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Smallville: Solitude

This episode was so good I can even forgive the extended car commercial stuck in the middle of it, but I expected to like it, because Annette O'Toole seriously rocks. I really, really wish they gave her more to do on this show, because *whenever* she gets emotional I cry, and tonight she really delivered.

Spoilers behind the cut:

When Martha was telling Clark that she didn't regret any choices that she's made, and that she was happy to die for him, I completely lost it and bawled like a baby. And I didn't even think she was really going to die! In fact, I agree with harriet_spy that some of the actual content of what she says revealed M&G's annoying attitudes about women/mothers. But emotionally, that didn't matter to me at the time: she was tearing up, Clark was tearing up, and I started sobbing.

All the Martha-Clark interactions really made this episode for me, even though in some ways I found it uneven: the big reveal with Fine seemed to come to early, for one thing. Shouldn't they have played this out over a few more episodes? (Isn't there at least one more Smallville episode in the sweeps period? I guess not, since they seem to have put everything here). But still, though I am unspoiled I somehow assumed their plan to was to make Fine the big villain of the season, with the reveal not coming until the February sweeps or even later. I guess this means Zod is going to make an appearance? (Don't spoil me, please, but I'd like to hear other people's speculation).

They didn't give Lex a whole lot to do in this episode, but his interactions with Lois and with his dad were both great. I completely loved the smackdown he gave Lois, and it seemed to me to be almost a form of flirtation, which I would *love* to see. They really need to give Lois something to do, and she is very much Lex's type, and much more likely to be able to compete on his playing field than Lana. I would love it if Lois' investigations turn out not to just be positioning her to become a reporter for the Planet, but actually a way to bring her more into his orbit so they could spar. That would be fun.

And the interactions with his father were very, very intriguing. I think I agree with the folks who think Jor-El is controlling Lionel, or at least influencing him. Either that, or his sources in Lex's organization are very, very good. Well, I suppose if Lois and Chloe could break into that warehouse, finding out about the spaceship isn't hard, but his knowledge about Fine makes me think Jor-El is still in there somewhere. That makes all the Lionel-Lex scenes even more multilayered than normal. Is Lionel trying to get the spaceship for himself, or is Jor-El trying to get rid of a danger to Clark? Or both? (And if they're both inhabiting Lionel's body, does that just make it more perverse that I couldn't help yelling "kiss him" when Lex grabbed Lionel's face in their last scene together? Sure, that was supposed to be either a "Tempest" reference or a "Godfather" reference, but who cares? Has anyone written Lion-El/Lex slash yet?)

Can I just interject that I'm so glad they haven't killed off Lionel yet? And that they're actually doing interesting and complicated things with his character? I love John Glover's Magnificent Bastard routine, but he's such a great actor I'm glad they're giving him more interesting things to do.

Did anyone else have a moment of thinking, when he walked into the Daily Planet carrying flowers for Chloe, "Oh my god, Chloe *has* been working for him this whole time?" I'm really loving the Clark-Chloe friendship this season, but I have to say that would have made a *great* story. I'm glad it's not true, but the dramatic possibilities are really interesting. In some ways, it would explain so much: why she's not afraid to correspond with him even though he tried to kill her, why in that scene with him she showed no fear even in her body language--she *accepted* the flowers from him (wouldn't she have dumped them in the trash, if he really tried to kill her, and it wasn't just staged?), she *turned her back on him* and started walking out (again, would you do that to someone who had once tried to kill you?) and she came back and listened to his story. Furthermore, IF they had been working together the whole time, it would explain her sudden antipathy to Lex: after all, he didn't really save her life, if Lionel's attempts to kill her were just stage-dressing, and if she were really on Lionel's side, it would be completely unsurprising that she joined in his "smear Lex" efforts. And someone's comments on "Splinter" last week mentioned that many of Clark's paranoias were based in reality. Now, I loved that scene where Chloe said "Clark, I'd die before I'd betray you" and explained why she'd been communicating with Lionel--but maybe the reason she had to explain the emails was fear that Clark might investigate further and find out they were still in contact.

Now, I think the preponderance of the evidence is against this theory, and for the most part I am relieved by that because I love and adore Chloe and really don't want her to turn out to be conspiring with Lionel. I love watching her sleuthing with Lois--they are damn cute investigators--and I am overjoyed by the fact that she completely saved the day--saved the earth, even (if only temporarily) and saved Clark's ability to learn about his Kryptonian heritage by preventing the fortress from being destroyed. I guess maybe my sense is that she's almost *too* good this season. I know a lot of people think that's because she's going to die, and I had a few moments of thinking that she might even die *tonight*, in the fortress, in exchange for Martha--but I think the coda made it pretty clear that it's Jonathan that's going to die.

Another possiblity with the expanded Chloe role this season is they're going the way of Chlark. I would love that to death, but I'm afraid to hope for it--M&G are so Lana-fixated that I think even if they hook Lana up with Lex, which is the direction they seem to be moving toward (I'm unspoiled), I find it unlikely that they'll give us Chlark. Except maybe one episode before they killed her off. And as I've said before, I'm fairly hopeful that they're not going to kill Chloe off this year as long as they think the show's going to be renewed. The only thing that's starting to make me doubt that is that the Lois/Daily Planet anvils are becoming more frequent and more obvious, which means they *could* be setting up Lois to completely assume her canonical role next year after killing Chloe at the end of the season. Which would suck, and I don't want to think about it, so I'm putting my fingers in my ears and going "la la la la la I can't hear you."

Maybe that lovely scene in front of the fireplace, with Clark acknowledging what a good friend Chloe is, is evidence that I'm wrong and that Chlark is where they're leading to with all this wonderful Chloe character development. I'll keep hoping, anyway.


Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
bop_radar
Nov. 21st, 2005 12:32 pm (UTC)
The scene in front of the fire was gorgeous. I really hope it's not Chloe that dies, though I'm not a Chlark shipper. I just love them as friends. I had that moment you mentioned when Lionel walked in with the flowers.

Annette is an amazing actress. I loved the scene where she watches the rain. That was beautiful.
norwich36
Nov. 22nd, 2005 10:13 pm (UTC)
Annette is an amazing actress. I loved the scene where she watches the rain. That was beautiful

Yes, I completely agree!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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