Saturday, May 14, 2011

Up in the Air: A Bird? A Plane? A Series Finale

Last night was the end of Smallville.  I have long been ambivalent about the show, as it has had much good stuff, but also heaps of lame.  Last night's episode appropriately had both, but it had enough chill scenes* that made it a good way to go out.
*  A scene that gives you goosebumps--from Bill Simmons's Sports Guy columns.
 Spoilers, of course, await below:

The story starts and ends with Chloe reading a comic book to her kid about Superman's origins.  This could have inspired us to think that the entire series was a story read to her kid (a la the St. Elsewhere finale), but he spots a bow and some arrows (his dad is the Green Arrow) so it is not all just a story.  This is a fine way to frame the episode except for one thing: Chloe and her kid are existing seven years after the episode's main story. 

Why is this a problem?  Because it, for whatever reason, means that Clark and Lois end up waiting seven years to get married.  Sure, their wedding is delayed by the events of the episode, but not at all clear why it took them another seven to get their act together.  Just a very strange way to end it.

It also ends with a memory-impaired Lex as President.  Yep.  Ultimately, I didn't mind them bringing back Lex since he had a fun scene with Clark--"you complete me."  I hate cloning plots in general, although the cloning stuff this season was not so bad.  What this scene clearly demonstrated was that both the actor, Michael Rosenbaum, and the character, Lex, were far superior to all of the other villains in the show.  Indeed, one of the real problems I have had with the show for the past several years is that I have found the opponents most annoying.  I hated Zod and the Kandalorian plot.  I guess it exemplified my problem with the whole Superman concept--that he is so powerful, he must trust himself into trouble.  That is, his naivete endangers him more than anything else. 

The show could be annoyingly unrealistic--Lois Lane really gets on Air Force 1?  Um, no.

But the show did well with the relationships: Clark-Oliver, Oliver-Chloe, Clark and his parents (especially his Dads), and Clark-Lois.  They brought back John Schneider, the long dead Pa Kent, and he was wonderful.  The voice of Jor-el, Terence Stamp (the original Zod in the movies), was terrific as well.  Lois and Clark read each other's vows, producing a pretty good set of matching chill scenes.

In the end, Clark gets his super-suit from the Fortress of Solitude and saves the day, giving the world hope.

It was not a perfect ending, but not a bad one for a show that could have been a few seasons shorter.  This last one was pretty than the previous two or three.  There are heaps more successful movies based on comic books than TV series, so I will take what I can get, even if it is features a Superhero that was never my favorite.  And so concludes my watching of CW shows for the forseeable future.

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