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  Alternate Universes

Smallville: Random "Lineage" Musings

For the first time since the S2 premiere, we all watched together. Recently the pile o' fangirls re-watched it.

1. When Martha comes in all dressed for work, Our out-of-the-loop Guy goes "whaa?" We tell him she's working as Lionel's assistant now. "She can't do that! He's Eeevil!" The family needs the money. "She could do something respectable, like walk the streets." "Dad!" FoF cries in shock. ". . . to pick up dropped change, of course." He wasn't mollified until I came out with my "keep your enemies closer" theory, and then decided he would keep Martha as his TV girlfriend, but on probation.

2. I protested that Dunleavey shouldn't be able to just walk into school to stalk Clark. FoF says that if she did it before first period really starts it should be easy enough, there are a lot of parents going in and out with the kids milling about.

3. FoF tried to reach through the screen and punch Clark during the Chloe-Clark fight. Explaining that what Chloe did was *really* not cool and a serious violation of privacy cuts not the teenage ice. "He read her email! He *made her cry*!" I pointed out that Clark seems to have been crying when Chloe came in, but that also didn't count. "Chloe was trying to be nice -- Clark was *mean*!" And she is right, of course: when Clark's really upset he has the skills to say what hurts most.

So far we've seen him use this on Lex and Chloe. I wonder how Pete or Lana will react when he does it to them? It should happen in canon, but probably won't.

4. Lex is fiddling with that pen because MR loves us. He wants there to be Lex/pen UST stories to go with the Lex/Ty Nant, Lex/pool cue, Lex/car stories. Don't let the 'dillo down.

5. Speaking of loving us -- the truck. The *bonding*. The look on Wee!Clark's face -- so smug, like "Parents, check. Life-partner, check."

The audience sees what really happened, but what exactly did Jonathan (whose flashback this is) tell Clark? Did he tell him about the Wee!Clex? Boy howdy, do I doubt it. Besides, he was driving at the time. Martha and Lionel are the real witnesses. What does Martha think happened? When would she tell Clark (or Lex) about it?

My opinion of Jonathan has reached a new low. It's not just the way he's projected his self-hatred onto Lionel, it's the way he includes Lex in it: "The Luthors," as some might say, "The Spiders." It was understandable when we thought that his first meeting with Lex was at the bridge where Clark would have died if he wasn't Super. But to me there's something particularly reprehensible about hating a child whose life you've saved.

6. My opinion of JG's acting has reached a new high. 1989!Lionel is clearly a more feeling person than 2002!Lionel. Yes, he was unable to make himself rescue Lex, but it wasn't because he was unfeeling, but because he felt too much. I can't despise him for that, especially given that fans who work in ERs say that kind of reaction is not uncommon, especially from parents who have highly controlling personalities (e.g. surgeons).

In the scene where Lionel is looking at Wee!Lex in the hospital -- I think that, right then, Lionel is deciding to get Lucas away from his mom and have him reared as a backup heir. I think that is the point where Lionel decided not to invest any more love in Lex, as being too high-risk. I think he *did* love him before that, that's how it looked to me when they were riding in the truck, but it was hurting too much and he cut his losses. JG has said that he thinks Lionel is just trying to do his best for Lex, to make him strong, but I no longer see that well-supported by canon. If I'm going to buy NotReallyEvil!Lionel these days, you're going to really have to talk me into it.

7. Martha's role in all this is very interesting, and so-far unexplored in fanfic. In 1989 she basically forced Jonathan into rushing the adoption, in 2002 she calls the shots about what they're going to tell Clark and when. My theory is that they looked into various infertility treatments but couldn't afford them without selling the farm. So because the Kents chose not to sell, the Rosses were persuaded to: that would be a nice mix of ironies.

8. Someone who saw an early version of the script reported some differences from the aired version:

> i. The scene in the barn ends with Lex saying that part of him hopes
> Clark is wrong about not being brothers, then goes on to say he
> doesn't need a DNA test to prove how strong their bond is.
>
> ii. After Lex is kidnapped, the scene opens with Lex waking up to find himself chained to a bed.
> Rebecca (called Rachel in the aired version) informs him she bought
> the house with the money Lionel gave her, and is decorating the room
> just the way Clark would like it.
>
> iii. Lex never knocks himself out. After he pushes Rebecca into a wall,
> she slumps to the floor unconscious. Then Clark bursts in. As Clark
> goes to call an ambulance for Rebecca, Lex says he's glad Clark's not
> his brother. Clark asks why. Lex replies that nobody deserves a father
> like his. The scene ends with a shot of Lex, looking bitter.

I shall continue to believe that Rachael was planning to chain Lex to Clark's bed (what every home needs! And does anyone here disagree? thought not) but found that it's a lot harder to drag a kidnapped guy around than it looks on TV and had to duct-tape him to the chair to control him.

I *do* suspect that they cut out chaining-Lex-to-Clark's-bed because they were planning to be *really* nice to us slashers, but then came to their senses and said, "ahem, maybe that really would get the Family Values gang's attention."

Never let it be said that M&G don't love us. Chained to the bed?!?! Dang. wonder what kind of convo Clark & Lex had when they found the bed with the chains and discovered Rachael's thoughtful plan? What a swell Mommy. Why doesn't Martha think of these things?

9. Speaking of the scene in the barn: watch Clark when Lex says "not every marriage is as Rockwellian as Jonathan & Martha Kent's," also right before he says, "As cool as that would be . . ." He swallows visibly. Now, as RivkaT has pointed out (in a discussion on rhiannonhero's LJ), MR swallows visibly *a lot*, usually I think to show that Lex is swallowing down pain or hurt (he does it when Lionel says Lucas died, for instance). Have we seen TW doing this before? TW said in some interview or other that he likes to watch MR filming his scenes, to learn more about acting, and I'm betting that TW picked this up from MR -- but you might also spin it as something Clark picked up from Lex. In any event, I think it should be read as Clark feeling really bad for Lex: in the first instance, feeling the pain of Lex's family life, in the second, because he knows he's hurting Lex's feelings, saying "I know your family is bad, but you can't be part of mine" . . . or for some other reason, fanfic writers, for the use of.

10. In the barn scene, FoF is awed by MR's ability to make it look as though Lex and Clark might resemble each other, by changing Lex's body language just a little. We are all continuously awed by MR's ability to get some of the best lines in the ep without actually saying anything -- like his reaction to Rachel's revelation about her affair with Lionel, or his, "Oh shit, I'm toast" when she's kidnapped him and says all she needs is for Lionel to tell the truth.

11. One more thing about the barn scene: when Lex jokingly says, "Personally, I think I got all the looks in the family" -- he's really saying, "I think you're gorgeous." Has anyone else canonically told Clark that they think he's good-looking? Moms don't count.

 

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by Mary Ellen, "Doctor Science, MA"

     

 


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updated January 25, 2003

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