Smallville: Can It Survive Without Lex Luthor?

Smallville triangleSuperman has been saving citizens in peril at speeds faster than a speeding bullet for almost 70 years. Clark Kent’s alter-ego started in the comics and has enjoyed subsequent runs in animation, feature films, radio and of course, television. One of the most successful and unique television versions has been the Smallville series which airs on the CW network. The show focuses on young Clark Kent as he uncovers his powers and comes of age in Smallville, Kansas. The show is the only Superman series that has never shown its hero in the traditional cape and tights. But can the show continue without the arch villain Lex Luthor?

Smallville premiered on October 16, 2001 and though the ratings were very good, comic fan reaction was mixed. This stemmed in large part from the fact that the early episodes focused primarily on the “freak of the week” scenarios (each week a new town resident is adversely affected by radiation from Kryptonite meteors). Fortunately, as time has gone on, the Smallville characters have become more developed and the series has come to balance the sci-fi aspect with character development. A compelling aspect has been the deteriorating relationship between Clark Kent and wealthy friend/nemesis Lex Luthor. The storylines have recently focused on Lex’s relationship with Clark’s female obsession Lana Lang. Lex and Lana are currently engaged which has stirred up all sorts of feelings between Clark and Lana. How will this story play out? Hard to tell but things may be getting even more complicated behind the scenes.

Michael Rosenbaum, who has played the follicly challenged Luthor from the beginning of the series, recently told Kristin Veitch at EOnline that he will be leaving Smallville after the end of the seventh season (the series is currently in the middle of its sixth). Rosenbaum said, “Next year will be my last year. I had a great run. I loved it, but that will be it for me. I think other people have longer contracts. I’m not going to say who, but I know that next year is the last for me. So, it will be very sad when it happens, but all good things must come to an end.” That certainly throws a monkey wrench into the show’s famous love-triangle.

Smallville is enjoying a bit of resurgence and is currently garnering great ratings so it’s a sure thing that CW will renew the series for a seventh season. Providing that popularity continues, could Smallville continue for an eighth season without one of its two male leads? Or, could Rosenbaum’s departure mean a premature end for the series? Considering that Lex is such a vital part of the show, it’s really difficult to see how it could continue without him in a successful way. Could they recast the part or find a way to fill the villain role with another character? The need for a decision’s a ways off but ultimately that’s a cliffhanger only the producers and writers can solve. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

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36 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. mike says

    Michael Rosenbaum needs to stay. He is in fact the best part of the series. He brings intensity and realism. He’s the foil Clark Kent needs to react with. Lex, stay one more year. We’ll all be glad you did. Smallville will die an undeserved death if you leave prematurely.

  2. Kelly says

    We’re long-time fans of the show and this is bull IF Mike or Tom leave the show it’s the scrap heap.

  3. Connor says

    Yea, smallville is such a great show; and itl be sad to see michael go; its gona be intresting seeing clark and lois finaly begin to fancy eachother!
    Ive only seen up to the series 6 finale. .which has left some serious questions! Is Lana realy dead? How are lois and chloe? And how the hell is clark gona kill the phantom? Role on series 7!
    ?Ps. . Whats this i hear about the guy that plays clark. .that he wont wear a superman suit ever in smallvile as its in his contract!

  4. says

    So yeah, plenty of ways to keep Lex in the story line without having Rosenbaum play the part. His brother could take over, his brain/mind could live on somehow (think Jor’El), or hire a bald actor to play the back of his head… ok I’m not very creative but I’d like to think the show would live on.

  5. Natasha Andrews says

    I think the chemistry between the lex, clarke and lana will be sadly missed. I wish the show every success and hope to see many more episodes. Good luck to Michael Aka Lex i wish him every all the best for the future. looking forward to see alot more of Tom Welling, as he is the main reason i tune in every week.

  6. Marty says

    wow smallville is such a great show, and lex has to the second most important character in the show, so if he levaes i feel the show wont be the same, but on the other hand there are alot mor villans in the superman mythology than just lex luthor..well i guess we will just have to wait!!!!!

  7. lewis says

    Its a shame to end the lex character,i really love the way michael rosenbaum acts. Its gonna be weird to not see him when they continue the seasons. I think Lex brings that human quality to clark and it makes clarck seem human and you can relate to his emotions sometimes like peter parker. I just hope this wasnt about money. Its a shame what money does to people.

  8. Ray Brown says

    I think that this whole show is nothing more than a “what if” Let’s take for one thing, Martha and Jonathan Kent. These parents are too young, you know the story they were well in to their 70″s when Kal-el came to Earth. The second thing is where are the glasses to hide his secret idenity, this prop is a major part of the story just like the cape! The third thing, Clark was SUPERBOY by now and well aware of his powers. This TV story lacks too many things that are apart of the story as awhole. Now as far as Lex, he will and should alwas be a part of the story. But then again THIS series is just a WHAT IF anyway. If they exclude Lex then we will never see him become President!!!!!!! As per the vision he had.

  9. lizzy says

    i think smallville can last with out lex if they cant last with out lex they should put in another evil villian one thats worse than lex ever thought of being.

  10. says


    This is really a great show. My family and I watch it every week. I will be sad to see any of the cast leave; however, I think the show is more than just one person. This show has many directions that it could go in.

    Thank you for a wonderful show. Best wished to all who work on it.

    The Smith Family

  11. Chris says

    I’m kind of mixed on this one.

    One way I look at this is when comparing it to “Lois & Clark”, a show that eliminated Luthor’s character after the first season.

    On one hand, I was very pleased with that move because I never really liked that version of Lex Luthor. Pretty much every bad thing that happened was because of him, and that got really old.

    On the other hand, they needed to create a plethora of different villains and bad guys for Superman to deal with after that. While I enjoyed this element, it was a little strange that virtually everyone was up to something diabolical.

    In terms of “Smallville”, my mixed feelings have a similar rationale. So far, a lot of the really evil stuff has been caused by Lex and/or LuthorCorp. Without him, it is hard to say where the show will end up.

    However, as much as I love Smallville, I would venture to guess that Season 7 will likely be the end… hopefully they’ll figure this out and give it the finale it deserves.

  12. bridget says

    I think the show will survive without Lex,but u got to admit it will b kinda off without him. I mean every superhero story needs a super villain.But i think the show will do great with or without him.

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