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*