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So last week’s episode of Smallville featured Kara’s return and Clark delving into Lex’s psyche. It seems that amnesia-laden Kara (exactly how many characters have had amnesia at this point? All of them?) is working as a small town waitress alongside an obsessed co-worker. Lex manages to track her down, leading to him being shot in the head and placed in a coma. In order to find Kara and Lois (who also present for all the fun), Clark has to enter Lex’s subconscious.
This episode was a lot of fun, as it referenced a lot of past episodes, including the mind reading device, Lex’s knack for manipulating people he’s fascinated with that so happen to suffer amnesia, Lex’s messed up childhood, and Chloe’s healing ability.
There were a lot of great moments related to Clark’s journey into Lex’s warped mind. Although I appreciated the use of “Alexander” to represent the good part of Lex, I could have done without it being so explicitly stated (by having Clark say, “why would he want to hurt you? Aren’t you the good part of him?”). It was a little heavy handed and unnecessary. The symbolism wasn’t so deep and complex that your audience wouldn’t be able to decode it.
Along with that, having Lex forcibly make Clark watch him and Lana make love was so deliciously twisted that it made me anxious to eventually see full-blown evil Lex. I also enjoyed the way Lex was impervious to Clark’s physical attacks. These scenes really exemplified how insecure Lex is of Clark, both as it relates to their respective relationships with Lana and their physical capabilities.
Michael Rosenbaum needs to be commended here. How many actors have the ability to so believably and successfully portray Lex as a genuinely good guy and then as a diabolical evildoer? For that matter, I also need to compliment whoever is in charge of casting, as the young actor portraying Alexander bore a striking resemblance to Rosenbaum.
We’ve seen Lionel portrayed as a (relatively) good guy for the past few years – which I’ve enjoyed – so it was fun seeing what a monster he used to be. Also, how chilling was it when Lex’s mom (the only adult in his life who has ever loved him unconditionally) told him that he’s done enough? It’s no wonder that adult Lex has so many issues.
Having Clark witness how terribly abused Lex was as a child – as well as having him interact with the embodiment of his old friend – I can totally understand why he struggles so hard with giving up on Lex. However, I really feel like they need to just move past this and have them be full-fledged enemies. This coincides with my main criticism of the show, which is that it has such a difficult time pulling the trigger when it comes to taking the final step towards developing certain characters and relationships. This is especially evident with Clark and Lana, and finally turning Lex into the villain.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. By the end of THIS season, Clark needs to learn how to fly, he needs to permanently break up with Lana (forever), steps need to be taken towards getting Clark and Lois together, and Lex needs to become completely evil.
One thing stuck out like a sore thumb for me this episode, and that’s how Kara remarked that her bracelet is the only important part of her past that she still has. Since she doesn’t remember anything, how does she know her bracelet is any more significant than the shoes she was wearing at the time? Or her sweatshirt? Or her pants? It came off as a very contrived statement that really stopped the scene in its tracks.
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