perihadion: (Clark Kent & Lois Lane (clockwork))
[personal profile] perihadion
Episodes like this are the reason I don't understand people who say they prefer the early seasons of Smallville to the later seasons. I agree with people who say that Smallville is like a different show these days — because it is: it's like a completely different show which blows that other show totally out of the water.

Clark

I was thinking about my reaction to last year's "Beast" and the fact that one of the reasons I was so offended by the notion that Davis was 'as' or 'more' heroic than Clark came down to the fact that — if he had to — Clark would willingly exile himself to the Phantom Zone if he thought it was in the best interests of humanity (which was actually established in last year's "Bloodline"). In this episode we have a Clark who was unwilling to exile himself to another dimension — because, having realised and embraced the fact that his heroic destiny lay on Earth, he knew that leaving was not in humanity's best interests.

In the end, he was willing to make that sacrifice if it came to a choice between depriving Earth of his protection or a battle between the humans and Kandorians which humanity could never hope to win — and in the very final end, he was willing to sacrifice his own life not just to protect the Earth from Zod but actually so that he wouldn't have to spill Zod's blood to do it. Clark almost certainly could have overpowered Zod and turned the blue kryptonite dagger against him, but even when confronted with a tyrant who would enslave humanity Clark refused to bloody his own hands, opting to take the dagger himself if it meant that Zod would be transported to another dimension (where he was no doubt executed by the Kandorians — but that's off Clark's hands) and humanity would be saved.

I enjoyed the scene with the Justice League. The whole purpose of that scene was to show that the Justice League can't go on without Clark at its helm — although the writers talked a lot about Chloe "bringing the Justice League together" this year and she was presented as the de facto head of the League, that scene proved that she is incapable of leading them in an effective way. That's a job for Superman — and after at least five years (but, realistically, probably more) of having Clark's legs cut out from under him for the sake of Chloe's glorification that was a satisfying moment.

I was talking about this with [livejournal.com profile] radioreverie and I really think that this finale was written with the purpose of addressing the issues Clark fans in particular had with Smallville last year. I've seen conversations between Al Septien and fans on Twitter which implied that that was the case. Aside from the fact that they're implicitly addressing the problems with the Clark-Chloe character dynamic (namely that of Clark being presented as in the wrong for failing to solve a problem while Chloe — the 'hero' — is the one sabotaging his every move), I think that they decided to have Clark sacrifice his life for humanity in light of the fact that a lot of people were very upset that that didn't happen last year. That's why I think that in the season opener next year we might see the iconic Death of Superman moment with Lois cradling Clark's broken body — especially since that can actually happen this year now that Lois knows Clark is the Blur (I have to put it in italics because I still don't believe it myself).

I still have issues with the way the relationship between Clark and Chloe was handled this year ("If I had an apology on tape it would have saved me a lot of time," argh), but it's hard to begrudge the show anything with respect to Clark's characterisation right now. Do you know why? Because I'm deeply, irrevocably in love with him. Don't even talk to me about Christopher Reeve or Dean Cain or Brandon Routh or anybody — Tom Welling is my Superman.

Lois

If you had problems with Lois's characterisation in this episode then look away now because I loved it.

Let me get something out of the way which I've seen a lot of people complaining about over the course of the back half of the season: Lois's conception of the Blur is formed exclusively on the basis of his actions — Clark's actions — which reveal his heroic, loving nature — so if Lois is in love with the Blur on any level then it's because she is in love with Clark, even if she doesn't know it. If Lois didn't love him at all then I would question whether she and Clark were really supposed to be together — and although she may feel like she is emotionally cheating on Clark by having this deep trust and respect for the Blur, when it really comes down to it she loves the Blur because he has all of the same traits as Clark.

With that said, Lois was clearly suspicious of Zod — even after he demonstrated his super-speed to her — because I think her conception of the Blur as this heroic, kind protector figure clashes with the way she conceptualises Zod. But, if Zod has super-speed then maybe he is the Blur, right? So, when Zod tells Lois to investigate Clark, it is as if this kind protector whom Lois has placed all of her trust in — and who would never ask her to get involved in his messes lightly — had asked her to do it.

Lois has always known that Clark had a secret and, while she was willing to back off while they were friends and even while they were dating, she had to take the fact that she was told to investigate him by someone she had cause to believe might be the Blur seriously (however suspicious she was of Zod at the time). I feel like Lois decided to take Zod's suggestion to "dig a little deeper" because she expected to exculpate him at least in her own mind.

I never had issues with Lana's pleas for honesty from Clark while they were dating and I think that Lois was more than entitled to ask for the same thing from him first in "Charade" and now in this episode. At this point, Clark and Lois had already tried to take their relationship forward with secrets on both sides and it wasn't working and, more importantly, Lois was willing to reveal all of her own secrets in order to lift that fog between them. It's fair of her to say "Look, this relationship can't work if you're not honest with me." She couldn't stay in Metropolis 'for' Clark if she wasn't really going to have him, and if he didn't tell her the truth then she wouldn't really have him. The important thing is that Clark meant more to Lois than anything else in the world — even with Zod casting aspersions on his character, and even though Lois had found evidence to attest to what Zod was saying.

It was implied in "Charade" that Lois already knew that Clark was the Blur and just wouldn't allow herself to acknowledge it consciously. I think she did that in this episode the moment Clark said that he would be "watching over [her]" — and I think Clark specifically said that because he wanted her to figure it out. He couldn't bring himself to tell her outright because he thought it would be too cruel to do that and leave her forever but he wanted her to know — so he gave her a chance to do what she does best and work it out for herself, and she did.

I also think it's clear that Lois knew Clark was the Blur before he kissed her because she handed him the Book of Rao which she had picked from Clark's pocket. Why would she think that the Blur had any interest in it if she didn't think that he was Clark? — and of course when Clark kissed her that was his way of confirming her suspicions. It's all so romantic I don't even know what to say. I love them. ♥

What else even happened in this episode? I don't think anything else did. I feel like I should talk about Tess (I'm sure she'll be back next year) and the rest but frankly this post is long enough.
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Mary

September 2010

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