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03 February 2007 @ 03:36 pm
Smallville 6.13 Crimson (Part II)  
Some brief Chloe/Lana thoughts
Lana asks Chloe to be her maid of honour--but it's also quite obvious that she doesn't have anyone else to ask. She admits that she can't afford to lose Chloe, who's really her only friend. Chloe suggests that this might be because she's been pressured by Lex to give up her friendships, but I think that's a misplaced suggestion. Lana is responsible for her own relationships and could have made more of an effort to sustain them.

At first I was surprised that Chloe was so delighted to be asked to be Maid of Honour. But Chloe also lacks female friends, and I'm sure she would rather be able to continue a friendship with Lana--it's just become very difficult. The 'elephant in the corner called Clark' is the major hurdle, but I liked the fact that the girls addressed this directly. I particularly liked Lana's request that Chloe stop denying that there IS a secret about Clark. Chloe's nod seemed to indicate that she recognised the fairness of this call. Lana has said she will respect their friendship enough not to ask her to betray Clark--that's a big step forward towards a healthy friendship for these girls.

Chloe and Jimmy
I really liked them in this episode and I was sad to see them falling apart, but this has been coming for some time and I found the way it unravelled convincing and successful. I think Jimmy had a right to be surprised by Chloe's passionate defence of Clark ('a grown boy'!). Of course it read as jealousy to Jimmy! And Chloe may feel that's not justified because she knows there's a meteorite connection, but that just allows her to ignore the hidden truth in Jimmy's words. She may be in denial of it, but she's still attracted to Clark--and she was 'outed' on this in this episode.

I thought it was interesting that Chloe asserted that Jimmy was 'her guy' when she delegated to him. So being someone's lackey translates to being 'theirs' emotionally to Chloe? Very telling given her relationship with Clark. I don't think she's aware of it, but I think she has imprinted on this as a model for a relationship, but it's not one of equality--either with Clark or with Jimmy.

I actually loved their break-up scene. Jimmy's shock at Clark's actions was fantastic. Because viewed objectively they were inexcusable and I'd want to hear more than just that the person was beating themselves up about it. Chloe is a little to confident--she doesn't have a good cover story for Clark. Perhaps she's forgotted how disconcerting Clark's odd personality changes were to her before she knew the cause. There's another difference--Chloe and Lana and Lex and his family always absorbed these things and eventually forgave him because, well, he's Clark and they love him. But Jimmy isn't glamourised by Clark. He has no reason to see past the actions. Chloe's reassurance comes to slowly. Jimmy's heart is broken. :-(

Lex and fatherhood
Lex has a strong drive towards fatherhood, demonstrated in this episode by the excesses of the baby's nursery. For me, there were strong echoes in this scene of Lionel and Lillian. The mobile and the blue tones of the room brought to mind the nursery scene with Julian. And the chandelier overhead reminded me of the excessive nature of Lex's own upbringing--that enormous birthday table and the absent guests. The excess of material wealth and the absence of genuine emotion. Lana's own reaction on entering the room definitely echoes that discrepancy between the demonstration of emotion and the internal reality--for her, at least, this is too much at this stage. But then Lex shows himself to be genuinely invested, with his cute 'Mr Duck or Stegasauraus' question, and her first ambivalence dissolves. If this is genuine for him, then it's less overwhelming for her.

However, there is a genuine difference between her and Lex at this point in time. He is eager to announce the pregnancy, whereas she argues that she wants people to know she's marrying him for him not the child. This is true of Lana--we've seen that her pregnancy wouldn't have stopped her leaving Lex if Clark had opened up to her. However, I'm not sure this is true of Lex. Lex wants Lana, yes, but the child increases his desire tenfold.

Later in the episode, it's revealed that Lex already has 'control' over the pregnancy--he confers privately with the doctor and we learn that the pregnancy is abnormal. How much of this does Lana herself know and how much is being kept secret from her? If Lana does know, her mixed feelings about becoming a mother are even more understandable (though I think they're also quite understandable given her youth and the suddenness of the pregnancy).

Although we don't fully understand why yet, on Lex's part, he's clearly invested in the pregnancy and the course it will take. This resonates with all sorts of parts of Lex's psyche--starting with Julian and passing through the gaping emotional voids left by Duncan, then Clark and through the damaging relationship with his own father. We saw Lionel play god with his sons' lives, setting Lucas up against Lex. Now it is Lex who sees a child as his final hope of salvation. I have no doubt he would be as overcontrolling. How chilling!

Tell me you don't love me
Now let's get to the fun stuff!

RedK!Clark: So, let me show you one of my favourite passtimes: breaking into Lex's mansion.
Lois: Um, I'm not sure, Smallville...
Clark: Just trust me, Lois: it's hot!

The engagement dinner was so beautiful, so serene, so civilised. The contrast between it and Clark and Lois's RedK trashiness could not have been greater. Lex toasts Lana, who looks radiant in white, with triumph in his voice, but it is totally upstaged by Clark's triumphant arrival. Lex doesn't at first realise the danger that should have been signalled by Clark's clothing--all black. His initial 'what are you doing here, Clark?' is more bored that scared. But he grimaces when Clark says 'you didn't think I was going to miss this did you?' For it makes emotional sense that Clark would interfere in this event in some way. Every step of the Lexana relationship has been dogged by Clark's presence so far. Why should this be any different?

So Lex reconciles himself to a confrontation, but he still doesn't expect what follows, nor does anyone else in the room. Clark circles the table tearing away the smokescreen around each of his relationships. First he calls Martha on 'raising a glass with the enemy' (what IS she doing here? Lionel isn't even here!) and accuses her of racing to marry Lionel. (Mother and son have not discussed this overtly, but it's no surprise that deep down Clark is angry about Martha's developing relationship with Lionel.) Then he turns to Chloe and delivers what must be a damning blow--that he's aware of her unrequited love and that he HAS thought about it but she's missed the boat.

Turning to Lana, he accuses her of using Lex to get back at him. That stems from Clark's own psychology, not Lana, for she hasn't been shown to have that sort of deliberate vindictiveness. But Lex has. Lana keeps a cool head--she asks Lex not to react, and his own self-control asserts itself to begin with. But Clark pushes far past that, accessing Lex's capacity for psychotic rage. He does so by giving a 'gift', a baby's rattle, and using Lex's own glass to toast the 'happy couple', announcing to the room that the baby is the 'real reason that Lana's marrying you'. This gift is a double mindfuck of Lex: for we saw earlier that he loved Lana's assertion that the baby and the engagement should be kept separate, that she's marrying him for him, but we also saw that 'baby Luthor' is incredibly important to Lex. And when Clark throws the rattle at him so dismissively, Lex appears confused and almost frightened. He breaks out at attacks Clark--a move that cannot possibly do any good, but he's been pushed beyond reason.

As a Clois shipper, I hated the 'this is the present' line. (Ouch!) But as a Clex fan I loved it. If Lana is Clark's past, Lois his future, Lex is his present, despite initial appearances. Clark kidnaps Lana, saying he will 'save' her from Lex. But his actions suggest that he's more interested in pursuing a cathartic confrontation with Lex than consoling her. Once again, Clark's relationship with a woman (in this case Lana) is overshadowed by his need to assert his dominance over a competing man (Lex). This mirrors the way he earlier asserted himself over Oliver in seducing Lois. He tells Lana she'll never be satisfied with Lex--that it's him she loves. He pushes for a kiss, but remains completely impassive in response to her outpouring of emotion. It's almost as if he's thinking 'ah yes, I just have to listen to this to get what I want'. There's a lot of truth in Lana's suggestion that he just can't stand that she loves someone else. When Lex enters the barn, calling for her, he watches Lana almost clinically, curious to see how she'll react. This is all a big game for Clark--a set-up, a chess board checkmate to get his victory.

Lex hasn't seen the kiss, but Clark makes sure he knows about it. Lana asserts that she's not a competition--yet only a minute ago she was accusing Clark of possessiveness rather than genuine love for her. And Clark fires back with the way in which she's a competition for Lex. With Lex and Lana both facing the camera, the audience can see Lex's fearful expression--he knows that this is a strong card because Clark uses Lex's very own words (just as he recycled Oliver's earlier): that Lex wanted everything Clark ever had. Lex's poker face lets him down here--he's clearly disconcerted and looks like he just might faint with annoyance. And I just about fainted on the 'now, tell me you don't love me!' line. Because Clark is facing and addressing both of them--and they both respond with similar expressions. When Clark clarifies by calling her name--Lana!--Lex pulls a gun.

Clark's response to this--'you don't even know the rules of the game'--reminded me of his line from Red: 'you don't know what I'm capable of'. RedK Clark has always been faintly mocking of humans and particularly Lex's naive belief that he's the more powerful one. And he's out to prove him wrong in this scene. He attacks, pushing him through two walls and strangling him. Clark's deathblow is actually verbal--that if he'd know what Lex would turn out to be, he wouldn't have saved him. This was a hugely powerful statement. What does it mean emotionally in terms of how Clark feels for Lex? Well, first of all I think there's a big difference between saying that he would have changed the past and saying he would kill Lex now. I don't believe Clark does want to kill Lex, even when on RedK. He has hatred for him, yes, but it's more for the problem that Lex has become in Clark's life. Lex is an unavoidable thorn in his side. Clark can solve so much else in his life--defeat meteorfreaks, confront Zoners--but he can't rid himself of Lex who has so much power of his psyche. And I wasn't all that surprised to here an uninhibited Clark assert that he wished he could live without that pain.

Clark broods afterwards, wondering what he would have done to Lex had Martha not shown up. Taking that in the lightest possible way, that made for a very amusing line--yes, just what would you have done, Clark? :-p But to address the scene more seriously I don't think it would have ended in Lex's death--Clark needed something from that confrontation and it wasn't elimination of Lex but victory over him. I think he would have wanted Lex to admit defeat. I think he would have wanted Lex to watch Lana turn to Clark. Because Clark is trapped by his ongoing struggle with Lex and ending the battle with out a clear victory would not be satisfying.

Clark's legacy
Clark stamped himself, damningly, over three relationships in this episode--two completely deliberately and one less so. He deliberately drew Oliver into his attraction with Lois, asserting himself as the winner in that threeway dynamic. He wedged himself between Lex and Lana and left their relationship in tatters--it won't be the same now that those truths have come tumbling out of his mouth, no matter how hard Lex tries to wedge that pedastal back under Lana's feet. And unknowingly he caused the deterioration of Chloe's relationship with Jimmy. I don't think he intended that. There's a big difference in that dynamic--Clark is not invested in the male member of the relationship at all. Jimmy doesn't rate in Clark's eyes. Oliver and Lex DO.

Regardless, the result is that three relationships are shown to have had Clark at the heart of them. And the results are devastating. Clark may supposedly be the loveless one this season, but his fingerprints are all over everyone else's lovelives.

Lex says to Lana 'I wasn't the one kissing him' and she retorts with 'I wasn't the one holding a gun to his head'. The two actions are equated: love and violence. Who is the more invested? And Lana presses even further to the heart of the matter--what was Lex's intention--to save her or to hurt him? The same question could be asked for Clark, for that kidnapping did not read as 'saving' to me, it read as a deliberate act to hurt Lex.

A grain of truth
I admit I was surprised by Martha's advice at the end of this episode--but delighted! At last some hard truths from Mum! yay! This is yet another sign that Clark's an adult now and can handle this stuff. And Martha's advice to leave Lana alone is definitely what he needs to hear. If Chloe won't say it, at least Martha will!

Lana gets her own 'grain of truth' out of this episode: she hangs on to the farm tool that bent on impact with Clark. I really liked that scene actually, with Martha appealing to Lana to leave. It was a nice parallel with Chloe admitting that there IS a secret about Clark but having Lana respect their relationship enough not to ask her to betray it. I hope Lana unravels the truth without making either of these women confess it.

And how great was that final reveal about the baby?! Yay! It's not normal! Yay! So many great possibilities embedded in that. *happy sigh*

I'm quite overcome with joy! (And my fingers are about to give out from typing.) So I'll adjourn for now. *g*
 
 
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
 
 
 
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on February 3rd, 2007 06:39 am (UTC)
I'll say something more coherent when I'm a little less sleep-deprived, but I really loved this analysis, especially this part:

Regardless, the result is that three relationships are shown to have had Clark at the heart of them. And the results are devastating. Clark may supposedly be the loveless one this season, but his fingerprints are all over everyone else's lovelives.

And the competition you identify, between Clark and Lex, Clark and Oliver, and (inadvertantly) Clark and Jimmy --not to mention his attempt to block Lionel/Martha--is really just the flip side of the way he perceived all the women in his life in his hallucination last week--all somehow damaged when they were free of his protection, or at the very least mortally endangered by his secret. (I had an essay I was going to write on that, but the week was way too busy, and I think I have lost momentum on that).

Lex says to Lana 'I wasn't the one kissing him' and she retorts with 'I wasn't the one holding a gun to his head'. The two actions are equated: love and violence. Who is the more invested? And Lana presses even further to the heart of the matter--what was Lex's intention--to save her or to hurt him? The same question could be asked for Clark, for that kidnapping did not read as 'saving' to me, it read as a deliberate act to hurt Lex.

Ah, I'm very glad to see you teasing out the love/violence elision in this episode. (I saw it a little bit in Lex playfully grabbing Lana at the beginning of the episode, which parallels Clark actually kidnapping her later).

Ok, must sleep now!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex purple evilbop_radar on February 3rd, 2007 06:51 am (UTC)
not to mention his attempt to block Lionel/Martha
Oh, yes, that as well! And in one reading Clark is part of that relationship too, given Lionel's past as Jor-El's avatar. But I got creeped by drawing that parallel to the other relationships because Clark is so sexually entangled in the others.

is really just the flip side of the way he perceived all the women in his life in his hallucination last week--all somehow damaged when they were free of his protection, or at the very least mortally endangered by his secret. (I had an essay I was going to write on that, but the week was way too busy, and I think I have lost momentum on that).
Oh, interesting! I'm glad you drew the connection between last week's and this. I don't have that capacity because that ep was such a crashing failure where I was concerned, but I would still be interested to read that, since I can imagine that there could be a lot of resonance between the two eps.

I saw it a little bit in Lex playfully grabbing Lana at the beginning of the episode, which parallels Clark actually kidnapping her later
Oh, yes! There was so much in this episode to unpack. And Lana looked so happy with Lex. Though she was temporarily shocked, she then smiles and giggles again. The sunny side of what happened later.
CapnZebbie: stalkerkittycapnzebbie on February 3rd, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
Excellent!

Clark really could have peed on Lois, Lana and Chloe (and Lex) and said the same thing with fewer words.

Yes! Very excited about the baby!

I had this weird thought that maybe this baby is Connor, genetically engineered from Clark's and Lex's DNA, and using Lana as a surrogate. But probably not. Don't know how he would have worked that. I do love that Lex has a hidden agenda here, though. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex golden fieldbop_radar on February 3rd, 2007 06:56 am (UTC)
Oh, I adore that Connor idea. I adore it! There was a very strong sense that Lex had control over Lana's body, and having it be both Clark AND Lex's body would be fab.

I wondered if they might leave us always wondering whose it is--at the moment I'm just revelling in all the possibilities. I'm pretty happy with any possible outcome. And it's really drawn me back into that plot--because I want to uncover Lex's plan! Actual suspense is back!
Talitha: duskwillow TW black leathertalitha78 on February 3rd, 2007 09:25 am (UTC)
Wow!!! These two "Crimson" post were a bravura performance of meta. Fantastic!

*applauds*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois kissbop_radar on February 3rd, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you! *curtseys* I was in a metaing frenzy! :-) This ep has made me SO HAPPY!
Carolcarolandtom on February 3rd, 2007 10:29 am (UTC)
Great posts!

At last some hard truths from Mum! yay!

Yes, but I wish Martha had aknowledged to her son that she shouldn't have been at that party. I hope she too admits her own mistakes.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Tom's backbop_radar on February 3rd, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And yes, good call on Martha. I actually forgot to include in my post that I think of all the calls that RedKClark made, the one about Martha is the most just--I do think it was bad of her to go to that party, especially not discussing it with Clark. Clark should take her advice and use it back at her--tell her, well actually, yes, I do have a problem with it. I feel there's a confrontation over the Mionel brewing some time soon.

But wasn't Tom just brilliant?! I mean he's always great, but he had such range in this one ep! *flails*
Carolcarolandtom on February 3rd, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC)
But wasn't Tom just brilliant?! I mean he's always great, but he had such range in this one ep! *flails*

Absolutely!
(Deleted comment)
Kate: Clex black and whitemskatej on February 3rd, 2007 12:17 pm (UTC)
I LOVE YOU BOPPY. This was one of my favourite ever episodes of SV (which I have already watched twice and I'm about to watch it again. I NEVER DO THAT) and to get two fabulous meta posts out of you fills me with glee.

:x
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Tom's backbop_radar on February 3rd, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC)
Wheeeeeee!!!! *dances around* IT WAS SO GREAT, KATE! SO GREAT!!! How could I not meta it?! I could go on and on and on and on and probably will be doing so all week. Wheee!
Cris: Clark - Kal-Elduskwillow on February 3rd, 2007 12:30 pm (UTC)
Oh can I just nod here. Perfect meta.

Regarding Chloe: I do hope that this will make Chloe realize how much she is bound to miss out in her life, if she keeps covering for Clark, and that she'll do something about it. I would really like for her to go after Jimmy, I do believe she really likes him, maybe even love him, and I'm hoping this will make here realize it. :(
I just want Jimmy to stay.

And I just about fainted on the 'now, tell me you don't love me!' line. Because Clark is facing and addressing both of them--and they both respond with similar expressions.

&hearts
That scene was great.

Although I'm still hurt over Clark telling Lex that he wouldn't have saved him if he knew [this is how he's turn out]. :(

And Lana kicked ass in that barn scene too, when she basically told Clark he was too late and she's not playing the game and waiting for him any more. Kristin rocked in that scene.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: KK cutie iconbop_radar on February 3rd, 2007 12:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sweetie! I agree with you about Chloe--I hope that's the journey she goes through. I can understand her being glamoured by Clark and maybe at this stage in her life not realising just how much she'll miss out on, but I really would love to see her realise her mistake. Jimmy is awesome!

Hey how great was his slow-mo roll to save the vial of green k!? That was so hilarious and brilliant.

I'm still hurt over Clark telling Lex that he wouldn't have saved him if he knew [this is how he's turn out]. :(
Yeah, that's the part of Clark that experiences rage--it's interesting that both Lex and Clark have that extreme side. But for me that line was far more about Clark's frustration with the situation than inherently Lex--and it's telling that he said 'how you turned out' not 'who you were'. Because he acknowledges the journey, even if he's not admitting in that moment that he played a part in that.

Kristin rocked in that scene.
She did, she did! I loved the way her voice shook on 'I have stood here SO MANY TIMES'. So good to see. She cut through all the bullshit with both Clark and Lex in this episode and saw the truth beneath.
Cris: Clark - supermanduskwillow on February 3rd, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
Hey how great was his slow-mo roll to save the vial of green k!? That was so hilarious and brilliant.
Ha! That was too good.
He is a big dork, but he does step up when needed. Like here, or when he pouched the guys who attacked them in Hydro.
He's the cutest. Also - his hair looked much better in Crimson.

Because he acknowledges the journey, even if he's not admitting in that moment that he played a part in that.
I wonder if part of the anger is the anger he feels for himself, because in the end - Lex is his biggest failure. He could have saved him, but he messed it up. Big time.

Still, doesn't help with the hurt. :( The boys are making me so sad this season. I should have know that my happy mood after last week last Clex scene won't last long. lol

She cut through all the bullshit with both Clark and Lex in this episode and saw the truth beneath.
*nods*
It's good to see that Lana back. I have no idea where she was in Hydro and Labyrinth, but I'm so glad to see her again.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark basketballbop_radar on February 4th, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
I wonder if part of the anger is the anger he feels for himself, because in the end - Lex is his biggest failure. He could have saved him, but he messed it up. Big time.
Oh, definitely! I think a lot of it is self-directed. We saw in this episode that he had taken Lex's words to heart--until now we didn't know how deeply Lex's assertion that he'd always wanted what Clark had had hit home with Clark. I think we can assume that the other things Lex has said have hit home as well--like his call about Clark not being able to face the fact he failed. Clark does bottle all this stuff up, but I have no doubt that that scar is deep in his psyche--he failed Lex and he knows it and he'd even rather he'd never tried than face that fact. *woobies*

I have no idea where she was in Hydro and Labyrinth, but I'm so glad to see her again.
She comes and goes! norwich36 mentioned the way the show often goes two steps forward, one step back, and I agree--but at least she's back for now.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: KK cutie iconbop_radar on February 4th, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
Great deconstruction of that scene--yes, I totally agree! She was still emotionally vulnerable but her words overrode that. And it fit perfectly with the other Lana growth we'd seen in this episode. It's really interesting in that light that Lana seems closer than ever to the secret at the same time as she finally sets up boundaries with Clark and a fair friendship with Chloe. Could we see a Lana that knows the secret and is more emotionally mature when it comes to interpersonal relationships? It seems to be headed that way--yay!
mystical van of doom: sv kalvoldything on February 3rd, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
*claps with glee* I'm loving all this Crimson meta!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Buffy Willow friends hugbop_radar on February 4th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
Wheee! Yay! That's good, because there sure is a lot of it! ;-) *lol*
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois Chloe comfort foodbop_radar on February 4th, 2007 12:54 am (UTC)
not to the degree that Lana is really incapable of decision-making, both within their relationship and in her relationships with the other characters. But when the eventual Lexana dissolution comes, all the blame for it is likely to be shunted on to Lex by the other characters, nevermind that Lana's had her eyes open for most of the time about who and what he is**. Just on principle, it's crazy-making for me because Lana didn't end up in that relationship by accident.
Yes, you're right--that is inFURiating about the Lexana. Because it's also contradictory--Lana is more in control of her decisions, more self-confident, more open-eyed than ever before in her relationship with Lex. Yes, despite that, he manages to hide some things from her. But that does not negate the fact that she made every decision along the way for herself--and we saw her really think about those decisions. She is not a victim--though Chloe shows in this episode that its more comfortable for her to think of Lana that way. I didn't like that. Yet when Lana defends it, it sounds like she is defending Lex. What she could/should have said is 'no, Chloe, I'm the one that could have been a better friend to you'. Arrrgh. I was annoyed with Chloe and Lana, and more especially the writers, in that scene.

On the other hand, like you, I definitely give Lana a huge gold star for finally realising that she doesn't have a right to demand that Chloe divulge Clark's secrets to her. I saw growth on Lana's part in this episode and it was a delight.

If Chloe had better people skills, she would have tread a finer line between protecting Clark and acknowledging that based on what Jimmy knows, Jimmy's reading of the situation was fair. But she kind of ... willfully misread Jimmy there (and blamed him for that!) and as a result, she lost him. I thought it was a great scene, but I thought Chloe came out of it looking bad.
I agree. And it almost felt like it was too much, too out of character on Chloe's part. Because it really did show incredibly poor people skills--short-sightedness that is more common in Clark than it's been in Chloe. But then I figured we were supposed to also understand that she was still distracted by Clark's call to her on RedK. She was wearing her rose-tinted Clark glasses, for sure. But no, she didn't come out of it looking very good. I kind of liked that because I've had enough of the writers' 'perfect Chloe'. Letting her screw up once in a while is fine by me--though I hope we get to see her realise her mistakes and redeam them too.
Vicki: lex wakes upmyownghost on February 3rd, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
>And I just about fainted on the 'now, tell me you don't love me!' line. Because Clark is facing and addressing both of them--and they both respond with similar expressions. When Clark clarifies by calling her name--Lana!--Lex pulls a gun.

haha! oh, when i read this, i laughed out loud. i didn't catch it when i watched the ep, but you're so right. i mean, in the first season or two, every time lex looked at clark, his face was just radiating deepest infatuation. how could his emotions not still be heavily engaged, though changed?


>Clark may supposedly be the loveless one this season, but his fingerprints are all over everyone else's lovelives.

wow, aren't they just? you did a fabulous job of paralleling the various pairings and showing how he entered into the dynamic.

i would like to see martha cop to her own failings and mistakes. she pulled clark through the red K poisoning, but she didn't overtly say anything about his crack about racing lana for the monogram. (that made me cackle out loud!)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex mysterybop_radar on February 4th, 2007 12:58 am (UTC)
how could his emotions not still be heavily engaged, though changed?
Hee! Well yes. I think Lex was a total mess where Clark was concerned in this episode. We know that Lex is very controlled these days, and yet when Clark breaks in to the party he can't control himself from expressing his frustration. Then he even ignores Lana's reminder. And in the barn, his poker face was seriously TERRIBLE. He kept flinching and frowning and generally looking emo. Good thing that he was facing the camera and not Lana! But Clark could see what we could see--and that emotion was writ large all over his face, albeit in 'darkened' form.

I totally agree about Martha--I think many people are hoping for the same thing. I get the sense that there's a big confrontation brewing over the Mionel.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Nora Norwich: Lexana joylessnorwich36 on February 3rd, 2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
Re: part II
Lex says to Lana 'I wasn't the one kissing him' and she retorts with 'I wasn't the one holding a gun to his head'.

actually thought that retort was silly. Clark had thrown Lex across a room and forcibly removed Lana from the mansion. It doesn't make sense for Lex, who'd clearly decided to come after them, to do so unarmed (now it doesn't make sense for Lex to come after them without any kind of back-up, true, but if he was going to come alone, then coming armed was reasonable). Furthermore, Clark then proceeded to act out violently in the barn, going so far as to strangle Lex, which means that Lex wasn't actually wrong in deciding to come armed. Clark was just that dangerous.

I would find that argument more persuasive if Lex had charged into the barn with his gun out, demanding that Clark release Lana (which would have been an appropriate response to the kidnapping, imo).
But Lex doesn't actually pull the gun on Clark until Clark demands that Lana tell Lex she's still in love with him, and she doesn't instantly deny it. That made Lex's threatening Clark with the gun read to me (and probably to Lana) like he was less interested in physically protecting himself and Lana from Clark and more interested in preventing any more truths from coming out of Clark's mouth.

And honestly, my sympathy is more with Lana in that scene with Lex, because we know she didn't actually choose to kiss Clark--he kissed her, and while it's true she responded after a few seconds, it's not like she *chose* to kiss him. And yet she doesn't try to deny the kiss; I think her point, in bringing up Lex's violence, is that they both have unresolved issues with Clark, and neither can claim innocence.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex mysterybop_radar on February 4th, 2007 01:11 am (UTC)
Re: part II
Yes, I don't think Lana was really complaining about the gun, I think she was complaining about Lex buying into the whole scenario where Clark was concerned. Lex essentially challenges her for having 'fallen' for Clark, yet he also 'fell' for Clark's manipulation when he pulled that gun--as you point out he does so in response to Clark asking if Lana still loved him.

I think her point, in bringing up Lex's violence, is that they both have unresolved issues with Clark, and neither can claim innocence.
I agree. And it's yet another way in which SV equates love and violence. And while it's subtextual, I think that's something that Lana implicity understands. Thinking back to Mortal, for example.... she's known for a long time that Clark and Lex have a violent and passionately felt connection that is, if anything, more powerful and more subversively dangerous to her relationship with either Clark or Lex than her own relatively straightforward romatic attachments.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Pretty please clarkbop_radar on February 4th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
Re: part II
There was a lot to unpack in that response of Lana's--I agree. And I agree that she's taken aback by the fact that he's taken control of it away from her completely. I loved KK's acting in that scene--there were so many layers to her response. Because part of Lana must also be wondering in that moment if the baby is more important to Lex than she is. And yes, she's really frightened of being lost in that process. I would HATE it if my partner did that without consultation.

the more I think about it, the less damning it seems
You're right! Yes, his actions were childish and petty. They weren't actually designed well to win Lana, the real Lana, as we saw. But he is still trapped by this impulse. It worked well to have Martha tell him that he should leave it alone at the end of this episode--noone's told Clark that so bluntly before.

I thought Lana's attempt to equate her fleeting emotional betrayal with Lex's desire to protect himself was lame; she was deflecting from her own indiscretion by trying to paint Lex's actions as unreasonable.
Yes, at a textual level it made NO SENSE. Which is why I want into the subtext, I think. As I say, that line to me, was Lana asking 'which of us is the more emotionally entangled?' because it doesn't actually make sense that Lana would think it unreasonable of Lex to defend them.

While we're complaining though, I thought it was pretty daft that Lana focussed on the bent farmtool and not the fact that both Clark AND Lex had survived crashing through two walls! But there you go--that's Smallville. All about the symbol, not the textual logic! ;-)
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois hugbop_radar on February 4th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
Re: part II
*giggle* Yup, you need to take the good with the CRAZY!
mahaliemmahaliem on February 3rd, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC)
And Lana presses even further to the heart of the matter--what was Lex's intention--to save her or to hurt him? The same question could be asked for Clark, for that kidnapping did not read as 'saving' to me, it read as a deliberate act to hurt Lex.

Terrific! You made so many excellent points, as always.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on February 4th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
Thank you! *G*
serenography: CKcrimsonKalserenography on February 3rd, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC)
As usual, really interesting and insightful observations from you, boppy. Only a few things that I see a bit differently, but that doesn't prevent me from being just boggled at your in-depth analysis of all these complicated relationships.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW awight!bop_radar on February 4th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
Well you know I never mind people seeing things differently from me! One of the things I loved about this episode is that there was such depth and complexity to all the relationships--which definitely allows for multiple legitimate readings. *loves*
Valerie: fighting Clexjeannev on February 3rd, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
This is some really excellent analysis. With this episode, I found that as much as I had some issues with the overall storyline direction, the actual execution of this episode, the way it was presented and performed, and the potential for aftermath, make it a really strong SV entry. And an entertaining one, and in the end, isn't that the most important part?
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex purple evilbop_radar on February 4th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
Yes, definitely! Smallville is far from being a perfect show and I nearly always have an issue or two with the writing or plotting, but when they get so much right in the execution as they did in this episode, it's a triumphant feeling! And I agree with you that there's a lot of potential for aftermath in this one--I've been wondering exactly where the rest of this season would go (I'm unspoiled), but this episode gives me some optimism on that score!
hoolia goolia: Sexy arms - Ollieboom_queen on February 3rd, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
I'll post a more full-fledged response later, but suffice it to say for now that I love your smallville-meta! This was one of my favorite episodes in a long time: I love Red-K-Clark and I loved how his uninhibited actions pushed some many events and relationships to a crisis point. It was an amazing roller-coaster ride.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark basketballbop_radar on February 4th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
Thank you, thank you! Yes, I love RedK!Clark too--he always shakes things up and that's what makes for such an adrenalin-injected ride, as you say. Wheee!!