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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.
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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.
(Deleted comment)
jeannev
Jun. 13th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
Thats too true. I like to debate. I developed quite a talent for it when I was in the La Femme Nikita fandom. But it requires a certain kind of give and take, and it also requires some semblence of respect on opposing sides. Aside from some lj's out there, I'm not sure there's any SV type of board that offers that sort of atmosphere, and thats a shame.
la_belle_isa
Jun. 14th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
I agree that Simone definitely sexually assaulted Clark. I never thought they really had sex though. Simone didn't have to, she filled her part of the deal with Lex, Lana saw Clark with Simone and I think the sexual encounter was over then.
With Alicia, I see a major difference and I don't see a sexual assault. Alicia drugged him. So that's what she's guilty of. She wanted him to leave with her. While on drugs, Clark decided to marry Alicia in Las Vegas and have sex. It was his decision and Alicia followed. He could have decided something else entirely, we have no indication that Alicia wanted to force him into having sex.
I believe that the writers make normal!Clark passive or a victim in most sexual or flirting situations. I think it's because they want to show that he's devoted to Lana; and he's never been over her since S1. The only exceptions in 7 freakin' years were Kayla and Alicia and he was severely punished in both cases. Both girls died horrible deaths; and Alicia was rejected by everyone.
But OTOH, they want to show Clark in a sexy half-naked situation, so they go for redk or hypnotism. While Lana hasn't been 5 minutes without a guy, Clark has been with no one except Lana and the 2 exceptions already mentioned when he's in a normal state. I'll never understand why people are talking about Clark's harem because really, as far as we know, he banged Lana a couple of times and that's the whole extent of his sex life.
But I've wandered a bit. About Lex "mind rape", well, it's hard to judge something that doesn't exist in real life. One big difference that I see are the motives. This was done to save a life.
Interesting debate as always.
jeannev
Jun. 16th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
As much as it doesn't seem to make sense that Simone didn't seal the deal with Clark, he said they didn't, so I guess we have to assume it didn't happen. Could Clark have been lying? Yes, but there's nothing in the episode, or since, that tells us this. It would be pure fanwank.

The situation with Alicia is different, but still questionable, I think. The big difference for me I guess is that Alicia couldn't order him to do anything. She could suggest. She could tempt. But ultimately, Red K Clark is going to do what Red K Clark wants to do. End of story.

Still, its a huge violation of trust.
green_grrl
Jun. 15th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
The stupid chuckleheads in charge of SV have referred to this episode as "sexy" and "fun" on more then one occasion.

Wow, I hadn't heard about that. TPTB at Stargate: Atlantis pissed me off with a similar inability to understand why people were upset with the character Lucius they created for an episode. Lucius took a drug that made him irresistible to others, including an entire village full of women who took turns spending nights with him as his wives. In the commentary, TPTB say they don't understand why the guest actor kept adding a dark edge to his performance, because it was a light comedy ep. It makes me think there's something in the water in Vancouver that makes men stupid.
jeannev
Jun. 16th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, they said that a few places. And really, it just makes you scratch your head, because how out of touch can you be? Apparently, very out of touch! But at least that story about SG shows that this sort of stupidity seems to run rampant.
huzzlewhat
Jun. 15th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how I missed this — but I'm glad it popped up on the ledger! You've got a great discussion going on here.

I catagorize what happened to Clark in both "Hypnotic" and "Unsafe" by measuring them against what I would think if those situations (or their real-world equivalent) had happened to me. If someone I didn't know took away my free will and used me that way, damn straight I'd call it rape. And if someone I did know got me drunk to rid me of my inhibitions so that I'd have sex with them, which is the equivalent of what Alicia did with the RedK, I'd call it date rape. No question in my mind. I don't think RedK does allow consent, really — for the same reason that legally (ideally) drunk people are incapable of giving consent, and "She didn't say no!" isn't a defense if she's too drunk to stand.

I compare Smallville and Buffy a lot, because their structure is very similar... and in Buffy, there was a situation in which a woman had her free will taken away from her so that she would obey a guy's every command, and although she snapped out of it before they actually had sex, she called it exactly what it was — rape. The guy who was responsible, Warren, was an outright villain, and the guys who enabled it were bad guys, too. They didn't allow the audience to get away with giving anyone a pass for it.

I do think that TV in general doesn't do very well with consent issues... and do extremely poorly with male consent issues. The only show I've ever seen have a male character react as though he'd been raped after he'd been coerced or drugged into having sex was Farscape, and even then they shuffled it off way too fast. But they gave him that initial reaction, and allowed him to show violation in his body language and his reactions, which was more than I've seen most shows do.
jeannev
Jun. 16th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
Glad you joined the fray. :)

I think for me, the big difference with the Red K is that while it does obscure Clark's judgement (hell, it obliterates it!), no one can force Red K Clark to do what he's not inclined to do. You can't make him kiss you if he doesn't want to. You can't force him to remove his clothes unless he wants to. And its that very thing that makes the difference for me between Unsafe and Hypnotic. Clark literally could not refuse Simone anything she wanted. No matter how sick, depraved, etc.

Now, there can be no arguements that Clark has every single right to feel his trust was completely violated by Alicia.

And I pretty much think Whedon is superior to AlMiles in every single way. I wish SV had been in the hands of someone like him.

And I agree with you, this is an issue that does seem to go beyond SV.
littlehollyleaf
Jun. 15th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
You know what, I suddenly feel awful cos I've never considered this. Prob cos I'm such a major Lex fan and part of my subconscious figures Clark got what was coming to him no doubt :p

You are right, of course, Lex is VERY underhand and down right nasty to Clark here, especially as he himself knows what Simone's actions will put Clark through, her technique being not unakin to Deseriee's.

My Lex Apologist glasses point out one thing immediately of course, which is that Lex has become major paranoid about aliens etc by now (with good reason!). IMO he could genuinely think sending Simone to potentially 'rape' Clark for information is a necessary evil to learn the guy's secret and thereby save the world. I'm not saying it's a sane or right way of thinking, I'm just saving he could have motivation beyond Lana and being evil/spiteful. (soz if it's already been brought up, I haven't read the other comments yet).

Since I have issues with Lex being in 'love' with Lana anyway, it's hard for me to consider any ep which involves his pursuit of her meaningfully, and I'm unlikely to think too deeply about this one once I've left this journal. But you make a good point. Considering he did set Clark up to be violated and Lana to be manipulated, it IS unfair to put the failure of Lexana solely on Lana (however tempting). Lex DID gain her by sneaky and morally dubious means and I will certainly be adding a new point on the 'evil' side of his tally for this where I'd neglected to put one before :p

Since I believe he only went after Lana because he couldn't get Clark and she was easily snaggable and like having him by proxy though, it doesn't really matter how he got her to me. It was never about love, it was about substitution :p It is harsh he let Clark get violated though :( Perhaps he just thought the guy needed to get laid for once :D

Sorry, descended to drivel. I thought I had something else more interesting up my sleeve there but it's late here in the UK and thoughts are slowly seeping away... Good point to raise though, well done. You'll have me pondering on this more in the future...
littlehollyleaf
Jun. 15th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
So, been reading through the comments and I'm frankly feeling a real b**** for not being freaked out by this ep now! The word 'creepy' comes up a lot and it's a fair description. I felt just the same for Lex in Heat when his 'wife' was fooling him around, so I have to ask myself - am I really so rigidly biased that I can't show Clark the same curtesy?

It doesn't help that I pretty much wrote off the show at Reckoning of course, but I've thought of another point that... well, it doesn't make the situation BETTER, but I hope it might put a little bit of a new spin.

See, I think the reason I don't feel bad for Clark in Hypnotic, and possibly the reason he doesn't feel the need to open up about his feelings, is that the sexual whatevers with Simone were potentially something of a necessary release for him. The scene at the Talon with Lana states VERY EXPLICITLY that Clark and her aren't, well, getting any. They both fob this off as unimportant, but the way Clark looks at Lana's ass as she leaves suggests some very real/serious sexual frustration there :p

Now, IMO, Clark is a pretty passive guy. He doesn't act until he's pushed (hopefully this will change ASAP when he moves closer to the big S :p) Anyway, this means he is probably not intending to do anything about this sexual frustration himself. He has probably let it fester far too long already in fact, and he's reluctant to talk to Lana about it even though there's clearly a problem. It's a legitimate problem - he doesn't want to hurt her - I'm not denying that, or saying that he's being unduely WRONG by his silence. It is fully understandable.

What I am saying is, when Simone came along and offered him either sex, or soemthing pretty close, the way I think I've been subconsciously reading it is that she gave him the release HE WANTED. Therefore, although no actual consent was given, I have been viewing this leniently because Clark got what he needed/wanted from Simone anyway. So, my brain has basically been telling me 'no harm, no foul' except to Lana, but since she isn't what Clark needs, and he isn't what she does, her initial angst was unimportant.

I'd like to make very clear right now - I'm not saying this is moral/right/good/acceptable or anything like that. I'm just saying it's another idea to add to the pot. It doesn't take anything away from Lex and Simone's motives - unless you're the kind of Clexer who has Lex forcing Clark's needs onto him, al a forcing medicine down a sick and crying child, which I admit to having a growing kink for ;) (in which case, he was getting Clark laid for his own good here! in reality pretty ridiculous, as a concept, quite fascinating I think...)

It does leave Clark less hard done by, however, I think. Thereby, brushing those pesky issues of rape and consent under the rug. Frell! Have I just HELPED the writers? Oh, kill me now...

Whatever my feelings about this particular ep, I should say everyone here is completely RIGHT about the writers' blantant disreguard of serious issues like rape/consent/sex etc. They ARE handled badly. I mean, even Jonathan Kent gets involved in Heat, but all that's said about the whole sordid thing he and Lex both suffered through is an almost laughed throw-away line about how he and Lex would both prefer to move on from the experience. Really, very poor addressing of the subject of mind-control indeed.
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ladydreamer
Jun. 15th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
Let me begin this comment with this: I think that what Alicia did was attempted rape, I think the "love" scene in Mortal was borderline non-con, I would consider this situation rape if Simone and Clark had sex, the Clana kiss in Crimson was non-con, and however well-meaning Clark is he mindraped Lex. I know the characters know how bad that is, because when Lex might have done the same to Kara, they were abjectly horrified and Clark wanted to be sure that Lex wouldn't know what they'd done to him.

So, no, I have no problem with seeing women in the position of rapist, since this show has such a hard time creating consentual couples. Additionally, Mxyzptlk sexually assaulted Chloe in Jinx, and Lana was sexually assaulted (they kissed) by her mutant bf in Magnetic. This show has a REAL problem with this. Let's go further: Desiree. Would you say Desiree raped Lex? Cause I would. He couldn't say no to her with her powers.

Since my memory is fuzzy, here are Lex's lines to Simone:
Simone: Do I ever get to meet the billionaire boy wonder face to face?

Lex: Well, as much as I'd like to admire you up close and personal I prefer to hold on to my free will. How ís your progress?

Simone: Let's just say Lana Lang won't be sendíng Clark any more Valentíne's Day cards.

Lex: And what about Clark? Have you discovered anything unusual about him?


As you say:
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

I think it's speculation whether Lex wanted Simone to "seduce" Clark. He never says she can, or that she should, and that conversation is off screen. In text, we know that he wants her to 1) Break up the Clana and 2) find out if Clark has powers.

There's the real point of contention, with me anyway, since I agree with you that it was sexual assault or rape (though the final say goes to Clark, but he's fictional, so he can't tell us). Is Lex culpable for things Simone did that he didn't ask her to do? If he suspected she'd seduce Clark (for fun, I'd assume, because with her magic hypno rock, she doesn't have to), then yes to culpablilty to sexual assault. But really, all she would have to do is tell Clark to break up with Lana, and then tell him to show her his powers.

Is it right what he did? No. Of COURSE not. Does it automatically follow that Lex is responsible for Clark's violation? Insomuch as we can say, right out, "Lex sexually assaulted him"? I don't believe so, and I don't think that blind, mob mentality is shaping my perception. Trust me, being a Lex fan or a Chloe fan sometimes is an act in iconoclasm.

So he may have been aware that Simone would assault Clark, which is horrible, or he may not have, which is still bad because he's taking away Clark's will, but a lesser degree of intentionally spiteful behavior.
jeannev
Jun. 16th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
I'm not understanding at all why the love scene in Mortal would be non-con? Which participant was not willing?

Let's go further: Desiree. Would you say Desiree raped Lex? Cause I would. He couldn't say no to her with her powers.

Absolutely, which in my mind just makes Lex's actions all the more heinous. Because he's been in this sort of position before, and it was Clark that came to his rescue, came to him about Desiree before anyone else, and ended up putting Lex out when he was set aflame.

So he may have been aware that Simone would assault Clark, which is horrible, or he may not have, which is still bad because he's taking away Clark's will, but a lesser degree of intentionally spiteful behavior.

But thats the thing...Lex knows Simone can do whatever she wants to Clark, and Clark can't stop it, can't fight back, can't deny her. He also knows that Simone is a murderer, with probably no qualms about doing whatever she pleases with her magic charm. Lex knows this, and yet still aims her directly at Clark.

And if Lex hadn't had some idea about Simone using sex on Clark, then why did he not express outrage when she mentioned what a magnificent kisser Clark was? If Lex had said "I told you not to use sex", then I could cut him some slack on that. Not much, because he should've considered that. But some. But really, Lex didn't seem that surprised to me.


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ladydreamer
Jun. 15th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
moar
In regards to Lex's motivation, I was going to say as littlehollyleaf does that it is not entirely based on self-interest, if you take into account that he has had two major motivations since the beginning of S5, and that is working against dangerous aliens and Lana (protecting or procuring). So I disagree with automatic assumptions that Lex is always working towards wealth, power, and his own gain, because in Oracle and several times in S7 it's been made quite clear what he's up to, and I THINK it's pretty important that if you think someone is a dangerous alien, you get them away from people you care about...

At the same time, the ends don't justify the means, so it doesn't really matter if he deliberately hurt Clark or anyone else with good intentions, as long as he was aware that Clark was gonna get raped. Nor should it matter if Clark willingly mindraped Lex for the "good" reason of finding Kara and Lois. He still DID IT. It isn't okay to do bad things to someone just because they are your enemy, either. Clark has superhearing, supersight, and superspeed. He knows what city she's in. He could have found her.

Even more, we have in S6 Oliver Queen having Lex kidnapped, experimented on, shot, and almost killed (with Lana) because he wants to find out if Lex has powers. Queen gets a clean slate from most people who aren't Lex fans. He shouldn't either. There are a lot of people getting off scott free for some pretty horrible things. I think Lex fans go on the defensive because there are things blamed on Lex, which he is later cleared for, but no one acknowledges that it wasn't his fault or apologizes, and this has been going on longer than he's been knee-deep in finkery. So, Lex fans (or at least me), feel put upon to look at his actions very closely to determine what is good and bad of what he has done, since the show and some fans just mark it all off as bad and selfish.
jeannev
Jun. 16th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
Re: moar
I don't think Hypnotic, and Lex's actions in that episode has anything to do with dangerous aliens. I think it has to do with getting Lana, and hurting Clark. I see nothing to indicate prior to Hypnotic that Lex had become convinced that Clark was a dangerous alien that he had to save Lana from. Although I could certainly see Lex retroactively using that justification to foist blame away from himself and onto someone, or something else.

I think the situation in Fracture is very contrived myself. And obviously the episode was set up the way it was not so much so Clark could run off and save Kara and Lois, but that he could encounter Alexander, and the procedure could be the catatlyst for unlocking Lex's buried memories.

But really, I'm OK with people thinking its not OK. Because it wasn't really OK, good intentions or not. There was absolutely no malice intended towards Lex, and no one was trying to hurt him, but it still wasn't right. But I don't think that was generally glossed over.

But Hypnotic, and what Lex did to Clark and Lana? Rarely, if ever, mentioned or a blip on the radar. And I think it should be. A big, fat blip in fact.

And as far as Oliver is concerned, you've come to the right place. I am no Oliver fan. I find his actions in Sneeze deplorable. I hate that no one ever found out about that. And I hate that the show makes it seem as though Oliver is this wonderful hero who is so much better then Clark, when IMO, he couldn't touch Clark with a ten foot pole. There's no shaking of pom-pom's for Oliver from this gal.

And just my perception, but I think Lex does a lot of skating in the fandom. And he's actually done his far amount of skating on the show itself.
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Re: moar - jeannev - Jun. 16th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: moar - ladydreamer - Jun. 16th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
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tasabian
Jun. 16th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
This is a hard episode to parse because a) it's so extremely stupid and b) the entire premise is founded on how to break up Clark and Lana in a way that leaves Lana a victim.

As a Lex apologist, I'm inclined to think he intended Lana to catch Clark and Simone in a compromising situation but that Simone undertook to try and seduce Clark on her own. I'm basing this on MR's reaction shot when Simone tells him Clark's a good kisser. Lex should look smug that his plan has worked; Instead, Rosenbaum plays Lex looking devastated with tears in his eyes:
http://s101.photobucket.com/albums/m68/elongate/?action=view¤t=hypnotic_232-1.jpg

That doesn't make sense - nor does Simone backing off from sleeping with Clark (or does Clark manage to resist her? She has to re-hypnotize him to get him to attack Lex; he stops in the middle...)

When people say S5 is the best season, I always think of this episode, and "Fanatic" and "Exposed" and "Void" and think "Really???" TW and MR's displeasure with the material radiates through the screen.
jeannev
Jun. 16th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
I certainly won't disagree with you that the episode was stupid, nor that it was designed to leave Lana as victim.

I think the first half of S5 was actually pretty strong. And there are some eps in the 2nd half, i.e. Vengeance, Cyborg, Mercy that are also pretty strong. But overall, I think S5's just "Eh, Ok".
(no subject) - ladydreamer - Jun. 16th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - luminousdaze - Jun. 17th, 2008 02:39 am (UTC) - Expand
jakrar
Jun. 16th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
-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?


First off, both Lex and Chloe were struggling for that gun, and Simone getting shot struck me as more of a happy accident than anything else. Secondly, Chloe was not there to save Lex; she was there to save Clark. And, in "Void," it was my impression that Chloe wasn't trying to save Lex's life so much as she was trying to figure out how to save Lana's. Chloe knew that Lana had almost certainly taken more of the drug, and that she might well have to give her the antidote, so she used Lex as a guinea pig to determine whether her guess about which was the drug and which was the antidote was correct. (Similarly, Chloe healed Lex in "Fracture" solely because it was the only way she could save Clark.)

As for keeping score, don't forget that Lex saved both Chloe and her father -- at extreme risk to his own life -- in "Jitters." And, had it not been for Lex putting a tracer on Chloe and then giving Clark her location (in "Gone," I believe), Clark would not have been in time to help save Chloe from the T-2 assassin Lionel had sicced on her, since there's no way that Lois could have stopped the guy on her own. Also, in "Thirst," Lex produced the cure that not only turned Lana from a vampire back into a human, but also kept Chloe from being turned into a vampire by the effects of Lana's bite. And I dare say there are other instances in which Chloe owes Lex big time. I'd say anything Lex owes Chloe has been more than amply repaid.
jeannev
Jun. 16th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
So then, you would be comfortable with neither of them owing the other anything? After all, its not like Lex saved Chloe and her fathers lives out of the goodness of his heart in Covenant, he got something out of it bigtime. So, if Chloe had ulterior motives, so too did Lex.

I know I'm perfectly comfortable thinking neither owes the other anything. But I honestly don't see a lot of people clamoring that Lex owes Chloe, but I have seen some measure of the reverse.

Oh, and while Lex's actions in Jitters were very heroic, its actually Clark that saves the day there, not Lex. Clark is the one that turns off the gas. Clark is the one that finds the secret room. And Clark is the one that pulls Lex and Earl to safety. Lex acted very bravely tough.
(no subject) - jakrar - Jun. 16th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Jun. 16th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jakrar - Jun. 16th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jeannev - Jun. 16th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jakrar - Jun. 17th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC) - Expand
jakrar
Jun. 17th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
As for the larger issue of rape/sexual molestation in "Hypnotic," I have no idea what did or did not happen between Clark and Simone, but she was solely responsible for it. (And, yes, I would consider it rape or molestation on her part.)

I don't believe Lex is guilty of anything worse than trying to protect the human race by having Simone hypnotize a potential alien threat and ask him some questions about his abilities and true intentions, with perhaps the minor side effect of having her instruct Clark to break up with Lana (possibly just to prove to himself that she must be able to get the truth out of Clark if she could also get him to do something he so clearly did not want to do). Lex had no reason to instruct Simone to force Clark into sex, and I don't believe he would have; we've never seen the slightest sign of Lex condoning rape.
jeannev
Jun. 17th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC)
That just far too much wank for me to be able to respond to.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
(no subject) - jakrar - Jun. 17th, 2008 09:40 am (UTC) - Expand
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