All right, you all, this is where I'm going to get fanwanky with SMALLVILLE. Up until this point, I've generally been enjoying it and only occasionally noticing that I wasn't too gung-ho about a few character traits or mythology developments. But season 5 was the boiling point for all the tiny niggles that were tugging at me. Now, this isn't to say that I haven't liked a lot of what this program offers, so I'll start with what I'm enjoying about this series first.
BTW, if you haven't seen the series to this point and you have no idea what happens, you won't want to read any farther. Major SPOILERS ahead....
I am absolutely fascinated with Lionel Luther now. Yes, I've always quite adored his cheeky portrayal of Lex's farther, but now my adoration has turned into full-blown fangirl lurve. His most recent interactions with Clark and especially Martha Kent hold all the poignancy and tension that Clark and Lana were supposed to have, I suppose. And Lionel and Martha? Lurve. I haven't really started season 6 yet, but as much as the forbidden/growing affection between these two makes me ship for them, I hope the writers can refrain from giving them a full-blown romance. First, as awesome as it is, it's just wrong. Squick. And Martha hasn't had nearly enough time to recover from Jonathan's death. Still...lurve!
I thought the writers nailed Jonathan Kent's death, especially in its aftermath. Superman's adopted daddy had to die--it's a huge turning point in the mythology and in Clark's character growth. I've found myself developing a big old lump in my throat several times now that Jonathan has made the odd visit or two to a still-grieving Clark. Bravo.
Chloe Sullivan has turned into a majorly rockin' character. She used to bug during the first couple of seasons, but I am so the president of her fan club now. And that kiss she planted on Clark as Zod tried to take over the world? You go, girl! Personally, Clark has been quite the dweeb (see later notes), so I kind of wouldn't mind seeing Chloe in Lana's place at the Luthor mansion, snuggling and snarking with Lex.
What have I found to be better than expected? Lex and Lana getting together. I know. I've never understood the appeal of Lana and why she gets so much screen time for a character who's proven herself irrelevant time and again, but having her and Lex together has been surprisingly painless. Sure, I've wondered why a multi-millionaire would have any interest whatsoever in a judgmental Lolita--yeah, he likes her "goodness" (barf)--but his moral decay is imminent anyway. That's how it's supposed to go with Lex Luthor. Hence, I'm okay with him making this sort of very bad decision.
That said, I hope that Lex isn't going to grow to hate Clark/Superman because of this thing with Lana. I'd love to see a bunch of issues piling up to build the Lex we know and despise, and I'd love the cherry on top of the evil sundae to be Lex's resentment of how Clark is more of a son to Lionel than Lex could ever be: Clark is the super-child Lex has always strived to become, and for Clark to win Lionel over would be a blow that Lex would never recover from. That would make beautiful sense.
Now we come to the one point that has put me into battle mode with this series, though I could turn back into lovergirl at any moment. To put it simply, Clark has devolved into such a selfish whiny turd that I cannot imagine him as the boy who becomes Superman--the icon who represents all that is good about the struggle to be human. I understand the need for conflict in his life, and I do love a good brooding hero (Hi, Batman!), but this is not the Superman I fan for. And, frankly, Clark has overspent his "but he's going to be Superman one day" credit. Seriously, when he basically traded Lana's death for Jonathan's...? I felt ill. Jor-El told Clark that another life would be taken if he decided to trade in Lana's for that second option, and he did it anyway. For Lana.
I know that I'm being a bitter fanwanker, but disappointment does that. However, my love for everything else about this series is going to keep me loyal. I can see a glimmer of Clark's final road to becoming Superman right around the bend, even though I might be traveling a few steps behind him, warily watching every step....