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SV: Hypnotic



I wanted to write down my responses to the episode before reading other people's, but I don't really have any deep thoughts at the moment, other than I'd really like to be Simone (and I would have done a few things differently when we got to the Luthor manor. Ok, maybe not, if Lex were blackmailing me, but that fic premise pretty much writes itself, doesn't it?)

It did strike me as interesting, though, how despite the overwhelming SV preference for brunette babes, in the past couple seasons whenever Clark has "strayed" from Lana it has been with a blonde with short hair. (Just not the one I want it to be....sigh.)

Other than that: I liked Lex getting his Indiana Jones on again. He's being played by Fine, yes, but I don't believe he trusts Fine, so I'm willing to wait and see how that storyline plays out. I also liked that they're continuing to show his descent into iconic villainy, with the Simone subplot. And at least he's starting to show signs of the vaunted Lexian ability to manipulate people (i.e. only communicating with Simone remotely), but if Lex was smart enough to figure out Simone killed her dad, he must have figured out about the medallion, so why didn't he drug her in her sleep and steal it for himself? Besides the fact that we needed a storyline, I mean.

I will believe Lana and Clark are broken up if they get through the next five episodes and are still broken up. Maybe. But still, assuming we take them at their word, I do like the plot dynamic it sets up. I really, really loved that last scene with Lana and Lex, and her anger at Clark. I like the way they are positioning her alliance with Lex, too, and that they're taking some time to set that up first before moving directly to the Lexana. And I also love that Lex is playing her, being apparently aboveboard but manipulating her behind the scenes. That's the kind of Lexana I want to see.

Metatextually, I think, actually, making Lana furious with Clark is a plausible way to move the Lexana along faster, so if they are actually done with the Clana, I actually forgive the writers for all the dithering about the breakup, because they did need to set up a scenario in which she would be more angry than heartbroken.

What else? Chloe continues to kick butt this season. Her scene pulling the wool over Simone's eyes was awesome; I loved her faith in Clark and her defense of him to Lois; and I really loved the fact that she got to pull a Clark-like vanishing act on Lois. That really cracked me up. And she completely rocked in that scene at the Luthor mansion--Clark could stand to learn some smooth moves from her!

Overall I thought this was a solid episode setting in motion a few of the plotlines that are going to finish up the season--nothing spectacular but pretty fun to watch.

Ok, that is all for now. Off to see what everyone else thinks.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
acampbell
Mar. 31st, 2006 02:51 pm (UTC)
Clark does seem to like blondes. There was Alicia, and then, when Abigail Fine showed up without her acne, he seemed to think she was pretty cute, too.

I thought the same thing: will Clark and Lana really STAY broken up? The relationship is like crack for AlMiles, so time will tell.

I didn't really like the way the breakup played out, but if it lasts, so be it. I always need to watch an ep at least twice before my opinion solidifies, though.
norwich36
Mar. 31st, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
Well, I thought Clark picked an especially dumb way to break up, but it could have been worse--for a while I thought they were just going to let Lana keep on believing Clark cheated on her, which would have made me gnash my teeth in fury. Actually, the fact that she *knows* Clark was hypnotized makes the scenario work a little better for me, because it helps explain her extreme anger. It's not just that Clark says he doesn't love her anymore, when she's been patiently waiting (from her perspective, anyway); even though she probably was willing to forgive Clark for what he did under hypnosis, I'm sure seeing him with Simone is still fueling a lot of her anger.

Will they stay broken up? Well, I've been proven wrong before, but I think they might, at least until the Lexana is played out.

I saw that you didn't like the episode, but honestly I thought it was the slashiest (or at least most slashable) in a long time. I mean, Lex paying someone to break Clark and Lana up doesn't have to be about Lana, does it? And in that scene in the mansion, Lex looked like he was almost able to break through Clark's hypnosis (just by the sheer power of LOVE. Oh, was that only in my head?)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
norwich36
Mar. 31st, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
Re: part I
I just got done saying elsewhere that this is why it was stupid to then have Simone double-cross him. If she'd stayed loyal or at least just done her freakin' job, then it really would have been a nice feather in Lex's villainy cap. In general, I agree with you that Lex needs to get competent help, or at least some minions who are loyal, but I was less bothered by Simone's betrayal because it was clearly shown that Lex was overreaching himself. I think if he had stuck to blackmailing Simone to get at Clark, she would have remained loyal; it was his indication that he was going to keep blackmailing her forever that triggered the betrayal. Lex just has to learn that the best minions can't be bought or blackmailed; they have to be motivated by personal loyalty!

Metatextually, my guess is that as much as the writers have given thought to this, they're thinking that making Lex an *incompetent* villain makes him somewhat less evil than Lionel, and it's only after he actually kills Lionel, which I assume is coming soon, that he'll start having the brains and manipulative powers of the iconic Lex Luthor.

But I do think you're right about the failure of writing imagination, with regards to many, many WTF moments in this plot/this season altogether (like the fact that Metropolis is now apparently ten minutes away from Smallville).
(Deleted comment)
norwich36
Mar. 31st, 2006 10:38 pm (UTC)
Re: part I
Nah, I think she'd already planned to cut out on him because she didn't tell him any of the things she'd learned about Clark; she flat-out lied about that. His ordering her to Honduras is what tipped her over into deciding to *kill* him, but she'd already decided to co-opt Clark to her own ends and not do what Lex asked of her by the time she walked into the mansion.

Well, to be honest, I can't blame her for switching alliances. I mean, I'm pretty much a Lex minion myself, but if I had the choice between handing over a hot superpowered guy or keeping him totally under my control....well, that's not a tough choice. And Lex *was* blackmailing her; it's not like she chose to ally herself with him.

But of course, all of that simply reinforces your point that they need to show that Lex has the ability to get minions who *are* loyal. I agree: bring on Hope or Mercy.

It's either this and/or not having enough imagination to write Lex intelligently and as though his capable while still managing to keep him from running circles around everyone else.

Your explanation, alas, is probably the correct one, but I keep *hoping* that the writers actually have a plan.
(Deleted comment)
norwich36
Mar. 31st, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
Re: part II
I like it better if Lex is manipulating her because he likes the idea of her as his trophy wife or whatever rather than because he's really in love with her. Because it can't help but feel one-sided if he's really in love with her but the only way he stood a chance was via prying her out of Clark's hands, you know?

Yes, I definitely don't want a Lex who is hopelessly in love with Lana when she doesn't return his feelings. But I think it's beyond a desire for a trophy wife. I think Lex wants Lana because she's Clark's, and he wants to take something away from Clark. I also think he does have authentic feelings for her, as one person who has been (mostly) honest with him and represents the acceptance he was always wanting out of Clark, but never got. And I think he wants an ally who he can trust because he controls them. So Lana is all these things to him. Really, as long as he's not hopelessly in love with an oblivious Lana, I'm going to be all right with whatever they do, Lexana-wise.

I don't like it that they're essentially setting it up where Clark was the 'bad guy' and if Lana responds by doing something stupid or ill-advised, then Clark and everyone else is going to more or less view that as Clark's fault.

Yeah, I definitely see your point here. My hope is that they're actually going to go to a somewhat dark place with the Lexana, and involve Lana in some seriously shady stuff, and they're setting up the plot this way so she doesn't completely become a villain to the audience, because they can understand her motives and see it as partly Clark's fault. I'm sure that by the end of the series they're going to reposition Lana as being on Clark's side, once again, and they feel they need to do the Lexana arc in a way that, from the writer's perspective, allows Lana to remain a partly sympathetic character.

It's cheating to do it this way, but it's a pretty common strategy to protect popular characters, even in well-written show--like letting Willow be the big bad in season 6 Buffy, but her behavior is excused by her grief for Tara. (And yes, I know Lana isn't popular on lj or TWOP, but she is popular among many fans of the show, and we all know Almiles worship her). And while I would rather they not take such an easy way out with the character, I so much prefer Lexana to Clana that I'm willing to put up with this to see where they go with the Lexana.
(Deleted comment)
norwich36
Mar. 31st, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
Re: part II
I would actually love to see Lex and Lana as a dark Nick and Nora Charles, plotting mayhem and devastation for those who don't do their bidding, to be honest

I would love that *so* much. And the producers might find, if they tried it, that the audience loved it too. Especially the comic fanboys, who seem to be the audience they're trying to attract this season, with all the comics characters that keep popping up.

And I agree with you that they're taking stupid shortcuts with both Lana and Lex's characterization, and I think that *is* a writing problem. I think it part it's connected to the WB's desire to keep the episodes largely self-contained instead of true arcs, because that's easier for syndication: I think that makes showing really character growth more difficult. And also the writing staff on this show seems to do a better job with big symbolic gestures rather than slow character growth.
bop_radar
Apr. 1st, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
why didn't he drug her in her sleep and steal it for himself?
Ah! A 'why?' I didn't think of. Dude, there are so many... so many things are done purely for plot reasons. *sigh* I didn't buy that Lex was foiled by Simone's double-crossing. He really needs a back-up plan for when that happens! Grr.

I will believe Lana and Clark are broken up if they get through the next five episodes and are still broken up. Maybe.
Haha! Yes. See my reaction in my ep review = IDENTICAL.

That's the kind of Lexana I want to see.
Yes, it has the potential to be complex and interesting--I remain hopeful!

they did need to set up a scenario in which she would be more angry than heartbroken
Indeed! And wasn't it great that Clark realised that? *pats Clark*
norwich36
Apr. 1st, 2006 06:14 am (UTC)
Indeed! And wasn't it great that Clark realised that? *pats Clark*

Hee hee hee!

I'm just ready for the Lexana, baby! (Points to icon)
bop_radar
Apr. 1st, 2006 06:27 am (UTC)
Mmm... sexy Lexana! ;)
norwich36
Apr. 1st, 2006 10:17 am (UTC)
Giggling. Are you saying my icon is sexy, or yours is? Because I think yours is a little scary.
bop_radar
Apr. 1st, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
Yours! (this was just the only Lexana icon I have left...)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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