Tonight is the very last episode of Smallville that will be directed by Tom Welling. It's called Booster, and in this post I've gathered everything you ever wanted to know about the episode and more, including links to interviews with guest star Eric Martsolf, who loves to say nice things about Tom. :)
Let's start with the Official Description, from cwtv.com:
After everything that happened with the VRA, Lois tells Clark it's best to make "Clark Kent" forgettable and awkward so people don't suspect he's The Blur. However, the two are stunned when a fame-hungry superhero from the future, Booster Gold (guest star Eric Martsolf, "Days of Our Lives"), sweeps into town and begins making saves and posing for press ops, completely winning over the city of Metropolis. Booster begins his campaign to take The Blur's place as the "World's Greatest Superhero" and tries to charm Lois into writing a story about him, but she's not having his antics and begins her own campaign for The Blur. During one of Booster's saves, an alien weapon in the form of a scarab falls from a truck and fuses itself to a boy named Jaime Reyes, turning him into the Blue Beetle. Unfortunately, Jaime is unable to control the suit and Blue Beetle starts attacking Metropolis. Tom Welling directed the episode written by Geoff Johns.
Clickable thumbnails of my favorite stills from the episode:
Eric Martsolf did a bunch of interviews to promote Booster, and he had nothing but praise for Tom in every last one of them:
"I was hanging 20 feet in the air by a harness with Blue Beetle's hand around my neck... and I was up there for hours," the actor laughed. "This was integral to the scene, so it had to be done. And we took a ten or 15-minute break, but I had to stay up in the harness because it took about a half an hour to get me down. The first guy to come up to me and offer me pizza was Tom. It wasn't the stage manager or the catering company. It was this guys wearing three or four hats at the time who was wondering whether I wanted pepperoni or cheese. That shows you how Tom is the guy who cares. He's able to take on these multiple responsibilities and multitask. I can't sing his praises enough."
Read more from Kiel Phegley for Comic Book Resources HERE.
He handled it like a pro. It's not easy cracking the whip and being a player as well and he did it really wonderfully. He has a very soft temperament, but at the same time, he has a very persistent attitude about what he wants to do and what he wants to accomplish. We were shooting until 4 in the morning some nights and he was ready to do another ten takes when we were ready to hit the sheets. So I have a lot of admiration for him. The fact that Smallville is wrapping up didn't deter him at all from working into the night and you've got to admire the work ethic of someone like that.
Read more from Eric Goldman for IGN HERE.
I had never met Tom before and with five minutes of shaking his hand I felt like I grew up with the guy. We both have family roots in Michigan, so we talked about that. We had some really good chemistry and we met eye to eye on who the character was and what he should be, that he's misunderstood. It was a great collaboration. Tom is tireless. He would stay up 'til all hours of the night to get the shot that he wanted.
Read more from Rich Sands for TV Guide HERE.
Whatever he directs, I’d be happy to be a part of.
And this quote, where Eric Martsolf speaks for Clark fans everywhere:
I was really bewildered as to why the Booster Gold character had anything to do with the final episodes of Smallville — I mean, you’re wrapping up this series, shouldn’t it be all about Clark Kent?
The script put his concerns to rest, and I'm feeling very optimistic about what we'll see on our TV screens tonight. Read more from Megan Masters for TVLine HERE.
Days of Our Lives actor Eric Martsolf knew he wasn’t in Salem any more when he first arrived on the set of Smallville. “It was rainy. It was cloudy. I got out of the car and the first thing I see is this 6-foot-5 guy with black hair, and it was Tom [Welling]. He just has this giant smile on his face and goes, ‘Boooooster.’ And I go, ‘Claaaark.’ It was like we instantly had this understanding about how these guys should get along,” Martsolf says. “It was like two kids in a candy store.”
Read more from Sandra Gonzalez for EW's Inside TV HERE.
Tom is a really good director and he really put time to the point where it was four in the morning and I’d say ‘Tom, we gotta go to bed’ and he’d say ‘No, no, no, let’s do this shot about six more times!’ He really took the time to get it right and as I said we had plenty of discussion about the episode and the characters but he didn’t let anything get by him, that’s for sure.
Read more from Jim Halterman HERE.
I was amazed at how persistent he was with the dialogue and wanted to make sure that the character of Booster Gold was portrayed in a positive light-- that he wasn’t just portrayed as an egomanic and an ass. You can very see the character has these qualities, but he really wanted me to get it right.
Read more from Danielle Turchiano for LA TV Insider Examiner HERE.
He is a good guy. He is a good guy through and through. And I had a wonderful time. He is a damn good director, too.
Read more from Jennifer Arrow for E!Online's Watch With Kristin HERE.
“When you do guest-starring work, sometimes you feel like the detached cousins watching Thanksgiving dinner,” Martsolf said of the close-knit crew. “But Tom, in particular, met me outside in the rain by my trailer and he went, ‘Hey. Booster.’ And I looked right at him and said, ‘How ya doing, Clark?’ We were in character from the first minute. We got along very well.”
Read more from Jevon Phillips for The Los Angeles Times Hero Complex HERE.
Tom Welling actually put a lot of thought into the episode, and that was very clear the minute I walked on set.
Read more from R.J. Carter for The Trades HERE.
Series star Tom Welling (Clark) directed the episode. "He did a terrific job," notes Martsolf. "He wasn't afraid to work until 4 o'clock in the morning, if he didn't feel the shot was perfect. It was hard for me to adjust to those kinds of hours, but [Welling] was truly relentless and seriously gave a damn about the character and why [Booster] is the way he is. [Welling] really brought it to life."
Read more from Robert Waldron for Soap Opera Digest HERE.
Tom was absolutely terrific.
Read more from Craig Byrne for Kryptonsite HERE.
I was so impressed by how meticulous he was. Even if it was four in the morning, and we all wanted to go home, he wanted to get his shot. He definitely didn't work through the episode like a guy who was ready to say goodbye to his series. He's still putting his heart into it, and when somebody works that hard, you want to work that hard with him.
Tom and Erica [Durance] would have conversations about specific phrasing and attitudes about how they wanted to have the scene go. I was pretty amazed at the microscope that these guys brought out as far as wanting to get everything perfect for their fans.
Read more from Carina MacKenzie for Zap2it HERE.
"Honestly, Tom is was running a round like a 12-year-old. He's saying, "Okay, so first you're gonna be doing this, then you're going to swing your arm out and laser blast him 100 feet, and then we'll do this and this." He was really A LOT of fun to work with."
I always thought Tom Welling was a little more serious and closed off?
"Oh God, no (he laughs). Tom is a big kid. He really loves these characters and loves what he does."
Read more from Comic Book Movie HERE.
Eric also did a podcast interview with Dayplayer Dish:
What a cool dude. I'll tell you, my first day, Vancouver is typically very cloudy, and the sun hardly ever comes out, at least around the time I was there, in February, and we drove to this very remote location, and I got out of the car, and the first person I see is Tom. He's got his umbrella, and his raincoat, he comes up, you know, "What's up, dude?! How you doin', man?!" He just couldn't have been more friendly. We started cracking up and making fun of Justin in the makeup trailer, having some good laughs at his expense.
We clicked, we totally clicked. He's a very good guy, and a talented director, too. He actually directed the episode that I was in. So he really cared about this one. He was like, "This one's gonna be great, dude. I'm just letting you know in advance, it's gonna be awesome."
Read more transcribed quotes in my previous post HERE, or listen to the entire podcast at Blog Talk Radio HERE. You can also download it free from iTunes HERE.
I don't usually read advance reviews for episodes because they tend to be way too spoilery, but Matt Mitovich from TVLine wrote one that made me even more excited to see Booster without giving too much away (it IS spoilery, though). Check out 8 Reasons Why This Week's Smallville is Golden.
If you don't read comic books and aren't familiar with Booster Gold, consider checking out one of the best episodes of the Justice League Unlimited animated series, The Greatest Story Never Told, before watching Smallville tonight. You can find it in three parts on YouTube [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] or download it from iTunes HERE.
Smallville - Booster Preview:
Smallville - Booster Episode Preview
If you enjoy tonight's episode and want to read more of Booster Gold's story, I recommend two books by Geoff Johns, 52 Pick-Up and Blue and Gold.
And finally, this has nothing to do with Booster, but Matt Mitovich gave us a sneak peek of Lex's return to Smallville today. I can't wait to see Clark and Lex together again! Watch the video at TVLine HERE.