Smallville s10e17 review
|REVIEWS - TV|
An unexpectedly prompt trip back to the 'other' world shows us a different side of Jonathan Kent...
Another month of reruns passed, and excitedly I sat and watched tonight’s Smallville, and was quite afraid that I was going to be handed nothing more than a filler episode, padding the series until we reached the finale. But knowing that with a show like Smallville there’s sometimes an underlying idea or story to everything else going on, I knew I had to be patient. Luckily, I wasn’t proven wrong.
Lois and Clark get an early wedding present from Martha: the deed to the Kent Farm. This catalyst causes some deep-rooted feelings to come to the surface, and the two have to decide if they will hang on to the place where so many memories were made, or finally move on. Before anything can be decided, a realtor shows up unannounced to survey the house, and Clark is sent to the parallel world by Clark Luthor. Suddenly, I got the feeling that this would be a rehash of the previous episode with him, but I was mistaken. This was a story that proved to Clark that sometimes, you need to let go of something rather than holding on to it just for comfort’s sake. In the parallel world, Clark arrives to see the funeral of Oliver Queen. His widow, Lois, sees Clark and mistakes him for their world’s evil doppelganger, subduing him with Kryptonite. He makes her realize that he’s the other Clark that visited before, but is shocked to find that the funeral is being interrupted by Jonathan Kent. The disheveled looking man is a far cry from the man Clark knew as a father, and he seeks him out to help him.
The scenes at the other farm between Jonathan and Clark are brilliant. Jonathan blames Clark for what has happened to him, and has been a squatter at the farm since it was bought out from under him by Queen. He is a man destroyed, not able to let go of the past, hanging on to what he considers his birthright, and in the process he had lost Martha and became a bitter, resentful man. Clark proves to him he’s not Luthor’s monster, and explains that in his own world, the Kents found him, and raised him. He tells Jonathan that he is the man he tries to aspire to be, a man without powers, but still extraordinary. When he tells Jonathan that he gave up on himself, and that he could change his fate, you feel everything that the two characters are feeling. Jonathan gives Clark a teary-eyed look, and tells him thank you, and calls him “son”, but as he goes to hug him, Clark is pulled back into his own world, by Emil, who has repaired the original mirror box.
John Schneider is, as always, wonderful, and it was interesting to see a different version of Jonathan. Not the self-assured man that raised Clark to be better not because of his abilities, but because of his heart. Here, he’s broken, with nothing left to gain or lose, and it takes the son he could have had to show him who he really is.
Clark Luthor, however, has been trying to manipulate Tess into helping him find Lionel so that he can kill him and start anew. There’s an interesting idea of Tess being tempted by this showing that no matter how much she has changed over the last season, no matter how much good Clark has brought out in her, there will always be that part of her that is dark, and could be swayed once again to her former ways. She and Emil also have a moment toward the end where he comments on how she seemed to be quite at ease with Clark Luthor, and she tells him that maybe he doesn’t know everything about her. He retorts that he might indeed, but that she isn’t willing to let that darker side go. It will remain to be seen if that side of her plays any role in the rest of the series.
C.K. also confronts C.L., with the two ending up at the Fortress. C.K. tells his double that he believes in him, that he knows that he could be redeemed, and the last we see of Luthor is his preparation for Jor-El’s training. This is one of the finest moments of the episode, and one of the underlying ideas that make Superman such a great character: His belief in those that don’t believe in themselves and his unrelenting pursuit to help others be better can at times be a fault, but it’s also one of his greatest strengths. Will Luthor play a part in the end? That’s anybody’s guess.
Lois tells Clark that the Kent Farm is the only place she has even known as “home”, and Clark tells her that he’s stayed for this long because he felt the memories contained there within kept him safe. We get a truly emotional moment between the two of them when they finally sit and accept that they don’t need the farm, because they have their memories. The house, barn, items from the past aren’t what’s important. They have each other, and that’s what makes any place they live “home”. It’s the subtlety of the scene that grips the viewer. There aren’t big powerful speeches and tears and overpowering score (just thinking of what Murray Gold could do with that scene scares me), just the two young lovers sitting, allowing themselves the chance to move on to their shared destinies. It’s truly beautiful in its understated charm. Destiny has always been a part of Smallville, but it has really played out this season, and Clark is finally headed down the path to the destiny we’ve waited ten years to get to.
One interesting thing thrown at the viewer tonight was the discovery of Gold Kryptonite, which is postulated, could relieve Clark of all of his abilities for good (I suppose everyone has already forgotten about Blue Kryptonite). While it only gets brought up as exposition in two scenes, you can bet that it will be brought up again before it’s all over. Stay tuned, because there are only four more episodes left, and it’ll be a whirlwind. And the teaser for next week’s episode “Booster” looks to be amazing!
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