Smallville – S07E20 – Arctic

Last week iFanboy was in the midst of its second West Coast trip in as many weeks and we completely forgot about the season finale of Smallville.

Our bad.

Last Thursday saw “Arctic,” that served not only as the seventh season finale, but also the final episode for Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor, possibly the final episode of Allison Mack’s Chloe Sullivan, and the final episode of Kristen Kreuk’s Lana Lang as a regular character. Whew. And if that’s not all it was the end for James Marsters’ Brainiac. That’s a whole hell of a lot of weight for one episode to bear. How did it hold up?

Overall, it was a good episode, but with so much to wrap up, it felt kind of rushed. A lot more screen time was given to the Jimmy/Lex confrontations than to the Clark/Lex confrontation in the Fortress of Solitude, which happened in the last five minutes of the show. This is what we have been building towards for seven years and it lasted about two minutes. Now, within those two minutes there was some good stuff. I really liked the line about loving Clark like a brother that Lex said. I truly believe he does love Clark like a brother, but his love is all twisted from jealousy and envy and self-loathing and hate that he’s now totally evil Lex.

If anything, this episode made me really feel sad about Rosenbaum leaving the show. His scenes with Jimmy were terrific. He was menacing, he was manipulative, and he was totally and truly evil.

Tom Welling was really strong, especially in the scene at the end when he is viewing Lana’s goodbye DVD (I almost said tape, because I’m old). He played it really understated, but you could still see he was torn up inside. A lot of actors would be tempted to go big there, but he went small (heh). I always like it when grief is played small because most people internalize their pain. I thought that scene was fantastic and one of the best of the entire series.

As for Lana, well she was barely in this season, wasn’t she? Hell, she wasn’t even in this episode, except for on a video screen. She wasn’t even on the set! Lana has really had nothing to do since they graduated high school. I mean, really, she hasn’t. The marriage to Lex was interesting half the time, but even then she didn’t really have a true purpose on the show. For years now it’s been the Clark/Chloe show with Lana off to the side. I think it’s one of the reasons why I am so annoyed with Clark mooning over Lana, I just don’t buy it anymore.

And Chloe? Well they certainly found a convenient way to either lose the character or bring her back depending on how the contract negotiations go. Well played, writers. But seriously, her hacking skills were becoming ridiculous, she needs a little time in a Federal hoosegow.

There are a lot of possibilities for next season. Assuming that Allison Mack isn’t coming back we are basically left with Clark, Lois and Jimmy which is totally not the show we started with. At this point we have moved the show to Metropolis and the Daily Planet, which is funny considering the title of the show.

What did you think?


  1. I am sad to see Rosenbaum leave the show.  I wonder if they will get him in for at least a few episodes next season.  But what can they possibly do with him after the way they ended this episode — will he be LOST IN THE ICE for a good while?  Will he lose his memory and disappear?  Will he go away from this and stay out of everyone’s life but we’ll still hear about what he’s doing in other parts of the world? 

     I felt like they squeezed too much in way too fast.  We finally have this confrontation with Lex and Clark where Lex knows Clark’s an alien and we only get 5 minutes or so of that?  Not really satisfying for me.

  2. A VERY lackluster finale. Not a fitting end at all for Lex et al.

  3. I am with  s1lentslayer. I thought it was lackluster indeed. I really would have like to Brainiac be the villan for next season instead of Doomsday and other new villain that their going to go with. iam happy  Allison Mack  will be coming back as Chloe.

  4. i want him to be superman.

  5. I’m so glad Lana is gone. Rosenbaum and Mack will be sad losses, but if this is what it takes to get a flying Clark in the tights…I’m all over it.

  6. @superfriend82 – Brainiac as already been around for like three seasons and I think they mined all they were going to get out of him. 

    @Diabhol – Keep the dream alive, man, keep the dream alive.

  7. So does anyone know what the deal was with Kristen Kreuk (sp?) — was she only contracted to so many episodes THIS season too?  Weird that she was not around at all for the 2nd half of the season.

  8. A VERY mixed bag this one! Some fantastic stuff in there; Kara going all bad-ass at the start, the Clark moment that Conor mentioned… oh yeah, and EVERYTHING Rosenbaum did! I kind of like that the show’s shifting it’s dynamic more onto Clark & Lois too.

    Also some awful stuff. Boy, did Kristin Kreuk piss off the producers or something, because she got one mother of a raw deal in this season. And not even have her on camera for her supposed ‘goodbye’? Felt bad for her, even though I think her character seriously held this show up. And if you’re going to have an epic, well-written confrontation between Lex and Clark (which they did), then don’t hold off until the last 3 minutes of the show! This whole episode should have been that confrontation.

    Having said that, it was a nice send-off for Rosenbaum, and leaves the door open if he wants to come back (he said in his press release that he’s never saying never to not playing Lex again in some way). But man oh man, he’s left some BIG shoes to fill for next season’s villain. The good news is that Allison Mack will be back next year as a regular, seemed like she was doing some canny negotiations off the back of Rosenbaum leaving.

    But think about it; the core team now is the Daily Planet team – Clark, Lois and Jimmy. This isn’t Smallville anymore, it’s Superman.

    For some reason I don’t have high hopes for the next season. Something in me just thinks it won’t be good, but I hope I’m proved wrong as this was a patchy but mostly great year for the show. Whatever happens, please god CW, make it the last one!!!

  9. @cable77 – Actors get bored and/or the writers have nothing else for them to do.   Those are the usual cases.

  10. With the parents gone, Lionel gone, now Lex is gone?, and Lana is gone (thankyougod), I kind of wish they would button up the show and retool it with Lois, Clark, and Jimmy.  It kind of feels like 90210 when they went to college, the main premise is kind of done, lets let them just be adults now.  I think we’re ready for a Superman show starring these people in Metropolis as like a Year One show for when he finally decides to be the big S. 

  11. I’mnot a huge fan of the show, but I watched the finale to see the Clark/Lex confrontation and I was dissapointed with it.  Five minutes after seven seasons?  For a second, I thought it was To Be Continued and the finale was next week.

     It was reported that Mack will be back next year.  The rumor is also that the producers want GA to make a return, which I would be thrilled with. 

  12. I too had mixed feelings here.  There was some great stuff in this that has already been mentioned, but the final confrontation shouldn’t have been pushed to the last 3 minutes or whatever.  The ending leaves a really wtf are the going to do next season feeling.  It was probably one of my least favorite finales in the last 3 years of Smallville.

    Now the big problem.  Expectations for next season are not very high.  Unlike the last several season since season 4, they’ve always released a bit of news that got me excited.  Lois Lane, Brainiac, Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl.  All of these really had me psyched especially after seeing the actors they picked.  This off season, we have word that Doomsday and a femme fatale named Tess will show up.  The Superman fan in my wants to be excited for Doomsday, but its Smallville.  We aren’t going to get a gray skinned boney protrusioned hulking monster.  And that realization makes me not want to see Smallville’s Doomsday because without those things, I can’t buy that its Doomsday.  I hope I’m wrong and that they make it good, but this is the first time I haven’t been geeked out about the next season.  *sigh*