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"Promise" is the sixteenth episode in the sixth season of Smallville, and the one hundred-twenty-sixth episode overall. It aired on March 15, 2007.


On the day of Lex and Lana's wedding, Lex receives a call from Dr. Langston threatening to tell Lana the truth about her baby, Lana begins to have second thoughts about marrying Lex, Clark comes to his own realization that he can't let Lana marry Lex and decides to tell her about his secret, and no one is prepared for what happens when Lionel steps in.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 6x16

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The church

The night before Lex and Lana's wedding day, everyone is making preparations. Lex and Lana are viewing an ultrasound of their baby together, Chloe is handling invitations and floral arrangements, and Clark is getting his suit ready.

Clark's Perspective

Clark is rooting through his things, looking for cuff links, when he comes across a framed photograph of him and Lana dancing at their high school prom. Disgusted, he throws the photograph out of the window and it sails miles away.

Clark is having a dream in which Lex and Lana are saying their vows at the altar when he suddenly comes up behind Lex and stabs him. Dream-Lana is horrified, claiming she loved Lex, then takes the knife from Clark and stabs herself. Clark wakes up that morning with a start.

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Clark wakes up from a bad dream.

That afternoon, he is ostensibly doing his chores, but really taking out his frustrations on bales of hay when he receives a call from Chloe. She explains that she is locked in the wine cellar cooler of the Luthor Mansion and Clark super speeds to let her out. He pulls the door off its hinges then uses his heat vision to weld it back into place. He turns to go abruptly and Chloe asks him why he hasn't done anything about the pending nuptials, but Clark insists there's nothing he can do. Chloe counters that Clark will save Lana from physical danger, but the one time she really needs saving, Clark is too afraid of her rejection to tell her the truth and save her from a loveless marriage. Clark gets upset and speeds away as Chloe looks concerned.

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Martha tells Clark that she and Jonathan almost did not get married.

Back at home, Clark is contemplating the inscription from his mother to his father on the back of his watch. When Martha arrives home, he asks her how she knew Jonathan was the one for her. She just says nothing is that simple - she and Jonathan came from different backgrounds and almost didn't get married, but she risked everything and received everything she loves.

Clark goes back to the Luthor mansion and finds Lana writing a letter. He tells her that he owes her the truth, but Lana says he doesn't have to explain. She surprises him by admitting that she can't keep turning her back on the truth and has decided not to marry Lex. She says she will meet him at his barn at 5:00 PM, promising to be there. She hears a door open, kisses him goodbye, and ushers him out.

Lex's Perspective

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Lana and Lex's unborn child.

Lex is having a dream in which he is in a large auditorium viewing an ultrasound. The fetus' image then turns and its eyes glow demonically. He awakens with a start and notices Lana's side of the bed is empty. He finds her standing by the fireplace and jokes that they should just elope. She tells him that she is going to meet Chloe to get ready and exits. Lionel finds Lex at LuthorCorp Plaza alone. Lex confesses that he is nervous because he loves Lana so much; he wonders what will happen if she realizes who he really is. He admits that he is afraid Lana won't show. Lionel asks him what he'd be willing to do to make sure the wedding happens, and he answers that he'd do anything.

Lionel leaves as Lex receives a phone call. Lionel listens at the door when Lex tells the caller that he will meet him later. Seventeen minutes before the ceremony, Lex meets Dr. Langston in the crypt of the church in which the wedding will take place. Langston tells him that unless Lex gives him $2 million, he will tell Lana the truth about her pregnancy. He turns to leave when Lex punches him. Lex loses control and beats him up until he falls against a crypt, receiving a fatal blow to the head. Lex stashes the body in the crypt and hurriedly tries to wash the blood off of his hands and put his tuxedo on. Chloe knocks and tells him that the ceremony should have started ten minutes ago, but Lana is nowhere to be found.

Lana's Perspective

Lana's Letter Promise 1

Lana's letter to Lex.

It is the morning of the wedding again and Lana is dreaming about when Clark saved her from a tornado their freshman year. She awakens and hurries to the library where she finds a scrapbook containing a news article about her surviving the storm. Lex awakens shortly afterward, and they have the conversation about eloping.

Lana is in her bedroom when her Aunt Nell arrives. She notices Lana's melancholy behavior and asks her what's wrong. Lana vaguely asks her what she should do about her doubts, saying she needs to know the truth. Nell advises her to protect herself by doing what she has to do to resolve any doubts before she marries Lex.

That afternoon, Chloe is trying to plan all the last-minute details, but Lana isn't even listening. She realizes that Lana hasn't slept at all, but just offers to help. Lana asks her to go to the wine cellar to get Lex's present, but secretly follows her and locks her in the cooler. It is revealed that Lana hears Chloe and Clark's entire conversation; she witnesses his super strength, speed, and heat vision and also hears them talk about Clark's invulnerability and how he still loves her, as he rescues Chloe from the wine cellar.

Two hours later, Lana is writing Lex a letter when Clark arrives at the mansion. She tells him she will meet him at 5, but when he leaves, she is approached by Lionel. Lionel reads her letter and realizes that she doesn't intend to marry Lex. He correctly guesses that she knows Clark's secret. He reveals that he knows it too, but he also knows Clark's weakness. He tells her that if she doesn't marry Lex, he will kill Clark.

The Ceremony

The ceremony begins with Lana missing. Chloe leads Lex to the altar, and he stands alone apprehensively waiting for her to show. Clark is at the barn preparing to propose to Lana. He is shown practicing to Shelby and nervously checking his watch. However, Lana is not at the barn - she shows up at the church and the ceremony proceeds. Clark realizes she isn't showing up at the barn and super-speeds to the church. He stands in the background, heartbroken, as he watches as she and Lex exchange vows.

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Newly married Lex and Lana exit the church.

After the ceremony, Lex is ecstatic and doesn't seem to notice how upset Lana is. He leaves her alone and she starts to cry. Clark arrives and asks her why she didn't show up. She tells him that she's had a change of heart. She unconvincingly says she wants to be with Lex, but Clark is sure she doesn't mean it. She tries to leave, but Clark is desperate at this point. Near tears, he tells her that they were meant to be together. He starts to tell her his secret, but Lana stops him. She again insists she loves Lex and leaves him alone in the room.

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Lionel confronts Lex about Dr. Langston.

Lionel meets Lex after the ceremony because he knows that Lex killed Dr. Langston. Lex offers him control of LuthorCorp or even Level 33.1 but Lionel just says he'll know when it's time to collect. Their confrontation is interrupted by Lana. Lex and Lana exit the church amongst the guests and well-wishers and climb into a limousine. As they drive away, Lana looks in the rear window to see a dejected Clark standing away from the crowd.


Lex and Lana's wedding day is shown out of order from the perspective of Clark, Lex, and Lana, respectively. The three points of view converge around 5:00 PM, the time of the ceremony.

07:00 - All three wake up from nightmares.

07:14 - Lex and Lana have a conversation about eloping.

10:53 - Chloe and Lana are making last-minute preparations and Lana sends her to the wine cellar to retrieve Lex's gift.

11:03 - Clark rescues Chloe from the wine cellar and Lana witnesses Clark's powers.

1:35 - Clark returns to the mansion where Lana promises to meet him at the barn. She then has a conversation with Lionel Luthor.

4:43 - Lex kills Dr. Langston.

5:00 - Lex and Lana exchange vows just as Clark arrives at the ceremony.



Guest Starring[]




Featured Music[]

  • "You Could Be Happy" - Snow Patrol
  • "Cathedral Largo" - Handel
  • "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" - Bach
  • "Cathedral Prelude B" - Bach
  • "Bridal Chorus" - Richard Wagner
  • "Wedding March"- Mendelssohn
  • "Heavenly Day" - Patty Griffin


  • A promise is a vow or declaration that someone will or will not do something.
  • The episode features Lex and Lana's wedding, where they both make a vow where they promise to spend the rest of their lives together.
  • Lana tells Clark she will stop by the farm at 5 pm. "I'll be there, I promise."
  • Lionel asks Lex what he'd do for Lana to be at his wedding. Lex says he'd do anything, and Lionel replies with, "Then she will be. I promise you".
  • Lionel tells Lana that if she doesn't "honor the promise that you made to my son", he will kill Clark Kent.


  • Antagonists: None (Clark's story), Dr. Langston (Lex's story) and Lionel Luthor (Lana's story)
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: Super Strength, Super-Speed and Heat Vision
  • Lois Lane does not appear in this episode.
  • Clark and Chloe's dialogue is slightly different in their conversation in the wine cellar. From Clark's perspective, he tells Chloe, "You don't know me as well as I thought you did," but from Lana's perspective, he tells Chloe she doesn't "know him very well." Facial expressions and pronunciations in this scene also differ.
  • When Clark speeds away from Chloe during the first wine cellar scene, you can see his red blur like you normally can. When shown from Lana's perspective though, he just disappears. Some fans have speculated that this is probably what Clark's super speeding really looks like, the usual blur behind him merely added so that the viewer can see him. Although many viewers believe that this was a missing special effect, it is proven again later on in season 7 episode Descent that this is how actually Clark's super speed looks like.
  • There was a crew member visible in the reflective glass behind Clark during the scene in the barn where he was looking at the picture of him and Lana.
  • Clark throwing away the picture may allude to Lois and Clark, where it was a signature move of Superman and other superpowered individuals to throw objects into orbit (possibly into the sun). This included, at one point, an engagement ring after Clark's unsuccessful first proposal to Lois (a theme similar to the one in this episode, and both episodes also include the girl in question figuring out Clark's secret permanently), although there, he caught it some distance away as Superman.
  • Lana's wedding dress was designed by Monique Lhuillier and is from her Fall 2006 bridal collection. [1]
  • We see Clark's bedroom in this episode for the 5th time. Past appearances include: Clark floating in his sleep in Metamorphosis, Alicia teleporting in and kissing him in Obsession, when Lana and Clark woke up together and tried to sneak past Clark's parents in Hidden, and when Lana's hiding from her stalker in Trespass .
  • The engraving on the back of Clark's watch reads: "To JK. The love of my life MK"
  • When Lex speaks to the priest, he refers to him as "Father." Judging by this, the church, and what can be viewed of the wedding ceremony, the ceremony is a Catholic wedding, although neither Lex nor Lana's religious views are known.
  • There is heavy juxtaposition in this episode between the situations of Clark and Lana. Clark has always been unable to be completely honest with Lana due to the weight of his secret and fear that she would be hurt were it revealed to her. Now Lana has been forced to make a similar sacrifice and in turn take what she believes to be a protective role of him (incited by a complete deception on Lionel's part, as it is unlikely he would hurt Clark).
  • This episode takes place on February 24, 2007.
  • Episodes featuring Shelby usually list Bud the dog in the credits, however, this is perhaps the only episode that does not.
  • Lana's note to Lex reads:
Dear Lex,
I'm so sorry
but I can't go
through with this


  • Dr. Langston also appeared in Rage, Crimson and Trespass.
  • This is the first time that Lex has been called by his full name, Alexander, since Void.
  • This is the first appearance of Sarah-Jane Redmond as Aunt Nell since Season Two's Ryan. This episode marks the 11th and final appearance of Nell on the series. She's the 7th most frequently seen recurring character in the series after Jor-El, Nancy Adams, Brainiac, Emil Hamilton, Ethan Miller, and John Jones. She's also the single most frequently seen recurring character who doesn't appear in more episodes than any series regular.
  • The invitation that Lex handed Clark in Trespass stated the wedding was to begin at 6:00, but in this episode, it started around 5:00.
  • Chloe has no visible scar under her collarbone from when Clark burned her in Freak.
  • In one scene, Clark is contemplating his father's watch that was stolen from his mother and recovered by Lana last year in Vengeance.
  • The photograph of Clark and Lana is of them dancing at their senior prom in the fourth season episode Spirit.
  • Lana dreams of Clark saving her from the tornado, which occurred in the second season episode Vortex. She also pulls out a newspaper article about her survival.
  • This is the third time that Clark has prepared to propose to Lana. The first time he did in Reckoningbut after Lana's death Clark went back in time and never proposed again. He also asked her to marry him sans ring when he kidnapped her in Crimson.
  • Lana first discovers her pregnancy in Rage, which took place at the end of November, as evidenced by the Thanksgiving theme throughout the episode, with her stating that the symptoms have started over the last month. This would mean that at the end of February, which is when Promise takes place, Lana would be 4 months pregnant or perhaps a little more.
  • This is the second time that Lex has nearly beaten someone to death, the first being his friend Duncan Allenmeyer in Reunion.
  • Lionel was last seen in Justice.
  • This episode marks the 52nd appearance of Clark's red jacket & blue shirt outfit, which he wears frequently throughout the series.



Chloe: Okay, so you have your final dress fitting at three, your limo is picking you up at three thirty, and you have wedding photos (she notices that Lana is extremely distracted) outside the... church, and naked male Jell-O™ wrestling at five.

Nell: This may be the most important day of your life. What's wrong?
Lana: It's just... if there was something that you had to put past you to get on with your life, and you tried every way that was fair and honest to do that and nothing worked... is it really wrong to bend the rules just once?

Lex: I used to pretend it was all mine to control, like I could just reach down and move all the cars, as if they were toys... pull all the strings and make people do what I wanted.

Lex: You know, Dad, ever since I've been with Lana, I wake up wondering, "Is today gonna be the day when she sees who I really am?"

Chloe: Lana's not my hero, Clark, you are. And this whole idea that you're still hiding who you really are, that you're giving up the one person that you totally love--
Clark: I'm protecting her...
Chloe: Good job. She's marrying a monster and trapping herself into a loveless life.
Clark: Oh, you think this is easy for me?
Chloe: I think it's easier than getting hurt. Clark, you don't hesitate to run into a burning building or jump in front of a bullet because nothing can penetrate that iron flesh of yours. But the one time saving Lana means putting your heart on the line, the Man of Steel is nowhere to be found.

Lionel: I give you my word, Ms. Lang. If you don't honor the promise that you made to my son, or I find out you told anyone about this conversation, I will kill Clark Kent.

Clark: I waited for you.
Lana: Clark...
Clark: What happened?
Lana: I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. But I wanna be with Lex.
Clark: That's not true. He got to you, didn't he?
Lana: Please just believe me and let it go.
Clark: Let it go? Let it go? Lana, I love you. I love you.
Lana: Clark don't.
Clark: Tell me what he did. What did Lex do? You don't have to stay with him.
Lana: He didn't do anything. I've made my decision. I just wanna be with him.
Clark: Why do you keep saying that? Lana, we should be together. I want this more than I've ever wanted anything. And I know that you do too.
Lana: I've had a change of heart.
Clark: You don't mean that. Is this because of my secret? Lana, I'll tell you. I'm not like everyone else. I'm...
Lana: No, Clark, you have to go.
Clark: No. No. Not until you look me in the eye and tell me that you'd rather spend the rest of your life with Lex Luthor instead of me.
Lana: I'm sorry, Clark. I love Lex.

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