Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Smallville Re-Watch / Jitters and Rogue

Smallville's premiere season has it's fair share of excellent episodes. Even after re-watching them plenty of times over the years, there are a few that stand out from the bunch. Jitters and Rogue being a couple of them. Jitters opens up the story of "level-3" and Lionel Luthor's krypto-experiments. While Rogue let's us see what could truly happen if Clark's secret fell into the wrong hands.



Jitters

First up is Jitters, an episode that I was looking forward to ever since I decided to do this re-watch. As I said in the opening paragraph above, this episode is the beginning of the awesome Lex versus Lionel story with their secret kryptonite experiments. These corporate espionage tidbits of story always brought me back week after week in the show's early days. Things change up quite a bit later on in the series though, once Lex takes over the family business.

Earl Jenkins, a former farm-hand for the Kents, has been exposed to some sort of unknown substance and as that substance tries to remove itself from Earl's skin, it causes some series body tremors. These tremors are extremely dangerous and Earl has no control over when they occur. He's already caused one murder early in the episode because of this, and by the end of the episode he's taking Clark's entire classroom hostage during a tour at Lex's plant.

To make matters worse, Clark can't even go near Earl because his blood begins to react to the meteor rock (the unknown substance) under Earl's skin. Clark ends up being the hero though, of course. Lifting Lex and Earl from potential doom as they are about to fall to their deaths. After Clark shows incredible strength while lifting both Early and Lex to safety, Lex asks "How did you pull us both up, Clark?" in a very accusing manor. Clark just tosses the question aside as he explains that it was just adrenaline, he guesses.

I also want to mention that this is the episode where Clark throws a serious party, which was mostly accidental, while his parents were away. Lex shows up with some a serious firework display and tells Clark that he wanted to help make Clark more popular at school. As I mentioned in previous articles, Lex is really pissing me off on this re-watch. Not sure what it is, maybe I'm just more aware or mature, but I can clearly see that a big part of Lex doesn't care about their friendship. He doesn't care about Smallville, or the Kents. He just wants to figure out Clark. Pissing me off I tell ya.

I'm sure deep down Lex wants to do the right thing, and probably be more like Clark. But Lex has a very twisted path, especially once we get into the history of his family: namely his mom and brother. I still hold a soft spot for Lex though, I really do. It's his father that caused Lex to end up the way he did later on in the series. So I feel for him. He should of been a hero instead of a villain. Though I guess, according to Smallville's mythology, this was his destiny afterall.

Rogue

Clark is at a charity event in Metropolis and Lana asks him to sit with her and her boyfriend Whitney. Clark considers it but then retreats to get some air. As he's standing outside, he witnesses an out of control bus about to take out a homeless man and his dog. Clark saves the day of course, but as he sped away, a crooked Metropolis cop steps out of the shadows.



This crooked cop, Sam Phelan, is a character that is easy to hate, very much in the same way as Lionel Luthor. Also, he's our first villain that doesn't suffer from kryptonite poisoning. His most villainous attribute is to gather information on people and use it against them. We see that a few times in this episode as he's trying to protect himself from Internal Affairs.

Once Phelan has an idea of what Clark can do, he drops a generator on him. Seriously. Clark is something extraordinary, to be sure, but for Phelan to act on just his gut instinct and drop a generator on a teenage kid? That's insane. Which is pretty much what Jonathan says later on at the coffee shop when he meets up with Phelan to tell him what's what.

Lex shows his true colors towards the end of the episode. Phelan gets himself shot (I can't think of any other way they could of ended this episode since he knows about Clark) and Lex immediately runs up to him and asks Phelan what he had on Clark. Of course Phelan doesn't tell him, but that only further proves to Lex that there is something there. Then of course at the very end of the episode we see Lex watching a video of Clark running at high speed, but he can't make out who it is properly. This has to be a no brainer for Lex. I'm sure he's positive that Clark has abilities of some kind. Perhaps thinking that he's meteor infected.

Lex should know better than anyone that some secrets are best kept that way. Speaking of secrets, Chloe certainly doesn't hold anything in. She gets herself fired from her school newspaper, and shortly afterwards, Lana Lang takes over. It was a bit of an accident really, she was trying to fight for Chloe to keep the paper. Principal Kwon gave Lana control of the paper instead. You can view a copy of what Lana posted in the paper here.