A Case of the…. Smallville – Episode 7-11

Last week I joked (AKA was completely serious) about how, with the Jumper sneak peak, Rachel Bilson (love of my life) and Kristin Kreuk (incredibly beautiful) would both be on my screen within an hour’s time. Somebody with some power must have read that, because what did I get? Not only a Jumper preview, but a very Rachel Bilson-heavy Jumper preview! Hooray! Now all I need is for these two to actually be at the same place at the same time.

While on the subject of Ms. Kreuk, I want to make one thing clear. For the past couple of years, I’ve been exceptionally critical of the Lana character (and for good reason). This in no way mirrors how I feel about the actress who portrays her. On the contrary, I think Kristin Kreuk does a phenomenal job, and while I may not be a big fan about how the character is written, I think that it is acted wonderfully.

Case in point. One of my favorite scenes of this week’s episode was the argument between Clark and Lana. While I completely disagreed with pretty much everything Lana was saying (yeah, she’s one character who should never accuse somebody of being hypocritical or self-righteous. Pot, this is Kettle. What are your thoughts on it being black?), I thought the acting was exceptional, as you could really feel that Lana believed what she was saying.

This will probably be one of the few times that I appreciated the emphasis on Clark’s relationship with Lana. I thought the writing was phenomenal, and the actors were able to match that with stellar performances. The awkwardness at the beginning of the episode between the two lovers was exceptional and believable. Clark’s venting to Chloe later on about how he can’t believe that Lana didn’t recognize that Bizarro wasn’t him was equally great. And once again, the true highlight of the episode was their culminating argument when Clark awkwardly asked for her assistance. The argument felt so real and relatable, and was just wonderful.

The writers tend to make Clark so incredibly whipped when it comes to Lana, so I was so, so, so glad that they had him stick to his guns and really give her a verbal lashing. Lana has a habit of guilt tripping Clark due to the secrets he must keep, and she tried to do that here. However, Clark stood strong, noting that she was the one who fell in love with villainous personalities like Lex and Bizarro, and that his self-righteousness is not the problem. My only slight complaint is that I could have done without the soft-spoken, apologetic Clark/Lana scene at the conclusion of the episode. I didn’t necessarily disapprove of what was being said, but I disliked the overall tone being used. It was like Clark took such a big leap forward, and that final scene took him just a couple of steps back. But, again, that’s a minor quibble.

I also really enjoyed the parallels between Clark/Lana and Lois/Oliver. While I was initially disappointed that Lois found out Oliver’s secret (I mean, does anybody have a secret identity anymore?), it ultimately helped illustrate the sacrifice that Lois will make for Clark later in their lives, so the ends justified the means. As I noted, though, with both Clark and Lana and Lois and Oliver, the two people were undeniably in love, however, in the end, that wasn’t enough, as their partner wasn’t “the one.” While Lois loves Oliver, he isn’t the person she’s willing to give everything up for and live a double life with. Of course, we know that later in life, she is willing to make those sacrifices for Clark.

Likewise, while Clark and Lana truly do love each other, their devotion isn’t so deep that she can tell when somebody else is living his life. Much like the situation above, Lana isn’t “the one” who will look at Clark and instinctively know when it’s not him, but in the (hopefully near) future, Lois will.

My one concern is that the writers won’t move forward with this development. There have been countless instances in the past where it seemed like Clark was going to drift away from Lana and towards somebody else (in some cases Lois), but ultimately they abort that progress and have him revert back to that overdone relationship. I truly, truly, truly hope that this is the end of Clark and Lana, or, at the very least, genuinely the beginning of the end.

I don’t really know anything about Black Canary (that is her name, right?) so I can’t really comment on her portrayal. I did like the contrast between her and Green Arrow, as one believes that it’s okay to steal from the sinister rich if it helps those less fortunate, while the other doesn’t accept that the ends justify the means. Stealing is stealing, and it’s wrong. I also liked that she didn’t just blindly trust Lex.

Last week I noted that Lex has now become a full-blown baddie, and that was further exemplified when Clark was willing to let him take a blade to the chest in order to save Black Canary. I thought that was an incredible moment, a real turning point for both characters. Those scenes are always wonderfully scripted and directed, when a deadly apparatus is heading towards the chests of Lex and a more heroic individual (or sometimes not), and Clark must decide what to do. In recent times, he’d hesitate before saving Lex (awesome), but in this instance, he was willing to let Lex take a likely non-lethal dagger to the chest. That says a lot about how unredeemable Clark now considers Lex.

As a sidenote, I’ve also decided to open up a blog, and I encourage everybody to visit it. It’s still in its beginning stages, but I’m going to make it a point to update it frequently, with a lot of immediate thoughts on shows right after they air. Please give it a visit, and feel free to leave any comments: A Case of the Blog