Oliver's past comes back to haunt him in the form of the Dark Archer, Oliver's former teacher, who seeks revenge on his student by taking aim at Lois and Chloe. Oliver faces down the Dark Archer after his former mentor kidnaps Mia Dearden, but is pushed to his limit and Clark races to stop him from making another deadly mistake.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 9x10
Lois and Clark leave a charity fundraiser gala sponsored by the Daily Planet. This is their first public date as an official couple. Clark comments on how Lois refused to show "PDA" (public display of affection) inside the gala. Lois changes the subject by commenting on Oliver's abrupt exit as soon as they had arrived. Clark reminds her how Oliver has overcome much greater obstacles in his life than them dating. Lois still seems worried though. Clark then proceeds to make a suggestion to Lois on how they could return to the farm to give her his personal tour of the galaxy and when she jokingly turns him down, Clark leans forward and plants a sensual kiss on her lips. As the kiss continues to heat up between them. Lois pulls back and insists that they take things slow because she wants this relationship to work out right. Clark then picks up on a nearby robbery in progress with his super hearing so he says "goodnight" to Lois, promising to call her tomorrow as he runs off to the corner and then super speeds out of sight . Lois enters her car, only to discover it won't start because the alternator's faulty, so she pops the hood. But then an arrow hits the car battery right next to her and she turns and sees what looks like the silhouette of the Emerald Archer against the Moon on the rooftop above. Believing it to be Oliver, Lois yells at him asking if he's "jealous much?" The Dark Archer then fires another arrow, this time directly at her as Lois turns and runs for her life down the street. However, the arrow hits her straight through her left shoulder and she collapses in the street with blood pouring from her wound and down the arrow that's impaled her.
Oliver is seen meditating in his training room, when suddenly he snaps to full awareness as a black-clad ninja appears and tries to jump him. For a moment, Oliver pins his attacker down, choking her in the process with her own weapon until the attacker screams his name and he backs off in shock realizing it's Mia, and he's almost killed her. Mia reminds him that he had invited her to train with him and she had decided to try using his skills to surprise him but she never expected lethal force from him. Then his phone rings and it's Chloe, apparently with bad news for Oliver.
The next morning, Clark returns to the Kent house to find Zod inside awaiting his return. In the kitchen, Zod expresses his fascination for the role of the apple in Earth's history. Zod mentions the Apple of Discord that started the Trojan War (in Greek mythology), and the Apple falling from the tree of knowledge designating the fall of man (The Bible). Zod also explains to Clark the difference between Humans and Kryptonians in that Humans hoard their knowledge whereas Kryptonian religion teaches that knowledge should be shared by all. Clark is unimpressed by Zod's accumulated knowledge concerning religion, and asks why he's there. Zod informs him that when his army had bowed before Kal-El previously, that was their way of showing respect to him for they believed he would help them. Clark tells Zod that the Kandorians have assimilated well and they don’t need his help as much as the humans do. Zod insists that his people need it more, especially since they don't have their powers. Clark tells Zod he can't help him because he doesn't know how to give them their powers. Zod suggests that they work together to unravel the mystery. But Clark warns him that “Earth is not another Krypton. And trying to make it one...is a dangerous plan.”
Zod then in turn warns Clark that their people aren't interested in conquering. But if they don’t get their powers soon, they will do whatever is necessary to get them in order to defend themselves, because humanity's capacity for brutality is great and should they discover the existence of the Kandorians on earth they will hunt them down like animals and eradicate them. Clark says he won’t let that happen. Zod sees he's not getting the result he's looking for so changes tactics and suggests that Clark's reluctance to take action is because he doesn't trust him because he think he killed Jor-El. Zod tells him that he lost a son, and would never deprive anyone of their father. He pleads for Clark to believe him.
For a second, Clark considers what Zod is saying could be true, but then his cell phone rings and he answers it, to learn something has happened to Lois. Clark instantly speeds out, leaving Zod alone in the farmhouse.
Inside the hospital room of Metropolis General Hospital, Lois is sitting up in her bed with a sling around her arm. Clark arrives and approaches her, saying how sorry he is and that he shouldn’t have left her alone last night, because he'd have made certain this would have never happened. Lois reassures him it not his fault and won't allow Clark to blame himself for her injury. Clark inquires what happened, and Lois summarizes: her car had a bad alternator preventing her from leaving and she witnessed a guy dressed up like Green Arrow take a shot at her, probably just to get a headline in the newspaper. Meanwhile, outside of Lois's door, Oliver is standing in the hallway watching the couple talking. Chloe arrives right beside him and asks Oliver if perhaps he still hasn't gotten over his feelings for Lois. He assures her he has and says he is just concerned about her safety. Oliver asks Chloe if she has a suspect yet, and she informs him that the suspect was disguised as Green Arrow and that the arrow which hit Lois went in under her shoulder. It didn't do any damage, but the doctor said that if it had just been a centimeter to the right or the left, her artery would have been severed and she would've died in minutes.
Chloe expresses her relief that this amateur archer had bad aim, but Oliver says it wasn't luck at all: that this is a highly skilled professional archer and this type of shot is specifically designed to take down your enemy without killing them, and not too many people in the world can pull off this type of shot. Oliver asks Chloe to inform him of the location of this arrow. She tells him that the police are still running tests on it but she managed to take a picture on her cell phone and shows Oliver the photo while explaining that it's a pretty low-tech arrow compared to his titanium arrow arsenal. Chloe can see by Oliver's facial expression that he is hiding important information regarding this case, but he denies it as he leaves the hospital.
Returning to his Office, Oliver goes to a secret compartment that stores a set of ancient arrows wrapped in a cloth bearing a Celtic insignia. He pulls out an exact replica of the arrow which hit Lois and declares a name of someone simply known as "Vordigan".
Elsewhere, a figure of a well-built man with scars on his body is seen wrapping his hand and abs with gauze and, as he dons a black leather uniform, the same Celtic insignia is marked on his neck . Now suited up, he has his own complete set of ancient Celtic arrows. He goes to stand in front of a mirror, staring at his own reflection in which his face is scarred. He then pulls his hood over his head, concealing his face in the darkness.
Back at the hospital, Lois is conducting her own research into the ancient Celtic arrow on her laptop when she receives an unexpected visit from Zod bearing a bunch of flowers. He introduces himself to Lois as a friend of Clark Kent's. Lois is not totally convinced of Zod's claim but decides to go along with his façade to find out just exactly what he wants from her. Zod continues his ruse by telling Lois how much Clark loves her. Zod says that Clark talks about her constantly and, now that he has seen her in person, he can see that Clark wasn't exaggerating about her beauty. Lois accepts Zod's compliment with a smile but is still suspicious of Zod as she inquires how he knows Clark. Zod informs her that he and Clark have a lot of history together. Zod suggests that when she's healed of her wound they'll go out one night and he’ll tell her all about the real Clark Kent. "Tequilla's on me," says Lois. "I’m not sure that Clark’s parents know the real Clark Kent." Zod chuckles. "You mean his adoptive parents." Lois comes back: "His only parents really." Zod realizes that Lois isn't aware of Clark's Kryptonian heritage and pulls out a Kryptonian charm pendant, claiming it came from a kid’s sale on the second floor. He gives it to Lois who is intrigued by its shape. Before he leaves, Zod gives a message to Lois for Clark: "You tell that Clark Kent that he’s a very lucky man." Lois looks Zod straight in the eye and says she will, as she grins at him leaving her room. Lois looks at the charm once more and then puts it down, opens her laptop amd returns to her investigation.
Mia is seen looking at a bulletin board full of surveillance photographs of Oliver in different locations around the city, Oliver enters the room and Mia pieces together that this is related to Lois's recent attack. Oliver tells her that he's looking to see who's been following him recently. Mia tries to offer her assistance in helping Oliver track down the mysterious assailant, but Oliver says he can't be her mentor anymore and orders that she leave, which she does with great regret.
At the Watchtower, Chloe is reviewing the photos of the ancient Celtic arrow, when a 'security breach' alarm goes off. She sees the computer monitor featuring the arrow image replaced by a drawing of a hooded archer. Then the lights in the tower go out and the Dark Archer appears in front of her behind the window of Watchtower. He draws and fires an arrow at her. Chloe manages to duck and the arrow grazes her on the shoulder, but the Dark Archer draws another arrow and readies to fire. But he is interrupted by a noise and without hesitation he uses a crossbow aiming it upwards as he departs through the dome roof of the tower. Clark comes in seconds later and Chloe tells him that she suspects that Oliver may have gone rogue.
Mia is walking down the street where Lois was previously attacked, searching for a clue, when she suddenly hears a noise behind her. Believing it to be Oliver, she calls out his name, only to shockingly discover it's the Dark Archer instead. He tells her that Oliver has a greater destiny to fulfill and she is going to help him. And he proceeds to kidnap her.
Back at Watchtower, Clark tends to Chloe's injured shoulder and she discusses her theory of Oliver possibly suffering from a split personality due to all the turmoil he's been through lately in his life. Clark isn't ready to believe that Oliver would resort to causing physical harm to Lois or Chloe. Chloe then confesses to Clark the truth: that Oliver's recent comeback to heroism wasn't under natural circumstances, and that the 'game' Roulette with Victoria Sinclair that Oliver played was orchestrated by Chloe. Clark isn't happy to discover this truth even though Chloe tries to justify her actions by declaring that the end result justified the means. Clark, still not satisfied with Chloe's answer, reprimands her and tells she should've told him. Chloe tells him that he is not willing to do what’s necessary. Clark asks her if it was worth the risk, if it turns out her theory was right and Oliver has gone rogue. As Clark leaves, the computer screen comes up with a search result to match the Celtic arrow.
In an alleyway, Lois finds Oliver, who explains that someone is targeting him by trying to emotionally hurt him through her. Lois wonders why the Dark Archer targeted her rather than one of Oliver's other girlfriends, so Oliver explains that his attacker knows that she's the only woman he ever truly cared about. Lois tells him that he needs to find this attacker quickly before someone else is targeted like Chloe was. Upon hearing this latest update, Oliver recognizes the pattern from the sacred oath he once took “No lovers, No allies, No disciples....", and he now knows Vordigan is going after Mia next.
Clark goes to Oliver's office and sees the surveillance photos posted. Using his X-ray vision, he finds Oliver's secret compartment that stores the set of ancient arrows wrapped in a cloth bearing the Celtic insignia. Chloe comes in and tells him that her research shows that perhaps she was wrong and Oliver isn't the Dark Archer. She shows Clark the search result she uncovered regarding the Celtic insignia: that it is from a secret society formed by 13th-century master archers training their apprentices to become vigilante assassins known as 'the Brotherhood of Sion'. Theirs is a sacred oath all apprentices must uphold: "No lovers, No Allies, and No Disciples." Clark says this does sound like Oliver's character but Chloe mentions that, after he escaped the island, he probably joined this society to become the Emerald Archer by perfecting his archery skills and now it appears that someone from this brotherhood might be targeting Oliver to settle an old score.
Oliver goes to his training gymnasium looking for Mia, but instead he finds a calling card left by Vordigan, depicting Mia's location based on the Celtic insignia.
Inside a hedgerow park maze, Mia is held captive by the Dark Archer who informs her that he trained Green Arrow and is using her as bait to lure him in. He lets her go free for sport in the maze, intending to hunt her down. Then Oliver, now in his Green Arrow attire, enters the maze and Vordigan emerges from the shadows and confronts his former apprentice. Vordigan tells Oliver that it's time to complete his training, Oliver tells him that Vordigan had embraced Oliver like his own son at a time he really needed it, but he can't follow in Vordigan's footsteps, and that's why he left the secret society years ago. Vordigan says the real reason Oliver left was because he loved the thrill of the hunt. He tells Oliver that if he doesn't finish his training willingly, he'll kill Mia just to provoke Oliver into taking vengeance against him for her death. In full rage, Oliver grabs his former master and slams him against a tree, but declares he won't kill him. Vordigan then turns the tables on Oliver and thrusts an arrow through the palm of Oliver's hand, pinning it to the tree, before leaving to hunt Mia.
Back at Watchtower, Chloe is reviewing the computer data when Clark arrives and tells her that he's checked all of Oliver's usual patrol locations, but with no sign of him. Clark mentions to Chloe that she needs to get out occasionally to prevent isolating herself from humanity to avoid getting hurt again. Chloe insists that she's fine and tells him not to worry. She then finds useful information about an altar bearing the Celtic insignia that was shipped to a private estate in Coast City. Chloe accesses satellite imagery to see that there's a maze garden in that private estate bearing the emblem of the Brotherhood of Sion. Upon closer inspection with Infrared enhancement, Chloe detects movement within the maze and, zooming in, she identifies Mia. Clark super speeds away to the rescue.
Mia continues trying desperately to find her way out of the maze, while Vordigan hunts her down like prey. She willingly draws attention to herself by making a lot of noise while trying to escape, making her easy prey for Vordigan to find. Vordigan closes in thinking he's got her trapped but Mia shows she's not as helpless as she appears and manages to ambush him instead. As she makes her way to the center of the maze, Vordigan stops her long enough to get to his feet and fire three arrows directly at her. But Oliver shows up and shoves her out of the way and places himself in the path of the incoming arrows. Clark also arrives on the scene in his Blur attire and with his superspeed uses the Invulnerability of his body to shield Oliver, causing the arrows to shatter on impact. Oliver draws and fires an arrow, shooting Vordigan in the shoulder. Clark walks over to Oliver who tells him that Vordigan once said that Oliver's dark side would rise up within him, consuming him in the process… but he was wrong. The Apprentice has shot the Master exactly where he had been taught long ago, revealing Oliver did not kill Vordigan but only injured him.
Later that very evening at the Ace of Clubs, Lois is fully recovered and wearing a green evening gown on her date with Clark, which she was late for. She apologizes to Clark who instantly accepts since she notes that she had to take a cab from the hospital. Lois shows him the charm that Clark's "friend" gave her. When she mentions Zod's name, Clark is concerned for Lois's safety and asks her what Zod said. Lois says that Zod only said good things about him and plans to have a dinner with them. Clark warns it's not a good idea, but Lois figures there's nothing Zod can tell her about Clark that she doesn't already know. As Lois turns, she sees Oliver watching them. After a few seconds of hesitation, she turns and goes with Clark. "That’s PDA number - not that I’m keeping track", Clark says with a smile. Lois takes his arm as they walk off together.
Oliver returns to his training gymnasium where he sees Mia in the middle of a training exercise. Oliver apologizes to her for the way he treated her earlier and explains he only did it to protect her from becoming a target for Vordigan. Mia tells him that she's discovered his secret as Green Arrow and the next time one of his enemies wants to target her he should give her a heads-up. As she prepares to leave him for good, she hands him his car keys, but Oliver doesn't accept her resignation from his employment because he still wants her as his apprentice. He also addresses her concern about the ‘dark places’ inside him that worry him. Mia reassures him that’s why he needs someone like her around to keep him in check and says "There’s a dark place in everyone, Oliver. What we do with it depends on, not who our teachers are, but what we do with the lessons learned.”
Clark arrives at the Crow's nest and confronts Zod, informing him that "Lois Lane is off-limits" as he places the Kryptonian pendant in front of him. Zod explains that it's a Rao charm representing 'Good Luck' and doesn't understand the hostility Clark is showing . Clark, still full of anger, demands to know why Zod would give this to Lois in the first place. Zod informs him that in Kryptonian lore Rao symbolizes all that is good but, once again, Clark is assuming the worst of Zod. Clark does not accept his explanation and remains strong and adamant as he declares "We both know the only reason you visited Lois was to send me a message. You can’t hurt me but you will hurt the ones I care about." Zod responds to Clark by telling him that living on Earth amongst humans has made him mistrustful. Clark tells Zod he trusts those who trust him. Zod states that he doesn't believe him, because if he truly trusted he would have told Lois who he really is. Enraged Clark warns Zod that by crossing that line Clark won't help him regain his powers, and Zod says he's just trying to save their race. Again, Clark doesn't buy his excuses and suggests that all Zod truly cares about is his power to control his army, because without them he's nothing more than an officer with no-one to command. Zod starts to argue: "I do not do this out of ego, I do this out of desperation." Clark, still unimpressed, says, "Don’t act as if there isn't an agenda you’re not telling me about." Clark threatens Zod with a serious warning “You go near Lois again, I will destroy you all”, and with that he speeds off into the night leaving Zod alone who says “You won’t have to” as he looks out at the city skyline.
Upon descending to the street below from the crow's nest, Zod is greeted by Faora who was awaiting his arrival and they discuss their search for a Kryptonian object known as the Book of Rao, which they believe Jor-El had hidden on Earth. And once it is found they will have the means to regain their powers by turning the yellow sun into a red sun. Then Zod declares that "Kal-El won’t be the only one with powers on this Earth. He will be just one of many soldiers in my army or a prisoner in my stockade.” With an evil grin on his face, Zod looks upwards at a designated spot showing the Solar tower under construction.
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
- Erica Durance as Lois Lane
- Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer (credit only)
- Callum Blue as Zod
- Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
- Linda Nygren - "Feel Of Your Laughter"
- "Disciple" means an active follower or adherent of a person or philosophy. It is often linked in public perception to Christianity, although it can apply equally to many other religions and philosophies.
- Oliver was a 'disciple' of the Dark Archer, as Mia is now a 'disciple' of Oliver.
- General Zod had followers (Aethyr and Nam-Ek) known as the Disciples of Zod. They both appeared in Arrival, Zod and Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton.
- Antagonist: Vordigan
- The aerial shot of the city before the fundraiser event shown at the beginning of the episode is taken directly from an aerial view of Gotham's slums in the film Batman Begins.
- Although she is mentioned at the beginning of the episode, Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) does not appear.
- Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super-strength, super-speed, X-ray vision, and super-hearing.
- Vordigan, the former mentor of Oliver, is the show's interpretation of Green Arrow's long-time nemesis, Merlyn (aka, the Dark Archer).
- Mia tells Oliver he needs her in order to keep his inner darkness at bay. This is the reason Tim Drake insists that Batman needs a Robin.
- This episode was originally scheduled to air on January 22, but was moved a week later due to the Hope for Haiti telethon airing on all the networks (including The CW). Coincidentally, at the very beginning of the episode, Clark and Lois leave the Daily Planet's Wishing Well Foundation Gala, a fundraising event for disadvantaged children.
- The tagline for this episode says No lovers, no allies, no disciples: this is the secret society's motto, quoted by Oliver.
- This is the second time that Lois meets Zod, the first being in the alternate time-line shown in Pandora.
- Chloe mentions Coast City, which is the home of Hal Jordan (Green Lantern).
- Mia discovers that Oliver is the Green Arrow in this episode.
- Clark and Lois meet at the Ace of Clubs near the end; Oliver is also present, but alone.
- Mia met Clark in a deleted scene from this episode.
- Though in Crossfire Mia wore the classic Speedy red and yellow, here she wears black and yellow, the colors of her then current comics costume.
- Elise Gatien (Mia Dearden) was stunt-doubled by Maja Stace-Smith.
- Oliver recruited Mia in Crossfire.
- Zod mentions Jor-El being killed, which occurred in Kandor.
- Chloe mentions Victoria Sinclair and confesses to Clark what she had done to Oliver in Roulette.
- The solar tower seems to be almost complete in this episode. Plans for its construction were reported in Crossfire, and the last time they appeared was in the alternate future shown in Pandora.
- Lois' fondness for monster trucks was first mentioned in Echo.
- Clark and Lois decided to become a couple at the end of Pandora. In this episode, everyone is aware of their relationship.
- This episode marks the 8th appearance of Clark's black Blur outfit, which he wears frequently throughout Season Nine and in the Season Ten premiere Lazarus.
- This is the final appearance of Mia Dearden.
- Hedgerow Park Maze
- Chloe: Hey. You okay? You don't look so great, which for you is not exactly easy.
- Chloe: He was dead hero walking, Clark. I had to do something.
- Mia: What the hell was that all about?
- Oliver: You tell me. I came here for our training session, Mia, not an audition for Kill Bill 3.
- Clark: You know, Lois, we could go back to the farm and take a walk. I could give you Clark Kent's tour of the galaxy.
- Lois: Smallville, the only 'Planet' you know about is the one you read at the breakfast table.
- Faora: I guess the Book of Rao is not on Earth after all.
- Zod: No. Jor-El left it here. And when we find it... we will have the means to complete the tower. And we will turn the yellow sun red. And then Kal-El... will not be the only one with powers on this earth. He will be just one of many soldiers in my army... or a prisoner in my stockade.
- Lois: Clark, sorry I'm late. I was watching the monster truck jump finals, Grave Maker lost his drive train. He is never coming back.
- Clark: It's okay Lois he's just a truck.
- Lois: Aw Clark, come on that's like saying Tommy Lee's just a drummer. Sometimes I worry there is no poetry in you.
- Clark: You just have to look a little deeper.
Absolute Justice, Part 1
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