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Smallville: Random "Tempest" Musings

This is one of my favorite eps so far. No Kryptomutant, and lotsa Lex character development.

Once again we watched en famille.

1. Lionel, Lex: wow. Right there on screen Lex changes to really truly hating his father. And Lionel didn't expect it, he doesn't truly believe it: he really *does* think he's helping Lex, while as the Future of Fandom says "Lex is thinking about untraceable poisons." What are the chances that Lionel's father died of natural causes? "Assassination *is* natural causes for a Luthor," FoF reminds me. I theorize that Lionel tells himself that he had to kill his father because Dad was "too soft, too weak." As long as he's strong, tough, unflinching, then Lex won't kill him, right? Wrongo. He should definitely buy a clue when Lex quotes "Cry havoc", etc. at him -- that's from "Julius Caesar." Et tu, Lex?

Sounds like Lionel won't die real soon, which is a comfort: damn, they are magnificent together. That face-grabbing thing strikes me as Yet Another Weird Luthor Incest Bell.

2. Why does Lex have the spaceship key out where Clark can see it and Nixon can steal it? And what's that doohinkus he keeps it in? Lex's rage when the key disappears foreshadows Villain!Lex when Supes thwarts him: see, not all foreshadowing is cheesy or anvil-like. The great thing about SV's Lex and MR's portrayal is that we hurt for this guy, even when he's angry at his own stupidity. And his final scene, wow. When Lex is there in his half-mask of blood we see the boy pushed to the wall, so isolated he tries to find the truth with creeps like Nixon or loonies like Hamilton (whom I adore).

3. The CLex loft scene has hardly any sub in its subtext. I swear, I was keeping my mouth shut, and after Clark's "I do" there was a moment of silence, then My Guy said, "I think they just got married," while FoF said, "Lex, go with the cathedral veil." FoF also thinks the tie business was incredibly cute, and not at all the stuff of brotherly friendship. "They're so sweet together!" she says, innate slashiness starting to emerge.

4. Lana/Whitney: sexless to the last. Yeah, yeah, she's decided she likes Clark better, but does anyone get the feeling it's for carnal purposes? Whitney may want to "keep her", but he sure doesn't give off that "wants to fuck her" vibe. Not to mention things like not kissing on the mouth till the last minute and having their last dance with his hands strictly at waist height or above (a fraught issue for the chaperones at 7th/8th grade dances, I'm reliably informed). And that it's a dance and not the traditional soldier's sendoff.

5. Clark/Whitney: seething passions. Heavens, that farewell scene is slashy. Every single thing Whitney said prompted me to (silently, silently) add a slashy MSTing. FoF whispered in my ear, "Do people write slash about these two?" O yes, precious.

6. Lana goes for the Darwin Award. Once again, I can't figure out what TPTB intend here. Are we supposed to think, "There goes Lana, the total complete drooling idiot, get her out of the gene pool before it's too late"? Or are we supposed to think, "eek, tornado's coming, get in the truck and you'll be safe, Lana!"

One the other hand . . . why is Lana yelling for Clark to help her if she thinks he's only human? Can we tie this into our Theory of Last Week's Ep, which was that BadGuy was actually acting out Lana's wishes to (a) remove Chloe from the playing field and then (b) put Lana in a position where Clark could rescue her? FiendishlyScheming!Lana is a stretch, but so much more interesting than Conventional!Lana I can't help trying to find her in canon.

7. After Bo says, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," I swear Martha looked as though she'd had it, roast platypus was going on the menu. And when Clark says he's getting stronger, she had a very believable "eek!" look. I can't believe that Martha, at least, hasn't wondered about BroodParasite!Clark.

8. The Kents are idiots. Lex is an idiot, too, the poor dear, bringing Nixon in, but someone like him was bound to show up pretty soon anyway. Clark's version of "being careful" -- such as only using super-strength where Kryptomutants or anyone passing the farm can see -- is laughable. We laughed.

9. I hope Pete's lines in the 2nd half include yelling at Clark for the way he treats Chloe.

10. Creepy symbolism, or not? Chloe gave Clark a white rose. This is the fourth time they've used white roses so far, and all the other times they meant "death": (i) Lex brought them to Cassandra, (ii) Tyler brought one to Pepper's owner before he killed her, (iii) they were at Mr. Fordham's funeral. So why does Clark get the Rose of Death here?


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by Mary Ellen, "Doctor Science, MA"



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updated November 10, 2002

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