Managing Expectations: The Smallville Finale
May 12, 2011
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The series finale of Smallville is rapidly approaching and as of right now there is a lot of ground to cover in the last 2 hours remaining. Fans everywhere have their expectations of how the show should end its 10-year run. Realistically, not everyone is going to end up being happy with the end. It’s just the way things work. For example, I’m a huge Battlestar Galactica fan but I absolutely despise the final episode (past the half-way mark at least). The ‘God did it’ explanation really let me down because I had built up in my head how I thought the show would end. My vision and Ron Moore’s vision did not mesh up one bit which lead to a lot of the disappointment on my part. I think a lot of Smallville fans could run into the same problem I had with BSG. It doesn’t help that Smallville has a lot of plot threads to tie up in its 2-hour finale.
Last week’s episode of Smallville entitled Prophecy was fairly disappointing to say the least. Clark allows Jor-El to mess with his life one last time and we saw Lois Lane magically turn into a Lana Lang clone.
Despite taking the whole season to show how well Lois and Clark work together the writers gave us a quick 180 and had Lois break things of with Clark. Does this make sense to anyone else, because it sure doesn’t for me. Lois has been the one saying all season that she and Clark were strong together and could get through anything. After having him go missing for 3 weeks and standing by his side she decides to leave him when she sees just how strong he is? Completely out of character for the way Lois Lane has been developed this season in Smallville. I really think the whole ‘pre-wedding break-up’ was just a tool to add more artificial drama to the end of the series.
Needless to say, it’s fairly obvious the Lois and Clark breakup is one of the items that will need to be fixed in the finale. We already know its going to happens since CW released photos of Lois and Clark at the wedding! That’s just another reason why I think the breakup was a cheap way to create tension/drama.
That’s just one item left to fix, but there are a few others I can think of listed below. Hopefully they are able to tie up all or most of the points. There might be some minor spoilers so read at your own peril.
- The fight against Darkseid: Smallville has built up Darkseid as the season long villain yet we’ve hardly seen him. I think there were 2 episodes this season where Darkseid appeared. Now Clark, and potentially the Justice League, have to finish him off. This one has to be done as it is an essential plot point.
- The Return of Lex Luthor: CW already announced that Lex would be back for the finale. Something has to happen to set Lex and Clark up on opposite sides. Whether it’s just a conversation that starts it or Lex does something ‘maniacally evil’ to set his feud with Clark back into motion. We know this will happen.
- The Wedding: We know that in the comics Clark Kent met Lois Lane long after he had become Superman. However, in Smallville canon he has known her for years. Presumably they have to fix the break up from last week. We’ve seen promo pictures of the wedding scene.
- Flight: Its been hinted at since the very beginning, but Clark Kent has not flown yet. If it’s ever going to happen in Smallville, it has to happen in this episode. Its their last chance to make him fly. My guess is that this will happen either at the very end or during a fight with Darkseid.
- The Suit aka Becoming Superman: Clark has gotten closer and closer to actually wearing the iconic Superman costume. In the past couple season we’ve gone from the Neo Matrix look to the red leather jacket. It’s about time for Clark to wear the suit. My guess is that the current costume will be destroyed during the final battle with Darkseid and then Clark will be deemed ‘worthy’ by Jor-El to wear the costume designed by Martha Kent.
- Jonathan Kent’s Return: We’ve seen pictures of Jonathan Kent at the presumed wedding of Lois and Clark. He’s been dead since episode 100, so the question has to be asked, ‘How did he come back for the wedding?’ Is he a ghost or maybe the Jonathan Kent from the mirror universe of Kent and Luthor.
- Oliver Queen and the Darkness: Ollie has been marked by the darkness and last we saw he was digging up gold kryptonite. That particular version of kryptonite will supposedly strip Clark of his powers permanently. Green Arrow is a hero in the DC world so somehow he has to fight the darkness and presumably be freed from the Omega symbol. How is this going to happen?
- Chloe’s Final Fate: The showrunners have been teasing that something big will happen to Chloe. What will it be, and how can we expect it to shape the Smallville world? Remember until recently there was no Chloe Sullivan in the Superman comics.
- The Secret Identity Problem aka The Giant Mind Wipe: One of the biggest problems in Smallville is that almost everyone has learned of Clark’s powers. Most of all Lex Luthor has learned the secret unlike in the comics. Clark was saving lives and maintaining his normal appearance until just recently. The addition of the glasses and bumbling manner might be too-little-too-late. Is there going to be some mind wipe that takes place so that everyone, specifically Lex Luthor, forgets about Clark’s alien powers? I don’t see if happening since Smallville is an alternate universe of Superman lore and will probably never fit into the traditional Superman mythos.
This is a lot of ground to cover in the final two hours and fans cannot realistically expect every plot point to be covered. If the majority of these plot points are covered I’ll be happy. But if Clark never flies or dons the Superman costume I will be sorely disappointed. It looks like we’ll find out tomorrow how everything ends. I really do hope that fans are able to manage their expectations so they aren’t disappointed with the end. We’ve had 10 fun years of Smallville and I would hate to have it tainted by a finale that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.