In 2011, long-running TV series, Smallville came to an end. The show – about the early life of Clark Kent – ran for ten years and clocked up 217 episodes.
The thrust of the show was Clark’s journey to become Superman. But by the time Smallville reached it’s conclusion, did Clark finally become The Man of Steel or did the series fail to complete his journey?
In this post I answer all the major questions, including the all-important one: How did Smallville end?
What was the final episode of Smallville called?
The Smallville series finale was a two-part story, appropriately titled ‘Finale Part 1 & Part 2’. The episodes (216 & 217), both aired on May 13th 2011.
How did Smallville end?
In Finale, Clark Kent and Lois Lane are getting ready to marry, when the planet of Apokolips comes into Earth’s orbit. Apokolips’ ruler, Darkseid descends on Earth and uses his darkness to enslave the human race.
With humanity facing its darkest hour, Clark accepts his destiny and transforms into Superman. By becoming a shining beacon of hope, Superman breaks Darkseid’s control over the human race, before he pushes Apokolips out of orbit.
Does Clark fly in the final episode of Smallville?
Yes. After years of being grounded, Clark finally gains the ability to fly.
Does Clark wear the iconic Superman costume in the final episode of Smallville?
Yes. In the latter moments of Finale Part 2, Clark dons the Superman suit and reveals himself to the world. He rescues Lois Lane and the President of the United States while in costume, before going on to save the world.
Which Superman suit does Clark wear?
The suit that Clark wears in Finale Part 2 is the deep blue/maroon suit worn by Superman in the 2006 film, Superman Returns. In fact, it is one of Brandon Routh’s suits from the movie.
Which long-running characters appear in Finale?
Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jonathan Kent, Martha Kent, Oliver Queen, Chloe Sullivan, Lex Luthor, Lionel Luthor, Tess Mercer, Jor-El and Jimmy Olsen all appear in Finale. The voice of Perry White – as played by Michael McKean – can also be heard in the final moments of Finale Part 2.
Does Lex Luthor die in the final episode of Smallville?
No – in fact, Finale brings Lex Luthor back to the show after a significant absence from the series.
Lex was written out of Smallville in Season Eight, with the character dying in an explosion. In Finale, a clone of Lex is introduced, with actor Michael Rosenbaum playing the Lex clone.
Does Lionel Luthor die in the Smallville finale?
Lionel Luthor was killed off in Smallville’s seventh season. So, prior to the events of Finale, the character had been dead for a number of years.
However, a Lionel Luthor from an alternate universe was introduced in Season Ten. This alternate Lionel appeared in Finale and was subsequently killed.
Does Tess Mercer die in Smallville?
Yes. Tess Mercer (aka Lutessa Luthor) is killed by the Lex clone.
Does Lana Lang appear in the final episode of Smallville?
Lana Lang does not appear in the Smallville finale. The character was written out of the show during Season Eight.
The only reference to Lana in Finale comes via some old footage from previous episodes.
What happens to Chloe Sullivan in Smallville’s final episode?
By the end of Smallville’s run, Chloe is in a relationship with Oliver Queen (aka Green Arrow). The pair have a son.
Do the Justice League appear in Finale?
Zatanna and Martian Manhunter are mentioned and both Green Arrow and Superman appear in their respective costumes, but the League does not appear in Finale.
Does Smallville conclude in a satisfactory way?
After ten years, it would be difficult for any show to conclude in a satisfying manner. However, the main aim of the series was for Clark to transform into Superman and that was achieved before the credits rolled.
But was Clark’s transformation into Superman satisfying? Not really.
Tom Welling’s disinterest in wearing the Superman suit in Smallville was very apparent throughout the show’s run. The actor was reluctant to don the costume in the previous 215 episodes and this carried through to episodes 216 & 217.
The fleeting moments where Welling does appear in costume are largely achieved using computer generated images. The only time the actor physically wears the suit is for one quick shot, and even then only the chest part of the costume is seen.
After a decade of build up, this is an underwhelming way to reveal Superman.
Will Smallville ever be revived?
Following the conclusion of the show, Smallville was revived in 2012 as a comic. The comic was initially referred to as ‘Season 11’, with the storyline picking up six months after the events of Finale Part 2.
As for live-action, in 2019 Tom Welling and Erica Durance reprised the roles of Clark and Lois for a guest spot in the Arrowverse crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths. In this story it is revealed that Clark has given up his powers and he and Lois live on the Kent farm.
While it is possible that Smallville could be revived once more, it is very unlikely. Clark’s story is done and there are now other Superman-related stories to tell.
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