Where’s that it’s happening GIF? Because it’s finally happened! I’ve been re-re-watching the television series Smallville, and I’ve finally arrived at THE episode I’ve been waiting for. To be sure, I was eagerly anticipating re-re-watching plenty of episodes prior to this one, but THIS is the episode that most sticks in my head (besides Jonathan Kent dying, of course):
Doomsday always, well, loomed large in my imagination because he’s the villain who killed Superman. He killed Superman! There are better villains in terms of characterization in Superman’s “rogues gallery” from Lex Luthor to Darkseid to Zod, and certainly in the greater DC Universe, but there is none as impressive or again, who looms as large in my imagination as Doomsday. He killed Superman … in his first encounter with the Man of Steel!
I don’t care how many times I read that classic story arc from the early 1990s — and I’m literally getting a wave of chills seeing the iconic cover again pictured at the top of the post from “The Death of Superman”; I’m such a nerd — or see it portrayed in other media, like Smallville, I love that storyline. Because with the comparisons to God, this is tantamount to killing God. It’s the unthinkable. Superman can’t die.
But Doomsday did it and is the only one who can claim it, even if Superman eventually came back and won (as the good guy should!).
I’m tearing up even seeing the cover of Lois holding a fallen Clark Kent/Superman. Nooooooooo!
But anyhow. This is the episode I’ve been waiting for. For the entire eighth season, we’ve known Doomsday was coming, but it was a matter of “when.” Doomsday is an EMT introduced earlier in the season by the name of Davis Bloome (RHYMES WITH DOOM), who is growing more and more into Doomsday as the season progresses.
It finally reaches the apex in episode 10, “Bride,” during Chloe Sullivan and Jimmy Olsen’s wedding at Clark’s barn. Davis fell in love with Chloe, and so by extension, Doomsday loves Chloe. Doomsday crashes the wedding, they tease the confrontation with Clark (Clark tries to punch him, looks pathetic, gets tossed aside next to some Kryptonite), and then Doomsday takes off with Chloe to the Fortress of Solitude, which thanks to Brainiac, has turned into his palace of darkness now.
For the first 30 minutes of the episode, my heart was pounding. Seriously! Because I’m waiting for that proverbial “crap hitting the fan” moment of Doomsday’s arrival. Gah! So good. They even do a neat Cloverfield-esque rendition of it. Cloverfield is the 2008 monster movie shot in a found footage style, and you only fleetingly see the monster (which is how it should be). They do the same thing here. Doomsday looks like an absolute threat and monster, as he should, but only from found footage angles and shrouded in darkness. He’s treated as if you dropped Godzilla (but more powerful) into the middle of a barn in Kansas. The chaos that ensues is befitting of his presence.
And the best part about this episode? That’s not all! We even get the return of Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang, who surprises everyone, including Clark, by showing up to Chloe’s wedding. But it’s over between her and Clark. She also has some sort of mysterious thing going on where she’s both ostensibly tracking Lex Luthor (who still seems to be alive after his supposed death after learning Clark’s secret at the end of season seven), and also … she’s up to something? She receives a text about whether the “archer,” meaning Green Arrow, is on to them. Whatever that means.
But we also get the continuation, and perhaps the most overt representation of the budding Lois Lane and Clark relationship. She is being open with Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) about liking Clark, and it’s obvious Clark likes her, too. They’re even about to kiss before Lana interrupts, naturally. So you know I’m geeking out about that just as much as Doomsday’s arrival! I love the Lois/Clark relationship.
At the end of the episode, when Chloe has been kidnapped by Doomsday, and Lois is near tears wondering if they ever get Chloe back, and Clark has that steely Man of Steel look in his eyes … I’M IN TEARS again.
Bring on the fight. Let’s do this!
Oh my goodness. I started to format and post this, and realized I forgot that in the final moments of the episode, LEX LUTHOR is watching the found footage of Doomsday’s attack on the barn. LEX LUTHOR is ALIVE. I don’t think it’s Michael Rosenbaum, who played Lex Luthor the prior seven seasons, but still, I geeked out again. It’s an interesting character change, too, because up to this point in the series, Lex has been quite … open? And then openly evil? It’s different from him to work behind the scenes as a sort of puppet master.
What an episode. Certainly one of the best of the entire show, and it feels like a season finale even though it’s tucked into the middle of the season. And that’s without even getting the big fight yet!