I decided (at the time I decided masochistically) to pick up where I left off of Smallville (season 9 almost at the end) so that I knew what was happening in the series finale. Why did I decide to watch the series finale?
I actually have no idea.
Even if you haven’t watched Smallville in years, you can fill in what’s happening with basic knowledge of the Superman story and the first couple seasons of the show.
These aren’t recaps, and will most likely mostly be lust-induced ramblings about how hot Tom Welling is (mostly).
I started watching Smallville (like half the planet) at the pilot. Unlike everyone else who quit watching it during the third or fourth seasons, I kept on doggedly, week after week. In the end, the show lost me not because of outrage but because of apathy. It was a casualty of my DVR playlist. When I had hit five unplayed episodes the gerbils inside the Directv box stopped recording new ones, that lead me to dithering over watching the ones I had and downloading the others and so on. In the end I just deleted the lot and took the show off my record list.
A very apathetic ending to what was an extremely passionate relationship, For the most part not a happy one. I hated dramatically just about everything about the show until Oliver Queen showed up to take my mind off of the relentless disappointment that was the longest-lived DCU television franchise. WHY DID IT SUCK SO MUCH? I yelled that a lot. In the direction of anyone who would listen.
And apparently I quit watching right when the show stopped sucking. Basically, I broke up with him right when he got a new haircut, started working out, and threw out those product-placement t-shirts.
But this story couldn’t have been any different. Trust me. Smallville and I have a very poetic thing going.
“Luthor” episode 10.10
BIG SHOCK, TESS THE SECRET LUTHOR SISTER. This was a secret only to the characters on the show itself. She has red hair! This is Smallville, not some good show! Red hair can mean only one thing: Lionel Luthor is involved.
But who even cares (besides Tess)? This episode has Bad Clark. Bad Clark is the platform on which all the best Smallville episodes are built. Back in the day, Smallville cackled with glee as they twisted the colored Kryptonite concepts to their own ends and introduced Red K.
RED K TURNED CLARK BAAAAAAAAD. Clark, bastion of gee willikers cornpone goodness got a motorcycle and a leather jacket and didn’t mind his folks! He made out with a girl in the backseat of a car! The needle ripping across the record is that this was set in the aughts, not the 1950s.
Oh well, the implication that Red K-infected Clark was banging hookers and snorting crushed up Kryptonite in seedy bars was still hot. Because, you see, Tom Welling (Clark) is freaking hot.
Flashforward to now. In “Luthor,” they’ve shit-canned the tired Kryptonite plots and actually invented a magical Kryptonian device that causes someone to skip from one reality to another. Don’t examine this too closely, it’s made of rainbows.
Premise: Tess (Luthor) has been holding out on Clark about, oh, everything. Clark confronts her, busts her with the Magical Mirror Box and, because he’s Clark, USES THE BOX WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT IT DOES. What is does is transport him to a greyscale reality in which he’s A LUTHOR.
I believe I read this fanfic. About fifty of them.
To be fair to Smallville (why do I even bother), this is a classic Elseworlds type of scenario. There’s an actual comic where Superman and Batman have their backstories swapped. I think. Maybe that’s a fanfic, too…
Who cares how dumb the premise is because there’s Bad Clark!
How bad is this Bad Clark? Ok, let me lay it on the line: he’s got a seriously dubious relationship going with his SISTER. As in they are totally doing it. This sister would be Tess.
Incest not enough? OK, SMALLVILLE’S GOT YOUR BACK! Clark uses his abilities to murder Lionel’s enemies while in a hero get up. This Clark is Ultraman: Villain. Superman: Murderer.
Also: Bad Clark dresses in tailored suits with vests. Of course he wears the ubiquitous Luthor purple. He also tries to mack out on our regular Tess who only fights him for a second before swooning.
Bad Clark poses and saunters. HE IS A DELIGHT IN EVERY WAY.
MEANWHILE: In the other reality Clark mopes because Lois and Ollie are dating. Yawn.
The thing about Superman is that beneath his home-spun goodness is the fundamental truth that he literally has the powers of a god. This is frightening if you think about it too much or approach it from a certain perspective. This perspective would happen to be Lex Luthor’s–and in some stories even Batman’s. What happens when your pet dragon goes on a rampage and decides he doesn’t like his leash anymore? Wouldn’t it be better to eliminate the threat of that ever happening rather than waiting around to see how bad things will go when it happens? This is called vaccination, actually, and we all agree that it’s a good thing.
So when you real world scenario Superman…it’s very easy to feel sympathy for Lex. Which was the premise of Smallville in the beginning.
Back to this episode:
In the Mirrorboxverse we’re reminded of what a dick Lionel was before the show needed him to be a good guy. I’m indifferent to Tess at the best of times and his treatment of her offended me deeply. Mirrorboxverse Clark has an L branded on his forearm so he can’t ever forget that Lionel literally owns him.
Clark once again proves that his motivations are ridiculous. He doesn’t want to save the Bad World, he just wants to get hooooooooooooome because he can’t (literally) live in a world where Lois doesn’t love him. BOOHOO. What about all the people suffering needlessly because Lionel is a lunatic bent on world domination? CLARK, THINK OF THE CHILDREN. No, he’s worried about getting home where everything’s safe. Way to be a dick, Superman. http://superdickery.com/
I love how when the two Clark’s switch back to their home worlds Lois could just TELL it was Clark by the power of his lameness.
The ~end~ It’s not just Lionel and his breaking the fourth wall I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaack, but the weird Clark/Tess moment. WTH was that? This show brings the “did that just happen?” like no other. DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?