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Thoughts: Smallville 7x03, "Fierce"



fierce

Main Entry: fierce
Pronunciation: \ˈfirs\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): fierc·er; fierc·est
Etymology: Middle English fiers, from Anglo-French fer, fers, fiers, from Latin ferus wild, savage; akin to Greek thēr wild animal
Date: 14th century
1 a: violently hostile or aggressive in temperament b: given to fighting or killing : pugnacious
2 a: marked by unrestrained zeal or vehemence b: extremely vexatious, disappointing, or intense
3: furiously active or determined
4: wild or menacing in appearance
— fierce·ness noun

--from Merriam-Webster


At first glance, the title of this episode seems clunky at best. For what's fierce about it exactly? We have Clark and Lana's reunion, emotionally muted. Clark and Kara quibble but without the intensity of their first and second meeting. Even Lex and Lana manage to be civil. Perhaps we could say that the three mutant Miss Sweet Corn contestants are fierce since they're the FOTW, but that's reaching.

And yet the title's apt. Jimmy comes to the conclusion that all meteor mutants are dangerous, somehow inhuman and certainly not deserving of being treated as human. They're monsters, freaks. He says this to Chloe, who herself is a mutant, and fears that revelation, that he somehow might be right.

We're reminded that Clark and Kara just aren't human. They have powers that need to be controlled. And as much as it makes me smile that Clark's heat vision literally gives him a happy (smiley face watermelon!), and as hysterical as Kara making her watermelon explode is, this also shows that these powers need to be tempered.

Tempered as iron or steel, a sword, fierce and strong, to protect as well as cut.

"Are you a savior or are you a warning?" Lex asks of Kara at the end of the episode. He compares her to an angel earlier, mostly to throw the government agent off-track, but part of him believes it, that both are possible. He offers her protection in exchange for the truth, but he threatens her as well, a subtle fierceness.

This whole scene marvelous for it's parallels to his relationship with Clark. "As I would have protected others close to me if they had only told me the truth." And it's interesting to note that the present as well as the past tense operates in his statement.

For Clark is still very much present tense for him. He strides into the farmhouse without even knocking, as if he has a right to be there. He's comfortable despite his words, not just to speak to Lana, but to exist in that space. And once again, he threatens her while complimenting her. For if he's no longer morally worthy of Clark, than neither is she. "What would Clark think?" he says, as a warning but also as if Clark is still a worthy moral arbiter, the angel with the sword of paradise in his hands.

He knows about Clark. He as much tells Kara this. And that image, that beginning, is still there.

The angelic parallels still run in Lex's mind: the sun behind Clark's back as Lex opens his eyes, choking, still wet from the river. These are all refreshed with Kara, and it comes back to Clark. Clark still holds that sword, that decisive power. Angels are not human either. And if Lex cannot be saved, then he will be the whisperer, the one with the power to deny everyone else, to thrust them out of that light.

"If I wanted revenge..." he tells Lana in the previous episode. I think he does. And that seed of doubt - small, barbed and fierce - is it.


crosspost warning: JF, IJ & LJ.
Tags: episode commentary, meta, sv
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