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!