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Season One  - Season Two - Season Four - Season Five - Season Six  - Season Seven - Season Eight 

Season Three: Exile - Phoenix - Extinction - Slumber - Perry - Relic - Magnetic - Shattered - Asylum - Whisper - Delete - Hereafter - Velocity - Obsession - Resurrection - Crisis - Truth - Memoria - Talisman - Forsaken - Covenant


Jonathan in "Legacy"

First aired April 14, 2004

Pictures courtesy of

Official Description - Detailed Description - Notes

See also: Quotes - Music - Transcripts

The CW's Official Description:

CHRISTOPHER REEVE REPRISES HIS ROLE AS DR. SWANN AND FACES OFF WITH LIONEL LUTHOR — When Jonathan (John Schneider) begins to act strangely, Clark (Tom Welling) believes Jor-El is sending Jonathan messages through the key and is the cause for his father’s withdrawal from the family. Clark goes down to the caves to confront his biological father but Lionel catches him there and begins putting the pieces together – leading him straight to Dr. Swann (guest star Christopher Reeve). As the two billionaires face off, a deal is struck and Lionel’s true motives are revealed.

Detailed Description:

By Nadine

Martha Kent (Annette O'Toole) walks up to the barn, visibly upset. Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) is on the roof of the barn, trying to fix the weathervane. Martha calls out to him from below, asking him why he is working and that Clark Kent (Tom Welling) should be doing the work. She reminds Jonathan that the doctor told him to take it easy. Suddenly Jonathan hears a sharp ringing in his ears. At the same time, we see a chest of drawers in the barn, with a strange glow or light coming from one of the drawers. The ringing continues in Jonathan ears, and becomes unbearable. Jonathan cannot keep his balance as he holds his ears from the pain. Martha is watching helpless from above. Jonathan screams out in pain, looses his balance and tumbles down the roof. Martha screams for Clark in desperation. Clark hears the cry and superspeeds over to the barn, just in time to catch his father, as well as shield them both from the weathervane that was about to fall onto them. "Dad, what're you doing? Trying to fly?", asks Clark. Jonathan explains that it was the strong noise that threw him off balance, only to realize that he was the only one to hear the noise. When Clark tries to help his father pick up the weathervane, Jonathan snaps, "Damn it, Kal-El, I can do it myself!". Martha and Clark are shocked and ask Jonathan why he called Clark that. Jonathan doesn't know, and brushes off any further discussion. Clark insists, asking to know about the noise, and realizes that it's the same he had once heard (see "Exile") and that it has to do with the key. Jonathan is dismissive again, but Clark continues to push, asking if this has to do with Jor-El.

Clark goes to the chest of drawers on the barn and takes out a metal toolbox where the key is hidden.

Back at LuthorCorp, Lionel Luthor (John Glover) is still sitting where we last saw him in "Crisis", listing to opera and holding a gun to his head. But the phone rings. As Lionel considers the frustration of his failed suicide, we get treated to an extended Motorola product placement as Lionel's cell phone continues to ring. He decides to answer it. His answer to the person on the phone is, "He is? All right. Have the chopper standing by". He puts the gun down.

Clark is standing in the caves holding the key. He is talking to Jor-El and asking him why he had to involve Jonathan in all of this. He boldly challenges Jor-El, saying that he will take on whatever promises Jonathan made, reminding Jor-El that he, Clark, is the one Jor-El wants. At that moment, the key lights up, and then a particular hole in the wall lights up to. The key is drawn to the wall and then just hangs there, in mid-air, as a whole lot of energy and light is transferred between the key and the hole in the wall. At that moment, a voice is heard. Clark reacts quickly and grabs the key, thus ending the light show. Lionel shows up. Clark makes up some feeble excuse to explain his presence in the caves, while Lionel mentions something deep about the mysteries of the universe. Clark tries to leave, but Lionel asks him about Jonathan's recovery, stating that it must be very hard for Clark to see his father so weak. Clark answers that he loves his father regardless of his state. "Of course you do. A son's love for a father, there's nothing to compare it to. After all, you only get one", replies Lionel. Clark starts walking away, as Lionel notices the hole in the wall that is the same shape as the key. As Lionel gets closer to the wall, Clark observes him for a second, then superspeeds away. Lionel turns to Clark again, but he is gone.

Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) is talking to his father back at the mansion, mentioning a strange case of déja-vu as he inquires about his father's sudden resurgence of interest in the caves, as he reads the Smallville Ledger, with the headlines "Scientists Return to Cave". Lionel is passionate, as he begins talking about the caves. He asks Lex to remember the hole in the wall, but Lex dismisses it as being Lionel's obsession, not his. Lionel continues, explaining that, until now, the hole had been sealed over. He then explains how he met Clark in the caves the day before. Lex, who, until then, had feigned indifference, turns his head as he hears Clark's name. Lionel explains that the hole is now open, after Clark's visit, and claims that it is Clark who somehow opened it. "You know Dad, they say mental illness is hereditary. I'm willing to accept my break with reality, are you?", asks Lex, sarcastically. "Oh, Lex, men of vision have so often been mocked. Galileo knew it was the Earth that orbited the Sun, and he was sentenced to death for that discovery", answers Lionel. "Where's the Inquisition when you need one?", responds Lex. Lionel tries to convince his son not to let his friendship with Clark cloud his judgment. Lionel lists all the different events that tie Clark to the caves, but Lex answers, "Probably coincidence". "Oh, coincidence. That's an explanation used by fools and liars", responds Lionel. As Lionel continues to try and persuade Lex that they should work together, we focus on Lex's shirt button, that is obviously bugged, and we follow the bug to a fake maintenance van parked in the woods, by the river. Lionel reminds Lex that he knows Lex has a whole room dedicated to trying to uncover the mystery that is Clark Kent.



We learn in this episode that Lex speaks German. Lex says first, "We must reduce costs" and then "Gentlemen, it's late. I'm tired. We can speak tomorrow."

Allison Mack (Chloe Sullivan) and Sam Jones III (Pete Ross) don't appear in this episode.

On the episode's first airing, Tom Welling and Christopher Reeve once again appear at the end of the episode in a repeat of the brief blurb for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation: 1-800-225-0292 -

Christopher Reeve is listed as "Special Appearance by."

In this episode, one of the FBI officers, when talking to Lex about his security with Clark, refers to Clark as "a kid from Podunk." In Tom Welling's recent movie, "Cheaper By The Dozen", "Podunk" is also used by a high school jock when talking about Welling's character.

The writing on the key when it activates is red, yellow, and blue - the colors of Clark Kent as Superman as an adult.

Dr. Swann states that Clark's secret has never left "this building." However, "this building" is clearly different from the one in "Rosetta", where the promise was made.

It's only been two episodes (two months real time) since Jonathan's heart surgery in "Resurrection" but Lionel kicks him here in the chest hard. Very hard. That kind of blow to someone recently recovered from a heart bypass surgery would be temporarily crippling at the very least. For that matter, Lionel's terminally ill. And yet they have an extended fight sequence.

Once again, Clark acts absurdly obvious around Lex with his powers. Won't Lex wonder at all how Clark knows about the wire well concealed beneath his jacket? Or doesn't Clark care?

When Lionel was about to commit suicide in his high rise office in Metropolis, he got a phone call from someone telling him that Clark was in the caves. But apparently, Clark was only down there for a few minutes to put the key in the wall. However, Lionel shows up immediately after his phone call, which is just after Clark had arrived. We learned that Metropolis is a 3 hour drive from Smallville in a previous episode. Even in the Luthor helicopter, it would have taken at least 20-30 minutes. There is no way he could have gotten there that fast unless he had Clark's speed, which he doesn't!!!

Either the timeframe here is very odd, or there's some obtuse narrative toying at the beginning. The previous episode was "Crisis", where (among other things) that episode ended with a big storm and Lex just starting to set up an arrangement with FBI Guy. And then that episode ended with Lionel with a gun in his mouth. Then this episode begins with Lionel with a gun in his mouth and the same opera in the background, implying it begins where "Crisis" ended. But Smallville is now pretty dry and the FBI seem to have a rather elaborate surveillance operation set up. But unless Lionel likes to practice shooting himself there doesn't seem to have been enough time passing for various other events to happen.

The Kent Farm has been visited by gangsters and Freaks of the Week, but the Kents continue to take absurdly minor efforts to hide the key. Clark locks it in a toolbox with a padlock, for Pete's sake.

Where do the "FBI agents" go after Jonathan drives them out of the cave? They show up about five seconds after Clark super-speeds in and pulls Jonathan off of Lionel. And wouldn't they have seen Clark super-speeding?

Maybe we haven't noticed before, but when Lana pulls up in the last scene there's a fairly large mildly subsurbanish-looking house directly across from the Kent farm. It's not Lana's place (taken over by the Conroys in "Slumber"). Who live there? And why have they apparently never seen any of Clark's super-shenanigans?

Once again we see the Kryptonian language displayed with alternating lines moving in opposite directions, yet Clark has no difficulty reading it. While we have no way of knowing exactly how an alien brain might perceive this text, this movement would seem to make the simple act of reading unnecessarily complex.

It seems odd that when Lionel recalls to Lex all the connections of Clark and the cave, he fails to mention Dr. Waldon and his message about "The day is coming" and Clark being the last son. After all both he and Lex met him together.

Last season finale, Lionel was about to open the caves using a kryptonite-made key. He never did it because Clark stole it and the wall sealed up. Well, if the wall is open again why doesn't Lionel pick up where he left off?

Why does Jonathan say Clark is never going to have to face his own mortality? Clark's been aging normally so far - why would he think Clark is suddenly going to be ageless? And Clark has faced death by kryptonite several times - it seems like he's already faced his mortality.

In the fight scene in the cave, when Jonathan and Lionel are rolling around one of them hits a large stalagmite and wobbles like it was made of styrofoam or balsa wood.

If the FBI guys are undercover and in a disguised surveillance van...why are they having a public outdoor meeting with Lex right next to it, with Lex's car parked nearby?

We've seen in the past that Clark has a cell phone. So...why does he need to borrow Lana's phone at the Talon?

Clark talks to Lex and finds out that Lex isn't responsible for the fake FBI raid. But...later Jonathan gets Lionel to call off his men by threatening to reveal that Lionel was responsible for the raid. How did Jonathan find that out - he never met with Clark after the Lex/Clark confrontation. Why wouldn't he think Lex was responsible, for instance?

Clark says to Swann that his father is dying - since when? Didn't the heart bypass surgery take care of that? Jonathan's been a little weak since then, but there's been no indication since then that he's going to die.

For a simple three-word message ("I am waiting"), the message on Swann's screen seems absurdly large. There are at least two lines of text - one is continuous and the other has large gaps in it. The other lines may or may not be repeats, but even so it seems like Kryptonian is a very inefficient language, word-to-character-to-meaning wise.

Clark accuses Swann of betrayal, but then seems to accept the message Swann shows him at face value. Couldn't Swann have forged it? Swann doesn't seem to have a reason to forge it, but then again everything he does in this episode is rather oblique.

Season One  - Season Two - Season Four - Season Five - Season Six  - Season Seven - Season Eight 

Season Three: Exile - Phoenix - Extinction - Slumber - Perry - Relic - Magnetic - Shattered - Asylum - Whisper - Delete - Hereafter - Velocity - Obsession - Resurrection - Crisis - Truth - Memoria - Talisman - Forsaken - Covenant

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