K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick! (bop_radar) wrote,
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!
bop_radar

Smallville 6.17 Combat

Lots of gratuitous pretty in this eppy! Balanced by violence, a very uninspiring set and an ugly opponent in Titan.

Ah, Lois! I do admire your persistence, but you've still got a thing or too to learn about undercover work. Though I find it amusing to know that she has access to that outfit at short notice. When I saw her in that, I assumed she was going to put herself forward as a fighter (yay!), so I was a little bemused by her 'broken-down stripper' story. However I love that she's willing to hit on the security guard to get in. (And why do I get the feeling that Lois would have been way more uncomfortable with that if the security guard had been male?) That scene was so hot, I'll even forgive the largely gratuitous way in which Lois was used in this eppy. Besides which, my Tekken-playing nerdiness appreciated the whole 'fight club' scenario.

I love that Oliver's still sketched into the Smallville universe--it was great to see that the JL-ers have been having success in breaking into Lex's overseas facilities. And of course good to know that Ollie and Clark are still in touch.

So we have Chloe herself suggesting that 'super-sleuthing' may be her krypto power and Clark doesn't even pick up on it?! Arrrghh! *frustrated*

I confess that I found it refreshing to see Clark working out some aggression rather than emo-ing around in his barn. And I thought it was fantastic to see him fight someone who could really beat him up. He really had to 'level up' as an opponent and employ some actual fight moves. Yay! I don't know where he learnt that jumping punch, but I heart it. And I think this is excellent development for him. Also he looks pretty all beat up. :-D

While I understand Martha's a concerned parent, I actually agree with Clark here--at last Clark is getting involved with bringing people to justice. Yes, he has some anger issues to work out, but he's self-aware about that now. And he's engaging with the questions that fighting other aliens raises--how is he different from them? Is it ok for him to kill them since he can't return them to the Phantom Zone? Clark's hidden in denial so often about such confronting issues, but he's willingly acknowledging them here, while still continuing to take action--the issues aren't paralysing him with guilt, and I think that's also good. Could this be a lead-in to him questioning his approach to krypto-freaks as well? (I wouldn't have thought so if it weren't for the recent reveal about Chloe.)

Where Clark is in danger, though, is in casting himself so much as an alien that he splits off human emotions as not part of himself. In this episode he discusses both love and anger, troublesome but very human emotions. Martha is a very useful confidant here, arguing passionately for the importance of embracing and acknowledging such emotions as part of oneself, rather than splitting them off and denying them.

It was particularly interesting to see Clark wrestling with anger issues in the episode following Lex's rage-fit which ended in the death of the doctor. Unlike Lex, Clark is able to acknowledge, discuss and confront the way he felt: 'I wanted to kill him with my bare hands'. Clark says he has 'never felt' rage like that. With Martha's help, he's also able to acknowledge that he was experiencing sublimated anger from Lex's marriage to Lana. Lex has never achieved such insight about any of his destructive and violent fits of rage. He's had rage issues since he was a child, and his rages are capable of consuming him entirely. Unlike Clark, he's 'alienated' his anger from himself. I'm sure in Lex's mind he thinks of that as 'not really me'. He has a number of different excuses to fall back on, some of which are more legitimate than others (childhood bullying, mental illness, fever, the effects of being drugged, an 'accident'). What he doesn't have is someone to help him confront and overcome his hidden issues.

The Luthor Labyrinth
The mystery deepens about Lana's pregnancy. The toast to a week's marriage had echoes, for me, of Helen and Lex on the Luthor jet, the second time around. The score accentuated the eeriness of the toast so that I wondered whether we were meant to suspect Lex of spiking Lana's drink. Shortly in its wake, Lana collapses and loses the baby, so we are told. Lex's reactions, throughout, appear genuine--he cries for help when he finds Lana collapsed with real fear in his voice, he comforts Lana and appears genuinely upset by her distress at losing the child. But he also appears distanced from the event himself. It isn't until we see him burning Lana's records and the baby's ultrasound photo on the fire that we see real grief from Lex himself.

Without a private doctor under his control, Lex's control over the pregnancy slipped. But is this what resulted in the loss of the child? Or did Lex 'abort' the pregnancy deliberately because he could no longer control the outcome? Or was it genuinely all out of his control all along?

Seeing Lana sitting in the baby's nursery was very creepy, especially since her initial reaction to the nursery was far from positive. She'd reacted to Lex's overcontrol there, but now this same space has become a comforting cocoon. She's in shock at recent events. Whether she suspects anything or not, the death of Doctor Langston on the day of her wedding must seem like a terrible omen. She asks Lex why this is happening; she's lost all sense of meaning in her life. Lex's answer is that she needs to put her faith in a higher power. A strangely religious current there. But is the higher power Lex would like her to submit to Lex himself? In Promise we heard him talk to his father about having wanted to be able to control everything, everyone. And here he finally has Lana under his power.

But there is tragedy in this for Lex as well, because he does feel for her His voice breaks on 'How can I...'? (Was he about to say 'how can I make this up to you?') Lex seems genuinely fearful that he may not be able to heal this wound of Lana's, which is so complex now, spanning Lionel's manipulation as well as the loss of her baby.

I know most fans predicted that Lana would lose the child, but strangely I wasn't expecting it now or in this way. And it seems that the reveal about its true nature will now be a retrospective one.

ETA: If you feel I'm meta-light this week (I do!), then you can get your hit from this must-read piece from norwich36.
Tags: smallville_meta, svseason6
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