Smallville

Season 5 Episode 21

Oracle

1
Aired Friday 8:00 PM May 04, 2006 on The CW
9.5
out of 10
User Rating
774 votes
52

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Clark and Martha are both visited by Jonathan's ghost, who warns them about Lionel and claims that Clark must kill him to stop him. Meanwhile, Fine will do whatever it takes to get the vaccine from Lex.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • I had really high expectations for this episode, but in the end, it disappointed me.

    7.0
    It wasn't a bad episode, but for me it was kinda disappointing cause I had higher expectations.

    The beginning of the episode was good, but I didn't like the fact that Jonathan's ghost was actually one of the Fine's clones or whatever, it completely changed the course of the episode. I also didn't like that, when Clark finds out that Lionel was involved in his father's death, he didn't do anything about it (ok I know he threw him against the wall, but still he let him of the hook too easily), and even though Lionel is helping him, he still didn't get what he deserves for all the bad things he has done, Clark is just too nice…

    I was hopping this would be a great episode, but it wasn't, but its still pretty wachable.moreless
  • Beyond The Grave

    8.0
    Oracle-Clark and Martha are both visited by Jonathan's ghost, who warns them about Lionel and claims that Clark must kill him to stop him. Meanwhile Fine will do whatever it takes to get the vaccine from Lex.



    Thank you Jesus, a good episode! After probably the worst run of episode in Smallville history, the writers ACTUALLY write an episode worth watching. Yeah, the writers pretty much almost forgot the Brainiac storyline for the rest of the season, but I'd take James Masters and John Schneider back on Smallville any day. I liked Brainiac manipulating both Clark and Martha as Jonathan, it's was cruel, but it was such a menacing plan that became more intriguing as Jonathan ordered Clark to kill Lionel. I really like the development of Lionel as Jor-El's oracle as it's a perfect redemption story for Lionel as well as a refreshing new role that John Glover is excelling in. I loved the confrontation with Clark battling Brainiac and Lionel being activated by Jor-El to defeat Brainiac. It's a tense scene with some nice action and special effects. Lex's part in the Brainiac storyline becomes very intriguing with the revelation that Lex has developed a vaccine that can cure any disease. I loved how Fine double crossed Lex by injecting him with the vaccine and destroying the rest. It was pretty vague on why Fine would do that, but once we find out that Lex is now immune to being hurt, it's a shocking twist. The ending is a perfect lead-in to the season finale as Clark's "Zod is coming" line brings anticipation of what could be him facing his toughest enemy yet! Looking back, "Oracle" is a great penultimate episode of the season as well as being bittersweet as this is truly John Schneider's final appearance on the series. It's sad, as he was a great actor and really added a lot of heart into the series that's even missing 'til this day.moreless
  • A terrific episode with Clark seeing a vision of Jonathan, who tells him to kill Lionel. Lex is found to be collaborating with Milton Fine, and Lex reveals the secrets of a virus project to Lana.moreless

    9.4
    It's a birthday party for Clark, with Martha, Lois, and Chloe, but not Lana, and the gifts are pretty sparse. Martha found something Jonathan had bought for Clark, two tickets to a baseball game. Feeling a bit sad over his loss, Clark takes a turn at the cemetery, and Jonathan appears to him again, so John Schneider is still getting some guest spots. He warns Clark again about Lionel, who is going to do something terrible, and insists that Clark must kill him. Tough assignment.



    Martha advises caution about the apparition; Clark believes it was real. Lana is back at the Talon, chatting with Lois, and denies that Lex is her boyfriend - Lois is just so up front and unaffected, Lana appears furtive and deceptive by comparison.



    Chloe and Clark discuss the ramifications of Lionel knowing Clark's secret. At the mansion, Lionel is aware that Lex is taking another trip to Honduras, smuggling viruses into the US, with Milton Fine's support. Lionel warns Lex to destroy the viruses, and of the danger posed by Fine. John Glover again does some fine acting, he seems to be poisoned and suddenly begins writing Kryptionian symbols as his eyes gray out. Wasn't that the end of last week's episode also? He's channeling someone or some thing, but what?



    Chloe and Clark once again easily penetrate Luthorcorp security and rifle Lionels' office for something Chloe amusingly calls "My evil scheme," and hacking into his laptop. They find Lionel's scheduled meeting about a weapon with a Metropolis Inquisitor reporter. I think they're off track, I actually trust Lionel. I believe he's trying to save the world from Lex. When Lana sees Lex, she reports on a good conversation with Lois; Lex is not so sure Lois can be trusted, she being a determined news reporter. Lex decides to reveal more to Lana about Luthorcorp research, is she in 100%? He takes her to a lab, which is pretty well equipped. He describes to her a plan to alter the viruses he's been smuggling in to produce an all-purpose vaccine. Lex still thinks that Fine is a government agent, who is working to defend the world against an alien invasion - the spacecraft being the first of many more. He shows her a photo of the ship in the Honduran jungle. But he has evidence that Fine is an alien. Martha returns Lionel's call; she's suspicious...but then someone is in the house with her - she sees the image of Jonathan, who asks her how long she's had feelings for Lionel. Can a discarnate entity be jealous? She deals rather calmly with this ghostly apparition, and gee, I think it's not Jonathan, it's Mr. shape-shifter himself, still insisting that Lionel has to die. And then he's gone, or rather he's outside, morphing back into Fine!



    Martha believed what she saw, telling Clark what Jonathan told her, even that Lionel may have had something to do with Jonathan's death. Surely this will provoke Clark even more. After an unnecessary product placement for AOL on Lex's laptop, FIne strolls right in. So who trusts whom? No one. Here's the deal...Lex has not been telling Fine about the progress of the virus. The vaccine is ready. Lex instead pulls out a meteor rock and tries it on Fine, but it has no effect - he's not a Kryptonian! Then Fine shocks Lex - he reveals what he is by projecting a Terminator-like handsword pointed at Lex, demanding to know the location of the vaccine.



    Chloe and Clark begin tracking phone calls from Lionel to Jonathan months earlier, finding that Lionel called shortly before Jonathan suffered his fatal heart attack. Clark is ever more suspicious, and asks Lionel to meet him at the barn. Clark is in a murderous mood, throwing Lionel across the room. Suddenly a Jonathan ghost appears, but Lionel insists that it can't be real - Jonathan would never ask Clark to be a killer. Realizing the truth, Clark turns on the apparition, and there's a violent battle. Then another shock as Lionel manifests superpowers, forcing the Jonathan apparition to return to form as Fine, who disappears. Lionel is back to being himself, but does not realize what happened. Clark now understands the threat posed by Fine, and begins to work with Lionel.



    The answers may be in Lionel's little closet of horrors - it's full of notebooks of kryptonian writing, channeled by Lionel. He believes his automatic writing was meant for Clark.



    Now they must find the lab where the virus vaccine is being produced. Chloe speculates that someone knows where the lab is - that would be Lana, right? Clark searches Lana's room, as she bursts in, understandably angry at this invasion. Clark asks Lana to trust him, and warns her for the umpteenth time about Lex.



    Fine has brought Lex in the lab, and injects Lex with the vaccine. Why? Fine then destroys the lab, in a very impressive fireworks show, as Clark arrives and rescues Lex. All the viruses were destroyed, but where is Fine? In response to Clark's accusations, Lex says Luthorcorp spent $10M producing the vaccine, again implying that he's one of the good guys. Still bitter over Lana turning to Lex, Clark accuses Lex of lurking around waiting for an opportunity to steal Lana from him, but Lex counters, "You lost her all by yourself." Lex has the undisputable advantage in logic about what Lana did. Clark has no argument left.



    Lionel stops to see Martha, and to confess. He admits he called Jonathan, then came to tell him he knew about Clark's origins and powers, but Jonathan became so angry that Lionel could not explain his purposes. Lionel has come clean, but this admission still leaves Martha full of unresolved feelings.



    Lex and Lana have an evening by the fireside, and Clark is the subject, but Lana wisely asks for a moratorium of the Clark subject. We see that Lex has had a vaccination reaction when he accidently cuts himself, then watches his own finger instantly heal. This miracle he hides from Lana. Wow, what a storyline could be developing here!



    After dozens of episodes ending with Lana seeing Clark in the barn loft, it's now Lois visiting him. That's a significant plot shift. It's time for toughlove, she says - Lana needs to move on. Lois is kind and sympathetic, and we can see a good relationship developing there, something we Smallville fans can anticipate. Chloe shows, and he gets lots of good support from her, too. Who would have thought that Superman would need so much moral support and counseling from friends? Another surprise - Chloe has run an analysis program on the symbols - finding several that are repeated, and Clark can read them..."Zod Is Coming." That's a Big "To Be Continued."



    This is a "wow" episode, great plot, big surprises, major drama, one of the best of the season, and one that creates great anticipation about what is to come. Re-run rating A.moreless
  • Great Episode

    10
    On the day of his birthday celebrated with Martha, Chloe and Lois, Clark receives an envelope from Jonathan that Martha found with two baseball tickets and a message addressed to Clark. Clark visits Jonathan's grave, and his father appears and advises Clark to kill Lionel to save the human race from extinguishing. Later, Jonathan appears to Martha to convince her that Clark must kill Lionel. Meanwhile, Lex is dating Lana and shares with her that he had developed a vaccine to protect mankind against the virus collected by Milton Fine. When Milton meets Lex, he injects the virus in Lex and destroys the laboratory. Lionel convinces Clark that he is an oracle and shows the messages he has been written in Kryptonian. Chloe studies the pattern of the writing and Clark translates: "Zod is coming".moreless
  • brilliant

    10
    Personal favorite"

    This show is about a boy name Clark Kent who goes through life thinking he isn't normal.While the show continues, every episode he saves someones life, changing the future of the persons Example:Lex. Smallville is mostly....



    This show is about a boy name Clark Kent who goes through life thinking he isn't normal.While the show continues, every episode he saves someones life, changing the future of the persons Example:Lex. Smallville is mostly about a teenage boy who is turning into superman,and is bringing justice to the world.



    I love this show, it is my favorite, it is so cool, I am just glad CW took this show, it is worth it.I wish there is more seasons to come, I want to see how Clark will turn in to superman, and what is going to happen to Chloe, Lana , Lois,and Lex, even though i watched all the movies, smallville changes some of the story line, which is great because it makes it more surprising.O, i just can't wait to see the next seasonmoreless
Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Toole

Martha Clark Kent

Erica Durance

Erica Durance

Lois Lane

Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk

Lana Lang

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Alexander ('Lex') Joseph Luthor

Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Bruno Verdoni

Bruno Verdoni

Lex's Doctor

Guest Star

Panou

Panou

Phillippine Envoy

Guest Star

Ecstasia Sanders

Ecstasia Sanders

Talon Waitress

Guest Star

James Marsters

James Marsters

Professor Milton Fine

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (10)

    • If Clark could read "Zod is Coming" when shown those two characters together, why did he claim to be unable to decipher the characters when he saw them in Lionel's writings?

    • Why does Fine need Lex to collect the viruses and comes up with a cure? Fine is programmed with all of the knowledge of Krypton, with super-computers and artificial intelligences that can store the sum personality of a man, and spaceships, and Phantom Zone projectors. Fine has all of the powers of Clark and a few more beside like the ablity to replicate himself, and has the sum knowledge of humanity as well. So why doesn't he just make whatever viruses and vaccines he wants?

    • Why does Fine need Lex to take him to the laboratory? Fine seems to know pretty much everything, including that Lionel was responsible for Jonathan's death. So with all of his Kryptonian powers and more, why couldn't Fine locate the laboratory himself?

    • Lois is still living at the Talon, but here Lana (correctly) notes that Lex still owns the place. There's no reason Lex would let the campaign manager of the person who defeated him for office stay there, and every reason he'd kick her out.

    • Kryptonite only (apparently) glows green in the presence of Kryptonians. But when Lex takes it out of the lead box there's no Kryptonians around. Even Fine notes it means nothing to him.

    • In the past Kryptonian has been shown to be a letter-based written language. But here it is hieroglyphic, since "Zod is coming" is now represented by three symbols.

    • If Fine wants Lionel dead, why doesn't he kill him personally? Even if he can't touch Lionel, he can drop a tractor on him. Or steal a bunch of money and hire dozens of assassins to kill Lionel. Instead he relies on an iffy psychological attack to convince Clark to kill Lionel, which seems needlessly complicated even if he wants to somehow turn Clark to the "dark side." Lionel can and does pose too much of a risk to Fine's plans for him to mess around with making him dead.

    • Chloe claims she can't afford a present for Clark because she's on an intern budget. a) you typically can't get into an intern program until your fourth year of college, and b) she is able to afford a 6-hour drive to Metropolis often once or twice an episode (figure an episode is roughly a week), at current gas prices.

    • Trivia: This episode takes place starting on Wednesday, May 3, 2006, as established by Lionel's appointment calendar. The episode originally aired on Thursday, May 4, 2006. This makes Clark's "birthday" (and presumably his arrival) as May 3, 1987, since he's turning 19. His arrival has been stated as occurring in 1989 and he was approximately 2 at the time.

    • When Clark is at his father's grave, he places the two tickets on the ground. It looks as if snowflakes are falling on the tickets. Later in the episode, Chloe is looking at Lionel's calendar. He has an appointment "tomorrow" on "May 5th". That would make the date they are looking at the calender May 4th, which was also the same date as the original airing of the episode. Snow doesn't fall in Kansas in May.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Fine: Impressive. Looks like I underestimated your willingness to tackle a nonprofit venture.
      Lex: Well, LutherCorp doesn't take the threat of an alien Armageddon lightly. You were never gonna create a vaccine for humans, were you?
      Fine: Is that what you think?
      Lex: It was gonna be your way of protecting your extraterrestrial guests when they arrive and unleash some horrible disease on us.
      Fine: So you went behind my back and mass-produced the vaccine for mankind.
      Lex: I wanted to give my people a fighting chance before you got your dirty hands on them. Fine: I applaud your noble efforts to protect your species. Unfortunately, it's all based on faulty assumptions. I never intended to mass produce the vaccine. One dose is all I ever needed.
      (he grabs Lex by his arm and injects him with the vaccine)
      Fine: Let the rest of the world find its own cure.

    • Lex: One more thing, Clark. Lana called me. I don't want to hear you rifling through her stuff like a crazy roomate again. If you want something from me, don't go running to Lana to find it. You really crossed the line.
      Clark: All those years we were friends, were you just waiting for me to step aside so you could swoop in and make your move?
      Lex: I don't know, Clark. All those years you told Lana you loved her, were you just waiting to walk away and break her heart? Look, there's a natural tendency to blame the person who's replaced you. I get that. But I didn't take Lana from you. You lost her all by yourself.

    • Chloe: Look, and Lois even made her world-famous rum cake for you.
      Lois: From scratch.
      Clark: Wow, I never would have guessed.
      Chloe: You should have seen her first two.

    • Lex: My helicopter is waiting, Dad. What is so important?
      Lionel: Obviously something you've got cooking in Honduras, although I doubt it's the banana daiquiri.
      Lex: Challenging upper management often leads to a bout of unemployment.
      Lionel: The welfare of your workers is the least of my concerns.

    • Lex: You're the one who taught me – keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
      Lionel: This is one enemy you don't know. And not knowing who you're in bed with can make for a very uncomfortable awakening.

    • Clark: Look for anything my dad might be warning me about.
      Chloe: I can't exactly search for a file named "My Evil Scheme."

    • Lois: Please, Smallville, I've had three ex-es put under military surveillance. I'm hardly qualified to deal out post-relationship tact.

    • Clark: There are times when I think you don't know me at all, and others where I think you know me better than anyone.
      Lois: That's what I'm here for, Smallville – one save at a time.

    • Lionel: You're involved with Milton Fine. I know that he's been smuggling some of the deadliest viruses in the world into this country with your help.
      Lex: Well, don't worry, Dad. We're not going to put them in any Halloween candy.

    • Fine: Some say the toast came about by a man who feared that his drink had been poisoned. But he was a quick-witted man. He joyfully clanked his mug with the mugs of his mates, sloshing his lethal beverage into everyone's drink with cheer. A simple tap, then, must be a sign of trust.
      (Lex declines to drink)
      Lex: I'm not really thirsty.

    • Lex: I'm hoping this will help me get a few answers.
      (Lex pulls out kryptonite)
      Fine: Close...but I'm not one of them. I was only made by them.

    • Chloe: So Hell freezes over and no one even bothers to tell me?
      Clark: Chloe, listen, Mr. Luthor has been writing these. It's some sort of warning, but I can't decipher it.
      Chloe: Well, unfortunately, my Kryptonian's a little rusty. What about...
      Lionel: I don't know what any of this means, Miss Sullivan. I am simply the Oracle. I believe the answers could be found with a visit to your Fortress.
      Clark: The last time someone talked me into taking him to the Fortress, was a trick. To release General Zod.
      Chloe: Yeah, I have plans this weekend, so if we could protect Smallville from the wrath of Krypton's deadliest villain, that would be great.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Chloe: You'll have to promise you'll keep a cool head and backburn those American Psycho instincts.
      American Psycho is a controversial novel by Bret Easton Ellis concerning a wealthy young investment banker from Manhattan who is a self-proclaimed sadist and serial killer.

    • Lex: You're the one who taught me – keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
      The origin of this quotation has been attributed to the Chinese General Sun Tzu who wrote the book, The Art of War. Lionel gave Lex a copy of this book on one of his birthdays. He keeps it on a display stand in his office.

    • Chloe: All right, hand me a cloak and call me Horatio.
      In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Horatio originally does not believe that Hamlet's father appeared as a ghost. After seeing the apparition, he becomes one of Hamlet's most stalwart supporters.

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