Season 5 Episode 1


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Sep 29, 2005 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
1,535 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Clark is transported to the Fortress of Solitude and must choose between saving the planet or saving Chloe from freezing to death. Meanwhile, Lana confronts two Kryptonians who emerge from the spaceship that landed during the meteor shower, aliens who spread devastation as they search for Kal-El.moreless

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  • Enter The Fortress

    Arrival-Clark is transported to the Fortress of Solitude and must choose between saving the planet or saving Chloe from freezing to death. Meanwhile, Lana confronts two Kryptonians who emerge from the spaceship that landed during the meteor shower, aliens who spread devastation as they search for Kal-El.

    After probably the finest season finale of the series and the classic cliffhanger of Clark throwing the crystal in Arctic, "Arrival" is a marvelous conclusion to "Commencement" as the opening sequence is by far one of the best scenes of series. The construction of the Fortress of Solitude is a truly stunning moment as well as watching Clark enter the Fortress for the first time as Jor-El welcomes him to the new chapter toward his journey to his destiny. The whole episode is very reminiscent of the first 2 Superman films. Clark building the Fortress and entering it, of course, was almost idenical to that very scene of a teenaged Clark building the Fortress in Superman: The Movie.

    The arrival of Zod's disciples (Nam-Ek and Aethyr) definitely was a nod to Zod's disciples in Superman 2. The sequence of Nam-Ek and Aethyr being released from the spaceship and using their heat vision to attack the police of Smallville was an epic sequence with brilliant special effects. It still amazes me how the series could manage the budget for this episode after "Commencement" was their most expensive episode to date! I'm guessing the WB, at the time, may have been giving the series a hell of a lot of money. My only wish is Zod's disciples were better villains and got to do more than just wreck havoc. Not to mention their final battle with Clark was a bit anti-climatic if not expected, given Smallville having poor fight scenes in the past. Although, it was a cool glimpse of the Phantom Zone as Nam-Ek and Aethyr are fly away in that signature glass prison like in Superman films.

    One of the mort memorable highlights of "Arrival" is Clark and Chloe's hospital talk after she tells him she knows the truth about him. It's a pivotal scene between both characters as they are both completely honest with each other. Chloe's reaction to Clark being an alien is so touching as she sees him as so selfless and a superhero. It's also glad to see Clark being so open again with his friends and no being alone in his struggle anymore. I also loved the scenes between Clark and Lex in this episode; you can already tell their friendship is at turn for the worse. Just the way both of them lied to each other and they both knew the other was lying is a great development in their relationship that we know will lead to them becoming enemies. Lionel's kryptonian possession is a disturbing and intriguing development, not to mention John Glover is plain creepy in the role. Lois and Jonathan have some great scenes as they try to save Martha's life. Only pointless role in this premiere was Lana (no surprise)! She's paranoid the whole time; gets knock out and sent to the hospital (again!) Also, Clark and Lana dating again as well as Clark losing his powers at the end were tedious developments. As 1) Clark and Lana's relationship will always be doomed so why don't the writers save us from this annoying romance and 2) we know Clark will get them back soon. But despite those annoyances, "Arrival" is the best season premiere after "Exile" as it has some of the series' most pivotal moments with some epic action, wonderful special effects, stellar developments and exciting cliffhangers as Lex now has the black spaceship and Brainiac oozing out of it!moreless
  • Season 5 continues the flurry of events from last season's finale, with Clark transported to a snowy glacier in the Arctic, and Lana seriously injured during the meteor storm which destroyed much of Smallville.moreless

    Everyone in the cast was in peril at the end of last season. Clark had assembled the three Kryptonian artifacts in the cave, resulting in creation of a large crystal which energized and teleported him to a snow field in the far North. Lana had been injured in a helicopter crash during a meteor shower which struck Smallville, and she spotted a spacecraft in a crater. Chloe was in the cave when Clark activated the crystal, and she disappeared after knocking Lex for a loop so he wouldn't see Clark. Jason was threatening Martha and Jonathan with a shotgun unless they gave up Clark and the stones. Starting with Clark, the crystal lands in the snowfield and creates the Fortress of Solitude, in which Clark hears Jor-El's instructions about his next phase of training, and it begins in a swirl of light and Kryptonian symbols. Next, Lana watches as the spacecraft opens to release two menacing characters just as a gaggle of law enforcement types roar in with weapons drawn (why?), and soon they're blasting away until the aliens wipe out a few more Chevy Caprice cop cars (they're cheap), as well as the cops. Those bad-mannered aliens are looking for Kal-El; Lana witnesses their powers. They find Lex in the cave - he's thrown again when they grab the key from him. Chloe finds herself in the same snowfield as Clark, and she trudges off to the Fortress in the distance, where she finds Clark, somewhat out of touch in the vortex. Cold in there - Chloe can barely call out to Clark before it gets to her, and Clark stops studying to negotiate a recess with Jor-El to save Chloe, promising to return before the yellow sun sets. Jonathan comes to in the wreckage of the Kent home, and frantically begins to search for Martha as Lois arrives to help, but nothing is known about Jason's fate - they don't even look! To the hospital they go - Martha has a broken leg but will recover. Lex finds Lana on the highway - she tells him about the spacecraft, then she faints. Clark has taken Chloe to a Yukon hospital for recovery - now she knows most of Clark's secrets, and Ms. Mack plays this quiet scene so well. He reveals more - he wasn't even born in this galaxy, a statement that Chloe handles rather well, realizing that alien or not, he has a life record of helping people, so she has nothing to fear, and pledges to keep his secret. "You're a good friend, Chloe." Lex has taken Lana to the mansion and cleaned her up, there she sees Lionel obsessively scratching Kryptonian symbols on the floor, mumbling, "The disciples of Zod must be stopped." She realizes that the alien intruders can be defeated by green rock. At the hospital (how did Lana know to go there?) the aliens are looking for Kal-El (how did they know to go there?) and beating up on both Jonathan and Lois, she gamely sasses the thugs. Lana intercedes to take them to Kal-El, hoping to trap them in the safe with Lex's stash of meteor rock artifacts. At the mansion, the Zod-pals manage to avoid the full effects of the meteor rock, and toss Lana's stunt double way across the room - so she's conveniently out cold when Clark arrives to challenge his home folks. When Clark turns them down cold on an offer to rule Planet Earth, Krypto-gal spins a Phantom Zone gateway at Clark; he just manages to hold onto some rebar in the floor, then frees himself and casts both into that flat-panel zone from which there is no escape. It's sunset, and Clark must choose - help Lana or return to the Fortress as he promised Jor-El. Guess which? When Martha and Jonathan return home in their zillionth Dodge pickup, which suddenly has been retrofitted with four-wheel drive, Clark breaks the news that his abilities are gone, taken by Jor-El. Thus the Kent home won't be rebuilt at superspeed. Lex somehow located Chloe in the Yukon, and comes to take her home, even as she denies Clark had anything to do with her trip through the space-time continuum. Lana's in the hospital as she reads the news that both Jason and Genevieve are dead, when Clark arrives. They reconfirm their love for one another, Clark knowing he no longer has anything to hide, because he has become "normal." Clark sees that the spacecraft has disappeared from its crater, but we see where it went - to a Luthercorp warehouse, where a black fluid flows from it to the floor, and morphs into human form - looks like a major story line coming there! Lots of action, the end of Jane Seymour's character, and a major development involving Chloe learning about Clark at last - can't miss this one. Re-run rating B+.moreless
  • Not worst...aaaa je to tady nova rada serialu kterou jsem zmeskal na nove je to v loji a proto se na to chci podívat na teto strance na ktere to asi nepude coz je dost ****moreless

    aaaa je to tady nova rada serialu kterou jsem zmeskal na nove je to v loji a proto se na to chci podívat na teto strance na ktere to asi nepude coz je dost a to jehaluzt me se sem nechce psat tolik znaku to je k posrani ale vzhledem k tomu ze píšu aaaa je to tady nova rada serialu kterou jsem zmeskal na nove je to v loji a proto se na to chci podívat na teto strance na ktere to asi nepude coz je dost aaaa je to tady nova rada serialu kterou jsem zmeskal na nove je to v loji a proto se na to chci podívat na teto strance na ktere to asi nepude coz je dost smoreless
  • Loved this episode

    I loved the shock on Clark's face in the hospital room when he finds out that Chloe knows his secret and has known it for quite sometime. Hence Chloes' probably when I saw you catch a car like it was a frisbee line. Then Clark tells Chloe something she didn't know, he isn't meteor infected he was born this way, and it dawns on Chloe that Clark isn't from this planet, so Clark tells Chloe his whole story. Chloe revealed how hurt she was about all of this, and Clark's asks why she just didn't tell him she knew, and she told him that she decided that when he decided that he could trust her enough he would tell her in his own way.moreless
  • After uniting the 3 stones, Clark finds himself in the Arctic, where the stones form the Fortress of Solitude. When Chloe follows him and nearly dies from the cold, he interrupts his training to get Chloe to a hospital, before returning to Smallville.moreless

    After uniting the Kryptonian stones of power (see COMMENCEMENT), Clark's transported to the Arctic, where the newly-formed Crystal of Knowledge becomes the Fortress of Solitude. Inside the Fortress, Jor-El forces Clark to go through training, which is interrupted when Chloe, having followed her friend to the Arctic, nearly dies from the cold. Clark makes a deal with Jor-El, then gets Chloe to a hospital, where a news report forces him to return to Smallville to save his parents. However, upon his return, he learns that Nam-Ek and Aethyr, two disciples of Zod who have arrived with the recent meteor shower, have left a path of destruction in their search for Kal-El. Meanwhile, Lois helps the Kents to the hospital after finding them under the rubble of their house, and Chloe reveals to Clark that she's known about his abilities for some time.

    My Review: ARRIVAL marks a turning point in Clark's life, a point epitomized at the beginning of the episode by the formation of the Fortress of Solitude, the place where Clark is to be educated in his Kryptonian heritage. Now that he's graduated high school, many aspects of his life will change (besides the abscence of the routine offered by the world of academia). With the Fortress set up, Jor-El's prescence in his life will grow, further shaping Clark's destiny. He still has a long way to go before becoming one of the greatest superheroes the world has ever known, but he's gradually evolving into the, Kryptonian...he was destined to become, showing incredible maturity in the way he confronted the Disciples of Zod and handled the crisis of the second meteor shower. As an added bonus, he now has Chloe to confide in regarding his abilities, something he hasn't had since Pete left to live with his mom in Topeka. Taking all that and more into consideration, including the cool special effects, I award this episode nine-and-a-half stars out of ten.

    Highlights: Clark in the Arctic, watching the Fortress take shape; Lex's encounter with the Disciples of Zod; Clark's training; Clark learning Chloe knows his secret; Lois attempting to deal with the Kryptonians at the hospital; Lois and Clark's hug; Clark's confrontation with the Kryptonians; Clark announcing to his parents that he's now mortal; and Lois assuming that Clark's flowers are for her (and they should've been ;D).moreless
Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk

Lana Lang

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Alexander ('Lex') Joseph Luthor

Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Erica Durance

Erica Durance

Lois Lane

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Alana De La Garza

Alana De La Garza


Guest Star

Leonard Roberts

Leonard Roberts


Guest Star

Camille Mitchell

Camille Mitchell

Sheriff Nancy Adams

Recurring Role

Terence Stamp

Terence Stamp

Voice of Jor-El

Recurring Role

James Marsters

James Marsters

Professor Milton Fine / Brainiac

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • During the crater scene in the beginning of the episode, the police start firing at the Kryptonians with Lana right in the crossfire. In real life, policemen would secure civilians, or at least make sure they are out of their line of sight, and not take the risk of killing them via collateral damage.

    • Given that the entire town has been hit by a meteor shower causing major devastation and the deployment of the armed forces to try to evacuate, how is it that Martha manages to get a semi-private room at the hospital?

    • Right after Lana sees Lionel carving the floor up, he shows Lana the meteor rocks and they start glowing. They only glow when they are reacting with something i.e. Clark, or person being affected by it. When Lana had her necklace it wouldn't glow at random so why is it glowing now?

    • When Chloe is walking towards the Fortress she's seen with no coat and then two seconds later she has a coat on.

    • In a previous episode, Krypton is referred to as being a light that is 500 light years away that went out. Clark, however, says he wasn't born anywhere near this galaxy. Five hundred light years would not be close but still in the Milky Way galaxy.

    • The Kryptonians clearly are fully-powered (somehow), but as has been established, Kryptonians can fly. Clark can only do it when he's Kal-El, fully embracing his Kryptonian heritage. So...why don't the two newcomers ever fly? Instead, they just run real fast.

    • Trivia: After Lionel is "downloaded" with Kryptonian, his behavior mimics the actions and demeanor of Dr. Walden after he went through a similar situation in season two. They even have the same "white eyes."

    • Clark doesn't seem too concerned with how Chloe is going to get home. He doesn't have the power to bring her back any more and she probably doesn't have the money to pay for a plane ticket or a passport.

    • How did Lana know that Kal-El was male? She refers to the person the aliens are talking about as "him," but neither mentioned Kal-El's gender.

    • At the end Lana is reading a newspaper about Jason Teague being dead. Her boyfriend. Her loving boyfriend. They had a bit of an argument back in "Blank," but there's no major indication they broke up or anything. Not only does she seem remarkably unconcerned, but then she starts getting it on with Clark. Shouldn't she be a bit more upset? Or is she just immune to dead boyfriends by now?

    • When Lana goes to investigate Lionel sketching on the floor, she says "Mr. Luther." It's Luthor. In the past even Lana has said, "Luthor."

    • Where did all the police come from at the spaceship crater? The helicopter pilot is dead, and Lana doesn't have a cell phone (even if she wanted to call them). But suddenly in the middle of a major meteor strike, a town devastated, and all the police decide to show up and check out this crater. Why?

    • How does Lana know the two Kryptonians are at the hospital? With all the emergency and disaster relief teams and all, how could she find them so easily?

    • How did the windshield on the Kents' red truck that Jason shot out in "Commencement" get replaced? Jonathan would have been at the hospital with Martha the whole time and Clark was out saving the world. With the meteor shower and all, Jonathan would have been unlikely to find a repairman, even if he had the time or concern to make a call.

    • The Kryptonians arrivals have x-ray vision, as is shown when they see Lex palming the octagonal key. So why don't they use it to spot Lana hiding behind a bush 15' away from them, instead of just wondering "Where's the girl?"

  • QUOTES (31)

    • Clark: Lana, before the meteor shower, you came by the barn. You said some things. And three words sorta stood out.
      Lana: Clark, the sky was literally about to fall down on us. I never knew if I'd see you again.
      Clark: Right. We were in the middle of a crisis. Sometimes people say things they don't mean.
      Lana: Clark, I meant every word. The question is, did you?

    • Clark: My abilities are gone.
      Martha: How?
      Clark: Jor-El took them, but I'm not sure it's such a bad thing. All I've ever wanted was to be normal. Now, finally, I am.
      Jonathan: I don't think this adjustment is going to be quite as easy as you do, Clark.
      Clark: But that's why I'm lucky to have parents like you. Every time I woke up and had a new ability, you were always there to help me adjust and this time is no different.

    • Nam-Ek: We want you to join us, Kal-El, and help us make this savage land our Utopia.
      Clark: I saw what you did at the hospital. It's not Utopia, it's murder!
      Nam-Ek: The few must be sacrificed for the sake of the many.
      Clark: Then sacrifice me, 'cause I'm not going to let you kill anyone else.

    • Lois: Actually, um, we have another problem. Kind of a big problem, really. A happy loving couple came through here with super powers and a really bad attitude. Got pretty ugly.

    • Jonathan: Ah, Martha Kent! If you were trying to scare me, you did one heck of a job. For a minute there, I thought I lost you.
      Martha: I guess I found my way back.

    • Clark: No more secrets. No more lies.
      Lana: Clark I want to ask you something. Do you believe in life on other planets?
      Clark: Actually... I do.
      Lana: I saw something in that crater. It was a spaceship, Clark. It was unbelievable.

    • Lana: There's a man and a woman. They're right behind us. They... they came out of...
      Lex: Out of what? What did they come out of?
      Lana: A spaceship.

    • Nam-Ek: Where is Kal-El?
      Jonathan: Who are you?
      Aethyr: You know where he is?
      Jonathan: I'm sorry, lady. I don't even know who you're talking about.

    • Martha: Has Clark come home?
      Jonathan: Sweetheart, please, you need to use all of your energy just to get better. Not to worry about Clark. Our son can handle... anything that's thrown his way.

    • (after seeing the news)
      Clark: They didn't get out. My parents didn't get out.
      Chloe: Smallville needs you more than I do, Clark. Go. Go!

    • Chloe: Well, I want you to know, I'll never be the iceberg to your Titanic, and your secret will never ever leave my lips. No matter what.
      Clark: I appreciate that.

    • Chloe: But you look so, so...
      Clark: Human?

    • Lois: Mrs. Kent, I'd have to say you look a whole lot better without a china cabinet on your back.

    • Lex: I'm beginning to get the impression that lying is an unshakable habit of yours.

    • Chloe: Hey. I think it's time you switch into Super Clark mode now.
      Clark: Super Clark?
      Chloe: I know you run faster than a speeding bullet, Clark. Take me along for the ride.

    • Clark: How did you get that frog in your throat?
      Lois: That's what happens when you get a neck massage from Barbie the Barbarian.

    • Lois: You guys put a roof over my head. Least I could do was help out when it came crashing down.

    • Jor-El: Kal-El, you have come far. One journey has ended. A new journey is about to begin. Welcome, my son.

    • (Clark brings flowers for Lana)
      Lois: Clark, really, you shouldn't have!
      Clark: Actually, I didn't.

    • Lois: Doctor says I shouldn't talk too much.
      Clark: That's too bad.
      Lois: Don't get your hopes up, Smallville – it's not permanent.

    • Martha: But you can be hurt now – you're vulnerable.
      Clark: Isn't that what it means to be human?

    • Jonathan: It doesn't hurt to have a one-man construction team as a son.

    • Nam-Ek: Lying is their way.
      Aethyr: Not for long.

    • Chloe: I can't blame you, Clark – loose lips sink ships, and I've sunk my share of flotillas.

    • Nam-Ek: Are you Kal-El?
      Lex: Who wants to know?

    • Lois: Look, super freak, if you want to find your Kal-El buddy, you better start working on your communication skills.

    • Chloe: I wonder who's more freaked out right now: me, knowing I'm in a hospital where they get their medicine via dogsled, or you, finally finding out I know your secret.

    • Clark: I wasn't born anywhere near Smallville. In fact I wasn't born anywhere near this galaxy.
      Chloe: Okay, okay, so that would then make you like an...
      Clark: Yep.

    • Clark: (to Chloe about his powers) How long have you known?
      Chloe: I guess on some level I've always had my suspicions. The sudden disappearances, the miraculous recoveries, the lame excuses, but when I saw you catch a car like it was a beach ball, that kind of clarified everything.

    • Chloe: I think you're so amazing. You save people's lives and take zero credit for it. To me you're more than just a hero... you're a superhero.

    • Lionel: The disciples of Zod...they must be stopped!
      Lana: You're talking about the people from the ship.
      Lionel: Their home is their only poison.

  • NOTES (12)

    • Music: Depeche Mode ("Precious" from Playing the Angels)

    • Erica Durance is now listed in the opening credits as a regular.

    • At the end, there is a "In Memory Of" to Sam Loeb (1988-2005) – "A True Superboy." Sam, series writer and consulting producer Jeph Lobe's son, passed away on June 16, 2005, after a battle with cancer.

    • James Marsters and Terence Stamp are billed as Special Guest Stars.

    • Kristin Kreuk's name is misspelled as Kristen Kreuk in the new opening credits. This is fixed in the DVD credits.

    • This episode marks the beginning of the new opening credits, with "Smallville" in red instead of orange, additional footage primarily from Season 4, and each of the stars' hair blowing in the wind.

    • At least five brief snippets of footage from Superman: The Movie are used during the Jor-El projected "training sequence." Glimpses can be seen of 1) an overhead shot of the Kryptonian city, 2) the red sun flaring, 3) Kryptonians highlighted in red fleeing the destruction, 4) the ship lifting off from Krypton and 5) the Kryptonians falling into the planet's core.

    • Although James Marsters is credited at the beginning, he only appears in the last few seconds of the episode and has no dialogue.

    • This episode won an Emmy for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series. This episode was nominated for a Leo Award for Best Costume Design in a Dramatic Series.

    • The two unnamed Kryptonians are referred to in the script as Nam-Ek and Aethyr. In the comics, these are the names of two Phantom Zone prisoners from the Silver Age Superman era. Nam-Ek was a scientist who killed a sacred beast with a horn reputed to have healing powers. He grafted the horn onto himself and gained immortality but transformed into half-man/half-beast. Aethyr is a godlike being whose physical/spiritual presence makes up the Phantom Zone.

    • On the initial airing of this episode, Smallville won its timeslot in the adult demographics, going up against Alias, Survivor, and Joey. This is the first time this has occurred for any episode of the series.

    • The Fortress of Solitude appears for the first time, located in what Lex said to be the Yukon. It has had varying locations in the comics and other media adaptations of the Superman character.


    • Chloe: I know you're faster than a speeding bullet, Clark - mind taking me along for the ride?
      Superman in the comics and movies is described as stronger than a locomotive and faster than a speeding bullet.

    • Miscellaneous
      This episode contains several allusions to the first two Superman movies made by Richard Donner: the Fortress of Solitude's formation and Jor-El's attempts at educating Clark are done very similarly in Superman: The Movie, and the arrival of seemingly evil Kryptonians on Earth, the method of Phantom Zone imprisonment used on them, and Clark's powers being drained by Jor-El's spirit in the Fortress of Solitude are all reminiscent of events from Superman II. The Kryptonians in both are fascinated by Earth insignia and uniforms. And Clark finds out about their devastation via a newscast when he's been out of touch, just as in Superman II Clark does at the diner.