What you may have missed…
In case you hadn’t heard, tonight (well, last night, officially) marked the final episode of the CW’s Smallville. Premiering ten years ago on the then WB, this show followed the adventures of a high school aged Clark Kent as his powers first began to develop. Starring Tom Welling as Clark, Michael Rosenbaum (voice of the animated Justice League‘s Flash) as Lex, John Glover as Lionel, and Annette O’Toole and John Schneider as Ma and Pa Kent respectively, it was an instant hit. Over the years, it’s… faltered… at times, but in the past three seasons, it finally hit its stride, with each at one point or another having been touted as its “last.” But thanks to recent additions, most notably Erica Durance’s Lois Lane and Justin Hartley’s Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, it earned repeated stays of execution. This season, though, the hammer was to fall, and the writers, directors, and producers decided they were going out with a bang. As each season has featured an over-arcing theme/villain, this season’s was the arrival of Darkseid to Earth, opposite Clark’s final ascension to Superman. To that end, the season has been fairly fantastic. But the finale?
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Let’s just do this by the numbers, shall we?
- Shouldn’t a planet the size of Apokolips suddenly arriving in Earth’s orbit cause horrible planetwide destruction due to its gravitational field? I learned this from the episode of G1 Transformers where the Decepticons pulled Cybertron through the space bridge. If they could get the physics even remotely accurate on an 80′s cartoon, it’s all the more depressing that they ignore it here.
- I suppose this is more a gripe for the pacing of the season than the finale itself, but after… what?… one or two mentions of Gold Kryptonite (with its power stealing abilities), Darkseid’s emissaries just happen to have a wedding ring made out of the stuff here?
- Wasn’t that same ring still in Ollie’s hand – albeit crushed – when Clark gives him a hand up? I guess as long as it’s not in the form of a ring around a Kryptonian’s finger, it can’t affect them.
- Why do we never actually get to SEE Clark and Lois get married? Blue balls, thy name is Smallville!
- Hey, remember the Legion of Doom from the last episode? And how Chloe went off to get the help of the “other heroes?’ Yeah… we never get to see ANY of these people in the finale, or even series semi-regular Dr. Emil Hamilton. Though he wouldn’t have provided the same amazing fight scene I THOUGHT we were being set up for when the LoD was shown assembled last week. Balls… so… blue…
- I guess they didn’t really have time for a big hero/villain fight scene what with the 18 aggregate minutes of montage. Alright, that’s a rough estimation, but holy shit… If I hadn’t ever seen a single episode of the series whose finale I was in the middle of, I guess these montages would’ve really helped me get a grasp for what was happening. As is, they were a RIDICULOUS waste of time.
- They did, however, explain how Clark finally gained the ability to stand on something just off camera.
- Is it REALLY a fight with Darkseid if Omega Beams aren’t used even once? And does it count as a fight if the hero only ever has to land one punch, and it turns the villain into a cloud of ash, smoke, and ravens? Ollie’s fights against Hawkman and Clark from previous episodes were BOTH far superior and much more satisfying.
- Y’know what wasn’t satisfying? The defeat of Granny Goodness, Glorious Godfrey, and Desaad… courtesy of three arrows fired with one shot from Ollie. Not only was their lack of resistance disappointing, but what the hell were those arrows tipped with, Phantom Zone crystal shards? I mean… if they were, that’s actually pretty badass, but I don’t recall there ever being any reason to think that was the case.
- Speaking of all-too-easy plot resolutions, let’s take a minute to ponder how a Kal El – who sometimes has trouble stopping automobiles or overpowering super strong enemies – was suddenly able to push a planet out of Earth’s orbit. It’s also impressive that he presumably calculated a trajectory for Apokolips that would prevent it from colliding with anything important like, I don’t know, Mars?
- It’s SO impressive how quickly and easily he was able to remove the threat of Apokolips, in fact, that the entire population of the world INSTANTLY had the darkness within their souls wiped away.
- Then there’s Lex and his completely-irrelevant-except-that-it-had-to-happen return, complete with its own all-too-easy fix in the form of Tess’s Adamantium bullet virus that she smeared on Lex as she lay dying, after he killed her; a completely irrelevant and unmoving death for a character no one ever seemed to have any idea what to do with. At least she got to learn karate beforehand.
- Minor nit to pick, but… the “uthor” not only managed to fall off of the LuthorCORP sign, it also somehow left a perfect “X” in its place? Weak, man. Just weak.
- On the topic of weak, how about the costume we never actually get to see Tom Welling wear? I mean, there’s some side shots, and the shot of him tearing open his shirt, but I THINK most of the shots of Clark in costume were CGI, and terrible CGI at that.
- Oh, and we never get to hear him called Superman. Not once. By anyone.
To say that this series finale was a complete and utter failure is unfair, because to be honest, it sucked in every single way we should have expected it to. I don’t know why I’d come to believe there would be an amazing fight scene between Superman and Darkseid, caught on camera by Lois for all the world to see, transforming Clark into a bastion of hope for the entire population and freeing them from “the darkness.” I’m not sure what could’ve come over me that, after seeing last week’s episode, I’d tricked myself into expecting a Justice League vs. Legion of Doom subplot. I can’t fathom why, for even a second, I’d allow myself to think we’d have a single still shot of Clark in the suit being referred to by name as “Superman.” We only have ourselves to blame for wanting more from this show than it has ever given us reason to expect. Still, I can’t help but think of what could have been as compared as to what was, and so…
The Smallville series finale gets 1 out of 5 heartwarming moments between Clark and Lois through the door of their apartment, because that was the only scene in the whole effing show worth watching.
And how the FUCK does the Smallville comic book exist within Smallville continuity without completely giving away Clark’s secret? Seriously, Smallville… thank you. Thank you for a finale that in no way, shape, or form makes me sorry to see you go.
For more Smallville finale jibber jabber, be sure to check out The Cool Kidz Table and tune in to this week’s Panels on Pages PoP!Cast, Tuesday night at 10pm EST as we talk to Ben and Kiel and get their reactions!