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"Mr. Kent, ever since the day I moved to Smallville, I've done nothing but try to be a friend to you. And in return, you do nothing but lecture me with sanctimonious platitudes. I'm done listening to them." - Lex Luthor to Jonathan Kent, Insurgence
On the day of the 1989 meteor shower, Jonathan helped Lionel Luthor get his son, Lex, to the Smallville Medical Center. Lionel credited Jonathan with saving Lex's life and offered to help Jonathan with the necessary paperwork to adopt Clark Kent, but Lionel wanted a favor from Jonathan in return, as he needed Jonathan to convince the Ross family to sell him their creamed corn factory. Jonathan felt uncomfortable with this but Lionel threatened to doing this expose Clark's adoption as a sham if he refused. Jonathan did as Lionel asked, but never forgave himself for helping LuthorCorp gain a foothold in Smallville. This guilt colored his initial relationship with Lex.
Lex and Jonathan met again following a car accident involving Clark and Lex. Jonathan was angry with Lex for putting his son in danger with his reckless driving and was very hostile, when Lex tried to introduce himself. Lex was unaware that they had met before and the deal that his father had made with Jonathan so remained confused by Jonathan's animosity towards him. Jonathan's hatred of the Luthors made him reject Lex's gifts to Clark as a reward for saving him. Jonathan was even prepared to believe that Lex was responsible for a bank robbery.
Lex tried to win Jonathan round, as he started a friendship with Clark. He offered to invest in the Kent Farm to ease the Kents financial struggles, but Jonathan refused to trust him and preferred to take a loan from the bank. When Jonathan was infected with the Nicodemus flower, Lex vowed to do everything he could to save him, despite Jonathan going on an angry tirade about his dislike of the Luthors. This showed how keen Lex was to change Jonathan's opinion of him. He even gave him free tickets to a football game.
Whilst looking into Lex's expenditures, Dominic Sanatori asked Jonathan if he knew why Lex spent so much money investigating Jonathan's family. Jonathan was furious to learn about Lex's investigation and confronted him. Lex claimed that he had been honest with Clark about that, but Jonathan was not satisfied and refused the tickets. Clark wanted to go to the game without his father, but Lex encouraged him to spend time with Jonathan on a fishing trip instead, as he did not want to get in between father and son.
When Roy Rothman stole chemicals from LuthorCorp and poisoned Jonathan's herd, Lex promised to pay the damages. Jonathan thought long and hard about accepting the money but felt he didn't have a choice due to the cost of the livestock and land that he lost. Although he eventually came to the decision that he would accept the money, he quickly changed his mind when he discovered that Lex was investigating Miller's Field where Clark's ship landed. Lex claimed he was merely testing the soil, but this only reminded Jonathan that he could not trust Lex. Nervous about Lex's true motives, he argued with Lex and refused the money, much to Lex's surprise.
"You're welcome back anytime... I gave you every single crappy farm job I could think of. But you did them all. You didn't complain. Not once. You would have made one hell of a farmer." - Jonathan Kent to Lex Luthor, Prodigal
Lex's investigation into Clark ultimately put Jonathan in danger when Roger Nixon, who was working for Lex, confronted the Kents during a tornado. Jonathan and Roger became trapped together under debris from the storm and Roger confessed that he had been working for Lex. As they escaped, Roger tried to kill Jonathan, but he was saved by Lex. Jonathan initially still believed that Lex had been behind Roger's investigation into their family but Clark reminded him that Lex is the one that had saved his life. After this, Jonathan decided to give Lex the benefit of the doubt and they forged a new relationship.
This did not last long, however, as Lex and his new fiance, Desiree Atkins, accused Clark of arson. Trying to defend his son, Jonathan confronted Desiree, although he was manipulated by her meteor enhanced pheramones and she made him attack Lex with a rifle. Lex and Jonathan were very forgiving of each other, as they simply put it down to Desiree's manipulation and they never brought up these events again.
Lex gave Jonathan the contact information of a high-profile orthopedist for Jonathan when he injured his leg, showing that he cared for Jonathan's well-being. Nevertheless, Martha's new job working for LuthorCorp as Lionel's assistant reawakened Jonathan's anger towards the Luthors and, when Lex offered his helicopter to fly Jonathan to Metropolis to have dinner with Martha, Jonathan was angry with him for interfering. Jonathan only accepted Lex's kind offer when he discovered that Martha was being held hostage by burglars. Jonathan suspected Lex was involved with this and, with his wife's life at risk, Jonathan threatened Lex, but Lex retorted that he had only ever tried to help and was sick of Jonathan rejecting his generosity.
Lex and Jonathan worked on mending their relationship when Lex was kicked out of the Luthor Mansion by Lionel and Lex resorted to living at the Kent Farm. Pitying Lex, Jonathan took him in but insisted that he not be left on his own to take the opportunity to investigate them again and he made Lex work for his stay by doing farm chores. Jonathan found this amusing but Lex was keen to prove to Jonathan that Luthors can pull their own weight. Lex succeeded in changing Jonathan's mind about him and Jonathan insisted that Lex was welcome back anytime, much to Lex's delight; he later commented to Clark that, while Lex's father might want to rule the world, Clark's would inherit the Earth. Despite this, Jonathan remained concerned about maintaining Clark's secret and was nervous about Lex investigating the Kawatche Caves and Lex's fiance, Dr Helen Bryce having a vial of Clark's blood.
When Lex married Helen Bryce, he asked Jonathan and Martha to sit at his table in place of his parents at the rehearsal dinner. Jonathan considered this to be an honor, and indicated how close the two of them had become. On the day of the wedding, Jonathan gave Lex a compass, a Kent family tradition to ensure that the groom didn't lose his way when walking up the aisle.
Lex was very appreciative of Jonathan's compass when his plane crashed and he used the compass to direct him to a desert island. Once he returned to Smallville, Lex tried to pay back Jonathan, as he felt that without the compass he would be dead. Lex paid off Jonathan's debts and handed over the deeds to the farm to him. Jonathan found it difficult to accept such a generous gift, but as he had little choice, due to their financial situation, Jonathan gratefully accepted. Lex assured him that he wanted nothing in return other than to be considered a member of the family.
Jonathan was sympathetic to Lex's mental problems when he came to the Kents for help. However, when this resulted in Lex discovering Clark's secret, Jonathan was nervous about what Lex could do with this information. When Lionel put Lex through a dangerous memory wiping procedure, Jonathan was pleased that Clark's secret was safe, but also relieved that Lex's mind had survived.
"You were right about me all along, Mr. Kent. I am the villain of the story." - Lex Luthor to Jonathan Kent, Onyx
Jonathan was not as openly hostile towards Lex as he had been in the past, as he happily accepted tickets to a football game from Lex, although, after Lex came so close to unearthing Clark's secret, Jonathan remained wary of Lex and warned Clark to do the same. Jonathan refused to believe that Lex would ever change and was prepared to believe that Lex was guilty when he was arrested for murder.
Jonathan's concerns were justified when Lex revealed his true colors when he was split in two by black kryptonite. Lex was extremely hostile to all of the Kents and, when Jonathan tried to stand up to him, Lex shot Jonathan in the leg. Although Jonathan was aware that this extreme behavior was caused by the black kryptonite, his relationship with Lex did not recover from this, as Jonathan clearly believed that Lex's evil persona still existed beneath the surface.
Lex and Jonathan's relationship was strained further when Lex decided to run up against Jonathan's friend, Jack Jennings, for State Senator and attempted to discredit his competitor. Jonathan angrily confronted Lex, but Lex insisted that the photos that he had found of Jennings in a strip club were genuine. When Jennings decided not to run for the Senator position, Jonathan took his place, as he admitted that he couldn't let Lex win.
Lex and Jonathan became full-on rivals after this, as they were both desperate to beat the other to become senator. Lex paid Griff to uncover any skeletons from Jonathan's past in order to destroy him in the polls. Lex was pleased when Griff found incriminating evidence, but Lionel intercepted it before Lex got his hands on it.
When the students for Lex Luthor became overzealous with their support for Lex to win the Senator's seat, Jonathan was tied up and hung upside down in his barn. Lex was shocked by this and visited the hospital to show his concern and insist that he was not involved. This showed that however much he wanted to beat Jonathan, Lex never wanted Jonathan to be hurt in the process. When Lex discovered that Samantha Drake was responsible for the attack, he was suitably appalled.
Jonathan ultimately won the election, much to Lex's disappointment. However, a confrontation with Lionel shortly afterwards caused Jonathan to have a fatal heart attack. Despite their differences throughout the time they had known each other, Lex attended Jonathan's funeral and seemed saddened by his death.
Lex eventually admitted that he had been jealous of Jonathan's relationship with Clark, as he thought Jonathan was a better father than Lionel ever was.
|Lex Luthor in Smallville|