One of the most compelling aspects of the television show Smallville (2001-2011) was its richly-developed characters set within the confines of a superhero drama. Clark Kent (Tom Welling) was allowed the opportunity to mature along a well-conceived character arc that took the youth from a simple farm in Kansas to the thriving streets of Metropolis.
Most of the time, Clark exhibited the moral uprightness instilled in him by his Earth parents Jonathan (John Schneider) and Martha Kent (Annette O’Toole). There were numerous moments which Kal-El would just assume forget, particularly when his inhibitions were stripped away by Red Kryptonite.
However, there were occasions in which the young Superman couldn’t fall back on the excuse of Red K exposure. Sometimes, and quite refreshingly, the writers allowed Clark Kent to exude his human side, even if it was often ominous in nature. Certainly, his behavior wasn’t always pretty, but it always made for good TV. Here are the 15 Worst Things Clark Kent Has Done On Smallville.
15 Became Human
Clark Kent’s biological father Jor-El (voiced by Terence Stamp) was busy training his son at the outset of the season five premiere “Arrival” (2005). But unbeknownst to Clark, his best friend Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) had accidentally teleported with him to the Fortress of Solitude.
Unprotected from the arctic elements, Chloe lumbered into the Fortress where she spotted Kal-El. Clark begged his father to let him help Chloe, and Jor-El grudgingly agreed. But the Kryptonian warned his son that he must return before the next sunset. Chloe was safe, but Clark had to battle Aethyr (Alana De La Garza) and Nam-Ek (Leonard Roberts) of Krypton.
Clark stopped them but didn't return to Jor-El in time. His father stripped him of his powers, and in the episode “Hidden” (2005) Clark was shot and killed. Jor-El resurrected Clark. In the vessel of Lionel Luther (John Glover), Jor-El consoled his son, as he revealed someone close to him must die. During “Reckoning” (2005), Jonathan Kent's life was exchanged for Clark's.
14 Released the Phantom Zone Prisoners
General Zod (Michael Rosenbaum) had the upper hand in the season six premiere titled “Zod” (2006). With Clark banished to the Phantom Zone, the evil Kryptonian used the vessel of Lex Luthor to try and convert the Earth into his home planet of Krypton.
Clark managed to escape the Zone with the help of one of his father’s followers named Raya (Pascale Hutton), who also found herself trapped in the prison. When Clark broke free, many of the phantoms followed him to Earth through the open portal.
After Kal-El dispatched with General Zod, he spent the rest of season six rounding up the escapees from the Zone. Clark had to battle a number of seemingly insurmountable baddies, including the energy-driven Baern (Bow Wow) and the giant Aldar (Dave Bautista).
But the final phantom stole a piece of Clark’s DNA and transformed into the villainous Bizarro (Tom Welling). The evil copycat of Clark Kent caused all kinds of problems for the future Man of Steel, which included sleeping with his girlfriend Lana Lang (Kristen Kreuk), before he was destroyed with Blue Kryptonite. Lesson: watch out for stowaways.
13 Teamed up with Zod
If the effects of the Red Kryptonite hadn’t worn off, the bromance between Clark Kent and Major Zod (Callum Blue) could have spelt disaster for the Earth and the Justice League. During the season nine episode “Upgrade” (2010), Clark accidentally inhaled a lungful of Red K.
Under the influence of the radioactive meteor rock, Clark bumped into Metallo (Brian Austin Green). Before the titans could exchange blows, Zod swept in and seemingly eradicated Metallo with his heat vision. Seeing things from a new point of view, Kal-El quickly joined forces with Zod.
Together, Clark and Zod destroyed Chloe’s massive Kryptonite arsenals, which were stockpiled to stave off possible Kryptonian aggressors. After using his freeze breath to make it snow in Seattle, Clark took Zod to the Fortress of Solitude.
Surmising Clark’s sudden Red Kryptonite crush, Chloe programmed Metallo to attack Kent with Green Kryptonite. The ploy worked, as Metallo was able to stab Clark with a piece of Green K. The effects of the Red K were suppressed, and Zod found himself left out in the cold.
12 Fought Jonathan Kent
Jonathan Kent had enough of his son’s shenanigans in the season three episode “Exile” (2003). After extended exposure to a Red Kryptonite ring, Clark Kent transformed into an uncaring thug terrorizing Metropolis. Jonathan spoke with Jor-El about bringing Clark home to Smallville.
Jor-El told Mr. Kent that if he wanted Clark back he would have to retrieve the boy himself. After explaining he wasn’t powerful enough to confront Clark, Jonathan was endowed with Kryptonian abilities by Jor-El. While Clark robbed Lionel Luthor’s safe, Kal-El came face to face with his super-powered father.
In the episode “Phoenix” (2003), their battle continued. After beating each other senseless, Clark finally got the upper hand. Jonathan taunted his son by saying, “If I raised a son that could kill, then kill!” Clark responded by punching the metal wall behind Jonathan, which destroyed the Kryptonite ring and freed Mr. Kent of Jor-El’s temporary powers.
11 Turned His Back On His Friends
Lois Lane (Erica Durance) was gone. After touching the Legion of Super-Heroes ring in the episode “Doomsday” (2009), Lane was teleported one year into the future. In her absence, Clark was inconsolable from her loss. And as a result, he turned his back on everyone he cared about. He ventured north and began training with Jor-El to become Superman.
Clark made every mistake along the way, which allowed Zod and his followers to overrun the Earth under the rays of a red sun. Once the future Clark was reunited with Lois, hope seemed to be a possibility again.
Chloe and Oliver Queen (Justin Hartely) were no longer friends of Clark’s in the future, but they still sacrificed themselves to save him and Lois, restoring the Earth’s yellow sun in the episode “Pandora” (2009).
Clark’s decision to turn his back on everyone he loved after Lois' disappearance eventually led to his demise. Zod plunged a Kryptonite dagger into Clark’s stomach, but Kal-El lived long enough to slip the Legion Ring on Lois’ finger. By returning her to the past, Clark hoped he could repair the damage he had caused.
10 Worked for Morgan Edge
Clark might have been from Krypton, but he certainly let human emotion bully his alien heritage. After Martha Kent lost the baby she was carrying in the episode “Exodus” (2003), Clark couldn’t forgive himself. Young Kal-El truly believed he was to blame, and that he would just keep hurting the ones he loved by remaining in Smallville.
Clark slipped on a Red Kryptonite ring and left for Metropolis. During his self-imposed exile, Clark became a petty criminal. He ripped off countless ATMs just to buy a sports car during the episode “Exile” (2003).
After disrupting a bank robbery by Morgan Edge’s (Rutger Hauer) crew, Clark popped up on the gangster's radar. Impressed by Clark’s super-powered skill set, Edge hired Kal-El to break into Lionel Luthor’s office to steal something.
What Clark didn’t know at the time was that he was making off with a vial of his own blood Luthor had acquired. This was definitely one of Clark’s worst decisions under the influence of Red Kryptonite.
9 Tried to Kill Chloe
Chloe Sullivan made the worst of enemies when she agreed to investigate Clark Kent for Lionel Luthor. As Lionel told Chloe in “Exile” (2003), “All decisions have consequences.” Little did Chloe know at the time, she had begun to ruffle the feathers of one very dangerous adversary.
After printing a story denouncing the validity of the Summerholt Neurological Institute, Chloe found herself marked for death. Once the article was published, Chloe was shocked as she tried to outrun a very familiar-looking pick-up truck.
Chloe survived, but couldn’t believe it when Clark turned out to be the driver. In fact, both Clark and Lana Lang tried to murder Chloe after reading mysterious emails. Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) later traced the attacks to a Dr. Lawrence Garner (Martin Cummins) who had unscrupulous ties to Lionel Luthor.
8 Married Alicia
Alicia Baker (Sarah Carter) badly wanted Clark Kent and she was willing to do anything to get him. Alicia had a propensity for getting under Clark’s skin, ever since their initial meeting in the season three episode “Obsession” (2004).
Once Alicia returned to Smallville in “Unsafe” (2005), she laid a Red Kryptonite necklace on Clark that relieved him of his inhibitions. Suddenly, Clark gave into Alicia’s charms, as they made out in the Kent’s barn.
Before audiences had a chance to catch their breath, they watched in horror as Clark eloped with Alicia in Las Vegas. As the pair prepared to consummate their relationship, Alicia decided that she wanted all of Clark. She carefully removed the necklace, which immediately brought Clark to his senses. Another crisis of crimson Kryptonite caused all kinds of problems for the young Superman.
7 Paranoid in "Splinter"
Brainiac (James Marsters) was simply the most dangerous of Clark Kent’s opponents on Smallville. With an intelligence that far surpassed any human being, and with Kryptonian powers to match, the Brain-InterActive-Construct wreaked havoc on Earth.
In the fifth season episode “Splinter” (2005), Brainiac sent a mysterious package to Lana which contained a piece of Silver Kryptonite. Clark pricked his finger on the meteor rock, which in turn made poor Kal-El paranoid. And he turned on everyone!
Thinking his dad was in league with Lionel Luthor, Clark attacked Jonathan and Martha Kent. Thankfully, Chloe swiped the family’s piece of Green Kryptonite and temporarily thwarted the delusional boy.
Later, Clark thought he saw Lex Luthor and Lana Lang kissing. Losing his mind, at the episode’s conclusion, Kal-El attacked both Lex and Lana. Brainiac arrived, feigning friendship, and removed the shard of Silver K from Clark’s system. It was all part of the monster’s growing plan to win Clark over and free General Zod from the Phantom Zone.
6 Almost Killed a Mugger
Clark was grief-stricken following the death of his father Jonathan Kent, but he couldn’t find the strength to mourn his passing. Those bottled up emotions were struggling to emerge, but when Martha Kent was mugged by a petty thief, young Kent's sorrow morphed into rage.
The mugger was a criminal named Snake (Douglas Arthurs) who had also murdered Andrea Rojas’ (Denise Quinones) mother. In retaliation for her mom’s death, Rojas intended to exact revenge as the Angel of Vengeance.
Clark had an opportunity to unleash his fury on Snake, as he nearly choked the life out of him while Rojas watched. Kent finally came to his senses though, which infuriated Andrea. Her moral compass wasn’t wound as tightly as Clark’s, so she subdued Kal-El with Kryptonite. She then murdered Snake.
At the episode’s end, Clark finally wept for his father’s loss with his mother.
5 Crashed Lana and Lex's Wedding Dinner
“Crimson” (2007) was another infamous Red Kryptonite episode that explored the darker nature of Clark Kent. Lois Lane was given some lipstick that used crimson meteor rock to give off the makeup’s brilliant red hue, while she attended a Valentine’s Party. The woman who gave it to Lois said it was an aphrodisiac and that Lane would fall in love with the first man she saw.
Clark was her unintended victim. Once she kissed him at the Daily Planet, Clark was once again under the ominous influence of Red K. Clark and Lois decided to crash Lex Luthor and Lana Lang’s wedding dinner. Martha Kent and Chloe Sullivan were more than a little concerned when the pair arrived.
Clark lashed out at his mother, because of her burgeoning relationship with Lionel Luthor. Clark then went on to tell Chloe that he had thought about her in the same romantic way she did him.
But Clark saved the best for last, as he called out Lana and Lex. Lana was pregnant, but her secret was revealed by Mr. Kent at the most inopportune time. Lex tried to fight Clark, but was no match for the future Man of Steel. Clark simply shrugged Lex off.
4 Freed Lara from Zor-El's Crystal
Clark Kent’s longing for identity got the best of him in the season seven episode “Blue” (2007). After hearing the voice of his biological mother, Lara (Helen Slater), crying out for help from Kara’s (Laura Vandervoort) Kryptonian crystal, Kal-El took the artifact to the Fortress of Solitude and plugged it into the console.
Suddenly, Lara appeared in the Fortress. Clark was elated that his mother lived again, but together they soon figured out that she was only a replicant of Lara-El. Meanwhile, secretly emerging from the crystal was Kal-El’s misguided uncle, Zor-El (Christopher Heyerdahl).
After Clark was tricked into sporting a Blue Kryptonite ring, which wiped out his superpowers, Zor-El made his move on Lara. The demented Kryptonian wanted the house of El to rise to power on Earth, with Kal, Lara, and Kara all in allegiance with Zor-El.
In the end, Clark made the ultimate sacrifice and destroyed the Kryptonian crystal from which his mother and uncle emerged. Kal-El’s actions destroyed both replicants, and also cost his cousin Kara her memory.
3 Let Chloe Kill Davis Bloome
In a moment of clarity and conviction, Davis Bloome (Sam Witwer) finally summoned the strength to rid the world of his dark alter ego, Doomsday. During the season eight episode “Eternal” (2009), Chloe Sullivan agreed to assist Bloome in killing himself.
Since Davis was also of Kryptonian origins, Chloe believed that Kryptonite was the only answer. Caged like an animal, with a tank of liquid Green K hanging above the prison, Davis simply waited for Chloe to pull the lever.
Clark Kent finally arrived, and he was convinced that there had to be another way. This time, Kal-El’s humanity was actually pushing him to do the right thing. but as Davis began to transform into the beast, Chloe activated the Kryptonite shower to flood the cage.
But Davis Bloome was not really dead. Rather - as Clark later discovered from the leader of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Rokk (Ryan Kennedy) – Chloe had made Doomsday invulnerable with the Kryptonite.
Much like being exposed to Red Kryptonite, magic of any kind tended to make the Man of Tomorrow completely unpredictable. In the season ten episode “Fortune” (2011), Zatanna sent Clark Kent and Lois Lane an enchanted bottle of champagne as a gift for their bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Everyone drank the magic potion and, much like The Hangover (2009), woke the next morning with absolutely no memory of the night before. As the partygoers tried to piece together what happened, Dr. Emil Hamilton (Alessandro Juliani) was being tortured by Amos Fortune’s (James Kidnie) men.
Kleptomaniac Clark Kent was unaware that he had absconded with Fortune’s van full of cash. Luckily, Clark swept in at the last moment to save Emil from the thugs. Still unsure of what had transpired the night before, Kal-El asked Hamilton for any answers he might have. Emil’s response: “Get in line.”
1 Released Zod From the Phantom Zone
Clark Kent took the gold medal for WTF moments at the conclusion of the series five finale “Vessel” (2006). With Brainiac on the loose, conditioning Lex Luthor to be the vessel for General Zod, Clark was too busy just letting the Brain-InterActive-Construct do whatever he pleased.
Why didn’t Clark just burn Brainiac down with his heat vision prior to him unleashing the virus? How about breaking him in half with super strength?
No, Clark’s choice was to fling a small Kryptonian dagger at Brainiac, which opened the portal for Zod. Bottom line: Brainiac was only a machine. Clark should have just killed him, which is what he finally realized he could do two seasons later, in “Arctic” (2008).
Clark’s sense of morality made no sense when it came to Brainiac. Kal-El should have treated him like a large Hot Wheels – wreck him!
Which of these worst things Clark did on Smallville really tipped the scales for you? Sound off in the comments!