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Telescoping Obsessions

As usual, bop_radar's brilliant review of SV: "Fanatic" (which is here) has sparked a million thoughts in my brain, and I will try to be more coherent about them behind the cut. (Spoilers for "Fanatic, obviously).

bop_radar points out the Clexy overtones in the final Clana scene in "Fanatic," and as I said in a comment on her entry, I think that is right on target. Lana here *is* season one Lex: she's had a violent, life-altering event (the second meteor shower and the encounter with the aliens), which she is driven to pursue because of its importance to her own life, even though her pursuit threatens her newfound intimacy with Clark. The question is, will Clark reveal his secret to her or not?

My guess is that he won't, because I'm now suspecting the parallel being drawn between Lex and Lana is deliberate (and *not* just to annoy Clex fans). My guess is that like Lex, Lana's obsession will take her over to the dark side and alienate her from Clark, but the difference is that Clark *will* be able to save her, unlike Lex.

My other thought about that Clana scene at the end is, as bop_radar pointed out, how it has been reframed from the traditional Clana scene. In fact, I read it as a reversal of Clana in season 1; in season 1, the telescope symbolized both Clark's curiosity about his origins and his voyeuristic obsession with Lana. Now it symbolizes Lana's own voyeurism (from Clark's perspective, anyway--I don't think it is coincidental that this scene is set in an episode where Lana's sexual desires are at the forefront). And Clark knows this, on some level; just as for years the telescope stood for his alienation from Lana (he wanted her and couldn't have her), now he fears her use of it will lead to a literal alienation, since he suspects (probably rightly) that her true feelings for aliens are fear and suspicion.

I've also been trying to decide if the telescope is better or worse than the microscope Clark has always feared he will be subject to: are all quests for knowledge bad, on this show? Or at least alienating? Lex and Chloe both alienated themselves from Clark, while trying to learn his secret, Lex permanently; Clark's quest for his own origins in season 2 had the end result of alienating him from Jonathan, Martha, and Lana, at least temporarily; even Chloe's quest to uncover Lionel's secrets ends up (temporarily) alienating her from Clark (as well as putting her life in danger). Are there any quests for hidden knowledge in this show that ever lead to a good place?


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
I didn't much like the retconning of Lana's "Ew, aliens" attitude from earlier seasons, but I must admit I enjoy the dynamic (I think we saw it once before back in S1) when Lana gets all curious and investigative about Clark and Clark gets all nervous (much as in a lot of the Clex interactions, as you observe). For me, it harks back to the Silver Age Superboy comics, when Lana was Clark's pesky, nosy next-door neighbor and was always trying to prove he was Superboy. He was constantly having to come up ways to outwit her--and always did, of course.
Jan. 13th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)
I love when you give the comic book perspective, because I've never read the comics, so I like to hear how SV compares to earlier versions of the Superman mythos. And I remember people talking about comicsLana in season 1, how she was much more similar to Chloe's character. I suppose that now that Chloe knows, the SV writers are free to embrace that aspect of comiccanon Lana.
Jan. 13th, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you like it, because sometimes I'm afraid maybe I bring the comics in too much; after all, everything was reworked in the mythology in the 70s and 80s and anything goes, now, it seems. And I realize that SV has its own unique mythos.

But I read Superman comics during my formative years and they left an indelible impression on me. And whenever something on SV fits in with what I remember from then, it makes me happy. :)
Jan. 13th, 2006 08:23 pm (UTC)
No, you don't do it too much. I do have a problem with some comics fans who don't get it that SV has its own version of the mythology, but you don't do that. (Really, though, I think when AlMiles borrow they tend to borrow more from the Christopher Reeves Superman movies than from the comic books).
Jan. 13th, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC)
They do, and also from "Lois and Clark".

Quite a few fandom folks seem to think that Superman began with the Christopher Reeve films. Now, THAT always surprises me!
Jan. 14th, 2006 04:58 am (UTC)
Made it over here at last!! Great commentary on that scene. I like the way you've unpacked it--you take it further than I did.

Actually the paralleling of Lex and Lana does not annoy me (although I am probably an A-typical Clex fan).

I really like your linking of the telescope with Lana's sexual desires. Have you read supacat's essay on penetration? It's very relevant to your question about the microscope versus the telescope (basically both are threats to Clark). Are all quests for knowledge bad? Very interesting question. They certainly are for Clark, I think.
Jan. 14th, 2006 05:24 am (UTC)
Oh, I had read that when she first posted it, but I forgot how relevant it was to this question! Has she completely given up on SV after Lexmas? Because I totally would love to read her meta on this episode!

And any deep thought I had on the Clana scene I owe to you; if you notice the essay I posted before I read yours is all just squeeing or complaining about things--no deep thoughts whatsoever.
Jan. 14th, 2006 05:44 am (UTC)
Oh yes, she's given up on SV! Doesn't it suck?! We reconciled enough to be able to watch the ep together, and while we still agree on many things, she's lost the drive to comment... She's been in a lot of fandoms, so this is just another fallen by the wayside. I shall poke her about it, but I suspect I'll fail. I'm just a leeeetle pissy about it. ;) *is all alone now*
Jan. 14th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm so sorry! (And when I read your email I didn't make the connection between "Cat" and supacat). Do you think random people (like me) fangirling her brain would help? Because her essays were *amazing.*And you need someone to watch SV with in real time!
Jan. 14th, 2006 06:16 am (UTC)
Ah, yes. I agree. They were amazing. I think I've forged a deal whereby we can still watch together (some small yay!) but I don't know about the rest... She's pretty hard to persuade, although I'm sure she'd love to hear you appreciated her essays. She may yet get back into it... who knows? I just know she didn't feel she had much to say after last night's ep.

And she's got the new BSG love--which I owe to her as well! She's my Kara-pov person who I watch with. We got the deleted scenes from S2, btw!! And we're going to watch them and the latest 3 eps tomorrow. I won't spoil you, I promise, though I'll be dying for you to see them.

So although there may be not so much SV from supacat, there's hope on the BSG meta front! ;)
Jan. 14th, 2006 05:46 am (UTC)
In reply to the second part of your comment--that's nonsense! We bounce ideas off each other really well though. I appreciate that a lot - you always prompt me to elaborate on what I think.
Jan. 14th, 2006 05:59 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm not saying I am incapable of meta-ing on my own, but honestly I didn't think there was anything meta-*worthy* in Fanatic until I read your essay. My initial thoughts were along the lines of "mildly interesting filler episode with some cute Chlark scenes." Then I read your essay and posted more on this episode than I ever have on any episode of Smallville ever! All I mean is that you are my meta muse.
Jan. 14th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
Ah, in that case I agree! It kind of was a filler ep... but I always find more to unpack when I think about it because the themes and symbolism of the show run so deep. Or I make 'em! Yay to mutual meta-musing. *g*
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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