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  Alternate Universes

Random "Exile" Musings

At last! At last! The Pile o' Fangrrls settled down to watch, though it was basically over the Distant Future of Fandom's (2nd grade) head. The Future of Fandom is in high school now, so she knows everything.

1. For months now I've been saying there's no way Clark could come out of his Long Hot Summer virgo intacta. Hold onto your hats, folks --

I was wrong. *audience gasps*

The ep suggests two possible explanations. When the bartender asks Clark why he hasn't been scoring with the women he brings in, Clark says, "Why start something when you know it's not going to end well?" At first that sounds like he means *relationships*, which is absurd for RedK!Clark. They're talking about one-night stands, and there is only one way those don't end well. I think the adults in the audience are meant to conclude that Red K makes Clark impotent.

After this conversation Clark leaves the bar in a hurry and the scar heats up, which might involve some kind of reaction between RedK and the brand/Jor-El. This suggests another possible reason for Clark's lack of action: Jor-El doesn't want him to. Maybe Clark knows that when he gets aroused the scar is going to flame on -- that would certainly make any attempted one-night stand "end badly". Or maybe it's as though his father is in the room with him when he tries to have sex, which could deflate anyone.

You'll note that the other flame-on happens (a) as Clark is coming back from Lex's funeral, and (b) while Chloe is there. 'Ship where you like.*g* It does seem to me that Clark gets some advance warning that he's about to flame-on, and that's why he forces Chloe to leave so abruptly.

Yes, we did notice being with Lana did not make Clark burst into flames.

2. By halfway through the Island!Lex stuff I was hoping Lewis would turn out to be a hallucination (or a Pirates of the Caribbean crossover). I am very happy about him.

Let's start with his name: Lewis. As in, "and Clark". Lex needs to talk to someone on the island, so he makes someone up. But he can't call his imaginary friend Clark because (he keeps telling himself) Clark is going to save him -- so he calls his companion in adventure "Lewis." I squee gently.

The FoF says, "Lewis shows why Lex's line about Helen looking over his shoulder is junk -- Lex is always looking over his *own* shoulder." Lewis is nothing so simple as an embodiment of everything Lex hates in himself, he's a way for Lex to express all kinds of conflicts: his ceaseless gnawing over whodunnit; his desire to stay isolated on the island, to not be rescued; his anger at his own incompetance and his fear that he will in fact die there; his hatred and sense of betrayal toward both Helen and Lionel; his sexual frustration (hee!!); his feeling that he's a freak; his fear that he is insane. Not to mention malaria.

3. When Jonathan said he would pay any price to get Clark back, FoF and I both cried out "No!". The traditional price for this sort of thing is either (a) J dying so soon that he never gets to actually be with Clark again, or (b) Martha's life.

4. Chloe not only has a spine, she has a brain! She found Clark after only a month, which seems reasonable to me. But her brain is still a teenage brain, which is why she doesn't tell the Kents.

5. RedK!Clark wants to be Lex. The car looks like a Lexcar, he goes to a club that's Zero 2.0, he throws money around just like Lex in the "Zero" flashback.

6. FoF wants to be a serious actress, and she was deeply admiring of AOT and JS in the barn scene. "They don't try to look beautiful when they cry, they look like people crying." Yes, KK, we *are* looking at you.

7. TW and MR are in some kind of low-rider pants competition. This should be encouraged.

8. Chlana. "Could I take you to lunch? To a funeral?"

9. Lana is a believable teenage girl of a particularly exasperating variety. Why can she say she loves Clark now, when she hasn't seen him for 3 months? Because she hasn't seen him for 3 months!

10. I don't know how much spackling of Clark's crime spree is going to be possible. TPTB have taken the moral easy way out as much as they can: Kal never steals from individuals, only banks. The only people we see him hurt while robbing are Edge's robbers, who wear clown masks so you know they're Truly Evil. Is this low-impact criminal career plausible? Nope, not given that he's so impulse-driven he gives away his purty car.

Because TPTB think we're idiots, they never show Clark heat-visioning the ATM cameras. Even if we accept that he did that, what about fingerprints? Clark has, after all, been to jail -- which means he was fingerprinted, which means he has a record. Are they going to show Maggie Sawyer connecting the dots? Are they hoping we will overlook all this? (answers: probably not, you betcha)

11. While we're wondering whether Clark & his family will ever lose sleep over the million dollars or so that he stole & can't repay, the Kent Farm is also in plenty trouble. I don't think it's just lack of Clark's labor over the summer, I think it's also medical bills -- farmers tend to be desperately under-insured. I really hope that these comparatively realistic, serious economic troubles don't get just swept under the rug, but have actual consequences in the coming year. It should certainly raise real issues about Clark going to college in 2 years. I wonder where they're going to get the money, if not from Lex?

12. FoF says, " Lex is still the hero. He's struggling to stay alive and be a good person; Clark is struggling to be bad." In fact, Clark's "badness" is strikingly incompetant. He doesn't have the drive or charisma to be an alien overlord: he says he flies solo, but what he means is that he doesn't even have associates, much less minions or friends. No wonder Jor-El wants him to go back to Smallville.

13. Edge says he's "the most powerful crime lord in Metropolis," but of course he's only the *second* most powerful -- right, Lionel? I wonder what Edge thinks that vial of Clark's blood is?

 

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by Mary Ellen, "Doctor Science, MA"

     

 


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updated October 4, 2003

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