Smallville: Shattered

Lex: "What's the price of a Judas kiss these days?"

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. This was a dysfunctional Luthor family extravaganza, and I just loved it.

Frankly, I think that Michael Rosenbaum should have gotten an Emmy for this episode. Alternately angry, confused, distressed, dangerous, and pathetic, Rosenbaum made us see Lex fighting his own mind for clarity, and failing. It was even more poignant that Lex knew exactly what was happening to him. "You're working for my father. You're drugging me to make me crazy." True. "As long as the world thinks I'm crazy, no one will believe what I found out about my father and Morgan Edge." Again, true.

Until the end when we found out it was drugged scotch and an unscrupulous psychiatrist, it seemed likely that Lex really had gone off the edge. The real shockers revealed in this episode were that (1) Lionel conspired to kill his own parents (or did he?) and (2) Lex had a psychotic break as a teenager, after he accidentally killed his baby brother, Julian.

Clark came out of this looking like a damned good friend to Lex, staying with him even in opposition to his parents. Even when Lex started singing to a rolled up blanket. At least, right up until Lana got battered by Lex and then trampled by her horse. Clark shouldn't have left Lex alone with Lana in his condition, so that really was Clark's fault.

They were obviously unable to get Rutger Hauer to return as Morgan Edge, but Patrick Bergin did just fine. He managed to make the plastic surgery bit believable, mostly by doing a terrific Rutger impersonation throughout.

Bits and pieces:

— It's sort of sad that Clark finally did super stuff in front of Lex while Lex was deeply nuts. Plus Lionel mentioned that Lex's short term memory was on its way out.

— Morgan Edge's Kryptonite necklace was new and interesting, especially when he was using it like worry beads.

— Lex was incarcerated in Belle Reve sanitarium. This was the first mention of Belle Reve, but certainly not the last.

— Chloe mentioned that Lex was exhibiting "bizarro" behavior. Old Superman comic book reference.

— I've certainly noticed it before but haven't mentioned it yet that there are an inordinately high number of stained glass windows in this series. Here, there were even stained glass windows in Morgan Edge's ritzy hideout.

— I guess Morgan is really dead this time.

— In the opener, the guy who broke into the mansion kept shooting and hitting glass, and Lex topped it by going through a window. Lex shot Morgan Edge through a windshield. And Clark crashed Morgan's car in a particularly impressive special effects way. That's seven points. Almost a record.

Quotes:

Clark: "I'm telling you, Lex, it's like being in the Twilight Zone."

Lionel: "Lex? How'd you get in here, Lex?"
Lex: "Well, uh, when people think you're insane and you're holding a rifle to their head, they tend to do what you ask."

Lex: "Hey! Why not do the whole thing on Oprah? Spill our dysfunctional guts on national TV like regular families do."

Lana: "I always thought you were being paranoid."
Clark: "About what?"
Lana: "That being around you is too dangerous. But it's true."

Lionel: "I can't bear to lose another child." Oddly enough, I believe him. In his own twisted way, Lionel loves his son.

Four out of four stars, of course,

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:

ChrisB said...

This is a difficult episode to watch. Lex, usually so calm, cool and in control, is very frightening and sad when he loses that demeanour. I agree that Michael did an amazing job.

One of the things I like best about this outing is that the three kids (where was Pete?) all rally around Lex, no questions asked. Not sure if that will continue, what with Lana getting hurt and all (shock, horror), but it was lovely to see it here.

Liz said...

I always enjoyed the fact that "belle reve" translates to "beautiful dream," which to me is a poetic way to describe psychosis. Ah, the French... :)