#10 - Lineage

A woman named Rachel Dunlevy comes to the Kent Farm claiming to be Clark's biological mother. This prompts Clark to realize that he doesn't know as much about how he came into the Kents' lives as he thought. A series of flashbacks takes us back to the day of the meteor shower, as we learn the exact circumstances of how Jonathan and Martha faked Clark's adoption records... with the help of Lionel Luthor. It's the proverbial "deal with the devil" that helped Lionel get a foothold in Smallville, which Jonathan regrets to this day.

#9 - Lexmas

When Lex is shot by a mugger on Christmas Eve, he wakes up in a rather unexpected place... in bed next to his wife, Lana. It seems Lex has been thrust into a dream world where he renounced his connection to LuthorCorp (and his father's fortune), and settled down to start a family with Lana Lang. Guided by the spirit of his late mother, it's an intriguing alternate reality that explores Lex Luthor's life if he'd turned away from his dark side. A fun subplot features Clark delivering presents to needy children and renewing the Christmas spirit of a disgruntled Santa.

#8 - Covenant

Long before Clark's Kryptonian cousin Kara shows up for real in season seven, an impostor Kara under the influence of Jor-El arrives in Smallville to try to lure Clark away from his life with the Kents. She tells him that he can return to Krypton through a portal in the cave wall and be reunited with his birth mother, Lara. Clark is reluctant at first, but with the news that Lana is moving to Paris and the revelation that Lex has still been investigating his family, Clark begins to reconsider. The drama intensifies when Lionel lashes out from in prison, blowing up Chloe Sullivan's witness protection home and having Lex poisoned. This pulse-pounding third season finale ends with Clark, trapped inside the cave wall, hearing the voice of his father, Jor-El... "Kal-El, my son. Now, you will be reborn."

#7 - Crusade

The fourth season picks up after the shocking events of "Covenant"... Clark emerges from the cave as Kal-El, cold and emotionless, with no memory of his life as Clark Kent. Lois Lane comes to Smallville for the first time, searching for answers about the apparent death of her cousin Chloe. Margot Kidder, the Lois Lane from the Christopher Reeve movies, guest stars as Bridgette Crosby, an emissary to the mysterious Dr. Virgil Swann. But the best moment of all comes when the show finally shatters its own "no flights" rule as Kal-El takes to the air for the first time, soaring up through the clouds to retrieve a Kryptonian artifact from Lex Luthor's private jet.

#6 - Insurgence

Lex hires a group of thugs to install surveillance equipment in the LuthorCorp building so he can spy on his dad's business dealings. The thugs make other plans, however, when they decide it would be more lucrative to hold Lionel and Martha Kent hostage in order to get into Lionel's safe. Now, it's up to Clark to save them, but he can't get into the building... unless he makes a giant leap from the Daily Planet's roof. It's one of the first episodes to pull us out of the town of Smallville and thrust us into the big city world of Metropolis.

#5 - Justice

Throughout the series, Clark had encountered other people with special abilities. These episodes usually hinted at an eventual "teaming-up" of all the super powered individuals to ultimately form the Justice League. In season six, fans finally got a glimpse of what such a team might be like. When Bart Allen, a.k.a. the super-speedster Impulse, is captured while raiding one of Lex Luthor's facilities, Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), Arthur Curry (Aquaman), and Victor Stone (Cyborg) tap Clark to join up with them and help rescue their fallen friend. The young heroes join forces to save Bart, and take Lex's "33.1" operations down a peg in the process.

#4 - Shattered

Lex has a complete mental breakdown, hallucinating about his dead baby brother, Julian, and slowly losing his grip on reality. He turns to Clark for help, but Clark has his own set of problems: Crime boss Morgan Edge is back in town, and he knows Clark's secret. Before the episode is over, someone else does, too... Lex sees Clark stop a car with his body. A stunned Lex gasps, "I was right about you all along, Clark. You're not even human." The episode ends with Lex in an insane asylum, confined to a straightjacket as Lionel looks on, the haunting music of Jonny Cash's "Hurt" playing over the final scene. Chilling.

#3 - Rosetta

It was an episode that signified an epic passing of the torch. Movie legend Christopher Reeve, famous for playing Superman in the films of the 1970s and 80s, guest starred as Dr. Virgil Swann, a scientist with knowledge of Clark's home planet. When Clark goes to visit Swann, we hear the word "Krypton" for the first time, as well as Clark's birth name, "Kal-El." Clark hopes for answers about who he really is, but instead Swann can only advise him that he must write his own destiny. Seeing Welling and Reeve interact on screen is truly inspiring. Reeve would go on to make one more guest appearance on the show in the following season, before passing away in 2004.

#2 - Memoria

A powerful episode that explores the bond between mothers and sons. Through a series of memory regression experiments, Lex uncovers repressed memories of his childhood. The show's long-standing subplot about the death of Lex's baby brother, Julian, is given a devastating new twist when Lex remembers that it was his mother, Lillian, who killed the baby, smothering him in his crib. Fearing Lionel's wrath against his mother, Lex took the blame for Julian's death in order to protect her. While Lex deals with these traumatic new memories, Lionel arranges to have Clark put through the regression experiment as well, leading to Clark remembering his own mother placing him in the rocket ship that brought him to Earth. For the first time, Clark remembers that his mother's name was Lara, and at the episode's end, Martha tells Clark that "Lara" was his first word.

#1 - Tempest

The show's finale to its inaugural season set the bar high and kept it there. At the start of the season, fans couldn't stand Lana's boyfriend, Whitney Fordman. Yet, as the season went on and we watched Whitney lose his father, the fans came to care about and even like him. By the time he and Lana have their tearful goodbye as Whitney leaves for the military, it's hard not to feel their pain, not knowing when or if they will see each other again. Clark, meanwhile, attends the spring formal with Chloe, and their short-lived but very sweet romance remains one of the cutest relationships the show has ever given us. A cameo by Remy Zero, the group that sings the show's "Save Me" theme, is a highlight of the dance scene. Meanwhile, the tension builds as reporter Roger Nixon learns Clark's secret, the space ship in the storm cellar is activated, and Lionel shuts down the LuthorCorp plant and blames its failure on Lex, throwing gasoline on the fire of their father-son rivalry. After a season full of repetative "freak of the week" plots, Tempest gave us a threat of a different kind: A twister bears down on Smallville, tearing through the Luthor mansion and leaving Lionel pinned under debris and about to be impaled by a falling beam. Lex, injured, bloody and wild-eyed, contemplates whether or not to save the old man, giving fans a chilling tease of the evil potential within Lex. And then, in the episode's final moments, Lana Lang is swept up into the eye of the storm, leaving Clark racing to her rescue, and the fans' collective jaws on the floor. It was a stunning season finale that made the wait for fall seem interminable.

Back to Smallville

Russ Dimino 2008