As we rejoin the story where it left off last season, Clark is mostly dead on the streets of Metropolis. He chats with Jor-El in a cornfield about fate and fighting evil and whatnot, then Lois pulls the blue Kryptonite dagger out of his body and he's pulled back into the land of the living. He doesn't see her do this, though, so the rest of their interactions this episode consist of Lois making hints and Clark not getting them. Meanwhile, Chloe is trying to figure out who abducted Oliver and instead of enlisting Clark's aid, she puts on Dr. Fate's helmet. She sees that Oliver will be fine (despite being tortured in the nude for a while) but also sees that one of Lex's old projects, Cadmus Labs, is on fire.
Cadmus Labs turns out to be where Lex was growing a bunch of clones of himself to harvest for healthy body parts. Most of the clones went horribly, horribly wrong, as Tess Mercer finds out when she suddenly wakes up there with her face healed by the miracle of clone parts. She rescues an adorable little carrot-top clone named Alexander when one of the "bad" Lex clones escapes and sets everything on fire. This new Lex is sort of old and sick, but also pretty damn crazy and, bestowed with the real Lex's memories, abducts Lois and strings her up like a scarecrow in the cornfield of Clark's youth. Chloe directs Clark to the cornfield where he very nearly kills sick old Lex with his bare hands. Lex has set it up so that Clark has to choose between saving Lois and stopping an explosion in Metropolis. Clark, of course, saves everyone and goes so far as to brag to Jor-El about it. Jor-El's like, "You're a prideful, violent jerkass! Go away now! Also, a darker evil is coming! Again!"
Clark has some sort of hallucination/reverie and talks with the late, great Papa Kent, who spouts some familiar old platitudes at him and agrees with Jor-El about the impending new darkness. We get a glimpse of who/what it is, but nothing more. At the end, it turns out Oliver is safe because Chloe gives herself to Oliver's abductors in exchange for the Green Arrow's life. Lois, for some damn reason, decides to take Perry White up on that African job offer. Clark's future Super-suit sits waiting for him in the Fortress, for a time when Jor-El's not so annoyed with him.
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Previously on Smallville: Clark started wearing the "S" on his shirts to remind himself of his destiny; he choked Tess, who seemed more reverent than mad; Clark played God and Papa Kent died; Dr. Fate told Clark that he would triumph over Lex, because he's also Dr. "Who Cares About Suspense?"; Lex kaploded; Dr. Fate told Chloe they walk the same path; Chloe and Oliver fell in love (I don't think Dr. Fate was on that path); Perry White offered Lois a job in Africa and Clark encouraged her to go; Zod melted half of Tess's face; Hawkman gave Clark a pep talk about his awesomeness; Clark got a super-suit from his mom; he kissed Lois as the Blur but she figured out who it really was; Oliver was attacked by mysterious foes; Clark fought Zod, took a blue-Kryptonite dagger to the gut, and fell backwards off a 50-story building while Zod got zapped to some alien world. Tom Welling's voice says, "And now... the final season of Smallville." I could be imagining it, but he sounds pretty relieved.
In the present day, Clark is still falling through the rain toward the streets of Metropolis. Lois comes running and finds him lying on the ground, looking none too worse for the wear except for maybe being mildly dead. At least he's not in a million hamburger-like globs, as one would except from such a fall. Lois drops to her knees beside him and cries in disbelief. She takes his face in her hands and begs him to come back. It's sort of distracting how tightly his eyes and lips are pressed together. You'd think the fall would have at least broken the watertight seal on his various orifices. There's a flash of light and Clark wakes up in a sunny field, his wound suddenly healed. He clambers to his feet and looks around. Looks like a normal cornfield, except for the weird streaming lights where the sky should be.
He follows a path in the corn and finds the cross where he once was strung up like a messianic scarecrow. There's a flash of light from above, and a bunch of crows scatter. Another flash of light delivers a small tombstone right behind Clark. He turns and gawks at it, seeing only the name "Kent" because some corn leaves are covering up the first name. Jor-El's disembodied voice calls to him. "Am I dead?" Clark asks. "You're teetering on the abyss between life and death," his space papa tells him, "which is why I'm still able to reach you." Clark walks over to the tombstone, assuming it's his father's, but pulling away the corn reveals it's his own. Jor-El tells him that once he dies, the stone will be all that's left of him in the world. Wrap it up in a black trench coat and you won't know the difference. Clark protests that he died to save the world. "EEE-VILL never ends," Jor-El says with a melodramatic flair. By sacrificing himself, Clark has left the humans vulnerable. Clark reminds his space papa that there are other heroes, but Jor-El insists Clark is supposed to be Earth's greatest protector. "Now, they're about to face the greatest EEE-VILL without you." Clark wants to be sent back. Clark says he knows he's meant to be a symbol of hope. "I told you to rule them with strength," Jor-El says. "But you chose the martyr's path." Dude, he thought it would make a cool slo-mo shot. Give your kid a break! Jor-El thinks maybe Clark doesn't deserve a second chance, but Clark's like Enrique Iglesias on steroids, punching the tombstone and shouting "I can be their hero!" There's a flash of light and Jor-El goes silent. Clark calls out, "Let me go back and fight this evil like I always have!" With shoddy planning and wavering motivation? He shouts some more, but then he notices someone in a white suit running through the cornstalks around him. A bald man steps into a clearing in front of Clark, his face shadowed by the sun behind him. "Lex," Clark says.