Well it's the beginning of the end. It's in the tenth and final season and there is still "no flights and no tights" in the season premiere on Smallville.
At the end of last season Tess had been toasted by Zod's heat vision and then died later; Chloe watched as Oliver was kidnapped by some unknown group, Lois FINALLY figures out that Clark is the blur, and Zod is sent packing with the rest of the kryptonians when Clark takes a swan dive off the top of a skyscraper after getting a blue kryptonite knife to the chest. Everyone get all that?
It picks up with Lois crying over Clark's dead body while he is having some kind of out-of- body/after life experience. There he is warned yet again by Jor-El that he will have to confront "the greatest evil he has faced" (what else is new), hinting with a shadowy figure at Lex or someone else new. Chloe puts on Dr. Fates helmet to find Oliver but also sees some of the future where Clark is the world's greatest hero and he's not wearing black when he does it. Not a big shocker there. For some reason they bring back Tess so she can discover Lex's secret lab where he has been making clones of himself to help repair the original Lex Luthor.
"Lazarus" stumbles in too many places for it being season premiere quality. Allison Mack is still a series regular but is only doing a handful of episodes. So it looks like the writers make a half ass effort to temporary take Chloe out of the story-line for a couple episodes. Also I can tell that the stuff with Oliver and his captures are just going to be filler for Justin Hartley this season when he isn't helping Clark. And don't even get me started on why Cassidy Freeman's character Tess is still around. Just because Michael Rosenbaum isn't a regular anymore doesn't mean the show still needs a second rate villian.
But there is some good stuff that makes "Lazarus" worth a watch. There is a scene where they play homage to the series' pilot episode with Lois being strung up in the same corn field, by a dying aged Lex clone, with a big red S painted on her chest just as Clark first was. There is a pretty epic shot of Clark catching the Daily Planet globe before it falls off the building to crushes the good people of Metropolis below. Another cool part of the episode is, like in last season's finale, they show Clark's future Superman costume; it being the same costume that Brandon Routh wore in Superman Returns. Up till that point this episode was average at best until its final scene where Clark has some after effects from his near-death experience. Thats when the great John Schneider gets to come back as Jonathan Kent to give Clark one last father-son talk. For the hard core Smallville fans this scene might get you a little emotional, so bring a box of Kleenex.
All and all this is a good but not great episode. That being said there is still a ton of great stuff to look forward to before they end the season and the series this year. It may sound like the greatest hits of returning cast members with rumours of people like: Annette O'Toole (Martha Kent), Michael McKean (Perry White), Laura Vandervoort (Kara aka Supergirl), James Marsters (Brainiac), and fingers crossed for the one and only Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor coming back. Even appearances by other big DC characters (sorry no Batman) and former Superman alum Teri Hatcher have been confirmed. It's been a long time coming for this series but with some of the show's best former directors being back and Tom Welling more involved this year Smallville should be in good hands.
Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.