Smallville Season Premiere Review: "Lazarus"

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The Smashing Pumpkins have a song titled "The Beginning is The End is The Beginning." To me, that sums up what I believe will be the most exciting season of Smallville yet, as the long-standing series draws to a close.

The premiere, "Lazarus," saw Clark standing on the precipice of his destiny, facing his innermost demons.  Had he allowed pride and vanity over having become a "beacon of hope" for the people of Metropolis to darken his heart, as Jor-El claimed?  Was Lex's clone (or Clex as I like to call him) spot on in his observation that the symbol Clark so proudly wears across his chest had become a badge of self-righteousness?  Is Clark truly on the road to heroism or the path to darkness? 

These are the questions that haunted Clark as he pondered his fate, and of course we know how the story ends, but that doesn't make the journey there any less exciting to watch.

Smallville Season Premiere Pic

At long last, the Super suit makes its full-fledged first appearance, and in Superman Returns form no less!  I'm still not exactly certain how it is that Jor-El possesses so much power, given that he's, you know, dead and all, but to have him zap Clark and the Super suit out of the barn at the precise moment it appeared Clark was to don the famous getup is just the writers way of toying with our emotions. 

What a tease.

In a nod to the pilot, it was an interesting twist to see Lois strapped to a stake with a red S plastered across her tank top.  I particularly enjoyed this part of the story.  Clex was not merely playing games with Clark's head.  This was his attempt to force Clark to fully embrace the self-important spirit he had begun to adopt.  Clark was already becoming intoxicated with his own greatness, as Clex indicated and then called Lois Clark's greatest weakness. 

He knew there was no way Clark would resist saving her.  If Clark could both save Lois and stop the bomb disaster at the Planet, it would deepen his downward spiral into the complete embodiment of vanity and pride.  This brought to mind how The Joker similarly tried to push Batman to cross the boundaries of his character in The Dark Knight.  And it almost worked, if it hadn't been for the farmfed wisdom of Clark's strongest ally: Jonathan Kent.

Having Jonathan Kent back, even for a few seconds of encouragement for Clark, was like getting a letter from an old friend.  There was something so comforting to hear Jonathan express his faith in his son and rebuild the confidence Jor-El had torn down just before abandoning him.  Whether or not it was Clark's imagination or some otherworldly phenomenon, it was a welcome reminder of who Clark's true father was and always will be.

Smallville Premiere Image

How eerie was the room full of Clexs?  I wondered how they would pull off bringing Lex back, without resorting to the umpteenth resurrection this series has performed, but I guess cloning was the lesser of the cliched evils.  

Having the freshly-facelifted Tess, courtesy of Cadmus Labs, save the youngest of the clones and take him back home with her to presumably become the Lex that Clark eventually faces off with is somewhat fascinating, as I thought she knew that Lex was to be Clark's greatest foe.  Is she one of those people who finds no peace in the absence of chaos?  Nice allusion to young Alexander's future homicidal tendencies to see one of the military figures he was playing with burning in the fire.

I am assuming that the Suicide Squad is still chasing down our heroes and that's who captured Ollie, but what warrants an exchange of him for Chloe?  Unless it has something to do with something she acquired from Dr. Fate's helmet?

I've been waiting for years for Darkseid to rear his literally ugly head in Metropolis, and I can think of no more fitting adversary to challenge Clark in this final season.  Even though we had a mere glimpse of Apokolips' most powerful resident, I felt the goosebumps spread like a fire in a cornfield at the sound of his brief, guttural growl.   Though is it too much to hope for Desaad to make an appearance at his side?

I am bittersweetly excited to see this final season progress, and believe there could have been no more perfect way to kick it off. Review a few Smallville quotes from the premiere and sound off: What did you think?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (53 Votes)

Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Stuart Reb Donald you do know in the comics superman didn't fly until the early 70s and 80s

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It's all about the writing ... and the wardrobe. If this is really the final season, the writers need to step up and make every episode unbelievable. I want to see Clark find his ability to fly, battle the real Lex, fulfill his destiny. Any if he's going to wear the red and blue ... hope it looks better than the rubber underoos they showed off last night! Otherwise, stick to the black. Never missed an episode. Total man-crush on Tom Welling. Go, Superman!

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Good review, I like the show more since season 7, more edgy, less juvenile.
I can't wait for the rest of this last season to unfold!!!

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Oh and that Smashing Pumpkins song was the only good think to come out of the Batman and Robin movie.

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Thanks for the "positive" comments and feedback. I agree that Clark is his own worst enemy and it is his self doubt and insecurity that is keeping him from flying. JoRel did have a point. Clark was beginning to think too highly of himself. That can be dangerous. Look at history's worst dictators for examples of how men with power who become so intoxicated with what they can do, suddenly nothing is off limits and their morality scale is askew. Oh

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For a brief moment, I thought Tess was going to poison the little Clex when she gave him the glass of milk...

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My biggest issue with Jor-El is he seems to expect perfection from his son (comes from being a Kryptonian I guess- no wonder Zod was so full of himself). Jonathan was what we we always expect from him. Compassionate, caring, and well aware that both he and his son have tempers and need to overcome them. That's why I don't think he is a minion of Darkseid. Now we see that though Clark was ready to don thew Supersuit, Jor-El will make him 'earn' it first. Perhaps Jor-El is correct, for to be the true hero of Earth he must put the welfare of others before even that of one person. (Eloquntly stated in the first Donner movie).
If Clark was truly capable of such malevilance he would have snapped the Clone's neck in the first second. I think there is a subtle message through the entire season that people are missing in their rush to see "Superman". Is it really so surprising that Clark is still dressed all in black? Jor-El has already advised Clark that he has the ability to fly but the rason he can't is within him. What does flight mean to any human being? For one 'freedom' from the bonds of Earth. For another when you are 'up there' you literally looking down on others. Oliver compared Clark to a God. Clark doesn't want to be a God. As early as the first season we saw three episodes that hinted at Clark flying. He knows he can defy gravity. It's his self doubt keeping him grounded. Clark literally has to 'earn his wings' just as he will need to earn the suit. It's not something he can learn over night. (Or in this case 10 years).

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I think Jonathan Kent was a manifestation of Darkseid or something like that, I'm guessing his goal was to push Clark away from Jor-El even more. My biggest reason is that if Clark was simply going to imagine Jonathan he would have done it in the beginning of the episode, when he was dead or dying in between worlds. Anyway, I loved the episode and I can't wait for the rest of the season...but at the same time I really really don't want it to end. Unless we get Welling as Superman on the big screen, I can't imagine anything more perfect. I mean come on, the timing of the movie and series ending has to be a sign from the comic gods.

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I enjoyed the episode – and your review. Like how you cited Smashing Pumpkins' "The Beginning is the End is the Beginning." Appropriate. I've loved that song since it was used in the very first "Watchman" trailer. (Just to keep the conversation suitably nerdy.) As for the episode, lots to love. Best part: Chloe donning Dr. Fate's helmet beneath the painting of the JSA. Worst: all the usual drawn-out Emo stuff in the final act. No Superman comic in the history of humanity had all this father/son pyscho-babble. Bring on Darkseid, I say.

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You are right, Stuart. We really have been complete fucking morons. Instead of giving people everything they want, we have been trying to focus on things that aren't completely superficial. Things like...I don't know...STORIES that have carried the series for over ten years, characters that mainstream audiences have never had any contact with in the past that are now likable and interesting to a whole new group of people who have never picked up a comic, and a more human Clark that a lot of people prefer over the homoerotic boyscout you are pining for.
With every episode we strive to make the show as easy to swallow for every viewer, while at the same time please the fans that have made Superman what it is today.
But you're right, Stuart. Everyone just wants to see him fly. So, just for you, we've got an extra special series finale planned. It's going to be 48 minutes of Clark flying in circles screaming "I'M SOOOPERMAAANNN!!!!" while Lois dances around naked massaging her breasts with oil so you can sit there and play with yourself with the thought that all your dreams have come true.
Cheers, Stuart. You have shown us the error of our ways.