Smallville

Season 1 Episode 20

Obscura

4
Aired Friday 8:00 PM May 14, 2002 on The CW
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
737 votes
12

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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After an explosion Lana finds herself getting visions of a serial killer...and his next target is Chloe. Meanwhile Lex and Roger look further into the meteor shower and determine that something besides meteors hit Smallville that day.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • this was a good ep i thought

    8.5
    in this ep of smallville lana gets the power to see through the killers eyes. and she sees cloey get taken and clark belives her. and she leads clark to find out were cloey is burried . afte they discover her car out abandon . and they think its over but the killer is still out there can clark get to lana in time but it turns out to be one of the cops that interview lana that just made cloe to get lost just to get honor for finding her.but he gets mad at lana and wantes to know how she can see through his eyss such a good epmoreless
  • A gas explosion injures Lana in a blast of meteor fragments, enabling her to have remote viewing experiences of Chloe being kidnapped. Lex learns more about a spacecraft sighting during the meteor shower, and finds an incredible artifact.moreless

    8.0
    Kristin Kreuk and Eric Johnson both are accomplished horse riders, no stunt people here, as we see them riding across the green fields of Kansas. Just as Whitney invites her to the Spring formal, an explosion and smoke erupts in the distance. Utility crews and police are on the scene in seconds, but no one even tries to establish a safety perimeter, so Lana and Whitney walk right up and finally notice the pipeline is vibrating. Lana is the only one left standing around, so she's blown away and lands in a shower of meteor rock. That's the setup; what kind of power or mutant effect will she have?



    Into the hospital she goes again, with Whitney by her side. Chloe shows up, dropping the news to us that she's scheduled for an internship interview at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, but wants to support Lana. But Clark urges her to go, and she does. Outside, an assailant uses chloroform to abduct Chloe, and we see Lana's new power - remote viewing of the attack - as Lana rises right out of her concussion.



    Later at the farm, no one knows of Chloe's plight, and Martha is prodding Clark to get a date for the formal, so she can play chaperone...Chloe is suggested. Martha states that it's probably over for Lana, but Clark does not want to be seen by her with another date. Lex drops in to explain a previous chemical spill which damaged livestock and land, and offers compensation to Jonathan and Martha - a substantial sum, based on their reaction. All squared away, Kents and Luthors are on good terms, at least for the next couple scenes.



    Clark is filling in for Chloe at the Torch, when Lana drops by to report her dream of Chloe's abduction, with enough concern for Clark to take her seriously.



    At the mansion, Inquisitor editor Roger Nixon drops in to see Lex, with a bit of hostility showing between the two over Lex's feature article in the Business section of a rival paper, while Lex was supposed to be feeding articles to Nixon. He's onto a meteor shower story, and a witness to something falling out of the sky. More material for Lex to misuse.



    Out at the farm, Clark can't get the old Massey-Ferguson tractor started, but Jonathan is deferring on the check from Lex, so the old tractor may have to stay. And Clark continues to worry about Chloe. One would ask why Clark didn't call the DP to see if Chloe showed for the interview, and when. As Lana passes by, she's struck by another vision of Chloe, bound and gagged in a bad-looking building, and Lana sees through the eyes of the abductor. Chloe is indeed trapped, and her disguised abductor uses a really big syringe on her, so she's about to be a lab experiment. Mr. Sullivan brings the police in, but they pooh-pooh Lana's visions, until they hear that Chloe's car has been found abandoned in the woods. Out there somewhere, Lex is driving a new silver Jaguar XK convertible, plate no. "Lex 1," taking Nixon to a funky farmhouse and home of an ex-cropduster. Long ago grounded for medical reasons - too big a mouth - the pilot tells Lex what he saw 12 years earlier during the meteor shower - a ship that swerved before striking the ground. Two hours later, he found nothing at the crash site. Lex is skeptical, or at least tries to appear so.



    That evening, Clark is in the barn, while an impossible celestial event occurs outside - the rising full moon is moving from right to left at the horizon. Ok, so they just reversed footage of a moonset, but still, that scene can only happen in the southern hemisphere. Smallville still needs a resident astronomical advisor - the film editors and graphics crew just can't do anything correct with the moon.



    Lana and Clark worry about Chloe - search party to be formed in the morning. Background - Chloe transferred in to Smallville in 8th grade, from Metropolis, and was the subject of Clark's first kiss. Another vision overwhelms Lana; she sees a grave being dug near a windmill, and Chloe buried. There must be hundreds of windmills out in the farm country, but Clark speeds to just the right one, x-ray vision coming in handy to spot Chloe in the ground. Nice save. But someone watches.



    Another hospital scene, with Chloe recovering after giving up on the internship interview. She remembers little of the abduction, she tells Clark and Lana. It's visiting hour, where's dad? What about a police report? But as Lana leaves, she has a vision of the kidnapper, and he's watching her. Creepy little scene.



    Back at the farm, it's a sunny blue-sky day, but when we cut to Jonathan and Clark, there's a solid overcast. Got to watch that stock footage in the post-production phase. After they load feed in the ol' bleu GMC pickup, we see that a Viewer is observing them. They stop at a nearby field, finding a hazmat team on site with Lex, who claims to be considering a land purchase, and doing an environmental review. Aha, It's the field where Clark's trip from Krypton ended. After Clark and Jonathan leave, with the check from Lex returned by a testy Jonathan, Lex gets an artifact from Dr. Hamilton (Joe Morton), which may be significant.



    Lex drops in on Clark, who tries to explain Jonathan's hostility. Lex tells him about something - a ship - landing that day years ago. His explanation for continuing on this quest seems perfectly reasonable - while Clark weakly attempts to deflect him. Chloe and Clark see Whitney at the Torch; Clark believes Lana's visions were caused by meteor rocks. They suspect someone became psychically connected to Lana during the explosion - a deputy.



    Sure enough, one of the deputies stops at the Talon to ask Lana more questions, and we suspect him, but we're wrong - someone in Lana's vision nails him - the disguised assailant. Lana awakens at the amusement park - that was a quick abduction. Disgruntled deputy Watts set up Chloe's abduction in order to be seen as her heroic rescuer. Now, he threatens, he'll solve Lana' murder, right after he commits it. Clark arrives as the bullet flies, deflecting that problem, and running down Deputy Watts - why does Clark allow himself to be shot him several times? (So we can see how invulnerable he is.) But the police arrive and Watts gets himself killed in a gun battle, so no need to worry about stories of Clark stopping bullets. The Viewer is here, too - it turns out to be Nixon - still digging for dirt.



    Chloe brings Clark the good news of her internship, offered not through interview, but based on her article on the kidnapping in the Smallville Ledger. More good news for her - Clark invites her to the formal, so everyone has some happiness.



    Hamilton reports to Lex on the recovered fragment...it's an octagonal disc, made of an alloy, and Hamilton asserts it's like nothing on the earth. As Lex stares at the disc, we see a nice transition to a matching slot on the spaceship in the Kent's barn. Lex has the key, he just does not know it yet. Much can be made of this discovery in future episodes, and we should hope they're as well-written and directed as this one. Pretty straight script, good transitions, no one overacting, and no overblown set decoration or lighting. Just solid Smallville, and likable enough to be seen several times. Re-run rating B.moreless
  • Eyes of Lana Lang

    8.1
    Obscura-After an explosion Lana finds herself getting visions of a serial killer...and his next target is Chloe. Meanwhile Lex and Roger look further into the meteor shower and determine that something besides meteors hit Smallville that day.



    Despite being some what of a knock-off of John Carpenter's 1978 suspense thriller, "Obscura" creates it's own suspense and story comes together very well. It was quite a daring move for the writers to creat another storyline that sees Chloe in danger yet again after Crush, but luckily this episode is better than the other. I love the mystery surrounding the identity of the serial killer and the direction is stunning in the scenes were we see through Lana's perspective of the killer. There are also some very disturbing sequences like Chloe getting buried under ground and the serial killer lurking around in the darkness.



    Clark really develops a bit in this episode as his feelings Chloe grow. Clark's restlessness of finding Chloe is touching and just a hint of how strong their relationship will become in the later seasons. The ending twist with one of deputies turning out to be serial killer is played out well and his M.O. is well thoughtout even clever. Also, the sub-plot with Lex is very intriguing as Nixon makes his entrance. Both Lex and Nixon's investigation about the truth about the meteor shower got better with each scene and them finding out about the spaceship landing in Smallville promises a lot for the finale. All and All, a dark and intriguing episode with a lot of mystery and suspense.moreless
  • Great Episode

    10
    An explosion near meteor rocks gives Lana Lang the ability to see through another person's eyes. Lana Lang watches through the stranger's eyes as they kidnap Chloe Sullivan. Lana and Clark Kent attempt to use her gift to help locate Chloe Sullivan. The kidnapper turns out to be a cop looking for an easy promotion. Whitney finds some military medals his father earned, and takes it as a sign he should do something else with his life. Lex learns of a ship that crashed during the meteor shower, and discovers an octagonal disc made of an alloy not found on Earth.moreless
  • Brilliant.

    8.7
    Obscura is one of the best smallville episodes I have ever seen. It's exciting, well written and you really don't know what's going to happen next. From the start this episode was thrilling with the big explosion. This is probably the best episode of season one. You were really scared for the characters in particular Chloe. Everyone one member of the cast did well in this episode, Tom Welling was brilliant and Kristen Kruerk was brilliant as well but the person who acted the best during this episode was Allison Mack. Overall: Obscura was one of the best episodes of the amazing smallville season one.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

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson

Whitney Fordman

Joe Morton

Joe Morton

Dr. Steven Hamilton

Guest Star

Aaron Douglas

Aaron Douglas

Deputy Michael Birtigo

Guest Star

Frank C. Turner

Frank C. Turner

Eddie Cole

Guest Star

Robert Wisden

Robert Wisden

Gabe Sullivan

Recurring Role

Tom O'Brien

Tom O'Brien

Roger Nixon

Recurring Role

Mitchell Kosterman

Mitchell Kosterman

Sheriff Ethan

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (7)

    • When the scene shifts to the Kent farm, we see stock footage of a sunny day with clear blue skies, but when we cut to Jonathan and Clark loading the truck next to the barn, the sky is solid overcast.

    • Why are so many outside decorative lights on at the carnival? If it were closed for the season (as Chloe said), the lights would be out. Did the kidnapper put them on? Seems a strange way to avoid drawing attention to oneself when in the middle of a crime!

    • In the pilot, Pete talks about how they're freshmen. In this episode, Clark tells Lana that he first met Chloe in 8th grade. Have Clark and Chloe really only been friends for one year?

    • You'd think with a gas pipe about to explode, Lana would run like crazy, rather than stand there as long as she did.

    • In one of her visions, Lana sees the tall windmill, yet claims she doesn't know where it is. In the preceding episode "Nicodemus", the episode ends with Lana & Clark sitting on the platform at the top of it - it seems to be some sort of town landmark.

    • The flyer that Lex holds in the beginning reads, "Great rates for all jobs, nothing to large, nothing to small". It should be "too" not "to."

    • Why does Clark wear work gloves when he's by himself pitching hay? Is he worried about slivers and calluses?

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Clark: Uh, Chloe. I was... do you have plans for the Spring Formal?
      Chloe: Not at the moment.
      Clark: I was hoping, uh, I was hoping you'd go with me... as my date.
      Chloe: I would love to, Clark. Now I'm gonna go before my good karma runs out.
      Clark: Chloe. I'm sorry I didn't ask sooner.
      Chloe: It's okay. It was worth the wait.

    • Chloe: Are you going to wish me luck?
      Clark: You don't need it.

    • Clark: I don't think the whole tux and limo thing is for me.

    • Clark: So you've had a night to sleep on it, what are you going to do with Lex's check?
      Jonathan: Well, I might be stubborn, but I'm not blind.

    • Clark: Chloe leaves for a day and the Torch goes down in flames.

    • Nixon: It seems you've given out gifts to the competition. Now, we had an arrangement. You give me stories, I give you information. Now, what did Carrie Castle do for you that I couldn't?
      Lex: She gave me a pretty mean shiatsu massage.

    • Clark: (to Jonathan) Lex isn't perfect, dad. I know that. But slamming the door in his face over and over only helps turn him into exactly what you think he already is.

    • Lex: I feel like I owe your father an apology, but I'm not exactly sure why.

    • Clark: When are you going to be able to put your past behind you?
      Lex: Look at the stars, Clark. Some of them have been extinguished for thousands of years, but their light is only reaching us now. The past is always influencing the present. I can't change that. All I can do is try to understand it.

    • Chloe: Will you come and visit me?
      Clark: Yeah, of course! I would never pass up the opportunity to see you in your natural habitat.

    • Lex: I don't like riddles, Doctor.
      Dr. Hamilton: Then this object will make you profoundly unhappy.

    • Chloe: Clark Kent leaps tall theories in a single bound!

    • Pete: You ought to try getting off of your butt, Clark. It's the wave of the future.

    • Jonathan: When did you get so wise?
      Clark: Ask my dad.
      Jonathan: I'll sleep on it.

    • Lex: (to reporter Nixon) Since I haven't called you, and there wasn't any three-head sheep born in Smallville, what brings the Inquisitor to town?

  • NOTES (4)

    • When Clark finds information on Lana's visions and shows them to Chloe, she remarks that "suddenly he's leaping tall theories in a single bound." Though she was referring to Clark's journalistic flair, leaping tall buildings in a single bound is one of the things Superman was most famous for.

    • The carnival site shown was filmed at the Playland Amusement Park in Vancouver.

    • Clark mentions that Chloe is staying at her cousin's college dorm in Metropolis and that her cousin has no interest in journalism. Many fans have speculated that this person is Lois Lane but it is not as Lois didn't start college until season 4 of the show.

    • Music: "No Such Thing" by John Mayer, "Two Stones In My Pocket" by Neil Halstead, "Just Another" by Pete Yorn, "Piano Fire" by Sparklehorse, and "Silent To The Dark" by The Electric Soft Parade.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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