Season 5 Episode 3


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 13, 2005 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
1,255 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Gabriel, a former Smallville High student, hacks into missile codes and prepares to eliminate krypto-mutants in Smallville once and for all. A powerless Clark confronts him and is shot, and only Jor-El can save him.

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  • Alright I know this episode tried to put too much plot into 42 minutes, but I can't help it, I loved the episode. It was pretty intense - Clark died, the city almost was blown up, and now someone close to Clark is going to die!moreless

    Wow I am usually not this lame when writing a review. I am such a sucker for drama sometimes. I was at the edge of my seat for over half the episode. It was so intense. I think I liked this episode so much that I didn't even pay attention to anything that was wrong with it. I still will never get over how emotional it is when Lana is with Clark. It was so sad to see her watch him die. And I loved when she got to see him alive again. When she went to see Lex though, I was so sad because she so strongly believes that Clark is normal. I will be devastated when she finds out about his powers - she'll be so upset that he couldn't just tell her. The Chloe and Gabriel plot was also very captivating. She ended up shooting him, losing his trust and unable to convince him to stop his plan of destruction. I know there were weak points to the episode, but just for once I want to look past those and ignore them, because I thoroughly enjoyed the episode and just once I want to give something a 10. I really think this episode deserves it.moreless
  • Smallville is threatened with destruction by a student who has control of a nuclear missile, and Clark and Chloe must save the city, but Clark is shot and killed by the student.moreless

    A Smallville High ex has somehow penetrated a ballistic missile silo, got the drop on the two-man SAC crew and forced them to activate the ICBM sequencer, then shot them. Excuse us, but any USAF crew in such a position would surely sacrifice their lives to prevent anyone from gaining such control. On we go to further implausibility - like "Access Approved" to the missile system via a simple laptop - it's not that easy, people. The intruder, Gabriel, makes a call to Chloe, still clearing out that Torch office post-graduation, resulting in his starting the one-hour countdown to launch under Defcon 1.

    Clark is sleeping away his day, still without any powers, but Lana is there to keep him company. Oops, they still don't want their intimacy discovered, but Mom and Pop are up already. Martha is more understanding than Jonathan, when Chloe interrupts the judicial proceedings to report the call from alienated and angry Gabriel. The time left for Smallville is 53 minutes, meaning her drive from Smallville High to the Kent farm took 5 minutes - that was flying low. Jonathan is to call the Sheriff about Gabriel's threat.

    Lana is back at the Talon, and there's Lex, impolitely waiting in her apartment. He presses her for more information about her spaceship sighting; now he's willing to believe her. Out on the highway, troops are moving in their Humvees and Sheriff Adams reassures Jonathan that it's just a routine drill. He knows the missile silos are in the area, and no, they weren't "decommissioned after the Cold War." The unidentifiable troops move into the silo - so some type of alarm has been sounded. Gabriel is re-targeting the missile to our favorite small town, but the troops and Sheriff Nancy have entered the wrong silo. Gabriel could be at any one of the 15 active silos - really? A quick security check should turn up no response from the armed guards at the silo in question. Oh, well, the military advisor for this episode was on break.

    Clark and Chloe go to Gabriel's house first, but Gabriel's father, Air Force Colonel Duncan, is dead on the floor. Easily-found classified documents are laying around, offering little challenge to Clark and Chloe's sleuthing abilities, and Gabriel's mental-illness room shows he is obsessed with meteor freaks. Did Chloe and Clark call 911 about the murder? Guess not. They're going to search the silos themselves. We're down to 33 minutes to launch, so Chloe calls Gabriel and lures him out onto the highway with a car-in-the-ditch ruse. Back at the Luthorcorp lab, Lex has sole possession of the alien spacecraft, and as usual, he's demanding results from the lab staff on opening the thing. Suddenly Lex is in Belle Reve with the foggy-eyed Lionel in a daze, surrounded by kryptonian symbols scrawled all over his cell. Lex wants answers, but Lionel can only mumble, "You'll never open it...only he can open it." Bet that means Clark and the spacecraft.

    When Gabriel reaches Chloe on the highway, Clark oddly tries to talk sense to Gabriel from a distance, but it's not far enough to get Gabriel to miss his shot at Clark, and grabbing Chloe. Gee, they knew he hijacked a nuclear weapon and naively thought words would save the world? Someone found Clark bleeding on Route 87, since he's suddenly in the ER with only a couple minutes left in the countdown, right? Nope, still 20 minutes left, even after Gabriel gets Chloe back to the silo - he intends to be a hero by killing all the meteor freaks in Smallville.

    Clark is already out of surgery (super-speed surgery crew?) when Lana arrives, but he flat-lines. The crash crew tries the usual resuscitation methods, but as they hit Clark with the paddles, Lionel is instantly revived to normal consciousness - he breaks out of his glass cage and super-speeds away! Clark is pronounced at 7:18 am (early morning? All the silo scenes were in mid-day.) Lana is devastated, the Kents are stunned, but when they check on the body, it's gone. Two minutes to launch. At the silo, Chloe frees herself, nails Gabriel, and in a struggle, he takes a bullet as the ICBM launches on it's doomsday mission.

    But wait! Clark is back! Awakening at the Fortress, he see Lionel with the voice of Jor-El - he has chosen "this vessel for me to inhabit." Clark's mortal journey is over; he'll return with all his powers, but at a price. "The life of someone close to you will be exchanged for yours," intones Jor-El. Suddenly Clark is back in Smallville as the missile launches, and with his powers restored, Clark ascends after it, tearing the warhead from the nose cone and hurling it into space where it detonates. This scene has excellent special effects, well dones for the FX green-screen crew.

    As the Kents mourn, and puzzle over Clark's bodily disappearance, he's suddenly home, burned and disheveled at the door. And Clark and Lana are reunited. One more scene with Lex - Lana confronts him about Clark's medical records - they're all "normal" but Lex still does not accept the evidence. "A normal person doesn't rise from the dead." Lana stalks out, Lionel stalks in, another miracle of the day. Lionel's last memory was arguing with Lex weeks earlier, but he can't or won't explain the cave symbols he drew at Belle Reve.

    Chloe comforts Clark, in the dumps over the looming loss of a loved one. Chloe, always a good counsel, favors Clark telling Lana about his origins, but he can't take that risk of her understanding. He realizes the terrible mistake he made giving up his powers. This episode has such a ridiculous one-hour time-line and a comic-book viewpoint of military procedures that it's hard to swallow, but the restoration of Clark's powers and the consequences of the loss of another pulls it back out of the "forgettable episode" category. Re-run rating C, but it shoulda been a lot better.moreless
  • Missile Impossible

    Hidden-Gabriel, a former Smallville High student, hacks into missile codes and prepares to eliminate krypto-mutants in Smallville once and for all. A powerless Clark confronts him and is shot, and only Jor-El can save him.

    An episode filled with everything you could want from Smallville, "Hidden" is a thrill ride from start to finish. Usually when Smallville "attempts" at creating dangerous situations, they come off flat. But when a former high school student goes psycho and plans to destroy Smallville with a missile, it really works here! Gabriel Duncan, well played by Johnny Lewis, a good villain with a convincing motive with wanting to destroy Smallville because of the meteor freaks, especially since the latest one turned his father into one. One of the episodes' tragic moments is when Clark is shot by Gabriel. It's a brutal scene as Clark falls to the ground and Chloe is powerless to save him. Clark's death brings some great acting from the regulars, with Kristin Kreuk being a stand out. As much as I would rather stick a fork in me than see Lana on screan, Lana's hospital scene with Clark was well acted and Lana's reaction was quite heartbreaking as well as seeing his parents begin to tear up.

    But my scenes that truly made this episode was the scene of Clark's resurrection at the Fortress with Lionel as Jor-El's vessel. It was a genuis move by the writers use Lionel as such a character and John Glover was nothing short of brilliant in that scene. You can tell Jor-El for the first time cares for Clark more than he realizes and deep down Jor-El only wants the best for his son. Jor-El warning of "a loved one's life with be exchanged for your's" is shocking development that keeps you wondering who that loved one might be. Then, you have re-Super powered Clark rushing off to stop the missile which is one of the most memorable sequences of Smallville. It's a classic Superman moment with stunning effects and Clark as a character has never been more brave here. Another great development is Lex's selfishness through the whole thing, even as Clark is about to die, Lex is more concerned about proving Clark isn't normal by getting his medical files. It's dark development for Lex that shows his odssession with Clark is getting more threatening by the day. Again, my only problem is Clana, ehw! I'm just glad their "we're having sex" confession with Ma and Pa Kent was just a minor scene that can be forgotten. But I did love the final conversation between Chloe and Clark, as Chloe's support is great opposite to Clark's brooding nature. Anyway, "Hidden" is an episode full of suspense, emotion, action and great developments that we don't usual get in Smallville that much anymore. A real gem!moreless
  • Not sure what writer was holding the story editor's family hostage to get them to make this one, but it's quite possibly the worst ep of Smallville ever.

    Gawd what a horrendous episode. There really isn't much "good" to be said about it -- from the preposterous maguffin to the ridiculously unlikely timing, someone should be fired for this one. I'm sure they needed a good "hook" to get Clark back his powers, but I've seen better ideas on the bottom of a birdcage. No, not in the ink of the newspaper liner, in the Rorshach-ish blasts left by the bird.

    They start with a ridiculous improbability, which is a kid -- no matter how connected -- getting control of a nuclear silo.

    The course of all the events, thereafter, have to take place in a single hour, which is simply unbelievable even for a comic book.

    Clark dies, then is resurrected once more as a superbeing.... I'm sure someone had this scene in mind, thinking it somehow dramatically artistic (it's a bit trite to the point of cliche, in truth). It takes the show from its usual form of mild melodrama to some sort of übermelodrama... and I don't think they meant that as some sort of self-allusion: It's a bird, it's a plane, its... super-schlock?

    I suppose you gotta watch this one, as it does sort of have some relevant plot points, but... really... don't expect it to be less than tedious.moreless
  • When a powerless Clark tries to stop Gabriel Duncan from obliterating Smallville once and for all, he's shot and later dies in the hospital. Though Jor-El resurrects Clark in time, he warns that someone else will have to die in Clark's place.moreless

    After breaking into a missile silo and activating the missile, Gabriel Duncan, one of Clark's former classmates, contacts Chloe and warns her that he's going to obliterate Smallville and all the meteor freaks once and for all. When Clark and Chloe try to confront him, Gabriel kidnaps Chloe and shoots Clark, who later dies in the hospital. Jor-El, now in Lionel's body, resurrects Clark in time to save Smallville, but warns that someone else will have to die in Clark's place. Meanwhile, Lex investigates the spaceship that arrived with the second meteor shower, and Clark's parents catch him trying to sneak Lana out of the house after the two inadvertantly fell asleep together in his room.

    My Review: I didn't care much for Gabriel or his scenes, but I loved how Clark was scrambling to save the day without his powers. I know, they already tried that the week before, but this episode did it better, IMO. I mean, he was trying to save the entire town, not just his parents and Lana; Gabriel activating the missile wasn't part of some elaborate plan orchestrated by Lex to test Clark; and he didn't have that much help from techno-savvy Chloe. Plus, he finally got his powers back, and in a plausible, convincing way. Now, some have compared Superman to Jesus Christ, and whether you buy into it or not, you have to admit, the similiarities become especially apparent in HIDDEN. Case in point, Clark was resurrected by his father after his body miraculously disappeared from the hospital. Not to mention, his body formed the shape of a cross after he was shot, something kinda hard to miss if you actually watched the episode. And, as a side note, if you'll remember, Jor-El sent his only son to Earth to "be a god among men". Eight and a half stars for this unique episode that gives us the return of Clark's powers *and* a reunion with Jor-El.

    Highlights: Clark and Lana rushing to get dressed and sneak Lana out of the house; the look on Chloe's face when she realized why Lana would be at the Kents so early in the morning; Chloe and Clark trying to trick Gabriel; Gabriel explaining his reasoning to Chloe; Clark waking up in the Fortress, and his conversation with "Jor-El"; Clark superspeeding back to Smallville, leaping onto the missile, and hurling part of the missile's innards into space; Clark and Lana's reunion; Lionel returning to the mansion, acting as if nothing happened; and Chloe and Clark discussing the implications of getting his powers back.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

Steve Lawlor

Steve Lawlor

Lieutenant Taylor

Guest Star

Nathaniel Deveaux

Nathaniel Deveaux


Guest Star

Stacee Copeland

Stacee Copeland


Guest Star

Camille Mitchell

Camille Mitchell

Sheriff Nancy Adams

Recurring Role

Rekha Sharma

Rekha Sharma

Dr. Harden

Recurring Role

Bud the Dog

Bud the Dog


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • In the close up of Lionel as he wakes up, there are certain Kryptonian symbols in the background. When he gets up a few shots later, the symbols behind him are not the same.

    • Most of the episode happens in the early morning. However, when Clark returns home after having stopped the nuclear missile and he hugs Jonathan, Jonathan's wristwatch shows that the time is approximately 3:30.

    • When Gabriel mentions that "when watching your father do the same drill for 10 years, you learn a thing or two", he couldn't possibly have watched. Because of the top secret files and activities ran by the US military, there is no possible way for family members, especially children, to watch a drill, let alone know about them.

    • When Chloe and Gabriel are struggling with the gun in front of the window, one can clearly see the slide is extended, indicating that the clip and chamber are both empty, yet somehow during the struggle Chloe shoots Gabriel with a non-existent bullet.

    • When Clark gets shot, the thin t-shirt doesn't hide the squib very well. You can easily see a square "something" under the shirt which has no reason to be there.

    • When Clark is bringing Lana out the door without being caught, they use the stairs by the kitchen. But if they didn't want to get caught, why not use the stairs that go to the front hallway?

    • How does Clark know how to disarm the missile? He doesn't pause to use his x-ray vision or poke holes in it to find what he's looking for. He heads right for the payload, a relatively small percentage of the entire top of the missile, and rips it out.

    • How did Lana get to the hospital so quick given the condensed timeframe? How did she even hear about Clark getting shot? Given how she left the Kents the last time she saw them, why would they even have called her?

    • Why can't the military locate Gabriel? Washington (through the President's "football") and the military all monitor nuclear weapons very carefully. If a silo is decommissioned, they'd know it, so they wouldn't go to the empty silo. Are we really supposed to believe they were unaware it was empty?? And they'd just call around to the staff at the other 15 active silos and see which ones don't report back.

    • Especially in the post-9/11 world, it's hard to believe that Gabriel can just gain access to a nuclear missile site and force them to launch a missile. The well-trained professional terrorists on 24 have a harder time then Gabriel does here!

    • Why is Sheriff Adams commanding a miltiary strike force? Or why are they even letting her come along with them?

    • Jor-El/Lionel is wearing a suit and long jacket but we know that he escaped from Belle Reve and transported Clark to the Fortress of where did he get the suit?

    • Most of this episode takes place within one hour, but somehow Lex manages to get from Lana's to his private labs to Belle Reve and back in minutes.

    • When Chloe calls Gabriel, there's 33 minutes left until the missile launches, which would be 6:57 a.m. since the missile launched at 6:30 and was on an hour timer. Clark is pronounced dead at 7:18 a.m. That's 21 minutes. Here's a breakdown of what happens in 21 minutes. 1) Gabriel drives from his hidden silo to meet Chloe. 2) Gabriel shoots Clark. 3) Clark is found shot on the side of the road and driven to the hospital. 4) Clark has complex surgery where he's operated on. 5) Surgery is over, Clark is cleaned up, transported to his own room and then concidered "stable enough" to be left alone. 6) Lana visits Clark for a solid two minutes. 7) Clark wakes up and dies. That's an awful lot of stuff to happen in 21 minutes. Surgery alone would've taken at least 45 minutes to an hour to stablize.

    • When Clark ends up in the Fortress of Solitude, he's wearing a red jacket, dark blue t-shirt, and jeans. How? Jor-El/Lionel took him straight from the hospital (where all he was wearing was hospital jammies) and brought him to the Fortress.

  • QUOTES (24)

    • (after Clark gets his powers back and his gunshot wound heals)
      Clark: I guess I never will be able to escape who I really am. Back to the lies and hoping no one will ever ask to see the scar.
      Chloe: Namely Lana.

    • Chloe: I really liked being the only one who knew about, you know, you. For lack of a cheesier word, it just made it special, but if you honestly believe you can stay with Lana and not tell her, I think you're seriously kidding yourself.
      Clark: I don't have a choice. I can't expect her to react like you did.
      Chloe: But, don't you think you owe her the choice?
      Clark: I can't take that risk. I've risked too much already and now someone else is going to have to pay for it.

    • Lex: I was told you were missing from Belle Reve. Man, I don't understand. You've been nearly catatonic for weeks.
      Lionel: Didn't I just overhear you say you've been looking for miracles all day? Looks like I'm it.

    • Lex: Lana, I heard about Clark's resurrection. You know, I've never really believed in miracles, but I've certainly done my share of asking for them today.

    • (after Clark returns from the dead)
      Jonathan: We heard about a missile malfunction. You stopped it, didn't you? It's not easy to sacrifice the things you want the most to save other people. We're so proud of you, Clark.
      Clark: The sacrifice would've been not coming back at all.

    • Jonathan: (on the phone) The hospital lost our son! Look, if I had any idea what happened, I wouldn't have had to call the police, now would I?

    • Lana: You know, when you start rambling about spaceships and aliens, people kind of look at you funny.

    • Jonathan: Clark! There were a lot of conversations I didn't have with you because I didn't think I needed to have them.
      Clark: Because you guys always think I'm not normal.
      Martha: No, no, no. It's just're so much more vulnerable without your powers.

    • (while rushing to get dressed)
      Lana: Pass me my shoe. "I won't fall asleep. I promise." What else are we going to do at three o'clock in the morning?
      Clark: Look, you aren't mad, are you?
      Lana: (sarcastically) I'm furious. (they kiss)

    • (Clark and Lana wake up in Clark's room)
      Lana: Hi.
      Clark: Hi.
      Lana: That was the best night's sleep I have had in weeks.
      Radio Announcer: Thanks for listening this morning. It's six-thirty on a--
      Clark: Oh, God!
      Lana: Oh my God!
      Clark: How did we fall asleep?
      Lana: I told you we shoulda gone to the Talon!

    • (to Lex)
      Lionel: Aren't you going to give your old dad a hug?

    • Lex: Look, I just want to talk about what you saw that day.
      Lana: I'm sorry. Weren't you the person who told me I was hallucinating the last time I mentioned a spaceship?

    • Lex: Early morning or late night?
      Lana: What the hell are you doing here?
      Lex: I've been admiring your sketches. I didn't mean to pry.
      Lana: No. Of course not. You were just going through my things to get better acquainted.

    • (to Jonathan and Martha)
      Clark: Jus... just remember , I am 18. And I've been in love with Lana since I was like 7, so it's not like we rushed into something.
      Martha: Please, tell me you were at least safe.
      Clark: Yeah, Mom.

    • Chloe: Whoa. The Wall of Weird times a hundred.
      Clark: Well, looks like Gabriel was giving you a run for your money.
      Chloe: Uh, yeah. I'd say he lapped me a few times. Why would he be so obsessed with meteor freaks?
      (Clark looks at Chloe)
      Chloe:Oh, come on. Now journalistic curiosity is one thing but paper macheing your walls with them is another.

    • Jor-El: You're about to face your darkest hour, my son. But remember the lessons that we learn in pain are the ones that make us the strongest. (Jor-El-in-Lionel hugs Clark) Always know that I love you.

    • Clark: Am I dead?
      Jor-El: Your mortal journey is over yes; but your eminent destiny is too important to be sacrificed. You will return with all your natural gifts.

    • Chloe: I know how much you've dreamt of having a bland, mundane, generic life, but being normal is highly overrated. Besides, it makes my whole sidekick role a lot easier if you can bring super-duper strength to the table.

    • Lana: When are you going to realize, Lex, that (Clark) is just like the rest of us?
      Lex: Do you really believe that? Or is that what you have to tell yourself in order to stay in a relationship with him? You've had your doubts about him too, you can't deny it.
      Lana: I was wrong. Believe me there's is nothing unusual about Clark. Except for his ability to see the good in people who don't deserve it.
      Lex: I think you're forgetting something, Lana. Whatever new lie he told you, however he swept it under the rug, a normal person doesn't rise from the dead.

    • Clark: Okay, my parents won't be up for another fifteen minutes so we gotta get out of here...well you gotta get out of here.
      Lana: Are you sure? Sticking around for breakfast sounds like fun.

    • Chloe: Knock knock. Hey, I just saw Lana flying out of here. What would she be doing here at 6:30 in the morning...oh.

    • Chloe: I mean, not that we didn't make a pretty good team out there today...minus the whole part where I was kidnapped and you were shot.

    • Clark: Looks like you're okay.
      Chloe: You don't look to bad yourself...for a dead guy.

    • Lionel: (about the images on the floor) Looks like something from the cave.
      Lex: I found you carving them with a corkscrew!
      Lionel: Wasn't I creative!

  • NOTES (6)

    • Erica Durance doesn't appear in this episode.

    • Originally, Martha's line to Clark and Lana, "Please tell me you were at least safe," was supposed to be spoken by Jonathan. John Schneider objected to the scene as he felt that Jonathan would have been a lot harder on Clark. His reaction onscreen was the compromise between him and the producers.

    • Music by: Dishwalla (Collide - "Dishwalla"), Anna Nalick (Breathe (2AM) "Wreck of the Day"), David Gray (Disappearing World "Life in Slow Motion")

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: 05 December 2008 on Fox8

    • The following scenes didn't make it into the episode:
      1. Jonathan, Martha and Lana are told about Clark's current condition and that the bullet was removed.
      2. Lex is asking for the medical files on Clark.
      3. It's revealed that Clark fell into the cornfield after stopping the missile.

    • Although he may not have technically flown, when Clark "leaps" to the rocket the same special effects are used as when he flew in "Crusade."


    • Gabriel
      In Biblical tradition, Gabriel is sometimes regarded as the angel of death, performing a similar role of purification and judgement to that of Gabriel Duncan.

    • Lionel in the Fortress
      When Lionel is talking to Clark as Jor-El, the manner in which he grabs the lapels of his coat while talking to Clark is spot on with the way Marlon Brando does it in Superman the Movie when addressing members of the Kryptonian council.

    • Lex: I heard about Clark's resurrection.
      When Clark fell to the ground after being shot, his body's position is similar to that of Jesus' on the cross, who, according to the Bible, also died and was resurrected.