I'll let everyone else get into the vast textual and subtextual discussion this episode deservedly inspires.
What I noticed all through this was the...I can't call it slashiness, exactly. Okay, I can. But it was quiet and background, not glaring in our faces. *Of course* Clark ran to Lex, *of course* Lex did the considerable amount of things he could do to keep Ryan safe. There was no surprise - oh, Lex was right not to be happy about it, but it was the expected thing. Even Jonathan was completely unsurprised to see Lex pull up.
Lex is. Healing. He was broken. He was raised to believe in profit and loss, in expediency. He's learning other definitions of right and wrong, and figuring out how to implement them. It's Smallville and Clark and the Kents in general, and. Right now. It's giving me hope for a different Lexfuture.
And I know it won't happen. But at least he has Clark's love now.