When we arrived at the press Q&A with “Smallville” executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson on Tuesday, May 10, there was a letter waiting on our chairs which read, “Thank you again for all your interviews, reviews and general good will about a boy on a farm… who is all grown up now.”
No, we’re not crying. We have something in our eye.
While there has been a lot of talk on who — cough Michael Rosenbaum cough — will be returning for the final episode, Souders and Peterson want to make it clear that this finale will ultimately be about the boy we’ve slowly watched grow up to become Superman over the last ten years: Clark Kent (Tom Welling). Peterson says, “We really wanted to keep this Clark’s finale.”
Fans will still be watching Clark grow up on Friday, May 13, when “Smallville’s” journey comes to a close. The boy has now sold the farm he grew up on — much to his Martha Kent’s chagrin — and has pulled away from Jor-El, which Souders and Peterson explain is all part of Clark taking his final steps into Supermanhood.
“I think looking at his last step for us it was about the fact that sometimes your mentors and the people that you look to for help can also sometimes be holding you back or it can be your imagination that they’re holding you back,” Souders says. “He’s still trying to figure out all those last relationships as he finally takes his step into complete manhood. It’s still a complication in his life that he has to make peace with.”
Peterson says the most challenging part of the show has always been “finding problems and character flaws for Superman because he’s perfect,” and in the series finale, “some of the problems he’s facing are about him trying too hard to decide who he is and be hero and not kind of let it happen at the pace it should.”
By now, fans know John Schneider is set to return as Jonathan Kent in the finale and Peterson says, “We purposely platformed Jonathan’s role in the finale with what we did in ‘Lazarus,’ the premiere of this season. The whole point was to bookend the season, and he’s introduced in that same type of way.”
Regarding Jonathan’s appearance, Souders teases, “It will become really clear what role Jonathan plays and why he shows up the way he does in this episode. Every time I see certain moments with Jonathan, I get a tear in my eye.”
When asked what they hope the people will take away from the show, Souder’s answer was so amazing that we are just going to post the whole thing because we love it that much.
“I honestly think it’s the theme that emerged this year, which is believe in heroes. I think that has become incredibly important to us that we were able to work on a show that had such a positive message. I think the fact that we have such hardcore fans that have followed the show, I think that’s why they watch. It’s not because we’re going to have the biggest visual effects they’ll ever see on a screen and it’s not really anything other than they want to believe in heroes.”
Peterson continues, “I think Superman was born out of a very tumultuous time in our history and I think we’re facing a lot of other challenges right now and we will in the future. To me, it’s inspiration.”