The Smallville Project: Episode 1.19 – “Crush”
|January 9, 2014||Posted by Jess under Comics, Television, The Smallville Project|
Jess: Metropolis Children’s Hospital. A pre-OC, pre-Gilmore Adam Brody is in the art room, drawing in the dark, like artists do. A scrawny man in a bowtie comes in to “say goodbye. I heard you were going back to Smallville tomorrow.” Adam’s not stoked about it, especially since his hands are still splinted and bandaged: “They’re never gonna get better and that means I’ll never draw again and that’s the only thing I was ever good at.”
Dr. Scrawny tells him he’s lucky to have any movement in his hands at all and Adam asks if that’s what all the patients suing Dr. Scrawny for malpractice think. Adam angrily exposits that he was in a hit and run. For some reason the camera is tucked right under his chin, which isn’t as dramatic as the show thinks it is.
Rebecca: Also, bless his heart, but Adam Brody also isn’t as dramatic as the show thinks he is.
Jess: Dr. Scrawny starts talking about how he wanted to be a violinist but his teacher told him he has a surgeon’s hands. Dude, stop waving your “capable of delicate movements” fingers in Adam’s face, you’re gonna get kryptomutanted to death!
“Have a nice life,” Adam mutters as Dr. Scrawny leaves.
Dr. Scrawny gets into the elevator with a woman in a cocktail dress, presumably his wife. She asks if Adam will sue, and Dr. Scrawny says Adam should be grateful to be alive.
Adam tears his clumsy drawing of Dr. Scrawny off the easel and looks in surprise at a realistic-looking drawing of Dr. Scrawny on the next page.
Rebecca: This implies that Adam has to draw people to kill them, but…that’s not the case? It’s just for nonsensical dramatic effect?
Jess: The elevator plummets and the Scrawnies scream. It stops between floors. Dr. Scrawny forces the door open and boosts Mrs. Scrawny up through the small opening he’s created.
Upstairs, Adam pauses, then thoughtfully scribbles on Dr. Scrawny’s hand with a red marker.
In the elevator, Dr. Scrawny reaches up through the opening so that Mrs. Scrawny can pull him out. The elevator falls again, chopping off his hands as Mrs. Scrawny screams. We don’t see much of it, but it’s still pretty gross.
Upstairs, Adam smiles. I never watched The OC, but I remember him being way better than this on Gilmore Girls. Please tell me he stops lolling his head around with his mouth open at some point in this episode.
Rebecca: Unfortunately he does not. Drama is not the once and future Seth Cohen’s forte. Or enunciating. (Also, you should watch The OC, I fucking love The OC.)
Jess: SOMEBODY SAAAAAAAAAAVE MEEEEEEEEE!
Jess: Smallville High, Career Day. “I see you in a uniform, flying,” some Air Force guy – who a few lines of dialogue later turns out to be Principal Kwan’s son – tells a befuddled Clark. Siiiiigh. Pete, meanwhile, is practically skipping with joy at getting a job with “Mayor Siegel’s” re-election campaign. See, that’s a cute reference – doubly cute, since Pete did go into politics in the comics (STILL LAUGHING), and also good continuity from his political interest last episode. We even find out something new about Pete: his mom’s a judge! Everything’s coming up Pete!
Rebecca: Someone who would eventually write on Arrow is taking furious notes on the Proper Noun Nerd Wink.
Jess: Chloe joins them, fretting because the Daily Planet only takes four high school interns a year. Clark suggests using Lex’s connection to get an internship at the Inquisitor, but she’s all “Planet or bust!” Pete suggests Chloe try again when she’s in Metropolis on Saturday, Clark asks why she’ll be in the Big Apricot, and Chloe stops short: “We’re going to Metropolis, Clark. Student journalism conference? You were supposed to sign us up and I know you didn’t forget, because now it’s too late to get in.” Oh, Chloe. Why would you put Captain Cheekbones in charge of that?
Clark forgot, of course, and to add insult to injury, he forgot because he was spending time with Lana. After a fairly obsessive accounting of exactly how little time Clark’s spent with her recently, she accuses him of ignoring everyone else in favor of Lex and Lana. Uh, when did Lex become part of this conversation? I mean, it’s accurate, but still. Clark says she’s being hypersensitive, which is a really smart word to use on someone you don’t want mad at you, and Chloe accuses him of being “from some distant galaxy that I’ve never even heard of” and storms off.
Clark looks as confused as that insult merits. He asks Pete what’s up with Chloe. “You’re not the most observant person in the world, are you,” Pete drawls with a look of absolute done-ness on his face. Okay, Pete, I like you again. Without bothering to hide his irritation, Pete tells Clark that Chloe wants to spend the day with him and ask him to the spring formal. Clark acts totally gobsmacked, even though he knows Chloe likes him, thanks to Kreepy Kyle.
Rebecca: In my notes for this scene, I just wrote, “Man, for someone with like fifty different kinds of vision, you are so blind.” There’s a JLU quote for every occasion.
Jess: Over at Chloe’s locker, she’s tapped on the shoulder by Adam, whose hand looks a little better. They hug and he thanks her for keeping in touch while he was in the hospital. She asks when he’ll be able to draw his cartoon, “The Flaming Crowsfeet” (yes, REALLY), again, and he shows her his braced hand: “Unfortunately, my drawing hand’s kinda shot.” She’s genuinely sympathetic and he asks if he can buy her a cup of coffee. YOU ARE FOURTEEN, DUDE. Don’t you mean a Mountain Dew and a handful of Warheads?
Rebecca: I always assumed that when Chloe says she loved or needed “coffee,” she means one of those drinks that are so full of milk and sugar and syrups and whipped cream that the espresso is just flavoring. No judgement, though, those are my jam.
Jess: It’s more that I don’t think tweens use those kinds of lines to pick up girls. He’s more likely to ask her if she wants to watch him play a video game.
Rebecca: At fourteen I 100% would have accepted an invitation to watch a dude play a video game.
Jess: Anyway, Chloe spots Clark coming down the hall and accepts Adam’s invite. Clark gives them a narrow-eyed glare of suspicion as they walk off, which eases into blankly content nothingness after a moment. Seriously, I wish I could convey the randomness of Welling’s ~*~ACTING~*~ in this scene. It is a thing of beauty and a wonder to behold.
Rebecca: He acts like he has emotional Memento disease.
Jess: Also, man. I wish Chloe could date non-murderous kryptomutants. HURRY UP, OLLIE!
Rebecca: I hate to tell you that Ollie has to date Lois first and then wait a couple seasons for Jimmy to peace out before that happens. JUST LET CHLOE BE HAPPY!
Jess: Metropolis. Lex visits his mother’s extremely lavish grave. A woman approaches and Lex, radiating hostility, asks why she’s there. “It’s been nine years,” he points out. She tries to apologize for vanishing from his life and he cuts her off with a smirk: “All those years I thought you loved me. But you were just in it for the money.” She tells him he has a right to be angry but they need to talk; he refuses and walks off.
Smallville High. Clark joins Adam and Chloe in the Torch office and there’s some awkward small talk before Clark asks if they ever found the guy who hit Adam. All Adam remembers is a bit of the license plate: “DDI.” Chloe immediately gets all Nancy Drew; Clark thinks they should call the police, and Chloe snaps that they’ll pass on any info they find. Besides, Clark, I’m sure Adam already told the police this.
Clark says that he got Lex to pull some strings and get them tickets to the conference, but Chloe’s already going as Adam’s guest.
Rebecca: When did Adam sign up? From the hospital? Also, is there a sub-convention for student political cartoonists (who can’t draw anymore)?
Jess: Adam, picking up on the tension, says they could all go. “No!” Chloe says quickly. “Clark’s not that interested in journalism anyway.” Clark looks wounded, even though this is absolutely true. Adam, looking even more uncomfortable, excuses himself – and drops his books. As Clark helps him pick everything up, he finds an article about Dr. Scrawny’s hand-losing accident. Adam snatches it away from him.
Kent Farm. Lana walks in looking to place an order with Martha and finds Clark instead. She asks why he’s not helping Chloe on the paper and what they’re fighting about. “Chloe likes me,” Clark says, deeply uncomfortable. “So how do you feel about her?” Lana asks. “…Like maybe we could be more than friends,” he admits. “When I saw her with [Adam] today, I felt…” “Jealous?” Lana asks with a knowing edge. Aw, honey. You’re too good for him. Date Chloe instead! Anyway, Lana looks like she’s falling asleep but I think Kreuk is going for “slow realization of own feelings for Clark.”
Rebecca: “Feelings for Clark” and “falling asleep” are basically synonymous.
Jess: Elsewhere, Adam sits down at his easel, where there’s a picture of Chloe that was clearly drawn pre-accident. He gingerly tries to add to it, but his hand twitches, leaving a dark line down Chloe’s cheek. In a rage, he tears the drawing off the easel – then uses telekinesis to draw a beautiful, four-color portrait of her instead. He doesn’t look terribly surprised about his ability to move pencils with his mind.
Rebecca: EVERYTHING’S OKAY! YOU CAN STILL DRAW! STOP ALMOST MURDERING PEOPLE!
Jess: Smallville High. Clark asks what Pete thinks of Adam. He’s radiating jealousy, which Pete calls him on, prompting Clark to show Pete the Dr. Scrawny article. Clark thinks it’s weird that Adam’s carrying it around – and Adam appears behind him! His threatening line would be threateninger if I could understand a word of it, but whatever. He also calls Clark on his jealousy, which Clark denies. “You had your chance with her, and you let me have mine,” Adam says menacingly. DUDE, HOLD YOUR HEAD NORMALLY, FOR THE LOVE OF RAO.
Luthor Castle. Lex isn’t happy to find the lady from his mother’s grave there. “We were close once, Alexander. You were like a son to me,” she says. Hee, Alexander. He snaps that “Mrs. Jenkins” was just the nanny and asks what she wants. “I want you to know what really happened,” she says. “You lied to my mother on her deathbed,” he replies, and she denies it, claiming that Lionel sent her away after the funeral and threatened to disinherit Lex if she ever contacted him again. “Why would he do that?” Lex asks. “Because he wanted you to be his son, not hers,” she replies. Blah blah blah, he tells her he’ll never forgive her. Yawn.
Rebecca: This subplot is soooo booooring.
Jess: The Talon. Clark and Lana are chatting when a chipper Flash walks in and tells Lana he’s taking her to Our Town that weekend. She looks more conflicted than pleased, and when Flash leaves she tells Clark that Flash is showering her with affection and she’s not sure how to feel about it. There’s some annoyingly veiled yammering about what’s going on with Clark and Chloe which is really about what’s going on with Clark and Lana, but Kreuk does a pretty good job looking timid and supportive and jealous all at once.
Rebecca: Cool butterfly clips. Also, one of the problems with Clark/Lana is that they talk around literally all their problems and discussions like this, when it’s so much more appealing to see a (would-be) couple just have a direct and frank conversation like (14-year-old) adults.
Torch office. Adam walks in and Chloe tells him she’s investigating the plates of the car that hit him. He gives her the drawing of her. “It’s beautiful,” she says. “Well, so are you,” he replies. He admits that he always had a crush on her, and that he found his way back so that he could have a second chance with her. They kiss, and all the small objects in the room lift up and float around them…
…until Chloe cracks an eye open and notices them. She jumps back and the objects fall to the floor. He nervously admits that he developed telekinesis after the accident, and she tells him she’s seen stranger: “Now, let’s make everything float again.” Get some, girl.
But instead, Clark walks in on them. Adam smirks at him. Clark asks to speak to Chloe outside, and she scampers out of the room. As she leaves, a fax comes in from the DMV with the words “GOT A MATCH” scrawled on it. Adam makes some intense twitchy faces.
In the hall, Clark thinks Chloe and Adam are moving too fast. “Did he tell you what happened to his doctor?” he asks. “No, but he did tell me you were talking about him behind his back,” she replies. Ha! Chloe accuses Clark of having a savior complex (sigh) but being emotionally unavailable. Honey, you’re fourteen. Clark says Chloe’s only dating Adam to get back at Clark, because Clark is a douche. Chloe storms off.
Rebecca: Whyyyyy is Clark just the WORST?
Jess: A rainy street at night. A car with a license plate that begins “DDI” pulls up in front of a garbage can that’s rolled into the street. The driver gets out…and it’s Principal Kwan! So I’m assuming his son is the one who actually hit Adam?
As he picks up the garbage can, Adam says “Tell me one thing: was it easy to lie to everybody?” He starts reminiscing about the accident, and Kwan says he doesn’t know what Adam’s talking about. Adam uses his telekinesis to hurl Kwan into the garage door. Then he uses one of the lights lining the driveway, which has a pointy stake on the bottom, to pin him in place by his jacket shoulder, as he explains that he developed the powers while in a full body cast, “but that didn’t replace what I’d lost.” Then he turns the car on. Kwan begs him to stop. “Do you know what it feels like to be hit by a 2,000 pound car?” Adam asks, and, well, you can guess what happens next.
Rebecca: I don’t fully understand how seemingly limitless telekinesis that still allows you to draw well doesn’t replace the loss of your hands, but I’ll allow him his murderous grief.
Jess: Attic of Sad Voyeurism. Clark is reading Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA. Lex comes in and Clark tries unsuccessfully to hide the book. Amused, Lex asks what’s going on, and Clark says “I’ve got these two amazing friends who both happen to be girls.” Lex: “For argument’s sake, let’s call them Lana and Chloe.” Okay, I am crying with laughter over here. What if the show was always this?
Rebecca: I think the secret is having all the characters be aware that Clark is an unrepentant asshole. Also, more Lex.
Jess: Anyway, Clark agonizes for a while about wanting to protect his friendship with both girls, and Lex points out that that means he’ll never get either one. That’s not what Clark wants to hear. “Clark, love isn’t about playing it safe, it’s about risks,” Lex said. Don’t mind me, just chorfling into my tea over here. Clark asks if Lex has ever been in love. “I’ve only loved two women in my life,” Lex replies, very specifically. “One died, and the other betrayed me.” Clark commiserates, and Lex rather cheerfully says that some people are meant to be alone.
Then Martha comes in with the news: “It’s Principal Kwan. He was killed in an accident.”
Rebecca: RIP, Kwan. May you always get Canadian character work and eventually appear on Arrow. (Seriously, if you start looking for this guy, he’s everywhere.)
Jess: Torch office. Pete is glum, Chloe is frazzled and tearful and unwilling to let Clark comfort her. He sees a photo of Kwan’s plate and makes the connection to Adam’s hit and run driver. Chloe doesn’t like the implication, but Clark notices that a fax came in from the DMV yesterday, when Adam was in the room. Chloe insists that it wasn’t Adam, “because I know him and I know he wouldn’t hurt anyone!”
Luthor Castle. Lex walks in to find Lionel seating at his desk. They recite poetry at each other. OH MY GOD.
Rebecca: It’s amazing that the writers managed to take the Luthor dynamic from “intriguing” to “self-parody” inside of 15 episodes. Heckuva job, Brownie.
Jess: I think Lionel’s flowing locks really helped them with that. Anyway, Lionel informs Lex that they’re selling Cadmus Labs and Lex asks why he’s really there. Lionel brings up Pamela Jenkins and Lex asks if the disinheritance story is true. Lionel says Pamela convinced Lex’s mom to leave her a ton of Luthorcorp stock and then disappeared. He claims he doesn’t want Pamela hitting Lex up for money and Lex points out that if Pamela really has that much stock, she shouldn’t need to.
Jess: “Probably she doesn’t want to sell it to pay her medical bills,” Lionel says, oozing manipulation. Apparently Pamela’s got cancer. Lex is clearly hit hard by the news. He says Pamela came for forgiveness and he turned her down. “She doesn’t know you very well, does she?” Lionel says. Then he leaves, presumably to go catch that wascally wabbit.
Kwan’s house. Clark’s investigating the crash site when Kwan Jr. shows up. Clark offers KJ his condolences and KJ says it doesn’t make sense – Kwan was holding the car keys, so how could the car have hit him? Clark asks if Adam came by last night, since he thinks Adam blames Kwan for the accident. KJ looks pensive, or maybe sleepy.
“My dad didn’t deserve this,” he says finally, and Clark twigs: “Your dad wasn’t the one driving the car, was he?” I like that they’ve both somehow accepted that Adam threw a car at Kwan. No one’s even been like “P.S. The original crash site was near some meteor rocks.” Anyway, Kwan says he was trying to protect KJ. Okay, covering up near-murder is still pretty bad.
Adam’s room. With increasing horror, Chloe flips through a comic Adam’s drawn about how awesome murdering Kwan was. Adam walks in and she quickly puts the sketchbook back, explaining that his mom let her in. She asks if he’s heard the news about Kwan. He’s all “Huh, yeah, weird, hey let’s make out” and she flinches away, then makes an excuse about going to meet Clark. Adam says they spend an awful lot of time together. “Don’t worry,” Chloe says. “Today I plan on telling him exactly what’s going on between us.”
She bolts. Adam notices that the sketchbook’s been moved.
The Talon. Martha tells Clark he was right to convince KJ to turn himself in, but he feels guilty. Lana tells them Chloe’s on the phone, asking for Clark. He picks up and we see that she’s calling from the Attic of Sad Voyeurism on her cell. She tells him Adam’s the killer, and that she knows how he did it – and the phone is whipped out of her hand.
Rebecca: Here’s the thing about the formula on this show: this is the part of the story where Chloe needs help, but it makes no sense that she would call Clark and not the police?
Jess: Well, we haven’t yet seen the police arrest the correct person, so…
Clark bolts off towards the barn. Chloe calls Adam’s name, and the door swings closed. Then he throws her into a wall. “How could you betray what we had together?” he demands. She tries to run and he hoists her up into the air, then drops her painfully on a box of tools. She hobbles for the door, which slams in her face. “That’s what I love about you, Chloe,” he says. “You’re a fighter.”
Jess: She tries to run off another way, and he hits her in the head with a horseshoe, knocking her out. As he picks up a chainsaw and heads it towards her, Clark runs in and throws himself in front of it. We get the requisite slow-mo shot of it shattering against Clark’s chest, as metal does. Clark looks like he’s letting out a really big, silent burp.
Adam looks understandably freaked by Clark’s invulnerability, and Clark takes the opportunity to tell him about KJ. “That is NOT TRUE!” Adam yells. Clark asks how many innocent people Adam’s willing to kill, and Adam says “One more” before throwing Clark into the loft.
“You really gotta stick those landings, Clark,” he says – and Clark taps him on the shoulder. Haha, that was actually awesome. Clark throws Adam into a wall, knocking him out.
Chloe stirs, and Clark hurries over to check on her. She hugs him, crying. Again, if only Chloe could date non-murderers, that would be great.
Rebecca: Uh, does Clark count? No? Okay.
Jess: Hospital. Lex lets himself into Pamela’s room and asks why she didn’t ask him for help. “I didn’t come to you for help or pity, I came because I have nothing left to lose,” she replies. Uh, but he’s the one who’ll lose his inheritance if you guys interact. She tries to sit, painfully, before giving up, and Rosenbaum gives us a great little moment of moving to help her and then visibly holding himself back. She says she was ashamed of letting Lionel scare her off and that his mother would be proud. “I really miss her,” he admits. “So do I,” she replies. They hold hands. I wish this show would use Rosenbaum’s skill in plots we cared about.
The Talon. Chloe exposits that Adam’s in the psychiatric ward and braces herself for Clark’s “I told you so.” She asks why she always picks the murderers and Clark says she’s just “trusting…You’re strong enough to take risks with your emotions. I wish I were as brave as you.” He invites her to the journalism convention. “Okay, it’s a date,” she says with a bashful smile, and they hold hands. Behind the counter, Lana makes regret-y faces.
In comes Flash, and Lana heads around the counter to him with a “We need to talk.” Then she sees that his eyes are brimming with tears. “It’s my dad,” he says.
Rebecca: TWIST ENDING!
Jess: Cut to a slow-motion funeral in the rain. Mama Flash puts flowers on the coffin as the kids look on sadly. A super-languid version of “Time After Time” is playing. Chloe looks mournfully at Clark who looks mournfully at Lana who looks mournfully at Flash, then back at Clark, who has put down his umbrella for some reason and is now just standing there, big and sad and wet. Oh, big sad wet Superman, this has been a weird week for you, huh?
Rebecca: This is, in a way, the last Classic Edition Freak of the Week episode of the season, and the formula is really showing its age. Everybody is just going through the motions. I’m going through the motions? Who knows. The point is, Seth Cohen is a smug asshole who’s not very nice to women, but at least he never murdered his high school principal.
Jess: Sorry, what was that? I’m basically asleep.
Rating: Walking with a limp.
Next week: Lana and Chloe have another rough week.