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"Toxic" is the third episode in the eighth season of Smallville, and the one hundred-fifty-fourth episode overall. It aired on October 2, 2008.


Oliver collapses at a charity event and states he only has 12 hours to live. Clark and Chloe call Davis for help but his prognosis is grim. Delirious, Oliver flashes back to when he was stranded on an island and first learned how to use a bow and arrow. He also recalls meeting Tess for the first time on that island, after she had been kidnapped by a drug runner. Meanwhile, Chloe decides to use her new powers to help save Oliver, shocking Clark.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 8x03

Oliver's fever dreams are in green.

Chloe and Clark are attending a rainforest fundraiser. Chloe wonders why Lois isn't Clark's date and Clark admits that Lois is already on Tess Mercer's bad side and is working late. He adds that Tess might work for LuthorCorp, but she's been civil to him. They notice Oliver Queen arrive with a woman and take a glass of champagne. Shortly after drinking it, he begins to stumble around. Chloe wonders if he's drunk, but Clark doesn't think so. He offers to take Oliver to the hospital, but Oliver refuses. He tells him he has been poisoned and has twelve hours to live.


Oliver is poisoned.

Clark and Chloe take Oliver to the Isis Foundation and Chloe calls Davis Bloome to check on him. Clark still thinks Oliver needs to be in the hospital, but Chloe argues that she has learned to trust Oliver and there must be a good reason why he doesn't want to go. Davis arrives and declares that he can monitor Oliver's vitals, but if he worsens he must bring him in. Clark leaves to track down Oliver's date.


Clark looks for Oliver's date.

Lois is showing her latest article to Tess, who is unimpressed. Lois notices a sheet of paparazzi photographs featuring Oliver and asks about it. Tess tells her about how Oliver left the party falling-down drunk and that she was going to ask Lois to cover the story, but doesn't think she will be objective due to Lois and Oliver's past relationship. Lois insists that they broke up a long time ago and that she can cover the story.

Clark tracks down Oliver's date, but she is being taken away from the party in an ambulance. The EMT tells him that she was found in the bathroom unconscious and says she would be lucky to make it to the hospital alive. Chloe is at Oliver's side, but he is getting worse.

Oliver slips into a fever dream in which he


Oliver falls into a fever dream of his past.

awakens, stranded on a deserted island. He is trying to forage for food, but isn't having any luck. Finally, he creates a makeshift bow and arrow and starts to hone his skills. Eventually, he hears someone else arrive on the island and goes to see. He pricks his finger on a flowering plant and passes out.

Lois arrives at the Isis Foundation looking for Oliver. She thinks he is hungover, but then notices the heart monitor. Chloe reiterates that Oliver insisted on no hospital and Lois is skeptical, but she agrees. Oliver begins to murmur in his sleep and Lois goes to his side.

Oliver on the island wakes up. A younger Tess is applying leeches to his chest. She explains that Oliver has been poisoned by a very toxic plant. She says she is a marine biologist and a hospital would have misdiagnosed him and treated him with adrenaline, which would have killed him, but she knows how to cure him. They are in a tent surrounded by armed men. She admits that she and her friend have been kidnapped.


Oliver and Tess meet for the first time.

Clark runs into Davis at the Metropolis General Hospital and Davis reports that they treated Oliver's date, Adrianna, with adrenaline and she is fine. He is on his way to bring Oliver to the hospital when Adrianna suddenly takes a turn for the worse.


Oliver protects Tess from armed men.

Tess continues to tend to Oliver, who is getting better. She tells him that the men kidnapped her and her friend, Megan, who is tied up. Just then, one of the kidnappers (Marcos) approaches Oliver and tells him that he knows his identity. He knows that Oliver is a rich heir. He announces plans to ransom Oliver, then shoots Megan dead and almost shoots Tess too, but Oliver jumps in front of her. The kidnapper decides not to kill Tess.

Lois is at Oliver's side. She is upset that he is getting worse. She muses that she wonders if they should have stayed together. When Clark returns, Chloe tells him that she has researched the poison and its origins. Clark is stunned that she identified the plant, but Chloe brushes him off. She scans a LuthorCorp online database of plants and instantly locates the plant. Clark is upset that Chloe didn't tell him that she has a new ability, saying that it is the result of her attack from Brainiac. Chloe tells him that there is nothing they can do about it and she chooses to view the result as a gift. She gives Clark a printout of the flower and tells him to ask Tess about the antidote.

Clark goes to see Tess at her office in the Daily Planet, but she denies all knowledge of such a project at LuthorCorp. However, when Clark shows her the picture, she clearly recognizes the flower and gets Clark to tell her that it is Oliver Queen who is in danger. She now admits that the lab does exist, but has been relocated to Brazil and so there is no way they could get the antidote in time. But Clark looks thoughtful.

Davis returns to the Isis Foundation and tells Lois that Oliver will probably die. Lois tells him to do anything he can to keep him alive.


Oliver saves Tess from the armed men and board the boat to leave the island.

Oliver continues to dream about Tess and himself on the island. He tries to console Tess over the death of her friend. He tells her that he told himself that he would change and not waste his life if he ever makes it off the island. He and Tess get ready to board Marcos' boat, but Oliver has fashioned a dart. He throws it and it first hits one of the poisonous berries before wounding and poisoning Marcos. Oliver tells him about using the leeches, if he can find them. Oliver and Tess take the boat and leave the island.


Clark returns with the antidote.

Oliver's fever has spiked and Lois and Davis are performing CPR, when Clark arrives back from Brazil with the antidote, telling an incredulous Davis that it has only recently been developed by Queen Industries. Davis injects it into Oliver; his condition rapidly improves and he wakes up. He tells Clark that whoever poisoned him will target Tess next and that Clark should go and warn her.

Tess is leaving the Daily Planet and sees one of her tires has been slashed. Marcos attacks her from behind and, although she fights back, he eventually punches her out. Just as he is standing over her ready to kill her, Clark arrives. He uses his heat vision to make a power line fall and knock him out. Tess awakens, but she doesn't see her rescuer.


Clark saves Tess from Marcos.

Tess is recovering at Luthor Mansion when Oliver Queen arrives. They argue about their past history and Tess remarks that he never said goodbye. Oliver wonders if that is why she summoned him. Instead, she hands him a folder and he reads the contents with a grim face.

Clark arrives at work and notices that Lois is not working on Oliver Queen's story. He correctly guesses that Lois decided she was too emotional over Oliver's near-death experience. Lois says she still thinks her break-up with Oliver was for the best and Clark offers support, saying that she is still allowed to feel for him. He admits that he watched the break-up video that Lana sent him more than once.


Oliver discovers something.

Chloe is surprised to find Davis at the Isis Foundation looking at her complicated plant research. She tries to shrug it off, but Davis realizes that Chloe's intelligence is a bit unusual. She admits that even her wedding seating chart has become strangely complicated and Davis guesses that her fiancé doesn't know about her ability. Davis tells her that everyone has a dark side they might not understand.

Clark finds Oliver tossing back liquor at the Ace of Clubs. He chastises him for drinking since he is just recovering from being poisoned. Clark asks Oliver why he didn't tell him that he knew Tess. Oliver is upset over the contents of the folder Tess gave him and gives it to Clark. It contains information that indicates that Lionel Luthor sabotaged his parents' plane and caused their deaths. Oliver thinks that because of Clark's relationship with Lionel, he probably already knew this. Clark admits that he did, but had been concerned about Oliver's possible reaction if he told him. Oliver counters that his time on the island made him strong enough to face his fears, but he thinks Clark is still afraid.

Marcos has made bail and is boarding a cab, preparing to leave town. Tess approaches him and scratches his hand with the same toxic flower. As he collapses inside the cab, she says that she bailed him out so that she could have her revenge. She tells the cab driver to take him to the hospital, fully aware that they will probably misdiagnose his condition and treat him with adrenaline – resulting in his death.



Guest Starring[]



Featured Music[]

  • "Dance to the Beat" - Brian Wayy
  • "Get on Up" - Carl Burnett
  • "It Don't Matter to Jesus" - Emily Zuzik


  • Something that is toxic is poisonous.
  • The title refers to the toxic poison of the deadly flower in South America. Oliver Queen was poisoned by the flower's toxins at the charity fundraiser. Marcos was poisoned twice by Oliver Queen and Tess Mercer. Adrianna was also poisoned.


  • Antagonist: Marcos
  • Oliver's youth was visited in the animated mini series Oliver Queen Chronicles in a six part series.
  • Jimmy Olsen does not appear in this episode.
  • Tess's license plate reads "NO MERCY." This is the same moto Lionel Luther lived by in life and business and passed on to Lex. It is also the answer to the first "game" Lionel had to play in Mercy (season 5, episode 19).
  • Tess references the projects that Lex has named after constellations. This would include Project Ares, the super-soldier experiments that were made to house the abilities he had harvested during the Level 33.1 experiments, and Project Gemini, the LuthorCorp project dedicated to human cloning, accelerated growth, and memory implantation.
  • Both Oliver and Lex have spent a number of life-changing weeks on a deserted island. (Exodus, Exile, Phoenix)
  • Chloe refers to Tess as a "Luthor wannabee", possibly foreshadowing the truth about Tess's parentage.

In Other Media[]

  • Lois refers to Oliver as "an icon; the man of tomorrow," and herself as "Lois Lane, the girl who writes about him," a reference to her role in the comics and films as Superman's primary love interest/reporter.


  • Ron Selmour, the actor who plays Marcos, also played the character of Connelly in Asylum and Unsafe.
  • Starting with this episode, the end credits music has been changed for the first time since Season 6. It remains like this for the rest of the season.
  • Ron Selmour, the actor who plays Marcos, also held Oliver Queen captive for a second time in the CW series Arrow as The Butcher


  • Clark references Lana's break-up video, seen in Arctic.
  • When Clark goes to see Tess at the Daily Planet about the antidote for Oliver, before he speaks, she says to him, "It does bring out your eyes - that tie." Clark looks slightly embarrassed and gives a faint smile before asking for her help. This makes more sense in the light of the note to the previous episode, Plastique, that "In a deleted scene, Tess stops by the barn to give Clark a tie."
  • Chloe last displayed her Brainiac ability in Odyssey.


  • Chloe calls Tess a "Luthor-wannabe". In Abandoned, it is revealed that Tess was born Lutessa Lena Luthor, and is an actual blood member of the Luthor family.


  • Chloe admits to Davis that her wedding seating chart looks like an "Euclidian algorithm". Euclid was a Greek mathematician, and the Euclidean algorithm (so called because it appears in a book Euclid wrote, not because Euclid invented it) is a mathematical process to determine the greatest common divisor of two integers. However, the algorithm is not geometrical in any way, so it does not apply to Chloe's claim.


Recurring sets


Chloe: Although, as much as I love the one-on-one time, I gotta say I'm actually surprised Lois unattached you from her hip.
Clark: What do you mean? Lois and I aren't always together.
Chloe: Clark, you see her more than I see Jimmy, and we're engaged.
Clark: What are you trying to say?
Chloe: Never mind.

Lois: Maybe we had it wrong. Maybe our story ends and neither of us are heroes.

Lois: Find me a 24-hour market. I need a sports drink, as much vitamin B as you can get your hands on, and one dill pickle. Let's go! Tick tock!

Oliver: I swore that if I ever made it off this island, I'd change. I wouldn't waste my life. That starts now.

Davis: Modern medicine, Clark. That girl's living proof that Oliver's too sick to know what he's talking about.

Oliver: (capturing a centipede) All right, here's the deal. Normally I don't eat anything with more than 99 legs on it, but I haven't eaten in days. Kind of a bummer for both of us, right?

Davis: Level with me, Chloe. Are you some kind of genius? I'm embarrassing you.

Marcos: Oh. You don't think I know who you are? Oliver Queen?
Oliver: No idea what you're talking about.
Marcos: You're famous! Everyone knows you're that rich brat who took off with his friends on a yacht and partied his way into a shipwreck. And lucky for us, not all of you was shark bait.

Clark: There must be something you can do. Lex never abandons a project.
Tess: He doesn't, does he? I'm still catching up from the ones he's named after constellations.

Chloe: He doesn't know. Well, it's all sort of just happening, which is why I would really prefer it if we could keep it between us.
Davis: Look, Chloe, I think that, in some weird way, we all have some part of us that we hold underneath the surface. Even I do.

Lois: Here is what's gonna happen, Dimples. You are going to reach into that handy little tackle box of yours and pull us out a miracle. Oliver Queen does not die today.

Oliver: You may be invincible, but you are not fearless, are you? You're afraid to trust your friends, and you're afraid to face who you're really meant to be. You're afraid of everything. Maybe you haven't been put to the test yet. Maybe your island's still out there, Clark.

Chloe: Clark, if you were lying on that couch, I would do whatever you asked, down to the letter. I wouldn't hesitate. Now trust him.

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