SMALLVILLE 8.22 - "Doomsday" - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Title: Smallville
  • Season: 8
  • Episode: Doomsday
  • Starring: Tom Welling, Allison Mack, Cassidy Freeman, Erica Durance, Sam Witwer, Aaron Ashmore, and Justin Hartley
  • Written by: Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson
  • Directed by: James Marshall
  • Network: The CW
  • Series: Smallville

SMALLVILLE 8.22 - "Doomsday"

That's It?!

By Rob Vaux     May 15, 2009
Source: Mania


Review: SMALLVILLE 8.22 - "Doomsday"
© Mania

Smallville's biggest problem has always been its own success. It can certainly roll with most punches as adeptly as the Man of Steel himself, but its core always remained the synthesis of comic book origin story and angsty teen drama. In order to retain that, they had to keep things in Smallville, keep Clark (Tom Welling) out of the red and blue jammies, and keep the later events of the Superman mythos safely at bay. How can you do that if your show runs nine full seasons? The bright-eyed teenage cast grew up and couldn't stay stuck in high school forever. So bit by bit, developments crept in that pushed Clark closer to his destiny until suddenly, the show stopped being Smallville and became Superman in all but name.

The series creators still seem to be in denial about this. They've taken so many steps down the road of Clark's life--he's reporting for the Daily Planet, the Fortress of Solitude is fully operational, his arch-nemesis is dead for God's sake, and now his battle with Doomsday has more or less taken place--all sans heroic name, secret identity or shiny red cape. There's nothing else left to do… and yet they keep deferring the moment of truth again and again until their very act of denial becomes a joke.

Alaina Huffman as Black Canary and Justin Hartley as Green Arrow in SMALLVILLE, on The CW Network. Photo: Michael Courtney

That ends up foiling the big season finale, as Doomsday splits from Davis Bloome (Sam Witwer) amid promises of a major death and countless other turbulent developments to blow our fanboy socks off. Turns out that major death wasn't Clark like everyone expected. Instead, it's Jimmy (Aaron Ashmore) who takes the fall, done in by the now-human Davis who's still an obsessive lunatic even without the beast inside of him. They quickly follow that up with an even bigger surprise: this Jimmy may not be the Jimmy, since he has a bow-tie-wearing younger brother who inherits his camera and could "follow in his footsteps" someday. Setting aside the fact that it smacks ominously of "Peter Parker is a clone" ret-conning, the subplot's only real purpose seems to be to tease out the narrative further--to give Clark a "real" Jimmy Olsen whenever he's finally ready to commit to canon, reducing the one we've followed for the past three seasons to a quickly forgotten also-ran.

Tom Welling as Clark Kent and Sam Witwer as Davis Bloom in SMALLVILLE, on The CW Network. Photo: Michael Courtney

So too does the remainder of the season finale waffle and dodge and do everything in its power to avoid the big leap forward. It spent over a dozen episodes building towards the big showdown with Doomsday, only to deliver another deferral in its place. We leave him trapped underground after an all-too-brief scuffle, and he'll presumably spend another five or six years digging himself out before the "real" showdown takes place. Meanwhile, all the energy and anticipation the show cultivated so carefully vanishes in a three-minute fight scene and a confusing bit of hand-waving: hardly the way to endear yourselves to your loyal viewers.

To do so with a season centerpiece draws doubts over every other twist Smallville wishes to throw at us. Sure, Zod appears at the last shot, but who cares? Clark's not Superman yet, so any confrontation will either be interminably delayed or won't be a part of Superman's "real" adventures anyway. The twist also further stresses the fact that the DC universe is now pretty much up and running on this show--fully-fledged heroes fighting crime, villains rising and falling, and Chloe (Allison Mack) playing Maxwell Lord when she isn't enabling intergalactic sociopaths with her forbidden love. In light of that, the reluctance to fully break with the show's title--to put that "S" on Clark's chest once and for all--pushes false modesty to ridiculous extremes.

Chloe meets Doomsday on SMALLVILLE (slideshow)

Smallville still has life in it, to be sure. It boasted plenty of solid episodes this season, and with decades of DC canon to draw from, there's nothing that says it can't continue for another eight years. But not as Smallville. The show has proven remarkably adept at evolving to fit new circumstances--a key to its continuing success--and now it needs to cut that final link. The cape is waiting for Clark, and as this season finale proves, it's long overdue. Let him put it on, and allow him to acknowledge the passage of time in the only manner left that still carries any meaning. Until they do, the show remains mired in a past which has long since faded in the rear-view mirror.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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JBBUC 5/15/2009 5:42:26 AM

 I have to admit, I had some pretty high expectations for this ep. and when Coz, Flash and Canary showed up I got even more ramped up....

Then the fight started and I was on the edge of my seat...

Then the fight was over.

COME THE FRACK ON! Smallville is the CW's top show. Invest some time into making the show as good as it can be. Even if the end result is still the beast getting buried alive, you can still make a spectacle of it.

However, hope is not lost. Maybe we have been looking at this show the wrong way from the beginning. Maybe Smallville was always supposed to be about the Justice LORDS version of Superman. Think about this stuff: Green Arrow kills Lex. Jimmy Olsen dies. Lana has powers and can no longer have contact with Clark. Jonathan Kent is dead. Lois is MIA.

Everyone who could have a hand in keeping Clark in touch with humanity is falling away and the heroes that are there are obviously willing to bend the rules if not break them altogether.

Or maybe that black trench at the end of this ep was just the writers trying to tease something else that will ultimately end up going no where.

I'm just trying to find some reason to hope for this show. 

hanso 5/15/2009 5:58:55 AM

There is no hope for Smallville.  The show flat out sucks. 

The half hour I wasted watching the finale reminded me of why I stopped watching the show in the first place.  I'm upset with myself for missing 30 mins of Celtics vs. Magic and Parks & Recreation but I wanted to see Doomsday.

That was Doomsday, the guy in the suit? LOL.  That shit looked like he belong in the Star Trek original series tv show, the suit was so bad.  The fight was even worse.  I'm glad I didn't spend an entire season to see that take place.

 

SgtTechCom 5/15/2009 7:03:20 AM

Decent yet Dissappointed.

The good :

Loved how the Justice League turned on clark and the distrust between he and Oliver - everything seems cool now but how easily things can change.

The real Jimmy did not die the little brother will grow up to be the "comic" book Olson.

I loved how Davis was still a cold blooded killer even without the beast inside him.

The bad :

I expected alot more with the Finale being called Doomday. TTSCC finale totally still is king after watching this lol.

The only reason why Clark's fight with Doomsday is such a big moment for the fans is because of the comic book history between these two characters and it has very little to do with what has actually happened on the show. Davis made Doomsday the character he is on Smallville and when they were separated, Doomsday was nothing more than a monster of the week that Clark dispatched in a couple of minutes. The fight also lacked any sense of real danger. I never felt as if this could be Clark's last stand.

The writers should have thought about that when bringing in this character of Doomsday.

The suit wasn't bad for a TV budget the closeups of his face were great and now perhaps they'll give him the grey hair being burried. Which actually goes along with the whole mythos. Doomsday is burried and eventually is dug up. Maybe ? Clark and Him can do battle again this time to the death.

One can only Hope ! I guess General Zod is returning to make the son of his jailer kneel before him lol.

hanso 5/15/2009 7:13:22 AM

Sgt Tech, I liked your comment better the first time I read it by the guy that originally wrote it on IGN.com.

Did you really just straight up lift someone's work and posted it as your own?

Jarik05 5/15/2009 8:12:48 AM

I was very disappointed with the episode....actually, I was pretty pissed off.

I sat down expecting to see more than a minute long fight between Clark and Doomsday and that pretty much killed the episode for me.

I guess it's my own fault for thinking they would actually do things in a way that would push Clark into donning the tights next season.

I was also annoyed with how predictable this show is. I just knew that the moment Clark and Jimmy had their conversation that what happened to Jimmy was going to happen.

I really thought they'd kill Clark and move forward into Superman territory next season...guess I was wrong and this morning I find myself wondering if I am even going to watch the show next season.

Wiseguy 5/15/2009 8:36:58 AM

Well I liked it. My expectations rarely get too high for this show, even though I love it we know the bar is set pretty low.

I admit at first look I thought the ending was hinting at Darkseid.

Lois off to the future can be pretty damn interesting for next season IMO.wILL she learn Clark is Supes there?

The Jimmy's little brother thing was pretty smart IMO also. Need a young wet behind the ears photog for Lois once she becomes the reporter we know her to be.

Lois vs Tess was pretty hot for a fully clothed, girl on girl without mud/water or jello fight. No way Lois should be knocking out my girl though. I'd let Tess put me in that headlock anytime

Happy to be wrong about Tess biting it

How did Jimmy afford that apartment? The economy in Metropolis must be worse than in real life. How is it that Chloe (jimmy's widow) doesn't know his family and just says "you must be Jimmy's little brother" as the funeral wraps up. What?

Oh, and SgtTech, say it isn't so. Plagiarism? boooo booooo

 

ponyboy76 5/15/2009 8:44:28 AM

Surprisingly, I agree with Rob this time and what Sgt Tech said or the guy he may or may not have lifted it off of according to Hanso. They made a huge deal about this final climactic battle with Doomsday through the whole season. They teased us again and again. The end result is Clark jumping, not flying mind you, him into a pit to be trapped underground. The end result isn`t even what I`m mad about, but what led up to it. They could have at least had a drag out knock down fight for a few minutes. I mean he went toe to toe with Zod and that  hughe dude in the arena and plenty of others we didn`t care about, but they couldn't have him fight Doomsday for 5 minutes? 
   Yes, in the comics Doomsday kills Superman, but that is after like an hour long fight. They make Doomsday in this, actually too powerful. You can argue that Clark isn't old enough or mature in the use of his powers to take on Doomsday like he will in the future but still.
   This also has to be the first time in history a TV retcons a character. WTF? That`s not the real Jimmy Olsen from the comics. it was his older bro with the same name? Come on!!!
   Still, the episode was not all bad. Zod is back which is cool, even though I hope they explain why Doomsday needed to be taken out of the equation for Zod to rise. That makes no sense. One has nothing to do with the other.  The fact that Clark will no  longer be some sentimental sap is a good thing. Although they teased us with him growing up quite few times in the past. I`m hoping he retreats to the Fortress of Solitutde for awhile.
  Oh and FYI, Clark. Stop hiding important objects in fucking boxes where people will find them. Yes, lets put the time traveling ring into a box  and put it in my desk. Every time he puts something in a box, it gets lost or stolen. Now poor Lois is stuck in the future somewhere.
 Despite all the complaints that will be thrown up on this site. Everyone posting except for Hanso will watch it next season. Its like a traffic accident. You just can't look away.

SgtTechCom 5/15/2009 8:46:00 AM

yes sorry my boss came in the room before i can say  the guy on ign. hit it just right.

"The only reason why Clark's fight with Doomsday is such a big moment for the fans is because of the comic book history between these two characters and it has very little to do with what has actually happened on the show. Davis made Doomsday the character he is on Smallville and when they were separated, Doomsday was nothing more than a monster of the week that Clark dispatched in a couple of minutes. The fight also lacked any sense of real danger. I never felt as if this could be Clark's last stand."

so sorry but thanks for pointing that out . I was in a hurry. and forgot i edited the end and didn't include it. It's been a long long week  lol

SgtTechCom 5/15/2009 8:50:11 AM

Pony thats why i think that Doomsday is still going to come back. Sure he's burried now but like in the comic he's uncovered and then thats when the real battle begins with superman and him ending with them both beating the hell out of each other. Now will Smallville dive into that? Who knows. Welling is signed on for 2 more seasons. I would love to see Season 10 end with a Brutal battle but then again thats from the WB network with stupid shows like 90210 and Seventh Heaven lol.

Zod does work since he's a notorious character with such a history with Kal and Jor El.  He can't get a piece of Jor El so the next best thing is the son. I hope they play it up good this time around anyway. Last time was kinda weak.

Bryzarro 5/15/2009 9:06:57 AM

LOL @ Hanso!!!  Way to catch it!!  I almost fell of my chair when I looked at it.

I don't think he really wanted to pass it off as his own (Benefit of the doubt) but it was funny all the same.

I haven't watched this yet.  I actually was watching the two game 7's from last night.  But I did watch Supernatural.  Can't wait for that review.  But i'm gald I didn't put in the time to watch after all of your reviews.  I'll catch it Saturday night.

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