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Smallville’s 200th Episode “Homecoming”

Photo: Ed Araquel/The CW

200 episodes in the can is no small feat.  Few shows have been able to reach this illustrious achievement and now you can add Smallville to the ranks.  “Homecoming” was an episode ten years in the making and the trip down memory lane was well worth the wait.

Bummed out because Metropolis is turning against vigilantes like The Blur and Green Arrow while Clark agrees to go with Lois to their…6 year…4 year…some whack ass year high school reunion.  Of course, since Lois was only there in high school for about 5 episodes the running joke was that no one remembered her much to her dismay.  At the school Clark relived the memories of his days there (via clips from season one which shows a shockingly young Tom Welling and a reminder of his brutal obsession with Lana) and while Allison Mack and Kristin Kreuk don’t actually show up in the episode, their presence was definitely felt.  Later in the episode we also got to see a returning villain from the 1st season, the man we remember as Bug Boy who was obsessed with Lana and tried to wrap her up in a cocoon of death in the second ever episode.  While we all thought he was there to give Clark a piece of his mind, he actually came to thank Clark for setting him straight.  This was what Clark needed to see to know he was making a difference in the world and peoples’ lives.

The episode really picked up steam when Braniac 5, a reprogrammed good guy version of Brainiac played by the always brilliant James Marsters, came to show Clark the darkness within himself from his past and what his future will be like.  Ever since the first episode a lot of fans (myself included) didn’t really understand why Jor El was being so hard on Clark and what exactly he was doing wrong.  This episode finally clued us in on what that means and really showed us how the death of Clark’s father has brought about a sense of guilt and darkness inside of him that ultimately he had to deal with in order to become Earth’s savior.

The highlight of the episode by far was when Clark went seven years into the future and we got to see him in shock of his own Superman lore.  I adored Lois being the worried girlfriend when she notices a displaced Clark acting weird (“Is it Kryptonite? Red…blue…It’s not green…oh God I hope it’s not black again…”).  Seeing future Clark in the glasses and slicked back hair and the red cape whizzing by the screen was nothing short of magical.  Also I just have to point out the nice nod to the original Richard Donner Superman movie by having Lois being trapped in a falling helicopter off of the roof of the building.  Very nice touch and made the fanboy in me go crazy!

At the end of the episode we finally got a moment of closure from Clark as he visited Jonathan’s grave.  It was a moment that was so poignant, so subtle, and so moving that it finally clicked in my head that Clark is just about to become Superman and Smallville is coming to an end.  It never really sunk in to my head until that moment, and I realized it’s time to let go just as Clark has to let go to become who he was born to be.  The ending with Clark and Lois in the barn was so sweet with them telling each other “I love you” and dancing as Clark floated off the floor literally, but also symbolically floating from the weight that had finally been lifted off of him because he let his past go.  I think that was the overall theme of this episode: to move forward you have to let go.  Smallville means more to us than just some silly TV show.  That’s why we’re fans, because we connect to it in a different way than we do just any other ordinary show, but we too have to let go.  The show has given us ten wonderful years, some good times, some rough times, but a lot of great memories that this episode reminded us of that we won’t forget.  It showed us where we’ve been, where we are, and where it’s going.  Sometimes we need a little perspective to remind us why we love something as much as we do, and this episode reminded me of why I fell in love with Smallville and that I’ll miss it when it’s gone.  But until it is gone, I’m going to enjoy the hell out of every moment left it has to give me.

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