It's time for another Smallville guest star from previous Superman mythology - this time in the form of Helen Slater, the original Supergirl. Helen Slater appears in this episode playing Lara, Clark's Kryptonian mother.
The episode starts off with a bang - literally, as we watch Krypton being torn apart by a war. Zor-El is sending Kara to Earth, a trip that will take three years. Kara is resistant, she doesn't want to leave everything she loves, but Zor-El gives her little choice. He does at least give her a crystal which will give her instructions on what to do once she's rescued Kal-El, and giving her a way back to Krypton. As Kara leaves Krypton, we come back to her on Earth. She's reminiscing as she flies through the night sky. She then discovers it's not wise to daydream while flying, as she narrowly avoids colliding with a plane.
Clark comes to visit Chloe at the Daily Planet while she was looking into a support group for the meteor infected. Chloe shows Clark the report about a near miss with a "missile" over Washington D.C. - a missile that Clark and Chloe both surmise to be Kara. Jimmy overhears Kara's name and asks how she is doing. Clark tells Jimmy that he thinks she's in Washington, without telling anyone, which prompts Jimmy to tell Clark about his conversation with Kara about spaceships. As Jimmy leaves, Clark tells Chloe that if it's true that a Government Agency has the ship, then they probably have the crystal too.
Clark goes to welcome Lionel back. As Lionel accepts Clark's welcome, he asks Clark about the new cousin in town - she'd never been mentioned before. Clark lies and says she's from his father's side of the family. His human father. Clark asks Lionel if he knows anything about the organization looking into aliens under Smallville. Lionel tells him about "Starhawk," a program designed to keep an eye out for alien invaders. They'd been in Smallville for some time, but were about to leave, believing there was nothing there (partially due to Lionel's influence.) Lionel asks if they might have found some proof to make them want to stay?
Meanwhile, we see Starhawk in the process of analyzing the crystal. Suddenly, Lex enters. They quickly hide the crystal. Lex confronts Agent Carter about the fact that they took something from the ship. Carter tries to brush Lex off with the fact that the information was classified. Lex responds by letting Carter know that in the halls of power, nothing is classified if you have influence and money. Lex promises to figure out what they're hiding from him before he leaves. And as soon as he's gone, they return to their analysis.
We next see Kara, where she is trolling for information. Using her super-hearing, she overhears one of the lab geeks from Starhawk talking about the ship. In an amazingly unsubtle act of seduction, Kara vamps him to get information about her ship. It takes a little effort, but she eventually gets him to tell her about the crystal. He moves away from her to prepare for some intimate time, but that is when Kara zooms off at superspeed - taking his wallet. Her destination should be no surprise - she heads to the lab. Kara locates where the crystal was being kept and smashes the container, setting off an alarm, but revealing that the container was empty.
Chloe goes to the meteor freak support agency, the Isis Foundation. While there she runs into Lana, who wonders what Chloe is doing there. Chloe lies and says she was looking for an interview. Lana tells Chloe that the Isis Foundation is managed and owned by her, as a way of trying to undo the harm that Lex did to those victimized by 33.1. Chloe wonders why Lana hadn't told anyone, to which Lana says she wanted to wait until it was built up into something. Lana then asks that Chloe not tell Clark about the foundation. Chloe has some misgivings, but promises not to keep Lana's secret.
Kara goes back to the club to ask the nerd where the crystal was. He tries to angrily demand his wallet back, but Kara is only interested in the crystal. She wants to know where it could have been moved to. The nerd has no idea, and is about to get pummeled by Kara for his ignorance when Clark shows up. Clark yells at Kara about her carelessness with the airplane, and chides her for all her carelessness in her quest to get the crystal. Kara demands to know why he cares, to which Clark says that she's family and he cares for her. She shoots back at him the fact that family should trust one another, and that he trusts the Martian Manhunter more than her. Kara goes on to say some hurtful things about the fact that the crystal is her only connection to home and all she wants, and that she thinks Clark is selfish and doesn't really care for her - he only cares that she might mess up his life. Finally she tells Clark that she doesn't like him much, family or no, and she wants him out of her life. She tries to storm off, but Clark grabs her to make her stay, prompting Kara to shove him back with super-strength, and before Clark can get back to his feet, she flies off.
Kara went back to the Daily Planet, where Jimmy finds her. She's borrowing his computer to find information and comparing it to the Planet's database. Jimmy jokes "No problem, so long as you're not hacking national security databases" - which is exactly what she's doing. She's frighteningly competent with Earth computers, and trying to find who could have taken something from the ship. She finds evidence of L.X. Dynamics, a defense contracting firm owned by Luthorcorp. Jimmy starts to pull their file, but Kara zips away impatiently, leaving Jimmy very confused.
Lana is at Isis, monitoring her sensors as Kara zips into Luthor's mansion, and tries to find the crystal, although it doesn't seem to be there. She is suddenly weakened by Kryptonite. Carter walks in, handcuffs her with meteor rock handcuffs. Lex enters and confronts Carter - Carter pulls a tranq gun on Lex. Carter wants to know what the relationship is between Lex and Kara. He thinks that it must be no coincidence that she broke into the lab the same day that Lex was in there and the crystal went missing. Carter eventually tranqs Lex and leaves with Kara. Lana, of course, sees this whole thing on her sensors and calls Clark to tell him she knows where Kara is.
Having recovered from the drug, Lex is on the phone with a Senator demanding that Carter be fired. Clark comes in and demands to know where Kara is. Lex tells Clark she'd been arrested, and wants to know why she would have been arrested?
Kara being tortured by Carter using Kryptonite to weaken her, using a meteor rock solution to force her to tell the truth. Carter wants information about where she is from and what she wants. Kara tries to lie to him, but Carter injects the solution and demands to know the truth. Kara goes into a flashback.
It turns out that Lara had visited Earth through one of the portals back in 1968. Kara followed her to Earth, wondering what Lara is doing there. Lara says she wanted to see the planet where her son would grow up. Lara doesn't think that Krypton will make it through the war against Zod. Jor-El had created Braniac to try to end the war, but Lara doesn't think it'll be enough. Kara asks if Lara is worried about her son growing up among humans. Lara mentions that Jor-El picked the Kents because he admired them.
Kara comes out of the flashback to be further interrogated by Carter. She tries to say she's hallucinating, but Carter will have none of it. He now knows she had been there before the meteor shower. Kara goes back into her flashback, where she and Lara were investigating the Kent family home. Kara is unimpressed, but Lara admires the Kent home. Kara suggests that Lara name their son Kal-El. Lara finds a picture of Martha and decides that she would make a good mother. Kara grabs a Polaroid camera and takes a picture of Lara, which she slips behind the picture of Martha. Just then Zor-El bursts in, angry with Kara for disobeying him and going through the portal.
Once more the flashback ends, this time because of Clark's arrival to rescue Kara. The meteor rocks weaken him, proving to Carter that there are more aliens like Kara on earth. Thinking that the kryptonite will make Clark harmless, Carter gets too close to Clark, not realizing that Clark is more experienced in fighting the meteor's damage. Clark disables Carter and gets the kryptonite far enough away from him for him to try to free Kara. As he pulls the machines off of her, Clark gets pulled into her flashback.
In the flashback, Zor-El sends Kara out of the house while he tries to convince Lara that since Krypton may very well be destroyed, she should remain on Earth with him, where they could rule together in strength as a family. Lara rejects Zor-El, saying that she loves Jor-El and is having his son. Lara then confronts Zor-El with the fact that he tried to kill his brother. Zor-El says that one day he will have her, if not here then in the future through his science. It seems that her DNA is stored in Kara's crystal. Kara comes in, upset, prompting Zor-El to use a crystal to erase Kara's memory of the day. The flashback ends, and Lionel comes in to assist. Clark revives Kara, who now remembers the events of the flashback.
Clark and Kara are back in the Kent house, where Clark recovers the picture. He's thrilled to have a picture of his mom, but Kara is freaked out that the memory is true. Kara is really torn - she loves her dad, but is really disturbed by what she saw in the memory. Clark tells Kara that Zor-El may have done bad things, but that he's sure that Zor-El loved her. Clark tells Kara that they're not defined by their parents - we shape our own destiny. Kara says that it may be time to look to the future, not the past. She'd been so focused on the crystal she endangered both of them. Clark and Kara reconcile, and Kara apologizes for the harsh things she said to him - she really is happy to have him in her life, and Clark says he feels the same way.
Lionel visits Lex. Both probing the other for information about their interest in aliens and the Kent family. The dance between them is interesting. Lex calls him out on the fact that Lionel is as busy protecting Clark as he is pushing Lex away. Lionel tries to say he's ashamed of Lex for what he did to Lana, to which Lex says he learned it from watching Lionel and his mother. Lionel tells Lex that the projects Lex does have made him ashamed, but that Lex cannot hide them from him.
Jimmy is met by Kara, who apologizes for running out on him. Jimmy feels a little like she is just using him for his computer, and Kara truly shows her regret. She offers to take him out to lunch, which brightens Jimmy's day. Chloe runs into Jimmy and tells him that just because they're no longer dating doesn't mean they can't be friends. She asks if he has lunch plans, but then sees that Jimmy has plans with Kara. Chloe tries to warn Jimmy about being involved with Kara, but since she can't tell him the real reason, he brushes off her concerns and goes out with Kara.
Back in the barn behind the Kent farmhouse, Clark shows Lana the picture of Lara. Lana realizes that the picture was taken in the house - and wants to know more about how that is possible. Clark says he will explain it all later, but that first he has a bigger secret to show her. He pulls out a box and opens it to reveal Kara's crystal. He is the one who took Kara's crystal from Starhawk. He shows it to Lana and then tells her that inside this crystal is his mother's DNA.
I finally figured out why this season of Smallville seems to be flowing so much better than some previous seasons. They're no longer pretending to be something they're not. They have embraced the comic-book origins of the character of Clark Kent and those around him, and the plots (and pacing) have become much more like a comic-book. I'm definitely happy with the episode, and with future episodes featuring Braniac, another Kryptonian living on Earth, and the return of Green Arrow (along with Black Canary), I think the show is really headed in the right direction.
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