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So, it occured to me...

This idea actually was first discussed on the DTTW MB, and it seemed interesting enough to bring over here as well

I'll put it behind the cut for spoiler for the episode Fracture and Veritas, though I won't be going into too many details for those episodes.

Type your cut contents here.


With the spoilers for Fracture, it appears we are going to have another episode that delves into Lex's youth.  At least on some level, since we know they were casting for a young Alexander.  And we also know that the same child actor will be playing young Alexander again in Veritas.  I believe we also have spoilers that Lillian reappears in Fracture.

And I'm not begrudging Lex these types of episodes.  Its just that, at this point, this will be his third.  Memoria and Reunion being the 2 others.  But like I said, I'm OK with that.

But where are Clark's flashback episodes?  When we meet Clark he is 15 years old.  And while we've gotten some references to his childhood, we actually have no flashback episodes for him from his POV (Lineage was actually from Martha's POV).  And I think thats a real shame.  Much like Lex's childhood flashbacks have been used to explain why he is the way he is, and they are usually used to evoke sympathy for Lex, couldn't the same concept work for Clark?  We know that the Kents drilled it into Clark's head at an early age that people couldn't know about him, and obviously this was something he took to heart.  Maybe actually seeing that in flashback would be useful in helping the audience understand why Clark is so reluctant to come out of the closet...so to speak.  Or how difficult it must've been for a child to resist the impulse to use his natural abilities.  And how being taught to supress them might eventually lead a child to view them more as a curse rather then a gift.  How the Kents must've had to, for instance,  teach Clark not to play tag, or if he did, he had to not catch anyone, and allow himself to get caught.  We know he wasn't allowed to participate in sports, and its been hinted that he was restricted in participating in other childhood activities.  And it seems to me that all of this would be a very important part of who Clark is now.  And there are things in that childhood he'll have to overcome.

Maybe they thought that by having the Kents convey childhood stories, they had that angle covered.  But I suspect the visual might've made a very powerful impact, a more powerful episode of Smallville.  

I'm OK that Lex is about to embark on his 3rd and 4th childhood flashback.  But I'm very disappointed that Clark never even had one.  And now that John Schneider and Annette O'Toole are gone, likely never will.

Smallville, the show that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. *sigh*

Thankfully, laurelnola writes the most amazing childhood Clark stories.  :)

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
svgurl
Jan. 24th, 2008 05:14 am (UTC)
I think you have better ideas than the writers. It would be really nice to see flashbacks. Especially if there has been an accident before or something. It'd give us, as viewers, more insight into Clark's psyche and maybe allow sympathy for Clark's character.

Lex's flashbacks make viewers sympathetic to him and that's why, no matter how much AlMiles tries, the majority doesn't hate Lex.

Stupid Goughlar. :\
(Anonymous)
Jan. 24th, 2008 08:52 am (UTC)
Lex's flashbacks make viewers sympathetic to him and that's why, no matter how much AlMiles tries, the majority doesn't hate Lex.

There have been many times when I think that the writers and producers and playing VERY dangerously with the sympathy card with it comes to Lex's character specifically, and to an extent, Lana's. Whether it's intentional or not, they've made it look like as if who Lex and Lana have become today is simply because of Clark.

Not to mention the way qualities like love, trust and truth are constantly being perverted and are used to justify everything, either by the writers/producers or by the fans themselves -- from emotional blackmail, torture, murder and countless other kinds of crimes and violations.
seacrystal
Jan. 24th, 2008 08:54 am (UTC)
Sorry that was me, I forgot to log in. :p
svgurl
Jan. 24th, 2008 08:56 am (UTC)
lol, i replied to you below. :D
svgurl
Jan. 24th, 2008 08:55 am (UTC)
Exactly what I'm saying! They have drawn so much sympathy to Lex that there are too many people who just refuse to see him as a villain.

"Whether it's intentional or not, they've made it look like as if who Lex and Lana have become today is simply because of Clark. "

That's exactly what they've done ... hell, Lex even blatantly accused him of that in "Wrath". It makes me want to smack my head against a wall.

Just because Clark grew up in a loving home and Lex was screwed up doesn't mean that Clark will always make the right choices and Lex's decisions are due to Lionel's lack of attention and justified because of it. :\

jeannev
Jan. 24th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
And really, I'm totally OK with the show wanting to give insight into Lex so he isn't hated. A villian is far more interesting when you can understand him.

But sometimes (well, no, oftentimes), I get this sense that goughlar and company are far more enraptured with making Lex sympathetic or understandable that seem to forget that their main character, Clark Kent, needs to the same thing. They seem to believe that just knowing where he ends up should be enough.

Whether it's intentional or not, they've made it look like as if who Lex and Lana have become today is simply because of Clark.

Yeah, and thats Nuts! It really is. It completely discounts what Clark has been going through, or where he is mentally. I mean, think about it, was a teenage Clark really in any position to "save" someone like Lex emotionally? And does Lana have no responsibility for her own choices?

Its odd, but I'm not sure I can think of another example of showrunners seemingly so disinterested in their main character. Though I do know that other fandoms have had issues similar to this.

Edited at 2008-01-24 02:32 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Jan. 25th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
I had actually heard that story before, but you'd think that as professional, once you accepted the job, you'd do your damned best to do justice to the main character. And anyone that has the sense God gave a goat would realize how people hold this character near and dear. You would think that there would be some sense of responsibility from them.

But then again, the fact that there isn't is kinda why I loathe goughlar with much intensity. *g*
carolandtom
Jan. 24th, 2008 07:53 am (UTC)
You said it all. I'm tired of all the Lex and Lana worshipping on the show. SV was supposed to be mainly about Clark but it seems the writers can't/don't know how/are not interested to write about him. What a shame and what a waste!
svgurl
Jan. 24th, 2008 08:30 am (UTC)
Sorry to jump in but you made a point that I really agree with.

"I'm tired of all the Lex and Lana worshipping on the show.

On the show? Try fandom. I mean, there is a general hatred of Lana sure but the Lex apologists have been giving me a headache lately.

I hate how on a show that should be focusing on Clark, they're downgrading him and having everyone place the blame on him for EVERYTHING. It's so ridiculous. >:(
carolandtom
Jan. 24th, 2008 09:54 am (UTC)
On the show? Try fandom. I mean, there is a general hatred of Lana sure but the Lex apologists have been giving me a headache lately.

I totally agree! Lex apologists seem to be more active than ever. And they are very vocal. No matter how hard I try to avoid the Lex apologism and the Clark bashing, I seem to be constantly running into it. I have to shake my head and bite my tongue about some of the things I read.

I hate how on a show that should be focusing on Clark, they're downgrading him and having everyone place the blame on him for EVERYTHING. It's so ridiculous. >:(

Word!!
svgurl
Jan. 24th, 2008 10:11 am (UTC)
I am with you 100%. I think that nobody considers Clark was a teenager when the show started. Lex was an adult, legally. Are you saying you did everything perfect when you were 15? I mean, seriously ... we were all kinda silly at that age and it must be even harder to find out that you're an alien!

Sure, Clark is not without blame but really now. He's 15 ... even if he will be the future Superman, he was raised a human and has feelings and cannot behave perfectly all the time.

Lex is 6 years older ... to blame Clark like a whiny kid is so stupid. "Oh Clark, look, you're at fault for Lana (and me)." I'm sorry, who taught Lana about the whole spying, manipulation, security cameras first? Was it Clark? Umm ... let me think. NO!

I still stand by the fact that Clark doesn't owe his secrets to anyone. They're his and trust must be earned, not demanded. They can't blame him for not sharing. Instead they should look within themselves to find out why Clark didn't feel comfortable sharing his secret. :\

Sorry about the rant ... this topic gets me so worked up.
theclexfactor
Jan. 24th, 2008 12:35 pm (UTC)
You gets no argument from me. You guys have said everything I have and then some.
carolandtom
Jan. 24th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
I still stand by the fact that Clark doesn't owe his secrets to anyone. They're his and trust must be earned, not demanded. They can't blame him for not sharing. Instead they should look within themselves to find out why Clark didn't feel comfortable sharing his secret. :\

Absolutely!
jeannev
Jan. 24th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
SV was supposed to be mainly about Clark but it seems the writers can't/don't know how/are not interested to write about him

Sadly, I couldn't even find a way to disagree with this.

Hell, even Oliver had a flashback to his youth, from his POV.

On the show? Try fandom. I mean, there is a general hatred of Lana sure but the Lex apologists have been giving me a headache lately.

I totally understand Lex defenders. But not apologists, and I think there's a difference. I am a Clark defender, but not an apologist for him. When he's wrong, he's WRONG! I can't imagine never allowing a character to own his wrongness.

I hate how on a show that should be focusing on Clark, they're downgrading him and having everyone place the blame on him for EVERYTHING. It's so ridiculous

Is is ridiculous. And for good measure, they'll have Clark blame himself to the point that if he doesn't, people jump on him for not taking responsibility.

Count me in as another who believes that Clark doesn't owe anyone his secrets. But the show could've made that point a lot clearer if we had some insight into Clark's upbringing, and understood how that point was drilled into his head by his parents. And can there be any doubt it was?
canadabear
Jan. 24th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
I think the reason we don't get Clark flashbacks is because for all intents and purposes, he had a happy childhood and showing happy childhood memories aren't interesting. It's easier for an audience to accept a happy background than it is to blindly accept that Lex was abused, so that's what gets shown. I think TPTB think they're showing layers to Lex's behaviour by actually putting a visual to some of the bad things that have happened to him.

As for Clark, a lot of what you've suggested they show we've actually seen in real time in episodes. The whole football thing in particular comes to mind in showcasing how his abilities put a damper on what should be a normal teenage life, and that's right from the pilot. Other than that, we have gotten stories about Clark from other people - Pete telling Chloe how Clark shoved a schoolyard bully though a door; Jonathan telling Nixon how they almost took him to a doctor once and were so scared of what might happen they couldn't even go into the office. Then we get other little bits and pieces dropped here and there like Martha saying they never had to deal with a sick child, and Jonathan saying that Clark threw tantrums and put a few holes in the walls when he was little.

In the end, I think they view Clark flashbacks as unnecessary to the plot, because in effect, we've seen a lot of Clark's growing up and dealing with these issues on the show. We get Lex right away at 21, so they feel the need to show him at 14 and 16 and 18 in order to get a better sense of where he came from, because so much more has happened in Lex's life than in Clark's. Not to mention we've seen Clark straight from age 14 onward. This isn't to say that I wouldn't love to see flashbacks of Clark at 6 or 10, but I can sort of see where TPTB might be coming from.
jeannev
Jan. 24th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
You are probably right about their mindset, but I think they're dead wrong. In fact, judging from how little sympathy people seem to have for the difficulty of growing up Clark, I'd say just telling didn't actually get the job done. And lets be fair here, Lex's childhood has also been relayed in stories. And yet we still get the flashbacks.

It just smacks of more disinterest in their main character to me. Like they're unwilling to put in that little extra effort to flesh him out, in a way.

Then again, this may all come back to my belief that goughlar don't much care for their main character.
carolandtom
Jan. 24th, 2008 05:16 pm (UTC)
It just smacks of more disinterest in their main character to me. Like they're unwilling to put in that little extra effort to flesh him out, in a way.

Then again, this may all come back to my belief that goughlar don't much care for their main character.


Everything they say and do proves that they really don't understand Clark or worse still, that they don't care.
jeannev
Jan. 24th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I never get the sense that goughlar and their writers sit around thinking "this is such a cool character, and its so much fun figuring out why he became who he becomes". I have gotten that impression from that about other characters though. Jesus, they were peeing in their pants over the Green Arrow. Have they ever seemed that excited about Clark Kent?
twdiva
Jan. 25th, 2008 05:15 am (UTC)
I have always been curious about Pete and Clark's first play date and how they were allowed to become best friends, given how afraid the Kents were of anybody becoming suspicious of Clark. Were they ever afraid to leave him alone with another (human) child in fear that he'd accidentally do something and hurt someone or bring attention to himself? Because it sure didn't seem like Clark had any other childhood friends until Chloe came along.

I think it is true that watching a relatively happy childhood wouldn't be interesting in the same way as watching Lex's childhood, but this is a superpowered alien we're talking about here. And a cultural icon at that. Not exactly your average kid, so I think there's bound to be some interest within the casual viewing audience regardless.

Was Clark aware that he was different as an 5-12 year old kid, even though he didn't know he was an alien at the time? Or did he think that everybody could run as fast as he could (at the time) or lift up a 400 pound bed?

We could have seen how his strength and speed first manifested and how his parents reacted to the very first time(s) he did something extraordinary, instead of just being told those stories by the parents. This would basically be Smallville's way of replaying the car scene from the first Superman movie (even though they alluded to it in the pilot with the story of the South Korean boy that Clark was super speedreading on the Internet).

Speaking of speedreading, what about Clark as a student in elementary school? Did he always have the ability to calculate and read super fast, or did he develop those like his physical powers? And, at any point, did he pretend to be dumber in math and science classes in order to not arouse suspicion?

We could have seen a trip into town for the whole family (which I imagine didn't happen very often) and how tight of a leash the Kents would have had Clark on... if they bothered taking him into town as a kid at all, that is.

We could have seen how Clark interacted with other kids on the school playground: did he play with them at all, keep to himself, or only hang with Pete when he was around? And if he did only hang with Pete, why did he only hang with Pete (what was stopping him from doing with the other kids what he was doing with Pete)?

Somebody on the thread at DTTW made a sarcastic point that one of the only things we'd end up seeing in a Clark flashback episode is Clark's crush on Lana as a nursery schooler, and while that would probably be annoying at this point, if it was written right (which, yeah, I know, it most likely wouldn't be) it could potentially give us some insight into what the hell he sees in her and why he's been so hung up on her for so long.

Some, if not all, of the above would have been interesting in it's own way, at least to me. And honestly, when I first started watching the show (and especially after I saw Lineage), I WAS expecting to see more of these types of questions answered onscreen about Clark on a show that was billed to be a coming-of-age story for Superman. Why wouldn't you include stuff like this about his past? And why would the producers/writers lack that kind of imagination, if we as a people not being paid to write or run a television series, can come up with scenarios like this?
seacrystal
Jan. 25th, 2008 09:43 am (UTC)
And, at any point, did he pretend to be dumber in math and science classes in order to not arouse suspicion?

I don't think so. While I'm not sure about if he does the whole speedreading or speedcalculating thing, his academic achievements did grant him a personal Princeton interview.
jeannev
Jan. 25th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, Yes, YES!! to your whole post. And see this is totally my point. How much better would the audience have understood some of Clark's hang-ups if we had actually seen some of these things? I believe a Clark flashback episode would've been amazingly poignant. How did the Kents explain to a little one that he couldn't all out play with other kids? That is heartbreaking. And how many times does it take to tell a child something like that before he starts to feel like his differences are a curse?

How cool would it have been if the return of Pete also allowed us to flashback to their first meeting? Can't you just picture a shy, withdrawn little Clark sitting away from other kids, and the bold, outgoing little Pete coming up to him and just deciding they should be friends? I know I could.

And I just couldn't disagree more with the thinking that this would, somehow, be more boring then reliving Lex's childhood traumas for the 3rd and 4th time. BOTH situations could add a lot to the show, and a lot to the main characters.

So frustrating. Oh show!

Edited at 2008-01-25 02:27 pm (UTC)
gildinwen
Jan. 25th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
Ok this comment may seem a bit OT, but it fits trust me ;-)

To address your question of why we haven't seen a flashback of Clark as a little boy, for the same reason, the Star Wars prequels were about Anakin. For the majority of people, story of Vader's (or in this case Lex's) fall is far more interesting. I mean, I don't know if you're familiar with the story of Obi-Wan's childhood, but he was bullied, and suffered what was tantamount to emotional abuse in his early years with Qui-Gon, but that story is lesser to Anakin's because Anakin fell. Obi-wan didn't.

The audience, wants to feel sympathy, or needs to understand why these people (Anakin, Lex) turned out the way they did because the people they become do such horrible, things. Because, Obi-Wan, and Clark, come out the other end , we don't need to hear their stories as much.

HOWEVER as you say, if you going to make a series about the Young Clark Kent, then MAKE IT about the Young Clark Kent!!! The fact that they haven't made it about him as such, says sadly that they don't find Clark that interesting of an Character, which, make me wonder why they decided to make a series about him in the first place.
jeannev
Jan. 25th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
I think your last paragraph really addresses where I see a difference with SV, and say, the Star Wars movies. The 2nd trio of Star Wars movies were about Anakin. So, he got the flashbacks. SV is supposed to be about Clark primarily, Lex secondarily. Lex got the flashbacks, and Clark got nuthin'

I think goughlar wanted to do this story because I think the concept gave them a real shot at having a hit, and having people be loyal to it. In a way, I think it cut their workload in half.

Edited at 2008-01-25 09:53 pm (UTC)
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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