Warning: the following contains spoilers about the series finale of Smallville.
I didn't watch this season of Smallville, so that undoubtedly had an effect on how I viewed the final episode. Still, I read detailed recaps of each episode for this season so I would understand what was going on.
There wasn't nearly as much action as I'd hoped for. It was two hours long, but it could easily have been just one. The extra hour was mostly taken up with conversations about what it means to move on, as well as plenty of nostalgic flashbacks of footage from the past ten years. You expect some trips down memory lane in the final episode of such a long-running series. But was it really necessary to stop in the middle of one of the few action scenes and run a montage of clips from past episodes? Come on, I just wanted to see him beat the bad guy.
Speaking of bad guys, Lex Luthor was very incidental in this episode, a disappointment since Michael Rosenbaum hasn't been in the show for several years. Instead, Clark has to stop the Apocalypse and prevent an evil creature named Darkseid from taking over the world. The Apocalypse is a fiery planet on a collision-course towards earth, and Darkseid's followers are quite clear that their master is actually Satan, although they don't specifically say so. They yammer on about how they will be Raptured and how they need to baptize people and save them to serve their Lord and Savior. The followers of Darkseid all have an omega symbol branded into their foreheads.
I've always been fascinated that Superman, a character created by two Jewish boys in the 1930s, has such strongly Christian undertones and characteristics. Smallville carried on this tradition. In the very first episode of the very first season, Clark was tied to a cross-shaped scarecrow stand, a blood-red S painted on his naked torso, while he suffered the effects of a kryptonite necklace hung around his neck by cruel senior pranksters.
This final episode also portrays Clark as a uniquely American version of Jesus, this time drawing on the Book of Revelation rather than the gospels. The only things missing are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
I did enjoy the last several scenes of the finale, once they finally got down to action rather than philosophizing and reminiscing. They used the traditional Superman music, which was also a huge plus. Still, I was left unsatisfied. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a terrible finale. It was just...somewhat anticlimactic. The very last scene confused me. It takes place in 2018, and Clark and Lois talk about getting ready for their upcoming wedding. Except they were already getting married seven years ago, had actually said their vows, when they were interrupted by the almost-end of the world. Why did they wait another seven years to officially put the rings on? No explanation is given.
I disliked the invention of gold kryptonite, which is supposed to permanently take away Clark's powers. They've invented several different kinds of kryptonite for Smallville, all of which I'm cool with except for this one. I wonder if anyone else picked up on the implications of this kryptonite. While the episode ended triumphantly with Clark becoming Superman and donning the suit to go save the world, all I could think was that it's only a matter of time before someone else figures out what gold kryptonite does and uses it on him. A bleak future indeed. Although once you've defeated the devil incarnate, who else does the world need protection from? Lex Luthor must be child's play compared to Satan himself.