This shot is made of win!
Seriously, I could not laugh harder! Oh, Clark. If it takes a POST-IT to kick your butt into gear in regards to your destiny, I will never let you live it down! I mean really... someone, anyone (Lex? Lana? Chloe? Oliver? JOR-EL) could have sent him this exact same note a long time ago. Many have tried to tell the dear boy that he's got a destiny, many have failed. He remains, as we will see, immune to the destiny concept, largely, at this point, because the writers need him to be. I think they had a lot of fun with this in this episode--it was their chance to joke and say 'yeah, we know it's ridiculous that he still doesn't get it'.
Evil!Lana was rather wonderful. I can't get over how Lexian she is. Complete with the ability to shift from one mode (angrily berating a minion) to another (loyal girlfriend phonecall with Clark) at a moment's notice. It's chilling and brilliant all in one. I'm not that disturbed by Lana's actions in capturing Lionel--she has good reason both to hate him and fear him. And since we still don't have textual proof that Clark has told Lana that Lionel's not really a threat to him, then she has good reason to want him under her control. We saw last season that she had a vicious streak where Lionel is concerned when she cut off his blood supply in hospital. So this is an extension of that. What I'll be really curious to see is what she wants with Lex... how far she'd go to get revenge on him, I really don't know yet.
I know it could be viewed as negative that they cast a fanboy as the villain of the week, but I think there's a lot more to the story that than surface-level reading. The writing was quite generous to online forums: Chloe made a point of saying that the blog got a lot of hits and that if Clark was outed on it, it would be a big deal. (That's debatable I reckon: mainstream media still hold a lot more sway, especially in breaking a story so outlandish.) I liked the detatils they gave this guy: the production assistant on the movie (sooo the type of guy who'd be a fan in his spare time!), the room full of collectables, the cluttered desk set-up. And I thought his argument was perfectly written to get the point across. 'You can't mess with people's idols,' he says, 'that's why no-one believes in heroes any more--including you, Clark.' The fanboy casts himself as Devilicus, thinking he needs to push Clark to embrace his destiny.
In terms of how this reflects on Smallville, I think it's interesting because those who have pushed Clark towards his destiny have been viewed as villains, sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly. Jor-El is the most obvious of those, but there was also Fine (who DID turn out to be a villain), Oliver (whose methods remain greyer than Clark is comfortable with), Lionel as Jor-El's avatar, J'onn Jonzz and potentially now Kara. It's been difficult for Clark to read the messages sent to him when the waters have often been muddied by conflicting or ambiguous motives. However the message itself has been ringing loud and clear for some time and this episode seemed to push the idea of someone outside the situation being more clear-eyed (or fanatical, depending on your perspective) about what's required than Clark himself.
What makes the fanboy a villain is that he blurs the line between fiction and reality, he takes action and tries to force things to happen the way he wants. He knocks out both Warrior Angel's screen girlfriend and Lana, arguing that she has to die for Clark to embrace his destiny alone. Of course, the writers are having a dig here at the fans who felt that Lana should have died in order for Clark to move on. And I was able to have a good laugh at that because circa Season 3 I would have been 100% fine with someone throwing Lana off a balcony to make Clark embrace his future. Now, not so much. However it was great to see someone arguing that while Clark focuses on his own desires, thousands of other lives are at stake. True. They are, and it's something he'll eventually face and have to balance. But we know that he'll still try to keep that human connection in terms of a relationship as well. Lana asking 'and mine doesn't matter?' worked well to remind us of the classic hero's dilemma: to save the life of one person he loves or the lives of many he doesn't know.
#2 nominee for best line (actually best delivery): what did you mean when you said he was trying to make YOU accept your destiny?
Yes, Chloe, it's a pretty cracktastic concept isn't it? Clark? Embrace his destiny?! Huahahahahah! And don't try pushing the boy. That just backfires.
Clark's reply had me in stitches: he was entirely clear about the fanboy's message, he just didn't want to accept it. 'This guy's delusional, Chloe! You couldn't possibly belive him!' Look at that incredulous face:
Nice soundbyte for the slashers here too: do you want to find the guy who's going to out you to 1000 people?
And then ohhhh, the save! I'm so in love with it! When the Clana payoffs come they're always gorgeous, and this was possibly my favourite Clark save ever. He didn't hesitate to leap from the balcony, even though he couldn't be sure that he would fly. He focuses and catches Lana mid-air and I loved how her face turned from terror to trust.
And how loving HIS expression is. The music was wonderfully fitting too.
I got a real sense from Lana's expression that she was conveying a sort of adoring certainty that he would always be there for her.
They didn't need to say anything (no 'how did you do this?' necessary this time), and in their final pose, foreheads touching, they seemed at peace and in sync with one another. This is the sort of relationship Clark has always hoped for, to be allowed to be openly someone's hero and to have them love trust and marvel at him in return, without questioning and without drama. There was a quiet romanticism to this save that was exquisite in its beauty.
In complete contrast were Grant and Lois snarking at one another and playing at oneupmanship. I thoroughly enjoyed them though. ;) I was chuffed that Lois didn't stand for Grant ordering her on a date. It would take a lot of guts to turn your boss down (he did phrase it as an order) but she saw through the facade in an instant. And though he tried to put a nice spin on it (opportunities for her), Lois asks directly if it's a date. I loved that that flustered him, and that she refused to be 'fired' as plus 1 because she hadn't actually accepted.
She so won that exchange! And Grant loved it. I don't really want to see these two date, but it's lots of fun to watch them flirt.
I loved Lionel's little confrontation with Lana. Especially his 'oh, please! That line stopped working for you the day you faked your own death.' Because, yes, it really did. But like a true Luthor, she steadfastly denied all wrong-doing in this scene, despite it being clear that Lionel knew everything. Did she really think she could fool Lionel? Not even Lex could do that. As for the 'dark place' that he talks about her falling into, I think she's already there. And she's at any rate unlikely to heed the advice of someone who blackmailed her into marrying his son by threatening to kill her childhood sweetheart.
It's always disconcerting to see Lex in Belle Reve, even if he's so composed there these days. He visits with every hope of success in this instance, sure that his gift of rare comics will unlock the secrets from Ben's lips. He uses his own fannish knowledge to persuade him, quoting a line from Devilicus: 'I've been known to believe in something after the whole world tells me I'm wrong.' It was a risk, perhpas, since Ben clearly identified Lex as a Devilicus figure himself and chose to keep Clark's secret.
And ouch, that must sting! It turns out that Ben's only willing to align himself with Devilicus where it actually further's Clark's chances of becoming a hero; he's not really interested in shifting power into the hands of the enemy. (Aside: I hope Lex swept up his comics and stormed out!)
#3 nominee for best line (delivery): Clark's 'oh Lana, don't! Ben was a crazy fan!' He says it with such concern, as if thinking of what Ben said was the craziest shit ever! I really liked Lana as the messenger here, suggesting to Clark (in slow, carefully articulated sentences, hee!) that perhaps people could look up to Clark instead, that perhaps he could give people hope. (CRAZY TALK!) Check out how chuffed Clark is with his deflection of Lana's question:
And how slightly disappointed/pissy (though still loving) Lana is in response. She certainly comes across as the more mature, knowing one in this exchange. She's watching him, weighing his response and perhaps biding her time. She tried to use the opportunity to suggest to Clark that he's got a greater destiny, and I'm glad she did. In articulating 'one day the world will need you more than I do, and I don't want to be the one holding you here' she rebuts the fans' complaints that she's the main obstacle to Clark embracing his future. She's not: he is. He's his own obstacle, and Lana knows Clark and knows that pushing the point will get her nowhere.
Did I see the flicker of a smile when Clark looked at the cape? We know he likes capes--he enjoyed being Zorro! But of course he leaves it, symbolically, on the fence. For now. Sigh. Let's hope not for too much longer because clearly even the writers are getting sick of it. ;)