Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season

January 01, 1970

(Warner; 1012 minutes)

www.cwtv.com/shows/smallville

 

BY CHRIS ZIMMERMAN

 

Smallville season 8 was everything a comic book fan
could want, with guest appearances from the Justice League, Legion of Super
Heroes, and the introduction of DC comics mainstays like Zatanna, Toyman, and
Doomsday. To those who have kept up with the show, season 8 was the payoff they
were waiting for. Too bad there is going to be a season 9.

 

Season 8
was the perfect ending to the series with Clark
having finally dealt with long time foe Lex Luthor. Brainiac was defeated and
imprisoned in the future, and General Zod was still trapped in the Phantom
Zone. Lana had left Smallville and Clark
finally began moving closer to Lois. All that stood in his way was the behemoth
known as Doomsday, recognized by most comic fans as the monster that killed
Superman. Indeed, all the ingredients for a spectacular series finale were in
place.

 

Smallville‘s writers had quite the task ahead of
themselves with season 8. The previous season saw the introduction of Supergirl
as well as Bizarro, Brainiac once again rising to give Clark grief, and Lex
finally embracing the dark side and confronting Clark
about his powers. It also saw the departure of series mainstays Michael
Rosenbaum, John Glover, and Kristen Kreuk. Many doubted the series would
survive after that. With little other choice, the writers decided to move
closer to the Superman mythos and bring in even more DC characters. The way
Doomsday was written and portrayed is in itself a credit to the series. No one,
myself included, thought they could do the character justice. In fact, it’s
interesting to note that the character is even more interesting on the show
than he is in the comics. 

 

Of course,
as has become a tradition of Smallville,
the special effects were of cinema quality and continue to outdo anything in
its genre. Once again going back to Doomsday, the suit is remarkably close to
what could be seen in the comic.

 

Fans of
the comics were rewarded with nice little nods. The anti-life equation could be
heard in a specific scene featuring Brainiac; Maxima was kept the same as her
comic counterpart; and Green Arrow continued to grow more antagonistic toward Clark, which ultimately leads to his death in the comics.

 

If there
was a negative opinion of the season, it would have to be regarding the final
battle between Clark and Doomsday. It was a fight that was built up the entire
season, and even previewed during a scene in which Clark’s
super strength did little to halt a punch from Doomsday that sent him crashing
through a farm house. Surely during the finale these two would finally have it
out in grand fashion. If there is one weakness that Smallville has continued to suffer from, it would be its unimpressive
action sequences. The Clark-Doomsday battle lasted around a minute and twenty
seconds. Had this been another episode, it would be a small gripe but
considering this was supposed to be the foe that was built up throughout the
entire season as being Clark’s own personal
doomsday, one couldn’t help but be disappointed by the result.

 

Everything
aside, season 8 ultimately is not the end for Smallville. The CW needs a ratings boost and Smallville is seemingly all they have left. Knowing this, they
extended its life past what really should have been its end. Can the show
continue its upward trend? A new battle with Zod may prove interesting and the
introduction of the JSA may provide some fanboys pleasure if done right but,
with Clark finally donning a costume and moving
to Metropolis, one has to wonder why the show is even called Smallville. Still, regardless of whether
season 9 outperforms it or not, season 8 was one of the best examples of what
makes Superman entertaining outside of the pages of a comic.

 

Special Features: Commentaries on 2 key
episodes; unaired scenes; “In the Director’s Chair: Behind the Lens and Calling
the Shots With Allison Mack”; “Smallville‘s
Doomsday: The Making of a Monster”

 

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