So, it’s nearly been two months since I have had much to say about Smallville. To say the writing has been up and down this year would be an understatement. I could barely stomach the Kryptonite dog episode, and the episode about Lois’ sister Lucy, was also so very unenjoyable. Then again, we have also had over a month go by without any new episodes on the Tivo. With only eight episodes left, the writers were going to have to tighten up their writing if they were going to create the same great end of the season suspense that we have enjoyed the first three seasons.Is Lex Luthor ever going to learn? What is this obsession that he has with the meteor rock? No matter how many times he experiments with the stuff, bad shit always happens. The world is littered with failed Luthorcorp experiments that tried to find a way to harness the power of the stuff. Sure, there is always a chance that you are going to do something really good, but when things go bad, things *really* go bad. It’s the same conundrum that has plagued silicone breast implants. When they work, they feel great, when they leak, not so much. So when we learned that Lex was doing some experiments with the meteor rock, you just know bad shit is going to happen.
Yet, in the interest of science, let’s say that there is a legitimate use to researching this dangerous substance. For example, if you can find a way to cure cancer or repair spinal injuries, all of the messed up experiments will seem like nothing at all. With this in mind, Lex continues his work on the meteor rock. He and a Luthorcorp researcher, Dr. Sinclair, were fine-tuning one of the experiments.
Now, I am not sure about all the readers out there, but if you never got past 7th grade science class, you probably learned how to have a safer lab than what they run in Luthorcorp. When you were heating things up on the Bunsen burner, you didn’t stare at it from a few inches away to look at the pretty colors, did you? It doesn’t matter if you were just cooking up some top ramen in a beaker, your teacher(who probably was crazy, perhaps took some shrapnel in the head or leg during the second world war, and almost certainly drove a late 70s Ford Country Squire) wouldn’t let you put yourself in danger. So why does Lex Luthor, and all of the billions he is worth, put himself right in front of the meteor rock as they are using laser to superheat it? We will never know, but predictably, the experiment can’t be controlled, the meteor rock gets too hot, some shit explodes, and Lex and Dr. Sinclair head to the hospital.
But this being Smallville and a bunch of meteor rock is involved, that can’t be the end of things. After we see Lex take the injured doctor out of the lab, we see another Lex appear from the rubble. It seems that the side effect of the kryptonite explosion is a little more than we were expecting. At the hospital, Chloe and Clark (honestly, isn’t it nice to see them fighting crime together again) come to see Lex. They had heard there was an explosion at Luthorcorp. After Lex is patched up, he leaves with Clark to inspect the lab. If they look at the lab notes, they might get a clue as to what went wrong.
Chloe stays behind to ask Dr. Sinclair a few questions of her own. But before she gets there, it is Lex that is paying Dr. Sinclair a visit. Lex said that he saw a second Lex Luthor after the accident, and he wanted to know if there is some way to reverse it. When the scientists says he would have to look at his research notes, Lex kills him. Apparently, the nurses at the Smallville medical center have no problems leaving medication out so anybody could pump somebody’s IV full of enough chemicals to cause a heart attack. Lex leaves, and bumps into Chloe, who finds it strange that he is at the hospital and not with Clark, right before a code blue goes off and a bunch of nurses rush in to help Dr. Sinclair.
So, I tried not to make it entirely obvious, but the experiment at the lab split Lex in two, and it seems like one of the halves is not playing nice. The evil half, who will be known from now on as Bizzaro Lex or evil Lex, also travels to the lab, where he sees the OG Lex explaining to Clark how he was treating seeds so they could grow in sand and with very little water. The only problem was the fruit tasted rotten, and they were trying some experiments to fix the taste when all the shit happened. Bizzaro Lex also sees how Clark is affected when the other Lex opens the lab door, and Clark is exposed to the green kryptonite.
Now, if you know anything about Bizzaro characters, you must know that the evil half that kills people is always bent on world domination. But the evil half can only do damage if people think he is the only person alive. Luckily, the non-Bizzaro half of characters is always weaker and easily subdued. Bizzaro Lex immediately finds Lex, and locks him up in a wine cellar. Bizzaro characters are also mandated to yell at their other half for being weak and holding them back from world domination, and Bizzaro Lex does exactly that. That is not enough though, he talks about how much they loved Dumas, and then sticks Lex’s head in an iron mask.
This whole dichotomy of character experiment is something that the Smallville writers love. At one point in time, everybody has to have some sort of evil or different side of them that gets let out by some sort of meteor rock disaster. It’s happened to Clark many times, and it’s also happened to Chloe, Lana, Jonathan, Lex, and Lionel. It even happened to Pete last year, and the effects of kryptonite have revealed a dangerous side to many, many, “Freaks of the Week” that we never expected to see. I am not saying that this theme is getting old, because I think they did it well this week, but it was not like something we never expect to see.
With the kinder, gentler Lex subdued, Bizzaro Lex is free to do anything he pleases without suffering the effects of all the remorse and conscience that a normal human being would go through. First on the list is going to visit Lana. He tells her that she should be with somebody deserving of her beauty. He then kisses Lana against her will, and when she rebuffs him, Bizzaro Lex says that she can choose to be with him, or she will be kicked out into the street. And number one on the agenda will be closing the Talon.
Bizzaro Lex also has a run-in with Lionel. Earlier, the other Lex had been very nice to his father, offering to host a benefit for Lionel’s foundation at Luthorcorp, not to mention giving a generous donation and making an appearance to try and appeal for more money. Bizzaro Lex cancelled the fundraiser and Lionel walks in to confront him with the decision just as the evil Lex is finishing with some fencing practice (which, by the way, it looked like they practiced for about five minutes). When Lionel complains, evil Lex says that Lionel can have his wishes, but he must fence him first. Since his release from prison, Lionel has been a model citizen, trying a new career in philanthropy. We have always wondered if it was just some elaborate act, or if Lionel would go back to his old ways. Bizzaro Lex tries to get Lionel to react, and Lionel responds by nearly stabbing evil Lex with a rapier. When Lionel holds back, evil Lex cuts him ever so slightly on the face, happy that he was able to get some true emotion out of his father.
After her run-in with Bizzaro Lex, Lana goes to see Clark to talk to him about it. This is always an inevitable part of the “two sides of every person” story lines. Lana must go in there and say something like “You think you know somebody, but they will never be honest with you” and “It’s a side you never expect to see unless it is too late”. Lama must then look into Clark’s eyes to get him to reveal some of his secrets, and then Clark must have a look on his face that says “I want to tell you, but I can’t for your own good”. Just as something is about to happen, there must be an interruption, and in this case, it was Chloe, who had hacked into the hospital’s security system and had two pictures of Lex, one talking to Chloe, and one walking with Clark, at the exact same time, on two different cameras. They now have conclusive proof that something is very strange (as if living in Smallville over the years had diminished their ability to imagine crazy shit happening).
Clark decides he has to find Lex, just in case Lex doesn’t know. When he goes to the mansion, the only one there is Bizzaro Lex. Clark is smart enough to ask evil Lex about a conversation that only the real Lex would know, namely, the one at the lab yesterday. He didn’t count on Bizzaro Lex having hear the entire thing, and being able to give details about all of it. Confident that he is talking to the real Lex, Clark fills him in on all the details that he knows, including the information about the security footage. Bizzaro Lex then says he will fix everything, and he should get Chloe and meet him at the lab.
We all know that this is a setup, and we are proven correct. After poking around the lab and engaging in some more “different side of somebody” talk, Clark and Chloe find a dead body of a security guard, just as Bizzaro Lex drops enough concrete on them to block Scott Savol from an Old Country Buffet (in other words A LOT). Bizzaro Lex is quite proud of himself, but then he sees Clark emerge from the rubble, having protected Chloe from the concrete. As Clark lifts the concrete above his head like it was an Olsen twin, everything comes together for him.
At the Kent farm, Chloe is refusing treatment. Ever since Alicia showed her Clark’s powers, she has been trying to get him to open up. She is always very coy about it, and asks Clark these questions about how they were miraculously saved. Clark chalks it up to some strange circumstances, but wonders if Chloe really knows more than she is letting on. With Bizzaro Lex running around, Chloe can’t be safe, so she heads off to the base to spend some time with Lois.
Whenever Clark needs some time to think, he goes to the barn, but this time, Bizzaro Lex is there to meet him. He and Clark start to argue, and Clark really wants to know what happened to the other Lex. One of the other rules of Bizzaro physics is that you never know what will happen to a character if his other half is harmed. Luckily for Lex, his Bizzaro half killed the professor before asking any of these questions, forcing Bizzaro Lex to keep him alive. Normally, Clark would simply get some answers from the Bizzaro Lex, but Bizzaro Lex knows he has abilities and knows his weakness to kryptonite. He fashioned a large kryptonite ring and uses it to slap Clark around a little bit. When Jonathan and Martha hear the noise and try to help him,evil Lex ends up shooting Jonathan in the leg. He tells Clark that if he doesn’t help him, he will harm all of Clark’s friends and family, and there is nothing he can do to stop him.
Clark and his mom get Jonathan to the hospital, and Clark says that he is going to go find Lex, the real Lex. Bizzaro Lex mentioned that he was keeping his better half close by just in case. Clark gets to the mansion, and uses his super hearing to locate Lex. He frees Lex and takes off the iron mask, but Bizzaro lex is waiting. He still has his kryptonite ring, and, so Clark is powerless. As with all spilt personality stories, you must have a scene where the two side battle against each other. Since these halves actually inhabit different bodies, this fight sequence is easy to depict. It looks like Bizzaro Lex is really going to just kick the shit out of the real Lex, but Clark remembered hearing that the split happened after they had superheated the kyrptonite. Clark uses his heat vision to heat up Bizzaro Lex’s ring. It has the desire effect on the kryptonite and the two Lex halves go back to being one Lex.
So everybody is happy that we only have one Lex, especially me since I don’t have to write Bizzaro Lex anymore. He apologizes to Lana, and apologizes to Clark, but he can’t help but wonder if the evil Lex was always inside of him, or if that is his real nature. It seems like everybody has survived the two Lex Luthors none the worse for wear, except for maybe Lionel. When he was fighting Bizzaro Lex(there’s that word again), the fight sort of lit a fire in Lionel. He is no longer talking like he is repentant and humble. He has thrown away his plain clothes for an expensive suit, and he is back on the sauce. It looks like we finally have the answer to the question about Lionel’s true nature. It seems like he only flirted with a life of virtue, and is going to quickly go back to being an evil, evil man.