Firstly, Channel 10 let me down in doing a really ham-fisted job of the 'previously on Smallville' introduction. I didn't feel anyone new to the show would have the faintest idea what was going on or be interested. They should be aiming higher than just recruiting Smallville's old audience - they need to gain new viewers!
More significantly, I hadn't factored on how challenging watching young!Clark and young!Lex would be after watching Season 5. They broke my heart in minutes. I have rewatched before, but only in the company of new first-time viewers, whose bubbling enthusiasm and interesting responses to the show buoyed me along. This time, I only had supacat on the phone with me and after initial squeeing, we settled into some uncomfortable silences punctuated by 'oh my god, Clark's smile! he's so innocent!' and 'oh, Lex, you break my heart, you're trying SO HARD' and so on. By the second ad break a heavy dark cloud had settled around my heart and we both agreed that we wouldn't make it through the scene where RedK!Clark shoves Lex out of the way in the barn. I turned off and spent the rest of the night surfing for happy fic.
So, my question is: what's going on here? I love Season 5. I love sexyevil!Lex and I love angsty!Clark. But what I can't bear is the bittersweet future echoes of Season 1 and 2... they break my heart! They were just *babies*. So young and with no idea of what's to come. Now when I watch vids that have early footage, I cry! Those looks, those hugs, those grins from Clark and that hopeful face from Lex! Ugh! Help! I'm drowning in sorrow!
I realise many people in fandom have the reverse reaction: an inability to watch Clark be an asshat to Lex and Lex embrace his dark side. I can understand that response, but it's not my own. Why? I don't know. Maybe because despite the tragedy of the rift, they are each developing internal strength, and so that both fascinates me and alleviates the pain. Also, I'm there for the journey. I need to see the full story and I enjoy deconstructing what's going on. But what I'm dreading is the final rewatch - going back to Season 1 and watching all the way through knowing how it ends. And one day I will do that.
But not yet. Today I've got the Clex-heartbreak and I'm all cowardly. Anyone want to help me find the Happy?!