Sunday, August 30, 2015

Smallville Rewatch, Episode 1.02 Metamorphosis

The format is still evolving. I'll post about 3 of these this week to catch up, and then one a week after that.

Previously on Smallville... A recap of last episode.

Note: Clark's watching of Lana is still creepy.

Exterior, night, the Lang house.

Kid in a tree, filming Lana as she tosses a tiara into a drawer full. Impressive for a Freshman. She opens a plain brown paper box on her bed, and it's full of butterflies. they flit around her and stalker!boy films it, seeming pleased at her expression of delight.

He drives an old style Volkswagen Beetle, heading for home. Greg's mom confronts him about his taping of Lana and his bug collecting. She is, as is typical of small towns, more concerned with her own reputation and comfort level than the invasion of Lana's privacy. But she has had it and plans to call a military academy and send him away.

His butterflies are gorgeous, but rather too green. He's got meteor rocks in some of the habitariums. Thinking to take his collection somewhere save, he loads them all into his beetle but a stop sends one to the floor. The swarming wasps cause him to have a car accident, and the screams continue from the glowing green interior of the Volkswagen.

So, this is our set-up. Creepy stalker kid with a passion for bugs, gets hit with bug bites and stings compounded by meteor rocks. It's our first true Freak of the Week episode.

A cricket crawls on his broken glasses. A poster reads "Greetings from Californication" as Mom comes looking for him, only to find the habitariums gone. (this will be important later) Greg, looking about 30, sporting a lot of stings and marks, is plaster in the corner of the ceiling.

Opening Credits. The six kids: Tom, Kristen, Michael, Eric, Sam and Allison are billed. Annette gets a "With" credit and John gets an "As" credit. (I had to go to TV Tropes for this next bit, and I escaped unscathed) Tom Welling has top billing, because he is Clark Kent. The "With Annette O'Toole" indicates she is a better known actor, but has a smaller part. The "As" credit is much the same. Coming last, it means they are banking fairly heavily on John Schneider's name. More credits. This is first season, John Glover is still being credited as a guest star. Since he's not, expect no Luthor tension.

Chad Donella is Greg Arkin, the bug boy. He's been in Final Destination, Shattered Glass and Taken 3

Flying montage, right into Lana's room, where she is sleeping in a pretty white camisole embroidered in pink and yellow. She's on her back, her hair is perfect. She isn't snuggled down, drooling into the pillow with bedhead. He's hovering over her bed. She says "It's all your fault, Clark." Then Martha calls his name, Clark wakes and lands face first on his own bed, breaking it.

I've heard about sex dreams, but that was a lulu. Flying is nearly always a sex indicator, as is the presence of Lana. The fact Clark has actually achieved levitation indicates he'll be washing those jeans out before breakfast.

Homecoming banter at the farmer's market. And Clark brings the bitchery! Whitney tries passing the scarecroww bit off as a joke, but Clark isn't having it. he wants Lana's necklace back and Clark tells him to go to the cornfield and find it.

Lana is admiring stained glass butterflies when Greg steals up on her. he looks a l;ot better without the glasses and ferocious acne. This whole bit lends credence to my theory that Lana is herself a meteor mutant whose power is making everyone fall stupidly in love with her. And on some level she knows this, because when he proposes working on his paper at his house, she says library. His flat stare and intensity make him scary, even when asking for homework help. Whitney shows up to do the macho possessive thing.

And Lex appears, plucking an apple out of Clark's basket, complimenting him on his taste in women, and inquiring about the previous night. "You were tied to a stake in the middle of a field. Even the Romans saved that for special occasions."

Jonathan hesitates, but shakes Lex's hand this time. Lex comments on this. He stares after Lana, while taking a particularly large and symbolic bite from the apple.

Whitney is driving alone. Greg leaps into and then out of a tree, landing on the roof of Whitney's Ford truck. Whitney goes through a LOT of trucks this season and this may be the first casualty. Yep, it ends on its side, roof caved in, windows and windshield broken. Whitney unconscious on the airbag and a small fire on the undercarriage.

The Kents happen along. Jonathan grabs his extinguisher, but Clark is already pulling Whitney out. The truck explodes and Clark shelters Whitney with his own body. (That sounds a lot gayer than it is. OTOH, They're practically spooning in the middle of the road and Clark has his arms around Whitney as the fireball overtakes them) Jonathan burns his hand touching Clark's shoulder, but Whitney isn't even singed. Clark's sooty.

Father/Son talk time. He's worried about freaking Martha out. And he confesses the floating thing, wanting explanations. "As soon as you start breaking the law of gravity, we're in uncharted territory." Clark is afraid of the things that are happening.

Cut to Luthor Mansion and Lex examining the necklace before putting it into a box.
Cut to Lana on her horse, galloping and then walking him into the stables. Lex is there and offers advice. She's already seen more of Lex than Lex is comfortable with, after catching him skinny dipping about 5 years before. (And why would Lionel be having Nell stay over?)
The conversation is a lot of Lex playing dumb, getting answers that he already knows from Lana. And he drops the suggestion she ask about what Whitney was doing before the game.

This is typical Lex behavior. Many times, I think he's asking to see how honest people will be so he knows how to treat them. A hazard of growing up around a pathological liar. Lana's candor in this scene seems to have won him over.

Greg's mom comes home to find the heat set at 103. Her white walls are covered with handprints and Greg's room is full of webs. Greg, looking disturbingly like Christian Bale, shows up, shirtless, and possibly entirely naked. A brief, fairly brutal scene with a lot of unsavory implications, ends with him spewing webbing.

Clark examines Lex's mock up of the Siege of Troy. It was a gift when Lex was 9 to prepare him to enter the modern battlefield of business. Because it's Troy, he gets in a bit about a Whitney stringing Clark up out of jealousy. As he stands entirely too close... and he works those eyebrows. Also, his face is looking down while his eyes are looking up at Clark. This is classic flirtation, but again, a feminine position
(Note: it's always "The Quarterback" never Whitney or Fordman.)

Lex tosses out a sociopathic suggestion, that Clark should have let Whitney die in the accident. It would solve his problems. He rounds on Clark to check the response and reminds Clark he's kidding. Except he looks totally earnest. He then offer's Lana's necklace to Clark and observes that Clark is completely NOT fine around that necklace. The box is made of lead, and when it snaps shut, Clark is back to himself.

Lana confronts Whitney about the scarecrow. Whitney confesses he's lost the necklace.
And now Greg waylays her. She forgot the study date. He has a jealousy reaction over Clark.

Clark, meanwhile is experimenting with the necklace, only to find Lana in his loft. His "fortress of solitude". Clark asks why she's there. She apologizes for the scarecrow thing, even though it's not her fault. We get the story of the necklace again.

"Life is about change. Sometimes it's painful. Sometimes it's beautiful. Most of the time, it's both."

Cut to Greg sloughing off skin in the shower. Eww.

Jonathan is fixing a disc harrow. Clark comes down to help, and Greg jumps him. They hunt for Greg in the rafters. Greg pushes Jonathan through the loft rail, directly over the harrow. (saw this one coming. Lots of dangerous stuff on a farm) Clark gets between Jonathan and the harrow, bending several discs out of shape.

Clark is an expensive person to have around. He can do chores in 5 minutes flat, but he is destructive in the process of saving people.

Kent parents and Clark trying to figure out what is going on. Clark and Pete used to hang out with Greg in grade school. Now, Greg is leaving gooey green footprints on their barn ceiling.
"I dunni, seems kind of out there."
"This coming from a man whose been hiding a spaceship in the storm cellar for the last 12 years." I adore Martha's sass.

Clark tells Jonathan about the Wall of the Weird. He blames himself for the meteor shower. Jonathan suggests LuthorCorp is responsible for the weirdness. Cue serious bit of talk about feelings and being human.

School. Clark checks with Chloe about Greg. Brief cuteness.Then Research.

Greg's house. It's a mess, at odds with his neat freak mother. We hear about the tree fort. Chloe does B&E. They find bits of Greg in the drain. They piece together that Lana is in danegr, and find Greg's desiccated mother.

Whitney comes to talk to Lana. Jealousy caused him to choose Clark for the scarecrow. Greg shows up, tosses Whitney into a stall and approaches Lana who has the sense to be afraid.
Clark finds Whitney and they're off to the rescue together.

Or not. Clark gave directions and vanished as Whitney started up his new truck.

Lana under webbing. Greg is observing. And Clark is trying to reason with him. Greg knocks Clark out of the treehouse, and vaults the foundry fence. The foundry was hit in the meteor shower, so it's full of rocks. Clark is very sick when Greg hits him with the iron pipe.

fight and chase scene. Clark takes refuge in a lead crucible. Greg pulls the wrong chain and gets squashed into millions of smaller bugs.

Whitney rescues Lana from the web. Clark watches him get the hug and cuddle.

Clark hangs the necklace on her doorknob and vanishes.

Death toll: 2. Greg and Mrs. Arkin
Property damage: Whitney's truck, the disc harrow, Greg's Beetle, Clark's bed.

Information gained: Clark is very allergic to meteor rocks. They make his veins glow green. Lead blocks them out. Lana knows what Whitney's capable of. Lex discovers he likes Lana. And Clark can levitate, but only when sleeping.

Not a terrible episode. It's not as rich as they will become, but for a new show trying to find its feet, this is a good one off.

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