Clark and Lois go to the Fortress to tell Jor-El about their upcoming wedding, and receive a special “gift” in return. Meanwhile, Oliver and Kara cross paths as they each search for a way to defeat Darkseid.
It’s kind of funny that it took 10 years for Smallville to finally master the art of telling multiple storylines in a single standalone episode, only for the show to end just as they get it right. This episode dealt with Lois and Clark’s future, Oliver’s corruption by the Darkness, Supergirl’s place in the world, and the “Legion of Doom” gearing up to take down the League. With all these stories moving forward, it’s amazing that each one got the attention it deserved.
Lois and Clark’s love story came to a head (or possibly a road block) as Lois realizes how “selfish” it is to keep Clark all to herself. Part of the reason cancelling the wedding feels natural, and not just drama for drama’s sake is that it comes from a real place in the mythology and even fan-speculation. Margot Kidder’s Lois said it best, “When it comes to you, I’m jealous of the whole world.” For decades the great tragedy of their relationship was that Superman DID belong to the whole world, and could never allow himself to simply be human and happy with Lois. But I’m willing to bet that Clark’s counterargument next week will involve the modern feeling that being with Lois is what keeps him sane and grounded. We’ll see.
Darkseid’s story is also moving into the final stages, as he takes full control of Ollie and destroys the one weapon that could stop him. Frankly, I’m glad Clark never got the Bow of Orion, as I want him to defeat Darkseid with his own powers and experience, and not some last minute Deus Ex Machina. Oliver digging up the Gold Kryptonite is, on the one hand, ominous because it could make Clark powerless forever, and on the other hand, ridiculous, as Clark has lost his powers SO many times, the threat has lost all meaning. He might as well have dug up a piece of normal Green Kryptonite for all the effect Gold K had.
So we finally got an “ending” to Kara’s storyline as well. The Legion Ring seems to imply that she’s leaving for the 31st Century to join up with the Legion, but I’m willing to bet she only goes five or ten years into the future, to a time when Clark is already firmly established as Superman, and she can’t hinder his journey. I get the logic of getting her out of the way, as we’ve all wondered how Clark’s debut as Superman would go down with Supergirl there at the same time. But now we’ve also got Conner Kent Superboy in the mix as well. Maybe something will happen to him in the finale that’ll put him on ice as well.
Toyman was an interesting choice for Clark’s last villain before the finale. He certainly has the seniority as far as Superman villains go. Last year, I argued that this whole season should be about Clark fighting Toyman, Metallo, Brainiac and the other members of Superman’s rogues gallery, instead of introducing a new villain like Darkseid. We got a glimpse of that here. Although I have to question the villains used. Metallo for example, left on good terms last we saw him, and he was getting ready to put in a Red K heart, despite the Green one we see here. What’s up with that? Roulette was also not a straight-up villain. However, did anyone else notice Captain Cold and Solomon Grundy at the table, along with Black Manta and the others?
It seems like Clark has finally said goodbye to Jor-El for good. I never really liked the idea of Jor-El teaching Clark anything beyond facts and figures relating to Kryptonian culture. The idea of Superman leaning on his birth-father annoys me just like it does when he’s shown leaning on Jonathan. I like how closing down the Fortress is compared to selling the Farm, or burning the Luthor Mansion, as a metaphor for severing the ties to the past. The twist that the trials can only end when Clark realizes he’s outgrown being tested was great and puts a nice bow on the idea that Clark is now in control of his own destiny, and is no longer the instrument of Jor-El’s plans.
Overall, this was a solid episode which dealt with some real deep themes when it comes to the mythology, while at the same time standing alone as a single good episode. Lois’s decision to leave Clark continues Smallville’s theme of Lois being to one who enforces the classic tropes of their relationship, and doing it in such a way that it actually makes MORE sense.
Bring on the Finale!