So Smallville is finally over. The boy, as Chloe Sullivan put it, has become Superman. I’ve heard alot of complaints about “Finale” ranging from its uninspired title, to it lack of a money shot of Superman in costume however, this was the perfect conclusion to Smallville. This doesn’t mean that I thought the episode was good, or that I even liked it. A series conclusion should should sum total everything the program has stood for, and Smallville did that perfectly.
So yea… Darseid has been infecting Earth his darkness all season and it finally has brought about Apokolips. Not the biblical event, the planet, and its about to belly flop into Earth for some reason. Meanwhile Clark and Lois try to have their wedding while they both groan about their cold feet. They indulge in one of the most overused romance cliches, pre wedding jitters. Of the people I know who been married, most of them are gung hoe about getting hitched. Their nerves come to the ceremony itself, and their families getting along, not the idea of being together. Its a shame to see Lois and Clark like this, as I genuinely enjoyed their relationship. All the series regulars are oblivious to the end of the world until a burning ball of hell eclipses the sun. Meanwhile alternate Lionel is trying to resurrect Lex via cloning, and is gonna rip out Tess’s heart to do it. When Tess escapes she shoots Lionel. With his dying breath he makes a deal with Darksied who possess Lionel and gives his heart to Lex for some reason. After a series of montages, some words of wisdom from the ghost of Pa Kent, who is there for some reason, and a brief confrontation with Lex, Clark puts on the suit and saves the day.
I say this was the perfect conclusion to Smallville, because it had all the hallmarks of the series. The inter personal drama was dialed to 11. Drama is a great thing but it needs to flow naturally. Ma Kent is upset because Clark’s selling the farm. Clark and Lois can’t stop angsting for a minute over stuff they both should know better than to whine about. The romantic plot takes up almost as much time as the end of the world! The fight and action scenes could have been epic but are left wanting. The pacing was down right awkward. I can’t tell if Jor El is a dick, a malfunctioning AI, or just confusing. More that anything else when Clark should be assertive and finally know who and what he is he second guesses everything.
Not everything about this was bad though. I know it came down to the wire getting Michael Rosenbaum to reprise his role as Lex but I was so glad to have him back. If you read this Mike you were the best part of the show and thanks for being a class act and returning. Lex and Clark’s confrontation was great. I wish the whole episode could have been Superman vs Lex Luthor. Equally fun were the snippets of Clark and Lois playing the traditional Superman roles. I loved the scene where Pa Kent’s spirit hands Clark the costume as Jor El tells him to remember smallville. We had something of a father-son-holy ghost trinity between the three characters. It was a cool visual and thematic contrast between Lex’s resurrection which was an unholy trinity between Lionel Lex and Darkseid.
The biggest complaint I’ve heard was that we didn’t get a nice shot of Tom Welling as Superman. It was a cop out, but I understand it. The first thing I hated about Superman Returns was the suit. By keeping things vague they avoided that pit fall. Still the costume is such a strong character trait and moment of symbolic development to not show it really detracted from the gravity of the finale.
I could go on and on about the improvements but I’ll save it for a “How they could have made Smallville Epic?” or a “Improvements to the Smallville finale.” Article.
On a scale of 1 to Epic (epic =10) Smallville’s Finale gets a 5.7.