Reckoning

Fellow Smallville fans will hopefully recognize the name of this post. Reckoning was the 100th episode of the series.  For those who don’t know, Smallville is the story about Clark Kent growing up in the town of Smallville. It is my favorite show and I think that’s true simply because I think I resonate with Clark Kent in so many ways. I personally know this urge to be the hero of the story, yet I also am introverted enough to know the fear of revealing oddities about one’s self for fear of being rejected. Reckoning was the episode I watched last night.

In this episode, Clark has been wrestling with his relationship with Lana Lang. He finally decides he can’t hold back from her. He takes her to the Fortress of Solitude and reveals his secret to her. After he does that, he then asks her to marry him. From that, we have the theme of the show breaking in (Something I called before ever seeing this episode) and the adventure begins.

Lana doesn’t say yes immediately leaving Clark in the ropes. He asks her not to though as he’s sprung so much on her that he wants her to think about it. He tells his parents, including his father who is running for state senator against Lex Luthor who is quite pleased that his boy has become a man.

Of course, Lana does say yes, she will marry Clark. Clark is absolutely thrilled and they rush to the Talon, the local coffeeshop, where the Kent campaign is preparing to have its victory party in the case of a victory.  The results do come in and Jonathan Kent has been elected the new Senator from Kansas.

Lex Luthor calls Lana then and she comes over as he’s depressed over the outcome and is frankly, drunk. He finds out that she’s engaged and gets angry demanding to know what she found out about Clark that makes her trust him. Lana physically defends herself and runs out and drives away calling Clark telling him where she’s at. Lex Luthor drives after her and pulls alongside her on the road yelling out the window asking Lana if they can talk. Lana looks away and Lex screams.

<> At that point, a bus runs into Lana’s car knocking it over several times. Clark shows up to learn the horrid truth.

<> Lana Lang is dead.

I can so feel for Clark at this moment as the girl of his dreams is dead. His father is there and pulls him away as Clark is paralyzed but hysterical with blood on his hands and hearing his father saying “There’s nothing you could have done.” I know I’d be thinking if I was Clark, “Yes. I could’ve done something. I could’ve arrived sooner.”

Just picture that. Having the girl of your dreams and finally no barriers to your being with her and then in a moment, she’s dead. It’s so odd because I’ve seen this episode a number of times and I always know what will happen and how it will turn out. Yet, I’m still in utter shock and just stunned that this event could take place and I feel such sympathy for Clark every time.

Clark goes to his Fortress and asks that time be changed. In an earlier episode, Clark had been brought back to life and told that someone he loved would have to die in his place. Clark seeks to change it so Lana won’t die. The episode kind of restarts then with Lana showing up in Clark’s barn for their “date.” It turns out to be their last fight. Clark can’t tell her the truth for she didn’t last a day with it.

Chloe, Clark’s dearest friend who knows his secret, offers to stay with Lana throughout the night to make sure fate doesn’t get a second chance.  The victory comes down for Jonathan Kent again, but there’s a power failure due to the change in events and Chloe loses Lana who drives to see Lex. This time, Lex is still drunk and kisses Lana and she runs out the door. The chase begins again and Lex pulls alongside her again.

This time, Clark shows up and stops the bus from running into Lana. At last, he has saved the day. After he watches Lex and Lana together then agree to forget it never happened, he runs off.  Lex and Lana are left as they see Jonathan Kent drive by who has gotten a phone call from Lex’s father, the nefarious Lionel Luthor, who contributed heavily to Jonathan’s campaign.

Jonathan meets Lionel and Lionel shows him something that relates to a great secret in the family. Jonathan gets thoroughly angry and throws Lionel around the barn telling him to get off of his property. By now though, Jonathan is having a hard time catching his breath and  walks out. Lionel Luthor reaches out and takes the crumpled piece of paper of what he’d showed Jonathan.

Clark and Martha Kent, his mother, pull up then and in their headlights see Jonathan walking out into the driveway. They get out to have Jonathan collapse. They pick him up and take him over to a place to sit down. Jonathan turns and looks at his son and then his head falls back.

<> Jonathan Kent is dead.
Friends. I do not consider myself an emotional person. I am often quite stoic in my emotions. However, every time I see this episode, I am never strong. Part of me tells myself I will be, but part of me really doesn’t want to be strong. I don’t openly weep at this episode, but I do have tears running down my face during it. There is nothing in the media that moves me like this does.

I honestly see an emptiness as it shows the Kent Farm in the snow. I see the newborn calf frisking about, but then I see the cemetry service. I see the whole team gathered in black. I see a young man there wanting the father he desparately loves to come back to him and at the end takes some of the dirt and just watches it fall from his hands. His Dad is dead.

Our media isn’t too kind to fathers, but Jonathan Kent is the best father I have ever seen on TV. Now I might not have seen a lot of TV shows so my opinion might not count for much, but Jonathan reminds me of how important a father is in the life of his son, and I admire how Clark wants to be like his Dad no matter how old he gets.  Clark is always going to his Dad for advice.

So I think I can relate. In many ways, Smallville is great because the story does drive me in. I feel like I have lost someone close to me also when Jonathan Kent dies. I remember the first time in fact I saw the episode I was devastated.  I was living with my folks then and my Mom came up to me afterwards and said “Are you going to be alright?” Yeah. I would be. It was just hard then. The story is that powerful.

Clark’s father has been honored in Smallville lore.  He isn’t forgotten either. Clark is always pointing back to his Dad and still today is wanting to be a man that his Dad would be proud of.

I suppose it’s a good thing this is around. Like I said, not much really gets me emotional, but even as I write this blog and remember the events of the show,  I can feel a sadness growing in me. However, it’s a sadness I don’t really want to lose. It reminds me of the things that are important. It reminds me of the value of family and the kind of father I’d like to be someday and how I want my future son (or daughter) to see me.

Here’s to you Jonathan Kent. You were a hero to more people than Clark Kent. If you ever read this, just know your fatherly example extended beyond a TV show.