During Lineage, Lex's life was put in danger by his brother's mother. At the end of Lineage, Lex, who is alive *only* thanks to Clark's presence, approaches his father in the study. The opera Madam Butterfly is playing in the background as the following exchange takes place:
Lionel: Lex? That you?
Lex: (Dryly) Still alive and kickin, Dad. No thanks to you.
Lionel: (Chuckling) You're a survivor, son. I knew she wasn't going to kill you.
Lex: Not for lack of trying.
Here we see Lex implicating his father in his potential death, and Lionel talking to Lex about survival. Which is ridiculous because Lex didn't survive, he was saved by Clark. However, I can't help but parallel this scene with the Lionel/Lex scene at the beginning, then the end, of Phoenix:
Lex: Abraham threw Isaac on the pyre to prove his faith to God. What was your excuse?
Lex implicating Lionel in an attempt on his life
Lionel: Lex? Son.
Lex: Disappointed I'm not basking in the fires of hell?
Lionel: Lex. Put the gun down.
Lex: Sorry I screwed up your plan.
Lionel: Why would I murder my own flesh and blood? Son, you're not yourself.
Why would you refuse to give into the demands of a madwoman when you knew she would probably hurt and/or kill your own flesh and blood? (If Lex is your flesh and blood, that is.)
Lineage ends with Lionel dismissing Lex:
Lionel: (Rubbing his eyes) Forgive me, Lex, I'm very tired. It's been a long day.
Lex: (Softly) Sure, Dad.
...and then pulling out the locket of Lucas' hair. We end with opera, lies, and a parting of ways.
Phoenix ends with opera, lies, and a false alliance. Like the beginning of the Lineage scene, and the beginning of the Phoenix episode, it ends with Lionel talking about survival, and Lex's ability to survive. Only this time, it's Lex's wits that let him survive in the second plane with Helen. Who knows what let him survive on the island.
Lex: You know the sick thing? Of all people, I knew you'd understand.
Lionel: I do. Survival is what matters in life.
Lex: I know that now. If I was anybody else's son I would have died on that island. All the tests you put me through . . . made me a survivor. If I keep my pride in check I know there's more to learn from you. I was hoping your offer still stands to run LuthorCorp together.
Lionel: I, um, I-I don't want you making a hasty decision, Lex. You've just been through an incredibly traumatic ordeal.
Lex: No. I've learned to trust my instincts.
Lionel: (Quiet, proud) Good to have you back . . . Son.
There's a very interesting difference in the final interactions between Lex and Lionel in Lineage versus Phoenix. In Lineage, Lionel not only puts Lex's life in danger by refusing to comply with Rachel's demands, he also ends the scene by denying his son Lucas' existance. And in Prodigal, Lionel calls Lucas 'son' as part of a way to persuade Lucas to sign the papers and go into business with him. At the end of Phoenix, when Lex claims to have learned to trust his instincts (although he doesn't say what his instincts are; I wager that his instincts are that you can't trust anyone you love or want to love, and that it's safer to keep your enemies close, to keep them under your surveillance), Lionel finally shakes Lex's hand, welcoming him back into the family business, and calls him 'son'. To Lionel, business and family are equivalent, and love is merely a deterrent, a weakness. Lex only gets the title of son when he concedes to Lionel. Interesting that to Lionel, a son is a person who works with you, not a person who you comfort when his wife who he apparently loved tries to kill him. It's sad, really.
Thinking of Shattered in the light of Lineage and Exile also made me think: schizophrenia is genetic. If we are to believe the behavior of Rachel in Lineage and Lex during his summer (and that he truly imagined Louis as well as Julian, and perhaps even Darius' death), then it would appear that Rachel and Lex both have serious symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. Now, I realize I'm not saying anything original here. To be slightly more analytical, Lex and Rachel do express different types of positive (outward behavioral) symptoms: Lex experiences hallucinations while Rachel experiences delusions. The only inconsistency in their symptoms is that schizophrenics are not typically violent. And, as we've seen, Lex and Rachel are both pretty violent. Nevertheless. Withholding realism, and suggesting that Lex really did imagine Louis and Julian without the influence of drugs (which pains me to do so, by the way. I don't want to think Lex is crazy), then that brings me back to my theory which probably no one will believe:
Rachel, not Lillian, is Lex's mother. The argument of lineage (not to mention similar facial features, as lola_thursday noticed) is as presented in the previous paragraph.
Martha: Rachel's been admitted to a private psychiatric clinic. Even if she tries to explain what you did, nobody will believe her.
After Clark put his body between an axe and Lex's body, causing the axe to shatter. Clark replied that he felt sorry for Rachel. But now, it's the same situation for Lex. He saw the car crash into Clark, and he's been admitted into Belle Reve. If he tries to explain what Clark did, no one will believe him.
I just can't help but think that Lineage was a huge foreshadowing of Shattered, and Season 3 up to this point. Rachel used Lex to get to Clark (through Lionel and the press conference, thinking that Clark was Lucas); now, with committing Lex to Belle Reve, there's a big possibility that Lionel is using Lex to get to Clark. If this is the case, both episodes show that Lionel getting what he wants, whether that be showing that he doesn't give in to demands or finding out Clark's secrets, is more important than his son's well-being.
There's *also* the frightening possibility that Lex was a part of both schemes. Think of it. What if Rachel were only an actor, and Lucas' existance part of a conspiracy to learn more about Clark. Lionel put surveillance cameras in the plane with Lex; why wouldn't he put them in the house on Blueberry Lane that was rented to Rachel Dunleavy in Lucas Luthor's name? Why wouldn't Lionel and Lex act together with Rachel to apparently put Lex's life in danger so that, as always, Clark would come to the rescue, and they'd see Clark shattering the axe, a testament to his strength and speed. And this way, Lionel wouldn't actually be putting Lex's life in danger by not behaving at the press conference as he was supposed to. In Prodigal when Lucas arrived, the Luthors conspired against each other, or so it seemed. But look at the outcome: Clark was in the vent, burning the gun in Lionel's hand to save Lucas. Power #3. And Lucas conveniently disappeared after that.
The plane crash risking Lex's life would've been the ultimate in discovering more of Clark's powers. Unfortunately, Clark was going through an identity crisis in Metropolis, so that didn't work. So what do you do? Have Lex hide out in Clark's loft and distract Clark with his sexy charms. Then Lionel arrives and Chloe tells Clark about Lex's hallucination in the bell tower, cueing Lex to act mad and sing to a blanket. Clark proves his loyalty to Lex when Lex asks him to choose between his parents and Lex. Then, Lex witnesses Clark's weakness in the face of Kryptonite and, in a desperate attempt at redemption, Clark allows Lex to see the car crash into him, even though he'll never be allowed to believe it or share it. After Lex 'stupidly' babbles on about Clark's abilities, Clark breaks Lex out of the asylum, or tries...
Whoa. I'm getting dark here. ;)
Your thoughts? Would be greatly appreciated.
Transcripts borrowed from DTS.
ETA: Of the theories I've presented, I think it's safe to say that each is in conflict with the other. I don't believe them all to be true; just that each is possibly true. But certainly not all at the same time.