The Justice League, led by the Green Arrow, hits the Arctic in search of Clark, who has not been seen since the Fortress collapsed. The team immediately has a confrontation with the new CEO of LuthorCorp, Tess Mercer. Meanwhile, having been arrested, Chloe is currently being held prisoner by a suspicious group which has discovered she has a new power. When Clark re-appears, he has been stripped of his powers by Jor-El.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 8x01
Four weeks later, in the Arctic tundra, LuthorCorp's special teams headed by Regan Matthews search for signs of their missing CEO, Lex Luthor. A helicopter lands and a woman in black snow boots named Tess Mercer gets out, demanding answers. She is a trusted employee of Lex's, who he has left in charge in the event of his absence. Suddenly, one of the scientists finds some human remains in the snow. Little do they know that they are being ambushed by the Justice League - Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Aquaman. After a brief battle, the League find Clark's jacket and decide to leave and head back to base.
Back at Lex's mansion, Lois Lane, disguised as a maid, is searching for clues on her cousin Chloe Sullivan's whereabouts. Suddenly, she is interrupted by Tess, who tells her that she has known about her for a while and that if Lex had Chloe arrested, then Chloe must have been guilty. She then has Lois escorted out of the mansion by security.
Meanwhile, in Black Creek, Montana, Chloe is being subjected to tests by a guy with glasses named Ray. It seems that the government wants to use Chloe's talents in exchange for giving her a lighter sentence for hacking into the NSA. Ray says that Chloe is smarter than the average human, to which Chloe responds that the change happened recently, revealing that she has another power: super intelligence.
The Justice League regroups at the Isis Foundation, searching Chloe's computer for information on Clark's whereabouts. It is then revealed that Clark is in Verkhoyansk, Russia, powerless and working in a slave labor camp. He tries to escape by truck, but someone shoots at him and he crashes. The owner beats him up and threatens him with death if he tries to escape again.
LuthorCorp finds an encoded signal from the Justice League satellite and plans to use it to track them down. Once they can decipher three cell phone numbers (using Chloe's powers), they can take them down systematically. Ray asks Chloe to decipher the phone numbers. She believes it is another test until she deciphers the third and realizes it is Oliver's. Aquaman is felled while taking a shower in Tromso, Norway. Black Canary is then taken down on a fire escape in Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland. They succeed in capturing all but Green Arrow. Chloe then realizes that Ray is not from the government, but instead hired by LuthorCorp, and that he has been tricking her into helping him kidnap the Justice League. Chloe tries to escape, but gets captured again.
Back in Russia, Clark is saved by Oliver, who has tracked him down. Calling himself Roy Connor, Oliver pretends that he wants to buy black-market caviar. Oliver pretends not to know Clark and they start to fight. Oliver then "buys" Clark from the Russians and they leave in Oliver's private jet. Clark tells Oliver that the Fortress of Solitude collapsed on him and Lex. He laments that he should have listened to Jor-El because Lex now knows his secret. Oliver doesn't think Lex survived the Fortress collapse, but Clark points out that he did. Clark admits that he has made a huge mistake and that he feels responsible for what happened to Chloe, and that he will help Oliver find Chloe. Oliver says that Chloe is likely being held in Montana, but Clark is useless without his powers. However, Clark insists they go rescue Chloe anyway.
Back in Black Creek, Ray tries to get Chloe to tell him the last phone number, but she refuses. He has Arthur Curry (Aquaman) and Dinah Lance (Black Canary) strung up from the ceiling. Regan then injects Chloe with a serum they extracted from her mother's DNA, explaining that it has the ability to make a person temporarily follow any order. Her eyes glow green. He then commands her to tell him the last phone number. She obeys and they are shocked to discover they trace the phone number to the base.
Clark and Oliver have arrived. Oliver is in his Green Arrow gear, and Clark is unarmed, but he insists they split up. Clark is shocked to discover Lois also at the facility, where she is undercover as a guard. Lois goes off with Clark and he explains that he is trying to find Chloe. They team up and search for Chloe together. After Oliver gets captured by security guards, Regan injects Oliver with the serum and commands him to find out what happened to Lex Luthor at all costs.
Clark and Lois find Chloe, but Lois gets tasered by a guard. Clark knocks out the guard, frees Chloe, and they embrace. Clark explains that Jor-El took his powers. When Clark runs downstairs to find Oliver, Oliver is waiting for him there and shoots an arrow, which passes straight through Clark, seriously wounding him. Under mind control, he demands that Clark tell him where Lex is, then shoots him again straight through his chest, this time giving him a fatal wound. Chloe runs down the stairs to find a dying Clark. She tries to heal him, but it doesn't work. Oliver snaps out of it and Clark begins to die in Chloe's arms. As he lies dying, he begins having flashbacks of Lana, Martha and Jonathan, people who have left him in the past. The Martian Manhunter suddenly appears in Clark's dream, bathed in yellow light. Just as he actually materializes in front of Clark, Chloe, and Ollie, Clark dies. The Martian Manhunter picks up Clark's body and flies him off into space and into the direct heat of the Sun.
Later at the Kent barn, Clark wakes up to find himself perfectly healed. The Martian Manhunter tells him that the sun healed him, but also says it stripped him (Martian Manhunter) of his powers, as fire is his weakness. He says that that was the last time he could save Clark and that with the Fortress gone, he doesn't have Jor-El's guidance to help him. Clark responds, saying it is time he stopped holding onto a life on the farm that was gone a long time ago, and begin to accept his destiny.
At the Luthor Mansion, Tess' assistant brings her a briefcase containing something they found amongst the remains of the Fortress and a photo of a footprint, but it's not Lex's. She opens it and finds the Crystal of Knowledge glowing brightly.
Chloe is speed-reading the archives of the online version of the Daily Planet. She wonders aloud what has happened to her to give her this ability. She hears a noise and exits the apartment. It is Jimmy Olsen, who is glad to see that she is all right. Chloe wants to bring up his proposal, but Jimmy avoids the subject, saying it might risk what they have between them. But Chloe disagrees. She tells him that she spent a lot of time in prison thinking about what she had, and that she was holding onto things from the past that she has decided to let go of. She tells him that she will marry him. She kisses him and hugs him.
Clark is walking on the streets of Metropolis when he meets up with Oliver, Dinah, and A.C. again. They tell them that the League needs to disband because their identities have been compromised. Clark tells them that he wants to help. The League surmises that finding Lex is its top priority and they part ways. Later, at the Daily Planet, Lois is surprised to notice that Clark has appeared in the chair in front of her. He tells her that he took her advice and filled out the application, and is now the Daily Planet's newest reporter, with the desk opposite hers. Lois looks a bit miffed, but after Clark leaves, she gives a faint smile.
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
- Erica Durance as Lois Lane
- Aaron Ashmore as Jimmy Olsen
- Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer
- Sam Witwer as Davis Bloome (credit only)
- Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
- Phil Morris as John Jones/Martian Manhunter
- Alaina Huffman as Dinah Lance/Black Canary
- Alan Ritchson as Arthur Curry/Aquaman
- Ari Cohen as Regan Matthews
- Sara Canning as Kat
- Vladimir Moskovchenko as Work Camp Leader
- Derek Lowe as Sonar Technician
- Patrick Gilmore as Ray
- In mythology, the Odyssey is a ten-year journey that Odysseus took in his attempt to return home to Ithaca after the Trojan war. It has come to be defined as "a long series of wanderings or adventures, esp. when filled with notable experiences, hardships, etc."
- Clark spends this episode trying to return home from Russia, without his powers. He has a long series of adventures filled with notable experiences (being imprisoned and beaten in a Russian camp, assaulting a LuthorCorp facility in Montana without his powers) and hardships (being almost killed by a mind-controlled Oliver Queen). Finally, Oliver flies Clark home in his jet.
- The Martian Manhunter says to Clark that, "Jor-El knew he was sending you on an impossible odyssey. To be given the power of a god, yet exist among humans." In a larger sense, Clark has spent his life on a literal and metaphorical odyssey from Krypton to Earth.
- Antagonist: Regan Matthews
- Oliver’s Arrows: Explosive, Taser, Normal
- Martian Manhunter Abilities: Flight, Super-Breathing, Invulnerability, Super-Speed
- This episode marks the first appearance of Tess Mercer, Lex's protegé.
- Less than four weeks have passed since the events of Arctic.
- This is the first season where Clark does not appear in the first minutes of the season premiere. Also, in Doomsday, it is the first season where he does not appear in the last minute of the season finale. Both of these honors go to Tess this season.
- This is the first season which aptly shows Lois Lane's hair color change from dirty-blond to brown.
- This is the first episode without an official appearance by Lex Luthor during the episode (although he appears in the opening recap).
- Lana appears in a flashback in this episode using archive footage from Pilot, Hidden and Promise.
- Martha Kent appears in a flashback in this episode using archive footage from Slumber and Reckoning.
- Martian Manhunter tells Clark that the yellow sun restored Clark's abilities but stripped him of his, since fire is his weakness. However, if his powers had been immediately stripped by the yellow sun, he would have been completely powerless and unable to make the journey back to Earth, thus unable to fly Clark back to Earth safely. He would have also been returned to his Martian form, since shape-shifting is one of his abilities, however, he remained in his human form.
- This is the second season premiere in a row that features the Martian Manhunter.
- This is the first season premiere to not feature Lana, Lex, and Lionel.
- This the second season premiere in a row to not feature every main character in a season. Last year it was Jimmy. This year it is Davis.
- This is the second and last season premiere to feature Jimmy.
- Tess meets the Green Arrow and Lois in this episode.
- This is the first and only episode that has Dinah and A.C. in the Isis Foundation.
- In this episode Aquaman was hit by a dart to take him down. That should not have been able to happen since his skin is bullet proof and he wasn't weakened by a lack of water, like he was in Aqua.
In Other Media
- Tess says that Lex "stands for truth and justice." This is ironic because Superman is usually described as standing for "truth, justice and the American way."
- Oliver Queen's alias Roy Connor is a name made from the first name of two of his sidekicks; the original Speedy (Roy Harper Jr.) and the second Green Arrow (Connor Hawke). Roy Harper is Green Arrow's adopted son and Connor Hawke is his biological son.
- In the Justice League animated series, Hereafter, Superman vanishes and all Batman could find is a piece of his red cape. In this episode, Oliver, who is similar to Batman in many ways, finds Clark's red coat. Both Oliver and Batman refuse to believe Clark is dead although the other members of the Justice League are doubtful. In both cases, Clark is de-powered.
- The Season 8 premiere features a new set of opening credits with footage from the episode. It features Allison Mack moving up to second-billing. Erica Durance and Aaron Ashmore move up to third and fourth, respectively.
- This episode is the first set of credits to include Cassidy Freeman, Sam Witwer, and Justin Hartley (although Davis doesn't appear in the episode).
- This episode is the first set of opening credits without Michael Rosenbaum and Kristin Kreuk.
- This is the first episode in which the creators of the show, Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, who had been a part of Smallville since the beginning, weren't part of the project.
- The building used for Black Creek is the same one used for the Excelsior Academy in Season Six's Reunion and St. Louise's Orphanage in Season Ten's Abandoned. Moreover, the staircase where Clark was shot through the chest by an under control Oliver is the same set of stairs that Lex and Duncan are seen walking down in Reunion and where Tess fought Harriet in Abandoned. 
- Chloe's new intellectual powers are most likely the result of the attack upon her by Brainiac, which occurred in Arctic. However, when she later unsuccessfully tries to heal Clark after he is shot by Oliver, it seems she may have lost her healing power at the same time.
- Clark takes Lois' advice about applying for a job position in the bullpen of the Daily Planet as a reporter in this episode. Lois had previously given a job application to Clark in Arctic.
- Moira Sullivan's power to control meteor freaks (referenced in Progeny) is manufactured into a serum to briefly mind-control anyone. Previously, it was hinted that Moira's power was what was used to mind-control Wes Keenan as part of Project Ares.
- The Crystal of Knowledge, which is last seen in Arrival, reappears in Tess Mercer's possession, revealing that the Fortress was not destroyed but has reverted to its original state.
- Martian Manhunter makes his first appearance since Cure.
- This is Dinah Lance's second appearance. She was considering joining Oliver's hero team last year in Siren. This is Arthur Curry's third appearance. He also appeared in Aqua and Justice. Victor Stone and Bart Allen are also mentioned as "covering the entire Southern hemisphere" looking for Clark.
- Clark dying as a mortal and coming back to life with his powers restored was last seen in the Season 5 episode, Hidden. If Clark did die in this episode, it would mark the third time Clark has died on the show, the others being in Hidden, and Void - both in Season Five.
- Even though Clark is dying, he refuses to let Chloe risk her life by using her healing powers to save him. This is consistent with his position in Fracture, where he warned her to be careful with her healing powers, since she almost died twice after using them.
- Clark annoys Lois with his squeaky chair at the Daily Planet, much like Lois will do to him much later at the end of Hex.
- Clark tells the Martian Manhunter, "I've written eulogies, I've seen people walk away from me." The eulogies may have been for his biological parents (Jor-El and Lara-El), his adoptive father (Jonathan Kent), and his protector (Lionel Luthor). The people who have walked away include Pete Ross, his best friend from childhood who moved away to Wichita, Lana Lang, his first love who moved away from Smallville, and Lex Luthor, his former best friend who became his worst enemy. Chloe is the only person from Season 1 who is still part of Clark's life on a day-to-day basis.
- When Clark is shot by Oliver, it appears to be the same stage is used as in Stargate SG-1 Season 8 episode: "Icon" first shown when they introduce the Great Ring of Abaddon just after the opening credits. 
- Oliver says The League needs to disband because their identities have been compromised. However, Victor Stone, Arthur Curry, and Bart Allen's identities were known by Lex Luthor and, one would presume, Luthorcorp and now Tess Mercer. Only Black Canary's identity was compromised in this episode. In fact, the Leagues' identities were revealed again in Icarus; however, they did not disband.
- This episode marks the 5th and final appearance of Clark's Red jacket/Blue shirt outfit in a season premiere. He previously wore this outfit in Season Two's Vortex, Season Five's Arrival, Season Six's Zod, and Season Seven's Bizarro.
- This episode marks the 76th appearance of Clark's red jacket & blue shirt outfit, which he wears frequently throughout the series.
- Oliver: (in the middle of the Artic) Clark, where are you?
- AC: Every dock and coastline east of the Siberian Sea to the Baffin Bay, they're Clark Kent-free zones. It's like he just disappeared.
- Tess: Trust me, Lex Luthor did not meet his end on some dwindling icecap.
- Regan: (aiming a gun at Green Arrow) There's a reason the cowboys won the West. Playing with bows and arrows can only get you so far.
- Ray: You're special, Chloe.
- Chloe: No, I'm not. All I am is a halfway-decent hacker who took a wrong turn down the information superhighway.
- Ray: A hacker whose cognitive thinking just beat our fastest supercomputer.
- Chloe: Look, I'm all for helping my country, but what kind of secret government mission could an out-of-work newspaper hack pull off?
- Ray: You're gonna help us catch a few bad guys, Chloe.
- Chloe: By playing Sudoku?
- Regan: Reading up on you in Lex's files, I knew you had a healing power. But the turbo IQ, well... that was a pleasant surprise.
- Chloe: I'm not gonna help you. So I guess you're gonna have to kill me.
- Oliver: Clark would never give up on us. We're not giving up on him.
- Regan: You weren't up there scouring the Arctic for Lex. You were searching for someone else. The Traveler.
- AC: Who's that, some frequent flier?
- Oliver: (to a Russian mobster while holding Clark at knife-point) I'll take a hundred cases of beluga, 50 cases of osetra, and this pathetic little punk here.
- Clark: How does an ice fortress disappear into thin air?
- Oliver: Hmm, I feel like there's a punch line to that question.
- Clark: It all must be a part of my father's plan. As it turns out, his idea of controlling me was taking away my powers.
- Oliver: Well, it's better than Lex walking around with a remote control to a Clark-bot.
- Oliver: (referring to Chloe) If Lex wanted to hide her, he's got a research compound in Montana called Black Creek. It's the only facility we haven't hit yet. Unfortunately, no one who's ever gone in has ever come out.
- Clark: We need to get her back.
- Oliver: The problem with that is, both Dinah and AC went off the radar looking for you. And you're kind of... useless.
- Oliver: Stay behind me.
- Clark: No, we'll cover more ground if we split up.
- Oliver: And what are you going to do if you get caught, bite someone?
- (upon finding Dinah and AC shackled to the ceiling)
- Oliver: Well done, guys.
- Lois: What are you doing here?
- Clark: I heard they had good espresso.
- Lois: You disappear for a month and come back with a sense of humor?
- Clark: I've been tracking Chloe down. The question is, how did you get here?
- Lois: Feminine charm.
- Clark: Huh.
- Lois: Yes, I do have some.
- Clark: Great job of protecting your short supply of it.
- Clark: You mind not pointing that thing at me?
- Lois: God, Clark. I'm not aiming at you.
- (Clark looks down)
- Lois: What? I'm not! Besides, it's only your kneecap.
- Clark: Well, that makes me feel a lot better.
- Lois: (to Clark) You stick with me, I'll protect you. You'll be fine.
- Chloe: Clark! Where have you been? I've been waiting for you.
- Clark: I'm sorry, I got held up in a Russian work camp.
- Martian Manhunter: Jor-El knew he was sending you on an impossible odyssey. To be given the power of a god, yet exist among humans.
- Clark: Sometimes I feel like I need to be two separate people. Either way, I can't keep expecting you to save me.
- Martian Manhunter: Well, that was the last time. The burning sun may strengthen you, but it has the opposite effect on me. It stripped me of my powers. We both know that yours is a greater destiny. But with the fortress destroyed, you'll have to do it without Jor-El's guidance.
- Clark: Or anyone else's. When I was dying, I saw my dad; he was right there in front of me. I saw my mom, and Lana, they were there too. So close, it was like I could reach out and feel them. I've written eulogies. I've seen people walk away from me, but I've never really said goodbye. I've been holding onto a life on this farm that hasn't existed for years.
- Martian Manhunter: So what are you going to do?
- Clark: Let it go. It's the only chance I have of finding a new one.
- Clark: We need to split up.
- Oliver: We? Gotta be careful, Clark. Pretty soon you'll be sporting a homemade costume and leading a double-identity just like the rest of us.
- Dinah: You might want to try something a little more form-fitting.
- (Lois notices the chair squeaking across from her. Camera pans over to reveal Clark smirking in it.)
- Clark: Oh, I'm sorry. Is this bothering you?
- Lois: The chair, or you in it?
- Clark: I better get going. I'll see you bright and early Monday morning.
- Lois: Whoa, whoa. Why Monday? What do you mean, "bright and early"?
- Clark: Lois, you're the one who gave me the application. You're looking at newest recruit to the Daily Planet.
- Lois: That's great. What made you change your mind?
- Clark: I guess I wanted to be in the middle of the action.
- Lois: Good for you. So, are you gonna be starting down in the mailroom?
- Clark: No. I'm gonna be a little closer to home. Looks like we're going to be neighbors, Lane.
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