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Smallville 7×12 Fracture review

Short version, Smallville does The Cell. Smallville has never been too shy about ripping off movies for episode concepts and Fracture S7e12 is hardly Smallville’s first episode set in someone’s mind but the premise is a rather obvious takeoff on Cell. But while Fracture tries to make the inside of Lex’s mind horrific, only in the final struggle does it even come close. That might be in part because Fracture is very clearly Smallville’s version of a bottle show, low on special effects besides some low grade rotoscoping, and set in all the usual places including the same studio hallway the characters regularly get chased through and low on guest stars, or in other words cheap.

The larger problem is that Cell was horrific because Jennifer Lopez’s character was entering the mind of a lunatic while much as the show likes to insist, Lex isn’t insane. Lex Luthor was never conventionally insane, he was a megalomaniac and while Smallville has been best at dealing with Lex Luthor, Season 7 has seen an increasingly unstable depiction of Lex Luthor, from the penitent who voluntarily went to jail and believed that Kara had been an angel, back to the same old Lex Luthor, who in between cloned and killed several versions of his brother.

Meanwhile Lionel Luthor, once Smallville’s coolest evil character, has been watered down and made completely senseless. Last week he was trying to bring Lex down, this week he’s busy telling Lex that he loves him. The scenes between Lex and Alexander are occasionally disturbing but they are hard to believe and don’t do justice to Michael Rosenbaum’s more complex take on Lex Luthor. Meanwhile Kara reemerges with Fracture, this time devoid of memory and still devoid of acting skills. The only saving grace for Fracture is that we see Chloe use her powers and struggle with their responsibilities.

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