Smallville – Episode 10-1 Review

I say this every finale and premiere, but Smallville puts together some of the absolute best “Previously On…” video compilations.  Another observation:  Is this the shortest cast lineup they’ve ever had for their opening credits?  There were only five actors who made the cut.  And I don’t think Allison Mack is even appearing for the full season.

And here we are, the final season of Smallville.  Who could have possibly conceived that this clever little show would have lasted an entire decade?  Is it the only show that remains from the WB/UPN merge into the CW?

I actually really, really enjoyed the structure of this episode.  The first quarter resolved the loose strings from the finale.  Did Clark survive?  Who abducted Oliver?  What happened to Tess?  What were the repercussions of Lois knowing Clark’s secret?  What’s the follow up to Clark receiving the new Superman suit?  It didn’t prolong these issues, but it didn’t completely ignore them either.  Much of the remainder of the episode was devoted to the Lex story arc (which I will discuss later), while the final segment began preparing us for the season ahead.  As most anticipated and predicted, the big bad this year is probably the ultimate villain in the DC universe, Darkseid.  And it appears that he’ll look like a monster, and not like, well, Davis Bloome.

I’m a tad torn on the Lex thing.  On the one hand, it was a bit criminal having ANYBODY play an adult Lex other than the absolutely brilliant Michael Rosenbaum.  Then again, this is the exact way I imagined Lex “returning.”  We’d discover that he was cloning himself (which isn’t out of the blue, as he had cloned Lana years earlier), and the either one of his clone was killed in that car bomb, or that the clones retained his memories.  That’s essentially what we saw here.  And I do suspect we’ll see this storyline revisited by the finale.

Oh, and I loved the way Clark got transported to the Fortress and immediately says, “I defeated Lex,” sounding like a 10 year old kid who wants a cookie as a reward.  I was really excited that Jor-El had returned, but was disappointed that he reverted back to his asshole ways.  I’ve really enjoyed the way Jor-El developed into a supportive figure in Clark’s life, to the extent that Clark would actually refer to him as “Father.”  They had managed to create a bond – a bond I hoped would be strengthened following Clark’s introduction to his father’s clone.  But, sadly, it seems that Jor-El is either revisiting the Christian Shephard school of parenting, or is simply unleashing some excessively tough love.

It also seems like he’s depriving us of seeing Clark don the Superman costume – however, I actually understand this decision.  The fact of the matter is, at this point in time, Clark was planning on putting on the costume for the wrong reasons.  It was all about ego and vanity.  I do believe Jor-El will return the costume to Clark, when he’s ready to wear it for the right reasons.  I do hope that that moment isn’t the finale, though.  I think it’d be wise to not save every single “big” Superman moment for the last episode.  It would just spread themselves thin, which would result in each individual moment not achieving the impact it deserves.  Which brings me to this old song and dance – Clark should fly within the first few episodes of this season.  I actually thought we’d officially see him fly when he caught the Daily Planet globe, but I still think that fell into “leap” territory.

And was it a bit surreal for anybody else seeing John Schneider reprising his role as Jonathan Kent?  After seeing him play these twisted, abusive characters on Nip/Tuck and 90210, it was a bit jarring seeing him playing the wise, loving father again.  But I’ve missed him, and it’s great seeing him back!

I love how Fate’s helmet asked Chloe if she was willing to sacrifice her sanity for its power, and then enveloped her before she even had an opportunity to answer.  Real nice.

As an aside, I thought it was cute the way Lois very obviously found ways to distract herself so that Clark could use his abilities in front of her.  At first I didn’t know how this was going to play out – whether or not it’d be out in the open – but I think this is a fine way.  Actually, during the scene in which Lois told Clark about the Blur’s kiss, I thought that they would both realize that the other knows, but wouldn’t admit it as a form of flirtation.  Hey, maybe it will take that route later on.

So, what did you all think of the final season premiere of Smallville?