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The "To Be Continued" screen following some of the cliffhangers

Cliffhangers are used at the end of certain episodes. They serve to leave the expectation to the public on which way any cliffhanger events are going to be concluded in the following episode. Some cliffhangers, however, are only unravelled some episodes later.

To be continued

Eight of the episodes explicitly display at their end a black screen with the centered text "to-be-continued" in white. In this case, there often are not only minor scenes with open ends which await a continuation, but the main plot of the entire episode will be continued in the next episode. Five of those eight cases were at the end of a season finale.

Image Episode "to-be-continued" scene
Lana within her car being lifted up by the tornado. 1x21 Tempest

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Clark rushed into a tornado to save Lana who had been lifted up with her car.

Continuation: Clark saved Lana and brought her to the hospital.

Clark seeing a bright light emergingfrom the cellar. 2x22 Calling Cliffhanger: Clark heard the voice of Jor-El and went into the storm cellar from which a yellow light emerged.

Continuation: Clark found the spaceship glowing and Jor-El told him to leave his family and Smallville to fulfill his destiny.

Jonathan and Clark fighting at LuthorCorp Plaza. 3x01 Exile Cliffhanger: Clark and Jonathan, who had been given super strength by Jor-El, fought in an upper level of LuthorCorp Plaza and both fell out of the window.

Continuation: The fight continued until Clark broke the red kryptonite stone of his ring when knocking his fist against a wall and returned to his normal self.

Clark in the Arctic Circle, throwing the Crystal of Knowledge into the air . 4x22 Commencement

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Clark united the Stones of Power, thereby forming the Crystal of Knowledge. Clark was teleported to the Arctic Circle where he threw the crystal into the air.

Continuation: When the crystal touched the ground, the Fortress of Solitude formed and Clark begun his training with Jor-El.

Clark reading the note that Zod is coming. 5x21 Oracle Cliffhanger: From the notes Lionel was taking as a medium, Chloe extracted the most frequent pattern which Clark translated to read "Zod is coming."

Continuation: Milton Fine abducted Lex and prepared him to be a vessel for Zod who was then released from the phantom zone.

Clark imprisoned in the Phantom Zone. 5x22 Vessel

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Clark was banished by General Zod into Phantom Zone and is shown captured in a pane of glass, drifting off through space.

Continuation: in the Phantom Zone, Clark met Raya who helped him to escape whereupon he succeeded in banishing Zod back to the zone.

Bizarro flying out of the dam. 6x22 Phantom

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: During a fight, Bizarro threw Clark out of the side of Reeves Dam and flew after him.

Continuation: The fight continued under the sun which strengthened Clark and weakened Bizarro so that Clark could overcome him.

Clark falling from a building. 9x21 Salvation

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Clark intentionally let himself be stabbed with a blue kryptonite dagger while fighting Zod on the rooftop of the Crow's nest skycraper and fell to the streets below.

Continuation: Lois removed the dagger from Clark's body and the rising sun activated his healing factor so that the wound closed itself.

Other cliffhangers

Cliffhangers also appear in episodes which are not concluded by the "to be continued" message, or episodes marked as "to-be-continued" may have further cliffhangers additionally to the final scene.

Image Episode Cliffhanger
The spaceship activating itself and glowing. 1x21 Tempest

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Before the final "to-be-continued" scene of Clark running into the tornado, Roger Nixon escaped after having filmed the spaceship and was followed by Jonathan, while Martha remained in the cellar and saw the spaceship activating itself and glowing.

Continuation: Nixon and Jonathan were trapped by the tornado in an ancient crypt from which they were rescued by Clark, and Martha's infertility was cured by a healing ray from the ship.

Lex' airplane falling into the water. 2x23 Exodus

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Lex awakened in an empty airplane, Helen and the pilot had vanished, and the plane was going to fall into the sea.

Continuation: A funeral was held for Lex, but he had survived the crash and found himself on a remote island from where he was finally rescued.

Jonathan in the barn. 3x12 Hereafter Cliffhanger: Clark found Jonathan collapsed in the barn, murmuring "not yet".

Continuation: Jonathan was brought to the Smallville Medical Center where he recovered from his heart attack which might have to do with the deal he made with Jor-El.

Lionel attempting suicide. 3x16 Crisis Cliffhanger: Lionel learned that there was no cure for his liver disease and pointed a gun to his head.

Continuation: Lionel received a phone call and took a helicopter to Smallville to visit the Kawatche Caves where he met Clark.

Jonathan strangled by Jor-El
Clark included in a crystal
3x22 Covenant

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Clark vanished through a gap in the wall of the Kawatche Caves while Jonathan fell into a coma, the house to which Chloe and her father were taken into protective custody was blown up immediately after they entered it, and Lex choked and crumbled on the floor after having drunk a glass of brandy. At the end, Clark appeared naked in something like a crystal and Jor-El was heard saying "You shall be reborn".

Continuation: Three months later, Clark came back re-programmed as Kal-El. Chloe was apparently buried, but later disccovered to have survived. Lex had been poisened, but was healed by the Crystal of Fire. Jonathan woke up as Clark Kent remerged with his Kryptonian persona, Kal-El, with black kryptonite, gaining control.

X-ray view of Chloe's empty grave. 4x01 Crusade Cliffhanger: At the cemetery, Clark used his X-ray vision and discovered that Chloe's grave was empty.

Continuation:Chloe and her father had been brought through a tunnel out of the house before it exploded.

A meteor crushing into the Kents' house
Light from inside the black ship falls upon Lana's face
4x22 Commencement

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Before the final "to-be-continued" scene with Clark in the Arctic, a meteor crushed into the Kents' house where Jason threatened Martha and Jonathan, and Lana crawled to the edge of a meteor crater and saw a spaceship opening.

Continuation: Martha and Jonathan have survived, but Jason was slawn by the meteor. The ship has brought the disciples of Zod to earth.

A man forming from a black oily substance 5x01 Arrival Cliffhanger: A black oily substance dropped from the Black Ship which was stored in the Warehouse 15 and formed into the shape of a man.

Continuation: The man is revealed to be Milton Fine, the human alias of Brainiac.

Lionel scribbling on a sheet of paper 5x19 Mercy Cliffhanger: Lionel got a seizure in his office and wrote something upon a sheet of paper

Continuation: It is revealed later that Lionel often was used by Jor-El to take down notes in Kryptonian symbols.

Martha and Lois collapsed in the plane.
Chloe pulled out of the car by the mob.
5x22 Vessel

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Before the final "to-be-continued" scene of Clark in a pane of glass, the plane with Martha and Lois was hijacked by a copy of Milton Fine, the oxygen begun to run out and Martha and Lois collapsed. In the Dark Thursday riots, Chloe and Lionel were pulled out of the car by the mob.

Continuation: Martha woke up to find the airplane crashed near the Fortress of Solitude from where she and Lois were teleported home by Jor-El. Chloe and Lionel were saved by Lionel's security staff.

A phantom wraith at the Iguazu Falls 6x01 Zod Cliffhanger: After Clark had espaped from the Phantom Zone, a phantom wraith appeared at the Iguazu Falls in Argentina.

Continuation: It is later revealed that the phantom is Bizarro and that still further zoners had escaped. A main theme of season 6, and Clark begins hunting down these escapees.

Lex proposing to Lana 6x08 Static Cliffhanger: Lex proposed to Lana and gave her a diamond ring as a present.

Continuation: Lana accepted Lex's proposal and married him in Promise.

Wes Keenan in the lab 6x19 Nemesis Cliffhanger: Wes Keenan was shown in a lab of Lex, and an assistant told that the "prototype" would soon reach his fullest functioning capacities.

Continuation: In his Project Ares, Lex had provided Wes with DNA from Titan to create a super-powered soldier.

Kara on the water tower of Smallville 7x01 Bizarro Cliffhanger:A young woman was sitting on Smallville's water tower, put on a bracelet and flew away.

Continuation:The woman is Clark's cousin Kara who had come to earth during the 1989 meteor shower and had remained in suspended animation for 18 years.

An oily substance flowing into Casey Brock 7x07 Wrath Cliffhanger: A black oily substance, originating from the ashes of the black box of the Black Ship, breaks free and flows into Casey Brock, a female lab technician working on Project Scion.

Continuation: Lana had found Brock brain-dead on the street. She later told Bizarro who posed as Clark that Brock was drained of all trace metals and died. The oily substance was disclosed to be Brainiac who tried to reboot and needed metals to repair himself.

Kara lost on a street in Detroit

Clark engulfed in a white light
7x08 Blue Cliffhanger: After Clark destroyed the blue crystal in the Fortress of Solitude, Kara found herself lost on a street in Detroit without remembrance who she was. Jor-El told Clark that his disobedience could not go without consequences. Clark was then engulfed in a white light.

Continuation: Apparently, nothing happened to Clark and he went back to Smallville (the truth was only revealed later). Kara was found in Detroit by Lex who was shot in the attempt to take her back to Smallville. Clark entered Lex's memory to learn where Kara was and took her home.

Bizarro's face distorting in the sun
Clark enclosed in a pillar of ice
7x09 Gemini Cliffhanger: When Clark hugged Lana, his face was distorted in the sun, indicating that he in fact was Bizarro who had taken over Clark's identity. The real Clark was shown enclosed in a pillar of ice.

Continuation: Clark was held captive by Jor-El in the fortress as a punishment for his disobedience. He was only released after a month in order to defeat Bizarro.

Lex suggesting a memory treatment to Kara 7x12 Fracture Cliffhanger: in order to learn her secret, Lex tried to persuade Kara to undergo a memory treatment in order to get back her lost memories.

Continuation: Just as Lex was about to take Kara to the lab, Chloe and Lana got her out of Luthor Mansion and brought her to the Fortress of Solitude where Jor-El restored her memories and gave her back her lost powers.

Brainiac and Kara leave earth 7x15x Veritas Cliffhanger: Brainiac and Kara flew away from earth and vanished into the outer space.

Continuation: It is later revealed that they returned to Krypton before its destruction where Brainiac tried to kill baby Kal-El.

Clark showing Chloe the changed message in Swann's journal 7x17 Sleeper Cliffhanger: Clark noticed that the contents of Swann's journal had changed because Kara sent him a message from the past indicating that Brainiac was about to kill him as a baby. Chloe stated that "it's finally time for Kal-El to go home"

Continuation: Clark travelled back into the past of Krypton, defeated Brainiac and laid baby Kal-El into his spaceship.

Kara collapsing 7x18 Apocalypse Cliffhanger: Kara took a bottle of milk from the refrigerator, but suddenly let the bottle fall, grabbed her head in pain, and collapsed.

Continuation: It was later revealed that "Kara" in fact was Brainiac in Kara's shape, but it was not disclosed why she collapsed.

Kara drifting off through space

The fortress collapsing around Clar and Lex
7x20 Arctic

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Kara was shown captured in a pane of glass, drifting off through space, Chloe was arrested, and the Fortress of Solitude collapsed around Clark, who had lost his powers, and Lex.

Continuation: The fortress had transformed back to the Crystal of Knowledge which was found by Tess Mercer. Clark was taken by fishermen to Russia from where he was brought home by Oliver. Chloe was brought to Black Creek from where she was rescued by Lois and Clark. Kara was transported to the Phantom Zone from where she was rescued by Chloe using the Crystal of Knowledge. Lex remained missing for a long time until it was disclosed that he had survived, but could only live with life support through tubes and breathing machines.

Davis lying naked on the street 8x02 Plastique Cliffhanger: Davis found himself lying naked on the street by night. His face was distorted, but returned to normal.

Continuation: It was later revealed that Davis was converting into the monster Doomsday.

E-mail message by X 8x04 Instinct Cliffhanger: After the Crystal of Knowledge had been stolen. Tess Mercer received an e-mail that she would not yet be ready for it. The e-mail was signed with "X".

Continuation: The crystal was later found by Clark in a parcel left at the front door of the Kent Farm, while the author of the e-mail remained unknown and only may be assumed to be Lex.

The fortress in black with the sign for apokalypse on the ground 8x09 Abyss Cliffhanger: Brainiac took over the Fortress of Solitude and stated "Doomsday is coming". The crystals became black and the sign for apokalypse appeared on the ground.

Continuation: The monster Doomsday first appeared on screen in the next episode and crushed Chloe's wedding party.

Doomsday bringing chloe to the Fortress
Lex in hiding
8x10 Bride Cliffhanger: Doomsday brought Chloe to the Fortress of Solitude which still was controlled by Brainiac. In a dark room, Lex was shown connected to tubes and cables, watching a video of Chloe's wedding.

Continuation: Chloe got possessed by Brainiac again until he was finally removed from her body by the Legion of Super-Heroes. Lex hid in a truck moving around and watched the outside world through the eyes of Tess to which a nano-transmitter was connected.

Doomsday emerges in the Fortress. 8x11 Legion Cliffhanger: In the Fortress of Solitude, crystals splitted as Doomsday broke free from his enclosure of ice.

Continuation: Doomsday did not appear in his monster form during the following episodes until episode 8x15 Infamous.

Tess in front of the growing orb. 8x21 Injustice Cliffhanger: Tess found the orb glowing in violet and growing and heard a voice saying: "You shall be the savior of Kandor".

Continuation: By destroying the Black crystal, Tess forced Clark to destroy Doomsday, by which the Kandorian clones from the orb were set free.

Lois putting on the Legion ring

Major Zod with the orb
8x22 Doomsday

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Lois found Clark's Legion ring, put it on and vanished. Clark, making his human part responsible for Jimmy's death, left Chloe saying "Clark Kent is dead". Tess saw a violet glow in the garden, found the Mark of Zod burnt into the lawn and a naked man standing therein and holding the orb.

Continuation: Lois reappeared three weeks later with visions of the future under a red sun which were only fully explained in episode 9x09 Pandora. Clark withdrew from his friends, watched as the Blur over Metropolis and continued his training with Jor-El until Lois returned from the future. Major Zod had emerged as a clone from the orb together with the Kandorian army.

The Mark of El with a man lying in the center 9x02 Metallo Cliffhanger: Stuart Campbell shows Tess satellite images of kryptonion symbols appearing scorched into the ground all over the world, among them the Mark of El with a naked man lying in the center.

Continuation: Also a clone of Jor-El had emerged from the orb. He finally appeared in Smallville in episode 9x07 Kandor.

Lois unconscious in Clark's arms 9x08 Idol Cliffhanger: While Lois kissed Clark, she got again visions from her trip to the future and lost consciousness.

Continuation: She was brought to the hospital from which she was abducted by Tess who entered her mind using Project Intercept to learn of the future lois had witnessed.

Tess Mercer at Checkmate 9x11 Absolute Justice, Part 2 Cliffhanger: Tess appeared in the headquarters of Checkmate and was greeted by Amanda Waller as "Agent Mercer".

Continuation: Tess had long been an undercover member of Checkmate. Details of her talk with Waller are not revealed, but the next task she accomplishes for Checkmate is the abduction of Oliver.

Oliver being attacked in the ventilation shafts

An old woman entering the hospital room in which Tess had died
9x21 Salvation

(season finale)

Cliffhanger: Beofore the final "to-be-continued" scene of Clark falling from the Crow's nest rooftop, Oliver was attacked while he krept through ventilation shafts to turn on a sattelite from its Earth station. When Tess died from the burns she received from Zod, an old woman entered her room.

Continuation: Oliver was abducted and tortured by Rick Flag, but then set free in exchange for Chloe. The old woman was later revealed to be Granny Goodness who took Tess to Cadmus Labs where she was completely restored.

Darkseid appearing on Earth 10x01 Lazarus Cliffhanger: A black smoke appeared at the rooftop of the Crow's nest skyscraper and condensed into a black figure having glowing eyes.

Continuation: The figure was later disclosed to be Darkseid who came to Earth through a rip in the universe which occurred when Clark sent the Kryptonians to New Krypton using the Book of Rao.

Chloe's SMS 10x04 Homecoming Cliffhanger: Zoe and Clayton received an e-mail which read "Glad to see you're carrying on my Torch - CS". This indicated that Chloe Sullivan, who was missing for weeks, still was alive.

Continuation: Chloe herself only reappeared eight episodes later in Collateral

the bent injection needle 10x06 Beacon Cliffhanger: Tess tried to inject cyanide into Conner's arm to end his suffering from accelerated aging, but the needle could not penetrate his skin and bent.

Continuation: It is later revealed that Conner was a hybrid clone of Clark and Lex, and that, when his Kryptonian side grew stronger, he not only grew invulnerable, but also developed the same other super powers as Clark.