Clark must stop the school photographer after he sets up a fake high school and uses his ability to petrify people to kidnap students - including Chloe and Lana - to keep the glory days of high school going forever. Meanwhile, Lex and Lionel are kidnapped and tortured by the Teagues in an effort to find the Kryptonian artifact.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 4x21
Chloe is preparing the last issue of the Smallville Torch, and signs her photographer Brendan Nash's yearbook. Puzzled by the lack of people outside, she goes out into the hallway and finds the place deserted. Going into the locker room, she finds a petrified girl seemingly frozen in wax. All of the doors are locked, the phones are dead, and the windows has walls outside them – she's apparently in an abandoned factory.
The Kents are unhappy that Clark plans on going to CKU and staying nearby so he can help out on the farm. Meanwhile, Chloe is desperately trying to get outside Internet access and finds two students who claim they are "playing along". She meets Brendan, who clearly knows what's going on and doesn't want high school to end. When she wonders how he can keep them there, he petrifies one student the same way as the one earlier.
At the real Smallville High, Clark and Lana are discussing graduation and their plans – Clark reveals he's going to Central Kansas. Lana is happy about this, since she has decided to stay in Smallville. Clark and Lana are then fairly surprised when he discovers that Chloe and a number of students have not shown up to receive their graduation uniforms.
Jonathan is determined to get along without Clark so he doesn't have to stay around – Martha believes they can't run it by themselves. Clark and Lana notice Chloe's absence. Meanwhile Lex wakes up bound to a chair... along with Lionel. Genevieve and Jason plan to use Lex for leverage.
Clark checks in with Lois, who hasn't seen Chloe either, but puts him onto Brendan. At the high school, Lana has one of the stones and then Brendan petrifies her for his "collection". Back at the fake school, Brendan reveals to Chloe that he also has Lana and unpetrifies her. Chloe brings her up to speed and reveals they have a plan.
Jason and Genevieve begin torturing Lex with a hot poker and when they threaten to take out an eye, Lionel reveals that Lana has the stone, as she's the "Chosen One". Genevieve appeals to Jason to let her get the stone from Lana, but Lionel warns not to underestimate Lana due to Isobel. Clark and Lois check out Brendan's darkroom and find plans for the fake high school.
One of the captive students mentions to Brendan that Chloe has a crush on him, and she plays along long enough for Lana to knock him unconscious from behind. They grab the keys and head for the door, trying to flee the factory, but Brendan catches up to the third girl, Haley, and petrifies her. He then kills her by pulling off her head, and threatens to do the same to Chloe and Lana.
Lionel works on Jason to turn him against Genevieve by appealing to his feelings about Lana. Jason is torn between shooting him and going to get Lana and storms out. Lex and Lionel manage to get free and flee with Jason in pursuit. Jason gets ahead of them and a near shot sends Lionel tumbling, but Lex gets the drop on him and Jason flees to the edge of a cliff over a river. Jason confronts Lex with Clark's involvement in all the mysterious events but Lionel shoots him and he falls into the water below. Lex still doesn't trust Lionel and warns him that if anything happens to Lana there'll be hell to pay.
Clark and Lois arrive at the Nash warehouse and Clark sends Lois off while he uses his strength to get in. He finds a petrified Chloe while Lois finds her own way in through the vents but is petrified by Brendan. He grabs a bat to break her but Clark blocks his strike and tries to talk him into facing reality. When Brendan grabs Clark, his powers backfire, slowly petrifying himself. He tries to break Lana and Clark rescues her as Brendan falls to a shattering death. With Brendan's death, everyone reverts to normal.
At the barn, Jonathan and Clark discuss his going to college and the fact that Jonathan stayed with the farm rather than go to college himself. On the last day of school, Chloe takes down her Wall of Weird and closes up the Torch. She, Lana and Clark take off, and Chloe finds out in dismay that the other two are going to stay in Smallville.
All of the kidnapped students, including Brendan, were on the Class of 2005 Senior "Who's who" list in the yearbook.
- Wendell Johnson was "Most likely to win a Nobel prize."
- Chloe Sullivan was "Most likely to succeed."
- Clark Kent was "Most likely to be drafted into the NFL."
- Lana Lang was "Most likely to be a cover girl."
- Haley Timmonds was "Most likely to be a Sharks cheerleader."
- Lisa Mason was "Most likely to be a movie star."
- Brendan Nash was "Most likely to be a famous photographer."
- Delia Watkins was "Most likely to be a rock star."
- 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
Special Appearance by
- Fiona Scott as Haley Timmonds
- Chad Krowchuk as Wendell Johnson
- Stephanie Nudd as Delia Watkins
- Kiera Kabatow as Student #1
- Michaela Mann as Lisa Mason
- Veena Sood as Schoolteacher
- Keira Kabatow as Student #2
- "Ms. Vandersanden" - Split Habit
- "On the Down" - Tim Cullen
- "Around the Way" - Wonderlife
- Something that lasts Forever is neverending or eternal.
- The title refers to Brendan Nash's attempts to preserve the high school year by creating a fake high school and forcing various students to act out their normal days in it.
- The title could also refer to Nash's ability to turn others into wax, thereby preserving them "Forever".
- Antagonists: Brendan Nash, Genevieve and Jason Teague
- Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed and Invulnerability.
- Erica Durance and Jane Seymour are billed as Special Appearances.
- While Lionel and Lex are held captive, Lionel refers to Lana as "the Chosen One". This point is never explained or elaborated on in any subsequent episodes to date, and some consider it a major plot-hole. On the other hand, it may simply be that Lana was the chosen one for Isobel to have been reincarnated in, or that she was chosen to unite the stones, something Clark was actually destined to do. It is possible that Lionel even made this point up as a way to dupe Genevieve and Jason.
- Although the windows in the fake Smallville High were shown to just be lights, you can see that some of the windows without blinds have the actual backdrop behind them.
- When Chloe is taking down the Wall of Weird, the last newspaper article you see is called "Triple asteriod threat will destroy the planet!" Note the incorrect spelling of asteroid.
- When this episode aired in Australia, Clark's dream sequence from the beginning of the next episode Commencement, was attached to the end. This was most probably due to Network Ten's tight schedule in airing the extra-long Commencement.
- Michaela Mann also plays Ally in season five's episode Void.
- Chad Krowchuk, who plays Wendell, was Allison Mack's boyfriend in real life.
- In Season Seven it is revealed that both Genevieve and Lionel were members of Veritas, a group built around the arrival of the Traveler from Krypton. At this point, both Lex and Lionel are unaware that the Traveler is Clark. However, this episode hints that at least Jason, if not Genevieve, have discovered at least part of this fact, especially when Jason frantically tells Lex "Clark is more connected to this (the stones, the symbols, etc.) than any of us." This is never elaborated upon, however.
- This episode marks the last appearance of the Torch until Homecoming, the 200th episode of Smallville.
- Genevieve: I have a feeling that he'd sooner die than give up that stone. But all that might change if his own flesh and blood were at stake.
- Lex: You obviously don't know my father as well as I do.
- Lois: How cliché – an abandoned warehouse.
- Lionel: The Oedipal bond certainly has a habit of flourishing when it's... fed, doesn't it, Lex?
- Jonathan: Clark, your destiny lies far beyond those cornfields out there. And I'm not about to let you turn your back on that just because of us.
- Chloe: Brendan wants high school, we'll give him high school.
- Jason: (as Lex is about to knock him over the precipice with a log) Wait Lex! Lex! Don't do this! DON'T DO THIS! Come on, look at me! Look at me! You and I, we're not that different. It was never about you and me, it was about our parents. Please, Lex! Please!
- Lex: I always knew I had to protect Lana from you!
- Jason: Not as much as you had to protect your best friend! Huh? Clark!?
- Lex: Clark doesn't have anything to do with this!
- Jason: Oh, you don't believe that. Clark is more connected to this then any of us. You just choose to ignore it. I mean, think about it! The symbols burned into the Kent barn, the fields!
- Lex: It's a little late and obvious to be shifting the blame in the eleventh hour!
- Jason: Why can't you see what's right in front of your face Lex? It's Clark, he's... (Jason is shot by Lionel and falls into the gorge).
- Clark: Dad, this isn't about the kind of father you are. It's about the kind of son I want to be.
- Chloe: You know, not to go all "psycho sympathizer" on you guys, but I can't blame Brendan for wanting to keep everybody together. Although, after that little lock-in, I can't think of anything scarier than being stuck in the past and not moving on.
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