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Clark, Lois, and company's television sojourn comes to and end....
Warner / 1012 Minutes / 2010-2011 / Unrated / Street Date: November 29, 2011
Every time Smallville gets close to really pulling me in, it keeps me at bay. I don’t know whether it’s my love/hate relationship with the modern state of comic-book-turned-movie/TV material or what, but I can’t escape the mixed emotions I feel when I review the show - even as this Final Season set brings everything full circle. Don’t get me wrong - I’m a sucker for the Lex Luthor and Clark Kent push/pull in any form (with the exception of Superman Returns, the franchise has, at the very least, never left me bored).
But Smallville: The Final Season is - like its two or three predecessors - a serious, dull let-down. It brings us needlessly complicated love quadrangles, new characters that don't have as much resonance or authenticity as folks established in Smallville's past, and more than anything, this Final Season collection has the burden of wrapping up the entire series' narrative, and it does so with stuffy, undercooked redundancy.
We get the issue of Lex clones in the first episode here (Lazarus), the return of the Kryptonian cyborg Brainiac 5, who shows up during the episode in which Lois and Clark attend their high school reunion (Homecoming), and Clark finally addresses the question of whether or not to tell Lois he's The Blur. Even if these plot conundrums hold water for Smallville viewers familiar with the show's late-run story arcs, they simply don't offer narrative possibilities that hold a candle to the show's salad days.
Smallville: The Final Season showcases some seriously undernourished television. Many of us held out hope that the qualitative meandering the series did over the last few years would align itself and return to form with this graduating edition, but that isn't the case. Smallville will go down in boob tube history as a series that mined some legitimately interesting comic book material in its early seasons, then got way too convoluted and dramatically bloated for its own good.