1. Lex finally got a decent minion!
2. Lex likes to play with his new minion/toy!
3. Lois BACKSTORY!
4. Luthorcorp satellite!
5. Payoff on 33.1 after all these years!
6. Lois in the A-plot!
7. A real opponent for Clark! An opponent with powers!
8. Lois is taking on the Luthors!
9. Tahmoh and his silver shorts really came into their own!
10. It's just the beginning! \o/
Headed towards pitch black
Smallville is very good at 'levelling up' for its season ending arcs. And looks like Season 6 is no exception. This episode was action-packed and unveiled Lex's masterplan: Project Ares (aka Tahmoh, hee!). The script was a cut above the usual with a few great lines. Lionel's snark to Clark ('Letting go... never been one of your strong points, has it?') was a personal favourite.
Smallville takes a long, long, long time to give you the payoffs, but oh, boy, when it does, it's quite something! Project Ares is awesome! :-) (And it's not just Tahmoh and the silver shorts that makes me say that--though I love them too. A LOT.) All of Lex's experiments over the years have led somewhere. Into creating someone with equal (or greater?) powers than Clark! Clark may have announced the war, but Lex had his pieces in place long before then. I'm amused/impressed that Clark knows that Ares is the god of war--was that one of the three things he learnt at uni from Fine? Or did Lex share this with him back in the day? And I'm only going to say this once but: OMG THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO OLIVER, CLARK!!!
I love that Chloe called Clark on the whole 'I'm going to go talk to Lex' routine. Yeah, that IS completely pointless now, and it is also completely daft that he left Chloe to call Oliver. (I'd love to hear that phone call--I bet Ollie knew exactly what Clark was so busy with that he couldn't call himself.) But, convenient for exposition!
So the Luthor marriage is still on the frigid side? I'm not exactly surprised. Lex is trying to rekindle the flames, but dozens of separate candles don't inspire the same passion as the fireplace used to. And Clark leaves a chilly breeze between them, as does Lex's preoccupation with his own projects. Clark is honing in on the reason that Lana married Lex. He's identified that Lionel had something to do with it, and Lionel's hinted that Lana may have been coerced. Lana hinted that she did so to protect 'the people she loves'. It's not exactly brain surgery, even for Clark. I think he'll uncover the truth and crack it with Lionel pretty soon. I don't think Lana will come out and say it herself, but they definitely seem to be setting it up to have Lana betray Lex, or have Lex at least think Lana's betrayed him. I'm sure she'll help Clark gain info on Ares.
I also think Lionel's going to have a trump card up his sleeve for when Clark does take off those gloves. Perhaps something to do with the Kryptonian symbols he was drawing when Clark came in? Power was the first one, I'd place money on the second being Corruption but I couldn't see for sure, and the third one was Mirror? They're great themes (for Lex), but I can't see the direct connection yet, nor the link to the Zoners, but since they're still (just barely) in the set-up of the season, I'm guessing Lionel's trump card will involve them.
Lois and selflessness
Clark talks in this episode about putting other people first. Lois does this in abundance. We first see her in this episode in the Talon with Chloe, comforting her, albeit awkwardly, about Jimmy's departure. No-one comforted Lois when Oliver left--she was alone with that. And Chloe's position is less devastating than Lois's--Jimmy having made it clear that he wants to come back to her. When Lois's boyfriends move on, they really move on. (Of course, some of them return married, dead and resurrected as killing machines...)
I love that Lois was going after the senator despite Lionel's threat, and that she heads off to do so breezily without telling Clark or Chloe much about it. It would perhaps have been prudent to, but it's not in Lois's nature: she's fiercely independent, she's competitive ('race you to the front page') and she doesn't like to burden others with her problems. Even though the Kents insist on having her stay, she's embarrassed about it, telling them she can look after herself.
I love the way Clark's protective instincts are really shining through where Lois is concerned--a sure sign that he's growing fonder of her. When Lois asks for a favour he immediately assumes she's asking him and steps forward eagerly 'what do you need?' Of course, Lois doesn't think Clark could help at all--it's Martha that she's asking the favour of. I also loved seeing Clark watching from the shadows as Lois watched Wes die. It's a scenario that Clark is very familiar with, having had several people die in his arms, but it must be different for him to see someone else going through this, and making their own promise to bring those responsible to justice and to prevent this happening to anyone else. I love that Smallville's showing Lois to have just as much determination as Clark in this regard. She may not have his powers, but she's not going to let that stop her, and she shoulders her own burdens in solitude, as he does. This puts Clark and Lois on equal footing in a way that really appeals to me, and I think Clark's reflective expression watching her with Wes, indicated a significant recognition on his part (good work, Tom!).
Lois's backstory with Wes was super-cute. I'm delighted that they made use of her army brat background and that they tied her into this story so completely. It's so rare to see her used in the A-plot, and so exciting. And they did so really well, showing off both her strengths and her vulnerabilities. I loved the way they hinted at the omg!significance of her connection to Wes and his scar, all a set-up to that funny story of drunken teenage shenanigans. Hee! I love that Lois kissed him. How wonderfully assertive of her! And aww, what a traumatising first kiss experience. Cuute! (And omg, so true of teenage love!) Erica's got such great delivery on this--she sounds like she's still upset that he puked and passed out. (Clearly, he was not good enough for you Lois! Pick Anders next--he can hold his liquor a little better. Oh, sorry. Wrong show!)
Apparently everyone's very calm about the fact that Lionel gets to announce Martha's promotion, not the governor himself. I'm not even going to go there... I'm just excited for Martha. While I don't actually think Jonathan would have reacted as positively as Clark did, it was beautiful of Clark to validate her move by calling on his father's memory. And his speech was really moving. It recognised that there are other paths that his own to helping people. Clark has matured a lot to be able to say this so unhesitatingly. I'm torn. On the one hand, this ties Clark to the farm for even longer (*groan*), but on the other hand I liked his recognition of the fact that Martha needs to be in Washington to make a difference. If only he could come to such a realisation about his own life and head off to Metropolis.
Oh, well. He's got his work cut out for him in the next little while regardless. And I CAN'T WAIT! *G*