EPISODE REVIEW: Smallville: "Beacon" (Season 10, Episode 13)

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Recap

Tess walks into the Daily Planet offices to find a steamed Lois.  Some anti vigilante stories have been running without Tess's clearance.  She walks into her office and finds someone in her chair.  It's the Lionel Luthor from a parallel universe (as opposed to the very dead Lionel Luthor of this universe).  He exposits for a bit, finally coming to the conclusion that he needs to find the Lex clone.

There are now Metropolis pro-hero rallies, with keynote speakers like Senator Martha Kent.  There is strong indications that the VRA could be overturned.  Shots ring out and Martha falls. 

In the hospital, Clark finds his Mom okay, thanks to a bulletproof vest and the no headshots allowed rule in superhero dramas.   She tells him that she's just trying to protect him by fighting against the VRA; he says that he's still going to hunt down and….do something… to whoever shot her.  He leaves in a blur, and Chloe walks in.  She and Martha chat a bit, trying to explain their respective absences in the series.

Clark and Ollie-in-a-hoodie investigate the crime scene.  There's kryptonite at the scene- Martha wasn't the target, Clark was.  It was just sheer chance that he wasn't there to 'blur' in front of Martha and be killed by…..

…. Young Alexander Luthor, who has just been found by Lionel.  Alex wants Clark very dead.  In a burst of paternal love, Lionel says that he'd help the little cloned psychopath.  

Clark finds the crow's nest and evidence that Alexander was the shooter.  

Ollie goes to his office, just to find that Lionel has taken over.   He's been reclaiming his assets slowly, surreptitiously for months.  He's bought the fugitive Queen's assets at a bargain and took Luthorcorp back over.

Martha confronts Lionel at the castle, and he tries to make the moves on her.  As she tries to leave,  Alexander knocks her out, and throws an incredible tantrum against his father, culminating in his burning down the house with Martha and Lionel inside

(Cue Talking Heads….)

Alexander finds Tess and Clark in the barn, with the express purpose of killing Clark.   Tess tries to talk him down, explaining that Clark brought her into the light.  Surprisingly, she succeeds, giving Clark the chance to rescue his mom and Lionel from the inferno.

Chloe and Lois have been busy.  They've put together a megasite, The Beacon, to put personal tributes online to battle the VRA.    Clark regains his hope and shoulders his 'hero' mantle again.

The VRA is repealed by national referendum.  Clark contemplates taking a step into the light, and donning the glasses, using 'Clark Kent' as a disguise.  The team goes to the Watchtower and lights it back up again.

Tess contemplates killing Alexander, when her target comes into view.  He's feeling ill and forgetful.  In a vulnerable moment, she attempts to inject him with cyanide.  She's horrified as his skin deflects the needle….

Observations: 

Lutessa Luthor.  Hah!

This episode was a good solid progression- we see Clark learn what it means to be a 'beacon' to the world- and that he really needs to step up.  Although the Alexander Luthor plot was engaging, mainly due to John Glover's oily portrayal of Lionel, the show was really about the hope that Kal-El brings to earth.

Nah, not Messianic at all. Nope.

I have to applaud Annette O'Toole for not going to extreme (i.e. cosmetic surgery) measures to look young.  She still looks good, but more importantly, she looks authentic.  And it was good to see Senator Martha back in Metropolis.

Two things bothered me about this episode.  First, since when (if EVER) is a piece of Congressional legislation ever overturned by national referendum?  There's no provision for national referendums in the Constitution whatsoever. 

The other is just a really a minor nit- Clark decides to use glasses as a disguise because, in the future, he saw himself wearing glasses as a disguise.  Yeah, that's what we call a paradox in the world of science fiction….

Will Conservatives Like This Episode?

Well, eh.  It was a good episode, but Constitutionally ignorant.  On the other hand, it's now legal to wear tights and fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way.  It's a coin toss.

 

Next week- Desaad and Horn Rimmed Glasses!

 

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