Starting with the porn
I had to watch the episode twice. The first time, I just zoned out on Erica’s body, and could comprehend nothing: all dialogue was drowned, all meaning was erased; there was only the curve of her breasts and her so sexy thighs... All the classic framing devices they usually use on Tom, they used on Erica in this episode and it was so great. It’s fabulous that they’ve found a female actor who can carry it off convincingly too. *dies of lust for Erica*
Then with the bad acting
Oh dear, I thought we were back in Season 1. How sad that Aquaman could not act. I actually found his writing really funny: so much cheese! But he couldn’t carry it off. It could have been so brilliant if they’d had an actor with more flair. In particular, the fact that he saw through Lois’s abrasiveness would have been far more charming; and the ‘let’s team up and save the day’ moment with Clark would have had far more power. Oh well! At least he had muscles. And, I must say I loved Lois waking up and staring into his… chest. God I love this show. When boys resuscitate boys it’s all eye gazes and long lashes and romance. But when a boy resuscitates a girl… it’s physical lust first and foremost! Hee! Such subtle subversion.
On to the guest star
James honey! James is here! Look, look, people! *jumps up and down and points*
Ok, so apart from squeeing, I found his character really fascinating. I think it’s really convincing that Clark would be sucked in by this guy despite all the contradictory statements that he makes. Clark is at just the right stage to be glamoured by his professor’s talk of history being about context… even though he later says that he will always tell Clark the truth. That’s a brilliant manipulation of Clark: paying lipservice to complexity, but giving him the safety net of ‘truth’. Lex tells Clark that ‘it’s a complex world and only the naïve see it in black and white’. Clark acknowledges his own naivety. What do we see him do next? Go back to his professor and take up the research assistant position. Poor Clark. He thinks in doing so he is losing his naivety. In fact, I get the feeling he’s still putty in the hands of bigger players.
There were a lot of lines that made me wonder what they will do with this character: ‘I’m an educator’, ‘History is context’, ‘Beware white knights’. All very interesting. I get the feeling I’m going to really enjoy this journey.
And an interesting case of reversal
Clark has decided to investigate the truth about Lex’s projects. Originally he felt squeamish about this, defending Lex to his professor and to Aqua, and even going so far as to ‘protect’ Lex and demand that Lex be given a chance to explain himself. Sound like anyone we know? Well, it sounds like first season Lex to me, when he was willing to defend Clark and his secrets, despite his own doubts. Smallville does reversal so well! Clark rattled off a few lines to Lex that Lex would have had every right to throw at him: ‘I’m through believing your lies’, ‘I defended you’, etc. It was tragic and beautiful that he broke through to Lex for a moment when he told him he defended him but that that was also the moment where Clark himself gave up and committed to investigating Lex.
But the really important stuff is the slash
How I love thee Smallville. Let me count the ways… There was Clark crushing on his professor who stirred him up about his ex-boyfriend, and then Clark’s jealous fit about Lois transformed into Aqua as Clark’s rebound boy who he dragged along to see his ex (Lex). And then the beautiful Lex-ties-rebound-guy-up-and-tortures-him scene! Oh joy!
Michael was dripping coolness and sex appeal as always. He has crafted evil!Lex so beautifully and conveys so much with every expression. He allows the viewer to see how complex Lex’s inner life is now and how high his defences are. And god I love the supervillain humour! Michael has extremely original delivery on his supervillain lines, which I am always delighted by. Every moment he is on screen is mesmerising. It’s a good thing Erica wasn’t in any shots with him or my poor brain might have exploded ;-)
And our endpoint? Lois and Clark
I love Lois. I adore her character-crafting on Smallville. This episode was a new delight because we got to see her romantic vulnerability, a quality she needs to have to become future canon Lois. She transitioned from sarcasm to flirting beautifully. And I loved her sheer denial that she had needed help or, indeed, that she was in a romantic situation. Despite her denial, she couldn’t help falling for him, and that was classic Lois for me.
I think it’s brilliant that Clark had a jealous fit about Lois dating someone else, while he was dating Lana. That is seriously quite evil writing! When Clark saw Aqua holding Lois in his arms, something in him just snapped. I think it’s beautiful that we got to see Clark responding subconsciously to the things that will typify their future relationship. When Lois says ‘I’ve met many guys that want to own the world but not many that want to save it’, you can see him really drawn to her. That final shot of the two of them was brilliant, and his promise was adorable. I got the feeling that part of Clark resolved to make himself into that ‘even more special’ person for Lois at that moment. He’s just not self-aware enough to know it. In a new way, Smallville has provided one of its classic joys: showing how the lead players in the Superman myth shape each other into being.