Season 3 Episode 22

Covenant (2)

Aired Friday 8:00 PM May 19, 2004 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
716 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Kara, a beautiful superpowered girl from Krypton, entices Clark to join with his father and embrace his destiny. Clark is left without support after Pete's departure when Jonathan reveals the deal he made with Jor-El. At the same time, Clark's relationships with Lex and Lana take unexpected turns, leaving him with no one but Kara to turn to.moreless

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  • Supergirl 2.0

    Covenant-Kara, a beautiful superpowered girl from Krypton, entices Clark to join with his father and embrace his destiny. Clark is left without support after Pete's departure when Jonathan reveals the deal he made with Jor-El. At the same time, Clark's relationships with Lex and Lana take unexpected turns, leaving him with no one but Kara to turn to.

    A strong finale that feels more like a huge build up to the last 10 mintues, then rapping up all the storylines of the season. The introduction of Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl was a real treat and Adrianne Palicki (Kara/Lindsey Harrison) has great presence even undeniable wonder she brings to the character. It's actually a real shame when Kara turns out not to be the iconic hero but Jor-El's lastest scheme of luring his son back to his destiny. Looking back on it, this version of Kara seems a lot more interesting and better portrayed than the real Kara who appears 4 seasons later (Sorry, Laura Vandarvoort!). I especially loved the display of Kara's powers, like how she flips the car over in the teaser and when she shoots some powerful energy out of her hands and kills that FBI agent in the car.

    The tension surrounding Lionel's trial and jail sentence is played out well, especially how it effects everyone's safety. The most interesting development is how Lionel gives Clark the key to Lex's secret room in the mansion. It's a excellent development that Lionel use this as an opportunity to break Clark and Lex up. You actually feel bad that Clark and Lex might finally have a rift in their friendship but Lex's obsession is quite disturbing at the same time. Other great developments are when Kara reminds Jonathan about his deal with Jor-El and finding out it was an exchange for Clark to return to Jor-El one day. I was also impressed by Lana's depature scene as Clark disappears and leaves a white rose for her on the ground. It also saves from more mushy, fussy Clana dialogue.

    The cliffhangers of the episode really make this episode as the last 5 minutes are the most epic and shocking moments of the series. First, Chloe and her father are escorted into a saftey house only for it to explode seconds later. Then, Lex's drink turns out to be poision and he collapses to the ground in his mansion. Lastly, a kryptonian symbol appears on the Kent farm in a large fire. It's a truly powerful sequence which encorporates a really moving opera piece and the sight of Lionel getting his head shaved then smiling at the end is just so incredibly evil as he seems to win despite his defeat. Not to mention, the sight of Clark floating away naked into a black hole of nothingness leaves a dark tone as you wonder what Jor-El will do with him and what has happened to Jonathan who is now unconscious. "Covenant" isn't the biggest finale, but it's one of the most ambitious, with shocking cliffhangers and amazing developments that make it another highlight of Smallville's finest season to date!moreless
  • Wow.

    A finale that had so much promise kept me wondering almost all the way through if it would be as captivating as the last two season finales. And surprise, surprise - it was!

    The appearance of the mystery girl had me wondering if this was Kara the Supergirl, only to have it turn out to be a girl used by Jor-El to lure Clark to him. I was wondering when Jor-El would finally want Clark for himself. The episode in itself was above average until the last five minutes, where it turns into pure gold.

    So many things happened before that - Pete already left, Lana flew to Paris, Chloe was willing to give up her freedom, and Clark learned about Lex's investigation. But that was only the beginning. The last five minutes were pure brilliance - I couldn't believe how great it was.

    Now I can't wait to begin watching the following season to see if Chloe is alive (okay, I know this one, but still, that was a damn finale), how Clark will return, what will happen Lana, and so much more. Now this is how you do a finale.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in the season 3 final of smallville and big things are going to take place clark meets this women claming to be from krpton and she knows his father and she wants him to come with her to forfill his destiny and pete is gone and lex is not really friend at this point and lana is leaving for paris and so he must make this decision and clarks dad reaveals the deal he make with jor el clarks real dad this was a good ep for season 3 final and that is why i gave this ep a 9moreless
  • The season climax - a young woman claiming to be from Krypton urges Clark to leave Earth with her, Lionel is imprisoned but still ruthless, Lex has turned against him, Lana is leaving for Paris, Chloe is threatened over her testimony. It's spectacular.moreless

    The setup scene for "Covenant" resembles the first "Terminator" film - an unclothed person performs an amazing feat of destruction (beautiful young woman wandering in the night whacks an approaching car and flips it into a pile of flaming wreckage). Can hardly wait to see if she'll enter a bar, demand someone's outfit, and head out on a Harley. Close - the bar is instead the Kent home, what a nice trick or treat outfit. Clark gets to answer the knock - "Hello Clark. My name is Kara. I'm from Krypton." Sounds like a fun new playmate - anyone who knows that planet should be welcomed.

    The Kent family has a nice chat with the newcomer - she claims to have entered our planet through a passage in the cave wall. Jonathan is challenging; she rebuffs him and uses the name Kal-El, saying she's come to take him home. Proceedings interrupted by the entrance of Lex, and Kara is gone in a flash. Clark clues us in to Lionel being jailed after his arrest last week, but Lex explains he may be out on bail soon unless witnesses attest to him doing harm. Clark volunteers to testify about Lionel's electroshock treatment of Lex at Belle Reve, against medical advice.

    Lex realizes angrily that Clark has known about Lionel's murder of his parents - but Clark never told him - to protect him. Lex relents. And Lionel is led into confinement - with his FBI friend nearby, who is defensive of his deal with Lionel, but then there was that new murder evidence dug up by Chloe, whom he referrs to as a "bleached-blonde Pulitzer wannabe." Lionel calmly asks agent Loder about details on Clark - expecting to be out on bail soon. Loder tells him their deal is over. At the Kents, Lex leaves in his M-B CL 550, and of course Kara reappears, clad this time, and telling Clark he was not meant for this world, but for hers. He refers to himself as Clark, expressing his independence of any alien's expectations. Not so easy to brush her off when she grasps his arm and they float slowly into the night sky. Since this is all too easy and convenient, one could expect Kara to be some sort of shape-shifter like Brainiac/Fine, so the writers have telegraphed something sinister simply by the absence of same. Clark is portrayed as too trusting yet again.

    She takes him to the cave - a fissure has indeed appeared in the wall. And Clark begins to suspect Jor-El is behind this event, and the dilemma is whether to follow Kara into the portal, or stay put. He declines the offer.

    Lionel remains in federal prison, when Lex arrives and jabs him with "Orange is a good color for you, Dad." Lionel admits failing Lex, but as underhanded as these two have always been, we can only suspect he's trying to control the situation again. He does reveal his fatal liver disease - and begs Lex to keep him from dying in prison. Lex sarcastically rejects the appeal.

    The plot is beginning to break down a bit - are the Kents going to keep Kara as a house guest indefinitely? If she has superpowers, they may as well put her to work mucking the stalls or tossing hay bales. Kara reveals Jonathan's failure to keep the "Covenant" with Jor-El, which required him to return Clark to Jor-El if Jonathan was given the power to return Clark from Metropolis, all in the season 3 premiere, "Exile."

    Kara detects someone listening in - it's agent Loder out on the highway - Kara intercepts him and fries the whole car and Loder into digital vapor. Clark is upset at this murder, Martha is angry at Jonathan for his secret deal, and Kara just has no emotions at all. Now the Kents may lose Clark, so the script builds up some tension by this point, and no one has to overact at all, directing is just right.

    Jonathan makes an unusual visit to Chloe at the Torch - asking her to get fingerprints off Kara's teacup. Does he really think she's an earthling? A zombie inhabited by a Zoner? Meanwhile, Lana drives out to see Clark. She's still Paris-bound, hoping yet again that Clark will tell her what she missed at their aborted dinner engagement. Ms. Kreuk has an entirely new hairstyle, and manages to make even this slightly disheveled look appear attractive. Clark starts to speak...but no, they're interrupted by the sight of Kara in the distance, Clark identifying her as his cousin.

    As Lana leaves, Kara begins to speak of the strong love that will come between her and Clark, as the only ones who can preserve the Kryptonian race. Now we begin to see the true motives of Kara, but really, Clark is not so easily seduced. Power, destiny, another's vision of how his life should be - these have all been rejected by Clark in many episodes - no different here. But he does have to fear her power and potential threats to family and friends - he puts their safety above all else. After this encounter, Clark receives a package from Lionel, containing only a door key.

    Lex has learned that Lionel's disease is as claimed, and confers with Chloe about continuing the case against him with her evidence. Lex does not relent - Lionel will die in prison - but this puts Chloe in a dilemma - she's not as hard-hearted as Lex, and she's going into protective custody until the trial. But she won't back down either. When one can't see the plot developments coming, it's evidence of a well-thought out story line, and excellent script writing, and this scene is more testimony to the skill of the Smallville production staff.

    Clark storms in on Lionel about the key - another surprise, as I expected Clark to use it somehow in Lionel's office - secret files, Swann stuff, kryptonian artifacts, something. Of course the plot ignores the potential conflict of a potential witness visiting the accused in prison. Lionel knows Clark will be a witness at his trial, buying into the version of events proposed by Lex. A sharp reply by Clark works well; "Buy into this - you're a murderer." He denies that, and says the key opens a door at the mansion. But Lionel offers answers Clark won't believe, behind the door.

    Clark enters the room - it's a secret cache of information about him, collected by Lex in his relentless pursuit of the mystery that is Clark. Even a pile of meteor rock, and he's careless again, as Lex finds him there. Lex claims it's all about him, not Clark - "More lies," Clark responds, reiterating his years of defending Lex to everyone. He storms out, later agonizing over his life with Martha, until realizing - Lana is leaving that day.

    With a tear-jerking background score, Lana is at the airport - but it's Lex who shows up for goodbyes. Their embrace is seen by Clark, too late again. She sees him there, but he's gone, leaving only the white rose he brought for her. This could be the sad ending of the episode, but there's more.

    At the courthouse, Chloe and Lex are alarmed that Clark has not shown up, but he arrives in time to testify, so Lionel does not get bail. Clark announces to Lex, "This friendship is over." This brings to mind many losses of relationship at this season-ender - even those that are troublesome are hard to release. Is all this enough to get Clark to jump the portal? Kara entices Clark with the promise of meeting his mother - Lara. "I'm ready," he says. Jonathan receives from Chloe the fingerprint i.d. on Kara. Hand-in-hand, Clark and Kara prepare to enter the brilliant light of the cave portal - just as Jonathan arrives, shouting that Kara is a human, a meteor-rock victim, being used by Jor-El to capture Clark. Jor-El's voice calls out - and "Kara" disappears into the light, her purpose served, as Clark shouts his defiance of Jor-El. Jonathan is enveloped in a rope of light, telling Clark to stay and be free, but Clark cannot let this happen to his father, and he is drawn into Jor-El's light.

    Packing even more into this episode, the finale is a stunning series of scenes set to a chorale without script - Lionel having his head shaved, Chloe arriving at a safe house in protective custody only to have the building explode in flames, Martha witnessing a burning kryptonian symbol in the pasture, Lex collapsing in agony after a drink, Jonathan prone on the cave floor, and...

    Clark, being transported away in an El family shield, into the clouds, as Jor-El intones, "Kal-El, my son, now you shall be re-born."

    What a finish. What a script. What a story-line. Smallville at it's finest, one of the essential episodes. Perfect season ender. Could not be better. Terrific. Let's hope that Season 4's premiere does not resolve these stirring events too quickly - they merit several episodes to play out, just to let us enjoy this tremendous dramatic build-up. Re-run rating A.moreless
  • Great Episode

    In Kent Farm, Clark Kent is surprised in the middle of the night by a naked young woman claiming that she is Kara (Adrianne Palicki) from Krypton, and asking him to go with her somewhere through the Kawatche caves. Meanwhile, he decides to testify against Lionel Luthor to keep him in prison. Lionel sends a key of the secret chamber in the Mansion Luthor to Clark, and he finishes his friendship with Lex Luthor. Lana Lang travels to Paris and Chloe Sullivan and her father are included in the witness protection program. In "Covenant", there are many new situations to be explored in the Fourth Season, such as the travel of Lana Lang to Paris; the incident of Chloe Sullivan and her father in their new home; Lionel Luthor in the prison; but the most important, the end of the friendship of Clark and Lex. The "reborn" Clark will certainly be another possible attraction.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

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Toole

Martha Clark Kent

Adrianne Palicki

Adrianne Palicki

Kara/Lindsey Harrison

Guest Star

Gary Hudson

Gary Hudson

FBI Agent Frank Loder

Guest Star

Sarah Deakins

Sarah Deakins

Trial Reporter

Guest Star

Terence Stamp

Terence Stamp

Voice of Jor-El

Recurring Role

Robert Wisden

Robert Wisden

Gabe Sullivan

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (34)

    • At 28:26 the reflection of the boom-mic and operator is very visible in the TV, as Lex turns and walks to Clark.

    • As she runs to kill Loder, Kara runs through a fence on the Kent's farm. The fence is not damaged. Can she also pass through solid matter?

    • When did Clark hear Lionel tell the doctor to up Lex's electroshock dosage? It wasn't at the actual therapy session itself, as Clark only arrived just as it was finished. Nor was it when Lionel was talking to Dr. Foster. So when did he hear it?

    • Lex says that he has survived countless brushes with death starting with the car crash in Season 1. He should have said that it started with the meteor shower since he almost died but survived that day as well. Judging from the various stories about his past, it seems like he survived one or two brushes with death during his wilder days before coming to Smallville as well.

    • Clark seems surprised to see the chunk of green-k in Lex's secret room. Why? Didn't he take the precaution of scanning the room with his x-ray vision to make sure it wasn't a trap and/or Lex wasn't in there?

    • No wonder Lex has such trouble with security. The lock he has on his supersecret room, his "Fortress of Lexitude," as it were, is...a standard Yale lock, judging by the key Lionel gives Clark. He's paying roughly $10 an hour for the power to maintain all those continually-running graphics and all - you'd think he'd put out a little money for a decent electronic lock.

    • Clark and Lex seem to allow each other pretty much open access to each other's homes. Lex's secret room is off limits, but here's the question - Lex doesn't seem to wonder how Clark got in there. Wouldn't he wonder who gave Clark the key?

    • Chloe says what she found out on the tea cup is weird even for her. Umm... Why exactly? All she found out was that a girl died and is now walking around. We saw a kryptomutant do this in the first season and a major part of this season was Lionel's ability to resurrect people with the serum. So that isn't too weird. Was it the age thing? We saw kryptomutants do that in both seasons 1 and 2. We saw Lionel possessing the ability to clone, etc. So what was so weird, "even for her," about Chloe's discovery?

    • After Kara kills Loder, Jonathan tells Martha she killed an FBI agent. However, how do Jonathan, Martha, and Clark know who was in the car? None of them got a chance to see it. They may know she killed a man but there's no possible way they knew who.

    • When Lex visits Lionel in jail, and Lionel gives his "I'm dying" speech, Lex says the speech would have been more effective with "a string quartet in the corner playing Barber's 'Requiem'". It's actually an error on the part of the script writer; Samuel Barber never wrote a Requiem. The piece they probably meant was his "Adiago for Strings."

    • How much stuff is in the walls of the cave? Adrenaline parasites, keyholes, portals, whatever computer system holds the essence of Jor-El, and now a human body on ice for over a decades. And yet Luthor and his crack team of scientists don't seem to have discovered any of this.

    • Shouldn't there be at the Kiwatche caves? Kara wanders out, Clark and Kara go in, and later Clark and Kara and Jonathan wander in. Lionel's in charge of the place and knows there's something weird going on there - why doesn't he hire guards, put in security cameras monitoring the place 24-7, and install security gates that Clark can't go through without busting down, thus showing that someone broke in? Or did all of these disappear just because Lionel got arrested?

    • Okay, Clark thinks Lex, Lana, and Jonathan have betrayed him (and maybe Pete, and maybe Chloe even though the two of them seemed to have made up). Still, it seems kind of out of character for Clark to just decide to leave with a murderer just because she claims to be from Krypton. He saw her kill Loder. As long as she's hot and likes to wander around naked, and she hasn't betrayed him in the last 30 minutes, apparently he can overlook the murder part.

    • At the farm when Clark and Lana are talking, Kara shows up and Clark explains Kara's his cousin. Lana seems to take this as a personal affront ("How dare Clark have his cousin visit when I'm leaving?!?") and abruptly break off their "Tell me your secret" conversation #32. Clark nicely says goodbye, and then...Lana just turns around and leaves without saying anything. Because, apparently, she got Clark to acknowledge her and that's all that need be done. With all this, it's hard to imagine why Lana got the idea that people in Smallville think she's self-centered and shallow. :)

    • This is the first time that we see that Clark has a real definite idea that he himself can fly. But if he thinks that, it'd be because... Kara demonstrated the ability to fly. So does that mean Clark will also think he can disintegrate things with a touch and practice it in the future? Because he also sees Kara demonstrating that ability. Or will he ignore both "clues" to other potential superpowers, since the producers have said we'll never see Clark flying on his own?

    • So Jonathan's deal with Jor-El was that he'd agree to bring Clark back to Smallville, in return for... giving up Clark anyway and dying himself? Somehow this doesn't seem like a very good deal. As noted in Trivia for "Exile (2)", Jonathan did have other options, such as exposing red-Clark to green kryptonite and then taking the ring off. And his idea that Jor-El might never call in his marker, as it were, seems incredibly dumb.

    • At the beginning when Kara flips the car it explodes immediately. We did not see her do anything to it but flip it over. It would not explode that fast.

    • Lex's explanation that his investigation into Clark's background is about him, not Clark, doesn't seem very believable. You can clearly see huge pictures of Clark and his family on one wall. What would they have to do with whether or not Lex is a Kryptonite freak? Not to mention the Kryptonian family tree Clark drew in "Rosetta" is hanging with the Kent pictures, which doesn't seem logical if Lex's investigation is really about himself.

    • Clark's testimony would be pretty much meaningless in a pretrial bail hearing. That kind of hearing determines how much of a flight risk the defendant is - Clark's testimony that Lionel threatened his son's well-being would have very little significance there. It's not like murderers in real-life have eyewitnesses testify against them at bail hearings.

    • While in "prison," Lionel gets brought in and has a nice long chat with the agent that arrested him (Loder). Not only that, but he gets to have the witness against him (Clark) visit his cell, and make intimidating threats.

    • The kryptonite, once, again, fails to affect Clark until he notices it's in the room.

    • What type of jail or prison allows visitors to visit the inmates at their cells?

    • Where did Kara get her cute outfit after parading around naked? Looks like nothing Martha Kent would wear and you'd think people would wonder if Martha went into town and started buying new clothing for a girl clearly not her size.

    • For what seems to be a pretty big, press-covered bail hearing, Clark doesn't even bother to formally dress for the occasion.

    • At the end, Jor-el tells Clark to step forward so they can be rejoined. After Clark agrees to go with Jor-el, he does not step forward but is still sucked in. If Clark didn't have to step forward, why wouldn't Jor-el just suck him in before Clark agreed? If it's a matter of Clark just agreeing to go, then why doesn't Jor-El just say that instead of going on about "stepping forward"?

    • Why does Lex always keep the stuff turned on in the room where he keeps the items he has gathered on Clark? He's rich, but there still doesn't seem any reason to have the TVs and computer monitors on.

    • Why did Lex show up at Clark's house at the beginning, other than to interrupt their interrogation of Kara? He asked if Clark had a minute, they walked out into the barn and Clark started a conversation about Lionel's imprisonment (which led to him agreeing to testify and admitting he'd been an eyewitness). But why did Lex even show up there in the first place?

    • Does Clark ever even notice that a girl who claims to be from Krypton and knows little about Earth customs such as drinking tea just so happens to wear lipstick and knows about other Earth customs like knocking on doors to introduce oneself?

    • At the beginning of the episode we have yet another example of "Near-faceless person gets killed early in the episode and nobody ever mentions them again." Does the Smallville police (and the now often-missing Sheriff Adams) even bother anymore?

    • Didn't Chloe ever tell Clark about her using her temporary "truth" power to get Lionel to confess? Yet he seems to be buying Lionel's denial of murdering his parents.

    • According to both the on-screen dialogue and the closed captioning, Loder says, "I made sure any discriminating recordings disappeared into the ether." when talking to Lionel. Unless the recordings were very particular and had very specific tastes, the word the writers are looking for here is incriminating.

    • Lionel seems to be allowed very...flexible visiting hours. When he and Loder first arrive, it's sometime relatively late in the evening, about 8 - 10 p.m. (since the two of them talk between shots of Clark and Lex's conversation after Kara arrives when she destroys a truck with no one noticing). Later, when Lex visits Lionel, it's 6:05 p.m. (look at Lex's watch). Apparently the courts and the prison visiting hours don't run on a 9-to-5 schedule, or Lionel is getting a lot of special perks.

    • When Loder pulls away from Kara at high speed, she appears in front of him and he brakes to a stop. Given the speed he's travelling at, it seems highly unlikely he could stop to avoid hitting her. There's no indication she blocks or anything - the car just stops a foot or so away from her.

    • Why does Clark just jog up to Kara at normal speed while she's dealing with Loder? He doesn't seem too concerned about stopping her kill a guy, but even so, wouldn't he go at superspeed to find out what's going on?

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Lex: There's so much of my own life I can't explain. I've survived countless brushes with death, and it all started with this car crash. If I'm guilty of anything, it's that I've inherited my father's eccentric curiosity for the unexplained.
      Clark: You've inherited his dishonesty.
      Lex: Clark, look me in the eye and tell me you don't have any hidden places of your own where you keep your deep, dark secrets.
      Clark: Ever since I've met you, I've been defending you, making excuses for you to people like Pete, like my parents. Telling them, "You can trust Lex Luthor. He's a good guy. He's nothing like his father." I was wrong.

    • Martha: (Kara) killed a man, Jonathan. We have to call the sheriff.
      Jonathan: What are we gonna tell the sheriff, sweetheart, that a Kryptonian girl vaporized a federal agent?

    • Lionel: You have no idea what it's like to grow up under the thumb of an abusive father... someone who'd stop at nothing to establish absolute control over you.
      Clark: Your son does. Lex is an expert by now.

    • Clark: I didn't come here for you, Lex. I came because it's the right thing to do. This friendship's over.

    • Lex: Orange is a good color for you, Dad, although it might get a little old after 25 to life.

    • Lionel: You're venturing into very dangerous waters, Loder.
      Loder: I'm a pretty decent swimmer. Night night.

  • NOTES (10)

    • Terence Stamp is listed as "Special Guest Star."

    • In the Superman comics, Kara is one version or another of Supergirl. When Lana is talking to Clark at the Kent farm and notices "Kara", Clark identifies her as his cousin who is visiting from California. In pre-Crisis (before 1986) DC comic book continuity, Supergirl is Superman's cousin. Her Krpytonian name is Kara and her father, Zor-El is Jor-El's younger brother.

    • In the repeats the scene where Chloe looks out the door before the building blows up is cut.

    • The piece playing during the final Godfather sequence was from the Mozart Requiem.

    • At the end when Clark is floating away naked he is in a five-sided "S/shield" light similar to the S/shield he will (presumably) wear on his costume in the future. The curled Clark makes the S-shaped design complete.

    • When Clark goes to the Luthor Mansion, to the 3rd floor wing where Lex keeps items about Clark, you can distinctly see the "S" logo that Clark will eventually wear on his chest when he becomes Superman, on a whiteboard behind Lex (from when Clark wrote out his family tree at the Talon). You can also see one of the adrenaline parasites from "Rush" in a glass jar.

    • The Smallville Season 2 DVD was released a day prior to the original airing of this episode.

    • Robert Wisden and Daniel Bacon appear and are credited, but have no dialogue.

    • Music by Mindy Smith (One Moment More).

    • Samuel L. Jones is listed in the credits for contractual reasons, but doesn't appear.


    • Final Scenes:
      Lionel getting his hair shaved while (presumably) his underlings dispose of Chloe and Lex bears a strong resemblance to a similar sequence in The Godfather.