Season 7 Episode 16


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Apr 17, 2008 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
826 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

No one is safe when Lex seeks the secret of Veritas, and Clark tries to stop him.

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  • One of the best episodes Smallville ever had

    Yes, just a few episodes after one of my least favorite episodes of the series comes one of my absolute favorites, Descent. Not only is the episode phenemenal, but it's also really important for furthering the Superman canon, primarily from Lex's point of view. This furthers the Veritas story, but it's about Lex's descent into the point of no return, and the way that is done is just phenomenal. Well worth your time.moreless
  • Lame upon lame upon lame upon LAME. This episode made me want to kill myself. EVERYTHING WAS AWFUL. From the beyond melodramatic acting to the absolutely gruesome Script.

    It's beyond my understanding how people still continue watching these episodes. Everything goes either at the speed of a turtle or at the speed of light. Nothing makes sense to any sensible human.

    I mean come on! It's a simple small key. Lex can get anything he wants, except for that ONE THING which he needs a SMALL KEY for? And Luthor can't HIDE A SMALL KEY? It's a bloody circus with inconstancy's. Such as when Clark scans a whole **** mansion for a SMALL KEY in a matter of seconds, when there's like a trillion other less sequential things he can't do in a whole damn day.

    Bang my head against the WALL please. Along with anyone who ever bothered to watch more than a single episode.moreless
  • The journey is over.Lex Luthor is here.

    Fantastic episode.One of Smallville's finest.It had everything.Drama,action,terrific acting and a plot that kept you at the edge of your seat.One might find strange that the murder scene is the first one of the episode,but let's not forget that the WGA strike forced the show to reshuffle it's material.It was to have aired towards the end of Veritas had it been the season 7 finale.In my opinion the way this scene was eventually used was much better.It set up a whole episode which gave Lex the chance to complete his descent and Clark to finally realise Lionel's interest in him.Now we are into season 8 but i still miss the two best actors this show has had.Michael Rosenbaum and John Glover.The latter cound have stayed for this season but the writers chose to sacrifice him(ironically in the show he sacrificed himself for Clark) in order for Lex to become all evil.Michael Rosenbaum has been missed simply because no one else in the show now can deliver such a performance.I would really love to see his big screen career take off because he is talented enough.Clark was very determined in this episode as is the case when Lana is not around.The final scene was a milestone for both he and Lex.We know Smallville does funerals in it's own unique way and this was no exception.It was a rather simple scene but the nice music and the well played staredown were enough to make it one of the best Smallville final scenes ever.Great episode!moreless
  • Lionel dies.

    No one listened to Lionel afte rall of those warnings. Lionel dies unfortunately. That really sucked what happened to him. No one seemed to care but Chloe. Who gets fired for it, and she doesn't even care about her job. Lois keeps her job and that's how Superman pieces together. Lex killed Lionel, I really hate that guy. Anyways I'm glad that the ho, Gina died. She annoyed me so much. It was obvious she was infatuated with Lex. Jimmy was so sweet to Lois in the freezer. I foreshadow romance. Lois & Jimmy together would be perfect. Anyways a really good episode. Alot of things happened in less than 12 hours!moreless
  • Lex does the unthinkable....he murders his own father, Lionel. Clark and Chloe run into a dead end with their search for Kara and Brainiac, while Lois and Jimmy face a chilly end.moreless

    'Smallville' has always been about how Clark Kent became the moral, decent man that is Superman. The main subplot during the first seven seasons was how Lex Luthor went from being a decent young man to an evil mastermind. In this episode, Lex comes to the end of his journey. The episode starts with his murdering his own father, and, towards the end, purging himself of his conscience, by "killing" the good in him represented by his younger self. The drama is riveting, and makes for an episode that is superior to most, in a series that is generally outstanding to begin with.

    As good as it is, it has flaws. In the previous episode, Clark and Chloe treated Lionel with hatred. Clark's biggest problem in this episode is that he didn't take the key Lionel so desperately tried to give him. One would expect Clark and Chloe both to express guilt over how they treated Lionel--Chloe even goes as far to tell Clark that they now know he (Lionel) thought of Clark as a second son. But neither of them seem to feel bad over what was said.

    Still, a great episode, making you want to put in the fifth disk and see what happens next....moreless
Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Alexander ('Lex') Joseph Luthor

Erica Durance

Erica Durance

Lois Lane

Aaron Ashmore

Aaron Ashmore

Jimmy Olsen

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Connor Stanhope

Connor Stanhope

Young Alexander "Lex" Luthor

Guest Star

Jill Teed

Jill Teed

Captain Maggie Sawyer

Guest Star

Don Broatch

Don Broatch

Mysterious Attacker

Guest Star

Anna Galvin

Anna Galvin


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • When Lex takes the locket from Lionel it is on a chain around Lionel's neck. Later, Lex tells his "assistant" there was no key in the locket. This is not possible. The locket is made up out of two parts, a key and a cover. The hinged cover fits around the blade of the key which leaves the bow of the key free to attach the chain. Without the key, the chain can't be attached to the locket.

    • When Clark aligns the letters on the rod giving him Lionel's final message, the Kryptonian letters (from an English-Kryptonian alphabet DC Comics uses) should spell out "For The Traveler." Someone goofed making the item because instead they light up and, as the music swells dramatically, they spell out "For The Tarveler."

    • Trivia: At the end, Clark sprinkles dirt on Lionel's grave, a scene very reminiscent of the last scene of "Reckoning" in which Clark sprinkles a handful of snow and dirt on Jonathan's grave.

    • Lex was asked to identify his father's body on the stairs near the LuthorCorp building. Family members usually do that privately in the morgue and not on the street in front of everybody.

    • Lex killed Lionel at night time but in the picture Jimmy took, it's clearly daytime as there is sunlight shining through the window onto the desk.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Lionel: In my lifetime, I've known many famous and powerful men: presidents, sultans, kings. And I believed that I was superior to them all. But I've come to know the truth, Kal-El. My greatest accomplishment is that I have dedicated myself to protecting your life and serving you. For that, I am grateful.

    • Lex: My father just died and you're already breaking-and-entering?
      Clark: Lionel would never take his own life.
      Lex: I thought that you would least try to offer a word of comfort. Get out.
      Clark: I'm not going anywhere.

    • Clark: I tried to be your friend, Lex. But all you care about is power and control.
      Lex: This is Smallville! Meteor freaks, alien ships, cryptic symbols! These threats are real. Someone had to take control. Someone has to protect the world.
      Clark: Listen to yourself, Lex. You're so caught up in your own delusions, you've lost track of reality.
      Lex: Have I? Then let's talk about something you can't deny. After years of pleading with my father, showed me some compassion, he turned to you with open arms. Now what would a worldly-billionaire have in common with a simple farmboy?
      Clark: Maybe he just knew he could trust me.
      Lex: Of course. Everyone can trust Clark Kent. You're the perfect son. why did Jonathan Kent always seem so stressed? I mean, was raising the perfect son really that much work? I wonder how much of a strain it put on his heart?
      Clark: Are you blaming me for my father's death? Are you?!? You're the guilty one, Lex, not me. And this time you're going to own up to what you've done. I know you killed Lionel.
      Lex: (scoffs) Who's delusional now?
      Clark: I have proof.

    • Lois: You shot me?
      Gina: You weren't cooperating.
      Jimmy: How about a warning?

    • Jimmy: I got an exclusive for you. When we get out of here, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are going to be world famous.

    • Lionel: What if I told you now...that you are the Traveler? You're right, your life truly changed that day. I told you in the helicopter that you were destined for a great future. That's why I've been so hard on you, trained you so relentlessly. Think, Lex, think. You have survived mortal injuries so many times. How else can you explain it?
      Lex: Because I was trained never to accept defeat.

    • Lionel: (to Lex) You think I can control the fate of individuals? Oh God... you give me too much credit.

    • Lex: You're fired. Please escort Miss Sullivan from the building.
      Chloe: You're not even going to give me a sec to clear out my things?

    • Lex: (to Lionel) I'm sure there were moments when King Arthur regretted pulling the sword from the stone. But he never gave up his quest. So why did you?

    • Lionel: Lex, I know how strong it is, the attraction of the dark power. But it will destroy you. I can't let you go down that terrible path. You must not open that box.

    • Clark: Jor-El died getting me on that ship. My dad died of a heart attack from the powers he took on protecting me. And now Lionel's been murdered protecting my secret.
      Chloe: They did die for you, Clark. But ultimately, they died for all of us. There was a reason those men were in your life--each of them added something to the man that you are today.
      Clark: How could Lex have done it? How does a son murder his own father?
      Chloe: Total absence of love. Some say that's the definition of evil.

    • Lionel: Lex. Lex, if you open that box--if you get hold of that secret--there will be no redemption for you, no redemption. Ever.
      Lex: I was raised in your shadow. Now, you're gonna die in mine. No one will even remember your name.

  • NOTES (4)

    • This is John Glover's final appearance as a series regular.

    • Jonathan Kent (played by John Schneider) is seen briefly in this episode, but only in a photograph.

    • International Airdates:
      Norway: Monday, April 28, 2008 10.50 pm on TVNorge
      Denmark: Monday, June 9, 2008 on TV3
      Australia: Thursday, July 10, 2008 8:30 on TEN HD
      United Kingdom: Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 10.00pm on E4
      Sweden: Friday, September 12, 2008 on TV6
      Greece: Sunday, November 1, 2008 on Star
      New Zealand: Friday, May 15, 2009 on TV2
      Czech Republic: March 8, 2010 on TV Nova
      Slovakia: August 24, 2010 on Markiza

    • Kristin Kreuk and Laura Vandervoort are credited but do not appear in this episode.


    • Lional Luthor as Christ-figure.
      Many elements of Lionel Luthor in this episode allude to Jesus Christ in the Bible:
      - He offers redemption to the evildoer (Lex)
      - He dies to save another (Clark)
      - He dies in the same position as a crucified man (body straight, arms outstretched)

    • Lois: I guess trying to take on one of Lex Luthor's fembots doesn't make me the smartest icicle in the freezer.
      The fembots were originally created for an episode of The Bionic Woman. They were later parodied in the Austin Powers movies, and the term generally applies to any female robot.