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Smallville review: Luthor - tasabian [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Smallville review: Luthor [Dec. 3rd, 2010|11:46 pm]
tasabian
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Squee!



You know, you get kinda accustomed to Smallville rarely giving you what you want and then suddenly you get exactly what you want and it stuns you.

Now, I realize what I want isn't always what everyone else wants, but hey, gonna be selfish and enjoy it while it lasts!

This episode began with Clark declaring "Luthor blood is poison", a continuation of the "Lex is evil from birth" theme that's been offered by various characters, especially Jonathan, since the show began. And it’s always rankled with me, particularly when the show seemed to want to absolve Lionel in the latter seasons. I don't think any child is evil from birth. And I don't think any child raised by Lionel could escape being damaged.

Here's what Clark had to say by the episode's end, and this line, beautifully said by Tom, was nectar to my ears: "Lionel's blood doesn't corrupt. It’s the man himself. I was wrong."

Would I have loved to have heard this in an episode when Lex was still around? Yes, but hearing it said at all, is satisfying and surprising enough. This is the way to do a Lex episode, with no body doubles or clones.

Glover! I didn't realize how much I’d missed him until he was there, in full sexy, terrifying glory, even speaking directly to the camera at the end. What style! "Fracture" gave Clark a glimpse of Lionel's parenting style; "Luthor" puts him directly under Lionel's belt, in a harrowing scene. He gets to live Lex's childhood in microcosm.

There were wonderful homages to past "Lionel and Lex" scenes. The scene with Lionel holding an epee to Clark's throat mirrors the same shot with Lex in "Hothead". Lionel clasping Clark's face is another callback. Writer Bryan Miller carefully culled past Lionel-lines and put little tweaks on them.

Tom! I was excited to see him play two roles, but he actually plays three. Clark, Clark Luthor and Clark-pretending-to-be-Clark-Luthor. He's amazing in all three roles. Loved watching Clark figure things out and smartly adapt to his new environment; "Clark Luthor" is outta control sexy, Tom using an entirely different, Luthorian body language and mimicking Michael's speech patterns.

Cassidy! When Clark Luthor kisses Tess – it’s a world of wrong and she resists at first but man oh man, Cassidy somehow manages to show Tess relaxing, against her judgment into his embrace and enjoying the kiss which is just…..wrong, but yeah. Hot. From her panic at the beginning, to the way she assesses and adapts to Clark Luthor, to her lovely final scene – Tess was fabulous to watch tonight.

I loved Erica's scene at the coffeestand, Lois dealing with one unfriendly and one instantly smitten guy. And even Oliver (who we only saw in the AU) was fun tonight. "I know, You’re the good one. Now, leave!"

I don't know where they go from here….a Lex-clone killing AU Lionel would be underwhelming. A Lex-plot with no Michael is a bust. And this ep. would have been even better as a two-parter, but hey, I'll take what I can get and right now I am pleased!
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-04 05:14 am (UTC)
If Michael's Lex returns, Clark can make amends by covering him with kisses!
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[User Picture]From: auroramoon22
2010-12-06 11:56 pm (UTC)
ahh, we can only hope.
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[User Picture]From: jeannev
2010-12-04 05:35 am (UTC)
There was a lot to like and appreciate in this episode. For me, there was also a big flipside, which I'll address in more detail in my own review. But I think for me, what really made this ep stand out was the performances of Tom, Cassidy and John Glover. And its more then their individual performances, because the chemistry that these 3 actors displayed in their scenes together really made this episode stand out.

And the scene at the end between Clark and Tess, and what Clark said, and how he reassured Tess was just flat-out lovely.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-04 07:17 pm (UTC)
But I think for me, what really made this ep stand out was the performances of Tom, Cassidy and John Glover. And its more then their individual performances, because the chemistry that these 3 actors displayed in their scenes together really made this episode stand out.
The three of them are instantly believable as this supremely messed up AU family. That's talent, to make us believe the dynamic so quickly.

And the scene at the end between Clark and Tess, and what Clark said, and how he reassured Tess was just flat-out lovely.
That may end up being my favourite scene of S10 because I have wanted to hear those particular words for so long. Very grateful to BQM. And the acting was tremendous, of course.
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[User Picture]From: rosy5000
2010-12-04 06:00 am (UTC)
I actually squeed every time Lionel was on screen. He was just fantastic tonight. :D

Clark Luthor was all kinds of sexy! ;D

I so loved the final scene between Clark and Tess. It's about time Clark realizes it's not the name/blood but how they are raised.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-04 07:19 pm (UTC)
I actually squeed every time Lionel was on screen. He was just fantastic tonight.
How does JG get sexier every passing year? Incredible.

Clark Luthor was all kinds of sexy!
He was! And since he has no compunction about making out with his "siblings", I'm going to hypothesize that he sexed Lex to death!

I so loved the final scene between Clark and Tess. It's about time Clark realizes it's not the name/blood but how they are raised.
AT LAST! Hurray :)

Edited at 2010-12-04 07:19 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: earthseed_fic
2010-12-04 07:45 pm (UTC)
He was! And since he has no compunction about making out with his "siblings", I'm going to hypothesize that he sexed Lex to death!

You make me want to watvh this episode just so I can see the scene that gives rise to this fantasy.
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[User Picture]From: mahaliem
2010-12-04 06:17 am (UTC)
Squeeing here, too!

I adored this episode so very, very much. Also, John Glover is truly amazing. They all did great, but I've missed evil!Lionel so much and was so glad to see him again.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-04 07:20 pm (UTC)
This felt like an old-school ep, didn't it?

Also, John Glover is truly amazing. They all did great, but I've missed evil!Lionel so much and was so glad to see him again.
When he addresses the camera directly in the last scene, I wanted to applaud!
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[User Picture]From: serenography
2010-12-04 07:57 am (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes to ALL of this.

I was excited for this episode but with a lot of concern. I found myself completely enthralled with the story and all the characters. Agreed that a 2-parter would have fleshed out a lot of this story more, but hell, that can be said about way too many SV episodes.

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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-04 07:20 pm (UTC)
Wasn't it a hoot? Great to have an episode that leaves you wanting MORE!
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[User Picture]From: jlvsclrk
2010-12-04 08:04 am (UTC)
Absolutely! My main wish was that they'd turned this into a two parter so we could have seen more of the havoc wrought by Clark Luthor (not to mention more of that coiled sexiness - yum!) Clark saying those words at the end were a balm to my Clex loving soul. You could write a great reconciliation fic just by having Lex listening in to the conversation, realizing Clark has finally grown up. Great stuff.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-04 07:22 pm (UTC)
My main wish was that they'd turned this into a two parter so we could have seen more of the havoc wrought by Clark Luthor (not to mention more of that coiled sexiness - yum!)
"Coiled sexiness" is the perfect description. Oh Tom, you knock my socks off!

You could write a great reconciliation fic just by having Lex listening in to the conversation, realizing Clark has finally grown up.
Great idea....the invisible presence of Lex was very strong in this episode.
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[User Picture]From: lonelywalker
2010-12-04 09:44 am (UTC)
Did Clark never know about Grant Gabriel, by the way? He was a Luthor, and a complete straight arrow.

I do wish they'd found some way to insert the fact that regular world Lionel hadn't been all bad, that he'd actually had a pretty good relationship with Clark over time, that even he wasn't beyond saving. Buuuut I guess they needed Clark to be very black&white about morality in this ep.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-04 08:04 pm (UTC)
Clark never found out about Grant - but then he didn't really live long enough to reach about conclusion about his character.

I do wish they'd found some way to insert the fact that regular world Lionel hadn't been all bad, that he'd actually had a pretty good relationship with Clark over time, that even he wasn't beyond saving.
I don't think any character, Lionel included, is beyond saving. But I also never believed in "good" Lionel. He'd had a "spiritual awakening" about Clark, sure, but it didn't make him a better person (and most definitely not a better father.) Torturing Clark "for his own good" in Traveller fits with how "Luthor" Lionel was raising Clark Luthor.

I regret that the show never did a flashback to Lionel's childhood in Suicide Slums, which surely must have been awful.
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[User Picture]From: herohunter
2010-12-04 12:47 pm (UTC)
Ooo, sounds like it rocked!! I'll keep an eye out for it!!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-04 07:22 pm (UTC)
I think you'll really enjoy this one!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-04 07:39 pm (UTC)
YESYESYES to your entire comment.

Fantastic episode. A lot about the WHY of Lex without showing him.
Yes! A much better Lex-homage than bringing in clones and body doubles.

And what an end. I'm so glad I don't go for spoilers. I can picture a Lionel/Darkseid alliance. Ooooh, shivers.
It could be EPIC!
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[User Picture]From: complicat
2010-12-04 05:41 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear it was a good ep! That's one to look out for when it shows up here anyway!

Ooh, we get to see the real (Magnificent) Lionel again? Yay! And Clark finally realising that Lionel's evil screws people up? Yay! Did he acknowledge that it was wrong to forgive Lionel everything just because he was on Clark's side a season or two back?

Of course, being SV there's plenty of time for them to screw things up again (I'm nervous of Lionel sticking around for more eps in case it's some kind of crappy redemption arc where it ends up with Lionel blameless and Lex being the root of all evil after all). Let's hope it's not all forgotten or retconned by the next ep....
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-04 07:58 pm (UTC)
I do think you'll like this one!

Of course, being SV there's plenty of time for them to screw things up again (I'm nervous of Lionel sticking around for more eps in case it's some kind of crappy redemption arc where it ends up with Lionel blameless and Lex being the root of all evil after all).
While I'm sure there are some dud episodes to come, I think Lionel is back as an unreconstructed baddie (and likely a Darkseid vessel or conspirator.) If Michael does return, I wonder if Lex's first order of business will be to push Lionel 2.0 out a window? Or maybe Tess will!

And Clark finally realising that Lionel's evil screws people up? Yay! Did he acknowledge that it was wrong to forgive Lionel everything just because he was on Clark's side a season or two back?
No, and I'd say the script was ignoring that plotline...except that the way "good" Lionel tortured Clark "to protect him" in Traveller was pretty similar to how this Lionel was raising Clark Luthor. So that seemed an acknowledgement that "good" Lionel was as dangerous and dubiously motivated as every version of Lionel.

Edited at 2010-12-04 07:59 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: complicat
2010-12-08 12:03 am (UTC)
If Michael does return, I wonder if Lex's first order of business will be to push Lionel 2.0 out a window? Or maybe Tess will!

I'm hoping that Clark will do the pushing, and then tell Lex that he understands why he did so the first time round after years of Lionel's abuse!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-08 12:27 am (UTC)
Aw, that would be romantic!
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[User Picture]From: ctbn60
2010-12-04 09:51 pm (UTC)
Fantastic review!! AMAZING episode. I found evil!clarkluthor and our tess so amazingly hot together. I've always thought tess really had it bad for clark for a long time. It was really NICE to see clark admitting to tess that he was wrong. I could have easily imagined Lex being the one sitting there and that is how they mended their friendship. Both Tess and Clark were wonderful tonight. It was a GREAT show. And EVIL!Lionel is here and I can see him unrestricted by being Jor-el's chosen one is going to set their world on end. The next 3 episodes should be really interesting!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-05 12:13 am (UTC)
Can't wait to see your icons from this ep! And I will want a Clark Luthor one!

I found evil!clarkluthor and our tess so amazingly hot together. I've always thought tess really had it bad for clark for a long time.
Their kiss was scorching!

And EVIL!Lionel is here and I can see him unrestricted by being Jor-el's chosen one is going to set their world on end. The next 3 episodes should be really interesting!
I hope so! With SV, you take what you can get & it's great to see JG again.
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[User Picture]From: ctbn60
2010-12-05 12:51 am (UTC)
I know! I'm thinking of doing this one over the others. I just downloaded the episode! *bounce*
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[User Picture]From: goodvibe
2010-12-05 01:51 pm (UTC)
//Glover! I didn't realize how much I’d missed him until he was there, in full sexy, terrifying glory, even speaking directly to the camera at the end.//

I know, right?! And ITA about the performances in general - TW, CF and JG carried the ep, and how.

I loved the bit players in this one too. Luthor minion with her haughty air, befuddled newspaper guy and then the scene stealers, the coffee dudes.

//I don't know where they go from here….a Lex-clone killing AU Lionel would be underwhelming. A Lex-plot with no Michael is a bust.//

The no-Lex thing is really going to start becoming an issue, if this is going where I think it is. Plus, I'm just not sure how they'll fit in this Lionel now - we're already crowded on the villain front this season.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-05 07:20 pm (UTC)
I know, right?! And ITA about the performances in general - TW, CF and JG carried the ep, and how.
Glover just kicks things up a notch. And TW & CF just threw themselves into the alt-versions with such glee, an absolute treat to watch.

The no-Lex thing is really going to start becoming an issue, if this is going where I think it is. Plus, I'm just not sure how they'll fit in this Lionel now - we're already crowded on the villain front this season.
If MR doesn't return, I'm guessing they'll slot JG in his place? And yes, the current villains have already been under-served: I was hoping Desaad would get a whole episode interacting with Clark because he seems so promising.

Edited at 2010-12-05 07:20 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: jwm_rocks
2010-12-05 04:18 pm (UTC)
This episode began with Clark declaring "Luthor blood is poison", a continuation of the "Lex is evil from birth" theme that's been offered by various characters, especially Jonathan, since the show began.
I had some issues with the teaser (seemed somewhat OOC and over generalized to accommodate the fact Tess is now a Luthor) but I did enjoy the episode and liked that it had Clark concluding that Lex wasn't born evil.

Now, I realize what I want isn't always what everyone else wants, but hey, gonna be selfish and enjoy it while it lasts!
Kind of amazing they gave Lex fans an episode to really enjoy without actually having Lex on screen. OTOH while having JG back was welcome it just underscored for me how much MR added to the show.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2010-12-05 07:26 pm (UTC)
I had some issues with the teaser (seemed somewhat OOC and over generalized to accommodate the fact Tess is now a Luthor) but I did enjoy the episode and liked that it had Clark concluding that Lex wasn't born evil.
There were platitudes at both ends, definitely. But in a meta sense, I liked that Clark (and the show) were shown to transcend Jonathan's worldview. Clark has moved beyond both his fathers now.

Kind of amazing they gave Lex fans an episode to really enjoy without actually having Lex on screen. OTOH while having JG back was welcome it just underscored for me how much MR added to the show.
MR (and Lex) were a phantom presence all over this ep. If the ep had been a two parter and Michael had been there too: WOW.
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