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Clex in S7: the conclusion! - tasabian [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Clex in S7: the conclusion! [Jun. 1st, 2008|01:49 pm]
tasabian
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I had wondered if "Fracture" would be The Last Great Clex Episode - should I stop watching before everything got wrecked? But I didn't and I'm glad because more Good Stuff was coming! Although, this being Smallville, more Dumb Stuff was coming too.



"Hero" was a mostly awful episode. Poor Sam Jones, to be brought back, only to be used as a shill.

There was one moment that stood out for me. Lex is in glib villain mode throughout this episode (and quite competent too.) But when Kara asks him if he trusts Clark, he answers that he wishes he could. As scripted, this was probably meant as a "smarmy", deceptive moment for Lex. But Michael delivers the line sincerely, and turns away so Kara can't see his expression - but the audience can and oh, Lex's sad little face:



Next up: "Veritas". Post-Fracture, I'd been hoping that Clark would confront Lionel with the abuses he'd seen in Lex's memory. However, this presents the show with a dilemma. Clark can't really be telling people what he saw in Lex's head: particularly not Lionel, that would be a betrayal and violation of Lex.

Thus, the response to "Fracture" is reduced to a single line in a scene between Clark and Lionel. TW delivers it with gusto: "You destroyed the life of one son. You don't get a second chance."

Tears in his eyes? Oh, well played, Tommy!


At this point the show seemed to want two irreconcilable things: Lionel is presented as a martyr to Clark's cause, yet characters like Edward Teague keep popping up to remind us how many people Lionel killed in his pursuit of the "Traveler." It's interesting that the show never implies that Lionel's obsession with Clark has made him a better person: he doesn't try and nudge Lex away from 33.1 and he nonchalantly beats a lady to death with a shovel. There's no interest in helping humanity, just in achieving beatification through Clark-proximity.

Anyhoo...."Descent". What a tour de force performance by Mikey and a great Clex episode to boot. There was concern at TWoP about the spoiler that Lex would destroy his own soul but this proved groundless. As long as Michael is playing the part, Lex has an abundance of soul. Here he is, aching to tell Clark what he's done:

This scene is marred by some terrible dialogue from Clark (Lionel would have loved Lex if he'd "tried" more? WTF? No one tried harder than Lex! This is so ham-handed, that I'm assuming we're supposed to sympathize with Lex.)

However, the dialogue is not Tom & Michael's fault and as always, the boys bring their A game:

Michael actually sobs here, which just broke me:


On to the cemetery scene with some highly charged boy-on-boy staring!


And then Lex smiles. Because he has been so alone throughout this episode - and now he is not alone. His solitude has been self-imposed; he ordered mourners kept away from the funeral. But Clark came anyway because nothing severs their connection: not Lana, not Lionel, not Lionel's death. Lex's rueful little smile acknowledges this: well, here we are again. He's glad Clark is there:

"Apocalypse" really needed to be a two-parter. Despite the best efforts of director!Tom, it feels rushed. What interested me most is that in the Clark-free AU, his friends and family are doing well - with one glaring exception. Lana is happily married; Chloe's engaged; Lois is a star reporter; the Kents have a replacement son. All of them are thriving brilliantly without Clark.

But Lex, though he may be President, is a wreck. This is the soul-less Lex that "Descent" posited. Michael plays him like an empty shell; this version lacks all of Lex's drive and curiosity and allows Brainiac be his pupper master.


The Lex in "Apocalypse" is willing to sacrifice the majority of humanity to save the elite (including himself.) Contrast this with the Lex in "Arctic", who sacrifices himself and the person he loves most to save humanity. The difference between the two? Clark. As dysfunctional and angsty as Clex may be, "Apocalypse" shows that Lex is better off for having loved, and for still loving, Clark.

The Clex barn scene at the end seems gratuitous at first. The boys discuss Lana's medical care; since their discussion is never followed up in subsequent episodes, it seems like a dead end scene. But the points I think that the writers and director!Tom were trying to make are that 1) Clex break-ups are never final and despite Lionel's death, here they are having yet another barn chat and 2)SV!Lex is not going to turn into Apocalypse!Lex, into Kevin Spacey!Lex, into comics!Lex. He is his own Lex (and Tom films him beautifully!)

Notice how their faces are overlapping, merging: a nod to their linked identities? Clever Tom!

And the bit with the football must be a little homage to "Lineage"? How sweet!



"Quest" is suffused with Clexiness, though the boys don't share a scene. But the idea of Teague leaving a message on Lex's body for Clark to find is just.....Rawwrrrrr!

(It's too bad the message wasn't longer, with a postscript on Lex's ass!)

There are many shots of the boys looking hot in "Quest"


I love the expression on Michael's face here...

And Jimmy gets his best speech ever, explaining the joined-at-the-hipness of Naman and Segeth, aka You-Know-Who: "the push and pull, yin and yang...." Oh yes, indeed!

So many things could have gone wrong in "Arctic", I shudder to think....but yay, they didn't and we got our gorgeously tragic, perfectly romantic ending.

Lex fixes his eyes on Clark as though he's trying to memorize him. He wants Clark's face to be the very last thing he sees in this world...


Clark stares back, equally intent.


Boys! Aw, boys....

The Fortress scene was Michael's very last day of filming and it must have been emotional. Apparently, Lex's line "I love you like a brother" was originally scripted in the past tense "I loved you" but it got changed. (By Michael? Craig from Kryptonsite is going to investigate!) Anyway, it's much better in the present tense because ClexLove is forever!

My proposal for S8? Lex's body is comatose but his spirit gets inside Clark. So every so often, Lex takes over control of Clark and Tom gets to imitate Michael. Lex will keep ripping Clark's shirts off and there will be lots of scenes of Lex/Clark locking himself in the bathroom to stare at his naked body. Whee!

'Caps by SVFan, KEakaCK, Herohunter, Devoted.
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[User Picture]From: azrielle_jones
2008-06-01 09:08 pm (UTC)
What a great conclusion!spam! I love your thoughts :)
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-01 09:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much!
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[User Picture]From: complicat
2008-06-01 09:17 pm (UTC)
Ooh, great points about Apocalypse which I hadn't considered! That makes me feel so much better about the episode.

I would so come back for your version of season 8.

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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-01 09:35 pm (UTC)
Ooh, great points about Apocalypse which I hadn't considered! That makes me feel so much better about the episode.
Thank you! I'd love to hear what Tom & Michael thought about the script - it's an odd episode. Fascinating to see Michael play Lex as totally emotionless, because SV!Lex is nothing like that - he gets teary at the drop of a hat, poor lamb! Also interesting that Lex having Kara as a half-sister doesn't seem to have made up for the absence of Clark.

I would so come back for your version of season 8.
It would be so cheap to film: a room, a mirror, a naked Clark....I bet the ratings would be GREAT!
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[User Picture]From: myownghost
2008-06-01 09:32 pm (UTC)
i particularly like the one frame you have here, with their silhouettes merging. very nice.
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-01 09:38 pm (UTC)
Tom playing Ingmar Bergman! They both have such pretty profiles.
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[User Picture]From: herohunter
2008-06-01 09:44 pm (UTC)
Clark can't really be telling people what he saw in Lex's head: particularly not Lionel, that would be a betrayal and violation of Lex.

I think they could and SHOULD have Clark address what he saw in Lex's head to Lionel, since Lionel was there and knew that Clark was going to rape into Lex's head. That one line was good but not enough. :(

Jenny and I just watched Legacy, Truth and Memoria last night and boy, did they really screw the pooch with this whole stupid Veritas/Lionel as Clark's protector plot. Many people believe that the cloned-Julian plot was an injustice to Memoria? I don't see that at all, necessarily, but none of those episodes make sense if Lionel really was aware of this lifelong Veritas project. The Veritas plot killed the earlier seasons, IMO.

That scene in Arctic was SO good! The boys acted their little hearts out, especially Michael (then again, I might be a little biased, lol)!

As long as Michael is playing the part, Lex has an abundance of soul. Absolutely. We were just commenting on how Michael is almost solely responsible for making Lex sympathetic and so much less the villain he was clearly meant to be!

Awesome post, babe!

:D
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-01 10:29 pm (UTC)
I think they could and SHOULD have Clark address what he saw in Lex's head to Lionel, since Lionel was there and knew that Clark was going to rape into Lex's head. That one line was good but not enough. :(
Having Clark deliver a blast of righteous fury to Lionel would have been soooo cathartic (and Tom & John G would have been great!) But SV is notorious for forgetting what happened in the previous episode by the next episode so it's remarkable we got even one line on the subject. It did occur to me that if Martha had still been around in S7, Clark might have confided what he'd seen in Lex's head to her: wouldn't that have been a great scene for Martha, to cut Lionel right out of her life because of what he'd done to Lex? Maybe Annette would have returned for a scene like that.

Jenny and I just watched Legacy, Truth and Memoria last night and boy, did they really screw the pooch with this whole stupid Veritas/Lionel as Clark's protector plot. Many people believe that the cloned-Julian plot was an injustice to Memoria? I don't see that at all, necessarily, but none of those episodes make sense if Lionel really was aware of this lifelong Veritas project. The Veritas plot killed the earlier seasons, IMO.
I thought the clone plot was the worst thing this season - just terribly executed, with MR & Michael Cassidy seeming embarrassed by some of their lines. And the Veritas plot was probably conceived, oh five minutes after the writers watched a certain episode of "Heroes" last season!

I did think "Traveler" was meant to emphasize that Lionel was not a "safe" guardian for Clark - more interested in exerting control over him, even to the point of torturing him, than nudging him towards his hero role. (Quite similar to Jor-El actually!) And in S6, it looked for a while like Lex might kill Lionel because of Lana - killing him to keep him away from Clark is a far better motive!

That scene in Arctic was SO good! The boys acted their little hearts out, especially Michael (then again, I might be a little biased, lol)!
Lex's last day...I bet Michael got a little teary and there was lots of boy-hugging on set. Michael was apparently filming the cast & crew saying goodbye to him....I would love to see his goodbye from Tom!
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[User Picture]From: suzycat
2008-06-01 10:17 pm (UTC)
THE LOVE!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-01 10:30 pm (UTC)
SO MUCH LOVE!
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[User Picture]From: starry_dawn
2008-06-01 11:43 pm (UTC)
Aw, the Clex scene with the football totally made me nostalgic. Early seasons love! But yeah, I'm happy that everything ended on a Clexy note, even though that scene seemed awfully short, considering the 7 year long build-up we've been getting. Oh, well. Gotta take what you can get, right?
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-02 01:20 am (UTC)
Aw, the Clex scene with the football totally made me nostalgic. Early seasons love!
There's another sweet football scene in "Prodigal." Clark is holding a ball & clearly wants to play but Lex keeps going on about Lucas!
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[User Picture]From: gyri
2008-06-02 01:56 am (UTC)
Awesome post! Thanks so very much! CLEX FOREVER!!

"My proposal for S8? Lex's body is comatose but his spirit gets inside Clark. So every so often, Lex takes over control of Clark and Tom gets to imitate Michael. Lex will keep ripping Clark's shirts off and there will be lots of scenes of Lex/Clark locking himself in the bathroom to stare at his naked body. Whee!"

Yes! Yes! Let it be so! Hee hee!

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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-02 03:04 am (UTC)
Wouldn't Tom have fun playing Michael? And wouldn't Lex have fun with Clark's body? OH YES!
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[User Picture]From: rosy5000
2008-06-02 04:10 am (UTC)
*wipes drool from screen and keyboard*

OMG! Such a gorgeous, gorgeous, drool-worthy picspam. ;D YUMMY!!!!

Lex will keep ripping Clark's shirts off and there will be lots of scenes of Lex/Clark locking himself in the bathroom to stare at his naked body.

That would be fun, but it'd be so much more fun if Lex was in his own body ripping Clark's shirts off. ;D
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-02 04:13 am (UTC)
That would be fun, but it'd be so much more fun if Lex was in his own body ripping Clark's shirts off.
Yes, that is better....if only Michael could be persuaded to come back for a shirt-ripping man-sex episode!

Such a gorgeous, gorgeous, drool-worthy picspam.
They are a World of Pretty!
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[User Picture]From: touchstoneaf
2008-06-02 05:01 am (UTC)
oh, as always your insights are fantastic. and an extra special big t hank you for the Artic caps. it made a too-fast moment slow down so we could really STUDY it...and the WAY Lex looks at Clark...

The entire show will always be about that, to me. I mean, the way Clark loooked at Lex here was great, but DAYUM, the Lex-looks...

just...
IYIUGUJHGYUGUHKUTGUYTGIUHYUFYUHerkrjsoaierhweuhtrwhuweurh!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-02 10:40 pm (UTC)
The entire show will always be about that, to me. I mean, the way Clark loooked at Lex here was great, but DAYUM, the Lex-looks...
Michael knew exactly what to do there, didn't he? Those eyes just say everything.

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[User Picture]From: cheerful_earl
2008-06-02 12:36 pm (UTC)
"There's no interest in helping humanity, just in achieving beatification through Clark-proximity."
That is the absolute perfect way to put it.

This was beautiful. But it´s the end of Clex! It kills me completely.

I love your idea for S8. Is there a petition I can sign or something? Hehe, Lex would have so much fun with Clark´s body...
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-02 10:47 pm (UTC)
Hehe, Lex would have so much fun with Clark´s body...
Wouldn't we all? *imagines*

"There's no interest in helping humanity, just in achieving beatification through Clark-proximity."
That is the absolute perfect way to put it.

Thank you! Lionel in no way seems reformed to me in S7 & I have no doubt that had he lived, his fixation would have endangered Clark in the future.
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[User Picture]From: voldything
2008-06-02 05:46 pm (UTC)
As dysfunctional and angsty as Clex may be, "Apocalypse" shows that Lex is better off for having loved, and for still loving, Clark.

So much yes!

My proposal for S8? Lex's body is comatose but his spirit gets inside Clark. So every so often, Lex takes over control of Clark and Tom gets to imitate Michael. Lex will keep ripping Clark's shirts off and there will be lots of scenes of Lex/Clark locking himself in the bathroom to stare at his naked body. Whee!

This is probably the most brilliant idea I've ever read
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-02 10:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! *ogles sexy angsty boys in your icon*
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[User Picture]From: jakrar
2008-06-02 11:02 pm (UTC)
Your posts always make me feel so much better, and I love your insights into the CLex. *happy sigh*
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-02 11:03 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you! That's lovely to hear :)
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-06 01:00 am (UTC)
I love how complex and layered Michael has made SV!Lex. Michael's Lex is NOT a comic book- 2-dimensional villan.
It's true - he has completely re-configured Lex, into this incredibly complex and relatable man.

I am going to miss Michael so much, he was the soul of this show. Tom is probably the heart.
Sweet!

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[User Picture]From: xparrot
2008-06-06 04:52 am (UTC)
Gorgeous pic-spams, all of them!

...I feel for Lex and his unbreakable obsession. It's very much like me and SV. Much as I try to break away from the dang show, the prettiness of the boys always draws me back. And oh! the pain in Lex's face in so many of these shots...
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-06 11:17 pm (UTC)
...I feel for Lex and his unbreakable obsession. It's very much like me and SV. Much as I try to break away from the dang show, the prettiness of the boys always draws me back.
It's impossible not to be smitten with them!

And oh! the pain in Lex's face in so many of these shots...
Michael called the ending "operatic" and said "it's a good, good ending" and he brought such emotional resonance to it. And yeah, Lex's face can totally break my heart!
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From: laisserais
2008-06-06 05:22 am (UTC)
i came for the clex shots, and stayed for the analysis. i particularly liked your summing up of lionel's (strange, ret-conned) arc: There's no interest in helping humanity, just in achieving beatification through Clark-proximity.

I had been thinking that either I or the show was confused about what to do with lionel, but perhaps it's as you say- he's neither reformed nor completely lying, it's somewhere in between, and all to do with clark. very nicely put!

also, the clex pictures were fabulous. thanks!
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[User Picture]From: tasabian
2008-06-06 11:25 pm (UTC)
I had been thinking that either I or the show was confused about what to do with lionel, but perhaps it's as you say- he's neither reformed nor completely lying, it's somewhere in between, and all to do with clark. very nicely put!
Thanks! To me the expression on Lionel's face as he's falling in "Descent", was not love for Lex, or regret, but the smug look of a satisfied martyr. He's not convincing as reformed to me because he doesn't try to "save" Lex; Lionel barely seems interested in Lex any more, his focus has narrowed to Clark. And like Edward Teague, he's a bad guardian, completely willing to torture Clark to keep him under control. If Lionel had lived, I think there would have been dangerous repercussions when Clark became ready to assume the Superman mantle; Lionel wouldn't relinquish control of him easily.


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