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Last night was the big night on Smallville. It’s the 100th episode and there was a lot of stuff going on in the Sunflower State. There was a big election for state senator, and Jonathan Kent was primed to win and make his mark by helping out the disadvantaged by driving miles away and discussing problems with a bunch of other old white guys. Hey, at least they’re not wearing hoods. The big news, and cause for the most anticipation, was THE DEATH. Yes, somebody that Clark loved was going to die, and there has been a ton of speculation as to who it would be. Thanks to the comic books and some movies, we already have an idea of who is going to die, so that kind of deflated the surprise. What we do know is that whoever fails to make it to the end of the episode is going to have a huge effect on Clark’s life.I have to give Smallville credit for making it through five seasons. People know that I am a sucker for the genre, and if Birds of Prey came out in 2004, I probably would have recapped all six episodes that aired. One thing that I don’t like about Smallville is that sometimes it can get a little repetitive, especially when Clark is talking about giving up his secret. That counts double for when he is talking with Lana. There is only so many times you can listen to the old “trust goes both ways” or “no more secrets” speeches between these two. Thankfully, that all ended last night.
Lex was shot trying to protect Lana, and when she visited the hospital, she was so appreciative to have somebody who cared about her and didn’t lie to her. We can argue about how much Lex has lied to Lana over the seasons, but the important thing is that he is truthful now, and Clark is not. When Cark went to visit Lex, he saw Lana and Lex sharing a hug. This was never imaginable last season when Lex was busy getting Jason Teague (have we found his body yet?) fired from Smallville High.
Clark had a sense that he was going to lose Lana, so he invited her out to the farm and told her to bring gloves and a scarf. Everybody who found out about Clark’s abilities did so by accident, and Lana would be the first person he would tell on his own. As relationships go, you would think that telling your girlfriend that you have superpowers is not that bad. I am sure there were other things going through Lana’s mind about why Clark wasn’t taking any time to make her feel like a woman lately. I am sure saying something like “Alicia and I had sex, and she gave me herpes. It was in remission when we first had sex and now it’s come back.” THAT’S scary. “I’m sorry, I should have told you, I save the world a lot.” is not that bad.
Instead of taking it slowly, Clark decides that he is just going to give Lana the scoop all at once. I would have tried some flash cards, perhaps a PowerPoint presentation, or anatomically correct dolls, but Clark decides that he is going to take her to the cave and show him why he has been putting up all of those walls. That’s right folks; they’re going to the fortress of solitude. After arriving there, I have to say that Lana didn’t look THAT impressed. She had just been transferred there by some unknown force, and the whole time she had her look on her face like she that said, “Uhh, I’ll have the chunky monkey.”
I guess you could say it was just taking awhile to sink in. Suddenly, Lana realizes that her boyfriend is from another planet. After demonstrating that he can jump a tall glacier in a single bound, she starts to piece things together. All of those times she was saved, and he just happened to show up or be close by. How many times was she saved and she didn’t know? To Clark, none of the mattered. He brought her to the arctic because he wanted her to know for the first time who he really is. The truth is that he has always loved her, and taking a page out of the book of Christopher Reeve, Clark crushes a lump of coal into a diamond, then uses his heat vision to fuse it onto a golden ring, and then asks Lana to marry him.
I have to admit, the whole marriage proposal thing took me by surprise. It also took Clark’s parents by surprise when he told them about that and, you know, she’s seen the fortress of solitude and knows that I am from Krypton. Since it was a lot to take in at once, Clark said that he would wait for an answer. After telling his parents, the next person Clark told was Chloe. It’s amazing how often Clark is able to break her heart, even though they are not together. Clark is obviously not interested in her, but you can see from her reaction to the news that Chloe knows he’ll never be hers. Even though it’s tough to come out with the words, she tells Clark that he and Lana were meant for each other, saying that there are so few people who know what they want, and will risk anything for it. I hope the writers find Chloe a nice hunk or cute nerd for her before the show ends. Chloe deserves much more than to be a super hero hag.
Back at the farm, Clark sees Lana, and gets the answer that he wants to hear. Lana is going to make him the happiest man in the world. All of this went by pretty quickly, and although I was happy to see that Lana and Clark were happy, you just knew that Lana was going to die after all of this set up. That, of course, was the real payoff. Maybe it is not Tom Welling’s and Kristin Kreuk’s fault, but these two seriously lack chemistry when they are together. Maybe all of that would change since Clark isn’t going to be hiding anything from her, but I wouldn’t count on it.
The happy couple makes their first appearance at Jonathan Kent’s campaign headquarters. There isn’t much time to celebrate the engagement, however, because Jonathan Kent just won the election! Pandemonium ensues, and Jonathan shows us that he might be the smoothest person in Kansas when he tells his wife, “The only victory that has changed my life is when I won your heart.” Awwww. Several layers of ice broke off of my heart after that one, cheesy as that line may be. Almost immediately, Jonathan received a phone call on his cell phone. I was assuming that it was Lex, calling to concede, but only moments later, Lana gets a call from Lex.
I can understand why Lana feels bad for Lex. When she gets there, it looks like he didn’t even bother with an election party. He is drinking scotch, and is quite drunk. But why would you leave for Lex’s house on the same day that you were engaged? You know that he is obsessed with you. What in the hell did she think was going to happen when she got there? Lex starts blabbing on about how he wanted to get out of his father’s shadow, and as intoxicated as he is, says that Lana is lucky not to have a father because she would never have to endure the pain he caused her. Lana’s parents were killed in the first meteor shower, and she feels anything but lucky to have not known them, so she is upset. Seeing that he upset Lana upsets Lex. Seeing that Lana know has an engagement ring really upsets Lex. He grabs her by the arms and starts yelling at her, and Lana throws a drink in his face and runs off.
Lana is racing down the highway in her car. She calls Clark and tells him what happened. When she told Lex that she was engaged, she mentioned that Clark is not hiding anything from her anymore, that things would be different. Lex got a look in his eyes, and that look told Lana that Lex somehow knew that she knew Clark’s secret; she just had to leave. While on the highway, Lex catches up to her in his Mercedes. He pulls up next to her and tells her to pull over so they can talk, but Lana doesn’t stop. Well, she doesn’t stop until a bus hits her car. Clark had heard all of this, and he raced to the scene, not caring that Lex or anybody else saw how fast he got there. Unfortunately, it was too late, Lana was sprawled out on the pavement, and there was nothing that Clark could do to save her. Or was there?
Clark knew what the consequences of his life would be. Maybe if he had returned to the fortress and not worried about Lana’s paper cut way back when he was trying to stop the disciples of Zod, none of this would have happened. Jor-El father decides to Clark him one more chance. Clark can save Lana, all he needs to do was pick up crystal, and her life would be spared. Now, Jor-El warns that the universe is going to find a balance. To me, that means that if Lana is saved, somebody else will die, but Clark doesn’t want to hear it.
It’s sort of hard to express how upset I was at this point. I thought the first half of the episode was very well done. Real emotion, real sadness. If there was anything that would prevent Clark and Lex from ever being friends, it would be the death of Lana. Instead, we get a do-over, and I think a very lame one at that. Why? Because it takes us down the same path we have known for a long time now. How upset was I? This is what I wrote in my notes on the episode “oh, this is bullshit. this is fletching bullshit. I can’t believe they are going to kill her, and then pull this fletching shit on us. you are fletching kidding me. fletching same fletching shit all over again, those stupid fletchers.” I, of course, used something a little stronger than “fletch”.
We are returned to the scene from the beginning of the episode. Clark has a lump of coal in his hand, and when he sees Lana, he acts like she has come back from the dead. The Pantene he smells now is much better than the blood and burned rubber scent she gave off last time. Lana is ready for the most amazing day in her life, but instead of telling her the truth, Clark tries to cover up. Lana knows that he is lying, and says that she needs a break, not from Clark but “from us”. Is this the final, final, breakup we have all been waiting for?
With no good news to tell his parents, Clark goes to Chloe. She knows that he is amazing, but doesn’t believe that he can travel in time, and even makes a joke about spinning the earth backwards on its Axis. Don’t be so sill Chloe, we know that Clark can’t fly yet! Be patient! Eventually, Clark convinces her that yes, he has lived that day again. He tells her that he proposed to Lana and that she died. Although Chloe’s reaction to the engagement wasn’t quite like it was during the first time around, she doesn’t believe that this means they can’t be together. Clark is pretty sure that doesn’t matter anymore, but he does want to make sure that nothing happens to Lana, so he tells Chloe to stay by her side.
It shouldn’t have been hard for Clark and Chloe to keep an eye on Lana, right? Chloe managed to convince Lana to come to the campaign headquarters, and once again, Jonathan wins. Once again, he gets a call. Once again, Lana gets a call. But Clark and Chloe were distracted and couldn’t keep track of Lana. For some reason, Lois was upstairs and slipped while she was making toast. I am not sure if that is the reason, but there was a puddle of water, and Clark managed to rescue her before she electrocuted herself.
Lana’s visit with Lex is different. She is not engaged, so she isn’t happy. She doesn’t know Clark’s secret, so Lex can’t scare her off. OK, let me rephrase that, Lex can still scare her off. When Lex learns that Lana and Clark “had their last fight” he is happy. Finally! He is able to love Lana without any boyfriend or age of consent issues to get in the way. Saying that he will never lie to her, Lex starts to give Lana a deep kiss, but she is not in the mood, and runs off. Realizing that he may have ruined his chances by being drunk and frisky, Lex chases after Lana. They are on the same road, they have the same conversation, and the bus still hits Lana! And she dies!!!
HA! As if. I thought that it would have been perfect irony if Clark worked so hard to protect Lana, and she died anyway. The truth is that Clark was able to get there just in time to grab the back of the bus, once again saving Lana by inches. Once again, she’ll never know.
Lana’s alive, so how will the universe balance itself? How will fate even the score? Very easily – Jonathan Kent. When Jonathan received his phone call after his win, it was Lionel Luthor. Lionel wanted to start collecting on his campaign donation. Jonathan was not going to let that happen. He meets Lionel in the barn, and says he is going to pay all of his contributions back, but Lionel has more than just campaign money to keep Jonathan in line. He has a photograph that Griff was going to sell Lex, the one that would have destroyed Jonathan’s campaign and family. After all of those years of playing nice, Jonathan beats up Lionel, and we think he is just going to keep on going until Lionel is dead, but a heart attack stops Jonathan before he can go any further. He walks outside just in time to see Clark and Martha returning from the party; just enough time to die in their arms.
So now we know the price of saving Lana, although it might have happened anyway. Was it the stress of beating up Lionel that finally got to Jonathan? We’ll never know. I do know that he had a bad heart, and maybe he would have died that night even in the scenario when Lana died. I was wondering if Clark would tell his mom that he basically traded Jonathan’s life for Lana’s, and he did. Martha wasn’t upset, and in typical Annette O’Toole wisdom, says that a heart beats only so many times, and Jonathan used his more than anybody she knew. Maybe it was just his time. I just hope that doesn’t mean Jor-El still needs to take somebody away. As you might have noticed, I am still a little worried that Chloe might leave us.
There you have it. The death of Jonathan Kent. The only question now is how it will change Clark. Although Lana was there to be with Clark at the funeral, he didn’t notice she was there, and she left soon after. Lex showed to pay his respects, but dared not get too close. Lionel showed up, and it looks to me like he might want to take care of Martha now that Jonathan was out of the way. As much as I enjoyed the first half of the show, the second half was disappointing. Too often we have to endure when writers want to surprise us with twists, and this was no exception. At least we don’t have to deal with the awful Clark and Lana chemistry any longer.
What did you think of the episode? Will Clark or Martha get revenge on Lionel? Is Lex going to be the new Senator, or does Martha inherit the office? Will Clark try his luck with Chloe or another girl? What was in that picture of Lionel’s?