Tom Welling on Smallville Series Finale: 'People Are Really Going to Like What We Did'

The year-long build-up to the series finale of The CW’s Smallville has been well-chronicled, with mild-mannered reporters such as yours truly doing their best to divine just how super the final two hours airing this Friday at 8/7c are going to be. Even series executive producer Kelly Souders had to remark to TVLine earlier this week, “I’m kind of surprised everything hasn’t leaked!”

Not that Smallville‘s powers-that-be didn’t go to heroic lengths to keep the particulars of the finale under wraps as production got underway in March, in Vancouver. As series lead Tom Welling told me (as part of an interview conducted for the May issue of CBS Watch! Magazine), “We had scripts that were heat-marked, you couldn’t photocopy them, we had to sign them in and sign them out…. It was this really secretive affair.”

Scoop on Smallville‘s ‘Jampacked’ Finale: A ‘Jewel’ Of a Sendoff! Big Returns! Flash Forwards?!

Though earlier this season there was the assumption that the finale itself would kinda sorta have to be titled “Superman,” Souders and fellow show runner Brian Peterson kryptonite’d that idea when I spoke to them in January, saying that dropping the S-bomb “is a much bigger discussion” that simply typing eight letters on a keyboard. “It’s not only not that easy,” Welling reiterated to me, “but also it’s kind of not what [the finale] is about.”

What is Friday’s two-hour swan song, simply titled “Finale,” about? We know there’s a wedding. We know there is unfinished business regarding Darkseid and the “darkness” with which Oliver and others have been infected throughout Season 10. TVLine readers know there’s a surprise cameo. And we know that Lex Luthor will be back for a pivotal tête-à-tête with frenemy Clark Kent. But as for precisely how those elements and others meld together into a series ender, you’ll have to tune in and see. From all accounts, however, it sounds sure to satisfy.

“Kelly and Brian did a really great job of wrapping up a 10-year program, which is kind of an impossible task,” Justin Hartley, who plays Ollie/Green Arrow, told me. He then promises, “People are going to fall out of their chairs when they see what happens in the end.”

Perhaps elaborating on that comment, Hartley said, “There’s the question that everyone asks: Is Clark going to fly? Well, either he doesn’t… or he does. That question gets answered.”

Says Welling, “I really think people are really going to like what we did. I mean, when I think about it I get excited. The last image… for me, it gave me goosebumps.”

For much more from Welling, Hartley, Souders and Peterson, Allison Mack, Erica Durance and other series vets — including interesting casting anecdotes, frank talk about the show’s tricky transitions, and tributes to their super fans — check out the oral history of Smallville that I compiled for the May issue of CBS Watch! Magazine, which is sold at Barnes & Noble and Hudson News.

Comments (31)

  • I kinda can’t believe that Smallville encompasses the last DECADE of my life. I have a feeling I might actually shed a tear tonight.

    Comment by Dave – May 13, 2011 08:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I feel the same way. I remember turning on the show as a 17 year old and I was instantly hooked…Since then I have gone to college, lived in Australia, friends have passed away, friends have gotten married and had babies…Its been a constant in my life while almost everything else has changed…Im glad its coming to an end as it is a nice bookend to my early adult life.

      Comment by Dan – May 13, 2011 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I love this show too much. Best show on television. THANK YOU GOD for this pleasure of being able to watch SMALLVILLE.

        I am truly grateful.

        Comment by Jimmy Olsen – May 13, 2011 12:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am really going to miss this show. I have been watching it for a good chunk of my life, and I cannot WAIT to see how they wrap it all up.

    Clark flying off, Superman theme blaring…hopefully the suit.

    Comment by Joel – May 13, 2011 08:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So excited to see how it all ends!!!!

    Comment by Tavis – May 13, 2011 08:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Clark won’t fly. He’ll just jump really high.

    Comment by David F. – May 13, 2011 08:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have been watching Smallville, through its ups and downs, for the last seven years and I have to say I’m really going to miss this show. I always get really emotional when my favorite shows end, but I have a feeling this one is going to be a real tear-jerker. Thank you Smallville writers and cast members for your wonderful dedication for the last ten years. We will miss you greatly.

    Comment by Kerry – May 13, 2011 08:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • l can’t believe it,after 10years this is the end of it.this is hurting.but l can’t wait to enjoy the last 2hours of it.l’ll miss SMALLVILLE especially Louis

    Comment by MAGRAND – May 13, 2011 09:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Louis? Who’s Louis?

      Comment by GregR – May 14, 2011 06:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mark my words, either it’ll be Tom Welling flying up in space looking at the camera and smiling (ala Christopher Reeve in the films) OR they’ll actually show footage of Reeve doing the smile (should the ending have a flashforward).

    Comment by Mrjzn – May 13, 2011 09:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope he wears the suit for longer than the last seconds, it would be nice to see him fight darkseid in it. but I’m sure this will be an all around great episode and send the show off on a good note.

    Comment by Ryan – May 13, 2011 09:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I doubt he’ll wear the suit because the suit is from Superman Returns, which was made for Brandon Routh, therefore I doubt it would fit Tom Welling. We’ll probably just get to see him rip open his shirt and see the ‘S’

    Comment by nate – May 13, 2011 09:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Lex/Michael Rosenbaum isn’t the aforementioned cameo…

    1. Perry White/Michael McKeon. He needs to be @the Planet.
    2. Jimmy Olsen/Aaron Ashmore. Yeah, he’s dead. I’m sure they could figure something out. Lol
    3. Any established JL members. Martian Manhunter/Phil Morris would be at the top of my list.
    4. Pete Ross/Sam Jones III.

    IMPOSSIBLE CAMEOS (a guy can dream)
    1. Bruce Wayne/Christian Bale.
    2. Hal Jordan/Ryan Reynolds.
    3. Dr. Swann/Christopher Reeve. On the impossible chance they filmed something prior to his death.

    Comment by Eddie E – May 13, 2011 09:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Those are all fantastic! choices, Eddie E.

      Imagine! Batman! That would be friggin’ amazing.

      It will probably be Perry White, though.

      Comment by Dee – May 13, 2011 01:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • it will end with jor-l telling clark that this earth was earth 3 and he will send him to earth 1 allready as clark kent aka superman and that this was all a training and that will line up with the mythos the end.that way lex and lois want know who he is but the cacth is chole will go with him that is how she is reading that comic book to the kid because know one will know clark was in smallville because clark will not have grew up in smallville on earth 3.

    Comment by laz – May 13, 2011 09:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so excited. I already know that final image will give me goosebumps.

    Comment by Carrie – May 13, 2011 11:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think the end will show Chloe reading the story to the child and it will show the entire 10 seasons was the book she was reading.

    And the surprise cameo I think will be Lana. IMDB credits her with being in the episode.(Not that they are always correct).

    Comment by Wes – May 13, 2011 01:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Didn’t the producers already state that this is not Earth-1 but one of the other 52 earths under the multiverse? I’m hoping they have a Batman and Wonder Woman cameo to tease….

    “Metropolis” – coming 2013…

    Comment by sladewilson – May 13, 2011 01:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • would be a cool nod to the new Superman movie if Henry Cavill pops up.

    Comment by Apple – May 13, 2011 01:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Didn’t like it.

    Comment by Joanna – May 13, 2011 07:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That was an amazing finale! TW was not over-hyping when he mentioned goosebumps. The last 10 minutes were well worth the wait. One of the best series endings ever (right up there with Lost).

    Comment by Jamie – May 13, 2011 07:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yep, I agree. The final episode was just awesome. I teared up a few times because it was so great yet ending. I loved how everything came together in the end.

      Comment by Melokesm – May 13, 2011 08:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was disappointed by the finale. The writing was weak. The acting was at it’s all time hammiest. And borrowing the closing theme from the movies was an awful choice. I saw every episode. I loved the show but I haven’t been so let down by a finale since Seinfeld.

    Comment by Bob – May 13, 2011 07:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • finale was lame….darkseid battle was lame… a whole hour was spent on the lame love wedding , where was the action?? he is never shown in a full suit. jimmy is somehow back from the dead. everyone
    magically is freed from darkseid as soon as the planet is moved. clark was only superman for like 10 mins out of 120….this finale is disapointing…worst ever

    Comment by omar – May 14, 2011 06:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was disappointed myself.

    I just wanted to point out though that they showed at “Jimmy’s” funeral that he wasn’t actually named “Jimmy”, it was a nickname…from his middle name or something. He had a younger brother who is the “Jimmy Olsen” that grew up to work at the Daily Planet later. THAT is how he was there in the future. Seriously. Go check out the funeral again if you don’t believe me.

    This was possibly the worst episode of Smallville I’ve ever seen though. Wasting time with stupid stuff and not moving the story forward at all…plot holes abound. Cheesy special effects as well. My mom and I were angry we wasted the time watching it.

    Comment by Chris – May 14, 2011 09:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was very disappointed in the finale. Darkseid, he who is unto a god, smacked down in one scene. “Superman” moving the planet away. The death of Tess, though not unexpected, was kind of a sad way to end the character.

    Overall a very bitter pill for such a great series.

    Comment by Will Parkinson – May 16, 2011 01:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Losing this show is really hard I have been watching this show sence I was eight I am now 17 plz don’t stop it bring it back some how I am a big kid at heart and I luv Superman plz don’t stop this show

    Comment by Matthew – May 19, 2011 12:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Losing this show is really hard I have been watching this show sence I was eight plz don’t stop it bring it back some how I am a big kid at heart and I luv Superman plz don’t stop this show

    Comment by Matthew – May 19, 2011 12:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The finale was underwhelming. After all the promos teasing Tom Welling wearing the suit, fans were left without their wish come true: Clark/Tom Welling wearing the Superman suit. Being Executive Producer, Tom has some of the blame for the decision of not wearing the suit. I felt very dissapointed on how the producers did everything to avoid Tom putting the suit on.

    Comment by Mandrake – May 31, 2011 09:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Is there not going to be an eleventh season as I have seen on other websites?

    Comment by Joshua Hutchinson – April 8, 2012 12:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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