Episode Title: "Finale"
Septien & Turi Meyer (Part 1)
Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders (Part 2)
Kevin Fair (Part 1)
Greg Beeman (Part 2)
Previously on "Smallville":
Ignoring most of that Toyman bulls*** from last week, let's just say that Lois Lane (Erica Durance) temporarily gained the powers of Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and she was dismayed to learn that he spends most of his life ignoring calls for help in order to focus on those that need him most. Deciding that she was depriving the world of his full attention, Lois rashly decided to call off their impending wedding. Drama!
On the other side of the world, Oliver Queen (Justin Hartley) received support from Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) as he attempted to find the Bow of Orion in order to free himself from the mark of Darkseid. Along the way, Oliver teamed up with Kara (Laura Vandervoort) and got past the various traps. But when Kara was called away by Jor-El, Oliver's recovery of the Bow was short-lived. Granny Goodness (Christine Willes) snatched the Bow away from him and destroyed it before ordering Oliver to dig up some gold kryptonite; which could permanently depower Clark.
In the year 2018, if mankind is still alive… Oh wait, there's Chloe (Allison Mack) reading her son a bedtime story. And said story is a comic book version of "Smallville" detailing the final adventure of Clark Kent before he became the greatest superhero of all time. Seven years earlier, the planet Apokolips appears in the solar system on a collision course with Earth. And at the Daily Planet, Lois tries to call off her wedding to Clark, but he won't let her do it easily. In Smallville, Oliver and Chloe decorate the chapel before he sends her to make sure Lois shows up at her own wedding.
At the remains of the Luthor mansion, Granny Goodness appears to Tess and gives her one last chance to join Darkseid. Tess refuses, but she is alarmed to learn that the "Apokolips" is almost upon them. Back at the Kent farm, Clark's mom, Martha Kent (Annette O'Toole) berates him for selling the family farm and trying to leave Smallville behind. After missing Martha's point, Clark walks out and misses the ghost of his father, Jonathan Kent (John Schneider). Back at the Daily Planet, Chloe finally convinces Lois to recommit to the wedding by leaking her a copy of Clark's wedding vows. And at the Watchtower, Tess learns that Oliver has disabled all of their satellites.
Regardless, Tess soon sees visual evidence of Apokolips and races off to warn Clark. Elsewhere, Granny, Desaad (Steve Byers) and Gordon Godrey (Michael Daingerfield) order a possessed Oliver to give Clark a wedding ring made out of Gold Kryptonite to depower him. At a graveyard, Clark pours out his heart over his father's headstone and wonders if Lois was right about calling off the wedding. Oliver finds him there and gives him a pep talk to bring him back to the chapel. There, Clark finds Lois getting dressed for the wedding and she slips him her wedding vows; which quell his fears as well. On the road, Tess is forced to pull over and kidnapped while trying to leave a warning to Clark.
At the wedding, things go smoothly until Chloe notices that the ring for Clark is made out of Gold Kryptonite. The possessed Oliver than attacks Clark, sending the wedding guests running for their lives. Unable to beat Oliver without hurting him, Clark places his life in Oliver's hands and inspires him to break free from Darkseid. But the respite is short lived as Apokolips is now so close to the Earth that it blots out the sun. Shortly thereafter, Clark finally sees his father's ghost, who encourages him to return to Jor-El for guidance. In a Luthorcorp lab, Tess wakes up and finds Lionel Luthor (John Glover) ordering her heart to be removed in order to save Lex.
However, Tess has other ideas and manages to escape; but not before she fatally shoots Lionel. With his last breaths, Lionel strikes a deal with Darkseid to surrender his soul in order to restore his son. And with that, Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) awakens from his years long coma. At the Daily Planet, Clark and Lois realize that almost everyone around them has been marked by Darkseid and that Tess is missing. Clark tracks down Tess to the Luthor mansion, only to find Lex waiting for him. Lex goes way over-the-top in embracing his role as Clark's villain, but he urges Clark to be the hero to save the world from Darkseid.
Oliver suits up as Green Arrow and tracks down Granny, Desaad and Godrey before destroying them simultaneously. Meanwhile, Lois sneaks onto Air Force One in an attempt to keep the President and his men from trying the nuclear option on Apokolips. And her words earn a five minute chance for the superheroes to save the Earth. At the Kent farm, Darkseid in Lionel's body confronts Clark and uses his powers to throw him around. But Clark feels Jor-El's presence and realizes that he can fly, before zooming through Lionel's body and obliterating it. At Luthorcorp, Tess finally confronts her brother, Lex.
And although Lex says that he loves Tess, he fatally stabs her. But she in turn poisons him with a toxin that will erase his memories. At the Fortress, Clark restores Jor-El and finally takes up the costume and mantle of Superman. He flies over Metropolis and saves Air Force One and Lois before he pushes the planet Apokolips out of Earth's orbit; inspiring humanity and freeing the Earth from Darkseid's influence. With that, we cut back to 2018 where Chloe finishes the story for her son and calls Lois at the Daily Planet; shortly after Lex is announced as the new President of the United States.
Clark and Lois have a fake awkward encounter before he shows her the rings for their wedding. But before they can finally go through with it, an emergency across town forces them to postpone it. This is a job for Superman, as he rips open his shirt to reveal the iconic "S" and the series fades away.
I have to preface my remarks with this: I like "Smallville" and I have since the beginning of the series nearly ten years ago.
Sure, it basically started out as Superman crossed with "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and Allison Mack's Chloe seemed too much like Lois Lane (and oddly enough, she was practically a forerunner of "Veronica Mars"). The writing hasn't always been strong, but the casting was pretty solid. For a former underwear model, Tom Welling is actually very good at playing Clark Kent. I don't know how much acting range that he's got beyond that part, but I really wanted to see him become Superman.
So I actually held my breath when Clark put on the Superman suit and flew towards his destiny. "Finally," I thought… and then I realized that the series was never going to show us a complete shot of Welling in costume that wasn't CGI.
But that's "Smallville" for you. It'll set you up for something really cool and then fail to deliver.
As a whole, the Darkseid storyline has been a pretty epic failure. This is largely because the show simply didn't develop it enough. It's been in the background for most of the year, but too many times the story was put on hold so that the creative team could riff on "The Hangover" or bog down the series with the VRA arc… which seemed like it was lifted from Marvel's "Civil War." Darkseid himself was never really given the focus that Zod or even Doomsday got in the previous two seasons. At the very least, it was reasonable to assume that Darkseid and Clark would have some kind of epic showdown.
Nope! Instead, Clark just flies through him. And his minions? Oliver dispatched them so easily it makes me wonder why they were even set up as threats.
And that was before Clark literally pushes Apokolips out of orbit, setting up his future career as someone who solves most of his problems by lifting heavy objects over his head (see "Superman Returns" for numerous examples of this).
Even Michael Rosenbaum's long awaited return as Lex Luthor amounted to little more than a cameo appearance. It was really cool to see Rosenbaum back in character and that he finally agreed to return to the show. But for all of that buildup, he doesn't do anything noteworthy besides his one conversation with Clark and killing his sister, Tess. In fact, Lex's murder of Tess led to the biggest groan worthy moment of the night when she "drugs" him with something to make him conveniently forget everything he knew… thus preserving Superman's secret and coming in line with the comics.
What a load of crap. That's right up there with Wolverine getting instant amnesia from the adamantium bullets in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." One of the more refreshing things about "Smallville" was that it basically created its own Superman mythology. Trying to cram the genie back in the bottle ten years later just felt like a cheap way to deal with the fact that Lex knew everything about Clark. I wish they had just embraced that angle instead of trying to destroy it.
Bizarrely, Tess doesn't get any scenes with the rest of the cast and we never see them learn about or react to her death. That doesn't seem like a very fitting end for someone who's been on this show for three years.
Regardless, there were still a lot of things that I did like about the finale. In spite of Lois' contrived breakup with Clark in the previous episode, almost all of the Lois and Clark scenes were gold. Erica Durance and Welling just have great chemistry together and they're very believable as the first couple of comics. Of Clark's limited moments as Superman, the best one was between himself and Lois right after he caught the plane.
Although the dialog was pretty on the nose during their scenes, it was also enjoyable to see Jonathan and Martha Kent back. The scenes with Clark and his adoptive parents had a warmth that can't be faked and it did help bring the show full circle. Mind you, the first hour largely felt like a waste of time; especially if the wedding didn't count! I could have forgiven that one if it hadn't been shown that Lois and Clark weren't married seven years in the future. That's pretty mindboggling.
Also, I have to give a quick shout out to Aaron Ashmore for finally getting a chance to play Jimmy Olsen, instead of his dead older brother who conveniently had the same name. That was a nice surprise. As for the final image of the show, I guessed that it would end that way after the first episode. I mean, that was really the only image it could go out on.
I still think that Tom Welling would make a great Superman. It's too bad we barely saw him in the role.
Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.