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"Memoria" is the nineteenth episode in the third season of Smallville, and sixty-third overall. It aired on April 28, 2004.


Believing that key information about his father's past was lost when his memory was erased, Lex decides to join an experimental program with Dr. Garner to regain the information so he can turn his father over to the FBI. Knowing that Lex will discover his secret if he regains his memory, Clark tries to stop him but is caught by Lionel and the doctor and exposed to the same radical treatment so that Lionel can solve the mystery of Clark's past.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 3x19

Flashbacks appear in green text

Sv319Young Lex

Wayne Dalglish as young Lex.

Lionel arrives at Excelsior Academy circa 1992 because his young son Lex is sitting on a high balcony, in the rain, apparently hallucinating that he is rocking his baby brother Julian to sleep. Lionel tries to snap him out of his delusion and Lex drops the blanket off the ledge.

An adult Lex is woken by Lana Lang, who found him standing on a ledge of the Luthor Mansion, yelling Julian's name.

Lana goes to visit Clark, who explains that his dad is spending the night in Metropolis for heart treatment, so he has extra farm duties. Lana asks about Lex's behavior and Clark admits that he too found Lex rocking a blanket, thinking it was Julian. He warns Lana to stay away from him for now, reminding her that the last time Lex hallucinated his brother; she got trampled by a horse. He promises to check up on Lex. Lex is defensive about his mental health. He arrives at the Summerholt Institute and tells Dr. Lawrence Garner that his nightmares are starting to affect his waking life. Dr. Garner reasons that vivid nightmares indicate that their "treatment" is working and offers to stop them at any time.

Normal memoria207

Clark sees Lex undergo the treatment.

Lex's treatments are revealed to involve his full-body submersion into a green glowing liquid. With Dr. Garner's encouragement, Lex remembers his twelfth birthday party, which no one attended. Lex's status as a Luthor and his baldness contributed to the difficulty of his childhood. Lionel tries to console his young son by giving him a present—it is a lead box, which he claims was forged from the armor of St. George. Lionel tells a story about the dragon slayer, his strength, faith, fears and doubts. Lex is cheered by the story. Adult Lex wakes up and the session is over. Clark has followed him to the Institute and watches the treatment with his x-ray vision. He asks Lex why he'd risk working with Dr. Garner's deadly methods, and Lex says it is worth the risk to regain the 7 weeks he can't remember.

Lillian Luthor

Lionel and Lillian argue about their sons.

Genuinely worried, Clark goes to Lionel and asks him to shut Summerholt down, but Lionel says he doesn't have the power. Clark correctly guesses that Lionel doesn't want Lex to regain his memory, but Lionel counters that neither does Clark. He replays the videotape from when Clark went to visit Lex in Belle Reve and Lex states that he knows his secret. Nevertheless, Lionel goes to ask Lex about the treatments and also warns him about Dr. Garner. As they talk, Lex goes into another vivid memory in which he witnesses an argument between his parents. Lillian is suffering from a severe case of post-partum depression, refusing to hold infant Julian. She admits that she didn't want any more children, and she objects to Lionel's parenting practices, saying Lionel will pit the two boys against each other. Adult Lex, still in the memory, mutters that "it was an accident" and present-day Lionel is confused. The memory continues, in which Lionel finds Lex standing over Julian's crib, he tries to explain that Julian was crying, and he tried to rock him. He tearfully confesses that it was an accident and Lionel finds the baby suffocated. He is enraged and savagely knocks Lex across the face to the ground. Present-day Lionel tries to revive an adult Lex and goes to call a doctor, but Lex insists he's fine. He sends Lionel out of the mansion.


Dr. Garner's men overpower Clark.

Lionel goes to the Kent farm to tell Clark that their collective meddling has convinced Lex to accelerate his treatments. He and Martha have an awkward conversation about Jonathan's absence. She exits, and Lionel tells Clark that if he doesn't stop, Lionel will commit him to Belle Reve permanently. Clark is upset and goes to the Summerholt Institute to stop Garner. He confronts the doctor, but the treatment room is full of the glowing green liquid and Clark is weakened. Dr. Garner, seizing the opportunity to experiment upon Clark, has his men knock Clark out. Garner orders that Clark be stripped, and his assistants put Clark on an examination table. They take Clark's jacket and belt off and cut away his shirt. Dr. Garner phones Lionel and it is revealed that Lionel handed Clark over for further study in exchange for Dr. Garner's ending Lex's treatments.


Clark doesn't react well to the kryptonite tank.

Clark is put into red form-fitting underwear and is strapped onto a stretcher in preparation for the treatment. Dr. Garner prepares to lower Clark into the liquid with Lionel in attendance. Lex arrives for his own treatment, demanding to talk to Dr. Garner about canceling their session. He calls Lionel and says he remembers everything. Lionel goes to the lobby to meet him, telling Dr. Garner to wait. As soon as he leaves, however, Dr. Garner says he's not waiting for anyone and lowers Clark into the tank. As soon as his body touches the green liquid, Clark starts writhing and shaking in convulsions. He goes into seizures and Dr. Garner tries to coax his earliest memory from him.

Sv319Baby Kal El

Jor-El and Lara put baby Kal-El in the ship.

Clark remembers being put into a tiny ship as an infant by his Kryptonian parents, and begins to scream his birth mother's name, Lara. His seizures start to short out the machinery, but Dr. Garner doesn't end the treatment. The seizures become more intense, destroying the equipment, injuring Dr. Garner, and setting alarms off all over the building. Lex rushes to the treatment room and seeing Clark submerged, breaks the tank open. Clark is barely conscious.

Lex goes to check on Clark, who is recovering in his loft. Clark is upset with Lex for getting involved with Dr. Garner, but Lex insists again that he was trying to regain the memories his father took from him. He says he wouldn't sacrifice people he cares about to bring him down, so he will never become his father. Clark asks why Lionel hates him so much, but Lex does not answer. More of his last memory is revealed-- a young Lex actually discovered Lillian at Julian's crib, and adult Lex reels from the revelation that he did not, in fact, kill his little brother.

Lex goes to visit Lionel in his office and tells him the truth- that it was Lillian who smothered the baby. Lex explains that she was sparing Julian from Lionel's parenting, and he took the fall for his mother because he knew that Lionel would destroy Lillian but would protect his only heir. Lionel is shocked and horrified all at once and tries to express regret at the way he's treated Lex his whole life, but Lex does not want to hear it.

Clark is alone in his loft when Martha comes up, noting that he barely said anything about what happened at the Institute. She offers to listen, if Clark wants to talk. He doesn't say anything, but as she turns to go, he blurts that he now knows his birth mother's name and he feels guilty for forgetting her. Martha tells him that he didn't, because his first word was "Lara", but she and Jonathan could never figure out what it meant. Martha gives him a hug and reassures him that a mother's love never dies.

Lex's Memories[]

Lex's memories are presented out of order:

  1. Second Memory: At the birthday party, before Julian is born.
  2. Third Memory: Lionel forces Lillian to hold Julian.
  3. Fifth Memory: Lex finds Julian dead.
  4. Fourth Memory: Lionel finds Julian dead.
  5. First Memory: On the balcony, mourning Julian.



Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]




Featured Music[]

  • "My Immortal" - Evanescence


  • "Memoria" is the Latin word for "memory".
  • The title is a clear reference to the several flashbacks where both Lex and Clark relive memories of forgotten experiences. It could also refer to the fact that Lex lost seven weeks of his memory, and this episode focused on his quest to regain the knowledge that had been erased from his mind.
  • Although the word "memoria" never appears in this episode, its translation, "memory", appears six times.
  • This is one of three Latin episode titles to be used in the series. The others are Obscura and Veritas.


  • Antagonist: Lawrence Garner and Lionel Luthor
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super speed and X-ray vision.
  • Jonathan Kent, Pete Ross and Chloe Sullivan do not appear in this episode.
  • Chloe appeared in a deleted scene, in which she personally delivers a letter to Lana from the Paris School of the Arts.
  • In the scene where Jor-El and Lara place infant Kal-El inside the spaceship, Jor-El is seen wearing red, Lara is wearing blue, and baby Kal-El is wrapped in a yellow blanket—these are the same colors that comprise Superman's costume.
  • Clark's red underwear during the experiment scene is an homage to the red underpants that form part of Superman's iconic costume.
  • Lionel tells Lex the story of St. George. St. George is the patron saint of a variety of medieval trades (such as butchers, armorers, and shepherds), diseases (such as herpes, syphilis, and leprosy), and the Boy Scouts of America.[1]
  • As Lex has the flashback to when his father discovered Julian dead, Superman's colors red, blue, and yellow alternately flash on adult Lex's face.
  • When baby Kal-El is placed inside of the ship, there are Kryptonian letters spinning around. Clark read the message in Rosetta as: On this third planet from this star Sol, you will be a god among men. They are a flawed race. Rule them with strength, my son. That is where your greatness lies. This was translated using the "official" Kryptonian character set, released in 2000 by DC Comics. This is also the standard that the Superman comic books use when incorporating Kryptonian into their stories.
  • Clark says that Lex was in Belle Reve for seven weeks. He was actually in Belle Reve for a month. Seven weeks is the amount of time he can't remember.
  • This episode contains several deleted scenes that can be seen on the Season 3 DVDs. In one flashback, Lionel and the headmaster discuss Lex's strange behavior. In another, Lex wishes at his birthday party that he would never have to go back to boarding school. Lana appears in three scenes, where she receives her acceptance letter from the Paris art school, then asks Lex to buy out her share of the Talon so she can afford to go. She also learns that the FBI is bugging the phones at the Talon and asks Lex if he is using the business to launder money, but Lex doesn't answer (This particular scene is referenced in the comic story Lies). Finally, Clark and Martha talk about the danger of Lex continuing the treatment, discussing Lex's health and Clark's secret.
  • Interesting to note that even though this episode is clearly Lex-centric, Lionel has the most screentime in this episode and it is also the first episode in the series in which Lionel does have the most screentime in.
  • Scenes involving Allison Mack and Kristin Kreuk were cut from the episode, with the exception of the opening teaser where Lana finds Lex on the balcony and then informing Clark—as the team felt they were inappropriate for the episode, which stood well on just the story arc involving Clark, Lex and Lionel. This also directed the episode into more of a "mothers and sons" feel that departed from the usual "fathers and sons" tone the show had come to use.
  • With Lex saving Clark from drowning, this is one of the rare instances where Lex isn’t the one who’s in danger.

In Other Media[]


  • Kendall Cross provided the voice of Clark's birth mother Lara. She also played a little girl's mother in Jitters and Clark's grandmother Jessica Kent in Relic.
  • John Schneider was busy prepping for his directorial debut on the series, the next episode Talisman. As a result, he didn't appear in this episode.
  • Gary Hudson's appearance in this episode was cut.
  • When Clark is knocked out, the theme in the background is from Rimsky Korsakov's Russian Easter Overture.


  • Clark's discovery of Lex rocking a blanket, and Lana's being trampled by a horse occurred in the episode Shattered.
  • Lex's reference to Clark asleep in the middle of Route 8 occurred in the episode Rosetta.
  • The lead box Lex received from Lionel is the same one he gave Clark in Metamorphosis.
  • The scratch on Lionel's face is the result of his fight with Jonathan Kent in Legacy.
  • Dr. Garner's experimental research protocols were also practiced on Ryan James in Ryan and Molly Griggs in Delete.
  • This is the first time Lionel and Martha have spoken since she quit working for him after the events of Insurgence.
  • This is the first appearance of Lara-El, Clark's mother. She appears four seasons later as a recurring character in Lara and Blue.
  • The real Jor-El was last seen in Relic.
  • This is also the first appearance of Julian Luthor.
  • This is the first appearance of Kal-El's ship since Clark destroyed it in Exodus.
  • In the episode, it's determined that the reason Lionel was hardened and cold with Lex was due to Julian's death, which he blamed him for and started the resentment, however, in Stray, Lex said Lionel felt like he had a second chance with Julian as a son he could be proud of, implying the death itself wasn't the only factor as first thought.
  • In Stray, Lex said if Julian had lived, they would've ended hating each other anyway and that his father would've seen to it, which is the reason Lilian killed him because she didn't want to subject them to Lionel's parenting methods and pitting them against each other, which is exactly what he did to Lex and Lucas in Prodigal.


  • Four years later, Agent Carter uses a similar procedure, a kryptonite IV, on Clark's Kryptonian cousin Kara to extract her memories in Lara.


Lionel: You know, Clark, I always thought that your parents' corn-fed hokum made you weak, but clearly, I have underestimated your dark side.

Lex: Summerholt is a highly respected institution.
Lionel: Respected? Lex, this Garner character operates on the outer fringes of accepted science.
Lex: Well, then you should feel right at home.

Lillian: I don't want to hold him.
Lionel: Lillian, it's unnatural for a mother not to want to bond with her child. Please... I will not let you inflict psychological scars on my children.
Lillian: That's why they have you, Lionel.

Jor-El: Put him inside, Lara. Our time has passed. The hourglass is empty.
Lara: What if they don't love him?
Jor-El: Lara, his destiny is set--as is ours.
Lara: Goodbye, my sweet Kal-El.

Clark: You always tell me how you don't want to turn into your father, and I truly believe that, but the more you two go at each other, the more like him you become, and the more people get hurt.
Lex: I will never become my father. I would never sacrifice you or anybody I cared about to bring him down.

Lionel: If I'd known, If I'd seen... what... things would have been... so different between us.
Lex: Yes, Dad. You might have actually loved me.

Clark: When I was in the tank, I saw my earliest memory.... her only fear was that no one would love me.
Martha: I can't imagine the agony of putting my son in a lifeboat and sending him across the stars.
Clark: Because of Jor-El, I always thought that my biological parents were monsters. But she wasn't. I just can't believe I forgot about her.
Martha: You didn't, Clark. Your first word was "Lara". Your father and I could never figure out what it meant. Now we know.
Clark: I wish she could have met you. To see what a great mom I have.
Martha: She knows, Clark. A mother's love never dies.

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ComicsThe Comic · Season 11 · Miniseries