Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yuletide TV Day 20: Smallville

Series: Smallville

Episode: S5E9 "Lexmas"

Original airdate: December 8, 2005

Santa? Drunk Santa and Santa Clark

Other holidays mentioned: None

Availability: iTunes 

Unique Christmas Story:
"Lexmas" is, in a way, a rip-off of the Nicolas Cage movie "The Family Man," which in turn is a rip-off of "It's a Wonderful Life." In "The Family Man," instead of seeing what the world would be like if he had never been born, Nic Cage gets to see what his life would have been like if he stayed with the woman he loved. Manipulating this idea for their own designs, the people behind Smallville use "Lexmas" as a fork in the road for Lex Luthor.

Lex is shot on Christmas Eve while doing a shady deal to dig up dirt on Jonathan Kent. He goes into a coma and wakes up next to Lana Lang with their child jumping on their bed. This episode is well into the fifth season of Smallville, a show that started with Lex and Clark Kent as friends, but slowly evolved the relationship to the one fans are familiar with today. This episode is the point of no return for Lex. His dead mother informs him he is seeing what his life will be like if he gives up his quest for power. If he does not, he will succumb to it and turn into the villain viewers know he will become.

The episode's result is a foregone conclusion, but that doesn't mean it isn't interesting to watch. Sure the plot device is a bit of a cheat, but it works well in both a Christmas context and for the plotting of the show.

Michael Rosenbaum plays Lex Luthor with depth. Lex Luthor is a complicated villain to begin with, but placing him in a context where he can see what it would be like to live a happy life puts a nice spin on an otherwise familiar tale.

Lex comes from a troubled background, so he gets to experience the happiness of having a family with Lana, a strong friendship with Clark and a proxy father in Jonathan Kent. This Lex is one who uses his intellect and cunning for good, and lives a richer life because of it.

As I said though, we all know how this ends. When something happens to Lana, Lex realizes that because he forfeited everything that comes with being a Luthor, he won't be able to save her.

So he chooses a different path, the one he is destined for, in the hopes that his power with be able to bring him everything he longs for anyway.

Unique Christmas Message:
Um...don' Luthor. That's the best I got.

My final trip across the pond will include an encounter with some super-powered delinquents. 

No comments:

Post a Comment