The Smallville Project: Episode 1.07 – “Craving”
|August 2, 2013||Posted by Jess under Comics, Television, The Smallville Project|
TRIGGER WARNING: Eating disorders, fatphobia, general fucked-up-ness around weight and food, discussion of rape. I know. What the hell, Smallville?
Rebecca: I KNOW. This episode is messed up.
Jess: “Melville Nursery.” Amy Adams, wearing an unconvincing fat suit, is digging carrots up from a planter in a greenhouse, pushing aside the glowing green kryptonite pebbles in the soil. Seriously, nobody notices these things?
Her father walks in and says, “You know, if you’re not in the mood for my spaghetti, we could always order Thai,” with actually really endearing father-to-a-teenage-girl awkwardness. She rejects the offer of carbs, since “I want to look good for Lana’s party.” Amy Adams was apparently 26 here, but the fake double chin and heavy makeup make her look older, which is great when you’re playing a teen!
Rebecca: All through this episode, her face prosthetics are way out of proportion with her fat suit, which are both waaay out of whack with her alleged weight. ACK YOU GUYS.
Jess: Daddy Adams thinks she’s putting too much pressure on one party, but Amy tells him that it’s not just the party, “it’s…everything. Nobody likes me. Why should they? I’m a cow.” Oh man, this episode’s gonna be offensive, isn’t it? “From now on, no more food. Just this,” she says, shaking her basket of freshly-gathered veggies at her dad. Um, Amy, that’s a kind of food. Concerned, Daddy Adams picks up a kryptonite pebble and frowns at it.
Rebecca: Frowning is not all you should do when your daughter literally describes her eating disorder. Come on, dude, be a parent.
Jess: At least remind her of the value of protein!
At school, Amy glues pictures of her own head onto swimsuit models’ bodies. Oh, honey, don’t do that at school. To prove my point, Chloe and Pete pop over, and Amy quickly claims she’s just looking for outfit ideas. Like swimsuits. In winter. Chloe asks Amy for “an algebra download,” which I guess means algebra help? Amy asks why Clark doesn’t help them like he usually does, and Pete says Clark’s too busy helping Lana, throwing in a dorky little dance for no reason. It’s super endearing, and Amy seems to think so as well. You know, she seems real friendly with Chloe and Pete and aware of their study dynamics with Clark, which kind of puts a hole in her theory that no one likes her. On the other hand, I feel like most teenagers think that about themselves at one point or another, so I’ll allow it.
They offer to buy Amy lunch, but she’s made herself some kind of gloppy green beverage to drink/eat instead. Chloe, Pete, and I are all grossed out. Amy notices their expressions and primly says “Losing weight is never pretty.”
Some random non-Flash jocks appear and ask Pete if he wants to go shoot some hoops or “keep whale-watching.” Pete glares (his angry faces are HILARIOUS, btw) and tells “Dustin” to back off. Dustin calls him a chubby chaser and bounces the basketball so that Amy’s drink splashes all over her. Humiliated, she runs off. Pete chucks the basketball at Dustin’s head, and he and Chloe run off to see if Amy’s all right.
…At least, I assume that’s where they scurried off to, because the next scene is Amy in her house making another smoothie. A glowing green one. Yeah, that seems like something you should put in your body.
Rebecca: WHY IS SHE PUTTING DIRT AND ROCKS IN A BLENDER? I would ask if she’s okay, but clearly she is not.
Jess: Daddy Adams tells her that starving herself “isn’t the way” and that she’s already beautiful, “just like your mother.” I really like him, so I’m assuming he’ll be dead by the end of the episode. Amy bitterly tells him that “Mom wasn’t fat” and drinks her smoothie.
In the bathroom, Amy weighs herself, and man, I’m not even gonna tell you what the number is on the scale, because this stupid episode about how bad eating disorders are probably caused a few.
Rebecca: I just realized with horror that I WAS 12 WHEN I FIRST WATCHED THIS. I’m retrospectively SO MAD at this show and The WB right now. This is irresponsible television production. This show literally put me AT RISK. (I’m okay.)
Jess: Suddenly she gasps and clutches at her stomach, then pulls her shirt up to see something roiling beneath the skin. Alarmed, she looks in the mirror…and her double chin disappears. She steps on the scale and watches it tick down 30 pounds, then stares at her reflection some more in astonishment.
SOMEBODY SAAAAAAAAAAVE MEEEEEEEEE!
Rebecca: AND BY “MEEEEEEE” WE MEAN THE TEEN GIRLS OF 2001!
Jess: Luthor Castle. Lex runs on a treadmill until a man in a suit – presumably his doctor – tells him to stop. Apparently his heart is in prime condition, but his bloodwork shows an unusually high white blood cell count. Lex scoffs at the idea of the great Lex Luthor getting sick: he’s on no medications, has no allergies, and his childhood asthma went away “the day I lost my hair.” Crankily, he asks where these questions are going.
“If this were anywhere else I’d order a lot of tests, but I do see a lot of this in Smallville,” the doctor says, HILARIOUSLY. (“Also sometimes people turn into bugs or ice monsters. Whatever, it’s normal.”) Lex asks why Smallville, and the doctor carefully suggests that some people, other people, not him of course, think the LuthorCorp plant has contaminated the environment. Lex scoffs at that, too, and orders the tests for good measure.
Lang homestead. Nell and a party planner trot by while Clark and Lana pack up their books and make dumb banter about Clark being Lana’s hero DO YOU GET IT. I do like that he’s a math whiz, though. It’s cute.
Rebecca: Me too! But…this might be the last we hear of it. Sigh.
Jess: Anyway, Lana is overwhelmed by Nell going all out for the party, which is apparently being held at Luthor Castle: “It stopped being my party a long time ago.” Clark asks if she told Nell how she feels, and Lana says “We’ve been through a lot the past two months. Figured I should give her this one.” I guess two kidnappings does count as “a lot.” Or maybe Nell’s still just really upset Lana quit the squad.
They walk outside just as Flash pulls up to inform Lana that he’s got a tryout for Kansas State. They hug and Clark awkwardly congratulates him. Flash tells Lana he’s not sure if he’ll go, because it’s the same day as her party, and she urges him to go to the tryout. Clark says “scout’s honor” in this scene, which is unforgivably cute. (What if Jonathan wouldn’t let him be a scout as a kid because of his powers, and he says “scout’s honor” all the time because he wishes he was a scout so desperately??? I DIE.)
Rebecca: (AHHHHHHHHH I’m dead now. RIP.)
(What if he ALSO uses a lot of baseball phrases and metaphors because he couldn’t be in Little League?? WHAT IF THAT’S WHY HE CALLS IT THE JUSTICE LEAGUE??)
Jess: (YOU SHUT UP RIGHT NOW.)
At school, Pete tells Clark that this is a good thing: “Lana’s gonna be dateless for her own party.” The boys and Chloe walk past Amy, who quickly calls out “Hi Pete!” He stares and awkwardly stammers “You look…” until Amy puts him out of his misery with “Thinner?” “I was still looking for a euphemism, but yeah,” Chloe says, blatantly checking Amy out.
Amy thanks Pete for sticking up for her the day before and asks him to Lana’s party. I am very impressed by this 15-year-old girl’s courage. Lord knows I couldn’t’ve asked out a cute athlete at that age. Pete looks utterly floored, and Clark nudges him a few times before accepting Amy’s invitation on his behalf. ADORABLE.
Rebecca: AH SO CUTE. It’s moments like these that make me root for these two crazy kids to make it work (I mean Clark and Pete. As friends).
Jess: Besides, Pete will be a valuable source for Reporter Clark when he’s vice president and oh there I go laughing about Pete Ross’s everything again.
Kent Farm. Lana drops by with the produce order for the party, and kvetches a bit more about how frustrating the whole process is. Girl, if you tell everyone in town you don’t want this party, eventually Nell’s gonna hear about it.
Rebecca: Classic Goth Lana, not giving a fuck. (This is still happening in my head, by the way.)
Jess: Goth Lana wants the party to be held at the graveyard and the music to be someone scraping a fork across a blackboard.
Clark backs in with a few bushels of apples, babbling about how he drove a post through some granite in “the west field.” He spots Lana, who’s all “…Very impressive,” and covers by saying he had a sledgehammer. Dear Kents, if you looked less like you all wanted to die, Lana would be less suspicious. Love, Me.
Jonathan heads out to work, and the kids walk into the living room while Martha delightedly eavesdrops on their low-key flirting. Clark offers to be Lana’s escort with way more confidence than he invited her to the concert, and when she pauses, adds “So I can fend off the throngs of adoring fans.” Seriously, how has Lana not realized that the guy who keeps asking her out, making weirdly specific observations about her, and pointing his telescope at her bedroom has a thing for her? Especially after Pete basically told her he did?
Rebecca: I’m pretty sure she knows but doesn’t care? She’s taking it day by day.
Jess: Lana starts to leave, pauses, and says “Clark, promise me you’ll make it this time.” He does, and she leaves. Martha turns to Clark all “LOL YOU HAVE NO GAME” and then tells him she doesn’t want to see him get hurt. He gives her the whole “just friends” jazz and she’s like “Okay, I’m officially butting out. So what are you gonna get her for her birthday?” Hee, Martha.
Adams home. Amy is making a smoothie when Daddy Adams comes in and asks if she’s okay. She chirps that she’s fine…and she has a date! He’s happy for her, but tells her he wants her to eat real food, too. She agrees to drop the smoothies: “I’m done counting calories.” But the minute he leaves, she downs the smoothie.
In the bathroom, she weighs herself again (weirdly, while wearing her sneakers), and her stomach starts to do its weird gurgling thing again. The scale ticks down to a number that, once again, I am not going to tell you, because this episode is bullshit. (But thanks for tell me how fat I am, show!)
Rebecca: YEP. Even at her heaviest, she weighs a fair bit less than me, so fuck all of these images and ideas. I WAS 12.
Jess: She’s thrilled…but then a strange look crosses her face, and she rushes down to the kitchen. Opening the fridge, she starts eating everything she sees, then moves to the cabinets, cramming food into her mouth, dropping it on the floor in her haste, smearing it all over her face. It’s played for horror, because as we all know, there’s nothing more disturbing than a pretty girl eating.
Finally, she sinks to the floor, and her gaze falls on the blender, still half-full of smoothie. She picks it up and hurls it across the room with a shriek. It smashes against the wall.
Cut to Amy driving through the rainy night, a pile of discarded fast food wrappers on the passenger seat next to her. Is there seriously going to be another car accident on this show? Because there has been car-related peril in literally every episode so far. Maybe Smallvillians should go back to the horse and buggy.
Rebecca: I’m kicking myself for not starting a car crash count when we recapped the pilot.
Jess: Sure enough, Amy rounds a corner to find a deer ambling across the road. She screams and slams on the brakes. The deer hits the windshield, cracking it, and the minivan spins out before coming safely to a stop. Amy gets out of the van and slowly approaches the dead deer, then kneels down in front of it. She grunts for a minute, holding her stomach; then her jaw distends hugely and she bends down to devour the deer. Gross.
Rebecca: Future Lois Lane; future Oscar nominee; current deer-devourer.
Jess: Attic of Sad Voyeurism, day. Clark is using his telescope to spy on Lana and Flash on her porch, because he is a disgusting, unprincipled child. Superman, everyone!
Jess: Flash presents Lana with a book and she hugs him joyously. Clark sighs and straightens up with a pissy expression. How dare her boyfriend present her with a thoughtful gift on her birthday! Only the guy who stalks her and passive aggressively attempts to undermine her relationship truly deserves her!
“Getting your morning Lana fix?” Chloe asks, and Clark jerks upright. “Don’t you ever knock?” he demands. Yeah, how dare she invade his privacy like that!
Rebecca: Clark’s such a fedora.
Jess: Chloe tries to interest him in the Tale of the Mysteriously Dead Deer, but Clark pissily dismisses her. When she gives him a quizzical look, he explains that he still doesn’t know what to give Lana for her birthday. Well, that’s an excellent reason for treating your best friend like shit. Chloe agrees to help him find something if he “uses his pull” with Animal Control to get her some answers. Because “pull with Animal Control” is a highly enviable quality.
He agrees, “but I want it to be something unique.” “Just don’t make it as unique as what you gave me last year,” Chloe says. Hee.
Cut to Animal Control, where Clark’s “pull” turns out to be him asking to use the bathroom. Again, hee. They find the room with the deer, but it’s locked. While Chloe heads off to look for a maintenance worker, Clark breaks the lock and opens the door. You know, Dean Cain did this a lot on Lois and Clark, but they were usually exposing crime or government corruption. When he does it to gain access to a dead deer he doesn’t even want to look at, it just seems like pointless vandalism.
Rebecca: Also, he pops the lock out and it flies across the room. So subtle. He makes Dean Cain look like Sherlock Holmes.
Jess: Once inside, they check out the deer, which is apparently super gross (the camera doesn’t show it). Chloe checks a chart, which says that the deer lost 80% of its body fat. “What do you think it is, Chloe, some kind of fat-sucking vampire?” Clark asks sarcastically. Clark is not a very good friend. Chloe points out that Smallville is Weirdsville.
Cut to Lex hunt-and-pecking his way to the Smallville Torch’s website. There’s an article on the front page about how weird Smallville is. He stares at nothing to ominous music. This scene is dumb.
Rebecca: “If a 14-year-old is writing about it, it MUST be true!”
Rebecca: Ahh, I just noticed the articles about Pete’s limo ride and Lana’s mom’s speech. Cute. Also: “From 1989 on, things have gotten pretty whack funky around here.” #teens
Jess: So they took the time to build this fake site, but not to figure out exactly when any of their characters are ever in class or why Flash started dating a 12-year-old?
Actually, here’s my question: does Smallville not have a paper besides the high school one? They seem to only ever refer to the Torch and the Planet (oh, and that one tabloid). You’d think they’d at least have a farm gazette or something.
Rebecca: It’s called the Smallville Ledger. (I know this off the top of my head, but nothing from three years of calculus.) That’s the paper that reported on Lex/Tina robbing the bank. But presumably they don’t get a lot of real journalism done.
Jess: Real journalism involves the words “whack funky” a whole lot.
Cut to Daddy Adams knocking on the bathroom door. He asks if Amy’s okay and tells her he has to go out of town for work for a few days, and will miss “her big date.” Um, you don’t have to go on it, Daddy Adams. She assures him that everything’s fine, but when he asks if he can see her before he leaves, she says she’s “kind of indecent at the moment.” Concerned, he suggests that it’s time she talks to someone about everything she’s going through, and she tells him she doesn’t need a shrink. “I just want you to look in the mirror and be happy,” he says, and puts his hand on the doorknob. “I am,” she says unconvincingly, and he nods and leaves. The camera pulls back inside the bathroom (which is HUMONGOUS, btw) to show Amy, staring longingly at a picture of herself pre-smoothie, surrounded by empty wrappers and pizza boxes.
Rebecca: TRIGGER. WARNING.
Jess: School. Lex stares at the Wall of Weird. “Most of my friends are trying to get out of high school,” Clark says, and Lex turns with a smile: “I was meeting with your principal. Apparently you guys are in dire need of a new computer lab. I figured I could help.” “They might even name a lunch special after you,” Clark says. Hee.
Anyway, apparently Chloe’s dad is Lex’s plant manager, so he dropped by to say hello, and got distracted by the Wall. Clark explains Chloe’s theory about the meteor shower, and that most people think it’s crazy. Considering you’re talking to a guy who lost his asthma and the ability to grow hair on his head during the shower, Clark, I don’t think he’ll agree.
Lex asks if Clark remembers where he was that day, and Clark gets all uncomfortable as he says he doesn’t: “My parents hadn’t adopted me yet.” Lex says a little sardonically that he was in Smallville – his mom sent him to spend quality time with his dad. “What happened?” Clark asks.
Lex tells him: “I was out in a cornfield when the first meteor hit. It was like a tidal wave coming at me. And everything went black. Next thing I remember I was waking up in Metropolis General completely bald.” “Lex, I didn’t know,” Clark says, which seems like kind of a weird response – I mean, he knows something happened when Lex was a kid that left him bald. “I should’ve died that day. Instead I walked away with this,” Lex says, with a hilariously swaggy strut and swipe over his head. Dude’s kind of obsessed with moments when he “should” have died.
Rebecca: Rosenbaum does a magnetic-enough job with his delivery here that I wish I hadn’t actually seen these events at the beginning of the pilot. *chinhands* Please, Rosey, go ahead and dramatically describe the rest of the series to me.
Jess: Clark squirms guiltily. Lex starts talking really intensely about how he used to think it was a curse, but now he sees it as his gift: “The thing that defined me, that gave me strength.” Being bald? Anyway, Lex has basically made peace with it, and Clark looks relieved.
In walks Chloe, who addresses Lex as “Mr. Luthor,” which is both really cute and reminds me of what a craddle-robber Lex is. Lex tells her to call him Lex, shakes her hand, and tells her he likes her meteor theory, “especially since most people think my company is secretly behind everything that goes wrong in Smallville.” Chloe is, in fact, the only one who doesn’t, except for “Mr. Hamilton,” who Clark IDs as “a guy who sells plastic meteor chips to tourists.” Tourists? In Smallville?
Lex offers to get Chloe a summer job at the Inquisitor, and then turns to Clark. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” he says, giving Clark a once-over, and I had to pause the DVD because I was laughing too hard to continue. Of course, he’s “really” talking about Clark escorting Lana, and Clark awkwards that they’re just friends. “Sure you are,” says Lex, who knows alllll about pretending to be friends with the person you’re romantically obsessed with.
Rebecca: THESE TWO, I SWEAR.
Jess: Hallway. Pete runs up to Amy and asks if she’s okay, since she wasn’t in class. She tells him she’s fine, but even Pete, who let’s just say is not the brightest character on this show, can tell that’s not true. He kindly tells her it’s okay if she doesn’t feel up to the party tomorrow, but she tells him she wouldn’t miss it for the world, and he beams. Aw. I’m sad that Clark will inadvertently kill her; these two are cute.
She walks off and makes some ouchy stomach faces. Dustin, the douchey jock from earlier, hits on her douchily. She sasses at him, then doubles over in pain. He asks if she’s all right, which is kind of a surprise. “I’m just a little hungry,” she says, staring at him intently. He checks out her newly-thin body, and she offers to show him more and tugs him off camera. See ya, Dustin.
Bleachers. Clark finds Lana reading her present from Flash: a first edition of A Confederacy of Dunces. They’re both surprised at how thoughtful a gift it was. Clark gazes mopily at Lana, who looks away uncomfortably and he hastily changes the subject. Seriously, this happens every time they interact and it is annoying. If she seemed legit torn between Clark and Flash it would be one thing; if she was genuinely uncomfortable and started avoiding Clark it would be another. I buy both of those, and I also buy Lana being so dedicatedly, compulsively passive that she just ignores uncomfortable truths until she’s forced to confront them. But I just know they’re going to present Clark’s feelings like some big revelation eventually, and it’s just going to make Lana look…not even dumb, because Kreuk is playing this, on and off, like she knows. ARGH. It would help if we got any sense of her internal life ever, but the writers clearly don’t think girls have normal human feelings.
Rebecca: In my recollection, it’s not going to be as big a revelation as it is on a lot of teen soaps. At this point most of the barrier is Flash being around and not Clark hiding his feelings. After the plot disposes of Flash (in uncharacteristically spectacular fashion), it’s just a lot of plot contrivances. These characters are dumb, is what I’m saying. And Lana is, at best, 45% of a person.
Jess: Well, that’s something, I guess? So basically what you’re saying is that these two will continue to be tepid forever.
Rebecca: Basically, yes. By Season 7, I legitimately shipped Lana/Bizarro more than Lana/Clark. LEGITIMATELY.
Jess: They start talking about the party, and true to Lana’s dedicatedly passive nature (tawg has a great comment on it here), she has decided to let Nell run the show. Clark asks if Lana hasn’t ever had a happy birthday, and I know what’s coming before she even says it: it was when her parents were alive. Okay, Batman. Seriously, how many people remember their third birthday? Lana’s memories are really specific, too, down to what was playing at the drive-in movie they went to. Ugh, I can’t with this scene.
Rebecca: Do you think ALL of Lana’s memories of her parents are fabricated out of her trauma, or just most of them?
Jess: That and Nell’s vague comments about Lana’s mom being a happy teen, which as we already know is a BETRAYAL!!!1
Our two dopey, mopey not-lovebirds don’t see Amy lead Dustin under the bleachers. Don’t any of these kids have class? I mean, maybe school is over, but then why was Amy going upstairs before Dustin stopped her?
In the boiler room, Amy takes off her coat and Dustin cozies up behind her. “You don’t think I ever meant any of that stuff I said about you when you were…” “Fat?” she finishes, giggling. “You thought it was funny. Calling me names. Making me cry. Making me wish that I were dead rather than fat.” “What can I say?” he asks, not sounding particularly repentant. “You can say you’re sorry,” she says, and whirls around with her mouth all distended again.
You know, I’ve complained about all the murderous teens in Smallville before – even Harry was, technically, a murderous teen – but I love Amy Adams, so if she wants to suck the fat out of douchebags in order to live, she can go right ahead.
Clark ambles past the boiler room and hears Dustin cry out. He X-rays the door and sees one skeleton knock another struggling skeleton down and pin it there. It looks super rapey, actually. Clark super speeds to the door, kicks it open, and dashes down the stairs. Amy turns on one of the pipes (just…open-ended pipes? I don’t think these writers know what a boiler room looks like or does), blowing what’s presumably super-heated steam into Clark’s face. He glances calmly at it, then bends the pipe up to get the steam out of his face, which is pretty funny.
Someone clutches Clark’s shoulder. He whirls to find an emaciated Dustin, who gasps “Help me,” and collapses. Clark gets his patented “Ugh, someone died, how annoying” face on.
Rebecca: Superman, everybody!
Jess: Lex speeds yet another new sports car past a closed stand selling “meteor rocks” and a mailbox that says “Hamilton” and down a driveway. There’s a barn at the end of the drive, and Lex walks into it to find a laboratory. He approaches a shelf with meteorites and vials of green liquid on it and is about to pick one up when someone snaps: “Don’t touch it! You’re not sterile and you’re not me.”
Rebecca: The inimitable Joe Morton!! This show is lucky to have this actor. I should also mention at this juncture, for the nerds, that this isn’t Dr. Emil Hamilton but Dr. Steven Hamilton; we’ll meet Emil in about 8 seasons. Why? WHO KNOWS?
Jess: Okay, that actually clears things up for me quite a bit, since I knew Smallville’s Emil Hamilton was in Man of Steel and I’m looking at Joe Morton thinking “…When?” Also why would you have two Dr. Hamiltons what the hell.
Rebecca: Maybe they just forgot? I genuinely believe they could have.
Jess: Lex turns and apologizes to Dr. Hamilton. Hamilton asks if he has a website: “They’re usually the ones that track me down. Freaks with websites.” *glances at this blog’s URL* Uh oh.
Lex introduces himself and claims to be a fan, but Hamilton doesn’t shake his hand. “Most mineralogists don’t have fans,” Hamilton says. “Most mineralogists didn’t handle the first Apollo moon rocks,” Lex replies. Hamilton dismisses that, as well as Lex’s attempt to bond over them both being kicked out of Metropolis University.
So Lex cuts to the chase: “Ever since I found out about a medical condition I have, I’ve become very interested in your work, Dr. Hamilton.” He offers to fund Hamilton’s research, and Hamilton says that his funding is private – and so are his results. When Lex pushes, he slaps a meteorite into Lex’s hand and basically tells him to get out. You know, I overlook the kids not knowing the difference between meteors (in the sky) and meteorites (on the ground), but Lex should probably know better, and Hamilton definitely should. Lex smirks away and tells Hamilton he knows where to find him.
School, lunchtime. Chloe tells Clark that Dustin’s in a coma, and Clark jokes blandly about the fat-sucking vampire theory. “You know, if you hadn’t been there, he probably would’ve died,” Chloe says with a slight edge, like “What the hell is wrong with you, dude?” “What I can’t understand is why anyone would want to steal body fat,” Clark says. So I guess they’ve jumped straight to that and not, like, a really powerful tapeworm or flesh-eating virus?
They sit down next to Amy for “study group.” She’s chowing down frantically on a tray of food, and they give her extremely judgy looks. Clark’s in particular are unrelenting and nasty. Like, yeah, she’s eating really fast, but whatever, it’s her body and you guys are assholes. Finally Amy runs off.
Rebecca: It was really hard to watch them glare at her like this. Everyone’s an asshole. I give up.
Jess: Chloe’s all “That was weird.” Yeah, it’s weird how people don’t want to eat with you when all you do is give them increasingly significant looks about how gross you think they are. Clark checks his watch and says “Gotta fly.” I c whut u did there. He’s still working on Lana’s present, apparently. Wasn’t Chloe supposed to be helping with that?
Luthor Castle. Lana mopes as she watches the decorations go up. Lex correctly pegs it as not her style, and mentions that he heard “the quarterback” couldn’t make it. Lana explains that Flash was able to go to the Kansas State tryout because “someone fell out.” “I know,” Lex says, and then quickly covers with, “Your aunt told me.” Jesus, Lex, this is really getting weird. He tells Lana he likes her new escort better and saunters off.
Kent Farm. Martha irons Clark’s shirt while he frets and asks what he got Lana for her birthday. Apparently Lex hooked Clark up, but that’s all he’ll say. As Martha leaves, Chloe storms in. “Chloe, why aren’t you dressed?” Clark asks with a hilarious degree of naggingness. What are you, Clark, her mom?
Jess: Anyway, Chloe didn’t have time to put on her glad rags, because she’s found an itemized bill for repairs to Amy’s car. Oh, P.S. Amy’s house is near a big meteor site. “She lost all that weight…by drinking juice from vegetables grown in the soil near her greenhouse,” Clark realizes as Chloe nods. Of course! It’s so OBVIOUS! You guys, this show is dumb.
They realize, with not a whole lot of alarm on Welling’s part, that Pete’s in danger and run off. Clark does not seem to remember whose party they’re stopping Amy from attending or what he’s supposed to do at it. The boy may be pretty, but he’s got a goldfish brain.
Rebecca: That sentence should be on the DVD box.
Jess: Adams house. Amy, in a tight red dress and a very weird hairstyle, admires herself in the mirror.
Rebecca: The creepy way the camera pans up her body is not doing anything to lessen the trigger warning on this episode.
Jess: Pete rings the doorbell, and aw, he brought flowers. “Perfect flowers for a perfect date,” he dorks at her. AW PETE. She takes them with her, which is weird; girl, go put those in a vase!
Just as the happy couple approaches Pete’s car (a convertible! go Pete!), Amy’s stomach starts acting up. She tries to pretend she’s fine, but her stomach is so loud Pete frowns and offers to take her to the hospital. “You’ve always been good to me, Pete,” she says, running for the house. “Please, go away!” “[Amy], wait!” Pete calls as she slams the door. I’m glad she tried not to eat him.
He knocks and finally lets himself into the darkened house, calling Amy’s name. “Pete, please get away,” she sniffles. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
He finds her huddled on the floor in the kitchen and asks what’s wrong. “Please leave,” she begs again, before standing up and grabbing him. She throws him to the floor; he hits his head and lies there dazedly as she straddles him. So I guess that rapey imagery from earlier was intentional? Show, you are all kinds of fucked up. She opens her mouth…and Clark walks in, calling their names.
Amy gets up and runs out the back door. Clark finds Pete and asks him if he’s okay. Pete manages to make a tiny gasp, which I guess is Kryptonian for “I’m totally fine, bro,” because Clark just leaves his concussed friend there and runs out the back. He hears a door slam and zips over to the greenhouse at super speed. GOOD JOB, YOU IDIOT, YOU KNOW IT’S FULL OF KRYPTONITE.
Rebecca: It’s like he has Memento-disease, but JUST about kryptonite.
Jess: Sure enough, he gets weak the minute he steps in – and Amy whacks him in the back with a shovel. You know, even the more sympathetic murderous teens on this show seem perfectly willing to kill Clark with very little provocation, even ones who are or have been his friend, like Amy and Sweaty Greg. Also, you’d think the townspeople would be more upset that in the past two months, seven people have died or disappeared under gross and/or mysterious circumstances, not counting this episode or any mysteriously unaging/deaging teens. I mean, I have to imagine that’s like a tenth of the population of this town.
Rebecca: To be fair, they told us the population is 45,001, which…is probably too big, now that I think of it.
Jess: Amy tells Clark to leave her alone. He tells her she’s sick and needs help. “All I wanted was to be thin!” she says, and swings the shovel again. He blocks it. She kicks him away. “[Amy], this isn’t you,” he says, struggling to his feet. “What? Isn’t this what I’m supposed to look like?” she asks, and hits him again, sending him crashing half-through the greenhouse windows.
Rebecca: 🙁 🙁
Jess: She hoists the shovel for the killing blow, but catches her awkwardly CGIed reflection in the broken glass. Horrified, she lowers the shovel. “Look at me,” she says. “I’m a freak. I know how to stop this for good.” She hits the irrigation pipes, sending water spraying out of them, then aims her shovel at the lights. “Wait!” Clark gasps, and flings himself at her with the last of his strength. She hits the lights, and the greenhouse explodes, because of course it does.
Pete staggers out the back door and stares in horror at the smoldering wreckage. Clark calls from way across the yard, where he’s carried an unconscious Amy to safety. I have no idea how he protected her or made it that far from the blast – neither of them have singed clothes – while weakened by kryptonite, but whatever. Pete asks if Amy’s okay, and Clark says yeah, but they need to get her to a hospital. It is ridiculous that I have to be this relieved that a teenage girl didn’t die or murder her friends, but that’s Smallville for you.
Rebecca: This is a bad show.
Jess: At Luthor Castle, Lana stares moodily off a parapet. Lex finds her and calls her on her avoidance technique: “You’re not hiding, you’re ‘getting some air.’” She gives him a surprised look. “I spent 18 years of Luthor Christmas parties in the coatroom,” he explains. Aw, Lex.
Rebecca: Yeah, Lex? You spent your childhood in the closet- I mean coatroom?
Jess: Zing! Lana says she’s waiting for her “reinforcements,” and Lex assures her that Clark will show, “if he can.” “It’s just a birthday,” Lana says with a shrug, and Lex gives her a sympathetic smile before walking back into the house.
Kent Farm. Clark walks in and assures his parents, who have gotten a call from the police, that he’s fine, and that Pete has “a serious migraine, but he’ll be okay.” A migraine? From a concussion? Okay. Clark’s all sad about letting Lana down, but dude, the party is still going on. Just super speed over! Jonathan tells him that helping people is going to involve sacrifices, and Clark stands up decisively: “I don’t have to sacrifice everything.”
Luthor Castle. Lex opens an envelope from a “Dr. Vargas,” so I guess the party is over after all. He reads the enclosure, then frowns and crumples it up. Cut to Hamilton’s lab, where Hamilton is studying a largeish meteorite. Lex walks in and Hamilton asks if he’s back for more rocks. “Apparently I have a clean bill of health,” Lex says. He then goes on to reveal that he had a friend do some digging, and Hamilton didn’t get kicked out of MU for his theories, but for his student-teacher relations. “I wonder if the Smallville police have you registered,” he adds. UM, WAIT. If Hamilton was just sleeping with his college-age students, I can see him getting fired, but it’s not actually a crime…and if he raped one (or more) of them, he should be in jail, for starters, and also, way to go, show, you made your only adult black male a rapist.
Rebecca: GODDAMMIT, SHOW, YOU ARE THE WORST.
Jess: Lex hands him an envelope. “I don’t care about the past, I believe in the power to reinvent yourself,” he says, and I know Lex is supposed to be morally ambiguous, but if Hamilton is a convicted rapist (note: this is not something I expect the show to ever pick up again), I like Lex a lot less now. The envelope holds a check for $100,000. Hamilton asks why he cares so much. “I save that story for the people I trust,” Lex says, and walks out.
Lana’s house. Clark throws pebbles at her window while Enrique Iglesias’s “Hero” plays. First of all, this would be way funnier if he broke the window. Second, I hate this song. Third, I c whut u did there.
Rebecca: Fun fact: this song was my boyfriend and my first dance (at a middle school dance). We’re basically Clark and Lana.
Jess: Impossible! You have opinions about things.
Lana opens the window and is like “YOU ARE WHY BIRTHDAYS ARE TERRIBLE.” Girl, you have every right to be mad, especially because he will never give you a decent explanation (“[Amy] got really sick on the way to the party, so Pete called me for help.” See? It’s easy!), but it’s not his fault you have all this existential birthday angst.
Clark offers to give her her present now, and she immediately forgives him. Cut to the two of them in the Kent truck, watching Bugs Bunny cartoons projected onto the side of the barn as a sort of makeshift drive-in. Clark’s even provided popcorn and sodas. Okay, that is legit adorable, as is their subsequent gentle flirting. You win a couple of points back, kids. But just a couple!
Rebecca: This is literally the only benefit to having Superman be a Warner Bros. property.
Jess: Well, that and the Teen Titans episode I watched the other day where Beast Boy turned into a green version of Wile E. Coyote to chase down a bad guy, complete with a fake Latin name. But that show is also a lot better than this one.
Rebecca: Boy, is this episode rough. Storytelling at its laziest, grossest, and most irresponsible. I’m glad that Amy Adams got a chance to redeem herself in the Superverse, because this is so unfair to her, plus every other actress who read for this part and every young girl who watched the finished episode. I legitimately feel like I dodged a bullet by only having a relatively low-level of body image tsuris. Fuck this show.
Jess: I can just see the 40something dudes in the writers’ room patting themselves on the back for teaching a lesson about irresponsible dieting to stupid teenage girls. And, like, I don’t know a lot about disordered eating, but I would do more research than these assholes did before writing 44 pages about it. It’s obvious that they were attempting to portray Amy’s character as sympathetic, but they also portrayed a character who is both fat and mentally ill as a monster. They literally rendered a fat girl eating as something monstrous. To say nothing of the harm of showing those very small numbers on the scale, fetishizing Amy’s flat tummy and tiny frame, presenting her as only desirable once she starts losing weight, and surrounding her with universally thin extras. Or having SUPERMAN judge her for the way she eats.
Basically, this episode didn’t problematize societal pressure to be thin. It problematized dieting. Socially-agreed-upon standards of beauty are only to be attained by genetic accident and then modestly ignored, teen girls (cf. Lana, Chloe)!
Also, there’s a rapist in it and Lex gives him a hundred grand while telling him it doesn’t matter.
Go fuck yourself, show.
Rating: A nap in a mud puddle.
Next Week: Clark hangs out with Lex and an old friend.