Smallville

Season 5 Episode 12

Reckoning

3
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 26, 2006 on The CW
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
1,602 votes
237

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Clark reveals his secret to Lana, Jonathan and Lex learn the results of the senatorial election, and there is a tragic car accident on the highway that takes the life of someone Clark loves, forcing Clark to appeal to Jor-El for help.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • by reading some of these reviews, you get the picture some people either don't watch this show often, or just don't "get it".

    9.2
    This episode was very well acted on the part of Clark and I think Johnathon's farewell was outstanding... you could TELL that he KNEW his death was the PRICE he had to pay for saving Clark when he went "red kryptonite" and that little smile to Clark before he dropped was him saying 'it was worth it'.



    While it was nice to see (for a while) the happiness and weight lifted off of Clark's shoulders when he revealed his secret to Lana.... the drama between Lana and Clark IS the show... it IS the essence of superman. The "ironic Atlas metaphor" of having the "super" powers any person would desire being coupled with the burden of carrying the world on his shoulders. Noone can take that away if he wants to fulfil his destiny.



    Sure it would be "nice" if he and Lana could live in a nice picket fence house 'happily ever after'... just like it would be "nice" if a ship came and rescued the people on LOST... but then.. why would we watch?



    moreless
  • Smallville reaches the ton!

    8.5
    What a journey this episode was! Truth be told, i am not a big fan of episodes with time travelling involved. However, in Reckoning's case it was part of what made it so tragic. Clark has known this season that he will have to say goodbye to a loved one. Clark's love for Lana was too strong for hom to let her die, so he did used his last chance with Jor-El to bring her back. In the end, he lost a person who, in my opinion, meant so much more to him than Lana. His Earth father, Jonathan Kent. Some have said that Jonathan was the moral compass of this show and i tend to agree. He might have been stubborn at times, but he was someone who stood by his beliefs(which he installed to Clark) and always put his family first. While the show will deeply miss Jonathan, this development brings Clark one step closer to Superman. His maturation process has begun.



    Goodbye Jonathan Kent. We will miss you!moreless
  • In this episode, Lana dies, clarks dad wins the election. Then clark goes back in time and saves lana and his father dies from a heart attack. It ends with him going to his fathers funeral.moreless

    1.1
    kill clarks father? he was a big role in the show. And now they kill him off? i don\\\'t kno what the producers were thinking. This will really drop ratings. I know i won\\\'t be watching anymore. His father should come back from the dead or something i am seriously upset over there choice in so called \\\"film making\\\"
  • Ummm.... i would rather not even talk about it...

    3.0
    What can i say? It was horrid. I'm a big oldschool fan and yes i know from the earliest superman oft he twenties, to the superman of today, there is a huge difference, but I am a fan of the Superman of the late 80's and this show is just butchering it. This episode was truely terrible, which is sad because i was really looking forward for Chloe to get knocked off..... ohh well the movie comes out soon hopefully thatll be good..... As for this series, it just died for me.moreless
  • The moment has arrived - Clark reveals his secrets to Lana - can the happiness last? A long-time cast member departs the Smallville story.

    8.9
    Clark has invited Lana to the barn, where he nervously begins to tell her about himself. For the most dramatic demonstration, they go to the cave, insert the key, and in two seconds they're at the Fortress in the frozen north. "I'm from a planet named Krypton," Clark reveals, then leaps a tall building, or crystal, in a single bound (that's almost flying), and produces a nice diamond from a chunk of carbon by squeezing it in his bare hand. He welds it to a ring with heat-vision, and proposes. That's a lot for Lana to think about at once - but we always have to ask, "Is this real, or another dream fantasy?"



    It's winter in Smallville, British Columbia; as Martha and Jonathan arrive home in the "new" blue Dodge pickup first seen last week, and Clark makes his announcement. Lana is thinking over the proposal - it's not that easy to be married to an alien. She asks Lois what she would do if she learned that someone close had "a whole other side to them." Knowing Clark's identity has been a long-hidden secret, she's not about to tell Lois everything, but why not just discuss the marriage proposal? About Lana's obvious misgivings, Lois says, "I would be lucky to end up with someone as honorable as Clark some day." Prophetic words, we hope.



    Chloe is a bit surprised that Clark has told Lana, but pleased - "You're Kansas's version of Ken and Barbie." But she's more stunned by the marriage proposal. Back at the farm, in a pleasant snowfall, Lana is there in her GMC Envoy, Clark nervously awaiting her reply before the election victory party. But happiness abounds, she accepts, the ring is on her finger.



    On election eve, the Kents and supporters are waiting for the results, and the young couple make their engagement known to Jonathan and Martha. More good news, Jonathan has won the election over Lex. Uh oh, phone calls, that can't be good in this context. Now what would get Lana to leave the festivities to see Lex at the mansion? She still has her "partnership" with Lex on her mind, and her deep commitment to learning about the spaceship, but doesn't the revelation about Clark answer many of her questions? Looks like Lex wasn't planning an election-eve vigil with his supporters - he's already drowning his sorrows in whiskey.



    She's giving Lex way too much reassurance, until he spots her ring, and jealously reminds her of the lies Clark has told her. And he believes Clark has told her something. Good time to escape - as Lana calls Clark during the drive on US 40 back to the party, with drunken Lex pursuing her, she collides with a bus...Clark is there in an instant, but she is lost to him. Clark flees to the Fortress, pleading with Jor-El not to take her life to pay for his mistake in giving up his powers. Jor-El can alter events, but the universe must find a balance - a crystal is offered, Clark makes the choice to save Lana, and time and space are rewound to the beginning of the episode. Clark must now play his own version of "Groundhog Day," re-living the same day while remembering everything that occurred in version 1.0. Saving Lana means he cannot tell her his secret, and a "day you'll never forget" is forgotten as she can see he is hiding the truth again. She needs a break..."from us" and things are back to Clark-Lana normal.



    Rewinding other events, Clark now explains both time lines to Chloe, using his memory of previous events to demonstrate that he has lived them before. "All right, McFly," she quotes from the "Back to the Future" films. They still have to work together to make sure the chain of events plays out differently, so Chloe shadows Lana at the victory party. But Lois fails to appear, and Clark finds her unconscious on the floor upstairs at the Talon. Not sure of the point of this brief scene, maybe just to get Clark away from Lana long enough for her to disappear again. Lana repeats the scene with Lex, Take 2 resulting in a different tone to the chat. This time he sees an opening to Lana's emotions, and makes a play for her. Too soon. Same result though, she leaves and he pursues, back onto US 40.



    At the party, Chloe and Clark miss Lana, and realizing events are moving again, Clark speeds out to the intersection, saving Lana by stopping that same school bus, but putting her into the arms of Lex.



    Lionel is already taking advantage of his campaign donations to Jonathan, who rejects the partnership offered by Lionel. But Lionel reveals another common interest - Clark - and his secret, with the implication of blackmail. Jonathan gets violent, pounding Lionel to the floor, but raising his blood pressure...to heart attack level as Clark and Martha arrive only to have him collapse in their arms. Clark's destiny has come upon him again - a life has been lost, Jonathan's, not Lana's.



    Clark is ready to blame himself, but Martha wisely counsels him about the consequences of such choices. Annette O'Toole once again plays a difficult scene with anguish and love.



    A bleak winter scene follows at the cemetery. In a sad snowfall, five years of Smallville support by John Schneider comes to an end. Re-run rating B+.moreless
Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk

Lana Lang

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Alexander ('Lex') Joseph Luthor

Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Erica Durance

Erica Durance

Lois Lane

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Chris Shields

Chris Shields

Courier

Guest Star

Preston Cook

Preston Cook

Angry Young Suit

Guest Star

Vanesa Tomasino

Vanesa Tomasino

Secretary

Guest Star

Terence Stamp

Terence Stamp

Voice of Jor-El

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (8)

    • About 20 minutes in, Martha says, "One more district, and you'll have a new commute to Topeka." Since Jonathan is running for a state senate position, he only has one district to win total. One would hope that by election night Martha would know this much about the race her husband is in.

    • Trivia: The funeral scene makes an allusion to the first season episode, "Crush" funeral scene. Both have a bad weather (one is raining and the other is snowing) and in both scenes the characters are bidding farewell to Lana's boyfriend's father. And both finish with Clark alone in the graveyard.

    • When Clark saw his dad stumbling while holding his chest, why didn't he rush him to the hospital? With his speed he might have been able to save him, but he just stayed and watched him die.

    • Lex tells Lana that she's lucky she never had a father to endure. Lex is pretty familiar with her background, but he forgets that Lana did have her biological father Henry Small for a while.

    • Despite Clark's strict (and desperate) instructions for Chloe to keep a careful eye on Lana, when they get to the party the first thing Chloe does is...talk to Clark while Lana wanders off.

    • Before Clark proposes to Lana, he shows her a lump of coal. Then he super-squeezes it until it is turned into a beautifully cut diamond. Diamonds are indeed created when carbon deposits are subjected to extreme pressure over time but they don't come out of the ground perfectly cut. The stones are uncut when they are mined. Diamond cutters do the cutting and polishing. While Clark could have indeed super-squeezed the coal into a diamond, it should have become an uncut stone, not a cut one.

    • The second time Lex throws his drink into the fireplace, you can clearly see that all of the liquid splatters out of the glass before it ever reaches the hearth. But when the glass breaks in the fire, it still flames up as if the glass had been full of alcohol.

    • When Lana has her accident, she is thrown clear of her car. But earlier in the scene, she can clearly be seen wearing her seat belt. The seat restraint would have kept her inside the vehicle, even after a roll-over. She should have still been inside the vehicle when Clark finds her.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Chloe: Clark, if Lana cares about you as much as I know she does, I seriously doubt anything's gonna change.
      Clark: One thing might. I haven't gotten my answer yet... (pauses nervously) I asked her to marry me.
      Chloe: Wow... Well, that one wasn't on the Doppler! Not even a blip!
      Clark: I know what you're gonna say. That we're too young, there's a reason I hadn't told her before, that there's too much at stake...
      Chloe: That's funny, because what I was actually gonna say is there are very few people out there who really know what they want...and are willing to risk everything for it.

    • Clark: (about Jonathan) I just don't know how I'm supposed to be the man he wanted me to be... without him here.
      Martha: You're his son. You know what's right and wrong. Whether your father is here with us or not... you're a man he's proud of. A man he could look up to, and something tells me he won't be the only one.

    • Martha: Clark, I know you're blaming yourself, but this was not your fault.
      Clark: How can you say that? I went back to save Lana... and now Dad's gone.
      Martha: Do you think you could've chosen between them if you'd had the chance?

    • Jonathan: So, why don't you come over here and face me, you son of a bitch.
      Lionel: Oh, perhaps a few lessons in tact...Senator. Now that you're gonna be in the public eye...
      Jonathan: Why don't you just cut the crap, Luthor. Sure, I know my campaign accepted funds from you, but I also know I'm gonna pay 'em all back so I won't owe you a thing.
      Lionel: I wonder how far that virtuous stance will get you once you're in, uh, office.
      Jonathan: I just want to make sure you understand you don't have a puppet here.
      Lionel: I should hope not. I didn't put my financial and political clout behind a candidate who would be anyone's...puppet. I envision this rather as a, uh...a partnership.
      Jonathan: The day you and I become partners will be the day...
      Lionel: (interrupting) Careful, careful, careful, Senator. Don't forget, you and I have a, uh, common interest. One that, uh, (takes out a photograph) both of us would, uh, protect with our lives. I have nothing but respect for a man who would deliberately hurl himself into the spotlight with such a dangerous secret that must stay hidden.

    • Clark: There has to be a way! There has to be a way, to... to fix this! Please!
      Jor-El: There is one trial you have yet to experience. But, you must heed my warning. The tide of fate is impossible to stop. Even if you are able to alter one course of events, the universe will find a balance. There is only one crystal. Decide carefully.
      Clark: I have to save her.

    • Martha: One more district and you'll have a new commute to Topeka.
      Jonathan: Whatever the outcome, sweetheart, the only victory that's ever changed my life was when I won your heart.

    • Chloe: You told Lana your secret?
      Clark: Yeah.
      Chloe: Wow... umm, okay. God, and after all those years of me yanking on your closet door, what's the real reason for this coming-out party?
      Clark: It was only a matter of weeks before she broke it off.
      Chloe: But... you guys are like meant for each other, you're like Kansas's version of Ken and Barbie, except, they broke up, apparently, which is kind of weird.

    • Lois: Okay, spill it.
      Lana: You know, it's nothing.
      Lois: Three guesses: tall, dark and bumbling.
      Lana: It's just, um... Okay, what would you do if you thought you knew someone really well and...it turns out that there's, um, there's this whole other side to them.
      Lois: Well, that depends, are we in arms dealer territory or are we talking The Crying Game?
      Lana: Nothing like that.
      Lois: Then I guess the question is, does it change the way you feel about him?

    • Jonathan: I guess it's just... hard looking over at your son and realizing you're talking to a man. A man who doesn't need his father's advice anymore.
      Clark: I'm always gonna need you, Dad.

    • Lana: How many times have you been there when I didn't know it, saving me?
      Clark: It doesn't matter, Lana. I couldn't let anything happen to you.
      Lana: And no one knew?
      Clark: There were so many days I wanted to tell you.
      Lana: What makes today any different?
      Clark: I want you to know who I really am. (he forges a diamond from a lump of coal, sets it in a gold band with his heat vision, then gets down on one knee) Will you marry me?

    • Jonathan: (to Lionel) We can withstand anything you bring down on us...because we have each other. That's what will always separate the Kents from the Luthors.

    • Lana: When did you start caring what people think of you?
      Lex: Since I was branded at birth with the sins of my father.

    • Lex: Probably shouldn't have called. Shouldn't do a lot of things, but I, uh, seem to do them anyway.

    • Clark: (after confessing his secret) Do I look different to you now?
      Lana: Clark, you look like the same handsome guy I've always known.
      Clark: Handsome as in "I wanna spend the rest of my life with you" or handsome as in "I'm gonna let you down easy"?
      Lana: As in "Yes, Clark, I will marry you."

    • Martha: A heart beats only so many times in a life. Your father used his more than anyone I know.

    • Jor-El: Your powers on Earth may seem extraordinary, Kal-El, but we are not gods.

    • Clark: (to Lana) When you asked me if I believed in life on other planets, you had no idea how ironic that question was.

    • Lana: What could be worse than losing the person that you love?
      Clark: Nothing.

    • Clark: I've lived this day before. I kind of went back in time.
      Chloe: Right. What'd you do, spin the Earth backwards on its axis?

    • (his last line)
      Jonathan: (to Lionel) Now, why don't you get the hell off my property?

  • NOTES (7)

    • Injoke: When Chloe asks if Clark spun the Earth backward on its axis, it's a reference to Superman reversing time by doing roughly the same thing, in Superman: The Movie.

    • Injoke: Clark's squeezing a lump of coal until it becomes a diamond is reminiscent of a similar scene in Superman III, when, as Superman, he pauses to make a diamond while recommending Gus Gorman for a job at a coal mine. As Clark, he later presents this diamond to Lana, telling her it's a gift from Superman.

    • International Air Dates:
      The Netherlands: April 28, 2007 on Veronica
      New Zealand: April 20, 2007 on TV2

    • On the DVD there is a deleted scene that shows Clark taking the dead Jonathan to the Fortress of Solitude and begging Jor-El for help. But there is no help - the Fortress is unlit, no voice of Jor-El and Clark has to say sorry to his father for not being able to help.

    • Depending on the time of day this episode is broadcast, if it is late enough, you see Lana being thrown about inside the car and her battered body lying outside the car as Clark kneels next to her. Otherwise, if it is shown earlier in the day, all this is cut out and you simply see blood on Clark's hands as he hugs his father.

    • In the commercial for this episode that aired right before the episode started, it showed Jonathan pinned up against a post by Lionel in the Kent barn. Lionel then punches Jonathan in the face. For some reason, in the actual episode, this scene was cut out and only showed Jonathan punch Lionel.

    • Music: James Blunt - "You're Beautiful", Peter Gabriel - "I Grieve"

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Chloe: So how did she take the whole "E.T. phone home" thing?
      This alludes to a famous line from the movie E.T., which is about an alien from outer space, which relates to Clark because he too is from outer space.

    • Lois: ...or are we talking The Crying Game?
      Referencing the 1992 movie with a twist ending revolving around the identity of the character Dil, played by Jaye Davidson.

    • Chloe: All right, McFly, do you want to start with how or why?
      This is a reference to Marty McFly, the character Michael J. Fox played in the Back to the Future movies of the late eighties. In that series, Marty McFly was a teenager who traveled back in time with his scientist friend Doctor Emmett Brown who built a time machine out of a Delorean.

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