Smallville: Descent

Lex: "I was raised in your shadow. Now you're going to die in mine."

I'm really bummed.

Yes, I am well aware that total evil was always Lex's ultimate destination. We're even near the end of the series, so it's the right time for it to happen. And granted, it was quite poetic and appropriate that killing Lionel was Lex's final, fatal trigger.

But Lex and Lionel are two of my three favorite Smallville characters (with Chloe the third), and I've always loved Lex's internal struggle with good and evil. And now, Lionel is dead and Lex has gone completely to the Dark Side, literally tossing his small, red-haired conscience into the flames. I feel like the Lex I loved just died, too, just like Lionel. I've never been one of those fans who says, "If they kill off so and so, I'm not going to watch any more." But frankly, if they kill off Chloe in the season finale, I could very well be out of here.

I think I'm upset because, after seven seasons, I feel like I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to Lionel. He died in the teaser, and that really lessened the impact for me, pun intended. The concentration was entirely on Lex and Clark. And okay, maybe that was appropriate. I did like that Clark acknowledged Lionel as one of his three fathers, that Lionel died protecting Clark, the way Jor-El and Jonathan did. The cemetery scene was interesting and moving. Lionel deserved a huge, Hollywood crypt and a big funeral with a Dixieland band. That flat, uniform stone in that flat, uniform cemetery reflected my mood. I think it also represented the way Lex felt. In other words, nothing.

Poor Gina, the deluded minion. She was in love with Lex and literally flirting with death. I knew Lex would have her killed when she told him she knew he'd killed Lionel. There was a lot of eye imagery in this episode: a close-up of Lex's eye as Lionel fell to his death; Lionel's eye when the detective lifted the sheet; the assassin replacing Gina's glasses over her dead eyes. All three were finally seeing the real truth about what was inside of Lex.

I did cry the second time I watched this episode. I'm really going to miss Lionel. It won't be the same without him.

Bits and pieces:

— Why did Lionel try to make Lex believe that Lex himself was the Traveler, and that that was the reason why Lex had survived death so many times? It was so out of left field. Was Lionel punting, or is there something we don't know?

— Another installment of the Lois and Jimmy show. Clark saving them from the freezer without them seeing him was very Superman. That whole scene probably would have been more effective if you could have seen their breath, though. Did Jimmy see something when Clark zoomed off? I thought he did.

— Lex has both keys now. Zurich, here we come. It seems odd to me that after years of obsession with Clark, Lex still hasn't put two and two together.

— A CD of Gotterdammerung was on Lionel's desk. And the metal message thingy Lionel left Clark was behind Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzche. Because you can never have enough symbolism.

— Lex fired Chloe. What will they do with her now? Need I repeat that killing off Chloe would really tick me off?

— Gold acting stars for Michael Rosenbaum. He was fabulous, especially that scene with Clark at the mansion. Tom Welling was also very good. Connor Stanhope, the little boy who played Alexander, did well, too, considering his age and the heaviness of his scenes with Lex.

Quotes:

Lex: "He wanted to show me the Air and Space Museum. He knew I loved things that could fly." Irony.

Lois: "What is it with the Luthors? I swear death follows that family around like a stray puppy."

Clark: "How can Lex have done it? How does a son murder his own father?"
Chloe: "Total absence of love. Some say that's the definition of evil."

Yes, I'm bummed, but this was an excellent episode and deserved four stars,

Billie
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Billie Doux had a love-hate relationship with Smallville, which is why some of her reviews are briefer than they should be.

2 comments:

elloon said...

I would have thought that since Lionel purposefully went to Smallville on the day of the meteor shower, he would have known who Clark was after he came to the Kents out of nowhere. But if that were the case and he had known the whole time about who Clark was then surely he wouldn't have gotten so obsessed with him?

Anonymous said...

Lionel may not have expected a child as the traveler. He was probably expecting a powerful alien.