"Smallville" Descent (TV Episode 2008) Poster

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Lex Luthor, the Legend
Rcwilkinson12321 April 2008
Lex Luthor makes decisions that uncover his dark side completely in a long-awaited episode of the series that discloses the inevitable with respect to Lex's decisions towards complete evil.

Lex is desperate to answer questions that have eluded him ever since the town of Smallville became part of his life seven years ago. He knows that the answer to these questions is within his grasp if he can get hold of a key that he believes to be around the neck of his own father. Feeling insulted and unloved by his father over the years, the final straw is drawn when Lex realizes that much of his own life was sacrificed for the future of this Traveler. After making a climactic decision, the good in him begs to not search out the secrets that may be in Zurich. Meanwhile, Clark learns the atrocity that Lex committed and the tragedy which he has brought to others, understanding that he and his former best friend have become mortal enemies.

Every scene in 'Descent' is dynamite, from the final Lex-Lionel confrontation at LuthorCorp to the first full-fledged meeting of animosity at the Luthor mansion that now pits the true antagonist and protagonist of the show. These scenes had so much impact involved due to superb acting and an element of the story that has been foreseen since the show's early years. 'Descent' is perhaps the darkest, and one of the most emotionally impactful episodes of the series.
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Colcatron20 April 2011
As Michael Rosenbaum's final episodes as a regular cast member wind down, the show's main focus shifts to him in "Descent". The opening scene between Lex and Lionel is so strong, so powerful, so shocking that you'd think it would be impossible to keep the momentum going. The fact is despite "Descent" including possibly the greatest openings scene in Smallville history, the episode just keeps getting better as the story progresses. Lex continues his journey to the dark side, which includes it's most dramatic shift in this episode, and will come to it's climax in the season finale. I really have to give credit to Gough and Millar for making the choice to slowly and patiently build Lex's character instead of jumping into things too quickly. It's only because of the brilliant 7 year development off Lex's character that his story in Descent plays so well. If this episode doesn't convince anyone of Rosenbaum's unbelievable contribution to the show, the following season without him (season 8 with Davis Bloome and Tess Mercer as the main villains) definitely solidifies Rosenbaum's place as the one great villain of Smallville.
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T A16 May 2009
I am not going to say much about this episode in regard to plot, etc. But I do want to congratulate the director Ken Horton and all the other cast and crew for making one of the best episodes of Smallville, but also the best episode for a long time, in my opinion. This episode has it all, but most of all a deep intrigue and it is moving on to show Lex's and Clark's/Kal-El's futures, both individually with Lex becoming Truly Evil and Clark knowing that his destined enemy will for real be Lex.

"Descent" is very exciting to watch and it is also sad, to lose another great character in the story, having lost already for example Clark's parents already. But it's done in a great way, so to speak. With great effect. Anyway we also get some hints that Clark doesn't stand totally alone in protecting himself and his secret... The visual storytelling in this episode is enchanting, as well. Every scene is so well thought through. I truly like to see Tom Welling dressed up in a costume - he looks so handsome and respectful! Casting him as Clark Kent was maybe the best achievement in the making of Smallville as a series. He doesn't only have "moments of greatness", but he always shines through and delivers. On a personal note it is also kind of cool for me to know that he and I are almost exactly the same age. In either way, I hope very much for things to get truly amazing after having watched this episode now! I am for real a fan of the series. (No, I haven't watched any other episode after this one so I don't know how things will end up and turn out. I am only familiar with the "official" Superman story from the original magazines.)
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sam johnston30 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Lex has been getting progressively worse over the past few episodes. He killed the failed clones of his brother, he killed the actual clone of this brother, he killed Patricia Swan, and now he's killed his own father. His very own father! I've been waiting so long for this moment, and now that it's here it's so rewarding. Lex has finally met his inevitable destiny.

We've seen Lex and Clark confront one another in the past. Clark accuses Lex of something and Lex deflects. Little is resolved because Lex's previous evils have been ambiguous and hard to definitively pin down on malice or anything truly ill intentioned. But in this episode we get the first confrontation between Clark and Lex where Lex is unambiguously the bad guy. We saw him kill Lionel. And during this confrontation we see what's going on in Lex's mind. We see his inner good trying to convince him to tell Clark the truth, and turn back the tide of evil that's been steadily rising for the past seven seasons. We can only assume this same inner dialog has been occurring during all of Lex and Clark's confrontations through out the show.

But now we see Lex for who he really is. We see the truth and the conflict and ultimate evil.

Also, I'd like to say that the Veritas story is one of my favorites of the entire series. The envelope with the secret of how to control the traveler doesn't grant ultimate power, it merely promises to reveal ultimate power. And yet that is enough to drive people to murder. The envelope hasn't even been opened yet. It could contain anything! But the belief that it holds some secret to god-like power has already gotten a handful of people killed and driven Lex mad.
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