Smallville

Season 4 Episode 8

Spell

1
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 10, 2004 on The CW
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
782 votes
33

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Lana reads a spell book belonging to her 17th century ancestor, the witch Isabelle, and becomes possessed by her spirit. Isabelle resurrects her other two witches and together they seek out the kryptonian crystals, using their magic to render Clark powerless.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Lana's French ancestor manifests in the present and takes possession of Lana, who creates a lot of trouble throwing around witch-magic, even robbing Clark of his powers. Only the cave crystals can save him.moreless

    7.4
    We interrupt our series on the development of Superman to sidetrack into a witches' brew, featuring Kristin as a 15th century stake-burning victim of witch hunters. However, this strange story line does give Ms. Kreuk a chance at a wholly different role, even if it is a bit over-the-top. So let the bonfire begin, but the three accused ladies will be back...in a few centuries. FF to the future, where Lana had acquired in France her ancestor Isabelle's old spell (not spelling) book. A symbol from Isabelle's tombstone was imprinted on Lana's back, and when Lana touches the same symbol in the book, she goes all violet-eyes and suddenly she's possessed by Isabelle's spirit.



    Lois is planning Chloe's 18th birthday party in Clark's barn, over Clark's objections - it's always refreshing to see Lois take him oh-so-unseriously. Lana cooks up some potions when Chloe and Lios, arrive, barely noticing that Lana has had a personality transplant. Ms. Kreuk has the big role in this episode, perhaps making up for last week, when she barely had one scene. She visits Clark, much to his surprise, since they haven't been speaking, but she's not herself. Comin' on to ya, Clark, but she's really after hair samples for the potion recipe. After breaking the scissors on Clark's hair (even that has superpower), he pulls out a hair for her.



    Over at the mansion, Lex, or rather his keyboard double, is at the piano, but Lana/Isabelle is a big distraction. She's looking for a rare wine for Chloe's 18th, and Lex reluctantly pulls out a nice one, thereby contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Lana spots the illuminated manuscript, and she knows there's a map hidden under the page - she makes it disappear, and hexes Lex to the piano for nonstop playing, to infinity.



    Out in the woods, Chloe is being led around by Lois prior to the surprise party, but clever Chloe tosses off, "Why am I a wood nymph when there's a party waiting for me?" So it's no surprise to our ace investigative reporter. Lana/Isabelle puts the spell on them, too, and they're possessed by the spirits of Isabelle's French fry-mates. Lana explains how they all got back to life, aiming to seize the power of the crystals. The birthday party is a bit more elaborate than Clark expected, then the black-clad witches appear, and Lana/Isabelle brushes off Jason, poor guy. With a quick medieval spell from Lana, the party goes rave in a hurry, even affecting Clark, who's gyrating shirtless when the Princeton alum arrives to talk to him about scholarships - bad timing, Clark.



    Next day, Clark finds Lex still at the piano, fingertips bloodied, and mumbling about Lana. Jason realizes he's in trouble when he gets thrown out of the Talon window by Lana/Isabelle, forcing a speed-rescue by Clark. Meeting Lana/Isabelle at the appointed time, Clark is knocked for a loop by the unholy trio - he can match their powers, but Lana/Isabelle robs him of his strength. Lana/Isabelle is looking for the stones of power, and the three glam-witches head to the caves, searching for the crystals. Lana/Isabelle tries quick incantations over the Kryptonian symbols, but Clark arrives, and only he can regain power from the one stone. Clark wisely uses heat vision to burn that troublesome spell-book and our three favorite gals come back to the future on the cave floor wondering what happened. Good thing they can't remember anything, such as Clark's abilities.



    Back on the farm, Clark has to try to explain certain party leftovers to Johathan and Martha. Was it really magic that hurt Clark, or the stone's powers? At least Lex confesses to Lana that he was the one who exposed her relationship with Jason - just trying to protect her from coercion into a relationship with an authority figure. Lana has had enough of this protectionism. She sees Clark, wryly remarking that she was "possessed by an evil slut." To avoid more secrets, she tells Clark how she received the mark on her back - but Clark has to deny his knowledge of the counterpart cave symbol, so there goes another secret.



    Lex is in the cave, looking at that same symbol on the wall - he's on to you, Lana. Not much movement in this episode on the overall Smallville legend, and the wicked witch possession story line borders on silly, but that eye makeup is something to behold. So, we can watch again with a re-run rating of C+.moreless
  • Lana, Chloe, and Lois become possessed by witches and use their powers on Clark, Lex, Jason, and everyone else.

    10
    Loved this episode. It was cleverly written and truly entertaining. Some parts were really funny- like Clark dancing at the party while under the witches' spell. Other parts were sexy and allowed us to see Lana play a whole different character. The action and spells were cool - like Lex playing the piano as his fingers bled. The storyline was cool and interesting. I liked the whole history of the witches at the beginning burning at the stake and how we start to finally understand what the tattoo was all about, and how Jason's mom (and Jason meeting her in Paris) all came together. Seeing Lana, Chloe, and Lois team up together was the best part.moreless
  • bad one!.. they lost it and could never find the story...

    1.0
    this new season was suppose to be lighter but its actually been boring instead. they're losing there edginess the darkness ...its been dull and the stories start but somehow dont have the right end...i wanna see lux and clark fight it out big time and i want it to get darker and darker not lighter....i was hoping to see bigger monster bigger issues but instead of moving forward the season is going back to season one and losing its charm...sadly!...although the good stuff...clark is getting older thus more mature, i like lana's new boyfriend and i do like choe's cuzin but choe's love angle has to end with clark now...they need to give her someone new to work with.. =)moreless
  • Witches Just Wanna Have Fun

    2.2
    Spell-Lana reads a spell book belonging to her 17th century ancestor, the witch Isabelle, and becomes possessed by her spirit. Isabelle resurrects her other two witches and together they seek out the kryptonian crystals, using their magic to render Clark powerless.



    Okay, we know this is sci-fi/supernatural series that features character that can shoot fire from their eyes and have superspeed as well as aliens, clones and other supernaural beings. Yet "Spell" is the perfect example how too fantasy isn't necessarially a good thing! It can actually create one of the most dreadful hours of TV you'll ever witness. Now Smallville has had bad episodes before, "Spell", at this point, took the cake for worst episode of the series. Nothing can describe how incredble cheesy and ridiculous this episode is. For some fans is awful, for others, it's so bad, its good! But for me, I can't stand it. This episode introduces the witch storyline, which is one of the reasons why Season 4 suffered immensely, and it doesn't get any better after this episode.



    Kristin Kreuk is laugable as Lana's 17th century ancestor who so happens to be an evil witch Isabelle. Her performance is way over-the-top, especially in the opening flashback and you just can't take the character seriously as a villain or anything remotely serious. Isabelle is also written too gimicky and campy, not to mention she's quite cliche. It also makes matters worse when Chloe and Lois become possessed by by Isobel's 2 fellow witches. Allison Mack and Erica Durance are just annoying throughout, touching themselves and making comments about how big their breasts are! The most cringe-worthy moment has to be when 3 of them take over the party in Clark's barn, which just get more embarrasing to watch with every second. Although, Tom's incompetent dance moves make me laugh a bit.



    Just all the scenes where they hexs on people are unintentionally hilarious. Lex has to play the piano forever (ehw!), Jason is held to the wall by Isabelle (SNORE!) and the cheesy fight scene with Clark against Isobel and her clowns with fake CGI all around (kill me now!). Then they depower Clark and torture him which isn't nearly as painful as watching this episode at the point! Of course, Clark gets his powers back and saves the day, but you really don't care at this point as this episode seems like one big joke! I wonder if the writers were watching "Charmed" one day and said, "hey, we can do that on Smallville and have Lana, Chloe, and Lois be like the evil power of 3 against Clark, that might work!" Wrong! "Spell" is an unbearable episode that has pitiful dialogue, bad performances and even the writers know it sucked, which is saying a lot since they admit it!moreless
  • Witches come to Smallville.

    2.0
    This is by far the worst episode from the whole series. First of all it goes against the general mythology that surrounds Smallville. I get that they weren't really witches or whatever and there was some connection to aliens but the overall effect of the episode implied that witchcraft was real which makes absolutely no sense in this world which is based upon Clark coming from another planet. Normally I like when character's go evil on this show, but this was just hard to watch. Lana, Lois and Chloe all looked and acted horribly in this episode and Clark's reactions were just plain dumb. I cannot stand this whole storyline and this episode had no redeeming characteristics.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

Jensen Ackles

Jensen Ackles

Jason Teague

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Toole

Martha Clark Kent

Mark Acheson

Mark Acheson

Magistrate Wilkins

Guest Star

Lara Gilchrist

Lara Gilchrist

Madeleine

Guest Star

Melanie Papalia

Melanie Papalia

Brianna

Guest Star

Erica Durance

Erica Durance

Lois Lane

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (23)

    • Why didn't the angry mob burn the spell book along with the witches? It wouldn't have been the first time that books of witchcraft have been burned.

    • At 34:04 when Clark gives his "I'm sorry" line, the wire used to yank the shotgun out of his hands is visible, at the lower right of the shot.

    • In previous episodes it was established that the Countess was entombed in a church in France and was a martyr. How many witches burned at the stake for being heretics get entombed in churches?

    • At the beginning of the episode when the magistrate is condemning the three witches, he uses Isabelle's full title - Countess Marguerite Isabelle Theroux. However, in the modern day when Lana opens the box, she inverts the name and incorrectly tells Jason the book belonged to Countess Isabelle Marguerite Theroux.

    • Does anyone else out there have a wine cellar within 14 inches of their library/living room? Assuming that he is just outside the door (because he can hear Lana say something about a certain area of France that she wants the wine from) Lex leaves for the wine cellar and emerges ten whole seconds after leaving. In that time, he manages to go to his wine cellar, search for a bottle of wine, and come back out.

    • At the beginning, with the scene in 16th century France, shouldn't the people be speaking French or at least with a French accent?

    • At the beginning of the episode, when Lois come to Clark's barn to setup for the party, she removes two boxes and hands them to Clark. We see her give the first box to Clark with the decorations, and then puts the second box with the plates on top of that. Then when there is only a shot of Clark asking a question, we see only the first box (with the decorations). In the next shot we see him carrying both boxes again.

    • The producers go to great pains to establish that Clark and Lana are both virgins at the beginning of this episode. And the fact they still are will be a major plot point a few episodes down the road. But given how libertine the Countess Isabelle is and what we see at the barn, it seems difficult to believe they would still be virgins after the witches turned the birthday party into an orgy.

    • So after Lana and the other witches tied up Clark at the barn and disappeared (presumably teleporting), some time passes. Jason shows up and frees Clark, they have a conversation, split up, Clark gets a shotgun, grabs a new shirt, cleans up his wounds...and gets to the caves only a minute after the witches do. What were they doing while he was doing all this that took so long? And how did Clark know he had enough time to do all this?

    • If Clark's so fast, why does he just stand there in the barn and let the witches talk, speak spells, gesture, etc.? The previous week he defeated a villain between eyeblinks.

    • Given what happened the last time they lost the book, why is Isabelle so casual about it in the 21st century? She doesn't have it when she visits Lex and Clark, and apparently just leaves it at the apartment because Jason finds it and almost destroys it.

    • How'd the three witches lose the book in the first place? They were able to run Clark pretty ragged, and you'd think they'd figure out not all to sleep at the same time or leave the book unguarded. So how'd a bunch of villagers overwhelm them?

    • Clark uses his heat vision as a repellor beam of sorts to deflect the flying tools. First of all - why bother? He's invulnerable. But his heat vision...well, melts things. None of the tools (including a saw blade we see close up) look the least bit heated up or melted.

    • Why does Clark take a shotgun to the cave? Even if he conveniently forgets the witches have telekinetic powers from when they threw the tools at him, is he really planning on gunning down the three girls? Or does he think a shotgun is going to scare them into giving him the book given the powers they've displayed and the fact he's now sans powers? It can't be to shoot the book, because shooting at something in someone's hands with a shotgun is generally not a good idea.

    • More of a nitpick then a goof, but from the beginning of this season, the producers have repeatedly portrayed Jason and Lana's relationship as "adult." Lana's gone on about it incessantly about how they're adults and not hurting each other, we've seen your typical WB psuedo-nudity and heavy breathing, they're willing to risk Jason's career and reputation to express their passion physically on school grounds, etc. But here the producers take great care to definitely establish she's a virgin. This all seems a bit contradictory.

    • They were celebrating Chloe's 18th birthday, but the tombstone seen in the first few episodes of the season indicate she was born in 1987. In order to turn 18, Chloe would have been born in 1986, or this episode takes place after January 1, 2005.

    • Jason doesn't seem to notice that Clark's face and chest have miraculously healed from the injuries Jason saw on them earlier in the barn.

    • So...what happened at the end of the last episode? Did Clark just ask Lex if he had Jason fired and accept his smug grin as an answer? In this episode, Clark doesn't seem to be aware of Lex's involvement so apparently so, but it seems an odd way for two friends to end a conversation.

    • Are we supposed to believe that Lana, possessed or otherwise, has enough hand-strength that when she cuts something harder than the scissor blades, the blades break? Try cutting something metallic sometime with a pair of scissors - the blades won't break apart. At least in the past when things have shattered after hitting Clark, it's been when they're swung hard - no such thing happens here.

    • The witches are being hauled to their burning in a covered cart. Apparently the cover is soundproof, because neither we nor they hear the screaming mob until it's yanked off. Either that, or the mob agreed to start screaming on cue the second the cloth was yanked off.

    • Back in "Run," Lex said he was going to lock away the manuscript page in a LuthorCorp vault. So why is it on display here? Particularly since it's been absent in the study in "Transference" and "Jinx" since then.

    • Roughly a year ago (in "Hereafter") Lex stated to Adam he never had the patience to learn to play the piano. But here he plays like a virtuoso. Apparently he not only got the patience but found the time between near-dying of poison, being on regular blood transfusions, dealing with his dad, testifying in court, protecting Chloe and her dad, searching for ancient Kryptonian artifacts, etc.

    • After the bit where Jason threatens Isabelle that he will burn the book, she says "You have no idea what you are dealing with, little man" and then she says a spell that throws him against the wall. After she says the spell, we see Jason being thrown onto the wall while you can see Isabelle saying the spell again, but we can't hear anything.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Magistrate Wilkins: You have been found guilty of committing the darkest art, witchcraft. For this affront against God, I hereby condemn you to burn in the fire of hell of which you so eagerly seek communion.
      Isabelle: You think this ends with the lick of flame? I sleep but a while. And when the time is appointed my heir will awaken me and I will have my vengeance.

    • Clark: I don't know what's going on, but this needs to stop before it gets out of hand. Isabelle/Lana: So you're more than just fast. Well, that'll make this a whole lot more exciting.

    • (Isabelle/Lana takes her spell book away from Jason)
      Isabelle/Lana: You have no idea what you're dealing with, little man. (she casts a spell that sends Jason flying up against the wall) So now you begin to understand. You are not but an insect in my path to be crushed on the journey toward greater things.

    • Isabelle/Lana: But we have definitely had better celebrations. This is appalling.
      Madeline/Chloe: We could change that.
      Isabelle/Lana: Well, it has been 400 years. Perhaps a little fun before we continue our quest.

    • Clark: The guy from Princeton's gonna be here any minute. Why are you so late?
      Brianna/Lois: I took the scenic route. (looks Clark up and down) Love the view.

    • Isabelle: (while searching for a virgin hair) Oh, no, no. That's no good.
      Lois: Well, yeah, not since you pulled it out.
      Isabelle: It was gray.
      Lois: I don't have gray hair. (pause) I'm just gonna use your bathroom for a second.

    • Lana: So, uh, how's your Latin?
      Jason: About as good as my Italian, which... I don't speak.

    • Clark: Isabelle was...aggressively sexy.
      Lana: Oh great, possessed by an evil slut...

    • Clark: Hey Dad!
      Jonathan: Hey, Clark. Son, is there maybe a little something you'd like to tell your mother and me? (holds up bra)
      Martha: Where did that come from?
      Jonathan: From out in the barn. In the hay.
      Martha: Clark...
      Clark: It was magic.
      Martha: I'm sure it was...

    • Lois: Why are we lying in the dirt?
      Chloe: And what the hell are we wearing?

    • Brianna/Lois: His powers are restored.
      Madeleine/Chloe: How?
      Clark: I'm not from around here...

    • Madeleine/Chloe: The food is so good in this century.
      Isabelle/Lana: And the men actually bathe.
      Brianna/Lois: And their bodies are so hard...

    • Isabelle/Lana: We don't have time for this.
      Madeleine/Chloe: Time is the only thing we do have. Isn't that what you said right before the angry mob set us on fire?
      Isabelle/Lana: You're really not going to let that go, are you?

    • Madeleine/Chloe: Is that the same quest that got us burned at the stake?
      Brianna/Lois: That was not pleasant.

    • Madeleine/Chloe: Ahh..the woods of France. I'd know them anywhere.
      Isabelle/Lana: We're in Kansas, Madeleine.
      Brianna/Lois: Where?

    • Brianna/Lois: I'm gorgeous! Look at these! (perks her breasts up).
      Isabelle/Lana: Yes, they're very nice.

    • Isabelle/Lana: Hair of two virgins. (plucks her own hair) We've been a good little girl, haven't we?

  • NOTES (8)

    • This episode was nominated for a Leo Award for Dramatic Series: Best Costume Design.

    • The scene where Clark appeals to (the possessed) Chloe for help right before being stripped of his powers, wasn't originally in the script. Tom Welling thought it'd be a nice touch to add.

    • Michael Rosenbaum is actually playing Impromptu No. 2 In E Flat by Schubert on the piano when Isabelle/Lana casts a spell on him.

    • Music: "Blame" by Black Toast Music, "What You Waiting For?" by Gwen Stefani, "We Might As Well Be Strangers" by Keane, and "Impromptu No. 2 In E Flat" by Schubert.

    • Kristin Kreuk's co-star from Edgemont, actor Micah Gardener, makes an uncredited appearance as a party guest in this episode.

    • Music by: Gwen Stefani (Love Angel Music Baby) and Keane (Hopes and Fears).

    • John Glover doesn't appear in this episode.

    • Clark gets a visit from a football recruiter from Princeton. Princeton is the real-life alma mater of a former Clark Kent, Dean Cain, who was a stand-out football player while attending (though Clark is a quarterback, while Dean was a safety).

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Lois: It's not even going to be Sodom and Gomorrah.
      Referring to Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament, in which the people who lived in these two cities were known to be the most sinful people at the time.

    • Lana: Cutting Clark's hair.
      The breaking of the scissors, when Lana tries to cut Clark's hair, is borrowed from the cover of an old Superman comic book where a barber is trying to give Superman a haircut. Broken scissors are strewn on the floor and Superman is reading a Batman comic book. Pre-Crisis scissors seemed to be the preferred way to test Clark Kent to see if he was Superman - both Lois Lane and Perry White tried it a couple of times. Finally, the scene might be a parody of Superman IV, when Lex Luthor and his nephew stole a strand of Superman's hair from a museum where it was holding up a boulder.

    • Lex: Just in case there was any Evil Dead action still brewing . . .
      Referring the famous trilogy (as of this episode's original airing) of movies starring Bruce Campbell. They also feature a magic book, the Necronomicon Ex Mortis.

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