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21 April 2007 @ 10:05 am
Smallville 6.18 Progeny  
I would estimate my level of awakeness at approximately 20 per cent, so this review may be a little light on content.

I was pleased to see the story of Chloe's mother revisited, since I've always hoped that they'd make more of that plot. The twist--that she can control meteor freaks--wasn't one I would have ever expected. At first I was confused as to why they played her admission to the asylum as voluntary--was it just to gain our sympathy? But as the episode unfolded, it became clear that Chloe's mother's self-sacrifice was deliberate and the pattern was repeated at the end of the episode with her relinquishing the last thing connecting her to Chloe, and with it any ability to control her.

The power to control meteor freaks is an incredibly powerful one--one that Lex would love to acquire. In fact all his efforts with Level-33 are striving to achieve that goal by less direct means. Chloe's mother was 'gifted' with that power against her will. She sees the danger in it after the frightening experience of accidentally forcing her own child to scrub her hands raw. Unlike Lex, she doesn't desire to control others, least of all her own offspring, and she would rather sacrifice her own life than live with the potential for abuse. One could say that Chloe's mother could just have avoided ordering her around in the future, but the fact that she took more drastic means to confine herself reflects the potential for abuse inherent in this power, even if you set out with good intentions.

Chloe's mother would be invaluable not only to Lex but to Clark and Chloe, striving to prevent the meteor freaks from hurting others. That possibility is avoided by having her lucidity dependent on a drug available only to Lex. However, it's interesting to speculate about whether her power could ever be put to good use. Especially because she is set in contrast to Lex, who also claims to have 'good' motives for controlling the meteor freaks, but whose desire for ultimate power is all-consuming and who is comfortable with abusing those he loves to achieve it.

Chloe's mother is a 'good' krypto-freak, one who recognises the danger in her own power and sacrifices herself rather than allow it to be misused. With Chloe herself questioning what her own nature means, this is surely a promising sign for her, and it's a continuation of the trend in Smallville towards showing more sympathetic krypto-mutants. Does it go further and prefigure Chloe's own journey? Will she also sacrifice herself in some way? It's certainly possible, I think, given the way in which the revelation was framed, her own horror for krypto-mutants, and the fact that little hope of an alternative has been offered so far. (Clark only manages an 'I don't blame you' in response to Chloe saying she's freaking out about it.) This would also fit the pattern of children following in their parents' footsteps in the Smallville universe.

At the giggly level, I was pleased to see that while some things change (Lex prefers classical music over techno these days), others stay the same (talking on the cell phone while driving). Car crashes in Smallville--there can never be enough of them!

So there was no baby, no pregnancy, and Lana knows this now. At least she knows that it was not her 'fault' that she lost the baby, for I had visions of her entering a state of hysterical anxiety about that. The alternative is, of course, just as horrific--that her husband manipulated her into marriage. However, as we know, a lot of other factors played into that decision as well: her own love for Lex and her self-sacrifice on behalf of Clark (to protect him from Lionel) top of the list. Still, it makes Lana's position within the marriage even more nightmarish than it already was.

And sue me, but I was totally into the Clana scenes--Clark is finally justified in believing, despite all evidence, that Lana still loves him. And since we know the tragic truth of the marriage and why Lana won't reveal it, we also know that her silence is to her credit. Under such circumstances, I found it moving that Clark was the first person Lana told about losing the baby. And Clark seemed genuinely sorrowful for her. I also loved that both Clark and Chloe are concerned to protect Lana and recognise that she could be used as a pawn in the impending battle.

Another surprise is that I love how snarky Clark is about Lex these days. 'Lex can get his own AAA' was fun enough, but that hesitation before saving Lex from Chloe's bullet was gold. Beautifully played by Tom (remember when he couldn't act very well? yeah, I can't really either... *nostalgia*), and so expressive of his emotions towards Lex these days. I guess I liked it because I knew there was no real danger that he wouldn't save Lex, but I love that he's fed up of doing so. It's an interesting contrast to the Clark from 'Crimson' or at the end of 'Trespass' who was as fixated on Lex as always. While I don't think Clark's disinterest/lack of care is completely feigned, I do think Lex is entirely capable of blasting through it and pressing all Clark's buttons, er, so to speak, again. Clark's been in avoidance mode, because open conflict with Lex means confronting so much and being vulnerable to those conflicted emotions again. But with the 'war' beginning... *bounces*

Bring it on, I say!

And omg, I just got your package, literaryll!! I am bouncing with joy! They are definitely love, yes, and I'm racing off now to read comic... wheeee!! ETA: OK, I'm on page 3 and am in love already! 'Culture's a dirty word nowadays, but god knows I try...' HEE!
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark and Chloe reportersbop_radar on April 21st, 2007 06:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, Tom + acting skillz is this amazingly mesmerising creature! And oh the purty! *swoons* (I didn't realise how much I'd missed him being off our screens.) But yeah, I'm particularly impressed that he can nail the comic moments now--that's not easy.

It's great to see Lex finally get his evil on, and to actually feel for Clark, the hero, instead of wanting to slap him
Yeah, I agree! I'm so ready for it. I'm happy to be on Team Good's side for once (with that little part of me cheering on Lex too as my Favouritest Villain ever!).

if Clark had been older, more self-confident and self-aware and responsible when he first met Lex, none of this would've happened.
Oh, yes, I agree.

Bunnies? Kittens? I vote yes! Tom + cute fluffy things must be made of win!

The whole "the war is about to begin" line has me way more excited in the preview
Ahh... in this instance then maybe I'm glad I didn't see the preview.

Clark's first reaction to the file on the flash drive was "I'll go to the mansion and talk to Lex?"
HAHAA. Yes, that never gets old. 'Someone mention Luthors? Whooosh, I must go to Lex...' My favourite is still Chloe ringing for help from the Luthor basement and Clark turning up to get her out before she stated what kind of help she needed. Oh, Clark!
Nora Norwich: KK pink dressnorwich36 on April 21st, 2007 05:15 am (UTC)
However, it's interesting to speculate about whether her power could ever be put to good use. Especially because she is set in contrast to Lex, who also claims to have 'good' motives for controlling the meteor freaks, but whose desire for ultimate power is all-consuming and who is comfortable with abusing those he loves to achieve it.

Yes, I think that's an excellent parallel. Moira isn't the first mutant to realize her power is too dangerous--Kyle Tippet in season one came to a similar conclusion--but the parallel to Lex is the obvious one. Interesting, too, that Moira's sacrifice also parallels the sacrifice Lillian Luthor made; clearly self-sacrifice, rather than harming another to protect your child, is the right choice in the SV verse. And I do wonder what it means for Chloe as her child, since as you remind us, children do tend to follow their parents' examples in the SV verse.

And sue me, but I was totally into the Clana scenes--Clark is finally justified in believing, despite all evidence, that Lana still loves him. And since we know the tragic truth of the marriage and why Lana won't reveal it, we also know that her silence is to her credit. Under such circumstances, I found it moving that Clark was the first person Lana told about losing the baby. And Clark seemed genuinely sorrowful for her. I also loved that both Clark and Chloe are concerned to protect Lana and recognise that she could be used as a pawn in the impending battle.

I enjoyed those aspects of the episode as well. I also liked how Lana has regained her spine and is realizing she will survive this--because I believe she will.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex purple evilbop_radar on April 21st, 2007 06:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was surprised Lana HAD regained her spine--I sort of expected her to stay lost a bit longer. But I'm pleased nonetheless.

There was something very Lillian Luthor-like about Moira anyway with that dark hair! It's interesting that Lex raised the fact that he too had lost a mother--something which should connect him compassionately to Chloe--but which apparently leaves him quite cold, another sign of his monomania these days.
huzzlewhat: lois and clarkhuzzlewhat on April 21st, 2007 10:22 am (UTC)
However, it's interesting to speculate about whether her power could ever be put to good use. Especially because she is set in contrast to Lex, who also claims to have 'good' motives for controlling the meteor freaks, but whose desire for ultimate power is all-consuming and who is comfortable with abusing those he loves to achieve it.

Yeah, this was a really interesting parallel. I think that her power couldn't be used for good, because the very nature of it was a violation of others, a control of the mind and will of other people. While we all may wish at times that people would just do what we want them to and not be so difficult by stubbornly insisting on making their own decisions, it's just morally wrong to actively take control of them. In "Promise," Lex wistfully voiced his view of people as controllable puppets, a view which Lionel endorsed and reinforced. Moira, with the ability to actually make people her puppets, is something like the embodiment of Lex's desire to control people, and takes herself out of the game rather than do so. And it's interesting that the other mutant who chose to remove himself from society rather than use his "gift" was Kyle, who had a very similar power of mind control, and who was directly paralleled with his former partner, who did use that power, and was a villain.

The alternative is, of course, just as horrific--that her husband manipulated her into marriage. However, as we know, a lot of other factors played into that decision as well: her own love for Lex and her self-sacrifice on behalf of Clark (to protect him from Lionel) top of the list. Still, it makes Lana's position within the marriage even more nightmarish than it already was.

I'm sounding like a broken record in all my comments, but I loved that scene between Lana and the doctor. Just loved it.

And sue me, but I was totally into the Clana scenes

I'll be your co-defendent on this one, too. ;-)

Another surprise is that I love how snarky Clark is about Lex these days. 'Lex can get his own AAA' was fun enough

I loved that line. Snarky Clark is always a joy to me.

It's an interesting contrast to the Clark from 'Crimson' or at the end of 'Trespass' who was as fixated on Lex as always. While I don't think Clark's disinterest/lack of care is completely feigned, I do think Lex is entirely capable of blasting through it and pressing all Clark's buttons, er, so to speak, again. Clark's been in avoidance mode, because open conflict with Lex means confronting so much and being vulnerable to those conflicted emotions again. But with the 'war' beginning... *bounces*

I love this point. The most fascinating thing about this season for me is how Clark and Lex still circled around each other, just through proxies. Both have tried to disengage, Lex to the point of openly telling Clark that he doesn't matter. But god forbid that Clark gets too far away. I'm convinced that Lex's threat to Chloe was intended to do just what it did — get Lex back on Clark's radar.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW awight!bop_radar on April 21st, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC)
Moira, with the ability to actually make people her puppets, is something like the embodiment of Lex's desire to control people, and takes herself out of the game rather than do so
Yes, exactly--and thank you for bringing up Kyle, who I'm struggling to recall clearly. It's particularly interesting to be reminded that he was contrasted with a villain as well. I agree that the nature of it is a violation and considering how determinative parents are in the Smallville world anyway, that made her returning Chloe's chain a very effective symbol of her unwillingness to abuse that power any further.

I'm convinced that Lex's threat to Chloe was intended to do just what it did — get Lex back on Clark's radar.
*nods* I think Lex would be (internally) dancing around with glee that someone so close to Clark turned out to be a mutant, because it's the perfect way to get back on Clark's radar. And it's striking how quickly this has escalated after the wedding--which Lex himself touted as his big Revenge. Clearly, it wasn't an endpoint though--Lex still has a strong drive to engage with Clark, for all their posturing to the contrary.
huzzlewhat: superman_intrepid reporterhuzzlewhat on April 23rd, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
it's striking how quickly this has escalated after the wedding--which Lex himself touted as his big Revenge. Clearly, it wasn't an endpoint though--Lex still has a strong drive to engage with Clark, for all their posturing to the contrary.

I'm trying to think about whether this fits in with the rest of Lex's nature. My first reaction was that this is part of the reason that Lex will fall so far (while, paradoxically, rising so high) — because there aren't really end points for him, he always wants more. But then, I thought that maybe that didn't fit... and that this need to win again, and again, instead of the wedding and the "you don't matter" being enough, is peculiar to his relationship with Clark. I sort of like the idea that winning is usually enough, and this time it's not, and that Lex may be a little bewildered by that.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex villainbop_radar on April 23rd, 2007 02:51 am (UTC)
*nods* I like that too because it extends well into future canon where Superman will bug Luthor more than anyone else and be part of the drive for Lex to keep on evolving as a villain. It's definitely interesting to speculate whether, without Clark/Superman, Lex may have reached a point where he was relatively happy with his wealth and power, rather than being driven onwards towards insanity and ultimate destruction of the world.
Romany: sv: alien by birth human by choiceromanyg on April 23rd, 2007 02:23 am (UTC)
Both have tried to disengage, Lex to the point of openly telling Clark that he doesn't matter. But god forbid that Clark gets too far away. I'm convinced that Lex's threat to Chloe was intended to do just what it did — get Lex back on Clark's radar.

Oooh, I hadn't thought of that. I had thought that Clark saying that Lex had done these things to spite him was a bit overboard. But now that I've read your comment, I see that there might be something to it.
Romany: sv: joy in the little thingsromanyg on April 23rd, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
Excellent commentary, as usual. I have to admit that Moira freaked me out somewhat. She represented heroism and the abuse of power. And I worry what message her final sacrifice will mean to Chloe.

Still, it makes Lana's position within the marriage even more nightmarish than it already was.

Oh yes, this is the classic case of marriage entrapment, but reversed. And I could slap that doctor. Who talks to their patients like that? If I were her, I'd run to the nearest patient advocate.

And sue me, but I was totally into the Clana scenes

Oh, me too. I thought that they both acted so well in those.

Another surprise is that I love how snarky Clark is about Lex these days. 'Lex can get his own AAA' was fun enough, but that hesitation before saving Lex from Chloe's bullet was gold.

I *adored* the hesitation, both for the actual hesitation and that he couldn't *not* save Lex.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois Chloe comfort foodbop_radar on April 23rd, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think I was a little freaked out by Moira too--especially by what her sacrifice might mean to Chloe. Coming on top of my post-Freak freakout about Chloe and masochism, it's hard not to foresee a tragic end to this plot line, but norwich36 had talked me round... so I'm trying to stay zen.

Who talks to their patients like that? If I were her, I'd run to the nearest patient advocate.
Patient advocates?! Do those exist?! In my experience, sadly, that's exactly how doctors talk to patients. He seemed (ironically) pretty well-characterised in comparison to the touchy-feely doctors that tv soaps present. Only in retrospect do I realise he was meant to be a caricature in that Smallvillean way!

I *adored* the hesitation, both for the actual hesitation and that he couldn't *not* save Lex.
Exactly! It was definitely the highlight of the episode for me. So awesome and such a great twist on all the other times he's saved Lex.
Romany: sv: you always have familyromanyg on April 23rd, 2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
I'll take your cue and try to stay zen too! *g*

Patient advocates?! Do those exist?!

Yes, they do. Major hospitals employ, mostly to avoid lawsuits. I've had some not so nice experiences with doctors, but nothing as blatantly judgmental as that!

So awesome and such a great twist on all the other times he's saved Lex.

Yes! Even as recently as "Rage", he showed concern for Lex. Now it's just his duty. *sad face* And in "Promise" we know that he dreams of killing Lex. Ah temptation! Luckily, Clark doesn't give in to temptation often.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex purple evilbop_radar on April 23rd, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC)
Among the stupidest judgmental calls I've had from doctors was a GP who said (after, I swear, two minutes in her office getting examined for a spot I was worried might be something scary but wasn't) 'you don't have many friends do you?' After I blank-stared her for a second or too, she fleshed this out by saying she thought I was a bit of a loner and should take some anti-depressants and get a boyfriend. (I HAD a boyfriend at the time and was in one of my most extroverted/party-going/socialite phases of life. Also, hello! I was worried about a spot--not my mental health. Gah! *still fuming*)

Anyway... Smallville... where were we? ;-)

And in "Promise" we know that he dreams of killing Lex. Ah temptation! Luckily, Clark doesn't give in to temptation often.
Ohhh, yes. Good point(s), and no he doesn't so I think we're safe. Though it's interesting indeed that his dreams have turned homicidal... makes me want to read a fic where Clark is driven mad by nightmares about Lex and gets his desire to kill him and his desire to sex him all confused. Hee!
Romany: tw: courtesans and concreteromanyg on April 25th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)
Yikes! I've had doctors say some questionable things to me, but nothing like that! How horrible. I'm so sorry. *fumes with you*

makes me want to read a fic where Clark is driven mad by nightmares about Lex and gets his desire to kill him and his desire to sex him all confused. Hee!

Wow. Now you make me want to read it too! I've seen plenty of Lex fics like that, but to have it be Clark--and not Kal...*brain melt* And you know, I can really see it. Lex is Clark's temptation, many of them, and giving into a murderous impulse is just one of them. And not a clean rage, but mired in sex? *many e's*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex fascinated with youbop_radar on April 26th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
Lex is Clark's temptation, many of them, and giving into a murderous impulse is just one of them. And not a clean rage, but mired in sex? *many e's*
*nods* Yes, definitely! Eeep! I am needing this fic badly. It's believable for Smallville's Clark--he has so many dark places in his soul. I wouldn't have believed it possible pre-Smallville, but somehow I can now.
Romany: sv: the inevitable epic struggleromanyg on April 26th, 2007 07:50 am (UTC)
I wouldn't have believed it possible pre-Smallville, but somehow I can now.

Oh I can now too. And if the two of us are thinking it then someone must be writing it. Somewhere. I hope!
jude_judith82: Chloejude_judith82 on April 23rd, 2007 03:35 am (UTC)
Great review like always. The episode was kind of just there for me. I want to watch it again to see if I get a different feel but I just absolutely adored the ending. From the Lex threat all the way to Clark declaring war. It was gold. I can't wait to see what is going to happen either. I agree on snarky Clark it was beautiful even the hesistation and the way he shoved Lex. Even if he can't stand him he can't not help him. It was awesome. Any who a great read!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex here with youbop_radar on April 23rd, 2007 06:45 am (UTC)
Yes, I agree about the episode--but the end was great. I'm hoping next week's episode will build on that. Thanks for commenting!
roxymissrose: d-lexwalk caelumroxymissrose on April 28th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)
While I don't think Clark's disinterest/lack of care is completely feigned, I do think Lex is entirely capable of blasting through it and pressing all Clark's buttons, er, so to speak, again. Clark's been in avoidance mode, because open conflict with Lex means confronting so much and being vulnerable to those conflicted emotions again.

Wow, I just came back to read your take on Prodigy--way to call it! *admires*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex here with youbop_radar on April 29th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
Hee! Awww, cool! I'd forgotten my own coment. :-) It all came pouring out so fast, didn't it? A few seconds together and they were both raw with emotion. The intimacy in that was incredible