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Smallville 7.16 - Descent - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 7.16 - Descent
This episode was made of awesome! I am always blown away by what this show can achieve when it tells a story about Clark and Lex, and leaves all the 'ships behind. And I'm bewildered as to why they don't do it more often. There were a few continuity problems, attributable once again to the production hiccups caused by the writers' strike, and as usual a little fanwanking was necessary, but overall this episode worked for me in a very big way. Lex's final, terrible step over to the dark side was executed with complexity, grace, and heartache, and the events of this episode left me excited for what the final four episodes of this season hold in store. With any luck, they will continue in the same vein as the story we saw unfold this week.

Descent belonged to Michael Rosenbaum. The man is an incredible actor, capable of showing a depth of emotion that astounds me. The Lex we saw was by turns furious, confused, anguished, nostalgic, ruthless, desperate, wounded by betrayal, and hopelessly lost. He embodied villainy, but more than anything I wanted to give him a great big hug. Only MR could inspire that reaction in me, and it is his nuanced performance that has made Smallville's Lex Luthor such a fascinating, complex, sympathetic character ever since this series began. I bow to his talent, and especially to his commitment to excellence in bringing to life this week's story. If he is unable to return next season, I will mourn his loss. Thank you, Michael, for this episode, and for the past seven years.

The episode started with a confrontation we've waited years to see, between Lex and Lionel Luthor. When Lex emerged from the darkness of Lionel's office to loom over his father, I got chills. Lex was holding court, though his father didn't know it, and Lionel was on trial for his life. One last time, and with tears in his eyes, Lex gave Lionel the opportunity to tell him the truth, a truth I have no doubt Lex already knows, and Lionel's pathetic lie that Lex himself was the Traveler sealed his fate. You could see Lex's resolve harden on his face as Lionel spun his tale, and in the next few moments the villain we've waited seven years to see was born before our eyes. Lex hurled his father to his death without reservation or remorse, and even though I knew it was coming, it still took my breath away.

I thought it was interesting that Lex's final words to Lionel were, "No one will even remember your name." Presumably Lex will now work to erase all evidence of Lionel's life and legacy, providing us with a neat little explanation for why no mention of Lionel comes up in Superman canon. That was a nice touch.

And so we bid goodbye, to both Lionel Luthor and John Glover, certainly one of the most talented actors to ever grace this show, and an amazing presence who elevated every scene in which he appeared. But we seem to be left with a great debate, with fans still wondering, as we have all along, was Lionel good, evil, or something in between? Clark sought to honor him, but I think it's natural for us to emphasize the good we saw in someone who has recently died, particularly if they were the victim of an act of violence. In time I'm sure Clark will remember, as we do, the many atrocities Lionel visited upon his son, as well as the countless evil acts that made up his life.

Lionel thought of himself as a reformed man, one who lived only to protect Clark and his secret, but I think he was deceiving himself. Lionel has always acted in his own self-interest, and was still committing murder and mayhem long after he became Jor-El's vessel. I see him more as a man who late in life sought to redeem himself, but who could never quite conquer his darker impulses, a struggle to which he alluded in his final words to Lex. If he were truly reformed, wouldn't he have apologized to Lex for all the abuse he meted out over the years? Or how about giving his locket to Clark, or telling him the location of the safe deposit box, so he could destroy whatever is inside? No, I think the Magnificent Bastard may have gone out a little less magnificent than before, but he was still a bastard all the same. In any case, both the character and the actor will be missed.

Lionel was not the only character to die in this episode. We also said goodbye to newly named Gina, Lex's lovely and devoted minion. I'll miss her. I liked her unabashed admiration for Lex, and her willingness to commit any act necessary to protect him. Although I have my suspicions, her killer remains a mystery to me. I refuse to believe Lex himself could have ordered her demise.

Throughout the episode Lex was visited by visions of little Lex, who represented the goodness buried deep inside him, and who begged Lex to turn back from his dark path. Connor Stanhope was once again impressive beyond his years in the role, and his voice of truth and diminishing hope tormented Lex. His first appearance was heralded by the otherworldy experience of Lex's realization of the enormity of what he had done. Reality retreated, much as it did for Clark when Chloe died in Bizarro, and Lex was similarly overwhelmed by the death of such an important person in his life. Ultimately Lex thrust little Lex into the fire, and symbolically rejected the side of himself that still trusted Clark. I believe, however, that little Lex remains, albeit hidden for now, tucked away in some corner of Lex's mind and heart. I can never completely give up on Lex.

Clark, however, may not feel the same way. The heart of this episode lay in the scenes between Lex and Clark, and the emotion of those moments was beyond powerful. Two of their three scenes had no dialogue whatsoever, which did nothing to lessen their impact, and the one scene in which they did speak was positively explosive with the amazing chemistry Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum share.

First we saw them at the scene of Lionel's death, on the street in front of LuthorCorp. Clark positively stalked a dazed Lex, studying him with fierce concentration, his face full of worried confusion as it dawned on him that Lex may have done something truly beyond the pale. Lex looked back at him starkly, Clark's bleak realization reflected in his own eyes. The moment of truth between them, stunning in its significance, with not one word spoken. The scene haunts me even now.

Next Clark was caught by Lex as he searched the mansion's study for Lionel's key. Both men were wrapped in grief for Lionel, Clark in spite of Lionel's past acts against him, and Lex even though he himself deliberately ended his father's life. Their emotions were heightened by this, as well as the knowledge that each was hiding secrets from the other, and they lashed out. They both said hurtful things, things that were not true, but contained a kernel of truth, just enough to cut to the quick. I have to say Lex was more truthful, but of course Clark had righteousness on his side. Either way, it was an upsetting scene. Both actors were phenomenal, Michael capturing perfectly Lex's anguish over what he saw as betrayal from all sides, and Tom embodying Clark's barely contained masculine outrage. And while Lex and Clark stormed at each other, all I could think about were those happy scenes of seasons past in this same room, full of Clark's shy glances and Lex's amused smiles, when anything seemed possible for these two. The realization that those days are gone forever was the most devastating part of this scene for me.

Finally, they met again over Lionel's grave, with a gorgeous shot of the Daily Planet in the background. Lex banned all but himself from the funeral, but Clark attended anyway, throwing down the gauntlet in every way possible. Again not a single word was uttered, but the actors said it all in the intense looks they exchanged. Clark's eyes were full of challenge and determination, while Lex's answering glance showed first a steely resolve, and then amused acceptance. "Game on!" his eyes seemed to say. Our boys have truly become enemies. It was inevitable, and anticipated, but my excitement is slightly tempered by the sadness of opportunity lost. Have I mentioned this was an amazing episode?

Chloe and Clark once again made a formidable team this week, but Chloe's most memorable scene was with Lex. Upon learning that Lionel visited the basement of the Daily Planet in the hours before his death, Lex knew instantly that he must have given the missing key to Chloe, and he wasted no time in going to confront her. The scene that followed was a masterful battle of wills. Every word out of Chloe's mouth was a lie, but you'd never know it by her open gaze and calm demeanor. Lex was positively menacing, but Chloe never flinched, even when he summarily fired her and had her escorted from the building. These two make intriguing adversaries! Allison Mack was wonderful, as always. Please give her a new contract, show, pronto!

Chloe also gave us a great loft scene with Clark. It's natural to throw a pity party when someone dies, and Clark has always been inclined to wear a mantle of guilt anyway. As he lamented the three father figures who died on his behalf, as he saw it, Chloe helped him find a different perspective, and lifted Clark up. How refreshing! Along the way she used the words "total absence of love," to explain how Lex could kill Lionel, which I took to describe the environment in which Lex grew up, not his own capacity for human emotion. Regardless of any admirable actions Lionel may have taken recently, he will always bear full responsibility for the twisted torture that filled Lex's formative years.

So, who am I missing? Oh, right, Jimmy and Lois. Once again their story took place in isolation from the rest of the main characters, but at least it was related to the main story line this time. I didn't mind Jimmy. He came off as the smarter of the two, and he showed a sweet concern for Lois's injury. I do wish he would get over his petty jealousy of Clark, however, and just make friends with him instead. I think they could be really great together.

Which brings me to Lois. You know, I'm a Lois Lane fan from way back. I've loved her in the comics, in the movies, and on Lois and Clark. I think she represents Superman's heart, and it's his love for her that humanizes him and makes him accessible. I think Lois and Clark go together like peanut butter and jelly. But I just can't feel the love for Smallville's Lois. When she first showed up I thought she was great. She was funny, and snarky, and a breath of fresh air. I liked how she helped Clark lighten up, and I thought they made an attractive couple. I think Erica Durance is fabulous, and beautiful, and fun, and she does the best she can with the scripts she's given. But I think Lois is a disaster. She has some wonderful moments, but mostly she's not very smart, she's not a good reporter, she has questionable ethics, she falls in love too easily and too often, and she doesn't seem to like Clark very much at all. And that just kills me. I'm no Chloiser, but when I compare Chloe's spirit, intelligence, dignity, and unquestionable loyalty to Clark to Lois's antics, I'm awfully tempted. [/rant]

Random thoughts: Big focus on eyes in this one. It was a cool unifying theme, but I'm not sure what it meant. What was with the roaring lions every time Lex made an especially aggressive move? Weird. Maggie Sawyer! She rocks! Clark's new heat vision effect (defrost?) was cool. And Chloe asking what on Earth could possibly pull Clark's strings? Hello?! Remember Jor-El? Brand your chest, turn you into Kal-El, freeze you in a block of ice Jor-El? That's what I'm thinking, anyway.

Well, Smallville, I feel vindicated for loving you still. This episode was beyond satisfying, with a story worthy not only of the iconic characters of Clark Kent and Lex Luthor, but also of the wonderful performances gifted to us by Michael Rosenbaum, Tom Welling, and John Glover. You've returned from the writers' strike rested, rejuvenated, and inspired, and I can't wait to see what comes next. Same time next week? I'll be there!

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Comments
superheroine From: superheroine Date: April 18th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I adore your recap of this episode. Smallville without shipping is always so amazing, and this episode was certainly no exception.
It was amazing television. The acting was beyond superb, and the character development is finally coming to a climax after seven seasons.

It will be difficult continuing to watch the early seasons at svrewatch. The Clex is so adorable, but this episode just completely broke the characters down into what they are in mythos: arch enemies. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

I may or may not have punched the air when Clark attended the funeral. That was so epic. He was like, "You don't scare me, and I will stop you." It might take him a REALLY REALLY LONG TIME and several different story venues, but IT HAPPENS.

That Chloe/Lex scene was quite chilling. I loved the music swell when you see Lex walking down the stairs. Had I not read the spoilers for this episode, I would have been thinking "OH.MY.GOD. HE'S GOING TO KILL CHLOE." because that's the way they made it seem. She rocks for running to the shredder. I also love how incredibly terrified she looked when Lex was behind her. She held her own though. That's my Lois Chloe!

Oh Lois. I am so disappointed with the Lois from Smallville. It shames me to think that this is our generation's incarnation of such an epic character. I adore Lois Lane in every other arc I've seen her in. I just can't like this one. I honestly tried. I enjoy her when I separate her from THE Lois Lane. Her snark and sheer dumb luck amaze me. XD My favorite Lois & Jimmy scene from this episode was when he looked at her, actually shook his head and thought something like, "Lois you stupid idiot. DO NOT ATTACK THE LADY WITH THE GUN." You know you've got problems when Jimmy is smarter than you. Just saying...

Again, lovely commentary. ♥
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 18th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Amazing television is exactly the word for it. This episode knocked my socks off!

It was so satisfying to finally see this iconic relationship become what it has always been destined to be, although it makes me sad as well. I can never see any character MR plays as being wholly evil, and I still adore Lex. He's tragic, not bad.

That was too cool the way Chloe had the presence of mind to shred that paper with the Kryptonian symbol on it. And Allison put just the right hint of panic into her actions. I thought the way that bam, Lex was right there behind her as she turned, was both scary and hot! He just radiated power in that scene. But Chloe never wavered. I loved it.

Oh, I loved that moment, too, when Jimmy gave Lois that almost imperceptible shake of the head. Lois, there's a difference between being brave, and being dumb.

Thanks so much for reading, and commenting!
jeannev From: jeannev Date: April 18th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm very glad you enjoyed this ep so much. Me too!! I just thought it was a really GOOD hour of television, ya know?

I think this episode might have my favorite MR performance of the whole series. He seemed to be going through so many different emotions, until we're left with the cold, ruthless man at the end. It was masterful.

But I also thought this was a really strong episode for TW. He seemed to be conveying a lot with just a look.

And the Clex scenes just crackled with energy and tension. Can there be any doubt that these 2 will spend an eternity entwined in an endless struggle? And that deep down they will always carry affection for each other? I don't think so.

I may be in the minority on this, but I actually wasn't overly fond of the Chlark loft scene. Not because of Clark. Him feeling the responsibility and guilt is really just our Clark, after all. No, it was actually the Chloe side of the conversation I wasn't digging overly much. I'll have to give it some consideration and figure out why.

I didn't mind the Jimmy and Lois stuff, but I can't for the life of me figure out why Jimmy is the brains of that team-up? Jimmy??!! Why do they write her like this? It aggravates me. But then again, these are the same people who don't seem to appreciate that they need to write Clark as smart and capable on a regular basis. I hope we see a change in this with the exit of goughlar.

And I am in serious amounts of love with the graveyard scene. You know actors are in the zone when a scene like that, with no dialogue, conveys a truckload of emotions and subtext.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 18th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought about you while I was watching, hoping you were enjoying it as much as I was. I went over to read TWoP after I posted my review, and I saw just now that you had to come to Clark's rescue once again in the episode thread. I loved what you wrote about Clark's cumulative despair. You understand him so well, and write about him so eloquently!

I really couldn't believe the range of raw emotion MR displayed throughout this episode. I was beyond moved by his performance.

ITA about Tom. I can't stop thinking about those two scenes without words. The way he looked at Lex in front of LuthorCorp made my heart hurt. His silence said so much! That he was terribly concerned for Lex, and unwilling to believe what his mind was telling him was the only logical conclusion he could draw about how Lionel died. His eyes followed Lex with such intensity, as if he were trying to read what was inside of him. I felt like we were watching Clark's heart and mind at war with one another, and every nuance of the battle played across his face. I don't think I'm expressing myself very well, but the whole scene was just so intense.

And the funeral scene gave me serious chills. Such a deliberate confrontation, with no enmity held back, and no challenge unmet, and yet in complete and utter silence. It was so unbelievably powerful. Plus, of course, they were both beyond beautiful in those dark suits. :)

I thought Chloe was kind of inconsistent about Lionel. He's bad, no wait, he's good, and now Lex is the bad guy. I didn't like that aspect of what she was saying. I felt like the writers were trying to oversimplify Lionel, when he's much more satisfying as a complex character who's pretty much impossible to pin down. What I loved about Chloe in the scene, however, was that she at least tried to keep Clark from getting bogged down in his guilt. I feel like I've seen so many Clana loft scenes where Lana does nothing to support Clark, but rather heaps on additional guilt, all the while making it all about her. That was the part I found refreshing.

I've watched the three Clex scenes over and over, and I get something more out of them every time. I really, really loved this episode!
jeannev From: jeannev Date: April 18th, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
ITA about Tom. I can't stop thinking about those two scenes without words. The way he looked at Lex in front of LuthorCorp made my heart hurt. His silence said so much! That he was terribly concerned for Lex, and unwilling to believe what his mind was telling him was the only logical conclusion he could draw about how Lionel died. His eyes followed Lex with such intensity, as if he were trying to read what was inside of him. I felt like we were watching Clark's heart and mind at war with one another, and every nuance of the battle played across his face. I don't think I'm expressing myself very well, but the whole scene was just so intense.

Thats a wonderful, perfect way of describing that scene. This is precisely what I was seeing. He seemed to following Lex with that unspoken "No, you couldn't have?" in his expression. It was such a well choreographed and acted scene.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 18th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was such a well choreographed and acted scene.

And wouldn't you love to know how Tom and Michael developed that unspoken exchange? Do you have any idea how much I'd be willing to pay for a commentary track on this episode with TW, MR, and JG? LOL!
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: April 18th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I LOVED the episode on first watch, but as I ponder about it now, I see what a big mistake they made by not even acknowledging everything Lionel's done in the past. Especially when the question of how a son could kill his father was brought up, I was sitting there wondering how it wasn't hitting Clark and Chloe that Lionel at one point of time murdered his parents too. Like father, like son couldn't be more appropriate than this.

Other than the Lionel retcon quibbles, I totally loved this episode. I thought it was really well paced, the stories all fit together, not much seemed out of place or tacked on, and things just flowed from one scene to another.

I thought Lois and Jimmy were much better tonight than in "Veritas", and that Jimmy comes off as far less annoying when he's around Lois. I don't know why, but whenever he's around Chloe, I just want to smack him. With Lois, he actually seems like the brains of the operation, which gains him some points. Of course, I don't know how much that says about Lois. I agree with everything you said about SV's Lois - I love her as a character, but against Chloe? No chance.

It's really late now, so I'll put down my thoughts on the episode as soon as I can tomorrow. I can't wait for next week's episode either! It really seems like they're building up for a grand finish this season! :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 18th, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I think the only acknowledgment of Lionel's past we're going to get is what Clark already said in Veritas, in that scene at Isis. By the time Clark and Chloe are talking in the loft, they know without a doubt that Lex murdered Lionel. In so doing, Lex took a step that Clark's moral code can never condone or excuse. And if he's going to be my Superman, I'm okay with that.

I agree that dying by Lex's hands seems like just desserts for Lionel after what he did to his own parents, but that, to me, doesn't make Lex any less culpable. Flinging Lionel from that window was a deliberate decision on Lex's part, and it belongs completely to him.

I don't see it as a Lionel retcon at all, but then I don't see the deification of Lionel that everyone's talking about, either. The whole Veritas story works for me in the context of what we've seen over all the seasons. I actually think they did a really good job with it. Hasn't the framework for the story been in place since before S4, in the form of an aborted arc for Christopher Reeve? On the other hand, I always apply liberal amounts of fanwanking. :)

Yeah, I usually want to smack Jimmy when he's around Chloe, too. :) Let him have his love life in Offscreenville, and just let him be the iconic Jimmy at the DP! Although he looks adorable in the DC for Sleeper, and I think he's back with Chloe in that one?

I look forward to reading your thoughts on the episode!
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: April 18th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to comment b/c this review is full of awesomeness.

. Both actors were phenomenal, Michael capturing perfectly Lex's anguish over what he saw as betrayal from all sides, and Tom embodying Clark's barely contained masculine outrage.

I've missed Tom and Michael's scenes together. This just shows why the needed three of them in this episode. The each bring out each other's A games.

It was inevitable, and anticipated, but my excitement is slightly tempered by the sadness of opportunity lost.

I felt such a profound sadness after watching this episode. It wasn't depression but just a resigned sadness. I knew it was going to happen but I didn't want it too.

x knew instantly that he must have given the missing key to Chloe, and he wasted no time in going to confront her. The scene that followed was a masterful battle of wills. Every word out of Chloe's mouth was a lie, but you'd never know it by her open gaze and calm demeanor. Lex was positively menacing, but Chloe never flinched, even when he summarily fired her and had her escorted from the building. These two make intriguing adversaries! Allison Mack was wonderful, as always. Please give her a new contract, show, pronto!

Just so much word.

I think Erica Durance is fabulous, and beautiful, and fun, and she does the best she can with the scripts she's given. But I think Lois is a disaster. She has some wonderful moments, but mostly she's not very smart, she's not a good reporter, she has questionable ethics, she falls in love too easily and too often, and she doesn't seem to like Clark very much at all. And that just kills me. I'm no Chloiser, but when I compare Chloe's spirit, intelligence, dignity, and unquestionable loyalty to Clark to Lois's antics, I'm awfully tempted. [/rant]

Rant away man b/c you basically took all the words out of my mouth. I feel bad b/c like you I've enjoyed Lois in the past, I like Erica Durance, but this episode convinced me that she is not needed and if they can get rid of her I would not miss her. I HATE feeling that way since Clark and Lois are too me just the ultimate OTP in comics.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 19th, 2008 06:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi! *waves* Thanks for stopping by, and especially for commenting! I'm so glad you liked my review. It's great to find someone else who enjoyed the episode as much as I did.

I just don't think anything beats the wonderful chemistry Tom and Michael have together. The screen just came alive every time they were together this week! Their relationship has been in limbo for so long now, no longer friends, but not quite enemies, that's it's been hard to come up with reasons for them to be in scenes together, I think. I'm hoping that now that they've finally entered their destined, iconic relationship, we'll see more scenes like the ones in this episode.

It wasn't depression but just a resigned sadness. I knew it was going to happen but I didn't want it too.

Exactly. Like mourning the passing of an era, and for the times that will never again be anything more than memories. *sighs*

I HATE feeling that way since Clark and Lois are too me just the ultimate OTP in comics.

Word! And it's not that I think Lois is irredeemable, but the writers need to get it together if they hope to give us a Lois we can truly embrace. God, go read some comic books over the summer hiatus and gain an understanding of what an awesome character she is, and then write her that way!

*bounces* I'm totally excited for the episodes to come!
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: April 19th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm hoping that now that they've finally entered their destined, iconic relationship, we'll see more scenes like the ones in this episode.

Like you said Tom and Michael have wonderful chemistry. Two of their three scenes had no dialogue whatsoever and the still beat anything else in the eppy.

Word! And it's not that I think Lois is irredeemable, but the writers need to get it together if they hope to give us a Lois we can truly embrace. God, go read some comic books over the summer hiatus and gain an understanding of what an awesome character she is, and then write her that way!

You need to work for SV like now. Whip them into shape!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 19th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
What wouldn't we all give for 10 minutes alone with the writers in a locked room? I sure would love to make them listen to me rant, with no possibility for escape! LOL!
talitha78 From: talitha78 Date: April 18th, 2008 11:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even though I haven't even seen the episode yet, this review was pure joy to read.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 19th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!! *blushes* Your comment totally made my day! I hope when you see the episode you find it the same as I've described it here. :) I know not everyone liked it as much as I did.
silverscreengal From: silverscreengal Date: April 19th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm really glad you loved it!! I felt validated when I read your review, since what I had read initially right after the episode was that people hated it because Lionel was sainted. I took Clark's regret and sadness about Lionel's death in a different way.

What I love about Clark is his integrity. It is what makes him a superhero, IMO. So once he realized that Lionel had tried to redeem himself, he felt only mercy and grace. I don't think he was being stupid and naive, just willing to give someone as hideously evil as LL a second chance. (Something almost no one could do, except Superman, and, oh..., Jesus Christ!) The fact that he didn't see it ahead of time in "Traveler" and then again in "Veritas" made him feel guilty (come on, this is Clark Kent!). Lana said he had high standards in others, but he is hardest on himself.

You could see Tom's superior acting when he showed disappointment in himself in the Chlark barn scene, knowing that he couldn't trust his own instincts. That is just too much for CK to bear, especially knowing Lionel had said "In my lifetime, I have known many famous and powerful men: presidents, sultans and kings and I believe that I was superior to them all, but I have come to know the truth, Kal-El, my greatest accomplishment is that I have dedicated myself to protecting your life and serving you, for that I am grateful..." Clark is so humble and loyal that once he realized that Lionel had contrition, he felt compassion for the man.

I also loved the Kryptonian flashlight and the reveal in Lionel's office.

But why oh why didn't Chloe put the key elsewhere?? If she was so quick to realize that the key was related to Clark and that she needed to paperfeed the envelope, why didn't she do a better job of hiding the key?

And a huge walk-in freezer in a newspaper office??? Isn't the bullpen in the basement? So how did they walk down the stairs?? WTF??

I love it when I love my show!!!! Squeee!!



tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 19th, 2008 08:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you enjoyed the episode! I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about it.

Like you, I embrace a Clark who never gives up on people, and feels compassion for everyone. Superman doesn't kill people, and doesn't condone killing people. I could understand a Clark who believes Lionel has to pay for his past crimes, despite his recent resolve to redeem himself, but not a Clark who could ever think his murder was acceptable or justified. Of course he is going to regret that loss of life, and, being Clark, feel some sense of responsibility for it because he didn't listen to Lionel.

But none of that means he deified Lionel, or gave him a pass, or forgot all the evil he has done in his life, including the way he treated Lex. It just means that in death he thought Lionel was warranted dignity, and some degree of honor for the man he tried to be at the end. Or at least that's the way I saw it.

Tom was wonderful, and so heroic! I love all those little moments where he stands tall and looks up, or when he fills a doorway with his quiet strength, like when he rescued Jimmy and Lois. We're seeing more and more of those moments this season, and I just love it. Tom embodies Superman already for me, even if he is wearing THRJ instead of the cape. :)

I thought the Kryptonian flashlight was cool too, and I liked how we saw the close-up of Clark's eye, with the symbols reflected in it. And I think Chloe just had no time. By the time she realized Lex was coming, he was already watching her. He would have found it no matter where she tried to slip it, I think.

That freezer was ginormous! It went on forever. I guess they have the biggest company cafeteria in Metropolis. :)

Each episode to come sounds good to me. And I'm so excited to see the one Tom is directing. I think the next month will be full of squee! :)
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: April 19th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think, aside from our perceptions of Lois and Chloe in this ep, we pretty much agree on the rest. And I am ::totally:: sharing the love for the ep, in general. The Clex just made it for me. Incredibly poignant and powerful. And TW and MR were so clearly at their best. Loved it. The set-up has me intrigued, and it feels good to say I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. :-)

//The heart of this episode lay in the scenes between Lex and Clark, and the emotion of those moments was beyond powerful. Two of their three scenes had no dialogue whatsoever, which did nothing to lessen their impact, and the one scene in which they did speak was positively explosive with the amazing chemistry Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum share.//

::nods::
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 19th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's so interesting to me that the two scenes in the episode that had the greatest impact on me were the two between Clark and Lex that had no dialogue. TW and MR have such amazing chemistry, and this incredible ability to connect when they act, even without words. I've missed it, with the few scenes they've shared this season.
From: seacrystal Date: April 20th, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm constantly blown away with the way you put everything in words so perfectly. Apart from Lois, I completely agree with everything you've mentioned here. Some of my favourite parts:

The heart of this episode lay in the scenes between Lex and Clark, and the emotion of those moments was beyond powerful. Two of their three scenes had no dialogue whatsoever, which did nothing to lessen their impact, and the one scene in which they did speak was positively explosive with the amazing chemistry Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum share.

Explosive -- thank you for that description! I was just sitting there completely and utterly stunned during those scenes.

But we seem to be left with a great debate, with fans still wondering, as we have all along, was Lionel good, evil, or something in between? Clark sought to honor him, but I think it's natural for us to emphasize the good we saw in someone who has recently died, particularly if they were the victim of an act of violence. In time I'm sure Clark will remember, as we do, the many atrocities Lionel visited upon his son, as well as the countless evil acts that made up his life.

Exactly. I think it's very fitting for Clark's character, I'd totally understand if he had refused to pay his respects to Lionel, but because he's the future Superman, it was a great moment for him. Again, he proves that he's able to at least acknowledge the good in people no matter what. And for him, nobody deserves to die like that.

I believe, however, that little Lex remains, albeit hidden for now, tucked away in some corner of Lex's mind and heart.

The Alexander stuff worked for me in Fracture, but for this episode I think it's over the top. I don't really mind it though, because I see it the way you've worded the scene. I don't believe that part of him would ever go away too.

What was with the roaring lions every time Lex made an especially aggressive move?

lol, I noticed that too. Maybe lions = kingly predator -- stuff like that. Who knows.

Great review!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: April 21st, 2008 02:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it's very fitting for Clark's character, I'd totally understand if he had refused to pay his respects to Lionel, but because he's the future Superman, it was a great moment for him. Again, he proves that he's able to at least acknowledge the good in people no matter what. And for him, nobody deserves to die like that.

This is exactly how I see it. I've always said that what I love most about Superman is his ability to love the human race, in spite of our flaws, and to always believe the best of us. It would be beneath him to treat Lionel's death in any other way than what we saw in this episode. Every human life is precious, and a life taken in violence cannot go unmourned.

The way Tom portrayed Clark in this episode, his confusion and disbelief at LuthorCorp, his fury at the mansion, his sadness in the loft, and his determination at the funeral, convinces me that he has a crystal clear vision in his mind of who Clark is, and where he stands on his journey to becoming Superman, and I think it is spot on.

I'm so glad we can rejoice in the joys we share in this show. Thanks so much for reading, and especially for commenting!
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