Spoiler Rating: High
Woah! This episode was so good, I assumed it must have been written by Geoff Johns! (Well, that and because of the Legion tie-in.) Kudos to Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders.
I had very low expectations for this episode; and the opening teaser played right in to them. A return to Smallville High, a return of a classic freak of the week, people with resentment towards Clark. Ho-hum. An understandable look back at the show's beginnings in the show's final season.
But what the episode actually was was so much more and so much better. Brainiac returning as the Legion's Brainiac 5! And in typical Smallville fashion, he's wearing a green shirt. And through Brainiac we see not only how far Clark has come (wow, did Tom Welling really look that young in the first season?), but we get a glimpse of the future Superman we've been waiting for him to become.
Now, I did want to smack Clark upside the head when he was trying to explain to the Lois of 2017 that he was from the past. He started off well -- "I'm from another time" is pretty straight-forward-- but once she wasn't getting it, he could have straightened the whole conversation out with, "No, I mean a second ago I was in the year 2010." So seeing Future Clark was a very welcome relief. And seeing him look like "Clark Kent," with the glasses, the swept-back hair and the suit and trenchcoat was even better.
I have always been a big, big fan of the "Lois knows Clark is Superman" approach. When I was growing up, Lois was always in the dark and spent most of her time trying to figure out how to prove Clark was Superman, always ending with "Well I feel foolish, I can't believe I thought you could be Superman." In fact, what got me to become an avid reader of Superman was when I read "Death of Superman" and realized that Lois now knew and they were engaged. With Lois knowing, she could be more of her own character, with her own goals often (but not always) coinciding with Clark's. She becomes his support and his motivation, and she humanizes Clark as a character. So I am so, so glad that the glimpse of 2017 showed the two of them moving forward towards this. This is what I loved about Superman.
I also loved, loved, loved that Clark's angst is the darkness he needs to leave behind. That's always been one of my biggest gripes about Smallville; angst is Batman's shtick, not Superman's. Once again, a supporting character is saying everything to Clark that I've wanted to.
And Chloe's actually off of the opening titles now? This thing with her being gone is running a lot longer than I expected it to. Maybe she's off filming something else?