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- "After the accident, when my heart stopped. It was the most exhilarating two minutes of my life. I flew over Smallville, and for the first time, I didn't see a dead end. I saw a new beginning. Thanks to you, I have a second chance. We have a future, Clark, and I don't want anything to stand in the way of our friendship." - Lex Luthor, Pilot
On his first day in Smallville, Lex was driving on the Loeb Bridge when he lost control of his car and accidentally hit Clark Kent; they both fell into the river. Clark used his powers to save Lex from drowning, and so began their friendship and Lex's obsessive investigations. Lex developed an interest in the effects that the meteor rocks had on humans, and this interest became most dangerous to Clark when Lex finds the key to his spaceship.
As a businessman, Lex has shown himself to be both smart and generous, but not always successful. He successfully protected his employees from layoffs by finding other ways to cut expenses when profits were down, but Jonathan Kent resisted his interest in investing in the Kent Farm. Lex did, however, invest in Lana Lang's project to convert the Talon theater into a coffee shop.
He was at his most heroic this year when Earl Jenkins took hostages inside the LuthorCorp fertilizer plant. Lex entered the plant to negotiate and became a hostage in place of the others. He also actively helped find a cure to the effects of the Nicodemus flower and showed generosity when he forgave Pamela Jenkins.
Lex showed his callousness when he renewed his relationship with Victoria Hardwick as a means to an end, and showed his ruthlessness when he blackmailed Roger Nixon and later stuffed an auditor in the trunk of his car.
Despite the fact that Lex had made the plant profitable, Lionel wanted Lex in Metropolis. Lex refused to go, saying the relationships he developed in Smallville were too important to him. In response, Lex formed LexCorp and organized an employee buyout of the plant which Lionel was trying to block by buying the Smallville Savings and Loan. When the tornado hit, Lionel was injured, and Lex hesitated before saving him.