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Smallville Reviews

Lana, Lex and Clark

"Crimson" By Chad Hudgins

It seems to have now become a rule that the producers must do at least two holiday themed episodes per year.  Last year we had “Thirst” and “Lexmas,” and earlier this year we had “Rage” which served as a Thanksgiving episode.  We now come to the second holiday episode of the year: “Crimson.”

So Valentines Day being the theme, relationships played an important role in the episode.  The episode relied on a plot device that personally I am sick of seeing, but the writing was so strong that it didn’t make much of a difference.

Before we take a closer look at the episode, let me warn that it will be chock full of spoilers.

“Love Kryptonite #9”

The episode opens at a Valentines Day party, in which Chloe forces Clark to attend so as to get his mind off of Lana.  Soon after Jimmy and Lois show up to the party, and Chloe learns that his plan was to set Clark and Lois up.  After being ditched and realizing that they have been set up, Clark decides it’s best if he leaves the party altogether.  I am really enjoying the interaction between Lois and Jimmy through this season, and I hope they keep it up.  It gives us a sample of how their friendship is going to work years down the road.

Cue the crazy hippy lady, who seems to notice that Lois is there without a date.  She offers Lois something that she says is guaranteed to improve her love life.  It’s a specially designed lipstick that hippy lady says is a mixture of natural oils and an aphrodisiac.  The lipstick’s crimson hue comes from red kryptonite that was added to the mixture. 

Yea, I understand….I groaned when I heard that too.  Red kryptonite as a plot device to get Clark to act all bad boyish and do things that he’ll be in trouble for later is becoming as clichéd as Lex getting shot and Lana getting stalked.  At this point I was preparing to deduct major points for this, but I tell you what, there was some superb writing that saved the episode.

This is the part that reminded me of the Sandra Bullock movie “Love Potion #9.”  After putting on the lipstick, Lois spots Clark while looking in a mirror, and instantly falls in love with him.  I had my reservations about this, but I decided to give the story the benefit of the doubt.

The next scene at first made me mad, but soon after made me roll with laughter.  Martha starts the scene off by calling in her RSVP to Lex and Lana’s engagement party.  This irritates me to no end, since you would think that she would be more supportive of Clark and his feelings toward the situation, but it seems her loyalty to her family died along with Jonathan, and that is just sad.  Lois shows up in an outfit that probably made the teenage boys watching quite happy, and once Martha left the room she came on to Clark quite strongly.  Lois likes Whitesnake, who knew?  Clark super speeding away as soon as Lois turned her back was outright hilarious, probably one of the funniest scenes I have seen on the show.

I loved Chloe naming John Jones “Martian Manhunter” in an obvious reference to Clark meeting him last week.  Great continuity there, I hope it leads somewhere. 

One thing that this episode really showed was that Tom Welling and Erica Durance absolutely sizzle on screen together.  They have probably more chemistry than any other coupling on the show, and this episode proved that.  While this whole scene was nothing more than the obligatory make out and almost sex scene that most red kryptonite episodes have, it did give us fans something that we have wanted to see for a while.  What they gave us was a glimmer of the Lois/Clark romance that will happen in the future.  To top it all off, Clark took Lois on a small flight over Metropolis!  I know most of you will say it wasn’t real flight, but hey…I’ll take what I can get.

I loved when Clark said that Oliver wasn’t even in the same league as him, very funny line.  Plus, I don’t think Oliver would like knowing that Clark informed Lois that he and Green Arrow were the same person, good thing we know that Lois will remember none of this by the end of the episode.

During their pre-sex romp Clark finds the invitation to Lex and Lana’s engagement party, and he decides to crash it.  Now, this is one of the best scenes in the episode, and I’ll go into it in just a moment.  One thing that had me scratching my head though, was the antidote to the effects of the lipstick.  Since when does green Kryptonite negate red Kryptonite?  I don’t think it does, or at least not that I remember, so I just didn’t buy that this stuff would work. 

Let’s now move on to the best part of the episode.

“The Party Crashers”

Clark and Lois decide to crash the engagement party, and it’s at this moment that the writers decide to channel what many fans of the show have been griping about all year.

First he blasts Martha being so involved with the Luthors, even saying that she is more Luthor now than Kent.  Since I have made it no secret that I hate what they have done with Martha, I was cheering the screen during this scene.  He then calls Chloe out on her unrequited pining over Clark through the series, and even goes so far as to tell her that he has thought about acting on it.  Now that was a low blow, and Chloe should rightfully feel animosity over what he just said to her.  Not only has she and Clark agreed to stay friends only, but she now has a boyfriend and all this can do is muck things up for her emotionally. 

Then he blasts Lana on her running to Lex as rebound.  I fully agree with what he said, I think it was rebound, and now she is pregnant and in too deep.  Because of that, she can’t find a way out of this corner she has been backed into.  The next thing he does though would be much harder to look past.  He outs Lana’s pregnancy, and when Lex tries to stop him, Clark throws Lex into a glass table.  Then to top it all off, he kidnaps Lana and takes her back to the barn.

Personally, I had a hard time with this.  Superman just kidnapped Lana, forcing her to leave with him.  Lex would be well within his right to press charges after this, and for reasons unknown doesn’t. 

Clark tries to convince Lana to leave Lex, and soon Lex shows up pointing a gun in Clark’s face.  “You don’t even know the rules of the game.”  When Clark said that, you could hear power in his voice, and it was almost scary to hear.  I like that they reference the bridge incident.  Long story short, they scuffle and Lex ultimately stabs Clark with a screwdriver while at the same time Martha shows up with Kryptonite to stop Clark.

I love the fact that Lana saw the bent up screw driver.  Let’s hope that it finally leads to her finding out Clark’s secret and ending the whole Secrets and Lies theme she’s had going for a while.

“Some Quick Notes”

When they first started the relationship between Lex and Lana, I was really skeptical.  I thought that it would drag the show down and tarnish Lex as a character.  For a while I was right, since the relationship was just boring to watch.  But the more it unfolds the more I am interested, especially now that we know something strange is going on with her pregnancy.  On top of that, if she does indeed learn Clark’s secret, what will Lex do if he finds out she is keeping it from him?  Only time will tell.

The final scene between Jimmy and Chloe broke my heart.  I felt for the guy, he really feels like Chloe is still in love with Clark and wants to be with him.  Are they broken up for good?  I hope not, since I really like Jimmy in this show….but I am curious how this will affect his future as Clark’s buddy. 

“In Conclusion”

The red Kryptonite plot device has been done to death, and I am truly sick of it.  This episode would have rated very low if not for the superb writing and forward momentum of the plot.  The ending scene has to put one more nail in the Clark/Lex coffin, and Lana may now be at the beginnings of finding out Clark’s secret.  I hope so; I’ve waited six years to see it happen.  All in all, it was a fun and enjoyable episode and I can see myself watching it more than once.  I’m still deducting a point for the red Kryptonite though, which brings the episode to a clean 4 out of 5.

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Updated 5/30/07  


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