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Recap / Smallville S 02 E 23 Exodus

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Originally aired May 20, 2003

Written by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar

Directed by Greg Beeman

Clark meets his Kryptonian biological father Jor-El, who insists that Clark must leave Smallville and fulfill his destiny. Lex and Helen prepare for their wedding.


Tropes present in the episode:

  • Abusive Dad: Jor-El who, when Clark declares he won't let him control him, telekinetically pins Clark to the wall and burns a Kryptonian symbol onto his chest.
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  • Animate Inanimate Object: Clark's spaceship in the teaser. While Jor-El is speaking to Clark through the spaceship, it glows and even changes shape into a replica of planet Earth, complete with a setting sun.
  • Big "NO!": Lionel, when he finds that the Kryptonite key is missing.
  • Chest Insignia: Jor-El burns the Kryptonian emblem of the House of El (which resembles the Superman symbol) onto Clark's chest after Clark refuses to let him control him.
  • Cliffhanger: Season 2 ends with Chloe accepting Lionel's offer to investigate Clark, Clark leaving Smallville while under the influence of Red Kryptonite, and Lex alone on a plane that's about to crash into the ocean.
  • Dark Reprise: A dark version of John Williams' Superman theme plays when Clark emerges from the wreckage of the storm cellar caused by his exploding spaceship, and again in the closing scene as Clark rides towards Metropolis.
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  • Didn't Think This Through: Jonathan points out while berating Clark at the hospital.
  • Downer Ending: Clark's attempts to get rid of Jor-El results in Martha losing her unborn baby, prompting Clark to put on a Red Kryptonite ring and run away from Smallville, leaving behind a tearful Lana.
  • Event Title: The episode's title refers to both Clark and Lex leaving Smallville.
  • Forgot About His Powers: In the final act, Clark ransacks the Torch office looking for Chloe's Red Kryptonite ring. Please note this is Clark—y'know, the guy who can see through most solid objects.
  • G-Rated Drug: Red Kryptonite, again. Clark even tells Pete as he's desperately looking for a Red Kryptonite ring because "it makes me feel better."
  • Heroic BSoD: Clark goes into one after Jonathan seemingly rejects him at the hospital in response to his confession that he caused the explosion that injured the Kents, standing dazed in the crater left behind by his spaceship's explosion, telling Lana that all he does is cause pain and misery, and later donning a Red Kryptonite ring to numb his pain and guilt.
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  • I Control My Minions Through...: Prejudice, in Lionel's case.
    Pete: [to Lionel's guards] Don't touch me. You hate him.
    Lionel: I know that, but I value their hatred; I find it very useful. You see, people are always at their weakest when they're angry.
  • Ironic Echo: When Pete enters the Kawatche Caves to distract Lionel so Clark can super-speed in and swipe the Kryptonite key, Pete tells the guards who apprehend him "You know you hate [Lionel]," to which Lionel remarks he knows they hate him and that hatred and anger is a weakness. After Lionel finds the Kryptonite key missing and suspects that Pete stole it, he prepares to strike Pete after he plays dumb, at which point Pete reminds him, "Careful, Mr. Luthor; you wouldn't want to look weak."
  • It's All My Fault: Clark blames himself for causing Martha to miscarry her baby.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Though Jor-El is undoubtedly an abusive prick, he was right about Clark harming his loved ones if he didn't leave Smallville when he should have.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Jor-El's speech to Clark in the teaser resembles the one Jor-El gives to Clark in Superman: The Movie.
    • The symbol of Clark's ancestors resembles the Superman "S," except the "S" looks more like the number "8."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Clark steals Lionel's Kryptonite key and puts it into the spaceship in order to destroy it. It works, but Clark ends up causing an explosion that sends out an energy wave that hits Jonathan's truck, resulting in an accident that causes Martha to lose her unborn baby. Nice going, Clark.
  • Plot Device: Lionel's Kryptonite key, which he intends to use to try to unlock the secrets of the Kawatche Cave wall. Unfortunately for him, Clark steals the Kryptonite key and puts into his ship in an attempt to get rid of Jor-El.
  • Remake Cameo: Terence Stamp, who played General Zod in the first two Superman movies with Christopher Reeve, provides the voice of Jor-El.
  • Season Finale: The show's second.
  • Screw Destiny: Clark's response to Jor-El telling him it's time to let go of his past in the teaser.
    Clark: Everything and everyone I love is here in Smallville!
    Jor-El: You must let go of your past. I will guide you to your future.
    Clark: No, I don't want your guidance! I want to create my own future!
  • Soul Jar: It's strongly implied in the teaser that Clark's spaceship functions as this for Jor-El's consciousness. Well, until Clark destroys the ship with a Kryptonite key.
    Clark: Who are you?!
    Jor-El: I am Jor-El, your father.
    Clark: I thought you died!
    Jor-El: I am his will, his memory. I am to fulfill his promise and guide you all the days of your life.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Chloe pisses and moans at Clark for not telling her that he and Lana are together after the two of them had made a promise to be honest with each other.
      Chloe: So how'd you decide? Rock–Paper–Scissors? Coin toss? Or did you just draw the short straw?
      Clark: Decide...?
      Chloe: Who was gonna tell me that you and Lana are together.
      Clark: You know?
      Chloe: Yeah. I came over to the barn the other night to warn you about something.
      Clark: About what?
      Chloe: You know, it doesn't matter now. The point is, I saw you and Lana in a major lip-lock.
      Clark: I didn't mean—
      Chloe: Didn't what, Clark? Newsflash! You've always been in love with Lana. I tried to deny it, thinking that maybe we could work something out, but it's like fate, Clark—inevitable, but always surprising when it actually happens.
      Clark: I was gonna tell you.
      Chloe: Really? Obviously, it was on the top of your to-do list. I can deal with the fact you guys are together. It hurts, but I was prepared. But we just made a promise to be honest with each other and you didn't have the guts to keep your word. Or was it too much fun making a fool of me that you couldn't reveal your secret? Have a nice life, Clark. [gets in her car and drives off]
    • Jonathan's response to Clark after Clark confesses that he put a Kryptonite key into the ship, causing it to explode and thus injure Martha.
      Jonathan: Your actions have consequences, Clark! Didn't your mother and I ever teach you that?!
      Clark: Yes, but—
      Jonathan: There's no time for excuses, Clark! It's too late! You didn't think this whole thing through. You had no idea what was gonna happen, and now...now, your mother is lying in a hospital bed!
  • You're Not My Father: Clark says this to Jor-El when the latter insists he will obey him.
    Jor-El: You will obey me, Kal-El.
    Clark: You're not my father. I won't let you control me!

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