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BEACON of Hope Shedding Light on the Truth

February 24, 2011

Season 10 Episode 13
Recap & Review
by Holli

HD Screencaps HERE.

Written by Don Whitehead and Holly Henderson and directed by Michael Rohl.

Luthors, blondes and the VRA law take time from our hero. But, Clark Kent manages to grow and to investigate on his own. He has the support of Senator Martha Kent and Lois Lane on the private and public fronts as he does the right thing as only he can.

The AntiLife Equation:
loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding x guilt x shame x failure x judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side

One by one Clark has relinquished the negative aspects and is moving on to possess the positive attributes of Superman.

Daily Planet. Tess is confronted by Lois regarding censorship of her anti-VRA articles. Ms. Luthor meets Daddy Dearest from the Ultra world. 74 seconds long. Credits. Odd flow to this one.

Tess’s office. UltraLionel knows about not so little Alexander and wants to provide for his family. Tess swears to find him before Lionel does.

Watchtower. The Blondes in bed over Jimmy’s blood spot. Blahndie is staring at Ollie. He awakes and realizes she wants to visit cyberspace. She has a flesh and blood man in her bed and she wants to surf the web. [rolling my eyes] So while she does that he’s going on patrol. Yea, the POWER blahna treatment. These two so aren’t into each other. Was the sex that bad that it couldn’t be repeated? Yea, real chemistry here – like toxic waste. Next!

There’s a Pro-Hero Rally in downton Metropolis. YES!

After 5:51 minutes of screentime, we finally see Clark Kent speeding down the road to his farmhouse. (This lag should never happen to the main protagonist.) He’s wearing the Holy Red Jacket as he yells for his woman. “Lois! Lois?” He whooshes upstairs to change into journo clothes. “Lois, I’m home!” Lois enters through the front door with her arms full of Pro-Hero paraphernalia. “Hi, Clark,” she says happy to see him. She’s been going door to door to get votes to rescind the VRA law. “I love your enthusiasm but I don’t have much time for politics.” Lois asks if he has time for his mom because she’s been working to overturn the VRA. She gained enough support across the country to get a national vote. “And I appreciate all that she’s done, but, Lois . . . the vote’s tomorrow.” He looks a little disheartened. Lois reminds him you don’t quit before the game is over. “I’m still out there saving people, Lois, whether they want me around or not.” Lois takes his hand to show him something. Turning on the tv, we see the rally and the key speaker is arriving. “Clark, you were so focused on flying under the radar that you lost sight of the skyline. A lot of people believe in heroes, they just need something to give them the courage to come out and fight.” Martha appears from her car as she walks to the podium. “Or someone,” says Clark. Lois looks on as Martha waves to a cheering crowd.

“With heroes being painted as criminals, it’s easy to give up hope,” begins Martha. Remember one of the things Clark and the world is dealing with is Darkseid and the AntiLife Equation. Despair is one of its components. “My father always said, ‘Life only asks of you what you can handle.’ Sometimes we can’t do it on our own. That’s why we need to join together in this crusade like a family. So our united strength shines through the darkness like a beacon. Inspiring others to find their voices. None of us were born to hate. We’re taught to. That’s why we need heroes. To remind us that we are all meant to fight for truth and justice. To take a stand against fear and hate.” Inspiring speech. Martha begins the chant, “Vote down the VRA!” The enthusiastic crowd joins her.

Lois rises from her sitting. “See, there’s still hope.” Clark non-verbally begins to agree with her when there’s a gunshot. The second one draws Lois’ attention as Clark blurs off to rescue his mother. Lois looks in terror at the television reports.

NOTE: Over the decades comic writers of Superman have had trouble creating conflict for a character who can blow out a star. Silver Age quote from Denny O’Neil. Clark Kent has just supersped from his home in Smallvile to Metropolis to save his mother. That should take a second or two tops. Does he make it? No. He arrives at the Met Gen wearing a coat and entering the emergency room. His mother has already been treated. No ER in the world can do that in several seconds. Please, let’s keep in mind that this character has abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Don’t diminish his powers by making him appear uncaring – did he stop for coffee on the way? It’s important that this story should be character driven not plot driven.

Clark meets a Secret Service agent (maybe) outside Martha’s treatment room. “I’m her son.” The man acknowledges him as Clark opens the door to the room – AND LEAVES IT OPEN. So much for privacy and secret identities. Martha is on the phone with Lois. She sees the distress on Clark’s face and gives him a reassuring hug. “Hi Sweetheart. Hiii,” she says as her assistant leaves – door is still open.

Martha tells Lois she’ll be by the farm later. She assures Clark she is fine while wearing a bulletproof vest and the other bullet just grazed of her shoulder. Clark is upset she didn’t tell him she was in town. Quite loudly actually. Open door, remember. “I could have protected you.” She explains she had to save him. “It’s not safe for you or your friends to be caught in the spotlight.” Tough Martha has taken off her sling. Why she had one on that arm, not certain because the graze was on her other arm. Typical Smallville.

“You stepped into the spotlight and look what happened, they shot you.” Clark reminds her. Martha contends ‘they’ shot a Senator to frighten people from going to the polls. “I have to go back out and encourage people to stand up for what they believe in.” Clark is worried people are getting violent. “Clark, if you don’t let me do this, there will never be a day when you can come out of hiding. People need someone to believe in.” Still with the door open. Clark is adamant about her not sacrificing herself. His mother tells him of the vow she and Jonathan made to protect Clark no matter what even if it meant their lives. “I’m willing to sacrifice the same thing your father did.” Clark replies, “But I’m not going to let you to go on a suicide mission for me.” Angrily he vows to find the person who did this to her. “I’m not ready to say goodbye to you, too.” He whooshes off.

And out of nowhere, blondie pops in the doorway. Strange conversation between Martha and blondie. Some retconning of the past. And apparently blondie is the best person to watch over Clark which you know won’t happen because blondie never sticks with one job.

Metropolis in the rain. People are still protesting in the streets as Clark examines the crime scene. Investigating Clark! YAY! The only other person within the crime scene area is a hooded guy, namely Ollie. The wanted man whose face is recognized everywhere somehow wanders onto a crime scene while barricaded protestors’ anger escalates. “Does Chloe know you’re out here?” That’s like asking – Does Mommy know you left the house? The answer is no. “She worries, Clark. I can’t hold myself up in Watchtower all day. I’ll drive myself crazy.” I bet Clark and Lois would figure out something to do if they were stuck in Watchtower. Alone time with your soulmate. Apparently the blondes are not meant to be.

Oliver realizes Mrs. K was campaigning for him, too. Clark wants to know if he found anything. He hasn’t and the cops can’t find the bullets. Clark looks over at a phone booth with some windows broken. He walks over and realizes there’s kyrptonite. “The police didn’t find any bullets because they’re made out of meteor rock. They turn to dust on impact.” Ollie states the shooter knows Clark’s weakness. “They probably thought I’d stop it.” Well, yeah but the weird editing didn’t convey that. “This wasn’t political. It was personal.” Go Clarkie! LOVE IT!

At the Kent farm. Lois Lane is multitasking by talking on the phone and pulling freshly baked blueberry muffins from the oven. That’ll get a Kent smile. She’s calling newspapers to do a pro-hero piece. She gets rejected. As she sets down the muffins, Martha enters the door with her luggage. Lois assists her by setting aside her suitcase. “I see you’ve been baking again.” Really? COOL! Lois starts to get nervous. She’s getting better and wants Mrs. K to relax by having some ‘homespun sweetness.’ Lois gets a plate and a cloth napkin as she prepares a muffin for perfect presentation. Straight into former Chief-of-Staff mode, Lois shows Martha a top ten list of possible shooters. Ray Sachs and Bruno Manneheim mentions. These go below the muffin on the plate. “Lois, don’t worry. I’ve been impressed with you for years.” They smile and Lois relaxes a bit. She wants to be on her toes for her future mother-in-law.

Martha gives her a jewelry box. It contains a locket. “When I first came into this house, I was the city girl and Jonathan’s mom was . . .[grimace] ‘particular’. I didn’t I’d ever measure up to everything she’d been for him his whole life. But on our wedding day, she gave me that necklace and said the thing she couldn’t measure was Jonathan’s happiness since he met me.” She grabs Lois’ hand. “You are a perfect fit for Clark. You inspire him.” Lois sadly wishes she could inspire him right now. “He just . . . he’s losing hope. And I need to reach more people but all my journalistic jump shots keep getting blocked.” Lois tries to help her man the best way she knows how. Martha plants a seed. Perry White apparently started his fighting for his causes as an outsider. Lois takes the hint and runs with it.

UltraLuthor driving himself. Lionel finds Alexander living in an abandoned building so he can sketch his S Shield hate on the walls. Lex has a gun with kryptonite bullets. How? Is he using Cadmus labs or something to make them? Kid’s poor at the moment. Lionel realizes he shot Martha Kent. “Why would you do that? I understand she’s a perfectly lovely woman.”

Lex was trying to kill the Blur when he came to protect Martha. Which apparently he did not – even with superspeed. Lionel tells him he will protect him. “Will you help me kill Clark?” Lionel confesses he betrayed Lex for ‘that boy’ in another life (Ultra world). So Lionel babbles about flesh of his flesh. “You will rule our family dynasty. No matter what it costs.” Evil covenant. Yea, got it. Next!

Dusty annals of the Daily Planet. Lois found a box of hippie Perry’s war protests. Another pop-in by the unmysterious annoying one. She wants to know how she’s supposed to be protecting her heroes off the grid if she’s totally on everybody’s radar. Uh, isn’t Watchtower shut down and how do you protect someone that is off the grid with no means to . . . oh never mind. And I don’t think anyone is looking for her unless it’s the Suicide Squad she has under her heel. Their rebellion could prove deadly.

Lois explains she is looking through Perry’s old protest files for inspiration since no one will print a pro-hero story. Always the crusader, that’s our Lois. Going guerrilla, she wants her cuz to hack into ALL the national news websites. Lois is always Lois.

Our Clark is standing on a rooftop in his journo clothes talking to Oliver on the phone. He’s found the shooter’s crow’s nest. There’s a S shield with an X through it scratched on some metal fascia. “I’ve only seen this one other place on the wall of Alexander’s cell. He’s the shooter.”

Oliver is at Luthorcorp which appears to be having renovations. In his office, he finds Alexander getting an Italian suit fitting and UltraLionel reading many journals from the former our world Lionel. Dude wrote 24/7 apparently since in Season 8, Tess found his journal regarding the Traveler. Retcon! So apparently UltraLionel has be reclaiming his assets – how? He died in this world. Next of kin should have that (Tess) and Ollie bought Luthorcorp so how can he claim anything? Lionel murdered the Queens in both worlds. Was there any doubt? When was Ollie a convicted felon? Was there a trial? Was he even charged? Lionel thinks the people are vulgar, uneducated and stupid and should never be trusted. Ollie tells him after the vote tomorrow the people will rescind the VRA law and he’ll be coming after Lionel. Alexander takes it all in and tells Ollie it’s their turn again.

Tess in her DP office. Trying to get a hold of Clark who walks in looking none too happy. “I found out who the shooter was . . . Alexander.” He immediately goes to Tess’ computer to check out traffic cameras to retrace his steps. She informs him UltraLionel is now in our world and he knows about Alexander. Ollie comes walking in to inform them he’s seen both of them. “The family’s back in business.” Clark realizes Lionel is rebuilding his empire with Lex by his side – and he didn’t even have the details! Go Clark! He knows people have motivations now. Tess wants him to use the mirror box to send them both away. He destroyed it. “Maybe Jor-El has a way to send Lionel home.” Notice he didn’t include Lex. Tess and Ollie think they should do something about it. “Don’t you have other ways to deal with them?” Tess is still including Lex in the mix. “No one does anything until I get back from the Fortress.” Clark watches for a reaction and then zips off.

Luthor mansion. Fire in the fireplace. Lionel introducing Lex to his refuge. “A Luthor’s home is his castle.” But they are not alone. Martha Kent is there. She knows this is not the real Lionel. “And we both know this boy is sick and needs serious help.” He shoves Lex out of the room while he starts to weave his knowledge of our Lionel. Clark has informed his mother of his trip to the AU and also how this Lionel escaped to our world. Go Clarkie!

They go back and forth as to who belongs in this world and who does not. “And if you try to hurt him (Clark) I will destroy you,” says Mama Kent. Get him, Martha! “I find you very attractive, Martha.” Evol Lionel still trying to entice Jonathan’s wife.

So it’s another story of how an AU character thinks they are the person in the other world, like our Clark did in LUTHOR. Thinking he was the murderous UltraClark. Lionel gave Martha a wristwatch engraved with some kind of smarmy sentiment and while UltraLionel is telling her with a journal in his hand to remind us how he knew this – he’s slithering towards Mrs. K’s lips. “Did you share that with your husband?” he says as he moves in for the kill thinking she’s going to give in. Before lips touch, Martha sneers, “Stay away from Clark.” She walks away but turns for a final volley. “You may have used him in your world to kill Lex but you won’t use him in this one.” She turns to exit when Lex knocks her out cold. He confronts Daddy Dearest who is seeing to Martha’s prone body. “Son, what have you done?” Lex takes umbrage to the term knowing Lionel had him killed in the other world and had abandoned him in this one. He points the gun at Lionel. “In two separate worlds, you picked your son . . and it wasn’t me. You loved her son.”

So instead of outright shooting his father at point blank range, Lex goes for the dramatic. Liquor bottles fly across the room while the Luthors spew their usual spiel. Lex hated everyone. Lionel is trying to manipulate for his life. He wants Lex to use his hate to his advantage. So Daddy gets a gun to his jaw. Booze Booze everywhere. Lex takes pity on Martha because it would hurt her to see her son die. Whiskey decanter into the fire. Breaking glass. Was there a doubt? Flames rise.

Tess in Kent loft rummaging through the trunk of treasures. She’s a Luthor. Clark zips in. “I was halfway to the Fortress when I realized what you meant about taking care of the Luthors another way.” He slams the trunk shut. “You’re looking for the Phantom Zone crystal, aren’t you?” She reminds him he sent Slade to the PZ. “The VRA forced my hand. And when the justice system is fixed, I’ll bring him back to stand trial.” Clarkie has a plan and is working it. “How can you be so good, Clark?” Alexander interrupts – those Luthors make cat like treads. Even superhearing can’t detect them. “Because no one taught him to hate. Like Lionel taught me. But don’t worry I took care of my father and your mom, too, Clark.” Oh no. Clark no happy now. “What did you do?” Lex pulls out the gun with kryptonite bullets. Clark slams to the floor. Is that a lead gun? “Part of growing up is letting go of your parents, Clark. Something you’ve always struggled with,” says Sick Boy and without a Sean Connery accent.

Lex informs them the mansion is burning to the ground. “You’re not a killer. Not yet,” yells Clark. “You can come back.” Lex is adamant that he’s the last of his kind and can’t go back. Mama Tess tries to speak. “No! I am done with all of you.” So Sick Boy twists Clark’s goodness around to hate him for making Lex look like a monster. Psycho! “You’re not him,” says Clark still struggling. Mama Tess steps up and talks about stepping out of the darkness and living in the light without shame. “But Clark was the one that changed everything for me.” Clark is the beacon. “He can do the same thing for you.” Lex looks down at Clark. “Why would you want to help me? I’m your enemy. We’ve been locked in battle for years.” Clark is snarling. “We’re not locked into anything. You’ve had something that Lex never had and that’s Tess. She loved you.” Tess tells him she still loves him, knows she isn’t perfect but will always be there for him. She takes the gun away from him and tosses onto the lower level of the barn. Clark zips off.

Luthor mansion is burning. Another set laid to rest. Making way for others? Martha is coughing while Lionel awakens in the fiery room. Clark runs through flames in his flame retardant journo suit. He grabs up his mom and carries her away as a beam falls near Lionel. Outside Clark sets down his mother who is wobbly from the experience. She looks at the burning building. With imploring eyes, she silently asks Clark to save Lionel . . and himself. He has to do the right thing. Clark nods and zips off to save UltraLuthor. On his return, he unceremoniously tosses Lionel at Martha’s feet. Good one!

Superman. . er Clark walks to stand by his mother as they look down at the villain. “This isn’t over,” says Clark as the mansion explodes. Clark takes a glance at it and zips off with his mother. Lionel watches his castle burn.

Daily Planet at night. Lois is trying to support Clark in his big win over the Luthors. He needs cheering up. He’s wearing casual clothes as they walk down the stairs. “I think we’ll still lose today and after this vote, I’ll be an outlaw forever.” He sees Chloe standing at Lois’ desk. She encourages him to look at her laptop. He looks at Lois and she gives him an encouraging pat on the arm.

“A Beacon of Hope Shedding Light on the Truth,” reads Clark. The CW offered Smallville fans a chance to have their feelings heard for the heroic Blur through fan-made videos. This moment was awe inspiring and deeply felt by fans all over the world. Great job everyone!

Lois tells him it’s their answer to the VRA. Testimonials of what the Blur and the vigilantes mean to the common people are heard and seen. “Thank you. You’ve already changed my life and keep on fighting no matter what.” “Since the Blur came we have hope. There are still people who support him and I’m one of then.” Clark looks at Lois. “Being a hero . . . is about giving people hope for a brighter tomorrow.” Comments on the Blur’s integrity, morality and selflessness are given in gratitude. A father wants to be a hero to his kids, to give them faith in themselves so they can accomplish greatness. “Thank you for helping me believe that heroes can and do exist.” A soldier thanks the Blur for keeping the hometown (Metropolis) safe. “Us boys and girls here can keep on doing our jobs.” Another man says the Blur’s powers are impressive but what inspires him is the Blur’s character. Another speaks of the Blur turning his differences into strengths, it gives him hope that one day he will do the same. A young woman talks about a hero being someone who does what is right and stands up for others. “My favorite hero is the Blur. Thanks for being someone I can count on to do what is right. We love you, Blur. We’re always here for you.”

Clark is incredulous. “I can’t believe they’d risk coming out to defend me.” Chloe tells him he’s not aware of what he means to people. Clark thinks a few hundred won’t make a difference but is informed it’s a couple hundred thousand are willing to stand by him out in the open. Lois walks up to him. “You’re an American hero, Clark.” I get chills and a little weepy as the music soars. Thanks Louis! Then we hear the Superman blare.

The Kent farm, daytime. Clark with arms folded is nervously standing as he communicates silently with Lois in the rocking chair. Ollie, Chloe and Martha are there as they await the tally of the Rescind the VRA vote. People came out to vote in the special election which is a good thing. The Vigilante Registration Act has been repealed. Martha screams and puts her hands over her face as Clark does a fist pump. Lois leaps out of the chair with victory arms which go around his neck as he smiles broadly. Worried Ollie hugs Chloe as she hugs Martha. Clark bear hugs Lois, “Thank you.” When they look at one another, Lois tells him to thank his mom and Perry. “They were my inspiration.” Clark looks deep into her eyes as if telling her she is his inspiration and always will be. He then smiles at Ollie as he goes and gives Martha a hug. Ollie hugs Chloe and Lois.

As they walk to the kitchen Clark tells his mother, “I thought people had given into the hate. I didn’t realize how much hope there was out there. I wish I had had more faith. I want to be that man you made the suit for.” Martha is sobbing tears of joy. “You don’t need a suit to be the world’s hero.” (Psst, Martha, we’ve waited ten years. Dude needs to be in the suit!) Clark is humbled. “Well, when I saw those people willing to defend me. I was inspired. It got me to thinking in order for the Blur to be a true beacon of hope . . maybe people need to see my face, too. I’ve been to the future. And I saw the hero that I will become save the city. But I also saw me, I mean, Clark Kent disguised behind glasses and a bad haircut.” Martha goes into Mommy mode. Hehehe “I’m sure you still looked very handsome,” she says with a hand around his neck. Clark is worried. “Mom, I just don’t know how I can treat Clark Kent as a disguise. You and Dad raised me to be who I am right now. The Real Clark Kent.” Martha reassures him. “What’s real is your strength and integrity and compassion. As long as you remain honest to those things, it doesn’t matter what you wear or what name you go by . . because you’ll always be my son.” Clark answers back. “So you’re saying I should become that hero and step into the light.” With a wise face, Martha smirks. “Clark, You ARE the Light.” They smile and hug. “Oh gosh, your Dad wouild be so proud.” Clark’s eyes and face light up.

Watchtower doors fly open to reveal a stoic Superman . . Clark in the Holy Red Jacket with Lois and Chloe behind him. They take the covers off the equipment as Clark waits for blondie to open up the giant window to let the sunlight in. Great moment!!!

Kent barn at night. Tess apparently is living in the loft. The Art of War (Lex’s fav book) sits beside a case of cyanide and syringe. Casually dressed Lex slowly walks up the stairs. He’s feeling sick. He sits on the red couch. “I’m beginning to forget things.” He can’t remember what he did the day before. “What if I forget everything? What if I forget you?” She gives him a motherly hug. “I promise you that I will make everything okay.” She grabs the syringe and goes to stab him with it when the needle bends. He’s invulnerable. Uh oh, someone’s been playing with Clark’s DNA. Tess is crying either because she can’t kill Lex or now he’s losing his memories and he’s super.

In the comics the Modern Age Superboy, later called Kon-El or Conner Kent, was a product of cloning Superman. Since Kryptonian DNA wasn’t stable enough to thrive on its own, human DNA was added. Lex Luthor arranged for it to be his DNA. On Smallville it appears a clone of Lex has been ‘stabilized’ with Clark’s DNA. Still creepy.

Rating: 10+ for Clark, Lois, and Martha. Storylines were stellar. Clark investigated and interacted with everyone. Lois was his beacon of hope and Martha defended her boy and brought him out into the light about how the world loved and needs him. The Luthors were villains. Still lots of glass breaking and indirect murder attempts going on.

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