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Season three of the Superman-derived adventure series Smallville had ended with young Clark Kent (Tom Welling) disappearing into a mysterious portal opened by his Kryptonian birth father, Jor-El (Terence Stamp), while Clark's Earthling adoptive father, Jonathan (John Schneider), lay comatose. Meanwhile, Clark's high-school sweetheart Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) had gone off to study in Paris; his mercurial friend Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum), having downed a poisoned cocktail, writhed in agony; Lex's crooked industrialist father, Lionel (John Glover), was sitting in the slammer; and while preparing to make public damning evidence against Lionel's criminal activities, budding journalist Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) was apparently killed in an explosion. As season four begins, Clark is hurtled buck-naked back into "our" dimension -- now armed with the knowledge that he is Kal-El of Krypton, fully aware of his destiny on Earth and that he will continue evincing superpowers, and determined to fulfill the mission set down by his father to retrieve several powerful kryptonite crystals lest they fall into human hands. No sooner has Clark returned than he has his first meeting with big-city reporter Lois Lane (Erica Durance), who has arrived in Smallville to investigate the reported death of her cousin, Chloe -- and to say that Clark and Lois do not exactly hit it off at first sight is an understatement! As it turns out, Chloe is still alive, forcing the jailed Lionel to step up his efforts to silence her for keeps. Likewise, Lex has recovered from his poisoning, but the traumatic experiences of the past few months seems to have aroused his "darker" side -- an aspect of his personality that will reveal itself disturbingly in the form of his evil doppelganger, Alexander, a manifestation brought about by the effects of that renegade kryptonite (which, it is revealed this year, comes in a variety of colors, each with its own special powers).
One of the season's most significant story arcs concerns one Jason Teague (Jensen Ackles), a handsome but strangely off-putting young man whom Lana met in Paris, and who has followed her back to Smallville. Jason's presence precipitates the arrival of his wicked mother, Genevieve Teague (Jane Seymour), who evidently has vital information about the missing kryptonite crystals, and who also has connections with the estimable Luthor family. It also comes to pass that she had carefully stage-managed the meeting between Jason and Lana, the better to solve the mystery of the strange tattoo on Lana's back -- a mystery that stretches all the way back to Lana's previous existence in medieval times. In the season finale, Clark is poised to graduate from high school, but first he must solve a perplexing puzzle left for him by his father -- and this done, Clark is suddenly teleported to the North Pole, just as Lana, with a murder charge hanging over her head, needs him most. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, (more)