- For the eponymous character, see Kara Kent.
Clark is stunned when Kara returns to Earth telling him Jor-El sent her to stop the dark force that is coming, because he doesn't believe Clark can handle it. Meanwhile, Lois confronts Gordon Godfrey, a shock jock radio host who begins crusading against heroes, after he threatens the Green Arrow. However, after Godfrey is possessed by the dark force, he takes Lois hostage while Clark and Kara have to come to her rescue.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 10x03
Three weeks earlier, after the portal closed transporting the Kandorians from Earth, a Dark force of immense power begins to take form at the edge of the stone gargoyle at the crow's nest where it transforms into a swarm of ravens. Elsewhere, Gordon Godfrey, a washed up radio jockey, finishes his latest broadcast that has a small following concerning illegal immigration. The Dark force finds Godfrey to be a suitable vessel to inhabit in order to spread his message of mistrust among the citizens to lose their faith in Heroes.
After three weeks, Godfrey holds a press conference in downtown Metropolis where he's praised by the public for taking a stand against the masked vigilantes in his new book. Clark is assigned to cover the conference with Cat, however she doesn't show up and instead Lois returns and has a brief reunion with Clark who is delighted she's back. Godfrey continues to bash the heroes, including the Blur, which gets Lois upset! She intends to defend the Blur by heading to the platform to speak, just as Godfrey unveils his anti-hero billboard that begins to plummet below towards the crowd. Clark uses his super speed to push Lois out of harm's way and tries to catch the billboard when it is suddenly caught in midair by Kara, who flies upwards. She notices Clark and Lois in the crowd bellow and winks at them as she flies away. Lois points out the obvious, that the flying hero who just saved them was Clark's cousin.
Lois and Clark return to the Daily Planet where they see the headline article in the paper entitled "The Maiden of Might" which talks about Kara's Heroic rescue debut at the rally. Clark sees the reaction of the people and begins to question whether maybe The Blur should've come out into the public eye as well, but Lois points out that he can't afford to do that because he'd place everyone he cares about in danger. Lois is also concerned about Kara's newfound powers, which she assumes is a result of her exposure to the meteor rocks. Lois also feels that revealing her identity to the public could have grim consequences, especially if Godfrey begins to set his sights on her, which may also expose her connection to Clark.
On a rooftop, Kara is seen doing a photo shoot posing heroically for the cameras. Clark arrives and Kara tries to be coy about her return to Earth without revealing the truth surrounding her return. Kara explains to Clark that she traveled as far as she could in search of her mother only to discover that Kara and Clark are the only survivors of Krypton. Clark is still not convinced by the way Kara tries to change the subject surrounding her return to Earth, as well as her reason for publicly displaying her powers. Clark is shocked to discover that Jor-El has opted instead for Kara's aid to confront the Darkness that has come to Earth, because Jor-El has disowned Clark as his own son. Jor-El knows Clark has doubts, which would attract Darkseid to possess Clark and use him as a pawn to destroy Earth.
Lois confronts Godfrey at a church and warns him that she refuses to stand by and let him take cheap shots at the heroes of Metropolis. Godfrey insists that Kara risked people's lives and he has some people investigating her and the other so called 'heroes'. Lois warns Godfrey to back off before she does some investigating of her own against him, but Godfrey claims that he has nothing to hide. However, he informs her that one of his sources has learned that her ex-boyfriend (Oliver Queen) is Green Arrow and Godfrey plans to announce it in the final installment of his new book tomorrow.
Meanwhile at LuthorCorp inside the office of Oliver Queen, Oliver is seen focusing his anger into breaking a wooden board while he remembers his first kiss with Chloe. At that moment, Lois comes in and briefly explains her reason for temporarily leaving Clark. She then informs Oliver that Godfrey has evidence connecting him to his secret identity as Green Arrow. Oliver suggests not to take action: he believes that people might deserve to know the truth and besides, the cost of keeping his secret is too high a price to bear any more. Lois tells him that if he doesn't go after Godfrey, she will.
Inside a limousine Godfrey meets with his female publicist and he informs her that he has the only known copy of the final chapter of his book on a flash drive. He refuses to let her see it. The Dark Force manifests itself without outright revealing itself (as shown by its use of a darker toned voice) and tells her to make sure that he's on every television network, computer and newspaper so he can spread his seed of doubt across the entire world, eradicating mankind's faith in one another and in its so called 'heroes'. This way, they'll be so disarrayed that they'll easily be looking for a new voice of reason to follow. Godfrey's publicist is a little frightened by his speech: believing Godfrey to be a little too overworked, she suggests he take a break. Once she leaves, The Dark Force contemplates a brochure for a fetish club, known as Club Desaad and tells Godfrey's Limo driver to take him there, unaware that Lois is disguised as the driver.
Clark heads to his loft attempting to use the Key to teleport himself to the Fortress of Solitude, however he discovers it missing from his book and that Kara already has it. Kara informs Clark that Jor-El summoned her to confront the darkness that is spreading, as well as that she's using herself as live bait to attract the attention of the dark essence. Clark insists that he knows what he's doing and he can fight this threat, but Kara warns that the coming evil takes advantage of people's own doubts. She points out that he still doesn't have complete control of his abilities, which also includes the ability to fly, as well as he'll need all of his abilities if he's going to win against this darkness. Clark asks Kara if she has more faith in Jor-El than him, as well as reminds her that they are a family and she needs to trust him.
Kara decides to take Clark to Chandler's Field atop the windmill to try and teach Clark how to access his flight capabilities. Clark tries to concentrate, but is greatly overwhelmed by everything he can hear with his super hearing. Kara tells him to focus and uses the butterfly nearby on the ledge as an example of how Clark should approach harnessing his ability to fly, as well as to focus on that one noise. As Clark concentrates and for a brief moment, he proceeds to fly upwards into the sky, only to lose focus and come crashing down hard into the barn. Kara says that at least it's a start. However, she also admits she was wrong to go against Jor-El's wishes to train him, as well as warns Clark that he is still too distracted to fly, much less fight this darkness. When Kara reveals to Clark that Darkseid arrived on earth three weeks earlier, they head to the crow's nest together to discover that when Clark had transported the Kandorians with the Book of Rao it had left a rip in the universe allowing Darkseid to gain access to earth. Clark suggests that perhaps the darkness can be sent back through a similar gateway. Kara says she could use her bracelet, which can open gateways, as well as explains that the darkness has the ability to sense doubt in the heart and possess its victim. However, it can't possess someone with total clarity of purpose (a spirit pure of heart). She warns that if it manages to possess Clark, it could become the greatest weapon ever seen.
Oliver goes to a church and takes out a photo of his parents. He talks to them, confessing that he feels he's let them down in the way he's conducted his life so far, as well as that he can't let people like Chloe risk their lives for him any more. He leaves the photo behind and goes out promising to make a difference.
Meanwhile Lois follows Godfrey into Club DeSaad, where she disguises herself as a fellow Dominatrix working at the club, as well as captures incriminating evidence of Godfrey indulging in erotic activities, which she sends to the Metropolis Inquisitor via her camera cell phone. Godfrey is impressed by the great lengths Lois is willing to go to protect her loved ones. He offers her a trade to give her the evidence against Oliver so she can get a headline. Lois refuses and transmits the photos to the newspaper. Godfrey then breaks free from restraints and his voice changes to a darker tone as the Dark Force starts to manifest itself. Darkseid (in Godfrey's body) approaches Lois intending to possess her body until he realizes that Lois is pure of heart. Lois grabs a stun gun but Godfrey easily subdues her and his eyes turn black as Darkseid manifests completely within Gordon's body.
Clark takes Kara to Watchtower and they check the news broadcasts to find where the darkness might be. Clark notices that Godfrey is all over the media. With their super hearing, both Clark and Kara hear a darker toned voice hidden in the broadcast. They both realize that the darkness is inhabiting Godfrey, so Kara checks the security cameras in Metropolis to locate him. Clark realizes that the limo driver is Lois, as Kara zooms in on the video frame. Tracking Lois' cell phone, they both super speed to Club Desaad.
Inside a chamber in the club, Lois awakens to find herself bound and gagged while Darkseid begins to explain that her suffering will bring the Blur to him. He uses a wench to pull her bonds in different directions.
Clark and Kara enter the club and split up to search for Lois. Clark finds Godfrey in the back and Darkseid warns that Lois is in over her head but has served her purpose by luring Clark to him, so he asks Clark if he thinks he can actually defeat him. Darkseid via Godfrey talks about all the doubts deep within Clark's own heart. He says when people stop believing in Clark, it will ruin him. Godfrey/Darkseid mentions Clark's fear of never becoming the hero he wants to be, as well as also points out that Clark still has a desire to kill. Clark insists he won't help him, but Darkseid warns that he won't have a choice. The dark force emerges from Godfrey and approaches Clark, but Kara arrives and uses her bracelet to drive it away. When she asks Clark if he's all right, he admits that the dark force could see right inside him. He then hears Lois plead for help and goes to rescue her. Clark quickly leaves and Kara makes sure that Lois is all right.
After being set free, Lois confronts Kara about having powers. Kara mentions that there are two sides to everyone, even heroes. Kara says that there is "nothing holding her back," to which Lois unintentionally remarks that it is too bad, only to correct her error by saying that Kara is extraordinary but must get lonely. Lois asks if it is easier without someone holding the super-powered beings down. To which Kara responds that it's easy for people to see the powers instead of the person: that "even heroes need someone to come home to".
Back at the Planet, Clark tells Lois he believes that she went too far in trying to discredit Godfrey. Lois disagrees but does admit she was terrified. Lois says her fear is living in a world without heroes, then attempts to give Kara a decent nickname. Clark thinks that perhaps heroes are placed on too high a pedestal, to which Lois responds that heroes are people too. She claims that the Blur is different, as well as that she believes he will work out his fears and always be there for her. As she leaves, Clark looks on with mixed emotions, the doubt showing in his face as he ponders on the conversation.
While walking out on the street, Clark runs into Kara, who has adapted Clark's future disguise as a glasses wearing worker. He inquires about the change in her approach, to which she responds that you can’t save anyone while being the center of attention. She says that she isn't going anywhere till the darkness is gone.
Clark asks if he can use Kara's bracelet, but she tells him he is not ready. She explains that the darkness can not be drawn to her because of her pure spirit. Kara says that she has just as many issues as anyone else, but if she had not intervened the Darkseid would have possessed Clark with disastrous results.
Clark admits to his doubts, as well as that Kara sounds like Jor-El foretelling his failures. Kara responds that failure is something that everyone must overcome, as well as that it is how one overcomes their failures that truly defines one's self. She takes her leave after telling Clark that this is not his battle to fight. After she leaves, Clark again begins to doubt when a passerby comments that perhaps too much faith is put into these vigilantes.
Lois gives Oliver the USB drive that contains the chapter about the Green Arrow and proclaims that his secret is now safe. He thanks her and mentions that he is now going to fight his own battles. They talk about Chloe's disappearance, with Lois remaining optimistic. Oliver then exclaims that keeping his secret has gone on long enough and calls in a horde of reporters. In an attempt to set the record straight about the vigilante heroes he announces to the reporters that he is the Green Arrow.
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Erica Durance as Lois Lane
- Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer (credit only)
- Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen
Special Guest Star
- Lance Bonza as Photographer
- Devon Weigel as Marina Fox
- Toby Berner as Businessman
- Blake Stadel as Man on Street
- In the comics, Supergirl is the superheroine alias of Kara.
- Antagonist: Darkseid (Through the body of Gordon Godfrey)
- Kara returns after not appearing since Season Eight's Bloodline.
- Tess Mercer does not appear in this episode.
- Laura Vandervoort is billed as a "Special Guest Star".
- This episode uses one of the two scenes cut from Lazarus that involves Chloe. The flashback of the kiss, was first seen during the Comic Con trailer. She is uncredited for this flashback.
- Darkseid's cloud-like form, as well as transformation into a flock of black birds, is very similar to the powers of the Teen Titan Raven, who teleports via black smoke and has at times had a black raven appear out of the smoke.
- When Lois confronts Gordon Godfrey in the church, he mentions that his connection has "toyed" with the Green Arrow and has given him evidence that he is in fact Oliver Queen. His connection is obviously the Toyman AKA Winslow Schott who is one of Green Arrow's most well-known enemies.
- A blackbird (or a flock of such) appearing as representations of a demonic being, has been used in several other media: for instance, in the TV-miniseries of Stephen King's The Stand (1994) and in the film The Prophecy (1995).
- Michael Daingerfield provided the voice of Superman in the series premiere of Krypto the Superdog. He also starred as one of Lex Luthor's mansion security assassins in Season Three's Shattered.
- Kara's claims that Darkseid is like nothing Clark can imagine parallels Darkseid's claim about himself during his fight with Clark in the second part of "Legacy" from Superman: The Animated Series.
- This is the second time that Lois has compared herself and Clark to peanut butter and chocolate.
- Oliver Queen reveals to the public that he is Green Arrow in this episode.
- The Daily Planet calls Kara the "Maiden of Might". This is similar to "Maid of Might" which she was called during her initial introductory run in the comics.
- Godfrey describes the vigilantes as standing against "truth, justice and the American way". These are the things that Clark has always and will one day as Superman continue to "wage a never-ending battle for".
- Lois comes up with several different monikers for Kara including Power Girl, which is the alias of another DC super-heroine most commonly associated with the JSA, being their first new member and first female chairperson. Power Girl is the cousin of the late Superman of Earth-Two (who viewed her, as his daughter). It's also an alias used in an imaginary story (told in Superman #125), by Lois Lane herself. Furthermore, Allison Mack voiced Power Girl, in the animated Superman/Batman: Public Enemies movie. Lois also calls Kara on two occasions "Übergirl" which can be translated to mean "Supergirl". She also refers to Godfrey's dark-side a nod to Darkseid.
- The Club known as Desaad is the name of one of Darkseid's minions as well as a nod to the Club Darkseid during the Boss Darkseid storyarc in the comics.
- Gordon Godfrey's anti-hero smearing campaign in this episode has many similarities to the DC storyline Legends in which he telepathically brainwashes the public against costumed heroes at Darkseid's bidding.
- Gordon Godfrey going to a church is a nod to Reverend G. Godfrey Good who is passionate televangelist who plays a central role in the evil gods' occupation of Earth in Final Crisis.
- Kara dons a dark wig and glasses to blend in much like Supergirl did in Superman: The Animated Series Little Lost Girl part 1.
- Kara's hero costume seen at the beginning of the episode alludes to her Supergirl attire especially when she holds up the billboard that has a red cloth over it that looks like a cape.
- This is the first episode since Escape in which Clark doesn't wear a super costume of some sort.
- This is the second episode of the season to feature a recurring character that is a former cast member.
- Clark actually flies in this episode for a brief instant but loses concentration and falls back to Earth
- Despite spoilers that Oliver and Kara would meet in this episode, they did not. The scene did not make the cut on the Season 10 DVD.
- Desaad appears in a deleted scene in this episode.
- Godfrey referred to the costumed vigilantes as a "super-menace". In the comics, Super-Menace is an evil duplicate of Superman.
- The scene in which Clark takes a Super leap and crashes through the barn roof may be a reference to a similar scene in Superman Returns.
- In a 2021 interview, Laura Vandervoort revealed that she had heard (after the show ended) that this episode was done as a test pilot for a possible Supergirl spin-off.
- Kara left Smallville in order to find Kandor in Bloodline. She states that she did not find any survivors and that she and Clark are the last members of the house of El.
- Kara has previously adopted the alias of "Linda" two times over the course of the series. The first when she had amnesia in Fracture and the second was in an alternate universe in Apocalypse. A spoiler for this episode said she may be taking up this name for her human alias, though the vague onscreen content leaves open the possibility of staying with "Kara Kent".
- It is revealed that Darkseid came to Earth via the portal created by the Book of Rao that left a rip in the universe in Salvation.
- Gordon Godfrey started the anti-hero smearing campaign via the radio in Shield.
- Lois returns from her trip to Africa where she has been since the closing moments of Lazarus. She also makes an apology to Clark about the "lame note" she left.
- There is a flashback which shows Oliver and Chloe's first kiss, which took place right after the end of Warrior. It's actually a cut scene flashback from Lazarus.
- Kara previously started trying to teach Clark how to fly in Season Seven's Veritas.
- Kara mentions to Clark that she used her bracelet once to open a portal. She used it in Season Seven's Veritas to return to Krypton with Brainiac before its destruction.
- Lois pretends to assume that Kara got her powers from exposure to the meteors, much like the alternate reality Lois had assumed the same notion about Clark in Season Seven's Apocalypse and in Season Eight's Infamous.
- Cat Grant is mentioned by Lois and Clark. She was first seen in Shield.
- Darkseid was last seen in Lazarus.
Homage to Previous Seasons
- Kara takes Clark to Chandler's Field in an attempt to teach him how to fly, In Season One's Nicodemus Clark admits to Lana he's afraid of heights, yet he takes her up to Chandler's Field windmill to watch the Metropolis skyline.
- Clark using his super-hearing unable to concentrate while trying to learn a new ability and Kara calming him, is similar to when Clark teaches her to use her super-hearing to focus and filter out all the overwhelming foreground noise to hear her ship's signal in Season Seven's Kara.
- Clark unable to control a new ability and getting upset about it, is similar to what happened in earlier seasons when he discovered a new skill, such as Season Two's Heat.
- Oliver talking to his dead parents and telling them about his life is similar to what Lana does in the Smallville Cemetery in the Pilot episode.
- Kara teaching Clark to fly is similar to when she tried to teach him in the Season 7 episode Veritas. The difference is that he actually tries in this episode.
- Darkseid mentions that he knows Clark wishes he could kill him and that he is not the first that Clark has wished he could kill. In the episode Pariah, Clark came close to killing Tim Westcott who had murdered Clark's then girlfriend Alicia, but was stopped by Lois. Another time when Clark believed Lana died in a car explosion he went after Lex believing he was responsible, but stopped when the Phantom showed up. Clark also came close to killing Lex's clone, but stopped when he realized what he was doing.
- Oliver and Kara don't meet for the first time until the season's penultimate episode, Prophecy.
- It is revealed in Abandoned that Desaad runs a chain of S&M clubs (much like the one seen in this episode) to lure people into Darkseid's control.
- Chandler's Field
- Daily Planet
- Daily Planet rooftop
- Club Desaad
- Crow's nest
- LuthorCorp Plaza
- Darkseid (in Gordon Godfrey's body): (to Clark) Are you sure you can win against me? You know what I am. You know the doubt in your heart. You so-called heroes are false gods, all of you. And when people stop believing in you, you'll shatter like glass.
- Lois: Somebody should put Godfrey in some serious restraints. Who knew Mr. Family Values had such a dark side?
- Kara: Godfrey's not so special. There's two sides to everyone... even heroes.
- Kara: It's critical that I get my image around the city, as soon as possible. You just have to trust me Kal-El. I'm doing this for you.
- Clark: Kara, this doesn't feel like much of a favor.
- Kara: I've searched so long for my mother, and I never found her. You and I are the last survivors of the House of El. And after everything that we've been through together, I had to come back to the one place in the universe that I had family.
- Clark: Well, what you are doing right now, flies in the face of how I've chosen to live on this planet my whole life. We both know that. Now if you really care about family, tell me what you doing here and stop avoiding the question!
- Kara: I didn't want to hurt you. Jor-El has given me a mission. I'm getting my powers and image around the city as part of it.
- Clark: He gave you a mission? What did he say?
- Kara: He's let you go, Kal-El. I'm sorry. He says, you're no longer his son.
- Lois: There is a guy out there, Gordon Godfrey, and he thinks that Green Arrow is my ex-boyfriend.
- Oliver: He does?
- Lois: Hmm.
- Oliver: You know I think we just leave him alone. You know let the blowhard eventually blow himself out, and in the meantime I can handle a few slings and arrows. I'm sure you can too.
- Lois: Oliver, Godfrey's got proof! He has a secret chapter about you, and he's gonna post it online tomorrow. He knows who you are.
- Oliver: Maybe people deserve to know the truth.
- Lois: People deserve to be saved. And it's safer for you to be in the shadows, it's safer for all the heroes.
- Oliver: Maybe, or maybe the cost of keeping my secret is getting too high, and it's time to pay the piper.
- Lois: If you're not seriously gonna stand up and kick this creep to the curb, then I will!
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