22 May 2011

A Tribute to Smallville Part II -- My Thoughts on the Series Finale

Last Saturday (Friday in the US), I was trying to keep myself busy before watching the series finale of Smallville with my friends. It was hard! I was on lockdown, I restricted myself from getting on Twitter or the internet to avoid any fan comments and spoilers. It was painful! But I did it. When I finally watched the finale, I was expecting to lose myself with tears, but instead I had this smile on my face the whole time. I was really happy to see what I saw. You don't need a recap from me, so here are a few thoughts on the Smallville finale.

As I mentioned previously, I'd be happy to see just a glimpse of the tights and flights. I was expecting just one shot, similar to the very last shot of the finale when Clark was on the roof of the Daily Planet. I thought if I could see just that shot, I'd be happy. But I got a lot more than that. The last 18 minutes of the finale was the most watched 18 minutes of Smallville in my experience.
"Your final trial is upon you my son. You are ready, seize your destiny." Jor-El, Smallville Finale, 2011
I just love how Brian Peterson and Kelly Sounders wrapped up the show in such fashion. This is the perfect way to go out for a show that deserves a good ending. The music was epic; Tom was calm; Erica was amazing and the overall dialogues and interaction between characters were very very well done. The key scenes were very memorable -- the return of Lex; Tess and Lex; Lex and Clark; Papa & Mama Kent and Clark; and Lois and Clark. I was relieved to see Chloe at the beginning of the finale for some reason, at least I know she didn't die, right? I have always been a fan of Tess, purely because I am impressed with Cassidy Freeman's acting ability. Tess died. Ouch. I like the way the writers wrapped up Tess. Redemption, my friend, redemption!
"We have been down our long road, Kal-El -- one paved with difficult trials. Those trials are behind you now. Any father can only hope that he is one day humbled by the feats of his son. But it is your soul, Kal-El, of which I am most proud. You -- and you alone -- possess the courage, the determination and the compassion that will be required of you to lift the darkness from the Earth. I ask you to remember one thing. Your abilities may be of my blood but it is your time in Smallville, with Jonathan and Martha Kent and all the people there, that made you a hero." Jor-El, Smallville, 2011
Jor-El's words reminded me what I have been watching. The show has evolved over the years but the mytho got stronger and stronger. Smallville was about Clark Kent's journey in becoming Superman. It's not easy to be a superhero. You have God-like power, you could be either the world's greatest hero or villain. Evan a superhero has to work hard to earn respects and to master his own superpowers. Superman has high morals, he learnt that from having good earth parents and under the guidance of Jor-El. If only he was raised by Lionel Luther, which we have seen a few times in season ten, then he would become the earth's worst enemy.

The trials, as seen in the 18th minute of the finale, were excellent reminders of Clark's journey. A superhero wasn't made in a day. To me, it's more than the tights and flights. One theme I enjoyed the most was the journey of Clark discovering his power -- the heat vision, x-ray vision, super hearing, super breath and ultimately flying. But the friendship theme was something I really enjoyed too. It was also such a big thing to see how much Clark cared about his friends and how much they meant to him. He never gave up on Oliver. I don't necessary like to see the dark and depressed Oliver, I'd much prefer to see him as Green Arrow. I love how Clark forgave Tess. I love how Clark told Lex "Sorry I couldn't save you." It wasn't just the saving people from falling from the building or the fire, but it's about saving people from their own darkness.
"When he decides to take to the skies, he is going to need you to ground him." Chloe Sullivan, Smallville Finale, 2011 
It's a superhero years in the making and we have been with him the whole time (ok, not me but still!). Like it or not, Tom Welling is the Superman of this generation. I wouldn't give Dean Cain the same statue. Tom was so awesome in the finale. Words cannot express how much I love him (and Erica Durance) in the finale. Erica was amazing. I love her! Because of her, I finally accepted her character. Erica's Lois is such a great role model. She truly is the best Lois Lane ever! Her performance was just awesome. Tom's Clark was calm, confident and mature. Clark finally let go of every doubt and insecurity, he took the first flight to become the hero he was destined to be. Clark cannot be the beacon of hope if he has darkness in his heart. Every expression, words and action from Tom was telling us that. It was convincing. It was good story telling.
"…. They may not be perfect, but I believe even in the darkest soul, there's always hope. People want to believe in something greater. It may be easier to hate, but it's stronger to love." Clark Kent, Smallville Finale, 2011
That made Jor-El so proud. That's why he deserves the ultimate superpower. That's why he is Superman. Anyone can put on the cape and dress like a superhero, but it's the big heart and good morals that make a superhero. That's the most important thing, that's the whole point, that's why he is so super, that's why Tom Welling is the Superman of our generation.

Always hold onto Smallville

Coming soon, the finale instalment: 'A Tribute to Smallville Part III' -- My favourite episodes; strong female characters; and more.

Read 'A Tribute to Smallville Part I' here.

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