I’ve had my issues with Smallville at times, but at heart I have always been a fan of Clark Kent and Lois Lane and the Man of Steel. I’ve just finished watching the finale and I have to say I think it was one of the best series finales ever! They had the tricky job of trying to match 10 years of Smallville with the 60 years or so (not sure when the comic books started!) of Superman mythology and I thought they did a fantastic job. Smallville has always resisted the Superman icons – the name Superman for a start, the costume, the bumbling reporter alter-ego, and of course, the no flight, no tights rule. I also wondered about the wedding. Could Lois and Clark really get married when all Superman canon had them not married – for a while at least.
There was also the question of Lex Luthor, Superman’s nemesis, who on Smallville knew Clark and his secret. Not to mention whether Chloe – a character introduced in the show and NOT from the comics – would survive. The finale bookended with Chloe reading Smallville comics to her son (and Ollie’s) in a very sweet moment. So glad Chloe lives!
Of course there had to be some deaths and Tess and Lionel were logical and bearable losses as they contributed to the emergence of a Lex who could be the nemesis for Superman, and thanks to a slightly convenient neurotoxin Tess dosed Lex with as she died that took away his memory, we now have a President Luthor who does not know Clark and Superman are one in the same. There was even the presenting of the outfit from Jor El and a ghostly Jonathan Kent, indicating the big S was a reminder of his Smallville upbringing.
Inevitably, to tie in with the Superman mythology, the wedding didn’t quite happen (sidebar, would they REALLY wait seven years to try again to get married? Really?) however the scenes with Lois and Clark reading each other’s wedding vows in the present were just lovely. I really liked the scene with the two of them through a door, where we had them open up to each other about how they felt. Just wonderful.
Then there is the emergence of Clark as Superman to save the world from anihilation – it had to be a global event that spurred him to take flight, strap on the red cape and blue spandex and fly into space. In some ways I quite liked that we only got glimpses of Tom Welling as Superman – and mainly CGI ones as a little Superman flew about the place. They have spent ten years having him be Clark and a bit of the blur. Yes, we know he WILL BE Superman, but we see Tom Welling as Clark first and foremost. I was happy enough with the long shots and brief flying figures and to keep Christopher Reeve in my mind as MY Superman.
As is always the way with Smallville, the extended coda was there, this time to give us the Lois and Clark as the canon characters. Lois is an established reported (nice glasses!) and Jimmy is there being her photographer – with even a shout out to the original Jimmy(Aaron Ashmore was never a big favourite, but cute continuity.) Clark is the bumbling figure, knocking over Lois’ files, although they are once again on course for the wedding chapel. As I said earlier though, would they really have waited seven years to try again for a more successful wedding day? The final scene with Clark heading for the roof and tearing open his shirt to reveal the Superman outfit to the classic John Williams score was a nice touch too.
I was not a fan of the show at the start. I pretty much hated anything involving Lana and the Clark/Lana stuff was especially awful. I didn’t especially care for Lex as Clark’s friend. My Smallville viewing began with the introduction of Lois in Season 4 as I have always loved the Lois Lane character, and to me Erica Durance did a fantastic job of being ballsy, confident, beautiful but also flawed. I loved her monster trucks and Whitesnake habits and her bold confidence. Durance sold Lois’ mix of pushiness and vulnerablity extremely well. She has been my main reason for watching Smallville for a while. Tom Welling is not as gifted an actor when it comes to range, but he is totally convincing as the good guy hero. The man who wants to do his best and help the world. I would so love to see a Superman TV movie in like, five years time with Welling, Durance and Rosenberg reprising their characters as the grown up, fully formed Superman, Lois and Lex, but it will probably never happen, with yet another incarnation of Superman coming to the big screen soon. (Another sidenote, Kate Bosworth as Lois in Superman Returns was absolutely, positively the WORST casting in Superman history! I have higher hopes for Amy Adams in the upcoming movie, Adams is a very good actress at least.)
For me, Smallville was incredibly up and down over the years. We had some wonderful episodes and some dull as dish water pandering to the comic book fanboys episodes over the years – sometimes within a few weeks of each other. Tom Welling anchored the show as the solid, heroic Clark with excellent support from the always excellent Allison Mack as Chloe. I have always loved Chloe – a non canon Smallville invention, and am very glad she wasn’t killed off. With the addition of Erica Durance and the always likeable Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen, the show worked pretty well. Tess has never been my favourite, but she served her purpose I suppose.
As a way of combining ten years of the growth of Clark Kent from boy to man to the Superman mythology, I thought this finale did a wonderful job. I am really going to miss Smallville, but it won’t be long before the next movie (Henry Cavill as the man of steel – don’t know him so not sure yet. Can he be worse than the incredibly bland Brandon Routh?) and one thing is for sure, it won’t be long before Superman is back on the big or small screen. Superman is my favourite superhero and one who will be around in some form or other for many years to come.
Bye bye Smallville..