Season 3 Episode 6


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 05, 2003 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
679 votes

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Episode Summary

Clark discovers that Jor-El was on Earth forty years ago. Lana's great uncle, who was convicted of murdering his wife forty years ago, shows her a picture of the man he believes really killed her aunt, and she is shocked to discover the drifter looks just like Clark. Sure that the man is Jor-El, Clark's investigation leads him to a kryptonian medallion that allows him to see bits of the past – and the life that Jor-El started for him long before he arrived on Earth.moreless

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  • A sixties inspired episode.

    This was one of the more romantic and nostalgic episodes in the Smallville series. Thanks to a Kryptonian relic that Clark finds in the caves he is able to make contact with his biological father's memories and we discover that there is an even deeper connection that certain Smallville families have than has been revealed before. One of the best things about this episode is that we are able to see the romantic connection between the two main characters Louise "Lana" and Jor el "Clark" without it being bogged down with all the teenage angst that is usually there. Jor el and Louise are the "Romeo and Juliet" of this particular story and there is a genuine sense of sadness that occurs when their story ends tragically.moreless
  • At a prison hospital, Lana meets her dying great uncle, who was accused of his wife's murder 40 years earlier, but a newspaper drawing of the suspect at the time resembles Clark. Was it Jor-El, in a previous foray on Earth?moreless

    Lana is summoned to a prison hospital by her dying great uncle Dex McCallum, who was accused of killing his wife Louise some 42 years earlier. In a flashback we see how the misidentification could have happened, but also have to question how Sheriff Tate arrived moments after the murder, while Dex still had a gun in his hand. Clark sees the the old newspaper report (which has a lot of duplicated text), and a medallion on a police sketch of the drifter whom Dexter said was the killer. Clark suspects he was Jor-El, and begins to have flashbacks to those events through forces in the cave, which empowers him with a Kryptonian-symbol medallion matching one on the drifter in the old newspaper sketch.

    Clark has a flashback to 1961 in Smallville, an interesting street scene featuring '56 and '61 Buicks, a '57 Chevy Nomad, and a '56 Chevy convertible, but how did that '56 Canadian Mercury Meteor get all the way down to Kansas? An appropriate model name for a car in Smallville, plus there's a Talon theatre marquee for "Splendor in the Grass," with Natalie Wood. The costume and set decoration folks did a fine job, getting everything from the early 60s quite authentic.

    On the streets is "Clark," or is it Jor-El? He spots an attractive gal (hey, it's Kristin) across the street, wearing her best Jackie O hat, wig, and business suit, and reading a copy of "Hollywood Star," with Elizabeth Taylor on the cover, just as Kristin, as Louise, is held up at gunpoint in broad daylight. Clark/Jor-El rescues the fair maiden, the Sheriff pulls up in a '60 Chevy b&w to make the arrest, and Dex takes Louise home in their '58 Chevy Impala hardtop. Back in the present, Chloe and Clark find the name of the robber in the police records - he was the grandfather of Lex, but Lex is no help. Clark and Lana look through her aunt Louise's things, finding a love letter. Clark flashes back again, and Louise is in mid-tryst with the drifter Joe.

    Lana and Clark, driving that red Dodge pickup again, find the McCallum's '58 Chevy still in a barn, then we flash back to the song "Earth Angel" (would that mean Clark?) in 1961 and drifter Joe planning to leave Smallville, but he faces a romantic dilemma just as Clark does in the present. The shooter is revealed to be the Luthor grandfather, but his shots ricochet off Joe/Jor-El and strike Louise, killing her. The police files show Chloe and Clark that the shooter was released by then-Deputy William Tate the day of the murder. Tate (William B. Davis, the notorious "smoking man" in many X-Files episodes) is now the Mayor of Smallville, and Clark spots Tate's signature - it matches the love letter Lana found - so Tate loved Louise, too, and now Clark sees motive.

    Next flash to '61 has Deputy Tate finding Joe/Jor-El with Louise, Tate leaves, and Joe tells Louise he is not of this earth, and up they rise into the night sky. Clark sees in the next flash that the drifter was on the Kent farm back then, meeting Jonathan's father Hiram, who helped Jor-El escape. Some plot holes here - what was Jor-El's real mission, and why would he need help leaving Earth?

    In one of the best scenes in the episode, Clark dons his grandfather's antique jacket (actually owned by Joe), slicks his hair back '61 style, and confronts Mayor Tate, posing as the still-dead and bullet-proof drifter. His secret revealed, Tate makes a panicked confession to Sheriff Adams that he released Luthor to kill the drifter back in '61. Murder solved, Clark zips off unseen.

    In the side plot, Lionel admits that he rewrote family history, and that his grandparents died in a tenement. Lex investigates further, learning from former cop Mason that the tenement fire was really an explosion. Lex questions Lionel as to why he did not pursue what must have been a murder of his parents. Lionel lies a bit, opening up a new story line for the future.

    In Clark's final flash, Jor-El hears from Hiram that Smallville has many good people, and Jor-El replaces the medallion in the cave...for future use. His mission was thus completed, and Clark realizes that the Kents were, in fact, chosen to be his Earth-parents. One of the best single-story episodes of Smallville, and good to watch more than once. Re-run rating B+.moreless
  • Jor-el and Louise love affair....

    This episode was very interesting. Who would have known that Jo-el was on earth forty years ago and to add to the surprise he was having a love affair with Lana's aunt. There was a sex scene which was so hot..loved it. It's about time Smallville had one. Dexter who was Lana's aunt's husband finally wanted to see Lana. He assured Lana that he was innocent and that he did not kill her aunt and showed her a picture of a drifter who he believed was the killer and drifter looked exactly like Clark so Lana goes to Clark and talks to him about it.Clark starts having flashbacks about Jor-El and Louise ( Lana's aunt ) Apparently they had a love affair going on but the sheriff loved Louise so he wanted to kill Jor-El or as Louise called him Joe but when he fired his gun it didn't kill Joe. It killed Louise and since the murder of Lousie Dexter was framed as the killer. Many flashbaks later lead Clark to belive that the Mayor of Smallville was the killer so Clark devised a very smart plan to get him to confess and he did and Dexter was finally free. I loved the relationship bteween Joe and Louise. They were so romantic with each other. Especially when Joe flew her into the sky..that was so magical. Also in this episode Lex and Lionel investigate in Lionel's parent's murder. At the end of the episode Clark thinks that the Kents finding him wasn't accident. He believes they were chosen because his flashbacks showed Jonathan's father helping Joe so Joe must have trusted the Kents with his son. Great episode. Loved the flashbacks. Romantic,exciting, revealing and a little bit dramatic. The type of quality I expect from Smallivlle. My favorite part of this episode : When Joe saves Louise from the thief and they fall inlove. Love at first sight. Favorite character from this episode : Clark and Joe !!! Supermen. Great episode. Good stuff !!moreless
  • The murder of Lana's aunt is investigated.

    The flashbacks in this episode are so great and it is so nice to see Louise and Joe together in the past. The scene in the barn is so hot and it's nice to see Jor-El getting some. The mystery that unfolds in this episode is really interesting and the whole time you're never really convinced that her husband did not kill her until the very end when Clark figures out that it was the Sheriff who killed her. I also like this episode because it gives a human side to Jor-el who so often seems so distant and inhuman on the show (even though he is distant and inhuman). The connection to Clark's grandparents is also really great.

    An overall great episode with some amazing flashbacks.moreless
  • The adventures of Louise and Joe...

    Fair play for at least trying something new. It's a pity, though, that this episode misses a lot of opportunities to embellish upon the show's lore, trading up potentially weighty material for clichés aplenty and unfortunate shortcuts -- using the same actors being a prime example.

    The production team had a ball with this episode and it glistens onscreen. The WB, back in the day, seemed to always back its show that bit more when they decided to do a flashback episode. With other shows like Charmed, it always seemed to look that bit better during the hours when it decided to jump back to the swinging 60s etc. Smallville, given its slicker design, manages to outshine the witchly series with a cast made for the 60s (how great do Tom and Kirsten look!) and some impressive props.

    The plot is a little bit too straight forward and it's the characters in-show who seem to be whisked away by what's going on, instead of allowing the viewers to enjoy the same experience, but there's just too little here to sink out teeth into. Like Charmed's excursions, this is mostly a gimmick episode. There are attempts to bind the entire series together - and I have to say, I am a little intrigued - but the reuse of Tom and Kirsten, and the convenient links between the Luthors and the family ties, make it a little far-fetched, even for this show.

    Al in all, an admirable attempt at something different (season 3, if anything, is trying to break away from Smallville's flaccid storytelling ways, it just needs to take that extra step);but ultimately one that neither arouses interest or offers up enough meat for us to chow down on in terms of story.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

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Michael Karl Richards

Michael Karl Richards

Sheriff Billy Tate

Guest Star

Tom Heaton

Tom Heaton

Dex McCallum

Guest Star

William B. Davis

William B. Davis

Mayor William Tate

Guest Star

Camille Mitchell

Camille Mitchell

Sheriff Nancy Adams

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • The newspaper article that Lana holds in the beginning of the episode is full of typos, including uncapitalized words and incomplete sentences. In addition, the third panel of the article, as well as the accompanying article on the right, are duplicates from the first panel.

    • When Clark opens his hand after receiving the medallion from the slot in the cave wall, the pointed tip was facing the camera, towards Clark's fingers. In the closeup shot, it was point to the side.

    • When Clark and Lana are looking through Louise's things to get some clues, Lana asks Clark to put her old necklace on her and starts to move her hair to the side. In the next shot her hair is already tucked to the side

    • Since Rebel Without a Cause was made in 1955, it is highly unlikely that it would still be playing it in theaters six years later.

    • When Clark is talking to Pete on the sidewalk after his vision, around time index 9:07, you can see a red and white truck to the left of the scene. That is a Canadian postal truck.

    • Early on in the episode Billy Tate introduces himself to Joe as Sheriff Billy Tate. Later on when Chloe gets a copy of Lachlan Luther's release papers it is signed by Deputy Billy Tate.

    • Could Clark talk any louder when talking to Pete about Jor-El, the cave, super-powers, etc., while outside with people walking around fairly close in the background?

    • Clark touches the car in the barn to get a 40 years ago when the car was in the barn. So the same car has been in the barn for 40 years??

    • Why does Joe seem to be injured by Hiram hitting him? And how does Hiram manage to shove him to the ground?

    • In a closeup of Clark's hand holding the silver talisman, the hand had a callus - how does invulnerable super-healing Clark get calluses?

    • When the mayor touches Clark's shoulder, Clark gets a flashback to when Tate confronted Joe and Louise back in the 60s, out in the cornfields. the flashback Tate leaves the scene. If Tate wasn't there, and Clark isn't at the cornfield, how is he having flashbacks to the scene? In the rest of the episode he has to be at the scene, or touching something at the scene when stuff he's seeing happened, to trigger and maintain the memory playback. Alien magic, I guess.

    • Somewhere between 1961 and ending up as a spaceship voice in 2003, Jor-El picked up an English accent.

  • QUOTES (5)

  • NOTES (6)