|Clark Kent (Smallville)|
|Powers and abilities:||
|Portrayed by:||Tom Welling|
So what are you, Man or Superman?
|Lana Lang to Clark in Pilot.|
Clark Kent (of Smallville-Earth), is the alter ego of Superman, Earth's greatest hero. Hailing from the planet Krypton, Clark is a super-powered alien who was raised in Smallville, Kansas. He resided there until his early adult years, when he moved to Metropolis. In this universe, his true love is Lana Lang, she is what he will always desire and want...the only reason they're not together is because physically they can't.
I might have been gone a while, but the Clark I know would never doubt himself, he would never waver. He would insist that he could save Chloe's life and the rest of the world.
|A shocked Lana to Clark, after he told her he was willing to let Chloe die.|
Clark can be very hypocritical at time; he has on number of occasion condemned humans and aliens alike for committing acts he himself had committed numerous times. This side of his personality is even more apparent and repugnant when it comes to him being good friends with Oliver Queen, a multi murderer, and him turning a blind eye to Lois Lane bullying and harming others, even their co-workers. These twisted act showed that there is a compassion in Lana that is lacking in Lois and Oliver. Clark used to have it, too, but since he became Superman (and the lost of Lana's influence) he lost his way.
What we have is beautiful.
|Clark to Lana in Requiem.|
Clark and Lana's relationship spanned many years, and has been the source of both happiness and heartbreak for both of them. They fought long and hard to be with each, overcoming obstacle after obstacle and those who have tried to foil them for their own selfish ends. Clark even made it clear to Lois and a number of occasion that Lana comes first in his affections. When Lana aquired the Prometheus suit it seemed like they had finally won, but an old enemy had one more card to play.
A vengeful Lex had Winslow Schott put a kryptonite bomb on the roof of the Daily Planet, forcing Lana to choose between Clark and the people of Metropolis. Lana chose to defuse the bomb to save Metropolis which devastated Clark. This infected Lana's superpowered nanoskin with kryptonite on a permanent basis, and as a result of this, she could no longer be near Clark. Lana left Smallville to protect Clark, and went to go on her own quest in protecting the world.
After, having his true love, Lana, ripped away from him by a malicious Lex Luthor (Lana's ex-husband), Clark gave up on their shared belief that they can and should be allowed to forge their own destiny, and accepted the one everyone was pushing him towards, Lois. The two eventually got engaged and are currently living together. But that too shall not last, as Lois is a normal human woman who will eventually age and die.
Lana has proven time and time again that she has the strength of character to be a hero for Clark, maybe one day she will be able to help him believe again. Plus, as a nigh immortal time is on Clark's side, and might be on Lana's side as well due to her powers.
The relationship between Clark Kent and Lana Lang drives the show Smallville, providing us with key moments throughout the series thus far. Their relationship has left us in suspense wondering when they will finally get together. After a great deal of build up in Season 1 and ‘will-they/won’t-they’ in Season 2, we finally got our moment in “Calling” when they share an honest kiss in Clark’s loft. Even after things fell apart midway through Season 3, they were on track to rekindle the sparks only to be derailed by his cold feet, her running away to Paris and the producers’ interest in keeping them apart. Season 4 built off of this breakdown, allowing the relationship to flounder and remain on life support for much of the first half. Then it bounced back with what seemed to be a vengeance. Season 5 started off with a bang and then went bust. Season 6 languished under a Lex & Lana cloud before the sparks ignited into a Clana romance once more. Season 7 held promise and would have salvaged the romance if other forces had let it. Season 8 held the brief promise of an adult romantic partnership. This is a case of friendship evolving toward a perfect romance if only outside forces would let them do it.
As with everything else on the first season, Clark and Lana’s relationship progressed slowly, developing from friendship toward romance. The obstacles were there of course right from the beginning. Despite the impediments however, their bond strengthens as the episodes progress, sweeping aside all the barriers at least temporarily.
The obstacles come from many fronts. First, there are the dueling love triangles: Clark-Whitney-Lana and Clark-Lana-Chloe. In several cases, tension and ultimately resentment turn into confrontations as can be seen by the “Scarecrow” stunt (Premiere) as well as Chloe’s many remarks. The parental figures impede this relationship as well. Lana’s Aunt Nell does not want them to get together. (Perhaps wishing her to get involved with Lex Luthor?) Jonathan and Martha Kent, while supportive of any relationship, worry about Clark revealing too much in the process. From the couple themselves, there are complications. They both feel torn between their feelings for the others (see above) and themselves. Clark can’t go near Lana while she’s wearing the kryptonite necklace. Lana can’t get near Clark because of his secret. These matters would make a relationship difficult to develop.
The theme of the season is developing trust. When we first see them together, Lana poses the question quoting Nietzsche in the process: ‘are you man or superman?’ While he may not have his full powers yet, Clark proves that he is the ‘Fort Knox of Secrets’. They share things increasingly. Lana introduces him to her parents in the graveyard (“Premiere”). They shout out their frustrations (Hothead). He assures her that she did not damage their friendship (Nicodemus). He urges her to go forward with the Talon and she trusts his word. She trusts him with the necklace (Leech). He rescues her from Greg “the Bug Boy” (“Metamorphosis”), Tina Greer (“X-Ray”), the ice guy (“Cool”), the flower pollen and herself (“Nicodemus”), the crooked deputy (“Obscura”) and the twisters (“Tempest” and “Vortex”).
The deepening bond drives matters too. At first, they are casual friends. (Granted, Clark worships her but he’s trying to be cool about it.) The cemetery scene shows seriousness on both sides. (“Premiere”) Things really heat up when the Nicodemus flower affects Lana’s mind releasing her hidden inhibitions toward things. As with everything else, this is a turning point for her away from the Fairy Princess view and Whitney. (Who can forget that outfit, the diving board cartwheel and the Kiss?) (“Nicodemus”) Other memorable moments include his birthday present to her (“Craving”), the “Look in the Rain” at Mr. Fordman’s funeral (“Crush”), his goodbye to her (“Leech”), his promise to Whitney to look after her and her look back at him (“Tempest”).
Throughout that season, we see that their bond is special and that they belong together. With the cliffhanger at the end of “Tempest”, we know bigger things are about to happen.
Season 2 teased us with the back-and-forth ‘will-they/won’t-they’ attitude toward the Clana relationship as the writers overratcheted the angst. Despite Whitney’s and Nell’s departures, the same issues remain for them along with some new ones.
The romantic obstacles are still there. Chloe is still interested in Clark (despite protesting otherwise). Even as she says that she’s moved on, she still tries to come between Clark and Lana. (See the ‘deal’ at the end of “Dichotic” for instance.) Whitney seems to make a “reappearance”. However, we learn it’s Tina Greer who still has feelings for Lana and uses the kryptonite necklace to deal with Clark in the process. (“Visage”) Clark’s brief liaisons with Kyla Buckwater (“Skinwalker”) and Jessie (“Rush”) not to mention Lana’s attention toward Byron Moore (“Nocturne”) and Ian Randall (“Dichotic”) threaten to derail the relationship. And of course, there’s always Jonathan and Martha’s unwillingness to let Clark share his secret with her.
Other obstacles also loom too. Their trust for each other wavers at times. Lana falters after seeing Clark under the influence of the red kryptonite (“Red” and “Rush”). She also knows that there is more to Clark than he’s letting on. Hurt by this, Clark tries to move on too. Fortunately for Clana fans everywhere, these matters are resolved (for now).
The rescues continue here as well. Clark saves her from the twisters (“Tempest”), Byron Moore (“Nocturne”), the twin Ians (“Dichotic”), Tina Greer (“Visage”), Lucas (“Prodigal”) and Emily (“Accelerate”). In addition, the writers put in an interesting twist having her save him from trouble. Word to the would-be attackers out there—beware of the Spin Kick. (“Precipice”)
Clark’s secret, his reluctance to share it, and Lana’s determination to discern it set the tempo for this season. From the initial episode, she’s set in finding out what he’s hiding from her. The initial speech in the Kent barn (end of “Tempest”), the standoff/riding off scene (end of “Red”) the “hay wagon scene” (end of “Nocturne”) and her wanting to know what happened after the Ship’s explosion (“Exodus”) are prime examples. They know they should stay friends but they love each other too much for that overcoming these issues.
Despite these issues, their bond remains and they support each other at crucial points.
Smallville Season 3 developed in unique and, one might argue from a Clark and Lana fan perspective, very disturbing directions. Whereas the first two seasons emphasized the developing romance between Clark Kent and Lana Lang, the third season held confusion and turmoil as the Ship was rocked by crises, mood shifts, new characters, intervening scenarios and the producers’ unwillingness to let the romance seen in “Accelerate”, “Calling” and “Exodus” continue on long term.
Circumstances in the first seven episodes wiped out the momentum gained in the last part of Season 2. Between the latest appearance by Kal/Bad Clark (Exile) not to mention his pushing her away (Phoenix), Clark ends that romantic phase, breaking both of their hearts in the process. Then Lana makes the anti-FOTW comment against Clark (Extinction). This is followed by the “in your dreams” comment (Slumber) and her physically pushing him away when they’re talking at the fence. Perry White’s visit could have added some grist to this trend, especially after Clark unwittingly leads the reporter into Lana’s presence. (Perry) Toward the end of this cycle, three comments stand out as well. First, while under Seth’s influence, Lana tells him to butt out of her love life. Then she apologizes but tells him she’s not going to wait for him. (Magnetic) Finally, she tells him that he’s dangerous and asks him to stay away. (Shattered)
Of course, there were high points to the first third of the season too. I have to admit that these are some of my favorite episodes for watching Lana as she seems more confident and, despite the situations that keep coming up, she’s sticking up for herself. In each episode, she does so by going after Clark, fighting Morgan Edge’s goons, helping Clark against Van, teaming up with Clark to help Sarah, asserting her dignity in Perry White’s face and most importantly, that conversation in the Loft (Magnetic). She is trying to make this work and wants him to do the same. Clark does come through at some points to save her but he’s torn between hiding and expressing himself—a fact that’s not lost on Lana. And the producers did give us some incredible teases: the Skinny Dipping Scene (from Slumber) and the Joe-Louise romance (from Relic/1961). Who can forget the floating kiss between Joe and Louise? Despite the lukewarm writing at some points, the bond still held strong.
Shattered proved to be a challenge point as the Clark and Lana relationship veered off into a very weird place. Bound and determined to keep Clark and Lana apart, the writers introduced Adam Knight and Alicia into the series. While the Adam arc proved somewhat intriguing, there were those of us who couldn’t wait for it to end. Alicia, for her part, couldn’t hold onto Clark (Obsession). The most telling scene happened in the Talon with Lana’s “look away” from Clark. (Asylum) The Lana and Lex pairing launched in earnest at this point as well, setting things up for the inevitable season-ending surprise. Ironically enough though, instead of breaking under everything, Clark and Lana’s relationship survived and they remained friends. In addition, he actually becomes more sensitive to her needs too. He hears her crying (Whisper), promises to be more sincere (Resurrection), comforts her (Crisis) and considers telling her his Secret (Forsaken).
Despite the looming threat of the Paris art school, the last part of the season held some hints of promise. Clark rescued Lana in dramatic fashion on a few occasions (Hereafter, Obsession, Crisis and Forsaken). Lana makes progress, asserting to Clark that they need a stable set of rules to make their relationship work. This was a perfect parallel to Dr. Swann’s lecture earlier in the episode. (Legacy) Clark almost tells her the Secret (Forsaken) and there is the scene that could have been/shouldn’t have had to happen at the airport (Covenant). The important thing here is that their friendship solidified itself again and was heading back toward romance if certain conditions were met. Importantly, Clark was trying to meet those conditions at several turns. Despite his continued waffling, he was moving toward renewing that link with her.
Maybe sensing this, the writers put in an almost ridiculous set of circumstances guaranteed to make Clark hesitate. The hint of a Clark, Lana and Lex triangle started this, peaking when Clark discovers Lex and Lana talking in the former’s mansion (Forsaken) and the embrace at the airport. (Covenant) Pete’s ordeal misled him back into the “ostrich theory”—‘if I can keep everyone blind to my secret then they’re safe’. (Clark fails to get it. Even if they don’t know his secret, Lana, Lex, Chloe and everyone around him are still in danger.) (Forsaken) Then Talisman had no Clana moments in it at all. And then Kara administers the coup de grace with the “kissing cousins” sequence, keeping Clark from driving Lana to the airport and making him doubt the intentions of Lana and everyone else around him. To add insult to injury, the writers could not even let Clark and Lana have a decent sendoff at the airport. He made the effort to get there. She sees him there. She even gets the flower. How about a hug at least? (Covenant) His hesitation cost him big time in the last few installments here.
In wrapping up, Season 3 did have more for Clark and Lana fans than it initially appears. While the writers did everything they could to make the romance fizzle, the friendship endured and was evolving. Despite the new characters and forces injected into the series to tear them apart, they stayed close. Elements of sensitivity and trust could be seen on both ends but especially on Clark’s end. He learns about responsibility and that his actions have consequences (a trend that starts at the end of Season 2). What is distressing though is that Lana took a huge step backward by running away to Paris. I agree she needs to live her life and experience new vistas. Change and perspective can be marvelous things. However, this experience can also be seen as repeating Clark’s mistake from Exodus/Exile/Phoenix? After talking with Clark about stability and responsibility vis-à-vis their relationship, she backed out and seemed to be grasping at any straw. It’s too bad really because both she and Clark matured as characters and people in this season.
In Season 4, Smallville became increasingly complex, adding plenty of twists for everyone to follow. While Clark continued to discover new aspects of his heritage, Lana’s ancestry reared its ghostly head, impacting the Kansas landscape in a big way. Meantime, both traditional characters’ observations and the new characters’ influence on Clark and Lana made things very (bordering on ridiculously) complicated. Rising from the ashes of Season 3 and surviving the twists and turns, the Clana seemed to peak by season’s end. (Note: If this seems really complicated, I apologize but this is the way the season was for all of us.)
The returning cast affected this trend. Chloe Sullivan, despite repeatedly “being over” Clark, continued to hang close to him even to the point of learning the Secret (Pariah), helping him with amnesia (Blank), taking up cheerleading (Devoted) and sharing the graduation/crisis moment (Commencement). In a return to Season 1 form, she manages to break up potential Clana moments even when she isn’t there directly. (See the non-Chloe appearance in the robe line in Forever for instance. Also she makes the reference to an amnesiac Clark about Lana being “the love of his life” and adding a frown. (Blank)) Likewise, Lex Luthor has developed feelings for Lana as demonstrated in his rivalry with Jason (see and). Although he technically was right that Jasana wasn’t a good thing, he continued to press and protect Lana to the point of smothering her concerning her relations with Lionel and Genieve Teague not to mention trying to buy her attention at every turn. (see the apartment (Gone), the hospital scene (Façade), new uniforms (Façade/Devoted) and the rescue (Commencement). In this way, he’s continuing the trend he established in Season 3. What is new is his pressing her for the power stones at several turns. (See Sacred and Commencement, for instance) Lionel Luthor impedes things for Clark and Lana both with the barn scene in Clark’s body (Transference) and spurring on the “stones game,” using the two teens almost as pawns in a game of possession between himself, Lex, the Teagues, Jor-El and the Countess Isobel. (Transference, Spell, Sacred, Spirit, Blank, Ageless and Commencement among others) Martha and Jonathan Kent, while encouraging him to look forward, also acknowledge the downside of his having to keep the Secret from the world (how that’s affected Clark’s relationships). (In particular, that realization rears its ugly head with the Alicia-Kal debacle (Unsafe). Speaking of Alicia, her reappearance in Unsafe and Pariah dampened the trust between Clark and Lana as well. Jor-El thankfully stayed out of the way for most of the season although the bookend appearances did quite enough. His turning Clark into Kal and stirring up the whole ‘stone game’ in the beginning got the whole mess started. (Covenant-Crusade) His warning to Clark about the bloody stone comes too late to save Lana from ‘blackmailgate’ with Lionel and Lex, the meteors (along with the rest of the town) not to mention whatever’s going to come out of the Ship’s Big Brother (Commencement).
Several new characters slowed the Clana redevelopment by their very presence. First and foremost, Jason Teague followed Lana back from Paris and involving her in a troubling relationship both while he was Smallville High’s football coach and afterwards. After Isobel’s initial possession attempt, he tries to leave but Lana follows him back to college. (Spell) After China, we see that his role was not just the boyfriend but as a player in the “stones game,” working with his mother to get the power stones. (after Sacred-Commencement) His mother, Genieve Teague, strutted onto the scene for six eppies, trying to influence Lana to: stay with Jason (and in the “game”), get the stones through whatever means possible and provide a convenient roadblock between Clark and Lana in the process. (See the ‘ungrateful’ remark in the lodge (Forever).) Ironically, her death and the Pandora’s Box it opened accomplished her goals for Jor-El. (Commencement) The Countess Isobel returned after a 400 year revenge plotting hiatus, possessing Lana to get the stones and giving Clark fits on three occasions. (Spell, Sacred and Commencement). In particular, Isobel delighted in the ‘lovers’ quarrel’ as much as she wanted the stones. (Remember the remark to Clark about “you want this body and this body wants you”? (Spell)) Last but not least, Lois Lane dropped out of Metropolis University and into Smallville, immediately complicating Clark’s life and getting (it seemed) all of the supporting roles and usurping Clark’s bedroom for much of the season. While there are many examples, the whole Clark-Lois-Lana thing can be summed up in two scenes from Gone: Lana’s seeing Clark and Lois together at the farm when she gets back from Paris and Lana’s concession speech vis-à-vis the future. (And don’t look now but the Producers are bringing Lois back again. Terrific<sigh>) These characters complicated things for our shippers (and the Smallville landscape) as a whole.
As for Clark and Lana themselves, they have big issues to settle for themselves. He’s still struggling with his heritage and its affect on the future. As noted earlier, Lana’s struggle with Isobel as well as the latter’s talents made things difficult for her and those around her. Foremost among those though is the whole trust issue. While he would like to be her friend again after she returns from Paris, she still is guarded. (Gone) The relationship with Jason creates tension in this regard too. This emotional strife—caused by his discovery of the Jasana deal—compels her to push Clark into a promise not to reveal anything. (Transference) When Lex revealed the relationship, she blames Clark. (Jinx) Lionel’s actions while in Clark’s body both at the high school and in the Kents’ barn provided still more kindling for the mistrust. (Transference) At more than one point, she gets defensive, talking to Clark about Jason as if the latter were Whitney Fordman. (In this way, we’ve regressed to Season 1 again.) Clark’s apparent refusal to help her after the first Isobel incident drove her back into Jason’s arms again. (Spell) Earlier, he doesn’t help her, setting up the whole distancing thing between them. (Gone) His apparent lack of interest about her condition while she was in the hospital was jarring to say the least. (Devoted) The writers play on her potential rejection of him in the dreamscape. (Scare) Alicia’s appearance amplifies this stance on Lana’s part. (Unsafe-Pariah) As late as Krypto, she’s still distrustful of Clark.
Despite these tensions (and everything the writers threw at them), the bond gradually reformed between them. Even when he’s in “full Kal mode,” she feels his actions. (Crusade) She trusts him enough to ask for his help on returning from Paris. (Gone) Despite her desperation to keep the relationship going with Jason and not repeat her mistakes with Clark, she doesn’t tell him to stay away. They’re still talking despite everything. In spite of his feelings, he defends her to Lex. (Jinx) I think the turning point is Spell. At this point, she realizes that almost everyone around her is interested not in her but the “stone game”. She turns to Clark once again (Spell). His feelings for her are evident both when Lana shows up at the Kent Farm, when he and Chloe visits the hospital and the latter two are in Lana’s apartment. (Chloe’s comment: love isn’t something you ease out of.) Lana also talks to Clark about Jason, trusting him for advice. (Love his quote here in response to her query about being shallow: “Maybe he needs to get to know you as well as I do.”) (Scare) When he offers his help and accompanies her to China, you can almost see their defenses lowering bit by bit during the trip. (The bump/“accidental” look they share in Shanghai put everyone on notice—the Clana magic was on its way back.) After their return, she talks to him about Isobel and the effect that have something hidden can have on a person and their relationships. He also sacrificed his feelings for her benefit twice: by keeping the whole Jasana thing quiet and by giving her the opportunity to get out of the Prom date Dawn had arranged. (Transference and Spirit) Both times he faces Isobel, he’s more concerned about Lana than himself—a tendency that the spirit uses to his advantage. (Sacred) When he loses his memory, she talks with him about things, dealing with her own pain in the process. (Blank) He’s worried about her when she disappears during Brennan’s ‘collecting activity’ and during the second meteor shower. (Forever and Commencement) (Although this does get lost during the chaos related to the latter.)
In a move almost reminiscent of Season 2 (and driven more than likely by ratings pressure), the Clana bond turns romantic once more. Although we see glimmers of this throughout the first half of the season, the episodes following Sacred really show a progression. (The writers teased us with kisses by Lionel/Clark, Isobel/Lana and Jason’s nightmare about Clark and Lana in the Loft, leading one to wonder if something more was coming.) (Transference, Spell and Scare) After several episodes where they hardly speak directly to each other, the relationship blossoms once more. In Onyx for example, when he says she’s seen him at “his worst,” she replies that she’s seen him at “his best” and gives him a warm look. Then he calls her to warn about “Evil Lex” and we hear real concern in his voice. (Also Onyx) The whole matter related to the Prom also brought this feeling out. Both don’t want to go because they envision themselves only dancing with the other. After a lot of “will they/won’t they” throughout the week leading up to the dance, Lana makes a dramatic entrance literally sweeping Clark off of his feet. The Prom Dance was truly something special and watching it, we knew that Jason was officially history. (Spirit) The whole heat vision/fire thing flared up (pun intended) when an amnesiac Clark saw Lana in the Talon, reminding us of early Season 1 and Heat while putting him back in “worship mode”. In addition, he states to her twice that “this time would be different.”(Blank) The whole “parenting” experience with Evan solidified things further (especially for Lana). Had to love the way she was looking at Clark throughout the eppie and the Hug at the end. (Ageless) The flashbacks to freshman year (both literal and memories) harkened back to those simpler times and their feelings. This is something that Brennan picks up on and tries to use against Clark. (Façade and Forever) Clark and Lana also realize that they’re both staying in Smallville, albeit for their own reasons but they also share the bond too. (Chloe’s remark about things never changing lends emphasis to this fact.) (Forever) Last but not least, there is the scene in the barn at the end. Before the meteors hit, she gives him the stone to let him find a piece of himself and guard it. In a move completely turning “Exodus” on its ear, she tells him good bye and leaves. Of course, the pivotal moment in that concerns a revelation. In that moment, they admit their feelings for each other and share a kiss! (Commencement) Thus, the relationship has bloomed once more.
So where will they go from here? Obviously, this season’s twists and turns not to mention the multiple complications muddied the waters where Clark and Lana were concerned. They went through a great deal and realized a lot about themselves and each other. In particular, she learns what it means to live with a secret. Could this be a building block toward her (finally) learning the Secret? Who knows (where these writers are concerned)? Jonathan and Martha seem to be leaning toward letting Clark tell her. With Lois, Chloe and Lex still in the picture, the picture grows more complex. Lionel—if and when he comes out of the coma—now knows everything. Who or what is going to come out of the Ship’s Big Brother to confront Lana and everyone else? There are spoiler hints about a new villain that’s really a big deal. <Great (sigh….)> Most importantly though, will Clark and Lana have a chance to stay together and explore their feelings this time? Or is this another insidious tease by the writers to get ratings? We’ll have to wait and see where the show goes once it picks up in late September/early October.
Season 5 chronicled yet another high to low cycle for Clark and Lana’s relationship. Launching off of the “farewell scene” from Commencement, Clark and Lana dominated the season’s first quarter before various factors combined to drag it down and finally drove it into a virtual coma.
Clark and Lana’s mutual ability to trust (or not to trust) each other pushed the relationship from high to low. He sacrificed his powers (Arrival, Mortal and Hidden). He defied Jor-El for her. He even pushed back time itself to save her. (Reckoning) She defended him against Lex at the start (Hidden and Reckoning among other places). She anguished over his near death. (Hidden) She actually learned about his powers and learned what it was like to be him. (Thirst) Love scenes pervade early on as well such as in the hospital (Arrival), the Smallville countryside and Kent barn in addition to the Talon apartment (Mortal) and the bedroom scene. Still, after that point, the return of his powers fueled Clark’s waffling once more. From the end of Hidden onward, he goes back on the promise he made to her during Season 4. (Remember, “No more secrets? No more lies? This time it’ll be different?”) Granted, he was trying to protect her but to quote Lex, “a relationship built on lies can’t last.” He vacillated between pushing her away and trying to pull her back toward himself. The aforementioned time “reboot” from Reckoning illustrated the point. Instead of going to Chloe and talking about the problem, why didn’t he bring Lana into it instead? Why couldn’t he take her hand at his father’s funeral? Why didn’t he thank her more properly after her finding the watch? Heck, for that matter, why didn’t he reach out to her? If anyone knows about grieving for a parent, it's her. (Vengeance) Why did he not trust her to help more with Victor (Cyborg)? Why didn’t he take the opportunity to explain what happened with Simone instead of breaking her heart and the relationship? (Hypnotic) Of course, his behavior touched several of her nerves and led to some key arguments between them. For example, the silver kryptonite induced craziness didn’t help matters. (Sliver) Hypnotic’s scene where Lana watched the Clark/Simone scene (much as Chloe did earlier) was heart breaking. By the season’s last sweep, however, the relationship seemed dead. They could barely deal with each other much less speak to one another. Lana summed this up when she asks “how could I ever have loved you?” in the finale. What had started with such awesome promise was now dust.
Of course, Lex’s jealousy of Clark’s good fortune and his machinations eroded Lana’s faith in Clark even as it built himself up in her eyes. Lex could be blamed for the three escapees (Mortal), the reversal of the Clana betrothal (Reckoning), bringing Simone into the picture (Hypnotic) not to mention bringing Lana into the whole Ship investigation (pick an eppie from the first half of the season). He worked on both Clark and Lana, angering them and preparing himself to jump in at the first opportunity. Clark misinterpreted her interactions with Lex on at least two occasions (Sliver and Lockdown). Lex did undermine Clark in front of Lana on at least one occasion in regards to Chloe’s escape from Belle Reeve (Tomb). And Lex of course was more than ready to pounce on Lana at her most vulnerable point following the Simone/Clark episode. In a way, the Zod-Lana kiss with Clark watching summed up the situation at season’s end: Lexana with Clark on the outside looking in.
The supporting cast carried its share of both credit and blame for these developments. To her credit, Martha provided a steadying influence as needed. She supported the relationship during the high times. But she also warned him that he’d created a monster after the break up. (Hypnotic) Jonathan inadvertently did more to break things up through his continued paranoia concerning the Secret, the pressure of the senatorial race and inadvertently his death. Chloe continued to vacillate in almost schizophrenic fashion week to week (and even within the same episode) between being Clark and Lana's Advocate General and co-their Public Enemy Numero Uno (with Lex). Jor-El pressured Clark where the relationship was concerned at several key points. Ironically, Lois has her helpful moments in this regard too. (Those are in between the ones where she’s trying to be clever.) Lex’s role in this drama has already been noted above.
Guest stars and recurring new characters influenced matters as well. Milton Fine (Brainiac) played on Clark’s doubts and threw several kinks into the relationship, toying with it in accordance with his own designs. The silver kryptonite mentioned earlier was one example. (Sliver) Lillian Luthor encouraged Lex’s machinations through the dreamscape. (Lex-Mas) Victor Stone and his girlfriend, Katherine, actually provided a positive example albeit one that was too late. (Cyborg) Simone’s seduction of Clark proved to be the last straw. (Hypnotic) And General Zod’s kissing Lana while Clark was trapped proved to be the icing on the cake.
While developing the story in other ways, Season 5 wasted its potential. In keeping with AlMiles’ mantra to push Smallville over to the Dark Side, the writers destroyed the good things rising out of the Kansas prairie following the second meteor shower. Chief among them, Clark and Lana’s relationship seemed so bright. They had everything going for them (or so it seemed). However, Fate (and their jealous cohorts) conspired against them for their own differing agendas. It even seemed that Earth and Krypton combined efforts in this regard. However powerful the opposition was, Clark’s own demons provided them with their opportunity. If he could have trusted Lana with his Secret and let her stand by her as a true partner, the split never would have happened. She gave him chance after chance in that regard. He could not take advantage of it. She only ran to Lex after Clark pushed her away. In a way, the destruction related to Dark Thursday (as it was called in Season 6) offered an apt picture.
What had been so beautifully crafted in the midst of rebuilding now laid in ashes amidst the destruction and utter chaos at the end. And Clark could only blame himself for allowing Lex to succeed in that way. With faith and trust between himself and Lana, they could have overcome anything in their path.
Season 6, what Clark and Lana learn and their personal growth drove this season’s development. Fresh off of the events at the end of Season 5, Clark and Lana reacted emotionally—not trusting themselves or each other. Each one had to deal with the respective issues they had uncorked during the previous season(s). As the season wore on, they came back to each other before tragedy struck. (Phantom)
During the first half of the season, distrust and separation remained the theme. Lana refused to trust Clark; her pain driving her further and further into Lex’s arms. Within too short a period of time, she went from being a house guest, to Lex’s confidant, arm ornament (Reunion) and becoming pregnant. (Then again, Lex had been trying to get to her since Season 1. As he admitted at several points, he wanted what Clark had. Lana was top on that list.) She admitted to Chloe about feeling Clark’s ghost lingering and to have issues with her own self-identity. (Wither) Her hostility toward Clark appeared at several points. She asked Lionel and Martha where he was and told them that Clark talked with Chloe about killing Lex. (Zod) She questioned his motives to rescue Lex. (Sneeze) At the medical center, she told him to stop making excuses and just be honest. (Fallout) She won’t tell him about the impending pregnancy when he asked about it. (Rage) Clark is tied up with dealing with the Zoners not to mention his feelings toward the Lexana union. He told Martha that he can’t talk to Lana anymore. (Zod) He repeated this to Chloe later. (Sneeze) Then there were the confrontations between Clark and Lex concerning Lana at the greenhouse (Wither), the medical center (Reunion) and at the Luthor Mansion (Subterranean and Hydro). While these trends continued, this point clearly represented the low point of the season.
The next few episodes sparked a complex reawakening of the Clark and Lana connection. Lana’s questioning of Lex’s motivations and the sudden pregnancy made her question her feelings. Even as she sent Clark away when he asked about her problem, we could see she wanted to tell him even if she wasn’t ready to trust him yet. (Rage) Linda Lake’s article on her, Lex and Clark stirred Lana’s feelings. (Hydro) In the Talon, she listened as Clark told her about the engagement ring from Queens Market. Rather than be hostile, she was warm and cordial. She looked back to him while walking out with Lex. (Labyrinth) Even in the Loft, she told Kal that she had given him every chance and that she “wasn’t a competition” but didn’t run away. One might argue that was a true turning point between them. (Crimson) She confronted Tobias and asked him to stop identifying meteor infected people so as to protect Clark. (Freak) And Lionel had to blackmail Lana so that she wouldn’t leave Lex and run off with Clark. (Promise) Her need to know his secret resurfaced here as well. (Remember how she was early in Season 2? As Chloe said, “She’s been orbiting [Clark’s] secret for years, she may have just come in for a landing.” (Trespass)) She pressed Chloe about her conversation with Lake concerning Clark. (Hydro) She saw Lex stab Kal and the blade crumpling on impact. (Crimson) She considered the crumpled blade again and looked at Chloe’s laptop. (Trespass). She found a crumpled bullet deflected *behind* her and showed it to Clark. (Freak) Finally she trapped Chloe in the wine cellar and watched Clark reveal both the Secret and his feelings for her. (Promise) While Clark always held strong feelings, his vacillating between duty and lament ceased at this point as well. As with Lana, Lake’s article on the Lex/Lana/Clark triangle stirred feelings. (Hydro) The psychiatric nightmare dreamscape brought a version of the old Clana scene for Clark and us to consider. In that case, he would’ve been with Lana on the farm and a fairy tale ending (or so that Zoner would’ve had him think). Still being with Lana strongly tempted him. (Labyrinth) Kal’s crashing of the engagement party and kidnapping Lana showed how strong the feelings were when totally released. (Crimson) He dreamed of killing Lex to save Lana from marrying him. He talked to his mother concerning knowing who the One is. (This was one of several key conversations between Clark and Martha in this regard.) He talked to Lana and almost got her out of the marriage. Both he and Lana showed shock and regret over the vows. Then there was the conversation at the church between Clark and Lana where she wouldn’t tell what Lionel had done. (Promise) Finally before and after he defeated Titan, Clark feels angry and empty about the wedding. (Combat)
The final third of the season, despite the apparent Lex and Lana triumph, undid the earlier snarls and greased the way for the Clark and Lana comeback. First, Lana’s miscarriage eliminated the hold Lex had over her. (Progeny) Then she discovered that Clark’s suspicions of Lex were true all along and that she couldn’t trust him. Lionel’s blackmail seemed to backfire on him and Lex both. She became more assertive in her dealings. She only revealed the backdoor to the tunnels after finding out Clark AND Lex were down there. She forced an answer (albeit a lie) out of Lionel when he was injured. (Nemesis) She spied on Lex and Senator Burkhart putting more pressure on their relationship. She relayed that information onto Clark. Later she told Lex, “I would never betray the man I love.” Too bad for Lex, she was speaking about Clark and not him. (Prototype) She did leave Lex shortly thereafter. (Phantom) Clark found that with Lex “distracted” by Project Ares, he had an easier time getting to Lana. After the miscarriage, Clark and Lana talked about her future. He offered to help her get out of it. (Progeny) Then there was the hug and moment following the escape from the Kryptonite death tunnels. (I’ve often said Clark would go through a meteor minefield and overhyped interlopers for her. In this case, it worked out that way.) (Nemesis) Clark showed concern once again following her being shot. (Noir) Then came the Scene in the Loft. Lana said good bye but not before Clark begged her in every which way not to and even revealed who and what he is to her. He also found out about Lionel’s blackmail. After finding out that she DOES love him, he took off after Lionel to get answers. When her blazer blew up, Clark flew off the handle and went to kill Lex. (Too bad Lionel and the Phantom/Bizarro got in the way.) (Phantom)
The Clark and Lana's rescue quota was fulfilled by both parties. Clark rescued Lana from Zod (Zod), the burning building (Sneeze), the crazed obsessed bodyguard (Trespass), Lex’s henchman (Freak), and the Belle Reeve escapee (Progeny). He attempted to save her from an unknown problem (the pregnancy) in addition to her marriage. (Rage/Hydro/Crimson/Promise/Progeny) He failed to save Lana from the blazer explosion. (Phantom) In one case, however, he did put her on the backburner to deal with Zoner issue in Seattle. (Static) Lana returned the favor by telling Tobias not to identify meteor enhanced people especially Clark (Freak), by showing the back entrance to the meteor lined tunnels (Nemesis) and by submitting to Lionel’s blackmail. (Promise and thereafter) As these examples showed, despite the vacillating feelings on both parties’ parts, their commitment to each other remained strong. This was especially true toward the end of the season.
The rest of the cast played instrumental roles in moving this process albeit in one direction or another. Lex, as the third point in the writers’ triangle, confronted Clark at several points about Lana, famously barring access to her on several occasions earlier in the season. Once he’d engineered the apparent Lana pregnancy and wedding, his attention returned to 33.1 and later Project Ares. After that point, Clark and Lana’s relations edged him further and further in the picture. Martha had several key conversations with Clark concerning his relationship with Lana and the mess with Lex. During these interactions, whether it was that ‘it was affecting him’ (Wither), ‘to leave it alone’ (Crimson) ‘get over it or your anger will always be there’ (Combat) or ‘to pursue his feelings’ (Promise), she helped Clark to explore his feelings in an adult manner. Meantime, Lois had her input (as if she wouldn’t have?) Her season highlight was in telling Clark that if he felt for someone the way he does for Lana, she’d never have let the person go. (Hydro) Oliver Queen earned a few stripes for supporting Clark early in the season and pushing him outside of his comfort zone where Lex was concerned. In fact, one can argue that the JLA’s attack on the Ridge Facility pushed Lex into stepping up his super soldier experiments and distracting him from Lana. (Justice) Chloe, despite trying to help Clark and Lana get past each other, actually pushed them back together. She allowed them to see each other at the Daily Planet. (Rage) She put the full court press on Clark to help Lana during the static incident. (Static) She told Lana to talk to Clark about the past. She allowed Lana to overhear her conversation with Lake concerning Clark’s secret. (Hydro) She hinted that Clark was still haunting Lana to the latter. (Crimson) She told Clark that he needs to pull Lana out of the marriage and be the hero. (Promise) She reminded Clark that they can’t do anything against Lex until Lana was out of the way. (Progeny/Prototype) She reassured Clark not to give up on Lana where the marriage and her motivations were concerned. (Nemesis)
After the damage done in Season 5, it took most of Season 6 to stabilize the situation. New characters (re: Oliver) had to feel their way into their roles. Other characters (Martha, Lois and Lex) increased their influence and modified their roles. Ironically, Chloe became even more central in the Clark and Lana dynamic. But everyone needed to grow and feel their way out of the mess they’d mired themselves in. For Clark and Lana, this was especially true. The Zoners, Lex and Lana's marriage, Lionel’s blackmail and the Secret distracted them. At the heart of the matter lay regaining of trust in the relationship. Both parties needed to grow and develop. Both needed to become harder to deal with the situations. It was too bad that Lana had to leave because questions persist. And the blazer blowing up only seems to cut off that avenue.
As Smallville turned from Season 6 to Season 7, Lana’s leaving Smallville created a potential splitting with Clark. Her blazer exploding and taking her with it destroyed anything. (Phantom) Even if she somehow survived, Lex’s and Lionel’s continued manipulations would seem to keep them apart. But even those disasters couldn’t stop Clark and Lana from reuniting. Season 7, as much as Season 5’s first half, concerned itself with a Clark and lana's romance. However, this time Lana knew the Secret and was a full part of Clark’s Earth and Kryptonian dealings.
The romance burned brightly for the first third of the season. Even before she returned, Clark and Lana both shared a mutual look and wish upon the Moon. (Bizarro) Then almost in answer to the passionate parting season mentioned above, their reuniting in the Kent Barn stirred the heart strings. As Lana touched his shoulder, Clark knew it was her and the awesome embrace following it. The subsequent discussions concerning Kara and his own powers revealed a growth as a couple. Clark finally had accepted Lana’s ability to know and deal with the secret. She also offered Clark some insight on his own experiences around her and on Kara’s needs. As she said, “Your parents trusted you. Shouldn’t Kara have the same chance? You’re never going to understand the heart of a teenage girl whether she’s from Earth or Krypton.” The fair date at the end was wonderful too. Clark reassured her that he still felt the same for her no matter what. Lana replied that she came back to Smallville for him and wanted to grow old with him. (Fierce) Lana makes breakfast for him and speaks to Kara on the nature of Earth/Kryptonian relations. She also dug up knowledge on Knox for him. (Nice to see someone besides Chloe doing that for a change.) The scene at the end with her arranging the flowers showed more of her making herself at home around the farm.(Cure) After dealing with the whole Rachel/Warrior Angel situation, Clark reassured Lana that everything he wanted was right there and he wasn’t going anywhere. (Action) He trusted her with the secret of the crystal and Lara’s DNA. (Lara) The horse race, picnic, truffles and the attempts to help her deal with borrowed powers also showed his dedication. (Nice comic relief by the writers concerning the tremors around Smallville when they were getting intimate. I also enjoyed watching Chloe’s face when she found out what they were doing.) He defended her with Lex later too. Both sides confronted each other about their respective shortcomings. (Wrath) Lana even got Lara’s approval of being around Clark. (Blue) She reevaluated things so as to make herself a better partner even if it was Bizarro and not Clark.
Bizarro’s reappearance/usurpation of Clark’s life, role and romance presented yet another dimension. During their initial clash in the forest, Bizarro told Clark he wanted the other’s life. (Bizarro) After Jor-El imprisoned Clark in the Fortress, Bizarro actually made the most of that opportunity. He actually offered Lana a more “open” version of Clark—one that was not so hung up on the big moral issues or consequences. As the Martian Manhunter warned Clark, the Phantom grew up without any love shown to it. Consequently it hated everyone and craved survival. (Phantom) However Lana brought out the best in it. For the first time in his existence, it knew love and affection. Bizarro wanted it and milked the opportunities for all they were worth. She told him that she had time to reevaluate things so that she could be a better partner. He wanted to be on same page as her. They worked together at Isis and at the Planet to save Chloe. But unlike the way Clark and Lana were with each other, Bizarro and Lana actually collaborated comfortably. (In a twist, Chloe’s the one having issues with Bizarro over the key.) The romantic scenes between them showed that Bizarro had indeed fit into Clark’s life and, in some ways, was living it better. (Gemini/Persona) As a matter of fact, they talked of taking care of loose ends and leaving Smallville. It was only after Brainiac instigated the search for Dax-Ur, a long lost Kryptonian scientist, that Bizarro’s masquerade came apart. Chloe suspected that something was wrong. Jor-El released Clark from the ice prison. Clark told Lana about Bizarro. Lana justifiably freaked out when she discovered the truth. Later, at the Queen Tower, Lana was faced with a terrible choice between Clark and Bizarro. She actually loved them both. She admitted that the carbon copy had made her happier than she’d been with Clark. However she still did the right thing and eliminated Bizarro with the blue kryptonite. Ironically, Lana had said in Season 6 that she wasn’t a competition. (Crimson) Now she actually took part in one. The last scene at the end revealed a lot about the couple. Lana ached for Clark to be as open and sensitive with her as Bizarro had been. Clark couldn’t believe that Lana didn’t know that it had been Bizarro and not him. (Persona) (One could argue that the Phantom tapped into Kal when it created its Bizarro self—the one part of Clark not inhibited by hang ups and such. He was a villain. But I have to say that I actually felt sorry for him at the end. And to make Lana choose like that was a cruel twist even if defined things. At least he helped both Clark and Lana to see their own shortcomings and to move toward dealing with them.)
The couple’s polarizing issues and agendas interfered with and dampened the bond. Lana’s revenge kidnapping of Lionel and spying on Lex through Isis caused friction. (Fierce-Siren) The stolen ten million dollars ruffled Clark’s feathers momentarily although she lied her way around that. (Cure) Admittedly, after years of getting on Clark about not being truthful, she turned around and did the same thing. Her use of her powers to get at Lex brought out Clark’s judgmental side. Repeatedly throughout the season, she also has a sense that Clark has a bigger destiny than just being with her. (Action/Arctic) As she responded to his accusations about her motives, “I sound like you [not Lex].” Furthermore she supposed he had crossed a moral boundary or two at some point to save the people he cared about. (Wrath) He confronted her after finding out about Isis and her spying on Lex. Furthermore he accused her of loving Bizarro and not being able to face herself because of that and her own darkness. She told him to think how it would feel to wake up every morning knowing that you were going to fail in the eyes of the only person you’ve ever loved. (Siren) As with most seasons, Clark’s missteps impeded the romantic progress. She found him in the Loft with Rachel and insinuated, “I hope you save some of those lines for me.” (Action) Lana has to remind him of the other point of view concerning Kara. As Lana says albeit in a warm/helpful and not in a hostile way, “You will never understand the heart of a teenage girl whether she’s from Earth or Krypton.” (Fierce) In a way, that summed things up. He left for the Fortress and left her vulnerable to Bizarro among others. His guilt over how he’d helped to bring Lana to that point also weighed on him and distanced him further from her. He was so overwhelmed by her having abilities that he had no confidence to teach her how to use them much less deal with her as an equal partner. In fact, even from the start, he looked at her enhanced state as a threat instead of the blessing it should have been. (Wrath) His insecurities over her month long tryst and sharing secrets with Bizarro pushed things to the boiling point as well. This prompted Lana to stay with Chloe for at least a while. (Siren) The rift here illustrated each person’s insecurities in themselves and their continued need to grow toward a future. Each one has big time trust and affection issues toward the other, the world and themselves. Consequently, they had to confront these issues and resolve them before the relationship could move forward.
Despite the problems, Clark and Lana were moving beyond them and toward each other once more. Before he was trapped in the Fortress, he assured her that she wasn’t as far gone as she feared. (Blue) As she prepared to leave for Chloe’s apartment, Clark admitted to what Kal did in Metropolis several years earlier. Furthermore he told her he didn’t want their relationship to be over. (Siren) Combined with her continued soul searching, that might have been enough to save the relationship. She helped Clark to find out about Project Intercept. The kiss before he went under showed emotion there. (Fracture) She stopped Kara from going through Clark’s things and even lied for him. (Hero) She told Lionel that Clark saved her from the abyss. (Siren) She and Chloe pulled out all of the stops to get Kara back. (Traveler) After Brainiac infected her, Clark did the same for her. (Veritas-Arctic) In fact, the scenes over the last six episodes illustrated his concern and love for her: the hand burning on the pot and the scene at the hospital (Veritas), telling Chloe he put spending time with her before anything else (Descent/Sleeper) and feeling responsible for the situation—since he did release Brainiac in the first place (Apocalypse). The scene where Clark played her ‘good bye’ DVD was painful. Lana was crying as she had taped it. Clark was crying as he watched it. The pain of two lovers being separated loomed large. (Arctic) Once again, it showed how true love was working before factors within the show’s universe conspired to foil it.
The rescue quota was filled once again. It could be argued that Lana rescued Clark from the doldrums by returning to Smallville. (Fierce) She continued to confront Lionel after her return in that regard. She played a big role in rescuing him from the Kryptonite cage. (Traveler) Clark rescued her from the big fall off of the skyscraper. (Action) He did shield her from trouble during the abilities-deal albeit with less faith than he should have had. (Wrath) He stepped between her and Zor-El at the Queen Tower. (Blue) He did stop Brainiac and reversed her condition. (Arctic)
In addition, other characters’ issues got in the way too. Lionel’s use of blackmail continued from the previous season before Lana put a stop to it. (Siren) Rachel was getting a little too close for comfort with Clark before redeeming herself by saying that Lana was good for him. (Action) Oliver insinuated that Clark was spending too much time in domestic bliss rather than saving the world. (Siren) The Martian Manhunter reminded Clark that Lana wouldn’t be around forever and that he should be accomplishing his bigger goal. (Cure) Kara had already delivered the same message previously. (Fracture) Jor-El kept pressing his bigger training goal for Clark over his Earthly life and imprisoned him. (Blue-Persona) Bizarro, as noted earlier, tried to take Lana for himself. (Gemini/Persona) Brainiac infected Lana and used it against Clark. (Veritas-Arctic) Lex interfered on several levels before fixating on Kara. First he asked Lana if Clark would approve of her dirty money. (Fierce) He told Clark about the stolen money. (Cure) Then he told Clark about ISIS and insinuated that Clark shouldn’t trust her. Then he kissed her and asserted that she still had feelings for him. He told Clark that they both had a role in making her that way but Clark started it. He added that hate is stronger than love. (Wrath) Chloe also put the world and arguably her own jealousy over her friends’ happiness. Much as in previous seasons, Chloe couldn’t pass up being the buttinsky. She made a big deal over the tremors and then over Lana’s powers playing on Clark’s fears in the process. She revealed Isis to Clark despite having Lana’s trust to the contrary. She all but told Lana that the latter was no good for him. (Wrath) And why was it Chloe who spoke to Jor-El about Kara and loving Clark? THAT WAS LANA’S ROLE! (Traveler) She kept reminding Clark not to spend so much time with Lana and more on Brainiac. (Descent/Sleeper/Apocalypse) As in previous seasons, other characters’ agendas interfered with the romance here.
Season 7 represented promise impeded by internal and external strife. Clark and Lana, after so many attempts to do so earlier, built on their relationship. They survived the trauma caused by their respective issues and outlooks. They grew together as a couple. They were moving forward. It is a pity that others’ agendas contrived to rip them apart for their own ends.
Despite Brainiac’s efforts to the contrary, it was not “too late” for Clark and Lana’s relationship at the end of Season 7. As always, forces remained at work where the two lovers were concerned. However, in this incarnation, the couple faced their issues not just as insecure teenagers or people in mid-transition but as adults. They were adults mindful of the world’s needs as well as their own. Season 8’s ‘Lana Arc’, no matter how brief, illustrated the tragic consequences of true love being foiled by others’ selfish ends.
Before they could meet up again, Clark and Lana each needed to go through their own transitions. Clark lost and then regained his powers. Before the latter happened, he was dying. At that point, he saw his parents and Lana, telling the audience that he was still in love with her. Despite his announcement of passing onto the next level of his life at the Daily Planet and Metropolis to the Martian Manhunter, he still had his feelings. (Odyssey) He established his dual identity as journalist by main trade and the ‘Red Blue Blur’ by night. (Come on. Just call him Superman already. As Lightning Lad asked, ‘Where’s the cape?’ (Legion) ) He needed to develop relationships with Oliver Queen, Tess Mercer and (even) Lois Lane. Lana escaped from Lex’s goons following her making the “DVD telling Clark to move on”. (Arctic/Power) Continuing the transformation from the previous two seasons, she cut her hair—both to disguise herself and to symbolize leaving the girl behind for the hardened woman. Then in a move befitting a survivor, Lana trained with a modern day sensei to become hardened and prepped for the next time she got power. She was preparing to steal the Prometheus suit at that point. (Power) The reminders about Chloe’s wedding from Oliver and Chloe herself were unexpected. As she admitted herself to Clark, Lana just managed to work up the nerve to show up again and see him. (Bride) This growth process would lead to one last romantic spark.
As in other seasons, the Clark and Lana vs. the World theme constantly rained on the couple’s parade even as it was going on. As noted above, Clark had confided to the Martian Manhunter on this score. (Odyssey) Lana’s trainer told her that to hang onto Clark made her vulnerable. (Power) Just before Doomsday crashed Chloe’s wedding, Lana told Clark that things were working out as they should and that “maybe Clark Kent and Lana Lang weren’t meant to be together.” She told him to go look for Chloe instead of hanging out with her at the medical center. (Bride) When Lana asked Saturn Girl about the Clark and Lana future, the latter answered, “that’s for you and Clark to decide.” Saturn Girl added that Lana is known for far more than her relationship with Clark. That she had her own destiny to fulfill. (Legion) When they’re sharing coffee at Metropolis General, Lana supposed Clark was turning heads in his suit. Chloe reminded Clark of the “Other Woman” (Lois) and warned him not to achieve closure at her expense. Before their late night/early morning kiss at the Talon, Clark and Lana wondered about their future before he pushed the notion away for that night at least. (Bulletproof) Clark however was still wondering if that was the right thing on the next morning. At that point, Chloe caught him watching the “DVD” again. Yet they decided to start a life together once Lana was his physical equal. (Power) Still the specter hung over their happiness. As Clark and Lana pondered her old necklace, she worried about how it kept her from him. He ironically recalled how he couldn’t get within five feet of her without collapsing. Then Lex pulled off his revenge forcing the couple to choose between the world and their love. In making Lana absorb the kryptonite to save the Planet, Lex reinvigorated the old nightmare once more. Much as in the myths, Lex wanted the tragic ending to overshadow the Clana romance. Well, he got his wish. As the Loft scene/Kryptonite kiss, the world had put a (seemingly) impenetrable barrier between them forcing them apart. (Requiem) Destiny, it seemed, had something to say.
Despite Lex conspiracy to ruin things par excellence, Clark and Lana had their romantic renewal. Much as with the Prom, Lana showed up in the nick of time, saving Clark from a dance with Lois. In the Loft, Lana told Clark of how much he influenced and inspired her development in the positive way. She told him how proud she was of the Red-Blue Blur. He stayed with her at the medical center long enough for Lois to see them together (and get the hint. Lois, once again, when Lana’s around, you’re no better than Choice 1A or 2. Got it?) (Bride) Before the Persuader struck, Lana reminded Clark that Chloe needed them both not just him. That she could help from Isis in her own way. In so doing, she took her role as his ally and partner seriously. She stood up for Clark’s principles against Saturn Girl’s assertions that Chloe needed to be killed. As she told Saturn Girl, we will find Chloe and deal with Brainiac. (Note the partner shtick again.) But the visitor also acknowledged how much Lana had sacrificed for Clark too. (Note to the Clois and Chlark fans: that is what people in true love do for each other. That is what Clark and Lana have and always will have.) She reassured Clark that he would accomplish everything in his own time. She believed in him and they were writing their destinies every day. (Legion) Before Jones was wheeled in, Clark and Lana shared a friendly coffee at the hospital and an even friendlier cup at the Talon later. The latter event was probably provoked by Dan’s question if Clark had someone that made the crime fighting worthwhile. (Bulletproof) Clark’s search for Lana when he learned of the Prometheus plan showed his further concern. He reached Lana’s rented lab just as Tess was about to kill the professor and then turn a gun on her. In a great scene, Lana burst out the chamber, saved the professor, knocked Tess out and smiled at Clark before super speeding off. One can say Lana felt elated on so many levels. She was no longer helpless. She could help people. She thwarted (yet another) LuthorCorp (and thus Lex’s) maneuver. Most importantly, however, she was now physically Clark’s equal. She had powers again. However, she could now handle it. (Unlike “Wrath,” this scene and what we saw in “Requiem” are definitely what a Clark and Lana partnership should be.) She made this statement to Clark on the Planet’s roof and sealed it with a kiss just as the sun rose on them and Metropolis. (Power) The sequel “sexual tension-tremors” and the lovers in the broken bed brought back more romantic feeling and admittedly humor to the building storyline. Clark then proposed they head for the Tropics. (Never say that Clark can’t learn from others. Tip of the hat to Bizarro on that note. (Persona)) Clark and Lana worked together to figure out the bomb plot and get to the Planet in time. They made the decision to save the place together. Then they kissed one last time in defiance before she did the job. (Later in the Loft, the writers topped themselves for heartwrenching moment of the series. We thought the “DVD” was the worst. The ending scene in “Requiem” hit further down. (Again, I freely admit that this scene makes me cry and hate the writers for having to contrive such an ending because they couldn’t kill the love despite their efforts to the contrary.)) Clark found Lana in the Loft just after sunrise. He begged her to stay. She couldn’t do it but told him she had inspired him to her true calling: to save and protect life. She knew he felt the same way. They had made their choice because they both felt driven by that purpose. He pushed forward up the stairs one agonizing step at a time. She backed away. He wouldn’t be denied one last time. He kissed her, focusing on the love rather than the bulging veins in his cheeks and meteor sickness for as long as he could. Finally he collapsed from the effort. She retreated to the head of the stairs before concluding, “[w]hen I introduced you to Mom and Dad at the cemetery, you said I’d never be alone. We’re in each other’s hearts no matter what. I love you.” Then she left him there as she left in tears. (Requiem) Even though it was short and defeated by Lex’s spite in the end, Clark and Lana would not be denied in their love.
The other characters got involved in various roles. Lois ended up taking a backseat to Lana. Chloe tried at several points to get in the way as noted above. Yet Chloe also encouraged Lana to see Clark at the Planet during the flashback visit at Isis. (Power) Doomsday ironically gave them an opportunity to work together in stressful situations. (Bride/Legion/Bulletproof) The Legion also acknowledged the Clark and Lana's Legacy. As Saturn Girl told, “You (Lana) helped to make Kal-El the hero he is.” (Legion) Tess tried to kill Lana on at least two different occasions during this arc even as Lana showed how Lex was using her. (Bulletproof and Power) Oliver had a mixed role too. On the one hand, he reassured Lois that Clark would come around to her. (Bride) Yet he also acknowledged Clark and Lana as “Metropolis’ new power couple” when they visited him in the hospital later. Furthermore, as he told Chloe after Lex’s scheme, he knew how Clark felt in having his heart ripped out. (Requiem) While Lex’s suit gave Lana the ability to physically be Clark’s equal, the hidden ace—its ability to absorb kryptonite—split Clark and Lana apart for the foreseeable future. The environment did have a role to play.
Season 8’s “Lana Arc” provided (at least from the show’s perspective) an ending of sorts to the Clark and Lana romantic hopes. The two lovers reunited after a seven month hiatus in which each had gone through a maturing/refining process. They overcame their doubts about the world being bigger than their relationship. Rather than the blindly winding emotional romance from earlier seasons, this time they were two adults in a partnership almost like they were married. They reinforced each other’s beliefs. They stood by each other. They watched each other’s backs. They made the Big Decision to stop the bomb together. They affirmed their love in responsible ways. Despite the situation though, they would not be denied in spirit. What Lex vowed was half-right, we will remember the ending and the relationship too.
How many times have you been there when I didn't know it, saving me
|Lana to Clark in Reckoning.|
It doesn't matter, Lana, I couldn't let anything happen to you.
|Clark to Lana in Reckoning.|
Clark first intervenes and saves Lana from a webbing patch when Greg Arkin, a fellow high school classmate, prepares to mate with her. While Clark has saved Lana's life numerous times over the years, a few stand out as truly defining moments in Lana's life. Without Clark intervening in these unique events, Lana would never have been able to fulfill her destiny as a superheroine. A few are explored below:
Lana was on her way back into town after she dropped Whitney off at the bus station, unaware that three tornadoes were headed her way. However, when Clark heard that the tornadoes were headed towards Smallville, he became worried for Lana's safety. Making his priorities clear, he abandoned Chloe and super-sped to save Lana, as a tornado sucked her truck up. Lana's truck was lifted into the funnel of the storm and Clark rushed into the storm and saved her. Despite Clark's attempts to maintain his secret, Lana suspected that Clark was the reason she was still alive, particularly as she had vivid memories of Clark's face as she was pulled into a tornado. Lana directly questioned Clark about this, but he brushed it off. Unconvinced, Lana later tried to reassure Clark that she would not be bothered if he was different.
While Clark always there to protect Lana, she also played a part in her own self-defense and thus her destiny. She decided to learned how to protect and defend herself by taking combat lessons with Lex. Over the years she has evolved from a soft and naive girl to a stronger confident woman.
One of the most extraordinary saves was when Clark received a phone call from the future during which Adam Knight kills Lana. Anxious about this event, Clark, Lana, and Chloe teamed up together to figure out where the call came from. When they pieced together the clues, they determined that Lana's phone call was actually from the future. Clark worked tirelessly through the day to stop the event leading up to Lana's death in the hopes that would change the future. However, when he was unsuccessful from preventing these events from happening, he went to the teen crisis center to wait for Lana's call. There, an electrical short happened with meteor rocks nearby, serving as a possible reason for the time-warp. Clark lifted the power pole high enough to pull the lines out of the puddle with the meteor rocks. He was then able to ask Lana where she was and supersped to her location just in time to deflect the bullet for her, saving her life.
When Clark confessed his secret to Lana and asked her to marry him, she was shocked and reserved at responding to his proposal at first; reveals his secret to Lana. however she accepted Clark for who he was and agreed to marry him. Clark then realized that he could trust Lana to keep his secret, but soon realized that it was dangerous for her, as Lex inadvertently caused a car accident, killing her. With this, Clark realized that Lana's life was the price that Jor-El promised to collect when he resurrected Clark. After going to the Fortress of Solitude and pleading with him to fix it, Clark was given a crystal by Jor-El that will reset the day back to the beginning. After the day was reset, Clark reconsidered his decision to tell Lana his secret as a means to keep her safe.
A crazed fan thought that Clark would finally embrace his destiny if the woman he loved was dead, so the fan tried to kill Lana by throwing her off a roof, but Clark arrived just in time to save her. Clark even had to save Lana from herself, when during a romantic afternoon with Clark, Lana accidentally received Clark's powers when she was struck by lightning while holding a piece of kryptonite. Lana wasn't mentally ready to handle such great power and she became corrupted by them, and used them in a violent and vengeful way. Clark was later able to de-power Lana before she destroyed herself, in effect once again preserving her destiny.