First of all, Dean Cain absolutely rocked this episode! He was smooth, deliciously ruthless, pretty scary, and then oddly sympathetic at the end. His bigger-than-life portrayal of the villain seemed somewhat reminiscent of LnC, but all for the good. I loved the Jack the Ripper line! I also got the feeling he was having a blast, which just made everything that much more fun. I especially enjoyed his scenes with Lex, and it seemed that Michael did too, because he was awesome in them! I sincerely hope we see DC again.
So, the return of Lex tonight! No more lovesick Lana lapdog, thank goodness. More importantly, we had the return of Clark and Lex together! Just one of the relationships that was focused on in this episode. Tom made it clear that Clark still cares for Lex. The urgency with which he ran to Lex's side when he was hurt, the gentleness with which he scooped him up, and the intensity of his gaze as he guarded over Lex's bedside at the hospital all told the story of what this friendship still means to him. No words needed. The tragedy of it all breaks my heart.
Lex's scenes tonight really served to remind me of why his relationship with Clark has foundered. I feel like Lex will never have the chance to become the man he might have been. The circumstances of his childhood, combined with the manipulations his father continues to visit upon him, leave him unable to form appropriate responses to the many challenges in his life. He has good intentions and lofty goals, but ultimately he always ventures onto the twisted path. The confusion and feelings of betrayal caused by Clark's constant lying, necessary though it may be, only serve to increase his fears, and further torment his soul. Michael portrays the inner struggle perfectly; he makes me ache for Lex.
But let's talk about the core of this episode: Chloe! Allison was amazing tonight! Chloe really is alone in her struggle to come to terms with her meteor power, because no one close to her can truly understand what she is going through. You could really feel her anguish, and I rejoiced when for once she put her sidekick status on hold, said no to both Jimmy and Clark, and put her own needs first (misguided though she might have been). I also loved how, once he realized what was really going on, Clark abandoned his own quest for Kara's crystal to find and help Chloe.
The scene between Clark and Chloe at the Talon, when he tries to convince her not to go to Knox, was my favorite of the episode. Chloe finally opens up to Clark, pouring out all her fears about her meteor power, and he realizes that his greatest fear is losing her. Upon hearing that memory loss is a potential side effect of Knox's procedure, Clark says, "You're gonna forget me." Then, he says it again, "You're gonna forget me," in that moment realizing the full import of his words, the enormity of a world without Chloe to share his secret, without Chloe to accept him unconditionally. I truly believe that this relationship, whether it remains just a special friendship or ultimately develops into something more, is the most critical to Clark's journey at this point in his life. And the events of this episode should serve to drive that point home with Clark once and for all. Do you hear me, show? :)
I loved how, at the climax of the episode, Clark rushes in and saves Chloe, and then she turns around and saves him right back. That's what makes them such a great team!
I can't say I mourn for Chimmy. I like Jimmy, and I adore Aaron Ashmore, but I never thought Jimmy and Chloe were a good fit. She always seemed to be dumbing herself down to accommodate him, in my opinion. I actually think Jimmy and Kara have some genuine chemistry, so I find them pretty fun to watch in their scenes together. Certainly Chloe's breakup will give her a better understanding of what Clark has been going through with Lana all these years. It's a lot easier to tell someone they need to be completely honest than to do it yourself!
So, how about the conflict between Kara and Martian Manhunter? Very cool! I'm looking forward to seeing how that plays out in future episodes, and how Clark decides whom to trust. I also thought it was hilarious how dismissive MM was towards Lana, not even deigning to speak to her! hee! And was this episode the first time someone actually calls the character Martian Manhunter?
Speaking of Kara, may I just say that with each week, I love Laura Vandervoort more? She is doing a great job with this role, and I continue to love how her character is shaking up this show!
Which brings us to this week's edition of WTF is up with Lana? First of all, where is she sleeping? I think we established long ago that the farmhouse only has two bedrooms, but judging by the chaste affection she and Clark show for one another, I don't think she's shacking up in his room. And that talk with Kara? Could Lana be any more hypocritical? First blaming all her problems with Clark on his propensity for secrets, and then building a huge wall of her own secrets by the end of the episode. She's a lying liar who lies!
Random thoughts: I thought it was cute how Curtis Knox had the same initials as Clark Kent - a bow to Dean's previous ownership of the iconic role? I also liked Dean's PSA, in honor of another fellow Superman. And I thought Knox's comatose wife had a more than passing resemblance to Terri Hatcher in LnC. Finally, did anyone else have a flashback to Leonard Betts when Knox said, "You have something I need," to Sasha?
I thought this was a wonderful episode, with a great focus on the many different relationships in Smallville. I'm loving this season so far, and I can't wait to see what's coming up next!