Tom Welling and James Marsters

Smallville's 200th episode, which takes a look at Clark's past, present and future, will bring the farm boy-turned-reporter several steps closer to being the Man of Steel as he faces the hard truths behind his father's death. Executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson offer insights about how the episode changes the series as it nears the end.  

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8. Clark's Journey Through Past, Present and Future: Clark (Tom Welling) will take a look at his life — and others' — with the help of Brainiac 5 (James Marsters). "We looked at the different DC characters, and who would make sense to take Clark on that journey, and when we thought of bringing Brainiac 5 there was a big sigh of relief," Souders says, "because everything suddenly gelled." Adds Peterson: "He kind of perfectly embodies where we've been and where Clark's going, just in one character right there."

7. True Red and Blue: When Clark ends up in the future, he comes face-to-face with his future self; the Man of Steel that Smallville fans have definitely been waiting to see. "There's a very good possibility that he might reappear at some point," Peterson says.

6. 100th Revisited: A turning point for Clark comes when he revisits his father's funeral. The scene happens to be a favorite for the producers. "Kelly and I wrote that and we were up there for the 100th," Peterson says. "It was a really big pivotal moment for the show and the cast and the crew, not just on-screen but behind the scenes, too, so I think that for me stands out."

Check out photos of Smallville's 200th episode

5. Confidence Boost: Clark's glimpse into the future definitely lessons his strains in the present. "I would say that it galvanizes his confidence, which is something that has been a little wavering at the top of this season after everything Jor-El said to him," Peterson says. "Especially when it comes to his relationship with Lois [Erica Durance], and we see a lot of movement in that area." Souders adds: "He comes out the leader that we know Superman to be."

4. Bright Light: Past seasons, and even the beginning of the final one, have seen Clark continually struggle. However, after the 200th episode, the season will take a new turn. "We really wanted this to be a positive season and a season of growth and forward movement," Peterson says. "If it happened that late it the season it felt like you're just getting at that at the very last second before his big move into Superman, and so we really wanted it to launch the season, not just cap it off."

3. The Super Suit: Though the red and blue Superman suit is locked up in the Fortress of Solitude, Clark is on the path to earning the cape. "He still has quite a bit to go through," Souders says. "And we'll see that the world around him also puts up some major stumbling blocks for him, so as much as he's progressing, things around his life and the environment around him is going to shift after this episode to a place where he's got some major battles still to overcome here. So he's earning his stripes, though, all along."

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2. Oliver's Gone Public: Though Ollie (Justin Hartley) has stepped into the limelight, it won't be an easy journey, especially since Clark is still in the shadows. "It's almost worse to watch your friend take the hit, because you're still hidden, than to take it yourself for Clark, because he's such a hero," Peterson says. Adds Souders: "It will also have an impact on the rest of the heroes, which we will see as that comes forward."

1. The End is Nigh: The producers reveal that the rest of the series is already mapped out as of last week. "Every episode," Souders says. "That was pretty daunting. We were all sitting in the writers' room, and we looked up at the board and we had it all mapped out. Like everything's now mapped out and we thought wow, that's it."

Smallville's 200th episode airs Friday at 8/7c on the CW.