Bad Boy Clark returns. Fans will remember this version of Clark from when red kryptonite was introduced on the show, causing a darker and baser version of The Boy Scout to come to the forefront. This time around, the transformation is triggered by a kiss. “Crimson” is as perfect an episode as could be expected from ‘Smallville’ in dealing with the Lana/Clark/Lois story. The transition from Clark and Lana to Clark and Lois wasn’t going to be easy, especially with the upcoming wedding. Using the red kryptonite we were able to see not only the underlying passion between Lois and Clark, but also the current state of Clark’s feelings for Lana. This is the way to incorporate Lana into an episode. Also, it’s nice to see that the writers are not trying to rewrite canon as some fans inexplicably dream.

Chloe and Clark show up at The Talon, and to Clark’s chagrin it’s a V-Day party. Chloe has set him up, but Jimmy has even grander plans. He shows up with Lois, and tells Chloe that the two have real chemistry. Yeah, he’s not the only one who notices. Lois and Clark, in typical bickering soon-to-be lovebirds’ fashion, mock the situation. She compares their pairing to halibut and chocolate, Clark being the halibut.

After Clark makes his exit, Lois engages in a conversation with a strange woman selling natural products to help with ones emotional well being. She gives Lois lipstick, which is infused with red kryptonite, that she promises will make her fall in love with the first man she sees. Lois, in her ever-clueless manner, puts the lipstick on and immediately sees Clark in a mirror. Oh, this is going to be entertaining.

Slutty Lois shows up at the Kent house and asks Ma Kent to give her and Clark some private time. She begins by giving Clark that classic token of affection, a mix CD. Clark is completely flustered and as soon as Lois turns her back, he runs away to find Chloe. While trying to explain what’s going on to his friend, Lois shows up at the Daily Planet and gets her claws into Clark again. Lois has decided to profess her devotion by getting a heart tattoo on her breast. Classy.

He tries to struggle, but when Lois manages to kiss Clark he is overtaken by the red kryptonite. Stripped of all inhibitions he takes Lois into an empty office, at which point she questions the speed at which this is happening. It seems that the love potion didn’t change who she is. It has a similar effect as the kryptonite on Clark. It just removes her inhibition. As the discussion turns to Oliver, Clark is determined to prove he’s better than Lois’ ex-lover. On the roof of the Daily Planet he takes Lois in his arms and jumps across town to Oliver’s balcony.

Once there they begin to undress and as Clark rips open her shirt he notices an invite to the Lex and Lana engagement party. It’s here where his focus changes from Lois to Lana, and he decides to crash the party.

Lois and Clark show up at the nice quiet party, and Clark immediately begins berating everyone. He tells his mother, “Dad has been dead, what? A year?” Then goes on to accuse of her trying to beat Lana into the Luthor family. Clark turns on Lana and in his diatribe reveals that Lex and Lana are having a kid. As he throws a rattle at Lex and raises his glass he toasts, “The real reason Lana is marrying Lex.”

Enraged Lex lunges at Clark, and is summarily thrown down. As Lana comes to stop Clark, he grabs her. At this point Lois gets a hold of Clark and says one of the many truths of the episode. “Lana is your past. I’m your future,” she tells him. Clark looks at her and states, “This is the present.” It’s one of a handful of great moments in the episode. Probably my favorite as it succinctly summarizes the current state of Clark’s love life.

In the aftermath, Chloe tries to use an antidote on Lois that she got from the herbal essence lady. Lois knocks it away and as the vile threatens to roll off the table and shatter, Indiana Olson jumps and catches it. He sprays Lois with the green kryptonite antidote, releasing her from the love spell. Conveniently, Lois remembers nothing of what happened or why she it wearing a slutty costume.

Back at the barn Clark tells Lana that she should marry him instead of Lex. After all the time Clark has pushed her away, this is too much for her. Clark tells Lana he knows she still loves him, simply because he loves her. Now, pay attention everyone who honestly thinks these two will end up together, because what Lana says next is absolutely true. “You don’t love me, Clark. You just can’t stand the idea that I love someone else,” she tells him. It’s obvious that Clark does care for Lana, but their relationship is now just a factor in the battle between Lex and Clark. Lana is a competition, even though she claims not to be. The whole sordid affair is tied into the Lex/Clark dynamic.

Now, that’s not to say there aren’t genuine feelings on all sides. There certainly are. But the truth is, Lana and Clark aren’t meant for each other, but Lex and Clark are. They become mortal enemies; this is their first true altercation.

Lex shows up at the barn and Clark taunts him. Telling Lex that Lana kissed him, and then yelling at Lana to admit she doesn’t still love him. Lex points a gun at Clark, who is completely unfazed. He tells Lex he can’t win, “You don’t even know the rules of the game.” Clark then grabs Lex and slams him into a wall. As he chokes his nemesis Clark says, “If I knew who you’d become I never would have saved you on that bridge.” Desperate, Lex grabs a screwdriver and stabs Clark.

Of course, we know that’s not why Clark went down. Martha has shown up with green kryptonite to help her son. As he lies on the ground writhing she tells Lana and Lex to leave, but not before Lana sees the crumpled screwdriver that should be covered in Clark’s blood.

In the aftermath of the latest red kryptonite debacle, Clark and his mother have a great conversation. He apologizes for everything, and when she says she understands how he feels Clark is appalled to think she believes what he said at the party. “I believe there was a grain of truth to it,” Martha tells her son. She tells him that he’s bottled his emotions up for too long. Doing what’s right for everyone else, but never asking what’s right for him. He tells her he still loves Lana, and she gives him the best motherly advice a young man could ask for. “Leave her alone,” she says. He won’t, but it’s solid advice.

Back at the Luthor Mansion Lana is being checked by a doctor. Nothing seems weird about this, until Lex leaves Lana and speaks with the physician. Lex is told that things are progressing as planned and the pregnancy isn’t typical. No other information is given, but how badass would it be of Lex to use Lana in a 33.1 experiment? Ah, the evilness of a Luthor.

There was quite a bit that happened in the episode. The red kryptonite stripped away all of Clark’s extraneous BS, but the episode also did that as a whole. Characters were far more honest than they normally would be, including those not affected by the lipstick. It was a really great way to open up the story as it moves forward. We have a clear indication of where things are going. Clark and Lois will end up together, but not on ‘Smallville.’ That’s for the future. Lex and Lana will break up, and Clark will be integral to that. Let’s just hope that the trip there is as entertaining as tonight’s foray into the “What if?”

One quick note, I can’t believe Chloe made Jimmy cry.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Is Lois going to piece the puzzle together now that she has tangible evidence of Clark’s secret? Is Lex breeding a super villain by using his fiancé?

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