After 10 years, Smallville is airing its final episode tonight on The CW. The two-hour finale will wrap up the journey of Clark Kent, so he can finally emerge as the Superman we know. Producers Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders reflected on their years in Smallville as the end of it all approached.

“It’s probably the theme that emerged this year, which is believe in heroes,” Souders said. “I think that has become incredibly important to us that we were able to work on a show that had such a positive message. The fact that we have such hardcore fans that have followed the show, I think that’s why they watch. It’s not because we’re going to have the biggest visual effects they’ll ever see on a screen and it’s not because of really anything other than I think they want to believe in the heroes.

The finale will feature the return of some popular faces, including Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor. Also John Schneider as Clark’s adoptive father Jonathan Kent. “We very purposely platformed his role in the finale with what we did in the premiere in ‘Lazarus’ this year, with that final scene that Clark has with him and Lazarus,” Peterson said. “The whole point was to bookend the final season with Jonathan. He’s introduced in that same type of way.”

Souders added, “I think it’ll be really clear what role Jonathan plays and why he shows up the way he does in this episode. Every time I see certain moments with Jonathan, I definitely get a tear in my eye after all these weeks of watching the footage.”

Clark is also trying to sell the Kent farm, and may have had enough of Jor-El’s voice in the Fortress of Solitude. “I think looking at his last step for us was about the fact that sometimes your mentors and the people that you look to for help can sometimes also be holding your back,” Souders said. “Or it can be your imagination that they’re holding you back. I think that final step of trying to figure out as an adult, are you friends with your parents, are your parents still your parents? He’s really trying to figure out all those last sort of relationships as he finally takes this step into complete manhood shall we say, supermanhood. So I think it’s still a complication in his life that he has to make peace with in the finale.”

There’s two hours left for Clark to figure out how much of the past to let go of and how to become a superhero. “I think finding problems and character flaws for Superman has always been a challenge of this show because he’s perfect,” Peterson said. “But I think what we purposely chose this year to be kind of his stumbling block is the fact that he’s actually trying too hard to be a hero and trying too hard to force his destiny. So some of the problems that he’s facing at the top of the finale are about that, about him trying too hard to decide who he is and be a hero and not let it happen at the pace it should.”

The final Smallville airs tonight at 8 on The CW.