This episode was all about Clark and his Kryptonian family, and I'm hoping that the continued focus on his true heritage that Kara's arrival has brought will finally wake Clark up to the fact that living a normal, human life on the farm is not his destiny. With each episode of this season, Clark does seem more mature and more heroic, and I am loving that beyond belief. I really think it's more due to Tom Welling's acting than the writing, though, because most of that to which I am responding seems to be in his demeanor and delivery, rather than in the actual words he's speaking.
I liked how Clark acted independently and proactively to track down, and later rescue, Kara. You could see that his frustration with her actions, his distrust of her motives, and his need to connect with her as his only Kryptonian family were all at war within him. Kara's relentless pursuit of her crystal forced his hand, pulling him out of his comfort zone in Smallville and bringing him all the way to Washington, D.C. When Kara's recklessness put her in danger, he had to step in and save the day. See, Clark, that's what you're supposed to be doing all the time!
I love Kara more with each episode. I think the character is shaking things up in a good way, and Laura Vandervoort is doing a great job. I especially loved all the Clark and Kara scenes tonight. There is a real contrast between the two. Kara is true to her Kryptonian nature: smart, arrogant, headstrong, ruthless, and when she see fit to be, manipulative. They're definitely a race that believes the ends justify the means, as we've seen with Jor-El in the past. Clark has the capacity for all those same traits, but tempered by the qualities instilled by his human upbringing: virtue, integrity, justice, and compassion. It is the balance of his Kryptonian and human influences that makes him the superhero he's destined to become.
So what's the problem? I think it's fear. Fear of embracing his Kryptonian side, and fear of leaving the familiar world of Smallville behind. Fear of being always different and always alone. And I think Clark has made Lana the symbol of his fear, and thus turned irrationally staying by her side into an insurmountable obstacle on the path to his true calling. He doesn't really love her, he knows her own moral code does not measure up to the one he must meet, but he clings to his fantasy life with her to avoid that which makes him most afraid.
I thought Chloe was amazing tonight. First of all, she looked fabulous, with the outfit, and the hair, and that ethereal glow. Beautiful. And then she acted with dignity and poise while pretty much everyone treated her poorly. Clark completely dismissed her obviously ongoing concern over her MF status. Jimmy was an ass, repeatedly throwing his new relationship with Kara in her face. And Lana both insulted her intelligence and asked her to lie to Clark. Grrr. The one Chloe scene I loved was when Jimmy approached her and Clark at the Planet, and they just kept turning away from him and walking away, completely excluding him from their conversation. hee! When Jimmy first walked up, there was this series of looks exchanged that I totally fanwanked as follows [thoughts in brackets]:
Clark: Spies Jimmy coming down the stairs, glares. [Oh, great, here comes that Olsen jerk!]
Jimmy: "Hey, Clark! Did you hear from Kara? Is she okay?"
Clark: Continues to glare. [What an ass! I'm gonna kill him for hurting Chloe that way!]
Clark: Continues to glare. [Maybe I'll fry him with my heat vision.]
Clark: Continues to glare. [Maybe I'll just punch him into the stratosphere.]
Chloe: Looks at Clark imploringly. [Calm down, Clark! Be civil. I'm fine, really.]
Clark: Looks back at Chloe, unconvinced. [Are you sure?]
Clark: Shifts eyes back to Jimmy. [Because I really wanna kill him.]
Jimmy: "You guys look worried. What's going on?" *is clueless*
Clark: Looks at Chloe. [Okay, if you're sure. Damn!]
Clark: Looks down, turns, walks away. "Apparently Kara decided to go to Washington, D.C."
Really, it happened just that way! Go back and look! :)
We had lots of wonderful classic Lex in this episode. Lex is back this season, and I love it! He was menacing in the lab with Agent Carter (who wears waaay too much eyeliner, BTW), anguished as he tried to save Kara, unjustly accused by Clark (and Clark, if you're going to look at his mouth that way, you might as well just kiss him!), and tormented by Lionel. Plus, he looked sexy throughout, especially in that black suit with the long coat and the crisp white shirt. Yum.
I forgot to mention it before, but Clark looked beyond gorgeous tonight, especially during the confrontation scene with Kara in Washington, D.C. I was so dazzled the first time I watched it, I missed most of the dialogue! :)
Okay, I loved the whole House of El episode within an episode with special flashback lighting. Helen Slater was awesome, plus it was just lovely to see her again. She's actually pretty enough to have borne a son as beautiful as Clark! I learned the Kents went to church (who knew?), and never redecorated. The mom picture behind the mom picture was kind of cute, but seeing that photo of Martha made me miss her again, some more. I noticed that Kara wasn't wearing her silver bracelet in the flashback, but Lara was - do you suppose she gave hers to Kara? And we learned that Zor-El was definitely guilty of more than overacting. He even mind wiped his own daughter! Bad Zor-El! I loved that it all ended with that great Clark/Kara hug! Awww, they're a family!
So, let's talk about that final scene. I never saw it coming, and I pretty much screamed out loud when Clark pulled out that crystal. WTF?! On the one hand, I was thrilled that he had recovered it - talk about a Superman moment! He asked Lionel for all his info on Starhawk, evidently discovering something that enabled him to get in, steal the crystal, and get out, all without being detected. And he did it all by himself, no sidekick action necessary. Way to be effective, Clark! I can see why he went after it. He had to keep it from the government, and at that moment on the episode timeline, he also didn't know if he could trust Kara. But on the other hand, now that they're reconciled, why doesn't he tell Kara he has it?
And why is he showing it to Lana?! I get that he's trying to be totally open in their relationship, but, dude! At the very least, you know that she faked her own death and stole $10 million from Lex! She can't be trusted! And if Lionel and Clark have enough goodwill left over from last season's alliance with MM to hug (buh?), why is Clark lying about Kara, and why doesn't Lionel tell Clark that it was Lana who held him captive? And back to the crystal, what's with the DNA remark, Clark? You're not going to try to clone her, are you? Because that would just be creepy. Oh, well, it wouldn't be me talking about Smallville without at least one rant. :)
Random thoughts: Agent Carter knew Clark was Kryptonian because he was affected by the meteor solution, but when he burst through the 12-inch thick steel door five seconds earlier, that seemed perfectly normal? LOL! What's with Lionel wearing the Lex Luthor black glove? That Kimmy kiss was about the most passionless peck I've ever seen! That crystal Zor-El gave to Kara was just his insurance policy for continued life on Earth, wasn't it? It had nothing to do with saving Kal-El or actually helping his daughter. What a dick. Summerholt continuity! Yay! And Tom was totally rocking the deep Superman voice in this episode.
Next week has the potential to be either really good or really bad. Fingers crossed for good!