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Smallville 9x19 - Charade - I worship at the television altar — LiveJournal
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 9x19 - Charade
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From: (Anonymous) Date: April 26th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Chrissy

How is Clark the better man/hero when the villain provides inspiration he never could?

From my point of view, The Blur was an inspiration to Lois long before Zod!Blur came into the picture. The same things Lois was saying about Zod!Blur in "Charade" have echoes as far back as "Rabid," when Lois said this:

Last year, when I was talking with The Red-Blue Blur, for the first time in my life, I was doing something that mattered. And I wanted to work with him because we did such good things together. But then I started to realize that I wasn't just doing it to save people. I was doing it for me. I just wanted to be with him.

Back then, Lois was developing feelings for The Blur. However, I believe this was because Lois still viewed Clark as unattainable. When Lois made the decision at the end of "Idol" to embrace her romantic feelings for Clark, any connection to The Blur became strictly professional. In this same episode, Lois also resolved to ignore anything that would weigh Clark down with shining armor. So I'm not surprised Lois ignored some of the contradictions between Clark!Blur and Zod!Blur. Although her heart may subconsciously know Clark is The Blur, her head is telling her to reject that conclusion.

Thanks for letting me comment on your review. I love your approach to the show and your thoughts always help me to understand my own better.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 26th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Chrissy

Continued...

I just remembered something DA Ray Sacks said to Lois on the roof of the DP in "Idol" that may have some applicability to this tricky situation:
Ray: Honey, when The Blur decided not to come forward, he put the ball back in my court. I can make him whoever I want him to be. It just takes a little doubt.
Right now, Lois can make the Blur whoever she wants him to be because she has doubts it's Clark--she may suspect it's him, but she doesn't know for sure--and since she's struggling between wanting to know the Blur's name and seeing his face, and not really wanting to know because she believes it puts her, him, and his mission in jeopardy, I can understand why she didn't get suspicious about Zod!Blur.

Besides, didn't Clark and Martha buy into the fake Jonathan ghost in "Oracle" (Brainiac was impersonating him)? Using similar logic with regards to Lois' discernment, shouldn't Martha have been able to tell the difference between her husband's ghost and a Brainiac impersonation? Furthermore, I don't know the comics that well, but wasn't there a time when Clark didn't immediately pick up on the fact that Lois wasn't herself? She was actually Parasite or something of that sort. What about Lois and some of the fake Supermen that appeared after Doomsday killed Superman? Wikipedia describes Lois as not knowing right away and actually having to question his authenticity:
Upon his revelation, he acknowledged himself as the real Superman (the fifth person at this point to claim that title). When asked by Lois Lane what made him any different from the other Supermen, he responded with "How about... To Kill a Mockingbird?" (Clark Kent's favorite movie, and something he shared with only those closest to him). Though she remained hesitant, Lois mentally acknowledged that this was something only the real Clark Kent would know.
Granted, Lois on SMALLVILLE could have been written to question The Blur's authenticity as well, but I think the circumstances of actually having seen Superman's face in the comics, being his fiance, and multiple previous experiences with impostors may have pushed comics Lois to be a bit more probing.

I guess what I'm saying is that I believe Lois' feelings for the Blur weren't entirely derived from her work with Zod!Blur. It was a combination of her previous experiences with Clark!Blur, her transfer of affections to just Clark (this started in "Echo" and continued through "Idol"), and her becoming more in love with the work than the hero. I also think it's expecting a bit too much of her to be able to tell the difference between Clark and Zod over the phone just because of a soulmate or subconscious connection. I think I take issue with this idea so much because I feel I have a very strong connection to my twin sister (Libby) and to my parents, and even I can't tell the difference between my sister's voice and my mother's on the phone. Plus, my parents would frequently get my sister and I confused; yet I still believe my sister and I, as well as my parents and I, love each other and have strong connections.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 27th, 2010 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Chrissy

Hi! *waves* Thanks for your comments, and your kind words!

It's funny that you cite those lines from Rabid. It remains my favorite episode of the season, but that speech of Lois's drove me nuts. I even ranted about it in my review of the episode. LOL! See how deeply ingrained my bias against the Tof2 is? :D But thank you for sharing it, because it does confirm the emotional bond Lois felt for the Blur right from the first time he called her. I still think he should pale in comparison to the man standing right in front of her, superpowers or no superpowers, but at least I can see that the show didn't mean to imply that it was Zod alone who inspired Lois's altruistic fervor. I feel better now. :)

That's a great quote from Idol, that says it all in a nutshell. And now in Charade Clark can no longer ignore the truth of it. I'm looking forward to seeing how the show follows up on this, if it will be a catalyst for Clark's next step toward the cape and tights.

Honestly, the reason it bothers me that Lois didn't spot Zod as a fake has less to do with her emotional connection to the Blur, and more to do with the surface clues that seem glaringly obvious to me. In all the examples you list, the impersonations were utterly convincing; Zod's is not. His voice is different, but I'll admit it makes sense for Lois to write that off to fluctuations in the voice modulator she knows the Blur uses. Less easy to explain is the completely different personality Zod has from Clark. Even if he's trying to impersonate our sweet farmboy, I just don't believe he could capture the warmth, affection, and nobility that are characteristic of the Blur Lois has come to know.

I realize I'm nitpicking, and being stubborn to boot. Your explanation makes a lot of sense. I guess what I'm really expressing here is disappointment that the writers chose to introduce a storyline that casts even a shadow of a doubt on the strength of what Clark and Lois share, in person or over the phone. I know every show needs conflict, but I've been spoiled by how drama-free their relationship has been so far. As long as they continue to steer clear of the patented Smallville secrets and lies angst, and don't give us Clana 2.0, I'm all good.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 27th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Chrissy

Response Part 1 of 2

Hi! *waves* Thanks for your comments, and your kind words!

*waves back* You're very welcome. I really wanted to be more effusive with my praise because I'm rather new to SMALLVILLE fandom, and your reviews and updates have been such wonderful sources of information and insight.

But thank you for sharing it, because it does confirm the emotional bond Lois felt for the Blur right from the first time he called her. I still think he should pale in comparison to the man standing right in front of her, superpowers or no superpowers, but at least I can see that the show didn't mean to imply that it was Zod alone who inspired Lois's altruistic fervor. I feel better now. :)

You're very welcome. I understand how that speech of Lois' in "Rabid" felt a little forced with so little onscreen to provide it with a firm foundation. Somehow conceiving of the time difference between "Savior" and "Metallo" as at least a week or two, helped me make peace with it. I look at the feelings Lois has for The Blur as being different than the feelings she has for Clark; although in the beginning of the season, when Lois still felt Clark wasn't open to romance with her, I believe she did think of The Blur in a romantic sense. I was reminded of this in "Charade" when Chloe and Lois spoke of the initial joy a text message or phone call can bring in the early stages of a relationship--a sentiment which I felt was illustrated rather well in how Lois dutifully checked her phone for messages from The Blur in "Rabid" and "Echo." This all changed, though, when Clark started to show interest in dating Lois. That road was a little bumpy when he stood her up and kept Oliver's suicide attempt a secret, so it really wasn't until they literally kissed and made up in "Crossfire" and she completely gave up on the unattainable Blur in "Idol," that Lois was ready for a relationship with Clark.

I know the whole triangle-for-two isn't always a welcome concept. It's rarely handled well, and can understandably be seen as an unfortunate challenge for Lois and Clark to overcome. I think the key for me is that as much as I've gotten to LOVE Clark Kent, I know I'm able to love him because I've gotten to know all of him--from the more supernatural side of his life, including his powers, his alien history, his destiny to the more human side of his life, including his relationships with others and his constant battle to fit in. Lois has little to no familiarity with the former aspect of Clark's life, so part of me enjoys seeing her drawn to that part of him as well. It is especially meaningful for me when I consider ho last year we saw Lois fall in love with Clark's human side, but this year we're seeing both Clark and Lois on an on and off journey to loving Clark's alien/hero side. Neither Clark nor Lois should really be satisfied with just one half of Clark. Right now Lois loves Clark with a romantic form of love--the kind of love she and Clark describe as "selfish." I think Clark feels the same way about "Clark" because when he lost "Clark" in the aftermath of "Doomsday" all he had left was The Blur, and that wasn't enough for him (or the world for that matter). It also wasn't enough for Lois as seen in her longing for Clark in "Metallo." Clark and Lois both love "The Blur" too, yet in a different way. They love The Blur because of the sense of purpose he brings to their lives. Lois articulated this in "Charade," but Clark articulate in first in "Hex" when he said a life as just Clark Kent "felt empty."

That's a great quote from Idol, that says it all in a nutshell. And now in Charade Clark can no longer ignore the truth of it. I'm looking forward to seeing how the show follows up on this, if it will be a catalyst for Clark's next step toward the cape and tights.

Oh, I hope this is all leading somewhere. Everything seems to be pointing in a direction where Clark will have to decide to come out of the shadows either to just Lois, just the public, or maybe a combination of a reveal to Lois and a gradual reveal to the rest of the world. I really don't want to be disappointed.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 28th, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Chrissy

Oh. My. God. I love this comment so much I want to marry it!! I just want to quote the whole thing back to you, because you summed up where Clark and Lois are, and how they got there, SO perfectly. *goes back to read it again*

Okay, I have to quote my favorite parts:

I look at the feelings Lois has for The Blur as being different than the feelings she has for Clark; although in the beginning of the season, when Lois still felt Clark wasn't open to romance with her, I believe she did think of The Blur in a romantic sense... That road was a little bumpy when he stood her up and kept Oliver's suicide attempt a secret, so it really wasn't until they literally kissed and made up in "Crossfire" and she completely gave up on the unattainable Blur in "Idol," that Lois was ready for a relationship with Clark.

I was looking at the different clues we've seen to Lois's feelings as the show sending mixed messages, but you make me see that it was more that her feelings changed and developed over time, in a way that makes a lot of sense. Wow.

Right now Lois loves Clark with a romantic form of love--the kind of love she and Clark describe as "selfish." I think Clark feels the same way about "Clark" because when he lost "Clark" in the aftermath of "Doomsday" all he had left was The Blur, and that wasn't enough for him (or the world for that matter). It also wasn't enough for Lois as seen in her longing for Clark in "Metallo." Clark and Lois both love "The Blur" too, yet in a different way. They love The Blur because of the sense of purpose he brings to their lives. Lois articulated this in "Charade," but Clark articulate in first in "Hex" when he said a life as just Clark Kent "felt empty."

I love this so much, because it points out that in many ways, Clark sees himself as two separate people, just as Lois does. To me, that is the final step of Clark's journey, to truly accept every part of himself, and to bring all the different parts of his life together, to find the balance that will make both his destiny and his future with Lois possible.

Thank you so much for this! *twirls you* You've earned the applauding Tommy icon for your awesomeness. :)

Somehow conceiving of the time difference between "Savior" and "Metallo" as at least a week or two, helped me make peace with it.

When Clark called Lois as the Blur in Savior, it seemed like they had a nice, long heart-to-heart, and I always got the impression that it was just the first of many. After what happened in Metallo Clark stopped calling, but not before they had established a very special bond, building even more on what started last season.

Everything seems to be pointing in a direction where Clark will have to decide to come out of the shadows either to just Lois, just the public, or maybe a combination of a reveal to Lois and a gradual reveal to the rest of the world.

I really hope TPTB allow us to see every step of this, and to savor it. I want Clark to reveal his secret to Lois sooner rather than later in S10, so we can enjoy seeing them truly together before the series ends.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 27th, 2010 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Chrissy

Response Part 2 of 2

In all the examples you list, the impersonations were utterly convincing; Zod's is not.

I was thinking that Jonathan in "Oracle" would have raised more red flags for Clark and Martha (i.e. they wouldn't have let things get as far as they did) considering Jonathan was asking them to commit murder. I believe in the episode they did question it, but they ultimately brushed those concerns away much like I believe Lois may have during the course of her conversations with Zod!Blur.

Even if he's trying to impersonate our sweet farmboy, I just don't believe he could capture the warmth, affection, and nobility that are characteristic of the Blur Lois has come to know.

Lois likely assumed The Blur took a step back from his earlier warmth because of what had happened in "Idol." In that episode, Lois admitted to the world that she "knew the Blur's heart," and that admission almost got her killed. From Lois' perspective, I could see her believing that The Blur first resisted calling, and then, as Zod!Blur put it in "Escape," only reinstated their calls because it was a "matter of life [and] death." She'd also probably rationalize his lack of charm in favor of a more business-like approach as his attempt to prevent her from developing such an emotional connection that she would out herself as more than just his "PR queen," as Chloe put it in "Idol." When Lois received the phone call from The Blur (with Clark's modulated voice) this notion was likely reinforced:
Chloe!Blur: Next time you take on the DA of Metropolis, remember to watch your step. Hope I've made up for not calling.
I also can't help but think that Lois would give The Blur some leeway in not always acting like his charming self considering she was hardly her charming self in the mode of "Stiletto," "Doomsday," "Savior," and "Metallo" when she spoke to The Blur with anger and frustration in "Idol" and "Upgrade."

I realize I'm nitpicking, and being stubborn to boot. Your explanation makes a lot of sense.

Nitpicking and stubbornness can be an endearing trait, and for you it is. It makes you a discerning commenter on the show in my eyes, so I wouldn't wish for you to be any different. I must admit to maybe trying too hard to make sense of the show through fanwank or giving it too much credit.

I guess what I'm really expressing here is disappointment that the writers chose to introduce a storyline that casts even a shadow of a doubt on the strength of what Clark and Lois share, in person or over the phone. I know every show needs conflict, but I've been spoiled by how drama-free their relationship has been so far. As long as they continue to steer clear of the patented Smallville secrets and lies angst, and don't give us Clana 2.0, I'm all good.

I'm not too thrilled with either, to be honest. It's honestly one of the better takes on the triangle-for-two, in my opinion. However, it seems so complex that it's hard to tell where not only the characters' thoughts and feelings begin and end, but also my own. All of it seems so rooted in the psyche's of Lois and Clark and so much of it relates to such intricate and profound ideas of identity and love that it seems nearly impossible to find the truth in all of it.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 28th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Chrissy

I was thinking that Jonathan in "Oracle" would have raised more red flags for Clark and Martha (i.e. they wouldn't have let things get as far as they did) considering Jonathan was asking them to commit murder.

That's a good point. I know it made me immediately suspicious (I didn't read spoilers back then, so I had no clue it was really Brainiac). But of course when you see someone you so desperately WANT to be real and there for you, brushing away the warning signs, at least initially, is completely understandable.

OMG, you just did it again with your explanation of Lois/Blur/Zod! You're amazing! Is there any way you can explain what happened in last season's Lana arc that doesn't make Lois look like Clark's second choice? What? You're solving all my other Smallville problems, I thought maybe you'd like to give my biggest one of all a shot. :D

I must admit to maybe trying too hard to make sense of the show through fanwank or giving it too much credit.

Story of my life. But you're WAY better at it. :)

All of it seems so rooted in the psyche's of Lois and Clark and so much of it relates to such intricate and profound ideas of identity and love that it seems nearly impossible to find the truth in all of it.

Unless one has you to explain it all. ♥

Please come back often! Or better yet, join LJ yourself so I can fangirl you properly. :)
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