I know what you mean, but I guess I always imagined the Kents (like my favourite Kents, the ones in the Dean Cain version) were the kind of folks who would find a way to do the RIGHT thing, not just the thing that was best for them.
The Kents in L&C were much older and less protective, they lived far away and pretty much left Clark to his own decisions. Of course it helped that the Dean Cain version was a good twelve year older than the one in Smallville and doesn't to be protected as much. They only came to Metropolis when Clark was in extreme trouble and usually to lend support and give advice and let that Clark make his own decisions.
But I still think they would have done anything for Clark, they would do the right thing but never at the expense of their son or exposing him to the world.
That's something every Kent incarnation has always had, the ability to lie about Clark, protect him and counsel him. It never changes even if the become older, younger or different.
The ones in Smalliville are on the extreme scale of that, more protective, more inclined to lecture.
There was a moment in "Shattered", where Lionel turned up to level claims of insanity against Lex and Clark looked towards his parents, that Martha and Jonathan suddenly looked like they WANTED to believe Lex was crazy with all their hearts. They were too willing to believe Lionel, of all people. Too willing to have Lex carted out of their lives forever. I just found them more evil in that moment than anything I've ever seen Lex do, or probably ever will.
I agree about Shattered because Jonathan would rather cut off his arm than believe anything Lionel says. Clark wasn't in danger so it wasn't even about sacrificing Lex for Clark. They just beileved Lionel for reasons I'm not sure of and it reinforces that assessment that they aren't the perfect people. It might be the writers gorgetting about Phoenix where the Kents accepted Lex into the family.
But then again they've never been portaryed as being the most perfect people. Jonathan lurches from hostility to genility and right back (he was all of that in one episode). Martha used to be spunky until S3 where she now defers to Jonathan to extreme proportions.
As for finding them more evil than Lex, he hasn't even done anything truly evil yet (we will know when he does). The Kents' might not even even come close with their own brand of loyalty.
But see, I think the Kents' love is not altogether healthy either. It's selfish, it's stifling and with the benefit of the omniscient vantage point, I think you can make an argument that their brainwashing their son into believing sharing his secrets with trusted friends is to be avoided like Kryptonite, that they will have unwittingly condemned Clark to a cycle of loneliness, and contributed to a situation where Clark's most loyal friend becomes his most vicious enemy.
I think there's an element of the Kents' teaching Clark about being sure who tells all. Clark's a stubborn boy, he will listen to his parents but in the end he will make his own choices. Sometimes he never tells his parents and just does what he thinks is right, Stray, Ryan, Exodus, Shattered.
His decision not to tell his friends is a combination of his many things
fears of their reaction (he tests Chloe and Lana in Visitor),
fear of what the world does to people who are different - Ryan and everyother FOTW who has been railroaded into a lab or asylum,
and of course probably the most important the fear of endangering them. For this reason he lets Lana go and sticks to that decision even after she pressures him. All he had to do have her was to tell her (something he's wanted very badly) but he still doesn't.
Of course Clark's nature doesn't help matters, he's introverted. He will prefer to deal with his problems by himself rather than endanger anyone else.
that they will have unwittingly condemned Clark to a cycle of loneliness,
I really don't think he's going to be lonely as Clark Kent because by the time he meets Lois he would have learnt to let people in (but it would still take years before he even tells her about him) but as Superman, Kal-el there's a chance he might be lonely especially as he's doomed to outlive everyone.
Lionel's love is the kind that leads him
to remove a part of his sons memory because he wants to control him,
he pays a woman to worm her way into Lex's life then betray him,
he sleeps with his son's girl friends,
he drugs his own son.
That's love of a poisonous kind and I see a total difference between that and the Kents'. Jonathan's love is tough love (re: Exodus) because he holds Clark to higher responsibility than anyone else, but Lionel's is of another dangerous level. The kind that makes Lex run whenever he sees Lionel coming.
By the way, anyone has any ideas who Clark is saying this to, "How could you do this to me?"
Edited by clarkenwell, Jan 1, 2004 @ 7:02 AM.