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Author Topic: SMALLVILLE Series Finale  (Read 2842 times)
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Council of Wisdom
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« on: January 30, 2006, 08:07:35 AM »

This is in response to King Krypton's "SMALLVILLE's Clark Kent gets Iron Age'd" post.

I'm posting this because I didn't get an opportunity to have my say on the matter.

I for one, can live with SMALLVILLE divorcing itself from Superman, or Smallville-Clark not behaving as Superman would. To me, at least, SMALLVILLE is mentally divorced from Superman, and thus I am able to appreciate the show for what it is: ROSWELL with only one main character.

When Chuck Austen has "Superman" do something inane like hold up the ceiling to let people in the building escape, when Cary Bates would have Superman circle the building and create a vortex that denies the flame oxygen, putting it out in several seconds, I get critical of Chuck Austen not "getting" who Superman is because THAT'S SUPPOSED TO BE SUPERMAN THAT HE'S WRITING. SMALLVILLE, on the other hand, is not meant to be Superman, costume choice foreshadowing notwithstanding.

I don't see the Lana-saving choice as necessarily morally bankrupt. Relationships, love, and friendships are all things that ought to be taken into account when making moral choices, just as much as "right" and "wrong" are.

Fish-in-a-barrel example: if I only had time to save one person, and the choice was my Mother, and an equally deserving stranger that also has a family, it would not be wrong of me to choose to save my mother. Both deserve to live, and it would be moral to save either one, but I have a connection to my mother that deserves to be taken account in this situation. More tenuous example: if I could only give a blood transfusion to save either my Mother or my best friend in High School, I would pick my mother, who I have history with and a connection to, and is much more an important figure in my life than my best friend in High School.

(I use myself in this example, not Superman, because someone like Superman would not resign themselves to either-or situations; he would find a way to save both.)

Supposedly, Lana is the most important person to Clark at that time. It would not be unreasonable - or even immoral - for him to make the choice to save Lana over others.

Is it a choice that "our" Superman would make? Probably not. Is it an immoral choice? I don't think so.

Also, I like the idea that Jonathan Kent dies (what a morbid thing to type!). One of my favorite aspects of the Superman Mythos is that, with the death of his Earth-Father, Superman learned that he can't save everybody. If you stop and think about it, not being able to save everybody would be a real problem for a hero like Superman. Jim Shooter used the example of Superman's alarm clock: if he set it 15 minutes forward and a plane crash happens in those 15 minutes, Superman might consider himself personally responsible for the crash. Naturally, Superman doesn't; he does his best, but he does not interpret any evil act as being a failure on his part.

This is not to say, however, that I don't have problems with the SMALLVILLE tv show. Remember the episode with the two Phantom Zone criminals? Now, I don't know about you, but I was expecting a full-on, hardcore drag out battle, the Chuck Norris vs. Bruce Lee Main Event. I mean, these guys have been teasing us with something like this for a while now, right? What happens? Clark Kent just pushes them into the Phantom Zone generator they rigged for him. PUSHES them!

And Lana Lang suffers a terminal case of "Dejah Thoritis," a disease named after the pure, perfect, and obviously incredibly boring love interest of John Carter of Mars, who he chose despite the fact that other women that had much more interesting personalities (and were much hotter, too) threw themselves at our Errol Flynn-esque hero JC. Who wouldn't pick the vivacious Chloe over the dull as dishwater Lana Lang? Nowhere in the series do we understand just WHY it is that Superman loves this girl as much as he clearly does.

"Wait, a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
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Semper Vigilans

« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2006, 01:29:33 PM »

Even though I haven't seen the episode and don't intend to (anyway we don't have a WB affiliate here), it seems to me you and KingKrypton are NOT talking about the same moral choice, here.  What KK said was:

In the episode, Lana dies in a car wreck.

There is a big difference between deciding who to pull out of a burning building (in your example) and putting an innocent at risk to UNDO something that's already happened.  Clark, as I read it, was too irrational and immature to accept reality and so he willfully placed another person at risk to defy nature and undo something he felt "should never have happened."

First, it shows a childishness on his part that he can't accept the cruelties of life, something we mere mortals have to deal with all the time.  Second, any man worth two cents would stop and think, "If I do this, someone else will die, and their loved ones will feel as terrible as I do right now."  And third, until that other person in your theoretical fire expires, there is always the possibility...however slight...that they will survive.  Clark (again, as I understand it) is told outright that *someone will die*, period, if he makes this choice, and he does it anyway.  The difference is in your scenario, you merely fail to save everyone, while on the show (I gather) Clark actually KILLS a person.  And as I also surmise, we are supposed to feel bad about it because that person turns out to be one he cares about.  One presumes that if it were just some schlub down the street who buys it, he wouldn't give a hoot.

Another issue I have is; just how can the "spirit" of Jor-El have ANY effect on events on Earth?  Is the guy dead or isn't he?  THis is something that I found maddening in the Reeve movies and I hope (against hope) that Singer won't perpetuate it.  How can a man 30 years dead have a live chat with his son, or (as he did in Donner's version of II), strip away or restore Clark's powers?  It's just dumb.  Though dead, Jor-El is not only still active he's even more powerful than Clark is ALIVE???

I gather the reason Jonathan died is so Clark can make the next step to manhood.  Without his father to give advice, etc, he has to grow up now, right?  Well, not if his REAL father is handy at the Fortress to give advice (and physical AID) at any time.  In fact, what's to keep Bo Duke from coming back as an apparition and doing the same thing?

As for what Clark sees in Lana, in 70+ years of the mythos I've never figured out what he saw in Lois, so I guess I'm just used to it.

This looks like a job for...
Super Monkey
League of Supermen
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2006, 07:32:28 PM »

Please read this thread folks:

Do not make anymore SMALLVILLE threads. the SMALLVILLE board was removed for a reason, and any future SMALLVILLE threads will be looked upon as spam and deleted.

"I loved Super-Monkey; always wanted to do something with him but it never happened."
- Elliot S! Maggin
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