Thoughts on Smallville episode: Booster Gold

So, the long, 10-year journey is almost over. Only three more weeks left (including a two-part finale on May 13th). I haven’t seen all of the ‘Kent’ episode from last week, but then again, after my dislike of the similar ‘Luthor’ episode, I can’t say that I’m in a rush to go back and see it.

From the little that I did glimpse of the previous episode, I could tell I wouldn’t like it either way. Why would they have any fillers at this point in the series? Well, at least ‘Booster Gold’ was a nice return to form. This week’s episode was firing on all cylinders.

I could write an essay about the tragedy of Clark Kent and the alter-ego he develops so I’ll wait until I talk about the other things before I officially get into that.

Now I’ll admit from the get-go that I know nothing about the Booster Gold or Blue Beetle characters. Reading on the TV listings, it spoiled that Booster Gold was from the future. I wonder if I hadn’t read that before the episode started if I would have been surprised once the Legion ring was first shown.

Booster Gold accomplished what he wanted to since I felt like Lois did whenever Gold was on-screen. He was loud, obnoxious, cocky and certainly no Clark Kent. That being said, it’s obvious he wasn’t an all-out bad guy rather just a guy that made some bad mistakes. The failed athlete stuff was interesting and definitely a fresh take for a series that has seemingly done it all in ten years.

The Blue Beetle? Well, he didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. I felt he was only there to be Gold’s chance at redemption. The question is being asked: would you like to see either Booster Gold or the Blue Beetle get their own spin-offs next year? As much as I liked the episode and tolerated both characters, I most likely would not watch as I would consider both to be poor replacements for Smallville and Superman.

So now to the other big development in this episode. Clark donned the glasses and became the bumbling, mild-mannered reporter. I felt some disappointment since Clark has never been more confident in himself and in who he has become. He is Superman now, just without the flights and tights. What I’ve always loved about Smallville during its long run is that we never had to see that ‘fake’ side of Clark Kent. Clark has always been himself and that is why so many people have fallen in love with the character and show.

This week took a big step into following the movies and other TV shows that had Superman as that dork that stumbles and makes a fool out himself while seemingly convincing everyone that a pair of glasses could make people instantly forget the previous Clark Kent. We’ve gotten to know this Clark Kent for ten years so whenever he puts on the suit, combing his hair to the opposite side is not going to make us believe that this Superman is not Clark Kent. Whoever does buy it in the Smallville universe would be a first-rate idiot.

So why do it? They’re doing it because it’s the way it has always been done and they believe Superman needs a secret identity. I do believe he needs a secret identity for many reasons, yet there is no easy answer on how to successfully pull it off and there lies the dilemma. Superman represents hope, among other things so being in the public eye is mandatory for the man of steel. There’s just no easy way to go about it.

I just never liked that Clark, especially in Smallville where we have seen the transformation, has  to pretend to be another person. It’s a tragic thing to have to pretend to be worse than you actually are. Clark is confident in himself and finally has accepted who he is and what he must do so this feels like a step back in many ways.

The only reassurance I have is that he won’t be going through it alone. Clark showed vulnerability when talking to Lois and wondered out loud if she would really want to be with someone like that. Of course, Clark Kent is the prince charming that Lois Lane has always wanted so she kind of viewed the question as a dumb one. I’m also a little disappointed that we will most likely not see the wedding of this super couple, but I’ll just dream it up and imagine it was the greatest wedding of all-time.

The end is near. Sigh. Are you ready for it?

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