The Smallville Project: Episode 2.14 – “Rush”
|October 2, 2014||Posted by Jess under Comics, Television, The Smallville Project|
Jess: Night, a field somewhere. Chloe and Pete pull up to where a mass of cars is parked for what Chloe describes as “a rave in a cave.” Pete’s concerned, because these caves are the Kawatche ones, but Chloe doesn’t think “a little Moby” will do any damage.
Rebecca: Did Pete already get a new blue car to replace the red one that Sheriff Ethan blew up last week? Also, remember when Moby was the biggest name in EDM?
Jess: Inside, a party’s in full swing. Pete tries to keep anyone from touching the walls, which works about as well as you’d think, until Pete explains to Chloe that the paintings are sacred and she tells the other kids the clay doesn’t wash out of your clothes. Aw.
Rebecca: Pete has somehow inherited Clark’s “worried mom” face.
Jess: A nerdy guy named Travis plants a kiss on Chloe, declares himself to be “high on life,” then starts climbing up some lighting equipment. The crowd cheers him on, though Pete and Chloe tell him to get down. As he jumps to his death, something reaches through a crack in the wall and…injects Pete in the neck? He starts smiling and dancing while Chloe stares at Travis’s body in horror.
Rebecca: Cool episode.
Jess: SOMEBODY SAAAAAAAAAAVE MEEEEEEEEE!
Downtown Smallville, day. Clark’s reading about Travis’s death in the paper (Rebecca: “LOCAL TEEN DIES IN CAVE RAVE” – the actual headline) when Pete comes careening down the sidewalk on his motorcycle, nearly running over a few people. Clark nags him about his recklessness in a weirdly lethargic, Christopher Walken-esque delivery, but Pete doesn’t care.
Rebecca: (Welling and Rosey both do Christopher Walken impressions? This is true, but confusing.)
Jess: Clark thinks Pete might be acting weird because he saw Travis die last night, which is a weird conclusion to draw because they see people die every week and have never cared, but Pete just teases Clark for never taking risks, especially with Lana, then drives off.
Clark heads into the Talon, where Lana is really shaken up by Travis’s death, for once. She’s even seen the school counselor, who’s told her that she needs to “embrace living.” #gothlanalives Clark agrees, and actually asks her out. Stop the presses! “But, I mean, if you don’t want to go…” he hedges. “When?” she interrupts, and Kreuk actually comes off as flustered and totally smitten, which is adorable. They set the date for tomorrow, all excited and embarrassed, and aw, these two are actually cute when they talk about real things.
Rebecca: The cuteness level of this scene helps me almost forgive the facts that A) Lana is misspelling ‘latte’ (as ‘late’) on the sign she’s writing, and B) she epically mispronounces “carpe diem” (as “car-PAY dee-EM”). I’d like to think that both are character choices. But the cuteness is real.
Jess: The caves. Clark’s brought some garbage bags to clean up all the litter that’s been left down there. Aw. Lex appears, says he hired a maintenance crew to take care of it, and asks why Clark cares about the caves so much, since the security guard says Clark’s there almost every day: “Now you wouldn’t be keeping secrets from me, would you, Clark?” Clark points out that, uh, his girlfriend (sort of) died to protect the caves and that maybe he might feel a way about that?
He asks a more legit question – why Lex cares – and Lex says he loves a good mystery. Oh, and he told the security guard that no one’s allowed in the caves without his permission – except Clark, of course. Um, and the Kawatche, maybe? You boys are so busy lying to each other and butting antlers you seem to have forgotten that this is the cultural heritage of PEOPLE WHO AREN’T YOU. Ugh this is racist.
Rebecca: Where is Joseph Willowbrook? He needs to remind Clark that he’s not the only one who caaaares.
Jess: The Talon. Chloe asks if Lana’s avoiding her and Lana says no, even though she totally is, then admits she has a date with Clark. It’s super awkward, but Chloe tells her she should go for it: “Don’t let me be your excuse.” Orrrrr you two could date instead!
Kent Farm. The Kents ask Clark why Principal Reynolds called them to tell them Clark’s become chronically late. Clark laughs: “I’ve just been spending more time at the caves.” Wipe that smirk off your face, child, “sitting in a cave” is not an excuse for missing school. Jonathan tells Clark he can’t go to the caves anymore and needs to come straight home after school. Um, post-school cave-sitting isn’t the problem, Jonathan. Do you people even listen to your own mouth words?
Rebecca: Also, what is Clark doing in the caves?? It’s only like 2 rooms, and he doesn’t know how to read Kryptonian, so is he just staring at the pretty pictures for hours on end?? Actually, never mind, that’s kind of plausible for Clark.
Jess: Clark says he needs to go out tomorrow after school because he and Lana have a date, and after some prodding from Martha, Jonathan agrees. “If you see Pete tell him to stop cutting donuts out in the field, he’s scaring the cattle!” Jonathan hollers as Clark runs out, which is the best line Jonathan’s ever had.
Jess: Luthor Castle. “Dr. Frederic Walden” (yes, show, that one was actually minutely clever), an expert on pictographs and hieroglyphics, is waiting in Lex’s study. He’s not impressed by Lex’s offer of money, but he is impressed by the pictures Lex shows him of the cave paintings.
Torch office. Clark and Chloe agree that Pete’s been acting weird and that it’s probably because of Travis’s death. She asks if Clark has any big weekend plans, he goes blank, and she gives him one beautiful look of absolute done-ness before expositing that the autopsy found a small puncture wound in the back of Travis’s neck, and that his adrenal gland was enlarged. Also, two other kids who were at the party (but attended different schools, which is why Clark hasn’t heard about them) also died afterwards doing crazy risky things – and they have the same puncture wound. The police think someone might have gotten them with a new designer drug. Clark hurries off to see if that’s what’s going on with Pete.
Rebecca: I love how Mack even delivers the kryptosition with an air of doneness. Poor Chloe.
Jess: Downtown, night. Clark’s trotting towards the Talon – it’s not clear if he’s still looking for Pete or just heading to his date – when Pete hollers at him from across the street. He’s standing on the hood of a car. Clark clutches his pearls to a hilarious degree as he tells Pete to get down, and they have to go to the hospital.
Pete sees a bus coming, leaps down, and just…stands in front of it? How is that thrill-seeking? Clark speed-tackles him out of the way, then tries to haul Pete off to the hospital – but Pete doesn’t want to go, and threatens to tell everyone Clark’s secret if Clark tries to make him. “HE’S AN ALIEN!” he shrieks, then runs off hooting like Woody Woodpecker. Clark, I think your secret’s safe.
Rebecca: My favorite part is when he goes, “HE’S AN ALIEN! I’M TELLING THE TRUTH!”
Jess: The caves. Clark and Chloe are poking around, trying to find a clue to what’s wrong with Pete, who’s gone missing. Clark says “a reporter friend of his” once told him to “explore all options,” which makes absolutely no sense, but Chloe’s belated realization that he’s quoting her and delighted grin make it worth it.
They split up. Chloe’s peering into the crevice that Pete was injected through when Dr. Walden snaps at her, startling her. He tells her the caves are off limits for making out, and while she’s facing him, something comes out of the crevice and pricks her too. She suddenly gets all sexy-aggressive and says no one’s made out in those caves since the 20th century. so…three years ago, then.
Clark returns and recognizes Walden. (Rebecca: “Hey, you’re Frederic Walden, the linguist!” – Tom Welling) He asks if Lex hired him – and Lex confirms as he walks in. Lex says Clark and Chloe are his friends but Walden says no one’s allowed on his sites except his crew. Lex agrees and Clark gets all indignant because he found the caves. HEY ALL OF YOU ASSHOLES, WHAT ABOUT THE KAWATCHE???
They belatedly notice that Chloe’s climbed up on a ledge and tell her to get down. Walden tries to take her camera (???) and she rightfully tells the “cunning linguist” (way to be 12, honey) to kiss her ass, then struts out. All three men exchange baffled looks of “A woman did what she wanted and didn’t allow a mean stranger to take her property for no reason??? How evil and also erotic!”
Jess: Sidebar: I was going to say this show is OBSESSED with having its characters act “evil” (usually just sexy but sometimes also slightly more sarcastic than usual) and it really speaks to this show’s fascination with and simultaneous fear of sexuality, but it’s also kind of a proud tradition dating back to those Silver Age covers where you’d have, like, Superman adopting Jimmy and then burning the Father’s Day gifts Jimmy gave him with his heat vision. Still gross, though.
Rebecca: I mean, this show’s puritanical relationship to sex (at a time when its peer shows had, like, Buffy and Spike fuck-destroying a house) is probably the most confusing thing about it. It’s also so weird that these episodes are sweeps-timed plays at ratings (about this time the previous year they were airing “Nicodemus”), when the rest of the year Clark is taking 25 episodes to kiss a girl consensually. It’s like DC Comics had more of a say than the WB about how the show dealt with the characters’ sexuality. (Sidebar to my sidebar: It will take another 5-6 seasons for Clark and Lana to cause property damage via fucking.)
Jess: Attic of Sad Voyeurism, day. Clark’s settling down to listen to some Remy Zero when Pete pops out of nowhere, pissed that Jonathan called his folks. Clark X-rays Pete’s abdomen (Pete’s indignant realization of what Clark’s doing is hilarious) and sees some kind of horrifying bug wiggling around Pete’s spine AUGH WHY. He tells Pete they’re going to the hospital, end of story – and Pete calls him a freak, then whips out some kryptonite.
Rebecca: I kind of like Parasite Pete.
Jess: Clark collapses. “How could you do this to me?” he gasps. Man, these two are cute on the light friendshippy scenes, but give them serious emotions to play and they’re outright laughable. Pete tells Clark to stay away from him or he’ll “start selling tickets to your storm cellar,” then scampers away.
The caves. Walden’s found the parasites, one of which he’s got in a jar for Lex to look at. There’s a painting of one of them across the crevice they came from, with an S on its head for “symbolism” that doesn’t actually make sense. They figure the Kawatche, or possibly someone else, placed them as a warning to stay away from the caves. Walden destroyed the nest with liquid nitrogen, but Lex asks him to send any live samples to Cadmus Labs.
Rebecca: Hahahaha the idea that the parasites are kryptonian is so weird to me. I’m imagining Jor-El putting them in the wall, then laughing evilly.
Jess: Torch office. Clark walks in to find Chloe making out with some guy. She rudely dismisses the guy. Clark asks if she’s okay and she tells him not to play the jealous card, since he’s going out with Lana and didn’t even have the guts to tell her about it, then seductively sucks on a lollipop that has materialized in her hand just for this purpose.
Jess: Clark wonders if the hole on the back on Travis’s neck was from a parasite, not an injection, because the show needs someone to start figuring this out and the smartest person in town is out of the running. Chloe scoffs and says that Clark doesn’t “hit the mute button on your skepticism when I take a logic leap” which I had to play twice to even begin to parse. She additionally sasses that the autopsy would’ve found the parasite, and Clark says not if it left after Travis died.
He asks her to round up Pete since he can’t go near him. When Chloe gives him a dead-eyed stare, he apologizes for the weirdness around the Lana-date, and she finally double entendres an agreement.
The Talon. Clark comes in and Lana tells him she’s really excited about their date – but he cancels it. To his credit, he immediately tells her that it’s because something happened to Pete at the rave and his life is in danger. He even says he didn’t want to ditch her without explaining this time. Honesty! Amazing! Lana, of course, is concerned for Pete and eager to help, because she is lovely and great, and tells him the date can wait.
Rebecca: If these two were always like this, I would be more likely to ship them.
Jess: In come Chloe and Pete. Lana’s surprised to see Pete looking so healthy, and he basically tells her that he’s fine and Clark lied. Hurt, she leaves. Ugh, this is so contrived. And just when I thought this relationship would be mildly tolerable!
Jess: Speaking of contrived, Pete then unleashes a terrible line about how in Clark’s world, “green means stop and red means go,” and slips a piece of red kryptonite in Clark’s breast pocket. Clark’s eyes go red and he smirks hilariously.
Rebecca: So…where did that chunk of red K come from? Why didn’t he use the class ring he presumably purchased? I can’t do all the work for these writers.
Jess: Attic of Sad Voyeurism. Pete suggests they jump into a gorge: “If we miss, Clark can catch us.” Chloe scoffs, and Pete asks if they should tell her. “I’m surprised she hasn’t figured it out already,” Clark says. ME TOO, CLARKTOPHER. He hands Pete a baseball bat and Pete whacks him with it, splintering it into kindling; then Clark demonstrates his heat vision and speed. Chloe’s amazed and delighted. (Pete declares Clark “my brother from another planet,” which is actually adorable.)
Rebecca: Aww. (I don’t know if Pete/the writers are directly referencing the John Sayles film, but I hope they are, because it stars Joe “Dr. Steven Hamilton” Morton.)
Jess: Chloe asks if Clark can fly. You’re gonna have to wait a bit for that one, Sullivan. She asks if he’d catch her if she fell, and he tells her to go for it, so she trust falls off the bannister and he zips downstairs and catches her. It’s very flirty…
…and then Lex walks in. “Does he know?” Chloe asks, and Clark crankily says “I only tell people who don’t go around stabbing me in the back and lying to me” while adorably adjusting Chloe’s jacket. Guys, I’ve said it before, but Evil Clark > Good Clark. (Good Pete > Evil Pete, though. And Chloe’s awesome no matter what.)
Rebecca: Is it too late to make this exclusively a show about Evil Clark? Welling seems to want it.
Jess: Lex asks to speak to Clark alone, and Pete and Chloe sashay off, though not before Chloe gets in a really lousy crack about Lex getting a toupee. Come on, Sullivan, you’re sharper than that. Lex asks if they’re high and Clark’s all “High on life, Veronica Mars!” Also there’s a lot of touching.
Rebecca: Also, Christian Bale over here has apparently decided that red K = a Newsies-level New York accent for some reason.
Jess: Lex says Walden won’t let Clark into the caves, but Clark thinks Lex is the one who doesn’t want them there, and says he’s going in whenever he wants, and Lex can’t stop him. He shoves Lex away a little too hard. Lex tells him to watch it and Clark says to stay away from him. Lex cries inside, in his soul.
Off the Scoobies drive in Pete’s new car. Clark and Chloe start making out in the backseat, with Pete torn between amusement and voyeurism. (His crush on Chloe seems to have disappeared, though.) Chloe tells him to drive to the Talon.
Rebecca: Pete has never been the black sidekick more than in this episode. 🙁
Jess: HE’S LITERALLY THEIR DRIVER. Over in Starling City Diggle is shaking his head with knowing disapproval.
The Talon. A waitress tells Clark and Chloe to stop making out on one of their couches (they’re horizontal, it’s really inappropriate) and Chloe tells her to get the manager. There’s some extremely stupid business about them playing strip poker with invisible cards, and Chloe rips Clark’s shirt off. It falls to the ground and the red-K falls out of the pocket.
Rebecca: Oh, by the way, counting this episode as containing two magically nonconsensual kisses (Pete’s car and the Talon), “Rush” brings our season total to seven magically nonconsensual kisses (series total: 11).
Jess: Clark turns back to normal and pushes a startled Chloe away. As he pulls his jacket on, she accuses him of not having real feelings for her, just using her as his own personal search engine. “I want you,” she declares. He randomly X-rays her – it’s such a cheap attempt to move the plot along that they don’t even bother to put any effects on it, Welling just looks marginally less lost than usual – and realizes she has the parasite. She doesn’t care, because she’s having fun, and kisses him – just as Lana walks in, of course.
Clark says it’s not what it looks like, Chloe says it is – oh, and P.S., Clark told her everything. She sashays out, and a tearful Lana gives Clark a look of absolute done-ness (luv u gurl) and walks out the back.
Rebecca: CLARK, MAYBE YOU SHOULD BE HONEST WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS IF THEY ALL KNOW YOU’RE HIDING SOMETHING AND ARE THIS OPENLY HURT ABOUT IT.
Jess: Clark follows Chloe out the front and tells her she needs a doctor. Pete, who was…just sitting there while they made out indefinitely? I guess?…asks where the red-K went and Clark is betrayed, although Welling choses to whine his delivery, which kind of undercuts it. Pete wants to go jump the gorge, as they’d planned, but Clark insists on taking them to an emergency room.
Pete punches Clark in the face, sending him sprawling – and reveals a large chunk of green-K in his hand. Okay, that would’ve broken all of Pete’s fingers. Also, how did it not affect Clark until the punch? Is Pete’s hand made of lead? What do they put in that creamed corn? “He may be a Boy Scout, but I’m always prepared,” Pete declares, which actually made me laugh.
Rebecca: I wish that was comics!Lex’s catchphrase.
Jess: They drive off. Lana stalks out of the Talon and dumps a bucket of water on Clark’s head. LANA, YOU’RE MY FOREVER GIRL. He asks where Chloe and Pete are, she says she neither knows nor cares, and he zips off the minute her back is turned, just making her madder.
Rebecca: What a dick.
Jess: Meanwhile Chloe and Pete arrive at the gorge. They gleefully anticipate the thrill of jumping it, then drive off the cliff at top speed. There’s some truly awful effects as they plunge towards the Earth – and Clark zips to the bottom of the gorge and catches the car by the front bumper. Well, that was anticlimactic. (Chloe yells, “Aw, come on, Clark, one more time!” which is actually hilarious.)
Rebecca: I like that, to Parasite Pete and Chloe, Clark’s powers are just a mechanism to a series of extreme amusement park rides.
Jess: Well, that’s what I’d do with him too, so.
Hospital. Clark comes in to see Chloe. “I finally made the Wall of Weird,” she says tiredly. CHLOE <3 She also asks to see the parasite. What a fucking badass. And of course, she has no memory of the possession. How convenient. Rebecca: Ughhhh.
Jess: Lana comes in with flowers, then awkwardly backs up. Clark tells her he was just leaving, and apologizes to her as he passes her. “I didn’t come here to see you, Clark, I came here to see my roommate,” she retorts. LANA U R A GREAT FRIEND WITH A GREAT DEGREE OF SELF-RESPECT AND I LOVE YOU. Also, from her perspective it looks like Clark took advantage of Chloe being out of her right mind, so she should basically never speak to him again. (Actually I would argue that he was violated too, but she doesn’t know that.)
Rebecca: This is kind of an “A Trip to the Dentist” situation, speaking of V. Mars.
Jess: I was thinking that too!
Clark leaves. Chloe says she doesn’t remember what happened but she feels like she should apologize to Lana. GIRLS <3 Lana tells her not to worry about it. Chloe asks if the big date was messed up and if it was her fault. Lana says she caught Clark making out with another girl, to Chloe’s surprise. “Who was the girl?” Chloe asks. Lana smiles sadly: “I didn’t recognize her.” They stare longingly at each other. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE AND SHOULD NEVER TALK TO CLARK AGAIN (even though this one was legit not his fault) AND MAYBE KISS. Rebecca: WHERE IS THE SPIN-OFF ABOUT THEM BEING ROOMMATES IN NEW YORK OR SOMETHING.
Jess: Kent Farm. Jonathan’s on a rampage about ARGLE BLARGLE MAYBE CHLOE KNOWS ARGLE BLARGLE PETE DID A BAD THING…when the Ross in question slips timidly in through the door. (P.S. You dumbos, Lex and Lana wander in all the time, maybe lock the door before yelling about powers.)
Pete apologizes and says he’ll understand if they never want to speak to him again. Martha says they’re more worried that the secret’s an unfair burden on him, and Jonathan surprisingly admits that “everybody stumbles. The important thing is that you’re safe, you’re alive, and you’re still a member of this family.” I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING. Sitcom laugh out on the scene.
Luthor Castle. Walden walks into Lex’s study. Lex tells Walden the parasites might be extraterrestrial in origin, and also that he needs to let Clark into the caves. “What exactly is your fascination with this boy?” Walden asks. Ohhhhhhh dude. Lex is like “Clark knows more about the caves than he’s letting on,” suuuuure, no one is fooled, Alexander.
The Talon. Lana’s closing up when Clark comes in with a rose and a pizza. He “pleads temporary insanity” and “Chloe and I are just friends.” She tells him to be honest with himself about his feelings for Chloe, and kicks him out. He leaves the rose but, hilariously, keeps the pizza. Lana smells the rose, then throws it out. U GO, GIRL.
Rebecca: Clark/pizza OTP.
Rebecca: With the very real caveat about the show’s troubling approach to sexuality and teen girls, this episode is a real crowd-pleaser. Compared to Welling’s (more than usual) completely phoned-in performance in “Suspect,” it’s nice to see him having fun, even if his and particularly Mack’s dialogue was characteristically terrible. I also enjoyed how streamlined the plot was – the B and C stories fed into the A story nicely. Evil Clark is great. Long live Evil Clark.
Jess: Evil Clark is great, agreed, but I’m so uncomfortable with how Chloe’s scenes were all clearly written with one hand. WRITERS, I WANT TO KNOW SO MUCH LESS THAN I DO ABOUT YOUR KREUK- AND MACK-RELATED BONERS.
Rating: Driving off the gorge.
Next week: I think the episode opens in a Chinatown casino. So.