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"Sleeper" is the seventeenth episode in the seventh season of Smallville, and the one hundred-forty-ninth episode overall. It aired on April 24, 2008.


Clark desperately searches for Kara and Brainiac, as Brainiac is the only one who can reverse Lana's condition. Clark asks Chloe to check any large power surges in the area, so she breaks into several government computers, setting off alarms.

Jimmy is caught between the Department of Domestic Security - who threatens him with jail time unless he helps them arrest Chloe - and Lex, who offers to help clear Chloe if Jimmy agrees to be in his debt. Jimmy is waiting for Chloe, in a formal tuxedo, but she is dragged away, arrested by Lex.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 7x17

During a sophisticated party a masked figure is crawling around in the ventilation ducts. A man is walking down a hallway carrying an armored briefcase. The figure drops down from the open vent into the hallway and tasers him unconscious. He uses the man's eye to activate the retinal scanner and opens the briefcase. Inside is a small laptop computer. The figure downloads information from the laptop into a handheld device and escapes in an elevator. He removes his disguise and reveals himself to be Jimmy Olsen, dressed in a formal tuxedo.


Jimmy in his formal tuxedo.

14 hours earlier

Chloe Sullivan finds Jimmy waiting for her at the Talon apartment with an elaborate breakfast. She tells him she has a meeting and doesn't have time to eat. Jimmy is disappointed and wonders if Chloe knows how hard he has been working to rekindle their relationship. Chloe insists that she's trying too and offers to take him to lunch. She explains that she has been extraordinarily busy managing the Isis Foundation in Lana's absence. She exits and Jimmy looks upset. A dark-haired woman is surveying Jimmy through the window.

Clark meets Chloe at the Isis Foundation, where there are boxes everywhere. Chloe explains that Oliver Queen is storing some equipment there. She asks if he got the Veritas keys from Lex but Clark is upset and says he spent the night with Lana. Chloe reminds him that the keys will give Lex the power to control him, but Clark says nothing matters except saving Lana. She admits that they are running out of places to look for Kara and Brainiac. Clark suggests a high-tech satellite might have captured their images, but Chloe is reluctant to hack into government satellites. Clark persuades her to try and she agrees. However, she notes that Dr. Swann transcribed all of Jor-El's transmissions and tells Clark to read Swann's journal for clues.

Jimmy is approached by a brunette woman at the Talon coffeeshop. She calls him a gentleman, then accuses him of hacking into the NSA mainframe. She introduces herself as Agent Vanessa Webber of the Department of Domestic Security. She tells Jimmy that she has been watching him and tracked an infiltration to his computer. Jimmy claims he is innocent and Vanessa admits that they are actually targeting his girlfriend, who they think is working for a terrorist sleeper cell. Jimmy doesn't think Chloe is dangerous but Vanessa counters that Chloe has probably been hiding her tracks well by "working late" or missing dates. She threatens Jimmy with jail unless he works with them to spy on Chloe. She gives him a briefcase full of spy gadgets.


Vanessa and Jimmy talk.

Jimmy goes to Isis to meet Chloe for lunch, who realizes she forgot their date. She begs off, again saying her life is hectic. Jimmy offers to help her move but she says it's private. She receives a text from Clark just then, reading "I found something". Chloe lies that it's from her building manager to talk about rent. Jimmy is disappointed again as Chloe hurries away.

Lex Luthor is getting ready to leave when one of his security members informs him that he's been red-flagged by the government and his departure has been delayed.

Jimmy breaks into the Isis office and installs spyware onto the computers. At first he doesn't see anything suspicious, but then finds several government firewalls that have been accessed. He wonders to himself what Chloe is up to.


Clark shows Chloe the diary page.

Chloe meets Clark in the Talon apartment where he shows her a diary page that he says has suddenly appeared.Chloe is skeptical but Clark insists. He says Jor-El's transmissions from 1989 are jumbled and incomplete, but he translates it to say "Save Lana at Fortress." They don't understand why a toddler-aged Lana would need saving, but Clark is determined to do everything he can to save Lana, so he decides to go to the Fortress to ask Jor-El why. He is on his way out of his barn when he is approached by Jimmy. Jimmy indirectly asks Clark why Chloe would lie to him, but Clark points out that he should know that he can trust her.

Clark arrives at the Fortress but Jor-El doesn't respond to his questions. Instead, he plays a transmission Kara sent which is distorted but she explains that she went "back" and is on Krypton. She says Brainiac wants to kill him as a baby on Krypton.

Chloe is unsuccessfully trying to hack into a satellite control center located in the City Center. She looks for a way into the building when she notices the Center contains a club opening that evening: the Ace of Clubs. She leaves Clark a voicemail explaining that she is going to infiltrate the party to gain access into the satellite. Just then, she realizes Jimmy has hacked into her computer.

Jimmy tries to call Chloe, saying he's made a mistake but Vanessa catches him. He tells her that he found nothing suspicious but Vanessa knows he's lying. She tells him that Chloe's plan is going down tonight and his job is to accompany Chloe to the Ace of Clubs party. She gives him a bow tie with a camera inside. Chloe and Jimmy arrive at the party together and Jimmy places a PDA next to hers and begins to copy the data from it. Chloe notices but pretends not to. Trying to distract her attention, Jimmy drags her onto the dance floor and they do a tango.

Sleeper Dance

Jimmy and Chloe dance.

The transmission concludes just as their dance is finished. Jimmy scoops up the PDA and tells Chloe that he forgot to give the valet the key and exits quickly.

When he is gone, Chloe leaves the party also. She breaks into the satellite control room and views and uploads satellite images. At the same time, Jimmy is once again seen crawling through the ventilation ducts trying to locate the armed briefcase. He retrieves the information and returns to the party to give Vanessa the PDA, claiming he got to the information before Chloe. Vanessa looks at the data and figures out that Chloe purposefully lured Jimmy to useless files. She decides to take matters into her own hands and threatens to put them both in prison.

Chloe finds a space image which she emails to herself just as Vanessa enters and arrests her. Jimmy is being escorted out of the building, but he escapes the guard and goes to rescue Chloe. Vanessa punches Chloe across the face as she interrogates her but Chloe doesn't co-operate. Jimmy distracts Vanessa and the guards by uploading his video game onto the satellite screens. He fends them off and knocks Vanessa out.


Jimmy knocks Vanessa out.

Jimmy rescues Chloe and takes her home. When they arrive, he demands the truth and Chloe counters that she knows Jimmy was spying on her. She wants to know why he didn't just ask her. Jimmy says Chloe lies to him every five minutes. Chloe admits she lied and Jimmy wonders if they are going to break up again. Thinking they are about to get arrested anyway, Chloe concedes and challenges him to ask her whatever he wants. He kisses her and asks her if she wants him more than she wants Clark. Chloe doesn't answer, but she kisses him back and embraces him tightly. Jimmy is pleased and assures her that he has fixed it so the government won't be coming after either of them. Chloe is pleased as well and they kiss.

Lex has made it to Zürich with both keys. He opens the deposit box which appears to be empty, until he finds a false bottom that opens to reveal a cryptograph. As he looks at his find in wonder, the security guard sneaks up behind him and tries to strangle him but Lex fends him off and escapes with the cryptograph.


Lex is attacked.

He returns to Metropolis to the Daily Planet and instructs someone on the phone to find out who attacked him. Just then Jimmy enters his office. Lex reveals that he cleared Chloe's name from the arrest warrant but Jimmy asks why he's helping them. Lex claims that he regards his employees as his "family" and hopes Jimmy will return the favor. Jimmy looks wary and exits, while Lex contemplates the cryptograph.

Clark and Chloe are in his loft trying to figure out how Kara got back to Krypton. Chloe suggests Kara went back in time through a time vortex. She shows him an image depicting two blurs near a red star. They realize that Brainiac was trying to kill Clark before he ever departed from Krypton, as a baby. Chloe tells him he has to find a way to get back to Krypton.



Guest Starring[]




Featured Music[]

  • "Mercy" - Duffy
  • "Shiver" - Madita
  • "Dirty Laundry" - Bitter:sweet
  • "The Beat Is" - Channel Two (ft. Black Shakespear, Edee & Jantey)


  • Sleeper refers to sleeper cell, an isolated group of agents that lies dormant ("sleeps") until it receives orders to act.
  • Agent Webber accuses Chloe Sullivan of being a member of a terrorist sleeper cell because she has been caught breaking into government databases.
  • Sleeper is also slang for a hit man hired to kill someone. In this episode, a security guard in Zürich tries to kill Lex Luthor.


  • Antagonist: Vanessa Webber
  • Lana Lang, Lois Lane and Lionel Luthor do not appear in this episode. Kara Kent is heard but does not appear.
  • It is confirmed that Kara and Brainiac went back in time to 1986 in Veritas. This is the third appearance of time travel in the series; after Season Three's Crisis, where a temporal warp allowed Lana's frantic phone call before her death to travel back in time one day so she could be saved, and Season Five's Reckoning, where Jor-El's time crystal sent Clark back in time to save Lana's life.
  • Chloe repeatedly lies to Jimmy about her superhero activities, driving a wedge between her and her boyfriend. This was exactly the same dynamic between Clark and Lana in earlier seasons.
  • Chloe has a scar and bruise on her face after her attack from Agent Webber. This implies that Chloe is only able to heal others and absorb their wounds rather than heal wounds that she sustains herself; alternatively, her meteor power requires active concentration (unless she has died, in which case it may automatically kick in).
  • Although Lex fired Chloe from the Daily Planet in the last episode, he saves Chloe from a government investigation in this one. Apparently there are limits to the retribution Lex is willing to inflict upon Chloe for hiding Lionel's Veritas key; Chloe even continued to live in the Talon apartment which was owned by Lex Luthor at the time. It also could imply that Lex has an ulterior plan regarding Chloe, and her imprisonment would intefere with it.
  • This is the second time in a row that someone has visited the Fortress and Jor-El has not spoken (Traveler). The last time Jor-El spoke was in Persona.
  • In the episode Lara, Kara mentioned it takes 3 years to travel from Krypton to Earth. If Kara sends her SOS message to Earth on 1986, it would make sense if Dr. Swann received it 3 years later in 1989.
  • Clark: "You're saying Kara's actually on Krypton?" Chloe: "Well, Krypton 1989, give or take a few light-years." However, a light-year is a measure of distance, not time. This is the second time that she has made this mistake. The first was in Hero.  However, there is nothing to indicate that she was referencing a period of time versus distance, nor is it clear that this isn't just the by-product of Chloe's traditional sarcasm in either instance as Chloe (and the writers) would undoubtably be fully aware that this is a measure of distance.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of the Ace of Clubs, which previously served as the set for Oliver's apartment in Queen Tower.


  • This episode prominently features Jimmy Olsen as the hero, and received the lowest user-rating on of the Season 7 (8.3/10). This is the second time Jimmy has been the hero; the first time was Season Six's Noir, also the lowest user-rated episode of its entire season (7.94/10).
  • The last scene of the episode where Clark and Chloe assume Brainiac went back in time to kill Clark when he was a baby, is similar to The Terminator storyline. A machine sent back in time to kill the last hope of man-kind before he fulfills his destiny.


  • Lex uses the locket keys which he obtained in Veritas and Descent to unlock a security box in Zurich. The contents are revealed to be a cryptograph.
  • Clark uses both the journal and the key, which were last seen in Traveler.
  • Agent Webber refers to Project Starhawk, a government program devoted to monitoring threats from the stars. This project was last mentioned in Lara.
  • Clark mentions the red giant star next to Krypton. Krypton was a planet which orbited a red sun whose sunlight did not give Kryptonians the same powers as Earth's Yellow Sun. This has yet to be explored on the show.
  • Brainiac couldn't have taken Kara back to Krypton in 1989 as it was destroyed in 1986. (Unless they were referring to 1989 in Earth years which would make that correct since Chloe may not know the time it takes to travel between Krypton and Earth.)
  • The man who attacks Lex at the end of this episode is the same man who killed Gina in the previous episode, Descent. Both times he's played by actor Don Broach (whose last name Smallville consistently misspelled as "Broatch").


  • Chloe says the new page didn't "Rita Skeeter" itself into Swann's journal, a reference to Rita Skeeter, a questionable journalist witch from the Harry Potter novels. Rita uses a quill pen that writes by itself.
  • Jimmy asks if they are supposed to observe Chloe "release her inner Shakira" on the dance floor, a reference to Latina singer Shakira, famous for her hip-swinging dance moves.
  • Jimmy changing from his disguise to a tuxedo is a visual reference to the "James Bond" spy franchise.



Jimmy: (to Agent Webber) Look, I'm not your James Bond. I went to a Halloween party once as James Bond. Everyone thought I was the maître d'.

Chloe: (to Clark) You do realize that your greatest superpower is your ability to win me over with just one look, no matter how ridiculous you sound, right?

Clark: (to Jimmy) If you look at the relationship you have with this friend, do you really need to know everything about her? Or is knowing what is truly in her heart enough to know you can trust her?

Agent Webber: Chloe Sullivan is not who she says she is.

Chloe: You know, having a gang of superheroes is great in theory, but no one ever considers the shipping costs.

Lex: Zeus' right hand couldn't muster a storm that would keep me from Zürich.

Chloe: Why didn't you come to me like a normal boyfriend?
Jimmy: 'Cause a normal boyfriend doesn't get lied to every five minutes by the girl that he thinks he's in love with.

Clark: You're saying Kara's actually on Krypton?
Chloe: Well, Krypton 1989 —give or take a few light-years.
Clark: That explains how her message mysteriously appeared in Swann's journal. She sent it to him, hoping that I'd read it.
Chloe: Sounds more like a Hail Mary pass. Clark, if she sent those messages, to Swann and the Fortress, Kara's desperate to get your attention.
Clark: When I was in the Fortress, Kara warned me that Brainiac was trying to kill me. She must have meant the version of me on Krypton twenty years ago.
Chloe: When you were a baby. Clark, if you really are in trouble on Krypton, you better find a way to get there, and soon, or...
Clark: I'll have never existed.
Chloe: Looks like it's finally time for Kal-El to go home.

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