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Smallville explores what it means to be a "Kent": The Father

Clark and Lois
Clark and Lois

***In Lexington, the CW is channel 117 (digital cable), 384 (satellite), 914 (HD).***

Four weeks are left until the CW's Smallville series finale. The show has been on there air for a decade. Ten full years. There aren't many series that can boast such a long run, and the show now is drastically different from the way it began. With a primary cast of only four characters (five, if counting Allison Mack's Chloe, though she is only doing a handful of episodes this season), the focus has shifted fully into Clark Kent (Tom Welling) becoming Superman. Sure, that has always been the understood journey of the show, but with the end fast approaching, it is more prevalent than ever.

This week, in "Kent", Clark is sent back to the alternate universe by his doppelgänger, Clark Luthor. Luthor is hunted in his world, and everyone knows how to kill him, thanks to the now deceased Oliver Queen (Justin Hartley). Clark Kent runs into Oliver's widow, Lois (Erica Durance), and then finds the shell of a man that is Jonathan Kent (John Schneider). Jonathan captures Clark, intending to hand him in for the reward money. But would-be father and son bond, and Jonathan lets Clark go, both having new perspectives on their lives.

Jonathan Kent died in the regular universe years ago, but having Clark face his father once more, right before the end, is not just a throwback to who he was. Jonathan has shaped who Clark has become. He also helps his son see that things in life aren't nearly as important as the people. Clark does know Lois is the most cherished element in his life, but this bit of advice gives him the courage to go through with a momentous event in his life: selling the Kent family farm.

Giving up his boyhood home may not seen like a major step to many. In fact, many origin Superman stories on screen have dispersed with the farmhouse early in the movie or series. But as the entirety of Smallville takes place prior to Clark putting on the cape and tights, getting rid of the homestead reminds us that the end is very near, and he will soon become the hero he is meant to be. This particular Clark's journey is finishing, as he is about to become the character beloved for decades.

Please click here to read the other part of my review for this episode, Back Home.

Smallville still airs Friday nights at 8 p.m. ET on the CW, though not for much longer.

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Article first published as TV Review: Smallville - "Kent" on Blogcritics.


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