Smallville

Season 3 Episode 19

Memoria

3
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Apr 28, 2004 on The CW
9.5
out of 10
User Rating
669 votes
22

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Believing that key information about his father's past was lost when his memory was erased, Lex decides to join an experimental program with Dr. Garner to regain the information so he can turn his father over to the FBI. Knowing that Lex will discover his secret if he regains his memory, Clark tries to stop him but is caught by Lionel and the doctor and exposed to the same radical treatment so that Lionel can solve the mystery of Clark's past.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Powerful.

    10
    I doubted halfway through the episode if it was a good one or just an average episode, but at the end I was blown away by how powerful it was. The premise of the episode in itself is interesting because we don't get just another meteor-freak-of-the-week storyline, but actually get to develop a season-long story that has been going on.



    The most interesting part, of course, was learning exactly why Lionel already treated Lex so badly. I was at a loss for words when I found out that Lex had accidentally killed his brother, but then shocker! - it was actually Lex's mother, and that's why Lex repressed that memory. I was happy that Lex didn't realize who Clark was, nor that Lionel found out anything new.



    The episode didn't include half of the main stars, yet their absence didn't have a negative effect - quite to the contrary, it was very great just by concentrating on a few. Also, a big plus on Clark learning his mother's name.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    9.0
    in this ep of the show smallville lex is going to try to remember his memories and so he is going to try to use this expererment to do it and that will get his memories that he lost back about lionel and even things about clark and so they both dont want lex to remember so they both take far diffrent paths about dealing with lex and clark succombs to more experiments at the summer home isitute this was a good ep i thougth and very exciting and that is why i gave this ep a 9 instead of anything lowermoreless
  • Lex begins to recover some of his lost memories, which threaten both Lionel and Clark, but they take far different paths to deal with Lex. Clark succumbs to more experimentation at the infamous Summerholt Institute.moreless

    9.0
    With screenwriting by Gough and Millar, and direction by Millar, I had high expectations for this episode. Flashback to the school days of Lex, who's having another round of hysteria over the death of his brother Julian, which unsympathetic father Lionel tries to handle. Lex in the present is re-living this event, even to standing on the edge of his balcony, ready to jump, when Lana pulls him down. She later tells Clark about this, while we learn Jonathan is written out again via a trip to Metropolis for more surgical recovery tests. Clark warns Lana, but agrees to see Lex, who chalks it up to sleepwalking. Lex drives his new MB CL 550 to Metropolis, while Clark follows. Lex discusses his psychosis with Dr. Garner of the Summerholt Institute, who pegs them as recovered memories, not delusions, so the treatment is working. Lex decides to continue them, and is wired up and lowered into a tank of green fluid, while all around rather garish lighting effects are at least eye-catching. More vague memories of childhood emerge, Lex played here by young Wayne Dalglish, who is devastated by the failure of his incredibly lavish birthday party - no one came. Lionel tried to be fatherly, but he always treated Lex as an employee, rather than as a son. As Lex ends the treatment, Clark observes via x-ray vision from above, and confronts Lex out front. Reminding Lex that Dr. Garner misused Molly and Ryan, Clark tries to warn Lex, who is determined to recover his memories - and that's a threat to Clark's secret. These night scenes are dramatic, directed and edited perfectly.



    Clark goes to see Lionel about the Summerholt treatment - and Mr. Glover still has a facial wound from his fight with Jonathan two episodes back, and it's healing, so the continuity is flawless. Lionel accuses Clark of self-interest in stopping the memory recovery process, but truly, they both have things they would rather remain forgotten. Clark denies this, until Lionel shows the security camera footage from Belle Reve, with Lex whispering, "I know your secret, Clark."



    Lionel sees Lex about his Summerholt treatment, urging him to stop, but Lex sees motivation for Lionel. An intriguing and well-shot transition to the past occurs, with Lex secretly observing his mother and Lionel with newborn Julian. Lillian is having difficulties of her own - she fears what will happen to her children by Lionel's mistreatment - and she wants a divorce. Lex recalls another scene - watching his baby brother, he tried to stop Julian from crying - Lionel saw that Julian was dead, and blamed Lex, in a rage striking young Lex to the floor - whereupon he awakens in the present on the floor. Lex ejects Lionel.



    Lionel bursts in on the Kents - he and Clark discuss Lex and his treatment and the prospect of Lex being committed to Belle Reve again. Clark tries to intervene with Dr. Garner at Summerholt, but that green fluid - well, it's not easy being green. Surely the critics will question why Clark approaches anything resembling meteor rock - but this is only a minor weakness in the whole production. Garner's guys club Clark down, and strap him to the green-tank gurney. The betrayer is revealed - Lionel set up Clark, and has a deal with Garner to end the treatments for Lex, and begin studying Clark.



    Lionel will supply the questions to be posed to Clark, while Lex is turned away at the Summerholt entry. But Lex calls Lionel and pulls a pretty good ruse - "I remember everything." Darn, we're getting so close to some revelations I almost wish Lionel could get a few answers out of Clark. Lionel leaves, but Garner decides to continue the experiment - and Clark does not do well immersed in a tank of kryptonite. What is his earliest memory? A flash to Krypton - and his departure for Earth, which he remembers even as an infant. His only response is to yell "Lara." Clark's body reacts to the fluid - causing an explosion - and Lex enters the lab to find everyone dead or injured, except Clark. Look who rescues whom! Lex drains the tank - Clark slowly recovers.



    Later, at the farm, Lex comes by - but Clark is not at all grateful for the rescue. Lex identifies Lionel as the betrayer, but now Clark must play off both Lex and Lionel - either could be a great threat, and the writers have created an interesting subtlety in this dilemma. Lex pledges never to become his father, will never sacrifice Clark. But another memory flashes for Lex - he hears his brother Julian suddenly stop crying - and runs to the bedroom, finding Lillian over the crib with a pillow. She's having a break of her own, and Julian is gone...and Lex is set up to take the blame. Is Lex now free of this guilt?



    The news reports Dr. Garner comatose after the lab accident, so he's not out of the series yet. Lex and Lionel meet again, Lionel claiming he knew nothing of Clark being held for experimentation by Garner. Lex brings up his memory of Julian's death - but Lionel wants to keep it in the past. At last Lex can free himself - he did not kill Julian, he declares, while Lionel continues to deny it - he saw Lex over Julian's crib. Lex took the blame, he says, to protect his mother, who otherwise would have been sacrificed by Lionel, who finally begins to see this as the truth, and Mr. Glover acts out this stunning news to perfection. But it is too late for them - Lionel cannot make up for a lifetime of estrangement and abuse...and Lex cannot now accept Lionel's love.



    In the finale, Clark tells Martha about his memory of his mother - knowing her name, and her fear at sending her son across the galaxies - this means much to Clark. And Martha reveals that Clark's first word was "Lara," but she and Jonathan never understood it's origin. And a mother's love never dies.



    High expectations met in full. "Memoria" is a memorable episode, with powerful drama, series-high revelations, and moving scenes of family and love. Even with only half the regular cast, everything is done well - lighting, musical score, direction, dialog, a gripping production. Re-run rating B+.moreless
  • Forget Them, Not

    10
    Memoria-Believing that key information about his father's past was lost when his memory was erased, Lex decides to join an experimental program with Dr. Garner to regain the information so he can turn his father over to the FBI. Knowing that Lex will discover his secret if he regains his memory, Clark tries to stop him but is caught by Lionel and the doctor and exposed to the same radical treatment so that Lionel can solve the mystery of Clark's past.



    A dark and powerful episode that rivals "Shattered" as the best of the series, "Memoria" is filled with developments and revelations from the past that push the series in a significant direction. At the heart of the episode once again is Lex as we go depper into his troubled past. I loved the storyline of Lex going to SummerHold and doing experiments to unlock supressed memories from the past. It's completely in Lex's character and Dr. Garner continues to make for an interesting villian-ish character.



    The flashbacks have to be some of the most stunning scenes of the series as the direction is flawless. I loved the way how the present and Lex's memories seem to fade into each other as it provides a very dramatic effect. The flashbacks themselves are well written and guest star Wayne Dalglish who plays young Lex is effective. You really do feel bad for Lex as his childhood seemed so lonely and painful. The most shocking of the flashbacks is the revelation that Lex's mother killed his brother Jullian. It's a truly disturbing and chilling moment as Lillian kills her baby and heartbreaking as lex took the blame to protect his mother. Alisen Down gives a moving performance as Lillian Luther as she's a woman struggling to protect her family under the tyrant that is her husband, Lionel Luthor. John Glover also turn out a brilliant performance as usual as you can see how disconnect Lionel is to his family but at the same time the grief he conveyed for Jullian's death showed that Lionel is actually capable of love. The episode also has some great twists and turns like Clark being betrayed by Lionel as Dr. Garner forces him to reveal his earliest memory. This development is excellent as we get a glimpse of Clark as a baby being sent away by his parents. It's a tense moment as Clark yells out his real mother's name and causes an explosion at SommerHolt. I love how the episode not only is a development for Lex but for Clark as he gets to remember a bit of his biological mother. It a truly touching final scene between Martha and Clark as she tells him Lara was his first word as well as a mother's love never dies. Another amazing scene is Lex's confession to Lionel about how Jullian truly died. Both Micheal Rosenbaum and John Glover steal the show as Lionel almost tries to apoloize yet Lex turns away knowing his father will never truly love him. Captivating, touching, well written and superbly acted, "Memoria" is yet again shows how truly remarkable Smallville is when the writers create dark storylines that give the characters depth.moreless
  • In an attempt to get the lost seven weeks of his memory back, Lex teams up with Dr. Garner for an experimental program. When Clark tries to stop him, Lionel and Dr. Garner expose him to the same radical treatment so Lionel can learn more about Clark.moreless

    9.7
    While dropping off the Talon payroll late at night, Lana finds Lex in the midst of a trance, having a very realistic childhood flashback. When Clark learns of the encounter, he confronts Lex, and discovers that Lex is working with Dr. Garner (see DELETE) to get the lost seven weeks of his memory back. Worried about his friend, Clark visits Lionel and asks him to shut down the Summerholt Institute, but Lionel refuses, and instead tries to talk Lex out of undergoing Dr. Garner's experimental treatment. When Lex decides to accelerate his treatment, due to Clark and Lionel's "collective meddling", Clark rushes to save his friend, but is instead exposed to the experimental treatment by Lionel and Dr. Garner.



    Let me just say that I absolutely loved, *loved* the flashbacks, especially Clark's earliest memory. I also loved the Lex and Lionel dynamic in this episode, so much more interesting than in the previous ep. I mean, viewers finally learn why Lionel treats his son the way he does, and why their relationship is so strained. I won't spoil anything, but I will give the episode five out of five stars.



    Highlights include: Lex's flashback to Excelsior Academy; Clark following Lex to Summerholt Institute, as well as Lex's memory of his twelfth birthday; Lex's impromptu flashbacks with Lionel; Clark tricked by Lionel and Dr. Garner into undergoing the experimental "treatment"; Clark's earliest memory of his parents; Lex saving Clark from a tank of liquid kryptonite; Lex and Clark's conversation in the barn, as well as Lex's final flashback; Lex and Lionel's conversation about baby Julian; and Martha and Clark's conversation about Lara, Clark's birth mother.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

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Toole

Martha Clark Kent

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Martin Cummins

Martin Cummins

Dr. Garner

Guest Star

Alisen Down

Alisen Down

Lillian Luther

Guest Star

Andrew Airlie

Andrew Airlie

Mr. Woodward

Guest Star

Terence Stamp

Terence Stamp

Voice of Jor-El

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (12)

    • When Lex goes to the laboratory well after it was destroyed, he finds Clark on the stretcher, lying on his side. When he speaks to Clark, he is now lying on his back. As the shot fades out, Clark is once again lying on his side.

    • When Clark is reliving his earliest memory of his parents, he starts off the flashback in the first-person perspective (seeing out of his own eyes). So why during the same flashback does the perception switch to a third-person perspective (an outsider looking in). Shouldn't the whole sceen have been seen through his own eyes? Meaning, if this is Clark's flashback and we're seeing it from his point of view, there's no reason we should know what Clark looks like as a baby since Clark didn't see himself as a baby.

    • Trivia: When baby Kal-El (Clark Kent) is placed inside of the ship, there are Kryptonian letters spinning around. The message reads On this third planet from this star Sol, you will be a god among men. They are a flawed race. Rule them with strength, my son. That is where your greatness lies. (This was translated using the "official" Kryptonian character set, released in 2000 by DC Comics. This is also the standard that the Superman comic books use when incoporating Kryptonese into their stories.)

    • As many times as kryptonite in various forms has negatively affected him, Clark doesn't even hesitate to get near a big tub full of Kryptonite-green liquid.

    • The box seen here is probably the same one Lex gave Clark early in the series, which means it's made at least mostly of lead. So how could it be made from St. George's armor? Lead is too soft and too heavy to make useful armor and melts at a relatively low temperature, which would provide little protection from a (presumably fire-breathing) dragon. That's assuming, of course, that we take Lionel's story at face value.

    • There seems to be some confusion about the difference in age between when Clark/Kal-El is placed in the spaceship as a baby, and his emergence as an older 3-year old (or so) boy. However, this is reflected in the Superman movie (1978) and given there are still numerous details about Clark being sent to Earth that we haven't been informed of, a conclusion that Clark aged very slowly over a very long trip, or that the trip took 2-3 years and he aged normally within the ship, is not unreasonable.

    • Does Lana really haul the payroll out to stately Lex Manor on a weekly/biweekly/monthly basis? If nothing else, given the crime rate in Smallville it seems a really dangerous habit.

    • When young Lex is looking through the slightly open door, you notice some hair on his forehead - obviously the young actor's hair. But Lex doesn't have hair as a kid, and when the door is open you see Lex without any hair.

    • Wayne Dalglish, playing Lex at age 12 here, looks nothing like Matthew Munn who played Lex at age 9 in previous episodes.

    • Yet again, Clark doesn't get weakened by kryptonite (or even seem to notice it) until several seconds after he's standing right next to it.

    • Lex must not be very safety-cautious, considering he shatters a tank full of krypto-water in a trashed-up room of wires and sparks.

    • When Lana pulls Lex off the ledge he hits his head pretty hard but it has no effect on him.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Clark: Because of Jor-El, I always thought that my biological parents were monsters. But she wasn't...I just can't believe I forgot about her.
      Martha: You didn't, Clark...your first word was "Lara."

    • Lionel: She loved (Julian)!
      Lex: Loved him so much she couldn't bear the thought of subjecting him to your particular brand of parenting.

    • Lex: I knew you wouldn't let anything happen to me, but Mom? She would be the lamb to the slaughter.

    • Clark: I wish she (Lara) could've met you, to see what a great mom I have.
      Martha: She knows, Clark. A mother's love never dies.

    • Lionel: If I'd known . . . if . . . if I'd seen . . .
      Lex: What?
      Lionel: Things would have been so . . . so different between us.
      Lex: Yes, dad - you might have actually loved me.

    • Lionel: I will not let you inflict psychological scars on my children.
      Lillian: That's why they have you, Lionel.

    • Lex: What brings you to Smallville, Dad? To find more evidence of little green men in the Kiwatche caves?

    • Lionel: You know, Clark, I always thought that your parents' corn-fed hokum made you weak, but clearly I have underestimated your dark side.

  • NOTES (7)

    • The following scenes didn't make it into the episode:

      - (Flashback) The headmaster of the Excelsior Academy informs Lionel of Lex's behavior stating and that he chose not to involve the authorities.
      - Lana finishes talking to someone who's repairing The Talon's phoneline and receives a letter from the Paris School of Arts to find that she is accepted.
      - (Flashback) Lex blows out his birthday candles with the wish that he won't have to return to boarding school. Lionel tells him that he won't, only to be surprised when Lex hugs him.
      - Clark talks to Martha about Lex's attempt to retrieve his lost memories and how his concern is more for Lex's well being than his secret being uncovered. Martha fears that Lex will become as ruthless as Lionel the more he pursues his memory recovery.
      - Lana discovers that the person who claimed to have repaired the phoneline is working for Agent Loder. Loder mentions suspicion that Lex is using The Talon to laundering money.
      - Lana tells Lex of the phone bugging, with Lex offering to do her a favor as an apology. Lana's request is for Lex to buyout her share of The Talon.

    • This episode was nominated for a Leo Award for Dramatic Series: Best Production Design and Dramatic Series: Best Cinematography.

    • In the scene where Jor-El and Lara place infant Clark/Kal-El inside the spaceship, Jor-El is seen wearing red, Lara is wearing blue, and baby Clark/Kal-El is wrapped in a yellow blanket -- once again, these are the same colors that comprise Superman's costume.

    • As Lex has the flashback to when his father discovered Julian dead, Superman's colors red, blue, and yellow alternately flash on adult Lex's face.

    • Music: "My Immortal" by Evanescence.

    • Terence Stamp is billed as "Special Appearance by"

    • Samuel L. Jones, Allison Mack, and John Schneider don't appear in this episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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