Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Death Looms Over Smallville

In the past seven seasons of The CW's highest rated drama, several characters have come and gone over the course of the series. In fact, only series leads Tom Welling and Allison Mack have remained on the show since its first season back in 2001.

Over the course of Smallville's past 8 seasons, 8 series regulars have bid farewell to show, with four of those cast member exiting the series with their character meeting death.

In season 5, Clark Kent made a decision to defy his biological fathers orders and break his promise. The result was a de-powered Clark who faced death and resurrection with a dire consequence: His own life would one day be exchanged for the life of someone close to him.

After months of speculation, Smallville's 100th episode forced Clark to say goodbye to his father and Jonathan Kent, in a heroic attempt to keep his son safe, died after two years of heart problems.

By season 7, Lex Luthor had become the enemy of Clark Kent that comic book aficionados had been dying to see since the two characters befriended each other in the pilot episode. However, many believed that Lex's decent into darkness would be complete only with the murder of his emotionally, psychologically, physically abusive father, Lionel Luthor. For seven years Michael Rosenbaum and John Glover shared electrifying scenes together as junior and elder Luthor that showed the dysfunctional relationship shared between both characters that drove Lionel to test Lex through harsh, extreme means, and Lex's growing thirst to over power his father.

Growing closer to finding the answers to all the questions that plagued him since his mysterious first encounter with Clark, Lex realized his father quite literally held the key to uncovering the truth. In a final confrontation between father and son, Lex Luthor took his fathers life and in doing so, destroyed what little good remained in him in the process. Simply put, Lex Luthor was now the king and no one rivaled him.
These two deaths are easily the most significant on the show because they both propelled title characters Clark and Lex further toward their respective destinies as hero and villain. They also had the most build up with hints, speculation, and ultimately story working towards these major events in the series.

Now, as season 8 grows close to an end, spoilers and reliable media sources have revealed that this seasons finale will have two characters die. The only information known, or given, is the following.
-The death's will stick. Smallville has a history of bringing 'dead' characters back to life, however if these media sources can be trusted (sadly they can), then these characters will remain dead.
-The producers may be planning a twist around these deaths...but it does not involve bringing either character to life .
-One character can be considered a Smallville vet and the other not so much.

So, who will bite the dust? In exploring the build up between the shows two major departures we can take a look at the current seven series regulars and explore which of them, vet or newbie, is the strongest candidate to bid farewell to Smallville before it begins its ninth season in fall 2009
The Vets
Clark Kent: Would Smallville really kill their title character? The question is, will they have a choice? While it has been strongly reported that Tom Welling has signed on for a ninth season, no official announcement has been made by ANYONE officially involved with the show. This doesn't nullify the other reports, though it is something to pay attention to.

However unlikely, season 8's most exciting storyline does leave the door for Clark's death open to possibility. Season 8 introduced Sam Wiwter as Davis Bloome, a paramedic who befriends and eventually develops strong feelings for Chloe Sullivan. However Davis has a dark, violent persona he cannot control: Doomsday. In DC comics canon, Doomsday is the ultimate destroyer who accomplished something no villain was capable of: He killed Superman.
If the producers decide to give us the Clark/Doomsday smackdown the fans anticipate, Clark's death could be a potential scenario. However, this is under the assumption that reports of Tom Welling's involvement in seasn 9 are incorrect, which doesn't seem likely in itself. But if Tom hasn't signed the dotted line, Clark's death could be a solution to sent Clark off the series.

Bet: Safe

Chloe Sullivan: As far as vets go Chloe Sullivan is, unfortunately, the most likely candidate to bite the dust by season 8's conclusion. Since the beginning of the series fans payed specific attention to the obvious fact that Chloe Sullivan, being an original creation of the series, is not part of Clark Kent's life when he assumes his mantle as Superman.

Chloe's death has been hinted at several times over the course of the series, but numerous hints have been dropped this year, specifically in this seasons episode titled "Legion".

Legion, which featured a team of super powered individuals from the 31st century adapted from DC comics, gave a clear cut answer to a question plaguing fans: Chloe Sullivan is not part of Superman's life in the Smallville universe. While it is also hinted that this may be a 'historical inaccuracy', it is something to take note of.

A 'political' reason could also be involved. Last season Michael Rosenbaum left the series after seven years to pursue other interests. With her contract also finished, Allison Mack's people reportedly jumped at that chance to take advantage of the fact that the producers would be extra willing to bring veteran Allison back after Rosenbaums departure. Reports seemed to indicate that Mack scored a rather significant deal to return for the shows 8th season.

However, considering the fact that the network, The CW, has been barely staying alive with its ratings, budgets have been slashed significantly, even for one of its most successful shows. If the budget is to be cut once again for Smallville's ninth season, perhaps Allison's reported hefty salary may no longer affordable.

Bet: Doomed

Lois Lane; Jimmy Olsen; Oliver Queen/Green Arrow: As far as veterans go, these three characters are about as close to Clark Kent and Chloe Sullivan as anyone else.

While it's unwise to suggest anyone is safe on a show like Smallville, the simple fact that all three characters are part of Superman's life in DC Comics canon probably means these three characters are safe from the grim reaper.

While Smallville did take a surprising route and kill Lex Luthor in season 8, Superman's arch enemy, general consensus is that Lex Luthor is still alive. Lex could have been 'killed' in order to give the characters on the series no further reason to search for him, as Lex has been considered 'missing' following Rosenbaum's departure.

While the producers could 'kill' off one or two of these characters to have them permanently exit the series, chances are DC Comics restrictions wouldn't allow it.

Bet: Safe

The Newbies
Tess Mercer: When Michael Rosenbaum announced he would not be returning for Smallville's 8th season, the producers revealed that two new villains would be entering the picture to fill the void.

One of these villains would be Tess Mercer, an original creation of the series inspired partly by Miss Tessmacher (of Superman movie lore) and Mercy Graves (Superman: The Animated Series). A tough, brilliant, and cunning woman who was Lex's protegee, she assumed the mantle of LuthorCorps CEO after Lex's mysterious disappearance. A devoted follower, Tess adopted the attitude of her mentor and in her pursuit to find Lex showed "no mercy".

Being an original character not based directly off anyone is the DC Universe, Tess is not safe from deaths grasp. However no indications or reason for her potential demise have been given as of yet. Only time will tell, but Tess Mercer is likely to live long enough to cause Clark Kent more trouble.

Bet: Safe
Davis Bloome: The second villain announced was the previously mentioned monster: Doomsday. Many fans wondered how the series would create a character worthy of a season long arc out of a monstrous, mindless, killing machine. It would be announced that Doomsday would have a human form in the character of Davis Bloome, a paramedic who bounced from foster homes and always felt a darkness hiding inside him.
In a werewolf, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde approach, Davis would have uncontrollable moments were the monstrous Doomsday would take over. Unable to control or remember his actions as the beast, Doomsday's lack of humanity proves to be a worthy challenge for the Man of Steel.

As Davis attempts to discover and control his evil persona, its becoming more and more clear that his fate as the ultimate destroyer is unavoidable. The question is, can a story involving a man becoming a monster go beyond one season? Especially since Davis has already discovered a significant amount of information regarding his past and fate. While the Doomsday monster can carry on beyond season 8, one has to wonder if they'd be able to keep Davis's plot going and how they could make it interesting for more than one season.

Bet: Doomed

Other Options

Minor Character: While the hints indicate that the death's will revolve around major characters, one shouldn't rule out potential for a smaller role to bid farewell to the series. Shelby? Dr. Groll? Martian Manhunter? It's possible, with Martian Manhunter being a big enough, but minor, character to make for a significant death. However we should trust that this death, as suggested, will be MAJOR.

Bet: Safe

No One, They're Tricking Us: We've been duped before. Lana's 'death' at the end of season six proved to be a ploy, and Clark himself has died and been resurrected once before. However, again, lets assume we're being told the truth here

Bet: Not Likely

While Smallville has had alot of major events happen over it 8 year run, the deaths of Jonathan Kent and Lionel Luthor proved to be the most significant. So the question is, which of these character deaths would prove to make an impact on the series and on Clark's journey?

Chloe, being Clark's best friend and closest confidant, would make for a significant blow to Clark's road to heroism. While Davis' fall could lead for the complete take over of Doomsday, a scenario that,as mentioned earlier, could prove lethal for Clark Kent.

Only time will tell which character will say their final words in Season 8's finale. While fans may dispute or deny the possibility that their favourite character might meet an untimely end, there's no denying that Smallville has done it before and could very well do it again. Until then fans will keep guessing and more hints will likely be dropped as the season progress. One thing is sure: May 14th will prove for a memorable night for Smallville fans.

1 comment:

  1. A part of me shall die if Chloe does. Welcome to the world of blogs =) x