‘Smallville’ So Far
So this week we shall see the season premiere of Smallville. This is not only the eighth season of the series that depicts a young Clark Kent learning the lessons that will make him Superman, it is also likely the last — unless the CW decides at the last minute to change their minds.
Matt "Two-Fisted" Raub is going to regale you folks with a review of the season premiere soon enough. It is my job to recap what has brought us to this point. I’ll summarize what’s happened in the show’s major storyline so far, not bothering to go into detail of individual episodes or sub-plots that are never mentioned again. If you only want to be caught up on the latest season, just scroll down until you see the words "Seventh Season" in bold. Also, this isn’t wikipedia, so I’m going to be explaining things in the way that I think makes it easiest to understand, not just listing events in exact chronological order.
THE STORY SO FAR . . .
The series begins with business mogul Lionel Luthor (John Glover) arriving in Smallville, Kansas with his young son Lex. A meteor shower suddenly hits, causing hundreds of strange, glowing, green rocks to hail from the sky and create devastation across the town and its surrounding farms. Lex receives close contact with one of the meteor rocks and loses his hair as a result. Young Lana Lang loses her parents in the chaos. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Smallville, Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) and his wife Martha (Annette O’Toole, who portrayed Lana Lang in Superman III) find a rocketship in their field that has arrived along with the meteors. And inside, there is a baby.
Fast forward several years and we are introduced to teenage Clark Kent (Tom Welling), the adopted son of Martha and Jonathan. Clark is a good kid with a kind heart. He is best friends with Pete Ross (Sam Jones III) and Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack), who has a deep-seated crush on him. He is also head over heels for his friend, cheerleader Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk). Clark is interested in astronomy and often has his head in the clouds. He also has great speed, strength and resiliency to injury. Now a freshman in high school, Clark wonders about why he has these abilities and his father finally reveals to him that he was found in a rocketship that came with the meteors and thus is possibly an alien. Clark wonders about who he is and why he was sent away.
As Clark begins high school, Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum, voice of the Flash from Justice League), now an adult, arrives in Smallville to take over his father’s LuthorCorp plant there. It’s supposed to be a test of responsibility and he hates it. Soon after his arrival, Luthor suffers a car accident and his life is saved by Clark Kent. The near-death experience makes Luthor decide that he must stop listening to his father and pursue his own destiny. He also declares that he and Clark are now friends, since Clark saved his life. Clark is glad to have a friend and is overwhelmed by Lex’s money and power and insistence on helping to make Clark’s life easier. Jonathan Kent is concerned that his son is spending so much time with Lex, especially when the Luthor boy continually espouses a belief that one should side-step rules of politeness and moral boundaries to get what you want sometimes.
As the seasons pass, Jonathan and Martha do their best to help Clark cope with his increasing abilities and his identity issues. The Kent boy discovers that the glowing green meteor rocks that are scattered in different parts of Smallville are somehow lethal to him and that their radiation has caused mutation in certain other people. As Smallville begins to be plagued by mutated super-villains (called "meteor freaks"), Clark secretly works to stop them and as the years pass on he discovers his powers increasing, gaining super-human hearing, telescopic/microscopic vision, heat-vision and X-ray vision. He even has dreams that he can fly. When solar flares later cause his powers to go haywire, Clark realizes that his superhuman abilities stem from his body’s absorbtion and processing of solar radiation.
Clark eventually tells Pete Ross his secret, hoping to gain a confidant now. But Pete leaves Smallville soon afterward and Clark is left alone. Clark continues to act as a protector to people, acting in secret as he fights meteor freaks and criminals. His efforts are never easy, considering how much of the green rock (which he now calls Kryptonite) is lying around his home. What’s more, he discovers that there are varieties of the ore. A red form of Kryptonite causes him to loses his inhibitions and be driven by base desires, whereas a black form of Kryptonite created in Luthor’s lab actually causes and "evil twin" to be temporarily created.
Lex becomes more and more interested in the meteor rocks and the super-powered people in Smallville. At times, he notices that Clark is nearby when certain meteor freaks are found and arrested. He suspects that the Kent boy is not telling him everything and comes to resent this lack of trust, believing he has done everything he can to be Clark’s friend.
Lionel Luthor returns to Smallville and eventually realizes Clark’s secret. Strangely, he doesn’t seem terribly disturbed or frightened by it. Chloe, who runs the school newspaper The Torch, also becomes suspicious about Clark’s activities and inaccuracies in his adoption records. Despite this, and despite her jealousy when Clark dates other people, Chloe continues to trust Clark and help him with information and investigation when he needs it. At one point, she is approached by Lionel Luthor, who gets her a job at the Daily Planet in Metropolis (which, in the continuity of the TV series, is only a three hour drive away from Smallville) in exchange for certain favors, such as information about Clark Kent. Angry that Clark is keeping secrets from her and jealous that he is now dating Lana, Chloe agrees.
Lex marries a woman named Helen who later attempts to kill him and take his money. Lex isn’t killed, but is stranded on a desert island for some time before he can return to Smallville and reveal his wife’s treachery. While investigating his father, Lex discovers that Lionel Luthor arranged for the death of his own parents in order to inherit their great fortune, allowing him to fund LuthorCorp. When Lionel realizes Lex intends to go to the police, he has Lex committed to a mental institution, where he is subjected to electro-shock therapy techniques that block out his memories of the past several weeks. These experiences, along with an attempt by Lionel to close down Lex’s plant and later to cast Lex out of the family will, leave the younger Luthor a more paranoid and darker individual, convinced that anyone could hurt him at any time.
Later on, a cave in Smallville is discovered to have pre-Columbian paintings that depict a prophecy of a traveler from outer space who will come to Earth and save it from a great villain, a villain who will at first seem like a brother to the hero. Entering the cave, Clark activates a device inside that downloads the Kryptonian language into his brain. Days later, he is found by Dr. Virgil Swann, a famous scientist and astronomer who was once hailed as "the Man of Tomorrow" (and who is played by Christopher Reeve).
They meet and Swann informs Clark that long ago, he picked up transmissions from another planet that took him years to translate. The messages were from a scientist named Jor-El, whose planet was soon to die and who intended to send his son to Earth. Swann tells Clark that he is Jor-El’s son, Kal-El, and that the planet he came from was Krypton. Now, at last, Clark knows who he is. But he becomes concerned when part of Jor-El’s message seems to mean that his father intended him to rule Earth (albeit, benevolently).
When Clark wonders aloud why he of all people survived Krypton’s destruction and what the reason is for his life on Earth, Dr. Swann tells him, "You won’t find the answers by looking in the stars. It’s a journey you’ll have to take by looking inside yourself. You must write your own destiny, Kal-El."
Sometime later, Lionel Luthor approaches Dr. Swann and the two discuss Clark’s possible destiny, either as a champion or as a conqueror. The next day, federal agents seem to storm the Kent farmhouse and Clark discovers that Lex has been working with the FBI. Lex claims that the FBI are after Lionel for criminal charges and that it must have been Lionel’s own people, disguised as feds, who invaded the farm. Clark isn’t sure he believes Lex, especially when the younger Luthor demands to know why Clark won’t share what he knows about the cave paintings and why he is speaking to Virgil Swann. The two are faced with the fact that they can’t completely trust each other.
A programmed recreation of his father, Jor-El (voice by Terrence Stamp), speaks to Clark from the space-ship that brought him to Earth as a child. The Jor-El program tells him he must leave Smallville and begin training for his destiny, but Clark refuses. Clark also learns that Jor-El once visited Earth through one of Krypton’s dimensional portals (which were all destroyed before the planet died) and that he had a positive experience with a younger Jonathan Kent, leading him to chose the Kents as Clark’s adopted parents later on. Although Jor-El is said to be a pacifist with a respect for compassion, the program recreation of Jor-El is a harsh man and determined that Clark not be led astray by human emotions and concerns, that he be a proper Kryptonian and embrace his destiny as a hero. Clark, of course, argues that he is his own man and that he will not deny emotions and moral values he was raised to believe in. These conflicting philosophies occasionally cause Jor-El’s program to seemingly act as Clark’s enemy.
Many episodes afterward, Clark is corrupted by red Kryptonite and runs away from home. When he is unable to bring Clark back, Jonathan Kent makes a deal with the Jor-El program, who temporarily gives him Kryptonian abilities on the condition that Clark will leave Smallville when the time is right. Jonathan is then able to force a confrontation with Clark and destroys the red Kryptonite, but his heart is weakened by the temporary possession of super-powers. He also questions a times if he doing a good job of being Clark’s father and supposes that perhaps he is holding back his adopted son from the higher purpose Jor-El intends for him. Clark argues that Jonathan Kent is his father, not Jor-El, and that is happy with the life he has.
Sometime later, Jor-El forces Clark away, reprogramming his mind so that the young man now thinks as a "true Kryptonian" should. Calling himself Kal-El, Clark is now cold and emotionless, dedicated to finding "three stones of knowledge", Kryptonian artifacts which he is supposed to bring back to the cave for some unknown purpose. His mind is later restored thanks to the combined efforts of Martha Kent and Dr. Bridgette Crosby (played by Margot Kidder), a colleague of the recently deceased Dr. Swann. Dr. Crosby says she will protect Kal-El, since that was Dr. Swann’s wish and she had once loved him "in another life." But Dr. Crosby is killed days later by a woman named Genevieve Teague, who has interests in Smallville. When Clark’s true personality returns, he finds he is no longer able to fly.
Meanwhile, Chloe cuts off the deal with Lionel, no longer wishing to provide him with favors or information on Clark’s activities. She helps Lex get evidence that leads to Lionel’s capture and imprisonment for several illegal activities. To protect Chloe from any hitmen Lionel may hire, Lex fakes her own death and places her in a safehouse. Later, Chloe’s cousin Lois Lane comes to Smallville to find out what happened to Chloe. She and Clark become friends and the Kents offer Lois a place to stay. This living arrangement is aggravating for both Lois and Clark, who bicker and argue nearly every time they’re in a room together. As the months go on, they develop a friendship, despite their differences.
Chloe later reveals that she is alive and returns to her life in Smallville a few months after Lionel is taken to jail for his crimes. In jail, Lionel comes across one of the three Kryptonian stones of knowledge which allows him to temporarily switch bodies with Clark. This experience, along with others, leads him to rethink his life and he decides that Clark is a person who can save the world and must be protected. When he gets out of prison, he claims he is a changed man and tells the Kents that he knows their son’s secret and will do his best to protect the boy. Despite this, the Kents don’t trust him and Lionel continues to use manipulation and even murder in his efforts to keep Clark safe.
Now that she’s no longer getting help from Lionel Luthor, Chloe is forced to prove herself but finds her efforts are often not enough for her editors, especially her focus on strange events and "supernatural" villains. Clark by this time has begun encountering other people who have powers but are neither "meteor freaks" nor super-villains. He first meets a runaway kid who can move at superhuman speeds named Bart Allen. Bart is very secretive, only saying that he got his powers from a freak accident involving lightning (though he later jokes to Chloe that he’s actually from the future). Another person Clark encounters is Arthur "A.C." Curry, who credits his mom’s "good genes" with giving him amphibious abilities, superhuman strength, communication with sea-life, and the ability to propel water from his hands. Clark and Arthur don’t see eye-to-eye but they become friends after Clark rescues A.C. from Luthor’s lab, as Lex had intended to experiment on him. Finally, there is Victor Stone, a kid who’s body was so damaged that he is now a cyborg with a variety of abilities.
Clark and Lana break-up due to Clark’s secrecy and later on, Chloe discovers that Clark has powers and believes that he is secretly a meteor feak who has made it his job to protect people from others like himself. The Teague family come to Smallville, in search of the same three Kryptonian stones that Lionel has learned about, determined to use them as a means of finding a place that is said to possess "ultimate knowledge." Genevieve’s son Jason dates Lana during this time and slowly he becomes convinced that Clark is the key to the secret of the stones. During this same period, Lana is periodically possessed by the spirit of Countess Marguerit, an ancestor of hers who was also a witch with magical powers (yeah, I know, just play along with it). Clark is forced to fight this witch on a few occasions, learning to his horror that he is vulnerable to magical forces.
Genevieve Teague is later killed by the spirit of Marguerit during her efforts to get the stones of knowledge. The witch then leaves Lana’s body and the young girl has no memory of the possession of understanding of what her ancestor has done. Her son Jason then takes the Kents hostage, demanding answers concerning Clark and the stones. A second meteor shower hits Smallville then and Jason is killed as a result. Clark then collects the three stones, placing them on an altar in the caves. He finds himself teleported to the Arctic Circle and witnesses the creation of a giant crystal Fortress of Solitude, a place of ultimate knowledge which is controlled by the Jor-El program.
The second meteor shower also brings more Kryptonians, soldiers who serve a man named Zod. Clark learns about the Phantom Zone, an extra-dimensional prison, and send the villains there. Chloe is injured during these events and reveals to Clark that she knows the truth. Clark then tells her more, explaining that he is not a meteor freak but actually an alien from the planet Krypton. Clark then defeats Zod’s soldiers, but because he does not return when Jor-El wishes him to, his powers are removed for several weeks, leaving him an ordinary human.
The second meteor shower also brings a man calling himself Milton Fine (played by James Marsters). As Clark begins college, he meets Milton Fine, who is working there as a professor of history. Fine later tells Clark that he too is a Kryptonian and wishes to help Clark achieve his true destiny. He tells Clark that his father Jor-El was a tyrant and was only defeated by a man named Zod. He also warns Clark that Lex Luthor is evil and must be stopped. Clark denies this, saying that Lex is not like his father, but then finds out that Lex is capturing meteor freaks and experimenting on them, trying to find ways to kill them and also ways to duplicate their powers into soldiers who will be trained to kill meteor freaks and aliens. Lex claims this is being done to protect humanity, but Clark believes Lex has lost himself to a lust for power. The two are now enemies.
Clark later realizes the truth about his father, that he was a good man and that Zod was a general who took over Krypton. It was Zod’s war to make everyone on Krypton his subject that led to the planet’s destruction. He then discovers that Fine is not an organic being but a "Brain Inter-Active Construct" (or BrainIAC) created by Jor-El and corrupted by Zod.
Clark defeats Brainiac, who escapes. Brainiac then pursues a new agenda, dividing into copies of himself to make the work easier. It is revealed that Zod, like certain other Phantom Zone prisoners, no longer has a physical form and needs to inhabit a body. Clark was to be the vessel but Brainiac decides he’s too dangerous and chooses Lex instead, altering the younger Luthor’s body so that it begins developing Kryptonian traits. Lionel and Clark find a Kryptonian dagger and Lionel insists that Clark must kill Lex in order to prevent Zod from coming to Earth.
Brainiac tricks Clark into using the dagger on him. Although this destroy’s Brainiac’s form, leaving him in pieces, it also helps activate a virus that causes world-wide computer crashes. As part of the plan, Zod is released into Luthor’s body and minutes later he exiles Clark into the Phantom Zone as he goes off to conquer the planet.
While in the Zone, Clark learns about his family seal, the famous S-shield, and that the reason why his parents didn’t leave Krypton was because they were still trying to save it even in its last moments. Clark then escapes the Phantom Zone due to a device that allows members of the El family to leave (since Jor-El discovered the place). With a device of Jor-El’s creation, Clark defeats Zod, exorcising him from Luthor’s body. However, other Phantom Zone villains have escaped along with Clark, as ghosts who must inhabit human forms. Clark begins to track down the Phantoms and finds himself aided by a strange man with telepathic abilities and red eyes (played by Phil Morris).
During the chaos of Zod’s attack, Chloe, believing they could both die, grabs Clark and kisses him. After Zod is defeated, Clark finds Chloe and meets her new boyfriend Jimmy Olsen, a would-be photojournalist who works in the archives of the Daily Planet. Chloe apologizes for the kiss, saying she knows that Clark doesn’t feel that way about her and that she’s not going to be misled by a school girl crush. Clark, however, seems disturbed and jealous of Jimmy’s presence. Later on, Lois also takes on a job at the Planet.
Lex finds himself once again fully human and unsure of what happened to him (he is also completely unaware that he had a super-power battle with Clark). Enraged that his life has somehow been interfered with by aliens again, Luthor decides war has been declared. As he continues his search for the truth about Kryptonians, he finds Brainiac’s remains and locks them away.
With his heart continually giving him problems, Jonathan finally dies of a heart attack. At the time, Jonathan had been running for state senator and following his death, his wife Martha takes up the cause. She wins and leaves Smallville, moving to Washington D.C., leaving Clark alone on the farm.
Lex manipulates Lana into loving him, partly because he desires her and partly to hurt Clark, and the two get married. Around this time, Clark meets Oliver Queen, the vigilante called Green Arrow. Later on, Clark finds that Queen has recruited Arthur Curry, Bart Allen, and Victor Stone in his war against crime and people such as Lex Luthor, giving them the codenames Aquaman, Impulse and Cyborg, respectively.
After going on a mission with them (earning the codename "Boy Scout"), Clark tells Queen that he would like to join but has his own agendas to pursue, keeping an eye on Luthor and watching out for villains from the Phantom Zone. Oliver understands, but also tells Clark that he is being selfish for being so powerful and yet staying in Smallville, saying that power such as his belongs to the world. Oliver also dates Lois for a while but they have to break it off when Queen’s activities force him to leave Kansas for many months.
While all of this is going on, Chloe discovers that both she and her mentally disturbed mother (played by Lynda Carter of Wonder Woman) are meteor freaks. Chloe has the power to heal, but keeps it a secret. She and Jimmy later break up when Jimmy finds he can’t stand Chloe’s secrecy concerning some of her activities with Clark.
As the sixth season ends, Lana leaves Lex after realizing his true nature and discovering the truth about Clark and his heroic activities to protect others. The season ends with her seemingly killed and with Lionel Luthor kidnapped. The finale also involves Clark finally learning the truth about his new telepathic friend, who reveals that he is a Martian named J’onn J’onzz and was a friend of Jor-El’s. J’onn has promised to watch over Clark but not to directly interfere or solve the boy’s problems. He informs Clark that the last Phantom Zone fugitive is nearby and plans to copy Clark’s DNA in order to make himself a new body.
Clark confronts the final Phantom Zone villain, whose plan succeeds and who then appears in a body identical to Clark’s. This body seems to have some opposite qualities, however, becoming stronger when exposed to Kryptonite and experiencing pain and skin-crystallization when exposed to direct sunlight. When Clark asks the Phantom copy what he is exactly, the copy grins and says that he is just like Clark, "only a little more bizarre."
As the seventh season begins, Clark is able to defeat the creature (who is never actually called "Bizarro" in the show) and turns him over to J’onn J’onzz. Lois recieves mortal injuries during the chaos of the battle, but Chloe heals her with her abilities. However, she finds that using her abilities on another causes her to suffer the same pain and injury in return. Chloe is taken to the hospital and dies, only to wake up hours later. She escapes and explains to Clark what happened and they quickly trick Lois into thinking there was a mix-up at the hospital.
Days later, Clark discovers another Kryptonian, this one a teenage girl named Kara Zor-El. Kara explains she was sent to look after her baby cousin Kal-El but her ship was damaged and she was left in suspended animation for too long. Clark reveals that he is Kal-El, now older then her since he has aged normally. He offers her a home and Kara moves into the Kent Farm.
The seventh season seems to mark when Clark is finally accepting his true nature and acting more like a young Superman. When J’onn tells him he is held back by his compassion, Clark shouts that he is glad he was raised to care about others and will not apologize for such a quality. He also takes on a big brother role to Kara, attempting to show her how to use her powers and control her abilities. He also takes care to teach her the dangers of Earth, such as Kryptonite and government officials who see super-powered aliens as a threat, and the value in blending in.
However, Clark’s over-protective attitudes cause Kara to resent him, especially since technically she’s older and was supposed to be taking care of him. So she occasionally rebels against his attitude of keeping a low profile by going on dates with Jimmy Olsen and competing in the Miss Sweet Corn pageant. Tension also grows when J’onn J’onzz says Kara can’t be trusted because her father once tried to kill Jor-El. Kara says this is impossible. Despite these problems, Kara and Clark grow closer and Clark admits that he is over-protective and that Kara must find her own path, even as Kara admits that she is not fully prepared for everything on Earth and appreciates what help she can get.
Unlike Clark, Kara can fly. This confuses Clark, since she’s younger and he figures he would’ve developed this ability by now (he was only able to fly when he was under mental control once). Kara assumes that "girls mature faster." In a later episode, she attempts to teach Clark how to fly, saying it’s incredibly easy and implying that Clark simply can’t fly because he never really tries and is afraid to. This is never put to the test, as Clark decides the test is stupid, declaring he knows that he doesn’t have this ability (this despite the fact that he was able to fly when Jor-El altered his mind and that Bizarro, his clone, can also fly).
We also learn that Lana is not dead but faked her death using clone technology Luthor was experimenting with. She did it to escape Lex, taking 10 million dollars she embezzled from him. Lex discovers she’s still alive and lets her keep the money, filing for divorce. Free of criminal reprisal, Lana returns to Smallville. She also releases Lionel Luthor, whose kidnapping she had arranged because she believed he was plotting against Clark’s life. Lionel says that although Lana is no longer legally a Luthor, she has adapted many of Lex’s traits and behaviors and he wonders whether Clark will accept this darker side of her.
With her new fortune, Lana forms the Isis Foundation, a place to help "meteor freaks" and people who’ve suffered similar mutations or experimentation. But the hidden purpose behind Isis is that it provides a base and resources to fund Lana’s efforts to monitor every move Lex makes. She also purchases several high-tech computers to help hack into Lex’s servers at times. She’s afraid to tell Clark or anyone because she doesn’t think anyone will understand her need for revenge and to make sure she’s protected from anything Lex can do.
Chloe is having trouble working at the Daily Planet. It’s not going as great as she wanted it to. She also gets angry with Lois, who begins dating their editor Grant Gabriel, a man who apparently has a mysterious connection to Luthor. Grant and Lois later call off this relationship, with Lois deciding that she will never again date anyone she works with. Later, in an argument with Lex, the audience learns that Grant is somehow Lex’s brother Julian. As Lex explains, Grant did not die as a child (as had been talked about in previous seasons) but had been given to an orphanage by the shamed Lionel Luthor. Lex found him as an adult and has given him resources and a better career, though he tells Grant that they must keep it secret who he really is because Lionel may do something drastic.
However, several episodes later, Grant discovers the truth. He wasn’t allowed to talk to Lionel because Julian did in fact die and he, Grant, is a clone, the latest and most successfully created clone. Grant accuses Lex of simply wanting a family member who was required to love him, one he could control, and he leaves to go tell Lionel the truth.
Lionel is ashamed at Lex for attempting to recreate his brother by creating clone after clone. He says that Lex is lost to him and the he will get to know Grant as the son he should have had. Enraged by this and by Grant’s betrayal, Lex has Grant assassinated, making it look like a mugging. Lex later screams when he hears that Grant is dead, possibly horrified by what he’s done. During a later episode, experimental mind technology allows Clark to see into Lex’s head and he finds a young, red-haired child named Alexander there. Clark realizes that Alexander is a manifestation of Lex’s compassion and goodness and he realizes there is still hope for Lex.
Kara discovers that a crystal from her ship has been taken by the Department of Domestic Security (DSS). She tries to steal it but is caught and subjected to interrogation. Although she escapes, it forces her to remember a conversation she overheard soon before leaving Krypton, where Zor-El demanded that Lara leave Jor-El and be with him. She realizes that Zor-El did indeed try to kill Jor-El, that he was insanely jealous and wished to come to Earth with Lara so they could both rule the planet. The crystal Zor-El placed aboard her ship contains DNA from Lara and Zor-El, so that cloned "replicants" could be created if they died. In these same flashbacks, Lara is played by Helen Slater, who played Supergirl in the 1980s film.
Seeing herself as a freak, Chloe attempts to be cured by a scientist named Dr. Curtis Knox (played by former Superman Dean Cain), who has been working on meteor freaks with funding from Lex Luthor. But Knox is secretly an immortal who’s been alive for centuries and has a more sinister purpose in mind with his experiments. Clark rescues Chloe and, eventually, she comes to accept her powers. She later confides to Jimmy about them, which prompts them getting back together.
During a lightning storm, a freak accident with lightning and Kryptonite causes Lana to develop Kryptonian powers (a similar incident happened in the first season of the show). She feels she finally understands how Clark feels living in the world. But she becomes obsessed with the notion that now she can finally get revenge on Luthor and goes off to kill him. Clark learns about this, and about the Isis Foundation, and questions if Lana is the same girl he fell for. Lana’s powers are removed by Clark repeating the accident that brought them on. Lana claims the power altered her mind somehow, but Clark isn’t sure.
Clark hears his mother’s voice calling to him from Kara’s crystal and has a compulsion to bring it to the fortress and insert it into the data console. When he arrives, Jor-El’s voice/program tells Clark not to use the crystal, as it’s technology that was designed by his evil brother. Clark ignores this and activates the crystal and cloned replicants of Lara and Zor-El appear. Clark thus, in a way, finally gets to meet his mother. Zor-El demands that Clark and Lara help him dominate the Earth and mark it as a New Krypton. When Clark refuses, Zor-El forces him to wear a ring of "blue Kryptonite", which doesn’t poison him but completely takes away his powers.
Clark later confronts Zor-El in the fortress and is finally able to break apart the ring of blue kryptonite. He then breaks the DNA crystal, destroying both Lara and Zor-El. The voice/program of Jor-El decides that Kal and Kara need to be punished for using the crystal when he said not to. Kara is then teleported to Detroit, a complete amnesiac.
The next episode, it seems that Clark comes back to Smallville a few weeks later. During a battle in one of Luthor’s labs, he accidentally frees Brainiac from his imprisonment. He gets together with Lana and they talk about how he wants to open up to her more and that together they can bring down Luthor. Lana is happy and feels that she and Clark are finally getting to be as close as they should be. But viewers then see that this is actually Bizarro, who has escaped from J’onn J’onzz. Clark is still trapped in the Fortress, as punishment for his defiance of Jor-El. While in one of Luthor’s labs, Bizarro accidentally frees Brainiac’s remains and the cyber-villain escapes to reform himself.
Since his skin still crystallizes whenever in contact with direct sunlight, Bizarro looks for a cure in the Fortress. Finding nothing, he leaves toseek out Brainiac’s help. Jor-El then releases Clark, recognizing that the final Phantom Zone villain is still loose and needs to be stopped.
Bizarro finds Brainiac, who is still weak and damaged from his previous encounter with Clark, feeding off the metal salts of homeless people in order to begin regenerating. He tricks Clark and Bizarro into finding Dax-Ur, a Kryptonian scientist who has been living on Earth for over a century now and whose science led to Brainiac’s creation (we get confirmation this season that in Smallville continuity, Brainiac was created by Jor-El). Brainiac absorbs Dax-Ur’s knowledge, killing him as he learns how to repair himself. Meanwhile, Clark is able to destroy Bizarro with blue kryptonite. Sine it took away Clark’s powers, the Blue-K overloads Bizarro’s body, causing him to erupt.
Dax-Ur, by the way, is not only a nod to the Kryptonian comic book villain Jax-Ur but is also played by Marc McClure, who portrayed Jimmy Olsen in the Christopher Reeve films.
Although Bizarro is now gone, Clark and Lana have to deal with the fact that Lana had been completely fooled for over a week and had felt closer to Bizarro. She is ashamed that Chloe was able to realize something was wrong with Clark yet she herself didn’t and wonders if she can ever live up to Clark’s high morality. Clark is judgmental at first but finally asks Lana to stay, admitting to her all the times he’d acted rashly and terrible things he’d done when under the influence of red Kryptonite and thus showing tha the is far from perfect.
Green Arrow returns to Metropolis and tries to get more evidence against Luthor but is stopped by Black Canary, a vigilante with sonic powers who has been hired by Luthor to stop Queen, whom she’s been told is a thief and a terrorist. Clark discovers that the Black Canary is actually Dinah Lance, a radio personality who often speaks against corruption and injustice. He and Green Arrow convince her of the truth, that Luthor is corrupt and must be stopped and that Queen and his allies are actually working towards justice. and she decides to join Green Arrow’s group of heroes. During this same adventure, Lois learns that Ollie is Green Arrow and tells him she won’t date a man with a double life or who has a destiny as a hero. Clark finds her later and she cries in his arms. The two realize they trust and care about each other more than they’re willing to admit at times.
Lex finds Kara in Detroit, where she is still amnesiac and working as a waitress under the name "Linda Danvers." Kara saved his life early on in the season and he’s curious to learn her true nature. He offers her a place to stay in Smallville, befriending her. A stalker would-be boyfriend in Detroit attacks Lex for trying to take Kara away and shoots him. Lex survives and he and Kara go back to Smallville, but now Lex finds himself remembering things from his early childhood. In particular, he remembers his father meeting with other people in a group called Veritas.
The show takes a suspense-thriller tone for the rest of the season. The daughter of Dr. Virgil Swann appears. Patricia Swann reveals that she has learned that Oliver Queen’s parents, Dr. Swann, Lionel Luthor, the Teagues were all part of a secret group called Veritas, a group who intended to protect and watch over "the traveler, the last son of Krypton." Dr. Swan shared his information of Jor-El’s transmissions with Veritas, his old astronomy club, and together they discovered the secret cave paintings in Smallville, believing it would be there where the Traveler would be sent. This was the true reason why Lionel Luthor arrived in Smallville hours before Clark’s arrival in the pilot episode, why he was never shocked at Clark’s abilities and was quick to keep them secret from Lex over the years. It also explains how the Genevieve Teague knew that Lionel and Dr. Crosby were connected to the three stones of knowledge and the cave paintings. What’s more, it is revealed that the Veritas group created a device meant to control the Traveler in case he ever went rogue.
Patricia believes that Lionel arranged for the Teagues and the Queens to die, possibly even Swann. Lionel denies this (and, indeed, the audience knows that he definitely did not kill the Teagues or Dr. Swann). Believing Clark is in danger from Patricia, Lionel has Clark captured and put in a Kryptonite cage. Finally, he lets Patricia meet Clark, minutes before Kara arrives to release her cousin, having now regained her memory. Clark is glad to meet Patricia but is furious that Lionel would imprison him for his own safety and declares that even if he thinks he’s doing right, he is still using evil methods and motivated by selfish desire.
Patricia tells Clark that she will be there for him, but is subsequently murdered by Lex’s forces. Having remembered about Veritas, Lex has become convinced that whoever the Traveler is, he is the key to all the strange events that have happened in Lex’s life. Lionel learns of Patricia’s and panics, attempting to warn Clark of the danger. Clark won’t listen to him though, so Lionel can only leave clues for Clark to find. Lex, having recovered an artifact from Patricia, now also wants one held by Lionel, which will help him find the device that will control the Traveler. Lionel refuses and tells Lex that he has become obsessed with power, that he is going down a path that will lead to damnation. Lex, deciding he has had enough of his father, pushes the elder Luthor out the window, killing him.
Lex realizes that the artifact Lionel had was entrusted to Chloe. When he finds it, he fires Chloe from the Daily Planet when she attempts to lie and says that she knew nothing about the artifact. In the day following his father’s murder, Lex finds himself haunted by the image of his younger self, little red-haired Alexander. Alexander pleads with Lex to not fall down this path and tells him that he must explain to Clark what happened, that Clark is their friend and will understand. When Clark confronts Lex about Lionel’s murder, Lex says that Clark’s good spirit and compassion once inspired him to try and become a better person but that Clark’s subsequent habit of keeping secrets was a betrayal that forced him to turn away. He also repeats a resentment for Clark over how close he and Lionel have become over the years, demanding to know what a farm boy and a multi-millionaire would have in common.
Clark remarks "maybe he knew he could trust me" and apologizes for anything he’s done to hurt Lex, but also emphasizes Luthor is his own man and has made his own choices. Later on, Lex is haunted once again by Alexander and finally grabs the kid, holding him into the flames of his fireplace as he shouts "YOU MAKE ME WEAK!" The image of Alexander screams and then vanishes and Lex is left alone, having fully descended into darkness. He closes off Lionel’s funeral to all visitors, but Clark attends anyway and the two stare at each other in silence before going their separate ways.
After having helped Oliver Queen hack into LuthorCorp databases on numerous occasions and occasionally using the Isis Foundation computers to look up government files, the Department of Domestic Security decides that Chloe Sullivan must be a terrorist. Jimmy Olsen goes to Luthor for help, who makes the investigation go away in return for Jimmy making sure that Lois Lane, now working as a full-time reporter for the Daily Planet, doesn’t get too close to some of his operations.
Clark and Kara are approached by Brainiac, who forces Lana into a coma, one which will kill her unless Kara helps him. with Kara’s help, Brainiac opens a time-warp and journeys to Krypton days before its destruction, intending to kill Kal-El before he can be sent to Earth. In an episode directed by Tom Welling himself, Apocalypse, Clark briefly wonders if his friends wouldn’t be better off had he, and the meteor shower his rocketship brought with it, never arrived in Kansas. Jor-El then subjects him to a mental simulation of a world where Smallville is more peaceful, yes, and Lana, the Kents, and Chloe are all perfectly happy, but Luthor is president and is being manipulated by Brainiac, who acts as his chief of staff, into sending the world into nuclear Armageddon. Clark journeys back in time then and seems to stop Brainiac and he and Kara return home.
Meanwhile, on Earth, Luthor follows several DaVinci Code-like clues and finally discovers a strange orb that is said to be able to control the Traveler.
SEASON SEVEN FINALE
We learn that it was actually Brainiac impersonating her who returned to Earth with Clark. Posing as Kara, Brainiac tells Luthor that the Traveler intends to conquer and destroy humanity. He tells Luthor that he has to take the control device to the Fortress in the Arctic circle and reveals that the Traveler is really Clark Kent. As Luthor makes preparations to leave for the Arctic, Jimmy Olsen tells him that he cannot continually lie to Lois as this is not the kind of person he is. Luthor concedes and leaves.
Lois brings Clark a job application for the Daily Planet, suggesting he join now that Chloe’s absence leaves an open job position. Clark doesn’t think so, but Lois insists that he think about his future. Chloe then discovers that Kara is really Brainiac. He attempts to kill her, but her powers somehow cause him injury and she is only left in a coma.
Clark discovers Brainiac’s deception and demands to know where Kara is. Brainiac admits he didn’t kill her, but says he did much worse and that Clark will never see her again. As they battle, Brainiac gloats that Clark won’t kill him because that’s against his morals, but Clark points out that one cannot kill a machine and finally destroys the villain. Lana is freed from her coma, but she leaves before Clark can come to the hospital.
Clark finds a DVD recording of Lana saying that Clark’s powers means he belongs to the world and that she is only holding him back. Also, she believes that they were trying too hard and perhaps were not meant to be together, but admits that she still loves him. She then says goodbye, explaining that she’s leaving Smallville. Lois sees the end of this video and she and Clark hug each other as he cries in her arms.
Chloe awakes from her coma and leaves the hospital. Jimmy is attempting to propose to Chloe when DDS agents come in and arrest her for suspicion of terrorism. Jimmy finds Clark and tells him what happend. He explains that this is revenge from Lex. When he hears Lex is headed for the Arctic Circle, Clark fears the worst and gets to the Fortress of Solitude, only to find Luthor already there.
Clark then goes to the fortress and finds Lex Luthor there. Lex says that this is Clark’s fault, that Lex loved him like a brother but Clark chose to be deceitful and to mock him by keeping secrets. He also says he now believes that Clark is an alien invader who intends to rule and that the farm boy disguise is an incredibly clever deception so none will realize his power. He remarks "It’s a brilliant disguise. You don’t even need a mask."
Clark pleads that he’s only ever intended to protect people but Lex no longer believes him, thinking this is only the latest in a long line of deceptions.
LEX: "You didn’t trust me … Did you ever think what we could have accomplished together? I would’ve helped you become a hero … I have to protect the human race … It’s my birthright! After all my sacrifices, after all the pain, I finally understand. I was being prepared for a much greatest destiny. Everything has led me to this moment."
CLARK: "And we’re here. We’re in that moment and what happens next is your choice. And no one is controlling you Lex. No one is forcing you to do this!"
LEX: "Who am I to turn my back on my fellow man? Especially after you turned your back on me. I’m sorry, Clark. But you are the Traveler. You hold the future of the entire planet in your hands. I’m here to take it back."
And with that, Lex put the control device into the Fortress control console, activating it. Clark collapses to the ground, seemingly in great pain. Luthor remarks that he loved Clark as a brother and apologizes as the Fortress collapses around them.
And what will happen next? We’ll find out tonight on the CW. One thing we do know is that the villains Plastique, Maxima and Doomsday are all scheduled to appear. And writer Geoff Johns (Action Comics, Infinite Crisis, Green Lantern) has penned an episode that will introduce the Legion of Super-Heroes, those 30th century teenagers who were inspired by the legends of Superman. So enjoy things to come and be on the look out for Matt Raub’s review. Until next time, cheers!
Alan Kistler still thinks that Smallville should’ve been more tightly written, ending a year or so after Clark leaves high school and begins exploring the world, but won’t deny that the show continues to entertain him more often than not. He has been recognized by Warner Bros. Pictures and mainstream media outlets such as the New York Daily News as a comic book historian, and can be seen in the "Special Features" sections of the Adventures of Aquaman and Justice League: New Frontier DVDs. His personal website can be found at: http://KistlerUniverse.com. One of these days he’d love to write for DC, Marvel or Doctor Who.
God-what a mess! I'm glad I made a decision to stay away from Smallville.
As long as you were able to follow and understand my recap, my job is done. :-)
Sorry-should've given you credit for making enough sense of the mess to make it readable. Still glad I stayed away from "Kal-El's Creek".
I stopped watching during season 3. I've watched it on a couple of occasions since and don't really miss it. They deviated so much from what's in the comics that I just didn't enjoy it any more. From reading this summary (excellent, by the way) it seems it got worse since I stopped watching.
I just look at it as an alternate universe or an "ultimate" reality. It doesn't affect the comics so I don't mind seeing different takes on certain things now and then. I just really wished they'd made it a tighter series instead of so many silly episodes each season involving some ridiculous characters and sub-plots.
Despite all the frustrations with the slow-moving (and sometimes nonsensical plot) I still watch. The frustrating thing to me, as a journalist, is how easy it was for Clark, Lois and Chloe with a semester of college between them to get reporting jobs at The Daily Planet, A GREAT METROPOLITAN NEWSPAPER. I should've applied there instead of working at weeklies and part-timing at Newsday after getting a journalism degress!
Of course, making a typo in a word like 'degree' could be another reason!
I completely hear ya. I mean, I had to go through some screening just to get an internship at ABC News but Clark and Lois, with no experience in journalism (in the TV series anyway) just get hired? Man, Kansas must be hurting for reporters.
It never felt like there was a plan to this show. THey just kept throwing stuff in. It's one thing to suspend disbelief, something else entirely to suspend internal logic.
Hey Alan – I know this is months later, but you did a GREAT job explaining everything and keeping things straight. A better job than the writers, I'm afraid. Good work!