Season 2 of Smallville was, for the most part, quite average. In fact, this was one of the more laid back seasons of the series, that is until the end part of the season. It had a bit to do with Lex silently investigating Clark, which was his obsession, but the focus didn’t lie on him all that much. We were introduced to Lex’s fiancee in the second half of the season. The real story of this season didn’t even happen until the last two episodes, which was Clark deciding to fulfill his destiny of ruling to world or to stay in Smallville.
The best episode (non-finale) is “Rosetta”
The worst episode is “Redux“
You can find a list of mini-recaps of each episode after the break.
Episode 1: “Vortex”
This episode is very good, but it’s not really important to the overall arc of the second season, but more for closure to the first. Clark runs into the twister and somehow wills himself to get to Lana’s truck (flies). Lex saves his father, and Roger Nixon is killed off (by Lex), saving Clark’s cover. Lana assumes Clark somehow went into the twister to save her, Chloe still loves Clark, but won’t say anything, and Lionel is now blind. The most important part of this episode that is further discussed in later episodes, which advances on story lines, was Lionel’s blindness after his surgery. This episode also introduced us to the new opening credits, which weren’t much different than season one, other than a few new shots, and a replacement from Whitney to Lionel as far as main characters go.
Episode 2: “Heat”
It’s a hot one in Smallville. Hot day, hot teacher, heat vision. This woman has the power to make any man do whatever she pleases through krypto-pheromones. She gets Lex to marry her (his first marriage in the series). Also, Lana goes around filming everyone say their happy hellos to Whitney overseas which ends with Lana breaking up with him. Well..that escalated quickly. This is the episode that (if you didn’t already know), the show wanted to incorporate into the Pilot of the series. Thankfully, they didn’t, because it would have been too soon, and they wanted to stretch it out (good idea for a ten seasoner).
Episode 3: “Duplicity”
This episode marks some important events for many future episodes, and no, it has nothing to do with Michael Keaton making clones of himself, that would be Multiplicity, it’s okay, I got confused too. No, this was the episode where Pete found out about Clarks powers. Clark had no choice but to confess when Pete found his spaceship in a field, and was talking about exposing it to Chloe. Dr. Hamilton shows his face again, and steals the spaceship back after he heard about it from another witness at the scene. He immediately shows blind Lionel, who immediately tells deaf Lex (Lex isn’t deaf, but Lex needed an adjective and bald seemed too obvious). The problem was Hamilton had no key, so even the ship was a paperweight. In the end, Hamilton died with the identical problem of Earl Jenkins in season one. This is massively important as it defines a lot of the rest of the second and even third season of the show, because now Pete knows his secret, and now Clark has a friend he can tell things to. Of course, at some point, everyone finds out about his secret, but that’s another story.
Episode 4: “Red”
I have forgotten how many consistently great episodes there are in season two. This one introduced us to the new type of kryptonite – red (though, they’re still calling it meteor rock at this point). Red affects his emotions, making him do things Clark would never do, or always wanted to. He actually was the villain in this episode, which is always interesting, and honestly fun to watch. A few other things are important in the episode, such as starting up Lionel’s obsession into Clark. Even though he is blind, he heard Clark shoot his own hand, later finding the bent bullets, recalling Clark as a “very interesting young man”. This also marks the second time Clark kisses Lana, and in both instances, one of them weren’t being themselves.
Episode 5: “Nocturne”
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde…or maybe the opposite of the wolfman? Basically, this seemingly normal person, or stand-up guy has a crush on Lana. The past few days, this guy has been leaving love poems to Lana on her parents’ grave, because that is romantic or something. He turns evil whenever he sees the sun, and strong. Of course, Clark saves the day, but Lionel knew he was there randomly too, furthering his interest in the Kent’s. Also, an important not for continuity, Martha accepted a job working for Lionel as his personal assistant. It makes no real sense why she randomly shows up at the Luthor Mansion, but it is what it is, and they do make a weird, but good team. You’ll see later. Also, this is the fifth episode, and Lana is still practically begging Clark to be honest about the truth, and how he is Superman, but he won’t budge. Already, you can see this is a major theme of the season. More on that later.
Episode 6: “Redux”
Old people and history repeating itself seems to be at the core of this episode. Indeed, Maggie Lawson (Psych) guest stars in this as a very old lady that looks young because she continually sucks the youth out of people through a single kiss. This means she wasn’t infected by the meteors. Also, Clark meets his grandfather for the first time, though their families have disagreements, and Lana finds out that her real father may be alive, because her parents were separated for a time, and her mother met and dated another man for a short period of time. The most important part of this episode was the Lana storyline, but an interesting note was that this episode wasn’t meant to air so late, and Pete doesn’t technically know about Clark’s powers at this point, but if you aren’t paying attention, you can’t really tell.
Episode 7: “Lineage”
Time to sit back and relax with a flashback episode telling how Clark was adopted, and how Lionel Luthor was involved in the process. When a woman came by the farm claiming to be the biological mother of Clark, the Kent’s think back to the day they ‘adopted’ Clark. This woman is ruthless, though, she won’t give up. In fact, they needed Pete to spit into a tube when they force Clark to do a DNA test. What is important about this episode is the first appearance of Henry Small, and a hint at the fact that Lionel knows where his illegitimate son, Lucas, is currently residing.
Episode 8: “Ryan”
Ryan, the telepath, is back, and better than ever! Or not…actually he got himself caught up getting dissected by scientists that continually pushed him to use his abilities further and further, until finally…he was dying and there was nothing Clark could do to stop it. Instead, he saved him from the hospital, and did all he could after that. Anyway, the importance of the episode was the fact that Aunt Nell was moving to Metropolis, and instead of being forced to tag along, Lana agreed to move in with Chloe. This was also the first mention of the Summerholt Institution. Good, but sad episode. Poor kid.
Episode 9: “Dichotic”
Talk about girls on Smallville dating the villain of the episode. Both Lana and Chloe date Ian Randall (Jonathon Taylor Thomas) at the same time, due to the fact that he can duplicate himself. What makes him a villain is that he killed one of his teachers in order to maintain a 4.0 GPA, but what really makes him a villain is two-timing a couple girls. Martha also decides to quit her job as an assistant to Lionel in this episode, but she didn’t quite do it just yet. Also, this episode marks the first for a couple things – one…this is the first instance where Clark actually uses super-speed while carrying someone (Chloe), and it is also the first appearance by Helen Bryce, who plays an important role in Lex’s life in the coming episodes.
Episode 10: “Skinwalker”
This season has a number of episodes that are pretty great for a number of reasons. This one, for example, is incredibly important. While it was a mid-season finale, it opened the door for something very important for many episodes to come, the first appearance of the Kawatche Caves that seem to hold the secret to where Clark came from, and where he’s going, thanks to ancient Indian legends. For the story of the episode, it dealt with Clark trying to stop Lionel from building a new project on top of Indian land because of the caves. The story was good, not amazing. However, at the end of the episode, we find out that Whitney went missing in action. Geez, man…it hasn’t even been a year yet.
Episode 11: “Visage”
It appears Whitney is back after he went missing in action, and he wants to get back together with Lana. The only problem is that Whitney is really dead, confirmed by an official lieutenant in the war. Who was really Whitney? Tina Greer, with her never-ending obsession with Lana. This time, she turns into Clark when things go bad, and the two Clarks battle it out. Funny thing is, that closely resembles a fight between two Superman’s in Superman 3. Evangeline Lilly is also an extra in the episode, bonus points if you can spot her. Also note that this is the THIRD time Clark and Lana kiss with one of them not being themselves.
Episode 12: “Insurgence”
Important episodes seem to be a dime a dozen this season, versus the frequent filler episodes that the first season often had. This episode took place in Metropolis when Lionel and Martha are taken hostage in Lionel’s office on Jonathon and Martha’s anniversary. When the guys get the safe open, Martha finds out that Lionel has been keeping tabs on Clark, with the key to the ship, a bunch of refined meteor rock, and a file on Clark. Well when Clark saves the day, he gets rid of all of the info on him, and they take the key, but beyond that, Martha decides to keep working for Lionel to keep an eye on Lionel to see if he does anything that she should be aware of. Also, Pete and Chloe don’t even show up in the episode, which is extremely rare, especially for Chloe. Also, this was the first episode that The Daily Planet made an appearance, and something that was really cool was that Clark jumped buildings in a single bound
Episode 13: “Suspect”
This is the first real mostly-filler episode of the second season, but it is done in a pretty entertaining fashion, which is pretty much a “whodunit”. When Lionel is shot and put into a coma, Clark and Pete try to investigate who shot Lionel, even though all evidence points to Jonathon as the sole shooter. Everyone seems to have intent, because Lionel is not the most loved man in Smallville, but by the end, it is revealed that it was Sheriff Ethan that shot Lionel. Kind of random, and not overly important to the shows arc, but still entertaining.
Episode 14: “Rush”
Enter the krypto-worm…sorta. In the cave of wonders, otherwise known as the Kawatche caves, Pete and Chloe are infected by a worm that gives their adrenaline a boost, to the point where they believe they are as invincible as the skin on Clark’s body. In fact, Pete passes Clark some Red K, and together they were all trouble-makers and even Chloe found out Clark’s secret for the first time. Well, that doesn’t last for long as Smallville likes to pull the amnesia card and she forgets…at least for now. The part of the episode that was important for canon is the introduction of Dr. Walden, who has a recurring part in the series, not unlike Dr. Hamilton in the first season.
Episode 15: “Prodigal”
So remember when that strange woman came by the farm swearing up and down that Clark was hers, and that his real name was Lucas Luthor? Well turns out this episode was all about Luke after Lex tracked him down. He tracked him down in order to join forces against Lionel, though Luke seems to be a double/triple agent…or something because he forces Lex out of the mansion, and then at the end they really do take down Lionel *temporarily*. We find out that Lionel is not really blind in this episode
Episode 16: “Fever”
I used to think of the early seasons of Smallville as the seasons with the freaks of the week, but for some reason…there has also been an abundance of new threats, even if they kind of seem stupid, the episode itself is often very well constructed. In this episode, the enemy is a simple fever, one that nearly kills Martha and Clark, but Jonathon gets the ship to work in order to save both Clark and Martha. This is also the second time that Clark appears powerless in the series, an idea that remains (pretty much) a seasonal tradition. Also, Lex invited Dr. Bryce to come live with him in the mansion, and she also has seen Clark’s blood…dun dun dun. Finally, we find out that Martha is pregnant in this episode.
Episode 17: “Rosetta”
One of the best episodes of season two was Rosetta, and I’ll tell you why. This was the episode that Clark first put the key into the walls of the Kawatche Caves. What this did was give Clark the knowledge of what the symbols say. There was again, not really an antagonist in the episode, but the episode was filled to the brim of important things. First of all, it marked the first appearance of the late and great Christopher Reeve as Virgil Swann. This was one of the few appearances of another actor in the Superman universe. He played a mysterious man that knew some things about Clark’s history, including his true name of Kal-El. Also look out for the first time John Williams’ original Superman score shows up in the series. This is also the first time the word “krypton” was actually used in the show.
Episode 18: “Visitor”
Here’s an interesting episode. A kid in Smallville High swears up and down that he is from another planet, and there are cues to make Clark believe that the planet in question is Krypton. The antagonist in this episode is just a human bully. Clark is a bit disappointed when he learns that this kid is not truly from Krypton, but a freak-of-the-week with the ability to heal. His parents were killed in the meteor shower. The important factor of this episode is a pretty big on, Lex reveals his obsession with Clark to Dr. Bryce, a room filled to the brim with info on Clark and Kryptonian symbols, suggesting Lex knows a bit more than he puts on.
Episode 19: “Precipice”
If this episode had a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. title, it would be, “The One with Helen’s Stalker”, because for some reason, that’s the most memorable part of the episode, other than Lex Luthor teaching Lana some self-defense martial-arts moves. Clark’s story revolves around protecting Lana from a group of assaulting drunkards in the Talon and them suing him for one million dollars. Well, it is proven that this guy wasn’t actually harmed, and when the guy makes yet another move towards Lana, she takes him down with all that kung-fu she learned in an hour with Lex…suddenly she has a black belt? Well anyways, all the Smallville gals learn kung-fu at some point in their lives; it’s like…a thing. Finally, Lex Luthor gets engaged for the second time on the show, and this time to Helen Bryce.
Episode 20: “Witness”
I don’t know what Smallville has to do with Home Improvement, but apparently there is some kind of connection, as the second actor from that series makes a guest appearance in this episode, remember Brad? Anyways, he is our FOW as a kind of krypto-steroid drug gives him super strength, and helps him improve in baseball. This episode marks the last time we see or hear from Lana’s true father, Henry Small, and the first time we see a partnership brew up among Chloe and Lionel. Makes you think…come on..she’s a sophomore, how much trust can Lionel really put in her…I guess he sees potential. More to come from that story.
Episode 21: “Accelerate”
It’s a spooky one this evening, as Lana is visited by the spirit of her dead friend, Emily. Relax, folks, it wasn’t a true ghost, but a krypto-clone. Apparently her father was cloning a few versions of Emily with kryptonite to quicken the rate of growth, and that kryptonite gave her the ability to super-speed. The only real…cannon part of the episode would be the fact that Lionel received custody of the girl at the end of this episode, and we don’t see her again until the next season. Other than that, it was a pretty average episode.
Episode 22: “Calling”
Figures Smallville would have an average episode right before a very important one. Dr. Walden wakes from his slumber repeating the phrase, “the day is coming”, referring to the day Clark is set to rule the world. We also hear Jor-El’s voice for the first time in this episode just…kinda…randomly. Clark wasn’t in the caves or obviously not fortress, but just Jor-El’s voice echoing off of nothingness…doesn’t quite make sense, but then again…how he responds to Clark in later episodes is supposed to make sense as well. This is also the first episode that Clark and Lana really kiss, before either Clark or Lana wasn’t themselves. In other news, Clark gives Lex and Helen a wedding toast before killing Dr. Walden. Lionel takes Walden’s hand when he sees the impression of the key to the ship. Finally, Clark descends into the storm cellar when it is glowing gold, Jor-El voicing over, saying “my son, it is time” with the Superman theme playing in the background. OH SNAP.
Episode 23: “Exodus”
Of course, you must love Smallville season finales, and this one’s a pretty good one. Clark decides to get Jor-El’s voice out of his head, he must destroy the ship, because it says if he doesn’t live, everyone around him that he loves will be hurt. So after the ship carves the symbol to the ‘house of El’ on his chest, he destroys it with the kryptonite key that Lionel created. This set off a bomb in the storm cellar that injured his parents, his mother lost the baby she was carrying it because of that, making Jonathon angry at Clark. Chloe got angry at Clark as well, because he didn’t tell her that he was dating Lana, so she agreed to work with Lionel. Lex and Helen finally got married, and by the end of the episode, they both got on an airplane, but when Lex woke up on the plane, he found it empty, crashing into the ocean. Finally, riddled with guilt, Clark left for metropolis, convinced everyone hated him. He wore a red kryptonite ring as he drove along.