|Index||5 reviews in total|
'Arctic' does not represent the finest Smallville finale the show and
its fans have ever seen, but it does enough to leave viewers intrigued
as to how Season 8 will conclude what has been left in this episode.
Kara suspiciously persuades Lex to travel to the Arctic with the knowledge that the cube-like object created by Kryptonians will protect him. Clark discovers that BrainIAC was in fact personifying his cousin, and Kara is really trapped in the Phantom Zone, a place where he once occupied for a short while. Once BrainIAC sends his best friend Chloe into a comatose state, he makes a confrontation with perhaps his most difficult foe. However, a quickly-becoming greater foe in his former friend, Lex, discovers that the Traveler is in fact Clark.
Lex discovering that much of his father's love was diverted for Clark's sake, is an epic moment that comes at the end of the show. For the character's sake, it was good to see important elements come into play, story-wise: Lana's break up with him, once she has been freed from her comatose state; Lois' increased affections for him; and his willingness to step up for his friends who have been potentially ruined by one of his foe's actions.
The episode is full of special effects; it's obvious that the Smallville creative team saved much of their budget for this episode. However, it lacks the fire that all of the other Smallville finales have had, especially with the prior knowledge that Lex's portayer Michael Rosenbaum will not be around for the show's final season. That potentially causes some big problems, as far as the story resolution goes with regard to Clark and Lex's confrontation in the Fortress of Solitude.
This is by no means the best Smallville finale. In fact if I had to
rank it, I'd say it's probably tied for the 2nd weakest finale with
season 1, but still light years ahead of he awful season 8 finale. One
real problem is that nothing truly exciting happens for 3/4 of the
episode. A Smallville finale should be non stop excitement, with plenty
of twists. There are virtually no twists in the entire episode, and as
I already said, the excitement comes way too late in the episode to be
There are some highlights here. Kara and Brainiac are used very effectively.. Also, while many people didn't like the way Lex was written out, I loved how his character developed up to this point, and the final scene between him and Clark was pleasantly subtle.
Unlike the season 8 finale, this episode I believe is partly excused for being a bit of a disappointment. For one, the writers strike did more than shorten the episode count from 22 to 20 this year. Nobody knew when it would end, so as a back up plan the producers had to plan on an early finale with "Veritas". By the time the writers strike had ended, they had already made some plans that had to be completely rearranged. I've already said before in my comments on "Veritas" that it feels like the finale would have been much better as one episode. If they had been able to plan a full season without any complications, and the scenes that made up in Veritas, Descent and Arctic were to have been combined, that would have made a fantastic finale. One also has to consider that this was the finale season for show creators Gough and Millar. It's clear they were either suffering from Smallville burnout or writers block, which can happen after 7 years on one project.
I don't want to make it seem like this was a terrible episode. As a mid season story, this would have worked very well. As a finale, it's hard to deny that it falls short.
A lot of people say that season 7 of Smallville is the worst but I completely disagree. The season is definitely the best. It even beats season 3 on every level. The Bizzaro story arc was fantastic, Brainiac's return was done extremely well, Clark's cousin Kara was a great addition to the cast, Lex's defining and final journey to the Dark side was perfect and Clark starting to embrace his Kryptonian destiny was great to see. In terms of story, Season 7 had the most changing plots, least amount of filler and amazing character arcs. The season only had 2 filler episodes but otherwise, everything was fantastic. The entire show of Smallville was essentially buildup to Clark Kent and Lex Luthor's final confrontation and a moment when Lex looked into Clark's eyes and saw a hero that must be destroyed while Clark sees an enemy that will be willing to burn the world to get what he wants. The entire season of the show was great with so many spectacular and amazing episodes. Some great episodes include Episode 10 Defina (for concluding the Bizarro arc on an incredibly high note), Episode 12 Fracture (for showing the last bit of good left in Lex). Episode 14 Traveler (for bringing the amazing Veritas story arc), Episode 16 Descent (for concluding Lex's journey into darkness) and the season finale for being the best season finale the show had and will ever have. The season just had so much substance and story that it should've ended here. With Lex and Lionel leaving, the show will really take a hit. Lex is the bad guy of the story, that's just how it works. That's superman. At least for me this is where Smallville should have end. Smallville Season 7 has the most intense feel for bringing out the heavy artillery for the whole season building up to Clark and Lex's final confrontation. The season brings in Bizarro, terminates Brainiac, smashes Lana off the grid and ends the life of our beloved Lionel Luthor. Smallville Season 7 gets a 9.4/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Am I the only one who was actually rooting for Lex in this episode? Oh, who am I kidding, I've been rooting for Lex all along. As far as season finale's go, this one was pretty decent. I do have a slight issue, though, which I will address here. Did Chloe suddenly develop amnesia or something? When Clark contemplates that maybe Kara is right in thinking that he hadn't done enough to stop Veritas, Chloe says that he has done everything he can, and more. Um, no he hasn't. Was it not just a couple of episodes ago when Chloe herself was telling Clark that he needed to do more, because Lex already had the two keys? And what was it Clark said in response to that? Oh yeah, he said, "I don't care about Lex." Does that sound like somebody who's doing everything they can, and more? No it doesn't. But then again, when has Clark ever done everything he possibly could? Never? Yeah, that's what I thought, but there wouldn't be much of a show if he did now would there? Worse yet, is that Clark agrees with Chloe's statement, and they determine that Kara is wrong in her belief. Kara may actually be Brainiac, but he's not wrong. As always, though, no one except Clark is ever right, even when they clearly are. I also find it odd that when Clark has Brainiac cornered it never even occurs to him to try and ask him to help Lana, considering Brainiac is the one who made her catatonic in the first place, and previously said that he was the only one who could reverse her condition. It probably wouldn't have made a difference, but would it have hurt to try? No, but as usual Clark is only worried about himself. None of this matters in the end, because, wouldn't you know it, Clark returns to the hospital to learn that Lana has made a full recovery. Of course she has. If the show had left her catatonic, more people would have been asking the same questions I am, and we can't have the audience questioning our hero's motives now, can we? If Lana only knew how little Clark had actually done to try and help her, but she never will. As usual Clark gets to get away with being completely selfish. The worst part about it is Lana's video goodbye message. She needs him, but the world needs him more. Give me a break. You couldn't leave without inflating that ego of his one more time, could you Lana? At least he's lost her though. It's not the retribution he deserves, but it's probably the closest to it he will ever get. And why in the world would Chloe ever agree to marry that bumbling idiot Jimmy. He is so pathetic. The show tries to make his antics seem cute, but I can't imagine any self-respecting female ever accepting a proposal from such an insecure joke of a man. I know in the end it is revealed that he's not the real Jimmy Olsen, but that doesn't stop the show from making him out to be on more than one occasion. What with the one day you'll be a great photographer, and all the other references made throughout. The best part of this episode though is that at least finally, FINALLY, Lex knows Clark's secret. And what did all of Clark's pathetic attempts to prevent it accomplish? It only made Lex hate him more, exactly as I predicted it would from the very beginning. Congratulations there Clark. Are you proud of yourself? Are you proud of the lifelong enemy you've created? A little trust could have went a long way, but it's too late for that now. It's a bitter sweet finale though as this marks the departure of both Lex, and Lana. Can't say I'm sad to see them both go, but I will miss Lex. All inconsistencies aside I give this episode an 8, my highest rating yet, just for the confrontation between Clark and Lex in the fortress. A confrontation that was long overdue.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I loved this show. 6 years ago. But they kept Lana alive (or at least in the storyline) way too long. They've wasted characters like Pete Ross. And now - I'm not even sure why - they have disappointed me with a mediocre finale to a mediocre season. I guess I just feel like the producers and writers have jumped the shark so many times this season. Kal-El's cousin is an obvious "Cousin Oliver". I can't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I felt disappointed watching the final showdown with Lex after watching Clark spend what felt like half the season wasting his time on his 'brain-dead' girlfriend...I was neither surprised or very disappointed when Lex wins. Maybe it was all because Millar and Gough were so busy with the new Mummy movie...they don't even care about this LAME property anymore.
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