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It has been 15 years since The WB Network-turned-CW’s first Superman (Tom Welling) began living a double life on Smallville, hiding his abilities from the world while also using those abilities to save lives.
The series chronicling the Man of Steel’s origin story first premiered on Oct. 16, 2001, and aired for 10 years until the series finale bowed on May 13, 2011. Over the course of 10 seasons, Clark Kent did his best to hide the fact that he was an alien from Krypton. He constantly lied to his friends, hiding his powers and never taking any credit for repeatedly saving people’s lives. Keeping the truth a secret cost him a lot, from ending his relationships to souring friendships and even causing him to make enemies dedicated to exposing him to the world.
But during those 10 seasons, no matter how hard Clark tried to keep everyone in the dark, some people in his life managed to discover the truth about his origins. Those moments were some of the best of the series, as they always made for a game-changing, epic episode that stood out from the rest.
To celebrate Smallville’s 15th anniversary, The Hollywood Reporter rounded up the top 10 times Clark revealed his secret.
Season 2, episode 3: “Duplicity”
After Clark’s best friend Pete Ross (Sam Jones III) found his spaceship, Clark and his dad (John Schneider) stole it back. But Pete caught Clark in the act and threatened to tell everyone about how Clark is a thief, so he was forced to finally tell him his secret. It did not go well.
Pete’s initial reaction was to immediately become afraid of Clark and his powers, and act as if Clark were no longer the same person he had grown up with. After he came to terms with Clark’s origins, Pete was constantly beat up and threatened by people who were trying to get to Clark. Eventually, Pete realized that knowing Clark’s secret put him at risk, and he didn’t want to be the one to expose Clark accidentally, so he ended up moving away from Smallville. Losing his best friend because of telling him the truth inspired Clark to not open up to anyone else about his secret for a very long time.
Season 4, episode 12: “Pariah”
When Clark’s girlfriend Alicia Baker (Sarah Carter) was hurt that he didn’t believe her when she was being framed for some attacks, she thought she needed to “help” Clark by revealing his secret to his best friend Chloe (Allison Mack). Alicia wanted Chloe to write a story about it and expose Clark to the world so he wouldn’t have to hide anymore, meaning that he would understand Alicia. She teleported Chloe and made Clark believe she needed him to save her from a car crash, and Chloe witnessed Clark catching a speeding car with his bare hands. She also saw him superspeed away, but he had no idea that she was there. Chloe didn’t tell Clark that she knew about his powers, but that meant that she thought he was meteor-infected, and didn’t actually learn his true origins until the next season.
Season 5, episode 1: “Arrival”
After dropping hints and subtle sarcastic remarks for half a season, Chloe never told Clark that she knew about his powers. But after she was accidentally transported to the Fortress of Solitude with him, Clark was forced to use his superspeed to get her to a hospital to save her life before she froze to death. He was shocked to find out that she already knew about his abilities. That’s when Clark finally told Chloe the full truth about being an alien from Krypton while in the hospital in the Yukon. Her reaction was everything he hoped it would be, because it was the exact opposite of Pete’s a few years ago. She saw him for the hero that he was, not the “freak” he always feared people would see him as.
Season 5, episode 12: “Reckoning”
In the milestone 100th episode, Clark could tell that his girlfriend Lana (Kristin Kreuk), his longtime love, was pulling away from their relationship because she could tell he was hiding something from her. That inspired him to finally tell her the truth to end all the lies pushing them apart. Clark took Lana to the Fortress of Solitude and proposed to her after telling her his secret, but after she died in a car crash he made his father Jor-El (voiced by Terence Stamp) take him back in time so he could do things differently. He decided not to tell her the truth the second time around to save her life, but instead, she broke up with him and his father died, so he ended up losing both his fiancée and his father in one fell swoop.
Season 6, episode 16: “Promise”
Fed up with all the lies being told to her, Lana decided to finally take matters into her own hands on the morning of her wedding to Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) to find out the truth about Clark. Lana locked Chloe in the wine cooler, knowing that she would call Clark for help, and so Lana hid and witnessed Clark use all his powers to save Chloe. She also heard both him and Chloe talk about how he really feels about Lana, confessing his love, before he used his superspeed to run away. While she was immediately ready to call off her wedding to Lex to be with Clark, Lex’s father Lionel (John Glover), realizing that Lana now knew the truth about Clark, threatened to kill Clark using his one weakness unless Lana went through with it. A heartbroken Clark was forced to watch Lana marry Lex, unaware that she was doing it to save his life.
Season 7, episode 20: “Arctic”
After years of trying to figure out Clark’s secret, and a season of getting to the bottom of the Veritas mythology surrounding the Last Son/Traveler, Lex finally figured out that Clark was the alien at the center of everything. After getting manipulated by Brainiac (James Marsters) posing as Clark’s cousin Kara (Laura Vandervoort), Lex used the Veritas orb to find the Fortress of Solitude. He confronted Clark inside the Fortress for not trusting him with his secret, and then used the orb to bring the Fortress down with them still stuck inside, believing that he was meant to kill the Traveler in order to save the rest of the world.
Season 8, episode 15: “Infamous”
When Clark was getting blackmailed by someone who was going to reveal his identity to the world, he decided to take his fate into his own hands and have Lois Lane (Erica Durance) tell his story to the world instead. At first she didn’t believe him that he was the Blur, but after showing off his super strength, she was a believer. She wrote his life story and published it in The Daily Planet, but the world turned on him and his friends, and he realized he made a mistake in revealing his secret identity. He used his Legion ring to go back in time and decided not to tell Lois, or the world, this time around.
Season 8, episode 22: “Doomsday”
After Jimmy Olsen (Aaron Ashmore) helped save Clark from a kryptonite arrow, he witnessed Clark’s cuts healing instantly. Clark finally came clean and confessed that he was the Red Blue Blur, which Jimmy had put together earlier in the season, but Clark had Oliver Queen (Justin Hartley) help him trick Jimmy into believing he was wrong about his theory.
Season 9, episode 22: “Salvation”
General Zod (Callum Blue) pretended to be the Blur and worked with Lois until she realized she was being tricked. Zod then attacked her, and Clark saved her life as the real Blur. He then kissed her before superspeeding off, and she recognized him as Clark immediately from the kiss. However, she didn’t tell him that she knew his secret until he decided it was time to reveal it to her half a season later.
Season 10, episode 5: “Isis”
In the final season, Clark finally decided to tell Lois that he’s the Blur since he knew they couldn’t share a life together if he couldn’t be himself around her. The twist: She already knew his secret, and was overjoyed that he finally felt like he could trust her fully. This time, there was no time travel or memory wiping, and Lois was in on the secret for good. Her reaction was everything he hoped it would be.
Did your favorite moment not make the list? Let us know in the comments section below.
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