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Season One  - Season Three - Season Four - Season Five - Season Six  - Season Seven - Season Eight

Season Two: Vortex - Heat - Duplicity - Red - Nocturne - Redux - Lineage - Ryan - Dichotic - Skinwalkers - Visage - Insurgence - Suspect - Rush - Fever - Rosetta - Visitor - Precipice - Witness - Accelerate - Calling - Exodus

Prodigal

Lex and his brother, Lucas

First aired February 11, 2003

Official Description - Detailed Description - Notes

See also: Quotes - Music - Transcripts

The CW's Official Description:

Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) finds Lucas (guest star Paul Wasilewski), the son Lionel (John Glover) gave up for adoption, and brings him home in the hope that the two of them can unite against Lionel. When Lionel's machinations end up putting all three of them in a dangerous situation, Lex is left to wonder whom he can really trust. Meanwhile, Clark (Tom Welling) decides to take a job at the Talon.

Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, Sam Jones III, Annette O'Toole and John Schneider also star. Greg Beeman directed the episode written by Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders.

Detailed Description:

By Nadine

In a casino in Chinatown in Edge City, Lucas Luthor (Paul Wasilewski) is gambling at a table with Chinese men. He can speak fluent Chinese. Outside the back door of the casino, a young man has tapped into the camera system of the casino, and is closely watching everyone's cards at that table, and is then reporting the information back to Lucas' pager. The tactic is working and Lucas is winning. After a while, one of the casino's bouncers is walking around and spots the accomplice man outside the casino, and asks him who he's working for and knocks him out. Lucas realizes that he's in trouble at the same time as the casino employees are told of the security breach. A shootout ensues, but Lucas gets away. He jumps down the emergency exit stairs and finds his bike and drives off, but the casino's security men are behind him, shooting at him. Lucas tries to dodge the bullets, and he crashes his bike. At that moment, a limo pulls up, Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) comes out of the back and tells Lucas to get in. Lucas asks, "Who are you" and Lex replies, "I'm your brother", then both get in and drive off.
It's early morning at The Talon and Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) is setting up. Clark Kent (Tom Welling) comes to visit and sees the rose that he gave her the night before (see episode "Rush") lying in the trash can. He tells her that he's actually looking for a job. Lana is surprised that he would want to work here, but he explains he wants to work where his friends are. Lana confesses that he doesn't exactly have the best track record and that maybe he should go see Hank at the hardware store for a job. "Ouch", replies Clark, and she admits she might have been a little harsh, and agrees to let Clark fill in an application form.
Lionel Luthor (John Glover) is sitting in his office, and Lex brings Lucas in, and introduces father to son. Lionel hugs Lucas and seems all chocked up that his son has actually been found. The sudden affection that Lionel is showing for his second son is upsetting Lex who has never been shown such love. Lex bluntly asks his father why Lionel maintained that Lucas was dead, when he found Lucas living in Edge City. Lionel obviously doesn't want to discuss this in front of Lucas, and tells his youngest to go down to the dining room. "So, the prodigal son returns", says Lex. Lionel is wondering why Lex found Lucas now that Lucas has just turned 18, which allows any Luthor heir to receive 10% of the LuthorCorp shares. Lex reminds his father that it is the vital 10% that can get Lionel thrown off the board. Lionel laughs but tells Lex to be careful who he's dealing with.
Pete Ross (Sam Jones III) and Clark are shooting hoops at the farm and discussing why exactly Clark decided to take a job at The Talon. Lex shows up to introduce his brother to the boys. Pete realizes that Clark is shocked, so invites Lucas to play basketball and let Lex and Clark talk. Lex admits he's been looking for Lucas for several months, and Clark is confused why Lex never mentioned it. Lex admits he wasn't sure what he would find. Lex gets a call, and realizes he has to get back to the office. Clark offers to have Lucas stay with them for the afternoon, and Lex promises he'll pick Lucas up later. Lucas tells Clark that he looks like he's very close to Lex, and Pete replies, "Clark and Lex are like brothers", which of course puts everyone in an awkward situation. Clark wonders how tough it must have been for Lucas to grow up without his parents, but Lucas sees it in a different way, he feels he has become his own person, since he had no major influence in his life. There's obviously a lot of tension between Clark and Lucas, as they both size each other off. They start shooting hoops, both of them trying to show off, and Pete looking impressed but worried that this could end badly. Each boy starts taking more risks in order to show their superiority. At one point, Lucas tries to grab the ball from Clark, and hits his hand against Clark's arm, and obviously hurts himself. He tries to calm the situation down, but asks Clark if he has a steel plate in his arm. Both boys are a little upset, although no words had been exchanged during their game, but Lucas asks Pete for a ride back to the Luthor mansion.
Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) shows up at The Talon and is very curious about Clark applying to work at The Talon. Lana explains that she feels weird working with Clark and being his boss, but Chloe reminds her that it is a lot of fun bossing Clark around. Chloe knows that there's more to Lana's reluctance, and asks her, "Why do you really not want him there?", and Lana just does not look comfortable with having Clark around her all the time, and Chloe confirms, "Yeah, that's what I thought".
Lex walks into his father's office, and is upset that Lionel has frozen all his accounts. Lionel tells Lex it was a bad move to put all his assets into trying to regain control of the Fertilizer Plant, and reminds Lex that LexCorp is now the property of LuthorCorp. Lionel goes as far as telling Lex that he wants him out of the mansion. Lex threatens to get Lucas on his side against their father, but Lucas walks in and says, "Don't be so sure" and sides with Lionel. Lex tells his brother he is being stupid, that he doesn't know Lionel like Lex does, but Lionel tells Lex that some sons just naturally side with their father.
Lex shows up at the Kents, explaining that his dad has taken everything he owns and he doesn't have a place to sleep. Martha Kent (Annette O'Toole) shows concern for him, but Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) is looking extremely reluctant. The next day, Jonathan is watching Lex, whose up early and working on the farm. Martha reminds Jonathan that they can't turn their back on Lex now, and Jonathan says he's not, and that, in fact, Lex is the one that offered to do the chores and seems to be quite enjoying it. Clark seems happy to have Lex there, but Jonathan reminds him not to forget that Lex did have Clark investigated for a year, and that they shouldn't leave Lex alone on the farm, and not to forget what is in the storm cellar. Clark goes to check on Lex, and they joke about Lex working on a farm. Lex tells Clark that he's done it before and that it makes him feel normal. Also, Lex confesses that he wants to prove to Jonathan that he can pull his own weight.
Lucas has rearranged Lex's office and installed a plasma screen TV and video games. Lionel walks in, and orders Lucas to turn it off and to sign over his shares to Lionel. He reminds Lucas that it was their agreement, that he would side with Lionel against Lex to kick him out, and then, in return for a hefty sum, would sign his shares back to Lionel. But Lucas is in no hurry to sign, realizing now that he wants more money from Lionel. He also wants to know why Lionel didn't come to look for him, but Lionel explains that his mother told him that Lucas had died. Finally, Lucas agrees to sign, but he spots Lionel looking straight at the paper and his signature. He stands in front of his father, at a distance, and suddenly, picks up a ball from the pool table, and throws it right at Lionel's head. Lionel immediate reaction is to duck, just as Lucas suspected, Lionel can see!! Lionel asks him why he's doing this, and Lucas answers, "Lex is the past, I am the future".
Lana calls Clark to The Talon and offers him the job, thanks to a glowing recommendation from Chloe. Lucas shows up and tells her that she should consult him on this. She's confused and says that only Lex has a partnership with her. Clark explains that Lucas is Lex's brother, and Lucas explains that everything that Lex used to own is now his. But Lana reminds him that Lex was not her boss, he was her partner. Lucas replies, "Even better", and walks off, leaving Clark and Lana to wonder what he means.
Clark and Chloe are chatting about Lucas at the Torch, and Chloe tells him she's done a little research on Lucas. He was never adopted by anyone, and just bounced from foster home to foster home. And then, recently, she finds a file on him that was just very recently created, and it's from the Metropolis United Charities. Clark takes it to Lex.
Lex confronts his father, and realizes that Lionel knew about Lucas all along but that he only wanted Lex to find Lucas just recently, as he was turning 18, and that it was all a plow by Lionel to kick Lex out, and that Lucas was in on it. Lex then confronts his brother, and tells him he knows everything. Lucas confesses that Lionel contacted him three weeks ago and explained his plan. Lex wonders what Lucas is really after, and reminds his brother that if Lucas is after Lionel's affection, that's not the way to go about it, and that he will never get it. Lex reminds Lucas that he doesn't know Lionel like Lex does. Lex tells his brother that he also knows about his financial problems back in Edge City and that he does have people after him.
Lucas is watching Lana run the Talon. Clark shows up for work, but he's late. Lana rushes him to work, but Lucas notices and orders Lana to fire Clark. Lana refuses, so Lucas threatens to fire her too. She reminds him that he can't do that, that Lex changed the partnership agreement to make sure that this doesn't happen. Lucas leaves, but Clark runs after him. He catches up with Lucas in the back alley behind The Talon. He tells Lucas that he'll quit if Lucas wants, but that Lucas should leave Lana alone. At that moment, at the end of the alley behind them, a Chinese man on a bike shows up, pointing a gun at Lucas. He fires three shots. Clark watches this, and, using his superspeed, knocks the shooter off his bike, runs faster than the bullets, throws the first bullet out of the way, and then throws himself between the two other bullets and Lucas, pushing him to the ground and protecting him. One of the bullets bounces off Clark's hand, but the other bounces off Clark's back, leaving a burnt mark in Clark's jacket, but obviously not affecting Clark. Lucas is shocked by what just happened and notices Clark's smoking jacket.
Lionel comes to see Lucas in his office and says that he heard about the incident. They discuss Clark and Lionel just tells him that "Clark is a very special young man". Lionel asks about the shooter, and Lucas confesses that he did business with Dirk, back in Edge City and wonders how Dirk found him. Lionel reminds Lucas that he took everything away from Lex, so obviously Lex is going to get back at him by sending Dirk to kill him. But Lucas doesn't buy it, saying that Lex told him that this is something that Lionel would do to get Lucas out of the picture. Lucas explains that he doesn't know who to believe, and Lionel tries to convince him, by telling him that he sees a strength in Lucas that he's never seen in Lex and its something Lex is afraid of, and that Lucas has totally proved himself as far as Lionel is concerned.
Chloe tells Clark that Dirk Lee was caught, and that, as he was being interrogated at the police station, he was shot. She's surprised that someone would do that at the station in daylight. Clark reflects that it must have been someone very desperate to get rid of Dirk. He starts thinking and leaves The Talon in the middle of his shift.
Lex comes to the barn to thank Jonathan for letting him stay. Jonathan tells him that he's welcome back anytime, that he threw the worst possible chores he could think of at Lex, and that Lex did them all without complaining. Lex is about to reply, when Lucas shows up behind Jonathan and knocks Jonathan out. Lex is shocked and asks, "What are you doing?", and Lucas replies, "Finishing what you started".
Clark goes to see Lionel, who thanks him for saving Lucas. Clark tells Lionel that he's sure he knows that they caught Dirk, but that he was killed. Lionel pretends not to know, but Clark doesn't buy it and tells Lionel he thinks it's awfully convenient. At that moment, Lionel's phone rings, and Lionel asks Clark to leave before he answers it. Lionel answers it and it's Lucas. Lionel seems shocked and says that he'll take the chopper and meet Lucas very quickly, and tells Lucas not to do anything rash. Clark has heard the whole conversation.
Lionel arrives in his own office in LuthorCorp. Lex is tied up, sitting on a chair, and Lucas is pointing his gun at Lex. Lionel panics and tells Lucas to put the gun down. Lex is shocked and asks his dad, "How did you know he has a gun?" and gets really upset when he realizes that Lionel lied to him all this time. Lionel is still very stressed and pleads with Lucas, "You are not going to shoot your brother". At that point, Lucas shifts the focus of his gun onto Lionel, and shoves another gun into Lionel's hand and says, "You're right, you are". Lucas is standing there with a gun pointed at Lionel, and Lionel has a gun pointed at Lex. Lionel asks what Lucas hopes to accomplish, and Lex reminds his dad that if he kills them both, then Lucas will inherit everything. Clark shows up and uses his x-ray vision to see the situation in the office. He realizes he can't go in there, and looks up and sees the air conditioning vent. Lionel pleads with Lucas to rethink this. Lex also tries to reason with Lucas, saying that the two boys are just a social experiment for Lionel, where one boy gets it all and the other gets nothing. He tells Lucas that Lionel has just been playing him the whole time, that he always knew where Lucas was, that Lucas should wonder how he always got bailed out of sticky situation, and also, he tells Lucas that Dirk was on Lionel's payroll. At that point, Clark reaches the vent located right above the three Luthors, and focuses his heat vision onto Lucas' hand. Lucas gets burnt and lets go of the gun, and Lionel punches his son to the ground. Lucas is lying on the ground with Lionel pointing his gun at him, and in the heat of the moment, Lionel, in defense of Lex, shoots Lucas. But Lucas laughs, and Lionel realizes he's shooting blanks. Lucas gets up and shows that, in fact, both guns had blanks, that it was just a set up by both his sons to test Lionel. As he starts untying Lex, Lionel notices the burnt floor, and looks up and sees the burnt vent.
Clark comes to The Talon to apologize, but Lana tells him he's fired, which he expected anyway. He hopes that this won't change things between them, but Lana tells Clark, "I don't see how things are ever gonna change between us, Clark".
Lex is back in his office, having it rearranged. Lionel comes in, obviously no longer wearing his glasses. He told his story to the Daily Planet, saying that it was miraculous. He admits to Lex that it's been two weeks that he's been able to see. He says that he now sees more clearly than ever, and that it's amazing what people try to get away with when they think you can't see. He wonders how to repair this rift with Lex, and offers him the majority shares and anything else he wants, but Lex interprets his offer as, "How to keep the Lucas story quiet". He refuses his father's offer and explains that Lucas is now under Lex's protection. As Lex gets up to leave, Lionel reminds his son about the story of the frog and the scorpion, where the scorpion asked the frog for a ride across the river. At first the frog refuses, saying that he knows that the scorpion will sting him. But the scorpion promises not to, so the frog carries the scorpion to the other side. As they get to the other side, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog, dying, asks the scorpion why he bit the frog, and the scorpion replied, "Because it is my nature". Lionel reminds Lex that Lucas will never change, that the boy is a sociopath, and Lex sarcastically wonders which side of the tree Lucas got that from.
Lex comes to visit Clark, and the two share a moment outside the farm. Lex tells Clark that Lucas is safe, but that he will have to work at regaining Lucas' trust. Clark is sure it will work out, pointing out, "You're not your father". Later, Clark tells Lex that "As long as I live, I don't think I'll ever understand your family" and Lex responds, "Remember Clark, my father may try to rule the world, but yours will inherit the earth".

All detailed descriptions © Copyright 2000-2008- All Rights Reserved

Notes:

Edge City (mentioned in "Stray") gets another reference here.

After much speculation, it is finally revealed that Lionel has been faking blindness.

Paul Wasilewski is the second person from the show American Dreams to appear on Smallville. Jesse Hutch who's also on American Dreams has played Troy from "Redux" and Todd Turner from "Shimmer".

The WB in Dallas spotlight the series again after this episode was aired. It featured clips from the previous two episodes and more on Clark & Lana's relationship.

It seems difficult to believe that Lex doesn't have a single bank account not affiliated with LexCorp, or that he doesn't have enough cash on him to get a hotel room considering the car he arrived in.
Lionel says that Lucas just turned eighteen. So why did Rachel think that Clark was Lucas in "Lineage"? Isn't Clark supposed to be sixteen or so? (editor's note: there were some discrepancies in legacy with the age thing as well as the hair color, too, but Rachel didn't seem to be the sanest person in the world either...)

If Lex and Lucas are really working together as is revealed at the end of the episode, why was it necessary for Lucas to pistolwhip Jonathan? For that matter, why is it necessary for Lucas to be pretending to abduct Lex. Why can't they just go together peaceably? (editor's note: maybe they cut the deal after Lucas knocked out Jonathan? Some also thought that there was no deal and Lex just adapted quickly to the revelation Lucas had blanks in the gun.)

Apparently Lucas doesn't believe in castle security either - Lex strolls right in despite the fact Lucas and Lionel pretty definitely made him persona non grata there. Later Clark comes in, surprising Lionel.

Thanks to the cruddy sense of seasonal timing on this show, it's difficult to tell if Lionel witnessed Clark's superpowers in "Insurgence" a few episodes (and real-life weeks) ago. "Insurgence" and "Suspect" seem to have occurred within a day of each other, and "Prodigal" takes place the day after the preceding "Rush". It's hard to tell if "a few weeks" passed between "Suspect" and "Prodigal".

Not really a goof but poor use of sound. In the scene where Lana lets Clark go from the Talon, the lyrics start with a few seconds left in the scene. Then the cut to the next scene happens not only in the middle of a word, let alone in the middle of a line.

In the opening scene, Lana seems quite happy to see Clark and greets him warmly. Except, of course, that she was so mad she could barely look at him at the end of the previous episode. Judging from the clearly still-fresh rose in her garbage can, not much time could have passed. So what's up with Lana's extreme mood swing?

In the scene where Lucas throws the eight-ball after Lionel it is interesting that he just picks it up without stretching himself, as the ball is on the other side of the pool table.

The Metropolis United Charities webpage that Clark has is wrong. Web pages don't print out with all the buttons and things at the top as shown here.

The title of this episode refers, presumably, to the biblical story of the Prodigal Son. This parable relates the tale of a young man who leaves his father's home and then squanders his inheritance. Destitute and alone, he eventually returns home to beg for forgiveness, and his father rejoices and welcomes him back with a great feast. The story represents redemption and God's forgiveness. Contrary to popular usage (and that implied here), the word "prodigal" means overly extravagant or wasteful, particularly with regards to money. Outside of the story of the Prodigal Son, "prodigal" has absolutely nothing to do with leaving, returning, or forgiveness.

At the end of the biblical story, the father's older son learns of his father's reacceptance of the younger son and is upset by the news since it was he who had been by his father's side all those years and he who had received nothing. In the episode, Lionel readily accepts Lucas and is quick to lavish gifts upon him (including the meal downstairs - the "fatted calf"). Meanwhile, Lex has had to earn his position at his father's side. This is why Lex calls Lucas the "prodigal son" and why Lionel follows the statement with a comment on Lex's unbiblical-like open-armed acceptance of his new brother.

When Lionel says, "Where do you think you are, Walton Mountain?", he is alluding to the popular TV series about a Depression-era Virginia family that ran nine years on CBS, spawned six TV movies/sequels, and is a part of the American TV viewers' consciousness, representing good clean wholesome values and family caring and loyalty. The latter (and the lack thereof) is what Lionel is alluding to in his own household.

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Season Two: Vortex - Heat - Duplicity - Red - Nocturne - Redux - Lineage - Ryan - Dichotic - Skinwalkers - Visage - Insurgence - Suspect - Rush - Fever - Rosetta - Visitor - Precipice - Witness - Accelerate - Calling - Exodus

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Updated 1/5/09 

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