Smallville:Finale_S10_Ep22 Part 3
Sequence 8: So we finally get part of what we’ve been waiting to see …the return of Darth Luthor. He reaches over with his damaged hand, and frees himself from his resurrection coffin. This feels like the role that Michael Rosenbaum was born to play, and he’ll always be remembered for it, no matter what else he does. Bald cap was working.
Back at the Planet, Lois and Clark are gearing up to fight this thing, both of them doing what they do best. Clark mentions the Anti-Life Equation, which as comic readers know, is part and parcel of Darkseid’s arsenal. And it seems that everyone is marked with an Omega, meaning, it’s the end of the world as we know it. They somehow, with very little evidence, trace it back to Lionel, and trace him to the Luthor mansion. Lois figures out that Air Force One is where she needs to be, and clocks her co-worker and steals her identity. Unbelievable. Anyone else would’ve been arrested, but hey, it’s Lois.
Clark runs to the Lu-Thor mention, and guess who’s there…! It’s Lex freaking Luthor. And Michael delivers his lines exquisitely. He is just so deliciously evil, it’s a joy to behold. It’s just too bad that he’s only in the last part of this episode. So anyway, Clark tries to inspire him to do better, but Lex isn’t having it…but it almost sounds like Lex inspires him to be the hero. Hmmm. But it was good to hear Lex tell him that he felt like Clark didn’t even WANT his gifts, which on this show is so damn true. Lex predicts the future, their eternal chess match. And Lex remembers everything. He calls him “Kal-El.” YIKERS.
He is literally licking his chops and twirling his villain mustache(metaphorically of course) at how grand the future struggles are going to be between the two of them…he sees himself and Clark as the necessary yin and yang, both on paths to greatness, but on different sides. He even mentions the Veritas journals. Lex also gives a clear nod to Superman…he KNOWS Clark is supposed to put on that costume, stop Apokolips, and be the light to the world. This scene made me even want Metropolis again, because how could you not want to see SuperWelling square off against Lex Rosenbaum? This part was just incredible.
It’s just too damn bad they wipe it all away later.
Oliver figures out where his tormentors are; Desaad, Godfrey, and Granny Goodness are all waiting for this whole shebang to take root. No one watching can figure out why Oliver still wears his hood, glasses, and voice changer, because HE OUTED HIMSELF TO THE WORLD. It makes absolutely no sense. And his voice sounds funny. But anyway. And then…
Oliver draws his bow, knocks and clocks three ‘special’ arrows(I guess),
and takes out Darkseid’s posse in one stroke. WHAT? That’s all it took to kill those three?? And they just stood there, they didn’t even fight it, Granny was fast enough last week to destroy Orion’s bow, but not enough to at least evade Oliver’s arrow THAT SHE SAW COMING? Ugh. My head hurts. So, just like that…that’s it for them. They’ve been derezzed.
On to Air Force One! And the fuckery that Lois gets away with in this whole sequence is just. damn. impossible. She gets on board without them taking a closer look at that I.D. she stole, she rushes past the Secret Service, and she gets an audience with the Secretary of Defense, preaches to him, lectures him, gets morally indignant on him, figures out their plan, and convinces them all to give the Blur a chance. And they all just bow their heads as if a civilian has any business in that room. Silver Age. Remember that, it makes it easier. Nods here to both Superman:The Movie and Superman Returns.
Clark is back at the farm, getting ready to get the crystal to reactivate Jor-El(nod to the Donner verse), when DarkLionel shows up. And his voice is so ridiculous in this scene until it defies description. A Power Rangers villain would’ve been less absurd. But anyway, LionelSeid says that Clark is the only one capable of challenging him, and he starts to kick his ass. He throws him backwards….
…and Clark experiences a montage of the past. Probably because it was cheaper for them to do this, because they do it twice in this ep. He hears both father’s voices, and basically stairs at a highlight reel of himself from the beginning. I can’t for the life of me figure out why this was inserted here other than for budgetary reasons…and did Clark really need all of this to finally, FINALLY, believe in himself? I guess he did. I guess he finally accepted being human and Kryptonian and that’s what he needed to fly. Except he’s done it before. Oh well, it’s Smallville, and everybody has had to hold Clark’s hand to get him to this moment. Because if it was as simple as all this, all Kara needed to do to teach him how to fly was to take him to the Fortress and show him this reel. A while back.
What I’m trying to say is, what exactly was the trigger? What happened in this episode that turned the tide for Clark? He had to wait until the planet was in danger to act? It was ALREADY in danger from Zor-El and his eclipse plan, and from Zod and the Kandorians. He already knew Lois loved him. He apparently had already reconciled with Jor-El, because he asked him if he could marry Lois just last week. He had already had visions of his father, and he had already seen the future; he knew what he was to become a while ago. This isn’t the first time Clark’s faced a mass murder, or an alien hellbent on world domination, so, I say again…what was it? What was the trigger? At least they acknowledged Lana in these clips, if Kristin wasn’t going to come back. I can’t say that I blame her, because she was really damned if she did, damned if she didn’t. No real acknowledgement of Pete tho; that was a shame.
So after the highlight reel is done, guess what happens?
Clark realizes that these have been his trials(since when is Superman Hercules? That would be Captain Marvel’s schtick if anyone’s), and Jor-El pronounces him ready. After JUST SAYING LAST WEEK that his journey was nowhere near over. Maybe he meant his overall journey. Anyway. Clark comes back to his body, aaaand…he’s flying! Or at least floating. But he can do it, of his own power, at least. Then he just flies through DarkLionel, again as he just stands there like Granny & Co., did, and derezzes him. That’s it. No final battle, no big fight sequence, not even what we got with Clark and Dark Oliver. That’s just it. FOR DARKSEID.
*sigh* But. Again. This has been Smallville’s pattern from Day One,we were stupid to expect it to be any different here.
There are three dick moves at the end of this episode that turned me to the Dark Side against it.
Here is Dick Move Number One: The way that Tess goes out. She confronts Lex, they talk, they don’t mention their sexual past, but they do more prognasticating about fate and destiny and blood and family, and Tess speaks of what she believes she’ll never have, which is true redemption. And then…Lex stabs her in the gut.
This to me is like Vader in Return of the Jedi; he just laid down and gave up. First of all, Tess HAD to know better than to walk up close to Lex like that(she’s a LUTHOR), but even if by some impossible stretch of the imagination she didn’t, she would’ve felt his body shift before the blow. Tess is a TRAINED AGENT, and she just got herself out of an even stickier situation, with restraining straps no less. The only conclusion that I can come to is that she wanted to die. She wanted to end it here, and maybe get close enough to Lex to do what comes next. I felt like this was just a cop out…Cassidy and Tess deserved better. And at the end, she doesn’t even get any mourning scenes!! Even Hawkman got a friggin’ funeral, but Tess’s last scene on Smallville is lying there like Raggedy Anne, thrown away like a doll by every man that should have loved her. Plus, Lex just wanted to saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave her from becoming like him! Which is why he…left her in charge of his company the first time he died. Um.
Do you know what I thought was going to happen?
What I thought was going to happen, was that Lex was going to either convince Tess to turn back in a Vaderesque speech, or activate some chip that he had secretly implanted in her head, and turn her evil again, and she would turn into the Mercy Graves from S:TAS and the comics. That would have been the PERFECT ending for her character, and what a nemesis to Clark and and ally to Lex that makes her. And Lionel would still be laughing from the grave, because he turned his daughter evil at last. But. That would’ve required that they take chances, and this is Smallville, not Angel. Which leads us to-
Dick Move Number Two: Lex’s mindwipe. I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it.
A lot of people are saying that it makes sense, and that it had to happen, and that it lines up with the mythos. Well, Smallville has always done what it wanted to do when it comes to the mythos number one, and number two, Lex would’ve been so much more dangerous had he retained his knowledge. Doing it this way, Lex would just wake up and see a dead body on the floor, later find out that it was his sister, and forensic evidence would show that he killed her. Um. How would he know about his company, or anything? Passwords, PIN numbers, SSN, alarm codes? Yrgh. Silver Age trickery. Or, if they HAD to do this, Tess should’ve called Zatanna and fixed her toxin so that he only forgets what he knows about Clark’s secret identity. Know why? BECAUSE MAKING HIM FORGET EVERYTHING ERASES ALL THE GREAT CLEX OVER THE YEARS AND TURNS HIM INTO A DIFFERENT CHARACTER, DAMMIT!!! Ugh. The Clex relationship was the real foundation of the show after the Kents, and this effectively renders it meaningless. As far as this Lex Luthor knows…Smallville literally did not happen. He lost all of his motivation from Lionel, everything. This was the end of Tess, the end of the Lex we knew, and the end of Clex, all in less than 45 seconds, in the most nonsensical way possible. Yes, I saw LuthorCorp turn into LexCorp, but I didn’t care.
But now I’ve saved the best for last.