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'Smallville' Season 5: the crème de la crème

Contains SPOILERS for Smallville Season 5

Respectively, fans and critics voting on Rotten Tomatoes have it all wrong. Smallville year five is without question the best season of the DC television series created by Wednesday showrunners Al Gough and Miles Millar. In fact, Slash Film ranks the season as the Silver Medal winner behind only Season 2 in the entirety of the series.

U/BeautifulView1503 understands the significance and importance of year five. "S5: This season was the season Smallville changed," the Redditor wrote. "Besides from some filler episodes being pretty mid or bad the good stuff holds it up. 8.5/10."

Season 5 marked the end of the characters' tenure in high school, and more Superman-centric storylines began to emerge. In fact, it can be argued that Season 5 marked the beginning of Superboy and the end of the WB's Smallivlle. "It became less about Smallville the town and more about Smallville the man (Clark)," Redditor u/ecsdavis wrote.

But the main reasons Season 5 works so well is simple: The Last Son of Krypton finds that there are far greater adversaries and challenges than just meteorite-enhanced freaks of the week and teenage angst to overcome.

The fifth season remains a high-water mark in the 10-year run of the show, and the superhero drama doesn’t waste any time introducing the greatest threats young Clark Kent (Tom Welling) has ever faced in the form of evil Kryptonians Aethyr (Alana De La Garza) and Nam-Ek (Leonard Roberts).

At the end of Episode 1, Arrival, Clark manages to trap Aethyr and Nam-Ek in the Phantom Zone, but their ship’s Brain InterActive Construct (Brainiac) is unleashed in the humanoid disguise of Milton Fine (James Marsters).

With the sole purpose of freeing its master General Zod from the Phantom Zone, Brainiac puts Clark through pure hell while posing as his college instructor.

Zod is finally released in the season finale, Vessel, and he banishes Clark to the Phantom Zone! However, as deadly a threat as the rogue Kryptonians turn out to be, Clark’s darkest hour happens in Episode 12, Reckoning.

Clark finally reveals to his girlfriend, Lana Lang (Kristen Kreuk), he is an alien. However, divulging his secret comes with disastrous consequences, and Lana is killed when her SUV crashes into a school bus while fleeing from Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum).

In Clark’s desperation, he uses the only Kryptonian crystal that can save someone from death. Unfortunately, fate seeks out Clark’s father, Jonathan Kent (John Schneider), as Lana’s replacement.

Burying his father at the end of the story pushes Clark one step closer to becoming Superman, even though fans won’t actually see him put on the suit until the series finale. Season 5 is also peppered with unique revelations like the first appearance of Silver Kryptonite (Splinter), blood-thirsty vampires (Thirst) and an awkward kiss (Vessel) between Clark Kent and Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack).

Then there’s the arrival of future Justice League members Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Alan Ritchson) in Aqua and Victor Stone/Cyborg (the late Lee Thompson Young) in Cyborg which certainly provide jaw-dropping moments of their own. And who’d have suspected that Lionel Luthor (John Glover) would become friends and allies with Clark Kent?

These incredible moments come together to form the perfect storm that makes Smallville Season 5 must-see television.


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