Following on from the Martha/Clark scene in Zod, at the start of Sneeze Clark articulates his realisation of responsibility and guilt to Martha. 'If only I'd done what Jor-El said...' Martha tries to comfort him by telling him, as the Kents always have, that it is not his fault, but Clark shakes her off in a more adult way than ever before. Notably, for the first time his guilt doesn't manifest as internalised brooding/angst, but is transformed into action in rebuilding Metropolis. It's a far more active and productive way of facing his responsibility for what happened.
I thought the scene between Clark and Lana was amazing. Lana shows little or no surprise at Clark bursting in; instead she greets him frostily and then shows him the door. Clark, on the other hand, is startled by her presence, not fully realising the degree to which she has penetrated Lex's intimate circle. Unconsciously he's still behaving as if he's got more right to invade Lex's space than her. Lana also cuts through the pretense of Clark claiming to be genuinely interested in helping Lex. I'm really enjoying her self-possession this season.
To complete the shift, it is Lana, not Clark, who reaches Lex's side first, albeit by being kidnapped. She plays a partially heroic role in helping him escape and I loved seeing Lex and Lana work together to get themselves out of danger. Clark saves the day, but can't reveal himself. Lex and Lana have been paralleled in relation to Clark for so long--but they are finally literally in the same place regarding him, occupying the same physical space.
It was therefore important to have a scene showing the distance between them within the mansion. Lana uncovers a camera in her bedroom--Lex has penetrated her space, broken her privacy, and she draws a line. Lex also draws a line, telling Lana that the camera in her bedroom will go but no others--this is how he lives. This type of line-drawing indicates that there is still distance between them, whether or not they've had sex (do we know yet?). Did anyone else wonder if Lex had a camera in the bathroom as well? Coz if I were Lana, I'd be asking!
I found Clark with the sniffles terribly cute. Though if I were Chloe, I'd be pretty sick of him coming to my workplace to sneeze! And he has breath now. Cool! ;-)
I personally loved all the Clois scenes and the fact that the flying barn door was Lois's first foray into investigative journalism (so hopeless! so cute!) but I was also thinking 'oh gawd, the Lois-haters will have a fieldday with this', for indeed she is not yet very talented. Personally I loved the scene between her and Chloe. Chloe was terribly tactful, and I loved Lois's cheery self-confidence despite the brush-off from her cousin. I laughed with Chloe at the clueless execution, but I cheered on Lois in her commitment to finding a market for herself, no matter what. Coming late to journalism as she has, I found it lovely to see how unproblematic it was for her, in comparison to Chloe. And she takes a joy in the process of writing itself that Chloe has never articulated. What I really like about the message this gives is that you don't have to be perfect from the beginning--but you do need determination and self-belief. Lois has a LOT of learning to do, but I for one was really excited to see her start on her path.
It was also interesting to compare her and Chloe--Chloe's first article was a small affair but in the more respectable paper. Lois's hit the front page, but in the 'lesser' paper. However, both stories resulted from investigations of something bizarre that occurred to the writer: they share a curiosity about the world they encounter, and perhaps both lack a more objective/less personal approach to journalism (for now at least).
Some things change, others stay the same. Lex is still hiring incompetents it seems. But perhaps this is a more universal problem than we realised, since we learn that Oliver Queen also lacks control over his minions. Oliver is a dream come true for slash fans! Stunningly attractive and suave and INSTANT BACKSTORY between him and Lex in Excelsior. I had to pause and flail. Plus, you've got to love a boy with a bow-and-arrow! The final 'Borneo' sequence was awesome--classic comicbook joy, and beautifully constructed.
Also, I loooove his apartment! What a great set. And the Lionel-Oliver scene was delightful. That actor is a joy (I need to start remembering his name) and I confess I *lol*ed at the cut away to Chloe saying 'I never thought I'd say this but you don't look so hot...' because Tommy fan though I am, he was looking a little scruffy this ep in comparison to the blonde newcomer! Although that needs to be tested--they clearly need to be in a scene together. Oh! Guess what?! That' going to happen!!! *flails with joy*
It was very interesting to see Lex as lab rat, though I confess I was disappointed not to really see his recuperative powers tested to their limit, which is what I expected when he was first kidnapped. So is he just back to the level of resilience that he had pre-Zod? I'm a little confused. Despite that, it was interesting to have someone play Lex at his own game. Though of course Lex had tricks of his own.
If the show continues like this this season, I'll be very happy. It seems like they've got lots of fun possibilities to work with! What did others think?