While this season was hyped as “Clark’s darkest hour,” I’m glad to say that the future Superman has remained the moral center of the series. Sure, he exchanged his blue jeans and red jacket for an all black outfit — and he did for a short while distance himself from his human relationships — but if nothing else, the first nine or so episodes of the season have reminded us how different Clark is from the truly troubled characters. In Oliver’s eyes, he’s still self-righteous. As far as Chloe’s concerned, he’s unwilling to get his hands dirty. So it’s all relative, right?
So what has happened so far this season?
For one, Clark met his Kryptonian father (who at that point had not yet conceived Kal-El), and learned that, at a time, he and Zod were best friends. In fact, it was Zod who came to Jor-El’s rescue when the latter was being charged for his earlier insubordination (in turn, we finally discover why Zod and his army are powerless: They are actually clones who have been tainted by Jor-El with blue Kryptonite). In a touching scene, Jor-El dies in Clark’s arms, telling his son how proud he is of him, and pleading with him to save Zod from the monster he later becomes.
Incidentally, Clark would later discover that this may be the only way to overcome his nemesis. Despite initially rejecting Jor-El’s wishes, Clark learns that fighting Zod is a fruitless effort. After seeing Lois’ glimpse of the future, Clark comes to the realization that, ultimately, he and all of his friends will die in such a battle. As a result, Clark decides to confront his enemy, presumably under the guise of peace.
Also in that glimpse of the future, Clark and Lois sleep together. In the present day, they finally professed their feelings for each other and kissed. They have decided to take it slow by going out on some dates. And, thankfully, it seems that Clark has finally put that whole Lana thing behind him. Thank goodness!
And while this may not have been Clark’s darkest hour, it certainly has been Oliver’s. The season kicked off with Oliver feeling incredibly guilty over Jimmy’s death — so much so that he turned to alcohol, fighting, and women. He even attempted suicide. His relationship with Clark got increasingly tense as he tried to rekindle his relationship with Lois. Lois let him down lightly, and finally admitted her feelings for Clark. After going through a Saw-like ordeal — arranged by the equally crazy Chloe — Oliver saw the light and once again donned the Green Arrow costume. And while there’s a certain level of uneasiness between Clark and Oliver, it’s clear that these two are friends who trust each other.
As alluded to multiple times already, Chloe’s arguably crossed the line into a Luthor-level “ends justify the means” mentality. In the wake of Jimmy’s death, the realization that Davis was a monster whether he appeared human or other-wordly, Lois’ disappearance, and Clark’s abandonment, Chloe has seemingly decided that all bets are off if, in the end, the good guy prevails and the bad guys get what they have coming. As a result, she’s butted heads with Clark more times than ever. And, inevitably, this has only brought him closer to Lois.
One thing I will say, though, is that this show is severely missing Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor. If the bald baddie was still on the show, we’d essentially be watching Superman. And I mean that in a good way. Should the series get another season, I say they pony up whatever they need to in order to bring Lex back.
Smallville returns with new episodes on Friday, January 29th. There will also be a special two-hour event airing on February 5th, titled “Absolute Justice,” which will feature the Justice Society of America’s Dr. Fate, Hawkman, and Star Girl. This season will also mark some exciting returns, particularly Annette O’Toole’s Martha Kent and Michael McKeon’s Perry White.
Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, 24, Heroes, and Smallville. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.