This season of Smallville contains one of the most solid, concrete plots I have ever seen on the show, period. They had it figured out from start to finish – finding the three stones of power that when connected creates the crystal which will ultimately build the Fortress of Solitude (which by the way, is perfect, considering the timing). Everyone is after these stones, the Luthors, Lana, the witch that inhabits Lana’s body, Jason, Jason’s mother, Clark…just…everyone. We all know Clark is the one that will eventually find them, but it does a good job at making everything tense up to that point.
It has some great episodes, as well as a really bad one, and it’s one of my favorite seasons of Smallville.
The best (non-finale) episode of season four: “Crusade”
The worst episode of the season four: “Spell”
Continue for a full list of mini-recaps for the season.
Episode 1: “Crusade”
It’s time everyone, for Smallville to change gears. Well, some things stay the same, while other things are quite obvious in their changes. For one, Lana is still on the show, but she is no longer wearing the pinks and baby blues, but now, she has dawned the blacks. She is also dating Dean from Supernatural…err Jason Tieg, and living in Paris. She is working on an art degree, and finds a painting in an old church that resembles herself, and has a Kryptonian symbol on it, which then imprints onto her back, like a tramp stamp. Lex survived the poisoning, but barely…he needs a blood transfusion every 3 days to stay alive. He finds an Egyptian relic that holds the first piece of the Superman-crest-shaped crystal…which will be important later. LOIS LANE has arrived on the show investigating Chloe’s death, and Clark returns as a militant Kal-El, ready to fulfill his destiny…it’s insane. He hears the ringing of the crystal that Lex has on a plane, and he flies for the first time, using the force to obtain the crystal, which he places in the cave wall. That take-off was absolutely mind-blowingly epic…such a powerful scene the first time you see it, and still is to this day. ALSO, because Christopher Reeve was in his final stages of life, Margot Kidder took his place, stating she and Swann were romantic “in another life”. Lois also said “give me a nerd with glasses anyday”, and the “is it a bird, plane?” was mentioned in this episode as well. By the way, Martha used black-kryptonite to separate Clark and Kal-El, and Clark x-rayed Chloe’s grave, finding it empty…believing Chloe is still alive. One of the most important and relevant episodes of the season by far.
Episode 2: “Gone”
While this is more of a regular episode, it was still kind of tied into the first episode, making a important episode still. This time, T-1000 from Terminator is in town…pretty much, and he is looking for Chloe, and he is ordered to kill her (via your friend, Lionel Luthor). Clark and Lois run into The General (Lois’s father), and continue to search for Chloe, which they eventually do. This is a great prelude to the eventual investigative team. Lana finds out her tattoo had an identical symbol in the cave walls, which gave her reason to leave Paris, returning to Smallville. Jason, her boyfriend, also shows up, telling her he returned for her. Lex has another CGI workup of his incident in the plane (like the car wreck). Great episode, good conclusion to the first, but not the best episode of the season.
Episode 3: “Façade”
Yeah, it’s the beginning of a season, which means there isn’t much pressure to focus too heavily on important matters, and can have a few fun episodes. While this episode isn’t really important, it brings it back to the first few episodes, actually having a flashback to around season one, and it actually felt genuinely classic. Then we get into the plot with the FOW – which is krypto-plastic surgery. Don’t ask. Basically, it makes this girl make people think their face is disintegrating after being kissed. This was filler, promotional episode, just to see Lana get kissed by a girl.
Episode 4: “Devoted”
I like this one better, but it is pretty filler as well. It has to do with a krypto-energy drink that acts as a love potion. I think I forgot to mention that when Jason came to Smallville, he got a job as the football coach…it’s kind of important. Among the chaos, Chloe admits that she still has feelings for Clark, but Clark shuts her down as always. Also, this was the episode that had an “in memory” for Christopher Reeve at the end. R.I.P.
Episode 5: “Run”
This is the episode where we start seeing Smallville willing to add in famous D.C. characters, even if they aren’t in the Superman comics. This one was – THE FLASH baby! Basically, Bart Allen is a thief, but he quickly befriends Clark, because the two of them share a common power, speed. Meanwhile, Lex gets an ancient manuscript with a map hidden under the page – that’s important for later. Jason has a talk with Lana about her magical tattoo that is also found in the cave walls. Now, for the most part, this episode isn’t EXTREMELY important, but we do see Bart again in the future, and the whole Lana thing is so big this season, I don’t know why, it’s cool at first, but I’m telling you…you’ll see that it turns out to be stupid in one episode.
Episode 6: “Transference”
One of my favorite episodes of the season, and even series, by far. This is the one where Clark and Lionel switch bodies and Lionel finds out Clark’s secret. It’s intense. Lionel walks around in Clark’s body, completely ruining every relationship Clark has built over the years, and Clark tries to get his own body back…you could see how that would be difficult – especially for a man who is dying. By the way, this marks another episode where Clark is left powerless (this is also not the only episode this season to do this). Lana has discovered the name, which will be important later, Isobel Thoreaux. She also inadvertently tells Clark that she and Jason are dating. Clark’s switch into Lionel’s body cured him of illness. I love this episode so much, it’s definitely one of those fun episodes, and actually important…we just don’t know how much yet. Just remember the stone used for transference. ALSO, Lionel said he lost his memory.
Episode 7: “Jinx”
Even more D.C. characters coming into the mix! This time, it is the magical trickster, Mxyzptlk. In Smallville, he is a gambler who wins by cheating. He says for something to happen, so it does, even for Clark, which is unusual. Mxyzptlk is magical, so this is really the episode where you come to understand that magic can hurt Clark, that is confirmed in the next episode. But he was a foreign exchange student brought in by Lionel because he is special. In the comics, Superman had to get him to say his name backwards to defeat him, in this episode, they just played a special hum that de-powered him for some reason. Jason is fired as the coach, and Lana thinks Clark had something to do with the firing, but Clark knows it’s Lex. The real question is why, because it really wasn’t about what they were doing morally. That question is not answered here. Just try to remember that this is the episode that…teases level 33.1, which is important later on. Interesting stuff…
Episode 8: “Spell”
This is one of the most hated episodes of Smallville ever made, and I agree. Let me give you a short snippet – this is the episode that the whole season was leading up to for Lana – and past this episode? It’s not done at all. She turns into a witch, and so does Chloe and Lois. ‘nuff said. They strip Clark of his powers…again. It’s just…there’s not much material. They had seven episodes to prepare, and all it was…was these three witches trying to seek revenge – oh and the three stones for some reason. I don’t know. I just thought it could be a little more…in the end it wasn’t very fun…it looks cool here and there, but I could live without seeing it again – the same can be said for similar episodes later on.
Episode 9: “Bound”
This is the episode where Agent Maria Hill from The Avengers makes a cameo appearance…okay not really. It was Robin from How I Met Your Mother….FINE, it was just the actress Cobie Smulders. You see, she and Lex get busy after a party, and he wakes up to find her DEAD…or was she? In all actuality, she was a crazy stalking chick who was out for blood. Meanwhile, Clark begins to trust Lionel of all people to help him get Lex into safety and to figure out who was framing him of murder. Lana’s story is also back with the entry of Jason’s mother, the medicine woman…er Genevieve. Genevieive looks very much like a woman back in the days when Lana was a witch…so something is up there, and I admit it’s a better storyline, even though it’s connected.
Episode 10: “Scare”
Now this is an interesting episode. It’s all about everyone’s deepest fear, brought on by a LuthorCorp experiment gone bad. Clark fears that Lana will find out his secret, and apparently during another meteor shower, and hate him for being responsible for her parent’s death. Lana’s fear dealt with everyone leaving her and everyone that she cares about being dead. Lex Luthor’s fear is identical to his future that the fortune teller foresaw – with the raining blood, and his Presidency. Chloe’s fear is that like her mother, she will go nuts in a mental institution. And Jason’s fear is that Lana loves Clark and always will. Great episode for character development, but not much more for actual story development. Lionel is released from prison.
Episode 11: “Unsafe”
Alicia is back, you remember Clark’s psycho stalker killer? Well she’s back…and Clark’s ready to date her again. Yeah. It’s okay though, she’s completely cured…well she doses him with red kryptonite and they get married in Las Vegas (which was illegal), and then he finds all this out…and continues to date her…that’s the gist of the episode. The whole reason he really wanted to date her was because she was 1. Pretty and 2. Knows his secret. He has been really emotional about being with someone that he can be free with as well…and there’s a part of him that has never felt happier or more free than when he is with her. We also find out in this episode that Chloe slept with Jimmy Olsen during her internship at the planet…she was 15. He should be arrested for statutory rape.
Episode 12: “Pariah”
Clark is still dating Alicia in this episode, but this is also the episode that marks her final appearance on Smallville, because she dies. You see, she is assumed to have been attacking Lana and Jason, but Clark is the only one claiming she didn’t…he eventually comes around to thinking that she may have had something to do with it, but it was really Tim Westscott…the Sandman (pretty much). He was trying to kill them because they were not the best image for Smallville…or something. So Tim kills Alicia and Clark is mad, nearly killing Tim in the process. BY THE WAY – in case I forgot to mention it, Alicia shows Chloe Clark’s secret. – I GUESS IN THE LAST EPISODE, WHERE SHE PROMISED TO KEEP THE SECRET…SHE WASN’T FULLY TELING THE TRUTH… But serious, this is huge for the series, and also quite epic. She decides not to tell Clark that she knew.
Episode 13: “Recruit”
Get ready for some minor important episodes, folks. Some important guy from Metropolis University comes to visit Clark and bring him to Metropolis to show him just how awesome it is…and it is…a little over-the-top awesome. The recruit is a meteor freak, because he also came from Smallville…his ability is quite similar to Spock’s shocking ability, it stops them in their tracks, and then it puts them into a coma if it is powerful enough. The only real thing that was important about this episode is the fact that Lex was investigating Jason and his mother, finding out that Jason has been aware of Isobel, the witch, pretty much ever since birth. Basically, his mother has been investigating the witch for many many years, making it an obsession. This is the episode that Clark gives up football, and Lois moves in with Clark. That’s pretty much it.
Episode 14: “Krypto”
This is the episode that introduces the newest addition to the Kent family, Krypto the dog. Now, I think the episode was trying to stress the fact that this wasn’t actually the real Krypto, but they were free to give shout-outs to the classic character. Other than that, the episode itself is really filler, there is nothing important about it at all. It was just…cute. Yeah, the Kents agree to keep the dog, but it’s not like we see it very often, like it’s in the background randomly (which would make sense), we just see it maybe…once a season after this.
Episode 15: “Sacred”
This is a more important episode, and a little sad, as it opens up with the news that Dr. Swann (Christopher Reeve) had passed away. Then, the episode goes into Shanhai as Clark and Lana look for Jason, who is with Lex – trying to find one of the stones. After Lana is tortured, she is turned into Isobel and wreaks a little more havoc while again, searching for the stones. This time, she dawns a Chinese gown, and fights Clark kung-fu style…wasn’t aware that witches knew that – then again, it makes sense, because the last episode that she was in said that they obtain their host’s memories. So, she finds the stone, but immediately loses it when Clark reverts her to Lana…the stone is lost. I gotta hand it to this season for being consistent…they had a plan all along about the stones, and it is pretty decent. They didn’t need the witch, but it holds its own.
Episode 16: “Lucy”
It’s really depressing that this episode also feels so much like a filler…considering it houses another D.C. character, Lois’s sister Lucy. Lucy is a criminal that cons everyone in Smallville to believe her story of a loan shark coming after her, in order to get $50k. The only real thing that was important in the episode…was again, the continuation of the stone story, basically, Jason had the stone that was lost in the prior episode, but it was lost, and Jason thought Lionel was the culprit. By the end, you realize that Lana stole the stone.
Episode 17: “Onyx”
Not to be confused with the Pokemon with the same name, this episode revolved around the idea of splitting Lex into two – his good and bad side…literally. Basically, this entire episode seemed to have had the purpose of Lex saying “I am the villain of the story”, you know…for promos and such. It was all about character development. After good Lex was tied up, it took an in-depth look at just how evil Lex really is, or will become. He goes after Clark and Chloe trying to kill them, turns his father back to the dark side of the force, and tries to romance Lana. Though…his evil nature in this episode was actually a bit goofy to be honest, I like Descent a lot better…you’ll see when I get to that episode.
Episode 18: “Spirit”
This episode is kind of important, but at the same time, kind of ridiculous…as if it wasn’t really taken seriously. It was about everyone’s senior prom, which should be…well…important. So that’s how the episode is important, via a simple life idea. How it’s not? A krypto-ghost possesses practically everyone in order for them to do their bidding in order for her to win prom queen. It’s hilarious for most of the possessions, including Martha, but the prom aspect itself was treated more like a random dance. The homecoming dance in season one felt more accurate…though the prom did have a well-known band perform…as usual. Seriously, where does a Kansas high school get all of these well-known bands? No need for a D.J. apparently.
Episode 19: “Blank”
This is an important episode for Chloe. When Clark’s memory is completely wiped, she helps him regain it, and in the process, he shows her his secret…the thing is….she already knew. By the end of the episode, Clark still thinks his secret is safe, heck… by the end of the season he still thinks she doesn’t know. Meanwhile, Lex convinces Clark to tell him about the room behind the wall, which is kind of important – that’s the room that Clark needs to assemble all of the stones together in. Good stuff. By the end of the episode, both Lois and the Sheriff also know Clark’s secret, which is kind of funny, but the guy that wiped Clark’s memory wiped theirs too. Clark asks Chloe what he did, and Chloe answers back – “you trusted me”…ooh good line.
Episode 20: “Ageless”
Ouch, two times in the same season…again we have a highly hated episode. The only difference here, really, is the fact that I don’t see it as such a terrible episode. It felt more classic, in the sense the innocence the series used to bring. It was about this kid who was growing up way too fast…that was his ability, and he sees Clark and Lana as his mom and dad. So this was really a character-development kind of episode. I think most people don’t like the episode because of how unimportant to the season’s arc it is, and how depressing it is….just doesn’t seem right, and I can see that, but I thought it was a nice episode.
Episode 21: “Forever”
It’s the last day of school at Smallville high (which is taken more seriously than the prom). You see, there’s this kid that wants to stay in school forever because the real world is too hard to handle…kind of makes sense, so to do this, his completely recreates Smallville high and kidnaps the people found in the “most-likely-to” section of the yearbook, which included Chloe (succeed). Meanwhile, Lex and Lionel are kidnapped and tortured by the Teague’s trying to find out where the artifact was. The most important fact about this episode in general, is where everyone was going to go to college.
Episode 22: “Commencement”
You always got to prepare yourself for a Smallville season finale, and this one is a great one…if I’m not mistaken, it’s one of the, if not most, expensive episodes of Smallville ever. There’s another meteor shower headed for Smallville, and Clark has to obtain the final two stones to return to the wall. Lana kills Jason’s mother and may be wanted for murder, and Lois is off to find Lucy in Europe. Clark gets one stone because it is given to him by Lana, knowing it’s for him somehow, and he finds the other stone in the safe of Lex Luthor, we also see how crazy Lex gets about an obsession when things don’t go his way in this episode – in fact, he gets that close to finding out the truth about Clark, but Chloe knocks him out and follows Clark into the North Pole, where Clark throws the newly formed crystal into the air – to be continued. Such a powerful episode, again, now I don’t think it’s the best finale, but it’s up there for sure.