A look at the show’s swan song.
SMALLVILLE Review: “Finale”
So… Smallville. Season Finale. Ten Years. Here we are now, entertain us.
And that’s what they did.
I was going to write a big recap filled with comments, but halfway through I deleted the whole thing.
We all know consistency has never been Smallville’s strength. And seriously, anyone expecting to suddenly have the best hour-and-a-half Superman show ever to come out of this must’ve been on crazy pills. Instead, we got what Smallville has always delivered in spades: moments.
Sure, there were things that didn’t make a lot of sense (the Smallville comic book Chloe was reading), things that should’ve been bigger (Clark-Darkseid confrontation) and things that got a crap resolution (I’m looking at you, mind-wiped Lex!), but in the end I was quite satisfied.
During the first half we had Clark’s final steps towards the, uh, let’s call it Superman state of mind. All those little doubts, all those final little nudges in the right direction happened right then and there. The scenes with Martha and Jonathan were beautiful, with Tom, John and Annette hitting all the right notes. It was a little weird to see Jonathan’s ghost interacting with both of them like he was really there, but hey, it felt right to have Schneider in the end.
Now, the real focus of the first half: Lois and Clark. Oh. My. Zod. The scene with Lois inside her apartment and Clark outside had me choked up from start to finish. If someone on that show can sell emotion (particularly doe-eyed love) it’s Durance. I seriously can’t say enough good things about her. She really knocked it out of the park since day one. And then, the wedding. It was a very emotional scene, but… why, oh, WHY did it have to be Chloe to save the day? We had a good fighting scene between Clark and Ollie (and I hate that they never call him that) with some very well-used slow-mo. Clark makes him snap out of it and then they all go back to the farm. Lovely scene between the Kents and that’s it for Part I.Now, Part II. Lionel tells Tess (and us) that he has FrankenLex there and is missing a heart. Was anyone else a little grossed out by Glover’s beard? WTH? Anyway, she escapes, Darkseid shows up, kills Lionel and brings Lex back. Yes, LEX IS BACK, dammit! The scene that comes a bit later with him and Clark is downright exceptional. Rosenbaum gets into Lex like he had never left the show. Lex fully embraces his role as Clark’s nemesis, but, also, we can see hints of old BFF Lex as he finally gives Clark the final push into becoming Superman:
Lex: You’re the light, Clark. Only you hold the power within you.
Clark: I’m not so sure that Clark Kent can save the entire world on his own.
Lex: He can’t. But we both know who can.
Clark apologizes for not saving him and off he goes.
Everyone ragged on about Oliver killing the three prophets with only an arrow, but was I the only one who thought that he got a little help from Highfather?
Green Arrow: No. But I have friends in high places.
And BAM! He takes out three very suspiciously shiny arrows and they’re dead.
As this happens, Lois (in a very Loisy fashion) sneaks into Air Force One to tell the President that the Blur is going to save everyone and that he shouldn’t try to nuke Apokolips (she figures that one out by listening to the official statement on the radio).
Now Darkseid/Lionel goes to confront Clark. He sends him flying, Jonathan’s words come to him and we get inside Clark’s head. Jor-El gives him a little pep-talk about his trials and we get an incredibly moving montage of superfeats, joined by some beautiful music by Febre… and when that’s over: Clark’s hovering! He flies through Lionel, eliminating Darkseid’s threat. Maybe the fight should’ve been a little longer or something, but it wasn’t really Darkseid he was fighting, so it kinda makes sense.
In the meantime, we have the biggest F-you of the whole show. This is the scene that managed to leave a bitter taste in my mouth after the episode was done. Lex was, without a doubt, the character with the best arc (and that may include our Clarkie boy) of the whole series… and he gets a mind-wipe? And if all the crap he’s gone through is erased… wouldn’t that make him a good guy? I’m sorry, but I just HATE what they did there. Lex knowing was a great twist on the mythos and something that Smallville showed us working not 10 minutes ago. Why let it go to waste like that? Stupid, stupid, stupid.
The final ten minutes of the Finale were, though, awesome. I can’t find any other words to describe them. Clark goes to the FOS to embrace his destiny for once and all.
Sure, the scene kinda contradicts what Jor-El has said in the past about him having to let go of his human side to become Superman, blah, blah. But, if you take this as a stand-alone episode, it knocks your socks off.
Then, The Suit comes out of the floor. Uh… what? Wasn’t it on display right there? Crap continuity to give us a cool shot. I can live with that.
Pa Kent shows up to tell him to “always hold on to Smallville” and then hands him The Suit.
Clark takes it and goes up, up and away as he becomes Superman. I thought it was a very clever way of showing him putting the suit on. And hey! The S is on the cape!
Now, to my favorite scene of the whole finale: in a very SR-esque (meshed with STM for good measure) fashion, Lois’ plane is going down. But Superman shows up to save the day. The shot of him looking at Lois through the plane window smiling, with the cape blowing at his back was just breathtaking. I understand that there was a lot of people that wanted to see him in the suit up close, but I was satisfied with what we got. In fact, I assumed we were going to get a lot less.Pushing Apokolips out of the way was a bit too SR-esque (and not in a good way this time), and I guess I would’ve preferred if Superman stopped for just a second, hovering above the crowd and then went up again.
We fast-forward seven years to Chloe telling (her?) kid the story (with William’s love theme shoe-horned in) and getting a call from Lois, who, we’re told, is about to get married. Future Jimmy shows up (hey, it’s Henry again!), McKean’s voice in the background and a glimpse at (squee!) President Lex.
Finally, Lois and Clark bump into each other on the stairs as they’re about to go tie the knot, when we learn of a bomb threat… and the Superman March kicks in. A little too early, if you ask me. And then, Smallville’s one last moment of brilliance: the shirt-rip on the rooftop. It was everything I hoped for. Nothing was missing. Not a single thing. The skyline, the flag, the DP globe, and the S. And Welling REALLY sold the moment for me.
Thank you, Smallville.
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