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Smallville 7.13 - Hero - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 7.13 - Hero
This week's episode reminded me more than ever that our hero's journey is destined to be a lonely one. Our long lost friend Pete Ross returns, only to once again fall prey to his feelings of jealousy and inadequacy over Clark's powers, and ultimately threaten to expose his secret. Lex, whose friendship with Clark was ripped apart by his relentless curiosity about Clark's mysteries and Clark's inability to fully trust the man he once called his best friend, continues to slip away, falling further into the depths of villainy. Lionel, who Clark has come to see as an ally, proves once again that he can never be trusted. Lana, who Clark has loved as long as we can remember, has in recent episodes declared her love for both Bizarro and Lex, and remains something of a question mark. Kara, the only one in Clark's life who can truly understand what it means to be a Kryptonian on Earth, has lost both her memory and her powers, and has turned to Lex instead of Clark for answers. In the end, only Chloe stands steadfast by Clark's side, and yet the show seems to be hinting that her loyalty to him may cost her both her career and her chance for love. What's a hero to do?

We open the show with both a popular band in the house and a corporate sponsor whose name is plastered on every available surface. Product Placement Pete has returned with a vengeance! :) Pete unwittingly chews some kryptonite-laced gum and is transformed into Elastic Man (wait, isn't that supposed to be Jimmy's storyline?). Of course, along with his new powers, Pete gains the more insidious effects of exposure to meteor rock: his judgment flies out the window, along with his sense of right and wrong, and soon he's hurtling down the path of his own self-destruction, dragging Clark along with him.

Yes, Pete was a jerk to Clark in this episode, but that behavior was quite consistent with the Pete I remember. Pete himself admits he has always been jealous of Clark, and felt lost living in his shadow. Perhaps this latest adventure will finally give Pete the push he needs to find his own way, and to finally let go of his desire to live Clark's life instead of his own. In any case, it was a treat to see Clark and Pete together again, especially playing basketball like in the old days. Sam Jones III is a good actor, and he fell back into the show seamlessly, as if he'd never been gone. The Chloe and Pete reunion was great, too, but would it have killed the show to give us a scene with the original Smallville trio, our own little Scooby gang back in action? I'm sure I'm not the only fan who missed seeing that.

Speaking of Chloe, how awesome was she in this episode? Her showdown with Lex thrilled me to my core! I loved how she took the time to put her suit jacket on before she went in to confront the boss. Chloe Sullivan is always the consummate professional when it comes to journalism! And she looked fabulous throughout the episode, especially in the red and black outfit she wore at the end. Yowza! The only false note for me was the resurrection of the Chimmy. Don't get me wrong, I continue to adore Aaron Ashmore, and I loved his performance in this episode in particular, but no man who utters the words, "It looks like Gumby found his Pokey," will ever be deserving of the magnificence that is my beloved Chloe Sullivan. Please.

Lana remains a mystery to me. I just don't trust her. She looked guilty when Clark came downstairs from his shower (mmm, Clark in the shower) to find her having a confab with Lionel, and I'm not sure she has Kara's best interests at heart when she insists they keep hiding the truth from her. When she showed up in the loft looking exactly as she did in the Noir dream sequence, with her hair parted on the side, dark lipstick, and severe clothing, it kind of creeped me out. What are you trying to tell me, show? I did like that Lana showed compassion for the way Kara is drawn to Lex, and displayed an empathetic understanding of how attractive Lex can be. But then why didn't she warn Kara more explicitly about her new savior? You want her to stay away from Lex? Tell her about the fake baby, for starters! Sheesh. And criticizing Kara for snooping in Clark's things? Hypocritical much, Lana?

Obviously Clark shares none of my concerns. The Clana continues unabated, in spite of everything Clark has experienced this season to raise doubts in his head. His heart isn't listening, I guess. :P The casual kiss they shared before she drove off in that ginormous, shiny, new Toyota truck (Chloe's Yaris on steroids?) was a jarring note to me. Will anything ever break up this dysfunctional couple? I guess we'll see. And how crazy was that whole scene, anyway? Seeing Clark use his superpowers to lift that huge bundle of fence posts was a kick, but where was Lana going with them? To see Ben Hubbard, evidently, who was going to help her unload them? Buh? So it's Lana the farmhand, now? Um, okay.

I continue to enjoy Laura Vandervoort. I like her acting on the show, she's beautiful, and she's fun. Did any of you catch her little bit as an onset reporter for this episode on the Canadian show eTalk? She's a natural interviewer! In Hero she wore white in every scene, which I thought was a cool representation of not only her innocence and naivete with Lex, but also her life without her memories, blank and colorless. Now that she has literally moved into the dragon's lair, I can't wait to see what happens next!

Lex was beyond awesome in this episode! Michael, please, please, please come back to us next season! What in the world will we do without you? You don't want to shave your head anymore? Fine, we'll do Lex in hats, every episode, no problem. Or better yet, Lex's scientists can come up with a cure for baldness. It'll involve meteor rocks, of course, and the treatment can make Lex even more villainous as a side effect. What? A girl can try, can't she? :)

Anyway, obviously I loved Lex in Hero. He was ruthless and cunning throughout, bullying Chloe, extorting Pete, and manipulating Kara. He even got smart, bringing a henchman to his meeting with Pete, although he ended up unconscious in that scene nonetheless. :) What can I say? It's his lot in life, at least on Smallville. Michael Rosenbaum rocked his performance more than ever, making me fall in love with him all over again. Every look spoke volumes, and each sly smile sent a shiver down my spine. Lex has truly come into his own as the big bad, I think, and I am eating it up with a spoon!

And then there's Lionel. Lionel, Lionel, Lionel, what are you up to now? Check out the look in Clark's eyes when he says to him, "You and I? Need to talk." Yikes. I'm actually overjoyed to see the return of the Magnificent Bastard, he's infinitely more compelling than the kindly father figure Lionel appears to be sometimes. Suddenly things seem a lot more interesting! I find myself reviewing all of Lionel's actions in previous episodes, looking for double meanings and possibly malicious intent. Only time will tell what it all means.

Finally, let's talk about Clark. The boy looks more like the man in each new episode, and he's never looked more super than he did this week. All those shots of him standing tall, quiet and assured, made me think all that's missing is the cape, fluttering in the breeze behind him. Clark doesn't freak out and fly off the handle anymore, he simply speaks and acts with calm determination and the knowledge that he's right. I love the courage and leadership he displays, and I can actually see progress toward his destiny. Did you notice he never agreed not to tell Kara the truth, but instead decided to search for her bracelet, looking for a way to ensure that the truth would be believable to her?

On the other hand, Clark continues to be haunted by the price of his superpowers, both to himself and those he loves. You can see the depths of his anguish on his face, and in his actions. Clark is developing into the complex individual who will eventually become two, man and Superman. And Tom Welling makes me believe every step of the journey. I still love this show, and I couldn't be happier that we will now have another season to savor. Yay!

On a more shallow note (oh, stop, you knew I was going there!), Tom looked gorgeous in this episode! Honestly, could the boy be more beautiful? As sick as I get of that blue T-shirt, there's something to be said for the way it showcases his massive chest, his lean waist, and those unbelievable guns. Guh. I also continue to dig the short Superman hair. And the close-ups! Those eyes. Those lips. That perfect skin. Yeah, I totally watch for the plot. :)

My favorite scene of the episode was near the end, when Clark walks through the barn, in glorious slow motion, to the plaintive Apologize, by OneRepublic. He kneels to hide Kara's bracelet under the floor boards (not there, Clark, Lana knows about that hiding place!), and his face is contemplative and sad. He now knows that Lionel has been lying to him, and that the man he went to for guidance has betrayed his trust. He realizes more than ever that in some ways he will always be alone, and that his inherent belief that there is good in everyone has once again been challenged. When he stands again, the camera shoots him from below, illuminated by a single ray of sunlight from above, and he looks impossibly tall, heroic, and majestic in red and blue. It's my Superman, truly.

Random thoughts: Usually it's the girls who end up on apple boxes on this show, but I'm pretty sure Pete was standing on something in his scene with Kara. Jimmy's hair appears to have incurred the wrath of the Smallville stylists. I hate torture scenes. The Veritas subplot is intriguing, and I loved how they brought back the toy warrior little Alexander was painting in Fracture. Of course Kara interrupts at the worst possible moment! And biologically enhanced individuals? hee!

In spite of the rampant product placement, I loved this episode. It was fun having Pete back, and he asked some questions I think Clark needed to hear. We had some surprising reveals, some intriguing developments, and the promise of great things still to come this season. And I thought OneRepublic's music was a perfect fit. Hello, Smallville, I'm so glad you're back!

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Comments
legendarytobes From: legendarytobes Date: March 14th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just can't believe we are back on happy Clana after everything. All the dark lady luthor stuff feels like we've been played.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 14th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
So much word. Imagine if a similar situation played out with any couple you know in real life. Honestly, there would be no coming back from it, not in a million years.

Give me Dark!Lana, I'm happy. Give me Clark kicking Lana to the curb, I'm happy. But give me Clana!Redux, as if none of it ever happened, and I just want to cry, throw up, and beat my head against the wall. An icon you used to have comes to mind, if you know what I mean. Bah.
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jeannev From: jeannev Date: March 14th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love your wonderful enthusiasm and optimism. Its very welcome in a bleak fandom landscape. LOL

I honestly think it comes down to something very simple with Clana...its the only thing they have to do with Lana. She's not going to go totally evil. They played with that arc, then pulled back on it. I can't believe anyone truly thought they wouldn't. And she's not going to go back to Lex. They'd never let that happen with Lana knowing Clark's secret. Plus, I believe it would be well and truly sick to have Lana go back to the guy who faked a pregnancy and miscarriage, and then later smacked her. I think the door on Lexana is closed and locked shut. Doesn't mean they won't throw out a bone to Lexana shippers, i.e. Wrath kiss, Fracture sex scene. But its just the same lame tease they give to other shippers who aren't going to get what they want.

So, what to do with Lana? She has to be with Clark. It sucks, but I think its just the most convenient place for them to put her.

but no man who utters the words, "It looks like Gumby found his Pokey,

*grooaann* Who wrote that line? What does it even mean? Gumby and Pokey weren't doing it. Just, EWWWWWW!!!

And everything you said about Clark? Yes, yes, x100!!!

I didn't hate this episode, but I was disappointed. I wanted so much more for Pete's homecoming. This just wasn't what I had in mind at all.

Edited at 2008-03-14 11:42 pm (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 14th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree that they don't know what to do with Lana. But I kind of wish they would just let her go, then. I really thought KK would just say no to coming back, but I guess she traded a movie opportunity now for more Smallville torture later.

Who wrote that line? What does it even mean?

It actually made me think that the writers watch Supernatural. :) Do you remember that part of The Kids Are Alright?

And everything you said about Clark? Yes, yes, x100!!!

Yay! I'm glad we agree!! I was reading some of the episode thread at TWoP, and I couldn't believe what some people were saying about Clark. You weren't kidding about that place! I love how you defend him, though, you're always so logical and eloquent as you point out how wrong they are. I'm still your biggest, albeit mostly silent, fan!

I know what you mean about Pete's homecoming. I would have liked it better if it were happier, and I still can't believe they didn't have even one scene with Clark, Chloe, and Pete together, but I did find it believable, and I thought SJIII did a great job.
jeannev From: jeannev Date: March 15th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the nice words. I figure TWoP needs a few never-say-die Clark defenders.

I truly don't believe KK will be around for many eps in S8, so we might finally get that ending. We just need to hang ona bit longer.

I don't know SPN eps by name. Which one was that?
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: March 15th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I wish I was as optimistic and cheery as you about SV. I love the show, but I no longer feel that thrill I used to, back in the earlier seasons. I'm still excited to see what happens next, and how this season will end, but it's sort of a dampened enthusiasm now. I don't know why - I think I've just developed Smallville fatigue.

I agree with most of what you said about the episode, though. Liked Kara, loved Lex, loved Chloe, cringed at the return of Chimmy, and TW was definitely pretty as hell. And yeah, what was with the lack of a Scooby scene? Pete returns for one episode, and they can't give us a scene with the original trio? Bastards.

Bwah! Lex in a hat makes me laugh. Somebody should make an icon for that, a la your "Bobby - master of disguise" one. Hee! But seriously, if that's what it takes, SV should go ahead with it. The show wouldn't be the same without Michael. Come back full time, MR! It's just another season!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 15th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I get as frustrated as anyone with the show, but the awesomeness that is Tom Welling always more than makes up for it. What can I say? I love the guy. :) And as much as I know that Supernatural is a superior show in many ways, I still love Smallville more.

I hope at the very least that Michael knows how much the fans appreciate him. If he no longer enjoys being on the show, obviously no amount of love from us can make up for that, but I hope he knows how much we'll miss him if he decides to go.
acampbell From: acampbell Date: March 15th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Pete himself admits he has always been jealous of Clark, and felt lost living in his shadow.

And just what Clark needs: ANOTHER person laying a guilt trip on him! I could mention a number of more recent things Clark could feel guilty about (most involving Lex, like, to name just a few: planning to abscond with his pregnant fiancee on their wedding day, welcoming his ex-wife into his home and resuming a romantic relationship with her...cozying up to Lex's abusive father) but I won't. :D At least we didn't get a scene of Clark angsting over it--he just seemed to let it roll off.

(not there, Clark, Lana knows about that hiding place!)

Yeah, there's always the tool box and the cigar box. Oops, she knows about that, too.

MR definitely rocked this 'ep. He seemed very current!Iconic!Lex to me.

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 15th, 2008 08:34 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, you're one of the few people who can point out all the stuff on the show that doesn't make any sense without making me feel like an idiot for still being a fan. :) I think it's because I know you're my friend, and also because you're so funny about it. LOL! And I could use a laugh right now, believe me.

I was happy that Clark didn't return Pete's apology with one of his own! The show always has him apologizing for things that aren't his fault. And as much as I didn't care for Pete all that much in the episode, I thought SJIII did a good job.

Yeah, there's always the tool box and the cigar box. Oops, she knows about that, too.

*snerk* Now aren't you glad you capped Trespass? You had that information right at your fingertips! :)

All through the kitchen scene I had to chant to myself, "don't think about the bear trap, don't think about the bear trap." Lionel should be strangling Lana, not having coffee with her. *sighs* No consequences for the pink princess. I thought JG was as awesome as ever, though. And MR was so great. I enjoyed every moment he was on the screen.

Okay, fine, I am officially the Smallville apologist, but I liked this episode! LOL!
ophelia_77 From: ophelia_77 Date: March 15th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, after your review I'm going to have to go back and rewatch this episode. I was so excited for it (especially since I wasn't getting my Winchester's this week ) that I think my expectations were too high. The first alarm bell went off when I heard the words "gum factory" Wha? Followed almost immediately by the closeup shot of the gum. I had the same thought as you - Well, of course Pete = shameless product placement + corny music promotion. But, while it was nostalgic, it was groan worthy not clever. And by the time Pete "The Boss" Ross went all I'm-not-gonna-hide-my-light-under-a-bushel on Clark, I had already started doing laundry.

I would have much preferred to see a more mature Pete. When they brought Jess back in Gilmore Girls, they had evolved the character appropriately so you got the sense that he had had other life experiences and maybe learned a thing or two. Last night's Pete could have been plunked down into Season 3 without missing a beat. And that's not taking anything away from Sam Jones III. I think he did the best with what he had to work with.

And while not as bad as the Thanksgiving scene in Season 6 with Chloe and Lionel sitting next to each other at the table all giddy-like (uh, okay), the idea that Clark's consiglieres are Lionel and Lana is laughable.

I do think it's funny that everyone has dropped out of college though.

And of course, Clark looked awesome. You're right, that boy can work a T-shirt. Oh Tommy, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 15th, 2008 09:03 am (UTC) (Link)
You probably shouldn't bother to watch again. I'm beginning to think I'm the only person on the face of the Earth who liked this episode. :) But I've watched it five times (I always end up watching it over and over as I write my review), and I still stand by what I wrote.

You're absolutely right about Jess on GG, that was handled so well, but Smallville as a show isn't that deep, and Pete as a character isn't that introspective, IMO. Personally, I had hoped Pete would be in college studying law, in preparation for his future career in politics, and I wanted him to come to town, sweep Lana off her feet, and leave with her. That way they could get rid of Lana and be true to the comics at the same time. Yes, I know I was dreaming, but it was such a lovely dream! :)

I saw Clark doing a lot of listening and considering, but I didn't actually see him doing anything Lana or Lionel told him to do, or even conceding to their point of view. I'm clinging to that. I really think Clark is acting independently more and more this season, and only Chloe seems to have any true influence over his actions. And I think after what happened with Lionel in this episode, Clark is going to pull back from that relationship even more. Even if Lionel comes up with a plausible explanation for why he had the bracelet, he still lied to Clark about it.

We can always agree that Tom is gorgeous, no matter the episode! :)

Thanks for reading, and for commenting! It always means a lot to me!
From: koosh2012 Date: March 15th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
NO MICHAEL?!!!!!!
I knew I didn't need to click on Smallville entry... He's the only reason I ever watched Smallville years & years ago.
*is sad*
I'm sorry, Tariel & all Smallville fans. That kind of bites the big one.... :(:(:(
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 15th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Kooshie, it's up in the air. His contract is up, and he's negotiating. My fingers and toes are crossed. :) In the meantime, he continues to be awesome on the show.
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: March 16th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
//The boy looks more like the man in each new episode, and he's never looked more super than he did this week. All those shots of him standing tall, quiet and assured, made me think all that's missing is the cape, fluttering in the breeze behind him.//

Well said, and ITA. Clark was very Supes like in this ep, inspite of not too many action!oriented scenes.

Also agree on the Lex front. This was a good ep for both of them.

Loved your opening para - "what's a hero to do?" indeed. :-)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 17th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for your comments! TW and MR still rock my socks, every time. :)

I don't know if it's the acting, or the directing, or both, but I really feel like Clark has finally taken discernible steps toward his destiny this season. It's more in his bearing than his actions, which leads me to suspect it's Tom's doing, but in any case I'm loving it.
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