Smallville: Beacon

Lionel: "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

I thought this episode was a joy. Although it's possible that I'm just experiencing some final season sentimentality.

Maybe I'm just happy to have Lionel Luthor back again, complete with his ambiguous villainy, ruthless corporate sharkdom, and his romantic obsession with Martha Kent. Smallville just hasn't been the same without the older generation. And as much as I've ragged on Smallville the past few seasons, I am surprised to report that I actually teared up twice during this episode: when Martha said that she and Jonathan had made a pact to protect Clark even if it cost them their lives, and when Lois and Chloe showed Clark those online videos supporting the Blur.

The VRA stuff was okay, although I was surprised that it was voted down. I guess the Spreading Evil Whatever wasn't quite as prevalent as it seemed. I wasn't that wild about the Alexander Clone subplot, either, although with the promise of Michael Rosenbaum's return on the horizon, I didn't hate it, either.

It was mostly the trappings of the episode I enjoyed: Chloe and Oliver together (I love them together). Oliver unable to stay in hiding and running around in a hoodie and sunglasses. Martha giving Lois the mother-in-law seal of approval (and Chloe the best friend seal of approval). Perry White's very 1960s "Make Love Not War" box of goodies. Clark talking about adopting glasses and a bad haircut as a disguise. The return of Watchtower.

The mansion burning down freaked me a bit, too. It's stuff like this that makes you realize that Smallville is actually, finally going to end. Sometimes it felt like it never would.

Bits and quotes:

— What's up with Alexander the Clone being unbreakable? That can't be good.

— Loved the ding on Fox News, who refused to run Lois's hero story. "You have no business calling yourselves 'fair and balanced'."

— Can you believe the amount of broken glass in this episode?

Quotes:

Alexander: "I watched your body fall forty stories. It was the greatest day of my life."
Lionel: "What father doesn't want to make his son happy?"

Oliver (re: Jor-El) "Snow Dad's been a little frosty lately."
I don't know why "Snow Dad" struck me funny, but it did.

I loved it. I loved last week's, too, but not everyone agreed. So I thought I'd let you guys rate this episode,

Billie
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Billie Doux had a love-hate relationship with Smallville, which is why some of her reviews are briefer than they should be.

6 comments:

Nick said...

3 and a half out of 4, I'd say. Just having Lionel alone back is enough to make this great, he just stole every scene he was in.

And Lucas Grabeel was pretty good as young Lex too, in my opinion - if I'm not mistaken, he played young Lex before a few seasons back, in flashbacks where Oliver I was at school with Lex. Of course, he was bald then.

I like this episode because it pushed the Alexander story a little further, because it brought Lionel back and because Martha's back too. They all had dialogue that was a lot better, in my opinion, than last week's virtual reality fiesta. So kudos.

(The 'deal' with Alexander Luthor is up and around the net if anyone's interested - but since spoilers aren't allowed here, I won't say it. It's only mostly important to people literate with Superman lore anyway).

Though my theory was that when Lex had himself cloned, he wanted himself improved too.

Dimitri A.C. Ly said...

I am the last person here who should give a rating because, as I sort of kind of implied in the comments for last week's episode, I am not really the target audience for this last season of Smallville. A series' final season needs only keep its audience. It doesn't need to make it grow. It therefore should reward the fans who stuck by the series all these years, not those, like me, who bailed at the first sign of redundancy and only got hooked now because their DVR recorded the wrong show, which turned out a hoot, and I am kind of curious how it'll all turn out. Also, Erica Durance looks hot in grown-up clothes.

Having said that, I really, really enjoyed this one despite not having a clue how and why Lex killed Lionel or where all these clones are coming from. There was still a lot of new, accessible material to keep me excited, and I agree that Lucas Grabeel was very good as young Lex.

Nick, I think I sort of pieced it all together the second I read the word "Superman lore". If I got the hints right, this ought to be really fun, and it's a nice bit of misdirection. (Yes, I could look up the Internet to see if my bizarre oh-so-cool theory is correct, but that would spoil the surprise if I'm totally wrong. See what I did there?)

Nick said...

Oh I think you got it! But then again there's really lots of ways it could turn out so who knows for sure really. My Superman lore isn't very up to scratch after all so maybe I overstated things, aha.

And no, I don't think your theory is bizarre, really. See what I did?

MischievousNinja said...

4/4, but still not enough to erase the memory of last weeks crapfest. They at least managed to redeem themselves in the case of Martha, though I still could have done without the 'red queen' reference.

As much as I enjoyed Lex for the first 5 seasons (before they paired him with the Lana-beast), this episode really showed why Lionel's death was the worst thing about Rosenbaum's decision to quit. 10 seasons in and nobody has even come close to being as cool as him...he really has been missed.

Jer said...

I liked the whole plot--the only negative I had was how Tess could just talk Alexander out of killing the Blur for vengeance. and great twist at the end, didnt see that coming the first time around

Anonymous said...

What makes a good villain, someone you really hate or at least is still bad but you love them anyway. That's I felt for this episode anyway.