The 200th episode of Smallville = James Marsters, time travel, and a class reunion

Friday's Smallville, "Homecoming," was a change of pace from what we've seen thus far this season. An old villain returned in an unexpected way, Clark flash-forwarded to the Metropolis of 2017, and 90% of the episode took place in Smallville.

"Homecoming" was very much a victory lap for the show. It was equal parts an acknowledgement to its WB teen-drama roots and a celebration of how long the show's been on the air. "Homecoming" also marked a turning point for Clark's character — it allowed him to shuck off all the doom and gloom that he's been saddled with since Season 9. In the middle of Clark and Lois' Smallville High five-year class reunion, Brainiac 5 (James Marsters) shows up and takes Clark on a Magical Mystery Tour throughout his past, present, and future to teach Clark that trust is a two-way street; he must place his faith in those around him if he's going to become a trusted defender of the people. It's all very Dickensian.

The 200th episode of Smallville = James Marsters, time travel, and a class reunion

The best parts of the episode were the excursion to Clark's future, where we see future Clark in action as a red, white, and blue blur (they really aren't going to unveil Tom Welling in the suit until the very end of show). Another welcome subplot was the follow-up to Ollie's outing of himself as the Green Arrow. I've been digging Smallville's smash-cut sensibilities as of late, but this was a big reveal for the series, and we needed to see that fallout (Oliver's Steve Jobs-like condemnation of bloggers was pretty decent too).

How much you enjoyed this episode depends on what you expect from your average hour of Smallville. Are you a long-time watcher who's been watching the show since Year Dot? You probably dug this. Are you a long-time viewer who's an ardent Chloe and/or Lana fan? You likely rankled that their characters got the short shrift on this anniversary episode, but I imagine you were at least sated by the reappearance of ancient plot points (see: the return of Chloe's Wall of Weird, the reappearance of Bug Boy).

Are you the kind of latter-day fan who watches it for the Smallvillized DC characters and the chockablock superheroics and flash-in-the-pan melodrama that makes this show so addictive? You probably appreciated the reappearance of Marsters (this episode makes good use of that Legion cameo from Season 8). In short, this episode offered a little something for all stripe of Smallville fan. It got Clark where he needed to be, and the rendezvous in the barn actually made sense this episode. What more can you ask for?