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"Turbulence" is the sixteenth episode in the eighth season of Smallville, and the one hundred-sixty-eighth episode overall. It aired on March 19, 2009.


Tess invites Clark to a press conference in L.A., but when an explosion rocks the private jet they are on, Clark must figure out how to save them without Tess learning his secret. Unbeknownst to Clark, Tess orchestrated the explosion to get Clark to reveal his powers to her. Meanwhile, Davis discovers a way to control the monster within.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 8x16


Davis talking to a priest.

Davis is in a church confessional booth. He is upset and tells the priest that he has a demon inside him that takes over. He explains that he drives the streets of Metropolis looking for criminals and when he stops them from committing crimes, it helps keep the beast from taking over. As he speaks, it shows he is actually killing the criminals and that prevents his transformation into Doomsday.

Chloe arrives at the Kent Farm as Clark is just off to work. She remarks that the papers are reporting the most saves in one night ever by the Red-Blue Blur. Clark is extraordinarily proud of this. He has even started actually slowing down so that traffic cameras can record him. Chloe thinks he is in danger of exposing his real identity, but Clark says he believes seeing the Blur gives people hope. He demonstrates to Chloe how he's gotten to be expert at changing into his red jacket and blue shirt in the blink of an eye, keeping his hero clothes in a backpack. Chloe worries that all the knowledge Lex had on him is now in the hands of Tess Mercer, but Clark tells her that she should be worrying about Jimmy, who has been transferred to Metropolis General. Clark doesn't think Jimmy is doing well and feels guilty for not having protected him from the creature, but Chloe is hopeful that he is recovering.


Jimmy has been transferred to Met Gen.

Chloe arrives at the hospital to see Jimmy. She gently chides him for trying to give himself an extra dosage of pain medication. He tells her that he is in extreme pain and just wants to go home. Chloe suggests he talk to a psychologist. Chloe is worried about him, but Jimmy thinks that since they made it through the attack at their wedding, they will stay together.

That evening, Jimmy has a nightmare about the wedding and his injury. He awakens and, getting no response to his calls for a nurse, goes into the hallway to ask for more pain medication. He is approached by a man frantically running down the hall. Jimmy follows the man to the end of the hallway and sees him caught by a hooded figure in an elevator. The figure kills the man and turns to face Jimmy, and Jimmy recognizes it as Davis.


Jimmy is approached by a man in fear of his life.

Clark is at work at the Daily Planet looking for ways to save people when he is approached by Tess. She teases him about the school backpack he carries his "costume" in and tries to get a look inside it. He grabs it back and tells her he just came from the gym. She picks it up again and starts walking out, stating that they'll find something more professional after their trip. Tess is just about to open the backpack again when Clark takes it from her and states it really is from his trip to the gym and that he doesn't want his boss seeing his underwear. After a second Clark realizes she made a comment about them taking a trip. When he wonders why she said that, she tells him that she wants him to accompany her to a press conference in Los Angeles to announce the formation of the Mercer Media Group. Clark starts to try to refuse her, but she insists and says it would be great for his reporting career. She is requiring him to come because she wants people working for her who actually want to succeed.


Tess wants to advance Clark's career.

Chloe is back at the hospital, having been summoned by the police. Jimmy tells her that he saw Davis kill someone. Then Davis arrives and says he has spent the past six hours being interrogated by police because of Jimmy's accusation. He explains that a drunk driving suspect was loose in the hospital after his arrest and that Jimmy was also found, wandering around and out of it. He says Jimmy's pain pump was faulty and giving him double doses. Chloe is skeptical because the pump was working fine the day before when she came to see him and he was trying to get more, but it wouldn't let him. Jimmy denies that his pump was faulty and says he wasn't high from being over medicated, but Davis says the doctors and nurses will verify it. He excuses himself and Chloe follows him out to apologize for Jimmy. Davis thinks Jimmy is targeting him because Davis kissed her, but Chloe tells him she never told Jimmy about that. Davis says he is moving on but will still be friends. Chloe starts to cry and admits that she wonders whether, if Jimmy had never met her, he wouldn't be having these problems. Davis gives her a comforting hug, as Jimmy spies them from his room.


Jimmy sees Chloe hugging Davis.

Clark and Tess are on Oliver Queen's private jet on the way to LA. Tess mentions that she had the spying device that Lex put in her (to be able to see and hear everything she did) removed. Clark asks if Lex talked about him, and Tess reveals that Lex kept a journal, However, when Clark asks what Lex wrote about, Tess claims that it's confidential so she can't tell Clark what it says. Clark, abruptly changing the subject, tells Tess he's thirsty. He gets up and begins looking around, stating that he's sure Oliver has a bottle of good alcohol around there somewhere. Tess smiles softly to herself after he offers to get them the drinks.


Davis drugs Jimmy.

Jimmy sneaks into Davis's ambulance rig and looks around. He finds the drunk driver's body stashed in the back. He is so shocked, he jumps back and crashes into a glass compartment, cutting his hand. Davis catches him snooping, wondering if he is looking for more pain medication. Jimmy accuses him of killing the drunk driver and stashing the body, and Davis implicitly admits it but counters that it wasn't a bad thing because the driver had killed innocent people in an accident the night before. Davis tries to get Jimmy to see his side of things, but Jimmy states that it's not right. Davis tries once again to blame part of the situation on Jimmy's medication, but just as Jimmy begins denying it again, Davis shoves a needle in his neck, drugging him and knocking him out.


Jimmy hallucinates that Chloe is killed by Doomsday

Jimmy awakens in his hospital bed, hearing Chloe screaming his name. He tries to find her in the hospital and finds her running for her life. She locks herself in an exam room and Jimmy watches in horror as the creature from their wedding seemingly murders her. Jimmy is screaming and pounding at the door when the doctors and nurses try to calm him down. When Chloe arrives on the scene, unharmed, he realizes that he was hallucinating.


Jimmy is in agony.

Clark and Tess are still on the plane, but now she's quite a bit intoxicated. Clark asks again what was in Lex's journal, but she refuses to tell him. Instead, she tells him about how her father was an alcoholic who abused her. Clark remarks that she was able to overcome a difficult childhood, but Tess says that like Clark, she is just good at hiding it. Clark feigns innocence but Tess is convinced that Lex's obsession with him proves otherwise. She asks him to tell her his "deep, dark secret", as she has told him hers, but Clark claims he doesn't have one. Tess moves away to speak to the pilot, and moments later there is an explosion, and the plane depressurizes. Clark goes to find the pilot and sees the cockpit window smashed, while Tess goes and finds parachutes. However, she tells Clark that she cannot find any. She starts to pass out and Clark puts an oxygen mask over her face, while at the same time pinching the tube to disrupt the airflow. When Tess passes out, Clark picks her up and jumps out of the plane, seconds before it explodes.


Clark saves Tess.

Davis is watching a criminal break into a building when he is hit on the head with a pipe by Jimmy Olsen. He is stunned and Jimmy handcuffs him to a chain-link fence. Jimmy confronts him and tells him he knows he wasn't hallucinating when he found the dead body in Davis's rig, because the cut on his palm is still there, and he again accuses him of murdering the drunk driver.


Chloe calms Davis.

Jimmy has called Chloe because he wants Davis to confess to her. Jimmy thinks Davis is trying to steal Chloe away from him. Davis begins to transform and warns Jimmy to leave. He breaks one of the handcuffs. Jimmy prepares to hit him again but is tasered unconscious by Chloe. His back turned, Davis continues to transform, telling them to get way, as she checks on Jimmy. She tries to calm Davis down and lays a hand on his shoulder. Davis's transformation ceases and reverses.


Tess talks with Clark.

Clark arrives at the Luthor Mansion to check on Tess. She says she is unharmed and knew when she woke up in the emergency room that Clark had saved her, but the pilot's body hasn't been found. Clark claims he found only one parachute and used it to save them both, but Tess knows he is lying because she had seen two. However, she says she hopes their experience has brought them closer. When Clark promises to keep her confidence, she tells him that he makes her feel safe. She also tells Clark that he can trust her and says that she may run his company and live in Lex's house, but she is not Lex. Clark says nothing and leaves.

At the farm, Clark talks to Chloe about his experience with Tess, saying that he thinks she knows his secret. Chloe thinks he should stay away from Tess by quitting the Daily Planet and making the Red-Blue Blur less visible. She thinks Tess is dangerous because she tried to kill Lana, but Clark thinks she was only trying to stop Lex. He wonders if Tess can be trusted. Chloe warns him to be careful. She then changes the subject, saying she will be taking Jimmy home from the hospital. She thinks they have made it through the worst and will have their 'happily ever after'. After she leaves, Clark looks thoughtful.


Jimmy tells Chloe that their marriage is over.

Chloe gets instructions from Jimmy's discharge nurse about how to manage his pain medication but Jimmy snatches them out of her hand and goes to leave. She reminds him that he isn't alone, but Jimmy angrily says he can take care of himself. Chloe tries to explain that Jimmy would have regretted assaulting Davis, but Jimmy is still hurt that Chloe took Davis's side over what has happened.


Jimmy drives away and disappears.

Aware that people can hear them, Chloe asks to continue the conversation at home and Jimmy snaps. Making a scene in the hospital hall, he yells that he's done trying to make them work, because Chloe has never trusted him. He refuses to leave with her and says that marrying her was the biggest mistake of his life, and then storms out. Chloe is left alone, in tears.

Jimmy barges into Tess's office at the Daily Planet and tells the security guard that he quits. He leaves a folder on Tess's desk containing a photograph of Davis and some murder victims, plus a handwritten note telling her to "meet Davis Bloome."

Clark continues his Red-Blue Blur duties.

Tess gives the pilot a case full of banknotes, revealing that she had staged the plane crash to make Clark use his powers to save her.

Jimmy is driving away and takes much more than the recommended dosage of his pain medication.

Meanwhile, Chloe is at home, still crying.

Davis is standing in the street outside of Chloe's place in the pouring rain.





Featured Music[]

  • "I Don't Care" - Apocalyptica (featuring Adam Gontier)


  • "Turbulence" means "a state or condition of confusion, movement, or agitation" and is often used to describe temporary unstable conditions of an aircraft.
  • The episode name refers to the Queen Industries private jet that suffers from turbulence after Tess' planned explosion.
  • It can also refer to the unstable state of Chloe and Jimmy's relationship.


  • Antagonist: Tess Mercer and Davis Bloome
  • Clark's abilities: Super Strength, Super Speed, Super Breathing, Invulnerability
  • Davis' abilities: Super Strength, Red Eyes, Transformation (Partial)
  • Lois Lane and Oliver Queen do not appear in this episode.
  • Chloe is shown being killed for a second time by Doomsday in this episode, although it is later revealed to be a hallucination. The first shown in Infamous was in an alternate timeline, whereas this time it was in Jimmy's dream.
  • When demonstrating his ability to change clothes in super-speed, Clark has his blue T-shirt underneath his business clothes, referencing Clark wearing his blue Superman suit underneath his business clothes in the comics.
  • Chloe states that Jimmy has been recovering for a period of five weeks. According to the wedding announcement seen in Committed, their wedding took place in late November, meaning this episode takes place sometime in late December 2008 or early January 2009.
  • At the end of the episode Clark changes into his red and blue blur clothing in a phone booth. This is an allusion to Superman's well-known habit of changing in telephone booths.
  • Tess sports straight hair in this episode for the first time instead of wearing her hair curly.



  • Clark asks Tess if Lex told her anything about him, obviously concerned about Lex revealing Clark's secret, which he discovered in Arctic.
  • Tess is using Oliver's jet for business after LuthorCorp and Queen Industries merged in Requiem.
  • Chloe references when Clark threw the pass that won the State championship in high school, which was seen in Jinx and how he felt afterwards as an analogy towards his now more active acts of heroism.
  • Tess references the Porsche which was wrecked in Pilot.
  • When Jimmy breaks into Davis's ambulance, he touches the crucifix from one of Doomsday's victims in Prey.
  • Tess mentions going to a plastic surgeon to remove the technology that allowed Lex to see through her eyes, which was exposed to her in Bulletproof.
  • Jimmy dreams about the Doomsday attack at his wedding, which happened in Bride.
  • Chloe mentions Tess trying to kill Lana, which happened in Power when she was trying to destroy Project Prometheus.
  • This episode marks the 87th appearance of Clark's red jacket & blue shirt outfit, which he wears frequently throughout the series. In Identity it became identified as his Red-Blue Blur attire.
  • Tess' assistant was last seen in Bloodline.


  • When Tess makes fun of Clark's backpack, she references High School Musical, a wholesome Disney movie for young teens, and Louis Vuitton, designer of luxury fashion and luggage.
  • Tess also references E! True Hollywood Story, a celebrity-related documentary series on the cable channel E!.
  • Chloe says Clark's Red-Blue Blur appearances saved more people than a "Billy Graham revival", a reference to the popular televangelist. She also teases his "fashion show," referencing the modeling competition America's Next Top Model, a fellow CW show.
  • Jimmy sarcastically says Chloe "likes to play Florence Nightingale," a reference to the historical pioneer of modern nursing.
  • Jimmy calls Doomsday the "King Kong of meteor freaks". Its abduction of Chloe is somewhat similar to the actions of the giant ape.




Clark: Did Lex talk to you about me?
Tess: He kept a journal.

Tess: What about what Lex put you through? He pretended to be your friend for how many years?
Clark: I'd like to think that there was a time when Lex and I had a real friendship.
Tess: That wasn't a friendship. Clark, you were his obsession. Lex wanted so much to be like you. But he knew-- he knew in his heart he never could.

Jimmy: Look, I realize now that you just don't trust me. You never have!
Chloe: Of course I trust you, Jimmy! I trust you with my whole heart, I'm your wife!
Jimmy: And that's what I don't understand! Why the hell did you even marry me?!

Jimmy: (to Chloe) Marrying you... was the biggest mistake of my life.

Clark: I'm not changing my life because Tess Mercer might know my secret.
Chloe: But she's beyond dangerous, Clark. She tried to kill Lana.
Clark: Only because she was trying to destroy the power suit. She was desperate to stop Lex.
Chloe: I can't believe you're defending her.
Clark: I'm not sure she's like Lex.
Chloe: Your ability to trust others and always see the good in people is what makes you so special, but it's also what keeps getting you into trouble. You need to be careful.

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ComicsThe Comic · Season 11 · Miniseries