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Random "Crush" Musings

At long last I wrest myself from the clutches of RL long enough to write these up.

Present at this ep's screening: self, the Future of Fandom (now officially a teenager), and the Distant Future of Fandom (age 6).

1. Hug Lex Now. Absolute proof that the way to make the audience cry is to have the character *not* cry. MR's acting is a dream of subtlety -- you can't look away because you'll miss some fleeting but significant expression.

2. Pete!!! Lines *and* character development *and* continuity! He now has what FoF's acting teacher calls a "superobjective": in "Drone" we saw him kind of stumble into politics, now we see that he likes it, that he's got a family background, and that he's heading in a plausible direction. The only real question is how does he reconcile enough to Lex to become his campaign manager and thence chief of staff? Or if he's VP, which state is he in -- the US Constitution doesn't allow Prez & VP to be from the same state, which is why Cheney is now officially from Wyoming.

3. I wondered to FoF why I just don't get the chemistry vibe from Clark toward either Lana or Chloe. She opined that Clark doesn't come off as a teenage boy because his eyes don't focus at chest level on either girl. She's right, that's what's so weird about the scene where Clark & Lana are supposed to be mooning over each other in the kitchen -- Clark is staring into Lana's *eyes* quite fixedly. FoF notes that guys Clark's age just don't have that kind of control, their eyes keep drifting south. "Along with everything else, Pete's the token real teenage boy," she feels, where I suspect real=het.

4. The difference between Chloe & Lana, and the reason Chloe's play with jealousy doesn't bug me while I want to whap Lana upside the head, is that Chloe seems to have a sex drive while Lana doesn't. Chloe may have started to get interested in Justin to make Clark jealous, but she also wants someone to make out with. Lana doesn't do that "hey! let's make out now!" thing.

5. Look at the items floating in the Torch office when Justin & Chloe are kissing. We call the green alien toy "Little Clark."

6. DFoF says, "Have you noticed that no-one in Smallville knows how to kiss? They just slobber." She's certainly right that we haven't seen anyone (except maybe Whitney & Lana, sheesh) giving realistically hesitant, clumsy first kisses. But that may be a WB thing, or a TV thing.

7. The actor who played Justin did an excellent job of conveying a slight neuro-impairment in speech & the way his face moves. So they stole the idea from QaF, eh? Al, you *scamp*.

8. Teenage whining I can get at home. Authentic, yes; interesting, no.

9. When the MB sailed into Lex's place FoF intoned, "Thousands die as charisma battle rages out of control." MR and JG are clearly having *so* much fun working together. I almost lost it when Lionel starting quoting Whitman's homoerotic love poetry at his *son*. Those Luthors, always stretching the envelope of kink.

10. It seems clear to me that the book Pamela finds on Lex's shelf is "Leaves of Grass," and that the copy was Lillian's -- possibly given to her by by Pam. Lionel reading from it to Lex is trying to assert authority (what's yours is mine) over both son and mother. Then at the end Lex gives that same volume to Pam, acknowledging that her love for Lillian was real. I find the Lillian/Pam stories quite plausible, even though it makes the series seem like Everyone Is Gay. But most of them *are*, it's not our fault!

11. Whaddaya mean, not enough HoYay in this ep?!? Whole fandoms have grown big & healthy on a single scene like CLex in the loft.

First of all, when we see "Men are from Mars, Women from Venus", I hope I wasn't the only one who added, "and Lex is from Uranus!" (but not aloud with the kids there -- Walt Whitman got me into enough trouble.)

Then I can't believe no-one quoted Clark correctly: he says, "So, have you ever been in love *before*?"(emphasis mine) "Before what?!?!" I screech. And then Lex famously deflects the question to "Women I have loved" and away from "being in love" and "people who aren't women." This rates mighty high on the ol' slash-o-meter.

But when Lex says, "Maybe some people are meant to be alone," he gives Clark a Gayle of such intensity that FoF was honestly shocked. "Lex!" she gasped, "Stop that! and Eeeek! Here comes Clark's Mom!!" and she had to put her arms over her head in sympathetic embarrassment -- though the Suave One was of course not embarrassed at all.

12. I was not all that impressed with the funeral-in-the-rain scene. Clark and especially Lana came across as incredibly self-centered, even for teenagers. There's a special classification of "tacky" for mooning at someone else when you're at your boyfriend's father's funeral. It would have been much more effective for me if Lana's screen time had been mostly her looking at Whitney and his mom, being truly concerned, but then just glancing once at Clark.

But clearly Lex is about to get a visit from a sopping wet Clark.


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by Mary Ellen, "Doctor Science, MA"



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updated November 10, 2002

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