum. It was 'oh for heavens sake, not this again!' type of look.

I think it was deliberately like this in the Lana scenes. He's not screwing around anymore, and he's not even going to pretend to put up with shit.
Oh, I'd say it was definitely deliberate. I was absolutely delighted with his performance! I definitely don't read it as MR being flat. He was all Lex as always to me.

Lex is nothing if not the control-freak's Control Freak and he ain't playing anymore. I love how he was deliberately showing his patience was running thin and subtly letting Lana know she's skating on thin ice. I want more of this Lex.
*nods* I must say I found it more interesting than he's been in some of the eps this season.
(Deleted comment)
Juxtoppozed: babyclarkpilotjuxtoppozed on November 4th, 2006 07:14 am (UTC)
II
But the truth is that she's Clark's girl. Increasingly we're seeing the sacrifice that this means for Chloe--a Pulitzer, a front page story, an honest relationship--all of these are going to be hard for her to achieve while guarding Clark's secret is her number one priority...
...And I can't see a way around this for Chloe--she's bound to Clark by sharing his secret, and it seems that this may mean she's stuck in the basement for longer than she would be otherwise. *frets*


I think, to be honest you're giving Chloe considerably more credit than was her due in the actual episode re: giving up the answers to questions...because there wasn't any giving up really. If I had seen Chloe at least *conflicted* about where to devote her energies and research, I could buy that she's making a professional sacrifice. But she shot down Jimmy's hunch immediately. Even later she says hopefully, isn't he dropping the Luthor lead? There's no indication at all that she actually sees something *there* worth pursuing. There was no professional conflict here-- just a repeat of two trends I'm starting to notice: 1) Chloe expressly not looking into something Lex Luthor-related because his dirty business is under lock and key, or as she said in this episode, it's too hard. Chloe lights up about the paranormal, but I suspect they is telling us what she considers newsworthy/worth investigating and this specificity will lead somewhere later, and be posited as a deliberate contrast to Lois when Lois gets rolling. 2) telling her friends to take it down a notch (a couple of episodes before, it was Lois). I don't want to say "discourage" them, but it was too soon on the heels of discouraging Lois that I wonder if they're trying to say something about her encouragement or lackthereof of people not named Clark.
If Chloe was invested in this or thought it was newsworthy, at the very least she would have submitted theories that would have helped Jimmy along as he was obviously not going to drop it. But there was not even an iota of curiousity/struggle/or at least feigned encouragement. And while I think this is part of something they've been hinting about wrt Chloe/Lex-leads or hard news in general-- I found it odd for more relationship-driven reasons...as you point out:

... And if Chloe was really worried about Lana, she might have shown a bit more interest in the story herself.
...

Furthermore she lets Jimmy walk into a meeting with the Editor and get humiliated and demoted, nearly sacked.


You articulate what bothered me about this on a relationship level. While it doesn't surprise me wrt Chloe on professional level (they are simply making more overt now clues/statements about Chloe that have been there for a while)-- I expected more from Chloe in terms of concern for her friends. I may not care a fig about Lana's safety (as fun as she is now), but Chloe seems to canonically, and this coupled with Jimmy playing with something dangerous (by her own words) made me wonder as to why she showed so little interest even with people in her circle in the midst of this. Like...even if she was discouraging Jimmy, for his own safety and for the preservation of his career I thought Chloe might help him out a bit more substantively or at least not let him think there's something to the "egyptians" theory and get roasted by his superiors. That's what I found bizarre; not that there was a stark lack of interest professionally, personally, but that on the level of how it will effect her friends she couldn't muster up more interest. I'm still wondering what the point of shwing that was.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on November 5th, 2006 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: II
Even later she says hopefully, isn't he dropping the Luthor lead? There's no indication at all that she actually sees something *there* worth pursuing.
You're dead right. She was hopeful he'd dropped the Luthor lead. I wound up really pissed at her this ep and I was trying to argue with myself in my review, because I feared I was knee-jerking against her. But on reflection, I still agree with you.

it was too soon on the heels of discouraging Lois that I wonder if they're trying to say something about her encouragement or lackthereof of people not named Clark.
*nods* I got the faintest inkling of that as well. As you say, it's a little early still, but if things continue in this vein, it does seem to be forming a pattern.

I expected more from Chloe in terms of concern for her friends. I may not care a fig about Lana's safety (as fun as she is now), but Chloe seems to canonically, and this coupled with Jimmy playing with something dangerous (by her own words) made me wonder as to why she showed so little interest even with people in her circle in the midst of this.
Yes, that's it! It really niggled with me too. I agree that professionally they've been taking this tack for a while. And while Chloe herself doesn't view it as a 'sacrifice', I know a lot of her fans will find it hard that she's not gunning as a reporter because she's so busy with Clark's issues. But on a relationship level I find it harder to take. She honestly seems so cold to Lana now--not in actual interactions with her but the read-between-the-lines stuff about when something comes up with the Luthors or something else that she should know would affect Lana. She doesn't make that leap. It's like Lana's not even in her mind any more. And now with Jimmy as well it seems that he's very obviously not her top priority for all her supposed regret (ten text messages and all that).

on the level of how it will effect her friends she couldn't muster up more interest. I'm still wondering what the point of shwing that was.
Yeah, me too! I really don't 'get' it. I can't see where this is supposed to lead Chloe. It puzzled me, and as I mentioned, I found it the hardest part of the ep to deal with.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois and Marthabop_radar on November 6th, 2006 12:27 am (UTC)
That is *so* no healthy, and so beyond the point of being honest with one another. Strange!
Oh, true! They're a very dysfunctional couple, and not just from Lex's side--thanks for bringing that up.

I also thought Lana indulging in a bit of pot-and-kettle-ing with her accusations of Lex's obsession with the ship. Hello! She would talk of nothing else for weeks after she saw it!
Mmm, yes, that's a good call too! You're right--I'm quite generous to her, aren't I? When did that happen?! O.O

I still don't understand why Jor-El was threatening everyone in Clark's life, branded him and told him his had to "rule them with strength". Did I miss the resolution of that stuff?
Well, Jor-El was out to save Earth--based on his experiences on Krypton he believed that Clark was not only the only hope of his race surviving but also of saving Earth, which was heading in a similar direction (if we believe Raya). Jor-El's methods may not be palatable--branding, 'rule them with strength'--but they were meant to imprint on Clark the importance of acting to save Earth. (Obviously Jor-El's never heard of reverse psychology!) I disagree though that he 'threatened everyone in Clark's life'. That's projection--encouraged on the show by the Kents. The list of Jor-El's actual crimes is a lot shorter than most people think, though he's by no means a saint.
rumpuso on November 5th, 2006 03:50 pm (UTC)
You know, I also came away from this episode wondering if the writers are beginning to show that Chloe, as Clark's secret keeper, is doomed to a life of isolation. On the one hand, Chloe and Clark have eachother in friendship, but on the other hand, because Chloe is a human, and Clark is so diametrically different than she is, the two of them will never go beyond friendship with eachother. Clark has a destiny to fulfill, and as much as he wanted to protect those he loves from getting too close to him, once that happens, they are inevitably sucked into the void that is his life and that becomes a sad thing for them. Pete wasn't able to handle the knowledge. But thankfully for Clark, Martha, Jonathan and Chloe all have been a remarkable support system.

However, Martha will always have to proceed with caution now that her husband (and buffer) is no longer there to share in Clark's secret. And, Chloe will always have to proceed with caution as she battles away anyone from getting too close to discovering the truth about Clark. Chloe is smart in that she suspects Clark's destiny is much greater than imagineable (She even snarked about it in Sneeze along the lines of wondering if someday she'll be flying the Kent express or something to that affect. So to me, that tells me she knows he's virtually omnipotent with abilities out of this world). Anyway, she's a smart girl and fiercely loyal and as we saw in her exchanges with Jimmy this episode, Clark remains her number one priority at all times. I fear Chloe will end up alone in the long run. Although, as an aside, it might be a neat direction for her if Chloe ends up the sole secret keep for the Justic League. She can be their contact person and go-to person, and I'm betting she'd just eat that responsibility up!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Allison bouncybop_radar on November 6th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)
I fear Chloe will end up alone in the long run. Although, as an aside, it might be a neat direction for her if Chloe ends up the sole secret keep for the Justic League. She can be their contact person and go-to person, and I'm betting she'd just eat that responsibility up!
Yes, yes, and yes! I agree with all of that, and what a great idea! That would be perfect for Chloe, though I fear that the show will leave us with a more lonely end for her.
Romany: sv: alien by birth human by choiceromanyg on November 7th, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
This is a fantastic review, and I've been staring at my screen for several minutes trying to think up a reasoned response worthy of it. Unfortunately, my brain is rather fried from writing. I've been doing a bit too much.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kal bringing sexy backbop_radar on November 8th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much! And do not trouble your brain too much--it needs to concentrate on fic! ;-) It was a delight to see another story from you!