Smallville Theory Examined: The Great Lex-i-con.
What is the current status of Lex Luthor in Smallville? Sorry folks, he's really dead!
I have to ask myself how many people actually watch Smallville sometimes. Every time I look at the comments section on an Ask Ausiello or The Big Tease type spoiler-fest where Michael Rosenbaum or Lex Luthor have been mentioned, or anything else related to him, I see people talking about how he isn't dead on the show.
Here's how the evidence actually stacks up. The final conclusion, though, is this:
Lex is dead. He will be back.
Many people make a big deal of how Lana survived a car bombing (Season 6: "Phantom") but wasn't really dead, or how Chloe did the same thing with a house blowing up. Yes, it could be that Lex put some dna of his into the wreckage and really survived. Yes he could have had some elaborate escape. But he didn't.
Oliver got Lex's Kryptonite ring of Lex's finger. Oliver made sure he was dead. But these aren't the main reasons he's dead. Take a look at the big picture of how the show has dealt with Lex since he ceased to be a major character.
In the first half of season eight, Lex wasn't seen, but he was very much felt. His presence behind the scene's pulling the strings was integral to Tess' story arc in the first half of that season. There was a decided lack of this presence after "Requiem."
Lex Luthor is such a force in the Superman universe that he cannot be alive and unfelt. He is always scheming - always pulling the strings. If he was still alive, he would have already killed Tess for declaring him dead in the first place. Take a look at the references to Lex since Requiem. Apart from a flashback of him and Davis in "Eternal," the mentions have all reinforced his death, and alluded to his resurrection.
Perhaps the most powerful example of this was the brilliantly performed scene in "Hex" where Oliver is looking at a newspaper article about Lex' death and Zatanna enters. When she offers him his wish (which he never takes in the episode) asking if there was anything he regretted or would take back, Oliver looks over at the newspaper revealingly.
Now people, this is a show based on comics. People come back from the dead all the time. In "Hex," Zatanna even almost brings her own father back to life, though she alludes that a mere wish could do that for others.
In season nine, Lex is brought up in "Echo," when the Toyman tries to have revenge on Oliver for framing him for the murder. Then again in "Roulette," Chloe uses the murder as a tool to make Oliver face his demons.
People make too much of Dr. Fate's comments to Clark in "Absolute Justice." He never said Lex was alive. In fact, Clark says "Lex is dead." What is clear, is that Lex will be back, whether it's through a wish (a la Zatanna) or some other means. That is the extent of the presence that is now felt. He is not presently in the picture, but the writers have been building an anticipation that he's coming back.
For people to keep rumbling that Lex is still alive is to have missed the point altogether with regards to Lex's personality and the direction of Smallville. Lex's impending return from the dead will allow the show to finish on the highest note. All that is left to do is finalise the deal with Rosenbaum. What I don't understand is why they can't have him come back with red hair the same way that Alexander Luthor did in the comics... as a genetically engineered clone with the brain patterns. Let Rosenbaum keep his hair! Work around it... (and let him lose it again for the finale if you must.)