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"Obscura" is the twentieth episode in the first season of Smallville, and twentieth episode overall. It aired on May 14, 2002.


Chloe is kidnapped and Lana is having visions of her attacker. Meanwhile, Lex finds a piece of the ship in Miller's Field and Clark asks Chloe to the spring formal.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 1x20


Lana and Whitney horseback riding.

Lana Lang and Whitney Fordman are horseback riding when they see and hear an enormous explosion. Upon investigation, they discover an exploded gas line. Teams are already working on the problem, but they don't seem to notice that another line is about to explode. Whitney rushes in to warn them and everyone takes cover. In the resulting explosion, Lana is knocked off her feet and sprinkled with small bright green stones. Clark arrives at the Smallville Medical Center that night to find Lana asleep and Whitney by her side. Chloe Sullivan stops by on her way to Metropolis. She has an interview for an internship at the Daily Planet. She is reluctant to go because of Lana's injury, but Clark assures her that Lana wouldn't want her to miss her chance. As Chloe exits the hospital and unlocks her car, Lana has a nightmare in which she kidnaps Chloe and wakes up abruptly.


Lana is knocked off her feet by the explosion.

Lex gives the Kents a check for damage that was done when LuthorCorp chemicals were spilled on his property. Martha and Jonathan think it is too much, but Lex assures them that he is only repaying them the exact amount of livestock and land they lost. Later, Roger Nixon arrives at the Luthor Mansion to complain about the deal Lex made with Carrie Castle at the Metropolis Inquisitor. He has also come to tell Lex about a lead he is developing on the meteor shower. He has found a crop duster, Eddie Cole, who saw a spaceship fall, but he needs Lex to pay him to tell the whole story. When Lex and Roger go out to meet Eddie, he tells them that he saw a meteor swerve over Miller's Field. He thinks it was a ship, but when he went back to investigate later, the ship was gone. He thinks someone took it. Lex pays Eddie for his story, but he tells Roger he doesn't believe it.

The next morning at the Kent Farm, Martha Kent tries to give Clark advice about inviting Chloe to the Spring Formal. At school, Clark is trying to prepare an issue of the Torch, but everything is going wrong: the printer is jammed, the scanner is broken and the Spring Formal activity schedule is late. Lana arrives to ask about Chloe because her nightmare has her worried. Clark tries to contact her all day without success. By the time he gets home, Jonathan notices his frustration and assures him that Chloe will be fine. Clark asks Jonathan if he will accept Lex's money and Jonathan says he is still thinking about it.

At the Talon, Pete tells Clark that he is going to the Spring Formal with Erica Fox, the hottest girl in the class. Lana asks about Chloe, but they still haven't heard from her. Suddenly, Lana is struck by another vision of Chloe. This time she is blindfolded with her hands tied behind her back in a room full of teddy bears hanging from the ceiling in plastic bags. She also sees an image of a masked face in a mirror.


Lex arrives at the Kent Farm.

At the amusement park, the kidnapper is welding something while Chloe gets free of her bindings and makes for the door, but the kidnapper grabs her and injects her with something that makes her pass out.

Gabe Sullivan arrives at the Talon with Deputies Watts and Birdego. Lana tries to tell them what she saw. Deputy Watts seems to take her seriously while Deputy Birdego makes rude remarks. Mr. Sullivan gets a call that they have found Chloe's car abandoned in the woods. That night Lana visits Clark in his loft. He tells her that he and his dad have spent the afternoon trying to find Chloe and they afraid they might never see her again. Lana tells him that she spent the afternoon being questioned by the police, who looked at her like she was crazy. Clark reminisces about the first time he met her, just last year, in eighth grade. She had just transferred from Metropolis and Clark showed her around the school, then he showed her around his farm. When he brought her up to his loft, she kissed him right out of the blue. Suddenly, Lana has another vision of Chloe being buried alive under the windmill in Chandler's Field. Clark super speeds away. He uses his X-ray vision to find Chloe, then reaches into the ground and pulls her coffin out.

Clark and Lana visit Chloe at the hospital. She is just getting off the phone with the Daily Planet. They want to do a story about her, but she intends to write her own story for the Torch. Clark asks her what she remembers but when she tries to recount her ordeal, she begins to cry, and Clark and Lana turn to leave so she can rest. She reluctantly asks Clark to stay a little longer. When Lana leaves Clark and Chloe alone, she has another vision of the kidnapper watching her, but when she turns around, there is no one there.


Deputy Watts comes for Lana.

Clark stays with Chloe all night and returns home in the morning to help Jonathan with farm chores. Jonathan tells Clark he intends to cash Lex's check. On the way, they discover that Lex is conducting an excavation in Miller's Field. Lex claims that he is just testing the soil, but Jonathan doesn't believe him. He gives him back the check and angrily stalks off. Clark protests, saying Lex wasn't doing any harm, but Jonathan reveals that he finds it suspicious that Lex is excavating this particular field because it is the one in which they found Clark. Just as they are leaving Dr. Hamilton finds something interesting. Later, Lex visits Clark in his loft. Clark admits that both he and Jonathan don't believe Lex's story that it a routine soil test. Lex tries to explain that he is obsessed with the meteor shower because it changed his life and he needs to know why. He admits that he met a man who said he saw a ship. Clark tries to deflect him, but Lex is determined to investigate.

Obscura 654

Chloe is going to the dance with Clark!

Whitney arrives at the Talon to show Lana some military medals he found while going through his father's things. He tells Lana how his father earned them for courage while fighting in the Vietnam War. Whitney takes it as a sign that he doesn't have to throw a ball to do something important with this life.

The next day at the Torch, Clark explains to Whitney and Chloe his theory about how Lana began receiving visions. He has done research on the De Kretser Syndrome and explains that after the London blitz, several cases were reported of people who became psychically linked with the people they were with when the bombs exploded. Lana was with Whitney, Watts, and Birdego at the time of the explosion. They guess that if she is linked to one of the deputies, he might be aware and might come after Lana


Lex finds a key.

At the Talon, Deputy Birdego arrives to ask Lana a couple of questions. Lana has a vision of the kidnapper entering the Talon and hitting Deputy Birdego over the head. When Clark, Chloe and Whitney arrive they find Deputy Birdego, but Lana is gone. The deputy tells Clark that his partner is working as a security guard at the carnival grounds. At the carnival, Lana wakes up in the same room where Chloe was held, bound but not blindfolded. She shouts out for help. Deputy Watts walks in and explains that he kidnapped Chloe in order to take credit for finding her and now his plan is to solve Lana's murder. Clark arrives just in time to deflect the bullet with his hand. Watts flees with Clark in pursuit. Watts fires several bullets at Clark with no effect and Clark throws Watts into a ticket booth. As backup arrives, Clark zooms away. Lana has her final vision of Watts being shot down by his fellow deputies.

The next day at the Kent Farm, Chloe comes by to tell Clark that she got the internship at the Daily Planet. Even though she missed her interview, they were impressed with the story she wrote about the kidnapping cop, which was published in the Smallville Ledger (instead of the Torch). Awkwardly, Clark asks Chloe to be his date to the Spring Formal and Chloe accepts enthusiastically. As she leaves, Clark grins happily.

At the mansion, Dr. Hamilton has the preliminary results on the object they found in Miller's Field. It is an octagon-shaped disc about three inches in diameter and a quarter inch thick. The alloy it is made from is like nothing else on Earth. Unfortunately, Eddie Cole is no longer available for questioning.



Guest Starring[]



Featured Music[]

Song Artist/Band Scene
"Piano Fire" Sparklehorse Played when Lana tells Clark about her first vision in the Torch office.
"Silent To The Dark" The Electric Soft Parade Played when Pete announces that he is going to the Spring Formal with Erica Fox.
"Just Another" Pete Yorn Played when Clark is describing to Lana how he first met Chloe in his loft.
"Two Stones In My Pocket" Neil Halstead Played when Whitney shows Lana his dad’s medals from Vietnam.
"No Such Thing" John Mayer Played at the end, when Clark asks Chloe to the Spring Formal in his barn.


  • The term "camera obscura" literally means "darkened chamber". It is the term used to describe early devices for projecting an image on a screen, using either a lens or pinhole.
  • In this episode, Lana develops the ability to see through the eyes of Deputy Watts; her vision appears much like a pinhole camera.


  • Antagonist: Gary Watts
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, X-ray vision, and Invulnerability.
  • This marks the first episode where we hear the sound bullets make when they bounce off Clark's chest.
  • This episode marks the discovery and first appearance of the key to Clark's spaceship.
  • Chloe says that Clark "leaps tall theories in a single bound".
  • Chloe mentions that she is going to be staying with her cousin in Metropolis, but this cannot be Lois Lane, since this cousin is in college already, and Lois doesn't start college until 2005.
  • Chloe wins her first Daily Planet internship with her article about her ordeal in the Smallville Ledger.
  • Aaron Douglas, who played Deputy Birdego, also will play Pierce in Traveler.
  • Chloe is strangely unhurt when Clark violently rips the metal coffin she is in out of the ground, as the force of the upward movement should have cause her to be injured by being thrown around the inside of the very solid interior. This could be attributed to Clark's often hinted-at, but never stated ability to partially extend his invulnerability to the objects and people he touches. In the comics, this ability is referred to as Tactile-Telekinesis.
  • Chloe is strangely not curious as to how Clark rescued her from being buried alive, as is Lana, as neither of them are yet aware of his powers. He used his strength to pull her out instead of digging her out by hand, which would have taken hours for a normal person to accomplish, yet neither of them seem are curious as to how he did it so fast by himself. However, this could be explained as Chloe not noticing in her trauma and Lana not actually at the scene, and after the event they simply have added but unvoiced suspicion.


  • Lex gives the Kents a check to replace the lost cattle that were poisoned in Zero.
  • Roger Nixon questions Lex's loyalty when he reads the exclusive interview Lex gave Carrie Castle in Drone.
  • Gabe Sullivan was last seen in Jitters.


  • Clark mentions the first time he met Chloe in 8th grade. This was seen in Abyss when Chloe started to lose her memories.



Clark: Chloe leaves for a day and the Torch goes down in flames.
Lana: Safe to say we won't lose you to the entrancing world of journalism.

Clark: Lex isn't perfect, Dad. I know that. But slamming the door in his face over and over only helps turn him into exactly what you think he already is.

(Clark digs Chloe out of the ground)

Chloe: I knew it was you! It's always you! (She hugs him)

Lex: I feel like I owe your father an apology, but I'm not exactly sure why.

Lex: Look at the stars, Clark. Some of them have been extinguished for thousands of years, but their light is only reaching us now. The past is always influencing the present. I can't change that. All I can do is try to understand it.

Chloe: I gotta go. Some real people just came in.

Chloe: Clark Kent leaps tall theories in a single bound!

Chloe: Will you come visit me?
Clark: Yeah, of course! I would never pass up an opportunity to see you in your natural habitat.

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