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15 December 2007 @ 11:13 am
7.09 Gemini  
*bounce bounce bounce* This one was goooooood. I don't know where to start. But Lex buying the Daily Planet got maybe the biggest reaction out of me while watching. 'I am your boss' was just brilliant. Somehow this development fills me with glee. It seems like Lex is going to be in far more direct conflict with the other main characters for the rest of this season.

And Bizarro showing up again?! AWESOME! :D

Lois and Grant
I'm going to really miss Grant. While it was misguided of Lois to try dating her boss, I did find them cute together and Grant really charming, especially sneaking around in closets. I was pleased to see that Lois was still concerned about her career and earning her jobs legitimately. I also squeed that Lex had requested Lois on the story. At last! Lex has decided that Lois is worth watching, and I'm not at all surprised he didn't fire her--it's keep your enemies close with Lex, and Lois is too much of a wildcard to have at a rival paper.

The break-up had echoes of Lois's break-up with Oliver. She took it on the chin, again, but also drew her boundaries, not letting him kiss her a last time or drag her into teary farewells. She had a resigned attitude about it as well: she is very used to rejection by now, including rejection that has little explanation. And in such cases she tends to attribute fault to herself. She speaks of ruining relationships. Of course if she thinks she can avoid a relationship with someone she works with in the future, she's kidding herself.

I liked the final note of the break-up, with Grant ceding territory to Lois and telling her she's being ridiculous about it being her that takes the stairs. That was a nice touch, given that Grant's been her superior through their relationship and there was always a danger that he didn't consider her his equal.

I thought the bomb plot was played really well. I loved Erica's acting and I think they established really well how trapped Lois was. It was very effective to have her misidentify the caller to begin with, thinking a delivery guy who was staring at her was the culprit. I'm very fond of the way Lois talks to herself when stressed ('pull yourself together, Lois') and her shock at the death of the delivery guy made it completely believable that she wouldn't risk doing anything that could endanger Chloe. Her ingenuity shone in her trick with the mail. The elderly mail lady was very amusing! I like these little insights into Daily Planet working life: it makes me want to write them into a story.

I loved the scene where Lois confronted Lex and Grant, particularly Lex's responses. I think he sensed the tension in Lois as artificial fairly early. It was also obvious that the alarm bells were ringing for him instantly when Lois dropped Adrian's name. Yet he played it calm and smooth to avoid making Grant suspicious. When Lois start reciting Adrian's past, Lex had to take her out, but he didn't do so soon enough: Grant identified them as his own memories.

I'm a bit in love with Lex's pissy expression in response to his clones confronting one another. He looked so righteously pissed off, and yet they were only telling the truth. How tedious, Lex! Lex's indignation sank into pouty glaring that bordered on the petulant, as if he was a child who'd been caught out playing a forbidden game and he doesn't want his toys taken away from him.

Living proof
Now that we know that Grant was a clone created by Lex (good guess, fandom!), it's interesting to think about what he demonstrates about the Luthor view of 'family'. Both Lionel and Lex tried to reinvent themselves independently from their parents. Lionel then used the force of his personality to dominate the family he created with Lillian. He split sons against one another and he tried to craft Lex into his own creation by pushing and challenging him but never letting him forget who was truly in control: Lionel. In the fencing scene, we see Lex doing the same thing with Grant, in a very deliberate shoutout to Lionel and Lex's fencing bouts of old. Lex saying 'I thought you would have learnt by now: I always find a way to win in the end' could have been Lionel speaking from Season 1.

Lionel was the first to engage in cloning. I'm also reminded strongly of Lionel's entrapment of Emily Dinsmore and the way he kept her in a bubble, in a constructed reality, where he played God. Lex has acted in a similar way with the Grant clones by implanting them with false memories and pulling the strings in their lives.

Given how scarring (real) Julian's death was for Lex and how much he mourned the loss of a brother, it would have been plausible to assume that he was attempting to recreate a lost relationship, to find a replacement for Julian. This was an aspect to his relationship with his schoolfriend and to Clark in early seasons. But in his explosion of rage at the clone ('You are not my brother!') we see that intimacy, familial love and affection is not what he ever wanted here. I suspect he's kept the memory of the real Julian buried deep and considers the Grant clones as imposters, only tolerable when they're playing by his rules. This was an exercise exlusively in control and manipulation.

And yet that IS how Luthors show their love or express their familial bonds. While they may initially crave closeness, they wind up playing cold, distant mindgames. We saw the same shift occur in the Lexana relationship, from tender passion at the start, to dispassionate manipulation towards the end. So I think this is another sign of how far down the path Lex is in terms of turning into his father, and then surpassing him.

Grant addresses this directly when he says he is 'living proof that you've forgotten how to love'. Lex insists that he does love 'Julian', that he considers him a brother. But coming after his explosion of rage at the dying Grant clone, and the fact that he shot him dead and called him a 'mistake', is it any wonder that Grant does not swallow it? I was actually delighted to see Grant jolted out of his naivety. And I loved that he challenged Lex to do the hardest thing of all for a Luthor: let go. 'Free will' is not a concept that the Luthors are particularly comfortable with. Grant has demanded it, and Lex looked visibly shaken. My first instinct is to suggest that he will see this as a betrayal and take revenge accordingly. But by expressing it as a challenge, a way for Lex to prove the genuineness of his affection, Grant has probably won himself some time. Because Lex won't want to lose.

I'm not much of a Chloe/Jimmy shipper these days (Jimmy and Kara are so much fun), but I have to say that I was quite fond of the elevator sequence. It's always fun to see Smallville play with the cliches, and this was a great one. It also provided an opportunity for them to get past one of the things that's been bugging me about their relationship: Chloe not telling Jimmy about her meteor powers.

In keeping with the way they have paralleled Chloe and Clark this season, Chloe's reveal about her powers prompted Jimmy to kiss her as his sign of acceptance. That reflects Lana's kiss when Clark revealed his powers to her at the end of Season 6. Again mirroring Lana, Jimmy also later articulated that the powers didn't change his view of Chloe. I'm glad Jimmy did not let her get away with that excuse about the kiss in the elevator. I was also really glad that she admitted that what the true issue was was her accepting herself, not trusting Jimmy. Reflecting back the other way, that's an interesting comment about Clark and Lana. It doesn't apply quite so clearly there, since a lot of the reason that Clark didn't tell Lana was to protect her. However, I think there's an extent to which it IS true: Clark took a long time to come to terms with his nature as an alien, and for a long time he assumed Lana's reaction would be rejection, because he hated the idea too.

It was interesting to see Chloe use her powers again. Did I miss something or is this the first time we've seen her use them at will? It seems like it drains her of lifeforce or energy or something any time she heals someone, which I think is a good thing in a way. Otherwise she'd become the 'fix it' girl for everyone on the show every time they were injured: it's better to play that power as having serious side-effects. Still, I suspect there's a lot of interesting meta to be written about the nature of the power and it's self-sacrificing aspect.

Clark's return
Of course I knew that something was amiss as soon as Clark turned up with only reassuring words for Lana, and with no word of Jor-El's punishment. However, I didn't guess that he was Bizarro. I was initially thinking more along the lines of him having gone through some sort of transformative experience. Before the reveal, it was actually really fascinating to see Clark let Lana lay her cards on the table and (claim to) work with her. It was a little window into how things could possibly play completely differently. Although Lana initially told Clark she was going to give up her investigation of Lex, it seems more likely that she was just going to bury it deeper. Instead, encouraged by Bizarro, she tried full disclosure as an approach.

There were some insightful observations from Bizarro, particularly about Clark not letting Lana open up about her experience with Lex. And I admired Lana for taking a risk in showing Clark everything, including her most extreme measures (which are not so far from Lex's own behaviour). Lana admitted later that she had considered that rejection was a possibility if she showed Clark this, so the fact that she risked it anyway says a lot about how committed Lana is to this investigation.

Interesting comment from Bizarro about realising that feelings good or bad didn't just go away. Does this mean that Bizarro's finding that he's falling for Lana? It sounded like that. And interesting from Lana's perspective that she assumed he was talking about Lex!

I'm not entirely clear on Bizarro's true agenda, but gaining information was clearly his first objective. I'm excited about the return of Brainiac. Was it just me or did Bizarro look a little bit pleased at that possibility? That's ominous!

And oh noes! Clark trapped in the Fortress?! Eeek! What was Jor-El's plan there? Take him out of action for a month or two? Hmm. Perhaps he's trying to sever his ties with people? I feel a pang for Martha most of all. Poor offscreen Martha will go out of her mind with worry if her son is missing for very long. Of course she's not around to clue in that it's not her real son who's come back to them. Grr! I miss Martha. :(

Other things that made me squee:
- Lois watches the Daily Show! Cute!
- The Daily Planet globe ringed with reindeer = very cute!
- Jimmy's infuriated response to Chloe using her one phonecall to ring Clark was adorable: 'What's he going to do? Dismantle it with his perfect hair?!' Hee!
- Was that a bit of intra-textual meta on the soundtrack from Chloe? 'Always imagined this playing out to a Kelly clarkson song, not Jingle Bells musak.'
- Great slo-mo setpiece in the Daily Planet office!
- And if I haven't said it already, I could listen to the line 'I am your boss. Merry Christmas, Lois! I just bought the Daily Planet' over and over and over and never get sick of it. *glee* I just love the idea of Lois and Lex going head to head. Especially when it involves him out-suaving her and her finding ingenious ways to get back at him (which I suspect she will). Bring it on!
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
svgurl: lois naughty or nicesvgurl on December 15th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC)
Your review rocks ... I totally agree with a lot of it. But I have to say, I saw the Bizarro thing coming. I heard rumors that he was returning but I didn't think it would be this soon. But his strange behavior + the hair? I was positive it was Bizarro and I squealed like mad at the end though.

I liked how they ended Lois and Grant's relationship ... it was very mature and both actors did well. It wasn't as heartbreaking as the Lollie one but still sad. I do feel bad for Lois. But she'll get Clark one day so it's all good. ;)

I also liked the Chloe/Jimmy scenes just because I knew Jimmy would be okay with her being a meteor mutant. :D

I think you totally nabbed Lex too. That line to Lois was awesome and I for one, can't wait to see how Lois retaliates. She's looking more like the future Lois every day!

If Bizarro is Clark's punishment, that's kind of lame. I swear, he's 20, not 2. :\ But it's even sadder that Bizarro seems more intelligent than Clark ... I really want to see how they play this out.

Too bad we have to wait a month and a half before the next episode.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois searchingbop_radar on December 15th, 2007 07:22 am (UTC)

it was very mature and both actors did well. It wasn't as heartbreaking as the Lollie one but still sad
*nods* I agree.

If Bizarro is Clark's punishment, that's kind of lame.
I don't think Jor-El sent Bizarro. I think he just took advantage of Clark not being there. I'm presuming Jor-El's punishment is somewhat more subtle. But yeah, I really wish we could see more soon!
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lollie yogabop_radar on December 15th, 2007 07:38 am (UTC)
Is it evil that I'd like to see some Lexis fic or art now?
Yes please! Yes please! *bounces up and down*

Not only do they physically resemble brothers, but they have terrific chemistry together. My squee moment was when Lex oh-so easily shot clone #1. I love it when Lex's dark side takes control.
Mmmm, *nods*. Yes that scene was marvellous and I love that Lex is not truly reformed after all. The acting was wonderful.

It's really satisfying to see TPTB delve even further into this with something as crackalicious as Lex cloning his own dead brother!
Right! And so in keeping in the season where Clark resurrects his mother. I love our crazy show. :)

During the post-kiss embrace, we see Jimmy was looking at his cured finger with a slight look of concern? fear? wonder?
That *was* interesting. It definitely was closer to, say, Chloe's reaction to Clark's powers when she first discovered them.

d grabbing her own finger after her demo to Jimmy
Oh, so it IS just the equivalent pain, you think? That seems somewhat lamer. I mean it could be quite easy for her to put up with minor injuries if she was to recover from them faster than the other person. Not pleasant, but not terribly dreadful either.

Or is there a limit to what she can take?
Interesting question--it still seems a bit foggy. The fear is understandable, but this episode made it seem like Chloe had got closer to understanding how her powers worked.

He basically shrugged off Kara being missing, and then actively encouraged Lana to continue the obsession with vengeance that they'd both agreed is something she needs to get past.
This is true. I didn't necessarily think Bizarro though. I wondered if it was another version of Clark. But then I'd kind of assumed that as in previous seasons the season finale/opener would be totally forgotten for the rest of the season. ;)
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex golden fieldbop_radar on December 15th, 2007 10:38 am (UTC)
Re: part I
It will take a super man to make her willing to give love a try again in the future.
Well that's true but I can't help also feeling that these disappointments will strengthen Lois for the trials of being a superhero's girlfriend, which isn't exactly all rosy. But yes, it IS important that her lovelife be shown to be unsuccessful at this stage.

I think Lex and the Bizarro reveals were my favorite things about the episode.

And for all of Grant/Julian's indignation in the final Lex/Grant scene, it's pretty clear that he's not willing to cross Lex by trying to expose anything about Adrian.
Absolutely, and you wouldn't after that. I was actually impressed that Grant stood up to him as much as he did after seeing Adrian shot. Lex's rise to power has been fantastic to watch. Earlier in the season we saw that he's not afraid of the government either, and now he's taken over the paper? Wow.

I think it's probably both, particularly when one considers that the other clone for which we know he's responsible is another loved one (Lana).
That's what I was working towards too. I do think it's both--and that fits with Lex always functioning on multiple levels.

he doesn't know how to express that love in a way that's not inextricably bound up with the need to control.
Yes, that's it exactly. And he's even gone beyond that and doesn't even feel the need to pretend to affection now, in find he finds that an affront. He's sunk into denial about his 'truer' feelings and only experiences the connection as a power relationship.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois searchingbop_radar on December 15th, 2007 10:46 am (UTC)
Re: part II
I've always read that as a convenient excuse for his (a) fear of being rejected by her and, (2) possible mistrust of her ability to keep the Secret. And I think his fear of rejection was largely tied to the fact that he himself wasn't comfortable with his alien status and thus believed she wouldn't be either.
Aha, and he had some reason to believe that. I was actually impressed with the way they used Pete to show that Clark's fear of being seen as an alien was a very legitimate one. Clark's first experience of sharing his secret beyond his family was not a positive one. The secret was a burden for Pete, and he reminded Clark of that.

it was a little disingenuous of her to claim that she was giving up her Lex fixation when she's still got a weirdly-acting Luthor Corp employee in the basement of her sekrit lair of SCIENCE!
Absolutely! And I love that. It's very Lexian, in the capacity to wilfully blind yourself to the truth of the situation and to believe your own 'lies' absolutely, so that they are, in a sense, 'sincere'.

It could also be that Bizarro's really good at the long con, and he knows that if he's going to take over Clark's life, he's got to assimilate into it as seamlessly as possible first, before bring the Bizarro-specific touches to it (like, you know, impending world domination).
I'd prefer to believe it was that.

It's like the series isn't even pretending any more that the other characters don't notice Clark and Lex's inexplicable fixation with each other.
Haha, yes! I think the only one who doesn't really notice it is Lois. Though if she's going to start scrutinising Lex more closely, she'll see soon enough, you'd think? I guess they can't afford her to pay too much attention or it would lead back to Clark's powers.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Yay!bop_radar on December 16th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC)
Oh goodie! You still get to see it! *squees*
I miss you too. I finally took your advice and am sitting down to watch Constantine. Hee!
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois let's talk about sexbop_radar on December 22nd, 2007 08:23 am (UTC)
It was the slightly blank look and the calm competence. It made the whole ep pretty hilarious.
HA! That's an interesting interpretation actually... if Bizarro's a reverse image of Clark and you mistook him for Jor-El... *raises eyebrow*
hp5angst: only wanna b w/ uhp5angst on December 15th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
As always, its great to read your meta! :XD

I am surprised by how many SV fans that enjoyed this episode. Of course I adored this one(!) but I wasn't sure if people would like the "Kill Lex or else..." type of plot.

I try to stay away from spoilers so I don't know if Grant will be back. If he does I hope it's not to talk with Lois but to confront Lex (or Lionel).

I usually like Chimmy, but their last scene- I wanted to push a fast-forward button.

I hope it was Bizzaro that fought Clark and then froze him, because it seems a little disturbing that Jor-El would punish his son like that, maybe that's just me. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark basketballbop_radar on December 16th, 2007 05:37 am (UTC)
Yes, I hope Grant will be back to talk to Lex or Lionel too. I wouldn't mind follow-up on the Luthor aspect of his plot, but the Lois part seems closed.

I'm pretty sure Bizarro hijacked whatever plan Jor-El had for Clark--I really don't see Jor-El thinking this was a good idea. But it's definitely suspenseful to try and figure out what's going on.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: DW Madame Pompadourbop_radar on December 16th, 2007 05:38 am (UTC)
*nods* I hope so too! Season 7 has built up a lot of momentum and it would be sad to see that wasted.
lil_itulil_itu on December 17th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
Lois just keeps rocking my socks. I love her!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on December 17th, 2007 08:30 am (UTC)
It's true. She is great. *nods*