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29 March 2008 @ 04:56 pm
Smallville 7.15 Veritas  
OMG, that was AWESOME!


Brainiac
Of all the things that Smallville got right in this episode (and there were many), I was particularly impressed with the way they played the creepy menace that is Brainiac. The opening sequence in the barn played on horror tropes: the dog barking at an invisible figure, a moving shadow, a voice being heard before he's seen. His understated appeal to Kara spoke of absolute confidence. And he knew exactly the right words to stop her in her tracks. Getting her memory back has been a 'disappointment'. How could it be anything else? She has lost her family, her race, her planet. Brainiac does not go out of his way to appear as a sympathetic figure and Kara is smart enough to be wary of the stranger who knows so much about her and her cousin, but the threat he poses is unspoken until Kara turns him down so firmly. He seems to take some pleasure in saying 'just remember, if we'd have done things my way, no-one would have got hurt.' Indeed he seems to take pleasure in the horrors that follow.

The horror theme continued with Brainiac's melodramatic arrival at the Isis Foundation. Lana tries to run but struggles against his grasp. His precise attack on her was frightening but it didn't immediately become obvious how awful it was: the true extent of the torture she was to undergo would only become evident progressively, and that made it really freaky. The idea of being completely conscious but completely powerless inside your own body, while someone else controls you like a puppet is a nightmarish prospect. The excruciating pain adds another layer of horror--it's hard to believe that Lana will come out sane at the end of this.

Lana's glazed-over eyes and rigid body in that final scene were so heartbreaking. And I loved the shot construction with the angel statue by the window. It is near impossible to really understand what Lana must be going through, but my heart broke for Clark having to watch her. And waaaah, when we heard him crying!

No time for guilt
Clark is going to think back and blame himself for sending Lana off to Isis that day, purely because he didn't want to embarrass himself. Kara too is quick to blame herself for Lana's suffering. Her 'it should have been me' was entirely reminiscent of Clark's reaction when others have suffered 'because of' his existence. Her impulse to turn herself in is also very Clark-like. He's grown and matured to the point where he recognises this situation as a trap--but the impulse to sacrifice himself for others is still very strong in him. And evidently in Kara as well.

There is fault on both sides if you really examined it--Kara was right to ask Clark how he planned to catch Brainiac if he can't fly--they end up vanishing off the map. And Clark's frustration at working on flight when they hadn't even found Brainiac yet was also understandable. They're both 'human' in their inability to combat Brainiac yet. And perhaps the stupidest aspect of this is that the answer was right in front of them as pointed out in the Lex plot. It's a little hard to believe that after all the fuss over Kara's bracelet, Clark and Kara haven't considered that Briainiac may be after that. It's something that she has that Clark doesn't--it seems really obvious.

Prize for worst dialogue in the episode?
'So what does he run on?' 'Maybe energy'. NO SHIT!

Up, up and away
At first, when Kara said 'it would help if we were all on the same playing field' I thought she was going to give Clark another serve for not filling her in about Brainiac--which would have been fair enough, really. But it was a charming twist that she decided to teach him to fly. And it resulted in an adorable scene between the two cousins. Clark's nervousness when it comes to flight is very cute (and I suspect his maiden flight is not so far off after all--this seemed like foreshadowing).

Double whammy
Speaking of cute things, Lois staring at a blank screen titled 'Big Cool Headline here' and playing with a Planet-shaped stress ball is definitely up there. And I squeeed with joy at Jimmy proposing teaming up. I love it when these guys work together! And it was very exciting to see their first real investigation together. I am glad Lois asked about Chloe before agreeing, and I also wondered if she kind of agreed to team up with Jimmy partly because she felt sorry for him. He looked so sheepish saying that Chloe had run off with Clark again. I don't mind Lois being a bit blind to the potential of teaming up with Jimmy at this stage, because it is so early in their careers.

And I love, love, LOVE that the story they investigated was Patricia Swann's death--this ties them directly to the main plot. At first I just eyerolled at the conveniently timed email. But on rewatch, I noticed that the email came from an unknown sender... so now I'm thinking set-up.

I liked the way they played Lois and Jimmy as having some trouble working as a team--they're both so used to working alone and came to this project with different expectations. I sensed a little bit of shock and hesitation from Jimmy when Lois introduced the idea of pursuing the murder case. Was he not expecting something so dramatic maybe? It was a bit tricky to read. I also liked the way that Jimmy took over from Lois in delivering the photo evidence to Lionel--she was quite flummoxed.

I was impressed by the resourcefulness that Lois and Jimmy showed in gaining access to Luthorcorp, but the fact that they were so easily stared down by Lionel once they confronted them shows their inexperience. 'Boundless courage' and 'incorrigible stupidity'--hee! I'm glad that Lois embraced the idea that they have both.

It wasn't so long since we saw Lois unwilling to believe that Lana could be involved in anything nefarious. She appears more open to that possibility here, while Jimmy is still a bit reluctant to see a connection between her and Lionel. Their reactions to Lana's secret office of surveillance was markedly different too--Lois finding it creepy, Jimmy finding it sexy (I'd go with both!). Jimmy may be a snappy photographer but it's Lois who's pushing things along here with her reporter's instinct--so I think that balances things well since it was Jimmy who suggested them reporting together. Nice work, and I hope we get more of it!

Chasing mysteries
We keep seeing more and more of Lex's new sidekick. She revealed in this episode that she's worked for him for years. I'll fanwank that she's worked her way up through the ranks of his (otherwise useless) minions. I was grateful to her for playing the voice of the audience and raising one of the key issues with the Veritas plot: supposedly Lex only learnt of it recently, but he says he's been searching for it all his life. His answer was actually quite satisfactory, I think. There have ALWAYS been mysteries in Lex's life, starting with the questions around his two miraculous survivals--the original meteor shower and his car crash with Clark on the bridge of destiny. From early on, it was never just Lex that was intrigued by Clark--Lionel watched him too. In fact, there was a time when Lex defended Clark to Lionel as just a simple local farmboy. If we accept that Lex has only recently recovered flashes of memories from before the original meteor shower, I can see how for Lex it would feel as if his entire life made sense now in a way it never had before. If Lionel's agenda and secrets were actually always linked, like Lex's own, to investigating Clark, then it must feel

The flashbacks in this episode were BRILLIANT! I adored them. I couldn't believe our luck at getting a Patti/Jason/Lex/Ollie flashback! After last week's revelations I'd been imagining the little ones playing together. And I rewatched the animated chronicle that showed Oliver's father talking with Virgin Swann. So it felt as if my own imagination had sprung to life. The children were all adorable--but Patricia in particular was very cute. I liked that they made her a little sneaky, peeking as she counted for hide-and-seek.

And yay, we have confirmation that Alexander-inside-Lex's-head is indeed his younger self. That may seem obvious but I had considered the possibility that Lex remembered himself a little differently. The fact that he abuses this younger Lex in his own mind is highly suggestive of the idea that as a child Lex was redeemable. When did his now-dominant dark side come to life, I wonder? It is very intriguing. And it's also understandable that the show is introducing this softer, younger aspect of Lex at a time when Lex is reaching his most villainous state.

I am fascinated with the representation of wee!Lex. Apart from the deliberate shoutouts to the pilot (with the Queen Industries headline and the asthma pump), we also see Lex hiding in small spaces and in cupboards. This ties to the way we saw Alexander inside Lex's mind, but it also establishes Lex early on as an eavesdropper. Potentially all the children of the Veritas families shared this experience--certainly Oliver also eavesdropped (in the Oliver Queen Chronicles)--but it made me think about the ways in which Lex is used to obtaining information through illegitimate means.

If the flashback raised interesting questions, it answered many more. It seems clear that there was a rift in Veritas between Virgil Swann and Robert Queen on one hand and Lionel Luthor and Edward Teague on the other. The accusations that Lionel makes about Queen and Teague are true, I would say: Robert has been meeting with Swann alone (if only because he distrusts Lionel) and Robert and Genevieve did develop a fixation with the stones. Veritas ties together many threads from past seasons, and now we learn that it goes back long before that--for centuries, apparently! I do wonder how these families came to be guardians of this idea of the 'Traveller' in the first place.

The rift in Veritas proved deadly for the Queens--Lionel had them killed on the way to Zurich and recovered their key. Many years later, his son would kill the daughter of Virgil Swann to recover the other one, not realising they were a pair.

And who was Lionel talking to in Flashback #2? My bet's on Edward Teague. Convenient for us and Lex that Lionel had an ally--at this time at least. It seems that Lionel planned to control the Traveller, that his goal was 'ultimate power'. I wonder then what he made of little Kal-El being found and adopted by the Kents... it makes the fact that they stopped to help Lionel on the day of the meteor strike absolutely chilling. The innocence of the child!Clark and child!Lex is contrasted so sharply with Lionel, who was already at work on his Machiavellian scheme. In many ways it does make it seem now that Clark was just yet another child who Lionel played at God with. Perhaps he deliberately left him with the Kents, feeling that he could exercise control over him later in life? It gives me the shivers

And speaking of shivers... how about Lionel asking wee!Lex if he was ready for an adventure? Eek!

In the second flashback, we also got to see wee!Lex playing with a Warrior Angel figurine. He makes it fly through the sky--that's a great riff on Clark's inability to fly in this episode and also the fear of flying that wee!Lex shows in the helicopter in the pilot.

Crying wolf
'You've already destroyed the life of one son, you don't get a second chance.' Hmm. Well, Clark, he kinda DID. For a while there, that's exactly what Lionel was getting closer and closer too--treating Clark as his true son. But other than that, I have absolutely no quibble with everything that Clark said to Lionel. Lionel does wash his hands of the past, and he hasn't changed. He may, however, have an important message to impart. It is a sign of his desperation that he revealed how long he has kept Clark's secret. I wasn't sure we would EVER get proof that Lionel has been watching Clark for so long.

Lionel gets distracted by protesting his innocence of the most recent crime, the murder of Patricia Swann. Not the point, Lionel! And as for his line that 'I have taken moral responsibility for every attrocity that I have committed in the past'? OMG, LIONEL! You do not just SAY 'I take moral responsibility' and that's it, you've done it, get out of jail free. *rages* Because seriously lip-service is all Lionel has ever paid to the idea of repentance. Unfortunately Chloe seized on the recent murder as the contentious issue in his appeal to her--she would have done better to argue about the nature of true repentance.

I *do* believe that being Jor-El's emissary changed Lionel. We saw that. It compelled him to protect Clark, more than he otherwise would have. I believe it genuinely gave him a sense of familial connection to Clark that was missing before. I think it also probably led him to view Clark as his ultimate son. He's always aimed to control and completely mould Lex, and I think he rather wanted to do this with Clark too. As with Lex, he was able to mask this impulse behind actions that were often genuinely in Clark's best interests. But it also, unfortunately, gave him access to Kryptonian knowledge that must have only fed his appetite for power (didn't we see him doodling that word in Kryptonian symbols!?)

So it is a strange position I (and I imagine most of the audience) find myself in: I am deeply mistrustful of Lionel, but I do believe he may have a message that Clark needs to hear. Anger and genuine emotional rejection of Lionel should not stop Clark--or Chloe as Clark's messenger--listening to that message. They could then judge for themselves whether they think it is in Clark's interests to heed Lionel's warning or not. But not listening to him at all? Very dangerous.

Don't get me wrong though--I loved the scene between him and Chloe, particularly when he was on his knees but grabbing at her arms in rage ('I've repented!'). I'm glad Chloe treated him as coldly as she did. I just wish she'd said 'oh yeah? well what is this message then?' BEFORE walking off. The line 'befriending him is the closest you'll ever get to seeing God' was very cool though. And as for Lionel seeing protecting Clark as 'paying for his sins'? Pfft! That's another sign he has NO IDEA what real repentence is. Protecting Clark is an HONOUR, a privilege that few are trusted with. It is not a punishment--especially to one obsessed with the secrets in the first place. Yet I think Lionel believes every word he says here. For the power-obsessed, protecting someone they'd hoped to control WOULD be a huge sacrifice. And his ambivalent feelings on this were exemplified last week when we saw the cage he had built to contain Clark and his contrasting rage at it being used to torture Clark. Lionel is a paradox of the most dangerous kind.
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
 
 
 
seacrystal on March 29th, 2008 09:13 am (UTC)
I'll comment more later, just want to address this one for the time being.

At first I just eyerolled at the conveniently timed email. But on rewatch, I noticed that the email came from an unknown sender... so now I'm thinking set-up.

I'm speculating that the email was sent to everyone at the Planet as a lead from an anonymous person like you've pointed out, I don't think Lois was the only who received it. So it's up to the reporters to follow up on the lead in their own ways.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois searchingbop_radar on March 29th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
Oh that's interesting. It could be, I guess. Though how would someone have all the email addresses of all the reporters? Perhaps she was checking a shared account? Hmmm.
goodvibe: FlawlessTommygoodvibe on March 29th, 2008 10:05 am (UTC)
ITA agree with you on Brainiac. The opening sequence was very effective in its creepiness. This is a villain who is a real, credible threat, and that ups the ante and makes things a whole lot more interesting.

I didn't have any problems with Kara in this ep, though I'm not such a fan of this faux!flying/kara-teaches-clark-to-fly theme. It kinda grates, actually.

The flashbacks were interesting to me too, but I have to admit, I'm left feeling quite confused about the entire plot, in general.


//And who was Lionel talking to in Flashback #2? My bet's on Edward Teague.//

Seems the most likely option. Though, what if it is an unknown as of yet, fifth party? That would be quite a twist.


On the whole, this ep left me feeling more confused than I'd like. And I felt Clark was underused (even though TW was awesome in his performance throughout) and I hate that there's going to be this inevitable heap of guilt on him now, re: Lana situation. The poor guy is always being put in these impossible situations by the writers.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois searchingbop_radar on March 29th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
Confused? Really? Which elements were you confused by? I guess with the prophecy and with us not being completely sure of Brainiac's agenda yet ther's a lot of mystery still.

And yeah, Clark copped a tough deal in this episode, that's for sure.
goodvibe: loislovegoodvibe on March 29th, 2008 10:08 am (UTC)
Forgot to add, that I enjoyed the Lois/Jimmy sub plot a fair bit as well. I felt Jimmy went a bit OTT, but Erica/Lois played just the right balance in knowing when to shift the tone from comedic to serious. Amongst the rest of proceedings though, it felt a bit out of place, though conversely added a much needed layer of levity too, I suppose. And the thing that I noted was that atleast they were coming to all the right conclusions - and seem to legitimately be on to a real story here.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: K Lexbop_radar on March 29th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I really liked it because it tied them in to the main plot and I think that's something the show struggles to do, often. It also showed them developing as reporters, even if they don't get it perfect yet. And I do know what you mean about it being the 'light' plot in an otherwise dark episode--but Smallville nearly invariably has one of those. I'm still not sure I forgive them for jolly!Santa!Clark being used in the same episode as the heartbreak of Lex's Christmas shooting. Sometimes those tonal shifts are a struggle.
daybreak777: lana reddaybreak777 on March 29th, 2008 11:41 am (UTC)
Ooh, I am so behind on Smallville watching. So behind. But I watched this one. It was something! I actually thought the acting was particularly good. From everyone.

I have to thank you for giving depth and insight to the plot. I am so crazy to have joined this show so late. Each episode is so related to the show's history. But I can't help it, the show is like crack, and I must continue watching it.

What pulls me in? Gosh, little Alexander. So innoncent and loving Daddy. Yes, eavesdropping away but like the Alexander in Lex's mind, he has to be a bit cunning to survive. I am very worried about the Alexander in Lex's mind. Very worried.

The last scene? Killed me. Everytime I think I get a bit of distance and think, "Oh, I'm not so into this show," they pull out a Clark/Lana scene that just breaks my heart. (Or someone makes a video with Lana. :-)) I'm worried about Lana too. Yes, I don't know if she'll be sane after this. And she's been teetering on the brink of something for months. Poor Clark. He will blame himself, maybe it will push him to learn to fly, develop his powers. I feel for him, I do. Who could resist Clark crying? And I'm really, really worried about Lana.

Edited at 2008-03-29 02:42 pm (UTC)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on March 29th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, poor DB! This was a tricky episode to come back in on as they're going overboard with the shoutouts to earlier seasons at the moment.

OK, quick rundown:
1. The woman who was killed is Patricia Swann, daughter of Virgil Swann who was played by Christopher Reeve in earlier seasons. He's an astronomer who revealed Clark's origin to him. Patricia turned up last week and warned Clark that Lionel had killed the rest of the Veritas group including Oliver's parents and her own father.
2. The Teagues, who you saw in the flashback, were in the show in Season 4. Lana dated Jason Teague (played by Jensen Ackles) and when she was possessed she killed his mother Genevieve. The Teagues were creepy and incestuous and we weren't sure of the history between them and the Luthors at this stage--it was just clear there was one.

LIttle Alexander is adorable! Great casting with that child.

That last scene was an absolute tearjerker. Smallville does those big tragic moments SO WELL. I think the production team are tragedy junkies, really! And yeah, I think this might spur Clark to fly. But wow, what a tragic end for Lana. Though I'm sure they WILL get her reversed somehow. They must.
tragicllyhiptragicllyhip on March 29th, 2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
I agree with everything you said about Lionel, he really doesn't understand what being truly good is, or what redemption is. When he told Chloe he was "chosen" all I could think was, 'No, you just happened to have the last crystal when Clark put the first two together" The reason he even had that crystal was the result of a dark deed.

I thought Tom did a wonderful job conveying how completely lost Clark was and how much he struggled to know exactly what to do. Braniac right now is out of his league and he knows better than anyone to play to Clark's weakness, which is his emotional attachment to everyone he loves. He knew exactly how to rattle him and he was well broken by the end of the episode. We rarely see the impact on Clark all these burdens he has creates. Beautiful scene.

I think its interesting that the reason Lex is more of a threat to CLark (his getting back memories of Veritas meetings)is due to Clark himself. Clark being in Lex's brain in 'Fracture' opened the door to a memory Lex himself had sealed and it was the first glimpse we got of the Veritas symbol. I'm loving the Veritas stuff simply because it makes me see past seasons in a new light, and thats brilliant. I don't know exactly where its all going, or if whats in that envelope is truly dangerous to Clark, but its been exciting so far.

I hope Braniac was lying when he said Lana was in excruciating pain just to hurt Clark, but that may be just wishful thinking. Thats a horrible fate for anyone. I seriously cannot wait until the next episode. Wonderful insight as always:)

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex showdownbop_radar on March 29th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
all I could think was, 'No, you just happened to have the last crystal when Clark put the first two together" The reason he even had that crystal was the result of a dark deed.
Yeah, you can tell that Lionel has constructed this whole reality in his own mind where he was destined to be 'chosen' and where it's somehow also his redemption. He really believes what he's saying, but it does not wash AT ALL.

Tom was completely on form in this episode, definitely. I just love his acting--this whole season has been phenomenal from him.

I think its interesting that the reason Lex is more of a threat to CLark (his getting back memories of Veritas meetings)is due to Clark himself. Clark being in Lex's brain in 'Fracture' opened the door to a memory Lex himself had sealed and it was the first glimpse we got of the Veritas symbol.
Mmmm, I LOVE that observation! That's so true. We've seen that even though Lex has been getting back his pre-meteor-shower memories for some time, he's not piecing them together until there are other triggers. The Veritas stuff has been pieced together progressively.

I'm loving the Veritas stuff simply because it makes me see past seasons in a new light, and thats brilliant. I don't know exactly where its all going, or if whats in that envelope is truly dangerous to Clark, but its been exciting so far.
Yeah it's been fabulous. It frames the Smallville canon in a different light and in particular makes Lionel just about the most villainous creature ever invented!

I hope Brainiac was lying too. there's a possibility he was. But eep, I hate thinking about what Lana's going through.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex mysterybop_radar on March 29th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
Re: part I
I was left with the distinct impression that she knows exactly what he wants her for.
Oh, I didn't get that impression. I'd like to think so though--makes it much more interesting.

Jor-El prioritized keeping an eye on her over Kal-El beginning his training. There’s something hinky in Kara’s backstory, something Jor-El suspects and, I’d argue, that Brainiac knows. And whatever it is, it’s not good.
That seems very, very likely. And if Kara also knows what it is than that makes her a far more interesting character. (I've been finding her pretty blah of late.) While I agree that Jor-El prioritising watching Kara over Clark's training is a major sign of the danger she poses, I'm actually battling to see what Clark could have done to prevent this. But I guess Jor-El couldn't predict that Brainiac would show up and use Kara to his own ends...

I could see Chloe filling Lois in at least on the part where Lana was kind of crazed with getting revenge on Lex, because Lois deserved some kind of explanation for why she got knocked through a plate-glass door.
I'd like to believe Chloe did feel Lois in--and yes, I find it reasonably believable that she would. Though I think the room looked creepy regardless--it was obvious the room was used for surveillance of some form, something which has nothing to do with the Isis Foundation's business. Also it was hidden which implies a nefarious purpose. I think Jimmy missed some obvious cues there, but I also like your reading that Lois was more fully informed.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex crazy for lovebop_radar on March 29th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
Re: part II
She’s the one in Bizarro who was basically all, “I’m sorry for your loss, sir. Now get your mopey ass on the helicopter,” when Lex paused in running from the cops to be emo about Lana “dying.”
Hahaha, yeah I love her too!

She’s not just the voice of the audience, she’s the voice of less-evil reason that Lex occasionally needs.
He's needed her for a long, long time, and she does seem brilliant. Thank goodness they've seen fit to script her in. Does she have a name yet? I don't get the end credits so I wasn't sure.

Even as a little kid, though, he’s able to hone in and focus when what he’s hearing/seeing seems odd.
Yeah, I guess so... but in a way I can buy it because I think kids have a pretty finely tuned sense of emotional energy, especially where their parents are concerned. And presumably wee!Lex is intrigued by the fact that there are all these locked-door meetings about Veritas. He was punished for coming close to the secret and he also knows his mother is locked out of that circle too. Since we know he's driven to defend his mother, I kind of think it may be a mixture of self-preservation, wanting to protect her and genuine intrigue that draws him into listening.

Oh, you meant on the phone? Yeah, that could have been Edward or, even more likely, Genevieve (since she and Lionel were so cozy in S4).
Yes, I did mean on the phone. Genevieve! Oh, yes, I like that.

It boggles my mind to think that even if Lionel wasn’t expecting a meteor shower, he was still expecting something that he viewed as a possible threat and he took his nine-year-old son right into the heart of it.
It is SO CHILLING. That scene where he put wee!Lex's tie on in such a cheery way was absolutely revolting. Poor little Lex feeling all included in his father's life for once... not realising he's rushing straight to a life-changing disaster for him. :(

if Lex realizes that his father knew? That it was on purpose that he was in Smallville that day, and not just Lionel wanting to spend time with him?

Lionel needs to start running. Now.

I am DYING for Lex to completely lose it with Lionel. I want Shattered-style gun-waving and screaming. I know we may not get it--he may go for the elegant checkmate instead, but wow, emotionally I need that catharsis.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Ericabop_radar on March 29th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
Re: part III
n one hand, John Glover acted the hell out of Lionel’s desperation; he was positively riveting to watch during his scenes with Clark and Chloe
He WAS! Amazing acting, brilliant scenes. But SO FRUSTRATING.

And he gives Lana the photographic evidence of Lex’s involvement and not … the other reporter he knows who isn’t Lois? I know he’s desperate, I know he’s unraveling, but if it’s that important, I’d expect him to pull it together long enough to at least make Chloe, if not Clark, curious.
Yeah good call on the stupid move of leaving Lana the photographic evidence. Take that to CHLOE. Gah!

Clark gets to not listen to him if Lionel can’t say more than, “Danger, Will Robinson!” which, frankly, Lionel didn’t.
Clark I can understand. Chloe frustrated the hell out of me. They had a much longer conversation and Lionel was clearly acting completely out of character and was on the verge of a breakdown. I would hope that that alone would provoke some curiosity. Yes, Lionel rambled and got side-tracked by things that were TOTALLY NOT THE POINT. But since Chloe got pigeon-holed by him for that long anyway, what harm would it have done to ask him for a bit more detail, for goodness sake? Even if she thought it was a trap why not find out for Clark WHAT THE TRAP WAS? Clark gets a pass from me for being so enraged right now by Lionel that he can't even stay in the same room as him. But Chloe's at a further remove, and she actually listened to Lionel for ages without asking any pertinent questions. Grr. Either dismiss him immediately (which I can understand from an emotional perspective) or play a clever game and find out what the hell he's so worked up about in order to protect your own backs.

(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lollie yogabop_radar on March 29th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
Re: part III
Yeah, a pact is one way that it might make sense. Otherwise I feel it really doesn't. I can understand Chloe being angry and cold as steel with Lionel, but that needn't have prevented her from gaining a bit more insight into what he was rambling about. And considering he's so recently revealed to them what a threat he poses, that would have been a good move. But then it's clearly for plot purposes... I think the scene was very effective because it did frustrate me SO MUCH. We know Lionel has a message to impart, but it's not being imparted... and that's no doubt going to come back to haunt them.
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on March 29th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked this episode, since so many people seem to be having a negative reaction to it, but I loved it.

Prize for worst dialogue in the episode?
'So what does he run on?' 'Maybe energy'. NO SHIT!


Hee! I LOLed at that line, myself, when they said it. I agree with you on the effective use of horror tropes at the beginning of the episode, though, because what happened to Lana was unbelievably creepy. We've seen Kryptonian "possessions" before, of course, most notably with Lionel, and that's bad enough, but the folks Brainiac possesses don't usually come out alive, do they? Though it would be very interesting if, like Lionel being possessed by Jor-El, Lana came out of this experience with a new knowledge and a somewhat changed personality.

The whole Veritas plot is really the best thing ever, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm hoping it leads to a whole lot of kidfic, because I'd really like to see those 4 interacting more. And the idea of Luthor-Teague v. Swann-Queen rivalry in Veritas is also just rife with cool possibilities.

I *do* believe that being Jor-El's emissary changed Lionel. We saw that. It compelled him to protect Clark, more than he otherwise would have.

Yes, I agree--but it seemed really to only change Lionel's behavior vis-a-vis Clark, rather than changing his whole personality. Or perhaps it's simply that by the time Jor-El got to him, Lionel was so corrupt he was beyond real redemption. I mean, his self-delusion that he has taken responsibility for all the crimes he has committed is particularly telling.

It is of course frustrating that Chloe and Clark are refusing to listen to Lionel precisely when he has an important piece of info to share, but that is such a common plot device I'm just happy all the actors were selling it so well. God, those confrontation scenes were just amazing to watch!!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lex purple evilbop_radar on March 29th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked this episode, since so many people seem to be having a negative reaction to it, but I loved it.
Really?! WTF FANDOM! Not again... LOL, I should know by now that eps I like everyone else hates.

what happened to Lana was unbelievably creepy. We've seen Kryptonian "possessions" before, of course, most notably with Lionel, and that's bad enough, but the folks Brainiac possesses don't usually come out alive, do they?
No they really don't. And omg, it makes that woman that Lana had trapped and was monitoring who then died EVEN MORE CREEPY! *shivers*

But I agree there are a lot of possibilities opened up with this plot--Lana could be altered by this experience, it could go in so many different ways.

The whole Veritas plot is really the best thing ever, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm hoping it leads to a whole lot of kidfic, because I'd really like to see those 4 interacting more. And the idea of Luthor-Teague v. Swann-Queen rivalry in Veritas is also just rife with cool possibilities.
ABSOLUTELY. BEST ThiNG EVER! Bring on the kidfic! And omg, the writing potential is out of control with these new reveals... if I was a fic writer I'd be in heaven. Even as a vidder I'm racking my brains to think of ways I could use this new plot.

t seemed really to only change Lionel's behavior vis-a-vis Clark, rather than changing his whole personality
Yeah that's really true. It was very limited. Enough for Lionel to be able to justify to himself a changed personality, but not enough that it appears that way to anyone else.

that is such a common plot device I'm just happy all the actors were selling it so well. God, those confrontation scenes were just amazing to watch!!
Totally! They were excruciatingly frustrating, but only because knowing that it IS a common plot device, it's clear that Lionel DOES have an important message and we know in advance that they'll ignore it and it will come back to bite them. John Glover was so brilliant--he must be having a ball with this latest plot work. Lionel is rapidly being revealed as one of the most chilling villains of all time. And while we always knew he was a monster where Lex was concerned, this takes him to a whole other level.
jude_judith82: CKjude_judith82 on March 30th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
Quick comment.

Lana's glazed-over eyes and rigid body in that final scene were so heartbreaking. And I loved the shot construction with the angel statue by the window. It is near impossible to really understand what Lana must be going through, but my heart broke for Clark having to watch her. And waaaah, when we heard him crying!

It was hearbreaking. Seeing Clark cry is so rare so when he does it it's like when you see your mom cry. It hurts.

The flashbacks in this episode were BRILLIANT! I adored them.

I don't care if they're retcon. They are amazing. Putting things together and we're getting wonderful insights and getting payoffs on things from season 4 and the awful storylines all the way to the pilot.

Protecting Clark is an HONOUR, a privilege that few are trusted with. It is not a punishment--

I agree Lionel is missing the point. He is so close but just doesn't get it.

Lionel is a paradox of the most dangerous kind.

Wow what a wonderful sentence. Beautiful. Lovely review.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on March 30th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Seeing Clark cry is so rare so when he does it it's like when you see your mom cry. It hurts.
That's a great way of putting it--it really does sting.

And I am loving the retcon too. I get the sense that they'd always hoped to do something like this (things like the newspaper in the pilot were great for them to throw in in case they wanted to use them later), but the details are just coming together now. Which I'm really cool with. When you write a TV show you don't know how long it will run for and I think in relative terms they've done a good job of building these reveals into the canon.

And thank you for reading and commenting as always! :)
suex on March 31st, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)
I saw in one of your other entries that life is rather chaotic for you at the moment, but I hope I can cheer you up by telling you how much enjoyment I get from reading your reviews. They are just so good.

It's a little hard to believe that after all the fuss over Kara's bracelet, Clark and Kara haven't considered that Briainiac may be after that. It's something that she has that Clark doesn't--it seems really obvious.

I have to admit, that I didnt pick up on the bracelet being the "something" that Kara has. So kudos to you for picking up that one, and I would say that you are spot on, taking into account how much attention has been paid to that bracelet and we've yet to find out why.

There is a story in the comics, where the city of Kandor was captured in a bottle. I have to wonder if the bracelet is going to act as some kind of key and this is where the storyline is heading. Brainiac did make the comment that he could release, free or return Kara's loved ones to her. If this is the case, I'm sure there will be a price to pay.

In many ways it does make it seem now that Clark was just yet another child who Lionel played at God with. Perhaps he deliberately left him with the Kents, feeling that he could exercise control over him later in life? It gives me the shivers

This is a chilling and intriguing idea. My thoughts were a little more simple, I just assumed that Lionel and possibly the Teagues, were expecting the "Traveller" to be an adult and didnt even consider the possibility that a small child would be the one to arrive. Dr Swann received the message from Jor-el about their infant son, but my guess is that he didnt pass on the message to Lionel, in order to protect Clark. When Lionel discovered that Clark was meeting with Dr. Swann back in Season 3, his real suspicions about Clark being the Traveller became more evident.

Remember the "Green Tank" question in Memoria. I always thought it was strange that the first thing on Lionel's mind was "Where did Clark Kent come from?". Now its all starting to make more sense.

Loved reading all of your comments on Lionel and I agree with you 100%. I guess we couldnt really have Chloe listening to what Lionel had to say,'cause that might make any future plots too easy for them to deal with.

It is near impossible to really understand what Lana must be going through, but my heart broke for Clark having to watch her. And waaaah, when we heard him crying

OMG! What a heartbreaking scene, there's just something about watching Superman cry and Smallville and particularly James Marshall, not to mention Tom and his knack for acting so vulnerable, always excels at making these scenes.

*sniff sniff*

Great episode and great review!!


K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Ameliebop_radar on April 1st, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
Thank you: your comments invariably cheer me up! :)

I have to wonder if the bracelet is going to act as some kind of key and this is where the storyline is heading.
I suspect it might be. All Brainiac's talk of offering Kara a way to return to Krypton was very ominous, I think.

I just assumed that Lionel and possibly the Teagues, were expecting the "Traveller" to be an adult and didnt even consider the possibility that a small child would be the one to arrive.
That is perhaps more plausible and sensible. If so, Virgil Swann did the world a great favour in not passing that on. But wasn't there a link between Clark's faked adoption papers and Luthorcorp? I can't remember exactly. Waaah! I need to go back and rewatch.

always thought it was strange that the first thing on Lionel's mind was "Where did Clark Kent come from?". Now its all starting to make more sense.
I'm really impressed with the retconning--I think it's done really well. And I'd forgotten that quesion, but it makes it waay more creepy.

I watched the scene between Oliver and Lionel when Lionel first comes to town last night: soooo creepy to see him pick up a picture of Oliver's parents!
suex on April 1st, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you: your comments invariably cheer me up! :)

That's good to know. :)

That is perhaps more plausible and sensible. If so, Virgil Swann did the world a great favour in not passing that on. But wasn't there a link between Clark's faked adoption papers and Luthorcorp? I can't remember exactly. Waaah! I need to go back and rewatch.

In the Season 2 episode Lineage, we found out that Lionel helped the Kent's with Clark's adoption papers. From Lionel's point of view, it really did just appear that the Kent's had found a small boy in the aftermath of the meteor shower, and wanted to take him in and adopt him rather than hand him over to the authorities. There was no reason for Lionel to be suspicious of anything else at the time.

I watched the scene between Oliver and Lionel when Lionel first comes to town last night: soooo creepy to see him pick up a picture of Oliver's parents!

That's right he did too. How creepy!! I'm so glad Clark isnt trusting him any more, even if he does have an earth shattering message to deliver. All the previous messages that Clark has received via higher powers have never gone too well, so its probably best that he is left to work it out for himself.