Saturday, May 14, 2011

Smallville Finale - a Super disappointment?

Whether you never watched it before, were riding with the show for the 1st couple seasons and just gave up, or somehow stuck it out to the end, like me, most people couldn't help but know that Smallville, the longtime CW drama about a young Clark Kent before he became Superman, came to a close with its 2 hour series finale last night.

For those that DIDN'T tune in, but are curious enough to wonder, all I can say is ... they tried. The episode started with Chloe, played by the undeniable Allison Mack, telling the tale of "Smallville" to her son, 7 years in the future. With the ep that followed then being a flashback of her story, we know then that at least SHE survives, but it then makes us wonder if "Chloe" was ever actually part of the real saga at all.

The rest of the finale involved Clark and Lois both flip-flopping about their decision to walk down the aisle together, the resurrection of Lex Luthor, and the final battle with ultimate Superman villain - Darkseid. A good finale often aims to wrap up lingering questions, and tries to deliver it all to you with a final bang. Smallville did just that, only the sound of their "bang" was muffled by the mess of everything else.

Here's what they did right:

The Return of Lex
Michael Rosenbaum's Lex Luthor has been one of Smallville's secret weapons from the start. Resurrecting Superman's arch-nemesis (even as shabbily a cop-out as a "clone") was necessary to wrap things up. The ep "explains" why Lex has no memory of growing up in Smallville with Clark, Lionel Luthor, etc., and they also show the evolution of "Luthor Corp" to "Lex Corp".

The Return of Jonathan Kent
As the ghost of Clark's late father who died several season's back, John Schneider's Papa Kent got a lot of screen time as the figurative and literal guiding spirit for Clark this ep. Their relationship has made for some of the most powerful and heartfelt moments throughout the run of the series, and it was extremely poetic (even close to tear-jerking) to have him there as the father finally giving his son his blessings to becoming a man embracing his destiny, and ultimately passing him the iconic Superman suit to wear for the very 1st time. Perfect.

The Daily Planet
We got to see the evolution of the "major metropolitan newspaper" to be run by Editor-in-Chief Perry White, the return of Aaron Ashmore as Jimmy Olsen (the younger brother of the Jimmy Olsen that was killed by Doomsday 2 seasons ago ... but for some reason has the same name ...), and Erica Durance's Lois Lane growing from the small-time journalist to the star field reporter. It gave it all a tight sense of the Superman legacy that we knew.

Here's what they did wrong:

No Lana Lang
If you needed a "reason" to watch Smallville, the smoking hot Kristen Kreuk was always it. Her final departure from the show as Lana, although one of the finest scenes in Smallville history, was extremely regrettable, but you figure with a 2 hour series finale, they could somehow work her into the story for one last goodbye? Nope! We were very much cheated.

No Anybody ELSE!!
Not only was there no Lana, there were no cameos by any other significant characters that appeared during the run of the show. Was hoping they could somehow dig up childhood friend Pete, played by Sam Jones III ... afterall, it was Clark's wedding, right? No such luck. And the no-shows didn't stop there. None of Clark's other Super-friends appeared - Zatanna, Impulse, Cyborg, Black Canary, Martian Manhunter, Auqaman ... NOBODY. There was also an "end of the world" backdrop to the show where Lois pleaded with the President and State Secretary to give Earth's heroes a chance to save the world. Ok ... So where the hell WERE they?!

Darkseid - lamest Big Bad EVER
The whole season was sorta a drawn out *yawn*. They scarcely showed a fully fleshed out Master of Apokolips, and when they FINALLY did give him "physical form", it was just in the form of a possessed, zombie looking, Lionel Luthor. Lame. Even lamer? - Clark defeats him by just flying right through him and breaking him apart. Really? That was it? Ok. "Clark finally FLEW", which was supposed to be the big take away, but that's the fight the season built up to? And then the ultimate resolution - Clark flying into the sky and pushing the Planet Apokolips back into space ... uhg. Yawning about THAT would even be a waste of a good *yawn*.

Lack of Commitment to the Franchise 
They deliberately refused showing us Tom Welling dressed as Superman. They showed distance shots of "Superman flying" ... close up shots of his face, with the red cape flowing in the back ... and at the end, him running, taking of the glasses, and ripping his shirt to show the Super "S" ... but no straight up shot with him in full uniform. This can't be an accident. I'm guessing Trademark and Licensing constraints were to blame, what with the NEW Superman film coming out soon. Lame.

It didn't stop there. Clark and Lois's wedding was interrupted. Ok, fine. But we see 7 years later and they still aren't married. They are TALKING about tying the knot that DAY, but once again, Clark is forced to rush off to save people in need. Really?

Clark never actually takes on the name "Superman". By the end of the episode nobody has said it or called Clark by the name, even ONCE. T&L again?

Chloe has a son, but they refuse to say Oliver, aka Green Arrow, played by Justin Hartley, is the father, even though they try to elude to it by showing that the kid has a bow & arrow set in his room ... "just like his dad"? Shame on you for that, Smallville.

Whatevz. It's over now. And for all of the good and bad, regardless ... this show will definitely be missed. I offer a sincere and appreciative Thank You, Smallville, for all 10 seasons.


  1. You got it pretty much right - when I saw, "No anybody else", I thought you were going to complain about lack of the superheroes the show never showed. Though it would have been nice to hear a reference to "Bruce" or "Diana" going to the wedding seven years in the future.

    I guess Smallville spent all their returnee money on Michael Rosenbaum/Lex - though I wouldn't have called him the "secret weapon"; it was pretty obvious when he was on the show that he was the most interesting character, and I think the series seriously suffered when he left (even Lana's final episode, which was post-Rosenbaum, still had Lex, indeed the death of the 'original' Lex) - especially coming after Jonathan Kent also died on the show. Those two character had the best interactions with Clark.

    Maybe they didn't want to overshadow Lois Lane with Lana Lang, but a Pete return would have been awesome. And glad they didn't kill Chloe.

    Showing Tom Welling in the suit probably wouldn't have been that great, as the Superman suit has always looked a little silly - especially when you're used to seeing the dressed normal.

    I bet they didn't say for certain that Chloe had a child with Green Arrow because the powers-that-be are hoping to have a Green Arrow movie, with Black Canary as his love interest (possibly saving her for the sequel), as it is in the comics.

  2. i hear ya. but that's what i'm saying. either "go with it", or "don't go with it". Don't tease at it because you aren't ALLOWED to be explicit. Ya know?

    But didn't also seem to hint/tease that Chloe was never a real character to begin with? She's reading the story of "Smallville", which essentially reveals all of Clark's secrets and identity, which probably wouldn't be in a comic based if he was also real in their world. And then there were the people from the Legion a few seasons back that claimed to know nothing of someone named "Chloe" ...

    See? More tease.