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"Relic" is the sixth episode in the third season of Smallville, and fiftieth episode overall. It aired on November 5, 2003.


Clark discovers that Jor-El was on Earth forty years ago. Clark helps Lana discover the truth about who killed her great Aunt Louise. Lex learns that his grandparents were murdered, and he begins to suspect his father.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 3x06


The "journal" Jor-El wore

Dex McCallum has been in prison for forty years, convicted of killing Lana's great Aunt Louise. He wants someone in Louise's family to know that he didn't do it. He loved her very much. He claims that he heard shots one night in the barn, rushed out to investigate and he saw a man run out of the barn. When he entered, he found a pistol. He picked it up, and then he saw Louise, dead. He picked her up in his arms, just as Sheriff Tate arrived. Lana looks a lot like her Aunt Louise, and Dex figures if she is anything like her at all, she will be the one person who can understand. He thinks that the man he saw leaving the barn, a drifter, killed Louise. He has a picture that was sketched from his description and published in the newspaper. He looks a lot like Clark Kent.

Lana shows Clark the picture, saying that it might have been his grandfather or even his father. Clark recognizes the symbol on the man's pendant as a Kryptonian symbol he has seen in the caves.


Newspaper clipping of Louise and the "drifter"

Believing it might have been Jor-El, Clark and Jonathan go to the Kawatche Caves. Jonathan argues that even if it was Jor-El, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to think he killed somebody. Clark argues that they don't really know that much about him. They find the same Kryptonian symbol painted on the cave wall, and when Clark touches the painting, it falls away and reveals an opening containing a memory pendant. When Clark touches it, he sees thousand of images, but he can't make sense of any of them. While walking down Main Street with Pete, Clark guesses that the images are from the past. When he touches a mailbox, he has his first flashback to 1961.

Jor-El on Earth in his youth

Jor-El in 1961

Jor-El is walking down Main Street when he sees Lachlan Luthor rob Louise McCallum at gun point. Louise tries to fight Lachlan off, but he knocks her down. Jor-El super speeds to her rescue and throws Lachlan against a light post. Sheriff Tate shows up just then and takes Lachlan into custody. Jor-El and Louise can't take their eyes off each other. It is love at first sight. Dex shows up to see if Louise is alright, and Sheriff Tate shoos her off home, promising to come by later to get her statement. When the vision ends, Clark guesses that he got the flashback from touching something that Jor-El touched. He sets off to verify that what he saw really happened. Chloe brings some old police records to Smallville High. Some of the records are missing from the day of Louise's murder, but they find the name of the robber. Chloe recognizes it right away as Lex's grandfather. Clark asks Chloe to ask Lex about Lachlan. Chloe hesitates. The last time she investigated a Luthor, Lex was nearly killed, but she goes to see him, and he is no help at all. However, he does confront his father about Lachlan.

Relicws 457

Lex confronts Lionel to learn more about his family's legacy

Lionel confesses that he made up the story about him being a hard-working entrepreneur descended of Scottish nobility in order to win friends and influence people during his rise among over-achieving Ivy Leaguers, but he did not lie about his death. Both his parents were killed in a tenement fire. Being at work saved Lionel that night. He has buried himself in work ever since.

Louise McCallum

Louise McCallum

Back at the Kent Farm, Clark and Lana go through a small box with a few of Louise's belongings. They find a passionate love letter. Lana guesses that it is from Dex, but it is signed with only the initial T. When Clark touches Louise's pearl necklace, he has another flashback: Jor-El and Louise making love in the barn. When the vision ends, Clark tells Lana he thinks the letter was from the drifter. They were in love.

Clark and Lana then track down the barn where Louise was killed. There, Clark touches object after object trying to find another memory. He removes a cover from an old car, and receives another vision: Jor-El and Louise are talking about being together. Louise's pleads with Jor-El to take her with him, but Jor-El says that they would not be accepted, and he must go home and accept his destiny. He cannot change it. As the two of them embrace one another, Lachlan Luthor comes in the barn and shoots Jor-El. Of course, the bullets don't hurt Jor-El, but Louise is wounded and, dies within moments in Jor-El's arms. Jor-El cries and mourns Louise's death. When the vision ends, Clark tells Lana he knows who killed Louise.

Returning to Smallville High, Clark reveals to Chloe and Lana that ever since he read the newspaper article he's been having memories from 1961. They are surprised, but they take it in stride. Chloe checks her e-mail and learns that Deputy Tate released Lachlan Luthor from jail the day that Louise was killed.

Clark and Lana then go to visit Mayor Tate. Mayor Tate tells them that Dex and Louise McCallum were his best friends. He doesn't remember Lachlan Luthor and he doesn't believe there ever was a drifter. He wanted to believe that Dex was innocent more than anyone. He remarks that Lana bears a striking resemblance to Louise. When, Clark looks over Mayor Tate's certificates, he notices that his signature matches the love letter. When Mayor Tate touches his shoulder, he has another flashback: Tate interrupts Jor-El and Louise, making out in Louise's car. Tate is jealous, but Louise sends him away saying Jor-El is just taking her home. Louise explains that it was her father's idea for her to marry Dex. She wanted to go to Hollywood and become a star, but she finally gave in to her father. Jor-El has a similar story. His father sent him to Earth to teach him a lesson. He tries to tell Louise about where he is from, but she laughs at him, so he picks her up and slowly floats twenty feet in the air.

Relicws 347

Jor-El reveals his abilities to Louise

Clark and Lana try to convince Sheriff Adams that Mayor Tate made a deal with Lachlan Luthor to kill the drifter and pin it on Dex so that he could have Louise all to himself. The Sheriff thinks they are crazy, and heads off to solve some crimes committed in this century. At the farm, Jonathan and Martha are discussing how much it bothers them that Clark is so interested in his birth parents. Clark senses the tension and lies about not having any more visions. He sees his grandpa's gun on the wall and recognizes from his first vision in the cave. When Clark touches the rifle, he receives another flashback:

Relicws 396

Jor-El meets Hiram and Jessica Kent, the future parents of Jonathan Kent

Hiram Kent hits Jor-El with the rifle. Jor-El takes the rifle away from him, and tells Hiram that he loved Louise and would never harm her. Hiram shakes his hand and introduces himself. Clark tells Martha and Jonathan that Jor-El was here on the Kent Farm with Grandpa Kent, so Jonathan finds some of Hiram's belongings in a stashed away chest. When Clark touches a leather jacket, he has another flashback: A very pregnant Jessica Kent is giving him a denim jacket so he doesn't stand out so much. Hiram is preparing to help Jor-El get to the caves while avoiding detection from the police and other people looking for him. He invites him to stay, offers to help him clear his name, but Jor-El says that he has no reason to stay any more. Hiram says good-bye to his unborn baby, Gene. Jessica corrects him: the baby's name will be Jonathan. Jor-El thanks Jessica and gives her his leather jacket. Clark tells Jonathan that Hiram helped Jor-El escape, but Jonathan doesn't believe him until Clark tells him that Hiram wanted to name him Gene. Martha trusts Hiram as a good judge of character.

Relicws 422

Clark poses as the Drifter

Clark decides to wear Jor-El's leather jacket and memory pendant and confront Mayor Tate. He uses his heat vision and super speed to convince the mayor that he is a ghost. He threatens to haunt the mayor every day unless he confesses to the sheriff. The mayor tries to shoot himself, but Clark stops him. Sheriff Adams arrives in answer to the silent alarm, and Tate confesses to the murder of Louise.

The next day, Dex is released from prison, and he tells Lana he loved Louise so much he couldn't see that she didn't love him. He regrets not knowing when to let go.

Meanwhile, Lex is discussing his grandparent's death with Officer Mason, the man who led the original investigation. Later, Lex reveals to his father that the fire was not an accident. Lex is surprised when his father says that he always suspected. It's not like Lionel to pass up a chance at revenge. Lionel claims that he tried to put it behind him, but Lex knows he won't be able to put it behind him until they find out who did it.

Relicws 475

Jor-El and Hiram in the Kawatche Caves

Clark and Jonathan go back to the Kawatche caves. When Clark touches the same Kryptonian symbol, he has a final flashback: Jor-El is talking with Hiram in the Kawatche caves. Jor-El explains that he was supposed to return his medallion to his father, but it has too many bad memories attached to it.

Relicws 489

Jor-El buries the Kryptonian medallion which would be discovered by Clark 40 years later

Jor-El thanks Hiram for all his help and wishes him good luck with the new baby. They shake hands, and Hiram tells Jor-El that if there was anything he ever needed, he knew where to find him. Jor-El smiles and tells Hiram that he'll remember that. Hiram then leaves the Kawatche caves, and Jor-El then turns to the wall and uses the key to create the space to stash the pendant.

Clark tells Jonathan everything he saw in his final vision and guesses that Martha and Jonathan did not find Clark by accident; Jor-El had chosen them.



Guest Starring[]



Featured Music[]

  • "Matchbox" - Carl Perkins
  • "In Your Eyes" - Aaron D.
  • "I Only Have Eyes for You" - The Flamingos
  • "Earth Angel" - The Penguins


  • A relic is an object that represents the past.
  • The title refers to Jor-El's memory pendant that sends Clark visions of his father's past.


Relicws 494

Clark reveals to Jonathan that he and Martha may have been chosen to raise him by Jor-El.

  • Antagonist: William Tate and Lachlan Luthor.
  • This is the 50th episode of Smallville, marking the first milestone of achievement. Each 50 episodes marks another milestone.
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super speed and heat vision. Also, the relic, for this episode, allows Clark to have retro-cognition of the events occurred on 1961.
  • Jor-El uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, invulnerability, flight, technopathy.
  • Hiram Kent is the 13th DC Comics character adapted into the series.
  • A great aunt is the sister of a grandmother or a grandfather. There's been no mention on the show of Lana's grandparents. It's possible they've died.
  • "Earth Angel" is the song playing when Jor-El and Louise are in the barn. In the film Superman III "Earth Angel" is the song playing when Clark, returning to Smallville, encounters his high school crush Lana (played by Annette O'Toole) again.
  • "I Only Have Eyes For You" plays, when Jor-El and Louise consummate their love for one another. This song was played on an episode of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The episode "The Phoenix" plays it, when Lois and Clark realize they find each other attractive. It also played in another DC based production, the direct-to-video Batman animated series movie Subzero.
  • In this episode, Jor-El is at the age of 26,[citation needed] the same age as Tom Welling at the start of Season 3.
  • The fact that Jor-El has chosen the Kents to take care of Kal-El was touched upon in 1978 novel Superman: Last Son of Krypton. In the story, set in the late 1940s, Jor-El has sent a probe to Earth to see if was suitable for his son (and to seek out the most brilliant scientific mind on the planet, since Kryptonians placed great store on scientific achievement). The probe was directed to Albert Einstein, who felt he was too old to take care of Kal-El, so he set out to meet honest normal American citizens and came into contact with the Kents, who Einstein felt were ideal caretakers due to their honest and generous natures. Also, for The Man of Steel mini-series, John Byrne originally wanted to have a pregnant Lara sent to Earth, succumbing to kryptonite poisoning; the Kents found her and help deliver her child; before she died, she tells them to watch over her baby. Thus, they were chosen caretakers.
  • This episode may have been a foreshadowing of the tragedy that awaited Clark and Lana's relationship since Clark is fated to fall in love with Lois Lane, just like how Jor-El is destined to fall in love with Lara-El and father Clark.
  • The plot of the episode revolves around a young Jor-El visiting Earth. This happened Superboy #121 (June, 1965).
  • When Louise McCallum exits the Talon in 1961, she is reading a magazine that features a picture of actress Elizabeth Taylor on the cover. Elizabeth Taylor portrayed the titular role in the 1963 film Cleopatra. In Adventure Comics #183 (December, 1952), a teenage Lana Lang assumes the identity of the historical Cleopatra.


  • This episode was billed by the WB both on-air and at their website as "Smallville 1961." [1]
  • Jonathan Kent is helping Martha can peaches. He pulls a rack full of peaches out of a pot of water. The water should have been boiling hot, but he puts his hand under them with only a cotton towel for protection.
  • Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, Annette O'Toole and John Schneider are the only lead actors to appear in the first 50 episodes of the series.


  • William Tate introduces himself to Joe as Sheriff Tate, but he signed the police blotter as Deputy Tate.
  • Mayor William Tate appeared in the Season Two episode Ryan, as the corrupt mayor who accepted bribes from Lionel Luthor in order to speed up the zoning approval for a LexCorp expansion.


  • In Homecoming, the 200th episode of Smallville, the year of Jonathan's birth on his gravestone is given as 1954. However, his mother Jessica has not yet given birth to him in 1961, creating a continuity error.
  • In the Smallville Issue 6 story "ID", Clark is shot with a bullet bouncing off him and nearly killing Lana much like Louise being killed from a bullet that bounced off Jor-El. Though, Clark is able to prevent history from repeating itself by using his heat vision on the bullet.


Lana: (to Clark) You must've come from somewhere. It's not like you just fell out of the sky.

Lex: I always assumed my father's knack for taking people's money was inherited, but I hardly think petty crime runs in the family.

Lex: I guess the art of deception runs in the family.

Lionel: Why should I have to pay for the sins of my father?

Jor-El: Where I'm from, we wouldn't be accepted.
Louise: I don't care what people think. I never have. Dex says that's my curse.
Jor-El: No, Louise. That's a gift.

Jor-El: (about Krypton) When I said I wasn't from here, I wasn't talking about Smallville. Where I'm from, we have colors that you've never seen. Our moons are so close they fill up half the sky. We have sunsets that last for hours.

Chloe: Science has theorized that our ancestors' memories are stored in our DNA.

Lana: Even if it was only for a few days, she knew what it felt like to really be in love.
Clark: Too bad it couldn't last.
Lana: What if that's not the point? Maybe you have to be grateful for the time that you spend together, and stop holding on to what could have been.


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ComicsThe Comic · Season 11 · Miniseries