How Smallville Made Clark & Lana’s Divisive Ending Really Necessary

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The Smallville story made Lana Lang’s controversial finale a necessary move for the show. Although writing off Lana allowed Clark to have an affair with Lois from the comics, the way it was done was met with a lot of criticism. The decision to separate Clark and Lana with kryptonite was considered by many to be the wrong way to close the door to this chapter in Superman’s life.

A few years later, when he was Clark’s main love interest, Smallville finally put an end to Lana’s story in the season 8 episode “Requiem”. Having discovered a way to acquire permanent abilities, Lana thought that she could finally live happily with Clark as a superhero duo, but this did not happen. Lex Luthor’s elaborate plot resulted in Lana’s skin being impregnated with kryptonite, making it impossible for Clark and Lana to stay together. Thanks to Lex’s intrigues, Lana left Smallville forever and never returned to the show.

Related: Smallville’s Secret Easter Eggs Were the Perfect Superman Trick

Based on the understanding that Clark and Lois’ romantic pairing has always been the finale of Smallville, it was assumed from the beginning that Lana Lang (Kristen Kreuk) would have to leave at some point, but it was also expected that it would happen organically. In most Superman stories, Clark simply leaves Smallville and gradually forgets Lana. While this may sound better than “Smallville” literally forcing them to break off their relationship, the series’ approach to their romance over the course of seven seasons made the usual breakup seem like a disservice to the characters. It worked for other Superman stories, but not for Smallville. In the end, Clark and Lana’s relationship turned into an epic love story. It would be unfair to any character to treat this as a typical failed teen romance.

Why Smallville couldn’t kill Lana Lang

Theoretically, Smallville could solve Lana’s problem by killing her, but that wouldn’t work either. Lana’s death would have exacerbated the tragic element of their romance, and also made Clark’s life difficult. After Lana’s departure, Smallville didn’t wait long before developing Clark and Lois’ relationship, but it’s hard to imagine that this story would move to the next stage so soon (or at all) if Lana had died. From the description of Clark and Lana’s romance in the series, there was already a feeling that she was the true love of his life, so her murder would only strengthen this idea. Clark would probably have mourned Lana for years.

If “The Secrets of Smallville” had not revived romance at the end of season 4, perhaps the series would have found a less complicated way to complete the storyline, but this did not happen. Looking at the huge personal sacrifices Lana made to protect Clark in season 6 of Smallville, the consequences of Clark canceling her death in season 5, and other events, the two overcame too many obstacles for their relationship to end easily. Since killing Lana and a natural breakup would be bad ideas for her inevitable end to Smallville, Requiem was indeed the best option of the three—regardless of the controversy that arose with it.

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