Smallville Review – “Doomsday”

Thus ends season eight.

Cast

Tom Welling as Clark Kent
Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
Erica Durance as Lois Lane
Aaron Ashmore as Jimmy Olson
Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer
Sam Witwer as Davis Bloome
Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen / Green Arrow

Written by Brian Petersen and Kelly Sounders
Directed by James Marshall

Original Airdate

Doomsday originally aired on Thursday, May 14, 2009.

Synopsis

The final showdown between Clark and Doomsday goes down, with repurcussions that are sure to drastically change the status quo until we see next season’s reset button.

High Point

The new confidant scene.

Low Point

The potential for a reset button hit early, but it could have easily gone another way. Then some events took place that make the reset button seem utterly inevitable.

The Review

This would be original, if I actually thought most of the results would stick. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were very well done, with some new displays of power. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story has events well worthy of a season finale. The end of Doomsday’s arc is worth the buildup, next season’s main villain is nicely revealed, and the relationship between Lois and the red-blue blur is effectively set up. Sadly, there’s also an event that, if left unchanged, will infuriate many fans for deviations from canon, or, if changed, will infuriate many fans for the use of yet another reset button (with a likely reset button established prior to the event.) They really wrote themselves into a no win situation. It’s a better reset than Chloe waking up and telling a showering Patrick Duffy about her odd dream, but it’s going to be really hard to use without upsetting someone. It also seemed like there was a reshoot on a major scene, as a line of dialogue in the following scene made it sound like Chloe hadn’t seen two people she was just standing next to for some time. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was well done all around, with the right reactions and tensions to keep it all going. Cassidy Freeman is shaping up very well as the villain who truly wants to be a hero, but simply doesn’t know how. The others played off each other very nicely, especially in the “phonebooth” and “new confidant” scenes. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was excellent until it returned from the last commercial break. At that point, it felt like all bets were off, as nothing from then on would count. This is the risk of prequels: some changes won’t be kept if they’re going to respect the source material, or they will be kept if they’re willing to alienate some of the established fan base. I give it 3 out of 6.

The production was generally good. The scene that seems to have been reshot should have also involved a reshoot of the scene that followed, but otherwise, it all worked. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it was a generally good finale, but one bad writing decision just mars the complete package. I give it 3 out of 6.

In total, Doomsday receives 29 out of 42.

13 replies on “Smallville Review – “Doomsday””

  1. Fez says:

    I, too, felt the impending doom of the reset button, but it may not happen.

    From the “new confidant” scene and every word that came out of Jimmy’s mouth I said to my wife “Oh, he is so dead”. You just can’t say those kinds of things on a drama and live these days.

    I also felt that the “battle” with Doomsday felt a little too abbreviated. I know it would have been just as bad to drag it out too much, but it felt like it ended too quickly and too easily.

    I would be upset if Jimmy stays dead, but I think I could be OK with that as well, especially given the effect that it had on Clark.

  2. Scifi^2 says:

    The reset button is pretty much primed and ready to go by the looks of it. I’d say it’s a safe bet that if it’s used Chloe instead of Jimmy will die. It’d be just enough of a change to uphold current storyline and only minimally futz with canon. Though I wonder at what point a potential Harley Quinn import would be possible?

  3. hikaricore says:

    Obviously the writers didn’t want to deal with the ultimate truth of involving Doomsday.
    Clark needed to be killed while at the same time killing Doomsday.

    This legion and future ring and all the other crap made me really annoyed.
    Jimmy dying was just stupid.

  4. Abednigo says:

    I was incredibly irritated with most of the episode. As Fez said, the battle with Doomsday was far too short considering the build up all season. What was it, 2 minutes maybe? That’s pathetic. And when Clark grabbed Doomsday and jumped to the plant I expected it to continue after the explosion. Then I realized in the next scene that Clark must have taken him straight into that hole and the explosion is what they were planning to do all along. It was just too much of a “wait, is that what they were planning to do or did I miss something?” situation. Sadly I didn’t miss it. It was very disappointing.

    And how many season’s have to end with Clark having some heart wrenching identity crisis and leaving Smallville? Maybe it hasn’t been many but it sure feels like it.

    There has been a lot of talk about how great this season has been. I’ve been disappointed almost the whole year. I literally only watch the show to see how it all ends. I’ve been watching since season 1 so I almost feel obligated to finish. Please God let next year be the end.

    • spideylinux says:

      OK, so there is one thing I noticed at the end that I’m not sure if everyone caught. When they said Jimmy’s name at the funeral, they said he was Henry James Olsen. Which means that his little brother could be Whatever James Olsen as well. So his little brother could grow up to be the goofier Jimmy that only knows Clark the reporter. The fight was too short, but typical for Smallville, they never let them have a nice long fight sequence.

      • fiziko says:

        That’s possible. The bow tie was even there, too. But there’s more they’d need to explain with that: First of all, Chloe was ready to marry the guy. The whole “so I guess you must be his little brother” bit implies the little brother wasn’t at the wedding, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. They’d also need to explain the name change. Even if they both had the middle name James, why would they both grow up using the same middle name? (I go by my middle name in real life, but I wouldn’t if I had a brother also named Blaine.) That’s a bigger mess than using the Lois/Legion reset button that’s primed and ready.

        • grundil says:

          I could understand taking big brothers name as a way of showing that you honor his memory, i.e. my older brother was a great photographer and died saving the love of his life, I’m going to be a photographer too and go by Jimmy as a way of honoring his memory

        • Fez says:

          I think that would be an acceptable alternative. Sort of the same way it was hinted at before Lois appeared that Chloe might really be the “Lois” we knew, since she used her name on articles she’d written before.

      • Fez says:

        More substantiating “evidence”:

        At his funeral, his full name is revealed to be Henry James Olsen, not James Bartholomew Olsen. His camera is given to his younger brother. His name is not mentioned but the boy is wearing a bowtie leading to the possibility this is the Jimmy Olsen that will befriend Superman.

  5. Fez says:

    FYI- Smallville is being relocated to Friday Nights in the Fall.

    Not sure how I feel about that one.

  6. rynrorsch says:

    fiziko, I’m pretty sure that Jimmy said he didn’t get along with his family in an earlier episode. I think they disowned him or something but I’m not positive. If this is true than the family wouldn’t have been at the Chloe/Jimmy wedding.

    • fiziko says:

      I had forgotten that aspect, retconning the “orphan Jimmy” background from an earlier season into a “rotten home life” Jimmy from this season. Perhaps that was all a setup to explain why they weren’t at the wedding but would come to the funeral. Of course, nobody’s parents were at the funeral, though Chloe’s had already been written off, and Martha Kent seems to be the only congresswoman who never actually leaves congress.

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