Season 3 of Smallville gave Clark a new ability – Superhearing, and it dealt with a couple of important storylines: firstly, Lionel is dying, so in order to help cure himself, he comes up with a serum that could help him, and tests it out on dead people, primarily Adam Knight…and just for kicks, he uses Adam Knight to spy on Clark, in return he’d continue injecting him…keeping him alive. Next storyline dealt with Lex trying to take down Lionel, and finally succeeding by the end of the season, but not without terrible consequence. Lionel orders a hit on Lex and Chloe. Jonathon is presumed dead, and Clark finally gives in to Jor-El’s wishes in order to save Jonathon’s life.
Best (non-finale) episode of the season: Relic
Worst episode of the season: Velocity
A complete list of mini-recaps for the season can be found after the jump!
Episode 1: “Exile”
It’s a dark day in Metropolis. For the past three months, Clark has been living nonstop on red kryptonite, robbing banks and causing mischief. He was only gone a month before Chloe found him though, which is interesting given the less-than-truthful profile she gave to Lionel on Clark. So, not being able to take it anymore, Jonathon goes after Clark, after making a pitstop to talk to Jor-El. By the end of the episode, we find out Jonathon has Superman’s abilities, which leads up to a power-fight…and I mean leads up to, the real fight is in the second episode. Also, Lex is pulling a Lord of the Flies off on a remote island, talking to an imaginary friend, named Louis, not Wilson. After he kills his imaginary friend, he is rescued…but what of Helen? She claims Lex saved her and went down himself, but we know it can’t really be that. Also, this episode introduces us to one of the main villains of the season (sorta), Morgan Edge, the crime boss of Metropolis. His character was the second comic book character (other than the main characters) to be featured in the show, the other one was Captain Maggie Sawyer with the Metropolis Police Department. However, he was indeed the first comic book villain to show up in the series (other than Lex). Interestingly enough, another comic book character makes an appearance in the next episode.
Episode 2: “Phoenix”
A phoenix is a legendary bird that is most well-known with the idea of coming back from the dead, and to that degree, the episode was about Lex “coming back from the dead” and facing who he believed was behind the plane going down, and he was in fact correct in his assumption, leading to yet another plane going down and Helen escaping, though…we never hear from her in the series again. Clark also returns home and tries to mend his broken relationships with family and friends, ultimately breaking up with Lana for the first time. Also, Morgan showed his ugly face in Smallville, demanding the package he asked for in the first episode, which was Clarks blood. When Clark cuts himself, Edge prepares to package up Clark himself to bring to Lionel, but Clark blows up the truck he was being held in, making Lionel think he was set up. Not a terrible episode, it was pretty much there to settle everything down.
Episode 3: “Extinction”
We all have to love our FOWs, but what happens when they make a hit list? Well a guy comes out and kills them, that’s what, and when he gets wind of Clark’s abilities, he constructs a special kryptonite bullet and shoots Clark down, and tells Lana that Clark can catch bullets in his bare hands, somehow doesn’t really phase her. Meanwhile, Lex is also on that list of meteor freaks, which pretty much explains it as – Lex cannot die, there has to be some reasonable explanation for that – which could be seen as Clark saves, or maybe there is something much more mysterious than that at play…but we never really know, because that idea isn’t introduced again in the series, at least no to the best of my knowledge.
Episode 4: “Slumber”
Before I explain what goes on in this episode, you should know that for the most part this was a filler episode, and while it was actually very well done, it didn’t really have anything important in the episode. Now, you could argue with me and say it has character development for Clark, but…agree to disagree. Clark runs into a girl, scared for her life, and after her is this…creature in a red cape that pulls her into the ground. Turns out this girl is in a coma and she drags Clark in there with her, and he has to save her in the dream. Basically, the character development mentioned earlier is Clark’s fears and what he wants to see happen, he wants to see his father accept Lex as part of the family, and he fears Lex finding out his secret and what that could mean. Blah, but the episode itself had some heart, even if it wasn’t all that important. I like it.
Episode 5: “Perry”
Now this was a shocking episode. It was kind of important, but at the same time, not really. It starred one of the most well-known Superman characters that isn’t a main character already on the show, Perry White, and for some reason…he was the villain of the episode. Technically speaking, it makes sense, given his sometimes rough exterior as a reporter, but it was shocking because he pretty much witnessed Clark use all of his powers. For once, they didn’t explain it as amnesia once the episode ended, instead, they explained it as – he was drunk. The solar flares in the episode made Clark powerless on the show for a third time, and it made him bleed, making Perry feel stupid, and made him also quit drinking. If you ask me, that wasn’t enough to dissuade any witnessing of super-human abilities, but hey…it’s a TV show. Meanwhile, a shrink evaluates Lex, finding him absolutely nuts…well not really, but his time on the island has made him…less than normal.
Episode 6: “Relic”
Enter the 50th episode of Smallville, that while interesting, comes with some inconsistencies. Mostly speaking, Jor-El being played by Tom Welling, but being played by someone else on a later episode, yes yes, different ages, but they look nothing alike. Might as well have been Dean Cain at a later age. Then again, Dean Cain was also in an episode MOVING ON. This episode was about Clark finding out that Jor-El came to Smallville in 1961 temporarily, forced to for his father. It is this visitation that gives Jor-El the idea to send Clark there later in life. The real important part of the episode is that it marked the introduction of a very important element for season three, Lex finding out about his grandparents’ murder. The episode itself was interesting because it was one of the few episodes that had a different feel, almost alternate-universe type, but not. It was just okay, considering it is a landmark episode.
Episode 7: “Magnetic”
This would be one of the more average-filler-type episodes of season three before the major events happen, especially in the episode following this. This episode was about Magneto…or something. This kid, who turns out to be a FOW is obsessed with Lana (sound familiar?) gets infected by kryptonite and obtains the ability to influence metal and other magnetic features, such as influencing the magnetic wiring of Lana’s brain to fall in love with him. Clark has to save her, because he becomes mad with power. On the Lex-front, Lex finds out that Chloe has been digging information up on Lionel, in order to somehow get out of the arrangement she was already in with him and still have her father keep his job. Knowing his threat earlier in the season though, that may not bode very well for her.
Episode 8: “Shattered”
Talk about a good episode, Lex is crazy, or at least appears to be crazy. When people go after Lex, Clark finds the mansion untouched with guards claiming nothing fishy happened the night before. Lionel came by saying Lex has suffered a complete mental breakdown. Everyone tries to help Lex, and they eventually find out that he was drugged by his mansion staff. All hands point to Morgan Edge as the man responsible, but somehow, we know Lionel had to have some hand in the conspiracy. Just when Clark was about to figure everything out, he exposed his abilities to Lex on mistake while saving him, Lex said “I was right about you all along”. So Clark left, and let everyone else believe that Lex was insane, so Lex was taken to Belle Reve Sanitarium
Episode 9: “Asylum”
Finally, an episode that is both important and fun, as reoccurring roles from previous villains are a dime-a-dozen. Included on the roster for this episode was Jonathon Taylor Thomas as Ian Randall, and then there was Van McNulty (the guy with the krypto-bullets) and Shawn Ashmore as Eric Summers. Together they team up to take Clark down at the insane asylum. You see, Clark decided to free Lex from the asylum when Lionel decided to do electro-shock therapy. When he is attacked by Eric, Van and Ian, he fails this attempt. This would also be the fourth episode that Clark loses his abilities, albeit briefly. Lex loses 7 weeks of his life, including the memories of Clark’s abilities. When Lionel sees footage of Lex telling Clark he knows his secret, Lionel is furious. Meanwhile, Lana is in physical therapy, and meets Adam Knight, a huge character of the season. Such a great episode.
Episode 10: “Whisper”
Here is another great episode, as it is an introduction to another Superman ability – super hearing. You see, during a robbery, Clark attempts to use his heat vision, but that reflects off of kryptonite, heading back into his eyes and temporarily blinding him. You know what they say about other senses enhancing as main ones die out? Well that was the main idea here when Clark got his new ability and had to fine-tune it with Jonathon (as always). Also in the episode, Chloe’s dad is fired by Lex, and Clark finds out Lana is with someone else…well sort of, anyway.
Episode 11: “Delete”
Now, this is an interesting episode, but not so important really. You see, everyone is out to kill Chloe, and by everyone I mean Clark, Lana, Martha, you know…the works. It had to do with brainwashing people through the interwebs. I firstly asked why they couldn’t just brainwash Chloe into killing herself, but they explained that as – the brain is hardwired to survive. I explain it as, well that wouldn’t make for a very great episode whatsoever. Regardless, it is always fun to see ally go against ally. Meanwhile, there is some question brewing in this episode regarding Adam, because he somehow shows up knowing kung-fu, which saves Chloe’s life, but when asks how he knows martial arts, he simply says he must have watched one-too-many Jackie Chan movies.
Episode 12: “Hereafter”
When I think back to season three, this is one of the episodes that pops out pretty often, but not because of everything that is in it…just one thing – the shot of Clark’s future, because that was your first real shot of the Superman suit, which so happened to be a CGI cape flying in space. The episode itself was about some guy who could predict, no, see how people would die in the future. The other part of the show that is easy to remember is Jonathon dying…yes dying. This was the episode where Jonathon should have died, but they decided to lead us on for YEARS instead. Meanwhile, Adam’s mysterious past starts to come to light.
Episode 13: “Velocity”
I’ve never been a big fan of this episode, probably for the same reason I was never interested in the Fast and Furious films. It’s all about Pete trying to get a rush by racing in dangerous racing cars. Clark basically has to lie, steal, and cheat to save Pete, due to his recklessness and disrespect towards Clark’s powers. He vows never to disrespect Clark’s powers like that again. Other than that, the episode was pretty much filler, but we do see Adam bleed out of his eyes…by now, you pretty much get that the girls in Smallville are screwed if they don’t date Clark or maybe Pete, as every other guy in the town is bad news.
Episode 14: “Obsession”
Clark once more falls in love with someone other than Lana Lang, and this time it is someone who he is forced to show his powers to at a moment’s notice. Turns out, she has a power of her own, and may as well be called Nightcrawler, as it is teleportation. She ends up getting so obsessed with Clark that she starts hurting people around her in order to stay with him…of course…how will Superman respond to that? Surely by pouring lead-covered paint all over her. Lana finds out that Adam has been spying on Clark. Again, the only real important part of the episode revolved around Adam.
Episode 15: “Resurrection”
So this episode is more important, but only by a little bit. Vince is pronounced dead, and put onto a program that immediately brings him back from the dead, but only briefly before dying again. To save his life, his brother Garrett straps a suicide bomb on his chest (conveniently laced with Kryptonite for no real reason). The real part of the episode that was important was that Vice was on the same program that Adam has been on, which would make Adam dead, and incredibly dependent on the serum to keep him alive every twelve hours.
Episode 16: “Crisis”
Now this is an episode people are going to remember a lot easier, because it had the final appearance of Adam, and quite an interesting plot revolving around Lana calling Clark from the future, saying “it’s happening”, referring to Adam killing Lana. Throughout the next few hours, Clark rushes to stop the events from coming to pass, but everything he does just makes everything happen anyways. By the end, he saves Lana, and Adam runs out of time, dying. This is an important episode, along with Hereafter in order to accurately explain that Clark can alter destiny. With one arc ending, another begins, this one lasting until the end of the season – Lex working with the FBI to take down his father. Also, we find out Lionel has a terminal illness.
Episode 17: “Legacy”
Now that an arcs ending and a new one has begun, we have the ability to slow things down for an episode. This one dealt with Jor-El sending Jonathon messages through the key to the ship, the FBI overhears Lionel talking about the Kents and their secret, later the FBI raids the Kent’s home, but it wasn’t the FBI, it was Lionel’s men trying to find the key. Well Jonathon angrily goes to the caves with the key in his hand, but finds Lionel and they fight, the key gets lost…ending up in Dr. Swann’s possession. It’s a fun episode, but nothing super important really happens for the arc.
Episode 18: “Truth”
This has always been one of my personal favorite episodes of Smallville, which is the first time Chloe turns into a meteor freak. After breaking into a LuthorCorp power plant, she is endowed with the power of journalism…or…forcing anyone to tell her the truth upon request…everyone other than Clark, that is. Her new-found ability is so addictive that she tries her hardest to find out Clark’s secrets by first talking to Pete, who kisses her, and then she heads over to the Kents, but she pretty much dies right before getting there. Clark injects her, saving her life. This is honestly a filler episode, but such a good one.
Episode 19: “Memoria”
This episode was all about Lex trying to regain his lost memory in order to help take his father down with the FBI. Both Clark and Lionel do not want Lex to regain his memory – Clark doesn’t want him to due to Lex finding out his secret, and Lionel because, well, Lionel doesn’t want to get in trouble. Clark tries to stop it, but is caught himself and Lionel tries to use him to extract his secret. Again, the importance had to do with Lex working with the FBI, but Lex’s history is quite interesting as well.
Episode 20: “Talisman”
I was never a fan of the Kawatche-centric episodes, I don’t know why… maybe because it doesn’t feel natural when it comes to a Superman story. This episode dealt with a dagger that gave it’s inhabitant all of Clark’s powers, or Naman’s powers rather. So an Indian gets the dagger and thinks he is Naman, and sets out to kill Sageeth, whom he believes is Lionel Luthor. The way you know who Sageeth is, the knife would immediately disintegrate upon his or her touch. By the end, Lionel and Lex both touch it at the same time, and it does in fact disintegrate, in front of Clark no less. I guess that was the important part of the episode, the fact that Lex is his greatest enemy, but Clark doesn’t know if it’s Lex or Lionel….THINK DUDE, the legend says they start out the best of friends…you hanging out with Lionel every week? Kickin’ back? NO.
Episode 21: “Forsaken”
Emily Dinsmore is back, you remember the clone from last season? Well she’s back, and much older, and apparently still obsessed with Lana, as was Tina Greer. In order to keep her from moving to Paris, she puts her in a glass room to play with her nonstop, and only if she’s good, they can run the Talon together. Meanwhile, Clark decides to tell Lana his secret so she doesn’t leave, but when Pete is beaten up by the FBI agent, looking for info on Clark, Pete decides to move away as well. So Clark decides not to tell Lana his secret, and allows her to leave. Chloe comes to Lex with the voicemail confession of Lionel admitting to killing his parents, and so Lex, along with the FBI agent, arrest Lionel.
Episode 22: “Covenant”
Kara from Krypton comes to Smallville, not to be confused with Kara Kent (Supergirl) that shows up later…even though Clark mentions that Kara is his cousin. No there is a weird awkward romance between Clark and Kara, so it’s not supposed to be the same person…I don’t think. No this girl was just a random girl that was infected by kryptonite and used by Jor-El in order to get to Clark. LOTS of important parts to this episode – Clark finds out Jonathon promised Jor-El that he would return Clark to him. Clark is shown the secret room owned by Lex to investigate Clark, so he unfriends Lex on Facebook…or in real life rather, a Kryptonian symbol shows up on the Kent farm, Lana leaves without Clark being able to say goodbye, Jonathon seemingly dies again, Chloe is blown up in her house while Lex is poisoned. Lionel gets his head shaved, is denied bail, thanks to a testimony by Clark, and Clark agrees to be taken by Jor-El to be…”Reborn” in order to save Jonathon’s life. Such a great cliffhanger episode. This is also the episode where people though Chloe didn’t die, but would come back with a new name – Lois Lane…but that proved wrong by the next episode….