The Smallville Project: Episode 2.06 – “Redux”
|July 3, 2014||Posted by Jess under Comics, Television, The Smallville Project|
Jess: Gym class. Clark and Pete are racing in the pool to the dulcet tones of “Boom Boom Boom (Let Me Hear You Say Wayo),” and I’m just gonna pause to laugh for ten minutes.
Rebecca: THIS SONG IS FROM 1995!
Jess: SO RANDOM. Right, where were we? Oh yeah, what the hell kind of poor-farming-community-centric gym class includes swimming?
As Clark pulls himself out of the pool, Jules from Psych, who looks all of her 23 years, ogles him and tells Lana he’s a hottie. Lana’s all “Pshaw” and then turn their attention back to the really pathetic banner she’s making as she applauds “Chrissy” for being so gung-ho about Spirit Week. Chrissy’s boyfriend Troy shows up, dripping wet, and they scurry off to make out.
Rebecca: Shout out to the CW Hunk who played Troy for continuing to appear on the WB/CW all the way up to 2014, when he played the cop on who was secretly a mole for Brother Blood on Arrow. Also, he’s the same jock from Shimmer who bullied the invisible guy, which I forgot. Also apparently he appears again in a few years as a different Smallville character. Terrific.
Jess: Clark and Troy take their places for the finals of this little swim tournament. Halfway across the pool, Troy starts struggling, and sinks. Clark notices, but it takes Chrissy yelling “Somebody help him!” for Captain Cheekbones to zip over and lift Troy off the bottom of the pool. #SUPERMAN
Rebecca: At least he didn’t insist on winning the race first.
Jess: Clark pulls Troy to the side. They roll Troy onto his back and everyone gasps, as – DUN DUN DUN – he’s suddenly turned old! P.S. Don’t swim in the Smallville High pool.
SOMEBODY SAAAAAAAAAAVE MEEEEEEEEE!
Kent Farm, morning. Martha is baking a billion muffins, and Jonathan and Clark proudly tease her about how great they are while Clark carries just-out-of-the-oven tins in his bare hands. #ADORABLE Jonathan’s still fretting about finances, despite the muffin business and Martha’s new job with Lionel, which doesn’t really make sense but whatever. Martha suggests they talk to her father, and Jonathan stiffly walks away.
Rebecca: As I recall, at least part of this episode was filmed for Season 1, so there are like one or two awkward VO or cuts to fit it. But as it is, it seems like Lionel could definitely be paying Martha more.
Jess: “Why is it whenever anyone mentions Granddad, suddenly everyone becomes quiet and uncomfortable?” Clark bellows, because the writers don’t trust their audience. Turns out he’s never even met his grandfather; Jonathan says there’s too much bad blood and leaves, though with a surprisingly low degree of dickishness.
Rebecca: If he’s never met his grandfather or even talked about him, why does he insist on calling him “Granddad?”
Jess: The Talon. Clark enters with a tray of muffins and pours himself a cup of coffee, which I actually find adorable, even if he is TOO YOUNG FOR COFFEE. Lana’s been trying to get the place ready for Spirit Week, and has stumbled across photos of “my mom and some guy.” And the date written on the back is after Lana’s parents got married. Uh-oh!
Rebecca: Lana’s investment in her parents’ marriage is a real bummer.
Jess: Clark and Lana are cheerfully pretending the guy was just a friend when Lex saunters in and declares the people in the photo “an attractive couple,” because Lex has no idea how to talk like a normal 21-year-old. He catches the looks on Lana and Clark’s faces and quickly adds “and there could be a million explanations,” which, hee, and also aw. I’d forgotten how Rosenbaum’s charisma elevates this little trio.
Lana says she’ll ask Nell about it. “Mystery solved,” Lex says. “I wish they were all this easy.” He looks straight at Clark, who squirms. Hee!
Rebecca: It’s incredible how often people directly tell Clark that they know he has a secret and he’s a dick for hiding it, and he expresses no remorse whatsoever!
Jess: Lex offers them a ride to school and Lana says she’s staying at the Talon, since she has the first two periods off. Um, how does that work with her being such a top student and all? Clark says he was just gonna run, and Lex says “I don’t think you’re gonna outrun my Porsche” like Clark is very, very stupid, which of course he is, while Lana laughs. WHY IS THIS SCENE SO ADORABLE.
Rebecca: Welling’s cocky look at the prospect of outrunning Lex’s Porsche is actually pretty terrific.
Jess: Cut to Lex fishtailing up to the school as the gates are closed. I assume Clark’s been nagging him about his reckless driving the whole way. Clark hops out and the man closing the gates introduces himself as Mr. Reynolds, the new principal, and P.S. Clark is late. Reynolds tells Clark that from now on the gate stays locked the whole school school day, no matter what. Someone should tell Lana.
Lex tries to charm Reynolds into giving Clark a break, and exposits that Reynolds was headmaster at “Excelsior Prep” (AHAHAHAHA) when Lex was a student there.
Rebecca: (Um guess who was also a student there IT WAS OLIVER QUEEN okay I’m done)
Jess: (EEEEE I AM EXCITED)
Reynolds is not charmed, but Clark promises not to be late again, and Reynolds lets him in with a warning. Clark makes some ASTONISHINGLY flirty eyes at Lex and trots off.
“Spare the rod and spoil the child,” Lex drawls, because he is a cartoon. Reynolds tells him to stay away from the 15-year-olds, THANK GOD. Lex thinks Reynolds’ grudge against him is petty and Reynolds is like “Um, you’re a Luthor, YOU’RE MADE OF GRUDGES.” Lex pouts back to the car.
Inside the school, Chrissy is anxiously examining her crowsfeet in her locker mirror. Reynolds comes over to chat about Spirit Week and hey, also, they don’t have her transcript from her old school on file, could her parents send it over? Ominous music plays as she agrees. I feel like age-sucking vampire is a little much after heat-sucking and fat-sucking.
Rebecca: Don’t forget that there was already a DIFFERENT old character who used magic/science to become young! Someone should tell Chrissy about the kryptonite in the pond at the senior home; it could save a lot of lives.
Jess: Torch office. Troy is dead and Chloe’s Smallville sense is tingling. Clark is too busy being mad that the principal didn’t want him being late to care that a classmate is dead. Screw you, Clark. Chloe’s not concerned about Reynolds, and even has his resume for some inexplicable reason. It’s stellar, up until some years ago when he was fired from Excelsior Prep. I smell Luthorian shenanigans!
Later, at the Talon, Clark returns to help and he and Lana start chatting about his grandfather. Clark’s never met him, he lives in Coast City, Clark called him a few times when he was 11 but he never called back. He also mentions his grandmother, who presumably he’s also never met, but she’s a woman so who cares? (Seriously, show, fuck you and the horse your daddy issues rode in on.) Lana says they’re both dealing with family secrets, just as Nell walks in. Clark encourages Lana to talk to her, and leaves.
Rebecca: “Lana, do you ever think about _________?” “It looks like we’re both dealing with _________, Clark.” “Secrets ruin relationships.” Look, I wrote a Clark/Lana scene!
Jess: Lana shows Nell the pictures and Nell says the guy must be an old boyfriend. When Lana points out the date – the year before she was born – Nell pauses, then fake-smiles and assures Lana that her mother loved her and LanaDad and would never have done anything to hurt either of them. Except Lana hadn’t been born when these pictures were taken, so… Anyway, if this guy doesn’t turn out to be the Insect King and Lana’s secret dad and this is just another boring non-event like that time LanaMom didn’t like cheerleading, I’m gonna be so mad.
Kent Farm, day. Martha walks outside to greet her father, who’s just pulled up in the driveway. She emotionally thanks him for coming, and they hug awkwardly. He’s surprised Jonathan asked for his help and she admits Jonathan doesn’t know he’s there.
“I imagined this place differently,” he says, looking at the farm. “It’s not the life I wanted for you, Martha.” She insists she’s happy; he thinks Jonathan pressured her into becoming a farmer instead of a lawyer. “You raised an independent daughter and you’re angry because that’s what you got,” she snaps. I LOVE YOU, MARTHA. He points out that she’s going behind Jonathan’s back asking him for money.
Rebecca: I wish this subplot had a little bit more subtlety (I know) but instead Granddad states his opinions/main characteristics constantly, like any normal human would. He’s kind of like Lionel in that way.
Jess: Clark appears and Grandpa Clark (Martha’s maiden name!) stares at him. Martha awkwardly introduces them and Clark cheerfully shakes his hand. GC says he’ll be at the motel and he’ll draw up a check for Martha, and Clark invites him to stay at the farm, or have dinner, or something. GC declines and leaves. Clark sads.
Later, Jonathan’s not happy that Martha went behind his back or asked for financial help. Clark’s trying really, really hard to make peace between all three adults, but Jonathan doesn’t think it’s gonna happen. Clark asks what happened, and Jonathan says that when he asked GC for Martha’s hand, GC said “I will not let my daughter throw her life away by marrying some [deluded] hick farmer that couldn’t possibly support her.” Martha winces. Jonathan says GC tried to shove Jonathan out of his office, so Jonathan hit him. Yikes. Jonathan tried to apologize, but GC wasn’t having it, and they haven’t spoken since. Clark thinks GC might have come to make up, but Jonathan thinks he’s here to gloat.
The Talon. Lana’s watching the cheerleaders cheerlead when Lex walks in, as per her summons. She asks him to figure out who the mystery man in the photos is. He blathers about Pandora for a bit, but Lana’s determined to get answers.
Rebecca: Why does Lana ask Lex for investigative help instead of her good friend Chloe, the investigative reporter who has looked into Lana’s mother’s past before? She would probably even throw in a Pandora’s Box reference for free!
Jess: Especially since she’ll ask Chloe to do it next episode! (Spoiler!)
Torch office. Chloe tells Clark she’s got an interview with Reynolds in a minute. Then they start poring over Troy’s autopsy report because they are super morbid, and discover that his pituitary gland was “completely drained,” which I don’t think happens to glands.
Rebecca: Man, we are a mere handful of episodes away from this show’s piece de resistance of gland science.
Rebecca: We are breaking ground in these recaps of 12-year-old TV episodes about a 76-year-old character.
Jess: Reynolds appears, having heard all of this, and Chloe stammers awkwardly for a bit before Reynolds says he’s impressed by her creative thinking and the Torch in general. He tells her if she makes sure to back up her theories with facts, she’s got a great career ahead of her.
Clark tries to slink away, but Reynolds says he wants to see Clark in his office. Cut to said office, where Reynolds informs Clark that he thinks Clark is a slacker: quit the football team without playing a single game, chronic tardiness, zero extracurriculars. Clark points out that he writes for the Torch…“occasionally.” Also, does Clark’s file not mention that the coach was IMMOLATED right before Clark quit? It seems like a reasonable time to leave the team.
Rebecca: I mean, Reynolds does not seem at all concerned about the dead students in this episode, to like a sociopathic degree, so maybe he just doesn’t care.
Jess: Reynolds says he sees “untapped potential” in Clark, and Clark, um, angrily tells Reynolds off for judging him too quickly? THAT’S RIGHT, BUCKO, CLARK JEROME KENT IS USELESS! (Yes, “Jerome.”) Reynolds tells Clark Lex doesn’t hang around people who aren’t useful to him.
Reynolds moves on to Clark’s goals and he says he’d “like to help people. Uh. Something like that.” Way to be dedicated, Clarktopher. Reynolds tells him to write an essay on where he’ll be in five years. Dude, he’s fifteen. He doesn’t know where he’ll be in five minutes. Clark sulks out of the room, all whiny and eye-rolly. It’s the most teenage Welling has ever been.
Rebecca: The eye roll is so great. (He will tap into this snottiness later as Bizarro.)
Jess: The Talon. Clark’s sulkily writing his essay when Chrissy tries to wrangle him into pep rally stuff. He gripes about the essay and she scoffs: “Who cares about the future?” He says he’s like to think there’s life after high school, but she’s having none of this whole “getting older” business.
Rebecca: [insert joke about high school being the best years of the show’s life here]
Jess: Suddenly, her hand goes all shriveled and ancient. She quickly hides it, and scurries away to avoid Clark’s concerned/confused look.
Lex struts in and immediately guesses what Clark is writing – Reynolds made him do the same thing at Excelsior. He admits that he was a brat back then but that Reynolds was tough but fair.
The subject changes to Clark avoiding going home. He admits that he feels caught between his father and grandfather. Wow, that’s some loyalty to Jonathan, kid. Lex suggests locking them in a room and letting them fight it out, and Clark nods sagely, because Lex is so very good at family dynamics.
Rebecca: Clark’s bewildered reaction to any hint of his family’s dysfunction makes this episode kind of weird.
Jess: In the projection room, Chrissy thanks “Russell” for setting up all the tech. He admits that he misses Troy, and she coos that that’s why she came to see him: “For Troy. For the others.” He’s like “Huh?” and she laughs and says: “The ones who will live inside me forever.”
Russell’s eyes light up, like, “Score!” and they kiss – and he gets a horrified look on his face as she sucks the life out of him.
Kent Farm. Jonathan gets home and Clark says he wants Jonathan to see someone. GC pops up out of the barn with a scowl on his face and says if Martha needs help, he’ll give it. Jonathan doesn’t want GC’s money and GC is convinced that he was right about Martha making a mistake by marrying Martha. Clark’s like “Wait, no, insults aren’t how I planned this!” Clark’s real dumb, guys.
Rebecca: BUTT OUT OF THIS, CLARK, YOU ARE A STUPID CHILD.
Jess: GC storms off over Clark’s protests. Clark is seriously way too old to be acting like a quick chat will just magically solve everything, and the fact that Welling is like 47 doesn’t help.
Smallville High. Chloe tells the boys about Russell, and they’re mildly surprised but not, you know, upset that their classmate died or anything. Lana, the only one of these children with a heart, apparently wanted to cancel Spirit Week, but as Chloe tells us, Reynolds wanted to keep things “as normal as possible.” Pete cracks a joke about Reynolds having his “normal meter reset for Smallville.” Wouldn’t that mean you don’t give a crap when your friends die, though? Seems to me Reynolds is doing just fine.
Rebecca: Time for a new town motto! “Smallville: Ugh, Someone Died.”
Jess: Clark starts eyeing Chrissy suspiciously, because we’re nearly 30 minutes into the episode so they need to randomly choose a suspect pronto. Chloe agrees to look into her school records.
Meanwhile, Lex walks into Reynolds’s office and comments on his reading choice: “The Count of Monte Cristo, a classic tale of a man whose past comes back to haunt him.” As usual, Lex is not above slightly misinterpreting literature to suit his own ends.
Rebecca: One of my favorite weird things that Lex ALWAYS does is summarize the book he sees someone else reading.
Jess: Reynolds asks why he’s there, and Lex says he wants to donate some computers as “a thank you. You pushed me, and in hindsight I appreciate that.”
Reynolds asks what Lex wants in return and Lex tells him to lay off of Clark. Reynolds says Lex is just like his father: after “the incident” that nearly got Lex expelled, Lionel offered the trustees a new library, with the condition that Lex stay and Reynolds go. Lex looks boyishly guilty. Hey, Rosey. Let’s make out.
Kent Farm. Clark’s staring mindlessly at his essay when Lana comes in. Lex sent her some info on her parents and she’s afraid to open it. They blather boringly about their family troubles. Zzzzzzzzzz.
Cut to Clark showing up at GC’s incredibly hideous motel room. GC is friendly enough, and Clark asks him to look at the world’s tiniest photo album, so he can see that the Kents are “more than old arguments and overdue bills.” GC tries to give Clark the check and Clark tells him to give it to Martha himself, then flounces out.
Rebecca: WHY WOULD YOU GIVE THIS STUPID CHILD A LARGE CASHIER’S CHECK, YOU SAW HOW STUPID HE IS. This stressed me out.
Jess: Smallville High. Reynolds tells Chrissy he’s trying to meet all the students’ parents and she says they’ll be at the Talon for Spirit Week, then notices that her hand is old again.
Torch office. Chloe shows Clark a few stories she’s found online of other schools where a handful of students mysteriously aged to death overnight. “Let me guess: Chrissy was involved?” Clark asks, because he is a suspicious hatemonger. Sure enough, there she is in the 90s and the 80s, looking exactly the same (plus some poofy hair). Chloe found cases going all the way back to 1921. “It’s like she’s feeding off their youth to stay eternally young,” Clark says, finally catching up with the rest of us. Chloe calls the police; Clark zips off to find Chrissy.
The Talon. Reynolds finds Chrissy in the projection room, her face obscured by darkness as a cheerleading remix plays on the speakers. He asks where her parents are and she tells him they died over a century ago. She steps out of the darkness to reveal an absolutely terrible “old” makeup job, and knocks him out. So…doing high school over and over again? How very Cullen of you, Chrissy.
Rebecca: Girl – just be an adult living off your apparent largesse and then you don’t have to get up at 7AM and take math tests!
Jess: Clark arrives at the Talon, asks Pete if Chrissy’s around, and upon an affirmative answer, X-rays the stage. He sees a skeleton bend over another one, tells Pete to lock the door, and zips backstage. Don’t get to safety or anything though, Pete.
Backstage, he tells Chrissy to stop and that he’s not going to let her hurt anyone else. She oldfaces that she’s saving them, saving them from losing their perfect youth, and reaches for him. He throws her through the projection screen and into a keyboard with unnecessary violence. She catches sight of her appearance, ages to death, and crumbles to dust. It literally takes as long as you took to read that sentence. What an anticlimactic fight. Cue the “ugh someone died” face!
Rebecca: Throw ‘Em Ten Feet & Watch ‘Em Die: The Clark Kent Story
Jess: Kent Farm. Closeup on an absolutely adorable picture of the Kents years ago, with tiny Clark flexing his muscles and Jonathan jokingly following suit. In the kitchen, Martha asks if there’s any more fallout at school, and Clark mopes that Spirit Week’s canceled. “Aw, I’m sorry to hear that,” Martha replies. THREE CHILDREN DIED, YOU MONSTERS.
Rebecca: Like, at this point Clark’s graduating class is depleted by what must be 15%.
Jess: Clark admits that he went to see GC and gives Martha the check. He says GC tried to get involved in his life after the adoption. Uh, when did GC say that? The Kents admit that they kept Clark from GC because he couldn’t control his abilities and they weren’t sure they could trust GC to keep the secret. Clark’s like “So he’s not in our lives because of me?” and they’re like “Yeah, pretty much.” Okay so literally everyone in this episode is completely terrible, even Martha. EVEN MARTHA!
Rebecca: I don’t understand why they can’t say, “Well, we were really scared then about what could happen, but now you’re grown up and in control and you can choose who you want to be honest or have a relationship with.” No????
Jess: Attic of Sad Voyeurism. Lana comes in all fancied up and Clark tells her he finished his essay and plans to be studying journalism in college in five years, and also he’ll have a relationship with GC. What a boring essay.
Rebecca: Also, neither of those things happen. LOL. Enjoy dropping out of college after your history professor turns out to be Brainiac, bro!
Jess: Lana says Lex’s research revealed that her parents were legally separated for a year – and she was born right after they got back together. Clark’s eyes widen, all “Oh snap.” “My father might still be alive,” she concludes. Lana, I love you, but NO 1 CURR.
Rebecca: WHITHER GOTH LANA, WE HARDLY KNEW YE.
Rebecca: This formula for an episode doesn’t have a lot of shelf life left. Of course, they’ll mine it forever, but phew, right? I’m hoping Flash doesn’t turn into the tiresome Freak of the Week brigade. Anyway, this mostly just made me sad for Maggie Lawson and Shady Cop from Arrow, for different reasons. (If you’ve been on these networks for more than a decade and you’re not playing a Salvatore or a Winchester, quit.)
Jess: Yeah, mostly this episode felt like everyone was phoning it in, even Chrissy. Next!
Next week: Lex wonders if being related to Clark would be great or devastating.