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30 Best Smallville Episodes Ranked

With the exciting news of a "Smallville" animated series, it's time to go back and explore some of the greatest episodes of the hit 10 season series. Following the story of a young Clark Kent as he learns how to use his super-abilities to eventually become Superman, "Smallville" was the trailblazer for modern superhero television. Shows like "Arrow," "The Flash," "Supergirl," "Gotham," and plenty of others owe their thanks to this flagship series that proved once and for all that there was a market for superhero television in the 21st century. Of course, Clark never wore the Superman tights on-screen — barring some okay CGI in the finale — but that's because "Smallville" wasn't strictly a superhero show, especially not when it first started.

While "Smallville" has been off the air for a while now, it hasn't been forgotten. Actors Tom Welling and Erica Durance reprised their respective roles as Clark Kent and Lois Lane in the 2019 CW crossover event "Crisis on Infinite Earths," showing us what Lois and Clark have been up to after all these years. Whether you see that epilogue as canon or not, it's gotten many excited about "Smallville" once again, and after the 20th-anniversary event it's clear why fans continued to appreciate "Smallville."

30. Exodus

The second season finale of "Smallville," "Exodus" opens with Clark meeting his biological father — or, at least an A.I. version of him — Jor-El (played by "Superman 2" legend Terence Stamp), who tells him that it's time to fulfill his destiny. Clark wouldn't fulfill his destiny for another eight years or so, but in the meantime, he has to deal with Lionel Luthor's invasion of the Kawatche Caves, missing Lex and Helen's wedding (he's a terrible best man), and being directly responsible for his mother's miscarriage. Yikes. It's a pretty full episode that changes the game for "Smallville," forcing Clark to confront his true heritage.

Of course, there are a lot of other great moments in this episode that propel the series forward. Clark's first go at a romantic relationship with Lana Lang starts and also kind of ends here, but in the sweet moments they have together, we remember why this high school romance is doomed. We also get a great moment between Pete Ross and Lionel, when Pete angrily confronts him about stealing his family's business. Overall, "Exodus" is a power hour of television that breaks your heart as Clark (on Red K) rides his father's motorcycle towards the Metropolis skyline, running away from Smallville.

29. Nemesis

"Nemesis" is one of those episodes that is hard to remember but impossible to forget. Season 6 threw Clark in the middle of a lot more drama than he had ever bargained for, culminating in a marriage between Lex and Lana that sent him over the edge. However, when Lex is trapped underground in a collapsed tunnel system, Clark is the only one who can save his former friend. Of course, things don't go quite as planned (they never do on "Smallville"), and the tunnels are lined with Kryptonite (shocker), forcing Clark and Lex to rely on each other to get out alive before the bombs go off.

This episode does a phenomenal job exploring the complexities of Clark and Lex's eternally doomed friendship, with both of them questioning if they were ever really friends at all. Though, through all of it, Lex holds to the fact that Clark was his only "real" friend. As they struggle underground, we see a new, more vengeful version of Lana here, who would easily have let her new husband die alone. Yet, upon hearing that Clark is down there also, she quickly jumps to the rescue. Thus begins Lana's journey towards embracing her new Luthor identity, which would only get more intense by the season's end.

28. Luthor

It wouldn't be until Season 10's "Luthor" that Clark would meet an alternate version of himself, one who was raised as a Luthor rather than a Kent. Of course, in this world, Lionel Luthor is still alive, Lex is dead, and Tess Mercer is openly a Luthor (and in a weird relationship with her step-brother Clark Luthor). But what stands out in this episode is Clark's connection with the alternate Lois Lane (married to Oliver Queen on this world), who believes that he's actually good, unlike his villainous counterpart. After Clark finds his way home, we learn that the Earth-2 Lionel made it through also, bringing evil back with him.

On the flip side, we get to see Tom Welling play Ultraman, the evil Clark from Earth-2, and it's genuinely chilling. His calm but tense portrayal of Clark Luthor sends shivers down your spine, especially when he confronts Tess and tries to seduce her. While it seems like there could be no redemption for Ultraman, Clark believes that there could be, and later on (in the sequel episode "Kent") he gives the Luthor a shot at protecting his own world. "Luthor" is an excellent study in the philosophical question "Smallville" constantly asks, nature or nurture? It seems like it's probably a bit of both.

27. Covenant

The Season 3 finale, "Covenant," is an exciting combination of Clark wrestling with his destiny and Lex trying to put his father away for murder. A mysterious girl named Kara (not Clark's Kryptonian cousin who would become Supergirl) arrives on the Kent Farm and takes flight with Clark in her arms. This creates a dilemma for our favorite farm boy, who is torn between staying on Earth with his friends and family and going elsewhere with Jor-El and Kara. Of course, Clark chooses his family, which results in Jor-El threatening the life of his adopted father, Jonathan Kent, ultimately forcing Clark to go with him.

There are also some pretty shocking revelations here. Clark discovers Lex's "room of obsession," which drives a huge wedge between them, ultimately forcing Clark to officially end their friendship. While they'd become friends again, their bond would never quite be the same, and this distrust would eventually evolve into hatred. With lasting impact, this episode throws the Kents and the Luthors into the fire, especially as Lex and Chloe Sullivan put the final lock on Lionel's cage. Oh, and that final scene, wow — there isn't a "Smallville" season-ender with more personal stakes than "Covenant," and it's explosive.

26. Red

Throughout the first season, Clark experienced lots of pain at the hands of green Kryptonite, the most common form that can actually kill a Kryptonian. "Red" marks a sharp turn in the "Smallville" saga, expanding the color of Kryptonite to, you guessed it, red. As it turns out, Red K is far more dangerous than the original stuff, but not because it can physically hurt Clark. Instead, it strips our hero of all his inhibitions, allowing his every whim and emotion to go completely unchecked as he lives life without hardly any rules. Clark on Red K, who goes by Kal, is pretty scary, to be sure.

This episode sets Clark on a self-destructive whirlwind that almost reveals his secret to the world, and if not for his parents, Jonathan and Martha, and his best friend Pete, he would have. While it would be years before Tom Welling would play the alternate Clark Luthor, "Red" is the first time Welling is able to play an unhinged version of Clark, one whose smile is a lot less innocent and much more frightening. But in truth, it's kind of fun to watch Clark go all-out without any hesitation, though admittedly not for very long.

25. Bride/Legion

A bit of a cheat, but "Bride" and "Legion" go so hand-in-hand that we can't divorce the two. "Bride" centers around the wedding of Chloe Sullivan and Jimmy Olsen, which goes great until Doomsday smashes through the Kent barn and steals the bride under Brainiac's orders. However, Doomsday isn't the only dream-crusher here. Lana Lang also returns just in time to ruin a long-coming kiss between Clark and Lois, which would set their relationship back a whole season. After Lana's Season 7 send-off, her Season 8 return is not the most welcomed surprise, although Chloe is obviously happy to see her.

"Legion" is the immediate follow-up, which centers around Clark's first meeting with the futuristic Legion of Superheroes, who travel back in time to help Clark defeat Brainiac once and for all. As Clark and the Legion find Chloe, now possessed by Brainiac, our hero has to convince these young supers that all life is sacred, that killing isn't the way to stop Brainiac. Although Doomsday, and his human counterpart Davis Bloome, aren't dealt with until the end of the season, Clark and the Legion manage to neutralize Brainiac for good, ensuring that the corrupted Kryptonian A.I. would never hurt anyone again.

24. Arctic

An end of an era, "Arctic" marks the final episode where series creators Al Gough and Miles Millar, along with series stars Michael Rosenbaum (Lex), Kristin Kreuk (Lana), Laura Vandervoort (Kara Zor-El), and John Glover (Lionel, who actually died earlier this season) would be regular fixtures on "Smallville." While Lex, Lana, Kara, and even an alternate version of Lionel would all return over the course of the next three seasons, "Arctic" rounds out Clark and Lana's relationship, pits Clark against Brainiac (who sent Kara to the Phantom Zone), and deals with Lionel's death as Lex finally confronts Clark in his Fortress of Solitude.

This epic climax finally puts Clark and Lex on equal footing, with both of them on the same page for, well, the first time ever. Don't get us wrong, they're still on different sides, as Lex makes abundantly clear, but they each now understand each other. Their final confrontation at the end of the episode had been seven years in the making, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. Unfortunately, many of the plot threads from this episode wouldn't be dealt with until over halfway through Season 8, most notably in the episodes "Bloodline," "Power," and "Requiem." Still, it stands strong as one of "Smallville's" most compelling finales regardless.

23. Lazarus

The Season 10 opener, "Lazarus," restores Clark to life after he sacrificed himself to send Zod and his fellow Kandorians away to a New Krypton. A perfect way to launch "Smallville" into its final season, this episode begins to prepare Clark for his final trials before he's officially ready to become Superman. It's here that Clark learns of a coming darkness called Darkseid and that Lex may not truly be dead after all. After facing off against a Lex clone (LX-13) and saving Lois in the process, he becomes increasingly more aware of his destiny — we even get a full look at the suit! Though he's not fully ready, Clark is almost there.

The most touching scene, though, has to be Clark's conversation with the spirit of his deceased father Jonathan, who encourages Clark to "prove Jor-El wrong" and show that he really is ready to be Earth's champion. This is the first time that we see the two of them on screen together again since the fifth season, and it makes us long for the early "Smallville" days when Jonathan would give his son solid advice every week. There's also a lot of drama in this episode between Oliver and Chloe, especially since Chloe sacrifices herself for Oliver, stepping away from "Smallville" for a good chunk of this season.

22. Apocalypse

Throughout the series, Clark often questions whether his presence in Smallville is a good thing and if he hasn't done more harm than good by coming to Earth in the meteor shower. Well, this Tom Welling directed episode tries to answer that question directly, as Jor-El sends Clark into an alternate world (that is probably more of a simulation rather than a real universe) where his ship had never made it to Earth in the first place. Here, Lionel Luthor had found his cousin Kara's ship and adopted her as his daughter, making her Lex's sister. Under the guidance of Milton Fine (Brainiac in disguise), Lex is now the President of the United States.

Although Clark sees his friends and family happy without him, it doesn't take long for him to realize that the looming threats of Brainiac, General Zod, and even Lex, have only increased in his absence, making his presence on Earth pivotal to its survival. After teaming up with an alternate Lois Lane, who doesn't judge him one bit for his superpowers, Clark recognizes that he does more good than harm for the world. Beyond that, Clark recognizes that his duty, and his destiny, is to stand between humanity and alien threats to his adopted world. This episode feels especially like a Superman show in all the best ways.

21. Blank

This Season 4 episode follows a mind-wiped Clark who, after encountering a meteor freak who can wipe people's memories, loses all knowledge of his past. With Clark's parents both out of town, Chloe takes it upon herself to care for Clark and protect his secret — that he too has superpowers. Others, such as Lex, try to exploit Clark in his ignorant state, but Chloe proves to be the best kind of friend a guy could ask for, keeping Clark out of harm's way. Of course, Clark's memories are eventually restored, though he forgets everything that happened during the time his memories were gone.

As a result, Clark still has no idea that Chloe learned his secret (more on that later) and can only speculate as to the "weird" things he did "under the influence." Still, there's a lot of great banter between the two throughout the episode, and Lois' comment that she knows how to handle an amnesiac Clark, which she did earlier this season in "Crusade," is pretty entertaining. Still, the real star of "Blank" is Chloe, who proves to be a real quick-on-her-feet trooper, willing to put herself in harm's way to keep the world from discovering Clark's true identity.

20. Arrival

The Season 5 premiere picks up with the aftermath of a second Smallville meteor shower, this one even more deadly than the last. With more Kryptonite on Earth, there are also more Kryptonians known as the Disciples of Zod. As these two alien powerhouses begin to decimate Smallville, Clark is forced to confront them before they can kill Lana and the rest of the town — and before his superpowers fade away. That's right, Clark also makes a deal with Jor-El in this episode, vowing to return to the Fortress to complete his training after saving Chloe's life. It's also here that Chloe reveals that she knows Clark's secret.

Naturally, Clark fails to return to the artificial version of his biological father, and the episode ends with Clark stripped of his super-abilities, now just a mortal man. "Arrival" is also the first appearance of Brainiac, who came to Earth in the same black ship that brought Zod's acolytes, setting up the rest of this season and the next. As Season 5 takes a turn from the high school years of Superman in favor of a more college-age young adult drama, the show goes full sci-fi on us. This means we start to see lots more plotlines directly involving aliens, other dimensions, time travel, and a host of other plot devices that only make "Smallville" more exciting.

19. Absolute Justice (Society/Legends)

This superhero two-parter was an event when it first premiered on the CW titled "Absolute Justice," though it's really two episodes, "Society" and "Legends," smashed together as one. With a bit of a "Watchmen" vibe, this two-parter introduces the Golden Age of heroes, the Justice Society of America. After we watch a few of them get killed off by Icicle, Hawkman, Doctor Fate, the young JSA protege Stargirl teams up with Clark, Oliver, and the Martian Manhunter to stop the assassin. Long before crossovers between "Arrow," "The Flash," and "Supergirl" were a regular thing, "Smallville" brought us "Absolute Justice."

This doesn't mean that other characters don't have anything to do, though. Lois spends these episodes uncovering the history of the JSA and writes a profile on their vast heroics while Chloe recognizes her path to being a hero might look different than Clark's. Speaking of Clark, there are some great moments between him and the future-seeing Doctor Fate, who reveals that Clark will lead the "Silver Age" of heroes and that Lex Luthor would be his greatest nemesis. There are a lot of spectacular superhero moments in this two-parter, reminding us why Season 9 is so close to the show's end. It's hard not to make Clark Superman already.

18. Phantom

This explosive Season 6 finale brings the Lex and Lana marriage to its natural end, filled with arrests, betrayal, and car explosions. "Phantom" is one of those episodes where there's almost too much going on to keep track of, yet somehow we manage. From Martian Manhunter's investigation into the last escapee from the Phantom Zone (and the most dangerous one yet) to Clark's eventual confrontation with it, there's a real urgency to this mission. This is especially true after the phantom takes on Clark's features and form, becoming the DC Comics supervillain Bizarro, who will totally wreck Clark's life.

Alongside all this, Lois investigates Lex's secret supersoldier building scheme Project Ares while Clark's mother Martha leaves Smallville to take Jonathan's senate seat in D.C. Finally, Chloe's secret meteor power is revealed — she can heal people, but at great cost to herself. If all of that isn't enough, Lana seemingly dies in a car explosion after being hit by Lex, leaving him the only suspect and sending Clark in a rage to kill him. It's an emotional, action-packed finale that puts everyone on edge and leaves us with a lot more questions than answers, in true "Smallville" fashion.

17. Vessel

Speaking of finales, "Vessel" pushes Clark and Lex's friendship to the extreme! While the two haven't been friends for a while by this point, Lex getting superpowers and discovering Clark's (again) doesn't make it better. This all occurs after Lex is abducted by Brainiac, experimented on, and genetically altered to be the living host for General Zod as he is released from his inter-dimensional prison. The showdown between Clark and Lex almost ends with Clark ending his former best friend's life, but unwilling to cross that line, he "kills" Brainiac instead. This backfires, and Zod is released, erasing Lex's memories.

As Brainiac descends the world into darkness, the episode ends with General Zod trapping Clark in the Phantom Zone, and had "Smallville" ended there, we would have had a lot more questions than answers, to be sure. Like much of Season 5, "Vessel" is one of the most solid finales on the show and throws just about every twist and turn at us before the end credits roll. If you love Superman lore, Clark and Lex drama, and some seriously great work from Michael Rosenbaum (as he plays both Lex and Zod), then this is the "Smallville" episode for you!

16. Exile/Phoenix

Another cheat, but the Season 3 premiere "Exile" and its immediate follow-up "Phoenix" are equally two halves of one whole (complete with a "to be continued ..." in the middle). "Exile" gives us a glimpse at Clark's, er, Kal's life in Metropolis under the influence of Red K. No matter how many times his parents, Lana, Pete, or Chloe try to bring him back, his guilt from blowing up his ship and causing Martha's miscarriage is too much for him to handle. "Exile" ends with Jonathan making a deal with Jor-El, that he would bring Clark to him when the time came if Jor-El would help Jonathan bring Clark home. 

The revelation that Jonathan has superpowers is one of the best twists on the series, and his fight with Kal at LuthorCorp Plaza in "Phoenix" is one for the ages. Of course, Clark's three-month binge in Metropolis finally catches up with him when mob boss Morgan Edge threatens his family. Thankfully, the Kents handle it together. These two episodes also explore Lex's psyche as he's trapped on a deserted island with a man named Louis, who turns out to be in Lex's head the whole time. It's a pretty intense arc for the Luthor heir as he struggles with his sanity, with obvious hints toward what he will become.

15. Transference

After Lionel is put away in prison, it's revealed that he's actually dying. As a result, the older Luthor has only one last play to make for his freedom: body-swapping with Lex. Using one of the mythical Kryptonian Stones of Power, Lionel only partially succeeds, climbing instead into Clark's body after he saves Lex from a terrible fate, leaving the young farmboy trapped in prison as the convicted Luthor. The best part of this episode is watching Tom Welling play Lionel Luthor and John Glover play Clark Kent as they mirror one another so incredibly well that it's almost a bit creepy. But hey, it's still great television.

Of course, this doesn't last and Clark eventually hops back into his own body, but as it turns out, his time in Lionel cured the Luthor of his terminal illness. Lionel, now genuinely a new man (with no memory of Clark's abilities), begins to turn his life around after "Transference" and would soon become a powerful ally to Clark in the coming years — even becoming an Oracle of Jor-El). This episode also features the brief return of "Superman: The Movie" actress Margot Kidder, who plays Bridgette Crosby, an associate of the late Dr. Virgil Swann (more on him in a bit).

14. Insurgence

In this unusual "Smallville" heist episode, "Insurgence," Lex botches an attempt to rob his father's safe at LuthorCorp Plaza in Metropolis, which leads to Lionel and Martha being taken hostage in the process. As Lex tries to handle the police situation below, Clark and Jonathan take Martha's rescue into their own hands, much to the protest of Metropolis PD. As Clark breaks into LuthorCorp to rescue his mother, Martha discovers that Lionel has been keeping files on Clark and holds a stockpile of Kryptonite in his safe, not to mention Clark's Kryptonian key. Yeah, there's a lot going on here.

Besides spending the most time in Metropolis that "Smallville" ever had up until this point, "Insurgence" also tests the limits of Clark's power. It's in this episode that Clark first takes a leap, jumping from the roof of the Daily Planet into the LuthorCorp building. While he doesn't quite stick the landing, it shows that Clark is getting there, and with some more practice, he'll eventually be able to fly. There's also a great moment between Lex and Jonathan here, where the Kent patriarch confronts the Luthor heir about his potential treachery. It's pretty intense, but given the situation, we can't really blame him.

13. Pariah

One of the most heartbreaking episodes of the series, "Pariah" is notable for a few different reasons. First and foremost, it marks the moment that Chloe learns Clark's secret after watching him catch a car with his bare hands. Seeing her friend as a hero changes Chloe's perspective, setting up the events of other excellent episodes "Blank" and "Arrival," when she finally reveals to Clark that she knows his secret. Besides that, Clark's then-girlfriend Alicia Baker is brutally murdered (after being framed for murder) by a meteor freak who is trying to cleanse Smallville of all modern impurities. It's really heartbreaking.

While Alicia isn't the first love interest of Clark's that he's held dead in his arms (and wouldn't be the last), she is the first that he truly loved, the first that really understood what it was like to keep a secret like his. "Pariah" forces Clark to confront the terrible possibility that Alicia may not be as rehabilitated as he thought, only for him to learn too late that she was innocent the whole time. While there are a lot of good things that come out of this episode (such as Chloe officially learning Clark's secret), it's a tough one for Clark to get through, especially after everyone in Smallville believed Alicia was guilty.

12. Commencement

The epic extended Season 4 finale, "Commencement," is just that, as Clark, Chloe, and Lana's finally graduate from Smallville High (which Lana misses completely), just as a second meteor shower hits Smallville dead-on. As the sky falls on this central Kansas town, Clark finally unites the Stones of Power in the Kawatche Caves to form his Fortress of Solitude in the arctic. Meanwhile, Lana is potentially wanted for murder, and Lex is hot on the trail for the Stones. As if all this chaos wasn't enough, a deranged Jason Teague holds Jonathan and Martha hostage, digging for any information he can find on Clark. 

The moment near the end of the episode where a meteor demolishes the Kent household is horrific, especially upon realizing that Jonathan and Martha are still inside. As far as "Smallville" finales go, "Commencement" raises the bar high for the remaining seasons to follow, along with providing enough excitement, peril, and suspense to finish out Clark's senior year. However, some of the best moments of the episode are between Lois and Clark, making us wish they got together a lot sooner. Alas, Clark and Lana have their own "I love you" moment that overshadows it. To be fair to them, though, it's really sweet.

11. Descent

As the final point in Lex's slow turn to darkness, "Descent" is when Lex fully embraces his destiny. This is the one where Lex kills his father, throwing Lionel out of his LuthorCorp office to plummet to his death. Of course, Lionel essentially gives his life to keep Clark's secret, which angers Lex to the point of patricide. Although Lois and Jimmy Olsen uncover Lex's dark deed, he still manages to keep it hidden and under wraps. However, in the process, he still fires Chloe from the Daily Planet. The best scenes are, as usual, between Clark and Lex, especially when Clark accuses him of murdering his father.

Out of all the episodes in Season 7, none are as important for Lex's personal journey as this one. It's here that all the years of constant foreshadowing and speculating finally come to a head. While we hope beyond hope that Lex won't kill his father, Lionel's final moments don't really come as a shock. As Lex continues his search for the Traveler, and eventually Clark's Fortress as seen in "Arctic," he is now willing to get his hands dirtier than he ever was before. Shockingly, Lionel isn't the last family member Lex murders before the series ends, but it is the most personal and the most tragic.

10. Memoria

No episode from "Smallville's" third season is more memorable than "Memoria," which explores both Lex and Clark's earliest memories. This episode marks the end of Lex's quest to find his lost memories, and although he doesn't remember Clark's secret, he does discover something more interesting. As it turns out, Lex's mother killed his younger brother Julian in the cradle, and once he reveals that to his father, well — let's just say the scene between them is one of the best in the whole series, and the performances between Michael Rosenbaum and John Glover are remarkable. 

"Memoria" truly tests the limits of how far Lionel will go to control Lex and how far Clark will go to save his friend. Speaking of Clark, he gets to relive his first memories, including the moment his Kryptonian parents sent him to Earth to escape Krypton's fate. In a heartfelt moment between him and his parents, Clark reveals that he knows his biological mother's real name, Lara, which Martha reveals were his first words. It's really sweet and is thankfully not forgotten when, later on in Season 10, Clark actually gets to watch a message from his biological parents. "Memoria" sets all this in motion.

9. Pilot

The first episode of the series, "Pilot," reminds us of all the reasons we loved "Smallville" in the first place. From the opening meteor shower that ends with Jonathan and Martha finding Clark in an open field to the moment Lex runs Clark off the bridge, resulting in their fateful meeting, "Smallville" captivated us within the first five minutes of airtime. Clark's bumbling in front of Lana is highly relatable to just about every teenager, as is Chloe's secret pining for Clark. The nostalgic world of early 2000s middle America makes us yearn for simpler times.

As Clark learns the secrets of his origins, they only serve to create more questions about his future. From the obvious Christ-like illusions to the multiple hints at Clark and Lex's inevitable destinies, "Smallville" sets the stage for ten seasons worth of powerful stories, building a universe that would one day be inhabited by Superman. As early as the first episode, it's clear that Clark Kent is a hero we can believe in, which makes the world just a bit more comforting. It all starts here, and after all these years, "Pilot" is just as beloved now as it always has been. Plus, who doesn't love some Lifehouse?

8. Finale

Many shows start off strong and slowly lose their way near the end, but not "Smallville." As the series progressed, Clark grew out of his teenage angst and into a man willing to put the needs of others, and the world, above his own. Eventually, Clark accepts his destiny as a hero, and "Finale" marks his final step to becoming the Man of Steel. After a wedding between Clark and Lois, the episode ends with a time jump into the world of Superman, with Lois and Clark working as star reporters for the Daily Planet alongside Jimmy Olsen. The closing moments of "Finale" reveal what we've been anticipating for ten years.

One of the best parts about the "Finale" is all the familiar faces who return. While Season 10 brings back half a dozen cast members from seasons past, the "Finale" itself reunites Clark with both his parents for the last time as they send him off to become Superman, saving the world from an interplanetary collision and revealing himself to the world. Of course, Jonathan and Martha aren't the only big returns here as Lex Luthor finally returns from the grave, only to reunite with Clark and kill his sister Tess, who wipes his memory as she dies, leaving Superman safe from Luthor's reach.

7. Rosetta

An epic collision between two Supermen, "Rosetta" sees the introduction of former beloved "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve, who plays astronomer Dr. Virgil Swann after portraying Superman in four different feature films. After Clark wakes up in the middle of the road and some mysterious Kryptonian symbols are found burned into the side of the Kent's barn, Swann reaches out to Clark with information about his origins. It's here, for the first time, that Clark discovers his true name, Kal-El, and his origins from the planet Krypton. They even weave some of John Williams' iconic "Superman" score into it!

While it's always cool to see a nice "passing the torch" moment between Supermen, there are other reasons "Rosetta" is one of the strongest episodes of "Smallville." The sisterhood between Chloe and Lana really blossoms here, with Chloe revealing that she views Lana as more of a sister than a friend. There are also some strong moments between Clark and Jonathan near the end, where Jonathan reassures his son that he can choose the type of man that he becomes. All-in-all, this classic episode reminds us why we love "Smallville" in the first place.

6. Salvation

Like much of Season 9, "Salvation" is more of a superhero story based on the then-current Superman comic books, specifically the "New Krypton" saga. This time, Clark is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the world from General Zod and his army of Kandorians, and by all accounts, he does. After uniting his league of superheroes to protect the world in his absence, Clark chooses to lead his people into a new world. As it turns out, Clark stays behind to keep Zod from ruling Earth, choosing instead to plummet to his death. Quite the finale.

The epic battle between Clark and Zod is undoubtedly one of the best fight sequences ever presented in "Smallville" and one of the coolest parts of the episode. However, the true power of "Salvation" lies in the romance between Clark and Lois. While they never quite seem to catch a break, these two share a passionate kiss, during which Lois finally learns that Clark is the Blur, putting it all together. Leading right into the Season 10 premiere "Lazarus," this episode raises the stakes beyond any "Smallville" finale before and forces Clark to choose his fate. Plus, there's a really cool flash-forward to the future that foreshadows series ender "Finale."

5. Ryan

One of the most tragic episodes of "Smallville" is also one of the most important. Clark's first experience with real loss occurs in "Ryan," which features the second appearance of the young Ryan James, the boy the Kent family kind of adopts in the first two seasons and Clark forms an older brother bond with. Sadly, Ryan doesn't make it past the end credits, but his final days are spent with his chosen family in Smallville. Like many episodes in the earlier seasons, "Ryan" features a lot of great foreshadowing moments, including Ryan's distrust of Lex and the "Warrior Angel" comic books that tell of a hero whose greatest villain was his best friend.

There's a lot to love about "Ryan," but the biggest thing is watching Clark interact with a surrogate younger brother. The two of them have an inseparable bond, and from the moment Clark rescues Ryan from Summerholt Institute, we know that he'll do anything to protect his little buddy. With Martha's miscarriage later this season, this is the only real glimpse "Smallville" gives us of what the Kent household might look like if Clark had a younger brother to look after. Not only is Ryan a pretty great kid (played by Ryan Kelley of "Teen Wolf"), but he comes complete with his own telepathic superpowers also!

4. Homecoming

"Smallville's" famed 200th episode knocks it out of the park when it comes to honoring the past and looking forward to the future, all while remaining focused on the present. "Homecoming" is a great episode that forces Clark to confront the ghosts of his past, finally putting his father's death behind him so that he can be the hero he's meant to be. It's also the first time he gets a clear look at his destiny, even meeting his future Superman self while discovering that Lois knowing his secret is actually a really great thing.

From the return of James Marsters' Brainiac (in the form of Brainiac 5) to the look back at the "Pilot" and "Reckoning," there's something in "Homecoming" that'll make everyone smile. If that all wasn't enough, Clark's final dance with Lois in the barn, finally admitting their love for each other and floating above the ground, is just about everything we could've hoped that it would be. The only bummer is that there's no Chloe here to celebrate 200 episodes with them, but she's mentioned enough that we'll forgive it.

3. Crusade

The Season 4 premiere, "Crusade," is the series' strongest opener by far and is aided by riding off the intensity of the cliffhangers introduced in "Covenant." It's here that we see Clark, albeit brainwashed as Kal-El, soar high above the clouds, even above the atmosphere, to retrieve one of the Stones of Power that Lex has stolen from Egypt. However, that exciting sequence aside (which still looks pretty good by today's standards), "Crusade" also marks the introduction of Lois Lane, who steals the show from the moment she shows up on screen. As Lois helps Clark back home to the Kent farm, they soon discover that Chloe (her cousin) is still alive.

But "Crusade" doesn't just feature one Lois Lane! Former Lois Lane actress Margot Kidder (from "Superman: The Movie") makes her "Smallville" debut here as Bridgette Crosby, giving Martha Kent (played by "Superman 3" star Annette O'Toole) the means to save her brainwashed son. There are a lot of great Lex moments here also, as he scours the globe in search of these alien artifacts. After trading a few insults with the jailed Lionel, he continues his newfound mission. Elsewhere, Lana finishes her time abroad, now with a new boyfriend, only to get a back tattoo that'll eventually cause her to be possessed by a 17th-century witch.

2. Justice

The explosive culmination of multiple seasons of teasing, which included Bart Allen's introduction in Season 4's "Run," Arthur Curry's arrival in Season 5's "Aqua," Victor Stone's appearance in "Cyborg," and Oliver Queen's debut earlier in Season 6, these superheroes finally assemble in "Justice." Impulse, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Green Arrow team up with Clark Kent (codename "Boy Scout") to take Lex Luthor's Level 33.1 project out for good, and the results are incredibly impressive for an episode that aired in 2007. Additionally, this episode of "Smallville" lends a sneak peek into the future of what superhero television would eventually become.

However, "Justice" didn't just foreshadow the future of comic book television. It also serves as an introduction to the series that "Smallville" would eventually become in its final three seasons. As a show that began to adapt more comic book storylines and give the superhero content more of a focus, it needed to push away from its then-current young adult drama branding. Not only is "Justice" a pivotal moment of transformation for "Smallville," but it's just really cool to see a live-action Justice League unite on screen long before "Zack Snyder's Justice League." Also, Chloe being the team's official tech support "Watchtower" is just awesome.

1. Reckoning

The greatest "Smallville" episode of all time, "Reckoning" is the series' 100th episode and there's a reason it's so iconic. Not only was this "Smallville" at the height of its cast — with Clark, Lex, Lana, Chloe, Lois, Jonathan, Martha, and Lionel all established as series stars — but this episode has everything we love about the show all in one place. In the wake of the senate race between Jonathan and Lex, Clark proposes to Lana, finally revealing to her his secret. Sadly, things don't end well, resulting in Lana's death. This forces Clark to make a deal with Jor-El to turn back time and live the day over once more.

Of course, time tries to course correct itself, and instead of Lana's untimely death, Clark's father dies of a heart attack after confronting Lionel Luthor. It's raw, emotional, and completely unforeseen, with consequences that would span years. Honestly, there are times when the episode can be really hard to watch because we always hope beyond hope that Clark wouldn't try to change fate. This is not only one of Clark's most defining moments, but one that would define "Smallville" itself for the rest of the series' run. If there's one episode of the series that is irreplaceable, then "Reckoning" is it.