If this season of Smallville has taught Clark Kent (Tom Welling) anything, it's that he needs to work in tandem with the Justice League or suffer serious consequences. Unfortunately, executive producer Brian Peterson says, Clark has even more tough lessons to learn before the season ends. Through the hardships — which include an identity crisis, some double crossing, and the reveal of an even bigger foe — Peterson says Clark will find redemption and finally step into a leadership position in the Season 9 finale. Read on for Peterson's take on the Red Queen, the return of Perry White and Martha Kent and much more.
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TVGuide.com: What does it mean that the hero has been wearing black all season?
Brian Peterson: At the end of last season, Clark made a decision that threw him into really embracing his Kryptonian identity. In our minds, that really involved giving up his relationships and everything that he had known as his human connection, so all of that was the color in his life. He embraced a very dark version of who he thinks the hero he needs to be will become.
This season has been about Clark exploring an identity as Clark Kent and a very separate identity as this cold, saving Kryptonian. That will propel us into the next season, where he has evolved out of that. He's been in his Kryptonian cocoon, and he will evolve out of that into the hero we all recognize. For everybody who goes out to be a hero for good, you have to struggle with the darkness before you really can come out the other side of it.
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TVGuide.com: Speaking of being dark, will Chloe (Allison Mack) be held accountable for her immoral spying this season?
Peterson: Yes, absolutely. In this week's episode, she's definitely held accountable for it. It absolutely comes to a head in Episode 20, in "Sacrifice." That's where everything comes home to roost for Chloe's actions this year.
TVGuide.com: Zod (Callum Blue) is really trying to usurp Clark as the savior of mankind, but he only really wants to save the Kandorians.
Peterson: Right. Clark is really caught in an increasingly difficult predicament. On one hand, he has to be the savior of Earth, but on the other hand, he finally has live, flesh-and-blood Kryptonians in front of him that his father, in his dying breath, told him to save. He wants to win over and save this different race, but he's very protective of the humans. That will come to a pretty big climax in the finale.
TVGuide.com: Lois is being duped by Zod, who is acting like the Blur for his own means. What will come of that?
Peterson: What we see is how reverent Lois is toward the Blur and how much she's willing to protect him and fight for him. Unfortunately it's the wrong Blur, so that gets Lois into some significant hot water.
TVGuide.com: How will Lois (Erica Durance) and Clark's relationship continue to develop? Will you deviate from the mythology and let Lois in on the secret?
Peterson: What we've been trying to do is build the relationship in our version of the mythology. So, we're really trying to be true to how each of the characters would be acting in the situation they're in. Lois is hiding something from Clark and talking to the Blur behind his back. Clark is trapped in knowing he has two separate relationships with Lois — one as this huge faceless hero, one as this real genuine guy right in front of her. That all comes to a head towards the end of the season.
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TVGuide.com: What can you say about the Red Queen? Some fans seem to think that it's Martha Kent (Annette O'Toole).
Peterson: Obviously I don't want to tip it one way or another because we have a lot of players on the board that could be the Red Queen. But the Red Queen will continue to play a role all the way through the rest of the season. We'll find out that the Red Queen trumps almost everybody we thought was actually in control and becomes a really big power player in the show. It's a really fun direction for the end of the season.
TVGuide.com: What can you tease about Perry White (Michael McKean) and Martha's return to Smallville?
Peterson: Martha and Perry return in a very fun, "look who's coming to dinner" episode, because they come at a very inconvenient time for Lois and Clark in their relationship. The episode is very fun, but I think it pays off certain things that we've been planning with our mythology through the series.
TVGuide.com: I hear we see a lot more of the Justice League in the finale.
Peterson: There are some members of the Justice League and Justice Society that make cameo appearances. It's really Clark's moment to shine and take the leadership that we saw a glimmer of in "Absolute Justice."
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TVGuide.com: Last year's finale was described as Clark's darkest hour. How will this year's finale compare for him?
Peterson: We tried to thread it all the way through. So, really the finale is Clark's redemption for everything that happened last year in "Doomsday." We really needed to put Clark through a journey to get to where he's going to be. I think fans will be very happy.
What storylines are you looking forward to coming together in the finale?