Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Smallville Rewatch, Episode 4, X-Ray


Establishing Shot: Smallville Street. Lex Luthor, carrying a bright red backpack walks into the bank and attempts to close all his accounts. But the signature card doesn't match. Mot even close. One looks very hasty business man's scrawl, the new one is too careful. Props for not making it look "girly" with looping letters and possibly even hearts instead of dotting the i.

When Lex is asked for ID, he pulls a gun from the backpack and demands all the money, Her barrels out, backpack in one hand, gun in the other, past the pharmacy and literally runs into Clark outside of Nell's Flowers. He backhands Clark through the plateglass of Speck's Optical.

Clark has a vision of Lex's skeleton and it's glowing green. Fade out puzzled Clark.

Interior, a living room/shop full of bric-a-brac. Rose Greer, a pretty, middle-aged blonde lady comes in. This is Beverley Breuer, who was also in FireWall and Scary Movie 3 and 4. I was checking because I thought she had played "Pat" in the "Dead Man's Party" Episode of Buffy, but I was wrong.

She hurries up the steps and confronts Tina about the backpack full of money. Lizzy Caplan is barely 20 and still has the adolescent sullenness. Last saw her work in True Blood as Jason Stackhouse's hippie girlfriend Amy.

She had promised to solve all their problems and has used her ability to shapeshift in order to frame Lex for the bank robbery. This first exchange sets up Tina's obsession with the perfect life and with Lana.

They scuffle. the bag breaks, and Rose falls down the stairs and breaks her neck. Tina is distraught, calls 911, and changes her mind about reporting it.

We're getting new pictures in the opening credits, including Clark with the shield box in his hands.

Morning, Kent Farm.
Martha is reading the big story aloud, disbelieving, as everyone gets breakfast.
Lex shows up and hovers outside the screen door, with a joke about an evil twin. The framing of this shot, him, literally framed by the door, the white screen door, the slightly rococo curlicues on the edges like a portrait, seems important.

Jonathan looks appalled, Martha is pragmatic. He promises he's not carrying, and Clark asks the question: why aren't you in jail?
Lex was in Metropolis, speaking in front of 200 people.
Jonathan has gone from appalled to concerned, asking about leads.

Lex questions Clark about seeing him.
Clark avoids the "Were your eyes playing tricks on you question" because he thinks his eyes may have been.
And this time, Lex brings the snark. "I'm sure certain people's opinions of me will becemented in stone." with a pointed look at Jonathan.
Jonathan has the wit to catch it, the grace to wince, and excuses himself to go work.

"I promise I'm not a criminal mastermind."  Anyone else just add "Yet!" to that statement?
And a patented Clark smile, just for Lex. And Lex drops his eyes, shoves his tongue into one cheek, and looks thoughtful.

Exterior school.
The boys are rope-climbing in gym. The girls are going for showers. Clark is watching Lana and having a headache. Coach demands his attention, and informs him he gets 10 laps if Pete beats him to the top of the rope.

They climb and Clark blinks, suddenly seeing Pete without any skin. Pete's Visible Man moment startles Clark enough he falls off the rope. As he tries to sit up, he realizes he's seeing right through the wall of the girls' locker room, and getting the full underwear parade. Another blink and Lana goes about her business in a towel, dropping it to get dressed. Clark is wearing the face of every teen boy whose dreams have just come true.

Kent Farm.
Clark has told the folks. In what will become the standard "Let's figure out the power" scene, he outlines what's happening and Martha and Jonathan look worried and try to figure out how to help him get it under control.

"I can see through things! How do you control that?"
So practice time.

Tina goes to visit Lana, who is cleaning out the garage.. Lana asks if everything was all right. Tina says she missed school because her mom was unwell. Tina says now that Lana is off the squad, she'll have time for he unpopular friends too.

Tina says Lana is lucky to have Nell, suggests that if something happened to her mom, she'd be alone. She reiterates that Lana has a perfect life. She comes up with the ":wouldn't it be cool if we were sisters?" idea and asks if Nell would adopt her if something happened to her mom. The creep factor has edged up considerable by the end of this.

Lana shushes her with a "Tin, nothing's going to happen to your mom."
Clark on the street. The Talon is running "The Lost Boys" as part of a Friday Night Monster Movie fest.  The tag line for this was "Sleep all day, Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It's fun to be a vampire."

Let me riff here. The vampires are the ultimate outsiders, as Clark (in his bloodred sweater) is. They have great powers, as he does. And neither can die. But Clark is not the vampire. Tina is. She devours the lives of other people, first taking them on and then ruining them, or attempting to steal them for herself.without thought to the consequences. [SPOILER} And she dies impaled.

Sudden headache.
And the street is full of skeletons.
The oddly green glowing one is going into the antiques store. And Martha needs something there. An awkward exchange with Mrs. Greer, who mentions she's planning to sell the store and go to Metropolis. Clark asks about Tina, and is told she's at Lana's When Rose goes to get the lamp for Martha, Martha inspects the antiques. She tips a mirror just wrong and sees a strap of hundreds sticking out from under a chest.

Rose has an excuse, and comes in just as Martha is picking up the money. She claims its from a client. When Martha forgets her purse, Tina steals the keys and gives it back to her. Rose becomes Tina again, with a wicked one-sided smile.

Martha pauses before the newspaper box showing the headline about Lex robbing the bank. She walks, looking puzzled. A blue GMC truck, Clark behind the wheel, jumps the curb and attempts to run her down. Clark reappears to pick her up as a truck vanishes down an alley.

Table time dissection as they try to figure out the attack on Martha. "So Rose turned into Clark, stole your keys and tried to run you down?" They decide this is ridiculous, except for Clark, who points out Tina's skeleton is weird and green.

Tina was born with soft bone disease, but got better, suddenly, around her 3rd birthday. Right after the meteor shower.

More control exercises. Clark and Jonathan have a moment when they try the "what have I got in my hand" game. Clark has the cutest smile, especially when he's slightly silly.

Lana's still in the garage. She's found her mom's cheerleading stuff, complete with tasselled gogo boots. And a diary. Reading dead parents' diaries never goes well.

Nell is frosting a cake when Lana comes in, clearly having been crying, and insists Nell lied to her about her mother.

Roger Nixon is leaning on Lex's convertible as Lex comes out with a coffee. This reporter from the Inquisitor will dog rest of the season. Lex describes the Inquisitor: "I've read comic books with less fiction than your rag." But Nixon also has Lex's juvenile record, which should be sealed.

"Musta taken a Brinks Truck of your dad's money to keep those people quiet." He threatens to reveal something about Club Zero. When Lex counter threatens to sue, Nixon shrugs that lawsuits take years and everyone will know when the story is printed.

Lex says if he really wanted to print it, he would have, and that it's just blackmail.

Lana comes home after dark to find Nell reading the diary. She insists she didn't lie. Lana insists that by Nell attempting to construct a perfect life for Laura, she had lied. That Lana has never felt she measured up. Laura was the brightest and smartest girl in her class, and gave a graduation speech.

Tina is brooding at school, wearing an outfit like Lana's. Clark is staring at her until Chloe and Pete interrupt him. Other people are noticing Tina's Lana fixation and attempt to clone herself into Lana. Whitney makes a comment about her having Lana LoJacked. Tina proposes moving in with lana and Nell, saying her mother is going to Metropolis but doesn't want to pull her out of school.

Lana hems and haws--being perfectly reasonable about needing to ask Nell first--and Tina starts losing her temper. "You should have said yes, Lana. It would have been perfect." Tina takes off her emerald necklace and leaves school. Clark sees her go and x-rays the locker, finding the stolen money. Tina confronts him about the staring.

Clark comes home early. He's starting to get control. So he goes home and tells his folks. Tina is obsessively writing Lana's name. She sees Sheriff Ethan coming to the store, so she turns into Rose and leaves, blowing off the Sheriff.

Lana comes in to catch Clark staring at football bank, trying to see how much is in it without opening it. Lana fills Clark in about the money and Tina asking to come live with her. Lana says Clark is the only one who sees her for herself and thanks him by kissing him.

In a stunning display of maleness, he brings up Whitney, clearly worried about the prior claim. Lana tells him to forget it. After more snogging, Lana becomes Tina and tells Clark he should have stayed out of her life. She tosses him through the wall of the barn and shatters a vehicle windshield.

The Kents have searched the place. Clark hypothesizes the meteor shower did something to Tina's bones, so she can change shape and have superstrength.

Lana goes to see Chloe at the Torch. She wants a copy of her mother's speech, from 1977. "Due to the controversial nature of this year's graduation speech, the Torch has elected not to run it."  Chloe offers to try and find it.

Lex is drinking with a large pile of banded money beside him. Roger Nixon arrives for his money.He trades the money for the originals of Lex's record. Lex threatens to make him disappear, leaving him alive, but with all his data: driver's license, SSN, bank account, erased. He offers a new identity, much less upstanding than a muckraker.

Nixon gives the money back, Lex says they aren't even. He threatens Roger's brother who works for the Juvenile Records Office. Because Lex knows this, he now has Nixon at his command, 24/7, and will feed him stories.  This is ruthless. Lex's voice cadence is even Lionel's on "When I bury something, it stays buried."

He shows Nixon the car. In its own room. This is the proto-Chamber of Clark Kent.  He tells Nixon he drove it off a bridge at 60. And tells Nixon that the mystery of how he's still alive is the mystery he needs Nixon to help solve.

This is a moment where Lex is purely selfish. He's desperate to know more, and he nows by feeding Nixon THIS story he'll hook the man. but it's still Clark he's having investigated.

Clark is trying to stare through the lead lined box. No success. He stares at Lana, possibly doing a skeleton check. Lana tells him about the diary. She asks him if he's tried to find his parents. He says no.

Lana is being affectionate with Whitney, who says he has to study for a trig test. She shoves him into the wall and kisses him. And then asks to borrow his jacket. Tina now has Whitney's jacket.

Clark has explained things to Pete, who suggests he ask Chloe for help. Chloe is too busy. They check out the Antique store and Clark sees the skeleton in the wardrobe. They get in and Clark finds Rose's body.They also find the Lana signatures. "Worse, she wants to become Lana."

Lana in the graveyard, talking to her mom. Whitney shows up. He tells her that her folks are dead and she needs to deal with it, that she has no right be unhappy. Tina tries to kill Lana, because she doesn't deserve her life. She gets the necklace.

Exterior Cobson mausoleum. Lana coughs awake inside a crypt.

Clark looks for her, only to find Whitney. With the necklace in his pocket, Clark is weakened and Whitney belts Clark with the shovel. But when he takes off the jacket and tosses it aside, the rock is out of range. The third blow doesn't land.A number of tombstones are smashed before Clark throws Whitney into a tree, and he turns back into Tina.

Clark x-rays the graveyward and sees the movement in the crypt. He rescues Lana, but for a bad moment we think he's too late. He scoops her up and carries her out.

Lana is okay and leaning on the fence outside her house, paramedics and cops running lights. Chloe arrives, and brings the graduation speech. Tina will be all right, and they'll put her where she can't hurt anyone else.

Jonathan doesn't understand, but Clark gets Tina's jealousy of the normal people and desire to be someone else. Whitney runs up to take care of Lana. Martha sees Clark's jealousy and understands. Clark x-ray peeps on the kiss and comfort.

"Mom, if you could see anything, what would you do?"
"Learn to close my eyes."
Martha knows EXACTLY where Clark is.

Lana in her car, holding the cassette with the speech on it. Listening to her mother's graduation speech. Lana takes off the necklace and holds it as she listens. Fade out.


Death Toll: 1, Rose Greer
Attempted Murder: 2, Clark, Lana
Injury: Tina knocked unconscious during fight
Destruction: Cheval mirror, a number of tombstones, dents to the Kent truck, windshield of the Kent truck, wall of the Kent barn
Power introduced:  X-ray vision.
Arc elements: Tina will return in season 2. And Roger Nixon will be around rest of this season.


Another Lana stalker, this one more Single White Female than romantic. An interesting concept, the mutant who can look like anyone. And Lizzy Caplan carried off Tina with delicious self-centered obsession. But she only sees the shallowest aspects of people and so does not impersonate them well for long.


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