After 218 episodes, the decade long series came to a conclusion. Smallville started in 2001 with a very fresh-faced Tom Welling as the infamous Clark Kent, a way for us to see how he became Superman. The trials his Krypton father Jor-El put him through, the pain he faced as his human father Jonathan died to save his son, the love lost in Lana Lang and the love he found in Lois Lane., and the sworn enemy in Lex Luthor.
The opening scene of the Finale sees Chloe Sullivan, Watchtower hero, seven years in the future poetically reading her son a Smallville comic complete with a DC brand. At first I thought the writer’s were going to do that sucky thing of going into the future to complete the story but it was just a simple narrative explanation to a future hero.
The penultimate episode had seen Lois call of the wedding as she didn’t want to stand in the way of Clark saving lives, but as Chloe explained to her in the Finale Clark would never see Lois in his way but by her side. Beautiful, I’m not going to lie it brought a tear to my eye, and it fell when the couple met at the chapel Lois about to take her walk down the aisle as an independent fierce woman until Clark appears by her side to take her to the altar.
I think for the past few episodes the underlining story has been about the threat of Darkseid, and his minions Granny Goodness, Desaad and Zod taking over the world with the dark mark. I think they were underused, I could definitely have enjoyed more of the evilness of Granny Goodness and thought she wasn’t introduced early enough but the fact she stamped Oliver with the dark mark was genius. Only Chloe recognised just before it was too late that Oliver was about to place a ring of gold Kryptonite upon Clark that would remove his powers forever, the ensuing fight between Oliver and Clark was short and sweet and “the light” Clark possessed removed the darkness from Oliver, too easily for my liking but you can’t have everything.
The part that I’d been waiting for since it was announced, the return of Lex Luthor. He’s been “dead” since season 8, and there has always been the hope in the back of my mind that he would return, he had to for Clark’s journey to be complete to face his ultimate enemy and to come through a man on the other side. The moment Clark breathed “Lex…” to the poetic line “I’m sorry I couldn’t save you Lex” it was what I’d hoped for. Even if I couldn’t stop looking at Rosenbaum’s bald cap…
I don’t think I ever really enjoyed Tess as a character, even less so when it was revealed that she was in fact a Luthor by blood. It’s one of those plots that just gets added in along the way for story purposes and without really a second thought. She served her purposes though by escaping the clutch of Lionel and forcing him to be the heart donor for Lex, hence how he came back to life. It was then Lex who killed her to stop her from “becoming like me”, he loved his sister but she poisoned him wiping out his memories and meaning he no longer knew who Clark really was, his one threat in the future wiped out. (Side note: Upon witnessing Lex’s memories been wiped out you can see the episode Reunion where he visits his old prep school, the actor playing young Lex is no other than Lucas Grabeel who returned to play Connor Kent aka Superboy. Coincidence no?)
As Clark allowed Jor-El to guide him once more, we get to see a montage over the ten seasons. Something I think every television show coming to an end should do, there is always something you forget and enjoy seeing again. Clark realises that all the time he had spent saving Smallville and the people in it were his “trials” and the final one is to defeat Darkseid knowing he has the confidence to, he seizes his destiny and incinerates Darkseid by flying straight through him. Finally he is Superman, all he needs to do is pick up his suit and cape… oh there you go to the Fortress of Solitude he is greeted by his father handing over his suit ready for him to take down the Apokolips planet that is threatening Earth.
Unfortunately there are no close up shots of Superman fully adorned in the red cape and blue suit, a shame because he is no longer the blur we should really be allowed a full body shot. Anyway, he saves Lois and stops the planet as Superman. Fantastic. The story jumps back into the future and sees Lois Lane back at the Daily Planet, Perry White as the editor, another Olsen photographer (a nod back to the moment Chloe gave Jimmy’s little brother the camera back at his funeral), Lex Luthor in the white suit as President and finally a bumbling Clark Kent. As word hits that a bomb has been found in an elevator we see Clark rush to the roof of the building and rip open his shirt to reveal that red ‘S’ to the familiar sound of the Superman theme music. The End.
Was it everything I’d hoped for, well how do you end something that is just the beginning? I think Smallville did amazingly well to keep going for ten seasons, and it was never complicated that there were things left unanswered.
And now I await with baited breath for the next Superman installment, the reboot with Henry Cavill (good luck).