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Smalville Finale: Spoiler warning

By Scott Mendelson

HollywoodNews.com: Obvious spoiler warning: I’m not going to get into every plot detail of last night’s Smallville finale. The big climactic moments were disappointing for two reasons. First, as usual with television superhero shows, the big action climax was painfully puny, especially for the payoff of ten years of mythology. Basically, Clark flies through a possessed Lionel Luther (does that count as murder?) and then a CGI blue thing that is supposed to be Superman quickly flies into Apokolips and quickly moves it about three inches to the left, saving Earth. The most emotionally potent moment of the finale was its opening and closing bookends, which had Allison Mack reading a comic book to her young child seven years into the future, a four-color tale of how Clark Kent became Superman and saved the world. It’s a weird breaking the fourth wall moment, but it served as a reminder of just how potent, primal, and powerful the Superman mythology really is.

The climactic Lex Luthor monologue (dear god was there a ton of ‘monologuing’ last night, the episode seemed pitched to those who had never watched an episode of the show and/or had no understanding of the Superman mythos at all) hit all of the expected notes, but it felt like an inferior and less emotionally powerful version of the finale of Unbreakable (‘Now that we know who you are, I know what I am!”). But the bigger problem is that Clark has basically been acting as Superman for at least the last few years of the show, if not the entire series run, so his ‘transformation’ into Superman is merely a case of getting a new set of duds and a new nickname. So here’s the million dollar question: Why didn’t we get to actually see him wear those duds? Sure we get a few CGI far-away shots of Superman. And we get a few closeups of Tom Welling’s face with a cape billowing behind him. But we did not get a single full-body shot of Tom Welling dressed as Superman. Any guesses as to why this was? Was Warner Bros so worried that fans would be ‘confused’ with the new Superman: Man of Steel movie coming out next year that they forbade the show from showing Welling in costume? Please share your guesses below, because I’m at a loss as to why the show’s producers would cheat the fans out of the very iconic moment that they have been waiting for over the last ten years. Screen grabs from Comic Book Movie of just what I’m talking about are below (obvious spoilers).

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About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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  • May 15, 2011 | Permalink |

    Hello everyone, I write from Brazil. I was really disappointed in the end, I agree with the comments above, lacked emotion suspense, kriponita, and the big confrontation with the eternal rival Lex Luthor is a pity. And I think all the fans of Smallville Clark Kent would like to see put on his cape and fly with more conviction.
    Since the beginning, when young Clark did not like heights, and the next 10 years, he wondered whether he could really fly then, when that moment really came, would be special, full of emotion, however it was empty.
    I believe the best moment was the most exciting conversation between Clark and Louis behind the door, really thrilled me, in order still like smallville because all these years there were exciting moments unforgettable, and I love everything about the work of Tom Welling, I believe there will be new and great opportunities for him to show his talent, will be waiting to see him again.

  • May 16, 2011 | Permalink |

    Destroying Lionel wasn’t murder because he was already dead. Darkseid had already removed his heart (which killed him) and was then merely re-animating the body.

    They didn’t show Clark close up in the suit because this was never a show about Superman. It was a show about the journey to become Superman. I always envisioned the end of the show exactly as it ended with Clark heading to stop an emergent, ripping open his shirt, revealing the red S. In fact, I’m surprised they even showed us the far away shots of him in the suit. But ultimattely, his role as Superman proper is left to our imaginations.

    I do think it’s unfortunate that Welling won’t ever get to go to the next chapter and wear the suit on the big screen, because I think he’s earned it. Of course, he’s said he doesn’t want to wear it, but really, what can he possibly say?

  • May 18, 2011 | Permalink |

    It’s funny how Tom Welling turned down the role initially, and only became interested after they informed him of the no-tights, no-flights clause. Its understandable considering those who done the cape are tight casted the rest of their careers as Superman.

    After reading & catching a good number of interviews on the tube & radio, it genuinely seemed that Welling not only wanted to suit up, but was very disappointed (even hurt) to the fact that the Superman universe is moving forward without him ever having the chance to be Superman (or wear the full costume- boots, cape and all).

    Welling has made the character humanistic and revealed the passion and emotion Superman has had bottled up behind his all-mighty virtuous American facade. Growing up a huge Superman fan, I can say Superman, as powerful as he is, did not have the power to incite or stir any emotion within me beyond wanting to see him fight. And I’ve never felt any sort of emotional attachment or complete understanding of Superman- until Tom Welling took the role.

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