The buzz surrounding Smallville this year continues to be the mystery surrounding Clark’s latest prophecy. Clark thought that he could be happy living as a human, but found out that doing good things while you’re human means you have to take some precautions. For example, it helps not to get shot and bleed to death on the operating table. To hammer home the point that he wasn’t meant to be a human and that he should keep his powers, Jor-el promised that somebody who Clark loved would die. I have to say that most of the Smallville fans on TVgasm would prefer that Chloe be saved and Lana kick the bucket, even in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. This week’s episode gave us an alternate vision a lot of us could be proud of.One of the reasons that you have to like Lex is that he always gets to drive the nicest cars. This week, he has a nice Ferrari F430, but he is driving it around quite the shitty neighborhood. Now why would he do that? Is he looking to buy some pharmaceuticals without a prescription? Is he looking for a good time soldier boy? No, he’s just doing some business with a friend, Griff, who doesn’t like to make house calls. Griff is the type of person you call when you accidentally shot a guy in the back seat of your vintage car and got his blood and brains everywhere, except if you are shacked up with Jimmie and his gourmet coffee, Griff is not coming to Teluca Lake. But all of that is OK, because Lex is not looking to have Griff cover up a murder; he just wants him to find some dirt on Jonathan Kent. Griff promises to find some dirt, and if Jonathan isn’t dirty, Griff will make it look like he is.
Lex is almost ready to do it, but he decides to leave. Before he pays somebody to destroy somebody’s life with fabricated evidence, he wants a little time to mull it over. He says he’ll be back in 24 hours, but before he can get back to his nice F430, Lex is mugged by a couple, and instead of just taking his money, they decide to shoot him. It’s not really great news for Lex, who goes down in a pool of his own blood, but in his favor, he did go down in style. Instead of just falling into that pool of his blood, he adds a little flair, with a nice little spin move. It’s not quite Magic Johnson, but hey, he was dying, so I’ll cut him a break.
When Lex wakes up, he is bathed in white, and you know, I was really happy. If a guy like Lex could get into heaven, just moments after he was contemplating digging up some Willie Horton on Jonathan, it means that I should have no problem, no matter what those stupid nuns kept yelling at me following that whole stinkpalm the communion wafers incident. For Lex, heaven is pretty good, he wakes up next to Lana, and not only does he have a kid, but Lana is knocked up as well! He should have thought about getting shot a lot sooner! Something is strange though. If he were in heaven, would he still have the scars from a thorocatomy and bullet entries? Surely this is all a dream, and then Lex sees his mother, one of a handful of people he has ever cared about. Lex’s mother died when he was very young, and her presence really throws him off, but at least he knows it is a dream, right? Well, sort of. Lex’s mom says that the life he is currently dreaming about could be his, if he makes the right decisions.
Lex admires his work
That all sounds very wonderful, but before Lex can make the most of his dreams, he first has to, you know, survive, and his chances of making it through the surgery seem slim. Unlike Clark, Lex doesn’t have a father who can resurrect him from the dead, so if he doesn’t make it through surgery, there really isn’t much hope for him. And hey, we all know that Lex is going to make it, and he is not going to make those decisions his mom told him about and live happily ever after with Lana. Still, we must root for Lex to make it because maybe, just maybe, he will make those correct decisions, and marry Lana. That would leave Clark lonely and looking for support, which he would of course get from Chloe Sullivan, unless she decides to write Are Men Necessary: The New Generation.
I have always been in the Clark and Chloe camp, although the rampant speculation is that Chloe will be taken out of her misery when Jor-el’s prophecy about Clark’s loved one dying comes to fruition. Therefore, we cherish every moment that Clark and Chloe have together, even when it is all business. Chloe’s time with Clark is so much more worthwhile. For example, during the holidays when Lana is doing such menial tasks as baking cookies with Martha or trimming the tree, Chloe is always thinking about the children. She helped coordinate the toy drive at the Daily Planet, and donations have far exceeded that of past years. That’s all good, but the teamsters have decided that they were going to strike on Christmas Eve, leaving nobody to deliver toys to all the needy children It would take a person with superhuman abilities to deliver thousands of toys in one night, so Chloe gives Clark a call.
Clark agrees to help, even though he knows people in Smallville will wonder where he is. Clark immediately starts racing around Metropolis, giving presents to all of the less fortunate (taking enough time to take the milk and cookies meant for Santa Claus), or at least they were supposed to be less fortunate. Some of those kids seemed like they had some nice houses, and every single one of them had nice trees. So unless Kansas subsidizes conifers and fireplaces for it’s poorer citizens, I am not sure what qualifies these kids as poor. Couldn’t we have had some orphans or kids with leukemia to notch up the melodrama a bit?
Well, the writers didn’t have to turn up the melodrama with the kids, because we were given something even more dramatic. In one house, a sleepy little girl caught Clark putting presents under the tree. She wasn’t so surprised to see Santa, but wondered why he wasn’t old, and fat. Clark tries to explain that he was the new and improved model, but the girl said he couldn’t be, and pointed to a man in a Santa outfit on the roof of the next building, apparently about to fall off, or perhaps jump. Clark rushes to this guy, and it’s yet another mall Santa boozing it up and crying about how the spirit of Christmas has been ruined with all of the materialism, yada, yada, yada, why don’t I kill myself. Clark manages to talk him down off the ledge, and tells him that the spirit of Christmas is not gone. In fact, Clark has been helping deliver toys to poor kids all over Metropolis. This simple act of kindness easily counteracted the four weeks of kids sitting on his lap asking for Barbies and Playstations, and Santa decides to come off the ledge. Being a little drunk, however, Santa slips and falls. If this had been any other show, I would have laughed at the morbid humor and the irony of Santa falling off the roof after getting back on the wagon, but Clark saved this poor guy from breaking his neck, and even managed to save that hip flask of whiskey so Santa can keep warm on his way to passing out and peeing himself in the back of his 84 Impala.
Dwight Clark and Willie Mays have nothing on Clark.
While all of this is going on, Lex is still in trouble. He is out of immediate danger, but when his father visits him for surgery, Lionel is told that Lex will never walk again because there is internal bleeding applying pressure to his spinal cord. The hospital is not equipped to handle such a procedure, but Lionel wants him moved to a special facility where they will perform the operation. As anybody knows from watching ER or any other hospital show, moving patients in such a condition could prove dangerous and fatal. Lionel knows this, and is almost happy that it will be dangerous. When he first came into the hospital room and told him Lex had been shot, Lionel sort of had this look of “he lived?” mixed with what looked to me like a whole lot of disappointment. Did Lionel really want Lex to walk, or was he just being as aggressive as possible, knowing that if the doctors killed him, nobody would think twice?
Back in dreamland, Lex’s life is much different than he knows in his own world. First, he is driving a Vintage Grand Wagoneer. In other words, his current car made it to 60 MPH about the same time it took his Ferrari to do a quarter mile. Then again Lex wasn’t in this for flash, he was in it for family, and I guess there would be some tradeoffs for making an honest woman out of Lana after all of her years she wasted on Clark. He goes to pick up a tree with his son Alex and sees Clark and Chloe. Yay! They appear to be a couple AND they look successful. I know this because Clark is wearing one of those “Look at me, I’m successful” trench coats that only really look natural on people who occupy corner offices of art deco high rises built in the 30s, and only then because they don’t have any soul. You would have to agree, that this whole Lex scenario is working out great for everybody, including the fans. He is a reporter, and she made herself famous by writing a book exposing Luthorcorp, with help from none other than Lex himself. Hmm, that explains why Lex is living in a humble farmhouse and isn’t driving a Cayenne. Did daddy cut him off after the expose? Surely looks like it.
Although we have had moments before where we get to see that Lex is human and not pure evil, this alternate scenario really makes us feel for his character. Removed from the burden of wealth and the drive to amass more of the same, Lex’s true feelings come out. There is no better example than his thoughts on Christmas. Despite the fact that he is on a budget, Lex got a huge tree. As a kid, he was never allowed to celebrate Christmas after his mom died, so the holidays were always tough on him. It seemed strange that the shooting might have been the best thing that ever happened to him.
Still in the zone, Lex and Lana visit the Kents for their annual Christmas party, and in this alternate reality Jonathan became a great state senator, although I am not sure where it says in the state government handbook that being elected to state office requires you to start shopping for your eye glasses at Lens Crafters: Bono Edition. At least they weren’t tinted. It appears that everybody loves Lex, and he even wins a humanitarian award because of his good deeds with exposing his old company. Jonathan calls him the finest man he knows, but there has to be a catch to all of this, right? It can’t be THAT perfect, can it?
Outside on the porch, Lex sees his mom again, and once again she tells him that all of this could be his if he makes the right choices. At this point, I really start to wonder what happened to make Lex choose the life we know makes him less happy? With a final plea to follow his heart and not his mind, his mother leaves, and Clark runs into Lex talking to himself. Considering how Lex and Clark were on the outs, especially when it came to Lana, with Clark doing everything in his power to keep her away from Lex, it’s amazing the two of them are even friends. When Lex asks what happened, Clark simply says that he became the person that Lana could love. He also said that he might not have been ready to give her everything that Lex was able to, and maybe he would never be able to. On that note, there was no ring on Clark’s finger so the Chloe and Clark marriage I had thought was a reality when they were shopping for a tree together may simply be friends with benefits. I’m actually surprised they didn’t bring Pete into this episode to fall in love with Lois or something the way things were going.
Lex is having some day while his operation is going on, could things get any better? How about a new baby? Lana has gone into labor, and is rushed to the hospital where she delivers her second child. Unfortunately, it looks like Miss Lang didn’t have great birthing hips, and she starts to hemorrhage, and not just that we had to sew your vagina back together type of stuff, it looks like something happened, and Lana will have to have surgery, but they will need an airlift. If only there was somebody with unlimited means and a spare helicopter around transport her to safety! That person used to be Lex, but now it is Lionel, and when Lex pleads to Lionel for the life of his wife, Lionel rejects him. Lex continues, saying he should think of his own flesh and blood, his grandchildren. Lionel retorts with the “how can I have grandchildren? I don’t have a son?” Well, other than adoption, you could have had a daughter we don’t know about, but we won’t split hairs. The important thing is that Lionel denies Lex the help to save his wife.
Without the airlift, Lana is at the mercy of the local doctors. Considering the people at the hospital are now veterans of two meteor showers, you would think that they have some experience with trauma and such, but sometimes things happen, and that includes Lana’s death. While Lex is in tears, his mother appears to him once more. He asks her why she showed him this. How he could live in a world where the only people that he ever loved, his mother, his brother, and Lana, were all dead? Well, you have two children, and the admiration of everybody you know, and you did get to experience true love. It may have been a fleeting moment in time, but he was able to feel a happiness that some people never reach in their lives.
By this time, whatever was happening to Lex in the hospital was finished. The surgery was over, it was successful, and his father was there to visit him. After what he experienced in his little out of body escapade and the visions of Christmas future, you could tell that hating his father for gambling on his life was not the only thing on his mind. Lana’s happiness was more important than his own, and if Lana lived to be happy with another person, it would better than her dying and being happy with him. He knows what he must do.
Chloe also had a big decision on her hands. Clark was able to help out, but even he had to go back eventually, leaving Chloe with many presents to deliver. Perhaps feeling that he was given a second chance, mall Santa came to the Daily Planet and told Chloe that he wanted to help. Clark had told her about this guy, and she had trouble believing it, but she could use all the help she could get. Besides, it looks like she would be missing Christmas anyway. This whole time I was thinking that this mall Santa was just a drunk, it turns out the mall Santa was the actual Santa. Laying a finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, well, delivered doesn’t rhyme with nose, but that’s what happened to everything. Chloe had turned around to give him a map of where he should, and when she turned around, the gifts, and Santa, were gone. All that, and nobody had to air any grievances!
With her job done, Chloe drives to the Kents for their Christmas party. It was cold outside, but that didn’t stop her from putting on a cute, shimmery Christmas halter. I’ve been an awful good boy, Chloe baby, hurry down my chimney tonight? Lana’s got Clark, and I guess you have your job. Just don’t die on us, you hear?
The only person who didn’t seem happy on that day was Lex, even though Griff decided to make a house call to Lex’s hospital room. He tells his friend that he wants to live happily ever after, and the only way to do that is to have power and money, so he can protect the people that matter most to him. The irony, of course, is the people that matter most are going to be pushed farther away with his decision. He tells Griff to find that information that will destroy Jonathan Kent, and to make it all up if he has to. Lex wants it all.
I really liked this episode, and not just because Lana died. It gives us an even better insight into some of the choices Lex made on his way to becoming evil, although it seemed like he could have been happy, and saved Lana, if he had only done a few things differently. You know, maybe he convinces his wife to have a cesarean. Maybe he just leaves Luthorcorp and doesn’t give Chloe insider information. Maybe he doesn’t win humanitarian of the year, but his father probably would have A) bought him an escalade and B) saved his wife from dying. One other thing wasn’t clear. This whole time, Lionel has been working to prevent Lex from grabbing power, but in the alternate scenario, it made it seem as if Lionel was disappointed that Lex didn’t run for office. In fact, I think part of the happiness that slipped out of Lionel when he heard his son was shot was knowing it will prevent him from getting elected. You just never know.
Although I still think Chloe is in the lead to get killed, I think that there is a good chance that Lana or Jonathan could get killed as well. Yes, yes, we knot what is going on in the comic books, but there are two many Superman universes out there and you can say that Smallville has been around long enough that it doesn’t have to pander to comic book accuracy at this point, since it really is its own narrative. Chloe could still go, but at times it seems like it is too obvious. If Lana died, the irony would be that Lex chose his life of evil, but Lana still died, meaning he really should have listened to his mother. Besides, what better way to get Clark’s mind on the idea of his greater role in life than taking away what has always been his biggest distraction? If Jonathan died, the significance would be that Jor-el, Clark’s biological father, would be killing Clark’s adoptive father. Jor-el has messed with Jonathan before, so you couldn’t put it past him.
What did you think of this episode?