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"Oracle" is the twenty-first episode in the fifth season of Smallville, and the one hundred-ninth episode overall. It aired on May 4, 2006.


Clark is stunned when he sees his father's ghost at the graveyard, but becomes even more confused after Jonathan tells him he must kill Lionel. Meanwhile, Lex develops a vaccine for Fine's deadly virus, but Fine intervenes and injects him with the vaccine, which causes a shocking reaction in Lex.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 5x21


Clark see the ghost of his father

On Clark's nineteenth birthday, Martha, Lois, and Chloe give him a surprise birthday party. However, it is small and subdued with the noticeable absence of Jonathan. Lois gives Clark a diary and Martha gives him a card that Jonathan bought him before his death. Inside are a pair of baseball tickets. Later, Clark goes to the cemetery to thank Jonathan for the tickets and is shocked to see a vision of Jonathan standing next to him. Jonathan tells him that he must kill Lionel Luthor to save the world.


Martha, Chloe, and Lois throw Clark a surprise birthday party.

The next morning, Clark tells Martha what he saw, but she says grief can play tricks on the mind. Clark admits that he's seen Jonathan's ghost before and speculates what Lionel might be up to. Clark goes to the Daily Planet to tell Chloe about the vision. He is suspicious of Lionel and mentions that Lionel was the first to help Martha when she was being blackmailed. Chloe is skeptical, but agrees to help him investigate Lionel. They break into Lionel's office and search his calendar, where they find two future appointments; one is with a reporter, and the other is due to take place at the Pentagon to discuss "the Weapon." Clark thinks Lionel plans to use him as a weapon.

Lionel arrives in Lex's library and questions his frequent trips to Honduras. Lex brushes off his questions even as Lionel tries to warn him that Milton Fine is involved in something much more dangerous than Lex realizes. Lex is unconcerned and leaves Lionel alone. Suddenly, Lionel goes into a catatonic state and begins scribbling Kryptonian symbols furiously.

Lois runs into Lana at the Talon and guesses that she is buying coffee for Lex. Lana tries to deny it, but Lois offers an ear. Lana and Lois wind up having a three-hour conversation on the status of her and Lex's relationship. Later, Lana meets Lex at the Luthor Mansion and Lex admits that he is involved in something top secret and dangerous, but he trusts her. He takes her to his laboratory and explains that he's been collecting deadly viruses to develop a super-vaccine to protect a person from any disease. He and Fine believe the Black Ship is the first of many and the vaccine could save mankind from potential invaders. However, he admits that he is suspicious of Fine. He shows Lana satellite photographs of Fine in Honduras near another black ship. A photograph taken a fraction of a second later shows Fine has disappeared. Lex and Lana speculate that Fine might be an alien too. Lana tells him that when Lionel was in a trance, he told her of the aliens' weakness.


Lois realizes Lana is dating Lex.

Martha arrives home one evening to find a voice message from Lionel. As she is listening, she sees a vision of Jonathan in the living room. He asks her if she is in a relationship with Lionel but Martha denies this and tells him how much she misses him. Jonathan tells Martha that Lionel is dangerous and must be eliminated and alludes to Lionel being responsible for his own death. Martha is shocked but when she presses for more details, the apparition disappears. Jonathan appears outside on the porch and it is revealed that it is, in fact, Fine who is posing as Jonathan.


The vessel.

Martha tells Clark what Jonathan told her and Clark tells Martha how he thinks Lionel is going to try to use him as a weapon. Martha says Jonathan also suggested that Lionel had something to do with his death.

Fine meets Lex at the mansion and tells him that he knows he's being kept out of the loop on Project Mercury. Lex tells him he knows that Fine is not in the CIA. Lex says he won't give Fine the vaccine while he's unsure of Fine's motives. He opens a lead box to see if Fine has a meteor-rock vulnerability. Fine is nonplussed and simply informs him that he is not Kryptonian, but was made by them. He forms a blade from his arm and holds it up to Lex's throat, demanding that Lex turn over the vaccine.


Fine threatens Lex.

Chloe tells Clark that she researched Jonathan's cell phone records and that Jonathan and Lionel were in communication for weeks before his death, the last call coming an hour before he died. Clark realizes that Lionel was present the night he died and tells Lionel to meet him at the barn. Lionel tries to explain his and Jonathan's communication but Clark is convinced that Lionel killed Jonathan in an attempt to control Clark into becoming a weapon. He is too emotional to listen to Lionel's explanations and beats Lionel up as Jonathan once again appears at his side, encouraging him to kill Lionel. Lionel counters that Jonathan would never want Clark to kill anyone. Clark gains some clarity and blasts the vision of Jonathan away with his heat vision. They fight and when Jonathan gets the upper hand, Lionel approaches in a trance. He touches Jonathan and the apparition morphs back into Fine, then disappears. Lionel comes out of his trance, not knowing what just happened and Clark looks on in confusion.

Lionel takes Clark to his office and Clark tells him that Fine is not a Kryptonian and that he's already been destroyed twice. Clark asks Lionel how he was able to destroy him. Lionel doesn't know for sure but reveals an entire closet full of papers covered in Kryptonian symbols that he has written himself. He says that whatever voice he is channeling must be meant for Clark. They give a notebook full of Kryptonian notes to Chloe, who agrees to try and decipher them. Lionel informs Clark and Chloe that Fine and Lex are working together to develop a deadly virus that could decimate the population. Lionel thinks the virus is just a part of whatever Fine is trying to accomplish. Chloe admits that Lana probably knows something about it.

Lana and Lois arrive at her dorm room to find Clark rifling through Lana's things - she has several pictures of the black ship. Lois exits quickly and Lana is extremely angry at Clark. He tries to tell her that he is worried that Lex is involved in something very dangerous and urges her to tell him where the lab is.


Fine injects the virus into Lex.

Lex confronts Fine at the lab because he believes Fine is going to unleash the deadly virus into the population. However, Fine states that he only needs one dose. He merges the virus with his own makeup and injects Lex. Lex collapses and Fine destroys the lab. Clark arrives and sees Lex on the floor, but he speeds away after Fine.

Lex has his doctor check him out, but the doctor claims that Lex is healthier than he's ever been. Clark arrives and tells him that he should have listened to Lionel. Lex defends his actions saying the vaccine will help people. He admits that he doesn't know where Fine is, but tells Clark that he crossed the line by going though Lana's things. Lex and Clark argue and Lex points out that Clark lost Lana by himself.

Lionel arrives at the Kent Farm and admits to Martha that he did indeed talk to Jonathan the night he died to tell him that he knew Clark's secret. Lionel claims that Jonathan was so angry, he didn't let him explain. Martha does not reply and Lionel leaves, saying that at least he was honest.


Lana and Lex talk about all that has happened.

Lana visits Lex and admits that things are awkward between them. She suggests that they stop discussing Clark. She asks him why Fine ordered the vaccine destroyed. Lex notices a mark where he was injected. He then cuts his finger on the corkscrew and is shocked to see it heal instantly.

Lois finds Clark brooding alone in his loft and he admits that he is upset that Lex and Lana are forming a relationship. Lois tries to console him, suggesting he give Lana some space. She speculates that maybe Lana might not be the one that's meant for Clark after all. Clark appreciates her advice, but they are interrupted by Chloe. Lois exits and Chloe comments that Clark handled the birthday party very well. Clark admits that he really missed his dad and Chloe reminds him that Jonathan gave him many more valuable gifts in Clark's upbringing. She changes the subject and shows him a repeating pattern in the Kryptonian symbols. Clark translates it to read "Zod is coming."



Special Guest Star[]




  • An Oracle is defined as a "person considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinions".
  • In Ancient Greece, the Oracle was a human that spoke to the Greek god Apollo.
  • In this episode, Lionel acts as an "oracle" for Jor-El.
  • In the comics, "Oracle" is the code name for Barbara Gordon, after losing the use of her legs and gave up being Batgirl.


  • Antagonist: Brainiac
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, and heat vision.
  • Brainiac uses the following abilities: Super Strength, Super speed, shapeshifting, Weapon Manifestation.
  • This is the final episode of the series featuring Clark, Chloe, Lex, Lana, Lois, Martha, Lionel and Jonathan together in an episode.
  • The birthday banner and cake are made with the Superman colors of blue, red and yellow. Also, the journal Lois gives him is red with the edges of the paper tinted blue.
  • Milton Fine speculates that the custom of toasting a drink originated from a host sharing his potentially-poisoned beverage with his fellow diners. Other originations of the custom involve the host sampling the beverage, then raising his glass to signal to others that it is safe to drink. [1]
  • The birthday cake that Lois bakes for Clark has all the classic Superman colors: blue icing, red writing and yellow candles.
  • Jonathan Kent appears through Brainiac impersonating him in this episode.
  • The kryptonian writing in the last scene is visually similar to "ZOD".
  • According to this episode, Clark celebrates May 3 as his birthday.
  • As the spirit of Jonathan, Brainiac is like an apparition and disappears before Clark and Martha's eyes without a trace. But when he blitzes away from the Farm House, the usual sound effect can be heard.



  • Martha was blackmailed in the episode Cyborg.
  • Clark mentions his and Lana's shared near-death experiences, which occurred in Void.
  • Lana references when Lionel was in a trance and told her of the meteor rock weakness, which occurred a year ago in Arrival.
  • Brainiac was last seen in Hypnotic in which his virus gathering efforts first started, as well as his partnership with Lex that allowed him to smuggle viruses into Honduras, which was also seen in Fragile and Fade.
  • Clark mentions that the last time someone suggested that he go to the Fortress of Solitude it was a trick. This happened in Solitude.
  • This is the first episode that Lois appears in since Lockdown where she isn't in any physical danger.
  • This episode marks the 37th appearance of Clark's red jacket and blue shirt outfit, which he wears frequently throughout the series.
  • Lionel's ability to draw Kryptonian symbols first started in Arrival, seemingly disappeared in Hidden, but made a reappearance in Mercy, all a result of being chosen to be Jor-El's vessel in Commencement.


  • Chloe asks Clark if he's sure his dad is "Hamlet-ing" him and calls herself Horatio. This is a reference to William Shakespeare's play Hamlet: Prince of Denmark in which Hamlet's murdered father appears to him as a ghost and delivers a warning. In the play, Horatio was Hamlet's best friend.



Chloe: Look, and Lois even made her world famous rum cake for you.
Lois: From scratch.
Clark: (looks at the slanted cake) Oh. I never would've guessed.
Chloe: You should've seen the first two.

Chloe: Wait, Clark! The alarm. I cloned the transponder from Lionel's keyboard so we could override the digital cypher.
Clark: (under his breath) Whoa.
Chloe: I need a night life.

Clark: Look for anything my dad might be warning me about.
Chloe: I can't exactly search for a file named "My Evil Scheme."

Clark: There are times when I think you don't know me at all, and others where I think you know me better than anyone.
Lois: That's what I'm here for, Smallville – one save at a time.

Chloe: Yeah, I have plans this weekend, so if we could protect Smallville from the wrath of Krypton's deadliest villain, that would be great.

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