Quote of the Day

"We're only here briefly, and while I'm here I want to allow myself joy. So fuck it."
- Amy, Her.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Remembering Smallville

After a decade of bringing us the young Superman's adventures on the small screen, Smallville has finally drawn to a close, ending the 10 season run of DC's most iconic hero. While admittedly the quality sagged post-7th season, you can't deny the influence it has had in bringing The Man of Tomorrow into people's homes and hearts, regardless of their comic-book knowledge. I for one am eternally grateful for the show that brought me into the appreciation I hold for Clark Kent/Kal-El as a character, and always will do for the rest of my life. So, to commemorate the end, I thought I'd just muse over a handful of stand out episodes that really brought forth the best.

Care to join me?

Pilot - Season 1 Episode 1

Of course. How could I not include the very first episode that introduced us to Clark, Lana, Lex and Chloe, and provided the basis for the epic saga that was to come? From Clark saving and befriending future nemesis Lex Luthor, to the iconic image of a bound and helpless Superboy tied to a post in a cornfield with a huge S painted on his chest, this episode began the fresh page to the tiring Superman lore, bringing in new relatable themes and delivering a show that brought the character into an almost untouched new light.
Woah, now this is old-school! Nostalgia-central:

Rosetta - Season 2 Episode 17
Past and Present

The blatant awesomeness of this episode was the appearance of Christopher Reeve; the original Superman. Not only was this cameo perfect, but it was oh-so cleverly planned. As Dr Virgil Swann, Reeves would be the person to tell the current Clark the truth about Krypton, discovering his past and revealing his future. It was a spectacular moment, and was almost like Reeves passing the torch onto Welling in a symbolic and naturally beautiful way. When combined with the musical genius of John Williams score from the 1978 classic, the episode really hit home for Superman fans every where, setting a ratings record for the network and receiving a ridiculous amount of praise.

RIP Christopher Reeve - 1952-2004

Commencement - Season 4 Episode 22

Could it be?

In the fourth season's finale, the gang graduate from High School, a SECOND meteor shower hits Smallville, Lana's helicopter crashes leaving her left for dead, and the awe-inspiring and legendary 'Fortress of Solitude' is teased with a last shot glimpse. In short, it was a jam-packed finale of epicness.

Exposed - Season 5 Episode 6

Lois Lane. As a stripper. 'Nuff said ; ) .

Smallville gets saucy...

Reckoning/Vengance - Season 5 Episode 12/13

As the 100th episode, Reckoning had a lot to live up to. But I think it's safe to say it blew pretty much everyone away, by throwing in a massive game changer and turning point for the series in the death of Clark's adopted Dad, Jonathan. By making Clark somewhat responsible for it by changing time so his beloved Lana didn't die, it defined him as character, with the guilt and dread and tragedy. Jonathan was as big of an anchor for the series as he was for Clark, providing that home grown moral sense Superman has always been known for, so the end of such a loved and vital character was always going to be emotional. But I don't think anyone was prepared for the blubbering sadness that was this:

Or the end to the next episode, Vengence, where Clark finally lets it all out. (The YouTube clip is here because the embed won't work). Sad times indeed, and possibly the most powerful scenes that Smallville ever had.

Justice - Season 6 Episode 11

Who could possibly forget the closest we've come to a live-action Justice League adaptation in the form of this action packed spectacle of an episode. Seeing Clark (nicknamed Boyscout by the other guys) team up with the likes of Green Arrow, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg was just magical. And this shot was just too badass to comprehend.

Bizzaro - Season 7 Episode 1

For the season opener for what would be, sadly, Lex's final season, Smallville pulled out some real heavy punches; literally. Clark duked it out with the anti-Superman, Bizzaro in a hit-for-hit battle worthy of some 30 Seconds To Mars music:

This episode also introduced another icon from the comics, Kara or as she's better known: Supergirl. And the whole Bizzaro deal set up a killer twist to be revealed later in the season, that had audiences reeling...

Doomsday - Season 8 Episode 22

Doomsday was Ug-a-ly!

Season 8 turned its focus more onto Metropolis and The Daily Planet, and the relationships between Chloe and photographer Jimmy, and Lois and Clark blossomed. However, in this season's wrap episode, the villain Doomsday is split into his human side and his evil beast side, the latter of which Clark doth epic battle with. The human side, on the other hand, sits idly by with Chloe and Jimmy, getting increasingly jealous of their love, and tragically ends up stabbing poor Jim. And so, in a rather poetic message of how the human side is the real threat, we weep farewell to another well-loved character, with the death of Jimmy Olsen. This then gives rise to the dedicated and blur-exclusive Clark, in yet another turning point for the show. Deaths sure know how to change Clark...

Absolute Justice - Season 9 Episode 11

In this 2 hour special, all kinds of comic-book tie ins were unleashed, with the revelation of the Justice Society of America; an older, traditional version of the Justice League that we all know today. This was like Smallville's mini version of Watchmen, with old school heroes thrust back into the fray after being forcefully retired, and they teach our the current generation of Justice a thing or two. Costumes, references and cameo's galore in this treat of a special.

Homecoming - Season 10 Episode 4

This was Smallville returning to its home grown roots, and at its finest, no less. Technically the 200th episode, Homecoming brought us back to Smallville for a high-school reunion, where (after some nostalgic moments) Clark is taken on a Christmas Carol-esque journey to see his past, present and future. The future section was chock-full of sweetness, as Clark bumps into his future, Super self, and the past parts brought back some nice memories. 

Collateral - Season 10 Episode 12

Although a number of season 10 eps were made up of rehashed plots from modern movies like The Hangover and Date Night, I couldn't help but love this Inception-inspired, Matrix-y episode of reality bending madness. It also saw the return of personal favourite, Chloe, in all her wise cracking glory, as well as a bad-ass gun shoot out for her to save our heroes imprisoned in their own minds. It even had the BWOOAAAAAAAAR horn beats that Inception is famed for!

And finally:

Finale - Season 10 Episode 21/22

Ah, and so we face the final curtain. To finish the series off, Smallville fired everything they had, and in my opinion, it came off trumps. Clark and Lois (nearly!) got married, being stopped by the ever looming threat of Dark Seid's Apokolips, while a certain Luthor makes a return to the world of living. Having Lex return was the best thing that could have happened really, and that dramatic scene with Clark and Lex was phenomenal as the two shared a battle of words towards their interlocking futures. "Because of each other, we have a destiny together, Clark... only on different sides." Electrifying, and Rosenbaum (or Rosy Bum Cheeks as I like to call him) and Welling really pulled it out of the bag there. 

     And then, of course, Clark embraced his destiny as The Man of Steel, flying to rescue of the world by defeating Darkseid, averting Apokolips and stopping just in time to tell Lois he loves her, while proudly donning the tights and emblazoned S like we all were waiting for. And then came the epilogue of 7 years later, with Lex becoming President and Clark and Lois now in full swing at the Planet. And then Jimmy showed up, filling everyone out there with an overwhelming sense of joy as Aaron Ashmore portrayed the true Olsen for just a brief moment (it was revealed that the previous Jimmy was his older brother Henry, remember). 

  But the true magic came as the original 1978 score kicked in, and Clark raced up to the roof, iconically ripping the shirt off in classic Supes style to reveal the costume and zip off to save the day. My eyes were certainly'Welling' at that beautiful moment, as ten years of television cultivated in that final, perfect and irreplaceable scene, signifying the end of an era, as Smallville drew to its magnificent close.

Smallville will forever remain in my heart and memory not just as one of the greatest Superman adaptations ever created, but one the greatest shows ever created. I don't think I've ever felt so satisfied after a show ended, which truly is a credit to its legacy, its life and its lore. Now that, is how you do a finale. 

Smallville - 2001 - 2011


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