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So, here I am...finally.  This is a hard review to tackle.  For one thing, its like two episodes.  For another, its the end.  Obviously.  And so I understand the desire to just want to let it alone.  It is what it is, and all that.  But, that just wouldn't be very me.  And besides, I think a series finale should get a little of the microscope treatment.  It is, after all, supposed to be what everything that came before was working up to.

And for those of you who would like to draw the Smallville conversation out a bit longer before the memory of our show starts to fade, then I hope I'll be able to help with you that.  This post will be my review of the Finale itself.  I hope to follow that with a post about S10 as a whole, and then finish it off with an overview of the series.  And maybe I'll cap that off with some fun and games posts.  I guess its just my way of keeping the Smallville alive for a bit longer.  Some people like to close the book and stick it on the shelf, and then there are people like me who tend to keep it on the nightstand, so I can go back and ready my favorite parts again.

Lets begin with our final new screentime minutes

Finale, running time 1h, 23m, 20s (Previously On: 1m, 26s, which is surprisingly short)

Clark:  43m, 1s
Lois:  27m, 40s
Tess:  12m, 43s
Oliver:  16m, 10s

Chloe:  10m, 59s

Martha:  11m, 19s
Obi-John Kentnobi:  8m, 19s

CloneLex:  11m, 37s (note, some of this screentime is just a body laying on a table, not necessarily MR)
AU Lionel:  5m, 28s

Granny Goodness:  3m, 30s
Godfrey:  1m, 45s
Desaad:  1m, 53s
Smokeseid:  34s
Smokeseid in AULionel:  1m, 33s

NuJimmy:  38s

S10 Final Totals (# of episodes)

Clark:  471m, 9s (22)
Lois:  353m, 14s (22)
Tess:  157m, 12s (17)
Oliver:  182m, 46s (17)

Chloe:  86m, 39s (8)

I thought long and hard on how I was going to structure this review, even considering the option of doing it in 2 parts.  But ultimately, I decided to break it down to The Good, The Bad, and The WTF.

Lets start with The Good.

I think this episode benefitted from my expectations.  See, after being so disappointing in S10 as a whole, I was pretty convinced that the season finale would be TERRIBLE.  And I was very pleasantly surprised that it wasn't terrible at all.  I wasn't left with the feeling that I wanted to throw my TV set off a roof.  In fact, the last 10 minutes of the show, I had a big ol' smile on my face for much of that time.  So, kudos to SV there.

As someone who has had a lot of issues with the writing and execution of Clois this season, I happened to think that the Finale was amazing for them.  Tom and Erica really sparkled in all of their scenes together, and I really enjoyed much of the writing for them.  Now, I wasn't a fan of the angst that we started them off with in this episode, and Clark's emerging doubts didn't at all ring true to me either.  But how that was ultimately resolved with then was very satisfying.  The doorway talk was a really beautifully executed scene that even warmed this cynical, unromantic heart.  The vows were lovely (though having them recited twice was unnecessary padding in the episode, and there were better ways to execute that then repeating dialogue).  The walk down the aisle was a great touch, and they looked so very happy.  And I also loved the look they shared through the plane window.  Lois' look of awe and delight, and Clark's look of pride were a big part of what I liked so much about the last 10 minutes.

For Lois individually, I totally loved her reading Clark's vows at the DP, and realizing the obvious...she was being an idiot.  One of the things I've always like about Lois is her ability to admit her failings, and own them.  I also liked how this episode stressed Lois' reporter side.  Something that should've been focused on for the last 2 seasons, and didn't get nearly as much attention as it deserved.

And while I no longer care for the character of Chloe Sullivan in the slightest, I do want to give credit for 2 scenes where I think she was used well.  Talking to Lois before the wedding, where Chloe actually was talking sense to Lois about Clark, and also for her save/assist at the wedding itself.  I absolutely dreaded the idea that Chloe would be "saving" Clark in this episode, but in the context of the scene, I thought it fit.  Clark and Lois were clearly distracted.  So, it made sense for Chloe to be the one to notice the change in rings.  Having her knock it away felt appropriate, and not at all over the top.

I also dreaded the Oliver/Darkness story, because I felt sure that the resolution of that storyline would have little to do with Clark.  And I was totally wrong.  Instead of having Oliver saved by Chloe, which I would've bet big money on, Clark was the one that was able to get through to Oliver.  That was a big moment in the finale for me, because its just this type of thing that I wish we had seen more of in the last 2 years.  

The scenes with Michael Rosenbaum did not disappoint.  Mike and Tom picked up right where they left off.  For me, Clex will always be the OTP on the show, and this scene further cemented that for me.  And I loved that they actually talked here.  Sure, there was hostility, but not so much accusations.  The dialogue nicely wrapped up the relationship Clark and Lex had.  And its not hard for me to believe that Lex would resent Clark's reluctance to embrace and use his gifts.  Of course, how Lex thought they should be used probably differs wildly from what Clark ever thought of.  And I can also believe that Lex would want Clark to go off and save the world...so that he and Clark can still have a world to play out their eternal adverserial dance.  And I thought Clark's parting line "I'm sorry I couldn't save you Lex" was incrediby poignant.  Because, I truly believe he couldn't have.

I did also enjoy seeing MR and Cassidy play off each other.  I expected it to be great, and it was.  Somehow, we knew they'd have chemistry, right?  And while I didn't want Tess to die, I have to admit that they gave her a heroes exit.  Smart, resigned, and resourceful to the last.  She did get her redemption, thru Clark's friendship and trust, and she repaid that by using her last moments to protect him from a clone of her own brother. 

I was terribly sad to see Tess die.  And this was a tough episode for her, and I hated that she didn't get to share any scenes with any other regulars.  But she got to kick some major ass, put a bullet though AU Lionel (and no, I don't have any issue with that...he was going to cut out her heart!), and died protecting the person that meant most to her.  A fitting ending for a great character.  I look forward to seeing Cassidy Freeman again, because she's my SV girlcrush.

I liked the Daily Planet fast forward, and what a wonderful surprise to see Aaron Ashmore show up as NuJimmy.  Yeah, it did remind me of how deeply they fucked up the original recipe Jimmy storyline.  But still, I couldn't help but be glad that Aaron Ashmore could actually say he played Jimmy Olson now.  And how great was it to hear Michael McKean's voice?  I'll never stop thinking that it should've been in the finale, in the flesh.  But this wasn't a bad consolation prize.  

Both the Clark and the Lex montages helped to remind me of so many moments in this show that I loved.  And I thought it very fitting that only those 2 got those sorts of scenes.

And then we come to Clark.  I thought Clark was magnificent, and I thought Tom Welling was incredible.  I didn't like every single Clark moment in the episode.  But,  I think considering how many people were talking at him here (I'll explain under The Bad), Clark did manage to keep his focus, and confidence, and his determination to do what he needed to do.  For a show thats taken so much time to tear down its main character, it was a delight to see it actually put real effort into celebrating him for who he is, and his accomplishments.  Clark got wonderful Superman moments, and it has nothing to do with any silly suit.  His helping Oliver, his resistance to Smokeseid, his taking to the air (finally!), him saving a plane, pushing a whole planet away...all Superman to me.  And since I would've been totally pleased with nothing but a shirt rip showing the the suit, I squeed in delight at that being the final scene in the episode.  

The Bad

I don't think what really was bad for me in this episode mirrors a lot of the other complaints I've read about the finale.  I didn't mind the lack of full body suit.  I was able to reconcile the Clone Lex mindwipe (which I will discuss).  I made my peace with Tess' death.  And I actually get a kick out of Clois not being married, still, 7 years later.

Now, one place where I probably do have a lot of company is the whole Smokeseid stuff.  Come on, there's no other way to say it...all of that was total fail.  A flaming planet is headed for Earth where its going to.....well, what?  Crash into Earth?  Well, that would destroy everything, so what was Smokeseid going to rule?  And his minions?  Standing around, looking out windows, doing what?  And then they get taken out by one arrow each??  WTF?  Why did Smokeseid want to inhabit AULionel so much, and why would it bother saving CloneLex?  And Clark can just fly through him and he goes POOF?  And all these people marked by the darkness?  I still have no freaking clue what that was even about.

So, yeah, that whole storyline?  El Grande Fail-o!

And don't even get me started on the stupidity of Chloe reading a comic book, which is very obviously about Clark's life, to her son.  Where would this comic book come from?  Who wrote it?  I know I'm supposed to just think its a wink and a nod at some other version of the story, but I just found it immensely irritating, and the bookend scenes were time sucks, as far as I'm concerned.  It seemed more about creating something "special" for Chloe then anything else, and I have no patience for that kind of writing.  Especially when the show writers didn't seem all that concerned about making sure Clois actually got married, or Lois named Clark Superman, for instance.  Special "jewels" just for Chloe piss me off.  The Finale was no place to blow more smoke up that characters ass.

But for me, the biggest Bad of this episode was the ludicrous storyline with Clark, supposedly, turning his back on his parents and the people in Smallville (Huh?  When?  Because he wanted to sell the house?), and that he needed Jor-El's approval and guidance.  

Literally, in that first Clark/Martha scene, I was scratching my head wondering what the hell she was talking about.  First of all, its a big pet peeve of mine when people give you something, and then complain about what you do with it.  If Martha didn't want Clark to sell the house, here's a freaking idea Senator Kent...send the deed to Clark and a note saying "If you and Lois want to keep the house and live in it, here's the deed.  But if you don't want to, let me know, and I'll keep it".  Problem solved, no?  And Clark says that he dropped Martha a note about selling the house, so why is she bitching and acting like she's shocked?  And this is really an appropriate freak-out on his wedding day?  And if she's so freaking attached to the house, how about coming home more then once a year?  She wasn't even going to stay there this time home.  I found her whole attitude supremely fucking annoying.

And please, can anyone tell me when Clark was all about turning his back on his parents, and putting the people of Smallville behind him?  And didn't we have 2 episodes this season that sort of drove home the point that Clark needed to move beyond the past, and that home wasn't a place, but the people you are with? (Homecoming and Kent).  And all this angst about selling the farmhouse, and we don't even get resolution on what happened to it.  To me, this whole storyline was one big fat retcon, pulled out of their ass at the last minute so we could have one last "No Clark, you are doing it wrong!" moment.  And frankly, it dragged down this finale quite a bit for me, because it was so damned aggravating.

Look, who represents Smallville for Clark?  His dead father (who won't stay dead), his mother, Chloe, Lana, Pete, Lex.  Right?  Now, most of these people, except for the dead one, have LEFT TOWN.  They've left Clark behind.  How exactly is he forgetting them?  I mean, there's actually a line in this finale "Don't push your mother away".  WHEN DID THIS FUCKING HAPPEN?  Is this the mother that he was sending Conner to live with?  The mother that Clark saw earlier in the season?  I'm just at a loss for words with this storyline.  And I feel like the only person in the fandom who found it downright offensive on behalf of Clark.

And look, I get that Jonathan Kent was a very important figure on this show, and that his influence loomed large in Clark's life.  I was OK with him showing up once or twice in the finale.  But there was just a bit too much of Obi-John Kentnobi for me in this finale.  Maybe I'm just not very big on the whole spirit guide thing.

And then we come to AI Jor-El.  You can't start off a season with AI Jor-El telling Clark that he's worthless and is longer worth bothering with, then have Clark in the finale apologizing for "having turned his back on you".  It was AI Jor-El that turned his back in the premiere, and has generally been a giant douchenozzle since he was introduced.  So, I find it hard to be moved by AI Jor-El (who is NOT Clark's father, but a computer) telling Clark that he's proud of him.  I knew that there was no way for this show to deal with the monster they created in the form of AI Jor-El, so when in doubt, they sweep in under the rug.  And Boy Howdee, did they take out the broom and sweep.  But I'm afraid my brain doesn't quite work that way.  I never forget.

Also, we were never given any real reason why the Superman suit would mean a damn thing to AI Jor-El.  It should have held no significance to him.  I'm not even sure that they ever established why it held significance to Clark, outside of his mother making it for him.  So, its hard to be moved by the whole suit exchange when no one ever expressed what it really meant to them.  I know what it means to Superman fans, but that should have no bearing towards the internal story.  Why did AI Jor-El take it and hide it?  Why does Clark think he should wear it?  SV should've told me that story this season, and they just didn't bother, since they fell back on the conceit of "MYTHOS", which means squat to a non-comic book reader.

The show also made it a big deal this season that Clark would have to step into the light, and show his face to the public.  And yet, he never really did.  And I think thats a moment that should've made it into Smallville before it ended.

Smaller quibbles I had was the pacing of the first hour of the episode which spent WAY too much time on the wedding.  It was very slow.  The vows were lovely, but we didn't need to hear them twice.  And its hard to be bowled over by a church full of nobodies.  Where was Emil?  Where was Cat Grant?  Where was Lucy?  If you can't afford the guest actors, then you need to adjust your storyline accordingly.  And didn't they just make a big freaking deal about Clark having to wear the glasses in public, lest people connect him to The Blur?  Could anyone in that church have seen Clark in his tuxedo, looking as magnificent as any man could look, not being the least bit bumbling, and then buy into the Clark Kent DP persona?  I think not.  And then to spend all this time on a wedding when they don't even end up married?  It just didn't seem quite right.

2 things that fall into the Bad category that I've managed to reconcile in my head are Tess' unmourned death, and Clone Lex's mind wipe.

I'll start with Tess....well, its really this simple.  I'm not sure where they would've fit in Clark learning of Tess' death, and him having a reaction.  I've been able to tell myself that she was grieved by Clark, and everyone else, at a later date, and had a well attended funeral with all the JLA members she worked with in attendance.  Clark gave a lovely and moving eulogy celebrating Tess' ability to turn her life around.

As for the mind wipe,  here's the thing....this wasn't Lex.  Not Real Lex.  He never was.  He was a Frankenstein-like creature created by AULionel complete with the heart of a vicious and horrible man.  Sure, he had Lex's memories of Smallville, and of Clark, but they were never really HIS memories.  He didn't live them.  Real Lex lived those moments.  Not some jacked up clone.  So, while it was great to relive Lex through this clone, it was never really Lex anyway.  He lost memories that didn't belong to him.  I like to tell myself that the Lex being elected President in 2018?  Real Lex, complete with memories.  Thats my story, and I'm sticking with it!!

And now, the WTF

A giant flaming planet?

The look on Clark's face when Chloe hugged him.  LOL 

Chloe leaves to go to Star City to access her database?  Really, she couldn't just go to Watchtower?  Because Oliver pops into Watchtower later, and seems to put it right back on line with a few keystrokes.  

Why did AU Lionel look like a hobo?  And what was with all his bad touching of Tess?  

Didn't it seem like a strange way to cut the episode, when you have the big barn scene with Clark and half dead/half alive parents telling him to go off, and do what he needs to do, and turn to AI Jor-El for guidance, and Clark doesn't actually get around to going to the FOS till much later in the episode?  In fact, the next Clark scene after that is him looking for Tess.  Seems oddly plotted to me.

What the hell is NOT in the Veritas Journals?  Who wrote them?  Nostradamus?

Why does Oliver use his voice modulator when he goes after the Minions?  Here's a hint Dumbass....they know who you are!

While Clois were very sparkley and cute in the flash forward, what the hell?  Why is he calling her Miss Lane?  Are they pretending that they are no longer a couple when everyone should know that they had a wedding 7 years earlier?  That made no sense.

Chloe's hair.

OK, who decided that the style for Lois' hair for the wedding should be the "Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke" look?  

Didn't the Gold K ring seem overly, and needlessly, complicated a plot?  Seems to me there were easier ways to slip Clark some Gold K.

OK, thats it.  I'm sure I'm missing something, but hopefully you guys will bring it up.

Thanks so much to all of you who have read my reviews, and have commented over the years.  Thanks especially to those who certainly don't agree with everything I said, but showed respect for a differing POV and felt comfortable enough to share their POV here too.


( 52 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 19th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
Because I adore you, I give you some actual REACTION COMMENTS from me.

I totally agree with you on Martha. It's like they were writing her here and in "Hostage" to be deliberately disliked. She gives Clark the deed to the farm and is then surprised when he decides to sell it when he and Lois work in Metropolis? Did she really expect them to farm on the side? And her freakout was completely unwarranted.

This ties into my larger, most pressing issue: letting go of the past is not the same thing as forgetting it. You can make peace with your past and decide to move on while still holding on to the memories of what came before. People do it ALL THE TIME and that's exactly what Clark has been doing, so all this "you're forgetting your past!" nonsense really, really bugged me. Really. And I'm not even going to touch on the AI crap, because I just can't. Let's just say I honestly thought there was going to be a reveal that ghost Jonathan wasn't really Jonathan because there is no way in hell he would tell Clark he needs Jor-El.

I was also fine with no mention of Tess' death, because we got no reaction whatsoever about anything that happened after Clark - er, Superman - saved the day. We went directly into the future flashes where it would have made no sense to randomly mention her seven years later.

Now it my turn for unpopular opinion: I didn't really care for the future flash. It wasn't necessary, because it's part of the "we already know this" part of the story. I wanted more of what we didn't know, like how Clark reacted to his coming out, how proud he would have been of Lois and how his defining moment got the whole country buzzing. That DP scene could easily have been present Clois the next day, enjoying their successes with each other and I would have loved to have seen my Clark be the one running up to the roof and ripping his shirt open, signifying that yes, Superman was in the house to stay and he was going to respond to emergencies suited up from then on without hesitation.

Overall, though, I'm happy with what we got. It may have missed for me on the final moment being in the future, but like you, I was left smiling and I think that's what really matters.
May. 19th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
The adoration goes both ways :)

After the first Martha scene, I literally said outloud "What the hell is she talking about?" And she was so overwrought too. And this is supposed to be his wedding day too. And really, if she's too attached to the farm, then she can move her ass back into it, can't she?

There was nothing I saw over this whole season, to include Clark's decision to sell the farm, that even remotely suggested to me that he was forgetting people in his past, or pushing them away. It just did not happen. People moving forward with their lives and concentrating on the future is NOT a negative thing. So, all that stuff was really messed up to me.

And like you say, the AI stuff is beyond comprehension. Always has been.

Everything you say about the future flash? I can totally understand. I may have enjoyed it, but if it was between that scene and a better wrap up to present day Clark's story? I choose the latter.

But, it sure wasn't the trainwreck I was expecting, so I have to be thankful for that.
May. 19th, 2011 05:42 am (UTC)
I for one agree absolutely about Martha and Jonathan and the AI - those scenes came close to ruining this episode for me with that whole unnecessary level of angst. Why oh why when there are so many great and obvious angles that could have been tackled with this last episode did they waste time on such twaddle?

Also agree that the Darkseid plot was massive fail that makes Doomsday start to look good - well, no, nothing can really do that. But there was so much else going on that I can give this episode a qualified A+, especially since Clark was so well done by here.

Some random thought: I think its obvious this was originally going to be two episodes - Wedding and Darkseid - and when they smushed them together, they should have trimmed Wedding to give proper time for Darkseid. Did you see on Beeman's blog where he talked about certain scenes being juggled around after he'd sent in the final cut? That explains the non sequitur of Clark going to check on Tess when he should have been going to the FOS for some totally stupid reason. And yes, the Chloe scenes felt totally unnecessary, but I did enjoy the future Clois. I didn't think his Miss Lane was anything more than his being so totally into his "mild mannered" role that he kept it up even when he needn't.
May. 19th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
The Martha/Ghost Jonathan/AI stuff is the stuff thats still hanging around in my brain, slowly eating away at the rest of the episode. Because I really do believe it has no validity, and so its a last minute "You're doing it wrong Clark" moment. And really, did the Finale need one of those?

For me, if I'm generous, I could give the Finale a B+, and thats mostly due to my Clark.

When I do my post about S10 as a whole, to include the Finale, I'm going to go into how much I think the wedding stuff should've come in episode 20, instead of the Prophecy episode.

There were definitely some editing issues I didn't quite get. The big inspirational speechs from the Kents should've come right before Clark goes to the FOS, but I'm not sure how that would've worked. You could also completely tell who was available to appear in what half of the Finale.
May. 19th, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
I didn't care if TW wore the suit or not or whether it's CGI as I got my Superman fix in the finale. Superman was in action and the finale was Clark's moment than anyone else's. It's the culmination of what the series is about. However, if TW didn't want to wear the SR suit then I don't blame him. After 10 years, he deserves his own Superman suit and I doubt he would've fit in the SR suit that was tailor-made for Brandon Routh.

The producers were right that the Finale was stand-alone and works better as a stand-alone than being with the rest of the final season. It made up for the mess of the final season. I'm convinced that without the Finale, the 10th season would've been the weakest season of all.

Lois has to be the first person to see Clark wearing the suit and be rescued by him. There's nothing like seeing Superman pushing a planet away as his powers are Silver-Age levels. A missed opportunity to have Lois naming him Superman.

That framing device of Chloe reading the Smallville comic to a child from the future was nothing more than celebrating her character than anything else and the Finale could've done without it.

Besides Clark and Lois, Lex, Jonathan, Martha, and Tess are the only others who have shined in the finale. Tess died a hero's death and was the better Watchtower than Chloe ever was from last season.
She was more useful to Clark along with Dr. Emil Hamilton. Tess should have gotten a funeral by Clark and the heroes.

The Darkseid plot clearly failed as a season arc and they should have went with the Legion of Doom from Prophecy instead. Lex came back as a clone and the chemistry between he and Clark has picked up from Arctic. The memories of both Clark and Lex has them going opposite directions as Clark retains them while Lex loses them.

A great ending for the show that I grew up with for 10 years since the Pilot and I never missed an episode. I'll never forget having these discussions about Smallville with you and other fans. It was a 10-year blast.


May. 19th, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
The biggest reason that I don't care about Tom appearing in the suit is that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if he had, the same people bitching about him not wearing it would be the same people bitching about him not looking good enough in it. Guaranteed!

I'm not sure that I agree that the Finale was a stand alone. The wedding, Smokeseid, Clone Lex, AU Lionel, all this stuff was S10 arcs.

I honestly think Lois kind of got screwed over a bit since she never got a chance to name him Superman. For some reason, that wasn't important, but making sure Chloe's got her "jewels" was. Go figure.

I think all the actors did good in the episode. But, for me, it was all about Tom.

I think the ending was satisfying. Great? Well, not so much for me because. But I didn't expect greatness. I don't think the writers have greatness in them anymore.
May. 19th, 2011 10:54 am (UTC)
Hi Val. Thanks for the screentimes and for the excellent review.:) Nice to know you still plan to do some Smallville articles.

Never wanted the wedding, but they should have gone through with it. The fact that 7 years passed and they still weren't married, automatically made this season's main arc useless. And when you consider that Smokeseid was arc 2, then what does it say about this season's overall structure?

There were two things that ruined the finale to a degree for me. First off, offscreenville isn't good enough a character's arc is wrapped up. Even if I want to believe Tess got honoured, a JLA funeral for Tess doesn't sound realistic, simply because it was in Lex's best interests to hide the body. The last image we will ever have of Tess is her lying dead with seemingly no one giving a crap about her. Other than Clark of course, but he took an (evil) Lex's word that she is fine, so he stopped looking. WTF? And it was just a sad episode for her. Going from villain to villain all on her own. I guess she was still alone when Lex showed up. I liked that she kicked butt, but for what really? On a final note, Tess was redeemed before she even met Lex. To say that she can't find redemption is pure bs from the same writers that redeemed Clark Luthor.

Sorry about the Tess rant, but I had to be honest there. I think you explained well what happened with Lex. More or less, they Henry-ed the Lex we saw in the first 8 seasons. Ugh. I don't know who this clone with the heart of a 60+ year old and the mind of an infant is, and I don't know why I should believe he will become evil. Based on what? Lex's relationships with Lionel, his mother, Clark and Lana played a key role in the path he chose. And unless clone Lex can recover those memories somehow, I can't buy into him at all. And I don't know how we should feel when we rewatch the early seasons. The show's original premise (Clex) has been erased...

But I will end on a positive note. Knowing how you felt about this season, I am glad you liked the finale. I know you are a Clark/Tom fan first and foremost and you deserved to get rewarded for evetything you've put up with over this season. I have no complaints about Clark reaching his destiny here. Did I want to see Tom in the suit? Yeah, but it wasn't at the top of my priority list. He flew on his own. That's what I liked most. I have to be honest though. This episode just indicated that Clark was an inch away from becoming Superman for the last 2-3 years. All he's done ever since is relearn lessons. Just think. If Clark could see Jonathan in Lazarus, but he couldn't in Finale, doesn't that mean that he regressed? Even after Homecoming which was supposed to be his launching pad? As for AI, you said it all. Nonetheless, as a fan of the Kent dynamic, the hug they shared at the barn (along with the Clex scene and Clark flying) are my three highlights of Finale.

Other than your reviews, thanks for taking the time to read the comments and respond to them. I am still too disappointed to encapsulate how I feel about Smallville in general. But I am thankful for the fans I got to meet because of it. Such as yourself.
May. 19th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
Like you, it does sort of rub me wrong that we spent so much freaking time on a wedding that didn't actually end up with 2 people married.

S10 was a mess. Its amazing to me that they managed a decent Finale with what this season was. So many things were so badly conceived and executed.

I totally agree with you that having to wank a characters fate sucks. I have had little tolerance in the past for people who wank every single detail of SV, then turn around and insinuate one is dumb or unimaginative for not doing the same. But, I do make an exception with finales, because you almost have to continue the story in your head when the story fades to black. That comes with the whole "The End" territory. But I totally understand that, sometimes, it leaves an unsatisfying taste in your mouth that is impossible to shake.

To me, there was no doubt about Tess' redemption. And I think she knew that she would probably die when she walked into that office. I think her line about not finding redemption was a way to lull CloneLex into a false sense of security.

All you said about Clone Lex is totally true, and again, I have to wank the story to try and find an end that I can deal with. So, I prefer to think Real Lex is still alive, and thats who Clark's foe is. Its a total and complete wank. Its really the only acceptable conclusion for me though.

I also agree with you that the lessons Clark "learned" here in the finale seemed unnecessary to me, and aren't even indicative of the season overall. But thats how SV rolls. They would've been better served concentrating on more of the external aspects of Clark becoming Superman then on the internal ones for him. They couldn't even keep what Clark needed to learn straight in the course of a single season.

I'm so glad you added your voice to my journal. Its been a welcome addition :)
(no subject) - costas22 - May. 19th, 2011 06:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
May. 19th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
I keep reading that people cried, or got teary eye, and it makes me feel like an ogre, because I didn't even come close. I must have a heart of stone.

I'm so glad that there are other people besides me that wanted to serve Martha a big ol' dish of Shut the fuck up in that first scene. LOL

I actually don't object to Chloe in the finale. And outside of the comic book stuff, she was used fine. I do think though that the the writers just didn't need another device to kiss Chloe's ass after all the times they already did in the last 2 seasons. Really, its overkill now. And why? Because her fans complain the loudest?

It was great to see MR back again. Whatever else one felt about the Clone Lex storyline in the finale, I don't know how anyone could not love the MR and TW scene.

One day, maybe I'll be able to be philosophical about Smallville as a whole. But I'm not quite there yet. :)
May. 19th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
Your review is smart and right on target- as usual IMO.

I agree with you about AI Jor-El and I like your calling the Jonathan. "ghost" or whatever he's supposed to be Obi-Kentobi. The Darkseid as a shadow being that CK easily vanquished crap is almost as bad as the Doomsday "battle". The Martha upset at CK wanting to sell the homestead scene felt way out of place for her and out of character for her to give it to him without ensuring some alternatives. Yes THAT Lex was a clone Lex,but hey, they also had the AU Lionel and AU Jonathan, etc. As for Chloe reading the comic book parts, while I do think that it is remniscent of the ending of "St. Elsewhere", I think it might have been a badly intended nod to the fans or some such thing, just done wrongly and with a character that is only specific to Smallville.

Overall it wasn't bad but it wasn't great either, IMO.
May. 19th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. I knew this would turn into a manifesto, and I was hoping that I could keep it from meandering and nonsensical.

Don't get me wrong, because I liked the Jonathan Kent character, but there were parts of this finale that I just wanted to yell at my TV screen "Can you just stay dead?" Well, that and "why do you keep changing your clothes?"

One of the things I'm going to talk about in my S10 overall post is how much they cheated on things this season. And when I say that, I mean things like you get MR back, but he's not real Lex, he's Clone Lex. You get John Glover back, but he's AU Lionel. And so on. There's something cheap in that sort of storytelling, I think. And excessive use of that points to a writing problem.

Good, but not great, Finale. I think thats a fair assessment.
May. 19th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
Three times Bravo! :) Exactly the problems that bothered me too, and that still make me cringe each time I watch the finale.

I was never interested in this Darkseid stuff, so I didn´t really care that it was just another POOF.

What bugged me most (apart from Clark sucking up to his AI psycho-daddy) was this: Clark still plagued by doubts and insecurities, and in need of pep talks by his three parents, real, spiritual and virtual. It felt like they had to take him by his hand and walk him to his final destiny, reassuring him each time, "You are ready now, my son". That was simply WAY too much. Besides, Clark wanting to sell the farm always felt strangely OOC to me.

Clark not showing his face to the public, although this hero-in-the-shadows thing was a topic of the three (!) past seasons, was really a major failure. After pushing this silly planet away, I was hoping for a scene like the one Kara was given in Supergirl (grrr!): hovering down, wave and smile at the crowd, maybe even in front of the Man of Steel billboard from Booster. People staring at this planet and cheering makes no sense because it was impossible to see who did it. What a nonsense! So I totally agree that this future scene, as cute as it was, as well as Chloe reading the comic book should have been replaced by something like this.

I didn´t care much about Clark wearing the Superman suit or not, but I was hoping for some tights for shallow reasons: I really was hoping to get a good glimpse of some full frontal "bulgity", and now I feel robbed of seeing Tom´s big pecs, bubble butt, ample bulge, long legs and muscular thighs in tights. Very, very disappointing!!! ;)
May. 19th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC)
Why, thank you very much Sir. :)

Its seems clear to me that whole idea of Darkseid was far, far too big for this show to conquer, especially with the $29.95 budget. And what pisses me off is that they should've realized that at the beginning of the season, and thought of something else. Because, in the end, he ended up being just about the least scariest Big Bad ever. At least DavisDoomsday was actually burying bodies in fields.

And I do know what you mean about Clark and his doubts. But I almost got the impression that Clark wasn't really so consumed with doubts until everyone started talking crap to him, and it kind of threw him off. Honestly, for as much as this episode was trying to tell me that Clark needed to hold onto everyone and such, I kept thinking that he'd probably have a lot more confidence and clarity without them bitching in his ear constantly.

It is such a shame that the show ended up giving certain things to Kara as a character that they didn't end up giving to Clark. Thats really unforgiveable. I'm just not really sure why they made it such a big deal that Clark was going to have to show his face to the world, and then...he didn't. Seems like an odd choice.

And hey, embrace the shallow! God knows I've done that for years with this show.
May. 19th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
Pt I
//I hope to follow that with a post about S10 as a whole, and then finish it off with an overview of the series. And maybe I'll cap that off with some fun and games posts.//

LOVE this idea. You so have to do it. My life is kinda erratic these days but if I'm able to be online, you know I'll be there.

I completely agree with everything in your 'The Good' column.

//Lois' look of awe and delight, and Clark's look of pride//

The vows were lovely, the door scene was gorgeous, as was the walk, and their last scene all kinds of sexy, but this scene. This is their IT moment of the ep, I think. Because it marries the past with the future, y'know. Because that look wouldn't have been able to come about, had it not been for their shared past and history. It was everything that got them there that led to these two characters being able to emote that way to one another in/to that situation that they were in. And the actual beauty of the look? That's all about the future, because as many times as it'll happen again, Lois will still feel that awe, and Clark will still feel pride not only in what he does but in sharing it with her.

//For me, Clex will always be the OTP on the show, and this scene further cemented that for me.//

Oh yeah. Big time. I love that you found that last line from Clark to be so poignant, because I thought so too. And it was so masterfully delivered by TW - nothing over the top about it, just raw, gut reaction/emotion.

//fitting ending for a great character.//

That final asskicking she did? Some of the best action stuff this season and definitely up there with the series best action moments too. And wow, oh, Tess. She broke my heart in this ep, several times. That she was isolated in a way, and yet kept fighting and for that one goal - Clark. It was tragic, but like you said, so fitting.

//But still, I couldn't help but be glad that Aaron Ashmore could actually say he played Jimmy Olson now.//

Aw, I hadn't thought of that - of course!

//And I thought it very fitting that only those 2 got those sorts of scenes.//

Wonderfully observed and ITA.

//For a show thats taken so much time to tear down its main character, it was a delight to see it actually put real effort into celebrating him for who he is, and his accomplishments. Clark got wonderful Superman moments, and it has nothing to do with any silly suit. His helping Oliver, his resistance to Smokeseid, his taking to the air (finally!), him saving a plane, pushing a whole planet away...all Superman to me. And since I would've been totally pleased with nothing but a shirt rip showing the the suit, I squeed in delight at that being the final scene in the episode.//

I know I shouldn't quote all of this, but I have to because---guh. Yes. Yes, yes, yes. For all the problems and issues flying about in the ep, and it had its share, the finale still felt about CLARK and never took away focus from that. And that's why I'll remember it fondly. All those moments the ep gave him that you described - amazing, and what sealed the deal for me was that his first flight was All.About.Him. How long some of us have championed for this, (well, y'know, you and I at the least, amongst ourselves anyways, heh ;-) and the show delivered on this front. Major Kudos.
May. 19th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Pt I
It wouldn't be much of a SV conversation if you weren't there :)

The dialogue in the Clex scene really worked for me. I liked that they kept the hostility at bay. And I really thought they pulled back some of the layers, and got to the heart of things. Envy was always such a big issue for Lex in regards to Clark, and I'm not sure thats been talked about enough. Lex wanting to be Clark, wanting to have what Clark had, has always been a recurring theme. And I liked how TW played that scene too. A nice mixture of determination, with a tinge of sadness and regret. The only thing that would've made it better would be for it to have occured btw Clark and real Lex.

You know what moment of Tess' broke my heart? When she was struggling to get off the table after being drugged by Lionel, and she says "He needs me". Its both happy, and sad, that Tess found so much purpose in her life in the idea that Clark could actually need her. But there was always something so beautifully tragic about Tess, I think.

I do agree that the focus of the Finale was on Clark, and I do give them props for that. And I LOVED that his first flight was all about him, and him saving the world. I was sure they would make it about Lois, and I was so relieved that they resisted that temptation.
May. 19th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
//And Clark can just fly through him and he goes POOF? And all these people marked by the darkness? I still have no freaking clue what that was even about.//

Heh, no neither do I. And here's the thing - I don't think the writers even made a half assed attempt to make some semblance of sense to this storyline in this ep. Because I think they fully recognized just how badly they botched things up and so they probably went, "Hmm, OK. Well, look, it's not as if anyone actually buys this storyline anyways so lets just do the big, cool stuff and hope it's shiny and epic enough to distract" - and so we got the GA-kicks-ass scene and APOKOLeeeps (as pronounced so awesomely by GG, heh). And well, yeah. Sense, shmense - pfftt.

//It seemed more about creating something "special" for Chloe then anything else, and I have no patience for that kind of writing.//

I honestly don't even know what to make of this. Because that comic - isn't it effectively giving away Supes identity??! How can the writers not have seen this?!

//"Don't push your mother away". WHEN DID THIS FUCKING HAPPEN? Is this the mother that he was sending Conner to live with? The mother that Clark saw earlier in the season? I'm just at a loss for words with this storyline. And I feel like the only person in the fandom who found it downright offensive on behalf of Clark.//

No, you're not. It was basically what it was - the writers doing their one-step-forward/two-steps-back dance with Clark. All that doubts, pushing away, blah blah nonsense especially irritated me because it was just so pointless. We'd so been there, and way done that, by this point, in this season alone. Still, for me, while it irritated me, I was pleased that there was still enough stuff in there for Clark, to not have this consume his characterization to the point of no return.

//I never forget.//

Nevaaarrrr! No, but I'm there with ya. Which is why I said so little about this in my own review, because my thoughts on Jor-El' role in the show? Boy, is that a rant waiting to explode. What I have come to realize though is that TPTB and I just never viewed him the same way. Ever.

//I like to tell myself that the Lex being elected President in 2018? Real Lex, complete with memories. Thats my story, and I'm sticking with it!!//

Hey, that's as good as any!

//The look on Clark's face when Chloe hugged him. LOL//

What was up with that, heh.

//And what was with all his bad touching of Tess?//


---Aaaand, OK, I'm done. Finally, heh.
May. 19th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Pt II
The whole Smokeseid storyline was so very awful. Its almost too overwhelming to even discuss, because I think it failed on every single level. And the very worst part of it? The fact that he wasn't the least bit menacing or scary. This is the worst Big Bad ever? Why? He didn't seem to get much accomplished, and he wasn't that tough to vanquish.

And thats the thing with the comic book Chloe was reading. It could not exist. Not in a world that doesn't know Clark Kent=Superman. So, where did it come from? And I hate that sort of crap, and for what? Some ludicrous wink and nod to something outside of SV? To give Chloe her "jewel"? Eff that!

I don't think TPTB ever had any real vision of AI Jor-El besides him being whatever the plot called for. When he needed to be the bad guy, he was. When he needed to be the deux ex machina to the rescue, he was. He's not a character at all. He's a plot device. A contrivance.

The prevailing theory on Clark's WTF face when Chloe hugged him is that he could hear 2 heartbeats and knew she was pregnant. But if thats what they were going for, why not be more obvious with it. I mean, its not like it was a secret she had a kid b/c they started off the ep with her reading to her spawn. Personally, I think Clark was just creeped out. I would've been, LOL
May. 19th, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
In the past season (or 2), Smallville has failed to give me any kind of big reactions- whether they are positive or negative. Yes, there were some things that annoyed me or that made me squee, but overall, I watch an episode, enjoy it or not, and then move on.

I'm not saying that my reactions (or lack thereof) are a good thing or a bad thing, that's just how it is for me. Maybe it is a bad thing because I wish that I was as into Smallville as I used to be...

I appreciate that you put on your critical thinking cap and analyze things because most of the time I'm thinking, "She's right! Why didn't I think of that?"

When you mentioned the stuff about Martha, I was thinking, "Oh yeah, that was really weird/annoying." And there's plenty of other examples too.

So on one hand, I'm part of the "I'll let it slide because it was the last episode ever" camp and on the other hand, I agree with you.

So basically, I'm rambling and making no sense- as usual. :-)

In conclusion, thank you for always taking the time to do the screen time minutes. I look forward to seeing/reading your post-SV posts. And I hope to have the mental energy to make a few of my own.
May. 20th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
There is no wrong way, or right way, to watch a TV show. I've watched every single episode of Supernatural, but I couldn't tell you the names of the episodes, and I have no desire to analyze it. All shows are different, and all viewers are different.

There have only been a small handful of shows that I really felt the desire to delve deeper into. Smallville just happens to have been one of them. I don't even know why, because if there was ever a show that should probably be taken at its surface value, SV is it.

Whatever you feel like contributing to the conversation is always more then welcome :)
(Deleted comment)
May. 20th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Thank you very much :)

The first hour was slow, and I'm not sure thats the way I would've structured it. Then again, if I was in charge of the show, we'd have had a very different S10. LOL

I think its very interesting to note that Clark does not utter one single line to Chloe. And the only thing she says to him is that stupid "see you in the funny pages" line when she's awkwardly hugging him. It amuses me, because I didn't want any Chlark scenes in the Finale, and I got something I wanted! But, I thought that was a very interesting choice, and it sort of highlights to me how completely over the Chlark friendship is.

I thought the Clois doorway scene was some of the finest acting Tom and Erica have done together, ever. Neither one of them hit a false note. I really have to give it to them...Clois were great together in the Finale.

One of the things I said to both my sisters about the Finale is that it gave me a lot more Superman then I was ever expecting, and that made me very happy. Superman was never about a full body shot of Tom in the suit. The show gave us all Superman. If some people didn't notice because they were obsessing on wardrobe, I don't know what to say to them.

The Smokeseid arc is definitely a huge failure for S10.

And I'm so glad you'll join in. :)
May. 19th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)
And now, the WTF
For me, the biggest LOL was the first-time appearance of a Lois-rival/doppelganger at the Planet, who just happens to be invited on Air Force One. That take the lazy writing cake!

I did also enjoy seeing MR and Cassidy play off each other. I expected it to be great, and it was. Somehow, we knew they'd have chemistry, right?
Did you see the interview where MR, asked about working with his "sister" CF, confessed "I was attracted to her!" No surprise there! You know, while I thought Tess got a good ending, if they'd had her go the other way instead - back to Lex to be his canon Mercy - that could have been interesting too, leaving us to wonder: do her loyalties still secretly lie with Clark?

As for the mind wipe, here's the thing....this wasn't Lex. Not Real Lex. He never was. He was a Frankenstein-like creature created by AULionel complete with the heart of a vicious and horrible man. Sure, he had Lex's memories of Smallville, and of Clark, but they were never really HIS memories. He didn't live them. Real Lex lived those moments. Not some jacked up clone. So, while it was great to relive Lex through this clone, it was never really Lex anyway. He lost memories that didn't belong to him. I like to tell myself that the Lex being elected President in 2018? Real Lex, complete with memories. Thats my story, and I'm sticking with it!!
It confuses me that once they had MR, they still went on with the clone plot...why not just have him be Lex? Lionel's plot could have proceeded the same (wanting Tess's heart for his OWN Lex clone, or to put in Connor or somesuch.)

And please, can anyone tell me when Clark was all about turning his back on his parents, and putting the people of Smallville behind him? And didn't we have 2 episodes this season that sort of drove home the point that Clark needed to move beyond the past, and that home wasn't a place, but the people you are with?
Ain't It Cool news agrees with you - I thought this bit from their review was funny: "There are even times when characters who have already monologued our ears off COME BACK and DO IT AGAIN, and say almost the same thing! For most of this episode it’s people telling Clark what he should or shouldn’t do. Hell, that’s been most of the SERIES. “You need to let go of the past Clark, you need to look ahead.” “Wait, what are you doing Clark, you have completely let go of your past, and are only looking to the future. You need to remember where you came from.”

The scenes with Michael Rosenbaum did not disappoint. Mike and Tom picked up right where they left off. For me, Clex will always be the OTP on the show, and this scene further cemented that for me....And I can also believe that Lex would want Clark to go off and save the world...so that he and Clark can still have a world to play out their eternal adverserial dance.
I loved their scene (and all the Michael & Tom bts clips too!) and "eternal adversarial dance" is a gorgeous description. My favourite Clex moment was Tess saying she wants "something she can't have" and Lex instantly saying "Clark?" Because that's how it is for him, always.
May. 20th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, the DP reporter. I think I just glossed right over that part. LOL

I certainly would've been much happier with an alive Tess at the end of the episode. But I was pretty much resigned to that not happening. And I really liked that her loyalty to Clark didn't waver. I truly believe that Tess finally found her powerful man that she could truly put her faith in and he wouldn't let her down. Sadly for her, his heart belonged to another woman. But I think Tess really found who she wanted to be through her friendship with Clark.

I have no clue why they didn't have MR play Real Lex. Like so many things SV, the decision by the showrunners leaves me completely baffled. Maybe they really believe that they couldn't undo Lex's death? But why? When they created such an easy out for that? I don't know, and I doubt we'll ever know.

3 cheers for AICN. The message within this episode isn't even consistent. It would be pretty funny to go back and post all the contradictory lines in this episode. Here's the funniest part....when its all said and done, I don't even know what the supposedly right answer is. Except for "Always hold on to Smallville", which seemed less like something Clark needed to do, and more like one of those "See, we're actually talking about our show Smallville. Do you get it? Do you?"

I too loved that line from Clone Lex. Its like he just can't imagine someone not wanting Clark. Me either. :)
May. 20th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
Hey Miss Valerie, even though I have not watched any episodes since episode 11 of this season and still debating whether or not to watch this final, I still appreciate your reviews especially the ones where we did not quite agree. You have an eye for what is right with an episode and what is not so right and your reviews are always informative. So Thank you for taking the time and energy to do them.
May. 20th, 2011 01:02 am (UTC)
Here there!

You really haven't watched anything past 11? Wow, this show must've really pissed you off.

I would recommend that you watch the Finale. I don't know that you'll love it, but I'm pretty sure you won't hate it. You should see it.

Thanks for all your kind words. I've always felt that people will differing opinions can happily co-exist as long as they respect and recognize that we all don't have to agree. And I thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy and frequently incoherent reviews. :)
May. 20th, 2011 01:14 am (UTC)
I loved the Lex scenes. And while the mind wipe didn't bother me that much I didn't feel like it was all that necessary either. One thing that does bother me about it is the question of if Lex has no memories of Lionel's abuse or of Clark's supposed betrayal he really has no excuse to be evil anymore, does he? Will Lex now have another shot at redemption or if the pattern just repeats itself is it because having Lionel's evil heart has doomed him?

I know there was the constraint of having MR for only one day of shooting but if that's the way there had to handle Lex personally I would have nixed about 75% of the first hour to focus a little bit more on the seven years ahead and where the Clex relationship stands then.

Darkseid was a disappointment as a season long bad. But as far his demise went? I kind of thought it was fitting once Clark has everything together the darkness would just kind of fall away. So, meh, that didn't bother me.

And ditto on the WTF of Clark turning his back on Smallville. I'm not sure where that came from other than maybe the show desperately trying to validate itself.

Tess, Tess, Tess. How sad. I really wanted her live but at least she did go down trying to protect Clark. (Oh, there's that people have to protect Clark thing again).

I kind of like your reasoning on the clone Lex mind wipe. Though because it's hard for me to fan wank the real Lex still lives it leave a taste of bitter considering he died at Oliver's hand and Oliver is all forgiven and married miss kickass.

//Didn't the Gold K ring seem overly, and needlessly, complicated a plot?//
Heh, no kidding. But at least they didn't have Ollie try to shoot Clark in the back with a Gold K arrow, right? Desaad should have tagged old Deadshot with that Omega thingy instead.

Thanks so much for posting your thoughtful reviews and the meticulous keeping of the screen times. It has been a blast! Looking forward to reading your season ten overview and whatever follows.
May. 20th, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, because if it was up to me (and Dammit! It wasn't), I would've had RealLex show up, and I would've had him keep his memories in tact. So, yeah, I'm with you on the unnecessary part.

I think considering what this version of Lex is...a bunch of spare parts sewed together with Lionel's beating heart, its hard to hink of anything good coming from that.

I wish there had been a lot more MR in the Finale. I think its unfortunate they only had him for 1 day.

I think the show desperately needed one more thing for people to tell Clark he was doing wrong, so the whole "you're turning your back on SV" idea was hatched. Of course, they didn't bother to set that up at all. In fact, earlier episodes seem to suggest that Clark needed to put the past in the past and embrace the future. Typical SV, it can't make up its mind as to what its trying to say. This is the episode that has Obi-John telling Clark "Let me be there for you" then later saying "I can't guide you anymore, you need to let the AI do it". Umm, what?

It has become a sadly recurring plot that people need to "protect" Clark.

Yeah, I can't wrap my head around Oliver being Lex's killer either. But certainly if he did indeed kill Lex, it sort of makes the whole "what you do best is be a Hero Oliver" a crock of BS. But then again, I already knew that.

Thanks so much for joining the party over here and sharing your thoughts. You've been such a great addition to my lj family, and I've loved reading your reviews and insights.
(Deleted comment)
May. 20th, 2011 01:56 am (UTC)
LOL, you're figured it out!! Clone Lex is going to get his hands on the comic book that Chloe is reading to his son, and its all going to come back to him. Brilliant!! LOL

Yeah, it probably was just a t-shirt at the end, but it gave off the right feeling. Let be honest, it would be almost impossible to tuck that outfit under everyday clothes and not nothing the bulk.

It wasn't my dream ending. But it wasn't the nightmare I was anticipating. There's something to be said for lowered expectations.
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