'Smallville' showrunners discuss the 200th episode and what's still to come
Friday's (Oct. 15) episode, "Homecoming," has a sort of "Christmas Carol" vibe to it. Clark ( Tom Welling) and Lois ( Erica Durance) attend a reunion at Smallville High, and while they're there, Brainiac 5 (returning guest star James Marsters) takes Clark on a tour of the life he's lived so far -- and the one he needs to live in the future.
"We had all these ideas [for the episode], and one was, What if Clark goes back and revisits his past?" executive producer Brian Peterson says. "But we thought, No, we want it to have this hopeful sendoff, so what if it goes to the future? ... So we ended up with past, present and future."
Given that, here's some of what you can expect in each timeframe, both in 200th episode and later on in "Smallville's" final season.
In addition to some amusing jokes about Lois' very brief time in Smallville, "Homecoming" also flashes back to one of Clark's first encounters with Lana and to Jonathan Kent's funeral. Peterson and fellow showrunner Kelly Souders both say those were cornerstone moments in the history of "Smallville."
"The funeral ... was a really big, pivotal moment for the show and the cast and crew," Peterson says, "not just onscreen but behind the scenes too." Jonathan Kent's death -- in the show's 100th episode -- changed the course of the series, he says, so it was natural to go back to that moment.
For Souders, "I was just remembering Clark seeing Lana for the first time and fumbling through that moment -- I was like, I really want to revisit how far he's come from that moment. So that memory popped up pretty quickly."
There will be aspects of Clark's past you won't see in "Homecoming," and Peterson says it was tough to leave out other parts of Clark's family life or his friendship with Pete. "But we really just chose to focus on his loves and his hero journey, and not friendship or enemies per se."
Souders and Peterson say that how Clark deals with the revelations from his past and his future will play a big part in shaping the man he is now and for the rest of the season, from casting aside his self-doubt to dealing with Oliver going public as Green Arrow.
"I think he comes out the leader we kind of know Superman to be," Souders says. "This is a pivotal moment in that. ... His leadership skills jump up to the next level, and that's something that maintains all the way through the rest of the series."
"I'd say it galvanizes his confidence, which is something that's been a little wavering at the top of this season after everything Jor-El said to him," Peterson adds. "I think it's very much galvanizing that -- especially in his relationship with Lois. You'll see a lot of movement in that area."
We don't want to spoil what happens in Future Clark's world -- although it's safe to say you'll recognize a few things in Metropolis -- but Peterson and Souders did tease a few details about what's to come later in the season, including the appearances of some other DC Comics characters. Booster Gold will make an appearance, and Souders says you'll also see other members of the Justice League "in the middle of the run -- you won't have to wait until the end."
"Over the last couple of years we've been introducing more and more characters from the DC world and acknowledging that world on a greater level," she says. "For us it's a lot of fun."
Peterson notes that introducing new DC characters to "Smallville" also gives the last season some momentum. "We promised this wouldn't just be a season of reflection; it would be pushing forward," he says. "So that's why , in addition to Aquaman and Supergirl that we're bringing in from the past, we brought in Deadshot [two weeks ago] and Booster Gold, and probably a couple other people we want to bring in -- so it feels fresh."
The 200th episode of "Smallville" airs at 8 p.m. ET Friday on The CW.
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