Smallville told a ten-year-long story about a young Clark Kent (Tom Welling) before he suited up and took it to the skies as Superman. For a decade, we saw the trials and struggles that Clark had to go through before he could ultimately become the DC Comics icon that everyone knows and love. In the early seasons, it was all about Clark’s time as a teenager in high school. It definitely wasn’t easy for him having to juggle living with his abilities while also trying to fit in with the rest of his peers.
The second season began exploring Clark’s Kryptonian heritage while also fleshing out the world around him. While we weren’t anywhere near Clark donning the suit and learning to fly, Season 2 was pivotal in so many ways. But with any season of television, there are both strong and weak episodes. With that said, these are the best and worst episodes of Smallville's second season.
10 WORST: Visitor (Episode 18)
Throughout the show’s run, we had meteor-infected freaks (later known as meta-humans) who served as good one-offs, although some of them were less impressive. One of them was Cyrus Krupp (Jer Adrianne Lelliott) who 100% believed he was an alien from another planet, which obviously Clark became very interested in.
While it is understandable to see Clark wanting to find someone who is just like him, it’s not worth it when it puts Clark in a bad light.
9 BEST: Heat (Episode 2)
One of the fun treats with Smallville was whenever they would introduce a new ability for our young hero. Each of those episodes pulled it off nicely and always made sure to make each of those chapters unique.
One of them was the second episode of Season 2 where Clark started developing his heat vision. “Heat” had Clark learning to master this new gift in the midst of Smallville having a massive heatwave. Moments, where he practiced mastering it, was genuinely fun to watch.
8 WORST: Redux (Episode 6)
While Clark had some threats that could be seen as formidable, Chrissy Parker (Maggie Lawson) was not one of them. In the sixth episode, the freak of the week was a student who could absorb youth through kissing. While it probably sucked for the people she kissed, it was still slightly hard to take her seriously as a foe because it wasn’t that hard stopping her in the end.
On the top of that, there was some serious uncomfortable Kent family drama because of Martha’s (Annette O’Toole) father who didn’t approve of Jonathan (John Schneider.)
7 BEST: Red (Episode 4)
As good as Welling was at playing the hero, the actor did just as well with playing bad boy version of Clark Kent. In the fourth episode of Smallville's sophomore year, the series introduced Red Kryptonite that took away all of Clark’s inhibitions.
This wouldn’t be the last time we saw Clark under the influence of Red K, but his first round with it will always stand out. Seeing Clark disobeying his parents, messing it up with Lana (Kristin Kreuk) and being a bad boy of steel was a major blast.
6 WORST: Visage (Episode 11)
Whitney Fordman (Eric Johnson) may have been one of the supporting characters in the first season, but the character didn’t last long. He was simply there to be Lana’s boyfriend and prevent Clark from being with her. While the character was killed off, the eleventh episode of that season brought him back with a twist.
One of the previous freaks of the week was Tina Greer (Lizzy Caplan), a shapeshifter who was obsessed with Lana and wanted to be the most important person in her life. Having faked her own death, Tina posed as Whitney in an attempt to get into Lana’s life again.
5 BEST: Vortex (Episode 1)
Following the massive season one finale, the premiere of the second season was just as big, if not bigger. In retrospect, "Vortex" was definitely one of the more emotionally charged premieres in Smallville’s run.
For starters, there was the aftermath of Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) and Lionel Luthor’s (John Glover) big clash in the finale to take into account. Let’s not forget Jonathan Kent’s (John Schneider) quest to protect his son’s secret from being exposed by the crooked Roger Nixon (Tom O’Brien).
4 WORST: Rush (Episode 14)
While it can be fun when Clark is on Red Kryptonite, the joy is lost when his friends expose him to it. The fourteenth episode had Pete (Sam Jones III) and Chloe (Allison Mack) infected by a weird parasite that caused these the two well-behaved teens to go nuts. Filled with adrenaline, it’s one of the cheesier episodes of the series because of Pete and Chloe’s infection.
3 BEST: Exodus (Episode 23)
The Season 2 finale was a packed one for our young hero and takes many turns throughout the episode's runtime. In “Exodus”, Clark is pressured by Jor-El (Terrence Stamp) to leave his life behind so he can begin to fulfill his destiny. Everything goes pretty much wrong for Clark, from having drama with Chloe to his mother losing the baby after Jor-El blew up Clark’s ship.
Let’s not forget Chloe accepting Lionel’s offer to investigate the mystery that is Clark Kent. All of this pain leads to Clark giving up his life in Smallville as he slips on a Red Kryptonite ring and takes off on his dad’s motorcycle. Talk about an emotional roller coaster.
2 WORST: Dichotic (Episode 9)
Smallville had its many shares of dialing up the angst and drama, particularly in the high school years. The ninth episode of Season 2 served as a testament to that, as Clark has to go up against a meteor freak that could duplicate himself. Jonathan Taylor Thomas played Ian Randall, a bright student who used his ability to date both Chloe and Lana at the same time.
As Clark tries to warn them of what Ian is up to, Chloe and Lana instead accused Clark of being jealous. This is where the teen angst would come in because it made no sense for them to not trust Clark from the get-go.
1 BEST: Rosetta (Episode 17)
One of the great things that Smallville did throughout its entire run was paying homage to previous Superman films or shows that came before. Whether they played the actual Man of Steel or if they played characters related to that world, the show had its fair share of actors that would guest star here and there. One of them was none other than Superman himself, with Christopher Reeve showing up in the seventeenth episode as Dr. Virgil Swann.
This character came to be a pivotal voice in Clark’s life early on as he introduced our boy of steel to his Kryptonian heritage. To have a former Superman actor as iconic as Reeve come in and basically pass the torch to Welling’s version of the character was incredible. Not only was “Rosetta” amazing for having Reeve come in as Dr. Swann, but this was the true beginning of Clark exploring where he came from.