In 2001, superhero coming-of-age show, Smallville, hit television screens. The series – set in a fictional town in Kansas – followed the story of teenage Clark Kent, as he learns about his alien heritage and his amazing abilities, in the years prior to his transformation into Superman.
Starring Tom Welling as Clark, and Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor, Smallville was a smash-hit show which ran for ten seasons and a whoppin’ 217 episodes. During this time, Smallville covered a wealth of mythology, introduced various comic book heroes and villains onto the screen, and saw Clark go from super-teen to man of steel.
If you’ve never watched Smallville, but you have an interest in Superman or you are eager to do a deep-dive into the character, then I recommend you check out the series in full. You may not find every episode to your liking, but there is much to enjoy across all ten seasons, and it will provide you with one very epic journey.
However, if you don’t have time to watch all 217 episodes of Smallville, and you’d much rather embark on an abridged excursion with Clark and Co., then what are the episodes you should watch? Well, if this question is keeping you up at night, I’m here to help!
Below I have picked out 30 episodes of Smallville you should watch, if you wish to get from episode one to episode 217 without having to watch every minute of the show. These episodes include fan-favourite instalments, iconic moments, and some all-important insights into Clark’s abilities, and should give you all of the highlights, without all of the hard work.
Of course, whittling down 217 episodes into just 30 means this is a whistle-stop tour. But if you want to (super) speed your way through the show, to get a flavour of Clark’s world, these are the episodes to seek out.
Pilot – Season One, Episode One (2001)
First up is the very first episode of Smallville, titled ‘Pilot’. This episode introduces Clark, parents Jonathan and Martha Kent, high-school crush Lana Lang, and future frenemy Lex Luthor.
Pilot sets out the premise and the foundations of Smallville, introduces key characters and plot points, and provides audiences with a clear understanding of who Clark is when the show begins. No journey through Smallville would be complete without a beginning, and this is it, every meteor-crashing, action-packed, super-powered minute of it.
X-Ray – Season One, Episode Four (2001)
Next up is ‘X-Ray’, an episode of Smallville devoted to Clark’s X-Ray vision. In the episode, Clark discovers he can access a whole new super power, but being able to see through walls proves tricky, as well as morally problematic.
Across the course of Smallville’s run, Clark gains a bunch of new abilities, which he does not have at the beginning of the series. X-Ray is the first episode to give Clark a new super power, setting the stage for all the other abilities he will acquire in time.
Hourglass – Season One, Episode Six (2001)
This next instalment of Smallville follows the story of an elderly blind woman who can see the future. In the ‘Hourglass’, the woman gets a glimpse at Clark’s destiny, as well as the dark road ahead for Lex Luthor.
Heat – Season Two, Episode Two (2002)
Onto Season Two now, and ‘Heat’ is another episode which focuses on a super-power. This time around, Clark is given the ability of heat vision, which results in the teen wonder getting uncontrollable bursts of heat from his eyes.
Heat is quite a cleverly written episode of Smallville, as it uses Clark’s heat vision as a metaphor for puberty and teenage desires… of a romantic nature. The episode features a villain who uses pheromones to get what she wants, and this foe fits in nicely with Clark’s story about getting a little ‘hot under the collar’… so to speak.
Red – Season Two, Episode Four (2002)
Everyone knows that Superman has a problem with green Kryptonite, right? But is everyone as familiar with the other shades of Kryptonite? No? Ah, well, this is where ‘Red’ comes into play.
Throughout the course of Smallville, the show introduces various different shades of Kryptonite, including black, blue, and gold, but the first variation to crop up is red, which debuts in the episode of the same name. In this instalment, Clark learns that different meteor rocks can impact him in different ways, with red Kryptonite affecting him psychologically.
Rosetta – Season Two, Episode Seventeen (2003)
Smallville featured many guest stars in its ten-year run, but arguably the biggest star appeared in ‘Rosetta’, when former Superman actor, Christopher Reeve showed up in the role of Dr. Virgil Swann. The episode gave Reeve the opportunity to take part in the series, playing a mysterious scientist who has a vast knowledge of the planet Krypton.
Perry – Season Three, Episode Five (2003)
Onto season three now for an episode which focuses on Clark’s powers, while at the same time introduces an important character from Clark’s future: Soon-to-be Daily Planet chief editor, Perry White. In ‘Perry’, Clark meets White for the first time, while the teen hero is also having difficulties with his powers, as a result of some solar flares.
Whisper – Season Three, Episode Ten (2004)
In ‘Whisper’, Clark is temporarily blinded, which causes his body to overcompensate in another area. This other area is his hearing, which leads Clark to develop super hearing.
Crusade – Season Four, Episode One (2004)
Onto season four now, and ‘Crusade’ is a season opener which makes it onto this list for one very specific reason: It is the first episode to feature Lois Lane. Lane is a hugely significant character in the show (as well as in the Superman mythology in general), and this episode is where she makes her debut.
Run – Season Four, Episode Five (2004)
And from one character debut to another, with the episode ‘Run’ – a fun little episode which introduces The Flash into the series. In the episode, Clark learns that he isn’t the only person with super abilities, leading to a great instalment of Smallville, where Clark gets to open up about his powers with someone who truly understands the journey he is on.
Aqua – Season Five, Episode Four (2005)
Onto season five now for ‘Aqua’, an episode which introduces yet another super hero. This time around Smallville shines the spotlight on Arthur Curry, better known to comic book fans as Aquaman.
Reckoning – Season Five, Episode Twelve (2006)
Of all the episodes on this list, this next one is one that really stands out from the crowd. ‘Reckoning’ is the twelfth episode of season five, which also happens to be the 100th episode of Smallville overall.
In the episode, Clark finally reveals his super powers to Lana Lang, allowing him to move forward with his love life. But this revelation comes at a cost, resulting in Smallville delivering one of its most shocking moments, which in turn impacts Clark’s journey moving forward.
Sneeze – Season Six, Episode Two (2006)
Sliding over to season six now for ‘Sneeze’, for yet another episode in which Clark gains a new super power. This time it is super-breath, which Clark acquires after developing a cold.
Arrow – Season Six, Episode Four (2006)
And from another new super power, to another new hero. Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow makes his debut in ‘Arrow’, setting up a character who would remain with the show for the rest of its run.
Justice – Season Six, Episode Eleven (2007)
Thanks to the introduction of several super heroes in previous seasons, Smallville takes another big step forward in ‘Justice’, as Clark finds himself becoming a member of a super-group comprised of Earth’s mightiest heroes. In this episode, Clark’s league of heroes band together to tackle a threat from Lex Luthor.
Kara – Season Seven, Episode Two (2007)
Onto season seven now and ‘Kara’ sees Clark welcome a new hero and a new family member into the show in the shape of his cousin, Kara. Having been stuck in suspended animation for years, following the destruction of the planet Krypton, future Supergirl, Kara Zor-El makes her debut in Smallville, as an ally to Clark.
Apocalypse – Season Seven, Episode Eighteen (2008)
In ‘Apocalypse’, Smallville steps into alternate reality territory, as Clark is given a glimpse at what the world would be like if he never arrived on Earth. And as Clark soon discovers, thanks to Lex and Brainiac, the planet is in big trouble.
Arctic – Season Seven, Episode Twenty (2008)
After years of hiding his secret from Lex Luthor, the truth is finally exposed and the once-friendly relationship between Clark and Lex is shattered beyond repair. ‘Arctic’ features a showdown between the two characters, ending on a cliff-hanger.
Odyssey – Season Eight, Episode One (2008)
Moving into season eight, and picking up after the events of ‘Arctic’ (see above), ‘Odyssey’ deals with the aftermath of the Clark/Lex showdown. The episode also marks another significant shift in storytelling for the show, as Clark makes the decision to leave his home in Smallville, to start a new life in Metropolis, and begin an internship at the Daily Planet.
Legion – Season Eight, Episode Eleven (2009)
In ‘Legion’ a trio of heroes travel from the future to meet up with Clark. The trio include Rokk (Cosmic Boy), Imra (Saturn Girl), and Garth (Lightning Lad).
Requiem – Season Eight, Episode Fourteen (2009)
After being gravely injured in ‘Arctic’, Lex Luthor essentially took a back seat from Smallville, as actor Michael Rosenbaum quit the show to move onto pastures new. However, an injured Lex makes a return in ‘Requiem’ to cause more headaches for former friends, Clark Kent and Lana Lang.
Doomsday – Season Eight, Episode Twenty-Two (2009)
In the Superman comics and mythology, Clark Kent/Superman has many enemies, with his most famous being Lex Luthor. However, his second most famous villain is Doomsday – a character who in the comics, was responsible for killing the man of steel.
Did he achieve the same result in Smallville? Well, you can find out in ‘Doomsday’ – an episode in which Clark squares off against this monstrous foe in a fight to the finish.
Absolute Justice – Season Nine, Episode Eleven (2010)
In ‘Absolute Justice’ Clark meets the Justice Society of America, which paves the way for the show to introduce more new heroes, including Hawkman and Doctor Fate. This episode is also a double-length edition, stretching Smallville from a 45-minute instalment to a 90-minute helping.
Homecoming – Season Ten, Episode Four (2010)
Onto the tenth and final season now, with the superb episode, ‘Homecoming’. In this story, Lois and Clark attend a high school reunion in Smallville, giving the show the perfect opportunity to look back across the previous seasons and demonstrate just how much Clark has grown and developed over the years.
Isis – Season Ten, Episode Five (2010)
During the course of Smallville, various characters learn about Clark’s secret powers, only to forget about them, usually due to some plot twist or contrivance along the way. However, in ‘Isis’ Clark finally let’s the cat out of the bag, and tells Lois that he is a super hero, changing the dynamic of the show from here on out.
Luthor – Season Ten, Episode Ten (2010)
In ‘Luthor’, Clark travels to a parallel universe and discovers he has a multiverse counterpart, who is far from the hero he himself aspires to be. The episode looks at the Kents and the Luthors from a new perspective, and introduces the murderous Ultraman along the way.
Masquerade – Season Ten, Episode Fourteen (2011)
In ‘Masquerade’, Clark takes another important step toward his future, as he begins to accept his continual need for a double-life. In this episode, Clark starts to alter his mannerisms, so the outside world doesn’t suspect he is a super hero.
Prophecy – Season Ten, Episode Twenty (2011)
In ‘Prophecy’, Lois is temporarily granted Clark’s powers, giving her (and the audience) an opportunity to fully understand what day-to-day life is like for someone with an array of abilities. Meanwhile, the villainous Toyman is up to no good, and is keen to form his own criminal organisation, setting up a collection of super villains for Clark’s future.
Finale: Part 1 & Finale: Part 2 – Season Ten, Episodes Twenty-One & Twenty-Two (2011)
And finally, we reach the end – both of this list and Smallville’s run. The show concluded with the two-part story, ‘Finale’, which sees Clark enter a new phase of his life, with no turning back.
After years spent hiding in the shadows, it is time for Clark to take on the mantle of Superman. And in doing so, all of Smallville’s loose-ends are tied up, with some familiar faces dropping by as Clark becomes the hero the world truly needs.
OK, so above is a run-through of the episodes you may wish to check out. Now, to save you having to scroll back up, here is a list of the 30 episodes of Smallville you should watch, if you want a condensed journey through the show.
- Pilot – Season One, Episode One (2001)
- X-Ray – Season One, Episode Four (2001)
- Hourglass – Season One, Episode Six (2001)
- Heat – Season Two, Episode Two (2002)
- Red – Season Two, Episode Four (2002)
- Rosetta – Season Two, Episode Seventeen (2003)
- Perry – Season Three, Episode Five (2003)
- Whisper – Season Three, Episode Ten (2004)
- Crusade – Season Four, Episode One (2004)
- Run – Season Four, Episode Five (2004)
- Aqua – Season Five, Episode Four (2005)
- Reckoning – Season Five, Episode Twelve (2006)
- Sneeze – Season Six, Episode Two (2006)
- Arrow – Season Six, Episode Four (2006)
- Justice – Season Six, Episode Eleven (2007)
- Kara – Season Seven, Episode Two (2007)
- Apocalypse – Season Seven, Episode Eighteen (2008)
- Arctic – Season Seven, Episode Twenty (2008)
- Odyssey – Season Eight, Episode One (2008)
- Legion – Season Eight, Episode Eleven (2009)
- Requiem – Season Eight, Episode Fourteen (2009)
- Doomsday – Season Eight, Episode Twenty-Two (2009)
- Absolute Justice – Season Nine, Episode Eleven (2010)
- Homecoming – Season Ten, Episode Four (2010)
- Isis – Season Ten, Episode Five (2010)
- Luthor – Season Ten, Episode Ten (2010)
- Masquerade – Season Ten, Episode Fourteen (2011)
- Prophecy – Season Ten, Episode Twenty (2011)
- Finale: Part 1 – Season Ten, Episode Twenty-One (2011)
- Finale: Part 2 – Season Ten, Episode Twenty-Two (2011)
Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about Smallville. As noted at the top of this post, for the full Smallville experience you are advised to watch the show in its entirety, but should you simply want to view the highlights, then hopefully the above episodes will give you what you desire.
Leave a Reply