In the underground Vancouver lair of the Smallville production offices:
Al Gough: So.
Miles Millar: Yeah.
Al: I'm liking this "Lex going insane and getting locked away" thing.
Miles: Me too.
Al: We really turned this thing around, huh?
Miles: Don't worry. We'll figure out a way to screw it up again.
Miles: Hey, Al?
Al: Yes, Miles?
Miles: I love you.
Al: I love you, too.
Miles: ...Oh. But, you know, not the way that Lex loves Clark.
Al: What? Oh! Yes. Right. Of course not. I'm uh...gonna go watch the playoffs. You want anything?
Miles: Do we have any Bohemia beer around?
Al: I think so.
Miles: Mmmm. I'm glad we had this chat.
Previously on Smallville: You read the recap because you couldn't believe how lame the show had been this season. Then you watched "Shattered" because you heard it was good and you still feel shitty about Johnny Cash dying.
We open on a sign on an outdoor fence (in the cloudy daytime) that says "Belle Reve Sanitarium. KEEP OUT!" The "B" and the "R" in "Belle Reve" look like some kid designed them on his English class folder for a heavy metal band he hopes to front one day. The soundtrack here is the beeps and boops of Massive Attack's "Future Proof," and surprisingly, I don't hate it. In fact it sets the mood nicely, like a smoking jacket or S'mores.
Inside, filtered in harsh blue, are the inmates of Belle Reve. We watch a bunch of them, all in blue scrubs (is there any other color here?) climbing stairs as the overhead camera spirals. It's a lot like that bit in Face/Off when Nic Cage goes to the island pen. We pan over to a pharmacy dispensary window where patients are in line for their meds. "All right, rich boy, there you go," the nurse tells someone as she hands over a (surprise! Blue!) tray with a cup 'o drugs and water. The recipient is the sexiest loony-bin resident in recent memory: Lex "Nuts" Luthor. He eyes the meds (a tiny tennis-ball-colored pill, a longish white one, and a crimson round one) and, after a moment of hesitation, downs them. He drinks. The nurse watches him closely. "Next!" she says as he walks away. Lex wanders over hazily to where some people are painting at easels. One guy is doing a boogie woogie shake as he watches another guy paint. He's the muse. This music and the composition of Lex at the canvas is pretty cool. I think some of the Smallville directors really wish they were doing music videos sometimes. Lex picks up a paintbrush and starts laying down some thick, languid strokes. (Ooh, I just wrote a sentence using "Lex" "strokes," and "thick." Welcome, Google users!) Lex coughs into his hand as in the background, Wile E. Coyote rides some roller skates on TV. Lex subtly drops his three pills into three paint cups: yellow, blue, and red. He continues painting like nothing's up. Lex looks toward the ceiling and eyes a security camera mounted on the wall.