And--Oooh. Pretty. Together!
The Epic Battle Between Uber!Dad and Bad!Clark is pretty much The Matrix, On Crack. I will point out that Clark is hot without his shirt, and the way he peels it off is vaguely Hulk-like--one might think he spent some of his dissipation this summer watching bad movies. It's not like he was doing anything *else* interesting.
Pretty much from there, I started mulling on befores and afters.
Clark starts off as Wimpy!Bad!Clark. Bad, but not very interestingly bad. After the Breakage of the Sacred Ring of Stupidity, he's back to regular Clark, and so I yawned, but then again, he kept the hair, so I can't complain too much.
What did make me straighten and think that M and G didn't read all the script very well (thank God) was the confrontation with Gangster Buddy of Lionel (who here is surprised? Really?), in which we see that sparkly, evil glee from Red make an appearance--in which Clark does Bad Things and likes it. A lot.
Which is practically as close to *great* as Smallville will ever get--Clark being nice because he's nice is boring. Clark being mean because he *has* to be is boring. Clark being mean even when he *doesn't* have to be and liking it? Nice. And a Clark who is aware of that bit of inner dissension? Priceless.
I'd say that three months of RedK have left some kind of mark--like LSD for the neurotransmitters or something--and this I can't consider a bad thing. That bit of dirt in the soul is what the superhero needs if he's ever going to understand people in more than a theoretical sense--and let's all face it, Clark can't read anyone for shit.
Blah blah blah, plot, plot, plot. Let's get to Lana.
Never thought I'd say that.
Lana actually appealed to me. Okay, so Clark leaving was All About Her. Of course, we could expect no less. But getting beyond that, this is the first time I'm annoyed by the fact that the producers didn't bother to give her *enough* attention, because she just put a pitchfork through a man (or threw him into one, po-tay-to, po-tah-to) and okay, now she's all calmly riding about trying to reconcile?
But Smallville seems to be okay with a death count without remorse.
I don't get Lana forgiving him. I just don't. Yes, he wasn't himself, she wants to believe, but the thing is, like Clark says, he *was* himself, and this is the third time. Which is kind of sad, if you think of the kind of insecurities you have to have to need someone this desperately. Abandonment issues, whatever, but this is the first time it sank home how deep they really are, even if some are of her own making. And makes me wonder what M and G think of the kind of woman they're creating. In a different future, she'll be the one wearing sunglasses to hide black eyes and desperately telling everyone she fell down the stairs and is just clumsy. And some part of her might even learn to believe it.
Lex pretty much scared the shit out of me. He and Lionel--the sheer amount of bizarre, freaksome vibes going on there is just plain creepy. Lionel loves his son, I completely do not doubt that. And Lex, after it all, loves his father. I'd love to believe he's pulling one over on Lionel, but that moment at the end, with the absolutely terrifying hug of filial affection, and Lionel's purely shocked, near-bliss, just--.
I mean, Lex is *insane*. And I don't mean in a good way.
"Yes, daddy, thank you for a lifetime of psychological torture, manipulation, and destruction of my most cherished beliefs, loves, and sacrifices, because man, it made me strong enough to survive the latest and greatest of your maneuvers. Let's hug and have a few minutes of really, really creepy proto-incestuous bonding."
I want this icon.
Helen was more problematic.
I'm sorry M and G chose to go with her being absolutely evil, because there was just enough doubt that if she hadn't confessed and *then* something had happened, ending with her swan dive into still waters, we'd have multitudes of possibilities to play with and consider, including the fact that she wasn't entirely wrong--Lex was hallucinating like he was on a three day shroom bender down on the Island of Solitude. And he's paranoid. And at this point, he has ever right to be, and frankly, would be stupid not to be watching his back every second. But--it could have gone like she said. And that could have been an interesting itch for later down the road, since I'm pretty sure we'll see her again.
Clark and Lex--
There was this second where Clark stared, eyes at their most doe-like, huge and unbelieving and wanting to believe all at once. And time fragmented, just paused, just *stopped*, because it was the first time on a bridge and the first time on a riverbank and the moment Clark pulled Lex free of Desiree and the moment in the loft after Lex bonded with heavy artillery, all rolled into one. That second of reconnection, of relief, of sheer joy, and of coming home. Because in some ways, until that second, they hadn't felt home yet, and now they did.
And Lex would do it all again, just to see that look on Clark's face. Lex smiles at Clark the way he smiles at no one else, never has, never will. And Clark's remembering how it feels to breathe again.
That hug's only confirmation, physical confirmation of what's already felt. And I'm not so lost in fannish worship of the Sheer Fucking Timeless Romance of It All that I *didn't* notice that Lex and Clark were hanging on for a rather long time.
Ohhhkay. Yep. Time for me to *calm the hell down*.
Jesus, I need to write something.