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

Rosetta

Christopher Reeves guest-stars as Dr. Swann

First aired February 25, 2003

Official Description - Detailed Description - Notes

See also: Quotes - Music - Transcripts

The CW's Official Description:

Determined to find out where he came from, Clark (Tom Welling) travels to New York to meet Dr. Swann (guest star Christopher Reeve), a brilliant scientist who holds a message for Clark from his home planet. Meanwhile Lana (Kristin Kreuk) decides to move out of Chloe's (Allison Mack) house after the two girls get into another argument about Clark.

Sam Jones III, John Glover, Annette O'Toole and John Schneider also star. James Marshall directed the episode written by Al Gough & Miles Millar.

Detailed Description:

We're experiencing a backlog in Season Two's episode guides. If you wanna join our team, or help with just one detailed episode guide, email us!

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

Notes:

Annette O'Toole costarred with Christopher Reeve in Superman III as Lana Lang, although the two are not reunited on-screen here. Given that Reeve's scene was filmed in New York, they may not have even met.

This is the first time for a real city, New York, to be used on "Smallville." Typically they refer to various DC Comic cities such as Metropolis, Edge City, Gotham City, etc., although New York City appears in the DC Comics too.

Little music clips from John Williams' "Superman: The Movie" score are used during this episode during Christopher Reeves' on-screen moments - including the main Superman theme, the Krypton theme, and the Fortress of Solitude theme.

On the cave walls and in Swann's laboratory we see the traditional Superman "S"-and-crest symbol that Superman wears on his chest. There's an infinity symbol (rather then a "S") with the crest on the key itself. Also, the opening that the beam fires out of is the same five-sided crest shape.

Christopher Reeve played Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El in four films during the 70's and 80's.

"A Rush of Blood to the Head" and "The Scientist" by Coldplay was heard during the show.

Reeve's character's name is apparently a nod to artist Curt Swan, who penned many Superman and Superboy comics in the 60's and 70's.

John Glover doesn't appear in this episode.

The description of Dr. Swann as "The Man of Tomorrow" is another in-joke reference to a common nickname for Superman in the comics (and one they used to describe Clark last year in "Drone").

For the first time we find out Clark's real/alien name ("Kal-El") and planet of origin ("Krypton") in this episode - both, of course, are long-standing parts of the Superman mythos.

The "I will be with you all the days of your life" message that Clark translates from his father echoes a line that Jor-El (Marlon Brando) says in the Superman '78 movie. Purportedly it was a line Brando wrote himself (according to the movie's DVD commentary).

In the initial airing and subsequent easy-view re-airing, the show's creators air a brief ad promoting Christopher Reeve's Paralysis Foundation and filmed with Tom Welling and Christopher Reeve making a joint plea. URL: www.christopherreeve.org

When the key is placed in the cave wall, the symbols on it glow in red, yellow and blue - the colors that comprise Superman's costume.

The space ship opens up when Clark puts the key in...yet every other time someone puts the key in, it powers up, turns white, and does its healing thing (except in Tempest, where it did a great deal more). Granted, it might only do that if people need healing are in the proximity. Or it might have opened up instead of its healing mode because of the key...but it seems inconsistent.

Where would Lana go if she left? Didn't her aunt move out of town? Or is Lana planning on moving to Metropolis and abandoning The Talon?

In the opening sequence you can pretty clear see the back-wire supporting Tom Welling in the air in the first shot where you see his entire body from the side.

Where was Clark between when Lex found him in the middle of Route 8 in near-pitch darkness and when he walks into the Kent household in pretty broad daylight?

Swann speculates that "war, famine, disease" may have made Krypton disappear - how do the latter two make a planet disappear?

Some thought that the ship's interior seemed a little small for a 3-year old, which was Clark's age when he came out of it. If he were in suspended animation in a fetal position it seems (just barely) large enough, though.

Why does Swann send his initial e-mail for Clark to Chloe? All she did was take the photos - why does he risk bringing her in without knowing she may or may not know Clark personally? Clark has his own e-mail address, you can look such things up on the Internet, and Swann's had Clark investigated extensively anyway, so why didn't Swann just contact Clark directly from the get go? (Chloe later gives Clark Swann's history but she may have done it on her own without Clark telling her he contacted Swann himself.)

The delivery boy's claim that Smallville is a "small town" and Clark was easy to find is kinda goofy - it had a population of 45,000 according to the Smallville Soundtrack. You try finding someone in a town of 45,000 people when they're just hanging out at a hospital visiting someone with no indication that someone told anyone where they were going.

From the first shot of Lex's car going at full speed, it seems very unlikely he could have braked in time to stop just inches short of Clark, as we see in the second shot.

In "Rush" Lex tells Dr. Walden that Clark Kent is to be granted full access to the caves at all time. In this episode, however, Walden is confused how Clark got around the guards to get into the caves. Obviously, doc, they let him in like Lex asked.

How does Chloe know that the emails are for Clark, when all she can see is Swann's name and urgent in the subject line. Nothing indicates that it is for Clark, we only know this after opening the email. But Chloe apparently hasn't opened it before, since she is surprised to find it there ("what's this?").

When at the hospital Lex asks Clark whether he is going to open the letter, I think that his answer, that it's probably junk mail is really silly. Did he think Lex would believe such a thing? I never heard of junk mail delivered personally!

The line when Pete says when he leaves the Torch office is horribly dubbed. He says, "Is it? Later", as he turns around, and he's not even moving his lips. Furthermore, his voice should be someone less clear since he's not facing them and headed into a hallway with noisy people getting out of class.

Why does Chloe have personal files on a computer that's pretty much open for anyone to use? Even though she's editor of the Torch, the computer in the office isn't for her sole use, so why would she keep so many files on it?

Lana says that being abandoned is the story of her life. Kinda self-centered attitude there. Not like her parents chose to abandon her, and Lana refused to go with Nell. And she keeps shoving Clark away as much as he keeps keeping himself from her. Only Whitney has really "abandoned" her (to join the military), and she seemed to have second thoughts about him throughout most of the first season.

The Title, Rosetta refers to the Rosetta Stone that was instrumental in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics, by comparing that long-lost script to the texts written in Greek and demotic (both of which survived to modern times). Today, the term is a metaphor for unlocking secrets.

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

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

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