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Smallville 7.10 - Persona - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 7.10 - Persona
Welcome back to Smallville, everyone! Did the hiatus seem as long to you as it did to me? It was wonderful to have a new episode to watch tonight, and what an episode it was! Bizarro's in the house, Brainiac's back, and there's yet another Kryptonian on Earth. Let's go!

First and foremost, I have to applaud Tom Welling in his dual performance as Bizarro and Clark. Just as he did in the season opener, Tom gave us two distinct personalities, and there was no mistaking who was who (well, unless you were Lana, of course). We saw Bizarro first, and he was definitely not our hero. Selfish, devious, and dangerous, the only pure thing about him seemed to be his love for Lana. To me he seemed like a small child, very aware of his needs and desires, but his limitations and responsibilities? Not so much. I believed in his love for Lana, but I didn't believe that love had fundamentally changed him. Clearly he was still capable of the careless violence he had displayed in the past, particularly if he were crossed.

When Clark finally emerged from the Fortress and returned to Smallville, it felt like I was coming home too! Here was the Clark I adore, the one I've been missing all these weeks. Noble, compassionate, heroic, and, in the end, achingly alone. Grimly determined to rid the Earth of the final threat he inadvertently released from the Phantom Zone, Clark was completely focused on keeping the world, and especially his loved ones, safe. You're so close, babe, your destiny's right there, just beyond your reach!

Tom seemed to be having a blast playing Bizarro, especially in the scenes with Brainiac. I loved his confidence, his swagger, his humor, and the lethal intent that simmered right below the surface. And he had an earnestness, misguided though it was, that actually made me feel a little sorry for him. It was obvious to me that Tom carefully crafted his Bizarro, and I thought his characterization was consistent throughout the episode. Very nicely done.

And speaking of Brainiac, how awesome was James Marsters? Every scene with him was a delight! Braniac was beyond cool: ruthless, manipulative, snarky, and as smart as a supercomputer should be. He played Bizarro and Clark like a master, then left them to face each other while he went in for the kill with Dax-Ur. What will he have in store for us once he uses the information from Dax-Ur's brain to repair himself? I can only hope we get the chance to find out!

I also enjoyed Marc McClure as Dax-Ur. That was a cute bit of stunt casting. How telling was his conversation with Clark, especially the contrast between Dax-Ur knowing in a heartbeat that his wife was worth any sacrifice, and Clark still unable to make a full commitment to Lana after more than six years?

So let's talk about Lana. Is there anyone who still thinks she and Clark are meant to be together? How many times do they have to show us how disconnected this couple is? Lana was with Bizarro for a month and had no clue he wasn't Clark, even in their most intimate moments? Has she met Clark? I'm not buying it. That chick was in major denial. She finally had the Clark she always wanted, who worshipped her and lived for nothing more than making her happy, and whether willfully or subconsciously, she just ignored all the signs. When Chloe tried to express her concerns, Lana was dismissive and condescending [my fanwank of Lana's thoughts]:

"Well, maybe you don't know him as well as you think." [Not as well as ME!!!]
Actually, Lana, that would be you. You evidently don't know him at all.

"I think he's just taking some time to focus on his own happiness." [Being with ME!!!]
Since when does Clark do that?

"His priorities are different." [They're all about ME!!!]
Which should have been your first clue that something was terribly wrong.

And while Lana did ultimately destroy Bizarro, her anguished face in the aftermath tells me that decision will haunt her for some time. Lana was truly happy with Bizarro, and I think that knowledge will destroy whatever is left of her romantic relationship with Clark.

It was really interesting to me how the scene between Bizarro and Lana that opened the show was almost identical in its first few moments to a scene between Clark and Lana in Hidden, and the parallels between the two really seemed to drive home the point that Lana can only be happy with Clark, and share her love with him, when he isn't himself. And because of that, she will always hold him back from fully embracing his destiny.

What a contrast to how Chloe is with Clark, completely accepting not only of his alien status and the powers that come with it, but also of his responsibility to help those weaker than himself. Contrary to what Lana said in this episode, no one knows Clark better than Chloe. Of course Chloe realized immediately that Clark was not himself. And although Lana clearly saw Chloe as a romantic rival in this episode, that only served to show us that Lana doesn't understand Chloe's relationship with Clark. Chloe stopped pining for Clark a long time ago, and now stands firmly by his side, a hero in her own right.

Loved, loved, loved the Chlark scene in this episode! Tom and Allison are always so amazing together. Chloe's wariness, Clark's surprise and dismay when she backs away from him, and then the joyous way she hurls herself into his arms, were all wonderful, emotional moments. Plus, Chloe looked beautiful, again.

So what were the Luthors up to in this episode? Buh bye, Grant, I can't really say I'll miss you (although I still adore Michael Cassidy). Why did they have this character anyway? He made Lois look like a skank, Chloe look like a failure, Lionel look like a monster, and Lex look pathetic. Good move, show.

The scene between Lex and Lionel was classic, with Lionel baiting Lex with every word, and Lex starting to rise to the challenge, until he realizes his father's game and refuses to play. And the scene between Grant and Lex was chilling. Was that Grant's bitterness over finding out he was a clone talking? Because that was cold, dude. And Lex's anger, masking much deeper feelings of betrayal and loss, broke my heart, as did the scene in the rain later, taking us instantly back to Memoria. Lex has watched so many people leave him, and the pain of that continual loss has definitely taken its toll. Lex is slipping away, and there doesn't seem to be anyone who can save him now. I mourn for the happy days of the first season.

What did you think about what Bizarro said to Clark? "You're lying, Clark! To yourself. You're so worried about doing the right thing, you don't even see it." I think that rocked Clark to his core. And then, when Bizarro turned to Lana and said, "He won't commit his life to you like I will," Clark didn't protest, didn't say a word. His silence spoke louder than words. The seeds of doubt have been planted. I think Bizarro was telling the truth, I just wonder if Clark will be able see it.

The last scene was very satisfying for me. For once, Clark didn't instantly forgive Lana, and he looked positively lost trying to process all that had happened in his absence. The last moments of the episode, Clark and Lana side by side in the bed, yet miles apart, were quite a contrast to the first moments we saw, Bizarro and Lana side by side in domestic bliss. I think these two are finally beginning to realize that the obstacles to their happiness together may be insurmountable. And the song, Pioneer to the Falls, by Interpol, was perfect.

Random thoughts: Shirtless!Tom in the very first scene. Yowza. That was a nice little reaction shot, the way Clark rocked back when Lana said, "Remember in bed?" Ouch. And Bizzy getting busy with Lana proves that superpowered sex doesn't have to be lethal. So what is Clark really afraid of? Lana mentioned that time is different in the Fortress. Have we always known that? And what was the point of Jor-El trapping Clark in the Fortress? Some colossal timeout? Sheesh.

So if Wrath proved that Clark doesn't know Lana as well as he thought he did, Persona proved that Lana doesn't know Clark at all. Where do we go from here? All I know is, with so few episodes left before we reach the end of this shortened season, I'll be savoring each and every one. I'll be back for another new episode next week; I hope you'll join me!

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Comments
ellyfanfic From: ellyfanfic Date: February 1st, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi there! Haven't seen you around lately! I was starting to worry about you:-).

"It was really interesting to me how the scene between Bizarro and Lana that opened the show was almost identical in its first few moments to a scene between Clark and Lana in Hidden, and the parallels between the two really seemed to drive home the point that Lana can only be happy with Clark, and share her love with him, when he isn't himself."

Awesome point!

"And although Lana clearly saw Chloe as a romantic rival in this episode, that only served to show us that Lana doesn't understand Chloe's relationship with Clark. Chloe stopped pining for Clark a long time ago, and now stands firmly by his side, a hero in her own right."

Not sure I agree with that. I think Lana is finally admitting that the emotional intimacy between Chlark scares her. And it should, because they're SO close. But to me, Chloe's reaction when she found out "Clark" was leaving suggested she's not as over him as she'd like to be. She's not *pining,* but that doesn't mean she doesn't still love him.

"Shirtless!Tom in the very first scene. Yowza."

Amen. We definitely need more of that!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 1st, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I've been training a new person at work, who sits with me all day. I can only jump on LJ here and there, like when I send her to the copy machine! :) I actually took a vacation day today, so I'll be catching up, finally.

I agree with you that Chlark scares Lana. They share a bond that Clana has never come close to having. But at the same time, I still think Lana underestimates Chloe. All her little jabs at Chloe in this episode were little reminders that Chloe wasn't the one living with Clark, sleeping with him, as if that were the only thing that mattered. Kind of like, you're not his girlfriend, I am, so just go away.

I feel like she still doesn't get that they have this huge relationship that goes beyond romance, a relationship that I think is the most important one in Clark's life right now. Of course I think Chlark could easily become an epic love story, but even if that doesn't happen, they will always be together. I don't think Lana gets that, because IIRC, every relationship she's ever had with a guy has been a romantic one.

I'm still confused about what happened with Chlark at the beginning of S6. I think Chloe pulled away first, but then Clark didn't fight for her either. However Chloe feels about Clark deep inside, at some point she decided to stop putting her love life on hold waiting for him to step up, and she at least went through the motions of moving on. That's how we got Chimmy, I guess. But she was obviously stunned at the idea of him leaving Smallville and leaving her behind.

All of which could lead to some truly exciting developments on the show, but most likely won't.
jeannev From: jeannev Date: February 1st, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
You totally articulated my feelings about Lana in this episode. I know on some level I should feel badly for her. That she was lied to and violated. But she was so willing blind, and so self-involved I can't muster it up. Her delight in this "new" Clark was based on one thing, and one thing only....he was all about HER! How are we supposed to ignore that sort of thing, and yet I suspect we will be expected to come next week.

I thought Tom was especially terrific last night. What is this, his 4th variation on the Clark character? Yet he still finds a way to come up with something unique. Kudos to him.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 1st, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
The way Lana acted in this episode made me feel like she could never love Clark for himself, and for all her speeches in the past about how the world needs him, that she could never really share him. I just think she's one of those incredibly insecure women to whom you have to prove your love, over and over and over. Lana was so blatantly gleeful that Clark wanted to spend all his time adoring her. Wouldn't any normal woman kick his butt out of bed and tell him to go save some lives?

I thought Tom was just fantastic last night. After seeing him play Bizarro this time, I could easily see him playing one those charming serial killer types. He really is good.
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: February 1st, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very interesting and well articulated thoughts! Thanks so much for sharing!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 1st, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for reading, and for commenting!

Is your icon from the Sundance photos? Isn't it amazing how gorgeous he is without the help of stylists or any other professionals? I'm so glad he seemed to be having a good time that night.
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: February 3rd, 2008 10:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, it's from those lovely candids. He looks stunning and I just adore his profile and his beautiful smile. He certainly doesn't need any makeup to look gorgeous!

I'm really happy with those pics because he seemed to be really relaxed and enjoying himself. I'm so glad for him!
all_you_wanted From: all_you_wanted Date: February 1st, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yet again Tom hits that special mark of seeming creepy and insincere while at the same time playing normal enough that it doesn't raise all your flags at once.

*sigh* I so want to see him in a Patrick Bateman/Ted Bundy like role post SV. Or possibly a rom-com with kids and puppies. (I know, completely different spectrums of the scale, but he does both so well)

Did you notice Bizzy mocking Chloe through her another of her long and ranty walks away from him. I haven't laughed that hard at an episode of SV in ages.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 1st, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I couldn't agree with you more about the other kinds of roles for which he'd be perfect. In fact, I was just talking about how he'd make a great serial killer in my reply to another comment. :) And I would kill to see him in a romantic comedy.

OMG, I totally missed that! I just went back and watched again, and I'm dying laughing! LOL! God, I love Tom Welling. You know that was all his idea! Thanks for telling me about it, it's priceless!
all_you_wanted From: all_you_wanted Date: February 1st, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
But he needs to play the serial killer you don't think is a serial killer. Someone who seems just a tad off, but is too pretty and too bland (compared to obviously deranged side character #2) to really be that evil... but then is. Like Ed Norton in Primal Fear almost. He could so do that (but prettier than Ed of course).

I kinda wonder if that wasn't Bizzy's way of showing how Clark really feels once Chloe gets going on one of her 'follow me, i'm walking and talking here' rants.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 1st, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree, the serial killer you'd never suspect, but then you catch that little flash in his eyes that scares you half to death. And one who 's smiling the whole time he's killing you. *shivers*

LOL! Don't say that! What would Smallville be without the "we're walking, we're walking" expositional stroll? :)
legendarytobes From: legendarytobes Date: February 1st, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know you've said that a lot but I have to word that because Tom as Patrick Bateman/serial killer would rock and the other scenario would make my ovaries explode ;)
all_you_wanted From: all_you_wanted Date: February 1st, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
he kills with chills and cuddles!
hils From: hils Date: February 1st, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I only just watched the episode and I'm lazy and can't be bothered to go back through my flist and find all the reaction posts. Had to come here though because you're thoughts are always spot on.

I totally agree with you about Lana. That scene with Chloe had me shouting at the screen because really all Lana seems to want is for Clark to be totally focussed on her and she almost got aggressive when Chloe suggested there was something wrong with Clark.

I'm glad Smallville is back too!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 1st, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know, I couldn't believe how she was deluding herself, and she was being so nasty to Chloe. I had to keep telling myself, it's okay, Chloe will be vindicated when Clark gets back, because it was making me so mad! :)
hils From: hils Date: February 1st, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
And she was. Hoorah!
From: seacrystal Date: February 3rd, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
When Clark finally emerged from the Fortress and returned to Smallville, it felt like I was coming home too! Here was the Clark I adore, the one I've been missing all these weeks. Noble, compassionate, heroic, and, in the end, achingly alone. Grimly determined to rid the Earth of the final threat he inadvertently released from the Phantom Zone, Clark was completely focused on keeping the world, and especially his loved ones, safe. You're so close, babe, your destiny's right there, just beyond your reach!

So much WORD to this!

And the scene between Grant and Lex was chilling. Was that Grant's bitterness over finding out he was a clone talking? Because that was cold, dude. And Lex's anger, masking much deeper feelings of betrayal and loss, broke my heart, as did the scene in the rain later, taking us instantly back to Memoria. Lex has watched so many people leave him, and the pain of that continual loss has definitely taken its toll. Lex is slipping away, and there doesn't seem to be anyone who can save him now. I mourn for the happy days of the first season.

I definitely think it's Grant's bitterness talking, I couldn't really sympathize with Lex though. He gets what he gives, and he had twice mocked Grant about starting out in a petri dish. It's simply about his need for utter control over someone, Grant was supposed to be the perfect clone, but once he turned his back against Lex, he was considered "broken", like Adrian himself, just not in the same way. Which ensured his own death warrant.

The last scene was very satisfying for me. For once, Clark didn't instantly forgive Lana, and he looked positively lost trying to process all that had happened in his absence. The last moments of the episode, Clark and Lana side by side in the bed, yet miles apart, were quite a contrast to the first moments we saw, Bizarro and Lana side by side in domestic bliss. I think these two are finally beginning to realize that the obstacles to their happiness together may be insurmountable. And the song, Pioneer to the Falls, by Interpol, was perfect.

Yeah, it's a very effective scene for me. And I believe everyone went searching for Interpol immediately after Smallville lol, the youtube comments for the song's music video confirmed it.





tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 3rd, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're totally right about how Lex treated Grant, and yet I still find myself wanting to give him a big hug! LOL! I honestly think it's my love for Michael Rosenbaum spilling over onto how I feel about Lex. But truly, I think you're so right about the control issue. And having created him, I'm sure Lex saw Grant as disposable.

I have discovered so much great music through Smallville. And the fact that certain songs remind me of specific scenes from the show only makes me like them better.
acampbell From: acampbell Date: February 3rd, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
If anything could make me feel positive about this ep, it would be your description. Maybe if they pick up what they've set up and run with it, it will work out okay.

I just fear the "reset" button more than anything!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 3rd, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
If anything could make me feel positive about this ep, it would be your description.

Aww, thanks! That means a lot, coming from you.

I just fear the "reset" button more than anything!

Me, too, they've certainly pressed it often enough in the past! I'm determined to be cautiously optimistic, though. *crosses fingers*
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