We're on a Lexana roller-coaseter it seems. Last week they were icy cold, this week the love is back... While I do think the writers haven't done a great job with subtelty in their relationship, I did have a breakthrough in rewatching Rage. As far as the Lexana relationship goes, we are entirely in Lana's perspective during that episode. So I can see that for her, having just discovered her pregnancy and carrying that secret alone, the relationship is a cold and lonely place. Had we been in Lex's perspective at all, the reality may have been quite different. We saw more of that in this episode, even at the beginning where Lex tells Lana he'll be there for her. The dark shadows in the room and the angsty music playing in the background all brought home to me the fact that this relationship has become weighed down by secrets and suspicion in the same way that the Clex friendship eventually was. To the point where neither individual is sure of the truth of their feelings any more. Lex did seem genuine in his continued attachment to Lana.
Having said that, I couldn't help feeling slightly creeped out in that scene. Perhaps because we so rarely see other rooms of the mansion, and because Lana looked so lost and frightened in the bed (she hardly had any dialogue in that scene!), it really felt like she was a treasured object that Lex had acquired (from Clark). One of his 'sacred pieces' to be stroked and contemplated in the same way.
At first I thought the 'alternate frequency' plot for Lex had a lot of potential. I liked the possibilities it held out of him overhearing other characters and I thought there was a lot of potential for exploring the way that he and Lana are on different frequencies a good deal of the time during their relationship--they slip past each other unable to connect. It could also have been a good way of drawing us in to Lex's reality, which we haven't seen for some time. It did go some way towards doing this--Lex was obviously genuinely concerned for and in love with Lana. But it didn't really convey much new information. As I say, I thought it was a pity they didn't give this plot a full ep in its own right and explore (for example) Lex overhearing Lionel plotting things, Lex listening in on a Clark-Lana interaction, Lex reacting to Chloe snooping in his computer... there was so much they could have done, I can't help but be a bit disappointed.
The revelation of the pregnancy was the most significant point. Lana learnt that some of her fears of confessing it to him were unfounded--he welcomed the news. I did think that given the fact that she knew Lex may be able to hear her in that room, her way of telling him was not brilliant. But Lex took it in his stride, desperate as he was to connect with her again. It seems as if Lex really is buying into the Lexmas fairy-tale--he thinks he'll get it all: the wife, the family, but also the money and power. I found their reunion kiss very genuine, and despite everything, every time Lex was on screen, I felt for him--MR still conveys emotion brilliantly. I also liked the fact that the high emotional melodrama of their relationship is blinding both of them to other matters--to the matter of the meteor freaks and Lex's experiments on them.
The really interesting part of the Lexana plot, for me, came with the revelations about Floor 33.1. I loved the parallels to the disappearance of Level 3 in Luthorcorp way back in Season 1. I was also overjoyed that Floor 33.1 was mentioned again. We've been waiting to have this addressed for two seasons! And hee! Lionel kidnapped Lex's secret laborartory! HEE! Yup, in some ways, Lionel's still a more astute criminal mastermind than you, Lex!
One scene I did enjoy was the one between Chloe and Lana when they go to investigate the missing Floor 33.1. I am happy the girls have renewed their friendship but I'm also glad that Chloe's voiced her serious concerns about the Luthors--she's right that there's more to the story than meets the eye, and Lana should by now know better than to believe the surface level reading of situations. Where Chloe put her foot in it was saying she knows the Luthors better than Lana. Lana's priding herself on knowing Lex very well, and she also thinks she knows Lionel. So that was a tactical error on Chloe's part. But at least the conversation between them was honest and consistently characterised.
Does Lana believe Lex? I'm in two minds about Lana lacking sympathy for the meteor freaks--on the one hand it makes sense because she has been attacked by them more times than I can count. She knows they are dangerous, and, on top of that, she's xenophobic about aliens and alien influence. On the other hand, I'm surprised she doesn't view them as victims of the meteor shower themselves. And she's also been close to being put in Belle Reve herself on occasion--even in this episode she notes to Chloe that noone will believe her about the 'frequency' thing with Lex. Lana knows how the meteor freaks work--she joins the dots when the electrician tells her he was working during the meteor shower. But apparently her empathy ends there. So do people cease to be people to Lana once that happens to them? I found that a stretch--so much so that at first I wondered whether her statement to Lex that 'if there was a floor, I would understand' was a play. But I don't think it was.
Lex's response was very interesting. He looks pleased and as if he's had a breakthrough with her--which, of course, he has. She's affirmed his loyalty to him and her willingess to remain deliberately blind to his actions. He responds with 'there's something else you need to know' and unlocks a door. Unlocking doors in the Luthor mansion can be a dangerous exercise. In the past, Lex has revealed his true self this way--to both Helen and Clark--with damning results. This time Lex opens a door on a room full of roses, a room drowning in romance--the setting for his proposal. I found this fascinating at several levels. First because Lex now needs his partner to prove themselves loyal before revealing himself and making the ultimate commitment to them. With Helen he committed himself and revealed all as a way of challenging her to see if she would be loyal--and she betrayed him. Lex is far more guarded now. But secondly, the wording 'something you need to know' suggested that he was going to reveal something to Lana. Instead, the truth was masked, eclipsed even, by romance--and that's a perfect metaphor for their relationship. Lex is at his most genuine and his most duplicitous in this scene.
Even though I'm a Clex fan, I was fine with Clark leaving town when Lex was missing. Lex going missing is, let's face it, not that infrequent an event, and there was no indication of the severity of the situation. And hey, Jimmy had it sorted! (I also thought that Chloe's characterisation slipped there for a moment when she reprimanded Clark about leaving--since when does she care about Lex again?!)
I didn't think the Zoner was particularly interesting, but Clark's pursuit of them overall is. And the Zoner brought a new level of grotesque violence to the Smallville universe, on a scale we haven't seen before. So Clark confronting that, especially with the awareness of his own culpability, was interesting. And even more intriguing... OreoMan! Um, ok, so is this a comic canon character?! Because OreoMan was very amusing! He rescues Clark and leaves behind cookies... He has flashing eyes and flies up into the sky? Clark is SO IN LOVE! Check the long stare of wonder he gives when OreoMan flies away! Oh, Clark, honey. You just want to be rescued don't you!? (Chloe's right again.) And you fall for the nearest superhero! I was giggling away through that scene thinking Clark's internal monologue was going something along the lines of 'wow, Oliver can't do that! Oliver's never saved me... Oliver doesn't have flashing eyes... oh well he kind of does, but he doesn't fly!' Well, never fear, Clark! OreoMan's already penetrated your secret space in the loft if that cookie's any sign...
- the doors to Lana and Lex's bedroom look strikingly like those to Lex's study. I'm just sayin'.
- nice blue satin sheets! Didn't Clark sleep on those when he was on Red K in Metropolis? o.O
- Chloe: 'They're from galaxies far, far away and more importantly, they can hurt you.' Clark: 'Wow, thanks Chloe! I knew that but I guess the audience might need that exposition.' CLUNK.
- Lex. Seriously. HONEY. Learn some alphanumeric passwords already!! And try to make them unrelated to your life in any way. SERIOUSLY. I pay that you've moved on from 'Julian', but don't rest on your laurels--your girlfriend's birthday? NOT a stretch!
- I want Chloe's iPod! It snatches Lex's entire harddrive in a matter of seconds! Whee!
- Lana continues her impressive ability to bounce back from unconsciousness. Whee!
- Jimmy? The radio? I'm not even going there...