Every Season Of Smallville Ranked Worst To Best

My biggest gripe with “Smallville” is that it refuses to let Clark become Superman, stubbornly yielding to Gough and Millar’s “no tights, no flights” mantra. As such, the series ties itself in knots to adhere to its prequel roots rather than leaping toward the larger story. Clark sports a black trench coat and galivants about as Metropolis’ hero, but don’t call him Superman; he and Lois work together at the Daily Planet and slowly form a relationship, but don’t call them a couple; Chloe spends much of her time with Emil Hamilton (Alessandro Juliani) in the Watchtower, but don’t expect the Justice League.

Sure, we’re treated to the Geoff Johns-penned “Absolute Justice,” which brings in the likes of Hawkman (Michael Shanks), Stargirl (Britt Irvin), and Doctor Fate (Brent Strait), but the episode plays more like fan service than an essential element to the overarching plot.

Also sorely missing is Lex Luthor, who exited the show after Season 7 and left an enormous hole for the producers to fill. Doomsday (Sam Witwer) was a bold move for Season 8, and Major Zod (Callum Blue) proves a worthwhile foe in Season 9, but these guys are merely expansions on the “Freaks of the Week” story structure and lack the intricacies of Lionel and Lex.

Regardless, Season 9 delivers high-octane action, including an exciting “Matrix Revolutions”-styled smackdown between Clark and Zod in the season finale, “Salvation.” Still, at this point, the series feels like it’s running in place and delaying the inevitable.

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