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Erica Durance, Tom Welling, Smallville

It's finally here, Smallville fans! Tonight is the momentous 200th episode you've all been waiting for—and boy, is it a big one for Clark Kent (Tom Welling). Tonight's "Homecoming" brings romance, remembrance of things past and a preview of the future for our hero. We've got dish on what to expect in this special Smallville from none other than the brains behind the operation, show runners Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders:

Actually, before we get into our chat with Brian and Kelly, we've got to tell you that there are some incredibly sweet and rewarding moments for all you Clois fans out there in "Homecoming." That said, we can't say much, because what we talked about with B&K pertaining to Lois (Erica Durance) and Clark needs to come after you watch tonight's episode. Sorry. Just know that if you love these two together, you'll get some amazing scenes, including some from the future, and an extra special interaction at the very end. Get excited.

Talk about tonight's episode, "Homecoming." It has a distinct Christmas Carol vibe.
Brian Peterson: We had all these ideas, and one was what if Clark goes back and revisits his past because it's the high school reunion. We really wanted it to have this hopeful pushoff, so what if we scrapped that and [said] what if we go to the future? It all just ended up being, well, what if we do past, present and future.
Kelly Souders: When we were looking at it, we were trying to figure out what kind of structure we could use to bridge all the different time zones, and that's how Brainiac Five (James Marsters) came about...[and] everything suddenly gelled.
B.P.: He perfectly embodies where we've been, and where Clark's going, just in one character.

So back in time you went! What was it like revisiting Smallville High School? Which moments from Clark's past were most important to address?
B.P.: The very first one without question was the Lana (Kristin Kreuk) meet. It's probably the moment we all fell in love with Clark Kent as we saw his struggle that would launch the whole series.
K.S.: When I was looking back, I remembered Clark seeing Lana for the first time and fumbling through that moment. I really wanted to revisit how far he's come for that moment.
B.P.: Also the [Jonathan Kent] funeral, because Kelly and I wrote that and we were up there for the 100th episode. It was a really big pivotal moment for the show and for the cast and the crew, not just onscreen but behind the scenes too. So that for me stands out.

Speaking of Jonathan's death, there's a lot of growth and acceptance surrounding that in the 200th episode. Talk about that.
K.S.: We were discussing the emotional binds for Clark [in the final season], and Jonathan's death was really the No. 1 thing that kept coming to our minds. It's something that drove him, it changed the show, it changed Clark forever, and he hadn't gone back and dealt with it, and dealt with his own guilt about it. The issue just landed on the 200th episode, and how important it was for him to move forward.
B.P.: This is the perfect place for it because you need that resolution to be able to use the watch that was so important in the show as a symbol. You can tell if it worked well. 

There's no real big bad in tonight's episode. Why the decision to exclude such an integral part of the show each week?
B.P.: Once we looked at it, if felt unnecessary because the battle was really within. It almost felt like it cheapened the moments we were trying to build. We'd honestly rather spend the time and the money with the characters being able to go back to school rather than some fight that really needs a lot of resources and energy.

Justin Hartley, Allison Mack, Smallville

Jack Rowand/The CW

Tonight we see some of the ramifications of Oliver (Justin Hartley) revealing himself to be Green Arrow. How will this impact Clark beyond the 200th episode?
K.S.: We are going to see some ramifications of Oliver stepping out, and for Clark it's very impactful on his life because it's the thing that he struggled with from the beginning, about whether or not to be open with who he really is. He's now watching his best friend go through exactly what he'd do.
B.P.: It's almost worse to watch your friend take the heat because you're still hidden, than to take it yourself—for Clark, because he's such a hero. A big part of this first journey for Clark is watching what happens to Oliver after he's come out.
K.S.: It'll also have an impact on the rest of the heroes, which we'll see.

The payoffs in tonight's episode, for both Smallville and Superman fans, are pretty immense. What comes next on Clark's journey to superhero-dom?
K.S.: Clark comes out the leader that we know Superman to be. This is a very pivotal moment in that, and that is something that you see; his leadership skills jump up to the next level. And that maintains all the way through the rest of the season.
B.P.: This all galvanizes his confidence, which is something that has been a little wavering at the top of the season, after everything Jor-El said to him. It very much galvanizes that, especially when it comes to his relationship with Lois, and we will see a lot of movement in that area.

Don't miss Smallville's 200th episode tonight at 8 p.m. on the CW.

TWITTER: Follow @MegMasters for Smallville scoop throughout its final season.