The Smallville Project: Episode 2.04 – “Red”
|May 15, 2014||Posted by Jess under Comics, Television, The Smallville Project|
Jess: Smallville High. Chloe is unimpressed by their new class rings. Why are they getting them sophomore year? She runs off for unexplained reasons, leaving Pete to ask if Clark is really going to buy the ring even though Jonathan wasn’t terribly in favor of it. Clark insists that it’s his decision to make.
Rebecca: I’m pretty sure I got my class ring either sophomore or junior year. Also, mine was a green gem. WAIT OH NOOOOOOOO
Jess: We got ours…maybe junior year at the earliest? I didn’t buy one because I was a rebellious New York transplant in a suburban New Jersey school. So, basically, there’s a reason the anti-establishment chick in this episode is named after me.
Speaking of which, Lana is showing a new, gothy blonde girl around the school. Goth Girl, who is wearing a sparkly red bra through a sheer, midriff-baring shirt that I’m pretty sure no high school in America would allow, asks what Smallville’s deluded hicks do for fun, and Lana, predictably, suggests the Talon. Goth Girl is even less impressed than Chloe was with the rings.
As they approach the ring-selling table, Goth Girl perks up at the sight of “the major hottie in primary colors.” GG suggests maybe he could show her around instead, looking at him like she wants to eat him alive.
Rebecca: “Who’s the major hottie in primary colors?” is a real Jeph Loeb-as-teenage girl line.
Jess: Meanwhile Clark puts on his ring. The ruby on it glows, and his veins briefly turn red and then fade back to normal. Ah, red-K. He gets a weird, satisfied expression on his face as his eyes also briefly glow red, and Pete asks if he’s okay.
A teacher-type (maybe the new principal?) tells Goth Girl, or “Jessie,” that sure enough, her outfit is not dress code approved. Jessie sasses him, and Clark laughs. As Jessie is hauled off to “Mr. Gibbons’” office, Clark informs him that Jessie looks hot and the dress code sucks. Lana and Pete stare as Clark points out that it’s only Jessie’s first day; “Besides, I don’t think you should be the one giving fashion tips.”
Somehow that works; Gibbons leaves, and Lana takes Jessie to finish the tour. Pete asks Clark where that came from. “I don’t know, but I think I liked it,” he says.
Rebecca: I feel like it’s not actually that out of character for Clark to be kind of a dick to authority figures. Or a dick in general.
Jess: A city, night. In a huge room with the lights off, some kid sits in a tub of water (???); a middle-aged guy in a suit holds up a prom picture of Jessie and Bathtub Boy. Bathtub boy insists that he doesn’t know where Jessie is, and the man tells “Kyle” (haven’t we already had a Kyle?) that Jessie and her father are fugitives and he needs to bring them in. When Kyle sasses this supposed U.S. Marshal, the USM pulls a gun on him, and Kyle admits that he’s gotten collect calls from her, all over Kansas. The USM drops a plugged-in clock radio into the tub to prevent Kyle from warning Jessie. This scene is very weird.
Rebecca: THIS SCENE IS NONSENSE!!!! SMALLVILLE!!!!!!
Jess: SOMEBODY SAAAAAAAAAAVE MEEEEEEEEE!
Smallville High. As the students leave, Clark tells Pete about a bar he wants to go to. Teenagers in a bar, oh my! *clutches pearls* Pete’s not too thrilled about the idea, but Jessie, coming up behind them, likes it so much she writes her phone number on Clark’s palm before sauntering off. Poor electrocuted Kyle.
Pete’s impressed, “but aren’t you married to Lana in your imagination?” BRB, laughing forever. Sure enough, up comes Lana with a comment about how friendly Clark and Jessie have gotten. “Don’t worry, Lana, I haven’t taken my eye off you all day,” he replies. I like that the writers think that “bad boys” talk like middle-aged creepers. Or the Fonz.
Rebecca: Wait but like what if they CGI’d Welling into Happy Days like they did with the “Buddy Holly” video??
Jess: He continues to sleaze on her as they all agree to study together at the Talon that night, and Lana and Pete laugh bemusedly.
Kent Farm, dusk. Jonathan’s working on a motorcycle, and Martha tells him as soon as it’s shiny, she gets the first ride. “All the others can just take a number,” he assures her. Awww.
They’re wondering where Clark is when he zips in at super speed. Jonathan asks why he wasn’t there earlier to help with the garage door, and Clark breezily says it’ll only take two seconds. He admires his ring, and Jonathan testily says he thought they agreed Clark wasn’t going to buy it. “I thought we agreed it was my decision to make,” Clark replies. Jonathan says the ring cost a lot of money, and Clark snits that he’s “tired of worrying about every nickel and dime around here.”
Martha, playing peacekeeper, suggests Clark go wash up for dinner and he snaps that he’s not hungry, “and besides, I have chores to do.” Then he super speeds off. Martha suggests he’s going through typical teenage rebellion, and Jonathan says he prefered the heat vision. She stands by Clark’s decision to throw his own money away on the ring: “I seem to recall a certain young man who defied his father to spend $500 on an old motorcycle.” THEY’RE THE CUTEST.
Rebecca: Oh my god, I would literally watch infinite hours of the Kents being cute. I would even accept a prequel.
Jess: Luthor Castle. Lex follows the sound of clamor to his office, which is full of people moving stuff around and a bunch of different furniture. Lionel says he was sure Lex wouldn’t mind, since he’ll be staying for a while. Lex is not pleased, and Lionel leaves the room in a huff, muttering about how he didn’t think he needed his son’s permission to try to make his poor invalid state a little more bearable. It’s pretty great. Lex sighs and tells no one in particular to give Lionel whatever he wants, then stares at nothing for a while.
Rebecca: Lex needs more friends who aren’t, like, in high school. It kind of makes me wish Ollie was around already.
Jess: A bar, day. The USM has found one of the payphones Jessie called Kyle from. He shows the bartender (who he calls “barkeep” because the writers are SO OLD) the picture of Jessie, reminds him that she’s underage, and tells him to call if Jessie comes back.
Rebecca: I’m pretty sure this is the bar Perry White gets drunk at in three seasons. I like the idea that Smallville only has one bar and it’s really sad.
Jess: The Talon, night. Apparently today the sun set, came back up, then set again. The other Scoobies are all studying when Clark shows up. Lana gets up to let him in, and he says it’s really nice out – they should go for a drive instead, or “go dancing.” WHY IS HE A HUNDRED. Take her to a magic lantern show, Clark!
Rebecca: LOL there’s a storyline in the Smallville Season 11 comic right now where Clark becomes a Green Lantern. ANYWAY.
Jess: Lana’s a bit floored that he finally asked her out, “but we really have to study.” He tells her that when she “gets all serious,” her nose crinkles up. What? “It’s really sexy,” he adds. UGH, WRITERS. STOP. STOP FOREVER.
Rebecca: “Welling’ll be able to sell this, right? …Right? Guys? Why are you laughing?” – Jeph Loeb.
Jess: Lana’s face goes absolutely expressionless. “Pete and Chloe are waiting for us,” she says, and walks away uncomfortably. He smirks and follows her in.
Inside, he straddles a chair backwards, and when Pete asks where his books are, says, “You guys wanna go to the bar?” Everyone boggles and Chloe says they need to study. Clark offers to treat, and this dialogue happens:
Pete: When did you and the money train hook up?
Clark: Since I decided there’s no percentage in playing poverty.
It hurts right here, Rebecca.
Rebecca: NO HUMANS HAVE EVER SPOKEN LIKE THIS IN HUMAN HISTORY! THIS WAS PROBABLY DIRECTLY DETRIMENTAL TO MY DEVELOPING BRAIN!!!!!!
Jess: Chloe heads over to the coffee machine to get Clark some decaf and Lana follows her. Clark eyes Chloe’s…back. “Did you know that Chloe had a birthmark on her cheek?” he asks Pete. Oh, ew. Writers, you are foul misogynists, and you clearly don’t have a hell of a lot of respect for your fellow dudes, either. Also, we’ve seen Clark’s X-ray vision and it shows skeletons. Hey baby, nice sacrum.
Rebecca: “Damn, Pete, you seen these girls’ pelvises?”
Jess: Pete’s appalled and covers Clark’s eyes. He’s sweet, but not very bright. Also, wasn’t he asking if Clark ever peeked, like, last episode? Clark tries again to get Pete to go to the bar, and when Pete refuses, bails, much to everyone’s consternation.
Kent Farm, day. Martha’s making breakfast when Jonathan gets off the phone with the credit card company. Apparently someone made some charges last night.
Loud music makes them look out the window and they see a new satellite dish outside the Attic of Sad Voyeurism. Said Attic turns out to be full of expensive new things, most of them very stupid (police lights, a speedboat, etc.). Clark’s playing video games on a new big screen TV and ignoring them.
Rebecca: My favorite part is when Martha walks through the wasteland of electronic equipment, grabs a shirt hanging on a banister and calls to Jonathan, “This is silk!!!”
Jess: Jonathan angrily grabs the remote and hilariously can’t figure out how to turn off the music until Clark does it for him. He can’t believe Clark stole their credit cards; Clark, meanwhile, is remorse-free. Jonathan tells him to return all of his purchases, and then they’re going to talk about his attitude. “Well, Dad, you can talk all you want,” Clark says, “I’m out of here.” He zips out of the barn and onto Jonathan’s motorcycle, puts on sunglasses to the strains of “Born to be Wild” playing in his head, and drives off. Martha looks dismayed and Jonathan hugs her and kisses the top of her head. Aw.
Jess: Elsewhere, Jessie walks down the road. Her father drives along beside her. “You’re not going to school dressed like that,” he says. “Okay, then I just won’t go,” she replies. He reminds her that they can’t draw attention to themselves.
In response, she sticks out her thumb, just as Clark drives up. “Need a ride?” he asks. Impressed, she gets on the bike and they drive off over her dad’s protests.
Rebecca: Rebel Clark Kent does whatever he wants! He doesn’t care! He rides a motorcycle! He GOES TO SCHOOL!!!
Jess: Smallville High. Clark drives up the sidewalk, making students jump out of the way. What a tool. All the girls look as impressed as Jessie, except for Chloe and Lana (and Pete).
Clark parks. Jessie thanks him for the ride and leaves. The Scoobies approach timidly, Clark sleazily hits on Lana again, and the girls leave. Pete’s all ??? and Clark is all “People change, Pete.” I’m pretty sure Clark learned all his attitude from Joe Cool, frankly.
Rebecca: It doesn’t help that Welling is like 25 at this point.
Jess: Jonathan pulls up in the truck and says they need to talk. Clark walks away, and Jonathan tells him to get in the truck. “Give me one good reason why I should,” Clark says. Jonathan grabs him: “Because I am your father, and I just told you to get in the truck.”
Clark smirks. “You’re not my father. You never were.” Jonathan’s heart breaks into tiny pink pieces, and then Clark shoves him away and sends him flying into the truck door. Pete hurries to help him, and Clark walks off.
Jess: Kent Farm. Martha puts an icepack on Jonathan’s back. They can’t figure out what’s going on with Clark, and know they can’t make him do anything he doesn’t want to. They theorize that a change this extreme might be an alien thing rather than normal teen rebellion. Jonathan admits that what Clark said hurt him deeply, and Martha insists that Clark loves him. She suggests they talk to Pete.
Rebecca: This scene brings up the good point that there’s no point where the Kents know for sure that Clark WON’T grow tentacles.
Jess: The Talon. Clark struts up to Lana and demands that they talk, despite her doing her best to avoid him. He smugly says she was jealous that he was with Jessie, and she pretends like she wasn’t. Girl, the problem is not Jessie, the problem is he’s acting like a toolbox.
She asks what’s going on, and he says he’s decided to tell the truth. “About everything?” she asks. “Try me,” he says. “What do you want to know?” She asks about the day of the tornado, and he smirks: “We’ll get there.”
Jess: Then he lays it all out: “I’ve had feelings for you for a long time, and I know that you’ve had feelings for me too. So I think we should stop pretending.”
She makes a terrible, uncomfortable joke about the all-new Clark Kent and tries to flee, but he stops her and kisses her. She’s definitely into it, even though it is NOT HOT. How can two people this pretty be so bad at kissing each other?
Rebecca: This is probably the worst screen kiss of all time. They look like they’re trying to suck each other’s lips off. It’s actually not unlike that part in the Andrew Garfield/Emma Stone SNL sketch where he puts her whole chin in his mouth.
Jess: “What about Jessie?” she asks. What about Chloe, who you’re both half-dating? “You’re the one I want to be with,” he says. “I’ll pick you up at eight.” He leaves, and she looks bewildered.
Torch office. Chloe excitedly tells Pete that the stones in their rings are fake. Girl, I promise you that no one thought those big chunky stones were actual rubies. Pete tells her there’s something wrong with Clark and the Kents are freaking out: “They think he’s on drugs or something.” “Clark would have to be on drugs to be on drugs,” Chloe says, then realizes how dumb that line was.
She brings the subject back to her “exposé”: the class rings are not rubies, but meteor rocks. Pete says meteor rocks are green; “Not the lode they found near Hobb’s Pond,” Chloe replies, showing him a rock with a red vein in it. Pete stares at his own ring, then bolts, holding the rock.
Kent Farm. Pete’s explaining his theory to the Kents – after all, Clark’s weird behavior started after he put on the ring. “If the green meteor rocks affect Clark physically, maybe the red ones affect him emotionally,” Martha says. Well, fine, but my kingdom for Silver Age silliness where he grows a third eye or gets really small or something. They worry that prolonged exposure may make it worse – and they have no way of making him take the ring off if he doesn’t want to.
Rebecca: I hope there was a point in the writers’ plan to have red-K do something different to Clark every time, at least before they saw the ratings for this episode. I feel like there’s an alternate episode where they did like 60 super weird episodes instead of that many different flavors of Bad Clark.
Jess: Luthor Castle. Clark struts into Lex’s study wearing a long black duster like he’s been watching too much Angel and says he came to play pool, but the pool table’s gone. Now what will Lex do aimlessly by himself??? Lex starts to say he let Lionel get rid of it, then turns around and:
1. forgets what he was saying,
2. stares openly at Clark, mouth hanging open,
3. while the camera pans up Clark’s body like he’s Megan Fox in a bikini,
4. then shifts uncomfortably and kind of hunches forward.
It’s just a coat, Lex.
Rebecca: !!!!!! It’s not even “just a coat,” it’s like a super long coat that covers most of his body!!!!! What did the director even think he was doing!!!!!!!!!!!
Jess: Clark bitterly tells Lex not to let Lionel ruin his life, and Lex purrs: “I wasn’t aware a $2,000 coat came with a backbone.” Oh my GOD. I am crying with laughter over here.
Rebecca: We’re so #blessed to have this scene.
Jess: Clark asks to borrow the Ferrari: “I’ve got a hot date tonight and I wanna rock her world.” “Rock her world?” Lex repeats, and because he is Clark’s friend, laughs much less than I do. Lex is glad (“glad”) Clark’s finally asked Lana out, but doesn’t think she’ll be impressed by a fancy car, and is a little worried about letting Clark take it out. “It’s not like I’m going to…drive it off a bridge,” Clark replies. Heeee.
“All you have to ask yourself is: who’s more responsible than Clark Kent?” Clark says. Cut to him screeching down the road in the Ferrari.
The bar, night. There are quite a few gals in cowboy hats and denim vests on the dance floor. Party central! (Oh man, remember the episode of Lois and Clark where he taught her how to line dance? #FEELINGS) Lana is unimpressed and overwhelmed. Clark, in a tank top (LOLZ), catches some guys leering at Lana’s backside. Because there’s nothing dudes in redneck dive bars like better than 15-year-olds in Delia’s jeans and puff-sleeved peasant blouses.
Rebecca: Whyyyyy is Clark wearing a tank top?? Were no actual young people consulted in the making of this episode? Did Welling not even take the wardrobe person aside and say, “Ten years ago, in 1992, when I was 15, I would never have been caught dead in this”??
Jess: Lana breaks up the impending fight and Clark offers her a beer. Shocked, she refuses, and asks to leave so they can talk. Clark’s bad boy shtick is 50 years and several realities out of date, but I’ve gotta say, his friends are also a little prudish. Lana’s been dating Flash for a million years, has she really never seen a teenager drinking a beer?
“I’ll take that dance, Clark,” Jessie says. She gets in a little dig at the Talon before pulling Clark onto the dance floor, where the bartender spots her.
Clark and Jessie flirt and are about to make out when Lana announces she’s leaving. Clark holds out some cash and tells her to get them some drinks, and reminds her she said she wasn’t jealous: “There’s enough of me to go around.”
Disgusted, Lana starts to leave. Clark grabs her and she smacks his hand away. The two guys who were ogling her step up to ask if there’s a problem. “Not anymore,” she says, and walks out.
Clark starts to follow her and Ogler #1 stops him: “I’d let the lady go if I were you.” Clark smirks, then flings both oglers across the room. Everyone backs away in alarm and the bartender comes at Clark with a baseball bat. Clark calmly heat visions it and it bursts into flames. He knocks out the bartender, then Ogler #2, who’s come back for another try. “ANYBODY ELSE?” he yells, Welling working those “mad with power” eyes like a champ. Well, like a something.
Jess: Jessie, who is not a good enough actress to convey whether she’s into this or just freaked out, tells Clark she can’t be there when the cops get there. “Yeah, let’s go pack our bags and see that big bad world you were talking about,” he says, and they leave.
Rebecca: I just remembered – and we’re several dosings away from this, but still – that at one point when Clark is on red-K, he gets married and then ALMOST has sex with his wife. WHAT A REBEL.
Jess: IT’S LIKE HE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW HIMSELF.
Kent Farm, day. Clark’s packing up the Ferrari as the Kents plead with him to let them help him. Clark rudely scoffs at their concerns. “Clark, I wish you could hear yourself for just a minute, there’s something very…very wrong with you,” Jonathan says. “It’s that ring.”
“You’re still upset about me buying the stupid thing? How pathetic,” Clark says. Jonathan makes a move towards the ring and Clark jerks his hand away. “You really don’t want to touch me,” he warns.
Martha tells Clark that the ring contains a meteor rock and Jonathan adds that they think it’s affecting his mind. Clark pauses: “So…everything I’ve been doing and saying is because of this?” Jonathan agrees and tells him to take it off. “Take it off?” Clark repeats. “I just wish I would’ve found it sooner.” Even his grammar is evil!
He smirks a bit more about how he’s sick of being poor, which is so pasted on for this episode I can’t even, and says he could make millions with his abilities if his parents weren’t holding him back. Jonathan says they were protecting him and Clark says no, he was just another piece of farm equipment. Then he drives off in a cloud of dust.
Rebecca: I wish this episode was actually about things that Clark secretly felt instead of about ogling girls and whatever the network asked them to add at the last minute?
Jess: That’s the thing – he’s literally never complained about not having money before, and seems perfectly capable of splurging on froofy drinks at the Talon whenever, so where is this coming from?
Luthor Castle. Clark bursts in and tells Lex he’s keeping the Ferrari, just until he gets himself settled. Lex is like ??? and Clark says he “left home,” and I have to imagine he thinks that phrasing is, like, super grown-up. His parents don’t understand him, Lana’s out and Jessie’s in, blah blah.
Rebecca: Also, he “left home” and went directly down the road to his (boy)friend’s house? Just leave, dude!
Jess: Lex thinks this is all a little sudden and Clark angrily says his destiny isn’t in Smallville, and that Lex has no idea what he’s capable of. “Why don’t you fill me in?” Lex asks. Clark preens and says something vague about getting everything he’s ever wanted, which is funny because I’m pretty sure that list goes: 1. Lana, 2. Also Chloe somehow??? 3. Three cookies after dinner instead of two.
Lex says maybe he should get out of Smallville too, if his father’s so interested in setting up shop there, and they eagerly/dorkily start planning to move into the penthouse in Metropolis together while sinister music plays. “Clark Kent and Lex Luthor,” Clark says. “I like the sound of that.” Oh MAN. Lex tells him he’s got some loose ends to tie up and he’ll be right back.
Rebecca: I’m sorry to report that the person Clark marries on red-K is NOT Lex somehow. :(:(:(:(:(:(
Jess: The Talon. Chloe comes in and says she heard Lana had a date with Clark. Lana says it’s not a date when he leaves with someone else. “Wow. You just went from the gossip column to page one,” Chloe says a little nastily, then apologizes: “Sometimes my glib-o-meter goes into overdrive.” There’s some really weird blocking here, where the girls have miles of camera space to move in but Chloe is literally sliding along Lana’s back like she’s trying to squeeze into a seat at a movie theater.
Some dude asks Lana for a refill. It’s the U.S. Marshal! He’s on a cell, talking to someone who’s run a license number for him. “Of course I know who he is,” he says, and hangs up.
Rebecca: Man, speaking of pasted-on plots, BOY HOWDY.
Jess: Kent Farm, the barn. Pete asks if this is the right thing to do and Jonathan says they don’t have a choice. Lex walks in and Jonathan asks Pete to give them a moment, then tells Lex it’s not a great time. Lex says he’s heard they’re having family problems and Jonathan tells him to butt out: “Clark and I can work this out.” “Then why is Clark hiding out at the mansion?” Lex asks.
Luthor Castle. Clark’s set the pool table back up. #coolguysplaypoolbythemselves Lionel staggers in and Clark breaks the rack, startling him. “Lex? Is that you?” Lionel calls. Clark grins and steals Lionel’s sunglasses off his face, dancing out of range as Lionel swings at him with his cane. “Lionel, go back to your room,” he says. “Better yet, pack your bags and get the hell out.”
Lionel’s understandably taken aback and asks who Clark is. Clark tells him, and Lionel IDs him as Jonathan and Martha’s son. He’s surprised that such nice people raised such a monster. Clark tells him if he likes them so much he should go live with them: “I hear they have a spare bedroom, and I know they could use the cash.” Lionel, being Lionel, is suddenly impressed by Clark’s chutzpah.
Rebecca: Blind Lionel is somehow even more inscrutable than Seeing Lionel.
Jess: In walks the U.S. Marshal. He says Clark was seen with Jessie last night, but I’m not sure how he knows that – like, if the bartender said “She left with some dude in Lex Luthor’s car,” wouldn’t he assume it was Lex?
Rebecca: Well, the natural follow-up question would be, “Did the guy have hair?”
Jess: He asks where Jessie is and Clark says he’s never seen her before. The USM takes out a gun and cocks it. Lionel freezes at the sound, but Clark just smirks: “Is that supposed to scare me?” He speeds forward and takes the gun. “You’ve got no idea who you’re dealing with,” he says, then shoots himself in the hand a few times and shows the USM the spent bullets and his unmarked skin.
Rebecca: I don’t totally understand why he does this instead of crushing the gun, but whatever.
Jess: “What’s happening?” Lionel asks. “Who’s shooting?” Clark tells him not to worry: “He missed.” Lionel goes to call security and the USM tries to run, but Clark pins him against the wall with the pool table and asks what he wants with Jessie. Turns out she and her dad are in witness protection; he’s a corporate whistleblower and his former boss offered the USM a million bucks to get the evidence – computer discs, mostly – from Jessie’s dad. He offers to split the money with Clark. “That’s a great idea, but who needs you?” Clark asks, and knocks him out.
Jessie’s house. She’s ready to leave with Clark, but tells her he knows about her dad, and he’s not leaving until he gets the discs. She fails to make any sort of facial expression as she asks why he’s doing this. “Money,” Clark replies. Well, duh.
Jessie says if she gives him the discs her dad will die. “He was dead when he started running,” says the USM from behind Clark, gun out. Clark’s like ugh, you again. So exactly how did the USM regain consciousness soon enough to get there that fast, and how did he figure out where Clark went, and how did the Luthors’ security not stop him, and why does he think he can fight Clark with a gun?
Clark basically just stands there as the USM threatens to shoot Jessie, and a gunshot goes off – but it’s Jessie’s dad, who’s just shot the USM dead. He turns the gun on Clark: “I don’t want to hurt you, son, but I will. Get out.”
“Just like my dad,” Clark says. I think I missed the episode where Jonathan held you at gunpoint and threw you out, Clark. Anyway, Clark’s obviously unintimidated. He grabs the gun and starts tearing up the place looking for the discs. Jessie slips out the door with her bag.
Clark hoists Jessie’s dad up by his collar and demands the location of the discs. Dude, you have X-ray vision. Jessie’s dad says he’ll never find the discs, even if he tears the house to the ground. “Jessie,” Clark realizes.
Rebecca: I hate this part of the episode that just becomes a totally different show where a teenager in a suit yells at people about floppy discs for about 10 minutes. #2002
Jess: Jessie runs through the cornfield and suddenly slams into Clark so hard she falls down, which is actually hilarious. He smirks and squats down to her level. “Please don’t do this,” she says. He takes the bag with the discs: “I never realized how easy it would be to get everything I ever wanted.”
Rebecca: It would probably be a lot easier than this if you just robbed a bank real quick, ya deluded hick!
Jess: “Clark!” someone says behind him. It’s Pete! Pete, you’re blowing up this season. He says Lionel heard Clark mention Jessie, which doesn’t work since Lionel was long gone by the time her name was mentioned, but whatever. “Jessie, run!” Pete yells, and she grabs her bag and bolts.
Clark gets in Pete’s face, but then Jonathan appears, holding a sledgehammer: “I’m not gonna let you hurt anybody else.” Clark’s amused by the fact that he seems to be scared, and says he and Martha were always afraid of Clark. “No. We had nothing but love for you,” Jonathan says. “That makes what I’m about to do all the more difficult. Pete, do it.”
Clark turns – and Pete opens a small lead box to reveal kryptonite. Clark hunches over. “Pete,” he says, with a pleading look on his face. “Clark, I’m sorry,” Pete says.
“Clark!” Jonathan yells. He swings the sledgehammer, Clark holds up the fist with the ring to block it, the sledgehammer hits the ring – and the ring shatters, gold and stone alike. As metal does.
Also, wouldn’t this just create red-K dust that could be embedded in Clark’s clothes, or worse, breathed in?
Rebecca: Also, the slo-mo CGI of this shot is frankly embarrassing. It looks like a video game.
Jess: It looks like Jonathan just crushed Clark’s Ring-Pop.
Clark collapses (because of all the red-K in his lungs now) and Pete closes the box. “Dad?” he asks as Jonathan cuddles him. “It’s okay, son. It’s all right,” Jonathan assures him.
Luthor Castle. Lionel walks into the study in confusion, since the furniture’s all being moved back to where it was before. (P.S. He’d only ever added, like, one IKEA modernist bookshelf with some monitors from 1997 on it. THE MONSTER.) Lex tells him he’s putting everything back, then offers him a drink. Lionel identifies the vintage by scent. OF COURSE HE DOES.
Rebecca: “Lex, you’re 13 now – in some cultures you’re a man, and accordingly you must start your fencing, classics, and scotch-tasting lessons at once.” – Lionel, 1990.
Jess: Lex says he’s been thinking about how people looked at him after the meteor shower – like a freak. “Oh please, Lex, not another tale of your tortured youth and how I failed you as a father,” Lionel interrupts. Ahaha. Lex says Lionel actually gave him great advice: “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” He turns that one around on Lionel, there’s some more bombastic dialogue, Lionel fondles the bullets Clark dropped. Whatevs.
Kent Farm. Jonathan and Martha sit down to dinner. Clark lingers in the doorway, mentioning that Jessie and her dad are gone and he hopes she’s all right. He shamefacedly tells Jonathan he didn’t mean what he said earlier, and Jonathan says that while the rock affected his personality, the feelings came from somewhere, and he never realized their relative lack of money bothered Clark. “Maybe it does, sometimes, but then I remember what’s really important, and none of that stuff matters,” Clark says. The Kents look touched. Aw.
Clark sits and says that when he had the ring on, he wanted to tell the world who he was. “It’s like I have these two identities and I don’t know which one’s the real me.” Martha assures him that the real him is the one without the ring. They all smile at each other.
Rebecca: Uh, Martha, I don’t think that’s what he meant. Anyway, this sequence is annoyingly typical of this era of the show – some stuff happens that Clark could probably explain to his friends but doesn’t, and then he spends 10 minutes apologizing and post-morteming with his parents. The silliest example is probably at the end of my favorite Bad Clark episode, the one where Clark and Lionel swap bodies (!!!!).
Jess: A field. Lana, looking very cute and farmy with her hair in French pigtails, is riding when Clark comes up on the other side of the fence. He’s got a little bouquet of wildflowers, aw. He apologizes and asks if they can go back to being friends. “Hmm. So you thought that if you brought me flowers I’d pretend like nothing happened?” she asks.
Rebecca: YEP, EXACTLY.
Jess: He insists that he wasn’t being himself. “Even the part where you said you had feelings for me?” she asks. “You can’t have it both ways. Either it was you, or it wasn’t.” He says he can’t explain, and she says “Story of your life” with a bitter little smile. “I really am sorry,” he says. “I know you are,” she agrees. “It’s not enough anymore.” She rides off. TEAM LANA FOREVER! Also, the lighting and focus on their respective faces is so different in this scene I’m pretty sure one of them is from completely separate reshoots.
Rebecca: If memory serves, at this point in 2002 Smallville was the most-watched show on The WB, and this episode did really well in the ratings specifically. Can you believe it??? Millions of teens watched this and apparently decided it was cool!
Jess: I blame you specifically, Rebecca.
Rebecca: It did well enough to (I assume) affect the trajectory of the series and what it thought it did well. But it’s such a bad episode overall. Not as fun as I always expect it to be, although Welling has a good time – bless his cardboard heart. Shout out to Chloe and Lana for continuing to be so cute. Shout out to Pete for showing up.
Jess: Team Lana forever! Mostly I’m just disappointed that the rebel chick with my name was so boring. Your mesh shirt gave me false hope, Jessie!
Rating: Running into Clark and falling over.
Next week: The low-rent Hulk writes poetry.