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In Defense of Lex Luthor

March 25, 2009

Superman I have been re-watching Smallville from the beginning, thanks to receiving the first 6 seasons on dvd for Christmas/ Birthday.  First of all, I forgot how good early Smallville is!  It’s amazing.  Second, what’s with all the Luthor hate?!  During my re-watch I have really started to feel for poor Lex.  Yes, we the viewers know that Lex is destined to become Superman’s nemesis, and to spend his life trying to kill Superman, but the characters in Smallville don’t know that!  And in the first 5 seasons Lex is not evil at all.  A little obsessive perhaps, but not evil.  In fact, he’s kind of heart-breaking in his attempts to become a better man than his father.  Despite the current reality, Pa Kent is always giving him the stink eye, and yells at him whenever he tries to help the Kents out–and whenever he’s around period.  Clark never really trusts him, despite all the wonderful things Lex does for him, and is constantly lying to him … while demanding that Lex tell him the truth!  Clark just seems to use Lex for favors, but whenever Lex himself wants to do anything nice it’s all “You can’t buy friendship, etc. etc.”  Plus, the mansion just seems to be a revolving door for anyone in Smallville to waltz in and blame Lex for what’s wrong in their lives.  By the fifth season it becomes a running joke–“What did I do this time?”   “This must be the part where you accuse me of some nefarious scheme.”  It’s just not right.
Papa Luthor is a monster and treats his son terribly–constantly testing him and getting him almost dead or arrested.  Lex went bald from the first meteor shower–thanks Clark!  And his poor mother and little brother died.  Lex has had a rough life, despite the silver spoon, and no one in Smallville wants to offer him any kindness.  They’re all sure that he’s just like his father.  While I’ve been watching the show, I often wonder how things might have turned out differently if the Kents had welcomed him into their family and trusted him.  I think Lex would have ended up a hero instead of a villain.  When Clark dumped their friendship, he sort of got what he deserved: a nemesis.  Also, if Papa Luthor, who was way eviler than his son, can be redeemed in the later seasons, why not Lex?  Because no one cared enough to, until it was too late.  Bad Clark. Although I guess I shouldn’t give Clark too hard of a time, as he pays for it later … what with Lex making it his mission in life to kill Superman and all …

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