Smallville began its 10th and final season on the CW last Friday, and while big things are no doubt on tap for the occasion, many of the problems that have plagued the Superman prequel from its beginnings remain.
Minimal spoilers ahead!
Last season’s cliffhanger — Clark Kent (Tom Welling) being stabbed with Blue Kryptonite by Zod to prevent his ascension with the Kandorians, then falling off a building — is resolved in typically hasty fashion, and as a result Lois (Erica Durance) knows all of Clark’s secrets at last, but she slinks away before he comes to and he is unaware. Oh, the tension!
Meanwhile, Chloe (Allison Mack, who will be leaving the show before its end) starts down a path of no return to gain forbidden knowledge that will help her find Green Arrow (Justin Hartley), who has been abducted by yet another shadowy organization intent on reining in the supers. But she also learns enough about Clark’s future to spook him completely and hint — as if we needed it — that his destiny isn’t all happy-love-good times ahead. To reinforce this, Jor-El cuts Clark off — again — and this leads him to a long-overdue soul search with dear-departed human Dad (John Schneider, who steals the show in the emotional reunion scene).
Oh yeah — Lex Luthor is back! Doctor Fate mentioned this in an offhanded way during last season’s “Absolute Justice” event, and we’re reminded of that again in Chloe’s brush with madness as she dons Fate’s helmet. The villain’s return involves clones he wisely squirreled away, but rest assured the episode’s resolution will leave a lasting mark on the Smallville universe.
Meanwhile, look for Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher to cross the Phantom Zone of Superman continuity and appear as Lois Lane’s mother on a very special episode of Smallville.
Hatcher, of course, played the intrepid reportrix herself opposite Dean Cain for four seasons from 1993-97 on ABC’s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. It’s just the latest in a long line of Smallville casting contrivances: Former big-screen Man of Steel Christopher Reeve had several cameos as wheelchair-bound scientist Virgil Swann; Reeve’s Lois, Margot Kidder, had a small role as Swann’s emissary; Terence Stamp, who played the Kryptonian villain Zod in Superman II, is the voice of Clark’s Kryptonian father, Jor-El; and, or course, Annette O’Toole, who plays Clark’s human mother Martha Kent, played Clark Kent’s high school sweetheart Lana Lang in Superman III.