Season 4 Episode 17


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Apr 13, 2005 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
724 votes

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Episode Summary

A black kryptonite explosion splits Lex in two and his evil side - Alexander - is released. Alexander imprisons Lex in the mansion then gives full vent to his evil side - he threatens to evict Lana from the Talon unless she becomes his mate, jousts with Lionel, and tries to kill Clark and Chloe when they figure out his secret.moreless

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  • Black kryptonite splits Lex into two separate personalities, one of which is a threat to everyone, including Clark. Chloe exposes the split, and Clark's abilities become known to one part of Lex.moreless

    The title "Onyx" refers to a black gem, and in this episode, black kryptonite is a factor when a lab accident makes Lex the ultiimate split personality. Doppelganger Lex visits Lana, and she wants to know more about Jason's stone plotting, but Lex makes a big pass at her. He gets a slap instead, and threatens to close the Talon, so he's back to being a creepy guy this week. He withdraws his offer to host Lionel's charity party, then starts a quick fencing contest with Lionel, leaving him with a facial wound. Clark and Chloe begin to suspect something, and Chloe finds security camera footage from the hospital showing Lex in two places at once - with her and with Clark. When Clark shows Lex the footage, Lex claims ignorance and offers to help. In a darkened lab, a security guard is trapped, and Lex the Bad drops a huge platform on Clark and Chloe, but Clark easily handles that, although Chloe is injured, and Clark has to lie to her about the save. Bad Lex talks to Clark at the Kent barn, using the familiar phrase, "powers and abilities beyond those of mortal men," from the 1950's Superman tv series - that's the fun quote of the episode. He's onto Clark, offering a deal - his intellect, Clark's power - they'll rule the world. But he knows Clark's weakness and puts Clark out of commission. Lex holds all the cards, and he even puts a slug into Jonathan's leg. Clark heads to the Luthor mansion and finds Lex the Fair held prisoner by his Bad Lex half. The Lex halves battle each other, until Clark uses heat-vision to cook meteor rock to a critical temperature, causing a reaction forcing the two Lex parts back into one. As a story device, the writers have to leave Lex without a memory of these events, and with another "I wasn't myself" apology to Lana. Mr. Rosenbaum plays all these roles to perfection. Finally, Lionel has also had a bit of a conversion, closing his charity foundation and reverting to the Bad Lionel we know so well. Re-run rating C+.moreless
  • What do you want?- Martha Kent The world, Mrs. Kent.- Alexander

    Onyx is still one of my favorite episodes of Smallville ever! It is so cool to see two Lexes. Especially the evil one. The evil Lex was the best part of this episode. I bet Michael Rosenbaum had a lot of fun playing to people in the same episode. That man deserves a golden globe or something because he is really good at playing to totally different people. And it was probably hard playing one because you would have to act with no one there.(when portraying one Lex) But hands down, though it may be a filler episode i don't care it is one of the best episodes of season 4 in my opinion.moreless
  • A Villain Is Born!

    Onyx-A black kryptonite explosion splits Lex in two and his evil side - Alexander - is released. Alexander imprisons Lex in the mansion then gives full vent to his evil side - he threatens to evict Lana from the Talon unless she becomes his mate, jousts with Lionel, and tries to kill Clark and Chloe when they figure out his secret.

    At this point in the series, Lex's descent toward his evil persona has been going at a very slow, shaky pace. We've had little moments where we see Lex's dark side come out a bit but never solid proof that Lex WILL actually turn fully evil some day. Well, "Onyx" is the episode to quite our skeptism on Lex's evilness as we are treated to Superman's nemesis in the flesh for a whole hour. There is something about "Onyx" that's incredibly fun and undeniably dark as Lex is split into 2 with his dark side taking a life of it's own. It's so entertaining and you just left wanting more at the end of the episode.

    Micheal Rosenbaum IS this episode as Lex must battle his evil self, who he refers to as Alexander. Micheal completely convinces as the 2 Lexs, one who is still the good, compassionate friend to Clark and the other who seeks to be free to rule the world with power. I love the references to the legend of the Man in the Iron Mask as Alexander refers to himself as the great king Louis XIV and Lex being the weak, inferior twin who puts a hideous iron mask on his face. Alexander is a stellar villain who using everyone's own emotions to keep them off guard. There are so many great scenes in this episodes like Alexander trying to kill Chloe and Clark and Alexander seducing Lana. But the best of the bunch is Alexander and Lionel's fence fight. I loved how Alexander was trying to bring out Lionel's dark side again and it was a powerful scene as Lionel hits his son in the end. It's one of the best scenes between John Glover and Micheal Rosenbaum as the father/son rivalry between Lex and Lionel explodes in this episode. Lastly, Lex creating the kryptonite ring and forcing Clark to join him so he can rule the world was a classic Lex Luthor moment from the comics. The whole scene is such an epic moment for Lex, especially after he shoots Jonathan in leg and tells the Kents:

    Lex: "I guess you were right all along Mr. Kent...I am the villain of this story".

    The only thing I could change about the episode is the climax when Clark heats up Alexander's kryptonite ring so both Lexs can rejoin. I wish there could have been more of a showdown between Alexander and Clark, you know, some real hero vs. villain fight scenes, but that's just wishful thinking. The best aspect of the episode how much we learn about how much Lex hides within himself. Lex's romantic affections for Lana are a forshadowing of their relationship at the end of Season 5 and Season 6. Also, the ending is so brilliant as Lionel reverts back to his old ways and tells Lex that he was right and that he shouldn't deny who he is...a Luthor. Just the shot of Lex's smurk after his father walks away and tells him this is marvelously menancing and just the beginning of Lex's true descent into evil. "Onyx" is a stunning, classic episode that builds on Lex's tragic destiny to becoming the world's greatest evil and it's amazing from start to finish.moreless
  • Great episode. Gaves a new perspective on Lex and how he interacts with the other primary characters.

    As the episode starts, you see Lex and a doctor working in one of the Luthor Corp Labs. They are doing tests on green kryptonite, and as the sample heats, there is an explosion which causes Lex to split into two. That is pretty much that most relevant part of the episode, I really enjoyed to episode because it showed Lex as a true villian. Ordinary Superman knowledge tells how Clark and Lex Luthor are nemesis'. This episode really showed the common idea of Lex being a "bad guy," only wanting and thinking about himself. I thought that this episode was really well written (clear distinctions between Lex and Alexander) and it was well portrayed.moreless
  • Great Episode

    While performing an experiment with heated kryptonite at the Luthorcop's facility, the laboratory blows and the dark side of Lex Luthor is separated from him. The mean Lex controls and imprisons the good one in a room, wearing an iron mask like in Alexandre Dumas's novel, and spread evil among Lana Lang, Clark Kent, Chloe Sullivan and Lionel Luthor. In this episode, the evilness sleeping within Lex Luthor is disclosed, showing how wicked he can be, destroying people, relationships and awaking the worst of Lionel Luthor. Now it seems that the old Lionel is back: his last sentence, "We are the Luthors", is something scary.moreless
Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk

Lana Lang

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Alexander ('Lex') Joseph Luthor

Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Toole

Martha Clark Kent

Malcolm Stewart

Malcolm Stewart

Dr. Sinclair

Guest Star

Craig Lapthorne

Craig Lapthorne


Guest Star

Carra Maureen

Carra Maureen

Fencing Instructor

Guest Star

Rekha Sharma

Rekha Sharma

Dr. Harden

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (20)

    • The good Lex has been chained to a post for at least 24 hours, yet he never seemed to be desperate enough to go to the bathroom.

    • In the first episode, Lex said that while his father had the entire manor shipped over and reassembled brick by brick in Smallville, he never had any intention of living there and had never stepped in the front door. Here Lex says his dad never let him play in the basement, as if he was there as a child and his father lived with him.

    • Lana acts all taken back that Alexander has let himself into her apartment with the air of "how dare he." Yet she's walked into his mansion without knocking dozens of times. Later on in this same episode, she's sitting in Clark's barn, just waiting for him.

    • Why is everyone so shocked regarding Lex's alter ego. Just about everybody in the town of Smallville has had their evil/immoral alter ego show up at one time or another, sometimes more than once. For instance, they don't come down on Lana when she turns into a witch and tries to kill people.

    • When Alexander and Lex are rejoined at the end of the show, Alexander is wearing a jacket. What happened to the jacket that he was wearing? Shouldn't Lex have had a jacket on after being rejoined?

    • When Clark and the two Lexes are fighting in the cellar at the end of the episode, evil-Lex goes against Clark with a sword. Then good-Lex comes from the back with a chain making the evil-Lex choke. When they change the scene, suddenly the sword is gone and he is trying to remove the chain.

    • The number 257 can clearly be seen on the door of Dr. Sinclair's hospital room. Yet when the staff responds to the emergency we can hear someone saying "Code Blue in room 213!"

    • How exactly did Clark put Lex back together again? The original experiment involved using heat to split Lex in two. Sinclair claimed he could reverse the procedure from his notes, but died. Clark (apparently) read the notes but they wouldn't have said how to reverse the procedure. All Clark did do (and could do) was replicate the original experiment. But the original experiment split Lex, so shouldn't there be four Lexes rather then one at the end?

    • Clark eats one of Lex's kryptonite-irradiated apples...and is just fine. Shouldn't it affect him in some manner, given that kryptonite has totally altered the fruit's chemical structure so that it "tastes" bad but is not actually rotten?

    • When Lex starts dueling with his father he is wearing one glove on his left hand. During the course of this fight, the glove disappears and reappears several times.

    • Lex's sword is a right-handed epee, while he is left-handed.

    • When the green-k goes into "overload" or whatever, Lex moves from the glass panel to run around the table and join Dr. Sinclair behind the computer. He shoves Sinclair away and then turns to run and the camera cuts to a medium shot, and the computer has disappeared. After the explosion the computer and the table it's on are back.

    • Alexander shoots Jonathan in the leg, but right before they cut to commercial Jonathan gets up and squats on the same knee. Ouch!

    • Lex's practice sword is clearly a non-edged weapon (watch the close-ups), and wouldn't let someone inflict a scar.

    • Several times Rosenbaum and Glover mispronounce Luth-OR as Luth-ER.

    • It's common in such s.f. plots of this sort, but...where did the mass for two Lex Luthors come from? Unless Black-K is converting energy to matter and back again on a massive scale with incredible control, each Lex should weigh half as much. In several instances there is clear indication that either Lex weighs...well, what Lex normally weighs or very close to it - certainly not half.

    • are they going to explain this one to the authorities? Alexander killed Sinclair, and he's...well, Lex Luthor. There's little or no evidence to show there were two Lexes, and no evidence to show how Lex was split in two. There's also a video tape showing Lex leaving the scene of Sinclair's murder, and an air bubble would show up in the autopsy. Either the murder will go unsolved, or Lex should get carted away to jail for homicide. (He also shot Jonathan, and gunshot wounds, particularly from pistols, have to be reported.)

    • When Alexander left Lex in the cellar wearing the iron mask, he did not lock it on. He simply fastens the claps. Once Lex sat back down, there was enough slack in the chain to remove the mask himself. Yet he was still wearing it when Clark found him.

    • When Alexander confronts Clark in the barn, Clark super-zips up behind him. And then for some reason starts denying he has superpowers and he "was lucky" in the lab. Wouldn't it make more sense to say that before super-speeding?

    • In the barn facing Clark and the Kents, Clark is on the ground and starts to lunge at Alexander...who turns his hand and shows him the ring. The kryptonite isn't any closer to Clark then it was before Alexander turned his hand but as is often the case, the kryptonite doesn't affect Clark until he sees it.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Alexander: The hero comes to the rescue. How predictable is that?

    • Martha: What do you want?
      Alexander: The world, Mrs. Kent.

    • Alexander: (to Martha) Now talk some sense into (Clark) before something unfortunate happens! (shoots Jonathan) Like that.

    • Alexander: Its like that Dumas novel we used to read as a boy. King Louis imprisoned his brother in an iron mask. Everyone one thought it was so no one would know his identity but we know better. it was because he couldn't bear to see such a weak reflection of his own greatness. (Alexander places the mask over Lex's head) It's good to be the king.

    • Alexander : You can't kill me. I'm what drives you. I'm what gives your life meaning. I'm your soul, you weak pathetic little man. I'm the real Lex Luthor!

    • Clark: Where's Lex?
      Alexander: He's standing right in front of you
      Clark: No, you're not him. The real Lex would never try to kill me or Chloe.
      Alexander: No, you're probably right. But he's thought about it! All the times you've meddled in his plans, derailed his ambitions. He's thought about killing all of you - he just never had the guts to go through with it.

    • Chloe: People have a lot of different sides, and sometimes they keep those sides hidden, even from the ones that they love.
      Clark: Sometimes you have to, even if that's not what you want.
      Chloe: Yeah, but sooner or later you have to trust someone with what's in your heart. Otherwise you're gonna end up going through life alone.

    • Alexander: We'll walk as gods among men!
      Clark: You're not a god! I'm not even sure you're human!
      Alexander: Are you?

    • Clark: Chloe, what are you doing?
      Chloe: Snooping where I don't belong. I'm thinking of making a career out of it.

    • Alexander: What's inside you, Dad? Is it really just puppies and hugs now or is something else twisting in your gut, squirming to be free again?

    • Lionel: A man can't deny his true destiny, Lex – no, we're Luthors. We're Luthors.

    • Lex: As far as awkward moments go, this is definitely memorable.

    • Lex: Did the accident create an evil Lex . . . or is that really what's inside of me?

    • Lex: Leave (Clark) alone!
      Alexander: I'm starting to hate the sound of my own voice.

    • Alexander: You were right about me all along, Mr. Kent – I am the villain of the story.

    • Alexander: All those times you were in the right place at the right time. Almost as if you possessed powers and abilities beyond mortal men.

    • Clark: What are you?
      Alexander: I was just about to ask you the same question.

    • Chloe: It looks like our favorite billionaire has one hell of a split personality.

    • Alexander: Lana – you can live like a queen at my side, or get tossed out with the rest of the garbage. Think about it.

    • Lionel: That's very generous of you.
      Lex: You must be rubbing off on me.

  • NOTES (6)


    • Lex's Ring
      During the loft scene, Lex is wearing a kryptonite ring. In the most recent Superman history (as of when this episode aired), we learn that he lost a hand due to the exposure to the green K of this ring.

    • Alexander: All those times you were in the right place at the right time. Almost as if you possessed powers and abilities beyond mortal men.
      This phrase is used to describe Superman in the later years.

    • Alexander: King Louis imprisoned his brother in the Bastille...
      Although not mentioned by name, the literary work in question is The Man in the Iron Mask, which has been made into a movie several times.