perihadion: (Eleven & Amy (Red))
[personal profile] perihadion
I feel really weary of Smallville lately (as I always do at this time of year), but I enjoyed "Charade" and I do have some thoughts on it.

Smallville
Clark
I'm not going to pretend that I don't have some issues with Clark tracking Lois's movements in "Upgrade" and stealing her phone in "Charade" (although it was clear that wasn't a line Clark would have crossed if he didn't think Lois was in immediate danger). But I don't think that there was anything cynical about the date he had planned to try to coax Lois into giving up her secrets because I think it was about demonstrating to Lois that she could share her trust in him, not about 'tricking' information out of her. If there was any doubt about that, I think it became clear that the planned date wasn't a power play when Clark decided that if Lois was willing to trust her with her secrets then he should reciprocate.

Lois (and the Blur)
I think that if Clark had asked Lois if he was 'enough' for her at the start of the episode then she would have said 'yes' immediately, without a doubt, and she would have meant it. Had Clark not [understandably] behaved like an insane stalker over her relationship with the Blur then Lois would have told him she loved him. But Clark did behave like an insane stalker, and Lois was forced to question whether Clark was the person she thought he was — and it broke her heart. So, I understand why the hesitation.

Lois broke my heart again when she said that she 'needed' the Blur because she couldn't accomplish anything significant on her own. This is why I think there should be a blackout on communications between them before Clark debuts as Superman — because if there isn't then there is no cause for Lois ever to question that belief. When she needed to be validated, she was validated by the Blur, but now she needs to learn that she's every bit as capable of accomplishing monumental things with or without his help. When she realises that then she will realise that her relationship with the Blur was never the most important part of her life.

Chloe
I thought that I might take a break from criticising Chloe this week — but then I remembered that really I took a break from that over "Escape" and since I had problems with her in this episode which reference problems I had with her in that episode I'll lay it all out: Chloe doesn't think that Clark should be allowed to make his own decisions regarding Lois and his relationship with her. I found it more than a little obnoxious that Chloe thought that she was in a position to criticise Clark's decision to have sex with Lois in "Escape", but I realised that the conversation was 'necessary' in order to pre-empt any accusation that Clark is less concerned about Lois's well-being than Lana's from fans and critics so I gave her a pass on it. Then in "Charade" we have Chloe — not for the first time — positioning herself as gatekeeper to Clark's secret over and above Clark himself. If she thought that Clark had decided to tell Lois the truth about himself why did she feel like she needed to step in? Get a fucking life, Chloe.

Doctor Who
I don't understand people who don't love River Song — in particular, I will deliberately fail to understand all people who don't love River Song after this episode. I loved her relationship with the Doctor (who, quite frankly, needs someone to put him in his place from time to time) and her instant rapport with Amy.
River: I've got pictures of all your faces. But you never show up in the right order. I need the Spotter's Guide.
As an aside, it was Matt Smith's idea to have River fall onto the Doctor when she entered the Tardis — and Alex Kingston kneed him in the groin multiple times as they were filming that scene (suffer for your art, Matt Smith).

Meanwhile, Amy had her own flash of analytical brilliance when confronting the Weeping Angel, and demonstrated courage and loyalty by telling the Doctor to leave her to die. But, just like Amy refused to leave the Doctor in "The Eleventh Hour", the Doctor refused to leave her — even when she said that by choosing to die with her he was condemning everyone else to death. Do you know why? Because they are the loveliest.
Amy: You bit me!
The Doctor: Yeah, and you're alive!
Amy: God, I've got a mark. Look at my hand.
The Doctor: And you're alive! Did I mention that?
Amy: Blimey, your teeth. Have you got space teeth?
The Doctor: Yeah, alive — all I'm saying.
As an aside, Matt Smith actually bit Karen Gillan and she didn't know that he was going to.

Oh, and, how horrifying were the disfigured Weeping Angels?

Date: 2010-04-27 04:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] latxcvi.livejournal.com
I'm not going to pretend that I don't have some issues with Clark tracking Lois's movements in "Upgrade" and stealing her phone in "Charade" (although it was clear that wasn't a line Clark would have crossed if he didn't think Lois was in immediate danger). But I don't think that there was anything cynical about the date he had planned to try to coax Lois into giving up her secrets because I think it was about demonstrating to Lois that she could share her trust in him, not about 'tricking' information out of her. If there was any doubt about that, I think it became clear that the planned date wasn't a power play when Clark decided that if Lois was willing to trust her with her secrets then he should reciprocate.

I agree with all of this. Weirdly enough, this was the one time this season where Chloe's busybody control-freak tendencies almost came in handy. Because she's always prioritized being Clark's Girl Friday above anything else, she couldn't keep her cousin's confidences, and immediately blabbed to Clark that (a) Lois loved him and (b) she planned on telling him her secrets (presumably, that she'd been working with the 'Blur'). That, in turn, made Clark decide that maybe it was time he came clean with Lois, too.

Lois broke my heart again when she said that she 'needed' the Blur because she couldn't accomplish anything significant on her own.

This is what drove me absolutely nuts about the episode. The idea that Lois apparently doesn't feel a sense of higher purpose from being a genuinely talented investigative journalist. Nevermind that every time we've been told the content of her articles, they've always got a social justice slant to them. Nevermind that investigative journalists have, among other things, helped topple presidencies! Even though Lois' deep-seated insecurity is one of the things I find most endearing and heartbreaking about her, I thought it had more or less already been established that being a reporter helped her feel like she was making a difference. So think felt like a regression of the character for me, and also made her a little too similar to Lana and Chloe for my tastes, in that she seemed to be drawing validation of herself through her connection to Clark/the Blur. I am glad Clark broke it off with her as the Blur if for no other reason than she needs to learn that she can make a difference and serve that higher calling all on her own; she doesn't need to be anyone's sidekick to do it.

Then in "Charade" we have Chloe — not for the first time — positioning herself as gatekeeper to Clark's secret over and above Clark himself. If she thought that Clark had decided to tell Lois the truth about himself why did she feel like she needed to step in?

Lord knows I've got no great love for Chloe, but she was especially shrill during that first scene with Clark. If I felt more charitable towards her, I could make an argument that it was her ham-fisted way of demonstrating care and concern for her cousin. She specifically referenced Zod and the Kandorians -- whom we know she thinks are extremely dangerous -- as the reason for this not being the time to bring Lois in to the inner circle. If I liked her as a character, I'd argue that she was just trying to protect Lois. But since I rarely ever give Chloe the benefit of the doubt any more, I read it as her desperately trying to preserve her status as #1 Secret Keeper, and dressing it up in faux concern for Lois because that makes her seem less selfish and awful.

Date: 2010-04-27 04:49 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (Lois Lane (hunting for mysteries))
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
This is what drove me absolutely nuts about the episode. The idea that Lois apparently doesn't feel a sense of higher purpose from being a genuinely talented investigative journalist. Nevermind that every time we've been told the content of her articles, they've always got a social justice slant to them. Nevermind that investigative journalists have, among other things, helped topple presidencies! Even though Lois' deep-seated insecurity is one of the things I find most endearing and heartbreaking about her, I thought it had more or less already been established that being a reporter helped her feel like she was making a difference. So think felt like a regression of the character for me, and also made her a little too similar to Lana and Chloe for my tastes, in that she seemed to be drawing validation of herself through her connection to Clark/the Blur. I am glad Clark broke it off with her as the Blur if for no other reason than she needs to learn that she can make a difference and serve that higher calling all on her own; she doesn't need to be anyone's sidekick to do it.
You make a lot of really good points here about Lois's characterisation. This wouldn't be the first time they'd taken a few steps back with her in order to service the story which they wanted to tell (the example which springs most readily to mind is that of "Plastique", which was supposed to be a story about Lois realising that being a journalist is not about earning kudos but about trying to make a difference, which didn't work for me because that episode was the first time Lois was portrayed as the kind of person who was chasing a story for kudos). I feel like they threw that line in to make the parting between Lois and the Blur more poignant but you're right that, on reflection, it's something of a regression for Lois.

If I liked her as a character, I'd argue that she was just trying to protect Lois. But since I rarely ever give Chloe the benefit of the doubt any more, I read it as her desperately trying to preserve her status as #1 Secret Keeper, and dressing it up in faux concern for Lois because that makes her seem less selfish and awful.
Well, I have problems with her even if she was just trying to protect Lois because it's still not her decision to make. But, like you, I really read it as a self-serving act, especially considering she chloroformed Lois to protect Clark's secret in just the previous episode.

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September 2010

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