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"Smallville" Complete Series Overview

Updated on December 17, 2021
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Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.



Before we begin, please be advised that this article does not contain every single plot point and storyline from the show. This is only an overview of the most important parts and what I thought of the show. Enjoy!

The Early Years

Smallville opens with Jonathan and Martha Kent running errands around town. They enter a flower shop run by Nell and her niece Lana Lang. Lana, only 3 or 4 years old, asks them to make a wish. Martha smiled and wished for a child, knowing it was highly improbably she would ever have one. Little did she know, that was all about to change. That was the day of the infamous meteor shower. Many people died during the rain of rock and debris, including Lana's parents, but Smallville gained a new resident: Kal-El of Krypton. It was by pure chance that Jonathan and Martha Kent found him in a field where his ship landed.

Fast-forward over a decade later. Martha and Jonathan found a way to adopt the young boy, named him Clark, and now Clark is a teen heading into high school. He's learned to control his superpowers of strength and speed and only uses them when he is 100% sure no one is looking. There's something else he has found out. He can't be around green meteor rock without becoming weak as if his power was drained.

Clark has made some close friends, including the gorgeous Lana Lang, the brilliant Chloe Sullivan, and the forever hopeful Pete Ross. All three of these people will play important roles in his life, whether he realizes it or not. He also made a friend that he's not sure if he can fully trust or not, and that man's name is Lex Luthor. Lex has been sent to Smallville to oversee a Luthorcorp plant while his father Lionel oversees the Metropolis plant.

Throughout the first three seasons, we get more or less just get fragments of Clark discovering his past. We find that he has heat vision, X-ray vision, and that red meteor rock turns him into a bad boy bent on breaking every law possible. He also discovers his father, Jor-El, through an ancient cave prophesying the coming a super-powered being that will protect mankind from any and all evil. It's also revealed that this being will have an enemy that will start out as a brother figure but will turn into a life-long adversary.

The Year of Lois Lane

After giving in to Jor-El's wishes, Clark has spent a few months in Jor-El's care, training for his destiny. When he is returned to Smallville at the beginning of season 4, he has no memory of his Earth life. He is found by Lois Lane, who is in town to investigate her cousin Chloe's disappearance. From the start of the season, we can plainly see the chemistry and tension between Lois and Clark. Many times, their verbal exchanges are comical and other times they are emotional. The perfect girl is right in front of him but of course he is blinded by his love for Lana. Lana, however, is getting tired of Clark constantly evading her questions and is slowly growing tired of waiting.

Clark did meet someone who he thought was the love of his life. Her name was Alicia and she had the power to teleport. Alicia showed Chloe Clark's powers and Chloe kept it a secret as a great friend would. Unfortunately, Alicia was killed which sent Clark into a nearly unstoppable rage. The only person able to stop Clark from murdering Alicia's killer was Lois.

Season Four did get a bit on the weird side. Lana had spent the summer in Paris, where she met Jason Teague and discovered that she was the descendant of a witch named Margaret Isobel Thoreaux. Apparently, the stones that Jor-El tells Clark to unite in the caves are also the same stones that Margaret needs to resurrect herself and become invincible. Thankfully, this storyline ended with season 4, along with the high school years. Clark is finally a man now, assuming he can combine the stones together before the second meteor shower destroys the world.

The Year of Brainiac

The second meteor shower brought with it a huge spaceship, which was conveniently found and claimed by none other than Lex Luthor. Inside was a creation of the Kryptonian race called The Brain Interactive Construct, aka Brainiac.

At the beginning of the season, Clark finally has a chance to be with Lana, so he gave up his powers and turned his back on his destiny. Jor-El, of course, wasn't happy about it but Clark wanted Lana more than anything. It was only after a near-death experience that Jor-El gave Clark his powers back. Clark decided to tell her the truth but Lana was killed in a car accident. Clark turned to Jor-El and begged him to let Clark save her. Jor-El warned him someone else would have to die in her place should he choose to save her. Clark didn't care at the moment, until he realized who had to die.

Martha Kent became Kansas State Senator and took on a bigger role than she ever thought she would take. Lois was designated as Martha's assistant and together, they seemed unstoppable. Lionel Luthor became attached to Martha, supporting her campaign and her term, trying to win her a US Senate seat, along with her heart.

Brainiac, posing as college professor Milton Fine, befriended Clark and Lex both, playing both sides to get what he wanted. Brainiac used Lex's resources to create what he called a cure, but was actually a virus. Brainiac thought that by convincing Lex that he would use his Kryptonian knowledge to fashion a cure that would cure any disease then Lex would wilfully go along with it. Turns out, Brainiac was right. While he was playing on Lex's gullibility, he turned to Clark and played on his. Brainiac convinced Clark that Jor-El was a power hungry war criminal and the Fortress of Solitude needed to be destroyed. When Clark did that, he opened the Phantom Zone. Clark managed to close it in time, but Brainiac wouldn't give up that easily. He managed to poison the Fortress, allowing him to gain the ultimate knowledge necessary to carry out his plan.

Brainiac multiplied himself, gathering more and more information about humanity. When the time was right, he used his ship to abduct Lex and prepare his body to be the vessel for General Zod. General Zod was one of Jor-El's closet friends until Zod betrayed him and set in motion the events that caused Krypton's destruction.

Once Zod took over Lex's body, Lex was dropped back to Earth to begin his reign of terror. Brainiac unleashed his virus, causing a world-wide blackout. Zod managed to trap Clark in the Phantom Zone and take Lana for himself.

The Rise and Fall of Lex Luthor

Seasons six and seven dealt with the arrival of Supergirl, but mostly Lex's growing suspicion that Clark was more than a farmboy from Smallville, Kansas. He began piecing together different events and "coincidences" that all pointed to one thing - Clark was superhuman.

After Clark escaped the Phantom Zone and put Zod back where he belonged, Clark helped rebuild what humanity nearly lost. Lex watched from a distance, the remnants of Zod's darkness growing inside of him. He began to hate his father, Clark, and pretty much anything good. His quest for power had begun.

Clark's friendship with Green Arrow, Impulse, Aquaman and Cyborg led to a formation, a league of sorts. Clark helped them take down one of Lex's experiment facicilities and the League traveled the world, destroying more and more of Lex's facilities. This made him desperate.

He finally did figure everything out, trapping Clark in the Fortress and using a powerful Orb to destroy it, with himself and Clark inside. Lex and Clark both survived. Clark didn't have a scratch on him. Lex, however, had to be put into extensive rehabilitation.


Season 8 introduced one of Superman's most dangerous foes, Doomsday. Doomsday is a Kryptonian beast of insurmountable rage and power. It's nearly impossible to kill him because his body reforms so that he can't be killed that particular way again.

Poor Chloe always has the misfortune of falling for bad guys. Davis Bloom, a paramedic, enters the scene when a bus explosion almost kills several people, including the heir to the LuthorCorp fortune, Tess Mercer. Turns out, Davis was in fact Doomsday, he just didn't know it at first. All he knew was that he had urges to kill, then would black out and wake up with blood all over him.

Finally, Davis evolved into the monster he was destined to become, killing several people along the way including a few of Clark's friends. Tess discovered who Clark was and decided to help him rather than stand against him like Lex did. Clark battled, finally defeating Doomsday.


Kneel Before Zod

Season Nine is what I call the "Dark Year". After Jimmy's death Clark decided to leave his human life behind and focus on saving as many people as possible. He eventually did return to the Daily Planet, beginning his days as a journalist and a hero.

Tess comes across a crystal in her search for Lex. She unwittingly released Zod and a small group of Kryptonians from the Phantom Zone and now they're on Earth, planning war against Clark. Lois accidentally used Clark's Legion ring which transported her to a future where Clark was powerless and Zod ruled the Earth. She made it back to her time and warned Clark of the impending doom.

Clark figured out how to send Zod back, but before he could, Zod stabbed Clark with blue Kryptonite. Blue Kryptonite strips Clark's powers while he's in its presence. Clark fell while Zod was sucked back into the Zone. Lois found Clark and threw the Kryptonite away. Clark healed, and was soon awake.

Final Steps: Becoming Superman

The final season basically wrapped everything up. It was revealed that Lex had cloned himself and his originally body had been destroyed in a truck explosion caused by Green Arrow. Now, in the final season, all Lex needed was a heart.

A device was discovered that could send Clark to an alternate dimension. He discovered there that he was Clark Luthor and had destroyed many lives in Metropolis and Smallville. When he found a way back, alternate Lionel came with him.

Jor-El warned Clark that by banishing Zod, Clark had gotten Darkseid's attention. Lionel made a deal with Darkseid. Darkseid would save Lex if Lionel gave up his soul. Lionel agreed. Darkseid took over Lionel and gave Lex Lionel's heart. Lex woke, his body and memories restored.

Clark prevented Darkseid's kingdom of Apokolips from taking over Earth and he defeated Darkseid in the process. Jor-El finally found Clark worthy off the suit which would finally help Clark go public as Superman.


In conclusion, I found this series to be more than just a superhero show. It had humor, love, drama, tragedy, good times, bad times, moments that made you reminisce about your own life and moments that made you wish you had a different life. Smallville had it all, and I for one wish that the show could have continued.

Which superhero show do you think is the best?

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© 2016 Nathan Jasper


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