As the creators of “Smallville” prepared for Season 8, they were faced with a difficult question — how does the show move forward without Lex Luthor? Michael Rosenbaum left the series at the end of Season 7, and the Clark-Lex dynamic has always been the show’s backbone, so replacing Clark’s nemesis was a difficult task indeed. The creators compensated by adding Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) as the new head of LuthorCorp, and she’s almost as devious and ruthless as her predecessor. The season also amps up the romance between Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and Lois Lane (Erica Durance) while flirting with the prospect that Clark will someday soon fulfill his destiny and become Superman. Lastly, Clark learns that there’s another Kryptonian on Earth — and it’s Doomsday. These storylines, combined with appearances by Lana Lang, Plastique, Winslow Schott, Zatanna and the Legion of Super Heroes make for a fast-paced 22 episodes with little filler. Fans of Lex Luthor will certainly miss his presence, but there’s enough in Season 8 to keep things moving, especially with the prospects that Rosenbaum is rumored to be returning as a guest star in Season 9. Special features include commentary tracks for two episodes and several unaired scenes. There are also two featurettes — one focuses on director Allison Mack while the other investigates the making of Doomsday.

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