Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crazy4Smallville's Review - Series Finale

            How do I review something that’s been a part of my life for the past decade?  How do put I put the stopper at the end of a bottle and then toss it away?  It’s a lot harder than you think.  It became even more difficult in the week following the finale, when I knew nothing else was to come.  It’s an empty feeling; a hollow hole left open.  Part of me wants to fill it again with something else, but then another part of me doesn’t want (or doesn’t think) anything else is good enough to fill the vacant lot, now unoccupied.  Where do I go from here?  That’s the first thing the ending of Smallville has given me – an unoccupied space in my heart that I don’t know if I’ll be able to fill; and if I do fill it, to what degree will the next thing be worthy?  From the look of what’s out there, not anything that I consider even in the same caliber.  What to do?  What to do?
     I have to say that waiting ten long years for a particular event to happen has taught me a lesson in patience, and the rewards that come from being patient and loyal.
            Well, here goes… for the last time!

I love the opening, how they show scenes from the very beginning, the very first episode and hit on all the really truly major points, leaving out the completely useless ones (but, we’re not going to get into all that).  Boy, did everybody look so much younger.  It’s like going to a family reunion you haven’t been to in a while.  There’s Pete,  Lex, Lana, Chloe, The Torch, Smallville High, the Farm, Shelby, Wall of Weird, Lionel… and then it brings us up to speed with Darkseid, the Kandorians, Green Arrow, the Daily Planet, Lois & Clark, alternate universes, Clark still dealing with the same issue he had ten years ago – a low self-perception and an over-exhausted case of humility. 

Love the DC comic book featuring Smallville on the cover and Clark Kent.  PRICELESS. Chloe reading to her son, how appropriate, especially since she just got her own character in the D.C. Universe.  What I don’t think is realistic in this scene is that a D.C. Comic will only cost $2.99 even in the near future (seven years) the way the economy’s in the tankard.  Don’t want to go down that road, so let’s move on.  No guessing whose son she’s reading too, not with a green bow and set of plastic arrows sitting on the dresser.  Great beginning!  OKAY – big ball of flaming planet headed straight to earth!  Let me guess… only one person can save us now!  Enter theme song by Remy Zero – “Somebody Save Me”.  Excellently done!  BTW – I’m so glad the network continued with the same theme song for all ten years, it just wouldn’t have been the same without it.

Starting off with the Daily Planet; quite appropriate.  It’s been the theme setting now for the last couple years, and I don’t think they could pick a better one.  Love the mild mannered reporter, and boy isn’t he being mild mannered!  Look at how easy-going and laid-back he’s being when his fiancé has called off their wedding.  Now, THIS is not the typical Clark reaction.  Lois being pig-headed… right in-line with her character. However, the big speech about why she’s being pig-headed is redundant from last week, and a waste of screen time.  I could be seeing something else right now… like LEX.  Oh, Burn!  He put the decision back all onto her.

Chloe and Oliver decorating the church for the wedding, talking about their own unmemorable wedding, and discussing their marriage.  I love that it’s just… ditto.  I love to see both of them happy, however I really feel that this storyline just got pushed to the backseat.  Chloe has been such a pivotal point of the whole storyline.  She was there in the beginning and has been there every step… and it just feels like knowing her story was just a small sideline… makes me feel her character was a bit cheated of the glory she truly deserved. 

Tess trying to restore the Luthor mansion?  Let it stay destroyed, right along with the Luthor Legacy.  Why would someone rejected and abused by a family try to restore the family name.  I’d want nothing to do with it, EVER. Restoring a bad name isn’t going to change what happened; it could only help cover future destruction by the same.  Grandma creepy sounds like a broken record.  Typical religious rhetoric being spouted from deranged lunatics.  Of course, the only difference from her than the rest of the loonies, is the fact that a big ball of flaming planet is headed straight toward earth. 

It’s so sad to see the Kent Farm, empty, boxed up.  That’s how I feel, as I’m sure millions of viewers.  Oh, yeah!  You tell him Ma Kent!  I never thought he should give up the house either.  She tried to tell Clark that Jonathan was always around, but he’s too thick-headed to see that.  Boy, did she hit the nail on the head, about Clark cutting out the past that made him who he is… Clark Kent is just part of what makes Superman great; it’s a combination of the gifts and powers of Kal-El combined with the heart and passion of Clark Kent.

Chloe back in the Daily Planet… LOVE IT.  Lois wanting to interview the President – PRICELESS.  Lois, bantering… nah, nah.  Clark’s vows… WOW, WOW, WOW.  Great writing.  She finally got it… “I’m such an idiot!”

Oliver disconnected all the satellite feeds…hmmm.  I know he’s been tagged by Darkseid, but how oh how is he going to get out of this?  A ring of gold Kryptonite?  Now, remind me what gold does – takes away Clark’s powers permanently??  I’ve always said there’s too much Kryptonite, too many weaknesses and too many obstacles for a superhero.    

Clark having a heart to heart with Jonathan?  Haven’t we heard this little speech, or something similar a thousand times already?  I wish anytime I needed to figure something out in my life that a person showed up in the flesh to give me the advice I need to move forward.  Instead, I have to rely on memory and imagination.  Wondering whose got he’d tell Clark about his ‘dark side’.  This little speech… boring.  Feels like it’s taking up so much other TIME, other scenes, other strings to tie.  Don’t talk so much… Don’t tell… SHOW.  Lois seems to have the same problems as Clark – low self-perception.  But, I love how Lois is bringing up remember her family and what they would say.  Lois’ vows are beautiful.  The camera going around and around the both of them standing against the door is perfect filming.  The two of them talking through the door… PERFECT!

 Tess trying to save the world, so un-Luthor of her.  Now, someone is out to stop her, so typical. 

Small country church wedding; perfect.  Martha – perfect.  Chloe & Oliver – perfect.  Lois’ dress… perfectly modern.  I would have like to have seen her in something more fairy tale.  Clark not at the altar but walking up beside her, to walk her down the isle… I’m in tears.  Perfect symbolism of how they’re to walk through this world – side by side.  Whoever came up with this scene -  I HATE/LOVE you.  I’m not a very romantic person, but this was about the most romantic thing I’ve ever seen.  Jonathan being there…again… I know I’m saying this A LOT… but PERFECT.

Even Lois’ vows… have the word ‘perfect’ in them.  I love how it’s in their minds, and not with their lips.  I thought I was done crying… I’ve already put the tissues up.  Now, I have to pause the show and go get them out again.  Here we go… Oliver handing the gold ring to Clark, and Chloe has to once again save the day!  Uh-Oh… Dark Oliver has come to the surface.  I didn’t miss the stained-glass being red, yellow and blue when it shattered.  Love the slow motion of Clark catching Lois.  Boy, I tell you what… that church cleared out quick.  Within a few seconds time not a soul was left inside.    Clark convincing Oliver to fight the darkness; he can sure dish out the compliments; he just can’t take them, huh?  I have no doubt Oliver will fight the darkness and win.  Why he didn’t do it earlier, I don’t know. 

Okay, now the story seems to be moving into overdrive.  Everyone scrambling.  Watchtower, Star City, Chloe, Oliver/Green Arrow… “See you in the funny pages,” Chloe said – Awesome.  “You need to do what you do best, be a hero.” – Again, Awesome.  Clark seeing Jonathan at the farm – Awesome.  Is seeing the dead one of Clark’s superpowers?  Jonathan telling Clark that he and Martha have done all they can, that Clark is going to have to let Jor-El guide him from here on out – Awesome. From one father to another… “He’s your father, he’ll understand!”  So far, that’s the best line I’ve ever heard on this show.  I’ve got goose bumps.  Family hug.  “It’s time!”  Boy, you got that right.  I’ve been waiting for 10 YEARS!  Clark better hurry… things look like they’re heating up.

I’m sad and excited at the same time. I can’t believe there’s only a little time left… and there’s so much more to cover.  Lionel got Tess on cold hard slab.  Lionel wanting to restore Lex, but he needs Tess’ heart.  It wouldn’t work with Tess’ heart… he’d care too much.  He’d be just like he was before, divided in his loyalties.  “Lex is missing a heart”; that’s been his problem all along.  You know, I’ve often wondered about the loyalty of body guards and henchmen.  How low does a person have to come to blindly kill or work for someone like Lionel Luthor?  Tickle me pink… there’s Lex laid out on a slab.  My toes are tingling.  I like Tess… I don’t want her to die.  She’s the only good thing to come out of the Luthors.  Alright… she’s not going down without a fight, and boy is she tough!  Shot Lionel without so much as a blink.  There you go, maggot.  Crawl toward your prodigy and give him your own heart.  What soul could Darkseid take in exchange for Lex’s life… Lionel doesn’t have one… or a heart. 

Uh-Oh… here we go.  LEX is ALIVE!  And thank God it’s not some unrecognizable clone.  It could only have been Michael Rosenbaum.  Anyone else and I’d have protested. 

Lois & Clark in the Daily Planet discussing life and death emergencies… splendid.  When did Lois get so smart… using Clark’s own vows to get him to ‘go save the world’?  What is up with that old-fashioned radio in such modern place?

How convenient that the Presidential Press is a woman that looks like Lois Lane?  With the way security is at the current White House where people can crash parties without pause, it doesn’t surprise that Lois Lane can use a false press ID to get aboard AirForce One.  I guess, we’re supposed to leave something up to our imagination in this series, after all.

LEX is BACK!  “Hello, Clark”… sent a chill down my spine.  “You still see it the same way… astonishment, with a hint of dread, yet with a hopeful finish…”  I love every line.  I burst out laughing with… “seems my father had a change of heart.”  Literally!

Lex always has the best lines, like this one… “You know, I used to think it was our families that made us who we are; then I hoped it was our friends.  But, if you look at history, the great men and women of the world have always been defined by… their enemies.”  He can’t forget his memories, even when he is cloned.  How convenient. 

Clark’s got a great line too with…“My destiny wasn’t yours to take.”

I’m mesmerized by Lex.  “Every villain is only as great as his hero.”  I know I’ve said this a thousand times over this past decade.  Especially during the Kawatche Cave times. 

What I find AMAZING is that the best advice that Clark get’s, the deepest revelations that he discovers… come from his arch nemesis.  Not from his father, not from Jor-El, not from Lois, not from Chloe… but Lex Luthor.  This is the most defining quote of them all, and let me tell you… this episode is FILLED with defining quotes:

“I’m not so sure that Clark Kent can save the entire world on his own,” Clark said.

Lex replied, “He can’t, but we both know who can.”  SUPERMAN! – unspoken, but implied.  GOT IT!

“I’m sorry I couldn’t save you, Lex.” 

Lex’s grin… that’s all that needed to be said.

I’m like a little kid in a candy store.  I’m literally tickled PINK.  Scratch that.. I’m tickled RED, YELLOW and BLUE.

 Oliver going GREEN.  Woo-hoo! 

Crazy religious zealots – don’t they know that the rapture was foretold to happen on May 21st, but the prophet didn’t count right… so he’s adjusted it now to October 21st????  Nuts… they’re not too hard to crack.

 Lois, on Airforce One… in the air???  Hmmm… where have I seen this before?  Oh, that Secret Service needs to be shot on sight.  Who in power is on the plane, if not the President?  Is that supposed to be the Secretary of Defense?   Where’s Daddy Dearest?  I thought he was supposed to be with the President?  I thought the President gave the last order, not the SECDEF?

Okay, Clark getting out a crystal… isn’t it supposed to be green?  Lionel possessed by Darkseid… typical.  Oh, Clark… quit talking… start kicking butt and taking names.   So, Darkseid is whoopin’ up on ole Clark, who remembers what his daddy said about turning to Jor-El… and then what????  He just teleports to the Fortress of Solitude?  You mean to tell me that all this time he didn’t need the key, or super speed? 

Doesn’t matter… he’s there… and I can’t breathe.  I know the moment is coming.  I feel it; I hear it… and now I see the flashes of the past… everything that makes Clark Kent super… and Kal-El human.  My knees jerking… my pulse is racing.  This is better than the movie, because I was there at all those moments; I’ve taken the journey with him; we all have.

“Seize your destiny!” Jor-El.

Oh-yea… we got air…. We got attitude… and we got FLIGHT.  And I’ve got no breath!

Tess & Lex; brother & sister; I wonder… does he remember how she took care of his clone when he was young?  Yeah… he loves her alright… and it’s typical of Lex to think the thing he’s doing is saving someone.  That’s his same old card.  Ah-ha… Tess got the last lick – by sliding his a neurotoxin that will make him forget… his past life, his time with Clark, his life with Lionel… but it doesn’t change the state of his heart… he’s still inherently evil…and I’m sure he’ll continue to do evil in the guise of ‘saving the world’.   How perfect… he’ll be the enemy, not realizing just what a true enemy he is… and thus it starts all over between Clark and Lex.

Clark REALLY at the Fortress of Solitude this time.  Is it suit time?  I just came down the last exuberant moment… and now here I go again to the next one.  It’s the suit rising out of the ground, isn’t it?  Yep… THERE IT IS!  It looks like the one used by Brandon in the last Superman movie.  “Your abilities may be my blood, but it’s your time in Smallville that made you a hero…”  I’m balling now… as Jonathan hands him the SUIT, and he stepping up to take it. 

Oh, he’s not even going to put in on… He’s going to take off first…. Does the curl come with the suit… HE'S UP, UP, AND A commercial? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

Plane going down, Lois being knocked around… and now out of the sky… it’s a bird… it’s a plane… NO, it’s a man in a blue, yellow and red suit. Holding up a plane.  And wouldn’t you know it… Lois Lane has a camera to catch the moment on film.    AND she gets to interview the President.  Wait!  I thought the President was hidden in a bunker somewhere.  Oh, who cares…. Does it really matter?

The world is getting their first glimspte of SUPERMAN saving the world, releasing them from the bonds of darkness, setting free their souls that were once captive… and being the hero that he was born to be.  SUPER!  AMAZING!

And Chloe finishing the story to her 7-year old son.  Chloe, the one who got to see the farm boy become a super man.

Love Sean Astin in the role of Jimmy Olsen.  Perry White in the office… “Great Ceasar’s Ghost.”  Lex Luthor as President, in that white suit as prophesied by the blind woman in the first season.  Clark Kent… clumsy and mild-mannered. True, Lois.   It is sooo hot…. when Clark says, “Yes, Ms. Lane”. 

The Superman music, Clark runs out of that roof top, yanks those glasses off, pulls down that tie, and opens that shirt revealing the Red “S” on that blue suit…. PERFECT. 

     I can’t see the screen… my eyes are too blurred. My fingers barely feel the keys of this keyboard.  I can’t think of a more perfect ending.  I can’t imagine a better close.  I just hate that it’s over; which is really just a beginning. 
     Kudos to everybody who has been with this series since the beginning!  I remember the day I was driving to work and saw the first billboard of the series pilot over ten years ago, and the bubbles of anticipation I had then, and seeing the episode I just viewed… it has all finally come to a full circle, and that anticipation has been fully met and completely fulfilled. 
     I thank the actors and actresses who’ve been faithful to their roles for all this time.  While many have come and gone, there are those who’ll always live in my heart, and I’m sure in the heart of all the Smallville faithful forever; Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Erica Durance, Allison Mack, Annette O’ Toole, John Schneider, Justin Hartley, Cassidy Freeman and John Glover.  There have been many, many more through the years that I can’t think of at the moment, but I thank them all. 
     I thank the writers, editors, graphic artists, producers, filmmakers and anybody who did ANYTHING on this series.  Job well done!
     I can’t believe it’s over.  It went out in the most perfect style I could ever imagine, and I’m glad.  Smallville deserved it.  It warranted a classy and spectacular ending… and it got it.  I will greatly miss you, and I doubt I can every fully replace you.  Superman was my first love… and Smallville has done nothing but solidify that love even more for me over these past ten years.  Thank you Smallville.  You will always live in a special part of my heart.  I won’t say goodbye… but till next time!

This has been Crazy4Smallville’s final review.  It’s been fun, people.