Smallville 200th Episode Review: "Homecoming"

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I'll be ready to jot down my thoughts about Smallville's 200th episode just as soon as I stop slow dancing on air. 

What a rush of emotions last night must have stirred among the hearts of fans everywhere. "Homecoming" truly felt like a love letter to fans of the long running series, as well as to those of the Superman mythology. It was both poignant and nostalgic, bringing Clark full circle as he makes his final preparations to embark on the path he is destined to pursue.

Slow Dancing

It's almost hard to believe it's been 200 episodes already, and yet it seems like it has taken so long to get here. Part of me wishes we had another 200 for which to look forward, but alas, all good things must end sometime.

Clark's past, present and future all collided Dickens-style as Braniac 5.0 came from the future, courtesy of a Legion ring, to help Clark realize that life is all about the choices we make, and who you choose to become is less about destiny and more learning from the past, letting go of guilt and grief, and embracing the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

As a fanboy myself, I enjoyed all the little nods to the Superman mythology including the return of Clark's glasses, the phone booth, Lois in the falling helicopter, and Lois and Clark floating on air while dancing. It was also a pleasant trip down memory lane with the clips of Lana and Chloe presenting the Wall of Weird.

I especially enjoyed Clark's face to face with Future Clark in the elevator, and then seeing Superman off in the distance containing the nuclear explosion, while Clark watched in awe through a window of the Daily Planet.  I would also be remiss if I failed to mention how great it felt to finally hear Lois and Clark share those three little words.

In a revisit to "Reckoning," probably not so coincidentally Smallville's 100th episode, Clark's father Jonathan died of a heart attack, and this is revealed to be the critical moment the darkness initially "infected" Clark.  All this time he's been stunted, holding on to the grief and guilt over his father's death, believing it was his fault Jonathan died. Braniac showed Clark "what really happened" and claimed Jonathan died because of the decision he made to protect Clark, and that it wasn't Clark's fault.

I was a bit confused by this, because in my recollection, Clark beseeched Jor-El to turn back time so he could rescue Lana, who died. Jor-El obliged, but warned Clark that someone else he loved would be lost to him in the process. In the same episode, Jonathan died. I'm not sure if this is an error in continuity or what, but either way Clark had been hanging on that guilt for so long, and as Braniac indicated, it was affecting his relationships all around him in the present, both with Lois and Oliver.

Clark would have to let go of the pain and guilt over the loss of his father if he were to move forward. That scene in the cemetery where he buried his father's watch and said goodbye, I admit, had me in tears.  

There's a little bit of Clark in all of us, I think, which is what makes his character so endearing and why we empathize and sympathize with him, and remain invested in his journey. We can each identify with someone who wants to always do the right thing, yet dwells on past failures and fears he will never live up to the perception of what is expected of him by others, or rather what he expects of himself. It's a great lesson to take away from "Homecoming," that in order to move forward, we can't let the past hold us back.

Overall this was one of the most beautifully written, filmed and acted episodes I've seen in the last nine years of Smallville, and it surpassed my expectations. I'm very interested to see what happens next, as we continue our descent, approaching that final moment when Clark emerges as the superhero he is to become.  Although, not to be a downer after such a wonderful episode, I am disappointed to see in the previews for next week's episode we're being taken to the possession well once again. I guess we'll see how "Isis" plays out.

Some Smallville quotes from last night ...

Lois: A couple more hugs and maybe you'll have the 'bah humbugs' squeezed out of you. | permalink
Lois: Looks like somebody took a bite out of Chloe's conspiracy cookie. | permalink
Braniac: This is the moment your life changes forever. | permalink
Clark: We don't have the privilege of mistakes. Even if we don't expect perfection from ourselves, the rest of the world does. | permalink
Braniac: A hero is made in the moment, not from questioning the past or fearing what's to come. | permalink
Clark: I love you.
Lois: I love you, too. | permalink
Clark: I have to say the one thing I never could. Good-bye Dad. I promise to be the man you knew I could be. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (80 Votes)

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

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Amazing episode, especially the future clips with Lois & Clark. This episode is a great collaboration of new and old Superman stories. The writers (and everyone else) did an amazing job with Brainiac 5, phenomenal!

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Like all series there is that "jump the shark" episode. Then the masses stop watching the series. Those who believed in this show and stayed with the series have been treated to some amazing television over the past two seasons. Just last season the "Absolute Justice" show proved that quality story, acting and cinematography trumps the potential gimmick factor of introducing the JLA. In fact, the JLA was real and they did a masterful job utilizing characters from the DC Universe that do not generally get mainstream attention.
So why all this praise for an episode last year when this is supposed to be about this 200th episode? Simple, Smallville topped what I believed was the best episode in the last for seasons. The best moment of the show was when Clark shows up to support Oliver. Up to that the point where Oliver sees Clark, he is scared an unsure of his decision. Clark's being there validated his choice and he now knows he has the support and brotherhood he sought.
All the nods to the Supermanology if you will, are things that every Smallville fan has waited for. The last thing we now need is to see Clark in the suit and fly away. My closing thought is that this franchise should learn from the Star Trek & X Files franchises, they already have a built in loyal fanbase that will follow it to the big screen. They also have iconic Superman / Lois / Lex Luther & Green Arrow characters casted. The fanboys will go see a Superman movie and if its a quality script like "Batman Begins" than the average no fanboy will appreciate it because its a quality film. I know its a dream and probably wont come true, but I ask you what do you think? It will work.

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Thank you for this review which I truly hope would induce people to watch Smallville, but it would be more realistic if it would entice some-time SV viewers and even those who have stopped, to start re-watching once again. Specially this 200th ep which is written by K.Souders and B.Peterson, who are the main reason why Smallville's last 3 seasons have, in my opinion, turned into a better direction! I'm looking forward to SV's next episode Isis and hope you'll enjoy it as well. After all, it will be directed by one of Smallville's best directors, James Marshall( Nicodemus, Heat, Rosetta, Phoenix, Gone, Transference, Krypto, Arrival, Splinter, Vessel, Zod).

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Yeap, forgot to say : Most romantic episode ever... when you think about it !

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JaySin420 i agree .. when he was flying at the end when he was dancing with Lois i was so exicted.. i cant wait for him to fly and him telling Lois his secret... i love this show SOO MUCH.. Tom Welling is SUPERMAN!!!

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Yea that was incredible, I'm sure I wasn't the only one that went crazy at the end when he started flying. Welling is Superman!

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Hi totally agree with you guys! It was awesome!
all i love! LOIS & Clark!!!!!

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I watch this episode two twice That say everything... A truly fantastic season. I'm glad they will going out with a bang!

Richy

Woah.
Without a doubt, as a Smallville fan for years this episode is one of my favourite of all time.
I can't see anything wrong with this episode, really loved how they explained Brainiac 5.0 because how else is Clark honestly supposed to show hesitation after he killed him?
- Do you think Clark or Lois sent the text message to the Torch members from Chloe? Or is she lurking in the shadows?
- I know the first song that played was Lifehouse - Everything, awesome since it was the same song as Smallville High's prom years ago. But what was the second song?
- Even though there was no conflict, everything fit together brilliantly.
- Was it just me or was Oliver wanting his 'leader' Clark, proud of him by coming out? Or just wanted a friend to support him? Either way, Clark has brought up how Oliver murdered Lex (earlier this season/last?) and effected his judgement since that happened.
I think you're correct, we all want that power to be able to protect our family & friends and it's a dream to have those powers but we still do what we can, with what we have.
Loved Ollie's line about "armchair bloggers have become critics of everyone else in this country, and I'm out there becoming a leader and a hero." (Semi-accurate)
Great review, great episode.

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I watched Reckoning again after reading this review, it brought up questions. I don't know if it was intended by the writers when they wrote that episode...but I don't think anyone died in that episode to pay for Clark for being brought back to life the second time Clark lives the day. Jonathan was on his way to meet Lionel regardless. He might have had the heart attack anyway after Lana's accident the first time, the day never got that far on screen because Clark went to the fortress. LOIS is the one that was having an accident the second time he did the day over, but Clark saved her. Who says anyone actually died for him that DAY? Maybe Lois was the one who was always going to be taken...but first Lana and then Clark saved her, putting it off. Why did that death happen then? Maybe the death didn't happen for years?

Smallville Season 10 Episode 4 Quotes

Clark: I love you.
Lois: I love you, too.

I have to say the one thing I never could. Good-bye Dad. I promise to be the man you knew I could be.

Clark
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