Season 3 Episode 18


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Apr 21, 2004 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
615 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When Chloe accidentally inhales a mysterious krypto-gas, she discovers it acts as a truth serum to anyone who comes in contact with her and decides to take advantage of her new power by going to the Kents to find out Clark's secret. However, her new power comes with fatal consequences and Clark must find an antidote before she discovers the truth about him or worse, dies.moreless

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  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the show smallville cloe the newsreporter accidently ihales a gas that allowes her to get the truth from people and when she sees it work she wants to ge the truth from clark so she goes to the kent farm and clark is tring to figure whats wrong with her before his secret is out and that she could die becasue of the thing that has allowed her to get the truth from people . this was a good ep i thought and it had alot of good parts in the ep and that is why i gave it a 8.5moreless
  • Journalist Chloe acquires the ultimate dream - the ability to extract the truth from anyone, but this leads to danger to her and disastrous consequences to others. Clark pursues the cause through the illicit experiments of Lionel and Lex.moreless

    Allison Mack did not appear in last week's "Legacy," but is the featured actress in this episode. Her father has been let go from Luthorcorp, so she questions his coworker about it, but this is just a plot device to allow her to snatch his company i.d. and sneak into a Luthorcorp plant. Here, on what must be the late shift, she enters a lab, just poking around carelessly until trapped by a security system, which appears to be gassing the area with halon, but of course it's a meteor rock gas because it's green. She escapes, but anyone near green stuff is bound to be changed.

    Chloe and Clark try to set up an interview with a teacher of the year, and Chloe's questions result in lots of tiny green molecules passing to the teacher, who is suddenly telling the "Truth," to her embarrassment. And an offhand question to Pete has him almost spilling Clark's secret, as he says Clark is running to Metropolis for some Shark dogs, just for their evening ball game in Smallville. A six hour drive, Chloe asks? Clark drags Pete out to ask, "What was that?" Pete doesn't know.

    Off to the 'B' plot, with Lex in to see Lionel, so we expect to see the near-suicide and FBI sting operation from last week discussed. But no, it's all about the security incident with Chloe at the plant the previous night, and Lex tells Lionel nothing, but does remove the wire he's wearing for the FBI. We are left to wonder if this is the end of the elaborate sting operation Lex set up last week on Lionel. Why go to all that trouble only to drop all those story elements?

    When Martha returns home to find Chloe and Clark studying, she's alarmingly frank about Jonathan's recovery from heart surgery, telling Chloe she fears he may no longer be the man she married. Next question - how is Clark taking it? And Martha mentions Clark's biological father who drove him to Metropolis last summer...oops, Clark manages to cut off that line of discussion and shoo Chloe out the door.

    At the Talon, we see Lana is looking at a brochure about Paris, so maybe a story line is developing there. Lana responds to Clark about Chloe's behavior - her father's coworker called Chloe about the missing Luthorcorp i.d. As Chloe finally corrals Mrs. Taylor for a quick interview, another truth emerges - Taylor admits her real name is Lewis, she's been hiding for decades from prosecution for being part of a bomb-planting radical group. Her son hears all this; Chloe is excited by the revelation. In a bit of a stretch for a high-school reporter, Chloe publishes a Torch article about Mrs. Taylor's secret past.

    Clark nails Chloe, who is just so proud of her journalistic coup, but we can see that Clark is not affected by the truth effect - why? It's meteor rock bits floating through the air - is it supposed to be below his threshold of sensitivity? Chloe now realizes her power, using it to extract embarassing admissions from other students. Who wouldn't be amused by this ability? Chloe's excited, not seeing that she could be in danger from anyone who's confessed to her. So Clark intervenes, breaking into the Luthorcorp lab.

    Lex walks in on Clark's snooping, but is admirably understanding of Clark, who retorts that his last attempt to be honest with Lex led to revelations to the FBI. Lex insists that the Clark family is off-limits on the investigation - so this exchange is well-written around the events of the previous episode. Lex has shut down the lab, but any exposures could result in serious health risks.

    Chloe is now being shunned by everyone, except Lana, who spills about her application for a school program in Paris. Lana believes Chloe and others don't consider her to be family, that she's driven and self-involved, and she could not trust Chloe with these feelings. Now the truth may be getting too much even for Chloe. Next stop for her - Lex. Here's a place for some significant revelations. But Lex wants her help in restoring his lost memories, while Chloe wonders why she should help someone who's thwarting her father's job search. Lex lays that off on Lionel, but even Lex is surprised by his truth - he want his father to love him.

    An amusing scene at the hospital has Chloe hearing Pete say he's staying away from her so he doesn't tell her the truth - Clark tries to stop it, but Pete's truth is love for Chloe. Finally Chloe starts having symptoms and is hauled to diagnosis. Somehow Lionel knows she's there; but her questions have him admitting he blacklisted her father and ordered Morgan Edge to kill his parents for their life insurance. Chloe is now prepared to blackmail Lionel for her father's job. But he wants her to question Jonathan and Martha about Clark, and Chloe could end the secrecy that frustrates her so. The question: Where did Clark Kent come from?

    Clark and Pete later look into a Luthorcorp experiment called Levitas, according to a poorly written web page. This leads Clark to an auto shop - it could be where they rebuild all those red Dodge pickups the Kents use and abuse. The owner is a pistol-wielding ex-Luthorcorp employee who was involved in Levitas years earlier, and he says Chloe's headaches may lead to her death. How convenient - he still has an antidote, though untested. But Chloe is speeding to the Kent farm when Clark calls - as she's run off the road by Mrs. Taylor's son. Clark speeds to the bridge and gives Chloe the big injection - she's revived.

    Time for Chloe to admit the truth to Clark - about her planned questions for the Kents. But Clark is the supportive friend, and Chloe's fears about her own destructive curiosity are set aside for the moment. Once a truth is out, our cast tends to be more open - Lana tells Clark about her Paris plans. Lana is leaving.

    Chloe has only one voice-mail - expecting the confesssion from Lionel - but the message is from him - the incriminating statements are gone. He's one step ahead of Chloe again - a nice wrapup for this episode, which is more intriguing than most. While a truth serum might seem to be a trivial plot device, the writers have given it a nice freshening, and Ms. Mack carries off the entire episode with style and sincerity. Her performance alone makes this a good repeat viewing - so give it a re-run rating of B.moreless
  • The Truth Is Out There, Chloe Knows It!

    Truth-When Chloe accidentally inhales a mysterious krypto-gas, she discovers it acts as a truth serum to anyone who comes in contact with her and decides to take advantage of her new power by going to the Kents to find out Clark's secret. However, her new power comes with fatal consequences and Clark must find an antidote before she discovers the truth about him or worse, dies.

    Sometimes serious, mostly hilarious, "Truth" works on a lot of levels not just because it's a Chloe centric episode, but because it's one of the few episodes that has the right balance of comedy and drama. Chloe's temporary truth power provides some truly priceless scenes like when she asks one of the football players who he wants to take to the dance and he reveals that his gay and one of the teachers being wanted for murder.. Then there is the scene where Pete reveals his true feelings for Chloe and how his wanted he the first day he met her. It's actually nice scene that develops Pete a bit and Sam Jones III pulls it off. You can tell that Allison Mack was having fun with this storyline as the way she conveyed Chloe's cockyiness very well. Even though at times Chloe was out of line, like using her power to get Clark to reveal his secret, it still made for some good tension. But the best part of the episode is how Chloe gets Lionel to reveal that he killed his parents for the money. The way Lionel just blurted it out was priceless and John Glover as well as Allison Mack were both wonderful in that scene. Another great scene is when Clark stabs Chloe in the heart...literally...with large needle. All and All, "Truth" is a great dramedy episode with a fine performance by Allison Mack.moreless
  • After inhaling a mysterious gas at LuthorCorp, Chloe soon discovers it acts as a truth serum to anyone she comes across, and decides to take full advantage. However, her new ability comes with a price, and Clark must find an antidote before she dies.moreless

    After swiping an employee security card, Chloe sneaks into LuthorCorp, where she accidentally triggers the release of a mysterious gas into the facility, inhaling it as she leaves. The next day, she's pleasantly surprised to find that people reveal their innermost thoughts to her, and soon learns that the chemical agent she inhaled turned her into a "human lie detector," forcing people to tell her the truth. She decides to take full advantage, compelling many people to divulge their various secrets, including coercing and recording a confession from Lionel regarding his parents' murder. However, Clark discovers that the gas Chloe inhaled could eventually kill her, unless she gets the antidote. Meanwhile, Lex works with the FBI to bring down his father, and Lana reveals that she wants to attend school in Paris.

    You know, forcing people to tell you the truth would be a pretty cool ability to have, not to mention a useful one, but without being able to control it, the honest answers could become hurtful. And the one asking the questions may not be the only one who gets hurt...or humiliated. Just something to think about. As for the episode itself, I rate it four out of five stars. As much I liked the idea of a truth serum-like ability, as another user pointed out, there was some discrepancies in the answers Chloe was given, like an answer that was too detailed or irrelevant for the question she asked. Plus, the Lex and Lionel dynamic in this episode wasn't all that interesting, with the exception of Lex's admission to Chloe about the love he wants from his father.

    Highlights include: Chloe getting hit with the krypto-gas; Pete nearly giving away Clark's secret to Chloe; Martha inadvertantly voicing her concerns to Chloe; Chloe getting various students to reveal their secrets and her conversation with Clark immediately afterward; Chloe and Lex's conversation at the mansion, including Lex's admission about his father; Pete cornered and forced to admit his crush on Chloe; Clark and Pete's discussion on Pete's feelings for Chloe; Chloe recording Lionel's confession; Clark saving Chloe on the bridge; and Chloe finding that Lionel's confession has been deleted from her voicemail.moreless
  • Great Episode

    Chloe Sullivan visits a former friend of her father in Luthor Corp. to know if he is blacklisted, since all his applications are not accepted and he is not able to find a job. She steals his security card and breaks in the Luthor Corp. laboratory trying to find evidences, but she accidentally is exposed to a sort of gas that makes people tell the truth, exposing their innermost secrets. Chloe uses her ability to explore her curiosity of journalist, hurting people and showing the dangerousness of the absolute truth. "Truth" is a great episode of Smallville, showing the real feelings of many characters. We see a needy Lex Luthor looking for parental love; Martha Kent's fears about Jonathan Kent recent attitudes; Pete Ross's feelings for Chloe; the application of Lana Lang in an art course in Paris; the confirmation of the crime of Lionel Luthor against his parents. It shows also how people in general hide some of their feelings in order of not hurting the others.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

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Toole

Martha Clark Kent

Gillian Barber

Gillian Barber

Mrs. Taylor

Guest Star

Mark Houghton

Mark Houghton

Lab Technician

Guest Star

Andrew Francis

Andrew Francis

William Taylor

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (28)

    • Clark tells Pete that the name of the man Chloe's been researching for her article on Levitas is General Jonah Doyle. However, if you look at the file he has open on Chloe's computer, you can tell that it says General John Doyle.

    • Trivia: The Torch's phone number is 555-2453.

    • In the beginning of the episode, when Chloe is talking to the LuthorCorp guy, where the guy is standing, it's raining, where Chloe is standing it's not.

    • When Clark was speaking to Lana, she picks up a tray to clear the table. She picks up only the red cup but in the next scene she only has the yellow cup on her tray.

    • When Pete says something to Chloe about Clark hitting supersonic, and he can make the round trip to Metropolis in about ten minutes, Clark acts like it's a joke. However, when Chloe finds out that people only can tell the truth to her, shouldn't she figure out that Pete was also telling the truth about that?

    • So Lana is just planning on going to Paris? She put a lot of work into making the Talon a successful business and it seems to be making a profit - now she's just leaving it behind for the summer?

    • Why exactly were they experimenting on dogs? How exactly can dogs ask questions?

    • Doyle said he was working on the antidote before the project was shut down. Lionel says that's been 6-7 years ago. How on earth is the serum still viable for use? There are very few substances that can last that long without proper care and that cooler wasn't even remotely sterile.

    • Why doesn't Clark just...well, lie when Chloe asks him what he's hiding? Say he's bisexual, he cross-dresses, he has a compulsion to dress in plaid, something. Clark's pretty much figured out Chloe's "truth" power - he might not be good at thinking on his feet but he's had enough time he must have expected her to ask him something probing and have a few good "truths" ready to feed her. Instead, he blatantly ignores her power, which not surprisingly makes her even more suspicious of him. And it's not like Clark is adverse to lying to people to protect himself, his parents, or the people themselves.

    • Not exactly a goof, but...Chloe's power seems a little odd. It's apparently transferred by air (judging by the first shot of her using it, and the microscopic green stuff). But...the power seems to make people be more truthful toward Chloe. If the power is basically an air-delivery truth serum, shouldn't anybody around Chloe answer any questions, asked by anyone, truthfully? Or is it just plot convenience that no one other then Chloe asks anybody else questions when Chloe's around?

    • Clark seems to put a great deal of effort into driving the needle into Chloe's chest. Why? He has super strength and the efficacy of the drug injection isn't determined by how hard you drive in the needle--note that Clark pushes the plunger in after he sticks the needle in. Maybe Clark's been watching Pulp Fiction (see Cultural References) once too often.

    • Gabe's friend from LuthorCorp calls Chloe and gets Lana. He then tells Lana a lot of information for someone he doesn't know at all.

    • Chloe has been leaving a trail of truth-telling behind her - why on Earth would Lionel confront her in person?

    • Chloe's power is... rather variable. Sometimes she asks someone a simple question and they answer it truthfully but go on for several minutes, expanding on the answer. Mrs. Taylor is asked "Does that work for you?" and goes on for about a minute saying much more then the simple truth ("No!"). When Lana seems unhappy about Chloe's new power, Chloe simply asks her "What's that about?" and Lana goes on about Paris - that really has nothing to do with the question. But when Chloe asks Rebecca and Mindy in the hallway, they give very short answers. And Pete feels so compelled to be "truthful" that he kisses Chloe to truthfully show her how he feels. But she asks Lionel "Exactly what do you want to know?" (my emphasis) and he gives a brief answer about Clark - you'd think he'd want to know about the disease cure, the key and its origins, what Swann's up to, etc.

    • When Chloe confronts William and his mother and she confesses, before she does so Chloe asks her son if he thinks his mom being a teacher is cool, and he basically says yes. He's being compelled to tell the truth by Chloe's power - William must be the only kid in the world who thinks having his mom as a teacher at his school is "cool." ;)

    • Clark puts the needle in Chloe's chest and when she wakes up you can see the mark it makes, but in the next scene it is gone.

    • Chloe is driving her father's car. This makes a little sense at the beginning at night if she had to sell her old VW bug to cover expenses. But she's driving it later during the day. With Mr. Sullivan out of work, how the heck does he look for work when letting his daughter drive his car around just to go to school and stuff?

    • Chloe doesn't even ask how her car got pulled off the edge of the bridge with no tow truck present.

    • How did Clark know exactly where to go at the gigantic LuthorCorp plant where Chloe had been exposed to the gas? It did not show Chloe telling him. Even if she did, the place is so large that it would seem like she would have to bring him there to the exact place or else Clark would have to know the place extremely well. How is it that Lex happens to be there, alone in the lab, when Clark is there? We know Lex was testing the gas. But why would he need to be in the lab, especially after they shut the project down due to the break-in?

    • Shouldn't the project Chloe found have been called "Veritas" (Latin for truth) rather than "Levitas" (Latin for lightness; restlessness; mildness; fickleness; shallowness)?

    • Apparently LuthorCorp is about as well-guarded as Lex's mansion. A stolen key card is all you need to get into a secret lab at a multi-million-dollar corporate facility? There are no security cameras, either.

    • What time of the year is it in Smallville? There are football posters up, and the school jocks seem like the current football team. But...the series typically corresponds to real time and we've seen winter earlier this season. And you usually do "Teacher of the Year interviews" in the spring. And Clark and Pete are watching basketball. So shouldn't it be into the spring and well past football season?

    • Clark said it's hard to be scarce in Smallville. It's got a population of 45,000. Folks who live in towns half that size can avoid people they don't want to see.

    • Chloe mentions Clark's "baby blues". Traditionally, Superman does indeed have blue eyes; Tom Welling does not.

    • Does Lana even pretend to go to school any more? She's dealing with the "morning rush" in her first scene, but in the very next scene we see school getting out so it's clearly a weekday.

    • Ex-general Doyle seems awfully willing to just give Clark, a kid he's never met and only knows for about two minutes, the one existing sample of a potential cure for Levitas. How does he know Clark isn't a spy for Lionel?

    • When Clark is talking to Pete about telling Chloe too much, they're speaking about Chloe just two feet from the room she's in. Wouldn't she hear or eavesdrop according to her curious nature?

    • Not only does Doyle seem way too young to be a general, but it's about impossible for a modern-day general to get "dishonorably discharged."

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Lionel: (on Chloe's voicemail) Oh, no need to look for that conversation we had earlier, it's gone. And, um . . . well, that's it -- no need to call back.

    • Chloe: Doug, if you could take anyone to the prom, who would you take?
      Doug: That'd be Fitz.
      Chloe: Thomas Fitzpatrick, the quarterback?!?

    • Pete: Clark's going to run to Metropolis to get us some Shark Dogs from the stadium.
      Chloe: Wha? Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa -- back up. You mean to tell me that Clark is driving six hours to pick up a couple of hot dogs?
      Pete: Well, when Clark goes supersonic, he can make the round trip in ten minutes,
      Clark: He's kidding.

    • Chloe: Another lovely evening huddled around the electronic hearth

    • Clark: Since Pete's supplying the big screen, I've got dinner.
      Chloe: What? Clark Kent in the kitchen? (makes a face). What's on the menu?

    • Lex: Two invitations to your office in one week. I should be flattered.
      Lionel: You should be more careful.

    • Pete: Oh, c'mon, Clark, as far as long shadows go, you're the dark side of the moon.

    • Lionel: Miss Sullivan, you look a bit peaked. Well, I suppose a steady diet of truth can wear on a person.

    • Chloe: Why can't you just walk away from your father?
      Lex: Because he won't give me the only thing I've ever wanted from him.
      Chloe: And that would be...?
      Lex: I want him to love me.

    • Chloe: Is it just me, or did I completely clear out the lunch crowd?
      Lana: No, it's you.

    • Clark: It's hard to make yourself scarce in Smallville.

    • Lionel: Lex – thanks for dropping by.
      Lex: Which of your obsessive-compulsive fixations is behind today's summons?

  • NOTES (4)

    • Injoke: The number of the section in LuthorCorp where the truth gas is being developed is also the year Superman: The Movie (with Christopher Reeve, of course) first came out.

    • Lionel still has the relatively fresh cut on his cheek he received from his fight with Jonathan an episode earlier.

    • Music: "Someday" by Fastball, "Better Don't Do" by Ing
      "Stabat Mater" by Paul Schwartz, and "Selling Out" by The Fuzz.

    • John Schneider doesn't appear in this episode because of the extra burden of his directorial duties on "Talisman" two episodes down the road, as well as starring in the disaster movie 10.5.


    • Pete: As far as long shadows go, Clark, you're the dark side of the moon.
      Referencing the album Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. It's also lyrics in a song by 3 Doors Down called "Kryptonite." "The dark side of the moon" also refers to the side of the Moon that can't been seen from Earth. We always see the same side, because the rate the Moon rotates and revolves is just right. So the "dark side of the moon" is literally an entire side of the Moon - a very long shadow indeed.

    • Chloe's Phone Password: 1-2-3-4
      The combination to the air shield in the movie Spaceballs is 1-2-3-4-5. One can't help but feel Chloe's voice-mail password is an allusion to that. Although no one says, "So the combination is one, two, three, four? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! The kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!" (to quote Dark Helmet).

    • Chloe: Whatever you "Pulp Fictioned" into my chest...
      Referencing the scene in the movie Pulp Fiction when Uma Thurman's character had a huge needle lunged into her heart in order to be resuscitated.

    • Pete: As long as you're on-line, you want to ask Jeeves how long it takes to die of embarassment?
      Referring to the website where you can do searches on a variety of topics and questions.