Smallville Season Five Finale: All Is Lost; Kneel Before Zod

It sure feels like it, doesn’t it?! About two and a half weeks ago, when I finished Season Three of Smallville, I proclaimed that it was the “craziest season finale I’ve seen.” That’s still true, but boy, does this finale give it a run for its money.

The main gist of the season running up to this point is that Clark Kent/Superman is going through his “darkest hour.” His father, Jonathan Kent, is dead; Lana Lang hates him now; and he’s dealing with Lex Luthor increasingly turning to the dark side (oh, and Lex Luthor is dating Lana Lang now, but more on that in another post). On top of all of that, there’s the little matter of Professor Milton Fine, aka, Brainiac, the Kryptonian artificial intelligence built by scientists on Krypton, who is trying (and as you’ll see, is successful) to bring back Zod, a world-ending Kryptonian general, who wants to destroy earth.

“I don’t know how I could have ever loved you.” – Lana Lang, to Clark Kent in this episode, which CRUSHED MY SOUL.

That brings us to the season finale episode, “Vessel.” Clark Kent/Superman is told by Jor-El that in order to stop that surefire apocalypse coming to earth as ushered in by Zod, he must kill Zod’s human vessel, which is Lex Luthor. But Clark Kent/Superman fails.

Photo courtesy of the Smallville fan Wiki.

Here is the ensuing madness in the final minutes of this episode that, where, if it was something I had to wait three months to find how it gets resolved, as I once had to, I would LOSE MY MIND:

  • Clark Kent is sent into the Phantom Zone, the eternal prison for Kryptonian criminals, by Zod. How is he going to get out and save earth?! At that place, he also doesn’t even have his powers.
  • For all intents and purposes, Lex Luthor is dead (so proclaims Zod), as Zod has now become Lex Luthor. He’s wearing Lex Luthors’ meat suite.
  • Lois Lane finally reached her breaking point with Clark Kent, when she thinks he’s going to kill Lex Luthor, who she now loves, and delivers that scathing quoted line above. She also doesn’t yet realize Lex Luthor is “dead.”
  • Martha Kent, Clark Kent’s mother, and Lois Lane, are on their way to Washington D.C. aboard a private jet flown unbeknownst to them by a Brainiac clone into god knows where. But apparently it’s high up enough that they are losing oxygen. Lois valiantly, like the awesome superhero she is in her own right (as a normal human), tries to get to the oxygen masks, but it’s too late, and they both collapse. Again, seemingly like they’re going to die.
  • Meanwhile, the entire world is plunging into riots and chaos as Brainiac has unleashed a super virus on all the technology. It’s like the 1977 New York City blackout, but for the entire world. In other words, the world is prime pickings for a super villain like Zod.
  • Chloe Sullivan and Lionel Luthor are trying to get away from the rioting and looting when they are both dragged from Lionel Luthor’s limo and attacked by rioters to a fate unknown.


All seems lost; kneel before Zod. What a great finale. In this episode, you get the sense that Clark Kent/Superman feels completely lost, unsure of what to do. He’s not going to kill Lex Luthor (although he sure seems tempted) because we know, and Superman knows, that Superman doesn’t kill. But also, the entire world hangs in the balance. So what should he do? Also, Brainiac and Zod for obvious reasons have a leg-up on Clark Kent/Superman in two important ways: 1.) They know more about Kryptonian things, like technology, than he does so far; and 2.) They are willing to kill humans. In fact, that’s the entire goal, whereas Superman, as they point out, is unwilling and they see it as his greatest weakness.

Clark Kent/Superman tried to kill Brainiac with a special dagger and instead, that unleashed Zod and sent Superman packing to the Phantom Zone. Alas.

I can’t wait to find out how they fix all of this craziness. Part of me does miss that, “Ah man, now I have to wait all summer to figure out how they fix this.” … And part of me is glad I can literally go right to the Season Six premiere.

As I always say at the end of these: I freaking love this show!

Photo courtesy of the Smallville fan Wiki.

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