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Smallville 7.10 "Persona"

After about a month and a half of being no Smallville, a new episode finally aired. I have to admit, I kept my expectations low. It's really to save my sanity. No matter how many doubts I had, I still watch though.

It seems that Goughlar is no longer satisfied with leaving us with painful Clark/Lana loft scenes to end their episodes. Now, they're starting out with them in bed. Except, it's not Clark & Lana ... no, it's Bizarro & Lana. Bizarro has effectively replaced Clark in every way possible, including in Lana's bed. Considering their lack of apparel, we all know what they've been doing. He gave Lana what Clark could not ... sex.

But that doesn't raise Lana's suspicions. No, she's quite pleased with Clark's 180. This shows how little Lana really understands Clark. His quick change of morals and behavior only pleases her, proving that while she says Clark wants to see her in a certain way, she is exactly the same. In 6.12 "Labryinth", the viewers can see clear as day that the Lana of Clark's dreamworld is nothing like reality. Clark may be convinced that the dream showed that he was in love with her still but we can see that it showed how wrong they were for one another.

This episode continues to prove that point, in addition to foreshadowing the end that the ship we know as "Clana" will eventually meet. The two of them don't know each other and are happier when they believe each is someone else.

Bizarro, however, seems to really love Lana. Now, my first reaction was that "oh, God, not another Lana worshipper".  I have to admit, the idea sickened me. Then I thought about it and it really made sense. Bizarro was a failed experiment and as the Martian Manhunter once said, he was denied love. Now, he has Lana and even though diehard comic fans are screaming at the ruin of their character (if they haven't jumped ship ages ago), this Bizarro is true the one that AlMiles introduced back in 6.21 "Phantom".

He has found the woman that accepts him and likes him for who he is. He knows that he is not like Clark and while she loves Clark, he quickly realizes that his personality makes her happy, not Clark's. We know this by the fact he repeats the statement throughout the episode. Sometimes, I want to say, not even in a mean way, that those two worked together. Which once again shows how Clana does not work.

The relationships in this episode were interesting. The Julianclone/Lex/Lionel storyline had me rolling my eyes at some point. I think the show's biggest WTF moment goes to Lionel Luthor saying to Julian that "I want to know you, son." Lionel is showing about everyone else the love that Lex has always longed for and it was almost disgusting.

The Lex/Lionel scene was just cruelty. Lex has found out that the mansion has a visitor and that visitor is none other than Julianclone. Lionel lies, praising the new editor, saying that Julianclone is the "exact opposite of you, Lex". Lex, in turn, quickly is able to read his father and figures out that he knows what Lex has done. When he confronts him, Lionel goes off on him, saying how twisted he is for doing it. To which Lex responds, "Are you telling me you wouldn't want to see Julian? To look into the eyes of the son you've lost?" Because to Lex, Julian was the son that Lionel wanted and that really was true. Lex was the flawed one, the one without hair and Julian was Lionel's chance to have the perfect Luthor heir.

However, to his shock, Lionel responds with "It's you I've lost, it's you I've lost". In that moment, as they look at each other, Lionel must've realized that he created the perfect Luthor heir already and he was standing in front of him. Unable to face what he had done, he left. This is the son that Lionel himself made ... he deprived this man of love and played mind games with him throughout Lex's life. Now he regrets? Of course that has to do with AlMiles giving Lionel "redemption". Season 4 Lionel would've been pleased. It's interesting to see how things change, isn't it?

Lex, in turn, is not expecting his father's answer. A part of me wonders if Lex is still seeking his father's approval. Bringing back the "good son", he may be looking for favor? It's obvious that Lex has not completely lost the need for his dad's love.

Julianclone (which is what I will refer to him as because he is no longer "Grant" and I refuse to call him "Julian") realizes this too and blatantly taunts Lex, when he comes to fire him. Lex hates the fact that a clone he made gets higher approval to his father than him, the maker.

But Julianclone isn't fooled and walks away. Lex threatens him, tries to blackmail him with how he wouldn't be anywhere without him but it's to no avail. "Don't walk away from me," Lex says but Julianclone is already gone. He doesn't care that his job is gone nor does he want to take the London Times position Lex has gotten for him. It is clear that he has made his choice and it's Lionel. Just like Clark chose Lionel, so is Julian. Lex is facing rejection once more and there's nothing he can do about it. Julianclone even goes to say how everyone walks away from Lex and throws Lex's failed marriages in his face. He finishes with how he's going to have dinner with Lionel, bonding with the father that Lex could never get close to. Lex warns him to stay away but we know that he doesn't want Julianclone to get the love he never did. But that doesn't phase Julianclone. "Last I heard, I was practically made for this family" is his exit line and he does walk away.

However, nobody walks away from Lex Luthor. After dinner with Lionel, they get held up and Julian stands in front of Lionel and is shot down. Lionel is actually distraught by his "son's" death. Lex warned Julianclone that Lionel may have him killed but as the killer runs away, we see him send a text message and the one who gets that message is Lex.

If he can't have Lionel, nobody can? I don't know ... but Lex goes outside and screams. It's a bit disturbing.

I was actually impressed with Michael Cassidy. With the Grois story line, I was annoyed but he is doing well, holding his own against Michael Rosenbaum and John Glover. I think the whole Julianclone storyline improved him in my eyes.

Julianclone is gone ... it seems that the guest star never last after the eleventh episode. This one is the tenth but the next one brings the return of Ollie so I suppose they had to find a way to get rid of him.

Another big relationship that is showcased is the Chloe/Lana one. Back in 6.10 "Hydro", which is coincidentally the same number as "Persona", Lana discovers that Chloe knows the truth about Clark. The truth and the secrets she longs to know from Clark, he entrusted with Chloe. The Chloe/Lana rivalry has long been established, even in earlier seasons. Back in Season 1, in "Hug", we see that Lana is angry at Clark but runs back to him to ensure his friendship only when she finds out that Chloe kissed him.

Lana has always been threatened by Chloe and the hatred and jealousy from her side is actually way stronger than from Chloe's. Chloe grew out of that jealousy, Lana continues to hold on to it. Especially after "Hydro". She demands the secret from both Chloe and when that doesn't work, she attempts to coax it out of Clark. Clark, unfortunately for her, was having one of his rare mature moments and turned her away.

Now that she has been given the big secret, she still wants Chloe out of his life. She wants to be Clark's everything. This is proven when she is talking to Bizarro and helping him find Fine. When he compliments her, she says, "Chloe's not the only one who knows her way around a computer." Just like Jimmy could never accept Clark's friendship with Chloe, Lana can't stand Chloe's place in Clark's life either.

Even when Chloe confronts her about Clark's odd behavior, Lana dismisses it. "He's finally opened up and let me in," she explains. Chloe tells her about Clark. She understands Lana's place in Clark's life and wants her help in finding out what is wrong with Clark. But Lana is in deep denial, and when Chloe insists she knows him, Lana counters with, "Maybe you don't know him as well as you think". Lana's jealousy, no matter how composed she is on the outside, is evident in several scenes.

"His priorities may be different but his personality is in a whole new universe," Chloe declares when Lana suggests that Clark just wants to rearrange his priorities and give himself happiness.

That alone proves that Lana doesn't know Clark because Clark's martyr personality has been shown time and time again in the past seven seasons. This is what Lana wants to believe ... that Clark is putting her first. But it's just not so and Chloe knows her best friend better than anyone.

She saw Clark's hostility in the DP ... that scene was good. The way Chloe caught on and how she tested him.

Anyway, Bizarro does come in and even goes to say how Lana and he are going to leave Smallville. Chloe is taken aback and leaves quickly. This may be her realizing she doesn't know Clark as well as she thought and is too shocked at this idea that she can't do anything else.

Lana asks about what Chloe said, Bizarro covers and Lana buys the lie. Because she wants to buy the lie. She's happy with this Clark and nothing is going to get in the way of her happiness. Bizarro gets the idea to go to the Fortress from her and has a confrontation with Jor-El, who insists we leave.

Bizarro leaves and Clark is finally freed, Jor-El saying that Clark needs to stop the Phantom.

Clark's first stop? To see Lana. Lana, who is beyond horrified when she finds out the truth. In fact, she's in denial and insists that he was there. Umm ... Lana? I'd think he'd know where he was. Either way, all the pieces do come together, as she is told that the man she's been so happy with is an alien criminal, a soulless experiment that went wrong and not her Clark.

Clark comforts her and Bizarro is listening to the whole thing.

The Bizarro/Fine interactions were good too. At first meeting, FIne gives him no importance. Fine knows he is an experiment and this one doesn't appeal to him at all. Just as Bizarro doesn't care for Clark, calling him "Boy scout" and "kid". At first meeting, Fine gives him info on Dax-Ur, another Kryptonian living on Earth. But at the second meeting, Bizarro is more desperate.  He says that he wants Clark away from Lana, which amuses Fine, saying that Clark and he were not so different. By the way, the mouse killing scene? Weird.

Clark goes to see his fatherly figure, Lionel, who then gives him info on the other Kryptonian living on Earth. I mean, I was a little suspicious there. I knew that Lionel is Jor-El's vessel but how could he know that much? It's revealed when Lionel steps into the elevator and shifts into Fine.

Fine's secret reactions show that he is not helping either Bizarro or Clark. He has a plan up his sleeve ... it's a matter of finding out what.

Clark goes to talk to Chloe and he is greeted with a cold reception. He tells her that that wasn't him but the Phantom but she is not convinced. In fact, she's a little afraid of him, especially when he also wants that shield. But he convinces her when he steps into the light, saying that if he was the Phantom, his face would change. That was a cool scene though, having Chloe freaked out by Clark because she's the only one who isn't.

Chloe proves to be smart again and reveals that she had the crystal, stealing it when she was worried about Clark's behavior. Clark does what Fine says and finds Dax-Ur.

And for the Collie shipper in me, I got an Oliver Queen mention. Poor Oliver, Clark keeps invading his apartment.

Back to Dax-Ur ... who is actually leading a normal life, with a son and a wife. It turns out that he is wearing a blue kryptonite bracelet to live a normal life. Not only that, it is revealed that he is the maker of Braniac. He was ashamed and came to Earth, needing to be alone. He is able to help Clark though and Clark gets the kryptonite.

Lana, on the other hand, is resting at the Clock Tower when "Clark" comes in. It's Bizarro and we know that but she doesn't. Bizarro lies and says that "Bizarro" is working with Fine and he has to take her away. But when Lana hugs him, she sees the reflection and watches Bizarro's face change, realizing that this is not her Clark.

She excuses herself and Bizarro is waiting for her by the elevator while she texts frantically. He does hear her and shows up. When she expresses fear, he promises he would never hurt her, declaring his love (practically) for her. Clark does pick that moment to show up and he tries to hit him with the blue k but is thrown away. Lana gets the blue k and asks Clark if that will destroy him.

Clark insists she leaves because the blue k takes away his powers and he can't protect her. Lana then states that she will destroy him.

Which brings us to the Bizarro/Lana/Clark triangle. Bizarro openly says that he made Lana happier than Clark ever did and it was him that she loved, not Clark. He tells Clark that "you're lying to yourself" and even though he wants to be a noble person, he won't spend forever with Lana.

Lana contemplates this and says that he's right, says that she's in love with Bizarro but pressed the blue k into his palm, destroying him. His last words? "I loved you". Dramatic.

But even though it was used as a trick, I can't help but wonder how much she meant those words. Just because she used them to lure him in, was she lying? It makes you think.

And what does that mean for the Clana? Everyone is depressed at the end of this episode. Clark and Lana are distant. Braniac does find Dax-Ur saying that he was using both Bizarro & Clark to find him himself. When Dax-Ur doesn't give him info, he takes it himself.

Overall, this episode wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. Too bad there wasn't any Lois but she'll be back next week.

Next week is "Siren" and I was depressed we didn't get a preview. But Justin's back! The woman they cast as the Black Canary disappoints me. She's the "blonde bombshell" in the comic books and they hire an okay looking actress? Lame. Not to mention her costume is stupid ... the eye makeup has to go.

But having Ollie back is good enough. This one went a little long but next week will probably be a lot of Ollie squealing. You've been warned!

Feel free to share your thoughts on the episode!

Tags: 7.10 "persona", fandom: smallville, review
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