Season 3 Episode 16


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Mar 03, 2004 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
624 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Clark receives a panicked call from Lana and hears a gunshot before the line goes dead, but when he arrives at the Talon he is stunned to discover she is alive and well. Clark realizes the phone call came from the next day and that Adam is the one who will shoot Lana.moreless

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  • The "You're About To Die" Hotline

    Crisis-Clark receives a panicked call from Lana and hears a gunshot before the line goes dead, but when he arrives at the Talon he is stunned to discover she is alive and well. Clark realizes the phone call came from the next day and that Adam is the one who will shoot Lana.

    A fast-paced episode that sees the conclusion of Adam's storyline and sees the writers changing the way Smallville usually structures it episode. The concept of phone call from the future is not that original, but the writers manage to creat a solid episode out of it. While Lana is the damsel in distress again, the episode actually does well by creating actually suspense, which Smallville rarely does half the time. I love how the darkness of the episode and the reason behind Lana's call from the future is never explained until the last minutes as it builds actually builds tension for the episode. The opening teaser Ian Somerhalder convinces throughout as Adam grows more pyschotic and restless. But the same time you feel bad for him as his second life was forced on him. The episode develops well as the pieces of the phone call come trut like the storm, the baseball game, the cell phone, etc. Everything builds to a very intense climax as Clark gets to Lana literally at the last second to save her once again. The special effects as Clark jumps behind Lana to stop the bullet was beyond stunning. The only problem is that Lana never wonders how Clark got all the way across town to save her...during a just 2 seconds! But it's a satisfying conclusion, especially Adam's death which is slightly sad, but fitting end to the character. It's also a great development how Lionel uses the massacre at the lab to get Lex arrested, but the FBI saves him at the end. The team-up between Lex and the FBI makes for another interesting little storyline as we are getting back to finding out the truth about Lionel's past with his parents. All and All, a great episode with some good thrills, suspense, and developmets.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the show smallville clark gets a frantic phone call from lana but before he anwsers it goes dead after hearing a gun shot thing is he does not know how he got the call so he investgates and he got it from the future and its adam who is going to shoot her . and he must figure out were and when its going to happen today. and linel and lex are battling over the fate of the lab that has alot of info in . this was a goood ep i thougt and it was really good .moreless
  • Good but stupid episode

    To be honest i liked this episode but the fact that Clark went around looking for Adam and everyone else seemed to leave Lana was stupid, If Clark would have just stayed with Lana everything would of been fine he could have sorted out Adam without any of the worrying.

    All that was left at the kent farm to protect Lana was Mr Kent with his gun and to be honest it isnt a hard obsticle to bypass considering his condition and the fact that Clark got to Lana in a split second kinda annoyed me because in different episodes his superspeed seems to differ in how fast he is actually goingmoreless
  • A frantic time-shifted call from Lana to Clark warns she is to be pursued by Adam, then a shot rings out. Clark, Chloe, and Lana put all they have into solving this mystery, while Lionel and Lex battle over the fate of the lab and its staff.moreless

    When Clark picks up a crisis hot line at the Youth Center, he hears Lana, whom we then see frantically running from a man armed with a rifle - Lana is shot in the back. Is this the end? Clark speeds to the Talon, but Lana and Chloe are there together...what did he hear? A hoax? Later they listen to a recording of the call in the presence of Sheriff Nancy, but there are no answers. This story setup comes fast, but that's ok, the story keeps up that pace.

    Chloe tries modifying the recording, but Clark's super hearing is even better at analyzing the waveform, and they hear a man's voice. And another sound - a basketball game, which has not even been played. In an all-to-easy conclusion, they decide the call was from the future. Well, of course, after all, it's Smallville.

    Lex shows Lionel a vial of an experimental medication, which he discovered last week in "Resurrection," saying he knows about the lab at Metron, but of course, Lionel denies knowing the details. Lex pursues the question - he wants to be a partner in the scheme, he wants to be in charge. Lionel is skeptical.

    Back in the shadowy lab, Dr. Teng is met by Lionel, who's canceling the project. He wants the lab moved elsewhere, threatening her with deportation. Dr. Teng gives Adam one more chance at survival, injecting him with the serum. His deterioration instantly is relieved, but with the lab shutting down, Adam is doomed. Twelve hours to live. This story line bears some resemblance to "Blade Runner," with Adam playing the latter-day replicant.

    Clark discusses the time shift theory with Lex, asking his help to find Adam - and Clark knows he was at the lab and met Dr. Teng. Lex has to yield on this one, due to the threat to Lana. He says Adam cannot survive or leave the lab, but Clark insists, and Lex takes Clark to the lab. The entire staff has been murdered, including Dr. Teng, and Experiment #1, Adam, is gone. Things have gotten out of hand for the Luthors again.

    Lex later accuses Lionel of the debacle, but Lionel denies knowledge of the murders. Lex has covered it up (no, he hasn't) and now Lionel offers Lex the project. Nice time to come on board, but Lex declines the promotion. Back to you, Dad.

    Clark tells Lana about Adams's escape, and Chloe has traced the futurecall that Lana will make...tomorrow. Lana is justifiably worried. At the hospital, Clark meets the woman who owned the cell phone Chloe traced...he says her phone is going to be used in a crime - so she admits she loaned her phone to her husband, whom we next see on the side of the road, when he is suddenly mugged by a creepy-looking Adam. Clark speeds to the scene, but Adam escapes.

    Now a storm brews, and Lana has taken refuge at the Kent farm, but things area happening anyway. The storm, the phone. Jonathan breaks out the family rifle. Lex and Clark are trying to track Adam too, and they discern he is searching for the rest of the serum. An unnecessarily arrogant police officer enters the mansion with a warrant, and with questions for Clark about the lab murders.

    At the Torch office, Adam surprises Chloe, she remains pretty calm, until Adam sees the Kent's truck that Chloe is using. The terror grows as he forces her to the Kent farm. Jonathan goes out to Chloe, who yells a warning, but Adam clubs Jonathan and roughs up Choe. Tough stunts in the rain for our regular cast, but we have to admire the Smallville crew for going to this much effort for a good scene. Adam threatens to kill Jonathan, and Lana has to come out, and become his prisoner.

    Lex realizes he's being set up to take the fall for the murders. Of course Clark is released in time to speed to the Youth Center to take the futurecall. Adam has taken Lana to the storage unit where she stashed his stuff. He frantically looks for the serum; finding none, he's in a rage. Now the forseen events play out as he pursues her through the building, and Ms. Kreuk does a pretty fine job of fighting back, even as she exhibits terror.

    Clark arrives home to find things have gone bad to worse, and he knows they're looking for the serum. Clark takes Lana's call again, as Adam shoots. In some pretty cool super slo-mo of the bullet speeding through stationary raindrops, Clark speeds to the storage area and stops the bullet with his own body. Adam saw this save, but he's dying. and warns Clark about Lionel with his last breath. The cast has been shown many times out in the rain without adequate protective clothing, but in this case it works well - adding to the desperate situation resolved by Clark's ingenuity and determination.

    As the police arrest Lex, the FBI appears, and takes over the case. Lex wants to make a deal - immunity in exchange for the goods on his own father. Deal? Meanwhile, Lionel has a new lab director on board, and wants the "Resurrection" lab back up and running in a week. He claims to have been diagnosed with a liver disease.

    Lana looks quite like wow really sharp in green, with matching eye shadow and earrings. She probes Clark again - how did he get from the Youth Center to the storage unit in a few seconds? He lamely suggests it was maybe the time anomaly. In turn, he asks why she called the hot line rather than the police. She answers - because she knew he'd be there, so not too many questions from the police. She was terrified, he was too, so is it time to stop being so afraid?

    Now back to Lionel, looking very disheveled in his office, listening to opera. What now? Is that his terminal diagnosis for hepatic disease? A gun. Will he take his own life? Nice cliffhanger, good for at least a week to see how this turns out.

    "Crisis" is a pretty darn good episode, fast-paced, offering some fun strife between Lex and Lionel, and finally resolving the Adam-Lana romance - it's over. Nice job by everyone, lighting, special effects, action sequences, and general scariness. Re-run rating B.moreless
  • Lana's phone has great coverage!

    Once again, season three delivers with an episode that's on the one hand self-contained, waving adieu to a mini-arc, and yet teasingly hints at the ongoing struggles of the Luthors, a fascinating conceit that's one of the main strongpoint's to the hour. And there are many – take the pre-title teaser for instance, it's ambitious and shocking, a knock-out combo that really leaves you in a state of awe during the credit sequence, even if you knew that Lana was alright (as shown). There are also a few unusually violent scenes for this show with Adam's escape. I was glad to see his return, as his previous farewell proved to be rather disappointing, so it was good to see him get a crazed send-off like every good 'ol fashion bad guy should. While the ending was fairly obvious, how the episode got to it proved to be interesting. More like this, please.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

Sam Jones III

Sam Jones III

'Pete' Ross

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Gary Hudson

Gary Hudson

FBI Agent Frank Loder

Guest Star

Terry Chen

Terry Chen

Detective Paul Cage

Guest Star

Aaron Pearl

Aaron Pearl

Glenn Burton

Guest Star

Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder

Adam Knight

Recurring Role

Camille Mitchell

Camille Mitchell

Sheriff Nancy Adams

Recurring Role

Françoise Yip

Françoise Yip

Dr. Lia Teng

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (26)

    • According to the closed captioning, during the first phone call the score of the game was 61-60. Yet when that part of the second phone call happened ,the score was 64-60.

    • On Lionel's medical report at the end, it says "Unspecified Hepatic Disease Affecting the Liver. Prognosis: Terminal." "Affecting the Liver" is redundant here, as "Hepatic Disease" means liver disease. It seems unlikely that a medical report would phrase the diagnosis like this. It should either be Unspecified Hepatic Disease or Unspecified Disease Affecting the Liver, not both.

    • Apparently after Principal Kwan was killed his license plates were taken over by the Speedy Heat & Air company.

    • When fighting with Lana in "Delete," Chloe took roundhouse kicks to the head and fell down two flights of stairs, but she could still fight back. Here, simply being pulled from the truck's cab is enough to knock her unconscious for several minutes.

    • When Clark, Chloe, and Lana are breaking down the call, one of the key moments has them hearing Adam yell, "You lied to me!" But, when Clark is lifting the telephone pole in and out of the puddle, the moment it's out of the puddle and in the present, Clark hears Adam yell. So, how did that part of the call get back to the past?

    • When Lana dials the Youth Center, she dials one, maybe two, digits. What is the likelihood that the Accounts Payable person at the hospital has the Youth Centre on speed-dial? Even if so, how did Lana find it in under a second on a strange phone?

    • When Chloe arrives back at the Kent farm with Adam, it is storming rather hard. However, as patriotic as the Kent family is, their US flag is just hanging out in the rain. Flag care laws determine that you are supposed to take down and properly fold a flag as opposed to just leaving it out in adverse weather such as this.

    • Judging from what Lana said, she must know that Clark took the bullet that Adam fired. Why else would she say Clark saved her? If you ignore the bullet thing, all he did was run over, stare at Adam, and ask Lana if she was okay. So...exactly how does she think he saved her?

    • Jonathan was hit with a tire iron and was fine the next scene but Chloe had a bruise on her head and an icepack after her altercation with Adam. Don't you think Jonathan would show some signs of being hit with a tire iron?

    • The first time Clark gets the phone call from Lana at the crisis center, how come no one wonders how he got to Lana at the Talon so fast? Especially that curious and annoying as hell sheriff? Or the room full of people working at the Center who suddenly had a large man in primary colors yelling into a phone and then suddenly disappearing?

    • As of the end of the Adam story arc, it still isn't very clear why Lionel sent Adam to check up on Clark and Lana. Lionel has hundreds of loyal lackeys and could pay to get more - couldn't he find one of the right approximate age with injuries that needed physical therapy (or could fake it)? Instead Lionel selects someone who is receiving an experimental liver treatment upon whom in part Lionel's resting his own hopes of a cure, is dependent on 12-hour injections, has a dubious background and is publicly reported to have died, and who doesn't appear to be very mentally stable anyway (either originally or due to the treatments), and sends Adam to Smallville. None of these seem to add up to make Adam a very qualified person for infiltrating Smallville and getting close to Lana. Heck, Adam kept leaving drug syringes around. As Lionel said, he usually isn't that sloppy.

    • How is it that Clark couldn't tell which direction Adam headed in the van. It seems his super hearing and x-ray vision (and implied telescopic vision) should easily picked up the van. Also, he knows what the van looks like, since he can tell what the insignia is from the repairman's clothing. Once he got out of sight of the repairman, why couldn't he super-speed around Smallville and find it?

    • When Lana saw Adam knock out Clark's father, why didn't she call 911 from the house?

    • Given the temporal paradoxes involved, how the heck does Lana even know that Clark was at the crisis hotline center the second time around and then conclude he got to her so quickly? He'd already established with her that he was acting on the original telephone call. The only way she'd know is if Clark told her he'd be some distance away, which is pretty dumb.

    • Clark doesn't seem too smart in telling Lex he knows about the meeting with Teng. Lex was there. Teng was there. Now Lex knows Clark was nearby and that someone mysteriously/magically stole the serum. Would Clark, knowing that Lex has been suspicious of him in the past and even having nightmares of Lex finding out he's super-powered, really give Lex that much of a clue?

    • When a telephone pole falls over, either the wires break or...there isn't enough slack and the pole doesn't fall over. It's not like telephone lines have a lot of slack or anything.

    • When Clark, Chloe, and Lana were listening to the playback of the tape, you hear Lana say "Clark, it's happening" with the rain in the background. But when Lana said that, she was still inside the building.

    • Several people have noted that it would make much more sense for Clark to just stay with Lana for the entire day of the murder. There's some indication that Clark was trying to stop Adam well before he got to Lana, and possibly save anyone else Adam might have killed. Still, you'd think that, say, an hour or two before sunset or when the weather report shows rain, Clark would just go to Lana and stay with her.

    • Every time the serum is wearing off with Adam, blood is seen coming from his eyes. When he is dying, the serum is definitely wearing off, but we do not see any blood coming from his eyes this time.

    • When Clark comes up on the injured repairman, he looks all around and asks which direction the van went. Can he not see the tire burnout from the gravel shoulder, and the tire tracks since the side of the road was damp?

    • Shouldn't Clark and (presumably) Pete have some training when dealing with a crisis hotline? Do they just let people wander in off the street and deal with people considering suicide, broken households, etc.?

    • Chloe changes the sound settings on the computer and gets nothing on Adam's voice. Then the camera cuts away, then cuts eventually to Clark supposedly changing the settings. According to the screen display, however, he ends up with the exact same settings Chloe had, but his adjustments lets them hear Adam.

    • For some reason, Cage's partner interrupts his interrogation of Clark (using the classic "Your partner told us everything" routine) just to tell him what the basketball scores are. Not the most professional of techniques.

    • Where's the army of lawyers that Lex has referred to many times in the past? When Cage interrogates him and Clark, they're nowhere to be seen and Clark is the one who has to pull the legal card to get out.

    • When Lana tries to go up a flight of stairs to get away from Adam and realizes that it's a dead end, she sobs, "Damn it." The captions read, "It's locked."

    • It's unlikely Lionel would leave documents like his medical report lying on his desk even when he's in his office since people like Lex keep barging in without notice

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Sheriff Adams: If I had the answer to half the "whys" in this town, I'd have a best seller on my hands.

    • Lana: Clark, there's still something I don't understand. How did you get from the hotline to the storage unit in a split second?
      Clark: It took me more than a few seconds . . . (Lana looks skeptical) Maybe it had something to do with the weird time anomaly.

    • Clark: You know, there's something that I don't understand, either. Why did you call the hotline instead of the police?
      Lana: Because I knew you'd be there.

    • Clark: Lana didn't have anything to do with this.
      Sheriff Adams: Yeah, unless Miss Lang has grown several inches and developed an affinity for plaid, this would be a good time for you to pipe down.

    • Lionel: Lex, even if I were the demonic father you make me out to be, you know I would never do anything so sloppy.

  • NOTES (7)

    • Deleted Scene: Lionel is looking at his medical reports in his briefcase and on his computer just before his suicide attempt.

    • This episode was nominated for a 2005 VES Award for Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program.

    • The piece of music playing during the final scene with Lionel is Je Crois Entendre Encore ("I Believe I Hear Still") from the "Pearl Fishers Overture" by Bizet/Caillet.

    • Presumably the last appearances of Françoise Yip as Dr. Lia Teng and Ian Somerhalder as Adam Knight.

    • This episode was aired with a 'parental discretion advised' warning at the beginning, the first episode to do so.

    • This is the fourth time the producers have killed off a "future character" - i.e., a character who in the comic books appears in adult Superman's life. The others are Morgan Edge, Claire Foster, and Dr. Hamilton. In at least a couple of instances the "deaths" were left a little vague.

    • Maybe a coincidence, but the van says "Speedy's Heat & Air." In the comics, the superhero Speedy is Roy Harper, ward of Oliver Queen (Green Arrow). Could be an in-joke, as Oliver Queen appears in a headline in the very first episode of Smallville.


    • Clark: I guess I missed too many Linkin Park concerts.
      Linkin Park is a nu metal/rapcore band whose hits include "Crawling" and "In the End".

    • Lex: You're secretly developing a serum that has a certain Lazarus effect on the dearly departed.
      The quote alludes to a scripture in the Bible at John 11:1-45, where Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, died and was raised by Jesus. It may also be referencing Ras Al G'hul, a Batman villain that used the Lazarus Pit to maintain his immortality.