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"Tempest" is the twenty-first episode and final episode in the first season of Smallville, and twenty-first episode overall. It aired on May 21, 2002.


Clark, Chloe and Pete get ready for the spring formal. Lionel closes the plant. Lex plans an employee buyout. Roger Nixon threatens to expose Clark. Whitney leaves for the Marine Corps, and Lana gets swept up in a tornado.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 1x21


Lionel announces closure of the Smallville plant.

Lex is waiting at the helipad for his father to arrive. Lionel hasn't told Lex the purpose of the visit, but Lex has gathered all the plant employees together for him. Lionel claims that it will be a motivational speech, but then he proceeds to announce that the plant will be closed due to management problems beyond their control. Lex is furious. This is obviously another attempt to get Lex out of Smallville and back in Metropolis, where Lionel can keep an eye on him.

At school, Clark is trying to get advice from Pete about his tie and cummerbund. He tells Lana that he's planning to ask Lex if he can borrow his limo. Chloe arrives with the news that they are closing the LuthorCorp Plant.

Clark tells his parents the news, but they have already heard about it since the Smallville Ledger rushed a special edition (for the first time since the 1989 meteor shower). They argue about why this happened and who is to blame.


Whitney prepared a surprise picnic for Lana.

Whitney takes Lana to a surprise picnic. He's prepared this special setting to tell her that he's enlisted in the Marine Corps. He says the only thing he'll miss in Smallville is Lana and asks Lana if she will wait for him. She doesn't know how to answer.

Clark goes to the Luthor Mansion and sees the missing piece of his ship on Lex's desk. Lex is upset that Lionel blamed the closing of the plant on him. When Clark realizes how busy Lex is, he leaves without asking to borrow the limo. Lex stashes the key in a little box. Clark meets up with Chloe at the Torch office. Chloe tells Clark that her dad is talking about moving back to Metropolis. She and Clark are both upset at the prospect. That evening at the Talon, Clark tells Lana that Chloe might be leaving for good. Lana informs Clark that Whitney has joined the Marines. They speculate what it might be like for them when both Chloe and Whitney are out of their lives.

Lex calls a meeting with the plant's senior management and announces he has a plan to orchestrate an employee buyout.

The next day, Clark is driving fence posts into the ground. When he gets back in the truck and turns the key, the truck explodes. Clark steps out bewildered but unharmed, and it is revealed that Roger Nixon has been filming the entire scene. Jonathan speculates that the explosion was caused by a leaking fuel line, perhaps igniting the fertilizer in the back of the truck. Clark confides that he almost didn't feel the heat and the debris didn't leave any bruises. Martha speculates that he's getting stronger as he gets older.

Lex is reviewing an email message when his father walks in asking why he hasn't started packing. Lex admits that he is forcing a vote of the board of directors to accept the buyout. Lionel laughs at the idea that Lex and all of the employees are willing to risk everything they have. Confident that they will fail, Lionel also casually mentions that he has purchased Smallville Savings and Loan and will not hesitate to close out the employees' mortgages when they start missing payments.

Clark tells Chloe about the truck and she agrees to drive him to the dance. They talk about Whitney's imminent departure. Chloe speculates that Whitney and Lana will break up, and when she moves away, Clark will be free to pursue Lana. Clark is unnerved by her attitude and Chloe admits that she is scared Clark will forget all about her to be with Lana and leave her at the gym all alone. Clark reassures Chloe that he is not asking her to the dance by default but because he really wants to be with her. He gives her a kiss just as Lana walks by.

At the Talon, Roger Nixon asks Clark if he is willing to do an interview and asks why Clark wasn't hurt in the explosion. Lex arrives and shoos him away. Lex warns Clark to stay away from Nixon. When Clark gets home he tells his parents about the journalist, saying he is sure Nixon blew up the truck. Then he tells his parents that he saw the missing piece of the ship on Lex's desk. Roger Nixon has bugged the Kent's house and is out in his car listening to the entire conversation. He also learns that the ship is in the storm cellar. Roger goes to the mansion and steals the key. He then promises to show Lex all the proof he needs tonight. Lex arrives at the Kent Farm and finds Clark in his loft trying to tie his bow tie. He assures Clark that whatever happens in the next few days, Lex is still his friend and that is never going to change.

Whitney and Lana wander into the empty school gym before the dance, where all the decorations are ready. Whitney puts on some music and asks Lana to dance. He tries to talk to her about their relationship, but Lana doesn't want to talk, so they just dance.


Remy Zero performs at the Formal.

Chloe arrives to pick Clark up and they exchange flowers. They notice that a storm is moving in; the wind has grown even stronger by the time they arrive at the school. As they arrive, Lana and Whitney are leaving on their way to the bus station. Clark says goodbye to Whitney and Whitney apologizes for tying Clark up in the cornfield. He asks Clark to look after Lana until he gets back. At the bus station, Lana gives Whitney her meteorite necklace for luck. Whitney promises not to lose it this time. He promises that he will still love her when he sees her again.


The ship being activated.

Roger Nixon goes into the Kents' storm cellar. When he takes the key out of his pocket, it floats away from him and fits itself into the ship. The Kents enter the storm cellar to get in away from the storm and find Nixon there. Jonathan guesses that Nixon is the journalist that Clark told him about and is about to beat him up. Martha is trying to stop him when she notices that the ship is floating and glowing. With Jonathan's attention diverted, Roger runs out into the storm and Jonathan goes after him.


Lex considers whether or not to save his father.

At the Spring Formal, Remy Zero is performing "Save Me". When they switch to a slow song, Clark asks Chloe to dance. Clark requested the song because it's one of Chloe's favorites. As they are dancing, Chloe says how surprised she is that Clark came through for her tonight, since every other attempt that Clark has made to date anyone has been ruined when he rushes off to save someone. Just as they are about to kiss, the assistant principal interrupts to announce that the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning. Three funnels have been spotted south of town, and no one will be allowed to leave the gym. Clark knows that the bus station and Lana are south of town. Chloe agrees to call Lana, but Clark zooms away as soon as her back is turned.


Lana drives home in the storm.

Lex realizes the key is missing and guesses that it was Roger who took it. Lionel arrives to announce that he has discovered that Lex is using his mother's stock to fund the buyout. He tries to tell Lex that it won't work, but Lex is determined to get free from his father. Lionel vows to bury Lex and everyone who takes Lex's side. Just then, the storm blows out a window, sending Lionel to the floor and Lex across the room. A bookcase falls on Lex, cutting his eye. A column falls on Lionel, pinning him to the floor. Lex manages to get the bookcase off of himself, but when Lionel calls out for help, Lex seems to consider the possibility of leaving his father on the floor to die, then seems to regret his hesitation.

Lana is driving home from the bus stop when a large piece of debris hits the windshield. She swerves and puts the truck in a ditch. She gets out and sees three funnels coming straight for her. They come together to form one monstrous funnel as Lana gets back inside the truck and desperately tries to use her cell phone. She sees Clark arrive just as the funnel picks up the truck. Clark runs straight into the storm and disappears.



Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]


Musical Guest Appearance By[]



Featured Music[]

Song Artist/Band Scene
"What Do I Have To Do?" Stabbing Westward Played when Lex is standing on the heli pad and Lionel is making his speech to plant workers.
"What We've Been Through" Paul Trudeau Played when Clark tries to decide whether to go to the formal wearing a red or black tie.
"Where This Love Goes" Sherri Youngward Played when Chloe announces she may be moving back to Metropolis.
"Breathe" Greenwheel Played when Clark gets in his truck and it blows up once he turns the key.
"Let's Go" Gigolo Aunts Played when Clark assures Chloe he asked her out because he wanted to, not by default.
"Everything" Lifehouse Played when Lana and Whitney have their last dance together in the decked out gym.
The theme version of "Save Me" Remy Zero Performed live at the Spring Formal by the actual band.
"Perfect Memory
(I'll Remember You)"
Remy Zero Played at the end, when Clark and Chloe almost kiss, but he runs off to find Lana, who is stuck in her truck being chased by three twisters.


  • A Tempest is a violent storm.
  • The title literally refers to the storm that hits Smallville, but metaphorically refers to the various major events that occur during the episode.


  • Antagonists: Roger Nixon and Lionel Luthor
  • This is the Season One finale.
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed and invulnerability
  • Lana remarks Clark looks good in red. This is a subtle reference to Superman's red-and-blue costume. This contrasts Chloe's remark in Cool that blue looks good on him, which seems to symbolize the relationship parallels between the colors and the personhoods, in which blue is gentler and red is more aggressive, similar to the way colors on flags have different meanings.
  • Like Clark in Hug, Chloe and Lana are both 15 in this episode, but clearly driving without a licensed driver present.
  • Lex's quote, "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war," is from William Shakespeare's play The Tragedie of Julius Cæsar.
  • This is Eric Johnson's last regular appearance as Whitney Fordman.
  • The band performing at the Spring Formal is Remy Zero, who also performs the show's theme song.
  • Lionel Luthor has his first near-death experience in this episode.
    Ledger Misprint

    Ledger Misprint

  • The rush issue of the Ledger features a newspaper headline for the LuthorCorp shutdown that says "'Management Problems' Sited", instead of the correct "cited." Similarly, the article's text twice uses "siting" instead of "citing".
  • Lana Lang makes a remark about Whitney "getting in uniform and saving the world." This can be a reference to the actual Superman.



  • Ryan James had mentioned in Stray that Chloe picked out a pink formal dress.
  • Clark insists he's been careful "ever since Phelan", a reference to Sam Phelan who witnessed Clark's powers in Rogue.
  • When Lana gives Whitney her meteorite necklace, he says "I won't lose it this time". This is a reference to the Pilot, where Whitney “lost” the necklace while tying Clark up in the Scarecrow prank.
  • Lionel was last seen in Crush.
  • The title of the next episode and the first episode of season two, Vortex, could also refer to tornadoes.


  • Whitney's fate is revealed in Season Two's Visage.
  • Lex faces the dilemma of either letting his father die or to save his life and for the first time contemplates a future without him. In Season Seven's Descent, Lex finally makes the choice which first faced him during this episode.
  • Over six years later, on Chloe's wedding day in Season Eight's Bride, Clark reveals that he preserved the boutonniere she gives him in this episode, and lets her borrow it for her bouquet.
  • According to the Always Hold on to Smallville podcast, there was originally an alternative ending to this episode, where Lana crashed her truck on the way to the bus stop to drop off Whitney. With Whitney in the car with Lana when the tornado approached this forced Clark to choose between saving Lana or saving Whitney. Also when Clark super-speed away from the dance Pete was going to see him use his super speed ability. This alternative ending was mentioned on the Talk Ville Podcast where Michael Rosenbaum confirmed this planned alternate ending to be real after talking to Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar.


  • When Lana compliments her dress, Chloe jokes, "Thank you Ms. Rivers, it's faux Vera Wang!" a reference to the mother-daughter duo of Joan and Melissa Rivers, famous for interviewing celebrities about their fashion, and the couture designer Vera Wang.



Lana: One day he's worried about his English paper, and the next he's putting on a uniform and saving the world.

Chloe: Cinderella was never really my role model.

Chloe: Long distance relationships never work, people change. I've different experiences. Kinda like us, you know? I'm sure after a couple weeks you'll forget all about me.
Clark: Chloe...
Chloe: Okay, I just have this horrible nightmare that you're going to rush into the bus station after Whitney leaves and profess undying love for Lana. And I'm going to be waiting at the gym all alone and if you do that to me Clark, I'll never speak to you again! Okay?
Clark: Chloe. (kisses her; Lana walks by with a glance) I'm going to the dance with you not by default, but because I want to.
Chloe: (smiles) Alright, I feel better now.

Clark: Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?
Chloe: Yeah. But frequent reminders are always appreciated.


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