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"Crisis" is the sixteenth episode in the third season of Smallville, and sixtieth episode overall. It aired on March 3, 2004.


Clark receives a phone call from the future in which Adam Knight kills Lana Lang. Meanwhile, Lex is framed for the murders committed by Adam at Metron Labs and offers to help take down his father in exchange for immunity.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 3x16


Adam shoots Lana.


All's well tonight.

Lana needs to study for a history exam, so she asks Clark to cover her shift at the teen crisis hotline. As Clark and Pete begin their shift, the first call Clark gets is from Lana herself. She yells out that "it's happening," while someone chases her with a gun. Clark hears a gunshot and rushes to the Talon, only to find Lana unharmed and studying with Chloe.

The next morning, Sheriff Adams reviews the recording of the hotline call. She says she will look into it but admits that prank calls are a low priority, so Clark, Lana, and Chloe analyze the recording themselves. They hear rain in the background, despite there being no rain the previous night. Clark uses his super hearing to pick out Adam's voice yelling at Lana, and Clark finds a bit of a radio broadcast of a Metropolis Vipers game that has not happened yet. Piecing together the clues, they theorize this call came from the future.


Lex confronts Lionel.

Meanwhile Lex confronts Lionel with a vial of the blood-serum and papers describing that the trials have so far resulted in patients whose minds remain conscious while their bodies deteriorate. Lionel thinks Lex wants to shut the project down, but Lex wants to be put in charge of it. Lionel responds by going behind Lex's back, confiscating the blood platelets, ordering Teng to clear out the lab by the end of the day under threat of deportation. Lionel plans to move the lab to another location.

After Lionel leaves, Dr. Teng brings the serum to Adam Knight. She gives him another injection and tells him that they are shutting down the lab. He correctly guesses that Lionel does not want Dr. Teng to bring him to the new location. A concerned Dr. Teng looks on, as Adam realizes he only has 12 hours to live until he gets another injection.

Clark goes to the mansion and tells Lex about the phone call from the future, asking about Adam's whereabouts. Lex feigns ignorance, but Clark admits that he knows Lex was at the lab with Dr. Teng. Lex takes Clark to the lab to show him that Adam is held there and cannot hurt Lana. However, when they arrive, they find Dr. Teng and the seven lab techs all dead, and Adam missing. Lex accuses Lionel of having them killed. Lionel says he trusts Lex with the cleanup, but Lex refuses, aware that he will be a scapegoat to a PR nightmare.


Adam steals a phone.

Clark goes to the Talon to tell Lana what he and Lex found. Chloe had her contact at the phone company track down the blocked number that Lana called from: a woman named Gwen Burton. Clark offers that Lana hide out at the Kent Farm, while he tracks down Gwen, who works at the medical center. She loaned her cell phone to her husband for the day, and Clark has her call the cell phone. As her husband picks up, Adam hits him over the head and steals his car and the cell phone. Clark superspeeds to his location, but Adam has already driven off.


Kent Farm during a storm.

Clark calls Chloe at the Kent Farm and tells her that the phone was stolen. A storm is brewing, and Chloe decides to go to the Torch to listen to the police scanner. Jonathan insists that she take his truck, as he does not want her getting stuck crossing the creek. Clark is at the mansion when Detective Cage of the Metropolis Police Department arrives to search the grounds for evidence relating to the eight homicides committed at Metron labs. Lex tries to send Clark away, but Detective Cage insists that he remain to answer a few questions.


Adam shoots Lana (again).

Adam confronts Chloe to get Lana's location, believing she has the serum he left in his apartment, but she refuses to give Lana's location. He notices that she is driving the Kent's pickup truck.

The truck arrives back at the Kent Farm. Jonathan sees Chloe in the front seat, but Lana wonders why she is not coming inside. Jonathan takes his rifle and goes outside to investigate, asking Lana to lock the door behind him. Chloe has been tied up and placed in the front seat by Adam. She tries to warn Jonathan as he approaches the truck, but Adam sneaks up behind Jonathan, hits him on the head, and steals the rifle. He throws Chloe out of the truck and threatens to kill both of them, unless Lana can take him to the serum. When they get to the storage facility with all of Adam's belongings he left at the Talon, the vials are missing. He is furious and accuses her of stealing them. They struggle until she is able to steal the phone and run away.


Adam dies.


Prognosis: terminal

Detective Cage has surveillance video of Lex with Dr. Teng in the lab. When they find memos signed by Lex as acting director of the lab, he realizes that he is being set up. Clark overhears an update on the Vipers game and realizes Adam will be chasing Lana soon.

He rushes to the Kent farm and finds Martha tending to Chloe. Then he rushes to the teen crisis center just in time to answer Lana's call, but a power line crashes on top of the telephone service box, causing the telephone pole to fall into a puddle with meteor rocks in it, which explains how pieces of the phone call made it into the past. Still on the phone with Lana, Clark lifts the telephone pole to get the phone lines out of the puddle, and the phone reception becomes clear again. Lana gives him her location, and he superspeeds over in time to shield Lana from the gunshot.


Lionel contemplates suicide.

Adam collapses as his 12 hours are almost up. As Clark approaches, and Adam says he saw him take that bullet, and now understands why Lionel sent him to watch over Clark. Adam warns that Lionel will not stop pursuing Clark, and that it will only be a matter of time before he discovers his secret.

At the mansion, Detective Cage has collected enough evidence to place Lex under arrest. Just as he puts him in handcuffs, Agent Frank Loder arrives, announcing that the FBI has taken over the investigation. In exchange for immunity, Lex offers to help bring down Lionel. Meanwhile, Lionel brings in a new doctor to manage the serum research, claiming he has a liver disease that is killing him and that time is imperative.

Clark checks up on Lana at The Talon. Lana asks how he was able to get form the crisis center to the storage facility so quickly, but he claims it may have been from the time distortions. Clark then asks her why she called the hotline and not the police, and she says she knew he would be there to save her. Lana she says she now feels she has more control over the future.

Later that day, Lionel reviews his medical records and holds a gun to his mouth.



Guest Starring[]


Featured Music[]

  • "Maybe" - Jim Gorman
  • "Coming Around" - Melodine
  • "Les Pecheurs De Perles (Je Crois Entendre Encore)" - Georges Bizet


  • A crisis is a dangerous situation or condition.
  • The title refers to the crisis Lana is in after Clark hears a phone call in which she is killed by Adam Knight.
  • The title also refers to the situation Lex is in after being framed for the murders at Metron Labs by Lionel.
  • The title could also be a reference to the Teen Crisis Hotline, where the time-traversing call was made to.



Clark can hear Adam.

  • Antagonist: Adam Knight
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: invulnerability, super-strength, super-speed, X-ray vision, super-hearing and accelerated vision
  • Clark could have used his super hearing to identify which way the van, stolen by Adam Knight, went, but as he never heard that van being driven before, he couldn't tell which car it is.
  • The van Adam stole had the license plate 'DDI 035', which is the license plate of Principal Kwan's car, featured in the episode Crush.
  • This is the second episode to show Clark's ability to literally change destiny, the first being Hereafter.
  • The gun used by Lionel to contemplate suicide is a Smith & Wesson 5906 with a squared trigger guard.
  • This episode marks the 12th appearance of Clark's red jacket and blue shirt outfit, which he wears frequently throughout the series.



  • Clark "explains" to Chloe that he can hear so well because he missed too many Linkin Park concerts. Linkin Park is an American rock band that formed in 1996 and their former lead singer, Chester Bennington is shown to scream during his songs, which would cause anyone who attends their concerts to have their hearing shot afterward. Obviously, this was a lie because he has superhearing.


Clark: (Clark picks up the phone) Teen Crisis HotLine
Lana: Clark!
Clark: Lana?
Lana: Clark it's happening! Are you there?!
Clark: Lana?
Lana: He has a gun!
Lana: Clark please help me!
Clark: Lana? Lana what?
Clark: Lana?! Lana?!

Adam shoots Lana. 

Clark: Lana?! Lana?! Can you hear me? Lana!
Clark: Pete call the police!

Clark: Lana didn't have anything to do with this.
Sheriff Adams: You know, unless Miss Lang has grown several inches and developed an affinity for plaid, this would be a good time for you to pipe down.

Lana: Why would anyone do that?
Sheriff Adams: If I had the answer to half the "whys" in this town, I'd have a best seller on my hands.

Chloe: Clark, how did you hear that?
Clark: I guess I missed too many Linkin Park concerts.

Lionel: Oh, Lex, I don't have time for 20 questions.

Lionel: Lex, even if I were the demonic father you've made me out to be, you know I would never do anything so sloppy.

Detective Cage: It seems that the memo sent by you was the acting director of the lab?
Lex: I've never seen this before.
Detective Cage: (sarcastic) Amazing how that always happens.
Lex: I'm being set up.
Detective Cage: And they're doing a pretty damned good job of it. Take a breather, think about it if you want to stick to that story.

Adam: You took that bullet.
Clark: That's impossible.

Detective Cage: Look kid, your friend's been running off at the mouth for over an hour and 'fessing up, so don't try to play the hero.
Clark: You're bluffing! He didn't admit anything because he didn't do anything.
Detective Cage: You really think that? Something tells me that you don't know your friend as well as a you think you do.

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