Clark returns to Smallville as Kal-El. Intent on fulfilling his destiny, he goes after a powerful Kryptonian crystal that Lex has obtained in Egypt. Meanwhile, newcomer Lois Lane arrives in Smallville to look into the death of her cousin Chloe, and Lana returns from Paris with a new boyfriend. Jonathan lies in a coma after the events of Covenant and Lionel must deal with his new life in prison.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 4x01
A young brunette woman is watching a video diary made by Chloe Sullivan. In the video, Chloe states that something must have happened to her and says that Clark is the only person that can learn the truth of her death. The young woman later drives to the Kent Farm, but got lost among the country roads. A lightning struck nearby and her car veers off the road into the corn field. Suddenly, a ball of light falls from the sky and a hole the shape of a pentagon is burned into the corn. In the middle lies a naked Clark Kent, who claims not to know who he is. She offers to take him to the hospital, but he instead ask her name. She introduces herself as Lois Lane.
Lois and the amnesic Clark arrive at the Smallville Medical Center, but the orderly says that she has to stay with him until he can be identified. Lois decides to stay and keep an eye on him so he doesn't wander around the waiting room naked.
In Paris, Lana is taking photographs on the street when she bumps into a young man who asks her opinion on a gift to celebrate the two month anniversary of meeting his girlfriend. After a bit of banter, it is revealed that the man is her new boyfriend, Jason Teague.
Martha Kent is reading to an unconscious Jonathan Kent when Dr. Harden informs her that she needs to think about the future and that Jonathan is brain-dead. Martha declares that she will not give up on him.
Elsewhere in the hospital, Lois starts talking to Clark about why she's in Smallville, but Clark is apathetic and keeps trying to leave. Clark wanders into the hallway and is seen by Martha, who is overjoyed to find him, but he does not recognize her. Clark tells her he is waiting for "the sign". She says that she can help him find the sign, but he must go with her immediately. Lois finds out that it is Clark, but he has already left.
Lex Luthor is in Egypt, where he obtains an ancient statue artifact. He pays a large amount of money to erase all the evidence of him visiting Egypt before leaving. Lex boards his airplane and Dr. Vaughn reminds him that he survived a massive poisoning that would have killed most people. It is also revealed that Lex must have his blood purified every 72 hours or his organs will shut down.
Martha takes Clark back to the farm and up to his loft to try and jog his memory. She shows him a picture of Jonathan and says it's his father, but Clark just replies that Jonathan is dead to him. When she realizes that his behavior is probably due to Jor-El's influence, Martha grows upset and starts to scream and cry for her son to be returned.
Lex is in his airplane returning from Egypt, when the plane hits some turbulence and the statue breaks, revealing a mysterious stone. Suddenly, Clark hears an incredibly piercing sound in his head. He says that he is "Kal-El of Krypton" and that it is time to fulfill his destiny. Martha grows upset and starts to scream and cry for her son to be returned. Kal-El says that "Clark Kent is dead", and to Martha's shock, launches himself off the ground and flies into the sky.
Lana and Jason Teague go to a church to do a tombstone rubbing of the crypt of Countess Margaret Isobel Thoreaux for an art-history class. When Lana touches a symbol on the tomb, a great surge of bright energy flows through her body. The Mark of Transference appears on her lower back.
Back at the Kent farm, Martha is trying to reach Virgil Swann over the phone. Lois arrives, having followed them home and asks Martha about Clark and Chloe's relationship. She asks about Clark, but Martha makes the excuse that Clark is sleeping to hide the fact that he is no longer there. Martha states that she will have Clark contact Lois if he remembers anything. Lois explains that she thinks Clark might know something about Chloe's death. She also states that she is trying to get in to speak to Lionel but she is having trouble getting him to accept the visit, and that Lionel would otherwise be discharged in two weeks and Chloe's murder would never be avenged. Martha warns her to stay away and tells her that getting involved with Lionel is dangerous. Lois says that she knows Martha used to work for Lionel and wants to know how she escape unscathed. Martha tells her she didn't and finally gets Lois to leave.
Meanwhile, Kal-El flies up to Lex's plane and rips off the door at 20,000 feet. As Lex and Dr. Harden are tossed about in another cabin, Kal-El steps into the plane, reaches out his hand and draws the stone through the cabin wall to him. As Lex scrambles up to look through the hole, Kal-El flies away. Martha's request to speak with Virgil Swann is finally answered, but by his emissary, assistant Bridgette Crosby instead. She tells her that Clark flew away and Crosby realizes that he has completely embraced his Kryptonian destiny. She gives her black kryptonite, which will split Kal-El and Clark.
Lex visits his father in jail believing that he stole the Stone from him. They throw insults back and forth. Lionel tells him that he is chasing a fairy tale even though he himself has been extensively searching for the Stones by financing six expeditions over the last two years. Lex accuses him of poisoning his son and murdering Chloe. Lionel says that those responsible for him being charged for murder will feel his wrath, but claims that Chloe's death was an accident.
Kal-El goes to the Cave and activates three symbols around the octagonal hole, which opens the pathway to the inner chamber. He places the first Stone on the table. Lana somehow ended up back at her place. She hears someone banging on the door. She goes to see who it is and finds out that it's her boyfriend Jason Teague. He asks her what happened but she doesn't know how she ended up back at her apartment.
On his way out of the cave, Clark encounters Martha. When she presses the black kryptonite into his chest, Clark and Kal-El split and begin to
fight each other for control. Martha throws the black kryptonite to Clark who stabs it into Kal-El, effectively combining them back, this time with Clark in control. Simultaneously, Jonathan miraculously wakes up.
Lana is taking a shower and once she steps out of the shower and wraps a towel around and looks in the mirror to see the Mark of Transference mark on her lower back.
Lois gets in to visit Lionel in jail by saying she is Martha Kent. After some back and forth, Lois tells him that she knows that safe house was no accident. As she leaves, Lois taunts Lionel with the question of whether he is being set up as he prepares to walk out of the hospital a free man.
Lois goes to Smallville Cemetery to pay her respects to Chloe, whose headstone reads "Chloe Sullivan 1987-2004 Beloved Daughter."
Lois promises to find out who did this to Chloe. She is surprised when she sees Clark behind her. Clark offers to help find out what happened to Chloe and extends an invitation for Lois to stay at the Kent farm. Lois gives him some time alone at the grave and Clark X-rays Chloe's coffin and discovers it to be empty. He announces to Lois that Chloe is still alive.
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang
- Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor
- Jensen Ackles as Jason Teague
- Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
- John Glover as Lionel Luthor
- Annette O'Toole as Martha Kent
- John Schneider as Jonathan Kent
Special Guest Star
- Ona Grauer as Dr. Gabrielle Vaughn
- Dan Joffre as Hospital Receptionist
- Rekha Sharma as Dr. Harden
- Mina E. Mina as Arab Digger
- Bill Meilen
- Ian Robison as Pilot
- Viv Leacock as Co-Pilot
- Alexander Kalugin as The Seer
- Helena Yea as Old Lady in the Hospital
- "Better Days Will Come" - Tahiti 80
- "O Euchari" - Hildegard Of Bingen
- "Plus Pres De Moi (ramene moi)" - San.drine
- A crusade is a rigorous campaign towards something.
- The title refers to Kal-El and Lex's search for the Stones of Power.
- It may also be referring to Lois' quest to find Chloe's killer.
- Bridgette Crosby states the symbol burned into the Kents' field in Covenant is the Kryptonian symbol for crusade.
- Antagonist: Kal-El
- Clark or Kal-El use the following abilities in this episode: super strength, X-ray vision, telekinesis and flight.
- This is the first and only season premiere in which the Luthor Mansion is not seen.
- This is the first season premiere that does not feature Pete Ross.
- During the original run of this episode, Allison Mack was not in the opening credits to give the illusion that Chloe Sullivan had died.
- This is the first episode that features black kryptonite. However, technically it may have appeared in Pilot when the meteors containing green kryptonite are heated upon entry to Earth's atmosphere and would explain their existence.
- In the beginning, when Clark as Kal-El is lying in the pentagon shape in the cornfield and electricity is flying everywhere, the electricity forms an 'S' shape for a short few seconds; coupled with the pentagonal shape, this closely resembles the iconic symbol on Clark's future costume as Superman.
- The red blanket that Lois gives to Clark makes him resemble his future iconic figure as Superman as it almost resembles a red cape, while walking around in the hospital.
- Chloe's gravestone clearly lists her birth year as 1987. However, she turns 18 in Spell, indicating that either the gravestone is a production error, or Spell actually takes place several weeks after its November 2004 airdate, in early 2005, or perhaps those in charge of faking her death were unconcerned with accuracy.
- This episode further fleshes out the relationship among Clark's different personalities. There is Clark's normal personality, the result of his biology, experiences, and upbringing. Then there is "Kal", or Clark when he is affected by red kryptonite. He is unconcerned of any repercussion or consequence for his actions and is incredibly uninhibited, wanting to share his powers with the world in a boastful way. Finally, as revealed in this episode, there is Kal-El, a militant permutation set on fulfilling the destiny that Jor-El formulated. He is very mechanical and has no concern for those around him, only for his mission.
- This is the first episode to fully feature Clark using his ability to fly, not counting when he floated in Metamorphosis, when he may have flown to save Lana from the tornado in Tempest/Vortex, or when he woke up on a road after dreaming about flying in Rosetta.
- When Kal-El flies, his arms are at his sides—unlike Superman, who is known for putting one arm or both arms straight in front of him.
- The idol that Lex finds in the Egyptian pyramid, has Kryptonian inscriptions behind, which translated say "THIS IS THE FIRST CRYSTAL OF KNOWLEDGE"
- The exterior footage of church shown where Lana and Jason enter is the famous cathedral Notre Dame, although it is not named and the internal scenes were filmed elsewhere.
- In Smallville magazine #34, the producers revealed that Lois Lane found a reprogrammed Clark Kent in Miller's Field. Interestingly, that's the same field where Jonathan and Martha Kent found baby Kal-El during the 1989 meteor shower.
- This episode marks the first time that Lionel and Lois share a scene together.
- Dr. Harden has appeared in six other episodes: Stray, Vortex, Exodus, Onyx, Hidden and Reunion.
- This is the sixth time Clark has been naked on the show. The last 5 times happened in Pilot, Lineage, Witness, Slumber, and Covenant.
In Other Media
- Lois Lane is the 15th DC Comics character to be adapted into the series.
- After Martha says "Trust me, that can happen to the best of us" about falling for a "farm-boy type", Lois replies "Not me, give me a nerd with glasses any day of the week". In the comics, Clark Kent wears glasses to separate his appearance from Superman's.
- Margot Kidder's portrayal as Bridgette Crosby is significant to fans of the Superman films because Kidder played Lois Lane in four Superman films. She is the fourth alum of the Superman feature films to have a role in Smallville, following Annette O'Toole, Christopher Reeve and Terence Stamp.
- Bridgette Crosby's "relationship" with Dr. Swann in a former life is an allusion to the relationship of Superman (Christopher Reeve) and Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) in Superman feature films.
- The scene where Clark fights Kal-El is similar to Superman III, where Clark fights an evil Superman persona. In both cases, the evil personality has the S symbol on their chests and also, Clark wins the battle in both cases.
- When Kal-El appears on the radar, the pilot says, "What is it? A bird, a plane?" referring to the famous line from the Superman TV show starring George Reeves.
- This is the only episode in which Lionel refers to Chloe by her given name while in his own body. However, he later refers to her as Chloe while in Clark's body in Transference.
- This episode marks the first appearances of Erica Durance as Lois Lane, and Jensen Ackles as Jason Teague.
- These are the first opening credits without Sam Jones III (Pete Ross) and with Jensen Ackles (Jason Teague).
- Aside from season one, this is the first season to feature a new character added to the main cast that has not previously been featured as a guest star, this being Jason.
- This episode marks the second time that Annette O'Toole and Margot Kidder both appeared onscreen at the same time. The first time being the end of Superman III.
- This is the last time the symbol that Jor-El burned on Clark's chest is seen. It appears when Kal-El and Clark are fighting; Kal-El has the symbol on his chest. It was previously seen on Clark in Exodus, Exile, and Phoenix.
- Jor-El imposed an artificial personality on Clark exactly as he did with Lindsey Harrison in the previous episode Covenant; giving Clark's body the ability of flight just as he did with Lindsey's body. Like he did with Lindsey, Jor-El dumped Clark, possessed by the Kal-El entity, naked in a field. Jor-El had the artificial entity in Clark call itself after a relative, "Kal-El", just as he did with the entity in Lindsey Harrison calling herself "Kara" from Krypton.
- Dr. Harden was last seen in Exodus.
- Lex's ill condition is the result of his father poisoning his brandy in Covenant. This is its only appearance, due to the Crystal of Fire curing him upon being activated.
- Bridgette Crosby will reappear in the episode Transference. Her fate will be revealed in Spirit.
- Lionel and Lois don't share a scene together again until Season Six's Rage.
- Though it's stated that Lex's blood needs to be purified in order to keep him alive, this episode is the only time it's shown or talked about from here onward. It is implied that the Crystal of Fire healed him when he picked it up after Kal-El had activated it.
- One of the core rules of the show stated by the creators was "no flight, no tights" until the end of the series, which this episode seems to break. However, as the show goes on Clark never achieves flight consciously except in the series finale, where he finally dons the Superman costume. The act of flight in this episode is clearly Kal-El not Clark, and does not technically break the "no flight, no tights" rule since "Clark" really didn't "fly".
- The act of flight is also something Kara chides Clark for not being able to do (Kara) and tries to teach Clark (unsuccessfully) in Supergirl, with flight being the last super power Clark masters.
- Lois would have another run-in with the same Smallville Medical Center receptionist in Spirit.
- Lois: Look, I didn't come here fishing for thanks. I think Clark might know something about my cousin Chloe's death.
- Martha: I'm so sorry for your loss.
- Lois: Yeah. Were she and Clark ever an item?
- Martha: Oh, I think for a minute...
- Lois: It's funny, I never thought she'd fall for the farm boy type.
- Martha: Trust me, that can happen to the best of us.
- Lois: Not me. Give me a nerd with glasses any day of the week.
- Martha: Clark has many sides.
- Lois: Yeah, I've seen several of them already.
- Kal-El: I am Kal-El of Krypton. It is time to fulfill my destiny.
- Kal-El: You talk a lot.
- Lois: Well, I'm just not comfortable with uncomfortable silence and you're not exactly keeping up with your end of the conversation.
- Bridgette Crosby: Now, where's your son?
- Martha: I don't know. He flew. He flew away.
- Bridgette Crosby: That means... That means he's completely embraced his Kryptonian destiny.
- Lois: Glad to see we've moved beyond the clothing-optional stage of our relationship.
- Pilot: What is it? A bird? A plane?
- Jonathan: Clark, your mother tells me you... can fly?
- Clark: Kal-El can fly. Clark Kent is still Earth-bound.
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