Romany (romanyg) wrote,
Romany
romanyg

Thoughts: Smallville 6x18, "Progeny"


Oh, show, you don't always believe in consistency, do you? Such little things as changing Moira Sullivan from a blonde to a brunette can be jarring--especially if the flashback is retconned to show Lynda Carter in all her brunette glory but the "previously on..." shows the previous blonde Moira. And here I thought only soap operas did such inexplicable body-switching (due to an actor leaving/dying before their storyline concludes).

I'm not very deep this week, am I? *sigh* But, even though small, these are issues of trust and audience respect.

Speaking of actor availability, Gabe Sullivan seems to have vanished, not only from the screen, but from the hearts and minds of his family. Mr. Sullivan had been Chloe's rock, her stability, for so long, and she doesn't so much as mention him the entire episode. And neither does Moira. Which lends an obsessive--it's All About Chloe--and somewhat sinister light to Moira, rather than the heroic one the writers attempted to cast.

Her control over Chloe for most of the episode is frightening. Much like the Imperius Curse of HP, Chloe is compelled to do things that she would never otherwise do. And I wonder what that says about ego vs. superego, how our parents work their way inside us, guiding us down paths we may not wish to follow.

And I don't think this is an overreading. Smallville is full of the parent vs. child, as well as parent helping child, analogy. We have Jor-El--and in a small way, Lara--and Clark, as well as the Kents and Clark. We have Lionel and Lex, and Lillian and Lex. The absence of Lana's parents solidifies as an entity in and of itself, the hole in her life and how she attempts to fill it.

Moira represents power and violence and then the ceding of it when she gives Chloe's necklace back to her. But the lesson that she imparts is a mixed one, the temptation to use any means to an end. Chloe's showdown with Lex reflects this. Even Clark thinks twice, almost giving into the temptation to just let Lex die, before doing the right thing.

And Lex...how much of Lionel is in him now that he threatens Chloe so cooly at the Planet afterwards. A clear echo of the Lionel and Chloe relationship that has gone before.

Even Lex and Clark act more like estranged brothers, members of a split family, than erstwhile friends. "Lex can get his own AAA," Clark says. He's tired of saving him, doesn't want to see him; Lex has already taken so much. And yet he can't let him go, saving him anyway at the last minute.

Clark's declaration of war seems to be for the wrong reasons. As much as I'd like to think that it's still All About Clark for Lex, Lex hasn't really shown us such. I don't believe he's using Lana to hurt Clark--although that's a probable plus--but that he loves her in his Luthor way. I do believe he wants children with her. And now that we see that he (or Lionel) staged the pregnancy, his face of regret in "Promise" may be that he felt remorse at her pain, and a bit of loss for the child that never was. This is his third never-to-be child with her after all.

And the hormone injections might explain his standoffishness with her, his reluctance towards passion. Depending on the exact hormones, the mixture within her may have *increased* fertility rather than decreased it. Synthetic hCG, as well as progesterone, are used in fertility treatments and can give a false pregnancy reading while increasing ovulation and the chance for pregnancy. If Lex had been planning a "miscarriage", he might have wanted to avoid a real one. A misplaced love, perhaps a horrible one, but a love nonetheless.

This is an echo not so much of "Lexmas" but of "Memoria" where Lionel controlled Lillian through her children, demanded a family when she didn't want to add to it, denied her postpartum psychosis. All with disastrous results. Lillian took the only thing she could. Lex learned that the ultimate act of love is death, sacrifice. He sacrificed himself for her by taking on the burden of that death. She sacrficed another for him. And that is his legacy.

Moira's voluntary return to catatonia may teach Chloe the same lesson. Is this forehadowing?

In conclusion: The Kents may have been the best thing to happen to Clark, and therefore the world.
Tags: episode commentary, meta, sv
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