Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Smallville: The Finale Review

Last week's series finale of Smallville was a geekfest for all Superman fans young and old.  After ten years of waiting, the little farm boy from Kansas ( by way of the planet Krypton) donned his suit, took to the sky, and became the Man of Steel.

For the Hackman clan, it was a big evening as we've been following the series for a while now.  It's one of the few shows Tammy refuses to watch one week at a time.  She generally insists on waiting till a whole season is available and then "inhaling" 24 episodes in over the course of a week on DVD.   Surprisingly even though the show had been on for 10 years, we only started following it back in 2007.  Being a bit of a Superman fan I avoided Smallville assuming they were going to do to Superman pretty much what the Twilight series did to the vampire genre; turn it into something only appreciated by teenage girls.

Besides Superman always has a strong moral center and in case you haven't noticed T.V. doesn't really do strong moral centers anymore.  The idea of a teenage Clark Kent waking up in bed with a girlfriend and jumping up to throw his jeans on while he rushed off to school would have been more that my Superman sensibilities could have stomached.

And so I let the series pass... but in 2007 I was recovering from surgery and had to spend a couple weeks on my living room couch.  A good friend sent me the first four seasons by mail to watch while I recovered and bingo, not only me, but Tammy and Gabriel were hooked.

Anyhow, the finale was, as I mentioned, a geekfest. Pretty much everything a Superman afficiando would be looking for was to be found.  This whole season (spoiler alerts ahead) was focused on the 'darkness' covering the Earth and capturing the souls of men.  Clark Kent finally realizes his destiny as the "Light" of the world and goes toe to toe with, essentially, Lucifer.

Mmmmm, a father from beyond the stars sends his son to Earth to be raised by adoptive parents.  He is in constant contact communication with his "heaven" father, displays super powers, and when the moment is right, becomes the chosen one and savior of humanity.

Ring any bells?

Yeah, the Superman story always had the a strong Christ allegory.  Director Bryan Singer admitted he intentionally fostered that image in 2006's Superman Returns and the writer's of Smallville carried on that tradition.  When a resurrected Lex Luthor returns for a reunion "chat" with his old friend Clark Kent in the finale he says,
"they foretold of chosen savior , a light that would inspire this world out of darkness…you are the Light, Clark."

"You are the Light Clark"
The writers of Smallville had a strict, "no tights, no flights" policy.  Essentially it was the story of Clark Kent's inner journey to become the hero he was meant to be and not the adventures of Superboy.  But hey, we all know Man of Steel can fly so when it was pretty cool.  While in combat during the final minutes of the finale, Darkside (the Lucifer character) knocks Clark across the room.  As he is falling, there is a moment frozen in time and he's suddenly standing back at the Fortress of Solitude.  His father Jor-El shows Clark all the trials he has been through in his life and we viewers got a look back at 10 seasons of series highlights all accompanied with inspiring orchestral music.  Clark realizes that these trials prepared him for this moment and Jor-El tells him, "Your final trial is upon you, my son, you are ready...Now, seize your destiny."

Suddenly the moment reverts back to the action and Clark is no longer falling...he's flying!  I kid you not, the three of us started clapping...we really are a family of geeks!
Clark finally becomes "Superman"

The finale finished showing Metropolis seven years in the future.  Lois and Clark are working at the Daily Planet and preparing for their wedding.  Suddenly someone yells that there is bomb in an elevator up town.  Clark looks knowingly at Lois as (oh my God, can it be) the theme music made famous by the Christopher Reeve Superman movies begins building up.  Clark tells Lois, "Tell the minister, I may be a few minutes late"

As he steps onto the roof of the building the crescendo of the Superman theme reaches its climax and, with an American flag waving in the background,  Clark opens his shirt to reveal the the familiar "S" as it goes to credits and the show ends.

Whew!!! In the words of Nigel Tufnell, "this one went to "11"

1 comment:

Superman Movie said...

I am big fan of Superman movies. This finale is a treat for eyes. I really like the character of Superman. I like story of the movies a lot. Those movies are fully entertaining. I really like your post. Keep up the good work. Thanks for your wonderful post.