A sense of foreboding surrounds Smallville as Clark must choose between staying with Lana and his family or fulfilling his destiny to rule the Earth. Meanwhile, Lex and Helen plan their upcoming wedding, but outside forces may ultimately keep them apart. Also, Chloe considers Lionel's offer to investigate Clark.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 2x23
Clark Kent enters the storm cellar. His ship changes shape as it announces that it has been programmed with the memories and will of his Kryptonian father Jor-El. It tells him to return at sunset to leave his family and friends and fulfill his destiny. When Clark expresses hesitation, the ship says that he has no choice.
The next morning, Clark tells his parents what happened. They emphasize that his future is his to make. Clark loves his life with his family in Smallville, and he declares his intentions to stay. At the Luthor Mansion, Lex Luthor confesses to Helen Bryce that he did ransack her office to steal the blood sample. He apologizes and declares his love for her, but she seems unmoved.
Later, Clark and Lana Lang are sitting arm in arm in the meadow with the horses. Clark asks if Lana will officially be his date to Lex's wedding, and Lana agrees as long as they officially inform Chloe Sullivan of their new status. Clark says he wants to be the one to tell her, but first he has to go to the mansion to see a tailor. When he gets there he finds out that Lionel Luthor has tightened security at the Kawatche Caves and installed some sophisticated equipment. He also finds out that Lex canceled the tailor, since the wedding is off. Lex explains that Helen won't marry him because he betrayed her trust. He asks Clark not to tell anyone, so he can pretend for one more day.
Next, Clark goes to the caves to see some of this equipment Lionel has installed. Lionel is there and reveals his plan to use a duplicate key made of refined kryptonite. He claims that he had the key analyzed and the meteor rocks are the only substance on Earth similar to the key. He believes that by inserting the key into the wall of the cave, he will learn its secrets.
Lana is trying on dresses when Chloe walks in and teases her about upstaging the bride at the wedding tomorrow. Lana lies and says that she and Clark are going together as friends. Chloe knows this is a lie since she saw them kissing in the loft the night before. Lana asks if Chloe has seen Clark yet today. She says that Clark has something important he wants to tell her, but Chloe hasn't seen him. He is back at the farm watching the sun go down, worrying about Jor-El. Moments after Jonathan Kent and Martha Kent leave, Clark hears Jor-El's voice saying "it is time". When he goes into the storm celler the ship warns that if Clark does not concede to his destiny, he will hurt the ones he loves most. Then it gives him the scar of his ancestors.
A few moments after happened as Martha and Jonathan head off to the wedding early, Helen arrives at the mansion to find Lex dressed for the wedding. She forgives him, noting that she has made mistakes in her life as well. She still loves him. Meanwhile, Clark shows his scar to Pete Ross and shares his plan for destroying the ship; remembering how the ship neutralized the kryponite that Tina Greer had trapped him with, he has reasoned that the ship was trying to protect itself since it stands to reason that its as toxic to Kryptonian technology too. Knowing that, Clark intends to insert the Lionel's kryptonite key into the ship. Pete tries to talk Clark out of it, but its no use, so Pete creates a distraction in the caves by accusing Lionel of stealing his family's factory and Clark uses his super speed to zoom in and steal the key. While at the church, Jonathan gives Lex a compass as a wedding gift, saying that it is a Kent family tradition.
When Clark gets back to the farm, he finds Lana in the loft. She is ready for the wedding, but Clark has to do something first, so he sends her on ahead, promising to meet her there. When Lana arrives at the church and tells Clark's parents that Clark was busy with something important, they decide to return home to investigate. Jonathan encourages Lex to proceed without his best man. Lex goes ahead and marries Helen without Clark by his side.
Chloe arrives at the Kent Farm to confront Clark about dating Lana. It's ten minutes to noon, so Clark is too distracted to put any effort into the confrontation. Chloe is hurt and angrily storms away. Clark proceeds to the storm cellar and places the kryptonite key into its slot on the ship. Both are destroyed in a massive explosion, creating a shockwave that overturns the truck with Jonathan and Martha in it. It also disrupts electrical power throughout the county, briefly delaying Lex's honeymoon flight.
Clark finds his parents in the truck, and gets them to the Smallville Medical Center. Jonathan is fine but Martha has a mild concussion and loses the baby. Clark tells Jonathan what he did. Jonathan is very upset with Clark, and leaves him to sit with Martha. Lana finds Clark at the farm in what's left of the storm cellar. He tells her that he always causes pain and suffering for those he loves. He is convinced now that if he does not leave, he will continue to hurt them.
Meanwhile, Chloe visits Lionel at the mansion and accepts his previous offer to do an investigative profile on Clark in exchange for a weekly column.
Clark goes back to the hospital where he sees his father holding his mother as she weeps bitterly. Next, he goes to find Chloe's class ring. Pete catches up with him there and tries to talk him out of it, but Clark is in so much pain that he isn't thinking clearly. He just knows that the red kryptonite will make him feel better. When he gets back to the farm, Lana is still there. Tearfully, she begs him to stay, but he puts on the ring and rides off on his father's motorcycle.
Later, Lex awakens during turbulence to find the plane empty and speeding toward the ocean with all of its controls malfunctioning.
As Clark rides along the road out of Smallville, Jor-El's voice tells him, "You will obey me, Kal-El".
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang
- Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor
- Sam Jones III as Pete Ross
- Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
- John Glover as Lionel Luthor
- Annette O'Toole as Martha Kent
- John Schneider as Jonathan Kent
Special Guest Star
- Ivana Paduch as LuthorCorp Cave Scientist
- Arnie Walters as Reverend
- Dan Payne as LuthorCorp Airport Security
- Rekha Sharma as Dr. Harden
- "Take Me Away (Acoustic)" - Lifehouse
- "Strange and Beautiful (I'll Put a Spell on You)" - Aqualung
- "Weapon" - Matthew Good Band
- "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" - Bach
- "High on Sunshine" - Kelly Brock
- "Bridal Chorus (Slow Version)" - Wagner
- An exodus is "a going out; a departure or emigration, usually of a large number of people".
- In this episode, both Clark Kent and Lex Luthor leave Smallville.
- Exodus is also the second book of the Bible, telling of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness to the Mount Sinai (the Mountain of God).
- Antagonist: Jor-El
- Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength and super speed.
- Besides the world domination part, most of Jor-El's speech to Clark about who he is was taken from the Superman: The Movie.
- This is the first time that Pete and Lionel meet on-screen.
- A deleted scene on the Season 2 DVD reveals that Lionel interrupts the wedding ceremony, so Lex and Helen decide to elope instead.
- When Clark destroys his ship, you can see his bare chest, and the mark is gone, but in the next episode, it is back.
- When Clark was angry, he wasn't thinking straight, or even a bit logical. When he was searching for red kryptonite ring at the Torch after coming from the hospital, he opened the drawers and searched for the ring very violently. He could've easily used his x-ray vision to find it, it would be much faster. Also, earlier in the episode, Lionel said that people that are angry are weak. Clark shows his signs of weakness here.
- This is the first season finale that does not feature Whitney Fordman.
- This is the second episode (after Tempest / Vortex) to follow a previous episode that had ended with "To be continued", making this episode and Calling one of only 6 official multi-part stories in the entire series and the first to conclude within the same season it began.
- Though the episode continues into Season Three's Exile, Smallville Issue 5 bridges the gap between the episodes in the story Sojourn.
- Dr. Harden appears in Stray, Vortex, Crusade, Onyx, Hidden, and Reunion.
- Kal was last seen in Rush.
- Pete and Lionel appear onscreen together again in Season Seven's Hero but only briefly.
- Clark says to Lana "I love you, too. More than you'll ever know." is similar to what Lana told Clark upon her leaving in Season Eight's Requiem.
- Jor-El: Fear not, Kal-El... I am Jor-El, your father... I am his memory, his will. I am to fulfill his promise and guide you all the days of your life. You are the last son of Krypton. When you traveled through the cosmos, you carried the hopes and dreams of your people. They now live through you, Kal-El... It is time for you to accept your destiny... By the setting of the star Sol you will return to me. Your destiny will be fulfilled. Your thoughts are not a mystery to me, Kal-El. But these people have served their purpose. It is time to leave them... You must let go of your past. I will guide you to your future... You have no choice, Kal-El.
- Lex: I've always been fighting my destiny. Trying to avoid becoming my father. But we all have certain genes that, no matter how much we want to change, dominate us.
- Lionel: Lionel Luthor's never gotten anywhere in life by playing it safe.
- Jor-El: It is time, Kal-El. Come to me. You will obey me, Kal-El... This is the mark of your ancestors. You cannot fight it, Kal-El. At the zenith of the star Sol, you will begin your journey. If you do not, you will hurt the ones you love most.
- Pete: If these guys don't let me go I'm gonna lay a lawsuit on you so fast it's gonna make your head spin.
- Lionel: Alright, alright. I'll talk to him. Do I know you?
- Pete: Name's Pete Ross.
- Lionel: Ross. Ross, Ross.
- Pete: As in Ross Cream Corn? You stole my family's business!
- Lionel: Yes, but I overpaid for that ramshackled old factory.
- Pete: Nobody in this town likes you! (to guard) Don't touch me, you know you hate him.
- Lionel: I know that. But I value their hatred, I find it very useful.
- Lana: (tearfully) I love you, Clark.
- Clark: I love you too. More than you'll ever know, and that's why I have to leave.
- Lionel: (to Chloe) Love has a way of blinding even the sharpest minds. We don't look because we don't want to see. But once love has been stripped away, then we see the real person clearly. They're revealed to us with all their flaws, their foibles, and their secrets.
- Clark: Pete, you should have seen the way he looked at me! Like I was some sort of alien.
- Clark: The Clark Kent you know is a lie.
- Jonathan: Clark, you choose your own destiny. Nobody can decide that for you, son.
- Clark: This is my home...and you're my parents. It's where I belong and I'm not going anywhere.
- Chloe: So how'd you decide? Rock, Paper, Scissors? Coin toss? Or did you just draw the short straw?
- Clark: (confused) Decide...?
- Chloe: Who was gonna tell me that you and Lana are together.
- Chloe: News flash! You've always been in love with Lana. I tried to deny it, thinking that maybe we could work something out, but...It's like fate, Clark. Inevitable, but always surprising when it actually happens.
- Pete: Careful, Mr. Luthor - you wouldn't want to look weak.
- (Clark puts on the ring and becomes Kal.)
- Kal: Come with me.
- Lana: I can't. Smallville is my home. It's your home too.
- Kal: Not any more. (rides off on the motorcycle.)
- Jor-El: You will obey me, Kal-el
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