Smallville: Lexmas

Lex: "You know what the secret to living happily ever after is? Power."

I usually hate "special holiday episodes." I didn't hate this one.

So there was Lex, complete with a wife and kids, a station wagon and a mortgage, a la Nicolas Cage in The Family Man. What was so touching about it, what made it work for me, was that Lex was so incredibly happy. Lex's better nature was making one last attempt to manifest, with the assistance of his mother's ghost. We knew it would be unsuccessful. We have several years invested in liking Lex as a character, so I suspect they were letting us see Lex as a good person one last time before he becomes evil forever.

As I've already said in several reviews and you're probably tired of hearing, I like Lex and Lana as a couple. Clearly, the writers agree with me, because they just felt right together. In the real world, Lex was dying. In his dream, it was Lana, which implied that Lex equated the loss of Lana with the loss of himself. He really does love her. He even admitted it.

It's a shame that Lex literally can't win. He can't be both rich and good, because absolute power corrupts absolutely. If he gives it all up to be a good man, Lana will eventually die. If he retains his money and power along with his ability to save Lana's life, he loses his soul. If Lana hadn't died in the dream, would Lex's ultimate choice have been different? I like to think so.

While Lex was doing George Bailey, Lionel did Ebenezer Scrooge. Does Lionel love his son? I think he does, but it's a love with very interesting conditions. Lex implied that if he had been conscious and able to make the choice, he would have chosen paralysis over the risks of surgery. Interesting choice, and definitely not Lionel's.

The weaker part of the episode consisted of Clark and Chloe showing a suicidal Santa Claus that the spirit of Christmas wasn't dead. Frankly, the best part of it was what Santa said when he fell off the building and Clark caught him: "Ho, ho... holy cow." But Santa subplot aside, this was a strong, unique episode. It was all Michael Rosenbaum's. And as usual, he stole the show.

Bits and pieces:

— Lana's turn this week. No Lois.

— Is Lana's death in this episode a hint that she will be the one to die at the end of the season?

— Future Clark was a reporter at the Daily Planet. No hint of whether or not he has become Superman at this point. Chloe had long hair and had written a tell-all book about LuthorCorp.

— In a George Bailey "richest man in town" moment, Lex finally got approval from Jonathan, something he'd always wanted.

— The senate race was Lex's turning point. We didn't learn yet what sort of invented mud Lex intends to sling at Jonathan, but I'm sure we will soon.

— Lex and Lana named their children Alex (Lex Jr.?) and Lily.

— Have I mentioned how much I hate it when it magically snows on Christmas Eve?

Quotes:

Lex: "What? We have a budget?"

Alex: "Uncle Clark! Uncle Clark! Make me fly!" (This week's obligatory Superman reference.)

Lex: "Me and Lana. Now, how the hell did that happen?" And so say all of us.

Lex: "How dare you play God with my life?"

Four for the Lex plot, which was most of the episode. Two for the Santa plot. Three and a half 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.

3 comments:

ChrisB said...

Although I am a tad Scroogey when it comes to the hoopla that surrounds Christmas, I am an absolute sucker for any show or movie based on the holiday. I must admit that this is one of my favourites as well as one of my favourite episodes of Smallville.

Watching what could have been breaks my heart every time. Poor Lex. We know that he is doomed to make the wrong decision, but watching him as good and happy just makes me smile. I, too, have wondered what would have happened if Lana hadn't died. But I also wonder what would have happened if Clark had trusted him and what would had happened if Jonathan had been a little less of a jerk.

I actually love the Santa part because, as much of a Scrooge as I am, I firmly believe in Santa Claus -- or at least the idea of him. My six year old niece and I had a quite a talk about it last year. I refused to let her convince me that he does not exist.

And sorry, Billie, but I just love it when it magically snows on Christmas Eve. I really, truly am an old sop, aren't I? :-)

Andrew Wonders said...

Damn, this was really a heartbreaker. Like you, Billie, I really like Lex. Damn the showrunners for giving us an empathetic version of the "villain of the story." To see what *might have been*, when you know it's not going to happen... damn. Also, yes, the "Santa story" was kind of annoying.

Darren said...

I loved the Santa plot. It was another piece of the Superman mythos coming into place. You see in the comics beginning around 1990 or so, Superman would have annual Christmas stories where he would answer letters on Christmas and help children in need. These were touching stories and it was great to see that here on Smallville.