SMALLVILLE, KS (just kidding) - One of The WB's best-kept secrets has finally been revealed. With less than a day to go before the 100th episode of Smallville, "Reckoning," an anonymous source has made a bootlegged copy of the episode available online, revealing that the episode's much-publicized death will be that of supporting character Lois Lane.
Series executive producer Alfred Gough has confirmed the bootleg's accuracy. "There's no point in being coy any longer. When I get my hands on whoever released this... but it's too late to change that now. The important thing is that, as you can see, we weren't bluffing. A major character dies -- no excuses, no reversals, and no convenient Genesis Planet sitting around."
"This was all about giving the fans what they wanted," explained co-producer Miles Millar. "From the moment we brought Lois onto the show, they've been complaining that her being in Smallville and meeting Clark as a teenager makes no sense. We didn't think so, but who are we to say no to our audience? Killing Lois will solve the problem, and as a bonus, eliminate an obstacle to the popular Clark/Lana relationship."
"We're big enough to admit it when we make a mistake," agreed Mr. Gough. "When the Aquaman series bombs, we'll admit that was a mistake too. But fixing Smallville came first. We'll all miss Lois, but it was the only way. Erica's been a real sport about it."
In response to claims that Lois's death would make the timeline problem worse, the producers said they didn't see how.
Turning to the remainder of the season, Mr. Gough promised more developments in the hero's life. "Clark is going to discover the rest of his powers, move to Metropolis, start work at the Daily Planet, meet friends like Jimmy Olsen and enemies like Darkseid, die, come back, collect the Super Missile upgrade, travel to Qo'noS, be aware of the Borg Collective, and wield many new kinds of lightsabres. Our goal is to cover the entire Superman saga before he becomes Superman."
"Don't forget the sex," added Mr. Millar. "Now that sex is a factor in Clark's life, we're reminding the viewers at every opportunity. There's a great scene in next week's episode where Lionel and Fine discuss the fact that Clark and Lana are doing it."
Actor Erica Durance expressed disappointment at her character's departure, but understood the need. "Clark has to grow up, and this is one of the events that motivate his growth. Lois was a part of his youth, and now it's time for Clark to put her behind him. That doesn't mean she'll never be a factor again, though. Al hinted that they may ask me back next season for a story where four new Loises show up, each claiming to be the real one."
Since we at This Just In are, unlike the average TV producer, familiar with email, this reporter was able to get in touch with the one responsible for spoiling "Reckoning." The bootlegger, one
firstname.lastname@example.org, informed us that she had personal reasons for making Lois's death known to the public. As for her methods, she claimed to have waited until the episode aired, then flown around the Earth in a high-velocity aircraft until time reversed. Oddly, no one we spoke to had any memory of this occurring; a number of botanists, however, have reported unusual aging patterns in their plants.
The death of Lois is proving controversial, with many concerned parties weighing in.
"They killed her? So that stupid Durance kid is off the show?" asked actor Teri Hatcher, who played Lois Lane on the previous Superman series, Lois & Clark. "Spectacular! Now maybe I can convince them to let me play Lois again. They'd have to bring her back and maybe age her a couple of years, but that's easy on shows like this. You don't
understand... I need this. With the kind of work I've had lately, I'm desperate."
Ms. Durance seemed amused rather than offended, replying, "Oh, those old Lois actors. They're such kidders."
"That's a funny coincidence," said DC Comics Executive Editor Dan DiDio. "We just brought back a Lois Lane. Not to mention at least two Clark Kents. And we have so many Lexes running around, we had to publish a Lexicon to help readers keep track."
"Ha! This is what she gets for not staying in her Popemobile," commented Superdickery.com webmaster Mike Miksch.
Five-Minute Smallville head writer Derek Dean simply gave a long-suffering sigh.
Mr. Gough expressed optimism about the series' future. "Some fans are afraid we'll be cancelled now that The WB is merging with UPN, but I'm not worried. We're doing as well as we ever have, and the new CW network can only fill so much of its schedule with Ogling America's Next Top Model. I think we'll be fine."
"As long as CW doesn't stand for Continuity World, that is," added Mr. Millar.