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As End Nears, ‘Smallville’ Taps Johns’ Inner Geek

There are only a few weeks left before the “Oh yeah, that’s still on” two-hour “Smallville” finale, which doesn’t leave much time for the remaining fans to channel their inner geeks.

So this Friday’s episode (made available in advance to critics) — written by comic-book-writer-turned-DC Mack1 Entertainment chief creative officer Geoff Johns — offers those hardy few who have stuck around additional twists on the show’s by-now arcane mythology, introducing another obscure DC hero (the Blue Beetle!) and sly wrinkles from Superman lore, like who came up with the idea of Clark Kent wearing glasses and fumbling around to cover up his secret identity.

When “Smallville” premiered, the initial promise was “No flights, no tights.” As the end nears, though, Superboy has become a young Superman (Tom Welling is in his 30s now), creating a rather awkward fit with the DC universe and Warner Bros.’ plans to again try rebooting the feature franchise under producer Chris Nolan and director Zack Snyder.

Frankly, “Smallville” has been something of an afterthought for awhile now, and the producers who originally developed the TV show — Al Gough and Miles Millar — announced they were leaving three years ago. After its modest and impressive origins, necessity has forced several wild flights of fancy, including some (kinda) flying, assembling the whole friggin’ Justice League (albeit in watered-down form) and outfitting Clark in leather outfits that aren’t quite skin-tight spandex territory, but getting there.

Having loyally followed the show for most of its run, my own viewing has been intermittent the last couple of seasons, but I’m committed to checking out these final episodes.

This week takes a few baby steps in building toward the finish, but it’s long past time for “Smallville” to click its heels and fly into the sunset.

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