The Smallville Project: Episode 1.10 – “Shimmer”
|August 23, 2013||Posted by Jess under Comics, Television, The Smallville Project|
Jess: Smallville High. There’s a blood drive going on and Pete’s signing up to donate. Clark wanders the football field with Lana; he’s dressed in a full red and yellow sweatsuit. Is this common? School-distributed gym clothes? We didn’t have this at my school.
Rebecca: Neither did we, but I feel like they ALWAYS have it on TV.
Jess: I think it’s one of those things writers/costume designers put in from their own experience without checking to see if it’s still the early 70s.
Rebecca: Speaking of schools, my 7th grade “Communication Arts” class did an anemic week on comic books, and we watched the first like 10 minutes of this episode on a VHS tape after taking a Superman trivia quiz. I still don’t know what the lesson was supposed to be.
Jess: “Don’t fall in love with Lex Luthor”?
Rebecca: TOO LATE, MRS. WALSH!
Jess: Lana’s not dressed in sweats because, as she explains, she’s volunteering at the blood drive. “I’m sorry,” Clark says, “aren’t you the girl who skinned her knee in seventh grade and passed out when she saw the blood?” Man, I would like these two so much more if they were just sassy lifelong friends. (Which, sidebar, is why Animated Lana is the Best Lana.)
Jess: Pete calls Clark over to hit the showers before they’re late (even though a crowd of red-and-yellow extras is still chilling on the field) and Clark regretfully tears himself away from Lana’s side.
In the bleachers, a sad-looking blonde in black and purple and fishnets scribbles furiously in a journal until a jock snatches it from her lap. “Troy, give it back!” she demands. He douchily marblemouths something about wanting to see if she wrote anything about him. Another boy with a truly unfortunate wavy pageboy haircut storms over and Troy asks “Jeff” if he knows that his sister is “writing psycho love letters to Lex Luthor.” Jeff tells Troy to give the journal back. The girl grabs it and tells Troy that “it’s because of boys like you that girls want a man like Lex Luthor.” OMG hold on, is that Azura Skye? Who starred in Zoe, Duncan, Jack, and Jane with Rosenbaum as his sister? (Jack and Jane, to be precise.) Hee, amazing.
Rebecca: CORRECT. The magic of the WB stable!!
Jess: Troy sneers that just because “Amy’s” parents “clean [Lex’s] bathrooms” doesn’t mean Lex “is gonna slum it with the help.” Jeff tells Troy again to leave Amy alone. Troy: “What are you gonna do about it?” Jeff gives him an extremely alarming dead-eyed stare and walks away. Troy smirks at Amy and walks off, muttering “Losers.” Amy looks unhappy.
Inside the steamiest locker room in the universe, Pete and Clark strut around in towels while Pete asks why Clark’s not donating blood, and man, Pete may be tiny, but those biceps are about as realistically “young teenager” as Clark’s abs. His “opening scene in a gay porn flick” pose as he leans against his locker doesn’t help. Clark shrugs off the idea of donating blood and suddenly groans and slumps against his locker. Seriously, this is about two seconds away from belonging on Xtube.
Rebecca: This was mortifying to watch in a room full of 13-year-olds, by the way. Also, is this the first gratuitously-shirtless Clark since the pilot? Welcome back, old friend.
Jess: On the other side of the locker bank, Troy gets dressed. I know Kyle Rayner isn’t a real person, but Troy still looks like the poor man’s Kyle Rayner. One of his shoes falls off the bench for no reason. As he bends to pick it up, a locker opens. Clearly weirded out, he closes it. “Very funny, guys,” he says, just as the shoe he picked up floats a few feet above the bench and slams itself into the locker. He moves closer to investigate and the locker swings open again and hits him in the face. Ha. As he falls to his knees, a dumbbell lifts itself up and hits him a few times. “Stop it!” he yells.
Pete and an apparently-no-longer-dying-from-Kryptonite Clark run around the locker bank to see what’s going on and find Troy sprawled on the ground. They are still wet and in towels and come on, someone responsible for this scene had to know what they were doing. “What happened?” Clark asks. “It attacked me,” Troy says, staring at the dumbbell. “A ghost.” A shimmery (oh ho ho!) green figure disappears into the steam from the showers. Okay, how is Clark not affected by this, and who the hell is still in the showers causing all that steam?
Rebecca: I wish this episode’s Freak of the Week was Sleez, the dude from Apokolips who mind-controls Superman and Barda into making a sex tape. If only.
Jess: Maybe Bryan Q. Miller will put it in the Season 11 comic.
Rebecca: Judging by the number of Fourth World characters who appeared in the actual physical Season 10, it’s not really out of the question.
Jess: SOMEBODY SAAAAAAAAAAVE MEEEEEEEEE!
The Beanery. Clark has just told Chloe about the locker room incident, presumably leaving out the part where the guys ordered a pizza and had to figure out a way to pay for it with no cash on them, and they banter about the supposed ghost before overhearing Lana and Flash arguing. At first it seems like Flash just doesn’t want to help with the blood drive, but Lana points out that he’s been avoiding her for a week and she’s worried about him. Flash hugs himself and says that he just needs space. Okay, I realized “Jitters” was aired out of order, but he was the one all crankified by Lana needing space two episodes ago. “If you can’t even confide in me, then I don’t even know why we’re going out in the first place,” Lana snaps, and storms off. Wow, she seems really disproportionately angry about this.
Clark and Chloe quickly pretend that they didn’t hear all of that, but Lana isn’t fooled, and aw, friends. Chloe offers to donate blood to cheer Lana up, perhaps foreshadowing Lana’s eventual turn to homoerotic vampirism. Clark avoids naming an actual time he can donate his Super-blood, and volunteers to help out in other ways, like handing out cookies, which does in fact cheer Lana up. She trots off, and Chloe teases Clark about his ulterior motives for helping Lana. He makes some hilarious “who, me?” faces and claims he’s just being a good friend. Wow, Sassy Clark is bringing it in this episode!
Rebecca: LOVE YOU, BOO.
Jess: Luthor Castle. Lex shoots pool while Victoria talks to her father over the phone. Oh good, more corporate espionage. Riveting. Lex hangs up and makes out with Victoria until Amy clears her throat and walks in. She’s holding a tray of drinks.
“Hey,” Lex says pleasantly. “Where’s your mom?” Amy stammers something about her mom having the flu, and Lex introduces her to Victoria. I like that Lex is nice to Amy, but it’s a bit jarring to see her, considering that a) we haven’t seen Lex have any servants (is that the right word? it sounds very Downton-y) for nine episodes and I’m gonna assume we won’t see much of them after this episode either, and b) I’d imagine Lex wouldn’t want maids or whatever poking through his lead boxes of kryptonite and secret wrecked car labs and hidden tiger pits and whatnot. Also, in my head Azura Skye is forever Rosey’s sister, so.
Rebecca: “The Luthors’ is a decent gig, but like every week we get a new memo about another mysterious room we can’t enter! Oh well, less work for me, I guess.” – every Luthor servant.
Jess: Amy gives Victoria a death glare as Lex says Victoria’s going to be staying with them for a while, then tips the whole tray onto Victoria’s legs. She apologizes, picks up the glasses (Lex helps), and promises to get something to clean it up as she hurries off. “She spilled that on purpose!” Victoria snaps, long before Amy can get clear of the room. Lex assures Victoria that “It was a mistake…wasn’t it, Amy?” “Sure,” Amy says unconvincingly, and trots out of the room.
“She’s clearly got a thing for you, Lex,” Victoria says. Lex’s smile falls: “Never took you for the jealous type. Her parents are a fixture. I brought them here from Metropolis.” “Then send them back,” Victoria replies.
Outside, Amy runs across the garden to an outbuilding, presumably the servants’ quarters. Her mom, who is clipping branches, asks incredulously/angrily if she was in “the house,” then follows her into her bedroom. Jeff appears in the doorway and asks what’s going on. “Your sister was bothering Mr. Luthor,” Mrs. Fixture explains. “If anyone’s bothering him, it’s that tramp,” Amy replies. “She’s ruining everything. She just wants him all to herself.” “Tramp” is up there with Clark’s use of “dog” on the list of “insults teenagers would never say.”
Rebecca: I eagerly await the inevitable scene of Chloe calling a mean cheerleader a “harlot,” or Pete referring to his older brother as a “ne’er-do-well.”
Jess: General Zod, you rapscallion!
Mrs. Fixture reminds them both that they are not part of Lex’s world, and that they need to know their place. “Don’t worry, Mom,” Jeff assures her, “we know exactly what our place is.” Mrs. Fixture leaves and Amy thanks Jeff for the backup. “Just be careful,” he says, and walks out.
Amy pulls a watch out of her desk drawer, kisses it, and slips it on. It’s got a gold coin as the face. Oh, Lex.
Kent Farm, evening. Clark does homework while Martha sets the table. He tells them about the blood drive and Jonathan reminds him that he can’t donate. “I know, Dad, but what am I supposed to tell her?” Clark snaps. “That you have a problem with needles – which you technically do,” Martha suggests. Hee, Sassy Clark clearly gets his awesome from Sassy Martha.
Clark grumps about having to lie and look like a wuss, and Jonathan regretfully tells him that, yeah, sometimes he’ll have to lie. Clark says he volunteered because he can’t help by donating, and Martha says “I’m sure that has nothing to do with the fact that Lana is running it.” SASSY MARTHA IS THE BEST. Clark’s like “Psh, whatever” as Martha continues to tease him. Hee!
Luthor Castle. Lex is searching his study, presumably for his watch, when the door creaks open. Lex freezes, slowly turns…and sees Clark holding like a billion white tulips: “Looking for something?” Okay, hee! I did not see that one coming. Well-played, show, and also I think we might be in one of Lex’s fantasies now.
Rebecca: I completely forgot about this scene, but rest assured that it’s solidly placed in the Canon of Clex. Lex being on all fours with his back to the be-tulipped Clark is really something.
Jess: Lex is indeed looking for his watch. He thanks Clark for the tulips. “Yeah, you cleaned us out. Mom says if you want more you’ll have to call Holland.” Hee. “They’re Victoria’s favorite,” Lex explains – and the tulips are knocked violently off the table. “What was that?” Lex asks as he and Clark stare at each other. Shouldn’t Jeff’s powers be affecting Clark right now?
Elsewhere, delicate female hands log into a computer under Lex’s ID and open up a folder labeled “Acquisitions.”
Jess: Back in the study, Clark picks up the tulips. “You and Victoria must be getting pretty close.” “You seem surprised,” Lex says, bending to help him. Clark says Victoria doesn’t seem like his type, and Lex smiles big: “Relationships aren’t always about love, Clark. Sometimes they’re about mutual goals. Not every girl is Lana Lang.” He stabs a tulip back into the arrangement. Oh my GOD, you guys.
Clark apologizes for prying and Lex tells him he admires his standards. Haha what. Lex returns to the Search for the Watch as Clark tells him he’s taking Lex’s advice and fighting for Lana. Uh, does that mean you’re going to say “Hey Lana, I like you, do you want to break up with Flash and date me?” Because if not, “fighting for Lana” is going to boil down to “being the same passive aggressive dick I’ve always been.”
Rebecca: Everyone in this episode is VERY concerned with Clark’s ability to get with Lana, which is extremely weird and creepy.
Jess: Lex is still watch-hunting. Clark asks if he doesn’t have another. Lex has hundreds, he says, “But this one’s special. My mother gave it to me right before she died.” Clark X-ray visions the room, or at least a small corner of it, and says he doesn’t see it. “What are you, part bloodhound?” Lex asks. Clark u r dumb. “No, I live on a farm,” he says quickly. “I’m pretty good at finding needles in haystacks.” Lex smiles adoringly at him, and Clark offers to check the library.
…Which appears to be where Feminine Fingers is hacking Lex’s files and discovering that he’s acquired Cadmus Labs. HI, KON! HI! It’s Victoria, of course, who quickly logs out as Clark barges in. Before either of them can say anything, there’s a series of thumps from upstairs, and they both run out to investigate.
Lex meets them in the hallway and they start up the stairs, Clark first, Victoria well behind. On the second floor, a door at the end of the hall is slamming over and over again, with a bright light behind it. Lex tells Victoria to stay back and walks towards the door, Clark behind him. As he puts his hand on the knob (…*snort*), the slamming stops and the light fades. He starts to turn it – and the door swings open. Lex hurls himself into Clark’s arms like a frightened child. THIS IS AMAZING.
Rebecca: UGHHHHHHH. My personal canon is now that Clark can’t donate blood because he has sex with Lex in this episode (damn you, silly Red Cross restrictions!).
Jess: REBECCA, NO, HE’S A BABY!
Rebecca: I have some bad news for you about the fanfiction community and its meager regard for statutory rape laws.
Jess: The boys slowly enter the room. It’s a darkened bedroom, with feathers floating everywhere and graffiti scrawled all over the walls: LEAVE. NOW. DON’T STAY. The blacklight makes it look more like a really sad club than a room trashed by a ghost. Also, is this Victoria’s room? Isn’t she sleeping in Lex’s? Lex and Clark give each other Significant Looks.
Journalism room, day. Chloe pins up a picture of the graffiti on the Wall of Weird and she and Clark discuss the possibility of a poltergeist. “Well, the police say it’s vandals,” Clark says. “They don’t know many ghosts who write in spray paint and own a blacklight.” They smile, and Chloe changes the subject to ask how the blood drive’s going. Clark and Lana are getting together at Lana’s house that night, actually. Chloe warns him that “once you cross that line you can’t hide behind the cloak of friendship anymore.” What?
Rebecca: It saddens me that Chloe believes in the friendzone. And also that she’s getting friendzoned.
Jess: Luthor Castle. Lex and Victoria are making out when Lionel barges in. “Lex, you have disappointed me,” he says. Lex grins: “Hi, Dad. It’s good to see you too.” “Would you mind telling me what she’s doing here?” Lionel asks as Victoria nuzzles the back of Lex’s head. Lex sasses back and Lionel says that if it’s a plot to get his attention, it worked. Lex says it has nothing to do with Lionel. Lionel: “So you’re simply being swindled?” He asks Victoria to excuse them and she smugly agrees, kisses Lex, and tells him she’ll go run them a bath. “I’ll send Sir Harry your regards,” she tells Lionel as she slinks out of the room.
Lionel tells Lex Victoria was sent to distract him. From his fertilizer plant? As great as the Luthors are, this plot is still really boring, so I’ll sum up. Sir Harry is preying on Luthorcorp, Lex doesn’t consider that his responsibility, Lionel reminds Lex that Smallville is a test, Lex is all “You’re not the boss of me!” Lex stares into the middle distance. Lionel hands him a brandy snifter while talking about family loyalty. Hey, I got Luthor bingo! What did I win?
Rebecca: All of this dialogue is boring, but watching John Glover deliver it is amazing. The way he calls Victoria “Miss Hard. Wick.” alone makes the scene worth watching.
Jess: Outside, Victoria listens in through the door, but is startled by the arrival of Amy. Amy apologizes for scaring her, then walks off, muttering “You don’t deserve him” loud enough for Victoria to hear.
Jeff lets himself out of the servants’ house and sees Amy storming across the yard. “What’s wrong?” he asks. “Her, what do you think?” she snaps.
Lang house, night. Clark and Lana are finalizing the blood drive schedule on the porch, even though they’re bundled up enough (or at least Lana is) that it must be freezing. She points out that he’s still not scheduled to donate and he tells her he’s afraid of needles. She clearly finds that adorable, and actually the way he says it, it really, really is.
She thanks him for all his help and complains a little about Flash. “You know, Lana, if you really want to thank me…don’t talk about [Flash],” Clark says. Lana looks uncomfortable but agrees. Clark moves closer and says, “Do you ever think it’s strange that my dad and your aunt used to date?” Somewhere Lex is facepalming and he doesn’t even know why.
Rebecca: “Wouldn’t it have been funny if we were adopted cousinsiblings? Anyway, let’s make out.”
Jess: Lana says Nell doesn’t like to talk about it. “I’m just glad that you and I are so close,” Clark says. Ugh, he is SO CREEPY right now, especially since he’s so big and so in her space. Also, when did they get “so close”? Until this year he couldn’t go near her without falling down. (P.S. Why doesn’t her necklace affect him anymore, WHY.) Lana awkwardly third-persons something about how Clark Kent’s “not always there when you want him, but he’s always there when you need him.” They get very close and almost kiss – but Nell interrupts. Man, this episode is just full of people walking in on kisses and almost-kisses.
Anyway, Nell gets weirdly hostile with Clark and hints broadly that he should be getting home. Lana starts to head inside and Clark asks if she’s ever seen the sunset from his loft. “Yes,” she says, and a hilariously awkward moment descends. She stammers that each sunset is unique, though, and accepts his invitation to come over tomorrow night. Aw, too bad he’ll be fighting Jeff then! (NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: I was wrong about this prediction, but the writers were even wronger than me.)
At school, Pete mocks Clark’s lack of game so that the writers can shoehorn “Clark, you’re not the flying type” into the dialogue, then runs off, his place in the opening credits justified.
Rebecca: Well, Pete’s not wrong.
Jess: Clark opens his locker. Not far away, a teacher approaches Flash at his locker and tells him that his mother told her “the news” and if he needs anything, he can come to her. Flash nods, turns away from his locker, and spills every he’s holding on the floor. Clark bends to help him – and sees a bag from the pharmacy. Flash snatches it out of his hands and storms off.
Clark X-rays the bag as Flash walks away and sees a prescription bottle of “Amlodipine Besylate.” Cut to Clark at the Beanery staring gloomily at a clipping about amlodipine besylate, which is apparently used for high blood pressure and chest pain.
Amy appears, cheerfully greets Clark, and sits down next to him. She’s wearing jeans and a denim jacket, because 2001. Clark asks if everything’s okay and she says “Yeah, it’s just all this weirdness at the mansion. Everything was fine until Victoria got here…You’re Lex’s friend, what do you think of her?” Clark tactfully says he doesn’t really know Victoria, and Amy very unconvincingly says she saw Victoria “in Lex’s bedroom, going through his things.”
“What were you doing in Lex’s bedroom?” Clark asks, not fooled for an instant. “Helping my mom,” Amy says. “And Victoria didn’t see you?” Clark asks. “No. See, Lex is the only one who ever treated me like I was there,” Amy says with a slightly unhinged laugh. Clark’s dubious expression as he nods is a wonder to behold.
Rebecca: This scene really plays like Clark is Lex’s protective boyfriend and is jealous of both Amy and Victoria. Also, I’m not crazy.
Jess: Haha, I can see it! I saw it more like him picking up on the juuust left-of-normal vibe Amy is throwing down. (She’s great, btw.) He’s not actually physically sideeyeing her, but you know he’s sideeyeing her in his heart. Sidehearting her.
Rebecca: I sideheart you, Sassy Clark.
Jess: Luthor Castle, night. Victoria is finally getting around to running that bath. The bathroom could not look more like a set if it tried. She gets into the tub as ominous music plays.
Lex is on the computer in his study when Clark comes in. “I came here to talk to you about Victoria,” Clark says. “Last night, I saw her…” “She was going through the files on my computer?” Lex asks. Clark’s startled, and Lex assures him that “Very little happens in this house without my knowledge…We’re playing chess, Clark. It’s a game. Like I said, we’ve known each other a long time.” “You don’t love her, she goes behind your back…why do you want to keep her around?” Clark asks. Lex tells him not to worry his pretty little head about it and Clark grows even more uncomfortable as he brings up Amy’s obsession with Lex.
Jess: Lex dismisses that as a teenage crush, which is a weird thing to say to your 14-year-old best friend, and turns it back around to Lana. Clark tells Lex about the amlodipine, which Lex is familiar with – his mother took it before her surgery. “Is that what – sorry,” Clark says, catching himself. Lex says his mom was sick for a long time, and gave him the missing watch close to the end. “She found a Napoleon franc from 1806 and had it made into the face.” “Why Napoleon?” Clark asks. Lex tells a story about how Napoleon had his mother painted into a scene of his coronation even though she wasn’t actually there: “Even though she couldn’t be there physically, he brought her into his life through sheer force of will, there to share in his greatness.” “That’s a good story,” Clark says, looking mildly bored. “It’s a good watch,” Lex replies.
In the bathroom, the door opens. A candle blows out. Victoria sits up. The door is closed. “Lex?” she calls.
Suddenly a hand pushes her under the water. We can see it on her throat through the water, which is a decent effect. She fights to the surface, gasps for air, then is hauled back. Her leg, flailing out of the tub, knocks over a glass, which smashes on the floor.
Clark, walking past the stairs, hears the crash and superspeeds up to the bathroom. Victoria is still. He lifts her out of the water and lays her gently on the floor (with all the broken glass, but whatever, I guess). She coughs fitfully and he covers her with her robe. Aw, Clark.
Rebecca: Do you think this is Clark’s first time seeing a naked woman? Serious question.
Jess: Nah, remember the gross locker room scene in “X-Ray”? 🙁
Rebecca: UGH, DON’T REMIND ME.
Jess: “Shh, you’re gonna be okay,” he tells her – and is suddenly flung into a mirror, which smashes on impact. Uh oh, seven years’ bad luck! No wonder it takes him so long to fly. He sits up, X-rays the door, and sees a skeleton walk towards it, cut its foot on the broken glass (how did the glass get over by the door? this bathroom is huge), open the door, and leave. There’s something krypto-green on the glass. Clark frowns.
Smallville High, day. Journalism room. Clark and Chloe inspect the bloody glass and Chloe theorizes that the attacker was invisible. “What’s this green stuff?” she asks, rubbing it on her thumb and forefinger. “Smells like roses.” Suddenly parts of her fingers disappear. She has a low-key freakout, but Clark points out that if she rubbed the green stuff all over her body, she’d be invisible. Chloe wipes her hand clean – is that a handkerchief? Chloe, are you 85 years old? – and her fingers go back to normal. Why didn’t the green stuff turn the mirror invisible? Why isn’t Clark reacting to it?
Rebecca: We could spend 10 years asking questions like these. Oh wait, we will!
Jess: Outside, Chloe asks if they should call the police. “To report an invisible person?” Clark asks. Yep, that would definitely be weirder than the frozen corpses, the guy who turned into cockroaches, and the coach who immolated himself. They settle on Amy as having motive and opportunity, and Chloe points out that Amy gave blood. “I’ll get the blood type on the broken piece of glass and check it against Amy’s,” she says. Um, how on Earth are you going to do that? He asks her to call him later and leaves. She gives him a look as he goes that is just as adoring as Lex’s but somehow way more clear-sighted. It’s pretty adorable.
Rebecca: God, I still ship it.
Jess: I think she could do better. (TEAM CHLANA! Or Chloliver, I guess. Or Chlimmy! Theoretically, at least.)
Rebecca: (This version of Jimmy doesn’t deserve her, unfortunately. But he dies, so.) (It’s not the “real” Jimmy.) (We’ll get there.)
Jess: Back inside (why were Clark and Chloe outside in the first place?) Clark spots Flash brooding in the cafeteria and approaches him. Flash tells him to beat it, but Clark’s like “You need to treat Lana better, bro!” and Flash decides to beat it himself. “I saw the heart medication in your bag,” Clark says. “What’s going on, [Flash]?” Sad music plays as Flash confesses that his dad’s in Metropolis getting tests done. He hasn’t told Lana because “I figured she’s gone through enough pain in her life with her parents, I didn’t want her to have to go through it with me.” Clark basically winces like Flash just scored a winning touchdown on him. Sorry, dude, you’re not stealing Flash’s girlfriend in this particular episode. Finally Clark tells Flash Lana’s stronger than he thinks (*inadvertent All-Star reference*) and leaves.
Rebecca: God, why is this plot? We’ve never met Flash’s parents, and it seems like this is the laziest way to try to make him sympathetic, or at least three-dimensional. Who cares? What’s going on with Pete and his naked torso? Or the Kents, what are they doing besides wondering when Clark can get it wet?
Jess: I wish you could see the horrified face I made at that last bit. Anyway, I assume it’s just to throw a random obstacle in the path of the S.S. Clana. It’s not very elegantly done.
Rebecca: At this point, the S.S. Clana is an old rowboat drifting aimlessly because the old man fishing in it got drunk and fell asleep.
Jess: The Beanery. Clark meets Lex in the back and asks how Victoria’s doing. “She’s resting up in Metropolis for a few days until I can get some answers,” Lex says. Clark broods and Lex asks what’s wrong. Clark says Flash’s dad is sick and that he feels too guilty to go after Lana. “What would you do?” he asks. “Me? I’d go for it,” Lex says. “See, but that’s what I like about you, Clark. You wouldn’t.”
Amy appears and greets Lex a little too enthusiastically. She’s holding her sleeve down over her wrist in a weird way and Clark X-rays it – and spots the watch. “Maybe now that Miss Hardwick’s gone things’ll go back to normal,” Amy says, and Lex tells her that Victoria’s coming back soon. Amy’s face falls. “She’s really not as bad as you think, Amy,” Lex says. “Oh, I never thought that,” she says nervously, and walks away. Clark looks pensive and Lex asks why.
Cut to Mrs. Fixture letting Lex and Clark into Amy’s bedroom. “I don’t know what to say, Mr. Luthor. Amy’s been having some trouble in school but I can’t imagine she would try to hurt Miss Hardwick,” she says. “I hope I’m wrong,” Clark says, and he and Lex start to search the room. It’s a quick search – Lex opens a vanity and finds a small shrine to him, which hilariously includes a) what is obviously a promo shot for the show, b) the article about him robbing the bank, and c) a picture of him as a kid with the terrible orange wig. “It’s like she’s been collecting you,” Clark says.
Rebecca: Maybe this is where Lex gets the idea for his Clark shrine.
Jess: Lex reaches behind some of the knickknacks and finds his watch. How’d it get from Amy’s wrist to here? The show’s idea of time passing is so borked. Hasn’t Lana been in the Attic of Sad Voyeurism waiting for Clark to watch the sunset with her for like two days now?
Mrs. Fixture, looking shocked and dismayed, asks Lex not to call the cops. “I’m not interested in retribution or publicity, but Amy needs help,” Lex says. “Counseling, medical treatment, whatever it takes, just send me the bill.” Aw, Lex. “Even so I think it’d be best for everyone if you left the mansion tonight,” he concludes. Poor Fixture Family. Clark and Lex make sad faces at each other.
Attic of Sad Voyeurism, fakey-looking sunset. Clark walks in to find Lana waiting. She beams: “You made it.” “Sorry I’m late,” he says. Yeah, twenty-four hours late! I just went back and checked and he definitely said “tomorrow,” but the next evening was the Night of the Invisible Drowning. There’s some subpar romantic dialogue that is hard to pay attention to with the sides of their faces all fuzzed out from having the sunset edited in behind them.
Rebecca: I wish all these boring Clana scenes were dubbed into a language that I don’t understand.
Jess: Yeah, I actually like Lana a fair bit but these two are mind-numbingly boring together. I want her to run off to a world where the writers don’t suck. And take me with her.
They get in real close; Lana gives Clark the biggest, saddest eyes in the world and he says something cryptic about how if he said what he was thinking it would hurt her. “Why don’t you take a shot?” she asks. “I’m pretty strong.” I like the echo from Clark’s earlier line, and I like Lana asking not to be treated with kid gloves, but it’s pretty clear that she knows that what he wants to say is how much he wants to stick his tongue down her throat, and girl, you have a boyfriend.
Clark mentions Flash and Lana says she thought he didn’t want to talk about Flash. Clark walks away and tells Lana Flash needs her right now. She is understandably baffled. He tells her he doesn’t want to lose her friendship. She ruefully points out that they missed the sunset, and leaves.
Rebecca: IT’S A METAPHOR!
Jess: Writers: *drop the mic*
Luthor Castle, the grounds. Amy tearfully walks past Lex, then turns to look at him. “I just wanted to feel close to you,” she says. He gives her an almost-smile, then resolves back into…sadness? Resignation? Amy and her dad get into the car and Mrs. Fixture approaches Lex. “Jeff is going to pack everything else. My husband will be back in the morning to pick it up. Again, Mr. Luthor, I…” “It’s okay,” Lex assures her. “Drive safely.” The Fixtures drive off and Lex looks genuinely upset. I wonder how long they’ve been around. Like, did Lex just fire his surrogate mother, or just some lady? A precise length of time would also be an interesting character note for Amy and Jeff.
Rebecca: I agree, and this was for sure not deliberate, but we do meet Lex’s “surrogate mom” sometime in Season 2, in an episode I remember liking but I guess we’ll see (in 30 years).
Jess: Lex takes out his phone and heads back towards the house, saying “Yes, hi, I’d like to leave a message for Victoria Hardwick…” He doesn’t get to leave that message, as the phone is knocked from his hand. “Who’s there?” he says. “Come out and show yourself!” A vague form materializes from the fog and punches him in the face.
Attic of Sad Voyeurism. Clark mopes on a couch. Martha walks over to him and asks how things went with Lana. Clark tells her that he’s bummed, but thinks he made the right decision. Before Martha can impart any awesomely sassy wisdom, the Sassmaster herself arrives. Sassmistress? Whatever, Chloe’s here! Martha exits, and Chloe tells Clark the blood on the mirror didn’t match Amy’s. She shows him a piece of paper that I guess is a list of donors and their blood types, because Clark sees that Jeff’s blood type does match. He hastily excuses himself and Chloe flops back against the couch. So how does Clark explain to Chloe what happens at the end of every episode after she figures out who the bad guy is and Clark runs away and the bad guy gets punched by someone super strong?
Rebecca: It’s always been my headcanon that Chloe figures Clark out immediately and just never tells him, but instead someone has to forcibly show her and then she never tells him (until she’s in danger of freezing to death).
Jess: Sigh. (My comics headcanon for Jimmy is similar. He’s gotta know by now, right?)
Rebecca: (JIMMY OLSEN KNOWS ALL.)
Jess: Luthor Castle. Lex is on the floor, hands tied behind his back, looking very Damsel in Distress. “Don’t you understand?” Jeff hisses as Lex slowly regains consciousness. “She loved you. How could you send her away?!” “Who are you?” Lex asks, looking around. Jeff rants about Lex’s riches and selfishness and Lex recognizes his voice. “I’m surprised you even know my name,” Jeff says. “Did you forget the unspoken rule? Servants are supposed to be invisible.”
Sidebar: Is this supposed to be a reveal? Because, like, we know it’s Jeff, since how would Amy have been in the boys’ locker room (sidebar to the sidebar: good job never connecting that “ghost” with the Luthor “ghost,” Future Investigative Journalist Clark Kent), but this episode isn’t set up “ironically” with Clark/Chloe/Lex going after Amy while the show emphasizes that it’s actually Jeff. It just has them straightforwardly going after the wrong person while we wait. What’s the point?
Rebecca: I think we were supposed to think Amy did it, since we spend so much time with her and kind of forget about Jeff in the middle? The locker room thing seems like a gimme though. I have a feeling this script was rushed and/or phoned in.
Jess: Also, I’m glad neither of these teens are murderous, but they are both pretty unhinged. I guess that’s what you can expect when you grow up on the Luthor estate, though. God knows it didn’t do Lex any favors.
Rebecca: Well, Jeff did try to strangle/drown Victoria, but yeah, maybe they just overheard one too many of Lionel’s Sun Tzu lectures.
Jess: Lex staggers to his feet as Jeff continues to rant, then hits him again. “What have I ever done to you?” Lex asks. “Not to me, to Amy,” Jeff says. “She loved you and you threw her out like she was nothing.” Lex says Amy tried to kill Victoria and Jeff says it was him and he was just trying to scare her so she’d leave and Lex would love Amy, “but you’re not interested in love.” “That kind of love could get me arrested,” Lex points out. Hee, and also, uh, maybe be less creepy with Clark and Lana, then?
Rebecca: Do you think that’s Lex’s mantra, which he recites to himself when he stares at a framed photo of Clark before he goes to bed each night?
Jess: Oh, Lex. The cure’s worse than the disease.
Jeff yells that Lex ruined all their lives, takes a sword down from the wall, and flings it at Lex. It sticks in the wall next to his head. No way a random teenager could throw a sword like that, even if he did miss. Lex looks genuinely terrified, which I like. He’s usually so unflappable.
Clark speeds up the road, pauses outside the castle, then speeds into it. I know they have to show Clark slowing down long enough to let us see that it’s him (and, you know, not all the other characters on this show who run so fast they’re formally called “the Blur” for 14 seasons) but it always makes him look so dopey. Are you lost, Clarktopher?
Rebecca: Heeee. I will say that at one point they fake you into thinking it’s Clark but it’s actually The Return of Bart. BART!
The door’s locked. “Lex!” Clark yells. “It’s me, open up!” “Clark!” Lex calls, and Jeff slams him headfirst into a stone wall, knocking him out again. Clark rips the door open and runs in, but something stops him – not clear from Clark’s fish-gaping if it’s an actual slug from Jeff or just generic kryptonite poisoning (which didn’t affect him in his last scene with Jeff, or for half of the scene before that). Jeff tells him to back off and also that this is partially his fault. Clark’s able to spot Jeff with his X-ray vision and asks what happened. Jeff exposits that he found a weird green rose on the property and used the oils “to become what I’ve always been to Lex, to the people at school, everyone.”
Clark walks towards Lex. A mace hits him in the face and shatters. Okay, Clark’s slow-mo face is HILARIOUS but also, does metal shatter? Like, ever? Wouldn’t it just flatten?
Rebecca: Enjoy thinking about this during years’ worth of opening credits sequences going forward.
Jess: He flops against a wall hanging, gasping. “I’ve heard Luthor talk about you like you’re something special,” Jeff says, and I dearly hope Lex was saying all of this to himself. “Well, I’m something special too.”
Clark suddenly clutches at his throat – Jeff’s obviously strangling him. He hurls Jeff away – into some scaffolding that’s been in the study all episode for no reason. Red and yellow paint cans tip over and drip onto Jeff, revealing his outline. (P.S. Nothing in the study is painted red or yellow. But hey, they’re Superman colors! I c whut u did etc.) Jeff slumps, apparently unconscious, and Clark relaxes.
Some time later, paramedics put a still-unconscious but clean and visible (and apparently naked) Jeff into an ambulance. Uh. Did Clark and Lex bathe him together? Because that’s weird. Lex says Jeff’s in for a lot of therapy and wonders how he made himself invisible. Clark’s not telling. I mean, in the long run it’s good that Lex Luthor won’t have an invisibility serum, but in the context of this guy being your best friend who was almost killed, Clark, I think he’s earned this knowledge. Lex talks about his mother a bit more and Clark stares at the moon, clearly not listening.
Rebecca: EARTH TO CLARK! TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT KRYPTONITE AND ITS SUBSEQUENT MUTANTS GIVES AWAY LITERALLY NOTHING ABOUT YOU! STOP WITHHOLDING INFORMATION!!
Jess: Attic of Sad Voyeurism, living up to its name as Clark watches Flash and Lana on her porch. Looking sad, Flash tells Lana something – it’s pretty obvious what – and Lana pulls him into a hug. Clark sads. Dude, if you’re gonna keep looking, you’re gonna keep feeling sad. It’s not that hard a lesson to learn.
Rebecca: I have, like, nothing to say about this episode as a whole. Yet more Troubled Teenz, yet more Mysterious and Confusing Kryptonite Applications, yet more boring Clark/Lana and Lex/Victoria and underuse of everyone else. We don’t even really get to learn more about Lex. And, like, knowing that Clark “becomes” Superman, the stopping-a-kryptoteen-and-sending-him-off plot shouldn’t feel so cursory already. Eh. I like Azura Sky, and she deserves better.
Jess: Yeah, it’s just kind of there. There’s nothing particularly offensive or stupid in it (God, only 10 episodes in and I’m so desensitized that I can find “nothing particularly stupid” in a plot about a boy who turns invisible by rubbing himself with oil from roses that have been mutated by space rocks). Clana is spinning its wheels, Lex is there but interacting mostly with people we don’t care about, and there isn’t nearly enough Kent or Chloe action. Yawn.
Rating: A leisurely walk around the track.
Next week: Lex shoots up and Chloe makes out.