Yes, only three days later, I’m at the season finale (and 20 minutes into the season five premiere).
If that heart-racing 24 clock and er, the title, didn’t give it away, the season four finale of Smallville is the 24-ing of Smallville.
Interestingly enough, aside from being another one of my favorite shows with a quasi superhero in Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), who is more of an anti-hero, 24 also debuted in 2001, a couple of months after Smallville, and also almost had a similar run, ending a year prior to Smallville.
But this finale of Smallville’s fourth season, Commencement, is definitely in the 24 mode. The brilliant premise of this episode is that a second meteor shower is headed for Smallville, similar to the meteor shower that kicked off the series back in 2001. But this time, the characters have prior warning, hence the 24-like clock and countdown.
Like the previous season finale, a lot is going on with this finale:
- Lana Lang ends up killing Genevieve Teague, the mother of her ex-boyfriend, Jason Teague, when Countess Isobel, the witch, takes over her body.
- Lois Lane is seemingly leaving Smallville to join her sister Lucy in Europe.
- Lionel is shocked into a catatonic state by one of the three stones that Clark Kent needs to find.
- A meteor hits the Kent house where Jason Teague is holding Jonathan and Martha Kent hostage (he wants to find the stones).
- Clark Kent is able to get the stones together, but he ends up in the middle of nowhere in the Arctic with the Crystal of Knowledge, which will later build the real Fortress of Solitude.
- Lex Luthor has gone full bad guy, in my opinion, at this point because he takes Chloe Sullivan angrily to the caves to find out about the stones. He’s also shown all he cares about is the stones to Lana Lang.
- Lana Lang’s helicopter crashes, and she discovers a spaceship has landed in Smallville.
The best two parts in terms of story is that Lana Lang and Clark Kent tell each other they love the other. Then Chloe Sullivan, who at this point knows Clark Kent’s secret, protects Clark Kent from Lex Luthor in the caves by knocking him out, and unknowingly transporting with Clark Kent to the Arctic.
Visually, we get some of the most iconic shots in the entire series. One is when Clark Kent shields a kid named Henry from a falling meteor (the feature photo on this post), and then when Lois Lane at the end crawls up onto the hillside and sees all the meteor destruction in Smallville, as seen above.
The 24-ing of this episode is great, though, as it really adds to the tension, plus all the elements that make the overall tension (a literally looming meteor shower coming) even more palpable: Lex Luthor becoming fully bad by trying to find the stones at all costs (even telling his dad Lionel, that before he dies, he wants him to know that he got the kind of son he always wanted, i.e., the full-on bad boy Lex Luthor); Lana Lang leaving Clark Kent hanging, even though they exchange, “I love yous,” with a mysterious, “Goodbye,”; and we’re left hanging when a meteor hits the Kent’s house, as seen below.
I love this show. And I’ll mention it since I’m 20 minutes into the first episode of the fifth season, Arrival, where the disciples of Zod, one of Clark Kent/Superman’s strongest foes, arrive (and Lana Lang and Lex Luthor see them).
HERE. WE. GO.