THE DARKEST STAR OF THE UNDERWORLD: a Lex Luthor FST
Warning: spoilers ahoy.
Summary: Smallville portrays the beautiful and unavoidable demise of a brilliant man with exquisite perfection. What makes Lex's fall from grace all that bit more convincing is the fact that, whilst everything else revolves around Clark being an alien and magical occurences, Lex's problems are solely attributable to human factors. Smallville shows us glimpses of the man Lex could have been and reminds us of his good-intentions-turned-selfish-megaloman
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01. Scritti Politti- Die Alone
Disconnected, inter-connected, I wrecked it, not what the letter of the law suspected
Descencus is our word for today, now is that O.K.?
De·scen·sus, n.: the process of descending or falling from a higher position. The soft vocals of Green Gartside and the harsh tones of Mos Def unite the goods and bads of everyone's favourite millionaire, and really, what else is there to say?
02. Temposhark- Little White Lie
Meet me at the aftershow, I'll be waiting with the keys to my hotel
A little white lie never hurt anyone, a little white lie turns into another
Little white lie, shall I tell another?
The song for Lex's various liaisons with women, shown in the episode Bound. At all the executive parties he attends Lex rarely leaves without a woman on his arm, and what inevitably ensues is nothing more than gold-digging and attempts at fulfillment. Considering Lex's entirely screwed up childhood, it's not that surprising that his blocked-out promiscuity is an attempt to find completion somewhere outside of his family.
03. Machines of Loving Grace- Butterfly Wings
Don't place faith in human beings, human beings are unreliable things
Don't place faith in human beings, human beings or butterfly wings.
Perhaps one of the songs they would have played in .zero.consequences. on Goth Night, perhaps just a rather apt track to epitomise Lex's belief in the human race. It's a way of saying 'I'm a sociopath' in a very poetic way, and as far as I can see Lex does this indirectly in almost every episode.
04. Smash Mouth- Defeat You
Would you do anything, whatever it takes? Jacks in the road, yeah, fix the breaks?
Born is a human with mechanics to win, born is machine with a human tucked in.
Lex is a complicated cookie, I think we all know that. Whilst resenting his father for ever bringing him up in such a way he can't help but find the challenges set to him, for want of better word, interesting. When he loses he loses hard, but when he wins the smirk on his face proves how the success makes him feel. And he knows his and his father's M.O.'s are a little below the belt, a little nastier than necessary, and he knows that really, in his business and personal life, he needs to set some limits. But then the voice reminds him, Luthors don't have limits. And the smirk is back. So who else but Smash Mouth to provide the perfect up-beat music for a man enjoying his inhumanity?
05. The Artful Dodger- Woman Trouble
I bet she never told you everything that drifted through her mind, all the secret thoughts,
Well, I bet you never caught her sliding with another man such as I did.
I feel fantastic, bombastic, ecstatically astounded how a girl can really lose her brain
I feel surrounded, confounded, emotionally dumbfounded to think you've nearly won your game.
My, my, Lex has such woman troubles (mostly embodied by the über bitch queen from hell, Dr. Helen Bryce). I mean, seriously - first there's the Englishwoman (go us!) who seduces Lex and then sleeps with his daddy, then there's Desiree Atkins who uses her kryptonian powers to get Lex to marry her and then tries to kill him, and then comes Bryce who marries Lex, crashes his airoplane and then maroons him on some godforsaken island in the middle of nowhere. It's no wonder, really, that Lex is not the most trusting of people. His good looks get him in trouble all the time.
06. Poe- Control
While you were looking the other way, while you had your eyes closed
While you were licking your lips 'cause I was miserable, while you were selling your soul
While you were tearing a hole in me I was taking control - don't you mess with me.
A song for the mindgames which are part and parcel of the Luthor package. First it's Lionel in the driver's seat, then Lex gets him sent to prison and it's Lex calling the shots. Then again the tables are turned as Lionel tries to murder everyone who helped put him away - including his own son - and when he gets out, Lionel's back on top. The only conclusive winner will be the last one left standing, and one can only hope that youth will win out.
07. Moist- Pleasing Falsetto
Can't imagine that there's anyone stopping me - we got the devil in mind.
Much like Defeat You, the Luthors only have a problem - being able to do too much. Indeed, Dostoyevsky once called it the 'burden of freedom'. Lex and his father have so much power morality loses all meaning, and with no perspective (or a decided disregard of it) this means absolute under-handed mayhem. Unfortunately, it isn't Luthor policy to dedicate one's life to the Greater Good. No wonder Lex keeps having those premonitions of bloody rain and nuclear war.
08. Stars- He Lied About Death
Mellow suit, mellow smile, limousines down murder mile - watch the devils at play
Another mention of devils, fear my subtlety. Taking things at face value, isn't it interesting the way that the worst organised crime is organised by demure business men in suits, ordering leather-jacketed thugs to do their bidding from their minimal sky-scraper offices in Metropolis? Limousines wouldn't really fit in with the rough tactics employed by Lionel, but goodness me, that's where all the trouble starts.
09. Muse- Hysteria
It's holding me, morphing me and forcing me to strive to be endlessly cold within
A song for when Lex lets some of his anger show, and taking 'it' to be his father. Lionel's idea of how to be a father leaves, at best, much to be desired. He does just what Muse says to Lex - he has control over his son due to their family ties, tries to mold him into a Lionel mini-me and tries to teach Lex that, in the cruel world of work and reality, there's no place for emotions. They only make you weak, after all.
10. Fiona Apple- On The Bound
Hell don't know my fury, and maybe some faith would do me good.
For when Lex is plotting and planning and the little voice in the back of his head just will not shut up. I think Lex often wonders to himself if he isn't being a little too harsh on humanity and should try to believe a bit more like Clark. Then his memories of being betrayed and backstabbed ever since he can remember comes back, and that idea's worth less than a Luthor word of honour.
11. Switchfoot- Beautiful Letdown
It was a beautiful letdown when I crashed and burned, when I found myself alone, unknown and hurt
It was a beautiful letdown the day I knew that all the riches this world had to offer me would never do
Lex crashed his porsche, had mental breakdowns and has been pushed to the verge of complete self-destruction too many times to count. His own father planned his admittance to a mental asylum and the 'alternative shock therapy' that could had an even chance of leaving him brain-dead. Lex has everything that money can buy and all the privileges in the world, and he's so incomplete it's unreal.
12. Incubus- The Warmth
I'd like to close my eyes, go numb, but there's a cold wind coming from the top of the highest high-rise today
It's not a breeze 'cause it blows hard, yes, and it wants me to discard the humanity I know
Watch the warmth blow away.
One time when Clark was having problems with his father, Lex said to him, 'You can tell me, Clark. I wrote the book on family dysfunction.' It's incredible, really, how long Lex managed to hold out against his father's constant manipulations, and considering what really happened back with his mother and brother when he was a child, it's hard to believe that he only had two or three psychotic breaks.
13. Massive Attack- Small Time Shot Away
We're like identical twins sucking on the same teat, spitting out the same things
It's wartime everytime, small talk everytime, it's my favorite chloroform, it's pill time everytime, get it out the way
Friction wound, ricochet.
Another Lionel-and-Lex relationship song. Everytime they meet it's a game of cat-and-mouse, experience versus the dynamism of youth, and every comment exchanged between them is carefully worded, checked and documented. Lionel's been at the game longer but Lex has been taught by the best, and they're a pretty equal match. Chloe Sullivan revealed once and for all in Truth that the thing Lex wants most from life is for his father to love him - biologically Lionel gave Lex life, but he's killing his son every day. Friction wound, ricochet.
14. Frou Frou- The Dumbing Down of Love
Well painted, Passion, you rightly suspect impersonation - the dumbing down of love
Jaded in anger love underwhelms you, no box of chocolates whichever way you fall
For when Lex sits musing by the fireside, glass of brandy (spiked or otherwise) in his hand, ruminating on the various different aspects of love and how they've all let him down. First, there's family love - his mother killed his brother, he took the blame, and ever since he's been a failure and a lesser man in his father's eyes. Then there's amorous love - referring back to Woman Trouble, Lex hasn't ever really had much luck in that department. Finally there's platonic love, that which he shares with Clark, and even that's pretty rocky ground some of the time. So what else can Lex do but warm his feet with the fire and heart with that brandy?
15. Sneaker Pimps- 6 Underground (Nellee Hooped Edit)
Don't think 'cause I understand I care, don't think 'cause I'm talking we're friends
Overground, watch this space, I'm open to falling from grace.
The ultimate song for Lex's and Clark's relationship. From the moment the two became friends - when he ran Clark off a bridge in his porsche, in fact - Lex has been second-guessing his friend. First, it was only wonderment at how the kid could be hit by his speeding car, rip its door off and save Lex from imminent drowing. Then, as Clark miraculously saved more people, Lex begins to think his friend is something more than the simple farmboy he appears to be. Finally, when Lex's mental health deteriorates and the paranoia sets in, the relationship is little more than a front for him at all. It took Clark a while but eventually he too begins to have real doubts about the good intentions of his best millionaire. Some scenes in the show tell us how much Lex cares about Clark and wants to protect him, but other scenes show how far he's fallen since he first met Clark. These two dysfunctional boys, could we love them any more?
16. Frank Sinatra- One For My Baby
We're drinking, my friend, to the end of a brief episode -
Make it one for my baby and one more for the road.
The title of this FST, the darkest star of the underworld, was a phrase once used to describe Frank Sinatra. Considering Ol' Blue Eyes' ties to the mafia and star-studded career at the mic, he and Lex are not so dissimilar after all. Both live double lives, one where they have every opportunity in life and appear to be good-natured, attractive human beings. The other side of the coin, however, hides a side of them which is full of violence, danger and anger at the world. Sinatra was once sent a severed horse-head in his hotel room as a warning from the mob, and Lex? Well, he's always got Clark to remind him of what could be. Then he looks back over his shoulder, and, there he is.
We're Luthors, says Lionel. We're Luthors.
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Despite the purple prose, you know you still want this FST.
Download it here from YSI or here from Megaupload. :)
Please forgive the gushing. It's been a long night. ♥