Spoiler Level: High
Okay, overall I'm pleased. I don't normally rate stuff in this style, but I'd give it about a 7 out of 10. So not as good as I was hoping for, but pretty darn good.
As soon as it was revealed last episode that the Book of Rao would transport the Kandorians away, I knew we had our solution for the season finale and that we weren't going to get our all-out war.
The fight scene between Clark and Zod was at least more satisfying than last year's fight against Doomsday. Sure, it would have been nice to have them doing major-league damage like the battle in Superman II, but Smallville just doesn't have that kind of budget. So at least we actually got a good final throw-down between the two, even if it was on a smaller scale. It was nice of the Rao-Beam to wait until Clark and Zod finished their fight, wasn't it? And just where the heck does Zod keep getting these Kryptonite knives, anyway?!?
Wait a minute, wait a minute... this just occurred to me as I was typing: Wasn't the first thing Zod did when he got his powers was find out where Chloe's caches of Kryptonite weapons were and start destroying them all? He must have picked the knives up then. And speaking of Kryptonite weapons...
LOVED Tess's Kryptonite Brass Knuckles. The writers certainly left her deep in the swimming pool, didn't they? To be honest, I'll be okay if she doesn't come back next year. She was an okay character, especially at the start, but I feel like they didn't quite know what they wanted her to be by the end of this season.
LOVED seeing Hawkman, Stargirl, Cyborg and Black Canary again. So awesome.
LOVED LOVED Lois figuring out from his touch that Zod was not The Blur, and from his kiss that Clark was.
LOVED LOVED LOVED the opening sequence of 2013 with all the characters in their proper place in the Superman mythos. If this show runs another three seasons, then I'm holding you guys to that!
And lastly... the opening scene with the proper S, implying that Martha has made Clark his proper Superman outfit. I'd like to think that this means they're open to taking the plunge next year (after all, it will be SEASON FREAKIN' TEN), but Smallville being Smallville I'm not going to get my hopes up.
It would be nice if they planned on next year being their final season, so they just went all out and gave us the final chapter of Clark's childhood and had him become Superman early on. I mean really, they've done their job over the last nine seasons of introducing every element and getting everything in place; if they don't take the last step soon, it's going to feel like they're stalling. And if they have the attitude of "If he becomes Superman, we don't have a show," then that's okay, because the show will have run for ten years. And if the ratings are still good, then they can either keep going or reboot the show as Metropolis.
Wait and see. Right now they've got to work out how Clark is going to survive a fall from the top of a skyscraper without his powers. I have my theories. And I'll be back in the fall for Season 10 to find out, without my usual reservations, because Season 9 was Smallville's best season yet.