- For the sound emitted by kryptonian artifacts, see Kryptonian beacon.
Clark is surprised to see Martha on the news speaking at a pro-vigilante rally. However, surprise quickly turns to horror when he and Lois watch as Martha is shot in an attack on national television. Meanwhile, Lionel Luthor-2 reveals himself to the world and reclaims LuthorCorp from Tess and Oliver. Lois and Chloe decide to cheer Clark up by showing him videos from thousands of vigilante supporters professing their support for the Blur.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 10x13
Tess arrives at the Daily Planet to find half the staff staring and whispering at the sight of her. Lois approaches her and asks her why she has been rewriting her articles on the heroes and giving them a pro-VRA spin. Tess looks at the front page of the paper and tells her that she didn't approve any of the articles. Lois tells her that she has her own problems to deal with and she can’t be dealing with Tess, and walks off. Unnerved, Tess walks into her office only to find Lionel Luthor sitting at her desk. She quickly deduces that he is the Lionel of Earth-2 and he explains that the world believes that Lionel-1 simply faked his death in this world and now he is back to take care of his family, including his daughter Tess-1. He reveals that he knows about Alexander and that she abandoned him. He demands to know where Alexander is, but Tess-1 tells him she doesn't know. Lionel-2 vows to find him, stating that Alexander needs his father, and then leaves.
Back at Watchtower, Chloe and Oliver have spent the night getting "reacquired". Having awoken before Oliver, Chloe watches her lover snooze. When he wakes up he tells Chloe that he is going out for a walk. Chloe reminds him that the last time he went out he ended up stopping a robbery and almost got caught. She takes out her computer and watches a broadcast of a pro-Hero rally; to their surprise, Martha Kent is leading a pro-Hero campaign.
In the meantime, Clark comes home just as Lois walks through the door from campaigning against the VRA. She tells Clark that she managed to get 30 more votes in his favor, but Clark just tells her that he’d rather focus on fighting crime and saving people, not politics. She shows him the broadcast of the pro-Hero rally and he is surprised to see that his mother is the guest speaker. Martha gives a meaningful speech against the VRA and about not giving into fear, when all of a sudden a gunshot rings out through the crowd. Clark speeds off leaving Lois to worry.
Clark arrives at MetGen to discover that Martha is just fine; she was wearing a bulletproof vest which stopped one bullet, and the other bullet only grazed her shoulder. Clark asks her why she didn’t tell him she was coming to town so he could protect her, but Martha tells him that she can’t have him in the spotlight yet and that she needs to get back out there on the campaign trail. She ignores Clark’s objections and tells him how she and Jonathan vowed to do anything in order to protect their son, including giving up their lives, but Clark tells her that he is not ready lose her just yet and then leaves to find the shooter. Just as Clark leaves, Chloe arrives to check to see if Martha is all right. Martha asks her why she left and Chloe explains that she did it for the same reason Martha did; to allow Clark to stand on his own.
Clark goes to the site of the shooting and finds the pro-Heroes and pro-VRA supporters squaring off in a series of escalating confrontations. Oliver is also on the scene looking for the shooter, admitting to Clark that he just couldn’t stay cooped up in Watchtower all day or else he’d go crazy. He tells Clark that the police haven’t been able to find the bullets. Clark notices that the phone booth window is broken, but when he gets too close he realizes that there is kryptonite dust. Clark realizes that the police haven’t been able to find the bullets because they were made from kryptonite that disintegrated upon impact. This means that the killer was expecting Clark to step between his mother and the bullet, and be downed by the kryptonite. He realizes that the motive for shooting Martha was not political, but personal, and that the killer knows who he is.
Back at the farm, Lois is on the phone trying to get the newspapers to run her pro-Hero article, when Martha arrives. Lois tries to impress her with her new found cooking skills and research on her potential killer, but Martha just stops her and tells her that she has been impressed with her for years and that she doesn’t have to try so hard. Martha then gives her a heart shaped necklace and explains that it was given to her by Jonathan’s mother on their wedding day. She assures Lois that she is the perfect fit for her son and that she inspires him, but Lois admits that she can’t seem to inspire Clark since he is losing hope so quickly. Lois is also dismayed by the fact that no one will run her stories. Martha points out that Perry White started out as an outsider as well and when the paper wouldn’t run his stories he took matters into his own hands by printing pamphlets for his causes.
Lionel-2 tracks Alexander down to an abandoned building in Suicide Slums. He enters the room where Alexander is staying when suddenly Alexander draws a gun to his heart, stating that he remembers killing Lionel-1 and that it was the best day of his life. Lionel-2 assures him that he doesn’t need a gun, when he sees the kryptonite bullets. He realizes that Alexander is the one who shot Martha Kent-1. Alexander explains that he hoped that Clark would have arrived and stepped in front of the bullet, killing him. Lionel-2 tells him that he doesn’t have to worry and he is there to protect his “son.” He also tells him that in another life he betrayed his son and chose Clark, but now he plans to take advantage of this second chance and to make things right and rule the Luthor Dynasty with his son.
Lois is in the Daily Planet archive room when Chloe arrives. Lois explains to her that she needs Chloe to hack into a couple of national news websites in order to spread her pro-Hero pieces. Meanwhile Clark finds the shooter's crows nest, and finds his shield scratched into the surface and an "X" through it. He figures out that it was Alexander who shot at his mother. Clark calls Oliver, who is heading into his office. Oliver-1 assures him that they’ll find Alexander, but when he walks in he finds Lionel-2 and Alexander. Lionel-2 explains that he has been quietly reclaiming his assets and bought out Oliver-1’s shares and taken control of LuthorCorp. Oliver-1 gets ready to hit Lionel-2, but when Lionel-2 dares him to, he restrains himself. Lionel-2 tells him that he was a fool to seek out the spotlight and how the people have turned against him once and they will do it again when the VRA repeal vote fails. Oliver-1 insists that people are full of surprises and that he will be back for Lionel-2 once his named has been cleared.
Clark returns to the Daily Planet to find Tess who has been calling him all day. He tells her that Alexander is the shooter. Tess explains that Lionel from Earth-2 has followed him to this world. Oliver-1 arrives and brings them both up-to-date on Lionel-2’ s LuthorCorp takeover. Tess-1 suggests that Clark use the mirror box to send Lionel-2 back to his world, but Clark tells them that he destroyed the box after he got back from Earth-2. He figures that maybe Jor-El might have a way of sending him back and tells them to wait until he comes back from the Fortress before they do anything.
Back at the Luthor Mansion, Lionel-2 beings Alexander back home only to find Martha-1 there waiting for him. She reveals that she knows that Lionel-2 is not from their world, and Lionel-2 sends Alexander outside while they talk. She tells him to stay away from Clark or else she will destroy him. Lionel-2 merely brushes it off and tells her that he finds her attractive and knows all about the relationship she had with his counterpart. He leans in to kiss her when she warns him one last time to stay away from her son. As she is leaving she tells him that she wont let him use Clark to kill Lex a second time. When she turns Alexander knocks her unconscious and asks Lionel-2 if what she said was true. Lionel-2 admits that he was wrong to choose Clark over him and he wants a second chance. Alexander tells him that there is no second chance and throws a liquor bottle at the wall. He tells Lionel-2 that he knows that he is aging at an accelerated rate, and that he has all of the original Lex’s memories and he despises them all. As Lionel-2 tries to get through to him, Alexander knocks him unconscious and sets the mansion on fire before leaving.
Back at the farm, Clark realizes what Tess has planned and returns to find her looking through his trunk for the Phantom Zone Crystal. She reminds him of when he used the crystal to send Slade away, but Clark states that the VRA forced his hand, but that Clark plans to bring Slade back for justice once Darkseid is taken care of.She asks him how he can be so good. Alexander arrives with the gun with the kryptonite bullets, rendering Clark ill. Once Clark collapses, Alexander tells them about everything he has done and boasts about how he set the mansion on fire with both Lionel-2 and Martha-1 inside. Clark insists that Alexander isn’t a killer and that he can still come back, but Alexander tells him that he is the last Lex Luthor; after him there is no coming back. Tess tells him that she understands how Alexander feels regarding how he can’t step back into the light after being an outcast in the dark for so long. Alexander wonders why Clark would help him. Clark tells him that he has something that the real Lex never had: Tess. She assures Alexander that she still loves him and will always be there for him. Alexander gives up his gun and Tess throws it away allowing Clark to speed off to save Martha. Martha-1 and Lionel-2 are still trapped in the mansion when Clark arrives and takes Martha to safety. After hesitating for a moment Clark goes back into the mansion and saves Lionel-2, throwing him to the ground. Clark tells him that it’s not over, and leaves with Martha-1, as Lionel-2 looks on at the burning mansion.
Clark meets Lois at the Daily Planet. She tries to get him to cheer up, but he worries that despite his triumphs he will soon be an outlaw when the VRA repeal fails. However Chloe and Lois show Clark hundreds of videos of Blur supporters thanking him for everything he has done in their lives. Chloe tells him that his supporters were there all along; they just needed a place to be heard.
The next day Clark, Lois, Martha, Oliver and Chloe all gather around the Kent's living room as they watch the news of the VRA repeal. They anxiously watch as the news reporter announces that the bill to repeal the VRA has passed. Clark thanks Lois for her support and she tells him to thank both Martha and Perry for inspiring her. Clark talks to his mother and tells her of his trip to the future in which he hides behind the disguise of a “Nerd with a bad Haircut.” He wonders how he can stand up to the values that his parents taught him if he is hiding behind a disguise, but Martha assures him that his father would be proud of him. With the VRA now gone Clark, Lois and Chloe reactivate Watchtower.
Back at the loft Tess examines a syringe full of cyanide, when Alexander comes up. He tells Tess that he feels sick and he is starting to forget things. He worries that he might end up forgetting her. She asks him if he remembers what he did the night before, but he can’t. As she embraces him she tells him that she is going to make everything all right and then tries to stab him with the syringe, only to find that it bends against his skin without penetrating.
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Erica Durance as Lois Lane
- Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer
- Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen
- Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
Special Guest Stars
- Annette O'Toole as Martha Kent
- John Glover as Earth-2 Lionel Luthor
- Lucas Grabeel as Alexander Luthor
- Anne Marie DeLuise as TV Reporter
- Jesse Reid as Anti-VRA Rally Speaker
- Hector Johnson
- Darren Bennett as Martha's Bodyguard
- Melissa Dionisio as Martha's Aide
- A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location.
- In a speech, Martha refers to the heroes as a beacon to fight for truth and justice.
- The title refers to Clark questioning his role as a "beacon" for humanity.
- Kryptonian devices, artifacts, or symbols have been known to make a high-pitched ringing sound known as a Kryptonian beacon.
- Chloe called Watchtower a beacon in Doomsday.
- Lex's clone referred to the Daily Planet globe as a beacon in Lazarus.
- Jor-El said that Clark "could not be a beacon of hope" in Lazarus.
- Brainiac masquerading as Lionel referred to Dax-Ur's SOS as his beacon in Season Seven's Persona.
- John Jones once said that Lionel's writing in kryptonian was a beacon that Jor-El used when he needed John's help in Season Six's Phantom.
- Antagonists: Lionel Luthor-2 and Alexander Luthor.
- The Vigilante Registration Act is repealed in this episode.
- Clark contemplates if he should wear glasses in this episode.
- The videoclips of fans of the Blur that Clark, Chloe and Lois watch near the end are actual fans of Smallville who sent them into the CW in November 2010.
- This episode marks the third time (after Season Three's Extinction and Season Seven's Apocalypse) that kryptonite bullets have been used with the intention of killing Kryptonians.
- It is revealed that Alexander is now invulnerable.
- Alexander seems to be right handed unlike Lex.
- In the show, the VRA is repealed by a "national vote." However, because the United States is a republic, not an absolute democracy (see Art IV, Sec 4 of the US Constitution), there would be no such vote. Even if such a vote occurred, it would not be binding, but have no more weight than a national poll. Overturning a law would require Congressional action.
- The reporter that Major Zod talked to in Season Nine's Conspiracy is seen briefly at the beginning of this episode.
- Oddly, when the Luthor Mansion is burning, Clark does not choose to use his super breath; instead, he simply runs in and saves Martha and Lionel one at a time, and after saving them, simply lets the mansion be destroyed.
- It's possible Clark had come to see the place as evil, since Lex became a villain after living there. Or he could have wanted to keep the good memories he had of Lex there untainted by gaining any new ones that were horrible.
- The Luthor Mansion is the second landmark set to have been destroyed this season; the first one was the Talon in Ambush.
- Lionel-2 tells Tess-1 that "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated". This is a paraphrase of Mark Twain's original line "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated". John Schneider (Jonathan Kent) also said the same thing at the 2010 Comic-Con.
- In one scene Martha says she's been watching Chloe and that she knows Chloe picked up where Waller left off. It can be inferred that Chloe took over the remainder of Checkmate/Suicide Squad.
- This is the second episode (after Luthor) that Lionel doesn't share scenes with Lex (the original), though he does share screentime with LX-15 (Alexander "Lex" Luthor).
- This is the third episode (after Abandoned and Luthor) where Tess interacts with Lionel.
- This is the first episode since Lazarus (the season premiere) and the second episode overall that all credited main characters appear.
- Lois told Clark that he is an American Hero. Martha told Clark that he is also the Light.
- Lionel-2 calls Tess-1 by her birth name Lutessa for the first time.
- When Clark sees the assassination attempt on his mother on TV, he superspeeds away to rescue her, doing so he breaks the wall of sound (we hear a sonic boom) but when he arrives his mother has already been taken to the hospital and taken care of. But Clark might have already rescued her and Martha had already been in the hospital. It's just that Clark was gone for some matter behind the scenes.
- Annette O'Toole and John Glover are billed as "Special Guest Stars". However, there's no "Guest Starring" billing. Instead, there's "Special Guest Stars Annette O'Toole" followed by "and John Glover" and finishes simply with "Lucas Grabeel".
- Lionel-2 was last seen in Luthor.
- Martha was last seen in Season Nine's Hostage.
- Alexander/Lex was last seen in Harvest.
- Clark, Chloe and Lois re-open Watchtower after it was shut down in Icarus.
- Amanda Waller was mentioned by Martha. She was last seen in Season Nine's Sacrifice.
- Bruno Mannheim and Ray Sacks were mentioned by Lois and shown via a picture for the first time since Season Eight's Stiletto and Season Nine's Charade respectively. A picture of Bruno Mannheim was shown in Season Nine's Salvation when Lois was investigating Zod's accusations of Clark.
- Lionel-2 mentions to Martha-1 about the watch that his counterpart had given to her in Season Two's Insurgence; though he thinks that Jonathan must not have known about it, Jonathan actually did find out about it in Season Two's Suspect.
- Martha mentions her father that was last seen in Season Two's Redux.
- This is the first episode since Patriot that Lois appears in where she isn't in any physical danger.
- Lionel-2 tells Tess-1 that "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.", the same words said by Nancy Adams to Clark in Season Three's Extinction.
- This episode marks the 6th appearance of Clark's Red Leather Jacket/Blue T-Shirt Blur outfit. It was previously seen in Shield, Homecoming, Ambush, Patriot, & Icarus.
- This is the second episode to have Lois cooking perfectly. The first was Ambush when she cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving. She also mentions her cooking has improved somewhat.
- Perry White was mentioned by Martha and Lois. He was last seen in Season Nine's Hostage.
- Alexander/Lex mentions Lionel's death which happened in Season Seven's Descent.
- Oliver-1 mentions to Lionel-2 about his parents' death (caused by Lionel-1). It was ultimately revealed in Season Eight's Toxic when Tess showed Oliver the evidence of Lionel's involvement.
- Slade Wilson was mentioned by Tess. He was last seen in Icarus.
Homages to Previous Seasons
- Martha getting shot by Alexander is similar to when Jonathan was shot at by Samantha Drake in Season Five's Fanatic. Both Kents are politicians at a political rally and shot at by someone that Lex has indirectly affected.
- The scene where Alexander throws a bottle of Scotch into the fire is very similar to what Lex did in Season Five's Reckoning and Season Seven's Descent.
- The scene in the barn where Clark is on the floor weakened by Kryptonite while Lex has a gun in his hand, is similar to when Lex's evil self did something similar with his Kryptonite ring to Clark in Season Four's Onyx.
- Clark and Tess trying to reason with Alexander mirrors when Clark tried to reason with Lex in Season Seven's Apocalypse and Arctic.
- Martha's public speech to the citizens to vote down the VRA is very similar to Lois's speech to the crowd about the Blur in Season Nine's Idol.
- Tess: Lionel Luthor. I thought...
- Lionel-2: Yes, well, rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
- Clark: Mom, people are upset. They're getting violent.
- Martha: Clark, if you don't let me do this, there will never be a day where you can come out of hiding. People need someone to believe in.
- Clark: I'm not gonna let you sacrifice yourself.
- Martha: Your father and I made a pact many years ago. We knew protecting you would always be dangerous, but we vowed to do it, even if it cost us our lives. I'm willing to sacrifice the same thing your father did.
- Clark: But I'm not gonna to let go on a suicide mission for me. And the person who did this to you is still out there, and I'm gonna find them. I'm not ready to say goodbye to you, too.
- Chloe: You know, who would have thought there would have been a day when heroes need this much protection?
- Martha: It's nothing new. A long time ago, Jonathan and I realized Clark wasn't just our blessing. Someday we'd have to share him with the world. Protecting him suddenly became a much bigger responsibility.
- Chloe: That explains why the Red Queen eventually entered the game.
- Martha: I've been watching you, too. I know you took over where Waller left off, but why did you leave Clark's side in the first place?
- Chloe: Same reason you did. It turns out there's a very fine line between being protective and being overprotective.
- Martha: We both needed to leave for Clark to stand up on his own. But maybe we stepped away too far.
- Chloe: Mrs. Kent, I never stopped watching his back.
- Martha: Clark needs you as much as the world needs him. You're part of this family, Chloe.
- Chloe: You know, growing up, I never really had much of a mother figure to look up to -- until I met you. You really taught me what it meant to take care of the people that I love.
- Martha: And as Clark's oldest friend, I can't think of anyone better to watch over him.
- Oliver: (to Clark) You know, I can't stay holed up in Watchtower all day long. I'll drive myself crazy. And your mother was standing out here for me, too.
- Alexander/Lex: I watched your body fall 40 stories. It was the greatest moment of my life.
- Lionel-2: (sarcastically) Well, what father doesn't want to make his child happy?
- Martha: (to Lois) You are a perfect fit for Clark. You inspire him.
- Chloe: Lois! Why am I at my Alma Mater? How am I suppose to protect my heroes off the grid if I'm totally off everyone's radar? And what's with all the Woodward and Bernstein?
- Lois: Actually, more like Perry and White? These are Perry's files.
- Chloe: Oh. That's the smell of Old Spice and young ambition.
- Oliver: (to Alexander) So, what was that this morning, huh? Was that, uh -- was that your idea to show daddy you got the killer instinct, too? Is that what that was?
- Lionel-2: Are you making an accusation against my son? No one will take your word, you're a convicted felon. You should have stayed out of the spotlight, but you wanted celebrity. You made one fatal mistake -- you trusted them, the people. They're vulgar, uneducated, and stupid, and they don't even know when you're fighting for them. Must be heart-wrenching.
- Oliver: Well, you got it all figured out. I'll tell you what -- I wouldn't underestimate the common man in tomorrow's vote. When the VRA's repealed and my name is cleared, I'm coming after you.
- Lionel-2: No, you're wrong. Tomorrow, the people will turn on you again, believe me. You missed the mark, Green Arrow.
- Alexander/Lex: And now its our turn... again.
- Tess: Clark, Alexander's not the only Luthor that's crawling back into our lives. Lionel's here.
- Clark: Lionel?
- Tess: He followed you from his parallel world and he knows about Alexander.
- Oliver: Uh, even worse, he's already found him. I just got back from father/son day at LuthorCorp. Alexander's all grown up. The family's back in business.
- Lionel-2: This is your home, Alexander. You'll be safe here. You always remember, son -- a Luthor's home is his castle.
- Martha: But this really isn't your home, Lionel, is it?
- Lionel-2: So, Senator Martha Kent. I assume Clark told you about his journey through the looking glass.
- Martha: And he just called me about yours. You don't belong here.
- Lionel-2: That's strange, coming from you. Where does your son belong? Certainly not here.
- Martha: Well, on this side of the mirror, Clark is a force for good. And if you try to hurt him, I will destroy you.
- Lionel-2: (pausing) I find you very attractive, Martha.
- Alexander/Lex: No second chances, Lionel. It's time to end this family feud.
- Lionel-2: Alexander, please listen to me.
- Alexander/Lex: I know I'm dying. I'm aging faster and faster. I have all of Lex's memories. And he despised every single one of you.
- Lionel-2: Listen. Listen to me, son. Don't let hate master you. Make it your servant. Use it. Let it build inside of you. Hate can make you strong. I can teach you how.
- Alexander/Lex: There's nothing left for you to teach me.
- Clark: You're looking for the Phantom Zone crystal, aren't you?
- Tess: You sent Slade there, didn't you?
- Clark: The VRA forced my hand. And when the justice system here is fixed, I'll bring him back to stand trial.
- Tess: How could you be so good, Clark?
- Alexander/Lex: Because no one told him to hate. Like Lionel taught me.
- Alexander/Lex: No, Tess! I am done with all of you! And you. Always making yourself look better by making me look like some kind of monster!
- Clark: You're not him.
- Tess: You keep blaming everybody, but look who has the gun in their hand. I know how you feel. After living in the darkness for so long, you feel like you can't step into the light, 'cause it makes you feel ashamed. But Clark was the one that changed everything for me. He can do the same thing for you.
- Alexander/Lex: W-Why would you want to help me? I'm your enemy. We've been locked in battle for years.
- Clark: You're not locked into anything. You had something that Lex never had, and that's Tess. She loved you.
- Tess: I still love you. I do. And I know I'm not perfect. But I'll always be there for you.
- Clark: I can't believe they'd risked everything coming out to defend me.
- Chloe: You have no idea how much you mean to people, Clark Kent.
- Clark: But I don't think a couple hundred testimonials will be enough to change the vote.
- Chloe: Try a couple hundred thousand... all of them willing to step out for you. They just needed a place to be heard.
- Lois: You're an American hero, Clark.
- Clark: I want to be the man that you made that suit for.
- Martha: Clark, you don't need a suit the be the world's hero.
- Clark: Well, when I saw those people willing to defend me, it was inspiring. It got me to thinking that, in order for The Blur to be a true beacon of hope, maybe people need to see my face, too. I've been to the future, and I saw the hero that I will become to save the city. But I also saw me -- I mean... Clark Kent -- disguised behind glasses and a bad haircut.
- Martha: Well, I'm sure you still looked very handsome.
- Clark: Mom, I don't how I can treat Clark Kent as a disguise. I mean, you and dad raised me to be who I am right now -- the real Clark Kent.
- Martha: What's real is your strength and integrity and compassion. As long as you remain honest to those things, it doesn't matter what you wear or what name you go by, because... you'll always be my son.
- Clark: So, you're saying that I should become that hero and step into the light?
- Martha: Clark, you are the light.
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