Smallville Series Finale

I originally started watching this show back in 2003, and back then I actually enjoyed it, as far as I know. It’s too long ago to remember. But at some point it definitely turned into a chore. The main thing that kept me going was wanting to see the final transformation into Superman, as a reward of sorts for all the time I’d invested. (If that’s a spoiler, where have you been for the last 73 years?) There have been some positive moments mixed in, especially this final season, but it has generally been a negative experience for me that I really should have stopped years ago.

And now the adventures end after all these years. Was it worth all the waiting? You can read my thoughts on it below, which are in a slightly different format than usual. I gave live thoughts on the finale on IRC, and I’ve pasted most of my quotes here. After that, I wrote a final analysis in more complete form. This is full of spoilers, of course, but you can watch the entire thing on the CW’s site yourself (at least for now).

TripleRach is me, if you missed the memo. Lines by other people are not included, but I’ve described context where it seemed necessary.

(These were questions, sort of, and they didn't really have answers)
<TripleRach> Why is there a Ghost Jonathan anyway, or does that get explained later
<TripleRach> So could Martha see him too

(Regarding all the wedding jitters and family stuff):
<TripleRach> Too much pointless redundant dialogue
<TripleRach> Why did they feel the need to rewind Clark's character development at the last minute
<TripleRach> Drama is supposed to be exciting
<TripleRach> Throwing each other into pools and sleeping with people's boyfriends

(Regarding Clark cleansing Oliver):
<TripleRach> The power of love and friendship

(What I assumed would happen to Tess after Lionel showed up):
<TripleRach> Inject her with Lex's DNA to turn her into Lex

<TripleRach> Zombie Lionel? wtf

(Regarding Clark's life flashbacks):
<TripleRach> Football is totally a part of saving the world

(Regarding Lex's mind wipe):
<TripleRach> Needs more flashbacks

(Regarding Ghost Jonathan's speech at the fortress):
<TripleRach> No, I want to stop holding on to Smallville ASAP

(Regarding the staff on Air Force One's wait for the heroes):
<TripleRach> Second longest five minutes ever

<TripleRach> Oh boy, tiny CGI glimpse

(About Apokolips approaching Earth):
<TripleRach> I thought of DBZ

<TripleRach> The other Jimmy

<TripleRach> Why is there an election in 2018

<TripleRach> So they never even showed him in the full suit? Or did I blink and miss it?
(The answer was "no")

<TripleRach> Superman has a very simple costume
<TripleRach> Blue + logo + red underwear + cape
<TripleRach> If they can't make a costume like that at a reasonable price they're doing it wrong
<TripleRach> I doubt most people would have even noticed if it matched the previous costume or not
<TripleRach> All I remember about the costume from earlier episodes was the basics anyway

So I obviously didn’t like having to see Clark and Lois decide to get married all over again. Nor did I care for all the speeches about embracing your past before you can achieve your destiny, which felt like a silly metaphor for the show itself (“let’s drag things out way too long and save the action for the very end”). The conversation between Clark and Lex with all the meta-references felt really strange, too, but it was at least canceled out by the fact that it was great to see Rosenbaum come back.

All of that was just fluff, though. If the drama were more compelling, I wouldn’t have minded it, but frankly it was just boring and unnecessary. It all screams that they were having problems filling time, which could partly be blamed on the budget, but better writing could have covered that up.

We did have some action and suspense, courtesy of Darkseid and his minions, but not nearly enough. Apokolips’s approach to Earth was cool. The fight between possessed Oliver and Clark was also pretty cool and exciting, and I liked that they planned to use the Gold Kryptonite as a wedding ring. But the way Green Arrow ended up killing the minions simultaneously seemed very anticlimactic. And not enough of Darkseid himself. Most of what we see of him is in the body of an old man? Really?

Speaking of Lionel, I wasn’t expecting to see more of him, and it was interesting that he wanted to cut up Tess to resurrect Lex. His second death also seemed much more conclusive than his first. I can also say I didn’t expect Tess to die, and I wasn’t particularly saddened by it either, because her story had well run its course already. But the way Lex killed her was also kind of odd, after looking past the shock value of it. Not nearly as odd as Tess infecting him with a mind-wiping toxin, though. Why even bother bringing him back with his memories just to erase them again? It was silly, especially since we’d never get to see how Lex with a blank slate would work out.

The actual Superman moments were far too brief and underwhelming. I realize this was show was meant to be his journey to become Superman, so the transformation had to be saved for the very end. But the fact that we didn’t even get one full body shot in the suit (other than teeny tiny CGI) was incredibly disappointing. I did very much enjoy the final scene at the Daily Planet with the shirt ripping and John Williams theme, but it just wasn’t enough to cancel out all the other problems I had leading up to it.

So was it worth the wait? My answer is no. But my expectations for this series have been pretty low for a long time, so I’m not really surprised the ending didn’t live up to the years of waiting for it. Even the final episode of Lost (which I was not exactly happy with) was much more entertaining than this. But I am happy that it’s finally over, and I now have one more hour of free time each week.

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Categories: Review, Television

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