When we make bad choices, we have to live with the consequences. For you and me, that usually means an embarrassing moment to live down, a bad break-up, or maybe we're a little lighter in the wallet. When Clark Kent makes a bad choice, he has a tendency to endanger the entire planet. Remember Dark Thursday? It's not easy being Clark.
In this episode, Clark thinks he can be reunited with his mother. He has his eye on that prize, knowing Kara's crystal is the key, but he ignores a couple of very important facts. First, his mother died long ago on Krypton. Second, Kara's crystal is Zor-El's invention, and is designed only to implement his twisted plan for a new life on Earth. Zor-El's technology plays on Clark's weakness, and lures him into becoming Zor-El's pawn.
Clark recreates Lara, but the replicant he brings forth is not really his mother. Despite warnings from Jor-El, Chloe, and even Lara herself, Clark stubbornly clings to his dream, while Zor-El threatens every living being on Earth. And here's where I realize that my own perceptions have been failing me.
I watch Smallville because I want to see the journey from Clark Kent to Superman, from Smallville to Metropolis, from this fun show on the CW to the legend I love. And after more than six years, I guess I've been getting impatient. I've been thinking Clark is ready to don the cape and take to the skies, fulfilling my fantasies of the hero he will someday become. But clearly that mantle of responsibility is still too heavy for the shoulders of the Clark I saw tonight.
Clark still isn't ready to make the difficult decisions, to make the heroic sacrifices, to leave the small town of his childhood behind and serve the cause of truth and justice for the planet that so desperately needs him. In fact, in spite of all he discovered last week, he's still making excuses for Lana. Lara, on the other hand, had her number and called her on her "darkness" in about 30 seconds flat!
Kara has had each of her perceptions shattered in turn since she came to Earth, and Laura Vandervoort continues to rock in her role. Kara left Krypton thinking her father was a god, Clark was a baby, humans were inferior and expendable, and the Martian Manhunter was a bad guy. By the end of this episode she was ready to kill her own father to save the human race, and she realized everything he ever taught her was a lie. Then Zor-El tried to kill her. Talk about traumatic! Maybe that memory loss is a relief!
Speaking of Zor-El, he was awesome in this episode! Christopher Heyerdahl is obviously having the time of his life with this part, and I love how he is so completely over-the-top and EVOL! We knew right away he couldn't be trusted, because with that long, leather coat, he obviously shops at the same Kryptonian Coat Factory as Zod. I really enjoyed his confrontation with Lionel, although I will never figure out if Lionel is truly good or not. If he is, could someone please explain how, when and why that happened? :)
Grant and Lois are still cute, but Lois's characterization is kind of a mess. Lois Lane has always been one of my favorite characters, but this Lois Lane is not my beloved girl. Sleeping with the boss? Really?! That is just the icing on the cake of what's wrong with this character. What kills me is that I adore Erica Durance, and I think she does the best she can with the material, but Lois is just poorly written, in my opinion. Anyway, Lois convinces herself that people either won't find out or won't care as much as Chloe thinks, and continues with her inappropriate relationship. Not exactly iconic, if you ask me.
Chloe was a beacon of truth tonight! First giving Lois righteous what for on her professional behavior (or lack thereof), and then telling Clark you can't bring people back from the dead. (BTW, am I the only one who laughed out loud when Clark passionately declared, "She's not a zombie!" Just me, then? Okay, moving on.) Listen to Chloe, guys, she's always right! Allison looked fabulous tonight. I love her shorter hair style, and the suit was great. At the end of the episode she popped up in another vivid green blouse. I keep thinking they're hitting us over the head with Chloe's Meteor Freak status, but maybe they just think she looks good in green.
Lex was in fine form tonight, plotting and planning, manipulating like the mastermind he is. What is he up to? I know some people were dismayed when he described Lois as sexy, smart, insatiably curious, and a threat to his plans, while never mentioning Chloe as someone formidable as well, but I think it fits. He called Lois smart and sexy to bait Grant, because he already knew they were seeing one another. I think Lois is insatiably curious, especially about whatever guy she's dating. Chloe's not a threat because she would never date her editor, so her name doesn't come up. And I thought Lex's crack about Grant researching Lois's bra size was hilarious!
I want to take a moment to appreciate Tom's acting tonight. He just keeps getting better in this role. He had a lot of wonderful, quiet moments in this episode, times when a simple look down registered the enormity of what he was going through, or when his voice perfectly reflected his anguish and desperation. In the scene with Chloe at the Planet, I loved the way he tried to twist the blue kryptonite ring off his finger while he was talking to her. It was a nice little touch. I also loved the look on his face when Kara realized he had her crystal all along. Totally busted!
The scene in the barn between Clark and Lana drove me crazy. Here's Clark, taking responsibility for his actions, and sounding like he might actually have learned something from all this, and Lana keeps making excuses for him, and rationalizing all his actions. Grrr! What a contrast to his earlier conversation with Chloe! I want Clark to learn. Over a year ago, in Sneeze, he realized how much trouble he could have avoided if "for once in my life I had listened to Jor-El, and done what he asked me to do." But he didn't listen tonight, either.
And I wouldn't be me if I didn't give a shout out to the pretty as well. Lots of great shots of Clark with the wind blowing through his hair, pausing for dramatic effect. Thank you, show, he looks just like Superman when he does that! I also liked Clark in firelight, and Clark in snug red and blue T-shirts. Hello, arms!
I don't even want to think about Jor-El's idea of a fitting consequence for Clark's defiance. I don't think it's a death, or a loss of his powers. Maybe something to do with releasing Bizarro? What do you think? We have a whole month to speculate!
Okay, I saved the worst for last. OMG, Grant is Julian?!! Sorry, show, that makes no sense whatsoever. Let's review. The first meteor shower happened when Lex was nine, which means he was 21 when he met Clark, and he's 27 now. He turned 12 while his mother was pregnant with Julian, which would make Julian 15 today. Grant's young, but he's not that young. Also, Memoria was a hugely important episode in the mythology of Smallville, as well as showcasing some of the best acting this show has ever seen, and I refuse to accept anything that undermines the power of its impact, much less something that implies it never happened! Some people are saying that Grant's a Julian clone, and that I could live with. I guess we'll see.
Random thoughts: Kara consistently says the word "about" with a suspiciously Canadian inflection. hee! Did you see how big that blue kryptonite ring looked on Lara's palm? Tom must have ginormous paws. Where do I get one of those Coast City T-shirts? I loved the shot of Clark and Chloe against the background of the eclipse. And Clark looked so angry tossing those hay bales around in the barn - do you suppose Tom was pretending they were paparazzi? :)
So until December 13, I'll survive the hiatus by watching all my favorite Smallville episodes on DVD, starting with every episode in which Clark discovers a new power. What will you do?