Save those sobs for later, Smallville fans!
We're right there with ya on the final-season sad front, but today's all about celebrating the beginning of the end—and boy do we have lots to celebrate! Thanks to a lovely chat with Smallville's awesome bosses Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders, we're bubbling over with season-10 scoop to spill.
So if you think you can hold it together, get in here and find out what's ahead (and who's returning) for Clark's final journey...
The Last Premiere: Tonight's season opener is beyond brilliant, with some of the most gorgeous special effects the show's ever seen. "Premieres and finales are really like trying to get a movie off the ground," Kelly explains. "We did several different versions of the premieres, so [the story] was broken several times. And the crew again pulled off a megamovie for television!" Truly, tonight you'll see anything and everything you're hoping for going into Smallville's final season, including new story arcs to carry Clark (Tom Welling) through, as well as the start of big things for both Lois (Erica Durance) and Clark, and Chloe (Allison Mack) and Oliver (Justin Hartley).
Great Expectations: Obviously you need no prodding from us to tune into Smallville's last hurrah, but the questions on everyone's mind seem to be, what will this season bring and will it honor the Superman legacy? The answer? Absolutely! "This is Clark's last journey, so it's a pretty big thing to make that last step to putting the Superman persona into place," says Kelly. "There'll be a lot of levity and a lot of fun this season, but there's also going to be some pretty monumental moments." "It's both ends of the spectrum," adds Brian. "On one hand, he's stepping into the light and a lot more heroic, and on the other hand he's facing this huge villain in Darkseid. So it's this huge push and pull between the light and the dark."
Lex Returns! Note: We did say Lex, not Michael Rosenbaum. The premiere is actually chock-full of Lexes, but we don't want to spoil the twist for you. "We'd love to have Michael back, there's no question about that. It's out there. We just love him and love his performance," Kelly tells us. "But we also know that Lex Luthor goes on in history, and we really felt that whether he was a part of it or not, the Lex story needed to come back on some level for the final season." And for those who follow the comics, you'll have a leg up on the rest of us. Explains Brian: "We did draw on some inspiration from different storylines, the mythology that preexisted in the comics, taking a couple ideas here and there. Hopefully, it will be a really satisfying payoff to that character in this final season." Long story short, they want Michael back as Lex, but in the meantime we'll still see the character in some incarnation.
Clois Forever! Rejoice, shippers! Not only will there be a huge payoff for your leading man and his soul mate, but it will come sooner than you think. Gushes Kelly: "That kiss at the end of last season was a game changer, and when we pick up this season the game keeps changing—and it changes pretty rapidly in the first handful of episodes. Lois and Clark's relationship gets pushed down the field with some pretty big plays." When asked if these two will find true happiness in the end, Kelly simply says: "I would be a very rabid viewer the first half of the season if that's what you're looking for—I wouldn't wait until the very end to tune in." Squee!
Chloe (and Oliver) in Flux: We all know Alison Mack will only be back for a handful of episodes (and no matter what you've heard, that number has still yet to be determined), but by the end of the premiere you'll have a greater understanding of what's ahead for Chloe, and Chloe and Oliver—whether you'll like it or not is another question. "Having her in the premiere is so important," says Brian. "And her absence will really spur a lot of different characters into action in different ways this year. But it's certainly not the last we see of her in the season." Chlollie fans will be happy to hear that Oliver will fight to get back to his ladylove, but it may not be enough. Explains Kelly: "He does search for her, but it spurs him to make a really enormous decision in his life that will change things forever for Oliver. But Chloe's presence will definitely be felt throughout the season within different things that we're doing." Thankfully, a happy ending for Chloe is in the works. "That's a big duty!" laughs Brian. "That's definitely our goal, to send her character off—just like every character on the show—with the gravity that it deserves."
Guest Stars Galore: As if John Schneider's emotional return in tonight's premiere isn't enough ("He's back for a couple episodes; probably toward the second half of the season again we'll start to see him more," Brian promises), get ready for the midseason comeback of John Glover's Lionel Luthor. "Ooooh," is all Kelly will say. "Wait until you see how he reenters the story," Brian adds. Yeee! There are no plans for another Perry White (Michael McKean) and Martha Kent (Annette O'Toole) return yet, but it's something Brian and Kelly would love, so stay tuned.
That Iconic Flight: Wish we had a more definitive answer to give, but here's the best we can do: "Wow, I have to say, the number of times we get asked that question...You know what, we're still building the second half of the season, so we'll have to see where that goes." [Editor's note: It sounds like Brian and Kelly would love to make this happen.]
That's all the scoop we've got for now (you'll have to see the premiere before we can dish anymore!), so tune in to Smallville tonight at 8 p.m. on the CW.
Follow @megmasters on Twitter for news on your fave Superman show throughout the final season.