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Smallville 9x22 - Salvation - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville 9x22 - Salvation


This isn't so much a review as it is a love letter, to the best episode of Smallville I've seen in a long, long time. To say Salvation exceeded my expectations would be the understatement of the century. I don't think I realized how deeply ingrained my wariness toward this show had become until I found myself waiting to be disappointed while watching the finale. And of course I never was. By the time Clark finished his impassioned speech to Zod in the Fortress, I had completely let go of my doubts, and given myself over to the pure joy that was this episode. It started big and ended bigger, leaving me in awe of the extraordinary man Clark Kent has become, and stunned to think that the end of this season is just the beginning of the next one. Wow.

So what made Salvation so special? In a word, Clark. This was his story, and in it he was allowed to emerge as the hero he was born to be. The teaser set the tone: this is a Superman story, people! Clark's dream of the future immediately turned my squee factor up to 11. I loved all the iconic shout-outs: Perry White as EIC, Lois as journalistic superstar and Clark's wife, Lex Luthor for President, Jimmy Olsen in the house, Clark's glasses and the spinning chair, the MUSIC, and random guy exclaiming, "Look, up in the sky!" Whee! We even caught a glimpse of the Man of Steel himself. Awesome. And then, when Clark awoke, the SUIT, a gift from Martha herself. I had tears in my eyes, and the credits hadn't even rolled yet!

Many elements came together to make the magic we saw on our TV screens this week. First and foremost, Greg Beeman returned to direct. I don't think his influence on Smallville can be overestimated, and I've missed him terribly. His vision for Clark's story was apparent in every frame of Salvation, and the episode will forever stand as his gift to the show and its fans. Al Septien and Turi Meyer wrote a fantastic script, centered on Clark and full of his POV. Louis Febre's score was exceptional, enhancing every scene. The action sequences and special effects were phenomenal. What this show continues to accomplish within the confines of ongoing budget cuts amazes me. I also loved the new set, that expanded the Blur's favorite rooftop. But of course, in the end, it all came down to the performances.

Every actor was notable in Salvation. I think that's partly the mark of a good director, combined with the extra energy filming the season finale must bring to the set. But mostly it's a reflection of the talent and commitment the members of Smallville's stellar cast bring every time they step in front of the cameras. They routinely rise above the material, and when they're given an outstanding script, as they were this week, they soar. This episode was a showcase for Clark, Lois, and Zod. Callum Blue finished his run as Zod in grand style, showing us first the master manipulator, who attempted to charm Lois, only to turn coldly menacing when she saw through him, and then the maniacal megalomaniac, building in intensity as the episode progressed, and finally erupting in fury, all pretense gone, as his plans crumbled around him. Erica Durance gave one of her best performances to date as Lois, hitting just the right balance between unsettled confusion, investigative curiosity, and stubborn faith in Clark. And then there was Tom Welling.

In this finale, Tom WAS Superman. All season long we've watched Clark take strides toward his destiny. He gained confidence, learned to trust his instincts, stopped letting the dissenting voices in his life sway him, and consistently put the welfare of the world above his own personal desires or the needs of his family and friends. He was challenged, he struggled, and at times he faltered, but he never stopped moving forward. And in Salvation, he arrived. He may not be wearing the suit yet, or flying, but those are the icing on the cake anyway. And Tom embodies this hero in every way. He was magnificent.

Clark's strength of purpose in this episode was glorious to behold. He didn't debate his decisions, he only explained them, never wavering from his determination to make his own choices. He was no longer looking for guidance, he was giving it, and his leadership was a revelation. We've all had our ideas about what Clark thinks and believes, but in Salvation we no longer had to wonder; we heard it from his own lips. In his first conversation with Chloe, he was sure of his destiny, and held true to that, not because he selfishly wanted to stay on Earth, but because he knew in his heart it was right. Later he would make a different choice, but only as a last resort, when no other hope remained. And then he made provisions for the planet's safety in his absence, charging the collective forces of the JLA and the JSA to take up his mission of protecting mankind.

I was so proud of Clark when he confronted Zod in the Fortress. He was furious to find the console destroyed, his last remaining link to his father cut off, but he controlled his anger, never letting it overtake him. He showed compassion for a man who had clearly become a monster, truly willing to find the good in him, no matter how deeply it was buried. When he said that everyone is worth saving, I knew that he meant it. But in talking to Zod about peace, he never backed down from his opposition to his actions, and assured him that he would face a formidable enemy if he went to war against the world. Clark was impossibly strong and good, a hero in every way. I loved that he reached out to Zod with a story from his own past, but I will never blame him for Jonathan's death. That was all because of Jor-El and the idiotic, draconian trials he put Clark through.

Another incredibly moving scene for me was the video conference between Clark and his allies at Watchtower. Finally all those countless screens were put to good use! :) We saw Martian Manhunter, Cyborg (yay!), Black Canary, Hawkman, Stargirl, Green Arrow and Chloe, all arguing. They were talking over one another and getting nowhere, until Clark strode in and took command. Tom's sheer presence gave me chills, and his delivery of Clark's speech was inspiring. Clark was so quietly powerful, and so noble, as he outlined a plan that would take him away from everything he loved for all time, all for the sake of his adopted planet. And he didn't betray a single moment of self-pity, only a somber resolve to find a peaceful solution to Zod's attack. It was no surprise that he won the admiration and loyalty of every member of his team. *loves him* Did anyone else catch the video screen on the far left in the wide shots? Was that Bart?

As Clark figured out his plan for how to deal with the Kandorians, Zod was going after Lois, pretending to be the Blur in an attempt to turn her against Clark. She was obviously disconcerted to discover that Zod was the Blur, and perhaps disappointed as well. She couldn't tell the difference between the real Blur and the fake one over the phone, but in person her instincts told her that something wasn't quite right about Zod. I think her subconscious was working overtime, jumping up and down to get her attention as each new piece of information came to light. She couldn't ignore Zod's allegations, but she wasn't about to give up on Clark either. So yes, she snooped on Clark's computer, and in his trunk in the loft, but more to prove Zod wrong than right, I think. What she discovered was that he was keeping much more than a little mystery between them, and that she might be missing some important pieces from the puzzle that was Clark Kent. And that was very sobering news indeed.

When Clark found Lois in the loft, he was completely focused on making her understand what she meant to him, and he told her the story of when he first knew she was "the one." It was a moment we all remember: his return to the Daily Planet at the end of Metallo. It was wonderful to hear Clark describe in his own words what we all saw on his face as Lois rushed into his arms that day: that he had been lost without her, and that her love brought the light back into his life. Clark all but declaring his love for her was one of the most romantic moments these two have shared on the show, and in spite of her uncertainty about what he might have been hiding from her, Lois didn't hesitate to let him know he came first in her heart, too. But when she insisted they stop keeping secrets from each other, he put on his patented clueless act, saying he didn't know what she was talking about. I loved the directness of her response: "Yeah, you do, Clark." I know he was only trying to protect Lois, as he always does, but it broke my heart to see Clark disappoint her that way, as she struggled to keep her faith in him, and gave him every opportunity to open up to her. He hugged her goodbye and uttered the same words the Blur did in their last phone call: "I will be watching over you." Devastated, Lois slipped the Book of Rao out of Clark's pocket, but as her eyes filled with tears and she rushed away, her subconscious must have been turning cartwheels as it processed the significance of what Clark had just said.

Lois went to meet Zod, but her unease with him only grew. When she covered his hand with her own, just as she did with the Blur in Charade, the last clue fell into place, and she knew in her heart he wasn't her hero. She refused to give him the BoR, and he unleashed his wrath upon her, hurling her across the street in his fury. And that's when the good part started. :) Clark had realized that Lois took the BoR, and came looking for her, arriving just in time to deliver the most awesome punch ever, sending Zod into the stratosphere, and rescue the woman he loved. He cradled her, unconscious, until she began to stir, and then retreated into the shadows, but didn't leave. She approached him to return the BoR, and begged him to say something, anything. He reached out to take it, touched her hand, and pulled her into his arms.

Clark held Lois close in the dark, signaling his intent (and making me weak in the knees) as he looked down at her, and then he gave her one of the hottest kisses I've ever seen on this show. It was passionate, tender, deliberate, hungry, and full of love. Without saying a single word, Clark told her everything: how much he loved her, how much he wanted her, how much he would miss her, and most importantly, that Clark Kent and the Blur were one and the same. And then he was gone, leaving Lois breathless, but with one word on her lips as comprehension dawned, and a smile spread across her face: "Clark!" *applauds wildly* Don't you dare take this back, Smallville. I will never forgive you if you do.

Clark returned to his rooftop to put the BoR in the console Tess had hidden there, but Zod and his army swooped out of the sky to challenge him. And this is where Clark impressed me most of all. Knowing that he had no chance of defeating all the Kandorians in a physical fight, Clark relied instead on his intelligence and leadership skills to manipulate Zod into revealing his deception, and win his followers over to his side. In his arrogance Zod underestimated Clark, and that proved to be his downfall. Once the truth was revealed, his people rejected him, and accepted Kal-El's peaceful alternative of a new home. But when Clark activated the BoR, and the Kandorians started to ascend, Zod had one more trick up his sleeve: a Blue!K knife that somehow counteracted the effects of Jor-El's device. Soon only Zod and Clark remained, which made me wonder if the BoR would have worked on Clark after all. In any case, in the end it came down to a fight between good and evil, and what a fight it was!

The final conflict between Clark and Zod was a thing of beauty. It was expertly choreographed, and exquisitely filmed. Every frame was gorgeous, and the decision to shoot the whole thing in the rain was brilliant. It was a rare treat to see Clark in a knock-down, drag-out fight, all bulging biceps, flying fists, and grim determination, and the scene brought all the action, drama, and suspense that were missing from last season's showdown with Doomsday. Finally the two combatants ended up on a corner precipice, high above the streets of Metropolis, struggling for dominance with the knife between them. Clark knew he could not allow Zod to remain on Earth; his hunger for power, and his hatred for the human race Kal-El had chosen over him, made his defeat imperative. In a moment of supreme self-sacrifice, Clark grabbed Zod's wrist, plunged the Blue!K knife into himself, and fell. Removed from the knife's protective power, Zod ascended, the world was saved, and our hero, arms outstretched like Jesus on the cross, plummeted to his fate. The screen went black, and then the words that will torture us for the next four months appeared: To Be Continued.

Tess has been woefully underused this season, but at least she played a critical role in the finale. In the end she came back to Clark's side, and did what she could to help him. Her direct confrontation with Zod ended in disaster, but revealing to Clark the location of the console she rescued from the Rao Tower went a long way toward saving the day. I read the spoilers that said she would die, and watched her scenes in the hospital with a heavy heart, but when that mysterious old woman slipped into her room after she had been pronounced dead, I knew her story wasn't over yet. Yay!! Tess will be back! Or at the very least Cassidy Freeman will, and that's all I really care about anyway. What a relief!

I liked Oliver in Salvation. He was funny, charming, heroic, and supportive of Clark. Much like Jimmy before him, I enjoy him much more as Clark's friend than as Chloe's boyfriend. His romance with her is kind of adorable, but I just can't bring myself to care about it much, and I was surprised to hear them professing their love for one another, even under dire circumstances. Having them move so fast makes it hard for me to take their relationship seriously, especially compared to the rich, carefully considered feelings we've seen grow between Clark and Lois over two whole seasons. Besides, I can't get it out of my head that Black Canary is waiting in the wings. I still think the show should have given Chloe a love interest who was an original character, like she is.

I was glad to see Chloe back on the team, doing what she does best: running tech, coordinating support efforts, and delivering exposition like no one else can. I'm not sure why the writers had her argue with Clark over the BoR. Has second guessing his judgment become her permanent role on the show? And why did she walk away from Clark instead of saying goodbye, leaving Oliver to make excuses for her actions? Were they trying to show us that Oliver knows Chloe better than Clark does now? Or was it an honest attempt to show how much Chloe still cares about her former BFF? Greg Beeman said he had a hard time adjusting to the current relationship between Chloe and Clark, and I guess I'm still having some trouble with that myself. I need to accept that they will never recapture what they once had. The words are there ("I can't imagine being in this world without you"), but to me, the emotion behind them is just a shell of what it used to be. :(

On a lighter note, I was happy to see that Jeff the Intern was still around in Clark's future, and with more lines than he's ever had before! Actually, according to BQM, he will have been promoted to Assistant by then. :) I hope we see more of Jeff in S10, he's adorable. And I have to admit I'm curious about the actor who plays him. His name is Evan C. Schulte, and Smallville is his only acting credit, according to IMDb. So what's his day job? Does he work on the show in some other capacity, and they just grab him from time to time when Jeff needs to put in an appearance? What is this guy's story? :)

Random thoughts: Awesome previouslies! Did anyone else check out the articles on the front page we saw in the teaser? Besides the Lex Luthor story, there was one about gas prices in Canada, and another one about how a second meteor shower had hit Smallville, killing Genevieve Teague and her son, Jason. hee! Do we all agree that it's the suit in that box from Martha? I'm going to be disappointed if it turns out to be a new t-shirt instead. ;) Yay for the show explaining how Martha knew about the Book of Rao! I'm fanwanking that Lionel also left her a boatload of money, which she uses to finance her activities as the Red Queen. When Lois did a search on Clark's computer for the Blur, one of the folders that came up was labeled "poems." Has Clark been writing odes to his alter ego? :) The only way to switch the new satellite on is to crawl through an air duct, unscrew a panel, and fiddle with the wires inside? Really? And I don't know enough about the comics to have any idea who that old lady at the hospital was supposed to be, or the red dots that converged on Oliver, but I'm guessing one or both of them was the Darkseid/Apokolips hint Brian Peterson teased in his recent round of interviews.

It's amazing what a truly good episode of Smallville can do. I'm all fired up again, and super pumped for S10! :) All through this season, I didn't trust the show to do right by Clark. After everything that happened in the back half of S8, especially in Doomsday, I found myself always expecting the worst, and it colored how I saw every episode. I was scarred, just like the characters on the show were. Looking back now after watching Salvation, a true celebration of Clark's heroism and his ability to inspire others, I know that I judged some moments too harshly, and braced myself for bad things that never came to pass. With my hope restored, I think the first thing I want to do during this hiatus is watch S9 all over again. Now that I know how things turn out, I can watch without dread over the final outcome, and I have a feeling I'll see many of the episodes in a whole new light. I can't wait to see which ones look better the second time around!

This episode had lots of Clark, so we get an extra dose of the pretty! Thirty of my favorite caps from Salvation:


























































































Screen caps courtesy of Home of the Nutty, with my thanks!

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24 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 5th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel like Salvation pulled the fans of Smallville (the ones who still watch and like the show, anyway) back together again, and unified them in their love for this episode. I can't wait for S10 now! :)

The situation with Lois was handled just right, I thought. The writing, directing, and acting all came together to make the situation believable and heartbreaking, and without casting Lois or Clark in a bad light.

Yeah, I can't seem to get into the Chlollie. It doesn't annoy or infuriate me the way the Chimmy used to, it just bores me. I hope it doesn't continue through S10, especially if AM is only back for a limited number of episodes. I'd much rather see Ollie in the playboy role, with a string of arm candy dates, or exchanging more flirty emails with Dinah, than pining over his absentee girlfriend.

I loved the future flash, too! I'd watch that show! :)

Cassidy Freeman has great chemistry with everyone (the sign of a gifted actress, I think), and I especially miss the kind of interaction Tess had with Clark in S7. She spent almost this entire season in scenes with Zod. I hope that in S10 we'll see her back in the thick of things.

I was so worried Salvation would play out like Doomsday, and it couldn't have been more different. I've never been so happy to be wrong! :)

Your icon is too cute! How many eyes went straight to her ring finger in that scene? LOL!
theclexfactor From: theclexfactor Date: May 19th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
With my hope restored, I think the first thing I want to do during this hiatus is watch S9 all over again. Now that I know how things turn out, I can watch without dread over the final outcome, and I have a feeling I'll see many of the episodes in a whole new light. I can't wait to see which ones look better the second time around!

I actually asked this question in my LJ, lol. I think I was just naively optimistic about the outcome of this season, and so I was able to enjoy more episodes. But that doesn't mean I wasn't pleasantly surprised by this finale. I know a lot are saying it's the best one since Commencement, but I'm gonna say it's the best one ever. And as many episodes from this season that have made it to my "favorites", I thnk Salvation tops the list overall. It's amazing what a Clark-centric episode that validates his beliefs and actions and delivers on plot/action/romance can do for fandom morale.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 6th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't had time to do any kind of a proper re-watch, but I've watched bits and pieces of episodes, and I've found that I'm seeing everything through Salvation-colored glasses. :) I'm just really loving my show right now, and Tom's recent appearance at the Upfronts only reinforced that. S10 can't get here quickly enough for me!

I've tried a few times, but I've never been able to rank my favorite episodes. There are just too many, and my opinion can change on a daily basis. But before Salvation aired, Commencement was definitely my favorite finale (and I think it's worth noting that Beeman directed that one, too). I've actually taken a lot of grief for that choice, and for my love of S4 in general. Most people I know cite Covenant as the best finale, and by a wide margin.

Right now I'm calling Salvation and Commencement about even. The latter had the big special effects and the big story to go with them, but Salvation was such a showcase for Clark, had that super fun teaser, and did some amazing things with a much smaller budget. I loved them both.

It's amazing what a Clark-centric episode that validates his beliefs and actions and delivers on plot/action/romance can do for fandom morale.

It seems so simple, doesn't it? Are you listening, writers?
jeannev From: jeannev Date: May 19th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
SQUEEEE!!! What a wonderful review, and a truly good SV episode.

As you know, as disgruntled as you were feeling, that was me, times 10. To the point where I didn't even know if I was up to watching S10. Its amazing how that can all turn around with one episode. Though I certainly hope TPTB will ride the wave of this ep, and really take not of why people loved it so much. No backsies!!!!

And then he was gone, leaving Lois breathless, but with one word on her lips as comprehension dawned, and a smile spread across her face: "Clark!" *applauds wildly* Don't you dare take this back, Smallville. I will never forgive you if you do.

Like this ^

Everything you said about Clark, and Tom, DITTO!!! This was one of the alltime great Clark Kent episodes.

And I feel certain that CF is coming back next season, and thats a huge sigh of relief for me. I'm not sure what sort of "Tess" we can expect, but I'm sure she'll do a tremendous job with it. I'm also hoping that Clark decides to soften his approach with Tess...just when he shouldn't ;) I think the storyline potential of that is staggering.

I liked Oliver in Salvation. He was funny, charming, heroic, and supportive of Clark. Much like Jimmy before him, I enjoy him much more as Clark's friend than as Chloe's boyfriend.

I agree with you that I like Oliver better as Clark's friend, then Chloe's boyfriend (and he does seem very relegated to that role of late). But honestly, I was disappointed that Oliver had no personal words for Clark. Just a little line like "I've been honored to be your friend", something like that. Anything to suggest a more personal friendship connection with Clark. And it was just missing.

The words are there ("I can't imagine being in this world without you"), but to me, the emotion behind them is just a shell of what it used to be. :(

Thats how I feel as well. One of the few missteps of this episode was the first Chlark conversation, I think. It should've been written as a discussion between friends of what was the best thing for Clark to do, instead of it being the 2 characters on opposite sides of the fence, and Chloe arguing for Clark to leave the planet altogether. I know its not supposed to be seem like this, but she seemed way too anxious for him to leave. Like you, when you uttered that line about not being in the world without him, I think it was one of AM's least sincere moments. Because, really, I thought Chloe would be just fine in a world without Clark, because thats how she's acted all season.

Beeman's direction was spectacular, and the fight scene was one of SV's alltime best.

And whoever decided that it should take place in the rain, with Clark having his coat off, and a big slice through his t-shirt, needs a great BIG KISS!!!







tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 6th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC) (Link)
This was one of the alltime great Clark Kent episodes.

It absolutely was, and it was glorious! I hope with all my heart that this is what S10 will bring us, now that we're coming to the end, and there is no more need to stall. They have to have seen the overwhelmingly positive response to this episode in the online community, and at least have a clue that the fans really, truly want a hero we can root for and believe in., and who we know will be shown to be right.

I just have to say again, Tom was amazing. And I'm just as impressed as Beeman was that he was working so hard on pre-production for Hellcats at the same time.

I'm also hoping that Clark decides to soften his approach with Tess...just when he shouldn't ;) I think the storyline potential of that is staggering.

Ooh, that would be awesome. I long for the verbal sparring Clark and Tess did in S7, and no more manhandling!

I was disappointed that Oliver had no personal words for Clark.

Because, really, I thought Chloe would be just fine in a world without Clark, because thats how she's acted all season.

Exactly! Oliver never said goodbye to Clark, although I suppose maybe we're supposed to think that happened after the scene at WT ended, and Chloe was pretty much shoving him out the door. They were supposed to be saying goodbye to Clark forever, but it didn't feel like that. It made me wonder if the writers decided not to spend valuable screen time on emotional goodbyes when they figured everyone knew Clark wasn't actually going anywhere.

I'm so thankful Beeman was able to come back for this episode. I'd love to have him back for all of S10, but I understand that would be a backwards step for him. He must be thrilled to be working on a Spielberg project.

I stopped just now to check something in the episode, and ended up watching the entire thing again. I don't think I'll ever get tired of it. I hope Tom knows how great he was.
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 6th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I completely agree with your analysis. Letting Clark be the hero he is meant to be, and having him tell Lois his secret (and I choose to believe that's what he was doing with that kiss, saying I'm the Blur, I love you, and goodbye, all rolled into one) were my two biggest wishes for the show, and they both came true in Salvation! I so hope this was a preview of what we can expect in the season to come!

Tom was beyond beautiful in this episode. It took me forever to narrow the screen caps down to just 30! :)
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: May 19th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great episode, great review - what more can I say? I loved this episode so much! I can't wait to see Martha's take on the suit, which I doubt will be the form fitting final version but definitely a more colourful take on the Blur. As for a later plot point, I think Clark WOULD have ascended if he hadn't initially stepped back from the BoR when it activated and thus into the range of the blue K.

Agree about the Chlark scenes being much colder than I'd expected on her part - especially in contrast with her flirty banter with Ollie. Oh well, I'll forgive them since the first scene gave Clark the chance to clearly explain where he was coming from. And I love that he was ultimately proved correct - he DID find the third option that allowed him to stay on Earth, albeit with a blue K dagger in his chest.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 6th, 2010 08:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm very curious to see exactly what was in that box from Martha, too! I wonder if TPTB have even figured it out yet. I like the idea of an evolving design, with the spandex coming into play only after Clark learns to fly (subsequently embracing the aerodynamic efficiency the tights afford) and also decides he can't carry that backpack everywhere he goes (thereby needing something thin enough to fit under his clothes).

I know Clark's dream showed him in the classic suit, but I'd love to see Tom in a completely redesigned costume that is more modern, and it would be fine with me if they lost the tights altogether. I doubt Smallville will do anything that daring, though.

When I watched the scene where the Kryptonians ascended, it seemed to me that there were people in between Clark and Zod, who would have been closer and therefore even more susceptible to the Blue!K, but maybe they stepped forward and farther away just as Clark stepped back, or maybe the ascension happened in ever-widening circles, and Zod unsheathed the knife when only he and Clark, standing the furthest from the console, remained.

I appreciated so much that Clark found his own way in Salvation, and didn't waver from his decisions with those who would dissuade him, but only changed his plans when he deemed it necessary to better guarantee the safety of the planet. And then he sacrificed himself to save mankind, complete with a stab wound to his side (which, if you watch, is where the knife originally went in) and his arms outstretched in the classic crucifixion pose. It may not have been subtle, but I thought it was awesome. :)
ophelia_77 From: ophelia_77 Date: May 19th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just knew you were going to love this episode! It was extra special for me since I got to watch it with whimsywinx. And as she and I jumped up and down on the couch squeeing our fool heads off, we kept looking at each other saying, "T is going to love this!"

And it was PERFECT!

The bit with the Kandorian's lighting up world monuments did make me snicker a little but that was such a tiny, tiny thing that it's hardly worth mentioning. Although, I guess I just did, huh?

Honestly, it hit every note just right for me. And as dark as my other show's finale was last week, Smallville was the light. Even as Clark fell and the dreaded "TO BE CONTINUED" popped on the screen, I was smiling. I can't wait until next season!!

Oh, and btw, the most fulfilling part of the episode was during the final fight scene when whimsywinx squeed outloud "Okay, I get the Tom Welling thing now!" I knew she'd come around eventually. :)

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 6th, 2010 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, you were absolutely right, I did love it! :D And between the tight tee, the rain, Tom's monster guns, and the fight, I don't think Whimsy stood a chance of resisting. :)

I know what you mean about the monuments, but I did like how they had Zod orchestrate that, luring all of Clark's allies to different parts of the world, and leaving him alone. I was afraid the episode was going to be all about the JLA and the JSA, but it was Clark's story from start to finish. Yay! \o/

I'm feeling very good about S10 right now. I hope they give us some exciting spoilers at SDCC!
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 6th, 2010 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)
It's amazing what a difference an episode can make, especially if it's a good one! What a glorious way to end the season. They really do get who Clark is supposed to be! And now we have the luxury of a whole season to say goodbye properly, and go out, as everyone keeps promising, with a bang. I'm dying to know what they have in mind!
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: May 19th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, I love that Jeff the intern (assistant ;-) gets a whole para!

So many things to comment on, which, I warn you, will mostly consist of me nodding along like a bobblehead, heh - so, jumping straight in.

//Callum Blue finished his run as Zod in grand style, showing us first the master manipulator, who attempted to charm Lois, only to turn coldly menacing when she saw through him, and then the maniacal megalomaniac, building in intensity as the episode progressed, and finally erupting in fury, all pretense gone, as his plans crumbled around him.//

CB was so great in this ep, through the season actually, for me, as he often did more with the material he was given in adding his own personal touches, nuances, etc. Here he was just the perfect foil to Clark - if Clark was heroic to the core, Zod was as rotten.

//Erica Durance gave one of her best performances to date as Lois, hitting just the right balance between unsettled confusion, investigative curiosity, and stubborn faith in Clark.//

Lois kept our empathy with her, and that's where ED excelled in this ep.

//Another incredibly moving scene for me was the video conference between Clark and his allies at Watchtower.//

My favorite Clark moment of the ep - Supes, right there, folks.

//When Clark found Lois in the loft, he was completely focused on making her understand what she meant to him, and he told her the story of when he first knew she was "the one."//

I'm so glad that this resonated with Clark so deeply, because this moment resonated with me as a Clark fan who appreciates Clois too - what they bring out in each other, their reactions to one another? That's their USP.

//It was passionate, tender, deliberate, hungry, and full of love.//

An incredible kiss - one of the most intimate I've seen on this show. And even the SV PTB are surely not that monumentally stupid to dare of taking the Clois reveal back - I don't even want to pit that thought out in to the universe. ::shudder::

//The final conflict between Clark and Zod was a thing of beauty.//

Brilliant direction, brilliant music, the actors giving it their all - what more could we have possibly asked for? A glorious rain sequence? Well, dammit, they threw that in there too! Heh.

//Yay!! Tess will be back! Or at the very least Cassidy Freeman will, and that's all I really care about anyway. What a relief!//

The shot of Granny Goodness, coupled with Ollie' "they're not Kandorians", and I'm convinced we're going the Apokolips, Darkseid route next season. And trust me, if that's the case, and GG was shown in Tess' room? CF 'aint goin nowhere. Hallelujah!

//I liked Oliver in Salvation. He was funny, charming, heroic, and supportive of Clark.//

Color me stupendously shocked, but so did I.

And my god, A big fat, massive WORD to everything on Clark and TW. I am so, so proud of our Supes and the wonderful actor who brings him to life.

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 6th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Jeff is quickly becoming one of my favorites. And BQM jokingly champions him on Twitter, perhaps because he started out as an intern on Smallville himself. ;)

Here he was just the perfect foil to Clark - if Clark was heroic to the core, Zod was as rotten.

I agree. He came into his own as a villain in this episode, and made me root that much harder for Clark's victory over him. He was deliciously irredeemable!

An incredible kiss - one of the most intimate I've seen on this show.

Intimate: that's the perfect word to describe it. I haven't been a big fan of the kisses between Clark and Lois this season, but that one? Wow. I've watched it more times than I can count, and it still takes my breath away!

Like you, I'm not even going to entertain the notion that they might take Lois's realization back.

A glorious rain sequence? Well, dammit, they threw that in there too!

Didn't that just make everything better? I wonder if the rain was in the script, or if someone came up with the idea during the pre-production process. I guess I could ask Al Septien on Twitter!

I'm convinced we're going the Apokolips, Darkseid route next season.

I'm not familiar with Darkseid, except to know that a lot of people are concerned about how the show proposes to adapt his persona and story for the small screen. Better than they did Doomsday, I hope.

I am so, so proud of our Supes and the wonderful actor who brings him to life.

And this is what I took away from Salvation, more than anything else. After nine years of playing the same role, and in the midst of putting together the first project for his new production company, Tom totally stepped up and brought Clark to a whole new level, and delivered one of my favorite performances of his ever. I think he is as committed now to this show as he has ever been, and that's what makes me the most excited for S10.
From: kates_passion Date: May 19th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful review! I couldn't agree more with every single thing you wrote.

So much was riding on this one. And they not only delivered, they knocked it out of the ballpark - much like Clark knocked Zod's lights out in that Lois save. POW! That was one of my favorite moments. LOL!

Someone needs to hire back Beeman permanently. Probably not an option though. I'm just hoping the impact he clearly made on this episode and the overwhelmingly positive response it has received will have a continuing influence on how Clark is written and directed next season.

Thanks for ALL your reviews this season. :} And for the weekly sampling of great caps, too. They've been a highlight each week for me.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 6th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for your kind words! It means so much to me to share my thoughts about this show I love beyond all reason, and to hear what everyone else thinks in return. The best squee is always a shared one! :)

I loved that punch so much! Clark put every ounce of his strength behind it (the look on Tom's face, and his glorious follow through!), and then didn't spare Zod even a glance as he sped to save Lois. That's my hero!

I know Beeman already has a new show, but like you, I hope that Smallville will at least take inspiration from the magic he made with Salvation, and give us more of the same in S10. And with Tom now a full executive producer, I'm assuming he'll have even more of a say in how his character is developed, which can only be good for Clark.

I'm never sure if what I have to say is worth anyone's time to read, but at least I can offer something that never disappoints: the pretty! :) I am forever indebted to homeofthenutty and janine83 for the beautiful screen caps that are the best part of my reviews each week!

Edited at 2010-06-06 08:23 pm (UTC)
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 6th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fannishly, I don't think I'll ever be as pleased to be wrong about something as I was to be wrong about how this episode was going down.

Me, too! I was waiting for all these bad things that never happened, and when I finally let go of my worry and just let myself enjoy the episode, it was glorious! As soon as it was over, I watched it again, so I could experience the whole thing without the burden of my wariness. I love my show!
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 7th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It was a joy to write about an episode I enjoyed so much. Salvation and Commencement are my two favorite finales, too. Greg Beeman used to direct every finale; bringing him back to close out this season was pure genius.

I do wonder what happened with James Marshall, though, who stepped into Beeman's shoes when he left in S5. He directed the finales in seasons 5, 6, and 8, and Veritas in S7, which would have been the finale if the writers' strike hadn't been resolved in time to resume production. He has directed at least two episodes in every season until now, but S9 broke his streak. He hasn't directed since Doomsday.

I loved that final confrontation. It was so personal, and so emotional, and in the end Clark gave everything he had to give to protect his adopted planet. He saved the day, and good triumphed over evil. It was perfect. And it left me super pumped about S10! ;)

I'm bummed that Persuasion turned out to be Emil's last appearance for the season. I have no idea what AJ's other commitments are, but I hope Emil will be back in S10. I especially love his dynamic with Clark, and it would be great if he could pick up the sidekick slack if AM really is only going to be in a limited number of episodes.
cbrownjc From: cbrownjc Date: May 20th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
And I don't know enough about the comics to have any idea who that old lady at the hospital was supposed to be, or the red dots that converged on Oliver, but I'm guessing one or both of them was the Darkseid/Apokolips hint Brian Peterson teased in his recent round of interviews.

The old lady was more than likely Granny Goodness, and is probably going to be recruiting a revived Tess into the Female Furies; and it was probably the Parademons that attacked Oliver. Which yes, all relates to Darkseid, and which has me both excited and scared to death about how they are going to pull this off. The fangirl comic book geek in me has wanted Darkseid for SVs final season (for whenever that would be) since at least season seven. The realist comic book geek in me is wondering day and night how they are ever going to try and pull it off however.

But the finale left me so satisfied that I'm again a Positive Polly. This episode really was titled appropriately, because it honestly healed a lot of what I was feeling about the show up until the moment the episode finished airing. Any problems I had that keep me from being over the moon happy with it are still rather lessened by the fact that Clark POV on the whole situation was proven correct and he was so Superman this my heart ached with the joy of it.

Great review, as always. And yeah, try going back and watching some of the eps from the season now. Checkmate made me so angry the first time I watched it when it aired, but now I can watch it without any anger at all, since I know how it all ends now. It does put eps like Checkmate and Sacrifice in better perspective IMO.

Edited at 2010-05-20 01:08 pm (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 7th, 2010 01:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the links, which of course led me to click on many other links! :) It will be interesting to see what the show does with that storyline. Don Whitehead said on Twitter that Brian and Kelly know exactly what they want for S10; let's hope it's something good!

This episode really was titled appropriately, because it honestly healed a lot of what I was feeling about the show up until the moment the episode finished airing.

I know what you mean. I feel like this episode restored my faith in Smallville, and I don't think I even realized how much it had been eroded.

Checkmate made me so angry the first time I watched it when it aired, but now I can watch it without any anger at all, since I know how it all ends now. It does put eps like Checkmate and Sacrifice in better perspective IMO.

I haven't had time to start a re-watch yet, but now I'm moving it to the top of my priority list. There were a number of episodes I had problems with because I was certain they were foreshadowing things that would make me explode. And of course those things never happened. :)
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: May 21st, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved the fight scene, even though my beloved crazy Zod went bye-bye. *sniffles*
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: June 7th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Usually I hate fight scenes, and when they come on, I tend to look away or even FF through them, but I was riveted to this one when I first saw it, and have watched it many times since. I loved it all, from the fight choreography, to the beautifully framed shots, to the drama and emotion between Clark and Zod, to the gorgeousness that is Tom Welling when he's dripping wet. It's a masterpiece.

Callum Blue did a fantastic job as Zod. He gave us a villain who was utterly ruthless, a formidable opponent, and vastly entertaining. And his performance in the finale was his best yet.
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