I just recently finished watching the entire Smallville series for the very first time. I did not have The WB in my dorm room during the first two years of college, and this was back in the old days before Netflix, so it was much harder to catch up between seasons. These were also my pre-TV-nerd days, and I was just getting into Buffy, which was my first sci-fi show, so Smallville was not high on my list of priorities at the time. However, I have since wanted to watch it but could not find it streaming anywhere. I eventually had to suck it up and pay for the individual seasons. It took me about four months to get through all ten, and these are my favorite episodes in chronological order.
The series begins with the meteor shower in Smallville, Kansas that brings Kal-El to Earth, and into the lives of Martha and Jonathan Kent. Then it jumps forward to Clark Kent in high school. He is dealing with his superpowers and learning, for the first time, that he is from another planet. I love this episode because it introduces all of the main characters, explains their relationships to each other, and sets the tone of the show. As someone who knows the Superman-basics, but has never read the comics, I could easily navigate this world.
After putting on his class ring, Clark’s attitude begins to change. He starts talking back to teachers and his parents, he openly uses his powers, and declares his love for Lana. Chloe discovers that their rings are made from red kryptonite, and Pete figures out that it must be what is affecting Clark’s behavior. Pete, Martha and Jonathan must figure out a way to destroy the ring before Clark reveals his secret to the world. I do enjoy bumbling, goofy Clark, but confident Clark is much sexier…even though he sometimes gets himself into trouble.
Jor-El has stripped Clark of his powers. He and Lana are dating, and he is enjoying his “human” life. However, when Martha and Jonathan are taken hostage in their own home, Clark must figure out how to save them. Even though you know he is eventually going to get his powers back, it is nice to see Clark and Lana happy for once.
In the 100th episode of the series, Clark finally takes Lana to the Fortress of Solitude and tells her his secret before proposing to her. Hours later, she gets into a car accident and dies. Desperate to undo it, Clark asks Jor-El for help. Clark gets to relive the entire day, but Jor-El warns him that there could be consequences and soon finds out what those consequences are. I would not actually say that this is one of my *favorite* episodes to watch, because it made me cry a lot, but it is one of the series’ best.
After getting ditched by all of her friends during her birthday party, Chloe makes a wish to a magician named Zatanna to be more like Lois. The wish comes true and Chloe wakes up the next morning looking like her cousin. While trying to turn his friend back, Clark gets his own wish of being normal granted. While I do enjoy the more Superman-y things that happen on this show, these Zatanna episodes (another one is below) entertain me endlessly.
As part of his training with Jor-El, Clark is given the ability to hear other people’s thoughts. Meanwhile, the Toyman has returned to seek revenge against Oliver. Oliver must confess to his Board of Directors that he killed Lex Luthor, or a bomb will go off at their company gala. This is a great Oliver-centric episode. He’s been on a downward spiral for a while and you see him hit rock bottom. Also, Clark finally asks Lois out on a date!
Zatanna spikes the champagne at Lois and Clark’s bachelor/bachelorette parties, which causes everyone to black out after the toast. The next morning they realize that none of them can remember anything from the night before, so they must all retrace their steps. It is a hilarious episode that includes Emil as an Elvis-impersonator and Oliver kicking ass in drag:
There is a lot more to this episode, it actually wraps up the series very nicely, but the most important part is in the final scene, when Clark Kent finally becomes Superman. I mean…
ps. I may or may not have been listening to John Williams’ Superman Theme while I wrote this.