The Smallville Project: Episode 1.18 – “Drone”
|November 2, 2013||Posted by Jess under Comics, Television, The Smallville Project|
Jess: A bee buzzes extremely loudly around Smallville High, which is bedecked with signs advertising the school elections. Chloe tells a girl she’s filming, “Sasha,” to “say something presidential.” Sasha, who clearly answered a casting call for “Hollywood nerd,” tells her the election hasn’t even started yet and walks away.
Rebecca: The CGI bee tracking shot lasts literally forever. I think I’m still watching it.
Jess: Chloe asks Pete what he thinks of the candidates. Sasha is dedicated, but “more of a worker than a leader.” “Paul,” who is an Asian boy in glasses because of course he is, is “certainly the most qualified, but elections aren’t about math, they’re about popularity.” And “Felice” (Felice???), “head cheerleader and president of the drama club,” is a shoo-in, especially because she’s blonde and hot, despite Chloe’s pointing out that “her name rhymes with a French word for luggage.”
“Glad to see you’re not reaching for reasons to hate her,” Pete says perceptively, and walks away as Felice confronts Chloe. Um, no one would ever wear a pink coat, shirt, shades, pants, and belt while carrying a pink purse, and no high schooler could get away with that much midriff showing. She asks why Chloe hasn’t taken her picture like she did Sasha’s: “That counts as bias.” Chloe says she’ll be running photos and bios of all the candidates.
Rebecca: Do you think Felice (played by Chlean Simmons of the late, lamented The LA Complex) has twin cousins in Albuquerque?
Jess: YES I DO.
Paul appears and asks who she’s planning to endorse in her editorial. Felice says it doesn’t matter because everyone will just vote for her. She’s probably right. Chloe snarks about the “clinically ambitious” (???) padding their resumes and Paul laughs. Um, that’s you too, poindexter. Anyway, Felice tells him to drop out now before she destroys him, and storms off.
Night, Paul’s house. He’s printing out campaign flyers of himself…DRESSED AS SUPERMAN. They say “I’ll fight for you.” I mean, I can buy that the S stands for Smallville High, but without the existence of Superman there’s no reason for “hero” to equate to “blue longjohns and a red cape,” like, AT ALL.
Rebecca: There is, and it is the school mascot. Their school mascot (a crow) dresses like Superman. I give up.
Jess: NOPE NOPE NOPE. That’s…NOPE. I mean, is there a scene in the last episode where Clark is like “You know, I always loved my old high school mascot’s outfit…NOPE. NOPITY NOPE NOPE NOPE.
Rebecca: After they graduate, we basically never see the Smallville High Crow again, except probably briefly in the 200th episode (their five-year reunion OH GOD THIS SHOW WAS ON FOREVER). But perhaps more offensively (and I’m just going to go and get ahead of myself here), this show spends zero time on the actual origins of the Superman costume, aside from the backwards reasoning that Clark always liked red and blue. The black Blur costume has the S shield lazily chalked onto it, then in S10 he switches to an Ollie-style leather jacket get-up, and then I think AI Jor-El and/or Jonathan’s ghost (!!!) presents the (SR-style) Supes costume to him in the Fortress, which maybe Martha made earlier (?), and then Clark decides to switch to it in the finale for no reason????? NATURALLY IT MAKES NO SENSE.
Jess: ARRRRGH. My kingdom for the “Holding Out for A Hero” Increasingly Homoerotic Costume Designing Montage from Lois and Clark!
Anyway, Paul goes into the bathroom and washes his face, not noticing the two bees on the towel he uses to dry off, or the three in the medicine cabinet – but as he closes it, he does get stung. Wincing, he removes the stinger with tweezers and sucks on the wound. A noise draws his attention to the tub. Oh no, I am not looking forward to this reveal. WHY SO MANY BUGS, SMALLVILLE?
There’s nothing in the shower, but then a noise comes from the sink drain. As he bends down to look into it, bees swarm out, stinging him all over his face as he screams. Gross.
SOMEBODY SAAAAAAAAAAVE MEEEEEEEEE!
Smallville High. The Scoobies read an article about the bee attack. Pete says something about one bee sting making him swell up – not sure if he’s implying he’s dangerously allergic and we’re headed into My Girl territory, or just running out the five lines he gets this episode. Clark wants to know how the bees got into the bathroom. Chloe says the Center for Environmental Protection is investigating.
Anyway, Paul’s still in the running for the election, since “he wouldn’t have to take office until the fall.” Man, TV cares way more about school elections than any actual school ever has. Pete thinks “out of sight, out of mind…Anyway, there’s a new candidate on the horizon who I think’s gonna make things really interesting.” They turn the corner to see a banner reading “Clark Kent for President.”
Rebecca: This surprise attack is a very weird thing for Pete to do, especially to a “shy” “nerd.”
Jess: But at least he has some personality this episode? Pete’s very proud of himself; Chloe’s delighted; Clark’s verging on a panic attack. “Clark, you’ve got the whole package: looks, brains, and that ol’ farmboy charm.” Whoa, Pete. Clark asks why Pete didn’t just run. “I know my strengths,” Pete says. “I’m more…the power behind the throne. The guy behind the guy. The one who makes it all happen!” #FUTUREVICEPRESIDENTPETEROSS #ALWAYSFUNNY
Anyway, Pete starts chanting Clark’s name, and everyone joins in because…chanting is fun? I mean, “Clark” is one of the better names to chant. Say it enough time and it either sounds like a chicken impression or the name of some kind of alien. (Hey…) But wait, I thought Clark was supposed to be a loser? I mean, I far prefer him as that big genial quiet guy everyone basically liked in high school (Spidey’s the nerd, not Supes), but I didn’t think that’s what they were going for.
Rebecca: Maybe this is the show finally admitting that Welling doesn’t look like a 14-year-old nerd for two seconds. Either way, I think the show leans “nerd” (or thinks it does) because it can’t resist a good bit of (poorly conceived) irony, and not because they understand Superman in any real way.
Jess: Anyway, Clark looks deeply discomfitted. Chloe has crimped random pieces of her hair because 2001. This episode’s a whirlwind all around, is what I’m saying.
Elsewhere, Lex zooms down the road, then stops when he passes a stopped car and a lady with nice gams looking under the hood. He asks if she needs help and she says no, but he’s already on the phone: “Hans, I need you out on Route 90, a few miles east of the mansion.” She tells him again that she’s got it and he asks what a Metropolis girl like her’s doing in a cornpone town like this. She tells him she’s thinking about moving there. I’d really like to know if this subplot is going to have a point (unlike basically all of Lex’s non-Clark ones so far) before I continue recapping it. Sigh.
Rebecca: Uh…no? Unless you’re really into aborted attempts at Lois Lanes-who-aren’t-Lois Lane.
Jess: Anyway, he tells her that he likes Smallville because “Appearance is deceptive. Nothing around here’s what it seems.” She asks what he means and he tells her she asks a lot of questions. Um, Lex, you did just say a super weird thing, and YOU approached HER in the first place. But I guess he’s right, because he reaches into the car and turns the key and the ignition flares to life.
“Who do you work for?” he asks. She plays dumb until he threatens to throw her keys into the woods, then comes clean: “Carrie Castle. I’m a staff reporter for the Metropolis Journal.” He tells her he doesn’t give interviews and she tells him she wants to write a sympathetic article about him, which he hasn’t had so far: “I promise it will be fair and accurate, and it will give you the legitimacy you need to get out from behind your father’s shadow…” “…launching my career and conveniently your own,” Lex finishes for her. He declines, but tells her she gets points for style, and drives away. She glares after him, probably because they forgot to film him giving her her keys back.
Smallville High, bedecked with balloons because again, people on TV REALLY REALLY CARE about high school elections. (Also, what is Clark running for? Sophomore class president? Student council president? It’s not clear.) Clark’s still pissed, Chloe’s still amused, and Sasha is furious. Clark tells her Pete nominated him as a gag, and she asks if he’s going to take his name off the ballot; he says he will. At the news that Felice is throwing a catered party with live music to garner votes, Sasha screams “She’s trying to buy this election like one of her Prada bags!” and storms off.
Rebecca: She says this with a slight lisp because her “pretend to be not a pretty actress” dial is turned up too high.
Jess: Clark asks Chloe if she thinks he has a shot. “Yeah,” she says, grinning, “right after I’m elected head cheerleader.” She skips off and he makes a comically sad face.
Kent Farm. The Kents are all for Clark as president. “You’re always saying that you don’t get a chance to shine ‘cause football’s off-limits. Maybe this is your opportunity,” Jonathan says. Clark thought they’d say no because it’s so public (NOT REALLY, NO ONE ACTUALLY CARES), but Martha points out that it doesn’t require superpowers, so why not?
Clark still looks troubled and Jonathan calls him on it (and Martha calls him on trying to drink milk right from the bottle, which: hee). “It’s just that I’ve never put myself out there,” Clark says. “I’ve always tried to stay out of the spotlight.” “Well, no one’s saying you have to run,” Martha says. “Clark, you can quit if you want to, but remember, quitting’s a very hard habit to break,” Jonathan adds. Um, way to be a passive aggressive dick, Jonathan. It’s not really quitting if he didn’t intend to run in the first place. “No pressure,” Clark snarks accurately, which again: hee.
Rebecca: Cherish the phrase “Clark snarks accurately” while you can.
Jess: The Talon. Lana angrily places flowers on tables. Does she not go to school anymore? Clark wanders in and Lana complains about how empty the place is: “The Beanery’s been trying to put us out of business ever since we opened…At this rate we’re gonna have to close the doors in a month.” Okay, several questions: 1. Is that wrong of the Beanery? You worked there long enough to learn how a coffee shop worked, then started your own. That’s a pretty dick move. 2. What exactly are they doing to you besides…also selling coffee? 3. Did you really think a tiny podunk town could sustain two coffee shops? There’s like eight stores on that main drag, and now 25% of them sell coffee. 4. Why are you suddenly going out of business now when the place has been hopping ever since it opened?
Rebecca: 5. Why did you make the Talon into a coffee shop instead of, like, a bookstore, or, y’know, a RESTORED VINTAGE MOVIE THEATER?
Jess: Clark asks what Lex says and Lana says he’s been “uncharacteristically silent. Besides, this is my battle to win or lose and I am determined to win it.” YOU’RE FOURTEEN. She brings that around to the election and tells him she thinks he’d make a great class president: “You’re honest, people trust you, and you have this innate sense of justice. I can see it on your face how upset you get every time you think somebody’s being mistreated.” Is that the “ugh someone died” face? Also, thanks for clarifying that this is class president, Lana, but now I care even less about the outcome, and so should 75% of the student body. Anyway, Clark goes all aw-shucksy over the compliment.
Luthor Castle. Lex is boozing up when Clark walks in. THIS FRIENDSHIP IS INAPPROPRIATE. Anyway, Lex says he didn’t realize Clark had “political aspirations” and Clark says he doesn’t: “I just figured I could make a difference.” Did you forget it wasn’t your idea to run?
Rebecca: Clark went from “I don’t want to do this” to “I’m too special NOT to do this” in the span of like 5 show minutes. This is kind of a microcosm of the baffling way he eventually ends up at “reluctant-but-pompous vigilante crimefighter.”
Jess: Anyway, Clark’s here to talk about the Talon. He asks if Lex plans to help Lana at all and Lex says “I’m not gonna subsidize a money-losing operation.” “Well, you could at least stop by and show some solidarity,” Clark says. “See? You’re already working for your constituents,” Lex replies. I should note that he’s playing pool by himself in this scene. Dear Lex, get some friends and a new room of your house to hang out in.
Anyway, Lex mentions that he won his own student election back in the day, but when Clark asks for tips all Lex has to say is “The man of tomorrow is forged by his battles of today.” ICWUDT, show. Clark asks if he can use “the man of tomorrow” as his slogan. Uggggh.
Rebecca: Hahahahaha, and away we go!
Jess: Smallville High. Clark’s thrown himself into the election, much to Chloe’s surprise – but when Lana shows up and he thanks her for the encouragement, Chloe rolls her eyes knowingly. Okay, but you can’t blame him for appreciating Lana being nice to him instead of making fun of him, Chloe. Also, I thought you and Lana were ladybros now? Clark suggests holding his rally (OH MY GOD IT IS A SOPHOMORE CLASS ELECTION) at the Talon, to which Lana agrees.
She and Chloe bid each other farewell cheerfully enough, but once she’s gone Chloe snits that Clark’s only running because of her. “You know, Pete has faith in me and so does Lana,” Clark says, rather reasonably. “I just want to know what you stand for,” Chloe says. “I stand for truth, justice, and…other stuff,” Clark replies. Okay, 1. ICWUDT, and 2. if there’s any place where “and the American way” wouldn’t be hopelessly archaic and xenophobic, it’s in an election. (Yes, I know other countries have elections, but patriotism is a big thing in them.)
She asks him about the specific issues, like “the plan to cut the arts budget, there’s the appalling nutritional value of the cafeteria meals, the whole dress code debate, oh yeah, and not to mention the whole student privacy issue with the locker searches.” Clark looks utterly flustered over having to care about four whole things that aren’t how nice Lana smells. Chloe tells him “the man of tomorrow needs to get a platform for today” and leaves. Look, guys, all the students care about is whether Clark can get them a better vending machine (he can’t).
Rebecca: Yeah, what is a 15-year-old going to do about the arts budget or the food service? Chill oooooout.
Jess: Pete appears, bedecked with Clark Kent campaign buttons. Who paid for those? He yammers on about having Clark make an appearance at a few school events, and Clark asks about his platform. “Who cares? People like you? They’ll vote for you,” Pete says, accurately enough. Clark asks about his speech, but Pete could not care less.
Rebecca: President Pete! President Pete!
Jess: #ALWAYSFUNNY. Meanwhile, Sasha rips down one of Clark’s campaign flyers and glares.
A shed somewhere with a “Campaign Headquarters” banner hung on it. Sasha storms over, swatting bees away from her face, unlocks the door, and stalks in. She pins Clark’s flyer up next to one of Felice’s on a bulletin board. There’s a third flyer, pinned facedown against the board. “Who do they think they are?” she snaps, and wipes a tear from her cheek.
A loud buzzing makes her turn around. “STOP!” she screams, and the HUNDREDS OF BEES in the shed bring it down to a dull roar. “Not now,” she tells them. “I have work to do.” The bees swarm into the shape of her face and she smiles. Um, what?
Rebecca: THE BEE FACE!!!!!!!!!! A) This always reminded me of Zordon, and B) there really wasn’t anyone in the writer’s room who thought this went a smidge too far into silly territory?
Jess: I’m really not sure what it’s trying to convey, either. What are the bees telling her? “THIS IS WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE”? Mirrors exist, bees. Mirrors exist.
Journalism room. Chloe’s typing away on an old iMac G3. #2001! Clark asks for help putting up flyers, but not only does she need to remain objective, she’s still working on the bee story. “Beekeepers from all over the state have found their hives empty! It’s like the colonies just up and left.” “That’s weird. Bees are notorious followers,” Clark says with a straight face. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN.’
Rebecca: YOU’RE a notorious follower, asshole.
Jess: Anyway, Chloe asks about his platform, but Clark’s been too busy glad-handing: “I even got invited to parties this weekend.” See, this is what I mean. Is he an average kid people like, or a nerd who doesn’t get invited to parties? Chloe teases him about being a popularity junkie, and he says “Remember me to pull your funding after I’m elected.” Hee, but also I’m pretty sure he and Chloe both think he’s running for principal, or maybe district superintendent.
Rebecca: This exchange is cute, if nonsensical. I read the parties line (which Welling actually delivered cutely) as the fact that Clark doesn’t, like, try to go to parties? But he threw a party that one time and everyone came, even before they knew Lex Luthor was bringing fireworks. I kind of relate to the idea of just not wanting to be social. But anyway, I completely agree with your point, this show doesn’t know what it’s doing, like, at all.
Jess: Clark picks up the proofs of the latest edition to see Chloe’s editorial, and she hastily tries to stop him, but he’s like nine times bigger than her so it’s easy for him to open the folder and see the headline “PAUL FOR PREZ.” “You endorsed Paul?” he asks furiously. She says Paul’s still in the running, and despite Clark being “all slogan-y now,” “Paul has a clear stance on issues you have yet to articulate. It’s nothing personal.” Clark storms out.
The Talon, with “Half-price lattes all week” up on the marquee. That sounds kind of gross. Clark and Pete, the latter wearing a Clark for President shirt (seriously, who is paying for this stuff???), walk in and Lana makes a dumb joke about being so desperate she’s about to institute topless waitressing. There’s a few customers, but they’re just Flash and his buddies; meanwhile, the Beanery owner has told Lana he plans to run her out of business. Again, I don’t blame him at all – if he doesn’t, she’ll likely run him out of business.
She asks Clark about his campaign and he says it’s showing him who his real friends are. She offers to help him with his speech, and they’re grinning goofily at each other when Lex walks in. Lana accuses him of blowing her off and “waiting for me to fail.” Why is she so randomly hostile to him sometimes? Anyway, he tells her that most new businesses fail and she has to be prepared for that possibility. She asks for advice, and he quotes The Godfather, much to her annoyance.
Rebecca: I weirdly like the Clark/Lana content in this episode. Also, I feel like Lana is sometimes written as compassionate and generous, and sometimes as spoiled and entitled, and those two Lanas rarely intersect at a believable human being.
Jess: Smallville High. Felice and her friends are handing out buttons when Sasha accosts her: “I’ve made a decision…I’ve decided you need to drop out.” Felice points out that she’s the frontrunner. “That’s because these drones wouldn’t know a qualified candidate if they saw once,” Sasha says. She rambles on a bit about hives with two queens. Yeah, show, we get it. Felice calls her a freak and gets into her car.
Luthor Castle. Lex is getting a massage and is surprised to find that his masseuse is Carrie, the reporter. Um, how did he not notice that before he got on the table? Also, a professional massage is not easy to fake. He tells her to leave but she just keeps massaging him and he’s like “Oh well, guess I’d better go with it.” This plotline makes no sense and is dumb and I hate it. Just so you know.
“It took a while to figure out what would tempt you, and then it hit me: it’s not your picture on the cover of the Journal so much as the words ‘son outshines father’ in the caption. How’m I doing?” Carrie asks. She rests her breasts on his back and he agrees to the story. Oy.
Rebecca: The worst thing about this B-story is that Carrie Castle is clearly a Lois Lane clone, and these writers (in theory, I don’t know how many were still around) will be writing the “actual” Lois Lane in a few seasons. THIS IS NOT PROMISING. IT IS GROSS AND SAD.
Jess: Smallville High. Principal Kwan tries to drive through the parking lot but is stuck behind Felice’s non-moving car. He honks a few times, then gets out and knocks on her tinted windows, to no response. He opens the door – and she falls out, every bit of her bare skin completely covered with bees. Kwan looks as grossed out as we all feel. Dude, quit and move.
Rebecca: MOVE, KWAN. MOVE RIGHT NOW. THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE.
Jess: Inside, Clark hands out buttons. He tells Pete he’s having fun and Pete tells him he’s got a shot. Chloe walks in and Clark greets her coldly, much to her distress. “Just answer no comment, that way she can’t misquote you,” Pete says. Pete wants to be Ron Weasley so bad.
Rebecca: He is not even a Ron Weasley.
Jess: Clark grudgingly mentions Felice and Chloe says she’s in a coma. Pete and Clark thaw enough to realize that two candidates in bee-related incidents is an unlikely coincidence. “Remember Sasha’s accident last year where she was stung by a whole hive of bees?” Clark asks. “You think because of that she’s somehow controlling them?” Chloe asks. Well, this is Smallville. Chloe says she’ll look into it and to be careful.
Rebecca: Two lines of dialogue to jump into that hypothesis. You can’t say this show isn’t economical. (Well, you can, but whatever.)
Jess: About bees, no. About getting its damn hero flying already…
Cut to Clark taking books out of his locker. He turns and almost walks straight into Sasha. “I just heard about Felice,” she says. She figures it’s for the best – Felice didn’t care about the election. Clark agrees that Felice wasn’t his favorite person either, but she didn’t deserve that.
Sasha tells him to drop out and “let me run things.” I’ve got to say that Sasha is one of the worst villains the show has come up with yet. We have no idea why she cares so much about the election, and all of her lines are unhinged non sequiturs. “What about democracy?” Clark asks. “Don’t you believe people should have freedom of choice?” Sasha snarls that her parents think if she doesn’t get this, she won’t get into a good college, whereas Clark has other activities. Okay, I guess that’s kind of a motive, but YOU ARE ONLY FRESHMEN (she was touching her faaaaaace), and Clark’s “other activities” consist of watching Chloe write articles, so.
Anyway, Clark refuses to drop out and she tells him he’s making a mistake. “That sounded like a threat,” he says. I really want him to accuse her of controlling the bees and sure enough, he basically does. Life in Smallville is amazing. Instead of saying something like “that’s insane” or “people can’t control bee swarms,” Sasha just flares her nostrils at him.
Rebecca: What I wouldn’t give for Sasha to say “people can’t control bee swarms.” LOL IRL.
Jess: The Talon. Clark’s made no headway on his speech. Lana tells him to say what he believes, but Clark has no discernible convictions, so that’s no good. She changes the subject to the Talon and her crushed dreams of restoring the theater. So you turned a theater into a coffee shop in order to turn it back into a theater?
Rebecca: LANA, YOU DON’T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT BUSINESS FOR THIS.
Jess: Getting back to the speech, she tells Clark to decide what he believes in. “I believe in my friends and their dreams,” he says. Except Chloe’s. Or whatever Pete’s is.
Their goofy smiling is interrupted by a weird noise from the ceiling. Clark X-rays it and sees a swarm of bees flooding through the pipes. He grabs Lana’s hand and pulls her towards the back; she screams as the bees pour out of the sprinklers. “Get in!” he says, shoving her behind a door and closing it despite her asking “What about you?”
He zips into the office, waits for the bees to follow him, then slams the door shut, yanks a pipe out of the wall, and sprays the bees down with…what looks like liquid nitrogen, actually. Not really sure what’s going on here, but it freezes the bees (and everything else in the room).
Rebecca: God, it would have been nice to see if Clark stuck around to clean that up or anything.
Jess: Kent porch. Clark examines what appears to be the only bee sting Lana sustained, on her upper arm, and she thanks him for his heroics. Nell pulls up and Lana stands up to go as Clark says he needs to figure out how Sasha’s controlling the bees. He’s being surprisingly upfront with Lana about what’s going on, which is nice.
“You need to call Chloe,” Lana says, in a tone of voice that suggests the sentence ended in her head with “…because she’s the only one of you with any brains.” Clark says they’re still not really talking: “Can you believe she didn’t endorse me?” Lana says she would’ve done the same in Chloe’s position; stayed objective. “You said you believed in your friends. She only did what she thought was right.” I really like Lana, you guys.
Rebecca: Lana is surprisingly fun in this episode.
Jess: Day, Sasha’s creepy hut of bee-related vengeance. Clark lets himself in and is tapped on the shoulder by…Chloe! “Lana told me about the Talon. Thanks for the call,” she says. He apologizes and tells her he doesn’t hold the endorsement against her, and she says she could have warned him. “I just don’t like being in a fight with you,” he says. Aw, cuties.
“Everything has changed in my life in the last year…with my parents, Lana. The only thing constant has been you,” he goes on. Seriously? With poor Pete working his fingers to the bone on those buttons? Chloe smiles. The camera lovingly explores the actors’ nostrils.
Rebecca: I’m a sucker for these two talking about their friendship. It’s the only thing from this season that I will continue to like for the ensuing decade-worth of episodes.
Jess: Suddenly honey drips onto Clark’s shoulder. He’s surprised, but “that’s what you usually find in a hive,” Chloe points out, and beams her flashlight up to the ceiling, which is basically a giant, freaky beehive. She theorizes that Sasha’s emitting a pheromone and exposits that Sasha was stung over a thousand times by Africanized honeybees – and she’s allergic to bees. But the accident happened in Shuster’s Gorge (hee), which Clark IDs as the deepest crater in town – and that means meteor rocks.
Clark’s worried about how Sasha will react if she loses. Chloe’s worried about Sasha: “Bees are only loyal to a certain point. Once she loses control, her scent will change and the bees will know. They won’t be happy.” This episode contains a truly spectacular amount of nonsense lines, even for this show.
Rebecca: Even the writers seem to be totally over this formula.
Jess: Carrie struts into the Talon and thanks Lex for meeting with her. Lex tells her he’s already read the rough draft of her article and her face falls. He holds up a clip titled “Paper Tiger”: “It’s hardly the flattering expose you promised.” “It’s fair and accurate,” she insists. “It’s a hatchet job. You twisted everything I said,” he replies.
He asks how much Lionel paid her. She says she’s just trying to make a name for herself. He asks what it’ll cost to shut her up, and she says “Unlike your whore at the Inquisitor, I’m not for sale.” She stands up to go. “Thanks for being my first,” she calls over her shoulder. Really, Lex? You got played by this amateur?
Rebecca: Yeah, seriously. Also, how did he get a rough draft of the article?
Jess: This show seems seriously confused about the lead time newspapers have on articles. Carrie’s been working on this one for like a month now.
Kent Farm. Sasha walks into the barn and bumps into an imposing-looking Clark. “You, um, wanted to see me?” she asks, adjusting her glasses. PLEASE let him say “Call off the bees,” PLEASE! He tells her he’s dropping out of the race, and she smugly says she’s glad he’s come to his senses. Then he accuses her of putting the other candidates in the hospital, and she says “You haven’t dropped out at all, have you?” Jiminy Christmas, what is the point of this dialogue? Your viewers could switch to Roswell for their mopey teen alien fix at any moment, stop going around in circles! (Yes, I looked up the 2001-02 broadcast schedule for that joke. ACCURACY!)
“I know you’re behind the attacks,” he says. “So?” she asks. “What are you gonna do about it, Clark? Even if the police believe you, they can’t stop me. No one can.” He smirks: “Try me.” Whoa, okay, I just remembered why he was a heartthrob when this show started.
Rebecca: Hee, but it’s still awkward to see him physically intimidate a much smaller woman who can’t hurt him in any way. :/
Jess: Sasha’s like “That’s why you lured me here,” but then she calls the bees anyway? God, literally none of her lines make any sense within the context of the surrounding actions and dialogue. It’s like her script was written by someone completely different than the rest of the episode. Anyway, he grabs her and asks where she’s sending them. “You may be thick-skinned, but what about your mother?” she says. Going after Martha is a surefire way to make me go NO CLARK SAVE HER, but how does Sasha know he’s immune to bees?
Anyway, Martha’s out on the tractor when the swarm comes towards her. She runs for it. Clark appears and we see Martha slow-motion start to fall for no reason, but Clark catches her and carries her down into the storm cellar. She’s understandably slightly hysterical. “I’ve never seen bees attack like that…Where do you think they went?”
Rebecca: This must be the only episode where Lana knows more about the Freak of the Week than Martha. Which isn’t to say they both shouldn’t know everything, CLARK.
Jess: Sasha’s shed. She lets herself in – and Clark’s there. “How’d you get here?” she asks. “What about your mom?” “My mom’s fine,” he says, and her face falls. “It’s over, Sasha.” She tells him if he tries to stop her from giving her speech she’ll sick the bees on the audience. “I have to win, Clark,” she says, and the bees start swarming the windows. He tells her to call them off and she says she didn’t call them on.
Rebecca: Wait, why didn’t Clark just drop out of the race? She would have stopped trying to hurt people, and Chloe already told him she may end up hurting herself! IT’S JUST A SOPHOMORE YEAR ELECTION!!
Jess: No, I’ll give him that – she’s already attacked two people, he can’t just let her have what she wants. What happens when the school board won’t let her put an ice cream cooler in the lunchroom? She’ll bee them all to death?
One gets in and stings her. “What’s happening?” she cries. The bees start smashing the windows – and no, I can’t believe I just wrote that either – and Sasha screams “I’m allergic to bees! Don’t let them kill me!” before collapsing in Clark’s arms for no reason. Clark grabs a screwdriver and flings it at a metal container of something flammable in the corner, then covers Sasha’s body with his own. The shed erupts into a fireball, killing all the bees in the state of Kansas, and that’s why they’re going extinct today. Thanks, Clark. (Seriously, though, bee extinction is a major issue and you should give a loved one the gift of saving some honeybees this holiday season.)
Rebecca: I was going to say – this episode is weirdly prescient.
Jess: The Talon. A banner says “Congratulations to our new president, Paul Chan,” which is probably the best thing for everyone. Pete’s disappointed and bitter, but Clark’s taking it in stride. He tells Chloe she was right to endorse Paul, and she tells him he’s handling things well.
Lex walks in and congratulates Lana on the turnout. “I think we’ll be having more nights like this,” she says. “Let’s just say I went to the mattresses…Apparently our rival coffee house has several health code violations they’ve been trying to cover up.” Lex is duly impressed.
Lana exits camera left and Clark enters. Lex condoles him on his loss, but Clark, as we’ve established repeatedly in this scene, isn’t too bummed. Roswell’s looking better by the minute here. Lex says Clark can change the world in other ways, and semi-jokingly says he’d like to be president someday – which was actually the current plotline in the comics, so that’s not terrible synergy there.
Rebecca: This was probably the first and only instance of comic book synergy. The fact that this show got me into superhero comics at all is basically a miracle.
Jess: I’m picturing tiny Rebecca walking into an LCS and asking for the latest issue of Warrior Angel.
Rebecca: Yo, this episode DID genuinely motivate me to buy my gateway Superman comic. But Warrior Angel was seriously a missed opportunity for more nonsense that I would have probably thrown my money at. Also, I will say that the Smallville Season 11 comic has been pretty fun, for what little that’s worth.
Jess: Luthor Castle. Carrie walks in and he tells her he only asked her there to congratulate her. She asks if he’s planning to blackmail her and he says no…but there is an open position for managing editor at her paper and she can have it if she kills the story. “I don’t know if you’re better or worse than your father,” she says and he grins. She agrees to the bribe. Please let this be the last of this plotline?
Rebecca: BYE, CARRIE CASTLE!!!! I wish you had been Cat Grant!
Jess: Attic of Sad Voyeurism. Lana joins Clark and confesses she feels guilty about what she did to the Beanery, especially since she kind of enjoyed it. He says she’s not alone – he got way too caught up in the popularity of his campaign. She asks to hear his speech, and actually chants “Speech! Speech! Speech!” until he agrees. Lana, you are adorable in this episode.
Rebecca: Wait, wasn’t going to deliver his speech unless he won? What?
Jess: After a bit of hesitation, he begins: “Nobody think that a class president can make a difference, but I disagree. If we want to change the world, first we have to change ourselves. My father always says that we learn life lessons whether we win or lose…” and we pull back and fade into the credits. I note that the writers have still failed to give Clark any opinions whatsoever.
Rebecca: Hey writers, wouldn’t it have been fun to actually hear Young Superman’s campaign speech? No????
Rebecca: I was weirdly into the Clark election subplot in this episode, even if the rest of it (the bees and Carrie primarily) were garbage nonsense. This was basically the first decent use of Pete (until he mysteriously vanished again, anyway), and it was an efficient (if anvilly) way to try to confront the qualities that Clark has that will (theoretically) make him Superman, which this show should probably get around to at some point. Also, what if Lana were like this all the time?
Jess: Oh man, really? I pretty much hated this episode. Lana was the best part of it, but even her subplot was irritatingly stupid – yes, a coffee shop inside a movie theater next to a better, more established coffee shop and run by a tween is failing! This is not a plucky David & Goliath story, especially since the Beanery is presumably Mr. Beanery’s livelihood and Lana’s only running the Talon because she’s obsessed with her dead parents. The bees were nonsense, the election was nonsense, the Carrie thing was offensive nonsense, and nothing that came out of Sasha’s mouth made any sense. Just frustrating, lazy writing all around.
Rebecca: I guess this is definitive proof that this show rotted my brain.
Rating: Lying in Shuster’s Gorge, covered in bee stings.
Next week: We bid farewell to a recurring character and get a glimpse of Seth Cohen’s first foray into comics writing, pre-Atomic County.