I've got all week to meta as I'm off work, so I'm indulging in a pictorial commentary of this ep for something a little different...Of course the meta potential was huge with this plot premise, but it wasn't just that that sold this episode: it also had some very moving scenes (the Clana save was GORGEOUS) and some fab reveals as well (Lana holding Lionel prisoner--woot!). Plus, it had humour in bucketloads and you can't tell me that the script wasn't self-reflective. *giggles*
Warrior Angel has always been a great construct so I squeed with joy at the idea of a movie. Totally fantastic episode concept! This intra-textually fictional superhero has an interesting blended personality, reflecting both Lex and Clark. The red cape, of course, signals the future Superman, and I thought it was a lovely twist to have Clark inherit the cloak from the set. But it's Lex who has always identified with Warrior Angel, and the superhero bears his trademark bald head as well as a silver and black costume. Even the name is dualistic: some may consider the concept of an angel that is also a warrior contradictory. In the light of Lex's recent encounter with an 'angel' it's got added interest--his response so far has been that if she doesn't acknowledge herself as an angel, she must be a warrior, an enemy advance guard... so Lex himself is guilty of splitting the two halves on occasion.
Of course, starting with the flying was a great way to introduce the artificiality. It's the one thing that Clark doesn't do yet. Yet he came about as close as he ever has in saving Lana in this episode--I'd pretty much call that flying! So the distance between the fictional character of Warrior Angel and Clark grows narrower, which fits with the episode's theme about Clark's destiny.
You can tell the writers and crew had a lot of fun with this one. There were some lovely little details like this guy arguing about his costume: 'Ok, fine, but have you seen the ears?!'
Interesting choices for Chloe's costuming in this episode: she's gone meteor green. Green t-shirt, green jewellery. I thought that was very pointed after last week's episode which estabished her as 'trapped' with her meteor powers. In breaking up with Jimmy she's acknowledged the centrality of her secret to her identity: it is more important than intimate relationships. This seems to be reflected in the costuming for this episode.
Chloe also introduces the first of much commentary about fans. (Hee! Yes, the writers got their own back!) She discusses the ways in which the stories function as escapism, especially at a time when she's relationship-less. Her bravado is paper-thin: she admits to having had plenty of freetime. And what has she been doing with it? Writing fanfic! :D Kara's fake backstory, actually. And it's good enough to full Lex's minions. Nice!
It's Smallville... therefore there must be a car crash. But in this case it was one of the most spectacular Clark saves ever. I love that Clark didn't hesitate, but wow, he really revealed himself in this moment. It's pretty hard to believe that this wouldn't actually have busted him to the whole world. But we can handwave it for the sake of an enjoyable eppy. ;)
This save of Clark's is trademark Superman: he catches her in the same way he will later catch Lana. The two characters are paralleled, of course. They clearly cast someone who looked like a 'bombshell' version of Lana. They're about the same height, same long brunette hair, and they had similar coloured clothes with cream and white predominating. Rachel's outfits are a lot more revealing, Lana's more demure. But that fits with the film star versus ordinary girl idea.
I've seen a lot of people speculating about whether Clark and Lana are sleeping together. I maintain they're not. I don't see them getting past Clark's sexual insecurities this fast, and seeing him working out some frustration with these fenceposts (phallic much? *coughs*) only confirms it. I believe the show's deliberately leaving it ambiguous but there was certainly material to support this reading here. Lana suggests 'other ways' to burn calories but Clark totally lets her suggestion drop: a newly reunited sexually active couple would probably have considered that a good excuse to jump each other. Then Lana reveals that she got home late and Clark was asleep. She didn't wake him. Ok, it was just one night. But it does hint that they're running around on different schedules and they're minds are... well, not in their pants.
When the limo pulled up I laughed because it's not exactly the first time that Clark's been wooed by the limo-owning brigade. And most of them come in person, with gifts, not just send a lackey... Rachel didn't stand a chance. ;) I liked that Lana had a little frisson of jealousy. She joked that she wasn't Clark's 'only fan' but Rachel's no real rival. She is 'just' a fan, whereas Lana's in the intimate circle. The true jealousy didn't flair until Clark invited Rachel into his home (and ok, someone needs to tell the boy that new girlfriends generally don't take well to you setting up a harem!).
I love that Clark made a really bad fan and therefore a really great impression on Rachel. He really did see her as just another person, and someone he saved, rather than a star. This was set in contrast to Chloe's determination to get in with any excuse (whereas Clark didn't even really want to be there) and her eagerness to hook an interview, as well as her awkward star-struck body language.
As if this episode didn't have enough awesome, it also had Lois! Looking distractingly hot in that shirt. *blinks* I love how determined she is that her own leads will pay off, even though she's actually a little off-base. She's blinded here by two things. First, she doesn't rate Clark as a story no matter what the circumstances. Secondly it never occurs to her to consider Lana a Luthor. I think that's to Lois's credit--it's her good nature that overlooks Lana, who she's always liked. She's not on Lois's list of suspects, despite the ambiguity of 'LL' as a signature.
Interesting that Grant pushed so hard for her to drop the lead--that didn't make much sense to me. I wonder if there's backstory there. Is he being paid to keep away from the Luthors? Because while Lois didn't have proof yet, she did have a good lead and I think it's reasonable for a journalist to be sceptical about Lex's overnight redemption (we may buy it as viewers but we know what triggered it and why it was so powerful).
I'm not quite sure why they decided to go all Misery on the Lionel plot. And I really DID NOT like the trapped hand. Special effects team: entertain thyselves in a less disgusting way next time, please! However, I was very amused that they wrote in random pot-growing. Last week homosexuality, this week drugs... dear me, what is this taboo-breaking behaviour from the CW?
I loved the barn scene to bits! The lines were so cheesy: just exactly like Smallville itself. And of course all the dialogue echoed with the themes we've seen from the show. Clark's got a 'secret', he's not 'like other men', he tries to be selfless and end things, yada yada yada. Poor Clark looks to the script to save him from that scary female sexual aggression that always gets him into trouble. ;)
Best line nominee #1: How are we supposed to narrow this down to the one psycho who's willing to kill?
Huahahahaha. Nice one, writers. Yup, we internet fans are freaky.
Apparently Clark's taking last week's collaboration as a positive sign: he feels comfy enough to show up at the mansion asking for help. Which Lex gives, even if he does get in a dig about them not being friends any more. Yeah, yeah, heard it all before, boys! The fact that Lex's comic book collection was so accessible completley cracked me up. You wouldn't want to be trying to rob the place--you'd have to wade through comics to get to the safe!
I loved Lex's line about seeing the world in black and white but now seeing things as more grey. But how true is that? Right now he's standing on the edge again--wanting to believe in Kara but already having been rebuffed. His own thinking is far more black and white and extreme than he's willing to acknowledge. His own idea of 'grey' seems to be 'if it's not pure white, what's the point? may as well go all out'
Love the comic! It reflects both Clark's saves of Rachel and Lana and also the attempted shooting. But even more FTW was Lex's assertion that 'in the comic book world if you're destined to save mankind you're destined to be alone'. YES! That's what I'm talking about! Clark may not see the writing on the wall yet, but those clued in to the tropes know what's in store.
A small touch, but I really liked Warrior Angel's awkward shuffle to stop the bullet. Teehee! Sloppy work from Clark though, letting himself be seen.
I am totally IN LOVE with this new establishment shot of the Luthorcorp tower, but waaaaah I could kill (yup crazyfan!) the person in charge of those huge CW banners spoiling it. :(
Lois undercover and in glasses totally made my heart thump. She looks like such a Lex girl! Tall, brunette, glasses, hot suit... yup totally his type! In fact we saw said chickie earlier in the ep. I'm surprised Lex didn't find her at least slightly hot in that get-up, but then he was too busy getting annoyed. It was exciting to see Lois ruffle Lex's feathers even if he still doesn't rate her (unwise, unwise!). Holding her silence and her head high was a great move on Lois's part. Far more powerful than trying to divert or deflect the conversation. It may, however, be true that Lex has no secrets left... for the moment.
Back with more when I've had some sleep. :)