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23 November 2003 @ 05:08 pm
You Could Have It All, My Empire of Dirt  


Let me get this out of the way, so that I can be semi-coherent: OHMYGOD JOHN GLOVER AND MR ROCK MY WORLD SO HARD!!

Okay, I feel better now. Here's something that's been whirling around my brain: Lionel's been pushing Lex toward that psychologist since he first came back from the island. Why? What was the point of it when Lex didn't have the dirt on Lionel's parents? And why have so many of us accepted Morgan Edge's version of the story as gospel truth?

I've been thinking it all over, and I have some theories. It's possible that they're way far out there, so feel free to comment and say "Nifra, you're totally whacked. Shut up and go write something fluffy." *laughs* Let me preface all of this by saying that, in my opinion, Lionel truly loves Lex. I don't think it's overstating the case to say that Lex is the most important thing in the world to him -- if Lex wasn't, then Lionel wouldn't expend so much time and energy trying to control him. And think back to S1 -- the happiest we *ever* see Lionel is when he's playing with Lex. Although, his version of playing is a lot closer to all out warfare than most people's, it's still *playing* for Lionel. He's like a cat that never sheathes his claws. In that final scene of Shattered, Lionel's obviously just *broken* by seeing Lex there. It wasn't what he wanted for his son, I believe that one hundred percent. (Also - I think that the song 'Hurt' applies more to Lionel than it does to Lex. Check out the lyrics. No, really.)

Lionel *means* it when he says he doesn't want to lose another child -- he means it when he says he can't stand it. After all, he's already lived through losing Lex once. And it's directly *after* that when he starts to enact his plan to get Lex to see a psychologist, get checked out, that kind of thing. So, why? Why do this when he's so obviously relieved to see Lex back, alive?

My answer is this: he wants to tie Lex to him. The original plan for driving Lex crazy probably had more to do with putting Lionel in the position of Lex's savior, with isolating Lex from everyone and everything *but* Lionel, thus making him easier to manipulate into Lionel's image (which Lionel honest to God believes is *best* for Lex), and keeping him *near* and *with* Lionel. If Lex started to go a little crazy, and Lionel rescued him -- gave him drugs, got rid of the people trying to drive him nuts, whatever -- then Lionel would be the only one Lex would/could trust. What Lionel wanted was to be in the position that Clark's in by the time of Shattered.

Why doesn't it go that way? Because Lex finds out about Edge and Lionel's actions regarding his grandparents. I believe Edge this far: Lionel didn't want to kill Lex, so with the plan he already had in place he came up with an option to Lex being killed outright by Edge. They knew he was looking into the situation when they found the private detective (abrasive bastard that he was) who worked for Lex, and killed him. Edge (from what we've seen of him) was a ruthless man who'd see that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, or a dead body in this case. Kill Lex, and the threat disappears.

Lionel's not about to let that happen, but he recognizes the threat as well. And he also knows Edge well enough to know that Edge isn't going to let Lex live if there's a possibility that the story is going to get shuffled to the US Attorney's office or what-have-you, so he escalates things. Has Lex's drugs increased, enacts the plan with Darius and the other gaurd. But he's got another plan in mind also now, one that will allow him to gain his original goal as well: find Lex after he leaves the mansion, and take him home. Tell him it was all Edge, and then team up with him against Edge, thus solidifying the bond and becoming, once more, the savior.

What he's not counting on is Clark Kent. Lionel thinks that if he shows up at the Kent farm, tells them about Lex's previous psychotic episode, that the Kents will hand Lex over, no questions asked. When Clark doens't, that throws *everything* off kilter, but...there's nothing Lionel can really do about it. And that must send Lionel into the kind of tailspin you don't regularly see in a Lionel. That scene between Lionel and Clark in the hospital may be one of my favorites of the episode -- because a) Clark's threat to Lionel that goes right over Lionel's head b) Lionel's real fury. He's spitting mad, folks. Really, honestly, spitting mad because *dammit* he was the one who was supposed to have Lex. Lex was supposed to be with *him* by now and they were supposed to be converging on Morgan Edge.

Edge, for his part, when Lex comes to him, tries a much more rudimentary approach at something similar. He (clumsily compared to Lionel's machinations) manipulates Lex, tries to get Lex to band with him against *Lionel*.

By the time that Lex gets to Belle Reve, the combination of drugs and dueling manipulations, his own inherent instability, and well, the Clark issue, have broken him down in a way that Lionel *never* wanted. What he wanted was Lex just crazy enough to be desperate, and just desperate enough to trust Lionel, because Lionel knows by now that there's no way in hell that Lex is going to trust him. Not without a little coaxing, not without a little help. But everying in this intricate plan goes 100 percent wrong, and Lex ends up in his padded cell and we all cry because that scene...*gah*. So good.

Another thing: How the hell does Lex find Edge? How does he do it? Edge is supposed to be dead, right? So how does he ferret him out?

My answer: Lucas. Sure, Lucas has kind of dropped off the map of the show, but he still lives on in my heart; happily crazy, and a hell of a lot like a mirror for Lionel to look into. Except, perhaps, a little less cautious than Lionel was at his age, but that's beside the point. To find Edge, Lex has to go to someone in Metropolis (or Edge City) who's got his finger on the pulse of what's going on in the criminal world. While Lionel might fit that bill, Lex is hardly going to go to him. Who is there that he can trust...at least a little? Lucas owes Lex at the very least honesty on this kind of an issue, and discretion as well, because he's *under Lex's protection.* Lex is standing between Lucas and Lionel, and Lucas is a smart enough boy to really appreciate that.

Besides, I get the feeling that if there's anything Lucas can do to fuck Lionel, he'll do it. And helping Lex find Edge definitely falls into that category.

I'm wondering about Lionel's parents, and what really happened there. I'm willing to bet that Lionel was, in fact, involved in their death. But how? And what was the situation? I feel like the truth of the explanation has to lie somewhere between Lionel's story and Edge's. Also, it probably has to happen within five years of what we see of Lachlan Luthor in 1961.

Young Edge and Lionel fascinate me. They really, really do. Gah, watch this space to see if that fascination morphs into fic. I've got this sinking feeling that it might.

Whew. God. I can't promise I won't post more about Shattered, because...what a bloody brilliant episode. But for right now, that's about all I've got to say. *G*
 
 
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: Johnny Cash - Personal Jesus
 
 
 
-_-: sadechoskeleton on November 24th, 2003 12:59 am (UTC)
The original plan for driving Lex crazy probably had more to do with putting Lionel in the position of Lex's savior, with isolating Lex from everyone and everything *but* Lionel, thus making him easier to manipulate into Lionel's image

*nods* This has been Lionel's primary goal since season one, to force Lex into some sort of twisted symbiosis with him. And I think that the more he felt Lex slipping, the more extreme his methods of controlling him would become.

It's why he destroyed LexCorp, why he orchestrated Lex's discovery of Lucas, why (I think) he hired Martha Kent to work for him, why he bought off Helen. *He* doesn't just want to be the most important person in Lex's life: he wants to be the only important person.

Young Edge and Lionel fascinate me. They really, really do. Gah, watch this space to see if that fascination morphs into fic.

Me too. There's just so much between the two of them, and now I find myself wondering about how close they were... I'm wondering if I could find parallels between Lionel and Morgan and Lex and Clark. *thinks*

Oh, and I really hope that you write fic about this. Because there isn't anywhere near enough, and I'm pretty sure that you'll do a wonderful job with it. *g*
pure FORESHADOWING: Clark RHPSnifra_idril on November 24th, 2003 08:15 pm (UTC)
*He* doesn't just want to be the most important person in Lex's life: he wants to be the only important person.

You're exactly right about this, I think. You could almost take it further to he wants to be the only person in Lex's life, period.

I'm wondering if I could find parallels between Lionel and Morgan and Lex and Clark. *thinks*

I'd be interested if you could, because I really don't see them...beyond the whole, two young men with slashy overtones thing. *grins* Honestly, though, Edge and Lionel grew up together...there are really more parallels between Clark and Pete. Which, now that I think about it, is kind of interesting...because Pete ends up working for Lex, doesn't he? So that puts Pete and Clark kind of at odds. Interesting. Hmm.



-_-: wickedechoskeleton on November 24th, 2003 10:14 pm (UTC)
Honestly, though, Edge and Lionel grew up together...there are really more parallels between Clark and Pete. Which, now that I think about it, is kind of interesting...because Pete ends up working for Lex, doesn't he? So that puts Pete and Clark kind of at odds.

Oh, you're right! I hadn't thought of it that way. *pauses* Do you know what Pete's relationship was like with Lex in the comics? Did he actually betray Clark... There's so much I don't know about these things.

And now I'm thinking about Pete meta. I get the odd feeling that this is a first for this fandom. Poor, absent Pete.
pure FORESHADOWING: broken supermannifra_idril on November 24th, 2003 10:54 pm (UTC)
*grins* Okay. SO. I know nothing about Pete either, but bexless is a kind and good Bex and gave me a crash course on Comics!Pete, and here's the deal with him:

He's a great guy, basically. He grows up in love with Lana Lang who's in love with Clark Kent who is Pete's best friend. Pete, in that way that really amazingly great guys have sometimes, stands back and watches his best friend have some happy with the girl he adores. He grows up, leaves Smallville, goes to Law school and comes back and finds that Lana is still in love with Clark, and waiting for him. Clark, at this point, is in his Missing Years (I don't know where he is. It could be Vegas!), and Lana thinks he's coming back for a happy ever after.

Not so, grasshopper. Clark moseys back into the picture with Lois in tow. They're not together, but any fool can see Clark's head over heels for Lois. Lana doesn't, but that's because she's madly in love with Clark. It's left to Pete to break it to her. And god, must that hurt like a mofo! But he does it anyway.

AND DOES NOT MAKE A MOVE ON HER. He's elected Senator, goes to Washington, keeps in touch with Lana, who falls madly in love with him, and they get their happy ever after.

He never betrays Clark. He's Lex's VP in a sort of counter-balance capacity; Lex needs someone to help him carry the heartland, and Pete does that. Pete also sort of acts as a counter balance to Lex's crazy.

So, mostly, when he ends up working for Lex he's not *at odds* with Clark, per se, but he's not really 100 percent with him.

The Edge/Lionel - Clark/Pete parallel isn't exact, but it's closer than Lex/Clark, I think. Because even in the end of the Edge/Lionel relationship they're working together, so they're kind of a distorted mirror for what Clark and Pete become.

I'd *love* for you to write a Pete meta. I think that would be amazing. I know I'd be the first one in line to read it. SV Pete gets so little play yet is so canonically important, that I'm always looking for insight into him.
-_-: all about meechoskeleton on November 25th, 2003 12:24 am (UTC)
I've said it before, but I swear that comic books are just like soap operas. Although, I do think that the saga of comics!Pete is kind of sweet, even though it does make comics!Lana sound like a bit of a gold-digger.

He never betrays Clark. He's Lex's VP in a sort of counter-balance capacity; Lex needs someone to help him carry the heartland, and Pete does that. Pete also sort of acts as a counter balance to Lex's crazy.

Interesting. Does Clark approve of this? Or is he indifferent? This really interests me, even though SV!Pete hasn't really had any scenes with Lex, I think that they could have a really... fucked up kind of relationship.

I'm trying to meta Pete, but it's rather hard. Mostly because about all I know about him is the product placement, which doesn't give me much to go on. He occasionally has a big role in fic, I'm never sure how much of that is based in canon. He could be a kind of contrast: showing what a 'regular' high school boy is, to indicate just how different Clark is.

Which would mean that Pete ending up with Lana in this universe would make a lot of sense. After all, Lana symbolizes normality, the ordinary life that Clark can never have. If at some point she really decided that Clark was just too weird (because I don't think that her decision at the end of Shattered is going to stick), and she would rather have nice, normal Pete... Well, it would be a bit of a theme hammer, but that's what this show is all about, isn't it?

Yeah, I'll have to review what I know about Pete, but I think that's his basic function on the show. There might be more to it, but I'm not sure what that is. Yet.
Anne: CLex religiontobyfan on November 24th, 2003 01:34 pm (UTC)
You are a genius! *g*

Seriously, though, I've been thinking all along that there has to be *more* to Lionel's plan than to just drive Lex crazy and save his own ass, but I just couldn't put my finger on what it was. I think you have a very solid theory here and I'm curious to see if it plays out this way.
pure FORESHADOWING: princess kittynifra_idril on November 24th, 2003 08:11 pm (UTC)
there has to be *more* to Lionel's plan than to just drive Lex crazy and save his own ass,

I feel like there *absolutely* must be, because...well. It starts so far before Lex even knows about Lachlan and Mrs. Lachlan! Isn't it the third episode of the season in which Lionel presses Lex to go see a psychologist? Why would he do that, if not to set up this grand plan of his?

I might be reaching, but I feel like there's got to be something there. *grins* We'll find out, won't we?
Kim: pissyClark/Lex [thefakeheadline]meadowlion on November 24th, 2003 07:03 pm (UTC)
Lex is standing between Lucas and Lionel, and Lucas is a smart enough boy to really appreciate that.

Besides, I get the feeling that if there's anything Lucas can do to fuck Lionel, he'll do it. And helping Lex find Edge definitely falls into that category.


::drops head into hands:: *Damn* it. Now I have ideas for fic about what a frustrated, broken Lionel would do with renewed access to Lucas.
pure FORESHADOWING: Mmm red duct tapenifra_idril on November 24th, 2003 08:09 pm (UTC)
*chants* Write it, write it, write it, write it...

*G*
Kim: turn-on Lexmeadowlion on November 24th, 2003 08:51 pm (UTC)
But, but, but ... gah. Okay. I'll try.