I stopped watching Smallville a few seasons ago… I don’t know exactly at which point I stopped, but I know that it was after Lois showed up and before Green Arrow. That may be a large window… I’m not sure. But yeah, it was getting a little old. Clark was taking forever to become Superman and was in high school for about eleven years, Lana was REALLY annoying, nothing seemed to be happening, and it felt more like a CW soap than a superhero show. But when I heard that this season of Smallville would be its last AND the big bad guy was Darkseid, I had to watch it… I knew Clark would turn into Superman at some point.
And he did!! Five minutes before the very end of the last episode. For that I watched the entire season, and you know what? It was totally worth it. I really enjoyed it. It’s not the best show, but it was fun and they had some cool characters (their Hawkman was awesome… the JSA episode is one of the few episodes I saw during my Smallville hiatus and I was glad he came back)… plus the threat of Darkseid underlying everything was a good time.
The finale itself was especially fun. When an episode opens with Apokalips flying past Jupiter on it’s way to Earth, you know you’re set for something crazy. When we left our intrepid heroes last week, Lois was fixing to call off her wedding to Clark, but after several long, dramatic conversations it all got sorted out and they walked down the aisle (together, which was actually really sweet). But just as Lois was about to put the ring on Clark’s finger, OH NO it was gold kryptonite and chaos ensued and the sky went dark. Then things got NUTS… Tess killed Lionel Luthor who was then possessed by Darkseid, a Lex Luthor clone came to life, Clark beat up/saved Ollie and THEN Ollie went and killed Granny Goodness and some other bad dudes. There were more dramatic speeches (far too many, seeing as there was a VERY immediate threat that needed to be addressed), but Clark pulled himself together and saved the day. Why?
BECAUSE HE’S SUPERMAN!!! Check this out.
So zombie Lionel/Darkseid comes in and tosses Clark around like a ragdoll, but as he’s smashing through the barn he has a Fortress of Solitude flashback moment with tons of clips of him saving people and Clark realizes that it’s his destiny to be a hero. And with this newfound confidence, he can finally fly!! Here he is, floating in mid-air for the first time:
Then BAM he takes off straight at zombie Lionel/Darkseid:
And he totally blows him up. Then he goes to the Fortress of Solitude, where Jor-El and ghost Jonathan (for some reason, there was a Jonathan Kent ghost wandering around this episode that people could talk to and touch… that wasn’t really explained) give him the outfit:
Now Superman (AWESOME), he takes off and saves Lois on Air Force One. Here he is just floating there with the plane saved and Apokalips in the background:
He then hurls Apokalips across the universe and the world is saved. Fast forward seven years… Chloe has a kid, Lois is reporting it up, Lex Luthor is president, and mild-mannered Clark Kent learns that there’s a bomb in an elevator across town. He heads to the roof of the Daily Planet building, the iconic Superman theme playing, and runs towards us, ripping off his shirt as he does so:
It was SO great… it was the perfect note to end the show on, and was just classy all around. I loved it.
The rest of the show before it could have been total crap before the last five minutes and it would still be overall fantastic in my book, but it was actually pretty good. Once Apokalips hit, it got creepy and cool, and there were some really tense moments. There was a lot of chatting and each character got their big meaningful scene, which slowed down the episode, but that’s just how it goes with series finales really. Anyway, it was a good time, then SUPERMAN.
I think they handled the Superman stuff really well. With a CW budget, flying and crazy Superman antics would be tough to make look good. Plus, it’s hard to look cool in the Superman suit. As awesome and iconic as it is, it works so much better drawn than in person, especially that Superman Returns-inspired version they were going with. So they stuck to obviously CGI longshots and close-ups of his face, which I think worked out nicely. The first scene where he discovers he can fly was done beautifully, with Clark floating in mid-air and then shooting off, and I really like the effort they put into making that scene look good. Then they made up for the longshots with that final scene and the close-up on the Superman shield. That was just crazy great.
So yeah, Smallville is done with. I loved it when I was a 15 year old kid watching the pilot, got bored with it for a while, and then loved it again as a 25 year old man watching the finale. It took ten long years to get Clark in the suit, but I think the payoff was spectacular. Those last few minutes were really everything they needed to be. I mean, the music AND the shirt move?? Classic.