SUPERMAN! LOIS LANE! TESS MERCER! THE GREEN ARROW! CHLOE SULLIVAN! Special Guest Stars: MARTHA KENT! LIONEL LUTHOR OF EARTH-2 ALEXANDER LUTHOR!
"Beacon" accomplished a couple of important transitions for Smallville as it heads into the back end of its final season: It ended the Vigilante Registration Act storyline and, more importantly, it made the leap in a single bound of Clark deciding to publicly reveal himself as The Blur and adopt "Clark Kent" as his public disguise. The details of the latter will continue in the next several episodes, but Clark is now gonna start wearing glasses, though he's still gonna get a lot of passes.
"Months" have passed since Clark used the Mirrorbox and journeyed to Earth-2, with the Lionel Luthor of Earth-2 following him back to our Earth. In those "months", Lionel-2's been super busy convincing people that he faked his own death and quickly reacquiring controlling interest in Luthorcorp. (At the very least he's probably grateful Oliver Queen never changed the name of the company. Made stealing it back a lot easier.) Lionel-2 also finally paid a visit to his daughter Lutessa, whom he exclusively called Lutessa, and spooked her quite a bit. Not content with the daughter he never wanted, Lionel-2 also tracked down the clone of the son he never liked and tried to bring him back to the family business.
Alexander is all grown up, into a confused, angry teen who's still aging rapidly and dying, plus experiencing memory loss. It's funny how Tess and Clark couldn't find him all these "months", when everywhere he went he scrawled S shields and crossed them out on any flat surface he could find. He practically made a Family Circle track line of his movements all over Metropolis. Alexander shot Senator Martha Kent while she was in Metropolis leading a Pro-Heroes rally in support of abolishing the VRA. Alexander used Kryptonite bullets since his real target was Clark, whom he assumed would blur in to protect his mom. Hah, little did he know Clark was busy watching it all on TV. Why, Clark was so slow, even though he Supersped out of the Kent Farm right when the shooting happened, he didn't even make it to the hospital until well after Martha was all patched up and on the phone with Lois.
Lionel-2's attempts to woo his son really backfired in record time. Lionel-2 was aghast that Alexander shot Martha Kent, because she's really a lovely person. No matter what universe, Lionel Luthor always has the hots for Martha Kent. Lionel-2 even found Martha waiting in Luthor Mansion for him, and he didn't pass up the chance to make a pass at her: "I find you very attractive!" Instead, Alexander pistol whipped them both and left them to die in flames, setting fire to the Luthor Mansion. Clark saved them both in time, hilariously dumping Lionel's body on the ground. But like the Talon set a few episodes ago, they really burned down the Luthor Mansion set. Smallville really is ending, and they're not shy about saying goodbye to a lot of the old standbys.
Meanwhile, Lois can't get a Pro-Heroes story published in any newspaper. She naively still thinks newspapers are the highest form of communication in 2011. After getting Martha's blessing as the love of Clark's life and her future daughter-in-law, Martha told Lois about how back in the 60's, Perry White couldn't get published either and eschewed traditional media to get his stories across. (It's funny to hear Martha suddenly start talking about Perry White out of the blue; Annette O'Toole being married to Michael McKean and all.) Prior to this, Martha had a heart-to-heart with Chloe, not just about Chloe leading the Suicide Squad, but re-affirming her importance as Clark's oldest friend. Smallville Originals gotta stick together.
Inspired by Martha's Tales of Perry White, Lois dug up Perry's files and recruited Chloe to hack into "all" of the major news websites. What they cousins came up with was a site called Beacon of Hope, where ordinary people (who watched Smallville and uploaded videos of themselves on TheCW.com) gave testimonials on what a hero like the Blur means to them. Clark was totally moved by it. They like him! They really like him!
In the end, despite riots on the streets pro and anti-VRA, the people's voices were heard in a nationwide vote repealing the VRA. No more attacking Oliver Queen on the street. The heroes are free to operate in their colored leather underpants and fight all the crime their hearts desire. Clark was totally moved again by this public attaboy that he told Martha he'd traveled into the future and saw the hero he would become. He also saw "Clark Kent" "hiding behind glasses and a bad haircut." But Clark thinks it's time for him to step into the light. (He also mentioned The Suit Martha made for him.) Martha replies that Clark is the light. And because Smallville must put too fine a point on things (just like how Hawkman was "Icarus"), Clark, Chloe and Lois triumphantly re-enter Watchtower, pull the sheets off the equipment, and open the eye of the tower, letting sunlight wash over Clark. (At least by the time they got to Watchtower, Chloe and Oliver had put away the mattress they used when they turned Watchtower into their F-shack. Though there was a funny line, post-coital, when Chloe said orange wasn't Oliver's color. Ha ha. Justin Hartley was supposed to be Aquaman before he became Green Arrow.)
Lastly, there's Tess and Alexander. When Lionel-2 got his mitts on Alexander, Clark decided to visit the Fortress of Solitude to ask Jor-El what to do about them, since he'd destroyed the Mirrorbox. Tess asked aloud if Clark had "other means" of dealing with the Luthor boys. Thus we learned that even though Clark banished Slade Wilson to the Phantom Zone, he plans to bring him back to Earth to stand trial once the VRA is abolished. (Though Clark didn't set a time frame for when he'd actually do so.) Once she learned the Luthors had taken back what's theirs, i.e. the Mansion, Tess basically shacked up in the Kent Barn, where Alexander tried to shoot Clark with the K-bullet but got talked out of it by Tess's tenderness. And yet, it was all a ruse, as Tess planned to stick Alexander with a cyanide needle and murderize him. Except when she did, the needle bent against Alexander's skin. Aw crap, what kind of clone is this kid?
And more importantly, how will Smallville transition this Alexander into Lex Luthor when Michael Rosenbaum returns for the finale?
The moment when Tess tried to plunge that syringe into Alexander and the needle bent... WOW! Great way to end the episode, and now I'm really looking forward to the explanation and eventual confrontation between Clark/Superman and fully-grown Lex.
Only thing I really didn't like is Clark talking about Clark being the disguise. I like the Byrne/Lois & Clark theory of Clark being the primary identity. I hope it's just a storyline for him to work thru some confusion over which should be the dominant personality. It also really doesn't make sense for a whole show where the guy wasn't Superman for 10 yrs.
Feel much better knowing the real Lex, Michael Rosenbaum, will be returning.
What are the odds of this not being Lex Luthor but Darkseid or something?
I found it somewhat amusing how half of the ppl knew of Lionel's return and others apparently had no clue. Clark apparently wasn't aware until Tess told him, while both she and Oliver were all "ah, paralel universe dude, there you are!"
Martha telling Chloe to get back in line was a good moment. To me it was sort telling the audience "forget her weird behavior. She'll be his old trusty side-kick from now on"
I figured Clark bringing up the disguise thing is a way of them trying to convince us that once people are used to the crap hairdo and glasses they won't recall the Clark from a few months ago who looks exactly like the Blur.
The past two weeks have been good steps forward. He flew, he mentioned the suit and he accepts that he needs to be public.
Its good they wrapped up the VRA storyline and continued to move the Lex clone story forward. I am thinking the Lex Clone is actually Superboy who is a cross between Lex and Clark. The real Lex will show up at the finale and may help save the day. I just hope they don't use the clone as Darkseid's avatar since it would be a giant retread of Lex/Zod. Martha and Lionel's scenes always seem to click. Chloe seemed to be shoehorned into the scenes she was in minus Lois needing her help to hack every website which we never saw the results of.
I am glad even the Lex clone hates Lionel even with Lionel acting all daddy dearest. I am curious to see if Lionel will help the heroes or just betray them. Kinda cool to see the Luthor Mansion destroyed. It was a good episode and its just a shame this type of stuff could have been done years ago instead saving it for the final season.
Not having actually read the book(s), I'm still sure he would have been fine in the part -- if for no other reason than that he's, like, hot & stuff. :-) And he's a better actor than needing to exclusively do "man grunt" roles.