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Season One  - Season Three - Season Four - Season Five - Season Six  - Season Seven - Season Eight

Season Two:  Heat - Duplicity - Red - Nocturne - Redux - Lineage - Ryan - Dichotic - Skinwalkers - Visage - Insurgence - Suspect - Rush - Prodigal - Fever - Rosetta - Visitor - Precipice - Witness - Accelerate - Calling - Exodus

Vortex

Picture of Jonathan in "Vortex"

First aired September 24, 2002

Official Description - Detailed Description - Notes

See also: Quotes - Music - Transcripts

The CW's Official Description:

After Clark (Tom Welling) rescues Lana (Kristin Kreuk) from the eye of the storm, he discovers the storm's wrath has unleashed the spaceship into the fields and buried his father (John Schneider) alive along with the unscrupulous reporter (guest star Tom O'Brien) who has discovered Clark's secret. Meanwhile, Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) is wracked with guilt over his father (John Glover).

Sam Jones III, Allison Mack and Annette O'Toole also star. Greg Beeman directed the episode written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar with teleplay by Philip Levens.

Detailed Description:

By Nadine

The ship takes off out of the cellar, through the fields and straight into the tornado, where it gets swept up. The key gets dislocated off the ship. Meanwhile, Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) is in her truck, spinning in the tornado, and Clark Kent (Tom Welling) gets to the truck, as the truck starts falling apart. He lies over Lana at the bottom of the truck as the truck's body is getting ripped off, doors, wheels and all.
At the Luthor mansion, Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) stares at his father Lionel (John Glover) stuck under the beam. Finally, he runs to the beam and edges it off Lionel, but pieces of debris fall onto Lionel and knock him out.
Meanwhile, Roger Nixon (Tom O'Brien) is running through the woods, with Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) right behind him. Nixon gets the tape out of the camera and into his jacket pocket. Jonathan catches up with him and they fight, as the storm is blowing around them. Jonathan sees a motor house caught in the tornado and spinning above his head. He pushes Nixon into a nearby cellar and jumps in himself, as the house comes crashing down on top of them, blocking the exit of the cellar.
The tornado begins to move on, and Lana's truck crashes to the ground. Lana is unconscious, and Clark is trying to revive her, as they are surrounded by car and house debris for miles around.
Clark rushes Lana to hospital, where she begins to regain consciousness. The hospital is crowded with injured patients. The nurse reassures Clark that Lana will be all right, and he runs off to check on his parents. He finds the storm cellar missing a ship, and his mother Martha Kent (Annette O'Toole) unconscious on the ground. She wakes up and tells him about Roger Nixon and how angry his father was.
The doctor informs Lex that Lionel has serious injuries all over, including damage to his optical nerve. Lex wants specialists flown in from Metropolis. He attempts to reassure his father, but Lionel tells Lex that he saw that look in Lex's eyes, he knew that Lex was thinking that it would be so much easier if Lionel was dead. Lex is truly sorry.
Martha and Clark look for Jonathan. Martha is concerned by Jonathan's anger, but assures Clark that he would never do anything stupid. Clark in turn reassures his mother, stating that Jonathan grew up in tornado country and knows what to do. Jonathan and Nixon both wake up buried in a cellar, and Jonathan frees Nixon from under a heavy object.
Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) comes to pick Lana up from the hospital, and Lana explains to Chloe that she was swept up into the tornado. She doesn't mention that she saw Clark at the site. She just says that she passed out and woke up in hospital. When Chloe wonders how she got there, Lana admits that, apparently, Clark bought her in. She inquires on his whereabouts, and Chloe says that he vanished from the dance and that she's spent three hours looking for him. They share an awkward moment as Chloe realizes that Clark left her to save Lana. Lana tries to reassure Chloe, telling her that they looked great together.
Lex shows up at the Kents as Clark is looking for a flashlight to continue searching for his father. Lex tells Clark how he hesitated in rescuing Lionel, and has come to help Clark look for Jonathan. They search the woods, and Lex sees Nixon's car landed on top of a tree. Clark wonders whose car it is, and Lex pretends not to know. They decide to split up in order to cover more ground.
Jonathan and Nixon try to find a way out while arguing over Clark. Nixon says, "You have the most amazing being on Earth doing chores on your farm!". Jonathan tries to explain that he is trying to protect Clark, and is leaving the decision of whether to tell the world up to Clark for when he is older. They start fighting, and Nixon tells Jonathan, "You're just a small man who's son's destiny is too big for you to comprehend" and that Clark doesn't belong to the Kent's, but rather to the world. At that moment, Nixon's buried cellphone rings. It's Lex. When Jonathan hears Lex's name, he grabs the phone and throws it against the wall. He claims he would rather die buried that watch Lex and Nixon destroy Clark's life.
Clark hears Lex trying to call Nixon and confronts him about it. He knows Lex lied previously about knowing Nixon. He thinks Lex is only here to find Nixon and not help with the search for Jonathan. Clark grabs the flashlight out of Lex's hands and carries on with the search.
The following day, Martha posts a picture of Jonathan on a missing person's board at The Talon, which has been transformed into a storm relief center. Lana questions Clark on what really happened, and he explains that he found her lying in a field and took her to hospital. She seems doubtful that that was the truth. Clark's blames himself for his father missing, his mother tries to reassure him.
Jonathan realizes that the wall around them are made of a mixture of lead and cement, and explains that Clark can't see through lead. Nixon continues to try and convince Jonathan that the world deserves to know the truth, while Jonathan continues to search for a way out. Jonathan suddenly figures a way out, but won't reveal it until Nixon gives up the tape. Nixon hands to tape to Jonathan, who destroys it. Both men work on a part of the wall that is weaker and try to free themselves.
Lex apologizes to Clark, and explains that he met Nixon when the journalist wanted to sell him a story on the Kents. Clark inquires on the nature of the story, but Lex explains that he refused to listen to Nixon, because he is a liar who would do anything for a story. He asks Clark to believe that he is Clark's friend. He shows him a map that may help them find Jonathan. They call on the help of Chloe and Pete Ross (Sam Jones III). Then come across the motor house that landed onto the storm cellar, and begin shouting out for Jonathan. Clark's x-ray vision shows him nothing, since he can't see underground due to the lead. Nixon and Jonathan hear them, but their cries cannot be heard in return. In desperation, Nixon starts digging at the wall furiously, and a whole section falls on them. They are both knocked unconscious. As the wall had crumbled around them, so had a whole  bunch of green rocks.
Lana and Martha are both helping out at The Talon, and Martha tells Lana how this reminds her of the aftermath of the meteor shower. She also remembers how, that day, she was with Jonathan buying flowers at Nell's shop, and Lana was sitting on the counter, wearing a fairy costume. She had asked Martha if she wanted to make a wish. Soon after that, Clark entered their lives. Martha had never even told Clark this story.
As the rescue continues, Clark apologizes to Chloe for leaving the dance. She accepts with nervous humor, in order to hide her disappointment. She even suggests that they just remain friends. He is confused but accepts, and she tries to put on a brave face but falls apart when he turns away. Pete finds her there, upset, and she explains what happens, and that she suggested the friends thing as a defense mechanism. Pete does his best to console her.
Buried in the rubble, Nixon and Jonathan are finding it hard to breath, and Jonathan is trapped, but they manage to share a moment, as Jonathan recollects the first time Clark, as a toddler, used his abilities. He also explains that they were gonna take him to a doctor, but Martha got scared that scientists would want to keep him, and they decided to hide his abilities. Jonathan agrees that it may have been a mistake, but it's one he would gladly do again.
Doctors argue over the appropriateness of eye surgery in Lionel's condition, but Lex orders the surgery to go ahead. Meanwhile, Clark, Pete and Martha are studying old maps of the area, and Clark sees that one of the maps shows a church around the area that they searched. They did not see a church there. Martha explains that the church was destroyed in the meteor shower. But Clark notices that the church had a crypt at the bottom, and at that moment Pete realizes that the motor house they saw was at the site of the church.
Martha takes Pete with her to organize a search party, so that Clark can run to the site to rescue Jonathan. He manages to lift the motor house up. He runs down to the crypt and finds his father buried, but suffers from the meteor rocks. Jonathan asks Nixon to get Clark away from the rocks, but instead, he stuffs a rock into Clark's jacket pocket and drags Clark out of the crypt, claiming he now has all the evidence he needs. He drags Clark out in the open, but realizes he can't go anywhere with his car stuck up the tree. Jonathan manages to free himself, and he and Nixon fight. Nixon hits him across the face with a pole, and his about to stab him with that pole, when Lex appears and shoots Nixon dead.
At the scene, with the emergency vehicles around, Clark and Jonathan discuss the conflicting stories they heard from Lex and Nixon. Jonathan states that one of them is lying, to which Clark answers, "The question you need to ask yourself is which one tried to kill you, and which one saved your life". At that moment, Lex walks up to Jonathan, who thanks him for saving his life. Lex extends his hand, "To a fresh start" he says, and Jonathan shakes it.
Chloe is alone in the Torch office, and is deleting the pictures of her and Clark at the dance, one by one, from her computer. But as she goes for the final step of emptying the Recycle Bin on her hard drive, she cancels the action.
Clark talks to his father about how he rescued Lana. he explain how he was inside the tornado and how it felt like he was willing himself to move towards the truck, it felt like he was flying.
Lex stays by his father's beside until he wakes. He thanks Lex for saving him and for taking immediate action in ordering the surgery. But then his tone changes, and he tells Lex that he made the wrong decision, that he is blind, and that Lex should have let him die. Lex takes the criticism to heart and leaves the room.
Lana tells Clark how she thinks the events really happened in the tornado, that he protected her, and put his arms around her in the truck and told her that everything would be all right. She tells Clark that he can tell her anything. He sticks by his story, and she walks away, disappointed, telling him that he can't hide forever.
The last shot is that of the open fields, and the ship just lying there, in one of them.

All detailed descriptions © Copyright 2000-2008- All Rights Reserved

Notes:

This is the first episode John Glover (Lionel Luthor) is listed as a full time cast member. He was previously a recurring character.

This is the last episode to feature Tom O'Brien as Roger Nixon unless he comes back in a flashback, since he was killed.

Slightly redesigned opening credits, with some clips from later first season episodes such as "Leech" and "Obscura".

Rating: 6.3/9

This episode was rerun along with "Tempest" on January 7, 2003 as a two-hour movie and presented in widescreen format.

Eric Johnson no longer appears in the opening credits.

Clark picks up a haircut and tan between when we saw him rushing to Lana's help at the last episode and the beginning of this episode when he gets to the truck up in the tornado (due to the season break). For those of us with short memories, the opening clips make this difference obvious.

Where did Lana get the bag that she packs to leave the hospital during her conversation with Chloe? Clark brought her direct to the hospital, and we never see Nell. So how'd it get there?

Martha pins up a picture of Jonathan on the "Missing Persons" board and Lana wanders over, looks at it, and immediately asks, "Any luck?" Isn't the whole picture-on-the-board thing kinda self-explanatory?

Wouldn't Clark be able to search faster on his own using Lex's map, with his super-speed and all? Why does he pick up Pete and Chloe?

How did Lex get from the hospital (and the surgery with his father) back out to the trailer/church to shoot Nixon so quickly? It's like one scene later and there's no indication of time passing. No wonder Lex isn't surprised at Clark super-speeding around last season - he's just as fast!

Does Lex always carry a gun - he's never had one before that we know of. Does he just haul it along with him on general principles, or did he bring it along to kill Nixon?

The corn in the field where the spaceship comes to rest is over 6 feet tall. In the Spring, 2 to 3 feet would be a lot.

Where does the blood come from which drips onto Lex's head? It's Nixon's car but we all know Nixon wasn't in it. (it could be oil, not blood, but it looks rather reddish for oil).

Why does Nixon suddenly try and open his car with his alarm remote? Wouldn't he either see it's in a tree or not bother because his car is nowhere to see. Most people wouldn't try and open their car unless they can see it first.

Season One  - Season Three - Season Four - Season Five - Season Six  - Season Seven - Season Eight

Season Two: Heat - Duplicity - Red - Nocturne - Redux - Lineage - Ryan - Dichotic - Skinwalkers - Visage - Insurgence - Suspect - Rush - Prodigal - Fever - Rosetta - Visitor - Precipice - Witness - Accelerate - Calling - Exodus

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Updated 1/5/09 

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