Smallville Preview: Waiting For Superman

Now halfway through its 10th and final season, The CW’s Smallville covered a lot of ground prior to the holiday break -– including but not limited to Clark (played by Tom Welling) getting glimpses of his super future self, the introduction of Darkseid and his malevolent minions, the “outing” of Oliver Queen, and a certain marriage proposal. Still, there is much to be done over this next salvo of episodes kicking off Friday at 8/7c, if the series is to end its run the way we all suspect it will.

TVLine invited Smallville executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson to preview the end of the beginning of mild-mannered Clark’s extraordinary journey.

A HERO RISES | As Clark enters this final phase of his journey, “The insecurity is gone,” says Souders, “which is good. But the way that some of the world has turned -– and certainly the fact that some people, his compadres so to speak, have turned against him -– has taken its toll on him.” So a critical aspect to the coming arcs will require silencing the zealots behind the Vigilante Registration Act and keeping the Suicide Squad in check. “There is a very hopeful ending to all of it,” Souders assures with a smile.

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A NEW YEAR’S EVIL | Clark’s obstacles won’t all be psychological or in the form of placard-waving protest groups. Rather, watch for him to heroically face off against “some baddies from his past,” says Peterson. So, in addition to Darkseid eventually taking corporeal form and possible encores by the likes of Granny Goodness (Christine Willes), watch for older foes such as Zod (Callum Blue) to resurface. “Potentially a lot of characters could come back,” Peterson said.

BOOSTER CLUB | Good guys will be in good supply as well, thanks in part to an encore from Supergirl as well as Smallville‘s first take on DC Comics characters such as Booster Gold and Blue Beetle (to be played by Eric Martsolf and Jaren Brandt Bartlett, respectively). “That’s going to be a huge, fun episode with [beloved comics scribe] Geoff Johns writing it,” says Souders. “The fans will really enjoy the personification of those characters on our show.”

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POWER-UPS? | We’d never waste the showrunners’ time with questions about flight, but we did inquire as to Clark busting out any other new powers during these final months. “Maybe,” Peterson allowed. “We’ve talked about a couple [options], but we haven’t solidified anything.”

CHLOE’S FATE | Ms. Sullivan’s (Allison Mack) imminent return from her semi-impulsive field trip with the Suicide Squad will prompt some to look at her with a wary eye. Among the skeptics is Dinah Lance aka Black Canary (Alaina Huffman). “She definitely has her own opinion [about Chloe’s allegiances],” says Peterson, “and it may not exactly match up with a couple of our other characters ” — perhaps including Chloe’s bow-toting beau, Oliver Queen. “Everybody has to get to their own level of trust,” explains Souders. “But it’s not that easy, considering the circumstances and the way she returns.”

A LIONEL ROARS | Speaking of second chances…. As glimpsed before the break, “Lionel Luthor (John Glover) is back, and he is bad-ass,” Peterson promises. While this is no outright resurrection — this Lionel crossed over from the alt-Earth visited in the episode “Luthor” –- there has to be some paperwork involved in him rejoining society, right? “He dots his i’s and crosses his t’s, so nobody questions things that much,” says Souders, “because he is that good.”

BORN LUTHOR | Having only recently discovered her foreboding birthright, Cassidy Freeman‘s “Tess is in a really interesting pickle,” Peterson attests. “She’s got the Luthor dynasty pulling her in one direction, and Clark and his friends in another.” This much is certain: The first meeting in this ‘verse between Tess and her daddy “is going to be awesome,” Peterson raves.

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SUPREME MAKEOVER | The none-too-small issue of Clark concealing his everyday identity as he evolves into a super savior gets addressed during these next episodes, with big thanks to Lois (Erica Durance). “She’s kind of all over him as far as how he’s dressing, what his hair looks like… but for a very, very good reason,” says Souders. As for the precise why now and how of the makeover, Souders teases: “Stay tuned — but if you’re a hardcore Superman fan, you’ll enjoy the ride. It’s a lot of fun.”

If all the above seems like a lot of ground to cover, just remember: It’s all en route to the best possible — and as first scooped by TVLine, a possibly supersized — finish. As Souders reminds us, “There’s a lot of arcs within [the second half], but obviously the main arc is Clark eventually turning into Superman.”

Hells yeah.