To be honest, I was a little unimpressed with the latest installment of Smallville – the final episode before the finale of an otherwise phenomenal season. In the past, I’ve poke fun (in jest, of course) at how the whole Veritas story arc is eerily reminiscent of the Illuminati. That said, “Quest” seemed like it was lifted directly from Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code.”
Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot about the episode I did like. For example, I thought it was pretty neat how the pursuit wasn’t from the perspective of the protagonist (as it is in “The Da Vinci Code”) but instead the villain. This added a certain tense, well, intensity to the search. I also thought that the twists, turns, and overall effects of each clue were absolutely magnificent. Placing the cryptogram into the clock was especially cool. For that matter, I don’t know if this was intentional, but I think the fact that the secret of KRYPTON is hidden in a CRYPTOGRAM is great.
I also loved the throwback to the pilot (I believe), in which Lex explained that his mansion was sent from Scotland and rebuilt in Smallville brick by brick. At the time, this was attributed to Lionel’s ego. This episode revealed that the mansion is actually the last piece of the puzzle. An excellent allusion to the beginning of the series. It’s also always fun watching Lex use his brilliance to get what he wants.
Perhaps part of the reason why I was so disappointed with this episode was the fact that it has now been announced that Michael Rosenbaum will NOT be appearing in any episodes next season. That means that this is his second to last episode ever. Rosenbaum has done such a phenomenal job with this role that it is utterly devastating that he won’t be around next year (although it’s understandable. As he explained in a recent interview, if he does a guest spot, he needs to shave his head. He’s then bald for the next three months. So if he appears in one episode, he might as well appear in them all). As I’ve noted before, Smallville is just as much about Lex’s journey as it is about Clark’s. It might be fair to say that Lex’s journey is now complete (and in many ways, it is), but a large chunk of the show’s spirit will be missing without him.
That said, the season finale does look rather spectacular. In fact, I’d like everybody to check it out:
First things first, this basically confirms that Lex finds out about Clark. I am very, very interested to see how the writers write themselves out of the corner they’re in. When Clark does finally become Superman, how will his identity remain a secret? Especially if Lex does find out. And for that matter, look at how long Clark has known Lois. If she becomes chummy with Superman, how can we reasonably believe that she doesn’t recognize him as Clark? I’m going to be really disappointed if they do some lame amnesia/memory loss explanation, especially considering how often they’ve used that crutch in the past.
However, I will excuse Lex finding out because this is his last episode ever. With that in mind, the series really HAD to have the climatic Clark vs. Lex confrontation. It just needed to happen. And I will say this about the finale: It does truly feel like the culmination of a long, well built story. It does have a climatic aura to it.
Perhaps the most curious thing of all, though, is the fact that Kara appears twice in the preview: Once telling Lex that “he” (presumably Clark) will destroy earth, not save it. The second time she’s super jump kicking Clark. Has Brainiac taken over her body, as hinted in the final moments of “Apocalypse”? That’s the only solution I can think of. Although it does disappoint me ever so slightly that we’ll be seeing Clark vs. Kara AGAIN. Can’t these two cousins just have a happy family reunion?
We also see that Lana apparently recovers from her vegetative state, but that it does somehow afflict Chloe (my guess: Chloe uses her ability to heal Lana, but suffers the consequences). I am hopeful that this will allow Clark and Lana to end their relationship naturally. Like I’ve sound millions upon millions of times in the past, the show NEEDS to move past this relationship. Have it end. Have Clark move on. Begin developing some sort of romantic relationship with Lois. Please. I’m begging you.
Oh, and Clark BETTER fly. I’m going to be majorly pissed if he doesn’t.