The Smallville Project: Episode 2.02 – “Heat”
|April 4, 2014||Posted by Jess under Comics, Television, The Smallville Project|
Rebecca: I’ll be honest: I couldn’t wait to recap this episode with you. I’m so excited we finally made it.
Jess: We’ve come so far together!
Smallville High, with a big “Welcome Back!” banner in front. Clark is talking to a handheld camera: “Well, [Flash], you shipped over over there…I’m sure it’s pretty warm…that sucked.” “It’s okay, Clark,” Lana tells him from behind the camera. This is adorable.
Pete appears and is eager to get on camera, expositing that Smallville’s still rebuilding and there’s a bad heat wave on. “Bottom line: stay safe and come home soon. P.S. The football team’s toast without [Flash] on offense.” Aw, Pete, you’re adorable, and also this is a good reminder that, uh, Pete was totally Flash’s teammate for a season and maybe they’re bros.
Rebecca: My headcanon is that Pete’s friends with everyone. A true future VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Jess: Also, maybe the team is suffering because the coach was immolated?
Rebecca: Smallville High has something of a personnel problem.
Clark sarcastically says that was “super” (wah-waaaaaah) and Pete scampers off. Lana invites him to come by the Talon later for another shot and walks off.
“It’s good to see some things never change,” Chloe says as Clark gazes at Lana. Clark hugs her and they exposit about her summer spent interning at the Planet, and how her dad decided to “give Lexcorp another chance,” hence her not moving away. Um, but there’s no factory to work at?
Anyway, Chloe’s really passive aggressive, mentioning how few emails Clark sent her over the summer and then pretending it doesn’t matter, talking about a hot intern she met from “Metropolis High” (you know, the one high school there). Oh honey, this isn’t the way.
Rebecca: I’ll go ahead and spoil that even though this reads as a transparent lie to make Clark jealous, the show later retcons that the intern was Jimmy and he and Chloe lost their virginity together. So! In other news, Welling has a straight five-o’clock shadow in this scene.
Jess: BUT THEY ARE BABIES. 🙁
Health class, with all four of our Scoobies. Pete says Mrs. Kowalski always kicks off the year with an “ancient sex ed film.”
But in comes a gorgeous young woman in a sundress that barely covers her bottom, as “Hot in Herre” plays, which is probably actually way funnier now than it was in 2002.
Rebecca: I cherish the moment when the music starts up. Put it in a time capsule. (The song starts at about the 10-second mark and goes for like 20 seconds.)
Jess: She coos that she’s “Miss Atkins,” their new health teacher. Clark and Pete gape, while Chloe and Lana look amused. Don’t get too excited, boys – I’ve seen this episode of Buffy, and I’m pretty sure she’s a praying mantis.
Some time later, the kids are boredly watching a nature film of lions having sex as a sweaty Clark gazes at Miss Atkins. The nature film’s narrator yammers on about pheromones. Jeez, this really is that Buffy episode.
Clark suddenly makes the fish faces that either mean there’s kryptonite around or that something Super’s about to happen – and his eyes burn holes in the projection screen. Wa-hey, another superpower! The kids cry out and Miss Atkins tries to wrangle them out of the room calmly. Clark looks alarmed.
Rebecca: Let’s not overlook the fact that the heat vision does not resemble fire or lasers, the way it usually does. It’s just pure heat, so it makes the air white and shimmery as it spurts unevenly at…an image of sperm. In case you didn’t get it. Because boners.
Jess: SOMEBODY SAAAAAAAAAAVE MEEEEEEEEE!
The kids stand around a firetruck outside of the school. Lex pulls up in his convertible. Clark beams. “I came as soon as I heard,” Lex says, and runs…to Miss Atkins, who gets a big ol’ smooch. Haha, your face, Clark.
Rebecca: “I came as soon as I heard.” (Sorry.)
Jess: Miss Atkins gives all credit to Clark, who “was the only one who kept a cool head…he actually put the fire out.” Lex gives Clark one of his patented “gosh you’re wonderful” looks and says he’s grateful. “And I’m confused,” Clark replies, with an edge of annoyance. I guess they’re going for “Clark is hot for Miss Atkins so he’s jealous of Lex” thing, but, uh…that’s not really how it’s coming off. Especially since the actual context of his line is that Clark feels entitled to know all the ins and outs of Lex’s love life.
Rebecca: Clex is real! NO THIS HAT IS NOT MADE OF TIN.
Jess: Lex apparently agrees, because he apologizes and introduces “Desiree” (because OF COURSE THAT’S HER NAME)…his fiancee. Okay, now I forgive Clark his gaping. “Fiancee, huh?” he asks as Desiree goes back into the school. “I didn’t even know you were seeing anyone. You sure about this?” Lex says he is and hands Clark a wedding invitation. Excuse you, props department, but Alexander Luthor does not send out wedding invitations on cheap-ass printer paper. Get some ivory cardstock, ya deluded hicks.
Oh, and hey, the wedding is tonight! And Lex wants Clark to be his best man! I keep expecting wacky sitcom sound effects. Clark agrees, but Welling is working the puzzled eyebrows like a champ.
Rebecca: That’s the natural state of his eyebrows.
Jess: Luthor Castle. Lionel’s sent over a pre-nup, and Lex tells Desiree if she doesn’t sign it, Lionel might disinherit him. With mock (or maybe not???) annoyance, Desiree says she’ll sign it, but it’ll cost Lex a kiss. Cue EXTREME KISSING CLOSEUP and tingly-wingly “weird stuff is happening” music…and then Desiree breathes pink sparkly fog into Lex’s nostrils. JUST LIKE THE ANIMAL KINGDOM.
Rebecca: This show was like a showcase for bad kissing shot in extreme close-up. I’M LOOKING AT YOU, KREUK.
Jess: “I really wish we didn’t have to sign this on our wedding day,” she coos, and Lex agrees and rips up the pre-nup.
Kent Farm. Martha gripes about Jonathan’s “aversion to air conditioning.” Okay, but sweaty toolbelt-wearing Bo Duke is kinda doing it for me, so hush, Martha.
Rebecca: The Hot Parents™ are one of my favorite things about The WB.
Jess: Clark comes in as mopily as humanly possible and tells them about the fire, and that he thinks he started it with his eyes. Martha’s slightly skeptical. “Hello?” Clark snits, and Martha, you should ground him for that tone. “Hi, I’m Clark, I’m the kid who can lift up tractors and see through walls!” What a brat. Although this feels like a more legit reason to be upset than the X-ray vision.
Rebecca: “If I’m this whiny will people believe I’m 15??? And do I need to shave again????” – Tom Welling.
Jess: The Kents ask for more details and Clark tells them they were watching a “sex educational film.” Awkwardness descends. Hee! “This could get very complicated,”Jonathan mutters to Martha, who suggests to Clark that there is “some sort of…hormonal connection” happening here. LOLOLOL.
Rebecca: This episode is a gift.
Jess: “Great, so I’m maturing into a firestarter?” Clark asks, because he is a hundred years old inside. His folks assure him that they’ll figure it out, he just needs to stay close to home – but Clark remembers Lex’s wedding: “You’re not gonna believe it.”
Cut to Lex and Desiree cutting the cake while people applaud. Clark spots Chloe, her hair in a million little clips because 2002, and tells her she’s been acting distant: “I want to make sure everything’s okay between us.” “Yeah, it’s hunky dory,” she says, and Clark’s dubious expression is a joy to behold as he says the only person who says “hunky dory” is Jonathan. DEAR WRITERS, WHY HAS THIS NOT HAPPENED YET.
Rebecca: In my mind the writers had a whole separate whiteboard with just weird exclamations and platitudes for Jonathan to say.
Jess: Chloe insists that she’s fine with their decision to stay friends, then changes the subject: “I still don’t know how I feel about taking sex ed from Mrs. Luthor.” Clark says Lex loves Desiree, and Chloe says love is illogical, and “maybe they just have the right…pheromones. It’s chemistry, Clark. Some people have it, and some people don’t.”
She walks off, and Clark directs his puzzled gaze at Desiree. “Quit staring, Clark,” Lex says, approaching, “you’ll burn your eyes out.” Sigh. Clark admits he’s surprised that Lex is engaged after a two-week business trip (and mentions that Martha made the cake, which: aw). Lex admits that it was a surprise to him as well; Desiree showed up at a business function and said she was there to save him, and despite initially pegging her as a fortune hunter, he soon realized she was different. “You just know when something’s right,” he finishes.
Cue cut to Lana, innocently/sensually wiping sweat off of her neck/chest. Gross, director. SHE’S A BABY.
Rebecca: I would read an oral history about what it was like to be a WB Teen Love Triangle Queen. I would read it and then cry. Get me Kreuk, Keri Russell, Katie Holmes and Shiri Appleby on the phone.
Jess: Don’t forget Alexis Bledel!
The Talon, night. Clark’s recording a new video message for Flash, in which he notes that Pete’s recording all the Sharks games for him, which is cute. Pete sure is a good friend to the guy who crucified his best pal! “Anyway, I haven’t forgotten what we talked about, so don’t worry, just…come home soon and stay safe.” For those of you who have forgotten, “what we talked about” was Clark “keeping an eye” on Lana for Flash, because they are both gross assholes.
Rebecca: Clark Kent Succeeds Flash As QB For Smallville High Patriarchy, See Page 11.
Jess: Lana thanks him for the message, turns off the camera, and asks what that last bit was about. Clark actually tells her, shockingly, and then realizes by her expression that hey, wow, maybe Lana would be pissed about that? “Not that he doesn’t trust you,” he adds hastily. Lana, being Lana, flees the potential confrontation and hastily starts making iced coffee. The perfect nighttime drink!
Clark asks what she put in her message and she says she hasn’t recorded one yet, then admits that staying together was maybe not the best idea. “He needs someone he can count on…besides, I do have you to look out for me, don’t I?” There’s so much veiled anger in her dialogue, at both of them and herself, and ugh, I just want to throw myself bodily between Lana and the writers and explore this aspect of her.
Rebecca: Sigh. Lana, a person? DON’T BE CRAZY.
Jess: Blah blah blah Clark brings the conversation around to petulantly complaining about how happy Lex is. Clark sucks. Lana admits it’s weird, but also romantic, and says Lex knows how to act on his passion: “I wonder if we’ll ever be able to do the same?” SUBTLE.
Clark starts bobbing around on his seat like he desperately has to pee [Rebecca: (boner)], then blinks frantically. Lana asks if he’s okay and he keeps his eyes shut tight as she tells him his forehead’s hot, but when she turns away to get her car keys, he opens his eyes and sets the coffeemaker on fire. Lana screams and ducks away as Clark’s eyes light up more of the room, but setting the Talon on fire seems to have cooled his ardor, because the heat vision stops.
“You okay?” he asks as they stare at the fire like they’re not IN A BURNING ROOM, MOVE, YOU NIMRODS! Lana calmly heads to the phone to call 911. LEAVE THE ROOM.
Kent Farm, morning. Jonathan finds Clark moping in the barn. Clark rather frantically tells Jonathan that he’s not going to school and that he nearly killed Lana last night. Jonathan makes Clark look at him and says he’s pretty sure he knows what’s triggering this.
Cut to the Kent men slamming a scarecrow down into the ground, and between the last bit of dialogue and the post going up the scarecrow’s crotch, I’m wincing in sympathy. “Rule number one: always practice away from the barn,” Jonathan says as the 2002 “A Little Less Conversation” remix plays. This scene is already a delight.
Rebecca: Why doesn’t Jonathan make Clark a girl scarecrow? (I know why.)
Jess: Jonathan tells Clark if they want to find the off switch, they’ve got to find the on switch first. He points Clark at the scarecrow and tells him to think about whatever he was thinking about when he first heat visioned. Clark squirms. Jonathan gives him an encouraging pat on the back. Just give him a Playboy and leave, Jon.
Rebecca: DOES CLARK NOT KNOW WHAT A BONER IS??? He’s like 45!!
Jess: Sure enough, Clark tells him this might be easier if he was alone. Jonathan walks away, Clark stares at the scarecrow and says “Lana,” and FWOOM! The scarecrow bursts into flames. In the next field over, Jonathan chuckles. Okay, so we just need to keep this 15-year-old boy from thinking about sex near things that are flammable. NO PROBLEM.
Post-commercial, Clark uses heat vision to pop a pan of popcorn for his impressed parents and tells them that once he figured out the trick, he “was able to control it without thinking about…sex.” The popcorn explodes. HEE. Look, okay, the part of me that gets very angry and idealistic and preachy about Superman feels like it should be outraged by this whole bonervision angle, but honestly, this episode is so refreshingly lighthearted and silly and deals with such a real-but-goofy teen problem that I can’t be mad at it.
Rebecca: It’s at least a fresh approach! This is the kind of thing you’d expect to see in a “teen Superman” show, and this show so rarely lives up to that description that this episode feels like a miracle. Smallville finally, purposefully wields its silliness for good.
Jess: Despite the popcornsplosion, Clark confidently declares that “next time I have a date, I’ll be able to take her out without setting her on fire.” His parents look at him all, what dates, loser? Haha. Also Martha seems a little disturbed by her baby boy growing up, which is cute.
Attic of Sad Voyeurism, night. Clark lights candles with his eyes. Aw, has someone just seen The Craft? Also, the Kents have a ton of red and blue candles. Of course they’re red and blue.
In trots Desiree in a very tight, very low-cut red top.
Rebecca: I’m convinced that Krista Allen exclusively wears lingerie as outerwear in this episode.
Jess: “Mrs. Luthor,” Clark says, surprised. Heeeeee. She tells him to call her Desiree and, once she finds out his parents aren’t home, cuts right to the chase: “You see, most girls like older men, but not me, I like younger guys.” This seems as good a time as any to point out that if she has a valid teaching license (a big if, since she’s apparently a pink-love-smoke-spraying praying mantis made of kryptonite), she’s at least two years older than Lex. And also that this right here is statutory, and super gross.
Clark backs away, stumbles over a bench, and sits as Desiree tells him she saw him staring at her, and maybe they could work on their “student-teacher relations.” “I, uh, you’re married to my best friend,” Clark stammers. In answer, Desiree breathes her pink smoke on him. She goes in for the kiss…
…and Clark walks away. She looks confused and annoyed as he tells her that he’s not going to do anything to hurt Lex, then quickly puts on an embarrassed front as she tells him she doesn’t know what came over her, and please don’t tell Lex. She runs off. Clark looks bewildered. (I feel like I should just C&P “Clark looks bewildered” into every paragraph of every recap. Even the Arrow ones.)
Rebecca: (OMG now I’m just imagining Clark standing just off-screen looking shocked and confused during every scene on Arrow. It’s not that hard to picture. “What is this ‘crimefighting’ that seems to be happening???”)
Anyway, it doesn’t make sense that this doesn’t work on Clark, right? Since (spoiler) her powers are kryptonite-fueled, and other kryptomutants have weakened Clark (e.g. Tina, the tattoo jocks). Or is that the *kryptonite* has just strengthened her *literal pheromones*?? Actually, forget it, I’m embarrassing myself.
Jess: Maybe he just reacts to human pheromones weirdly. I mean, I have to imagine they have some effect on him because of how much of this show he spends ogling people, but I buy that the chemistry doesn’t work on Kryptonian physiology like it does on humans.
Torch office, the next day. Chloe’s discovered that Desiree is also known as Alison Sanders. Embarrassed, Clark tells her about last night, and Chloe scoffs. Clark says Desiree said Lex was the only thing standing between the two of them, which flat-out didn’t happen. Way to proofread the script, guys. Chloe doesn’t want to hear any of this, or Clark’s theory that she’s got “some strange hold on Lex.” If Chloe doesn’t think there’s anything sketchy about Desiree at all, why did she look her up? On the other hand, when Clark heads out to talk to Lex, Chloe agrees to keep digging: “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” I thought you thought Clark was crazy, Chloe? This scene is all over the place.
Luthor Castle. Lex is playing pool by himself, which is just the saddest. Clark walks in and Lex tells him Desiree already told him “everything.” Raise your hand if you see where this is going. Okay, good, you’ve watched at least one episode of TV before. Sure enough, Lex gives a rambling, hilariously pompous speech about friendship before accusing Clark of coming on to Desiree.
Clark says it was the other way around and Lex is understandably skeptical, but Clark shows him a printout of Desiree’s page on FindOutYourHotButWeirdTeacher’sRealName.com.
Rebecca: OMG, printing out websites. Make sure to find the print format button! #2002
Jess: Not only did Desiree lie about her name, she grew up in Smallville (which I think we all could’ve guessed, because: kryptomutant). Clark points out that if Desiree lied once, she could lie again, and Lex cuts him off with “She’s my wife and I love her.” Clark looks sad/annoyed; he used to be Lex’s wife! Blah blah, Lex is still firmly Team Desiree.
Clark turns to go – just as Desiree walks in. “I don’t know what you’re doing to Lex, but I’m not dropping this,” he says in a normal tone of voice that Lex doesn’t hear for some reason, then leaves.
She slinks over to Lex, who asks what the deal is with her real name. Guys, the town is like 40 people, it’s not going to be that hard to find out stuff about her. She coyly doesn’t answer, and when he presses, breathes more smoke on him. “Clark is part of your past,” she coos, “just like everyone else in this town.” He agrees.
Rebecca: Look, she had no good reason to change her name. This is all nonsense.
Jess: The Talon. Chloe records a video message for Flash. Lana asks about her summer in Metropolis and Chloe tells her getting away gave her some perspective on past mistakes. “Going to the spring formal with Clark was not a mistake,” Lana tells her sternly. I LOVE THESE TWO. Chloe says it was, because she let herself pretend and thus got hurt. “At least you were brave enough to take the risk,” Lana says, moving closer. NOW KISS.
Chloe self-deprecatingly calls herself “Cupid’s cannon fodder” and admits she still has feelings for Clark, while Lana stares at her mouth. “Clark still really cares about you, Chloe,” she says. “I know,” Chloe replies matter-of-factly, “but he cares about you more.” Wow, someone actually said it and the Talon didn’t crumble to the ground! “I don’t want Clark to come between our friendship,” Lana says, with a marvelously dismissive tone on Clark’s name. Chloe agrees, but how. “Let’s define ourselves by what we do, not who we date,” Lana replies. “Or don’t date.” They giggle. I LOVE THIS SCENE, YOU GUYS. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
Rebecca: OH MY GOD YOU GUYSSSS. What if this was the whole show??? WHAT IF THAT.
Jess: Lex barges in, because gentle scenes of homoerotic friendship are his jam, and tells Lana they need to talk. Chloe skedaddles, and Lex tells Lana he’s buying out the Talon and she has 24 hours to amscray. In his most dickish voice, he tells her he’s reassessing his business ventures. Lana protests that the Talon carries its own weight and Lex says that’s not good enough, and also she caused thousands of dollars of damage with the fire. “I was here with Clark,” she says, and he smirks: “My faith in Clark evaporated along with my enthusiasm for the coffee shop business.” Oh, Rosey, I know. That line was terrible. You’re trying. It’s okay.
Rebecca: I want to see a diagram of that sentence. Oh, wait, here:
Jess: This is a beautiful thing in my life.
Smallville High. Clark asks Lana what’s wrong. Judging by their clothing, it’s the same day, so…Clark and Chloe hung out in the Torch office doing nothing, then Clark went all the way to Lex’s and Chloe and Lana went all the way to the Talon? Is their lunch break four hours long?
Lana angrily (Lana! Angry! It’s a miracle!) tells Clark she’s been evicted because of the fire, or at least Lex is using it as an excuse. She says everyone warned her against doing business with Lex, but she thought he’d changed, which doesn’t really make sense because they’re all about four minutes old, but whatever.
Clark despairingly watches Lana storm off, then stalks over to Desiree. He accuses her of convincing Lex to close the Talon, and Desiree smugly admits it: “I wanted to prove a point…I can control the people in your life. I had Lex close down the Talon in a heartbeat, and imagine what would happen if I turned him against this town…your friends…or even your parents.” This adult lady with superpowers sure is proud of getting one over on a child! He tells her to leave his parents alone and that he’s not backing down, then storms off. She smiles.
Rebecca: You sure can’t trust those manipulative, sexy ladies.
Jess: Cut to a nighttime closeup of gasoline trickling over a car with vanity plates that say “DESIRE,” then a pair of very feminine hands lighting a match and dropping it in the gas. Desiree smirks as she watches her car explode.
Kent Farm. Martha is horrified – and rightfully so – that Desiree tried to seduce her underage son. Near tears, she says she’s going to call the school board first thing in the morning.
A cop, “Ethan” (I feel like we’ve seen him before but I’m too lazy to check [Rebecca: We have. Hi, Ethan!]), knocks on the door and says “Mrs. Luthor” saw Clark set her car on fire. “That’s three suspicious fires in three days, Clark. I’m afraid I’m gonna have to take you into custody until we can get this worked out.” How, exactly, do they think Clark set the projection screen on fire in a room full of students in broad daylight?
Clark gets a bit panicky and Jonathan assures him they’ll figure this out, but for now, he needs to do what Ethan says. Martha watches tearfully as Clark is handcuffed.
Rebecca: Martha’s watched both her husband and her son get arrested in the past year. Awww.
Jess: The Talon. Martha walks in looking for Nell and finds Lex. Smack him, Martha! Right in the face! But no, she just says “I hope I didn’t disturb you,” voice dripping with contempt, and turns to go. Martha is classier than I am. (No surprise there!)
Lex tells her he’s sorry about Clark, but she’s not buying it: “My son is in jail, and your wife put him there.” He says he doesn’t interfere in her marriage, so she shouldn’t interfere in his. “Any good relationship relies on trust, but there has to be room to disagree,” she replies. “Like the way Jonathan and I disagreed about you. He couldn’t see past the Luthor name, but I always thought you were truly trying to be a friend to Clark. Now I’m beginning to think Jonathan was right all along.” Lex is squirming now, as she points out that Clark is the one person who always stood by him. “I know Desiree,” he insists, and Martha snaps that he met her a week ago. She storms out. He starts to call after her, then stops. I really love their relationship.
Rebecca: There are straight up not enough Martha/Lex scenes.
Jess: Luthor Castle poolhouse. Desiree’s swimming topless, and we get a lot of long shots of her back and butt to show us how sexy she is. I mean, how evil she is. I mean, how sexy she is. I mean, how misogynistic the showrunners are. Ah, there it is.
Jess: Jonathan walks in as she climbs out of the pool and averts his eyes when he realizes she’s topless. Not sure you thought this one through, J. He tosses her her robe. She pulls it on as she coos that Clark is very troubled: “He starts fires, and then he takes credit for putting them out.” Jonathan says he believes Clark was nowhere near her car, and when she insists Clark’s lying, he turns to go.
She stops him, tells him it’s all because of Lex, and when he actually stands up for Lex, breathes her smoke on him. He goes all dreamy-lusty and tries to kiss her, but she stops him: “I need you to do something for me first.” He nods. They kiss.
Smallville police station, or sheriff station, or stocks ‘n’ bearbaiting pole, whatever. Lana and Chloe are there to visit Clark, Chloe apologizing for not having baked a file in a cake. Old joke, but still cute. The girls (well, Chloe, but Lana’s taking her turns carrying the exposition baton) have dug up some more dirt on Desiree: she was in a truck with her boyfriend being a big old slut (P.S. fuck you, show) during the meteor shower, and a week later her boyfriend murdered her parents, leaving Desiree heir to everything. Five years later, Desiree, now a teacher, marries a “wealthy shipping executive” – who is similarly murdered by one of her “moonstruck high school students.” “Same confession, same denial six hours later,” Lana adds.
So, sidebar, some math: if the meteor shower was 13 years ago and Desiree was a teacher five years after that, she’s 31 now. Which makes her scenes with Clark even ickier, even if she wasn’t really going to do anything with him.
Rebecca: Haha, whoops, gross!!
Jess: “It’s the classic black widow scenario,” Chloe says. No, honey, that’s Marvel. Unfortunately, this black widow lost all her money in the dotcom bust. Hee.
Clark slowly realizes that Desiree was trying to seduce him into killing Lex, and Chloe makes another heroic leap of logic to deduce that since Desiree was getting it on during the meteor shower, she now has enhanced pheromones. Sure. “Lucky for us, Clark Kent seems to be immune to some members of the opposite sex,” she concludes. Clark gives her a sharp look, then glances at Lana, who looks away. Chloe raises an eyebrow at Clark. Hee! Look, kids, if you weren’t all five seconds old, I’d suggest you just have yourselves a threeway and get this over with.
Rebecca: Hee! Also, jeez, that line obviously means Clark is gay for Lex, right???
Jess: If I were Lana, I’d be starting to suspect, what with him refusing to make a move. (Chloe’s too hung up on Clark’s Lana-crush to notice.)
Ethan tells the girls it’s time to go and Clark realizes that his dad went to go see Desiree. They tell him to hang on, and leave.
Alone, Clark spots the fire alarm.
Cut to the fire alarm ringing loudly and Ethan hastily letting Clark out of his cell. “Stay close to me,” he says, and turns to look at the flames licking at the ceiling – and Clark whooshes out of there.
Rebecca: “I know! I’ll escape from arson jail by STARTING A FIRE.”
Jess: Luthor Castle. Lex picks up his will and tells Desiree they need to talk. “Since meeting you I feel like I’ve lost all sense of reason regarding my friends, my business, and suddenly I don’t know why.” Desiree calmly tells him that it’s too late to back out now that the papers are signed, and he asks if she’s planning to kill him. “No,” she says, and opens a door to reveal Jonathan, carrying a rifle. “He is.”
“I know you, Mr. Kent,” Lex says. “You’re not a murderer, please…put the gun down.” He reaches for the phone and Jonathan shoots it. “I’m not letting you add Desiree’s name to your list of victims,” Jonathan snaps. Lex says Desiree’s using him, but Jonathan takes aim…
…and Clark bursts in. “DAD, DON’T!” We switch to slow-mo as Jonathan fires, as Lex ducks for cover, as Clark heat visions the bullet into melted nothing. I will say this for the show: their slow-mo effects are always fun.
Rebecca: They’re committed to this bullshit, that is for sure.
Jess: Back at regular speed, Jonathan tries again and Clark grabs him. They struggle and Clark slams Jonathan against the wall, knocking him out. As he tries to wake Jonathan, Lex approaches an alarmed Desiree. She smashes a glass container of some kind of liquor on his back, and as he hunches over in pain, grabs a lighter and sets his alcohol-soaked shirt on fire.
Rebecca: The escalation in this scene is genuinely hilarious.
Jess: Lex screams for Clark as Desiree runs for the door. Clark takes his sweet time heat visioning the door handle so that it burns Desiree’s hand when she reaches for it, then moseyes over to Lex and uses a heavy curtain to tamp the fire out. They smile lovingly at each other and Lex flops to the ground.
Rebecca: Just to be clear, Clark basically tackles Lex and pins him to the ground, rubbing him with the curtain. Just to be clear. I am not a crackpot.
Jess: Oh, for sure, but he also takes SO LONG to do it. Like, Lex doesn’t have any skin on his back anymore, I’m guessing.
Kent Farm. Martha takes muffins out of the oven and Clark takes one of the trays from her with bare hands. CUTE. The effect is a little ruined by Jonathan picking up a muffin and dropping it in exaggerated pain. We get it, show.
Rebecca: Ha ha, I liked it a lot, even with the overkill. MORE OF THIS FOREVER.
Jess: I just love it when the powers are presented without commentary, is all!
Jonathan exposits that all charges against Clark have been dropped, and that they won’t be seeing Desiree again any time soon. Martha asks if Lex said anything about “what happened,” and Jonathan’s like yeah, we made a mutual agreement to never speak of it again. He then tells Martha he’d like to take her out to dinner, and Clark smiles goofily at his adorable parents. Same, Clark.
Attic of Sad Voyeurism, night. Clark’s reading [Rebecca: Fahrenheit 451. He’s reading Fahrenheit 451.] when Lex comes in. He says he feels like he’s waking up from a bad dream, and Clark says “You really loved her, didn’t you?” Lex says he thought he did, but he’s filed for an annulment, and from now on he’ll be more careful: “I let my passion get the best of me.” So…did Clark not tell him Desiree was a kryptomutant and it wasn’t Lex’s fault? What am I saying, it’s a harmless truth that would make a friend feel better. Of course he didn’t.
Rebecca: CLARKTOPHER, YOU CAN ACKNOWLEDGE THE EXISTENCE OF KRYPTOMUTANTS WITHOUT BLOWING YOUR SECRET.
Jess: “I don’t think having passion is such a bad thing,” Clark says, and a thousand fangirls cry out in shippy joy. [Rebecca: Hi.] Lex agrees, but says it needs to be kept in check, the way Clark does with Lana. Clark says Lana needs to work out her feelings for Flash first, with such an obnoxious look of patronizing condescension on his face that I just want to slap him. No, dude, you’re a coward. Lex tells him not to wait too long, and leaves.
The Talon. Lana’s recording a message for Flash and says she took some time to think about what she needs to say – but a knock on the door interrupts her. It’s Clark, of course. Lana says they’re almost ready to reopen and that Lex sent her a new espresso machine and roses and promised to rework the terms of their agreement to prevent this happening again. Aw.
Rebecca: How exactly do you write krypto-pheromones into a contract?
Jess: She segues into Desiree, and how “it’s funny how she managed to seduce everyone but you.” If Lana asks if Clark’s gay and that’s why he’s been so ambivalent about her and Chloe, I’ll be so delighted. Not because of any Clexy feelings, just because I feel like more people in every Superman-having universe should be like “Why is Clark so weird about girls and always sneaking off? Oh. Oh.” Sure enough, Clark says “I guess she just wasn’t my type.”
Jess: With a knowing smile, Lana asks him how he escaped the jailhouse. He says there was a fire, and she points out that it’s weird he was there during all three fires. He squirms and changes the subject to Flash’s tape. Lana says she’s decided to break up with Flash, and she feels bad, but “having a relationship that’s built on secrets and lies is doomed to fail.” HINT HINT. I’m really enjoying Season 2 Lana, who gets to be angry and/or snarky when it’s called for.
Clark squirms further. Outside, it starts to rain. Clark starts to leave, pauses while Lana waits expectantly, then goes. Disappointed but not surprised, she turns the camera back on and starts her message.
Rebecca: OK, I just gotta say that my favorite thing about Lana breaking up with Flash via video message – my absolute favorite thing – is that she also breaks up with CLARK via video message roughly SIX SEASONS LATER. I love that this is just a vital part of Lana’s personality. Goth Lana, you are a gem.
Rebecca: This episode loses steam (sorry) after a while, but it’s just so silly and funny and intentionally those things that I’m forced to grade it on a curve. Why take yourself seriously when your show is about a teen alien who is constantly confused? I wish there was more steering into this curve, but I don’t recall the “superhero” and “teen” tracks of this show ever commingling this sublimely again. The Season 6 episode where he discovers superbreath because he has a cold doesn’t count. It’s tough to overlook, though, the latest in the bullshit misogynist metaphors that is Desiree – so weird that our female villains have all been too sexy, too stalkery, too fat, or too driven. So weird. Just a weird coincidence.
Jess: Agreed. So much of this episode is a delight – the deliberate humor! Lana being her own woman! Lana and Chloe’s beautiful friendship! The Kents! Clark never understanding anything ever! It’s super enjoyable. But yeah, Desiree is another perfect embodiment of the show’s simultaneous obsession with and revulsion with sex, especially female sexuality. You don’t really get to spend that much time panning slowly up and down a woman’s body and then tell me that it’s evil.
Rating: A little too fast to be human.
Next week: Something finally happens, and it’s that Pete gets more lines.