Smallville was never the best TV show, nor even the best superhero TV show for that matter, but it was generally always so in tune with the world of geekdom such that there were plenty of moments to make us smile and say, “Yeah, that’s a superhero.” But then in its last few seasons, it became … something else. It was never too steeped in its comic origins, while it also never really strayed too far from them either. It was hard to describe. (I think part of the problem was Tess Mercer, a character I’ve never heard anybody say they liked.) Michael Rosenbaum returned as Lex in the series finale, and though he was only on screen for about five minutes, it brought back the best of Smallville long enough to make the finale the best episode of the season. Rosenbaum was easily the best actor in the main cast during Smallville’s entire run, and it showed in that scene, as he elevated the performances of Tom Welling and every element of the setting. I could never quite understand why Lex did seem to be legitimately dead, considering that Smallville was principally conceived around the friendship between Clark and Lex and how that friendship contrasted with their future as enemies. If that future would not come to pass, that would have wiped out a great deal of meaning from the first half of the series. As for the rest of the finale, the epilogue was gratifying, and it had been set up nicely by the preview moments from earlier in the season.
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