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I got to thinking about this after acampbell posted some stills from the episode Hypnotic on her lj.  As usual, the stills were terrific, and I know I'm always thankful for her great caps.  But reading some of the comments on the stills, and on the episode Hypnotic itself got me to pondering this episode.  Again.  I'm sure its not the first time I've raised this question, because it's one of those sexual situations with SV that really bugs the hell out of me, and I think I've hammered away on this point before.

Can what happened to Clark in this episode be considered "seduction"?  

Is using the term "rape" too strong and inaccurate?

Were Lex's actions a minor foible, or majorly heinous?

If you are interested in continuing the conversation (and reading my more recent rantings)
Type your cut contents here.

I'll guess I'll just start with the way I see the episode

   - Lex blackmails Simone by threatening to use the  proof that she murdered her father to send her to jail

I think this first point is very important, because it establishes a few things off the bat.  1. That Lex is aware of how dangerous Simone is, 2. That Lex is perfectly fine with keeping the information about a murder to himself if he can use it to his advantage, and 3. He knows exactly the type of person he's siccing on Clark.  In fact, that point is driven even further home by the fact that he refuses to meet her face-to-face.

  -Lex seems to want Simone to do 2 things, seduce Clark and create a situation for Lana to see it, and break them up as a couple, and also to find out any information about Clark

Now, I think the fact that Lex was willing to go to these lengths to create a break-up between Clark and Lana speaks for itself.  No need to elaborate there.  It also seems quite clear that Lex was perfectly aware that Simone would be using her hypnotic powers to get Clark into a sexual situation that he would be unable to refuse.  His capacity to consent, or not consent, is totally removed.  Lex is aware of this.  Did Lex put boundaries on how far Simone could take it?  Unknown.  But given his knowledge of what sort of person she is, could he reasonably expect that she'd respect that?  And when you remove the free will of an individual (and I think there's no arguement that Clark had no free will), and then touch them or use them sexually, is this not some form of sexual assualt?  I know the word "rape" sends up red flags, and I can respect that.  But isn't this some form of sexual assault?

Lets put it another way....if Lex had decided to use Simon to use his hypnotic abilities to coerce Lana into a sexual situation, would there even be a debate about what this was?  Is there a double standard in the way the situation is perceived because Clark is a man, used by a woman?  I think so.

   -Yes, Clark does look happy with Simone, and whats happening to him.

But how much does that grin and bounce in his step mean?  He's not in control of his own mind.  If you hypnotized someone, and told them they were the happiest, bounciest chicken in the yard, and then they clucked with glee around the living room for an hour, would you actually consider that person happy?  

   -Simone discovers Clark's powers, and decides she's going to keep him (who can blame her?), and kill Lex.

And who set this in motion?  Through Lex's machinations, we now have Simone, a dangerous murderer with hypnotic abilities, who now has control of a super-powered person.  Of course, Lex is not aware of Clark's abilities (though suspicious).  But even so, had it never occured to Lex that Simone might strike back at him?  And use Clark in some way to do it?  Was he really that arrogant and smug?  Did he never consider that Simone could be a threat to people around Clark, like his mother, or Chloe?  How was this not putting a cobra right into the middle of Clark's bed?

   -Lex's ass gets saved by Chloe

The reason I point that out is because I don't really think Chloe gets credit for this.  Or the fact that she also saved Lex's life in Void.  I know I've read that Chloe should be grateful to Lex for saving her and her father in the house explosion at the end of S3.  Fair enough.  But hasn't Chloe pulled even, and maybe ahead, on this score by now?

   -Clark tells Chloe that he and Simone didn't....well, actually, its never specified.  And Clark doesn't seem to be suffering ill effects from Simone's assault on him, but is rather suffering because of the toll it took on Lana.

Yes, yes, I know, its about All. About. Lana.  Trust me, I feel that pain.  But sometimes, I don't think its inappropriate.  While I hate the dialogue in this scene, I don't think Clark is wrong for feeling terrible about Lana walking in on him and Simone.

But also, I find it amazingly hard to believe that Simone and Clark didn't do anything.  I know the show says they didn't....well, thats the thing, they don't really verbalize just what occured and what didn't.  The scene seems to indicate no fornication.  Which is, of course, utterly ludicrious.  But even so, was there no sexual activity of any sort?  Doesn't that sort of go against the grain of what we saw from Simone?  And she obviously spent the night with Clark.  Did they just cuddle?

Of course the show does a piss poor job of allowing Clark to really talk about his feelings over what happened to him.  Instead, it immediately becomes all about Lana.  Which is pretty much where Lex is at as well.  And yes, the absolute wrongness of that is stupifying.  But even without the Lana factor, is it likely that Clark would've discussed his feelings on this with Chloe, or anyone?  I don't know.  I can't quite see him confiding that sort of thing to anyone.

Even if Clark was physically fine in the end, and even emotionally fine (considering it led to the break-up with Lana, I'd say obviously not), does that mean that he wasn't violated by Simone, and Lex?  

Let me provide a comparison....S7's Fracture.  Clark enters Lex's mind, without his consent because he is comatose.  He isn't there to do any harm, or uncover any of Lex's buried secrets.  He's just trying to find out where Kara and Lois is, and who shot Lex and is holding them.  But even with a good reason, does it mean that Lex isn't being violated?  I have to say no.  And yet, without Clark doing this, Lex might very well have died.  He wasn't expected to pull through anyway.  And Chloe only stepped in to save him to save Clark..  And at the end of the episode, Lex is no worse for wear.  In fact, he's even had some buried memories shook free.  And yet, I know I've seen what happened to Lex in this episode referred to as a mindrape.

Now, if Lex was violated in Fracture (his body being used without his consent), then how can one say that Clark wasn't violated in Hypnotic (his body being used without his consent)?  Lex felt nothing from the violation, and Clark was hypnotized to enjoy what happened to him.  But does that matter?  

And another point about Hypnotic, here's a case of Lex doing something and never getting caught at it.  Sure, he got flung across his office.  But Clark and Chloe were significantly dumbed down so as not to figure out his culpability.  And Lana was none the wiser either.  Lex completely skated on this one, and even ended up with the girl.  At least for a while.  

See, when I read about how Lex was done so wrong by Lana and her flip-flopping emotions, I can't help but go back to Hypnotic, and remember what Lex set into motion here.  What he was willing to do to Clark, what he was willing to subject Lana to, all in the hopes that she'd come running into his arms, broken-hearted.  Did he ever really deserve an honest chance at love with those sorts of origins?  No matter how one feels about Lana, I have to believe the answer is no.  

And I just want to make one last point.  Another episode that often comes up in conversations about Hypnotic is Unsafe, and the situation with Alicia and the Red K.  And while Alicia was very wrong in what she did, I do think there are some fundamental differences.  The most significant one being that Cark on Red K does not lose his ability to consent.  He could've just blown Alicia off if he'd gotten that urge.  While Red K does dissolve Clark's inhabitions, it doesn't make him incabable ot making his own decisions.  Another big difference is that Clark truly did want Alicia.  Maybe not to run off to Vegas with *g*, but he did feel a strong attraction and affection for her.  

So, to me, I can see how Unsafe could still fall into the category of seduction, and I myself enjoy the hotel room scene very much.

And I'll end by saying that I completely understand appreciating the scenes in Hypnotic for much more base and shallow reasons.  Because Tom Welling getting hot and heavy with a foxy chick against a fence is SEXY!  And him undressing, then undressing her, and picking her up and laying her down on a couch, and so on and so forth is....Whew!  Is it getting hot in here?  Believe me, I appreciate the episode on that very same level myself. :P

But I've always been very, very bothered by the way the bigger issues of Hypnotic have been glossed over.  The stupid chuckleheads in charge of SV have referred to this episode as "sexy" and "fun" on more then one occasion.  In general, fandom seems to have completely let Lex off the hook for what he did.  And because its far too heavy for this show to examine, Clark has never been allowed to reflect on his own violation (which is par for the course, as different types of this situation have come up, and been dropped, several times in regards to Clark).

So, if anyone has any heavy thoughts on the matter, or even light and fluffy ones, let me have it....








 



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jude_judith82
Jun. 13th, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
Lets put it another way....if Lex had decided to use Simon to use his hypnotic abilities to coerce Lana into a sexual situation, would there even be a debate about what this was? Is there a double standard in the way the situation is perceived because Clark is a man, used by a woman? I think so.

I'm of the mindset that what Lex did is sexual assault and I think you pointed out the main issue of the counter argument if Clark was a female character and Lex did this then it would not even be a question

Also

Let me provide a comparison....S7's Fracture. Clark enters Lex's mind, without his consent because he is comatose. He isn't there to do any harm, or uncover any of Lex's buried secrets

Clark doesn't cause any harm to Lex hell he probably save his life by doing this b/c Chloe wouldn't have saved him if Clark wasn't there. Lex isn't aware of what occurred but what Lex did to Clark ruined his relationship with Lana and Lex blatantly manipulated Simone to once again get info on Clark. There was no nobility in the act.

jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
And ya know, even though Clark doesn't cause harm to Lex in Fracture, and doesn't mean to, I can still understand and respect the opinion that Lex was violated.

But then, why doesn't it seem to count as much when Lex is the puppet master to Clark's violation, and there isn't one altruistic reason for it?
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svgurl
Jun. 13th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC)
I agree ... with all of that! You're brilliant.

Lex is not an innocent woobie and "Hypnotic" only served to further prove that. I totally don't think what was done to Clark was right.

While I hate the dialogue in this scene, I don't think Clark is wrong for feeling terrible about Lana walking in on him and Simone.

He isn't wrong. Clark's a caring person. And he loves Lana. No matter how tired some of us are of that relationship, you can't doubt Clark's feelings. Of course he doesn't want to see her hurt.

Another episode that often comes up in conversations about Hypnotic is Unsafe, and the situation with Alicia and the Red K. And while Alicia was very wrong in what she did, I do think there are some fundamental differences. The most significant one being that Cark on Red K does not lose his ability to consent.

Well said. I really don't think that these two can relate to each other. Alicia was wrong, like you said but Clark wanted her. He chose to be with her ... the red k just took away his inhibitions but didn't change the way he felt. Simone forced him to want her. It's not the same at all.

But I've always been very, very bothered by the way the bigger issues of Hypnotic have been glossed over. The stupid chuckleheads in charge of SV have referred to this episode as "sexy" and "fun" on more then one occasion.

I'm appalled with the writing staff at what they find "sexy". That Clana loft scene in "Crimson"? NOT sexy. These guys are made of suck.

And it sucks at how they never have Clark speaking about his feelings. The writers don't love Clark and it's sad.

Great meta as always. You're always so insightful and it's nice to see someone who actually likes Clark and is on his side.
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:06 am (UTC)
Wow, I'm brilliant? *blushes*

And I don't want to give the impression that I don't believe what Alicia did was wrong. But I just think there's a wide divide between what happened in Unsafe with Alicia, and what happened with Simone in Hypnotic.

Clearly the SV writing staff has some very serious issues when it comes to the subject of sex. I'm not quite sure why they have such an unhealthy POV on it, particularly when it comes to Clark.

I also find it very sad that the writers have stopped allowing Clark to express his feelings. Talking about his feelings/relationship with Lana seems to be the exception. Take S7, Clark never really expressed his feelings about being in a cage and tortured, or being frozen in the FOS. Once his clone momma was gone, he never mentioned it again. Its very weird.

I do like Clark, and I am on his side. Always :)
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starry_dawn
Jun. 13th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
I said this on acampbell's journal as well, but I hate, hate, HATE "Hypnotic" precisely because of the things you mentioned above. For one, it reduces Lex frickin' Luthor to the level of needing a hypnotist to break up Clark and Lana so he can have Lana all to himself. That is just wrong on so many levels - firstly, he wants Lana. 'Nuff said. Secondly, he needs to use external forces to break up a couple that's already been on the rocks for a while now? Where did his S1 wiles go? Did his 3452890 injuries make him more stupid?

And then there's all the scenes with Simone, which, as hot as the actress might be, I just CANNOT find sexy. I'm sorry, I'm just too uncomfortable with such situations to find them sexy by any means. (I didn't particularly like "Unsafe" either, but this one definitely ranks higher in the "DO NOT WANT" list.) I just can't get over the fact that this is pure, unadulterated violation (physical mostly, but mental as well), and no amount of smiley!Clark will make me ever want to see him in that situation again. I hate it when TPTB do "sexy" episodes, seriously. I'm not a big fan of any of the RedK episodes (except probably "Red"), and I especially hate it when they use Clark on RedK as a way to show some steamy make-out scenes.

Great point with "Simon", by the way - excellent way of showing that yes, we're expected to be okay with this because Clark is a guy. Bullshit. I remember how icky I felt when something similar happened with Chloe in "Jinx" and guy with the unspellable name. I don't see why we should see this as any different, especially when it is on such a large scale and when it had horrible consequences.

And yes, I defintely hold Lex responsible for all of this, but I tend to blame the writers for his shoddy characterization. I refuse to believe S1-S3 Lex would do something like this to further his needs. Not that early seasons!Lex was honourable or anything, but I do think he had standards.
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:10 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't believe Lex should ever have been reduced to trying to break Clana up. Or at least let him do it through emotional manipulation, rather then this.

And I agree with you on the Chloe/Myx thing in Jinx, and if thats squicky, what is "Now, take off your clothes!"?

And of course the writers are always ultimately to blame. But I just know that Clark takes a lot of shit from the fandom for what the writers have him do. Ditto for Lana. And if they deserve that, then so does Lex. For me, it can't be "Clark/Lana/Lois suck....Lex and Chloe get bad writing".
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(Anonymous)
Jun. 13th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
I actually think this episode is part of an ongoing issue Smallville has with diminished capacity for consent--I can think of more than half a dozen instances of characters being put in sexual situations while under some form of chemical/magical influence, and it is pretty much never taken seriously on the show itself, instead played for laughs or sex appeal.
I think it's part and parcel of Smallville's dubious sexual attitudes--they go to ridiculous lengths to contrive external reasons for the characters to lose their clothes or act sexy, and seldom allow characters to simply make the choice to express their sexuality. Part it's the fact that the characters were underage for so long, but it seems like producers were always trying to figure out how to keep their characters "good" boys/girls while at the same time exploiting/objectifying them shamelessly, and the solution was to take away their autonomy. I find the dynamic very creepy.

Sorry for the long comment.
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
Hey, you write a comment as long as you please :)

And you're right. Absolutely right. There is this really odd mindset on the part of the writers when it comes to sex, and sexuality. Its actually very creepy.
gildinwen
Jun. 13th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
I think your feelings match mine exactly. I think that there is a double standard, with regards to male/ female rape in GENERAL not just in terms of television.
Men do get raped or sexually assaulted by women out in the real world and yet we hear about it very rarely, and some men laughed at. It's the whole of "Hey Sexy chick came on to you and you *didn't* want it?"

But Lex is and has always been woobiefied by the fans. If Clark didn't hate or have an extreme dislike/distrust of Lex after what happened in Mortal, he has a reason to have one NOW.

And it bothers that fans seem to gloss over these fact, and still ask why Clark isn't being a 'good friend' to Lex

You gave the perfect counter-argument, with the example of Lana. If that situation had occured then it would have been rape pure and simple.

And while yes Clark did go into Lex's mind without Lex's consent, there were altruistic reasons for Clark to do so. There's also another point to make here: Lex isn't actually putting himself in danger, while siccing Simone on Clark. Clark puts himself at risk, to find Kara and Lois, while in Lex's mind. The situations are hardly comparable.

And no I don't understand how Lex setting this situation up to get Lana proves that he loves her. It's an early illustration of his obsessive need to control people.

And with your comments about Unsafe: I'm reminded of Thamaris's comments on the way Martha acted when she found out about Clark and Alica's 'marriage'. She called, when she compared what Alica did to Clark "Almost date- rape{d)". And the sad thing is we know that Clark wanted to be with her, in this case he didn't even know Simone.

In the end it's about the fact that when Clark is on Red!K he becomes more mature physically, and sexier so the date rape aspects get lost because it's a party of hot on our screen. And I understand that, because Lord knows that I would *much* rather have hot heavy sex Red!Clark, because ....wow. But unfortunately he wouldn't be in possession of his faculties and those pesky ethics would keep rearing them selves up in my mind.

As an aside, I'm struck by just *how much* shady shit Lex was doing in the earlier seasons. I really want to love him, I still do, but re-watching the earlier episodes, it's like, wow *how* did I not see this before? It makes me sad.

jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)
I certainly understand a lot of arguements on Lex's behalf. I can definitely understand why someone would sympathize with him. I just don't understand ignoring some of the things he does.

Personally, I've always felt that Lex's pursuit of Lana was always tied up in his desire to get something away from Clark, and his feeling of kinship with her that they had both been betrayed by Clark. So, the fact that the Lexana was all effed up from the beginning actually makes a lot of sense to me. And thats why fake baby never struck me as some crazy, unreasonable plot device.

I mean, clearly, Lana rebounded to Lex. Is it any surprise that the intensity of her feelings for him waned as her emotions settled? Not to me.

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hoperoy
Jun. 13th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
I agree with you--what happened in Hypnotic, at least in my mind, constitutes sexual assault. Lex knowingly set Clark up, and even after Simone let him know that they were fooling around (Ex. "Clark's an incredible kisser...") he still let things go. What happened in Fracture is a little harder to pin down. Unsafe, in my opinion, is exactly what you said it was--seduction. All in all, I'd say you made some pretty good points here.
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
Well, yeah, exactly. Lex knew what she was doing. But to me, whats even worse is that he didn't seem to consider what else she might decide to do. He knew she had total control over Clark. Its sort of scary to consider all the things she might've done.

Fracture is harder to pin down. I think the fact that no one wanted to do any harm does color the situation. Still, its questionable.
dm_wyatt
Jun. 13th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
Wow... you make some good points.

I think it was assault and I don't know why Lex gets a pass on some of the things he does.

As for Hypnotic, I loathed it and people didn't get why I hated it so much... Tom wasn't in top form either.

On top of everything else, the uneven characterizations and the rather dark theme, it's very hard to love an episode Tom isn't very good in.

Edited at 2008-06-13 02:45 am (UTC)
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
You know what gets me about Hypnotic...its not a pretty episode. Its dark, and shot at weird angles. For a show like SV, which is usually so very pretty, Hypnotic is sort of an ugly stepsister.

And yeah, its not Tom's best performance. Its not really anyones best performance. KK probably does the best job.
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canadabear
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC)
Yeah, Hypnotic bothers me very much on that level. I am, however, willing to be more lenient on Lex in regards to the sexual assault part. We don't have any concrete evidence that he told Simone to sleep with Clark, or to seduce him, and yes, it's entirely reasonable to assume that she would even without prodding - because if you're sending a beautiful woman with the power to make people do what she wants to break up a relationship, there aren't many other ways for it to go - but ultimately, Simone decided how far things went. And frankly, for some unfathomable reason, she ultimately didn't go through with it. I don't think Lex is completely absolved of that aspect, but it's not something he specifically requested, so far as we know.

Now. The very fact that Lex put this into motion to begin with is worse, imo. Simone was being used as a weapon, more or less. Lex didn't just want Clark's secret, he wanted to hurt Clark by making Lana hate him. Did he want Lana for himself? I'm sure that was part of it, but the bottom line is this was All About Clark where Lex was concerned. It amazes me that people gloss this over, even those who use Mortal against Lex seem to forget about Hypnotic.

Beyond the general squicky near non consensual sex, what also bothered me was the way they had Clark just brush it off. I too have no problem with him being concerned about Lana's feelings. I think that's perfectly natural and to be expected. Clark thinks beyond himself, but I'd liked to have seen him think about himself for once. But then, I've long been of the opinion that Clark more or less operates at a fairly numb level with everything he's been through. It's easier for him to focus on Lana's pain than to admit or think about what happened to him.
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
I see what you mean about Lex. But like you said, what did he think she would do? And thats sort of the point, isn't it? He knows what she's capable of. He knows what that charm gives her the power to do. He is not at all ignorant of the damage she can do. And he sends her after Clark anyway.

I'd probably be willing to cut him a bit more slack on the sex part if when Simone said that Clark was the most extraordinary kisser, Lex has protested in some way that she wasn't supposed to take things that far. But he just made a face. So, its ambigious.

I think I have to believe that Lana was at least 50% of the reason he did this since the first thing Simone assures Lex of is that Lana Lang won't be sending Clark anymore valentines. If Lana was a secondary reason, then why would she come up first?

And yes, Lex's actions in Hypnotic seem largely ignored. Which is just frustrating to me. I have to hear Clark saying harsh words to Lex regarding Lionel is the worst thing EVER over and over again, but Lex sending a murderer with hypnotic powers after Clark is no big deal. Am I the only one that sees the disparity there?

And I actually like your theory that Clark is just numb to the things that happen to him. Its incredibly sad, but entirely plausible given the show, and how Clark deals with things.

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tariel22
Jun. 13th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
It's so funny to me how one thing leads to another. In February I posted a picspam of SV kisses, and acampbell commented, asking how I could have left out Clark and Simone. I replied that I hated Hypnotic, and said it was the equivalent of slipping Clark a roofie and raping him, but also copped to the fact I had only watched the episode once, and maybe I should rewatch.

I never did, though. Then the other day I decided to go look at acampbell's caps of the episode, but I couldn't find the end of the episode anywhere. When I asked her about it, she realized she had never finished, and so posted the rest now. And here we are. I still feel unqualified to talk about the episode after seeing it just the one time, but I'm happy to throw my opinions around all the same. :)

The caps of Clark from this episode are beautiful. If fact, one of them was my absolute favorite among the 50 pics in my Shirtless!Clark post. And I can look at the pics and swoon over them, as long as it's only Clark in the picture. And as long as I don't think about what went on.

I hate this episode. I cringed and covered my eyes all the way through it, and while I've watched the loft scene in Unsafe more times than I care to admit, I felt sick watching Clark undress for Simone, even through my fingers. My reaction took me quite by surprise, actually. And I felt horribly embarrassed for Lana when she walked in on them. The whole thing was just awful. Even though I try my hardest to believe Clark when he says nothing happened, there's no way they would have stopped, and the thought of that makes it 100 times worse.

I have to admit I never even thought about Lex's culpability in all of it. I remembered it as being all about finding out Clark's secret, and Lex acting recklessly to satisfy his curiosity. I thought his actions were selfish and irresponsible, but not malicious. And he reaped what he sowed when Clark came after him.

I've seen the whole double standard you're talking about, and it's the main reason I stay far away from the Clark thread on TWoP. I don't know how you find the energy to continue as Clark's staunch defender. That place is full of venom, and you'd think Clark was "the villain of the story" by what you read there. You're obviously a much better fangirl than I'll ever be. I am a complete coward by comparison.

But now I really do think I'll have to brave a second viewing of this episode, to see if I can explore my first impressions of it a bit further. As I said in my original comment back in February, I really feel like this episode was just an excuse to give the viewers naked Clark. TPTB couldn't have him do it with Lois because DC wouldn't let them, they didn't want him to do it with Chloe, and they had already decided Lana was going to move on to Lex. So they had to bring in a random ho to get the job done, and the only way to make Clark take his clothes off for her was to mind whammy him in some way. And there you have your episode. Stupid crack monkeys.
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
I hope you do rewatch, because I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I just don't know how one can look at Lex's actions in this episode and not consider them malicious. I mean, if he just wanted to break Clana up, all he needed to do was have Simone meet Lana, and make her believe that she no longer loved or wanted to be with Clark. Its still mean, but not nearly to the same degree. It certainly would've saved Lana some heartbreak.

I don't have much energy for TWoP these days. I still try and stick up for Clark when I get so motivated, but the whole mindset that Chloe and Lex can do no wrong, Clark and everyone else suck, and that the whole show should be about Chloe, and how Lois should die to get out of her way is just getting harder and harder to take. You can't even have a decent conversation about it.
serenography
Jun. 13th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
Despite the visual pleasure of Clark undressing and getting all hot up against that fence, Hypnotic is on my short list of SV eps I will be happy to never watch again (I have the clips of him undressing, that's good enough).

You've outlined some of the reasons why I dislike this ep so much, particularly the sexual assault of Clark. The really sloppy way they tried to say he *didn't* actually have sex with Simone drove me nuts too. Like she was going to walk away from THAT when she had him all to herself the entire night? She started seducing him, why would she have stopped? I had a similar feeling about the whole night out with Jessie in Red - Clark left the bar with her, obvious interest on both parts, then he rolls into the house in the morning and we're supposed to believe nothing happened? Uh huh. Sloppy and annoying writing.

My other issues with this ep are mostly Clana related, more Clark than Lana actually. But the mindset of "it's all about Lana" makes me grind my teeth, so I'll refrain.

Lex was absolutely in evil bastard mode here and I agree, it's often overlooked because.. he's Lex and he's awesome. I thought the same kind of thing happened with the beginning of Prototype when he was responsible for the killing of all those soldiers in a training session for his new machine - then he orders them to do it again? He was directly responsible for ordering the deaths of dozens of men that day, but you hardly ever hear that talked about.

Unsafe is a whole discussion in itself. I liked those eps, but Alicia notsomuch. She was a great character in the sense of having a lot of depth, but man.. I hated her deceptive and manipulative ways, not to mention the homicidal streak. Even when she made her comeback and was supposedly reformed, I had a hard time having any sympathy for her. I'm not as forgiving as Clark. ;)

ETA:
This...
And of course the writers are always ultimately to blame. But I just know that Clark takes a lot of shit from the fandom for what the writers have him do. Ditto for Lana. And if they deserve that, then so does Lex. For me, it can't be "Clark/Lana/Lois suck....Lex and Chloe get bad writing".

...is awesome.
Oh, and I couldn't agree more that one of the biggest failings of this show is the lack of scenes allowing Clark to express more of his feelings/thoughts about all these things he's experienced. I don't mean loft scenes where other people are explaining things to him, but scenes where he verbalizes some enlightenment and growth, as well as revealing what's in his heart.

Edited at 2008-06-13 04:41 am (UTC)
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
I don't think the episode has much to offer overall. Maybe the Lex/Brainiac stuff was OK. But there are about a hundred other ways to have ended Clana then this. And there were even better ways to get Clark naked and sexy if thats what they wanted. The whole episode is pretty much made of fail.

Yeah, Prototype seems to be another episode that Lex is not held responsible for. Killing those people just for a test, not to mention what he did to poor Wes, just seems like its not such a big deal. But, but, Clark said something bad to Lex. Thats heinous *rolls eyes* How does that figure? I'm stumped.

I hope you know what I say that so much of this episode was all about Lana, I'm not blaming Lana. I'm just saying that they had Clark and Lex do some really moronic things in the name of having Lana. And to me, that does Lana no favors either, since it reduces her to the level of posession rather then person.

And ya know, not only are Chloe and Lex victims of bad writing, but its usually another reason that Clark/Lana or Lois suck...because thats why Chloe and Lex got bad writing. The logic is confusing to me.
beef_wonder3
Jun. 13th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
This is actually something I've thought about in passing and you've got some really interesting insights.

I think it's harder for us to determine whether what Simone did was rape or sexual assult because it would be clearly defined by how Clark felt about what happened. (Personally I think they did sleep together). And , as you mentioned, we don't get to know what Clark thought about Simone and his feelings on his situation.

Because in the scene with Chloe, the only sense of feelings we get from him is guilt over hurting Lana, which is fair enough, but it couldn't be the ONLY thing he was feeling.
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
Well, thats is exactly, how Clark really felt about the whole thing is glossed over. He sort of made a "Ewww, No" face when Chloe asked him, but thats about the extent of it. Which is so messed up.
pep_singer
Jun. 13th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC)
I've always found what happened in "Hypnotic" to be creepy and not a very good episode. I wouldn't say it was "rape", but I do consider it to be borderline sexual assault. And if anything had happened to Clark or anyone else because of Simone, it would've been entirely Lex's fault. I've always been appalled that Lex's actions in that episode aren't considered reprehensive by a certain segment of fans. Also, Lex's line to Clark in the mansion towards the end just makes no sense.

// -Lex's ass gets saved by Chloe

The reason I point that out is because I don't really think Chloe gets credit for this. Or the fact that she also saved Lex's life in Void. I know I've read that Chloe should be grateful to Lex for saving her and her father in the house explosion at the end of S3. Fair enough. But hasn't Chloe pulled even, and maybe ahead, on this score by now?//

WORD. I cannot tell you how infuriating it is to read that Chloe is somehow being ungrateful to Lex and is totally treating Lex badly. Whatthefuckever. Like you said, she's saved his life repeated, and it's totally overlooked.

And I think you've hit the nail on the head as to why "Unsafe" is different from "Hypnotic". The RedK aspect changes things.
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
Are you talking about the infamous "Clark you've been hypnotizeed. How else could you throw me across the room?".

'Cause yeah, thats bad.

But only Clark and Lois are written as stupid, didn't ya know?

I figure the Chloe/Lex thing is comparable to the Clark/Lex thing. Clark has saved Lex's life a whole bunch of times. He's even continued to do it after he and Lex were at odds. Yet, somehow, only the good things that Lex has done for Clark count, while the things Clark has done for Lex don't. Again, the logic confounds me.
(no subject) - luminousdaze - Jun. 17th, 2008 02:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - luminousdaze - Jun. 17th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC) - Expand
seacrystal
Jun. 13th, 2008 11:43 am (UTC)
The comparison to Fracture particularly stood out to me, because I'm definitely one of those who was a bit uncomfortable with how Lex got his mind violated and none of the characters addressing that issue. But there's just no way I'm ever putting this on the same level and the degree of violation done by Lex in Hypnotic.

All the characters have done some questionable things on this show, but as long as I don't sense any deliberate malice on their parts, usually that's what makes all the difference to me. I may not agree, but I can definitely understand. Examples that I can think off my head right now is like the way Clark betraying Lois' confidence in Hydro, Bart's in Justice, Lois and Martha accepting Lionel's money for the campaign, Jonathan persuading the Rosses to sell their land to the Luthors in exchange of the forged adoption papers.
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
Right, exactly. I can understand the issues with Fracture. As much as I like things about the episode, the whole set-up for it leaves me cold, and I don't like that it wasn't discussed more (this show gives new meaning to the words "skimming the surface" sometimes). But if Fracture is troubling, isn't Hypnotic that troubling times 10?

And like you, I also believe intent is very important to judge a situation in context. When there is an intent to hurt, or do harm, or gain information for personal gain, then I'm going to judge that stuff much more harshly.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
Great discussion. I've always felt that what happened to Clark in Hypnotic was sexual assault. If Clark was a female there would be no argument about it.

Exactly. If Simone was a guy, and had told Lana to "take off your clothes", most fans would be outraged. But its a guy...and more to the point, its Clark, so Eh, doesn't matter.

And I can acknowledge that Lex had a difficult childhood, and daddy issues. But ya know what, ditto for Clark, Lana and Lois. Where are their free passes? Even Chloe can claim a difficult childhood.

I do want to be clear that I don't mind people loving Lex or Chloe, and sticking up for them. I just hate the inability to even have a discussion about it, as so little respect and politeness is afforded to anyone who doesn't share that love. I hate the name calling, and the nastiness. Its not snark, its not humor. It just seems to me that intelligent people can find better ways to play together on the MB playgrounds.

And its OK, rant away. I know where you're coming from.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 13th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
"I do want to be clear that I don't mind people loving Lex or Chloe, and sticking up for them. I just hate the inability to even have a discussion about it, as so little respect and politeness is afforded to anyone who doesn't share that love. I hate the name calling, and the nastiness. Its not snark, its not humor. It just seems to me that intelligent people can find better ways to play together on the MB playgrounds."

So much WORD to this statement! And I think it holds true for Lana, too, on other boards. I just don't understand the mind that thinks that if you criticize a character's actions you automatically hate them. And hateful, rude, disrespectful posts disguised as snark really irritate me, too. It's just no fun and quite impossible to intelligently converse with a closed mind. This is one reason I frequent your journal so much. You admit a bias for Clark over all yet you sincerely try to see the whole picture and be balanced and fair in your commentary on the show. I so appreciate this!

In regard to your comments above on "Hypnotic" I think you are squarely on the side of reason and have given a very thorough analysis of the topic. As much as I like to fantasize about scenes where Clark is undressed (usually they involve me as well!) I found this episode deeply disturbing for the very reasons you mention. (TWL247)
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
It's just no fun and quite impossible to intelligently converse with a closed mind.

Wow, that says it all, doesn't it? And thats really all I'm looking for...just a willingness to consider an opinion not necessarily your own.

Thanks for saying nice things about my lj. I do try to be open minded. And I'm sure I don't always succeed. But I don't want anyone to feel like the only mindset welcome here is one that mirrors my own. Where is the fun in that?

I do understand the fantasy of Clark in a non-con situation. I've read many fanfics that have done variations on this theme, and many of them are excellent. So, its not the concept itself, but the idea that its put in an actual episode, then there is an absolute refusal to honestly address it. And the character responsible is not held accountable for it. That makes me nuts.
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