Seriously, though, I do want to thank everyone who commented on my post. I have been overwhelmed by the interesting debate it inspired and moved by the sympathetic responses it provoked. Not to mention the icons! (Thanks dianora2!) You guys ROCK.
I think I really need to do a follow-up post as my thinking on the episode and the overall issues has grown and been influenced by the debate. I was particularly fascinated to discover how diverse people's expectations about the end of the show are, even at this point in time.
Unfortunately I'm a little short on time this week and with the Smallville series finale looming I'm going to be (I hope) consumed by my other show. But I will get back to these thoughts. *nods*