Superman's Destiny Looms Large as Smallville Begins Final Season
· Tom Welling
· Erica Durance
· Allison Mack
· John Schneider
Television Review: Smallville, "Lazarus"
by R.J. Carter
Published: September 21, 2010
I remember when I tuned in for the pilot episode of Smallville -- yes, I've been with it for that long. I remember being thrilled with the concept of a serious treatment of the young Superman, being disappointed with the formulaic "meteor freak of the week" format things fell into for a while, and then riding a rollercoaster of exciting peaks -- usually involving greater inclusion of the DC Universe characters -- and lackluster nadirs (sorry, just wasn't that taken with the Phantom Zone plot).
Now here we sit, on the precipice of the tenth and final season. Clark Kent (Tom Welling) has decided his destiny is to protect people, and he thus chooses to become... Batman! Well, he's technically "the Blur" but who else would dress all in black and sit perched on gargoyles listening for a cry for help before striking from the shadows? And what did he get for choosing the path of the martyr? A knife in his chest from Zod, and a near-death experience that he has to pay for by enduring another lecture from his father, Jor-El (voiced as always by Terence Stamp). But Clark gets a second chance at life, and is prepared to step into the light -- to finally become the hero.
And, Great Caesar's Ghost, I actually thought it might happen in this very episode. It's not a blur, it's not a smudge, it's not a dream, and it's not a glitch in your television: Smallville goes blue... but not Clark. Yet. But you'll still stand up and cheer. As the lady says: "So much better in technicolor."
But before Clark can move on toward being the hero he wants to be, he must first confront his prophesied greatest enemy. Doctor Fate has told him that enemy is Lex Luthor -- and guess who's back to make life difficult for our Kryptonian good guy? Sadly, it's not Michael Rosenbaum, but the writers have a really nifty explanation for that, all of which ties to a certain underground project of labs that Lex has been running off the books -- and off the net -- for years. Oh, and one of our female characters unexpectedly finds herself a mom!
The crisis Lex establishes for Clark may be old school, even trite: the old, "Even you can't be in two places at once" gag (like Clark's never beaten those odds before). But the twin dilemmas each provide for some iconic scenes that will resonate both with long-term Smallville fans as well as life-long Superman fans. Clark is well on the road to becoming the hero we know he will be -- but first he has to face and conquer the great darkness, and that resides within himself.
The Scarlet Letter. Lois (Erica Durance) in trouble on Smallville.
With all this going on, it's easy to lose track of the fact that Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) has been captured, being tortured by persons unknown for information about the Blur. The search for Oliver has made Chloe (Allison Mack) distraught enough to turn to unconventional -- even dangerous -- resources to discern his location. Ever one to determine her own fate, Chloe risks everything to find and save Oliver.
You'll notice I've said very little about our intrepid Lois Lane. That's because I'm very reticent about revealing anything about her character's actions in this episode. We know she's been invited to go to Africa with Perry White, but she hasn't quite left yet. There's something -- or rather, some one who would keep her in Metropolis, if he would but ask. But Lois has a secret -- or, rather, she knows a secret, and it's one that may have the greatest impact on Clark's world if he discovers it.
If you've seen any of the preview pictures of the premiere episode, you'll also be keenly aware that John Schneider will make a guest appearance as Clark's dead father, Jonathan Kent. Unfortunately, I'm under oath not to reveal anything about the appearance as far as it's content -- which also prevents me from telling you about the brand new (yet instantly recognizable) character introduced to the Smallville universe who appears in the closing seconds of the episode. Trust me on this one -- you're going to want to watch, then immediately re-watch. So set your Tivos. From here on out, things are definitely going to go up... up... and away.
Father and Son Chat. Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) and Clark
(Tom Welling) talk about the future.
Smallville, "Lazarus" premieres Friday, September 24, at 8pm EST | 7pm CST on the CW.